3P Random Reflections Blog
Love... the true kind... in truth, the only kind...
one that is oddly impersonal and freely unconditional.
It fills us up and splashes out into the world...
In laughter, and
joy, and awe, and beauty, and gratitude, and compassion, and understanding.
It allows us to feel fully the pain within ourselves,
within others, and within the world,
Without being consumed by it.
It holds us in a silence so loud that we become infused by it and with it.
wraps us in a blanket of care so big that we are compelled to invite everyone else in... the angry, the hurt, the despised, the suffering.
join me" it whispers so sweetly. "I can hold you. It's safe here. It's OK."
And in that warmth and embrace of true love, that holds
not one... single... condition... and yet holds US...
We find ourselves FULLY accepted, exactly as we are.
And in the space of whole and unconditional acceptance...
Of the freely offered, infinitely abundant, always-open hand of true freedom...
The freedom for which we all unknowingly
We can reach out for it's sure and firm grasp,
And in the instant of its touch,
Be brought to safe ground,
Releasing all that we have been carrying to protect us.
We can finally breathe again... fully... in... and out.
And in that breath, we come to discover that same love within
Filling us up and splashing over.
As our eyes gaze out onto the vast landscape,
Of the incomprehensible and miraculous life that
has been gifted,
We see that despair is not for us to carry,
But only to embrace in kind, kind tenderness,
Miraculously discovering ourselves in ALL of it... the pain, the blanket, the sure hand, the breath.
With Love and Laughter,
(Photo by Nur Andi Ravsanjani Gusma)
Sometimes (but not always LOL!) I am present enough to notice the sheer delight in the complex, incomprehensibly-connected, unpredictable nature of life, community, and
Let me explain...
Another friend offers a place to move to that benefits both of them.
I smile about this as I ponder evidence of another beautiful instance of human connection and service, and the societal and ecological benefits of communal living.
Several friends help move some boxes... Rick and I meet someone new who seems quite lovely.
My friend gives
me some boxes of "it's-time-to-get-rid-of" stuff to gift to my neighbourhood Buy Nothing group.
I have fun coming up with a creative
post for one of the items from the boxes to be gifted... a set of heart-shaped cupcake tins.
I receive this first reply on my post...
"I was planning on making valentines cupcakes for some of my friends and their kids so if these are tiny like cupcake/individual size I would really love to be considered".
I choose this first response to be the giftee, rather than waiting for additional interest, knowing that time was of the essence due to Valentines Day coming up soon.
I offer to deliver the gift... Rick and I have been doing lots of gift delivery lately because it's a great excuse to get outside for our neighbourhood walks, especially in the winter when I mostly
want to hibernate. Exercise and fresh air! Yay!
We drop off some other Buy Nothing gifts along the way, which gives us a good 1.5
During the walk, we find a set of lost keys, so when we get home, we post a note about them in another neighbourhood group to hopefully find the owner.
We also find a few pieces of garbage to pick up along the way.
AND, during the walk, there is enough time for Rick to grow a very funny "frost caterpillar" on his eyebrow that makes me laugh out loud, and so requires a moment-in-time memorialized photo for sharing on Facebook.
The photo gets added to the photo collection that gets streamed to our TV for our continual rotating-pictures amusement.
Two days later the new cupcake tin owner posts her gratitude in the Buy Nothing Group, along with a picture of her creation.
She tries to tag me, but it doesn't work, so some other thoughtful neighbour in the group finds a way to tag me instead... and so I get a notification to look at the post...
My friend's desire to move started an incomprehensible web of activities and events, that put a beautiful cupcake into
someone's hand... which will itself continue to ripple out from there in untold ways, along with all the other threads of energy and consequence that were created and still rippling now, all along the way.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day!
With Love and Laughter,
I don't know exactly when he first said it, but it was maybe around 5 years ago.
My husband Rick, upon encountering a problem, said to me, "This is a problem of abundance."
I stopped to ponder his statement, we chatted a bit, and then I eventually got what he was saying.
