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: compassion

Shift Happens

what you do

This quote has been on my mind sporadically since I came across it. It struck something deep in me when I first saw it; since then, I have continued to let it roll around in my head and take on various meanings and inspire a variety of learning opportunities.

There are several ways to look at it. It can be interpreted in so many ways, depending on our state of mind when we see it, hear it or think about it. Here are just few things that may occur to us:

  • At a glance it can evoke the feeling that lots of people say a lot of stuff that they don’t exactly live up to or in alignment with. Always too easy to see what others are getting wrong; feels much better to see what is lovable about them.
  • It can also make one wonder about their own actions and if we ourselves are truly living what we speak about or living aligned with what we value most, etc.
  • It can simply beg the question, “I know that is the best thing for me, why am I not doing that?”
  • The old, “Actions speak louder than words,” can also seem the easy comparison or conclusion.
  • Considering how we listen to others occurs to me as well…can I hear what isn’t being said or in some cases ignore what is being said and look at the actions? Can I look past actions or directly at them and hear or feel what is really being said at the deepest level?

If we can take it up a notch, through a lens of deeper awareness, we may look at these words through this perspective:

  • We may consider our deepest intuition and what makes us do the things we do, say the things we say, etc. To know that intuition well is to know the Miracle of Life. It knows what It is doing. Walking with our Divine Intuition is so much more relaxing (among other great and meaningful things) than walking with the smaller version of us that remains wrapped in fears and judgment.
  • By leaning back and looking at the many versions of “me” we have known over our lifetime so far, we can ponder the changes and the versions we have seemed to be throughout the years. We may cringe at our younger years or hopefully just smile and love ourselves with gratitude for becoming more of the person/spirit we are opening to. We can awaken to the Divine Knowing of who and what we truly are.
  • The shift happens…what we do, how we behave and who we are changes over time…we only need Live what Life would have us Know…it is always teaching us, guiding us and Loving us. The quote above can gently remind us to Live What We Know.

Obviously, these thirteen words strung together by Emerson can lead us to consider a myriad of possible meanings; some inspiring, some disappointing. I think the key to getting the most out of something like this and just about anything we ever encounter is to look within and figure out what it means for us. We can observe how we choose to live and how that shift begins to show up in our daily lives and the things we spend our time doing.

When we look at these words and apply them to what we think we see on the outside or in others, we may get stuck in painful memories or recall past experiences that can make us pretend to live in a world without enough Love. We must find the courage to look within and let these words comfort us in the moment of Life we are currently in as we do our best to BE and Live more of who and what we really are.

On a personal note, I’ve been somewhere in the shift for many years. I now know that not everyone likes to see change or the beauty of fresh unfamiliarity in lifelong relationships or even newer ones. Our journey towards our truest self that is a lifeline for us is not always seen as positive by everyone. Sometimes others just cannot see us. Misunderstanding and the painful feeling of not truly being seen as we grow can be tough. Sometimes we have setbacks or things happen that can make it seem as though we aren’t moving far enough along the path. The pain can block us or clog our flow if we let it seem real for too long. Those setbacks are blessings. They are the blessings that awaken us to the truest part of Life…the One we are meant to Live. We must remember that we are just where we are meant to be in Life and at the perfect place to Open up and allow abundant Blessings for All to flow through us.

Today, I pray to see recent suffering as a blessing and hold firm to the knowing of who I Am. I am reminded that although there have been painful repetitive experiences that I have known since childhood, I am not bound by that pain and continual misunderstanding. I can release the guilt that I have always felt since childhood and set it free knowing it does not serve me or anyone or anything around me that I may bless without it. Page 241 of A Course In Miracles says, “…it is only your guiltlessness that can protect you.”

May we all love our choices and see the shift in our lives today. May what we do speak of Love for ourselves as well as for others. May we know deeply that our intentions are pure and we are led by the Divine in Us. May we have compassion for others’ reactions to our choices without taking those reactions personally. May we unclog the flow of Life by surrendering and releasing guilt and see only the Oneness and Beauty that Life is beyond all the mirages caused by fear. May we be thankful and filled with gratitude for All.

Sending you Love and Joy!

Shift Happens

what you do

This quote has been on my mind sporadically since I came across it. It struck something deep in me when I first saw it; since then, I have continued to let it roll around in my head and take on various meanings and inspire a variety of learning opportunities.

