Sunday, April 19, 2020

Morning Thoughts Over Coffee


It seems such a strange time but I suppose everything moves in cycles and circles and those said cycles and circles continue to spin time out of time.  I’ve seen so much in terms of present day experience from cosmic order, to conspiracy theories.  I can’t pretend to know which is the truth, so, to be completely honest, I don’t bother.  It’s not that I don’t care, it is that maybe I care a bit too much.  I can’t worry so much about who did what…cover up…or why because if I carry each thread to it’s nuanced conclusion, I’m still right back where I started and so are all of those that choose that particular path.  It is a path to nowhere and so…and those two little words are so powerful: “And So.”

Regardless of this theory or that disaster, so far, my family is being safe, cautious and just getting on with the days as much as we can.  My heart breaks every time I hear about my fellow human beings suffering and then I pray.  What else can I do that would be more helpful?  Social media is filled with ridiculous judgment and rather than get too upset, I understand what it truly is…fear, fear and, you guessed it, more fear.  There are times in our lives where the prevailing energy of the masses seems to be stemming from the energy of fear.  Try, if you can, not to get caught up in sticky negative fear.  It’s a big old human fly trap, a non-starter perspective that will have you spinning, spooled up and spat out no better than before you started.

The trick in these times is just to breathe,  stay here in the moment, focus on what is directly before you without reaching too far ahead in your thoughts or reaching behind you wishing things had been different.  If wishes made a difference, we’d all be in a different boat I suppose.  But we aren’t.  So, for now, right now, I’m sitting here breathing…grateful for a nice cup of half decaf in my favorite Doctor Who Coffee Mug.  The sun is up and the birds are singing.  I’ve got a delicious desert breeze gently blowing through the open screen door. My part of the world is gently stirring and I know that each human will do the best that they can this day and honestly in many ways, it’s like any other day and any other time in life. It isn't the end of the world.  The sun is up, the skies are there and the grass still sways in a breeze.

Starting a daunting task with fear isn’t the end of the world, it just means you let fear ride along a little bit until you decide to let it go.  And when it goes, you can find and grab hold of gratitude.  It is a saving grace, I assure you.  So many lives are lost day in and day out - some for understandable reasons and many not.  Is that new?  Is that something to be afraid of?  Is that something that would make you revert back to the stature of a cornered cat striking out at anything and everything that comes within reach hissing and claws out?  How does that help at the end of the day?  Who does that truly hurt, if you give it a cold hard look?  Truly it hurts only you and those who love you.  So, relax a bit as much as you can.  Take in a slow and intentional breath. 

Listen, you are precious.  Your every breath and step matters.  Life is hard sometimes but sometimes you have to just get on with it.  Eat a cookie! Paint a picture. Meditate under a tree.  Pray if you want to.  Smile at strangers instead of sitting in judgment of them while making a hundred thousand assumptions about why and how they are out to get you for this reason or that.  Do something helpful for yourself or better yet, others.  You have infinite power to make a difference in this world in the positive but you’ll never do it if fear has settled over your soul and you succumb to it.  We must be vigilant against letting fear settle in over our souls.  See it, acknowledge it – don’t try to change it – but realize what it is and know this – I mean really know this, you can still be the best you despite the fear and worry that this awful permeating energy can bring you.  

Every day, do something kind.  Instead of finding what is wrong with someone today, whoever crosses your path, I challenge you to consider what good you can find in them.  Shift your thinking from fearful judgment to helpful acceptance or aspirational compassion.  Be disciplined about it.  If your mind automatically goes towards negative judgment of others – okay fine – let your mind be but then, add in a complementary thought.  Strive to understand.  Understanding won’t fix what is wrong in the world but it sure does take the personal sting out of an illusory attack!  If you want to take a war-like stance, do it to minimize fear! Hold compassion as the highest ideal today if you want less of a bumpy ride today.  At the end of the day, we are one.  My prayers go out today to all who struggle with fear, anxiety, worry and dis-ease.  I pray the beauty in this world and in her inhabitants shines today brighter than the sun and in the most beautiful  of ways.  Be strong you beautiful souls.  You’ve got this.  You really do.  I’m rooting for you, everyone of you.  Blessings of peace, compassion, health and safety to one and all.

