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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

As I trouble over following my mother’s health directive to administer more pain medications to relieve her of the ongoing suffering bone cancer inflicts, I worry about whether or not she has said goodbye. Not so much to each of us, as we have all been saying goodbye for some time now. I wonder if she will have another chance to really take in the trees outside her window, and the blue sky. Will she ever hear bird-song again and does she need a spin in the wheelchair to enjoy that. I don’t need to ask myself if it matters to her. She is the one who first tutored me in its treasures. Perhaps she has been saying good bye for some time and we are just unaware of that. After all, she is already traveling in both worlds, here and beyond.

I realize some of this is a projection of my own needs and what I want. There is a post going around on Facebook of a forest ranger who was in hospice care and wanted to be in her beloved Nature again.  It never fails to move me. I know that deep call of nature and its healing resonance. If I were ill and could not go outside, I would want the sounds in my room, birdsong, ocean waves, breeze in the trees, whale calls.

Today, Earth Day, I am also thinking of another mother and, in both cases, what it means to say goodbye and how goodbye lives in relationship with hello.

Our earth, Pachamama, Gaia, is our mother and we are her children.

photo of dogwood copyright (c) KJLoh

Thinking how important it is to me to say goodbye, to her, I ask myself, “Have I said hello to Pachamama today? Have I honored her and thanked her, offered my respect?”

As I walked the woods pondering this, offering my gratitude to the trees in particular, I was greeted by more birdsong than I have heard since the approach of winter. I soaked it up, let it re-organize my cells. I regularly say “hello” out loud to the flowers, mushrooms, trees and many creatures I see on my walks and hikes. I wonder, having said hello so often, will it be easier or harder to, someday, say goodbye?

When I consider my own passing, I imagine having said hello more often, having received, really received the beauty and gift of this Earth, will make my goodbye more rich, and sad, yes, but very sweet. I wonder too, how often do I protect myself from a painful goodbye by withholding my hello? Do I imagine keeping my love and appreciation contained will somehow save me from deeper heartache?

If I have not said hello enough will I care enough to preserve the Earth and her creatures. Will I really know what it means to recycle, to conserve, to celebrate the biodiversity, to appreciate the bounty?

One of my teachers, Don Oscar Miro-Quesada, encourages us to honor Pachamama with song, ritual, dance, drumming. Yes, this is a profound and sacred way of saying hello.

And, please know, that if you are not inclined to perform ceremony or join a beach cleanup, your simple hello by way of true observation, connection and reception is more powerful and more healing than you might imagine.

You matter and you may be the only person to ever see that particular blossom, that dandelion seed in flight.

I invite you to join me, to celebrate our beautiful Earth mother, by taking a moment to say “hello” to her. Commune with a tree, take in the beauty of a wildflower, sit by a body of water in reflection. Listen to the birds singing. Stop, pause, if only for a minute, and say “Hello.”

Like beginnings and endings, hello and goodbye exist in the same moment, in a unity. We need to be aware of what we are unconsciously throwing away (and the many more painful goodbyes it may create) when we forget to say hello.

Pachamama, our beloved mother Earth, gives and gives. Your hello says “I see you and I appreciate you.” Say hello, not just today, but every day.

Copyright © April 22, 2015 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved
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“Anyone else having a bumpy re-entry? Today was one of those days where by noon I was already back curled up under the covers and needed to do a bit of yoga to re-center.”

A lovely, creative colleague of mine posted those words (above) on her Facebook page the first Monday of 2015. It caught my attention, because I’d already posted to my business development group that I was finding myself in a state of huge resistance to returning to work after two weeks “off.”

I enclose off in quotes because truly the weeks of Christmas and New Years are not a time of rest and retreat. All that time “off” is needed to attend to the busy-ness of the holidays. I posted my agreement as a comment in her thread and was comforted to see others, especially my creative friends, do the same.

