. . . what the world will be like when we can see our differences and appreciate everyone of them. When we can really listen to each person's perspective in silence. We may not speak; however, our head's are constantly making noise. Our heads are evaluating the speaker's words and making judgments about what they are saying. Even more obvious is we really only hear a few minutes of someone's words, as our heads make conclusions and turns inward to retrieve our perspective of the dialogue and why the speaker is incorrect. Now we have become "editors." We decide what the person really means without regards for the facial expressions, tone of voice, look in their eyes as they attempt to share something of importance to them. We reframe the whole conversation to fit our personal perspective of the topic. All of a sudden the energy has shifted and whatever "sharing" by the speaker is completely lost to our own agenda.
. . . what the world would be like if we silenced our head's chatter and held a neutral and open space. I wonder if the relationship with the other person would grow as we allowed the "ears" of our heart to listen. I wonder what would happen to our heart?
. . . what the world would be like if people began to really look at the facial expressions, note the look in the speaker's eyes and felt the energy being sent from them to your heart from theirs?
. . . what the heavens and earth would look like and how both would grow in harmony and balance if compassion, understanding, and the ability to "walk a mile in someone else's shoes" became the norm. Could it be a more loving, supportive, cooperative world? Would the environment become more gentle, calm and flourish in beauty?
. . . what you would be like in such a world? It all begins Within you! Just something to, Consider
What a sweaty summer 2022 is offering us, and what an opportunity to release the toxins from our body and from our human mind! In much the same manner, the tradition of the "Sweat Lodge" offers those ready to shift whatever is in their heart and mind a place to do just that. This summer, Mother Nature is offering us many opportunities to utilize the gifts of "sweat" to clean up our body and our human mind!
Zig Zigler coined the phrase, "Stinkin' Thinkin!" that offered the masses an opportunity to pause and consider how they viewed literally every aspect of their lives. This phrase brought many people to a place of examining what and how they thought about things. Often we move through life sort of "mindlessly" as we tackle each day in a well-established routine manner.
Take a moment and consider this; when you get up each morning, what actions do you take? Chances are you routinely do the same steps or procedures without thought. Your head considers the tasks that need attended to for the day, while you are brushing your teeth, preparing your morning beverage and standing in front of the closet picking out what to wear. The actions you are doing require little thought, they are something you do every single morning; however, the often excessive meandering of your thoughts continue throughout your morning routine and continue all day.
A Challenge: Tomorrow when you get up, see if you can consciously stay present with precisely what you are doing. When thoughts of what's ahead for the day enter, bring your focus back to the task directly in front of you. My hunch is it will be a bit of a challenge. Then notice what thoughts seem to keep resurfacing and then take the next step to notice your emotions as you move through this exercise. If you feel frustrated and wonder why you decided to do this crazy challenge, take a deep breath and remember, you can quit such a silly experience at any time.
These moments of frustration offer us the opportunity to notice our "Stinkin' Thinkin'!" Such awareness is the first step to noticing the often annoying voice in our head that wants to keep us focused on the human aspects of life. The good news is there's another voice that wants to remind us what a delightful, beautiful soul we are, what amazing gifts we have to offer and the abundant blessings that surround us each and every day. The key to this is to clear the clutter by noticing the two distinct aspects of ourselves and consciously choose which voice we want to be the key "guide" for our life.
To clean the pathways and notice the richness of life we must symbolically take actions to remove the toxins in our human mind to allow our hearts to be felt and heard. This is how the Sweat Lodge was used; to balance our personal lives, clear disagreements, pray for harmony among all our relations and on behalf of those we know who are seeking assistance. We cannot do the work for others, we can, however, offer the purity of the ceremony to send the smoke that carries our prayers their way.
On your next "sweaty" day mowing the grass, riding your bike, running, gardening, or working in the heat in any way, consider it an opportunity offered by Nature to burn away what no longer has a place in your life. Here's to the next purifying opportunity to, "Burn baby, Burn!"
