Another Morning Has Broken: Grow the Light #GivePraise #Gratitude

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I woke with the lyrics of the hymn playing  inside of my head in the voice of Judy Collins, even though I grew up listening to Cat Stevens singing “Morning has Broken.” I have not heard the song in years, but there it was, singing inside a mind that refused to fall back to sleep. In my dream, I had been writing this blog post while the beauty of the song played on repeat.

Before I went to sleep last night, I watched most of the U.S. democratic presidential debates. “Are they still on?” my son asked when he came downstairs in preparation for bed. He had suggested we watch them, and together we had for about an hour.

“Yeah, I told him, but they haven’t even gotten to the environment yet.”

“Maybe it’s not on the agenda topics,” my husband replied.

Instead, the focus was on healthcare and gun control. Two topics I will not deny are essential to individual wellbeing. But, if we don’t tend to the home we all share, we won’t have individual selves to care for. Eventually, the morning light will not break into a new day on Earth.

16-yr. old  Greta Thunberg is now famous for telling us, “Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”

The truth is, most of us are more concerned with our own houses, than the home we share. Neglecting to realize that our individual houses are irrelevant if we don’t take care of the planet. Simply put, our house will burn if we continue to ignore the fact that our collective home is literally on fire. Immense forests, the lungs of our Earth, are burning because of climate change. While the land burns, the waters are rising. In attempt to shake us awake, our home is self-destructing with our help.

I realized as I was waking this morning that the song playing on repeat through my dreams was not a song, literally, of mourning, but a hymn of praise to the new day. It is also, though, a praise for union and the truth that we are “born of one light.” The song is incredibly beautiful, and it is no wonder it has been sung by various artists throughout the years. It may have originated as a Christian hymn, but it has a universal appeal, as Cat Stevens, also known as Yusuf Islam, has shown us.

Although I don’t adhere to a religion, I believe that we are all birthed from the same light. A light that weaves through all life, including this living planet we call home. We have, collectively, over many years, but more so in the more recent past, worked more to break this light than to honor it and nurture it.

Science says we are creatures of habit. It can take an individual two weeks to a year to break an old habit and form a new one.  Sadly,  we have made a global habit of looking out more for the individual self than our selves as an integral part of the web-of-light/life that we are all a part of.

The other day, I watched a brief clip of Greta being interviewed by a morning show on a major network here in the U.S. She had just traveled to the states via a zero-emissions boat. As her visibly uncomfortable interviewers also pointed out, she has also walked to their studio.

It takes a fair amount of discomfort to welcome in a “new morning” in favor of the one we are used to greeting. It takes a stretching of the eyes and mind a little wider to really see what exists beyond our myopic field of perception. But, the rewards are infinite. Imagine, for a moment, a new morning breaking into day. Imagine your beautiful light weaving into the light around you. Imagine what you can bring to this new day.

Admittedly, most of us will not change all of our habits, and certainly not at once. I know I am not ready to give up travel by plane to sail across the ocean, but there are choices I can make in each moment to dim the light, or to grow it. Here are a few that we can all consider each morning after we wake:

  • Skip the K-cups or the Dunkins run and brew a cup of fair trade, organic coffee or tea. (If you really want that Dunkins or Starbucks, bring your own reusable mug.
  • Gather a full load of laundry before starting the washer, and use warm (not hot) or cold water to wash. The next time you buy detergent, choose one free of harsh chemicals and dyes in the most environmentally friendly packaging you can find. Just say no to those hard plastic containers! If your washer kicks the bucket and can’t be fixed, buy an energy efficient one. When your load is done, hang it outside in the sunshine and save some money by using free, fossil-free energy! If you must dry it in the dryer, use an eco setting and wool dryer balls in favor of toxic non-reusable dryer sheets.
  • Likewise, run your dishwasher only when it is full on the energy-saver setting with eco-friendly detergent in eco-friendly packaging.
  • Make the choice to eat low on the food chain, and finish what is on your plate. If you can’t eat it all, save it for another meal. Compost what you must discard. Grow what you can, or buy it locally and organic.
  • Water the lawn only if you really need to, and tend to it with organic lawn care. Better yet, grow more plants and trees that don’t require maintenance and nourish your body, wildlife, and the lungs of Earth in the process.
  • Carpool to work or school in the most low-emissions vehicle available. Or, better yet, walk or ride a bike when the weather permits it.
  • Skip the hair dryer, iron, and curler, even if it’s just only weekends.
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use.
  • Turn off lights and heat in unoccupied rooms. (And when they are in use, make sure your using the most eco-friendly options available to you).
  • Support local business and farmers who are working on, or using, sustainable practices for the planet.
  • Invest your money in the future rather than the immediate pleasure of instant gratification.
  • Teach your children that caring for their planet will ensure they have a planet to care for them.
  • If you want to add a child or a pet to your home, consider rescuing one from a life of poverty and homelessness.
  • Wear your clothes until you can wear them no more, then use them as rages, make something new out of them, or donate them to someone who can use them.
  • Buy local. Buy eco-friendly. Buy used. Buy only what you need. Use a reusable bag to put your purchases in.
  • Support zero-emissions energy sources whenever you are able to.
  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth. Turn down the water when you shower.
  • Skip the plastic whenever possible. Use refillable containers. Buy zero-waste products. Remember most of our waste is no longer recycled, and when it is, it takes large amounts of energy to do so.

And, most of all, breathe in the beauty of each morning. Breathe in joy and gratitude for the new day. Breathe in light and Breathe it back out. Imagine a new day where devastation is replaced with joy. Take at least one action each day to co-create another morning for all.

