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Posts tagged ‘Love’

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.

Lifting Up Love Global Intention

Hello everyone:

This is an invitation to join together as a global community to Lift Up Love. I am inviting you to join in Lifting Up Love on August 11, 2018 at 7:00 PDT. (I am in California. Here is a link to find out what time that is for you. http://www.thetimezoneconverter.com/) On that time wherever you are in the world pray, align, meditate, hold your focus, drum, do ritual, have ceremony, light a candle, however you offer your intentions do that. Imagine it as manifested as you focus on this intention:

“Love is the prevailing force in people’s hearts, mind and actions. All feel and think from love as they take actions that uplifts love for everyone, thereby creating more kindness, compassion, respect and honor for all of life. And so it is.”

This event came to be because I became overwhelmed with what is taking place in our world. At first this feeling paralyzed me because I felt the trauma and was not certain of what to do. Then this thought occurred to me, “I am not powerless.” None of us are powerless; in fact we are very powerful indeed. As I remembered this truth I began to think about what I could do.

My morning includes holding a positive intention within me and then sending it out into the world. Many of us do this individually and/or within our groups and communities already. My thought was that if we could all focus our intentions, prayers or vibrations on Lifting Up Love at the same time, we would amplify the energy of love, which is the most powerful transformative force in the Universe, to create a new day. A day and world that holds up love in people’s hearts, mind and actions for everything, thereby creating more; kindness, compassion, respect and honor for all of life.

I am inviting everyone that I know to join me in this intention. Actually, I am asking people whom I don’t know too. Some of those people I am listing here to show that we can connect with other communities who might join in this endeavor to usher in this vision. Those I’ve asked to join beyond people I know are: His Holiness the Dali Lama, Deepak Chopra, Oprah, Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, Russill Paul, Native American Elders, Leaders in traditional religions and non-traditional religions, spiritual groups and individuals.

If you share this idea with everyone you know and with some whom you don’t, invite them to join us in Lifting Up Love. Ask them to share with others too. I believe if we all participate we can tip the scales to a more loving world.

With deepest gratitude, Shelly O’Connell

Use the link below to join the event on Facebook and you will also receive a reminder of the event.https://www.facebook.com/events/370338000164805

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.

 

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.

 

 

Gifts of A Broken Heart

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.

Message of Hearts

Something pretty amazing took place in my life several years ago. I can not recall the circumstances of my life and what was taking place at the time. The only thing I remember is the hearts.

I began to notice heart shapes in nature. Several times a week I would see a heart. They could be anywhere; in a cloud formation, in the separation of bubbles as I did the morning dishes, in the shape of leaves.

Once I was sent into the woods to sit quietly for an hour. When I looked up there was a leaf directly above my head. It had a heart-shaped hole in it where some tiny bug ate the leaf away. The shape was a perfect heart! I recall that I had difficulty not laughing out loud when I saw that one! I was supposed to be silent while there, so I laughed inside.

There was a time when I didn’t notice them at all, but I’m sure they were still there. After the flood of seeing them every week for several years I did not see them as frequently. I lost my awareness of them and the gift that they brought me for a while. During that time I was working on internal baggage. I did see them but it was much more rare.

The other day I went for a walk and noticed a heart-shaped leaf. Actually, it was a leaf that had been walked on and was broken, but the shape the pieces of the leaf took was a heart. I’ve been seeing them again for quite a while now. So long, in fact, that I can’t pinpoint the exact time that I began to notice them again. I see them everyday now, usually several different hearts in a day.

I’ve never questioned seeing them. I did not ever feel the need to ponder why they showed up for the first time or examine what is happening that I still see them today. There could be some deep message from them that I don’t yet understand, but it is a mote point to me. Here’s why: every single time I see them; whether it was the first time or is ongoing; regardless of if I share that experience with someone or not, I smile.

The hearts make me smile because it is like Mother Nature, the Universe, and the Divine, are sending me a message of love. A reminder that love is here right now. This is not even a conscious thought when I see them. I know, understand and receive the message of the hearts at a level of sacredness contained inside of me. My response is to smile. You may have guessed that the smile is from my heart. It is my answer to the hearts sent to me.

Community Connections

Lately I have been giving some thought to community and the connections that are formed there. With social media prevalent in the majority of our lives, community connections has taken on new meaning. Through this type of medium I am able to connect with people all over the world. Most of these types of community are based on a common interest. I enjoy being a part of the social media groups where our community functions in this way.

However, not all communities operate in this fashion. What about our local communities or the global community? There may not be a shared interest among members. This got me thinking, what are the characteristics of a healthy community? For me they are: respect, honesty, integrity, support, communication which includes listening and freedom in expressing your thoughts without ridicule, and love.

Healthy community connections are those who accept their members for who they are, for their gifts and attributes and who challenge people to grow. It is important, I think, that each member have an equal voice and vote upon those things that interest them and impact their community. This type of community cares for its members. They can find support, love and care in the community whatever is happening for them. There is a chance to pull together on behalf of the whole community. In this community there is shared responsibility and accountability. In my mind the members are highly valued and work cohesively alongside each other. One person is as important as the next person. This makes healthy communities with deep connections.

To date I have only found such communities in the social media groups I am a part of that share a common interest. Could it be that a common interest is the link to creating healthy communities? I don’t know the answer. I continue to search for this type of community in the physical world. One day I will find it.