Given the current images coming out of Houston, Texas, I’m sure it’s pretty much impossible for people there to picture a blue sky. And if you use blue sky as a metaphor for the mind, like Andy Puddicombe does in my meditation app, headspace.com, when dark clouds come in the form of anxiety, fear, regret, etc, it’s really hard to imagine the calmness, the serenity of a clear, blue sky. But, in life as in mind, blue sky is constant. It’s always there.
Hurricane Harvey, reduced now to a tropical storm, still dumps rain on the southern United States, so it will be a very long time before residents enjoy a blue sky, both figuratively and for real. It’s a thing to believe in though, don’t you think? To have faith in? That a blue sky will return because we know it’s up there. Just get in a plane, fly above the clouds and voila! Blue sky!
For me, meditation is like that. I sit, with my myriad thoughts and feelings, and just observe. Oh, that thought led to that thought led to that thought. Interesting. Exhausting. How about just breathing, huh Rita?
Lately I’ve been breathing in LOVE and breathing out FEAR. I’ve been reading The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. It’s refreshing to know, isn’t it? In your darkest hours? That something has your back? That you’re not alone?
Faith is a different experience for all due to our belief system, our upbringing, within a religion or without. My mom managed to send my brother and I to the nearby United church for a while, but my dad was a devout atheist. He was charismatic in his views. Through osmosis I suppose, without even realizing it, I became an atheist too. Faith? Pshaw. A big leap into nothing? Why? Who needs it?
Well, when I started losing people? That’s when I started needing something to believe in. And luckily, for someone like me without God, the big old Universe was there to pick up the pieces.
In Bernstein’s book, Chapter 8, “The Universe Speaks in Mysterious Ways”, she gives a five-step process to “fully embrace and surrender to this support from the Universe”:
- Understand that miracles are natural.
- Look for love and expect miracles.
- Practice noninterference. “You merely align with your true love nature and allow your eyes to see what you desire.”
- Heighten your faith.
- Commit to your faith statement.
Of course, I wish I had this guide back in 2004-2005 when so many family members started checking out, but Hay House just published it last year. Now, it’s serving as a good reminder. And since I love to write, I snatched up pen and paper when I got to 4. and Bernstein posed the question, “How does it feel to be in faith?”
Rita’s Faith Statement
I know that regardless of what happens today – events I deem good or bad – tomorrow a sun will rise over planet Earth, trees will flourish, birds will sing. This gives me great faith in an everlasting presence that cares for me and you. In this light we shine, co-creating beauty, love, peace and joy.
Trusting in this faith statement I did as Bernstein suggested and spent the following day, a Monday, seeing everything I looked at through the lens of love.
From my journal:
6 am bike ride with (my husband) B. Do we go Huron St? Or Huron Woods to Highbury? We decide Huron Woods, I lead. First into the trail? Bunnies hippity-hopping everywhere. I’m almost running over them. Then? A crashing to my left. A fleet and beautiful doe – she heads toward me, gracefully hops to the left, then scurries across the path right in front of me. What a thing to see/feel. (Aside from the fear of almost being hit by her!) Phew! We ride, stunned, startled, stupefied. I can hear her crashing around in the woods to my right for a while. We see more bunnies, a blue heron on the river by Adelaide St coming back and there, on the white pebbly beach in the center of the river, three more deer, posing, like statues. Then, to the left, in the woods the doe had crashed into earlier, a buck! Big antlers. Just staring at us. What a glorious ride.
Interesting? Would you call these miracles? Hmm. Some would say, I suppose, well you just saw, through the lens of love, a bunch of wildlife, mostly deer. Do you know what my last name means? Hartley? Let’s break it down. It’s Old English: hart (heort) = stag/deer, ley (leah) = wood or clearing. So, my people come from the stag’s meadow or wood. I almost literally got walloped upside the head by my ancestors. Don’t ever forget where you come from: a beautiful meadow abundant with deer.
A couple of days later? Still working on this lens of love thing? I met a woman in my Jazzercise class who lives in the house I grew up in! Again: Don’t forget where you come from.
Thanks Universe, for having my back. And reminding me that miracles abound when I see through the lens of love. Now, turn your attention to the southern United States. They’re in need of some really big miracles right now.