Live What You Know

Waking up is more than it seems. You KNOW more than you've ever been "taught"! You chose to be here now. Make yourTRUEself proud!

Tag: God

Living The Questions of Your Life

‘Instead of asking, “What do I want from life?”, a more powerful question is, “What does life want from me?’ —Eckhart Tolle

It is a miracle to be here.  We are all here to do something.  We are all shaped by our experiences.  Every experience is meaningful.  We become who we are meant to be so we may bring what we are meant to bring to this world.  We are connected to Everything; there is no-one and no-thing we are not connected to.  Our choices, intentions, interactions and energies ripple out to others and come back to us.  Once we are aware of all this happening, synchronicities abound that connect us to more of ourselves while enhancing others’ ability to do the same.  The Universe/God works perfectly in assisting all of this, but once we are aware of it, we co-create with Life.  This all happens, not by figuring out the answers to life, but by asking and living the right questions.  We all have specific questions we are working with at any given time to assist us along the way.

To live a question, we must acknowledge and accept that we don’t know the answer.  We are then in the unknown.  The unknown is where we can experience more of life.  We must open to the present and live each experience fully to get from it what we are meant to.  In this way, we embrace the art of not labeling situations and accepting that all things are unfolding as they should no matter what the details appear to be.  We widen our perspective.  We no longer need to declare if things are good or bad.  We just flow with the circumstances and try to hear what life is saying to us and what question it is presenting for us.  We let go of seeking the answers as we flow with the questions.  Seeking answers requires future and creates the illusion that we will be somehow better or more complete once we have them.  This can only create suffering as we long for a moment other than the one we are in.  We receive only the answers we are ready for and they change over time and circumstance.  The Divine joy and love is in the questions and allowing them to flow through you at the perfect time for you.

Once we know how to live the questions, we can dwell in peace that has tinges of fearless excitement within.  We won’t sit idly by and simply watch everything, we will live authentically with clarity and purpose as we ground our actions in our true essence.  Life will show us how to do this if we can only listen.

Watch the synchronicity in your life.  Watch the dots connect.  Notice what you are meant to receive from each person you come into contact with.  Notice what you can give back in return.  Be with nature in a way that fills your energy to assist your higher frequency vibration.  Watch your conversations.  Notice the books that appear at just the right time.  Notice Divine energy assisting you.  Be kind to yourself.  Forget trying to know and embrace living the unknown.  See the beauty all around.  BE nature instead of in nature.  Listen with all your heart.  You can function this way always, you don’t have to return to surviving and struggling all the time.  Peace can envelope you as you live your questions and evolve to the next, never rushing or resisting, just living in the present.

Lean back and look at the whole of your life.  See how it has all connected in meaningful ways to shape you into who you are now.  See all the ways that Life has provided for you.  Let that feeling embrace you.  I call it a Universe hug and I believe that the more you can feel those hugs, the more frequently you receive them.  We all need hugs.  Feel that hug from the Universe and love and embrace who you are now without judging how you got here or where you should be instead.  Just love you now and connect to everything around you as you expand and fill up with peace.

Living the unknown and loving the questions, the “little me” in us quiets down and the larger “I” that is connected to all things Lives.  It is a Divine paradox to realize that the only true knowing is found in living peacefully in the Unknown.  The question IS the knowing.  Living the question is living what you know.

Today I pray to be still and live the question of my heart.  I pray to gratefully and peacefully abide in the joy of connectedness to All.  I pray to remember this message as I live the moments of my day.

I am sending you love!  May you hear your question and feel the joy of living authentically with it.

Fresh Eyes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending you love and joy!

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.

Happy New Day…The One That Happens Each and Every Day!

So, it’s January 1, 2014.  It feels like a new beginning, a fresh start…full of possibility.  The newness of the first day of the year is a wonderful gift, but it only comes once a year.  The truth is that we have the opportunity to start each and every single day fresh and full of possibility.  We get to decide each day who we will be, what we will do with our day and what we will bring to the world.  We get to choose what we will see, how much love we will spread, how much joy we will live and how much peace we will feel.

