Monday, October 15, 2018

What Does Love Mean in the Time of Chaos?

It's pretty clear to me that we are living in a time of chaos. Things seem to me to be in upheaval. Is there an irreparable divide? Are we destined to always have us and them, the other that causes us fear? 

I listened to a podcast from The Liturgists again. It's called Enemies (here). The hosts and the guests asked all sorts of interesting questions about what it means to turn the other cheek, how you can love an enemy. (Truthfully, it can sometimes be hard enough to love my neighbors, let alone an enemy.) Towards the end of the podcast, one of the hosts, Science Mike (Mike McHargue) talks about whether we need an enemy to keep going, to prop up our own belief systems. 

What a difference if we were to love in the radical way that Jesus and other prophets talk about. Thomas Moore, in his book Writing in the Sand, says that what Jesus was really calling for is a radical shift in perception. What if we were all to say that we are going to wish the best for everyone, we are going to respect that everyone has a point of view even if we disagree with it? Doing these things don't necessarily mean that we let things slide, that we don't challenge things that we feel are morally wrong. But, I think it means that we stop calling others names, we stop thinking of them as other than human. I certainly need some practice in this. I do find myself thinking of some people on the national stage in pejorative terms. I try to stop myself and say that I shouldn't do that. 

I think it's helpful to acknowledge when you agree with something someone you generally disagree with says something that you do agree with. I have one thing I agree with Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader for those of you overseas). He wants to make growing hemp legal again in the US. I've thought for a number of years that this should be done. 

I disagree with Donald Trump on everything I understand that he says he believes in. But I try not to hate him. It doesn't matter to him if I do, but it doesn't do me any good if I do. In fact, hating someone most likely hurts me. I can oppose his policies without hating him. I can also imagine the pain he might be in from what little I know about his childhood. Doesn't make me like him. Just makes me wish he were healed, that he could have compassion and justice in his heart rather that what I perceive to be there. And, I can't even say that what I believe lives there is correct. Only what I perceive -- hurt, pain, anger, and underneath all that, fear.

So, I think that what love means in a time of chaos is finding it in me to wish everyone the best, refusing to make others my enemy, and to try to be someone who brings light into the world. Love isn't necessarily like. It isn't necessarily passion. But, on the other hand love can be feelings of compassion, justice and mercy. One of the few passages for the Bible that I can somewhat recall is Micah 6:8 (for those of us who believe in the Divine): 

He has told you, O man, what is good—
    and what does the Lord require of you,
but to do justice and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

(Modern English version of the Bible)

What does love in the time of chaos mean to you? I'd really like to know.



****
The first photograph is by Andrik Langfield-Petrides. The second by Jon Tyson. The third by Steve Halama. I found all of them on unsplash.com. The fourth image is from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be (here).

Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only but cannot say for sure. The sites I link to in my posts most likely use cookies as well. I hope you continue to read my blog despite this.

Monday, October 8, 2018

What Can I do in this Age of Upset?

It seems, metaphorically, that it's all thunder and lightening right now. It seems, if we only focus on a narrow spectrum of life, that it's all stress and terribleness happening. I don't mean to discount anything and say that it's not that way. I don't mean to say that the thunder and lightening aren't important. They are. They can cause great destruction.

But, I seem to keep living my life anyway. I think that living the way that Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about in this quote that I read in the Daily Optimist newsletter is one way to cope in this time that some are calling the Kali Yuga: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” The question then, I suppose is what will it mean that I have lived and lived well and that by doing so I have made a difference? (The Kali Yuga was predicted in Hindu writing as the 4th and final age before the start of the cycle of ages starts again, if I understand this correctly.)


One way that I keep coming back to do this is to somehow bring light into the world through my words, actions and emotions. By letting my spirit in all it's glory act in the world. I believe that the more of us that can act with a compassionate heart, the more light comes into the world. The more light, the more enlightenment hopefully.


Some of this means being mindful, I think. Mindful of what we think, what we say, and how we act. I wish I could say that I am mindful at every moment, but I'm not. I am working on this, which is all any of us can do -- keep working on this. (I suppose it's a mindfulness practice to be aware when we are not practicing mindfulness.)

And, in the meantime, I think living with hope is
also a good practice. Without hope, we can fall into despair. We can then give up when we fall into despair. We can decide there's nothing we can do to help, that signing petitions, voting and the like are useless. That seems to me that this means "they" win, however they is for you. We can also trust that the various prophecies of the Native Americans, the Hindus and other peoples around the world are true -- that the destructive age will end and we will shift into an age of enlightenment. We can be like this butterfly trusting that the cat won't harm it when it sits on the cat's nose. As Tina Turner says on the album, Beyond, "Love grows when you trust. When you trust love heals and renews. Love inspire us and allows us to do great things. And makes us a better person to love...." We can each be someone who brings love into the world. What greater thing is there to do in this life?

Love doesn't only mean romantic love. It's the love of parents and children for each other. It's the love for friends. It's wanting the best for everyone even if we don't like them. 

