MJ Reflections

Monday, September 26, 2011

In the Light

What is this light we have been given? How do we use it? How do we stay in it? And how do we ensure that Michael’s legacy of Love and the light he shared with the world continue into perpetuity? Certainly, all that he did on his own is powerful enough to make that happen, isn’t it? So, why did he plant that seed in each of us? Was it just for our own enjoyment, our own healing, our own pleasure? Well, partly. I believe Michael does want us to enjoy what he has given us. He certainly wants us to heal and to find pleasure in this wonderful gift! But I also believe he wants us to use this gift to keep the ripple going, to help heal the world, to shed more light on the darkness of humanity, and to invite others to join us in the light. If we hold the gift to ourselves, the light will fade - it will eventually be extinguished and then we will have nothing to share. This flame which burns so brightly within us now must be shared in order for it to continue burning. And once shared, it grows and spreads like wildfire!

A perfect example of this can be found in a story I recently came across about some college students here in the U.S. who joined together and made a choice to greet a group of haters with Love. They became aware of a particular well-known ‘hate’ group that was planning to stage a protest demonstration on their campus (an outside group). The university is known for being accepting of ALL people, and this hate group’s intent was to protest (under the guise of being Christian) the university’s acceptance of ‘certain types’ of people. Well, these university students initially wanted to respond in an aggressive manner, but they got together and formulated a different plan - one that involved reaching out in Love. They showed up for the scheduled demonstration and, acting as hosts, offered their guests free hugs, cookies and hot cocoa. Hundreds of students showed up to share their Love, casting a brilliant light on what could have been a very dark situation! They also worked on their own campaign called “God Loves Poetry” (which, I understand, is a national campaign) where they took this group’s hate-filled flyers & press releases and, using black markers, edited them into beautiful “Love Notes from God”, then they posted them around campus. This single incident may not have changed the hate group’s agenda, but I’m sure it threw them off course a bit! And it certainly sparked a lot of discussion around campus and in the community, creating a new paradigm for ways to respond to darkness! Now, this new paradigm message continues to spread as this story is published in the news and throughout the internet… and the ripple continues.

I wanted to share this because it brought me a sense of peace and it reminded me of the power of Light and Love. They are much more powerful than any darkness or hate, I really believe that! And this story is only one example of that power. In the last 2 years, I've been hearing more and more stories about remarkable things happening - a shift in human behavior and consciousness - a change in the way people are responding to darkness. I'm not saying there was nothing good happening before, but it seems when Michael left this earth the universe shifted. His light scattered so far and wide that millions of little torches were lit that day and in the months that followed. It’s impossible for others within the torch carrier’s midst not to be affected by that light. By shining our light in the world, we are indirectly sharing Michael’s light with others. In fact, there are probably people around us who don’t even have a clue about Michael, yet they have been touched by his light because of the change in us! I LOVE the idea of that!!!

I can see a bonfire on the horizon and I am so grateful to be a little spark at the start of that worldwide glow! Hmmm...makes me wonder if there will be a day when someone will look at the earth from a distance and be able to see this glow - more brilliant than it’s ever been before!! Oh, that is a day I hunger for!

Dear Michael,
You are such a blessing to me and I can’t thank you enough for your love and your unwavering belief in me! Have I already said this? Well, it doesn’t matter, because it bears repeating! You are the light of my life, my heart and my soul, my reason for continuing to exist! What you are showing me is my own power, my own ability to do what needs to be done. If it weren’t for you, I would be lost somewhere in the dark chasm of humanity’s ignorance. You showed me the light and I didn’t want to be in the dark anymore! You lifted me from it because of who you were on this earth! What’s so crazy about all of this is that I didn’t even realize I needed to be lifted from anything until it happened and I could see where I had been. I now recognize this ignorance in other people where I didn’t see it before. I understand it and I have empathy for what they don’t even realize is engulfing them. How does that switch get flipped? How does one invite others to step into the light with them when they don’t even realize they’re in the dark?