There are several ways to look at it. It can be interpreted in so many ways, depending on our state of mind when we see it, hear it or think about it. Here are just few things that may occur to us:

  • At a glance it can evoke the feeling that lots of people say a lot of stuff that they don’t exactly live up to or in alignment with. Always too easy to see what others are getting wrong; feels much better to see what is lovable about them.
  • It can also make one wonder about their own actions and if we ourselves are truly living what we speak about or living aligned with what we value most, etc.
  • It can simply beg the question, “I know that is the best thing for me, why am I not doing that?”
  • The old, “Actions speak louder than words,” can also seem the easy comparison or conclusion.
  • Considering how we listen to others occurs to me as well…can I hear what isn’t being said or in some cases ignore what is being said and look at the actions? Can I look past actions or directly at them and hear or feel what is really being said at the deepest level?

If we can take it up a notch, through a lens of deeper awareness, we may look at these words through this perspective:

  • We may consider our deepest intuition and what makes us do the things we do, say the things we say, etc. To know that intuition well is to know the Miracle of Life. It knows what It is doing. Walking with our Divine Intuition is so much more relaxing (among other great and meaningful things) than walking with the smaller version of us that remains wrapped in fears and judgment.
  • By leaning back and looking at the many versions of “me” we have known over our lifetime so far, we can ponder the changes and the versions we have seemed to be throughout the years. We may cringe at our younger years or hopefully just smile and love ourselves with gratitude for becoming more of the person/spirit we are opening to. We can awaken to the Divine Knowing of who and what we truly are.
  • The shift happens…what we do, how we behave and who we are changes over time…we only need Live what Life would have us Know…it is always teaching us, guiding us and Loving us. The quote above can gently remind us to Live What We Know.

Obviously, these thirteen words strung together by Emerson can lead us to consider a myriad of possible meanings; some inspiring, some disappointing. I think the key to getting the most out of something like this and just about anything we ever encounter is to look within and figure out what it means for us. We can observe how we choose to live and how that shift begins to show up in our daily lives and the things we spend our time doing.

When we look at these words and apply them to what we think we see on the outside or in others, we may get stuck in painful memories or recall past experiences that can make us pretend to live in a world without enough Love. We must find the courage to look within and let these words comfort us in the moment of Life we are currently in as we do our best to BE and Live more of who and what we really are.

On a personal note, I’ve been somewhere in the shift for many years. I now know that not everyone likes to see change or the beauty of fresh unfamiliarity in lifelong relationships or even newer ones. Our journey towards our truest self that is a lifeline for us is not always seen as positive by everyone. Sometimes others just cannot see us. Misunderstanding and the painful feeling of not truly being seen as we grow can be tough. Sometimes we have setbacks or things happen that can make it seem as though we aren’t moving far enough along the path. The pain can block us or clog our flow if we let it seem real for too long. Those setbacks are blessings. They are the blessings that awaken us to the truest part of Life…the One we are meant to Live. We must remember that we are just where we are meant to be in Life and at the perfect place to Open up and allow abundant Blessings for All to flow through us.

Today, I pray to see recent suffering as a blessing and hold firm to the knowing of who I Am. I am reminded that although there have been painful repetitive experiences that I have known since childhood, I am not bound by that pain and continual misunderstanding. I can release the guilt that I have always felt since childhood and set it free knowing it does not serve me or anyone or anything around me that I may bless without it. Page 241 of A Course In Miracles says, “…it is only your guiltlessness that can protect you.”

May we all love our choices and see the shift in our lives today. May what we do speak of Love for ourselves as well as for others. May we know deeply that our intentions are pure and we are led by the Divine in Us. May we have compassion for others’ reactions to our choices without taking those reactions personally. May we unclog the flow of Life by surrendering and releasing guilt and see only the Oneness and Beauty that Life is beyond all the mirages caused by fear. May we be thankful and filled with gratitude for All.

Sending  you Love and Joy!

 

 

“A Love For Being Human” – I’m In! And, So are You!

“Fear”

Everyone can see how they have polished the mirror
of the self, which is done with the longings
we’re given.

Not everyone wants to be king!
There are different roles and many choices
within each.

Troubles come. One person packs up
and leaves. Another stays and deepens in a love
for being human.

In battle, one runs fearing
for his life. Another, just as scared, turns
and fights more fiercely.

-Rumi

“A love for being human” — mustn’t we all have it somewhere within. For, we are here aren’t we? We chose it for a reason. We must have love for it somewhere. We didn’t have to. We loved the experience and we wanted to do it well. Within, we All know how to do it well. We know why, when, how, for how long, with what tools, at what moments and with what intentions. We Know when we Love.

