Wednesday, December 25, 2013

My Gift to the World

Every one of us has a dark and a light side. This fact is a basic principle of nature: all creation comes from darkness. No matter how good we try to appear the element of darkness, our shadow side, exists. Trying to hide the fact only causes it to build and erupt when under pressure. Peace and happiness prevail from accepting this Universal Principle and learning to balance these two aspects of our character.
A new venture or experience demands present moment attention. A bit like sailing uncharted waters, awareness becomes essential because you really don’t know what to expect. This state of NOW creates a level of awareness that allows an interesting study of the many facets of  your personal make-up. This is a lesson that was strongly impressed upon me when I began the bead necklace project that led to writing The Threaded Gem Adventure.

From sending the first invitations, to waiting for responses and on to the stranding and tying of each bead, I felt like an impartial witness to my moments of nervousness, anxiety, frustration and aggravation. Rejection issues, guised as the fear of not enough people responding, raised their distorted faces.  There was also resentment as I struggled to make beautiful charms fit a design intended for beads. I found myself being amazed that these negatives were appearing, threatening to contaminate a project of love and connection.
The issue of rejection was one I had worked on years earlier. As the question of why it was entering this project traveled through my mind, the answer followed. The conditioning of a lifetime cannot simply be erased. Pains of the past mark the soul like a hardened edge scratches fine metal. The mark can be polished until it is almost invisible but a shadow will always be there. When conditions are right the scar will be visible. Recognizing that it is only a scar is the new important and higher lesson here. It is a lesson that brings freedom and satisfaction.

Recognizing my feeling of resentment was the greatest ‘ah-ha’ moment. I had looked forward to the time of connecting all these special tokens yet I found myself frustrated. The resistance of the silk thread in sliding across the table, making charms balance in a relationship with beads, and in bringing continuity with the mix of large holes and small left me gritting my teeth. Stepping away from the emotion, the lesson of learning acceptance became recognizable. The beads were as unique as their givers. However, finding the answer for my aggravation took more time.

Doing what I can to bring healing and balance to the planet is the gift I want to give my grandchildren and others. But a person cannot give what they do not have. In learning to love and balance my shadows and light, the effect is the same as a tuning fork surrounded by glasses of water.  The greatest gift I can give the world is to be a balanced happy person.     

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Intuitive Living

A recent LinkedIn thread began with the question: “Has Your Intuition Protected or Saved Your Life?” I always appreciate probing questions and this one definitely set my mind to musing as I began the search of memory files for specific experiences and circumstances that would fit the question. In the struggle to remember particulars, my mind presented its own question: When am I not being guided by intuition?

I’ve been a practicing metaphysician for more than twenty years. Even before that I was delving into the mysteries, asking unusual questions and sitting for quiet periods allowing my mind to travel etheric highways of information. All of these habits brought long stares and the brand ‘eccentric’ from family members. However, those habits have also guided me to a way of living that brings me happiness. Whenever I look back at the decisions made, I can see where choosing another route might not have brought as satisfying a result. 

My years of counselingclients along with studies beside traditional elders have widened my  understanding in patterns relating to health, relationships and lifestyles of people that live guided by intuition and those who do not. First world cultures value reliance on academic or scientific information over the internal promptings that are the preference of the less economically developed societies.

My belief is that there are four areas where human beings draw decision making information. I list them from the most base to highest guidance:  

1.      Instincts (behavior performed without prior experience or learning)

2.       Cultural training or condition (belief systems, perceived safety and learned values)

3.       Gut reaction (an etheric DNA, sins of the fathers, attitudes or behavior before applied reason.

4.       Intuitive (knowledge beyond understanding of how or where; never harms another life form) 
Intuition is an inner voice available to all. It is a wordless language of the heart connection. Yet in cultures that rely on mental programming over feelings, 10% of the decisions are made instinctively, 50% from cultural training, 15% from gut reactions, and only 5% from intuitive guidance. That leaves 20% of the decisions being made from some chaotic distraction which often include influences from advertising. 

In traditional or aboriginal peoples, around 5% of the actions are instinctive, 15% from cultural training, 35% from gut Impressions, and 45% from intuition and a deep connection with the Earth. The reduced influence from cultural training is because the teaching in these cultures is to connect with nature and Spirit to find answers. 

Choosing to follow a more intuitive lifestyle helped me find my husband, guided us from Florida to Hawaii where I was accepted by Hawaiian teachers and family. It was through meditation and intuition that I received an invitation (and the funds) to travel on pilgrimage with Mayan elders through Guatemala. The same process of meditation and intuition led me to my beautiful home on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. I feel my life has been greatly blessed, and quite possibly saved from many painful lessons or uncomfortable situations in my choosing intuitive living. How have you followed your intuition?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fertile Seeds of Change

Gems of wisdom and experience are seeds we cast in daily conversations, in interactions with the young as well as our exchanges with peers. Seldom do we see where these seeds land. Many will  fall on barren terrain but hopefully some fertile soil.  One of the greatest thrills I experience is finding that one of my seeds not only set root but also bore fruit that has changed a life. This is a delight. It comes with the understanding that I have been part of a great mystery.

