Sunday, May 30, 2010

Silent Sermon Sunday

This day remembers and acknowledges loss and so do we remember those whom we have loved and lost. We hold their names and their faces in our mind's eye. We recall the gifts they gave to us through the strength of their being, the depth of their love, the courage of their dying, and the fullness of their living. In the Holy Quiet of this hour, their names surround us and they live with us in blessed memory.
~ Unknown

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Picture taken during a visit to McKeesport Cemetery

Monday, May 24, 2010

I awoke this morning with a clear understanding that, despite all my flaws or perhaps because of them, I am an extraordinary Human Being. I hope this week gives you the opportunity to discover the very same thing about your Self.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Still Learning

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Silent Sermon Sunday

Tucked deep within most hearts is dream so desired, so carefully concealed, that it is only a whisper....
Let us pray for the courage to set it in motion and bring it into the light of reality.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Dreams

Monday, May 17, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again!

About 25 years ago, (crow, where does the time go?!) Doog and I were out antiquing...and I came across an old deacon's bench. Painted black, chipped and faded, it looked like it was waiting for a new home. Perfect for our tiny, and I do mean tiny, dining room. So we dragged it home.

Over a couple of years time, we made a new friend who was very handy and loved wood working. Every time Joe came for a visit, he'd look at that bench and get the same look in his eyes that my Dad got when he saw an ancient piece of wood. The inward gaze said, "I bet that's a pretty piece of wood under all those years of use!"

I finally asked Joe if he'd be willing to take the project on and he was thrilled at the chance. Several weeks later the beat up old deacon's bench came back in beautiful condition, one that could take pride of place in any church. I was thrilled!

Since Michael and I started our life together, the old bench had no room in our home. However, I thought it would make a nice sitting spot outside, so it lived its first year under cover on the back porch of our rental home, and the past five years as an inviting spot at our front door.

Recently, I really started to feel that it was way past shabby to even be sheek. And, I was just getting ready to put it out at the curb when....

...I started feeling sad about losing a bench that has seen so much of my life. So, I worked on it this weekend. What do you think? Does it invite you to come and sit with me for a visit? Share some iced tea on a warm summer's day?

Painted, refinished, and now painted again. Full circle. I'm beginning to notice more and more examples of that phenomenon. Is that a process of aging, do you suppose? But, taking something that's done well for you full circle is better than not keeping it. Isn't it?

I didn't want it to look freshly painted, so I took two different yellows- one high gloss one flat, and melded them together so it would look as though its had some wear and the luster of the once bright glossy yellow has been worn. Did I achieve the look?

The pups and I will be on the look out for you. You're always welcome to come and sit a spell.

Namaste' Till Next Time,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Corner of The World Discovered

Walk through the archway with me...

...and out into the bright, clear light of the Mayan Riviera.

Were the Caribbean Sea shows off more colors of turquoise and blue than you thought could be collected in one spot.

Where you are invited to walk on a shore made of ancient coral that now resembles stones but one time lived beneath the wash of blue.

A place where..

...even the furnishings work to surprise and delight. To invite you to sit in artistic ability.

Where the colors captivate your spirit and bring a smile even to a face made weary from travel and distance.

The colors outside the door...

... all colors that here look garish, there look like a sonata sounds...harmonious and pleasing.

Orange and yellow mellowed in the clear air and equatorial heat.

And fragrance wafting on the warm, moist air joins with the sights to make you sigh.

Where pink and red are more than a little girl's favorite colors.

Where the locals are not afraid of gringos and, in fact, live peacefully with them.

A spot of paradise where beach wear is not required but adds to the colors...

And you're glad to let frogs spit on you to cool you down as you wilt in the light.

Where you find a azure bed to read a good book or just let your mind wander willynilly.

A spot where the Mayan civilization was at its glorious peak thousands of years ago, and where the people truly do look different than others I've seen. A beautiful blend of caramel and latte' as skin colors. A place where artwork helps you to see the beauty of the every day.

And attention to detail is closely paid. A hallmark of all artists. You only need to stop and see it for yourself. Discover the art in the every day.

A corner of the earth where artistic dragons... with real ones. And where one is not more exciting to come upon than the other.

A garden of earthly delights where you walk and talk with goddesses...

And stop in the spot of great medicine and power...

