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: February, 2014

Fresh Eyes

Whatever we look at today, may we see it with fresh eyes.

All too often, we look with the eyes of yesterday.  We allow our past experiences and judgments to drag us through our life and relive themselves again and again.  This isn’t living.  We can’t fully come to the present moment and live our soul’s purpose and essence until we can put down our veil of perception grown in the past and grounded in fear and future.

We can practice looking at the world and everything in it with fresh, clear, new eyes.  When we do, we will experience the flow of life in miraculous ways.  We can shift how we experience everything.  Everything that passes through our vision has our thoughts attached to it as we take it in.  We look and attach a label, draw on past experiences as we assume they will repeat themselves and then react accordingly.  Living this way, we miss the actual moment and what may be possible within it entirely.  We can change the thoughts we attach and open up to the Life we already have waiting for us to experience it fully.

I arrive again and again at the miraculous truth that the unknown is all there really is and it is much better than knowing everything…or at least thinking we do.  We really don’t know what the future holds and we would have much more peace if we didn’t feel the need to know.  As we shift our perceptions and feel what is really going on in the Divine Universe, we can begin to trust that whatever lies in the unknown is far better than anything we can conjure up with our little ideas about how things should go.  Even when things seem to be against us, we usually see the reason it was the perfect for us later.  We can trust it all.  It is so much more meaningful and, in fact, fun, to just go with the flow and see what happens.  My favorite saying lately is simply, “I don’t know, let’s see what happens.”  It is a joyful relief that comforts me so…much better than gripping life too tight and continuously striving for some semblance of control.  That “control” only blocks Life and all its miracles.

We never really know what we are looking at…even the most familiar things.  Once things become familiar to us we no longer see them.  We must make the effort to see them fresh.  It will awaken our soul and we will come alive to Life simply by seeing what is really there in front of us rather than seeing our thoughts attached to it.

Yesterday at the grocery story, I saw my kids beside me with absolutely fresh eyes.  The magical love I felt gave me chills all over.  They looked like little miracles standing there near me.  I felt like the luckiest person alive just to have them hanging out with me.  I watched them for a few moments, one intently looking through items at the counter and one surveying the people all around…it was as if I had never seen them before.  I saw them so clearly and I knew throughout my being that I have been blessed in the most amazing way.   I could have been distractedly handling that grocery line moment that we have been through what seems like millions of times…instead I was there with fresh eyes and filled with the tingle of Life running through my senses.

I cherish John O’Donohue’s words on the unfamiliar…with gratitude I keep his lessons on seeing the unfamiliar in the most familiar things close to my heart.  I love what A Course In Miracles taught me and continues to teach me about perception.  I try to remember these lessons as I go through my days…sometimes with fresh eyes, often a bit blurry with flashes of clarity.  Recently in my reading, Mark Nepo spoke of these ideas as “love at first sight”… it opened up a new understanding in me.  I like the term “love at first sight” used in this way.  That was what happened to me at the grocery store.  I looked at two of the most familiar people in the world to me and my eyes were so fresh that it was indeed Love At First Sight!  Perhaps that is why they say love is all that matters and love is all there is…because when you get your eyes right…love is all you can see and all you can Be.

These ideas are not reserved for easy situations and circumstances.  We can apply them to Everything.  These fresh new eyes are the ones to use even if we have people in our lives that we feel have wronged us or our loved ones or are in conflict with us in some way, we can look at them with fresh eyes and live only what is in the actual moment in our meetings with them.  We don’t have to bring our past experiences with tough people to every interaction with them and we don’t have to replay old movies in our head of how we already know them and what they are all about.  We are never exactly the same in any two moments, we can meet everyone fresh in the moment we are actually in.  If we can do that, we will surely see that things are always much better in the actual moment without brining all the thoughts about it to keep us distracted or reliving past moments.

Everything around us can feel how we are using our eyes and other senses.  Our eyes can bring love or fear.  When we’re fresh and present, everything expands to be more fully and authentically alive…even the flower can stand taller.  We open life up and we live authentically.  The simple choice to use our senses to see things fresh brings the frequency of love that is all there really is to see.

Wishing you countless moments filled with the true and infinite “Love At First Sight” that is always available to us.  May we all have the courage to look at it all anew.  Let’s see it all fresh!

Sending you love and joy!  May the tingle of Life run through your senses!

Sincerity

Given sincerity, there will be enlightenment. —The Doctrine of the Mean, 200 B.C.E.

These words bring me so much comfort.  Since stumbling upon this quote in my reading, I have recalled them throughout my days many times and each time they have brought me peace.  We never really stumble into these things…they are gifts we are given at the precise moment we can receive them.  I am grateful.

Along the path towards truly living what I know and continuously expanding what that means, I sometimes find myself coasting, sometimes walking a steady pace, often crawling, intermittently hobbling along and occasionally standing still.  Lately, I have been standing still and trying to let things come to me as I attempt figuring out Life’s whispers.

