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Posts Tagged ‘Awareness’

Day 4 #Reverb10 – How do you cultivate wonder?


It seems to me that wonder is a natural state of being.

Wonder comes when I am deeply present.

When I am in the past, my wonder becomes wandering. I get lost in what was. I am not with what is.

When I am in the future, my wonder becomes worrying and hoping. I get lost in what might be. I am not here.

I cultivate wonder by nurturing truth, integrity, beauty and presence.

Wonder is a garden. I weed.  I feed. It’s a labor of love. It’s a practice.

I pull the weeds of:

  • Judgment (as much of me as of others)
  • Fear (move toward anxiety)
  • Ostrich behavior (changing don’t see: doesn’t exist to being with what is)
  • Shadow projections (bring it on home)
  • Blame (bring that one home too)
  • Urgency (there is plenty of time – step into the flow of Divine timing)
  • Dis-ease and dis-harmony (bring awareness to it)

I feed and receive truth, integrity, beauty and presence by:

  • Opening my senses
  • Sowing seeds of happiness
  • Engaging with dogs, cats and wild creatures big and small.
  • Communing with trees
  • Receiving the gifts of flowers
  • Getting up close and personal with the world through the camera’s macro and telescopic lenses
Pin-sized mushroom copyright (c) April 2010, Kathy J Loh

Pin-sized mushroom

  • Cloud gazing
  • Watching the sun rise and set

Sunset 3/6/2010 copyright (c) March 2010 Kathy J Loh

  • Meditation and grounding daily, engaging soul, body mind spirit heart, and Divine Essence
  • Remaining ever curious (Who is that person across from me, really? I look beyond my assumptions and I open to be with who he/she is.)
  • Reading Rumi, Hafiz, David Whyte, Mary Oliver
  • Cultivating magic and miracles
  • Playing with messages from the Mystery
  • Stargazing and contemplating infinity
  • Watching the moon rise and set
Venus and crescent moon copyright (c) April 2010 Kathy J Loh

Venus and the crescent moon

  • Walking a path of Beauty
  • Receiving Grace
  • Living in the question
  • Dawdling
  • Singing the song that asks to be sung in the moment
  • Falling into the silence that follows the song
  • Listening to music, traversing the pathways of melodies and bathing in colorful harmonies

And you, dear reader, how do you cultivate wonder?

Copyright© Dec 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I meditate.

I contemplate.

I have great internal Board of Directors meetings.

I sing and chant and sometimes even rant.

I fill my heart and empty my mind.

I follow my mind and empty my heart.

Dance with my spirit and inhabit my body.

Sometimes I am guided. Most often, I dance alone.

This morning the sunrise was a sight to behold. Clouds to the west kissed illuminated hills and homes. I could not sequester myself in my meditation room and miss the morning.

 

copyright(c) Oct 2010, Kathy J Loh

Where does the pathway in the clouds lead?

 

Jackhammers abused concrete somewhere in the valley below. A steady stream of cars snaked its way up Wolfe Grade and silver jets left vapor trails between the clouds…so many people going somewhere.

Is this how we honor the dawn?

Is this how we honor all beginnings?

I don’t know. I only wonder.

Not wanting to miss the changing colors and shapes of the clouds; not wanting to miss the flocks of crows (and one tiny hummingbird) that traverse the skyscape, I began to sing, as I always do to begin meditation.

At first I was aware of my voice and the wending of the melody. Soon enough, I was absorbed by the pastel hues, absorbed by whatever it is that absorbs me, of which I am a part, to which I belong, and the song emerged as a completely self-organized melody; my morning song; this morning song.

Or is it mourning song, like the dove in the pine outside my window? For the tears come as my heart cracks open and I don’t really know what is sad or what is too much to hold.

Perhaps it is gratitude.

Perhaps it is Beauty.

Surely it is Love.

And, it doesn’t need a name.

When I retreat to my mediation room each morning, supposedly to ground myself so as to be more present during the day, to what have I become un-present? Where have I gone and how much of the day already missed?

