In the Graveyard

In the Graveyard

The fireflies

rose from the grass

among the headstones

and danced all night.

I couldn’t help but think:

“The souls have risen

to shimmer and to play. 

Look at them. 

That is what dancing

in heaven must be like.”

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Of Speaking and Listening, the Circle of Sound—A Post from Guest Writer, Deirdre Boyd

 Dear Wonder Child Readers,

The Wonder Child Blog is proud to have Deirdre Boyd as a guest writer today. 

Deirdre Boyd describes herself as a writer of Journey and believes our voices have power and our gifts are wanted. She devours life with great enthusiasm, delighting in the wisdom of her 6 yr old daughter/oracle living in the wonderland of Wisconsin USA. You can visit her on twitter @BeingInJoy.

In fact, twitter is where we met.  We have a lot in common.  When Deirdre shared this beautiful piece of writing with me, my first thought was, “I wonder if she’d let me put that on the blog?”  She graciously accepted.  This is her first ever published piece of writing.  And so, it is with great pleasure that I introduce, Deirdre Boyd. 

Deirdre PG Boyd

 Of Speaking and Listening, the Circle of Sound

         Written by Deirdre Boyd, September 2010          


“Sound is at least as intimate as smell, and clearly more intimate than vision.”

Thomas Moore PhD in The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life

It occurs to me that this thought is representative of why poetry must be read aloud…why books read aloud are so stirring…why music lyrics should only be read once and only if absolutely necessary for clarity. It reminds me how I try to evoke sound in my texts and Tweets with little symbols. And why I think before I text~ could I give someone the unique sound of my voice?

Once, my partner left a bit of writing on the table the other morning…just a little piece of paper. He wrote it while waiting for his dinner to re-heat in the oven as my daughter and I slept. It was an essay about why I loved elephants.  I was caught off-guard the next morning, as he had left very early, and when I picked it up and read it in the half-lit kitchen, tears spilled over my cheeks…more and more with each sentence. He captured a piece of my spirit on that small scrap of paper. But it wasn’t until I read it aloud later to my soul-sister, my dearest friend, that I really experienced the writing…it is his genius, but loving a creature like me; even understanding a tiny bit of a creature like me; is a miracle. We both cried over it…she came to respect him more and loved him for expressing his impression of me (for having an understanding of me?!). 

It is why when writing e-mail, one might write as if it would be read aloud, and it would be wise for people to read e-mail aloud. Sound enlightens words on a page…and if you read it and find that it could be intended different ways, you have a chance to reply for clarification. I can’t remember how many times people have misinterpreted another’s e-mail because it wasn’t written carefully! Or those moments, when reading a book, when you just must read aloud a passage to someone, or wish you could? And singing…I am a being who cannot sing without tears if the song moves me, because we become one voice. Many times tears have escaped while listening to music. Our spirits are connected. When I hear music or read a poem aloud, that composer’s spirit and mine are reminded, poignantly, we are One. Our souls expand in those moments. It doesn’t require a standard of others imposed upon it…if something you hear moves you, the connection has been made.

And isn’t it why, when kissing, we close our eyes? The smell of another, the sounds…experiencing that does not require vision…in fact, it is distracting. Vision robs you of the surrendering, the trusting, and the freefall. Experiencing, yes, but missing a deeper essence of intimacy. Listening to a piece of music that stirs your deepest passions, with eyes closed, in a room alone, is truly incredible. It is a doorway to beginning to understand why you need nothing from outside yourself to feel complete. A distracted encounter with another person is like wolfing down fast food when you’d rather be an alchemist in the kitchen! Think of conversations over the phone…are you being intimate or just passing along information? Why not make your phone conversations an exceptional experience every time? Use delicious words and express energy that feeds the souls of others…If the threefold law is real (and I believe it is), what you issue forth is returned to you threefold. Be careful, because if you give in a spirit of selfish returns, then you will be receiving from the same spirit. Every time you interact with another, be sincere and really thoughtful about what you want for them. You will find people doing the same for you more and more, and you will realize you are living a charmed life! Just take a few breaths before speaking or writing. Don’t react, respond. Respond consciously. The more consideration you take in your life, the more consideration you will be given. Trust is important as well. You won’t experience much joy from life if you don’t trust. Intuition comes in strongly here…it must be developed, and only by trusting and possibly learning from a few mistakes can you really become intimate with your intuition. And what does it take? At first, trusting your feelings…your body gives you signals when you are “off.” Eventually, you will begin to hear your intuition like the most compassionate and beloved friend. But in order to hear anything in our experiencing universe, you must first listen.


Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Your Heart’s Desire, Part 16, Paragraphs 20-22. The Grand Finale!

Welcome back.

This is it!

The last entry

for Your Heart’s Desire!

And while the official ecourse comes to an end today

remember, in one way, shape or other,

this entire blog is dedicated to helping you follow your dreams.

Remember too, you can email me with any questions.

Know this too, Lefty and I will be giving other weekend long retreats

on following Your Heart’s Desire in the near future,

so look here for further updates and details.

Thank you for coming these last 4 months.  I truly hope

you have gained a hold of your dreams

and that the voice of God is becoming clearer

and clearer.  It is there, for you

are one of God’s kids.

So He has a plan for you

and it is wonderful, absolutely wonderful.

You are not too old or too young to begin.

The world, even if it is just the world of your own family, or your world

in the mirror needs you to live your true destiny.

So keep moving.  Read these last two paragraphs in Emmet Fox’s chapter

Your Heart’s Desire and celebrate all of the amazing work you have done.

You totally rock!

You are amazing.

And I am very proud of you.

Blessings to you on your journey.

I hope to meet you along the way.


Paragraphs 20-22, by Emmet Fox

“It will now be clear to the student that discontent is not necessarily a bad thing.  On the contrary, it is your duty to be discontented with anything less than complete harmony and happiness.  Discontent is an evil only when it takes the form of discouragement, cynicism, or despair.  A wholesome discontent with dullness, failure, and frustration is your incentive for overcoming such things.  Without it, you would never find your true place.  But, whoever you are, your true place is calling, calling, calling, and, because you really are a spark of the Divine, you will never be content until you answer.

Remember that this call is the call of God, and when God calls you to His Service, He pays all the expenses in whatever kind of coin.  “What soldier goeth to war at his own charge?”  Whatever you may require to answer that call, God will provide.  Money, opportunity, introductions, knowledge, training, freedom, leisure, strength, and courage—all will He furnish, if you be about His business and not your own.

Your Heart’s Desire is the Voice of God, and that Voice must be obeyed sooner or later.”

-Emmet Fox


These are such a power-packed paragraphs!  Remember back to our launch entry, way back 16 weeks ago?  Remember I tried to hook you with all of those questions?  Those were all designed to help you remember your discontent—your wholesome discontent.  And I am so glad Fox makes the distinction.  I used to like drama and inner turmoil so much I’d slide right into despair if I realized I was discontented.  The despair would get me to freeze and then I wouldn’t have to try and then my penchant for addictive behaviors would be triggered.  It was all a part of the elaborate drama I used to check out.

Thank goodness I do not have to live that way anymore. 

Be content with feeling discontent.  You would not have started this journey if you were completely content or satisfied with where you are in your life right now.  Imagine yourself a butterfly nearing the time for it to emerge.  The struggle to emerge is crucial to its survival.  It is not content to stay, shrouded and spun.  It yearns and aches to stretch and fly.

So take your discontent as a gift.

Once I heard a guy give a talk and say, “all desire is bad.”  He went on to say, all of the suffering in the world is due to desire.  And I felt sorry for that guy.  He clearly hasn’t lived a full, human life yet.  I am not saying that to one-up him.  I am simply saying anyone who says things like that has never lived their Heart’s Desire.  Selfish, greedy desires coming from sick, twisted appetites—yes, these aren’t so healthy.  But the kind of desire that lifts you to achieve great things and to serve the world–these are not evil desires.  These are God given and good, for lack of a better word.  In fact, the etymology dictionary says that the roots of the word desire come from de sidre, which means, from the stars.  So the desires we have to dream, achieve, use our gifts, share our gifts, and help the world, are from heaven–they are blessed by the moon and stars, and of course, by the Sun.

Finally, I love how Fox encourages us, how he reminds us over and over that we are part of the Divine; that our true place–our Heart’s Desire is always calling.  Even when you’ve found it, the calling turns into a song of gentle reinforcement, but it’s still sounding. 

Sure we could live our lives without ever living our Heart’s Desire.  We could settle for mediocrity, for not really living—watching TV until we fade away, complaining of one aliment after another.  Or we could live, really live

I know you want life and want it more abundantly.  You’ve stuck this through for 16 weeks!  So rise up and reclaim your dreams.  Go forward and hear the call, the call for Home, and celebrate the work you have done and are doing.


