A Bigger Universal Perspective… Think Like a Hawk

Imagine yourself sitting on the ground. You lift up a large stone & there before you exposed for your observation are a myriad of smaller life forms… bugs, worms, snails, slugs & the like… all busily…even frenetically going about their business of living their lives in their earthly environment. The closer you look, the more you tap into how each species performs their tasks for survival as well as how they interact with each other in a more communal way.
Now picture yourself as a hawk… gliding along on the wind currents… ever aware & observant from high above all that is going on below. The hawk is capable of seeing exactly what it needs to see from great distances. It doesn’t need to tune into all the details… only those which support its own life & true survival.
Nature is a wonderful & wise teacher… microcosm/ macrocosm. When we fallible humans get caught up in the “emotionality” of a situation, it then becomes very difficult to access it with the clarity needed to find a viable solution. “Emotion” is about feeling… something we need to be able to connect with to be healthy & well-rounded. It comes from a natural tendency & need to give & receive. “Emotionality” on the other hand, is about drama & being triggered into a reaction to something that has wounded us prior to that. Operating from that vantage point never serves us well so it’s important to recognize the difference.
If we can learn to mentally stand back out of the chaos that so often permeates life & observe it from a more Universal vantage point, we automatically give ourselves the gift of seeing any given situation with much more clarity & truth. It also allows us to see a new perspective in relation to the level of importance we tend to assign things out of misplaced emotion, something by the way… the animal kingdom never does. What may have appeared to be much more important when we’re right in the middle of it often is merely a drop in the bucket when we consider the bigger picture, especially when we can let go of our fear & ego & see it for what is really is.
That my friends, is a recipe for true freedom & peace of mind & when all else fails, just remember… this too shall pass.

Get Curious… Remember…

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Experiencing Life Through the Perspective of Another

 

On my second trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica with a humanitarian, dental, non-profit organization called Great Shape/ 1000 Smiles, I again found myself working in a remote, jungle community called Walkerswood at the local school… in fact, the only school. It was a series of small, run-down, dirt-floored buildings joined together by sidewalks, metal bars in the glassless windows & surrounded by a rough-shod playground.

The kids, who ranged in age from 5 through 17, were more than curious as we hauled in box after box of dental equipment & chairs. They couldn’t wrap their minds around our odd ways either, whether it was petting or talking to the myriad of poor, starving dogs everywhere or wincing at the sight of bug-covered food that they would eat without a second thought… bugs & all.

Although the principal & staff cared greatly for these children, they were very strict about manners, obedience & the effort they put into their studies. I was even asked to speak at their monthly PTA meeting! The parents initially had a difficult time believing we would actually volunteer to take  time away from our own jobs & families & pay our own airfare to come there & not want something in return. Their own survival had always depended on having to hold so tightly onto anything they could get.

It was also an expectation throughout the community that if someone’s child was caught misbehaving, whichever neighbor happened to see them could take it upon themselves to mete out punishment which often included hitting them… the old “spare the rod… spoil the child” mentality.

The second day there, I met a teenage girl, Dana… 15 years old… who lived nearby. Her developmentally disabled brother attended the school & although she was no longer a student there herself, she could often be found helping with him or just hanging around. Her mother was a local healer… a very spiritual, church-going woman who was well-liked & respected in the community.

As we struck up a conversation, I asked why she wasn’t in school. She had attended previously & had actually been a very good student. At some point though, she’d come down with an auto-immune disorder which slowly robbed her of her ability to function. Often exhausted, she would ask the teacher to be excused. Her mother, being very concerned, had taken her to various local healers with no luck. She was finally able to get a clear diagnosis from a medical center some distance away.

Unfortunately because of the culture there & a lack of understanding, that explanation wasn’t well-received by the school staff. Assuming she was just being lazy, her teachers became so hard on her she eventually dropped out of altogether. Fortunately by the time we met, her symptoms had begun to go into remission & her strength & energy were slowly returning.

Since we were short-handed, this seemed like an ideal opportunity to have her work with us as a team member & build her self-esteem at the same time… a win-win! She seemed to have a natural aptitude for dentistry & before long she was performing a number of tasks quite well. The change in her demeanor was palatable & it did my heart good to see her confidence in herself grow.

