Leo Tolstoy on God

LEO TOLSTOY ON GOD: "When you look inside yourself, you see what is called 'your own self' or your soul. You cannot touch it or see it or understand it, but you know it is there. And this part of yourself--that which you cannot understand--is what is called God. God is both around us and inside of us--in our souls.

The more you understand that you are at one with God, the more you will understand that you are at one with all His worldly manifestations."

Sunday, February 7, 2016

All ALWAYS is in "Divine Order": Believe It!

"As Above  Below"* (see disclaimer at bottom) is Namaste' Wholistic's title for these photos from Sociedad Argentina de Horicultura. 

It's fitting for our topic today: "Divine Order." 

Watching the daily news, especially in this election year in the United States, we're apt to believe that our world is falling apart. But when we take a deep breath and reflect back throughout history, we see the events of today are in no way  extraordinary.

Generations ago, what seems like today's chaos would have been calm in the midst of battles, literally. People took to axes and machetes back then to resolve issues. Today, as rude and crude as some of the conversations may seem, we have to keep our perspective. 

"All the World's a stage and all the men and women are merely players," William Shakespeare penned in his play "As You Like It."  
(See full text of poem: "All The World's A Stage" (Photo Credit: 45.media.tumblr.com)

We always are growing through various stages of our individual lives, even as other worldly events and issues take center stage. This is nothing new. Throughout the generations, people have tested new methods of coexistence. The fact that battles have been fought and won in the past, establishing best practices for coexistence, does not preclude new generations from trying their hands at testing new limits of human restraints and decency.

Then in the midst of this seeming chaos, we see people reaching their highest evolution of humanity and decency, aiding strangers and reaching in deeper to show compassion and caring for others more than at any other time in our human history. One such example is "GoFundMe."
Founded in May 2010 by Brad Damphousse and Andrew Ballester, GoFundMe is a crowdfunding platform, allowing people throughout the world to raise funds to support individuals on events that range from graduations and other celebrations to accidents, illnesses and catastrophes. Check it out here: http://www.gofundme.com   
We also see compassionate actions of major universities giving everyone a fair chance of a world-class education, regardless of their ability to pay.  (Here's an example: Stanford Offers Free Tuition).  

On one hand: chaos and divisiveness; on the other: compassion and caring. 

Ultimately what may seem like chaos may actually be an event, or events, leading to our good or into new ways of our being in the world. 

In a nutshell, this is..."Divine Order." It suggests that everything in our lives and in our world is in order, despite superficial appearances. 

Look back at your own life.

Look back at your own personal evolution, as you moved from only family values to community values to global values:
The changes may have been subtle, as you accepted, or discarded, new ways of how you show up in the world, but changes were unrelenting as you moved forward. 

If you were to say that you've never changed your outlook on the world from the way you were brought up to believe, then you must examine the extent of how much you've blocked your own personal growth and evolution.

                          To live is to change.        
                                                   To live is to grow.

We grow physically, emotionally and in our conscious view of the world.

Were you to really, really, examine your life, you would see a simple, but perfect, truth:
"The life I'm living today is truly a reflection of my past beliefs and values. I am where I am today because of what I believed to be true of my abilities, capabilities and desires."
It's hard to accept: but you are where you are today, good or bad, because of your limited or expansive thinking. 

Many spiritual leaders have urged us to: "Change Your Thinking and Change Your Life."
Pause, think, reflect?
Did I get what I expected out of life? Did my fears...or positive expectations....my true beliefs ...manifest in my life?  
Without the privilege of being able to hear your answer, let's plug forward... as I know "my thoughts are his and her thoughts... and their thoughts..."

This, and the two photos following, reflect, "As Above Below."  Photos Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

What we also should know is that whatever we may be thinking on the inside will ultimately be reflected on the outside. 

Yes! It's an exact "science." 
"Thoughts held in mind will manifest in kind."

  "As Above Below." 

It's all about consciousness.
If we're conscious of being rich, poor, or just being "normal," our life begins to take on that flavor. It may not get there overnight, but with that level of continued consciousness, we will inevitably get there.