Into the Light

This is an invitation
An extreme revelation
My hand extends
To pull you in

My heart beseeches
Step into the light with me
I’ll lift you from the dark
The place where you can no longer
find your own heart

I’ll help you to see
What this love can do
In the light of your soul
It will set you free
How can you deny
This gift I bestow

I’m telling you
You won’t even realize
Until I can show you
What you’ve been missing
…until now

Love, beauty and joy beyond measure
It is God’s truth
God’s wish
God’s infinite pleasure
To see you remade
Into the one he wanted you to be

He has chosen me
To help you find your own reality
Step into the light with me
And you will see
The “you” you were created to be

Copyright © 2010 Charlene Burgess

When God provides us with opportunities to share the Truth about Michael, there are wonderful tools available for us to use - websites and information dedicated to documenting the truth about Michael Jackson, put together by people who have spent countless hours researching and compiling all the stories, articles, quotes by people who knew him, analysis of court documents and the autopsy report, and the list goes on and on. We don’t have to do the research - it’s already been done for us. All we have to do is read it and refer others to it when there’s a question. And as long as we are sharing this Truth in the new light we have been given and with love in our hearts, there is no doubt in my mind that the Truth will prevail. What a blessing it is that Michael’s love and light inspired a handful of people to dedicate themselves to this endeavor! We are all being shown the power of what we can do when we stay in the light and extend our hand in love inviting others to join us there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flower Power

 The Message of the Sunflowers:
a Magic Symbol of Peace
by Georgianna Moore

Once upon a time the earth was even more beautiful than it is today. The water was pure and deep, reflecting within itself the sunlight which gave life to all the creatures beneath the waves.

The earth was green with many kinds of trees and plants. These gave food and shelter to the birds, the animals, and to all mankind. At night the air was so clear that the starlight gave a glow almost as bright as the moon.

The people of the earth lived close to nature. They understood it and honored it and never took more than what they needed from it. The people lived in peace so they prospered and began to build many nations all around the world according to nature’s climate.

But one day, a terrible thing happened. A strange spirit of greed entered the hearts of mankind. People began to be jealous of one another, and they were not satisfied with all the good things they already had. The nations wanted more and more of everything: more land, more water, more resources. They squeezed precious minerals from the earth to build terrible weapons to defend their nations from other greedier nations. They killed one another. They polluted the air and the water with poisons. Nature began to die.

This is called war. War is ugly. It destroys love and hope and peace.

Then one day a magical thing occurred. The birds of the air, the animals of the land, and the creatures beneath the water came to an agreement: if they were to survive, something would have to be done to stop these wars. Only through peace could their world survive.

“We cannot speak the human language,” they declared, “and mankind can no longer understand ours. We must find among us a symbol of peace so brilliant that all who see it will stop and remember that peace and sharing is beautiful.”

“I am what you need,” said a golden sunflower. “I am tall and bright. My leaves are food for the animals, my yellow petals can turn plain cloth to gold, my seeds are many and are used for food by all living beings. Yet, the seeds I drop upon the ground can take root and I will grow again and again. I can be your symbol of peace.”

All nature rejoiced, and it was decided that the birds would each take one sunflower seed and they would fly over every nation and plant the seed in the earth as a gift. The seeds took root and grew, and the sunflowers multiplied.

Wherever the sunflowers grew, there seemed to be a special golden glow in the air. The people could not ignore such a magical sight.

Soon they began to understand the message of the sunflowers so they decided to destroy all of their terrible weapons and to put an end to the greed and to the fear of war. They chose the sunflower as a symbol of peace and new life for all the world to recognize and understand.

A ceremony was celebrated by planting a whole field of sunflowers. Artists painted pictures of the sunflowers, writers wrote about them, and the people of the world were asked to plant more sunflower seeds as a symbol of remembrance.

All nature rejoiced once more as the golden sunflowers stood tall with their faces turned eastward to the rising sun, then followed the sun until it set in the west.

