Tag Archive | gratitude

Fabric

My mother loved beautiful fabrics. She loved colors, and textures, and imagining what she could make with a new-found treasure. We are still uncovering reams and bags and rolls in every closet and corner in the house. One car load to a quilt maker for the Linus Project. Another to an Arab Women’s Sewing Circle support group for those recovering from violent situations in their lives. Another car load nearly packed to go and support local hospice care…another to a quilting group in SF who support those in need…another to a group sewing clothes for the homeless.

I’m feeling some tears as I load the car, all the bags from decades past with notes about what or who the project was for, some partly finished, some only ideas yet to be started. Memories of all the times in a fabric store with my mother, picking out patterns and fabric, seeing what was on sale or in the remnant bin, all the handmade gifts from my grandmother for each birthday and on holidays. As we got older there were bean bag chairs, outdoor gear for our adventures, curtains for a first home off-campus. I don’t sew like my mother and grandmother did, and I did not realize at the time that it was a special thing they were doing, sharing with us.

Now, I am so grateful for those who are continuing the art of creating function and beauty with their hands and hearts, and that they can use all of my mother’s unfinished colors, threads, and textures, to make something of comfort for someone else. I am thankful for the gifts from my mother, and my grandmother before her, and so happy to pass them on, for the threads that connect us all to continue their ripple out beyond this house, beyond my own memories, into the lives of those I may never meet…creating some warmth, some joy, some good memories to rise softly in the heart years from now, and feeling the smiles of our ancestors as we continue to circle back to what really matters…

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 All Content Copyright © 2012/2013  Photos/Words by Amy Allis

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Dear life,

Dear Life

This is a pretty amazing gig we got going here – and I want you to know how deeply grateful I am for this chance to wake up and participate with you once more.

