The Journey Inward

Many of us step foot on the path to spiritual enlightenment expecting it to lead us onward and upward, hoping to become something better than we are, and ready to gather all of the important things we need along the way.  What a surprise it is when we eventually realize that this path isn’t taking us onward but inward, that we’re not gathering things so much as letting them go, and that there was never anything more to aspire to than the truth of what we already are ~ Cristen Rodgers

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Photo by Grady

In order to move inward we need to apply self-discipline as this will put us on our path of purpose and show us why and what we came to accomplish here on Earth.    We need to awaken our conscious being which in turn will enhance our spiritual potential.  A part of life is having attachments, but we need self-discipline to be able to detach ourselves. When we let go, we are releasing our need to control and releasing the conditional love that comes with an attachment so that we are able to love unconditionally. In order to bring Spiritual Balance to our lives, we must seek out our individual path and journey inward to find our True and Authentic Self.  We need to enhance our power of detachment, for there lies the answer and to release and let go, for there lies the path to Inner Grace.

Even a single bloom, seemingly detached from its surroundings, still manages to celebrate its existence in Beauty, Color and Energy.

Marking Time

Time doesn’t stop or give warning. It simply ticks along, marking time, ignoring humanity ~ Amy Harmon

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Photo by Grady

Some people mark time with Tattoos while others mark time with an Anniversary or by collecting Photographs and recording them in albums or picture frames. Life Cycles are another way to mark time. In life, we set out personal guidelines with a mind to succeed, but often we are just setting ourselves up to fail. With Life Cycles it is almost as if we give our power to emotional burdens and past failures, whereas if we choose to live by a set of Virtues, we can take back our power and manage our lives with mindful intention. We can choose to just exist, or we can take responsibility for our lives by consciously creating our life conditions and by growing through our life experiences. We can choose to override past emotionally driven Life Events or Cycles and replace them with consciously driven Life Virtues.

Choose your Virtues and then live them…

I chose Feathers to mark my time. They symbolize honor, strength, and freedom. By adding Virtues; Love (Orange), Balance (Green), Courage (Red), Passion (Purple), Loyalty (Blue), Wisdom (Yellow) with the final, almost ethereal, Feather (Black and White) symbolizing Endings and New Beginnings.  These Feathers, gracing my wall, are there as a reminder of past Life Events and lessons learned. They are also there to inspire me to greater heights as I continue my Life Journey ~ Grady

Take a look at some of the beautiful Medicine Feather Bundles and Beaded Hat Bands here:  Johnny Blackbird

Let your Inner Light Shine

If you live in this world with kindness, if you don’t add to other people’s burdens, but if you try to serve love, when the time comes for you to make the journey, you will receive a serenity, peace and a welcoming freedom that will enable you to go to the other world with great elegance, grace and acceptance ~ John O’Donohue

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Photo by Grady

It seems that as we grow older, we become wiser in that we realize, finally,  that the simplicity of life is exactly that…  a state, a quality, an instance of consciously being that frees us from the complexities of life. Once we find our balance and free ourselves of the bonds that hold us hostage, we will find Love, Peace and Tranquility. The light within will grow brighter and guide us and those we touch, be it fellow humans or pets, who in turn will guide and teach us.

Animals, particularly domesticated dogs, live their lives with such dignity, loyalty and acceptance. They love unconditionally, trust unconditionally and their inner light shines through ever so brightly. Can we not learn from them? To serve Love unconditionally? What great Humans we could become, worthy of our place on this planet we call Earth.

This post is dedicated to Maggie Moo 10/26/2006 – 1/27/2020

A Window to the Spirit within

The eye is the window of the soul; even an animal looks for a man’s intentions right into his eyes  ~  Hiram Powers

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photo by Grady

Trust the spirit within so that your good intentions reflect in your face and, especially, in your eyes. The key to successful relationships lies solely in our ability to take in the perspective of another. It is that skill of being able to look at things from a point of view other than our own that we begin to create an all encompassing life which embraces mindfulness and compassion. We all see things differently but differences in perception should not alienate us.

We are all one and the same when it comes to Love.

