Chalice

From Sue Vincent:

The Silent Eye

                                                 Expansion, sculpture by Paige Bradley

“Empty your mind… empty yourself…you are nothing and nowhere… just floating in the embrace of the universe…” It is a nice idea and one I have heard at the start of many a meditation… and in meditation, such a vision has a place. As a way of living, it is not particularly practical though. Someone has to walk the dog, take out the trash and clean the bathroom… and a person wafting through life being ‘nothing and nowhere’ is unlikely to be getting down and dirty with a scrubbing brush or chasing a recalcitrant hound across a muddy field.

It is such concepts that, for some, consign the whole idea of spirituality to the odd corners of life. It becomes a pastime, something to ‘do’ in spare moments or with a group. It isn’t reality, is it?

For many others though, it is…

View original post 709 more words

The “Shit Show” of Life

waterfall-2271231_1920

I have a friend who has been sharing her forecasts for the future with me. Last night, on our ride home together from the lake, passing sign after sign supporting the aggressor, my daughter asked me if I, or any of my friends, had tried to predict the outcome of the election. And so I told her that prediction is imperfect as I began I mini lecture on free will. I didn’t tell her the whole truth, that I simply don’t want to know something that might pull me into hopelessness.

I am finding these days I want to close my ears and eyes to what I don’t want to see. I’d like to hold onto hope only, and the belief that we can grow infinitely closer to love in just one moment, changing forever the outcome of doom.

I used to channel like my friend, and quite often. I still do, but not by choice. When she slips me into a past life regression to heal the physical body, I find the higher self slides effortlessly into the gap to reveal what my dreams bring forth in the night.

The other day, I found myself bemoaning the “shit-show” that this summer has been in so many ways, along with the confession that each “shit-show” that has played out in my own life has come after a premonition as though that self that sits behind the scenes has pulled the curtain down to prepare me for each horror I don’t want to see.

After the complaining, I stopped to peer more closely at the “show,” realizing that I had placed my own value by giving it a descriptor. Without the descriptor, I am reminded that we are always, in sometimes undecipherable ways, given what we need. The struggle is real when we make it so, but I find myself longing for the easy breath. Yet, the breakdown must come before the opening. I am just one tiny mirror of the billions that surround me. We are a world collapsing to unfold.

My friend, when I speak with her, rejoices in the scene she sees, but while she talks I find myself falling into the acts of the play that bring us to the final scene she has fixed upon. We disagree about the necessity of life returning to the great womb until I need to see it for myself. I part the curtain with caution, and as it falls effortlessly away I realize how much I have held onto the notion of pain and fear. How foolish I have been to forget that the love and joy I seek is always waiting on the other side. The veil between so thin it in fact does not exist outside of our own minds.

#Clouded #writephoto

low-cloud
Photo Credit: Sue Vincent

The dream keeper ran through Sky. Unseen by most, his ursine form clouded the blue beyond and brought the west winds to seed the stars’ wisdom into the valley between the hills. Earth waited breathless, opening her womb to receive his air as mist. His shape dissolving into hers as droplets coalesced into the seeds of being and implanted themselves into her cavern. Love stirred the grasses into parting, caressing the memories of stones with light until the sigh released into One.

For Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt #clouded

The fabric of being

From Sue Vincent a director of The Silent Eye:

The Silent Eye

We all know them, that handful of people who cling to a reactionary refusal to own a mobile phone… or turn it on when they do… or bother to check it. Or they don’t really like computers or social media. You can’t get hold of them, they pass their lives in a state of technological invisibility and you wonder how on earth they can survive…

Or… you secretly envy them their anonymity and accepted state of unavailability…

It is not so very long ago that communication was less intense, relying on ‘local’ calls and handwritten letters. The reliability of the mail was legendary, if slow, and such missives could be cherished or responded to in a timely fashion… say, a week or two. And that was okay. These days, ‘radio silence’ presses the panic buttons… people, including ourselves most of the time, expect an instant response. We have, very quickly…

View original post 1,431 more words

The Story Of Plastic …Part 3

More about the harms of plastic from CarolCooks2:

Retired? No one told me!

The story of Plastic continued…

Plastic was initially a waste product…a word that originally meant ” pliable and easily shaped” in recent years it became a name for a category of materials called polymers. The word polymer means “of many parts,”

Although there are natural polymers made from plants synthetic polymers have been found to be very useful…

cotton-2807360_640

It started in 1869 when an American Inventor namely John Wesley Hyatt saw an opportunity when a New York company made an offer of 10,000 dollars for anyone who could come up with a substitute for ivory.

