Now is where love breathes.  – Rumi

The gentle grace of deer has been with me for many years now.   I anticipate deer have been with me all my life; my awareness of them as animal messengers for me since 2011 when a herd crossed the trail in front of me as I prepared to begin my first training run.   I stood at the start of the trail, less than enthused but committed to two friends in my yes to do a Triathlon together. 

The deer knew better than I did that my soul was also standing there committed.   My soul had chosen this lifetime to experience all that life would bring to me, so that I could continually discern, decide, and dance between the tugs and pulls of life’s teachings.   To choose which wolf I feed. 

Perhaps you sometimes feel the way I do.   Goodness, it can be so very hard learning from the designs this lifetime holds!  

I have noticed my Deer spirit animals really rallying around me for several months now.  To the point I find their beds in our yard from having slept near our home for the night.   Deer are hearing my heart when its rhythmic beat is labored, when my being is holding the weight of others’ grief and sorrow.   In the words of Pema Chodron I heard recently, compassion hurts.  To be compassionate, we imagine what it is to be in someone else’s shoes.  For many, the current steps are excruciatingly painful. 

When I most need to remember what my soul knows of the power of energy, our attention, and our intentions, Deer appear whispering gently be in the now.  Look.  Listen.  Receive.  

 I will then pause to notice Ginger sitting by my side full of her unconditional listening and love.  Or I will burst out laughing at something silly, joyful Kutana is doing.  I will think of someone dear in my life and feel such deep gratitude that they are a part of my life.  I will hear a bird sing.  I will notice the leaves reflecting off the water.  I will stand in now and feel my heart expand with love. 

And the grace of wisdom will whisper this is life. 

I will remember the Divine words of a friend thirty years ago when my compassionate heart hurt from hearing a tragic story when he said everything happens for a reason Christine…if you drive slower in icy conditions…if you tell your loved ones you love them every time you leave home…you will have made it matter that it happened.

The grace of wisdom further whispers this is a beautiful life.  Be gentle with its hardness.  Life will thrive with the grace of hope, faith, and love. 

I remember listening to a Sounds True podcast “Getting Off the Crazy Train: Living a Soul-Directed Life.   Tami Simon was interviewing Cheryl Richardson.    Cheryl Richardson was sharing about a routine she has in which she will look at her calendar of appointments and commitments for the week or month ahead and ask herself if she learned her life was ending a week from now, would she want to have spent it doing all the things are on her calendar?  Her way of checking in on her presence with life.  

I remember listening, and thinking thank goodness I am not the only one to pause and check in with myself if my life came to a close tomorrow.    I have done it for years, as my awareness increased at the fragility of life and how it is a sudden moment in which life becomes before and no longer the same.   The Deer are guiding what feels like much more awareness of sudden moments as more and more cracks appear on the globe of our planet.    

Stand gently in witness of the volcanic eruptions, step in grace with the cracking open for new beginnings.   As a dear soul said to you recently, be a “student of listening”.

A few weeks ago, the girls and I came home from a morning run and as we neared the entrance to our home, both girls shifted into an excitable curious huntress mode.   I looked just in time to see both girls centimeters away from this dear feathered friend.   Talk about sudden moments and heart palpitations!  

Thankfully Ginger listens instantly and Kutana knows her hunting command well as my voice No bird!  No bird! fueled my legs responding to my racing heart to quickly get to this little one before the girls sent it into cardiac arrest.  

I frequently think of the picture of this little one in my hand, resting against my chest, when my heart is filled with compassion for the sudden moments that have forever changed lives of people I hold dear, of people who are puzzle pieces that complete the picture of my life.   People I care about who knew grief was coming from a loved one’s failing health, who are now trying to catch their breath again.   People I care about who didn’t know grief and trauma were coming and are trying to catch their breath again.   People who have experienced grief and trauma and are working on how to breathe in new ways.  

Gently hold, gently be with.  Gently Be.   Let grace guide the now.   Let now gracefully guide uncertainty.   

When, as much as we wish that we had a magic wand to make things different, better, all a bad dream, sometimes the very best we can do is

be gentle with what life brings.

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