There are many helpful habits to support living peaceful presence and yet at the same time, so many things knocking on the door with their seeming need to get done.  The beautiful dance of a balanced Life uses those healthy habits to prepare for whatever may come…but, what to do when there just doesn’t seem to be enough time or energy to get it all in?  While standing still on my path lately, I have been fluctuating between my Life-giving habits that ground me in the peace that is authentically who I am at my essence and the smaller version of me that reacts and gets things done.

Over the past few weeks, I have struggled to find the balance and time to use my favorite habits to help me.  My observations indicate that I am able to live my best Life when I can read, write, exercise, meditate, pray, cook fresh healthy vegan foods so my family can eat well, have soul-to-soul time with my family and great conversations with loved ones on a regular/daily basis.  These are the things my soul craves.  Lately I get into a groove on a few of these habits and then fall as I try to honor another important habit all the while leaving enough time for my real life duties and commitments to others.  I have been trying to restructure, rearrange, reorganize, etc.  It has been rather funny watching me thrive at one or two habits and terribly miss the others as I juggle them around with very little consistency…it’s hard to even call them habits right now.  It will be fine.  It always works out.  It is just time for me to hobble about as I get my footing back.  I feel it coming and I have the deep knowing that all is well.

I can make the choices that support me as I regain my balance of my peace centered habits.  I have done it before and it will happen again.  At this point in my life, the not being able to do it all is actually quite good for me.  It is important to be able to be kind to myself even when I’m not at the top of my game.  I have always been hard on myself.  Over the past few years, I find myself fighting off the personality that won’t do something unless she can do it perfectly; it’s good to grow out of this type of pressure on one’s self.  Life isn’t about doing things perfectly.  There is no such thing as perfect.  There is only Life and striving for perfection keeps us from living it.

The other night, as I sat in the bathtub at the end of a long day, I  started to get down on myself and attempt a personal pep talk about getting up super early the next morning and really going for it with all of my habits…as if getting things done is the secret to peace.  Ha!  Then, I remembered the words from the quote above.  My perception shifted and I started leaning back in my mind and looking at the picture of my life in larger portions.  I quit looking at all the tiny little details and saw the bigger dots connecting throughout my years.  As I looked from a higher position, I saw how I have heard the whisper and wholeheartedly followed it again and again.  These whispers rushed through my head reminding me that no matter what my current status on habits looks like, I can still hear the whisper.  I live for the whisper that my soul’s current provides.  I saw so many beautiful connections that the whisper has provided and felt hugged and loved in the knowing that it is always there.  I returned to the moment.  Always the same answer.

Healthy habits are helpful and important and they can keep me centered in peace.  I will always strive to honor them well, but I must balance that desire and keep them as a sacred practice rather than allowing them to escalate to disappointment when not achieved.  Peace is not always found in achievement.  The peace that comes from knowing I have been listening to and living from the whisper brings me back to the moment where now is the only thing that matters and Life is living me well.

One thing I am never lacking is sincerity.  There will be enlightenment.  I can peacefully breathe and join in the connectedness I Am to all things.  Whether I am fulfilling all my desired habits or not, the moment is always there and love is all that truly matters.  Whew.

Wishing you peaceful presence today and always!  May you be blessed with the perception to see how life is whispering to you and the courage to follow it towards the joy it encompasses.  Life is whispering to us all.  Happy listening!

Sending you love and joy!

Problems vs. Peace

We choose which we will bring to this world — problems or peace.  Which one will we bring with us wherever we go today?

Finding problems is the easiest thing in the world.  There is no shortage of them.  It can always appear as if something has gone wrong, we made a mistake, something is happening that shouldn’t be happening, someone has wronged or offended us, something is annoying us, we can’t be happy until something else happens, etc.  Living in a world of labeling, comparing and judging all things mixed all the while with the struggle to survive without awakened presence makes it feel impossible to see anything but problems…they just roll in…one problem after another.  There is another way to live.  We don’t have to see things as problems, we can turn toward peace instead.  We decide.

As we come to realize that we want more peace in our lives, we have to find ways to practice peace that work for us in our current life situation.  Observing how we see things and how we allow them to come through us is a great practice.  As Life gives us things to work with, big and small, we can choose how we will let them come through us.  Will we find a problem and stay stuck in our head as we resist it, find faults with it, label it, judge it and spend out time trying to convince others to see it as a problem as well?  Or, will we put some space around it and let it be what it is (Life) without the label, content in not knowing whether it is good or bad while trusting that all thing are happening as they are meant to?   It is as simple as that — each little thing…label, think, cause suffering about it or let it be and live in peace.

I have the good fortune of practicing with children.  They are at the beginning stages of labeling all things.  In many ways they must learn countless labels as they grow, figure things out and strive for a great education.  Still, we make an effort in our house to understand the difference and dance between the labels that help us learn and the ones that aren’t necessary.  It is an intense practice with them, because they are so open with their labels and judgements, they don’t hide them secretly in their head and fester, they just blurt them out or have a melt-down and present their problems.  We always have a lot to talk about and practice with.  It is my practice and it works for me…most of the time.  Of course, I don’t have it mastered.  I start the days saying things like, “okay, let’s not look for problems, let’s find peace”… I always tell them that problem-finding is just too easy, we could find a bunch at any time…but what we really want is peace…let’s find that.  Then it takes helping them do that while keeping my peace in tact…a delicate balance.  By the end of the day, it gets a little harder for me to stay with the peace.  The more tired I am, the easier it is to judge things as problems.  It becomes harder to put space around my reactions and choose peace.  This week I began adding some quiet time with a clear-minded meditation for me in the afternoons to gather my energy and keep with my peace in an effort to start fresh even late in the day.  Always something to work on.

