Tag Archives: holidays

The 52: Are You Lighter and Happier Because of Eternal Love?

Standard

butterflybluesky

Eternal life and love!  Who are you kidding?  Do you really think this is true?

Well, yes.  My answer is, ” I do.”  Because I have direct, personal evidence.

Did you take some time to contemplate what eternal love and life actually means?  Or is the thought of such a thing just over the top for you?  Fora long time, it was for me! 

There were times in my life when I would have thought it such so much “poppy cock” and fantasy.  Come on, we die, life ends, that’s it.  Deal with it!  (Oh, I can even hear my old myself saying things like that.) 

Or, try this, when we die, we go into the void.  There is nothing there.  Just darkness.  But we do continue, in a way, because our bodies deteriorate and nourish the plants and soil.  Here;s another one:  Our lives don’t really end. We continue to exist in the minds and memories of our families and friends and to those whose lives we touched.  We aren’t actually there, but they remember us and maybe we changed their lives in some way in the remembering.

Those sound pretty good to a lot of us.  But what if the truth goes way beyond this.  What if our spirits continue to exist right along with everyone else?  There is a lot of evidence to suggest this is true.  Take a look at near death experiences.  Here’s one: Proof of Heaven, by Dr Eben Alexander, a book by a neurosurgeon who experienced a near death experience himself.  A number one best seller on The New York Times list. Or here’s another, a book that compiled reports of after death communications called Hello From Heaven by Bill Guggenheim and Judy Guggenheim.  Or look at the websites that keep track of these reports.

Okay, you are free to discount all of this.  But wait just a minute.  Did you actually contemplate what your life now would be like if you knew you would not die , but, instead, just transition into another state.  What happens then to all the fear and anxiety we attach to death? And what if that other state was full of love and bliss and you would be totally happy and healed.  Then what?  Just asking…

And in the asking, I really would like to know what you think.

So, for now, remember this — It ain’t over even you think it will be over.  Wow!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

Advertisements

The 52: More on Lesson Nine — You Are As Happy As You Want To Be

Standard

butterflybluesky

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

That Abraham Lincoln!  With everything else he did, I never knew he made comments on happiness — and profound ones indeed.  So you see, happiness doesn’t just happen.  It has something to do with how you think  and how your mind is responding to your life and world.  You can make up your mind to be happy.  How liberating is that?

One of the yoga classes I teach focuses on being light and happy.  At the beginning of class, everyone takes one of those sticky smiley faces. You know the ones that are usually yellow and they used to be plastered in all kinds of places.  “Have a nice day,”  might go along with them.  They were ubiquitous at one time. I stick my smiley face on the front of my shirt so everyone can see it.  I encourage students to stick them on their bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of their car, on their computer, wherever they will see it.  It’s a reminder to lighten up and be happy.  We need all the help we can get!

Sure, some may think that this idea of happy faces is a little trivial, silly, syrupy, and sentiments like that.  I don’t care because I would rather be reminded to be happy than be politically correct or cynical about it.  I tried that way (the cynical way) for a long time.  All I derived from that was pain and separation. It does not work, especially if you want any happiness in your life.

Many of us say to ourselves, “Well, I will be happy when I find a partner or make enough money or have a new car or buy that special pair of shoes or get my child into the best school.”  Think about it.  You will always have another “as soon as” and then happiness just passes you by.  Happiness is not something that comes from the outside.  It is an inside deal.  Remember Lincoln said, it is in your mind.

I like this quote from one of the great texts on yoga, the Yoga Vasistha:

One who is happy with whatever clothing he is given,

whatever food he is fed, and whatever resting place he is given,

shines like an emperor.

  • Think about times when you were especially grateful or happy.  What triggered that response? Maybe it was something simple like making it on time to your child’s school play or getting the last seat on an airplane or seeing a squirrel scamper across your yard.
  • Go way back in time, to your childhood.  Something very simple might have been the impetus.  I remember being in elementary school and, on the first really warm spring day, how much happiness I felt at going outside to swing on swings and run across the grass.
  • Look around you.  Really look.  I know you will find something around you that can elicit gratitude  and happiness.  Just sitting here in my office, I am happy that the sun is streaming through the window, that my computer is working, that I have my cup of green tea right next to me.  Remember, I said simple.

You can “make up your mind” to be happy, to find something that evokes happiness.  You are not tossed about by the circumstances of the world.  In fact, you are the world you construct.

With happiness, I wish you a wonderful day!

With love and namaste, Deanne

Check out www.deannemincer.com

Winter Solstice: From Darkness to Light

Standard

lightinwinter

The Winter Solstice has, in our human history, held great mystery.  It is the longest and, some would say, darkest night of the year.  The sun reaches its southernmost point in its arc.  Would the sun rise again?  Will the earth enjoy the warmth of its light?  Would life continue?  It has long been believed that the veil between spiritual and physical planes are at the thinnest point during the time of the solstice.  Then, the sun rises, and we are renewed, reborn, resurrected.  Hope and life go on.