While I didn’t feel like I wanted to crawl under the covers, I did want to stop time. I especially wanted to stop the tidal wave of emails coming in from marketers with whom I’d traded my email address for freebies this past year. It seems that the new year, the time of making resolutions, putting away the last year and gathering (or in most cases re-gathering) our hopes for the new year, is a good time to market your programs to people. But, to me, it all came across as too much noise.

photo of apacheta

Apacheta, offering to Gaia with gratitude – I later added rose petals from my solstice ceremony

Add to that, the noise of my panicked inner slave-driver chastising me for not having my own program launching with the others and that was all it took for my inner dragon to arise from its slumber. That’s good actually. I can use a little fire. Healthy anger is an indication that some boundaries have been crossed. I needed some boundaries. I needed to quiet the noise and shut off the inner slave-driver. I started opting out of all the lists and deleting emails. I refused to get on the new year-new you-productivity bound train. Instead, I stood on the platform and watched the train roll out of the station. As I did, I began to wonder. Why?

Why do we think that turning a calendar page from one year to another means we suddenly have a boatload of will power we didn’t have before?

Why do we think it’s time to rev our engines? If your holiday has been as relaxing as a two week silent meditation or spa retreat, perhaps you are ready to go on January 2nd. But for many of us the holiday has been go, go, go and January 2nd feels like jet-lag after a European whirlwind tour.

Yet, there is more at play here than a busy holiday.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, January falls in the dead of winter. The days are very short and the nights are long. Unless you are a night owl, trying to fit all you want to accomplish in the daylight hours is extremely challenging. It’s not natural to begin pushing ourselves to adopt new schedules and achieve high productivity in the winter months. OK, for you, maybe, but not for me and certainly not for the others who responded to my colleague’s Facebook post.

For me, what is natural at this time of year is to slow down, hibernate a bit, plan, and look within. As Ted Andrews wrote (in his book Nature-Speak):

This is actually a time for withdrawal from our outer activities, so that we can give birth to the light within our own darkness. To bring new life from the darkness of the womb is the goal of this season…These universal rhythms converging upon us are keyed to enable anyone who is seeking to awaken the interior gifts and light….Unfortunately, society has created an attitude of participation in continual gatherings and outward celebrations. This is contrary to the energy and rhythms of this season. The energies playing upon humanity stimulate great introspection and facilitate meditative states of awareness, and time should be given for these.

If we have attended to the gathering and preparations of Autumn, then we are ready to pay attention and receive the whispers, signs and messages from the Mystery that help guide us on an inward journey where we may commune with our soul and shine a light on our shadow.

All I really wanted to do, besides meditate, journal and walk, was put away the holiday decorations, clear the clutter, clean up my office and make it a beautiful and welcoming space within which to work. I wanted to futz and putter. I liken it to stretching the canvas, sharpening the pencils, noodling at the keys, ordering seeds.

Every creative knows that a good deal of puttering and dream time is needed to get the flow going. Futzing evokes the muse.

The other thing that happened was I reviewed my journal from the turn of 2013 to 2014 and I discovered that I had not accomplished all I’d hoped to. Honestly, I already knew that, but there it was in black and white. It was deflating to see that year after year, I wish for the same thing that does not materialize and it was disheartening to assume this year would be different. Still, I know I didn’t fail, because I certainly lived a wonderful year. I grew. I loved. I played. I stayed in business doing work I love.

What if I just let these perennial wishes go?

If I want to grow a garden, I first plan it. I browse seed catalogs. I dream of the harvest in Technicolor savoring, in my imagination, the smell and taste of fresh ripe tomatoes. I determine the space that I will designate as garden and when the soil is ready, I till it. I amend it. I till it some more. I will not plant until the days are longer and the frost is past. Why not do the same for my life?

At the Winter Solstice, I did just this. My planning consisted of setting the resonance for my future and in so doing, I invited my future to reach back and show me the way. The tug I feel upon my heart; the messages I receive from animals and experiences of synchronicity; those chills I feel when I make a proclamation or someone else says something to me with which my soul is in alignment; those events are my future speaking to me, beckoning me, the one for which I built a resonant field, not with specific form, but with how I want it to feel and who I want to be when I am living it.

When dreaming a future, form can be so limiting. Resonance is generative. My Solstice ceremony was to build that resonant field that invites possibility, while releasing with compassion and forgiveness the past and anything that does not align with that field or hold that resonance.

photo of a collage

2015 New Year Collage

So, when the first Monday of the new year arrived, for me, the soil of 2015 was nowhere near ready to be tilled, not to mention harvested. I want to hear my own voice, not the voice of others telling me what is missing in my life, what needs fixing and their method for doing so. Oh boy, can the “never-enough” ego get hooked by all that advertising!

