content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: March 2008

Monday, March 31, 2008

March – National Women’s History Month: In Honor of Women

March is National Women’s History Month and before this month is complete I wanted to pause to honor a few women who have gone before us and paved the way for what we have the privilege of enjoying today. I am only mentioning a few and you can go to Women in History – Historical Figures for a more comprehensive list of historical women. (Note: please see video below)

Susan Brownell Anthony – paved the way in the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. It’s amazing what this woman accomplished in her life in a time when her freedom was limited. She was an icon in her era that changed the course of history for women forever in her writing, giving hundreds of speeches a year over a period of 45 years and leading the only non-violent revolution, to name a few.

Clara Barton – founder of the Red Cross and Civil War Nurse. Just imagine all the people who have been helped through her efforts in establishing this organization. In the latter 1800’s she rallied to have the U.S join in signing a treaty to establish the work of the Red Cross having observed its service in Europe and the U.S. signed the Geneva Agreement in 1882. She expanded this service to not only include victims of war but to also include the assistance in any great national disasters.

There have also been many women in modern times and today’s culture who have contributed much to society in the world as we know it. To mention a few such as:

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis – First Lady of the United States with President John F Kennedy, an author, poet, lover of art, American History and a restorer of the White House.

Most notable and among us today is Oprah Winfrey – reporter/anchor, entrepreneur, global media leader, actor, philanthropist among her accomplishments. Oprah is making history today not only in what she has achieved but in the spiritual movement as well.

This brings me to another woman, Aquanetta Gordon, whose story I came across this week on the internet. She may not be well known or as accomplished as the women just mentioned but nonetheless her personal work with what she has encouraged and inspired in her son, Ben Underwood, and those around her is in no way less incredibly outstanding and deserving of honor.

Her son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his eyes at toddler age and she had to make the decision for him to either continue with radiation treatment and risk his life if it progressed to the optic nerve or have his eyes removed and ensure his chances of life.

What you see below in this Video Clip #1 (of 5) is a testimony of courage and compassion displayed not only by Aquanetta but many women down through history and in our world today demonstrating and contributing along with many men to make this world a better place.

Take time today to look around and witness the women making contributions in your workplace, your homes and communities. Honor them for what they’ve done to better your life, appreciate their efforts and encourage their dreams and don’t forget to say Thank you.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Alex Shalman’s Happiness: Group Writing Project

I found out about this Happiness: Group Writing Project by way of Suzie Cheel’s post on Abundance Highway. The reason for Alex creating this project is for everyone participating to be left inspired, empowered and happier than they were before. Who wouldn’t want that?

I have to tell you, after reading Suzie’s response to these questions, it’s not a simple exercise. It requires some thought and soul searching to truly give to others in this process and receive the value. So, I decided to participate and the first thing is to answer these 5 questions.

1. How do you define happiness?
To me, it’s a state of bliss in knowing who you truly are in a given present moment. It’s not something that you achieve or acquire. It is a state of being that is a gift from our Creator when we were born and it’s what we enjoy and live with every day if we so choose.

2. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your happiness now, versus when you were a child?
Now, my happiness scale would be 9.5 versus my happiness scale when I was a child of 3.

3. What do you do on a daily basis that brings you happiness? (and how consistent is the feeling of happiness throughout your day)
On a daily basis my feeling of happiness consists of about 2/3 of my day. I meditate, read positive, encouraging spiritual books, blogs or poetry that remind me how grateful I am for the journey I’ve taken and the life I have.

When I wake up each morning all I have to do is look out at the beautiful Rocky Mountains and take in a breath of fresh air and listen to the sounds of nature to instill that feeling of happiness and gratitude. From this, I’m reminded to be still for a moment and look within in and feel the life energy within me that carries me through the day.

4. What things take away from your happiness? What can be done to lessen their impact or remove them from your life?
What depletes my happiness is when I choose to listen to the voices in my head and identify with old beliefs and tapes saying things like: “You’re not as smart as others.” “How are you going to pay the bills this month?” “Things just don’t work for you.”

What I’ve learned and am working on are twofold: the first is from Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), in that I’m recognizing and becoming aware of these thoughts and what they are and how to slowly dissolve them by being present so they no longer exist to be triggered.

Secondly, is taking full responsibility for everything in my life, good and especially bad. Something I was reminded of in taking responsibility was to continue practicing the Ho’oponopono prayer from Stephen Hopson’s Gratitude post in his Adversity University Blog:

I’m sorry - Please forgive me - Thank you - I love you

I first heard about this prayer early in February from a site called Cyres Café – The Café of Dreams with a video post called 15-Minute Miracle by Dr. Joe Vitale of “The Secret” (if you take the time to view this video you'll not be disappointed).

