The Art of Allowing

Oh my, it feels as though I have so much to say after not writing here for quite some time. I always know it’s time to return–when I’m having conversations with you all in my mind.

I wonder if you feel what I do at just this time–a great shifting in how Life experiences you, and in turn how you experience it–but in the most subtle of ways. Undoubtedly many of us are continuing to move through the spiral of our own journey, unearthing pieces of ourselves, dismantling layers of beliefs and barriers no longer needed. But what has occurred for me over the last couple of months feels quite extraordinary, in the most simple of ways.

Gorgeous Beach Roses, overlooking the marsh at Moody, Maine.
Gorgeous Beach Roses, overlooking the marsh at Moody, Maine.

It’s the first time–EVER–I was on my own for a few weeks this summer, and it was extraordinary. My husband’s father passed away three years ago, and his mother just this January. That leaves my husband as the ‘elder’ in his family, which in itself is quite surreal. There were two properties to be managed – her home to be sorted through, cleaned out and put on the market to sell – and a family cottage on the coast of Maine to be transferred into our ownership and oversight as it’s also a rental property. A friend and I traveled together up to New England and spent a week cleaning, packing, making repairs in the home to be sold. Our time together was filled with laughter, lots of dust and we even managed to get in a few nights out on the town. She then went on to visit family in Canada and I spent the next week by myself at the beach cottage.

I don’t quite have all the words to describe this experience, but I know it changed me in ways I’m not yet aware. When I met my husband nearly 22 years ago, we fell in love and married within less than a year. I moved from my parents’ home to his. So being in this sacred place I love so much and having it all to myself as the energetic shift in ownership occurred was a beautiful gift. I loved every minute. My dear friend Joss unknowingly spoke what’s true in my heart – Moody Beach is a healing space for me. In years past, it has felt very much in my awareness. This year, it was much more as though I was simply allowing myself to love each moment for what it was. There wasn’t anything BIG or earth-shattering that I felt or recognized inwardly. The movement has been subtle, beautiful, gentle. And I feel that is the energy currently settling into our consciousness as the old paradigm of fear and ‘doing the right thing’ march silently out of focus.

There’s so much I could say, but I do tend to write long posts already, so will try to simplify. I have witnessed the delicate grace having a similar impact on several occasions–moving my spirit when I wasn’t even aware it was happening. First, after a week by myself, I was uncertain if I was ready for my family to arrive. We return to Moody Beach each summer – sometimes just my husband and I, other times the kids will go with us; this year everyone journeyed north. They would fly in on Tuesday, but Sunday evening and even a bit on Monday morning I was concerned I might not be so happy to see them. A gentle breeze of grace shifted my feelings as Monday went on – and I felt a bit lonely accompanied by a longing to connect with my family. When they landed on Tuesday, my heart leapt with joy to see these amazing beings who chose me for their wife and mother.  I felt – and still do – quite amazed with how my emotions and heart moved just as was needed in those moments.

On a brilliantly warm and sunny Friday afternoon, I walked to the nearby marsh to find a large flock of geese enjoying the high tide. They reminded me....'you do not have to be good.'
On a brilliantly warm and sunny Friday afternoon, I walked to the nearby marsh to find a large flock of geese enjoying the high tide. They reminded me….’you do not have to be good.’

Similar experiences happened when it was time for the kids to go, for us to come home from the beach and most recently with my work. My husband and I would spend the remaining week together in New England, and although I so looked forward to that, I felt pangs of grief as I watched my children walk towards their gate for the flight home. When we traveled back home to Atlanta over two days’ journey, I wasn’t so sure coming ‘home’ would be welcome. Halfway through day two, I sensed the shift and desire to be in my beautiful Atlanta HOME once again. And with Sacred Circle Retreats – upon leaving closing out our Spring Program in May, I felt burnt out, unsure about continuing this forward. That feeling of uncertainty seemed to increase as my distance from the work and community did. Just a few weeks ago I wondered if I would be canceling the Fall Program because my heart was no longer in it. My friend and mentor Fay Hart is always talking about miracles and how they are everywhere. I’m convinced a miracle occurred because the passion for this work, for our Fall Program and the women with whom I’m so honored to work has only grown immensely over the last few weeks and I’m elated to launch our new series of events this evening.