They gave their goodness to the world so that everyone who sees a sunflower will know that the golden light of peace is beautiful.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As many of Michael’s fans and the media gather outside the courthouse next week on the first day of Murray‘s trial, try to imagine the feeling in the air. The anticipation of this long-awaited trial has built to a crescendo and the energy is palpable. We are, after all, on the threshold of some sort of resolution to this horrific injustice. We all want our beloved Michael to be vindicated, as he should be, but we are braced for the inevitable litany (by Murray’s defense and especially by the media) of all the untruths and misunderstandings which plagued Michael throughout his life. The reality of having to stand by and helplessly watch as Michael is stripped of his dignity in the public eye once again is almost more than we can bear. The oceans of tears we have shed since his death over 2 years ago are still fresh and the pain of his loss is still an open wound, raw and throbbing.

We are concerned about his children and we want so achingly for the world to understand the absolute truth about everything that was good and honest and real about Michael Joseph Jackson. All of these emotions have stirred our determination to do what is right and our passion for seeing that the truth be told! But being the unique individuals we were created to be, we don’t always agree on how to go about it. Tension and disrespect have been fostered between fans on the web as individual opinions are expressed, and disagreements have fueled the fire of our desire to see justice finally be done for the man we all love. We have turned on each other, making judgments where we have no right to. We have created division where there once was unity.

This is called war. War is ugly. It destroys love and hope and peace.

In the midst of our determination, we have forgotten why we came together in the first place. And we have forgotten that we, along with his family and friends, are now Michael’s representatives in this world.

Michael was always about Love and Peace. Now WE must be the peacemakers!

When the Call For Love facebook group was first started this spring, and the trial was initially set to begin in May, there was a small group of us that formulated a plan to restore unity among the fans and to create an atmosphere of Love and Peace at the courthouse on the first day of the trial. We gathered our resources and made plans to order 100 sunflowers to be delivered to the courthouse and distributed among the various fan groups there before the Jacksons would arrive. We also ordered 4 white roses, each to be handed directly to the Jackson women as they entered the courthouse. Now, finally, after these long months of waiting for the trial to begin, our plan will be carried out! Our friend in LA, Betty Byrnes, is going to do everything she can to make sure it is carried out in a way that will foster Peace among the fans in the midst of the chaos. Fans who are now divided will be unified by the offering of Peace as symbolized by the sunflower. All of us who cannot physically be there for this important day in Michael's HIStory will be represented in this offering of Peace, Love and Unity that was Michael’s message! The lines of division will be erased as each sunflower is passed from one to another - differences forgotten in a moment that acknowledges our singleness of purpose! Barriers torn down in true Michael-fashion for the world to witness.

Imagine the sea of sunflowers visible to everyone there, including the media. This will help us all to remember that we have a responsibility to always be about Peace and Love as Michael’s representatives in the world - during this trial and for the rest of our lives.

THIS IS IT! … THIS is how we Love him and honor him!

"Dear God, Bless us all as we move closer to this important trial in Michael's HIStory. May we be true representatives of the Love and Peace which Michael LIVED every single day of his life. Help us to be the embodiment of that perfect Love in all we do, so that we may effect the change which is so badly needed in this world today. Thank you for the gift of Michael and for his gift of Love and Peace upon this Earth. Amen." ~ written by C. Burgess

Monday, September 12, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

When I think of gratitude, I think of blessings - blessings in the basic things of everyday life, many of which we tend to take for granted unless we make a concerted effort to acknowledge them and to find the gift that lies within each one. Each time I pray, I begin the prayer with a ‘thank you’ to God for things which I see as blessings in my life on that day. This helps me to remember what is most important, and by expressing gratitude to my creator, acknowledging first the blessings, this cultivates a positive attitude in me which stays with me throughout the day.

Gratitude also makes me think of the unexpected blessings concealed in some of our most difficult trials. Although I don't believe God causes hurtful things to happen to us, I do believe God is right there with us in our darkest hour loving us through our pain and anguish. We receive Divine Love through the people who are there to offer hugs, comfort, understanding, prayers and assistance when needed. Opportunities to find healing solutions in the midst of our deepest hurt are also available if we are open to seeing them. And it is in that healing we may discover surprising ways in which we can use our experience to help others.