In this video, Dr. Vitale talks about how he heard of Dr Ihaleakela Hew Len who started using this prayer as a staff psychologist in the forensic unit for the criminally mentally ill at Hawaii State Hospital for several years. When I listened to that video it couldn’t have come at a better time and through this very same practice I felt a shift but had forgotten about it until I read Stephen’s post today.

When we’re free of negativity and thoughts that tear us down and make us feel powerless then we shine and our happiness shines through us to others.

5. What do you plan on doing in the future that will bring you even more happiness?
Continue practicing what I had mentioned in the question before until my awareness of the present moment is constant and determine 5 things I want to do, see and experience, as John P Strelecky, inspirational speaker and author of The Why Café talks about in this video interview. This is how the universe will know what I want in my life and conspire to let it happen.

Participating in answering these questions on happiness has been inspiring and uplifting to me. It has given me a chance to reflect on my life as to what is important and why and to see where I’m at with it. Just taking part in this project I feel I’ve connected with the others that have participated ahead of me in an energy that has been put out to the world – the energy of happiness.

Maybe you would also like to participate. If so, click on Happiness: Group Writing Project to see what you need to do to get started.

Enjoy the gifts God has given you – enjoy the happiness.
Thank you Alex!

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Haven’t You Ever Wondered….WHY?

I’ve wanted to write this post since January when I first saw Seth Godin’s video on Curiosity (see below) but I just wasn’t quite sure how to put it together. Seth expresses it well in exploring human nature.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a curious nature and I guess that’s why I started Wisdom For The Ages (a talking-stick discussion in the corporate world and later un-corporate). I wanted to know how people think and why they think the way they do or if they even think. We humans are a curious lot. Here are some questions for you:

~~ Why do some people want to run you off the road for the slightest thing while others drive like their heads are in the clouds?

~~ This is one I’ve always wondered about: If sea stars and lizards can grow their limbs and tails back, why can’t we grow arms and legs back when you lose them? Just thought I’d let you know that there was a piece televised last weekend on CBS News Sunday Morning on that very thing. It’s called regenerative medicine and the research is becoming popular for soldiers who have lost arms and legs.

~~ What would it look like to have a traffic jam in the sky not with airplanes but with other vehicles of transportation we all will use?

~~ If we can land on the moon why can’t we realize world peace?

~~ This goes along the lines of regenerative medicine: Why do we only grow one set of teeth after our baby teeth? You would think if you could grow teeth the first time you would be able to all through your life whenever you lost a tooth.

~~ One of my favorites: Where do you go when you die? I’ve always been intrigued with this especially having a grandmother that was psychic introducing me to spirituality. I remember one time when one of our aging dogs was put to sleep. She had cancer and was ready to go but I remember distinctly when she left. Her body got quiet and then I heard a sound from her mouth like a whoosh and felt a breath of air as it brushed passed my face. I remember asking, “Sammy, where did you go?”

~~ Will we see, in our lifetime, the ability where we will be able to transport our bodies - deconstruct and reconstruct them again, to a different location – “Beam me up. Scotty” (Captain Kirk in Star Trek)?

Aren’t you curious? What are the possibilities? Nature is phenomenal from the micro to the macro and then there’s the psyche and the whole dimension of the mind and spirit and quantum physics. Whew!! If your curiosity juices haven’t been stirred up by now, I don’t know what to tell you.

There is such a vast amount of happenings, events, mysterious creations to take in and observe and wonder about. That’s why I always love hearing people’s take on attitudes, leadership, harmony, falling in love, falling out of love…..a different story for every person and to me it’s so interesting. Why??

From the kitchen table - Pat

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This Too Will Pass

(Picture from Microsoft Clipart) ~~~ As we go through the ebb and flow of life we need not get too comfortable with what we’re doing or what we have. This little phrase reminds us that nothing is permanent. That can be encouraging if you currently are experiencing valleys in your life but it also applies when you’re flying high. I think that’s why our fulfillment only lasts for a short time – nothing in form is permanent. It was never meant to be.

We have identified and attached to what we see, what we have and do – all forms. We don’t even know there is anything else as we have forgotten there is another part of us. We have separated ourselves so much from our true essence that we believe that the world as we see it is all there is. These are so-called truths we have accepted and believed but it doesn’t mean they are true. When we get hold of the deeper meaning of the truths that have been written and spoken down through the ages we will awaken to the amazing beings we were created to be. Eckhart Tolle in last night’s telecast with Oprah said, “We are the Universe expressing itself as a human for a little while.” This is the other part we forgot about – who we really are – the Universe expressing itself.

