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: Relationships

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.

 

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!

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!

 

Living The Questions of Your Life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Problems vs. Peace

We choose which we will bring to this world — problems or peace.  Which one will we bring with us wherever we go today?

Finding problems is the easiest thing in the world.  There is no shortage of them.  It can always appear as if something has gone wrong, we made a mistake, something is happening that shouldn’t be happening, someone has wronged or offended us, something is annoying us, we can’t be happy until something else happens, etc.  Living in a world of labeling, comparing and judging all things mixed all the while with the struggle to survive without awakened presence makes it feel impossible to see anything but problems…they just roll in…one problem after another.  There is another way to live.  We don’t have to see things as problems, we can turn toward peace instead.  We decide.

As we come to realize that we want more peace in our lives, we have to find ways to practice peace that work for us in our current life situation.  Observing how we see things and how we allow them to come through us is a great practice.  As Life gives us things to work with, big and small, we can choose how we will let them come through us.  Will we find a problem and stay stuck in our head as we resist it, find faults with it, label it, judge it and spend out time trying to convince others to see it as a problem as well?  Or, will we put some space around it and let it be what it is (Life) without the label, content in not knowing whether it is good or bad while trusting that all thing are happening as they are meant to?   It is as simple as that — each little thing…label, think, cause suffering about it or let it be and live in peace.

I have the good fortune of practicing with children.  They are at the beginning stages of labeling all things.  In many ways they must learn countless labels as they grow, figure things out and strive for a great education.  Still, we make an effort in our house to understand the difference and dance between the labels that help us learn and the ones that aren’t necessary.  It is an intense practice with them, because they are so open with their labels and judgements, they don’t hide them secretly in their head and fester, they just blurt them out or have a melt-down and present their problems.  We always have a lot to talk about and practice with.  It is my practice and it works for me…most of the time.  Of course, I don’t have it mastered.  I start the days saying things like, “okay, let’s not look for problems, let’s find peace”… I always tell them that problem-finding is just too easy, we could find a bunch at any time…but what we really want is peace…let’s find that.  Then it takes helping them do that while keeping my peace in tact…a delicate balance.  By the end of the day, it gets a little harder for me to stay with the peace.  The more tired I am, the easier it is to judge things as problems.  It becomes harder to put space around my reactions and choose peace.  This week I began adding some quiet time with a clear-minded meditation for me in the afternoons to gather my energy and keep with my peace in an effort to start fresh even late in the day.  Always something to work on.

Life isn’t trying to annoy us, it’s trying to wake us up.  We choose again and again whether we will create problems or peace.  We create with Everything.  We can feel apart of everything and flow with it or get stuck slugging it out with the smaller stuff and trying to bend things our way.  We can thrive in the ride of not knowing and truly living or we can think we know best and struggle through it all.  We never really know when things are good or bad.  We have all lived through thinking things were one way and finding out we labeled it wrong.  Real Life is lived in the not knowing.

Just this morning after writing the above, I stumbled into this lovely poem that works so well here.  I want to share it with you.

Repeatedly We Are Asked

to embody or consume;
to be in kinship with everything larger
or to order and manage everything smaller.

We are asked, every day, to align or separate;
to coordinate our will with everything living
or to impose our will on everything we meet.

And not choosing is a choice.  Acquiescence
is different from patience or surrender.

All this leaves us needing to know:
whether to better the song through practice
or to better ourselves through singing.

–Mark Nepo

I want to better the song.  Today I pray to answer well when asked again and again if I want problems or peace.  I also pray for those that aren’t yet aware that they too want more peace.  I pray that they may be blessed with a little bit of peace today so that they may learn to search for it and practice it.  I add my gratitude for the practice to the song.  Life is a great practice.  It really is.  Peace and blessing are all around and I am so grateful!

Sending you joy, love and peace today and always.

Love Everything…It Makes Everything Loveable

Meet Mouska The Duck!

Mouska 1

Mouska has taught our family many lessons about love.  I want to share some of what we have learned here.  The picture above shows what Mouska looked like the day he came into our lives.  We were on a family vacation and we told the kids they could pick out a souvenir in the hotel gift shop.  George spotted a little duck on the top shelf in the back corner beyond our reach, we had to ask for assistance to get him down.  Once in Georgie’s sweet little hands, he was immediately hugged and named Mouska.

George changed the day he got Mouska and the little duck changed as well.  George tapped into his loving and nurturing side as he showered this little duck with so much love that continued expanding toward many more things in his life.  Mouska ceased being a little ducky made of terry cloth and stuffed with cotton…he came to life for George, and soon after, for our whole family and even many friends.  The love Georgie felt for him made him so lovable to the rest of us.  We all love this little ducky dearly.  He isn’t just a stuffed animal, he is love.  He became lovable because he was loved so much.  Georgie became more of his natural loving self by having the sweet relationship with his beloved Mouska.

