Inner Beauty of Trees –Journey of Beauty 02.09.32

Guiding Thought

What is inner Beauty? How do I recognize it in others? How do I recognize it in myself? How do I cultivate inner beauty, especially when there are questions about what it is and how to recognize it?

Reflection / Contemplation

Inner Beauty, how to recognize it in myself and others is the question of the day. I don’t know about you, but I can probably name only about 5 people whom I can honestly say that they are “plugged in”. They have been teachers or mentors mostly. I get them at their best. They have all the qualities I have been doing my best to identify and express: they shine (authentically), they get me to say that I want more…of that, they stay true to their “isness”. They invite me to stay true to my “isness”.
I must add a tree, or perhaps tree species to this plugged in concept. For a good 10 years, while my husband and I lived in a duplex in the city, we had a walking route that took us by stately homes, and had two separate overlooks, one to the waterfront and city skyline, and the other across the sound to mountains. Of course we would stop and savor the view. But my favorite stopping point was to admire a cluster of trees in a yard that was along our route. I would pause and thank them, honor them for their beauty. They kind of became my trees, these Alaskan Cedars. I even took a picture of them before we moved. And when we make return trips to our old neighborhood, I make sure to stop by those trees which are now much taller.
I have one planted in my yard now. This tree has no doubt about its “isness”, just like the apple trees in my yard, or the blueberry bushes. I am attracted to the ease with which the branches drape, reminding me of a pose in Tai Chi called the Crane. So let me add grace and ease to this concept of inner beauty. Nothing is forced.
Authentic shining, isness, grace, ease. Words to describe inner Beauty, all deriving from my direct experience. This process of articulating what Beauty is and how to recognize it is challenging, but it is also reminding me how available and present it is, so close to home in myself (and in my desires), those I love, those with whom I interact, and in my yard. Close…so close…so close.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Sovereign Holders of Divine Light –Journey of Beauty 02.09.31

Guiding Thought

How do I act with Beauty? How do I bring Beauty to mundane tasks or actions? Is Beauty created, when I bring Beauty to a project? How do I embody Beauty?

Reflection / Contemplation

Once a metaphor or image takes hold of me I must take it to the end. Today I have the image of a “Playbook”, the kind used in football, with all the types of blocking, end runs, and the like. My family and close friends will find this rather amusing, since I can no longer watch the game. I am so visually and kinesthetically wired that I can feel every single impact and injury that occurs. Ouch.
I certainly get the drive of competition and for me that originates from my large family where athletic competition was as much of the fabric of our activities as was academic rigor. I also get challenge and risk. I am just not sure how worth it is with a fairly strong guarantee of injury, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). I want kinder forms of contact and softer landings.
I am developing my own “Playbook” for sure with this Beauty Project, or at least collecting my acquired, questions, insights, and I hope wisdom. My dear, dear friend from college and I email each other with great frequency, if not daily, then every couple of days. I would suspect that if you were to peruse our notes, you would find a collaboration of our playbooks: our daily agendas insights, resources, challenges, plans, etc. We even hold each other to task on our stated commitments of interior work. Well, we want each other to have a successful time on the field of life.
Well, here she is again, nudging me. She has been reading my entries and sending her comments directly to me, recognizing many of our idea exchanges and histories. I have, as yet, to use the word “Shine”, but here it is…a little more personal disclosure of how I start my day, or at best, how I want to start my day.
Bottom line…I want singing, happy, shining cells. You know this is more than my just having a healthy body. David Spangler (my incarnational guru at the moment), actually has a playbook, or a series of them (books actually). One of his meditations hit the nail on the head for me and now it is in my playbook, it is called “Self Light”, connecting the light of the Earth and the light of the Sun in our own bodies; we are Sovereign holders of Divine Light. This playbook image has everything to do with where and how to shine and with right kind of luminosity. If that isn’t Beauty, then I don’t know what is.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Contradictions and a Middle Way–Journey of Beauty 02.09.30

Guiding Thought

Nature is beauty, beauty is nature. Nature brings me to inner beauty, to True Beauty, to Beauty of All. Nature is Peace, Interconnectedness, and awe-inspiring. I exist within and alongside this expansive, earth and all her creatures, at One with All of Life!

