LEARNING is a life-long task.
Constantly being open to new experiences and learning helps keep us young at heart and our human ego at bay. We never truly know everything because life is in a constant state of fluid movement, and learning is always part of that movement.
LABOR is being able to work and have hobbies you love to do.
Bring in all the things that fill you up with your true meaning of life. Even if you work a paying job that is mundane, participating in hobbies brings great joy, big smiles, and much more love of life. Hobbies are a labor of self-love.
LOVE is the ability to give, recognize, and receive love.
Loving self can be challenging because we tend to judge ourselves harshly. The ability to love and recognize love can only be accomplished by learning to love self. With self-love, we strengthen our ability to love, be loved, grounded, positive, and it gives us the energy to begin shining our personal light toward others.
LAUGHTER is one of the best medicines out there.
Learning to laugh at yourself and with others is a gift that always keeps on giving. It lowers the blood pressure, makes you breathe much deeper (from the diaphragm), gets the circulation moving in the body, and calms the mind. Laughter is timeless and never ages.
LETTING GO of things that cannot be controlled.
In essence, get rid of all the negative thoughts that poison your mind. Learn to let go of the worries, should’s” and “would of’s.” Letting go is a major step in reducing stress within the mind, body, and soul. Worrying is basically “future thinking” – the future cannot be controlled because it doesn’t even exist yet. The only moment you truly have is this very moment.
Begin each day by honoring your ability to learn with love, labor with love, love with love, laugh with love, and lovingly let go of things that no longer serve you.
The world really wants to see your smile.
I understand the difficulty paired with the loss of someone you dearly love. Believe me; I’ve had a few. We all feel sadness with loss, but with loss comes wishes, the wish for everything to be okay – as it once was. With time, some wishes come true, and within those moments, the magic of the human soul is seen. There is an Irish saying that says, “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
Although the past few years have been painfully unique for many people, they still define life. There have been many moments of happiness and grace, as well as sudden deep anger over losing someone yet again. In a world where keyboards and touch screens run our lives, I cannot express how giddy I get when someone sends me a handwritten letter. Those letters tear me up because they are super-sacred. I’m always honored that someone took the time to WRITE – not type.
Got a pen?
I found the need to toddle,
as my fear began to teeter.
For my steps so briskly taken,
felt of scalding shards of glass.
Stepped back to view the scene,
checked for blindness in my truth.
Was saved from tripping downward,
when I asked my soul to speak.
The pause was loud and lengthy,
as the whisper grew in loudness.
Words complex yet simply spoken,
slowly seeped into my heart.
“As you walk the path of life,
let resistance fall away.
Becoming needs a letting go,
to see the truth within.
My mind speaks freely now,
through my kind and loving heart.
Wickie, Wandy, and Webbie
– In memory of my sisters, Vicky & Sandy –
One of three left in the black of night,
As the white coats tried to play God.
Stripping her heart of its peaceful rest,
Claiming lawful words don’t matter.
The third sister stood alone in the fight,
In the blackness of that night.
Second of three lay in a cloud of haze,
Family tightly wound ’round her.
Tears told stories of memories past,
As time flew by in dwindling light.
Third sister stood alone in the quiet of that night,
Wrapped in the beauty of the passing.
Last sister stands alone in her grief,
With a heart full of rage and contempt.
Asking why with streaming tears in her eyes,
Her soul rent with loss and regret.
To a place of soundless screams she went,
Beneath her family tree.
Last sister grieved for the first and second,
With their memory clenched to her breast.
Awoke from a dream with a twitch of a smile,
Two lost sisters with hands on her chest.
In the blink of a tear, she pulled them into her heart,
Three Sisters Walking in Her Soul as One.
They passed away 5 months apart.
I am their memory keeper until I meet up with them in heaven.
The fog is very dense, eerie, ghostly, and mysterious here in Minnesota as the night tries to give up its possessive grip on the darkness. As the night begins morphing into a tiny shimmer of the approaching dawn, my thoughts and feelings are drawn toward the various concepts. Of seeing and not seeing, feeling and not feeling, being yet not being, and the ability to not think and simply be.
