Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I’m grateful that he and I are both pretty comfortable with changing plans. We definitely don’t get the “need to’s” done as quickly as we could. And sometimes I do feel like we just need to dig in and spend a few weekends checking off the items on the to-do list. But in the end what really needs to get done on any given day always manages to get done.
There will always be chores to do, lists to write, and any number of small tasks to finish. We could spend an entire long life focusing on details, and miss all of the opportunities that come from following our hearts and being spontaneous.
My husband has taught me a lot about being spontaneous. He’s always been good at it. I tend to be much more linear, and used to believe that I should get my work done before goofing off. But I’ve learned that the moments I spend doing what I “should” do won’t be the ones I remember. I’ll remember the nights we decided on the spur of the moment to walk up into the nearby hills with a bottle of wine to watch the sunset, or to run fully-clothed through the sprinklers in the park when we were out walking the dog.
I find that it’s a tricky balance, making time to take care of the necessary details, deciding what can wait until later, and then really letting go of what I thought had to get done so that I can enjoy the adventure of the moment. What’s different now is that I err on the side of enjoying the adventure, and I’m fine about that!
May you find joy in unplanned moments, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Our human tendency is to approach any type of problem in terms of the challenges that it’s causing, and then respond with frustration, anger, resistance, or whatever seems warranted at the moment. It’s difficult to think our way through to a solution, because in focusing on everything that’s wrong, we actually breathe more life into the problem, and cause it to persist.
It is said that what we hold in mind manifests in kind. Managing a problem is a great example of how this plays out as we move through our experiences. As long as I am reliving in my mind the problem at hand, I am holding it in my awareness, and there is no space for resolution.
Part of our journey here in physical form is to forget that we are part of a divine intelligence that creates all that happens for our good. Our gifts come from the choices that we make about how we respond to what we are faced with. Our most holy gift is our ability to choose.
We can choose to repeatedly focus our energy on the details of an issue and what we need to do to make it better, or we can handle it from a higher vibration, by turning it over to the perfect intelligence of God within.
There is no issue, no worry, no problem large or small that we can’t turn over to God within. In doing so, we get out of our own way and make room for the best and highest outcome in any situation.
When I am aligned with this truth, my moments are filled with a deep peace and life-affirming joy. I remember then that all is as it should be, and there is nothing that I have to do. Just being here, and experiencing my moments, is all there is. I am aware that everything, absolutely everything, in my experience is happening for good.
May you raise your burdens to the truth of God’s light within you, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Monday, October 18, 2010
While it makes sense to want to minimize pain, we can do this to a point where we end up shutting ourselves off from our deepest feelings, and also our greatest opportunities for growth.
It isn’t easy to sit with confusion or disagreement or disappointment, let them exist, and just experience our reactions to them. I know I always want to jump in and fix the issue as quickly as possible so I’m not uncomfortable anymore. But I’m learning that many of the things that cause me discomfort are due to things beyond my control, and I need to let them be. In my striving to change the energy of a situation, all I end up doing is getting myself off center.
One way we shut ourselves off from fully processing our experiences and receiving their gifts is by placing our focus outside of ourselves. When I am spinning about circumstances around me, who said this or did that, I cannot be sitting with my own experience. Sometimes it’s more comfortable to focus my thinking on what others are doing. While it may be frustrating and painful, thinking and spinning about what others are doing is often less frustrating and painful than actually deeply feeling my own feelings about what is taking place.
If I try to think my way through something uncomfortable, I may stew for awhile and then feel as if it’s over, but really I’ve just pushed it under the surface. Over a lifetime we can build up so much unacknowledged emotional pain that we begin to see everything through its lens.
I really like the idea that the only way through something is through it. Avoidance doesn’t help, and as they say, resistance is futile. When we start shutting off our uncomfortable experiences, we shut down our ability to feel all emotions, the painful stuff and the joyful stuff. Uncomfortable things will always happen, and the experience of them provides the impetus we need to open our hearts to the profound miracle in all of life’s ups and downs.
An interesting example of this that I heard about recently involves a group of people who were studied regarding their response to the discomfort of holding a hand in extremely cold water. One group was instructed to focus their attention on what they were feeling in their hand. The other group was asked to focus their attention on something pleasant, such as a warm beach in Hawaii. The group that stayed with the pain they felt actually processed it more quickly and easily.