Picture this:

You are sitting in the middle of the largest cathedral in the United States.  It is the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.  Its immensity is breath-taking, soaring pillars surround you.  One can barely see from the entrance doors all the way to the altar in front.  The lights are dim.  An ethereal darkness pervades.  On a stage before you, a tree is bathed in an icy blue light.  The tree bears chimes and bells.  The sounds you hear are the groanings and twistings of the darkest of winter nights — clanging, beating, rippling interspersed with primeval animal voices and wind sounds.  Mysterious in its power, the darkness continues and the dissonant music plays.

Then, barely visible at first, a dimly lit disc appears.  A dimly lit disc at the altar.  The disc begins to glow more brightly as it begins its ascent.  It moves ever upward and you recognize that it is a large bronze gong representing the sun.  Suspended next to it is the percussionist, slowly and regularly beating the sound that introduces the light.  You watch as the light spreads , little by little, pillar by pillar through the cathedral, bathing one pillar and then the next.  As the sun rises in its fullness, the cycle is complete.  From the darkest night, the sun has again risen. Life will continue.  All is well in the physical and spiritual realm.

Such is the experience in the annual Winter Solstice Concert offered at this cathedral.  The resonant sounds and music is the work of The Paul Winter Consort.  Being present for this program is a powerful and arresting experience.

What does all this mean?  It could represent the darkness of events in our lives and the light “at the end of the tunnel.”  It might be telling us something of the dark night of the soul, the place where pain and sadness are at depths where we might doubt that light will ever come.  We might be thinking about the psychology of depression and how the long dark days influence  many people.  A myriad of other possibilities exist.

To me, what is of greatest importance is recognizing that the Light is not something outside of us.  That it is within us at all times.  You don’t  have to look for someone or something to bring it to You.  YOU are it!  YOU are the Light of Love.  The Light of Truth. The Light of Compassion.  The Light of Kindness.  YOU!  Yes, YOU!  Even if you doubt it, it is true.

There are those who enter into the world to bring the Light to us, to make it tangible, to guide us, to teach us of the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. such is the one who is celebrated at this time of year, for Christ Mass. Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, brought this message. We are blessed to know it and what his true words meant.

Gloria in Exccelsis Deo!

Believe in the Truth! YOU are the Light of Divine and Eternal Love. Nothing less!

For more comments:  www.deannemincer.com and https://deannemincer.wordpress.com

Thanks Giving: Joyous Food for the Spirit

Standard

       In a recent conversation with a friend, I reflected on my love of cooking.  I said that, if I had a free moment to relax, it would likely be with poring over a recipe or preparing a special meal.  In my mind, I would conjure the process of working in my kitchen preparing something that will nurture and nourish myself and those around me.  I can feel my heart open and a joyousness emerges as I think of the fireplace crackling with warmth, classical music or chants , wafting through the room, a fragrant candle with the hint of apples and pumpkin, and me, chopping and mixing up a blend of home cooked kindness.  This is, in fact, how it is in my Thanksgiving kitchen.

      As I set about to take various ingredients and turn them into food to offer family and guests, I never feel alone.  Instead, my kitchen is surrounded by memories and traditions.  It brims with remembrances of past holidays, generations of those family and friends past and present, of aromas and tables set with foods popular during the time they were offered.  Food provides a sense of community (of communing together) and connecting in ways that only food can evoke.

      I savor a  memory of my mother baking hundreds of Christmas cookies that she gave out to eager recipients each year — everyone from family and neighbors to the post man and the man who took care of her car.  My mother learned cooking, sewing, and other domestic skills from her own mother.  She, in turn, taught them to her eager daughter.  I knew that I was learning a skill but I was also learning a more important lesson. It was a lesson about how to share love with others.  Then, as my mother reached into her late nineties and lived with my husband and me, we prepared many of those same Christmas cookies.  She had grown too weak and fragile to stand at the counter, mixing heavy dough in big bowls. Under her watchful eye and taking her advice, we took the cookies  from the oven and offered them to her for the true taste test. Every morsel was an act of love.

      Though I did not know it then, the energy and attitude of the cook goes into the food itself.  Mixing dough, mashing potatoes, making the sauces — whatever the dish — it becomes infused with the predominant attitudes of the one cooking.  So cooking with attention to attitude is important.  Maybe even offering a prayer or affirmation as cooking commences is a kind gesture in much the same way as offering thanks for the food set on the table.

      Food and eating as a group has traditions that stretch back into the roots of our humanity and are shared in all cultures.  The “communion,” in religious ritual, brings like-minded people together in praise and commonality — perhaps even in rapture.  It is no mistake that food plays such a central role in all the important ceremonies of life.  Think of holidays (holy days) of all persuasions, weddings, anniversaries, funerals. 

      So it is with much love that I approach the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner.  I will offer a prayer of thanks giving for an abundant sense of love, for all in our nation, and in the world, for concern for those without family and home, for those present and past.  And, especially, to my mother, in thankfulness for the lessons she taught me all those years ago and into this very day.

      Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.  You don’t even have to live in a country where Thanksgiving is celebrated each year, you can make EVERY day one of thanks giving.

With love and namaste from Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com and to http://deannemincer@wordpress.com