This “being present to”… this offering of lullaby to the dawn and all the weary travelers, this is what grounds me now.

What is your morning practice?

copyright(c) October 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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It has been 2 months since I posted.  I’ve been enjoying quite the social whirlwind since I returned to Marin: dinner dates, movie dates, parties and hikes. I’m having a blast.

I’ve written so many posts in my mind, but none have made it to print. So much to say. Where to start? I’ll start here:

The question people most ask me these days is, “Are you all settled in?” The first two weeks the answer was, “not yet.”  I was pining for the trails, the beach, the owls, the dogs, stars and quiet. I was worried that the din of neighborhood traffic and star-minimizing light pollution, including the glare of numerous street lamps in the area, would be insufferable. I feared I’d made a horrible mistake.

As I investigated that fear, I discovered that the only mistake would be beating myself up for the decision I’d made, not letting myself off the hook. Once I realized that, my fear dissipated as I promised myself that no matter what,  I’d be kind to me.

For those first weeks, most of my “settling in” entailed getting things out of boxes, many of which had been stored for nearly 5 years. At my old place, every time I’d set aside a day to go through the boxes I’d hit an obstacle: workers in the yard, new roofing over the garage, a party on the ponderosa, something else to do, that kind of thing. Most often, though, the obstacle was the sick feeling in my stomach whenever I opened one. The overwhelming aroma of memories and uncertainty would send me reeling out the door and down the hiking trail for some fresh air. I cultivated a strong sense of “manana.”

copyright (c) 2010 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

Moving van on moving day

When I started getting the urge to move, I promised myself I’d muster up the courage to go through those boxes. I did not want to pay for their portage to a new garage.  But, the opportunity to move came more quickly than motivation and so, they moved with me. Truthfully, with all the space I have now, I’ve discovered that there isn’t that much to release.

For the first time in 5 years, all of my books are on shelves. All of the music equipment is up and I have plenty of space to spread out. Even my belly feels better with the space between me and the furnishings in my larger home. I have been calling this the “let’s see” house. Let’s see which of all my past identities, and the tools of the trade that go with them, will survive. I’m not going to force anything.

The boxes hold memories, but they also hold surprises. I forgot I had water goblets and dessert glasses. I rediscovered some artwork, most of my cookbooks, table linens, décor and candles. It was like getting married all over again without the hassle of a husband. I actually like most of these things, so I’m glad I kept them during my “downsized” years.

I feel the same way about me and who I’ve been and become, before and during my five years of relative solitude. I’m rediscovering neglected delights.

Here I am, in the house I lived in 15 years ago, revisiting my past in so many ways. I’ve done healing work with the younger me who lived here in those years. I’ve rediscovered the walks I used to take in the neighborhood. The same neighbors live here and remember me (as I do them). I’ve rewound and spliced. The new story (of which I wrote in the last post) is taking shape.

There’s one box that surprised me; a box bigger than all the rest (and paradoxically smaller). It’s the box around me. I’m discovering how rigid I’ve been with myself; all these rules and opinions; what’s OK and what’s not. When a possession has been in a box for five years, it makes sense that re-connecting with it will lead to observations of what’s the same and what’s different about the me that lived with it then and the me that is choosing to live with it now (or not).

I find myself musing over and over again, “I used to think (fill in the blank). What was that about?”

One of the rules my rigid self holds is that I have to get rid of things. Once I decided to let go of having to let go, I no longer worried about my identity. If my ego wants to identify itself by the things I own, it follows that I either have to use them and be that or let them go and be something/someone else. But today, I see it as just stuff. I’ll use it or I won’t and it will go when it’s time. I’m just me being who I am and the more I settle in to that, I suspect my relationship with stuff will shift without forcing anything.

