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: Parenting

Nurturing My Creative Self – Thank You Universe for Showing Me the “Way”

Sometimes when you find yourself on a spiritual seeking endeavor or a “path” towards enlightenment or simply trying to become the best version of yourself you leave part of you behind. With the best intention I kind of did that a few years back. I thought attachment to “my story” would only have been from the ego and I did my best to set it aside and not feel attached to it any longer. Even as I look at the “about” section and “my story” page within it on my blog I realize that although what I wrote seemed like truth for me at the time, it isn’t quite all there really. It’s some words I thought wouldn’t offend anyone or ruffle any feathers or take me down the attachment to old wounds road. I did acknowledge that I wasn’t really into my story anymore and offered a brief one anyway. I can see now that there will be some editing to be done in the future. I won’t scrap the old one, I’ll just keep updating it with the journey and the willingness to do so becomes my real story.

I do love being old enough now to lean back and see how everything has worked in my life so far and I couldn’t feel more grateful for all of the life lessons. I can feel the evolution of things and the miracles and beautiful way they fit together are astounding. I love the tough stuff as much as the rest; even more perhaps. Although, it is nice that my “problems” are much more tolerable these days than they once were and my more recent stories never end with a traumatic and awkward twist as the old ones sometimes do. 🙂 Over the last year I realized that I had abandoned a part of me that needed some nurturing. Many things happened that opened old wounds and took me back to remembering things I had blocked out and practically forgotten. I recently felt so deeply that I needed to nurture that version I had abandoned. I hate the idea of the wounded inner child dominating the future or even one moment of the Now we are truly meant to live though, so I was at a bit of a crossroads trying to figure it out.

I accidentally (there are no accidents) stared a childhood monster in the face via a mug shot on the internet recently. I found myself completely reacquainted with the frightened little girl who once lived inside me that I had known so well. Being somewhat comforted at the thought that that particular monster couldn’t get me anymore and realizing that I had been living with some fear of that happening someday, I quickly found a brave side of me allow myself to reach out to forgotten family members and lost childhood relationships I may have been able to have without that fear. A baby-step reach out, but at least something. I realized how much family I have lost over the years for various reasons. I remembered things I had completely forgotten. I knew there was work to be done to help me circle back and nurture my abandoned self while maintaining all the presence and wisdom from the many years of constantly seeking evolution since.

I’d been reading various things and one book had suggested recalling your specific hell-and-back to identify your tribe and the specific things you could help others through. In fact, these sentiments may have started the whole remembering process and “accidental” confrontation of old trauma. I knew that my future and my finding and answering my true calling depended on my willingness to look at the past with healthy detachment without outright abandonment of the wounded self. So there I was working with the past three books, making my own so-called workbook to really live the lessons I was learning. I was building confidence and praying for presence and consciousness while recalling and reliving old trauma with the intention to bring healing to myself and others all the while.

In comes… the Artist’s Way. A Lifeline! Pure Love from the Universe!

I am indeed very grateful for this blessing that came into my life several years ago called the Artist’s Way. It was given to me by a dear friend and sat patiently on my shelf for over six years or so. A few weeks ago it was pulsating on the shelf and screaming at me to pull it down and experience it. I had already chosen my next read, but felt the pull towards it so strongly as I randomly walked past the bookshelves that night. Thank goodness I listened and felt all that the Universe was trying to bless me with.

I knew nothing of what the book was about, it hadn’t really spoken to me when I first received it and from then on it simply looked pretty on the shelf. It had never been the right time. From the second I grabbed it that night, I knew it was meant for me now at just the right time. It turns out that it is a twelve week endeavor to recover your creative self. It is hard for me to put into words just how perfect it is for me now.

As I said, the whole wounded inner child thing really turns me off and feels like a step back rather than forward. However, as I have shared, I knew there was work along those lines to be done and I was (and still am) willing to do it. This gift of the Artist’s Way is so lovely. It matches my best intentions perfectly and provides the path that is in line with all I have studied so hard for the past ten years and all that I have lived through before. It will allow the nurturing of my inner child with the beautiful intent of recovering the creative being that dwells within…within me and within us all.

It would be more words than anyone has time to read to describe all that it is. I can do so over the next few months hopefully. I’ll just say that I signed the contract. I’m in it to finish it. I already know that the “morning pages” and the “artist’s dates” I’ve committed to are life changing endeavors. I am so excited to share more as I go. I couldn’t feel more blessed than I do to see the perfection in this gift from the Universe at this time. I am never ever at a loss for words, but to even try to describe the hundreds of synchronicities and dots connecting and showing up as miracles and Universe hugs making this process available to me right now would be impossible. The wordless acceptance is much better. “Thank you” is thing that feels perfect to say about it so far.

My dear friend that gave me the book years ago is going through the process with me now. What a gift! I had one friend say with enthusiasm that she had gone through it years ago but didn’t finish it. I encouraged her to do it again, knowing that we experience things so differently as we change and grow. I sent a copy to a friend on Monday, just this moment another friend sent a photo of her copy that had just arrived in the mail after we recently discussed it. Such a blessing! I recently purchased the version that is written for parents in hopes of also bringing more creativity to my children’s lives. I welcome the opportunity to hear from anyone that has been blessed by this course/book. Do tell me how it showed up in your life if it has. Join me on the journey if you like! We are all creative beings. We are all artists creating our lives. We can bring our creative selves and more creativity to whatever it is we spend our time doing. It is all Art! Our Life is the canvas.

In a sense, as we are creative beings, our lives become our work of art. –Julia Cameron, the Artist’s Way

I hope to post about “the morning pages” soon. I wish the blessing that they are for everyone! If you’re at all intrigued, just search “the morning pages” and see for yourself. Fun!

