Life balance as harmony

“Embracing Harmony: A Guide to Balance and Fulfillment in Life”

A formula for turning disharmony into harmony and life balance

Our life pathways are many, filled with twists and turns, paved and treacherous. While our formative years are fairly set, successive life chapters require choices that can set the tone for how harmonious our life journey unfolds.

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Harvest Moon reminds us to harvest our blessings

Harvest Blessings and Cultivate Gratitude

Fall Equinox

Since ancient times, the arrival of spring and fall has been celebrated around the world at the equinox—a time when Earth’s day is split almost in half. This year the autumn equinox arrives on Wednesday, September 22. This is a time for us to get in synch with the seasonal energy. It invites us to cultivate gratitude and harvest our blessings as we enter an introspective and reflective phase of the seasons.

On the fall equinox, the amount of daylight from the sun has reached a midpoint of decline. With diminished photosynthesis leaves lose their vibrancy and begin to change color. As sunlight decreases, nature prepares itself for the winter season ahead. Abundance of color is everywhere to be seen. Leaves, asters and chrysanthemums burst with colors of red, purple, orange and yellow, and pumpkins and squash rest in fields ready to be harvested. In spite of all this abundance around you, you might be reflecting on what’s lacking, undone or missing in your life. However, instead of the glass half empty—why not appreciate the progress you’ve made, what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown.

“As you turn inward and fall in love with the truth of who you really are, you become whole, despite the brokenness.” – Chloë  Rain, Musical Artist

Shifting focus onto your blessings can help you integrate all the experiences of the past year, even those you wished had been better. The fall is a good time to cultivate acceptance for what is and what has been. Then you can tend to the clearing out or releasing what is no longer needed make room for the love, truth and wholeness to be realized.

Second spring

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”—Albert Camus, French Philosopher

I like the idea of autumn being a second spring. Even though the sun’s energy is waning, the cooler fall days can have an energizing effect as you prepare for the end of another year and the long winter ahead. Why not take advantage of this energy to inspire you to make a plan and complete what is unfinished.

The shift between light and darkness can spark an inner shift that can, in the words of theologian Meister Eckhart: “And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” – Louis L’Amour, American Novelist

Harvest blessings with the Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the fall equinox. Watch for its brilliance on September 20 this year. Symbolically, the harvest moon represents a new beginning, coming after the hard work and dedication of the past year.

“It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes and roofs of villages, on woodland crests and their aerial neighborhoods of nests deserted, on the curtained window-panes of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes and harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Enjoy this time of grateful harvesting, completion and beginning.

Earthrise

Earthrise

Earthrise

Dedicated to Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project

On Christmas Eve, 1964, astronaut Bill Anders
Snapped a photo of the earth
As Apollo 8 orbited the moon
Those three guys were surprised
To see from their eyes
Our planet looked like an earth-rise
A blue orb hovering over the moon’s gray horizon
with deep oceans and silver skies
It was our world’s first glance at itself
Our first chance to see a shared reality
A declared stance and a commonality
A glimpse into our planet’s mirror
And as threats drew nearer
Our own urgency became clearer
As we realize that we hold nothing dearer
than this floating body we all call home

We’ve known That we’re caught in the throes
Of climactic changes some say
Will just go away, While some simply pray
To survive another day
For it is the obscure, the oppressed, the poor
Who when the disaster is declared done
still suffer more than anyone
Climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time
Of this, you’re certainly aware
It’s saddening, but I cannot spare you
From knowing an inconvenient fact, because
It’s getting the facts straight that gets us to act and not to wait
So I tell you this not to scare you
But to prepare you, to dare you
To dream a different reality
Where despite disparities
We all care to protect this world
This riddled blue marble, this little true marvel
To muster the verve and the nerve

To see how we can serve
Our planet. You don’t need to be a politician
To make it your mission to conserve, to protect
To preserve that one and only home
That is ours, To use your unique power
To give next generations the planet they deserve
We are demonstrating, creating, advocating
We heed this inconvenient truth, because we need to be anything
but lenient With the future of our youth
And while this is a training
in sustaining the future of our planet
There is no rehearsal. The time is
Now Now Now
Because the reversal of harm
And protection of a future so universal
Should be anything but controversial
So, earth, pale blue dot
We will fail you not
Just as we chose to go to the moon
We know it’s never too soon
To choose hope. We choose to do more than cope
With climate change We choose to end it—
We refuse to lose
Together we do this and more
Not because it’s very easy or nice
But because it is necessary
Because with every dawn we carry
the weight of the fate of this celestial body orbiting a star

And as heavy as that weight sounded, it doesn’t hold us down
But it keeps us grounded, steady, ready
Because an environmental movement of this size
Is simply another form of an earth-rise
To see it, close your eyes
Visualize that all of us leaders in this room
and outside of these walls or in the halls, all
of us change-makers are in a spacecraft
Floating like a silver raft
in space, and we see the face of our planet anew
We relish the view
We witness its round green and brilliant blue
Which inspires us to ask deeply, wholly:
What can we do?
Open your eyes.
Know that the future of this wise planet
Lies right in sight:
Right in all of us. Trust this earth uprising.
All of us bring light to exciting solutions never tried before
For it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core
To keep rising up for an earth more than worth fighting for.

– Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate

 

Earth

What We All Have In Common

Celebrating Earth Day 2021

I recall a poet I once read who said that the Earth delights in us! This makes me smile. In my desire to honor this day, I began browsing through a number of quotes from a variety of people who have had something special to share about the Earth—our home. Their words address the importance of protecting and caring for it, learning from it, and ways it can feed our spirit—not just our bellies. This inspired me to do some jottings around their words.

American novelist and environmental activist Wendell Berry said, “The earth is what we all have in common.” We live on it, sleep on it and eat from it. The earth is our home and its abundant air, water and bounty keeps us alive.” We all share this planet with all its species and abundance. But in our busy lives and challenges it’s easy to forget this and take it all for granted.

 

Call for hope

wild flowersFormer, First Lady of the United States, Lady Bird Johnson said “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” She was an advocate for beautifying the nation’s cities and highways, especially with wild flowers—of which she wrote, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

Hope is something we need desperately today. Hope for a healthier environment, society and world for our children’s future. A Native American Proverb says, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” But hope is not enough. We need to care for it, and take appropriate action where we can while there’s still time to save our precious habitat from depletion.

HimalayasThe Earth received significant benefits during the past year as we sheltered at home during pandemic. Air pollution plummeted around the planet. Surprisingly, people living in Northern India saw the Himalayas 100 miles away for the first time in ‘decades,’ as the lockdown eased air pollution. As people spent more time outdoors, at safe distances and often alone, the Earth also benefited from our visible presence walking on it and enjoying its beauty—even if only in our neighborhoods.

 

Spiritual cleansing

I find walking through a forest or a prairie enlivens and cleanses my spirit. Digging in the garden and planting seeds and plants nourishes it as well. Watching things grow and regrow again each spring brings me great joy. The beloved environmental photographer John Muir encouraged us to “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile…Wash your spirit clean.”

forest riverJohn Muir also said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Have you ever walked in nature and found your thoughts and cares dissipating as you opened your senses to everything you encountered? Moving through a difficult period in his life, Craig Foster befriended an octopus in a South African kelp sea forest. Diving and videoing his experience taught him a great lesson on the fragility of life and humanity’s connection with nature. The “Octopus Teacher,” has become an Oscar nominated movie for us all to feast on.

Henry David Thoreau wrote of a need for “the tonic of wildness” as he explored marshes and other habitats to see, hear and smell the creatures and environs. Wildness is becoming less and less available to us on our Earth and must be cherished—as Foster most certainly has documented.

 

Loving kindness

Albert Einstein’s words: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better,” are worthy of pondering. His work took him both into the most minuteness as well as the infiniteness of the Universe. We can also take this metaphorically as another way to delve into what it means to be human in this finite life, as well as what is our essential nature.

Loving kindnessResearchers have shown that Earth’s magnetic field vibrates at the same frequency as our heart rhythm when we’re in a heart coherent state. Increasing our vibration with loving kindness increases our harmonious interaction with Earth and each other, day-to-day.

Vietnamese spiritual teacher and author Thich Nhat Hanh has shared his simple wisdom in many books. This is just one of his numerous gems. “You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.”

This is Our Earth. Let’s cherish its natural wonders. Let’s bring the prayer of loving kindness into one another’s lives as we move through this time of great healing is crucial.

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.” -Khalil Gibran

Are You Riding the Sea Change?

Does the news of the day get you down—global violence, economic and social unrest, and environmental disasters? Do you fear what the future will hold for you and your loved ones? Do you long for things to be better, yet feel helpless? There may just be another landscape with hope for a better world.

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in sync with Earth's rhythms

Get In Sync with Earth’s Rhythms

Following the high energy that surrounds the summer solstice, July and August invite us to sit back, feel the energy of the crops ripening and wait for the harvest. August ushers in a settling or resting type of energy that connects us with the earth. Earth is our home and she provides us nourishment, support and life, as well as the cycles, rhythms and patterns of our lives. Learning how to adapt our busy lives to these cycles and rhythms can help us eat and sleep better and contribute to our overall health and well-being.Continue reading