Dreaming with John L.

dreamer Lennon

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you will join us.

And the world will live as one.” – John Lennon 

Almost everyone is familiar with the iconic song, Imagine, by John Lennon. Often described as the ultimate ballad for peace, it’s a poignant suggestion that we imagine a world without war. But it also asks that we imagine a world without countries, a world where we all live as one. I think that makes it the ultimate ballad for reclaiming balance!

A focus on oneness, on the greater good, is one of the hallmarks of the feminine principle. The masculine principle focuses on separateness and the “rights” of the individual person, or individual country. Of course, individual rights are truly necessary in our world for both people and nations. But because almost all of our cultures are patriarchies, we swing more toward individual rights and less toward working together for a common cause, be that environmental sustainability or peace.

In fact, while the masculine principle might define peace as an absence of war, I think the feminine principle would define peace as a state of harmony where all parts come together as a beautiful and beneficial whole. It’s a wonderful dream. I hope we can make it more than a dream; I hope we can make it a reality by reclaiming the balance our cultures lack. Care to join us?

Seek Balance: Is it easy for you to focus on the greater good instead of your individual needs? 

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Love: Touching Eternity

bleeding heart pink St. Augustine

“Love is the beauty of the soul.” – St. Augustine

I believe we all have a soul. I also believe that our soul transcends time and space, so can be considered eternal. And finally, I believe that St. Augustine spoke wisely in equating love with a desirable aspect of our soul. What is more perfect than love as the manifestation of eternity? We’d all sigh up for an eternity filled with love, right?

But what kind of love? Important, because love has many sides. One is intentional separation (“them” vs. “us,” sometimes done violently) in the name of protection or idealized devotion. This is one of the masculine principle’s concepts of love. Another example is unconditional acceptance and connection, which is in keeping with how the feminine principle looks at love.

All forms of love are good in their right time and place. And in balance. But lately, say the last few millennia or so, we’ve been less willing to glorify the feminine principle expression of love because it doesn’t fit in well with the values of a patriarchy. Separateness, individual accomplishment, strength, and material ownership are highly valued in a patriarchy. Compromise and tenderness are usually seen as weak.

The irony of it all is that we’re really only separate while in physical form, which may be the reason the masculine principle so values individualization; it’s a hallmark of the physical. Yet as we all know, physical manifestation isn’t eternal. I suspect it’s the feminine principle perspective of love that comes closest to that soul expression of love. We all have a soul, and we all have the feminine principle in us, we just don’t use or value either that much in a patriarchy.

But maybe that can change. Maybe this will be the year that we take a giant step toward reclaiming balance by using the eternal aspects of love and the beauty of the soul to bring balance, joy, and healing to everyone and everything on our planet. That would be a really wonderful new way to approach 2016. Ready?

Seek Balance: How might you manifest the feminine principle aspects of love more frequently in your life?

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Happy New Year!

red bridgeAnd may we take the giant steps toward reclaiming balance that our world so desperately needs!

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Peace on Earth

Christmas tree Miller

Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be.

With Love filling our hearts, connected all are we.

May we walk with each other in perfect harmony.

 

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.

With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;

To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

 

Based on a song by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

 Seek Balance: May you find peace in all you do!

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Shakespeare Nails It!

peach rock arch Shakespeare

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. – Shakespeare

 I love the idea of the whole world being related, being kin. I guess that’s because I do think we’re all related. Not genetically, although scientists have gotten pretty good at tracing our lineage back to species-specific beginnings. Interesting, sure, but in my book the primary way we’re all related is through our hearts and souls. That’s where we’re all connected. That’s where we’re all kin.

For humans, the physical arena of the masculine principle is where we learn many necessary lessons and make our way in life. The arena of love and mystery embraced by the feminine principle is about connection. And when both individualization and connection are in balance, the human experience can soar.

But there’s more to it than that. It turns out that Shakespeare was a pretty wise dude, whoever he really was, because time in nature is one of the easiest ways to connect with our hearts and souls, which then makes it easier to connect with everyone else. So he’s right, we can feel our kinship with everyone through nature. Even better, though, is that if we let ourselves, we will feel our kinship with everything through nature, too.

The truth is that we’re connected to the trees, the oceans, the ants, the rocks. Everything. And whether that connection is just based on the fact that the totality of the world has a physical component, or there’s a deeper reality to it, well, that’s up to each individual to decide. But no one can argue against the interconnectivity of our planet anymore, regardless of the level.

In this day and age, to reclaim balance it seems extremely important to acknowledge that nature is a major doorway through which connection can occur. And then, of course, we need to spend time with her and make sure she stays healthy. No planet, no life, no us.

Seek Balance: Do you feel connected to nature? How does that manifest for you?

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Thanksgiving Shapes Our World

harvest sunset Cicero

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. – Cicero

Thanksgiving always reminds me of the proverbial question regarding the glass being half full or half empty. I think the person that sees the glass as half full is likely to be an optimist who is probably grateful for that half glass of water (although I guess it could be beer, wine, or chocolate milk for that matter). The one who sees the glass as half empty will probably bemoan the missing liquid and worry how to get more. The truth is that a grateful heart sees abundance.

It’s interesting that Cicero (a Roman philosopher and orator who lived from 106 to 43 BC) thought gratitude so important he called it the parent of all other virtues. Not chief of all other virtues, not even king, but parent. It’s a subtle distinction, but I don’t think Cicero was one to be sloppy with his words. He used “parent” for a reason. Parents contribute to and shape their offspring. Children absolutely take on the tendencies of their parents. For better or worse, the lineage that springs from specific parents will bear their mark for eternity.

So it seems to me Cicero is suggesting that if we lead with gratitude, if we allow thankfulness to parent all other aspect of our lives, everything will take on an optimist tone. When this happens, we will see the world through the eyes of abundance and help to create that for all.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving Day in whatever manner is yours, please take a moment to ponder the possibility that if we make every day a time of thanksgiving, we will be stepping away from the constant patriarchal need for bigger, better, more. Instead, we will be creating the harmonizing reality of abundance all around us. And that will be a huge step toward reclaiming balance. Plus, we will always have at least a half glass full of something!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Seek Balance: Which is easier for you: to see the glass half full or half empty?

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Fear: The Great Paralyzer

heart fear Coelho

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.

– Paulo Coelho

It’s all about the fear. Fear impedes, separates, and will always make any situation worse. The fear of failure can birth failure. The fear of love is inclined to prevent love. And the fear of living will create death.

Fear can stop us in our tracks, warp our reality, and isolate us. It’s the great paralyzer. And paradoxically, it is also a great motivator for exactly the same reasons. If you want to stop anything, plant the seed of suffering around the goal and the goal will rarely be reached. Extremists know this well. So do politicians.

In patriarchal cultures, those unbalanced cultures all over our planet ruled solely by masculine principles, fear in some form or another has become a common tool. Whether killing people or merely assassinating an opponent’s character, fear works. That’s because fear separates us, making it easier to rule, govern, or control. Just re-read what Machiavelli wrote about fear in The Prince.

But there’s an even more powerful tool available to all of us and that’s love. It sits in the feminine principle and makes all things possible. Love builds bridges. Love embraces the greater good. Love unites and transforms. All we need is love, for everyone and everything, and we can reclaim the balance that will heal our world. Said simply, if we want to change the world, we need love. And the absence of fear.

Seek Balance: How often does fear stop you? Might a healthy does of love help?

 Thank you for stopping by. If you like what you read here, please consider following my Reclaiming Balance blog by clicking the + follow box at the bottom right of your screen. I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, rain or shine.   And please help spread the word by sharing this blog with your friends.

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