The human part is form and, therefore, impermanent along with all the other things that are form. Whatever you own, the places you go, what you do, will all over time disappear as it belongs to form. There is nothing wrong with this. We just have to realize for which these things are for - to enjoy and share with others. It’s when we are looking to these forms for fulfillment, believing this is who we are or here is where I will find who I am, that we are disappointed when they don’t meet our expectations.

Your essence part, Beingness, is who you really are and is your life connection to the I AM. It never diminishes, deteriorates or lacks in anything. It is LIFE coursing through your body and when the body can no longer function and dies your essence leaves and goes back to its Source.

As we live this life in our forms, I believe we’ll learn how to balance the human part with the essence part. Part of the balancing is to become less attached to those forms in our lives and just appreciate them for what they are. If we lose them or they change we won’t be so devastated – this too will pass; or, if we land an important job and acquire fame and money we won’t be proud or puffed up – this too will pass - because we will know this is all part of form and that is what form does but it isn’t who I am.

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
- The Holy Bible – KJV (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Monday, March 24, 2008

BEING Who You Intend To Be – Doing What You’re Doing

(Picture from Microsoft Clipart) ~~~ A lot of what I’ve been reading lately impresses on me the importance of bringing our Being into whatever we do throughout the day. From that we can become more awakened.

Akemi in her blog, Yes To Me had a recent post, The X-Factor of Entrepreneurship, that really brought it home for me when she said, “BE who you intend to be whatever you are DOING”.

She talks about asking for guidance in clarifying her niche when guidance came quite unexpectedly. Akemi goes on to tell that there was a book signing going on at a book store she stopped in after she left her CPA's office and she stayed on to listen to the author speak. In the Q&A segment, she listened closely as Neale Donald Walsch relayed a personal story of how he was frustrated in wanting to be a wise man to others but couldn’t seem to accomplish that. He was asked what did he need to DO right now and he answered in frustration that he needed to go to the store but that wasn’t what he wanted to do. He was then told to be the wise man he wanted to be while he was going to the store.

As it turned out, he met a woman who was frustrated and upset with she saw her child picking grapes while she was tending to something else. She yelled and hit the little boy’s hand. Neale noticed this and went up to her saying she didn’t need to do that to her child. That made her more upset as she told her stories and shouted her frustrations but he repeated what he said 2 more times. She finally realized something had happened and sobbed asking him if he was a minister of some kind.

What I realized in reading Akemi's account of this story is that every moment we can bring our Beingness into whatever it is we’re doing – driving, phoning a friend, scheduling appointments, working at your desk. In fact, if we bring this Beingness into every moment of our lives we join with the Source’s life energy and free up the flow for things to move in our lives for what we really want to do, as it did for Neale Donald Walsch.

There is something very powerful when we learn to bring our Beingness in our everyday lives, no matter what we’re doing. As Eckhart Tolle said in his web telecast tonight with Oprah on his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), “BE a conscious space of presence if you want to help people.” When you allow whatever you’re doing and what others around you are doing to unfold as they will, you are holding that space for it all.

I think the more we learn to be conscious of who we are and feel it and live it everyday, there will be a transformation in our lives and in our world.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

“Go Feed the Birds” (from The Tracker by Tom Brown, Jr.)

(Picture by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~~ This morning as my husband and I were walking out to the car to go to work I was surprised to see 4 deer pull their heads up and look directly at me only 20 feet from where we stood. I talked to them for a moment and they just stared not really bothered by this interruption to their morning. They were standing next to our parked car so we had to walk towards them to get in and my husband got as close as 8 feet. Then, as we were about to drive out, we saw the rest of the herd walking down into our yard with their buck. In total, there were about a dozen deer. What a way to start out your morning, huh?

Living in the Rocky Mountains, I always marvel at the wildlife as we see it more frequently living among them in their habitat. We’ve had bear get into our metal shed and tear it up, hear the coyote howl regularly all through the year, see the bunnies and fox. If we had a fresh snowfall the night before, in the morning the yard is transformed into a wonderland of tracks. It is such a blissful sight to take in.

When I was a little girl and saw Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, I always fantasized playing and walking and just being with the animals like Snow White. When I’d go to the zoo and see the wild tigers and elephants, I’d wonder what it would feel like to curl up with one of those big creatures and experience their energy and power. Dr. Wayne Dyer in his book, There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem [BARGAIN PRICE] (Paperback) quotes from Pantanjali (author of Yoga Sutras who lived C. First to Third Century B.C):

“When a person is steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence.”

