Friday, December 30, 2011


Fireworks have different meanings and emotions associated with it according to the different times of their use... And then, according to culture, they are used at different times.

In its purest meaning fireworks are a device containing gunpowder and other combustible chemicals that causes a spectacular explosion when ignited, used typically for display or in celebrations.
In the U.S. they are typically set off on Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July. Out here the time for fireworks is New Years Eve.

Traditionally, loud noises were used to scare the ‘evil spirits’ away from the celebration ~ whatever it was that was celebrated. Although the milestones in life that were most important to celebrate ~ like births, deaths (funerals); but also weddings, and new beginnings ~  were most likely to be accompanied with loud noises.

With fireworks then the emphasis changed somewhat from the noise-aspect to a more visual display. And being outside to watch the wonderfully colored stars erupt from the exploding arrows ~ high up in the nightly sky ~ is a fantastic and joyful display. A true welcome of a new beginning at the start of a new year! And those that are watching will almost always ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhhh’ the fireworks...

This opposed to the fireworks that are being set off unexpectedly during the days and nights that lead up to the celebration. These often illegal fireworks set off at unlawful times spark an annoyance that seems to grow with every loud and sudden bang!

‘Fireworks’ are also use to describe an emotionally explosive situation. Either in a sometimes sugar-sweet, romantic way: “They looked into each other’s eyes and starry fireworks seemed to light up the room...” Or to describe an argument that leaves sparks flying around the room.

The thing that stays the same no matter what the use of the word, or the purpose of the aesthetic  pyrotechnic devices ~ is their explosive nature.

And perhaps that is why we like to use them so much at our celebrations! Besides the traditional ‘warding off of evil’ they transform into something entirely new and different with a bang!
Just like our celebration brings us from the old into the new...

Another part of fireworks that seems to stay the same no matter what is the thick, stale scent they leave behind in the air when everything is over and the calm returns ~ together with a foggy substance caused by all the gunpowder explosions.

And then, the next day, when everything is cleaned up ~ that is the time when the new situation, or even the new year, has truly begun...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family and friends

While most of us appreciate spending time with our families ~ especially during holidays ~ it does seem to carry with it some ‘mixed feelings’... again, for most of us...
On average those ‘mixed feelings’ are quite innocent; like ‘I hope uncle will not start telling those old jokes again ~ like he does every year’.

There are also instances when this dedicated family-time brings out grumbles and grudges that sometimes have been simmering for years. And every time in the past there may have been a consensus to not talk about ‘those things’ ~ until finally that time arrives  when it is brought up. And hardly ever is the issue itself brought to the table ~ more often than not it starts off with something like: ‘But you always - - - Remember 15 years ago when - - -’
And there you have it. What started as a nice family dinner may end with heated arguments.

Interestingly enough we are far more willing to talk about things that have happened of which we perhaps didn’t like how others reacted to ~ if those others are friends... And if we decide we are not going to bring it up, this may be because in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t all that important ~ or because it has cause damage beyond repair to the friendship, and we allow the ‘friend’ in question to drop out of our lives. We ‘unfriend’ them.

Friends are those we have chosen to build a friendship with, and we can choose to end that friendship if there is a reason that is important enough to do so.

Family is different.
We are born into a family. And while ~ from a spiritual perspective ~ we have likely chosen our parents; this is not necessarily the case for the other members of our family: our aunts, uncles, etc. And we certainly haven’t chosen the partners of our siblings ~ and rightfully so!
So if we bring the whole family together, it would be normal that there would be some family members you like and get along with great ~ while other members of the family don’t resonate with you quite as much ~ or in some cases not at all...

The fact that they are family is no guarantee for getting along with them ~ or for them to get along with you. And while this is something that we might readily accept as being the case when we are talking about co-workers or fellow students ~ when we are talking about family members it is different. It seems we somehow expect to all get along, to all enjoy the same things ~ and even when we don’t, to be gracious enough to let it be.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Letting go...

Looking at our lives there are every once in a while those things we would like to let go of. If only we knew when the right moment is to actually take steps to do so. The right situation, the right timing ~ and the right prospect of what life will look like after we have let go of whatever it is we no longer want or need in our lives.

And there is our excuse...
Because it is not quite the right situation. Because, if it were the right time, wouldn’t there be a sign? Wouldn’t you know it? That this is the time to let it go? And what if you would find out in a couple of weeks or months that you have let go of it too early? That you discover you still need it?
Perhaps it is better to wait until we are sure letting go really is the right thing to do...

Often the things that nudge us into action on letting go of the things we no longer need or want in our lives are ~ in a sense ~ milestones. Like a graduation; a wedding, or sometimes something more dramatic like for instance an accident. It is at those times in our lives that we have a tendency to re-evaluate what we wan tout of our lives and how we are going about getting it. And with it then comes the desire to let go of those things that don’t grow corn for us anymore.

But does that mean that we need to wait for a milestone like that to come along in our lives in order to let go? Not necessarily.

One could argue the point that in the second part of Fall, after the harvest, is a good time to observe our lives; to be grateful for what we have accomplished and to let go of the things we no longer need to carry along with us in to the next season.
Others might say that the time between the Winter Solstice and New Years day is the best time to ponder what is happening in our lives ~ to contemplate our needs and desires ~ and to let go of the old as we are planning for the new.

However, in the ever higher energy frequency of this point in time once or twice in a year might not be often enough to have the opportunity to let go. So for those of us who want to release things more often ~ the cycle of the moon provides us with a chance to do so every four weeks. The last week before the new moon ~ when all things new start again ~ is a good time to to clear out those things from our lives we no longer need...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Getting ready for a new start...

With the Winter solstice approaching, the energy of new things, new beginnings is growing stronger...
That makes this a good time of the year to look back at what we have accomplished over the past 12 months. To see what has come into our lives; what has moved out of our lives; what changes we have made... That goes for jobs, things like cars, houses, computers, etc. as well as for people.

It is often surprising, when we really take time to observe those type of things, how many things may have changed ~ even things that a year ago didn’t seem to have either a need for change or the proper movement or flow to get to a different place in our lives.
And at the same time it can be as astonishing how things we were certain we were going to do or change this year ~ haven’t moved an inch.
Looking at our lives like that, this is the time for being grateful for the things we have gained, the things we have accomplished.

In addition this is a good time to clean up loose ends; both figuratively as well as physically. To stop thinking about the things we really want to clean up ~ or even get rid of ~ and to actually do them. That way we can start in the new energy, the energy of ‘the return of the light’, fresh.
Making is a true ‘new beginning’.

Then having looked back and created a space in our lives for new things to get started, this is also a great time of the year to look forward. To plan what we want to do, to achieve in the coming year. And to set up a structure within which we can work toward those goals. To give ourselves the best possible chance at being successful at bringing the things we truly desire ~ into our lives.

In what way we ensure ourselves having enough structure to maximize our chances for success in reaching our goals is different. It depends on the specific goals we have set for ourselves as well as what type of support or structure we, as a unique individual, thrive on.
Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t try and go it alone ~ talk about it with your friends or family.
  • Sign up for a class or course that will help you further your goals.
  • Write your goals on a card and put it in a place where you will see it regularly.
  • And most of all: don’t doubt for a minute that you can do anything you truly want to accomplish!

That way the ‘return of the light’ can help you do great things!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Energy, again...

On one hand we can use our energy freely and abundantly ~ on the other hand it is always a good idea to not waste our energy, and to be careful not to spend more than we have.
To take time and put in some effort to replenish our energy.

So what energy do we feed our own personal energy with? What is the fuel for our vitality? And is any fuel the right fuel to bring our energy level back to where we want it to be?

When we spend a lot of energy, one might think that the right ‘fuel’ is food with lots of calories. After all, calories are what we use to measure energy. On top of that, those are usually the foods that make us feel good as well ~ they are often what we have come to describe as ‘comfort foods’. And as they have this ability to make us feel good, we have a tendency to choose exactly those foods to fuel our energy with.

Unfortunately, those foods often turn out not to be the ‘right fuel’ for our energy ~ for our system. And like when you put the wrong fuel in the tank of your car ~ our systems can run into trouble when we make them run on the ‘wrong fuel’...

What then is the ‘right fuel’?
Well, our own system knows. Sounds funny? But it does.
This means that we ourselves know deep inside ourselves what is best for us. What we really need to keep an abundance of energy and vitality...
Apart from things like sleep, daylight, exercise, meditation, happiness, and laughter, which all help to replenish our energy ~ there is the obvious component of our food; the things we eat and drink. When we choose our food entirely with from the perspective of what is best for us, what is best for our energy ~ we would likely end up with a totally different meal than what we have grown accustomed to over the years...
Research would suggest that when we do that we would eat more salads, less meat, hardly any sugar or otherwise refined foods. In other words, we would eat a meal low on comfort foods...

Yet we don’t have to go with what research suggests...
We could ~ just for once, just to see what happens ~ do our grocery shopping from an intuitive perspective, keeping the thought in mind we only want to buy those things that make us healthiest, just the things that give us most energy and vitality. And with every item you pick up, you sense intuitively whether it just tastes good; or whether it is actually good for you, for your system, for your vitality.

