Kamilah, Kahlil's mother. Painting by Kahlil Gibran
On Joy and Sorrow Kahlil Gibran
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, "Joy is greater thar sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Here is a story to break your heart. Are you willing? This winter the loons came to our harbor and died, one by one, of nothing we could see. A friend told me of one on the shore that lifted its head and opened the elegant beak and cried out in the long, sweet savoring of its life which, if you have heard it, you know is a sacred thing, and for which, if you have not heard it, you had better hurry to where they still sing. And, believe me, tell no one just where that is. The next morning this loon, speckledand iridescent and with a plan to fly home to some hidden lake, was dead on the shore. I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.
My friend Bruce Hake also states this powerful truth that needs to be said and shared:
"Connect the dots..... the "american" diet -- a pyramid of processed "food" -- is toxic to our bodies and our minds.... and is soon to overwhelm the health care system.... It's no wonder that the interlocking directorates of Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, Big Health Insurance..... Big Everything..... are making a "killing"..... it's just business as "use - you - all" ............."
My hope is that more and more of us will care enough to learn and share information such as this. There can be no solutions for problems denied. Our children are counting on us - Tag, we are all it!
"This is the first generation to eat such a horrific diet, including GMO's, and receive so many toxic vaccinations -- not to mention be exposed to so many environmental toxins as well. -- Do you think there's a connection?!" ~ Kelly Hayford
Eleanor Payon and myself, June 2009 - Birmingham, Michigan
Ellie is a psychotherapist and the author of "The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists:
Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family"
Over the past 30 years of being increasingly rooted into a path of healing and awakening, I have come to learn the intimate relationship between wounds and gifts, grief and gratitude, joy and sorrow, humility and strength, separation and interbeing, fear and courage, cruelty and compassion, loss and love. I never imagined when first cracking open the doorway to my deeply wounded and fortified heart that I would be led on this incredible journey which would teach me the gifts of the alchemist: how to turn the darkest experiences of my life into blessing.
One significant part of my path has been in the form of "shadow work." (There are many resources regarding shadow work. Among them are: http://www.soulfulliving.com/july02features.htm and http://www.theworkofthesoul.com/shadowwork.htm.) I still clearly remember in 1984 when one of my early therapists told me I would need to "embrace my shadow." I had no idea what in the world he was talking about. Simultaneous with that thought were two parallel inner reactions - "I sure as hell don't want to do That!," and a deep inner spiritual knowing that this is exactly the turn my life needed to take.
Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, wrote that if we waited until we were not afraid to embrace our fears and the changes we most need to make that we would wait forever. She wisely counseled that sometimes we just have to pinch our nose and jump and trust that we will not die. And so I did. Jump. Terrified, so terrified, but I jumped anyway into the unknown of a whole new life that awaited. The old world was one that needed to go.
E. e. cummings writes that "it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." Intertwined with this is this additional nugget of wisdom from Clarissa Pinkola Estes - that among the most important decisions any of us will ever make is whether or not to be bitter. Author, mythologist, storyteller Michael Meade has also reflected on the question that awaits us on the other side when we die: Did we become ourselves? Buddhist teachings reflect that within all beings is the beauty of our true nature. All life is imbued with the Sacred.
Yet, so many of us are asleep to this. I say this with the deep humility of one who has been very wounded, disassociated, caught up in addictions, judgments, unhealthy relationships, and other symptoms of being disconnected from my essence and the Sacred essence which permeates and connects all.
Our world is asking of each of us that we continue to grow and expand in the ways that we pinch our noses and jump. Jump into healing, awakening, seeing with new eyes, aligning our lives with our values, living authentically, clarifying our intentions, and discovering what the fierce compassionate actions are that we can take individually and collectively. Surely we all can grow in mindfulness of our judgments, in listening with our hearts, in consciousness of doing no harm, in allowing our hearts to break open to clear space for more love.
Yet, there is much to be revealed, embraced, healed, transformed in us individually and collectively. We all have a role to play, an important part of working toward a more caring world, one which increasingly cares for all. And part of this must be to recognize and give voice to the pain in our own hearts, families, communities, nation, and planet which shows up in the painful and frightening symptoms of children killing children, addictions of all kinds, extreme poverty, the worship of consumerism, depression, anxiety, personality disorders, suicide, species extinction, domestic violence and child abuse, vast redistribution of wealth upward, the destruction of the environment, the politics of polarization, global warming, the crushing of indigenous peoples, over population, rape, racism, war and terrorism, the war on terrorism and on everything else, and on and on. There can be no solution for problems denied, no healing for wounds split off and projected outward onto everything and everyone else - all to distract from the true roots of so much pain and violence, fear and separation, and the wisdom of how to recognize and feed the true need.
Suffering denied ends up being dumped onto the next generation and the next and the next, along with our children today and/or our spouse, co-worker, neighbor, and anyone else we perceive as different, Other, or somehow a threat to the stories we are attached to believing. These are the stories, the belief systems, the shadows and blind spots that keep us stuck in separation from what most needs attending in our own hearts.
