Tag Archives: SUMMERFIELD

Spring Forward

13 Mar

Amongst some of the more incredulously silly ideas humans have come up with is the notion that we can manipulate Time.

The logic behind “Daylight Savings Time” has been accredited to many things, not the least of which include giving Farmers an additional hour to work their fields, energy conservation and folks just wanting more “time” to enjoy sunny summer days.

Time itself, at least standardized regimented time, was a development of the railroad systems. Here’s a brief history from a California state energy site:

History of Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time is a change in the standard time of each time zone. Time zones were first used by the railroads in 1883 to standardize their schedules. According to the The Canadian Encyclopedia Plus by McClelland & Stewart Inc., Canada’s “[Sir Sandford] Fleming also played a key role in the development of a worldwide system of keeping time. Trains had made obsolete the old system where major cities and regions set clocks according to local astronomical conditions. Fleming advocated the adoption of a standard or mean time and hourly variations from that according to established time zones. He was instrumental in convening an International Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 at which the system of international standard time — still in use today — was adopted.”

In 1918, the U.S. Congress made the U.S. rail zones official under federal law and gave the responsibility to make any changes to the Interstate Commerce Commission, the only federal transportation regulatory agency at the time. When Congress created the Department of Transportation in 1966, it transferred the responsibility for the time laws to the new department.

The American law by which we turn our clock forward in the spring and back in the fall is known as the Uniform Time Act of 1966. The law does not require that anyone observe Daylight Saving Time; all the law says is that if we are going to observe Daylight Saving Time, it must be done uniformly.

Daylight Saving Time has been around for most of this century and even earlier.

Benjamin Franklin, while a minister to France, first suggested the idea in an essay titled “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.”

Time in the physical sense is a measurement. Manipulating a measurement is slightly arrogant. The idea that we humans can alter the laws of Physics or control the Sun borders on the absurd. It’s just about as silly as us thinking we can control the weather. (Although there is evidence that scientific technology exists and is being tested to “create” weather and geological events, and not necessarily to the benefit of the human population at large).

So “Spring Forward, Fall Back” is an annual ritual in the U.S. – and other countries – that allows us the illusion that we are in control of natural forces and Physics Principles.

Personally, I think this is more a reflection of how far removed we live from Nature. “Nature” is not something that we live isolated from, try as some of us may. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we humans exist in Nature. We are part of an eco-system, an environment called Planet Earth.

Grandmother Pa’Risha has often shared how traditional Indigenous Peoples live connected to the Earth and Nature. What may be surprising to some is that Indigenous Cultures possess the wisdom of science, mathematics, physics, etc. Understanding and living in harmony with the planet’s natural forces to hunt, raise crops, build many of the “natural wonders” of the world and live in abundance is a part of their Being. They understand and live as the Wheel of Life.

The further we grow away from our connection to nature, the natural forces and Principles through “civilization” we dull our senses and greatly curtail our quality of life. It’s a contradiction that is daunting. As we strive to improve the quality of life through technology, inventions and gadgets; the more we attempt to live by “convenience” and “comfort” – manipulating our environment, or even Time itself, the more we actually lose one of the greatest opportunities of Life itself – Living in Harmony with Creation.

Our time here affords us the opportunity to explore, know and celebrate the Mystery as One with Creation. We need to open ourselves to our connection with Nature, not isolate ourselves from it.

“Be in Nature, stay in harmony with Nature, it is you…Learn of Nature, then understand yourself!” Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

As has been evidenced by the devastating earthquake in Japan this week, there is no escaping the forces of Nature. But when we open ourselves to communicating with and being communicated to we can learn to hear her “messages” and have a greater awareness of when the Earth is clearing itself. With that knowledge we can live like the Indigenous Peoples still living traditionally around the world who, like the animals, birds, and fish, know when the Earth is relieving her stress through earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis or whatever and move to higher ground.

-Deborah Adler

“If you have your attention on what is see its fullness in every moment you will discover the dance of the divine in every leaf in every petal in every blade of grass in every rainbow in every rushing stream in every breath of every living being. …beyond memory and judgment lies the ocean of universal consciousness.”— Deepak Chopra


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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As the Mystery of Life Unfolds

12 Mar

As the Mystery of Life unfolds

We are the Creators/Observers of its Magnificence.

Sometimes the Natural Forces appear daunting

But then we realize that we are those Forces.

Where do I begin and you end?

Where does the air of the mountain divide

from the air of the plain?

