"Regardless of our individual religious beliefs, what we all have in common is the Creator within each of us...God within...Christ Consciousness...etc. And, unless we have that...our Higher Consciousness cannot bloom." ~ Patty Ann Smith
"There's no right way to look at the world ~ there's only your perspective, my perspective, and the other guys perspective. It's only about our individual perspectives." ~ Buddhist
"Stress is just a resistance to what is."
"In the cycle of the sun, we have the shortest day of the year in the month of December and after that, comes the return of more light."...."Let there be light. This coming year, look for that which is meaningful and valuable in your life. We can all remember the Tsunami last December and hurricane Katrina this past August and September. It's good to always remember that you can work all your life for something and in seconds it can be gone. It's good to remember...and, also, to never forget to be grateful." ~ Patty Ann Smith
photo by Craig Smith
Christmas has arrived early at our house:
Bluebirds ~ on December 23, just after the Winter Solstice!
A sign of hope and the wonder of life!
.....is another word for "prejudice".
We "pre-judge" out of fear, and the power of fear often makes us think or do
~ the "wrong" thing.
"Imagine all the people
living life in peace...
Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world..."
1. What makes you most happy about the world?
My wife and kids
2. What makes you most sad about the world?
Unfairness, unnecessary suffering
This person had some good priorities.
What would YOUR good answers be?
In Loving Memory of Helen Bruetsch ~ A very special lady who meant a lot to me and who died this week at the age of 89.
"The road you've known
That takes you home
Is waiting strong and true.
For this child of mine
She'll forever shine.
Watch over you."
(lyrics from "Angel Rays" by Gemma Hayes)
"What wisdom can we find that is greater than kindness?" ~ Jean Jacques Rousseau
"I expect to pass through this life but once. If therefore there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now and not defer or neglect it as I shall not pass this way again." ~ William Penn
"...Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy." ~ St. Francis of Assisi
"Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." ~ Jill Jackson
"This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and glowing." ~ John Muir
Words can be beautiful
and words can be cruel.
Words can make your heart break
and render you a fool.
Words can make you feel
and words can help you heal.
And, words can also
be a "trickster's" tool.
We're not too careful with our words.
We use them as we please.
But, words can seem like life or death
to those who are like me.
Kind words help us finish
the good things that we start.
But, bad words hurt forever
our unsuspecting heart.
~ Patty Ann Smith
from Ludwig van Beethoven:
Music is...a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Out "there" is Nature!...And, Science "explains" Nature! Therefore, Science and Nature are "Spiritual" activities! ~ Patty Ann Smith
"Exploring the relationship between science and spirituality can lead to happiness, joy, contentment, and the alleviation of suffering for the individual and society as a whole."
Those are some words that come from a description of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's new book: THE UNIVERSE IN A SINGLE ATOM
On Thanksgiving, let's take time to remember that our food comes from the land and make a pledge to take better care of the earth so that we can continue to have healthy food.
There is a new book that I wish every household in America could have a copy of: "Farm Aid: A Song For America". It is dedicated to America's independent farm families who work the land, care for the soil and the water, plant the seeds, tend the animals, and gather the harvest.
This is a beautiful book and it can be purchased at any major bookstore or directly from http://www.farmaid.org
in the words of Henry David Thoreau:
"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives."
"In the long run, men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, they had better aim at something high."
I tend to look at everything as part of "the spirituality of everyday life".
I have seen alcoholism up-close, drug addiction up-close, diabetes up-close and have seen how it can destroy the body until there's nothing left but death. I have seen a father and a brother come back from wars and how they handled the rest of their lives carrying with them what they had to do. I've been a child whose father was away for almost a year at a time, knowing he might never return, and with a faith that only a child could have....give him a little religious medal to carry in his pocket to keep him safe. Believing without seeing is so much easier for children. It is truly part of the grace of God. I have experienced the confusion of children of alcoholic parents and know what it's like to feel abandoned whether a parent is present or not.
In our worst moments, what we are most likely to hold onto is "something spiritual". Something spiritual to rid us of our addictions, something spiritual to rid us of the pain of our losses, something spiritual....to simply make life better.
The seasons and the cycles of life are two of the most beautiful teachers of truth. Everything has come from nature and everything returns there. Nature is a strong spiritual force that helps me to better understand life and the necessity of change.
With over 2,000 of our own soldiers dead and over 15,000 more wounded ~ as well as countless numbers of soldiers and civilians in other countries ~ I hope that one day the power of our hearts will finally over-rule the power of the "mind-games" of war.
*Believe that you can always choose new dreams
*Believe in the power of the human spirit
*Know that whatever happens tomorrow, you "being here" can make a difference
*You are a part of what happens tomorrow
*Optimism changes everything
Friends of ours lost their long-time beloved cat this past week.
A member of the family shared these heartfelt words with my husband, Craig:
"Such a simple little life. All "she" really ever had in her entire life was a bowl, a litter box and a toy, and she was so happy and content....If only people could be happy with so little."
~ The secret ingredient was love.
On my walk today, I stopped to watch this bee move from flower to flower in my neighbor's garden. She didn't flit like a butterfly. She was more like a trapeze artist....an acrobat flying through the air with the greatest of ease swinging her way to her next destination.
At first, her selection of the next flower to go to appeared to be random. But the longer I stood there, I noticed something else. The bee "trusted" the wind to lead her to her next flower. As she went with the flow, she effortlessly got what she needed.
She gravitated to the bright yellow centers of both fresh and decaying flowers. There was something worthwhile for her on each of those she stayed at. Every part of the bee was in divine proportion and perfect harmony in any given moment with what it was doing.
I never cease to be in awe anytime I witness even the tiniest of nature's wonders.
When I was just a child, my father was away at war and his absence for months at a time had a profound effect on me. There were no phone calls, no internet, no visits. He was just "gone" ~ all but for the images in my memory. The only thing I could depend on was the feeling of connectedness I had with "everywhere" when I was out in nature. I knew my father might not physically come back but, in my mind, I held a magical mystical connection to him wherever he was. Because of the deep need I had to feel that he wasn't really gone even though I couldn't "see" him ~ I created him to be right with me and therefore I could never lose him. A child's imagination is a wonderful thing and can create protection against some pretty harsh realities.
That experience with my mind's imagination served me again and again other times in my life as well. It came through in singing and dancing, in being with nature, it came through in drawing and painting, and in creating art with things from nature, and it came through being a "dreamer" and having hope, no matter what. The arts and nature have been a way for me to have "no doubt" about the interconnectedness of all things.
Because of my Irish ancestry, I know that Ireland is "the land of the magical earth". And, its music comes out from your feet when you dance, your voice when you sing and stories when you speak the simple outer life and the Irish inner life of the "imagination". The prosperity of the spirit is sometimes all that is left. And, our music, our arts, our ability to laugh...can tell our stories ~happy ones, sad ones, cultural ones, historic ones ~ and therein lies our treasures. ~ Patty Ann Smith
"Man, proud man,
Dressed in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep."
No one knows the soul of another except sometimes when one sees in a particular individual (whether rich or poor) a great...but perhaps even unnoticed...contributor to the higher good and who makes a difference because he or she is on this earth. No matter where we go every day, we bump into these individuals and seldom know their names. We must never discriminate against someone because they are poor or may appear to have nothing to offer. For we never know if "an angel on earth" is the person we see living out of a car...homeless and hungry. ~ Patty Ann Smith