My cat is curled up right in front of my keyboard, purring away. I must wrap my arms around him to type, and some days this invasion really irritates me, but today he feels warm, safe, and fuzzy. This big warm ball of “Sleepy Oy-Boy Cat” has pulled me into an “amazement” moment to the level that I am not concerned one iota about how much my arms ache. They are beginning to cramp – but I keep them wrapped around him as I type because he continues to purr. Suddenly, I get the “Oy Wink” since he has one somewhat open as the other eye closes as he falls asleep.
Without trying, I really got into the purring, his unconditional love, the mist outside, and everything being covered with white snow. I am getting completely lost in these new moments. Nothing else exists. I know this moment can never be recreated. How long was I holding him? Well, I spent 12 minutes of time with those moments without even comprehending time itself.
My reflection is this. If I go through my day just being in each moment to the best of my ability, just imagine how enriched my life would be with all those long moments! How many “12 minutes” can I add to each day by not judging, controlling, or manipulating? How many “12 minutes” have I already missed? Basically, I guess it doesn’t really matter what I missed because it is all in the past, and nothing can be changed.
The freedom to be in real-time is within us all. We just need to choose to take the time to be there.
Blessing to all you readers.
Enjoy your “Twelve Minutes of Time” every single day.
After a while, we learn the subtle differences between
holding a hand and chaining a soul,
We learn that love doesn’t mean
leaning and infatuation is not real,
We begin to realize kisses aren’t
contracts and presents aren’t promised,
With our head held high
and eyes wide open,
we accept defeats with graceful
acceptance instead of anger,
we learn to walk the path of our life
upon the truth of today because
tomorrow’s ground remains unknown,
And we learn sunshine
can burn if we get too much,
Plant the garden of your soul
with flowers chosen only by you,
Savor each moment,
knowing you are incredibly strong.
Nurture your soul-garden with love,
and know you are one-of-a-kind,
priceless, and forever eternal.
To better understand the foundational meaning of this blog, I’d like to share a quote “Absolem” of Alice in Wonderland shared:
“We’re all vulnerable. Mix the wrong feelings
with the right kind of bad along with
the wrong kind of good,
and you’ll wind up with a total breakdown.”
The naked truth of the quote above reflects on how destructive recent events can harm each and every one of us. And, well, the entire planet. Some recent destructive events seem to be trying to teach us how to hurt and heal precisely at the same time. The unusual, the unknown, and all the crazy stuff in the media constantly overpower and grab our attention. It seems we somehow now have a strangely diabolical standard of everyday living.
Our ability to think “out-of-the-box” is a powerful form of transformation and healing. That ability also has been a significant change-maker for humanity because it is refreshingly real and inspiring. Maybe that’s what surviving life is all about – buffering life’s moments-to-moments and gleefully dancing around all the changes. All our sudden life changes, in the long run, help us learn how to be flexible and aware.
Most of the posts you’ll read on this website come from the various mysterious musings that roll around in my head. It’s a little bit about seeing and eventually understanding all the naturally occurring dichotomies of life. Those dichotomies, as entertaining as they are, can round out some very bizarre situations that make our lives weird, annoying, and strangely enjoyable at the same time. We must flow with the flow because to fight the fight for change can become impossible and worthless.
I believe at this point, Absolem would ask – “are you ready to become sitting with the strangeness of your life?”
Think about what your answer would be. Until then, my dear reader, I leave you with a quote from The Mad Hatter himself:
There is a place, like no place on earth, where the land is full of wonder, mystery, and danger.
Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter.
Which, luckily, I am.
My belief is each of us learns the most from our suffering, changes, and challenges. We generally don’t learn much when everything is excellent. We don’t even learn much on those groovy little car trips with all the magnificent scenery zipping by us that we don’t even notice. Humans need to be challenged to notice the real truth of their life, character, and soul.
For me, the scariest fantastic places I’ve ever been was where I learned the most. It was when I came face-to-face with a bear as I was walking in the Porcupine Mountains. True story. I was coming out of the outhouse, and when I swung the door open, I was greeted by a bear that was “standing” about 6 feet from me. He sniffed the air and snorted – who wouldn’t when one was standing next to an ancient outhouse. I simply smiled and said hi (literally) as he continued to stare at me. For some unknown reason, I was not afraid at all. We looked deeply into each other’s eyes as the bear lowered onto all four and slowly sashayed away. I had obviously been “excused” harm-free. It seems “my smell” wasn’t pleasing.
