This Writing journey is for anyone who wants to explore themselves and produce an intimate artistic expression from their soul. It is a no-cost journey and it is my gift to you!
The editable google doc-
This Writing journey is for anyone who wants to explore themselves and produce an intimate artistic expression from their soul. It is a no-cost journey and it is my gift to you!
The editable google doc-
This Writing journey is for anyone who wants to explore themselves and produce an intimate artistic expression from their soul. It is a no-cost journey and it is my gift to you!
The editable google doc-
This writing journey is for anyone who wants to explore themselves and produce an intimate artistic expression from their soul. It is a no-cost journey and it is my gift to you!
The editable google doc;
The editable google doc;
The editable google doc ;
The editable google doc;
This Writing journey is free to anyone who wants to explore themselves and produce an intimate artistic expression from their soul. It is a no-cost journey and it is my gift to you!
The editable google doc-
Z is for Zen
“I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats” -Eckhart Tolle–
Zen Buddhism holds many truths and philosophies about living and having the best human experience on this planet. However, one philosophy resonates with my soul over any other about awakening. It teaches us that awakening or enlightening if it comes in this life, comes in two ways.
The first way is called Satori, and that is when something clicks. You have an “aha” moment, some form of intuition slams into the back of your head, and you know you have just unearthed a truth that is aligned with your soul and your reasons for being. After that moment, things can never be the same because what you have just learned or witnessed can not be unseen.
The second moment, the one that happened for me, is called Kensho. Kensho happens after we get so low and go through a dark night of the soul (mine lasted a decade, and I wouldn’t change any of it).
Kensho is an act that we must move through to say no more, and finally pick ourselves up. Like the mythical phoenix who rises from the ashes to become a beautiful, majestic creature, finding fire in its belly and doing things that it could not previously do or even though possible.
Another beautiful idea that Zen teaches us is that the source of all sin is delusion, So ask yourself the following question as you move through the seasons of your life. What I am seeing, hearing, doing, thinking, and feeling that is an illusion causing my delusion?
***Starting next weekend, All of us will be starting a new FREE series of journal prompts based on the brilliance of Henry David Thoreau’s transcendentalist philosophy and ideas that he wrote almost two centuries ago from Walden pond. The idea is to explore yourself through writing in a way that you have not done so until now. So, bring a pen and paper (or laptop) and give yourself full permission for the words to flow like the river of life. The secret to this fun and exciting journey is to be as vulnerable as you can and seek answers by asking questions (if you ask a question, the universe has to provide an answer).****
“Yin and yang. The dualities that make us human. As though our lives play out on an immense balance scale – move one way, the scale tips to the left, but move the other, and it swings around to the right.”
– Abramelin Keldor –
Y is for Yin- Yang
The Yin-yang is the ultimate symbol of duality. Feminine v masculine, light v dark, good v evil.
The symbol is a beautiful swirling image that flows into each other and is stamped with a dot from the opposite sides. The dot that seeps through is a reminder that in all good lurks some evil and out of all evil can be found some good.
Light and dark is the cyclical representation that shows the impermanence of all things. Think seasons or a 24 hour day. Wherever you are reading this in the world right now, you are about to witness this in nature. Winter is either coming or going and that means that the spring will begin to show the birth of a new light, or autumn has put the plants to sleep. A new moon and a new world.
As we emerge from the evil that has enveloped the world for the past few years, we shall search for the good.
The yin yang can also be taken as a personal reminder that no matter where you are on your journey, we are all capable of both sides of this cultural coin.
He wished he had some kind of X-ray vision for the human heart.–Kim Edwards-
X is for X-ray vision.
If you could choose a superpower what would it be?
How about X-ray vision, the ability to fly, super-human strength, time travel or teleportation? How about all of the above?
When we go inside and sit in the empty, dark void, shutting out the 3-D sensory world, that is exactly the time when we can work on such superpowers. Limitless possibilities in the quantum field can be manufactured in the alchemy of our mind. We can time travel, see places that we normally can’t see with our eyes open, and visualize things that no-body can.
Lucid dreaming and Astral projections are two well-documented ways to have all of these amazing superpowers become real (I have not had the pleasure of these experiences yet). If you have tried either lucid dreaming or astral projection, please do let the community know what it feels like for you because all that matters here is your experience of the world. It matters not what anyone else says.
So, What is your superpower? Do you have more than one?
W is for Will
“The kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10, King James Bible
Willpower. Do you have it? If you answered No, fear not because it can be developed over time.
When we have willpower and dominion over our bodies, we can do almost anything in this life.
One way to do this is to teach your body how to automate positive actions that improve your life. Improving your life this way is akin to training a dog to sit and stay. Over time, a repeated behaviour will automate a conditioned response with practice, and eventually, the body will naturally take this action.
For example, if location has energy and time has memory (and it does), this means that by doing an activity at the same time and in the same place every day, we begin to tell our body that every day at 8 am we will go to this location and do this thing.
In essence, we begin to develop an intentional pattern instead of unconsciously repeating patterns placed inside of us by the countless archetypes we have encountered throughout our lives. Once you cultivate and grow your will, you will power yourself through the things that seemed difficult in the past.
The repeated practice of training your body will allow you to craft a life of mastery. In doing so, you won’t be a follower of the crowd. You will not eat the cookie when you are on a diet. You will have control over your thoughts as they arise in your head. You will be able to have a thought, see the idea, than watch that thought pass on without having to act impulsively or contradictory to your values and beliefs.
It comes down to keeping promises to yourself, once again proving that the way we speak to ourselves is critical.
If you are the girl who gets complimented for having a lovely dress and then says something like “it was on sale” or “yours is nicer,” these are the kinds of statements that go against the will of someone with personal mastery. Instead, just say thank you and leave it at that.
I am not suggesting that others are not better at certain things than we are. I suggest that we take our own mastery to the next level with the power of will.
If you have the will to survive, you are the ultimate survivor. If you have the will to finish the race or to do the hard thing that you don’t want to do but know it will make you better than you are a master over your domain.
We often see a competitor ‘will’ themselves to victory in sports. They may seem down and out. Battered, bruised, and broken, but their will was never in doubt, and that is why even when their gas tank is on empty, they somehow ‘will’ themselves through the pain of defeat.
The greatest thing about the power of will is that it is a teachable skill. Once installed as a habit, then no one can stop you. So, my only question to you is, Do you have the ‘will’?
V is for Visualisation
“Visualisation is daydreaming with a purpose.” -Bo Bennett-
If you can visualise your future and hold that intention in your mind every day, there will come a time when you will meet that future vision in the present moment. You will know because it will feel familiar, it will feel like you’ve been there before, and it will feel right. As if you were expecting it.
The alternative is not visualising your future and stumbling through life ‘hoping’ for things. In that case, there is a chance that you will get them, but there is a better chance that you will walk right past the future you want as it appears in front of you.
When we visualise the future we want and focus on it every day, something remarkable unfolds. First, we start to notice as events, people, and circumstances that align with our intention appear in our lives. Then, because we are consistently focusing on that future outcome, our brain (specifically the RAS or reticular activating system) finds and shows us how to do it.
Visualisation, affirmations, intention, and a disciplined work ethic will all lead you to the future you want, but you must also have faith, desire and belief.
When we combine faith, desire and belief, then sprinkle in a bit of visualisation, we will manifest opportunities set up by the Universe so that we can take the path towards our dreams.
It may show up as a conversation we hear on a bus or a song on the radio delivering a message meant for us. The synchronicities spark ideas and become so apparent after a while that now when it happens to me, I laugh a little, smile and say thank you.
In the book the Alchemist, Paulo Coelho said, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you get it”. The way we let the Universe know how to help us get what we want is by Visualisation.
U is for Unlimited
“Our only limitations are the ones we set up in our own minds “– Napolean Hill-
When we push ourselves to the limit, we will find out that we can go a bit further. It’s how we evolve and adapt.
Let’s use running as the example (again). If you run for 20 mins because that’s the limit you set for yourself then the opportunity for growth and adaptation comes in the 21st minute.