1). Do you agree with Fox that a certain kind of discontent is healthy and even necessary?

2). Are you able yet to hear your true place, Your Heart’s Desire calling?  If not, where do you think you’re stuck?  Go back through the exercises and see what feelings come up.  Notice which ones, if any, you haven’t done.  Ask yourself: what’s the resistance?  Seek support.  Talk to your buddy or mentor.  Email me at And share your successes and concerns.


1). Continue to practice listening for God’s Voice.  Continue making amends and practicing your mediations.  Keep clearing the channel—and remember there’s no finish line.  Keep dancing!

 Rejoice and let your Heart Sing!


Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Peace Visualization

A Peace Visualization

I adapted the image of the chalice and the passing of the Light
from a teacher meditation by Rudolf Steiner.

See yourself holding a golden chalice to the sky.  Imagine, as you give thanks, Light spiraling down and filling the golden cup.  See it spilling over and everywhere.  Imagine you suddenly realize you are in a circle of people, each one holding a golden chalice.  See yourself passing the Light to the person next to you, pouring it into their chalice, meeting their eyes.  See that person, perhaps it’s your father, mother, neighbor, or a relative from the Other Side, maybe it’s Jesus or Mary, Buddha or Krishna, maybe it’s your husband or wife, teacher or mentor, co-worker, or a perfect stranger.  See their heart through their eyes, and see that person receiving your Light and then turning and passing it to the next person until it circles back to you.  Imagine the Light pouring all around you, running over your cups and beginning to collect at your feet.  Imagine the Light lapping at your feet, like cool water, or warm water, whichever sensation brings you more comfort.  Imagine the Light spiraling over you and upwards, back to the Source.  Imagine everyone in the circle turning outwards and sharing their Light with others who have formed a ring around your circle.  Imagine the Light swirls around each of them, chalice to chalice, and that they in turn share it with another, ever widening circle, until people on the streets simply stop, drop their briefcases or cell phones, and step into the circle, lifting their cups to the Light.  See this until the world is filled to overflowing with Light—infinite, never-ending, glorious Light.  See this until it rings true within your soul.  Because this is how it happens.  This is how Peace and Goodwill spread throughout the land, person to person, gaze to gaze, chalice to chalice, heart to heart.


Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Your Heart’s Desire, Part 15, Paragraphs 18 and 19. Includes Link to Free Course on Vision Boards

You’re still here. 
You have the key—forgiveness, and you have hopefully

begun making restitution for any past harms.

To truly forgive you must be right with yourself.

You must accept yourself for who and what you are.

The more you accept yourself and those around you,

and the more you make restitution for your past transgressions,

the easier it will become to forgive others

and yourself.

In addition, the easier it will be for you

to accept forgiveness from others.

So keep going on making your amends.

The more you make, the clearer the channel will become.

This week and next mark the end of this sixteen week eCourse.

You’ve come a long way.

This week we will look at paragraphs 18 and 19 and next week

we will finish it all up with paragraphs 20-22.

It has been an honor being here with you these last four months.

If you feel incomplete once this course is over, remember you can

email me with any questions you might have.

I will be happy to help continue guide you

through any doubts and fears that may come your way.

Know this:  You are a success.  You are a child of God

and God has a dream for you.

Even if you feel utterly convinced that you do not have a dream

or absolutely do not know what your dream is

trust me—if you are a human being (and I am assuming you are!)

you have a dream.  You have a Heart’s Desire.

If you don’t know what it is

that’s because it’s blocked—the channel to God’s voice is still blocked.

Clear the channel.  Utilize the power of forgiveness, discipline your thinking,

and be willing to become mentorable.

I have been saying from the beginning to get a buddy, a friend, a mentor

to keep you motivated and encouraged as you move through

this extraordinary, life-changing process.

One of the most helpful things I have done

is learning how to create a vision board or a dream board.

As a free gift for making it this far

I am including the link to the free ecourse that Lefty and I wrote in the exercise section of this post.

It’s yours for free and for fun and I hope you use it.  Cheers!

