It wouldn’t be true if I said I woke up every morning feeling positive and motivated. In fact, some mornings can be a real struggle. I have a tendency to make it worse by scrolling through my Twitter feed before my feet hit the ground (bad habit). This morning seemed a little more rough than usual and the fact that I went to bed exhausted probably didn’t help. In any case, as I made my way towards the coffee maker, I noticed I was troubled by what I was reading online. The theme, a sense of heavy sadness, depression, and general feelings of discontent. Even Michelle Obama had spoken of her feelings of depression lately: ‘these are not fulfilling times’. On the news last night, after a report on the possibility of this year’s hurricane season I watched a TV personality exclaim, ‘if I hear unprecedented when it comes to anything else in 2020, I think I am going to scream!’ this from a seasoned anchor person. We seem to all be struggling in one way or another and anyone would be hard pressed to deny that we have valid reasons for the feelings. The COVID pandemic is wreaking havoc around the world and especially at home with millions sick and hundreds of thousands that have succumbed to the virus. Our political and social climate keep us all in a state of angst and fear no matter what our opinions may be. Many may have avoided illness, but have been thrust into economic uncertainty, stuck in their homes and dealing with situations and emotions we may not even be capable of imagining – or we can and feel helpless. I could go on but this is supposed to be a space for peace. So, as I waited for my coffee cup to fill up, I thought that this morning, I probably just need to breathe, leave out my reading for the day and take a break…I am so glad I didn’t. It hit me that today and every day, the importance of raising my vibration above what is going on in the world is a priority. Plus, if I have the opportunity to help even one person raise theirs, it is all worth every second spent. I went to my book shelves and pulled a couple of books: ANAM CARA by John O’Donohue, The Great Partnership by Rabbi Adam Sacks, The Tao Te Ching, King James Bible, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Peace of Mind by Thich Nat Hanh. They would guide my thoughts during this morning’s meditation.
As I prepared my meditation space, I remembered making a note that I needed to somehow, both directly and indirectly reach out to healers and other spiritual leaders I know and get a discussion going on this state of ill-being and what we can do to raise the level of consciousness and vibration (ambitious I know, but I feel drawn to this very strongly today). The air was thick with grief and it needed help to lighten up. I set my intention and my prayer as I began to draw deep cleansing breaths. It took a lot of breathing before I felt my shoulders release…a few more breaths and I picked up the first book:
“Where there is no passion, your soul is either asleep or absent. When your passion awakens, your soul becomes young and free and dances again.” John O’Donohue
As part of the chapter, he included a poem by Goethe, “Blessed Longing”. Here is an excerpt that ties it together,
You remain no longer caught
In the peneubral gloom
You are stirred and now, you desire
To soar to higher creativity
There is, I believe a passion in this world, stirring amidst the sadness and angst, and it is covered by the noise and confusion on the surface. In fact, I almost let myself be silenced this morning…let’s see where this goes, I thought. I could feel my mind begin to stir as I sank back into my breathing. Focus this morning was going to take some work. Once more calm, I reached for The Great Partnership by Rabbi Johnathan Sacks:
“God is against the established powers…nothing amuses and angers God more in the Bible than people setting themselves up as demigods and tyrants.”
The chapter was focused on the great transformation of the Catholic religion in the 17th century. There was an uprising as the ruling class had highjacked religion to suppress their people using fear and tyranny to gain control. Rabbi Sacks cites three main change factors that turned things around for the people, and surpassed the tyrants: 1. The Reformation and the 30yr War 2. the advent of the printing press, allowing greater spread of the truth and 3. the edict of Sola Scritura, a proclamation that the word of the Bible was ruler, not man. It is a lot to get into here but the basic premise of the times and the purpose was captured in a quote that started the chapter:
“The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.”
J. F. Kennedy, Innaugural Address January 20, 1961
I was compelled to read on and included the following:
“So in the silence of the soul, I listen for the still, small voice, which is God’s call to each of us to engage in the work of love and creativity. That is meaningful life. That is what life is when lived in the light of God’s presence, in answer to his call.”