You do one more minute because you can. Because you know it’s all a mind game and what happens is, just like a dog being trained to sit, you train your mind to become the body and go a tiny bit further. It’s what we are born to do.
Expand, evolve and adapt. The only reason we think we can’t do something is that in our mind (not in the physical world) we are telling ourselves we can’t.
If we tell the mind to shut up then what we will discover is that we can do way more than we ‘think’.
And, the most magical part of this process is that when we push ourselves to that breaking point and go past it, the doubts that were originally there disappear and vanish into thin air.
Another reason this is so powerful is that we will start to silence the doubts that arise in the future because we now have evidence that it’s possible. Possible because we have already done it once. Just like the four-minute mile was a wall, a mind barrier until that veil was lifted by Roger Bannister. The first one to run a sub-four-minute mile but look how many followed in his footsteps, literally.
If you take away one message from this article let it be that “it’s possible”.
That is the ultimate starting point, knowing that it is possible. Work on your belief system until possible is part of your vocabulary and you can truly do anything.
T is for Transcend
“Transcend the limits of what you think is possible and you may just find greatness. -Justin Young-
Transcend time, Transcend space, Transcend your life.
We are all running a program, multiple programs actually.
The question is do you know who installed the program you are running?
If it was a program that was designed and installed by you intentionally and on purpose that’s great. Good for you. You’re probably winning at the game of life.
However, if you’re running a program that was installed by one of the many different archetypes that you’ve encountered since your birth than it was put there by someone else and it means that you’re program is based on someone else’s belief system.
Of course all of this is okay as long as you know it and agree with it. Ask yourself “Is this a belief system that fits with my current values and does it serve me now and in my future.
If you’re running a program that you don’t like or don’t want the good news is that you can design a new program. One that you do want and you can begin to install it now, starting today.
To figure out what programs we want and don’t want we will have to become aware of our behaviours and actions. We must look at the behaviours and actions that benefit us AND the ones that hinder us.
We must flip them upside down and investigate them from every angle. We can uninstall programs that have been running our entire lives and evaluate if life is better without a particular program.
Take things apart, remove habits and decide if they still serve you today. If they do keep them, if not let them go and move on. It may take time and effort but it is a guaranteed formula.
The programs are not just interpersonal either. Music food and sports can all transcend culture, religion and age for the masses.
The programs we wrap around the fabric of our inner and outer world will determine the quality of our life, today and well into the future.
Once we are aware of the programs, it becomes a choice. So, choose wisely my friends and transcend those areas of your life that you know are no longer serving you!
Your future self is begging you!
S is for Surrender
“When we surrender, we open to more possibilities than we can even visualize or imagine for ourselves” -Kute Blackson-
Life is a journey and the best way is to experience is to surrender and let go. Expect nothing and accept everything.
Last year, I chose surrender as the theme of my year.
I can not begin to tell you how many amazing things happened when I surrendered. There were many times when I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like doing something but I reminded myself to surrender and that is always when the magic occurs.
When we make our plan but then surrender the outcome, we have done our part in the creation process.
Maybe it happens the way we want and maybe it does not, but we can stand tall with our head held high knowing that we did everything we could do and let go of the final result.
What happens is that people, events and circumstances will unfold with absolute beauty in our lives. Since we are not expecting or trying to control what happens it allows for more magic to flow. We are vibrating higher and floating lighter because our physiology is safe and secure. In turn, this allows things to enter our experience that may have been blocked out otherwise.
I am reminded about an example of baby chicks that were born in our home over the winter. Upon hearing that we were incubating chick eggs, my first thought was “no way”. I quickly reminded myself of the theme for the year and acquiesced.
In doing so I was treated to a miracle in front of my very own eyes. The chicks pecked their way out of the egg with the ‘tooth’ that is on their nose and designed for exactly that single purpose; it is used for breaking out of the shell before falling it falls off the nose
Then the baby chicks moved over to the other eggs and helped warm them until their brothers and sisters were ready to break out of their shells. Once this happened, they all huddled together chirping and dancing around. Even the Dog peered in with amazement and wonder at the goings-on inside the tiny community of a cardboard box that acts as a home for these baby chicks.
Once we surrender, if we try to do something and it doesn’t happen then it is not meant to happen (at that time). These are some of the biggest changes that we can ever make to our ideology and the results are truly magical.
R is for Regulate
“The emotionally intelligent person is skilled in four areas: identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and regulating emotions” – John Mayer-
Regulating ourselves and our emotions is the key to a healthy mind and happy life.l.
If we do not regulate our body and emotions then we are at the mercy of our mind and happiness and we will get stuck reacting internally to external circumstances.
If, however, when we get overwhelmed (which happens to almost everyone from time to time) we stop, breathe and regulate our response, that is what it becomes. A response instead of a reaction.
Daniel Goleman speaks about this eloquently in his book Emotional Intelligence calling it ‘Amygdala Hijack’.
The author says if we feel ‘Amygdala Hijack’ coming on, there is a second or two where we can make a decision of how to respond. If we regulate ourselves at that moment, we respond with control, if we don’t, we react.
When we react blindly and unwillingly, that is when we say and do things that we usually regret.
It is when we are repeating programs from our past, a subconscious rewind if you will, of a former time, event or reaction that we are not in control of. The result is that it usually doesn’t end well for us or those around us.
Goleman determines that Emotional Intelligence or EQ is more important than IQ.
When we notice a feeling that we don’t like such as anger, sadness or fear, that is our body signalling us to regulate. If we do not regulate right then and there, then we react, never a good idea.
When we regulate our emotions, we are in control of our response to things that unfold in our inner and outer world.
Responding instead of reacting can require breathing, praying or meditating (even journalling) about something before we respond but if we can stop the “amygdala hi-jack”, then we will make better choices and better choices lead to a better life.
As you go through your day today, notice the times when you respond and react. Awareness is always the starting point!
Q is for Quest
“To begin is the most important part of any quest and by far the most courageous” -Plato-
What is your Ultimate Quest in life?
What do you want to do?
Is there someone or something that you would like to become? Somewhere you want to see or live?
You can do that thing.
The way to do it is to take belief, faith and desire and mix them together. That the secret formula that will allow you to chase your dream.
Whether it is love, money, legacy, fame, family or a multitude of things. When we question what we want from life, the answer will become clear in the form of a Quest.
We may not be able to see the full quest but instead we may only see one or two steps ahead.
That is okay. The next steps will reveal themselves along the way, once we start moving.
There is something we will learn or a person we will meet whom we do not know at this moment and the only way to get to that point is to begin the quest.
The puzzle pieces will begin to fit together but only once we have started building the puzzle. It is not something that you can just sit around and wait for.
Action is the key. Belief, Faith and Desire are all important but without action they are nothing more than philosophy.
Where will your Quest begin, where will it take you? Just like a GPS system, we can enter a destination but there maybe 10,000 ways to get there.
the only way to reach our endpoint is to follow the next step, and then the next, and the next until you look back one day and say, wow, I got where I wanted but it didn’t happen exactly how I expected
P is for Perspective
“Your perspective is always limited by how much you know. Expand your knowledge and you will transform your mind” – Bruce H. Lipton-
The world we see depends 100% on our perception.
Our perspective of life shapes the reality we see at all times.
The way a mountain looks or a stormy sky appears is determined by what we perceive at that moment.
If we perceive life as not having enough, or that life is scary, unsafe or fearful, that is what we will see.
If instead we see abundance all around us than we will find patterns of that everywhere in our life.
Albert Einstein said “the most important decision we make is whether we live in a friendly or hostile universe”. A decision? Absolutely! We get to decide what our reality is created from and it all starts with how we perceive the world.
What we watch , read and see? What are we put into your mind?
Once we see the world a certain way then we form beleifs that wrap around that perception.
How is it that two men can both have their legs blown off in a war and one is grateful because he did not die , yet the other one becomes depressed and suicidal? The same thing happened to both men but their perception of the event and world they occupy determines how they respond.
