A Cloudy Perspective

The sun rises and sets everyday.
It shares light, warmth and energy without fail.
On days we can’t see it
do we wonder if we did something to cause its absence?
On other days do we take credit
thinking we did something to make it shine?

The truth is, the sun is always there.
We can’t always see it because things block our view.
Some blockage is beyond our control, like clouds.
Some are structures we create ourselves.
At other times, even with the sun fully shining
we’re so focused on things around us, we simply can’t see.

By-the-way
the sun never actually rises or sets
that’s a metaphor.
The sun is always present and shining.
It never leaves.
As the world turns each day, we simply turn our backs
and are unable to see it’s there.

Is the suns presence dependent on, controlled by or generated by us?
OR…
Are we beneficiaries of a light, warmth and energy
that is present no matter what?

What we set before our eyes is usually magnified in our minds.
Have we allowed or created something that is blocking our view?
Has the sun left, is it no longer present
or is our perspective clouded?

Does the sun shine on Democrats or Republicans, black or white, male or female, Russians or Americans, Muslims or Christians, the Northern or Southern Hemisphere?

YES, IT SHINES ON US ALL!

Does this disturb us… why?

Maybe our perspective is partly cloudy with a chance of illusion
OR…
Is our perspective so clouded right now
we’re currently experiencing an extreme illusion warning
with storms eminent and visibility near zero
?

What tends to happen in situations like this, when we can’t see?

Blinded by fear, we attack first, believing it’s us or them
and that we must protect ourselves and the sun.

HOW IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE TODAY?

What Do I Want?

I want to let go of the weight of judgment that pulls me down and hinders my ability to float and enjoy this river of life.

I want to have words that sooth and heal, instead of sharp ones, that cut like a knife.

I want to let go of these relentless thoughts that consistently drain me.

I want to see the beauty of the mysterious whole instead of dividing and separating imaginary pieces.

I want to see myself… and others… through lenses of love.

I heard a song for the first time this week and these a cappella harmonies are moving my heart and dissolving walls.

Click here to listen: WANT

I hope this song touches you as it is touching me!

Are We On Different Paths?

Many think we’re on different paths because of the diverse way we see, hear, project and explain our ideologies.

But could it be… that what we’re all trying to describe… is part of an indescribable whole? Could it be… that instead of being on different paths… we’re simply distracted by diversity…and can’t see we’re one?

The dualistic mind, that part of us that needs to separate, divide, compare and judge, draws imaginary lines. It creates boxes, labels them and builds walls in order to protect its ideology and defend the illusion of separateness it has created.

Light is filled with a diversity of waves. Some are short, some long, with variations from one end of the spectrum to the other. Is light red? Yes, it is. Is it ONLY red? No, of course not. Is light blue? Yes, it is. Is it ONLY blue? No, of course not.

The colors we see are ALL hidden within and expressions of… light.

Music consists of a myriad of vibrations that occur at different wave lengths. As much as we may love or identify with a particular key or note… it’s the diversity of the notes… released in harmony that touches, soothes and yes, at times, even disturbs us.

Could it be that we are NOT on different paths…
but in fact… we are on the same path…
and we are ALL expressions of a spectrum of light and vibration…
that resonates within…
from one source?

Is it possible that together
we vibrate as one instrument
and as we awaken and allow our illusion of separateness to fade… 
we will have ears to hear…
the beauty of our diverse whole?

Do you get distracted by diversity?
I do.

Could it be…
there’s only one light
and one vibration
that resonates within us all?
As we awaken to see this light…
hear the diverse harmony…
and feel the vibration…
maybe we’ll realize…
there’s ONLY
one conductor…
one orchestra…
and one symphony playing…

LOVE!


To quote lyrics from one of my favorite bands, Birdtalker, 
“We are one wind… distracted by our different sails”
“Every particle’s vibrating with the one life.”
Click here to watch this video by Birdtalker: One

A Leaf, a Breeze and a River

A tree growing on the bank of a river is full of leaves. As the season turns and change comes, the Universe speaks softly to one of the leaves,
Be still my precious”.

The leaf understands that “be still” doesn’t mean to hang on or not move… it means to ‘let go’ and let itself drop into the river below.

“Where will I go? What will happen to me”, it asks?

The breeze tenderly whispers, “You will always be with me.”

The leaf tries to let go of the branch that represents all it has ever known… but finds it can’t. “I can’t let go”, it cries.

