1 : the expanse of space that seems to be over the earath like a dome : Firmament
2 (a) often capitalized: the dwelling place of the Deity and the blessed dead; (b): a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God
3 capitalized : God
4: a place or condition of utmost happiness
5 Christian Science: a state of thought in which sin is absent and the harmony of divine Mind is manifest
Heaven (n.): Old English heofon “home of God,” earlier “the visible sky, firmament,” probably from Proto-Germanic hibin-, dissimilated from himin-, which is of uncertain origin. Perhaps literally “a covering,” from a Proto-Indo-European root kem- “to cover.”
From late 14th century as “a heavenly place; a state of bliss.” Plural use in sense of “sky” probably is from Ptolemaic theory of space as composed of many spheres, but it also formerly was used in the same sense as the singular in Biblical language, as a translation of Hebrew plural shamayim. Heaven-sent (adj.) attested from 1640s.
“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”
LeeAnn Taylor (author, mentor, and spiritual artist; best known for “The Fragile Face of God: A True Story about Light, Darkness, and Hope Beyond the Veil”)
“Earth's crammed with heaven...
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, one of the most admired English poets of the Victorian Age, even surpassing her poet-husband, Robert Browning)
“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, philosopher and naturalist; abolitionist and teacher; scientist and moralist; poet and surveyor; pencil maker and author)
“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
Mark Twain (1835-1910, author and humorist)
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.’”
Erma Bombeck (1927-1996, humorist, writer, columnist, and journalist, who found the humor in the everyday experiences of being a wife and mother)
“The connections we make in the course of a life--maybe that's what heaven is.”
Fred Rogers (1928-2003, minister and much-loved host of the public television show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which ran on PBS from 1968-2001)
“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963, Clive Staples Lewis, one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and one of the most influential writers of his day; best known for “Mere Christianity,” “Out of the Silent Planet,” “The Great Divorce,” “The Four Loves,” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”)
“Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.”
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Only with the contrasting experience of hell do we desire heaven: through abundant and happy lives; peaceful states of mind; meaningful relationships; participation in healthy communities; and intimate connections with the divine Earth.
Heaven doesn’t mean that our lives are problem-free. It means, if we search and work diligently for nirvana, heaven is always accessible and available when we need it the most.
Having a traumatic life filled with much strife and sadness, especially in the beginning gifted me personally with a conviction to create an adult life filled with delight, wonder, and meaning.
Suffering with post partum depression was my tipping point after giving birth to my son. I was determined to break my patterns of sadness, not only in my life but in the lives of my children as well. I knew that if I did my work, joy would be transmitted to my children and generations to come.
My quest for happiness was not so easy at first. It took years to break my addiction to sadness. I first had to transform my negative thoughts, and rebuild my nervous system, which was shot from all the self-abuse and negative assaults. Mostly, I had to work through my anger of all the perceived injustices I had endured. My spiritual practice for such an endeavor was and still remains meditation. But, I had to slowly ease into my contemplative space every morning by first sitting ten minutes three times a week, then every other day, Monday through Friday, and finally every morning and every night.
Miraculously, synchronistic events began to occur. Gifts and blessings flowed down and doors opened up to new opportunities. Strangers, beautiful Earth Angels, gave me profound leads to follow. I was humbled by all of the experiences. Slowly my intuition came back and my inner voice magnified, abilities I had cut myself off for years in order to hide. Spiritual life became loud, bold, and direct, giving me the ability to integrate wisdom back to my higher self.
So, my dear sojourners, take off your shoes and walk this sacred planet with reverence and awe. There’s much for all of us to explore, learn, and know.
Faithfully Yours, Tonya