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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. May's Theme: "Balance"
Volume 4 Issue 4 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Awake, Aware, and Weddy
by Rev. Cheryl Jewett

"Awake, aware, and weddy!", Elmer Fudd might have said in his pursuit of that wiley wabbit, Bugs Bunny. Frustration unlimited the ol' guy was, for sure. But, something Elmer didn't know? Life is all about change. Spot the wabbit, chase the wabbit, catch the wabbit, the wabbit escapes, and the vicious cycle goes on and on and on. It makes good cartoon fodder, but in real life, that catch-twenty-two situation could be enough to make Elmer Fudd call in the troops!

How to break the cycle without desperation? Sure, it helps to become awake, aware, and ready, Elmer. Every single moment of every single day, which of course, means living in the present moment. But, it also requires belief in another great truth. Balance is at the heart of everything. Life can be like riding on a perpetual teeter-totter. Up and down, back and forth. Sometimes, that can be comfortable; other times, an edginess settles in. Although change is simply the nature of life itself, it is not always and necessarily inevitable. Quite often, it can be foreseen and forestalled. Or, change might gently be calling you to redefine and fine-tune your comfort zone.

One thing for sure, though; it leads us on a search for that balance point, a comfort zone of peace, the stillpoint spoken of by Jean Bolen, in her book The Tao and Psychology. She describes this stillpoint as the "eternal, infinite, inexpressible, indescribable, centreing, meaning-giving principle" around which life dances. She adds, "If we are inwardly 'in a really good place', we seem to be 'humming along' - a common fitting description for this state." Everything seems and feels so right! Who wouldn't want that, I ask you. To be wiser, kinder, and more content?

Balance. Where isn't balance needed? Whether you are seeking it in nature (ebb/flow, sunrise/sunset, drought/flood), health (blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol levels), or your finances, emotions or thoughts. Or perhaps, in the lack or abundance of time, or energy. Until you redefine and fine-tune your comfort zone, that precious stillpoint leans toward being more precarious than not, fraught with uncertainty and insecurity. Yet truly, it holds within it the opportunity for a better understanding of life's mysteries. It is, after all, the stillpoint, the centre from which all good things come. Life on the inside track, the track closest to the Sacred Silent Centre, nearer my God to thee, so to speak.

Nature exhibits glorious manifestations of this Divine Centre. The rainbow after the storm, the four seasons which balance everything else out, the sun and the moon, and much, much more. Because these are expressions of an already-created universe, we are powerless over them. But, certainly, there are always things we can foresee and forestall, if we decide to do so - whether or not to evacuate due to the threat of a flood, should you conserve the water or continue to feed the thirsty lawn, and at what point is it hot enough to turn on the air conditioner?

Studying Buddhism, I discovered a wonderfully gentle and useful tool which might aid you in finding that precious and sought-after balance point. Considering how many choices, decisions, and options are available to you in life, how does anyone transfigure trudging through it all to a leisurely stroll? I wish I could tell you there was a magic wand you could order today on my website which would automatically put all aspects of your life in perfect balance, now and forevermore. Barring that, about the best I can offer is this Buddhist concept. Guru Rinpoche explains there are Eight Worldly Influences which help determine whether motivations are spiritual or secular. Are they coming from a hope you truly are this miraculous and capable being, or fear that you are not good enough?

In fact, these eight concerns are simply four pairs, each pair representing opposite poles on a pain-pleasure axis: Pleasure/Pain; Gain/Loss; Praise/Blame; Fame/Shame. By doing a check-up periodically throughout the day, you can learn to distinguish in which direction you want to move. If a thought brings you pain, then change it. Re-frame it. Look for a positive in it. It's only human nature to want pleasure, gain, praise, and fame. Remember, though, those ego-directed motivations and desires can quickly switch from being secular to being more spirit-directed. You can make that happen through how you approach the topic.

Ironically, we, each one of us, determines what the eight influences mean. It's subjective, not objective. I cannot and should not determine for you or anyone else, what is pleasurable, gainful, praiseworthy, or famous in your mind and life. So, that means, at any point in life, these meanings can change. And, they do! Therein lies the twist.

I'm sure you have all heard the phrase, "beauty lies in eyes of the beholder." I rest my case. Seriously, though, if your beliefs about pleasure, gain, praise, and/or fame tend to get you in trouble, then, re-think them. Hear, hear to all you control freaks out there. You want control over something? You do have that, my friend. Redefine your comfort zone. Fine-tune what you want and don't want. Re-categorize your thoughts. Make new determinations based on where you are in your life. Every moment of every day, you are a new person. Cells change, nature itself changes. Look out your window. Every time the wind blows, nature changes. So, step up to the plate and change your course when needed, by actively and consciously determining your stillpoint.

Maybe even Elmer Fudd could learn to do that, and see the futility and insanity of chasing that wotten wabbit. He might even learn to like ol' Bugs, and build him a rabbit hutch for him and his family. Can't we all just get along??? Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine when it comes to balance. People. Of course, you want to think well of them but darn, they can be so frustrating at times. Add to that folks who you view as "different", and it can be enough to drive you to walking on the ceiling. Easier than that, my friend, would be finding a way to strike a more harmonious balance between intolerance and acceptance.

A good starting point is to figure out what it is that bothers you about that person or people. Usually, what causes the anxiety is the unfamiliarity, the unknown, the very thing which causes you alarm. That's what really frightens you. So, make a conscious decision to learn more about that particular person or people. For instance, look at what the media has done for the gay and lesbian community! Focus on them with cameras and microphones, and society-friendly articles. What you see is people. Period. Not good people, not bad people. Just people. Precious children of our Creator. Sure, one very small part of their lives might be different, but 99% of their lives are just like everyone else's life. Media's society-friendly-acceptable and realistic portrayal of them as the normal people - neighbors, friends, mother, brother, sister, father, grandparents, and professionals - they truly are. They, like everyone in this universe, was created by the Great God-Spirit. And as one license plate proclaims, "God don't make junk".

Moving from intolerance to acceptance is more often than not, a process. As the unknown becomes the known through learning more about "those people", the fear tends to dissipate. And, remembering we really are more alike than different, works well. We are all born to this world and will die, one way or another. As a precious child of this God-Spirit, we all are awaited for return to some level of the Heavenly Home. Whether you land in the basement or in the penthouse depends upon your motivations and desires, which you, indeed, do control.

Living is, no doubt, a constant toss-up between one thing or another, and usually they are at opposing ends of the spectrum - black/white, big/little, empty/full. Choices and options. Finding balance. Affirm, "Every opposite is the God-Spirit, and that same God-Spirit within me. I seek and find my balance, guided by my Higher Power to that Eternal and Sacred Silence within me". Still unsure? Remember, messages from your Higher Self allow you to feel peaceful and balanced, not chaotic and off-kilter. God be with you as you meander through life's potpourri, and may the Great God-Spirit bless us all.

Cheryl, from Michigan, says, "Having had Multiple Sclerosis for almost thirty years, I've learned much about adapting and squeezing joy out of life. Therefore, I am a metaphysical minister who believes God is in everything, everywhere. And, the Sweet God-Spirit surely lives in my little Maya-puppy, who kept me connected with life after my youngest son was killed in a freak automobile accident ten years ago."

Cheryl seeks to inspire healing, so she developed a website dedicated to those who are grieving.

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