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.

Category: Meditation and Prayer

Spiritual Simplicity

To become a happy person have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child’s heart, and spiritual simplicity. —Norman Vincent Peale

I came across the above quote in my morning reading recently.  The idea of spiritual simplicity struck me deeply.  I instantly loved that notion; the deepest part of me knew exactly what it meant when I came across it.  That idea stayed with me all day and carried me through my choices of love and non reaction.  Simply put, it helped me stay firmly in the moment and accepting of all that each moment brought with it.  It is a very helpful thing to remember first thing in the morning, so I want to share it here this morning.

Spiritual simplicity means loving all that we encounter.  It means accepting and truly living each experience as it comes.  It means knowing that whatever circumstances we are experiencing, they are the perfect ones for us at the exact moment the Universe has created them for us.  It means listening to Life and flowing with it in the rhythm that our spirits know.  Living in acceptance doesn’t include feeling like we don’t want to or cannot change things.  It empowers us to know the impulse of the Universe and give our attention and energy to changing things that are ready to change.  In some cases, our mere acceptance of things allows them to change before our eyes; like how a hug or loving smile can melt the anger, sadness or frustration of a loved one.  Other times, our acceptance of what is allows us to hear the Universe/God/Life telling us about what it would like to bring to us or through us.  Resisting anything is a force that does not allow listening, it makes hearing Life’s messages impossible.  Spiritual simplicity is love and listening.  It is only found in the sacred moment we are in.  It isn’t found in the thought stream and stress of daily life.  It is in the flow of our spirit.  Our spirits flow together.  We are all connected and we can flow through our days in spiritual simplicity.  Let’s listen and love.

As for the rest of the quote above:

  • A clean soul — we all have that.
  • Eyes that see romance in the commonplace — we can do this by opening our eyes and truly seeing all the amazing miracles that are constantly around us.  I like to think of it as seeing the unfamiliar in all things and never assuming we know how things are going or how they will turn out.  It is staying fresh and alive to each moment.  Love is all around.  We can choose to see it.
  • A child’s heart — we all have that.  We must remember what it feels like to live from it.  Be amazed.  Be present.  Expect wonder and excitement.
  • A very important note — the quote begins with the idea of “becoming” a happy person.  We don’t need to try to do that.  We already are that.  We came into this world with that intact. We simply choose when we are ready to remember it.  “Happy” becomes peace and joy and is accessible in every moment.

Let’s set our intention this morning and feel how well it will serve us.  Today, I choose to live spiritual simplicity and I intend to spread it to as many lives as I can touch and as many places as my energy can visit.

Sending you love and joy!

Let My Life Become a Love Letter

Well done is better than well said.  —Benjamin Franklin

This quote sums up why I have been rather quiet lately.  I’ve been working on the ‘well done’ part and a bit shy about the simple ‘well said’ stuff that comes much easier to me.   I am never ever shy, so my continued unwillingness to share my writing lately has come as a big surprise to me.  I have been listening to my heart and just waiting until I felt more ready to share and push through my weird plateau I have been living in lately.  It is a comfort to me to know that my soul always returns me to trying to live what I know and push through whatever slows me down or derails me.  Thank God there is always a new moment to inhabit.

The desire for spiritual growth and the pull to walk the path towards self-realization and self-actualization feels like a tough way to go at times.  I read somewhere recently that a great spiritual master asked his audience to raise their hands if they were just beginning the spiritual path.  When they did, he told them to go home and not start.  He said it was too hard and they were better off not starting at all.  He added that if they did start, they must finish.  This is not the most upbeat and inspirational look at things, but I knew what he meant.  Just admitting that makes me feel better.  I am not sure why, but it does.

Sometimes I feel that I have read too much and learned too much to ever know how to live it all.  Thus, the musings here to sort out what is most meaningful to me and share it in a way that I pray may be helpful to others as well.  Letting too many concepts and intentions run around in the head doesn’t bring peace and wisdom, only the moment can do that.  If only I had just read a few simple lines about the living in the moment and committed myself fully to that, maybe I would be farther down the path.  But I didn’t.  I kept searching and adding different ways of saying things to my head.  Luckily, the moment is mixed in to all the great teachings.  Just come back fully to the moment where all is well that comes from within…

At this very moment as this writing comes through, gratitude is growing in my heart that knows that every book, every message, every experience, every different translation of the same essential truth was meant to be shared with me.  The Universe is always showing me the things I seek and the things It wants me to know.  I don’t have to wish it were ever any different, I can sort it all out.  I have always been happiest when communicating at the deepest level, so perhaps that is what I have been doing with Life.  After all, the best conversations have several points of view and ample rough patches to maneuver.  In my experience, tremendous joy ensues when mutual understanding prevails.  Perhaps I can shift to peace and the overwhelmed feeling can dissipate.  I believe I can.  I believe I will.  I believe I Am.

