“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”
— Kahlil Gibran
Feeling gratitude toward all that we have and all that we are leads to a gracious heart. Being gracious toward others and ourselves speaks of a rich spirit, abundant mind, and inner power that can heal relationships and create inner peace that extends throughout the world. Being expansive validates our worth and reminds us that we deserve to experience all that our heart desires.
Further, gratitude—versus judgment—allows us to forgive ourselves and others for past mistakes. Healing and awakening requires forgiveness. Without forgiveness we end up distorted with guilt. Forgiveness gently connects to us our deepest self — love — and the love within another. It inspires us to relish all the wonderful aspects of our life, which in turn, allows more love to pour forth, creating a consistent wellspring of balance, happiness and peace.
As we enter into the time of thanksgiving, let us be reminded to give thanks for all of the love we have received as well as the love we have given. I’m reminded of a story I once read involving a group of geography students who were studying the Seven Wonders of the World. At the end of the lesson, the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World. Though there was some disagreement, the following got the most votes:
1. Egypt’s Great Pyramids, 2. Taj Mahal, 3. Grand Canyon, 4. Panama Canal, 5. Empire State Building, 6. St. Peter’s Basilica, 7. China’s Great Wall.
While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student, a quiet girl, hadn’t turned in her paper yet. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.
The quiet girl replied, “Yes, a little. I couldn’t quite make up my mind because there were so many.”
The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help.” The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the Seven Wonders of the World are: 1. To touch, 2. To taste, 3. To see, 4. To hear.” She hesitated a little, and then said: “5. To run, 6. To laugh, and 7. To love.”
As I read about the suffering that super typhoon Haiyan has caused, I’m reminded that we can be another “wonder of the world” right now. Reaching out with love to comfort the countless victims in the Philippines is a wonderful thing, every bit as much as nature’s wonders. And as we join our minds and appreciate our lives, we become miracle workers capable of creating wondrous results.
May your gratitude-filled heart be reminded today of those things which are truly wondrous.
Copyright Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved
All endings are inexorably tied to new beginnings. That’s the nature of the journey. It continues to unfold. It builds on itself. It can’t help itself from doing that. Cherish the moments, all of them. You have seen and felt much in life so far. But still, the best is yet to come. -Melody Beattie
Letting go is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges we face. Our egos easily and all too eagerly attach to things, people, and outcome. Letting go of these attachments can be painful, particularly when we can’t see what’s ahead. Throughout the years, many clients have shared how they have a “back-up person” waiting in the wings just in case their current relationship ends. The fear of the unknown (and being alone), for some, creates feelings that are intolerable. Having “plan B” in place may mitigate some of the fear, but it doesn’t address the real fear: letting go.
I have always found the metaphor of a closed fist and open hand helpful; a closed fist represents our resistance to letting go, while an open hand symbolizes our willingness to embrace the present and future. Moving from a closed fist to an open hand is a process. It requires patience and the willingness to release what no longer serves us. The choice to let go allows us to follow the pathway to our soul.
Life is a series of things to let go of–our friends and loved ones, our children as they grow, our youth, our perceptions of ourselves. In my own life, I have found myself having to let go more these past few years than ever before. In the last year, I have been faced with letting go of my daughter, yet again. The first time was when she graduated from high school and moved away on her 18th birthday, the second time was when I moved from Michigan to California, and then last year, after having moved to California and only living 5 hours away, she relocated back to Michigan. I’ve also faced other losses including the death of my father and letting go of a very beloved pet more recently. Was any of this easy? No. In fact, I’m still working my way through some of it. But, I’m discovering that as long as I keep an open hand (and heart), my experience of letting go is much less stressful. In fact, I remain inspired to let go, knowing that I’m clearing the pathway for my soul to continue its journey and fulfill its destiny.
What do you need to let go of? Perhaps there is a self-limiting or destructive pattern that needs to be released, or maybe you feel compelled to pursue a dream that requires letting go of the work you’re currently performing. The important thing to remember is that no matter how daunting it may feel, you possess an inner strength and courage that is greater than any situation. Courage is about letting go and moving forward, not in the absence of fear, but in the presence of it. When you realize the inner power you possess, you can let go of your attachments. This doesn’t mean that you don’t work your hardest for the highest outcome, but rather, that you do your best and leave the rest to Spirit.
