From Flank Speed to Warp Speed

IMG_3971 2San Souci Beach February 25, 2020

Good Evening, God

This morning my wonderful husband Kit observed that Things were changing at Flank Speed!  Kit was in the Navy, while I who was raised on Science Fiction, responded, saying “It’s changing at Warp Speed!”

At such a time of rapid change I was longing for a chance to look at something comforting from the past.  The ocean seemed perfect.  And — aside from the fact that it is rising and polluted by our plastics — it is perfect.

And it is so appropriate to view — as I am AT SEA. I feel as if I’m standing slightly outside everything that is going on.  And marveling at it.  My view of reality is that the WAR MODEL only makes things worse.  Winning by killing is an illusion.  It makes the opposition intensify and go underground.  It creates Superbugs out of formerly less deadly bugs.

There is a great story about how Napoleon’s failed attack on Russia was due to Trench Fever, not Winter.  Trench fever killed 90% of Napoleon’s army.  But, it only killed 4 or 5% of Russian troops.  The Russia general, Kutuzov, was a homeopath and had his troops create their own remedy.

In a medical reference class I read the story of Pasteur and his germ theory and his medical opponent Claude Bernard who felt that the important thing was to strengthen the terrain or the body.  I immediately sided with Bernard!  Yes!  The body is designed to heal.  Let’s help it!!

The history of science is filled with major paradigm shifts.  And people resist new paradigms vigorously.  Max Planck said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

So, I look around me, and I see that I am in a different paradigm.  More on this tomorrow, God.  It’s bedtime.

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Posted in connecting, developing helpful definitions of love, Eating for health, healing, health, hope, LOVE, Peace, power and peace and gentleness, The daily details of love, The Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love

Miracles of transformation

IMG_5659A Passion Flower . . . which with pollination may become a passion fruit

Good Evening, God

What a delight to find this bright purple blossom hiding in the midst of another species of shrub.  I see these unplanned plants as little micro wildernesses.  Somehow managing to survive without help . . . and indeed, against intentional harm.  There is a bit of “wilderness” at the top of our valley.  Not really wild — but unplanned and unstructured.

And, I do consider the transforming of flower into fruit as somehow symbolic of Your Ongoing Work of Transformation.  While I was pondering this during Centering Prayer I was struck by how powerfully transformative it is when we set aside regular time to pray specifically for those persecuting others or the planet.  Pray for your enemies You tell us.  But, I don’t think our church has offered a class in that.  Well, maybe they tried and nobody came?

I’m no expert — not certified to teach about it — but I have been working at it and I feel called to share.  1) It took a while for me to stop asking You to FIX the person I was praying for.  2) Then I moved on to asking You to HEAL the person.  That was really a more loving version of  Fix.  3) It took even longer for me to ask You to BLESS the person.  To shower that person with Your LOVE.  4)  Then I began to see how many qualities I shared with that person.  5)  I shifted — yes, slowly — into praying for US . . . bless us . . . and help us . 6)  Then I became aware of my need to repent. . . make that my need to be about the work of repenting.  7)  And where I am now is slowly becoming aware of what St. Paul was referring to in Ephesians 6:12.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

So, why am I writing this?  I guess, God, that I want to encourage us ALL to take You at Your Word. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  Matthew 5:44

Posted in a prayer for healing, Blessing, Centering Prayer, connecting, LOVE, Prayer, Praying for our enemies, The Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love

A Joyful Event

iu 2Queen Elizabeth II knighting Captain Tom Moore for his significant fundraising for NHS

Good Evening, God

I had read about how Captain Tom Moore had pledged to walk 100 laps of his backyard before his 100th birthday — in order to fundraise for the British National Health Service charities. I thought, how touching!  It made me feel good about our species.  And it made me feel that, WOW, it is never too late for us to make a contribution!

But, today I saw a photo of the two of them — and I burst into a smile!  The Queen, at 94, looks so HAPPY to be knighting Captain Tom.  And Sir Tom has such a lovely expression.  Two human beings who are committed to serving.  Two human beings who have not stopped doing what they can to give to others.

One hundred laps of 82 ft each — may not seem like much.  But, doing it on a walker while his broken hip was healing?  Doing it in the several days before his 100th birthday?  How can we not be inspired!  How can we not want to do our part?

Once again, neither size nor age seem to matter.

