Collateral Beauty and Change

Candy's Photo 2“Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out a slowly dying cause, Ring in the nobler, purer laws. Ring in the valiant man and free, the larger heart, the kindlier hand; Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.”Alfred Tennyson

Dear Heartlove.pngFriends,

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 What Is Birthing As You in 2017

Wow! Can you believe it is speeding towards December 31 again. In a few hours before the first day of the new year in the  United States, revelers will be celebrating the beginning of 2017 with friends, relatives, spouses, partners or by themselves in restaurants, bars, homes and many other types of venues.

The New Year marks a time when many of us desire change in ourselves and change in our lives.

The New Year is a perfect time to make these changes because it represents a new beginning, a clean slate, new opportunities.

We all know that our experience of life could be deeper and more fulfilling, so we make changes to move in the direction of that deeper life.

At the same time, for others, 2016 may have brought changes that were challenging and unwanted. When painful change appears to have been thrust upon us, new positive beginning’s often seem a distant possibility.

Collateral Beauty – What is It?

With that in mind, the recently released movie Collateral Beauty captured my attention. Perhaps you have seen it,  I have not, but it comes at a time when I am in the process of creating an eBook on Transition and change.

The title reminded me of the term collateral damage” which refers to the ancillary suffering that often spins out from great tragedies.

So, perhaps you are asking yourself, what can collateral beauty mean and or look like?

Apparently, the film is intended to remind us of what the ancient mystics have taught down through the ages…it is the recognition that, from even the darkest of times, beauty, hope, recovery and even goodness can be found.

It also asks us to consider taking time to ask ourselves, what are the integral components of my life that comprise my experiences?

And to ask the existential questions of why am I here? What is my purpose? What is the meaning of life? What do I want? What do I fear?

Collateral Beauty suggests that we all long for love, wish for more time, and fear death.

The film follows Howard, a man, who retreats from life after the loss of his daughter. As you might imagine, in these moments of despair he has boarded a train of thought filled with debilitating anger and pain. He’s lost his way and is at the end of his rope.

As we know, it is more than appropriate to fully feel and honor our feelings.  It is only natural to be overwhelmed with grief at times like this.  Therefore the film invites the viewer to feel or consider our emotions.

And Howard does. He copes with his grief, venting his pain of disillusionment, emotion, and anger by questioning the Universe through writing letters not to people, but to Time, Love, and Death.

It doesn’t take much effort to relate to Howard’s state of mind. Think about it, when you are in the dark cloud of despondency, you tend not care about yourself or anything else.

A Time and Season For Everything

What we know is, finding and fully understanding the presence of beauty in life’s experiences, requires time and distance from the tragedies that affect us. We need perspective on the event, we need time for wounds to heal both emotional and physical, and we need the wisdom do you know what can be repaired and what can’t.

During my childhood, growing up in a small town, my family  lived across the tracks. When we kids wanted to go to the other side of the town we would often take a shortcut and crawl underneath a freight train that would be sitting on the tracks.

We would believe it was safe as long as we didn’t hear the air released underneath the freight cars that indicated the locomotive was getting ready to move. Risky! Yes! But as children, we were often fearless and did foolish things..

When you think about a locomotive starting up, with all of the groaning, puffing, screeching and straining it does to get started, it is understand-able how much harder it is to shift something moving from a dead stop then to get it moving once it’s on its way.

Yet, Howard, like many of us, who in moments of unexpected change and loss, forgot that we are the holder of a Universal pass that allows us to board a train of thought that can take us more in positive than negative directions.

Can you see in Howard every wo/man? Isn’t it true that we’ve all had those moments? Maybe not the loss of a child, but some change that felt like loss. Loss of health, job, relationship, home, and yes, perhaps the loss of a loved one.

Isn’t it  true that when we’re been derailed by a change in our life, we don’t want to hear anything about something of beauty that may be found in the challenge. We just want it to be over.

And yet, even though some scars may be deeper than others, and you may be forever changed…in retrospect haven’t you experienced that the gift of an ever evolving path of growth and expansion often shows up disguised as a crisis.

Another way of saying that is, it shows up as collateral beauty.

The shift or change in our life may not have been as deep and dark as Howard’s. And yet, I believe it is safe to say that most of us have had experiences and felt moments of despair where we have wanted to ask the Universe,  WHY!

In those moments the true beauty in and as the essence of our life may feel absent and unavailable to our conscious knowing.

Asking Empowering Questions

Often when we are facing challenges, we, much like Howard, ask the Universe questions. Most often they are disempower-ing questions that keep us stuck, such as, Who can I blame? What’s wrong with me? Why did this happen to me?

Empowering questions have the energetic force to move us forward, such as, how can I go and grow through this? What can I learn from this? What service can I offer the world as a result of the lessons I am learning? What is longing to be birthed in and as me?

