The Call

In the words of Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Missing In Action

By Charlotte

Wow! Here it is July 28th, 2005. Where does time go? We have been missing in action since the first of the year. We didn't feel like there was anything going on in our lives worth writing about. Hmmmmm? Is that really the truth? In retrospect there was alot going on. These may have actually been some of the most important months of our lives. The truth is that we were afraid to write about our searching and struggles where others could see. Maybe we didn't want to see. We have been on a journey of discovery. Where are we going? And why? "Why" has become the question of the day. It is like peeling away the skin of an onion. Just keep asking the question "why" and tell the truth.......not the truth that sounds good but the real down and dirty, get out of your head and into your heart truth. The "whys?" lead to the first response and then once examined, it is cast away and the search goes on. What is the real motive behind the action...... the real reason for the choices we make.

The other big question is "Why Are We Here"? Day by day we keep writing down the answers and getting closer and closer to the truth. We are living a life dedicated to a deepening of the spiritual journey. The choices we make ultimately serve that purpose.

Today finds us in Ballard, Washington which is really the northern area of Seattle. Our actual mailing address says Seattle, Washington. We are loving our time in the city. The last 4 weeks have been an unexpectedly delightful and rewarding experience.

Much has happened in the last few months to write about but...... maybe the timing wasn't right. We started off the year in Port Townsend, WA and then moved over to Indianola, which is on the Kitsap Peninsula. At waters edge we looked across at Seattle. For three months we lived in a small house in the woods. Our most important discovery there was that we don't want to live in the woods. It is fine for camping and long hikes but we want to live where we have distant vistas and big sky. That is what feeds our spirit.

We left there and headed east. I made a pilgrimage back to Texas to see relatives and revisit my childhood memories. The difference on this trip is that I chose to leave the rose colored glasses at home.

Today, here we are in Ballard. When we go to the water's edge on the west side of town we now find ourselves looking across at the Indianola pier. This is a quiet neighborhood of old homes and beautiful gardens. We are very thankful to be in Seattle this summer. They have been having a heatwave in Sacramento, where we spent last summer. We definately don't miss the long hot days of summer. We are house/pet sitting for Carolyn and her young son Scotland. They are in Europe for the summer. They were at the Tour de France when Lance won last week. This is a lovely old home, complete with Snitch, the golden retriever. Snitch is 2 years old and has more energy than we do. There is a lovely lake nearby, where we walk. Greenlake has a 2.8 mile path around the lake and lots of trees and shady lawn areas. We go there several days a week.

We have found another awesome spiritual community at the Seattle Unity Church with Richard Levy. We're taking a class based on Julia Cameron's book, "Vein of Gold". Given our "Golden" history, it's quite ironic. The class is requiring us to dig into our life for the "nuggets" that we all have hidden away - another big stretch for us.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Bremerton Memories

January 11, 2005
By Larry

We drove over to Poulsbo yesterday for lunch at a neat little Italian bistro overlooking the waters of Liberty Bay. This morning, while writing in my journal, I realized how close we were to Bremerton. In order to make some sense of this, I must bring you up to date. I joined the Navy in 1958 and was subsequently assigned to the USS Bon Homme Richard, an Essex class aircraft carrier. In the winter of 1959, our ship was drydocked in Bremerton, Washington for three or four months. During my free time, I explored the area, often taking the ferry across to Seattle. Now here, 45 years later, I'm exploring the area just north of Bremerton. The question arose - what forces, decisions, whims, nudges, etc. place us where we are at any given time?

I really enjoyed my Navy experience. In retrospect, I might have stayed in, making a career out of it except for the fact that I was married with two children by the time my first enlistment was up. I felt the family obligation of settling down and so it was. What process directs our lives like that or is it simply organized chaos that tosses us to and fro? In the fall of 1959, my buddies and I somehow wound up in an out-of-the-way, rundown honkytonk where I met my first wife. I don't know what the circumstances were that brought her and her girlfriend there that particular night. And what was there about a wet-behind-the-ears sailor, all of 19 years old and a single mother, already divorced and jaded by life that compelled us to make a life together? Was that marriage meant to only last until I met Charlotte or was Charlotte sent to pick me up when I fell? Meeting her has it's own set of circumstances that seem implausible.

How does all of this work in my life today? Is the end result already written somewhere? If so, what part do I get to play - the protagonist or the victim? We chose to come north this winter. The Merrils' housesit and now this one in Indianola came in handy but I think we were headed here anyway. Why? Are we supposed to meet certain people up here? Is each day up for grabs or are we on a set path? Is there a way to test this process? What if I purposely jumped outside the box on any given day? Suddenly veer off the freeway to check if anyone is following me? To simply see what will happen as a result? This whole idea of feeling out the complexities of this process, of becoming aware of the subtle nudges, whims, inspirations that life sends my way intrigues me. What about actually utilizing this process to fit my intentions. Is that how it all works? Simply set clear intentions for your life, for your years, for your weeks, for today and then joyfully - playfully tap into the Universal Potential that is our's for the asking in order to make those intentions a reality.

I may be onto something here! In order for God to help us, we must make our intentions crystal clear. How can we get "there" if we don't have a clear idea of where we are going? Okay, here are my intentions, God: I want to be of service to the world, to people who are less fortunate than I am. I realize that my life will not count for anything without reaching out to help others. My clear intention is to earn enough money to fund a "comfortable" lifestyle. I don't need a fancy, "display" home - just something large enough to accomodate two of us and our guests. I want to grow things - veggies and flowers. I see a green house up here, about 10 X 20 feet should do nicely. That would grow most of our fresh food needs year round. I intend to have a boat large enough to sleep four people. I would share my boat generously. I intend for our Mannatech business to fund my other intentions so I'd better make this intention clearest of all.

If the "hows" are none of my business, then all I have to do is be clear about the "whys". I see our lifestyle as being one of cycles. A period of service, perhaps in a foreign land or here at home. A period of restorative rest and recuperation would follow. We will have our home and our boat between service assignments where we can garden, fish, cruise and catch up with our writing and reading. Good food, good wine, wonderful get-togethers with good friends, a few weeks up in the inland fiords of BC and we'll be raring to go again!