With all my stumbling, soaring, falling down, dusting myself off and trying again, here is the clearest message I can feel around me now:

My purpose here is to spread love.

I pray to have loving thoughts about all I see.  I wish to let go of judgements and love all that I encounter.  We are all doing our best and Love can only bring out a better best in us all.  Through giving and receiving Love we can take steps down that path towards who and what we really are.  Love feels good, it brings good.  Actually, there really isn’t even a good or bad, Love is what there truly is underneath all the masks fear creates.  Love shows us what there really is and frees us from all the false labeling and separating that we habitually do.  I pray to let my life become a love letter.  Let my actions become pure like the pen in my hand pouring out my soul on my favorite stationery.  It is so easy to write a love letter.  I pray to fall deeply into the ease of living one.  Pray for me too please.  I will pray for you.

Spread love everywhere you go.  Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.  ~Mother Teresa

It is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves. ~John Bulwer

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. ~Zora Neale Hurston

Wishing us all loving thoughts, loving actions and a kindness towards ourselves and others that can only come from our deepest Love that we are meant share.

 

I Am My Breath

Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. ~Giovanni Papini

Good morning!  Today I wake up feeling utterly blessed and grateful.  There are infinite things to be grateful for in Life, but today, and I sincerely hope, for each and every day for the rest of my days, I am in awe and complete wonder of my breath and it fills me with absolute joy.  As always, I have been trying to stay more present, feel more of my moments and live more of my life through all that I have learned.  Lately, something has clicked with my breathing; of course, it was right there under my nose all the time :-).  For quite some time, I have known the power of adding more breath, taking a deep breath before reacting, focusing on the breath during meditation, etc., but something even more profound has taken hold for me lately.  Perhaps the practice of it, reading about it, writing about it, etc. has finally allowed the path for me to live it more consciously and consistently.  The idea that the path to live what I know has presented itself makes me smile in peace.

As I shared previously, I have been exhausted lately and my body has been in a bit of a broken down state.  I knew relief would come and that all would be and already was well.  I was able to feel peaceful even in the midst of my worn out state.  I was allowing my circumstances to be as they were and see what Life was trying to show me.  That felt like progress to me for sure, considering that I used to only feel “happy” if I was doing everything “well.”  That path leads to a lot of stress, pressure and wasted moments trying to arrange things on the outside in order to feel good on the inside — a never-ending circle that doesn’t allow the true joy that lives inside us all to come forth.  In my allowing things to be as they were recently, I noticed my breath silencing my thoughts often throughout the day.  I noticed that I was, in fact, leaning back and allowing my breath to ease everything that wanted to bring anxiety or tighten my grip on life.  My breath was the gateway to joy and the force that was grounding me deeply in the true gift found in every present moment.

After a few days of truly enjoying the breath that was at the forefront of my interactions, the thought popped into my head, “I Am my breath.”  I heard it and I felt it deeply.  I smiled.  My daughter appeared by my side to tell me something and I noticed my breath as I enjoyed her lovely soul face and heard her sweet voice more clearly.  My breath allowed me to truly be there so much more fully.  I Am my breath much more than I am my body or my choices or my reactions.  My breath feels good, no matter what and it allows me to BE my true self.  It helps me choose well, speak kindly and Love deeply.  Our breath animates this form we have.  We are more our breath than any other thought, action, reaction or emotion we could ever have or feel.  Our breath is more of our essential self than we can ever know.  Someday, when our breath leaves, we will go with it.  We can live with our breath more fully now and bring joy to everything around us.  The deep pleasure that comes from our breath is truly amazing.  There really aren’t the proper words to describe it.  Just breathe and you can feel it.

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

What we call ’I’ is just a swinging door, which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Today, I am wishing you the joy of realizing the pleasure, peace and astounding gift of your breath.  Sending you joy and love!

 

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!

Words

Words have always meant a lot to me.  They are much more than just communication tools; when treated with honor and respect, they become much more.  The words we string together to express ourselves and the ones we choose to give our attention to as we gather information make up the fabric of who we are.  Words are our bridge to the soul.  They come from somewhere else, they come through us and they can reach out to another and bring them to us.  They can be used well and allow us to be more of ourselves and they can be mistreated and keep us stuck in destructive patterns that take us off our true path.  Words are the dots and our job in life is to get better and better at connecting the dots.

Words are always working with us; our relationship with them is how we grow and change.  I have seen my relationship with words evolve drastically over time and I can feel the pull to a deeper connection with them now.  Ever a crafty communicator, I remember in my younger years using my words carelessly at times.  I was a bit of a people pleaser and could easily tell people what they wanted to hear or say things that might make people more comfortable, etc.  During adolescence, honesty wasn’t really at the tip-top of my list either, words were more of a navigation tool to try to get what I wanted or seem like something I was trying to be.  All these things were part of a natural progression through awkward years I suppose.  I am so grateful to have passed through that time and to have it to look back on now to know the difference.  I now know that compromising my own truth and absolute honesty is like cutting myself off from life and love and completely unnecessary in any and every situation.  I can still make others feel comfortable, but compromising my words or using them carelessly is never ever part of that anymore.

Words have been everything to me on my path.  I have watched them connect to each other to lead me to the next book, the next conversation, the next experience, the next challenge, life lesson, goal, etc… They have guided me, comforted me, confronted me, pushed me, loved me and helped me put pieces of my soul together as I journey toward aligning my personality with my soul to live in authenticity.  They whisper and shout, they figure out how we hear them best and they never stop trying to get our attention, wake us up, lead us where we are meant to go to show up as exactly who we are and with what we are meant to bring to this world.  Words are everywhere and they reach us through the perfect means for us…Life sends us a book, someone says something to us, a poem touches us, a loved one shares with us, we see a sign, watch a movie, receive a letter, hear them in silence, hear ourselves say them aloud, we spontaneously feel something deeply and try to put it into words…they are everywhere.

The first of the four agreements in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements is — Be Impeccable With Your Word.  He calls this agreement the most important and he is so right.  This may seem straightforward and easily obvious at first, but it is much more than just telling the truth.  It means really honoring your word and truly expressing your intentions and fullest expression of yourself in every situation and every moment.  It means knowing that the words come from the source that creates your life.  As you use your words, you create your life.  Your inner peace is directly tied to how you are using your words in your life.  By saying exactly what you mean, meaning what you say,  using your words wisely and carefully towards and about others, selecting carefully which words you give your attention to, setting your intention clearly in all you do, not making compromises with your words to please others or make them more comfortable, etc., you bring honor to all the words in life and they start speaking to you more clearly.  When you can hear the words more clearly, you can live more deeply…you can tap into the flow of Life.

I have never ever been accused of being a woman of few words.  In fact, sometimes here in my writing I try to keep it short and sweet and it just doesn’t work for me.  It doesn’t come naturally.  I have always been pretty good at explaining things and communicating somewhat effectively, but doing so in just a few words has never been my strong point.  I have been through many phases with words in my life and I feel myself entering a new phase with them in my daily life now…I deeply desire uttering less of them.  It feels a bit strange for someone who thrives on good conversation and cherishes words so very much, but it is definitely what I am feeling drawn to.  Here are some possible reasons saying fewer words may be so appealing to me at this point:

  • Perhaps I am getting more words out in my writing and I feel less of a need for over-communicating as my soul takes comfort in having expressed what is most meaningful to me.  (It truly is a comfort to have somewhere to express all of these things!)
  • Perhaps I finally understand how many of the words we utter are wasted on labeling things and judging situations, which takes us from the joy of living.
  • Perhaps the prayer and meditation I am attempting to get better at is seeping into my daily life and calling to me there.
  • Perhaps my great love and deep gratitude for words and all they have done for me has made me want to honor them more.  I do love words!
  • Perhaps, it’s because I am a sometimes tired Mommy who finds herself repeating the same things over and over and over again to the little ones, and I’m just tired of hearing myself.
  • Perhaps I am ready to give my energy towards being instead of saying.
  • Perhaps I have learned from the great sages that much wisdom can be said with very little to no words.
  • Perhaps I have figured out that the joy lies in stillness which can easily be covered over with unnecessary distractions and interruptions and I am finding more ways to live in the joy of the actual moment rather than talking about another moment.
  • Perhaps my being is growing and knows that it is okay to set the personality aside.
  • Perhaps I’m frustrated and wish I could live all that I know more and feel like quieting down to do it better and more consistently…
  • Perhaps its just human nature and we evolve toward it naturally… my beautiful Granny doesn’t say a whole lot, but when she does, its worth hearing.  She says a lot more with her lovely spirit, always positive attitude and loving demeanor.  Just to sit in her company is like having a great conversation.

Who knows why I want to say fewer words at this point in life…maybe it is a bit of all of these things.  I just feel like saying fewer words as I honor each one of them more.  As I try to listen and honor what I am feeling, its been a bit of a struggle so far…those around me seem to be used to me saying a lot…so they aren’t quite comfortable with it yet.  Or, maybe its me who is adjusting to more quiet and letting things be as I allow more stillness and try to quiet the noise.  It feels exhausting and disappointing when I revert back to too many words as I break this habit…it will come though I am sure.  It’s a work in progress.  I’ll keep you posted.  It is a nice calming shift when I can do it and I am grateful for it…it has been interesting to feel the work of words inside me and to watch the relationship with words evolve.  Love is always the answer I am sure…I can love myself and those around me through the process of growth and change.  Love is.

Wishing us all the courage and wisdom to really look at what we are saying, how we are listening, what we are reading, watching, thinking, allowing in and sharing with others.  Wishing us the joy of deep listening and the miracle of connecting the little dots called words.

Sending you joy and love (and lots of words) today and always!

You Are Already There

Time is a bully!  Let’s stand up to it!

In our culture, our days are split into segments of time and our moments are given varying degrees of importance.  It is kind of crazy how we have allowed time to push us around.  We watch the clock, waiting for things to happen…”When will they arrive?”, What time do we need to be there?”, “When should we get ready?”, “How long will the drive take?”,  “When will this line get moving?”, “I can’t wait until…”, “I will be so happy when…”, etc.  We constantly think the next thing is what we are waiting for.  The truth is, we are already there; but, unless we can really feel that, we stay stuck in the world of being pushed around and bullied by time.

We are all at our own perfect place on our path toward self-realization and awareness.  We each have varying degrees of presence we are able to access throughout the day.  No matter where you are on your path, you can observe how you are treating the moments in your life and find ways to honor them and experience them more fully.  Are you using parts of the day that are your least favorite or that you dread as a means to an end?  Do you rush through things to get to the next?  Do you allow yourself to feel that things will be better when this chore or task is complete?  Is there constantly some future moment that seems like it will be a better one that will bring you happiness?  Is there some change that would make things much better?  Are you distracting yourself from your real life?  Are you truly present to the Life you already are (we don’t have life, we are Life)?

Many people live in the state of waiting for the next thing much of the time and don’t even know that they are not present in their life and much of their experiences are passing them by.  It is like sleep-walking without knowing it.  Your real life is there waiting for you to join in and you’re busy wishing something else was happening and resisting what already is.  Our life is made up of a bunch of moments and the one we are in is the only one we can ever actually live; life only comes in the form of now.  This crazy relationship we have developed with time is truly a dreadful way to live and sure to bring suffering as we dwell in resisting what is.  If we have a certain number of moments while here on Earth in this form, why should standing in line at the pharmacy be any less meaningful and present than attending a party or celebration?  Why is the drive to the event something to hurry and get over with?  How do we treat any moment as something to throw away?  We don’t have to; we can treat all of our moments the same and enjoy Life the way we are meant to.

Here are a few ideas that may help us do this no matter where we are on our path; they should apply in every situation (easy to say, harder to actually do…wishing us all the ability to live these things…with practice, we can do it!):