Since then, there have been 100s of "this is a problem of abundance" realizations he has come to and pointed to. I have now found myself starting to think and say it as well. "Damn, there's that darn abundance thing again!" LOL!
And this is understandable since the statement holds so much truth in it.
We wouldn't have had a stressfully-felt computer crash recovery over the last few months, if we didn't have a computer, including the 60,000 photos filling up much of the space on it.
We wouldn't have had a stressfully-felt navigation of the complex plans for our retirement if it weren't for a lifetime of multiple jobs, multiple pension plans, multiple retirement
and government savings plans, and multiple complex options.
We wouldn't have had some of the stressfully-felt health issues we've
encountered over recent years if we didn't have the ability to consume whatever we wanted and however much we wanted in any moment... no limit to the available choice and quantity of food and other resources.
Every one of those situations came
to us in some way because of abundance.
We used to think that abundance was good, and the more of it, the better. Most everyone and
everything in our world seemed to confirm that for us.
We used to think that any type of scarcity was a problem... not being able
to get whatever we wanted whenever we wanted it, or worse yet, not having enough (whatever we felt that never-ending-enough-hole actually was and meant).
In contrast, in many ways, we've now been discovering a beauty and grace and profound richness in getting closer to what appears to be scarcity.
When we don't have everything we need, we get to discover how much we don't need.
When we don't have everything
we need, we get to be creative and resourceful, and in many ways, less negatively impactful to the environment and our fellow humanity. There's a sense of amusing accomplishment in that creativity.
When we don't have everything we need, we begin to appreciate community and relationships and the profound significance of vulnerability and needing to rely on others... building foundations of
mutual authenticity and trust and gratitude, and fostering awareness within ourselves that the deepest "truths of life" are found in our intrinsic connection to everything and everyone else. We discover the beauty of reaching out in need and humility instead
of just in service.
When we don't have everything we need, oddly, life gets much simpler and more fun.
When we don't have everything we need, we paradoxically discover a deep understanding of our infinitely available internal FREEDOM... less physical and mental attachments,
and more spiritual peace/presence/love... our infinite innate abundance.
The pandemic has given us thousands of powerful gifts in
regard to our awareness and understanding of abundance and scarcity. We are so thankful for it in so many ways.
I've been hoping that
many others, may have, in their own way, had some opportunity to discover the same.
In the meantime, I am so happy to have so much
more to learn about the problems of my personal abundance and the joys of my personal scarcity.
With Love and Laughter,
In about 2012, I remember attending a company wide conference call, with the global travel management company I was working for. Our new CEO for North America proudly announced
his key mission for the division... "Growth, Growth, Growth".
It wasn't exactly an inspiring vision, LOL!, besides the fact that around
this time I was starting to question our whole economic system.
On that call, I wanted to say, "Never-ending growth... I don't get
it. What's wrong with just creating 'enough'... why do we need more and more and more? What's wrong with enough employees, enough customers, enough markets, and enough profit, and then making relative and thoughtful adjustments up and down as we go along?
Other than perhaps for inflation, why do any of the numbers need to keep going up exponentially? Why is bigger better? And why does the concept of inflation even exist?"
I didn't ask that question, partially because I didn't have the words at the time, and I realized I was bringing a philosophical question into a political meeting. I also had a lot of felt-as-justified judgment toward the
leadership at that time, and didn't expect to get a genuinely thoughtful answer. And, I imagine I had some concern about how just asking that question would affect me and my job.
In hindsight, I wish I had been able to drop all of my internal insecurity and to positively engage instead... to have curiously asked some form of that same question without judgment or expectations, and only with
goodwill and compassion and an open heart. It may still have resulted in a dismissive political response, or maybe not. But I sense that just the loving delivery and form of question could have been a gentle little wave rippling out in some beautiful and mysterious
way... for me and whomever else was on the call.
