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Posts tagged ‘Being Fully Present’

We Are Powerful

We’ve been sold a story. It goes something like this: you are small, you are weak, you’re just one person, what difference can you make? Besides you are unworthy, you’re too this or not enough of that. You’re broken, a victim, so shut up, stand down, be submissive and struggle through.

The main intention of this story is to draw attention to our powerless over our own lives and over the events taking place in the world. If we believe the prescribed narrative we spend our time focused on our lack or smallness. In doing so we become saddened, frustrated, depressed, angry and hopeless. Our individual realities grow bleak as does the world’s condition. This particular story goes round and round upon itself with never a happy ending.

Fortunately, that story is false! It was concocted to keep us from remembering our truth. Pulling away the veil of illusion, we see clearly that we are powerful beyond measure! We are strong and vital. We effect change every moment by virtue of our being here. We are whole. Our bodies are made of the same substance as is contained within the stars of the Universe. We are indeed magnificent!!!

Claim your power now! Use your voice, stand up and be bold. Think about what is right and just for all. Let compassion, love, hope and kindness be your guides. You can offer these and like qualities silently or with actions each day.

Set intentions for the world through prayers, meditations, or with wishes. Focus your mind, heart and emotions on what you’d like to see for all. Send it out into the world with love. Start and end your day in this way. Know that it will be made manifest.

Quick, tell the others.

 

Finding Bliss

Thoughts on finding Bliss: 
Today’s treasures are not to be missed.

Splash, whirl, dance and play,
Celebrate with abandon this special day.

Release your burdens for a time,
Take my hand, as together we climb,
And reclaim all that is sublime.

There will be time to drink from life’s bitter cup,
But today let bliss take you and lift you up. 

 

What If…Musings

Today I have been occupied with “what ifs”. Rather than allow my mind to take me on an aimless and futile journey; I called on my inner wisdom to direct the introspection.

The following “what ifs” are not unique, new or even original. They have been around as topics of contemplation and discussion for millennia. I offer my thanks to those who have introduced them, studied them and sought to apply them to their lives.

And now the musings. What if the Universe really does have my back? What if everything I need is always provided? What if all I have to do is ask? What if this moment is perfect? What if there are signposts to guide me along the way? What if beauty is love and love is beauty, as my dream the other night revealed? (Note: I define beauty as the representation of the Divine.) What if we are all one? What if the world is headed to a more peaceful existence? What if the assistance I seek is already present? What if I am the one I’ve been waiting for?

The list could go endlessly on, but what if I take the time to reflect upon each one currently listed? What if you did too?

I could have listed other “what if” questions that take me into doubt, fear or anger. Instead, I decided where to focus my awareness. My experience is defined by wherever I place my attention.

On this day, my choice of “what ifs” gave me an consciousness of the magnificence of life. I discover unity, compassion and faith when I come from my inner knowing. The key I believe is perception.

 

Create more Light, more Love, more Laughter!

I did not arrive at today’s post by saying, “I feel fabulous! Today I’m going to write about sunshine and rainbows.” Nope; I’ll hold onto that topic for another day. Honestly, I’m writing about creating more light, more love and more laughter because my attention has been drawn to the anger I spew into the world.

Just yesterday I was headed down the road when a car traveling at a high speed nearly clipped me as I started to change lanes. Thankfully I saw her in time and corrected. She continued on her way while I screamed, “Bitch, slow the fuck down!” She drew alongside me just in time to see me finish venting my rage. At the same time I looked in her window she was waving a hand and saying, “Sorry.” I watched as she continued weaving in & out of traffic never once modifying her speed.

Where was I headed? Oh you’re going to enjoy this one! I was on my way to yoga class. Yeah, we’ll get back to that in a minute.

About a week or so ago I got up in the morning and there were dirty dishes piled up in the sink. The counters were disgusting! I live with other people who work outside of the home. This wasn’t the first time this has happened. The house standard is: if you cook dinner for everyone then the other people clean up. That morning, as I’ve done in the past, I got angry. I cooked dinner so there was no way I was going to clean up too! I fumed. I told myself I wasn’t going to do them. I started to blame and judge those living in my house who left the kitchen a mess. I began to fall into a victim role thinking things like; “just because I’m home they expect me to do it.” On and on.

