Embers to Ash

img_3341

Embers to ash

Fragrance

Of a mindful life

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

img_1336

Meaning
Being Your Own Voice of Reason

by Madisyn Taylor

How we attach meaning to events in our lives has a large influence on the quality of our life.

The meaning we assign to our experiences–whether pleasant or distressing, is a very powerful factor in determining the quality of our lives. What we imagine events to mean will color the way we feel about ourselves, about the people in our lives, and about the world at large. If we want to encourage a positive outlook, well-being, and a sense of self-confidence and even trust in the universe, we can begin by assigning more peaceful, loving meanings to what we experience.

Imagine, for example, that a friend fails to show up to a lunch date. You have choices as to what you will make this experience mean for you. You could allow being “stood up” to reinforce your feelings of unworthiness, you could begin to mentally attack your friend’s character, or you could assume that something big must have happened to cause them to miss the date–then, you might open yourself up to enjoying some relaxing time alone.

If you were recently laid off and are having difficulty finding a new job, consider that you might have hidden gifts or passions that were untapped in your regular career that you are now available to explore. The universe might simply be moving you in a more fulfilling direction. If you have recently lost a loved one, gained weight, lost money, or gotten in a fight with your partner, see if you can infuse the experience with meaning that feels loving and empowering and opens a door for you to embrace life and the world a bit more.

When we begin to bring consciousness to what we are making things mean, we may be shocked at the messages we have been feeding ourselves all these years. Try taking the reigns and begin assigning a kinder meaning to the events in your life and you will likely find yourself on a much more pleasant ride.

an excerpt taken from DailyOM  Meaning

a song by Akira Kosemura, Embers

Advertisements

A Flow of Wealth and Abundance

IMG_1037

The way sunlight leans

Through oak shadows in summer

Trust in the moment

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

IMG_2752

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you allowed the fullness that you are flow into the areas that feel restricted? Plugging into your power to receive. Well, everyone of us has access to that possibility. It’s about what you believe in regards to wealth and abundance.

It’s easy to get stuck in beliefs that life will never get better, that people never change,or that history always repeats itself.  The thought, “It will always end up the same no matter what I do,” repeating like a broken record. When you hold onto beliefs like that, you might start to wonder, ‘Why try anything at all?’ A belief pattern of apathy begins becoming a life habit that is extremely hard to break through. It becomes something familiar. A safe place. A snail shell way of being…living.

IMG_1171

Half a lifetime

Lost in thought

Unhappiness

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

IMG_2766

The truth is when you focus your attention on the here and now, you give yourself permission to trust the moment. You begin to connect with your heart. You give yourself the gift of presence. You get back in touch with your true beauty. You begin to realize that there is always more available to you. Because you become one with your natural state. You begin to realize that you are enough, you have always been enough, and you will always be enough. You get in touch with your own inner sense of wealth and abundance. You can allow yourself to explore the relationship you have to lack and plenty through the acceptance of your own inner beauty. You will find the courage to let go what no longer serves you. What is no longer relevant or appropriate. You will find the power of awareness to gently and lovingly release what is ready to go in the present moment.

IMG_1539

Give yourself the gift of faith. Faith in yourself. Faith that is more powerful than fear. Give yourself the freedom to believe. Find that space in your heart that allows you to be vulnerable to shine the light of your soul. To be your true self. Your authentic self. Cultivate a relationship with your true beauty and find your inner voice. When you allow yourself to receive the wealth and abundance of who you are then it becomes something you give back to the universe. A river of love flowing into the ocean.

 

Humanity Matters!

 

IMG_2821

Its all about connection…a touch, a look, a word, a sense of feeling human in a world that seems confused -a world lost in the process we know as life. Culture has boundaries attached to it as well as identity because of how it links together with our personal beliefs. Nevertheless, they give meaning and purpose to this maze of existence. But I am forced to ask the question, “Is that where the journey ends?” The resounding answer is NO! We just might discover through the people we meet along the way, the places we visit and the experiences we encounter that we are granted a unique privilege. The privilege to come together in a new way. The privilege to rewrite the story.

IMG_2819

No matter what color your skin is, what gender you are, what political views you hold, what your sexual orientation is, what language you speak, what country you come from, what religion you believe or don’t believe, or what culture you have the heritage we all share is feeling and being human in all the tragedy and comedy. Humanity Matters because the bottom line is that no matter how lost this world might be without each other we are nothing. May we all find our humanity. Starting TODAY!

IMG_2818

Maybe its time to shift our borders…our boundaries inside and out. Maybe we might just find a sense of familiarity through the current devastation and darkness. Maybe we might just find the strength and courage to whisper, “I remember you. We come together now with a new identity, but our dignity hasn’t been stripped from us, so I extend my hand to you. Yes, I remember that we are still brothers and sisters. I haven’t forgotten. Let that no longer be our fear for we know each other as we know ourselves… a new identity for the world to see on the outside, but we see each other from the inside. To think of this I shall not water your garden  with tears of sorrows past, but with tears of joy that we can still stand on common ground. Whether our inner demons have been exorcised from within us when we look at ourselves we are seeing each other. Let this be the tie that binds us again with our shifting borders. Let this be the healing for the sickness in our souls.”