We have learned about fixed mindset vs growth mindset and it is similar to the idea of perception. If we perceive that you can not learn and grow then we will not, if we beleive in a growth mindest than that’s is what we will percieve.
Our world is arranged by our perception and what we belief inside will manifest as an outter reality. similarly, what we see in our world is a
The way we perceive the world will ultimately determin how we approach life. If we see the world as a place where there is not enough to go around than we will isolate ourselves from love and adventure and we will live a life of lack and scarcity.
Sounds and sight are electrical signals that are sent to our brain so that our brain can make a guess of what is actually happening. That “guess” becomes our reality.
Depending on our perception, we will form a belief and so the only decision that remains is do you want to live in a friendly or hostile universe?
N is for Neuroplasticity
“Neuroplasticity research showed that the brain changes its very structure with each different activity it performs, perfecting its circuits so it is better suited to the task at hand.” -Naveen Jain-
Simply put, Neuroplasticity is the way our brain changes.
The easiest way to explain this is an example of someone who never ran before and decide’s that they are going to run a marathon in 6 months.
Their brain is already molded a certain way from everything they have seen and experienced in their life up until the moment they decide to run a marathon.
On day one they may tie up a new pair of shoes and run for 5 or 10 minutes. A week later they could be up to 30 minutes and by the end of the first month, they can run for 45 minutes.
This daily process will slowly change their brain to look like the brain of a runner. After 3 months they may be up to an hour and a half and they are in the process of changing their brain and becoming a marathon runner. 6 months later their brain looks like a marathon runner because that is what they have become.
Neuroplasticity is the real-time feedback (that we can’t see) of BECOMING something. It is not about the actual marathon day. It is about who they become in the process.
Neuroplasticity can work the opposite way too. Let’s say we get hurt and the doctor gives us a pill or tablet for pian that we take every day.
Eventually, we build up a tolerance and need more. The Doctor gives us 2 then 4 and then 8 pills to relieve our pain.
The fact that we have to take the pills every day is reinforcement to our brain that we are in chronic pain. The result is that neuroplasticity takes hold and starts to mold our brain to look like the brain of a person in chronic pain.
If we are taking pills three or four times a day, the interval between the time we tell ourselves we are in pain is cut in by half or even to every 6 hours.
Over time our brain starts to look like we are really sick. If we do this day after day and year after year, neuroplasticity signals big trouble for us and we become a victim of our lives.
If instead, we trade in prescription drugs for vitamins we send a signal to our brain that we are healthy and our brain will start to look healthy again.
The great thing is that we can start to change today until we become the marathon runner.
M is for Mindset
“Happiness has to do with your mindset, not with outside circumstance.”
– Steve Maraboli-
Mindset is everything. Mindset determines if you will accomplish the things, you set out to do. Mindset determines if you will get back up when you fall, and mindset will let you fail forward.
Mindset keeps you going when things get difficult, which happens to everyone and will for sure happen to you at some point in 2022, 100%.
Mindset will help you cross the finish line when you feel like the tank is empty. It allows us to dig deep when there seems to be nothing left and it helps us find that extra reserve that we didn’t ‘think’ we had.
Mindset is beliefs and values, mixed with determination and motivation
Mindset proves the saying that “In order to have the things others don’t, we have to do the things that others won’t”.
Carrol Dweck talks elegantly about Fixed mindset vs Growth mindset. The research on fixed vs growth mindset tells us that every person has the opportunity to decide which of the two categories they want to be in.
Even if you’ve had a fixed mindset your entire life; you can change to a growth mindset right now. That’s a decision that nobody (except for you) can stop you from making.
Once the decision to grow is made then you start by writing down what you want. Here is where you make a plan for your future. The next step is to follow and measure your progress along the way.
Inevitably you will hit some targets and miss others. When you miss, just make the necessary adjustment to the timelines and skills needed so that you will hit the target and eventually you will achieve what it is that you desire.
By following these steps you are creating change in your life. All of a sudden the path becomes a bit clearer and you start seeing the rewards of the work you’re doing. All this stems from adopting a growth mindset.
Another truth Carol Dweck’s research shows us is that a fixed mindset means you are a victim of your circumstances and believe that you can’t change, however; a growth mindset knows that change is not just possible but is necessary for those who want a different outcome.
Most importantly, this hypothesis teaches us that the growth mindset believes the power grow and change is within anyone who decides to walk that path. The growth mindset does not see failure as the end but as one more way not to do something.
So don’t ask what kind of mindset you have, but rather, what mindset do you want to have?
L is for Love
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – John- 4:18-
Love is our natural state of being, feeling and emoting.
Everything else is is based in fear and fear is a lie. Guilt, shame, jealousy, anger, envy, scarcity, lack, all of it. Its all a lie that has been put over on all of us by the culture scape. That is media, church and state, education and now social media.
It’s the devil if you will whereas God is pure love.
The love we feel when we see a baby or enjoy nature.
Fear is usually based on our past or our incorrect predictions of the future. when we are present , truly present, we feel only love because we are in the moment being,doing and feeling, when we get stuck in our mind that is when we are fearful and that is where fear arises from.
we literally make it up, so stop thinkg and start doing
Let go of the past. move forward and make this upcoming year the year you accomplished some of the things on your list that you have been thinking avbout but never started.
Design your year and wrap it up in a theme, last year my theme was surrender and even during a pandemic the theme allowed me to have one of the most productive and happiest yearss of my life.. Everytime i was frustrated or angry with my progress I asked myself if i was surrendering, that anserr eEVERY single time was tno, iwas not surrendering and on the oppposite end when i did surreder things that i never imained began happening, my theme for 2022 is expansion (or evoloving)
K is for Kind
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle” -Plato-
There is a piece of word-art in my home that says “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”
Do you go out of your way to be kind? Do you say or do nice things for others (and yourself) , for reasons other than to make them (you) feel good?
Are you a kind person?
If things are not going the way you want in life, and you find yourself often sad or angry, then you have nothing to lose by projecting kindness.
In a media and global landscape that seems to be trying to force almost the entire world to live in fear of disease, natural disasters, and scarcity, being kindness will always win.
On a planet where we so visibly see global inequality for simple things like water, education and human rights, it is easy to be selfish and thinks there is not enough. The one thing you can always do no matter how much or how little you have is be kind.
It is also a quick and easy way to shift your inner world.
If we choose to be kind to others that is what we will receive in return. It’s one of the laws of the universe (projection = perception). For whatever you send out will come back to you.
If your projecting kindness then it will return as kindness.
You will look at fellow brothers and sisters and share an energy that transcends the spiritual into human comprehension. All just because you were being kind.
‘Do unto others’. It helps others when your kind but it also helps you. Start today and pay it forward. Say or do something kind to someone else or yourself and you will begin to transform your life
J is for Journey
“It may be that when we no longer know which way to go that we have come to our real journey.” -Wendell Berry-
It is not until we get further down the path and become more self-aware that we can clearly see that the trials and tribulations were put in front of us to make us stronger.
For those who are most fortunate, they can take the worst thing that has ever happened and make it the best.
Once the original victim confronts their trauma, they can help others in a cyclical altruistic fashion that harmonizes healing.
Things happen to us that we can perceive in the moment as tragic. It can feel as if things will never get better but if we believe they will , they will.
It is our perception of the world around us that determines how we react to the circumstances that unfold in our lives.
How would we know there is light unless we have first experienced the dark?
Our journey almost always becomes clearer just after we bend but don’t break.
The place where we push through when it would have been easier to give up.
A place where we see the lesson that is being taught in our journey.
The mistakes and the suffering of the past all have a lesson to teach us on our unique journey through life. Look closely and you will find that in all those dark times, the light came soon after.
If you can not see the light right now that means it is coming, so keep your eyes and heart open and let love and light shine through you, there is someone who needs you to help them through your story.
“Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle against it, we are in harmony with reality.” -Pema Chodron-
The reason we love to watch a fire crackle or a river flow is that it is forever changing. A sunset or starry night provides the same illusion.
The only constant in this world is impermanence. All we have to do is look at the season that changes every 90 days with precision to see that nothing lasts forever.
