Friday, January 30, 2015

Words and imagination

Some words have a lot of different meanings, sometimes even widely varied meanings, such that they lend themselves to interesting bouts of imagination…

Take the word ‘bill’.

We can be running up a bill, be on top of the bill; we can be billed, and fit the bill for that matter. There is a bill fold that we can use to carry around the big bills.
And it is also the beak of a bird.

It brings me to a dream-like scene where I just got payed for my work. And as I am having a stack of newly received bills in one hand, I also have bills to pay. But before I get around to that, a big bird walks up to me and snatches the stack of bills out of my hand and gobbles them down, leaving me with bills to pay but no money to do so.

Other times it is a saying that sparks my imagination.

Like ‘cooking up a storm’. When googled, all references lead to actual cooking. From recipes to how-to videos and everything in between.

However, my mind creates a totally different picture from these words.
I see shakespearean witches cooking something in a huge cauldron. And the moist, scented damp escaping the cauldron moves up and starts to create clouds. At first they are just small, white clouds; but pretty soon they cluster together and get a darker appearance. Before long the wind picks up and it starts raining. And to make matters worse, that big cloud begins to spin. Leaving the witches in the still of the storm, with rain and hail and wind all around them…

And talking about rain; how about this saying that it is ‘raining cats and dogs’?
It always does present me with such an interesting visual… Makes me want to go out and catch at least some of them; some fluffy kittens, or soft, sleepy-eyed puppies…

The most interesting thing about these things happening is that whenever words create a visual that is out of the implied context of the rest of the conversation, it does have something to tell us about our lives at that instant.
For instance, being faced with unexpected bills right when we thought we got a handle on our finances. Or the fact that when you stay in the still of the storm, there is no telling what nice fluffy, sleepy kittens or puppies will come your way.
Or, putting them all together, perhaps it is just a warning to start saving for a rainy day…

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shouting match

The other day I witnessed a shouting match of two gentlemen. They are neighbors, yet the fact that each of them was staying at their own side of the fence didn’t stop them from voicing their unhappiness about each other loudly.
And as soon as one of them backed off just a little bit, the other one turned around and continued the ‘peeing-contest’ in the most literal sense.
Then, after one more look at each other, they both walked away from the fence, all fluffed up, but otherwise as if nothing had happened.

It is what cats do.

The six-foot-fence has been there as long as I can remember. As a boundary it is totally clear, and as such not even contested. But as soon as the neighboring cats see each other, they will fluff up and become larger than life. They will glare at each other, and snarl and howl… Then they will just turn away from their shouting match, check the fence, mark their territory, and move on with life as if nothing happened.

Of course cats are not the only species getting involved in ‘shouting matches’ like this. Pretty much any species involves itself in displays of power and dominance. From one perspective it is to protect territory, from another it is about ‘pecking order’ and leadership.
It makes clear who has the right to what…

And as much as we consider ourselves above this behavior, us humans are not exempt from it. Although we pride ourselves in handling it in a more civilized manner.
We just go for the bigger home, the faster car, the greatest party and the best barbecue. And on and on… And while this may not be as noisy as the actual shouting match I witnessed between cats, it still gets the point across loud and clear: ‘I am better and bigger than you”.
It can indeed become a somewhat heated ‘discussion’ that might be going on between neighbors or even co-workers who are aiming for that place on the top.

But where cats walk away from it as if nothing just happened, we tend to hold on to those ‘shouting matches’ for a long time. Trying to best the other person every step of the way. Holding grudges about how the other person may have that bigger car and so on. Rather than shaking off the encounter ~ like cats do more often than not ~ we start carrying the burden of stress, and as a result cheat ourselves out of the relaxed, comfortable lifestyle we were after all along.

Perhaps we still have a lot to learn from our cats…

Friday, January 23, 2015


Control is an interesting thing. We pretty much all wan tot have it; at least to some extend. But we hardly ever gain that level of control we think will make our lives easier, more smooth, or at least better organized without giving those around us the impression we are going ‘over the top’ on it.

