In memory of a brother

Betty’s note: Recently, my youngest brother, Steve died unexpectedly. I hope Grandmother Cottonwood’s words will resonate with those of you who’ve lost a loved one.

Now that a loved one has left his body behind and his spirit has crossed to the light, we must grieve this unimaginable change, this shattering of expectations, hopes and dreams, this kind and loving presence in our lives, now gone, this ground of the known universe, this brother that has been with us since earliest days.

Steve’s kindergarten picture – 1967

In the blink of an eye, the measure of a breath, the beat of a heart, our lives have changed and we are forced to let go, to allow his spirit to continue on in a new form, in a new dimension, one that is not so easy to wrap our minds and hearts around.

His physical form has left the building, but his spirit, the expansive peaceful part of him that is love, that is eternal and indestructible, lives on.

You and Your Device

Beware! Does your shiny sleek blinking device deceive you and keep you from the life you might otherwise be living?

Your every move, every word cataloged, categorized, tracked. You become a subject in a huge experiment.

The world created and projected within your little object into your brain is meant to addict you and lure you away from the everyday world of feeling what you feel in your body and heart.

Do these examples describe you or someone you love?

Your device can pull you away from knowing at your core who you really are, your connection with nature and true connection with other flesh and blood human beings.

Empty nest

The costs can include forgetting how to truly listen to another, forgetting how to feel real empathy and compassion for others, not knowing how to navigate boredom through creativity, forgetting how to relate in intimate ways with those around you, and an ignoring of the reality around you.

Factor these costs in when you tote up price of your phone and service.

Does your shiny device scream “Look at me! Pay attention to me! I am more real than your so called reality. I can solve all your problems so easily! I can make you feel better with the swipe of a finger, a touch on a screen.”?

If any of this sounds like you, please reevaluate your relationship with your sleek and shiny device.

Make sure you are the master of your device and not its servant.

The next great adventure

When this stage in our spirit’s journey draws to a close and the indestructible part of us moves on to our next great adventure, we call it death.

When the physical body stays behind as the spirit becomes one with all-that-is we call it death.

Think about these questions when someone close to you dies…and when you begin to accept you will not last forever…

Will the death of someone dear limit and diminish your life forever? Or will it fuel your life’s passion and purpose?

You have a short time here while in your body. How will you spend your precious and limited time?

Will you spend more heart to heart time with those dear and beloved ones who will not always be with you in physical form?

Will the death help you rearrange your priorities in life to those that really matter to your heart and satisfy your soul?

Will you learn to communicate with the spirit world and expand your awareness beyond the physical world, beyond the world of logical and linear thought, into an ocean of light and expansion and oneness with all things?

Sunset, cloudy March evening

Can you see death as a period at the end of a sentence in the never ending story of the spirit; as a pause, a transition before the next great adventure?

Reconnect and heal

In times of trouble, times of grief, reconnect with the earth, your home, the solid foundation of your physical life.

Reconnect with her flowing waters, rhythmic waves, rooted trees, plant life of all descriptions, strong winds, thunderstorms, dense stones, fertile soil, her buzzing, flying, gliding creatures. Lay your body in the damp sand of a beach, the grasses beneath a large tree.

Lean against me and those of my tree community. Let us support you. Let us heal your spirit.

We are not inert unfeeling masses of atoms laid out in various interesting patterns, but living breathing knowing energetic beings who share this planet with you, who benefit when you thrive.

Let yourself reconnect with the joy and delight of childhood as you lay in the grass, smelling a sweet clover blossom as if for the first time, observing a firefly at dusk, looking up in awe at the moon and stars.

Know once again, and feel the peace, oneness, and belonging to our earth that will heal and renew your tired spirit.

Grief

When you grieve, let yourself rest. When you grieve, let yourself be. When you grieve let yourself feel and experience the waves of emotion that move through you.

If you try to resist the waves of feeling, you may find yourself tumbled , knocked down, drowned by their unexpected and surprising power. Resistance is futile!

The only way through is to let yourself float. That is to feel what you are feeling and ride the waves of emotion as they show up. No matter how unwelcome the feelings are, let yourself feel them rise and build, crest and then drop away…

Like a chip of wood in churning water, the waves of emotion won’t drown or sink you, but take you for a wild ride that is a part of your life’s journey.

