Seeming Contradictions –Journey of Beauty 02.09.40

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 seeming contradictions with Nature are a bit glaring today, what with my hiking adventures of yesterday and the week long storms (thunderstorms, tornadoes, and torrential rain) hitting the central portion of our country. I have family in those parts, so my antenna is up.
I am hard pressed to find Peace and Beauty when challenged, and how do I find it there when I am either existentially or so incarnationally pressed? We live in an earthquake zone and the “They” tell us we are overdue for a big one soon.
My default for today is Wendell Berry’s, The Peace of Wild Things:

When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

It is the pause button which seems to be my doorway or entry to the Peace which Nature offers, much like sitting on that bench I mentioned a while back. But sitting on the bench and lying down on the Earth offer two very different perspectives/lenses. Wendell Berry’s offering is that there is something to be said for the larger surface to surface contact our bodies make with the Earth. From time to time I still lie on the grass in my backyard and stay long enough, and wait for the hardness to dissolve and allow myself to be cradled by the Earth as well as take in a very different view of the trees and the sky. You could say it is the great equalizer, the Earth and me settling into each other, a cradling of sorts, perhaps coming into unison of breath. Weather permitting; I just may have to do this today.

And so here is the end, my 40 days of writing on Beauty – another type of pause will ensue. I suspect I will be marching back and forth on the bridge for the next several days (Day 19 reference). Who knows how the insights will percolate in me and then how they will emerge when I write again?

Thanks to those of you who read my posts.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

I am looking for the next person to do a Journey here. Journey of Creation, June 9 – July 20. If there is a nudge in you that says, “that might be me” or “I want to do this!” contact me: susan@withpearls.com

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)

Journey of Creation, June 9 – July 20

 

When dis-illusion hits, it is a good slap in the face –Journey of Beauty 02.09.39

Guiding Thought

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

Reflection / Contemplation

 

I spent my day with illusion, dis-illusion, and Truth.
My family went on a hike and I agreed to go with them, although I whined at the “moderate” technical level which this hike is labeled. I get the effort part, and in most cases I am a trooper. But when the climb is steep and the trail is wet, wet, and there is a mix of slick big rocks, loose rocks, and tree roots on the path itself, I get a bit anxious. Well, a lot anxious, especially ¾ the way to the summit and I wonder how I will return to the parking lot in one piece.
I can handle the climbing part. It is the descent which scares me to pieces. I have very loose ankles and not the best of knees. The gravity of descent is dicey at best. Combine this with the potential for a jammed ankle on the step down, clipping a toe in a tree root, slipping on a wet rock, or twisting my ankle on a loose round rock. You get the picture.
It was ¾ on the way up that I was dab smack in illusion land. I was mad that I said yes to this venture. I was mad that my family picked out this moderate hike that challenged me inside and out. I wanted to stop right there and pout, which I did for a bit, and then continued the climb.
We were met at a small lake and spectacular views of a mountain with numerous waterfalls at the top of t. It was sunny. We had a nice lunch. I was able to sit for a bit and draw (something I haven’t done for a while). We were all pleasant with one another, and I forgave them for taking me on this adventure. With views like this, well, forgiveness comes easily. Cooperative weather helps too.
Then it was time to come down the hill. I will credit walking poles, good hiking boots, and a supportive family which gave me the courage to get down, especially trying to scale down a very large wet rocks with no footing for my feet; this, and intense concentration, of course with each step.
The dis-illusion piece came as a breakthrough in my thinking. Yes, I can get down this mountain safely, if I just take my time and utilize my poles and boots. I was successful at reaching the lot, with one minor hard landing on one ankle and a slight twist of the other one. My knees held up rather remarkably well. Whew!
For this brief piece of my day, I was able to break through the illusion that my body cannot handle challenge. But what I discovered was that in my decision to get to the Truth of my capabilities, it took concentration and effort, a lot of it.  I know enough from these family hiking adventures that it is on the descent that you are more likely to get injured as gravity pulls our bodies forward: we are tired, and get distracted.
My experience today offered an insight to me about Truth. It requires vigilant attention to break through the distractions illusion directs us toward. Illusion is static and noisy, taking me/us places we do not need to go.  Who knows what would have happened had I stayed in pouting mode. When dis-illusion hits, it is a good slap in the face. I got slapped today, for sure, and it was my only way down.

