Archive by Author | Gina's Professions for PEACE

Tears of Gratitude

good people bring out goodThe community of writers and artists that compose the loving online family I am grateful to be surrounded by here continues to make me feel blessed.

Today I have felt my heart melt and grow at the same time, and all of it is healing and wonderful. Amongst other delightful forays catching up with my WP community, I read a few significant posts that touched me so deeply I shed tears, for various reasons.

First stop in my heart-touching travels was DhammaFootsteps writing with such tenderness and skill on the topic of the passing of his friend, a Buddhist Chaplain. His writing talent and the depth of his lovingkindness continue to humble me and fill me with gratitude that I can read about his observations. My tears began flowing as I read of her clock radio going off and filling the area with classical music. Maya Angelou’s passing and my grief process has been a part of my recent absence from blogging, and Tiramit’s eloquence felt as soothing to my aching heart as refreshingly cool water on an intensely hot day. I needed to read this and plan several rereads of this powerful piece.
http://dhammafootsteps.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/arrivals-departures/

circle of friends colourfulNext was Ivon reminding me of how young I was when I began my spiritual journey. At the time I thought I was just tracking the travels of snails and lovingly climbing (and communicating with) old trees. Before I was 10 years old I began feeling the power of God’s love for all of us… for me. I saw it in the beauty of nature and was able to understand, in my youthful openness, that it is His love for us that allows us to see beauty in the changing of the seasons or the brilliant colours on an insect’s wings, the melodious thrill of hearing a bird’s song and the glory of the full moon as it illuminates the night. So much beauty, everywhere we look, and this post reminded me of how deep my love for nature is, and therefore God, and how early it began for me. This is a part of my comment on his post: “Yes when we were little, following the antics of beetles and marveling at clouds, we were wise. This post helps me to remember that wisdom.”
http://ivonprefontaine.com/2014/07/26/when-i-am-wise/

choose people wiselyDreamPrayAct was next, where I go to read wisdom shared from Reverend Mark. He posted an important sermon, again moving me to tears. His writing always touches my heart and this time especially I could easily imagine myself sitting in the pews of his congregation, feeling his love. This is part of what I wrote in my comment on his post: “Thank you for filling me with hope and speaking in such positive terms as “You will continue to be a witness to the love of Christ through your ministry presence in this community. You will continue to give spiritual nurture to children and people of all ages.” I adore the phrase ‘ministry presence’ and I deeply appreciate the positive form of your statements throughout this incredible sermon.”
http://dreamprayact.com/2014/06/21/what-grows-in-gods-garden/

friends sisters byheartAnd finally such kindness I discovered from a friend who offered me a tremendous gift: the dedication of her post today. And even beyond that great honor, was the image and poem itself that speaks to me deeply. Sweet Amy at Petals Unfolding (herladypinkrose) offered me the gift of friendship and love in her generous heart with the image of a rose reminding me of the unfolding of blossoms that only happen in their perfect time. This gift, her powerful poem with her incredible photograph of a new precious rosebud slowly opening, is one of the most beautiful gifts I’ve ever been given. Her popular blog sharing a shout-out to me, knowing I am blooming in my own way, doing the best that I can which appears to include some troubles with writing all that I want to share about. Sweet soul-sister Amy, your loving shout-out has been gratefully received, welcomed and embraced as the loving hug it is, and please accept in return my loving celebration of the gift that bloggers such as yourself offer from your endlessly generous hearts. You mean so much and your gift has brought me great love and comfort today, and for always. Thank you kindly.
http://herladypinkrose.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/perfect-time/

keep people in your life whoAlong with Tiramit, Ivon, Mark and Amy, there are so many of you who deeply touch my heart as I enjoy reading your kind heartfelt words on the screen. I hope you know who you are (and I do intend to make a Blogroll/Links page to share all your blog’s links) but here’s my shout-out in no order to some who quickly come to mind: Jamie, Joe, Cher, Cathy, Jonathan, Lorrie, Trini-Line, Wendell, Jeanne, Kenneth, Sue, Ihsan, Lillian, Paul, Val, Sriram, Diana, Jack, Eliza, Antonio, Kendra, Sheri, Russ, Ute, Sloan. And so many more who, along with these friends mentioned, I’ll share links to your sites shortly. Stay tuned and watch for the ProfessionsForPeace Links Page coming soon!