Authentic Self

You’ve been kidding yourself about yourself for so long, you’re someone else. Your you is just a fragile fabrication. Every morning, you have to wake up, assemble this busy, dissembling monster, and get him or her on his or her feet again for another round of fantasy ― David Guterson

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Photo by Grady

We are all storytellers. All invested in creating the fabric of our lives by weaving threads to suit our needs and enhance our life experiences. Our Quilt of Life is stitched together in a patchwork of stories. Some truths, but mostly myths. We each create our own personal myths and like myths, our stories contain both good and bad characters that help us or hold us back. People we can blame for our sadly lacking lives or those who motivate and inspire us. We also have the power to rewrite our own history. These fragments of life experiences are woven into our thoughts, desires, passions; our very life force. The social media effect makes it very easy to portray ourselves in a good light. To live our lives in a faux roseate glow. So it is imperative that we don’t lose sight of our Authentic Self.

A rose of iron is strong and everlasting and exquisitely beautiful in its monochromatic hue. It does not have the drama of color, sweet romance in its scent or the sensual allure of a real rose. Both are beautiful in their own way. Neither trying to be more or less of the other. It is how we connect our external reality to our internal reality.

With Balance and Truth.

Lessons in Love

We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us.” ~ Maurice Maeterlinck

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photo by Grady

Life and living is about learning how to give and receive love unconditionally.  It is imperative that we love and be loved.  If not, our existence becomes dull, lifeless and almost monochromatic.  The day we turn our backs on each other is a life not worth living. There will be times when we feel abandoned or without purpose or direction.   This is when we need to create opportunities for ourselves. When we need to trust in ourselves and each other. Life’s most rewarding lesson is learning how to love and be loved.

The symbol of unconditional love and absolute trust.
A man and his dog.

Migratory Spirits

Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving ~ Kahlil Gibran

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photo by Grady

And so, how do we know when the time is right to follow our Spiritual Path? As with the migrant birds there is a voice within.  If only we would listen to it.  It whispers to us with such certainty as to when to take flight and even the direction with which to proceed. As migratory birds form a V to make their flight easier so then should we form our own V to ease our Spiritual Journey. If we live mindfully and strive for moral excellence, our V will take beautiful form.  Naturally encompassing the 12 Virtues.

Love, Humility, Perseverance, Respect, Honor, Sacrifice, Truth, Compassion, Bravery, Fortitude, Generosity and Wisdom.

If we lead with Love and fly with a Winged Heart, the rest will follow.

Balance and True Peace

Find balance and be satisfied. Then live your life. Once you experience balance and true peace, life is much easier ~ Johnny Blackbird

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If we are mindful about living in the now we are able to take note of what is going on around us. By re-awakening our senses and using them wisely, we are then able to embrace the Five Senses. To see the myriad colors of life. To taste the sweet nectar of love. To feel the touch of silk over skin. To listen to the songs of birds on a wing. To smell the fragrance of an abundance of flowers.

Then meld these with the Five Virtues – Truth, Compassion, Contentment, Humility and Love. All of this will remind us that we are more than the cluttered thoughts we allow inside our heads. This is what will bring us back to the moment. This is what will bring us Balance and True Peace.

This post was inspired by a good friend of mine. Check out Johnny Blackbird’s Blog Blackbird and Colors here and be sure to check out his shop to see an array of exquisite Hat Bands that tell a story.

A Thousand Petals

Spirituality is a flower with a thousand petals: every act, every thought, every talk, every movement of our heart is a part of it  ~  Robert Muller

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photo by Grady

Sometimes it is hard to escape the hurt, the disappointment, those feelings of inadequacy that have a way of corroding our good intentions.  We need to recognize the illusions we carry with us. These negative energies have the power to strip us of our purpose and divert us from our intended course. We need to stay on our spiritual path.   Love is what we are at the deepest level and it is what we are here to do. We live for these moments. To love and be loved. To give and to receive. Love can be so simple. If we would just let it be.

When we allow love into our hearts. When we embrace the very heart of us. We become one. Our words, our actions, our thoughts will burst into a cascade of a thousand petals.

Life’s Rocky Road

There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

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photo by Grady

We tend to allow negative thoughts to amass like great piles of rock.  We need to develop the Art of Wisdom and put it into practice. To become more self aware. To reach a state of consciousness where we can achieve freedom of mind and spirit. Balance. When we return to the center of our hearts through mindful living we will come to realize our true authentic self and find our sense of purpose. To Love and be Loved. We should build our Life Foundations on strength of character and replace the rocks heavy with Anger, Hate, Ignorance and Intolerance with spiritually light rocks.  Rocks made up of Compassion, Respect, Truth, Humility, Generosity, Sacrifice, Wisdom and Love.

Especially Love.