The Space Between: Choose to win.

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As we head into a big holiday season in America, and along with it, notable differences, struggles, and an undeniable precipice of change as a national community; an international community, immense choices are before us.
I’m not talking about party affiliation. This is not about religion or dogma. This is about the place that connects us all; the indisputable, unmistakable, unbreakable place where we MUST meet, whether we like it or not…
because we exist.
Whether we choose love, or choose fear, here, together, in this place we are together for the duration.
I am in front of you in line at the grocery store.  I see you sleeping on the street. I drive by the front gates of your housing community. You wave me on, kindly, in front of you in the line of traffic; or you cut me off, barely missing my front bumper, trying to shave a few seconds off your trip. You will live, and/or die, in the next house, the next room, the next bed, as will I, regardless of whether or not we reach out to each other. However, the world will be forever changed, like the mythical flap of that butterfly wing, depending on how we choose in that moment.
Every. Single. Time.
What are you doing to make positive change?
Can you look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and know that you brought the best version of yourself into your world?
Can you look at yourself today and know that you will try again, in this moment, to be a better mother/father, sister/brother, daughter/son…friend…co-worker…boss?
Can you offer to yourself and others a newer version of yourself as a better American, a better human being, a better Earth inhabitant than you were yesterday?
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In this moment, and every moment, in order to be that which you CAN be…that which you are surely ABLE to be…requires letting go of what and who you were before.
You must let go of what and who you are now…and jump off the edge of that precipice, open-hearted, into the liminal space that exists between every now…with total trust that whatever comes next from the external is what is meant to be in that moment.
Find confidence in the fact that wherever you land, or to wherever you fly, YOU are the one in charge of the YOU that shows up in that place; in that space. You are the one who has to make the change. Active, present, conscious.
Will you choose love? Will you shrink back with fear?
Will you look in my eyes and see our sameness? Or will you choose conflict and difference? Or will you choose not to see me at all?
No matter what you decide in this moment, keep in mind,
in the end love will always conquers fear.
The smallest light will always triumph even in the deepest darkness.
ALWAYS. So…choose to win.
Say it with me now…know it in your heart…
as you take a look at yourself and make a change:
Love always wins…and so it goes.

Be here now. Repeat.

Good morning, fellow Earthlings,
Two sayings favored while raising my kids have never been more appropriate than this morning:
Sometimes everything falls apart so better things can come together.
…and…
When people are the hardest to love is when they need love the most.
Pick yourself up…
dust yourself off…
take a breath…
turn and face today as the best version of you that can be mustered….
and continue on.
Continue to spread love and light in this world…every day…one moment at a time.
Refuse to engage in a fearful, hateful mentality.
Don’t bite the hook.
Look every day for the opportunity to piece back together what is worth fixing. Seek to let go of that which is better off falling away.
Then repeat. Again.
I/you/we ALWAYS have control of our actions. We always have a choice as to where we put our energy.
The suffering comes from looking back and wishing things had been different…or looking forward and worrying what is to come.
BE. HERE. NOW.
Life happens in the now, folks.
Stay present.
Stay conscious.
Stay grateful for all there is to be grateful for (which is always more than not).
Stay loving.  Hunker down in the place of love.
Give it, receive it, seek it out, feel it…let it flow free.
Toss it in the direction of those who are clearly lacking. Love can’t help but grow.
Love will win.
LOVE ALWAYS WINS….and so it goes.

 

NO MORE. This is not our shame.

Acts of love are not always flowery and pleasant sounding. Sometimes the most notable forms of love are those that free us from the ugliness of society; those that make us cry hard and get angry and take action.
Here are stories of love in the form of personal vulnerability in the name of changing a cultural evil. Love in the form of unity to stand up to that which is blatantly wrong. Love in the form of saying…NO MORE.

Click here for the brave post of Randy Susan Meyers, and so many many others, who are no longer silent as they offer self love,  set free their shame, and say NO MORE.

Love always wins…and so it goes.

 

 

In the Eye of the Storm

 

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Rick and I, and our daughter, Lindsay, are hanging out together this afternoon waiting for the eye of Hurricane Matthew to hit. Our son, Ryan and his family are close by, and safe, hosting and housing friends who had to evacuate. It is projected to be its worst in the next 3 or 4 hours. So far, it’s not too bad. We have sheltered in place and are more than ready for whatever comes, but we are enjoying cooking, baking, listening to music. We are glad to be together, with a safety plan in place for any number of scenarios.

