Monthly Archives: September 2012

Step Into Extraordinary

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In order to make changes, to create something new and fabulous in day-to-day life, it’s necessary to stop thinking in an ordinary way, to step into the extra-ordinary. There, utilizing desire and imagination you’ll find opportunity to create a new way of living. What have you always wished to do? Is there a hobby or new career you dream about? A landscape you see in mind but push away with busy-ness? Pursue it, get moving.

Nearly two years ago I left a position as Director of Education at a small proprietary college making a hefty income. Monthly travel was added to the job that would take me away from my family one to two weeks a month. “Just do the travel,” I was told by the higher-ups.

After a family meeting, I went back to the campus president and declined. I resigned, shocked the administration and even myself a little. I stepped outside of the box into the unknown, into the extraordinary to choose again, to choose a position that would allow me time with my family, provide me with the ability to use all of the skills acquired through a lifetime, and open the door for personal as well as spiritual growth.

While in the midst of applying for jobs, I dreamt of building a mosaic of creative skills with scraps of paper, pictures of talents and sculptured thoughts. All of these were assembled and displayed so that I might see the skills acquired over a lifetime. The next morning I designed a table with headings of the careers I’ve had and the skills common to each, the end result being a snapshot of skills and characteristics. This tool led me to look for positions otherwise not considered and ultimately to my current position. I followed my dream.

What information do your dreams provide for you? Are you keeping a dream journal? Are you listening to gut instinct? If not, I encourage you to start. After a short while you’ll begin to see patterns and recognize metaphors, or receive answers outright from God, Spirit, from All That Is. Create the opportunity for change. We are more than this…

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.  ~Anais Nin

An Everpresent Gift

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St. Francis

Every morning I wake before the alarm goes off. I have a chime alarm, so it’s a gentle awakening. If I don’t turn it off it chimes at five minutes, four minutes, three, two, one, then repeatedly. Having this system gives me time to reflect on dreams I may have had, or time to meditate. It starts the morning off right, gently and contemplatively. Once the house is moving I need that quiet energy experienced just an hour earlier to keep me centered, not rushing or trying to cram even more into an already bustling environment.

There are many days I’d like to put the busy schedule aside to sit quietly in meditation for an hour or more but the thought of getting up at 4:00 a.m. holds no interest for me. Ugh. Truth be told, I am not a morning person at all. I’m a mid-day person. I can crank out more work between the hours of 10 and 4 than any other part of the day. It’s my rock and roll time.

Recently I’ve added fifteen minutes of outdoor practice during mid-afternoon. I walk the prairie and woods or sit on the bench near the St. Francis statue surrounded by the sounds of wind in the trees, tall grasses and lots of bird song.  Absolute heaven. I return to the office refreshed and ready to complete the work day.

Once home from the office, I start to slow the pace, run any errands, make dinner, do the dishes, fit in some readings and then it’s meditation time again. That’s where I put my hour, right before heading for the pillows. I intend to move it at some point. The ability to meditate then examine images, messages or events that may have occurred is very appealing. Currently I have this ability only on Saturday and Sunday’s and just like anyone else I have laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and playing mom’s taxi on the two-day agenda. It takes planning on my part to have meditation as a priority and the time to reflect.

Being still, making a daily practice to be silent is a gift to self. It brings an increased awareness and sensitivity to the beauty surrounding us in relationships, the comfort of our homes and in nature’s canvases. Meditation provides opportunity to step away from the outside noise and allow answers to unfold from the Wisdom self. Over time there grows a deep inner peace with self and the world that gets carried throughout the day. How can you resist opening this ever-present gift? A gift that provides you connection to peace-filled moments in both physical and spiritual realms.

