Monday, December 10, 2018

10 Qualities I Aspire to Live By

I recently read Dr. James Doty's book, Into the Magic Shop. It is his memoir and is centered around the change that was made in his life when he when into a magic shop at the age of 12 and met a woman by the name of Ruth. She taught him meditation, although he didn't have a name for it at that time. He ignored some of her advice until after he made and then lost $75 million dollars.

He came up with a list of 10 as I call them qualities to live by or to have. The first of these is compassion. I feel that compassion for yourself is as necessary as compassion for others. Compassion, I think, helps me to reduce the amount of judgmental I have in my mind. If I can find a way to look at someone and see the possibility of the hurt, illness or whatever it is troubling them, that causes them to act in a certain way or say certain things, then I can have some compassion even as I believe that what they are doing or saying is harmful. 

I couldn't find a picture for the next 2 qualities on unsplash.com. They are dignity and forgiveness. I don't think having dignity precludes having fun or seeing the world with child-like wonder. I just think it means taking a breath, pausing, and then acting or talking. 

Forgiveness is something we all struggle with. I am pretty sure that forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting. I believe it just means detaching from whatever has hurt me, and then letting go of the hurt. Forgiveness is an act that is as much for me as for the person I want to forgive. Sometimes it means saying OK, I have to work with this person, so I'm going to let go of being angry and hurt at what happened so that my life is easier. I know this one well as some people at my last job tried to get me fired, which did not happen. I had to take a number of deep breaths and act as if nothing had happened. I was able to interact with them in a way that colleagues should treat each other. I did not, however, forget what they had done, I was able to let the hurt and anger go so that I could function in this job that I needed to pay my bills. I think that is a form of forgiveness.

The next quality Dr. Doty lists is gratitude. I believe that a gratitude practice helps us see the beauty and joy in the world. It can remind us that something exists besides pain, anger, fear, and loss. My current gratitude practice is using the phrase thank you as my mantra during meditation. There are times this lifts me into bliss. Other times it's just a recognition of the beauty that exists. Other times it's a reminder that my what I have in my life so much more than others and where I live is so much safer than other regions in the world. I try to remember to be thankful for my food, for water to drink, for the home I am blessed to have, and so on and so on. 

I could not find a photograph on unsplash for the next 2 qualities, humility and integrity. I know that Micah 6: 8 says that the things that God requires of you is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your god. It does leave out integrity, but somehow I think it must be intertwined with these. Seemingly then, a number of the qualities that Dr. Doty talks about have been striven for for centuries.

Humility, according to Wiktionary, is having the quality of humbleness or being humble. It also says that, in a religious sense, it is transcendent egolessness. One of the synonyms is modesty. I suppose this means that I don't assume I'm always right, that someone else's opinion has worth. That someone else has as much worth as I do.

Integrity seems to me to be living by using right speech and right action. Speaking in a way that is not hurtful if at all possible, saying things that you intend and that you can live up to. Right action is acting a way that is helpful and useful. 

Well, justice is, well, justice. It's being just, fair and impartial - as with the figure of justice that our judicial system uses, having scales that hopefully are balanced and not letting personal perceptions blind us to what is fair.

The next quality on Dr. Doty's list is kindness. Kindness is practiced with a gentle touch, a gentle word. It is knowing when to help and when not to help. It is a warmth of spirit that touches others and helps heal the hurt, the pain of another. It is the giving a gift just for the pleasure of seeing someone else's pleasure. I am sure that the actions that have the quality of kindness is almost endless. I agree with the photograph. It is magic.

And, Dr. Doty's last quality is love. As John Lennon wrote, "All you need is love." Well, maybe not all you need, but if you have love first and foremost, many other things such as compassion and kindness fall into place. This one is more than just romantic love, it is love of family and friends, love of the world, and extending love outward.



I hope that, the more that I live by these qualities, the more I can live with an open heart and a generosity of spirit.