 

Why I visit England (annually) and why we are called to sacred lands

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post for awhile. To attempt to explain why we are sometimes drawn, mind, body, and soul to physical places as though we have no choice but to go there. The heart, leading the body back home.

I think many people I know are confused as to why I feel such a need to travel to England, over and over again. What may be viewed as a flight of fancy becomes, perhaps, seen as an excuse to get away in their minds. From the mundane. The roles we choose to play out in life that can feel old and weary.

It’s true. These roles can age us when we allow them to do so. The soul, mind, and body seeks replenishment from that which wears us down. But being drawn to a place on such a holistic level is a soul’s calling the body and mind to home. We live many lifetimes. Sometimes in one place. The location becomes an integral part of our being, woven into the memory of cells so deeply that it is brought with us through our lifetimes. We become, in essence, of that land.

We are all of the larger “land” that is Earth. Its elements have given us our body of life, but what I speak of is memory. Sometimes the call to a certain place feels as vital as breathing. It sustains us and enlivens us. It reseeds the sacred within.

I have tried to find this here, in New Hampshire and in its wider landscape of New England. I have had moments when I have felt the coming home, but this is not so much about place, but about surrendering to the union that connects all life. When I am in the ancient lands of England the sacred enfolds me and strips me bare. It opens the magic hidden within and I begin to remember fully and completely, through every cell of my being, the essence of Life.

There are certain places that hold memories for us to retrieve when we choose to open to them. Portals. Vortexes. The convergence of ley lines. Sacred temples. Stones placed upon the energy that feeds the body of Earth and in alignment to the stars…Long ago, all life lived in this union, but over time the ego took hold and dismantled union in a search for separation. We are still living the false ideal of separation, to our own imminent demise.

I believe there is that essence inside of  all of us that searches for that Light of union. To feel, once again, a part of the sacred whether we are consciously aware of it or not. We go to churches and temples to find it, and sometimes we go to the land. I am drawn to the land. It is here where the memories of home sweep through me in perfect union when I find that quiet space to surrender to it. Each time I travel to England another part of me is brought to life. Another piece of my soul retrieved and reunited.  The land speaks to me in a language I can understand. I am revived and filled with hope when I hear it whisper through my cells.

When I look at life through the eyes of the mundane I see a broken world. I see the ever-present quest for more. To be better. To divide and conquer. I see wars fought over this. I see violence because we are broken. Despair because we have forgotten. We rape and pillage ourselves and the land because we have become disconnected. We have forgotten that when we destroy another, we in essence, destroy ourselves.

Perhaps it is a fool’s quest, but I also travel to England not only so that I can remember, but so that I can somehow, through my words and experiences, stir the memories inside those we have lost and forgotten this sacred union. We are born remembering, but through modern ways of living we easily forget. Ceremony has been lost to the click of an icon to numb the searching brain. The temples of the past turned into playgrounds to capture selfies.

I don’t think it’s an accident that incredible work and care went into building these temples of stone so that they might stand thousands of years later. They are the physical keepers of our ancestral memories. Libraries set in Earth. And, it is quite likely when they were built they were built with this intention in mind. Knowing that one day we would enter, of our own free will, a long age of forgetting. And that we would, one day, also seek to remember as though our very lives depend upon it, because they do.

To place a hand on one of these stones and feel the flooding return of these memories is a testament to their sacred purpose. When I open to the ancient sites of England, the “I” and all its false needs and wants disappear. There is no I. There is only union. Union with the great stone. With Mother Earth. With the vast heavens above. And with all Life. Long ago, this is what our ancestors knew as Truth.

We are living, collectively, through the false ideals of the ego, lives of self-destruction. If we continue on this course, each individual “I” will perish collectively. In what is the utmost of irony in our striving to be better, different, and special from each other, we are making our “I” become extinct. Soon enough we will have depleted all the resources our planet has to offer and there will be no room for life to carry our “special” DNA onto future generations. There will be no living Earth to sustain progeny to live out or legacy, because our legacy will be extinct. Money cannot buy what we need for our survival. A bigger house will not spare us from disaster, no matter how much we fortify it with outer strength. Eventually the “I” dies.  Each “I” has the same destiny of death. Yet if we really cared about each individual “I” we’d collectively realize it takes the “we” to preserve it. To ensure life continues on, sustaining and enriching each other. We are now at that pivotal moment in time. That tipping point where we can choose to continue on towards imminent demise, or trade in the self(ish) for the betterment of the “we.”

Living immersed, as so many of us do, in cultures that strive for individual greatness, we become numb to the sacred within and without. We look at a tree and see a resource, not a fellow being whose breath feeds our own. We look at a body of water and see it as a fun medium for racing our boats, not seeing that our boats pollute the liquid that is meant to sustain us and the life it holds inside of it. We look at our neighbors and think, you have something I want…a bigger house, a nicer car, smarter kids…without realizing that our neighbor is an aspect of ourselves.

When we come into the world, newly born, we still remember. When an infant gazes around you and past you, smiling as though into thin air, they are seeing what you can probably no longer see.  Essence that dances around you as a sacred part of the light woven with all life. Sing the infant that cries to the overwhelm of this chaotic and foreign life we have brought it into, the sound of “Om,” and you will return to her the feeling of home. Of union. Stillness opens the eyes back to memory and the sacred returns in the moment of union.

We all have the doorways within us. We just need to find the keys that open them. England, in many ways, is my key. If you don’t know where your key(s) is hidden, its worth the search to find it. The life that sustains you depends upon it.