Contemplating the Year Ahead

I suppose if one were truly in THE MOMENT, then one would NOT be contemplating year change.jpgthe future or rehashing the past, but when it comes to this time of year it is hard not to give both some thought.

About now in my journal, I do a year-end-review to summarize all that occurred (good and not so much) throughout the year just passing. There are usually personal triumphs and losses that have been absorbed and evolved through—noting whatever knowledge was gained or wisdom acquired in the process of living life day by day, 365.

But at year’s end when I do this summation, it is easier to tell which lingering aspects are contemplationstill affecting me in some way. I always ask myself was 2016 a “good year” for me overall, or was it a constant challenge?

Each of us has our own opinion on the personally transformative aspects of this past year. Each of us was affected by events that were directly related to our own efforts, as well as being affected by events beyond our personal control. How we handled those two affectations was individually felt by everyone on many levels of our being: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

For me, I knew 2016 was a purging year—purging old memories, old associations, and old behaviors.

One purges physically to clear out the old toxins and disruptive agents affecting the body.

One purges mentally to clear the old trauma energies and stagnant thoughts from the mind.

One purges spiritually to clear the old, unhealthy beliefs about life and ourselves from our energy fields.refill.jpg

All this lengthy purging creates considerable disruption in our status quo/feelings of normalcy. But it also allows for completely emptying the old vessel to refill it with freshness and new experiences.

As we begin anew in 2017, I’m sure that we all hope the year ahead is one of joy and laughter, peace and prosperity.

However, we will take what it actually is as it slowly transpires before us.

I wish each of you all the best life can offer, and I hope that our collective-vessel refilling is with the highest frequency and purest energies of Divine Love and Light.

sunshiningMay we all shine like little suns and light whatever darkness that we may encounter throughout the days and weeks ahead of us.

Believe in yourselves. Believe in your natural abilities and resilience. And simply shine your light wherever you can.

BE PEACE to spread peace, because whether 2017 is a good year or not, is up to each of us.

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In Search of Answers

Long ago I felt that I was on the path to a great KNOWINGGandhi—a certainty—a TRUTH, and this truth would be so absolute and clarifying that all falsehoods would fall from the sky around me, shattering like dirty windowpanes on the ground below—enabling me to see that TRUTH unobstructed for the first time.

I thought that when this sudden clarity arose within me (some call it ENLIGHTENMENT) I would KNOW and understand the WHY of it ALL—and I mean the ALL—I would understand the WHY of everything that we could even conceive and of all things presently existing beyond our comprehension that it CAN exist.

My erroneous belief was that this sudden KNOWING would allow me a deeper sense of peace because I would suddenly be aware of the PLAN to all happinessexistence and being. I would SEE the Great Design behind the workings of the world and all creatures in it.

What I did not realize at the time was that I had also assumed that the path of KNOWING was also the path of happiness achieved through understanding all WHYs of the ALL.

At present I no longer believe that such sudden knowing gives one a lasting sense of inner peace. I think it does allow for greater understanding of our mutual, polar experiences of love and hate, of goodness and badness, of happiness and sorrow.

KNOWING the workings of the world and all beings in it does not instantly choose peacecreate peace of mind in anyone still a part of that same world because such peace is a conscious choice that we make every moment of the day or night.

I realized a few years back that I could indeed find the answer within me to any question I might raise by allowing myself to reach a deeper level of silence—that is the level where KNOWING exists. And yes, there is definitely inner peace to be found at that level of KNOWING.

HOWEVER……when I returned back to the world that we all share—where we interact daily and where we are intentionally good or bad to each other in that same shared world, then that illusive sense of peace seemed to dissipate within me like morning mist under a rising sun. It was hard to be peaceful around so much dissonance and anger in the others I was encountering. It was especially inner peace.jpgdifficult when the ones I cared most about were dissonant within themselves.

In other words—when I was in close association with others, I could not hold my energy as highly as the “peaceful-level frequency” required that it be held to sustain my own sense of inner peace while interacting with such dissonance. When my energy level dropped in frequency, my sense of peace seeped away with it.

It doesn’t surprise me that monks or holy people in general isolate themselves to attain and sustain those higher states of being with a deep sense of purposeful silence. That is the easiest way to reach and maintain profound inner peace.peace pull.jpg

The problem is that few of us live in isolation, which requires that we must daily state and live our intention to be at peace within ourselves and to share that same peacefulness with others.