Each year as our trip came to an end & we prepared to go back home, there was always a dinner back at the hotel to say “thank-you” to everyone who had participated & give them a chance to say their good-byes to so many they had developed strong bonds with. Everyone shared how much it had meant to them to really be able to help but they also felt they’d received so much more in return.

Our team invited Dana to come spend the night at the hotel in my room so she could attend the dinner & with her mother’s permission, she excitedly agreed. I knew this would be a great experience for her but I had no idea what an adventure it would be as well… for both of us…

She arrived carrying a change of clothes and an old, ragged towel in a paper bag. I explained it wasn’t necessary for her to bring her own towel as the hotel supplied them for their guests. I then told her to go ahead & feel free to take the first shower. She headed into the bathroom as my roommate & I took that time to kick back after a long, hot day.

About 20 minutes later, out she walked… tears in her eyes… red blotches all over her skin. Surprised & concerned, I asked her what was wrong. “I tried to stay under the spout” she said “but the water was just SO hot, I couldn’t stand it anymore!” To my dismay, I realized she had never been in a shower with hot & cold running water before.  I thought about how naïve I’d been not to realize that. Most Jamaicans shower in rainwater they trap in vats on their roofs. It’s a tropical climate so water heaters aren’t used, even though there are days I’m sure it’s chilly. They simply can’t afford the electricity or plumbing.

I apologetically explained the situation to her & helped her get ready for dinner, all the while trying to ease her extreme nervousness.  By the time we got to dinner & seated ourselves, the poor thing looked like she was going to pass out!

As our dinners were served, I noticed one of the Jamaican waiters standing by the wall near our table, quietly & quickly came over to her, placed her napkin in her lap for her & showed her the silverware. Once again, I realized she had never been to a restaurant… never experienced the nuances of having her glass filled with water or ordering from a menu. Again, I felt like I’d failed her in not being aware enough of the circumstances she came from. No wonder she was so anxious!

There are many people who live in the U.S. who also go without these things as well but even more Jamaicans do. So many of us in this country are so blessed to have enough to eat, a place to sleep, a chance for an education, clothing, charitable organizations who are available to make up the difference & opportunities for some type of dental & medical care should an emergency arise at least. We can’t know what we haven’t yet learned & sometimes it’s easy to forget to appreciate what we haven’t had to go without.

Gratitude is our gift to ourselves & to the collective because if we can’t see our own reasons to be grateful, we’re not near as likely to be there to support & empower others.

                                                 GET CURIOUS… REMEMBER…

 

 

 

 

Wisdom From the Herd… Behaving As If All Life Mattered

A couple of years ago for no obvious reason, horses began to cross my mind…continually. I thought about them during the day, dreamed about them at night & began to see them in photos, paintings, articles, etc. This type of thing has been happening to me for many years now and as I’ve studied the physics of energy in more & more depth, I’ve learned to just stay very aware & try to recognize the reason or message behind this phenomenon each time it happens.

Eventually, it came full circle and I began to learn & understand the message… so simple & yet so truly profound. Horses like all of nature, hold up mirrors for mankind to see itself in & that includes me.

 

 Many misguided humans measure an animal’s intelligence by what it can do most like a human…count, draw, do tricks, verbally speak, paint, use tools, etc. What they’ve failed to recognize is the innate wisdom the natural world & its inhabitants are ever-willing to share with us beyond our linear thinking & arrogance… that is if we’re paying attention.

When a good friend of mine told me about a local workshop on horse communication, I knew it was part of the trajectory of synchronistic events already in motion. The moment I stepped out of my car and walked to the area where they were waiting, I already knew which horse I’d be working with. In fact, I felt like I was looking at myself in horse form.

 

Throughout the day as we interacted with these sensitive & intuitive animals, we each learned our own lessons in our own ways. For me, it became clear what I had shown up as a student. It’s called GRACE… simple in its presentation & yet so profound. This was a quality I’d developed in many ways through learning and insight from my work… emotional… mental… spiritual… but the physical has often eluded me for some reason.