It is winter and I want to hang out with my soul; the two of us cozy by the fire. I want to hear my soul acknowledge my journey thus far with love and compassion, as it will. I want to know the truth of myself, not as someone who is broken and needs fixing, but as a unique expression of the Divine, whole and complete; a perfect rose unfolding more and more each day. I want to have a clear sense of what is truly productive and not mere busy-ness.

Together my soul and I can dream the delicious future that calls to me, putter about and weave it into a visionary tapestry. I may not know what it means yet and I may not be able to control the form, but I can listen deeply, beneath the ego’s complaints and rest in the inner knowing that I am deeply loved and held. It’s OK to simply be me following my own rhythm. That rhythm is what gives me my desired sense of experiencing time-out-of-time.

photo of collage detail

Under the window of the collage

And you, dear reader, how will you dance to your own rhythm and fashion a life that suits your soul and invites the assistance of the Universe in a profound way?

A coach is a powerful ally who assists you with visioning a future in alignment with your true rhythm and soul’s calling while also helping you stay the path when the forest gets thick and the way unclear. I offer several options to help you fall in love with life again. Watch also for an upcoming FUN way to move through your fears (group program). To sign up to be the first to hear about my new offerings or to contact me for a consultation, check out my website

Copyright© January 2015, Kathy J Loh, All rights reserved

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The Gift of Trees

Trees Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

All week, the pristine quiet of my new foothill home has been disrupted by the roar of chainsaws, the hacking of axes, the deep bass drone of earth movers and trucks and the all too distinct crack and thud of a tree going down.

IMG_5989 copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved IMG_5987 IMG_6029copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

I would estimate more than 50 trees have come down so far. That first day, I could feel the shock of the trees, the earth, the birds. I reassured the trees on my property that the chainsaws would not be coming for them. I spent the day feeling completely rattled. A hawk flew overhead screeching as one tree was being cut. Was its nest high up there in the branches? I saw the same hawk fly down to the ground from a low limb the next day. Were there young ones to feed that now found their home on the ground? I don’t know. I only wonder.

My heart hurt and I cried. I also heard an internal voice chastise me saying “Where do you think the lumber for this house and this deck came from?” I also found myself curious about the process of cutting trees and furious about the destruction of the landscape to pull the logs out.

As I felt into all of my reactions,  I came to understand (among many other insights) that what bothers me most is (and this is an assumption) that they have not been honored. They were not taken down in a sacred manner. No one offered their prayer or blessing or gratitude.

As I said, that is an assumption. So, it all comes back to me. Have I offered my prayer, blessing or gratitude?  I spent that first evening in my sacred space doing just that. It created peace in my spirit and gave my heart a bit of rest. I am reminded to continue the practice of walking in the Beauty Way, honoring all of life. It’s so easy to forget.

The felling continues. As I write, I hear the drone of the tree mover with the big pincers creating roadways through the forest and dragging felled trees to waiting trucks.

This leads me to my invitation to join me in a healing ceremony, of sorts.

IMG_5975 apple blossom copyright (c) March 2013 Kathy J Loh

I invite you to join me in expressing gratitude to trees.

Leave a comment with your words or write a blog post on the subject and post the link in the comments section below.  In this way, we can practice some earth medicine and send energetic healing to trees being felled everywhere. In addition, if you feel so moved, speak your gratitude directly to a tree today.

I will start:

Thank you to the trees.

Thank you for your beauty, shade, blossoms, shelter.

Thank you for offering yourselves to become my home, furnishings, books, bags, paper.

Thank you for giving me your limbs for warm fires on chilly evenings.

Thank you for your medicine and the wisdom you always convey to me when I seek your counsel.

Thank you for harboring birds and squirrels.

Thank you for my guitar, violin, piano and the sweet songs that come from them.

Thank you for your sweet aromas, your waving branches in the breeze, your reminder to remain grounded.

Thank you for your teachings, sometimes painful, through the taking out of power for a day or two, or falling through a roof of a house or car.

Thank you to the giants for living so long as to remind us of timelessness.

