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I observe, I experience

I observe

I see

I am

You are

We are

one.

Passing through

this lifetime

Birth Death

Birth Death

Neither of these

do we choose

Both do we experience

In-between

is up to each of us.

Explorers

Adventurers

Beyond the mind

Beyond the pale

Of that which we tend to hail

Mental constructs

Personality conflicts

All at the expense of what

is directly in front of us.

Did you miss it?

Live today as if it’s your favorite birthday!

Light the candles

Sing

Party like it’s

nobody’s business.


Life is truly

a gift

Accept it with glee and satisfaction

As if you picked it out for your very self


Remember to enjoy the ride

As you never know when the ride

will stop.

Around we go!

Okay, your turn:

When is the last time you got lost in time? Could it be today? Tomorrow? Every day?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2022 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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The trees provide

The trees provide

without prompting

without expectation

for one

for all

of us

to prosper.

The rocks endure

the passage of time

and wayward travelers

lost inside.

The rocks ask no questions

The rocks tell no lies

The peaks await your arrival

your ascent

your stay for awhile

to admire the view

and take in the breeze

that swells around you

holding you in place

if only but for a moment or two

in time and space

and then descend

you must

along the way

the very way you came up

with a different view this time

and an awe-filled heart

all the same

all the way

down the mountain.

The trees wave

as you step by step

walk by

all the way down.

At the base, the ground says

hello

welcome back

how’d it go?

Okay, your turn:

Having spent the weekend in the Sierras with a supportive, wonderfully playful, and wildly creative group of co-adventurers who like to hike, I couldn’t help but share with you a poem that I was inspired to write as part of that experience. What in nature speaks to you?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2022 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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Give it a frame

Give it a frame

Give it a frame

through which to view

the year

your year

ahead

Never the same

as what may have come

of the year drawing

to a close

May it no longer be tamed

nor reduced to a simple game

To be repeated

ever more

or less so tame

and lame

as to be unwittingly turned away

from all the possibilities

that bring you joy

For your consideration:

When I was the Features editor for my school newspaper, I took great care in selecting from among the many photographs submitted by the photographers, paring down to the very few that most captured the emotions of the moment. The Sports editor, not surprisingly, focused on selecting the most dynamic action shots. It was with intention and a devotion to the story.

The same process can be applied to the new year. As you review all that was (and wasn’t) 2021, what are you bringing with you into 2022, and what are you leaving behind?

I encourage you to give yourself the opportunity to put a frame around the new year. As you would with a painting or a photograph, what are you choosing to put within the frame? What are you bringing into clear focus by framing it as such? And, by design, what are you thereby leaving outside the frame?

Put another way, we speak of the “framers of the Constitution.” The founding fathers — alas no founding mothers at least not officially — deliberately and with intention decided what would be included in, and excluded from, the nation’s foundational charter. (For more on that, follow this link to a previous edition of Soul Notes here.)

It makes a difference where you place the frame.

Okay, your turn:

What is it about the turning of the calendar from one year to the next that excites you? Anything about it that actually instead drives you a bit batty?

Do you approach each year with intention? If not, will you do so this year? Are you willing to give it a try?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2022 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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A moment of repose

A moment of repose

As we approach another changing of the seasons

and a close to the year

I pose

this question

to you and for you

to consider

In a moment of reflection and repose

I suppose

It’s not too much to ask

Not too much to request

and suggest to myself

and to all who will receive it

That we take a breather

and embrace the stillness

the isness

and

the ever-available forgiveness

of the moment.

For your consideration:

Among the hustle of the holiday season, may you set aside a quiet moment of reflection and repose? Heck, set a timer for 22 minutes, if you must.  Yeah, okay, that may not sound particularly spiritual, but it works!

For me, this holiday season so far has been one of deep study and stillness amongst the storm of society, external influences, and seemingly endless unrest.  I go within, where all is well. I invite you to do the same. Let your soul be your guide.

Okay, your turn:

Would you rather plow through the holidays, making lists, and checking things off the list, going back to the list, checking the list again, and on and on? Or, would you rather smile at the joys of the season, the light, the shimmer and the glimmers of hope? What you see is what you get. The light is what you are.

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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Coming in from the fields

Coming in from the fields

In agrarian societies such as rural Ireland, the harvest time was and is a time of bringing in from the fields all that’s been growing there. You truly reap what you sow.

