Tom and Ann 3

Love One Another

Love One Another. Three little words. So simple and yet so difficult to make work at times. When others say hurtful things and hold widely divergent views from our own, we struggle to hold this one precept, the single one that the teacher Jesus of Nazareth did his level best to impress upon us. Instead we wrap ourselves up in our flag or thump the tomes we think hold the ONLY truth, saying, “We know what’s best. We have the moral right of it all, you must do as we say or to hell with all of you.”

Well, beloveds, it does not work that way.

No, Love One Another is the simplest and the hardest, the all and the nothing, the Alpha and the Omega.

Oh, wait. What other “something” is so described? Yup, that’s right: “God.” So, have you “found God” yet? It’s very simple: Love One Another. You don’t have to be a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim or a Democrat or a Republican, White, Black, Green (card) or even Orange. You don’t have to be anything, really, other than These. Three. Words.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love does not belittle, swear at, or make another “wrong.” Instead it acknowledges another’s pain and tries to shine light on a better way. Love says “I see your humanity. I honor your humanity. I know you are my Brother or my Sister.”

Love says Share Fair. Everyone deserves their fair share, although “fair” is not necessarily “same” or even “equal” shares. We all come to this world with different talents and different things we need to learn. But for a small group of people to have the lion’s share, PLUS nearly everything else that rightfully belongs to everyone else, that is not fair.

“And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24

The Kingdom of God (or Heaven, as you prefer) is not a Where. It is an Energetic State. You cannot anchor yourself in this one manifestation of the physical world (wealth) and be able to enter into a state of exalted consciousness. Best to give away all that is more than you truly require to support the avatar you call “me,” make things right with your Brothers and Sisters, and then you will be able to “approach the altar.”

Kindness is key. Work together. Stay positive. Stay pleasant.

See yourselves as instruments in a gigantic orchestra, blending your voices together in a celestial symphony, sharing the solo lines, the supporting harmony, the counterpoint, the obbligato… think what beautiful music we can make together, no one instrument more important than another.

If you don’t believe, me, deprive that orchestra of one single type of instrument… take out the bass line, for instance. What happens? Yeah …. Yikes!

We ALL matter. We are ALL important, and therefore we must ALL work together for the good of ALL people, the whole Earth and everything in it.

Ask yourself: what can I do? What is my instrument? What is my part to play, and How do I play it even better? If we do that, together we will make beautiful music today and every day.

Alleluia

Ann Mavis

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A Murmuration of Starlings

A few days ago, I heard a bird singing in my spruce trees. I was able to see him silhouetted against the sky, but could not make out any details. Its song was familiar: a bubbling, burbling warble with no discernible beginning or ending. I had always thought this was the song of the starling, but I have been wrong in the past so I wondered if it were the Brewer’s blackbird we’d seen the day before at our feeder.  I went inside and pulled up the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website and their song center. Nope, it wasn’t a Brewer’s blackbird so I checked starling and sure enough, despite the fact it was singing all by itself, not in a flock as I usually see them, it was indeed a starling. I know they are considered “invaders” but I like them. (I prefer to think of them as immigrants and, let’s be honest with ourselves, we are primarily a nation of immigrants.) The starling’s song reminds me of a spring freshet, bringing new growth and green things again.

There was also a video of a huge flock of starlings engaged in aerial acrobatics of tremendous proportions, mesmerizing in its calligraphy, precision, and beauty. The website explained the birds’ behavior was most likely in response to the attack of a falcon, which the birds were evading with incredible synchronicity, as if of one mind. I was awestruck.

Unfortunately for the noble falcon, this supreme predator had been hijacked by the Nazis as their signature symbol along with another symbol, also hijacked from its original meaning, the swastika. The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being” and is a sacred symbol for a number of faiths.

All this brought me back to present day with an unpleasant jolt, to the mess we are currently dealing with in Washington. I won’t sugar coat it: I feel that our values as a country of caring, well-meaning people have been steamrollered by a select group of people who are acting in a greedy and hateful way, people who feel that because they have money, power and influence, they can lie without remorse and take take take endlessly…and the rest of the world be damned. Yes, I am disturbed by this. Yes, I feel like there isn’t much I alone can do to fix it. But then I realized the message my starling was trying to sing into my soul:

There is power in community. By working together, starlings take care of each other, evading a supremely competent predator, not only surviving, but thriving. So can we.

So, how do starlings do this? The Lab of O reports that starlings are able to engage in these incredible feats of acrobatic choreography because they communicate with their seven nearest neighbors, clearly and precisely, with nothing lost in the translation from one bird to the next (unlike the human game of telephone, where the message gets more and more garbled the further it goes) In other words, the starling telegraphs the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to its seven nearest neighbors, who in turn do the same and so on throughout the flock, within seconds letting the entire flock know exactly where the predator is, and how to evade it. They work together, seamlessly and in full accord, to save not only themselves but every one of their flock.

