Grinch vs. The Green Flash

Photo by Author

I’m known as the Grinch in my family. This morning I intended to write politely about my disdain for Christmas. To implore others to turn away from consumption and the pressure to meet expectations toward something spiritual. The Solstice. The old ways. Back to meaning and light. That’s what I thought. Instead, serendipity led me to this photo while looking for a visual for that other story.

My family and I watched this sunset from the deck of Captain Nancy’s house near Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Nancy was a stranger until early that morning when we boarded her boat to search for dolphins. Before long, we encountered a large pod, which graciously allowed us to join them. Some of them stopped to wait for us when our younger daughter fell behind. Others turned to look us in the eye from just a few feet away. It was a magical morning.

We felt fortunate to spend time in the presence of those creatures, transformed even. While heading back to shore, our fortune continued when Captain Nancy invited us to Easter Sunday dinner with her family and friends that evening.

We were the only non-residents at the gathering. The view from Nancy’s hillside house was new to us, and someone joked that maybe we would get lucky and see the green flash. Our new acquaintances had never seen it but certainly knew all about it. They explained the elusive phenomenon that happens at sunrise or sunset when the conditions are just right, requiring clear air and an unobstructed view of the horizon.

Swimming with the dolphins that morning had felt like a miracle, so it was hard to conceive of experiencing another once in a lifetime if you’re lucky kind of event. But hey, why not watch just in case?

As evening closed in, the locals watching with us turned to other things – beautiful sunsets are their norm – leaving my family of four leaning expectantly against the deck rail. I grew tired of taking pictures and stopped at this point seen above. If it was going to happen, I wanted nothing between me and the sky.

Three minutes, maybe four passed. The sun slid silently into the water in a blaze of orange that obliterated the horizon. Sky and water were one, and then…pop! A shot of neon green exploded as the last of the semi-circle sun changed color and descended.

We gasped in unison, making heads turn.

The green flash! We saw it!

Awestruck and giddy, we laughed and cried as the other dinner guests moaned in disbelief and disappointment. How did we miss it? I don’t believe it!

How fitting it was to see a miraculous flash of light on a day celebrated for rebirth. And, how perfect it is to find it again today as I reflect on the Solstice, the return of the light, amid what feels like a soul-sucking commercialized marathon in the next few weeks.

I close my eyes now, recalling the brief moment that wrapped us in a miracle. An alchemical combustion of light, perspective, and visibility transformed heaven and earth into something more.

I’m reminded that how I frame this time of year – as a hyped-up nuisance or a celebration of possibility – is a choice.

I won’t turn away from the possibility, won’t assume I know what I’m seeing. I’ll keep my eyes open like a novice, expecting the impossible because why not?

More than once, the universe has shown me how it conspires for my greater good. It’s all a matter of perspective, the light of my own heart, and the willingness to look beyond myself.

And while I took a break from my desk to ponder, the universe responded immediately to test my budding change in attitude.

My daughters pulled up to the house with a Christmas tree on the roof of the car. Half the size we usually get in our annual trek to find a tree as a family, but perfectly shaped. They had no idea my Grinch self was in full force this morning, dreading the tree shopping logistical nightmare and subsequent fight to get help decorating the house.

I laughed at the sight of it – my vision unobstructed – and felt the energy shift in and around me that comes when divinity shows its hand.

Isn’t it cute? We’ll do all the decorating Mom. We’ll take care of everything!

With my inner Grinch out of the way, I think I can look for the everyday moments of transformation in those I love, the people I serve, and within my heart and mind. Heaven and earth come together, and little miracles abound. That is what makes life magical, no matter the season.

We need you now

If you feel you can’t do anything right now, do this. We can’t solve this craziness or feel better from a place of fear. Let’s use our super-power of sensitivity to shift the energy now.

One thing I know for sure is that our inner world is reflected in the outer world. Obviously, we are out of balance. The only way back to balance is to find our center – our stronger, clearer Self who knows the way.We can impact the energy of the world just as much as we are being impacted by it right now.

This isn’t “woo-woo” bullshit or being grandiose. Just like a social media post going viral worldwide, we can lock onto a new reality together, blow it up, and make it go viral in the collective conscience, the universal energy field that connects us all. Center. Send. Share.

To help I’m giving away my book as a quick read and reminder of your power, how to ground, and what to do to feel better now. PM if you’d like one. Give it to any other empathic, sensitive, depressed, anxious person you know. Let’s turn this around.

Careful What You Wish For

In the year since publishing Down and Back, I’ve been pulled to focus on family and the needs of others by facing new and unexpected challenges – illness, death, moves – all of which pulled me further from my own center and my love of writing.

In the midst of taking care of others, I wished for more downtime to follow my urge to write. As autumn arrived, I told myself I must get back to writing, promising myself I would spend time at my desk and listen to the words that had started bubbling up again.

Apparently, I didn’t act fast enough. In October I had a freak accident at home. I dropped a food processor blade on the top of my foot. It hit perfectly between two thick leather straps on my sandal, severing the main tendon.

After a hasty surgery, I was given orders. No walking for six weeks. None. No weight on the foot at all.