So, I suppose what I can do is try to live the life Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about, while trying to bring light into the world in the way that I can, to be someone who wishes the best for everyone. As my friend said to me a couple of weeks ago, be someone who does no harm (or being human, as little as possible).

Just as an aside, Bibhu Dev Misra states in an article on Graham Hancock's website that the Kali Yuga will end in 2025. It would be lovely if it could be determined that precisely. I just hope the shift has started even before then. 


****

The first photograph is by Brandon Morgan. The second is by Andrik Langfield-Petrides. The fourth is by Karina Vorozheeva. I found all 3 on unsplash.com. The third image is from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. For information on the book, click here.

If you would like information about my services, please click here.
Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only but cannot say for sure. The sites I link to in my posts most likely use cookies as well. I hope you continue to read my blog despite this.

Monday, October 1, 2018

What Constitutes a Meaningful Life

I was talking with a Life Coaching client when she suddenly asked me how I define a meaningful life (I told her I was going to blog about this and she was fine with it.) She asked because a friend of hers said that she didn't feel (her friend that is) that she has a meaningful life. 

I chose this photograph because I think that it epitomizes, in a way, the feeling that a meaningful life is huge, is grand, where someone has to make a change or do something on a grand scale. Back to my client. I told her that I didn't think that having a meaningful life means that you are doing grand things, that your gestures can be small ones rather than grand ones. You can have a meaningful life if what you do adds value to the world. 

This made me think of the Jon Katz, author of the Bedlam Farm blog (here). He has created what he calls The Army of Good. He has readers all over the world who contribute, generally, small amounts of money to help him do good in his community. This includes a number of seemingly small things. He does account for all the money and blogs about where the money goes. All of these seemingly small gestures; however, they are all things that make a huge difference in one person's life. I often ponder what "small" things I can be doing. I don't happen to have an Army of Good to help me do things. I do look at places that I can contribute money - to a non-profit, to a political campaign that seems to fit with my philosophy. 

I also think that the work we do can help define a meaningful life if it helps people. Especially, it seems to me if we love what we do because it then becomes easier to help. I strongly believe that my work doing Channeled Angel Readings and Life Coaching is meaningful work and adds value to the world. 

I was having lunch with a friend a few days after my conversation with my client. My friend suggested that she would add that doing no harm is part of the recipe of having a meaningful life. I think that this is a good addition to the definition. I now think that another possibility is adding beauty in some way to the world.

What do you think constitutes a meaningful life? 


****

The first photograph is by Pierre Van Crombrugghe. The second is by Ye Fung Chen. I found both on unsplash.com

Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only but cannot say for sure. The sites I link to in my posts most likely use cookies as well. I hope you continue to read my blog despite this.



Monday, September 24, 2018

Planning and Preparing Versus Being Spontaneous

 I have a general plan to my weeks - writing a blog post on Monday morning, doing errands on a certain morning, change the bed on a different morning, doing laundry on somewhat of a schedule, writing, and the like. I have a life coaching client that I work with at usually the same time on the same day. I like being able to know that I've carved out the time to do certain things to make sure they are done in a seemingly timely manner.

But, then something comes along to cause me to rearrange things. I drove back to Massachusetts last Monday to have lunch with a friend, and because I'm going anyway, I shop at Trader Joe's as well as some other stores. I certainly could have written a blog post later in the week, but somehow just didn't get to it. 

I needed to rearrange when I'm doing some things today as I added in an appointment at my chiropractor's office which requires a round trip drive that's longer than the appointment. (He's worth it when I need badly need some adjustment.) 

So, I'm trying to be a bit more spontaneous about my day than I normally am on Mondays. I made a salad and put it in the refrigerator for when I return so that I'm not eating lunch later than I want to. I'm writing this post this morning, but may not finish posting links on Facebook, LinkedIn and Women Only Connected until this afternoon. 

It's a question of balance as in many things. These two meditation sayings came through from my angels and guides when I was working on writing my book. The question, as with all the paired meditations, is how do I navigate between the two? Or I suppose it could be phrased, how do I do both at the same time? Today, I'm writing and then fitting the posting as I can. 

Wednesday is usually writing of some kind plus exercise, and clients if someone has scheduled a session. Yet, a friend asked me to come to tea and to knit Wednesday afternoon. Of course, I'm going. I will just need to adjust my mental plan. My angels and guides will point out from time to time that I have all the time of the day to accomplish what I want to do. It's my own self-limiting thoughts that often get in my way. (That and my love of faffing about.)

What do you do to plan and prepare yet allow yourself to be spontaneous? I'd really like to know.

****

Both images are from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. For more information about how I can help you and my book, please click here.

Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only, but can not say for sure. I do not put on cookies on my blog; however, the websites that I post links to may very well use cookies. I hope you choose to keep reading my blog.





Monday, September 10, 2018

Light in the World

I was listening to Krista Tippet interview 2 poets, Marilyn Nelson and Padraig O Tuama (I can't do the diacritical marks on his name), on her show On Being. Part way through the show, Marilyn Nelson quotes the poet Kate Ryan whose poem talks about people being the light or rather the way light enters the universe.

