What a year this has been! So many of us feel as though we have finally hit the home stretch. Just a few more days and 2017 will be behind us. We will be standing firmly in a new year…and hopefully a better year.
I have often talked about the Laws of the Cosmic Cycles, based on the number 7. The last (7th) cycle is the cycle of destruction; the devolution of what was; letting go or shedding that which no longer is wanted or serves you. Looking back over the past year, much of what has been ugly, hidden, negative, divisive or otherwise pernicious or poisonous to society or civilization has been unmasked and laid open for all to see and witness. The term ‘underbelly’ comes to mind when I think of the darkness that has sat brewing underneath the guise of decorum, or the ‘appropriate attitudes towards humanity’; or, the moral majority. Laying bare all that has been hidden, shuffled behind curtains or swept under the rug for no one to see, has brought light to an enigma that has plagued our nation(s) for centuries.
We have and are coming to the end of many cycles. Cycles of power, greed, corruption and hate, that have never seen light but have existed only in utter darkness, are now laying bare with the light of truth and honesty blazing down upon it. And, with the shining of this light comes pain. Just like when you come out from a darkened theatre into the bright sunlight of day, it is painful … maybe only momentarily, but painful nonetheless. You may not be able to see clearly for awhile; everything seeming blurry or out of focus. But eventually, with persistence, your vision returns and the shocking pain of the light subsides. The pain becomes a thing of the past; a distant memory. But the realization of what you saw, what you witnessed will forever be burned into your memory.
2017 has been a year of tragedy and loss; of shootings and road rage; of strange and ridiculous behaviors; of heroes and heroines; of fear and recklessness; of political lies and bullying; of courage and fearlessness; of right and wrong; of corruption and perversion; and, of tyrannical tweeting and political folly.
This is where we are right now … working our way out of the muck and darkness that seems to have descended upon us. December will continue the unraveling and revealing of what has laid hidden, secreted into an abyss of darkness. But as we move towards the end of December, the ‘light’ of the new moon and winter solstice will be our opportunity to put forth the positive, uplifting and renewed energy we want to spawn through the new year. Just as difficult as it is to witness and work our way through the end of this cycle, so too will it be difficult to carve out a new order for the coming year(s).
Change is difficult. However, remaining status quo is not an option. As one cycle ends, another one begins. Drop your old, depleted and archaic habits, thoughts and patterns now…in this December. And prepare yourself to step into a new, changing, inspirited and inspiring new year and the new cosmic cycle.
Perhaps its my age, or the season, or something bred within me from a very young age, but November has always been a month of ‘Memories’. It’s a time when memories from years gone by have a way of creeping their way back into your consciousness, taking you to a different time and place. Perhaps a place of family, friends, laughter, cool autumn evenings, the smell of burning leaves, or a kitchen filled with the heart warming aroma of freshly baked cakes, breads, or Thanksgiving dinners.
November is the start of the “Holiday Season” and the anticipation of all the holidays hold for you in your heart and mind. It’s often the time when families and friends set aside their differences; letting bygones be bygones, and opening doors, hearts and minds to the warmth of all that is familiar and comfortable about the Holidays. It’s a time when family and friends come together to embrace the glory of sharing and caring, the past and the present, and all of the possibilities for the future.
Of course, there are those that like to mumble and grumble a ‘bah humbug’ about the Holidays. After all, not everyone has fond memories of the Holidays, and some find the whole idea to be unpleasant, uncomfortable and a down right waste of time…(just another way to get you to spend your hard earned money)!
I love the holidays. I love sharing and caring. I love having family and friends in my home. I love the smells from the kitchen. I love the hugs exchanged with each person as you greet them and say good-bye. I love the laughter, the stories, the hustle and bustle of getting everything ready. I love the days and the nights, the long conversations and the tender moments with my children and grandchildren. I love the shared memories, the not-so-secret secrets and old and new traditions. I love having my senses filled with the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, hugs and togetherness of the many days throughout these Holiday Seasons.
If your memories of the Holiday Season takes you back to a time of warmth, comfort and happiness, and fills your heart with love, compassion and joy, then allow this November to be a time filled of memories. Embrace all that is good about them and share them with those you love and care about.
However, if your past Holiday Seasons have been painful, scarring or otherwise unpleasant, then allow this November to be the beginning of good memories. Don’t waste time passing on hurtful habits, destructive thoughts or negative attitudes. There are 60 days in the upcoming Holiday Season. 60 days to create the kind of memories you and those around you want to look back on, cherish, savor, and hold in their hearts and minds. Make everyday a day of memories filled with love, laughter and mirth. Make memories that will leave you feeling happy each and everyday going forward.
There was a time in my life when I felt as though I was alone; adrift in a sea. I could see others adrift as well, but we never made eye contact, and rarely spoke. Recently, however, things have changed. I have come to realize that I am not alone at all. In fact, I have become a member of a very, very large Club.
I’ve never been one to join groups, but instead prefer to find my own way versus following in someone else’s footsteps. But The Club is larger than any other group or organization found in the world. For example, according to the Washington Times, “eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group” worldwide. That is 5.8 billion people, out of a total 6.9 billion. One third, or 2.2 billion, are Christian, 1.6 billion (23%) are Muslim, and 1 billion (15%) are Hindus. The Club is larger than any political party. According to a 2014 Gallop poll, of the more than 325.2 million Americans, roughly 139.8 million Americans identify themselves as Democrats. And, 16 million Americans served in World War II, while 42 million Americans have served in the military during wartime, according to ScienceLine at USCB.