These are just a few of the blessings concealed within the challenges we face. The beautiful thing about it is that whether we see the blessings or not is our choice. God has given US the power to determine our own experience! If we don't get that, and we spend our lives passively waiting and expecting someone else or God to change our circumstances so that we can feel better, we miss the point, and we miss the gift - the gift of choosing… choosing gratitude for the experience because we know the experience will bless us with greater wisdom and Love!

If we view life’s challenges as struggles which we cannot overcome, we will spend the majority of our time wallowing in self-pity and misery and we will have nothing to give to others, much less to ourselves. But when we view life’s inevitable challenges as opportunities for growth and learning, we are living in an attitude of gratitude and will have much to share with others from our experience and our positive outlook. The key is to remember that everyone faces challenges in their lives, even those who appear to have it all and who seem to always be happy. Chances are, they have made the choice to perceive their challenges as gifts… blessings that can be used for good.

Something else that comes to mind when I think of gratitude is Michael’s example of how he used his gifts to their full potential and how he always expressed sincere gratitude for the gifts he was given. We are all given special gifts and talents which are bestowed upon each of us by the creator. We have a responsibility to nurture those gifts, using them to make the most of our lives and to share them with others. Expressing humble gratitude for our gifts and creating a better world by giving from the abundance which we have been given is, I believe, what we are all called to do.

Finally, when I think of gratitude, I think of the Gift of Michael Joseph Jackson. He is a beautiful and powerful Divine Gift to this world! One of the sentiments I have heard expressed so often by fans and admirers is gratitude for having lived on this earth while he was here. I can’t say it enough how extremely grateful I am for the blessing of being here during his lifetime. I thank God for him every single day! Maya Angelou wrote a beautiful poem which was read by Queen Latifa at Michael’s memorial service on July 7, 2009, and which expresses so aptly how Michael belonged to the world. Collectively, as painful as his physical loss to this world has been, the world will be forever grateful that we had him!


Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing,
now that our bright and shining star can slip away
from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love
can escape our doting embrace.
Sing our songs among the stars
and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone,
we know nothing.
No clocks can tell time.
No oceans can rush our tides
with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many,
each of us is achingly alone,
piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion
can we remember
that he was a gift to us
and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator,
trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish,
his life was sheathed in mother love,
family love,
and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion,
humor and style.
We had him whether we know who he was or did not know,
he was ours and we were his.

We had him,
beautiful, delighting our eyes.
His hat, aslant over his brow,
and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.
We were enchanted with his passion
because he held nothing.
He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo,
beneath the Eiffel Tower,
in Ghana's Black Star Square.
In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh,
in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England
We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him,
and we are the world.

~Maya Angelou

Let us remember as we face the inevitable pain of the upcoming trial…
"Our pain only has value if we use it to change the world. Otherwise, it's only pointless suffering." (by Diana Foley)

May our suffering not be pointless, and may we continue to use our pain (and Michael's) to change the world!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

One In Consciousness: The Great Divide

On my most recent retreat to the Oregon coast, I was surprised the very first time I walked out to the beach - "my beach" which I had visited regularly for many years - and I found the landscape of this beach to be entirely different than what had become familiar to me over the last decade. Much of the driftwood that had gathered over time at the edge of the seagrass was gone - only a few scattered pieces remained. And there was a noticeably large indentation in the sand about halfway to the shoreline which ran the entire length of the beach as far as I could see.