I knew fear deeply as a child. It was my constant friend and drew most of my attention. Any strength I have now was worth the fight and did not come easily. Back then, in that other version of myself, butterflies in my backyard troubled me enough to look for hours through the screen door at the yard I longed to play in. That is not to say that I had no “real” thing to fear. I had plenty. Or, so it seemed. I fought long and hard and I conquered. My deepest gratitude lies in my original constitution of utter fear. Without it, I would not Be as I Am.

Dear Fear:

I bow to you and I thank you. Without you, I would Be nothing.

The thing you threatened with most was a life without Love. Through experiencing you deeply, I found that Love is All there is. The rest is not real. Somehow, I feel you loved me enough to keep me company while I figured Love out.

With Sincere Gratitude Always,

Stacy

I used to say to my daughter (when she was feeling scared) and I still can to this day, “Do you know what Mommy is afraid of?” and she would reply, “What?”…I worked hard for the ability to respond with complete authenticity, “NOTHING!”

I no longer fear. I love and I trust.

Anything more I could say about it would mean nothing to you if you still live with fear, for you must fight and believe on your own. You can. You have everything you need within. If you live without fear and dwell in Love (the Divine kind), then you don’t need to hear what I might add. You can simply smile and feel your warm heart.

Being a woman of many many words, I might just add one thing… the “fight” I mentioned above is anything but violent. Well, it is violently torturous to thyself until we learn to fight well. Then it is more of a surrendering over time to the essence of who you really are and a letting go of all the illusions that surround you before you are able to do so.

Now I know what fear is. Now I know Love. I send you every bit I can muster.

Smile! Spread Love! Feel and follow your “longings” within. 🙂

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!

Love Doesn’t Come From Our Head and Fear Doesn’t Come From Our Heart

I have been quiet here in this space for a while now. I have been waiting until the distinct and authentic urge to post returned to me. It thrills me to feel that I am now ready once again. I have missed this lovely space; my experience sharing and connecting here has always warmed my heart. Thank you for sharing it with me! A few months ago, I stumbled into the following quote:

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ― Socrates

It wasn’t the first time I had seen these words from Socrates, but it was the time that I was really meant to feel them. These words struck me and stayed with me for quite some time. They made me quiet here and within myself. After all, this space is called “Live What You Know,” so the desire to truly reflect on how to live the wisdom of knowing you know nothing became the focus of my journey. I certainly don’t have it all figured out. 🙂 But, I am ready to share with an open heart as I continue down the path of Life and all its wonderful lessons.

To break this idea down to any specific points would be to miss the meaning of it entirely. It is a tricky thing to explain knowing nothing. You have to sound like you know something to explain it at all, hence, the quiet lately. Although I did a good job of keeping quiet here, I didn’t always do so well in my daily life. It’s always a blessing to live and learn (unless of course, it isn’t.) 🙂 I kept watch over myself as I interacted with others and I was aware of the times I had clung to the idea of “knowing” how things “should” be or how my ideas of things clouded my reactions and allowed the part of me that “knows” everything to push itself forward. It is a delicate balance and an amazing gift to figure out how to allow your truest self, that knows it knows nothing and stays open to life to guide your choices and align your personality with your soul. Seeing and living from a place beyond the little thoughts from the head holds the key that opens the heart and allows our perception and experience of Life to expand and include All.

Simply put, Love doesn’t come from our head and fear doesn’t come from our heart. While the truest part of me knows I know nothing, it does occur to me that I feel deeply from my heart and the things it allows me to feel are vibrating at a higher level than any thoughts ever could. That frequency of Life that the heart allows brings me such peace and allows me more compassion and connectedness to Life in every way. The feeling pervades within me that a life without doing whatever it takes to learn how to live from that place on a regular basis would seem to miss the point of being here entirely. While, I don’t “know” this for sure, I do feel it as sure as I feel my breath.

As I continued to watch and reflect on “knowing” things versus feeling Life, the Universe sent me many helpful lessons and tools to guide me to great teachings that were delivered perfectly at the best moment and in the best possible way. Just one example is The Fifth Agreement, by Don Miguel Ruiz. Even though I loved the book that preceded it, that book had been sitting on my shelf for years without me ever feeling the time was right to read it.  Finally, it made it into my daily reading time. It was a wonderful guide in letting go of all the ideas of right and wrong that have been programmed into us since birth. Not to say that I have given up all the ideas that have been injected into my mind just yet. But to know that I should question everything rather than accept even my own ideas as truth is a wonderful place to start. I have heard this lesson in many different ways by many different teachers, but in this case, the tools and teachings life was sending me were perfectly answering the questions I was asking at the perfect time. I share this example of one of the tools that came my way, not to suggest reading this particular book, but to encourage or inspire us all to allow Life to show us what it has picked out for us perfectly at this time. If we are interested in living from a deeper place, Life will surely show us the way in the perfect manner for each of us. We must look with fresh, clear and open eyes to receive the gifts that await us.  Important note (not something I “know,” but something I feel):  if we are not interested in living from a deeper place, Life will provide experiences to increase our interest; we are Life, so Life wants our attention.

I pray for all of us as we continue down the path of open-hearted living. Sometimes opening your heart all the way can allow things to hurt. The hurt won’t stay because the heart is very resilient, but sometimes it still gets hurt. Recently my heart hurt very bad, I was quite surprised that it could happen. I value allowing things to be as they are and I feel that resisting and insisting things change only brings more suffering (unless my heart is guiding me towards initiating change or otherwise). I thought my intention to go with the flow and my desire to avoid judging whatever I saw would protect me from a deep hurt. Instead, I now feel that hurting is just part of the process. Sometimes people are afraid of an open heart and uncomfortable in its presence. Sometimes heads convince people that they would rather be upset, right, important, insignificant, superior, inferior or a million other things fear disguises itself as; often people choose from any number of distracting activities to quiet the noise the head is continuously making. The distractions keep us from opening our hearts and living within the experience Life is trying to give us in every now. People can treat an open heart in a rough manner at times as they juggle their thoughts and fears. When it hurt, I sat with my weeping heart, shared openly with my sweet little family and allowed it to be as it was. It didn’t close up, it isn’t wounded and it doesn’t love any less, it simply hurt for a bit. I smile now, because it doesn’t feel possible for my heart to hurt. The heart doesn’t waste time keeping track of awful memories and bad feelings. It beats now. The head likes to keep score, be right and convince us we have problems that need solving. The heart doesn’t remember, it lives the blessings of the moment. It is worth it to allow your heart to hurt sometimes because only a truly open heart can provide the place to rest without fear. The heart hurting is nothing to fear. Love comes from the heart and its power to do so is beyond comprehension. Believing in our hearts and allowing them to feel everything can only bring the peace, joy, love and aliveness that has been waiting for us since the beginning of time.

Three wishes for us all:

  1. The courage to feel, connect and be guided from our hearts.
  2. The desire to learn how to truly quiet the mind without leaning on meaningless distractions.
  3. The ability to reside comfortably and excitedly in knowing we know nothing.

Sending  you love and joy!

The Last Judgement

What if today was the day I made my last judgment? I could break free from the world of labeling everything I see. I could stop making things right and wrong. I would no longer see separation around me. I wouldn’t need  people to agree with my perspective or see me in a certain way. I could use all the energy that no longer went to those things to spread love, see oneness and bring peace to all that I encounter. I would be in heaven, suffering would end and joy would become my permanent state. People would feel something in my presence that made them feel safe. They may not know what it is, but it may help them seek more peace and allow more awareness to come through. Things would align. All would be well.

Without all the judgements, we could live in peace and let go of creating stories in our head about the importance of every little thing coming in and out of our lives. We would not torture ourselves with the harm done in placing judgements on our fellow humans and in wishing things were different. We would not spend so much time trying to arrange things how they “should” be. We would BE rather than assign labels, wish things were different and create problems. We would vibrate at a peaceful frequency and so much more would come through us.

If someone were to do me some harm or wrong or bring hurtful intentions towards me, I wouldn’t be able to see it because without the label of it, it wouldn’t have that power. I wouldn’t be able to feel wronged, harmed or hurt. I would simply love the person just where they are on their path and wish them every bit of peace they could possibly feel. My energy would soar because I wouldn’t waste it on the dream of a smaller life in the way I sometimes had before. My soul would emerge and guide me to create and give my energy to all the things I came here to do. There would be no limits. All would be possible.

Without judgements, we would return to the joy we had when we got here…before we learned all the labels and how to judge everything we think we see. Our presence would be like an innocent infant and we would bring joy and peace to all.

What if today is the day I have made my last judgement? If it were not possible, then why would I have this desire?

Sending you love and joy!

Practicing with the Little “i” and the Real “I”

What do I know?
Where am I at?
Where do I want to Live?