Thank you, and talk with you soon,

Love, aa

PS. Let’s have some tea soon, and maybe a hike up in the hills – I’d really like that.

~~~~~~

All Content Copyright © 2012/2013 – Photos/Words by Amy Allis

Truth as a Frequency

In this time of an election with so much energy in motion on all sides, it can feel like such chaos. I find myself thinking – wouldn’t it be so much simpler, so much less effort, if all involved would just tell the truth? What would happen if everyone did their best to accurately assess the ideas they are putting forward, share their true wishes and intentions, and then the rest of us can make our decisions based on an honest exchange of information? I know it’s not a simple thing, of course. But what a relief this would be, can you feel it?

Many years ago, I was in my first intensive workshop experience, and I felt what truth can feel like. We watched as one of the instructors had an exchange with one of the participants, and we all could feel that “tilt” in the room when each of them got to the place of completely speaking the truth. It was amazing! Then, we paired up, and all took turns doing the same thing. We each got to have the same experience we had been shown – to feel the truth as someone was speaking it to us, and to feel the truth as we each spoke it to someone else. This gift has been with me all these years, rising back into view when I need to remember. And I’ve been remembering it lately…

There is something clean and clear about knowing we are standing on a solid foundation in our own truth, or sharing this place with another. There is nothing to protect or lose in this place. We know of factual truth – either this thing happened, or it did not happen. We are all very familiar with this energy, all the layers, the twists and turns life can take with the search for it. And there is another truth, a deeper place – a truth from the essence of who we are. When we are speaking or acting in a way that is completely aligned with our higher wisdom self, when our heart and mind are in the ease of agreement. There is an authenticity present in this truth which is anchored in the core of our being and is unshakable. And this truth – it feels really, really good to be here. As more of us stand in this place, it will be harder and harder to go back to anything else.

I’d like to take it a little further, and say that Truth has a frequency of its own, is a living energy that we can learn to recognize. As we practice listening, fine tuning our own ability to send and receive this living energy, with heart and higher mind connected, and our core grounded with the core of the earth, let’s see how this feels. As we have courage to live in this way, that “tilt” can become a natural experience, and the ripples from this can spread change far beyond ourselves.

So here we are in an election zone. What a perfect chance to breathe deep and see how this can work, see how we can share ourselves and relate to each other much differently. Here is a chance to cast a vote with not just our rational and logical minds, but with our whole beings, from that clean and clear foundation, and with the living energy, the frequency of Truth as our guide.

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Note: Much gratitude to SAGE/Brandon St. John for many gifts and blessings, including the “tilt” those years ago; may your life beyond the veil be one of the peace you often spoke of and encouraged us to believe in. And to Archangel Michael for continued inspiration and much patience as I learn to listen, and grow in my courage to act. Blessings Be.

 All Content Copyright © 2012  Photos/Words by Amy Allis

Precious

What if – this life is the most tender, powerful, awe-inspiring gift; the most precious of things – how will I live my day differently as I hold this softly before me?

To truly pause and be with this, really wear it, breathe it in completely, is life-changing. Gratitude rises easily to the surface. Life slows down just a bit – what is the hurry? Noticing what is noticed is part of the fun. The depth of all of it, the richness that comes with slowing down and being present, is available for tasting. Choice has a different feel to it – since the world is so rich and full, then, any choice will be one with wonder in it. Any turn we make will have experiences to try out, to explore, to savor. If we don’t like how that one tastes, then we can gently put it down, say thank you, and turn another direction.

How does life feel this way?

As I am writing this, I can say it feels pretty good. And I’d like to take it a few steps further —

What if, not only is this Life precious, but the ones I meet along the way in it are precious as well. How does that feel? Hmmm. It feels powerful, like forgiveness is right there, compassion is part of the flow, shoulders drop, breathing is easier. There is an allowing for whacky actions and behavior – like I can let much of it just roll on by, take it in stride, and see the potential in those who might otherwise seem a little crazy. Nice.

One more step —

And, what if we also take time out in all of this to remember that each of us, I, Amy, and you (your name) are just as precious and irreplaceable as any of the rest of it – the breath in and out of our bodies allows us to be here and participate in this truly vibrant journey with eyes and heart wide open. If each of us acts as if compassion, patience, softness and nurturing, appreciation and encouragement are simply the way we are treated in any moment, from the inside to the outside, imagine how different the world can feel? With love, I am grateful, aa

 All Content Copyright © 2012  Photos/Words by Amy Allis

Coyote and a sort-of mountain

Sitting in my car at the trailhead, writing, listening to some inspiration, making notes — I look up, and a coyote is hustling by – very fast, pauses to dig and sniff, then trotting onward, full of purpose, poised to pounce if something comes near. It is approaching dinner time, I believe.

I say hello, so wonderful to see you, thank you for being here – I’d like to get to know you, is there anything you’d like to share with me?

I am still practicing this listening thing, being still, finding that quiet, nothing place where real listening can happen. Sometimes I seem to be better at it than others. I’m not sure I’m getting anything, and then I hear:

