Joy

Vol. 8, Oct.-Dec. 2003


*Column Let the Joy Begin
*In Spirit's Toolbox The 12 Birds of Christmas
*A Cajun Joke The Joy of Skipping
*Insight From Spirit Prosperity and the River of Light
*An Inspirational Story The Holy Man
*Endquote Your ship was spotted off the coast


Let The Joy Begin

It's easy to be thankful, isn't it, when our tables are covered with delicious turkey and dressing, steaming vegetables and fresh fruit ambrosia? Many of us share our riches, aware that others are not as fortunate, and some help families feed themselves for generations through The Heifer Project and Save the Children. What a special time of year!

With my grandson now in kindergarten, I am remembering Thanksgiving as a child. There was nothing strange about dressing up as little pilgrims, in those shiny buckles and stiff black hats, and laying aside our muskets to sit at the table with half-naked Indians. It was comforting, this tableau of peaceful sharing, and we were happy, even joyful, in anticipating the coming holidays and the beginning of a new year.

What gives you joy?--that wonderful peak of happiness and bliss which erupts as a peal of laughter or as sparkling tears of thankfulness for what you have and for the riches waiting just ahead?

Watching my grandson at play the other day, I suddenly realized that the greatest pleasure of my childhood was more than its carefree innocence. It was the feeling of being uplifted, made light and whole, by joy.

I've always had a special love for children and the elderly, and I suspect it's because of their closeness to Spirit and their openness to experience: their ability to live in the present moment, anticipating new possibilities and the wonder of watching things change color and suddenly come to life. This is why, of course, joy so easily flows through them to work its magic.

Besides children, family and friends, I find my greatest joy in calm peacefulness and the spiritual work flowing out of it. Sometimes I am so joyful, so grateful for my beautiful life, that I could just burst into flower. Do you ever feel like this? If not, what attitudes or beliefs are in your way?

I've recently reclaimed a pastime that always transported me into joy: singing and playing guitar. Now that my fears of inadequacy and unworthiness are gone (thank you, conscious evolution!) I find pent-up songs pouring into my mind like a waterfall: gospel tunes, a healing song about 9/11, a tone poem with playful, soaring vocals like Joni Mitchell's. I never dreamed, in writing a book to show others how to hear the voice of their souls, that I would end up singing my song! But I might have known, because soul's work is to give voice to its joy and in this to heal us all. I know that I am experiencing such a pinnacle of joy because I want to sit at the Thanksgiving table and share life's harvest with everyone.

Joy is really a choice, isn't it? We can deny our wants and needs, for whatever silly reasons, and live a mediocre life of obscurity, or we can reach for the stars and revel in this adventure in consciousness, fearing nothing, expecting only fulfillment of our deepest and fondest dreams.

It is so easy to step into the dream of what you love. I hope that you will give yourself that gift in this holiday season. If you can't quite manage to care for yourself, then stoke the joy-filled flow of love by sharing your gifts as Crosby, Stills & Nash did at a recent concert in the refrain of a new song: "Why not feed the people and let the peace begin?"

Leaving that concert, a friend commented that these three musicians, in sharing with us their compassion, insight and brilliant harmonies, have influenced the vibration of our planet.

So can you. Just be where you are and notice the beauty of autumn and winter. Look deeply into a loved one's smiling eyes for the reflection of your heart's desire. Listen deeply and hear what you are meant to be. Everything will support you if you listen to your heart, watch for doors to open, then walk through them. Your joy lies here, there and everywhere.

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In Spirit's Toolbox:
The 12 Birds of Christmas

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is joyful for some people and stressful for others. If you begin to feel pressured by a need to give just the right gift or the perfect holiday meal, perhaps these commonsensical birds of Christmas will re-mind you to peaceful balance.

So often we forget that the real gift of the season is each and every one of us--which means you!

1. Fly like an eagle to the heights of inspiration and soar into the Spirit of the holidays. Winging along the currents of joy inspires an effortless flow of creative ideas. From the eagle's higher perspective, with our hearts as big as the world, we see the divine right solution to any question or challenge. Don't let the ducks of trivia peck at your feet. Soar like the eagle that you are!

2. While gathering gifts, duck the holiday rush by floating on the waters of your creativity. Why not give your loved ones a basket of goodies filled with valued photographs, a card written from the heart, a jar of homemade jam, movie tickets, a life-changing book from your library? Creative fun makes this gift sing. You could also duck crowded malls (unless you like them!) by ordering children's gifts from catalogues. Let your (webbed) fingers do the walking by searching online for creative toys that will make a difference in the lives of the children you love.

