For the Beauty of the Earth

One of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning is listening to Music and the Spoken Word with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (lovingly referred to by me and others as the MoTabs).  Sometimes I have a hard time just listening without actually watching it too.  Why?  Well… not only do I know several members of the choir and I like to look for them…. but quite often during a song they show some of the most beautiful cinematography of nature!

The pictures they capture are stunning!  I’m left in wonder and awe of the beauty of this Earth.  It makes me want to travel and see these places.  So many of them are perhaps even here in our beautiful mountain home of Utah, but often they are of other places I have never been.  Nature is stunning to me.  When you take the time to really look at what was created by our Heavenly Father, I’m astounded.  Including the life of all things.

It makes me wonder what the beauty of things in the Celestial world must be like!  In my faith, we believe that in the life following this (the Spirit World), there will be 3 Degrees of Glory (Telestial, Terrestrial, Celestial)  in which we may live based on our righteous living here on this Earth.  (See Doctrine and Covenants 76: 50-113).  While I believe that our surroundings will be beautiful in ALL of those degrees, I feel that each degree will be much more beautiful than the next.

We believe that the state we are living in here on this Earth now is the Telestial state of Glory.  If things are so stunningly beautiful in this state as we see them now, can you even imagine how beautiful things must be in the Celestial state?  It’s almost unfathomable to me!  What a wonderful experience to look forward to!

Today’s broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word was wonderful.  Beautiful songs and a wonderful message about loving and supporting those we love.  I was struck in particular by one song they sang today.  It’s a song I’m familiar with because I love musical theater.  But, as I listened to the words as they sang them today, it made me think of it in a different way.  Since my mind was on the beauty of the cinematography and how much more beautiful nature will be in the after life, I thought how the words to this song can be applied to us.

The song is “Come To My Garden” from The Secret Garden.  The song is sung by Lily, the mother of Collin, who passed away at his birth. Without going into more explanation of the story (perhaps you’ve read the book or seen the musical), let me just say that I want you to read the lyrics to the song in this way:   Read the words as though the words Lily sings are being sung by your Heavenly Father to you, and the words Collin sings are you singing to your Heavenly Father.

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

LILY: (Heavenly Father)
Come to my garden, 
Nestled in the hills. 
There I’ll keep you safe beside me. 
Come to my garden. 
Rest there in my arms. 
There I’ll see you 
Safely grown and on your way. 
Stay there in the garden, 
Where love grows free and wild. 
Come to my garden. 
Come, sweet child. 

COLIN: (You)
Lift me up and lead me to the garden, 
Where life begins anew. 
Where I’ll find you, 
And I’ll find you love me too. 

LILY: (Heavenly Father)
Lift me up and lead me to the garden Come to my garden, 
Where life begins anew Rest there in my arms. 
Where I’ll tell you, There I’ll 
where I’ll show you See you safely grown 
A new life, I will live for you. And on your way. 
I shall see you in the garden, I shall see you in my garden, 
Where spring will come and stay. Where love grows free and wild. 
Lift me up and lead me to the garden. Come to my garden, 
Come, sweet day! Come, sweet day!

We all want to return to our Heavenly Father and feel his love and comfort.  I know we will be surrounded by gardens there…. gardens of the like we have never before seen!  Even as beautiful as this world is today, we will be amazed!  I look forward to that day!  I also feel that by surrounding ourselves with beautiful nature today, we can feel his presence  and peace there too.  What a blessing it is to tune into nature and His love.

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

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Respecting All of Gods Creatures–Including Ourselves!

I don’t normally do this…. but the following is the content of a newsletter I got today from Access Abundance by Teresa Romain.  It hit me pretty profoundly and I wanted to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it!
I’m in MN right now for meeting and workshops – which have kept me busy (in terms of preparation) all day today.
 
That’s why this letter is going to be one of the shortest I’ve written… at least one of the fastest.   It’s not even going to be a formal newsletter in the traditional sense.
 
Rather, this week I simply want to share an experience I had this week… and from it ask you a question or two for you to reflect upon.   And I’m going to jump right in…
 
It happened Monday.  All weekend I had been out of sorts – I was still getting over a cold and feeling unusually fatigued.    Monday I woke up feeling better physically – but emotionally I felt completely overwhelmed, discouraged, angry at myself and all sorts of things that were getting bottled up inside of me.
 
