Heartspace

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.”

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“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.

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Wisdom in Quiet Whispers

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Feather 

In the evergreen

Nestled in love

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

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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/

October First

October

October first

Wore blue memories

Of a summer sky

As she trailed 

The forest floor

Leaving a crisp 

Autumn scent

Behind.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo credits go to

http://the-forest-of-october.tumblr.com/post/41571433681

Offering Genuine Presence

Happiness&Freedom

An open heart

In the wilderness 

Of my soul

I smile

At myself

Offering the gift

Of presence.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom that you have in your heart.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn-

*photograph by Noell S. Oszvald,

 http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/noell-oszaid-fine-art-photography

The Formlessness of Impermanence

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Mists of divine thought

Formless pools of heaven

Presence in each breath

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Clouds are formless manifestations of water in gaseous form. Since clouds are water we must understand that water represents very powerful emotion able to create or to destroy, and either or, in creation and in death water remains fluid, it never becomes fixed.”

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“Clouds are the mists of heaven and earth which represent the divine thought of “God” coming forth from source with great desire to manifest the unmanifest. In this we know that when we observe the formlessness of clouds in continual shift of movement and shape, it is as if we are looking into the pools of heaven, the sky, and seeing the universal possibilities of thought, movement and form.”

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“Clouds represent divinity, pure thought and pure being, emptiness and everything. Clouds are creations of polar opposites existing as one in such a freedom of being they never become fixed in form, just like the flow of water clouds tell us to be free from everything yet as pure as divinity.”

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“Clouds are dreams that make us ponder everything we don’t understand but are designed to search out. Therefore clouds are creations way of telling us never to settle in one thing or another because in doing so we become fixed and fixed objects always resist the natural flow of universal fluidity.”

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“Be like a cloud, free and in heaven always shifting form and always moving through the skies of infinite space and timeless wisdom. To see and contemplate the clouds is to learn oneself just as it is in all of the elements of nature.”

-by the Community

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*This excerpt was taken from: http://www.answers.com/Q/What_do_clouds_symbolize

*photos by moi, except the calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hahn taken from https://thecompassionategardener.wordpress.com/2015/08/29/clouds-never-die/

Listening to Trees

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The Wind Woman

Awakened tree spirits

Creaking ancient tales

Of bygone days lost to memory

When silence was robed

In the majesty of Mother Earth.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

breathing trees

Heaven’s Expanse

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Summer’s golden dreams

In the last breath of August

The space between

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“To create a space for all our words, Drawing us to listen inward and outward. We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. Somewhere in us a dignity presides That is more gracious than the smallness That fuels us with fear and force, A dignity that trusts the form a day takes. So at the end of this day, we give thanks For being betrothed to the unknown And for the secret work Through which the mind of the day And wisdom of the soul become one.”
― John O’Donohue