Reflection / Contemplation

The Prophet in me is clearly worked up about the state of nature these days with climate change, our government’s attempts at deregulation of environmental safeguards pertaining to industry. Hello, is anybody home? We all live on this planet! We are connected! We have to get busy about all this before it is too late.
The part of me that operates out of Ease aligns with Vedic Literature (Hindu Scriptures) which informs me/us that there a multiple Universes and cycles upon cycles of time. I had a potent image arise from a meditation a few years ago that speaks to this: It is dark, and I am walking on a path towards light and sounds of a party. People are singing and dancing around the fire. I am invited in to this event. All throughout the dancing, people are taking the coals and throwing them up into the sky, creating universes and galaxies…and I get to be a part of it all…Creation. What a party!
I ended yesterday’s writing that True Beauty can handle the contradictions and these two prior paragraphs are contradictions indeed and they both live rather large in me, as if you can’t tell.
But I am here and I am here now and have to deal with what is on my plate as best I can. My middle way right now is through Incarnational Spirituality and the work of David Spangler, a big mover and shaker in the practices of “Subtle Activism”. His work offers specifics for the kind of entry and appropriate boundaries for the work of being here on this planet, and connected with Nature, of course.
It is when I am faithful to this work, that I can hold both of these realities in the palm of each hand. Ah, the Infinity symbol just showed up, and Beauty is dab smack in the center.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Bigger Fundamental Truth of Beauty –Journey of Beauty 02.09.29

Guiding Thought

How do we distinguish fundamental beauty from fleeting, or superficial, beauty? What is the nature of illusion? What is the nature of dis-illusion? How do we get through illusion to Truth?

Reflection / Contemplation

Urgency and Ease: two states that have occupied my attention these last couple of days. Well, they have been with me all along perhaps and pop up now and again (along with all of my other contradictions), with mixed frequency and intensity. Here they are in relation to Truth and Beauty.
Folks who like to play the Truth game are pretty certain that theirs is the one and only game in town. Politicians and religious leaders are obvious players as are those in their camps of being “Right”, as in my “Right” is more right than your “Right”. Plug in whatever topic you want. There is no shortage of opinions or expressions thereof. I have no shortage of opinions myself. I am also very clear that our incarnate reality is more complex and nuanced than the black and white pronouncements of what Truth is.
The term “Both/And” was introduced into our lexicon when I was in graduate school and became a substrate for much of the material we were exploring. The gist of Both/And allowed for two truths or positions of being right to co-exist. That is a wallop of gray, now isn’t it? I was much younger then, and now have some decades behind me with direct experiences with black, white, and gray. Both/And are occupying more of me these days, although it can be a hard concept to live out and explain these days given the political climate of our times.
And then there was the term “Allurement”. What a Beautiful word that was presented in a course on Evolutionary Cosmology by the physicist Brian Swimme (he is worth checking out in my books, as he is on the thinking big committee). As best I can recall, the term described as having all the right conditions for something big and beautiful to occur (like our Earth) – a mix of the right ingredients and being at the right place at the right time. Too much too soon and you implode, or too little too late, and you fizzle out. We just have to stay aware enough to know when to leap, otherwise the opportunity is lost.
I can’t help but apply this concept of allurement to my seemingly contradictory states of urgency and ease, the Both/And. Well, you get me, of course, but you want the right kind of me to show up and express the best of me that I am able to do, and not have me implode or fizzle. This is the bigger fundamental Truth of Beauty: Beauty, True Beauty can handle the contradictions.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Beauty of Ease –Journey of Beauty 02.09.28

Guiding Thought

What memories do we have of beauty? How are beauty and freedom related? What are we learning passively, simply by showing up to think about beauty every day?

Reflection / Contemplation

I am taking a bit of a break today, not from Beauty, of course, but from my earnest and strident nature. One of today’s guiding thoughts addresses the passive learning of Beauty by just showing up. And so my plan for the day is to be filled with the Beauty of Ease.
My closest and dearest companions know well how I am #1 on the Enneagram (a system of for psycho-spiritual development with origins suspected from the Ennead – ancient Greece – and worked their way through the Desert Fathers, and Sufis and in the more modern times, Gurdjieff to psychiatry, the Jesuits, the Diamond-Heart Approach is now a bit more mainstream). A suggested spiritual practice for my particular Enneagram type is to color outside the lines, step away from routine and order, the idea of perfect. My house itself is not always in order, and my friends laugh at the description of this type, but this system addresses the internal landscape and dialogue. I readily identify with the #1.
Some folks are turned off by this system, as they think it is too negative. They want a nicer entry to inner work. I had first come to this system through the Jesuits and spiritual direction in my early 20’s. I didn’t do a whole lot with it and then about 10 years ago it popped up while I was listening to a radio interview with Richard Rohr OFM (a Franciscan priest) who is a big proponent of this system. He believes this is one of the best forms of spiritual work for our times. Mind you, the return of this system into my life was not peaches and cream. It was another, “I have been found out” moment, and spoke so loud, I could not ignore it.
Those tight shoulders which I mentioned a few days ago received some better attention than a continuing education course could. I got a massage and reminder, too, of how I hold myself in the work I do and the nudge to make it easier on my body/shoulders. Ah, ease.
As my day is just getting started it will be an interesting experiment to stay at ease with all things and see where and how Beauty shows up, especially in relationship and community.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Hangin’ with Prophets –Journey of Beauty 02.09.27

Guiding Thought

How may we be aware of ourselves as Beauty? Not just as beautiful, but as Beauty Itself? How can we exist as Beauty–how can we be Beauty? How may we Know our Self—and each other–as the Beauty we Are?