What is it time to release? You have two choices; you can either try to hold onto the past with a closed fist, or you can choose to embrace today with an open hand. As you already know, the former will cause you (and others) unnecessary pain and suffering, while the latter might trigger some fear of the unknown, yet provide rich, new experiences for your heart and soul. Which will you choose?
Affirmations for Letting Go
The past is over; I plan for tomorrow and live for today.
All my experiences are allowing me to become a stronger and wiser person.
As I let go of attachments, I create room for fulfilling and soulful experiences.
I let go easily for I trust that new and exciting opportunities are on their way.
Copyright Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved
As I concluded my interview at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, I walked around the campus and saw how the buildings sat directly between the mountains and the sea. When I commented on this, the faculty member replied, “Yes, healing sanctuaries are called Asclepions, dedicated to Asclepius, the god of healing and medicine. They were established throughout Greece, usually in settings of awe-inspiring natural beauty and scenic grandeur, and the ideal settings were between the mountains and the ocean just like our campus.”
That was the end of March, 2013. Today, I am less than two weeks away from beginning a doctoral program in Depth Psychology and Somatic Studies that will take me roughly five years to complete. After devoting myself to providing spiritual direction and healing the past twenty years, I am now adding another potent layer to that foundation which almost feels like a reinvention: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, even physically.
Recent research shows the amount of women entering their “second act” and/or reinventing themselves is on the rise, especially for women over forty-five. Why? There are many reasons, from women who have experienced a significant change in their job, income or marriage, to women who are ready to stop taking care of others and ready to fulfill their soul’s deeper purpose.
And then, for others, like me, it’s quite simply: GROW OR DIE. It is said that an organism at a steady state is never closer to death. It’s the ultimate stagnation for our mind, body, spirit and soul. The definition of stagnant is “Not moving or flowing; motionless. Foul or stale from standing as in a stagnant pond. Showing little or no sign of activity or advancement; not developing or progressing.”
We either grow or we die.
Some people have questioned why I would make such a big commitment at this point in my life. And my response is: “I have years of life lessons that provide a strong foundation, and at this age, ‘If not now, when?’ Yes, I’ll be 5 years older by the time I graduate, but I’m going to be 5 years older anyway, so why not pursue something I’m passionate about and attain my Ph.D. along the way? Besides, the journey it requires to get there is what excites me the most. It will be soulful, demanding and spiritual—qualities that have always appealed to my deeper self.
Carrying unfulfilled dreams in our soul can be very painful. If you’re feeling stagnant or at a place where you are considering reinventing yourself, here are some thoughts to consider:
• After all of the life experiences you’ve had so far, what do you want more than anything right now? It may help to imagine fast forwarding to the end of your life and looking back. What does your soul need to feel that you lived life fully, richly, deeply? The trick is to release the opinions of others and identify what you truly want.
• Do you need to forgive yourself and others for the past? Resentments way us down and prevent us from moving forward. Take time to release yourself from regrets and past mistakes as well as what you perceive others have done to you.
• Accept that change is scary. Whether it’s “good” change or “bad” change, all change affects our nervous system and can be very challenging. Allow yourself to feel the fear, and then take action. Taking a step forward often alleviates the anxiety.
• Surround yourself with people who support your growth. “Wet blankets” dampen our spirit as much as our enthusiasm. When we are in a mode of change, we need all of the positive energy and support possible. Like a newborn, our new beginnings need to be protected, fed and nurtured.
• Engage in self-care. During the process of reinvention, it is important to care for one’s self and to be compassionate during the transformation.
• Re-invent, Re-vitalize, Re-launch and keep going!
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to listen to author, visionary and vocalist, David Ault, sing and speak. He is a very loving soul and his words touched me deeply. About the same time, David created an inspiring message for Independence Day. It’s titled “I Pledge Allegiance” and I share it with you now as we embrace the TRUE meaning of freedom on July 4th, 2013.
I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE
by David Ault
I pledge allegiance to breaking the self-imposed barriers of my humanness. I recognize that my time on this planet is precious and limited. Every day is a canvas on which I can create. Everyday is an opportunity for me to move in the direction of the dreams and the expanded vision I feel inside. By setting aside petty grievances, past mistakes, righteous anger and my broken story, I pledge to move forward and embrace the experience of freedom right here and right now.
