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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Irish Blessing

I went to a memorial service today in honor of a dear friend who had passed away last week. It was a celebration, actually, and as I sat there and listened to the stories told of his life I wondered what he was doing and what it was like where he was now on his continued journey in a different form.

He was a prayerful man, and in the service they shared this Irish Blessing and it was as if I could hear him imparting this message to each one of us with love.

Credits to Ellie112001 - An Irish Blessing - on YouTube

The rhythms of life are sure and true and there comes a time when our lives blend more with the spiritual than the physical and we find ourselves at a juncture to where we cross over. It’s a mystery – one that most fear.

It’s comforting to think that life doesn’t end when we die. It just picks up and continues in a different dimension invisible to our eyes still connecting us in some way. Just as Emily Dickinson said as quoted from Dr. Wayne Dyer in Wisdom Of The Ages:

This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies,
And lads and girls;
Was laughter and ability and sighing,
And frocks and curls.
This passive place a summer’s nimble mansion,
Where bloom and bees
Fulfill’d their oriental circuit,
Then ceased, like these.

Everything changes in the world of form and that includes us. Part of the suffering comes from wanting to hold onto what we have and the people we love but it’s not designed that way. So, in time we learn to let go and bless the moments, things and people that come in and out of our lives. We learn to be present.

So, for now, as I bid farewell to my dear friend likewise extending to him the Irish Blessing, I’m reminded of a passage written by Kent Nerburn in Simple Truths: Clear & Gentle Guidance on the Big Issues in Life (page 109):

“When we come to the end of our journey, and the issues that so concerned us recede from us like the day before the coming night, it will be these small touches – the child we have helped, the garden we have planted, the meal we have prepared when we were too weary to do so – that will become our legacy to the universe.”

“It is a small legacy, perhaps, but a legacy nonetheless. Somewhere, between a baby’s cry and the distant brightness of a star, the mystery was alive in us for a moment. It was our privilege to feel its presence, and to have the chance to pass it on.”

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Arbor Day – April 25th

(Photos by Microsoft Clipart) ~~ Today, at lunch time, I got out and took a walk around a park not far from work. If those old trees could talk, I wonder what stories they would tell of times past and the people they saw and the changes they bore.

It felt good to shed some of those winter garments and breathe in some fresh air. The trees are starting to bud and some of the crabapple trees are already in blossom dressed in pinks and whites. I caught a drift of the scent of those blossoms as I walked out of the building. Ahhhh.

What a beautiful time of the year, Spring, when everything begins to awaken from the long months of rest over the winter. The sky seems brighter and you can hear the birds chirping louder in the morning as if they’re calling up the sun. Earth shows its life force in the change of seasons - in Spring with endurance coming back from winter and vulnerability in the Fall when it gives in to dormancy and rest.

Arbor Day is officially recognized the last Friday in April and people all around celebrate by planting a tree.
I remember one year we got 10 free Colorado Spruce trees for becoming a member to the Arbor Day Foundation. We had 8 of them going strong until we had to transplant them. We had started them in the wrong place behind our shed and they were growing fast.

We only have 2 left after transplanting but they are doing well – about 2-1/2 feet tall. Not bad from small beginnings as a suckling in the Rocky Mountains. One day, I hope to see them grow tall enough to decorate for Christmas.

It makes me wonder - one group is encouraging the planting of trees while the other group is thinning forests and mitigating. I hope they all are in balance in what it is they’re promoting.

With all that humans have done to disrupt the natural cycles, it is all the more fitting for more of us to join in and give our support to turn things around and support Nature and this beautiful planet on which we live.

So, go plant a tree, rake up the grass, clean out the flower beds, get your hands dirty and smell the earth.

With Nature doing its job of stirring and waking up, the reflections of books read and lessons learned also begin to rise in my Spirit. I’m connected to the awakening process of this season and the stirrings within my soul. I’m excited for the new growth and fresh beginnings.

