Road Trip!

A dark cloud of sadness can descend when we least expect it or it can envelope us during a time of suffering that traditionally produces a heavy heart. Although it is often a joyous revelation or a sunny spark of gratitude that makes us seekers, foul weather is often the ideal time to start a spiritual journey. The dark secrets and whispered utterings of a bruised soul are more readily seen, explored and understood during these times. Ancient and frightening memories hidden in the corners and crags of the brain are brought into the light, where they’re less powerful and can be challenged by a brave spirit. Like so many things that would be of service to our deep and often fragile selves, if we wait for optimal conditions before staring a spiritual journey we may miss a golden opportunity for growth. Or, even worse, we might never step on the path that can lead us to healing and happiness and the love we all deserve to find for ourselves, within ourselves. If the spirit nudges you, take a chance! Put on you galoshes or your sunscreen, pick a bunch of flowers or squish through the muddy places you discover. It’s never a bad time for an inner road trip!

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Playing…

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” – George Bernard Shaw

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RIP Robin Williams. Heaven’s gained a wonderful playmate.

Her Father Died.

When my father died the atmosphere changed. The room temperature cooled as his spirit slowly left the planet, the sky’s colors shifted before my eyes during the ride home from the hospital. I felt weightless yet heavy with grief, even after I’d made it home to an empty house and cried long and loud. I’d loved and depended upon my dad since I’d fallen to earth, so it was a big loss. It was BAD. But I had the luxury of privacy, which I haven’t truly appreciated until recently.

A spotlight wasn’t shown on my family when my father died. Zelda Williams isn’t as lucky. My father wasn’t a talented and beloved actor, like Zelda’s father, Robin. He wasn’t a celebrity with the eyes and ears of the press hovering nearby, poised to capture a private moment. I didn’t have to share my father with the world, my father who, like Zelda’s, had a wonderful sense of curiosity and wonder, a great sense of humor and the gifts of creativity and sensitivity. When I see bits of my father in myself I’m both proud and grateful; he left his earthly home years ago, but his spirit resides within me. Zelda’s father not only left his imprint on his daughter, he left an impression on countless fans as well as the gift of an amazing body of work we’ll mourn and remember him by.

Soon after her father died and Zelda Williams’s grief was fresh and raw, she managed to compose a lovely tribute to him on twitter, featuring the exquisite and comforting words of “The Little Prince.” Hours later, thanks to the harassment and insensitivity of internet trolls, Zelda abandoned social media, perhaps forever. Nothing, not even death, is immune to comments from the peanut gallery of twitter followers, some poised to use their keystrokes like poison darts. Although we condemn their actions, and rightly so, trolls are only following the lead of a huge and pervasive news machine that gives a celebrity’s death generous air time, especially when there are tragic circumstances to be sensationalized. In the case of Robin Williams’ death, the popular media’s coverage not only contained misinformation about the depression that led him to suicide, it ultimately degenerated into insults hurled at the late actor by the usual media suspects.

I believe Zelda will land on her feet, with Proud Papa watching from the heavens. For now, may she find the strength she needs, one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Losing a beloved parent spins your world on a stunned, shaken and slippery axis. Thankfully, comfort seeps through the layers of our universe and spirits are eternal. I’ve felt a loving nudge and an arm around my shoulder, even though there was no one else in the room. For Zelda and anyone who is  grieving, I offer these words. You’re not alone, you’ll see. Invisible prayers meant to sustain you are cluttering the heavens and I know as sure as I’m typing that they help. Just breathe and remember, those we love may die, but they never fully leave us.

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Present

I will practice being present in each moment.

I will allow myself audacious dreams for the future!

I will no longer be intimidated by those who judge my personal experiences and emotions.

I will say “Thank You” each morning and evening, until the gratitude inside me floats around my aura like fireflies on a warm night or dew glistening in the morning light!

(I’m back, a bit bruised, but still singin’… I missed you!)

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Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter

Laura:

Lovely … These words paint both immediate and enduring pictures, much like the subject itself does.

Originally posted on HarsH ReaLiTy:

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She comes into your life and brings nature’s blessing. And with her entrance comes a curse of wanton passion. The grass is still alive as it blazes in the sun. The chorus of our laughter floats gently in the Spring breeze. We are the definition of love and our hands are linked as we dance amongst the growing and the grown alike. We enjoy timeless sunsets on picturesque settings creating canvases waiting to be painted at each moment. We love.

Time works wonders and bonds grow firm. We resolve to walk quietly into the night together. Hands held tightly against the shadows we once faced alone. We pick each other up in the heat of the Summer, against the blazing sun and humanity’s punishment. We turn as one, in unison with one another’s needs. I am your need and you are mine. And like an oak tree we grow together.

The rain…

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Lovers

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.

Rumi

rumi

Prayer

Tears of surrender, heads bowed in prayer, the sunlight making jewels from each delicate droplet. We are all connected, flora, fauna and human beings. But there are challenges, once an intellect is involved.

Suffering? Inevitable. Insight? There for the asking. Gratitude? Oh yes, indeed! Break open my heart and let divine love prevail!

God bless us, every one, as we navigate our hours, days and years on this earth, in this wondrous universe.

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Football, the religion

Laura:

One photo led me to this amazing photo essay. What a beautiful way to start my day! I’ll let Tony Burn and his camera tell the story. Enjoy!

Originally posted on shootingtheworld:

Most Buddhist people in Myanmar spend at least a part of their life in a monastery and adopt a disciplined lifestyle, learning the teachings of Buddhism as part of their faith and for spiritual credit. Practicing monks are expected to get by with the the minimum of possessions, but it’s fair to say that most monasteries have a football lying around. Once classes are over for the day, the ball comes out and it’s time to dream about being the next Messi or Ronaldo. I spent some time traveling around the country in 2013 and decided to shoot this as a photo essay.

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Let Me See

When I find myself in times of sadness,
The quiet mind brings tears to me.
I’m waiting for the lesson,
Let me see…

And though we may be parted,
In so many ways, you’re here with me.
Help my through my sorrow,
Set me free…

Let me see,
Set me free.
Let me see,
Set me free.

There’s wholeness deep within me.
Let me see.

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(Thanks, PM.)

For Myself

I can’t take care of

You

Anymore.

My wounds are bleeding and

I need to care for

Myself.

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