IMG_2825

I would like to end with a few thoughts from Deng Ming-Dao, “This world and this society are competitive. Tao uses the metaphor of the warrior to meet that competition. Warriors never yield to their opponents. They may sidestep, but they do not give way. Whether you are a lawyer, police officer, fire fighter, doctor, businessperson, athlete, or any one of numerous professions, you compete against either other people or natural forces. But there is a right way and a wrong way to compete. Avoid anger and greed. Use concentration   and awareness. Coincidentally, concentration and awareness are also necessary for spirituality. That is why the follower of Tao incorporates the way of the warrior into training. The warrior and the sage both seek to transcend emotion and petty thinking, to perfect themselves, and to live lives of the deepest truth. But when outside the arena, do not forget to be kind. Leave behind competitive aggression. You must still have awareness concentration, and reflex, but the expression will be different. Your compassion must not falter. That is why the combination of the way of the warrior with the way of the sage is the ultimate symbol of versatility. Such a follower of Tao commands the extremes of the universe.”

Here is a song that captures the sign of the times:

The Same As It Ever Was

Continuation

IMG_1993

I stand in a forest

Amongst other trees

Bearing the cold

I stand with patience

I stand with faith

That the spring

Will come again

I stand in a forest

Amongst other trees

Connecting at the root 

I stand in trust

I stand in acceptance

That my essence

Is nourished 

By the Earth

Season after season

I breath 

through my leaves 

Long after

I can no longer stand

In a forest

Amongst other trees

I will continue

to bring balance

To the cycle 

Of love

Because 

I am 

Love.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2016

Heartspace

IMG_1628

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” ― Anaïs Nin

Lately, life has brought many changes, blessings, opportunities, and learning experiences, yet all the while it has been stretching and growing me. It has been easy to get caught up in the business of living. I took some time this weekend to slow down. Yesterday, I briefly saw the horror and devastation of what happened in Paris before I went to go spend a day of mindfulness in meditation and silence. A powerful message from life reminding us of the brevity and fragility of the breath within us. Let’s open our minds and hearts with compassion…to this devastation and to all those suffering at this moment…let’s heal one another while letting this darkness teach us something…whatever that may be…in each breath with ourselves and with one another.

This brings me back to the slowing down…taking a pause. It isn’t only about the realization of getting caught up in the business of daily life or even being mindful of what happened in Paris. It’s about letting life touch the heart….opening up to that touch of love. Allowing that touch to happen. Giving ourselves permission to open to our vulnerabilities. As we open and practice opening day after day, we begin to realize just how infinite heartspace is….and that there isn’t necessarily any resolution because it is a huge, vast and limitless space. Heartspace is where the very nature of love resides. There is a lot of darkness and light in that space, but also a sense that goes beyond all of that expanding into continuation of impermanence. It touches what we believe…and how those beliefs manifest into reality. It’s that very freedom of continuation that gives us power to realize the reality of our worst nightmares or the beauty of our dreams.

IMG_1613

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” ― John Lennon

I have spent a lot of time running from my dreams because of fear of failure or hiding in my dreams because of a lack of belief in myself. I’ve also experienced the reality of my nightmares. It has all served me in that it has brought me to the point where I have allowed life to open my heart and self-compassion to teach me day after day. It is like the forbearance of trees. “Theirs is the forbearance of being true to their inner natures. It is with this power that they withstand both the vicisstudes and adornment of life, for neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are.” (Deng Ming-Dao) Whatever happens during this lifetime, if we want to manifest the beauty of our dreams we have to find a way to patiently stand and bear our fortune. No matter what, being true to our inner selves. Self-compassion can teach us that.

This morning after my meditation, I looked out the window and saw a doe and a fawn in the rain. It hasn’t been the first time I’ve seen them. In fact, their whole family has been around since the beginning of the year. In animal symbolism, the deer (particularly the doe, females) has the capacity for infinite generosity. (http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-deer.html) As we give our hearts permission to open in that infinite space of generosity, we will experience the limitless treasure within ourselves. We will learn to cultivate trust  in our own instincts as well as ourselves to move through life and obstacles with grace. Our heart will begin to beat with the gentleness of kindness and compassion as we find the grace to connect with the quiet simplicities of humility. The grace and gentleness characteristic of this spirit animal echo the qualities brought forth when living from the heart. (http://www.spiritanimal.info/deer-spirit-animal/) Friedrich Schiller once wrote, “Grace is beauty of form under the influence of freedom.” The abundance of freedom exists within our heartspace. That is where we will experience the manifestation of our dreams as we open more and more to love ourselves and life.

IMG_1471

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.” 