So, you want to change your path? 
Change your thoughts. It really is that simple.


We all are operating as singular balls of energy, going through and growing through life.
Energy can take the form of any thought, action or behavior where it becomes focused or concentrated.  So, in that way, you shape your life.
"What is a Soul?" asks R&B Singer Ray Charles. "It's like electricity...We don't really know what it is, but it is a force that can light a room."  
Photo Credit and Quote: Gratefulness.org
Is this Divine Order?

And what does our singular formation have to DO with Divine Order?

The truth is that even though we're operating singularly: there is no singular
in anything we do.

Because we are that ball of electricity, we have a force and power in the world.
So, our good and bad thoughts and vibrations have impact on our lives...the lives surrounding us....and our contribution to the world.

So, actually, we may feel like we're operating singularly....as our own energy force.

The simple truth?

There is only ONE Soul.
We call this Cosmic Consciousness or Energy or Vibrations or God.

That's why we can have FREE choice in the world.
That's why whatever we do has an impact on others: we hate, and we're contributing to hate in the world. 
As we know consciously... there is only one world. Under the surface, too...there is only one soul...one universe...one God.

So, our behavior...our thoughts ...our actions...can contort that ONE Soul?

But ah....

Can we change GOD?

"There is only one Presence and one Power in the Universe," Unity School of Christianity teaches. "God the Good, the Omnipotent." 
While our thoughts...actions...behavior...have an impact on the world, it does NOTHING to God. We cannot in any way alter God, the Good, the omnipotent presence: the ONLY true force in our world

So again: our thoughts, behavior and actions have an impact on our lives...our community...and our world...but it alters not an IOTA on the Cosmic Level. All we see reflected in our world is an accumulation of past thoughts, actions and behaviors of those who went before us and those who are currently here sharing the space with us. 

Yes. We are in this boat ...this one boat...called "Earth" ...altogether...and
yes, as one.

Divine Order comes in because ultimately, we are choosing experiences, good and bad, that are forming the basis for our lives. We cannot take a "wrong" step...as they all lead to forming the whole of what we're becoming.

Change comes in...when we recognize that there is only one presence in our lives: despite our individuated Souls and consciousness. When we recognize this power in our lives, we can begin to allow it to take over more and more the operation of our lives. Trusting the power, i.e. the presence that is God, the one Soul through which we all operate, we begin to trust its guidance...for our good... and the good of world.

From our egotistical standpoint, we want to make choices that benefit our individual lives. This is a normal rite of passage. But as we connect and grow closer to the Soul within us: we are guided to TRUTH.

Trust this voice. It's your Intuition.
Trust this force. It's God.
From the 2016 calendar of the late Dr. Wayne Dyer. 

I've discovered that there is a great difference between Wholeness and Holiness. (Watch for this issue being covered by Namaste' Wholistic in our upcoming March 2016 post). So, I've started a new practice in 2016: enjoying the Holy Eucharist, as implemented by Jesus, The Christ, as often as possible, even daily, if I get the chance.  

I'm reaching in to cultivate more of "The Presence of God" in each moment...

I've come to the awareness that our purpose in life is to make what's on the Inside of us reflected on the Outside. What's Above, as in the Cosmic, is our human purpose to make on Earth, below, the same. Now that I've traveled enough distance to Wholeness and feel I've reached a plateau there,  I now want to focus more on cultivating Holiness**. Trust me: this is a huge, huge undertaking and will take the rest of my conscious life! I know I will not get there in one lifetime...but I'm getting on this new road.    

My wish for you, All, My Valentines:
This year is one of discovering that all you do... and all that happens to you, good or bad...is truly in Divine Order. You'll learn that the bad often happens for you to discover and/or appreciate the good that you already have in your life. The seeming bad also often is a way for you to re-direct your life and your focus.

"There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck. I have walked in the early spring through fields that will suck your boots off, a world so wet and woeful it makes you yearn for the return of ice. But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created."
Parker Palmer, via Gratefulness.org, Sunday, February 7, 2016

Know there is no wrong step!  

