MANY BLESSINGS

*I write these blog posts from my heart..about my work with the First Nations People, about my teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, about my time spent with terminally ill patients, about life off the grid in northern New Mexico. Though in some ways, I write for myself, I try always to share information and experiences that may be helpful to others, that are universal.

If you would like to contribute to to the continuation of these posts, there are 3 ways: the donate button on the side of this post, my gofund me page or poohsstore where we offer sacred and visionary art for these times of transition and transcendence

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. gerri-ezra-alainaThese persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD

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 “A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. alainaThen I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still knows bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”

~Viktor Frankl from Man’s Search for Meaning  [Life in a Concentration Camp]

I really hate it when I’m in deep despair and someone says to me “Count your Blessings” but I know they’re right and I usually try to make the effort.

 So a few days ago I thought I would write something on St Francis of Assisi…st-francis-and-the-chippermunkI love St Francis and all he represents-I have several statues of him at my place and I had just seen this quote I really liked :

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~Francis of Assisi

But then I thought I would rather write something about the other evening when I had clearly seen the many blessings that were surrounding me, all of them little things…like some beautiful roses blooming outside my sun room window & I can make a cozy fire tonight in the woodstove-there’s a huge pile of wood already cut and it’s free..the blessings of  this land….. & my wolfdogs are playing together…wolfdog-eve-all-3 after a fight for dominance..finally resolved.

In the meantime however, I happened to read a headline: “Here are nine of the safest places in the world to survive a third world war” [I just saw another similar headline last night] and so I wrote “Winds of War?

It turns out though, that at least for me, all these are connected in a way.

Struggling these days to feel happy, to find the light in this dark world, to not get caught up in the fear and hate promoted and spewing out from the mainstream news which is mainly propaganda…. I came upon a miracle, one of the most beautiful stories I have ever heard or read. Probably a lot of people read this story too-the story of Jadon and Anais McDonald, conjoined twins joined at the head.
And reading this story and watching the video which I have posted below, I was transported out of the world of hate and violence into a world of beauty, courage..faith [Real Faith not the phony “I go to church every Sunday”used by the politicians to get more votes] .
And I thought back to the time when I used to provide occupational therapy [my own brand] for Hospice patients. I made home visits and as I would sit down with them, they would take me into their world..the world that really mattered. peterTime was short and so most of them had no patience for the superficial, meaningless problems and worries that occupy much of our lives. I always came away from these visits so inspired and renewed…for a while I Understood. I loved that ‘work’.tedals
I believe this is a way many of us could live much of the time but we would have to change our perspective, our values, our focus.
When I was working with dying patients, I wanted to get a grant to bring teenagers in as volunteers to help and to learn from hospice patients. I thought if they could see that life is so short and death so close, they would appreciate life a lot more, that they would not take things for granted as much and would use their time to make more meaningful contributions. I didn’t ever get that grant but this short story from Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning……expresses in a way what I was hoping to convey..

The story of the young woman whose death I witnessed in a concentration camp.

It is a simple story. There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented it; but to me it seems like a poem. This young woman knew that she would die in the next few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite of this knowledge. ‘I am grateful that fate has hit me so hard,’ she told me. ‘In my former life I was spoiled and did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously.’ Pointing through the window of the hut, she said, ‘This tree here is the only friend I have in my loneliness.’ Through that window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree, and on the branch were two blossoms. ‘I often talk to this tree,’ she said to me. I was startled and didn’t quite know how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree replied. ‘Yes.’ What did it say to her? She answered, ‘It said to me, I am here — I am here — I am life, eternal life.'”

~Viktor Frankl  Mans Search for Meaning

Below is the story of Jadon and Anais McDonald and their parents, Nicole and Christian. This video was my inspiration for this blog today.