George and Mouska have been together for over four years now.  They have been through many things together.  That sweet little duck has been all over with us.  He even survived being left behind at a Disneyland hotel and getting a “makeover”… George fully understood what it meant that Mouska had gotten a makeover…he felt the loss and embraced the solution.  When the new Mouska arrived in the mail all fresh and fluffy again, the love was no less.  Mouska’s spirit and all the love and precious memories had moved on and inhabited the “refurbished” version.  What a lucky duck and what a lucky ducky family we are.  We all love Mouska so much.

Mouska and George’s little family has expanded over the years; they have plenty of love to share.  Meet Coco and James.  They are a loving little bunch.  At first I resisted more and more animals coming to live and sleep in George’s bed…but Mouska and George live the lesson that there is plenty of love to go around…there is no limit.  George does a great job sharing the love, leaving no one out, making everyone feel special and creating joyful moments with all his little buddies, no matter how many in number.

Mouska 3

The family has continued to grow and much love is always beaming out of the room and lingering around the house.  The current gang that lives and sleeps on George’s bed are Mouska the duck, James the Monkey, Coco the big bear, Ben the little bear, Dan the big giraffe, Bob the little giraffe, Snoopy the dog, Eagie the eagle and Jones the jellybean duck.

Mouska family

There are stories of love behind each animal.  Many were precious gifts from loved ones, one was George’s first purchase with his own money.  I have watched these little love stories and felt more of my own heart along the way.  It truly is amazing to see these little spirits come to life just by being loved.

The lessons of Mouska and friends makes me think…What else could be changed just by being loved?  The real question is…what wouldn’t be changed by being loved?  I love this Emerson quote…

Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is.  Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Mouska had been treated like terry cloth and cotton, none of this love would have been felt.  He was treated like family and filled with love and he gave it back to us.  More Mouska lessons show just how much we benefit from giving love.  The more love you give, the more love you have to give.  We all know all these things of course, but I am so grateful for our little ducky friend and Georgie who live them so clearly for us to witness, allowing us to expand our own love from having seen them.

Some things are easy to love and some are more difficult.  We must learn to love it all and spread love wherever we go so there can be more love for everything and everyone to feel.  Love is always the answer.  No matter what we are going through or who is appearing before us, we can always step back and put some space between the thing or person and our reaction to it.  If we can add space and stillness, very soon, we can feel our heart soften and our willingness to act from love expand and fill us.  It is always possible and with more and more practice, it becomes much more automatic…we can more easily embrace what we are truly capable of…pure love.  We truly can love everything and make everything more lovable.  It is a practice, but it is worth it.  I pray to get better and better at it each and every day…just a breath, or a moment can help us be our truest self, with plenty of love to give to every circumstance.  Some things take a few more breaths or a bit more time, but watching the process can shorten the time between our little reaction and the true one that comes from our heart to add love to the world.

These days Mouska isn’t as fluffy as he used to be.  He has lost his hair twice and he is quite worn by love now.  Each year at his birthday party (yes, the kids throw him a birthday party each year), it is easy to see he is changing over time and his experiences are showing.  But, no matter how flat he becomes or how much fluff he loses, the love for him is still growing.  I love to think that all of us aren’t aging, we’re simply showing our experiences and being worn in with love.

Wishing you the space to live from the place of love for all things that transforms how you see the world and how you can BE in the world.  Lets leave nothing on the top shelf unloved, lets pull it all down and fill it with love.  No matter what it appears to be…love can change it!

Sending you so much love and joy today and always.  Happy love spreading!

Becoming The Ocean

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.  –Leonard Cohen

This quote is such a great realization.  I came across it in my reading this week and it put all I was feeling into clear, loving and true perspective.  To live on the surface of life, where we allow our inner state to depend on our outer circumstances is rocky, stormy and sickening.  It does feel like navigating during fluctuating storms that just keep rolling in.  It is possible to live from down deep in calm waters and to be fluid as we flow through life with the understanding that the moment is all we have and things are happening just as they should.  How do we do it?  We use every experience we encounter to build more presence in us, to ground us in our true essence of love and connectedness to all things…which can only be found in the present moment.