I pledge allegiance to the expression of my spiritual honesty. I fully own the fact that my presence here in this body and on this earth is a celebration of uniqueness and importance. Creation makes no mistakes. I am a creation of life, of a higher power, of perfection. My reason for being here matters in the grand divine plan. I must be honest with my contract of life and walk the path of my destiny with conviction, purpose and grace.
I pledge allegiance to the quiet soldier within. I understand that the championing spirit that is already cellularly alive inside of me, that was already in place at the time of my birth, waits patiently for my current belief about myself to join it in its knowing. I march forward towards a history of my own making, wisely, lovingly choosing the means by which I spread my beliefs and convictions. I never make others wrong for their chosen path for I recognize the innumerable roads that lead to the One.
I pledge allegiance to a partnership with divinity. I choose to see others and myself from eyes that already view the wholeness and perfection within. I do not entertain our past damage or encourage us to identify with it for I trust that a grander calling card has been printed for us to distribute in promoting our lives. I champion all of us to celebrate what is working rather than what isn’t.
I pledge allegiance to wise discernment, knowing when to speak and when to remain quiet, knowing when to comfort and when to leave alone, knowing when to intervene and when to avoid rescuing and interfering.
I pledge allegiance to people and projects of substance. I cannot travel this road alone. If there is anything we as a species need, it is each other. I actively choose to support those whose work I believe in with my time, talent and treasure. I joyously give to those whose intention and purpose is for self-empowerment and the awakening of humanity to its personal magnificence. I rally to make others aware of such light bearers and do what I can to support them in furthering their vision.
I pledge allegiance to the freedom from comparison. I once and for all lay down my wearisome, stale beliefs of unworthiness and not being good enough. I know that my past does not define who I am. I am forever evolving, growing and learning. I recognize that I am a marvel. I now choose opportunities to let my voice be heard; to let my light shatter the darkness of futility so that every personal dream is explored.
I pledge allegiance in knowing that things are not always as they seem. Just because something can’t be seen with the physical eye or rationalized by our current mode of understanding does not negate its existence. Understanding the difference between reality and illusion, I move into a fuller acceptance of the non-physical the mystical, intuitive, soul aspect of living that expands my consciousness and deepens my days.
I pledge allegiance to actions that fulfill the greatest good for all. By becoming a gatekeeper of compassion, tolerance and love, I move into a fuller conviction of pure intent with regard to the words that I speak and the choices that I make. I pursue a win-win in all activities of life.
I pledge allegiance to those who have gone before me, the ancestral lineage whose courage, sacrifice and conviction still live in my bones. I honor the privileges given to me today because of the sweat from their pioneering efforts and the fortitude of their convictions. I give thanks for my responsibility in creating the same for future generations.
I pledge allegiance to a love that has no agenda. I no longer choose to give for what I might get, to manipulate in order to control, to abandon before I can be abandoned, to tolerate because there are seemingly no other options. I choose to love as a way of being. I am content in my choice whether outside circumstances respond or not. In being love, I create fulfillment above and beyond what the human condition can provide.
I pledge allegiance to the sacredness of laughter, knowing that the greatest healing force that exists reverberates from the vibration of this holy and irreplaceable gift. I allow humor, joy and eruptions of laughter to make their home in my heart. I let my physical body respond to the sacred stimulus and biological wonder that laughter creates and vow to keep this attribute alive and thriving all the days of my life.
I think very few of those who have lost their beloved have failed to receive some sign or message from them in dreams, and often it is of deep biding and consolation. – William Dean Howells
Night-time dreams have been a significant part of my life since I was a small child. As I write this, I’m in the fourth week of teaching a dream course with a passionate group of dreamers. Each week, I find great joy in hearing their dreams as we delve together into a powerful and healing process called “Dream Tending.” In this unique manner of tending to dream, a healing we call “medicine” reveals itself through the dream.
Earlier this morning, I had such a dream. My father, who passed away ten years ago, appeared in what is called a reassurance dream. This is one of the four different kinds of healing dreams that can occur with the deceased: the message dream, the visitation dream, the reassurance dream and the trauma dream. My father, sensing I could use some comfort right now, came during dream time so he could give me a big hug. I was so happy to see him. He gently reminded me that he couldn’t stay long, but that he was there for me. He recognized that it has been particularly painful with a family member who is struggling with some mental and emotional disorders and that I was not alone. I awoke feeling comforted, reassured and strengthened by his presence.
