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: November, 2013

Thank You

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” –Meister Eckhart

I am filled with gratitude on so many levels and in so many ways.  I am grateful just to be grateful — to know what it is, where it comes from and how it expands our lives.  Let’s pretend we’re all sitting at the table, enjoying our wholesome Thanksgiving feast together; I will share three things I am particularly grateful for today:

  • Perception – It is a great gift to me to know that whenever I find myself suffering in any way, I can shift my perception and choose another way of looking at things.  I know deeply that how I see the world creates the world I live in.  I cherish this truth and I am so very grateful to know how important it is to do the work to polish the lenses I look through…to keep my perception in line with all I have learned and just what my heart holds dear.
  • My Blogging Adventure, My Fellow Bloggers and My Precious Readers – I am filled with gratitude over having this space to share my heart and help me grow as I continue to try to close the gap between what I know and what I am living.  The opportunity to have this creative outlet fills me with joy; my deepest intention and desire is to create something that may be useful to others in some way.  It is my dream to follow my heart towards sharing that truly helps others.  Through this gift of sharing and creating, I have been introduced to so many amazing bloggers out there listening to their voice inside and sharing what is meaningful to them with the world in magical ways.  To have this space where I can connect with others sharing their hearts and read uplifting things filled with kindness and thoughtful choices is such a gift!  I am truly grateful to my fellow bloggers and my precious readers  — from the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU!
  • My Nearest and Dearest — There are so many special people in my life.  I am so very blessed.  I send so much love and gratitude to my friends and family today and always!  To my precious three that walk with my heart in theirs — Grace, George and John:  Thank you for loving me just as I am and thus igniting the drive in me to constantly grow and evolve towards more of my being.  My love for you is the breath of my life I breath in and my gratitude for your love is the sweet exhalation.  To share this life with you is my dream come true.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  I wish I could sit across from you and hear what you’re grateful for!  Sending you love!

Help Others…Help Yourself

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no person can sincerely help another without helping himself.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is a mystical law of nature that says the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.  Your true happiness comes from giving, not getting.  It’s the basic precept of all great religions: the Golden Rule.”  — John Wooden

We are so connected to each other.  When you help someone, you expand and feel more of yourself through that connection.  You sense more of your true self, the one that is timeless and connected to everyone and everything…your soul.  Helping others takes the focus off our own stuff and allows us to break down a false sense of separation from everything.  It is easy to go around feeling separate from the world, but that isn’t real.  We are part of it all and with it all.  We connect deeply to all the little things around us…those we can see and those we cannot see.  The more we can feel those connections, the more we can see them.

The ego seeks to divide and separate.  Spirit seeks to unify and heal. –A Course In Miracles

We want to help others from spirit, not ego.  The ego loves to see others “in need” and itself as the “helper”…what we’re talking about here isn’t that kind of help.  We’re talking about the kind of help that unifies, not the kind that separates.

There are big ways to help others.  We can seek them out and give our time, talents, energies and resources to them when we are able.  It is important to build in time for giving back and we get so much in return.  But, there are also lots of little ways we can help others on a regular basis:

