Tag Archives: spirituality

Beyond Duality

Looking at the sky early this morning while standing out on the bluff I wondered what the day would be like. The sky looked like it had a hard time making up its mind. The clear division of sunshine on one side and dark heavy clouds on the other made me laugh reminding me no matter what, that I have choice through which lens I want to see the world and meet what life brings me.

As it turned out it was a mixed bag all day, quickly changing from sunny to cloudy… back and forth. However the flowers on my deck still wet from the gentle rain last night and shining vibrantly despite the cloudiness were calling me to take a picture of them. Perhaps it was the greyness of the moment that made their beauty even more pronounced.

I love taking pictures after a rainfall. Each glistening drop sparkling, containing and reflecting the mystery of life to all who care to take a closer look, just as each flower speaks to us of a beauty far deeper than what can be seen by the eye. Perhaps that is why gardening is so deeply satisfying as it allows us to enter and commune with both the very tactile grounded earthiness and the mystery contained in each seed planted. I do not have a garden here as I literally live on a rock, but the planters on my deck filled with herbs, greens and a few flowers gift me with the joy of being connected with the cycle of life and feed me in so many ways.

As the summer is deepening I allow myself to slow down and take in the gifts of the season… it’s scents, colours and delights. The Humpback whales have been hanging out nearby and I can’t describe how deeply it moves me to hear them breathe and speak to each other and perhaps even speaking to me and my friend as we sat under the starry night listening and watching stars fly through the sky. Neither of us had ever heard whales speak. Such incredible magic!

Yesterday the whales were slapping their fins and breaching for a long while. What a magnificent sight that is! It made me long for a better camera, as I kept missing those perfect moments. However I know I did not really miss anything as I allowed myself to take in the joy and exuberance that was being offered with my whole being.

I feel so blessed to have a place to call home and not just any place, but such a special one. And I get to share this gem with others who find their way here for a session or come for a cup of tea and hang out in the magic with me. Each moment is so precious and I love the gentle relaxation after a crazy busy spring, just being, still healing and enjoying this incredible beauty, the abundance all around me and the many fun and heart connecting community gatherings.

Yet just as sunshine and dark clouds meet in the sky and the whales dive again deep into the depths of the ocean I am aware of the duality we live in, which contains it all: birth, life, death, joy and grief… and the pearl that can be found in all of it: the love which takes us beyond duality.

The Gentle Spreading Of Wings

 

P1220789Sitting on the beach watching a seagull fly by, proudly carrying her treasure, I smile as I hear the familiar sound as she lets go and the shell hits the rocks with a big “clunk”. With the warmth of the sun gone, she hides above a thick layer of clouds that seems to have come out of nowhere. I shiver in the cool April air as the temperature drops accordingly and the wind happens to pick up at the same time, adding to the chill I suddenly feel.

Grateful that I brought my big warm winter coat, I nestle deeper into it, buttoning up, wishing I had brought my fingerless gloves, which allow me to type in more comfort. Yet sensing that comfort is not really what it is all about, I allow the experience of this moment without following the impulse to retreat and sit by a cozy fire inside instead.

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The gentle lull of the waves coming into the shore brings a different kind of comfort, a peacefulness and sense that all is well and just as it is meant to be. The seagull stops suddenly what it is doing and watches an eagle glide by, then as soon as it is safe continues to enjoy her meal before the next round of treasure hunting begins.

Remembering the big flock of geese flying by just two days ago while sitting in the exact same spot, where coat and sweater was soon discarded to soak in the warm rays of sunshine after the long winter. The hauntingly beautiful calling of the geese announced their arrival long before we could see them. Watching them fly in perfect formation, I remarked on the mystery of how they know exactly where to go and that they surely must have an inner compass guiding them, when suddenly some of the geese started veering off to the left, then changing their mind again and going to the right, creating a bit of chaos in the formation and a loud discussion in the flock. Finally we watched them disappear over the little mountain while their voices soon faded into the distance.

