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August 2017: Heretics & Heroes:

by Cathy Combs


I'll start off on a playful note celebrating one of my favorite artists, Neil Diamond, and his classic Hot August Nights and playfully add hot August days as we make our way through another summer season in the Midwest. Throughout much of July the heat index was 110 or above. I imagine we'll experience some of Mother Nature's heat at this level in August. It's so hot outside today coming in seems frigid even with no AC on. That's amazing. Reminds me of perspective and what a difference it makes. I clearly remember the summer of 1981 when we had 33 days in a row where the actual temperature was over 100 and hundreds of people died in their homes due to the extreme heat because they had no fans or ways to be cool and they lived in areas where they were afraid to open their windows. When an elderly man died in his home and the EMT came to the scene the temperature in the man's home was 130 degrees. The EMT was shocked. He said he'd never experienced anything like that. The city implemented a program where the poor could get free fans so this wouldn't happen again. I'm saying all this in the context of perspective. I am so very mindful of how blessed I am. I am also so very mindful that even the poorest of the poor in this country would seem like gazillionaires to people who are living on $1.25 a day which is true of 4.3 billion people in our world. It boggles my mind that that is even happening in 2017. That seems absolutely criminal!!!

In August in the Goddess tradition that I so love we also celebrate the first of the harvest festivals. Much of our planting for the year has been done outside and now we are reaping the fruits of our labors. It reminds me of my childhood days when we would be the ones pulling the weeds and picking the veggies from the huge garden that dad and granddad had planted. It was hot as blazes but it was fun to have so much food right there. Every night we would have a salad and sweet corn and whatever other veggies were ready. It felt like a very prosperous time of year. I am so very grateful!!!

I am already looking toward the second harvest at Fall Equinox, my very favorite time of year when the colors in Mother Nature's garden are so magnificent. I'm wondering what I will plant now that I will harvest then. My major focus is on Appreciation, Gratitude, Faith, Wisdom, Confidence and Understanding: some of my very favorite spiritual qualities that fire and inspire my Life like nothing else does. The Equinox is the celebration of Balance, equal night and equal day in our Universe. Balance is important every day, not just twice a year. Part of Balance is peaceful, restful sleep so our cells can revitalize themselves. Part of Balance is also a healthy Lifestyle. I am so very grateful to be healthy and strong. It makes such a huge difference to be happy and healthy.

Another activity I am celebrating this time of year is rereading one of my favorite books, “The Universe Is Calling” by Eric Butterworth, one of the icons in the Unity movement. This book reminds us of our divinity, our inherent worth and dignity, that we are God Expressing. In order to live an empowered Life it is imperative to realize that we are Expressions of our Good, not separate from It. Our feelings, thoughts and words are all Creative Energy. As we celebrate our first agricultural harvest of the year and move toward the second one it is uppermost in my heart and mind to celebrate the Love I feel toward my friends and from them. They truly are Life savers, especially when I feel sad or drained like I sometimes do as I navigate the green growing edges of my Life. I know my friends are there. I know I am loved. I know I can ask for help and be comforted. I never underestimate the healing value of what those relationships mean and what they can do to carry me over rough waters whenever they arise. I am always reminded of the Power and necessity of asking when I need help. In this world when extreme toxic individuality is so prized it takes huge Courage to ask for what we need. That always reminds me of Dr. Brene Brown's brilliant work on vulnerability and its connection with Joy. I read and reread her work and I practice the principles of being vulnerable and courageous and forgiving myself and others when I feel the pain of rejection or misunderstanding. This green growing season is meant to harvest many blessings so I go forward in Peace, Faith and Confidence celebrating being a blessing and being blessed in return. That also is such a sweet example of Balance and how the Law of giving and receiving works. It's comical to remember the first time I learned that we have to give first in order to receive. We have to create a vacuum so the Universe can give to us. This is also a huge Truth that gets lost in the atmosphere of fear that so many of us have learned to live from in our lives!!! We have even mistakenly thought that our very Identity is fear when it is nothing of the sort. Our Identity is Love and Light and Peace. When we claim that Identity we are Limitless. It's a blend of pain and laughter that I'm still learning some of these lessons even though I've been practicing them all my Life. That is yet another example of celebrating the gifts of friendship that mean so very much to me. When I am at my lowest I can go to my true friends and know I will be heard, honored and held in Love and Light. There is no greater blessing in all the world than that Truth. I am so very grateful to be who I AM and to celebrate the green growing edges!!

As I further contemplate this green growing season I am also poignantly reminded of the necessity of moving all the way through past and present pain and the Clarity and Joy that will come from that process. It's not fun by any means but it is certainly necessary and it is healing. To move all the way through any pain revitalizes us spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Pain and Joy move through every atom and cell of our Being. I know with all my heart that the incidence of heart disease and cancer is so high because we haven't yet learned to honor the sanctity of our Beingness and to share our pain so we can fully process it and release it. A dear friend playfully reminded me of another piece of this healing process when she said not to beat myself up because I hadn't completely learned the lessons yet. That also is a huge reminder. We don't need to shame ourselves or anyone else. We absolutely do need to reach out with Compassion and Understanding! That's how healing happens. That's how the lush green growing edges continue. We must also honor the changing of the seasons and celebrate the browning of our Earth and our individual lives as we move toward the contemplative times and prepare for the next growing season. We must experience a Balance between activity and restfulness. That is how we prepare ourselves to function at our highest and holiest level. I look forward to the unfolding of this precious Vision we call Life. Namaste to you on our shared journey!