Severe hurricanes. Massive flooding. Consuming forest fires. Threats of nuclear bombs. Conflict with world leaders/governments. If one is not careful, it's easy to feel like everything is going to hell in a the old saying goes.

And I'm due to leave on a wonderful vacation with girlfriends to Cancun on Saturday. This is a trip that has been a long time in coming and I'm so excited! I've never been on a vacation like this. At the same time, though, I notice a bit of guilt wanting to creep in. How dare I experience something so joyful when there are many experiencing such pain. And yet I'm certain that last year, at the exact moment I was receiving my very jolting and scary diagnosis, someone somewhere was experiencing a magnificent dream come true or receiving the most amazing news. Does one make make the other less valid or important? No. It's paradox and it's the way the world works. Two opposites can, and often do, simultaneously exist.

That being said, how do we reconcile all the upset and devastation happening in the world around us? I'm not sure we do. We can only embrace it and assist those in need in whatever way possible, by donating money and/or supplies or by actually showing up to lend a helping hand. If neither of those options are possible for us personally then it's easy to feel as if we are not being a worthwhile contributor. For some reason, we seem to consistently underestimate the power of prayer, holding the high watch, and simply "being" the light and love in a world that so badly needs just that. I maintain that all forms of help are beneficial in their own ways and have the potential to provide relief to those in need. So do what you can.

When it feels as if the world is being consumed with darkness and fear, someone needs to hold the light of healing love. Whether the perceived darkness is happening outside of us or occurring from within, we will eventually continue on. But while it's here, navigation will be much easier with even a flicker of illumination to lead the way.

I've had a bit of that struggle from within lately, which is why you haven't heard from me for awhile. Inspiration becomes elusive when I fall into darkness. Life feels quite strange these days, as if I have one foot in the spiritual world and one in the human, one in the role of mom and one not, and one in the existence of life and one in death. At times it all seems a bit too much to handle. It feels messy and chaotic, lonely and full, exuberant and stale. Just as the wild fires devour the landscape of trees and grass, so too can the internal blaze rage and devour, leaving behind only sadness, loss and uncertainty. Regardless of the situation, mine or yours, what will be the most beneficial is a shift in perspective. I've learned to never underestimate the power to focus on what is going right, what we still have. There are always gifts! This is a practice that I am constantly remembering.....and forgetting....and remembering and.....(you get the idea)!

Even when unpleasant circumstances knock at the door of one's life, forcing evacuation from all that is familiar and comfortable, it's important to know that our internal "house" remains a marvelous space filled with blessings. Awe peeks from around every corner. The choice is up to each one of us. Mindfulness, gratitude, and the ability to embrace all aspects of whatever transition is present, especially the varied terrain of emotion, are the tools that will allow us to maneuver the darkness without too much harm to our spirit. I'm reminded that despite occasionally dire conditions, this world remains a beautiful place filled with generous people. So whatever help you need, be it food sustenance, warm shelter, an ear to listen or a friend to hug, don't be afraid to ask. We can all get through this together.

I pray and hold the high watch for all who may be dealing with anything unpleasant right now, from natural disasters to health challenges to negative thought patterns. I know that without a doubt, an intention of love can and will see us through. This too shall pass.

In light and love,

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