Some prefer the word Autumn to describe this season. I like to call it Autumn. For some reason, I love saying autumnal. Saying the word aloud sounds as it is…full and rich. Another term in even more common parlance for this season (Fall) refers to the falling of the leaves from the trees. And, you may have heard the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

On a recent road trip to go apple picking, I visited a small (9-acre) farm and walked their orchard. An abundance of apples were scattered on the ground beneath each tree. Nature naturally (pun intended) knows when to release the fruit once the stems gradually loosen their grip, and the fruit becomes too heavy for the stem to bear. Gently, the tree releases its ripened fruit. So, somewhat to my surprise, I found the apple picking excursion to be more of an apple collecting venture. I did reach up and nudge a few apples from some of the trees into my basket. What stood out for me most, however, was the subtle, refreshing fragrance of the apples wafting in the air as I walked the paths between and among the trees. I felt a certain kinship with the apples and the trees, and thanked them for their gifts.

Whilst in a poetic mood, I leave you with a poem by John Keats that so lovingly captures the splendor of the season:

To Autumn

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
    Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
    With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
        To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
        For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
    Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
        Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
        Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
        Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
        And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

For your consideration:

As is often a theme here on Soul Notes, I ask you to take a moment to consider the lessons that nature teaches us, with each passing season. This Autumn, what are you releasing this season from your proverbial tree?  What are you collecting in your basket?  Any surprises?

Okay, your turn:

Share what are you harvesting. What are you bringing in from the fields? What is your bounty?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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Today is your life

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

This phrase, popularized during the 1960s and ’70s has a nice ring to it, indeed. A catchy phrase, so to say. It’s a way of reminding us that we can start fresh, start over, each day brings a new dawn. It’s the latter part of the phrase, though, that can be confounding. The “rest” of your life, as in the remainder of your life, what is that, exactly? It’s unknown. It’s the grand mystery. The remainder could be years, months, or an instant.

Today IS your life, yes?

Sure, there’s the unfolding. There’s the becoming. There’s the planting, the cultivating, the growing, the expanding, followed by the harvesting and the fruits of our labor. There can be beauty, grace, lessons, and meaning in all of these. Heck, many a Soul Notes article has been devoted to these topics. In my own life, and in others’ lives, I advocate for the process of envisioning, and easing into the flow, and merging with the natural cycles.

There’s wisdom in setting sail and course-correcting with awareness and intention. It’s not an either, or. It’s an all-in. All-in this moment. All-in with all senses engaged. All-in awareness. Now. And again. And again.

For your consideration:

Here’s another popular phrase: “We have time to kill.” If we’re simply treading water waiting for the ‘real’ event to happen, then what happens in the meantime? It’s ALL in the meantime!

As the signs say along the tracks of the London Underground: Mind the Gap.

Living with awareness brings the present moment into focus. Living without awareness is a life, erm, not really lived — a life suspended, like a tolling of a statute of limitations. Don’t be that person. Be you. All of you. All the time.

Okay, your turn:

Rephrasing the ‘the first day of the rest of your life’ into: Today IS your life — When you read this, what comes up for you?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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I think, therefore…I am…not present

Thinking is not being present

I think therefore I am. — Descartes (1637)

Latin: “Cogito, ergo sum”

What may be lesser known is this: Soon thereafter, Descartes revised his own saying, to: “I am, I exist.” (1641) Now, THAT’s the spirit!

When you’re thinking, you’re ‘mulling.’ You’re ‘somewhere else.’ Thinking takes you away from, or out of, the present moment. For more on this, refer back to this recent edition of Soul Notes, here.

Take the Olympics, for example. The athletes have prepared years if not even decades, yes. They’re in the best physical condition of their lives, also yes. They’ve ‘put in the work.’ Indeed. And yet, are they thinking much while they’re setting world records? Maybe. I suppose there is still some cognitive strategy at play. Are we thinking as we watch? Maybe, a little.

What draws us in as witnesses to these events, however, is the series of ever present moments. It’s the single points in time and space where everything converges. That’s where the magic is. That is when we are most inspired. That’s when we are in awe. That’s when we are all one.

For Your Consideration

If you’re not thinking, does that mean you no longer exist? This is not a rhetorical question. Of course you (we, I) exist! It is not our thinking which makes it so.

Okay, your turn:

As a carryover from last moon’s edition of Soul Notes, I ask you: Is thinking overrated? I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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Making second nature first

Second things first

“It’s become so automatic, I don’t even think about it when I’m doing it.”

“It is so ‘second nature,’ I could do it in my sleep.”

What if we put our second nature first? What if our second nature became our first nature?

When we say something becomes second nature, we mean that it’s not something we’re consciously aware of when we’re doing it. For example, once you learn how to drive a car, you’re not consciously aware of all the movements you’re making to drive the car, and to navigate from point A to point B.

It could also be something that we say we do by instinct — again, without really thinking about it.

“I don’t know how I reached out and kept that child from falling over the railing, it was just a knee-jerk reflex.”

In other words, it’s living from your subconscious. I wouldn’t say it is unconscious — it’s anything but that. Rather, it’s consciously living from what is there all along. Instead of relying on thinking to make it happen — we let the thinking take a back seat, and elevate the subconscious up to the surface.