It is a fun experiment that may surprise you!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Energy is one of those things that can have a lot of applications ~ to the point that the definitions for those applications seem to differ ~ not by that much, but still...
Energy is:

  • the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity
  • power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources
  • in physics the property of matter and radiation that is manifest as a capacity to perform work (such as causing motion or the interaction of molecules)
So, according to the dictionary it is both the strength, vitality and capacity to ‘perform work’ or ‘sustain activity’ ~ it is also the power that gives us that strength and vitality.

Energy, from a more global perspective, is something we feel we need to be careful with. Not waste it. As most of our energy comes in one way or another from nature, we don’t want to take more than nature can replenish. And we also don’t want to get stuck with the sometimes toxic rest-materials of energy production...

Yet how does this interaction work on a personal level?
We are most likely to see our personal energy as:

  • a feeling of possessing strength and vitality.
  • force or vigor of expression.
  • a person's physical and mental powers, typically as applied to a particular task or activity.
In other words, as something we feel is always there; as a part of our personality in a sense.
That leaves the questions where we get our energy from, what we do with it, and finally, what happens when we run out of energy...

Looking at what gives us our energy, the food we eat seems to be the most obvious answer. But food is not the only source of our energy ~ there is also sleep, daylight, exercise, meditation, happiness, laughter... All these things can give us a sense of greater vitality, and therefore can give us energy.

What we do with that energy, that vitality, is entirely up to us! We have total free will choice as to where we spend our energy, and whatever we choose to spend it on ~ even when in hindsight we might say we should have known better ~ is part of our individual path and personal growth.

But when we run out of energy we would be wise to step back from what we were doing and re-evaluate... Energy does have a similarity to money. You can run out of money until your next paycheck. That is like running out of energy and needing a good night sleep. Or you can be out of money and run into dept. When that situation occurs with your energy, recovering is a lot harder.
It often takes time and focus.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Small Things

Usually the small things we encounter in life can affect us in a big way. Things like the weather; whether it is too dark, too bright, too hot, too cold, too wet ~ you name it, there is always something about it that makes us pause and wish things were different. Wishing you could get out there when the sun is shining; wishing you didn’t have to get out through the poring rain...

And there are more of those small things that we allow to mark our days.
Like the long line at the supermarket register. The driver who obviously has no clue where he or she is going and who is consequently holding up traffic. A grumpy person in the drugstore. Grabbing the perfect parking place only to find that you can only get out of the car by stepping in a huge puddle. A seasonal vendor who is taking up the entire sidewalk to sell his wares...
The list can go on and on.

Each of those things ~ when observed from a factual perspective ~ is too small to even start talking about; let alone allow us to be bothered about them. And yet, more often than not they do bother us. These small things can make the difference between a ‘good day’ and a ‘bad day’.

The interesting thing is that we also have a tendency to string them together. For instance; while the weather isn’t exactly perfect that day, there is no problem at all until you miss the bus going downtown and have to wait another 12 minutes for the next bus to arrive. When it finally arrives 5 minutes late ~ chances are that a day that started as a regular rainy Autumn day is well on its way to becoming a ‘bad day’. And seeing young children gaining great pleasure from jumping in the middle of the puddles in the park, doesn’t make it any better...
By now, grumpiness has set in.

Do you recognize that? I can be well on my way to total grumpiness before I realize that I am letting my mood ~ and therefore my day ~ be affected by small things that in all reality aren’t worth spending that much time and energy on. Mostly because I have no way of changing them.

They are all small things that are outside of myself, that I in no way can influence...

What I can change is how I react to them.
I can choose to not permit them to affect me. I can choose to not become grumpy because of them. I can choose to smile and join in the pleasure of the kids jumping in the puddles...

Especially when it is about the small things in life we can choose to shrug them off and purposely find a way to see that day as a ‘good day’.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Public Places

Public places, especially those public places where there are a lot of people, are always interesting to spend some time at. Without anything specific happening it seems that with every person walking by a whole story is being told...

Looking at the people and how they are moving from one side of the place to another it becomes clear that each person emanates an energy that is uniquely theirs. But they also show a more ‘general’ picture. Common ‘pictures’ are boredom, purpose, sorrow, happiness, relief, haste, relaxation... Yet the list can go on and on...

Just looking at the more ‘common pictures’, there seems to be a vast difference as to how those pictures are taking shape. Sometimes it is literally in the pace the person is walking at. Other times it is more in how they are carrying themselves ~ in whether their weight seems a heavy burden; or is something that is hardly noticed at all... And this doesn’t seem to have any form of relationship with the actual weight of the person ~ a heavy person may walk around as if there is no burden in the world; while a skinny person can look as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders.
There are those that are just staring into space ~ their eyes and minds focussed on sometime, someplace else. They may even be in an entire different galaxy, a different universe...
Almost always there are people waiting. waiting for the next event, waiting until it is time to do something, to be somewhere, to meet someone. For some this seems to give the opportunity for a quiet interlude in a busy day; while for others even waiting comes with a sense of urgency.

Then there are those people who are purposely going about their business ~ and looking at the way they are moving it seems that the one thing that is propelling them forward is their mind as their bodies are experiencing a fairly obvious discomfort...
Sometimes that discomfort seems to be emotional in nature. Other times it is like they are in a situation they don’t want to be in, yet they don’t seem to have a clue as to how to get out of it ~ for whatever the reason. And then there are the purely physical discomforts, for instance of joints that are hurting.
Yet what they all have in common is that they are going about their business without letting their particular discomfort getting the best of them. The message their minds are telling the world ~ even without speaking a word ~ is “I can do this! I may need some help every once in a while, but this I can do!”.

And that deserves a lot of respect!

Friday, December 2, 2011

More than the sum of the parts ~ part two

The same way our lives and everything we experience living it is more than the sum of the parts ~ so too are we ourselves. We are much more than heart and lungs, digestive tract, arms, legs and brain, to name a few of the parts. We are also mind on all of its levels, and awareness. We are spiritual beings ~ even when we don’t spend a lot of time in our daily routines on ‘spiritual things’. We have an energy field around us that can show those who are attuned to see it the most beautiful colors that are part of our make up. And we have a soul. That unique and never-ending part of us.
And each of these parts interacts with all the other parts, weaving patterns that reflect our balance, our well being.

The more all of us is working toward the same goal, the same sense of balance or (inner) peace, we feel ‘on top of the world’, and in some sense, larger than life!

But what happens if we have an inner desire to accomplish something ~ let’s say something we chose to accomplish before we even were born ~ and for whatever the reason the inner dialogue, our inner thinking, keeps insisting that this is something we will never achieve? Because we don’t have the right education, don’t have the position, the skills, the abilities; or perhaps just don’t feel like taking the risk...

All of a sudden unexpected things can happen in our systems, our bodies.
At first it may just be the realization that something isn’t right, a slight sense of friction or stress. Then a sense of discontent might develop ~ a discontent not just because this thing we feel we are unable to do, but often a discontent about our lives or even the world. Eventually, that which started as a relatively small discrepancy within ourselves, may find a physical outlet ~ leaving us to experience  some kind of physical discomfort.

I have found that it is one of the hardest things to do in a situation like that ~ is to step back from it, to observe what is going on, and to see what it is in myself I can change to move toward wholeness again... What that step is, is unique to each individual. For me it has often to do with having faith in myself and my abilities.
Yet there are three things that are always true when something like this happens:
It is not our fault that it happens!
We have no reason to feel guilty about it.
We can do something about it by changing our attitudes and perspectives about ourselves or the world around us.

This means we don’t even have to come up with a solution to the original problem, as long as we find a way to restore our balance and our sense of inner peace, we can re-create ourselves into that being that not only is larger than the sum of the parts, but also feels larger than life itself!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More than the sum of the parts ~ part one

In our lives there is hardly anything that is truly separate from us, that is really something that stands alone without having an effect on us or on our lives. To the point that one could make a good argument that if something would not be affecting us ~ it wouldn’t be in our lives.

From a spiritual, or personal growth perspective this is not an uncommon thought.
If something in our lives is bothering us, especially when it is something that other people are doing ~ perhaps in our minds are even doing to us ~ it is seen as an invitation to look at what idea, (thought-)pattern, or attitude we have that is creating the space for this bothersome thing ~ whatever it is ~ into our lives. The next step is then to change ourselves, eliminating the space for that which is bothering us ~ and lo and behold, that which was bothering us before disappears from our lives...
Perhaps because ‘they’ are moving; or because we are moving ~ yet one way or another, through changing what is inside of ourselves, that which was bothering us that came from outside of ourselves moves out of our lives.

Now, was it our fault that ‘they’ were behaving poorly and in doing so were disturbing our peaceful environment? No, everybody is still responsible for their own actions ~ so ‘behaving poorly’ is the responsibility of those adopting that behavior. And as long as we aren’t bothered by it, there is no problem. We start perceiving it as a problem as soon as we feel bothered, hindered, or hurt because of it.
That means that it is not ‘their behavior’ we want to change ~ it is the fact that we feel bothered, hindered or hurt by it. That is inside of ourselves, and as such is the only thing we can possibly influence about the situation.
And as we change ourselves, our thinking, our attitudes; we grow. We become more who we can become than we were before...

But what happens when it is not ‘them’ that are doing something to us, but rather it is something inside of us that starts bothering us? Something like an ailment ~ maybe even a simple cold?
Did we catch that cold ~ or rather, did it catch us ~ because the weather is nasty? Or is there something inside of ourselves that created the space for that cold to manifest in? A subtle trap that allowed us to be caught?