We’re all doing our best, working towards becoming more of ourselves and showing up more authentically in the world; whether we know it or not, that is what we’re doing.  Some days it works well and some days we struggle and cause suffering for ourselves and others around us.  Each day and each moment, we have the opportunity and the ability to choose to start fresh and choose love.

“The human emotional system can be broken down into roughly two elements:
fear and love.
Love is of the soul.
Fear is of the personality.”

~ Gary Zukav – from “Seat Of The Soul” ~

This year as I continue to work on closing the gap between what I know and what I am living, and then expanding to a new gap as I learn more (I’m figuring out that life is lived in the gap and there will always be one), I do have one main goal in mind.  I hope to live from a place of love that leaves no room for fear.  I will use this space to share how that will look in my life.  I want to live with an open heart in each moment, allowing me to assume nothing, take nothing personally and listen to Life deeply as it continues to guide me to more of myself.  I want to choose more of the soul and less of the personality.  I want to spread love wherever I can.  I want to use all that I know and embrace the unknown as I continue to build habits that will support my growth, always turning away from fear and towards love as I push through to the essential me.  I will fail, I will try again, I will start fresh a lot.  I will share openly with us all here.

I am grateful for this space.  Every time I hit publish on one of these posts, it feels like a fresh conscious moment to choose who I am.  As part of my love, not fear, open heart, lived moment by moment year, I am opening the site up for comments.  I am ready now.  I welcome the idea of connecting with my readers more.  I feel ready to hear how others are living what they know and I hope to build a nice space for us all to learn and grow.  Thank you everyone for sharing this space with me.

Wishing us all the courage and presence to awaken every single day to the possibility that we are.  Sending you love and joy!

Just Right — Letting Go of the Ups and Downs

Years ago when I began watching my thoughts and making the connections between my mind and my life, I noticed all sorts of interesting things.  The work itself is in not becoming attached to the myriad of thoughts that are constantly coming our way; it’s noticing the thoughts floating by like clouds trying to get our attention and being okay with letting them pass…not resisting them, just choosing well which ones we allow in.  When we do give certain thoughts our attention, they come down right in front of our face and grow and seem to hold us captive in their aura until we can release them.  We are left sort of under the influence of whatever thoughts we have allowed to grow and take hold.  I love this work and I understand the practice it is to remember it fresh in every moment.  What about the emotions…what do we do with them?

As I continued working with the thoughts and in-a-sense changing my mental habits or taking responsibility for the thoughts and energy I bring to all things, I noticed a lot of things about happiness in general.  I was devouring books like crazy, trying new practices, praying for guidance and in general just working towards a joyful, purpose filled and meaningful life.  Often, I would pack my babies up in the car and head out to start our day feeling like I could take on the world and remain in bliss all day.  The mornings always felt fresh and ripe with possibilities for using all my new tools and truly living all I was learning.  I distinctly remember the day I was driving in my car feeling like I was so very happy.  I was thinking, “I am soooooo happy” over and over again.  It was great, completely exhilarating!  It wasn’t the first time I had done this of course, but I remember the day that the help for this condition came.  The happy thoughts were followed by a clear voice (my own voice from a deeper place) saying something along the lines of, “Wait, relax, don’t do that, just be here, just be okay with here.”  I found myself breathing and grounding myself in something deeper behind the “happy” feeling.

I knew instantly that I didn’t want to jump on that happy train anymore.  I could feel the knowing that if I did, I would inevitably find myself in the opposite direction later.  It is no fun to come down from the happy and find yourself on the other side.  I was growing very tired of that.  I could see the rhythm and pattern emerging out of the clouds for me.  I wanted out of the thoughts about how I feel and into the practice of living in the middle way.  Living — just right.  It was a strange feeling to know that I didn’t want to achieve that “happy” feeling anymore.  I was sure though.  I wanted to dwell in the real peace and joy that can sustain all things.  I felt ready to release myself from the ups and downs.  I caught myself that day and grounded myself in the joy that lives in the moment without over thinking it and labeling it or my mood.  The real joy and peace isn’t in the extremes.

