Thursday, October 31, 2013

Clear the Space

Clear the Space

This morning started with a drum beat, “the go away beat” or as I like to call it the “clear the space” beat.  After getting the kids to school I sat down for meditation.  Beginning meditation today with my self-made buffalo drum; top, bottom, middle, top, bottom, middle, top, bottom, middle I tapped with my drum stick.  This drum beat is used to “clear the space”.  Clearing the  energies or space in your  home, your mind and/or your life and preparing it for the sacred seems to be a theme that resonates with us these days whether we have awareness of it or not.

Fall is the perfect time to “clear the space”.  October is a nesting month.  As we transition from outside to inside, from light to dark we prepare our space.  As the sacred season awaits us in the coming month it is necessary to not only release that which no longer serves us but to make room for that which is to come, the sacred.  Over the last few weeks I have been clearing clutter from my office, closets and pantry.  I love the process of reviewing the necessity of things and then determining whether they should stay in my life.  Some people might find this tedious, but for me, it is cathartic.  Driving to the Goodwill and letting go is such a feeling of freedom.  Clearing the space in my home provides openness for new sacred things to enter or for energy to flow freer in a sacred environment.

Not only does my physical home get cramped, but my mind is often cluttered with thoughts.  This week I have a head cold.  Normally I do not succumb to colds and if I do they are very slight.  But this cold is intense, is has “stuffed me up” and “I can’t breathe”.  This outer manifestation of a “cold” is a reflection of my inner world.  I am stuffed up with ideas.  I can’t breathe my head is full of thoughts.  For me, I need to release the overload through writing.  Others may need to express themselves through art, music, sport or nature for example.  Either way the space must be cleared so the sacredness of health can come forward.

Lastly, not only is my home and my mind overfilled, but my schedule is as well.  Life with two young girls and busy school and after school activities can be overwhelming. This fall on a conscious level I am reviewing my/our commitments to see which ones truly align with my heart and our purpose as a family.  Balance through rest and relaxation need to be a part of the plan.  The amount of time running from place to place engaged in outside agendas can be tiring and not always necessary. Consciously, we must choose to “clear the space” and allow for the sacredness of free, creative and restful time.

Begin today, to look for areas of your life where you can clear the space and allow the sacredness of life to shine through.  Whether it is actual items in your home, your “monkey mind” that never stops or actions that never end, now is the time to release, to “clear the space” and allow the sacredness of life to be present not only during the upcoming sacred season but from now on.  Once the “go away” drum beat is finished (only your hearts knows when) the “come to me” drum beat is next where the magic truly happens.  

Keep beating your drum and breathe freely.

Love, “with a heart of peace”,


Monday, October 21, 2013

Power of Connection

The Power of Connection

“Mitakoye Oyasin” is a Lakota phrase that means we are all related.  The award winning Native American Flutist, Douglas Blue Feather spoke on this subject last night at an event I attended.  To be “all related” means every two legged sentient being and every aspect of creation; stone, plant, winged, finned and four legged.  We are all one.  We are all connected. 

Almost a year ago my daughter, who is eight decided she wanted to play the piano.  After contacting my friend who plays the piano brilliantly we set up a time for lessons.  During my daughter’s lesson I noticed a Native American Flute on her table.  When I asked her about it she mentioned it was from a friend of hers that is a flutist.  The first connection began. The man she mentioned had recently met the president of the 
Gathering Thunder Foundation (GTF) with which I have a connection.

Soon afterwards I contacted Douglas Blue Feather regarding a possible flute workshop and fundraising opportunity for GTF.  Here we connected for the first time.  The events were successful as people came together for learning, community and inspiration.  More connections transpired.  After another fruitful weekend we learned that Douglas is connected to the Lakota Nation similar to GTF.  Douglas works with Chief Golden Light Eagle who is from the Nakota Ihunktowan Band of South Dakota and has ties to 11-11 similar to a spiritual organization with which I have a connection.        

