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, September 4, 2016

"Where's GOD?" Don't Be A Fish Out Of Water!


To follow this post, I'm asking you to suspend all that you may have been
fed by your religion and your own thoughts about life and about God.

I simply want you to follow me, as we try to answer a simple question:

"Where is God?"
Photo Credit: Nature's Lover

This question is oft asked when people become bewildered by life.
They may be in a moment of crisis, where they feel all their diligent efforts
have gone for naught. They feel abandoned and alone.

"Where is God?" they wail.

Indeed, where is God when "bad things happen to good people?"

In the book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People," Harold Kushner, a rabbi, offers solace to countless numbers by explaining that evil does creep into our lives even with God's presence. But Kushner's perspectives are about God's intentions for our lives. Even though implied throughout, the book does not dwell upon the physical presence of God.

In this post, I hope to address the very question of God's physical presence, i.e. the place where God resides as we pray and wail to him.

Photo Credit: Nature's Lover: St. Michel, France 
Where is God?
Where is God when I need him most?  Where is God when my very being cries out in agony for his help?Where is God when I get a bad health report? Where is God when something bad happens in the world? Where is God when the homeless are out roaming the streets, un-sheltered from the cruel elements in life? Where is God when a tsunami erupts, killing thousands? Where is God when a madman goes on a rampage, killing dozens of people at one time?




Where is God...when soooo many bad things are happening in the world?
Where is God?
Where is God?
Where is God?

Why does he not hear our pleas.

Shhh...
Shhhh...
Shhhhhhh...


For more information on this poem check out
http://www.unity.org/resources/articles/i-am-there

Whisper.

He can see you.


Stop.


He can hear you.

Yes.

He can feel you.


He can see you.
He can hear you.
He can feel you.


"Have not I commanded thee?Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."
Joshua 1:9
King James Version (KJV)
Can fish breathe outside of water?





Can you breathe without air?
Can you survive without air?

From the moment we "arrived,"
have we not needed air to survive.
What is around us?
What chokes us up when it becomes polluted?


Forget all you've heard about the man in the sky
who's waiting for your day of reckoning to come...

Forget about the afterlife and hell that's awaiting you there for some imagined wrong you've done while trying...albeit diligently...to live this life.
When we're jumping around life, like a fish
out of water, (see this  Fish Out of Water image), hoping that alcohol, drugs or whatever 
recreation would drown out our sorrows: 
We've been looking for God in all the wrong places.

Stop jumping and start living...from the inside out.
Quote: Luke 17:21

Choose heaven.

Choose to stay in bliss.

Even though  it may seem that you
have not chosen wisely the steps
that led you to today...
Guess what?

God was right there as you made those wrong steps.

Yes.


God is our air. He is every where we are...

When we begin to understand this...
then we see the ONENESS
with all of God's creatures, i.e. fowls
in the air, animals that creep, crawl, run..
there's a oneness with them all.



This is why we feel so much peace in nature.
This celebrates the oneness of us all living within
the sacredness of the ONE.

We cannot survive or do a wrong without
God's presence...his physical presence!

God is there as the first breath we take
to stay alive ...to the last breath we take
when it leaves our body.

Think about this.

And know.
Karma...all that reckoning and righting of
wrongs before we die...
are all our own intuition...
our own guidance...
from the God that surrounds us...

God Is within us
And IS Us.

 "Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness,   
    which unites your body to your   
    thoughts. Whenever your mind      
 becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again."
  Thich Nhat Hanh   Via Gratefulness.org    Word For the Day, Aug. 11, 2016                                                                          
As humans evolve and recognize
our oneness with all creatures, they
seem to recognize intuitively their
oneness, too, with other creatures around them as well.


We must then take our responsibility
to other humans much more seriously
in our daily lives. It's simply not okay
to know that "Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself,"
is one of the great commandment, after "Loving Thy
God with all Thine Heart."

We must reach out in real ways to show
others that we care.
After that, then we must reach out to all of God's creatures on earth.

It seems that they...these creatures...are silently awaiting our
permission to be loving to other species and creatures,
too. 
Like our kids: they, too, live by our example. Some are innately
loving, and just need our example of love to give them permission
to also be loving. (See images: Animals Live By Our Example.)
Where is God?

He sees ...He hears ...He feels...
All that we see, hear and feel...
He's there as our Silent Witness.
Breathe.
That's where God is...