  • Accept Everything – Yesterday, for example, I woke up with excruciating back pain that was making it hard to breathe and a sore throat that felt like swallowing cement.  As I groaned in pain at every move I made, I also felt this wonderful sense of peace in the background.  I knew I had all these reasons mounting that would prevent me from doing what I needed to do for the day (or thought I needed to do)…but it really didn’t matter.  It slowed my day down and gave me many joyous moments I may not have experienced otherwise.  I resisted nothing, adjusted with the details, and in doing so, my throat pain eased up and my back improved dramatically.  I had a really peaceful day filled with a lot of sweet moments (even the kids and I cleaning up our third plumbing issue in the past few weeks…we just made it fun).  I could have resisted and been frustrated and stayed in all kinds of pain and misery, but in going with the flow, I accessed my inner peace and it was quite lovely.  I know from past experience that resistance and worry over things helps them hang around longer.  My day didn’t improve because I started feeling better…I was already there in the peace found in the moment and the details came to match the real me…rather than me allowing my circumstances to pretend to be me.  The truth is that everything happens as it should and everything passes.  So, why resist anything?  Just accept it all.  Sometimes we face little things like the examples above and sometimes we must face major difficulties and tragedies…practicing on the little things will help us when things really get tough.  Accepting every little thing as if you chose it will prepare you for anything and lead you to true inner peace that won’t depend on your outer circumstances.
  • Label Nothing – Part of accepting everything is learning to label nothing.  We have a tendency to label every single thing that happens as good or bad.  Truth is, we don’t really know which it is and we’re just guessing or reliving past experiences and assuming they will be the same…the experience is really neither good, nor bad, it just is.  By not labeling, we don’t have to draw on the past or take ourselves to the future to project how it will work out.  We get to truly experience each thing and each moment and use the energy we would have wasted on labeling it for actually living it.  We open ourselves up to all that Life is and expand to more of ourselves and the world around us.  We truly grow.
  • Get Comfortable With Not Knowing – If we already know how this is going to go, then we aren’t really present to it.  If we are playing things out in our minds by reliving things and projecting futures that may never happen, we aren’t there, we’re lost in some other experience.  Not knowing means we really open up our senses and awareness and see what happens.  It is magical.  I actually think this is an entire post on its own, so I will try to keep this short.  The not knowing is so much better than the knowing…it is amazing.  You know how the more you learn, the more you realize that you have so much more to learn…well, it’s kind of like that.  It’s like, the more you don’t already know, the more you have to live.  I love it!
  • Slow Down – Just try it.  Nothing bad will happen, you can add more space around things, take more breaths before you talk, more quiet before you react, more opportunities to just be.  You can build your life to support slowing down, even in today’s world.  You can choose your pace and make it stick.  You can make little choices and little changes slowly that point you in the direction of taking all the time you need to enjoy all the life you are.  You can do it!  On time is when you get there because you are already there.
  • Ritual – Anything can be a ritual.  We recently started a tea-time ritual at our home.  It’s a work in progress, but we’re trying to have a midpoint in the day that reminds us to slow down and enjoy where we are.  We are assigning duties to each family member to put it together and we are formally sitting down to sip tea, talk, enjoy silence together and eat our crudités, fruit and tea cookies in presence.  As we prepare it, enjoy it and clean it up, we can bring honor to it by making it a true ritual.  This ritual is a new one we are adding midday, we have our morning meditation and prayer, then we have poetry at night.  This added reminder in the middle of the day is quite helpful.  You could pick anything and make it a ritual worth honoring and as a tool to bring more presence into your life.  We recently added meditation bracelets to our morning practice; we put them on to remember the peace we felt on our mat and bring it to whatever moment we are in throughout the day.  Pick anything and make it sacred…even sorting the laundry, sweeping the floor or brushing your teeth…it really can be done.  Taking the time to honor things and make them sacred is so healing and can add so much peace to your life.
  • Listen — To everything and everyone.  Rush no person and no experience.  We are not in this world, we are of this world…everything is speaking to us and telling us something.  Manage your relationship with time so that you can hear Everything.
  • Love — Just had to put it here because it is always the answer and of course, all we ever need.  Spread it and receive it well.

These are just a few ideas to help us stand up to time.  Your soul already knows which ones will help you most; sometimes we just need the reminder that the time to do it is now.  Now is all there ever is.  Wishing you presence, peace and freedom found in timelessness. Sending you love and joy today and always!

Peace and The Golden Rule

Merry Christmas To All!

Jesus’ living example of what it looks like to live the golden rule and in peace that passes all understanding is a magnificent gift for everyone to see.  It is a beautiful thing to look at how Jesus lived so that we can see all we are meant to be.  We can be kind to everyone we meet, without exception.  We can love everything without fear.  We can cast aside all judgements as we embrace, encourage, welcome or at least accept, all things.  We can be infused with peace that comes from within and isn’t shaken or changed by life’s circumstances or situations, no matter what form they come in.  That spark of love in us all can make these things possible; Jesus came and showed us how.

Wishing everyone abundant peace that comes from living with a kind and open heart rooted deeply in joyful being and sacred listening to Life’s miracles.  From my heart — thank you for visiting me here!

Stillness and Spaciousness – Making Room For It Throughout Our Days, Living From It…It Isn’t a Future Goal or Luxury When Time Allows…It’s Who We Truly Are

In the journey of life, all roads worth traveling point to the stillness and going within.  Life cannot be lived well or peacefully focused without.  It doesn’t work.