And if we we would accept that our lives are an integrated whole, and so much more than the sum of our parts ~ then how can we live it, learn from it, yet do so in a joyful, balanced space?

Friday, November 25, 2011

One day at a time

Today is one of the first dark and somber days we have had this Fall. Even when there was a lot of fog earlier this week ~ the days didn’t look quite as dark and somber as today... The weather man called it the first real ‘Autumn day’ ~ implying the weather will turn now from the fairly warm and bright days we have had so far into the type of weather we tend to think of when we think of the Fall season...
In a sense this is one of those days on which I wouldn’t complain if all I had to do was to curl up on the couch, the heater purring away, and having a cup of hot chocolate close at hand. Even without the whipped cream that would be a real treat!

But then again, this is a week day ~ and there is work waiting to be done. And whether you have a job from 9 to 5 or are one of the lucky ones who can more or less choose their own working hours ~ that work still needs to be done. Independent of the weather ~ not working on a week day and sipping hot chocolates instead seems an over-indulgence...

It is funny how a structure like that ~ one that divides the week into weekdays or workdays and weekends ~ keeps having such an influence on out thinking and behavior. It is one that I find very hard to truly let go off.
In all reality, it doesn’t really matter when I will sit down and do the work that is waiting to get done. There is actually an advantage in my line of work to make it happen when the energies ~ the ‘powers that be’ ~ support it, rather than forcing myself to get it done because it is that day of the week...
Something that is a lot harder to do when your job is constricted to the 9 to 5 on weekdays.

Yet the same thing goes for a lot of things in life. From what or where we eat, to when and where we do our grocery shopping, or which route we take home from work. We have a tendency to have it all planned out and to stick to our planning independent from how the energy of the day feels to us. If the energy of that day feels like getting home early and taking it easy ~ or if it feels like there is a ton of things you can still get done right now in this very moment.

When you start listening to the energies of the day; the weather, and your personal energy at that time ~ you may find that strict planning doesn’t always works in your best interest.
As a matter of fact, taking life one day at a time may be a lot more beneficial in the long run...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Break

Everyone needs and deserves a break every once in a while!
A time to step back from whatever is going on ~ whether that is a busy work schedule, a trying time in your personal life, or just ‘life happening’...

What is interesting to me is that while we all need our breaks ~ those times when we take time to smell the roses, when we take some ‘personal time’, or even a vacation to re-charge our batteries ~ deserving a break somehow has a different connotation. Deserving a break seems to imply that we deserve for things to go our way every once in a while. That we can sort of coast along and achieve what we want to achieve without putting in a huge amount of effort ~ at least for a while.
Deserving a break indicates that we are worth for life being easy...

It is also something that is easy to forget.

Whether we need a break, deserve a break or even when we need and deserve a break ~ we still have a tendency to just keep going with the same routine of working and taking care of business ~ as usual. All too often we seem to not give ourselves that much needed, well deserved break. Because there are always plenty things to do. We just keep running our lives the best way we know how to.

Until something happens that turns our lives upside down.

Something that makes us stop in our tracks. Something that questions our priorities. Something that makes us pause and think about what is going on in our lives from a different perspective. That makes us look at what we have always considered as ‘normal’ with new eyes...
It doesn’t even have to involve ourselves; it can also be happening to someone we are close to ~ a family member, or even a co-worker.

There can be a wide variety of things that gives us the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives. It can be a burn-out situation, illness, but also happier things moving to a new place, a birth, a retirement, or as it turns out reaching any milestone in life.
Yet suddenly there is that realization that we are long overdue for a break. A time-out. A pause in which we can observe our lives in order to see if the things that are truly important to us are also placed on top of our to-do list.

And suddenly it becomes really easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. When we actually take that break we so need and deserve ~ we can see with great clarity what goals we want to achieve; and what  ‘stuff’ we can discard because it is just muddying the waters.

All the more reason to actually give ourselves a break on a regular basis...

Friday, November 18, 2011


Most of us regret something every once in a while.
Whether it is something we said without thinking of the consequences, or something we did or didn’t do for whatever the reason. And truth be told, more often than not the reasons we have are good reasons to do or not do something ~ even to say something, or not...
Hence most of those regrets are what I would call ‘small regrets’ that fall into the category of making choices. We all have to make choices, and sometimes even if we have chosen wisely ~ we still would have wished things had been different.
And looking back at what happened, we often just come to one conclusion: Life happened...

In other words, some regrets may just come with the choices we have to make in our lives.

But then there are the regrets that are the ‘big regrets’.
Those are usually the things related to opportunities we let pass us by. Sometimes because we didn’t believe enough in ourselves. Sometimes because it didn’t seem as good a deal as it turned out to be for the person who did grab hold of that particular opportunity.

Yet the most common reason to not do the things that are really important to us is that we react from what we believe other people expect of us rather than the way we truly are.
And when we look back at a period of time in our lives only to see that we didn’t do things we wanted to do while we got the chance to do them ~ that brings us into the realm of the ‘big regrets’.

The things is that a lot of the time they aren’t the things you might think ~ like ‘climbing Mount Everest’, or ‘walking to Santiago de Compostela’.
They are the things like not working so hard that there was never time to enjoy life; to see the children grow up, or investing time into your relationships with friends.

The regret that while you were busy doing a lot of things ~ there was never really any time for ‘being’.

That may well be the biggest regret of our time: to not having taken the time to be yourself. To do the things that were important to you at the time. To not fulfill your heart’s desires when you had the chance.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to look back and say ‘I have done that!’?
Then perhaps it is time to think about how you can go about being true to yourself. To enjoy the things you were dreaming about when you were a kid...

To answer the question: “What would it take for me to look back at my life without any ‘big regrets’?”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Some sounds are sweet, and soft, and beautiful ~ soothing not only to your ears but your entire system.
The breeze playing with the leaves, the birds marking their territories in the early morning hours. The murmur of the water in the brook. The purring of a cat. All of them sounds that in one way or another make us feel good...

There are also those sounds that ~ even when we are city-dwellers ~ we still instinctively connect with danger. The still before the storm. The posturing cats, singing to warn each other off. The barking of a dog. All sounds that can put us on edge. Yet still sounds that we can easily handle; sounds that may not be music to our ears, but they are sounds at a level we were meant to hear them at.

Then there are the sounds that will shake us to our core. Like the sound of a violent storm, or the sounds of the earth, when it starts moving. These sounds have a very clear message: run, or hide!

All of these sounds are part of nature. And as we ourselves are part of nature as well ~ whether we are aware of it or not, we still understand these sounds at some level. Perhaps we even react to them; act according to that particular sounds as soon as we hear it...

However, nothing compares to the sounds we make.

Man-made sounds range from the most heavenly music one can ever hear, to the most horrific of noises. From the quiet whispers; the sound of a smile ~ all the way to roar of traffic, or even the clamor of demolishing buildings.

How we react to the things we hear is individual. Some people will like to have some sounds around them pretty much all of the time ~ whether they listen to their favorite music, or just have the radio on in the background. Others prefer silence around them; or at least not having the man-made sounds around them such that the sounds of nature ~ or even the sounds of their own thoughts can be heard.

And funny as it sounds ~ to a person who likes to hear some sound all the time, it can be as hard to be surrounded in silence as it is for a person who likes that silence to be ‘assaulted’ by the clamor of a remodeling next door.
Either way, after a while one wants to escape to that level of sounds or music one is comfortable with ~ whether that is found in turning on the radio for that comforting background music, or to go for a nice walk in the park where the only sound is that of the fountain’s water splashing back into the pond...

Friday, November 11, 2011


In our everyday lives there can be many lists.
A list for grocery shopping. A ‘to-do list’. A wish-list that may have your wishes and desires on it. And the list that has gained in popularity over the past years: ‘the bucket list’, things you still want to do or experience before you ‘kick the bucket’.

In the energy of today a list can be a great tool to keep track.
With the ever higher vibration of the energies around us, time seems to be speeding up as well. On top of that we seem to take on more and more things we want or need to do in a day. And between being increasingly busy and time running through our fingers ~ chances are that every once in a while there are things that fall through the cracks. Things that ‘drop off the list’...
Being afraid to let this happen tends to add to the stress that may already be in our lives ~ and yes, can make that chance of ‘forgetting something we really should have done today’ bigger.

And that is where a list comes in.
It can be a list on a note pad, on a computer or pad ~ or even on a white board. Writing down the things you want to do, need to get, or shouldn’t forget ~ even the simple act of writing it down will help you remember. On top of that, the fact that whatever it is you need to remember is no longer just in your head; it is now also written down in a place where you can retrieve it. So even if you would forget something that is on the list one day; you can still do it the next day. It may have escaped your mind, yet it never dropped off the list...

Then there is another, for most people very satisfying aspect of writing things down on a list: once you have done whatever it is, you can scratch it off your list. It is done! Even if you wouldn’t do anything else that day, this is something you have accomplished!

A totally different and lesser known type of list that can help you start the day with a clear mind is not really a list in the true sense of the word...
It is a list, or ‘writing’ you do right as you wake up, yet before you actually get up. If you would write whatever comes to mind ~ whether it makes sense or not, that doesn’t matter ~ for about ten minutes before actually getting out of bed; you’d be surprised how much ‘stuff’ you really have no need for remembering you can release that way!
And doing that it reduces stress and leaves all your ‘brain power’ to remember the things that are truly important to you...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What is the meaning of life?