It’s a new season. Look all around, you can see the signs and you can also see the secret language within emerging in this new awakening.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Solitude and Loneliness

(Photo by Microsoft Clipart) ~~ These are two very different subjects yet somewhat related in the sense of our needs and awareness.

I thought about this when I read a passage from Kent Nerburn’s book entitled Simple Truths (pg. 57) where he says:

“Solitude is a condition of peace that stands in direct opposition to loneliness. Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union.”

It’s true. You can be in a crowded room and feel isolated, cut off, alone. Yet, you can be miles from civilization on a mountain top with only the trees, sky and wind as your companions and feel as if you’re one with all of life.

Why is that? How can we have such contrasting states of being? It’s not just different people experiencing solitude or loneliness but this contrast can appear within us at different times of our lives. What are we focusing on that gives us such peace or turmoil?

When we feel the world is unfair and not providing what we want, we put ourselves in a state of isolation and loneliness. It is not that the world is necessarily being unfair but it is that our understanding is only centered on self and we get fearful or uncomfortable when it’s not going our way. We are focusing only on the external and if it satisfies our needs or not. We want people, things, to fulfill us and they can’t. They aren’t designed to fulfill that longing and desire deep within.

On the other hand, solitude is the surrendering of self allowing the fullness of life to flow and be experienced. It is in this state where we find peace and fulfillment unlike anything a temporary external form could provide. It is in this peaceful place of the ebb and flow of life where we operate in handling the noise and endless chatter.

You don’t have to go to a mountain top to find solitude. We take it with us where ever we go – it is within us. There will always be countless errands to run and endless labors of life long after we’re gone. Accept the rhythms of life and when you need to take the time breathe in and feel peace and solitude right there with you – never to leave – and you won’t feel lonely.

As Nerburn goes onto say:

“Though this may sound mystical and abstract, the universe has an eternal hum that runs beyond our individual birth and death. It is a hum that is hard to hear through the louder and closer noise of our daily lives. .. It makes us part of something larger. In solitude alone do we become part of this great eternal sound.”

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

20 Things to Be Thankful For

(Photos are from Microsoft Clipart) ~~ As I sit here in thought on what words to write I stop and listen. The night is winding down and the sounds of the house are beginning to quiet. The thoughts I have are of how my day went and of gratitude. Allow me to share a few of them with you in no particular order.


1. the sounds of our grandfather clock
ticking the minutes and hours away so faithfully
2. the beauty of a spring snowfall – 10 inches by us – covering the trees and mountains and putting out the fires that were so devastating
3. listening to my 2-yr old grandson giggle and laugh on the phone tonight
4. family and loved ones to enjoy and love and grow old with
5. pets as companions feeling their warmth and acceptance without having to say a word
6. my little car and how it got me through the snow yesterday
7. my day job (which I really like) to meet the necessities life requires
8. the silence – peace – joy – happiness

9. to be alive – feel my heart beating and breathe in and out – one breath at a time
10. for my Guides giving me a nudge that I had dropped my driver’s license and to go back and look for it; it was there in the parking lot – I found it – thank you, thank you
11. being in love with my life-long partner of 41 years
12. for laughter and how it teaches us to not take ourselves so seriously
13. the lessons given to me so I’ll grow and awaken on this path I’ve chosen
14. a body that’s strong and carries me through the courses I take it on
15. a mind that’s going all the time but is learning to take a back seat when I’m in the present moment
16. a spirit coming forth and beginning to shine
17. a voice sounding out and being heard
18. for the warmth and comfort of home where I can take off my coat, eat a warm meal and just BE
19. the gift of giving to others through maybe a word of encouragement, back rub or writing these words of gratitude to you for taking the time to read them
20. the time to rest and slip off to sleep through the night dreaming dreams and visiting other worlds preparing to get up tomorrow and start it all over again

There are so many other things I could include on this list but I don’t want to see how many I can list. I want to acknowledge the many blessings in my life and to say thank you to my Creator, my family, to you for reading this far, my Angels and Spirit Guides and animal companions.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery.
And today? Today is a gift.
That’s why we call it the present.
~Babatunde Olatunji~

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Who Am I...and You?