Prior to that time, I had spent about 30 years being an enthusiastic and cooperative
member of a system that encouraged my fellow human beings to get into cars, buses, ships, trains, planes, and hotels, travelling all around the world as much as possible, without any inkling of consideration for the incomprehensible amount of resources being
consumed and the ecological and societal collateral damages that were being created. All because there wasn't any broader societal awareness to think or do otherwise.
I LOVED travel. I loved the travel industry. And I had the (as yet unrealized to me) privilege of never having to question any of it.
All of the growing fallout of unlimited travel was either far enough away from me or so complex that I couldn't see it. I couldn't piece together the connection between the electronic TV screen keeping me occupied on my
10 hour flight to Amsterdam, and the exploited children in the DRC digging up the minerals for those electronics. I would just be disappointed if, God forbid, the screen at my seat was not working, or irritated that the volume buttons were in an awkward spot
In the embrace of a life of much comfort and security, combined with the specific life challenges that I had been uniquely
gifted, including what I affectionately refer to as "my personal crazy", I spent most of my life rarely questioning the nature of the systems I have wholly participated in.
All of this brings to mind that famous quote by a German business leader being questioned about his participation in the Holocaust... his statement was something to the effect of, "Asking me what I knew is the wrong question.
You should be asking me what I could have known if I had wanted to."
With some of my own change of awareness happening over the years,
I've slowly been extricating myself out of those systems ("slowly" being another privilege of mine). Despite the baby steps approach, it has at times felt painful, and difficult, and stressful, and overwhelming for me to do so.
The momentum of human insecurity is so incredibly powerful and so pervasive in its reach, that it is imbedded within almost every facet of modern life. It pervades all
our societal norms and traditions and structures and habits, our language, our identities, our education, our work, our industry, our agriculture, our economics, our politics, our communications and media, and our religions, besides (and ultimately because
of) the unrealized insecurity within each of us.
And truthfully, despite 10 years of gradual extrication, I'm still way more in those
systems than out of them.
I'm "sort of retired" at the moment, and most of my savings is a maze of "Canadian government certified
RRSP-Registered Retirement Savings Plan" complex investments in the hands of my financial advisor. As of yet I have not dared to dig in too deeply into the harms that any or all of those investments may be doing... although I did have a brief discussion about
eco-friendly-investments. LOL! I don't appear to be secure enough yet to navigate the alternatives. Hopefully that change will come to me sooner rather than later.
And so here in 2022, while comfortably sitting on my fraying-with-age-but-quite-enough-as-it-is couch, and I enjoy a delicious dinner mostly sourced from local organic farmers, in my relatively small home, my investments do their
systemic magic, working behind the scenes, creating mostly short-term good for myself and a few others others, while possibly, in many ways, creating long-term not-so-good for many others and for humanity overall.
From the greater perspective of the whole, philosophical, and profound... if those investments are not good for ALL others, then they're not good for me. I may not see the
direct evidence of that, but I can intuitively know and feel the deeper truth of it.
I don't have an answer for any of this. How can
I? Even experts frequently disagree. And I am just one person, with education and experience in only a few disciplines, and no true ability to fully comprehend or make sense of the infinitely complex whole.
And yet, I wonder if I really need to know everything, to be able to live a life that is harmonious with the long term health of the whole?
Nature seems to thrive beautifully without appearing to "intellectually know" what it's doing. I'm part of nature, so perhaps there's a clue in that for me?
The only thing I have that appears to be beyond my limited and limiting intellect is the deeply felt "truths" that I frequently forget, but that I am learning to better realize
and perceive and fall back into... truths such as...
...that I always HAVE enough even when I think I don't (realized abundance versus
...that I always AM enough even when I think I am not (realized connection versus separation)
...that being-in-tune-with-nature-and-life is never in what I do, but is in the deeper feeling from which
I do it... and therefore, being able to answer this question...
Are my actions in this moment coming from a feeling of security (love,
kindness, trust, care, connection, joy, awe, wonder, flow, lightness, light-heartedness, openness, humour, clarity, creativity, curiosity, understanding, peace, compassion, abundance, goodwill, generosity, gratitude, all-in-this-togetherness)?