“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.” ―Eckhart Tolle

Spaciousness is essential to realizing who we are and where true peace comes from.   As we put more space around everything — every choice, every word, every action, every emotion… we open up more room for peace and the experience of stillness to take hold.  The space and stillness is who we really are, it isn’t empty space, it’s where our essential selves are.  All the rest is our personality covering over the real us.  We can spend a lot of time working on the personality and training it to be all kinds of things, but, underneath it lies a joy and peace that we are all meant to dwell in.  This is the connectedness we share with all things.

We have all experienced how a few deep breaths can allow us to make a much better choice by cooling our temper or gathering our courage before a bad choice or reaction.  That breath took us to who we really are and allowed more of our true self to emerge and make the better choice.  We can work hard on our self-control, which is important; but, we must allow our self-realization to emerge so that we can live in the peace and joy as a permanent state of being.

We can put more space around each and every thing by really experiencing it, from the most challenging situation, to the sweetest gesture from a loved one and everything in between…simply being there with it in a more meaningful way, with a lot of pause and breath and attention.  It is the path to joy and peace.  Avoiding things or distracting ourselves from things we don’t like only keeps us stuck in the repetitive lessons of a shallow life.   Judging and labeling situations and people robs us from our peace and joy by keeping us swirling in our thoughts about things instead of immersed in life and being; those thoughts keep us from the space and stillness.  Accepting whatever comes our way and giving it the most of us will deliver us to our truest selves.

“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.  Always work with it, not against it.” ― Eckhart Tolle

I haven’t yet mastered the ability, nor found the time to sit on my meditation mat for hours each day.  Sometimes I wish I was better at it and could give more time to it, then I remember that there will be time for that.  I am sure of it.  I understand that I am in this busy time of life right now with so many different roles, goals, responsibilities and others counting on me, etc., and that is all just as it is meant to be.  I don’t have to wait for more space and stillness in some future that would allow more time, I can use my life situation just as it is now to bring more space and stillness to all that I am doing.  I can use all the little “doings” in my life to allow more of my essential “being” to emerge.  This is my practice.

“In today’s rush we all think too much, seek too much, want too much and forget about the joy of just Being.” ―Eckhart Tolle

To live a life of non-reaction means to live more deeply from your essential being.  It is so easy to let the personality respond to every little thing; it is also a dreadful way to live.  Adding space and stillness as you accept what comes is what can allow you to skip reacting and shift to being.  It amazes me how often I stumble into the truth that it is all in the little things.  I have heard that lesson from countless teachers, poems, quotes, signs, etc.  I tell my kids, “This family has big ideas, but we implement them with our little choices again and again.”  It is a great practice to honor all the little things…

“The significance is hiding in the insignificant. Appreciate everything.” ―Eckhart Tolle

Loving all little things and honoring them with enough space to be is a great practice.  Slowing down to be with each little thing.  Add a breath before and after everything.  Feel things more deeply.  Before you do or say or think anything, just be.  All the doing can become more miraculous.  Life can feel more meaningful; the key is in honoring each and every little thing you do…it all connects to the next moment.  Everything is sacred.  Cherish everything.

“Doing is never enough if you neglect Being.” ―Eckhart Tolle

There are many practices that can help bring more stillness and spaciousness to our days.  Many have gone before us and provided wonderful examples and paths for us.  Our souls lead us to the best path for us.  All paths lead to the same place. There is no need to wait until we can be great at our spiritual practice and fashion it after the great teachers before us.  We can just BE with the truest part of ourselves right where we are at doing whatever we are doing.  Yesterday, I found my space and peace (which had escaped me for a bit) by sitting in the middle of my son’s self-created game of “Airport” in which all his cars were in various lines waiting to take off on one of his planes.  He was completely immersed in the joy of playing and happy to share this imaginary world he had created.  He shared it with me so joyfully.  His playtime was naturally in the peace and joy that we all have waiting for us; I joined him there and blessed my soul with really truly being there.  He had set his game up right in front of my bedroom door; I was simply passing through.  I could have walked right though that amazing moment; instead, I stopped and found my soul right in the middle of his “Airport.”

I am wishing us all the wisdom to stop and be where we’re at and cease walking through the precious moments we are meant to experience.  I am wishing us spaciousness and stillness as a permanent companion so we can truly feel who and what we are and live in the peace and joy that has always been there waiting for us.

Thank YOU for visiting me here!  This is an important part of my practice and your visit honors it and encourages me so very much!