Paul in the New Testament expresses what may be the Universe’s divine urge that pulsates within us to become more of who we have truly come here to be when he writes, “Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.”   – Galations 4:19

The trailers indicate that Howard received unexpected answers from Time, Love and Death.

From Time he was told, I’m a gift and you’re wasting it.”

From Love he was told, “The fabric of life is within you and everything. Open your self and it comes from all directions.”

From Death he was told, “Nothing’s ever dead if you look at it right.”

He begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

What we do know is . . .Nothing stays the same. Every new crossroads means we enter into a new cycle of change – whether it be adopting a new health regimen, a new relationship with others, ourself, or a new spiritual practice.

I invite you to join me in releasing  all your fears and insecurities. To open your mind and heart to the divine presence that pulsates within, saying “grow, grow, grow.”

Let us trust the process of change and inflow of divine guidance as we embrace the unknown of 2017. As we are changed, let us know and experience the collateral beauty that happens in, through and as our life

I offer you Psalm 37:23-24 to consider as you transition through change in your life. It is the New King James version and a  New Thought interpretation:

New King James version: The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.

New Thought interpretation: A person whose spiritual practice is heartfelt will experience God’s guidance, and the support of the creative Law.

New King James version:Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand.

New Thought interpretation: Even when he forgets the Truth he knows, he will not remain lost and forgetful, his connection to God is so powerful it will bring him back to his center.     And so it is!

As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.

If you know of someone who may benefit from this post I would love it, if you would take a moment now to share it with them.

I love hearing from you. And If you would like more personal support, you may contact me through the contact box below.

As always, on this site there are, affirmations, and meditations to support you on your journey to self-empowerment.

If you found value in this post please be the first of your friends to like and share it by clicking on one of the social media buttons below. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter and like me on my Face Book page.

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LOL  =  Lots Of Love,

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The Power of Christmas

Candy's Photo 2May the blessings of Heaven touch every branch of your family tree …May the abundant gifts of Nature be ever within your reach …May you see the beauty in all things, the sacred in every breath …May you feel deeply the blessings of Life, and
Love in every step. Happy Holy-Days to all and many blessings for a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year!                  Irish Blessing 

Dear Heart love.pngFriend,

Happy, Holy, Holiday Greetings!

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Even though Christmas is a wonderful time, I recognize that it is not necessarily a joyful time for everyone. I am reminded that my husband, Pres, made his transition in 2006 the week in-between my birthday and Christmas.

While the memory may hold a twinge of sadness for me, I also remember that Christmas is about love. The birth of Jesus is about love, the life and teachings of Jesus are about love.

Have you noticed that Jesus never talked about getting love, always  about giving love. Jesus clearly said love one another, love God, love your neighbor, and love your enemy.  He said love yourself. Ultimately, He said love everyone.

What is Your Definition of Love?

For some of us:
love is spending quality time with someone.
love are the words or note that someone writes to you.
love is the look or touch that someone gives you.
love is the commitment someone makes to you.
love is the forgiveness that someone holds for you.

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For most of us love is a combination of this list and more. What we are told is God is love, those who live in God, live in love, and therefore, God lives in them.

What if Jesus focused only on giving love, because when you give love, love is what you receive?

What if we have all the love we need already inside us, ready to be shared?

What if Christmas is one time of the year when we can choose to more freely share and express all the love that is within us?

Transforming Christmas Gift-Giving

The bigger question is how can we transform the gift-giving of Christmas into a deeper experience?

 Mother Teresa put it this way,  “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.”  Khalil Gibran said “Work is empty without love.”  I love one of Pres’ favorite sayings, which was, “Whatever you do, do it with love.” When we stop to think about it, giving too, is empty without love.

Even though Christmas is within the next couple of weeks, is there still time to experience Christmas in a  more profound and sacred way?

I believe there is. What if we take the remaining time this Christmas and beyond offers to infuse each thing we do and each gift we give with love?

What if we slowed down and gifted ourselves with compassion and love, give with joy with no attachment, and without conditions.

Let’s remind ourself that real giving doesn’t have any relationship to how much it costs, whether the other person appreciates it, or whether a gift is given in return.

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 A Course In Miracles offers the following statement:

“A star, a light in darkness is the sign of Christmas. See it not outside yourself, but shining in the Heaven within, and accept it as the sign the time of Christ has come. The Prince of Peace was born to re-establish the condition of love. Let no despair darken the joy of Christmas, for the time of Christ is meaningless apart from Joy.”

I invite us to practice saying to ourselves, “I give in love, because I love to give. My joy is complete.” And let’s be uplifted and sustained  by the awareness of the Christ Presence within.

In case you might be interested in a brief fascinating review about the  history of our holiday celebrations, you may move past my closing statements to the overview about Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah and New Years.

