Morning Coffee – 2017

As the rain pours down outside, I greet this day with a delightful cup of coffee. I haven’t shared a cup with you for quite some time. Pull up a chair. Pour yourself a cup. Let’s talk awhile.

So when was the last time you actually sat across from another human being in a focused way and had a conversation that didn’t involve your thumbs?

Can you remember the most recent time you listened with your full attention to someone share something with you?

I’ve noticed that people can’t be without their ‘phones’ even for a few short hours. Even when in a class, I often see a subtle checking of the phone. I don’t like the ubiquitous presence of these electronic attention-grabbers. It takes the person out of the present moment, and according to all the wisdom teachings, the present moment is the place of true power.

The power to change our past, our futures, individually and collectively. But we’re too busy checking our emails.

Recent research shows, and some programmers that are ‘in the know’, have begun to speak up about how our devices are being engineered to capture our attention. Our basic human instincts are being used against us, to cause us to become addicted to our electronic devices.

I’m beginning to be concerned that the newest form of slavery has invisible chains. How is this going to change the trajectory of the collective? That remains to be seen. The one thing I hang my hopes on is the power of our free will to choose what we will and will not allow in our lives.

I long for the days when the phones were tethered to the walls of our homes, and if you wanted to make a call when you were away from home, you had to find a ‘phone booth’.

When is the last time you saw one of these? They have virtually disappeared from the landscape, and nobody even seems to have noticed.

Think about it: if you needed to make a call, you actually had to stop what you were doing, and make that call. You didn’t have the ability to walk down the street and make a call. You had to pay attention to what you were doing in the moment. You had to fish for coins, find the number, dial the number, wait for the other party to answer, have your conversation, and then hang up before you continued on with your day.

Now you shoot them a quick text and wait for the ping of your phone to let you know they’ve responded. So, how present are you, anyway? So much is lost in written communication. Where is the voice inflection? The expression on the speaker’s face? Their body language is also an important part of the process. It’s ironic to me that despite our increased ability to stay connected, we are actually more disconnected from each other than ever.

Since when is it inspired advice to have a ‘family dinner’ one night a week? When did dinners around the table complete with conversation about our day go the way of the phone booth?

Our awareness has been shrinking of late, not expanding. I encourage you to spend a day, yes a day, without your phone. Turn it off. Leave it home. Notice your physiological responses. Notice how many times you reach for it to check your ‘messages’ and perhaps you will begin to understand how ‘dependent’ you’ve become. Then ask yourself if it truly benefits you to be constantly ‘connected’ in that way.

The next time you meet someone for lunch or a cup of coffee, why don’t you both turn off your phones and spend the time fully engaged with another human being? They are worth your attention. You are worth your attention.

Well, my friends, the coffee cup is empty, and it’s time for me to go about my day. Thanks for sitting with me. Thanks for listening.

All original material is (c) 2017, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Indifference and neglect often do more damage than outright dislike. ~ JK Rowling

Brother Crow – A Full Circle Moment

When I was on the West Coast recently visiting my daughter, I had a powerful experience that I know was a full-circle moment. I know there is a powerful message there for me, and I wait for it to be revealed in the fullness of time.

CrowbywaterYes, it involves another encounter with one of my closest Spirit Animal allies: Crow. You can find the story of my first encounter with crow here. Over the years, I have had more than one luminous, unusual encounter with the power of Crow Medicine. This month, I encountered Crow in the very same fashion as when I first walked past the crow that was lying dead in the gutter by the curb.

I threw my back out while visiting my daughter and needed to drive to Tacoma (the town I lived in when I was opened back up to the Voice of Spirit). The chiropractor that used to treat me when I was in the military still practices there, and is always happy to squeeze me in if needed. Now, I could have gone with my daughter and her boyfriend, but if I had, I doubt I would have had the experience I did.

I arrived in Tacoma early for my appointment, and there was a Starbuck’s across the street, so I went over to the store to get a coffee and something to snack on. I didn’t want to sit in the store because it was a wonderful day and I didn’t want to sit in the parking lot, either. I got in the car and drove slowly – I now realize I was following Spirit -until I came to a place behind a box store where there were some trees and some shade where I could eat my breakfast sandwich.

As I pulled up to park under the trees, I was shocked to see a crow lying in the parking lot. It had obviously been recently hit as the blood pooling underneath the creature was still bright red. I was overcome with a full-on sense of time wrapping back upon itself somehow, and knew this was NOT an accident. I finished my snack, then used the bag the sandwich came in to pick the bird up and put it in the ivy growing under the trees  where I was parked. I apologized to the bird that I could not do more in the moment. It was better than leaving the bird lying on the pavement in the sun.

As I drove away to the appointment, I felt as if I were in two times at once, pondering the odds that I would 1) be in Tacoma, 2) go to the chiropractor while I was there, and 3) find a dead crow that needed my help. Again.