I choose what I see.
I pick what I feel.
I know what I AM.

Can I remember it every now no matter what?
Will I ever be able to?
When will it get easier?

Now.
Each and every now.
Now has everything I need.

Can I accept the gift?
Will I create or react?
Will I love or be right?

I know too much to ever have peace without love for All.
I can love it All as if I have chosen it.
I can spread love and feel love.

There is a higher frequency.
Trust the Universe.
All is well.

Be.
Ask and be guided.
Love.

Practice!

Bless You

“Personally, I believe that prayer is a sending out of vibrations from one person to another and to God. All of the universe is in vibration. There are vibrations in the molecules of a table. The air is filled with vibrations. The reaction between human beings is also in vibration. When you send out a prayer for another person, you employ the force inherent in a spiritual universe. You transport from yourself to the other person a sense of love, helpfulness, support—a sympathetic, powerful understanding—and in this process you awaken vibrations in the universe through which God brings to pass the good objectives prayed for. Experiment with this principle and you will know its amazing results.”  —Norman Vincent Peale

This is an excerpt from The Power of Positive Thinking.  The author goes on to explain that he has a habit of praying for people as he passes them and he shares lovely stories of how this works is his life and examples of the choice to bless those around us.  I read this a few weeks back and I loved it.  I believe in the power of prayer.  I believe our life is a living prayer.  I believe our creations are offerings of prayer.  I believe our intentions and actions are prayers instructing the universe.  I believe we speak to our truest self when we pray.  I could go on.  I suppose I believe a lot of things about prayer.  I often tell people I will send them prayers for whatever they may have going on in their lives.  I always remember at least once in that very moment. Whenever people randomly pop into my thoughts, I often remember to send them a prayer.  I try to remember to keep the prayers going.  I am sure I could improve my prayer habits with regards to consistency.  Prayer shouldn’t be pressure though, I’ll just chug along and experiment with different ways of enhancing my prayer life and have complete faith that it will go well.  I like that plan.

Yesterday the idea of praying for people as I pass them popped into my head.  I began blessing people as I passed them on my drive to drop my daughter at her lesson.  I was having so much fun and filling up with so much joy that I shared my prayers with my son in the backseat on the way home.  When we got back into the car the next time, we continued blessing people together.  It was a thrill to find someone to send a prayer to.  It felt right.  I realized that if we cultivate this practice of blessing people we merely pass on the street, it will bless all those we come into contact with.  I always try to brighten the day of those I interact with, but I think this all goes much deeper than that.  I think this habit can tie us to our purpose and bring more meaning to our days and our dearest relationships.  It is sort of like plugging into the universe and the moment we are in.

Blessing strangers as we pass has profound impacts for us and for the strangers. Our blessings go out in infinite miraculous ways we will never fully understand. It’s too miraculous for understanding.  In addition to the miracles, this habit of prayer can build joy and strengthen our love for all.  It then can extend to those we are familiar with. Familiarity can erode the true purpose and joy of the relationships we are blessed with.  The practice of prayer can bless the interactions with those we are most familiar with and keep us fresh in the moment and able to see the blessings and constant change around us.  As we pray for and bless what is before us, we must see it more clearly.  We will see our loved ones as they are in the moment, rather than the image or memory we have of them in our heads.  We will be more alive to the present and more in touch with our purpose and the various ways we can bless this world.  We can become at home with the idea that we have the power to bless everyone around us.  We can become better at blessing strangers, acquaintances, those nearest and dearest to us and the entire universe as we go.  When we bless another, we bless ourselves and we strengthen the bond of oneness that we have with all we can see and all that we cannot.

Let’s experiment with all the wonderful ways we can use prayer today—blessings to strangers, art, kind words, smiles, knowing glances, gentle touches, loving thoughts, creativity, stillness, helpfulness, forgiveness, good old conversation with God and the universe, quiet reflection, deep asking, faithful knowing, complete attention, deep listening…the list goes on and on.  Prayer is so many things.  The power of it is real and true.  In our hearts, we can hear how to practice today.  Sending you love and joy through my prayers today and always.

 

A Life Well Lived

My Beloved Granny

Granny side by side

On August 5, 2014, my dear Granny left her physical form here on earth.  I have always had my Granny in my life.  Now, I am figuring out how to proceed with her spirit form and live with the void in our lives as we find our new normal without her here in physical form.  We know her spirit is with us and we are grateful she isn’t suffering anymore.  Those of us who loved her so are figuring out what to do with our suffering and how to carry it well.  Granny lived a full and wonderful life.  I had the honor of speaking at her funeral.  My heart is so grateful that I did.  These are the words that I spoke on August 9, 2014 at her memorial service.

