This week I saw the movie 2 Days in the Valley, which I talked about in Rants and Raves.

It got me thinking about the story-telling technique it used that I could write about for On Writing. The movie showed several disparate groups of people, revealed the connections between them as they crossed paths and then brought them together for all kinds of exciting consequences.

That led me to think about how combining people from various parts of our social networks opens us to new things. Everyone can grow from the experience. I wrote about that in On Business.

Taking the concept another step further, On the Path, I see that when there’s a confluence of energies, we end up with a lot more than what we bargained for. Fusing these energies, we expand our collective vision.  Viewing situations from varied angles, different perspectives, separate personalities, new clarity can be reached.  Illuminating more understanding and creating more refractions to see life in a new light.

It’s fusion!  It’s kismet!  It’s magic!  Brilliant discoveries come from seeing the connections and putting our collective heads together.  Great things happen when people’s energies are fused.

Look at all the refractions from one simple, every-day Hollywood movie from1996 in plain English!  My seemingly unrelated Blogs have a common thread running through them this week.

There are new ways to see life everywhere, all around us, everyday, ready to reveal themselves to us.  All we have to do is look.

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We come from the stars. According to Carl Sagan and Professor Brian Cox, we are made of the same stuff as stars. The identical elements that make up our world, make up the stars. It’s just a matter of differing proportions. Evidently, we were formed from a dying star.

This is exciting information. Does it mean we have the capacity to shine and reflect light? What if we were all glowing inside? Take a look at people like The Dalai Lama. Certainly he is shining. There are others, too, in your own town, who are not famous, but have a glow, nonetheless.

Perhaps this is what miracles are. Small released bits of star stuff.

Kind of makes you think twice. I am a star. We are all stars. Shining in the firmament. How cool is that.

I wanted to tell my readers about the changes here at The Positive Slant.  On the surface, here, there aren’t many. I will continue to post as usual on spiritual refractions once or twice a week, as I have.

You may have noticed the new name, The Positive Slant On the Path.  For the last few months, I have been slipping in posts on the spiritual refractions in writing.  I am now positing those essays on a  new Blog called, The Positive Slant On Writing, Observations on the Spiritual Refractions in Every Day Writing.  This fuses my two passions of personal/spiritual growth and writing.  It is by and large for writers, or aspiring writers. I will be posting once or twice a week to this Blog.

From now on, at The Positive Slant On the Path, posts will be strictly spiritual refractions. Over the years, I have strayed from time-to-time from this course to other areas. In order to keep this Blog focused,  I’ve created a few more Blogs for my other interests.

In association with my new website, The Word Tech, I offer a series of Blogs From the Files. Over the years, as a writer, I have collected a lot of material.  I will be posting regular rewrites of some of this material in From the Files – Rants and Raves.  Long time readers of this Blog will recall my frequent forays into movie reviews.  There are plenty more where that came from!  New reviews of films, TV series, books and music will appear in the this Blog every week, along with the occasional rant on life, politics and the earth.

For lighter fare, you might try From the Files – Scenes and Musings.  These are light-hearted essays on a wide variety of topics.  I plan, soon, to add From the Files – The Word Tech’s Tool Box Magazine.  This will feature articles and essays on more practical aspects of life, like organization, how-to articles and tips. Keep an eye out for From the Files – Fiction.  A collection of short stories on music and magic. Sample them all, pick your favorites and sign up or check back often.  New posts and expanded categories will be added regularly. So don’t miss a thing!

Along with my new Word Tech persona, I have a Blog called The Positive Slant On Business. It will bring Observations on the Ways of Doing Business with more Soul and Heart.  I plan to have longer posts, once a month. You can check out The Word Tech website.

My other website, UpWrite Words, (currently under construction) will be a clearinghouse for ever-changing spiritual resources that you might be interested in. It will also feature news of UpWrite Words publications, including my novel, The Easy Road, for sale on the site shortly. This story, set in the music business, is about a 30-something accountant who struggles with his passion for music and the life he has built for himself.  New additions will be updated frequently.  I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

In the meantime, I hope you will continue to enjoy reading my posts On the Path and find yourself uplifted from the positive slant.  My next post will be back on track!

On this path, as you relinquish your judgements and realize that things are not inherently right or wrong, it makes it harder to choose.  It appears that we, as a species, or at least a country, tend to be lazy about making choices.  We all face so many in a day!  There’s this beautiful thing about life, though: You can make a choice not to choose and life will still go on.  If you don’t make a choice, one will be made for you.

