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Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

Illuminated Manuscripts & The Holy Now

IMGI have been away so long, because for a while now I have been lost along the Way. Today, I found something I wrote a long time ago. It came back to me like a ray of light shining dimly through the nearly closed door into the dark room where I found myself once again. The door that swung ever-so-slowly shut while my back was turned, while my attention was elsewhere. Elsewhere in the past focused on pain and guilt, and in the future full of fear and dread; both in my personal life and reflected in the world at large. Reading my words from so long ago, I felt a faint knocking on my heart, a reminder that it is time to wake up again, to stand up, to turn and open the door once more. These are the words I read:

0001KQImagine all of the world’s sacred texts each transcribed onto their own single, thin transparent page. Each page rendered lovingly in vivid colors in the elaborate calligraphy of an illuminated manuscript. Each one striving to reveal the divine to a particular people at a particular time in a particular place.

Now, envision each fragile, holy page carefully layered one atop another. Stacked and neatly aligned, they are then lifted up to the divine light. All earthly interpretations dissolve while areas of commonality blend and deepen, rise to the surface. Like a stained glass cathedral window, only beauty emerges.

100_2667You begin to experience the enlightened words as they wash over you. Love. Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Unity. From many voices, one divine source shines down on you and you are held suspended in an indescribable abiding love that seems to expand beyond your capacity to contain it. So you don’t try to contain it anymore. That’s when surrender comes.

All illusion dissolves, the veil is lifted, and you are free once again to see the divinity. In the only place it resides. In the here and now.

The divinity in the everyday. Every day.

Mammaste

I searched through 20,000 of my photos to find a particular image for ending this blog, but I couldn’t find it. But here is the one I kept finding–so I relented. A big fist-bump from the universe. Rock on, it seems to say. You’ve got this. We’ve got this.20150627_132321

Expect A Miracle (An Adoption Story)

They mentioned that it was a private adoption, but they knew a little bit about the background of the adoptive parents and their first names, all of which they shared with me. It felt like a bolt of electricity had just shot through me. I was shocked by what I’d just heard. “I know them,” I gasped.

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Seriously Bittersweet Love

He is impressively quick to dodge the meatloaf as it flies across the room and splats against the wall where he was just standing. It hangs there for a moment, the suction created by the raw meat holds it to the wall momentarily as we both stare at it, eyebrows raised, in a kind of reverential silence. Eventually gravity takes over and the pink mound begins to slide slowly down the beige wall, leaving a slimy trail of red ketchup and flecks of onion in its wake. I notice that the onions have been chopped a bit too big. I make a mental note to dice them much smaller next time.

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Let me explain . . .

I will never know if I would have gone through with ending my life that night, or if it was just a step I was taking in testing this option . . . moving closer to it to see if it still felt like the answer. I will never know because I have never felt that way again. . .

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Drowning

Drowning is truly a quiet affair. My arms stretched out at my sides, my head tilted back seeing only sky as I tried to keep my mouth and nose above the waves. I couldn’t make a sound, nor could I wave my arms. When I tried, I would immediately go under. All around me, even brushing against me, people were splashing and screaming and laughing, oblivious to my struggle. Finally, exhausted, I gave up and lowered my chin.

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My Message in a Digital Bottle . . .

20130601_134119When publishing an essay here on my blog, or posting a photo, a favorite saying or a funny story on Facebook I imagine myself writing them on real paper. I smile as I see myself rolling them up tightly and slipping them into the narrow opening of a virtual bottle. As they push past the neck and into the open space below, I see them unfurl in my mind’s eye and I mentally seal the bottle and toss it out into this undulating, big blue internet ocean with the click of my mouse.

IMG_0001My messages are nearly  always love letters. They are written to myself too, because the simple act of bearing witness publicly to the beauty I see around me is good for me, and that is enough. But early on I used to wonder, when my message in a bottle rolls up on someone else’s distant shore does it arrive at just the right time? Does it touch them? Does it make a positive difference in their day? Does it matter to anyone else?

I don’t wonder any more. Here and there people send me little love notes back. They tell me that my bottle reached them. Something I wrote, or a picture I took spoke to them. They write to me saying I sent just the right message at just the right moment to just the right person. Love notes like this one:

“Dear Lori ~

You need to know how Mammaste touches peoples lives on the most basic level so I write to you now. There are so many days when a beautiful photograph you take or a story you tell, like your daughter making her father turn the car around so she could snap a photo of a heart in nature, warms my heart. Today was exceptional though. Your post about today being a gift & a blessing shook me to the core on a day where putting one foot in front of the other was nearly impossible. Your loving words from the heart of a mother inspired me to START my day. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude.

Leslie McAfee Richter” (Used with permission)

0001fcThere have been many others too. For each and every one, my heart is warmed in reading them, and I am grateful. They are little love notes rolling up on my sandy shore. I want you to know your messages have reached me. I know you, like me, have been moved by the words of others on social media, and on blogs, and watching videos that make us laugh and cry and amazing TED Talks on beauty and bravery and vulnerability, and the list goes on. We may not write a response every time. But we are moved just the same, and we are changed for the better.

A funny thing happened as I was crafting this essay. I noticed a Private message on my Facebook tab. When I opened it, it read:

“I love you. Enjoy the evening sun . . . I just had the feeling rush over me so I took advantage of telling you via this modern age contraption.”

It was from my dear friend Jane just down the street!

We can shape this ‘modern age contraption’ that is the internet into anything we want it to be. Why not a vehicle to transport our love letters to humanity, to the world?

Mammaste
Divinity in the Everyday

The Things We Do For Love?

So what happens when we realize what we thought we were giving out of love, we were really giving in exchange for love? What can we do when we feel resentment or bitterness welling up over something we’ve given in exchange for less than what we expected?

Well, that’s the amazing thing about gifts of love–we can retroactively transform those past transactions into gifts by simply forgiving any perceived debt! We can just burn the invoice, tear up the bill, erase it from the ledger in our heart. The alchemy of this transformation is pure magic, and you and I, we are all magicians at heart.

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And Isn’t It Ironic, Don’t You Think?

Sigh. I love my husband more than that holy water. I really do. But I'm not gonna' lie, it is a love that was sorely tested that day.

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Are Our Lives Predestined?

At the time, I had been trying unsuccessfully for about six years to have a baby, so I asked him; “When will my baby be born?” After a moment, he shook his head, looked a bit bewildered and said; “Well, it’s not for me to question the information I’m getting, but I’m being told your baby will be born in January.” I said, “Really? January? As in two months from now?” He looked as perplexed as I felt and he nodded and said; “Yes. I’ve checked it several times. Yes, in two months from now.” Clearly, I was not seven months pregnant. We both would have noticed that!

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Skimming and Skipping Across the Surface of Our Days

But sometimes, with engines full throttle, I simply let go of the rope and gently sink down into the heart of the deep, silent weightlessness of being fully present in the here and now.

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