Step out and live! Your life is in Divine Order: 
Happy Valentine's Day, too. 


*DISCLAIMER: Namaste' Wholistic's use of the term, As Above Below, has no relationship in any way to the movie, "As Above, So Below." This is described here: As_Above,_So_Below_(film) 

**This is not necessarily the walk I would recommend for those Christians who do not feel called to this walk...but right now, because of my early indoctrination into Christianity, this is the right way for me. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fly High! Know You're Never Alone

Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura
"...our God is a God of second chances, fresh starts, and new beginnings. I love Mondays, because each Monday is a new beginning--a fresh start! God gives us Mondays, and New Year's day and birthdays, and every single one represents a new blessing and a new beginning."
-Excerpt from"Rediscover Jesus: An Invitation," a 40-day devotional, from Advent to Lent,  being distributed in Catholic churches throughout the United States. "Rediscover Jesus," was written by New York Times Best-Selling Author Matthew Kelly.

The New Year brings such feelings of Joy, Hope and Renewal.

We plan new activities and try to activate those plans we'd not quite completed, or even started, the year before.

All around us, the air is tinged with hope and promises of a new dawn... a new day. Strangers and friends alike are crisp, brimming with the brightness and freshness of new beginnings.

I'm joining wholeheartedly in these celebrations. I'm enjoying this heightened state of awareness, as we become conscious to the fact that the next 360-plus days are in our hands to mold, and fold, as we see fit. We get to create completely new beginnings!

How is it that we begin each year from such a height, then often end it with such a thud? At the end of the old year, many of us are anxious to leave it behind, grateful for an opportunity to start anew...
As we grow forward on the calendar of years, this becomes a normal state, year after year...
And exactly, what does our Soul say to this phenomenon? 
If I were to make a guess, I'd say our Soul is celebrating, too, and anxious for us "to come up higher" in years... if this means that we would then come up higher in our view of things.
Were I to make a wild guess, I believe our Soul longs for us to age...to get wiser.and to understand all of its secrets.
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura

Our Soul is patient. It knows that wisdom takes times. So it, too, gets into a Spirit of celebration with us with each new passing year, as we grow in consciousness and can claim more experiences and the concomitant wisdom for ourselves.

You see, our Soul knows that it takes a certain amount of living...a certain amount of years...for most of us to begin to pay attention to things beyond what our eyes can see and our ears can hear. (Listen and be inspired by this 92 year old woman."Rosey Inspires Us About Aging..."

Our Soul knows that even though all along, we're sensing "something" behind the curtain of life, we've never dared peek. So busy are we trying to conform and live up to the expectations of family, friends, neighbors, community and the world.  So busy are we trying to figure out the next right move to make to reach that million-dollar savings goal, or saving for the next fabulous car or house to buy, or the next great job that would seal our future and our fate.
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura

Our Soul knows the process of our evolution, and it's patient.

It waits.
It knows that as time begins to move seemingly more rapidly for us, we begin to slow down and pay more attention. After we've reached and shrived and reached and shrived, we begin to feel like an empty rocking chair: lots of swinging but no real movement forward. So then we begin to crave wanting to know and uncover "the promise," and the real secret to life.
Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura

For some, the joy we feel at the start of the year comes from anticipation that somehow...in some way...this year...this very year...we'll unlock the elixir to life and have all of its sweetness flow to us.
Like the birds in the air...like the leaves on a tree... we long to be free...
We want to know the secret behind our being in a place and in space that we know is not our permanent home...We long to know: Why am I here? WHY am I here?
The urgency of finding an answer becomes more intense as we age. 
Credit: Mentors' Channel
So, then, how can we capture the Joy, Excitement, and Promise of a new year and package it into a bottle to make it last all of this year.. and the next... and the next?
                      "Really, my dears, it's so elementary..."
  • Stay with your consciousness. 
  • Stay with the flow of life that comes at you in each moment. 
  • Don't go beyond that moment.
  • Put worry aside and stick only with the moment. Give it the best of all that you have and take from it all that it offers. 
  • Do the next right thing...consciously.
  • Always choose to do in the moment what will best serve both you and others.
  • Do not be self-focused; be "us" focused, even when with strangers. (In a challenging situation, ask: What is best for us all in this moment?") 
  • Become consciously aware of your thoughts and your actions.
  • Credit: Law of Attraction
  • Then reach for the next
    BEST moment...and......the next and the next and the next.
And as you do so, a new life will begin to unfold for you.