As we grow our presence and ability to live from the quiet place inside us, we still have to navigate the circumstances and people around us.  As we get better at this, the opportunities to practice it seem to mount.  We all have loved ones we hold dear and often those very relationships are the ones that allow us to grow the most.  I spend a lot of time with my two precious little ones.  They bring so much joy, laughter and moments of love, but, they also bring many many opportunities to practice all of the things I have learned about presence and consciousness.  If I didn’t have the day-to-day challenges with the kids, I would probably have myself convinced that I have evolved to a much higher level of consciousness.  I have little encounters with them all the time that remind me of what I can work on and just where I am at.  It is a gift to have these two to work with as I try to stay in the deep waters for longer periods of time and teach them to do the same.

Here’s the thing, the kids are constantly trying to pull me into feeling whatever they are feeling and as they grow and encounter new challenges and responsibilities, their emotions are all over the place.  Sometimes it feels like living with little emotional bandits, taking me on a ride over getting their jacket, tackling a math problem, clearing the table or tying their shoes, etc.  They are little, vulnerable and highly identified with me.  If they are stressed or upset about something, they want me in the same state.  I think they feel that if I am feeling the same stress, they will feel better or get help; its like they feel that if I’m upset too, they won’t be alone in it.  I can feel the pull between the three of us of how they want company in their emotions.  I am always trying to live from a place of non-reaction by putting more space around my choices.  It is kind of funny to hang out with people who really really want to get a reaction out of you when you so badly want to stop reacting to everything that comes your way.  There is a kind of perfection in it that allows me to feel just how connected I am to everything and how God/Life lines up the perfect circumstances to grow you to be more of your essential self.

You can be sure that whatever circumstances you are working with, they are the exact, perfect ones made just for you that will deliver you to all that you are meant to experience on the path leading in the direction of becoming more of who you really are.  Whenever I hit a bump or fall flat on my face by forgetting everything I know, I can feel the meaning in the experience and be grateful for whatever the details looked like.  Me and my little emotional bandits get up and forgive each other pretty quickly and jump back into the joy of life.  We talk openly about all these things, so they are learning right alongside me.  They teach me so much in such a pure way.

Let’s have a moment of get-real perspective here; perception is always a great teacher, it is usually a good idea to flip things around and see how they look from the other side.  As I was thinking about the “emotional bandits” part of things, I realized that I am an emotional bandit as well.  I have heard myself say, “Why can’t we just be in the moment?”, “Let’s get into the flow of life.”, “Joy is waiting for you whenever you’re ready.”, and many more such statements.  It would seem that I, too, am guilty of resisting the emotions others are experiencing and trying to get them to feel something I want to feel.  Even if I am trying to get them to feel “good” things, it is still me trying to get those around me to feel and act the way I want them to, so that it can come more easily to me as well.  To be honest, I have seen myself in bad times trying to get others to feel bad with me too.  It is a hard thing to admit, but as I look at things from this perspective, I cringe at some of the times I was down, stressed or overwhelmed and my husband was happily buzzing around and I dragged him through my emotions just to have some company.  Fear makes us do all kinds of weird things.  Thank goodness we have always come out of it pretty quickly and we know where it all comes from.  The yuckie stuff is always fear and the lovely stuff is love…no exception.

So, we all do it…we all try to bring our loved ones with us on our little emotional trips.  As we ride the waves in a storm, it is lonely to do it alone…we seek company and we drag them into our boat because we are afraid of making the trip alone.  Once we can learn to live from a more spacious place that allows others to have their feelings and express what they’re going through without it affecting our state of mind, we can be free of the seasickness and truly taste the freedom of acceptance, present moment living and inner peace.  Next time you notice an emotional bandit trying to take you for a ride, just give them love and let it pass through you.  Try comforting them by intense listening that allows them to be heard without resistance from you that would cause them to try to convince you and pull you into their emotional boat.  If you notice yourself trying to take others for your emotional ride, turn towards love and remember that everything passes, things are always as they should be and even though it feels like it would be lonely to go it alone…it isn’t.  Sometimes we just need to feel our feelings deeply and pass through them alone to let them lose their power over us.  We can grow and become more of who we really are by swimming deeper, feeling more stillness and realizing that we aren’t ever truly alone…we are connected to all that is around us…what we can see and what we cannot.

Picture it, if you are living at the surface of life, riding the waves, you need that little boat and you constantly seek company in there to endure all the seasickness and storms.  If you are the ocean, you don’t need the boat.  You don’t need to get in the boat with others and you don’t need to drag others into yours.  You can just be the ocean and heal yourself and others as you spread love and stay calm and peaceful in the moment.

Sending you love, calm, peace, joy and presence.

A Great Conversation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swimming in The Deeper Currents of Life

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

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

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

~ Gary Zukav ~

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

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

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

Simply put:

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

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

The Appointment
by Mark Nepo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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