Sending love and joy today and always! Wishing us all time with our creative artist within!

Playtime!

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My reading last week inspired many thoughts of play. In Martha Beck’s Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, she shared a beautiful story of how she envisioned her infinity loop symbol of a wayfinder’s life as a “never-ending, self-sustaining loop of rest and play.” It was lovely. Thoughts about her story mixed with those of past teachings on the unfamiliar and creativity and more by other favorites led me to wish the blessing below for everyone today. May this blessing carry us through the entire workweek ahead and beyond by embracing it one moment at a time:

May we all approach whatever it is we are doing today with the spirit of play. May we bring the excited feelings of exploration, discovery and delight to whatever lay before us. May we have fresh eyes and playful hearts that allow us to enjoy our work and let it take shape as something new for us no matter how many times we may think we have done it before. May we always experience each moment as fresh, new and alive with playful opportunities. May we dwell in playtime until it’s time to rest and prepare to play some more.

I’ve had visions throughout recent days of how I used to play teacher and mommy as a child. I can smile and embrace those two things playfully each day. Playtime is always there waiting for me. I created this life through my playtime as a child and now I can live it. I used to play all kinds of office games a lot too. Been there, did that as well. It was fun sometimes. I truly have created a life that is a lot like the one I used to create in my playtime as a young girl. I even banged away at my typewriter back then embracing my love of words as I wrote all kinds of stories and various ramblings. It’s funny how all aspects of my favorite childhood games are realities in my life today. I used to play roller-skate instructor to imaginary kids a lot though, that I have not done in years. Ha! What fun to remember!

Reading some of the great lessons on finding what we’re meant to do in the life often hint at or say outright that we should do what brings us the very most joy. Martha Beck asserts that we should only do what brings us joy. The thing is, we don’t have to feel burdened to change our careers, make sweeping life changes or even alter one thing, to immediately and with great success, shift our approach towards whatever we are doing today as if it is our playtime. Just about anything can be a game and bring joy. Maybe I’ll play cooking show while making dinner tonight like I used to making my lunch every morning before school as kid…that was fun. We decide how it feels to do what we do each day. We can make it fun. Life can be filled with Playtime!

As I write this I can hear the kids pretending all kinds of cool stuff in their rooms. It warms my heart to have those sounds as my background chatter. Whenever we run errands or go to various appointments, or even if people come to service something at the house, the kids are playing close attention at all times. Then soon enough you can hear them playing those things out in their rooms. Current favorites include airport, pharmacy, dog-trainer, tennis instructor, chef, cooking competitions with their stuffed animals, school, tennis tournament with their stuffed animals and more. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the adults actually performing those jobs and/or tasks could feel the joyful delight found in child’s play as they flow through their days each day. Sometimes you do run into those people and it feels good. I wish that we all may encourage, notice, share, spread and delight in joyfulness today and always. I pray to remember all this myself as I flow through my so-called duties throughout the days. I can feel how it felt to play and enjoy these things as a kid…even driving in my pretend car and running to the pretend bank felt fun…I only hope to remember it and truly Live it in the moment that it comes each day. If I forget, I can always notice it and jump into playfulness in the next moment, right?! 🙂

Wishing you one playful moment after another, leading to a life of playtime! Sending joy and love!

Wholeheartedly Living Your Dreams — While Fearlessly Co-Creating Even More

dream big and may you

I adore the view from my morning reading chair!

I am so grateful for the ritual that begins the gift called today each weekday in our house. On this day, I felt the warm embrace of a loving universe as I read with my two little ones reading nearby. So good for the soul…my babies happily enjoying literature as a daily habit, my puppy content in my lap, a sweet phone call from my dear husband wishing me a happy day right in the middle of the experience and so many great lessons in literature for me to devour and contemplate. There I sit with a heart full of gratitude as I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it.

The words, images and messages on my chosen cups this day provide a wonderful balanced blessing. I love dreaming big. I have many more things I can easily see myself doing and truly feel called to accomplish in the years to come. Sometimes I get impatient with myself and dream of doing more now or feeling as though I must push harder to make things happen sooner. But, the truth about dreams is that I am already living many big ones now. I must feel what is around me now as deeply as I feel the urge to lay the foundation to create future dreams to come.

A morning reading ritual doesn’t just happen, it is the fruit of many of my dreams that have already come true. Some dreams I had since I was a little girl and some I didn’t even know I wanted until I was in the middle of creating them in unknown territories completely out of my comfort zone. Co-creating these so-called circumstances I find myself in now was no coincidence; they didn’t just happen to me. We can always look around us and be sure that whatever Life we see and feel we are living—we made it so. We create our reality. From the largest to the tiniest detail, we co-created it all and we decide how long we keep the dream alive and/or when we create new ones…big and small. We truly live all that we know and can only dream up that which we truly believe and are ready to receive.

So, the other day I was making the kids’ sandwiches while they finished their morning studies. I had just completed another module in the course I’m taking about creating a conscious business or igniting my visionary ignition switch. All the wonderful information I had just been given about publishing, self-publishing, building a platform and much more was swirling around in my head. I am really enjoying the course and feeling very inspired by it. I also feel a bit pressured by it at times or in need of reminding myself that there is plenty of time and not to worry about it or let it stress me out (the course teachers do a great job of reminding us about this too). It is all wonderful information that will be there for me when I’m ready to use it. A good friend once shared a daily mantra she uses to calm herself. She simply says, “I have plenty of time. I have all the time I need.” I like this mantra. I’ve been pulling it out and using it again lately. Thank you Jennifer.