Dyer talks about St. Francis of Assisi and how he would tame wild wolves that were destroying livestock by merely being in their presence.
Wild animals would feel the love that radiated from him; doves would fly to his hands. They all ceased to feel enmity. What a wonderful image. St. Francis didn’t have any special powers – no more than you or I. He just made himself available to and aligned himself with the Creator.

There is a series of books I read sometime ago that I fell in love with. They’re about a tracker’s life and experiences in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The tracker and author’s name is Tom Brown Jr. and when he was a child all he wanted to do was spend time in his beloved Pine Barrens. When he was around 7 he met another boy, Rick, about his age that liked the same things. Rick had an elder that taught them about the seasons and wildlife and how to walk in harmony with nature – his name was Stalking Wolf (Grandfather). In the beginning of his book, The Tracker, Tom describes what he felt about Stalking Wolf when he says:

“Stalking Wolf taught us how to be silent and watch what was going on. He had a special look that said he was giving us a hint to something that would seem obvious to us in a moment. When he saw that I didn’t understand why he had to be silent to see better, he said, “Go feed the birds.””

All the experiences and mysteries of the woods, birds and wild creatures unfold in these books as he learns to listen, track and move in harmony with nature.

Like St. Francis of Assisi and Tom Brown Jr., we can also learn to experience the wonder of nature if we approach it with reverence and are steadfast in abstaining from harming others, as Pantanjali said. Animals can discern your intention from the energies we give off. They can read our hearts and sense more about us than we know about ourselves. As we become more awakened, the animals will respond to our new beingness and we’ll walk among them in harmony and peace. Can you imagine that?!

Tom has a tracking school in New Jersey – Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracking School. He has written 16 books and I’ve listed a few you might be interested in:

The Tracker
Awakening Spirits
The Way of the Scout
The Quest: One Man's Search for Peace, Insight, and Healing in an Endangered World (Paperback)
The Vision: The Dramatic True Story of One Man's Search for Enlightenment (Religion and Spirituality) (Paperback)
The Search: The Continuing Story of the Tracker

SPECIAL NOTE: I apologize to my fellow bloggers for not being as active in reading your posts and stumbling and commenting. I just started a full-time job this week. I haven’t had as much time to keep up with the feeds and e-mails and I’m a little overwhelmed. I hope to get a handle on it as I get used to being back into the corporate world. Thank you for your continued support and patience.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

To Be – It’s The Answer Not The Question

(Picture by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~~ I was sitting here tonight thinking about writing my post. I like to share stories and thoughts with you regularly but no ideas were coming. Sometimes, I have an idea I think about for a couple of days and other times like this – no thoughts, but then the words just happen.

Earlier, before I sat down to write, I was observing and exploring what it feels like to just be – allowing the present moment unfold the way it’s supposed to happen. One of the ways you can access that space is by paying attention to your breathing – in and out. No judgments, no expectations – just observation. It simulates the ocean and rhythm of the waves flowing out and pulling back in – back and forth. When we allow ourselves to be quiet by watching our breathing, it cuts out the mind chatter. To me, this is being – being in the present moment.

If you’re thinking, “Let me try this or do that”, you’re not allowing and surrendering to the moment. You’re mind is orchestrating again and you won’t find the present moment there. You have to let go as you watch your breathing.

We all want to find that place of peace. Sometimes, we just want to escape from the noise and chatter but what better place can you distinguish the space of being in the present moment than in the midst of confusion and disorder? Jesus demonstrated it when he walked on the water in a storm. We can tap into our source of creativity and find the answers to our deepest questions in this space of being in the present moment. It’s waiting to be discovered but can’t be accessed through the ego.

Notice and feel the water as you wash your hands? When you walk up the stairs, pay attention to how your body balances itself as you take each step and the movement of your muscles and joints in motion moving up the stairs. Don’t put any labels on it just suspend your thoughts and be aware. This is the beginning of the awakening of being in the present moment.

David said in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”. There’s that word be again and look at what company it keeps. As we move along this path, our journey becomes easier and the load gets lighter as we learn to be with the ebb and flow of life unfolding in the present moment.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What Do You Think? Is It Possible to Live in Harmony?