Or are my actions in this moment coming from a feeling of insecurity (fear, judgment, othering, anger, hate, finger-pointing, blame, separation, constriction, heaviness,
seriousness, guardedness, desperation, defensiveness, aggressiveness, condemnation, pity, saviourism, superiority, sense of lack, righteousness, them-versus-us-ness)?
Perhaps another way of looking at it, is with this simple question... Who am I becoming?
practical day to day, it's not necessarily easy to know who I am becoming or which motivations (secure or insecure) are driving my actions in each passing moment... my insecure sense of self can, in attempting to protect itself, very easily blur my ability
to discern the difference.
But, I think I'm learning... and perhaps that's the point. And perhaps just that, is enough for finding
and living more of the secure within the insecure.
With Love and Laughter,
It happened a few weeks ago.
"Oh, there I go again... I am sooooooo judgmental!" The word judgmental was articulated with three, slowly emphasized, syllables.
COMMENTING: "What kind of mental are you?"
We both laughed... and laughed... and laughed.
It now continues to be a daily source of amusement for the two of us, noticing how much we slip into our habitual negative (or even positive) perceptions of other people's
behaviours or choices... innocently attaching and interlocking people's -temporary doing- with their intrinsic -permanent being-.
the judgment just happens in the silent narrative in my head, but now on the occasions when it has been voiced out loud, and Rick has noticed, he has cheekily repeated his revelatory catch phrase... "And what kind of mental are you being?"
And then we both laugh again.
so far, I've mostly been in a lighthearted mood when he has said that, so it's been good for another chuckle. I'm not sure yet if I want to try this phrase out on him. I sense it could be dangerous. I will call that my inner wisdom. LOL!
I have lots to say about judgment.
been on my mind for a few years now. It's such a slippery and often invisible slope.
We voice our displeasure with someone else's behaviour. We truly believe we
are on the right side of things and they are clearly on the wrong side. It's obvious!
What we may not notice is...
tension being created within our own body
...the inevitable complexity and fluidity of the situation being reduced to right or wrong
...the behaviour-as-identity that we are ascribing to another human being's intrinsic
...and the subtle sense of our own worth being greater...
"How could they do that?!" "I would never do
that!" "Look at what they're doing!" "How dare they!" "They are so (put adjective here)!"
In contrast, there's a significant difference
between judgment and observation.
Judgment slams down the gavel... "YOU are guilty!"
Observation is curious to learn more.
Judgment definitively reduces the behaviour to
ONLY right or wrong, then works creatively, resourcefully, and diligently to defend its chosen side.
Observation considers the inherent
complexity and mystery... it senses that there's more going on than just what's being seen or perceived at the surface.
the in-that-moment, fragile, fearful, insecure ego.
Observation reflects the enduring, infinitely-available wisdom of the in-that-moment,
secure open heart.
Judgment creates separation.
Observation notices connection.
Observation starts discussions.
I began being
more keenly aware of my judgments for going on almost 9 years now.
It first happened when, in an instant, I had a profound shift of going from fear to love, and
experiencing the truth of what I refer to as "impersonal, unconditional love" as a foundational ground of being, no matter what appears on the surface...
...something I've been slowly (and sometimes painfully) learning how to navigate.
...something I've been learning how to manifest into my daily
lived experience of this one strange and miraculous life I've been given.
...something I've been learning how to take from a realized "knowing" into an unconditionally
observant "being"... gradually whittling away all my hidden judgmental protections that unknowingly obscure that ground of being.
can also be judgmental of myself, including my own slow progress at incorporating that knowing into being... and where the heck do you go with that? LOL! (I've noticed that self-compassion, humour, and humility are good places to go to, whenever I can.)
And so, these forays into judgment are now being accompanied by more awareness and clarity. At least for today anyway! After all, who knows
what "personal crazy" this human form will delight to gift me tomorrow?
For now, for today, for this moment, I think I'll just have
a little chuckle about ALL of it... gloriously judgment-free!
With Love and Laughter,
(Photo by Sora Shimazaki)