Anyway, I had a distinct moment while spreading Vegenaise on the kids’ sandwiches. I sort of snapped out of the swirling head stuff. It was interesting because I was truly inspired and feeling quite grateful for the discussion about my passions I had just enjoyed listening to. I know I am meant to hear this great information and I know it will bless me in many ways over the years to come as I navigate my journey through all the things I feel called to do. But, as I looked down at the kids’ four pieces of bread, it hit me how truly great it is to make their sandwiches. I was overtaken with gratitude that they were there in the next room and would enjoy lunchtime with me very soon. I loved thinking of our morning studies and the writing workshop we would do together in the afternoon.

It occurred to me that I could put lots of pressure on myself to get a platform built, get a brand going, figure out how I want to publish, find ways to reach more people, etc. and be sorry if I don’t balance it just right. I could spend the next few years really focusing on that and making it happen. It may keep me so busy that I forget to enjoy making the sandwiches. Then, in a few years when the kids may not be around as much, I could have all those things necessary to pursue my dreams, but I would really really miss making their sandwiches. I may long for the days when I used to do that if I’m not truly present and really indulge in it now. Being here now and somewhere else later is always the way. I just need to balance living the dream and creating the new ones. I have to believe it can be done. I can do it well in peace with Divine guidance and timing if I listen well from my heart. Not from my head.

I remembered with love the days when the kids were learning to write the alphabet. They would sit at the kitchen counter waiting for their sandwiches and I would write letters in mustard on their bread for them to guess. Oh, how that seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago at the same time. When was the last day we did that? How did it stop? Oh, how fun that was! They even asked for that recently and I think I was “too busy” to do it just then. Argh!

Anyway, there is no answer to the exact formula for following dreams. Our soul knows why we’re here and if we let our soul drive our life more than our head, it will work out just fine. All things can and do happen at the perfect time. Of course, balance, trust and listening to the Divine is the answer to everything. So, I finished up making lunch and allowed a space in my experience there in the kitchen where I felt thrilled by the memories of mustard letters, gratitude for the experience of making sandwiches the kids still love to eat with me on this day and comforted by the dreams that live and grow in my heart and the code of my soul each day to keep me inspired through many more versions of me and my day-to-day life to come.

The image above of Snoopy and Woodstock (or Wubberbock as my son called him for years and we still fondly say today) dreaming together is such a thing of beauty. Two unlikely friends, dreamed up and shared from one man’s imagination with so many…what a gift! I see love and acceptance shining all around them, blue skies and possibility everywhere, what a wonderful world this can be and so much more. I love how Snoopy and Wubberbock just go about their business doing what feels good to them at that moment in time. Perhaps that is where the balance finds us.

The beautiful words that held my coffee this day remind me of how our soul might advise us if it could gently remind us where we come from, who we are and why we are really here. May we feel the blessing of truly being here and feeling the miracle that it really is.

May we dream big…while we dwell in a state of awakened
realization of the dreams we’ve already created.

We can balance both.
Love will show us how!

Sending you love and joy on this day and all the days to come!

Today’s Outlook – Clear and Present, Tomorrow’s Forecast – Clear and Present

Happy New Year All! May you feel the air of unlimited possibility all around you today and each new day of the year!

I could think of no better forecast than the title above. What a peaceful existence it would be to rest in the state of truly living the wonder of each moment as it comes. We could leave behind the baggage we carry from past experiences and drop the unnecessary assumptions and predictions we often place on the future. We could travel lightly with a fresh perspective allowing Life to bless us in every way. Easier said than done, but always the answer.

In a recent discussion with my children, I was delighted to hear myself describe some specific ways we can choose to live our days with clear and present energy. Our discussion was a result of the typical sibling disturbance, filled with a lot of over-familiar responses indicating that past resentments and future assumptions were dominating the interaction between two precious little people who love each other very much but could not feel it in certain moments of their daily life. In speaking to them, I was able to break it down in a simple manner and give specific tips and tools that would surely help harness a more conscious experience for anyone. It was a review of the tools we ask them to use each day with some added ideas about clearing out our energy each night. The discussion was spontaneous and completely unplanned. I loved everything I heard and I knew the Universe was speaking to us all.

The one true answer to everything is to truly be where you are at fully and experience what Life is showing you in the deepest possible way. This intention will guide you effortlessly through the moments and connect the dots in your life in miraculous ways. Figuring out how to do this takes much practice, undoing of programmed mind activity, a deep desire to make the shift to a more conscious lifestyle and much more. But, it takes only one moment to become present. It is always the one that you are in. It takes no time at all. Even though there is much to learn and practice to hold it for longer periods of time, or on a more consistent basis, it actually takes no time at all to do it because this moment (now) is the only time it is ever possible. We can let the other moments take care of themselves as we fully embrace the one we are in now.

In our family discussion, I reminded the kids about setting our intentions each morning and exactly why we do that. I explained that it isn’t just to write it down in your journal because Mom wants you to, because that won’t work. We had a lovely discussion about the power we put behind our choices with our intentions and how the Universe matches our intentions back to us continuously throughout our days. We can’t say we have a certain intention and then forget it in the first possible moment we have a choice we could apply it to. We cannot go through life reacting to whatever happens I explained, we must decide what our intentions are for the day in the morning and then remember to use that spirit behind each choice we make (or at least as many as we can as we learn and grow). Then our days will be filled with purpose and meaning as our intentions guide us to the life and connections we are meant to live.