I’ve been thinking about this all day. It’s a question all of us ask at least once in our lifetime. I think I got a little closer to the answer from listening to a story Oprah told on her webcast last night with Eckhart Tolle.

She said she remembered being in Hawaii and going for a walk with a friend late in the day. They walked to a top of the mountain and the clouds came down and were all around them. Up in the sky they could see the sliver of the moon but at ground level were the clouds. As she told it, there was such a presence of stillness. It was so still and quiet that she held her breath because the sound of breathing would break the silence.

I could picture that. It’s as if in this place all time and all thought stops. Tolle says it’s at this place where everything is connected and one and it’s the place of the essence of who I am…who you are.

I guess you could say there really are no words that could describe who we are without putting labels on it. The who I am is not of form. Form is for labels or for the roles we play and conditioned thoughts we think but the who we are is not touched by any of that.

Have you ever been that still or experienced that type of silence? What does it feel like to you? If you’re meditating and you’re in that stillness before you know it an hour has slipped by or if something breaks that silence you feel as if you’ve just awakened from a deep sleep.

Feeling our Beingness as we do in this space is what Tolle is talking about in this webcast and his book. If we can learn to go about our daily lives aware of our essence doing the things we need to do and going places we need to go, we would find solutions beyond our imagination and energies flowing into the work we do.

Because we would be putting our focus on our essence, who we are, the challenges we face would still be there but not attaching itself and creating drama and stress. When we’re aware of our essence in the midst of these problems and difficulties we detach and step back and observe them. The physical and mental part does what it needs to do to address the situation but it’s not running the show. Through the awareness is where the answers come and when we allow that to flow into the situation a divine energy joins with us with encouragement and love.

I have listened to words like this and read many books over the years teaching many things on this topic and told myself I understood but I don’t think I really knew. I learned the spiritual concept of these words but am now beginning to know who I am. You start by discovering who you are NOT and in the midst of that the real you appears. It’s not something you can express with thoughts or words – it’s the stillness, the silence and essence of our existence.

“The gift you offer another person is just your being.” — Ram Dass

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Learning How to Awaken

I have read others’ posts on what they’ve been learning from Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback), and I can truly resonate with what they’re learning about the many faces of ego and how it operates in our lives. What I’m realizing is that this is serious and is not to be taken lightly. It’s not just a course to take or another book to read and for many it won’t make sense.

Patricia Singleton of Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker talks about her shyness. I too was shy and withdrawn and my husband also has helped me. Not only was I shy but what was worse is that I constantly cut myself down and he stopped me and pointed out the positive things. What I’m learning now that is so powerful for me is the thoughts, the roles, are not who I am….they are not who you are. It’s part of a conditioning thought process we bought into with the roles we continue to play over and over again identifying with them believing this is Pat or this is you. As Patricia quoted in her post from Tolle’s book (page 86):

“Shyness often goes with a self-concept that is predominately negative, the belief of being inadequate. Any conceptual sense of self – seeing myself as this or that – is ego, whether predominately positive (I am the greatest) or negative (I am no good).”

Suzie Cheel over at Abundance Highway talks about recognizing her pain body and beginning to understand how it affects others. To be fully present is the beginning of the awareness of how ego runs our lives and what it does. They’re typical things, really, and reactions to what others do that trigger the thoughts and we’re off again onto another drama. Sometimes, it’s not pretty.

Being Aware,
Being Focused,
Being Still,
Being Present

I must admit. This has not been an easy teleclass for me to follow. The book resonated with me from the moment I first picked it up but I’ve had a hard time reading it. Distractions and thoughts race through my head so much so that I sometimes have to read a paragraph 3 times. It’s because I’ve conditioned myself that way when I am resisting something. I’d rather detour and do something else for awhile rather than get at the task at hand. See, I’m beginning to awaken...a little at a time – just by seeing this.