If I sit with my discomfort and give it the space it needs to be fully experienced, I can eventually let it go. In the meantime, while I am in that process of integrating what I need to learn from the discomfort, I validate it as part of what it means to be human. And I remember the hand of God in all of it.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Thursday, October 14, 2010
It helps to remember that prosperity, like all other possible experiences in this life, is a creative choice. It is, at its core, a vibration of energy. We attract things to ourselves based on what we believe to be true about us. We can “vibrate” at prosperity, or at a lack of prosperity. Interestingly, what we believe we can have, do or be often comes from parents, teachers, our community, or other people we’ve encountered along the way, and is not our own deepest truth about ourselves.
As with all things, our thoughts and beliefs about prosperity form what transpires in our experience of it. When we acknowledge the truth of ourselves as empowered to create our heart’s desires, always connected to the flow of divine intelligence, it is made manifest in our lives.
We can live abundantly in many ways. We can enjoy good health, joy, wisdom, or wealth, among other things. Financial prosperity and abundance have long been seen as non-spiritual, and not in alignment with expressing our Godselves.
We are meant to experience ourselves as unlimited creators manifesting all of the good that we can envision for ourselves and our world. We glorify God when we live in alignment with that ideal, doing our best, creating our highest, and then blessing it as good. We bless it as good with our gratitude.
I was reminded of the power of gratitude in a recent article on the DailyOM website. It spoke of a practice that I intend to start in my own life, when I do that seemingly-mundane activity of paying my bills. Paying bills can feel like a chore, and can also lead us to feel less-than-prosperous if we have a bit too much month at the end of the money. The DailyOM article provided a great way to look at it:
“We may not always recognize simply paying a bill as prosperity in action, but it is. We can make it a spiritual practice and align ourselves with the energy of giving and receiving when we give thanks for having the ability to pay for it. We can then extend our view far beyond the horizons of our own lives to imagine all the employees whose paychecks are paid from our resources. We can imagine all the bills they can pay and how they support their families and share with their friends.
This exercise gives us an idea of how far our financial energy reaches out into the world. When you can envision every financial transaction as a grateful act of generosity today and every day, you cannot help but attract more abundance into your life.” Amen!
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Monday, October 11, 2010
It is said that “a smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly, but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows, and bubbles all round.” That is the laughter that makes us, and everyone around us, happy to be alive.
Another old saying holds that laughter is the best medicine, and that has to be true, especially considering the effect that our thoughts and moods have on our bodies. Surely the glee that we feel after a good laugh affects us physically. Every cell in our body is healed when we experience positive emotions, and laughter overflowing is the physical expression of positive emotions that are just too delightful to hold inside.
I dearly love having my funny bone tickled. Once in awhile one of the stand-up comedians on the comedy network will deliver just the right brand of comedy, and I can’t get enough. I’ll stay up late, not even minding that I’ll probably be tired in the morning. Watching my husband sitting next to me laughing adds a whole lot to the total entertainment package.
There are certain people in my life who I laugh a lot with. My sister is one of them. Maybe it’s because we grew up together and know each other so well. But laughing is one of the things we do often, and well. Other people watching us would probably think we’re loopy, and I’m sure they wouldn’t think that the source of our amusement is at all funny. When we get in that mood it doesn’t take much, and then it’s all downhill to unbridled hilarity, which can be a whole lot of fun.
I’ll end with another saying about laughter, which is that it’s like aerobics for the soul. In our joy and laughter, our souls recognize themselves, and we are home.
May you laugh loud and often, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Leading that group is a joy and a challenge. There is a huge discrepancy in people's needs, perspectives and awareness. Creating an environment in which such a diverse group all feel welcome and accepted tests me, and at times wears me out.
Part of what I do leading groups is consciously set the energy. I set my own vibration at being open and accepting, and model that. I set the energy of the group at being inclusive, effective and positive. Mostly it works! It's a pretty successful group.
Even still, in all groups that have been together awhile, there are some participants who others resist. One particular man last week was annoying the others, interrupting, being negative, falling asleep and snoring loudly when others were speaking, which he does fairly often.
I noticed myself beginning to resist this man, as I got stuck in feeling like I had to control the situation, and him. I felt the familiar frustration that comes with resistance, and the invalidation that comes with feeling out of control. When I got home I still felt frustrated and invalidated.