If I hadn’t thrown my back out, I would not have needed to drive to Tacoma. If I hadn’t arrived so early, I wouldn’t have had time to kill. If I hadn’t been hungry, I wouldn’t have stopped at the store, I would have waited in the office. If it hadn’t been such a nice day, I would have eaten the meal in the store. The timing was perfect, and I did follow the subtle current of energy that was gently leading me.

To the crow that gave its life so I could receive my message, I give thanks. And I will do my best to hear it so that your sacrifice is not wasted.

Since our waking life can be worked in the same way or sleep dreams can, I will share what I learn when I work this experience with my dream Teacher next month. Until then, thank you, brother Crow, for your constant companionship on my spiritual journey.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016 -, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

We do not create our destiny; we participate in its unfolding. Synchronicity works as a catalyst toward the working out of that destiny.                                         ~David Richo

Unconditional Love For Sale

Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann, Vancouver Sun

Photo by: Gerry Kahrmann, Vancouver Sun

His name is Brice Royer, and earlier this year he posted an ad on Craigslist.

The ad quickly went viral with over 1 million viewers. Brice posted the ad because after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2012, the reality of living with cancer set in and the pain became more severe. He found it more difficult to get up each day. The depression got so bad, he was actually thinking about suicide. It was too much to try to figure out how to successfully take his own life, so he told himself he would endure for just one more minute. And then another. Eventually, he chose to live.

Thinking he’d been handed a death sentence, Royer was inspired to take a vacation.He went to a cottage in North Vancouver for a month and while he was there, he researched the causes of serious illness, and discovered they ranged from toxins in the environment to stress and loneliness.

After much contemplation, he concluded that the root cause of his illness was a lack of love in our society. When he discovered that the healthiest people in the world live in places such as Okinawa, Japan and Ikaria, Greece, and that they have a lifestyle of caring for one another via what they call a gift economy, Royce wanted to experience this where he lives in Vancouver.

“They all have big families and small communities … they give freely and they receive freely. They are isolated from the market economy…and they make things themselves,” he says.

On March 12, 2015, he posted the following ad:

Hello, I am selling unconditional love for $0. Infinite square feet lot. Includes refreshing air, sunshine, the Earth, beautiful mountains and the ocean. A stunning ‘classic’ heritage made 4.5 billion years ago.

Address: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way.

Available now to serious buyers. Perfect for the first-time buyer and experienced investors feeling empty and trapped with stress and pressure to maximize Return on Investment because of family and stakeholders’ expectation.

HISTORY: I received it a long time ago when I was born. I received the gift of life from my parents, the sun, the water, the Earth, the air, a smile, a hug, a helping hand, without being asked anything in return. I didn’t earn any of them. They belong to the public domain, the commons, ‘Mother Earth’ or God, if you’re religious.

At some point, my ancestors were afraid and decided to own land that once belonged to everyone, sell services that were once freely given, and even own humans through debt. Since it was claimed or stolen by those who made the laws themselves with a series of ‘legitimate’ transfers, than any law that enforces private ownership is perpetuating a crime. Not all laws are morally just. Only recently, slavery was legal and women weren’t allowed to vote. Why pay for something that was stolen from you? They made a mistake. I’m sorry. Let’s start fresh with this new sale.

Although I am only one human and my time and resources are limited, my soul and the intention of love is eternal, and so is yours…and I would like us to share that experience.

PAYMENT: I don’t accept cheques or mortgage payments, only cash payments of $0. You are also welcome to re-sell it for $0. But I must warn you…it will multiply once you do.

Royce discovered that when he started giving unconditional love to strangers, gifts came back to help him, often in unexpected ways. Some of the projects he has been involved with include paying someone else’s rent for a year (even though he is currently living with his fiancée’s family) or paying a war veteran’s dentist to remove the dental amalgam fillings from her teeth that were making her sick so that she could better care for her autistic son.

Royce can only eat a few foods without getting severe headaches, rashes, heart palpitations and other symptoms. Carrots are one of those foods, and after he posted the ad, people all over the world started posting pictures of themselves with carrots to show their support. A Surrey farmer who grows food for the hungry offered Royer as many carrots as he needed before the two ever met in person.

When Francesca Murray, a homeless single mother, read the ad, she was inspired by his positive attitude and willingness to serve others. Via Facebook, she offered to come to Vancouver and help by cooking for him. Royer was so moved by her gesture, he set up a fundraiser site hoping to raise $100- to provide a two-month supply of vegetable deliveries for Murray and her young daughter. The goal was far exceeded, raising $2000- which allowed them to provide 250 meals to the women living in Francesca’s shelter.

The Power of Unconditional Love

The Power of Unconditional Love (Royer in the center, Francesca on the right).

Royer later learned that Murray’s time in the shelter ends in February 2016. She and her daughter will have to leave, whether they have somewhere to go or not. Royer and his friends are now looking for a way to find permanent housing for Murray and her daughter. They have started a new fundraising site with the goal of raising $25,000 in order to build Murray and her daughter a sustainable tiny home (for $20,000) and provide her with $5000- to cover her short-term living expenses until the house is ready. They want to reach this goal by December 25th. (In the few hours’ time it took me to write this article, the site has  raised almost $1000- dollars towards their goal.)

The greatest hope for our collective future is our humanity, that thing that stirs inside us that moves us to reach out to help another. When we share what we have, especially when that isn’t much, this Spirit multiplies exponentially.

This reminds me of the parable of the Widow’s Mite. For those of you who are not familiar with the story in Mark 12:42, Jesus and the disciples are present at the temple where the offerings were made. A poor widow put two small copper coins equal in value to a farthing in the basket while the wealthy were throwing in large amounts. Jesus comments on this to his disciples, and conveys the message that the widow’s gift was all she had, while the wealthy were giving offerings of no critical consequence to their lives despite the fact the amounts were considerably larger.

You are Loved...

                           You are Loved…

A homeless woman shares what she has with other homeless women. A seriously ill young man is moved to help others as part of his healing process. Both are enriched by their generosity. Spirit responds to our intention with incredible swiftness these days. There is something of powerful goodness building in our collective consciousness: an awareness of just how rich the Field of Plenty is, especially when we open our hearts without expectation of a return and give without hesitation.

I’m going to be a part of this one.

If you are moved to buy some unconditional love at $0., consider paying it forward here. One of Royer’s friends said it best: “By helping one person, we are helping all humanity.”

                                                                 A Generous Soul

You have not lived today until you have done something for something for someone who can never repay you. ~John Bunyan

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2015, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

 

Giving Thanks – Be Grateful for Every Day

Gallery

This gallery contains 14 photos.

I give thanks for the opportunity to serve in each moment as God would see fit to use me.   I give thanks for all those who see the Truth of Me. I give thanks for the sun that rises, for … Continue reading

Morning Coffee – A Shared Experience

Cafe_ViennoisThere’s a nip in the air this morning, so it’s a warm, frothy cup of coffee today.

I had a magical experience with some friends the other day, and decided it would make an excellent morning cup.  Hope you enjoy this one.

This was the weekend of the Equinox, a time when the energies are in balance, and according to my Unseen Teachers, also the time of great opportunity to manifest things. I had been inspired to do a simple ceremony on this day, and was able to easily persuade three other women – one of whom just ‘happened’ to be visiting from Florida this weekend – to represent the different aspects of the template Spirit was asking us to anchor on this day.

After a brief detour to a spot that wasn’t where we needed to be, we arrived at our location. It was a place I’d walked with one of the participants just a couple of weeks before. It was a wonderful, forested area that was a nature preserve close by the park. We had happened upon an unusual formation of a downed tree that formed a triangular doorway of sorts.

English: A picture of Carya tomentosa. The tre...It felt like we needed to do this ceremony at that location, so that’s the direction we headed. As we came to the place, the area wasn’t level, so after a brief look around, a large tree and a small flat, mossy spot drew us down the slope a bit. We made our way down the hill to the tree, and began to intuit our way into the energy of the moment.

There was no set plan. We had gathered some things beforehand and didn’t know what we would use, so we set them all out. I was drawn to the tree, magnificent in her energy and presence. I walked over and stretched out my arm so I could lean my  hand against her. I softened my gaze so I could better sense her energy.

As I looked down the slope into the sun-dappled forest around me, I became aware that I was looking directly into the eyes of a beautiful doe who was lying in the shaded area below us. As that sank into my conscious mind, I whispered to my friend to move slowly towards me so she could also see the deer.

Both times we had come to the park, she had mentioned her desire to see deer again. She had come to this park one day at dusk and had come upon some deer who were coming down for water. Since that time, she had hoped to see them again.

Male Kansas White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virg...Now here they were. Three does, one fawn that still had a few spots on it, and a really handsome buck who made an appearance just as we completed our calling ceremony. It was as if the white tail deer had gathered there to lend their energy to our endeavors.

Each of us stood in for the energy of each of the four directions, and waited for the words to come upon our hearts that needed to be said. The details of our time in the forest with the deer are not important. What is important is that a group of women agreed to follow Spirit and provide the opportunity for a new template to be established. Whether we were successful or not remains to be seen. At least we demonstrated a willingness to do our part to facilitate the unfolding planetary birthing process.