The reality is that the only control we truly have is the control over ourselves. We can choose and therefore control our behavior, our actions, and even our moods. Yet as soon as others appear in the picture, there immediately is an aspect that is outside of our control. For instance when you have an appointment with a friend to meet for coffee in your favorite coffee shop, we can only control being on time ourselves. Our friend may be late. Or early. He or she may be in a good mood, or perhaps is having a ‘bad-hair-day’. All of that is outside of our control; and that is perfectly okay.

But the busier we get; the more is at stake when things are not going the way we feel they should be going; the more stressed we can get as we are ‘losing control’. And pretty soon we can ‘lose it’ altogether; and what started as a regular, yet busy day; or even a busy yet fun day can get out of hand because we are feeling we are out of control…

The question then becomes why we want to be in control so much? When we look at it from a logical perspective, we can handle pretty much any outcome of the situation as it happens; even when it is an outcome we didn’t anticipate ahead of time. And sometimes the unanticipated outcome is even better than we had dreamed up!

So why do we feel that if things aren’t going our way, they are bound to end up in disaster?

The two most common answers to that question are:
Because we don’t trust we can handle whatever comes up adequately; in other words, we may want to look at how we perceive our own self-esteem and/or self-worth.
Because we don’t accept that life is fluid, and that sometimes priorities and responsibilities shift midstream.

And while we often tend to just look at the self-esteem/self-worth angle of things that have to do with our personal growth; being able to accept the things life puts on our paths and handle them accordingly, can be just as important.

And the funny things is that as soon as we do that, we tend to have all the control we have ever wanted in any situation we encounter in life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Small steps

A neighbor has a card inner window that says: “When you are in a hurry, it is good to take small steps.”
It is good advice, no matter whether we are in a time crunch, rushing to be on time for an appointment, or just finding ourselves having a lot on our plate. When we rush into things, head over heals, the chance of us making mistakes increases. When we are not giving ourselves enough time to ponder things before we make our decisions, the risk of not making the ‘right’ decision grows…
So when we are in a hurry, it is good to stick to the small stuff, leaving the bigger, or even life-changing decisions for that time when we can truly weigh the possibilities.

What may not quite be as obvious is that when we slow down, especially when we are in a hurry, we tend to get things done quicker, more efficiently. In slowing down we put ourselves in a position where we will remember to take everything we need to bring with us, and which route to take to get where we are going fastest at that particular time of day. Leaving ourselves time to make it in time without speeding (which often doesn’t really gains us a huge amount of time anyway), safely and composed.
And with less stress…

While it is a good thing to ‘take small steps’, especially when we are in a hurry; there is another side to this as well. And that is to recognize that small steps count. To purposefully seek out even the smallest improvements we have affected, and to celebrate those just as much as we would celebrate the leap over the finish line.

Because when we are only focused on the finish, which can be still some time in the future, we may forget to notice how well we are doing taking small steps every day toward that grand goal we have set for ourselves.

It is time to slow down, to take small steps. To stop rushing from one thing to the next, but to take small steps in the general direction we desire to travel on our journey through life; giving ourselves time to see the path unfold in front of us. Allowing ourselves time to smell the roses every once in a while. To give ourselves the opportunity te re-create ourselves, to re-evaluate where we want to go at every turn in the path.

To honor every small step we take.

Friday, January 16, 2015


A couple of weeks ago, in the dead of Winter, I saw a mother-duck with five ducklings following her in the canal. No need to say it has been a mild Winter so far; at least where I am living. And rather than snow and freezing weather ~ the kind that would let us get our ice skates out ~ it has been wind and rain instead.
Perfect weather for ducklings, I suppose…

But it does give the sense that things are not quite the way they should be. Things seem out of order. And while for the longest time the cause appeared to be within our lives; the way we organized things, the manner in which we did, or didn’t do things; right now it is as if nature itself is turning things around.
From a certain perspective this does make sense. After all, nature, just like us humans, takes its cues and reacts to the energy we live in. So if the energy changes, chances are nature and we (eventually) will change as well.

