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: Joy

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.

 

Intention

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

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

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

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

 

Spiritual Simplicity

To become a happy person have a clean soul, eyes that see romance in the commonplace, a child’s heart, and spiritual simplicity. —Norman Vincent Peale

I came across the above quote in my morning reading recently.  The idea of spiritual simplicity struck me deeply.  I instantly loved that notion; the deepest part of me knew exactly what it meant when I came across it.  That idea stayed with me all day and carried me through my choices of love and non reaction.  Simply put, it helped me stay firmly in the moment and accepting of all that each moment brought with it.  It is a very helpful thing to remember first thing in the morning, so I want to share it here this morning.

Spiritual simplicity means loving all that we encounter.  It means accepting and truly living each experience as it comes.  It means knowing that whatever circumstances we are experiencing, they are the perfect ones for us at the exact moment the Universe has created them for us.  It means listening to Life and flowing with it in the rhythm that our spirits know.  Living in acceptance doesn’t include feeling like we don’t want to or cannot change things.  It empowers us to know the impulse of the Universe and give our attention and energy to changing things that are ready to change.  In some cases, our mere acceptance of things allows them to change before our eyes; like how a hug or loving smile can melt the anger, sadness or frustration of a loved one.  Other times, our acceptance of what is allows us to hear the Universe/God/Life telling us about what it would like to bring to us or through us.  Resisting anything is a force that does not allow listening, it makes hearing Life’s messages impossible.  Spiritual simplicity is love and listening.  It is only found in the sacred moment we are in.  It isn’t found in the thought stream and stress of daily life.  It is in the flow of our spirit.  Our spirits flow together.  We are all connected and we can flow through our days in spiritual simplicity.  Let’s listen and love.

As for the rest of the quote above:

  • A clean soul — we all have that.
  • Eyes that see romance in the commonplace — we can do this by opening our eyes and truly seeing all the amazing miracles that are constantly around us.  I like to think of it as seeing the unfamiliar in all things and never assuming we know how things are going or how they will turn out.  It is staying fresh and alive to each moment.  Love is all around.  We can choose to see it.
  • A child’s heart — we all have that.  We must remember what it feels like to live from it.  Be amazed.  Be present.  Expect wonder and excitement.
  • A very important note — the quote begins with the idea of “becoming” a happy person.  We don’t need to try to do that.  We already are that.  We came into this world with that intact. We simply choose when we are ready to remember it.  “Happy” becomes peace and joy and is accessible in every moment.

Let’s set our intention this morning and feel how well it will serve us.  Today, I choose to live spiritual simplicity and I intend to spread it to as many lives as I can touch and as many places as my energy can visit.

Sending you love and joy!

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!

Giving Up the Roles We Play and the Labels We Assign

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending you so much Love!

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.

 

I Am My Breath

Smile, breathe and go slowly. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

Breathing is the greatest pleasure in life. ~Giovanni Papini

Good morning!  Today I wake up feeling utterly blessed and grateful.  There are infinite things to be grateful for in Life, but today, and I sincerely hope, for each and every day for the rest of my days, I am in awe and complete wonder of my breath and it fills me with absolute joy.  As always, I have been trying to stay more present, feel more of my moments and live more of my life through all that I have learned.  Lately, something has clicked with my breathing; of course, it was right there under my nose all the time :-).  For quite some time, I have known the power of adding more breath, taking a deep breath before reacting, focusing on the breath during meditation, etc., but something even more profound has taken hold for me lately.  Perhaps the practice of it, reading about it, writing about it, etc. has finally allowed the path for me to live it more consciously and consistently.  The idea that the path to live what I know has presented itself makes me smile in peace.