3. Laugh like a cuckoo bird. My grandson, at age 3, said, "Granny! I love to laugh. Let's laugh!" and we laughed crazily at absolutely nothing--which, of course, was funny in itself. We had a rollicking good time and felt great afterward. You will, too.

4. Aware that anger and hurt distort our perceptual abilities, goose yourself when the going gets rough--especially during gatherings of friends and family. This is the Buddhist art of "stopping." Simply notice what upset you and later on, when you are calm, determine how to address or remedy the problem. A stitch in time...uh, makes a good feather bed.

5. Be like the great blue heron and fish in the deep waters of meditation for the food of life--comfort and companionship--when you feel hungry, angry, lonely or tired (indicators that it's time to HALT). Catching moods before they become attitudes will help you tolerate the pace and avoid Scroogeness.

6. Jonathan Livingston Seagull pointed out that every negative thought becomes an energetic chain around our necks and part of who we are. To break the chain, join a happy flock of seagulls at a church or spiritual study group with a clear focus on the "reason for the season." AA and NA groups also celebrate the holidays with personal and spiritual clarity.

7. The bright red cardinal cheers everyone with his color and verve. Be a light unto the world and you will attract light to yourself as well.

8. Love the little chickadees running and shrieking with holiday abandon. This is easier to appreciate if you sit on Santa's lap and pull his/her beard. Empathy opens to love for these little birds, who are typically small, busy and cute.

9. Shy away like a tender sparrow from family gossip. Your quick, bright optimism will shift the conversation to happier themes and teach your children well.

10. The four-and-twenty blackbirds sang when the pie was opened--not when the cook put them in it! Sweets and overeating are customary, but too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Be in your body, with every bite, and put down your fork when it's time to do so. Eat healthy and well!

11. When people are clucking like chickens about the state of the world, don't embroil yourself in barnyard pecking. Walk between the positive and negative worlds of duality by being the rooster crowing at the dawn of awakening on our planet. It is as real as you make it.

12. The dove of peace is only a meditation away, especially as the year comes to a close. Remember to spend quiet time reviewing the events of 2003 and to set your intentions for 2004, in order to materialize what you want and need to feel happy, whole and free (which, technically, you already are). It's not just the Nov. 8-23 Harmonic Concordance that brings us to light, it's also the new birth celebrated at Christmastime and on December 31. May you soar on golden wings of light through this and every year!

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A Cajun Joke:
The Joy of Skipping

Ms. Boudreaux had to lose weight...she was toooo big, yeah. She went to see Doc Comeaux who put her on a strict regime.

Doc said, "Ms. Boudreaux, losing weight is not hard. Here is the diet... Eat what you want, as much as you want, anytime, for two days. Then, skip the whole third day. No food. Then, eat for two days. Then skip the whole third day. Keep that up for three weeks, then come see me. I expect you will lose at least five pounds."

Three weeks later, Ms. Boudreaux went to see Doc Comeaux. The nurse weighed her, and she had lost THIRTY POUNDS! She was thrilled!

Doc said, "Mais, Ms. Boudreaux, that is wonderful! Did you follow my instructions?"

Ms. Boudreaux said, "Mais yeah, Doc. But ahm tellin ya, I thought I was gonna drop dead on dat third day, me. Ai-yai, dat was tough, yeah."

Doc Comeaux said, "I assure you, Ms. Boudreaux, nobody ever died from hunger in just one day."

Ms. Boudreaux said, "Mais, no, Doc. Not from dat hunger, no! From dat skippin!"


Insight from Spirit:

Prosperity
and the River of Light

The strain on our finances is usually the season's biggest stressor. These days, many people have done or are doing prosperity work, myself included, so I offer you the meditative writing below in the hope that you will find in it as much value as I have.

November 6, 2003

Q: What insight can be given regarding prosperity?

A: The love of the Father is available to each in unlimited measure and comes from the promise of love flowing within and around all things.

Call this to thee and receive in whatever measure is allowed by the beliefs in thy mind. For all is available to the lovers of the Light, which gives All.

