Posts Tagged ‘ spirituality ’

“scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight” ~David Livingstone

The Breathtaking Iguazú Falls: Connecting Argentina and Brazil

Situated in the Iguazú National Park, between Argentina and Brazil, is one of the most visited and truly stunning places in nature, maybe even the world: Iguazú Falls.  Iguazú Falls is the kind of place you can go to if you are looking to truly escape from reality.  It’s a place where you can visually see the miracle of Mother Nature.

As the legend goes, there was once a great, ferocious snake that lived in the river. In order to calm the snake, the aborigines would sacrifice a woman every year. One year when a brave man rescued the woman and escaped with her down the river, the great snake became so enraged that he split the river thus forming the waterfalls and separating the man and woman.

It is those waterfalls that you see today. In the guarani language Iguazú means “great waters” but you’ll probably agree “great” doesn’t do this area justice.

There is a visitors’ center, walking trails, a train and more. There are two basic paths: one that leads down a footbridge to overlook the falls and the other that leads to the base of the falls. With over 270 falls forming a half moon there is no shortage of stunning beauty. But one of the most amazing sights is up the river further to the largest of the falls, the Devil’s throat.

Iguazú Falls is a must see for any traveler.

“…far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes the rose…”

I don’t remember a lot of things; usually I cannot help but be clutched by the whittling hands of life.  Sometimes when I sit perfectly still and trick myself into a soft slumber, my dreams swiftly manage to escort me away from my weary life to places where the memories that I can never grasp are born.  In my dreams I may visit a lush though over growing garden, deep in the crevices of May.  The amber sun bores heartily on my back as I explore the garden. I lean over the harlequin grass to move the messy thorns with such care not to harm myself, I spy an object of such beauty that not even the garden’s excitements could not compare. As a larger quantity of thorn-ridden branches fall clumsily to the grass, something amidst the tiny alcove where the thorns were sparkles.

Such an object would be found being sculpted by angels in the depths of heaven; it’s a rose.
 
The rose shimmers as I reach out to caress one of the seemingly everlasting rose petals.  To touch the cerise petal would have the same effect as if you were to stroke a dove’s feather.  I look back to my hands and gander at what they have become; the rose’s angelic magic had gently wafted away from the petals onto my hand.  I could see other beatific glitter which was lightly floating away in the wind to other pastures, much further away, perhaps some with roses that were as blue as an impossible moon emitting a serene ultramarine.
 
Surrounded by thoughtful, tranquil scenes, the depth of my slumber intensified…
 

The Porch in My Dreams

I talk a lot about dreaming of the south and while most people know I’m from Idaho, I was raised with a lot of southern influence in my life.  From fried green tomatoes, fried okra, a garden that grew vegetables so fresh you could just tear an ear of corn and eat it straight from the cob while  the crisp and succulent kernels exploded with flavor in your mouth…

I dream of living in a world where family matters; where friends and family alike gather together for BBQ’s, game nights, and joyous times filled with the sounds of joy, laughter, and the squeals of children running and playing in the grass;  warm summer days spent sipping lemonade while sitting on a wrap around porch, paper fans to cool the sweet sticky sweat dripping down the back of your neck, and waiting for the sun to go down to feel some semblance of air.  Crickets squeaking in the distance, frogs bellowing out to eachother…all the sounds of night minus the sounds of the city.  I dream of going to the lake and jumping from a rope hung from a mighty oak and yelling to the top of my lungs in my best Tarzan voice…

I dream of a time and place where children are outdoors exploring, running, chasing their imaginations…where the women gather to discuss children, recipes, or just sit around and share the town gossip…where men gather around the BBQ or get together to play a friendly game of football in the yard; or even just gathering together to watch a fight on t.v. or a basketball game; drinking beer and talking spit… I long to belong to a place with roots; a place to begin my own history…

I remember as a small child running through strawberry patches, watching my mother plant flowers or doing some sort of yard work all the while I’d try to hand her up mud pies made in my easy bake oven. As I grew older, I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my step-grandma who was from Arkansas trying to teach my sister and I how to cook or how to sew.  She encouraged the “artful” side of us…often joining us to do paintings…on canvas and material… the whole time we’d be squirming to get outside to play.  I look back know and understand she was trying to teach us how to be ladies, how to care for our future families….the southern way filled with spitfire and hospitality.

I remember not having to worry about locking our front doors…summers spent down at the canal…riding our bikes all over town…playing croquet…family gatherings: BBQ’s, picnics at the park…I have so many fond memories of my childhood.  There were times I was bitter or resentful of growing up on such a large property and all the responsibility that went with it.  It was a family affair and just because we were children did not mean we were exempt.  I used to hate all the “chores” and the upkeep that came with our property and our acre garden, the fields, the lawn mowing, all the weeding, and all the dusting that had to be done in that big house…especially when the wind storms would kick up dust everywhere….but looking back I realize we were being taught the importance of hard work, of learning responsibility, etc. 

