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Posts tagged ‘Being Open’

Surrender; What’s That?

Often the word surrender is interpreted as quitting or giving up. While it can have that connotation in a siege it has other meanings when it comes to your life. For example, have you ever felt like you were struggling uphill with an impossible load on your back? What if you let some of that stuff you’ve been carrying go? Or perhaps you are doing everything you can to met other people’s agendas. Maybe it is an agenda that they have for your life and you want to please them but the cost to you and your well-being leaves you drained, empty and probably resentful. What would happen if you opened up to whatever uplifts you?

Surrender in these terms is not a passive, “I give up.” Rather it is a conscious and deliberate awareness to take action in your life. It is getting honest with yourself about what is not supportive to your happiness then being open to reframing things or letting them go. At the same time it is vital to notice and then embrace whatever nurtures and uplifts you. In this way surrender becomes the first step in creating a pathway to a life that you love.

The Shoulders We Stand On

I’ve been giving some serious thought to a concept shared with me many years ago by a Native American Elder. They said, “We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us.” At the time I likened this to my upbringing that taught, “respect your elders.” I did my best to honor and care for them.

Interestingly, the teachings continue to deepen and unfold as you move through life’s cycles. This specific one has returned to me as I look around and observe life today.

Surprising to me is the realization that I am now one of those who has the next generations standing on my shoulders. From my place in life, I also see at least two generations living here on whose shoulders I stand, so do you. Recognizing that I have new ones standing on my shoulders has prompted me to look at myself and my life.

I’ve wondered what kind of foundation I’m creating for them. Will they be standing firm and strong or ungrounded and shaky? Is there a recognition of the beauty that life holds? Do they feel a part of a healthy community that values each being? Are they respectful of all life, including Mother Earth and her creatures? Do they feel supported in their endeavors? Are they growing and blossoming? Is the world they inhabit one of kindness? Do they see with eyes of compassion? Can they say that they love and honor themselves? Are they happy and wanting others to be happy too? Do they offer gratitude for what life has given them?

In all honesty, I know that there is work to be done for them to thrive and make the world a better place. That work starts with me and with you. Let’s observe how we are in the world and how we are with ourselves. Is there room for improvement within us?

My plan is be be kinder, smile more and share of myself in a compassionate and loving way. Additionally, I can teach what I’ve learned by living it each day. I will strive to create an open environment that supports and encourages the next generations, two of which are here for me.

Perhaps you have more or less in the way of the next generations living here, based on where you are in life. In truth, we all have responsibility to the future generations for our actions because we are shoulders that they will stand upon. Together we can bring joy, love and beauty to them by our conduct today. I invite you to join me.

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.

 

 

Mid-Winter Celebrations

Today is a day celebrated in many cultures as the mid point between winter and spring. There are a variety of rituals and celebrations that are held both in the spirit of hope and in an invocation of welcome.

Today is significant because it is at this point that the ancestors took time to both acknowledge their journey and fortitude in surviving the long winter and to look toward the coming spring. This pause gave the people time to show their faith that they would see the spring arrive once again. Spring meant that the earth would wake up and the land and her creatures would grow and produce which equated to life for the people.

The ritual ceremonies allowed the people to participate in honoring the cycles of life. I imagine they felt that this celebration was vital in bringing forth the spring and renewal of life. They saw themselves as a part of the whole of nature not separate from it. On a practical note, the preparation, ritual and celebration gave people a tangible relief from the harshness of winter while still being enmeshed in its reality.

I find this sense of optimism and faith expands hope within me today. It is a conscious reminder that yes, the light does return, yes, there will be new growth and new life. Yes, things can begin anew even amidst the dark and cold. Let us celebrate that knowledge!

Whether or not you practice modern rituals marking this day, consider lighting a candle in honor of the light returning. Place the match to the wick in reverence of all renewal of life. Think of the hope it may ignite to see something new and vital grow within you. Remember that even in times of darkness you can offer your knowledge that the light always returns.

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.