Extinct Waterfalls

Extinct Waterfalls

The other day I saw a hummingbird drink from a waterfall that dried up thousands of years ago.  This tiny creature, glittering in the sunlight, lapped up a trickle of moisture that found its way to this remnant of before, situated high above a roadway and made into a spectacle for hikers to view from a platform.

I could imagine what the cliff used to look like, cascading water falling into a crystal clear pool at the base, flowing down into the great river deep in the valley.  Water plants of all kinds probably covered the ground around the pool, and moss the hue of emeralds perhaps lined the cool back wall of the cliff, hidden by the falls.  It was a pocket of myth and moisture – a sanctuary for all creatures who need those things.  The roadway site was likely just a swath of trees and more sandstone, maybe a route for elk or black bears on their way to drink from the river.  Maybe there were people who walked there.  Maybe they walked somewhere else.  They walked more lightly than people do now, wherever their paths were.  I could see them, too.  They are us – our memories and our dreams.

All those years ago, when our memories were now and the forest was all there is, the waterfall  was still a spectacle, but of a different kind.  It wasn’t something to hike to on a day off, a photo opportunity, or an excuse to stop to rest and check for cell service.  Rather, it was an intricate part of the organic, living landscape. Not a separate point of interest, just an oasis amidst even more abundance, another piece of the paradise that lives again when we listen for it and help it to grow and harmonize with our own energy.

When hummingbirds drink from extinct waterfalls, memories bubble to the surface and transcend how we view time – despite the roadways and platforms.

We remember we are part of the ancient and still find our home in the present.

To Anyone Who Has Been Searching

To Anyone Who Has Been Searching

There are many people that I have known, and many that I know still, who are searching for something – that thing that is going to make them happy, that idea that will tip the scales in the direction of abundance, that person who make them feel like they matter. I have been this person, too, though over the past several years I’ve been able to come to a place inside myself that allows me to see more clearly that I once did. Most of the time, anyway. What follows is a letter written to anyone and all of us – it’s for you, for me, for your friend, for your neighbor, for your child, for your spouse, for your dentist, for your cashier, for your bank teller – it’s for those of us who have found ourselves seeking and wondering if this is all there is.

This is a letter to you – you who are struggling to find the good in life, you who are lost in despair, you who forgot how to practice self- compassion. You know who you are. Maybe you are reading these words through tears, or maybe you are putting on a strong face to get through the days. Maybe you are floating, unsure. Maybe you are newly single. Maybe you are grappling with the unexpected loss of someone dear to you. Maybe you left something behind. Maybe you are surrounded by people who love you but you can’t seem to like yourself enough to let their love in fully. Maybe you are feeling small in the wilds of the world and can’t find a place to call your own. Maybe life has dealt you a hand that even the best poker face can’t deny in its hardship. Maybe you are unsure of your life’s purpose. Maybe you feel like you will never measure up. Maybe you feel stuck in the system. Maybe you are just lonely.

I can’t know what’s happening in that mind of yours, in that heart or in that soul. Only you, or maybe God, however you view God, can understand the depth of what is happening, or not happening, inside you. But what I do know is that you are seeking, even if you don’t know what you seek.

I hope that you find whatever it is – and though I wish the search could be done painlessly, in my bones I know that you will always be where you need to be to find what will serve you, even if struggle punctuates your experience. I hope the rhythms of this human life have a chance to heal what needs to be healed and help you see that you are whole already.

Remember that you can find that place – that one that you are seeking – within yourself anywhere. We can seek from any location, from any point on the globe, from any apartment, from any taxi cab, from any gully and from any mountaintop. That’s the exciting part of all of this – perhaps it’s not something that you can see right now. I know that. But everything that you are seeking is already inside you-even the capacity to love yourself. It just needs to be uncovered and embraced. So many see those things that make you you and love them fully – don’t forget that. In the times that you are feeling alone or struggling, or when your purpose or path is unclear, remember that your home is the love that lives inside you, and you can always return to it. You can go home again. That love that is you is a light that will not go out.

And use your strengths as you seek-your appreciation of good music, your ability to talk to anyone and make them feel welcome, the way you study things before taking action, your knack for remembering where the keys are, your soft-spoken nature, your commitment to a cause, your determination, your modesty, your humility, your enthusiasm, your outspoken-ness, your creativity, your analytical mind, your compassion. I could go on. Use your authentic way of being to live in the world in a way that matters to you. It matters to me, too. And to others.