What a blessing. If each of us held the same keen vision of life as a bear does, all that is ordinary in the human realm of life would allow us to embrace living rather than take it for granted. We humans need to be challenged. We need to understand the character of our soul.
That way, we will be blessed with a tremendous roar of real-life as it blasts us from the other side of silence.
Thank you for what you taught me, Mr. Bear.
“Dr. Andrea brings you an inspiring interview with Dr. Debbie Engelman, a doctor of Naturopathy and Herbal Healing, who reminds us of our divine ability to heal naturally and recover from trauma and abuse with grace. Debbie shares her journey about the death of her two sisters, Vicki and Sandy, who died four months apart. Her journey through the darkest hours of her life eventually led to the healing of her mind, body, and spirit. She shares how she pulled herself out of her depression, devastation, and loss and found her true self.
Listen in as Deb discusses how abuse in her childhood and the tragic loss of both of her sisters revealed how her hidden emotions led to her sickness yet ultimately awakened her ability to heal — naturally. Deb’s story will speak to your heart and inspire you to go beyond your pain to find your own garden of healing through alternative remedies and techniques.”
Prepare to be inspired.
Dr. Andrea Pennington
A boy sat quietly next to his father as he watched wood chips fly. His father’s hands were almost a blur as the ax gracefully moved over the log. To the boy’s amazement, the beak of a huge bird was beginning to take shape right before his eyes. The wings were beginning to look real and magnificent with every swing of his father’s ax as it carved more tiny feathers. His father wiped his face and took a long, deep drink of the cold spring water the boy had brought him. The man’s eyes never wavered once as he gazed at the loving yet calculated way the transforming piece of wood looked and felt.
“What do you see, Father?”
His son’s voice startled his father. His eyes rapidly focused as he smiled while saying;
“Look here, my son, and you will see the spirit of the wood. To create these great totems, I must first become one with the wood. Tools alone won’t set the images free. Look here at the grain of the wood, see how it moves throughout the wood? Feel it, let the wood speak to you. It would be best if you let the spirit in the wood tell you what to do next. For me, to make the next cut, I must be gentle. I just barely cut the surface, or the beak will crack. Can you feel it?”
The boy’s tiny hand lingered on the log for quite some long time as his father watched in silence. Finally, the boy nodded as he said, “I feel a tiny river of energy flowing through my hand. It tickles. But if I push down too hard, it stops.” The father smiled and nodded to his son. With a smile in his heart and on his face, he picked up the knife and began to carve again. After a few moments, his father said:
“Tools are important. I must care for my chisels and keep them sharp and free of rust. I must learn what my tools can do, how to use them, and how to care for them. But my most important tool is in my heart, where my spirit lives. My mind cannot guide me; it sees an image and forgets to listen. Then the wood breaks, and I must start all over.”
“My son, you must learn to listen to your heart. Listen when your heart tells you about life. Listen when it tells you to let go or move on. Listen when it tells you it is time to stand your ground or when it is time to go beyond your mind’s fear and change. Your mind will run from change; it will run from fear and in the running leads you into greater fear. Learn to listen to your heart, my son; it is the most important tool you will ever have.”
The boy quickly asked, “how do I learn to hear my heart, Father? So often my mind fools me, I think I am listening to my spirit only to find it’s my mind filling me with its lies.”
His father quickly shared that “first you must learn how to listen, my son. Listen to the wind, feel the rain, walk in the woods, and ask nature to teach you. Practice humility, practice saying “I don’t know.” The mind always knows the answer, it always knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and it will always have an opinion.”
His father’s voice was silent for a few moments as he put away his tools. Some time passed until he said:
“Son, the mind usually lies. Just as it took me time to learn how to use this chisel, learning to listen to your heart will be a journey. Discipline and dedication with a sincere desire to listen to your spirit will set you free. The human heart has a quiet, gentle whisper. It reminds you of your perfections and talks to you in the language of love.” However, the mind is sometimes more like a crow; loud, bold, and raucous. It reminds you of your limitations and why you can’t do something. Its language is fear. “
Amen – Dr. Deb