P1220753As I rub my fingers to stay warm, the gentle silence and breeze open the space to notice the feeling of deep content inside, that has been there since yesterday, when I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, which in itself turned out so rewarding.

I read and recorded a favourite poem for a local radio show called “From the Muse’s Garden”, which I had promised to contribute to in some way. And even though I do not write poetry, I certainly love reading and hearing them. If you are curious you can hear the radio show every Monday from 5 to 7 pm live at this address:

https://cortesradio.ca/

It is a delight with many treasures of both poetry and music. One of them read by Dorna Djenab moved me to tears a couple of weeks ago and inspired me to want to try to spread my own wings. 

The recording took many tries, and after a while I let go of perfection and instead entered my heart space as I opened to the incredible beauty and passion of the poem, not worrying about the hammering going on across the bay or anything else for that matter. 

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This letting go and doing something that is most definitely out of my comfort zone, showed me to my surprise how much I enjoyed not only the result, but also the process. Noticing the powerful hold of my inner critic and fear, I decided to enter the place of love instead: love for the poem and love for myself.

There is such a joy in discovering something new, something I didn’t know I would love doing so much and if I had kept listening to those voices, I would have either never tried or given up. Instead I am very much looking forward to doing more of this and who knows where it is going to take me and what surprises and delights are around the next corner. 

P1220351I would like to share with you Dorna Djenab’s beautiful rendition from Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet” and perhaps it will inspire you as well to try something new and spread your wings…. And I am hoping to share with you in my next post the reading of the poem that I recorded. So stay tuned. 🙂

 

 

 

Beckoning

P1210263Housesitting a quaint little cabin in the forest, I didn’t expect to find a large blue feather lying on the windowsill. My heart fluttered when I saw it, suddenly remembering the little experiment a new friend had encouraged me to make, after sharing some of his own lessons he had learned in Hawaii. He had suggested a couple of weeks before my own journey to Hawaii to envision a blue feather and allow it to come to me.

I went home and held my vision for a while, waiting for a blue feather to magically appear. Every time a Stellar’s Jay announced its presence, I wondered, maybe it would gift me with one of it’s beautiful blue feathers. But that didn’t happen! However a very special poem written by Joyce Rupp found me instead.

Getting caught up in my intense and powerful journey of untethering and discovering, I forgot all about it, both the feather and the poem…until now, when least expected I saw the large blue feather shining on the special cloth on the window sill altar.

Remembering the poem as I held the feather in my hand I felt prompted to share it with you now. As the sun is beckoning me to go outside and explore and be, I send out this beautiful poem with so much love in my heart dedicating it to all my sisters out there and to the Divine Feminine in this time of deep inner awakening….

A Small, Soft Feather
by Joyce Rupp

a small, soft feather,
still warm
from bluebird’s wing,
falls onto the receptive
forest floor.

lightly it lands
under a thick-branched oak;
quietly it waits,
unnoticed, unattended,

until a sister of earth pauses,
beckoned by a flutter
of unseen energy.
she bows her kindled heart

stoops ever so slowly,
and the remnant of the blue bird
comes home
to her generous hand.

days later another earth sister
opens an envelope;
resting inside, waiting,
is the blue of sky
in shape of a feather.

from warm wing
to great oak,
to earth sister
to friend,

comes the soft blue signal,
and in a sparkle of recognition
a woman, weighed down
with too many wants,
remembers how to fly.

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In The Heart Of The Fire

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Just when I am ready to give up on this post, a journal entry not only brings it back to life, but totally changes it and adds a whole new level of excitement of writing and sharing. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post honouring Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of fire, lightning, wind and volcanoes, ever since I arrived here at the Kulana Sanctuary and felt the first tremor shake my little cabin where I was sitting and writing.

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Living only a few miles from the volcano, these tremors are a regular occurrence, and you can’t help but feel her tremendous power. I so loved the welcoming rainbows, the loud calls of hawks and many other magical moments, that gave me a feeling of being blessed by her and a reminder of my own power, whenever I went to visit and hike in the park.

