Do you think humanity has golden eras?

Field of Sunflowers, Tuscany, Italy
Field of Sunflowers, Tuscany, Italy (Photo credit: Matt Hamm)

In this year of 2012, we hear a lot of talk and discussion about cycles and eras in human history.  Sometimes there is talk of a dark age or a golden era.  Do you believe humanity has such eras?

It’s my contention that in every era, there have been people who find it to be golden for them and others, maybe the vast majority of others, still struggle to survive. Sometimes the personal and collective perception aligns, and we often refer to these times as a golden age.

We are now living through a time which many people experience as devastating, frightening, dangerous and fear-filled.  For others this is a glorious time of opportunity, a great time to be alive.  Sometimes, we feel both simultaneously.

When we take away external conditions, both personal and collective, we are left with the creator of enchantment — our own perception.

What can you do today to discover the enchanted oasis within you and outside of you to recognize or create your own golden era in life?

P.S. It’s my opinion we are in the early stages of a golden era for humanity.  Let’s make it one!

The Beauty of Sad Times

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, it is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.
Charles Dickens
Sometimes change is gentle, sometimes it is not.  Seasons of loss can come upon us at any time.

The last week and a half have been one of those times when my family felt the highs and lows of life with a beloved pet.  As I mentioned in a post last week our beloved Lhasa Apso, Ginger has been ill.  We’ve been on a roller coaster of seeing her get better and then take a turn for the worse, over and over. Ginger has been on every medication imaginable to address a wide host of diseases, and the truth is the totality of her symptoms don’t match up to any normal disease.  She’s young to be experiencing disease the ways she is now.

Yesterday Ginger embodied many symptoms of a dog that was dying.  She wouldn’t eat, she couldn’t stand up, she was trembling, and had a sad vacant look in her eyes.  The veterinarian had warned me that she was in bad shape, and let me make the call to take her home.  I basically expected that we would be watching her die.  Both of my boys kept asking me if a miracle could happen, and I’d say yes.  Then, they would ask if I thought she was going to die soon, and I’d also say yes.

We all ended up keeping a watch on her until 4 am.  We spent hours crying, and in some ways became closer than we have been in a long time with each other. At one point, my youngest son asked if we could do anything to more to help her.  So, I suggested that we pick a healing angel card and ask the oracle what could we do for Ginger.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, I picked the Enchantment card.  I’m not making this up for those of you have been reading my recent posts on the Enchanted Oasis.   I took the card as an indication that I better walk my talk about what I’m recommending to others.

The advice on this Enchantment card was:

Recapture your childlike sense of wonder and awe.   View the world as a magical place. Ask God and the angels to help you with anything — small or large.

Certainly, I was already praying, but I prayed some more last night after seeing this card and decided to believe that anything was possible.  I also decided that as difficult as it is to do when a beloved is sick, there are still ways to create enchantment and magic for those we love.

And today Ginger provided her own enchantment for us.

This morning,  I went in another room to get a glass of water and returned to find Ginger perked up, with her eyes clear and wagging her tail.   She is so used to following me all over the house,  she was trying to do that. She looked like her normal self, except she was still to weak to walk.  Yet, I was able to carry her outside to do her business and she did this morning, something she couldn’t do yesterday.  To me, all of this was a kind of magic.

Since Ginger looked much better, I woke up the boys around 8:30 so they could see her in a lucid condition at least once more.  We decided she was well enough to create perhaps one last bit of enchantment in Ginger’s life and placed her in a Radio Flyer wagon and took her on a walk around the block so that she could feel the summer breeze on her face and see the places she loved to walk so much.  She was clearly happy to do this, even though it also exhausted her.

Ginger still looks better now, but it’s hard to know if she is recovering in some way or just having a good moment.

All of this reminds me of when my father was sick with Alzheimer’s Disease, and what it was like to spend his last hours on earth with him.  Moments of deep sadness rarely feel like enchanting ones.  But there was so much around my being present for my father’s death that now looks enchanting to me.

If we look for it, and make some effort to create it, there is an enchanting beauty even in our most sorrowful times.

And thank you.  I truly believe that all of your prayers and kind wishes have made a difference for Ginger whatever her outcome. My family thanks you from the bottom of our heart for the magic of your kindness.

