Tag Archives: change

Trust Without Borders

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Wow what a ride!  This life journey sure is a blast.  Took a minute for me to get to this place of acceptance and yep, discovery.  It’s a whole new world for me (I sound like Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin… wait let me get my flying carpet out).  

Didn’t think I had it in me to make such major life changes, especially being 63 and all.  But who says we can’t do, learn, become more than this in the senior years of our lives? (and what’s considered senior nowadays?)  No one.  It’s our own perspective and the limits we set on ourselves.  

Health challenges pushed me out of the comfort zone into the unknown.  Oh no!  Let me just say, this Pollyanna chicklet was freaking out.  (and maybe sometimes I still do a little, for a few seconds when I wake up in the middle of the night and think what the he**)! 

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When I relax into the web of knowing, into trust of Spirit and All That Is, I do OK.  So far, every need has been met.  Every.  Single.  Thing.  The right doctors, the right tests, a work-from-home job I can do in my p.j.’s.  And not just any job, it’s a job that not only uses my writing and blogging skills, but allows me creative freedom (this is very cool).  I work in the sunny south windows with my trusty sidekick Francis aka “Frankie” the long-haired chihuahua, sipping hot chocolate from Penzy’s (the best) and snacking on tasty Envy apple slices.  Oh yah. 

Let it Be (John Lennon), Be Here Now (Ram Dass), Que Sera Sera (Doris Day) and of course my favorite We Are More Than This…  Trust without borders. 

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We’re In This Together

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Forest Light

How fortunate we are to have the ability to ask for guidance and receive answers. I’ve been working with a new process that involves observing symbols that rise to the forefront of mind while sitting in meditation. The practice includes recording each of the symbols received, describing them in writing, along with any important insights received. In one very revealing meditation, I started choosing symbols from previous dreams and meditations pulling from what I knew and felt comfortable with, then immediately realized it didn’t feel right. I had to let go of the old and let something else surface. It was there, I could feel it waiting. Within moments of letting go, a forest scene appeared.

I had been here before years ago in meditation, a wooded area with a stream rushing nearby, this scene was my symbol. A meditative event was my symbol, something completely unexpected. I’ve always had an object or shape, sometimes a sound. The scene unfolded,  translucent body kneeling on the forest floor, shining in the speckled sunlight streaming through the trees, she… I was vulnerable, sensitive, loving. Now, we blended, existing in duality physical and spiritual, we sat feeling the events of past and present, even those that may unfold. And in those moments there was instant realization that we embraced all experience. Those that are considered positive, as well as those that are considered negative. Experience wrapped around us layer upon layer and the message? Experience builds strength and courage. We grow not only in human character but in Spiritual character as well.

During this meditation I felt acceptance of all that has been, that which is now occurring and all of that which may unfold. I, as both spiritual and physical, was embraced by an all-encompassing Love and knew that all is as it should be, no matter how it may appear. We dear reader are provided an opportunity to experience in every way, with physical senses, with emotion and feeling, with freedom, intellect and creativity of thought. This means experiencing all that comes along with living on the Earth as human. This is our workshop for the Spirit. This is our place to develop richness and strength of character. The meditative experience provided clear understanding that I have come to be who I am as a result of each sensed moment, emotion, feeling and thought. Each interaction and event that occurs over the course of a day, week, month, over the course of a lifetime is meant to provide us with love, joy, pain, sadness, with laughter, with conflicts or fear… immersed in diverse richness we experience Life.

Collectively as components of Spirit, we share these strengths. Embrace Life fully, hold yourself and others in compassion as we move through each experience, because we are all in this together! Spiritual beings living a physical existence, we are called to uplift, support, and walk with each other on these adventures. When your colleague stumbles, is fearful, in pain, needs your hand, take it. When you are troubled, suffering, feel alone, reach out! And share joys as well, celebrate milestones, rejoice when there are successes, join together and shout, “We are more than what is seen, we are more than this!”

“May the stream of my love, in all its depth and fullness, flow unceasingly from me to thee. May no winds of impatience blow upon its waters, may no ripple of unkindness mar its surface, may no storm of hostility disturb its depths, and may no sediment  of deception choke its course. Rather, may the joy I share with you be unrestrained, may my sorrow with you know no bitterness, and may the streams of both our lovings be absorbed in the never-ending ocean of God’s grace.”                                                       ~ Rev. Dr. Noel Frederick McInnis

Living Your Purpose

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amazing-736885_1280Peace has been elusive since well before fall exploded into full color, faded away and winter began. I know I live as a physical representation of God. I know that all who walk the Earth are my brothers and sisters, that we are connected as one in Spirit. I know that all is provided for me here as physical. Still I am restless and left with a want I can barely identify and desires that have no meaning in this physical world.