 

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Posted in a matter of scale, acknowledging another's existence, Affirmations, appreciation, Awe, Being a Blessing, Belonging to each other, Blessing, Choosing Meaning, Choosing to respond, connecting, Giving, growing toward up, Growth Opportunities

Sharing the Playground

IMG_5652Good Evening, God

Just yesterday — on our morning walk up the hill — I saw a man doing exercises on the playground apparatus.  At first I just sort of peeked at him.  Then I congratulated him on his thinking to USE the playground equipment.  He brightened and showed me that he does three basic exercises:  modified pushups, modified pull-ups and sit-ups.  We introduced ourselves and I decided — we are doing it!

So here we are this morning — doing it   The photo is of Kit doing the pushups.  We both did all three exercises.  Not that many, but we got started!  Fortunately, there were just two youngsters sharing the equipment with us.  And, yes, we did get some curious looks from them.  But, they seemed happy to share.

I’m sitting here smiling, God.  I am just so pleased to have stumbled on a man who was able to think outside of the box and use playground equipment for adult exercises.  Kit did say — we could do this at home!  And he is right, that we could.  And I am right, that we haven’t.

My goal is to have this become A Small Habit.  Life is a marvelous mosaic of small pieces. The trick is to find and add valuable pieces into our daily lives.

 

Posted in a new view of Commons, Abundant Life, an invitation to abundant life, connecting, Creating, creativity in loving service, Enjoyment, exercising, JOY, Planning, Play, simple joys of daily life, small meaningful moments, the joy of sharing

Noticing . . . and appreciating

IMG_5624 2Good Evening, God

My wonderful husband Kit and I were out for our morning walk when my eye was caught by this shower tree blossom.  I was delighted!  And then it hit me! It was delighted to be noticed!  

It made me think of the quote from William Butler Yeats:
               The World is filled with Magical Things
               patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

Perhaps, God, all creation is waiting for us to “notice?”  Waiting for our senses to grow sharper and our hearts larger?  And not just beautiful things, God — all things!  If trees and plants, enjoy being noticed, then how much more all of us Creatures enjoy being noticed.
Noticers?  Is that a category?  Maybe even a spiritual gift?  I discovered a few years ago that one of my gifts was being An Encourager.  My mother was clearly an Appreciator, while my father was an Enjoyer.  Hmm.  I am not sure if Enjoyer is officially listed as a spiritual gift?  I think it is . . . but like all gifts is best used under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
But back to noticing.  I will often do it by commenting on a new blouse or new hairdo.  It basically mean: I SEE YOU!  Oh yes, that wonderful quote from Paul Watslavick:  The Primary Purpose of Human Communication is to Confirm our Existence as Human Beings.
That is what noticing does — confirms our existence.  There are folks who seem to think negative noticing is better than NO noticing.  That seems so sad, God.  It seems as if they are not getting the emotional nourishment they need.
HMM.  Golly, God, I have been making the assumption that noticing — seeing — is basically positive.  But, now that I am thinking about it . . . it may very well depend on the orientation of the one who is noticing
Ah yes.  Our gifts are to be used with Your guidance.  
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Posted in appreciation, Choosing to respond, connecting, respect, Responding, seeing, stopping to see, The gift to SEE others

All Sorts of Silos

Summertime SilosGood Evening, God

On our walk this morning — yes!  we are back to walking! — I thought about how we live in silos.  Folks who listen to NPR hardly ever listen to FoxNews.  Or if you are a member of one religious denomination you are not apt to visit another denomination.  Actually, the silos are smaller than that! In our church, my wonderful husband Kit and I were almost the only people who would occasionally change from the 11:00 service to go to the 9:00 service.  I even liked going to the 7:00 a.m. service when Kit was off on a race.  Golly, God, most folks even sit in the same pew.

How easy it is to fall into a silo.  And some silos take on a quasi religious nature.  The world outside the silo feels “unclean” — threatening to our “sense of self” . . . our “identity.”  Someone once shared that he had been listening to a video and agreeing with all the points — only to feel almost ill when he found out who the speaker had voted for! Heresy!

I am someone who feels comfortable in a variety of silos.  Kit and I do have a primary care physician.  But, my mother’s father was a Christian Scientist.  Somehow I absorbed from him the belief that You, God, want to help us heal.  And furthermore that our bodies are designed to heal.  Our job is to nourish them with loving and forgiving thoughts, with moderate sunlight, exercise and not too much food.  And we are to keep from harming our bodies!

