Change Is in the Air

April 26th, 2011

“Just as the world around us changes and evolves, so do the circumstances and situations in our lives. We live in a universe that is alive, vibrant, and constantly evolving. Change is the way nature, the universe, and the Divine move us through each period of our lives and into destiny. We are led to our next lesson, our next adventure. There’s no need to deny change, to fear it or fight against it. Change is inevitable. Just as the earth is constant motion and transformation, so are we.

Take your place in the universal dance, the universal rhythm. Allow change to happen. Work with it as your life unfolds. Sometimes change comes in one smashing moment like a volcanic eruption. Other times it happens more slowly, the way the winds and rain sculpt bridges out of canyons.

Learn to trust your body– its signs, signals, warnings, and excited proclamations. We let the gathering clouds warn us of impending storms, and we learn to study and predict tremors in the earth. In much the same way, our body can function as a barometer for our soul and its place in the constantly changing and evolving universe.

You are open now, more sensitive than you’ve been before. Change is coming. It’s here. You can feel it in the air. You can feel it in yourself.”

– Melody Beattie, “Journey to the Heart”

Cherish

February 2nd, 2011

Cherish Today’s Lessons

“I’m brokenhearted about my divorce”, the man said. “I’ve spent four years searching for a new wife, trying to recreate my family, trying to jam the pieces of the picture back in place. All I’ve gotten from my desperate search is more pain and anguish. It’s hurt other people. It’s hurt me. I’m tired of trying to manipulate other people to meet my own needs, to postpone my own grief.”

Some of us may be desperately trying to recreate the life we once had. Desperation attracts desperation. Pain attracts pain. And so the downward spiral goes. Yes, loss hurts. Sometimes life hurts, too. But loss can’t be negotiated. Becoming obsessed with putting the pieces back in place is an understandable reaction, but it won’t work. Yesterday cannot be superimposed on today. We need to go one step further.

Feel the obsession, and let it go. Feel the desperation, then release that. Come back to the lessons of today. They’re different from the lessons of yesterday, but just as valuable.

We face many losses along the way. People we love disappear from our lives; we may lose a career, money, or something else we valued. We can lose our dreams, too. But looking for quick replacements as a way to avoid feeling pain about the loss won’t work. And we’ll miss the lessons. Before we can go on, we must feel our sadness about what we lost. Losses demand acceptance.

Eventually life will send you new people and
new dreams. Cherish this time to grow and learn.
Cherish what the universe is teaching you now.

– Melody Beattie,  Journey to the Heart

Transcend Your Limitations

February 1st, 2011

Transcend Your Limitations

You’re free now, free to take the journey of a lifetime. Free to experience life, in its newness, its freshness, its magic– in a way you never have before.

The only limitations on you are the ones you’ve placed on yourself. Your prison has been of your own making. Don’t blame or chastise yourself. Life has created certain challenges for you. The purpose has been to set you free, to provide you with lessons, experiences, circumstances that would trigger growth and healing. Life has been provoking, promoting, urging you to grow, stretch, learn, heal. Life has been trying to break you out of your prison.

Set yourself free. Let yourself go on a journey of love. Take notes. Be present. Experience. Learn. Love and laugh, and cry when you need to. Rest when you’re tired. Take a flashlight to help you see in the dark. But most of all, take yourself and go.

Go on your journey of joy.

– Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart

Literate

January 14th, 2010

Literature builds literate people who take inspiration from what they read and echo back strains of other authors’ beauty in their own writing. In this way, we have an ongoing song woven of books and thoughts and ideas that resonate with chords of insights, like a great opus of language rising to crescendos, subsiding into harmonies, and pulsing onward with the bright sound of synergy.” — Richard R. Powell, Wabi Sabi for Writers

Those who can read the patterns of life are the truly cultured.

Every person who has followed Tao has been a person of culture and refinement. Not only does Tao require study and intelligence, but it also demands the subtle mind of a sensitive person. You will not find that type of mind in the unthinking brute or the insensitive lout.

The wen person is someone who can read not just human language, but the languages of nature as well. There are patterns and secrets throughout the world — the rings of trees, and tracks of animals, and the traces of water down the sides of a valley are as clear as any scripture. The person who follows Tao does not blindly go through life, but is able to read it on every level. Those who follow Tao are those who know the many languages of life.

A person who can read literature in this extended sense cannot help but develop great character. After all, to follow Tao requires patience in adversity, great compassion, and understanding of the balance between action and stillness. We all need to experience more and more, strive to know life on deeper and deeper levels, and give consideration to all that happens to us. Such understanding must be ongoing, and those who revel in wen never tire of exploring what is around them. They always read the patterns of life.

Deng Ming Dao, Everyday Tao

Review of The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

October 9th, 2009
The Magician’s Elephant
by Kate DiCamillo
Hardcover.
First published in the USA by Candlewick Press

•  Publication Date: September 2009
•  208 pages
•  ISBN-10: 0763644102
•  ISBN-13: 9780763644109

Categories:
•   Recommended Recent Hardcovers
•   Children’s Books Ages 9+
•   Magical or Supernatural Elements Members Only

In The Magician’s Elephant, Peter Augustus Duchene is a boy alone. He lives with Vilna Lutz, a soldier friend of his father’s, but his family is gone. His father is dead. His mother is dead. His sister, Adele, is – dead? That’s what Vilna Lutz has told him. But Peter visits a fortuneteller who leads him to question the truths he’s accepted. And she tells him that an elephant will guide him toward his true destiny.

An elephant? Impossible.

Or maybe not.

What if this is true? Could it possibly be true? These questions percolate in Peter’s head and heart. By opening his whole self to these possibilities, a space is created – inside and outside – for the answers to come. He hears about an elephant who has been conjured out of thin air by a magician, and he begins to believe. Then he finds out that the elephant is being held right in his town. Finally Peter’s wondering and believing becomes action. He helps the elephant find her home and in the process he moves closer to his own home.

Kate DiCamillo creates an ensemble cast, with Peter and the elephant at the center. Everyone – from the local beggar, to the man who cleans up after the elephant, to the policeman who lives below Peter, to the nun who runs the orphanage – suffers in the same way. They are all not quite where they belong, not quite living whole, fulfilling lives.

For change to come, they must all choose – as Peter has – to open themselves up to questions. As Leo Matienne, the policeman says, “We must ask ourselves [these] questions as often as we dare. How will the world change if we do not question it?” This, in and of itself, is a worthy theme. Asking questions and believing in the possibility of. But the entire cast of characters discovers that they cannot choose to open themselves up to questions and possibilities alone. Separately they don’t have the imagination, or the courage or, most importantly, the openness to the present moment necessary for such an endeavor. This is where Kate DiCamillo’s brilliant craftwork shines through, and her themes elevate from simply worthy to breathtaking.

In the stunning penultimate scene, Peter, intent on getting the elephant back to her home, walks with her on a snowy night, along with all of the others. They are focused on the task at hand, putting one foot in front of the other as snow falls gently on their heads. And miraculously, while deeply immersed in the process of getting the elephant back home, Peter finds what he wants most. “It’s the impossible… The impossible has happened again.” In this transformative moment, everyone finds what they want most. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are found by their deepest desires.

This is the magic of Kate DiCamillo’s story – articulating the idea that in choosing to open yourself up to questions and possibilities and fully giving yourself over to something real and present and physical, you allow your deepest desires to come to you. This is the magic to really living, don’t you think?

Via bookbrowse.com

Sounds like an interesting read, and maybe a good book for kids going through a period of change.