It doesn’t matter who you are, we are all changing until our time on this earth is complete and we head on to bigger and brighter pastures.
Even death is not death but a change of form. Albert Einstein, the greatest physicist that ever lived said “energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another”
If humans are just matter filled with energy (and we are beyond any doubt) then when we cease to breathe we are not dead, we have just changed form and changed the way our energy is being transmitted.
As of today we only have 3 dimensions in our experience. Up/down – forward/backward and side to side. String theory says there are possibly 10 dimensions, M-theory has 11 and bosonic string theory posits 26 dimensions, yet we can only see 3.
If there are 10,11 or 26 dimensions, then we have barely scratched the surface and “I” could be for illusion because what we see is not a full representation of reality.
It would be akin to looking at the ocean while standing on a beach and thinking you are seeing the entire ocean.
When the day turns to night, then night turns to day, this is also a reminder of impermanence, for in a single sunrise we see how quickly the sky is changing. Every second that goes by the sky reorganizes itself in different hues of orange and pink until suddenly minutes have gone by and the sun is no longer on the horizon but has risen steadily above until it crosses the sky eventually and starts eventually starts to set in the west.
That is another impermanent illusion if you consider that the sun is steady in the middle of the universe and we here on Earth are the ones spinning around it every 24 hours.
H is for Healing
“As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else” -Maya Angelou-
Is love the stepping stone to healing? Or, is healing is the stepping stone to love?
When we love, we begin to heal and when we heal we can begin to love, ourselves, and others more fully.
Imagine you were in the depths of despair and you had a chance to speak with God. What would you say?
Despair and depression are the best friends of pain and for those who suffer chronically life can seem to be hopeless at times.
Every day waking up knowing exactly how the day will unfold before it even started.
Knowing that all day will be a struggle. A struggle that no one can understand and because of that, the person in pain isolates themselves from the world. Not because they don’t want to be around others but because they can not concentrate on anything other than the pain.
Feeling as if you are just waiting around to die. This belief is reinforced by shoving handfuls of pills into your mouth like Halloween candy. Doing this 3 or 4 times throughout the day, just to remind your brain of your staus ( in case you forget).
That was the life I lived during a dark night of the soul that lasted for a decade until I did have a conversation with God.
I pleaded with her saying ‘if you will heal me, I will spend the rest of my life helping to heal others. Now, I can still feel the pain but I am no longer suffering.
I stopped taking pills (33 a day) and started to love myself and others. It is when we choose to love and serve others that genuine healing takes place.
G is for God
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” Genesis 1:1
The birds and bees, the leaves and trees, the rolling rivers and salty seas.
Antelope through to Zebra, from A-Z , its a self-nod to things that remind me of God.
Embrace the moments so there will be no regrets. Capture the beauty of the stars, sunrises and sunsets.
Not only did God make such sights for us to experience elation and elevation . The visual display is God displaying divine presence through creation.
Is that too far of a reach for you? Is it a concept that is too hard to grasp?
Maybe it is easier to pretend that God is some guy sitting above the clouds like ancient pictures of Zeus?
Its no accident that the first five words of the bible are “In the beginning God created.”
What if everything we see is God? The good and the bad. Something similar is written in revelations 22:13, “The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The first and the last (and everything in between).”
Different points of attention combine that to create the quantum field, the universe we live in. The thing we call Source, Chi or Lifeforce. All of these things are God, and God is everywhere.
She is inside every one of us. That means that right now, inside of you is the divine nature of God, and what is God? Creation manifested!
The best way to experience the divine is to create. When we are creating we fully present and the reason is that we are creators made in the image of God. Because of this extraordinary gift, God will manifest through us to create heaven on Earth.
When I write these words or give a powerful speech, it is God coming through me to create. You see, It is not a who but a feeling. A feeling I know to be true, a feeling called God.
F is for Freedom
“Freedom, in any case, is only possible by struggling for it” – Albert Einstein-
Visualize a horizontal line with zero in the middle and as you move to the left it says -1, -2 and so on. As you move to the right it says +1 and +2 etc.
If we want freedom then we have to make the decisions and choices that move us to the right side of that scale. The formula for freedom is simply to aim for more pluses than minuses.
Every time we make bad choices for our body, mind and spirit, we move to the minus side of neutral.
The thing is that we are constantly making choices each day and we can end up with plus 100 or minus 100 every day.
What we will begin to notice over time is that the more plus’ we have, the more plus’ we will want.
When we start accumulating little wins they stack on top of each other and turn into big gains.
By doing this we also become aware of when the choices we are making are minuses. That awareness leads us to make better choices and add more ‘plus’ to our existence.
There will always be a couple of negatives in your life and that is okay. That will happen naturally but if we notice them, we can correct them in the future.
Eventually, we get to a point where we begin to tip the scales to the plus side. If we can do this 80 % of the time or more then we will have mastered Pareto’s principle and live a happy healthy life.
When we measure and review our progress we begin to notice things that we did not notice before.
We start to see ourselves stepping into the person we want to become and we know a new truth empirically. That success is found in the journey we take, not in the destination we reach.
So, Are you struggling to succeed? Maybe today is the day to start adding some more pluses to your personal success scale.
E is for Ego
“In the war of Ego, the loser always wins” -Buddha-
Ego is the mind interrupting the present moment with chatter and trickery of thought patterns.
In the western world, Ego is usually viewed as a person who seems vain or braggadocios and always ‘showing off’ as in that guy has a big ego. This description of Ego is hungry for power, money, fame, and lust to name a few. These are all lower vibrational frequencies.
This is not the full story though. Simply put, Ego arises when we live in fear. The braggadocios person is bragging because they fear that no one will love them unless they have all sorts of accomplishments to show like money, cars or whatever they are bragging about.
Ego can also manifest in the opposite way. When we hear people say “no one loves me” or “poor me” that is also the ego coming out to play.
Anytime the victim mentality is hard at work you can be sure the ego is involved
In truth, often the ego does feel sorry for itself (or it gets you to feel sorry for it). The ego is what remains when we are not living in love and light.
Wayne Dyer uses EGO as an Acronym for Edge God Out
Ego is the voice in your head telling you that you need to do something to feel a certain way. It tells us that we need something outside of ourselves to make us feel good or to achieve happiness or success.
I am here to tell you that simply by waking up today you did enough.
The ego is and always will be fighting our soul for attention. It’s as if the ego is the little devil on your shoulder and the soul is that angel on the opposite shoulder and they are both trying to get you to go with them.
Ego will tell us anything in order to get us to do what it wants.
When we decide to let God in, instead of Edge God Out then we quiet the ego and return to the soul of Love and Light which is our natural state.
D is for Design
“Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has! Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one!” -Doc Brown-
To live an intentional life, you must first design it.
We all get to create our future. Whatever has happened in the past, whatever tragedy or despair that has been put in your path is a part of your unique journey.
It is something that you can transmute for the good of yourself and others.
The secret is to turn your pain into your power. Make it your super-power.
Ask yourself “how can the worst thing that ever happened to me become the best thing that ever happened to me. “
From this moment forth, make a commitment to yourself to start each new day with an intentional effort to grow into the person you want to be. Write down the things you want from life and go after them. It doesn’t even matter if you get them, what matters is that you try.
Make a plan and decide if the plan is achievable.
If it is, then just follow the plan no matter what. Your mind will try and trick you by talking you out of doing the things you wrote down, the things you know will lead you in the direction of your goals. But you don’t have to listen, you can tell your mind to shut up.
It will say things like “start tomorrow”, “you can do it later” or “just stay under the covers, it’s warm in here.”
This is the minds way of keeping you safe (and small) because it knows the brain wants to conserve energy and do as little as possible.
However, if you have a plan that you stick to than it doesn’t matter what your mind says. You just follow the plan and at the end of the month, quarter, or year you will quickly look back at the progress you made.
Intentional progress acts as evidence of a life designed on purpose.
Check out alphabet soup for the soul vol.1 “D’ is for Dharma
C is for Challenge
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” -Joshua J. Marine-
In order to evolve, we have to challenge ourselves. In order to grow, we have to push a little further then last time.