Bless your hearts, all you wonderful writers, for the generous lovingkindness you share. You are deeply appreciated and your kindness reaches further than you may know. And I am so proud and honored to be a part of this loving online family. With loving friendship and respect, Gina

[with gratitude to the creators of these unsourced images]

Healing Ourselves Helps Heal Earth

There is no world outside us. The world is, in fact, our collective projections of love and fear, hopes and conflicts. In taking responsibility for our own thoughts and feelings, we play our part in the healing of the world. ~Marianne Williamson, Illuminata

heal ourselves heal earth

Our only work is to transform base metals, our thoughts and feelings, into gold. Our daily lives have no ultimate purpose other than this great alchemical transformation of being. Every moment offers an opportunity to surrender to the great work of maturing humanity by expanding our own consciousness and leading evolution onward. ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

 

Feed Your Faith

Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. ~David S. Muzzey

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~unknown author

You deserve better

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
~PSALM 27:1 NIV

Whom Shall I Fear?

playing guitarLearning to play guitar, like gardening, is a lifelong process. I wear my left-hand fingertip calluses proudly. One of the best things about playing guitar is enjoying it with my husband. It has become quite a bonding experience for us. I’m so grateful for his humility and patience as I began playing years after he did.

Music touches the soul and plucks inner chords we didn’t even know were there.

guitar pick Music speaksChristian rock is a style of music that often has me singing as tears wet my face. I am proud to worship even if I’m perhaps more all-encompassing and non-denominational that most contemporary Christian music concert-goers. But the same way that the Bible is an incredibly wise book available to all to read and learn from no matter their faith, so too is the music of this genre an enlivening style that brightens the hearts of so many listeners.

While I frequently listen to instrumental music when driving, if traffic is not too congested I’ll turn on the radio and enjoy my local Christian music station. This song came on and although I’d never heard it before I began singing along. There are times when it feels like my chest is peeling open because I’m filled with so much love and gratitude. This song continues to elicit this response.

Anyone who has the the desire and determination can learn how to play this song because the chords are included with this video. Learning to play any song requires repetition, and that helps the wisdom seep in. I highly recommend it! 

May this timeless truth expressed with musical passion brighten your heart and your day.

Chris Tomlin
Christopher Dwayne “Chris” Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist, worship leader, and songwriter who has sold nearly 30 million records.
He is a husband and father who was born on May 4, 1972 in Grand Saline, Texas, United States.

What Is

“It is said that if we want to be truly powerful we need but command what is happening to happen.

billowy morning curtains“While there is a humorous note in this advice, there is also a profound wisdom. We are most powerful when we are aligned with the flow of the universe.

“To deny what is would be like running out on your front lawn in the morning and commanding the sun to reverse direction and set in the east. No matter how strong your wish for this to be so, your chances of succeeding are very slim.

dawn sunlit meadow“Our attempts to make life other than it is are just as foolish and ineffectual.

“To try to change other people to suit us or fight against unchangeable situations is debilitating and useless.

“If something cannot be changed, our most powerful position is to go with it and find a blessing that we could not see when we wanted to be in charge.” ~ Alan Cohen, Dare To Be Yourself

“As we learn to meet whatever arises in our body, heart and mind with radical acceptance, we discover a precious freedom.” ~ Tara Brach, tarabrach.com/article

Connection With Source

God loves each of us

“The greatest teacher is our own soul’s connection with the Source. To access wisdom, distortions within our human nature must be removed: beliefs that do not serve, emotional attachments that cloud. We arrive in the present moment with no agenda of our own making. Here in the eternal present, a fountain begins to rise from within. It is the inner waters of wisdom, the essential wellspring of remembering.” ~Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

My gratitude to the maker of this image with the spectacular photograph and inspiring quote. I wish I knew who to credit it to and will certainly add it as soon as I discover it. Namaste. Gina

Something Maya Taught Me

I used to happily reside in the physically descriptive category of ‘tall and slim’. Genetics really. But as my mid-life arrived with a more rounded mid-section, I saw my self-esteem fall. Rather than being a tall, slim, ‘wisp’ of a woman, I now had to accept that I’m large. Not really heavy, as I carry it well, but let’s just say I have a terrific build to have been a Viking warrior woman. Or an Amazon.

As I left the tall and slim category and became more of a big woman, I felt my spirit shrinking. I kept noticing I was head and shoulders (and fifty pounds or more) over every one I encountered and I felt a shyness growing I hadn’t experienced before. I even found myself slouching – not uncommon for tall people but something I’d never done.