I voiced my feelings of unrest with close friends this week. Their response,”Stand still, clarity will come to you, whether it is to stay and the frustrations [are] momentary or [you receive] an answer to your next step and the path you should take.” Another said, “You need to have…the freedom to be you.  You like to write, help people, dance, take care of your family.  Do those but have a job that supports it… a meditation center, a place people could go before/after work or during lunches.  You could step people through a process.”

She’s right. He’s right. I feel valuable skills, abilities and talents are put aside while I go about the business of supporting a family. Mother, friend and worker bee, I, just like any other person living on the Earth carry responsibilities through every nook and cranny of life. So what is the answer to this unquiet? I am fully awake wanting to share, to live with purpose.

In his book, “There’s a Spiritual Solution To Every Problem,” Wayne Dyer talks about moving to purpose:

“The true joy of living is in allowing the higher energies of spirit to guide your life. In this state of awareness, you never have to ask what your purpose is or how to find it. Instead you feel purposeful in everything you do, and you bring that kind of joy to all that you encounter. It will not matter whether you are weeding your garden, reading a novel…driving through traffic…or meditating in silence. You will be the bringer of joy because you are in harmony rather than in conflict with God…the irony is that you will find that the surest way to get to that state of inner joyful purpose is by giving it all away.” p. 247

The remedy for my unquiet is to recognize that within the day-to-day responsibilities of my being a mom, friend and worker bee, I AM purpose. Completely connected, living dual reality, I realize the higher energies Dyer writes of already paint the days with cooking, cleaning, having coffee with friends, creating an excel spreadsheet or walking through the woods. This is purpose. Being alive, living fully. Now…time to get moving on that mediation center! We are more than this…

Pass It On!

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Pass It On

Each year my employer provides an opportunity for personal development with workshops and team building exercises. Last year at the workshop we were asked to choose a stone out of a basket and write a personal goal across its face. My goal was,”Recognize the Faces of God.” The stone has a prominent place sitting just below my computer screen in plain sight to remind me that every person that walks into my office, past my door, across my path each day is a face of God, a member of our community of Living Spirit. Knowing this, how can I treat anyone with anything but kindness, compassion and love, because dear reader we are all connected.

Thich Nhat Hahn speaks of community in daily life where practicing mindfulness helps us “to emanate peace and freshness, the fruits of living in awareness.” In his book Peace in Every Step there is a lovely meditative practice that speaks of investing in people:

“We can get in touch with the refreshing, healing elements within and around us thanks to the loving support of other people. If we have a good community of friends, we are very fortunate. To create a good community, we first have to transform ourselves into a good element of the community. After that, we can go to another person and help him or her to become an element of the community.” p. 87

Collectively, we are a community of faces, diverse in every way, unique expressions of creative Spirit, in physical form, character and beliefs. How fortunate are we dear reader to know that beside us walking on the busy sidewalk, shopping in the crowded grocery store, or riding the crammed morning train, there are individual manifestations of Living Spirit? Still, lives busy with family, careers, homes and friends many of us go about business barely noticing each other or sharing anything about our lives.

Guy Finley states this very well in his book The Courage to Be Free, of noticing others, of how we must have the courage to act, treating each other with compassion:

“…No one wants others to know the weight of their unspoken pain. And yet, all are burdened with broken dreams, shattered hearts, and whatever other sorrow walks with them through the day. Now have the courage to act on this knowledge: Refuse to ever again add to the pain of another, even a small measure of your own. Whatever suffering you agree to shoulder in this way not only helps to lighten the load of those in need, but also serves to awaken within you the strength you need to be a real friend in deed. Your reward: the birth of a whole new kind of compassion that not only flowers when faced with the weakness of others, but whose fragrance helps heal all those who are touched by it.” p. 61

In other words, you become a flower in the life of others! How cool is that? I am very fortunate to be surrounded by kindred spirits in the workplace. Our Directress sent out a letter just this week celebrating World Peace Day. Here it is suggested we begin and continue to practice random acts of kindness.  She has given me permission to share some of the content of this letter with you:

“Shortly after the Newtown slayings, Ann Curry, an NBC reporter tweeted that some people might consider doing 20 random acts of kindness to honor the children lost in this violence.  The 20 became 26 to include the adults and I suggest the 26 become [the] 28 who were killed that awful day.  The idea caught on and a movement was begun. 