And I knew I had to express them and get them out.  I pulled out my journal.. but quickly realized this was a day I needed to go on one of my “talk with God walks”.  That means I go for a long walk down our back road talking, ranting, questioning, praying, venting, crying or whatever else feels right to God.  And yes – I do it OUT LOUD!  🙂
 
And I was really struggling through some things on this walk… lots of questions, not many answers and really feeling down about things and upset with myself (and even, I think, God.)  Quite frankly, I was really being hard on myself – and expecting God to be as well.  (Thank God He/She isn’t!)
 
That’s when – through the tears of my venting – I saw them.  Two of my beloved sandhill cranes in the field next to the road – standing quite close to me.   It’s a testament to their calm and tranquility that I didn’t scare them off with all my ranting and crying.  🙂
 
And I just stared at them – awestruck and filled with wonder.  I can’t explain it – but I love cranes.   I watched this pair do some of their funky “dances” and watched them walk placidly through the field.  I heard them “talking” to each other – sometimes in “bird whispers”.  
 
And in that moment… all that had been weighing on me was gone as I was fully present to and transfixed by these beautiful birds.
 
And then I started talking to God again… and the  question that came out of my mouth was profound and healing and challenging (at least for me).
 
Here’s the gist of it….
 
What would happen if I responded to MYSELF the same way I respond to the cranes and so much of the beauty in nature? What if I looked at myself with the same reverence and wonder, curiosity and fascination with which I have been watching these cranes?  
 
The cranes aren’t DOING anything.  They don’t set goals to achieve nor do they feel like failures if they don’t achieve them.  They don’t judge themselves or compare themselves.  They just BE… walking in fields, standing tall, flying overhead, sitting on a nest… and I am absolutely fascinated by them, love them, value them and see their beauty and worth. I do that with so much of creation… in fact, pretty much all of it – except for ME!
 
What if I began seeing myself the same way?  What if I saw and appreciated my beauty for simply BEING me? 
 
And then I started crying again (a healing cry this time) because I realized that the way I look at and watch and love cranes – the way they fascinate me – is a small taste of how God – The Divine who created me – sees and feels about me. 
 
In that moment, as I let that in… I felt my mind and body relax and my heart open again.  And the “stresses” that had been overwhelming me began to melt away.   And life felt abundant and blessed again… I felt abundant and blessed again.   
 
Instead of “not enoughing” myself, through my beloved cranes – I began to see myself with new eyes.   And that hasn’t worn off… and when I find myself starting to get down on myself, not enough or judge myself, I remember what I felt as I was watching those cranes last Monday.  Completely transfixed, awed, amazed and appreciative.  And that gives me ACCESS to being able to look at myself – no matter what’s going on – with that same love and respect. 
 
I know I will have to continue practicing this … but it was a gift for me this past week.  I’m hoping that me sharing it with you will be a gift for you as well… that you might be able to see yourself with new eyes as well.  That you might be able to see the inherent beauty in who you BE as well… that you might be able to love and appreciate and fascinate and amaze yourself.
  • Teresa Romain is the President & Founder of http://www.AccessAbundance.com and has trained and coached thousands of individuals around the world access and experience greater freedom, fulfillment, well-being and abundance in their businesses and their lives.  Unique in her approach and dynamic and passionate in her style, Teresa is known for making the transformational process of accessing abundance challenging, fun and powerful in its results.
I read something recently that said something along the lines of:  If we spoke to others the way we speak to ourselves (meaning being as critical as we are about ourselves), we wouldn’t have many friends!  Isn’t that the truth?  We’ve all heard how we are our own worst critic…. and it’s so true!
This article was a good eye opener for me.  How much different would our lives be if we treated ourselves with the respect wonder and awe that we do so many of God’s creatures!  We are one of them!
I’m grateful to Teresa for writing this article and for allowing me to share it here with you.  I felt it went so well with a recent post I made too.  I hope you’ve gained some insights from it too!
I am Grateful!  How are You?