Then something shifted. I started to see that dirty kitchen in a whole new way. I thought, “I’m going to clean this up for me. I want a clean space.” I put on some music and started scrubbing. While doing this I was peaceful. The anger, resentment, judgment, etc. had all faded away. I began to reflect on how fortunate I was that I had loved ones with which to share a meal and living space. I began to offer gratitude that I wasn’t alone or lonely. I expanded that to include having plenty of fresh food and water to consume.

Once the kitchen was clean I left for yoga class. On the way there I reflected on the how differently the morning turned out. You see, in the past the kitchen scenario played out as I described but I never shifted my awareness. I carried the anger around all day. I stewed and held onto my anger and righteousness. In fact, I cultivated it until I talked to one of those people I lived with. Then it came out. I slammed them with it and punished them. In essence, I created a wedge between us and I felt justified. What this mindset really does is allow me to hold my anger close while distancing myself from other people.

I thought about my relationship and impact to the whole. What influence or effect does my anger have on the web of life?

I look around and see so much violence, so much judgment and tension in the world. I see people bashing each other in the political realm. Today, I even saw someone comment that they thought a post about taking a contract out to kill a person running for President was funny. Really? When is it ever funny to imagine killing someone?

It is not okay to project anger onto others for any reason. Just because they look, think, act or believe differently from me is no excuse. Diversity is expressed nearly everywhere in life; just look around you to perceive that truth.

The day I attended yoga class after shifting my perspective on the dirty kitchen, at the end of class my teacher said to the room at large. “That’s the thing about yoga. It teaches you to see the places of darkness within you. Then you have the choice to change it.” I agree.

Even though a little over a week later finds me screaming at another driver on the way to yoga class I keep working on the insights I receive. That’s the thing about a spiritual path, it keeps reminding you where your work resides until you fully integrate the lessons. Every spiritual path is meant to grow you in this way.

And so I ask you, where is the darkness within you? Is it possible to shine the light on it, offer love to yourself and others and laugh over your past antics? Will you join me in committing to creating more light, more love and more laughter in the world? I deeply hope you do. The world needs us. I need you. Peace.

 

 

Digital Detox Discoveries

A few weeks back I made some unexpected discoveries courtesy of a concussion. Now that I’m feeling much better it seemed timely to share what I learned. While I am not recommending having a concussion to anyone, I am suggesting that the insights gained could be applied to enrich our lives.

Our brain is the control center for everything in our bodies. It commands our response and reaction to the world around us. While these may seem to be obvious statements, they in no way convey just how much our whole existence depends upon a healthy working brain. Having a concussion gave me a more comprehensive understanding of this reality.

When you have a concussion the doctor instructs you to rest. This translates to: no driving, no reading, no television, no computer, no texting, no use of the internet. In short it means no technology what so ever!

My eldest daughter, Sara, termed my convalescence as a “digital detox.” Thank you Sara for the term that led to today’s post.

You may wonder exactly what is it that you do all day when you are required to detox from digital technology. It may sound easy, yet you quickly learn that even regular daily tasks are initially too much for the brain. The doctor told me, “You will know when you’ve done too much because all of your symptoms will return.” For me that was true. It took me a few days to accept that I really did have a concussion and was truly going to have to rest, follow the directions given by the doctor and let the healing process unfold.

What you do is simply rest. I spent many hours lying down or sitting in my chair watching nature. This was fine with the brain. None of my symptoms amplified or returned if I was engaged with nature. I actually believe that watching the birds, animals, clouds, trees, sunshine and rain benefited the brain. It seemed from my perspective that the brain liked this activity .

However, there were others that the brain did not like. One day, a couple of weeks into recovery, I became really frustrated to the point of being angry. That emotion rose up in my body like a flame. The brain’s response was to have an immediate headache and dizziness ensued. It was crystal clear to me that the brain does not like anger and frustration.