So here we go.  Paragraph’s 18 and 19 of Emmet Fox’s Heart’s Desire:

“It is most important to understand also that, for practical purposes, the amount of this Energy that one has at his command is limited, and therefore, all that is frittered away in unnecessary or trifling activity or thought is so much taken out of one’s capital, so much withdrawn from the things that really matter in life.  If only people understood this, they would save themselves a great deal of wear and tear in the course of a day.  And, if all waste is foolish, how much more deadly is it to squander one’s resources upon the kind of thinking that is absolutely destructive.  Yet, I have known people, as I suppose we all have, actually rehears trouble beforehand—thereby, of course, bringing it upon themselves—through saying such things as that they never had any luck, that they felt quite sure that some important scheme would fail, that they expected to be ill, and so on.  One who understands the Law of Being and how it works would no more think of wasting thought by allowing himself to occupy his mind with in harmony than a business man would dream of throwing away money into the gutter as he walked along the streets.”

As far as God is concerned, our supply of Divine Energy is, of course, absolutely unlimited; there is no check of any kind upon the amount of it that we can appropriate, or, therefore, upon the things that we can do or be.  Yet, for practical purposes, it remains that at any given time you can draw from the inexhaustible Source only in accordance with the measure of your understanding, just as you can draw water from the Atlantic only in accordance with the size of the vessel you use. If you have a pint pitcher you can get only a pint of ocean water, although the number of points in the Atlantic runs into inconceivable figures.  At the same time, it is well to remember that very few people do, in fact, draw anything like as much of the Divine Energy as they could draw, even with their present understanding.  Almost everyone is foolish content to fill his pitcher, small as it may be, to somewhere very far short of the top.”

Emmet Fox


What kinds of thoughts do you fritter away the Divine Energy thinking?  Mine are all forms of fear, self-doubt, self condemnation, condemnation of others, guilt and thoughts of anger.  When I began writing the book form of this ecourse, the first thought that popped in my head was: “You’re too old!  You’ll never get a book published.”  Using my mental disciplines as discussed in previous entries, I caught the thought, thanked it for coming, and then replaced it with a helpful thought: “Yeah, well, Lloyd C. Douglas didn’t publish his first book until he was 50!”  In addition, it became much easier to write a book once I paid back all the bookstores I had stolen from.  I used to get books at yard sales that were in good shape and then return them for store credit at major bookstore chains.  How could I ever expect to write a book when I carried guilt for those crimes?  Luckily I did make my amends, I paid back every cent—in person–and low and behold the book is done and being revised.  The point is the container becomes smaller and smaller the more we worry, fret, judge, fear, and give in to doubts. 

All of the Divine Energy is at our disposal.  We need only clean out the vessel.  The more we do the more it magically grows to be able to be filled to overflowing. 

Once again we are given the injunction: change how you think—that is one of the biggest keys-next to forgiveness that we have discussed here at Your Heart’s Desire.  Thoughts are things; we become what we think about; and so on.  I can only expect the channel to clear in direct proportion to my letting go of old patterns of negative thinking.  And most of that thinking is due to being wrapped around strong emotions like resentment, fear, and guilt.  Change how you think, make restitution, forgive, and them simply go to the water, go the Source, and dip your vessel in—draw out the holy Water of Life.  You will be given to overflowing once you kneel before that Source and receive in reverence, your own Heart’s Desire.

The basic gist of these paragraphs—LIVE your life—try not to worry, LIVE.  As much as we do not like to think about it, no one gets out of this world alive, and so it’s important that when death finds you, it finds you alive.  It is time to rise up and live your dreams.  Your Heart’s Desire is calling and aching to be shared with the world.


1). In what ways do you need to discipline your thinking?  Truly inventory what you spend your time thinking about the most.

2). Think about someone you know that is a chronic worrier.  What is your initial emotional response to them?  If it’s a negative one—I suggest you employ the spot-it-you-got-it principal and work on your worries.  Conversely, think about someone you know that is always happy and cheerful, who gets a lot done with little complaining.  Employ the spot-it-you-got-it principal here as well.  You must recognize something in them that you possess.  So do as they do.

3). What prayers, affirmations could you use to help replace the worry thoughts?


Meditation and mindfulness are two important practices we can use to help calm the mind.  So is exercise and physical activity.  Read over the following suggestions and use what you like.  There are a million books out there on meditation.  Find one that appeals to you and put its ideas into practice.  What follows are just the barest of beginnings.