When thinking about questions we come across in our lives ~ this one question: “What is the meaning of life?” seems to be the ultimate ‘biggie’.
And the interesting thing about this one question is that pretty much everybody would like to know the answer ~ while at the same time there are an enormous number of answers that all make sense... At least at one level or another.

The shortest answers I have heard were: “42” and “43”.
“42” is, if I am not mistaken, the answer ‘Siri’ the personal assistant that is part of the new iPhone 4S ultimately gave when asked about the meaning of life. But only after suggesting that the meaning of life would lie in the personal growth life enables us to accomplish.
“43” being the answer I have heard on any number of occasions...

As these answers seem flippant and at the surface not making sense at all. But what when we look at the numbers from a symbolic perspective. What may these numbers tell us about the meaning of life?

42 is a combination of 4 and 2.
The 4 on one hand talks about foundation. The number 4 can also refer to the four elements: earth, water, fire, and air ~ and the four directions: North, South, West, and East. When the number 4 is drawn as a symbol it points toward a person bringing balance to his or her environment.
The number 2 is all about  duality. When drawn as a symbol the 2 deals with communication from ‘above’~ from our Highest level of consciousness if you wish ~ brought into the mundane.

This would make the answer “42” as to the meaning of life something like:
“Through communication from the Highest levels we bring balance to our environment; our foundation.” Or perhaps: “Through use of our intuition we live in a balanced environment”.

Looking at “43” as the answer, the combination of 4 and 3 ~ the interpretation of the number 4 stays the same.
The number 3 indicates the balance of ‘mind, body and spirit’. When drawn as a symbol it deals with communication in the Higher realms as well as in the mundane.

Making the answer “43” sound like:
“Being balanced in mind, body and spirit ~ in a balanced environment”, or: “Through communication we create our foundation”.

Interestingly enough, in both answers ‘balance’ plays a profound part. Balance of ourselves as well as balance of our environment. And the other similarity is ‘communication’; it is apparently important to communicate ~ not just logically, but also intuitively.

So if either of these answers would happen to be the ultimate answer ~ balancing ourselves and bringing balance to our environment, to the earth we live on; probably through the use of communication is important in our lives.

And it begs a different question: “What are you doing on a personal level to balance yourself and  to your environment?”

Friday, November 4, 2011


Even on an average day there are so many questions!
Questions that are being asked of us ~ and those questions that we would like to ask ~ or at least discover the answer to...

From a true spiritual perspective, there is ~ arguably ~ only one question: “What is the meaning of life?”
And while that is an universal question that we all would like the answer to; it seems that the answer to this particular question ultimately is more of a personal process of discovery, rather than a ‘one size fits all’ answer...

But that leaves all those simple, ‘every-day questions’...

In a sense the easy ones are the questions about the things that need to get done: “What is on the agenda?”, “Do I have any appointments for today?” ~ and even when that doesn’t seem to be the case, there is always the question: “Is there anything that really needs to get done today?”
Of course that can be anything from getting the kids ready to get to school to walking the dog, or cleaning the bathroom...

There are the questions about timing: “Will I get there in time if I leave now?” type of questions.

And then there are the questions about small things, like: “What color clothes will I wear today?”, “Will I go grocery shopping today or will I leave it for tomorrow?”, or “What will I cook for dinner tonight?”.

Whether you look at these simple questions as true questions, or tend to see them as the choices you have in your daily life ~ the fact of the matter is that over the course of a day a lot of them come up! And while the answers ~ or choices ~ may not have an ‘earth shattering’ quality to them; without reaching conclusions on each of them we wouldn’t get anything done! We would stop in our tracks...

When you really get to the nitty-gritty of the questions in your life ~ or the choices that are to be made ~ even every next step you take has a question associated with it: “What direction will I take my next step in?”. Both literally and figuratively.

Just looking at all these simple questions seems trivial, doesn’t it?

The thing that is interesting about them ~ at least to me ~ is that we tend to answer a lot of those simple questions geared to something outside of ourselves. We make our choices ~ even, or perhaps especially, on a fundamental level like this ~ often based on what others expect us to do.

It makes me wonder what the answers to all those questions would be if they were found bearing in mind what is best for ourselves...
If we would start doing that, would all those questions still be there ~ or would they disappear altogether?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Shoes are many things. They are the protection of our feet as we walk ~ especially outdoors. They are in that respect our connection to the earth. But they are also a fashion item. And for some even a fetish.
And so, every once in a while we hear about people with enormous amounts of shoes...
High heels, flats, running shoes, tall boots, low boots, and in all conceivable colors.

In some cultures shoes are a luxury item. Walking barefoot may even be the norm; when protection of the feet is needed, it will most likely come from some sort of inexpensive yet functional sandals...

For me, the times I can kick off my shoes and walk barefoot for a while ~ for instance for a Summer’s walk on the beach ~ are special. To feel the sand and the water on the soles of your feet. The slight aggravation of walking over sea shells that have washed up on the shore. The reluctance when I am leaving the beach to put my shoes back on.
And then the disappointment when the comfort of walking barefoot on the beach is lost as the pavement starts ~ followed by the relief of being able to put my shoes back on as I arrive at my car.

This shows that, at least for me, what makes the question about wearing shoes or going barefooted is about a sense, the feeling I get when my feet are touching the earth directly. When there is the pavement between my feet and the earth ~ I may as well wear shoes...
I also realize that going for that distinct sensation of being in touch with the earth is something I wouldn’t dream of doing during the cold Winter months, when it is raining, or when the wind blows the sand over the surface of the beach so hard that pretty soon it starts hurting my legs.

As it turns out, we have a lot of very comfortable options as far as our footwear is concerned.
Having all those options (and being human) we tend to choose for the comfort, the protection, even the looks our footwear offers pretty much every time.

However, in doing so we have to a certain extend lost that sense of walking the earth. That direct contact with the vital, living, nurturing earth through the soles of our feet...

The reality is that walking barefoot has a danger associated with it ~ the danger of stepping in things like broken glass, or any other sharp objects. And from that perspective it is just plain common sense to wear shoes.

Yet I can’t help but wondering ~ wouldn’t it be nice if we could protect the earth from those things as well...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Equal Opportunity

It seems that in a perfect world we all have an equal opportunity.
Equal opportunities to achieve the things we want to achieve ~ equal opportunities to make our choices and to create our lives exactly the way we desire them to be.
And having equal opportunities shouldn’t we all be successful, well fed, free, and yes, perhaps even rich? At least according to the way we ourselves define things like success, freedom, and riches.

Looking at the world today that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case though...
So, where does it ‘go wrong’? Or is it meant to be this way, and are we looking at the concept of ‘having equal opportunities’ in a non-realistic manner?

Pondering this, the first thing that comes to mind for me are the life lessons ~ or even karma ~ that we choose to bring into our lives. Based on which (karmic) lessons we wish to learn more about during our life experience we set ourselves up with a birthplace, birth time, and family we are going to be born into ~ in other words, we set ourselves up with an astrological natal chart that will enable us to work with exactly things we want to work with, work on, or learn more about...
It is how the process of our personal growth, our soul growth works.

This does mean, however, that each of us is born into a unique set of circumstances as far as culture, religion, family, and place on the globe are concerned.
The only thing that in a sense is the same for all of us is that we set ourselves up ~ the very best way we know how ~ for the best opportunity for our personal, individual, spiritual growth. For the greatest soul growth we can possibly achieve.

Truth is that we would be hard-pressed to venture out and start learning those lessons if there wouldn’t be some instigation to get us moving...
Part of our ‘human condition’ seems to be that we rather stay in one place ~ that place that is comfortable to us because of its familiarity ~ unmoving and unchanging.
And so we put ourselves in situations that require us to make choices, to get moving, to experience life in all of its facets ~ yet especially those facets that will allow our innermost selves to grow. Often the situations we can learn most from ~ the situations that will bring us most spiritual growth ~ are those that we experience as difficult, perhaps even unpleasant.

Getting back to having equal opportunities...
The true equal opportunity is that we all have an equal opportunity to learn our life lessons. The equal opportunity to grow on an innermost level ~ even when we feel we are in a difficult situation that ~ at least on the surface ~ has absolutely nothing to offer to us...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


To me, the most dramatic change in the seasons is when Summer turns to Fall. And this doesn’t always happen right on the equinox ~ it usually happens as the weather changes... And suddenly it is time to close the windows that were open all Summer long. The front door, opened every morning from Spring, all through the Summer to let in some fresh, cool air ~ stays closed.
Outside the wind and rain spell it out: Fall has arrived!

And with the cold Fall weather, the rapidly shortening of the days ~ the trees are losing their leaves and are preparing for Winter.

Inside, I have turned the heater back on ~ and it is comfortably purring away...

But what really brings it home to me that the weather indeed has turned, and that Fall is here to stay ~ is to find my cats indoors ~ having hardly any desire at all to go outside. Even the big black cat who usually prefers the freedom of the outdoors is curled up on the couch ~ softly snoring...
Summer most definitely is over.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any beautiful days left. Quite the opposite is true! Going out on a beautiful Fall day, the temperatures can be comfortable, warm even. Going out in nature the air is filled with all kinds of scents ~ and the leaves turning their colors are a sight to behold.

