When I first moved to this little town in the Rockies, I saw deer all the time. When I was driving to my house for the first time, they were right there in the middle of the road – four of them, looking right at me, tame as could be. Later, I would often see them across the street when I stood looking out my front door. Sometimes I saw them five yards from my front door. I saw them run by during a couple sacred gatherings. One day I even found antlers in my backyard – the first time ever in my life.
I know that Deer represents the energy of Gentleness. And at that time in my life, having just moved two thousand miles away and knowing only one person in my new hometown (and only by phone at that) Gentleness was exactly what I needed. I needed to be gentle with myself as I adjusted to a new home, a new environment, a new altitude, a new neighborhood. I needed to be gentle as I recovered from the move, the drive (including a blizzard,) the leaving of family and friends. Deer was right. Gentleness was exactly what I needed. My friend, Cindy, understood this as well. And when I would feel emotional or when my back would go out or when I would push myself to do more than I had the energy for, she would remind that I’d been through a big change and that it was okay to be gentle with myself.
Fast forward three months. I had moved to a different house. I was no longer seeing Deer. Instead I was seeing and hearing Hummingbirds. Every time I stepped out of the house it seemed I was hearing them. When I walked through the woods I was seeing them. When I moved to yet another house – yes, three houses in a little over three months! – I began seeing them all the time. At least one appears to live in the tree by the front door. And several frequently visit the flowers out the window where my desk sits. I usually see them several times a day. And whenever I walk outside, I hear them buzz by, making their fun little trilling noises.
Hummingbird is about Joy. It’s about Love. It’s about Beauty. This is appropriate for me right now because I have finally settled in. I have been blessed with a beautiful, exquisitely furnished home; a wonderful, compatible, cheerful, spiritual roommate; unbelievable natural beauty; and a unique and delightful town. I feel the Joy of all these blessings and I am able to radiate it. Hummingbird and I are really happy!
Animals are a blessing. They have much to teach us. If we watch them, we can learn from them. Some animals exemplify power, some grace, some adaptability, some playfulness. Some are loners, some are communal, some mate for life, some are devoted to their offspring. Some animals are carnivores, some are herbivores, some are nocturnal, some are diurnal, some hibernate. Some are fierce, some are protective, some are gentle.
When an animal keeps showing up in our lives or our dreams, it’s time to look for the hidden message. Is there something we should be doing differently? Do we need to be stronger? Do we need to eat more plants? Do we need to pay more attention to our community? Do we need to be more gentle to ourselves and to others? Do we need to play more? Do we need to rest more?
We are blessed to share this Earth with so many different kinds of animals. Let’s respect them, honor them, and learn from them. As the native people say, they are our relatives.
One of the many things I love about this town I live in is the pace. Everyone slows down here. People hang out on porches and drink coffee in the morning. People often walk to town instead of drive. People hang out in cafes and stop to talk in the middle of the street. And if I go to an event in the afternoon, it is highly doubtful I will summon up the energy for an evening event. Why do two things when I can do just one? Why pack too much into a day? It’s so unnecessary.
The speed limit on the main road here is 35. Yes, there are people who go 45, but it’s oh so nice to go 35mph. There are reasons for this speed limit, of course. One is that there are often deer by or in the road, or elk jumping over it. Secondly, there are children and walkers and bicyclers. But mostly, I think we just don’t want to listen to cars zooming around. We want to smell the fresh mountain air and hear the birds. There are no racing rats here.
I bet our blood pressure is lower here. It’s kind of like we live at vacation speed even though it’s “real” life. I wonder why we live at a slower pace here. Maybe because we are so surrounded by nature, we live more at the pace of nature. Or maybe it’s because we don’t need to prove anything. In other parts of the country, everyone feels this desperate need to ACHIEVE. Here, we enjoy “being” a lot more. It’s so refreshing.
What would happen if you gave yourself permission to live life at a slower pace?
What would happen if you walked instead of ran? What if you walked instead of drove???
What if you spent more time at home? What if you spent more time outside? What if you spent more time with your kids and your pets? What if you ate more slow food and less fast food? What if you started out your mornings watching the sun rise? What if you ended your days watching the sun set? What if you didn’t have anything to prove? What if it was okay to enjoy life more? What if you didn’t have to succeed at anything? What if you were allowed to take more naps? What if you spent more time on your porch and less time at the office?
Living life more slowly feels really good. Try it sometime!
Twice in the last week, I rediscovered the miracle of choosing different words.
(Note: I so want to share with you the good news of how we can manifest little miracles in our lives. And in order to do this, I have to confess some embarrassing stuff. But the only way to share the “gold” with you is to also confess the dross. So here goes.)
I have been living on the edge financially. This is not a new situation I’m in (as any of my good friends and family members will attest.) I have a great life, and often I’m a bit short on money. Apparently I need to create this situation over and over again in my life until I learn my lessons and “do things right.”
Generally I can cope with financial limitations pretty well – that is, until my rent is due, or my cell phone is about to be cut off, or I’m running out of food. Then I begin to sink into my fear and I find myself thinking “I am so broke.” Take it from me: these are “bad words” to use.