Might you and I join in this movement of 28 random acts of kindness to bless those killed and those left behind and affected by this tragedy. Might we be a “presence of peace” through simple random acts of kindness.  We do acts of kindness a lot in the community; how much more powerful they are when done with intention. And just maybe we won’t stop with 28 random acts of kindness but will find we want to continue this spiritual, practical practice that brings some peace to our little world and in turn affects the whole world by our very presence.  These random acts of kindness will be visible and hidden, small and large, but each will be great and empowering.” ~ D. P., January 2012

She goes on in her letter to remind us that being a presence of peace can come in many forms and so to let our creativity soar with Spirit as It inspires and moves us. Recognize the Faces of God as you walk through each of your days. Hold each other in strength and compassion and remember to practice random acts of kindness. As my colleague suggests, maybe it won’t stop there, maybe we’ll create a new, very powerful habit in our lives…remember, we are more than this.

Below are a few Blogspots and Websites links with ideas to get you on your way! Happy Random Days!

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation: http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

366 Random Acts of Kindness: http://www.366randomacts.org/

And Then We Saved Blog: http://andthenwesaved.com/random-acts-of-kindness-ideas/

Mind Map Inspiration: http://www.mindmapinspiration.com/random-acts-of-kindness-mind-map-paul-foreman/

United Way, NV: http://volunteeruwsn.wordpress.com/category/random-acts-of-kindness/

Breathe Through the Ring

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mindful connection

How do you feel about your phone? About the ability to get texts, phone calls and Internet access anywhere and for anyone to contact you at anytime? I love technology, everything about it except its magic attraction is always in my face. Today while driving in our cars we’re talking to the air and no one cares, no one looks twice because they know we’re on the phone. (I like this because I can sing to my heart’s content and just look like I’m talking wildly, maybe I should gesture too to make it more realistic. Ha!)

It’s hard for me to not answer the phone or a text. I feel compelled to be there, to be available “just in case anything comes up.” It used to be we had cell phones in our glove compartments (just as big too) that we used only for emergencies, now everything is important. Or is it… Thich Nhat Hanh has this to say about the telephone in his book “Peace in Every Step:”

“The telephone is very convenient, but we can be tyrannized by it. We may find its ring disturbing or feel interrupted by too many calls…The telephone bell creates in us a kind of vibration, and maybe some anxiety: “Who is calling? Is it good or bad news?” Yet some force in us pulls us to the phone, and we cannot resist. We are victims of our own telephone.”

Now mind you this was written in 1991. We didn’t have all the phone technology then that we have now. We can do so much more in so many ways, in so many places. Ah, and here’s the interesting thing, he offers a “telephone meditation:”

“I recommend that the next time you hear the phone ring, just stay where you are, breathe in and out consciously, smile to yourself and recite this verse: ‘Listen, listen. This wonderful sound brings me back to my true self.’ When the bell rings for the second time, you can repeat the verse, and your smile will be even more solid. When you smile, the muscles of your face relax, and your tension quickly vanishes. You can afford to practice breathing and smiling like this, because if the person calling has something important to say, she [he] will certainly wait for at least three rings…You are your own master. You know that you are smiling not only for you own sake, but also for the sake of the other person. If you are irritated or angry, the other person will receive your negativity.  But because you have been breathing consciously and smiling, you are dwelling in mindfulness, and you pick up the phone, how fortunate for the person calling you!” pp. 29-30

A totally, so different approach to answering your phone. In fact, why not broaden this a little bit and extend it to answering texts or e-mail’s you’ve received on your phone? Breathing in you remember you are interconnected with all to the Whole, part of Spirit, breathing out you smile, mindful of the moment, then calmly with a smile you answer or text, “Hello.”  We are more than this…

“What’s Not Wrong?”

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Today between tasks I stood for a moment looking out the window wishing, longing for peace and quiet. But the family needs me. The younger, the older and the in-betweeners. They still need me. I work to keep us housed, fed and educated. No one tells us when we’re young what it will take to raise a family and even if they had, really would we have listened? We meet, fall in love, dream big and dive full force into it all, nothing can stop us when we’re dreaming!

I wouldn’t change what life’s path has brought me. Except, I think I might have saved more so that when I reached 50 I might have had enough money to say, “I’m done working, I’m going to contemplate the nature of the universe.” I didn’t. So now I long for a day of solitude here and there without work or children. The free time I have is gobbled up with my job, school activities, homework, resume work for the older creatures and listening ears for all whenever there’s a need.

As I scan these words, I see opportunity. In the early 90’s I read Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Peace Is Every Step,” an excellent book about living mindfully in everyday life during everyday activities. Knowing I need continue my role as both parent and breadwinner I resurrected some of my favorites of the very applicable daily practices in his book. Through the month of December, I’ll share a daily mindfulness activity with you. