Friday, January 23, 2015

Religion

I was asked by a friend a while ago "Do you believe in the Church or not?"

I answered "Which Church?" 

(partly because I can be a brat)

So let me clarify.

I believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent.
I believe that the way to God is through the heart.
I believe that Angels appeared to Joseph Smith and that he did in fact translate the Book of Mormon... (using crystals btw)
I believe and KNOW that many people see Angels.
I believe and KNOW that many things are revealed and continue to be revealed.
I believe that Bhuddha reached enlightenment under a tree.
I believe that Ghandi spoke truth when he spoke of Hinduism.
I believe that Mother Theresa was a genuine Saint and prophetess.
I believe that a Jewish Man named Jesus was divine... I also believe what He said when He told me whatever HE can do-I can do (female or not).
I believe that Mohammed was visited by Heavenly Hosts.
I have read the Tao Te Ching and find every morsel within it true and blessed.
I believe that Krishna was in fact a prophet.
I believe in many Jewish Prophets... some of them named Jacob, Abraham etc.



Most importantly, I believe that if it's ALL in Vain... the purpose is to BE all that I AM and LIVE in the best way with the best that I have with the best knowledge and wisdom given at any given moment.

I believe that all of you are my brothers and sisters and we promised on the flip side that we would come to this little planet to serve, to enlighten, to encourage and to LIFT one another... not to argue who or what is RIGHT.

We all have TRUTH. As we SHARE it and LOVE one another... we grow, we evolve we ARE who we came here to be.

I've heard "A man cannot serve two masters...." I've contemplated and pondered that. Church is not the Master. My Creator is. I have always, and will always serve Creator. Which church I choose to serve isn't the master, just the bench I sit at while I do serve. 



The CHURCH we sit in as we connect to Heaven isn't as important as KNOWING that I AM THE KEY that unlocks the gates.

Spending time looking outside of MYSELF and the CHORD of LIGHT, the CONNECTION to my CREATOR in a building or organization is fine... but only as long as I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW that it is all an opportunity to REMEMBER that the HOLIEST of TEMPLES is ME. 
I FIND/REALIZE/EMBRACE God within. 

The Apple

Fictional Story:

There was a village amongst tall hills and lush meadows. The village was small and the neighbors were friendly and peaceful. The cottages resembled large mushrooms with thatched rooftops and white washed walls. Flower boxes adorned every window and cobblestone paths linked the many inhabitants of the society.


Almost as beautiful as the blue skies, cotton clouds, and many meadows were the apple orchards surrounding the village. Indeed, like ripples in water, ring after ring of orchards cradled the town of ALL Variety. In the springtime, the scent of blossoms and the glory of the trees filled the air with joy and bliss.

Something ODD the villagers did every fall time at harvest was to bunch the apple bounty in hundreds of barrels according to color and sweetness.  The town square was filled, table tops, steps and stoops and walkways were lined with the many barrels.

You see, APPLES have GREAT nutrition.
The Villagers PRIDED themselves on their HEALTH and Nutrition and Vigor and Vitality.
Study after study after study could validate their knowledge and vocations as Apple Experts to PROVE that APPLES are beneficial for physical health.



Once the apples were gathered, all the young children who were "of age"... the age of "AFTER being a young child but BEFORE being a teenager"  and given the choice of WHICH apple to choose to eat. Red, Gold, Green, Pink... etc. WHICH apple would they decide to nourish their little frame.
The idea, you see, was to encourage the children to CHOOSE Health and Wellness and set them upon the PATH of Health and Wellness for life.

Naturally, as every child chose, the parents of those children knodded along knowingly and proud to see which apple their child held.



The odd thing is... in the end; they all chose apples. Because that was presented. That was the option.
Apple... or Apple... or Be HUNGRY.

I can't help but wonder what they would choose if given barrel after barrel, tray after tray of Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Succulent roasts and sugared candies... carmels and chocolates, vegetable platters, baked squash, steamed broccoli.... would they have chosen the APPLE?

And, IF in fact they did CHOOSE the APPLE--- was it the MOST HEALTHY CHOICE for them? Every physical body has different chemistry. Some people assimilate nutrients differently- is an APPLE always the healthiest option?

Ahhhhh, if SO.. IF it IS the most healthy food to eat, and IF they were given a plethora of food choices and STILL grasped an apple in their tiny little hands... wouldn't THAT be the REAL decision- the REAL choice?

Not APPLE or be hungry... but HEALTHY or unhealthy.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Many times as parents we expose our children to OUR way of living. We condescendingly assume that OUR way is THE WAY for ALL to be and live.

