Ephemeral Epiphanies

You don’t have to be Catholic to get excited about Francis

The Seed:

Facebook Post by a Friend:

habemus papam; white smoke, actually whitish, comes out of the roof and bells toll out loud; a new leader of the Catholic Church has been elected…so what?

Today’s  Quote:

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.

~Abraham Lincoln

Witnessing true Catholic faith through a dear friend, by the Divinity of her everyday actions.

I have known her and her family for nearly a decade. I have watched her be a faithful, loving & supporting wife to her husband; raise four amazing children with all the holy love a mother can; come to know the loving parents by whom she herself was raised and taught the values by which she lives; seen her walk in stride (from learning that she grew her own vegetables to save money when she & her husband were struggling to make ends meet and fresh out of college) meeting her at the height of  a gain of worldly riches through honest hard work; seeing her after the loss much of those worldly riches with the collapse of the economy circa 2009 and knowing she fell ill and was all but bed ridden for the following year; evidenced that she still picked herself up by sheer strength of faith & will to move forward.

Through all that (and surely even more than what I know) she is the same down to earth, selfless, inspiring person today as she was when I first met her.

External circumstances change, her faith never has.

The Epiphany:

Comment on the seed planted by the Facebook Post by a Friend…

I am far from Catholic. Therefore, I have no opinion on or real interest in who holds the title of Pope. However, in response to the last line of the Facebook Post by a Friend:“…so what?”
My immediate thought was, ‘That’s not very nice… but this is still a country with freedom of speech. We are blessed with the ability form any opinion we chose and the freedom publicly express said opinion in just about any venue of our choosing.’ Therefore, the impetus to share this immediate thought was nothing more than an internal and fleeting annoyance. So, on I went with my day…
☥ First, I began with my usual habit of reading some motivational quote or meditation before I really get going…

Today’s Quote:

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” ~Abraham Lincoln

☥ Next, I replied to a text, from my friend of the Catholic faithconfirming plans to meet for coffee. Being who she is, I congratulated her on the election of the new Pope, ‘Pope Francis I’ (as of next Tuesday).
☥ Suddenly, I felt a little button pushed that I didn’t even know I had!
So… here comes the fallout after the ‘Push of The Button.’

On the Facebook Post by a Friend:

I’m sure you’ve gotten a barrage of back-fire from others already, since you posted those to little words: “…so what?”
Nevertheless, I would like to put my own ‘Comment’ on your ‘Post’ into context, by clarifying what I inferred from your  “…so what?”
To me, “…so what?” ≈  “…who cares?” ≈  “…what difference does it make?”
In taking liberty that my inference is correct, inspired by my friend’s active faith in Catholicism and the words of Abraham Lincoln….
I said, “So what? I must get to know him better.”
I know very little the Jesuits, other than witnessing the conduct/actions/deeds of one Jesuit Graduate, Dr. Joseph Signorile. In knowing him, I concluded one must need to be…
•a real smarty,
•very disciplined,
•extremely benevolent and
•full of Divine serenity
…to make it through a Jesuit school/seminary.
(Dr. Joseph Signorile was my professor for about 75% of my Ex-Phys. courses. I have gained a great respect and admiration for him, over the years of learning from him in both my Graduate and Undergraduate studies at the University of Miami.)

As to the new Pope, I got “to know him better.” These media tidbits caught my attention:

By choosing a name no pope had chosen before, he may be signaling an era of rebirth for a church troubled by corruption and a sexual abuse crisis.

Francis… the first Jesuit… the first man in the modern era from outside Europe to lead the Roman Catholic Church… known [to prize] compassion, humility and simplicity — so much that he gave up his chauffeur in Argentina and took the bus to work… would represent more of a break from the past than the image of yet another elderly man standing on the Vatican balcony.

His official biographer has said that Francis has both keen political instincts and self-effacing humility, and that he would encourage a kind of shoe-leather evangelism within the church. He is known to walk the streets of Buenos Aires to talk to the people:
“Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the word in body as well as spirit.”
…he often hid people on church property during the regime years [in Argentina] and once gave his own identity papers to a man to help him get out of the country.
…“We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referential church,” the new pope said before the conclave. …“It’s true that when you get out into the street, as happens to every man and woman, there can be accidents. However, if the church remains closed in on itself, self-referential, it gets old. Between a church that suffers accidents in the street, and a church that’s sick because it’s self-referential, I have no doubts about preferring the former.”
[As Pope Francis,] he also expected to become the first pope in more than 600 years to meet his predecessor.

