Monthly Archives: November 2007

Dream Work

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For many years I kept a journal until I bored myself silly with all my whining and complaining. So I stopped for a while. But the urge caught up with me again so I started up. This time I try not to complain about my life but use my writing to analyze my thinking and gain insight. Writing about your dreams is one to accomplish this.

Keep your journal near your bed. Often times we think we have not dreamed when actually we have. Many times we wake up from a dream and then go back to sleep, thus totally forgetting the dream in the morning. The next time you wake up from a dream, grab your journal and just jot down a few words that will jar your memory later. Go back to sleep. The next morning try to write about your dream in your journal using your notes. Quite often the meanings of the dreams suddenly make themselves evident as you write, but if not, come back to the journal entry a couple of days later and see if you have more insight into the dream’s meaning. Many times anxiety over a waking problem will manifest in a dream and frequently solutions to that problem will also emerge in a dream. By writing about these dreams, we may be able to discern the proper course of action or at the very least gain some knowledge about and mastery over the anxiety.

Sweet dreams………….

 

Lori G. © 2007.

Knowing Love

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I’ve been carrying a heavy burden for quite awhile. I can only identify it as an anxious fear of the future. Instinctively, I know I shouldn’t indulge this feeling. Yet, it is there, a vaporous entity that wraps itself around me digging its invisible claws into my spirit. I won’t go into detail about the things that I fear—let’s just say they are circumstances that we all fear at one time or another. But for me, this fear has mounted to a point that it is becoming debilitating. I’ve got to do something about it.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in my neck of the woods and while I am preparing my portion of the meal that I will share later today with other family members, I am taking some time to do some personal reflection.

What keeps coming to mind is the ancient saying that there is no fear in love. I had to say it again and again to myself: there is no fear in love. I sat back for a moment and took a mental inventory of the love that is in my life. There are some people in my life I know love me. I try very hard to love myself. But this love is transitory. People move on. Sometimes I don’t love myself.

But then it struck me that there is a love that is does not move on, that is unfailing. This is the love that the Universe pours out on me. That love is constant. It never wavers. It never depends on my feelings. It is outside me, beyond me, holding me up, permeating my being.

The trick is, however, letting this idea of a constant love permeate me as a fact, NOT as something I feel. I am not always going to feel that love, but if I have it grounded into my mind as a cognitive fact, then I can rely on that love. Many people place their reality squarely on the back of their feelings. This is perilous. Feelings change, feelings waver. Knowledge does not. If I base my reality securely on the knowledge that the divine power of the universe will not let me down, then the paralyzing grip of fear is released and I am free.

So on this Thanksgiving Day, I claim that love as a fact of life.  And for that knowledge, I am profoundly grateful.

May you also know this Love today and always.

Lori G. © 2007

Wholeness through Action

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The sage knows that his possessions are none, therefore he gives to the world; without recognition, doing his work.
Lao Tzu, The Tao Te Ching, Chapter 77

Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead! James 2:17 (CEV)

Many of us are in need of healing after being rent apart by family obligations and professional commitments. We are imposed upon to the point of physical exhaustion and emotional disintegration. We need time to be solely devoted to our own well-being, to nourish and revitalize ourselves. This comes by taking time out to minister to our bodies and interior life and by putting ourselves first.

That being said, though, we must be careful that we don’t swing the pendulum too far in the other direction. We run the risk of becoming selfish and self-centered. We become a universe of One, thinking only of our own needs and no one else. This can be profoundly detrimental to our well-being. There cannot be wholeness of being if we are out of balance in this way.

So I propose that there is healing in the act of stepping outside our personal universe and looking to others in need. There is wholeness in taking right action. We find a need or a cause outside ourselves and attend to it.

This doesn’t mean that we jump right into spending all our free time at the soup kitchen or immediately becoming the campaign manager of a local politician. But we can, little by little, do small things for the greater good. At the very least, we can become informed on issues of importance.

Here’s something each of us can try. Think of an area of great concern to us all and google it. Sift through the hits and learn as much as you can about the issue. Then, share what you learned with someone else.

For example, one global issue that burdens my heart is the vile practice of human trafficking. I know a bit about this issue because I have associates who are working to stop it. In order for me to be more supportive of their endeavors, I need to be better informed. Here are some sites I found on my web search that I want to share with you.

http://www.humantrafficking.org/
http://www.stophumantraffic.com/
http://www.childtrafficking.org/

We can also do more than be informed about an issue. We might actually take some small steps that contribute to the common good. For example, some friends and I had a discussion a few nights ago about how we might contribute to the fight on global poverty by purchasing more fair trade goods. It is well and good to be informed and discuss adopting this practice. The next step is to do it. I am beginning simply by looking for the Fair Trade designation on food products. I am now searching for retailers that sell affordable fair trade clothing. I found some online resources that I will investigate further in coming days:

http://www.fairtraderesource.org/
http://www.fairtradefederation.org/

Am I going to solve these great and terrible problems on my own? No, of course not. But I can step outside myself just a little bit and connect with others who are working towards the same goal. Do I run the risk of being a “latte-sipping liberal” who is trying to make myself feel better and not get my hands dirty in the process? Possibly, if I am not mindful and don’t heed the words of Lao Tzu, “…she gives to the world; without recognition.” I must remember to do this for others first, and not simply for myself.

Though simplistic, it is nonetheless true that by my taking these small steps towards healing myself, I contribute in a small way to the healing of the world. If I don’t exercise my calling, I am, as James writes, alone and spiritually compromised.

And this benefits no one.

Lori G. © 2007

Addendum:  On the side bar under under “Resource Links” there is a section called “For the Greater Good” where you will find more links to sites on fair trade, human trafficking, and sustainability.