We are not looking past today.

I want to take a moment and thank Brad Paisley for the beautiful anthem to, and titled,  TODAY. As I listened to the lyrics and melody…intently watching the video…I was moved to tears. You nailed it, Mr. Paisley, when you sing:

“I know it won’t always be like this…life can change as quick as a kiss…”

Yes. It is always that way. Impermanence. This, too, shall pass. Always.

It inspired me to expand on this notion. So, here is the similar theme I have been working to refine, and share, with others for a while now. From our loss of Casey so suddenly in 2014, and reflecting on my experience caring for people who are seriously sick and/or dying, for over 25 years, I have learned this:

TODAY, or more notably RIGHT NOW, is where life happens.

To look backwards to the past with regret or thoughts of “could have, should have, would have” is to suffer. Wishing things to be other than exactly as they are, is to suffer. We cannot go backward. The past is gone, done, and out of our control.

The same goes for looking forward with worry. Worry of what might be or not be. This, too, is a place of suffering. The future is a space and time that we can try to plan for, but inevitably, have very little control over the final outcome of most of it.

The intertwining of joy and sorrow is for the living and happens in the now.

RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT.

In every now we have control over how we meet it…even if it is labeled as “bad”…there is good there for harvest. The tapestry of joy and sorrow is woven tight, and the threads are inseparable.

Where you put your focus, and your attitude towards all of it, remains the key. The air in your lungs…the laugh or smile of someone you love…anything you can appreciate with your senses.

Even when it seems that you are living your worst nightmare; in the eye of your own personal storm, focus on the now, come into the present moment, and…here is the clincher:

Don’t wish it to be anything other than what it is.

When you take control of your attitude or outlook,  and don’t look to the past or future, you minimize or cease suffering. Acceptance and surrender, in the eye of the storm, to WHAT IS NOW. To do so will set you free.

Again, it does not mean you don’t experience any sorrow, but as noted, it is intertwined with joy…both gifts of life here on Earth…found only in the now…in TODAY.

Joy and sorrow…the seeds of love.

Love always wins…and so it goes.

Creating a New Reality

20140803_181347Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.

– Mary Elizabeth Frye –

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…And with us you remain, Casey Dalton.

In the spirit of frogs and toads that come across our paths or cling to our windows: you are there. As cardinals at the feeders or in the trees: you sing and fly free.

You are in songs on the radio too numerous to name; in every note of music and lyric from your playlist, as anthems for our day, or solace from our sadness.

You rise from the taste of ripe honeydew melons…strawberries…blackberries…and all things mint. The memory of your face comes into view with any mention of noodles, Boston Celtics, everything basketball related, any culinary terms, all direct statements…and with every “Oh, snap!”, “Dude…” or “Whaaaat?”, that reaches my eyes or ears.

Your essence is just beyond my sight, in the shadow created over any face hidden behind a hoodie.

With every regret, every celebration, every slip and every stride…you are there.

Your spirit has pushed me to live as the most healthy and pure version of myself since childhood; so unbelievably raw and connected to everything that is me. It is not easy. It is not always joyful. But you have shown us that the greatest gifts in this life generally are not.

There is struggle and pain with literal, visceral pangs in my stomach that guide me away from that which no longer serves me. That which also leads me closer to everything I was ever meant to be.

I have demanded of myself boundaries and space. Devoting time only to me to figure out exactly how to live, and love, as this physicality that is “myself”, like never before in my 49 years.

So much crying; cleansing. Cries of elation…repentance …petulance…and crying simply meant to rinse away the residual of that which needed rinsing. You have been there with me in every single tear.

Embracing the perfectly imperfect, all-that-is-right-now version of myself is the most difficult and necessary experience on this path. I can only hope that you are the whisper of empathy in the ear of those who may not understand. For without apologies, nor regret, I shall take the next step of this life and create this new reality.

Fortunately I have you, on the sidelines of my mind’s eye, coaching me to take the shot; to go for the three. Your exit from this plane; your death, was not in vain. Because you died, I shall be more alive while I walk this earth.

And so it is, you have taught me, with everyone we love and everyone who has gone before us, when we harvest the love that is shared; when we choose love.

Love always wins…and so it goes.