I'm not suggesting that you tear up your bright and exciting plans.

What I am suggesting, though, is that you hold those plans out from you...like a vision.
Begin to see yourself IN the plans, living and doing and being, in the "plans," the way
you expect and want to be.

So, instead of the plans being "inactive," make them an active part of your life. Every time you think of the plans, see yourself actually living them.
Credit: Mentors' Channel

And....do not try to figure out how you're going to get from there to there to here. Just follow the steps you're guided to take.

Moving through moment by moment, giving to each the best that you've got, and holding out your plans as a vision: you will be free.
Credit: Mentors' Channel
  You will be free!
Along the way of living in the moments, I hope, trust and pray that you stop in and check inside...
that you begin to allow yourself peeks behind the curtain of personality...into your Soul.
Credit: Mentors' Channel

As you reach in, through meditation and/or prayer, you will find it reaches out and pulls you in more and more.

It's there with you each moment ...each and every moment...in every way in every day.

Get to know it. Give a silent "Thank You" as often as you can!

As you try to fly and be free, do so in the comfort of knowing that you are NOT alone.

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

You are never alone.

[ABOUT THE TREES: Tule is of Mexican origin. It takes 25-30 people to cover the diameter of the trunk. The average weight of these is about 600 tons.]

Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

Uncover this secret in 2016, and you've got wisdom of the trees and the elixir for life.

Have an awesome 2016!




Sunday, December 6, 2015

Find Your Way Back Home...This Holiday Season!

If Light Is In Your Heart, You will Find Your Way Back Home."― Rumi

Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horitcultura
Many of us may have wept when we first heard the story of The Prodigal Son. What we may not know is that in some ways, we also are expressing the same behaviors as the prodigal son. It's this absence from home that makes some of us weep...

We've been absent from "home" for too long! This holiday season, I invite you to find your way back "home," where you'll find your Father anxiously awaiting your return. In fact, he has kept the lights on to help you make your way through the darkness.

Please make an attempt to  go home!

You don't need money for the journey. All you need is to make the decision that you are going to start the return journey home ...this holiday season...this month. 
It's time...it simply is time to go home!!

My prayer for all of you, no matter where you are as you read this message, is to heed the call. You know you hear it... just don't delay. 

You see, I know how much delaying can cost you; like you, I was a Prodigal Daughter.

I left my home of Comfort, Warmth, Love and all the security in life, and I headed off "for a far country."

I went searching for years. I walked through many peaks and valleys. I was sure that the more I traveled, the closer I was getting to my destination. I met all sorts of beautiful Souls to accompany me on the road. Their chatter and guidance kept me persevering anytime I thought I was lost.

I met people...many other people...who like me were on a journey away from their home. We huddled together for comfort. We drew close to the brightest fires that beckoned, not necessarily providing the greatest warmth. But we drew close. We wanted to believe in the brightness of the fire.

When we set out from home, there are so many, many, many roads to take on the journey. We can pick our route, the level of terrain, how steep a mountain we want to climb. 

Some people I met along the way found a certain level of comfort at some terrains, and they hunkered down there for a while. In fact, many got so comfortable at some mountain peaks that they refused to go any farther.. They'd found what they needed for comfort. Plus, they were tired. 
Photo Credit: Mentors' Channel.
I personally don't think there are "wrong roads," as I believe that all roads ultimately will lead you home, if you're diligent in your search and stay connected to your Soul. By not listening and discerning its messages, you can delay the good that the "Father" within is waiting to pour out on you.I made that error, and I kept on going. 
I kept going. 
Two years ago this holiday season, I began to think of making my journey back home. See...after all my traveling...I was getting tired. I was really tired. My hands had blisters. Despite buying new pairs of shoes more often, the soles of my shoes were all worn out. The new shoes kept wearing out no matter how sturdy the leather seemed on the outside.