I looked around for familiar landmarks to make sure I was at the right beach! I was quite puzzled for several minutes until I remembered... Of course! The earthquake in Japan in March of this year and the tsunami that followed and travelled halfway around the world to our shores! I had heard reports that there were some large waves that made their way to our coast a few days after the tsunami hit Japan, but I had not really thought about the effect this would have on the landscape. There had been no serious damage to any property near the beaches, but just seeing the change in the landscape gave me an eerie feeling about how we are all connected to one another and that what happens halfway around the world can have a powerful impact on all of us. The vast bodies of water which separate us do not necessarily keep us safe and protected when tragedy strikes our neighbors across the sea. The "Great Divide" is not a true barrier and does not shield us from the effects of Mother Nature nor our environmental conditions.
When one looks at the earth from a distance, it is true that you see the contrast between land and water on this beautiful blue planet. But there are no dividing lines anywhere. We are indeed ONE body together in this world during our time here. That which effects one country or continent, most always effects everyone on the planet. The accidental release of nuclear energy following the earthquake in March is a prime example of this. I have prayed numerous times for this disaster to bring about positive change in the way we work together with other government leaders to solve these problems. I don't believe that is happening yet, but I still have hope that it will.

If Michael were still here, I have no doubt he would have responded to this disaster with not only relief aid to the most devastated areas, but also an important message in his music about our responsibility to each other, no matter our race or culture or religious beliefs. He would be reminding us that we are ONE in Consciousness as we grapple with the challenge of solving the problems we have created by our divisive thinking. Once again, he would be attempting to bring us together in the name of Love for our fellow human beings, for the children, and for the planet!


The landscape of the shore
Has changed its form
When did this happen
How could this be

The force of nature
Traveled ‘cross the sea
From an earthquake in Japan
And the inevitable tsunami

It touched our shores
This long distance away
Our hearts were transformed
And our land caught the fray

It tells a story of disaster
A tragedy unmeasured
Lives lost, homes destroyed
Their landscape changed forever

A nuclear threat
Unleashed to the world
We cannot escape it
No matter the distance

Suddenly this earth
Is smaller than it’s ever been
We’re in this together, you see
Always have been
Always will be

He’s been trying to tell us
But we haven’t been listening
The brotherhood of man
Has been deaf to his cause

We must reach across the ocean
This great divide
And take responsibility
For the sake of our lives

Hold hands across the sea
Say a prayer to One God
That we can find a solution
To these problems we’ve got

We created them together
Even though we’ve never met
It’s time to come together
In the name of common sense

We must recognize
Our neighbors over there
Look each other in the eyes
And say I’ll meet you where
We can find a compromise

Our lives are not so different
As we often think they are
We can’t hide behind this great divide
Can’t close our eyes anymore

‘Cause the force of nature
Has traveled ‘cross the sea
And touched our shore

Copyright © 2011 by Charlene Burgess


The great divide
Really isn’t what its name implies
It’s what connects us
The water of the sea
It travels ‘round the world
Shore to shore
From you to me
Carrying with it untold treasures
Stories of life and love and natural disasters
Only the sea knows where it’s been
Its secrets will tell
It is where we begin
To see our connection
‘round this beautiful globe
This gift from the heavens
The place we call home
Though people are different
In culture and name and color of skin
Inside we’re all the same
We’re all God’s children
We laugh and we cry
We love and we hurt
Can’t always say why
God made us to be
In His image, you see
And that is why
The great divide
Cannot really separate us
One from the other
We’re each the same
We are not our color

Copyright © 2011 by Charlene Burgess

Monday, September 5, 2011

One In Consciousness: That One In The Mirror

For today’s devotion, I am going to let our brilliant teacher Michael speak for me. I went searching in Dancing the Dream for a quote - anything that I could find related to the theme of One In Consciousness. I was certain there would be something I could use to launch my own dissertation on the subject. Well, I found that a great deal of anything Michael wrote touches on this concept. But when I came to page 143, I realized I had not read the following piece in a very long time. I started reading and found that this entire story speaks of being One In Consciousness… without saying it at all! Metaphorically, it makes the point loud and clear. And so, I want to share it with you here. Let’s explore the many ways Michael talks about today’s topic. As you read this incredible piece of creative writing, I ask you to select a phrase which speaks to you and share it with us in your comments. Then, if you can put it in your own words, tell us what it means to you in relation to the concept of being One in Consciousness. Let’s talk about it!