Even my social activities are informing me of how I’ve changed. I’m more extroverted than I thought. I’ve gotten used to neighborhood noise and actually find it somewhat comforting. I like living within walking distance of a small downtown. Today while I was sweeping the leaves, the neighbor was mowing. Something about that makes the work easier. At night, the once dreaded streetlamp creates beautiful dancing tree silhouettes on my walls.

As I reflect upon the process of un-boxing my belongings, I realize something is happening to me too.

I am un-boxing my belonging.

Post-script:

I now have a small room dedicated to meditation. In my contemplation today, I visualized myself in a box. The paintings on the inside of that box were all the things I have told myself is me and images that represent the rules; right down to how to dress for my figure type and other women’s magazine advice.  Above me was the ceiling I have put on joy, prosperity, income, happiness.

I imagined the box falling open, looking much like the diagram of how a box looks before it gets folded up into six sides. I watched the unfolding as the top blew off and the sides shriveled up and fell off like the petals of a spent rose. There I was, standing atop a stem, naked to all possibility. For a moment it was a bit unnerving; too vulnerable. I understood, in that moment, why I created the box; the illusion of safety and security, a sense of belonging that is represented by the box and everything in it.

Then, the stem fell away and there I was with no sense of past or future, no sense of beginning or end. My mind wanted to go to form. “What does it look like? What can we have? How can we get that? Who can we be? How do we become that?” I was aware of my thoughts and how enticing the bait was, aware too that the bait dangled on a very sharp hook.

At the same time, there was so much peace, so much safety, security and true belonging in this un-boxed, undefined, unlimited presence. Ego also wants to say, “This is perfection, this presence. How can I get more of that?”

More bait.

Settling in and getting un-boxed, I am watching when I dig in and when I vacate. I notice when I put up pretty murals that tell me who I am and how easy it is to replace one box with another even if the ceiling is higher. I am aware of boxes others like to put me in and how they subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) request that I police my behavior to keep them comfortable and make them right. I notice how I am tempted to comply.

I watch.

I notice.

I become aware.

It’s a practice.

Copyright © August 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I have a morning practice of journaling, pulling an angel card and meditation/contemplation. Yesterday, I wrote in my journal about the myriad of irritations that I’ve been experiencing, wondering “what’s the feedback?” What am I getting out of feeling so “put upon” that I continue to gather these small annoyances?

I decided to take it to meditation, but first I pulled an angel card for the day. Now, I’ve been doing this for so long, that it has evolved into something really amazing. The card almost always responds, in some way, to what I’ve just written. In addition, the cards right in front of and behind the card I pull (the wing cards) give me greater detail by way of the perspective they bring to the first card.

I opened the Healing with Angels card box and pulled out the deck. I noticed something in the bottom of the box. What’s this? A flea! A flea was in the angel card box. How did that get in there? I don’t have pets. (The dog I walk with belongs to my neighbor.) In my 4 years here, I’ve never seen a flea (and I would know if they were here because I’m highly allergic).

I tried to grab it to give it a good squeeze, but it hopped on to the side of the bed. I grabbed it again, but its beautifully evolved hard shell would not bend to my will. It jumped out from between my fingers and onto the carpet. I got out the vacuum and have no idea what kind of life that flea is or is not living now.

I went on to pull a card: Miracles (between Blessings and Guardian Angel)

Fleas are pretty amazing little creatures with barbed hairs that enable them to stick to animals like Velcro and they jump over 100 times their height. They even perform somersaults while leaping. They are hardy and they cause misery. It’s a miracle of creation, a miracle that it was in my angel card box.  Miracles come in all shapes and sizes and, at first glance, they may not appear to be miracles.

The angel card informs me:

“Miracles are occurring all around you right now. Begin to notice them, and you will experience even more miracles.”

Taking into account the shoulder cards, Blessings and Guardian Angel, I make up that miracles will be more visible to me when I count my blessings and accept the support of my Guardian Angels. I am blessed and I am not alone.

I am not seeing the miracles for the “fleas.”

When one itch arises, I think I have to flee.