―Walt Disney

The rain has been whispering today. Of cleansing and forgiveness. Thoughts and emotions can become entangled in a chaos of judgement whether we are looking inwardly at ourselves or outwardly towards the world. Because rain diminishes sunlight, it creates human emotions of darkness and depression. (http://www.ask.com/world-view/rain-symbolize-5892bd1c2cb7db83) Pain and suffering can bear down so hard that we become lost to overwhelming forces that roll over us like tidal waves. Naturally, we need to  go into heartspace and allow a time for grieving. Rain can be life-giving as it gently waters the earth or potentially death dealing as torrid downpours lead to flooding. We have to allow our souls to experience the cycles of cleansing and forgiveness if we are to move past the darkness of fear and forward into the light. We can allow the rains to teach us the importance of cleansing and nourishing our hearts through the power of forgiveness and acceptance. Afterall, love resides in heartspace. Rumi wrote, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

IMG_1612

“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…” ― Wilferd Peterson

Walk what you talk. Don’t be afraid to follow the path where your heart leads. Allow the freedom of your heartspace to lead you into the beauty of your dreams. Let them manifest themselves into reality. Be courageous and let love open your heart and touch your vulnerability. In each breath, day after day, give yourself the gift of presence…the gift of love.

Wisdom in Quiet Whispers

feather

Feather 

In the evergreen

Nestled in love

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

cypress

Meditating on symbolic meanings

Evergreen

“We too have the ability to stand strong in the midst of adverse conditions. Whether comparing them heart chakras, or Celtic wisdom, evergreen symbolic meanings deal with life-loving qualities such as:

• The capacity to love in the coldest of times.
• The inner resources to feel warmth (empathy) in spite of austerity.
• The ability to feel deep magic in a sterile, fact-finding world.

…a reminder of emerald potentials forever glistening within the strongholds of our souls.”

~excerpt from http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2014/02/13/evergreen-symbolic-meanings-and-reminders/

Feathers

“When you find feathers upon your path it could be taken to mean that you are on a higher spiritual path (whether you accept it or not), and it may be a sign of encouragement as you philosophically travel on this path.

Finding feathers on your path is also symbolic of having a lighter outlook on life or a particulary situation. When we see feathers in our midst it is considered a message that we need to lighten up, not take things too seriously, and try to find the joy in our situation.

Some common symbolic meaning of feathers are:

Heightened awareness
Light heartedness
Enlightenment
Prayer
Divinity”

~excerpt from http://www.symbolic-meanings.com/2007/11/03/finding-feathers-on-your-path-symbolic-meaning-of-feathers/

“For a start, feathers (and other items such as coins, and creatures such as birds, butterflies and dragonflies), can be signs from the angels, guides, or loved ones in that they are near – that they hear you, guide you and are supporting you. It can be an acknowledgement of you or your thoughts or it is their way of saying hello.

Finding a feather is often a magical moment…Feathers represent flight and freedom, soaring above, looking from a higher perspective, and moving beyond boundaries and limitations. Different colours and colour combinations can also add extra meaning. (see further below about various colour meanings).

Interpreting the Meaning of the Feather Sign
Whenever you observe a sign, take note of what you were thinking just before it happened, or what is going on in your life at that moment. What could the sign be telling you? Don’t stress yourself about finding a meaning. Even if you do not understand the meaning of the sign at the time, it could become clearer later, or you may be absorbing it in at a sub-conscious level. Just trust that it is a sign and let go of any doubts. Enjoy the way that Spirit works, and embrace the fact you are intermingling with it and paying attention…

It is just a matter of believing, letting go, and staying aware. Signs often remind us to be at peace and relax into the nature and flow of life. The meanings can at times be profound, and at other times quite simple. The best advice when signs happen is to not put any pressure on yourself to understand it. Take it as an opportunity to connect, take notice of and thank the ever-present Spirit. If your sign is an item such as a feather, you can keep it in a special place whether that be by your bedside, on your dresser, or added to your sacred space / spiritual altar. Or you can gently release it back to nature or where you found it.”

~excerpt from http://www.nataliakuna.com/feather-signs–colour-meanings.html

Photo Credits:

*(feather) first photo by sue.h https://www.flickr.com/photos/sue_h/6402420301/sizes/l/

*(evergreen) second photo by Kathy Diemer, found on http://agardenforall.com/2015/04/21/golden-opportunities/

In Faith

softness

“A person who does not have anything to believe in is without energy. When you have the energy of faith in you, your steps become firmer, your look becomes brighter. You are ready to love, to understand, to help, and to work.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

In the softness and tenderness of my soul, I open to the generosity of my essence. With each in breath, I pull into myself the abundance of life. With each out breath, I release my need to control…to feel safe. I trust the process that is before me and though I feel fear of uncertainty and the pain of old familiar wounds I open and let go in the faith that love will sustain me. In gratitude, I dwell in the energy of Oneness.

*photo credits go to Steve Mackay