 

It used to be common-place to glance at my arms & legs and see a myriad of burns from grabbing something carelessly from a hot oven or bumps & bruises from hitting the corner of a table or the counter because I was in a rush & preoccupied. It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance for pain.

 

I’ve come to recognize the inattentiveness in this area of my life for what it really is… a lack of honoring my physical form that houses my spirit. It’s speaks disrespectfully to the true gift it really is.

 

It also goes hand-in-hand with getting quiet & gentle inside as well. When I don’t do that, I can’t “hear” the wisdom the silence has to offer & a lot of information is missed on many levels because it’s all connected.

 
A horse doesn’t walk without grace… it saunters. It doesn’t plow through things… it steps over or around them. They always live in the moment. Nothing exists to them before or after that moment so they fully embrace it. They “graze” and when they’re fed at the end of the day, they quietly, slowly eat with each other or alone… they take their time… no gobbling in this crowd! They have dimensional sight and always see the ALL as ONE.

They’re also very telepathic and sensitive to the emotions of their herd and the other living things which share their space, including people. Three of the females were allowed to wander around those of us who were participating as we sat in a circle expressing our individual reasons for attending, some with a lot of emotion involved. Here and there, sensing the need, one would walk quietly up to a participant & put her soft, velvety nose against their cheek or on a shoulder for a few moments.

As we each took our turn grooming & working one-on-one with our assigned horse, we were shown how to tune into the horse’s energy mentally and physically. They wanted to be led but in PARTNERSHIP… NOT POWER-OVER. My usual pace when I hike or walk with friends is fast & often out ahead of everyone. It’s been a habit for as long as I can remember & I’ve never given it much thought.

 

Sun, the spirited gelding & my “teacher” for the day, immediately and gently showed me myself & how that affects the whole. He tuned-in & connected with me immediately when I stayed present with him but the moment I stepped out ahead of him, I could feel him disconnect and he would just wander off. Nothing personal!

 

We held a very loose rope to begin with which didn’t serve as much more than a small crutch for us but soon the rope was removed and we were asked to work with the horse strictly through mental imagery & energy…no touch except to gently say “good job” & “thank you” I initially felt pretty powerless until I was able to slow down and really sense his energy. Once I could do that, I could literally feel the two of us connect and become one. This is the same connection which is possible between one person & another if we’re just willing to slow down & stay aware & tuned- in. 

I was also told that horses don’t respond well to being stared at. As a healer, I get a great deal of information & connection with people by looking into their eyes & at their faces. This doesn’t work with horses. Standing beside them, creating a clear, mental picture of what I wanted Sun to do was the ONLY way to guide him.

 

So I stood there, looking forward WITH him…side-by-side… & envisioned exactly where I wanted him to go with me. He immediately stepped in unison with my feet. When I stopped… he stopped. When I stepped sideways… he stepped sideways. He walked exactly where I asked him to go using only the picture in my head. He gave me a couple of pushes into the fence just to push his boundaries a little and it was at that point I realized that along with kids, pets, students, etc., we also get the horses we deserve! 

Ahhh… we humans… the ONLY creatures living on our sentient Earth who in our ego, fear, greed & hatred… destroy, pollute and otherwise negatively impact the balance & abundance of the natural world. It struggles to feed us while it suffers because of our short-sighted choices & patiently waits for us to WAKE-UP before it’s too late. WHO are the intelligent ones really?

There’s a great deal of beauty in this world despite what the media would often have us think… the “powers-that-be” behind it all who work to keep us in fear and complacency (if we weren’t afraid, we might just get angry & courageous about a few things). IMAGINE…

 

More & more people ARE waking up and beginning to understand what all native peoples & shaman have known since the very beginning… we MUST live in a symbiotic partnership with our Earth and each other. It’s about survival and it’s also about love, compassion & quality mentally, spiritually, physically & emotionally. Every bit of it is connected & it starts with each one of us doing our “inside” work on ourselves so it can spread to the “outside” & each other.

 

                                         GET CURIOUS… WAKE UP… REMEMBER…