If you follow the Face Book page of my award-winning book: Gringos in Paradise: Our Honduras Odyssey, you know I have a single mother’s project in my area of Honduras. One of the first mothers I helped fishes for a living. While she was pregnant and could not work, I showed her how to make jewelry from broken glass that washes up on the beach. Selling these to tourist shops, she made enough income to feed and support her children and even buy her first overhead light for her house. After she gave birth and the baby had reached the age of 3 months, the doctor released her to go back to fishing.  Our plan was that each of the two occupations would take turns supporting her; fishing in good weather, making jewelry when the rains came.  The state of her economy and activity improved so she even bought a washing machine on credit to free her time from the labor-intensive hand washing for a family of five.

Then the unforeseen happened. The fruit company cleaned their trenches, pushing chemically treated soil into the waterways. The river ran brown driving the fish far out to sea.  As weeks turned to months the water began to clear, then early fall rains began discouraging tourist travel.  This mother told me that she was 3 months behind on her water and 2 months on her electric. The power company had notified her that they would disconnect. As much as I hated to see her caught in this bind, my mission was to help mothers help themselves. To lend her money only added to her debt load, to give her money only weakens her. I chose to buy her a chicken, dried beans and vegetables to feed her family. Her bills were up to her. 

It was a week before I saw her again. She came to my gate with a gift of fresh fish. The weather had cleared and she was back out to sea. When I asked about her situation, her face broke into a smile.  She had made soup from the beans I  gave her, then rode her bicycle around town until she sold it. This brought enough money to pay her utilities with a bit left over.  The extra money bought a bus ride into town and jewelry beads.  She worked all afternoon making necklaces and earrings then mounted her bicycle again. She sold her jewelry all around the barrio and did not return home until she had the money to pay her washing machine installment.  She told me that in the past, when a problem with money arose, she would only look for a way around it. Now she knows that a problem always offers a stairway to overcome it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Charity and Compassion

It was during the years I lived in Florida that I first began seeing men standing at intersections holding signs that read: Will Work For Food. At first, it was shocking in its newness; afterwards it became a personal conflict. I would often overhear groups of people talking about what a racket it was. They would say that limousines delivered the men to various corners. However, I had not seen this; could it be true or a lie? Then one day I was driving home from the grocery store. A man with a sign approached my car while I was stopped at the light. He was holding his sign to my window and looking in my eyes. I had to make a decision, it was no longer a matter for debate. It was there in that moment the world became silent. All the voices and arguments were gone. I had clarity. It was not my responsibility to decide if this man deserved my help or not. He was asking for food; I gave him a loaf of bread.  

What a relief and blessing it was once the decision was made. It is not my responsibility to judge whether someone else deserves to be helped.  When someone asks, give what they ask for. I did not give money, he asked for food. Where I live in Honduras, there is very little financial aid for those with physical limitations or the very ill. Often I’ll see a mother with a invalid child holding her hand out while standing outside a grocery store, a blind man with a brother or neighbor helping him request donations at a traffic light. There is generally some handicapped person in  a wheel chair holding out a jar at an intersection. People from other cultures can find these sights disturbing but within the culture here, there is a quiet understanding.

Those who have help those who cannot help themselves. I see it in so many levels here. If your life is blessed with a car then you financially aid those that are walking blind or in wheelchairs when they stand asking for help. If you live in a nicer house with a number of electric appliances, you pay the highest rate for electricity so that the poor who use little receive their electric free. The emotional benefit is a wonderful feel-good. There is also the added benefit of being free of guilt or shame in having while living amongst those who don’t. The benefit that comes on the energy or spiritual level is the highest reward. It is what is often referred to as The Golden Rule.

Monday, November 18, 2013


It used to surprise me when  clients or guest from my Healing Vacations would complain that they cannot keep a happy positive focus. They start out with the best intentions; making commitments to personal practices, writing in journals and making lists. Then, once they leave the sanctity of their private space and reenter the everyday world, all their poise and peace vaporizes in the din.
It is easy enough to see how this might happen. I once read that the majority of the world lives in quiet desperation. Compound that fact with the stress levels of our culture and being drawn into the current of surrounding negativity probably feels more natural than the effort necessary to keep heads above the water. Those trapped within cycles of anxiety and depression or were raised using anger and resentment  as shields find staying positive especially difficult. 

The magic solution I use and teach is to have a happy song. During a time when you are feeling balanced and lighthearted, think of a song.  Practice singing your song so it becomes a ready tool. Thoughts can follow a downward spiral or an upward one. A day may be filled with events we didn’t choose, but only we decide how  to think  about the event. When something jolts your well-being or when negativity threatens your peace, sing aloud.  It is impossible to think of anything else when you are trying to recall the lyrics of a song. So, Listen to the Carpenters –Sing
Here are a couple more personal favorites:
photo courtesy of yahoo free photos