—————–begin speech

Hi everyone. It is lovely to look at such an extremely fortunate group of people. Each and every one of us have been so very blessed to know the wonderful woman I call Granny. One thing was for certain about Granny — to know her was to love her… and — to be loved by her. Granny lived with a completely open heart and throughout the whole of her life, she humbly and graciously taught everyone who knew her just what that choice looks like and just exactly what love really is.

Knowing someone like Granny through the whole of your lifetime is the most precious gift. Throughout my life she has been a shinning light to me in various ways and for abundant reasons; sometimes for the laughs, sometimes for the tears, sometimes for the wisdom and always for the love. I have known many versions of my dear Granny over the years as well as loved her through many versions of myself. She always took the time to share openly and authentically just who she was and how she was changing over time as well as to know just exactly who I was and what was important to me at the time. She never ceased amazing me with all that she was. Until her last days, I found myself astounded at her wisdom and, of course, delighted by her spirit.

Over the last ten years I have been reading every spiritual master or great thinker I can find, trying to learn all the best ways to honor a lifetime and fulfill my purpose here on earth. Repeatedly, no matter how various teachers have presented the secrets to life or the best spiritual wisdom around, I found myself thinking, “Granny lives like that” or “Granny knows that one” or “Granny used to say that in her own way.” I am not even sure she knew how much wisdom she possessed, but that is what made being near her so special. She just oozed great things out in a beautiful aura around her. She didn’t have to talk about her wisdom and she didn’t feel identified by it, she didn’t place expectations on others, she simply lived each day the best she could and chose happiness and joy as she shared those choices with everyone around her.

Granny followed her heart; she didn’t follow others. Link Frank Sinatra says, she did it her way. She chose to live a happy, positive life. It was her choice and she made it again and again each and every day. She wasn’t one to tell others how to live, but her life was a lesson for us all. She showed us how to live and love and fill a life with meaning and joy.

Today, I want to share a few of the big lessons from Granny’s life:

Acceptance – Granny lived with utter acceptance of life. Over all the years, all the battles with cancer, or suffering and deaths of loved ones or even just the day-to-day stuff; I never ever heard her wish things were different. She didn’t waste energy wishing things were other than they were. She accepted things as they came and made the best of every situation. Granny was in the flow of Life. If that were the one lesson we took away, it would be enough to lead a beautiful life.

Compassion – Granny loved everyone through everything. She didn’t spend time telling people how they should be living or what they were doing wrong. Even though she always wanted the very best for us all and certainly had to bear with us through interesting choices at times. She never judged. She loved with utter compassion and non-judgment. She had her opinions and could state them when asked or when the mood struck her, but she didn’t push and we never had to worry about disappointing her. It didn’t seem possible. She just knew that things work out and she loved patiently though all things.

A favorite maxim around our house from a beloved teacher is — Don’t Whine, Don’t Complain, and Don’t Make Excuses — Granny lived this so completely. She never ever did whine, complain or make excuses. I love the matter of fact attitude she had at times. As a child, and even as a young lady, during our girl talks, I would question her about things from her past or ask why she hadn’t done something else or made a different choice. She always said, “Stac – that is just the way it was.” She didn’t add reactions and drama to things that had happened or make excuses for any choices ever. She just lived her life the best she could and made no apologies or complaint along the way. That is just beautiful! I must admit that I do love to picture her when I was super little and she still swore and smoked…it comforts me somehow and makes me think there is still hope for me to sort all these things out. Perhaps I’ll get to a place where I truly live all these teachings some day. With her spirit around me, I am sure to succeed. Or at least, get up and try my best again and again and again.

Presence – In all the teachings, said in so many ways, the ultimate truth is always there — the present moment is all there ever is. Granny had a lovely presence about her that was infectious. She had this because wherever she was, she was completely there with all her heart. She didn’t have a lot of distractions about her. She didn’t speak of regrets from the past or worries about the future. She was completely in the moment and happy to be with whomever was with her at that moment in time. This gift she gave to everyone was truly amazing. When we are fortunate enough to spend time with others who are completely present, we can find that presence in ourselves and share it with others. Granny surely did that for everyone here today and throughout her life in so many ways.