But I want to be at Cause in my life, I want to co-create and in order to do that, I have to make choices.  But, how do I know what to do?  It’s hard to know exactly what’s best for me in all situations. What is right? The answer to whether something is “right” or “wrong” lies within.  Not in what happens, but in how I feel about it.

It must come down to the fact that it doesn’t really matter what I choose.  Any choice is fine.  If it turns out not to be for my best good (and I will know that by the way I feel) I can just make another choice.

Maybe it’s just that simple.

I woke up the other morning thinking these two thoughts.  For me, this is another one of those elegant, but unlikely combinations.

Many times when we think of Perseverance, images are conjured of gritted teeth and clinched fists.  Stiff backs of determination to pursue, no matter what the weather.

Grace, on the other hand, evokes the feeling of moving easily.  It has a reflective quality.  A deep down assurance of Purpose.  Grace makes one think of charm and balance.  It’s got forgiveness all over it.  Seems so gentile next to Perseverance.  But the truth is, Grace may move delicately, but it continues to move.

Grace, I believe, is also the stuff that Miracles are made of.  Grace from the light of God fills Miracles and makes them shine brightly. Grace keeps the dazzling light going.

What if we use Grace with Perseverance?  When we add them together, we have far more powerful fuel.  With Grace by our side, we can keep going with ease, we can flow along willingly and with agility.  And a song in our hearts.

Julia Cameron’s book, “Finding Water” gives us a powerful but softer way to look at Perseverance.  She shows us that it can be a very spiritual tool in living our lives well and doing what we choose to do. With these two features working hand-in-hand, we can keep moving with ease and willingness.

This title comes from an America song.

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.  The weather had taken a turn for the better and I wondered if that was the reason. Disappointed that my mood could so easily be swayed by the shifting winds of weather, I decided to take a closer look at it.

Taking quiet time listen to yourself is a very important thing to do.  Really listening to what you’re telling yourself can offer great benefits.  Even if that can only be on a weekend morning, while commuting or during nap time.

What I discovered surprised me.  True enough, I had felt better with the warming temps.  But when winter raised its ugly head again, I still had a positive attitude.  There were a few other things that may have contributed to the lift – an old friend resurfacing, a new vision and interesting projects.

When I looked deeper (not content with all those outside reasons), I found that I’ve been paying more attention to the present moment.  Usually, my thoughts tend to stray.  Especially in winter. What will the weather be like tomorrow?  Will things come together as I want them to?  Did I handle that right?  When I just keep my focus in the moment, on today, amazing things happen.

I am enjoying what I’m doing a whole lot more.  I’m not so stressed about what I didn’t do because I’m not thinking about the results tomorrow.  I’m not concerned about what I did or didn’t do, because I know I was focused on the moment and did what I needed to do.  That’s the end of that.

In the moment, all is well.  It’s either snowing or it isn’t. Tomorrow will be what it is. Whatever calamity I might have imagined in the future evaporates like the illusion it is, in the face of Today.  What I did yesterday just doesn’t matter.  I can be totally involved with nothing more than the moment I’m in.

 

I am still rather amazed at my ability to flip a switch and be bathed in light. Light and light bulbs are truly wondrous inventions.  Power is such an important commodity in our world.

The really powerful Light, however, comes from within.  It is the Light which illuminates truth.  It is most helpful to see the stack of books on the floor so you don’t trip over them, but how much more can you gain from seeing that you’re not feeling appreciated! With that information you can be aware of the ways that you’re not appreciating yourself.  There are simple things you can do to appreciate yourself more like acknowledging yourself, or buying yourself a gift for a job well done.  And before you know it your steps are a little lighter and maybe more sure. You might just be able step over those books without flipping a switch.

The insights we receive from shining our own light inside our heads can change our lives completely.  The effects of it can be profound.  Far more than shedding light in a dark room.  In A Course in Miracles they call this Light a Miracle. Seeing what’s really going on in your head is the beginning of forgiveness.  Leading to nothing less than salvation.

Professor Cox would tell you that the Earth could not sustain life without the light of the sun. Personally, I would be deeply depressed if I lived in one of those countries where it’s dark most of the day.  We thrive on sunlight.  But we blossom by the Light of our inner knowing.

