Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Month: September, 2013

Nurturing The Souls Around You…Including Your Own

Daisies
by Bliss Carman (1861-1929)

Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune
I saw the white daisies go down to the sea,
A host in the sunshine, an army in June,
The people God sends us to set our heart free.

The bobolinks rallied them up from the dell,
The orioles whistled them out of the wood;
And all of their singing was, “Earth, it is well!”
And all of their dancing was, “Life, thou art good!”

These days I know the importance of understanding that our peace comes from within.  We cannot depend on what is going on around us to bring us the peace, love and connection to life that we seek.  We must find it within.  Having said that, I am learning that even though it is up to us to find it within, it is still important to acknowledge and understand how the souls around us are there participating in our soul journey as well.  There is a oneness that is happening around us.  We each have our individual soul and that individual soul is also part of the one soul.  We have so much power within and we also connect to the souls around us at the same time.

The people around us are there for a reason.  Those closest to us that are sharing their lives with us and that we have chosen to share our lives with are there to be cherished.  With how busy our lives have become and how many things we have coming at us at once, it is important to remember to make soul care a priority.  It is so healing to shift the focus to really building each other up and nurturing our souls.  When we nurture the souls of our loved ones, we nurture our own.  Sometimes it takes a shift.  Life is busy and routines can set in.  Taking the time to really show our loved ones how much we value them is good for them and good for us at the same time.

Sometimes, being a good spiritual partner means letting the other person work things out and grow through things on their own.  Sometimes, being a good spiritual partner means being that soft comforting place and providing extra love and attention.  Always, being a true spiritual partner means balancing the two.  And, of course, love is always the answer.

Love those around you a little bit extra today and always.  Let them love you back a little bit extra…even as you grow.  Ask for what you need and give what you most want.

Gratitude

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart

All that we behold is full of blessings.  ~William Wordsworth

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu

My gratitude lately is almost overwhelming.  The last two days have been incredible in so many ways.  Nothing monumental happened and nothing unexpected came my way…but the gratefulness in my heart for what my life is all about has hit me like a ton of bricks.  My kids and I started our new homeschool and household chores routine.  I know.  It doesn’t sound that thrilling.  It is though.  There are about a million things I can count and millions more I can’t see that had to come together and coordinate perfectly over many many years to have experienced the last two days the way I have experienced them.  I have been brought to tears a few times just taking in all that was happening around me and realizing all that came before me to make it possible.  Thank you God/Universe/Life for sending me the messages, blessings, support and courage to make all the choices we have made to be on the path we are on.  We love our little path and we know it is ours…we are making it up as we go along with help from Everything!

I am so grateful I listened!

When you’re on the right path and you’re listening to life and charting your own course you not only love your path, you begin to love the path that everyone else has chosen as well.  Feeling like your path is the right one or better than another choice is no longer possible when you’re full of love and gratitude for having found yours.  You wish with all your heart that everyone finds and loves their path too.  We’re all headed to the same place on different paths.  It feels so comforting to love our path so much and see the beauty and joy in other paths as well.  We can let go of judging as we create and enjoy our path and enjoy watching others do the same.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wishing you a heart full of gratitude!  I am so very grateful you are visiting me here and I send you so much love, joy and gratitude!

The Gift of Authenticity

Years ago I had what seemed at the time like a close friend.  We were spending a lot of time together in group settings and with our children and alone on occasion.  The thing was, you never knew what you were going to get with her.  Sometimes she was lovely and great company, sometimes she was rowdy and a lot of fun, sometimes she was down right rude and hard to get along with, sometimes she seemed to have a wall up to create distance and make herself appear to be something (I’m still not sure what it was).  One day when we were together, she was having a bad day and really let her guard down and spoke from her heart.  I got to see this open and genuine side to her.  It was a bit of a relief and very refreshing.  I can’t remember exactly how I worded it, but I told her on the spot how much I liked her when she was just really being honest and open and sharing how she was really feeling that day.  She quickly responded, saying “Well, it’s not practical for me to come with my ‘woe is me’ story every day.”  She quickly returned to her somewhat closed up protective persona.