Seek within thee, then, for the openness to receiving All That Is. With every breath, a belief gains or loses its hold on the body-mind, which is modulated by each soul according to its essence and its experiences in the Earth. The fiery center of a life lived in the throes of confusion and anxiety melds these emotions to the body-mind. The mind of silence, faith and peacefulness melds these. What comes, then, in response to the emotions of the body-mind is what lives in each mind and heart. Reconcile these with the peaceful, easy flow of a river of abundance and the river will flow into each with the joy and love of its nature.

How to calm the fearful heart, the fiery mind? Do this:

See in each moment a river of abundance flowing in thy life and allow the cool freshness of the river to calm the body-mind and give it comfort. See this as a river of light healing self and flowing from thee into All That Is. In this way is the body-mind uplifted into All That Is, where it may be healed and expanded in understanding. As riches flow into thy life, greater trust and faith flow within and from the body-mind, making one's own life a testament to the goodness of All That Is and bringing hope and love to others in need of it.

This is the universal power of Creation--to form the vision out of light, to become light, to give light to the world and erase darkness.

Q: Shall I speak words of affirmation to increase the flow?

A: This is well to do, for as thy belief and dedication grow, so will the energy increase its flow and vibration. But see how it is not necessary to do this in the conscious mind, for what is needed will be attracted to thee according to thy need and without conscious thought. This is the way of the enlightened one--the sage or lama. One lives in the light and the light moves in response to thy will.

Become, then, enlightened in mind and enlightenment will uplift the body into the Greater Whole, where all is given and received for transformation within the heart of love. From the love held within the heart of God comes the prismatic light that colors the body-mind and the Earth with its gifts of goodness, peace and prosperity.

See how this unfolds in each life: one desires and intends to draw prosperity into one's life and home. These formulations of the heart and mind resonate with the Light or All That Is, and the thought forms return with what is needed. Let, then, the desire and intention be crystal clear and untinged with faithlessness, greed and intemperance. Rather, let the desire and intention come out of the loving heart for greater abundance in one's own life and the willingness to share its abundance with others. All will flow in response to this, for here is the Father's nature of growth, healing and perfection: to give and give abundantly to the lovers of the Light, who increase the Light in All That Is.

Be faithful, then, in this and allow this flow to surface in all that is needed and wanted to create All That Is. Lift the heart into the Light in faith, trust and hope. Do this in the silence, peace and love of the mind in meditation, so that the pattern of light emitted is pure and powerfully formed and conveyed into All That Is. Expect relief and abundantly. For it will be given, as promised, to the Children of the Light, who seek in darkness no more.

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An Inspirational Story:
The Holy Man

Long, long ago there lived a Holy Man so good that the astonished angels came from heaven to see how one could be so godly. He simply went about his daily life radiating love as the star diffuses light and flowers perfume without ever being aware of it. Two words summed up his day: He gave, and he forgave. Yet these words never fell from his lips; they were expressed in his ready smile, his kindness, love and good will.

The angels said to God, "Oh Lord, grant him the gift of miracles!"

God replied, "I consent; ask what he wishes."

"
What do you desire, then?" cried the angels.

"
What can I wish for?" asked the Holy Man smiling. "That God give me His grace, with that should I not have everything?"

The angels insisted, "You must ask for a miracle, or one will be forced upon you."

"
Very well," said the Holy Man, "that I may do a great deal of good without ever knowing it."

The angels were greatly perplexed. They took counsel together and resolved upon the following plan: Every time the Holy Man's shadow should fall behind him, or at either side, so that he could not see it, it should have the power to cure disease, soothe pain, and comfort sorrow.

And so it came to pass. When the Holy Man walked along, his shadow on the ground, on either side or behind him, made arid paths green, caused withered plants to bloom, gave clear water to dried-up brooks, fresh color to pale little children, and joy to unhappy mothers. The Holy Man simply went about his daily life pouring forth love as the star diffuses light and the flower perfume without ever being aware of it.

And the people respecting his humility followed him silently, never speaking about his miracles. Little by little, they came even to forget his name, and called him only, "The Holy Man."

-From "Quiet Moments with God"
By Joseph Murphy



Endquote

"Your ship was spotted off the coast this morning, slipping silently through the fog...coming around the cape she appeared in a shaft of sunlight...and what a sight to see! Glimmering as much as the ocean herself. Massive and beautiful beyond belief! Laden with treasures, happy times, friends, love and laughter. Quick, you must prepare for her docking...you must make space in your life for her gifts...otherwise, just as quickly, she'll quietly slip back out to sea."

-Author Unknown


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