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).

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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

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.