Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birds in My Yard



My yard is a very restful place where it is easy to relax, and where I am surrounded by my favorite feathered friends. Sometimes I even have a Woodpecker visit me. At times it feels like these critters are aware of my presence — and they are watchful — but they still linger. Chickadees, Robins and Hummingbirds are frequent visitors. For the second year, Chickadees are building a nest in our cherry tree. Maybe the birds just inherently know that I am a friend and our yard is a safe place — and I am very grateful for their company!
 
Yes, there is much to say about birds. Once, I was laying on the lawn enjoying the warm summer sun and a Flicker landed in a tree about ten feet from me and took a nap. It must have felt hot, because it had its wings spread out wide. It rested its tail against the tree, like woodpeckers do. It was obviously aware of my presence, as it watched me for a long time. Needless to say, I observed it for a long time, too! Sorry I did not have the camera for that occasion.
 
One thing I don't like is that the crows in our neighborhood like to wash their food in the birdbath and they can leave quite a mess. Sadly, there are people in the neighborhood who feed them bread. If only these folks knew how detrimental bread is to them, they would quit. I have mentioned to one neighbor about an article I read in the local paper stating how bread actually produces malnutrition in birds, since white wheat bread has no nutritional value. But she still feeds them. What I said did not seem to register.
 
No matter, I am pleased with the restful state of my yard, and knowing that the local birds find it restful too is brings me even more contentment!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Following My Conscience

Every once in awhile I see political or religious leaders speaking of women's rights. These are mostly (but not always) men who know nothing of what it means to be a woman. They claim authority based on their adherence to a religion or some public policy. They profess to be following their conscience.
  
What conscience? I know from being an ex-member of the fundamentalist Jehovah's Witness religion on the far right of the spectrum that there are various definitions of conscience. According to Wikipedia, conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong.
  
Some religious people claim they have a "Bible-trained" conscience. In fact, I was one of those people who used to believe my conscience was Bible-trained. I also used to believe that going door-to-door marketing the religion was a way of being "spiritual." Now, I know that I was just following religious rules. It's easy for me to differentiate now, but not while I was steeped in the indoctrination of belief.
  
To me, the exercise of conscience, by its definition, means that a decision to act a certain way is made by me, internally. Now, I know that conscience is truly an "inner-knowing" that guides me rather than the rules of a religious order.
  
The Apostle Paul writes:
  
For whenever people of the nations that do not have law do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and between their own thoughts, they are being accused or even excused.—Romans 2:14-15 (NWT)
  
The Apostle Paul himself admitted that people who do not know the Bible nevertheless had a law naturally written within their hearts. In other words, they had "common sense" to treat one another with respect naturally, without having ever read a scripture.
  
To me, that means that we do not need a religion to dictate to us what was right and wrong. These "biblically untrained" people noted above knew this intuitively. And sometimes they knew more about respect instinctively than religious people, who were swayed adversely by extreme religious views.
  
  
I believe everyone has the right to choose their own beliefs, without being judged for it. People have the right to change their beliefs, too, without being condemned for doing so. The Jehovah's Witnesses shun their members who leave, in an attempt to force these "erring ones" back into the fold. I trust religions who take this action as a form of punishment will step into the 21st century and realize it is time to stop trying to control their flock. It is time to acknowledge the inherent faculty of intuition.
  
It is time to honor this gift of intuition in each person, aside from religious doctrine.
  
I welcome your comments.

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" a memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2012. Permission is granted to copy and re-distribute this transmission on the condition that it is distributed freely.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hand-Holding Banned

"No holding hands in the school yard!" commands the newest law in Tennessee. What better way to start a child off in life than teaching children to…withhold natural affection from their friends???    The reasoning behind it is that holding hands can lead to…sex???

"Last week, the Senate passed SB 3310, a bill to update the state's abstinence-based sex education curriculum to define holding hands and kissing as "gateway sexual activities."