When I see one flea, I think “oh no! It’s an invasion. They are going to overrun the place!”

Isn’t that just how I have been viewing the little irritations in my days lately? Stringing them together like beads, creating for myself a nice little choke-chain.  Trying to control everything and everyone and getting really angry when they won’t let me. I’m choking myself into isolation and insolation.

About the flea, I hear, “Remember, it came from The Mystery.”

Circumstances, too, often arise from The Mystery.

What if these circumstances, which I experience as annoying, are miracles?

Sunset Pond - trees, reflected

What's Real? (K J Loh)

In the ensuing meditation, I viewed my life from what I call the Angels’ perspective. (Those of you who get the Mystery Messages may be reminded, here, of the Merlin Hawk message.)

While holding myself as blessed and protected, I was able to see that what I get out of all this itching from the flea-like circumstances is an opportunity to suffer. Suffering supports my inner martyr. (Victim or martyr; choose your poison.) It allows me to blame, collect pity and sympathy, punish other people, throw temper tantrums, and a wide variety of other strategies to avoid taking responsibility for my life and my happiness. Basically, it is the perspective that the world is out to get me and I am bending over backwards to accommodate it, while never being able to have a day go the way I want it to. “Look at me! I’m covered in flea bites and it itches like crazy! How can you expect me to be happy?”

Here’s the kicker. My martyr voice tells me that taking responsibility will lead to suffering and struggle. It’s too hard!

Hello? Uhm…..isn’t that what martyr is doing? It’s causing me to struggle and suffer to avoid suffering and struggling. Huh?

The meditation/contemplation continued with many more insights around betrayal, anger, abandonment; all really juicy stuff. Suffice it to say, I found that all the people and circumstances were completely transformed when I transformed how I saw them.

I forgave myself for a long list of ways I twist what is into something to rail against. I took that choke-chain off. I saw my life on a big screen as it would be without martyr. I could not think it. I just sat and watched. It’s the same picture, but the feeling is different. I realized, I can’t get there through martyr. Suffering, trying to control and struggling will only lead to isolation, loneliness, and constriction. The point to martyr is to never get there anyway.

Suffering is highly over-rated. Struggling is highly over-rated.

Today’s angel card reminds me to open my eyes and see the miracles happening all around; those amazing events and people sent by The Mystery, which I’ve refused to see in order to support struggle, suffering and misery.

I can hold my goals and visions very tightly, like putting myself into lock-down. This creates an image in my mind’s eye of a vortex; a drain spiraling inward.

I can hold my goals and visions lightly, with love, trusting that The Mystery is friendly and helpful; honoring my priorities, being real and joyful; taking responsibility. This creates an image in my mind’s eye of an outwardly expansive release of energy. (I’m reminded of my Open Hands Open Heart post)

I’ve done a lot of work around martyr and victim. I’ve been through workshops and years of coaching. I know both intimately. Yet, I still find myself in retreat from responsibility at times and that gives martyr a toe-hold.

Awareness is a practice.

Here is an exercise to support your awareness practice:

For the next few days, listen to your inner voice and notice what it is saying about everything that happens to you and how others are treating you. Write it down. Become familiar with your “favorite” sayings. Then review your inner voice’s general perspective.  Is it supporting your happiness or feeding your misery?

Copyright © February 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Got a flea bugging you? Coaching helps you gain insight around the obstacles you create to your own happiness. I’m happy to schedule a complimentary consultation for anyone seriously considering hiring a coach. Email me at: kathyloh@coachkathy.com

Re: photo – that’s a pond, reflecting the trees and fence which is why they appear upside down.

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Newspapers, blogs and newscasts are bursting with images of the past decade and best of 2009 lists. I’ve participated in some of it. I enjoy the retrospection and introspection of it all, but  today, I’m cranky.

I was going to write about the blue moon, the eclipse, everything appearing to go backwards in the sky and how that will impact our resolutions. I was going to write something about creating intentions for the new year, the new decade. I was going to suggest various activities including collages, stories and letters to self. I kept putting it off because, quite frankly, it was boring me; all this coach-speak.