(Picture by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~~ I remember several years ago at a group discussion one of the questions I asked was, “Do you think it’s possible for humanity to live in harmony?” I was surprised to hear how fast and loud their response was – a resounding NO! We talked about it more and it looked grim based on what humans do to each other, animals, wildlife and the environment. Is there no hope?

After awhile, they all turned to me and asked me what I thought and I must admit I didn’t have an answer for them at first, still recovering from their response. But as I thought about it I asked them, “What seems to be the one thing all humans desire?” They write about it, sing about it - dream, play, and talk about it - it's LOVE. So, it seems logical to me that, if we all have a deep, inner desire to love and be loved, harmony is possible.

Why is it then that we can’t live in harmony if we desire love so much? Maybe it’s because we’ve forgotten – maybe what we have come to believe love to be really isn’t love. Maybe, it’s just our ego acting out disguising to be love. If we can’t realize our connection to everyone (no exceptions) then our idea of love has been misplaced and misguided.

Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), says:

“The atoms that make up your body were once forged inside stars, and the causes of even the smallest event are virtually infinite and connected with the whole in incomprehensible ways.”

Love isn’t: “If you do something for me, I’ll love you” – or – Love isn’t: “Behave and believe like I do or I’ll love you”. Love is allowing others to follow their path and process their life as they need to in order to learn and grow and through it all seeing that part of them that never lost its shimmer or gloss forever connected. We look at the package and love one another based on the package but it’s what it contains that is complete and whole. The love God imparted within His creation is never lost.

So, what do you think – “Do you think it is possible for humanity to live in harmony?” Don’t look at the circumstances in the world or even what’s going on in your community or home. Look at what God looks at and see what He sees and then answer. As John Donne so eloquently wrote:

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Taken from Dr. Wayne Dyer book, Wisdom of the Ages

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Monday, March 17, 2008

What Constitutes Wisdom?

(Picture by Microsoft Office Clip Art) ~~~~ I’ve often thought about wisdom and what it means? I guess so, since my blog carries the name. It’s an interesting topic – one in
which could be explored in more depth. I’ve marveled at those who possess this quality and carry it with such ease and little effort. How does one acquire wisdom? Is it through years of experience, a lot of book knowledge and certificates of accomplishments? Certainly, these things figure into wisdom but I believe it is much more.

I believe everyone possesses the quality of wisdom. It’s like an art form wanting to be carved from a piece of rock. For some it is more evident than in others as a diamond that has yet to be discovered. It’s a gem and when it’s in full flow it impacts everyone in its presence. Have you ever been with a few people when the discussion took on a life of its own and the spark of something said resonated deep within you? You had an “Ah ha” moment. That is wisdom being tapped within you from the wise words of others.

“We all sit around a circle and suppose while the secret sits in the middle and knows.”
- Robert Frost

(as quoted by Dr. Wayne Dyer in his lecture “The

Wisdom projects an essence and energy as if in constant communion with a higher source. When one is in harmony with themselves and the creation around them, they have a deeper understanding, a knowing. They are slow to speak and through the observations of life feel the depth of their experiences. When they allow themselves to feel the experience, wisdom grows.

“God sleeps in the minerals, awakens in the plants, walks in the animals, and thinks in you.”
- ancient Sanskrit saying

(as quoted by Dr. Wayne Dyer in Wisdom of the Ages)

We are all wise and when we stop to connect to this energy of life that is within us and in everything we tap in a knowledge that is profound and with meaning. It shows in those who have spent more time in this space and who are unconcerned with impressing others. They have connected with wisdom beyond their thoughts and want more. As Albert Einstein said, “I want to know the mind of God.”

What knowledge is forming within you yet to be shared with the world? What wisdom are you carrying and felt by others? It’s not the words, thoughts – those are just the messengers – it’s the message from the heart that is felt. It is Wisdom.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Friday, March 14, 2008


(Photos by Pat Ruppel) ~~~ Earlier today, as I was looking out my back window off the deck, I felt captured with beauty and a feeling of wonder. We live in a beautiful, amazing world. I took a picture but it can only display a piece of the expansive, panoramic view. As I sat with this feeling of wonder for a moment, I thought of some amazing things that have happened in my life and of things that have happened to others from what I’ve read and heard. So, sit back and enjoy a mini adventure with a few stories and a link to a news clip (please be patient listening to the advertisement on the video clip – it’s worth the wait).

I hope you will enjoy.

Just yesterday, my husband told me about a video clip from of a dolphin saving whales off the coast of New Zealand. This is an interview with Malcolm Smith who, along with others, participated in a rescue to save this pod of whales stranded and beaching themselves. A frequent visiting dolphin that they call Moko came to their aid and gently guided the whales out of distress and back into open waters. To their knowledge, there has never been a documented case where marine mammals have rescued other marine mammals like this.