Just my ramblings…

no malice…

only the intention of sharing…

from The Source of Pure Love & Light Within!

EM HOTEP!

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Spirit

Presence

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Sitting on “God’s Beach” at sunset chanting the Deeksha…

After a quite moment, I decided to read a meditation for the evening.

Here is an excerpt with a slight edit or two:

“We come to believe in a better life through the powerful gift of other people—hearing them, seeing them, watching the gift of [healing] at work in their lives.
There is a [Supreme] Power greater than ourselves. There is real hope…for us and our life.
We do not have to exert willpower to change. We do not have to force our [healing] to happen. We do not have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps…
[Supreme] Power will do for us what our greatest and most diligent efforts could not accomplish [without]…
All we do is believe.
Look. Watch. See the people around you. See the healing they have found. Then discover your own faith, your own belief, your own healing.”

Today, regardless of my circumstances, I will believe to the best of my ability that [through Supreme] Power… [I find Perfect Peace].
…I will relax and let [it be so.]

from the book Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie.

Ephemeral Epiphanies

Good Ol’ Fido (May he rest in peace.)

The Seed:

My mother said to me:

“I remember how you have stressed the importance of having spiritual practice in your life. It has become my lifeline.”

The Epiphany:

All it takes is a couple of days of neglecting “my spiritual practice,” and I become subtly & progressively nuttier, until I say, “What the hell is wrong with me?”

Then I realize that I haven’t stopped to acknowledge the grace and blessings of my Higher-Power, and my gratitude for it. If I catch myself in time, all I have to do is go back to the basics & keep it simple. The cool thing is, the more I keep working at making “my spiritual practice” a daily habit, I am able to recognize the symptoms of spiritual famine more quickly & easily. Wait too long though, and I become like my good ol’ dog Fido (Basset Hound*):

Nose to the ground, locked on to a scent, going and going, consumed in the scent. When the scent trail ends, I stop and look around, as if waking from a dream. But alas, it is too late. I don’t know where I am or how I got there. I am lost. My only hope is my Dog Tag (…Holy Spirit?), and that someone will Stop to read it (…reconnect me to The Source? …be The Good Samaritan? …e.g. something someone says. something I read), and help me find my way back home.

Yes. Somehow, someway, sooner or later, I always do.

The following is a true story: Adrian’s father, Pedro, was dog-sitting our Fido while we went to visit my family in PA. Maybe Fido, bewildered in this new and unfamiliar surrounding was trying to find his way home, or maybe he just picked up the scent of something interesting. Either way, he somehow managed to slip out through the fence surrounding Pedro’s property.

When we returned from our trip and learned of Fido’s disappearance, I was heart broken. They say the last thing we let go of is hope (I like to call it FAITH). So with that last bit that I was hanging on to, I posted Fido’s picture and an offer of a small $100 reward all around the neighborhood. (Though no amount of dollars could ever measure the value of the gentle joyful heart of Fido, it was the very most we had at that time.) Days turned into weeks, and then the phone rang. Fido was returned to us, and all was right in the world again.

Unbelievably, surrounding this true story lies anther, larger one, perhaps even more amazing, of which I am now reminded: “Daphne.” I’ll think I’ll save it to post another day.

*The ACK cautions: “New [Basset Hound] owners should be prepared for a dog that actively follows scent while outside or on walks.” http://www.akc.org/breeds/basset_hound/
Chakra Chats, Spirit

Finding My Muladhara (1st Chakra)

Finding My Muladhara
If you would like to try the exercise I used, to find your own Muladhara… Please see “My Muladhara Meditation”

Next week will be the Five Year Anniversary of the opening of “The Coaching Corner” Fitness Studio on January 28, 2007. (Now, AKA “Pro Fitness at Sunset.”) What a ride it has been so far! How much I have learned! How much I have yet to be taught!
I digress, this blog is not about the Fitness Studio…yet I suppose it is…indirectly. I guess a little latitude is needed here, if you will stay with me.
I am pretty sure I remember some Small Business statistic about actualization superseding fifty percent after five years. This is still no guarantee, of course, but by year five, the probability of sustained success begins to outweigh that of failure. I don’t know what comes next, but I will say this: Collectively—including all other aspects of life that must go on while starting, running and growing a business—these past five years have been the most challenging of my life, to date. Notice I chose the word “challenging,” not difficult.