WISDOM CIRCLE: Speaking of an opportunity, the Wisdom Circle will be held Thursday, August 18 from 6:30-8 p.m. This month we will speak of our "Stinkin' Thinkin" and ways we manage that often annoying and obsessive dialogue. Any and everyone is welcome to attend. Simply bring a willingness to share what is in your heart so we might learn from each other ways to maneuver our way home . . . to our Hearts! Once we are there, our human mind will speak to us with respect and support for the sacred human beings we truly are! Bring a cover for your lap, a friend, and if you have a favorite cushion bring that! A gifting bowl is present for those choosing to return a bit of what they have gained from participating in this sweet Wisdom Circle!
"Hey Diddle Diddle the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed to see such a sight and the dish ran away with the spoon!" Nursery rhymes, how fun are they? In the early 1800's this riddle was created; my hunch is some loving parent wanted to express their deep affection for their child or, maybe they were attempting to help them quit being 'grumpy!' Whatever the reason, nursery rhymes seem to soothe children. Just as we speak to an infant in 'baby talk' the words seems to make the young one smile. Of course they do not understand what we are saying; however from their expressions we can tell they understand the energy with which we are delivering the 'message.' It certainly is a perfect example that the way in which we deliver a message trumps the words we actually say. A little silliness and sing song words can work wonders; perhaps we 'adults' need children to remind us of this.
Speaking of the Moon. This Wednesday, July 13, will be the biggest 'Supermoon' for 2022. The intense energy offers those wanting or needing to shift things in their life a grand opportunity to choose something new. Of course, to bring the new in, we must release something that no longer works for us. Sort of like giving up tennis and replacing it with pickle ball because it's easier on our 'maturing' bodies. What served us when we were young may need replaced with something that fits where we are in our lives today. Whatever old habit, outdated belief, or relationship that no longer adds harmony to either person's life, choose carefully what it is time to change or release, and, always remember to be grateful for how it helped you get where you are today.
The Clan Mother for July is "Loves All Things." She provides assistance with learning to 'Love the Truth.' Of course, like freedom, Truth is a personal interpretation, and it can and does change as we grow and mature through our life experiences. Loves All Things is the Teacher of Forgiveness and Compassion which are vital for living a life in right relationship with all the inhabitants of Earth.
With that focus, The Wisdom Circle is Thursday, July 17, from 6:30-8 p.m. This month we will share our insights on "What it takes to have a Loving Relationship." And, as mentioned above, everyone has their own perspective on this topic. We welcome yours! If you are interested or need directions, contact Vicky: email@example.com. Bring an open heart, a cover for your lap and a willingness to share. There is a gifting bowl for those wishing to balance the giving and receiving.
Now, what about that 'dish that ran away with the spoon?' I wonder if Loves All Things and the intensity of a full moon had anything to do with that?
Let's consider for a few moments what Personal Freedom means, who defines it, and how we know it when we see it.
Obviously Personal Freedom is just that . . . personal. The answer is in the word Personal; only you can define what it means. It is based on your personal beliefs of freedom. Your experiences from childhood to your current age created your concept of Freedom. It is from that vantage point you determined what Freedom looked and felt like. It is your perception and yours alone. If you had siblings who lived in the same home, they may have an understanding of Freedom from an entirely different perspective. Just as no two snowflakes look the same, so no two people have the same perspective or understanding of nearly every human experience. Every human being views life through their own unique "lens."
It is through that lens we create the ideas of "right" and "wrong," "good" and "bad." Armed with those basic beliefs we assign a value to nearly every thought, idea and action of ourselves and others. That is when we become the Judge and Jury of ourselves and others, and from that vantage point we create the "Grand Separator" within ourselves and with others. We have now set the stage to view life as a court room. There's a victim and a victor, winner and loser, and we must go through life always defending ourselves or feeling hopelessly abused.
How about this 4th of July, 2022, we view the fireworks as a new beginning. A time to pay attention to our thoughts, words and actions and with gentle eyes notice ways we are both Judge and Jury of ourselves and others. Is there Personal Freedom living under the scrutiny of the Judge and Jury within ourselves and from the Judge and Jury within those with whom we encounter? Consider how much energy is spent watching, and judging every thought we have and every word spoken from others. We continually in the court room putting ourselves and others on trial.
