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Ahh, the element of surprise. We either love it or we hate it.

Surprises make up most of our experience, so much so, that they serve as the basis of what many would deem our significant human interactions. Whether the surprises are material in nature, or merely an aspect within our relating, they are important to us. We have many expectations as we cycle through moments of surprising and being surprised.

I've never much liked surprises. I've never much liked receiving or giving gifts, because there has always been so much stress and fear wrapped up in satisfying another, or being satisfied myself.

In the recent past this has greatly changed for me. Now, I love surprises! I think it is because I have found an entirely new kind of surprise!

The surprises that I have found are happening within a more meaningful dimension of existence. These kind of surprises serve to open my heart, to unearth secrets about myself and my perceptions of the world. They tell me about my fears and shadows, and lead me lovingly, and often playfully along into a deeper sense of letting go and inner peace.

Because these kind of surprises are so fun, I look forward to turning each corner in life, to seeing what the moment will bring. They have shown me an entirely new level of functioning in this world, outside the emptiness of the kind of surprises that I'd once valued, or been conditioned to care about, the surprises with contingencies.

These new surprises are always appearing. For instance today, I took a solitary walk in the sunshine by the river front. I was surprised that my breath was continually being taken away by the beauty as I looked up into the clear blue sky, the trees like playmates around me reaching up much higher than I.

I was blown away by the plethora of tiny pieces of cotton floating, surrounding me like falling snow, creating dazzling and dizzying effects in the sunlight, pieces falling at my feet caught in friendly, little twisters chasing my ankles.

I hiked down to the bank of the river, and watched it move along the cottony pieces it had caught, while taking the time to swirl and dance with them in playful currents. It was a surprise for me to see the river with such lightness, to find myself honoring its vast power, but unafraid, as my first real significant childhood fears and nightmares were of the river. (My grandparents lived only a few hundred feet from the Snake River in Idaho, and as a child I was given more than a healthy dose of fear of the whirlpools and undertows). Today, I was able to see the river unobstructed by my fear of my body's vulnerability to it--certainly symbolic of less fear of the flow of life.

I passed throngs of people out enjoying the sunshine as I decided to continue my stroll downtown, but it was only three homeless men that noticed me, and weren't afraid to actually make contact.

One waved. I waved back.

The second told me with a big toothless grin that he'd just gone into a shoe store and asked for a pair of high heels, telling the clerks that he was a cross-dresser. He said he didn't think they believed him. I said he might be on to something big.

The third asked me if I could spare something for a homeless Vietnam Vet. Since, I had nothing on me but a set of car keys, (and clothes, c'mon). I asked him if I could sing and dance for him, or at the least give him a smile. He laughed.

Play, free and clear
lightness taking
flight on the wind,
sunlight on our backs,
dancing in mid-air
moving as

I am just not so attached to what life brings me anymore, and so everyday feels a little bit like Christmas! I even get excited about the painful surprises, because I can't wait to see what little bit of clarity I am going to find when my identification with the pain passes.

I see why I am drawn to stories with the element of surprise, when the characters have become entangled in their own needs, fears and expectations, and have made rash judgements about one another, only in the end to find out that their judgements were wrong. I adore watching a character awaken to being able to finally see the good of a person in front of him, with new vision; to fall in love with who the person really is, not an idea of whom he would like that person to be to meet his needs. (A beautiful example of this, and a cinematic tour de force is the film The Painted Veil).

I have taken this concept into a less romanticized milieu, into my ordinary, everyday life. It's even better here.

I love these new kind of surprises. I love how each one has something to show me about my heart's journey. I love how I am seeing differently. I love how I just never know what to expect. I just show up, and the love is there. I see it reflected back at me. Everything is a surprise, how sometimes I know just what to say to help, how my body knows just how to hold and comfort, how my heart knows how to open even bigger if needed, how my eyes see beyond--deep into the soul of another, how the first reflex becomes love.


  1. What a beautiful message to find in my mailbox this morning. I am reminded of a prayer a friend once taught me: "God(dess) surprise me." Sounds like that prayer is finding a beautiful answer in your life. Thank you for the inspiration. Happy Mother's Day!

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for being yet another of these wonderful surprises. It is surreal to me to have a writer that I revere so much reading and commenting on my blog.

    Thank you!

  3. Loved this piece!

    Thank you again for showing me yet, another beautiful example of "Well Being".

    So truly beautiful!


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