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: kindness

Shift Happens

what you do

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sending  you Love and Joy!

 

 

Today’s Outlook – Clear and Present, Tomorrow’s Forecast – Clear and Present

Happy New Year All! May you feel the air of unlimited possibility all around you today and each new day of the year!

I could think of no better forecast than the title above. What a peaceful existence it would be to rest in the state of truly living the wonder of each moment as it comes. We could leave behind the baggage we carry from past experiences and drop the unnecessary assumptions and predictions we often place on the future. We could travel lightly with a fresh perspective allowing Life to bless us in every way. Easier said than done, but always the answer.

In a recent discussion with my children, I was delighted to hear myself describe some specific ways we can choose to live our days with clear and present energy. Our discussion was a result of the typical sibling disturbance, filled with a lot of over-familiar responses indicating that past resentments and future assumptions were dominating the interaction between two precious little people who love each other very much but could not feel it in certain moments of their daily life. In speaking to them, I was able to break it down in a simple manner and give specific tips and tools that would surely help harness a more conscious experience for anyone. It was a review of the tools we ask them to use each day with some added ideas about clearing out our energy each night. The discussion was spontaneous and completely unplanned. I loved everything I heard and I knew the Universe was speaking to us all.

The one true answer to everything is to truly be where you are at fully and experience what Life is showing you in the deepest possible way. This intention will guide you effortlessly through the moments and connect the dots in your life in miraculous ways. Figuring out how to do this takes much practice, undoing of programmed mind activity, a deep desire to make the shift to a more conscious lifestyle and much more. But, it takes only one moment to become present. It is always the one that you are in. It takes no time at all. Even though there is much to learn and practice to hold it for longer periods of time, or on a more consistent basis, it actually takes no time at all to do it because this moment (now) is the only time it is ever possible. We can let the other moments take care of themselves as we fully embrace the one we are in now.

In our family discussion, I reminded the kids about setting our intentions each morning and exactly why we do that. I explained that it isn’t just to write it down in your journal because Mom wants you to, because that won’t work. We had a lovely discussion about the power we put behind our choices with our intentions and how the Universe matches our intentions back to us continuously throughout our days. We can’t say we have a certain intention and then forget it in the first possible moment we have a choice we could apply it to. We cannot go through life reacting to whatever happens I explained, we must decide what our intentions are for the day in the morning and then remember to use that spirit behind each choice we make (or at least as many as we can as we learn and grow). Then our days will be filled with purpose and meaning as our intentions guide us to the life and connections we are meant to live.

Having noticed that the kids still seem easily annoyed with Life, each other and even my voice early in the mornings just after a morning meditation, prayer and intention journal entry, it was obvious that they are living out past experiences over and over again. God gave me the language to speak to them about this clearly. I told them that if by 9:30 am, they have already forgotten their intentions and surrendered to reactionary choices and a mind filled with negative thoughts, then the spiritual practices they are doing aren’t working. In general, if it doesn’t feel good, it’s not working, I explained. I called on them to truly access the spirit inside them that will give more meaning to these practices to help support their intentions to live out their days in a more meaningful way that will bring less stress and allow more joy. I encouraged them to believe in their ability to truly decide their intentions thoughtfully and place their power behind the things they do and say. I asked them to play with it and see what they can do and make happen. We discussed the difference between being vague and getting specific and noticing how the Universe responds and works with us. Great words came about how they have the power to bless others and themselves with the intention and spirited action they choose to bring forth. It sounds over a child’s head, but they are much closer to the spirit world than we realize sometimes. They came from there and they can remember how to access it and use it to bless the world. The conversation was lovely and then we put it all together with some new ideas for even better practices.

We discussed how we can sometimes hold on to the past so much that it doesn’t allow us to be where we are at. We either relive the past or worry that it will happen again in the future. This simple choice, makes it seem real in our heads and then we have lost our way and fallen into unfounded and irrational reaction rather than spirited action. We used specific examples of disputes they have had and hearing and saying things to each other like, “you always” or “she/he always,” etc. We discussed the unfairness of continuously punishing each other for things that aren’t happening any more. We talked about being unable to hear what is actually being said or see what is actually happening if we look at the situation through the veil of past experiences. Love comes through in present moments, not in cluttered up past ones. We came up with the idea of clearing things our each night to allow for a more present and thoughtful morning that will allow us to get the most out of our chosen spiritual practices. We talked about clearing out our energy in the middle of the day if it starts to seem hard to make the kind of choices we meant to when we started the day. It was all very simply put and the plan started to seem comforting and accessible. I encouraged the kids to try clearing out the energy on their own with specific ways to talk to your deepest self, etc. I added that if they had some things getting stuck or some energy that didn’t clear, they should ask for help and we could come up with a better plan or try different ways, etc.