Fall ~ traditionally the season of the harvest ~ is also the season of ‘letting go’.
The same way the trees are letting go of their leaves in a final rush of awesome beauty, the dry Summer weather lets go to make place for a colder, more moist environment ~ although there are also places where the opposite happens and the Summer rains disappear in order for the cooler, dryer Fall weather to emerge.
Yet, any way you look at it ~ it is a time to let go of the things that have been going on throughout the Summer. To see the results in one final splash of color ~ and then to release it such that a space is created where something new can come into.
A new idea; a new project ~ or even just a new sense of something that, at least at this point in time cannot quite be defined. A whisper in the back of your mind, as yet too softly to be heard ~ but definitely there...

This makes this time of the year a good time to ask yourself two questions:
What are the things in my life I can now let go of?
What new things would I desire to have in my life?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Organizing and Uncluttering

What to one person is a nice, comfortable, and cosy space, can seem totally cluttered without any way to move around, to someone else. Just as a space that is clear of any ‘clutter’ is spacious to one person, and can seem devoid of personality to the next person.

It seems clear that the need to surround ourselves with memories, with keepsakes, or just with those things we like is a very personal one...

Whether a space is cluttered or not, often is a matter of organization rather than the actual amount of things in that space. When things are organized, a space may contain a lot of things, yet seem spacious. When things aren’t organized, that same space may be as good as empty, yet still give a cluttered appearance.

The difference between clutter and no clutter is not necessarily found in the amount of things that are surrounding us. The same way working on one project at any one time is not necessarily better than multitasking on several projects al at once. The difference is usually found in the degree of organization of those things.
When things are organized ~ be it our keepsakes, our thoughts, or the number of projects we are working on at the same time ~ most of the time things will move along smoothly...

And like with cleaning, organizing what we surround ourselves with can have an effect on our inner selves as much as it has an effect on the space we are living in.
Putting things in their proper place in our living quarters, organizing what goes where and so on ~ has a tendency to organize our thoughts at the same time. As a result this will allow us to formulate our thoughts coherently ~ be it to ourselves, to to others.

This may seem like a small thing ~ yet it can have an enormous effect on our lives! If we can enhance our ability to state things clearly when we express ourselves, the response we get from those around us will be more to the point. More organized. And perhaps it even is the actual answer we were looking for!

So where would you start?
When things feel cluttered, whether it is in your home or in your mind ~ it is important to realize that you don’t have to organize the whole house all at once. Just organizing a closet ~ which may be something you have been thinking about doing for a while already ~ can do the trick; independent from whether you are working on uncluttering the actual closet or all the thoughts that keep coming to your mind... However, you can also start by taking about 15 or 20 minutes each day to just write out all the thoughts that come up. And with those thoughts safely on paper ~ where they cannot be forgotten ~ that leaves your mind organized and uncluttered...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Cleaning is something that has to happen on a regular basis. Whether it is cleaning the dishes that have been sitting on the counter, cleaning the windows, or cleaning the carpet in the living room ~ there is no escaping it! It is one of those things that are part of life ~ and whether you clean them yourself or have someone come in to do it for you, it has to be done.

Still, to some people cleaning the house is very important, while for others it can be way down on their priority list. Sometimes this can have a physical cause like for instance an allergy. In a case like that, keeping things clean helps to keep the allergic reaction at bay. How often and how well we clean can also be something that is related to our upbringing. If that clean space was extremely important to your parents when you were young ~ chances are you will put a higher priority on cleaning than if this wasn’t the case.

Yet there is more to it than that...
Have you ever noticed that when you have cleaned your space, that the energy itself feels lighter? Brighter? Happier even?

Cleaning your space can have a profound effect on how you perceive not only your space, but life in general. To the point that for some people, when they don’t see a way out of a situation ~ can’t come up with any acceptable solution ~ they will start cleaning their space... Because a clean space will allow you to see things ‘cleanly’ and clearly.

It is an interesting effect that can be fine tuned. For instance, if there are things you have difficulty seeing clearly ~ you can start cleaning the windows. What will happen is that somehow while you are doing that, the windows of your mind get cleansed as well... Permitting for a clear view on your thoughts, attitudes etc.
By the same token, cleaning your living space will create a clean space inside of you where new things can get started ~ new ideas, new ventures.
Either way cleaning your space on a mundane level will give you more ‘breathing room’ ~ yes, it all smells fresh and ‘new’, but it also gives you that ‘breathing room’ inside of yourself! And as that happens, it can give you a sense of clarity as to your own energy, your personal boundaries, and even a clear perspective on what is truly important in your life in this point in time.

And although I know it works this way, every time it happens it surprises me! Just as it surprises me how all the things that may not be that important yet need to be done anyway can often be taken care of in one clean sweep ~ as soon as my living space has been swept clean.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I just got a telephone call from half a world away. And just like that I was talking up a storm. Catching up with someone I hadn’t seen for a while. The sound as clear as if he were sitting right next to me. The only thing that is somewhat difficult with a telephone call like that is to account for the time difference between where I am and where he is at.

It is a mode of communication that is considered simple, nowadays. More and more often we get a video stream to accompany the audio ~ allowing body language to be part of the call...
And suddenly we cannot hide quite s much from the other person. Not the fact that we are tired, had a ‘bad hair day’, are busy, or have a number of other things on our minds. Now that we can actually see the other person while we are talking with them on the phone ~ all these things shine through.

It makes me think of days gone by when a quick communication was a telegram. Usually only for emergency messages as the price of a telegram was high ~ and got higher as the number of words increased. Instant communication had a price tag then...
The alternative would be a hand-written letter that would take up to 6 weeks to get to its destination ~ depending on where it was sent from and where its destination was found.

Between then and now technology has evolved at an ever increasing pace.

Answering machines, especially the ones with the two little tapes inside, and fax machines are ‘vintage office furniture’. But even the digital answering machines are outdated and replaced by voice mail.
And come to think of it ~ even the quick telephone call is rapidly being replaced by the text message.

It is an interesting polarity. On one hand the technology now makes it possible to not only talk on the phone but also see each other while we are doing it ~ making a more encompassing communication possible. On the other hand we seem to decline that opportunity, choosing to ‘text’ the other person rather than actually talking to them.

And there is another interesting thing about our modern way of communicating with each other ~ the ‘social networking sites’. Sites where we can post all our interesting, frustrating, and curious things that happen to us over the course of the day. And if we can’t think of anything to post, we can ‘re-post’ quotes, pictures and video’s. So instead of communicating who we are and what we are doing ~ we express that which we wish we would be. Post the things we wish we would have thought of and put into words.

More so than taking our time to enjoy our communication as we did long time ago ~ we now can’t wait to communicate ~ immediately. With everyone. About anything...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Songs can be a wonderful way in which a message from our subconscious can surface in such a way that we can become aware of it. This can happen because you are thinking about something ~ and as you turn on the radio there is something in the song that is playing that unexpectedly gives you a different perspective on it. A new view that can lead you to a new outcome, or a new solution.
Another manner in which a song can be helpful in bringing something into your awareness is through just ‘popping up’ in your head. Suddenly you find yourself humming or singing a couple of lines of a song... It can be a song that you know well, or a song of which you just know the chorus lines ~ whichever it is; out o the blue it is there...

The latter one happens to me every once in a while. And while I am not always certain what the message is right away ~ I have learned to pay attention! Because there is always an answer there, even if I am not certain about the question just yet.

Today the song I found myself humming to myself is John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’. There are only two lines of the song:
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze...

The song is about returning home, about returning to the place where you belong.
The two lines of text I cannot get out of my head indicate to me that nature is old yet in continuous movement. Light footed, almost unnoticed ~ like a breeze...

So there is something about coming home to nature, coming home to the earth that is important to me... My innermost Self feels deeply connected to the earth. Something that is not always obvious in day-to-day life, when things need to get done, and bills need to get paid.
Still it is important to honor that innermost part of Self...

It makes me wonder what set it off?
Was it the quiet meditation this morning, sitting in the tall grass under the old tree, with only the sounds of insects and the occasional bird competing with the song that carried on the breeze? Or is it the view of the mountains as I sit here in a nice and cool space with my laptop, writing?
I probably will never know...

Yet there is a breeze, and it carries a song of change. Changes in the weather as Fall is setting in with the long awaited cooler weather in the forecast.
And perhaps also changes in that deep, innermost connection to the earth...

Friday, October 7, 2011


When I was young I learned to play the flute. After a number of years I stopped playing. Partly because ‘life happened’ and other things became more important to me; partly because at the time I felt I wanted to express myself through song rather than the flute.
Over the years I have tried several string instruments ~ even took singing classes. But I never quite got into the song thing. Eventually I chose a number of creative ways to express myself ~ writing and creating my line of Mystical Jewelry being two of them...

Yet the flute kept calling me.
In meditation I recognized other life experiences where playing the flute was a means of communication that ~ in that particular environment, in that time ~ allowed me to ‘play a message’ that could be heard over quite a distance...

As I dug up the flutes I had played when I was younger though, I found I had forgotten how to play them ~ I would have to re-learn playing if I really wanted to get back to playing at all...

Then something changed.
I really didn’t notice it at first, until I suddenly came to the realization that my desire to play ‘regular instruments’, creating ‘regular music’ had all but disappeared. At this point in my life I am way more interested in playing instruments that help me connect with the energies around me ~ with the energies of nature. Like frame drums. And flutes.
Instead of singing the words to a song, toning and chanting now have much greater appeal...