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The 1st 2 images are from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. The rest  are from unsplash.com. The photographers are:

Gratitude: Gabrielle Cole
Justice: Joel & Jasmine Forestbird
Love: Steve Halama
Kindness: Robert Baker

You can find out more about me, my services and my book here.




Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When I Go Beyond Fear

I think this image is a good one for when I am feeling fearful. Things seem dark and I don't want to look, although in someways I can't seem to keep myself from looking. It's as if my energetic wings fold in and surround me so that I have trouble moving forward. I wonder if this is a good description for fear for everyone.

Luckily, I am able more and more often to move through or go beyond fear. So many times in life, the things I have feared or worried about have not happened. I am able to take a leap of faith, just hold my breath and do what needs to be done. Going beyond fear allows me to do so much more, to be so much more, to connect so much more than when I am in a fear state.

Life has so much more color since I've decided that I don't want to live in state of fear. It has more laughter, more love. Tina Turner was one of the three women who created a CD called Beyond. She speaks these words towards the beginning of the CD:

"Go Beyond Fear.


Beyond fear takes you into the place where love grows, when you refuse to follow the impulses of fear, anger and revenge.

Beyond Means to Feel Yourself."

And, I clearly feel myself more, listen to my own thoughts and voice rather than that of fear having me assuming what others will say and do. I do still have my moments, but they aren't as strong and they tend to be shorter.

I wish everyone could move beyond fear. 


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The first photograph is by Melanie Wasser and the second by Sammie Vasquez. 

If you would like to know more about me, my services, and my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be, Please click here.



Monday, November 26, 2018

Edges

There are so many edges in life: actual edges to things, an edge in our voices when we are frustrated or upset; the edges we create between ourselves and others. The seeming edge between us and the out there, the not of this world, however you want to name it. 
And, yet....

The idea that we are separate from the universe is expressed in this meditation image from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. This idea of there being something between us and creation, the world, produces the idea that we have an edge between us and others as well. We seem to think, probably not unreasonably, that we stop at our skin. Everything outside our skin is otherness. But, is this true in all things? Is it true in all ways, all times?


The companion meditation in my book is this one. If, as science says, atoms are mostly empty space, then despite what we perceive on the macro-cosmic level, we are not as solid as we seem. Things flow through us. Does this make us connected to everyone and everything? Does this mean that there is truly no otherness? I do, at times, get a little weirded out by this. Oh, my as George Takei might say in that drawn out way that he has of saying it. 

So, what do I do with this seeming duality, this dichotomy of life? Some people have emotions that I don't want floating through me, let alone taking up residence in my being. I try to regularly cleanse these unwanted, unneeded emotions out and away from me. I try to have appropriate boundaries so that someone doesn't take over my life. I also, however, attempt to be open to the miracle of being connected, being at one with the universe.

I wrote two poems on this subject: 


What Keeps the Universe Out?


We do not see or feel
all of the Universe in
ordinary time, ordinary living.
Somehow we create veils,
filters to live in the everyday.
We ignore the signals, the clues
that the Universe exists within
each of us.

Is it our skin that does this?

Is it our minds instead? 

© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson


The Universe Flows Through

Here is a spooky thought:
the Universe flows through
each of us, connects each
of us to everyone, everything else.
Nothing keeps the Universe out. It lives
and breathes in us and with us
at every second of existence. 


© 2018 Kathryn L. Samuelson


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The first photograph is by Martin Adams, and I found it on unsplash.com. The other two are from my book.

You can find out more about me, my book and my services here.

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Light and Dark/Good and Evil

It is typical to conflate light with good and dark with evil, and I occasionally hear someone talk about them as if there is no other spiritual/metaphysical meaning to light and dark. I think that that's not necessarily true, and, in fact, I think it would be good to separate or unconflate them (if there is such a word).