Once the initial disbelief wore off, (followed by a mini pity-party) I found my center long enough to ask “What can I learn from this?”

Now at five weeks post-surgery, the lessons have been enormous. The first being the reminder that when my Spirit is prompting me in a direction through my intuition and desire the sooner I listen, the better.  Spirit moves faster than the body, and it can be hard to keep up. But I will unwittingly force myself into situations that urge me in the right direction.  At times it takes a lot to get my attention.

I’ve been called for some time to be still, to listen more closely to what my heart wants, and to get back into my creative flow that is in alignment with consciousness.  Being busy, avoiding my feelings, putting others needs and schedules first is deeply engrained in me. Stopping on my own volition was too slow in coming. My wiser self gave me one option.

Sit down! Put your feet up. Read. Write. Pay attention. Let go of all the unimportant things. Let others take care of themselves.

That blade out of nowhere was a gift. It’s allowed me to go deeper into practicing what I preach and find new levels of awareness about my connection to my Spirit and others.  Readings with clients are deeper and richer. The right people come to me to reflect even more of who I am and what I need now. I’m writing again and finding enthusiasm in making connections that I plan to share with others in a new way.

So, the next time I find myself wishing, I’ll be careful and make it a conscious decision to move toward what I want. No procrastinating. I don’t want Spirit getting too creative on me again to get my attention.

 

WHEN YOU’RE OVERWHELMED

Overwhelm you're OKYour mind races and you can’t hold a thought, your gut burns and it’s hard to breathe. You can’t sleep, though you’re exhausted. You’re wired and depressed at the same time.  You have demands to meet, things to get done, decisions to make –  yet you stand like a deer in the headlights, unable to move as life keeps barreling toward you.

 
Try these three steps to stop feeling overwhelmed by emotions, life, and the energy of others. Nothing changes if nothing changes, so it’s time to try something new.

 
First, find yourself, then you’ll find the answers.
You can’t solve problems from the state you’re in, and the worry and anxiety that got you there don’t help either.  Thinking more, working harder, moving faster are counterproductive. Your priority right now is peace.  What is the quickest, healthy way to move your mind to a more peaceful state?  Do this now. You’re taking action, but in a way that brings you to the place that will allow you to move forward.   Get outside, breathe deeply and slowly. Check out free guided meditation apps like insighttimer.com  or www.headspace.com

 
Time solves many problems.
What feels critical to act on immediately may not be – everything is not a fire drill.   Time reveals information and answers you don’t have right now, and it’s the not knowing that contributes to being overwhelmed.  Often the best action is no action until you are clearer on what to do. Allow yourself time to “sleep on it,” or set a problem aside for a specific time with the intention of coming back to address it head-on. This isn’t procrastination, it’s purposefully planning to deal with one thing at a time, at the right time.

 
Get in reality. 
Bring yourself into the moment by focusing on basic survival.  Remind yourself of the immediate truth like “I’m safe. I have food. I have shelter. I am loved. I am healthy,” to calm the panicked voice driving your fear and anxiety.  Being in the moment gives you solid ground to stand on. Changing your thoughts to what’s working, even in small ways, calms your emotions and signals your body to settle down as well.
Being overwhelmed is a sign you’re disconnected – from yourself, your body, your Spirit, and others. Stepping back and checking in gets you plugged back into the source of your power to let you see you really will be OK.

 

 

Photo by Camille Orgel on Unsplash.com

 

Equinox

Fall camelia 2017I welcome nature’s lesson in balance today as the equinox makes equal length of dark and light.

Of late, I wake before the alarm, feeling nervous and restless. My daughter has been sick again for weeks with no improvement. As one symptom abates, another rises to take its place. I’m worried, and feel helpless as I don’t know what to do next to help her heal. Her body is overcome with an illness I can’t control, and the quality of her life is on the line.

At the same, the Earth’s body has been ravaged by dis-ease. The forests burn, the ground shakes and rearranges itself, and the oceans give rise to monster storms. As one abates, another rises to take its place. There is so much unrest.

One morning, before rising, I ask prayerfully, how in the midst of all of this do I find my equanimity?

An image comes to me of Earth from a thousand miles up. The clouds are moving softly, and the oceans’ currents flow as they should. Despite the chaos on the surface we experience up close, this celestial body we call home hangs solid and sure, anchored to its place in the universe by forces we cannot see. It’s the pull of something larger than itself that keeps it orbiting, and its core that keeps it spinning and balanced at the poles.

Later I take my coffee outside to stand barefoot on the grass and let the chill air wake me. Autumn calls as I feel the tug of the Earth’s center slow my heart – let go, let go, let go.

Finding balance starts with the tiniest bit of willingness and a shift in awareness. Nature never fails to answer my prayers. With new eyes, I see the camellia bushes lining the fence, still glossy and green, but dusted with cobwebs and dried leaves. To my surprise, the branches are full of pale buds – a sign of the vivid pink blossoms that grow, odd and beautiful, every winter.

Aren’t they early? Should they be growing this soon? More questions that don’t need to be answered. Their presence is enough. My heart lightens with this reminder that in times that require letting go in life, something brilliant and unexpected can show up, and will, if I keep my eyes open and my feet on the ground.