A post I read in mid February called Lessons From The Geese by Rich Vosler tells another touching and beautiful story of how nature comes to the aid of humans. He was struggling asking for guidance and strength.

Just then, with eyes still closed, he heard the sound of geese off in a distance, as they were flying in the night. It reminded him of a story he had read of how geese will accompany other geese when they are no longer able to continue with the formation and stay with them on the ground either until they recover or die.

It comforted him to remember those who had been there for him in his time of need and was the answer he needed just at the right time for strength and encouragement. If you read his story in its entirety I’m sure you will feel the same way when I say…..


The world is magical, if we take the time to observe and plug in. It will show us signs and wonders, if we’re open to possibilities. In May of 2007, my father-in-law passed away. We had all come home for the memorial services and to be with my mother-in-law.

It was Sunday and Mother’s Day and we had another full day following the memorial service. It was early in the morning and I got up to spend some quiet time with Mom and share some Mother’s Day moments together.

All of a sudden, we heard a Canadian goose honking loudly and it sounded close. At first, we couldn’t tell where it was coming from as it wasn’t passing over. I walked outside listening to it’s insistent honking and looked up. It was walking back and forth across the peak of the roof calling to it’s mate. Mom was still in the house and I told her what was happening.

I looked up and said, “Dad, is that you?” Mom went to the back door and just as she did she saw the two geese flying off to their new destination. It touched her as she thought of her late husband and felt he was sending her a message that he loves her and is thinking of her on Mother’s Day.

Slade Roberson of Shift Your Spirits also talks about some of these symbols in a post back in January 2008 called The Keys to a Magical World View where he shares stories on talking to trees and asking a crow for advice. If we step out of the box and shed the beliefs we’ve heard throughout the years, we’ll begin to experience the mystical wonders of the world for ourselves.


And then, Vitor Bosshard of The Fractal Forest shares with us his feelings of wonder and magic as he watched the lunar eclipse back in mid February in a post called And Then The Moon Turned Red. I’m glad he was able to capture a picture of it as it was cloudy and overcast that evening where I live in Colorado. A full moon always mystifies me especially in the winter and reading Vitor’s experience of capturing the moment resonated with me and I found myself capturing a moment of my own.

One night, it had just snowed and the sky cleared. It was late and my husband and I were locking up and turning off lights to get ready for bed. With the house dark but illuminated by the full moon we decided to take in the beauty of the freshly, fallen snow as it glistened in the full light before we were off to bed.

As we looked out our back yard we noticed some activity going on and couldn’t quite make out what it was. As we stood there we finally realized we had elk in our backyard and they were taking part in engaging our horses in some play. We watched as one elk acted as if he was charging the corral at the horses and then pulled up and then our horses would react and run back. They did this running back and forth at each other for a few minutes before losing interest. We were warmed by that experience and the memory of it played in our thoughts as we drifted off to sleep that night.

Another interesting link on this same post by Vitor comes from a comment by Deb Estep sharing her experience viewing the Perseid Meteor Shower. I had never heard of this before and it sounded incredible. She said it was like a fireworks display with shooting stars appearing at a rate of 60 per hour. Can you imagine what that would look and feel like as she imparts what it felt like to her listening to the gentle sounds of the ocean waves and the sky sparkling in a heavenly show? It must have truly been a magical moment. Wow!!


From the kitchen table - Pat
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deeper Meaning

My daughter and I were discussing today what we’re each experiencing from the teachings of Eckhart Tolle in his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback). What’s interesting is that I’ve heard these terms all before – ego, connecting, being one with Spirit, awareness - but in hearing these terms now it has a deeper meaning as if revealing itself for the first time. I don’t know why. Maybe, it’s in how it’s presented or maybe I’ve evolved enough now to allow myself to hear it.

Here are some highlighted points we talked about that seem pretty profound to me when I think about it. They are not conclusive but maybe they will give you something to discuss and also think about:

1. Being connected to Source means it will live through you. What you don’t need will fall away and what you need will appear through you. When I awaken in myself then opportunities will happen and arrive for me. We are then connected on the level of Spirit – not on ego.

2. You can’t become connected through your brain; it’s a connection from the heart. My daughter says, “The feeling is not with your brain, it’s in your chest area.” “It’s a warm feeling of connectiveness.” Likewise, your observation is not coming from the head either; it’s coming from that feeling of connection in the chest or heart.