How can we not see ourselves in Everyone

and everything around us…

For we are “Of God”

One with the All That Is,

We are Creator and Co-Creator.

We are the Mystery

and that which Observes

Itself.

-Deborah Adler

“Each of us is here to discover our true selves; that essentially we are spiritual beings who have taken manifestation in physical form; that we’re not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences, that we’re spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences” –Deepak Chopra

“All around you no matter where you are is opportunity. You decide its potential and outcome. You are the co-creators. Make a life worthy of all the gifts we are. Love from a place empty of fear. Live in eternal celebration of being chosen for this world and life, and if we manage well, we will dwell in its glory and beauty again.” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Life as a Paradox

11 Mar

Definition: “something (such as a situation) that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible.”

I’m studying the Tao Te Ching. There are 81 verses. It’s possible to spend a lifetime studying these verses, which for the most part don’t have even twenty lines to them – but boy, do they nail Truth.

Of course, I can’t really explain what I’m reading, but when I read it there’s an innate recognition – I feel an “Ah-hah.” Somewhere deep in my Being, I recognize Mystery.

Paradox.  Know it, but can’t explain it. Recognize it, but never saw it before. I do know that when it starts talking about the Master Teacher, I recognize my spiritual mentor and Elder of 25 years, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha. It’s uncanny.

It seems the more we seek something the more it eludes us – whether it be prosperity, position, relationship – whatever. Perhaps it has to do with the Principle of Attraction.

When we concentrate our thoughts on what we don’t have – our focus is on what we lack. We give so much attention to that that we end up creating more lack.

Even when we’re carefully crafting goals in totally positive terms, if we’re concentrating on creating results, we are probably blocking our own success. We’ve become accustomed to plotting out the course to our goals. Quantum Physics tells us if we clearly define our beginning point and end point, the Universe will fill in the details. Another paradox.

“The Master leads

by emptying people’s minds

and filling their cores

by weakening their ambitions

and toughening their resolves…”*

There’s an old Chinese proverb about a Teacher and student. The teacher starts pouring tea into the student’s cup but continues pouring even as the tea overflows and pours all over the table. When the student questions why, the Teacher responds that the student’s mind is like the full cup of tea. The student has come to the Teacher pretty full of himself. Only when the student would be willing to let go of what he thought he knew, i.e. empty his mind, would the Teacher be able to work with him.

Recovery from addiction is a lot like that. We tend to walk in thinking we know what we need to do to “beat this thing” – and slowly we learn from the shared experiences of others present that in order to triumph over our addiction we need to “surrender,” form a partnership with the God of our understanding, and empty out what we think we know so we can really learn.

Another Paradox.

If my best thinking got me in a place of dire straights, it’s highly likely that only by building my core values will I transcend my predicament. Empty out in order to receive.

My ambition in life might be to rise to a particular position or status or income level – whatever – but only when I resolve to live a life of service will I achieve all that I want through helping others.

That’s not my wisdom. I’ve been hearing it from my Elder for 25 years, only to be reinforced in recovery rooms, by inspirational speakers and business motivators.

Now I’m reading it in the Tao.

I guess when we finally quit complicating life we find the simple solutions. If you find yourself thinking about something, “It can’t be that simple!” – you probably need an Ego check. Lose your self-importance and gain Wisdom.

Another Paradox…. 🙂

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” –Oprah Winfrey

“Allow each second of your time to be filled with a kindness to all and include yourself!” -Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

-Deborah Adler

*Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Letting Go to Allow the Flow

8 Mar

“Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever.” -Deepak Chopra

I spent some time with a friend tonight who is fearful of losing his job. The details aren’t really important. What really matters is that he’s convinced that his Union is going to have him canned. He was talking about moving to …somewhere else…to start over again…somewhere where no one knew him.

I shared with him that in 12-Step rooms we often talk about the problem with running away is that you take yourself with you. “Geographical cures” may seem desirable, but they’re totally ineffective.

More than one person tried to remind him that sometimes Life has a way of closing a door for us that we weren’t able – or willing – to close for ourselves.

He couldn’t really hear any of it. He was too committed to his fear. In his mind, a determination has already been made. He’s already packed his bags – in more ways than one.

Active addicts – and some recovering ones, too – know all about running. We also know the futility of trying to hang onto something, or someone or trying to control an outcome through manipulation or deceit. “Resistance,” as the Borg of Star Trek would say, “is futile.”

