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Just A Butterfly On My Hand

If you advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. It will chase you.”

…Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday was a world-class day.

Have you ever witnessed or experienced something that was so profoundly beautiful that it brought tears to your eyes?

This is the highest octave of any day’s energetics.

Beauty has many forms and definitions.  It applies to anything and everything.

I write almost every day and I do not have words to describe what happened to me yesterday.  It is one of those days when I wish I was an artist of some kind because words fail me when attempting to describe what happened.  Playing an instrument, dancing, or using the voice for singing would be the only way to fully engender the meaning.

Thus, I will honor the beauty of the heart of it as purely and as simply as I can: We are greatly loved, and the enormity of it is realized by us only in flickers.

The stars flickered for us yesterday.  And, strangely here is what happened…

As most of you know, I lost one of my sisters to breast cancer and the void she left can be all-consuming some days. But, on other days, well, things magical happen. “As above, so below” is an ancient adage that declares a belief in the physical connection between heaven and earth. And, yesterday I experienced a mystical moment.

But, first I must tell you that, for our family, butterflies are very significant. Whenever we see a butterfly we know that my sister is close by. This is because, shortly after her death, her daughter who was seeing a grief counselor, was asked: “If your mommy could come back, what would she come back as?” She responded almost immediately and with great conviction: “Oh, my mommy would be a butterfly.”

And, when at Christmas of the same year, she yanked on her clacker, (that yearly tradition in some Christian households) to get her gift that was inside…and a butterfly popped out, we knew without a doubt that my sister, who had a great sense of humor, was making a visit. So…ever since then….butterflies are significant.

Well, as it happened, yesterday a man came up to me with his hands cupped. He opened them and then gently placed on my finger, the coolest, most beautiful butterfly. A Swallowtail Butterfly to be exact. You rarely see any of them, though, as they spend much of their lives feeding high up in trees, and do so mostly at night.

Not yesterday. Yesterday, this stunning, graceful, elegant, exquisite living being, visited me and stayed on my hand for at least 15 minutes! In the midst of all the craziness and insanity that this world is doling out right now; in the middle of this huge transition that humanity is going through, I actually drew a crowd as people wanted to see up close the beauty of this spectacular butterfly.

And, I got quite emotional as I stood there. For, you see, I knew without a doubt that this was my sister paying us a visit. And, she had the ability to make people pause for a second, from their busy lives, to admire the beauty this world has to offer.

I realized something else too. In the parallel of the cycle of growth of a butterfly, we are in the time of the “growing season” when the caterpillar cocoons and makes its way through the darkness of the chrysalis to come out into the light of day.  In the natural cycle, this is the time of persevering through challenges to our hopes, wishes and dreams.

My sister showed me in her quiet, ethereal, unearthly, kind of way that just as she made the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, we too, are being lifted above and beyond.  Out of harm’s way.

So, advance confidently in the direction of your dreams. If you do, you’ll meet with a success that can only be imagined! It will chase you. My sister chased us yesterday. It was a beautiful act of love.

 

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The Extrovert – Diary of A World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

Our culture made a virtue of living only as extroverts. We discouraged the inner journey, the quest for a center. So we lost our center and have to find it again.”

…Anais Nin

We’ve all grown up in this western cultural mindset that told us it’s great to be bold, to be sociable (think about Social Media). Extroverts love to get out there and meet new people, crank up the stereo, race to the finish line, tackle assignments quickly. Which means we’ve lost sight of who we really are.

But, did you know that one third to one half of our population are introverts?…in other words, one out of every two or three people you know.

That was astonishing to me! Could I actually be an introvert?!! So I did some research. And here’s a very interesting story that exemplifies how our North American culture evolved into the rise of the Extrovert Ideal…

The date: 1902. The place: Harmony Church, Missouri, a tiny dot-on-the-map, village in small-town U.S.A. Our leading character: a good-natured but insecure teenage boy named Dale.

Skinny, fretful, unathletic, Dale was the son of a morally upright but constantly bankrupt pig farmer. He loves and respects his parents but is horrified that he might end up like them. Dale worries about other things too. Thunder and lightening, having a date for his high school prom, and being tongue-tied at crucial moments.

Well, one day a very captivating speaker comes to town. You know the kind…with the ability to mesmerize an audience. And, he fascinates young Dale with his rag-to-riches story. How he went from a lowly farm boy with a bleak future, to how he developed a charismatic speaking style and took to the stage. Dale hangs on every word he says.

A few years go by and Dale is again impressed by the value of public speaking. He is now in college and he observes that the students who win the campus speaking contests are viewed as leaders, and he is determined to be one of them. He signs up for every contest. He practices every night at home. Again and again he loses.

Eventually though his efforts begin to pay off. He transforms himself into a speaking champion and campus hero. By the time he leaves college, students are seeking him out for help in speaking, and corporate America is booming. J.C. Penney, Sears Roebuck, Woolworth are all household names.

Well, this new economy called for a new kind of man…a salesman, a social operator who had a ready smile, a great handshake. You know the kind. So, Dale joins the ranks of those salesmen, heading out on the road.

Dale’s last name as you may have guessed by now is Carnegie. The rest is history. His book “How To Win Friends and Influence People” was one of the first best-selling, self-help books ever published. His story is also the rise of our cultural evolution that reached a tipping point around the turn of the twentieth century.

So, here’s what happened. We shifted our focus from inner goodness and integrity to outer seductiveness, magnetism, and charm. We went from a Culture of Character, to a Culture of Personality. And, we opened up a Pandora’s box of personal stress and anxiety from which we have not yet recovered.

And, it’s bizarre given the fact that most of us are actually introverts, who have learned how to adopt extroverted behaviors in order to succeed. But, at what a cost!! We have now reached epidemic levels in depression, and mental health issues. 

The solution is simple. But, most people have dismissed it with a wave of their hand and then carried on with their very busy lives.

What we ALL really need to do is to learn how to get still once again. We need to embrace the silence that is within us.  For it is there that we will receive great wisdom. Look at it as a sanctuary for our busy selves…a time when we can just “be” without having to impress anyone else. And, it’s very, very important that we discover this sacredness again.

It truly is an inside job. A training of sorts where the payoff won’t be in lining the pockets of those who are already “fat” from profits, but rather, a return to the riches of our own soul.

That, my friends, is priceless.

 

 

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Positive Thoughts – Tip #25

Positive thoughts are a biological mandate for a happy life. As Gandhi says:

Your beliefs become your thoughts

Your thoughts become your words

Your words become your actions

Your actions become your habits

Your habits become your values

Your values become your destiny

 

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Wisdom – Tip #23

Each and every one of us has all the wisdom and knowledge we ever need right inside of us. It is available to us through our intuitive mind, also known as our archaic brain. This is our connection with Universal Intelligence. If we sit still and get quiet enough, we will hear those whisperings…for stillness is the fence around wisdom.

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