1). Try practicing the following meditation techniques:  These may not seem like your traditional meditative practices as they do not involve sitting cross-legged or closing your eyes.  But they are meditative in nature and I have found them extremely effective in helping clear the channel to listen to my intuition.

a. Learn to listen to others tell stories about themselves.  To do this find someone, a friend, spouse, child, a senior citizen at an old-folk’s home, wherever, and ask them to tell stories about themselves.  Ask them specific questions you’d like to know—and little children and senior citizens are best for these—things like: what is prayer?  What do you think God is like?  Why are the clouds the way they are?  Ask a senior citizen what their hopes for the world are.  Ask the questions then listen…really listen.

b. Learn to be where you say you’re going to be when you say you’re going to be there.  This may sound trite or superficial, but I mean it one-hundred percent.  I used to consider myself “spiritual” but I did whatever I wanted—showed up late, if at all.  I broke commitments and promises, and so on.  Learning to be a person of my word has greatly lessoned my anxieties.  I needn’t walk around as afraid because I know I will only say yes to those things I can really follow through with.  I am learning to set boundaries.  So, as a life-long exercise—learn to be reliable and to keep commitments, and to commit wisely.

c. Find or write a positive affirmation and use it to replace the worries and anxieties that pass through your mind.  The trick is to learn to catch the unhelpful thoughts that you don’t want.  Try not to resist them or fight them.  Instead, just let them have their say, and then replace them with a more positive thought.

These three techniques, when used regularly, will help you develop, naturally, without force, your ability to listen to your intuition.  Intuition is all about active listening—to God, to others, and to yourself.  If you learn to really listen to others tell their stories and, while you’re listening to them, weave your story in with theirs, most of your problems will be solved.  And when you learn to be a reliable, committed person, you will feel less anxious and a lot happier.  And happiness helps clear the channel.

2). Visit, subscribe to, and study our sister blog: 7daymentaldiet ( and learn some very wise and practical ways to help you change your thinking.

3). Really begin focusing in on what Your Heart’s Desire is, what your goal is.

4). Start a Vision Board.  Here’s the link to the free ecourse that Lefty and I wrote.  I hope you use it and find it helpful:

Thank you for coming to Your Heart’s Desire.  We only have only one week left!  So get your dreams and goals in focus and keep moving on with your amends and with learning to listen to your intuition.  See you next week for the Grand Finale!



Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Saving a Baby Bird, Our Trip to the AARK, a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Chalfont, PA

A couple weeks ago, my boys saw our dog, Daisy toying with a baby bird (a Carolina Wren).  We were able to get the little bird away from Daisy and put it in a bucket.  The little wren looked very scared and like it might have lost a few feathers in the process of meeting Daisy, but we didn’t see any blood.

We called the Aark, a Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Chalfont, PA, and they said they’d be happy to take it.   Our youngest son Daniel (he’s 10) and I (I’m a little older than 10…)hopped in the car and drove as fast as we legally could to the Aark, which is 45 minutes away from where we live.

When we arrived the staff was kind and helpful, and the person who took the wren felt confident it would pull through and be able to be released back into the wild.  Daniel and I were very relieved.

When we walked around the grounds we saw the many birds that were too wounded to make it back though.  The Aark simply takes care of them the rest of their lives.  There were owls with one eye and hawks with damaged wings.  There were even a couple vultures that looked quite glum.  The wounded owls really broke my heart.  There were other birds and animals that the staff didn’t want us to get near because they were going to be reintroduced to the wild soon.  In fact, one of the staff members was putting a hawk into a dog crate and loading it up in her minivan.  It turns out the hawk had fledged too early and fell from the Walt Whitman Bridge!  The AARK staff member, and an ornithologist from a local college, were actually going to put it back in the nest now that they knew it was OK and could fly safely.

I am writing this post to make you aware of the Aark.  Even if you live far away you can donate to their wonderful, wonderful center.  They never turn any animals away!  And they operate purely by donations.  I am including the link to their center and will leave it on my blog as a widget.  Please donate to this worthy cause.  It helps many animals every year.  I am also including three short videos of what Daniel and I saw that day.

Peace and Blessings,

Joseph (and Daniel!)

Link to the Aark:

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

The Embrace

They had walked all day. Miles they had come taking turns carrying the child. As the mother and father moved cautiously through the darkening woods they ached with fatigue. And when their plodding steps slowed to a halt, they sat down to rest, right there in the middle of the road. The mother handed the child to the father so she could stretch out. The father held the child on his chest and joined her on the cool, dusty road.

Then silently, from the darkness, yellow eyes appeared. The father grabbed the child and sat bolt upright. The animals stepped from the shadows towards them. He roused his wife. They huddled there together, shaking—turning every which way, only to see animals forming a circle around them. The child began to giggle. The father moved to cover his face, but the child brushed his hands away. His eyes widened with glee as the animals moved closer.