The connections continue to happen, one after another.  Where will it go?  Where will it end?  The connection is ever expanding.  What started as a single act, a single question has rippled and touched an unknown number of lives. As the connection grows, the power of the connection grows with it, bringing more and more people into the sacred circle.  Think about your connections.  Ask questions, find common ground and see where spirit leads.  The adventure is in the journey through the power of connections.   

Love, "with a heart of peace,"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Original Performance(OM)

Original Performance(OM)

We are in our own original performance.  My youngest daughter is involved in Odyssey of the Mind (OM).  If you are not familiar with this program, it is an after school activity that involves a small group of kids in the same grade level.  The kids select a “problem” to solve.  They need to create an original performance within a set of given criteria.  The skit is then performed and judged after months of planning and preparation.  This process will take them out of their prescribed thinking and beyond their comfort zone.

As a co-coach of the Cannonsburg 3rd Grade OM team, my task is to guide them without instruction.  One of the stipulations of the performance is that it must be done without “outside assistance”, which includes coaches, parents and siblings.  The kids are taught to think “out of the box” and that all ideas are valid.  They must work as a team, supporting each other and building on the suggestions of others to develop their own unique show.  What’s amazing is the creative capacity of the children, if we allow them the freedom and space to explore all possibilities.

Why, as a parent I love OM is the fact that it is a valuable life lesson.  First of all, we are in our own unique, one of a kind, original performance.  We choose our “problem” within the given rules of time and space.  Planning and preparing can take many years and is part of the learning experience.  As we move beyond the comfort zone and past the current thinking of the day, we experience growth.  Helping others often boosts our own progress. In this environment, we are open to the adventures of new realms.

Love, “with a heart of peace”,

Susan J. McFarland

October 9, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time In

Time In

Whether its winter or a rainy summer day we often need to be inside.  Normally I like to walk in the morning when the world is quiet, the girls are sleeping and the birds are chirping.  Today, it is raining.  Certainly I could walk in the rain and I have done this but I decided to stay inside.  Whether it is a choice or we are forced inside, often it is the best thing for us.  Spending time “within” through meditation and/or prayer if often the yearning of our soul.

My daughter Zara, from the time of birth wanted to move.  At age eight she still wants to move constantly.  She is a ball of energy.  Dinner is a challenge if she is required to sit through it.  When she was a tiny baby I was required to move and hold her all day long to keep her happy.  She did not like swings, or bouncy seats or lying on the floor.  She wanted “time in” with Mom.  If she didn’t have this cuddle time then she would cry.  As she grew older and I attempted to give her a “time out” this would cause trauma.   What she wanted was “time in”.  When she was “misbehaving” instead of trying to single her out and separate her I would often just hold her and give her what she desired and needed, a “time in”.

Just like the infant or small child we need “time in” with our parent, our Creator.  We are all balls of energy like Zara, although as I age my energy ball isn’t as strong.  As our energy is depleted through the course of the day we need to have reserves to pull from in order to function at our best.  How do we acquire these reserves?  The same way a Zara did, with “time in”.  Starting the day with a spiritual practice of going within as a child clings to his parent gives us the strength and security we need to thrive in this world.

Whether this practice includes meditation, prayer, or a walk in the woods is up to the child.  The child knows what soothes him.  The child must decide what is best.  Even though Zara loved movement, the swing did not soothe her.  As a mother I need to listen to the cues from my daughter and respond.  The Creator knows his children even more than a mother and understands what comforts them.  Time in with the Creator brings security, peace and comfort to the inner child.

Time in with the Creator and the spiritual support teams of angels, guides and masters will bring a feeling of safety, harmony and console to your inner child.  A spiritual daily practice is a critical element in this chaotic world.  Time in with your true self brings confidence and stability in your life.  It brings the knowledge that you are never separated from the Eternal, that you are loved beyond measure and that you are not alone.   

Commit today to honoring the inner child and experience the “time in” with your Creator that your child desperately desires.

Love, "with a heart of peace",
Susan J. McFarland

June 2013