And in the energy we are living in today, nothing seems to quite fit in its place. It is not that there are great, big discrepancies necessarily, but rather that everything is just a little off…

This can show in our lives in any number of ways. For instance we may find that it is a lot harder to make (and keep) appointments. Or when we think we have all our ducks in a row, suddenly something happens that changes everything, as it signals a time to revisit our priorities. It may even be telling us that it is time for a new balance within ourselves.

Perhaps, like the mother-duck and her ducklings, the energy of this point in time invites us to be who we are, rather than to be what we do. Her single focus was to breed on those eggs, and when they came out, to raise those ducklings. Because that is who she is; a mother-duck.

We, as humans, have a tendency to get swayed from our priorities by whatever is happening around us. Whether it is something we see on the six o’clock news, or an actual situation that suddenly has come up in our lives doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference. They more often than not will prompt us to move away from those things we do that are truly ours, away from the expression of our unique and individual talents, in favor of things we feel others are expecting us to take care of…

They allow us to become what we do, rather than to be who we are.

And maybe the energy is just saying that it is time to turn that around.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


‘Stuff’ is one of those words that can be used to indicate a lot of different things. Along those lines there is stuff to do, stuff to organize, stuff to throw out; and every once in a while we stuff ourselves, especially when the stuff on our plates is really good stuff!

And while nowhere is indicated what ‘stuff’ we are talking about, as it turns out there are a lot of nuances of ‘stuff’, making the implications ever so slightly different in each time the word is used.

On the surface it looks like whatever it is, is unimportant. After all, it is ‘just stuff’. But on second thought that doesn’t seem to be the case. It is rather a collection of things that, at least for the moment, we are not willing to define or even differentiate between.
This means that the ‘stuff’ we still have to do can be an odd collection ranging from regular chores to, for instance, an important business meeting ~ and everything in between.

The one thing that all those kinds of stuff have in common, is ourselves.
As soon as we use the word, it is about our ‘stuff’ we need to do, organize, throw out, etc. So while we may call a whole host of different things ‘stuff’, it looks like at least it is our ‘stuff’.

This brings up an interesting perspective as to why we call it ‘stuff’ in the first place.
Of course there is this thing that when it is ‘stuff’, we usually don’t have to explain any further as to what, and why, and how, and so on. It is understood that it is stuff and it is ours. At the same time, in bringing any number of disparate activities into one pile we call ‘stuff’, we can quite literally make a mountain out of a mole hill… As long as we have a firm grasp as to what it is we need to get done, or want to do, or even dream about, there may not be a problem. Yet as soon as we put everything together into one big pile and start calling it ‘stuff’, it can also indicate that we are in process of loosing track. The seem to be too many things, too many demands put on us in too short a time; and all this ‘stuff’ is making it too hard to get anything done…

Do you recognize that?
It turns out to be something that can easily happen in the energy of this point in time. And perhaps the easiest way to deal with it, is to ‘un-stuff’ it, and to do something mundane as to create a ‘to-do list’.

Friday, January 9, 2015


One of the first affirmations I ever truly worked with, was one that invoked courage. At the time I didn’t even realize that I would need a lot of courage, or that I was lacking courage in any way shape or form. Yes, I am afraid of some things ~ heights being one of them ~ however, I have hardly ever let it stop me from doing the things I wanted to do.
And yet, there it was, and affirmation to become courageous.

As time has moved on since, I have conquered some of my fears, I have lived my life, walked my path the best way I know how. And I have come to understand that living life takes courage. A lot of it.

The courage to live life to the fullest isn’t necessarily needed to face our obvious fears. Usually, when we look at our fears and see how they are constructed, we start seeing them in a new and different light, and more often than not they will just dissolve.

The courage is needed to get through life. To become the best we can be. To explore our greatest potentials. And to keep taking that next step, whatever that step may entail.

As we walk our paths, there are a million small (and some very big) decisions we have to make. Decisions that will often lead to changes. And as life happens, what starts as small changes, can quickly lead to big and unexpected changes. To life changing events. To take the hand we are dealt, to roll with the punches and to keep seeing how we become more of who we are meant to be; now that takes courage!