The thing that the shamanic drums, the flutes, and the chanting all have in common is that they are musical expressions that seek to connect to the environment. Each in their own way they express a state of being. And that state of being can be cultivated or celebrated through the music ~ or if one so desired, can be changed by changing the rhythm, changing the chant, changing the tune...
This way, a balance is created between people and their environment ~ a balance that can bring comfort and healing to all those who listen to it.

And the Universe works miracles. It has a tendency to fill a need ~ whether we are fully aware of our need or not... I was given the opportunity to find ‘my flute’. A Native Flute, in energy tied to my totem: the Eagle.
It is a flute made to play the wind, and the mountains... It haunting sounds predicting the changes in the weather... And sometimes it shrieks as the breeze competes with my breath...
It is a flute that dances in my hands. It helps me remember different times that have long gone ~ yet its music weaves a new web ~ a new connection to the earth.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Drums are many things. They are the heartbeat, they are communication, the are rhythms. Drums tell stories, they are the combination of the wood that gave the drum its frame and the animal who gave the drum its sound. The maker of the drum being sometimes the master, and other times the slave... And yet, to each their own drum, their own rhythm...

That individual, very personal drum may or may not be and actual drum. It may or may not be a drum that is heard by others ~ although perhaps those sensitive enough to pick up on it will have an inkling as to what type of rhythm that other person’s drum is beating.

It is that quiet, private drum that sometimes only we ourselves can hear that sets the pace to which we live our lives. It is in the beat of our hearts. It follows the rhythms of nature from our innermost perspective. It shows us the way in which we connect with our environment ~ with the world around us.

And as soon as we come to realization, drums move to a different realm entirely. At that point drums are magic; they are power, they are movement, and balance and healing.
They become an energy following an intent.

Ultimately it is the intent that sets the tone for how the drum, and therefore the energy is used. In other words, neither the drum, nor its energy are good or bad ~ they just are. The intention that is put behind it will determine whether the result will be beneficial or not.

There have been war drums, healing drums, trance drums, drums that take you on a journey and on and on. Drums can break an energy ~ much like laughter can break an energy. Or they can build an energy. Drums can set a rhythm, yet they can also alter a rhythm. How and where it is used makes all the difference...

Keeping that in mind, it is no surprise that drums have been important instruments throughout the ages. The tools of shamans and healers ~ of sorcerers and magicians. Because the drum has the power to alter that which is to its new space. This is not only true for situations, perhaps even more so for the people involved in those situations.

With all the things drums are ~ all the things drums can accomplish; that still doesn’t mean that everybody needs to go out and make their own physical drum.
It would be a good idea however, if we would take some time every once in a while to listen to the beat of that intimate drum inside ourselves ~ to let it set the tone and the rhythm for how we live our lives...

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Royal Road

The ‘City of Saint Francis’ and the ‘City of the Angels’ are connected by an ancient road, the Royal Road. And while this road in its current existence is a highway connecting both cities, it still bears the markers of its historic past. At one time the Royal Road didn’t necessarily connect those two cities ~ the  600 mile road connected the 21 Franciscan Missions and their support sites.

In a certain sense this makes this road what I would call a Sacred Site line ~ an energy line connecting two or more sacred sites that have a similar energy with each other...

Pondering this for a bit, there are several observations that strike me as interesting...
First, the ‘City of Saint Francis’ is situated ‘above’ the ‘City of the Angels’. I would have expected to see it the other way around, as the Angels are Heavenly Beings, while Saint Francis was a good hearted, and likely enlightened human being.
Another thing is the way the Royal Road has transformed itself from the ancient trail into the highway it is in this present time.
Most other ‘Sacred Site lines’ I have worked with or travel along are a lot more quiet ~ even can have a contemplative energy. Some were, and still are pathways of pilgrimage. Roads one would travel with the goal to visit this sacred place one would find at the end. And walking this pathway usually was a transformative experience in its own right ~ especially in those days when one would take the time to actually walk that road...

The Royal Road is now traveled at speeds that often exceed 70 miles per hour. And if there is anything being pondered while taking that journey, it might well be the question how fast we will reach our destination...
And while the Royal Road still bears its ancient name, it will not take you to visit all the old Missions anymore. To do that, one has to get of the highway and travel to a much quieter space; at a much more leisurely pace ~ into a more peaceful environment. A peace that both, the ‘City of Saint Francis’ and the ‘City of the Angels’ seem to have lost...

When I take all of this in to consideration when I observe my own, personal ~ even spiritual path I can’t help to come to the conclusion that the place to express myself ~ spiritually or otherwise ~ is in my daily, mundane life. Making the way I live my everyday life perhaps even more important than ‘living the way of the Angels’... On top of that ~ while I may have a tendency to rush from one place to the next; transformation and peace are found when I live my life one step at a time...
That then, truly is a ‘Royal Road’!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


The dictionary gives the definition of creativity as follows: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. And often our understanding of creativity is exactly that ~ coming up with imaginative ideas that subsequently are expressed creatively; through painting, writing, sculpting etc.
Yet, if we look at all the instances and situations in our day to day lives where we come up with original ideas and innovative ways to deal with the matters at hand ~ it seems like our creativity stretches well beyond the arena of the arts.

When we use our creativity, we create. We bring something that wasn’t there before, something new into the earth plane. And this something new can be a thought, a joke, a project, a way of dealing with a specific situation ~ and of course any expression through art.

Looking at creativity from this perspective, it seems that we are more likely to use the word ‘creativity’ when it is related to any form of art. As soon as we start using our creativity in our day to day lives or in our jobs we tend to choose different words like innovative, resourceful, or even visionary.

Creativity is something for artists. And artists are often seen as a breed all their own. Perhaps not willing to live conform the expectations of others. Not having the same perspectives on life in general most of us non-artists have. Their creativity is not limited to their expressions in their chosen form of art ~ their creativity has become their way of life...
While some artists manage to have great financial success ~ for a lot of artists the creative flow is prioritized over monetary gain; ensuring a somewhat less than optimal income.

It is not necessarily what we would want for our kids. Ideally, we would wish our kids to ‘fit in’ and to ‘do well’. So at a certain age we start telling our kids that there is a big difference between the real world and whatever they experience in their imagination. And as the imagination is deemed less and less important in life ~ the creative flow starts to wane as well.
In a sense, the more our kids adapt to what is expected of them in the ‘grown-up world’ ~ the more they seem to lose the capability to see things differently, innovatively... The more they adapt ~ the more their originality is pushed aside. And with that creativity is pushed aside as well.

This means that the way we relate to creativity is more complex than one would have thought at first glance. Although we can watch the expression of somebody else’s creative flow in awe ~ on average we ourselves would rather fit in...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sunny days

Sunny days are good days. In most cases...
On top of that, sunny days have a lot of connotations ~ a lot of ‘extra’ meanings attached to them as well.

Whether you like the sun, or rather stay away from its warm, bright energy ~ on most occasions sunny days are ‘feel good’ days. Days that can give us energy, that makes us feel vitalized.
Sometimes the bright light of the midday sun lets us see pictures that are way more clear than we are used to. Literally and figuratively. And that then, is what sunglasses are for. Again, literally and figuratively.

When our lives are filled with sunny days ~ it tends to say that our lives are easy. Without obstacles, unfolding dramas, or other distractions. Wen we are walking on sunshine, everything in our lives is going our way...

On the other hand, when things get a little dark and gloomy ~ we may choose to lift our spirits with a cup of ‘liquid sunshine’. A ‘cup of Joe’ to make everything look a little brighter.

Patagonia has lots of sunny days. The temperature is described as a ‘dry heat’. And the pizza restaurant in town says that their pizza is healthy.
The landscape is surprisingly green. The afternoon thundershowers are responsible for that. Yet it is dry enough for everything to be dusty. Something you might not even notice as you drive through the area, until you leave the paved roads and venture out on the unpaved, or dirt roads.
And in this harsh, yet green place there are an incredible amount of hummingbirds to be seen. Tiny, fragile looking creatures that are hard to notice once they make it to the branches of the old mesquite trees. They are enjoying the sun. They are flocking to the feeders people hang outside, filled with sugar-water. And as long as the days are sunny, as long as they are being fed by their human admirers ~ their days are sunny on more than one level...

in a sense, our lives are similar. Even when the weather is sunny ~ even when our days seem filled with sunshine; when we leave the known, paved roads, we are bound to leave traces. To stir up dust. Even in a landscape that is otherwise green...
Sunny days are to be cherished ~ if not in the literal sense, than most certainly looking at it from a figurative perspective. Yet even sunny days bring their own dust; their own dark side in a sense.

For us as unique, powerful individuals it is how we grow. Through enjoying the sunny days, just as we deal with the dusty heat it can bring to our paths...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Borders, boundaries and limitations

Any journey we undertake has the ability to make us more aware of our boundaries, and in a sense of our limitations. This awareness then can help us to re-evaluate where we stand, and how we create and protect our boundaries. Without the limitations.

When our travels take us away from our daily lives, yet within relatively familiar surroundings ~ for instance a trip to a different part of the country you live in ~ this is a process that takes place pretty much inside ourselves. Even though it is instigated by the different, new surroundings we may find ourselves in; the new people we meet.