Dreams like this one are immensely healing. They have the power to make sorrow less painful, to repair and restore harmony and to bring a sense of wholeness into our lives. Further, visitations such as the one I experienced are quite common. Sometimes they occur when we are grieving the loss of a loved one and the loved one appears to reassure us that they are okay. Other times, we may be seeking some guidance about an issue and the deceased delivers an important message.
If you have ever been visited by a loved one who is now deceased, remember that it is a powerful gift. There is always something of value that you can be gained from the dream. Here are some tips on how you can heal, grow and evolve from such dreams:
1. Write the dream down. Notice the landscape. (Landscapes are frequently overlooked.) Are you indoors? Outdoors? Daytime? Nighttime? What do you see, smell, hear or touch?
2. Share your dream with someone you trust. By sharing the dream, you will re-experience the positive qualities that you felt during the dream. I am very blessed to have a life partner that I can share my dreams with every morning when we walk our dog. By sharing my dream with a loved one, I have been able to retain the feeling of comfort and will recall the feeling when I need it in the future.
3. Select a tangible dream image that stands out in the dream. Make this image visible in your daily life. You will feel the positive effect of the dream as you keep the image nearby. For example, one dreamer I worked with remembered an orange scarf that her deceased mother wore during a visitation dream. The dreamer went and bought an orange scarf and kept it nearby. It became her “touchstone” and empowered her whenever she was in doubt or felt anxiety in her waking life.
Our psyche never stops dreaming. We are all dream keepers, whether we focus on night-time dreams or day dreams. May your dreams remain alive and gently awaken you as you record them, share them and let them reveal the gifts they hold for you.
If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. November is a special time to dig deep within our hearts and express gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. To be grateful is to accept the “Great Fullness.” The more we are grateful, the more we have to be grateful for.
Recent research has shown gratitude to:
- Relieve Stress (and keep in mind that stress is the number one cause of illness in our culture)
- Boost the Immune System
- Increase Alertness, Enthusiasm, Optimism, and Energy
- Reduce Depression
- Improve Overall Health and Well-Being
- Increase Spiritual Awareness, Regardless of “Religion”
- Enhance Sleep Quality
- Improve the Quality of Relationships
And, the really good news is that further research has shown that it only takes 60 seconds a day for gratitude to improve our lives.
Despite my belief in the power of gratitude, unfortunately, there are days I neglect to express it. Needless to say, those are not my best days. Yet the days I do take a few minutes to express my gratitude, no matter what happens, I feel more content, peaceful and optimistic.
I am blessed to have a gratitude teacher (she doesn’t know she’s my teacher). Most mornings, I begin my day along the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean. While sitting on the sand, I watch my teacher as she and her yellow lab move down the beach. They move very, very slowly. The woman appears to have had a stroke. Yet every day she rides her electric wheelchair down to the beach, while carefully holding onto the leash of her beloved dog. Then, with great effort, she lifts herself out of the wheelchair and forces herself to take one itty-bitty step at a time. It sometimes takes her an hour just to walk a few yards.
One particularly dreary morning, which matched my mood, I began observing my gratitude teacher walking with her dog. I watched closely as the woman made a herculean effort down the sand. Her dog, unlike most dogs that sprint and chase after the gulls, waited ever so patiently as the woman painstakingly took baby-steps. About thirty minutes later, noticing they had only covered a few feet, I realized I had never witnessed such loving patience. My heart swelled with profound gratitude for the dog’s love for his owner and for the woman’s persistence and tenacity. Suddenly there wasn’t room in my heart for both gratitude and gloom. Something had to give. So I took out my phone and snapped a photo of the amazing couple. Although they were hard to see from where I was sitting, their silhouettes stood proud and strong. To this day, the picture reminds me that gratitude is all encompassing and is a state of grace.
Here are some ways to allow gratitude to become a state of grace:
- Keep a gratitude journal. I know you’ve heard this advice before, but it really does work. At the beginning of each day, write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. Then “book end” the day by writing 3-5 things you are thankful for from that same day. Simplicity is key; your baby’s smile, a gentle breeze, a colorful sunset or your best friend’s laughter. Relish the feeling you get when remembering and writing it down.
- Express your gratitude. Take the time to share your feelings. Not the simple, polite “thank you,” but the heartfelt emotions. Tell your friend how her support and sense of humor helps you get through tough times, how much it means to you. Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Let them know how much you love them and why.
