Soul’s Breath

Soul’s Breath

I wrote the first version of my poem “Soul’s Breath” in 1979.  I decided to use it to introduce my blog earlier this year because I wanted to draw your attention to the “ONENESS” of humanity, how when we strip away all superficialities, people are far more similar than they are different.  While we’ve heard this before, many of us have a tendency to fixate on the differences.  I believe this tendency is our greatest human challenge- an unmet challenge which has helped cause divisiveness and has eroded our civilizations throughout  history.  Yet if we can alter our perspective to define our universal human qualities, we will recognize what I call the holiness in humanity, our best qualities, our very best attributes:  our consciousness, our communication abilities, our compassion and our conscience- the Four C’s- consciousness, communication, compassion, and conscience.  By first recognizing these attributes in ourselves, we can move toward recognizing them more easily in others.  And by embracing the holiness in our humanity we can join hands to rebuild our eroded foundation and so create an atmosphere of serenity and joy for all of us.

Thank you for joining me.  If you’d like to see “Soul’s Breath” in written form, scroll back to my first blog.

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WEEDS

Once upon time many years ago, I bought my first house. Sitting on a wooded acre in the Pennsylvania countryside, my house represented the realization of a long sought dream. I lovingly repaired, furnished and decorated my house, creating a comfy retreat from the rest of the world.

One can do that with a house. Houses in and of themselves are dead things; the only life they have are what one creates within its walls. Nature however cannot be so easily designed to reflect human intervention and preference. While my house began to mirror my visions, my yard was filled with weeds! I went to work beyond my walls into Nature’s domain.

For weeks I raked, seeded, and weeded. Yet while I enjoyed being outside, I had never developed a green thumb, and the wooded setting added to my challenges. I persevered- and kept failing. No lush grass grew, and weeds multiplied amidst spindly sprigs! Instead of redesigning Nature to suit me, she showed me who was really in control! So of course I rebelled and doubled-down on yanking weeds. Eventually I became irritable, no longer enjoying my yard. Everywhere I looked I saw only the cursed WEEDS! Negativity had wheedled its way into life beyond my yard.

Then one lovely spring morning I happened to notice the lilac bush behind my porch was in full bloom. While I had seen it before, the fragrance and vibrant purple-ness had been dismissed with my casual, “isn’t that nice.” The liveliness of bees sipping nectar from the tiny flowers had caused concern, not wonder. But that morning I was moved to take a closer look, choosing to pay attention and incorporate what I saw and felt into my “yard view.” I felt uplifted! Realizing my negativity had become over-dramatized and malignant, I walked around my yard seeking more of the exquisite unseen, the beauty hiding right in front of me. Determined, I relegated the weeds to their proper place in my consciousness; for awhile, I would ignore them and welcome only the profusion of beauty before me into my thoughts. Very gradually, my negativity dissipated; I changed.

Nature had NOT changed of course; the weeds kept growing. It’s not as if I hadn’t known my attention would have zero influence on THEM, while they had the potential to affect ME. Nor can I claim to have been ignorant about how persistent negative thoughts can have- what else?!- a negative impact on my perspective. But I had temporarily forgotten to use one of our most valuable human assets: CHOICE!

As human beings, we learn from our experiences and create our personal world views based on those experiences. Yet it is within our power to choose how to define them and incorporate each into our lives. [See my Blog: Personal Truth.] Therefore it is imperative to pay close attention day by day- even minute by minute- to the following:

1. Innately, we have CHOICE at our command.
2. Our choices determine what we learn; WE define our experiences.
3. Our definitions have a broad impact on our thoughts, feelings, lives.
4. Our definitions are subject to CHANGE at any time we choose!
5. Remember the above when Life appears to frown your way.
6. MOST IMPORTANT: Remember the above when Life blesses you.

Weeds will always be a part of our lives. The holiness of our humanity will always be a part of US. Our choices determine which aspect we encourage to thrive.