I have an idea! How about using the beauty displayed in the fireworks and the strength of energy released with the powerful explosion of colors to help us change what needs changed in order to live each day fully Free? How will we know everyone has Personal Freedom? We'll know it by observing how each person respects his-herself and each other; when we view each person we encounter as worthy of the same God given gift to be Free as we wish to have. When we are more kind and gentle with ourselves, and with those around us, including the animals and all of nature that live on this magnificent Earth. This is when we will know what Personal Freedom looks and feels like. Consider: Would such a change bring about a more peaceful, harmonious world?
Here's a participation activity for you, the reader: Raise your hand if you want more Personal Freedom. OK, Now raise our hand if you want things to stay as they are.
From the show of hands, Personal Freedom has taken center stage. And that stage is the boundless love and beauty of all the inhabitants on sweet Earth Mother living in right relationship with each other!
As we gather with our friends and family this July 4th, consider each person as a separate and unique human being. All too often we mingle with our circle of loved ones, enjoy the usual summer favorite foods and chat about what's happening in the world. Oh, we may ask how Uncle Fred is doing after his accident, and how Aunt Myrtle is attempting to keep up with everything he needs. Of course, we'll comment about how the young ones have grown, ask how the teens are doing in school, and whether the newlyweds are planning a family in the foreseeable future. These days politics take center stage, everything from gas prices, inflation, whose fault it is we're in such a mess and the list goes on. The truth of the matter is we're all tied to the state of affairs in our country and in the world. The "old folks" continue to comment about how today's world doesn't look like the one they grew up in; that's to say, it was much simpler and less confusing, while the middle-aged folks talk about how they're ever going to be able to retire with all the financial chaos. Meanwhile, the younger ones stay plugged into their headset while their heads bob back and forth to whatever music their listening to, while the other young one's stare at their phones as they move their fingers at warp speed texting or playing games. Indeed, the holidays are interesting times.
The Fourth of July offers us the opportunity to have our gatherings conclude with fireworks. With only the ooh's and ah's, everyone is quiet and wide-eyed watching the beautiful display of colors, shapes and various sizes of the fireworks. Rarely do you hear someone talking during these amazing displays of wonder and beauty. Truly, there is nothing more lovely than witnessing how such marvelous displays could burst from the fireworks being shot from a simple container. If for only a few moments a group of people are focused with amazement at something that stirs their emotions from deep within. What a wonderful reminder that despite what is going on in our communities, our country and in the world, a simple display of fireworks can move us to a common place shared by those around us at that moment and time.
Perhaps this year when you gather with your family, you might really look into the eyes of those sitting around the table with you. How are they feeling behind the words they say? Do they seem happy or does something seem "out of sorts?" It's not our job to analyze anyone, and certainly not to judge how they feel. It's simply an opportunity to sharpen our observation skills. Truth be told, after two years of social distancing, a hug might be the best medicine everyone needs. Of course, smile first, then offer them a hug, they may not be comfortable with that yet; but you can bet that smile offered them something!
While you are at the fireworks display, consider turning your eyes away for a few moments to observe those around you. Really look at the expressions on their faces. My hunch is most people's faces will show a childlike wonder of how something so magnificent is possible. It really is a wonderful world, and perhaps if we can witness that for even a moment, the state of the world will change before our eyes. Rather than noticing the surface stuff, perhaps taking a deeper look would help us notice the uniqueness of each person, while offering us the opportunity to notice the common thread that ties us together. Now, wouldn't that be True Freedom?
In 1909, while attending a Mother’s Day sermon in church, Sonora Smart Dodd felt Fathers were equally deserving of praise. To honor her own father, a Civil War veteran, and widower who raised six children alone, Dodd petitioned for a Father’s Day celebration on June 5th in Spokane Washington. In 1972, under the declaration of President Richard Nixon, Father’s Day officially became a nationwide holiday. Contrast that to the historical record for Mother’s Day.