- Look for what is right about a situation, not what’s wrong. You may be frustrated by your spouse’s clothes on the floor, but thankfully you have a lot of love in your life. The environment is being over developed at alarming rates, but there is still beauty in every living tree, flower and bird.
- Practice gratitude with your family and friends. At dinner, encourage each family member to report one thing that happened that day, something they feel grateful for. Send a “gratitude text” to a friend, and while you’re at it, send one to yourself—writing what you appreciate about yourself will give you an immediate and positive boost!
“Dreams show us how to find meaning in our lives, how to fulfill our own destiny, how to realize the greater potential of life within us.”
—Marie-Louise von Franz
Rich with symbols and archetypes, dreams are an invaluable healing instrument, and when regularly processed and understood, can be a pathway to higher consciousness, healed relationships, fulfilling your life’s purpose and greater abundance. Dreams are jackpots of information, especially when you ask for answers to specific concerns. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.” Such is the capacity of your nightly dreams.
It’s important to keep in mind that each of your dreams, however silly or insignificant they may first appear to be, are abundant with information. They only await your willingness to learn. Further, dreams are meant to help you, not scare you. Being “stories of information,” they are expressed from your higher self through your subconscious to lovingly guide you. Countless times I’ve heard people exclaim, “I want to learn from my dreams, but mine seem so weird or negative that I’m hesitant to work with them.”
LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF YOUR DREAMS
Dreams are highly personal and using your dreams as a pathway to your soul is a process. In the book Season of Changes, Ways of Response it states, “The greatest book of study is that of your own, written by the soul upon time and space—that of your dreams.” Three key questions to keep in mind while working with a dream is:
1) What am I currently dealing with, or being affected by, that my dream wants me to know?
Dreams tend to reflect your life and its current situation. They bring authenticity and intimacy into your relationships, healing forces into your health and provide insight into other issues you’re facing in the present.
2) What do I need to know from my dreams so I can take the next step in my personal and spiritual growth?
Dreams occur to help you in every area of your life, even those areas that we tend to block and may not want to see. (Examples: addiction, self-destructive behaviors, unresolved relationship and childhood issues, unfulfilling career, etc.
3) How may I see the world around me with a new perspective from my recent dreams?
Your night-time dreams are not ghosts passing through the night, but an active and present reality that you can learn from in your daily life.
For the first time in 5 years, Laura is offering a live dream course. For more information, click HERE.
Dreams are alive. Rich with symbols, archetypes and metaphoric meaning, dreams are an invaluable healing instrument. When understood, dreams can be a pathway to higher consciousness, healed relationships and understanding your soul’s blueprint.
Dreams possess the power to free you from programmed beliefs, status quo thinking and false personas. They provide ideas, insights and solutions. Edgar Cayce taught, “Dreams work to solve problems of the dreamer’s conscious waking life, and they work to quicken in the dreamer new potentials which are his/hers to claim.”
Dreams cover the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life. They emerge from the point of contact between spirit and matter, human and divine, male and female, ego and Self. Carl Jung calls this point of contact the soul.
Below is a VLOG on the power of your dreams. Enjoy!
Once while attending a night-time dream retreat—a topic near and dear to my heart—I found myself in awe of the teacher teaching the program. He took all of us hungry students on an unforgettable journey into the underworld of our psyches. Effortlessly, he imparted wisdom on mythology, archetypes and the inner worlds of our minds in ways I had never experienced. Like a magician, he magically exposed the language of our soul. He was able to bring our dream-images to life, animating them in ways that felt surreal.
Tending to dreams while asleep had never made me feel so awake.
But as the retreat winded down, my near-perfect-teacher-bubble popped. For some reason, he decided to entertain us with a personal story. It was a narrative that I didn’t find amusing. To my ears, it sounded crude and rude and I walked away feeling confused. As evening approached, my inner critic had a field day. My beloved teacher began toppling down from the very high pedestal I had carefully placed him on. Evening turned into night and down, down, down he plummeted until…splat! He hit the ground beneath my feet.
What had happened to my all-knowing teacher? How could someone who was so wise sound so superficial?
After all, this was a man who not only possessed numerous credentials, but more importantly, was vastly aware of invaluable matters such as the soul, the future of the planet and the importance of all living creatures. This person spoke my language! And how often, in a higher education setting does that happen?
Feeling restless and out of peace, I called my husband. After sharing how I was feeling, he said something that snapped me back into sanity, “You’re learning so much from his teachings, do you really want to throw it out the window? After all, he’s human just like the rest of us.”