Perception – The life we make is created simply out of the one we choose to see. We experience exactly what we think we see and all the details we give our attention to, to go along with that story. We choose. Granny knew this. To say that Granny’s cup was half full is an understatement. She just had that way of seeing the best, expecting the best, forgiving the less than best and helping others see life that way too. I remember when I was little telling her, “Granny, I’m mad!”…in every case, no matter what the cause, she would reply, “Well, you’ll get glad again.” She was right. I did. Thank goodness she didn’t commiserate with me. She taught me a lot through that choice of non-reaction. She allowed me to be as I was and she created the space for me to make a better choice. How very wise of her! What a wonderful gift she gave me.

Love – All the great teachings lead to love. It was life changing for me when I learned that all things are either fear or love and that people act out of those two choices. All those other things that aren’t love are simply fear. When we realize that people are just scared, we can forgive anything and spread love. I think Granny knew that. That is why she was so full of pure love; she understood the alternative and the source for other things. That is how she knew all would always be well and people would figure things out just as they are meant to. We all find our way back to love. I spent a lot of time with Granny over the years and in these last years kept up with my Mom to hear just how things were going.   I am sure that Granny felt fear on many occasions. The thing about her is that she never let it get to her. She knew how to handle things and not let them get the best of her. She kept her heart open to let love come in and chose not to allow fear to close things up. In her last days, she knew how to ask for help from her dear children who were there for her in the most amazing ways. Once when I was little, I remember sitting in the truck with her and my dear Grandpa. They were trying to back the truck into a tight spot. She was nervous at the time and the mood was tense. It took awhile, but they got the job done. When Grandpa got out of the car, she told me, “Stac, it is just terrible when you get old, you get scared of everything. It is awful.” Then off we went to do errands and any trace of fear was impossible to see. She returned to being the fearlessly amazing woman she always was. To that little girl with her, she was just the most wonderful thing in the world. I’m glad she shared those feelings with me that day. I was really surprised. She wasn’t even old yet. She had been so authentic with me and shared her vulnerability with me. She didn’t dwell in it or let it get the best of her. She had the choice to make, and the way I see it, her choice was always love and her life was never lived through the heartbreaking veil of fear.

Granny new much much more about Love and I think that 1 Corinthians 13: verses 4-8a sum it up best. I think Granny would love to hear these verses now and she would be glad to have her loved ones thinking these beautiful thoughts.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Granny was all of these things; she was Love and hers will live on through all the lives she has touched. One of the best ways I ever heard the sound of love in my life was when she would exclaim, “Stacaroo, I love you!” as she would embrace me and delight my soul. As we all know, to be loved by Granny was a truly blessed experience. You didn’t have to know her throughout your entire lifetime or be someone particularly special to her. I believe that we were all special to her. I believe she knew just how connected we all are and just how much love we actually have to give. Thank you so much Granny for sharing your Love so beautifully with so many.

Granny’s life was full of wonderful examples of how to live. I could go on and on here about many many more virtues Granny completely lived in her life…kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, generosity, encouragement, hard work, friendship, determination, loyalty and so much more. She was a living example full of so many wonderful lessons; it is impossible to capture them all here. But, one virtue that she took very seriously and that cannot be left out today is her devotion to and complete and utter passion for fun.

Fun — My favorite spiritual teacher says that if it doesn’t feel good, it isn’t working. Granny knew this. You can’t talk about Granny without talking about having fun.

Where to begin? Perhaps first with her smile. I am sure that if we close our eyes and picture our memories with dear Gran, we will notice the beautiful smile that always lit up her face and we will remember the quick and easy laughter that sprung from her Being so frequently. Oh, how many times she got tickled and taken over with a big case of the giggles – that was truly living. To be near it was to feel alive and well.

To know Granny as a child was just the coolest thing in the world. Granny was timeless; she didn’t treat children like the number attached to their age. She was smitten with children of all ages (even 37) and she always made you feel like your opinion mattered, like you had a voice, that you really knew something and that you were worth her time and attention. She was interested in really getting to know all the little ones in her life and she treated us all with respect and adoration. She made it so easy to give those things back to her. I had so many wonderful childhood experiences with her. Throughout all the years of my adolescence, the thing I remember most of all as I look back now, was that she really listened to me. Her listening continued throughout my lifetime and I know that she gave that same gift to everyone she met and all that she encountered. That listening gave us our strong bond and led us to buckets of fun together.

