Sacred Moments

We can only have moments of enlightenment because if we were ever to truly realize how sacred life is. Madeline Johnson

Why can we only achieve flashes of enlightenment? Split seconds of divine inspiration and realization?

Because if we were ever to actually realize how sacred life is, our minds would be blown away beyond our wildest imaginations. Life, us, we are just too magnificently divine.

Everything in life sacred. Everything is spiritual. Everything is astonishing.

It’s so easy to glaze over advice to be more grateful for everything in your life because, well, everyone is on their gratitude game now. The “be thankful” message is blasted all over social media and it’s so easy to swipe up with a nod in agreement and then in the same moment complain about how horrible people can be, or how your life is just not good right now. You are just soooooo busy with this and that.

That moment is when you miss the mark. A sin really.

How Not to Gloss Over the Wonders of Being Grateful

When you examine what the act of appreciation does for you and how it transforms your life, you will see it is like a strong dose of pure magic. To be grateful for what you do have in life, down to the very breath you are taking right now (yes, that is a gift), is to paint a new reality right before your eyes.

It is a reminder that everything is sacred.

To acknowledge the gift of a home cooked meal, will turn those scrambled eggs and toast into a feast of nourishment that warms your heart.

To recognize a text from a friend who is just checking in, can take a lonely and “busy” moment to a new level of love and understanding.

To welcome the opportunity to help a family member in need of advice will  elevate your consciousness from “what an interruption” to a much more meaningful moment in your life.

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According to UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center, regularly expressing gratitude (the quality of being thankful and readiness to show appreciation) literally changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps the gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier.

When you really think about it, the mere moment of appreciation is an act of pure alchemy. Golden.

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Featured Artist

@ruby_marylennox

 

Living in the Future

I constantly catch my mind planning out my future. I might be thinking about where to have dinner (the very near future), dreaming of my next home (the few years away future), deciding on my next travel adventure (the hopefully this year future), or what type of shoes I want to buy next (the sometime this month future).

In my mind, I am living in the future. Creating my next steps along the way. My brain just constantly planning, scheming, dreaming and thinking about what lies ahead.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”  – Henry David Thoreau

 

 

 

Featured Artist

Japan Hokkaido

Graphic Designer / Contemporary Artist / Surrealism Art / Collage Artist /

The Absurdity Of It All

Life is simply absurd.

Our bad choices make great stories.

Sometimes we don’t look like a 300 likes kind of person.

7.5 billion people on the planet and I have two good friends.

When nothing goes right, we should just go to sleep.

Sometimes all you need is a billion dollars.

We worry because we feel unprepared to face the future.

It starts with tuning in. The trick is first realizing what is happening. Awareness is a powerful tool that many times we forget we have. We make our way through our day reacting to whatever is put in front of us, without realizing we actually have the power to choose our perspective and our thoughts in any situation.

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Featured Artist

@rouge_de_honte/

 

Time To Just Be

Time out to just rest the body and mind. Not think. No more solving problems. Simply letting the mind wander. Wonder. Play with serenity. Yes I am baking a serene moment. Yes, you can make it too. No recipe needed. Just do nothing.

No where to go. Nothing to do. Perfectly at peace. Here and now.

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Do nothing but breathe. Maybe walk. Float around. How often do we get to do that? Not much. Not enough.

This is what was missing from my life.

I took the time today. I grabbed it. Or maybe it seduced me. Then, time loved me back.

The time was soft, slow, sweet. The time enveloped me. Everything so warm and serene.

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Steal the time if you must. Tell others you will be gone for a bit. Hide. Go on a walk about. Make the precious time to just be.

 

Featured Art

@Nextlevelfarside

The Freedom of Discipline

Once this day is gone, once the sun has set, the day will be a memory. Let it be a good one.  By Madeline Johnson

Study and seek as I may, the only thing I know for certain is that I will never get this day back again. Once this day is gone, once the sun has set, the day will be a memory. Let it be a good one.

Am I doing my best in this moment right now. Am I paying attention to my life? Am I listening and learning? Are my actions reflecting my pure and bright mind?

You often hear people say you have to get out of your own way to improve. They’ll remind you to remove yourself from the problem. Or perhaps they will recommend you simply let it go. Surrender.

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The battle continues when you struggle  to hold on to that which is no longer here – what is gone – what no longer serves you. Let it go. And victory is had when you give up the fight and move forward with faith into the future. This tug of war is the essence of our challenge and the secret to our lives.

Don’t kid yourself and don’t listen to others that tell you to simply meditate. It really is a struggle to release yourself from the ever-controlling, powerful ego. The part of you that wants to control everything.  It is frustrating to remove the old speak from your mind.  It’s hard to do, but it is possible. With enough discipline and self-encouragement, you can steady yourself on the right path with the right thinking.

This spiritual journey is not all incense, crystals and dream catchers.

The path is not for the faint of heart.

Strong discipline is required.  It begins freeing and disciplining your mind.

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Featured Art

@psychedgallery on Instagram

My, Our Messiest Bests

I can’t know something to be true and do another. I have a hard time with knowing the morally right thing to do and then taking a short cut. Madeline Johnson

Like you, I don’t have it in me to fake my way through life.  I am going to be myself and try to improve each day, exposing the messiest parts of cleaning up my act.

I don’t care about being judged. I never did and never will care what anyone else thinks.

What concerns me most is not being right in my own heart. For me, there is nothing worse than lying to yourself, than letting yourself down, than not being able to look yourself in the mirror.

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I can’t know something to be true and do another. I have a very hard time with knowing the morally right thing to do and then taking a short cut – in the name of self- preservation.

This is one of the real struggles for me. To contemplate what the best version of myself would be – to actually envision how she thinks, speaks and behaves – and than doing something else out of fear, doubt and selfishness.

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Featured Artist

Saido_Doll on Instagram

You Are Magic

We can produce quality art and work in small batches and make an astonishing impact on the world.  Madeline Johnson

I want to believe that it is my responsibility to dream and imagine beautiful and creative stories that morph into reality – stories that enhance our knowledge, expand our consciousness and lift our lives.

For a story doesn’t live until it is imagined in our minds.

Spend your time imagining. There is the magic of which we possess.

It is our imagination that fuels our thoughts and our thoughts become our dreams and our dreams become our destinations.

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To be of small but important significance daily.

I argue that we don’t have to strive to reach epic levels of creative recognition like Leonardo and Wolfgang Amadeus. We can produce quality art and work in small batches and make an astonishing impact on the world.

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 Featured Artist

@bal.zar on Instagram

Grand Thoughts of Peace & Love

“What if this hardship I think I have, is really an honor?”  Could it be that God believes I am so strong that I can can manage it all with Grace & Gratitude? 

When we take a moment to glimpse from a bird’s eye view of our lives, that is, to see it our lives through God’s Grand Plan, we see the bigger picture and we realize that we are here for just a short time. It is with this view that we can begin to see the things that really matter and our unique place in the world.

We take notice of how we connect to everyone and everything and how we are to love and respect all of life, including those we dislike.  Including those that turn against us and those that cause us harm. These people are our most important teachers.

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There is something incredibly freeing when we see that our purpose is to forgive everyone and everything that we believe that has hurt us. To forgive those who don’t know any better, including those who may or may not be on a spiritual path, those who are clinging to a smaller sense of life and those who are white knuckling their way in fear through their short journey here on planet earth.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you” (John 14:27)

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Honoring it all

There is something so uplifting and empowering about believing you can honor your life with courage instead of going about your days begrudgingly. Instead of complaining and moaning about your trials and tribulations. Like I do. Like we all do.  Let’s stop this and view life another way.

I awoke this morning with a revelation. “What if this hardship I think I have, this problem, this pain, is really an honor?”  Could it be that God believes I am so strong that I can can manage it all with Grace and Gratitude?

A new perspective when life seems so hard.

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Featured Art

Early Worm on Instagram

 

We Are Never Alone, We Are Always Loved

I am not alone. God is in me and with me, wherever I go. By Madeline Johnson

Monday morning epiphany. An epiphany – an experience of a sudden and striking realization.

I am not alone. God is in me and with me, wherever I go.

He is all around me in everything.

I give him my life today.  I ask him to manage all of my problems. He will help me to unravel my mistakes and bring peace and serenity to my heart and mind.

He will do all the heavy lifting today.

This, as I  free up my mind and my time to work on the important, with right minded intent and action.

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I am radiating the regenerative life force energy –

that makes me irresistible  to love in all forms.

Love is rising up to greet me.

 

Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a girl down or polishes her up, depends on the stuff she is made of.

Josh Billings

 

Featured Artist

Norman Duenas

 

Accepting & Forgiving On The Spiritual Path

Expanding your awareness and raising your consciousness, begins with acceptance and forgiveness. Madeline Johnson

Expanding your awareness and raising your consciousness, begins with acceptance and forgiveness.

As long as we continue holding onto grudges in our lives, we stay trapped in feeling disempowered and negative, which not only keeps us playing small, it is an extremely toxic way to live.

Loving relationships are important to our health. The psycho neuro immune response is essential for us to be healthy.  Doctors know that a fight with your spouse can raise your inflammatory cytokines for up to three days.  Cytokines are regulators of host responses to infection, immune responses, inflammation, and trauma. Some cytokines act to make disease worse (pro-inflammatory cytokines), whereas others serve to reduce inflammation and promote healing (anti-inflammatory cytokines).

Forgiving and accepting are empowering emotions. Unless you are going to hole yourself up in your house or apartment for the rest of your life, isolating yourself from all of the people out there you might encounter, two of the most important things you can learn to do is forgive and accept.

Of course forgiving is easy, until it’s time to forgive.  Sometimes it is just really hard to let go and forgive, so we get stuck. When you are not ready to forgive, but you know you should, ask your higher power to do it for you. Ask God, ask the universe, ask your creator. Ask whatever divine source you connect with to forgive on your behalf.

Dear God,

Here’s the wheel, there’s too much turbulence right now. Take over and forgive this person for me.

This act stops you from shaming and guilting yourself for not forgiving and detaches you from the situation, allowing you room to let go.

Letting go can feel like a resurrection of sorts, like you are reborn.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or excusing the harm done to you or making up with the person who caused the harm. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.

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Featured Artist

Anna Liffey on Instagram