Then I watched the episode of Maya Angelou talking about her life on an episode of Oprah Presents Master Class. She shared something about herself that touched me deeply as I paused and replayed the section many times. I had not realized how tall she was before. I didn’t know she was six-feet tall! I smiled and thought, Maya’s really tall too? I cheered Yes! I’m tall, just like Maya Angelou!
I felt proud to be as tall as Maya Angelou. To be able to walk like she would walk. Head held tall, face up, bright eyes forward. At last I celebrated being a tall, strong woman bringing light to the world, in my way, and that my large size is definitely a part of that. A joke came to my mind and stayed: Of course I’m large. A small body couldn’t hold this much personality!

gypsy-vannerI thank her for helping me rediscover that I have the heart and height of an Amazon. I proudly claim the responsibility that comes with having a large personality with a strong energy field housed within my tall ‘warrior woman’ body. I feel it’s important, that it is my responsibility, to remain calm, balanced, and to consistently radiate lovingkindness. I am not wispy like a fine-boned Arabian horse, but rather am more like a strong and steady Gypsy Vanner.

My love, respect and admiration for my role model Maya Angelou helped me to reclaim my self-acceptance, and therefore my power, with regards to being a large, dynamic, loving woman.

What is one of your lessons learned from her, or one of your dearest teachers? I’d love to hear.
Blessings from Gina, glad to be back. Namaste.

Sing On

joyful Maya AngelouI first heard this song from 1994 around that time on a Public Broadcasting Station (commercial-free radio!), allowing for this long song. Eight enjoyable minutes of movement-motivating music! This fantastic compilation by the talented Branford Marsalis and friends, which includes Maya Angelou reading some of her incredible poem, is delightful and makes me dance (even if just in my chair!).

I hope this song brightens your heart and your day as it always does for me. May we remember our love for Maya with gratitude for her magnificent example, and how she blessed us with her years here. She will live on, forever in our hearts, and we are so thankful for all she shared. Namaste. Gina

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

(This is her complete poem; certain excerpts are in the song)

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

For more of her exceptional poetry, here’s a post for Maya Angelou on my other blog:
http://peopleexcitedaboutcoexistence.com/2014/05/28/lift-up-your-hearts/

Homecaring

“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” ~Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

This spring has found me on hands and knees busily clearing clutter and polishing the precious pieces I want to keep. Having read and marvelled at the wisdom of Thomas Moore for decades, I know I am caring for my soul as I lovingly care for my home. A section from a Louise Hay prayer that I repeat often is, ‘I love myself therefore I provide for myself a comfortable home, one that fills all my needs and is a pleasure to be in. I fill the rooms with the vibration of love so that all who enter, myself included, will feel this love and be nourished by it.’ I encourage us all to take time to appreciate our homes and the loved ones we are blessed to share it with, even if they are company if we live alone. Let’s beautify our homes and help nourish our souls. Namaste.

“Rediscover the sacred soulcraft of homecaring. Creating a comfortable, beautiful, well-run home can be among our most satisfying accomplishments as well as an illuminating spiritual experience. Like sweat equity, channeling your time and creative energy closer to home will produce a big emotional return for yourself and those you love.”

~Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance

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[My gratitude to the makers of these lovely images found on Pinterest]

Our Powerful Words

“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” ~Don Miguel Ruiz


Today’s collection of images I’ve gathered for us to ponder were found a while back on Google and Pinterest without original sources. My gratitude to the unknown artists who made these lovely images. Namaste. Gina

Divine Refreshment


Dehydration has been shown to negatively impact people’s moods. Mild dehydration is “associated with confusion, fatigue, and negative moods.” Moderate dehydration symptoms include “lethargy or extreme sleepiness”. [source]

As with dehydration, an early symptom of a weakened spiritual connection is a feeling of listlessness, making us wonder why our zest for life seems to have evaporated.

Symptoms similar to dehydration surface when I have been negligent with my prayer and meditation practice. The ‘busyness’ of life and the distractions of pain are excuses I’ve used to allow lapses in my prayer practice. It’s terribly ironic that when I need that grounding connection the most is when I often forget to be still and go within.

Let’s remember to refresh our body and our spirit. As I reach for a glass of water, I also reach within. I bring my glass to set on the table beside my small altar. I close the door, light the candle and have a seat. It is time. God patiently waits while I run around distracted and in pain. At last I notice my spiritual dehydration and take a moment, no – I make the time – to sit down and empty my mind. Calm those thoughts. Observe them and let them dissolve. Feel the deep calm and bubbling-up of love that rises to the surface to fill all of my life, if I will but make the time to actively pursue my connection with God. Once I am quiet enough it feels as though the still small voice within seems to whisper ‘there you are’.