Copyright 2020, Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Wisdom of the Elements




Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?  I have, some time ago.  Nothing could have prepared me for the absolute breath-taking view.  You don’t realize how very tiny you are until you stand beside it, feel the ancient energy of it and imagine its creation.  I don’t know exactly why, but I was remembering the Grand Canyon in a dream I had a few nights ago.  I didn’t recall it for its aesthetic beauty and grandeur.  I recalled it because of what my mind has been wrestling with forever, it seems.

The steadfast rock and Earth surrounds us, water flows within and around us.  Great rivers erode the rock slowly over time and yet in some place and at some times, the work of the water flowing etches gently and cuts deeply into the Earth.  If you think about it or truly realize it, as stunningly beautiful as the Grand Canyon is – remember, it was created by water flowing over rock and wind whipping through it over time. I think of us, mere mortals, our daily trials and tribulations and even the minor things we tend to get so upset about.  To me, it’s all like water flowing over rocks and wind whipping through.  We may be etched and cut into by the various elements of existence that flow around and through us in our experience but we are no less beautiful in the end than before our lives began.

We do so many things, we strive to achieve this or that, to acquire, to gather and hold things to us and that is a funny thing to me.  Nothing remains forever just as it is.  Life here is forever changing, merging, falling away - blowing away even. We fly, we crash, and we tumble and flow.  Just like the wind, the water, just like the rocks we live upon.  We can stand firm in the fullness of our being and let life flow within and around us.  It doesn’t matter what we do, what we achieve, what we learn or acquire, the part of us that witnesses all of our life-experience, remains the same – unharmed and ever transformed.  We live, we breathe and we die but there is that part of us that remains untouched like the day we were born, pure and pristine.  It doesn’t matter what we go through and grow through because in the end, that pure and pristine part of us lives on.

The point of this is not that you should not acquire, grow or learn as you live and breathe in this life but rather that you should understand what remains and what changes.  In a way, what remains and changes is the same.  That is confusing in a way.  Perhaps it is all about aspects and perspectives of what we choose, how we take in an experience or how it is we might use it?  We ARE.  No matter what we have or don’t, who supports us or won’t, how we live or die – no matter what, we still ARE.  We are made neither greater nor lesser by what we do really.  We still ARE.  If we dress Class Act, or bare cozy and comfy, we still just ARE.  I think that the more I live, the more I understand what nature is trying so hard to teach us.

These observations and thoughts didn’t come to me all at once.   These thoughts didn’t occur to or comfort me as I acquired and gathered, or while I surrendered and lost.  Whether I was climbing ladders, or admitting defeat, I still AM.  There is a part of me that remains pure and pristine no matter what it is I mire myself in.  It seems that what I do, is for my entertainment, because I feel moved to do this or that.  It feels good sometimes to do this and that.  It feels bad sometimes to do this or that.  But when the feelings of whatever it is I am or was engaged in fade, I remain just as whole as I was.  I still AM.

I go back to my memories of the Grand Canyon and take a slow and easy breath in and out. The water is not evil because it cut the walls of the canyon.  The colorful rocks that have withstood the years and seasons are not weak because they stood still.  No matter what the experience, they still ARE and yet they are beautifully transformed in a way by the experience but their essence and their power is not lost or made lesser by interaction with the elements.  When I see the rocks now, I feel gratitude and deep appreciation for their existence.  When I see the rain, water flowing – I feel grateful and a deep affinity for it’s existence.  When the wind blows it carries aspects of rock and water and I’m grateful as the air I breathe carries the pure power of transformation.  When I feel the heat of the sun, I am reminded of the gifts of transformation it too brings.  These things can harm and support me but I am made neither greater nor lesser for my experience of them.