One good reason I can think of to separate the concept of good and evil from light and dark is that it is easy to think of light as white and dark as black because they are visually that. But, then it becomes too easy to unconsciously (and maybe even consciously) think of white as good and black as evil. Just think about where that leads. The other issue for me is that the uterus can be seen as a dark place, so women are dark, which leads to will women being evil and hence needing to be controlled, etc.


Now if we separate these concepts out from each other, what then are light and dark? I don't think we need to ask the same of good and evil.

One of the things that I believe about dark and light is that, metaphysically, they exist at the center of creation. The dark to me is the fecund, the seed place, the time and space from which, when sparked, creativity flows outward. Light is the spark that sets the seed growing.

They existed at the time of the creation. Light inseminated dark, and, et voila, the universe was created. Or, so I believe. There are so few animate things on the earth that self-generate the next generation. So, why would we think that the universe was created by only one force? You can designate them as god and goddess if you so choose. Or merely feminine and masculine energies.

And, if we free up light and dark, does that mean that we also cleanse good and evil of some of the associations that have tainted light and dark. Then good and evil could be seen as purely acts and thoughts that help or harm, and not necessarily somehow tied to races or sexes. Maybe then one less thing would be in place to keep white patriarchal supremacy would disappear. 

(I also believe that patriarchy exists in other cultures and places, but I really can only write of the United States and not those other cultures and places.)


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The photographs, in order, are by Adrien Olichon, Nathan Dumlao, and Jerin J. I found all of them on unsplash.com.


You can find out more about me, my services, and my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be here

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Monday, November 5, 2018

More Reflections on Ancestry: Immigration and Citizenship

I have been thinking over the weekend as the election approaches about ancestry, about immigration and the fear of the "Other." On Donald Trump deciding that he can override the 14th Amendment to the Constitution by an Executive Order which gives citizenship to anyone born here or born out of the country if one of the parents is a citizen. 

Ted Cruz, former Presidential candidate and Senator from Texas is only a U.S. citizen because of the 14th Amendment. He was born in Canada. His mother is a U.S. citizen, so he is allowed to be a citizen. No one has given him a hard time about this, just Barack Obama whose mother was a citizen. He could actually have been born in Kenya (he wasn't) and still been a citizen. The birther contingent seemed to conveniently forget the fact about his mother's citizenship. And, her long line of ancestors in this country.

Because, unless you are Native American, you are or your ancestors were immigrants. What I remember from my history lessons are that newer immigrants were often treated with fear and loathing. They were considered dirty. Well wouldn't we all be dirty if we'd spent who knows how much time traveling to come to the US. I imagine those coming from England, Spain, and Portugal in the 16th and 17th Centuries were a tad smelly and worse for the wear. I remember my MorMor (maternal grandmother in Swedish) saying that she remembers the family hoping that the new arrivals in the family would show up in the middle of the night because they would be dirty, etc.

Then there's the cry that they'll take our jobs away from us. I don't think that has proven true through time. I know that's one of the current refrain, but there are many jobs open because everyone now wants to go to college. That is leaving jobs open in the trades, in retail, and other businesses. Immigrants often take the jobs that those of us born here don't want. They work in the slaughterhouses, restaurant kitchens, and mow lawns.

Some people say that immigrants are a drain on the system meaning illegal immigrants in particular. Well, immigrants, legal or illegal, pay taxes. People think that illegal immigrants don't pay taxes, but they do through purchasing things subject to sales taxes. They pay property taxes through their rent, because landlords, after all, have the tenants pay a proportional share of the taxes in their rent. Many illegals somehow manage to obtain a tax ID number or are using someone else's Social Security Number. So, unless the illegal immigrants are living under a bridge somewhere, are paid under the table in cash, and buy nothing, they pay taxes.

I wonder about the consequences of repealing the 14th Amendment. What happens to all the people who were born here after their parents came legally but weren't naturalized citizens yet? Are they immediately no longer citizens? What would have been my MorMor's status? She was the only one of her immediate family born here. Would she have been required to become naturalized despite being born here? How far back would the effect of a repeal go?