 

Choose Love: Intention for a New Earth

“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.”
Dorothy Thompson

I am not sure how to describe how I am feeling about the state of the world right now. What I know for sure is that our species is surely struggling. I am weary of trying to figure out the whys. There are a thousand human reasons, I believe, and yet on a spiritual/soul level, there are absolutely none.

 

Below are words that started out as a poem, became an anthem, and have evolved into an intention. It is a work that is a culmination of over eight years, gleaned from more than 16 years worth of notes from journaling my personal thoughts, reflections, sadness and joy, love and loss. This work is a non-religious, extremely conscious, positive affirmation written in the first person, meant to be recited, out loud, or in one’s head in silence, to offer personal direction, guidance, and faith in a better tomorrow: a better next moment.
All we ever have control over is ourselves. This intention is meant to help the collective, by challenging each individual to get aligned/balanced with themselves from the inside out. Each word has been chosen carefully. Eight years of consideration in the making. For example, the word pray has no meaning other than that which you give it. It could mean “hope very much for something to happen.”…or it could be the most intimate request from you to your Higher Power. This is the amount of care and consideration I want to offer to my fellow humans. These words echo my own steps of work in letting go of fear and choosing love.
As a species we seem to be choosing more fear. We are killing each other out of fear. Why are we choosing this way? Why can we not see it is not working? Why do we not choose love? When we choose love it is always better. Love will always drive away fear, but we have to choose it.
In the moments when you are most afraid, what if you chose love?
Maybe you need help in knowing how? Maybe some directions? Something both you, and your neighbor could both have in common and use as a reminder in difficult moments?
Think of the act of recent violence that angers you the most. Now imagine, just for a moment, who you view as the perpetrator or perpetrators, and imagine that in the moment that they acted, they chose otherwise.
Now suppose that these same individuals heard this intention a month ago. What if they had repeated it to themselves for a week, every day, prior to the event you are remembering?

What if they, in that moment of fear, saw clear connection to the other?

Or in that instant of fear, sparked by their own pain and sorrow, suddenly had perspective from that same memory that offered hidden, immeasurable joy because these words implied it could be so?

What if the image of a shield of forgiveness, for a hurt from a moment gone by, allowed for a pause that was just long enough to delay the pulling of a gun trigger?
How many lives might be saved if these words are used as guidance for a better next moment? For a better tomorrow?
Please share this post far and wide. May we use the repeated reading/stating of the Intention for a New Earth like a pledge, a declaration of commitment to our species, to each other, to our children, this planet and all its creatures: a solemn vow from each of us to current and future generations of all life that inhabits the earth, to leave it better than when we arrived.
Send these words anywhere and to anyone you think will benefit from an intention that will help them to take pause, let go of fear, avoid conflict and violence, and choose love.

*Places of Worship
*Schools at all levels
*Board rooms
*Court rooms
*Town Halls
*Police Stations
*Military Barracks
*Summer Camps
*Retreat Centers
*State Houses
*Congress
*The U.N.

How might the world change if this intention was consciously put into practice by the majority of the people, in these places, on a regular basis?

Join me. Say no to fear. Be part of a Great Turning…a New Earth.
Choose love.

Love always wins…and so it goes.

Intention for a New Earth
(c) 2008 Cyndy Dalton
This is the time for intuition;
all answers that I hold inside.
Challenge myself with introspection,
My consciousness will be my guide.

Seize the chance for evolution,
being all that I am meant to be.
Now is the time for resolution.
See clear connection…you to me.

Pair together peace and honor,
wars can simply cease to be.
Let forgiveness be my armor
from ignorant animosity.

Extend my hand to end this chapter;
hate and fear may now depart.
Find lessons in every struggle hereafter
Abounding grace shall fill my heart.

Essential choices stand before me.
Each moment, now, is in my hands.
Unite all souls, all kindred spirits.
So every human understands.

Awaken to, and feel, my essence.
No need to wait another minute.
Fill my core with gratitude
For this world and all that’s in it.

Breathe in deep and know the moment.
Let ego’s worry fade away.
Seek the joys within the sorrow.
Take hold the stillness; dare to pray.

Hear the silence. Feel connection.
Speak from my heart and know its worth.
Then watch the Universal love
express itself as this new earth.

Stories, ideas and creations of faith, hope, and love. And the greatest is love.