To see expansion in our lives we have to do 1 more push-up, 1 more rep, 1 more mile, 1 more minute, 1 more page, 1 more sentence, 1 more brushstroke. Whatever it is, one more will get us where we want to go.
As humans, we are made to adapt. Look no further than nature and the seasons to see how we can adapt from brutally hot temperatures to the frigid cold.
Humans have been optimized to do this since the beginning of time. Just like a muscle that we rip and tear in order for it to heal and grow bigger, we can do the same to grow in any area of our life.
Sticking with the example of 1 more push-up we can quickly see progress in this challenge.
If we add one more push-up every day (while taking Sundays off) within 1 year we will be doing over three-hundred push-ups a day.
Now if we tried to go from zero yesterday to three-hundred today we probably wouldn’t do it again tomorrow. If however, we stack one day upon the next the way a bricklayer stacks bricks in order to build a house, we can build muscles and adapt to the challenge.
The human body will only go where we take it and it can go much further than we think.
It can adapt to anything we throw at it. There is more inside all of us than we are putting out. Even when we are at the limits of our physical expansion, we can always push it to one more.
So what is you challenge? Start right now and whatever it is do one everyday!
Check out alphabet soup for the soul vol.1 “C” is for Creation
B is for Belief
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
It all starts with Belief. If the Wright brothers did not belief in themselves and had listened to the people who said it was impossible to fly through the air then on Dec 17th, 1903 near Kitty hawk North Carolina, the “Wright Flyer” would not have flown 120 ft over a 12 second period giving birth to air travel and people would not be able to have breakfast in Ny and dinner in L.A.
Edith Edger was in Nazi concentration camps where she was starved and beaten. She witnessed a young boy being used as target pratice and many other horrors in a place where the hope of survival was minimal at best, yet that little girl believed that she would see life into her 90’s and today she is a 94 year old psychologist.
Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes. Everyone thought it was impossible, saying that his heart would explode but Roger Bannister believed it could be done and he did. Since that day on May 6th, 1954 at Oxford University there have been over 1,500 people to achieve that ‘impossible’ task. All because they believed they could.
Thomas Edison is said to have failed 10,000 times before perfecting the incandescent light bulb. Most would have stopped after 50 or 100 but Edison had something many don’t, belief.
Henry Ford built the Ford model T, and when he revolutionized the industry by putting 8 cylinders into one engine block, they said it was ‘impossible’. Not to Henry Ford who gave his engineers and architects lots of latitude and time to make the impossible a reality. After 6 months they came back and said it could not be done. Ford said, okay, but do it anyway. He told them to keep working on it until they succeeded and they did.
Everything you see that has been built had to first start as a thought in someone’s mind. That thought attached with belief and combined with desire is the ‘secret’ formula for success.
Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos all believed that one day they could send a civilian aircraft into space, guess what everyone told them. So, in the summer of 2021 all three men turned the impossible into a tangible reality for the entire world to witness and benefit from.
For all these amazing people who were spread out over the past century or more, the one thing they have in common is that they all started with belief.
Check out alphabet soup for the soul vol.1 “B” is for Benevolence
A is for Altruism
“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – Martin Luther King Jr.-
Acts of kindness. Helping others without expecting anything in return. I believe this is inside the hearts of all humans and only fear, scarcity or lack can stop this innate desire.
‘Many hands make light work’ and ‘it takes a village’ are sayings that have been passed down since ancient times and still ring true today.
The reason they resonate is because theses maxims are not unique to a moment in history or a certain culture but apply to the entire species of humans. The same holds true for Altruism.
Our desire to help others is ingrained inside of every person on Earth, it is wired into our DNA. There is a reason it feels good to be kind to others.
Holding a door open for someone else or helping an old lady to cross the road. A friendly smile or a warm embrace. All of these actions show love and not fear.
Because all of these things are done from a state of love they also make us feel great inside. By doing kind acts for others, we are showing love to ourselves.
The best part is that doing things to uplift those around us can almost always be done for free. You do not need money to be altruistic.
These thoughtful and caring acts can be done for anyone by anyone, no matter our rank or status in your world.
Altruism is good for all people but especially for anyone suffering from pain. When we take the attention off ourselves and put it onto others then we are not stuck in our own headspace.
Since we know that what we focus on expands, Altruism allows us to expand our focus toward others. In turn, we stop the mental suffering that is taking place insdie of us.
When humans are suffering, it is because the mind has taken over and all attention, thought patterns and focus is narrowed inwards on the self. Altruism is self-less, meaning less about the self and more about others. In helping others we truly do help ourselves.
Today I challenge you to do a random act of kindness for another. What will naturally follow is that you will be more conncected and not seperated. Gratitude will flow and healing will begin take place inside you.
Check out alphabet soup for the soul vol.1 “A” is for Abundance
Woodpeckers , even without being seen they are one of the most identifiable birds from the sounds they make.
The woodpecker loves the forested areas for hollowing out trees.
The Woodpecker is another beautiful, rare and unique bird.
These birds do not get headaches. Nature has designed the biology of a woodpecker so that the back of their tongue wraps around their brain, thus preventing concussions.
Seen throughout the year at Walden pond the woodpecker loves to peck-wood.
This bird comes in many different colors and patterns. Some have red heads and a red stripe that goes down the back of their necks while other just have red on the head.
Some have a cascading black and white wavy pattern while others have black spots over a white coat.
They all have a long hard beak which allows for constant penetration of dead wood.
There are many types that can be seen and heard daily around Walden.
This brings an end to the Birds from Walden series. Next week we will begin a new series. Alphabet soup for the soul vol.2
The double-crested cormorant is a unique bird. It is so rare that I had never seen one before a couple of days ago.
The bird landed on the pond and although it swam around like a Duck, I knew it wasn’t.
I saw a long beak that reminded me of a Blue heron, only smaller. The difference is that herons have long legs and tend to walk around the edge of the water in search of food.
This bird however would ‘duck’ under the water and come up with some kind of food to eat. It may have been a frog, fish or plant, I could not tell.
What I did observe was the bird getting tangled in the weeds and almost drowning.
It was sailing around for quite some time very elegantly and in complete control until it got tied up.
Immediately it started squirming and panicking.
It seemed as if it was going to drown and I quickly took off my shoes and socks to go save it.
By the time I was ready to jump in, the bird was gone. With a heavy heart, I thought the bird drown infront of my very eyes.
Seconds later the bird reappeared fifty feet away from where I last spotted it.
The bird kept going under the water and coming back up, swimming back and forth trying to shed itself of the weeds that had wrapped around its wings.
Although the bird stopped squirming and looked as if it regained control, I could see the grassy weed trailing behind it like an untied shoelace foloowing along awkwardly.
I knew the bird could not fly like this and it seemed uninterested in making it to a peice of land to do the edge walk that is characteristic of the heron.
What to do? How to help?
I thought If I got in the kayak and paddled towards it, a couple of things may happen. One, it would panic and I could grab and untangle it, two, it would forget that it was trapped and fly away furiously.
It was the former and not the latter that ended up happening.
As I paddled toward the bird in a game of cat and mouse that last for almost an hour, the bird would duck under the water and reappear somewhere else.
One of the times the bird went under it came up without the weed.
With my part in the rescue complete, I took the kayak out of the water and retreated to the edge of the woods to watch this beautiful bird wade in the water.
The bird tried to fly away but would only get 20 feet before again landing on the water.
I was unsure if the bird was still impaired or perhaps it was a baby (a huge baby) just learning to fly and did not yet know how to travel at height or distance.
The bird decided to get out of the water and sunbathe on the dock. The way the birds basked in the sun was remarkable and angelic.
In an alluring display of beauty rarely seen it would open its wings to dry off and in doing so puff out its chest suggesting strength and grace simultaneously.
It reminded me of the American eagle on the U.S dollar bill.
Just as quickly as it appeared it was gone. Moving on to the next pond or pasture. It didn’t make a noise like the Canada geese when it flew but like the ones we loved the most that have moved on, its beauty remains long after its departure.