This came from A Course in Miracles lessons.  It was speaking about how we are “at one” with the creative process and therefore have limitless “power and peace.”

On the surface they appear very different.  Power is strong and forward moving.  Maybe even a tad aggressive.  Whereas Peace is quiet and to itself. Seems an odd pairing.

When you think about it, though, what else do you need?

If you have Power (especially of the creation sort, but the energy as well) you can manifest whatever you need.  All that Power can make you feel empty inside. Sure, I’ve got all this, but what does it really do for me?  Where is the meaning?

Peace keeps you grounded and happy.  With the addition of Peace, simple, unassuming Peace, you are able to see the true effects of your Power.  Experience it on a deeper level, you can nod your head and say, “Ahh, I see now.”  How well they work together!  And how truly powerful you can be with both.

In Chellie Campbell’s wonderful book, The Wealthy Spirit, she talks about how with all our mod cons (modern conveniences) we’ve lost the art of doing nothing.  After spending 2 days without power, I’ll take the mod cons, thank you.

The experience of being without power reminded me how blessed we are to expect to wake up warm and able to choose from a wide variety of foods.  What magic it truly is to flip a switch and have light, turn a knob and have water.  With a little patience, it will get hot, too.  Put pressure on a handle and whisk away any offending odors.  Push a button, click a mouse and have instant access to almost limitless entertainment and information. The immediate communication of email is the stuff of science fiction.  Mod cons do so much for our lives!  We felt lucky to have mod con cell phones when the land lines were down, plastic containers to collect ice, and an efficient refrigerator.

The mod cons are so integrated into our lives we barely take notice of how amazing they are, until they’re absent.  In the midst of it, when I knew full well we had no power, every room I walked into, I’d try to turn on the light.  Without thinking we pass by  these marvels day in and day out.

Perhaps we find it hard to do nothing because it’s so easy to do something. We’re not used to having to find something to do. The sun rises, the Internet is up. Television.  Pandora.  Phone. In my house, it’s movies, but the effects are the same.  We have all become just a little too addicted to these constant companions.  Life seems empty and boring without them.

During the outtage the neighbors gathered at the house with the generator.  There was much flurry around the television, charging cell phone batteries and checking emails.  It had only been 12 hours!

I missed my favorite TV shows, of course, but I also found myself longing for even a glimpse of another series we’ve been watching.  Sapphire and Steel.  It’s very 60’s stylish sci-fi series, I find hard to follow and left with nightmarish images.  But even that I would prefer to the same four walls.

Another neighbor, without cell phone or computer on a normal day, admitted how much she missed her TV.  And that she and her boyfriend talked more than they usually did.

Our mod cons are so important to our lives and how we live them.  But maybe they do prevent us from having to face our fellow beings on a more intimate and deep level.  It’s certainly possible.  It could be though, that we just forgot how to make idle conversation or sit quietly with another person.

I’d have to say it would take more than 2 days for me to detox.  But I intend to be better prepared in the future. There are practical matters I can take into consideration for staying warm and eating.  I wonder if I can better handle the denial of my plug-ins?

I’ll start by remembering how truly miraculous our mod cons.  And try not to take them so much for granted. And I will watch my dependencies and see where I can reduce.  Maybe start small and try music from time to time instead of television and see where it leads.

They always tell us to write what we know.  This doesn’t mean you have to know everything about something to write about it.  You can always find out.  But the truth is, the more you know, the better the piece.

Good writing requires that you put some of yourself into it.  The more integrated the writing is with who you are, the more a real person can shine through. When you write from what you have, what you’ve understood and internalized, the more wholeness, integrity show.  It’s always more believable when it’s coming from a place of knowing.  From a person you can relate to, or find common ground with.

Using what you have  – whether that’s writing, expressing love or tapping into supplies – you are sending messages of abundance to the universe.  You are saying that you are not afraid of running out of ideas, love, or pens.  Abundance principles teach that this simple act of using, multiplies.  The more you think you have, the more you have.  Ideas, in particular, are of a group which increase as you use them.  Muscles – body and mind – increase with use.

Objects which stay hidden, on the other hand, and are not used, create a drain. That creates a clog of some sort. In your mind or your life.  Things that are not used, not only take up physical space, but also psychic space.

If we are stingy with ourselves, we will be stingy with our writing.  Use what you have.  Give stuff, writing, love, time, ideas and whatever you can freely, and watch it increase.

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