I have a small stone from a time that I spent on the island of Malta years ago. A wise woman there told me of a type of stone that washes up on the rocky shores sometimes. They are covered in little holes, and they’ve been tossed around and beaten up, made smooth, and cracked open again. They’ve been changed due to their journey, and their journey has left marks. She referred to these stones as “goddess stones” and told me that they always wash up where they are supposed to, more beautiful, more filled with life and lighter than before. Their holes give them room to grow. Their holes give them the space they need to evolve and to remember the wholeness that they have always had.

May you find your own goddess stone, whether your search for it keeps you close to home or takes you into a far off land. Remember that it has been with you always.

So, until we met again.

This post also appeared at enough.

Goodness Through Discomfort

Goodness Through Discomfort

Red Brush Farms

June this year started with a flood, literally, as 5 inches of rain in a few hours identified the path of least resistance to be one that led into the crawl space where the well pump comes into the basement.  After a soggy spring, all that water finally wanted some time inside to dry off.  We bailed the water with an old ice cream pail, stretched out sore backs from too much crouching in small spaces and hung the old wet towels in the utility sink to drip at their leisure.  When the sun came back out, we went outside to see how the rest of the area fared after the storms.

Despite the inconvenience of water where we don’t want it, all of the rain has given the newly planted tomatoes, peppers, squash, melons, chard, strawberries and brussels sprouts the moisture they crave as they dig their roots into new homes of field soil and lay claim…

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Embody Abundance

Embody Abundance

Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Embody abundance. I heard someone say those two words the other day. What does that mean, really? To truly embody abundance, do we need to have everything we want? Or can anyone who holds space for truth experience a way of being that is free of lack?

Maybe to embody abundance is to recognize the realness that underlies the illusory film that covers much of what we see in our day-to-day lives. Maybe abundance is always there, but we forget to see it.

In my day-to-day work, I usually get to practice from a home office. After moving 60 miles outside of the metro to a more rural area, I hardly ever go into the city anymore. I tend to like it that way, spending most days at home, either in a quiet space indoors or outside in the woods or garden.  When I do find myself navigating a more urban area, or even just venturing out of my familiar, natural spaces, my vision tends to get clouded with traffic, crowds, and consumerism.

When the clouds roll in, it is all too easy to forget the abundance that I am usually good at recognizing. Sometimes I forget to remember to see what I want to see.

What if I could remember to look past the traffic, past the crowds, and past the consumerism? I wonder what that view could be like. I imagine it might show me wildflowers in the freeway ditches, insistent at opening their petals to the sun, despite the concrete that mars their view.  It might show me a person, or two people, or a group of five, interacting with themselves, each other, and creation in a way that honors honesty and cooperation. It might show me vibrant new ideas that refuse to be pushed aside standing next to the whisper of peace that always keeps watch under the dull hum of advertising and shopping malls.

What if instead of seeing poverty, despair, pain, and cruelty in the world, we saw opportunities for growth, seeds of hope, room for healing, and the sharing of compassion? What if we could truly embody abundance in every thought?

Maybe it would make a difference in the reality that we live. Maybe—even when in unfamiliar, chaotic territory—if we look past the veils, under the illusions, and through the empty material desires of the current human experience, we will recognize everyday abundance in all things.  Perhaps then we can embody our abundance to experience and remember all that is, absent limits and free of lack.  Perhaps we can each take our life situation for what it is—a situation—instead of a sentence or definition; busy or not, and let it be a way for our being, our true self, to experience all that is worth experiencing.

Each life situation is a unique chance to embody the abundance that is already present. I can embody abundance. So can you. We just need to remember to do it.

So walk through a grove of aspen trees. Stand in a ray of sunlight in the middle of the city. Marvel at the way your physical body helps you carry out the mission of your soul. Focus. Spend time loving the present. Take some time off if serves you. Enjoy silence. Be loud when being loud helps.  Dance with your baby, talk to your neighbor, let the snow or rain melt into your skin, and see the art in the world. Look past the to-do list to what is. Find your abundance, and honor it.

This post first appeared at TinyBuddha.