Bluejays can be seen in the Northeast of the U.S. and Canada for the duration of winter even though they are also in places like Florida.
They are bright blue beautiful birds and are strikingly different from each other. There are skinny ones, fat ones, tall ones, short ones, young and old ones.
They are a tight-knit group and they often flock together often descending upon birdhouses en-masse.
Although they look pretty and cute these birds squawk loud like crows and they seem to be aggressive towards other bird species.
At times, these birds are even aggressive to other Bluejays.
Bluejays are too big for most feeders and when they try to sit on the perches of the smaller feeders, their wings start flapping as they try to get the food out. Realising their deilema they will defer to the open concept birdhouse instead.
I have been fortunate enough to see a bluejay pair appear and within a minute of their arrival another dozen swoop in for a snack. Bluejays numbering Fourteen frolick and forage for food.
The colours exposed by these birds look extraordinary, especially against the backdrop of a white winter snowy morning.
Twenty years after the world witnessed the tragic events of Septemebr 11th we honour the lives lost with this article about the American Eagle.
The American Eagle is one of the most amazing and powerful animals on Earth. It’s hunting skills along with ferocity make this predator number one among birds.
Gliding far above any and all food that it wants to catch, It can drop down undetected. In flight entertainment consists of swooping in at thirty to fifty miles and hour (on a side note a peregrine falcon can travel at speeds of 200 mph)
It can spot its prey from over a mile away. With an average wingspan of 5-8 ft, Eagles can sail effortlessly above anything and everything.
The Bald Eagle is a stealthy enough to swoop down undetected to pluck fish directly out of the water.
With talons that cut through and grip it’s prey, this bird represents the true power and yet it is so elegant and smooth in flight.
A symbol so powerful that it is seen on the American quarter, silver dollar and half dollar.
It is also found on every single bill (except Thomas Jefferson on the $2).
It can be found by looking on the opposite side of George Washington on the one dollar bill and is almost touching the faces of Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and George Washington, respectivley as we move up to the one-hundred dollar bill.
Steeped in the history of America, it has been woven into the social fabric and was placed on a copper penny as early as 1776. It is imprinted on the all americans and immigrants alike. seen in every airport and most government seal’s.
It is the main fical point of the Seal for the US president, a most recognizable symbol for that branches out around the entire world to symbolise strength, ferocity and elegance. just a couple of core values delivered to the world by America.
Lest we forget – 9/11 and all its heroes!
Ducks are another phenomenal species of bird.
They are innately great parents and stay with their young all day and night. They will travel up and down rivers, streams and lakes with their entire ‘school’ of children.
They can often be seen in the early morning hours traveling single file, on land and or water, in lines and rows that stretch longer as the numbers grow.
I have noticed that in the lakes and streams around Walden that it is not one adult duck with a baby or two, but instead there seems to be a large family containing five or six adults and up to 30 chicks at a time.
Projecting caution at all times to protect their young these Male and Female Ducks share the workload.
I have been fortunate enough to witness the chicks following orders to jump in the water one by one while the adult will lead from the front. Another adult will stand at the entrance to the water counting to make sure all the ducks are there.
This reminds me of being a young lad and going for walks with the class at school, where the teacher would be continuously doing a headcount.
There is a saying “like water off a ducks back”. This means that if you stay well oiled with love and light, than anything bad that life throws at you, you can let hit you and then roll right off of you without the impact of crushing you or defining you.
Ducks are known to be great swimmers. When you see Ducks they look serene and appear to be floating calmly on the water. What you can’t see is the Duck’s feet paddling hard under the water.
This is a great metaphor for action. Take action and work hard toward your goals but do not talk about the difficult parts of the journey. Just smile and flow along with the water of life.
The Grackle has an iridescent blue silk head on a smooth black body. Although this bird is freaky looking it is also very beautiful
Grackles appear to reverse their color schemes from the time babies with the blue on the body and the black (or brown) around the head.
Although they look a mean and scary, they are very considerate to the other birds around the feeder and can often be seen patiently waiting for their turn.
Unlike some species that will scare off the little birds, the grackle has surprising suprise big-brother-like qualities.
Not shy, the grackle will let us know when we have breached its safety and comfort zone. This observation was made apparent when from inside a kayak, I entered his space and got a little to close to the nest.
The bird, protective as any parent would be , tried thwarting my attention as it flew away from the nest in an effort to get me to follow .
Armed with the realisation that this was happening , the next move is to gently paddle away from the nest in question.
Studying the grackle is a good lesson in “dont judge a book by its cover”.
Personally and metaphorically speaking , these birds have transformed from the ugly caterpillar into the beautiful butterfly in the attachment of my mind.
This beautiful bird can be found at the edge of the pond, often sneaking through the long grass in search of frogs.
The heron stands tall and straight in its posture helped by its long legs. Slow to move unless it has to.
Colours of a purple-ish grey-blue separate the truly majestic-looking creature from other similar typed birds such as osprey and flamingos.
This huge bird has a massive wingspan and simultaneously looks elegant and cumbersome at the same time while trying to take off.
It furiously flaps its wide wings barely clearing the treeline as it flys away in an upwards path that does not allow much leeway for mistakes.
At times it will fly through the tree branches because it can not clear the treetops, yet it still manages to not crash into the leaves.
Always making seemingly hard work look easy, the heron eventually reaches full stride at which point it looks effortless.
Over time one particular Heron has learned to exit the pond on the opposite side, thus giving it more ‘runway’ to chart a better flight pattern similar to the Canada geese.
The heron bird is a rare treat and if left undisturbed can be watched for hours at a time.
In the early morning hours, not far from Walden, the great blue heron can be seen flying just a couple of feet above the water. Sailing across the lake on its way to the next adventure.
It will play in one pond and then another as it travels around the neighbourhood, always coming back for a swim at Walden pond.
Recently I spotted a heron at the edge of a pond and right besdie it was a deer. They were not in competition or hunting each other, instead they looked like a pair of little boys fishing as the sun started to rise behind them in the early hours of another humid summer morning!
Like the Robin, The Cardinal is another bird that is a power symbol.
This radiant red bird portrays perfect symmetry. Most commonly seen with a stylish spikey haircut on the top of its head, a head that is a brighter red than the rest of the body.
Sporting an orange beak, the rest of its face is covered by a black mask to protect it from the sun, identical to most Goldfinches.
The Cardinal’s head is a more solid red than the rest of the body which has a touch of grey, looking like a painter’s purposeful brushstroke blended it deep into the red.
Somehow through the striking redness , these birds seem to disappear in the green canopy of the bushes.
I often spot a pair in the forest frolicking for fun. The pair are similar and different at the same time. One is the normal red Cardinal that was described already. The other is grey or the Northern Cardinal with a tinge of red, identifiable as a Cardinal because of the signature black mask and orange beak and the spikey hair-do.
There is also an indiviudal short stout red Cardinal around Walden pond and this particular bird does not have spikey hair. The day I spotted this one there was a significant rainfall so it is possible that it was wet.
The Cardinal makes a very unique noise consisting of four fast sharp tweets followed by three longer slower ones.
The full red Cardinal like the Oriole and the Blue jay bring a colour that is not native to the green tree lines and bushes and provides a rush of colour to Walden’s wildlife.
The goldfinch is one of the brightest most colourful birds that frequent the gardens and bird feeders around Walden. ‘Finch’s’ are seen throughout the summer in the northeast.
These miniature birds are yellow with black markings (almost like a miniature yellow oriole). Sometimes they are green and look as if they are wet even though they are not.
They travel in packs and will most often be seen flocking a feeder together in numbers of four or five at a time.
If there is safety in numbers there is also beauty in numbers as a group of goldfinch’s together will radiate remarkable sharpness and vivid deep detail. These little birds tend to stick together because in their world there truly is safety in numbers.
If you are really fortunate you may witness blue finch’s. The same small bird but blue. the blue finch is another wonderous sight to behold.
