Serene Sunday: A Sneak Peek into My World

I am a Sacred Life Coach, and my intention is to create an oasis of peace where my clients can refresh themselves, be renewed, and finally find deep, lasting contentment. This is an important part of my Divine Life’s purpose, and the reason I wish to be of service as a coach and author. I began this blog to find my own “voice” and have it be truly authentic, so people can get a glimpse of my life’s philosophy. It’s definitely a work-in-progress, very experimental and always “in the moment”, as I love to be spontaneous. My writings are deliberately eclectic and free-flowing because I am that way. 🙂

That gorgeous bouquet of flowers you see on my Home page symbolizes the abundance of beauty all around us. We’ve all been to beautiful places where we can connect with Nature. But the “oasis of peace” I’ve found isn’t any particular place; it resides in your own heart. This photo inspired my blog and I didn’t notice the plastic card holder at first. Then when I looked at it with fresh eyes, it appeared as a stiff, little figure of a man amidst a jungle of blooms. Oh my gosh, what does that mean? Have we hardened our hearts and forsaken the natural world in favor of technology? I can’t believe that such a cynical view defines us as humans. So what I’ve chosen to do is gently guide my clients back to the basics, and help them see the sacredness in all of God’s creations, much as they did as children. Ah, how delightfully refreshing that is!

After a busy, hectic week of appointments and training seminars, come Sunday I just want to kick back and relax. This is serenity at its best! I might see a hummingbird in our backyard, or be laying on the hammock with a good book, or crocheting a baby’s cap for my friend’s first child. I am blissfully refreshed and renewed. 

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Serene Sunday: Selected Poems to Soothe the Soul :-)

I found these poems through “PoetrySoup”, and I think they are delightfully sweet and soothing. I hope you think so too – Enjoy! ~

Test Of Time

Secrets blowing in the wind

Another gift, another lift

Words whispered from the soul

Echoing in the chamber of my heart

Looking ahead to the dreams we’ll have

It’s what we believe in

No turning back

Chosen —– Frozen

Lost in love

Lost in life

Wiping away all the tears

Soothing all our fears

Together our friendship

will survive the test of time

 by Tim Smith

Inner Peace

Unspoken word

Nothing is heard

Thoughts now deferred

Float in my mind

Safe from all harm

Peaceful and calm

Soothing with balm

Time to unwind

by Jan Allison

Love

Star wishes, fantasies, and dreams

Fairy dust, wool gather, moon beams

Hope and desires coming true

  The day I fell in love with you

Sharing all your secrets

 Comforting all your fears

Soothing all that ails you

Drying away your tears

I live to light up your evenings

Hold you close beneath the stars

Drench myself in your holy waters

The future is finally ours

My love for you gets stronger

the more of you I know

The sun is shining brighter

my love for you now grows

by Tim Smith

Serene Sunday: Poems and Quotes on Serenity

This time of year for me is an eclectic mix of quiet time and busy fervor, and sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. I love Christmas, but I very much resent the commercialism. So naturally I retreat to the comfort of poetry, which is my salvation. 🙂 That includes some worthy quotes that you could think of as “Twitter poetry”.  Sure, why not?

So here’s a little selection that will soothe frazzled nerves and calm the soul:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Swami Satchidananda

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing, yet means everything.” (136-137)
Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras
William Wordsworth

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
William Wordsworth

Kathleen Raine
(b. 1908 d. 2003)

NOCTURNE

Night comes, an angel stands
Measuring out the time of stars,
Still are the winds, and still the hours.
It would be peace to lie
Still in the still hours at the angel’s feet,
Upon a star hung in a starry sky,
But hearts another measure beat.
Each body, wingless as it lies,
Sends out its butterfly of night
With delicate wings, and jewelled eyes.
And some upon day’s shores are cast,
And some in darkness lost
In waves beyond the world, where float
Somewhere the islands of the blest.

“Nocturne” from Stone and Flower (1943)

***************************************************

THE TREE OF HEAVEN

The peace of flowers. Heaven like a tree grows
In silence; has no voice
Till they come and perch in the branches, images of words
From two worlds, birds and angels,
Inhabitants of mute leaves, lovers of the plant’s rapt blindness.

Heaven, simple like a seed, from its minute beginning
Rooted in flesh and blood, instinct with death and pain
Grows complex, manifold; grows great with living,
With green and blossom and bough, sky-covering
With world, where nothing was, until heaven’s spring.
Pattern of tree and man, unfold within me—
Branch where the veins run, quicken at the heart,
Be felt in every nerve, and fruitful at the breast,
Vine, pattern of Christ, interior quiet,
Quicken this barrenness, flower in my desert!

from Living in Time (1946)

Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Blessings of Peace & Joy this Christmas Season!