How often do we elevate our teachers? The tendency to make them higher than we are is natural. Yet inevitably, it leads to disappointment.
As I prepared to go to sleep that night, I realized how close I had come to throwing the baby out with the bath water. My ego had done its best to divert me on to my teacher’s human foible and away from what really mattered: his teachings.
The next day, I awoke and like a dream (pun intended), my inner critic was no longer complaining. In fact, as I stepped into the classroom and greeted my teacher, I was filled with gratitude.
As a teacher myself, how many times had I fallen off someone’s pedestal? I’m reminded of a saying a friend and spiritual teacher once shared: “Remember, I’m not your savior. I’m a sailor, and just like you, I’m trying to sail home.” Touché.
Laura V Grace
Living Like Water
One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment, always knowing the truth of just what to do.
~~Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching, 8th Verse
Water is a commonly used metaphor in one of my favorite spiritual paths, the Tao te Ching. It symbolizes fluidity, gentleness and strength. When we’re free to flow as water, we’re more apt to align with our inner guidance. Yet, in our culture, living like water can be very challenging. Woody Allen is credited with saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Our need to stay busy, busy, busy, limits our ability to be fully present.
A few days ago, some of my own plans were put to the test. While waiting for my next meeting, I decided to take a walk along the beach in a nearby seaside town. As I made my way to the shoreline, I looked down and saw a young pelican sitting on a sidewalk. It wasn’t moving, just sitting there looking sleepy. A sheriff was talking to a woman about it so I assumed it was being tended to.
Fifteen minutes later, as I walked back to my car, the baby pelican was still there. No sheriff this time, just the water bird. Looking down at the winged creature, I realized it needed tending to, although exactly what it needed, I didn’t know. I was at a crossroads; I could either continue with my busy day—or—I could try to help the prehistoric-looking creature in front of me.
How many times do we encounter something or someone that is in need of assistance yet look the other way? Sometimes it’s because we don’t know what to do or we don’t believe we have the time. It seems easier to hope that someone else will deal with it.
Living like water teaches us not only how to be in the flow of life, but how to focus our attention where it’s most needed. So I picked up my phone and called the local marine and wildlife centers. “Yes,” they said as they answered my call, “we’ve received several calls about the same pelican (apparently she had been sitting on the sidewalk for two days). “Unfortunately, we cannot pick her up. Can you bring her to us?”
“Straight away,” I said, not having a clue as to how I would transport a pelican in my two seated sports car. But as soon as I committed to rescuing “Pella” (short for pelican), help arrived. (Later, I discovered that “Pella” is an ancient Greek name meaning a “defensible citadel on a cliff.”) Within minutes, a woman walked by and asked, “Is there anything I can do?”
“Yes,” I quickly replied, “I need a box.” She set off and promptly returned with a box the perfect size for Pella. As she sat the box down, a young British couple stopped to observe the feeble pelican and kindly said, “I have a pocket knife and can cut a hole big enough for her beak if you’d like.” Brilliant.
Removing a towel from the trunk of my car, I gently placed it around Pella’s beak. She was so weak that she barely resisted. I carefully placed her in the box and set her on my passenger seat. I securely held the box in place and with my right hand as I shifted my 5-speed manual transmission with my left hand. Forty-five minutes later we arrived at the shelter and Pella joined thirty other juvenile pelicans being treated for starvation.
In the book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life Dr. Wayne Dyer discusses the teachings of the Tao and states: “When you’re free to flow like water, you’re free to communicate naturally—information is exchanged, and knowledge advances in a way that benefits everyone.” Lesson 100 in A Course in Miracles echoes the same truth in a different manner: “You are essential to Love’s [God’s] plan. You are Love’s [His] messenger today. And you must find what Love [He] would have you give.”
Living like water doesn’t mean that we don’t keep a schedule or we won’t be productive. Rather, it entails being fully present, remaining fluid and flexible to what most needs our attention. After rescuing Pella, I felt a sense of fulfillment from choosing to follow the natural flow of life. I not only knocked off all the “to do’s” from my list that day, I also fell asleep that night feeling inspired and aligned with a higher purpose.
Today I invite you to lay aside your ideas about how your day should flow. Practice keeping an open mind and heart as you encounter every situation. May you allow Love to guide your vision in every decision you make today.