As far as flying they are not the best. They go forth in 10-20 foot spurts and then drop a bit before pushing on again in what looks like an elevated struggle to travel further. The distance is covered in sections instead of a smooth sail like the red-winged blackbird or the soft glide of a grackle.
Personally and selfishly these are one of the most delightful birds to watch. Their bright yellow colour is only made sharper by the black cardinal-like mask over their face which aides in protecting their eyes from the sun that shines as bright as the Goldfinch itself.
As I sat staring at the water in deep thought I heard a noise from far away getting closer. It was the unmistakable honking of a pair of Canada geese flying directly towards the pond in anticipation of a late afternoon swim.
Canada Geese are graceful for their size and when they arrive, they come in like flying ninjas. Originally appearing as if they will land on the ground feet first, but alas they opt for the water.
They immediately look like they were swimming in the pond for hours already.
They can be seen careening their necks back and forth in order to move in the water. After some time the geese eventually step out of the water to dry off in the sun as they walk over to the lily pads searching for frogs.
Awestruck by this treasure provided by nature, I noticed the bird staring back at me and not moving for 30 minutes and then it went in the water again.
After the staring contest the geese swam around for a bit longer and then it was time.
More squawking meant they were calling radio control in the form of the red-winged blackbird to announce take off.
After being cleared by the control tower to the west , the 2 geese squawked louder and faster. They positioned themselves at the far eastern edge of the pond.
They started flapping their wings faster and got even louder before eventually becoming airborne and barely clearing the tree line as they flew towards the setting sun. And like that they were gone until the next time.
Geese are the closest thing to a jet plane that we find in the Animal kingdom. The 747 jumbo jet was most surely modelled after someone watched in amazement, this marvel of engineering.
Oriole’s are a type of blackbird. Waiting until spring is in full bloom to make their entrance they are exquisite in their sharp orange color which similarly to the red cardinal, stands out beautifully, highlighting any green backdrop of trees, bushes and shrubs.
The Oriole is a unique bird with beautiful popping colors so bright that there is a radiant glow in the landscape when they inject their presence.
Found nesting in the canopy of a tree, these birds prefer the higher elevation for protecting their young. Sometimes they build their nest low, only a couple of feet off the ground in shrubs, long grass or bulrushes.
Orioles are a beautiful mix of orange and black. The most common in the northeast is the Baltimore oriole, however, there are other types including –the orchard oriole and the spot breasted oriole.
Oriole’s can bend their tale inward and hang of the side of the feeder. This is a brilliant display of the way birds can manipulate their bodies to experience dimensions that humans could only dream of .
An interesting observation made after spending significant time watching the hummingbird feeder is that Oriole’s seem to be the only other bird around Walden pond that fly in for the sweet nectary taste of sugar water.
Sitting above the plastic flower pedals of the red feeder, Oriole’s can be seen careening their neck down and around into the fake yellow pollen pedals to take a good long drink.
Where one is found there are usually more around. In the early morning they can be heard with one of their signature song patterns; a high,low,high, whistle that is unmistakable.
Some birds run into glass windows or doors thinking that it is an opening, the oriole seems to do this more than most birds except for the red-winged black bird.
The hummingbird is a special sight to behold. This miniature, magical, majestic bird comes in many colours and sizes. It can be seen flapping its wings so fast that it appears to be floating on the spot.
This little creature is a marvel of physics and biology.
It is the only bird in the garden that can fly backwards which only add’s in making it a true joy and delight to watch. A pretty remarkable trait and in a sense, an animal super power
There is a tiny green hummingbird that frequents the feeder around Walden pond. It is so small that it can sit on the edge of the feeder and drink the sugary “nectar” without the humming sound of energy buzzing in the background.
Most of the hummingbirds around Walden have beaks the same length as their body,
Attracted by a simple mix of 1 part sugar and 4 parts water, ‘real’ plants or flowers are not actually needed to attract this beautiful bird.
Although this type of bird comes in many sizes and colors it is always unmistakable with its long beak used for getting right inside the feeder to inhale a long drink. Even with eyes closed they make an unmistakable noise.
The hummingbird feeder is pleasant to watch in the late spring and early summer. It offers a superb spectacle for children and adults alike, bridging biology and nature in lessons that simply can not be taught in a school setting.
The design of such feeders, along with the hummingbirds beak, make it so that other birds can not get the nectar because their mouths are not long enough to take a drink of the sugar water.
There is however one other bird that fondly frequents the feeder, The Outstanding Orange Oriole.
The red-breasted American Robin represents the official start of spring and of new beginnings.
The Robin is a powerful symbol of parenting and hard work in the bird kingdom. Its values are as firm as its boundaries. Visibly willing to sacrifice itself for its young by distracting anything bigger that comes near its babies, it shares this innate, altruistic trait with humans.
The Robin shows how to care for its young by regurgitating its food and putting it directly into the throats of the babies in the nest. The babies are too helpless to feed themselves and rely on the adults of the tribe for food and shelter, another shared human trait.
Upon breaking out of the egg, the baby is extremely weak and tired. They can often be heard chirping for food. Their bodies are so fragile that their eyes are barely open. Even though they are unable to fully open their eyes, they innately know that they need to stick their neck straight up and open their mouths to receive a meal from their parents.
The mommy and daddy birds spend their days hunting for worms and foraging the forest to support their young.
Shelter comes from relentless work and Robins will spend their days finding hay or dead grass to weave and wrap tightly into a perfect nest. The nest is hidden as best as possible. Nests can be found in trees, on top of wood fences, anywhere that they will be semi-protected by the elements.
The Robin will only stay in the nest long enough to lay the eggs and keep them warm for a while. The signature eggs are so unmistakable that Crayola has named a crayon after them, Robin’s egg blue.
Once the babies are hatched the adult bird will stay away from the nest, not too far away, but not so close that predators can easily spot the babies inside.
After a couple of days, the robins are ready to leave the nest. They do not travel far though; they first need to practice flying. In the days following their initial departure from the nest, the babies can be seen flying short distances at heights that are close to the ground.
While the adolescent birds are learning to fly, the parents can be seen close by. Happy with their role in the reproduction process. I have been fortunate enough to witness these beautiful button-eyed birds begin to share the joy of nature with the youngest and newest tribe members.
These birds can often be seen looking like stealth ninjas fluttering towards each other. As one bird moves in for the attack, the other jumps upwards a couple of feet off the ground maneuvering remarkably before torpedoing downward on 45-degree angles. From my observation it is unclear whether this is a pattern of mating, playing or fighting. My guess is that it is a game.
The song the Robin sings to the other birds and other robins, in particular, is original in its own right.
This bird signifies renewal and is one of the first of the spring.
By May the Robin can be seen aerating lawns around North America while digging for worms.
If you see a nest, you may get close up and view the beautiful blue eggs but please do not touch them or momma will be mad.
“The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not come within the scope of my science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation.” -Henry David Thoreau-
When I moved to Walden pond there were many unknown’s to discover, both inside and out.
One of these unknown discoveries is the many different birds that live so intentionally and peaceful in a harmony, rarely seen in man.
I have arranged some of the most intriguing birds into a series of articles that will appear weekly for your enjoyment.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” -Henry David Thoreau-
Red winged blackbird
The red-winged Blackbird represents re-birth and renewal. After a long winter in the Northeast, this beautiful bird is one of the first that we see softly, sweetly, singing songs of spring.
One of the songs is a whistle. A mating call that is accompanied by symmetrical body movement. The dance consists of stretching out large and circular like the sun.
As the deep cooing call comes, the red-winged blackbird spreads his wings in full display, appearing twice as large and more appealing to potential mates.
At first glance, it looks like almost any other blackbird just with a bright red stripe sitting above a yellow stripe, on the shoulder of the wings.
Once the mating song has been sung, the bird opens its feathers to show its prowess, displaying the fullness of its wingspan and deep colours.
This beautiful blackbird spends most of his day flying back and forth from tree to tree, opting to sit atop the crowd wherever it lands.
This stunning and graceful creature directs the traffic of all the other birds around Walden pond with his unmistakable whistling voice.