You, in your lives, living day in and day out, working and achieving or learning and growing – you are made no greater or lesser as a result of your experience.  Even though you may be transformed willingly or unwillingly remember that there is an aspect of you that will remain pure and pristine as the day you were born.  Live, laugh, play and love.  Enjoy fully the richness of your experience here.  Appreciate your surroundings, check in now and then to see if you find value in what you are learning. Strive if you feel moved to – to understand all of your amazing and magical teachers in this life.  Everything matters. You too matter.  Never mind how life has shaped you, cut through you or changed you.  Your soul is still beautiful and filled with magic.  You still ARE.  Blessings of great love to you.

Copyright 2020, Jaie Hart (Photo NPS.org)

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Beautiful Memories, Motherhood and Love



Being at home for so much of the last few weeks, I’ve had these stirrings of memories from days long gone by.  Not just a flashback of a picture but the whole thing of it, the feeling, the scents, the sounds, the quality of the light and even the physical feeling.  The moments of holding my babies in my arms snuggled up nice and warm after a bath and a bottle.  My heart is filled with these memories-feelings-pictures and moments.  As I see each of my children, fully grown now, I remember the moments before they were born and all the hope I held for them.  Then, after birth, I remembered the intensely overpowering love I felt for each of them as I held them close and took great care with them.  I remember each of the pains of their growing and that was so bitter sweet to me.  I remember with pride each of their milestones, their dark days and light days.  I remember their smiles each and every one. When I close my eyes, I can still hear their laughter - the laughter of discovery of simple things like gravity, the creative things like using my nail polish on to repaint hot wheels, Legos (especially found by my toes in the middle of the night), movies, creating art, dancing, singing and just listening to music, the love and play with animals, and pure joy with this and that and everything else under the sun. I remember the look of love in their eyes.  As I recall these sweet and precious memories and find that I’m over come yet again but in a different way now in this moment.

There were times as they were so very small, we struggled so much to get by. I shielded them from as much of some of the harsh realities of our existence as I was able and I kept them focused on what we could do.  I worked hard and  I did the best I could to give them all the things I never had.  I did my best to raise them with empathy, understanding and compassion. I tried to teach them about unconditional love.  I have to say that I’m just so completely proud of the people they have become on their own terms.  The youngest baby now is finishing high school and she too will be on her way into the world to make a difference in her own unique and amazing way.  I remember when I held each one of them close, wrapped safe and warm. I remember treasuring the moments and intentionally committing those moments to the memory of my heart.  I used to think of them as my babies.  But in reality, I love them too much to consider them just mine. I realize that they are not mine.  They never were.  They are the true loves and lights of the whole of my life - in the whole of my existence but each of them is their own person, being, and force to be reckoned with.  Each has his and her own great and special purpose in this world and to see them live it is a precious gift to me. I was just lucky enough to have each of them in my care and to hold each of them in my heart.

I’m so very grateful that I was given the honor to be their Mother, the opportunity to know them and to love them as well as watch them grow into amazing human beings. Parenting is hard work, so very hard but it is truly the most precious gift in the world.  Every time I see them, or even hear them speak, I’m instantly transported to many moments backwards in time.  I smile, fight back tears sometimes and take a breath -   a very long, slow and deliberate breath and I smile from the depths of my soul.  It’s such a strange time to be alive and I consider them among the bravest of beings for choosing to be here now at this time in this crazy, mixed up and beautiful world.  I pray that they always, always see pink clouds in a sunrise or sunset and remember the days we shared noticing the beauty, looking for the bright side, and capturing a moment in word, in photo, in hand drawn impression of a view, any view and  I hope that they one day - each of them - have many moments to feel all the love in the world I feel right now for each of them, always, still, and forever. 

Count your blessings every day and be grateful for every  moment that you have ever shared with those who mean the most in life to you.  Let them know, every day and in every way that you care, that you love them and want the very best for them, even when they change, grow and move away from you.  As a parent, you know that IS the goal, right?  I’ll tell you a secret, love does not just live in proximity.  Love lives period.  The more you love, the more you are filled with infinite gratitude for all that you love.  I wish you many beautiful blessings in these challenging times.  I wish you strength, health, abundance, love, laughter and great hope.  Don’t miss the next sunrise or sunset without holding pure gratitude for existence.  

For my children, I wish every joy, happiness, life lesson, and the feeling of overcoming challenge, adversity, tears and more.  They are strong and amazing. Hold onto the the good memories and consider the lessons of the more difficult ones and know that above all else you are loved so powerfully and so completely no matter what it is you do in this life!