I remember seeing a mysterious orange glow on our drive home from a sweet day of adventures at the Punalu’u Black Sand beach. My friend and I had stayed till after sunset and soon after we turned onto the highway heading home, we saw the glow in the distance. It was mesmerizing and mysterious and we decided spontaneously to take the exit to the National Park entrance, not knowing if it was open or not. To our delight it was open and we were told to drive up to the museum to get a closer look at this glowing wonder. We witnessed with deep awe and respect the spectacular orange, red, and yellow fire and steam rising from the Halema’uma’u Crater. It was stunning to see and to feel the aliveness of this volcano. It felt to me like the heart of Pele, pulsing and fiery with all of her tremendous force just beneath the surface.

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Wanting to find a way to say “Thank you!” for her warm welcome and her teachings around passion and aliveness, this list felt like the perfect way to do just that, allowing myself to feel the excitement of what life is offering me and sharing it with others. There is such tremendous power when we locate and follow our highest excitement in life.

Our Lava Heart Rock – Photo by Ana Cristina

So here is my list of yesterday’s Highest Excitement as I wrote it down spontaneously in my journal last night bringing me so much joy:

  • My insight about my fears and sharing it with one of the women here and how these conditioned fears remind me of heavy luggage that I no longer wish to carry. Throwing it into Pele’s fire on the New Moon on Sunday seems like the perfect way of releasing it.
  • Listening to Mooji and reading Eckhart Tolle’s “Stillness Speaks”, bringing me back to just being
  • The lush green of the Irises that are spreading wildly on the path to the meditation spot and that I am replanting to give them more space
  • The amazing crescent moon shaped like a bowl surrounded by stars….the night sky here in Hawai’i is utterly breathtaking
  • A hot shower, my first in a month! Not luke, not cold, but hot….so heavenly!
  • Sitting on the deck of the new cabin I moved into, called lovingly “The Tree House” and writing in the sunshine…there is nothing sweeter than this.

I don’t know why but sharing this list makes me happy. What about you, what made you feel alive today?

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The Tree House

Return, Return, Return

 

P1190884Waking up to Kingfisher’s loud and distinct rattling call, I opened my eyes to see what was going on. The little ducks, that come to stay in the bay and grace us with their presence every winter, have returned and for some reason this is either not to Kingfisher’s liking or perhaps he is just very excited that they are back to keep him company during the darker winter months. As he is announcing their arrival to the whole world, I watch him fly low over the ducks from shore to tree and back again, over and over while rattling away.

This summer to my delight I was lucky enough to capture three of them sitting together on the rope by the dock, a favourite resting place in the mornings, after diving in and out of the water many times for their breakfast. But lately I have seen only the one coming to sit there, pruning itself in the sunlight after the morning swim and meal.

P1170257Looking at the Kiwis lying on the table being kissed by the early morning sun, it is hard to describe the joy I feel looking at their fuzzy bodies and also felt while I was picking them as the snow was coming down in silent reverence a few days ago. Standing on the ladder twisting and turning to get those hard to reach treasures, while icy cold drops from the leaves dripped on my face and neck, running down and making me shiver with aliveness, I could feel joy spreading inside and filling me, as I picked one by one and carefully placing them in my basket.

These old Kiwi vines are a huge tangled mess and I had to laugh when my hat kept getting pulled off by the branches and pretty soon my long hair also got tangled in the vine, making it at times impossible to move. It felt good to laugh out loud, slowly untangling myself and filling the basket with so much abundance. It wasn’t lost on me as I freed my hair of how it was reflecting the untangling that is happening in my own life. Now seeing the hundreds of kiwis lying on the table, I feel awe and gratitude for Mother Nature’s incredible generosity and teachings.

P1200005While picking the fruit I was singing a favourite song I learned in choir: “The Earth, the air, the fire, the water….return, return, return!”  Standing on that ladder while snow and rain were taking turns to awaken me, I couldn’t help but hear the elements around me calling to become truly present: Return! Return! Return!