But it goes even further than that.
It also takes courage to look at ourselves as we are living our lives with brutal honesty. To be willing to face ourselves so we can change the things we don’t like about ourselves and can rejoice in what makes us truly happy for just being the person we are at that very moment.
It even takes courage to venture out in meditation and to trust the answers and solutions that are handed to us while in that altered state of consciousness. Trust them enough to implement them into our lives.

Ultimately, it takes courage to shape and mold our lives in such a way that we can benefit most from it. In such a way that we can permit our greatest potentials to unfold…
I still use that affirmation, whether I feel I am courageous enough or not.
It is just something I can do to make my path through life more smooth.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


It is easy to get discouraged nowadays. There are all kinds of, quite frankly, very scary problems in the world today, with no telling how and perhaps more importantly where they will develop. And while, as a meditator or healer, we may send Light to those situations and all that are affected by them, as we pray for them; if we are listening to the newscasts or reading up on it on the internet, that doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference. It looks like our prayers aren’t answered…

It is easy to see what is wrong in the world today and to get discouraged by it. Yet, pretty much all of the things that we see on the news, read on the internet, are things in far-away places, and are therefore well outside of our realm of influence. Of course we send our prayers and our Light, but on a practical level there is not a whole lot we can do. And it is exactly that which sparks the discouragement in ourselves.

To solve those feelings of discouragement ~ that have a tendency to paralyze us, almost preventing us from taking action in our own lives ~ we indeed would need to look at our own lives. How do the things we hear in the news translate to something that gives us a similar feeling within our realm of influence, within our own lives, within ourselves even.
Do we want to stick to our principles more, yet are feeling we cannot do that because it might drive family or friends away from us? Or do we want to start eating healthy and taking way better care of ourselves and our health, yet we feel we cannot do that as the rest of the family is not supporting us in our efforts? Or perhaps we want to drop our masks and be totally, brutally honest to ourselves and those around us, while knowing full well that this is ‘not done’ in the social circles we find ourselves in.

All of these sort of things are within our control, and therefore are things we can work with; we can change in our lives. We can think it through, we can come up with a plan how to solve these dilemmas within ourselves without getting angry or feeling sick about them; without permitting them to bring us into a state of discouraged inaction.

While we may not be able to immediately change horrible circumstances and situations on the other side of the world, we most definitely can come to grips with our personal dilemmas and circumstances in order to take steps to make things better. And then to move on from there…

Friday, January 2, 2015

Land’s End

Land’s End is located at the very South Western tip of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. And when you get there, and keep driving the road, it will bring you to the point where the land ends. Where you will only see the sea in front of you.

I have been thinking about Land’s End this past week. Funnily enough it kept coming up when I was pondering the year’s end.

The similarity is that what we know is ending in favor for something different, something adventurous, something new. On the other hand, while Land’s end is a place, the year’s end is a time.
In a sense it is the perfect point for time and space to come together…

There are not many places that have such a dramatic shift attached to both their names and locations. We tend to be much more occupied with time than we are with places. Visiting those places we can always do when we have time (!).

And even when we are thinking about the earth we all live on; when we are thinking about the end of the earth, we tend to say that we are running out of time as far as preserving the earth for those who will come after us.
We look at the ultimate place we live, the earth, as time. And in doing so, we are making it another perfect point for time and space to come together. Although in this case we may know even less about that which might await us in that new space, that new time.

Because that is what it is all about ~ whether we come to the location, or arrive at that time ~ it is all about standing at that point which we know, and looking out over that which is new to us.
The newness. All the discoveries that are yet to be made. The places, and the times that we eagerly await seeing and experiencing. The new things we can make happen in our lives. The new places to see and spaces to be…

The question then becomes whether or not we dare embark upon that new journey. If we are willing to truly go for that new adventure.
Or do we rather stay with what we know. Enjoying our comfort zones. Knowing where we are at, and knowing that when we don’t step out into that newness, we will know where we will be ~ tomorrow, next month, even next year…

And that is the question I am pondering while I envision myself standing there, at the end of the road in Land’s End…