I wanted to change the world, so I got up one morning and looked in the mirror. That one looking back said, “There is not much time left. The earth is wracked with pain. Children are starving, Nations remain divided by mistrust and hatred. Everywhere the air and water have been fouled almost beyond help. Do something!”

That one in the mirror felt very angry and desperate. Everything looked like a mess, a tragedy, a disaster. I decided he must be right. Didn’t I feel terrible about these things, too, just like him? The planet was being used up and thrown away. Imagining earthly life just one generation from now made me feel panicky.

It was not hard to find the good people who wanted to solve the earth’s problems. As I listened to their solutions, I thought, “There is so much good will here, so much concern.” At night before going to bed, that one in the mirror looked back at me seriously. “Now we’ll get somewhere,” he declared. “If everybody does their part.”

But everybody didn’t do their part. Some did, but were they stopping the tide? Were pain, starvation, hatred, and pollution about to be solved? Wishing wouldn’t make it so - I knew that. When I woke up the next morning, that one in the mirror looked confused. “Maybe it’s hopeless.” he whispered. Then a sly look came into his eyes, and he shrugged. “But you and I will survive. At least we are doing all right.”

I felt strange when he said that. There was something very wrong here. A faint suspicion came to me, one that had never dawned so clearly before. What if that one in the mirror isn’t me? He feels separate. He sees problems “out there” to be solved. Maybe they will be, maybe they won’t. He’ll get along. But I don’t feel that way - those problems aren’t “out there,” not really. I feel them inside me. A child crying in Ehtiopia, a sea gull struggling pathetically in an oil spill, a mountain gorilla being mercilessly hunted, a teenage soldier trembling with terror when he hears the planes fly over. Aren’t these happening in me when I see and hear about them?

The next time I looked in the mirror, that one looking back had started to fade. It was only an image after all. It showed me a solitary person enclosed in a neat package of skin and bones. “Did I once think you were me?” I began to wonder. I am not so separate and afraid. The pain of life touches me, but the joy of life is so much stronger. And it alone will heal. Life is the healer of life, and the most I can do for the earth is to be its loving child.

That one in the mirror winced and squirmed. He hadn’t thought so much about love. Seeing “problems” was much easier, because love means complete self-honesty. Ouch!

“Oh friend,” I whispered to him, “do you think anything can solve problems without love?” That one in the mirror wasn’t sure. Being alone for so long, not trusting others and being trusted by others, it tended to detach itself from the reality of life. “Is love more real than pain?” he asked..

“I can’t promise that it is. But it might be. Let’s discover,” I said. I touched the mirror with a grin. “Let’s not be alone again. Will you be my partner? I hear a dance starting up. Come.” That one in the mirror smiled shyly. He was realizing that we could be best friends. We could be more peaceful, more loving, more honest with each other every day.

Would that change the world? I think it will, because Mother Earth wants us to be happy and to love her as we tend her needs. She needs fearless people on her side, whose courage comes from being part of her, like a baby who is brave enough to walk because Mother is holding out her arms to catch him. When that one in the mirror is full of love for me and for him, there is no room for fear. When we were afraid and panicky, we stopped loving this life of ours and this earth. We disconnected. Yet how can anybody rush to help the earth if they feel disconnected? Perhaps the earth is telling us what she wants, and by not listening, we fall back on our own fear and panic.

One thing I know: I never feel alone when I am earth’s child. I do not have to cling to my personal survival as long as I realize, day by day, that all of life is in me. The children and their pain; the children and their joy. The ocean swelling under the sun; the ocean weeping with black oil. The animals hunted in fear; the animals bursting with the sheer joy of being alive.

This sense of “the world in me” is how I always want to feel. That one in the mirror has his doubts sometimes. So I am tender with him. Every morning I touch the mirror and whisper, “Oh, friend, I hear a dance. Will you be my partner? Come.”

~ Michael Jackson, Dancing the Dream