Life isn’t trying to annoy us, it’s trying to wake us up.  We choose again and again whether we will create problems or peace.  We create with Everything.  We can feel apart of everything and flow with it or get stuck slugging it out with the smaller stuff and trying to bend things our way.  We can thrive in the ride of not knowing and truly living or we can think we know best and struggle through it all.  We never really know when things are good or bad.  We have all lived through thinking things were one way and finding out we labeled it wrong.  Real Life is lived in the not knowing.

Just this morning after writing the above, I stumbled into this lovely poem that works so well here.  I want to share it with you.

Repeatedly We Are Asked

to embody or consume;
to be in kinship with everything larger
or to order and manage everything smaller.

We are asked, every day, to align or separate;
to coordinate our will with everything living
or to impose our will on everything we meet.

And not choosing is a choice.  Acquiescence
is different from patience or surrender.

All this leaves us needing to know:
whether to better the song through practice
or to better ourselves through singing.

–Mark Nepo

I want to better the song.  Today I pray to answer well when asked again and again if I want problems or peace.  I also pray for those that aren’t yet aware that they too want more peace.  I pray that they may be blessed with a little bit of peace today so that they may learn to search for it and practice it.  I add my gratitude for the practice to the song.  Life is a great practice.  It really is.  Peace and blessing are all around and I am so grateful!

Sending you joy, love and peace today and always.

Nothing Happened

“Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”  –A Course In Miracles

Life IS and nothing happened.  Sometimes it seems like something either good or bad has happened and we swirl in the aftermath of either label we chose to put on it.  It really seems like something has happened; we’re quite sure of it.  What if it didn’t truly happen?  What if it is just our thoughts about it that make it seem like it happened?  Aren’t someone else’s thoughts about that same occurrence possibly quite different from ours?  In the after-current of seeming events, we often try to pull others into knowing what has happened by telling them our version of it and keeping the thing alive by continuously naming it and discussing how it feels and what may happen next.  We then add all sorts of projected future scenarios on top of the thing that may or may not have happened.  Our mind quickly begins living out future things that haven’t happened either.  It is all a messy emotional surge that isn’t good for our bodies, minds or souls.  It all takes us away from the only thing we can truly live…the moment we are actually in.

We get to choose how we see the world and everything in it.  Often, we barely see anything before us as we rush through familiar surroundings and assume our way through our days.  If we do encounter the unfamiliar, we label it right away and attached a bunch of thoughts to it.  It is so easy to spend our moments assuming we already know how things will go and labeling anything surprising.  Assuming and labeling isn’t Living, it’s viewing things through our skewed perception.  We can easily see our version of things, but there is so much we are missing by living this way.  We don’t want to view things, we want to Live them.  We can open our hearts to the exact moment we are in and feel more of the life and peace that surrounds us waiting for us to tap into it.  We can become open to the idea that it is just our thoughts about things keeping them alive.  We can let go of the suffering we cause ourselves and others by staying stuck in these thoughts.  We must practice letting the thoughts pass and opening up more stillness and silence to live how we are meant to…in peace.

Something I find quite comforting is the fact that there is ever only one answer to all of the questions we may have about the suffering we encounter or the journey to more peace…just come fully into the present moment…you can handle anything you encounter by fully experiencing it now.  Not the now in your mind with all the thoughts about it, but, the now that just is and brings peace.

I have heard Eckhart Tolle answer hundreds of questions live on his website…sometimes after a lovely answer to exactly the question presented and formed in stillness exactly the way it needed to be heard, he gives a chuckle and says, “always the same answer”… so true.  I love that he always patiently hears the questions and allows the answers to come through in stillness…of course, always the same essential answer with different words around it…but it is quite comforting to watch him reach the same conclusion again and again in peace and ever patient and present stillness.  Watching what presence looks like brings more presence and makes all these things seem possible.

We all have sacrificed so many precious moments to be caught up in some other thing that we think happened to us.  We hold on to other moments and give them so much more power than the one we are in.  We turn away from love when we do this.  I know and pray to live the truth that love is always accessible and we can live from love found in the moment rather than the chaos of a mind that isn’t free of the swirl of reactive thoughts.  Whatever we give our attention to expands.  Today, let’s let those thoughts pass through without our attention as we awaken fully to the life we have available to us now…each now that comes.

Today I pray for presence.  This is my prayer.  I pray to Live a lot rather than see, label and assume a lot, which leads to living a little.  I pray for the only answer…living fulling in the moment.  I pray to remember that each breath is a death of the prior moment and we constantly have a fresh moment to enter.  I pray that I may bring presence and peace around me and help it spread, giving joy to others.  I pray to live what I know.

Sending you love, joy and presence.  Your visit sends me those things in return.  Thank you!

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