As my awareness deepened, I saw pictures in my heart’s eye of how we used to honour and celebrate together the elements, the seasons, the sun, moon and stars, and our mother…how we used to dance together around the fires celebrating all that sustains life and how deeply connected and intertwined we were with life itself.

The earth, the air, the fire and the water are singing their invitation to all of us to return, return, return…

 

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A Sacred Journey

P1180481Putting another log on the fire, I nestle into my soft blanket as the day comes to an end. I am surprised to see the soft glow of the moon in the East already, while the intense pink sky in the opposite direction announces the departure of the sun. Settling into the stillness of what is ending and beginning all at once, vivid memories from my recent trip return. I remember clearly my feeling of excitement and some fear as I sensed that this trip was just the beginning of a much bigger journey, as I stood at the back of the ferry watching the little island I call home disappear in the dense fog, leaving a sparkling trail of light.

Three ferries took me to the mainland and my car, after sputtering unhappily for the last two years, was finally back in its full power and taking me effortlessly across the mountain passes back to where my sons were born more than twenty-five years ago. My heart was beaming with joy as I drove the familiar route through the mountains, both delighting in what I saw and the memories that kept resurfacing of two little boys and a big golden dog and all the sweet adventures we shared with their grandparents that came faithfully each summer for an extended stay from Germany, helping us on our homestead.P1180693

I must have stopped at least fifteen times, drinking in the scenery and beauty of the changing season with all my senses, reacquainting myself with the different, yet achingly familiar, fragrances, plants, birds and wildlife like I would with dear old friends. Taking my time to rediscover special spots and stopping whenever I felt the sense to pull over, I was filled with deep gratitude and wonder. For once I had all the time in the world.

As I drove through the fall landscape with beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow I was reminded that this is the season of my life now and that there is beauty and new experiences waiting to be discovered by the woman who I am now, not the young mother I was then.

P1180866It was such a sweet joy to visit with my dearest friend and as always share deeply with each other both the blessings and the pain. One of the many magical highlights was going for a hike together, climbing her favourite little mountain. My muscles were screaming by the time we got to the top. The little mountain was much bigger than I had anticipated. But the view overlooking Grand Forks and the wonderful feeling I always get when I climb a mountain and can leave behind old ideas, confusion and any heaviness I might be feeling, made more than up for the discomfort of my body.P1180939As we sat on the top of that mountain, dark clouds began moving in quickly and we watched a lonesome crow ride a thermal right in front of us. We remarked on how unusual it was to see only one crow and wondered why a group of them is called something as strange as ” a murder of crows”. No sooner had we spoken the word when more and more crows joined the first one. All of sudden the murder of crows had appeared out of nowhere. There were more crows than we could count, all dancing with the strong winds right before our eyes. It was exhilarating and quite the show to watch, making us wish we could join them.P1180780But there was another gift waiting for us. When we got back down to the bottom of the mountain, my friend found a Praying Mantis right by my car and we took turns holding her for a little while. I couldn’t help but feel profoundly touched by the encounter. P1180797This Praying Mantis with one broken antenna captured my heart as she sat there looking at me in complete stillness, helping me find my own inner stillness and connection to the Sacred.

Visiting my sons on Mayne Island on my way back was just as special and filled another part of my heart. More delightful hikes and discoveries on this small Gulf island with the highlight of a fun ride on the back of a motorbike through the autumn woods with a picnic by the Sea. Probably the most magical moment was hearing the most astonishingly beautiful song by a raven I have ever heard. It took us a while to identify who made these enchanting sounds as we sat in wonder and listened. Eagle watched carefully as two families of otters came for a drink of water and passed beneath the tree he was sitting on and disappeared in the woods perhaps for an afternoon nap.P1190046When it was time to go back home and the ferry pulled away from Mayne Island at sunrise, I felt quite differently than when I started out on my trip. And one thing that became clear is that my journey isn’t over. As I allowed myself to first entertain the possibility of listening to a deep inner calling to visit the Big Island of Hawaii on my own, that possibility quickly took on a life of its own. I will be leaving for the next part of this journey in just over two weeks. My heart is filled with much gratitude and wonder, but also fear arises in the dark hours of the night, as I continue on this sacred journey into the Mystery.

