Thursday, December 25, 2014

HOLLY HOLY WHOLELY

Merry Christmas to YOU.  I am passing on some good thoughts to you all this morning.  Not my thoughts David Whyte is my go to poet and his piece is worthy.  Whether you be in snow or sun, gathered or alone, do remember there is always a place in the world where you are not alone.  Holiness is about finding it.  For me, just stepping out the door and drinking in some free air will do it..  Do your best and come at the world with openness of heart.
Blessings, Misty   25 December 2014





FINDING THE HOLY IN THE HOLIDAYS:
Holiness is the center that holds all peripheries; the pure internal absence that makes sense of everyone and everything that comes to visit; the ground beneath feet running to look for gifts; the held note of a song that leaves a chapel silent or the stopped listener still and attentive in the busiest, most glittering street. Holiness is the beautiful nothingness birthed inside us that allows all other things to happen, an internal gravitational field of invitation and gathering and an outward and radical letting alone: of family, of food, of perspectives; the holy is reached through letting go, by giving up on willed perfection. Holiness is the rehabilitation of the discarded; the uncelebrated and the imperfect, in our selves, in others, even in our close relatives, into new unities, perceived again as gift. Holiness is the bringing of the detailed outside into the vast unspoken and horizon-less inside, from where the inside seems to give again, transformed as if by the simple act of breathing in and breathing out, back to the world.
Holiness is memory independent of time, time not as besieging force in which things are done but time radiating out from the place where we stand, welling from the unspoken that holds together all words said at the busy surface; holiness marries hurry to rest, stress to spaciousness, and joy to heartbreak in our difficult attempt to give and receive dissolving giver and receiver into one conversation, untouched by the hurry of the hours. 
Holiness is not in Bethlehem, nor Jerusalem, nor the largest, most glittering, mall, unless we are there in good company, with a friend, with a loved one, with our affections, with our best and most generous thoughts, most of all with a deep form of inhabited silence, a natural, grounded, central conversation with what and how and to whom we like to give. Holiness is coming to ground in the essence of our giving and receiving, a mirror in which we can see both our virtues and our difficulties, but also, a doorway to the life we want beyond this particular form of exchange.
Holiness is beautiful beckoning uncertainty: time celebrated and time already gone so quickly. Holiness dissolves the prison of time and lies only one short step from the present busy moment: one look into the starry darkness of the mid-winter sky at the midnight hour, one glance at a son or a daughter’s face; one sight of a distressed friend alone in the midst of a crowded celebration. Holiness is a step taken not to the left or to the right, but straight through present besieging outer circumstances, to the core of the pattern we inhabit at the very center of the celebration. Holiness is reached not through effort or will, but by stopping; by an inward coming to rest; a place from which we can embody the mid winter spirit of our days, a radical, inhabited simplicity, where we live in a kind of on going surprise and with some wonder and appreciation, flawed and far from perfection, but inhabiting the still center of a beautiful, peripheral giftedness.
Finding the Holy in the Holidays
© David Whyte
Mid Winter Thoughts © 2014
Photo: © David Whyte. Jan 2013.
New Snow. Jardin Des Tuileries. Paris


Saturday, December 20, 2014

THE WATCHERS


THE WATCHERS

























We forget you are out there,

all snug in  our beds,
we, who sleep so long in winter.
  
  We do know you,
But we forget you are there
  always watching,
deep in the forests,
guarding cloven marked trails ,
bramble houses of hare
and trickster son.
Watching,
not forgetting.

We don’t always hear
the snow crack,
the branch fall, 
nor do we harken
to the tiniest bird wing,
or see the whitetail lift her foreleg
angled and then still
waiting for the light









The Mother orb is tilting tonight,
And there is a brightness at her edges and we can hear
that far sun calling out
“I’m coming.”
Like a boy trudging home from the wood,
he knows.
we know,
if we can just remember.
.

Thank you, O Tannenbaum
   for watching.





















Blessings and Hugs
B. Misty Wycoff       Los Osos, California 12/18/14










Thursday, December 18, 2014

MIDWINTER WATCH

                  Solstice Trees –  2014 – Midwinter Watch 

     There is a Cherokee story about why there are evergreens.  



