What if we loved the world?

Loving the world, all of it

What if we loved the world today? I mean each day, every day, we lived as if we were in love with the world, and treated it as a sacred gift?

I’m not talking about spiritual bypassing (whatever that really means exactly), nor positive thinking for positive thinking’s sake. The well intentioned concept of positive thinking has deteriorated into pretty much the same thing as spiritual bypassing, from what I can gather from the various uses and misuses of both those terms.  They’ve become hashtag short-cuts that have been watered down so much that they might as well be part of a teenager’s wall poster collection, next to that magazine cut-out of their favorite pop star.

Too harsh? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps I’m simply in a “let’s get down to the roots” kind of mood. Neither Pollyanna (and definitely not Aunt Polly) nor Debbie Downer…simply Rueful Reflector. I’m not talking about reducing everything down to the Glad Game that Pollyanna’s father taught her. Although when you think about it, the Glad Game did help out Pollyanna and her townspeople cope with some of life’s harsh realities. That novel explored some of the meanest of the mean, as exemplified by the character Aunt Polly. It’s the modern-day cutesiness of that phrase that I’m contesting here.  As in “just love the world, be happy, everything’s fine” sort of way…which is not actually the true meaning of the original story, anyway.

Back to my main point: Enough of this “otherness.” It’s time for an all-in-this-ness. Did I coin a new phrase, just now?

The indigenous peoples understood this. Not only the covenant of an all-in-this-ness among peoples, but also among non-peoples. We are all guests on this planet, passing through: The humans, the plants, the trees (many of whom have and will outlast us), the winged ones, the finned ones, the creepy-crawlers. The air, the fire, the water, the earth. They work together in a circle of creation and sometimes helpful recreation, even through their strategically destructive forces. They all play an interconnected part, and not apart (deliberate play on words) from the whole.

Do we? With each other? With them? The elements? The other inhabitants of this planet we share? Or, are we purely the destroyers?  What is it that we as a species contribute to the planet and its inhabitants? What’s progress?  What are advancements? Are they what help sustain all of us, or only some of us…only to destroy all of us, ultimately?

What arrogance to assume that we as a species are the ones who “know better”. If we truly know better, then why are we allowing our species to be responsible for the ecosystems’ (and our own) undoing and eventual demise?

For your consideration

My provocative proposal (I wish it weren’t so provocative) is this: Let’s be in love with the world. Let’s take that to be a sacred responsibility, and not something to be summarily dismissed as a kooky granola crunching adage. Instead, consider it a rallying cry!

Okay, your turn:

What is our role as human beings, living on this planet? Do we have a responsibility to care for it and each other – now and for future generations? Or, is it all simply “ours for the taking”?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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Transition of power

Transition of power

Transition of power

Power through

the transition of power

with transitive properties

 

Moving from one phase

to another

From one hand

to another

 

Amidst

the mist

of misty

eyed

mystics

 

Among

the shadows

and the light

of the waiting

and the wading

 

In pools

of disappointment

only to be moved

to movement

and action

 

Proceeding

to lead

by

example

 Okay, your turn:

Is there something about a major transition that leaves you feeling disappointed? Or, do big transitions instead leave you feeling hopeful, inspired, and eager to move forward?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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From disciple to discipline

From disciple to discipline

 

Once a student

always a scholar

 

Disciple comes from the Latin for student

and Old English for scholar

 

Who is teaching

and who is learning?

 

A disciple:

One who follows

and yet who is leading?

Truly?

 

What does it take to lead

Or to follow one’s lead

 

Is it discipline?

 

A steady, consistent

grounded

follow through

in a way

that invites a welcomed result

without leaning too hard

on specific expectations

rather on beautiful outcomes

 

and remaining open to surprises

not unlike

the writing of poetry

or the reading of poetry

 

the writing of a poem

the reading of a poem

 

Did this take an unexpected turn?

Are you surprised?

I smile as I write this

I hope you do too

as you read this

 

Following

a follower

or a following-through

of sorts

 

Hopefully devoted

to devotion

or so it seems

at the seams

along the edges

then all-in

fully immersed

in the sea of wishes

and dreams

and with the continued discipline

to see them emerge

in their fullest

expression

 

And we’re back.

 

For your consideration:

What about following, or leading, evokes a stirring within you? Anything?  All things? Certain things?

For me, curiosity runs through me almost like life’s blood. It doesn’t waver. To try to stop it would be like trying to hold my breath.

Questioning, seeking, learning, solving, not quite solving, learning again, solving, not quite solving. Life offers a Rubik’s cube of possibilities.