Following the death of her mother in 1905, Anna Jarvis conceived Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. And, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson established Mother’s Day as an official nationwide holiday. Interestingly, it only took 7 years for Mother’s Day to become a national holiday, whereas, Father’s Day took 63 years to be recognized as a national holiday!
Perhaps because human beings first reside within their mother’s womb for approximately nine months, they come into the world with a deep connection to their mother. The tremendous physical and emotional requirements to carry and birth a child certainly add to the respect and homage given to Mothers.
An infant’s connection to their father begins when they leave the warmth of the Mother’s womb. If a Father takes an active role in the pregnancy, such as singing and talking to the infant in utero, the infant will become familiar with the Father’s voice. Rubbing mama’s belly will carry the Father’s energy to his child. And, just as vital to the growth of the infant within, is being attentive to the emotional and physical needs of the Mother. Make no mistake; Fathers are every bit as important in a child’s life as is a Mother!
Father’s are often overlooked as nurturers; rather, they are commonly portrayed as “just” the breadwinners and handymen. At least that’s how much of society still views a Father’s role. Thank goodness, that concept has drastically changed! The roles of Mother and Father have become interchangeable, as society has moved from a collective view into more of an individualist view of life. Roles are now defined within each family unit, rather then a specific set of social norms. Today’s parenting tasks are more fluid and less categorized and labeled.
Let’s make this personal and individual to you. This Father’s Day, pause and take some time to consider what your father was to you. For better or worse, what are some of the memories that pop into your head first? Make a list without thinking about it. When you are done, step back and ask yourself how the items on your list affected your life then, and how it affects your life today. If you are a parent, look to see if any of those qualities have shown up in your role as a parent. My Cherokee teacher used to say sometimes you have to “flip the coin.” That is to say, if what behaviors seemed unpleasant, “flip the coin,” and see what that behavior taught you. Often times the very thing that hurt your heart, made you feel yucky, is the very thing that taught you how to be strong, decisive, disciplined and ultimately responsible for your actions. I used to tell students that came from families that were distant from each other, to “flip the coin” and consider their parents taught them what they need to do differently with their children.
This Father’s Day might be a perfect time to speak to your father. Whether he is your biological, adoptive, stepfather or grandfather. Whoever filled that role of Father is the one who helped shaped the man or woman you are today. If he is no longer alive, you can still speak to him through your heart. Now is always the perfect moment to have such a heart to heart talk.
If we can “flip the coin,” and “Be the change,” imagine the freedom we can give ourselves, and our families. Through the not always easy act of forgiveness, comes acceptance and true Freedom! And, who knows your Father might appreciate the bond that ties the two of you together, better than another elaborate tie he won’t wear!
From my heart to yours, I love you, Daddy! And, your ties hang from the ceiling in the medicine room at the Lodge to remind me, “our ties are forever!” ☺ xo
Welcome to a Super week! Tuesday, June 14 at 7:51 a.m. June’s full moon, known as the Strawberry Moon, will come the same day the moon reaches the closest point in its orbit around Earth, called perigee, creating a “supermoon.” In lay terms, a supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth in its orbit and in so doing will appear larger than most full moons. July 13 with technically be the closest supermoon in 2022, with August being the last one this year.
Such events offer us the opportunity to go outside, look up, and observe something beyond everyday life. What a massively beautiful universe surrounds our planet! If you are into astrology you already know how the planets influence our lives as they move through the sky. If you are not familiar with astrology, check it out; you’ll learn something that you might find worth exploring a bit further. With a little luck the skies will be clear and we’ll be able to witness this event.
Remember also, the full moon offers us a time to pause and examine the relationships in our lives. Whether it’s a partner, parent, friend, colleague or another significant relationship, it’s always good to take some time to do a “check-in” and see how things are going. Perhaps the most important relationship to take a close look at is the one you have with yourself. With soft eyes take some time to see how things are moving and growing in your life, then consider some options for areas that might need a little more attention. Let the energy emanated from the supermoon help you see clearly what might need tweaked; better yet, what might need some kind words of appreciation rather than criticism. A delicious bowl of strawberries with whipped cream, ice cream, or just plain would be the perfect treat to honor the power of June’s Strawberry Supermoon!