Namaste',

Che'



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hold the Vision. Live the LIFE!

 "FOCUS" is the title of this Epic Mother Nature photo. FOCUS is indeed what keeps us in the moment .

Somewhere in our distant childhood, we got the impression that we were moving into a life that already was waiting for us.

We had a sense that the "future" was patiently waiting for us, and all we had to do was to grow up, and it'll all be there.

Photo Credit: Epic Mother Nature 
Have you grown up yet? Do you know what I know now as ...The Truth?

It takes a while.

It takes a long while to realize that life is not waiting for us somewhere in the future.
It takes a while to realize that life requires more of us than us just being good and good things will automatically happen for us.

It may take a long, long while to realize that life needs our active participation.

I guess it all starts with the books we read, having a beginning, middle and an end.

Those story are already written. And they are written in such a way that we're led to believe
that you do A, and B follows, then C, D, E, F.



The part we may have missed throughout all the story telling is that our future is in our present, and there's no end to our story, except the one we're writing.


We are creating our lives in each moment we make a choice.

That's the part we missed.

Each moment of our lives dictates the future we're going to walk into.
Each decision we make tells us about the path we intend to follow.

So, yes, we learn from our parents that our behaviors, actions and choices do have consequences.
We hear their advice and warnings to do and be right with the world, and to walk a certain
way.

With our parents as our guides and leading the way, we thought that they already were in a world that was fully formed, and all we had to do was to grow up and discover it.

The part we missed, the really essential part we missed, is that our parents, too, and those before them and generations before, simply were moving into the world that also was unfolding before them as they walked.

The future is now.
The past is now.
The present is our life.

See where you are ...and take stock.

Where are you?
Are you happy?
What brought you here?   

Understand that where you are now...is Holy ground.
This is the life you've created...good or bad...by the power
of your conscious thoughts, habits, behaviors, beliefs and
practices.

Soo.....
As you look around you...
...You may feel stuck.


How do you get out of here?
How do you get out of feeling stuck?

Don't panic.
Don't panic about the past that got you here.
Don't panic about the future that is not yet here.



See yourself in the moment.What are your thoughts?Who do you think you are?
 Who do you think others think you are? Do you care what others think you are?  What image are you projecting of yourself?  Is it accurate to the picture you are carrying about yourself?  Is it reflecting you?


No.

Yes.
Maybe.

If you don't know about the image you have about yourself.
If you think others see you in a way you do not see yourself.
If your reflection is showing up differently than you intended,
then, begin to recreate.


Begin to hold the image of yourself that you want to see on the outside.

If you see that all you've done was to berate and belittle yourself,
comparing yourself to other people and falling short: you've got work to do!

You've got work to do because the only image you should be holding
of yourself is the one that honors you and your journey so far in life.

Anything less?


Is a false impression you're giving to the world.

You owe it to yourself...and the world...to allow us an accurate
view into the Soul that is you.

Let the world see who you are...
Don't look for people's approval.
Just show up tomorrow...

In the moment.

Your past is gone.
Your future is yet to be.
Time will reveal to the world just who you are.

But that person...for tomorrow's world...is being created today. Now.
In this moment.

Keep that vision of the way you want to walk into the future
ahead of you....
But remember:                                                       In each step you take today...
In each choice you make today...
You are dictating whether the vision will become real...or distorted.

Hold the vision.
Live the life.
You've got the Power to CREATE!

Namaste',
Che'



Monday, July 4, 2016

When Freedom Has Us "Trapped!"

EDITOR'S NOTE/UPDATE 7/7/16: This piece was written before and for the July 4th celebration. In light of the recent incidents involving the police in Louisiana and in Minnesota, we are given reason to pause and state: being aware of who you are at all times in the eyes of the other, without buying into their stereotypes of you, may in time prove to be the best defense.
*********************************************************************************
Ironic, isn't it, that those of us living in the United States should be enjoying almost every liberty known to man currently walking this Earth, yet so many of us still are "trapped" and in bondage to so much.

We are trapped because we refuse to see outside the boxes into     which others have painted us...and we've accepted... about ourselves.

As an African-American woman, who chose to be both single and childless, who chooses friends of many ethnic races, religions, creeds, and lifestyles, I refuse to be trapped into any of the boxes life would place me.

I'm simply not checking into the boxes.