The Club is unique and carries a lifetime membership. It’s members don’t actively pursue enrollment; you can’t just join. Someone else has to initiate you into it. Initiation is similar to hazing. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, HazingPrevention.org defines it as …
Hazing is any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.
Each member is initiated into this co-ed Club, and some (if not most) are re-initiated periodically throughout their lifetime. My first initiation into The Club happened before I entered the halls of my first public school. No one wants to be a member of The Club, and once you are in, there is no getting out.
Unfortunately the number of members continue to grow. According RAINN.org, “every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.” The Club is much too large, and initiations have to stop. Educate your children, regardless of how old they might be.
Oh … And, what’s the name of The Club? Simple. It’s #MeToo.
I took a walk today with Michael, my grandson. Prior to our walk, he commented on what a beautiful day it was and how fortunate we are to be in Michigan, and not in Texas. To date hurricane Harvey has dumped over 21 trillion gallons of water on Houston, which is more than 3 times the amount dropped by Katrina in 2005. The immense power of Mother Nature is simply mind-blowing. Not being there makes it very difficult to imagine such a force of overwhelming destruction, but the images are clear of the desperation these people are living and feeling.
With Michael’s comments fresh on my mind, I found myself witnessing each moment in awe and gratitude. The turtles, herons, birds, fish, squirrels and chipmunks were viewed and admired for their beauty, innocence and ‘busy ways’. It made for a most enjoyable walk, and I am thankful he thought to ask me to go with him.
Something we did notice as we were walking were the subtle changes of color happening to various varieties of foliage, and the blooming of the lotus flowers on the still waters filled with lily pads. The dense fog, crisp morning air and shorter days are all signs of the passing of summer, not to mention the beginning of another school year. With the highly charged energies from the recent solar eclipse and the coming autumnal equinox with its own profound yet retiring energies, September will be a month to remember.
Take advantage of this month and all it has to offer.
- Visit a farm stand and buy some fresh, out of the garden fruits and vegetables. Support your local farmers while remembering what real, unadulterated food really tastes like.
- Visit one of the many city, county or state parks. Take a walk in nature, swim, boat or play a round of golf. Fill your lungs with some fresh air and shake up that stagnate routine you call life.
- Attend a fair, festival or outdoor concert. Meet and support those in your local community.
- Have a BBQ and invite your friends, neighbors and family. Gather together and let everyone (including yourself) put their daily troubles behind them, sharing laughter, music and friendship.
- Share what you have with those less fortunate. You’ll reap the rewards 10 fold.
- If you can, volunteer your time, energy and support to the tens of thousands who have been displaced by Harvey.
- Embrace each day with patience, generosity and kindness; make it your legacy.
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you
pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-
As I sit here writing this post, I find myself holding my breath; afraid to breathe because the pain is so intense and profound. This has been a difficult year; a year of loss and change. Change, I tell myself, is often a good thing. While it may be painful or uncomfortable initially, with time its effects are usually for the better. And while you can look at loss as a part of change, here I am talking about the deep, painful loss of someone you love and is an everyday part of your life. If you have never lost anyone in your life like this, please know that someday you will.
Yesterday, August 11, 2017, we lost such a person. Bob and AnnMarie have been a part of our life for more than 30 years; my husband’s best friend, buddy, confidante and compadre. A man we loved, honored and respected in every possible way. A man we turned to for advice, counsel, fun and laughter. A man of the highest integrity, principle, and compassion. There aren’t enough words to describe his character and the long reaching effect and influence he has had on so many people. To know Bob, was to love him.
But the intense pain isn’t just about the passing of this strong, wonderful man; its about the hole that is left in so many lives…his wife, daughter, grandchildren, family, and the hundreds of people who called him friend. I look at our own lives, my husband and me, and see this large, gapping hole that bleeds so profusely I can’t even imagine how it will ever heal. It is true what they say about death being painful for the ones left behind; for this is a pain I wish for no one.
It is during these moments you realize the frailty of life and how fortunate you are or have been. You look at your loved ones and pray you never devastate them in this same way…knowing full well it will happen one day. I look at Bob’s family and what lies ahead of them and pray I never have to face that…recognizing I’ve been fortunate, but it could just as easily be me.
Since January, 2016, as a family we have suffered a great deal of personal loss. 5 weeks ago we lost our favorite and treasured Uncle, another humble and honorable man, and of course our wounds are still quite raw and open from that. But losing Bob has taken us over the top. How does one recover?
The fullness of this month’s New Moon appears early Sunday morning, July 23rd. As we continue to move through this month of spiritual movement, embrace the absence of Grandmother Moon’s light and instead, reveal to yourself and all who see you the light that glows within your heart and soul; your essence. Each of us enters this world, this life, with our own flame of life and light; the flame and light of love. We often witness it in the faces of babies and young children; sometimes called the look of innocence. We continue to carry that flame all through our lives; but unfortunately, all too often we forget it is there, and instead look outside ourselves for that ever elusive light of love.
Use this time of darkness to grow and glow your own light of love. Allow it to light your way. If you find yourself feeling lost, out of balance, confused or depressed, take a moment to quiet your mind. Then, reaching deep within you, feel the warmth, comfort and strength of your own brilliant light. Allow the light to expand outward, lighting everything in your presence, including you.
If you want to continue your spiritual movement now and throughout the remainder of this year, grow your own flame and light of love. It will help burn away those hours of darkness. The basis of your future is all up to you.