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.

Tag: Beauty

The Wisdom, Kindness and Courage To Celebrate The Joy and Success of Others

When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter.
As you see him you will see yourself.
As you treat him you will treat yourself.
As you think of him you will think of yourself.
Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself
or lose yourself.
–A Course In Miracles

As I learn and grow I marvel at just how connected we are to each other.  It really is amazing and awe-inspiring to try to grasp just what truly connects us and to what extent we are connected.

This week I have been feeling so very grateful for that fact and at the same time a bit sad from the longing it creates in my soul.  As you realize this truth and try to go about your business in this world it can sometimes feel difficult to function in environments that just don’t seem to understand what we’re looking at when we see each other and what is happening when we judge or compete with each other.  It can feel so brutal to see the many ways we create the illusion of separation.

I no longer feel sadness for me when I know someone doesn’t want to hear good news or share in my joy, I feel sad for them and I long to reach them and show them the beauty of celebrating each other.  I want to help people connect to the world around them and everything in it in a more meaningful way.  I think this desire came naturally from wanting to connect to it more myself.  You figure out that you cannot walk that path alone…we must go together.  How we choose to see, think of, feel about and treat each other is how we choose to live and how we choose to be with ourselves.

I know the answer is always love and I must give to the world that which I feel it is lacking.  I want to celebrate everyone and truly care about their joy and well-being.  I know deeply that I share in any success or joy anyone may experience.  I will choose to see the good that is in all of us and to be the space for others that allows them to feel it and see it in themselves too.  I will choose not to recognize what judging or competing looks like, I will simply be the space that welcomes joy and love and comforts others.  I will see the connection we have even when others can’t see it…maybe my seeing it will help them see it too.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
–Henry David Thoreau

Having this space to connect with followers, visitors and fellow bloggers comforts me so much and helps with the longing of my soul to feel the connection we all share.  For that, I thank each and every one of you so very much!  I am truly grateful!

Wishing us all the wisdom, kindness and courage to celebrate the joy and success of others today and always!  I pray I may live what I know today!  Sending you love!

Staying Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seeing The Unfamiliar In The MOST Familiar Things

It is a shame how familiar we become with so much of our lives.  It would seem that we would find comfort in the familiar…that is not the case.  We completely check out and become numb to what is happening around us.  We can’t see the people or places around us that have become too familiar, we see it all through a veil of our past observations, images and experiences.  With the MOST familiar people and places in our lives it can do the most damage.  We can be completely missing what is right in front of us…the very thing we love the most, we sometimes give our attention to the least.  Learning about this concept from John O’Donohue in Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom was a gift in my life.  The gift of seeing the unfamiliar in the most familiar things can wake us up to life.  Life takes on a whole new energy when you can really do this.  I have had experiences where I felt as if I snapped into attention and really saw my child’s face for the first time in too long.  Children’s ability to notice this right away is really something to behold.  I cherish those moments when I was really looking at them with unfamiliar eyes.  I have also been thrilled to look at my husband and see him as if we were just getting to know each other; it’s so fun to experience the excitement of the early dating days…it just takes a little shift in attention.  It takes practice to dwell in this for any length of time, but it is so worth trying to improve at it…life changing when we can do it.

Seeing the unfamiliar in the most familiar things doesn’t mean trying something new to wake you up.  It is quite the opposite.  It means really watching where you put your attention and what conditioned responses are running in your head.  It takes watching your thoughts and not identifying with them.  It takes letting those thoughts pass by so that you can create new and fresh ones that are found in the unfamiliar or the fresh moment.  The truth is that no one is ever exactly the same as the last time you met them.  I know for sure I am not.  Sometimes I could just cringe at running into someone I knew well ten years or so ago…I think, oh my gosh they know me from two lifetimes ago… Even when we see people once a week, they are never the exact same person they were the last time you saw them.  Allow this freshness to be there and try to see them fresh in the moment.  With our MOST familiar people and places it takes the most heightened focus, but what it can do for those relationships and experiences is miraculous.  Seeing only the familiar takes all the excitement out of life.  Dare to see those closest and most familiar to you in new and unfamiliar ways.

I realized with my own children recently that I am the MOST familiar thing in their lives.  I am the thing they have been the most familiar with for the entirety of their lives.  I used to wonder why they would say and do things to me that they would never dream of doing to someone else.  I struggled with why they save their exquisite manners and politeness for everyone else.  It finally dawned on me that I am the MOST familiar thing to them and they are also the MOST familiar thing to me.  We could spend our entire day responding to our ideas and images of each other rather than actually seeing and experiencing each other fresh in the unfamiliar.  I want to really stop and listen to them and see the new expressions that cross their faces and the new things they are excited about.  Just because I am so very familiar with them and so involved in everything they do doesn’t mean I am really seeing the unfamiliar and allowing myself to look at them with fresh eyes to spot new changes and truly hear what is important to them.  It is something I have to practice, especially if I want them to do that for me.  It is a terrible feeling as a mom to feel like you repeat yourself a million times and no one is listening.  Argh.  I think I have stumbled into a great truth.  If I want them to look at me with fresh eyes and see me, then I must do that for them.  This is true for the MOST familiar people and places as well as everyone and everything else too.

Wishing you the profound joy and fresh aliveness that comes with experiencing the unfamiliar in the MOST familiar things.

Below is one of my favorite passages from Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom, by John O’Donohue.  What a gift!

Behind the facade of our normal lives eternal destiny is shaping our days and our ways.  The awakening of the human spirit is a homecoming.  Yet ironically our sense of familiarity often militates against our homecoming.  When we are familiar with something, we lose the energy, edge, and excitement of it.  Hegel said, “Das Bekannte uberhaupt ist darum, weil es bekannt ist, nicht erkannt”– that is, “Generally, the familiar, precisely because it is familiar, is not known.”  This is a powerful sentence.  Behind the facade of the familiar, strange things await us.  This is true of our homes, the place where we live, and, indeed, of those with whom we live.  Friendships and relationships suffer immense numbing through the mechanism of familiarization.  We reduce the wildness and mystery of person and landscape to the external, familiar image.  Yet the familiar is merely a facade.  Familiarity enables us to tame, control, and ultimately forget the mystery.  We make our peace with the surface as image and we stay away from the Otherness and fecund turbulence of the unknown that it masks.  Familiarity is one of the most subtle and pervasive forms of human alienation.

Let Beauty Awaken Your Soul

“When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.”
―John O’Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

Beauty.  What is it?  Where does it come from?  Why does it touch us so?  What happens to us when we experience it?

When we experience true beauty, everything stops.  We take it in.  We experience the stillness that it came from.  I believe that we remember where it came from and it feels like home to us.  It awakens us from our daily life for a moment and takes us somewhere else.  It moves us.  It thrills us.  It is love sent to remind us of who and what we are.

When we experience a beautiful song, a masterful dance performance, a great poem, a theatrical production, a scene in a movie, a sunset, a beautiful piece of artwork, even an amazing sports moment…anything that has true beauty, we are changed in that moment.  Beauty can wake us up to more of life, it takes us out of the ordinary and out of our thinking mind — into our senses fully and it is a gift when it does.  We stop thinking, we have no worries, we aren’t planning or distracted or bored…we are really there experiencing the beauty and relief in being taken to a more meaningful moment.  We all have experienced those precious moments when we sit in awe of something so beautiful, we feel it deep inside.  Remember it and you can feel it now.

That moment is always there for us.  We must remember that stillness and invite it to visit more often.  We can bring more beauty into out lives, we simply need to be open to seeing it.  We need to add enough space to let it in.  Beauty is all around us.  It is everywhere, not just in the so-called works of art.  There is magical beauty in the smallest of things everywhere.  Everything was created in that stillness.  The truest of beauty is in the lines on an elderly face, the wag of a dog’s tail, the way the sunlight hits the sink full of dirty dishes, laughter, smiles, eyes, the book in your hands, the sound of your child calling “Mom”, kindness in any form, the mess you made having fun…beauty is everywhere.  We don’t have to wait for the sensational, we can see it everywhere.  We can let it wake us up to more of Life.

Today, in many ways, beauty has been reduced to idealized notions of what society deems beautiful.  It is actually rather frightening to see what is happening in the name of beauty.  That is not what we are talking about here.  We are talking about true works of Life.  God is experiencing himself in so many ways and through that experiencing, comes beauty.  We can bless our lives by looking with fresh eyes that are open to the beauty that surrounds us all the time.  We can help others see the beauty too.

Let’s take the time to touch beauty in a more meaningful way today and see how it changes our experience of life.  Let’s not wait for the big obvious moments, lets find it in the imperfection that is called Life.

Have fun seeing the beauty around you today, your soul knows how…today is the perfect day to spend more time with your soul.  Your soul is pure beauty!

Below is my son’s favorite poem, Little Things by Julia A. F. Carney.  The beauty in his five-year-old writing and the sweet joy he gets in reading this poem and knowing he is one of my favorite little things is simply stunning…to me, better than any masterpiece or work of nature I could ever encounter.

Little Things

Wishing you lots of joy in the beauty found in little things today and always!

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