Freedom to Be

There is much going on in this world here today.
And many are hoping it just passes them by.
Governments and people disrespecting each other,
and everyone suppressing their urges to try.

True freedom’s a gift, not given by man,
yet some feel the need to control and demand.
We are brothers and sisters, here on this planet
and this journey of ours beckons us to understand.

One by one we CAN accept our differences
and respect that which makes us unique.
Today we must shed our hatred and fear,
knowing these differences make our world tick.

We are one human race, what affects you affects me,
and so on it goes, till we stop hurting each other.
One thing of great note, that we must recognize,
No one can be free while suppressing another.

Needs of the One…

Should the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one?  It is an interesting concept to ponder, and I am sure there are MANY conclusions…as many as there are people pondering it.  The thought always conjures up the scene from Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan with Kirk and Spock in the engine room on the Enterprise…”The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.”

I would like to propose something…The needs of the many ARE the needs of the one.  We are all one in the eyes of our creator…All of us are different expressions of the One, so it stands to reason that our needs would all be different, experiencing different feelings, emotions and attitudes about everything for Our Creator.  And, we all have different experiences that we enjoy, and others we don’t.  As we have said before, too, the things I enjoy, you might not, and the things you enjoy, your friend might not.  Some people are naturally good at some things while others are naturally much better at others.  Some want to pursue things in which others of us have NO interest.  but that’s okay.  That is why there is such diversity and there is nothing wrong with diversity.  Besides, it would be SOOO boring if everyone wanted the same things…so there is room for MUCH diversity!

Simply put, in this world in which we live, there are endless options and combinations of things that can be done to satisfy everyone.  As long as we remember two things…The Golden Rule and what I consider the Rules of Life…Treat others as you want to be treated and don’t kill, steal, lie, cheat or take advantage of others.  Even that can be put into more simple terms…love, honor and respect each other!  If we remember that, we will do just fine, both as the many and as the one!

Remember, too, for all of us to be emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually sound, we do have individual needs for each of those categories…So, don’t begrudge people their individual needs, because as they grow in this world, they will add to the “needs of the many” while helping the “needs of the one,” which absolutely adds to the “needs” of the Ultimate One!

Equal…

You are, and have always been, a blessing to me.
Even though you do not see me.
Even though you have no respect for me.
Even though I am taught to blindly follow you
and to be submissive to you…

I have, however, begun to resent feeling unimportant.
Tired of feeling trapped, suppressed, used,
considered a servant, not a partner or equal.
And now, others like me are beginning
to resent others like you.

Why do my gifts not matter?
I can see your value, why can’t you see mine?
My early kind was considered property,
No doubt, at some point, yours was too.
So when do we move past that?

When does the right of all
outweigh the right of only half…
in a world where no growth can be had,
without both parts?

Life would be so much easier if we all learned
to respect and embrace our differences, gifts, insights
and used them for the greater good…
Learning it takes all the difference to make up the whole…
What blessings could be had from that?

Life, Mended

Out of the depths, wandering free,
Soul’s first adventure on Its own.
Death and destruction, mayhem and madness.
“Who would want this?” ” What have I chosen?”

Don’t want to turn back, the light, it still shines.
With some, comes some more.  This one I can win!
Lessons are learned, as hard as they are.
Other choices are made, the difference is clear.

Darkness moves from sight, into the corners.
Slinking away and hiding with guilt.
As Soul takes charge, clearing the mess
left by a life that was lived by default.

Life gives up the suffering, learning to love,
not only Itself, but others alike.
Becoming more kind, gentle and clear,
The prize is at hand, Life sees past Its fears.

More sure of Its host, Soul rejoins the Body.
Loving thoughts They do think, together as One.
Helping the others, family and friends,
mending the fences and broken bridges.

New is the Creature, tranquil and sure
Life springing forth, no longer in doubt.
Pristine and perfect, glistening bright.
Giving forth much, and so mends the Life.

Visions of Happiness…

I had a “dream” one evening…I say “dream” because I was not asleep.  I had asked most humbly for the power to know what would make everyone happy, and them the ability to do it.  I reasoned, during my bedtime mediation, that if I knew what would make everyone happy, and could provide it, wouldn’t the world be a much happier place?

To my astonishment, I was “whisked away” to a room that went on forever, literally I could not see the ends, sides or top and bottom of this room.  It was a completely white place.  In this sterile looking place, there were vials floating in rows of five  about to my eye level, glistening in the brightness of the well lit white room, and I was standing in the middle of them.

I was not sure what to do there, just watching them glisten, when all of a sudden I got the urge to run my hand over the top of one…Instead, not thinking, I ran my hand over the top of several.  These vials, you see, held what people THOUGHT would make them happy.  It shocked me to “see” what several people thought would make them happy and I realized that some of the thoughts were those of people I knew…and I KNEW those thoughts would certainly NOT make them happy…As I realized what I was “seeing”, and all this registered with me, in shock, I yanked my hand back.