Okay, your turn:

Would you consider yourself a follower, or a leader, or both? Are you always learning, studying? When do you turn from being a learner to a doer, to an experimenter, an explorer, an adventurer? Or, do they blend into one another?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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All things being equal

All things being equal

 

 

All things being equal

EQUINOX

Equal days and nights

Welcoming in with delight

and a bit of fright

the insight

that comes with the rotation of the planet

the turning of the seasons

All amongst the haze

And daze of shortened days’

light

 

Not unlike fallowed farmland

we allow room to rest and restore

and

root down

to stabilize

as the harsher winds

of Winter will be

approaching

 

Leaving behind

the lazy dazy

daisy

days

of Summer

 

Autumn brings harvest

 

Thankful for the harvest

(did you know Thanksgiving used to be observed during early October and not late November as it is now in the United States?)

 

Yes, thankful even this year

2020

and its

harvest

of

stillness

reflection

eye opening

tears inducing

heart opening

heart closing

heart wrenching

heart healing

 

Awareness

and the time and space

to embrace

thoughtfulness

consideration

discerning

what’s

true

and real

and real(ly) important

For your consideration:

Notice, without jumping to quick conclusions, what this unusually strange and often unsettling year has brought up for you.  What are you harvesting?  Not from the surface-social-media-finger-pointing-mud-slinging level, but at the level of deep rootedness…feeling into what your heart knows to be true?

For me, among other things, I find myself doing an ongoing life review of sorts. I’m viewing my earlier experiences in a new (dare I say “novel” as in a novel virus) way. This time affords me an opportunity to be not only reflective but more inventive, more innovative, more imaginative, more creative.

Maybe Plato* was on to something!

(*Reference to his dialogue, the Republic and the idea that from necessity comes invention.  More on that perhaps in a future blog post!)

Okay, your turn:

What’s been coming up for you during these turbulent times? Are you feeling less rooted? Are you nervous that you’ll be blown over by the winds of change? Will you join me in my pledge to stay rooted throughout it all?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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All the socials

All the socials

Social studies

Social science

Social media

Social influencers

Social circles

Social impact

Social mores

Social norms

Social significance

Social guidelines

Social limitations

Social constructs

Social contracts

Social distancing

Social networks

Social connections

Social bonds

 

Weaving

the

through line

 

Return

 

together

united

protected

 

Whole

 

For your consideration:

Have we, individually and as a collective, redefined what it means to be social?  What does it mean, not only during these times of such pervasive online media, but also especially during these pandemic times?

For me, I’m noticing how very much more the metaphysical has become all the more strengthened than the physical. For that, I am grateful. It feels good to be in tune with the deeper messages that become more elevated and apparent when the physical senses are being asked to take a back seat. Despite the physical distancing during the pandemic, I’m feeling metaphysically more connected to others than ever.

Okay, your turn:

In what ways have you redefined “being social” these days?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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It is a matter of what matters

It is a matter of what matters

Isn’t it?

Don’t you think?

Actually,

don’t.

Don’t you,

think.

 

Don’t think

Instead, feel

into what

matters.

 

What matters to you, to your soul?

A few things that matter to me:

 

In addition to money as currency

(not to be confused with ‘currentness,’ which is something different, altogether)…

 

Love as currency

Caring as currency

Compassion

Respect

Understanding

Empathy

Oneness

Wholeness

 

The sustainability of each of us

And the planet

Depends on it

On us.

 

What matters to you?

Does it matter?

Yes.

It matters

No matter

what.

For your consideration:

Set a countdown clock on your phone or computer, for a quick 11 seconds.  Without thinking, blurt out (and write down on a piece of paper), the first three things that matter to you. They can be lofty or grounded, simple or complex.  No editing allowed. No filtering. No worrying about what others’ opinions may be. This exercise is for your eyes and heart only.

Repeat this process as many times as your heart desires.  By the end of the day, take the entire list or sets of lists (remember, no editing), and put the paper under your pillow and sleep on it. Dream on it.

The next morning (again without thinking, without editing), jot down anything that arose for you since the previous day.  Anything new that you discovered really matters to you?  Anything that really doesn’t matter to you, after all?

On each new moon, if you so desire, revisit your list and see what still matters.

Okay, your turn:

Have you really felt into what matters to you?  If not, why not?  If so, what has been revealed?  Anything surprising? Anything unusual? Anything you’d like to reprioritize?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

 

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Healing heart

Healing heart

On this the eve of a new moon and solstice and on this Juneteenth day as I post this, I bring you an image.  I painted it last week as I allowed what it was that needed to emerge.