Any activity requiring intense concentration or focus such as any use of technology, including my cell phone, tired the brain out. After very brief uses of technology I would begin to develop headaches or “wonky” brain as I called it then. I would have to lie down and close my eyes until my brain was steady again. Reading from paper magazines or books did this too, although I was able to undertake this activity for a longer period of time before my brain demanded a rest.

As time progressed I was able to paint or engage in creative activities without problems. I had a smaller window of time than normal before I became weary but the brain seemed to enjoy the process.

I find these discoveries fascinating! If I pay attention my brain appears to be telling me that being in or observing nature is a positive experience for the brain and my whole self. Creative expression is also a renewing experience. Conversely, too much technology is taxing to the brain and therefore to my body. Anger, frustration or other emotions like them seem to cause distress to the brain which translates to my entire being.

One other thing that happened has me still pondering the effects. When I struck my head, yes, it did result in a concussion, but my heart chakra got blown wide open. The walls of protection many of us put around our heart were disintegrated when I obtained this concussion. My brain shut down or stepped aside and my heart space opened up fully. An interesting phenomenon don’t you think?

Perhaps the most vital discovery is this: allow the heart to be the control center from this point forward.

I wonder….how might life be from this context?

 

 

No Permission Needed

Have you ever had a dream, desire or yearning that emanates from deep within you? Do you recognize that it is your heart, your soul calling to you? If so, are you living those wishes out in your life?

I sure hope that you are doing just as you dreamed! But if you are not don’t tune out! You are exactly who I want to talk with today!

Many of us have experienced the longing that I described and we are not living those hopes out in our lives. Why do you suppose that might be true? Fear could play a factor however I believe that some of us are waiting for permission. We worry about what our mate, our children, our family, our friends, even people we have yet to meet will think if we step out of the lines that have been drawn for us. We want love and acceptance and so we wait.

Here’s the thing; waiting for others to grant permission on your dreams, desires and yearning is like asking them to breathe for you. There is just no way possible that they can make that happen! Only you and the Divine have a true understanding of what your heart and soul are calling you to undertake. If you are an adult there is no need to have someone else grant you permission to follow your dreams. As long as what you want to do doesn’t cause abuse to you or another, you are free to pursue what calls to you.

Think of it this way; the stallion in the open pasture never asks, “Is it okay if I run and leap right now?” No way! That would be silly. It feels a delight inside and expresses this in leaping and running. It does it for the simply joy of being.

There is no permission needed other than our own to discover the beauty and happiness in living our dreams.

Meditation Revelation

During a recent meditation I learned that I was defining myself based upon things other people told me about myself. Even as I write that sentence I giggle about its absurdity. How can any other person know more truth about me than I know myself? Ludicrous!!!

And yet for so long I’ve held many of their concepts about me as correct. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everything a person tells you about yourself is limiting or derogatory. Only you can decide if what was told to you is true.

That brings me to the point of this post. It is helpful to your growth and mine to take a moment to examine the beliefs you hold about yourself. Are they the truth of who you really are at your core?

In this meditation it came to me that I believed the definitions others ascribed to me. Many of those descriptions from these people were much smaller than the actual reality of me. Immediately after this was revealed in meditation I began to compose my own definition of myself. Through tears of freedom I wrote down the following:

I am radiant. I am beautiful, kind, free. The truth is that I am a light and truth filled gift to the world. I bring the remembrance of beauty of Grace, of love. I carry the knowledge of loving and honoring the self. I am ancient and grand beyond measure. I honor all that I am. I see the truth of me. I know what is true of who I am. I stand fully in my inner true essence. I live my life from this sacred place. I embrace me.

Then I offered gratitude for this insight and revelation of truth.

You may notice, as I did after reading it, how many times truth or true is used in my own definition of me. I think that is important! Each of us is the sole one to determine our definition of self. In doing so we reclaim the truth of our being. The we begin we walk forward in a new way that is filled with openness and we take our next step based in authenticity.

Unraveling Illusion

When you look at the picture accompanying today’s post it appears as if the image is moving. Interestingly there is no actual motion within the picture. You may be aware that you are viewing an illusion. What is causing you to believe that you see movement is the way that your mind interprets the data it receives. In this case, your eyes send the image to your mind. It then tells you that there is motion where there is none.