It goes like this:               When the Great Spirit was creating all of 
the trees and plants, there was a desire to give a gift to each of them 
but couldn’t decide which present was appropriate for each tree, so 
he had a contest  to find out.  He told all the young trees that he wanted them to keep watch over the earth for seven days and seven nights.   The trees were very excited to be given such an important task and for the 
first night they had no difficulty in staying awake.  But on the second 
night it was harder, and some of them fell asleep.  Each night thereafter another type of tree fell into a deep slumber, the oaks and elms and fruit orchards, and the nut trees, and then chestnut and eucalyptus slept as well.   On the seventh night only a few were still awake.  When the Great Spirit came among them he saw  the pine, the cedar, the spruce, the fir, 
the holly and the laurel awake and waiting, awake and watching, awake.  “What great endurance you have!   The cedar tree spoke for them and 
said, “It gets easier as you get older, we have had much time to practice.
” To you I shall give the gift of remaining green forever.  You shall 
guard the forest, even in the dead of Winter and on the night of 
Midwinter Solstice, when all of your brothers and sisters are sleeping.”  








Ever since that time, all the other trees lose their leaves in Winter and sleep until Spring; 









but the evergreen trees are always awake, and always watching.  It makes them happy.














When was the last time you sat with an evergreen and felt that joy,  that sentinel energy?  that sense of being held in the dark night by the wispy rain laden branches.






                                             Is it time for a walk in the woods? 

Blessings on your Holiday week, however you have it.  Hugs all around.

                                                                 Misty   18 December 2014










       

                                                                    

Sunday, December 7, 2014

JOY -- PAINFUL HAPPINESS











Have you ever taken the time to contemplate the difference between joy and pleasure, or joy and happiness, or even joy and sorrow?

I know it as something that is stronger than my thoughts.  Like tears rising to my eyes or sleep taking me away to Neverland, it is something I ALLOW as opposed to something I can make happen.  I can try to create pleasurable times or sensations but it is often something I think about. Joy seems to arise unbidden.

"I experience joy as an emotion that flies past my mental process and has it's way with me." B. Misty Wycoff

I also know that joy often has an element of sadness to it.  We even have the phrase: tears of joy.  Me,  I love those doubled edged moments.  My joy is present because I understand the absence of it.  My pleasure in friendship or human connection is heightened to joy, after a period of loss.  I have burst into tears of joy and completely not understood what I was crying for.  Haven't you?  Why do we cry in movies when the characters have a happiest of endings?  We know.  We know how close they came to not getting it, right?




“To miss the joy is to miss all,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson in his essay “The Lantern-Bearers” (1887)



There is a kind of abandon that occurs in moments of joy,  We cannot be cautious and joyful in the same tick of time.  But again I would say that joy outruns it. There is just a little bit of wildness in joy.  A sprinkle of pepper, both for zing and taste and danger.  Unsheathed, unarmored we find a resonance with things larger than us, maybe it is another human, maybe it is what we know as God, or maybe it is just a level of consciousness in which we see the wide horizon of human experience, and we see it at once, in a breath of time.  All of it.  Death and Birth, color and darkness, paralysis and movement, hate and love....all of it limned, adorned, illuminated and embellished with it's opposite.
.


Painful Happiness ~ Elizabeth Berg
“There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy. This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.” 

― Elizabeth Berg

Yes, there is movement, a kind of rushing that makes us want to wiggle and jump, writhe and yell.  It is as if joy has a motor bigger than mine and can outrun me, but as it passes by, I speed up too.  Maybe someday I will live in that energy...only.













Blessings to you this Sunday.  Do be kind to yourself, it is the holiday season, and we are all burdened with some darkness.
Misty December 7, 2014


Sunday, November 30, 2014

TRUSTED MOMENTS

Someone warned me years ago to never trust someone who says "TRUST ME".  The theory along the lines of someone protesting too much.  But trust is an important thing to ponder.  In its many definitions in my O.E.D., it seems to come down to an act of faith.  We rely on something or someone based on our perception of their history of being consistently who we think they are, or doing what they say they will do.






  So we might just ask, how does trusting strengthen or reinforce us? Well we might better understand the importance of it when we look at any relationship in our life that was without it.  Broken, lost, dark, separated, pain, these are the words that come to me when I think about those losses of trust.



  treysta  to strengthen, reinforce
Where is trust residing in me?  What does that place look like?  Is it a small cubbyhole in the back of my mental processes?  Or is it a ballroom sized place that has room and interest in all I bring to it.  What happens when we trust?  How does that feel?





I find I love thinking about TRUST.  It brings me to a place of nothingness, like meditation.  Try it again and find the place that it resides in you...   Like the child in this photo, there is nothing holding her up as she flies into the man's arms..  Nothing.        There is a weightlessness to the act of trusting.  A letting go.  A willingness to let the world catch you.  I love that place.