All who walk this earth in human form must at one time or another know the storms of grief. You will survive, Dear One, as you ride the waves.

What holds you back?

What heavy anchor keeps you from floating? What ballast keeps you from soaring?

What ties you down and limits the work that spirit can do in your life?

Are old fears keeping you stuck? Do you fear change? Does comfort in the familiar , the known even when it is mind numbing and soul crushing keep you in place?

To let go and move forward, you must gather your courage, trust in your intuition, trust in source and release your grip on the shore of the comfortable and the known. Put yourself in the current, the flow of life once again.

This is your life! You are the sculptor, the creator of your experience! Don’t let fear hold you back!

Move forward one step, one heartbeat at a time in the direction of your dreams.

You are meant to be here

You have been given the ultimate, the highest gift – life itself. Your spirit has chosen this path: Life in your body in this very place at this particular time.

You are meant to be here – with all that means.

Living in a body is not easy. It means you will experience grief, loss, and despair, sometimes happiness and flow and joy. You will know the pleasure of creativity and at other times you may feel stuck and alone.

You will experience illness and health, love and connection, you will know what it is to feel peaceful and calm, to rest at times, and be restless at others. You may know what it is to be injured in body or mind and to recover and feel whole again.

You are meant to know and experience the full spectrum of emotion to know all the joy and sorrows of life. You are meant to be fully present, knowing and trusting the process of living.

Life on this planet is not for the faint of heart!

Life means asking for help when you are unable to stand on your own. Life means lending your strength when others need your support. Life means heartfelt connections with other living beings that share this earth with you.

Life means paying attention to your body, mind and spirit, living by your heart and intuition, taking care of yourself and your needs, learning to love and accept yourself.

As an inhabitant of this planet, life means that you will know great loss that will take your breath away. And you will know many blessings that fill you with joy.

Source hears you, loves you, answers your heartfelt prayers throughout your life.

Breathe deeply and gather courage and strength for your unfolding journey.

Spring thaw


Finally the heavy snow and ice cover begins to soften and thaw under the warming March sky. Melt water runs merrily into the low places forming temporary streams and ponds.

What was once frozen and solid like a stone now flows freely, sparkling in the sunlight, released once again.

What part of you has been frozen like a block of ice? Buried under cold piles of snow? Cut off and shut off from the fullness of experience, from the flow of life?

You too can experience a thaw, a new season of life and growth, allowing yourself to feel and let the feelings move through you- a thawing of what has been stuck and jammed, blocked and impassible.

Welcome back to life once again, dear ones. Welcome to spring.

Revival

Have you been shut up in the house due to extreme cold, heavy weather, ice and snow? Has the sun hidden under thick layers of gray cloud for many days?

Please dear friends, come out of your warm winter cages and move your bodies. Breathe in the fresh cool air. Put one foot in front of the other, find a way to let nature heal and revive you with her pure clear air, her life giving light, the birds that sing their ancient songs, the animals that play their age-old games.

Nature revives you with her healing power of renewal. Witness the dark leafless tree branches writing on the sky, like ink on parchment – nature’s own calligraphy. They are soon to be covered in lacy green leaves unrolling to soak in the warm sunlight.

Each step you take, each breath moves vital energy throughout your body circulating your life force, connecting you to the rhythms of life, rhythms of the earth.

Let nature revive and renew your spirit!

Blessings

Have you noticed all that blesses you and your life lately? Even when things seem dismal and dreary, you are surrounded and gifted with may blessings, large and small. This is your birthright as an inhabitant of planet earth

Blessings do not have to be expensive gifts, something shiny and new and different, or related to your financial well-being, something out of the ordinary, or from the jewelry store.

Yellow Swallowtail butterfly on purple coneflower

Think of these as blessings:

The clean pure air you breathe every moment of your life, the amazing workings of your body, the beat of your heart, the flow of blood within you, your awareness making itself known through your senses,

the sight of the sky at sunrise and sunset, the sounds of birdsong, the fragrances of flowers, the sparkle of fresh snow, the colors and movements of a butterfly, your warm and comfortable home,

the creative spark within you, manifesting in your creating art, or designing your living space, devising a garden, creating a new process to make life easier, the relating to your children in loving and effective ways each day.

What can you add to this list of blessings?

Use your creative power and imagination to discern acknowledge and enjoy the amazing blessings in your life.