As our travels take us to an altogether different country, all of a sudden we are confronted with borders. Borders between the country we call our home and that other country. And also borders between our values; the rules that we live by in our daily lives and the rules and regulations of that other country that we are traveling to...
And so the process of becoming aware of our own boundaries is not just an inner journey anymore ~ it now has an outer aspect to it as well. In other words, it is not just about our reactions to the new environment, the new people we meet ~ it is perhaps even more about the circumstances we encounter, and how our values and the values of that other person (or country) can work together. Or can clash.

Either way the process of gaining awareness about our boundaries and limitations can take place. We can broaden our horizons in a fun and exciting way as we get to know new perspectives, new ways of doing things that we might not have thought of living in our own familiar area.
Yet when something happens that perhaps even gets you in a position where the border you desire to cross becomes a line in the sand ~ we are likely to feel limited by that experience, rather than feeling the expansion we were expecting...

In a sense, a lot of the borders have become ‘lines in the sand’. Where they used to be the demarkation between ‘here and there’ ~ they are now also the boundaries that we need to protect against unwanted influences, undesired actions ~ and not in the least that which we fear may put us and our environment in danger... So we limit access to that which we call our own. We limit how we behave, as well as how the other person is permitted to behave. And as we put limitations on ourselves and the new people we meet ~ we protect what is our own.

And this too, is a process that takes place on an outer, as well as on an inner level...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Getting ready...

There is always something to get ready for... whether it is getting ready for work, getting ready for a night on the town... But there are also longer term things like getting ready for an exam ~ depending on the exam the time for preparation can after all  be quite long...

It seems ~ when you think about it ~ throughout our lives we are getting ready for things...

Getting ready to go to daycare; preschool; grammar school; high school; college;  job interview; date; wedding... There doesn’t seem to be an end to the list ~ we are always getting ready.

This brings up the question if ~ while we are getting ready for our next event ~ we actually take time to enjoy life. If we take time to smell the roses along the way. Or if we are only focussed on the next goal ~ the next mile stone even ~ that we want to reach.
In a sense we are living in a goal oriented; perhaps even goal driven society. Taking time off to do anything else than preparing for the next race toward the new goal can be something that is frowned upon. Even taking time off for vacationing is only okay if it doesn’t interfere with reaching our goals. And this then does restrict for instance duration o our vacations ~ and sometimes the places we spend our vacations at...

But is this really what life is all about? A succession of races toward ever changing goals?

I guess that depends on a couple of things like your value system, and perhaps the decision on how much you want to conform to the value system of the particular society you are living in...

If your personal value system puts a high priority on material things; if you have a great sense of competition and feel it is important to be the best at everything you set your mind to ~ if you want to put yourself in a position that will permit you to make a ‘more than decent living’... Than maybe a lifestyle of getting ready for the next event; the next race, isn’t all bad...
On the other hand, if your value system deems different things are more important ~ things like spirituality, or enjoying the moment ~ or even celebrating life whenever and wherever you et a chance to do so... Then perhaps those should be your priorities.

Interestingly enough ~ where the first example seems to bring a greater productivity into your life, and the second example sounds more like a ‘happy-go-lucky’ lifestyle ~ it is hard to say which one ultimately will be more ‘successful’ when looked at from a perspective of our individual, personal paths.
Yet whichever route you take ~ every once in a while get ready to sit back, relax, and to take some time to smell the roses...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


The weather. Any time you run out of things to talk about; something to say ~ you can always start talking about the weather. As it turns out, now more so than ever before ~ as the weather patterns seem to be changing so rapidly nowadays...

And as the weather takes another unexpected turn, not only can we just talk about it ~ it is something we can enjoy, or even complain about.
One thing is certain ~ there is plenty to talk about.

Out here, the seasons seem to be shifting forward. Spring came early. Summer was wet. And now Fall has rolled in with a vengeance. Stormy weather. Lightning and thunder. Rain and hail. And all of that way before the turn of the seasons.

As Autumn is here ~ so are the chestnuts, acorns, mushrooms... Flowers that other years would still be in full bloom, now are diminished into watery shadows of their beauty.

I can’t help but wondering if the Winter will come in just as early ~ with just as much conviction. If the Winter will bring us the cold temperatures some of us may remember from our childhood. The ice and snow that have become somewhat less common over the past 20 years or so ~ which now seem to return. Sort of like a practical joke on global warming.

A couple of days ago I heard someone make the argument that as the seasons seem to shift to ever earlier times of the year, Summer vacations probably should follow suit. Say in May, rather than July.

Looking at the differences in the weather; whether it is just a shift in timing or perhaps more a matter of intensity. Whatever the season ~ the weather seems more intense now than it has been in the past. An intensity that is not confined to the weather.
Everything feels more intense. Things, situations, and yes, people. It is as if the calmer, maybe even more ‘long term’ energies have given way to these intense, momentary energies.
And with that comes a sense that what is happening is just for now. We want everything, and we want it now. Because tomorrow we may have lost our interest in what is happening today... Like in our lives the time and focus are shifting forward just as in the weather around us.

The intensity of the weather, and the intensity of our lives put us in a position in which it is harder and harder to relax. To take time to take a deep breath.
Like with the seasons that seem to have ended almost before they have begun ~ we seem to run from one thing to the next without smelling the roses and enjoying life as it happens...

Friday, September 9, 2011


There are a number of reasons why we would release things from our lives.

There are the things we just don’t need anymore. They probably have been quite useful in our lives in the past, yet at some point in our lives we decide that these things are not as useful as they once were ~ they have lost their purpose. That is exactly the point at which we re-evaluate whether to keep it in our lives... Or if we rather release it.

Then there are things that simply are not our responsibility. Chances are they never were in the first place ~ yet somehow they became part of our lives.
When responsibilities are in play, it is not always easy to see whether it (still) is our responsibility, or if it isn’t (anymore). Take raising our kids. When they are young, they depend on their parents for their care ~ and yes, they are most definitely our responsibility. Then, as they grow up, even have children of their own, they can carry the responsibility for themselves. They now carry the responsibility for their children.
At this point ~ all grown up and in the midst of life itself ~ our kids are not our responsibility anymore. So it becomes a responsibility that ~ while once it truly was ours ~ it now ceases to be. And so we can release this responsibility if we choose to.

In a sense the process of evaluating and releasing things from our lives is an artful one. There is usually no sharp line; no clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ when we start the process. For most of us how we feel about something may well give the clearest answer whether we are ready to release that particular thing from our lives or not...
And often there is a sense of fear associated with that process as well. What if you make a wrong decision? What if you would release something from your life that seems to have no purpose anymore, yet would regret having released it after the fact ~ when it is gone?

All of this makes the ‘art of releasing’ also a process of personal growth. A process through which we learn to trust how we feel about things. We learn how to make decisions; set priorities. We learn how to create space in our lives for new experiences; new things...

And perhaps most of all, we create an opportunity for ourselves to let go of those things that have made our personal paths more difficult than they needed to be.
We can bless them, release them, and finally get on with our lives...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


We all have people and things in our lives that we depend upon. Just as others may depend upon us, upon the things we do, how we care for them, or even the money we earn. And though we may not like to be dependent on someone or something ~ in reality we are. We may not even give it a lot of thought in every-day life; it is just one of those things that is this way...

The true nature of the dependency only shows itself in those times when the circumstances are such that we cannot depend on that which always was there. Rock solid. At the tips of our fingers. And when that happens, life can get complicated in a hurry!

Wondering how that works?
Then just for a moment imagine that for the next week or so you won’t have access to a computer...

No internet, no email, no Facebook, no chat-rooms. Banking either has to be done the old fashioned way; by going to an actual bank. Doing some quick research suddenly involves the yellow pages and a telephone.
And at that moment it hits you: You can do most of those things like browsing the internet, reading and sending your email, keeping track of your friends on Facebook on your smart-phone! Even an iPod-touch will suffice, as long as you have a wifi connection.

And before you know it, you are doubly dependent on your smart-phone.
But let’s think of what would happen without a smart-phone at hand while there is no access to a computer...

It is somewhat of a time-warp situation, as it brings us back in time some 20 or so years ~ to a time when messages were sent in hand written letters. It would take some time to write them; and then it would take another couple of days ~ or weeks ~ for the letter to get to its destination; dependent on how far away that destination was. Telephone calls were easy, yet moderately expensive; especially when calling abroad.
In other words, keeping track of friends, sending and receiving messages ~ business related or otherwise ~ took time. Lots of time.

In our lives today we are used to sending emails and receiving the reply the same day ~ or perhaps the next day. If it takes any longer, we get worried something is amiss.
We have become dependent on all kinds of instant communication ~ whether it is checking the news, browsing the web, or yacking with our unseen friends in chat-rooms.

And it is surprising ~ or at least it was to me when I found myself in that situation ~ how easily we can be thrown off our daily routines when something like that~ something we depend upon ~ falls away...

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Art of Living

As we live our daily lives we may find it easier to slip into a routine. A set structure that allows us to get through the day ‘on an automatic pilot’. And as we do that, hours stretch into days ~ days stretch into weeks...

Stepping back from the routine, looking at the way we may live our lives from a certain distance ~ chances are that we decide that there should be more to living our lives. That we should live our lives with enthusiasm. Doing the things we are truly passionate about.
Searching out new things, adventures ~ in a sense re-inventing ourselves at every bend in our path.