But the futility comes from the paradox of life that you can only keep something by giving it away. No matter how adept one is at “creating their day” or mapping out their life, at some point there is a handing over to God-Creator-The Source for the ultimate unfoldment.

In my experience, God-Creator-The Source has always delivered a much more magnificent outcome than I could have imagined. Of course, that would be from the “hind-sight is 20-20” perspective, but even so, when I can remember I’m working in partnership with the God of my understanding, I can “let go” of the results and appreciate the journey.

The flow of energy can only happen through a clear pathway. If we try to contain it, we stop it – like a giant circuit-breaker. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, money…if we allow for a flow of energy, a freedom, we create the pathway for it to return to us. If it doesn’t, it wasn’t ours to begin with.

“Generosity is the outcome of faith.  Give and you will receive.  Give how you want to receive.  Generosity heals poverty.  Generosity helps us to be free of material attachments that we will never own.  They own us; they do not serve us.  We serve them.  Give when you have very little for yourself, or you will never be free.  Non-attachment does not mean you need to live in poverty.  It guarantees wealth.” – Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha*

*Follow the Question Inward ©  1994 Pa’Ris’Ha  © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

-Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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The Value of A Reflection

6 Mar

“There is a lesson in almost everything that you do, and getting the lesson is how you move forward. It is how you enrich your spirit.”-Oprah Winfrey

I have learned the importance of seeking a “reflection” over the years in my association with Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha.  A “Reflection” – just as the word implies – is a starkly objective feeding back of what you give to it. It does not judge, it does not seek to improve upon or make better or compensate for, but like the mirror – which holds no opinions of what it sees – it merely “reflects” back.

A great coach is an accomplished Reflector.

I taught swimming for ten years through the Red Cross Water Safety programs at Girl Scout summer resident camps in Michigan and Ohio. This was long before the age of camera phones, digital movies, etc. We had to use words to communicate to our swimmers – to help them understand the difference between what they were doing and the proper execution of a swimming stroke.

One tool that I developed that became tremendously successful was the ability to mimic the student’s movements. So I became a sort of live human “video-cam” to “playback” their execution in the water while they watched from my vantage point on the deck.

One thing it allowed was for them to laugh at themselves when they saw the sometimes large gap between what they thought they were doing and their actual movements. I would show them what they were doing and then show them the correct stroke.

It turned out to be a very successful teaching tool.

Whenever I had to correct a student’s stroke – I gave them something they were doing right. I found something they were executing correctly and reinforced that. But I didn’t lie to them. I didn’t try to look past or minimize what they were doing wrong. I showed them what needed adjusting – in order to perfect their technique and execute the stroke properly.

A good swimming teacher has two objectives in mind. Some students will want to compete. So they’re interested in speed and efficiency. But ALL students need to be drown-proof. A good swimming teacher will give their students tools that will help them maximize their energy in a survival situation, and keep them from exhausting themselves in practice or recreational swimming.

The fact is swimming strokes have been modified and stream-lined over the years to require less energy and maximize a swimmer’s power working together with the resistance factor of the water. When executed correctly, a swimmer can utilize the resistance of the water to propel themselves forward, maximizing and even conserving energy.

When executed sloppily or incorrectly, the swimmer can actually find him/herself working against natural forces and will exhaust themselves in the effort.

My goal was always to help my swimmers achieve their best performance – whether for competition or just plain efficiency. I helped them there by holding no judgment of what I saw, reflecting their performance back to them and helping them to make the necessary and appropriate corrections to bring them up to optimum performance.

Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha has been the ultimate coach in my life. She holds no judgment, reflects without distortion and stays steadfast in her commitment to helping others achieve excellence. I haven’t always been the best student, but I’m no quitter. So long as I don’t give up on myself, Coach Pa’Ris’Ha is there.

I have been very blessed to have someone in my life who cared enough about me to help me be my best. Too often we surround ourselves with people who are afraid to offend us, who are afraid to deliver the truth. But then that simply enables us in our weaknesses. It really doesn’t serve personal development, in fact it stunts it. Personal growth requires stretching beyond our comfort zones – being willing and able to take direct feedback without injury and change.

If I run from the truth, I live in a world of denial. The fact is that that existence creates a far greater pain than facing the truth and acting upon it. With the support of a skilled and compassionate but firm coach, learning from a “Reflection” can become a life of discovery and unfoldment.

It’s always a choice.