The first to reach them was the mountain lion. She carried something in her mouth. It was a rabbit. She laid it at their feet and turned away, yellow eyes flashing. The bear lumbered towards them next. In his mouth were two rainbow trout. He laid them before the trembling couple, snorted and sniffled, and then turned back to the shadows. Then came the heron, looking for all intensive purposes like a tall, skinny butler. He stepped his long, remarkable strides, and in his outstretched wings was held a bowl of pure, cold water. He offered it without spilling a drop. And so, one by one the animals came bearing gifts of wild berries, salads of dandelion greens and edible flowers, and even freshly baked bread from—from—the couple never found out where from. And lastly came the reindeer and the wolf. The reindeer carried a wreath of glowing candles in her antlers. With the utmost care she laid it before them. It illuminated their tear-stained faces. The wolf took his place beside the family and stood guard as they began to eat.

And so that night they feasted on a meal lovingly prepared by the animals. They had never had such a nourishing meal.

After they had eaten and drank their fill, the wolf disappeared into the cave of the night. And the couple laid back in the road to sleep. The darkness was almost complete as they stared exhausted into the tree-branch laced sky. Suddenly the trees leaned forward and down with their branches. The couple screamed, but then realized the trees were opening their arms in offering—they were giving them a place to nestle for the night.

The couple looked at each other and then carefully stood and stepped into the waiting branches. The trees lifted them instantly high off the ground. The air caressed the little trinity of humanity as it rose, higher into the night sky. That night, they slept like baby birds in the gently swaying trees.

It was the child who awoke when he heard the earth singing the sweetest of lullabies. It was a song of crickets and of night birds and frogs, it was the song of the padded steps of animals, it was the song of the river flowing somewhere in the darkness. As he listened, he felt the earth holding the roots of their tree with all of the love and tenacity of a mother swaddling her baby.

And so it was the child who felt the arms of the moon reaching down and lifting them even higher.

Her embrace was like refreshing silver water pouring slowly over them. And as the moon cradled the little family, the child laughed as he watched the Milky Way swooping her star-fringed arms and gathering them all—the mother and father, the babe, the animals, the trees, the earth, and the moon into her gently dancing arms.

And the baby reached up and brushed her face, tracing his fingers through her star-dappled hair. And as he did, his eyes caught site of the universe turning towards them, carrying them along in the perfect folds of his cloak of shadows and light.

And the child laughed. He laughed as he saw the Creator of All holding them tenderly in cupped hands. And as he took in this marvelous vision, he sank into the cradle of his parents arms and knew all of this was within himself. He held it all—the animals, the trees, the earth, the moon, the Milky Way, the universe, and the Creator–in his heart. Within him was one elaborate tapestry of wonder and perfection. He knew he treasured it all inside, and with that thought, he went to sleep in the dear, innocent arms of his mother and father.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

A Meditation on Mindfulness

It begins with the body. The hands, the feet, and the eyes—the parts of the body that reach the furthest.  Draw these in first.  Fold your hands gently in your lap.  Tuck your feet neatly beneath you like a giraffe sitting down to rest.  Then close your eyes.  Now let the ears have their say.  Let any sounds—birds, clock, refrigerator clunks, cars, your own breathing, simply waft in like the breeze through the window.  Smell whatever smells are drifting in the air around you while you’re at it.

So now what?

Mind-full?  Mind-empty?

Mindfulness means a mind full of meaningful things. 

That implies space—space to empty and space to fill.  Space to let be.  Space to expand and space to contract. 

So let the thoughts come.  Simply let them float in that same open window that the sounds and fragrances are swirling through.  Let them in like the scent of honeysuckle from the vine on the fence outside or like the hum of the computer fan. 

Most of our troubles come from thinking about and judging the thoughts that come. 

So let the curtains of your judgments simply settle or rustle gently.  Let them wave over one another—all of those judgments, simply let them judge.  Trying to deny them is like trying to stop the curtains from spilling through your hands while you are trying to stop them from moving. 

All of the judgments about judgment strain the brain and the body.  The judgments about the body, the finances, the car inspection appointment, the grocery list, and soccer practice, the dying uncle in Sandusky, Ohio—let them all come.  Befriend them.  If you view them as wrong, or as enemies, or as bad, they will grow like the darkest of shadows and eventually fill the space with darkness dotted with many menacing yellow eyes.