New Year’s  Day is my favorite holiday. It’s a bona-fide do-nothing holiday that one is not required to spend with family. That means, I get it all to myself, at home, in the woods, and that’s usually how I spend it. I plot out what I know about the year ahead, I hike, I put birthdays on the new calendar. I dream into an entire year in one day and then I pop back again to the present. Most often I end up completely disoriented by all the “time travel.”

I pull an angel card and two Spirit Cards (I AM and I WILL) for the year and I will pay attention to how they speak to me all year long. Early in January, I attend a Tarot Pilgrimage with Pamela Eakins and I pull a Tarot of the Spirit card for every month of the year. I divine the year and then I see what unfolds.

I have intentions. I intend to make more money. I intend to find a larger home. I intend to play more music and I intend to fall in love at least long enough to have some fun. None of these intentions are new. I’ve been intending them for many months if not the entire prior year. (OK, my whole life.) I put my spirit, heart and mind into these intentions, but it takes awhile for physical form to catch up. So, while I wait, I try to keep up with the Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Here’s the thing. With all the astro-activity going on, we don’t stand a chance! Mercury is retrograde until January 15th. That means we will over-research things before acting, we will over-think things and our electronics and our communication will be out of whack. Travel generally suffers then as well. Additionally, Mars is retrograde and that leaves us with lower energy. Mars tests us. As astrologist Risa D’Angeles points out:

“When retrogrades occur it means the information and energy we’ve built up since the last retrograde now needs to be assessed and reviewed. The entire world is to go into a contemplative phase. It is a time of retreat and quietude.”

January 1st or not, we are in a portion of the cycle that is not conducive to starting new behaviors and ventures in an active to-do way.

Now, if that’s not enough to deflate one’s resolution balloon, perhaps science will. It seems that will power is handled by the same part of the brain that handles short term memory. The more we are trying to do in any one moment, the less will power we have.  If you want to know about the studies that show this, read the Wall Street Journal article, Blame it on the Brain.  Meanwhile, if you can be like Buddha and sit under the Bodhi tree, you might stand a chance of having enough will power to stop eating sugar, stop smoking, and keep that daily dose of wine to 4 ounces.

Finally, New Year’s Eve sees a blue moon; the second full moon in a month. This is the first one to happen on NY Eve in 20 years and the next time this occurs will be in 2028. We say once-in-a-blue moon because it means something that rarely happens. This blue moon will be partially eclipsed and eclipses mean some things will disappear from our physical reality. This might be a good thing and it might not. It depends upon what it is that disappears from your reality and how attached to it you are.

But wait, there’s more!

Risa explains that the moon goes void-of-course on January 1st and the impact it can have is that our lives and routines may feel disrupted. Perhaps this is good if we want to change habits. Perhaps it is not.

If you are able to follow through on your resolutions from day 1, it will truly be a once-in-a-blue-moon miracle.

footprints in sand

One step at a time (K J Loh)

So here’s what I intend to do about it:

Very little!

Very little steps

Very little effort

Here’s how I intend to be with it:

Very aware

Moving with ease

Gentle with myself

I plan on making every day New Year’s Day, evolving my capacity to bring exquisite awareness to each moment and mindfulness to activities. I plan on making every evening New Year’s Eve by reviewing the day, forgiving myself for failings and celebrating successes. I’ll calibrate and re-connect with my heart for improved navigation.  I’ll regroup and reground, so that whatever winds may blow, I’ll be in touch with that which centers me.

Things change when we place our awareness upon them.  Our once-in-a-blue-moon miracles stand a chance if we cast our intentions from our brilliant imaginations and open hearts and become present enough to be response-able in each moment.

I plan to fail and flail and sail and I intend to have a good time doing it.

After all, it’s not about control. It’s about Love.

Here’s a little Blue Moon song for you, dear readers!