At times acting as a radio control tower, the bird can be heard clearing the runway so that Canada geese can take off like jumbo jets after their swim.
It also acts as a defender of all nests and will help the other birds in the forest by distracting anyone who gets to close to said nests.
This bird is a leader among birds. One who takes pride in the tribe protector role and it shows through the harmony that is seen in abundance around Walden pond.
There is one particular red-winged blackbird that I have come to adore for its whimsy and innovative nature. On the comical side, the bird keeps flying into the window at the front of the house.
It will start on the ledge and try to fly upwards, attacking the two fake bird decals that are affixed to the window.
The fake birds are there to prevent real birds from crashing into the window and this seems to be a counterintuitive approach when it comes to the red-winged blackbird.
This beautiful bird will repeatedly smash into and then fall back down the face of the window in a feeble and funny effort.
The innovation aspect the bird shows is in morse code. How many humans know morse code? Exactly!
The bird can be seen perched on the metal antenna attached to the outside of the home. Intentionally, the bird starts pecking his message into the metal frame and over the ether, communicating with other birds.
At first, it seemed unfathomable but after continued observation it was unmistakable. A message would get sent and from another antenna 500 ft away, a return message would arrive seconds later.
Back and forth these messages would continue. I do not know morse code so it is unclear what the birds were communicating but they were clearly speaking back and forth through the rattling of metal.
The first time I thought it must be an echo however, the pecking patterns perceived were different from each other in both length and speed.
In the early evening with the sun at its back, the bird will sail smoothly towards the feeder and the effect is the colourful yellow and red wings appear as a solid orange.
At other times the bird can be seen exiting a tree and diving down to the cattails at the edge of the pond, bracing onto a long stock as it bends but does not break. The bird will almost touch the water before bending back the opposite way and then it will sit still soaking up the sun.
The red-winged blackbird is the initial start to spring around Walden and next comes the Robin, the official bird of Spring everywhere.
Q is for Question
“Question everything. Learn something. Answer nothing.”
Question everything. Question your thoughts. Question your beliefs. Question the Universe and then do it again. This is how you will find out who you are.
Question your values, your purpose and your reason for doing the things you do. Ask other people questions and then question the feedback you receive from them.
Question why you notice the same person on your way to work every day and not the other 10,000 people you pass on the street or on the train or in your car. Question why certain types of information cross your path and the timing of their arrival. Question everything relentlessly until you find the answers that are true to you and then keep on questioning.
The results of your life are a direct response to the questions you have asked. If you are unhappy with your current life situation it is because you are not asking the right questions or maybe you are not asking any questions .
Take all the information, the constructs, the beliefs, the values and the experiences which you have accumulated up to this exact moment in your life and question if they serve you or not. If they do not serve you then softly say goodbye and let them go.
Inspiration and creativity is deep inside you already and so are the answers you seek. It is no accident that you arrived on the planet at this precise moment in time. Start asking Why? Who? What? Where? When? How? Once you start asking those simple questions the answers have no choice but to emerge.
As this blog has noted in the past when we begin to ask open-ended questions our brain has no choice but to bring forth the answer through the nouns you experience in our life.
If you are not participating in the creation process of the story that is your life then you will end up with a life lived unintentional and not by design. By default you may miss out on the future you want because you will simply walk right past it without ever even noticing. You will miss the oppurtunities that are presenting themselves daily and you will have to settle for the leftovers that remain after all the creators have plated their desires from the buffet of life.
Once we ask the questions the Universe will align to answer those questions. However, if you are not looking for the answers then you will not see them.
TRY THIS: Ask a question for which you’ve been longing for guidance. Now over the next few days pay attention and you will see some answers. Keep asking the same question until you receive answers. It doesnt take long.
If your unsure where to start here are some questions to ask ourselves;
Why are we here? What would it feel like to …? How can I…? What would it look like five years from now if …? What will allow me to …? When will I…?
I is for Infinite Intelligence
“I know this world is ruled by infinite intelligence. Everything that surrounds us- everything that exists – proves that there are infinite laws behind it. There can be no denying this fact. It is mathematical in its precision.“
There is an infinite intelligence that allows our bodies to breathe while we sleep. It also allows our bodies to repair and regenerate while we sleep.
This same intelligence allows blood to travel through us covering 19,000 km or 12,000 miles a day.
It allows a human heart to beat 100,000 times daily. It allows the lungs to take around 20,000 breaths a day. The most amazing part is that we don’t even notice any of this is happening.
The complexity of the body although empirical is in a realm that is still unfathomable for most people. This is due to infinite intelligence.
Whether you choose to call it God, Universe or Source, they are all the same thing, infinite intelligence.
It defies thought and understanding to grasp the full significance of the intricate nature of the human body. It is also completely perfect and designed to be that way.
This infinite intelligence is not just in our bodies but is everywhere we look as well.
All the drops of water that make up an Ocean and that then force the waves to roll in and out depending on which way the earth is facing and the pull of the moon.
The stars and planets that are suspended in the sky and waiting for us to explore.
The mass migration of birds in the winter, heading south for warmer destinations closer to the equator. How is it that a bird can know how to get from Boston to Boca Raton?
This same intelligence also allows a bear to hibernate for months while losing half its body fat but no muscle. Dropping the Bear’s heart rate from 50 bpm down to 10 bpm, and dropping their body temperature from 38 degrees down to 33 degrees. This same intelligence allows a bear to go months without drinking, urinating or defecating.
A bamboo tree grows underground without sunlight for 4 years and is not visible above ground until the 5th year. At that point, it breaks through and then shoots up 60-80 ft in a couple of months. That could not happen without infinite intelligence.
The rain that turns to snow at a certain temperature and the revelation that every single snowflake is uniquely different than its counterpart.
The beautiful colors of fall foliage or the grass that exactly like fingernails will grow faster the more you cut it.
A field full of dandelions that all look the same until you get a closeup and realize that like a snowflake every single one is different.
All around us are the designs of infinite intelligence at work and most of us don’t even think about it for even a second during our entire lives.
F is for Focus
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. “
What we focus on expands. Many people have been attributed with saying “Energy flows where attention goes” and whether the energy is positive or negative this is true of everyone. No one is exempt from this universal law.
If you want to become a musician for example, then you must place your attention on that. In doing so your energy will flow there.
In order to achieve success, you have to practice by visualizing and then becoming the thing it is that you want. If you direct your attention towards this thing then the energy inside you flows directly to it.
This means you have to do the things a musician would do. You must write music, learn instruments, practice singing, learn about the mixing equipment and find places to practice live in front of people. Essentially you must focus the majority of your energy and attention on that thing.
If instead, you say I’ll start tomorrow, I’m too tired right now or I’ll start later, then your energy is now tied up in procrastination and since your attention is not on becoming a musician anymore, then you will not become that thing.
When I first started writing I had no experience. I didn’t even know the difference between a noun and a verb.
I did know, however, that in order to become a writer there is only one way. I had to immerse myself in the craft. I had to focus my energy and attention on writing by sitting down and forcing myself to write. So that’s what I did.
Every day and unsure what to write, I would set a timer and write down whatever came into my head until the timer went off.
After doing this month after month I slowly found my style and progressively got better.
The reason is that I focused all my attention on becoming a writer; as such my energy started flowing to where my attention was going. There is no other way to achieve the things you want.
The more you find your passions, purpose and principles the easier it becomes until one day you reflect quickly on your journey and realize that your time and energy has been steadily flowing where you put your attention.
Go into your memory bank right now and recall a time when you were stuck in a state of being mad or upset and couldn’t get unstuck. The reason is that negative energy was flowing to that thought or situation and that energy directed your attention to the loop that got you stuck in the first place.
The flip side of that coin is that we have all had moments when our energy was so bright and radiant that even an energy vampire crossing our path could not disrupt it. That is because our focus was on something greater.
By focusing all your time and energy on your dreams, that reality will expand until you become that thing.
Ask yourself where is your attention flowing? If you don’t like the answer then focus your energy and attention towards your dreams until they become a reality.