Let us as Americans do the same: let us all determine what the real truth is, communicate ONLY the truth to one another and work together for the benefit of all.

 

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/how-do-starling-flocks-create-those-mesmerizing-murmurations/

 

 

 

Apollo

Fear naught…

“Fear not, for I am with you.” Perhaps best written: Fear Naught (nothing!) for I AM with you. Instead, replace Beware with Be Aware. It makes all the difference.

Fear was the overriding issue Apollo was dealing with when I bought him. His fear was so strong that I could feel it like a surge of electricity through the seat of my pants while riding him. His fear became my fear, and we either had to stop what we were doing right away or we became a train wreck. Train wrecks are never pretty, whether it is trains, people or horses “jumping off the rails.” Fear is an unreasoning emotion, it’s a “fight or fight” survival thing, and to get anywhere, whether working with horse or human, you must address the fear first.

I learned pretty quickly that you cannot force 1000 pounds of reactive equine past his fear. You cannot cajole or bribe. You cannot reason! And certainly telling him he’s a giant jerk and to “man up” is about as effective as pissing in the wind.

None of these tactics work with humans either…

What does work, and it takes lots of patience and time, is consistent, firm, kind and loving leadership. You do not punish a horse for his fear, you do not avoid it, nor do you dwell on it. You see it, you acknowledge it, you address it and you take it slowly. You show him through your attitudes and actions that there is no reason to fear, that there are better ways to deal with scary stuff than anger or flight. You use love. You build a bond of trust through clear communication.

You do not build walls or laws to keep “The Others” out. You do not build armies or bigger and better bombs…

All this is harder when you too are afraid… but what is courage but the ability to feel your fear and do what needs to be done, anyways? I am not a particularly brave person, oh no! I can be a huge big coward, content to stay within what I know and am comfortable with, “the comfort zone” …but I also have a sense of duty, of responsibility toward those who depend on me, and I “ain’t no quitter.” So when Apollo’s fear problem became my problem, I had a couple train wrecks with him and then sought help. Mind you, I had been around horses and ridden my entire life and figured I knew what I was doing, pretty much. Well, as it turned out, no, not really.

Being called, pushed, or clobbered out of your comfort zone is a call to action from the All That Is to rise to the occasion, to learn and grow, to become more truly who you really are: and yes, it is scary as all get out. But once you accept the challenge and do the work, you will never want to go back to the way you were before.

Help arrived in the form of Stasia Newell, a gal only a little younger than myself, who also had been around horses her whole life, but who knew a good bit more about them than I. We had met at a competitive trail riding clinic a couple years earlier, when I had taken a young friend and two of my horses there so she could learn more about the sport. (I, of course, knew pretty much everything already, right?!) My mare, a gorgeous chestnut Morgan I called Lady Jane, was incapable of standing still while Stasia was talking to us, and I finally had to get off and hold her if I were going to hear a thing Stasia was saying. (you’d think this alone would have been enough to alert me to the fact I wasn’t as savvy about horses as I might have been! But no…) I was suitably impressed both with what Stasia had to say and her way of saying it, and I lingered after the class to ask questions.  I ended up asking her if she had heard of (a brand name) natural horsemanship, which I had been clubbed about the head with just the week before by someone I had just met: “It felt like some “born again” craziness!” I told her. Stasia laughed and replied: “Sure I know of it. I teach something similar.”

To say I felt like I had planted my hoof in my mouth would be an understatement. I had mine in my yap up to the hock.

Stasia then continued: “…and yes, some folks really come across like they need to convert you.” Which oddly made me feel better, and because of that, it was Stasia I called to help me with Apollo. ( you can too: find her at http://www.newellfarm.com/)

Like a good therapist, Stasia taught me how to “read” my horse better and techniques to communicate better. When I got frustrated with myself for being so slow to learn and making so bloody many mistakes, she reassured me. When I got angry and ready to quit and sell Apollo, she supported me. When I was so scared, yet sticking with it anyways, she assured me that “tincture of time” would take the fear away. And she was right.

Things improved little by little, year after year. After a few more train wrecks, we started having only minor crashes, then fender benders, then none. Apollo is still a very sensitive horse with more power than any horse has any business possessing, but he trusts me to take care of him and he trusts my judgement. Hence, when faced with a trail challenge, he’s asking me first: “Is this something we need to be afraid of? Should I take us out of here NOW?” And he believes me when I say, “no, kiddo, we’re good, we’re good.”

The difference is, fear has been replaced with awareness. Awareness of the right here, right now, and remaining alert and calm at all times. Awareness of my strengths and weaknesses and those of my horse, and willingness to learn whatever is necessary to take advantage of our strengths and to strengthen our weaknesses.  True to Stasia’s promise, “tincture of time” has taken away the fear, but only because I came to trust myself, my horse and the I AM.