As I shared previously, I have been exhausted lately and my body has been in a bit of a broken down state.  I knew relief would come and that all would be and already was well.  I was able to feel peaceful even in the midst of my worn out state.  I was allowing my circumstances to be as they were and see what Life was trying to show me.  That felt like progress to me for sure, considering that I used to only feel “happy” if I was doing everything “well.”  That path leads to a lot of stress, pressure and wasted moments trying to arrange things on the outside in order to feel good on the inside — a never-ending circle that doesn’t allow the true joy that lives inside us all to come forth.  In my allowing things to be as they were recently, I noticed my breath silencing my thoughts often throughout the day.  I noticed that I was, in fact, leaning back and allowing my breath to ease everything that wanted to bring anxiety or tighten my grip on life.  My breath was the gateway to joy and the force that was grounding me deeply in the true gift found in every present moment.

After a few days of truly enjoying the breath that was at the forefront of my interactions, the thought popped into my head, “I Am my breath.”  I heard it and I felt it deeply.  I smiled.  My daughter appeared by my side to tell me something and I noticed my breath as I enjoyed her lovely soul face and heard her sweet voice more clearly.  My breath allowed me to truly be there so much more fully.  I Am my breath much more than I am my body or my choices or my reactions.  My breath feels good, no matter what and it allows me to BE my true self.  It helps me choose well, speak kindly and Love deeply.  Our breath animates this form we have.  We are more our breath than any other thought, action, reaction or emotion we could ever have or feel.  Our breath is more of our essential self than we can ever know.  Someday, when our breath leaves, we will go with it.  We can live with our breath more fully now and bring joy to everything around us.  The deep pleasure that comes from our breath is truly amazing.  There really aren’t the proper words to describe it.  Just breathe and you can feel it.

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. ~Thích Nhất Hạnh

What we call ’I’ is just a swinging door, which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. ~Shunryu Suzuki

Today, I am wishing you the joy of realizing the pleasure, peace and astounding gift of your breath.  Sending you joy and love!

 

The Frequency of Love

Love will immediately enter into any mind that truly wants it.
(p. 55) —A Course In Miracles

We pick our vibrational frequency.  We decide what we see when we look, what we feel as we experience and what we hear as Life is speaking to us.  We choose our vibration we send out into the world and we pick what vibrational frequency we will receive back.  The only true frequency is the vibrational frequency of Love.  All the rest is noise and reactionary fear-based emotions.  It’s like the fuzzy sound on an old radio as you try to tune into your desired channel.  Love is the desired channel.  All the rest is fuzzy noise, it’s not real.  It’s nothing.  Nothing happened.  Once we can break free from reactions and fear, we can raise our energy vibration and watch it go out before us to transform all that is around us.  We are no longer at the mercy of what levels everyone else is vibrating at.  We can use our energy wisely and bring more love into every encounter, thought or action.

An interesting thing about Love — you cannot feel it from outside yourself, no matter how much is coming your way.  Love comes from within.  We cannot experience it outside of us without generating it and sharing it from within.  No matter how someone else loves us, we cannot feel it until we have experienced the love within.  This is how loneliness is possible.  Loneliness is simply the outcome of not generating the love within; it is turning away from the source within and instead trying to find it outside of ourselves.  Love cannot be found outside of us, only within.  Love is our true essence, it is what we are.  Once we can dwell in the frequency of love, we can no longer experience loneliness because we are never without the source of Love within.

Feeling lonely can be a blessing.  It can make us figure out what we have within.  We must feel it and figure out what it is telling us.  If we run from it, it will only worsen.  From the time I was a small child I had what felt like a deep sadness and the only way I could explain it was to call it “the lonely feeling.”  I was tortured by my loneliness and I found it so very difficult to understand at a young age.  I was often surrounded by people who loved me when I was feeling it and it felt like the worst feeling in the world.  To be lonely in the company of others is deadening.  It felt like an overwhelming urge to cry without a known reason why.  Now, I am so grateful I suffered with these feelings because that suffering brought me to seeking for meaning at an early age.  It also brought me to make many mistakes along the way as I tried to ease my loneliness.  Lucky for me, I believe that sometimes mistakes are simply shortcuts to figuring out what we need to learn.  I learned a lot throughout the years, sometimes repeating mistakes and sometimes hearing the messages.  This lonely feeling continued to be my background hole I would sink into in tough times.  Until I was able to understand that it was me choosing and creating it, it plagued me.

