Celebrating our love for the world

by Susan Robinson on November 26, 2014

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Happy Thanksgiving Dear Friends!2014-11-18_1140_002

Something I am grateful for is…………

It’s a good way to start.  Something I am grateful for is….

The oneness in our family.  May all be so blessed.

How Charles sings off key.  May everyone know his gentle heart.

The warmth in our home and the abundance on our table.  May all be so blessed.

Shanti’s insights about people, life, souls, the universe, and Korean dramas.

The feeling of connection to all things.

Netflix.

The fireplace in our living room.  The hot tub on our porch.  Mountains.  Pinecones.   The fragrance of the desert.  Tangerines.   Amethyst geodes.  Inspirations in the shower.  Finding my balance when I wobble.  The moments when we sense heaven on Earth.  The moments when I disappear when I’m listening to someone.  The intimacy that happens when you ask and someone tells what their life is really like right now for them, when they say how they really feel, and you understand – just because you haven’t judged them, just because you are there in that moment, accepting, respecting, honoring, appreciating.

Things that comfort me…Charles’ voice.  Latex pillows. The kindness of friends.  Paid vacation.  The music of Nell.  The generosity of NemoThe Gentle Barn.  My reliable heart.  Hot cacao with agave. Puppies. Tina’s laugh.  Marty’s love cartoons.  Transformation.  The smell of baked apples with cinnamon.  Electric blankets.  Messages from the Divine, especially when they arrive on billboards and bumper stickers.  You, who lift us up with love.

May it be a year of abundant Blessings for you.

We appreciate you.

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Gratitude in a halo

by Susan Robinson on November 19, 2014

A while back Charles and I were going through a tough financial time – the kind of time where you sweat the mortgage and dread the credit card statement. I can still remember the feeling of constant anxiety.

And right in the midst of that, I woke one morning with a strange smile and a single thought:

“I have everything I want.”

You have to understand: Gratitude doesn’t come easily to me. Smiling doesn’t come easily to me. Focus, yes.  Smiling, no.  Charles is the peaceful one.  Unperturbable.  I’m the passionate one.  Fiery and impatient.

This was not a time when I had everything I want.  This was a time when gratitude was so far out of reach that making a list of “things that don’t suck” was a stretch. I was frustrated and angry and scared.

And yet here it was.  This pure and ridiculous thought.  This expansive contentment.

I’d been working the night before with a woman who was in chronic pain. She’d been through a series of spinal surgeries, one after the other. Putting metal hardware into her neck, hardware failing, neck collapsing, pulling hardware out.  And here she was, in a metal halo – drilled into her skull resembling some kind of medieval torture – here she was telling me how grateful she was to me.  And to God and to Life and to her husband and to her doctors and to…it was endless.  Her gratitude was endless.  And it wasn’t just words. It wasn’t a script, and she wasn’t reaching for anything. It was just glowing from her. Filling me.

I know what it’s like to come through a crisis and be so glad that the worst of the pain is behind you, and you survived it, that you praise all that’s holy.  But what does it mean when you’re still in the middle of it, still struggling, still in pain, and feel so blessed?  It’s winter but you feel so warm.  Where does that kind of gratitude come from?

It felt like love.

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Spirit in the City

by Susan Robinson on October 21, 2014

Finding the heart of Nature inside a city appeals to that compelling drive we have for integration.  We’re all about pulling opposites together (pulling everything together) into a single whole.

I remember a time when people thought you had to get away from the city to find your Spirit.  A few years back, I talked to a doctor friend after he came back from visiting a wilderness camp for troubled teens in the Arizona desert.  He was so moved by the experience.  He was so inspired, he was beaming!

And I asked him, “How can you create that spiritual experience in the city?”  The light in his face vanished.  He said, “It can’t be done.”

Well Doc, it really can.

Where can you find Spirit in a city?  The heart of Nature in a city is us.  The people.  We’re all different. Sometimes opposite. But we’re a single whole. And we can feel it.

Take Brendan Stanton, for example.  He’s the author of the New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York.  Over 10 million people follow his page on Facebook.  And he was recently sent on a 10 country “world tour” by the United Nations.

What does Brandon do?  He takes portraits and he listens to people’s stories.

Basically, he rings our humanity.  We relate. We resonate.  We discover that everybody, everywhere, from New York to Iran to the West Bank, is just like us. It’s all us.  And we’re so beautiful.

You see, I think the feeling of connection is a spiritual experience.  The bridges that bring us together.

It’s an oppressive myth to think that you have to get away, that you can only find God or Oneness or enlightenment in the mountains or the desert. Or that you have to be alone to find it.

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, said, “Heaven is right where you are standing.”

Rumi says, “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.  There are a thousand ways to go home again.”

Reach for the feeling.  Then leave a comment and tell us: How do you find Spirit in the City?

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Time management

by Susan Robinson on October 7, 2014

“Only through time, time is conquered.”
- T.S. Eliot

I live my life as if my time is limited. You can only do so many things, fit so many things, into a day, a month, a lifetime.  I don’t want to waste a minute on what I HAVE to do – I want to spend it all on what I WANT to do.  I have no energy to spare on thoughts that pull me down. That’s time management.

The passage of time has turned my hair a charcoal gray, an ashen shadow that summons the threat of losing all these things I am meant to do – the creativity that hasn’t yet turned into expression – and the urgency of holding onto time with the people I love. Demanding a future. The right to be here, to cherish and adore and protect them.

Fleeting moments.  My past is filled with them. My daughter turns 18 next week. And I want to be here for all the rest of it – all those sparkling moments.  There’s a myth about independence.  We really do need each other, even when we’re grown.  I want to be here, for her. And for Charles. Just to be with him. For no other reason than that simple comfort. And the knowing that I am that for him. Without me, he has no anchor.

My yearning for transcendence comes, at least in part, from my sense that my time is limited. And the need to find a way to get beyond time while I’m here.

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The day the music died

by Susan Robinson on September 24, 2014

Kai Chi Do without Music?

The Lovable Francine

 

I just wanted to share a recent experience at my last Kai Chi Do class.  This experience taught me the importance of dropping out of the monkey mind and and stepping into the LOVE and allowing the WORLD to meet YOU.

I began the practice with The End of Suffering, only to have my music source die as we started to enter the hand positions for the Future.  After scrambling for a few minutes I let it all go and reassembled everyone who showed up to bring us back to finishing the opening root. Into the hand positions of the FUTURE and as I am feeling the anxiety and anxiousness of how this is all going to happen without music, I surrender to the moment.  I surrender the perception that I need music (a playlist) to do Kai Chi Do.  I surrender to the love and laugh, and then breathe and allow the group to meet me as we embark upon the journey of our breath together as ONE.

It was one of the most powerful circles in teaching me the importance of allowing what is and allowing the LOVE/WORLD to meet me and share what comes through, knowing it is.

Blessings my fellow teachers. XO

Francine Brown

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