“I know, it’s okay, you’re okay, we’re in this together,” whispers the gentle breeze as it begins to blow harder.

Slowly, the leaf’s grip is loosened… until one day… it lets go and drops into the river. Really, it’s more like it floats into the flow.

As the leaf is caught up and carried along by the river, it sees sights it has never imagined.

Eventually, it comes to rest in an unfamiliar place, where it slowly crumbles and is absorbed into the flow of its surroundings.

In every moment of this journey, the little leaf is comforted, as it hears,


Let go my love
I will always be with you
You are precious
You are my beloved
Be still and flow
Let go and experience me
I am in you
You are in me
WE ARE ONE.

Sometimes the morning breeze surprises us in the most unexpected ways. Theses surprises may seem more like interruptions than gifts, especially if we’re being asked to let go of something.

Has your plan been interrupted today?
Have you been caught by surprise?

BE ENCOURAGED… YOU ARE THE LEAF… SO, LET GO AND FLOW!

Steve

Election Day

What Really Matters?

We’ve all heard the rhetoric.

It’s not new, it’s as old as time itself. You have to choose one or the other. You can’t ride the fence. You have to be for one and against the other.

So,who do you choose? You’’ve likely heard the expression, birds of a feather, flock together.

We seem to naturally gravitate towards those who are like minded and there’s nothing wrong with that. Where things get difficult is when we begin to believe our ‘feather’ or our ‘like minds’ are the only way or perspective.

Within our body, if a group of cells begins to resist and attack surrounding cells, we may refer to this as a cancer. For our body to function correctly, we need all our cells to work together.

We interact and connect for the benefit of the whole. We open ourselves to give and receive the giftings of the heart as well as the lungs. Sometimes, our body can receive a mixed signal and get confused.

If we give into this confusion, this illusion of separation, it not only drains our resources but causes us to atack our own body. We may even hyper focus on one issue or perspective and become blind to the health of the whole.

At times, this illusion is fed by assertions that we are better than, more deserving or right than someone else. It’s so easy for me to fall into this trap. So, what do we do?

Whether we feel this way or not… we follow our heart and vote for who we have peace to support. But please, as we follow our hearts, remember we still need the lungs, kidneys and liver to function as a healthy body.

We are NOT one cell. We are millions of diverse cells functioning as one.

We are NOT one voice. We are millions of diverse voices singing in harmony.

We are NOT one viewpoint. We do NOT see or experience life from one perspective or vantage point.

We are many who are one in our relationship AND in OUR NEED FOR EACH OTHER.

In this election
Can we see beyond the imaginary lines we’ve drawn to divide ourselves?
Can we begin to respect, receive and encourage one another?
OR…
Will we continue to separate ourselves from ourselves and attack anyone who doesn’t think like us… whose feather is a different color… or is from a group of cells that don’t have the exact location, perspective and purpose in the body that we have?

Follow your heart and vote for whom ever you have peace to support.
But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE… let’s NOT cut off our nose to spite our face!

We’re in this together… whether we see it or not!
Steve


In a world that constantly asks us to make up our minds about other people, a nonjudgmental presence seems nearly impossible. But it is one of the most beautiful fruits of a deep spiritual life and will be easily recognized by those who long for reconciliation.
Henri J Nouwen

This radical song really stretches my perspective and as the lyrics say,
Few have I ever seen… who fight for the friend and the thief.
The Thief and the Friend

Deep Sadness

I just watched a video from a protest in Chicago on July 17 and I’m very sobered. I don’t usually pay attention to these things but this morning I feel a deep sadness.

It may sound judgmental or maybe even racist but I think Dr. Martin Luther King and the leaders of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s would also feel sad.

I think they would be very disappointed with the systemic ‘white privilege’ that still exists in this country as well as with how the organized vindictive violence of a few have kidnapped the spotlight from this current movement.

The heart of this awakening, like that of the 60s, is rooted in the desperate cry of children who desire to experience the freedom, equality and respect that many ‘white privileged’ people like myself have always enjoyed.

It is difficult for me is to realize that I have lived most of my life unaware of an unfair system that has always worked to my benefit. I couldn’t see this… it was a blind spot for me. A blind spot can only be revealed by someone other than yourself.

As I’m becoming aware… and beginning to see… I’m finding myself very uncomfortable. At times, I’m angry that my illusion is being exposed. I felt secure in my mindset and my one-sided understanding of society.