 

I dedicate this edition of Soul Notes to all who have suffered injustice and as a sacred holding place for the possibility of:

What unites us

may

truly

unite us

 

~lori a. noonan

June 19, 2020*

—————————–

*One hundred and fifty-five years past June 19, 1865.  It would be months later on December 6, 1865 that the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, in an effort to abolish slavery, would be ratified and it became law.

 

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

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Messages from above

Messages from above

When birds circle

tightly in the sky

and lower

than usual

 

They are providing a message

to all who will notice

Wisdom

from above

 

Their circling is nature’s way

of bringing news

of a change

a mighty change

in weather

 

In physical terms, it’s their inner ear sensing

a change in barometric pressure

 

They don’t “see” the change

They sense it

They feel it

 

Their ease of flight

depends on it

They are uniquely sensitive

to anticipating the storms

and adjusting midflight

 

Whether or not

we pay attention

is up to each of us

 

Nature gives us signals

every day

 

Does it take a once-in-a-century

pandemic

to get us to pay attention

to the signals

that a mighty change

is on its way?

 

Will we adjust midflight

and circle up together

or fly in separate directions

missing the flow

missing the ease

the grace

the beauty

the natural

ability

to listen

from within?

 

Okay, your turn:

What does easing into a major change mean for you?  When have you benefited from paying attention to the signals and adjusting midflight? Where have you suffered from making no adjustments along the way, and instead struggled forcefully against the wind?

 

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.
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The new normal and the value of patience

The new normal and the value of patience

 

The new normal

The old normal

What is normal, anyway?

 

Different styles

A unifying approach

To the pandemic guideline

To wear a face covering

When out in public

For essential life preserving tasks

Such as grocery shopping

 

On the sidewalk

Along the length of the parking lot

We stand dutifully

Six feet apart from one another

Prompted by orange plastic traffic cones

Marking our spots

As the sparsely populated parking lot

Is unusually quiet

And shopping carts are handed off from one person to another without

Touching each other

The shopping cart exchange looks like

A passing of a baton in a 400 relay race that we

Won’t be seeing in the 2020 Olympics

Until 2021

 

I watch this going on

As I step forward when prompted by the attentive

And helpful grocery store clerk who keeps order

Along the line of shoppers

Waiting their turn

 

Oddly scenes juxtapose for me

As they appear in my awareness

 

For example, as I step together, pause

Step together, pause

I remember the times entering a church

In a wedding procession

Or the times I waited my turn

In a congregant line to receive communion

 

I feel a deep sense of poignancy

And notice an even deeper sense

Of patience

Which is not normally a strongsuit

 

Normally…

Huh

 

What is normal

What is new about this new normal

I have time to consider this

As I stand in line

For my turn

To enter the grocery store

 

Mask on face

Heart on sleeve

 

Quiet

Reverent

 

In no rush

to enter

the store

 

And yet

happy

to

receive.

Okay, your turn:

What does the new normal mean to you?   What are you noticing?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Forced oneness

Forced Oneness

COVID-19 doesn’t care where you’re from

It doesn’t check for your passport

Or your citizenship

Or your next of kin

 

It doesn’t ask whether you have the new state-issued “Real ID”

With the special star symbol on it

 

COVID-19 doesn’t care how great you were

Or claim to be

Or whether you will be great again

 

From everything we know so far

It doesn’t attack plants

Or rocks

Or dogs

Or cats

 

It doesn’t go after

The winged ones

Or the finned ones

Or the creepy crawlers

 

COVID-19 attacks us as a species

It seeps into us as a human

It takes over our respiration

(Maybe it’s time for a re-SPIR-ration).

 

It forces each of us to come to terms with the fact

that

we are truly all in this one together.

 

So, to whom do you turn as your trusted news source?

Yourself

Your mind

Your discernment

Your wise judgment

Your body

Your heart

Your spirit

Your inner knowing

 

If it sounds like a duck

Walks like a duck

It is well, you know,

A duck

 

And so it is.

We’re all in this together.

Don’t lose heart

Or common sense

Which seemingly is not so common

Right now

After all

 

For your consideration:

Despite the challenges, and even because of them, this pandemic provides an opportunity for each of us to take a humility break.  Let us be sensitive to what unites us rather than divides us. It’s what first responders do. Take heed. Let’s all be first responders. As humans. Let’s reSPIRate.

During this time of the stay-at-home directive in California, I’ve found myself giving the flowers and plants in my garden a little extra attention and tender loving care. And, the rainbow this morning appearing as a semicircle of rays of light above the roofline during the early mist reminds me that not all things beyond our control are unwelcomed.  Even in the most trying of situations, there can be much beauty to behold.

Okay, your turn:

What does the phrase “forced oneness” mean to you? Is it an opportunity, or a curse?  Or, is it something else altogether?

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

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.