Archive for the ‘philosophy’ Category

A Bright Spot in the Forest

March 4, 2011

A Bright Spot in the Forest by Cheryl McDonald

Do you ever have weeks where you think everything is going along great. You feel good, projects are going well, you have an awesome sense of joy and excitement about what is coming to fruition and then suddenly one morning you wake up in a cold sweat and wonder- “What will become of me? Where am I going? And How am I going to get there?”

That is what happened to me this morning. I was awake at 3:30 having a worry fit about what will happen in the future! So after some deep breathing, some writing in my journal and a prayer to bring me back to sanity, I fell back to sleep and when I awoke a couple of hours later, there were ideas and directions on what to do next right there in my mind where just a few hours ago had been chaos and fear. Wow! Sometimes I feel like that little yellow flower in the image at the top of the page- surrounded in the deep dark forest fighting for just a bit of light and fresh air.

Living the nontraditional life that I live, can be an interesting challenge. Learning not to listen to the fears of others is probably one of the biggest challenges. What I am working to accomplish is beyond reason sometimes, and yet deep down in my heart I know that I am on the right path and that this creative path that I am on is bringing much to this world that is needed.

Finding the path of our destiny is difficult for many to figure out. For me it has been easy to know but harder to follow and stay focused. Each day I find more and more to be grateful for and more that I can share. Each day I have all that I need and more. When you think of your version of security, can you really say that it will be there forever, no matter what? I know that the flow of life that I experience daily is as secure as it can get. No matter what, and that is what I know today.

Cheryl McDonald is and artist and philosopher who now lives in the desert in Southern California. To see her latest work please go to www.cherylmcdonaldcreative.com or www.passionsatplay.com

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Karma works both ways- good and bad

January 2, 2011
Angels Abound by Cheryl McDonald copyright 2010

Angels Abound!

It often seems that we talk about karma as if it is only about bad stuff- you know- Somebody does something mean to us or someone we know and we say- Well he’ll get his, because ‘what goes around comes around’.

Well it has occurred to me today that it also works on good things we do.Why just today? Who knows, however a light bulb went on and so here goes another blog.

As you know if you read my blog that this has been a very eventful year for me. Lot’s of major changes- Last January 1st I was living in an apartment on a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Today I am living in a beautiful home in the Mojave Desert. Last year I had 3 sisters, now I only have 2.  But what has not changed is that I am utterly and completely surrounded by love. Family, friends, I even find love arriving from perfect strangers on a daily basis.

I often get impatient with myself because I am not seeing enough progress forward, however when I look back over the path I have traveled I realize that I have had a very rich and beautiful life and that I have been able to share the gifts I have been given with many people in many places. I also see no reason why this will not continue and that is a very exciting prospect.

I have been thinking the last few days about the holidays, expectations, past experience, traditional and non-traditional, and all of this has led me to believe that there are planned blessings and then there are those that are completely spontaneous and can only be explained by angels and guides in my behalf. I think our traditions- the way we celebrate are more like planned blessings- we choose to create and bless ourselves and our families by including them in how we celebrate. Spontaneous blessings often not even acknowledged, because we do not realize their presence. We take them for granted.

For several days this week I was down taking care of a recovering from surgery daughter and 7 & 8 year old boys recovering from colds and on Christmas vacation with lot’s of rain. A bit challenging since i have never had boys and it has been awhile since I was around that much energy. This was certainly not the Christmas our family had planned. With all of the changes going on in all of our lives, we were all looking for a little bit of normal, traditional, relaxed holiday sharing. Money has been tight for all of us this year and we were doing few gifts, but lot’s of delicious foods from family traditions and just sharing the time together. So emergency surgery on Christmas day was not on the agenda and it really took the wind out of our more traditionally planned holiday.

This is where the spontaneous blessings started kicking in and the planned blessings took a pass. All of the plans we had made to share the holidays with friends and family dissolved into taking care of the family and making the best of the situation. Here is where some really amazing blessings arrived. For instance the chief of surgery being on call and doing my daughters surgery. A hospital full of amazing, caring, joyful individuals who were working on Christmas, but happy they could be there to take care of us. Or the next day when my son-in-law was driving through the rain on the freeway and was missed by a swerving car crossing several lanes out of control. There were so many blessings, I cannot tell them all. We also did manage to create a little bit of normal the day after Christmas which worked out just fine.

So now recovery is happening and life is going forward. I came home on Thursday with a very nasty cold. So once more the planned blessings- holiday parties and dinner with friends had to be canceled and New Year’s Eve I was feeling pretty down. But guess what- once again I am completely surrounded by love and spontaneous blessings abound! Like the cool gift from one sister of a remote for my camera- “so I would have something to play with while I was recovering” , or the huge bowl of fresh steaming bouillabaisse from neighbors across the street, or the man who was riding his bicycle down the street as my car came to a halt in the middle of the road. He stopped and helped me push it out of the street. And then last night as I was getting ready for bed, my throat so sore I could not speak- a phone call from my other sister and her friends who were helping her celebrate her birthday and they missed me. We had all been together last year for the occasion and this year I could not be. So they called and we all sang her happy birthday- even me in my very froggy voice. It was such a wonderful experience to be so loved.

So I guess what I know today is that the love we share with others weaves it’s way through life and comes right back and wraps itself right around us once again. And that is a joyous thing.

Happy New Year and may your year be filled with an abundance of spontaneous blessings and planned blessings as well!

Cheryl McDonald is an artist and photographer in Southern California at the base of the Eastern Sierras. To see more of her work please go to- www.passionsatplay.com and www.cherylmcdonald-art.com

Today is a Gift, Have a happy Day!

July 26, 2010
Linda Johnson GriffithAugust 8, 1955-July 8, 2010

Linda Johnson Griffith, August 8, 1955-July 8, 2010

It has been almost a month since my last post. Hard to believe life can change so much in just a few short days. My last post was a considerable contemplation on the subject of death and living in the present. It was quite a serendipitous post as it happens. On July 2nd my sister Linda who is 2 years younger than I, was hospitalized for severe kidney failure and liver damage. She survived  one week and passed on from this existence on July 8th, exactly one month before her 55th birthday. Another sister, Lisa and I were with her for that week and at her side as her soul left for it’s next big adventure.

Linda was one of those people that always had a positive thing to say and I will never forget the many mornings she would call me to wish me a happy day and to remind me how everyday was a gift. Life was not easy for Linda, but that did not stop her from giving whatever she could to make others lives a little better. She could always give a compliment or a word of encouragement to everyone she met, no matter who they were. I remember her in the hospital constantly finding something joyful to share with the nurses and doctors that came to tend to her. As she rode around in a wheelchair on the fourth of July, she wished everyone a happy Independence Day and wanted to hear all about the festivities and parades that others had attended.

So now my sister Linda is gone. She had been a birthday present on my 2nd birthday and we had spent birthdays almost every year together since then. Birthdays will never be the same, nor will any other day for that matter. I will miss her positive and joyful calls. Her sillyness and made-up words and stories and poetry. I will also miss her never ending belief in me as an artist and business woman. She believed in me, as I too believed in her. My lesson in this is truly to allow others into my world.  We are here for such a short time and there is no requirement that we have to do it all ourselves. We are all in this together and that is the way it is supposed to be.

So I guess this is one of those life changing experiences. What is in my future, I do not know yet. Life is unfolding this Summer and I will just have to participate and be present in each moment as much as I can. Every day is a gift and we must appreciate it enjoy it, and cherish it. Wasting it is not allowed. Because today will never come again.

Be at peace my dear sister