So, I literally started the journey, headed back home. At the time, I didn't know that  this was what I was doing. All I knew was that I was tired of walking and walking, and even though I had seen some really exciting places, and met some awesome folks along the many roads I'd traveled, I desparately wanted to get back home!

The preparations began for my return trip actually because I'd encountered a huge  boulder blocking my way. There was no way around it. I had lost so much strength traveling for so long on distant roads that I knew I didn't have strength to climb over this boulder that was blocking me on the East, West, North and South.  So, like any sensible adult who gets lost: I decided to retrace my steps.

By retracing my steps, I began to see patterns I'd left on my outward journey, and I followed some of those old trails. 

Step by step by step: I was retracing my way...and making my way back home.
Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

I wasn't excited...yet. As I didn't know the reception of the "family" from whom I was so long separated. Tentatively, I kept on retracing my steps...finding my way ...back home.

To get back, I also began to look around at each landmark I'd passed before...but hadn't paid attention to... as I quickly hurried by heading to my unknown destination. On the return trip, though, I studied all the landmarks and milestones I'd etched my name on ...possibly intuitively knowing that I'd need them sometime and in someway.

I looked and saw how many good landmarks and milestones I'd pushed away, discarded, without appreciation or respect, and I wondered how I had even made it to go forward. You see, at that time, I was going forward, but not growing forward. There's a huge difference.

As I picked my weary, tired body through familiar, yet unfamiliar terrain, a new thing began to happen. I realized that all the baggage I thought I needed became useless the greater the distance I traveled returning home.

I kept looking at different pieces and asking: "Do I really need this?" "Is it not hindering my progress to make it back home?" "Why do I even need to carry a radio or television, isn't the silence just as comforting? The radio and TV are just noise and extra baggage. Even so, if you need to hear something, or you really miss them, stop in at an inn along the way and just listen for a day or two to what's going on. You'll see you aren't missing that much. The world is still going on, and it's still making noise and trying to tell you to go East, instead of West."

The more baggage I dumped, the lighter my load and the easier it was to travel, especially on the roads that were brightly lit with a light that perhaps only I could see. 

In places where the road got narrow. I'd found ways to turn my body around to fit with the passageway. I'd learned by then how not to get stuck in a narrow roadway.

It was after I'd pushed myself through a very, very dry and long roadway, that a curious thing happened.

Photo Credit: My Story
The light became brighter and brighter. As I felt myself becoming intoxicated with the beauty of the light, it suddenly faded into becoming part of my horizon. As I took a step to settle myself in the dirt that had made a comforting cradle to hold me for the night: I saw in the distance an old familiar building.

"Yes. In the morning, I will be home."

The question I now ask: Was it worth it to leave home? Would it not have been better to stay in the comfort of my Father's home all the years I had been wandering? 

My answer? A resounding NO! 

I met a lot of people. I gained so much insight. I learned how to to navigate the tricky terrain. I learned what is good and bad for the journey... at least my journey. I learned about the narrow passageways that can keep people trapped and locked in for life. 

I learned how to say "Thank you" for the smallest gifts (and also for all experiences, i.e. the good and seemingly bad.)  I learned how to identify where I was strong, weak, or can be led astray. I learned about the other Souls traveling and which to avoid.

Photo Credit: Sociedad Argentina de Horticultura

But I am so grateful to be back home!

If you choose to embark on your journey this holiday season, I urge you to: Never stray too far from the center lane, no matter how inviting the peripheries may seem. Most of all, I invite you to discard ANY THING (including people) that would destroy your self confidence ...as this sits in Your Father's House. This is the LIGHT, the only Light you will need to navigate your way through the "journeys" you may undertake in life.

Stay connected to your confidence ...it is the connection to your Soul.

Welcome home!

Happy Holidays!


Personal Authenticity: "To Thine Own Self Be True"...

"To Thine Own Self Be True and it must follow as the night, the day, Thou canst not then be false to ANY man."
William Shakespeare.