The Wisdom circle is this Thursday, June 16 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Last month’s circle was led by Grace MacNeil who shared her knowledge of the importance of appreciating the feminine body, specifically, the powerful womb. Everyone in attendance learned valuable teachings and tools for honoring the sacredness of the feminine body. This Thursday, Victoria Williams Steen will offer attendees the opportunity to share what they are learning about, which will be followed by a “rolling dialogue” of questions or comments by other members in the circle. In this way, everyone is a teacher and student. Also, sharing what you are learning helps the teaching to live and resonate deeper into your understanding. Bring a friend, a cover for your lap and an open heart! Everyone is welcome!
Oh, and have a Super Week!
The annual celebration that puts Indianapolis on the map is finally here. Whether you are a race fan, or not, the Indy 500 is an icon all over the world. Mention racing to almost anyone and the Indy 500 is generally the first name recognized. As I sit on my porch swing, enjoying this beautiful spring day, my thoughts go to the almost sacred tradition of the Indy 500. That's correct, I used the word sacred. I've attended and the behaviors I witnessed by many were anything but sacred! And, yet, when the opening events begin many tears and lots of smiles display the sweetness of the event. Specifically, the singing of the "Back home, in Indiana," reveals the depth of devotion and pride of many loyal Hoosiers. It's a "ritual" that deeply touches the heart, and does sacredness not carry the same emotional quality?
This Memorial Day we will honor those that have given their lives with such devotion and pride. Of course, offering up one's life for the good of all ranks high above a sporting event, and yet, to provide a place where people can find a feeling of connection and community is vital in today's world. We need a sense of purpose and pride. Not from the self-importance stand point; rather from a place of belonging. Men and women who have made the decision to be of service to their country understand the meaning of sacrifice for the good of all, and when they felt the nudge to step forward, to "start their engines," they trusted that inner voice.
While this self-less, service to others deserves more than one day to acknowledge him/her, how about we make Memorial Day really special this year. If only for a brief few moments, really try and put yourself in their shoes and imagine what courage and bravery it took to honor that inner call. Consider where our country would be if not for those brave men and women who stood at the starting line, observed the needs of their country and put aside their own inner fears to march into unknown territory.
What's your unknown territory? What have you heard it was time for you to step forward and take action on? Perhaps it's as simple as finally committing to a deeper understanding of life. To finally ask the question, "What's my purpose for being here?" Make no mistake, every person brings a purpose, a dream, a deep desire to accomplish, understand, or transform something while being on this wonderful Earth. What's yours? What sacred moments is it time to honor and respect in your life? Where do you find your connections and community? Listen with the "voice of your heart" and tell your head it's job is to remember what you hear. Then, courageously accept the challenge, step up to the starting line, and listen for the words: "Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines!" Your life, your family, your community and the world await your gifts!
I've been pondering how best to bring some calm into the current state of affairs in the world. As I often mention, the first step is to look within. That is precisely what I do every day. I cannot change the world, however, I can change what I see in myself that needs attention: more love, forgiveness, hope, clarity, joy, whatever word fits the reflection in front of me is what needs attended.
Some days it easier to see what I need, other times what I see doesn't feel so good and a sense of sadness may linger in my heart. I mean, I'm only one person on a planet of millions of people, what makes me think I can do anything to bring peace in Ukraine? And, on a more local level, how can I correct the upheaval that exist in our country? How can I discern possible options? I mean, what reporting is the most reliable source? It is at those times I look in the mirror and take a really good look into my own eyes. At 73 my view of the world has seen many changes, no, the more accurate word is massive changes! Some days I can hardly recognize the world I live in. While I have always been curious about other people's perspectives, I have always listened with an "ear" for the underlying theme. That is, what common thread am I hearing from the various viewpoints might contain some of the basic philosophy that I have? Better yet, perhaps something they share may move me in a deeper appreciation and understanding of myself and the world.
