Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Road to the Top

The Road to the Top

I entered the valley with fear and with dread

For I doubted the way that my master led,

I shrank from the blackness and darkness of night

And longed to be walking in the safety of sight.

But he said that He’d go and take me on through,

Each step of the treacherous pathway He knew.

So we walked and we walked till the midnight came,

And I said,” I just cannot go on the same.”

For the valley is endlessly long and wide,

I will not be able to reach the far side.”

But he led me still onward; upward and on

And after long hours came a glorious dawn!

I thanked the Master with tears in my eyes,

I was so ignorant and He was so wise.

For I could not have reached this mountain’s height

Had we not walked the valley last night. ( author unknown)


There is something that has been nudging me since I was told about the way of healing relationships in  logotherapy. As I understood, relationships, especially those between spouses, carry many times a sign of conflict that comes from early childhood, one session served as an example where we could see how husband and wife conflicts were being re-created again and again:


The wife was asked to look for her symptoms at the time of conflict with her husband and to go past her memories to find the first time she felt like that; it was found she was feeling anger coming out when she perceived she was ignored by her husband and going back in time she could see more experiences carrying the same feelings with the caregivers at home. The husband was asked to do the same and he felt also anger coming out when he perceived his wife admiration was  on somebody else, and going back on time he could retrace that feeling to when being himself  the third boy his mother gave tasks to the first brother but not him.

This brought up a down- spiraling  dynamic, the more she felt ignored by her husband the more she would be angry and admire others, and the more he felt not important by his wife, the more he withdrew and gave resentment. Both were angry at each other and feeling as they felt when they were on that little children’s episode.


For the therapy to continue, both husband and wife needed to find a way to communicate with each other when those feelings were flaring up again, so the other would be aware and give the partner what they needed, perhaps a hug, or a listening ear, or some deserved admiration.


What bothered me about this system is that it left the marriage as a link of causes not supernatural, the explanation of falling in love is that we look unconsciously for the spouse that will guarantee the  re-experiencing again of those experiences that impressed us negatively so much as little children.


There must be another explanation, and after one month I think I found one and can rest again. I think it is true that deep inside we know when we fall in love that forces are working in us, which we do not see completely , and I think it is true that we engage ourselves with people to re-enact those traumatic experiences, but that is not the whole picture. I think the big scheme of things has it this way in order for us to learn the most, if we were not to face our worst fears, we would not gain so much strength. So it is in life, that when we go in the valley of darkness, we can have the opportunity to see the purer light again.


So in regards of the therapy, I would add the second half of the story, lest couples become discouraged at seeing half of the truth, ( you would not tell the story of Jesus by stopping at Golgotha on Friday, but you would continue till Resurrection Sunday), and also I would give encouragement to those in relationships, that this is the way to strive for the Spirit,  as we strive to heal and nurture our relationships, the Spirit starts dwelling in us.

Finally one more thing to ponder, the number of divorces nowadays, besides being explained by our growing in individuality apart from growing in spirituality, it also is explained by the number of free marriages,  that is marriages not arranged by parents, but by the Spirit, as we experience the falling in love. Let’s see that last point as an enhancement and not a hindrance of the work of the Spirit in us, even though in the meantime it may mean more troubles in the relationship, and many couples not making it to the end.


(Everything that is said for husband and wife also applies to any relationship, though with a lesser intensity.)


Healing the Wounds of Others

Let me not live a life that’s free

Form the things that draw me close to Thee

For how can I ever hope to heal

The wounds of others I do not feel

If my eyes are dry and I never weep

How do I know when the hurt is so deep

If my heart is cold and it never bleeds

How can I tell what my brother needs

For when ears are deaf to the beggar’s pleas

And we close our eyes and refuse to see

And we steel our hearts and harden our mind

And we count it a weakness whenever we’re kind

We are no longer following the father’s way,

Or seeking His guidance from day to day

For without crosses to carry and burdens to bear

We go through life that is frotty and fair,

And “chasing the rainbow” we have no desire

For roads that are rough and realms that are higher

So spare me no heartache or sorrow, dear lord,

For the heart that is hurt reaps the riches reward,

And god enters the heart that is broken in sorrow

As he opens the door to a brighter tomorrow,

For only through tears can we recognize

The suffering that lies in another’s eyes.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


We have arrived at our farm after a four weeks “pilgrimage” in Spain, it is good to be back and it was good to be there. We are thankful of the opportunity that has been given to us.