The Gift of John O’Donohue

 

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John O’Donohue’s work has been an amazing gift in my life.  I hope you will take some time to listen to this wonderful discussion with Krista Tippett from On Being (onbeing.org).  She sat down with him just before his passing.  May you give yourself the gift of listening long enough to hear his voice and feel his passion as he shares so much about what is most meaningful for our souls…  When I first heard it years ago, it spoke to a deep place inside me.  I am ready to revisit his work now and bless myself with all the healing it brings.  I love how these lessons expand and go deeper each time we open to more of them.  My favorite part of this interview is when he says in his amazing Irish accent, “You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘When was last time you had a great conversation?'” …he says it with such depth and reverence for what I hold so dear…my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I heard it the first time.  I knew I was meant to know about him and the essence of this interview feels like a magnificent conversation…with him.  What a blessing!

I heard bits and pieces of it this morning and knew it is just what my soul is craving right now.  This is a gift I am giving myself today, during this busy holiday season.  I want to share it with you so that it may bring comfort, love, joy, and meaningful conversation to your life today and always.  Once you learn about John O’Donohue, you will know what a gift he is to the world.  I read everything I could get my hands on from him.  I am excited today, to realize I am ready to go back and experience that gift once more.  I think that is the perfect Christmas gift to give myself!  Here are some wonderful words from him to share:

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with your self. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”
― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.”
― John O’DonohueEternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong

I am sending you and me encouragement today… to slow down, to be open, to find the beauty and meaning in all things, to listen to our souls and be guided by our divinity.  Thank you for encouraging me by taking the time to read this!  I am so very grateful!

I should also note that there is one more amazing gift within this message…onbeing.org.  Do visit the website and dabble in the amazing library of radio shows that are available for us to listen to.  Krista is my all-time-favorite interviewer…a dear friend shared On Being with me years ago and I am forever grateful!

Wishing you so much love and sending you joyous blessings!

Make Your Weekend Last Longer and Have More Joy – With Timeless Presence

This post is one of my favorites.  When I originally posted it, my little family had a magnificently present weekend.  This weekend is a celebratory one at our house, so I wanted to re-read it myself and send it out in love to bless your weekend as well.  Share it with your loved ones to bless their weekend too!  Wishing you the ability to dwell in the joy found in presence!  Happy everything!

“The ego’s greatest enemy is the present moment, which is to say,
life itself.”  –Eckhart Tolle

We can all agree that it would be wonderful to have the weekends last longer.  Lets try it this weekend.  It is a good idea (or the most important thing in life…depending on how you look at it) to practice living in the moment whenever you can.  We all hear the buzz on it and try to do it at whatever stage in our journey we are at, maybe we can kick it up a notch this weekend.  Practicing presence can take the time out of the weekend and make it last so much longer.   It can bring more joy and peace to us and bless everyone and everything around us.

Ego work is required for true growth.  You can’t battle your ego, it will just grow with the extra attention and even if you do seem to win for a bit, it sneaks in the backdoor and grows itself by assuming the new identity of the one with the smallest ego and the most presence.  I want to use Live What You Know to share and try little ways of chipping away at the ego.  I believe that you can shrink your ego simply by turning the other way – towards love.  This weekend, lets turn completely towards the greatest enemy of the ego – the present moment.  In doing so, we will access Love and Life.  Everything will feel better and time will cease to exist, hence a longer weekend.  I know that true presence doesn’t know it’s the weekend…but, since our thinking mind does love a weekend, lets just give it a try!  Yay!

Wherever you are in your path of discovery, you can always improve your ability to access stillness in the present moment.  You may be simply noticing the silence between the words in a conversation or adding a breath before you speak or you may be meditating for two hours every morning.  We are all at the perfect place in our journey!  I am not an expert on these things but I have been profoundly interested in adding more present moment awareness since I heard about it seven years ago.  I have read and heard many of the experts and masters on the subject and I want to share their wisdom in little doses here whenever I can, both for bringing more peace and joy to others and also to keep myself in the spirit of growth and presence.

Knowing this stuff because I read it and heard it from the masters and living it are, of course, two different things, hence the whole Live What You Know focus.  To practice truly living what I know about presence this weekend, here are some helpful little tips I would give myself (and you if you’re open to the idea):