I let this friendship slip away.  That wouldn’t happen today.  That friendship taught me a lot throughout the years.  I now know that you can only see in others what you have in yourself.  Even as I recalled my experience of her above, it didn’t seem real anymore.  I think I would now experience her in a completely different way.  I was choosing to experience her in that limited way.  I was not as far along on my own path of finding my authentic self.  Perhaps when we aren’t there authentically, we can’t feel others authenticity either and we don’t offer a space that welcomes it.

I used to think I was too open.  I would sometimes regret having shared too much with someone and have that sick feeling of regret.  I would then try to tell myself I wouldn’t share so much next time and that I would learn from that feeling…only to have it happen again soon.  I haven’t had that in a long time.  I didn’t become less open, I just found my way to more authenticity.  For that, I am truly grateful!  Recently someone meaning well and trying to give me helpful advice relating to my children’s activities told me to “keep my distance” with a particular group.  She had compelling reasons and was really trying to help me navigate a situation for my children.  Her advice seemed reasonable and she had much more experience in this arena than me…for a minute I thought I might be able to do what she was suggesting.  It didn’t work.  I figured out very quickly that I am just not a “keep your distance” kind of person.  If I am there, I am open.  For me to try to create distance would stop the flow of life and I want to experience that flow and whatever it may bring.  When you are completely authentic and present (or at least as present as you are able to be), the interaction will be what it is meant to be and the fear of over-sharing can drop away.

Authenticity comes slowly over time (like most wondrous gifts).  Without knowing it, I have been working at it for years.  As a child, I was so afraid of everything.  Even butterflies.  I made many choices out of fear of what others might think or to do what I thought I was supposed to do.  It is remarkable how little what I really wanted or felt meant to me.  I think it is sad to spend time walking around with masks on trying to protect ourselves from something…but really, just keeping ourselves from living.  I want everyone to know how amazing it feels to truly stand in your own authenticity.  It is such a relief to ourselves and to others who spend time with us.  It allows us to make brave choices that align with our purpose and to truly grab hold of this life and live it.

It is a beautiful thing to be so “you” everywhere you go.  Sometimes I am shocked at how different it feels these days to be authentically me.  Sometimes the things that bring me the most joy surprise me so.  Many things have changed slowly over time and I have found the authentic me to be much more than I thought as I have learned to chart my own course and make authentic choices for my life.  Whatever it is, whatever I am feeling, I am it…no pretense, no people pleasing, no mask…just me.  Sometimes I have it together and spread love and joy.  Sometimes I am a mess and it shows.  Whatever it is, it is authentic.  When it is a mess, it doesn’t last long…authenticity has a way of bringing us back to the only thing that truly exists…love.  It sort of wipes all the fake stuff out-of-the-way and brings more space for love.

We know in our hearts how important authenticity is.  We must work to find it and know it so well we live from that space in every choice, action, thought or word.  Once we can live in this way, we can work to expand it and watch it grow us into our true nature.  The Universe is authentic, it will meet us in that space and we will see our connectedness to everything and how we see the world will be transformed.

Sending you love and wishing you authenticity in everything you do and a reciprocal flow from everyone you meet!

Smile!

smileWishing  you a wonderful weekend full of smiles!

Staying Home

Once we understand that the best place to BE at home is within ourselves and that we can be at home whenever and wherever we are, we just need to practice actually doing it.  For today, I want to share a quick tip for staying at home within when distractions arise.

The term being at home is really about inner peace.  Somehow “being at home” sounds a bit more attainable than inner peace, kind of like a stepping stone to the real deal.  Plenty of being at home within will take us toward inner peace…where else would it lead?!  The path toward peace begins with quieting the mind.  There are many stages and paths and practices that help with quieting the mind.  Different things work for different people.  I want to just give a quick tip today that might help us all stay home well this week.