It makes sense.  If I go around attached to the idea that “I am so happy”, then anything that challenges that idea or brings me back down to dealing with life’s little challenges, choices and behaviors creates massive resistance.  I would be so attached to my “happy” that anything threatening it would be most unwelcome and incite all kinds of reactions I don’t want to succumb to.  The “happy” brings resistance and struggle, making it very difficult to live each moment joyfully the way we are meant to live.  The peace behind the happy that is “just right” allows all things to be as they are and isn’t dependent on what happens.  Whatever happens is just right.  Whew!

I continue the work to this day of course…chipping away at it as I go, grateful for all the progress, as well as all the work ahead.  The joy is in the journey.  I fall often, dust myself off, and get back into the stream of life that I know is always there waiting for me.

Sending you love and joy and wishing you a day full of all things just right!

A Great Conversation

Nothing delights me like a great conversation!  To really connect with someone and find a piece of yourself in the connection is like a little window to the soul.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I love John O’Donohue’s description of what a great conversation is.  I previously suggested taking the time and provided the link to hear my favorite interview with him (see previous post); I genuinely hope you can gift yourself with this wonderful conversation.  I realize, however, that my favorite part takes place around the forty-second minute…I understand that not everyone will feel as though they can spare the 51 minutes and 9 seconds listening to this discussion would take.  For those without the time to hear his wonderful words, I want to share a bit more of my favorite part here (please read with a fierce Irish accent…it makes it even better)…

“You have to ask yourself, ‘When is the last time that you had a great conversation?’  A conversation which wasn’t just two intersecting monologues, which is what passes for conversation a lot in this culture.  But when had you last a great conversation in which you overheard yourself saying things that you never knew you knew, that you heard yourself receiving from somebody words that absolutely found places within you that you thought you had lost and a sense of an event of a conversation that brought the two of you on to a different plain, and then fourthly, a conversation that continued to sing in your mind for weeks afterwards.” –John O’Donohue

He goes on to talk about some great conversations he has had lately… he describes them as “food and drink for the soul”… In his next words he says the second thing to always ask one’s self is, “Who are you reading and where are you stretching your own boundaries?”… which prompts, of course, more lovely conversation.  This man is a poet, everything he says is like music!  He covers so many topics in this talk, but for me, great conversation is worth spending some time on.

I love how he describes the common conversations in our culture as “two intersecting monologues”…that is so true!  You can feel it when someone is just waiting to say their next thing and not really interested in what you have to say.  You can also feel it in yourself when you’re doing the same thing — just waiting for them to pause so you can talk.  It is deadening for the soul.  I often find that people are surprised when someone really listens to them.  I can feel it when their heart comes alive a bit more and they just open right in front of me.  It does hurt when someone can’t listen to you, but it isn’t something to take personally (nothing is).  People will listen more when they are ready.  We can help them along by truly listening to them and honoring them with our fullest attention and interest.

The holidays are upon us, we’re blessed with so many moments of family togetherness and friendly celebrations this time of year; now would be a lovely time to practice having great conversations.  They don’t have to be as deep as what John O’Donohue describes above, it would be nice if they could be, but we just have to start somewhere.  When we’re with our loved ones and friends and even meeting new friends (every friend was once a stranger), we can bring honor to the words we share with them by truly being there with them and listening to what they may share with us.  Your heart and soul know how to do it, you just let yourself be there in the moment and your soul will do the talking, and more importantly, the listening.  Dare to ask great questions and truly listen to the answers.  Have fun with it.  Have joy with it.  Your heart will open and you will feel more fully alive.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we all really talked to each other as our true selves, without the image of us that we project throughout our days.  It is lovely to truly show up and authentically BE wherever you are at.  It may seem as though it isn’t practical, but it is.  We can truly be where we are at and honor the moments as the sacred gifts they are.  Things are waiting to be seen by you and moments to be experienced by you.  My wish for us all this holiday season is the gift of great conversation that awakens the soul and comforts the heart.

May you see kindness wherever you look and spread joy wherever you go!  Sending you love and joy!

Swimming in The Deeper Currents of Life

Every single moment of our lives is trying to tell us something.  Life itself is the moment.  We must make room to allow enough listening to hear what the true message of the moment is.  We must bring honor and sacredness to the art that is listening.  Every encounter with any being or even just in stillness is an opportunity for deeper listening.  More than just a portion of our attention while we multi-task is required for the type of listening we’re talking about here.  How do you hear well enough to truly receive a smile?  What could be worth skipping a smile meant for you or missing the sound of laughter?  Why have we allowed so much noise to creep in and take us from the deeper currents of life?

In a recent Eckhart Tolle talk, he was discussing his teachings and he said, “The person got out-of-the-way enough for the teaching to come through.”  I love this idea.  If we allow our personalities and all our distractions in life to dominate our experience each day, we don’t leave any room for the sacred to come through.  We all know about intuition and we can feel the pull that comes from our “gut” telling us something.  We choose if we take the time to practice really listening to life and following where it is leading us.  We have the stillness inside that has all the answers we seek.  We often cover it up with one distraction after another or we let others tell us what we should do.  Perhaps we fear our own authentic power.  There is nothing to fear; only love to be found.  We are meant to hear the messages, they will get louder if we stay focused on noise and reside in distractions.

“We are evolving
from five-sensory humans into multisensory humans….
The perceptions of the multi-sensory human
extend beyond physical reality
to the larger dynamical systems of which our physical reality is a part.”

~ Gary Zukav ~

Our perceptions are everything.  They create our entire world.  How we choose to look at the world determines what we will see.  How we listen to the world determines who we will be, what we will create and how we will live.  It must be noted that our thoughts aren’t always worth listening to.  In fact, most often, they are not.  We aren’t talking about listening to our thoughts and acting from them.  We must go deeper and let the thoughts be what they are — only thoughts.  They will pass.  We don’t want to make choices because we are under the influence of our thoughts that crept in.  We want to listen deeply and use more than just the five senses as we expand and live more fully as our essential being.  There is more to listen to.

A simple act of slowing down can help on the path to listening to more of life.  I know deeply that the more we can listen to life, the more we can live.  I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of clearing the mind and touching the stillness as we slow down.  Watch those thoughts and lean back into the space that hears them.  There is much more to you than the thoughts.  Be the space behind them.  Resist jumping on the thoughts and allowing them to grow.  Choose your thoughts and choose your life.

Another great practice to bring more listening is accepting what is.  Even if someone is being rude, speaking with a harsh tone, interrupting you constantly, saying something you don’t want to hear, acting stressed out…whatever it is, there are reasons why these things are happening.  Being the space of loving listening can help ease the suffering of others in so many ways.  Accepting what is brings more love into the world.  We can love all the great things we encounter quite easily.  We can also love the not-so-pleasant things we see as well.  There is truly only love and fear.  As you see love, of course, love it and spread it.  As you see all other things, remember — it is only fear.  Give it love too and you can ease suffering and bring more love to the world that way.  Even the most dreadful behaviors come from a place of fear.  It sounds simple, but it is true.  Just love the love and accept the fear as you provide a non judgmental place for it to transform.  Any energy spent resisting what is will bring suffering to you and those around you.  Resisting what is doesn’t allow you to see and hear what life is telling you.  Accept it all as you listen deeply to whatever you are supposed to hear.

Simply put:

  • slow down
  • choose your thoughts wisely, letting the others pass like clouds
  • accept what is no matter what form it comes in
  • waste no energy resisting what already is…hear the message instead
  • listen with all your senses – the five and the multi-sensory ones beyond
  • spread love, by celebrating the love you encounter and accepting the fear you encounter…your acceptance just may allow it to turn towards love
  • courageously swim in the deeper currents of life; trust your knowing…treat life like one big doing meditation…it is.