Just a few fun memories to share:

  • Taking bubble baths together – when I stayed with my dear Grandparents, it was a given that Granny and I had bath time at the end of each day. That was such a special time when I was a tiny girl. Those talks we shared, those giggles too, it was just like she had produced an “everyday” kind of magic that was filling my spirit. It felt so normal, but so magical too.
  • The dancing and singing – oh the memories of Granny ironing away and shaking her hips and singing out her favorite songs while she worked. She definitely knew how to make work look fun.
  • Driving with her – whenever it was just her and I in the car, she belted out the songs so gregariously, it was such a hoot and it gives me the giggles to this day. She was really something back then.
  • Swimming at the lake. She was always up for a dip. Just don’t splash her hair! How lucky we all were to have the cool Granny who swims with the kids.
  • Playtime – Granny loved my imaginary games I played during my many visits. She was so cool at acting out whatever I had going on. She could be the bank teller, office worker, restaurant customer, whatever I needed; she was in and happy to play along. No matter how busy she was or how many things she needed to get done in a day, she had time to play with me.
  • Board games and cards. It is almost like “enough said” on this one because we all have our own memories of playing games with Granny. She loved it so much when she could get a game going. She taught us all so many games over the years. Starting with Candy Land and working our way up to Hand and Foot, we were all so blessed to sit at her joyful tables of games.
  • Entertaining – I had so many fun childhood memories helping Granny with her parties and potlucks with all her various friends when they lived out in the country. She loved entertaining and she was so good at it. People were thrilled to be her guest. I loved the square dance potlucks the most! To see her sparkle and delight her friends was truly something to behold. It never seemed like I was the tag along kid, I felt like the luckiest guest. She always created the environment that allowed me to be embraced by all who loved her so. She shared the love so graciously.
  • Open house – her house was always open to whoever wanted to visit her and over the years and in various stages of life, she was never ever short on visitors. It was fun to see people so excited to see her and so happy to be in her presence. So much fun was always had by all! That open heart of hers kept her house open and full. She loved it!
  • Reading time – Granny loved to read. When we would settle down together in the afternoons to read a bit and take a break before preparing dinner, it felt like absolute peace and joy mixed into one. This tradition is something that I have carried on with my children. We settle down and read together each day and it feels like heaven.
  • Everything was fun with Granny; even watering the trees…I could go on and on about so many fun things here and no words I could ever choose would do the memories justice.
  • These memories I have shared are my own, but they are mixed with the love and laughter she shared with all of her grandchildren, loved ones and friends. They belong to us all.
  • Thank you so much dear Gran. I hope I can remember to laugh as much as you in the remainder of my days. Thank you for showing me how!  My husband says I am much more pleasant when I laugh, so here’s hoping it works.

Almost done….hang in there with me.

As I mentioned, I have been on a bit of a spiritual journey for years now, listening to great teachers and reading everything I can get my hands on hoping to take steps toward the best version of myself. I quickly realized along the way how hard it is to truly Live all that you know and learn through even the greatest wisdom out there. Knowing things and living them are two completely different things. Granny lived what she knew. Sometime within the last year, my Mom and Granny shared with me that Granny too had read a book in her twenties that had changed the course of her life. That book was called, The Power of Positive Thinking. My mom recalled her reading it and sharing it with many. Granny lit up at the memory of the book and the opportunity to tell me about it. I smiled at the news. It all made perfect sense. That is so Granny to read one book on the secret to a happy life and then to live it so completely for the rest of hers. She showed us all how it is done so very graciously and with such beauty of spirit and heart.

We have quite a task ahead of us as we learn how to get along without Granny’s form and embrace living with her spirit. We can do it well for her and because of her. We can honor her life by making some of the great choices she made and looking at life and all its circumstances the way she always did. Remembering Granny’s joy, wisdom and positivity can help us choose to be happy and help us to choose it again and again each and every day.

To everyone here – thank you for receiving Granny’s love and loving her back so abundantly – I am sure it was a comfort to her to be so loved by you all. I am sure your love for her confirmed that her approach to Life had been a good one. I love you Gran. I’ll see you and be with you everywhere I go.

——————– end of speech.

I am reading that book Granny loved in her twenties now.  As I mentioned, it is called The Power of Positive Thinking.  It is an absolute blessing to me at this time.  I am so grateful to share the experience of reading it with her now.  I am sure I will share many miracles from it here with you soon.  We live in a miraculous Universe.  There are blessings all around us.

Wishing you the courage to love with your whole open heart!  Sending you joy and love today and always!

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.

 

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