“Life is what you make of it. Always has been, always will be.”
Quote by Grandma Moses, a.k.a., Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961)
This Pause is third in a series of five essays about dreams, passion, vision, imagination, and calling. When I first sourced the inspiration to create this writing series, it was an intention-setting January morning in early 2020. Life in the realm of Carol Margaret Hohlfelder Roth flowed in its normally weird and wonderful rhythm. Feeling grateful and graced by life’s transformations, blessings, and gifts, I even gave thanks for the challenges of perspective, experience, and circumstance in the new year. I dreamed of the year ahead with joy and wonder. My “new year state of mind” is captured in G.K. Chesterton’s quote: “Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder—the highest form of thought.”
What are my dreams? How do dreams evolve for me? What are passions? How do they influence becoming? What am I called to create, learn, transform? How does imagination color my reality? What can I plant, grow, and harvest into inspired vision with intention for miraculous possibility?
The conception of this blog series excited me. I discovered five quotes that fit what I wanted to write, wrote an introduction, and literally soared through the first post (A Pause for Dreams) without a hitch. Then, (Imagine the music from the movie, JAWS.) Covid-19 emerged from the periphery where it lurked as a far-off mystery and crash landed front row center in the amphitheatre of our world. I managed to compose a rather forced essay, (Inspired Passion: Embracing Possibility), linking my originally chosen quote and subject matter to the newfound horrors of Coronavirus. In the first daze after our unwelcomed resident monster’s invasion, I suggested we embrace passion in response to our newly arrived, rapidly growing pandemic. A plan that emanated from shared passions to serve the highest good seemed essentially necessary to subdue the beast and reduce the rapid escalation of the virus. So many components to address: How to staff, supply, and create new safety protocols for hospitals and medical workers? How to test? How to bring compassionate and financial support to the vulnerable, broken, and sick? How to restore well-being to the foundational systems providing necessary resources, sustenance, service, provisions, and community ? How to bring abundance to our world. a world teetering with the uncertainty of hope’s location and where to search for healing direction? The Highest Good called for my passion to be compliant, to do as I was told. My passion for the greater good was a necessary measure, even if it were disappointing and inconvenient. We, all of us, were sharing this experience, and if we stayed home and did our part, we could heal, flatten the curve.
After our first “order”, (actually, an unenforceable request), to sequester/social distance/quarantine/stay-in place/safer at home /stay at home; after all the differing and ever-continuing “what to do and how to do it” conversations, I sat down at my computer numerous times to “finish what I started”. (In my childhood and adolescence, ‘Finish what you start!’ was my mother’s frequent admonition to me.) I felt compelled to write nothing. I felt totally blocked every time I approached the idea of crafting a blog. When I turned on my computer, it took so long to sort through e-mail or a newsflash, there was no time left to create anything but frustration. I didn’t want to write anything. The news was arbitrary, politics were divisive and ugly, truth was in short supply, every single word about what to do during a pandemic was controversial or unproven…How could I write about callings, vision, or imagination when they were growing shorter in supply every minute?
BLACK LIVES MATTER. “I CAN’T BREATHE”. HATE. INJUSTICE. WAR. TERRORISM. INHUMANITY. POVERTY. ABUSE. ASSAULT. VIOLENCE. FRAUD. DISHONESTY. CORRUPTION. SACRILEGE. ISOLATION. CONDEMNATION. DEPRESSION. LOSS…
So many horrendous spotlights upon which to focus! When all of the blatantly exposed injustices, widespread disrespect and unkindness are added to our socially-distanced living with COVID-19, we can no longer hide our witness to the horrific absence of a moral or ethical compass to lead our country. We purvey a fractured political system of divided lines without compromise, union, or compassion. We stand on fragile ground, waiting for an earthquake, a vaccine, an election, a resurrection. All the worry, significant, repeated tragedy, sadness, and horror… Can we transform our world through prayer and choosing to hope? How do we connect to what is good, loving, and possible? The only way I can imagine being able to participate in the healing of our world is to gather my prayers, hopes, and choices to connect to good, love, and possibility, put them all out there for everyone to see, and from that openness, create, live, and share a VISION.
VISION is the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. VISION is a mental image of what the future will or could be like. To create and live VISION into REALITY requires INTENTION. Intention is defined as an aim or a plan. In medicine, intention is the healing process of a wound.
In a wounded world, we intend healing, when we make a conscious choice to transform our experience with committed responsibility and shared contribution. Especially, in this unique, surreal year, 2020, William Johnsen’s quote, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”, is the imperative call to every healer.
I imagine a world where peace, love, and healing are intended by and for all creation. I vision a world where HOPE is available for all creation, where Joy, Abundance, Freedom, Peace, and Equality are blessings for ALL. I see a world where Grace is actualized; where acceptance, kindness, and justice color every connection, and no matter what, everyone knows LOVE and ENOUGHNESS. May we love others as we love ourselves and plug into the Oneness that we truly are when we embrace our best Self. May we look for the good in everything, and may we find that goodness from the inside out.
Visioning can be lengthy and wordy, and its wisdom is heartfelt. To vision is to fully lift my desires with reverence to God/Universe and carefully choose intentions that support my precious offering’s manifestation. I choose ways of being that support the vision created for each new moment, for my dreams and passions, and for our world. Choosing which supportive actions empower my vision, I choose how to navigate while holding my vision so that I will experience the desired lessons and blessings of my vision’s advent. With hope and trust, I release my vision with gratitude to God, and live my amen, a.k.a, “So it is.”
As I wrote earlier in this post, it can be imagined that the highest form of thought is “Gratitude equaling happiness doubled by wonder.” I don’t know how it works, (and it does)—Vision supported by intention gifted to the universe with gratitude gives the world hope and possibility. Thankfulness unveils miracles that heal and bless all creation as we expand our growing awareness toward inclusive visioning.
Conscious living is a creative process. Life is what we make of it, just like the prolific creator/recreator history knows as Grandma Moses believed. ( Her quote is found at the beginning of this essay). Richard Bach (the author I discussed in my pause, Inspired Passion: Embracing Possibility) suggested that to bring anything into your life, …”imagine that it’s already there.” Our world needs visionary artists, warriors, sages, pioneers, explorers, servants, engineers, entrepreneurs, inventers, pilgrims, and angels…. To vision is to fully lift hope into possibility, the unfolding of miraculous living.
August 2020 heralds the 10thanniversary of my stem cell transplant, the healing chapter in my book, HILDA (Health Imbalance Leukemia Diagnosis Adventure). The actual anniversary on August 23rd is a day I celebrate as a new beginning, a re-birthday. My early visioning ten years ago—as simple as it was—blessed me during my transplant when I couldn’t carry hope or muster the ability to pray. Visioning was released into the universe, and I was grateful I did whatever I could to trust that it would find its way to me and our world, eventually. Although I modified phrases from Julian of Norwich, Madeline L’Engle, and Sue Monk Kidd, I found my seven letter sentence easy to remember. It became the mantra my soul sang to me. Perhaps my mantra/vision for that time in my life is an appropriate common phrase to begin a shared visioning process for the healing of our world.
“It always gets better, no matter what.”
That statement can inspire outrage and judgment, but within its depths and dimensions, it inspires the paradoxical simplicity of three questions that bless navigation for hopeful living through vision: What can I learn? How can I love/heal? What is the gift/where is God in this experience?
“Hello, sun in my face.
Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”—Mary Oliver