Making Peace with Death

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” So wrote the blind and deaf social reformer Helen Keller. Despite hardships, Life is wild and precious. Still, death comes for us all. Choosing peace in death as in life, we are empowered to decide how we will face death. Engaging those we love in that conversation permits them to be our advocates in carrying out our wishes, which affords them peace as well.

Life carries no guarantees except the certainty of death. Perhaps the only way to cheat death is to live fully into each and every day. That way, when death draws near, it finds us full of gratitude for Life’s richness.

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Making Joy Your Daily Practice

“We encourage you to make the most of this moment,
for it is only in this moment that joy is able to exist.”
The Guides

For quite a while now, I have known two wonderful men who carry messages from Spirit Guides. Every week, I receive an email from them called Wisdom Wednesday.  The quote above is what the guides imparted recently. Tom Workman and AJ Cavenaugh, who are the “listeners”, clarified it this way: “Joy lives only in the now.” If you want to know more about what the Guides have to say when speaking with Tom and AJ, find them at Speaking From Source. Tell them I sent you. 

When was that last time you remember experiencing Unadulterated Joy? It happened to me today when I was preparing and then consuming a tomato sandwich. I’d made the herbed mayonnaise a few days ago. The salt and pepper stand always at the ready. The olive oil bread was a happy co-conspirator… slice bread, spread mayo, thickly slice a heirloom tomato, pile as much tomato on each bread slice as I can, salt and pepper… and ahhhh. Unadulterated Joy. 

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Peace Is Its Own Balancing Act

How often do you get so wrapped up in that one thing you are doing that there is no time for anything else?

It happens to me, and to be honest, it could be something really important to me, like writing about Peace, or considering it, or reading about it.

Sometimes our focus on one thing or one person leaves us out of balance. I have to work at balance. I have to work at that hour by hour, day by day, and week by week. If I do, then it’s likely that month to month, season to season and year to year that I will find steady footing in my life Journey that I’m coming to know as Peace.

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Being Present to Realities, Possibilities, and Peace

Here we are in this moment. This one moment. This one place. This one experience. This may be the last place we ever considered being. The last we’ve wanted to be. It may be the realization of our dreams. Whatever it is, it’s where we are. Our options are to be here, fully present, or to distract ourselves with whatever we invent as the reason we couldn’t possibly pay attention to just this moment.

I feel as if I live in a world of constant distraction. Even my writing, which needs a fair amount of presence and is my deepest passion, is easily pushed to the side by incoming stimulus. Heavens, I write on a machine that is constantly providing opportunities to stop thinking and to stop being with my subject matter.

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Values Make Us Who We Are

Asked us what our deepest values are, we’re probably quick to reply. Everything we mention will be meaningful and valuable to us and to the world.

But here’s the question. When you look at your life, at the way you go through your daily endeavors, how much are those values represented in your experience? Could your best friend or a colleague readily identify your values based on their observations of your actions? What about someone who doesn’t know you well, like wait staff or service people? Based on your interactions with them, what values might they say you live out?

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“The Dark, Sacred Night”*

On the first of December, in my little town, we celebrated the December sky and the encroaching Dark. Working with Fact, Story, and Music, we discovered stars, watched a grandfather assume the responsibility of being a revolving earth while a little one embodied the Sun with so much dignity and finesse. We learned how to find the North Star and wondered if it would help us find our way home. We heard the Gong whisper the night sounds of winter as together, we formed a tree and became a connected living entity that slowly transformed into a festival of lights.

The glittering sky was, in that moment, all the holiday we needed and everyone was invited.

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Peace Outside My Door

Last week, a friend brought me, and helped me install the most wonderful present I could ever receive. A Peace pole. How well he knows and loves me!

Ann: Happy with her Peace Pole!

Look at this — and look how happy I was the night my friend gifted me with beautiful, colorful Peace on stick!

It’s planted right outside my door. When I posted this on Facebook, someone suggested what a wonderful reminder it would prove as I left my house to take Peace with me. Indeed. I try to keep Peace on my heart and in the forefront of my mind, but you know, we all encounter that rude driver with whom we feel inclined to share exactly how we feel about their driving — which is rarely Peaceful. So, Hello, Peace Pole. May I always take your message with me as I set out in the world.

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Success! I Found the Joy!

It was not my intention to write this week’s blog as a follow up to last week’s. But then there were those November Days — which were late Summer/early Autumn days — completely out of season in which I braved the chilly waters of the lake at Half Way Dam and water walked. Twice. Such Joy, even as I had to dance around in order to catch the Sun and not become too chilly as the Sun sets earlier in the mountains and casts a shadow on the lake.

Later that evening, a full Moon rose in a clear, still light sky. I walked past a couple sitting outside a restaurant and laughed with them in recognition that they’d gotten the Moonside table. They’d had no idea it was a Full Moon that night. It will probably be the last night they’ll sit outside to eat until the other side of Winter. They’d even put their phones down to observe and appreciate this month’s celestial spectacle!

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Find Your Joy, No Really, Find it!

The reason I capitalize Joy when I’m writing about Peace is because I’m writing about something larger than small joys. 

Some reading helped me to discern how real that distinction might be. In particular, I was wondering if people with depression can experience Joy. Although depression means a lessening of possibility to experience Joy/joys, there can still be a place for it.

In particular, I’m referring to a focus on those things that make me feel particularly alive. For me, that is being in what scriptures refer to as Living Water. It’s a challenge for me right now that the temperatures have dropped and I am not walking in the water. I haven’t replaced that yet, neither the exercise nor the experience. 

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Locating Myself in Nature Through the Seasons’ Turnings

“Outdoorsy” is not an adjective I’d use to describe myself. And yet… Some of my most cherished memories are of being outside in Nature.

Perhaps we’ve conflated the notion of the outdoors with the activities of outdoors — suggesting that being out of doors impliess doing rather than, at least some of the time, being. 

The other day, I had to do a writing exercise that entailed listing 100 favorite memories. It was remarkable how many of them took place outdoors. There were a couple memories of running in the rain and cross-country skiing, now long in my past. But my list also included plenty of times writing on the beach or on the lip of a canyon, recollections of reading under a tree or alongside a creek. And oh! Outdoors winter hot-chocolate!

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