Copyright 2020, Jaie Hart

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Real and Surreal of Life Just Now



 A year ago I left the State of California to make a new home and life in the beautiful state of Arizona.  We’ve been here almost a year now.  The living and dining rooms that once were crammed full of boxes from the floor to about 4-5 feet high, are finally cleared, furnished and decorated.  It’s the most peaceful part of my home.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day.  After getting required outings completed quickly, I sat for a time looking at the space and imagining how it looked a year ago.  I’m so pleased with the transformation and also so very grateful for the opportunity to be here, to own my home (or at least hold a reasonable mortgage to one) and find a measure of comfort and peace. My community now is smaller, we’re close to the very edge of town where it’s quiet and less chaotic.  I truly love it.

The heat of the desert here in Arizona takes some getting used to.  But this time of year is so beautiful.  It took me a year but we finally got screens on the windows and I took full advantage yesterday throwing the windows open wide to let in the most delicious warm breezes. I sat quietly and listened to the birds sing, children at play and the sounds of my part of the city absent the usual consistent drone and hum of air conditioning units. I’ve been out of the house only twice in the last two weeks.  It is a troubling time and getting necessities has been difficult.  But, when we can get a hold of those things that are missing, I completely reject every urge to stockpile.  We take just what we need so that there will be enough for all.  After four days of searching the internet, I actually found a place to order Toilette Paper from.  Sheesh!  But I still ordered only one 10 pack.  That will arrive about the time we run out.  I refuse to hoard and so every week that goes by, I pray there will be just what we need somewhere.

Grocery store shopping yesterday was better than the week before.  But it’s funny the things people are hoarding.  There was hardly any meat left in the stores, no rice, no pasta, barely any water, no snacks, ibuprophen gone, no Tylenol, no hydrogen peroxide, no laundry soap, no dish soap, and no cleaning supplies or paper products and we went to two stores.  I refuse to contribute to the problem.  I rearrange our meal plans to work with what we’ve got.  What else would we do?  We continue to support the local restaurants with orders several times a week because, again, what else would we do? We stay home unless absolutely required.




I’m fortunate that no one in my household is ill and I pray for all of those who have been exposed and those who have lost loved ones.  My heart aches for them.  I could swear one of my kids had this nasty virus back in January based on the symptoms and the duration.  But she made it through just fine and fortunately, the rest of us did not get it.  One in my household has a compromised immune system so every day, I pray.  With such a long duration of the incubation period, I think we still have another 7 days before we know if he was exposed.  After going out and about yesterday, I suppose we have another 14 days until we know if we were exposed.  Is this how we have to live now? I can't hold these kinds of thoughts for long. I have to learn to just be in the moment, accept what is.  Worry won't change this situation we all find ourselves in will it?

It’s quiet here now.  I’m sipping coffee in my beautiful home, cat purring beside me, birds singing joyfully outside.  It’s a cool Spring morning and I’ve opened the blinds to let the beautiful light in.  I don’t know what this day will hold but I pray it is quiet comfort and simple tasks.  Mundane and the ordinary are what I look forward to.  Peaceful activities, maybe some creative ones too will ease the back drop of anxious undertones for existence at the moment.  The world seems a bit surreal just now.  The things we're used too are different and we must strive to do our best to just be present, let go of the worry and just be here now.  In the now, it is less surreal, less worrisome, and holds this vast sense of just okay and you know what?  That’s not so bad considering the state of affairs.  Keep your chin up, take a breath, try to make a positive difference, check on your people, your neighbors and your friends.  Try to find ways to keep yourself up, going, and healthy.  Pray, meditate, and use this time to relax as much as you can.  I don’t know why at all honestly, but I still have this sense of everything is going to be alright.  Maybe not instantly, or even overnight, but this feeling is comforting and whether delusional or not, I’m going to try to hold onto it, breathe into it and do what I can to send that energy outward – calm, peaceful, healthy and okay!  Blessings to you all.

Copyright 2020 Jaie Hart (photos/words)