One thing that impressed my mind during our stay was the Monastery of Montserrat, it has various legends attached to it, one of them claiming the Holy Grail was hidden there after rescuing it from Mont-Salvat.

To enter the church at 11 am you cross a big patio full of marble and columns while the numerous bells are calling to service. The sound is such that makes you shudder, it calls you inward, it shakes your thoughts and heart. Inside also, the esthetics can heighten your experience of God, but for me, it was the light coming from the eastern windows that made the most difference. The churches were always built facing east, but even more than that, the windows were designed so the light of the morning sun would enter and the light would shine, passing through each one of the faithful gathered there, as it moved in the firmament during the service. It was really awesome, how you felt the lighting, warm, sometimes blinding touch of the light as you collect your mind to remember of the things divine and infinite.


This experience full of content and form helps to carry your soul through the week ahead, or if you are lucky to have this daily, to the day ahead. Is this combination of form and content that conforms to the truth, you take one away and the truth also escapes.


It is the same with the question that burrowed in my life this Christmas, how you walk a Christian life, how you follow the teachings if your heart is not in it? Some times I thought  it was good to follow  your conscience and rules, even of you do not feel like it, they say the willing, in due time, will educate the feeling aspect, so I even took notes in my mind of what I ought to do to be good Christian and my thoughts forced my will. Even if my heart was not in it.


Other times I thought  that is through feeling that this is accomplished better, and I trained my thoughts to go into the feeling realm and thus also create strong will that work into the material world. This would be one of the goals of the Jesuit meditations.


Yet I wonder if both approaches could be lacking something, because in my latest experiences it is FROM the feeling that willing and thought life are to be changed in a Christian walk.  It is from my acknowledging that I fall short of thinking in the right way, it is from my acknowledging that I fall short in acting the right way, that perhaps God will listen to my plea and change my heart, so my thoughts and actions follow thereafter.


This is a very narrow path, because daily we encounter these situations, if we are honest and inwardly attentive, there are many times a day when you are faced with this reality, we do not do what is right, we do not think what is right. And the advancement comes if we submit to these failings in a pleading attitude to God, instead of trying to fix it our own way, either doing what is right out of thought, or doing what is right out of trained will. I think this is also the difference between working as a Pharisee or working as a contrite sinner. The ones harbor hardness of heart, the other is a pliable heart.


The homeschool group is going to rehearse the Sound of Music, a very interesting musical too, for pondering about God’s ways, which are always a mystery and a joy.


On the other hand we are trying to compile a list of good classic books for reading, some of our favorites are:

Little House of the prairie

Caddie Woodland


Charlotte’s web

Chronicles of Narnia

Oliver Twist

Leo Tolstoy stories

Von Trapp family singers

Grimm’s complete fairy tales

Andersen fairy Tales

Shakespeare’s selection

El Cid

Don Quijote de la Mancha



Little Women

The 1000 and one nights


In regards of handworking, we found these little shepherd’s capes, which are made of wool and are tight to the chest. I find fascinating how in the older times people wore very loose clothes and nowadays people, specially modern people, wear very tight clothes. I think part of it is because it gives the body a sensation of touch, people are more drawn out of their physical bodies nowadays, and they find comfort in clothes that bring the awareness back to their skin, their etheric back to the former limits. (that is also a reason why people should be drinking wine in the old times but not nowadays, they are already far out and the wine effects hinder the processes instead of enhancing them). Nonetheless we are children on these epoch, and I think me and my children would benefit from having one garment that is wool and tight at the chest area, which is also the heart. We are planning on knitting some more of these capes for friends and others, as a therapeutic aide.


Finally, after nine months of being at our farm, we found out that it has a different name, just like in a pregnancy, you look through child names, and at birth you are reassured of which one is the right one, so it is for us now, the farm has spoken its own name and it is Wind’s Way Farm. You can see the development of the project at


My husband is preparing his second novel, titled “The Way of the Wind”, and it wants to be a metaphor of a life walking with the Spirit of God. I am also preparing for the illustrations for the first book of “The Village Children”, this time I will use charcoal and watercolors together.