Let the mind fill—sense after sense, thought after thought.  Let the mind empty–sense after sense, thought after thought.  Let the thoughts and sense impressions stream in and out, like your breath.  Attach your attention to none of them, or let your attention attach to all of them. 

Practicing mindfulness makes us aware of the mind’s comings and goings.   And if we can love the awareness without concern over whether or not we are judging, then our practice will be emptied of care and filled with wonder and serenity.

And we can do all of this while walking as well.  We do not need to be sitting to be mindful.   Try it.  Slowly stand.  Revel in the sense of balance as you step–little triangle by little triangle–out of the house and into the woods, or into town, or simply across the room to sit closer to the window.  Absorb every part of the ground that your feet touch.  Absorb what the hands brush or tap as you pass.  Absorb what the eyes touch.  Resist nothing. 

See if you can feel the air passing through your fingers as your hands do their sweet—really, if you think about it—sweet–pendulum dance as you stride.  Sure it’s all about balance—the way the arms sway in time with the legs, but it is really all a lovely orchestrated excuse to swoosh air around like a walking bird, and plus it propels you through space, as a fish through water.

You can walk mindfully, knit mindfully, wash the dishes mindfully–even suffer mindfully. 

Mindfulness involves loving the body and not resisting it, or pretending it isn’t there.  Be hungry, sleepy, awake–full of light.

And fear not, all this liberal-anything-goes-attitude doesn’t have to color the rest of your life.  Form rigid boundaries elsewhere if you like to do that sort of thing.  Boundaries have their place, just as the unyielding metal rail along the high winding mountain road in Jerome, Arizona has its shepherding, guarding place.  Make all of the judgments and rules you want—just take the time to get to know them—intimately know them, like Adam knew Eve.  Know that there will be judgments about the judgments.  If you get to know them well enough, perhaps you will want to let them go.  Perhaps you will stop blaming them for nibbling on the fruits of your meditation.  Perhaps you will stop looking for their ultimate cause.  Perhaps you will learn to love them for who they are and what they are trying to do. 

Whatever you do, I encourage you to keep the windows open.  You could shut them, but that would close out the fresh-aired adventures. 

This being human is such tender, delicate work.  It is also powerful and strong enough to forge the steel of the guard rails along mountain roads. 

You may as well surrender into who you are at the core, the quick, the shining center.  You might as well let the softest of crimson lights seep into your every cell and thought.  You might as well dive into the love of who and what and where and why you are.  You might as well.  The sun rises and sets with you or without you sitting cross-legged by the window, or walking outside, deep into the woods. 



PS: I took the photos in today’s entry whilst up in the Adirondack Mountains.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Your Heart’s Desire, Part 14b–Making Restitution

Welcome back to Your Heart’s Desire!

Now that you have the key

to clearing the channel

so that you can hear the voice of God,

you will need some practical suggestions on how to make amends,

seek forgiveness,

and forgive others as well.

This part of Your Heart’s Desire

will answer the main questions and concerns

about making amends.

We will resume with paragraph 18 next week.


Practical Aspects of Making Amends

The art of making amends is essentially simple.  Here are some general guidelines you can use:

If you owe money, find a way to pay it back, even little by little—it’s not yours.  Of course do not wreck your present financial circumstances by paying off tons of debt.  Just commit to paying it all back little by little in payments agreed upon by your victim. 

If you broke something that doesn’t belong to you, fix it or pay to have it repaired or replaced. 

If you stole something, give it back or pay to have it replaced. 

And yes, it is crucial, where ever possible, 

to seek out the people you’ve harmed

and talk with them face to face.


Go to the people you have carried resentments towards and tell them you’re sorry for thinking ill of them for so many years, and then change how you think about them and how you act towards them.

In the Big Book of Alchoholics Anonymous, how to make amends is discussed at length since it is the Ninth Step of the 12 Step Program of recovery.  In the Big Book, one very important caveat is mentioned when making amends: 

Make the amends “except when to do so would injure them or others.”  If we’ve harmed someone to the extent that they might have blocked out that hurt—then leave it go—there is no need to ease our guilt at their expense.  Find a different way to make amends without discussing the harmful incident.  God will show you a way to make it right.  Direct amends are best, but sometimes it isn’t possible.  We need to take into account the person receiving the amends.  If we think they cannot handle what we’re telling them, we find a different way.  Likewise, if making the amends will harm your or your family in any significant ways, then leave it go and find an indirect way to make the amends.