From this perspective the routine filled life and the enthusiastic, passion filled life are polarities. Where one is predictable and gives a feeling of security ~ the other looks adventurous; it may even give  an idea of ‘living on the edge’, or ‘living dangerously’.

Finding the point of balance between these two extremes can be a true art. The art of living.

Where on one hand we don’t want to get stuck in a routine to such an extend that we loose our enthusiasm, our zest for life. On the other hand we don’t want to chase so many adventures that we fail to live our lives productively ~ re-inventing the wheel every time because we want to do the things we do in new ways.
The point of balance would give our lives enough structure for us to feel comfortable, yet leave us enough space to embark upon new adventures; to do things we have always don a certain way in a new way. Any new way. Independent from what the outcome will be ~ whether this new way of doing things is more efficient or less...
Most importantly, the point of balance is that point where we permit ourselves to focus on those things in life we are enthusiastic about ~ the things we feel passionate about.

Needless to say that finding that point of balance is a true art!
Apart from having the desire to express your zest for life, it takes courage to live your life passionately. It takes a great sense of creativity to find new and creative ways to do your daily chores.

The art of living your life according to your own values, your own rules.
The art of prioritizing the things in life that will bring out the best of yourself.
Being the artist who is shaping and forming his or her own life with a passion!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Changes ~ the other kind...

In some instances changes really do come in with a ‘bang’.

And whether that is because we haven’t noticed  the build-up of small changes that quietly have laid the ground work for this one, great, big change that is suddenly and unexpectedly invading our lives and our environments; or whether it is one of this things whose time it is ~ and there they are, once the changes happen it is more often than not a shocking, and unpleasant experience.
 Out of the blue we may find ourselves in a situation that changes rapidly, is beyond our control, doesn’t seem to move in any purposeful direction that we can determine ~ and all we can do is to hold on for the ride!
It can feel like everything we knew is being taken apart to the point that we may get the sense that nothing is left, and with that we may even lose our sense of normalcy. Sometimes we discover that we weren’t at all who we thought we were; find out that things we always thought were very important to us are in fact easy to let go of...

When the initial chaos subsides, usually a new structure emerges.
The phoenix does rise from the ashes, indeed!

The danger of a sudden and enormous change that rips through our lives is that we become despondent as the changes take place and only find ourselves focussing on the negative aspects of what is happening. Like the sense that things are out of (our) control. Or the sometimes very practical sides of it ~ like being without a home, or finding yourself without a job.

Yet the moment we can bring ourselves to open to the positive aspects of the changes ~ we may see that we are given the opportunity to ‘start over’. That there can be a place where we can be at home that we might never have thought of ~ but there it is. We even may discover that we have better friends than we thought we had!

Then, when the dust is settled and we find our lives getting a sense of purpose and structure again ~ at that time when we can look back at that period in our lives when we went through these enormous changes ~ we may well find that we have emerged from that period a stronger, better person.
And as time moves on, perhaps there will be a moment when we recognize that while the whole process of the changes was scary, chaotic, a period of darkness even ~ it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as it has forced us to move into a new direction; a new cycle in our lives!

Friday, August 19, 2011


When I think of changes, especially when I perceive them as big changes ~ I often expect them to show up suddenly, unexpected. A sense that changes will come into the world and into my life with a ‘bang’...

And although this may happen every once in a while ~ usually changes appear silently, even without being noticed. They may start out as small changes in plans or priorities; the occasional time when you change your mind. And bit by bit these innocuous changes take hold. Pretty soon, they will start to become the basis for bigger changes ~ like changes in attitude, or behavior. And before you know it you  may have a desire to find yourself a new home, in a new city ~ and be on the lookout for a new job! All the while wondering where all these changes have come from.

Along similar lines one can anticipate climate changes.
Sort of like it has been depicted in the movies where in 48 hours a nice, moderate ~ or perhaps subtropical climate changes into an environment that is frozen solid. With all the problems that would bring with it...
Yet in all reality, weather patterns have been changing for the past four or five years ~ I suppose world-wide; although I have really noticed it in my native Country of the Netherlands. At first we just experienced a nice, unexpectedly warm and sunny Spring time. Granted, the following Summer was a bit rainier than anticipated. But the Fall season seemed to sport regular plain Autumn weather. And to the surprise of many (and delight of some) the Winter temperatures dropped low enough for ice skating rinks to open for the first time in years...
Throughout that year, all I remembered was that beautiful, warm Spring.

Now that we are a number of years later ~ Spring seems to be consistently warm and sunny, Summer is a lot more rainy and humid than I remembered Summer weather to be when I grew up. And the average temperature in the Winter appears to be dropping below the quite moderate temperatures I used to be used to.

While it doesn’t seem like much ~ it most definitely counts as a change in weather patterns; and probably as a change in the climate as well.
This particular change didn’t come in with a lot of fanfare. It started quietly, with a pleasant surprise of nice Spring weather!

And who knows what is still to come?
Will it evolve into a far more wet climate? Or the opposite ~ a dryer weather type? Will the Dutch climate move up a notch from ‘temperate’ to ‘sub-tropical’? Something that may seem wonderful at the surface, but which may bring great and unanticipated changes along with it...

Whatever changes may come into our lives and our world next ~ chances are they will start quietly but will not be any less profound than if they were to come in with a ‘bang’!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Harry Potter

I went to see the last part of the Harry Potter saga ~ certainly one of the more modern tales between ‘good’ and ‘evil’ ~ and yes, I was delighted to see him win!
Over the past eight years I have certainly not been the only one engrossed in his learning process ~ and, leaving the magical touches behind for a moment; that process was not all that different from each of ours. Like us, Harry Potter to embarked upon a personal life path that brought him lessons, obstacles and rewards.
And what begins with the ‘good’, innocent Harry Potter and a guy ‘who must not be named’ who wishes him dead ~ bit by bit, step by step, became one of those epic battles between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. In the story Harry and Voldemort are enemies that are potentially equally as strong, though vastly different in experience and attitude.
The young Jedi and the Dark Side pitted against each other all over again...

But, as in all epic stories about ‘good’ and ‘evil’ ~ not only are they dependent upon each other in the world outside of ourselves; they have their roles and plays inside of ourselves as well. And ultimately, to destroy ‘evil’ means that one needs to part with aspects of ourselves. The skeletons in our closets. The dragons haunting our dreams. And all those little things like jealousy, greed, etc. The darker side of ourselves.

It sounds simple. (And how I wish I would be able to accomplish it in the eight year time span it took Harry Potter to get there...)

In our real, every day lives these things come up as our life lessons. And with every lesson we learn, we hope to shine a little brighter ~ until at some point the ‘good’ in us wins and enlightenment ensues!

Yet it seems it needs more than just handling whatever situations come up in our lives.
Of course it is necessary we face, solve, or even resolve those situations. But at the same time it is also important that we are willing to stand for the very best person we can be! To aim at doing the things we want to do to the very best of our ability. To truly set out to discover and use our talents, our potential.
In other words, to really take steps to let our ‘reality Self’ shine!

The brighter our Selves shine, the more the darkness dissipates.

It is a process in which not only the very best of our Selves, the ‘good’ will win ~ in a sense it is just as magical as the wizardry taught at Hogwarts!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Good and Evil

Most cultures have stories about the battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’. They are often long and drawn out tales of epic struggles.
Ever since I was a kid I have liked those stories. At the time the significance was pretty much lost to me ~ that understanding came quite a few years later. But the really cool thing about those stories is that in the end ‘good’ always wins. ‘Good’ is always stronger, smarter, and more ingenious than ‘evil’.
And who doesn’t want to be smart and strong, and yes, good?

The most significant trait of the ‘good side’ may well be innocence. An innocence that is kept by “seeing no evil, hearing no evil, and speaking no evil”.

In the world of today this may seem naive. There are so many things going on in so many places all over the globe that ~ even when we might not call them outright ‘evil’, certainly are not ‘good’. And not seeing that, hearing that, or speaking up about that may seem like a person refuses to face reality.

On the other hand, if you have deep inside the Self the believe that a person ~ any person ~ is ‘good’. Even if that ‘goodness’ is buried underneath so many attitudes and mindsets that it hardly shows anymore ~ if you believe that the innermost core of that person is still ‘good’, it is very hard to see or hear the ‘evil’ (granted, the speaking ‘evil’ is a bit harder to escape ~ after all ‘innocent gossip’ is a form of ‘evil’ all in itself...)

One might think that this innocence ~ this naive perspective, this refusal to face the realities of life ~ would make a person weaker. It definitely seems to be viewed as a weakness in our world...
And yet, it is this innocence that makes the ‘good’ even better in the long-told tales of ‘good’ and ‘evil’.

Now, many years later I have a far better comprehension of the underlying story lines. It makes the age-old stories more interesting ~ it also makes it a bit more confusing as to how they could play out in our world today... ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ sounded so delightfully simple. And once you knew who the ‘good guys’ were, and who were the ‘bad guys’ ~ it was an easy choice who to side with...

But unfortunately, even ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are not as one-dimensional as that ~ as there is this inner layer to ‘good’ and ‘evil’ that brings the battle between them right into ourselves. And suddenly it is not only about the virtues that make one ‘good’ ~ it is also about how willing we are to stand up for that inner core of our Selves that is innately ‘good’.
Even if that means the sacrifice of worldly goods...