3. You can’t separate thought with thought. It comes from awareness from a feeling. If you become aware with a thought (recognition) this is ego. Awareness goes down in the chest with a feeling that’s warm and connected. That is the part that observes.

4. There is a primary purpose (inner purpose) and a secondary purpose (outer purpose). To bring conscious awareness to the human body and this experience by being concerned only with outer purpose you cut yourself off from Source. It’s like you’re going through the process of living as if you’re driving with the power steering out on your car. Everything is much more difficult. You’re making choices with your head and not your heart. When you tap into that Source and inner purpose, you find yourself in a zone with more energy and power than you could ever imagine. When connected to the inner purpose, the outer purpose just happens.

5. Becoming consciously aware can elevate and heighten relationships. We think what others do affects us so we keep saying and doing things to change them only engaging more in the ego. All of us are one and connected on a spiritual level and that will never change. We are all safe in Spirit no matter how insane the world is and what people are doing. We begin to understand that all of us are on our own path on the physical level and this is where we see the separation. Awareness allows us to understand where we have been operating in acting out this insaneness. We can then feel compassion instead of reacting to the things being said and done and it brings life into relationships.

6. Most everyone is trapped in their head and letting their thoughts run their life. As long as I’m awakening and connected, I sense the protection in the present moment – in a positive energy space. We make choices independently of one another and they’re powerful choices when connected to Source.

7. What you experience in everyday life is relatively real. It depends on our perspective, such as a sunset. From our perspective every evening the sun sets but if you were out in space you would see that the sun doesn’t set, it’s always shining. We can’t decide how things will happen for you or for me. It’s all relative as we have a limited perspective. If we are aware of our connection to the Source, things just happen naturally without pain and letting go as we concentrate on the awakening in ourselves.

We all have a choice as to how we want to live our lives. We can choose to continue to live reacting on everything that happens in our lives to what people say and what they do – being part of the drama and victimized. Or, we can flow with the natural order of Source energy and awaken to the essence of who we truly are that is within all of us. In that, there is no struggle or fight and we realize the impossible is now possible.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Awakening is Happening

Most of my life, I followed a spiritual path along with learning what I could from Christianity and Eastern religions and adapting them. I guess I felt I had done a lot of work on myself and I changed over the years from what I learned. I felt a comfort zone in that I felt safe – “she’s clear; everything’s okay in the eyes of God” – and everything was okay for many years. But I still wasn’t aligned and I didn’t know it.

From the beginning of 2008 I noticed more and more things showing up that were evidence that whatever I’m doing isn’t working anymore (see my previous post What Do You Identify With? The Ego Knows - adding to that list: my car was hit by a truck in a parking lot while I was still in it – Note: minor damage nobody hurt). In fact, as I had mentioned in that earlier post, it had gone the other way almost to the point of wondering if there was something conspiring against us. In Empowered Soul, Andrea Hess’ post The Leap Into Growth started pointing me in the right direction when she said,

“Who or what is pushing you out of your comfort zone right now? Honor these people and situations as your master teachers. They are serving you on your path, perhaps in ways you don’t appreciate right now. It may seem that they are conspiring to make you fall into the abyss of the unknown. But perhaps, as you go over that cliff, you realize that you are not falling - you are flying!”

Coupled with that and reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback) and participating in Oprah Winfrey's free 10-week teleclass on this book my awakening has begun.

Deep down, I had a knowing that there were some major things that needed to change that I can no longer ignore – the obvious evidence got my attention. I believe the Universe can only take you so far with your resistance until you find yourself up against a wall, as Andrea Hess of Empowered Soul talks about in her post Deconstructing Our Brick Walls. You can’t go on blindly anymore – something has to give. What has to give for me is my identification with ego.

Some of the major things I am learning from this book that have opened my eyes are:

My thoughts ran rampantly all the time. I used to think, if you just thought and never spoke what you thought, you didn’t give it power. That’s true to a certain degree but the thought has an energy it carries of its own and if you keep entertaining the thought and repeating it in your head, you’re giving it just as much power.

Also, if you’ve engaged in the thought, you have identified with it and it becomes a part of you, even if you’ve never mentioned a word. Tolle says, “Through complete identification with the mind, a false sense of self – the ego – came into existence.” The ego lives in the past and the future – never the now. If you’re remembering past conditioned thoughts and mulling over them, you’re in ego’s grip. If you’re having negative thoughts about what may possibly happen in the future, you’re also in ego’s grip.

All that there is – is now, the present moment. Even when you think of something from the past you bring it into the now; likewise, if you’re thinking of something in the future you’re bringing into the present while you’re thinking about it.