Now, I move in and out of fear, anger, shame, sadness and a deep desire to hear what I haven’t heard, feel what I haven’t felt and see what I’m blind to see.

What does that mean? What does it look like? How do we do that?

I DON’T KNOW… but without you and I entering into this conversation… it’s NOT going to happen.

Are you afraid? Are you sad? Are you in denial? Are you ashamed? Are you blind? Are you angry? Do you see? Do you know the answer? Are you oppressed? Are you discouraged? Do you feel the need to protect yourself?

Let’s start with your answer to any of those questions and have a dialogue.

By-the-way, we have a tendency to avoid dialogues like the plague. We spend most of our lives within a room of voices that are all saying the same thing.

That’s NOT a dialogue, it’s a monologue.

If we never sit, listen and participate in a dialogue…
then our blind spots will remain hidden and intact… as will our illusions.

I invite you to listen to this song and allow these words to seep into the depths of who you are.
This song may disturb you, it may provoke you or, as it soaks into the essence of your being, it may open your eyes to that which has always been there.
Click here to listen…  
The Thief and The Friend

We are all in this together.
Now, BE HONEST… is that scary or what?!
Steve

Will You Hold Me?

 

upside down

The following post may explain why I haven’t made one since July.
Will this new awareness allow me to step into my fears going forward?
I honestly don’t know, but I hope so!

Early one morning an internal dialogue began.

Do you want to hold me? Yes, of course.
Thank you, Steve, that’s really all I need.

Steve, do you know how to hold me?
Yes, I think so… maybe, I don’t guess I know.

Steve, this is how you hold me… and what I saw was my hands opening up.
I was dumbfounded. I don’t think my mouth was open but it felt like it was.
God, this doesn’t make any sense.

I know, will you join me here, beyond your understanding?
Will you be with me, in this place… that makes no sense, and just hold me?

Yes God… BUT… Oh how quickly my yesses are followed by butts!
But God, this seems like NOT holding you. This seems like letting you go.

Yes, and yet it’s the ONLY way…
Steve, you hold me, when you stop holding everything else.

But I should hold you, right?

You don’t have the strength to hold anything, including me.

Then God, I’m confused… Yes, it is AMAZING, isn’t it!

In that moment, my mind could find nothing to say. And once again, I don’t know if my mouth was open, but I felt strangely empty, while at the same time, full of peace.

God, I don’t understand…
Thank you, this is wonderful!

God’s responses are short circuiting my brain’s ability to think.
I sat in silence and awe for a moment and then said,
“God, how does this work?”

Steve, please don’t go, please stay with me here. I need you.

I’m NOT leaving… God… I’m NOT going anywhere.

Yes, you are, even now you’re searching for understanding. You’re distracted, your eyes are moving away from me and you’re trying to figure this out.

Please come back. Fall into my arms. Let go and just hold me.
Join me, beyond understanding and drown in my love.

That’s where the conversation ended, at least at first. But I couldn’t stop trying to figure it out. And then, I felt I heard this.

Steve, can you leave this alone? What do you mean?
Can you leave this conversation here and NOT understand it?

I want to God… I really do… but I can’t.
Thank you Steve, I enjoy you so much.

Wait, what, I don’t understand.
I know, isn’t it wonderful!

But God, I want to understand.
I know Steve, it’s okay, I love you and I’ll never leave you.

Later, I heard these words,
Steve, this is why you don’t share our conversations. What?
This is why you resist and won’t let everyone read what you write.

God, I don’t get it.
Steve, do you want to share our conversation, the one we just had?
Yes, I definitely do, but I’m not sure where to start. I mean, first there needs to be some explanation or back ground. Maybe I could condense parts of what I’ve been writing the past 3 or 4 weeks… just so it all makes sense.

Steve, do you realize you do this every time? You can’t figure out where to start, where to finish or how to organize. So, you don’t share.
Steve, what if we just let this conversation go… as it is?

Oh God, that scares me.

I know.

What if people don’t understand? What if I offend someone? What if they say negative things or ask questions I can’t answer? What if I’m wrong? What if I misunderstand what you’re saying or I don’t say it right?

Steve,
ALL THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN…
(Okay, I don’t think I hear the good news in this)
Steve,
ALL THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN…
AND THOSE WHO ARE READY… WILL HEAR.
THOSE WHO ARE SEEING THEY ARE EMPTY, NAKED, BROKEN AND WEAK…
THEY WILL SEE ME, THEY WILL BE DRAWN TO ME AND THEY WILL EMBRACE ME.

So… am I ready to open my hands and hold God?
Am I ready to let this conversation go?
I don’t know. I want to… and then again, I don’t want to.
If searching for understanding and trying to figure stuff out is being distracted and moving away from God… then I need HELP…
Oh God… Have mercy on me!

 

Disclaimer: From my perspective, I’m having an internal conversation with God. The name I’m comfortable calling him, God, doesn’t matter. If I call her name, Universe, or their name, Trinity, it woud change nothing.
The one inviting me beyond my understanding places NO value on my ability to name that which is limitless. Any attempt to exclusively name or own… is just me clinching my hands together… trying to hold or control that which is both within me and beyond me.

I SEE YOU!

Tree FrogI can’t really express how significant the following words were… and how deeply they touched me… this past week.

“I do indeed SEE YOU dear friend, and furthermore, I know you see me, too. And I’m stronger because of us seeing each other”.

I’m grateful for the outpouring of texts and emails, like the one above from Bob… and for the cards, calls and hugs in response to my recent post, Do You See Me?

I wasn’t trying to be cryptic, yet I realize I left many wondering, especially with the closing lines…

“Can you see me? I desperately need to be seen. I feel like my world is falling apart. I feel like my body is falling apart. Does anyone see me?”

 As many now know, I’m experiencing extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and other symptoms that are significantly affecting my daily life. My energy hovers around 10-25% except for the near-zero episodes when I can’t stand, sit or even think.

I’ve been poked, prodded and drained enough to warrant an upcoming appointment with a hematology oncologist. I’ve also found myself spending more time in bed than out… which is proving to be quite a learning experience. I hope to share more soon.

I’m grateful to all of you for sharing the songs, words of encouragement and stories that are holding me and giving me hope.

My friend David shared the following appropriately named song, I SEE YOU, that impacts me every day! And, as the song says, I’m hoping that you will see yourself… like I see you!
Click here to listen… I SEE YOU

I SEE YOU

I see you when you’re down
And depressed, just a mess
I see you when you cry
When you’re shy
When you want to die
I see you when you smile
It takes a while
At least you’re here
I see you
Yes, I see you

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me

I see you when you hide
And when you lie, it’s no surprise
I see you when you run from the light
Within your eyes

I see you when you think
That I don’t notice all those scars
I see you
Yes, I see you

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me
What a mess you’ve made of everything

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me

And I’m hoping that you will see yourself
Like I see you

Yes, I see you
I see you
Yes, I see you

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me

I see you when you chase
All the dreams inside your head
I see you when you laugh
And when you love until the bitter end

I see you in the dark
At the dawn of something new
I see you
Yes, I see you

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me

And I’m hoping that you will see yourself
Like I see you
Yes, I see you
I see you
Yes, I see you

Even when you cry
And even when you’re shy
You mean everything to me

Even when you lie
And even when you hide
You mean everything to me

Yes, I see you
(I see, I see, I see you)
I see you
Even when you cry
And even when you’re shy
Yes, I see you
(I see, I see, I see you)

I’m alone with you
You’re alone with me
And I’m hoping that you will see yourself

Can You See ME?

Can you see me?
Can anyone see me?

I’m here, I’m hurting, I’m scared and I don’t know what to do.
I feel helpless, I feel alone and I feel exhausted.
Will you be with me here?
Will you be present with me… embracing the reality you can’t fix or change me?

Do you even know I’m here?
Can you see me?

As much as this is me this morning… there are many others who occupy this same space.

Many of us are trying to carry unbearable burdens. Some are ashamed to admit it’s there. Others think it’s their mission to be strong for their family, their friends or maybe even for God.

The truth is… none of us were meant to carry anything alone, we can’t. We act like we can but our constant pretending… drains every ounce of energy we have left… leaving us gasping for air.

And yet, we still try to hide, we still try to look strong, we still attempt to be anywhere but where we are.

I’m reminded again of the strange and bewildering things I saw for three days after my Open-Heart Surgery in 2017. I kept seeing broken bodies, broken people and broken pieces all around me.

Finally, I spoke… and the first words out of my mouth were, “I see you”.

I see you… I’m just now beginning to realize how powerful these words are… how incredibly comforting and soothing these simple words can be.

The worst part of suffering is NOT the painit’s the feeling of being alone.