Also, God, my grandfather was perhaps overly proud of coming from a long line of “Free Thinkers!”  Maybe that makes it easier for me to step into a variety of silos.  But, I have trouble too.  As Carl Jung observed “People cannot stand too much reality”.

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Posted in connecting, reality, the cold snow of reality, Wanting a protected time

Bringing Back Beavers

IMG_5574

Good Evening, God

You created an amazing world . . . a balanced world . . . filled with creatures large and small, all playing their parts.  But, then we came along.  And things haven’t been the same since.

But there are encouraging signs.  When the wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone, the elk stopped overgrazing the waterways and the erosion rate dropped.  The water got cleaner and vegetation was revitalized.  The whole system got back in balance.

And now beavers are being reintroduced to make better use of the water we have.  “When you look at the increase in low summer flows, it’s like beaver magically created water,” says Nick Bouwes of Anabranch Solutions — a firm that restores riparian areas.

This is from “Nature’s Ecosystem Engineers,” a story in the August/September 2020 National Wildlife magazine.  A rancher in Idaho remembered how healthy Birch Creek used to be when he was a child.  Then he remembered that there were beavers there too.  (There used to be 400 million beavers and now there are 100,000.)  He called Bouwes for help.  They constructed 19 Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs) along the creek in 2015.  That created a habitat suitable for beavers. Nine beavers were relocated with the help of the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game. By 2019 there were 149 dams along a two mile stretch and the creek flows 42 more days into summer.

Beavers store water in the spring when there is maybe too much and release it slowly when it is needed.  But, it isn’t just better control of water.  It is purifying the water, allowing waterborne pollutants to settle and not continue to flow downstream.  And they bring back all sorts of fish and creatures to the area.

Maryland is starting to use beavers to help the Chesapeake Bay.  This is the sort of news that makes me happy.  Happy and Thankful!  I’m hoping for more of us to turn toward Nature’s Ways.

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Posted in Caring, clear waterways, connecting, water and love

A doctor on FIRE!

Screen Shot 2020-07-31 at 2.46.02 PMDr. Stella Immanuel on how hydroxychoroquine has cured over 400 patients

Good Day, God

Well, here is a video of  Dr. Stella Immanuel of Houston, who is angry that people are dying from COVID 19.  She has prescribed hydroxychloroquine for over 300 patients and they have all survived.  She says, “They come to see us [with COVID 19] and when they come back 7 or 10 days later the virus is gone.”

She says there are 50 to 100 studies showing hydroxychloroquine works.  She said “By taking hydroxychloroquine, Zinc, Vitamin C and Z-pak, tops, maybe $50-$ 60. You have a whole treatment for COVID.”  Why then is it banned from being mentioned on social media?  What’s the big deal?  It looks like old fashioned censorship to me.  But, now censorship has been dressed up and is called “protecting the public health by forbidding talk of a “fake” cure.”  And if censorship doesn’t work, maybe ridicule will?

In googling her, I saw her “exposed as a quack” and her past thoroughly investigated.  Turns out she is an on-fire Christian also!  And, God, that too has been used to ridicule and dismiss her.  Far from being upset, she is delighted!  Before her ministry had only gotten 100,000+ views and now it is up to 600,000+ views.

Losing our daughter Patty to cancer in 1981 has been pivotal in my outlook.  The doctors and nurses were loving, kind and smart.  But it left me with the feeling that there might be “other ways” to restore us to health.  And to me — being FREE — is about having the right to explore alternatives.  I have noticed that I learn best from my mistakes.  I think being free — to make mistakes and to free to speak — is part of living in a free country.  So I say . . . let’s dialogue.  Let’s talk.  Real science is all about evidence and more evidence — arguing all the way.

So watch the video!  She cares!  She is fearless!  And I think she is right!

 

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Posted in authority over my life, choices, Communication, connecting, courage, Enthusiasm, freedom, LOVE, Personal Power, The Flow of God's Love, the gift of persistent love, The Power of the Spoken Word

Industrial Agriculture strikes again

iuAn Iowa cornfield run by the National Science Foundation

Good Evening, God

I seem to be in the pathway of a FLOOD of information I would rather not know.  But, since I am a “sharer” I am going to pass some of the information on.  From Vandana Shiva I had learned that industrial farming basically destroys the health of the soil.  This requires genetically modified seed that can resist the chemicals applied as fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides.  Oops!  There went my childhood image of the glorious green revolution!  Like often happens, the few are reaping the profits while those on the bottom are paying the increasing costs.