“Get out of your car.”

And then he is gone, disappeared into the brush. I chuckle. Great advice. I realize I have been hanging out indoors working on some things all afternoon, and came here to take a walk, and there I am, still in the car, out of the fog, and the wind – which I am well aware is going to make it a rather brisk walk. But there you have it – who is to question the wisdom and very direct suggestion of a coyote?

So, on go the jackets, and out for a walk.

I am drawn to a trail I have not been on before, pausing many times to listen to the birds, the wind, appreciating the grey-toned beauty in the fog. Around a bend I notice a large rock outcropping at the top of a hill. It is not that impressive, but it keeps catching my attention. I say hello, and there is nothing. I say hello again, and have to slow way down to hear a response. A sort of hello comes back. I smile. I am appreciating the beauty if it’s lines, the colors, I wonder about who lives up there, how it is to be that particular hill.

Not all mountains can be Everest or Annapurna, or K2, or Tamalpais.”

Of course this is true. I am a little apologetic for my earlier thoughts that this rocky hill was not very impressive. And I sense this does not really matter to the hill. It is just fine in it’s place here on the planet. I send love, and keep spending some time. I am enjoying being there, seeing what might come.

I wander around a corner, check out some other views, and come back by once again. I pause, ask if there is a message for me… finding that still place again, and then it comes. It is not in so many words as much as impressions, a sense of this truth being shared.

We are all connected to the core of this earth – it does not matter how big or small, loud or quiet, active or still – we each have a place, we each add to the balance and completeness of what is here. I may be small in your eyes, but my roots are as strong and powerful as any other hill, ridge or mountain, as we are all connected – I am part of the core of the Earth, linked to the center of all. It is in my nature to be what I am, just as I am, right here in this place, and I have peace in this knowing.”

And there it is. Nature has a way of answering a question, even if we are not clear that we have asked it. I smile, nod my head “yes”, with hands on heart, and say many thank yous.

Indeed, there may be a grand purpose I would like to fulfill, or a big dream, or a service I would so much like to offer – something that will help what is or is not happening, changing, shifting on this world. The imbalances and inequities, the pain and misunderstandings, it can all be so overwhelming for any of us who care at all about another. We each have our part to offer, no matter how small it may seem, or how unclear it feels, or how “unimpressive” it might be. Yeah. The world is ready and waiting for each of us. Time indeed, to get out of the car.

All Content Copyright © 2012  Photos/Words by Amy Allis

Beauty finds her way

Nature, being outdoors – that has always been my church, the place where I find the whisperings of wisdom, the soothing touch which reconnects me to a deeper self. A sigh of relief, a remembering, an end to what is done, a possible beginning. She is a powerful force, that Mama Nature. She seems to offer just what each of us might need in any moment – so adaptable she is! And I love her for it…

So, when I am feeling like we humans are being unkind, even cruel in our behavior, I am amazed at her loving patience. I marvel as she continuous to attempt to share her wisdom with us, her love, her plain and simple language of harmony and flow.

The critters, the leafed and flowered ones are right there with us, offering tiny bits of connection, reminders, healing in many  forms. All we have to do is pause for a moment, once again, just pause, and notice. The offerings do continue, and I believe we are so close to conscious appreciation — many of us are there already, but I am visioning the collective, all of us, finding our way back to that place of noticing the sacred in ourselves, and in what is living around us. I am a believer, and Nature is rooting for us – as our hearts continue to open and let it in, beautify finds her way.

 All Content Copyright © 2012  Photos/Words by Amy Allis

Signs of life

Life has been a bit tough lately. It has been amazing, too, but also a challenge. Yes, there are profound changes, wondrous gifts, surprising connections and reconnection. And I am grateful, yes indeed.  There has also been a rising intensity and sometimes overwhelming examples of just how out of balance our existence is here on the planet. It can be painful to witness these things, to feel them – especially when they are glaring examples that show up from inside our own selves…

And so, inevitably, a humbling reminder comes of my own  imbalance, which has been growing for a while. First as a quiet unease, a sense that something is not quite right. When ignored, it gets louder, the unease is almost unbearable. I finally stop, let life come to a halt, sitting in the car, completely exhausted, unsure what to do, where to go. I remember – when unsure of where to begin, start with the breath. Yes. This always works. So, breathing, becoming conscious, slowing down to center. And in the center is: surrender. And in the surrender is: truth. The message that wants to be heard. There it is. Small, a delicate thought, a shift, a letting go, a new view – subtle, yet so necessary and powerful. Yes. Embarrassing, humbling, yes. Also there is relief in the knowing of it, a chance to stand on a clear foundation.

So, I am sitting there, still, slowly adjusting, beginning to see the world through new eyes. Any hardness is softened, no need for protection. I ask – is this what you have wanted me to get to? The answer – yes. Ok then. Here I am, ready to start over from a place that truly matters.

And then it comes, finding it’s way through my partly opened window, nudging it’s little self into my tired awareness… a tiny bird somewhere in the tree next to me, singing her heart out, singing as if her life depended on it, singing — for me. One moment, one deep breath of surrender, and there it is – a sign of life. My day is changed. I chuckle in spite of myself, and I say Thank You.

 All Content Copyright © 2012  Photos/Words by Amy Allis