We’re NOT alone… but our mind likes to convince us… we are.

That day in the hospital, two years ago, these words flowed and continue to flow today…
I see you. It’s okay, you’re okay, we’re in this together, I’m suffering too!

Can you see me?

I desperately need to be seen.
I feel like my world is falling apart.
I feel like my body is falling apart.

Does anyone see me?

I love this song by Plumb, it brings me comfort.
I hope it speaks to you as it has to me.
Somebody Loves Me

When Nothing Else Matters!

Savvy

A few minutes ago, as my 5-month-old granddaughter, Savvy, fell asleep in my arms I whispered in her ear, “I know I should put you in your bed now but I really just want to hold you forever!”

Does Savvy know what I said? Does she understand what’s happening when I hold her? No, probably not, but she doesn’t need too.

She’s experiencing our relationship. In simply being who she is… she feels the connection and oneness between us… and in that moment… nothing else matters.

It’s amazing how we think we always need to know something. Yet, when we focus on knowing, we so easily miss out on experiencing the moment.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to fall beneath the surface, beneath the conscious mind and beyond the dividing scope of our thoughts?

Wouldn’t you love to fall into the indescribable undivided view of the whole… and simply SEE and BE… as a child.

Instead of clarity, with its acute lines that focus and separate, we might discover some of our lines fading.

We might let what we see, be interpreted thru the eyes of our heart instead of our mind.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if our excessive thoughts were slowed and quieted as our need to know and control… dissolved.

This tends to scare us. It feels very uncomfortable.

Why, because we want the sharp clarity a knowing and differentiating mind brings. We don’t want a blurred sense of presence and wholeness that appears in the dark yet refuses to be dissected in the light of our understanding.

We want to see it all now, no need for hope here… since we think we already see and know!

So, we choose the understanding, control and security that comes with knowing.

We, our little ‘i’, has decided to pass on having to trust what we can’t explain, hope in what we can’t see and blindly love everything and everyone. That’s just too much to ask.

Little ‘i’, our ego, would rather us focus on knowing, controlling, and performing… these three, but the greatest of these is performing!

In this system, we can at least act like we understand and are in control, even if we don’t have a clue!

We choose this over faith hope and love… of which the greatest is love… the very essence of who we already are.

One system puts the emphasis on what we are not, in control. It focuses on the proverbial ‘I’, I know, I can, I will, ‘i’, ‘i’, ‘i’.

The other puts the emphasis on the essence of who we all are, which is love. It’s amazing how often we choose knowing and controlling over loving!

I wrote these words a while back and they resonate still.

Moments of awareness
Focus-less vision
Everything fading into nothingness
As nothingness becomes everything
And nothing else matters
Except the ineffable essence of NOW.

In these moments of awareness… with our natural eyes darkened… we slowly adjust to seeing with the eyes of our heart.

With our field of view no longer divided, we are surprisingly NOT focused on, or sensitive to, anything that might draw our attention away from the whole.

We seem to drift beyond the mind… with its obsession for differentiation and its incessant need to identify, categorize and control.

The lines we’ve drawn seem to be blurring… and at times they disappear completely… leaving only the whole.

This picture or perspective is NOT clear.

No, this is the opposite of clarity. Yet, there’s an awareness of an inseparable interconnected participation… within it all…

…I’m back! Yes, I know you didn’t know I left but Savvy woke up and as I gave her a bottle I was sharing all kinds of sweet nothings… when it hit me… it doesn’t matter what I think or say right now.

Savvy, You see me, I see you and NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

Not only do I see you… I can’t help but want to be with you. I could just look into your eyes forever! I see you and I want to be with you.

Why is this so effortless?
Is it because your little ‘i’ hasn’t developed its voice yet?
Is it because you haven’t drawn any lines or created any walls to hide behind?
Is it because everything you see is interpreted through the eyes of your heart?
Is it because you see everything as it is, connected and whole?

I asked her every single question. She was very intent and made a sound each time but she seemed more amused than anything!

Oh, that we might once again see the world through the eyes of a child!

Someone once placed a child on their lap and said something like this… unless you change and become like a child… you won’t see or experience the wonder, presence and wholeness that surrounds you!

My desire right now… is to see you… to really see you. To be able to say, “I see you, it’s ok, you’re ok, we’re in this together and I’m suffering too.”

Wouldn’t it be amazing if…
I saw you…
and you saw me…
and in the midst of our seeing… we realized…
NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!