Just tonight, I realized in talking to my husband that my thoughts are running on autopilot all the time and I don’t listen fully. I get a piece of what is said and hold that thought that when the conversation is over I’ve missed most of it. This may sound silly to you but when you’re in a conversation you want to feel like you’ve been heard. I know I do but I have to listen first, give my attention and be fully present to who is talking not to the voice in my head. This is the awareness part – the being in the present moment – and it takes practice, at the very least alerted, like I was tonight, that this is what is happening.

My heart is excited and knows the importance of the message of this book and what it holds for me. I feel the truth of the words and the hope of what my world could be like if I could but only allow myself to be still and become aware – not doing, just allowing. We are allowing our essence to come forth and be a presence in our life.

I’ve had a lot of spiritual experiences over the years through which I have learned a great deal and am grateful and humbled at the patience of our Creator. Now, I feel as if all those things I have learned and worked on my whole life have come together again in this one book – this one teaching, as if I’m revisiting them again. Perhaps, what I learned before was more intellectual rather than a touch from the heart, I don’t know.

I only feel, at this juncture, there is something powerful going on here and I believe those who are reading and participating feel it too. For some, it may open like a flower and flow like a stream, easily and fluidly; for others, like myself, it’s like chipping away at a sculpture and allowing the “who I am” come forth as it is designed to do.

We can all learn from each other and awaken to our life’s purpose. As Marianne Williamson said in A Return to Love:

“You’re a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Trees and Private Courage

(Photos by Microsoft Clipart) ~~ How many of you have walked along a path in the park or through the woods and felt the energy of nature. The aliveness of life is fresh and soothing as you hear the birds singing and smell the earth as you put one foot in front of the other. And then...there are the trees standing tall with light streaming down through their branches.

I love trees no matter what size, no matter what type. It always gives me a twinge whenever I hear someone having to clear their land and cut down trees. A part of me aches for the trees. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they are rooted and cannot run for their lives.

I read this beautiful little book by Kent Nerburn called, Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life. In it he talks about making friends with trees no matter where he lives. He finds we have so much in common with them. Here is what he says,

“They have their feet on the ground, their heads in the sky. They respond to the movement of the wind, the changes of the season. They have moods, aridities, joys. They like company.

In their scale they are perhaps our most intimate companions; their lives are understandable in years, not aeons; their size in feet, not miles. We can watch them grow, give forth their fruit, send forth their young. We can touch them without feeling alien, or as if we are violating their wildness. We sense their private courage.”

I’m a tree hugger. I remember one time, when I was working as a loan officer for mortgages, I would walk around my neighborhood getting to know my neighbors and leaving a door hanger with a little gift and postcard soliciting my services. I called it my walk-abouts. Because we live in the mountains you don’t see all the homes tucked away down a lonesome lane or up a long, wooded driveway passing by in a car as you do when you’re on foot.

So, I picked this asphalt driveway. It looked nice with an open gate and a stone entryway. I started walking, and then hiked as this driveway turned into a road and took many twists and turns taking me up higher through trees and rock outcroppings. I had walked in almost a mile when the road opened up to valleys all around and more trees and I could see below to the highway. It was beautiful but I was wondering where this road was leading me.

As I continued walking, I came upon this strangely shaped tree just off the asphalt. It almost looked like an adult pine tree shaped similar to a bonsai and, as I approached, it seemed to call to me. I stood and admired it and it communed with me without words. I put my arms around it and hugged it and felt its strength and “private courage” as Kent Nerburn said in the passage above.

I continued on and at the end the road turned into a circle drive with a beautiful log home rising up like The Ponderosa with its separate mother-in-law home to the side and an outdoor, colored rubber basketball court against the huge outcroppings. I thought I’d come upon a mansion. No one was home and their Rottweiler guard dog was a little suspicious of me.