Having noticed that the kids still seem easily annoyed with Life, each other and even my voice early in the mornings just after a morning meditation, prayer and intention journal entry, it was obvious that they are living out past experiences over and over again. God gave me the language to speak to them about this clearly. I told them that if by 9:30 am, they have already forgotten their intentions and surrendered to reactionary choices and a mind filled with negative thoughts, then the spiritual practices they are doing aren’t working. In general, if it doesn’t feel good, it’s not working, I explained. I called on them to truly access the spirit inside them that will give more meaning to these practices to help support their intentions to live out their days in a more meaningful way that will bring less stress and allow more joy. I encouraged them to believe in their ability to truly decide their intentions thoughtfully and place their power behind the things they do and say. I asked them to play with it and see what they can do and make happen. We discussed the difference between being vague and getting specific and noticing how the Universe responds and works with us. Great words came about how they have the power to bless others and themselves with the intention and spirited action they choose to bring forth. It sounds over a child’s head, but they are much closer to the spirit world than we realize sometimes. They came from there and they can remember how to access it and use it to bless the world. The conversation was lovely and then we put it all together with some new ideas for even better practices.

We discussed how we can sometimes hold on to the past so much that it doesn’t allow us to be where we are at. We either relive the past or worry that it will happen again in the future. This simple choice, makes it seem real in our heads and then we have lost our way and fallen into unfounded and irrational reaction rather than spirited action. We used specific examples of disputes they have had and hearing and saying things to each other like, “you always” or “she/he always,” etc. We discussed the unfairness of continuously punishing each other for things that aren’t happening any more. We talked about being unable to hear what is actually being said or see what is actually happening if we look at the situation through the veil of past experiences. Love comes through in present moments, not in cluttered up past ones. We came up with the idea of clearing things our each night to allow for a more present and thoughtful morning that will allow us to get the most out of our chosen spiritual practices. We talked about clearing out our energy in the middle of the day if it starts to seem hard to make the kind of choices we meant to when we started the day. It was all very simply put and the plan started to seem comforting and accessible. I encouraged the kids to try clearing out the energy on their own with specific ways to talk to your deepest self, etc. I added that if they had some things getting stuck or some energy that didn’t clear, they should ask for help and we could come up with a better plan or try different ways, etc.

There was much more to it of course, too much to explain here. What started out as a lecture on bad choices turned into an uplifting guide/map for a future filled with present moments of joy. I said a prayer of gratitude afterwards for the energy that had come through me and around me in such a supportive way. It was a lovely moment. Of course, the holidays and all kinds of hectic schedules and situations grabbed hold of us just after this breakthrough. 🙂 But, this moment remains as good as any to recall the tools we have and the ways we can support ourselves to make good choices grounded in love and clear presence. The energy that surrounded us all that night in conversation can be accessed now and the tools are always there as long as they are needed.

May you be blessed with the ability to wish yourself a Happy New Year and start fresh in any moment of any day this year!

Clear and present blue skies are now!

Intention

Each day we receive a wonderful, miraculous, amazing gift called a new day.  As we receive this gift each morning, we can decide how we will use it well.  We can pause and consider how to honor this gift and use it to the best of our ability.  This gift we receive each morning is too awesome to take for granted.  It is too much to accept without realizing the magnitude of it.  If someone gave us a large sum of money, we would surely take the time to consider what to do with it.  The gift of a day is worth far more than any amount of money could ever be.  There is nothing more miraculous than a day to turn into your masterpiece.  All anyone can ever do to honor this Life we are given is to get up each day and do the best we can with our day moment by moment.

We can set a clear intention for ourselves each day.  At the very least, knowing our intention will help us make better choices to match our truest desires and best character aspects as we navigate various situations and circumstances.  At the highest level, setting our intention clearly each morning is like sending out prayer filled instructions to the Universe.  The Universe hears our instructions and then begins arranging things to perfectly match them and bring us the circumstances that will allow us to live our creation.  We are constantly sending out instructions whether we realize it or not.  Things are arranging themselves according to our intentions.  We can see the miracles and create beautiful things or we can miss the magic and stumble around accepting what comes without realizing we ordered it.

A few months ago, I gave the kids intention journals and encouraged them to write down their intentions each morning.  We have had lovely discussions about their various intentions and how they can remember what they intended for the day as they make choices and deal with situations that arise.  It is helpful for them to take responsibility for their actions and remember what they really want to do with their day and their character choices in general.  My writing here is really about my intention to live what I know and help others as I go.  When I gave the kids their journals, I thought I didn’t need one because I write about my intentions here.  I recently changed my mind and got me an intention journal too.  I am joining them in the practice of clearly stating my intentions in writing each morning.  I love it so far.  I learned about intention years ago, but I can see the power and supportive Universal energy in stating my intentions clearly each day.  I am grateful for this practice, it will help me create the days I am meant to and hopefully send Love and abundant blessings out into the world through me.  That is my dearest intention.

Wishing us all the courage to intend well and bless abundantly.  Sending you love and joy.

 

Giving Up the Roles We Play and the Labels We Assign

“Authentic human interactions become impossible when you lose yourself in a role.”  ― Eckhart Tolle

“Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living.”  ― Eckhart Tolle

Life is not a performance.  We don’t have to play the roles we have been assigned or even the ones we have chosen.  We are much much more than the roles we play and labels we assign.  We can be great at all the things we have chosen to do while we are here, but we do not have to let the roles take us over completely.  In fact, we can do everything much better if we are not attached to the role surrounding it.  We are not meant to be actors inhabiting a role and fulfilling a function in our latest production.  We are meant to experience Life in a much deeper, more meaningful and miraculous way.  Inauthentic living dulls the senses and makes us lose connection to All that is around us as we go through the motions of doing the things we “should” and expecting everyone around us to do the things they “should” too.  Life can get muddled up with roleplaying and expectations if we allow it.  There is another, more joyful way to approach all that we do as we remember all that we are and all that everything around us is too.