I am not going to delve into the scientific understandings of the mind in relation to illusion. Instead let’s explore the idea that there are times that the mind (yours & mine) has it wrong.

If you never question what the mind determines then you have a system of belief that has errors. Things that you believe could simply be illusions that were misinterpreted by the mind. Some theories go so far as to say that you whole life is an illusion! I think that is up to you to determine. I will say that it is possible to move beyond the mind to see clearly.

There are tools to help unravel the illusions. First one must still the mind. This can be done with meditation, yoga, prayer, the possibilities to accomplish this are numerous. Once the mind is quiet, you begin to notice the body. Sensations, tension and the like arise. Acknowledge them but let that flow away. Go deeper in the stillness. Let the heart speak.

I was taught that the heart is the true seat of Wisdom. I’ve also been told that it is within the heart that the soul resides. Thinking of it this way, when your heart is speaking it is your soul talking.

Aren’t you curious to hear what your soul has to say? I am! Imagine the beliefs that would arise from your soul!!!  Join me in unraveling the illusions so that life can be enriched with the whisperings of our souls. Let your heart lead you.

Moving Forward

All of my life or for a big part of it anyway, I’ve heard about life’s ebb and flow. Folks have spoken and written about phases of life in an attempt to make sense of what has happened. They use their understanding as a way to move forward from experiences. I’m certain you too have encountered many explanations and encouragements in getting unstuck.

For a long time I subscribed to this view. Now I question the validity of these explanations. I do this because of my observations and experience with life.

I think that life is constantly moving forward as are each of us. I know this concept is in direct opposition to what we’ve been taught so let me explain. When we have an experience in life that is difficult such as a relationship breakup that we don’t want, we struggle against it. We may go through many emotions, have resistance or try to hold on to what was. We do this also when we grieve.

Our perception or the opinions of others may tell us to get over it or move on. We could easily believe that we can’t ever do that. But we already are doing just that by having the reactions that we do to the situation. Even shutting down our emotions is still moving forward.

How can this be? What is actually happening is that the feelings continue to escalate within you until they are expressed in some form. Just like any circumstance that you are in that is difficult. Avoiding doing anything about it or not making a decision is an illusion because the intensity of the experience increases until there is change. This is forward momentum at work.

How then are we able to better deal with the continual movement forward? I believe it starts with an understanding that life is constantly moving us forward so that we stretch and grow as people. If we can operate from this awareness we know that the challenges life presents to us are designed to bring us closer to wholeness within ourselves. When we achieve that realization we find longer moments of peace, beauty and happiness.

We are all moving forward. You alone decide how to respond in your own movement forward. Today I move forward with ease, Grace and consciousness. You?

Little Teachers on Being Present

I’m learning to be fully present. It has happened quite by accident! Oh sure, I’ve had an idea of living in this way. I actually return to the notion over and over because my mind has run away from the present moment once again.

The reasons I check out from being fully in the moment vary. I might be replaying something from the past through my brain or I could be projecting the future. I may be in fear or hopeful. The possibilities my mind conjures are nearly infinite and to a degree moot. What is relevant is they are successfully employed in removing me from the present.

How then am I learning to be fully present, you may ask. It’s simple. My grandsons are teaching me.

They are ten months old and four months old. For them everything is about the present moment. There is no worry over past or future events. They set no goals to strive toward. While some people may conclude this is because they are focused on having their immediate needs for survival met; I suggest that it goes beyond these necessary and simplistic instincts. They both occupy each moment with the fullness of their being.

When I hold them, feed them and care for them, they gaze deeply and directly into my eyes. It’s as if they are engaged in knowing me to my very core and by doing so they are helping me to better know myself.

Nothing that they do is ever in half measures. Their smiles, laughter and tears are expressed with their whole being as is appropriate for what they are experiencing right that instant. The result is that their personalities are big. I think this is because they show up with their whole self and by doing so they are fully living the moment in a way that most adults have forgotten.

If you too are wanting to be fully present look to the babies and small children. They are wonderful mentors! As the biblical saying goes, “and a child shall lead them.” They are certainly guiding me in a beautiful way. To them and their teachings I offer my deepest gratitude! Aho.