I left my door hanger while keeping an eye on their dog and made my way back down the road happy with my adventure and over taken with the majestic beauty before my eyes. I greeted the uniquely shaped tree in passing on my way down and thanked it for the energy it shared with me that day.

I’d often contemplated what they might have thought, if they had security cameras, seeing this "crazy" lady walking up their road, hugging a tree, talking to their dog and leaving a door hanger. Not long after that I no longer worked in the mortgage industry and they closed their gates and I honored that. What a shame that door closed.

At least I know of a beautiful home not far from mine that is embraced with a curiously wonderful tree that I might have an occasion to see again on some other opportunity, perhaps on another adventure.

If you get a chance – hug a tree. You might be surprised by their warmth and energy and willingness to commune and share secrets – captured by their private courage.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Don’t Give Up!

(Photo by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~ I think I'm writing this tonight more because I need to hear it for myself....Don't give up. It has a warm, encouraging sound to it full of hope and support as well as strength and empowerment. I think we all need to hear these words from time to time, especially when we're weary from the challenges.

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
~ Dale Carnegie ~

I had one of those funky days when I felt I had taken 5 steps backward for every step taken forward. I know it's only momentary and it happens when I get caught up in the drama of everyday life and have forgotten how to be present. It seems like we want to take on the problems of the world all by ourselves and do the work that is not ours to do. In times like this, I need only remember who I am and feel the essence....not only just remember who I am but who we all are. That then begins to put it all back into place.

(Holy Bible KJV Matthew 6:25 and 27-29)~~ Jesus said:

"Therefore I say unto you, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"

"Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?"

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;"

"And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

That has always been such a beautiful passage to me, “Consider the lilies of the field how they grow...”, one which helps me to remember to surrender those things which I have no control over, to be thankful with what I've been blessed and to use the gifts I've been given to shine light where ever I can.

It's important to remember the things that count when you need a lift, when you need to hear the words, "Don't give up", because you are loved. "You are loved!" I feel loved and I am encouraged when I hear these words. I hope you are too.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

We Are All One – Aren’t We?

(Photo by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~ I have heard this preached, discussed, sung and written about down through the years. This truth is put right out there and yet I don’t think we have really grasped it yet, at least in the depth that’s needed in the world today. Not yet..but it’s beginning. We’re awakening.

Tom Volkar of Delightful Work commented recently on one of my posts saying, “Forgiveness gets a lot easier for me when I remember that we are all one.” It made me think about oneness and what I have come to learn about it and wonder, “How much do I really feel and believe about this?”

To what extent can I believe we are all one? Forgiveness puts it on the line with this belief. Can you say it depends? I’ll believe we’re all one when the circumstance and situation is right. But that’s not how it works.

If you believe we’re all one with your child, mother, father or friend then we must also believe we are all one with the one who hurt you or deceived me….or the murderer or rapist. But what are we all one with?

We are all one with the life force that is in everyone – the essence. It’s what continues on after we die. It’s what is living through us right now. The only problem is that we’ve identified with form, this body, and what that does and how that acts. We are not one with what people say or do or how they act, we are one with the essence that is in them – in you and me.

My daughter and I were talking yesterday about what we’re learning from Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose (Oprah's Book Club, Selection 61)(Paperback). Something she said in our discussion about ego and the pain people endure struck me and opened my understanding more on the depth with which we’re loved.

She had heard Tolle say from one of his lectures something like, “There is nothing in this world that can be done to you that can touch your essence.” Your Beingness is untouchable. It is that essence, that life force creation from God that resides in each of us that can never be touched. When I think about this, I feel the incredible love our Creator has for us in this given protection.

No matter what shape or form it shows up in your life and in your world, WE ARE ALL ONE connected to Life Force. It’s that part that bonds us together. When we remember to look for that in each other we will learn to forgive...we will begin to awaken and our world will be transformed.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Forgiveness – Why Do We Make It So Hard?