Truly Being with each other without playing a role is the best feeling in the world.  It is our true state of being that we all have within reach, no matter what our circumstances look like.  It is where laughter and music come from.  If we are with others primarily as a function or role, we can completely miss the abundant miracles that surround us.  Often in my life as a mother and homeschool teacher I can find myself entrenched in the responsibilities of the role I am supposed to be performing.  It comes from my good intentions of wanting to do a really good job and prepare my kids for life in the best possible way.  However, that intense intention can get in the way of authentically experiencing the moments as they come and turn the whole process into a job instead.  When this happens, it’s a life full of parenting and instructing without allowing in the joy we always have waiting for us.  I am not just a parent and my children are not just my kids.  To enter the joy and help my little ones dwell there as well, I must let go of the role and let Life come to me and them in the way it is trying to.  Then I can truly see the Life I have before me and within me.  There is always a glimpse or glimmer of authentic light shining through in my interactions with my sweet little ones.  When I stop playing the role, I can feel the laughter, hear the sweet voices more clearly and allow a space for authentic interaction to occur.  I can be the best mother I can be by letting go of the role and expectations of it.  I can stop performing to the crowd or worrying about it looking like it should and pleasing all the right people.  I have felt the difference between mothering my children and living in the moment with them.  Life, love and joy are found only in the present moment, not the roles, labels and expectations that our minds like to attach and assign.

Role playing is all around us, it is everywhere and most people inhabit several roles throughout each day.  In my prior work life there were plenty of roles and labels to learn from.  I can kind of laugh at all of it (myself included) now.  Oh, how important all the labels seemed.  Who was who, etc.  With all the titles and pecking order entrenched in the workplace, it is easy to see how people get in the habit of showing up as their role rather than their authentic selves.  There is a lot of fear out there and the fear of not having an important role or label seems terrifying to people, that is why they must hide behind their roles and label others so fiercely.  In our society there is so much pressure to act as we are expected and do what everyone else is doing.  So called success makes all of the roleplaying seem attractive.  No matter what our life situation looks like, we can easily fall into the habit of playing various roles to please a variety of audiences.  This type of living doesn’t leave a lot of space for Being.  This may be a blessing, as it may push us to seek our authentic selves sooner.  We may sense that something is missing and hidden underneath all the masks.  Everything happens as it should and we can all grow from our exact situation.  We can bless each other with experiences as we do.  Sometimes the greatest blessings are tough to bear.  We can only call them blessings in hindsight.  They are still blessings.

We can shift from playing roles and assigning labels and help others do the same simply by Being with each other more.  If we show up playing a role or with a label attached to us in any way, we instantly put a label or role on the person we are interacting with.   It just happens.  We are entrenched in our role and we search for the part they play in our story.  We enter the interaction with all kinds of preconceived ideas and notions and completely miss the chance to truly experience the Being in front of us, the Being within us and the true moment the Universe created entirely.  If we can learn to show up as the Being that we are and create a space that allows others to feel safe showing their true selves in, we can create more authenticity everywhere we go.  We can relate to others from the truest part of ourselves and watch the same essence take shape in them.  We can change the landscape around us simply by setting our intention towards Being rather than roleplaying and labeling.  Soon, we will live in a world without all the roles and labels because we won’t even see them or participate in them anymore.  It can be done.  We can create a more authentic world to live in now.  One moment at a time.

Wishing us all the courage to Be more than our form or function.  Wishing us ample time found in Being that nurtures our souls, spreads love everywhere we go and creates a new earth one interaction at a time.  We are meant to interact with each other from our Being, not our tiny form.  We can bring the Being found in silence to our relationships and everything we encounter.  Peace is meant to be shared and spread.  We can do it!

Sending you so much Love!

Resistance

Somewhere along the path, we come to the moment.  We realize that life can only be lived in the exact moment we are in.  We figure out that our head is full of chattering nonsense that distracts us from the moment and we embark on the work of clearing the mind and embracing the moment.  We want to wake up.  There are many paths and many wonderful souls to help us see our path and live our moments fully.  We only need to listen and we are on our way.  As we begin clearing the field of the mind, we realize right away that we must hack away at the thoughts of the past and all our reactions to it.  Then, it is clear that we must chop down the thoughts about future worry.  All this makes perfect sense.  Get rid of past and future thoughts to clear the mind and come fully into the moment.  Of course in the case of the mind, one cannot simply plow the field, we dance with the mind and attempt various ways of allowing the thoughts to pass through until they barely get our attention anymore.  We don’t try to get rid of the thoughts, that would only make them bigger, we simply learn to put our attention elsewhere.  We learn to awaken to alert presence and reserve our attention for the thoughts that come from our higher selves and actually mean something.  That all makes perfect sense and will keep us busy for as long as it takes, but it is not the whole picture.  Accessing the moment is made up of much more.  Next up, resistance.  It comes in many forms and we must learn what it does to the moment in both subtle and obvious ways.

It is easy to “be in the moment” when things are going our way or we like the circumstances.  What happens when it is all going “wrong”?  As soon as we are resisting anything the present moment has to offer, we have slipped back into sleep.  Our mind will become busy wishing things were different or planning ways to make change.  We must embrace whatever the moment brings.  We won’t lose our way or become numb to life.  Life will show us how to flow and live in a much more alert and awakened state.  We will be one with life.  For me, learning about perception has helped a lot.  We must be willing to look at all our programmed perceptions on life.  We must open to the idea that we really don’t know what is good or bad.  We can evolve out of labeling everything and arranging things to fit into one category or another.  Watching our resistance to things and letting go of our attachments to what “should” be is a wonderful practice.  Not and easy one.  But, a wonderful one.  Peace replaces resistance, one moment at a time.

