NORMA JEAN: Peace and Love

As the holidays grow close, my daily practice is to stay centered and calm as I walk to the backdrop of twinkling lights, Santas and Rudolphs, and commercials jumping at my psyche.Walking down the aisle in Walgreens, tweaked to the bone by the tinny sounds of every conceivable Christmas tune being piped out from the ornaments and cheesy nativity scenes on the shelves, I feel scrambled to the core. It's odd. The pressure to conjure up Christmas is still torturous on some levels yet IÕm actually beginning to have a pretty good time of it. I almost yelled out in a psychotic laughter, "Merry Christmas To All!" as I strolled the aisles of America. It's all so surreal.Gratitude with a capital G always works when confused. Look at your life and notice how comfortable it really is: hot baths, Star Bucks everywhere, cable TV, CDs, momÕs voice asking "Why arenÕt you married yet?", our beloved pets, the cordless phone, rosy dusks, corny office Christmas parties, etc. Is it so unbearable? As children, most of us are protected and spared the burdens of responsibility. We come to adulthood expecting it to be a breeze: graduation, apartment, car, career, apartment, love and marriage, all followed by an entitled comfortable retirement. As the dream eludes us, the anxiety mounts . . . and mounts. Faith and trust in a higher power are antidotes to our chagrin, though. Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwaanza/Solstice reminds us of divine plans at work in the universe that are simply larger than our "life story."The truth is, betrayal by a lover, illness, accident, even tragedy are lessons for our growth, not our oppression. Resistance to the flow of life's obstacles creates pain. Sometimes hunger for a love relationship is the exact discomfort that turns one's focus inward, leading to books or encounters that inspire--to renewed faith and wisdom. This time of year, for me, is to contemplate. We are in this together, the human and divine, matter and spirit. Use a little levity, and observe the true meaning of your life--that we are indeed spiritual beings created to become channels for the love that has created us, for the power we might refer to as God. Our pain and despair are contracted dramas compared to the larger order and design. It is the way, the manner, in which we respond to the many signposts along the road of life that determines whether our lives become an adventure or a frustration, a blessing or a burden. This holiday season, expect a miracle, they are everywhere!Happy Holidays to You,Norma Jean


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