The Enchantment of Everyday Living

Enchantment Goat
Enchantment Goat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we go much further in this blog series on accessing our inner and outer Enchanted Oasis, I want to offer a few disclaimers:

  • The word Enchantment can be off-putting to some people.  There are many people who fear anything that has an element of magic to it.  My belief  is that enchantment is like the goat in this picture – natural. I suspect  prohibitions against magical or intuitive ways go back to times when “magic” was used against people in manipulative ways by priests or shamans. Or healers with superstitious or evolving medical practices ended up doing things that were hurtful instead of helpful.  This negative type of magic is NOT the kind of enchantment that I am talking about..
  • My idea of enchantment is to work with and expand the natural energy within each of us and outside of our selves to create results in our lives that feel magical or enchanted.
  • Also before going further in talking about accessing our inner and outer enchanted oasis, I want to be clear that I don’t consider myself to be a spiritual sage or saint, or to be fully awakened to the God-consciousness within.  I am on a journey of spiritual growth and expansion as much as anyone else.
  • My views are meant to stimulate your own discernment and spirit, not to dictate any particular path for you.

Our Energy

You may not think about this often, but everyone creates an energetic transmission with their words, presence and actions.  It’s up to each of us to choose to open up to and create an enchanting presence with our life.

My chosen spiritual task this summer is to increase the connection with my own enchanting energy and increase the amount of enchantment in the world.  I’m hoping that some of you will also work to increase your level of enchanted living for your own sake and for the sake of our world.

Our Time in History

We are living through times when perhaps being frugal or constricted is going to be more valued for a while.  That doesn’t mean that we have to give up enchantment,  perhaps quite the contrary. In the next week, I’ll be sharing about the ways in which we create enchantment through our everyday choices of where we live, how we live, what we eat, what types of clothes we wear, who we spend our time with, and connecting with the spirit of the earth.

Yesterday, I asked you how it is that you stay connected with the Enchanted Oasis inside of you.

For this weekend, I ask you:

How could you increase the level of enchantment in your life over the next two months, between now and the next season?

I ask this question to prepare you for the months ahead.

My intuition says that the intensity of life is going to increase in a new direction by October of this year.  Some of that intensity is normal seasonal change. Beyond that, if you’re quiet within yourself now and the next few months, you can feel an energy building up.

We see it reflected in global economic challenges, climate change, growing gaps between the rich and poor, and so many other outer trends.  If you’re astrologically inclined, there are major alignments shifting between now and October.  We’re moving into a very intense time for most people.

It’s best to be shifting yourself now, before this more intense time hits.

That’s part of the reason that I’m writing about enchantment.  To live an enchanted life, does not mean that everything goes the way you had planned.  With a focus on looking for creating enchantment, you make your life and that of those around you easier.

So, again, I suggest today and this weekend think about how you might increase the enchantment in your life, because the changes you make now could make the rest of the year a one of dazzling intensity versus one of overwhelming intensity.

Are any of you feeling this same rising wave of intensity coming?  Just curious.

Your Enchanted Oasis

For some time during this summer of 2012, I’d like to share some ideas on what it means to discover and create the Enchanted Oasis within ourselves.

This theme and the following poem is in part inspired by the sweltering heat enfolding much of the United States and in part by the beautiful poetry of awakening by the Sufi Mystic Rumi.

I begin with a poem of invitation from my Enchanted Oasis to yours:

The Enchanted Oasis

Come to a place

You Know is Waiting for You

A place where you choose

the questions of your life,

guarding those diamonds,

bright as guiding stars,

in the dark night of the crimson desert

of your own making.

love

You may be parched,

slaked with thirst,

Dying for a drop of refreshment,

from a Long Journey.

love

You may be overburdened,

carrying a load too great and mighty,

for your delicate gentle shoulders

to Endure a Moment longer.

love

You may be swift and sure,

speeding along on a black stallion,

through the tall dunes of the tawny desert

with the ease of a Master.

love

You may be a light as powerful as the sun,

wandering through the delights of life,

a living expression of the Enchanted Oasis,

in your every word and deed.

love

It matters not.

love

At the Enchanted Oasis

All are welcome.

love

All Travellers

have a place at the table

the feast of Awakening.

love

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Remembering the Strength of Interdependence on Independence Day

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.
The Earth seen from Apollo 17. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy 4th of July to American readers!

This is an important day for so many of us Americans, because America has always been a country that values freedom and independence.

On this day of celebration, I also want to mention a strength of American character that we don’t always remember.  At our best, Americans are not just masters of independence, we are also masters of interdependence.  We care about the whole world, not just America.

My family experienced this gift of interdependence this week, when so many of you kindly sent well wishes and prayers from around the world for our little Lhasa Apso Ginger, who is doing much better now.  I believe the energy you sent made a difference!  I’ll share an update about her in another post.

Today, I want to remember our deep strengths of interdependence in not only America, but most places in the world.  The majority of us care about family, community, fairness, social equity, and prosperity.  We sacrifice so that our children can have better lives than we did.  We do our very best to make the world a slightly better place because we are in it.