Closing Statements

As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.

If you know of someone who may benefit from this series, I would love it, if you would take a moment now to share it with them.

I love hearing from you. And If you would like more personal support, you may contact me through the contact box below.

As always, on this site there are, affirmations, and meditations to support you on your journey to self-empowerment.

If you found value in this post please be the first of your friends to like and share it by clicking on one of the social media buttons below. You’re also invited to follow me on Twitter and like me on my Face Book page.

Overview of Season Celebrations

Christmas

Christmas is celebrated December 25 every year honoring the birth of

Nativity Scene
Nativity Scene

Jesus Christ. Some churches celebrate it on January 7 due to following different  calendars.

Jesus is Christianity’s central figure. Although the date of his birth has not been pinpointed most agree that he was born around 6 4 B.C. in Bethlehem. At the time his parents Mary and Joseph were on their way to register in the Roman census. Mary was told by an angel that she was with child as a result of Immaculate Conception. She gave birth to Jesus while they stopped for rest.

Jesus spent his life working as a preacher and healer in Galilee and Judea. He was believed to be a messiah who would redeem world of sin. Roman prefect Pilate sentenced him to death by crucifixion. It is believed that he came back to life three days after his execution confirming the fact that he was the son of God.

Two centuries after his death first efforts were made in order to establish the exact date of his birth and December 25 was chosen, possibly out of convenience.

Today, religious and commercial festivities vary from region to region. In The United States and England Christmas has become the biggest economical holiday of the year with people spending weeks before December 25 shopping for presents.

Exchange of presents, decorating homes with lights, holly and mistletoe, decorating a Christmas tree and Santa Claus are some of the traditions that apply worldwide.

Santa Claus, or Father Christmas as he is known in England, is based on a real person, St. Nicholas, a bishop who lived in 4th century. He was generous and kind and eager to help the poor and underprivileged.

The tradition of decorating a Christmas tree originates from Germany but is nowadays common in most countries. Religious celebrations begin with Advent and include Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and carol singing.

Happy Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is an African American cultural holiday. The name comes from Swahili “mutanda ya kwanza” which means “first fruits”.

First fruits celebrations originate from ancient happy-kwanzaaEgypt and Nubia. They were the inspiration for the modern version of Kwanzaa founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966, a time of African Americans’ struggle for civil rights.

Kwanzaa is celebrated between Dec 26 and Jan 1, honouring human dignity, community, culture and people’s relationship with the environment. Respects are paid to the ancestors and new commitments to one’s community are taken on. Each day of the festival focuses on a different one of seven values including Umoja (Unity), Kujichaguilia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

During the festival homes, churches and places for communal gathering are decorated in black, red and green signifying future and hope. On Dec 31 a big feast (Karamu) takes place which is usually a product of joint communal effort.

 

Hanukkah

Hanukkah, meaning “Dedication”, is a Jewish holiday that occurs sometime in Novemberhanukkah_6 or December (it starts on 25th of Kislev in Hebrew calender). In 2005 it falls on December 26. It is celebrated over a period of eight days in commemoration of the Jews’ victory over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 B.C.E.

In 180 B.C.E. Antiochus came into power as the Syrian King and gradually made Jews follow Greek traditions and worship Greek gods. After years of struggle the Jews, led by Judah the Maccabee, beat the Syrians. The story goes that upon re-entering the holy Temple in Jerusalem one Menorah (candelbra) was lit. Although there was enough oil inside to burn for one day it miraculously lasted eight days. This is why Hanukkah is celebrated over eight days by lighting candles every night of the holiday.

It is not one of the more important holidays for the Jewish, but its closeness to Christmas has commercialized it somewhat, especially in The United States.

New Year’s Day

January 1st is celebrated as the New Year’s Day happy-new-year-wallpaper-8in most Western countries today. It marks the beginning of a new year for all those following Gregorian calendar.

It is the oldest of holidays started by the Babylonians some 4000 years ago. Their New Year fell on the first day of spring which was a logical time to begin a new year. It is a time of season change, new crops and blossom.

Romans continued this tradition but their calendar was changed several times before Julius Caesar established Julian calendar in 46 B.C. The new year began on January 1. However, Church opposed this festival for a long time and this is why Western countries have celebrated it only for the past 400 years. It is marked by fireworks, parties and New Year’s resolutions.

Although January 1 is a public holiday in most countries, different people use different calendars (some based on lunar and some on solar cycle) thus observing the beginning of a new year at different times. Hebrew New Year falls sometime in September or October in Western calendar, Chinese New Year in January or February, Thai and Bengali New Year are celebrated in April, Ethiopian on September 11 and many people still celebrate New Year on the first day of spring, March 21.

Merry Christmas To All
Merry Christmas To All

LOL  =  Lots Of Love

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