I believe that in all living relationships, there is room for that energy.                                                                          I believe within all of us there is room for that sense, that choice, that act of...................................................
Letting GO.


It is not always easy to find ourselves there. It is easier, of course to hold our cynicism in front of us, shielding us from the pain of disappointment or loss, but there is loss BEHIND that barrier as well as in front of it.   So  I ask you, just for today, to find someone, or something you are fond enough of, to try to rest in.....




Trust!

Yep, that's what I have today.  Oh yea, and while you are thinking about it, take a walk today too!


                                     Blessing be in your heart.     Misty  November 30, 2014






Friday, November 21, 2014

TWO PLUS ONE EQUALS HAPPY

As we seemingly fly into this year's holiday season, some with snow outside, some with blessed rain, and some on a beach, it is a good time to be still for moment.  



How do you want to feel come January?  





Happy?  Satisfied?  Filled up with good memories?  Surrounded by some sweet love?

Yep, me too!


So how does one go about creating this experience?  My clients and friends have always kidded me about MISTY"S RULES..... whether it be about dating or sobriety or getting through a stressful time. I guess I like sifting through the mechanics of things and finding an axiom, a story or a way of holding onto an idea that serves us.  That gives us a better shot at actually doing the new behavior..

So here is MISTY'S RULE #???  for getting to January in good shape: TWO PLUS ONE EQUALS HAPPY!!!!



This exercise is about A LOT OF THINGS:  
surviving the holidays with a happier heart
     doing a little  brain training, 
serving either the planet, the community, the family or friends, 
     or nurturing the same,
getting good at being grateful, 
     learning to focus outside of ourselves       AND
                                                                        just maybe acknowledging that we are part of worlds created than the sphere in which we are daily focused.

So:   TWO PLUS ONE EQUALS HAPPY

What does that mean?  Well TWO PLUS ONE   is three right?  So the practice is about choosing one
                                                   from each of three lists:

 The first is ACTION, the second is WORDS, and the third is GRATITUDE.


So for ACTION, it simply means to do one small act of kindness or assistance or service to one of the following groups:  my world, my community, my family or simply the human in front of me.




This could be as small as picking up one piece of trash from the street, or opening the door for someone.  It could be grand, a financial donation to PBS, or RED CROSS, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS, or your church.  It could be anonymous or personal,  a secret Santa or cleaning someones house.    ONE generous ACTION, EVERY DAY.


The second is WORDS.    Finding a kind WORD for at least one person every day..  Not just Hello, although acknowledging people is a wonderful thing, but actually saying "Hey you are good at this!"  or "You know I just love this about you...."  Or "You look lovely today, what a treat for me!"  It is surprising how few times we actually compliment the people in our families and in our work, or even in the stores or restaurants that we visit.  Your words are your wealth.  You can give away all of them every day and still have plenty for tomorrow.  And believe me, what you get back from this act is in size far greater than what you will leave behind you.  So one complete sentence of admiration or gratitude for not just WHAT people do, but WHO people are..  Ok so: 

 ONE FULL ADMIRING SENTENCE, EVERY DAY.


And the last piece is GRATITUDE.  This involves is saying  OUT LOUD  to yourself, once a day....."Thank you for........"  Yep, something you are grateful for in your life.   Today it could be your job, or your health or your favorite purple toothbrush,  or your favorite TV show, or a good bowl of soup, or your partner, your kids, your garage, your dog, or the sunset... so #3 is:

ONE OUTLOUD SENTENCE OF SOMETHING YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR TODAY.

So let's review  TWO PLUS ONE EQUALS HAPPY  means:


1 ACTION,
          1 FULL SENTENCE OF WORDS OF ADMIRATION OR APPRECIATION and
                    1 OUT LOUD VOICING OF GRATITUDE.

Can you do it every day?  Well maybe, or maybe you will use the coming 42 days UNTIL JANUARY 1ST to get better and better at it.   Make a habit of reviewing your list as you brush your teeth in the morning or just as you turn your light out for the day.  Think about who you will see today and make a commitment to speak to them. Or at night,note what you missed and what you could try tomorrow, or the person to whom you would like to especially speak with tomorrow.   And of course EVERY DAY you can do your out loud thank you.    You could start right now!





THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT FOLLOW ME AND LOVE ME!!  I AM BLESSED.






So remember MISTY'S RULE:  















TWO PLUS ONE EQUALS HAPPY = ACTION, WORD, GRATITUDE


                                                                         And don't forget the critters!!

Misty Wycoff November 21, 2014