Being at peace is a choice. It is an intention. We can’t expect world peace if we can’t tame ourselves prior to expecting it.

be still.jpgAnger and rage, hatred and fear, are all opposites of where we say that we want to be.

Love, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance are the paths to peaceful coexistence with everyone. And those are choices that we make daily!

 

No matter the circumstances, choose LOVE. Choose PEACE.MLK.jpg

Those are the only answers that KNOWING will readily provide.

JOY!

During this night of deepest darkness she heard a voice sayingjoy1.jpg: “Let there be JOY!”

“Joy?” she said to the emptiness around her, “Joy now? Joy after all of this—this loss—this sadness? This is NOT a time for JOY!”

The voice calmly said, “JOY for ALL time and ALL places.

JOY for the meek and the mild.

JOY for the downtrodden and the derelict.

JOY for the desperate and the despairing.

Let there be JOY!”

“But how?” she cried. “How can I feel JOY after all of this death and destruction?”

The voice was silent for a moment, and just when she began to question herself that she had ever heard the voice at all, it spoke again:

“JOY is the light in any darkened room. It is the rising of fallen spirits. joy3.jpgIt is the underlying laughter in each breath of life.

JOY is the music of your soul’s purest essence.

JOY is the child’s uncompromised innocence and the expectation of goodness with every new discovery.

JOY is the heart so clear and light that it bursts with happiness at the sun rising.

JOY is always there awaiting you. Open the door and let me in.”

Again she scanned the too familiar bedroom so full of memories and emotions, and again saw no one speaking. “Who are you?” she finally whispered.

“JOY!” the voice sang with exuberance. “I am JOY!   I exist!   I am here with you always. Let me in.”

By now she was certain that she’d already had too many drinks trying to kill the deepest pain and all else was hallucination, however, the tiny spark of curiosity within her disheveled mind sent her to the tarnished door handle; and she opened the bedroom door.

The darkened hallway looked the same as usual, and the long night’s silence was broken only by the ticking of her old analog clock beside the bed. After looking up and down the empty hallway, she closed the bedroom door again and turned to the window beside the bed.

She walked over to the window and parted the curtains to stare out into rising sun.jpgthe night. Beyond the barren trees of winter a distant horizon was appearing and the earliest rays of dawn were peeking through the darkness before her. She had successfully made it through the sleepless night once again. No matter how dark the moment or how difficult sleeping became, the new day was dawning before her now and she was watching it appear. As the growing light overpowered the receding night, she stood there for some time—longer than she could fathom, watching it all unfold before she heard the voice again saying:

“I am JOY! I am the beautiful sunrise after an endless night. I am the light ever-building across this land. I am here—right here—right now—waiting for you. Just open your heart and let me in.”

A tear began to slide down her cheek, and she let it run nearly to her chin before wiping it off with her sleeve.

“New day,” the voice said. “New sun on the rise.”

She nodded, “New day,” she repeated. “New sun, but….”

choose joy“I am JOY!” the voice crooned encouragingly. “I am JOY! Say it.”

Tears were streaming effortlessly now—sobs erupted from her chest, and as her knees began to buckle she sat back heavily onto the bed.

“Empty your heart of sadness to clear the space for me. Let the sun shine now into the darkness of your sorrow to light the way for your new day. …I am JOY!” it repeated with emphasis.

“I am JOY,” she mumbled unconvincingly. Then after a few more tissues and a deeper breath she said it again, “I am JOY.”

The night was fast giving way to the strength of the rising sun, and soon a golden ball of brightness appeared above the distant hills—a light so bright that eyes could not contain it, but her heart could feel it filling with a soothing warmth and a unusual sense of peace. She stood, parting the curtains again to view the new day birthing before her now.

“I am JOY,” she repeated to the window pane with greater hope than before. As the sun rose higher and higher in the sky she repeated it even louder, “I am JOY!”joy2.jpg

“I AM JOY!” she suddenly yelled and scared herself at the intensity of the lifeforce behind the statement. Where had that come from?

Again, she looked about the room void of a presence beyond her own and asked, “But what am I to do without him?”

A lilting laughter sang between her ears, and the voice said, “Just let there BE Joy!”