There are, of course, many causes of the crisis humankind is now urgently faced with. Among them is one of the great illnesses of our times - narcissism. Narcissist Personality Disorder is especially common to American culture and is frequently found in families, love relationships, the work place, those in positions of political and corporate power, and more. This illness is characterized by an intense need for power and control, a heightened sense of entitlement and grandiosity, pervasive projecting and scapegoating, and an extreme lack of capacity for empathy and compassion. Think of the roots of our nation's founding which relied on slavery and the genocide of indigenous peoples, all the way to the present day vigorous insistence of "American Exceptionalism," and you can begin to grasp the historical roots of narcissism in American culture and its present day manifestations. This reveals why it is that so many Americans lead lives of "rugged individualism" coupled with a pervasive disconnect from their own deepest suffering and that of others. This is fertile ground for blaming poverty on the poor, for the politics of polarization, for the immoral redistribution of wealth upward, for Alzheimer's, for children shooting children. As Michael Meade states, "Any nation which disrespects its youth and disregards its elders is in big trouble."
With humility I share my awareness that this is but just one small glimpse into a much larger picture. May we each work to expand the ways in which we illuminate hurting and healing within ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and this Sacred Earth we share. May we increasingly embrace our individual and collective suffering now. And in doing so, may we discover our true joy. We are all connected. Another world is possible. May peace begin with me. And may we all learn to walk the path of the peacemaker. Blessed be.
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,
but by making the darkness conscious.
~ Carl Jung
Action creates its own courage and courage is as contagious as fear. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
The period of greatest gain in knowledge and experience is the
most difficult period of one's life.
~ The Dalai Lama
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
Just last night while watching the news, Ron and I were reacting to the false arguments being presented as coming from "the extreme right and the extreme left." WHAT EXTREME LEFT we asked?!
Anyone who looks deeply will know that Obama is no liberal, that he is often to the right of Reagan and even Nixon, and that - with few exceptions - the Democratic Party is now a right wing party. It also clearly exposes the shadow within American politics that the Republican Party of Eisenhower - which my grandfather (who taught Eisenhower at West Point) was part of for his lifetime - has swung so violently to the right as to render it dead.
From this article: "On every other issue, America - or at least American politics - has swung violently to the right. The more social class is involved, the further to the right America has swung. Poverty was once a social disease to be cured; it is now an individual crime to be punished. Put it down to individualism, conservatism, neoliberalism, or whatever -ism you want, America is now the world's greatest reactionary force."
“The most violent element in society is ignorance. ”
With Christmas have come reflections, prayers, mindfulness, gratitude, intentions, and so much more. Yes, Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And what does that mean? No doubt, this could be answered in so many different ways. For me, I am called to extend to family, friends, loved ones and beyond the warmest of wishes for love, beauty, joy, connection, meaning, peace, healing, courage, tenderness, laughter, and deep blessing. It is my hope for all beings that suffering lessen and be transformed into something much greater, something which nourishes our hearts, minds, souls. Perhaps a larger picture question is how is it that each of us brings forth the teachings of Christ or of any of the great spiritual traditions in our lives every day? How does our spiritual path manifest in the ways that we live our lives? My prayer is that we be empowered individually and collectively to grow in mindfulness. May we increasingly clarify the ways we bring forth the change that is needed within ourselves and this beautiful world we share. May we walk the path we came here to walk. May we be kind. May we be peace. This is the deep teaching of Christ and of all the Great Ones which resonates in my heart and holds the highest meaning for me.
My religion is very simple - my religion is kindness.
greetings of this beautiful holiday season. We hope that this finds you and your loved ones well and deeply blessed in the ways which most nourish you and what it is that you love. Our lives
have been filled with love and gratitude, challenges and change, beauty and joy, laughter and life, and much overall sweetness. The biggest news comes in the form of two weddings which will be happening in 2013. Our oldest son, Brian, met his loverly Marita one year ago and they plan to marry in August. And Ron and I have set our wedding date for September 14th. There is a plethora of excitement and wonderfulness going on around here! At 25, Matt
has also embarked on a path of significant life changes. We are so proud, pleased, and supportive of the great things which are happening for Matthew. Kevin and Kristin have now been married for 5 years and together for 10 years. They are doing well, and both Kristin and Matt are chipping away at college at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Ron's lovely Allison is continuing with her active life, which includes organizing numerous fund raising events for Oregon Special Olympics. We are proud and our hearts smile for all our "kids!" Life is so
full, so rich. Now Ron and I share 3 “sons” and – with Kristin, Alli, and Marita - 3 "daughters." There is just a lot of hugging, playing, and fun going on, person to person and with our 2 retrievers and 3 kitties. Of course, there is much more to share, and the pictures sum up well what most matters. This, and our ongoing heartfelt gratitude and caring for the well being of our family and friends and that of all beings on this Sacred Earth we share. May this holiday season capture and nourish your hearts, minds spirits. And may 2013 bless you deeply.
With warmest wishes & brightest blessings to all, Molly & Ron
also feels important to add something in recognition and honor of these extraordinary
times in which we live…
Tidal Shift in Consciousness
We are cultivating a tidal shift in consciousness that
includes manifesting the passion, courage, emotional resilience, and deep
generosity that peacebuilding requires. In cultivating peace, we are asking for
a dynamic interaction with love, with gratitude, with forgiveness, and with
cherishing. In cultivating peace, we are asking that our true qualities engage
with everyone and everything around us in ways that are fruitful. Peace has the
capacity to blow like a great wind of change that transforms the entire social
order, but it begins with a breeze that must stir in the center of our own
being. Any action that begins in the core of your being is one that unites with
the Source of All Being. Peace is the healer of wounds. For as much as you
cultivate peace in all of its dimensions, it will cultivate you beyond all
~ James O’Dea, taken from Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st-Century