English: Central American White-tailed Deer (O...There was magic in the moment there in the forest the other day. A luminous, numinous moment of being present, really present, with the tree people and the deer tribe. Something startled the group as we were getting ready to leave, and a couple of the animals darted our way. We found ourselves almost surrounded by the energy of the deer, as we allowed ourselves to just be with the experience.

The interesting thing to me was, though they were obviously aware of the group of us, they did not seem disturbed by our presence. After some minutes, the fawn – which had run past our location and was now behind us – began to make its way back towards its mother. She moved back down the slope where the rest of the animals were regrouping. The buck remained watchful a little ways up the slope from where we were standing.

As our time together with the deer came to an end, the small herd made its way further down the slope, meandering and browsing as they went until they were out of our line of sight. We said our goodbyes, gave thanks to Spirit for the wonderful experience, and made our way back up to the foot path and out of the park.

It was an experience I will not soon forget. I was in a forest doing ceremony with a herd of deer calmly bearing witness less than a hundred yards from me. I could see those gentle, calm eyes gazing up at me and I had the sense she heard me when I sent my heartfelt gratitude her way.

We speak of living in harmony with nature, but what does that mean, exactly? I hope it looks like what I experienced with these women and those deer that day. What a world we would live in then. On a day of balance, we prayed for balance. From our lips to Creator’s heart. Let it be so.

This has turned out to be a bigger cup than I intended. Hope you enjoyed it. Now go have a glorious day. I know I will!

All original material posted to this site is (c)2013, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Mid-Morning Coffee – Familiar Change

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...Just a quick cup today, hot, black and strong.

I hear it a lot from people. They don’t like the prospect of facing a change in their life circumstances. It is scary, and can be stressful. I do agree with that point of view. I would like to offer an alternative, however. Shift your perspective and you will shift your experience.

Without change, there is only stagnation. We can find ourselves in a rut of our own making that can get so deep there is no way out. Change something about how you live each day, and you give your consciousness an opportunity to see things in a new way, from a fresh perspective.

Lately, my change has come in the form of moving. Literally. Or I could see this last series of relocations as one large, extended, single move because I didn’t actually unpack all the boxes at the last place. If the recent shifts are a symbolic representation of what is happening internally for me, then I am in for some major shifts in how I experience this world. I will keep you posted on that front.

I found this last leg of the journey very enlightening. I ended up driving the truck myself, and towing my vehicle behind me – which wasn’t without its own set of challenges – which allowed me to rediscover a sense of empowerment and competency I thought I’d surrendered due to my ‘advancing age’. Hmmm. Guess that’s only a figment of my imagination!

I made the journey with a greater sense of calm and control than I’d felt in years. Perhaps that was helped along by the appearance of people willing to assist me just when I needed it. To this band of angels, I will be forever grateful.

Thank you to the elderly couple from a small town in Nebraska who helped to load my stuff on the truck. I’m no spring chicken, and neither are either of you, but we did a pretty darn good job with the help of your grandson.

Deutsch: Rungenwagen zum Holztransport der Rai...

Thank you to the car hauling guy that pulled up next to my truck/tow dolly combination just when I needed someone who could help me re-secure the straps on the front wheels that held my car on the dolly. (One had come completely off, and I had listened to the small voice that urged me to check things after I stopped for lunch and before I took off again.) As I fussed with the straps, it began to rain.

A phone call to the ‘help center’ revealed that it would cost $150.- for ‘help’ to come and adjust the strap. I had figured out how to get the strap back on the wheel, but couldn’t figure out how to work the ratcheting mechanism to tighten it back down.

That same still, small voice urged me to hang up and just go ask the guy who had three cars lashed to a trailer with the same type straps I was dealing with for some assistance. So I did. He grabbed his gloves out of the back seat, told me he did it all the time, and within seconds had me properly secured again. When I asked him if I could pay him something, he just flapped his hand at me and wished me safe travels.

Good thing I listened. The timing of this man’s appearance was ‘heavenly’. If I had not paid attention, who knows if the car would have stayed on the tow dolly. The next part of the trip was about 65 miles of Interstate complete with all that entails. I said a quiet prayer of thanks to my Guides and Guidance for the help and to God for sending an angel to help right when I needed one.

 Photo credit: Julie Marie

Photo credit: Julie Marie

Thank you to the woman who came to visit yesterday and who brought a beautiful pot and flowers for the front porch. I was just thinking I needed a pot there! And some chicken tikka masala to boot! Yum! Food, flowers, friendship. What more can a girl ask for?

Now, I would not have had the opportunity to experience any of these wonderful things if I wasn’t up for whatever changes Spirit has in store for me. Am I always successful at gracefully moving through them? No. But the wonderful thing about it is, I do keep getting another chance to do it right!

Life is beautiful. And so is change. Embrace it. You never know what wondrous surprises are in store for you.

Now go have a glorious day. I know I will.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2013, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credits: Wikipedia