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.
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?
A few months ago I read two insights about broken hearts. Elizabeth Cunningham wrote, “Hearts are hard until they are broken.” The other quote was from Anita Krissan. It stated: “Let your heart crumble into an infinite amount of tiny, precious seeds. Then plant love everywhere you go.”
Each of these statements touched a level of truth within me at the time. My thoughts have returned to them often. As I delved deeper into them I remembered my time with infants and small children. In my experience they do not have hard hearts. In fact, I would say that babies and small children are wide open. Their hearts are gentle and they exhibit feelings of love and happiness. This happens with ease when their needs are met and they are loved.
Based on this observance I’ve come to this understanding: hearts are not hard, but the walls we’ve built around them resemble stone. I believe we construct this fortress around our hearts in an attempt to keep us from being harmed as we may have been in the past. I understand why we do this; I’ve done it myself.
I think we have been misinformed in thinking walls will keep our hearts safe. What those structures actually do is enclose us and cut us off from the rest of the world. Being within the walls of a fortress isolates us. We become shut down from our own feelings too.
What if our hearts are intended to be gentle and wide open even when we’re not babies anymore? I think hearts are meant to be this way. It’s the way they were designed. What’s more, I am convinced that our hearts know that their natural state is one of wide open gentleness.
Consider this prospect for a moment. If the hearts do know then perhaps they are the ones breaking down the walls! Not someone outside of us taking love away or withholding it but instead our very own hearts taking drastic measures to liberate us to a new way of being.
It makes me wonder if our hearts long to be free, to be gentle, to be wide open? Can they be leading us to an experience of ever-expanding love, beauty and happiness? Are the crumbling bits of the fortress walls imbued with the knowledge that the heart holds? Have those remnants of the walls become the seeds that will germinate love like we’ve never seen in the world? I believe it is possible that these are the true gifts of a broken heart.
This morning I was recalling a day not too long ago. The day I was remembering was not one of my best. In fact, I was feeling very down and discouraged about life. Those folks within close proximity of me listened to me express my dissatisfaction. It was pretty grim. In an attempt to lighten the mood we went out. There was a craft & art fair close by. Walking around did not have much impact upon my state.
We stopped for lunch. My husband and I sat on a Victorian porch awaiting our lunch. Our locale had the benefit of overlooking the fair. While I sat there frowning and feeling very low, something in the fair captured my attention. It was a small painted sun-catcher plaque that read, “Life Is Good”. My first response was skepticism. I was not yet willing to let go of my poor attitude. People continued to walk past the vendor with the plaque. I would catch glimpses of it and then it would be revealed to me with its complete message.
My perception slowly began to shift. I started to remember that I had; the gift of a caring companion with me, the financial resources to go out for a meal and the luxury to spend the day strolling along a craft and art fair. Indeed, for me, Life was Good at that moment. It took this reminder from Spirit to help me regain that awareness.
As I sat on the balcony today I was watching the wind playfully interact with the clouds against a cerulean blue sky. With the memory of that day and the teaching foremost in my mind. I thought, “Life Is Good!” Suddenly, I was showered with small pink flowers from the crepe myrtle tree next to me. Delighted laughter bubbled forth from me. I took this as an affirmation from Spirit.
Just now while I’m finishing up writing this post I am listening to music, Willie Nelson started singing, “I’m Alive”. Check it out if you are not familiar with this song. I can tell you that it is one more of the subtleties offered by Spirit.
These small moments may seem coincidences or unimportant to you, but I know with certainty that it is the Divine Creator of Life letting me know, without a shadow of doubt, that Life Is Good!
Learning to recognize the offerings of Spirit is easy. Know that the gifts may often be subtle, yet they are always powerful and exactly what you need. Pay attention. Keep your eyes and senses open. You will see and recognize them too. Once you do they seem to multiply. I hope that makes you smile.
First thing this morning I observed a large flock of pelicans in flight. They were flying over the Briones, which are the hills near my home. It was a large flock, much larger than I have seen in the past. When nature or creatures in nature catch my notice I pay attention. I call upon the wisdom of Native American teachings to glean a deeper understanding of what is being shown to me. In this case I consulted, “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews. He speaks of pelicans as a “symbol of freeing yourself from the emotions or things weighing you down.” That information began a reflection for me.
I began to assess if there was anything weighing me down and if so what did they entail? It is a good practice to check in with the self to notice what is there. Determine if it is serving you or causing a heaviness that is keeping you grounded.
