Nature’s Intention is Always New Life

Spring is here! From my window, I see tree tops blooming. Delicate white blooms that are simple and white, bursting buds from within. There’s green and other soft colors adorning the once gray street. The air is warmer now and moist on my skin. There’s a ripeness and a rightness and I gulp it all in. People are out more now checking things. They’re a little less cautious, daring, see? A faintly urgent smell drifting. I spot a nose out of a mask, ever so gently. A young girl’s arms go free from sleeves. It’s the miracle of nature like every other Spring. But this time, this time, well, it’s really magic, isn’t it? This time, we’re all so very raw and aware of nature’s power.

There’s nothing more mystical and humble than this. Pay attention to Mother Nature’s rising, her gentle reminder that rebirth and newness are built into everything. We’re a resilient bunch, aren’t we, human beings? It’s inside us and outside us, these regenerative cycles of ingenuity.

Go out. Look around. Then look inside and breathe. See? No matter what age you are, where you’re at or the depth of your grief— you have the gift of nature to sprout new wings.

Do Relationships Matter in Happiness?

Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible.”

~Eckhart Tolle

I think we underestimate the essential role of genuine, mindful relationships when it comes to wholeness and joyful living. When we are in a genuine relationship with another, we feel seen, loved and free to be who we really are and that brings happiness and relief into our lives.

Eckhart Tolle talks about the pain-body, an emotional pain that leaves a residue on the spirit, a wound that can easily open with a trigger or simply linger over you like unhappiness and exhaustion. He describes it as a negative energy, a filter that can distort your interpretation of reality preventing you from allowing more happiness into your life.

Most of Eckhart Tolle’s work centers on happiness and peace by raising consciousness and meditation. He suggests that you bring light to your pain-body by becoming aware of your thoughts. With light, the pain-body begins to cease and you are left with peace of mind and readiness for joy.

I’m aware of the pain-body. All pain body (emotional wound) occurs from some relationship or another; it is a result of some interaction with another in the universe. While awareness and some healing comes from meditation, applying awareness to relationship brings it full circle and finality to the pain-body. I believe we are drawn to others precisely because of our thoughts, desires and needs, including the need to heal our pain-body. Therefore, a relationship in our life is an opportunity. With this person, we can choose to reveal ourselves, unravel the pain-body. Yes, you are doing work when you are alone in contemplation, yes– but you also need to do this work with another human being. This mindful sharing and revealing leads to renewed trust and bonding. You are reorganizing the dynamics of your inner world, you are creating a new consciousness, a new thought pattern, a new beginning.

It’s actually a tender, loving willingness and it can be very gentle and beautiful when you feel it happening together, with the person of your choosing.

This exchange can happen over a long period of time, or instantly. In long term relationships there may be several elements of pain-body interacting and healing. Stagnation and pain occur in a relationship that is not willing to reveal this inner world, open up, be vulnerable. I’m not suggesting that relationships come together only to share and heal a suffering, as in a pain-body… although this may be true in some cases. I’m saying we’re drawn to people for a shared purpose and part of this purpose is to move into peace and happiness. We all need to be seen, loved in our nakedness, be washed over by the light of unconditional love.

Becoming Mindful of Golden Key Memories

When we are unsure of ourselves, lost or grieving, we can get trapped in past memories. When we allow them to be through mindfulness, we find that buried in a memory is a golden key; a hidden message that can trigger a shift in consciousness for healing.

I’d like to share one such memory.

It was an ordinary evening before my husband died. He had gone into the study after dinner while I sat in the living room alone. A profound feeling of sadness came over me and I got up and went to the study. I leaned up against the door and watched him stare into the computer screen. When he looked up, I remember thinking his cheeks were pale and his eyes weary. We had been married for 25 years and we considered ourselves warriors.

 “You can go,” I announced. “You’re so tired and you deserve to be happy.” The words just poured out of my mouth.

Under ordinary circumstances, that kind of remark would have seemed out of place, but in that moment he didn’t blink. He just looked at me and I looked at him and it was as if we were remembering our entire relationship. There was love and care in that moment and I wanted to cry, but I kept calm.

“You don’t have to worry about me anymore,” I continued. “And our kids? They are amazing. They’re grown up now and it’s okay. I just want you to know it’s okay, if you go. You deserve to be happy.”

My husband’s eyes closed and opened in slow motion. He was tired and kind. “What are you talking about?” He asked gently but somehow the question felt rehearsed. “Where do you want me to go?”

“You’ve been taking care of us for so long and you don’t have to worry any more. I’m strong now and time is passing so quickly and you’re so tired. You don’t have to take care of me anymore,” I said, getting emotional now. “You can be free. You can leave.”

He cocked his head to one side and a lightness of being spread over his face like when we were twenty something. “Where do you want me to go?” he repeated.

I just looked at him as if he’d forgotten.

Then, my lip quivered. “Home,” I said.

I remember feeling possessed with the thought that I had to give him permission to leave me, leave us. That he would not be happy if he stayed because it was obligation when his spirit wanted to be free. I imagined him running off to the country of his birth and living by the sea. How much he loved it there! Mostly, I imagined him at peace and carefree. His happiness was the most important thing.

“How am I supposed to leave without you and the kids?” He asked and then chuckled softly, gently.  

The moment filled with compassion.

Then, he turned away and after a moment, I walked away.

Back in the living room, I sat. I felt tender, sad and powerless but then the moment passed and I began to feel a little silly and confused like, what was that all about?

A few months after, my husband died. Later, when I tossed his ashes into the deep blue sea of his country, I thought he was finally home and his spirit was free. He had found the courage to go home and be free without me. At least that’s what I thought then.

Now, it’s been a year and I think, yes, he’s home and he’s free and even though we are not together, we are gentle kindred spirits with deep compassion for each other. What happened then and what’s happening now are simply part of our destiny. Becoming open and caring and mindful of these golden key memories have been part of my journey. That one, in particular, taught me how souls speak to one another and there are moments in life that transcend all reasoning. There is a language of the spirit and in death, in loss, in grief– we can open this window to reveal hidden truths about who we are and who we’re meant to be.