“To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad. It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. Life flows with ease.”  ― Eckhart Tolle

These are wonderfully comforting words from Eckhart Tolle.  Also ambitious.  We can do it!  It’s not too ambitious if it is grounded in letting go and letting life live us.  We can set our intentions to observe and allow resistance to pass through or to teach us something.  Let’s look at a few forms of resistance and its antidotes.

General Resistance – When we first begin watching our resistance to things in the moment, it may be surprising how much we resist one thing or another.  We have a lot of ideas about good/bad and right/wrong.  We spend a lot of wasted energy resisting what already is and wishing for something else.  We live in distraction rather than actually living what the moment is trying to show us.  We must be willing to accept that we don’t really know what is ultimately good/bad or right/wrong.  We don’t have to roll over and accept everything, but we must really look at what is just a programmed reaction and what really deserves our energy and attention.  It is exhausting to label everything and try to make it all go our way.  Our resistance plays a part in this.  Acceptance doesn’t bring more of what we think we don’t want, it actually opens up a place to receive more or what we are meant to have.  We can know we are meant to experience certain things because we already are experiencing them; we don’t have to wonder if this experience is meant for us because it is already happening.  With acceptance of what already is, no experience is wasted.  It is a delicate dance.  As we let go of all the little resistances we have in general, we can flow more deeply with our true being that allows us to know when something really is or is not right for us.  Our general resistance to life can dissolve and then we can learn to trust true resistance in a more meaningful way.

Subtle Resistance – I noticed this one more recently.  As our awareness of resistance helps us release it along the way, we can get better at accepting things and letting go of our resistance habits.  Even just acknowledging that we are resisting is helpful in the process and will move us along in our practice.  Then, we can hopefully open our eyes wider and see the ripples of resistance that are still playing a part in our interactions with life.  Sometimes we have this little voice that continues to subtly resist things as we go along.  A little nagging thing that says, “that is not right” or “that won’t happen to me” or “I can’t believe they did that.”  One particular example springs to mind where I noticed my subtle resistance ripples.  Many parents of older children seem to love to compliment my children on their choices/manners/habits and then proceed to tell me, “Just wait until they are older….” and then describe how horrible they will inevitably be when they become teenagers.  I noticed myself having this little, “that won’t be us” reaction inside.  Silly to give my energy towards resisting what someone else is experiencing or sharing.  Who knows what will happen when my kids are older?  Why give my energy and peaceful power away in the moment of someone else describing their situation?  Resistance shows up in many subtle ways.  After I noticed this particular recurring one, I consciously made an effort to allow people’s comments to just flow through me.  I chose to truly be there to really hear them and listen with my heart about their situation rather than making it about me and what may or may not happen to my family.  I can have an open heart rather than a reaction full of resistance.  It is helpful to notice even the subtle ripple of this waste of time and energy response called resistance.  We all have these subtle resistance patters happening to show us how to grow further into detachment and acceptance of all that is.

Providing Resistance – You know the saying, “Whatever you resist persists.”  Well, it’s true.  No exception.  If you are resisting something in any situation, it grows in power and presses harder.  You literally give the thing you are resisting something to butt up against and push on.  If you let things pass through  you and have detached acceptance working for you then things can flow through.  Parenting offers a lot of opportunities to practice this one.  It is always interesting to balance when to let things be and when to step in and handle the thing I think I can’t allow or tolerate.  I have seen the magic of not providing that resistance anymore and the situation completely diffusing itself.  All of our relationships allow places to practice no longer providing that resistance.  Life opens up for us when we no longer resist it.

Avoidance and Numbing Resistance – Sometimes we just don’t want to feel something, don’t want to face something and/or don’t want to deal with something.  We use all kinds of distraction methods to avoid actually experiencing the things we are meant to.  If we are honest with ourselves, we know what methods we are using and we can see how it would feel to just drop the distractions and experience what is waiting for us in the magic of the moment.  Maybe we don’t need the television on, maybe we don’t need to surf the internet or waste time on our smart phones, maybe we don’t need that cocktail to relax us, maybe we’re not really hungry and don’t need that snack, maybe we don’t need all those busy plans that keep us from going deeper inside to open to more of life.  We know when we are avoiding and numbing out rather than pushing through and fearlessly experiencing life found in the precious present moment.  The moment is Life.  We can handle whatever form it comes in by grounding ourselves in the moment rather than in distraction and avoidance.

Past and Future Resistance – Often, we see someone or experience something through the veil of the past or worry about the future.  We may see someone we have not had a “good” experience with in the past, and we only interact with them from the perception of the past.  The person in front of us is completely different from the last time we saw them and so are we.  If we remain stuck in past experience of them, we are not in the moment and we are using past experiences to resist what may be available to us in the present moment.  Instead of living with an open heart in the moment, we are closing the door to the experience that was meant for us.  The encounter with the very same person may be quite lovely if we can see them with fresh loving eyes that have only the present moment in mind.  The same thing goes for future worry.  We may be resisting what is happening in the moment because we fear what it will cause in the future.  But, we are not really experiencing the moment if we are caught up in the future.  We must stay right where we are at and allow all that is meant to happen in the exact moment we are in.  The “future” will only come in the form of another moment.  We can handle all of them as they come.

Creative Resistance – As we continue our practice of letting go of our resistance to life and opening up to the moment, we can observe and understand our resistance in a more meaningful way.  We are all here to do something and we are all co-creators in this life.  The more we get in touch with our truest purpose, the more we must be willing to push through our resistance.  We are sure to encounter much resistance as we approach that which we are meant to do.  The stakes get higher and fear can take a stronger hold on us as we muster our courage to try.  Here are a few favorite quotes on this type of resistance.

“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.” ― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

There is only ever love or fear.  Resistance is just another form of fear.  Sometimes it’s just general stuff from programmed labels we resist, sometimes subtle ripples persist as we learn to gain more presence, sometimes we let resistance nurture bad habits and sometimes we listen to resistance and realize it is the strongest around things we are truly meant to do.  As we become better masters of our own various types of resistance, we will be able to let the waves of fear pass through and turn to love and even push through the important resistance that came to show us we are on the right track.  We can listen to the fear and resistance and act from our soul to overcome and pass through to our life’s purpose.  We can live each moment in love.

Wishing us all the courage and wisdom to listen to life and let go of resistance.  Wishing us the ability to know when to let resistance pass through without giving it our attention and when we should take note and push through it to our higher calling.  There is so much waiting for us in the moment.  Learning to listen and open with acceptance of with already is is a great way to open the door to the life we are meant to have with all the love we are meant to feel.

Sending you love and joy!

Love Everything…It Makes Everything Loveable

Meet Mouska The Duck!

Mouska 1

Mouska has taught our family many lessons about love.  I want to share some of what we have learned here.  The picture above shows what Mouska looked like the day he came into our lives.  We were on a family vacation and we told the kids they could pick out a souvenir in the hotel gift shop.  George spotted a little duck on the top shelf in the back corner beyond our reach, we had to ask for assistance to get him down.  Once in Georgie’s sweet little hands, he was immediately hugged and named Mouska.

George changed the day he got Mouska and the little duck changed as well.  George tapped into his loving and nurturing side as he showered this little duck with so much love that continued expanding toward many more things in his life.  Mouska ceased being a little ducky made of terry cloth and stuffed with cotton…he came to life for George, and soon after, for our whole family and even many friends.  The love Georgie felt for him made him so lovable to the rest of us.  We all love this little ducky dearly.  He isn’t just a stuffed animal, he is love.  He became lovable because he was loved so much.  Georgie became more of his natural loving self by having the sweet relationship with his beloved Mouska.

George and Mouska have been together for over four years now.  They have been through many things together.  That sweet little duck has been all over with us.  He even survived being left behind at a Disneyland hotel and getting a “makeover”… George fully understood what it meant that Mouska had gotten a makeover…he felt the loss and embraced the solution.  When the new Mouska arrived in the mail all fresh and fluffy again, the love was no less.  Mouska’s spirit and all the love and precious memories had moved on and inhabited the “refurbished” version.  What a lucky duck and what a lucky ducky family we are.  We all love Mouska so much.

Mouska and George’s little family has expanded over the years; they have plenty of love to share.  Meet Coco and James.  They are a loving little bunch.  At first I resisted more and more animals coming to live and sleep in George’s bed…but Mouska and George live the lesson that there is plenty of love to go around…there is no limit.  George does a great job sharing the love, leaving no one out, making everyone feel special and creating joyful moments with all his little buddies, no matter how many in number.

Mouska 3

The family has continued to grow and much love is always beaming out of the room and lingering around the house.  The current gang that lives and sleeps on George’s bed are Mouska the duck, James the Monkey, Coco the big bear, Ben the little bear, Dan the big giraffe, Bob the little giraffe, Snoopy the dog, Eagie the eagle and Jones the jellybean duck.

Mouska family

There are stories of love behind each animal.  Many were precious gifts from loved ones, one was George’s first purchase with his own money.  I have watched these little love stories and felt more of my own heart along the way.  It truly is amazing to see these little spirits come to life just by being loved.

The lessons of Mouska and friends makes me think…What else could be changed just by being loved?  The real question is…what wouldn’t be changed by being loved?  I love this Emerson quote…

Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is.  Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Mouska had been treated like terry cloth and cotton, none of this love would have been felt.  He was treated like family and filled with love and he gave it back to us.  More Mouska lessons show just how much we benefit from giving love.  The more love you give, the more love you have to give.  We all know all these things of course, but I am so grateful for our little ducky friend and Georgie who live them so clearly for us to witness, allowing us to expand our own love from having seen them.

Some things are easy to love and some are more difficult.  We must learn to love it all and spread love wherever we go so there can be more love for everything and everyone to feel.  Love is always the answer.  No matter what we are going through or who is appearing before us, we can always step back and put some space between the thing or person and our reaction to it.  If we can add space and stillness, very soon, we can feel our heart soften and our willingness to act from love expand and fill us.  It is always possible and with more and more practice, it becomes much more automatic…we can more easily embrace what we are truly capable of…pure love.  We truly can love everything and make everything more lovable.  It is a practice, but it is worth it.  I pray to get better and better at it each and every day…just a breath, or a moment can help us be our truest self, with plenty of love to give to every circumstance.  Some things take a few more breaths or a bit more time, but watching the process can shorten the time between our little reaction and the true one that comes from our heart to add love to the world.

These days Mouska isn’t as fluffy as he used to be.  He has lost his hair twice and he is quite worn by love now.  Each year at his birthday party (yes, the kids throw him a birthday party each year), it is easy to see he is changing over time and his experiences are showing.  But, no matter how flat he becomes or how much fluff he loses, the love for him is still growing.  I love to think that all of us aren’t aging, we’re simply showing our experiences and being worn in with love.

Wishing you the space to live from the place of love for all things that transforms how you see the world and how you can BE in the world.  Lets leave nothing on the top shelf unloved, lets pull it all down and fill it with love.  No matter what it appears to be…love can change it!

Sending you so much love and joy today and always.  Happy love spreading!

Becoming The Ocean

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.  –Leonard Cohen

This quote is such a great realization.  I came across it in my reading this week and it put all I was feeling into clear, loving and true perspective.  To live on the surface of life, where we allow our inner state to depend on our outer circumstances is rocky, stormy and sickening.  It does feel like navigating during fluctuating storms that just keep rolling in.  It is possible to live from down deep in calm waters and to be fluid as we flow through life with the understanding that the moment is all we have and things are happening just as they should.  How do we do it?  We use every experience we encounter to build more presence in us, to ground us in our true essence of love and connectedness to all things…which can only be found in the present moment.

As we grow our presence and ability to live from the quiet place inside us, we still have to navigate the circumstances and people around us.  As we get better at this, the opportunities to practice it seem to mount.  We all have loved ones we hold dear and often those very relationships are the ones that allow us to grow the most.  I spend a lot of time with my two precious little ones.  They bring so much joy, laughter and moments of love, but, they also bring many many opportunities to practice all of the things I have learned about presence and consciousness.  If I didn’t have the day-to-day challenges with the kids, I would probably have myself convinced that I have evolved to a much higher level of consciousness.  I have little encounters with them all the time that remind me of what I can work on and just where I am at.  It is a gift to have these two to work with as I try to stay in the deep waters for longer periods of time and teach them to do the same.

Here’s the thing, the kids are constantly trying to pull me into feeling whatever they are feeling and as they grow and encounter new challenges and responsibilities, their emotions are all over the place.  Sometimes it feels like living with little emotional bandits, taking me on a ride over getting their jacket, tackling a math problem, clearing the table or tying their shoes, etc.  They are little, vulnerable and highly identified with me.  If they are stressed or upset about something, they want me in the same state.  I think they feel that if I am feeling the same stress, they will feel better or get help; its like they feel that if I’m upset too, they won’t be alone in it.  I can feel the pull between the three of us of how they want company in their emotions.  I am always trying to live from a place of non-reaction by putting more space around my choices.  It is kind of funny to hang out with people who really really want to get a reaction out of you when you so badly want to stop reacting to everything that comes your way.  There is a kind of perfection in it that allows me to feel just how connected I am to everything and how God/Life lines up the perfect circumstances to grow you to be more of your essential self.

You can be sure that whatever circumstances you are working with, they are the exact, perfect ones made just for you that will deliver you to all that you are meant to experience on the path leading in the direction of becoming more of who you really are.  Whenever I hit a bump or fall flat on my face by forgetting everything I know, I can feel the meaning in the experience and be grateful for whatever the details looked like.  Me and my little emotional bandits get up and forgive each other pretty quickly and jump back into the joy of life.  We talk openly about all these things, so they are learning right alongside me.  They teach me so much in such a pure way.

Let’s have a moment of get-real perspective here; perception is always a great teacher, it is usually a good idea to flip things around and see how they look from the other side.  As I was thinking about the “emotional bandits” part of things, I realized that I am an emotional bandit as well.  I have heard myself say, “Why can’t we just be in the moment?”, “Let’s get into the flow of life.”, “Joy is waiting for you whenever you’re ready.”, and many more such statements.  It would seem that I, too, am guilty of resisting the emotions others are experiencing and trying to get them to feel something I want to feel.  Even if I am trying to get them to feel “good” things, it is still me trying to get those around me to feel and act the way I want them to, so that it can come more easily to me as well.  To be honest, I have seen myself in bad times trying to get others to feel bad with me too.  It is a hard thing to admit, but as I look at things from this perspective, I cringe at some of the times I was down, stressed or overwhelmed and my husband was happily buzzing around and I dragged him through my emotions just to have some company.  Fear makes us do all kinds of weird things.  Thank goodness we have always come out of it pretty quickly and we know where it all comes from.  The yuckie stuff is always fear and the lovely stuff is love…no exception.

So, we all do it…we all try to bring our loved ones with us on our little emotional trips.  As we ride the waves in a storm, it is lonely to do it alone…we seek company and we drag them into our boat because we are afraid of making the trip alone.  Once we can learn to live from a more spacious place that allows others to have their feelings and express what they’re going through without it affecting our state of mind, we can be free of the seasickness and truly taste the freedom of acceptance, present moment living and inner peace.  Next time you notice an emotional bandit trying to take you for a ride, just give them love and let it pass through you.  Try comforting them by intense listening that allows them to be heard without resistance from you that would cause them to try to convince you and pull you into their emotional boat.  If you notice yourself trying to take others for your emotional ride, turn towards love and remember that everything passes, things are always as they should be and even though it feels like it would be lonely to go it alone…it isn’t.  Sometimes we just need to feel our feelings deeply and pass through them alone to let them lose their power over us.  We can grow and become more of who we really are by swimming deeper, feeling more stillness and realizing that we aren’t ever truly alone…we are connected to all that is around us…what we can see and what we cannot.

Picture it, if you are living at the surface of life, riding the waves, you need that little boat and you constantly seek company in there to endure all the seasickness and storms.  If you are the ocean, you don’t need the boat.  You don’t need to get in the boat with others and you don’t need to drag others into yours.  You can just be the ocean and heal yourself and others as you spread love and stay calm and peaceful in the moment.

Sending you love, calm, peace, joy and presence.

The Gift of John O’Donohue

 

inner-landscape_lead

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!

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