What we need to do is become aware of our thoughts and observe them along with the emotions attached to them. Realize these thoughts are not you – these thoughts are not me. You are the one that is observing these thoughts and as we get proficient at this, the thoughts and old stories will fade and dissolve and we will be living in the present moment in alignment with Spirit.

I had picked up somewhere the belief that if you have a negative thought or emotion you need to change it to something else – just put it out of your mind. I intuitively began to realize that when I changed a negative thought to something else I wasn’t really facing it. I was only pushing the negative thought down – suppressing it. It only appeared I was moving away from it. That’s why I believe all the negative, conditioned thoughts keep coming back. They’re stored in a reserve waiting to be triggered for the right moment. You haven’t really done anything with them.

I am learning that when one of these negative, conditioned thoughts show up, I first notice it and observe and be with it (not identify with it) in the present moment until it dissolves or diminishes. It’s a type of surrendering and accepting it for what it is, as Alex Blackwell of The Next 45 Years talks about in his post Four Rocks to Grasp in Life in the Rock of Surrender. It’s not the easiest thing to do, especially if there are emotions attached to it. But, again, the more I sit with this and observe knowing what it is and where it is coming from, it gets better. Tolle says, “Any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is in the moment it arises does not completely dissolve. It leaves behind a remnant of pain.”

We have them. In fact, most of us are born into this world with a pain-body according to Tolle:

“This energy field of old but still very-much-alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body.

The pain-body, however, is not just individual in nature. It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity, which is a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement, pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence. This pain still lives in the collective psyche of humanity and is being added to on a daily basis…. The collective pain-body is probably encoded within every human’s DNA, although we haven’t discovered it there yet.

Every newborn who comes into this world already carries an emotional pain-body. In some it is heavier, more dense than in others.”

So, if you feel like you have two people living inside of you and one shows up unannounced and demanding and you wonder where did that come from, it’s probably the result of accumulated emotional pain energy - pain-body. You can become deeply negative suddenly or feel a dark and heavy mood out of the blue. Tolle says, “It may be shocking when you realize for the first time that there is something within you that periodically seeks emotional negativity, seeks unhappiness. You need even more awareness to see it in yourself than to recognize it in another person.” When you become aware of what this is, you can observe it just as you do your thoughts and emotions. When you only observe and not attach to it or label it, the negativity is diminished.

The purpose of all this for me was to realize that all of what has been happening is not of the real me – it’s of the false self – ego – pretending to be me. Realize that the real you is always intact with Spirit and is not in contention, a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or possessed.

I have only touched the surface of what there is to learn from these teachings and I wanted to share them with you as I continue on this journey. I invite feedback and comments from those of you already reading the book or even if you’re not. It will give me further insight into what I’ve posted.

As this knowledge resonates and takes hold, more and more of us will learn and align with our true purpose and meaning of life - that is to be awakened and aligned with Spirit in the present moment living the life we were destined to live.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Capturing the Magic

We just had our 23-month old grandson spend the weekend with us. Each time he comes there’s a renewed spirit of wonder as I watch him explore his world and revel in his new creations. He takes such pleasure making sounds with his mouth or pushing the sliding door open and close – open and close. If ever one needed to be reminded of how to be in the present moment, sit with a child for a day and feel what they feel in their sense of wonderment. It’s magical.

It takes me back to when I was a child visiting my grandmother’s. It was the simple things that I remember most - playing marbles or games like kick-the-can. I have still tried to recreate her macaroni and cheese to this day without success. I tell myself it’s because the cheese is processed differently today than it was back then. Still, remembering the sounds and smells of that old creaky house brings a warmth of being home. Just the sound of her "WOOO" from the back part of the house, as she heard us come in, letting us know, “here we are”, we’re home.

I watch my grandson and know that we’re allowing the same space for him to create magic just as we had as children and still have. This world is a magical place as we recapture what we had as children looking at our lives through the eyes of innocence. It’s when we keep our eyes stationed on problems, the next job, or “How am I going to do that?” that dampens the mystical presence of possibilities and the magic.

So, if you’re looking for some magic, look to the simple things: a gentle breeze, the water flowing through your hands as you wash them, the sunlight cascading through the trees. Take note of your breathing, as Andrea Hess of Empowered Soul said in her Aligning with Divine Abundance teleclass, “breathing is natural abundance freely to receive”. This will put you in the present moment and in the present moment is where miracles reside. Enjoy the magic of life – it is a gift.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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