Is it really true that hand-holding leads to sex? Well, maybe eventually anything can lead to sex. Dancing, talking, reading, watching TV, gardening and any number of normal human activities might lead to sex. Perhaps they had better ban these natural activities as well. 

Quick! Before sex breaks out!

Just kidding...

Seems to me, a law like this was implemented from a place of fear, rather than what might be loving and healthy for a child. So, tell me again, how does the scripture at 1 John 4:18 apply, which simply states, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."—New International Version

I believe a law like this can never be truly enforced. Children and their healthy parents will always find ways for their friends to get together and bond. If they can't hold hands in a physical way, they certainly will, "energetically." For example, the law cannot regulate a person's nightly dreams for affection. Children all over Tennessee will magically find ways to spend quality time with their friends. In fact, with the law in place, there may be more hand-holding than ever before!

I hold the vision that such a backwards-thinking law will soon be forgotten. If not erased from the books completely, certainly it will be non-existent in the consciousness of the children of healthy, normal parents. The exercise of a healthy conscience will win out over excessive rule-making every time. Normal affection which includes hand-holding and hugging will be demonstrated every day in the schoolyards of the entire world!

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2012. Permission is granted to copy and re-distribute this transmission on the condition that it is distributed freely.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Full Moon


I had a dream a few weeks ago in which I was leaving a job accompanied by several massive pieces of baggage precariously piled up to the ceiling. It was difficult to maneuver with the sheer height of it all, as it wobbled to and fro. I paused to steady the load and watched another employee walk out with one lone piece of luggage in a clear plastic suitcase and—empty…? How did I accumulate so much baggage? And why do I need this?
 
I woke up with a start and pondered the issue. How do I get rid of this excess baggage which is not serving me at all and which is only weighing me down? I struggled for several days with my weighty dilemma. It was then I decided to perform a Full Moon Ceremony and do some serious releasing.
 
"But, what shall I release?" I questioned. I thought back to all wonderful growth work, gaining strength and coming closer into balance with each new insight and step that I took.
 
I have been sending distance healing to uncomfortable situations and insights for some time now, having learned how over the years. I kept an ever-growing list in what I called a "distance healing bowl." In the morning as I was getting ready for work, I lit a candle, and accompanied by a little energetic message, sent the energy "out there" for the Universe to do its work. The way I saw it: the process was a type of surrender. In this way I would allow the Universe to look after those things in which I had little or no control.
 
"I've got it!" I declared. "I will burn that list I have been holding in my 'distance healing bowl.' It is time to release all that old baggage."
 
So that is what I did. I set up my patio with a small table and an old frying pan. I lit a candle and spoke my intention. I began feeding the list into the fire and watched with fascination at the flame which turned from orange to red, then to golden outlined in a true bright turquoise! I was amazed! The full moon shone brightly in the south east. I listened to music, then I got up and danced to celebrate how free I felt!
 
I have learned that creating a ceremony is a healthy way to anchor oneself to the present. The ceremony in effect states to the Universe, well… whatever I intend. In this case, my intention was to release all that no longer serves my highest purpose. But more is needed than a simple release. I mean, when you release something, you need to backfill the empty space, right?
 
Well, the refilling part was easy. After all, I have had practice. When I left the family religion in 1999 I had to replace those wonky beliefs with something healthy, right?
 
It is time to move on to a future of my heart and soul's desire.
 
My heart and soul's desire is to publish my book that reveals my life story. One might think that having been raised in a North American religion, all is well and healthy. After all, this is America, the land of the free. Well, the big news is that North America has its share of religious propaganda and outright hypocrisy. It's not just those "third world religions" that are ummm—out of balance. To put it mildly.
 
I decided to publish a book from the manuscript I have been sitting on since 2003.
 
Now, I must do some preliminary setup. I feel lighter already and will keep you posted!
 
In the meantime, I'd love to hear about your heart and soul's desire…

Visit "Phoenix of Faith" the memoir. Follow on Twitter: _Phoenixoffaith Copyright © 2012. Permission is granted to copy and re-distribute this transmission on the condition that it is distributed freely.