So it is with all this plans in our pockets that we wish you all a good year and Epiphany, may we bring our best gifts to give, may God turn our plans around if it is His will, may we be ready to listen to His voice.

Songs for Epiphany: Past Three o’clock, Good King Wenceslas, We Three Kings of Orient Are

Story for Epiphany: Babushka and The Three Wise Men ( look for the version that has no moral or judgement passed explicitly)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Victor Frankl

My mother studying is  logotherapy, a science after Victor Frankl, who studied much and went through a lot in his life. His first book as a biography is very explanatory, as it speaks of his days in the concentration camp and the outline of his mission in life. I could not put it down until I finished it.

Some of his statements at the end of the book were striking to me, as things that have been spoken in many other books and especially relevant:

¨If man would do things in order to make his conscience quiet, he would turn into a pharisee, and in that instant, he would not be anymore a moral person. I think that even the saints try to serve exclusively God, forgetting the acts that bring them to their sanctity. If they would center themselves in the acts that bring them to sanctity they would end up with a perfectionist personality, but not saints.¨

This is something I face everyday, as I struggle to do what is right out of my heart and not out of duty...just recently my husband needed to leave at 3am in the morning to the airport. I struggled thinking if I should go with him and then back home....a part of me wanted to do that, out of love, yet when I looked better I realized it was out of my conscience more than out of then, was it better not to go? the Bible tells us that acts of charity without love are nothing....worth than nothing!. I gave my burden up to God, and he gave an answer, as he does so brother offered a ride to my husband the day prior to the departure. Meanwhile I am asking God to show me the way of Love.

¨To this characteristic of man I would call self-trascendence of the existence. To be a man means to go towards something or somebody different from himself, either to develop a noble trait, or to get a meaning in life, or to find another human being. The more man forgets about himself , to give himself up to a cause or to a loved one, more human he becomes and his qualities become more perfected. Indeed, the more man tries to gain his self realization the more it fades away, because the real self realization is only the profound effect of the completion of the meaning of life. In other words, self realization is not gained like a goal, but as a rightful fruit of the self-trascendence.¨

How much better we can talk to non-believers about doing the will of God and not our own? How much better to talk about dying to self and gaining life?

¨Love is the only way to arrive a the deepest part of the personality of a man. Nobody is able to know the essence of another human being if he does not love him. For the spiritual act of love we are able to contemplate the traits and characters of our loved one; even to contemplate the potentiality, of that which is still dormant and is to be awaken. Furthermore, it is through love, that the one who loves gives the possibility to the loved one to actualize his potentialities, bring them to life. The one who loves see further and urges the other to bring to life his dormant personal capacities.¨

I have been looked with those kind of eyes, it is so enlivening to have somebody who trusts so much in you, your better you. And I have also looked with those eyes, we all do when we fall in love, for example....yet how to do that continuously...Somebody that continuously looked this way was of course Jesus, but also many of the saints and contemporaries of us, they are persons you notice you long to be with them, they are so peaceful, inwardly peaceful and their gaze is so accepting.They themselves may be very strict and disciplined with their life, yet they embrace the other with such compassion.

One of the exercises that my mother has to do in the studies is about non judgmental attention, to embark in relationships with people in a very non judgmental thought process. That is very difficult, we are built to rapidly bring qualities and judgement to our thoughts, big/little, dark/light, bring the sense observation to our organized boxes of concepts, yet Goethean Observation, which is one way to practice this void of judgement, is the first step in retraining our minds. Goethean Observation builds the skills in observing the phenomena without making judgements, thus we could meet a person with a particular appearance without making inward judgements about them, or a person which we would normally dislike, without disliking them. This brings a very peaceful way of interacting. I personally have seen in my mom a change in her pattern of thoughts, it is so freeing to be with her without feeling the presence of her judgmental thoughts upon me ( we all do that and is especially intense in closer relationships), I am just asking to be able to do the same with every body I encounter, to be free of my own judgements and to react accordingly.  For the people who have faith, this is mainly following the principle of seeing Christ in every human being.