We can invite it up and out to play all the time! Radical idea? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely.

Is thinking overrated?

“I never gave it another thought.”

“I just did it without thinking.”

We say things like the above statements as if thinking is the central benchmark, the kingpin, the main yardstick by which to gauge our actions and experiences. Why have we given thinking such an elevated status?

Of course, in any given moment your brain never truly shuts off. It doesn’t completely disengage from your bodily functions any more than your lungs keep from expanding and contracting, or your heart stops beating.

It’s merely a part of you, and yet it’s not all of you. When your second nature kicks in — during any emergency for example — you bring your awareness into keen focus. You are bringing a blending in of all of you into and to that moment. You are one with the situation, each person in that moment, and truly one with all of creation. There are no boundaries real or perceived. I know this may seem trippy, and I assure you this is not a drug-induced blog post, if that’s what you’re thinking. What you’re thinking, see what I mean? We are a thinking-obsessed so called modern society.

For your consideration:

What if we allowed our thinking to fade into the mix of our lived experiences, almost as if we swirled our thinking into a can of paint, using a wooden dowel, and letting the thinking disappear into the whole of the paint? Would we miss it ? Or, would we simply allow it to swirl into the mixture that becomes the fully blended vibrant paint color? Did the prior paint in the can cease to exist, or did the new paint that was added in — did that no longer exist, once we mixed it all in together? Nope. It stayed. It melded. It only seemed to disappear.

We can step out of our thinking brain and experience all of creation in a 360-degree (up down, all-around) way. We can live life in a way that I would deem to be spherical.

I contend that our lives would take on a, pardon the pun, whole new dimension. I’ve been living this way the past few weeks, and it’s been wild as heck and soooo nice to give my brain a rest. I’ve been putting my brain on an ongoing moment-by-moment ‘time out,’ and it’s been wondrous. And, in living this way you’re never alone, because you are living from a place of being one with everyone and everything.

Okay, your turn:

Does this idea of living from what I am calling a place of spherical awareness — living wholly and completely from outside the thinking mind — does that appeal to you? Are you willing to give it a go?

I invite you to share your feelings and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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April showers

April Showers

Showering me with

 

Raindrops on noses

and young sisters with kittens

 

Freshly washed sheets

and soft white flowing linens

 

Hung on the clothes line

out in the Spring air

 

With hopes that warm breezes

soon will be there

 

These are a few of life’s

wondrous blessings

 

so simple

so basic

and

yet

so

satisfying

 

For your consideration:

During the pandemic, do you find yourself all the more appreciating the simple pleasures?  I do. I have. I will continue, I hope.  I love hearing the birdsongs each morning, gently awakening me from my slumber.  The city din of rush hour traffic that is no longer rushing has given way to a clarity of chirping, instead.

Okay, your turn:

What about for you?  What are some of the simple pleasures you find along the way, during your day-to-day? I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

 P.S. Poetry inspired ‘with a wordsmith’s twist’ by My Favorite Things and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

 © 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Time change awaits

Time change

 

Time marches on

 

And waits

for no one

 

Or, does it?

 

Daylight Saving Time

 

Are we saving daylight

or saving time

 

Both

Neither

 

What difference does it make

if at all

 

Who does the changing

 

We change our time pieces

 

Do we change ourselves

or our environment

 

Or simply do we “wind” ahead

or “back” an hour

depending on our geographic location

 

and the prescribed moment twice a year

on a Sunday

at 2 am

 

Has anyone told our bodies about this?

 

Why do the dog and the cat and the hamster and the guinea pig and the goldfish

not seem to notice?

 

Is it because they don’t wear watches

or look at the clock

 Ever?

 

For your consideration:

What if the entire world took a collective, heartfelt, time out during these time changes? For one hour, twice a year?  Let’s take time changes into our own control, and allow ourselves 6o minutes to hear the messages of our soul.  I mean this as a deliberate practice, and not as an esoteric concept.

For me, the past several years, it’s been a reset so to speak for my nervous system – my physical body system, and my inner knowing – my spiritual body.

Back before my more recent devotional and deep dives into the spiritual realm, I hosted in my home “clock parties,” where a large group of my friends and I would toast to the time change, eat clock-shaped frosted sugar cookies, and dance the night away the Saturday before the time change. So, there’s that option, too.  Pick your poison, erm, tradition.

Okay, your turn:

Making the switch to and from Daylight Saving Time (by the way, it’s Saving, without an “s” at the end, in case you’re wondering…as was I…the things I ponder!) – Does making the switch by one hour twice a year impact you?  If so, in what ways do you notice it?  Sleeping patterns disrupted?  Stomach growling at seemingly weird hours?  Are you happy about it?  Frustrated?  Maybe for you it’s not a big deal either way?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.