(Photo by Microsoft Office Clipart)~~ This is not the easiest topics to talk about. One, because we don’t think we have anything to forgive others about; and two, we just aren’t willing to be responsible for the parts we play.

We have forgotten Who We Are

Not only can it be difficult to forgive others that we feel have hurt us but we make it down right impossible to forgive ourselves. Why is that? Why do we carry around so much pain for so many years? We give ourselves or the person we won’t forgive a life sentence. It’s like they have to pay for what they’ve done to you for the rest of their life.

We have forgotten Who We Are

There’s a beautifully illustrated children’s book Neale Donald Walsch wrote entitled The Little Soul and the Sun. He tells a sweet little story about a little boy in heaven who wants to feel what it’s like to be the Light and the part of special called Forgiving.

It’s hard for the Little Soul to know and feel himself as Light and forgiveness when he is surrounded by Light and there’s no one in heaven to forgive.

Then a friend of the Little Soul’s appears to help. The Friendly Soul said he could give him someone to forgive. In the Little Soul’s next lifetime the Friendly Soul would do something for him to forgive. He would slow down his vibration and become dark and dense. He would do this for him because he loves him.

They both had come together many times before each bringing the other what they needed in the perfect moment to express and experience who they really are. Now, the Friendly Soul in this lifetime would be the ‘bad one’ so the Little Soul could experience himself as the One Who Forgives.

The Friendly Soul only asks one thing in return and that is for the Little Soul to remember who he is. For if the Little Soul forgets they both may not be able to remember for a long time Who They Both Really Are. The Little Soul promised and God said smiling, “Always remember, I have sent you nothing but angels.”

Do You Remember Who You Are?

There is a lot of hurt and pain in the world today but if we can step back and remember this little story it will help us to forgive and when we offer up this true forgiveness the Light begins to shine again and ahhhh….We Remember.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Dreams – We All Have Them

(Photo by Microsoft Office Clipart) ~~ We all have them but where do they come from and where do we go when we’re dreaming? Do we leave our bodies and travel to places and dimensions only our spirits know of?

Where ever we are when we’re dreaming it seems so real – it’s like a fantasy. I think it was Rumi that wrote something like …. When he slept he dreamt he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly and when he awoke he didn’t know if he was a man dreaming he was a butterfly or a butterfly dreaming he was a man. What do you think? Have you had those dreams when you awoke it felt like you were still dreaming? It took you awhile to get grounded or back to Earth, so to speak.

Dreams sometimes give you a message. A long time ago in the late ‘70’s I had a vivid dream. I saw a distant newspaper spinning and coming towards me and when it got close it stopped spinning with bold headlines PLANE CRASH – NO SURVIVORS – AFL FOOTBALL TEAM. I sat straight up in bed and in my mind’s eye I could still see the headlines. When I closed my eyes I could still see them. I knew this team and it is a favorite one of mine. I was shaken. My husband woke up and I told him of the dream and we talked and he settled me down enough to get back to sleep but the next morning I couldn’t shake the urgency of the dream.

All I knew to do was pray….and pray more until there was peace. I knew the team would be leaving that week to prepare for a game that weekend and prayed and enlisted prayer chains to also pray. No plane crash ever happened, thank God, and I don’t know what it was about from this side of heaven. Maybe I’ll find out some day.

In his book, Wisdom Of The Ages, Dr. Wayne Dyer quotes from an intellectual spokesman for the English Romantic movement, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834):

“What if you slept?
And what if,
In your sleep
You dreamed?
And what if,
In your dream,
You went to heaven
And there plucked
A strange and
Beautiful flower?
And what if,
When you awoke,
You had the flower
In your hand?”

Who is to say what is reality? Maybe what we believe to be reality is really only an illusion – a dream.

Something to think about – and dream about – sweet dreams.

From the kitchen table - Pat
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