Copyright (c) December 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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“All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within. “ – Horace Friess

“ My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?” – Charles Schulz

It was a Monday (Oct 2008) I will never forget…(hopefully)

Strike One:

Construction had begun on the remodel of a garage-soon-to-be-family-room to which my granny unit apartment is attached. Sledge hammers and crow bars were being used to rip away the old wall. I work, on the phone, on the other side of that wall.  It was disruptive and annoying and the nightmare, as I called it, was only beginning.

Strike Two:

Let me back up for a moment. On the Friday prior I got a warning signal. My computer crashed.  It summarily told me, by way of some error message I can’t recall, that it was done and it died. I was grateful I had a back up drive and I used it regularly. I still had time on my 3 year warranty, so I picked up the phone and waited to have a conversation with a techie in India. Secretly, I hoped my computer would be pronounced dead so I could go out and buy a Mac.

The techie took me through a number of fruitless steps and then told me all we could do was wipe out my hard drive and start over. With her supervisor on the line, she asked me if I understood what we were about to do. I said yes and that I wasn’t happy.

We wiped the drive clean while re-installing the operating system. (Sometimes I wish I could clear my “drive” and re-install my own internal operating system. Do they outsource for this service as well?)

I spent the weekend re-loading software. The only reward was the speed I now experienced with the newly cleaned disk.

So, now back to Monday’s strike two.  It comes in two parts. My back-up drive died after downloading a fraction of what it held. My computer’s wireless card died and some other, less memorable things got funky. Again, I called India (I mean my computer company’s Technical Service). There was a program the techie wanted to download to my computer, but since my wireless card was not working, that was not possible. I had to go around to the landlord’s place and download it through their computer to transfer to mine. This had me traipsing back and forth across the property  into the dusky hours of twilight, carrying my computer at all times.  I was hurrying back to get his return phone call at my place when…

Strike Three:

I stepped down the two stairs between my bedroom and office and missed the second one.  My ankle folded in half and my computer went flying out of my hands and into the desk leg. (Would this be my Mac opportunity?)

The phone rang and we continued our work on my computer, while I had my leg up on the desk with ice on it. The techie came to the conclusion that my problem could not be fixed over the phone and they would now honor my “in home service” warranty and send someone out to the house to fix things. (Gee, wonder why he hadn’t come to that hours and a healthy ankle ago.)

Before the choice comes the surrender

Tuesday found me propped up in bed with no online service available, painstakingly moving from spot to spot in the house with the use of a borrowed walker, unable to drive, listening to hammers, saws, and loud music as the construction crew continued their demolition fiesta. I was trapped. I felt like a cornered animal. My daily swim/float in the pool had come to an abrupt end. It was like the powers that be said “no more fun for you little missy” and pulled the plug. What’s with my life mirroring my computer anyway?

I had a  call with my writing coach and she let me whine and blame for a bit. Then she reminded me of my exquisite imagination. There, on the phone, lying in the bed, I began to float on water. I was as much in the pool as on the bed. As we completed the imaginary float, she asked,  “What did you hear while you were floating?” I was surprised to realize I’d not heard the hammering at all. I’d heard it, but hadn’t noticed it. I was no longer triggered by it.

Floating (c) Kathy J Loh

Floating (c) Kathy J Loh

In that moment, I integrated what, until then, I’d only known intellectually.

Happiness is a choice.

Despite the circumstances, I knew I did not want to feel miserable as well. How I feel is within the realm of my control.  Days prior to this strike-out, I’d been blissfully happy and carefree. I did not want to lose that joy. I may be “out” but I’m not going down! I decided to feel happy. I surrendered to the what-is of a sprained ankle, a lack of internet connection, non-mobility and invasive noise. I asked for help. Rather than spending the hours in anger and frustration, I spent them following my heart’s desire in each moment.  I was truly happy.