There was much more to it of course, too much to explain here. What started out as a lecture on bad choices turned into an uplifting guide/map for a future filled with present moments of joy. I said a prayer of gratitude afterwards for the energy that had come through me and around me in such a supportive way. It was a lovely moment. Of course, the holidays and all kinds of hectic schedules and situations grabbed hold of us just after this breakthrough. 🙂 But, this moment remains as good as any to recall the tools we have and the ways we can support ourselves to make good choices grounded in love and clear presence. The energy that surrounded us all that night in conversation can be accessed now and the tools are always there as long as they are needed.

May you be blessed with the ability to wish yourself a Happy New Year and start fresh in any moment of any day this year!

Clear and present blue skies are now!

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.

 

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.

 

Peace IS My Only Goal

Peace is an attribute IN you. You cannot find it outside.
—A Course In Miracles

Nothing outside yourself can save you;
nothing outside yourself can give you peace.
But this also means that nothing outside yourself can hurt you
or disturb your peace or upset you in any way.
—A Course In Miracles

My soul has been patiently waiting for me to return to the nurturing choices that help it thrive.  Life has been so busy lately that I have found myself in more of a survival mode than a truly living all that I know mode.  Many of my goals for daily life and the month of May in general have been set aside to simply get through the days.  The gift of realizing that my only true goal is peace is the lovely side effect of having experienced this undesired pace and various unusual circumstances.  I love having this space in the world to help me listen as my soul speaks and guides me back to all that I am truly meant to BE and helps me remember who I Am and what I Am really here to do.

The month of May has been a bit of a doozy (for lack of a better word); so much going on, so many things on my list, so much to do and so many people needing my energy.  I chose to give my energy and often found myself with almost none left.  I knew it was happening and I was simply trying to stay afloat rather than using all my tools to rejuvenate along the way and soar with my soul.  Sometimes these things happen. We can only do our best at any given time.  I did well in May in many ways as I was able to manage multiple life situations, accept many lovely invitations, help people in need and complete my many functions in life.  But, I completely missed the boat on sailing with my soul throughout all of this, thus missing the opportunity to perform my most essential Life function – letting my soul shine through.  I shared my soul in many ways, but wasn’t really keeping the light shinning from the inside.   The inside is always the answer.  Everything fades from the outside.  My body has let me know that enough is enough and it is time to make time for the soul nurturing and peace that the essential me craves and desires.  The soul uses the body to tell us how we are really doing and when changes are required.

As I have watched myself completely burnout physically over the past few days, I still find myself with a deep peace at my core, and for this I am truly grateful.  Even though I am suffering physically in many ways, I feel as though my soul is intact.  I look around and I know that there are so many things needing my attention and that my health and vitality has completely taken a backseat.  I have so many things I want to do.  I need to get my house in order in so many ways, both physically and metaphorically.  I know I will.  I know that I know how.  I know that I have only now and don’t want to waste any moments of this wonderful Life without peace and compassion for myself and everyone around me.  I don’t have to wait until all of my list is complete or my various goals to get things back on track have happened.  I realize that my only goal is peace and I can have it right now.  Every now.  I only need to choose it again and again.  I know how to do that.  Sometimes I am really good at it and sometimes not so much.  But, the key is, I know that peace is the choice that is always there waiting for me.  I can have it whenever I choose.  What more could I ask for?  Maybe just that you have it too and we share it with each other!  🙂

To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
—A Course In Miracles

We are all so busy, we have so much coming at us and so many things we feel we need to live up to and/or accomplish.   I have figured out that peace is truly my only goal.  This was not an easy realization for me as someone who is constantly preaching about and trying to achieve her personal best.  Even as a little girl, I could only truly enjoy playing in my room if it was completely organized.  Having goals and tools that help us reach those goals is great, but not in sacrifice of peace.  I am so grateful for the many tools I have been shown over the past several years that make staying in the flow of Life easier.  From time to time I completely get off track and cease using all these wonderful tools.  It would be completely counter-productive for me to wait to feel happy until I can check all of these tasks off my list.  Instead, I can just turn towards the peace that lives inside me.  Just as, when anything isn’t going the way I had hoped or people are not behaving just as I would like them to, I can still turn towards peace and realize that changing things won’t bring me peace, but finding it inside me at any given moment, will.  The peace that comes from having things just perfect or just as we would want them, isn’t true peace.  The peace that comes from being in the middle of a mess and allowing joy and a sweet peaceful smile to embrace you is the true peace that we are all meant to dwell in.  We can practice making it more of a normal state for us.  When something is seemingly “disappointing” or “irritating” or difficult to accept, we can simply choose peace in spite of it all as our other option and our only true purpose.