However, today I got hit by a new factoid in the book Apocalyptic Planet.  Atrazine — one of the most commonly used herbicides in fields like the one above — has been “found to cause reproductive dysfunction in amphibians, fish, reptiles, and mammals.” (Page 196) You can buy it at Target and even on eBay.

Oh, I thought.  That probably means lowered fertility.  Well, it also means that there is “a common association between exposure to the herbicide and the “feminization” of male gonads in many animals, and sometimes complete sexual reversal, where males actually become females”.  Hmm.  

It made me think of how — when lead was removed from gasoline — the incidence of violent crime has declined every year since.  Yes, toxins do affect us humans.

Sigh.  

The BIG Companies involved in Industrial Agriculture have lots and lots of money to lobby and to “explain” why things have to stay the way they are.  But, really, God!  The Big Picture, doesn’t seem that hard to see!  Although, to quote Upton Sinclair, “It is hard to get a man to understand something if his livelihood depends on his not understanding it”.  And — I will add — it is hard if his peace of mind depends on not understanding.

 

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Posted in accepting my need for help, awareness, Betrayal, Books, Caring, Chemicals, Cherishing our Bodies, Common Sense, Common sense and reasonableness, Communication, connecting, earning a living, Eating for health, experimentation, Experts and THE EXPERT, Failure to assess, fears

Clean Teeth . . . Clean Soul?

IMG_5565

Good Evening, God

Yes, the BIG event of the day was that my wonderful husband Kit and I got our teeth cleaned!  WOO HOO!  We have been getting them cleaned 4 times a year and the last time was back in January.  That was only seven months . . . only seven months.  And, in truth, during that time there were days when I could hardly remember if I had even BRUSHED my teeth.

Still, I am ever so thankful and happy to have clean teeth!

As I was reclining there . . . I got to thinking . . . how do we get our Soul cleaned?  How indeed?  Maybe my Centering Prayer is like brushing my teeth.  Something I do daily and preferably twice daily.  And Centering as part of a group is somehow a bit more effective for me than when I center myself.

Then there is being with my Spiritual Director.  My talking and sharing what is going on inside of me feels cleansing.   I’m an external processor and speaking my feelings out loud — so I can hear them — is helpful.  Then, too, sometimes her comments feel like a flossing.

What else?  Time in prolonged prayer seems to have a cumulative effect.  The Morning of Prayer on the third Saturday of the week seems to get into parts of me that I miss normally.  Extended periods dedicated to prayer — as in a Retreat — again have a cumulative power.

Then later today I remembered Confession!  The only time I actually formally confessed was way back in 2008 at a Christian Healing Prayer workshop.  Now THAT was CLEANSING.  I remember telling You, God, on the flight home that I wanted a way of sharing the power of confessing.  And You answered before the flight was over!  Collard greens, sweet potatoes and liver had been eaten in Atlanta’s airport.  And before I landed the need to “get rid of them” was overwhelming!  Sure enough.  I just made it to the ladies room before I upchucked the whole thing!  And boy, did it feel marvelous to have it all OUT!  It is a great analogy.  Sometimes we need that sort of cathartic confession.

And, the idea has now entered my mind that I don’t have to fly to Florida to confess.  I can embrace that as something I do . . . quarterly?  As often as I go to the dentist?  I want to work on this!

But, God, all the ways I listed are just ways of trying to connect more closely to You. Because You are the One who cleanses!  

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Posted in a hand up, A Spiritual Spring Cleaning, acknowledging my need for prayer, awareness, being heard into speaking, Being With, Belonging to each other, Centering Prayer, confession, connecting, connections, Conversations, courage to see myself, humility, Prayer, Retreats, self care as self compassion and humility

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chatting and sometimes, listening

A Moment with God

chatting and sometimes, listening

Sacred Dance Guild Journal

Since 1958 articles by members & guests offer news about activities, history, Sacred Dance practices, profiles of Sacred Dancers, choreography, images & illustrations.

Victoria Paulsen

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