I was in this position last week. Rent was due on Monday and my roommate was counting on me having half of the rent. I didn’t want to let her down, but things were not flowing. For instance, I couldn’t seem to locate an affordable, available, appropriate location for my cooking class. In addition, two people who I knew wanted healing sessions with me were not available. I was feeling nervous. Worry about not having rent money was hovering in my thoughts all week long. Then finally, once again, I remembered to remind myself of what I already knew: Our thoughts and words create our reality.
So I chose different words. The words I chose were “Money is coming to me. Money is coming to me. Money is coming to me.” I said them within my head. Three times I said the words. Then periodically when I would think of it, I would say them again. Within two days, four sessions were scheduled! It was a miracle. Then two more opportunities for making money fell into my lap. Absolutely amazing.
This has happened many times before, and still I forget. Eventually, I will get it. Eventually I will make this a way of life. Eventually there will be no obstacles in my life because I will stop doubting the power of my ability to co-create my reality. This is something we all can do. Miracles happen when we claim what we want in a positive way and when we simultaneously cease to focus on that which we fear.
(i.e., Focus on the money, not on the lack thereof.)
Then it happened again. I had been very busy this past week – seeing friends in my home town, earning money, spending time with my older parents and family members. In the midst of all this busyness, some other details were falling through the cracks. For instance, I was going to be flying back to Colorado and I hadn’t yet figured out exactly how to get from the airport in Denver to my home four hours away.
It’s difficult to ask even the best of friends to make an eight-hour drive for you. (Not to mention it’s not so great for the environment.) I was more than happy to take a bus back home. The problem was I bought the cheapest airfare there was, and that brought me into Denver at 8:00 pm, however the bus departure was at 2:00 in the afternoon. So in order to catch that bus, I would have to find an inexpensive (preferably free) place to stay for one night. I had put out a few feelers, but nothing was forthcoming. I put out a few more feelers and still, a solution was not readily apparent. I was getting stressed. It was the day before my flight and I still didn’t know how I was getting home.
I was feeling stress on multiple levels before I finally remembered the power I have to create a different scenario. I was in the car with three friends at the time and I said out loud something along these lines: “Everything is beginning to flow. Everything is falling into place. There is nothing to worry about. All is well.” I felt better immediately. I felt the stress lifting. Then (I kid you not) within minutes, a girlfriend called and reported that she had a girlfriend who was not only willing to let me to stay in her home, but was willing to pick me up if I could just give her a little bit of gas money. In addition, a friend offered to pay for a hotel if nothing else came through.
Just amazing. Then, in addition to that miracle, three different friends gave me money out of the goodness of their heart. And I hadn’t even asked! (Because after paying the rent, I had less than ten dollars left.) That extra money was icing on the cake. Three problems were resolved in a fairly short amount of time. Things just totally fell into place.
Such is the power of our words and thoughts.
I hope this inspires you. I encourage you to try this out and then I’d love to hear about your results. We can each create a bountiful and blessed life for ourselves.
Some of my friends have probably noticed that I’ve been grumpy lately. And overwhelmed. And irritable. And some things have been falling through the cracks. I’ve also been feeling guilty. And I’ve been trying to do too many things at once. And I’ve made some mistakes. And I acted in a way that hurt someone’s feelings.
In short, I’ve been a mess lately. I’ve been very human. How do I get back on track? How do I reclaim that part of myself that is peaceful and wise and kind and in the flow?
If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know the things that work for me, and if you’re wise, you can probably guess that I haven’t been doing them. And you’d be right.
I’ve fallen off the track. I’ve let go of doing the very things that help keep me balanced. Over and over I find myself doing this when I’m very busy, away from home, and/or traveling. I notice it’s harder for me to claim some personal space when I’m visiting with others. But that’s no excuse. It’s when I’m traveling or very busy that those spiritual practices become most essential!
I told my roommate a few weeks ago that if she noticed me being irritable or down, she should ask me if I’ve been outside yet today. She should ask me if I’ve said my prayers.
I stayed over at some friends’ home last night and just now I walked out into their backyard and communed with the flowers, the birds, the butterflies, the bees. I sang some prayers. And, true to form, I found my joy again.
What brings you back to center? What brings you into a place of joy again?
I had a friend who told me that when kids are grumpy, you should “just add water.” In other words, put them in a pool or spray them with a sprinkler. What a great idea!
So here are some suggestions for when you are out of sorts and want to feel sorted out again:
- Take a bath.
- Play some really wonderful music.
- Get a massage.
- Take a walk and look at the flowers.
- Count your blessings.
- Pet a purring cat.
- Eat some good food and drink some good water.
- Make a date with a friend.
- Do some chanting or singing or praying.
- Skip. (It’s pretty much impossible to feel down if you skip.)
- Swing on a swing.
- Get your hands in the earth and do some gardening.
- Take the day off.
May you find your joy. May you find your peace.