Hyatt found that if he treated cellulose derived from cotton fibres with camphor a plastic was created which could be moulded into various shapes and made to imitate tortoiseshell, ivory, horn and linen….the plastic revolution took shape…

Manufacturers were now no longer limited by the availability of natural products…

This was just the beginning…

We now come…

View original post 713 more words

Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm with Angry or Frustrated by Barbara Haas Featured on A Better World of Books #mindfulbooks #mindfulness

It’s my pleasure to add another book to the growing collection of “A Better World of Books.” Today’s feature is brought to you by the self-proclaimed “word wrangler,” Barbara ‘Rhubarb’ Haas and her book for calming emotions illustrated by Mary Ann ‘June Hog’ Kruse, Flustered Without Mustard: Finding Calm When Angry or Frustrated. Flustered-Cover-768x842

Written in rhyme, using playful verse to appeal to a young audience, Flustered Without Mustard offers pages filled with teachable wisdom for taming volatile emotions in people of all ages.

Haas uses a simple narrative of a hot dog vendor who has not ordered enough mustard to meet the hungry demands of his customers to tell her tale of rhyming mindfulness. Although I think her story could be enhanced by more showing than telling, Haas incorporates the vendor’s predicament into examples of how her readers can reign in their emotional responses to stay calm and level headed. This is where her book shines.

More than a story, Flustered without Mustard is a go-to-guidebook for ways to calm one’s state of mind and move through life’s obstacles with centeredness and ease.  Although each tip appears in whimsical meter, much thought and wisdom is held inside of the lines:

“If you’ve let loose, quickly adjust, find your center.

Counting three breaths may help you remember.

You could shake like a dog when you’re really upset,

Or you can sing, or dance, or play clarinet!”

Filled with mindful coping techniques to stay centered and calm, such as the five given in just the four lines of rhyme above, Flustered without Mustard has a place in any classroom or home to be picked up often as a reminder of how easy it is to lose one’s temper and reign it back into a more peaceful state of mind.

Haas’s book, which she self-published just this year, has already received numerous testimonials from educators. The author, herself, has worked in the field of education since the 1970s and offers the arrangement of author’s visits to schools and libraries.

To learn more about Barbara ‘Rhubarb” Haas and her book Flustered without Mustard, you can find her at Rhubarbwisdombooks.com.

 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea

#TuesdayBookBlog ~ As it Was in the Beginning…

New book by Jaye Marie:

Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie ~ Authors

Although I used to dream about writing when I was younger, life made sure I forgot to remember this, always finding new ways to keep my mind from straying.

Even when my sister, Anita started to write and needed help with transcribing and editing, my own dreams stayed dormant.

Life continued to throw some major curve balls.

I learned to love editing, mainly to keep from drowning under life’s misery and frustration. Anita’s characters and stories somehow gave me hope that everything would one day be better.

I needed a lot of patience at that time, and editing is an exceptionally good way of teaching this!

I’m not sure where the first idea came from, but I began to think about writing a story about a woman called Kate Devereau. Someone remarkably like me, as it happens.

I refused to admit it would be a memoir or in any way…

View original post 308 more words

Recycling and Climate Change… 20th July 2020…

From CarolCooks2:

Retired? No one told me!

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of recycling and climate change news from around the world…

Since last Monday I have watched “The Story of Plastic“…Did any of you register and watch it?

Tonight I am attending a zoom panel discussion and Q&A...I am looking forward to that as this film has raised many questions which I would like the answers to or know what the way forward is…

Briefly, it was the story of the birth of plastic and how far it has come…Did you know that plastic was once a waste product?

plastic-3577044_640

It is the story of how the oil & gas industry has been successful in manipulating the narrative…The story of how some plastics just cannot be recycled…It is the story of sachets which are multi-layers of different substances, plastic, aluminum, paper these 1 serving convenient little sachets cannot be recycled…

smart These Sachets…

View original post 1,025 more words

Songs of a bard….

France & Vincent

north yourks trip skies (25)

I love the old stories, the legends and lays of ancient times when the world, from our vantage point, seemed both a more innocent and more magical place, where the impossible walked hand in hand with the improbable and where worlds seemed interwoven through the warp and weft of reality.