It takes time to sift the "wheat from the chaff," in order to find that common thread. Because every person has their own unique way of viewing life, one conversation is merely a beginning point. If we are to begin healing the wounds of our bleeding culture, if we are to help those in Ukraine, we must take an honest look in our mirror every day and ask ourselves what we see. "Am I happy?" If the answer is "no" or "sorta" follow that up with, "What do I need?" If the answer is "yes," smile at that reflection., and state the things that have contributed to that happiness. Whatever the response is, have an honest conversation about what in your life contributes to that "yes" or "no," and follow it by asking why or how that can be changed or continued.
Look in the mirror each morning and ask yourself how you're doing. Some days may not be so pleasant, and those days are tremendously important to your growth. We are human beings, every day provides an opportunity for us to get to know the person in the mirror. We cannot help others until we have love and respect for our reflection.
Ukraine has been on my heart since the onset of this devastating war, and the feelings I have had most definitely influenced my actions. Some days I felt such a depth of despair for those children and parents, it consumed my day. It was then my heart told me, to look for the common thread, and you know, I found it. It's gratitude! Gratitude for the many blessings, privileges and opportunities all of us have living in a free country.
We are in a great time of change on our planet, and it seems the conflict is largely due to the "personal rights," rather than "the rights of all." That old saying, "United we stand, divided we fall," is being demonstrated through the actions all over the world. It's a "me" rather than a "we" point of view. I believe in speaking up for what is important; however, consider the energy in which you are taking action. Is it from a place of peace or strife?
Maybe, just maybe, we can send love, respect and the spirit of cooperation to the reflection in the mirror as way to help bring "united" back to our country rather than wasting our time pointing the finger as someone to blame. I can think of no better way to help Ukraine, then to sincerely see the loyalty, dedication and commitment to honor, respect and love their country than to begin within to see the part we play in the state of affairs of our heart, our homes and our country.
And, a big P.S. The Wisdom Circle is this Thursday, May 19 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Lodge. It takes all of us to grow in strength, courage and wisdom! Bring an open heart, cover for your lap, your favorite cushion and a friend and join us. To honor the women who came before us, we ask that women wear a skirt, or bring a sarong. ( We have plenty of cushions and sarongs if needed.)
From my heart to yours, Vicky
This Sunday offers each of us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the one that brought us into the world. She was the "space ship" we inhabited while our physical form took shape for life on planet Earth. It was a warm, moist place that offered us our first experience with love. And then the space became cramped and we found our way to a new location that was bright, noisy and filled with busy energy. People fussed with us, measured us, weighed us, and finally wrapped us tightly in a blanket, complete with a hat! Can you imagine our first impressions outside our mother's womb?
It was our mothers that first taught us about love. Whether that "mother" took the shape of an aunt, grandmother, or adopted mother, we first learned about the world from our mother figure. Indeed, mothers can be gentle, kind, stern and often demanding, and yet, that first connection while in our mothers womb became our first "soft place" of comfort. It is our mothers that can "kick us in the rear" and help us learn how capable we truly are. And, whether we liked how she did it, deep down inside we knew we were loved.
This Sunday, might be the perfect time to remind our mothers how grateful we are they brought us into existence. Despite the trials and errors here on Earth, there is beauty, adventures and a never-ending opportunity to know more about love, resiliency and an unshakeable belief that Earth offers us a fabulous place to learn and play. If your mother resides in heaven, be assured she hears your prayers and still offers assistance when your requests are made. And, let's remember our daughters or daughter-in-laws who gave us our grandchildren. A simple note, basket of flowers, box of chocolates, or gift card to a spa are a few ideas that offer a note of gratitude for the love they offer to their families.
Another gift idea is to drive down to the Morgan County Library in Martinsville, this Saturday, May 7 from noon - 2:00 p.m. and purchase, "Head to Heart Talks: Walking a Sacred Path." If the mamas in your life enjoy a good book, they'll love this one! It offers a wealth of teachings that will assist the reader through the cycles and stages of life. It also provides simple ways to reflect on our life with "gentle eyes" at the choices we have made, in order to see what we learned. It is then we can forgive others and ourselves, move on, and carry those wisdoms forward as we grow and move through our lives.
From my heart to yours, Vicky
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!