When they choose our lifestyle or our religion... have they chosen?

Have they exercised their own freeagency?

I once heard an analogy of two leaders who wanted their followers to choose the "right" way. One leader said "I will make them choose the way- and none will be lost." The other leader said "They must have the FREEAGENCY to CHOOSE their own way... only then do they know their power. Only then do they TRULY know their Divinity."

Has the choice been Apple--- or be hungry?




Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Not Taken

We all have pivotal moments in our lives. Sometimes I can look back and KNOW that "this" or "that" was one of them. Sometimes we aren't even aware.

I remember being 18.

I had moved into the home of my friend's older sister. It was a time where I was trying to recuperate and find who I am.

I had recently gotten out the hospital for a suicide attempt and the world felt harsh and foggy.
Emotions and feelings were so vague and so foriegn to me. I had shut down my "feeling" center for so long- disconnected and unwanting to feel --- but every so often the "pressed down, stuffed, hidden, blocked" emotions would surface like a fire-lit arrow through the darkness and inevitably would pierce my heart.

Even pleasant emotions like connection and LOVE seemed to hurt because of the FEAR that accompanied them. 

One night I spent in the arms of a beautiful friend, a man-a boy. I don't remember much about the time spent with him but I remember FEELING. I remember FEELING love and longing and the desire to LOVE him. I remember feeling connected and desired back. It was in the middle of the night 1 or 2 am when we parted.

I lie in my bed, tortured by emotion. Unable to keep the jack-in-the-box covered. Pushing and stuffing and doing all I could to avoid the emotions unleashed, to lasso them, and coral them again. 

The room began to shrink and I felt smothered and unable to breathe. So I left.

I wandered aimlessly under street lights. I was wearing a long T-shirt. Barefoot.



I was wandered through streets and eventually found myself walking in the Ghost Town of a sleeping city among businesses, and the main town hub that during the day, was as alive as an Ant Farm, but barren now.

I was lost in my emotions and pain and fear. The gravel beneath my bare feet, the asphalt and changing street lights made no penetration into my swirling self-terror and loathing.


In this mist of misery--- I heard a vehicle stop aside me on the street. I was far enough away from the street that it wasn't right upon me, but not quite cradled against the sleeping store windows.

The night was dim, yellow tinted by corner street lamps but I could make out a man in his 40's who  opened the side door of his white truck, His face pleasant; average height, build, appearance.

"Hey, are you alright? Do you need a ride?" he asked.

I looked at him and a thousand moments occurred in a half second. I knew it wasn't safe to get into the truck. I also knew I didn't care. It seemed as though I could "see" two paths. Getting in the truck felt dark. Not getting in the truck meant more pain, more feeling, more risk.

"No." I answered and began to walk counter to his direction- meaning he would have to U-Turn.

"Get in." he said abruptly.
I continued to take steps, not running, just walking.

"No thanks." I answered.

"HEY!" he yelled the ANGER blasted from him and I could FEEL the fury like a splash of water.
I kept walking.

I thought he would follow me. I felt afraid.
But, also, I didn't run,

I listened and I didn't look back. I waited to hear the rumble of the engine or the wheels crunching near me, I listened in case he turned his truck around... but I didn't run.

In the end,,, I walked through the night. I walked through town and sat on the stone steps of my friend who had an apartment at BYU. I had walked across town. A few miles. I sat there in my t-shirt until I heard her awake in the morning moving around the living room.



I knocked on the door and she let me in.

I wonder what a different story I would be telling today had I gotten in the truck. If I would be here to tell it.

I look back at that pivotal moment and recognize that I chose to LIVE in that moment. To FEEL... even though I didn't want to feel anything. 
That with living, came emotions.


I know... it was just one of the nights, the moments, the times- that my Angels interceded. I know I survived only by the mercy of their protection.

It was part of the journey- not the end, not the solution, just a moment where I made a choice.







Saturday, January 10, 2015

Heber Valley, Utah

When I became a photographer, I had dreams of becoming a landscape photographer... traveling the world, sharing it's beauty through images.

I carried my camera in tow, I searched for every opportunity to capture the small treasures of visual gold everywhere I went. I saw uniqueness in every flower, sunrise, sunset, I looked to see things from different angles and perceptions.

A few years into my "budding passion" I went through a personal emotionally traumatic experience. I felt broken for a long time.
In fact, I remember having my camera with me and as I searched, NOTHING had beauty it seemed anymore. It felt hollow.
I could still see the sunrise, the sunset, the flower... but it had no magic anymore.

Still I plugged away, still I took photos.
It's been about 5 years now. I feel like the passion is coming back.