  • Listening — People love your full attention.  Simply giving it to them can help in so many ways.  Your fullest attention to show the other that they are important to you in that moment can heal them and nurture them in many ways.  This is for our closest loved ones and anyone we come into contact with throughout our days.  Wherever you’re at…that is the perfect place to truly listen to everyone and everything around you.  It is a gift for others as well as yourself.
  • Eye Contact — This may sound silly, but it is important.  There is something magical behind the eyes.  We don’t want to be creepy about it and stare too long, but we must honor each other by really looking each other in the eye. There are so many distractions these days that it is easy to keep a wall up.  Having that wall up is deadening…it feeds the feeling of separation and creates suffering.  Looking into the eyes of others is like a window to the soul.
  • Smiling — A true smile feels so good for your heart.  Do it right now.  Stop reading this and smile your truest deepest smile.  Your heart tingles and the connection of it is obvious.  Now, imagine spreading that tingle and true form of loving energy wherever you go.  You can.  Years ago I was walking into a Costco with the kids and two older gentlemen were heading towards us.  I smiled and greeted them as we passed each other.  As they went on I heard one say to the other, “Wow, there is nothing like a woman’s smile.”  I was rather surprised at the time.  Now I understand it a bit more and I know what smiles are…true smiles (not the fake ones) from anyone are soul nurturing.  Spread the smiles — nurture souls!
  • Sharing Your Spirit — I have a few close loved ones that allow me to share my spirit.  I also share it here on Live What You Know.  My deepest and truest intention and desire when sharing my spirit is always to help others become more of themselves and make great choices as they know more and live more.  I can feel how uplifting it is for my spirit when I have touched the stillness and allowed the expression of my spirit to flow through me.  I feel so much better when I have quieted the personality and all it’s noise and truly touched the spirit.  Those close loved ones I mentioned that allow me to listen to their deepest feelings and concerns about their life situations are such a gift.  In listening to them, understanding their journey and responding from a deeper place, I get the gift of spirit flowing through me.  If I have truly done it and they can hear it, it is such a miraculous gift.  To have spirits share in this way is what connection is all about.
  • Being With — Things change and evolve, lifetimes go through a natural expansion and contraction.  Everyone is in a different stage of life and viewing life through their own perceptions.  Knowing this and accepting the impermanence of all things, we can give more focus to truly being with each other wherever we are at.  If we can stop expecting our loved ones to behave in certain ways, we can be with them exactly where they are at.  We can be the place of love that allows them to feel loved and accepted as they are.  If we can stop expecting things in general, then life can open up and bless us in miraculous ways.

Personal note — I am so grateful for this space to share my spirit.  As I wrote this, I had some realizations of my own and I can see ways I can focus my actions towards these points even more.  I am grateful that my spirit always has messages for me too!  It’s always possible to live what you know a little bit better.  Now is always the time because it is the only time that ever is.

Wishing you blessed opportunities to help others and feel the lift in spirit as it helps you in return.  Sending you love and joy!

Life is Teaching You Something…Are You Listening?

The Universe / God / Higher Self / Life is always showing us something, growing us in some way, pushing us toward becoming more of ourselves.  The name of my work here is inspired from this fact.  I realized that I had learned so much, so fast and I knew that I wanted to close the gap on how much of it I could actually apply and live.  I think closing that gap between what we know and what we live is life-long work, but I am so very grateful for this space to ground me in the work and create a place to share it and connect with others through learning to live what we know and ever-expanding what it is we know.

I am sure that it is a natural flow of life for many…you just do better when you know better.  Naturally over the years you become more of your essential self and you “do” better.  Then you try not to cringe when you look back at what you used to do.  Sometimes life has been teaching us so much that we have much work to do to create new habits and new ways of thinking that allow us to live what we are learning.  In my case, I feel like I am trying to figure out how to change my entire way of thinking — take it from my head down to my heart…takes some major re-training and new habit forming — switching from thinking to being.  Our world is so busy now that some people seem to just be living in a state of survival and distraction, just taking what comes and perhaps not necessarily seeing what life is teaching.  In those cases, it seems as if life teaches us the same lessons again and again until we can get the lesson and move on.

No experience is a waste.  Everything is happening as it should and for a reason.  I believe these statements and I am so grateful for knowing that there is something in every experience to take as sacred and to grow and evolve with.  Sometimes we fall, make silly mistakes, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing… sometimes we soar and surprise ourselves.  None of it is truly right or wrong, it’s just part of the process.  Whatever we do, when we are ready, we can join in with Life and give it more attention and listen more closely and co-create with Everything.  We are not living, we ARE Life.  We can BE the dance of Life instead of watching it and reacting to it.  We really can.

Wishing you the opportunity to think about what you know and to listen closely to life as you think about what you are doing to live it.  Give yourself the gift of truly living what life is trying to teach you right now.  I pray I may close the gap just a little bit today.

Sending you love and joy!

Vegetables – Food For Your Soul

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I’ve still got the founding fathers on my mind…

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are big fans of Thomas Jefferson.  Over four and a half years ago we chose to adopt a vegan diet, which means we do not eat any animal products whatsoever.  We were thrilled to come across this quote from one of our heroes!  I am reminded just how lucky we are to have dairy free condiments for our vegetables these days.  We are blessed to have made this choice when it is so easy to eat delicious amazing whole food with wonderfully tasty combinations that don’t include the use of any animal foods.  We don’t need animal food to eat well.