Let’s identify a few of the many things that take us from our true home and fill our mind with noise:

  • Worrying
  • Rushing
  • Resisting situations, wishing things were different
  • Thinking about the future and what may happen
  • Wishing something hadn’t happened
  • Being annoyed
  • Stress in general

To be clear, we are meant to live a peaceful life and feel at home within ourselves all the time.  So, anytime we are not experiencing utter peace, we have left our rightful home and chosen fear instead.  Most people live in constant stress, so they may be surprised to hear that what many consider to be “normal” stress is actually not living at all and a complete waste of energy.

Knowing our home is within we can use our bodies to anchor us there.  A little thing I like to do throughout the day when I feel my mind stray or stress begin to take hold is to simply shift my attention towards some part of my body.  If I am walking when I notice the mind activity, I simply change the thought to “I am home” and feel my foot hit the ground or floor with my fullest attention, then I keep my attention there for my next steps.  Repeating the “I am home” thought again, I then notice more of my body.  I soon notice my heart feel good and a smile always comes to my face; when you stop to notice your heart feel good, it is impossible not to smile (try it).  As you keep walking, you find the quiet mind and peace again.  If I were doing the dishes or writing when my mind went towards noise, I would bring my attention to my hands and do the same thought replacement and feel my heart relax and inevitably feel a smile on my face.  It really works and can bring you right to where you are most at home…in joy.  You can use an arm movement, notice your fingers, stretch your neck or simply stand still…anchor yourself anywhere in your body and out of your mind…it will bring the peace of being at home within.

On this wonderful Wednesday, I just have to say…I wouldn’t wish happiness on anyone.  That may sound strange, let me explain.  To me, happiness means something has happened that brought it and inevitably it swings to the opposite at some point.  What I wish for everyone is true peace that comes from within.  I wish it for you with all my heart!  Try this little tip to anchor your attention in your body and you will love how it feels to quickly and effectively quiet the mind and all the trouble it likes to create.  When I first started watching my thoughts years ago, I remember I would often find myself counting my steps.  It was as if my mind was so used to constant noise that it couldn’t just be quiet, it had to count.  It was okay, I just went around counting steps and stairs…it passed.  The quiet is where life is at…I am so grateful for the quiet.

I hope this little tip helps you enjoy the quiet.  I am sending you love and peace!

Being At Home

What better place to truly be at home than anywhere in the world?!  When we can be our true self no matter where we are, who we are with or what the circumstances are, then we are really living and we are at home within.  Figuring out how to find this space and dwell within it is the most important achievement we can ever accomplish in our lifetime.  That space is in there waiting for us…we need simply follow the path to it.  There is no fear there and none of its many disguises.  There is unwavering comfort.  There is only love for all that is and ever was and ever will be.  There is peace.

Live What You Know is all about figuring out how to stay in this place.  I have peeked in the door and even stopped in for a bit…only to allow myself to be pulled back to all the things of this world that can pull us out of peace if we let them (and only if we let them).  How lovely it would be to take us residence there.  I would have that peace and I could bring it to everyone I meet.  I could show them my space and share with them that they have the same space within them awaiting their arrival.  They would be able to see it and recognize it as their own as well.  Oh, how lovely that would be.

We will get there.  There is no way we can’t.  The timing is fine, it all works out as it should.  We will find our way within.

Now is the only time there ever is.

Today, as I walk, talk, breathe and be I will remember that I am at home.  I will be in that space today because my soul is ready to be there today.  That is the prayer today.  I pray the same for you.  Whether you peek in the door, stop in for a visit or are ready to live there always, I pray you see home in you today and always.

———————————————————–

Today, our family is starting a stay-cation at home for the week.  We thought about traveling this week, but we all just really want to be at home enjoying family time.  As I was pondering staying at home this morning and truly making it the best it can be for my husband and children, the knowing that we are always at home within came through me.  I think there is a powerful connection to the actual living space we abide in.  I am grateful I had this awareness this morning and I can use this week as a time to honor our sacred space that we share.  I pray to use this time to bring more peace and love to my husband and children.  Making our living space more like the space we have within can only help us in finding that space, staying there and inviting others to join us.  Taking all actions from my home within is the only way to bring this peace to my loved ones.  I am so grateful to be at home!

Sending so much love!

 

Life

The River of Life

It’s not enough to live from day to day
Keeping yourself warm, well-fed and safe
Satisfying desires, chasing after fun
Hiding from the strange and dangerous
Dazed with distractions and daydreams.

Life shouldn’t be a tepid pond
But a river flowing fast and furious
Full of struggles and adventures
That open up new depths
And awaken higher selves.

The same river that has brought you here
Through billions of years of unfolding
An ever-widening stream, from a trickle to a torrent –
Not to rest, but to keep cutting through
Until your being is ocean deep and wide.

— Steve Taylor

Wishing you the courage to make brave choices and follow the song of your soul towards the life you are meant to be living.  Whatever tune you hear your soul singing, follow it to wherever it may take you.  If you can’t hear it, get quiet and embrace the stillness and you will.  Wishing you The Flow of Life!  Pure Life!  Real Life!

What Blessings Will You See?

I experienced three specific blessings and countless related miracles last week.

  1. My dryer broke with a room full of dirty clothes.
  2. My air conditioner broke on one of the hottest days of the year with house guests included in the fun.
  3. My leg was bitten by a spider that resulted in a reaction causing great discomfort and need for medication.

When the dryer broke for the third time in the two years since we purchased it, I started to react and then paused, took a breath and simply took the necessary action to figure out how to resolve the issue.  Within the course of the next few days I witnessed several miracles come together to coordinate things perfectly for me.  It felt like a bummer to have to purchase a new one and it was kind of funny when they called to say they were on the way with my new washer (instead of a dryer), but there were no less than ten things that looked like miracles to me throughout dealing with the situation.  My heart was full of gratitude to have witnessed these miracles and to live in a time and place where dryers exist and we are able to have one.

When the air conditioner broke within a few weeks of having it serviced, I reacted a bit.  It was hot and I had guests.  I made it through the heat and tried my best to let it be.  The next morning after realizing it hadn’t fixed itself overnight I called the nice man who had recently been to the house to service it.  It was the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, so you can imagine it wasn’t high on his list of things to do…but, within a few hours he was at my door with his sweet young son ready to help.  They had the right part on their truck and got us up and running very soon.  I counted many miracles in this process and felt a deep sense of gratitude that I had been referred to him a few weeks before and even knew who to call on a holiday weekend like that.  Because I was leaning back and letting things flow, I witnessed multiple miracles.  My heart was overflowing with gratitude.

When I saw the crazy thing on my leg growing and developing a weird ring around it and realized that I had been feeling kind of sickly, I started to react or become fearful and then I realized with a grateful heart that I coincidentally (there are no accidents) had a dermatologist appointment the very next morning that had been scheduled for something else two months earlier.  This was an appointment I had been avoiding for over a year, I was having a dark spot cut off my back.  Ouch.  I finally had made the appointment and was kind of dreading it.  As I realized the doctor would be able to help me with the weird thing growing on my leg, I felt like I had just been given a huge hug from the Universe (I love God hugs…they are always readily available).  During my  appointment she said that I would have ended up in the hospital on an IV if I hadn’t come in.  She prescribed medication that requires me to stay out of the sun for ten days which causes me to miss out on a lot of planned activities.  I had seen so many miracles in this blessing, I left filled with the utmost peace and gratitude for the way the Universe works and the miracles that are all around us.

I am so grateful for three things that happened last week.

  1. My dryer broke with a room full of dirty clothes.
  2. My air conditioner broke on one of the hottest days of the year with house guests included in the fun.
  3. My leg was bitten by a spider that resulted in reaction causing great discomfort and need for medication.

I saw three blessings and many miracles.  I am so grateful I can see them.  What a shame it would have been to simply see three bad things that happened and disrupted my week.  Sometimes the things that look like problems are filled with blessings, kindnesses, miracles and messages for us…you never now whether something is good or bad.  It is best to just go with the flow of Life.  When we figure out how to truly Flow we can see blessings everywhere!  That is living!

It is impossible for me to truly express just how I saw all those miracles or to describe the amazing little details that were connected and coordinated to fill me with wonder…even for someone like me who is never short on words.  Trying to explain the details of it couldn’t honor it properly.  It is just a kind of magical feeling that made ordinary events take on more meaning.  It brought into clear perspective how silly it really is to react to things.  There is so much more going on than we can see…but if we look closely enough or feel deeply enough, we can know and understand at the highest level that everything is going to workout just the way it should and all is well.

Miracles are all around us!  Wishing you a day of counting your blessings…whatever form they come in.

Perception is but a mirror, not a fact. What I look on is my state of mind reflected outward. (p. 441)

This instant is the only time there is. (p. 443)

Perception follows judgment. Having judged, we therefore see what we would look upon. (p. 446)

–A Course In Miracles

Create Positive Change Now – We’re All Students of Life – Let’s Harness The Back To School Spirit and Energy Around Us Now

There is a collective energy shift happening all around us as summer winds down and all the responsibilities of fall will soon take hold.  We can all feel the new focus taking shape and the promise that a new school-year holds.  Everywhere we go there are school supplies around every corner…fresh new pencils to hold and reams of blank paper to fill.  The potential is pulsating through the air.  I believe that we can harness that collective energy this time of year more than any (even more than the new year) and make real changes and set new goals of things we would like to accomplish or change in our daily lives.  The first day of school energy isn’t reserved just for students…we are all students in the classroom of life.  Let’s gather our supplies and grab hold of the energy pulsating around us and make amazing changes and set meaningful goals for this new school-year ahead.

I am a big believer in not should-ing on anyone.  I also don’t want anyone should-ing on me.  Translation – I don’t like to tell anyone what they should do and I don’t like people telling me what I should do.  There is a lot of noise in the world, I think the answers come from deep within, not from outside.  I like to celebrate how we all know deep inside what is best for us and I think encouraging people to make brave choices from the small still place inside them that knows what is best for them is my calling in life.  I am not at all interested in judging what others do or feeling superior in my own choices…yuck!  I want to encourage everyone to find what works for them or what their soul is calling them to try or change or do and go for it.  I know that we all have the most amazing power within us to harness at any time…we must listen to the quiet within and make choices accordingly.

Having said all of that, I will tell you what the still quiet voice inside me is saying and what I will begin this new school-year working on in my life.  I have a lot of things I would like to work on over the year and I am sure many or all of them will come up here in my Live What You Know writings, however, I want to start in that organized back to school way and get specific with one for the first month.  I can see the year ahead and I have so much I want to get better at and so many things I know that I want to live, so it is clear to me that I need to have a healthy and energized body or form to do this in.  I want my form to be able to support all that my soul wants to live.  I feel that I have been so focused on mind health and learning new things and figuring out how to apply them in my life, etc., I have let the health and vitality of my body slip.  I don’t have the energy I need to have to do all that my soul is telling me to do.  I had a time when taking care of my body was priority number one in the mornings so that I could energize my day – it was awesome.  Once I began incorporating writing, reading, praying and meditating into the morning routine as well, things began slipping a bit with regards to my physical health.  That coupled with less of a focus on what and how much I am eating has not proved well for my fitness and energy level.  I want my energy back and I want to go back to having my body feel good and strong and vital.  This form was given to me as a tool to experience my soul with.  It needs my attention and care right now.  I can hear it calling.

You haven’t heard a peep out of me about health and fitness until now because I wasn’t ready.  I am harnessing the new fresh focused energy around me and using it to get healthy and strong again.  I am ready and I need it to accomplish all that my spirit is calling for.  So, for the next 27 days (just because that is my favorite number) I will live what I know in regards to my physical form to the best of my ability.  I don’t plan to stop after 27 days I just plan to make it the highest priority for this 27 days to restore me to my optimum health.  I believe I can do it within that time frame.  I will then feel so much better that I will have reformed my habits and will be able to refocus and plan for how I will proceed to maintain that level of health from that point on.  I will then be able to give myself a new focus and/or goal, etc.  Here are a few specifics on the details on how I choose to restore optimum health to my body:

  • Steps – I wear a pedometer to count and track my steps.  I did this a few years back and it worked great.  I stopped wearing it when I decided I needed more weight training and other fitness programs to get more fit, not just the steps.  I must admit that when I was really committed to it, the consistency of doing those steps that you commit to each and every day does work.  I just went back to wearing the pedometer about a month ago.  My husband wears one too and we can see each others stats and compete, etc., its fun!  For this 27 days I am going to up my goal to 13,000 steps per day (most days I will have much more than that…but no matter what I will not go to bed without 13,000).
  • Other fitness activities – for me, with all that I have going on getting our new homeschool year on track and other things, my workouts have to be at home.  I do plan to get a yoga practice going at a studio this year, but it will have to wait until another time.  I am homebound for now.  I will become the workout video maven again.  It has worked for me in the past and I will do it again.  I have several favorites and I will plan to do five videos a week in addition to my steps.  This will get me plenty of cardio and a great combo of resistance and weights and stretching, etc.
  • Tennis and swimming – we are huge into tennis right now.  We play doubles and singles with our kids and it is just the funnest thing in the world.  I also want to enjoy swimming while the weather is still nice.  My fitness will include the fun of being super active with my family.  Yay!
  • Whole Foods – We eat a vegan diet.  We have for about four and a half years.  In the beginning we didn’t know what to eat, so it was pretty much just legumes, veggies and fruit.  Whole foods – perfect.  Over time we figured out how to substitute some of the old flavors and we ended up with fake processed junk creeping in.  Still vegan, just junky.  Time to clean it up and take the time to make whole foods that nourish and strengthen the body.  This will include lots of juicing and cleaning out the system.  Its time to remember that you are what you eat and to take the time and effort to make the best possible choices.  I am ready.  This will be great.
  • Food Amount – I think I have been literally weighing myself down with more food than is necessary.  I am ready to return to mindful eating and eating to live and fuel the body only.
  • Balance – I am going to remember to be nice to myself.  This isn’t about a diet or doing things I can’t keep up with.  Its about creating balance and restoring the best possible lifestyle habits.

So, that is my focus for the month.  I will also continue to learn and grow and do the other things I find meaningful, I am just ready to take the time and energy to focus on the plan above.  I am working on another fun kindness project…but I will have to tell you about that later.

What is your soul telling you to focus on?  How will you harness and use the collective energy around you to make positive changes and set meaningful goals in your life.  What can September mean for you?  The month is going to pass…we might as well use it for creating positive change.  Here are some examples of things your soul might be calling for:

  • De-clutter – are you feeling weighed down by too much stuff?  Is it time to purge?
  • Organize – does everything have a place, is your home a comfortable place to be?  Is it supporting your spirit?
  • Meditate – are you getting in enough time for stillness?
  • Prayer – are you getting quiet time with God?
  • Reading – are you learning something?  Are you nourishing your soul with wonderful books?
  • Gratitude – are you able to feel grateful each day?
  • Kindness – would your spirit like to come up with a daily practice?
  • Delaying a dream – is there something you are wanting to do with your life, could you use this month to get a plan in place?

These are just a few examples of things your soul may be saying.  Only you can know what the best focus of energy for you is.  Listen to that voice and put a plan in place.  It is fun, it is exciting, it is a great time to do it…the energy around you will support you.  I get so excited to plan and change and focus…I am off to get me an excel spreadsheet going.  For me a spreadsheet of my goals is like the ultimate gift to myself.  Yay, I am excited.  A bit relieved to have a plan too!

Wishing you the excitement and joy of joining the collective energy and making positive change to support living what you know your soul is calling for at this time.  Sending you love too!

NOTE – in the spirit of not should-ing on you…listen closely to your soul and if its not time to change anything, then don’t.  Always remember, you know best…but listen closely to make sure it is the real You talking and not just mind chatter.  Wishing you well in any choice you make!

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