Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Soft Touch in Hard Times

Life is very tough.

Throughout life we must cope with blockages that impede our forward momentum ans seem to attempt to keep us from a peaceful inner existence.

Quite often, it is natural for us to respond with anger and frustration, but that does not equate with the peacefulness that we seek for one another.

Whether these obstacles are of a personal, professional, or societal nature, our first instinct may be to push against the obstruction. However, the simplest way to alleviate resistance is to approach it gently, with a soft manner and kind intentions.

To quell the storm, if you will.

Struggle and strife can find no foothold when confronted with mildness because conflict can only exist when fed by two opposing forces.

So many areas of our lives can benefit from the application of gentleness.

The beauty of gentleness lies in its own multifaceted nature. It is part love, part compassion, part patience, part understanding, and part respect for others.

When we move through life gently as a matter of course, we naturally attract these wonderful elements into our lives.

This does not mean that gentle people are by nature passive or meek. Rather, their copious inner power is manifested in their gentleness and their choice to move with the flow of the universe instead of against it.

We can make use of gentleness in our own life by applying it in situations where we feel challenged by our circumstances, by people in our environment, or by our own helplessness in wanted to bring healing to another.

Quite often, caring for another is a misunderstood anomaly as we are not accustomed to accepting what life holds before us.

However, it is important that we move forward.

As we move forward gently, the energy pervading our life will likely shift and, consequently, the blockages before us will diminish and ultimately vanish.

Cooperation progresses smoothly when approached gently because all parties involved feel confident that their needs will be met.

Quarrels are easily quelled with gentleness because the dualistic concepts of losing and winning are made moot by our willingness to exercise infinite patience with those whose values differ from our own.

Gentleness must be practiced, as we are inadvertently encouraged to act competitively in certain phases of our lives, fighting against nature and its inherent realities.

At first, our established habits may make being truly gentle challenging. Yet, as we grow and mature, we can commit to consciously apply gentleness to all areas of our life, whether by collaborating rather than competing, or yielding graciously to the impassable roadblocks in our path in order to seek a new road.

We will find that we begin to act gently.

Some might interpret this as weakness. However, it is strength is growth as we accept the lessons of this wonderful teacher called life.

As our patterns of thought and behavior become ever more peaceful, we will discover that we encounter far less impassable resistance on our individual journeys.

Also, as we discover this, we accept that no one walks alone in her or his journey.

Sometimes, it is easier to accept a held hand with our eyes closed.

Perhaps a held hand and closed eyes open our inner eye to all those who walk with us.

With love & light,


Monday, September 28, 2009

Life's Lessons

Most of us have the ultimate respect for teachers, as it is they who tend the gardens of our lives.

Many teachers, like gardeners, give their unlimited all in exchange for the sidelined gratification of silently seeing the fruits of their labor emerge into new life. Much like parents, they watch as their nurtured youth grow, take form, and fly - perhaps soar.

Many of us long to find a teacher, or guru, or spiritual guide. We may feel uncertain of how to practice our spirituality without one, or we may long for someone who has attained a higher level of insight to lead the way for us throughout this difficult and trying life.

Some of us seek such guidance for years without finding compatibility. Others are blessed with a match, without much seeking.

The good news is that the greatest teacher we could ever want has been appointed for us since before birth and is always with us.


The people and situations we encounter every day have much to teach us when we are open to receiving their wisdom.

Often, we don’t recognize our teachers because they may not look or act like the teachers from our youth, our vision of a guru, or our concept of a spiritual person. However, our teachers embody great wisdom.

Sometimes, our teachers find our lessons in situations that we neither invite nor want. All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the severe, aspire to teach us exactly what we need to be learning at any given time.

The lesson plan, however, is not ours.

Patience, compassion, perseverance, honesty, letting go - all these are covered in the classroom of God by the teacher that is life.

We can help ourselves to remember this perfect teacher each day with a simple reflection. We can begin our day by taking a moment to say;
"I acknowledge and honor the teacher that is my life. May I be wise enough to recognize the teachers and lessons that I encounter today, and may I be open to receive them and remain thankful for their wisdom."

We might also take some time each day to consider what our lives are trying to teach us - some time to listen to the Spirit of guidance, which we so often pray for. A difficult phase in the relationship with our employment, life partner, family, or friendship, may be teaching us to be prepared to let go.

The homeless person we see every day may be showing us the boundaries of our compassion and generosity.

A sudden onset of lost items may be asking us to be more cognizant of our physical realities.

A sudden turn about in the health of a loved one may be reminding us to give great thanks and glory to God for the world of marvel in which we live, and for life itself as each moment passes in a never turning tide.

I watched the Sun rise the other morning as I traveled to New York, and it was beautiful. My Mom always tells me how much she loves the Sunrise from her front patios, which overlook the Delaware Water Gap from about 20 miles.

As I watched the morning's Sun rise, I noticed that it was reminiscent of a Spring morning. How peculiar for Autumn. For 21 years now, Frank and I have always wanted to photograph that beautiful morning moment, which so many people miss.

We still haven't done that.

Today, I wondered what lesson God's nature was teaching me with that gentle reminder of Spring at the onset of Autumn.

When we trust our intuition on the nature of the lesson at hand, work at our own pace, and ask as many questions as we need, we learn that life has all the answers.

All we need to do is learn.

With love & light,