Two quotes come to me in closing. The first I read just this morning and shared on the Sacred Circle Retreats FB page, which then led me to write this post (finally!):

Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe. Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form. ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

The second seems to sum up my summer retreat (because for me it WAS a retreat, they come in many forms, my friends):

You do not have to be good…..
You have only to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. ~ Mary Oliver, Wild Geese poem

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Transformation of *Not Knowing*

Two thoughts are floating around my mind today.  The first began yesterday when talking to my sister Lydia about Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.”  The excerpt she was discussing related to projecting our fears.  We have so much anxiety and worry over *not knowing* what’s going to happen with this or that–will there be enough money?  Will our children be ok?  Will we need to move?  Am I going to know my life purpose?–and then there are the even more formidable *what if’s.*  What Eckhart Tolle poses is that each of these worries aren’t even existing in our PRESENT life!  Instead, we have projected into the future a vast array of fearsome possibilities for what *could happen!  If we reel ourselves back in, we have only to take a moment to realize it has NOT happened, and we are creating a storyline of negative energy through our willingness to feed into the anxiety.  It feels a bit chaotic to even talk through this, doesn’t it?  Now imagine what THAT does to your spirit.  To your body.  To your psyche.  Exhausting, isn’t it?

The flip side of this is a very positive approach to *not knowing.*  No – we don’t – and isn’t that the amazing part of it all!?  ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!  When we embrace the not knowing and just go with the Flow, the sky’s the limit.  Very much like the message we shared in Beyond Our Own Belief is it not?  God has so much waiting for us, with infinite grace and gifts.  What on earth are we worrying about? 

So this is the message today friends, short and sweet.  Stay in TODAY.  There’s NO benefit to worrying about tomorrow…for what you might end up creating could be nothing compared to what the Universe is holding in her palm for you!  Open yourself to Her wonder.  She is with you always….in the whispers of your own heart……

Changing Your Altitude

A few years ago, I joined several women in reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and in doing so became very conscious of the way our ego shifts our perspective and quiets our spirit.  It’s the kind of book that you can pick up at any time, open to any page and connect to a thought/idea that becomes a lens through which you observe yourself for a period of time.  The content is so simple and easy to absorb–there’s an underlying powerful transformational quality about it.  Although you wouldn’t think it to be so, Eckhart begins by saying not everyone will connect to this book.  And I believe that to be due to our “readiness” to change, to *see ourselves and our survivor energies more clearly.

I recently came across his previous book The Power of Now, and find his writing to be similarly presented.  My sense is that we will share many conversations about the material of Eckhart Tolle, so rich as it is.  And so that is where we begin today, with a piece that stood out to me last night.  Something we all “know,” but not in such clarity.  On the subject of emotion as related to our minds:

“Emotion arises at the place where mind and body meet.  It is the body’s reaction to your mind–or you might say, a reflection of your mind in the body.  For example, an attack thought or a hostile thought will create a buildup of energy in the body that we call anger.  The body is getting ready to fight.  The thought that you are being threatened, physically or psychologically, causes the body to contract, and this is the physical side of fear.” 

Take a moment to really consider this, let its absolute truth sink into your consciousness.  Our thoughts create our emotional reaction.  Our beliefs, our past hurts (referred to in this book as the “pain-body”)–what we have taken on as our reality.  THIS is our trigger to emotional reaction.  My friends, do you yet grasp the high altitude of spiritual electricity in this?  Can you see how YOU have the authority, the potential, the final “say-so” over how you feel, how you respond, who you ARE?  This is a key place in determining what your world looks like, feels like – IS.  Simply taking time to understand your feelings–feel them fully, and also be an observer to what they tell you–shifts your place in the cosmos.  MOVES YOU!  The level of power, transformation – ALCHEMY – in this truth is beyond words!  It’s like being hit by lightning and awaking to a new self. 

What if you could change your presence in this way?  Claim your own self power to choose, to be?  There’s so much language about being the “captain of your ship” and determining your own destiny.  My friends–do you understand this is yours to have?  There’s so much to be said on this, perhaps it will take many posts here to fully grasp the reality in this one small paragraph.  For it carries an absolute Universal truth for us all:  thought creates reality.  We’ve all heard it, but Eckhart Tolle offers it to us in doses we can understand, receive and work with in our lives. 

As you observe yourself in your emotions–look beyond what you feel.  What do you BELIEVE to be true behind the emotion, what thought is driving your body to react in this way?  Allowing yourself to explore this one question begins to diminish the power of the thought/belief.  If you are fully present to this task, you will engage the process of transformation in a way that will shift your entire world.  Are you ready for such change to enter your life? 

This message feels more than a whisper today my friends.  Instead we are hearing through a megaphone, loud and clear.  But of late, the question seems to be:  are you listening?  And whether you are certain of your ability to do so, or perhaps would rather not–in that space, where your deepest inner truth and desire to grow on this quest for our Divine self…..that my friends is where you will hear……your heart whisper to you of her purest and most intimate desires…..