Fear is no more than a survival mechanism, one that takes over when you feel threatened, unsafe and unsupported. Fear causes all sorts of unpleasant excitement internally and externally: anger and terror internally, wars and mass hysteria externally. Don’t give in to the fear! But getting to this point is not a “sit back and relax” sort of thing. It takes effort! Take right action: Pay attention, get the facts, learn all you can about what you can and cannot do, then act responsibly with confidence and trust in the All That Is that you need not fear ANYTHING.

Blessings on the Work.

 

 

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Early Downloads

My meaning comes from the manner in which they came into my awareness…

It occurs to me that I should preface these jottings with a short explanation. By “downloads” I do not refer to random items I have found floating around the internet, although I’m surely not the only one to voice these ideas. My meaning comes from the manner in which they came into my awareness: occasionally these little essays have been mulled over for months until they came together, but far, far more often the words flowed out of my pen as I suspended conscious thought after having formulated a question as if to a friend sitting nearby. I suppose this is much the same method Neale David Walsh used in his own “Conversations with God” books, but I happened across this “downloading” technique before finding his writings, so I cannot say that his experience influenced my own at all.

Also, I need to introduce Ann Mavis. That’s me, my very own name apart from my tribal identifications “Georgi” (by birth) or “Leonard” (by marriage.) I was pondering the power of names and symbols, and thinking: I, Ann Mavis, and out of the blue came the words: I A.M. Followed by goosebumps, which, frankly, always show up when something important has revealed itself. I AM. Methinks somehow by accessing this information, I am in touch with the All There Is, Higher Self, Universal Truth, Universe… God, if you will, as loaded a word as that (unfortunately) has become. My only hope is that you find something here that is useful to you, for then the words shall not have been written in vain.

Be kind: if you copy, please give proper credit: these writings may be accessed from the Unknown, but I, Ann Mavis (Georgi Leonard), am the scribe. All the photos and written material on these pages are protected under copyright and belong to me, excepting the quotes I have included that belong to others, which are so noted.

Organ Pipe Monument, Arizona 2004:
If you know Love, you know God
If you seek Beauty, you seek God
If you yearn for Justice, you yearn for God
If you strive to find Truth, you strive to find God
If you give of yourself for others’ sake, you have served God
For nothing goes unnoticed, no ill deed, no small thoughtfulness, that isn’t added to the whole. We are all a part of the whole. Anything that divides us, one from another, is not of God; we cannot remain divided against ourselves and expect to thrive. This, then, must be our overriding goal: to seek the ultimate good for all. Ann Mavis

On Religion and Compasses
Having used a number of different types and brands of compass, it seems to me that it matters very little what manner of compass you use. As long as the compass hasn’t been manhandled and it is utilized in a fashion that doesn’t overcome its proper function, the red needle will always point Magnetic North.
Along these same lines…
Having examined a number of the world’s religious traditions, it seems to me that it matters very little which spiritual tradition you follow. Provided the message has not been manhandled and it is utilized in a fashion that does not overcome its proper function, virtually any spiritual practice will point you toward Ultimate Truth.
With both compasses and religions, it remains up to you to find your own way. Each is, in the end, merely a tool to assist you on your own personal journey.
Ann Mavis

It is nothing short of a miracle how, when I accept the path that is the correct one for me, doors open, finances ease, my path is made smooth. Almost as though the universe is saying to me, yes, this is the right way, dear one. Take it! We are not meant to struggle. Struggle is only when we keep bashing ourselves against a sheer cliff, crying bitterly about it being in our way, when it is merely saying (if only we would listen) “this is not the way!” There is no reason why anyone should go without that which he or she needs to thrive. We merely need to ask the right questions, listen to what the universe is trying to tell us, and then take right action.
Ann Mavis

Forgiveness
Forgive yourself. Mistakes are as much a part of life as triumphs, indeed may be a bigger contributor to the masterpiece of life than you think.
Mistakes unrecognized, those truly are mistakes. When you admit to having been in error is the largest opportunity to grow better at Who You Truly Are. Bit by bit the layers of stone are chipped away to reveal the masterpiece that lays underneath
Ann Mavis

“Fear not, for I am with you.” Perhaps best written: Fear Naught (nothing!) for I AM with you. Instead, replace Beware with Be Aware. It makes all the difference.
Ann Mavis

Endless fretting is best described as “washing machine thoughts”: when the same dirty laundry gets churned around over and over, but the machine never drains the dirty water or spins out or adds a fresh rinse, so you get essentially nowhere. A dreadful state of affairs, in need of a qualified mechanic.
Ann Mavis

My father’s mother used to go after house flies with a flyswatter, exhibiting a murderous fervor that made a big impression on my 8 year old self. I wrote this bit of doggerel after witnessing a particularly impressive session:

God Bless the

Flies.

They Give My Nana

Exercise.

Ann Mavis