Life has been teaching me to turn towards Love and away from the lonely feeling over the years.  Life has shown me that the Love I can turn to is actually the real me.  Life has shown me that I Am much more than I ever dreamed possible and so is everyone else.  Life has shown me that I can’t make that choice for others, they must generate their love from within as well; that way they can meet their real selves. God/Universe designed the perfect love curriculum for us!

There are many types of love.  People like to label the different versions.  I am not really interested in labeling love anymore.  I just want to dwell in it and use my energy to help others do the same.  The key to using  your love energy well is to expect it to work.  We must expect it to go out before us and surround us.  We must be centered, calm, still and sure of our intentions.  We must stay in the frequency of who we are and not sway into reactions over our outer circumstances.  We must expect that we can dwell in love and act from love at all times.  When we feel drained, we must learn to replenish and get back into the frequency of love right away.  We don’t need to waste any more time in the fuzzy noise of life.  Let’s Love.  Let’s Live.

Accessing Love Ideas:

Look deeply in the face of another.
Watch a child play.
Look at flowers in stillness.
Stand by a tree and feel its energy.
Help someone.
Share.
Smile.

Wishing you joy, smiles, laughter and Love for all.  Be you!  Be Love!

Resistance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending you love and joy!

Self Trust = Faith In All

“Self-trust is the first secret of success.”  ―Ralph Waldo Emerson

The true self is much more than words can express.  I’ll continue attempting to express it anyway.  🙂

We are meant to evolve to completely trust ourselves.  Our true self.  The One that is connected to All.  When we trust our truest self, rather than our ego, we can be sure of how we will handle any situation and circumstance that may arise.  This kind of trust in ourselves isn’t about trusting our little personality that shows up in the world or our bodies and programmed logical perspective on things, it is about much much more.  Self-trust is about knowing who and what we truly are in our deepest essence.  It is Being.  A deep self-trust can take hold and we can shift how we live in the world.  There are many parts to this, of course, but, we can do it.  We can know and live in our being so much that we can be sure and steady in knowing we are rooted in something deeper than the sway of daily events.  This trust in something deeper is an important step in our evolution.  Once we can trust completely in our higher self we open the door to all that we are meant to experience.

Self-trust is the only trust their really is.  Placing your trust in and on others is a precarious endeavor.  It adds expectations and burdens to them.  People are out there doing the best they can and that is all we can truly expect.  We are all evolving along our own path and pace and it is all fine.  We don’t need to go around expecting people to pick up the pace or wait for us.  We can accept and love people just as they are.  We don’t need to trust them.  We only need to love them.  We can support the growth in each other and be authentic in our interactions with them.  This may include helping others see themselves as they truly are or it may be a complete and utter acceptance of where they are at.  We will  know what authentic interaction is called for in each moment.  This comes with the self-trust we can cultivate and share with the world.  This self-trust blesses everything we do and everyone we meet.  It is not a selfish endeavor, it brings peace, love and consciousness to All.

When we no longer feel the need to surround ourselves with people we can “trust” we allow people to simply be who they are and we know deeply that we can handle whatever that may look like.  When we no longer need to have people behave in a certain way that works for us or makes us feel safe, then we can experience more of what life has to offer us and we can give back to life what we are meant to bring to the world.  When we no longer need to control and manipulate situations and circumstances to fit our desires we can just be in the world in whatever way we are meant to.  We open up to life and we open up to more of everything.  We no longer need to limit life to the parts we have labeled as trustworthy or desirable.  We are open-hearted beings.  We have faith in All.

Years ago I was seeking a path to this shift — perhaps even a shortcut.  Over time, moment by moment, I can feel that in my case it is a slow and gradual shift in being that gradually envelops our choices and state of mind so that it feels like a warm embrace from a peace that has been there all along just waiting to welcome us home.  Love is home.  Trusting our higher selves and radiating a light that helps others do the same is the divine glow that lights the path home.

Wishing us all the courage to forgive ourselves when we forget what we are.  Wishing us all the courage to forgive others for everything as we realize there is nothing to forgive.  It is All well.  Sending you love and joy!

 

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