Guest Contributor Lita Artis

 

 

 

 

 

I am looking for the next person to do a Journey here. Journey of Creation, June 9 – July 20. If there is a nudge in you that says, “that might be me” or “I want to do this!” contact me: susan@withpearls.com

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)

Journey of Creation, June 9 – July 20

 

Big Mind –Journey of Beauty 02.09.13

Guiding Thought

Do you know how beautiful you are? Do you have any idea what Beauty created you, what Beauty adorns you, what Beauty permeates and surrounds you? Do you know all Beauty is a gift of Love, leading you to Itself?

Reflection / Contemplation

There is a great deal of writing out there about Creation from ancient religious texts, philosophers, theologians, cosmologists, etc., in an attempt to answer the question, “Who created us and the Universe and why?” In addition there are writings that state that there are multiple universes, multiple timelines and dimensions. This is big, what I consider Big Mind.

One concept that I a rather like states that all of creation, us humans included, is merely the God/the Divine having an experience of looking back on itself. This is one big mirror, and certainly bigger than the one I use in my bathroom, or the Love I wrote about last round with these same guiding thoughts.

What else is catching my attention is the interplay between Phi (1.618), the Golden Ratio/the Golden Mean/The Divine Proportion, the Fibonacci Sequence, the mathematical formula that somehow shows up in the formation of spiral galaxies, plants (look up pictures of pine cones and the center of sunflowers), animals, art and architecture, and our very DNA…and let me not forget, sound frequencies.

Flower
Cabbage

Here in this Universe, or at least of what we know and can surmise, amidst the diversity, the complexity, the billions of years, string theory and universe stacking, etc., there is some amazing design thread which connects me and my DNA to the formation of a spiral galaxy billions of years old. And how many of these galaxies are there and how many have existed?

This is one Big, Beautiful, Amazing mirror meditation indeed!

Now it is time for me to go play with my Phi Ratio tuning forks.
And yes, I have them.

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)

My Beauty –Journey of Beauty 02.09.03

Guiding Thought

Do I know how beautiful I am? Do I have any idea what Beauty created me, what Beauty adorns me, what Beauty permeates and surrounds me? Do I know all Beauty is a gift of Love, leading me to Itself?

Reflection / Contemplation

It was over 20 years ago in my reading of the work of Stephen Levine, the Buddhist author whose work around death and dying provided great insight and comfort as my husband’s father was on hospice. Levine’s work took me to a place of Beauty I had never before gone. A therapist had tried to take me there once, prior to my reading his work. I could not go on that journey until Stephen Levine words offered this particular pathway to me.
 
His statement was that when we experience or feel love, it is actually a mirror that is being held up to us.  We are being reflected back upon ourselves. The Divine we see in others is, in truth, a reflection of the Divine in us. WHAT?!! And here I had thought the love that I feel and express is just me be a good person, and one that I am supposed to be. Knowing that the Divine is in me is one thing, owning it is altogether another thing.
My knowing and owning my Beauty has been and continues to be a work in progress. There are parts or ways of my knowing that are easier to navigate. Maybe it is because I have given them more attention or there are less societal and cultural judgments to navigate. My taking ownership of my own Beauty has implications too, and that I know is part of future conversations with this project
For now, this intention piece keeps showing up. I periodically re-enter the world of “Mirror” work, both for personal development and application to my body work practice. I am finding how much work it takes for me look into the mirror without judgement on my appearance or give attention head noise, and maintain a steady focus on the heart energy exchange, that deep connection with my own inner beauty/Divine. To be honest, I know I am just dipping my toe in the mirror’s waters right now.

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)

Dancing with the Stars –Journey of Courage 02.09.40

Guiding Thought

I am aware, I allow, and I accept What Is. I go within to my silent Self which Knows and follow my Inner Wisdom to Truth. I practice Divine Balance in thought, word, and action. I Am! I Am my Self! I Am my Self of Love!

Contemplation / Reflection

Wow, day 40, Finally! Already! I don’t quite know where to put that. I thought this would be the end of this Journey of Courage. Instead, I find that What Is, is that I’ve made new commitments to myself through this Journey. Yes, I’m getting up a little earlier every morning. The Divine Balance in my thought, word and action is evaporating the obscuration of the thought “I am not a morning person”. It’s also changing my actions regarding clutter, particularly where the papers on my desk are concerned. But that’s not all. On a deeper level, I am more in touch with my “inner Wisdom” and truth. It’s hard to hide from the truth when you challenge yourself to find the courage to tell the truth. The clutter on my desk is only the outward manifestation of a level of clutter in my thoughts and actions. I’ve uncluttered my closet. I’ve uncluttered my bookshelf. A nice start, perhaps, but I haven’t uncluttered my desk. In terms of this Journey, I obviously still have lots of work to do. In the meantime, I AM my Self of Love! I Love the changes taking place. While I’m completing the commitment of 40 days of responding to these Guiding Thoughts, I find I have new commitments now. The beauty of this is that it’s commitments to my self, and my Self. Practicing Divine Balance is just that – a dance with Divine Balance. I intend to continue dancing as if no one is watching. But I’ll be watching! You may look for me dancing with the Stars, but not on television!

 

Guest Contributor Mary Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Courage 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!

Journey of Beauty Begins April 18!

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)

Hobbies as a Doorway to Peace –Journey of Courage 02.09.39

Guiding Thought

I accept my light and my lightness! I feel my Self expand! As I perceive change around me, I remain anchored in my Being of Light. I allow myself to sit peacefully in the still place of nothingness as life moves quickly around me.

Contemplation / Reflection

Light and lightness. I’m feeling a lightness about this Journey. Only one more day of commitment. My husband has already congratulated me on a “job well done”. I asked him to save his congratulations until tomorrow. The lightness I’m experiencing is about demonstrating that I can make a 40+ day commitment and keep it.  Sometimes that’s a big deal.

And then, of course, there’s the actual light around me. It’s been one of those days where it’s gray and pouring rain one minute, with the sun shining brightly the next. Sometimes the lack of daylight can impact my sense of my “Being of Light”.

I’ve been playing with a new hobby today. I realized afterward that it required a single focus of attention, a “still place of nothingness” as life was moving around me. It seems like many hobbies are like this. We can remove ourselves to a more still place, somewhat removed from the life moving around us. Perhaps that’s why we gravitate toward hobbies in the first place. When we get really involved with them, the rest of life goes on around us. We sit peacefully. While I was working on my project, I was distantly aware that my husband was playing his guitar, involved in his own still place. Perhaps, when we find that place in ourselves, it radiates outward and impacts those around us. I plan to practice carrying my lightness, my expanded Self, into my days as I interact with others. I’d like to notice if, “anchored in my Being of Light”, I can shed some of that light on those around me, helping slow the pace of the life that moves so very quickly around all of us.

Guest Contributor Mary Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Courage 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!

Journey of Beauty Begins April 18!

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)

How To: Embrace Your Heart’s Love –Journey of Courage 02.09.38

Guiding Thought

I allow myself to connect with my pure Inner Divine Heart of Oneness. I am aware of the expression of the Divine Heart through me, as me. I connect with my heart, and am aware of embodying its pure Love intention for All. I am filled with Joy as I embrace my heart’s Love.

Contemplation / Reflection

Some of the most inspiring and personally rewarding experiences of my life have been, and continue to be, volunteer activities. One of the earliest I recall was called “Holiday Hospital Project”. Participants visited local hospitals on Christmas day, singing carols and delivering gifts to those who were hospitalized during this holiday. It was an amazing experience. I’ve also volunteered with a local hospital’s hospice patients. As a hospice volunteer I would visit with a terminally ill patient while their primary caregiver received a few hours of respite. The caregiver could go shopping, take in a movie, connect with a friend, enjoy a walk or simply disappear into another room for a well-deserved nap. Sometimes my task was to read to the patient, or watch a sport on TV, or just to be there sitting with them while they napped. I served on the board of a local environmental group. I wrote newsletters for a Native American action group. Currently, I’m a “chemo angel”, committed to sending weekly notes or small gifts to people experiencing chemotherapy. (visit chemoangels.com If you want to know more, or if you know someone experiencing this treatment who would like to receive snail mail encouragement.) Before doing much volunteer “work”, I used to think that volunteers were the “givers”. But, once I got into ANY volunteer task or activity, I was the recipient – filled with joy as I “embraced my heart’s Love”. Such “work” is so personally enriching and rewarding, it’s not something that can easily be put into words. I encourage anyone and everyone to find a volunteer outlet and to participate. There are so many options, something for everyone. Volunteering is an opportunity to discover your own personal creativity. You can express your Self in ways you may not have opportunity to do in a “job”. You can set your own hours and boundaries. (Just a warning that protecting your personal boundaries is one of the earliest lessons in volunteering. You will be SO appreciated and any organization will just want MORE of you. SET YOUR OWN BOUNDARIES.) That being said, when you “give” yourself to a volunteer role that suits you, you will find yourself connected with your heart and its pure Love intention, you will “embrace your heart’s Love” in beautiful ways you never anticipated. I know I have, every time.

Guest Contributor Mary Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

Journey of Courage 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!

Journey of Beauty Begins April 18!

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)