One more thing, it is a great hint in life to follow the beauty…true beauty that is.  God/Life/Universe/All is in the beauty.  See that, hear that, be that and you’re on to something.  Hopefully you have time to follow the beauty in this lovely poem below by Mark Nepo.  He has gifted the world with amazing work on listening.  His latest book is called Seven Thousand Ways To Listen, it is definitely worth the read.  Enjoy this gift from those pages.

The Appointment
by Mark Nepo

What if, on the first sunny day,
on your way to work, a colorful bird
sweeps in front of you down a
street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile,
a sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street
and realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows some-
thing you don’t and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird
turns down an alley. For now
there is a tension: Is what the
bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two,
thinking you can have it both ways.
But soon you arrive at the edge
of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you
and you must decide which
appointment you were
born to keep.

Wishing you the courage to swim in the deeper currents of life as you spread love by truly listening to everything!  Sending you love and joy!

 

Life is Teaching You Something…Are You Listening?

The Universe / God / Higher Self / Life is always showing us something, growing us in some way, pushing us toward becoming more of ourselves.  The name of my work here is inspired from this fact.  I realized that I had learned so much, so fast and I knew that I wanted to close the gap on how much of it I could actually apply and live.  I think closing that gap between what we know and what we live is life-long work, but I am so very grateful for this space to ground me in the work and create a place to share it and connect with others through learning to live what we know and ever-expanding what it is we know.

I am sure that it is a natural flow of life for many…you just do better when you know better.  Naturally over the years you become more of your essential self and you “do” better.  Then you try not to cringe when you look back at what you used to do.  Sometimes life has been teaching us so much that we have much work to do to create new habits and new ways of thinking that allow us to live what we are learning.  In my case, I feel like I am trying to figure out how to change my entire way of thinking — take it from my head down to my heart…takes some major re-training and new habit forming — switching from thinking to being.  Our world is so busy now that some people seem to just be living in a state of survival and distraction, just taking what comes and perhaps not necessarily seeing what life is teaching.  In those cases, it seems as if life teaches us the same lessons again and again until we can get the lesson and move on.

No experience is a waste.  Everything is happening as it should and for a reason.  I believe these statements and I am so grateful for knowing that there is something in every experience to take as sacred and to grow and evolve with.  Sometimes we fall, make silly mistakes, say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing… sometimes we soar and surprise ourselves.  None of it is truly right or wrong, it’s just part of the process.  Whatever we do, when we are ready, we can join in with Life and give it more attention and listen more closely and co-create with Everything.  We are not living, we ARE Life.  We can BE the dance of Life instead of watching it and reacting to it.  We really can.

Wishing you the opportunity to think about what you know and to listen closely to life as you think about what you are doing to live it.  Give yourself the gift of truly living what life is trying to teach you right now.  I pray I may close the gap just a little bit today.

Sending you love and joy!

Seeing The Greatness Around and Within Everyone and Everything

We just returned home from a magnificent trip to Washington D.C.  I am feeling particularly grateful for many things we saw and experienced there.  I would love to share some of the specifics that touched me and my family, but overall, I must say that I left with deep reverence and immense gratitude for the great many people who have gone before us making great choices and leaving behind great examples of what courage, honor, integrity and good character look like.

When I was researching homeschool and picking the method that would work best for my family, I knew that the Thomas Jefferson Education and classical methods resonated most deeply with me.  I knew the benefits of studying great people throughout history so that when it comes time to make choices in your own life, you have great examples to draw from.  I knew how our Founding Fathers were educated and how I wanted to use that model with my own children.  I went to D.C. with plenty of knowledge about the great people I had studied and read about.  I left with much more than that.  As I left Washington D.C. and thought of all I had experienced there, a deep sense of gratitude for having been there and experienced glimpses of the history of our nation hit me hard.  We saw a  lot and visited many historical places and the feelings that these places ignite within is really quite amazing.  As I continue on the journey of my own growth and evolution and that of mentoring and inspiring my two students as we educate at home, I am certain that the most important thing is the content of our character and that truth far outweighs the importance of the scope of our knowledge.

Knowledge is changing in our world today.  Everyone can access it.  The answers to everything are at our fingertips.  I don’t rest on this fact, we have quite challenging academic goals and schedules.  But, I know who we become is of far greater importance than what we become.  What we can do with our knowledge and what kind of choices we make with it matter much more than how much we possess.  I am so grateful that we have chosen a path that allows us to devote ample time to studying the greatness that has been demonstrated before us.  I believe that we all have greatness in us.  We all have that spark of the Divine.  Some have nurtured it more and made it easier to see.  Some have quietly gone about living from that place and some have shouted it from mountaintops.  I am so thankful for those that have left signs of their Divine spark for us to see so that we can be changed for the better by knowing about them.  I am thankful for the quiet ones too.  It is quite meaningful, heartwarming and fun to study great people making great choices as I nurture my own spark and inspire my little students to do the same.

A few highlights to share…

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We went to Mount Vernon and saw George Washington’s home and plantation.  For me, this was the highlight of the visit.  This man was amazing.  As we are reminded of some of his greatest moments like the defining moment of the Revolutionary War – Washington crossing the Delaware River, we get a deep sense of the fact that this country would not exist without him.  Then, remembering that with his success, the people wanted to name him King and he would have nothing of it, wanting to create something far better…we are reminded just how different this country would be if not for his character.  He did so much to make this a great country, and even more important, he was not swept away by his power.  He stepped down from his leadership roles various times throughout his career, setting an exemplary precedent for those to follow.  The experience of seeing the plantation was meaningful in so many ways…it gives a true glimpse of what it was like to live back then.  While taking in the life of this remarkable man, we still had to walk through the quarters of the slaves and grasp the dark side of history as well.  I left with deeper gratitude and profoundly greater respect for this American hero.  That night the children listened intently while I read to them from George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation which he copied at the age of 15 and spent the remainder of his life abiding by.  As they listened so closely it struck me that the assignments they take part in about developing one’s character may have that same lasting effect on their lives…a mother can hope.

I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few in the whole history of the world who was not carried away by power.  — Robert Frost

John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, we are approaching the 50th anniversary of this moment in our history.  The Newseum, one of our favorite museum stops had a wonderful exhibit that helped us take a deep look at his life, presidency and his death.  This man did a lot for this country and the world and he gave his life for it.  It was a blessing for us to be in our nation’s capital while this historical date was being honored.

I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. [Describing a dinner for Nobel Prize winners]  –John F. Kennedy

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson… standing at the Jefferson Memorial and taking in the magnificence of it and the feeling that accompanied being there is really hard to put into words.  What a wonderful moment.

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As our tour of Washington D.C. continued and we found ourselves explaining things to the children and reminding them of historical events, it was lovely to piece our history together for them like a puzzle.  Some good things happened, followed by some very sad things, then more greatness and shinning examples, with sprinkles of darkness and tragedy, soon to return to triumph and honor…  all shaping the world we live in today.

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Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.  — Abraham Lincoln

Whatever you are be a good one.  –Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s life is a lovely piece of our historic puzzle to explain to children… I particularly enjoy explaining his religion he mentions below.

lincoln

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a remarkable being.  To stand near the memorial dedicated to him and to read his words on the inscription wall was taking in a very special picture of a man and knowing that you must learn more.  Much more indeed.  That man was filled with so much love.

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“Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in.” (18 April 1959, Washington, D.C.)  — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am indeed very grateful for the meaning and reverence that our trip to Washington D.C. inspired in me.  As I settle back into life at home I realize that, for me, D.C. is simply a place that makes it easier to spot the greatness.  It also makes us remember the tragedy, but it fills you with the greatness.  I believe that if we look deeply into any place we can find greatness and we can celebrate it, we can study it and we can emulate it.  We can see it in people who don’t see it in themselves.  We can help more people see it.  We all have that spark in us and we must nurture it and carry it well.  We can choose what we see in others and we can see greatness.  The more we can see it, the more we can be it.  The more we can be it, the more we can spread it.  Wishing us all the grace of seeing the greatness that is around and within us today and always!

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