Category Archives: Family & Community

Bless This Mess

Snowman Candle

This photo is my inspiration and offering to you for today, Christmas Eve, 2015. The holiday season has been quite the challenge for me this year, as I hear it has been for so many.  During my meditation and reflection time this morning, I kept hearing the phrase…

“Bless This Mess.”

And so I blessed my messy house, blessed my messy mind, blessed my messy Christmas, blessed this messy world. And as I searched for an image to convey that desire – to love with all I’ve got, right where I am, to be as much of a LIGHT as I can muster….this little snowman candle caught my eye.

So I offer it to you, too! Let’s strike a match and SHINE together. When the mind is lit up, a smile is inevitable!

Love, love, love, love, love! ♥

 

 

 

 

 

Woman’s Work

Women Hold the World

A couple of weeks ago, my writing group worked with this ancient proverb as a jumpstarter:

When sleeping women wake, mountains move.

The pieces written that day by my fellow female writers were so beautiful. We felt ourselves as community – our vulnerabilities and strengths, our challenges with identity, value, and process in a patriarchal paradigm, our natural inclinations toward connection and cooperation, but also our secret insecurities, jealousies, anger, and competitiveness…the whole kit and caboodle of being a waking woman. We are indeed women waking! And I do believe mountains are on the move.

One of the things I felt that day and have been letting percolate ever since, is a new respect for the feminine power of understatement in this bombast-oriented world. Mountains can move one inch at a time, and there is something about that notion that needs more appreciation. We are a world of bombs and f-bombs, and those certainly grab our attention, but we are also a world of helping hands behind the scenes, humble hands, so many of which are female. One of our writers reminded us of another famous quote by Mao Zedong:

Women hold up half the sky.

I struggle, as does every woman I know, with making my mark on the world. Our societal norms demand extraordinariness from us to even justify our existence. Being called ordinary is an insult. So our average, daily lives, in which we have to make a living, make food, do laundry, pay bills, attend to family needs, etc., are subconsciously evaluated, at the end of the day, as being less than our potential. But most of those women holding up the sky would not qualify as extraordinary. And yet they are holding up the sky!

So I am writing this piece in praise of old-fashioned woman’s work. Not to diminish in any way our modern woman’s rights and liberties, for which I am deeply grateful, I also bow to the moms, the volunteers, the helpers. They are moving mountains an inch at a time, (which, if you think about it, is much less disruptive than the earthquake variety of movement), even though it won’t make the news or the best-seller list.

Women are waking, mountains are moving, and the sky is being held, in a quiet, understated, even ordinary way. That is worth noting and celebrating.

 

 

Hate is a Two-Way Poison

Oh, my, there is so much hate in our world! It is top of mind, of course, because of the shock of last week’s Paris terrorist attacks. But hate is boiling in so many people these days, on so many fronts, that we almost take it for granted…as if hate is normal…as if hate is just fine.

Those of us who are devoted to love as the only force of true change are often accused of being foolish, trite, lofty, or childish. We are considered Pollyannas spouting from ivory towers.

Many years ago, I had a profound dream, one in which an angel came to me and took me on an agonizing but illuminating  field trip.  He carried me to the scene of a violent rape in progress.  I heard, saw, and even smelled the graphic horror playing out in front of me, and I began to feel hate swell up in my chest. I wanted to kill the attacker!  I wanted to tear him limb from limb! But I couldn’t move. I could only witness. I  asked the angel, furiously, “Why did you bring me here?”

The angel waved his hand in the air in front of me, and suddenly I could see a new dimension – a thick, brown, vibrational ooze coming off the attacker and slithering across the ground toward me. It was as if I were a magnet drawing the rapist’s degenerate energy my way.

The angel spoke:  “This is what is meant by deliver us from evil,” he said. “Hate is a virulent infection. Love is both the inoculation and the antidote. Do what must be done to stop evil, to bring justice, to protect the innocent, but do so with love, else you, yourself, will become contaminated.”

I have never forgotten the message of this dream. It is far from Pollyannish to hold on to a sense of love in the face of hate’s potent pull, to allow anger its natural place, without hatred. There is nothing simplistic, trite or childish about it. As a matter of fact, it might just be THE HARDEST THING on the planet to do, requiring warrior-like resolve and a refinement of consciousness that can only be accomplished through a lifetime of prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies. Do good to those that persecute you.” It was a shocking idea then, and it still is today… and so seemingly impossible that few of us even try.

I am a long way from victorious on this subject, and I may never be. But I believe, with all my heart, that this is the mandate required to save the world, nevertheless; that the “loftiness” of love must be brought down to earth…in our hearts, in our minds, in our words, in our actions…both proactively, and responsively, in times like these.

 

Longing, Belonging and Freedom

ListenIntuitives have been talking lately about the cleansing energy that has been blasting through our inner lives over the past weeks and months. Old stuff, ancient stuff is rising up and being blown about. The corners are being swept. That has certainly been true for me. I don’t have a handle on this newest revelation yet, so my writing about it may feel jumbled, unclear, but I am coming to you live from inner space, and here is what it looks like at the moment.

Crestview2I just returned home from a week-long trip down south, my birthplace. While there visiting with my family, I also looked at a piece of property that literally wept with nostalgia – thirteen acres of pasture, forest, private lake, barn (complete with a tractor and two horses), and a ramshackle house that was begging for love, my love…the kind of treasure completely out of reach here in California. This place got under my skin, as well as my husband’s and daughter’s…so much so that if the house hadn’t needed quite so much attention, we would be ranch owners right now.