The tales tell of monsters and battles, quests and fair maidens, intrigue and magic. At least on one level. It is possible to hear in them still the crackle of the fire and the cadence of the bard holding spellbound an audience. Yet to listen to these stories in the silence of the heart is to realise how much they hold. In storytelling there is a perfect way to commit history to memory, to teach of new advances and preserve old lore, to guide the heart and mind through the hidden valleys of wisdom and show not only a way…

View original post 563 more words

My Pick for A Better World of Books: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer #betterworldofbooks #indigenouswisdom #braidingsweetgrass

1AE45083-B8FC-4390-A27F-2CFD75444BF8

When you open this book, you begin to fall inside of yourself. I can’t promise you the fall will be gentle or painless, but I can promise you the journey through the path of the prose will be exquisitely beautiful.

I was introduced to Braiding Sweetgrass many months ago by two close friends of mine. “You must read it,” they both told me and so finally I did. For Mother’s Day I requested a copy and got it. It took me two months to slowly devour its pages, savoring a few hundred words each night before I went to sleep. That’s how I recommend reading it. Alone and in a quiet space where your mind can wander into the depths of its narratives and find that sometimes uncomfortable, but always welcoming place, of home.

Naturalist, scientist, teacher, mother, and writer, Robin Wall Kimmerer has woven together stories from her own life, combined with indigenous wisdom, into her book Braiding Sweetgrass. Although there are so many words that rang through the walls of my heart and beat it fiercely with the call of truth, below is the passage that I marked because its words sand directly to the core of my being. In this one small paragraph, I felt the author calling me home. Her longing, also mine. A longing that I believe exists somewhere inside each of our cellular memories.

“I want to stand by the river in my finest dress. I want to sing, strong and hard, and stomp my feet with a hundred others so that the waters hum with our happiness. I want to dance for the renewal of the world.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, pg. 251

The world needs more books like Braiding Sweetgrass, written in languages that are approachable to each of us. Books that stir the detritus of indifference and even despair. Books that break open the shell of the self and allow it to bleed a bit before it seeks healing. Healing that can always be found in the Mother we all share.

About halfway through the book, Kimmerer tells us the story of “The Honorable Harvest.” On page 177 she writes, “I am not the vibrant leaves on the forest floor — I am the woman with the basket, and how I fill it is a question that matters. If we are fully awake, a moral question arises as we extinguish the other lives around us on behalf of our own. Whether we are digging wild leeks or going to the mall, how do we consume in a way that does justice to the lives that we take?”

Indigenous wisdom, as Kimmerer tells us, teaches to take “only that which is given.” How far most of us have traveled from that edict. How far we have traveled from the honorable harvest where we stand before the offering and take only what is offered.

While picking wild leeks, the author pauses and studies the abundance before her. She pauses to ask permission of the plant before she indulges in the taking of its life. In return for a “yes,” she digs into a pouch holding tobacco leaves and leaves a gift in exchange.

I have been practicing “The Honorable Harvest” with the land surrounding my house. Beside my natural lawn there is a patch of wild berries. This year the bushes are filled with abundance. I have formed a quiet agreement with the land and its offering. Take just as far as you can reach, leave the others for the wildlife. Each day, when I go out with my bowl to fill, I pick just as far as I can reach. If I reach too far, I am scolded by a thorn in my foot or arm, and so I back off and remind myself not to give into greed. Each day I fall a little more in love with the wild bushes and their plump purple berries that seem to magically appear while I sleep. And, I think they know it. As Kimmerer shows us in her stories, the Earth loves her children and honors our love with her gifts. When we love her back, the harvest blooms with abundance.

If you feel the calling, as I did, to purchase a copy of Braiding Sweetgrass, please consider finding it at your local bookstore. And when you do, perhaps take a moment to honor, in your individual way, the trees that formed its pages, the soil, water, and sun that nourished their growth, and the author and the bookstore for bringing its exquisite teachings into your hands.

To discover more about Braiding Sweetgrass and Robin Wall Kimmerer, please visit these links:

The publisher of the book: Milkweed 

Dr. Kimmerer’s faculty page at SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry

Robin Wall Kimmerer on Wikipedia 

Are you an author with a vision for a better world? Do you have a published book of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction that uplifts and empowers readers to create a more positive inner and outer environment? If so, I’d love to hear more about it. On a “Better World of Books,” I interview authors and review books of all genres that offer a vision for a better world. If you think your work is a part of this vision, please contact Alethea