Aim high. Ride easy. Trust the Universe.

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I was talking to a tree the other day and it said to me "Universe when I come back I don't want to just be wood." So I thought out loud 'What's wrong with being wood?" 

"It's hard," the tree said, without cracking a smile. "I want to come back soft and furry so that I can be loved by children.

So I thought and thought and thought and finally asked 'Why not be tall and strong, just as you are, and be loved by children?" and the children came to play.

It begs the question, time and again, do you really think you have to change, to have what you want?

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in Thoughts 67

When we count with our eyes we stall the heart -  for the eyes can see clearly what is broken without ever feeling the break, and the mind can calculate the loss without ever sewing up the wound. Without touching the life coming apart before us, we can race to rebuild before the wrecked dream ever hits the ground. While this makes us resilient and efficient as ants, it also keeps us from living in what we build.

What makes us precise and efficient can also begin a life of neurosis, not touching what we see, not feeling what we know. This is how the mind skips the heart's step. How we forget that blood on the news is real and that the cry from the street is attached to something living. Such a profound and simple lesson: to count with our hands brings us deeper than all counting, numbers give way to notes and sums give way to song.

But one the hardest blessings to accept about the heart is that in the image of life itself, it will not stop emerging through experience. No matter how we try to preserve or relive what has already happened, the heart will not stop being shaped. The curiousness of life brings me, time and again, to this realisation that - despite my resistance to accept what we've lost is behind us, despite our need at times to stitch wounds closed by reliving them, and despite my heroic efforts to preserve what is precious, despite all my attempts (at times) to stop the flow of life, my heart knows better. I know - at my core - the only way to truly remember or stay whole is to take the best and worst into its tissue.

The heart keeps us going by moving us ever forward, though I walk around thinking I can direct my heart, our hearts are endlessly shaped, like the land, often against our will.

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in Thoughts 64

Everyone personalises and projects, personalising is mistaking what happens in the world as always having to do with you. Projecting is the reverse, it occurs when we place the things that happen in us onto the world around us. Often unknowingly, we attribute our fears and frustrations to others. Rather than accept my own anger I see you as angry.

The truth is that no one can avoid personalising or projecting - there are only those of us who are aware of it and those of us who are not. Those of us who own it when it happens and those of us who don't But this difference is crucial. Not owning things can end relationships. Owning them can deepen them.

Humans have spilt soup for eternity, and generations have made excuses saying "It was the Earth, the Earth shifted" and generations have secretly thought "He meant to do it."

I was the cause of soup spilling earlier this week. As ever my one-word wonder and I were at a crossroads, this one of my making; she projected onto me and I personalised it in return.  I sat with her, after I had spilt the soup, and listened to the emotions in her words and, at the moment, I knew that the difference was crucial to our deepening or ending.

If you want to save the world, when you spill the soup, simply say 'I"m sorry, I spilt the soup."

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in Thoughts 51

Living long enough we each find ourselves surrounded by an old way of being, thinking and loving that is going up in flames. In an unexpected moment I read the words, of my one-word wonder, that said 'You'd don't share, I'm not sure if you realise or not..'. In that moment I was stuck in fear, feeling trapped by an old way of life coming in on me.

It's understandable to stall at the wall of flame, not wanting to face all that is burning around us; yet old ways can burn forever and waiting for the flames to go out seldom works, we can waste years in waiting. Like a frightened man in a burning boat, in that moment, I chose to trust her, to believe that the greater sea I was about to jump into would douse whatever caught fire as I moved through it - this is what faith is all about.

Without trying to be brave and with great fear I have stumbled and jumped through many walls of flame. The first time, I think, was in leaving home - needing to go, burning at the edge, afraid I wouldn't survive beyond the flame of anger in which I was raised. Buoyed by youth the wall of flame seemed to burn brightly and in my favour but all too soon I had to move through the flames of utter despair in death and lost love.

Here the broken part of me was almost willing to be burned alive. I felt certain there was nowhere to go and nothing that could soothe me. I more fell through this wall than jumped, it seemed the entire sea was on fire. Even, once overboard, drifting farther and farther from the flames I thought I might drown. How could I know that the greater sea was the womb of a deeper life. But and, of course, once in the sea of life beyond myself, the world continued and I healed.

But the subtlest ring of fire, it seems, is that self-centered way of thinking that starts to suffocate us with smoke. For we carry the smouldering self-centered everywhere we go. It lives off us and eats up who we are. Being a commitment fence-sitter was hard to hear and I struggled with the reality of the words she gave me but she has shown trust in me with such boldness I realised it was about time to look her in the eye and love her, in that way, in return. 

So how to jump from the burning boat of me? I think it's about jumping from the boat of ego into the sea of spirit. Finally, perhaps, I feel I can find the courage to surrender my stubbornness and dreams of control, let the edge of my ego burn and jump through. I will do more than survive I will be carried to an unimagined shore.

 

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in Thoughts 116

I've lived a transitory life. It has its moments - I've seen and been things, I've grown up and into those places but it has its jaded edges and one of those is that you don't necessarily lean into the experience and fully embrace it.

We moved house - again - and because it's the nature of my beast I kept moving; things don't and can't gather under my feet - perhaps another conversation with my one-word wonder.

It's a wonderous thing arriving at a point and it's not really the point at all - it's just another brick in the wall. It's a beautiful brick but just a brick. 

On we go.

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in Thoughts 83