  • Meditate first thing in the morning – whatever skill level you are at, even one minute to touch stillness to feel what it is like to return to it throughout the day.
  • Pray – set your intention for presence and awareness, ask for help to stay in that vibration and truly experience each moment in awareness rather than mind activity.
  • Listen – use listening for a presence practice. Truly listen whenever anyone is speaking.  You can keep a present energy in the background and feel that while you listen, let any thoughts that try to creep in just float by.  Don’t think about what you are going to say next, just listen without thinking and still feel some presence.  Don’t give all your presence away while listening, just enough to listen well and stay present.  Great practice – changes how you experience yourself and others…and everything.
  • Breath – add more breath all the time.  It’s not really adding breath, because you’re already breathing, its noticing your breath.  Noticing one breath before you speak can take you from reactionary living to present living.  It is a great practice to remain present and be.  Reactions are not present, they do not have the power of presence behind them.  Reactions to what others say and do give your power of presence away.  One breath to bring you to presence before reacting or speaking can change everything.  It’s a great way to take the ego out of your interactions.
  • Joyful Living – get all the way into the moment and find the joy there.  It is there!  I promise.  Even if it’s tying your kids shoe or doing the dishes, there is something to enjoy.  You can look your kid right in the eye and get a giggle and a connection as you tie their shoes or you can appreciate the way the water feels on your hands and the sunlight comes in the window as you do the dishes.  Whatever you do, the joy is there somewhere.  Isn’t it awesome that it was designed this way.  Do the joy experiment all weekend, you’ll find it.
  • Doing Meditations – You can turn anything into a meditation.  You just pick what it is and practice staying completely present the whole time.  It may be sorting the laundry, vacuuming the living room or brewing a cup of tea.  It may be a walk or writing a poem.  You truly can turn anything you do into a meditation.  Let any thoughts float by, you are the sky and the thoughts are the clouds – they pass.  Don’t jump on any of the clouds (thoughts), don’t resist them either, just watch them float by and your peace of mind increase.  This is also a great way to start watching your thoughts without being attached to them – they’re just thoughts…only the power you give them or don’t give them makes them what they are.
  • No waiting – waiting is awful.  If you find yourself in the situation where it seems like you’re waiting for something – a long line or the time for your next event, etc., just don’t do it.  BE instead of waiting.  Enjoy the present moment and realize the perfection in it as it is.  Realize that you do not need to add anything to it and life will not start once you are done waiting.  Life is already happening, waiting takes you out of it.  Not waiting is a great practice, you can focus on the breath or smile or just be and observe without adding a bunch of thoughts to it.  Waiting gives time so much power and takes you right out of the present.
  • Try something new – get into the unfamiliar.  It brings a heightened focus to what you’re doing and takes you out of the thinking mind.  Even if you just cook a new recipe that challenges you or take a walk on a new path, anything that is new and unfamiliar will bring more presence.  Simple excitements in the little things are the best!
  • Create – write, draw, color a picture, anything creative.  Releasing your creative energy and making something in presence is like offering a prayer.  The still place inside you is incredibly creative, touch it and be with it and see what happens.  Even just looking up how to draw something on the computer and following along can be a great experience if you’re not super confident in your artistic abilities.  Just make something, even a fabulous meal is a creative endeavor.  Touch the joy of creating!
  • Look without labeling – practice looking at the world around you without the lens of judgement.  Try to let go of labeling good or bad or even naming everything.  Even on a drive in the car, just be with all the things you see going by, you can experience the world in a whole new way without labeling what you see.  You can gain a lot of energy too because all the labeling we do is exhausting, just being and seeing without labeling can be a really comforting feeling and can bring us to a heightened sense of awareness and presence.
  • Embrace the uncomfortable – don’t turn away from feeling uncomfortable.  Often we feel a little uncomfortable and we cover it up quickly with one distraction after another.  Don’t resist the uncomfortable feeling, sit with it a minute in silence and watch it transform into joy!  It will!  The joy is in the stillness!
  • Smile – I love the simple practice of smiling.  When you truly feel your genuine smile, it does something to your heart.  You feel it deep in your heart and it changes how  you see everything.  Smile a lot and smile at everyone and everything!

Okay, that is my incomplete list of some tips that may help us have more joy and presence this weekend.  We may be able to have an ego-free weekend if we are doing all of this stuff.  Wouldn’t that be lovely!  Remember, presence isn’t something we can get better at later or when we’re more evolved.  The only time to get better at presence is NOW.  Flexing this skill and embracing these ideas can only have positive implications for the effects on our weekdays!  But, we will deal with that in that moment.

I just have to take a moment to thank you for reading this!  I am so very grateful for this platform and opportunity to share myself and encourage myself and others in this way.  I am just getting started and I can already feel the difference in my life!  I am so very grateful to you for taking the time to read my words from the heart…it is my true to desire to help us all live with more peace and joy!  I am also profoundly grateful for connecting with others who find these topics meaningful!  Thank you!

I send this with so much love!  I think I will read it several times this weekend to help me stay in the moment too!  I hope it helps you find more peace, joy and love!

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