I have never, since, been able to revisit that “room.”  Maybe it was because I yanked my hand back, scared of what I saw.  Maybe I wasn’t yet ready for whatever I was asking…I may never know, but the one thing I DO know is that happiness, generally, does not come from “things.”   Many people think money can buy happiness.  Someone once told me that , hey, he sure is happy on a jet ski…in fact, he has never seen anyone frown while riding a jet ski.

In acquiring the things we THINK makes us happy, what are we giving up?  For most of us, those things would be nice, but they would also keep us working so much that we would loose site of what is REALLY important; our family, and by extension, our friends.  After all, in many families, it takes both parents working to pay the bills…which means someone else is raising our children…Or, both parents are working different shifts so they don’t need someone to watch their children, yet they never have time to spend together.  Is that really what makes us happy?  Is “stuff” worth that?  What has happened to our family dynamic?

Not only that, and I have seen this first hand, someone has something you feel is better than yours, so you go out and purchase something better than theirs, when what you had was fine…What happened to ” do not covet?”

Even at that, family is not the only thing we give up.  What about ourselves?  The more things we acquire the more stuff that has to be maintained, the more money that costs, not to mention the headache, the more bills, it never ends.  And, of course, these days, with most stuff, it becomes obsolete nearly the minute you purchase it, so we feel compelled to upgrade…which keeps us stressed.  What happened to living a simple life?

Also, people, whether men or women, who want to stay home with their children while the other parent works are looked down upon.  Why?  What is this urge to “be somebody?”  Aren’t you already “somebody?”  What happened to respect for self?

But there is more to it than even that.  To find true happiness, you must first be happy with YOU…that comes from inside, not from something, or someone, outside of you.  If you give someone or something power to “give you happiness,” what have you done?  You have given up control of a huge part of you!  Why would we even THINK of relinquishing any power over ourselves?

My challenge today is for you to give some thought to what would truly make you happy.  If you are there, with no stress, then, fine.  Stay there.  But, if you take a good long look and find you are not happy, with too much stress, then consider making changes for the better…and don’t let anyone push you into being something or pursuing something that doesn’t interest you.  Today, I challenge you to take charge of YOU!  Be mindful of who you are, a perfectly Divine creation, and be yourself.  After all, you will never know what happiness that will bring you until you try!

Taking Cues From Mother Nature

A cool front moved through here between Saturday and yesterday, leaving us with temperatures 20 to 25 degrees cooler for the past two days than most of last week.  As Summer fades into Autumn, the night breeze has a slight chill, as does the daytime breeze, and for some reason, overnight the air seems to be more crisp and clean.  It is a beautiful day here today, and even the sunshine seems somehow prettier.  As things have died out over the Summer heat, the plants that managed to withstand the brutal heat seem to be even brighter.

Our part of the earth is preparing to hibernate, as Autumn will surely give way to Winter.  Our area will be at rest, rejuvenating for the next phase, Spring…and the cycle will repeat…waking, living, resting & sleeping, waking, living, resting & sleeping…on and on it goes.

We tend to push ourselves to the breaking point every single day.  Most of us don’t have too much trouble with the waking part of our day, but we try to cram so much “stuff” into it that we ignore one of the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  Rest & sleeping…

If we pay attention to nature, we can get clues.  Take for instance the perennials.  They sprout forth their life, grow, start to wither and die, only to repeat the cycle, sometimes even bigger and better over the following years.  I’d like to use, as examples, two particular plants; Crape Myrtles and Pampas Grass.

When I lived in Texas, everyone grew Crape Myrtles.  One particular fellow had a fence lined with Crape Myrtles.  I passed his place everyday on my way to work.  Before I knew much about them (I still don’t know too much!), at the beginning of Autumn, he cut every single one of them to the ground.  I thought to myself, “What the heck are you doing, mister?” because they were beautiful…smaller, but beautiful.  The next Spring, after resting the Autumn and Winter, they came back with a vengeance!  They grew bigger and more full, and even more beautiful…that next Fall, he did the same thing…Cut them to the ground!  Yet, in the Spring, they came back and grew even bigger and more lovely…

My parent’s driveway is lined with Pampas Grass.  It is a beautiful sight when they are covered in full plumes.  People here, in the Midwest, grow them, as well.  What they do here, though, in Autumn, is cut them down and burn them off…If you know nothing about it, it sounds crazy, right?  Yet the following year, after the Autumn and Winter rest, they come back fuller and more beautiful.

The same goes for deciduous trees, as well…Ever seen a Maple Tree go through it’s cycle?  Another lovely tree with a similar cycle is the popular Bradford Pear.  Beautiful life emerges in the final throws of Winter and the onset of Spring as the trees flower.  Pretty leaves emerge (most are green, but there are other colors as well.  Japanese Maples are famous for their red or red lined leaves and are very popular ornamental trees!) and by Summer, they are covered with leaves.  In Autumn, as the trees wind down for rest, the leaves put on a SPECTACULAR show as they change color from green to yellow to orange and to red (sometimes having all four colors on one leaf!), as the tree gets ready to shed its leaves for the upcoming hybernation. It is an awesome show!