Thank you for reaching high and pointing the way to the stars and that beautiful silhouette you create encircling me as I stand in a clearing stargazing.

Thank you for peace laurels, Christmas trees, wreathes and garlands.

Thank you for opening my heart and reminding me of the sacredness of all life.

 

Will you join me? Thank you for posting your gratitude for trees in the comments below (click on “comments” the last word of this post, below the likes and tags)

Many blessings!

Copyright © March 2013 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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With the help of a small pre-lit tree, borrowed from a generous friend, and a Christmas music channel on Pandora, I am beginning to feel like it might be Christmas. Which is helpful, since today is Christmas Eve.

I moved in early December and I am still getting things into place. Last night, I finally got my home theater components hooked up and in the entertainment armoire (which took a lot of reaching, bending, flexing and patience). I’m still missing the speaker wire for the sub-woofer, no boom-boom sounds for now. My printer is still offline since it was not installed to communicate with the AT&T wireless modem that AT&T insisted I buy to use instead of my perfectly good Netgear model.  (Yes, I’m complaining. AT&T has always brought out the best in me – challenging me to find my most patient and compassionate self.)

I think I have bought  two gifts. Thank goodness our family event is not until the New Year, almost.

I have had the magic of snow, the frustration of things gone missing, the unnerving of trees swaying wildly with the wind and rain and power outages that, in this neck of the woods means I can’t pump water either.  It also means I wear long-underwear and polar fleece jackets indoors.  I have had ice that dares me to go anywhere in a car and forces me to walk with tiny baby steps across my deck to the garage and laundry. I know, it’s all sissy stuff compared to what most people live with.

Today, though,  the sun is shining and I am absolutely in love with my new home. Trees make for wonderful companions. The other day, I saw two jack rabbits that came right up to my deck and peered at me through the window. Today, I saw the coyote who is their likely enemy, chasing after something down the hill in the direction from which I’d seen the rabbits come the other day. Though my first view of the coyote was right out my kitchen window, by the time I got my camera, it was weaving in and out of the trees. Coyote was so intent on the hunt, it did not even notice me as I stepped into the yard for another peek. They are fluffier and healthier looking up here than the ones I’ve seen up in the Marin Watershed.

Here are some photos of the coyote in the morning woodland fog. I did not touch them up. I like them looking as mysterious as it felt.

copyright (c) Dec 2012 Kathy J Loh All Rights reserved coyoteEnlrg

Animal sightings are pure magic for me.  My delight rises from my wild nature through my heart and out my mouth as a simple gasp and single word of surprise “coyote!”

Coyote is the trickster; reminds us of how we lie to ourselves in a way that makes rational sense. My lie was that I did not need to decorate for Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve already and I am having holiday meals at other people’s homes. Why would I go to all the trouble to get ornaments out of boxes and deck my house and then have to go to all the trouble to put it all away in a few days? Why?

Coyote reminded me of magic. There is a magic I want to feel around the holiday and there is a child in me who insists on decorating the tree. So, I listened to her. We put on the music, we chose just-right ornaments that speak to me now – most of them woodland creatures. Enchantment rose in me and illuminated my new home.

Later today, I will go for a hike with my friend who is now my neighbor. We might even go snow-shoeing which would be a new activity for me, one I look forward to experiencing.

I said I moved here because I wanted adventure. I have not been disappointed yet. It’s just the sometimes it is hard to remember that adventure is not always comfortable. There is no predicting the Mystery and yet, there is no need to wait for enchantment.

We are all magicians traveling this Full Moon Path.

What illuminates your path?

How is the Mystery speaking to you today to get you to follow it into the woods of timelessness and create a little magic of your own?

Sending you all love and enchantment!

copyright (c) Dec 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Earth

She is a place we call home

She has a life of her own

On any one day

In any one moment

She is active

Always breathing

Sometimes easily

Sometimes fitfully

Ever sacred

As are we

Familiar with each other from the outside in

What is it to experience each other from the inside out?

I am

I am the waterfall

     and trickling stream

I am the wild wind

     And drifting sand

I am the bursting buds

     and new grass green

I am the snow-capped peaks

     and ancient land

I am the light

      and things unseen

The shadows, the singing, the silence between

I am

Copyright © April 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Happy Earth Day my friends!

