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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

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/

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’

Let Your Heart Be Light

“Never forget the three powerful resources you always have available to you: love, prayer, and forgiveness.” ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, because the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” ~Marianne Williamson

Rest Your Heart

“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.” ~Jeffrey R. Holland

Faith Sees Through

“Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.” ~Isak Dinesen

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.” ~Peter Marshall

“Faith is like radar that sees through the fog; the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.” ~Corrie Ten Boom

Ripples of Kindness

To the world you may be one person,

but to one person you may be the world. ~Bill Wilson

Here are two short videos that demonstrate the ripple effect that happens when we do good deeds. Let us all do good deeds, just for the sake of being kind. Remember, there are a lot of good people in the world. Unsung heroes are everywhere. Let’s endeavor to be an unsung hero ourselves, leading the way to a kinder world, one act of compassion at a time.

My deep gratitude to KindnessBlog.com for helping me find the first video “Unsung Hero” so that I may pass it along to even more people. The endless examples of kindness they gather and share on their blog not only lifts hearts and raises spirits, but the abundance shows there is no limit to examples of kindness. Let’s look for the good all around us and share about it. Let’s be the good.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

Cultivate Kindness and Patience

Here’s an excerpt from Ann Mortifee’s lovely book In Love With The Mystery which encourages us to keep tending to our gardens of kindness. Even when we do not observe immediate results in our gardens, we know there are wondrous works taking place underneath the surface. Every moment of cultivating kindness in our thoughts and actions makes a beautiful impact, even if we must wait to witness results. Have faith. And have patience. Every choice to love makes a difference. Namaste.

Gina's front yard

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

Love is the Great Attractor

Love is not a sentimental emotion. Love is a state of being, a force of the Universe. Love is the binding energy at the core of all Creation. Love pulls and holds all things together. Atoms are drawn to one another to create themselves into molecules. Molecules unite into cell, cells into matter, muscle, blood and bones. Love holds the moon to the earth, the earth to the sun, the sun to the galaxy. We exist because of Love. Love is the Great Attractor, the permanent, binding energetic fusion that holds all Creation together, uniting us into One. ~ Ann Mortifee, In Love With The Mystery

Neil deGrasse Tyson WeAreAll Connected copy
If you’re not following Neil deGrasse Tyson’s COSMOS, I encourage you to check it out.
Be prepared to be inspired and amazed! [click to visit website CosmosOnTV.com]

Be At Peace Here And Now

taken a few days ago but we've had more snow since

taken a few days ago,
we have more snow now

As the snow continues falling I find myself more at peace with it today. Yesterday my inner pendulum had swung away from my recent admiration of snow’s beauty in the wind, to feeling trapped indoors behind daggers of ice. The icicle display of freeze-thaw evidence is harmless and really quite beautiful depending on the viewer’s perspective. [my other blog’s post]

Peace begins within.

Not being at peace with what IS is akin to trying to push the river or stop the dawn. Yet much of my life used to be filled with angst generated by my inability to accept what was happening in a particular moment. Take traffic for example.

Years ago I had an epiphany* in traffic that improved my driving. And my life. It was during a frequent merge, up an incline with a curve to the right and a very long length of lane to accelerate to highway speed (110km/h). I was directly behind a car that was going 40km/h under the speed limit. Practically growling at their (or their vehicle’s) incompetence, I glanced frantically over my shoulder with hopes of passing. In seeing a line of traffic led by a massive truck, I sat back and momentarily took my foot off the gas to allow space from the slow car.

sunbeamsIn that moment I observed, as if from a distance (my Higher Self), how my blood pressure had shot up. I saw how my wheel-clutching tension had materialized suddenly from what had been, moments earlier, a peaceful and loving morning at home. It was in that instant of really seeing myself that I let go and felt the tension melt away. All semblance of hardness left me, replaced with the softness of grace. I actually felt taller as a blanket of gentleness settled over me and I saw that I was resisting What Is. This is my moment, right here and right now, and just look at how lovely the sky is ahead. Those clouds are beautiful. There we go, that’s more like it! Feeling like my peaceful self again.

source FB PeaceFlash

source FB/PeaceFlash

Peace rediscovered in an instant behind a slow-moving car that I had erroneously given away my power to. I had given an external happenstance the power over my emotions and how my day was unfolding. In a moment of grace as I like to call it, or the lovely multi-syllable word epiphany, I reclaimed my power by birthright. Free will. The power of choice and I choose peace. A radiant peace began emanating from my heart. Everywhere. At the driver of that slow car, and the truck that whizzed past. I gave thanks to the drivers behind me who hadn’t honked, but even if they had I was too busy relishing my happiness to have even noticed or cared. 

That hard feeling of inflexibility doesn’t stand a chance when met with the encompassing power of grace that comes with the acceptance of What Is. Happiness blooms in my heart as I remember to be gentle and calm. No matter if I’m being detained, or they’re sold out of something I need, or it’s snowing when I want warm sunshine. No outer event need ruffle my inner pond of peace. Peace blossoms with letting go, and letting the moment just be. It Is and I Am. Thank You God For This Day.

May I remember to say this phrase of unconditional love and gratitude for this precise moment.
May I overflow with peace and thankfulness that I am alive and breathing and here. May we all.
May peace prevail. Namaste. Gina

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

*Epiphany: ‘the moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you, or a powerful religious experience’ [source]. I share this note for my love of the word, and not because any reader here wouldn’t know. It’s celebrating this word over saying ‘an AHA moment’ although I love all moments of insight and growth, no matter what they’re called.