I remember on wash days we would hang our sheets on the line to dry.  There was nothing better than going to sleep on the crisp, cool, sheets kissed by the sun.  Sunday mornings used to be my favorite day of the week.  We would wake to the smell of fresh ground coffee, homemade biscuits and gravy, fresh bacon (well, that was before we became SDA and turned vegan…) and always to the sound of the Everly Brothers shouting, “Wake up a little Suzy, wake up…”

(*came across this blog I wrote awhile back that was saved in my drafts…I will post and update at a later time…)

Quotations of Frederick Zappone

  • The way out of suffering is through it. Resist suffering and suffering increases. Acceptance, in the moment, that you are suffering will dissolve your suffering instantly.
  • You are perfect in every way until you compare yourself with another.
  • Your need to control things is based on the fear of things controlling you.
  • What you worry about is what controls you.
  • Every one of us is allowed to suffer in order that we can grow in compassion and sensitivity towards the suffering of others.
  • When someone treats us unkindly we learn how to treat others with great kindness.
  • Living successfully today requires us to leave the past behind us.
  • Strangers can love you easier than family because strangers have no history with you that they can hold against you.
  • Only people who live in fear feel the need to abuse others.
  • Trying too hard is un-attractive (does not attract) and pushes away from us the very things we want.
  • When you encounter obstacles or roadblocks that are between you and what you want out of life choose to be like the “wind and water” and “flow” up, over, around or under them rather than fighting them and giving them power over you.
  • We become free to follow the desires of our heart when we are influenced more by our own thoughts than the thoughts of others.
  • Happiness allows us to walk over the top of our problems while unhappiness allows us to drown in them.
  • In life, we always have two choices about our circumstances; we can change our circumstances or we can change our attitude about our circumstances. Once we change our attitude, our circumstances change naturally.
  • When we stop finding faults in ourselves, we will stop finding faults in others.
  • A relaxed mind solves even the most difficult problems, in life, easily. A stressed out mind delays problems being solved. A closed mind prevents problems from being solved altogether.
  • God most often answers our prayers in the form of an inspired thought or creative idea that either sets us free or moves us to tears.
  • God lives in the moment. If you want to find God, live there too!
  • Discarding the past and forgetting about the future by living in the moment will give you the peace of mind you seek.
  • Being rejected is part of life, get over it.
  • Life doesn’t always go your way, don’t take it personally.
  • Most people are full of crap, love them anyway.
  • If you care about you, others will too!
  • Putting other people first all the time will put you back at the end of the line.
  • Life is not difficult, it is only our thinking that makes it so..
  • Find humor in your problems and they will seem smaller to you.
  • Love won’t solve the problems of the world but it certainly makes the ride worthwhile.
  •  Don’t take yourself too seriously, no one else does.
  • An overly generous heart can lead you to the poor house.
  • Sometimes it hurts to think, that’s why people get headaches.
  • Creating prosperity is “simple” to do and yet many people judge that “simple thought” as “too good too be true” while never judging the thought that scarcity and lack of money are “too bad to be true”.
  • The one real weakness we have is underestimating the part our very own thoughts played in creating the circumstances we have in our life today.
  • Every thought we think is a prayer to God.
  • The only reason people don’t have their prayers answered is because they quit praying before their prayer request is fulfilled.
  • Expressing sincere prayers of gratitude for what we have guarantees that we will have more.
  • When you see all that you do as God’s sees it, perfect in every way, the universe begins supplying you with evidence that validates God’s truth that what you do “is” perfect in every way…
  • Any time you are feeling negative, you are not loving and approving of yourself. If you were loving and approving of yourself, you would never feel negative.

Footprints in the Sand

Desiderata

  • Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
  • As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
  • Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others: even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
  • Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
  • If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
  • Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
  • Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
  • Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
  • But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
  • Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection.  Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is perennial as the grass.
  • Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
  • Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
  • But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.  Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
  • Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
  • You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
  • And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
  • Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
  • And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
  • With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
  • Be cheerful.  Strive to be happy.

Women Who Run With the Wolves

We are all filled with a longing for the wild. There are few culturally sanctioned antidotes for this yearning. We were taught to feel shame for such a desire. We grew our hair long and used it to hide our feelings. But the Shadow of Wild Woman still lurks behind us during our days and in our nights. No matter where we are, the shadow that trots behind us is definitely four-footed.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Phd. Foreward.

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and you laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”  — Clarissa Pinkola Estés

I call her Wild Woman, for those very words, wild and woman, create llamar o tocar a la puerta, the fairy-tale knock at the door of the deep female psyche. Llamar o tocar a la puerta means literally to play upon the instrument of the name in order to open a door. It means using words that summon up the opening of a passageway. No matter by which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the worlds wild and woman, intuitively.

When women hear those words, an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to life. The memory is of our absolute, undeniable, and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine, a relationship which may have become ghosty from neglect, buried by overdomestications, outlawed by the surrounding culture, or no longer understood anymore. We may have forgotten her names, we may not answer when she calls ours, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her…

…She comes to us through sound as well; through music which vibrates the sternum, excites the heart; it comes through the drum, the whistle, the call, and the cry. It comes through the written and the spoken word; sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story, is so resonant, so right, it causes us to remember, at least for an instant, what substance we are really made from, and where is our true home.

These transient “tastes of the wild” come during the mystique of inspiration–ah, there it is; oh, now it has gone. The longing for her comes when one happens across someone who has secured this wildish relationship. The longing comes when one realizes one has given scant time to the mystic cookfire or to the dreamtime, too little time to one’s own creative life, one’s life work or one’s true loves.

Yet it is these fleeting tastes which come both through beauty as well as loss, that cause us to become so bereft, so agitated, so longing that we eventually must pursue the wildish nature. Then we leap into the forest or into the desert or into the snow and run hard, our eyes scanning the ground, our hearing sharply tuned, searching under, searching over, searching for a clue, a remnant, a sign that she still lives, that we have not lost our chance. And when we pick up the trail, it is typical of women to ride hard to catch up, to clear off the desk, clear off the relationship, clear out one’s mind, turn to a new page, insist on a break, break the rules, stop the world, for we are not going on without her any longer.