Monday, October 31, 2011
I attended a costume dinner party last week with a group of dear friends. We call ourselves the Ya-Ya’s (borrowed from the wonderful movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”), and it’s a perfectly fitting name because it's a truly divine sisterhood.
For me, the Ya-Ya’s are divine in part because we celebrate all the time, birthdays, big events in our lives, our similarities, our differences, and for no reason in particular. I just looked again at the pictures from last week’s dinner party, which were posted on facebook, and they made me laugh and feel silly all over again. Our times together are a celebration of being female, of middle-age challenges, lessons learned and dreams realized, and of our interconnectedness with each other and in our own divine lives.
I have heard it said that it takes a long time to grow an old friend. I’ve known one of those ladies 20 years, and some others almost as long. It takes that kind of time to create relationships that honor the best and worst in each other. In more ways than I could ever list or even remember, my friends have seen through my scared, stuck times, and have sung for me the song in my heart when I needed it most. I like to think I have sung their songs to them also, when they’ve forgotten.
Kahil Gibran said that friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. Creating and maintaining relationships is not always easy, but nothing good in life is created without our conscious attention to it. We need to remember to find time for and nurture the things that are most important.
So here’s to you, dear Ya-Ya’s. You are treasures.
May you always get by, like John Lennon, with a little help from your friends. And may this tool be a blessing. . .
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I see fear on the news, and feeling unsafe becomes what is true for me in that moment. In a meeting or gathering when I could share a perspective that might benefit all, I am quiet because my view is not the popular one, and in the world of my own making I must be mistaken if so many feel differently.
I feel slighted by someone, and that disregard becomes my truth for a time as I experience being unworthy. In a store I see a frustrated mother slap her young child, and my staunch truth in that moment is the unworthiness of another, because this world of our own making often reflects the short view. How deeply I believe what I experience outside of me!
But as strong as forgetting appears to be, I know it is made of very thin fabric. It is only strong to the degree that I resist it. I’m remembering more of the time not to fight my experience in the world of my making, but to let it be as it is. Instead I turn my attention to the quiet knowing within, and the world “out there,” exciting as it is, loses its authority over what is true.
It’s an interesting practice, denying what seems obvious in exchange for believing in something unseen. But the truth of us does not exist in the world of forgetting that we’ve created outside of us, but rather in the quiet place of our hearts where God resides. It’s not always easy to keep our focus on God’s gentle voice when the world beckons with so much urgency. But no matter how many times we get distracted from owning that we are all perfect expressions of goodness, we can reconnect with the truth in an instant by seeking the ever-present voice of God that speaks within our hearts.
May you acknowledge the presence of God within you, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Thursday, October 6, 2011
We live comfortably (or not so comfortably depending on the day) immersed in the unique circumstances of our lives as we know them – the roles we play, our responsibilities and preferences, who we are in this world. We are comfortable or not to varying degrees with the belief that we are separate from God. We believe that God exists, and we are profoundly grateful for the existence of that infinite good in our lives, but we have made ourselves comfortable knowing that greatness as outside of ourselves.
But slowly the tide is turning, and in our minds we’re starting to hope that perhaps it isn’t true, and in our hearts we’re daring to know that it’s not true for the briefest and most fleeting of moments. I’m all for daring to know more of the time.
What would life look like if I walked through my day being God, really being God, and experiencing myself in that way? I mean, how hard can it be? If it is true, if God really does live as me (an idea that my heart fairly screams at me if I stop to listen for just a second) then what am I waiting for?
If I believe that as a child of God made in her image I can choose to “be” anything in my imagining, can I not just as easily choose to be God herself? Yes. If I believe that I exist as limitless creative possibility able to express any or all things, all I need to do is decide.
The question for me then becomes how much faith do I have in what my heart is telling me? And can I dare to own it in my day-to-day experience?
Have you ever sat quietly and let the truth you think become the truth that rests in your heart and in every cell of your body? It is luscious beyond description. God lives as me, and right now I choose to be God. Within this body, with every step I take and in every situation I encounter, with each thought and with all of my tumultuous emotions, God lives and breathes, and I feel God’s laughter deep within my heart, and I am a body of light. God is experiencing me knowing myself as God, and feels his own deep joy.
I feel that joy in my heart when I am choosing to be God; it bubbles and percolates through me, and I am free. I am infinite and perfect good. OMG!
I love the quote, “Be still and know that I am God.” But what about “Be still and be God?” There’s a wonderful state of being to try on.
May we all find the “being” in our humanness, and may this tool be a blessing. . .
Monday, October 3, 2011
The first chapter focuses on attributes which she associates with the element “fire.” (In later chapters we will explore states of being that correspond to earth, air and water.) I have to say, it was an interesting exercise. I don’t think of myself as particularly “fiery,” but I noticed that I admire many of those attributes, and would like to express more of them. Many people in our group noticed how much they identify with certain characteristics to the exclusion of others. We tend to become comfortable with our way of expressing ourselves in the world, learning over time what “works” for us. Consciously choosing to exhibit characteristics other than what are typical for us can be a very scary prospect.
For example, what if someone who strongly identifies with and expresses more quietly and peacefully (me) decides to incorporate an uncharacteristic level of “fire” in her personality. Well, I decided to try it.
The attribute that jumped out at me was “luscious.” I hadn’t before thought of luscious as a state of being, but to me it describes living life with passion, so I decided to “try it on” for the week. It was fun hearing what other people were drawn to, and what they envisioned life would look like if they were expressing that particular quality.
What I’m finding so far is that I love “being” luscious. As I expected, it has so far been a very conscious intention to find passion in the small moments of my life. With the intention of not just living a luscious life but “being” luscious, I stop and really see the sunrise, or enjoy the moments petting my funny old dog. This morning I noticed the lusciousness of the purple color I am wearing, and I’m enjoying being aware of that bold color today. Each time I am more aware of these small things is a celebration of living.
I’ve also noticed that choosing to be luscious pulls me back to the present, because I can’t be luscious if I’m not right here in the moment living it fully. Luscious is a right now kind of thing.
When I’m choosing to be luscious I don’t sweat the small stuff as much, because it’s overshadowed by all of the delicious and truly magnificent details that are right here waiting to be experienced in every moment of this sacred life.
I love being luscious, because I’ve decided that nothing is more important than being present and having all of it, as much as I possibly can. What I do doesn’t matter nearly as much as remembering that I am.
In choosing to be luscious I honor my precious life, and am a blessing to the world, and to myself. It is where my inner light burns most brightly. I guess I can be fiery! So, today I choose to live lusciously, openly, passionately, and with tremendous gratitude!
May you celebrate the luscious in your life, and may this tool be a blessing. . .