...a chance to pay homage to the Jaguar Medicine. And quietly send your prayer into the blinding blue heavens.

Stop to say, "Buenos Dias," to the gods.

A spot called the Mayan Riviera where this Queen of The Universe will remember the view with great fondness.


Namaste' Till Next Time,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Silent Sermon Sunday

A mother is not determined by biology; a mother is determined by heart and intent to be emotionally available, serve as a spiritual guide, and be loving and supportive.

Happy Mother's Day with my deep love and gratitude to those who have served as my mother:

Marie Raimondo
Katherine Marks
Rose Raymond
Rose Slattery
Eileen Mross
Mary Fields
Freda Fahey
Linda Marston
Judy Markling
Barbara Frock
Carol Arduin
Michael Duggan
And most especially, James Dietor

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Has Been Gratefully Mothered

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spirit Vs. Science- And The Winner Is...

Recently, I was flabbergasted by events that took place right here in my own study. First I was shocked, then incredulous, then I was down right sad. I was disrespected in the effort of doing a good deed. The story and all the details are too long to share here, but I'll give you a summary:

A friend of mine has a very young cousin who wanted to marry the guy she's been in love with since she sat next to him on the school bus. She was six at the time, he was eight. Over the years they went their own ways, but something continued to draw them back to each other. And so they fell in romantic love and then he went away to the be in the Army. She went off to college.

One day, a few months back, they both came to the conclusion that they didn't want to be separated from each other. And, although she is soon to be 20 and he 21, young yes, the heart wants what the heart wants.

Their parents who have known both since they were young, agreed. But, when they went to their churches, neither the Catholic priest who she knew, nor the fundamental Christian pastor that he knew would agree to officiate since he is away in the Army. Not being able to meet him and have them take the prep classes, the pastor offered the church as a site, but told the young girl she'd have to find an officiant.

Enter my friend who calls and asks for my help. She knows I am a licensed Minister with The Universal Life Church. I became a minister as part of my Reiki practice. Since we do not qualify for mal-practice insurance, many of us are licensed as ministers because, you can not be sued for putting your hands on an individual for purposes of prayer. I have officiated at another wedding and will help when called upon.

Yes, it may seem a loop hole, but the world has become so litigious, that anyone who does any sort of body work must do what they can to protect themselves, and for Reiki practitioners, this is an answer.

Back to the bride to be. I agreed that I would officiate only after I sat and met with her to determine her emotional state and maturity. I am morally obligated to refuse to officiate if I believe the individual is not of sound mind and emotionally ready. On the agreed upon day, the girl showed up with a woman in tow.

The woman turned out to be her soon to be mother-in-law. The girl asked if she could sit in on the meeting; I agreed.

Cutting to the chase, what happened is this: We sat in my study and talked for over an hour. I told her my qualifications. I listened to her story and believed her to be ready for marriage. When it came time for her to ask me questions, she had none. I asked her mother-in-law if she had questions. She had been looking fidgety through the entire interview and she finally erupted like a tea kettle left too long on the fire. Hot liquid thoughts spewed everywhere.

Crying, she said to the bride, "I'm sorry, but I can't agree to this." Looking back at me she continued, "You are all about light and airy fairy and I raised my son to be God fearing and a good Christian. You are all about kind and gentle, but I am about doing everything to be in communication with God as my savior and supreme commander. I give glory to God in all things and you do not talk about the importance of putting God as the head of your household or the need to get down into the muck and hardship that can be part of marriage and fighting to make it work at all costs! I'm sorry, but I raised my son to go to Sunday school and you have Buddhas everywhere in your home. I can't have my son married by you!!!!"

I sat there stunned. She bawled. The young girl looked embarrassed. Quietly I said, "Yes, there are Buddhas in my home. There is also a crucifix, a cross, a pagan star, Madonnas and saints. There are many reflections of Spirit in my home. I hear what you are saying about your beliefs and I respect your traditions. My relationship with "God" is not based on fear, suffering, brimstone, and sadness and ultimately this is about what this young woman wants as her wedding ceremony."

She bawled back, "My God expects all things from me, and my church is critically important to me!"

And I responded, "And yet, your church has turned away from you in this important life matter because your son is away serving his country and can't be here to sit and chat with them."