In our culture most of us are so busy that we can’t readily determine if we are being weighed down. Here are a few clues that this may be the case. If you are feeling heavy in your mind, emotions or spirit there could be a weight. Perhaps you are fatigued, scattered or unfocused. Maybe you feel put upon or taken advantage of by a person or people in your life. There could be a host of symptoms that show up for you. Slow down and take a few moments to see what presents itself to you.
A lot of times we are carrying or holding on to stuff that will lift us if we simply let it go. I know it is not always easy to do so but being lighter sure feels better. The pelican reminds you that you can free yourself from all that is weighing you down. We all can. Just like the pelicans we can bob on the water and glide effortlessly in the sky. We can rise above it when we release the weight. Happy flying!
If you’ve been lucky enough to encounter a new-born or recently born baby you have seen their wonder with the world. To them everything is new. There is more than a simple glance or looking at the world around them. It’s as if they are soaking it all up. Babies, especially brand new ones, are totally open. They are curious and filled with wonder all at once.
Watching and interacting with them can teach us so many things about how we approach life. Just how open to the experience of life are we? I’m afraid the answer is: not so much. Rarely do I encounter someone who is unguarded, curious and filled with wonder. I include myself in that description. We all have closed ourselves off in some way. I’m not sure quite why. Perhaps we strive to hold ourselves back from the pain that life can sometimes bring. I am discovering that while we guard from the pain, we also miss the wonder of being. Babies have this joy of being intuitively.
I’ve met a couple of people who have this way of being. They are the ones who have been to the bottom, the depths of despair and found a way out. They too see with new eyes. Life is not taken so much for granted. They have learned that you can’t always guard yourself from living, from pain, from the depths, so they don’t try to any more. These people know that they can rise from the ashes and experience life in a new way. Such people are wide open because when they were broken, light permeated all of their being. They can no longer remain closed, they chose not to be that way. By doing so they see things most of us miss. They see the wonder, the beauty and feel the radiance of life in everything. By being open and seeing with new eyes they become full.
I find myself studying them and babies as I begin to open more fully. I challenge you to let down your guard too. Who knows what we might find!
Have you ever found yourself stuck in the muck? I sure have! Sometimes I fall in in & as if that’s not enough I lay down and roll around in it. There have been times that I’m sunk to my knees. Once I become aware that I am there it can seem difficult to pull myself out. There have been times when I’ve felt weighed down, paralyzed, alone and uncertain about where to go or what to do. It is not a fun place to be!
I also know without a doubt that something or someone will arrive to help lift me up. It might be a kind word or a smile. Some transcendent Presence may throw some rain my way to wash me off. Who knows, maybe inspiration strikes or I see life from a new perspective. It doesn’t have to be something big and flashy to lift you though, it could be anything at all. Today I received the gift of a milkshake and french fries and they lifted me up! Not for what they were but because someone cared enough to think of me and bring them to me. That in and of itself was more than enough!
Plus keep in mind that all of that mud and uh…fertilizer is great for growing something new and wonderful! And your skin may turn out looking amazing without a trip to the spa. Those are benefits to the muck that you may not have thought of before.
Seriously though hang on, assistance it on the way. If you find yourself in down in the muck and need help getting out, as we all sometimes do, look for something to lift you up. However small it may appear, it will arrive. Count on it!
Believe in yourself. Be certain of your talents, your gifts and your abilities. Have confidence in your knowledge, your wisdom and your capacity to grow. Trust that you are incredibly amazing and wonderful! Your unique makeup and attributes are by design. Knowing all of this, believe you can do that which you think is impossible. Reach for your greatness! As today’s images tells you, “She believed she could, so she did.” Whether you are a she or a he, believe and do it!
In art perspective happens on the horizon line; that is if you are painting landscapes. This is where the artist tells us about distance. Wouldn’t it be great if we had such a tool in finding perspective about our life and corresponding relationships?
Let’s try a technique often employed by painters. Create a frame with your thumbs and forefingers as shown in today’s photo. This is used to look around and find a small piece of interest to paint. When you have your frame ready hold it in front of you. Move your arms around looking only through the tiny frame. When something within the frame catches your eye stop and study it. What you are viewing looks different and holds a place of prominence for you now.
This is true for the things we experience in life.; most notably those things which cause us distress. Even though what is taking place may be intense, keep in mind that it is just one frame that is holding place of prominence. Plus, the frames are always shifting and changing. If you broadened the frame you could see the larger picture. It is all a matter of perspective.