Monday, September 30, 2013

Please prove that you are not a robot.

Please prove that you are not a robot. Those words were just on the computer screen as I went through the process of posting a comment on a friend’s blog. At least they asked nicely. Please prove that you are not a robot.  I wondered how does one go about proving that, let alone proving that through a machine?

Then of course I wondered, as I’m prone to do, where does the word robot come from. This is what I found online through the Online Etymology Dictionary; from Czech robotnik "slave," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery," from robotiti "to work, drudge," from an Old Czech source akin to Old Church Slavonic rabota "servitude," from rabu "slave. 

It suddenly became a much more profound question.

Am I a slave? Am I living in servitude? That gave me pause. Don’t we all kind of live in servitude in some ways? Even as we strive not to, we sometimes are enslaved by other’s opinions. We sometimes feel as if we live in servitude to the dollar or a job or some label or another.

It left me wondering where in my life I am living as a robot. Usually I find the most dangerous thing I am a slave to is my own mind. As much as I strive to live from my heart, still there are times when my mind overtakes my heart. I notice an old reaction to someone or something that is clearly an old record my mind wants to play again. Or I give in to frustration in my car and drive feeling less than peaceful. Honestly, when I catch myself doing that in my car, it is truly amazing to stop and just feel what’s happening in my body. If I connect with my heart in those moments I find that under that frustration emanating from my thoughts, there is peace within my heart. Actually that is true of all those moments when I catch myself living robotically from my mind, if I can still my mind I find deep peace within my heart. In fact it is vast enough that all the frustration or fear or anger I am feeling can be held gently within that peace and surrounded tenderly with love until my mind remembers its true self again.

Don’t misunderstand me, I believe the human mind is a beautiful thing and amazing gift when guided by and working in unison with the heart. It is when it is misguided by the ego and fear that I find I run into problems. It is then that I start listening to and believing those old records it plays, you know the ones, the grooves are carved by fear and the needle knows them well.

Luckily my heart has learned to recognize the robotic mind more quickly than it used to and when it does I simply breathe and return my focus to my heart and the unending well of peace I find there. Thank you Google for the unlooked for reminder.  I will leave it to my heart to prove I’m not a robot next time; let’s see if Google can track that!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Lynda Allen

A piano is simply wood and wire,
ivory and ebony,
pedals and legs,
until a soul lit with song allows music to flow through them.
Then heart and fingers, join with keys and chords
and a melody is born of their union.

A human life is simply flesh and blood,
bones and muscles,
thought and feeling,
until a soul lit with Spirit allows light to flow through them.
Then joy and love join with heart and mind
and Grace is born of their union.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


This is another exploration prompted by something someone wrote in the Hospice writers' group that struck a chord with me. The phrase was, "be home to those who come into your life." When she read that part my brain stopped listening for a moment and said, "write that down, pay attention." So I did. 

I then wrote about it during the group and I wrote about it again this morning beside Mother River. The results are below. I am including the whole writing process because it was interesting to me to see how I got from one place to another through the words. The theme is the same throughout.

Be home to those who come into your life. Be a place of peace and rest, a safe place to simply be, without worry or maybe even a safe place to go ahead and worry. Be home to those who come into your life. Welcome them as family and friends; feed them as my Italian mother would, let them find shelter within the walls of your heart.

Hold each visitor, each guest in your life with compassion.  You don’t know the steps of their journey. What if this was their last step? Would you want that footfall to find a loving place to land and feel supported? What if it is your last step? Would you want it to be taken walking a path of compassion and love? Be home to all those who come into your life.

Be home to those who come into your life. Not be a home, but be home. Be the energy of home. A safe place of comfort, a place where you are known and loved. A place to which you can always return, a place of origin. Be heaven to all who come into your life. Welcome them within the walls of your heart, the sanctuary of your heart.

Throw wide the doors and windows. Let the light and love within shine forth without restraint. Let the light within outshine even the sun. Scrub down the walls and floors. Cushion the seats and make ready the wine and food. Then welcome all into the sanctuary. Let them feel safe and warm. Let them feel comforted and loved. Let them feel they are known and honored there. Let them feel the returning to home where they are always welcome. Let them walk without hesitation within the sanctuary of your heart.

Let my heart be a sanctuary.
Let all feel safe within its walls.
Let each feel welcome there as if returning home.
Let each feel loved and known,
comforted and seen.
Let all find peace and abiding joy,
a well of love unending.
Let all touch heaven within the sanctuary of my heart.

If Everything Can Disappear

This was inspired by a writing prompt from a Hospice writers' group that I am volunteering with. The prompt was, if everything can disappear. It came in a very stream of consciousness way and I like the natural rhythm it came with. 

If Everything Can Disappear
by Lynda Allen

If everything can disappear in a moment, in the blink of an eye, without knowing it’s coming, without saying goodbye, without warning, without.
Then what is there to hold on to? If I hold you tightly enough can I keep you here, eternally, not going without goodbye, but together always?

If everything can disappear without explanation, without rhyme or reason, then how do I reason, how do I make sense of it, of anything?
Why cling to life or you or anyone, if it can disappear as if it never existed, as if you never existed, leaving only the wispy threads of memory?

If everything can disappear then clinging, grasping serves no purpose, you can only hold water in your hands for so long before it drips away.
Yet, as I hold the water I can feel its coolness on my palms, I can touch my lips to it and drink, I can see my own reflection on its smooth surface.

If everything can disappear first it must appear, appear in all its glory, in all its beauty, in all its joy and sorrow and love and grief.
So I will drink from the waters of life as they pass through my fingers, celebrate them, feel their joy and grief and love and look for my reflection in you.

If everything can disappear.

September 6, 2013