My earlier message rang through my ears again. The world needs my voice and all of our voices, our healing power, the higher vibrations that are necessary to rise up and overcome sadness, fear, hopelessness, tyranny and hate. Love must be our weapon to combat this fear that is gripping our world. I will be reaching out to my network and those that have recently began following me since I restarted this blog. It is an all hands approach to spread the word. I straightened back up in my chair and drew a long, slow breath, pressing my feet firmly into the ground to feel its energy. Deep and slow I drew in, this time holding for ten seconds before releasing. I continued in this manner for a few minutes. I then picked up the Tao Te Ching, opened it and found Lesson #28,
“Know the Masculine, Cleave to the Feminine
Know the masculine, cleave to the feminine, be the valley for everyone.
Being the valley for everyone, you are always in virtue without lapse
And you return to your infancy
Know the white, cleave to the black, be a model for everyone
Being the model for everyone, you are always within virtue and free from error
You return to limitlessness
Know glory but cleave to humiliation, be the valley for everyone
When your constancy is virtue complete, you return to the state of “uncarved block”
The block is cut into implements, the sage uses them to fulfill roles
therefore the great tailor does not cut.
The message seemed clear to me, I must expand and rethink and reinvent to become the implements and spread the messages of hope, leveraging that determination for progress that will inch us towards a higher peace…again. I know its ambitious, perhaps even arrogant, but how do I ignore what is in front of me now? As I resumed my breathing, there was a calm excitement in my chest; a definite stirring, but calm. I felt something coming together. I reached over to pick up the Bible and opened it, reading the first verse I laid my eyes upon:
Daniel 11: 20-22
“Then shall stand up in his estate, a raiser of taxes in the glory of the Kingdom but within a few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger or in battle. And in his estate shall stand up a vile person to whom they shall not give the honor of the Kingdom, but shall come in peaceably and obtain the Kingdom of the flatterers and with the arms of a flood shall they be overflow from before him, and shall be broken: yea also the prince of the covenant.”
I am not a theologian, but I interpret the passage to say that through peace, evil can be overcome. However, the determination and diligence to keep the peace can never end. The passion must persist, all of our benevolent tools must be used for the peace and freedom is a divine place and will only be extinguished amidst our complacency. Each battlement be fought peacefully, extinguishing the tyrants with love winning over fear. WE are the necessary tools, the implements and WE must never grow weary. Once again, I raised myself up, feeling the connections made through my readings. I breathed my way to a calmer state and once ready, reached for my copy of Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius. More affirmation that not taking it easy today was the right decision.
Book 10, verse #27
“Constantly perfect on all that comes about at present, came about just the same in days gone by, and reflect that it will continue to do so in the future…in every case the play was the same, only the actors were different.”
A solid reminder of what has been going through my mind as I think about current affairs and books I am currently reading on race politics and racism in America, Our task is without end, as it should be because it is the right thing to do and so necessary today. Our trials and demons will never disappear if we do not rise up with all of the divine tools we have, understand that deep down, we are blessed with being made in the image of God and that perfectness within us exists. This is a divine missive to continue this battle with our love out front, to fight the fear. We are powered by a life force, Prana that fuels our need to press forward.
The last text I pulled from the shelf, Thich Nat Hanh’s Peace of Mind
“When you practice mindful breathing while walking, you see that it’s a wonder to be alive and making steps on this beautiful planet; happiness comes right away. Happiness is not made of money, fame and power, but of mindfulness of breathing. Mindfulness carries concentration and insights within it.”
While it may seem that anger, sadness, fear and anxiety hangs over us, it should not dominate us. We have a power within ourselves, deep inside our hearts; a power that has been and will be successful again. We must be still, we must breathe to listen, breathe to appreciate, and use our collective consciousness to march together carrying a banner of love and hope. Together we will succeed, together we will feel love’s reign…and it will be through persistence, diligence; an outpouring of the love within us all powered by divine intent and capability.
Thank you for reading…while this may seem a little heavy, I was compelled to share what I was given this morning. I hope it helps you to feel the same courage and hope.
If you have any questions about the books I use, please feel free to check the Interesting Reading tab on my home page or drop me a note – I would be happy to help.