Some of your amends might actually require that you go to the police and confess illegal things you’ve done in the past—

Remember you want to live your Heart’s Desire,

so, in the long run, learning to accept the consequences

of our actions is crucial

to learning to live responsibly. 

And Your Heart’s Desire

is calling you to be responsible.

Your Heart’s Desire needs to know you will live a life of integrity.

Forgiving others and fixing what you broke in the past

is the most positively life-changing action you can ever take

—both for your life and the life of the person

you are making amends to.

The person or organization you owe money to might staunchly refuse to accept repayment.  Insist they do.  Tell them your future depends on it.  If they still refuse and say things like: “Oh you’re just honoring me for even coming to me.  Keep your money.”  You need to try and fix it still.  Saying sorry or having the other person forgive you is not enough—you must pay back what you’ve stolen or else it will be taken from you later on.

What about making amends to yourself—forgiving yourself?  Fox makes it clear you need to forgive ourselves.  However, may I suggest the way to doing this is by truly living Your Heart’s Desire and by forgive others first.  As you move through that process—of accepting their forgiveness and clearing your side of the street, you will naturally begin loving and accepting yourself in a way you probably have never experienced before.

And some of them will not forgive you.  They might accept their money back from you and still hate you or hold a grudge against you, that’s OK…Well, you know what I mean—if you’ve tried, and you’ve made restitution, then leave the rest go.  Move on to the next amends, allow that person to have their own process of forgiveness.  Rest assured, somewhere in the back of their minds they will always remember what you did, and that can only have a gradual and positive affect on them.


One last thing, obviously you will not finish all of your amends in one week.  It may even take the rest of your life.  As long as you get the process started and are willing to make all of your amends the channel will clear.  It is the willingness plus taking the actions, even the barest of beginnings that will begin cleaning the vessel.  So fear not, just begin the process.  Once you do, the way will not only open, but will open with a clear, unobstructed path.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog

Remembrance: A Story of Letting Go

Once upon a time Made asked the Maker to teach it about letting go.

“I will need to Make you differently in order for you to learn that,” said the Maker.

“Alright,” said Made, “as long as I will be able remember the Way I Am Now.”

“You will,” said the Maker, “in fact, that remembrance will be the door to your success, but in order to remember and in order to learn about letting go, you will need to experience forgetting.”

And so the Maker recreated Made.  And Made was given hands, feet, and the senses.  Made became, in short—Human.  And in order to learn about letting go, humans were made to grasp.

And while the Maker was working, Made asked: “Tell me what you are doing.”

“I am making you Human.  Your fingers and the structure of your hand will be able to grab hold of things—to draw things to your body for use and inspection. Your feet will be able to grasp the ground and then push it away thus creating the ability to move—but the grasping comes first.  Your eyes will be nothing more than truncated limbs that will be able to take in what they see.  You will be able to feel when someone is looking at you, for eyes truly touch.  And you will be given other senses—smell, hearing, taste—and they will all seek to take-in, to gather, to bring in towards your body experiences that will help you begin to remember.  Even your mind will want to grasp things—ideas, perceptions, dreams.  And all of this grasping, grappling, grabbing, touching, and holding—will keep you stuck on Earth—until that is, you remember, and then learn to let go.”

“And how will I learn that?” asked the newly formed Human.

“You will grasp and hold onto things until those actions and attitudes hurt too much.  Then you will learn to let go.”

“You mean I will have to feel pain in order to learn how to let go?” asked the Human.

“Yes, there’s some tiny glitch in the system I’ve created.  Letting go hurts sometimes, but not as much as the holding onto things.”

“A glitch in the system?  I thought you created perfection.”

“I did.  The glitch is your misuse of freedom, and that’s not really a glitch so much as a lesson that needs to be learned.”

“Alright,” said the Human, “when do I get to go?”

“Anytime you want.”

“How about now?”

“Now’s fine.”

“What do I do?”

“Let go.”

“Oh, I see,” said the Human, tears suddenly forming in her eyes.

“Good bye,” said the Maker weeping quietly, “I love you.”

And as the Human began descending the spiral staircase to Earth, she called up, “Hey! Love is holding onto things, right?”

The Maker laughed and said, “No, love is the ultimate letting go.”

And the Human, while walking down those silver, rainbow-dappled stairs, began to be filled with both wonder and fear, for she began forgetting where she had come from and where she was going.  Her memories dropped away like pine cones from a shaken tree.  And as her last memory fell away and she stepped into the waiting egg, she understood how much the Maker loved her.  The Maker loved her enough to let her go.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog