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: John O’Donohue

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!

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!

The Gift of John O’Donohue

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you so much love and sending you joyous blessings!

Let Beauty Awaken Your Soul

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little Things

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

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