Over the past few years when people are inquiring about the reasons why and such, many times someone will say to my husband, “Man, sorry about that, that sounds terrible.”…or something similar.  I love how he responds.  He gets quite enthusiastic and talks about how exciting it has been to try something different.  He goes on and on about how we ate the same things for years and with this change we got to figure out what tastes good to us now and embark on an entire new food adventure.  He tells it as a fun and thrilling story.  He is a great example of — it’s all in how you look at it.  Love him for that and much more!

For me personally, I could go on and on about why we made this choice…it started for one reason and morphed into too many to count.  If people ask, I do love to share some of those reasons.  As it has become completely familiar and normal to us over the years, I realize that there are many unexpected outcomes from making this lifestyle choice.  The biggest one I feel is very close to my heart and means a lot to me, but it may sound strange to others…I feel much more open to life and much more in touch with my heart and able to understand and embrace things in a deeper way.  I actually feel that eating life and whole foods rather than having death on my plate has changed how I live in the world.  I love this quote from Jefferson, it makes me imagine his food choices somehow shaping who he was in the world too.  For some reason it thrills me.

Wishing us all plates full of life!

 

 

Seeing The Greatness Around and Within Everyone and Everything

We just returned home from a magnificent trip to Washington D.C.  I am feeling particularly grateful for many things we saw and experienced there.  I would love to share some of the specifics that touched me and my family, but overall, I must say that I left with deep reverence and immense gratitude for the great many people who have gone before us making great choices and leaving behind great examples of what courage, honor, integrity and good character look like.

When I was researching homeschool and picking the method that would work best for my family, I knew that the Thomas Jefferson Education and classical methods resonated most deeply with me.  I knew the benefits of studying great people throughout history so that when it comes time to make choices in your own life, you have great examples to draw from.  I knew how our Founding Fathers were educated and how I wanted to use that model with my own children.  I went to D.C. with plenty of knowledge about the great people I had studied and read about.  I left with much more than that.  As I left Washington D.C. and thought of all I had experienced there, a deep sense of gratitude for having been there and experienced glimpses of the history of our nation hit me hard.  We saw a  lot and visited many historical places and the feelings that these places ignite within is really quite amazing.  As I continue on the journey of my own growth and evolution and that of mentoring and inspiring my two students as we educate at home, I am certain that the most important thing is the content of our character and that truth far outweighs the importance of the scope of our knowledge.

Knowledge is changing in our world today.  Everyone can access it.  The answers to everything are at our fingertips.  I don’t rest on this fact, we have quite challenging academic goals and schedules.  But, I know who we become is of far greater importance than what we become.  What we can do with our knowledge and what kind of choices we make with it matter much more than how much we possess.  I am so grateful that we have chosen a path that allows us to devote ample time to studying the greatness that has been demonstrated before us.  I believe that we all have greatness in us.  We all have that spark of the Divine.  Some have nurtured it more and made it easier to see.  Some have quietly gone about living from that place and some have shouted it from mountaintops.  I am so thankful for those that have left signs of their Divine spark for us to see so that we can be changed for the better by knowing about them.  I am thankful for the quiet ones too.  It is quite meaningful, heartwarming and fun to study great people making great choices as I nurture my own spark and inspire my little students to do the same.

A few highlights to share…

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We went to Mount Vernon and saw George Washington’s home and plantation.  For me, this was the highlight of the visit.  This man was amazing.  As we are reminded of some of his greatest moments like the defining moment of the Revolutionary War – Washington crossing the Delaware River, we get a deep sense of the fact that this country would not exist without him.  Then, remembering that with his success, the people wanted to name him King and he would have nothing of it, wanting to create something far better…we are reminded just how different this country would be if not for his character.  He did so much to make this a great country, and even more important, he was not swept away by his power.  He stepped down from his leadership roles various times throughout his career, setting an exemplary precedent for those to follow.  The experience of seeing the plantation was meaningful in so many ways…it gives a true glimpse of what it was like to live back then.  While taking in the life of this remarkable man, we still had to walk through the quarters of the slaves and grasp the dark side of history as well.  I left with deeper gratitude and profoundly greater respect for this American hero.  That night the children listened intently while I read to them from George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation which he copied at the age of 15 and spent the remainder of his life abiding by.  As they listened so closely it struck me that the assignments they take part in about developing one’s character may have that same lasting effect on their lives…a mother can hope.

I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few in the whole history of the world who was not carried away by power.  — Robert Frost

John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, we are approaching the 50th anniversary of this moment in our history.  The Newseum, one of our favorite museum stops had a wonderful exhibit that helped us take a deep look at his life, presidency and his death.  This man did a lot for this country and the world and he gave his life for it.  It was a blessing for us to be in our nation’s capital while this historical date was being honored.

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. [Describing a dinner for Nobel Prize winners]  –John F. Kennedy

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson… standing at the Jefferson Memorial and taking in the magnificence of it and the feeling that accompanied being there is really hard to put into words.  What a wonderful moment.

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As our tour of Washington D.C. continued and we found ourselves explaining things to the children and reminding them of historical events, it was lovely to piece our history together for them like a puzzle.  Some good things happened, followed by some very sad things, then more greatness and shinning examples, with sprinkles of darkness and tragedy, soon to return to triumph and honor…  all shaping the world we live in today.

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.  — Abraham Lincoln

Whatever you are be a good one.  –Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s life is a lovely piece of our historic puzzle to explain to children… I particularly enjoy explaining his religion he mentions below.

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a remarkable being.  To stand near the memorial dedicated to him and to read his words on the inscription wall was taking in a very special picture of a man and knowing that you must learn more.  Much more indeed.  That man was filled with so much love.

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“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” (18 April 1959, Washington, D.C.)  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am indeed very grateful for the meaning and reverence that our trip to Washington D.C. inspired in me.  As I settle back into life at home I realize that, for me, D.C. is simply a place that makes it easier to spot the greatness.  It also makes us remember the tragedy, but it fills you with the greatness.  I believe that if we look deeply into any place we can find greatness and we can celebrate it, we can study it and we can emulate it.  We can see it in people who don’t see it in themselves.  We can help more people see it.  We all have that spark in us and we must nurture it and carry it well.  We can choose what we see in others and we can see greatness.  The more we can see it, the more we can be it.  The more we can be it, the more we can spread it.  Wishing us all the grace of seeing the greatness that is around and within us today and always!

Cultivating a Poetry Practice

As detailed in my previous post, after learning all about Coach Wooden, I read and studied all of his work with a voracious appetite to learn and a grateful heart for the spirit and gift I had discovered.  The thing that Coach expresses first and foremost in most of his work is his great respect, love and admiration for his father,  Joshua Wooden.   As you read Coach’s work, it is quite something to hear about his childhood on the farm and the many life lessons he encountered there.  His parents were a great example of exemplary character through hardships and all life brought their way.  It was quite meaningful to have a glimpse into another time with such amazing people working so hard without complaint.

One of the great things Coach shared was about his father reading to his children at night.  He grew up with no electricity, plumbing, or conveniences.  For their entertainment, his father read to them by the light of a coal-oil lamp.  He read them a lot of poetry and Shakespeare and more.  In Coach’s own words he says, ” The poetry Dad read to us when we were kids instilled a love of reading, English, books and knowledge.”  He also recalls, “Dad reminded me often, ‘Johnny, you’ll never learn a thing that you didn’t learn from someone else.’  Good books help us do that.” 

When Coach graduated from grade school, his father gave him what he called The Gift of A Lifetime...it was a little card that had a very special verse on one side and a list of “Seven Things to Do” on the other side.  He eventually called the seven things “Dad’s Seven Point Creed”… When his Dad handed him the card, all he said was, “Son, try and live up to these things.”  In Coach’s humble way, when sharing about these things, he says he wishes he could say he lived up to them.  He says he tried.  I think we can all see how he more than tried, he soared.  He lived up to his father’s Seven Point Creed and he brought it to so many in a time when it is so needed.

Number four on the list was, “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.”  Coach certainly did that.  His love of books and reading started those nights listening to his father reading.  When I learned of this in his various retellings of it, it hit me deep and it changed me.  I thought of my own little ones and my heart tugged and I remember feeling, “Oh, how I wish we lived in a time when we could do this.”…next thought was something like, “Duh, we can do this now.”  Mad dash to the computer to order poetry books and our family poetry nights began…

We have kept with family poetry nights over the years and we have practiced in various ways.  At first we would rotate turns and let each family member lead the reading and discussion.  Whoever’s night it was would read the poem and then we would all discuss what it meant to each of us.  It was delightful to hear how we would each interpret things in our own way.  It also helped us to understand each other better and see things through the eyes of our loved ones.  We went through a stage of everyone reading each night, as we discussed several poems or at least listened to several.  We began to crave going deeper into just one or two poems again, so we returned to assigning nights.  Sometimes the kids are so enthusiastic, we read more.  We are going with the flow of it now.

Our family poetry practice has been a great gift in our lives.  Poetry cannot be read quickly, you must slow down and give it your full attention.  It speaks to the soul.  It brings meaning to our days.  We are by no means poetry experts, we simply follow our hearts toward what speaks to us.  It has led to so many wonderful works, discussions and experiences.  Often when we’re out in the world, one of the kids will see something that reminds them of a poem…they will begin reciting it and excitedly experiencing life in a deeper way.  It is miraculous.  The poetry doesn’t just stay in the house with us where we practice it…it lives with us all the time and blesses us constantly.  We love reading poetry from all corners of the world, it connects us to more than our lives here.  We have been blessed by poetry in our lives in countless ways.

As the years of our poetry practice are adding up, I can truly see just how much it has added to our children’s lives.  It makes them willing to look deeper at things and try to understand that which isn’t immediately obvious.  It has also developed their love of reading and learning in so many ways.  For my husband and I, it has been equally amazing.  Cultivating a poetry practice was new for us both and it has been the most delightful gift.  The poems have a way of finding us.  We have been exposed to so much more than we expected.  We will keep this family practice alive in our home and hearts as long as possible and continue to cultivate it and go deeper and deeper into our practice.  We are grateful for this gift!

Wishing you a life full of poetry!

One of The Great Blessings In My Life…Wooden Wisdom

Coach John Wooden passed away on June 4, 2010.  That day was a life changer for me.  We happened to be sick that weekend and uncharacteristically had the television on, allowing us to see some of the coverage…I am so thankful for that.  I was deeply touched by what I learned about this amazing man that day.  I haven’t written all that much about Coach Wooden here yet because every time I think about putting my feelings into words, I get a kind of terrified feeling.  I think it is because I fear that I could never quite express how knowing about what he did with his life has affected mine and that of my family.  Even now, I sit here with tears starting to form, a sick feeling in my stomach and a lump in my throat.  What is this?  I don’t really experience this with my writing, I am willing to share and be open about just about anything…  Fear is a ridiculous illusion that tries to stop us from so many things, so I will just bulldoze right through it.  Wish me luck please!

As I sat there learning about Coach Wooden that day, I was stunned to see that someone like him had existed.  There was so much more to the story than the man who had coached basketball so successfully.  So much more.  I SAW LOVE!  I think it stood out because it was all men talking about this man and they were just so completely raw and open and loving as they recalled what Coach had meant to them and what knowing him had done in their lives.  The coverage included a little about his great love for his wife who had passed away many years before.  We saw that he had written her a letter every single day for twenty-five years since her passing.  We saw some of his Pyramid of Success.  We saw so much, but for me I wanted to know much more.  I had to.

I decided to read everything I could get my hands on that Coach had written.  He has many books out there.  I devoured all of them.  I would never be the same.  This man knew what success meant.  He began thinking of it back in high school when his math teacher asked his students “What is success?”… Coach never let the question go, he worked on his Pyramid of Success for thirteen years.  He lived it and he devoted his life to teaching others how to live it as well.  His pyramid is something my family has studied since we discovered it and we will continue to do so for years to come.  Coach’s definition of success is this–

Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.  –John R. Wooden

Here is his Pyramid of Success:

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I could attempt to explain all that the Pyramid and all of Coach’s work mean to me, but I know that it really can’t be put into words.  It is much more than words.  I will just say that I think it is very strange that they put his books in the sports section at the book stores.  He taught about much much more than sports.  He taught about life and he lived as an example.

I am grateful for many teachers in my life.  Just prior to reading all of Coach’s work, I had been reading various spiritual awakening books and memoirs.  I was really trying to grasp consciousness and awakening and in some cases, reading and rereading the same books again and again.  Somehow Coach’s work was exactly the piece of the puzzle that I needed at the exact moment…a gift from God.  It felt like my grandfather explaining life to me in understandable terms.  I probably couldn’t have understood Coach so deeply if I hadn’t already been changed by awe-inspiring lessons from many before I found him though, so for that I am grateful!  I think of Coach’s work as the glue I needed as my foundation to understand all the other lessons coming my way and to make sense of all that I had already learned.  I believe Coach Wooden was an enlightened being among us and the best part about him was that he was so humble he didn’t label himself at all.  He was just a man, doing his personal best.  We are all so blessed to have his example.

For me, the Pyramid and many more things I learned from Coach Wooden’s work are my foundation.  That foundation is always there for me reminding me to work hard towards becoming the best version of myself, while being open to Life in every way possible.  Life is always supporting and growing and blessing us with miracles and lessons, but we are also responsible for doing the work of co-creating with it.  Coach’s work brings good old-fashioned character lessons and supports us while we also tap into the moment and the flow of God’s love that is ever-present.  For me, it is the perfect combination.  I am so grateful for the gift of Wooden Wisdom in my life!

We love Coach Wooden’s books for children so very much.  He did a great job in the later part of his life bringing his work to kids.  In his last book, The Wisdom of Wooden, he shared a special picture and a great message about his children’s books.  He said that the people at the company that worked to bring his kids’ books into classrooms asked him if he had ever thought about changing the Pyramid in any manner.  Coach shared that when asked, he had replied, “No, except for one thing.  I wish I had included the word ‘Love’ somewhere.  Love is the basis for everything I do.”  He was excited to share that they granted his wish by making him the picture below.  You can see love in the cement holding the blocks together.  It is so very special.  I saw the love that day that I first learned of Coach and I will never forget it.

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The pictures in the children’s books don’t have the love in the cement…he shared this in his last book.  I scanned it directly from the pages of The Wisdom of Wooden.  I was not surprised at all to hear that was the only change he would make.  I could see on that first day I learned of him that he was a man who lived full of love and I am so grateful that he showed me what a lifetime full of love looks like.

From all the spiritual teachers I have learned that love is always the answer.  I know that is why Coach mentioned this late in his life when asked…he knew deeply that love is the only answer and it is always the answer.  He was and continues to be an amazing example of a life lived well and with lots of love.

I can see as I try to wrap-up this post that it would take many more words to even begin to explain my feelings for Coach.  I feel that I will have many opportunities to share my feelings in the future here on Live What You Know…for that I am grateful and to you, my cherished reader, I am grateful!  Thank you!  Please stay tuned for many more specific lessons I learned from our beloved, Coach Wooden.  For now, lets just try to remember that love is always the answer.  No matter what it is, stop and flex that heart muscle and you will feel it and summon the courage to use it.  You can move mountains with love.  You can forgive, cherish, laugh, cry, squeeze, smile, create, build, win, lose, adore and so much more with love and that muscle we call… the heart.

Love is always the answer.  Wishing you love!

A Clear Mind

My new morning mantra…

Today, I go out into the world with a clear mind.  I leave all thoughts behind.

I spotted a great quote recently that inspired it…

When I walk out into the world, I take no thoughts with me.  That’s not easy, but you can learn to do it.  An empty mind is hungry, so you can look at everything longer, and closer.  Don’t hum!  When you listen with empty ears, you hear more.  And this is the core of the secret:  Attention is the beginning of devotion.”  –Mary Oliver

Last Monday morning, I was driving the children to an activity and I paraphrased Mary Oliver’s lovely words above sharing where I had seen them.  I then naturally turned them into my new mantra.  I kept saying, “Today, I go out into the world with a clear mind.  I leave all thoughts behind.”  Next thing I knew I was looking at things fresh and clear and miracles were appearing before my eyes.  Simply from looking at them with a clear mind.  The miracles are always there and God and the Divine are always ready for us to show up and see them, experience them, and BE them.

On that Monday morning before I had used my mantra, I did have things on my mind that seemed to need my attention.  I even had a few things I thought needed fixing or my own interference really.  After using my mantra and then truly entering the day’s activities with fresh eyes, open ears, and a clear mind with pointed attention…nothing needed my “fixing” anymore.  I was simply left grateful and alive.

This weekend someone asked me, “Where do you fellowship?”  I said, “Everywhere.  I love looking for the Sacred in Everything.”  This is my devotion.

Mary Oliver was right…It isn’t easy to take no thoughts with you.  She was also right when she said you can learn to do it.  It begins with watching the thoughts and then finding your way to quieting them.  The joy is in the still, open, attention.

This morning and always, I wish you a clear and open mind to experience the miracles that are ready for you.  You don’t have to take expectations with you anywhere you go or into anything you do.  Sending you love and joy!

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