The intent of this seems extremely racist to me as it is clearly, in my mind, aimed at those coming in from Central and South America. There are illegals from other countries, but people do seem so focused on those immigrants. Interestingly, the Spanish came to what is now the United States before the English. St. Augustine, FL, founded by the Spanish, is the oldest city in the U.S. Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California were colonized by the Spanish. Yet, somehow we are supposed to fear Latinx.

It also is racist as it ignores that fact that the 14th Amendment was passed by the Congress and then ratified by the required number of states in 1868 after the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865. It was put into place to address citizenship rights of and equal protection rights for former enslaved people. I believe it would be dishonoring the history of the former enslaved and what this country went through to end enslavement.

Would I still have citizenship despite the fact that my family origins are from somewhere else? Or would I have essentially squatter's rights because some of my family came in the 17th century? Would those whose ancestors were given citizenship in the 19th century due to the 14th Amendment lose citizenship?

I think that it is quite sad that the person occupying the Oval Office is so unaware of Constitutional law that he feels he can wipe out a right with an Executive Order. Or maybe he thinks that everyone will go along with it. 

Thank god for lawyers. I see a law suit coming over this one.

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The photograph is by Ghost Presenter and was found on unsplash.com.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

Sometimes it Just Takes a Push or Two

A friend noticed an ad in a magazine (Wisdom Magazine I think) for a book publicist. I had seen this ad before, had looked at her website and decided that, based on the authors that she represents, I could not afford her services. But, because my friend pushed me by suggesting I look at her information, I contacted this publicist. We came to an agreement for a way I could afford a bit of her services. I would not have connected with this terrific woman if my friend hadn't, in a very gentle way, pushed me to see what I could find out. I am deeply honored that this publicist decided to support me in the way we agreed on. 

I am now pursuing some avenues for publicizing my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be, that I might not otherwise be doing. I feel that the gentle push of my friend and this publicist has me standing on the shoulders of their support. You never know when you will find new people to add to your community. Or when people already in your community will step forward with an idea when you need it.


This small community of two has shed some much needed light. I am slowly reaching out to others to hopefully build more community around my book, to have others provide a gentle push here or there to move me in the direction I need to go.

May we all have the push that we need when we need it. May we all build our communities outward. 

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The first photograph is my Mathew Schwartz. The second is by Corey Motta. The third was taken by Daan Stevens. I found all of them on unsplash.com. This is the cover of my book: 


You can find out about it and my services at www.kathrynsamuelson.com.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

There is Time for Fun No Matter How Serious Things Are

I am not sure that this post will necessarily be more humorous than my recent string of posts, but it is necessary to balance serious work with play. The saying after all is: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." Or it can easily be: "All work and no play make Jill a dull girl." So, play on.



I don't want to limit definition of play, except that it should be something that brings laughter, joy, happiness, or connection with the lighter side of ourselves. It can be any number of things. Gardening, walks in nature, playing tag with your children or grandchildren, visiting the local museum, and who knows what else. Making art can be play. Knitting at a knitting guild can be play. 

It seems to me as I reflect on play as I write, that it could, and maybe should be, something that breaks us open to let connection and light into our hearts and souls. It can also help us cross the divide between ourselves if we find play that we both enjoy. Laughter is healing. We can see that we aren't completely separate if we laugh together. 


Another thing about play is that it can often require that there be two or more people playing. Playing a board game by myself probably wouldn't be much fun, although I suppose something like scrabble might just be possible, but I'm not sure how I could do that without cheating. 

So, I guess I'm giving myself and all of you permission to go out and have fun. 


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The first image is from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. For information on the book, please click here. The second image is by Clem Onojeghuo and the third is by Damian Patowski. I found both on www.unsplash.com.

For more information about my services, please click here.

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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.



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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. 


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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.
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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? 


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

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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.

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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.

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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. 



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

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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."







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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.