Of course, I check boxes when it's for business reasons. To me, it's just plain silly to try to make a political statement when others simply want to go about doing their business. Folks: it isn't that deep...just check the box!








And with this attitude, doing what's the easiest without making a big deal when it doesn't matter, I find myself free from the ropes that I see so many tying around themselves.

I see so many Afro-centric acquaintances of mine consciously making the statement all day long, especially on social media: "I was born black, I am black, and I will die black." 

My question and statement: So $@%*@$ what?!

So was I born black. It's not going to change anything by walking around with a sign on your back. 
Trust me: 
They SEE you!

Racism is here to stay.

You can choose to join the racists by playing their game, OR, you can simply go on with your life...proudly black...proudly white...proudly Asian...proudly mixed race. At the end of the day, it's your pride in knowing who you are...being who you are...and using all the skills and talents that came with you when you were created that will set you FREE.

Don't get trapped in the color of your skin. It's an excuse to sulk, and many use this as an excuse not to like others who are different from themselves. 

We don't change people's opinions one iota by fitting into the stereotypes they have created about us: with me, it would be an angry black woman...IF...I let them.

Let them wonder about you...
Let them wonder why you choose to be different...
Let them wonder about the source of your good.

Let them. 
Just keep on keeping on.
THIS is what FREEDOM truly looks like for those not encumbered by race: (She Hesitated to Sing the National Anthem...then DELIVERED!) 

Don't get me wrong, there are demonic forces that will try to raise all hell to get you to respond and react the way they expect you:

STAND YOUR GROUND!

I'm talking about standing your ground to be the beautiful expression of God that you were creating to be...and walking freely on this Earth...especially if you live in these United States.

STAND YOUR GROUND TO BE YOURSELF AND FREE.

See their racism and their antagonism as an opportunity for you to RISE above the B.S. and become whole.

If you feel "called to battle" for your people: then, go ahead.
But if you're sulking through life "just because..." then you're trapping yourself, and fitting very, very nicely, into the box of disempowerment into which they have placed you.



Beyond race, there are so many other boxes, we know we have forced ourselves into because at some point and time, "the others" decided that we should be "this or that."


I'm talking here about those who decided that every woman of a certain age should be married and bear kids...or else: she's lesbian, bisexual or something else.

To hell with that...to hell with ALL that...(I'm not the only one who's fed up too. See this piece on the Actress Jennifer Aniston speaking out: (Jennifer Aniston Finally Snaps...")

We all have a right to live and create our own rules about how we're going to navigate this world.

Questions:
  • How many people have you seen rush into marriages... for the sake of appearances?
  • How many of these people are now trapped in bad relationships...for the sake of appearances?
  • Who in hell has to wake up to those people that so many trapped themselves into marrying...or partnering with...for the sake of appearances?
Going further down the road to how we lose our freedom to people, places and things: think about how every day we trap ourselves feeling "less than" through comparisons, envy, hate and unforgiveness!

Every day many of us wake up, picking up the burdens, and the neat packages we have placed in our lives, carrying them day in and day out, trapping us into a slavery of our own making.


So what, if he/she has a bigger house?
So what, if he/she has a bigger pay check?
So what, if  on the outside, he/she seems to have
a more fulfilling life?
I tell you, no one gets anywhere by these invidious comparisons, by carrying around a bundle of hate, or a bundle of envy, or a bundle of unforgiveness.  According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the popular Buddhist monk, in today's Gratefulness.org:
Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh




Let go of these wild animals in your life!
Tame these beasts and become the master of your own destiny.

Remember this: true freedom comes from the Spirit of the Lord...the Spirit of your Soul...being allowed to roam freely through your body...without any encumbrances.

God does not see us as a black or white or Asian or mixed race. God, our Soul, knows us by how much or how little we permit his Spirit to walk through our lives...in freedom.
The Spirit in us longs to be FREE.
Allow it! Get the wild animals that trap you...out of the way.


If you seek true freedom... 
If you seek wholeness... 
The wild animals of hate, envy, jealousy, comparison, competitiveness and unforgiveness are the ones you should  keep "boxed in."Channel your energy in the right way. 

        



    Set yourself FREE!
Namaste',
Che'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Many of the graphics used on this post came from social media. Where the source can be identified, those sources are noted. Apologies to those images not credited because of no identifying source.

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.