Practice. Make it a habit. Start with a few minutes a day and grow it just like you would the gardens in your life. It is a benefit to mind, body and spirit. Connect, be at peace. We are more than this…

“Above all, be at ease, be as natural and spacious as possible. Slip quietly out of the noose of your habitual anxious self, release all grasping, and relax into your true nature. Think of your ordinary emotional, thought-ridden self as a block of ice or a slab of butter left out in the sun. If you are feeling hard and cold, let this aggression melt away in the sunlight of your meditation. Let peace work on you and enable you to gather your scattered mind into the mindfulness of Calm Abiding, and awaken in you the awareness and insight of Clear Seeing. And you will find all your negativity disarmed, your aggression dissolved, and your confusion evaporating slowly like mist into the vast and stainless sky of your absolute nature.”  ~ Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

Life Lessons

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This week I put the brakes on a repeating life experience and stepped onto a new life path. I left the comfort of familiar emotions carried into adulthood and the insidious desire to recreate tragic childhood feelings. There was so much drama, anxiety and sadness back then. Giving myself some credit, I admit each time I have repeated the type of relationship choice that creates this environment, it’s at a lessor scale. This week there was a breakthrough. I consciously recognized what was going on and how important it was to make a change. I knew it was time to honor what I felt, embrace the feelings and walk toward healthier life path choices.

Knowing we are each part of the Whole, of Spirit, of God, it becomes difficult to see anyone as “wrong.” Instead, I see what lies beneath each person, I know he is my brother or she, my sister in Spirit. How then can I judge? I accept wholeheartedly without resistance, surrender, allowing events to unfold as they may. What made this most recent event unusual is that although I recognized divinity in the person, I knew it wasn’t necessary to have this individual in my life or the repeated life experience. I can still accept him as Spirit, allow him to live as he so chooses and walk away loving him.

It sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Just to walk away from those who seem to impact us? However when you love from Source, when you know these individuals are part of you, only compassion remains and the desire to help. Many times I want to reach out, pull the individual into a gentle embrace all the time inwardly speaking with their Wisdom self, coaxing knowledge to their consciousness, hoping they will get it, that they will create positive life experiences through their choices. Does it work? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I have been known to stay and stay and stay. Rather than becoming preachy, I choose to teach through example, illustrating that my own choices create the life I wish to experience. My hope has been that they would learn and we would continue to walk together. The heightened awareness experienced this week broke the patterning. With full clarity I knew I could, with a loving heart, choose differently. I have learned the lesson to accept, love and hold each person in compassion but to choose again, a new way.

Today and every day, see all with eyes of compassion. Embrace with love and walk away if necessary knowing all the time that we are connected with the Divine, each a unique expression of the Spirit Collective. Trust that you are right where you should be in your choices, they are our life lessons. We are more than this…

“What if your vision of life was suddenly altered or supplanted somehow for a strange new one? And order as you know it was suddenly reordered, your rule of life given over for something better, higher, something you could not have expected or imagined? Warning: Love will confer upon you a new rule, and with it, a new set of scales. You will see and consider new things. You will hear what you could not hear before. Your priorities, your politics, your responses to life, how you invest your soul, your words, your actions — it all changes. Love transforms all your receptors and rewrites all contracts with the earth you inhabit. And again be warned: It doesn’t come without a price. Love asks nothing but everything. Like heaven itself, love is but a death away, one authentic surrender…” ~ David Teems

Making Choices

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by Salvador Dali

 

While preparing for meditation this morning I came across this lovely contemplative writing that I share with you today. Be mindful dear reader.

“After a long, hard climb up the mountain, the spiritual seekers found themselves in front of the great teacher. Bowing, they asked the question that had been burning inside them for so long:

‘How do we become wise O Master?’

There was a long pause until the teacher emerged from his meditation. Finally, the reply came, ‘Good choices.’

‘But how do we learn to make good choices?’

“From experience,’ responded the wise teacher.

‘And how do we acquire such experience?’ They inquired.

‘Bad choices,’ smiled the teacher.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Be mindful of what you think, how you speak, and what you do.”

We are more than this…