Yet here I am, still and ONLY, by the Grace of Universal Spirit.

About midway through Year One (2007), I suffered through an emotionally traumatic experience that literally shattered my perspective of what I thought was “Mandy’s Life”.
*Year Two (2008), I crashed my brand new, five day old, 2008 Honda Shadow VT750C Aero (Candy Dark Red/White). The accident severed my ACL, tore my MCL, and the Medial & Lateral Menisci.
*The end of Year Three (2009), truly threatened to be the last. Every fiscal year inclusive had ended in a net loss, and that’s not even pretending to recoup one cent of original start-up capital. For the past 36 months, additional investment funds, covering the gap in losses through the end of the third year, had run out. The proverbial fork in the road was before me.

Only when a difficult situation presents itself,
are we presented with an equal opportunity to make it work.
Otherwise, we generally tend to ride the wave. Nice and easy. Fun. Thrilling, even.
Yet, I have never seen a wave that doesn’t eventually crash against the shore,
only and always to recede and rise again.

All the will in the world could not hold back the coming of the Year Four (2010). Standing at the fork, the view down both paths—as far as my eyes could see—was arrant. I faced two axiological choices:
1. Start generating a net profit ‘tout de suite.’
2. Throw in the towel (literally), pack it up and go home.
Take your pick of justifications I could have made or blames I might have lain:
-great learning experience
-bad economy
-poor location choice
-knee injury complications and a second surgery
-too much competition
-plan old burn out
-sick & tired of being sick & tired
-waaaaah, it’s sooooo hard
-blah, blah, blah…
I really hate to give up. I have major issues with being told that I can’t, and I rarely take “No,” for an answer. On the flip side these character traits of mine have also been known to manifest obsessively as serious faults: egotism, pride, stubbornness and stupidity; just to name a few. Still, once I get a belief in my head that the possibility of a solution exists, I literally cannot stop until I find it. I don’t need to tell you which path I chose. (See Footnote: 1.)
By the end of the fourth year, Pro Fitness had grown into a conglomerate of allied forces totaling six locations in Miami.

They say, “Be careful what you ask for…”

Enter Year Five (2011).
Paraphrasing from some other recent writings…

I was in a grand whirlwind of new & exciting possibilities.
I had arrived.
I was hanging with the big dogs, now.
Sure a lot of money was invested, but success was feeding my motivation.
I had the knowledge, skill and desire to make it work.

Do you want to know what really happened? (See Footnote: 2.)
I got in way over my head, crashed, and burned.

The ultimate cost of it all?
It was not the loss of
a little easy-come-easy-go capital
invested here and there.
It was the incalculably forsaken value of My Soul.

Finding My Muladhara?
I guess I did, because nothing that I wrote above is anything near to what I thought my intensions were when I sat down to write this blog in the first place. What I put down in virtual print here today is just the tip of my ice berg. A whole entanglement of branches are sprouting from my Muladhara “tree” through this process. (I’ve made a few private notes, for potential exploration in the near future.) The visual metaphor of things previously hidden/buried/rooted—in my unconscious thoughts—now reaching out and growing toward the light so that the flowers and fruits of my Muladhara may bloom, is evoking some hippie-trippie feelings right now. So, I guess I am tapped out for tonight.

Footnotes:
(1) As I recall these events, I am enthralled by the phenomena of the tremendous power of Manifestation Through Vocalization. This was not my time first testing out what I now call Putting It Into The Universe. My exact words to my Partner were, “Well, as of January 1st, I guess the Fitness Studio will just have to start paying for itself. Simple, as that.” Suffice it to say that not only did the Fitness Studio begin generating enough money to cover operating expenses, there was always enough leftover to cover the mortgage, the car the utilities, etc. and then some.

(2) Maybe it had to do with turning 40. Maybe it had to do with working 16 hours days & sleeping an average of 4-5 hours each night. (I have the BODYMEDIA Fit-DATA to prove it.) Maybe it had to do to with not exercising…AT ALL…for weeks at a time…all twisted up with the guilt & shame of the hypocrisy of not living by the very foundation of everything I claim to believe in.). Maybe it had to do with not eating (AT ALL) most of the days and picking up a box of Oreo’s for dinner on the way home. Maybe it was just that first act of not acting in-line with my Principles, that began the slippery slope.