So my visit was thrown into a tailspin of pondering. Could we relocate back to my Mississippi roots, after almost forty years in the liberal, urban sprawl of Los Angeles? Could we embrace the idyllic geography, spend the next and final years looking at the stars, listening to the crickets, catching fish and growing vegetables, feeling the deep belonging of brothers and cousins, nieces and nephews, and old high school friends who knew me when? Could our wide-world mindset find its place in the old-world leanings of the south? Could we survive the heat and humidity? 😉

Oh, how I struggle when I go back there! My mom is in her latter years, and it hurts to witness her decline, experience the tenderness between us, then say goodbye each visit. It hurts to connect with my brothers and their children, feel that potent pull of belonging, then depart. But then I arrive back at LAX…and there is something in the air that feels good. Really good. It smells like jet fuel, it looks like concrete and cars and palm trees, but it feels like freedom. I can breathe deeply here in the City of Angels.

I’ve been reading another John O’Donohue book. This one is called Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on our Yearning to Belong. The timing could not be more perfect. And the corners that are getting swept, the ancient stuff that is coming up for me to heal, is another piece of self-acceptance: accepting this throb in the center of my chest that pulses so intensely it hurts. This yearning heart, which often embarrasses me, is my life-force, my very best feature!

I’m also being asked to look at the continuum of belonging and freedom, and embrace the fluctuating position I find myself in along that continuum.  Pure belonging is impossible without the sacrifice of individuality, the gift of freedom. Pure freedom is a lonely, lonely place.  I had never thought about this before, about the dynamism of these twin calls in our lives, and our negotiation of those energies. Somehow, naming them helps me dance instead of wrestle between, even as the as-yet-unknown future unfurls.

Here is a lovely blessing by O’Donohue that I offer as prayer for myself and for you, as you, too, are blown about in your own winds of change:

May you listen to your longing to be free.
May the frames of your belonging be large enough for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering in your heart that something good is going to happen to you.
May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing which lives at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May your angel free you from the prisons of guilt, fear, disappointment, and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.

–John O’Donohue

 

Father’s Day Poem

Daddys HandsMy father died when I was in my 20’s and he in his early 50’s. Way too young! So I have lived without him for a very long time.  He comes to me occasionally in dreams, though, and I am always amazed how full of life he remains there on that alternate plane. Here is a poem I wrote a few years back about a dream encounter that woke me in the middle of the night and made me weep with longing.

Happy Father’s Day to all Dads everywhere.  You are loved.

DADDY’S HANDS

Shooting stars in the night, Daddy’s hands
burst through my dreams,
waking me up, igniting my girlhood.
I can smell his skin, though fresh from the netherworld,
still flesh and full of memory: Pall Malls, perspiration,
Old Spice.
I can conjure his grin and that froggy voice calling me,
“Angeler.”

We used to meet more often. It’s been awhile.
As a rule there’s detachment in his face;
I’ll dream him at the mall, for instance,
in a brand new suit, in a brand new crowd,
everyone shiny, and he’ll pass by without seeing me.
I don’t take it personally. These are the veils,
I guess.
He can cross over;
he just can’t quite reach me.

Tonight, though, his hands make it through,
freckled and rough and smelling like the man I knew.
The nails are buffed (he always tried so hard),
but there’s no mistaking their earthly stuff,
the masculine brand of my own,
piercing the veils, tapping me awake, then
dissolving into stardust.
I sniff my own palms for connection,
place them on my face,

and a canopy of mourning flutters down and around.
Suspended in time,
I float in a gossamer bubble of goodbye,
having outlived him by years now,
forever his little girl.

©2008 Angela Hite. All Rights Reserved.

Choose Life!

Freedom of ChoiceThis morning I woke up with lower back pain.  I do quite often. This is one of the challenges of getting older…managing pain, and managing our attitude about life in the midst of pain. Mine is nothing compared to so many, but it is still mine, and it still asks something of me. As I lay there in that semi-conscious state before getting up and going, I heard this choice in my mind, “Life or Death?” Hearing that question helped me reach to my better self, who instantly said, “I choose life!”

So I sat up. I put my feet on the floor. And I came straight to the computer to get this simple point down. How many times during the day do we have that very choice to make, in one of its many subtle forms? Love or hate? Courage or fear? Forgiveness or punishment? Smile or smirk? Embrace or reject? Lift up or beat down?

Seriously, how many times a day are we given the ultimate privilege of choosing the emotional quality of our existence? Thousands, at least! AWAKENING is all about that – becoming conscious of those thousands of moments… and choosing life. It’s not rocket science. It’s not new news.  But in the midst of all the conflict the world throws at us each day – innocent loss of life, obnoxious political posturing, wars, environmental disasters, sickness, financial challenges, pain, loss –  it’s so easy to forget that we have this basic premise constantly being asked of us. Life or Death?  Do we live like zombies in a state of walking death long before the body gives out?  Or do we choose the more abundant (and more demanding) path, despite the circumstances of the moment?

Our Prayers to the Bidens

Here is President Obama’s eulogy for Beau Biden.  The Biden family has our heartfelt prayers.