I began to think about this while listening to the program as I was really struck by this statement. I wanted to remember this idea. Then the poetry muse came to visit and this popped into my head: 





Light in the World 

Let us abandon 
the anger and 
resentment
covering our fear.

Let us face this 
fear and ask
where does it 
come from, 
what generates 
this fear?

Let us face our 
fear, welcome it, 
take it in our 
arms, soothe it.

Maybe then 
we can no longer 
be fearful and 
become one of 
those through which 
light enters the world.


©2018Kathryn L. Samuelson

This feels true to me, although there may be other ways to become one through whom light enters the world. I would like to be able to fully be a light in the world. 

I also think that people are how fear enters the world. I want to continue to work to be less fearful, less worried, resentful, and less able to let things trigger anger in me from time to time. I mean the anger that makes us see red, makes us withdraw from others and leads to hate rather than the kind of anger that leads us to action based on compassion and connection to others. 

If any of this makes sense. I think it does. I hope it does. 



****

The first photograph is by Matthew Broduer and the second is by Mervyn Chan. Both were  found on unsplash.com.

I can help you on your journey through Life Coaching or Channeled Angel Readings. My book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be can help you as well. Please click here for more information. 


Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only, but cannot say for sure. I do not put on cookies on my blog; however, the websites that I post links to may very well use cookies. I hope you choose to keep reading my blog. 

Monday, August 27, 2018

Crazy Blue Jay Thoughts

I know that the common image in meditation is monkey mind, that mind that whirls and jitter bugs around. Just won't be quiet. 

I was out this morning walking in the park near where I live. It's a beautiful place next to the Connecticut River. The Town I live in in Vermont leases the land for the park from an electric company. There is a swath of land next to it that is usually full of wild flowers, grasses and the like as electric poles run from the nearby electric generating dam north to where ever the generated electricity ends up.

I was remembering this morning that it was just about a year ago that the company mowed down all the wild flowers and grasses so that it could work on replacing wires and poles. I wasn't there the days that it happened, but I was told that it caused quite a ruckus with all the birds, whether tree or ground nesters. 

Almost all of the birds had left by the time that I showed up at the park to take a walk. One single blue jay was still there -- at least I didn't see or hear any other birds. It was around the 2nd or 3rd time I came to walk that the jay started dive bombing when I was in a certain area of the park. It became so annoying I had to find somewhere else to walk until it had migrated.

In remembering this this morning, I realized that sometimes monkey mind is not the problem. Sometimes it's old thought patterns or statements that show up out of nowhere and dive bomb me. The old "I didn't do that well enough" or "I'm not good enough" types of thoughts.


I think I'd rather have thoughts that act like cats, show up, curl up and purr. Thoughts that leave me feeling happy and with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Thoughts that allow me to feel expansive, to feel what's right with me and my life, not what's "wrong."







****

Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only, but can not say for sure. I do not put on cookies on my blog; however, the websites that I post links to may very well use cookies. I hope you choose to keep reading my blog.

Amy Reed took the first photograph and Callum Lewis took the fourth. If found both on unsplash.com. I took the other 2 photographs.  



Monday, August 20, 2018

I Am Certainly Not Perfect

As the title to the post says (and as you can tell from my post called Crossing the Line) I am not perfect. Most likely far from it. I just keep trying to improve, though. 

This meditation image saying is something I use with my life coaching clients to let them know it's okay to be who they are at this moment. I almost always say something to the effect of if I am having snit, I am the perfect for the person who is having a snit. 

I also think that it means that, at the soul level, we are perfect as a soul whether we are behaving perfectly as a human. And, frankly there are probably very few of us who behave perfectly very often. Changing perspective can change or add to the meaning of this. I believe it also means that those in the metaphysical plane acknowledge who we are. They don't reject us. They hope that we can transform as needed and are here to help us do that.

In fact, I've written a poem about this meditation image.

Perfection in the Eyes of the Universe

I stumble around,
sometimes getting things
right and sometimes not
right. At least in my mind.

I constantly compare myself
to an ideal that floats around
in my head--created by me,
by who and whatever.

What the Universe sees:
someone who is doing the
perfect thing, being the perfect
person for me. For who I am
at that moment.

So, if I am having a snit,
I am the perfect person having
the perfect snit. If I am
having a compassionate moment,
then, well, there I am too.


©2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson

I try to change and grow each day so that my imperfect (in my eyes) moments are fewer and fewer. It helps me to know that there are beings who see the beauty in me, the art in my life no matter what.


****

The first image is a meditation image from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. The second image a photograph by Nicole Honeywill and was found on unsplash.com.

I can help you on your journey through Life Coaching or Channeled Angel Readings. My book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be can help you as well. Please click here for more information. 




Blogger tells me that it and Google put cookies on my blog. I believe that they are for analytical purposes only, but can not say for sure. I do not put on cookies on my blog; however, the websites that I post links to may very well use cookies. I hope you choose to keep reading my blog.