A sacred journey

When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing.

Make sure before you go,
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you towards
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life;
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.

~ John O’Donohue

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In response to the Daily Prompt: Gratitude

 

 

 

Owl Medicine

The day was drawing to a close, when all of sudden I had this sense that I needed to go outside. I had been captivated by a novel for most of the day and was happily lounging on the couch, when this feeling to go outside nagged at me. I put down the book stepping out of the world of fiction and into the Here and Now and out onto our deck, just at that mysterious threshold of dark and light.

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Pulling the fresh sea air deep into my lungs, I gazed at the beauty of the familiar surroundings. And that’s when I saw her! Forgetting about my breath or anything else for that matter, I looked closely at her sitting on the lowest branch of a Fir tree in her beautiful grey plumage, very close to where I was.

Standing transfixed and gazing into her black eyes, I knew that she had been the one calling me silently. I sat down on the top of the steps and we continued our dyad holding each other’s gaze. Time stood still. In fact everything faded away as the bottomless blackness of her eyes drew me deeper and deeper into the Mystery.

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Suddenly a movement on my left caught the corner of my eye. Breaking the spell, I turned my head to see what it was. It took a moment to figure it out, as I watched something move zigzag in and out of view from beneath the house. Finally coming to a still-stand, just a few feet from me, was a rat.

Astonished by this development I turned my head back towards the owl who was now completely focused on the rat with such an intent, that I could feel the tension rise in me. The rat, protected somewhat by the overhang of the roof, seemed totally unaware of either our presence and began grooming herself. I have to admit she looked rather cute and innocent in the waning light. My gaze went from owl to rat, back and forth, wondering what will happen. I could feel both the rat’s relaxed way of being and the readiness of owl waiting to pounce at the perfect moment.

Then the rat moved out into the open and straight towards owl. Holding my breath I stared at both of them. In the next instance rat turned back, perhaps now sensing the danger, zigzagging back beneath the safety of the house. Taking a deep breath in, I felt both myself and owl relax once again. We looked at each other but without any tension. There was just a deep presence welcoming me, holding me in the black pool of her eyes.

A moment later she dropped silently into the Salal beneath her. Again no luck! Taking off to a tree by the water, I was amazed how P1170814my eyes had adjusted to the dark and I could see her land. Rising slowly from my seat I felt deep gratitude and wonder.

The next evening she visited once more. First I heard her hoot, then saw her land in a tree not far from the house. Dropping everything, I grabbed my camera and ran outside. She let me come very close, but as soon as I lifted the camera owl flew to another tree. I just had to follow her. Noticing that I had forgotten to put any shoes on, I continued on barefoot. Owl led me up the hill towards the bluff, then disappeared out of sight.

Being this close to one of my favourite spots, I decided to climb down the hill, making my way carefully with no shoes. When I got to the bottom I lifted my head and to my amazement there she was again right in front of me. Once again I felt deeply drawn into the dark mystery of her eyes.

As I stood barefoot before her, memories arose of past encounters like when she came a few weeks after my father had transitioned. I was sitting outside with my dog journalling and I had noticed the owl sitting on a post not far from us. Engrossed in my writing I suddenly felt her big wings right over my head. I could feel the power of the wind from her wings and Frodo jumped up immediately to protect me and barked at her. Owl swooped down over him as well. It felt like she touched us both with her wings. I wondered at the time if my father, who had been very fond of Frodo, had sent her. It sure felt like it.

I remembered other times, too, but the one most dear to me was when owl sat outside my window in the pouring rain for hours, watching me pack with a heavy heart getting ready to move to a new place. Her presence was so comforting at the time.

Once again it feels like a time of transition for me and I am glad Owl has come to guide me through it. My sense is all I have to do is trust and know I am being guided!

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Weekly Photo challenge: Waiting