I like to remember this old poem by an unknown author:

Whoso draws near to God one step, through doubtings dim,
God will advance a mile in blazing light to him.

(Note: To my women friends and spiritual sisters, we know this is beyond gender and speaks to the love God has for us all: if we will take ‘one step’, God will advance towards us ‘a mile’.)

Today I propose that we maintain proper hydration for our spirits as well as our bodies. As healing as a glass of water is for the dehydrated, actively maintaining our spiritual connection nourishes our soul and refreshes our life. Energy and vitality return, bringing a flush of growth in the form of enriched gratitude and renewed awareness of our vast blessings.

Whether you turn to the scriptures of God or other spiritual texts or turn towards a walk in the woods, whether you sit to pray at an altar or practice meditative yoga, whatever works to help you feel God’s love surrounding you, do that. Let us strengthen our relationship with the One who patiently waits. It is we who must make that first step. We must pick up the glass. God is waiting to fill it to overflowing if we but ask.

Are you feeling hectic and busy? Overwhelmed? Depressed? Tired? Take a pause. Close your eyes and go within. Relish some deep calming breaths. Pray, or go for a prayerful walk. You deserve some nourishing refreshment of the most divine kind.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

[Gratitude to the makers of these amazing images found on Pinterest and Google]

Choose Vibrant Thoughts

I discovered inspirational author and speaker Raymond Charles Barker when I was in my teens and his writings still move me today. Today’s excerpts are from my old, weathered, and deeply cherished hardcover copy of his incredible book ‘The Power Of Decision’. These paragraphs really resonate with me right now, and I hope you will feel a lift of your heart and a burst of inspiration as well. Namaste.


“Static states are not conductive to happiness. Static states produce monotony and this in turn creates boredom; and the latter was never intended for you. When you are bored, you are experiencing that which God never planned. The Infinite in Its creative process is always exciting.”

“A great factor in the matter of being unhappy is being bored. Many people are bored and do not even realize it. Check your mind and see if you are bored with your present situation. If so, you had better break it up and fast, for it is negative mental and emotional states that breed unhappiness. It is lazy thinking. It is thinking that is uncreative and, if indulged in too long, it becomes destructive. To be bored in today’s world is nonsensical. The whole planet is exploding with interesting ideas, interesting people, and interesting events. Never before has so much music, art, and great entertainment been available. To be bored takes a good deal of doing, and a large segment of the population is doing the doing that causes boredom.

“Creative thinking gives a zest to living and you are a creative thinker when you decide to be one. The feeling that it is great to be alive is a spiritual necessity. It lessens the strains and tensions of routine functioning. It quickens new ideas in consciousness, and alerts the mind to the fascinations that are available to us. It allows no morbidity, no boredom, and no lazy thinking. It prevents us from drifting in the past. It causes us to be today people expecting great things in our tomorrows.”
Raymond Charles Barker, The Power Of Decision, excerpts from chapter ‘Decide To Be Happy’

Challenges as Adventures

“The universe has a way of pushing us to go beyond our limits. At first our challenges seem like curses, but in the end we learn to bless them. Challenge is God’s way of getting us to wake up to the fact that we are bigger than we thought we were. God is our best friend because He remembers our potential even when we don’t, and He will not let us slumber in the stupor of limited living.” ~Alan Cohen, Dare to be Yourself

“If you shelter yourself from challenge, your spirit will wither and you will grow weak of will. Your creativity will be reduced to a trickle. You will become bored and wonder what you are doing here. Learn to recognize boredom as a sign that you must escape the shell in which you have become entombed. Let restlessness spur you to reach out and stretch to your next creative adventure.” ~Alan Cohen, Dare to be Yourself, p.304

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~Helen Keller, The Open Door (1957)

Emit Our Own Frequency

“As the body, mind and emotions become more integrated, our true Self begins to emerge. We realize that we are not separate and apart from the world. We are actually one with it. The same enlivening energy that flows through us flows through all things. Like the stones, stars and oceans, we are patterns of energy composed of the one unifying Essence that permeates all things.” ~Ann Mortifee

“Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency rather than absorbing the frequencies around you, when you start imprinting your intent on the universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence.” ~Barbara Marciniak