Lately, many of us have realized that America’s culture and economic systems aren’t optimized to help the whole of America to prosper.  Economists have noted that the majority of middle class Americans have seen our standard of living decrease in the last ten years.  Despite advances in technology and productivity and global interconnection, the wealth created by the work of millions and millions of people has largely been absorbed by a small percentage of our population.  Americans have had tough times like this before, but never has the disparity between rich and poor been so great as it is now.  Perhaps, that’s because we have glorified money and independence too much.

Yet, money is not our real problem.  Money is only valuable because we give it value, and our political and economic systems exist only because we allow them to keep going.  If enough Americans chose to live differently, our lifestyles could change dramatically for the better.

My intuition makes me quite optimistic.  I believe a positive global change is underway and that we are on the brink of a better era in both American and global history.  I see this as a new collective energy moving into the world.

We are moving into a new era when both independence and interdependence are required.  In America, we can choose to be masters of both aspects of human character because the foundations of respect for human life give our country strength.  If we lose our connection to interdependence, our independence means very little.

Yet going forward, I believe honoring ourselves and others for past and current positive change is more helpful than blaming others for past and even current mistakes.

I’d like to suggest that you honor yourself for the choices of interdependence and independence that you have already made in your life.

If you have the time in the next week or so, ask yourself this question:

How do I use my independence, including my special gifts and talents and unique voice, to strengthen the ties of interdependence in my part of the world?

There are probably many ways in which you already do this, but maybe you could do even more.

The more you become a master of both independence and interdependence, the better this world will become!  None of us can make the world a better place alone, but working together we can create miracles.

Have a wonderful Independence Day and don’t forget to remember all of those men and women who gave their lives out of a sense of interdependence to create your freedom!

Where is Your Writing Taking You?

Shell Spiral
Shell Spiral (Photo credit: Theen …)

There are many places that our writing can take us:

  • New worlds (fantasy or real)
  • New work – assignments and projects we might not have been able to imagine
  • Discovering we have a tribe of followers of our ideas
  • Discovering no one resonates with our ideas
  • Deeper into our soul, whether anyone reads our writing or not
  • Into despair even though we have many readers
  • Closer to God
  • Farther away from God
  • Stuck in our mind
  • More deeply into the heart of our life
  • Into our own world that keeps us separated from others
  • Into a shared world that brings us closer together with others

And more . . .

Our writing destination is both a choice and an unplanned spiral journey expanding us and often bringing us back to a focal point defined by the greater part of our soul.

Where is your writing taking you now?

Where would you like your writing to take you?

Do you have a choice?

Celebrate where you are going, even if it’s not obvious to you in this moment.

Awakening Your Natural Goodness

Hopetoun Falls, Otway National Park, Victoria,...On Sunday, I suggested an exercise for anyone who wanted to release the brakes on their energy.

Today, I wanted to go a little further with that idea through a writing exercise that helps you to get in touch with your own natural goodness and allow it to flow through your life.

There are many ways to feel the goodness of your natural energy such as meditation, yoga, and exercise. These are important physical ways of feeling your energy without the interference of our mind.

Sometimes, however, it’s good to engage our mind so that we can strengthen our intellectual and intuitive powers of our energy.  So, today, I’m sharing a process and worksheet to help you open up to your natural goodness with the power of your mind and intuition.

It would help if you did Sunday’s exercise, but it’s not necessary to use this process.

The main benefit of this process is to discover and prioritize the most important longer term soul projects that are doing.  It’s quite possible that you are already doing soul “work”, but this exercise also helps reinforce that understanding or broaden it.

Like Sunday’s exercise, this can be done as quickly or carefully as you want to do it.  Here is a worksheet you can download and print out to make this easier:

Natural Goodness Worksheet

Here’s the steps:

  1. Using information from your worksheet from Sunday or your own personal knowledge, write down the top 3-7 qualities of your higher self or your natural energy in column one of the worksheet.
  2. In column two, write a list of between 10 and 20 skills and strengths you have or would like to have.
  3. Column three is where some brainstorming work comes through combining the words in column one with column two. For instance, if a quality of your natural energy is compassion, and one of your strengths or talents is writing — that combines to writing with compassion or compassionate writing.

The point of this exercise is to see how you could or are already applying your best personal energies to your actions in the world.  Creating as many options as possible can make this easier.  I usually like to do this with a group of people because it tends to free people up with their ideas, but you doing this by yourself gives you more time to ponder the possibilities.

At the bottom of the natural goodness worksheet is an opportunity to look at your longer term projects or create new ones from column 3.

Hope you enjoy this exercise!