And so I finally get to the point of the story: the quote, and how we leave people. The next morning, as I was getting ready to go to work with very little enthusiasm, divine intelligence provided my answer to me in a gentle and perfect way, as it always does. My husband often reads me the daily word in the morning, and it had a quote from the Bible, "You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God." (3 John 1:6)
I remembered then that when I fall into judgment or resistance, I can choose to be my best self. I can encounter people in my day in a manner befitting my Godself, by being the best I can be in the moment. I'll never be perfect, but I can choose to lead that group affirming that in that little corner of creation, there is ample space for God's love in all of its expressions.
I choose to send them on in a manner worthy of God. And in doing so, I am blessed beyond measure.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
To live our lives fully, we need to be in present time as much as possible. It’s easier said than done, but important because we can’t really know all of the richness of being here when our minds are in the future, or in the past. There really is unimaginable power in cultivating being right here, right now.
Living life fully means being present for all of it, the highest highs and the lowest lows. It means not hiding from our deepest emotions, and accepting those feelings that make us uncomfortable and we wish we didn’t feel. It means accepting the parts of ourselves that are still stuck in forgetting.
When we are in touch with the present moment, we are aware of what we are feeling, and can make more conscious decisions about how we want to show up. We design ourselves with clear intention.
I have heard it said that our purpose in life is to pursue what makes us happy. Yes! We are meant to create the best and highest expression of ourselves in all ways. Sometimes, though, creating our highest in this human form means pushing through the pain and confusion of forgetting. That too, as uncomfortable as it can be, is our purpose, to be fully present with our experiences, learn from them, and ultimately appreciate their lessons as they lead us to knowing our Godselves.
For me, the crux of living my purpose is consciously creating myself and my experience, and then being aware enough to appreciate the creation. In doing so, I am God, knowing herself.
May this tool be a blessing. . .
Sunday, October 3, 2010
It is still my truth. I believe that we are limitless creators with the ability to manifest all that we can see ourselves being, and having. It has been my experience that the clearer we are about what we want, the more likely it is to happen. I also believe that turning anything over to God's will creates the highest outcome, because God sees so much more clearly than we do our heart's desires, and our deepest needs.
So my question to myself has been, in creating this life in the best and highest way, where do we stop being specific about what we want, and turn it over to God's will for us?
What I realized today was a great answer for me. In thinking about what I have experienced in my life so far about creating, I realized that both are equally important. It doesn't matter so much whether I feel like I am choosing, or God is choosing, because God exists as me. We are one and the same. What matters is the energy that the choice is happening in.
I have many times in my life felt certain about something specific that I wanted to have happen. I saw it clearly in my mind, turned it over to God, and then let it go. And sure enough, it did happen. The important part was always that I turned it over to God, which is another way of saying "thy will be done."
I ask for specific things, but I also acknowledge that first and foremost I want what will bring the best and highest for me and all involved. Often what I want does. Sometimes, for some reason that I cannot see, it doesn't, and in that case I can trust that the best and highest is served in another way.
I remembered today that it is part of my birthright as an unlimited creator made in God's image to seek the best that I can be and have in this life. And when I do it in an energy of surrendering to the divine intelligence of God's highest good, then all the good that I can imagine, and more, will come to pass.
May you create always with God as your copilot, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I've seen since that life really is like that. We pretend that what our minds tell us is true, so that we can pretend, for a time, to be less than God. Because of this, we are provided with our most holy of gifts, that of remembering our Godselves. It is funny, in an existential kind of way. And I'm still trying to get it.
The thing is, I'll never "get it" with my head, because we can't intellectualize spirit. Truth doesn't happen in the mind, but in the heart.
The ego-driven mind's purpose is to maintain the illusion that we are separate, and that there is need to fear. And so my thoughts can take me on a very convoluted path that becomes a slippery slope to a really unhelpful perspective. The more I stop to notice where my mind is taking me, the more I realize just how frequently my thoughts turn to worry, and that worry sets the emotional tone of my experience.
When we decide not to believe everything we think, we can consciously choose which thoughts to attend to. The rest we can notice and release without any concern about them at all. And that is the tricky part, the letting go without concern, when the thoughts would have us believe they are hugely important in the moment. How do we trust that the sky won't fall, finally, as everyone's been threatening, if we refuse to entertain the voice of fear that our thoughts can be?
I've found that first I must stop. I must stop and acknowledge that my thoughts are running loose, and that I can choose which thoughts I want to nurture. I then focus on my breathing, and watch in my mind's eye as I breathe into, and out through my heart. In doing so I reconnect with the truth that resides there. And I remember then to turn it all over to Father/Mother God, as I've been encouraged to do over and over, and in countless ways. God is there, always there, just behind the mind's chatter.
May this tool be a blessing. . .