Video from YouTube – BBC’s trailer for Planet Earth

And for our sweet animal companions


					

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“We become compassionate not from altruism which denies the self for the sake of the other, but from the insight that sees and feels one is the other.” ~Huston Smith

I want to write something and my heart just wants to put it out there while the fearful aspect of my mind suggests we may need some facts;  some hard core science. Well, I honored that second voice for a while, surfing the net and hearing all the criticism that might be tossed at me for quoting Greenpeace or for neglecting to do so. There is no way to be right here. So I’m dropping the right and returning to my heart.

Here’s what I experience. Compassion is born of an open heart. An open heart knows sorrow and joy in equal proportions. The more open the heart, the more sorrow and joy. That can be a wild open ocean sometimes, so we batten down the hatches of the heart and return to the safe harbor of the judging ego-mind. I know. I have a well-used slip in that harbor.

Sailboat copyright (c) Nov 2010 Kathy J Loh

Walking, yesterday, I was enchanted by the beauty of the day: birds singing their hearts out, trees dancing in the breeze, raptors soaring on thermals, blossoms raising their faces to the sun. Then, a wave of sadness came over me without explanation. My mind went through the files: lost love, who died, list of regrets, etc. But nothing, could explain the depth of this sorrow.

“It’s the sadness of the world.” I heard these words whispered in my ear. I heard them only in my heart. I don’t know how I heard them. I just did.

My thoughts ran defense: “What am I to do with the sadness of the world? Has it come to take up residence in me? What am I supposed to do? I don’t know how to fix it!”

My wiser self responded: “Know it for what it is and let it wash through. It’s the only way to keep the heart open. Don’t head for the dock.”

A moment later, I noticed sorrow had moved on. Or had it? Maybe it was just that my attention had been captured by an iris in bloom.

It’s all going on at once, this joy and this sorrow; Beauty in its splendor, all the currents of the heart’s seas.

An open heart is more receptive to the heart of cosmos, is an open channel for it, becomes it (and yes, that’s a double entendre.)

Sometimes I wonder if it’s true. Is there the original Divine Mind or Universal Intelligence of which I am a creative expression and as such I am both one with and separate from that Source?

If so, if it’s true, then I am the whale and the whale is me. I am the dolphin and the dolphin is me. For when I look upon nature, when I look upon others, I see myself and my heart sings with joy for what has been created. At the same time, my heart cries for what is being destroyed.

That’s what happened when I saw a certain video this morning. (I could not find a way to embed it here, but I can give you the link.) Without any interpretation, it’s a beautiful celebration of life, nature, planet and the music is as emotionally evocative as the film, if not more so.

Yet, in my state of mind (and heart) and in light of what’s happening, the dumping of toxic waste into the ocean, and radioactive rain falling into the Pacific because of the disaster at Fukushima, I could not help but think – (said with sarcasm, “Gee, I’m sure glad there’s a lot of ocean to take the radioactive waste before it gets to me in California. Thank God for that big blue hole out there where things can be buried, so that I don’t have to know they exist anymore.”

And what am I burying?

What happens when I dig it up?

What kind of courage does it take to keep the heart open in light of all the tragedy?

(Some would have me mention the human loss as well. Yes, I see it. Maybe I’m just not strong enough to go there yet. Maybe that’s your work and mine is with the wild wonder of Nature. I don’t pretend to know. I follow my heart.)

I watched this video and felt my heart open to the heart of the Source of all creation and the deep deep sadness for the potential loss of what “I” had created and what has pleased me for so long.

What have I created?

So here is a simple picture I took of spinner dolphins in Lanai. Below the photo is a link to the video. Please watch it and let it fill your screen, your heart and your consciousness.

This video shows sheer beauty.

YOU are sheer beauty.

It’s a big beautiful, mostly blue, planet and we are all in this together.

Dolphin copyright (c) Oct 2010, Kathy J Loh

Click the link below to watch the video. (Right click if you want to see it in a new window or tab. Otherwise it will pop you out of this blog post. )

http://www.facedl.com/fb/player/waPlayer.swf?VideoID=awuokwiawkioino

“And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up. -Charles Dickens

Copyright © April 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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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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