So, I suggest following these steps for the next time circumstances knock you sideways:

  • Stop and breathe
  • Notice what is
  • Ask:  what can I change and what is out of my control?
  • Surrender to it
  • Let yourself wallow for a little bit; feel what you are feeling.  (I discovered something about why I’m so triggered by loud noises when I did this.)
  • Ask for help
  • Choose happiness
  • Follow your heart’s desire and create it for yourself in whatever responsible (ability to respond) way you can

Oh, and my laptop computer? I still have it. The in-home technician replaced the wireless, gave me a new keyboard and an incredible deal on more memory and extended the warranty. ( Uhm…can I get one of those extended warranties for me too?) And the Mac is on hold for now.

Copyright (c) October 2009, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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I spent last week at a Lucid Living retreat, “Secrets of Happiness” in beautiful Santa Barbara. We stayed at the Four Seasons Biltmore where the service and attention to detail is impeccable.

On the final morning of my stay, I ordered a room-service double latte. When the knock came, I expected to be handed a simple coffee cup on a saucer right there at the door. (These words conjured up all kinds of funny images when I spoke it to my circle later. My favorite was the image of a medieval prison guard shoving a gourd of gruel through a small opening in a large plank door and then slamming it shut in my face.  It is one of those scarcity scenarios I’m so gifted at imagining.)

Instead, the double latte was delivered on a silver platter adorned with a cloth napkin and accompanied by two biscotti, a shiny silver spoon, two lumps of sugar (white and brown), an assortment of other sweeteners and one stunningly beautiful yellow flower in a white vase.

From my scarcity perspective, I would call this overkill and I would make up how politically incorrect and extravagant the entire scene was, harkening back to my “starving kids in Africa” clean plate days as a child.

From my celebration-of-beauty-and-self, celebration-of-spirit-and-soul perspective, of course I would be served in this way. Not only would I be served, but I would create the same for others. Beauty is our innate being and this service and presentation are a reflection of that.

I carried the tray to my balcony dining table and settled into a feast for the senses; the aroma and taste of hot latte, the clinking of the spoon, the singing and chattering of birds, the verdant beauty of lush grounds and the freshness of the ocean breeze.

I found myself completely and utterly captivated by the gorgeous yellow flower. There it sat in the vase, vibrant and bursting like the sun. It became the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I drank it in, feasted upon it as if starving, as if I’d never get enough. For a moment, it became my entire world.

(c) Kathy J Loh

(c) Kathy J Loh

I saw the flower watching me as I watched it. I saw the flower generously giving of its beauty and in seeing that, I saw my own beauty and felt my desire to give in the same way. I felt the transience of its loveliness and, knowing I’d be checking out in an hour, I felt a great sadness for the brevity of the experience.

This put me directly in touch with my desire to hold on to any and everything that brings me joy and happiness. I was reminded of all the sunsets and the moon risings, the shooting stars and animal sightings that I want to somehow keep forever. This is why I carry my camera and perhaps even why I journal and write. I want to remember it all. I want to remember the love and the beauty.  I want to re-member it; to know oneness and forget my separation.

I thought of the people I love and this life I love. I don’t want them to pass, I don’t want to face growing older or the loss of this incredible gift of life.  I don’t want to know long stretches of time without the people I love in them. The sadness fills my heart and overflows in my tears. I become aware, that it is my willingness to be with this great sadness that brings me in touch with my great desire, passion and love for others, for this life, for the beauty of our planet and our humanity. By feeling this sadness and grief, I increase my capacity to also feel passion and joy. It doesn’t work for me to deny the grief. It only chokes off all my emotions.

While beauty never fades, the forms shift and pass. While love is ever-present, its form shifts and passes. I can’t hold on. I want to possess and I must let go. What I try to possess withers and fades. I trust that what I release comes back to me revealed as ever-present in its being and in my being.

One simple, radiant yellow flower, warming my heart like a new day’s sun, taught me this. What a gift, what service. May I be a willing flower generously revealing my inherent radiance.  May I know within me, such courage and such love.  May we all.

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