With that she stood up and as she was fleeing my house she wailed, "I know!!!! And that's what makes all of this even worse!!!!"

Clearly, I didn't officiate at the wedding. Because their are Buddhas in my house...

Sad. Very sad and unsettling...

The National Day of Prayer coming up soon has caused a major brouhaha...not unlike the feelings I had in the situation I just described. So many are opposed to it on the grounds of separation of religion and state. So many are equally strident that it is important and should be allowed. So many who believe in prayer and feel as though their right to be positively accepted in this country as Christians is being systematically stripped away. They believe that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and that they should not be under fire by liberal view points as they seem to be currently.

Standing firmly on the other side of the aisle are the many who do not believe in God. Those who call themselves either atheist or agnostic who feel public rituals and prayer have no place in our society. Who believe with a great deal of historical events to back them up that formalized religions have caused such narrow trains of thought and intolerance that they should be outlawed all together.

Some believe that God and formal religions funded in dogma are becoming antiquated and unnecessary in the face of Science unveiling so many of life's mysteries. Science and facts are acceptable while faith in a Creator is not.

As vitriolic as that woman was sitting here in my own home, disrespecting me and what I believe, that's how strident many are now against formalized religions. They almost spit when they talk about "God" and those bovine enough to engage in formalized religions.

And, while I don't agree with most formal religions and their tendency to make us all want to be 'RIGHT' while it makes any who believe differently 'WRONG or even DAMNED'...I do believe that we still ALL must find the God thread that is in us and develop it. In whatever means seems best to you...alone or in a congregation, we must do our work in this regard.

I don't care what you believe. But I do care that you believe in something. I don't care how you express that belief, so long as you find a loving way to express it. Not in a condescending, self-righteous way...just express your belief in a kind and considered manner.

I am all for Science uncloaking and unlocking mysteries of life even if, for some, it does take the miracle and magick out of life. I am in awe of how exponentially fast we are learning and discovering because of our advancements in Science. Sometimes it seems that Science has become Miraculous! I believe in facts and theories that can be proved or disproved. I believe that drilling down to the most fundamental of elements is important in terms of getting us to the next level of life and living.

But, in my opinion and this is strictly my opinion, many of us act as though we are petulant five years olds when it comes to discussion about Spirit. We're mad at the concept of God like a five year old can get mad at a parent having control over us.

Some use Science as a bludgeon to beat the ignoramuses who are stupid enough to believe in their religion. We see it as a case of Science Vs. God instead of seeing the inextricable bond between these two concepts.

These concepts are not mutually exclusive. Science and your belief in it is NOT a free pass out of faith; out of considering that there is a Spirit, a Universal Life Force, a God or Goddess if you will. No. On the contrary, a belief in Science and all that it continues to unfold is, in fact, a clarion call for all of us to awaken to the FACT that we are God/Goddess. As Human Beings, we are not something separate from a benevolent dictator God. We are not something small and inconsequential. We are not subservient to God. No! We are partners with Spirit. We are the physical embodiment of Spirit. We are created in the Image & Likeness of God. WE are GOD!

As such, while on this Earth plain we have an obligation to continue to build our God energy in order to lift all of Humanity to the next level of being and in directions we cannot even begin to imagine! Science is here to help us to stop looking outside of ourselves to the heavens and screeching at each other about faith and belief. Science is here to make us all begin to look inward, just as we look inward through a microscope at things so small they can't be seen with the naked eye and marvel at them.

Things that can't be seen with the naked eye, yet we know they are there...hmm, sounds a great deal like Faith to me.... how curious...

At the end of it all, Science is likely to take us all back to the space where we started. It's likely to take us back to the beginning and make us finally understand that we are the Creator. All of us. What form we choose to reflect our beliefs is unimportant. None of us is more right; more correct; more enlightened. We are all of us GOD.

When we begin to accept this responsibility and begin to carry it with love, the rest will be at peace and harmonious. We will no longer care about the various paths that lead us to the same destination.

I don't care what you believe. Just start believing in something and be willing to express that belief with love and not as shield and buckler. Stop worrying so much about what everyone else believes and if they believe as you do. Let each walk their own path. Spirit believes in us even when we don't believe in Spirit. Can't we follow that example?

Faith: The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Science and God...I believe. Where love and hope exist, the Light always shines.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Believes
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