“All around you no matter where you are is opportunity. You decide its potential and outcome. You are the co-creators. Make a life worthy of all the gifts we are. Love from a place empty of fear. Live in eternal celebration of being chosen for this world and life, and if we manage well, we will dwell in its glory and beauty again.” –Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor*

* from Grandmother’s Legacy. © Copyright 2007 Parisha Online. All Rights Reserved.

 

-Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Fly Like an Eagle

4 Mar

“I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. I knew there were other places, and there was another way of being.” -Oprah Winfrey

There’s a lot of attention being given to the state of the economy these days in the media – here within our borders and globally as well. The picture being painted by many is dismal. But the thing that we need to remember is that whether or not we buy into that is still our choice.

A funny thing happens in periods of “economic downturn.” Entrepreneurialism rises to the occasion. As companies fold and jobs disappear, the innovative re-invent themselves. You don’t have to be a genius to do that. You just have to find a service that people need and provide it.

I have a friend who has her own pet-sitting business. Between walking dogs, feeding them, letting them out for exercise or staying with them while the owners go away for a week-end, she’s swamped! When I caught up with her the other day by phone, she was lamenting the fact that she barely had time for herself – or so it seemed.

People are doing this all over the place, out of necessity as well as out of desire. The old adage, “Do what you love and the money will follow” has never been more appropriate.

If you think you don’t have any options – look again. Be the Eagle. The Eagle flies higher than any other bird, yet it can spot a tiny mouse from its lofty place in the air, swoop down and snatch up its prey returning once again to its nest on a cliff high above the terrain. The Eagle possesses both the ability to see the grand picture as well as the minutest detail within that landscape.

Some choose to wear despair like an anchor around their necks. Others choose Hope-Belief-Faith – and Vision – that as Children of God (who grow up to be…what?) we are destined for much more than mere existence.

The choice is ours. Be the Eagle….and Fly!

“When it really makes a difference is when you get real and stop the pretense and determine you and you alone can set the course of your life. We cannot change the past, we can move forward and away from it and its influences.” –Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor*

* From Financial Literacy Series, An Enterprise Venture
© 2004 Parisha Taylor. All rights reserved.

-Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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Confessions of a Positive Thinker

2 Mar

I’ve had a couple of challenging days. And I have a confession to make. As much as I write about and expound the virtues and benefits of “positive thinking” – it’s not always my first instinctual response to adverse circumstances.

Sometimes I have to work my way around to that “silver lining,” that hidden gift, that blessing in disguise – well, you get the picture. Sometimes staying positive feels like hard work!

I’m pretty sure my spiritual mentor and Elder is laughing as she reads this. When I first met her and stated my desire to commit to the path of personal and spiritual development, she looked at me and said, “It’s going to take work.”

I remember feeling slightly offended and confused. “What does she mean?” I thought to myself. “I am a hard worker.” I laughed nervously and just shook my head up and down in agreement, but twenty-five years later, I have at least a glimpse of what she was trying to forewarn me.

“Taking the high road,” as I have come to call it (borrowed from an actress who has inspired me with her ability to make the best of the adversity in her life) doesn’t always necessarily come easy. But the rewards are obvious.

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” –Oprah Winfrey

Every day we wake up we face choices:

How do we start our day? Giving Appreciation for the gift of a New Life? (As is the traditional practice my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha).

Do we see everyone in our life as mere reflections or aspects of ourselves?

Do we embrace the opposition or resistance and transform that into the creative energy we need to break through to victory?

These are all choices. There are so many more – moment to moment –  that comprise our day.

“Want success? Just count the good things of each day and give grateful acknowledgment that you have allowed it to be part of your day!” Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor

Sometimes I need to rely on “tools” – like the slogans of the 12-Step Programs – to help me into “right thinking.”

“Let go and let God.”

”Live and let live.”

“One day at a time.”

“First things first”

“How important is it?”

Sometimes I have to talk to myself – like the Observer, and say, “So, Deb…is that really what you wanted to do?” When the answer is “no” I get to make a course correction, or “re-take” as Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha refers to it.

The point is that personal growth is about stretching. It’s work. At least for me. Being positive doesn’t always come naturally to me, but if I commit to the process of transforming my mental state to a positive one, the rewards extend to physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

The ultimate reward is that the ripple effect of one person choosing to be positive has an exponential effect upon humanity.

“Just one optimistic person, with a willingness to allow people to grow from mis-takes, can affect 90,000 others. That’s what one person can do.” Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

That’s cool! – Deborah Adler

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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