Reflection / Contemplation

“No man is an island…” These words popped into my mind with today’s guiding thoughts. So I had to find out where they came from. My research says that these are the beginning lines of a poem by John Donne, 16th century metaphysical poet (just up my alley, although I will forgive him for gender pronoun exclusivity, as he was a man of his times), reminding me that we humans do not live in isolation.

I felt like a rock and an island during my adolescent years, even wallowing in a song of Simon and Garfunkel whose line ran: I am a rock; I am an island; and island never cries, and the rock feels no pain. Thankfully I had (and still have) a sister to whom I could write about these feelings of isolation. Her love was able to see my Beauty and offer encouragement and support, a little taste of community.

I have decided, however, that with today’s guiding thoughts, to go big and bold, where the collective is concerned. I am going to hang out with the prophets. They offer an invitation to the community with their urging nature, a call for all of us to be more Beautiful. They are wild, fierce and, impatient. I am enough of a rebel and provocateur myself and so I identify with their urging nature and call for all of us to become ever more of who we truly are.

Ken Wilber, the contemporary philosopher, speaks of a tension between individuals and institutions. In the realm of consciousness, he says that institutions are generally one step behind or below that of the individual, since part of their internal contract is self-preservation. It is that lone voice, that we hope is loud enough or of the right timbre to catch our attention. Wake up! Wake up!

Prophets are often labeled as lunatics, since their eyes are on fire and their faces have a frenzied look to them; the perceived threat is the potential collapse of the social order, too much chaos. And here is where the soft eyes and heart come in, the entry point to see what Beauty they have seen and the bigger Truth they offer.

I am a bundle of questions, more now than when I started writing. What am I hanging on to? What are you hanging on to? Are my eyes and heart soft enough? Are yours? And since we are individuals in the collective, what is our responsibility to the collective to keep us all on the track of staying big and bold? And what are we waiting for?

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)

Fully Human –Journey of Beauty 02.09.07

Guiding Thought

How may I be aware of myself as Beauty? Not just as beautiful, but as Beauty Itself? How can I exist as Beauty–how can I be Beauty? How may I Know my Self as the Beauty I Am?

Reflection / Contemplation

I was in a continuing education course a number of years ago, as required by my massage profession to maintain my license. The instructor, an osteopathic physician, was presenting information on neural development and the brain. It was all very interesting and pertinent to the course, but there was one statement that he made, which caught my attention. “We do not fully become fully human until we are around 11 or 12 years of age.” What was really being said was that consciousness does not set in until then. I bet this concept and exact time of occurrence in our species continues to offer lively debate among philosophers, neuroscientists, psychologists, and mystics.  I want to be in on that conversation.
What strikes me about this statement is that I was about that age, perhaps a year or two older, when I truly knew something about myself. My memory is vivid. To this day I can recall with clarity where I was in the room, who all was in the room, the time of day, the lighting, even what I was thinking, etc. I made the choice to be a wise person, and I knew that it involved head and heart interaction. I “knew” that wisdom could not reside wholly in the head, by being book smart, head smart.
How is it that I knew? I was observant enough at that time to know that I was different from my siblings and as much as I tried, I could not be them. This coming into my humanity, my consciousness, my ability to be self-reflective was perhaps the starting point for the choices I have made in my life.
As I reflect on today’s guiding thoughts, my awareness, existence, knowing myself as: fill in the blank___________, requires engagement with my consciousness, in whatever way that grabs me. How may I be aware of myself as Beauty? There are lots of ways for sure, and ways that are truly reflective of who I am. But it all comes down to choice, doesn’t it? I choose to be engaged with my own self-awareness.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Beauty is now available as a free book.
You no longer need to wait for the Guiding Thoughts to be posted here daily–you may move at your own pace. This link will take you to the document in Dropbox; you may download it from there.

I accept donations and gifts via paypal: paypal.me/SusanBillmaier Thank you for the energy exchange!

Here is the schedule:

Apr 18 Preliminary day Introduction: Why A Journey of Beauty (02.10.0)
Apr 19 Preliminary day Commitment and Dedication (02.10.00)
Apr 20 – 29 Days 01-10 Round One (02.10.01-10)
Apr 30 – May 9 Days 11-20 Round Two (02.10.11-20)
May 10 – 19 Days 21-30 Round Three (02.10.21-30)
May 20 – 29 Days 31-40 Round Four (02.10.31-40)
May 30 – June 8 Reflection days Gently care, de-fuse, and write one day of reflection on the Journey (02.10.41)