I have known many people who leave the trees to their own devices, once they are established, and they do alright.  I have also known others to nurture and care for their trees, and boy do they flourish!

There are a couple of things we can learn from Mother Nature…

First, we NEED our rest and relaxation to rejuvenate.  Sure, we can go and go and go all day long, deep into the night, crash onto our beds, get a few hours of sleep, get up the next day and do it all again, but that pace takes a toll on our body, and on our psyche.  Our bodies need proper rest, and nourishment if we plan to live long lives.  Lack of sleep leads to stress, confusion and moodiness.  Stress is one of the main sources for dis-ease and bodily malfunction in otherwise healthy adults.  Lack of sleep causes us to not “think” to our fullest capacity, causing us confusion, which breeds frustration, and then anger.  These are preventable things, if we nourish ourselves through proper rest and diet.

Second, Mother Nature can also show us the beauty of life and dignity in death.  As both the Crape Myrtle and the Pampas Grass and deciduous tree examples show us, we can live our lives in beauty and splendor, and at the end, if we do not fear our life or death, we can transition into our next great adventure, and be even more splendid at that.  Many religions teach us about life after death, reincarnation, etc.  So, as you watch Nature, you can see what happens after it appears to “die.”  The next “life” is so much bigger and more beautiful…and on it goes…

Take good care of yourself, respect yourself and don’t be afraid of what is to come.  Take time to “rest.”  There is nothing wrong with simply being still for a while!  Sure, you can take a vacation every year, but what about a little rest every day?  Take a short walk, relax in a warm bath, read, listen to music, take up a hobby, or yoga.  Get proper rest, and then be SURE to get proper sleep!   The things to promote rest do not have to take up much of your time, but the benefits of rest and sleep are unending!  I challenge each of you to take on your life, but treat it with respect.  Grow, live and nurture your life.   And, try treating every living thing with the same “respect for life” and see what you cultivate in your own!  Many Blessings!

 

Blessings!

Respecting Self and Others…

Respect seems sorely lacking these days…between Adults, Parents & children, spouses, children, both in families and in school, co-workers and even for our own self.  Even with the multitudes of churches, intolerance for bullying on school campuses “diversity training” in the workplace and efforts to raise self-esteem, respect has dwindled to nearly nothing.  (And I am from the South…land of hospitality!)

I can’t say what first started the decline, but it is truly annoying!  Why can’t we respect ourselves and others?  What has changed to cause the lack of respect?  And, when will we get it back?

I do not have the answers to these questions, but I would like to put forth some thoughts.

You are the face to the world of the Ultimate Self, and that position demands respect.  You are a sacred treasure, prized by Your Creator…yet, unfortunately, we lose sight of that.  We get caught up in the worldly.  We forget just WHO we are, and we act with disregard, neglect, apathy…towards ourselves, and towards others.

Respect is defined as high or special regard or to consider worthy of high regard; esteem.  And to esteem someone means we place a high value on him or her.  So…strictly speaking, if we no longer respect someone, we no longer find value in them…they are no longer special.  That goes for us, as well.

We must first regard ourselves highly before we can expect that treatment for ourselves or return the regard to others.  This is not a pep talk on how to be good to you, it is a fact.

If you have no respect for yourself, why not?  Answer the questions honestly, why DO you feel you are of little worth?  Can you change it, and if so, why wouldn’t you?  What is holding you back?  Is it lack of education?  Is it a weight issue?  Is it something you were told or how you were treated, or not treated, by someone you respected?  Would it help to know that you are not the only one with these issues?

Many people feel like they lack education and they either do not have the money or time to invest in higher education.  BUT, that doesn’t have to stop you!  There are many great books out there on many a great topic.  You can find books on nearly everything.  If books do not interest you, there are always DVD’s.  I have seen them on nearly every subject, as well.  You can take charge of that concern.

Many people have weight problems, too.  Sometimes we stress eat, sometimes we don’t eat the right things, sometimes we don’t exercise, and sometimes there are medical issues to be found and cleared up.  All of these things can be taken charge of, as well.

Many people are also treated disrespectfully by those they once held in high regard.  Whether that person is your parents, teachers, preachers, siblings, boss, whomever, you cannot give them charge of you.  By succumbing to their bad treatment, you give away your own power.  Chances are, these people have been treated badly at some point, as well, and while that is no excuse for bad behavior, we must learn to take charge of our own situation.

With respect for you, however, if you are in a position of deep depression or possible destructive behavior and you feel you can see no way out, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with seeking help…nothing.  Talk to family or friends, or seek outside help if you need it…remembering that realizing you have a problem is the first step…

We are worthy of the utmost respect; to be highly prized…we are VERY special.  As unique expressions of Creation, we are worth SO much…but then, so is everyone around us!  It’s time we started acting like the valuable, prized beings we are…Truly, until you are happy with your self, it will be hard to be happy with those around you.  See where and what you can make changes to help you feel treasured by you…then, spread the love…What happens might be surprised you!

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.