Today I pray to remember the peace that is always available to me at any moment.  I pray to dwell in it more often and feel the utter joy it brings and laughter it allows.  I pray that those around me will be touched by my remembering this peace and that I can help bring it to them as they in turn remind me of it with their receiving it.  I pray that peace expands and touches all of us through our own breath in everything we do today and always.  I pray that when we forget and get stressed out in our daily tasks, we can be kind to ourselves as we remember what we have inside us and return to peace.

Sending you love, joy and peace!  It feels good to be here!  I was only able to post on the first and last day of this month.  I have missed it and my soul is so grateful to share with you here.  I will be back soon!!!!

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!

Knowing vs. Living

To know God
without being God-like
is like trying to swim
without entering water.
—Orest Bedrij

Life is speaking to each of us in a specific way that is perfectly designed so we can hear and understand.  Life chooses the language of experience that will speak to our hearts and bring us toward our truest self as we remember what we are here to do.  Being “God-like” means different things for each one of us and only we know if we are following what it means for us.  Sometimes we may follow easily and stay grounded in the synchronisities of Life’s messages and sometimes we let fear creep in and lead us to distracted meaninglessness or ego based swirling which can only bring suffering.  All of my writing here is my living prayer to live what I know and continue to expand what that means as I strive to help others feel inspired to hear the voice inside them that wants to learn, grow and live what they come to know as well.  We know what we know for a reason and we must follow it home to our God-like selves.  We all have that little spark of God inside us that wants to grow and experience Life.  Living what we know is the way home.

When we can live what we know, our knowing brings us to a peaceful existence.  Knowing without living what we know becomes a burden until we can actually live it.  We each have our own knowing as we navigate what life is showing and saying to us.  No experience is wasted and we are always learning and being shown what we are meant to know and live.  I have experienced the way Life is patient with us for a while as we listen and learn and then Life gives us more and more nudges to move us along towards living more authentically.  The patience life shows us can sometimes wane and the messages can accelerate and become louder and our circumstances more uncomfortable or whatever is necessary to keep us open to evolving as we are meant to.  In some cases, we are too afraid to listen and grow, so life can send us a blow.  I believe that we all know different things and we each find meaning in the perfect things to develop our specific Life path.  There are many different paths to the same essential truths found along all of them.

We all know a lot.  Life has shown us a lot.  Whatever you have read, heard, felt, experienced or seen lately is part of Life speaking to you.  Will you hear it?  Will it change you?  Can you enter the water and swim?  You can!  We all can.  We must.  If we continue to be shown things and do not find ways to live them, Life will turn up the volume on the messages.  We can choose to listen to the whisper that feels like a Universe Hug or we can wait for the nudges, shouts and blows.  Life isn’t trying to annoy us, it’s trying to wake us up.  Let’s wake up with hugs!  We can listen.  We can know.  We can grow and live what we know.

As we set our intentions to live all that we know, Life shows up and gives us the tools that will help us on our path.  We are never without the tools.  We may set them aside for a bit and forget to use them, but they are always available when we are ready to pick them up and use them to stay on the path.  Today, let’s think about what tools we use and let’s commit to using them to help us become more God-like.  My tools are reading, writing, meditation, prayer, compassion, proper nutrition, exercise and connected conversations.  If I focus on these things rather than other distracted fear based habits, peace is more readily available.  Sometimes I can do these things well and sometimes I am over-scheduled, busy and tired and some of these things fall off.  We all have our own set of tools that have brought us closer to our God-like selves.  They are different for each of us.  Some people may find God in singing, dancing or painting.  Our tools are not to feel guilty about when we forget to use them, they are simply to remember and pick up to bring peace again.  Our tools lead to presence, peace and consciousness.  Ultimately, they lead to Love.  Love is always the answer.  Today I pray to remember to use my tools that lead me to Love for All.  That is what God-like means to me — Love For All.  Love is All.  God is All.  You are All.  I Am All.

Thought for the day — If it doesn’t make you feel good, it isn’t love.  If it isn’t Love, it isn’t real.  The real you can replace any thought or feeling that doesn’t feel good with one that comes from Love.  You have an infinite amount of love inside you.  Love is the only real thing.  Don’t try to push unpleasant thoughts away, they will only grow, just turn towards Love and replace the thoughts and feelings with Love and Compassion.  You pick what you give your attention to, find a Loving thought to replace the unpleasant one and you are on your way.  You pick.  You will amaze yourself at the amount of Love the real you is capable of.  If you are reading this, you are ready to live this.  The Universe sent it to you.  Thank you for reading this!

Sending you Love and wishing you Joy!

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