Serene Sunday: A Prayer to Soothe the Soul

At this festive time of year as our family gathers for Thanksgiving, in addition to the gratitude we give for our bountiful feast, we always recite the “Serenity Prayer”. It’s a long-standing family tradition. 🙂 Everyone is familiar with prayer/poem, and we recite it together by heart, while holding hands at the dinner table:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference…

What you may not realize is there’s more to the prayer than this. It actually goes on to say…

Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace,

Taking this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it,

Trusting that thou shall make all things right if I surrender to Thy Will,

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy forever with Thee in the next.

~ AMEN

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serenity_Prayer

http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/smf-129_en.pdf

If you prefer the classic poetic structure, here it is from a previous “Serene Sunday” post. You’ll notice the wording is slightly different, but the sentiment expressed is the very same…

God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

Serene Sunday: Mother Nature’s Hidden Eyes and Ears

I have proof positive that plants can TALK…and actually HEAR what’s going on around them. What?! you say… That’s ridiculous! Without mouths, without ears???

Not only that, but we humans can communicate with them! It takes time and patience, but well worth the effort. 🙂

Charles Darwin, 150 years ago, imagined a world far busier, noisier and more intimate than the world we can see and hear. Our senses are pitifully weak. The world is buzzing all around us. Darwin sensed this. “Let it be borne in mind how infinitely close-fitting are the mutual relations of all organic beings to each other,” he wrote. He was speaking of the intricate web of life — the interrelationship of animal, plant, mineral kingdoms and lively interplay of communication which we humans generally ignore. Darwin was way ahead of his time. He must have been, to give in to wild imaginings of talking plants and earthworm wisdom!

Fast forward 145 years, and you have another “man ahead of his time” with a film about strange blue people living in a rainforest and referring to a big tree as their “mother”. Avatar was a landmark film that showcased Nature’s intricate web of interdependent life. Director James Cameron’s message was that human beings CAN live in peace and harmony with other species. The magnificent “Tree of Souls” nurtured the Na’vi people and protected them. In return, these grateful Na’vi maintained the sacred space, worshiped and prayed at their jungle altar. This is literally Mother Nature communicating with her beloved children! Her forest was a living, breathing entity pulsing with life supporting itself. Can you imagine living at this level of consciousness and awareness? And when it was threatened with modern technology, this powerful natural intelligence with help of the Na’vi tribe, fought back in ways that I can’t even adequately describe. You’d have to see the movie.

Back in real life… We don’t exactly live in a world like Pandora, but there is an efficient ecosystem within our earth’s forests called Mycorrhizal Networks. It’s how trees and other plants communicate, and it’s with fungus! But before you scrunch up your nose and say, “Yucch!” just know that we have Mother Trees safeguarding these systems in forests throughout the world. Each one sustains all the other plants by means of a sophisticated network of fungi. These white fungal threads transport critical nutrients underground from overstory trees to roots of seedlings. Walk through a forest and pay close attention to the bustling activity of this mighty matrix… You’ll also see them at work in the movie Avatar. Again, Cameron’s salient message is that we MUST conserve the Mother Tree. Without her our delicate forest ecosystems can’t survive — that’s a sobering fact.

Come see what this strange lifesaver looks like:  http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/magazine/jf11/fungal_systems.asp

You get my drift. Some species don’t need a mouth for talking, ears for hearing, or eyes for seeing for that matter. Most of us have heard of telepathic communication with animals. With plants, it’s much the same. You can simply tune into their frequency, ask a simple question of the flower, bush, fruit tree, and the “answer” comes in feelings and images… It’s a pleasant way to pass the time. Even if you don’t “get anything”, you’ll feel a sense of peace and contentment.

Darwin said our human senses are weak. That may be so, but like muscles you can exercise your senses to make them stronger. There is life teeming all around us, in the earth, up in the trees. Just be aware, engage your 5 senses — See, Hear, Taste, Touch and Smell this incredible natural world. Plants like cabbage can emit a volatile gas, namely “methyl jasmonate”, that warns their vegetative brethren that a herbivore is in the ‘hood — annoying things like caterpillars or garden shears. In flower beds, their roots are clicking merrily away, sending key signals out. Corn husks rub against each other in the fields, creating loud vibrations (gives whole new meaning to “ear of corn”!).

Oh my gosh, we’re living in the midst of a huge biological Internet!!  Kinda makes you want to get out of your chair, go outside and breathe some fresh air. 🙂

So the next time you stop and smell the roses, be sure you speak to them too!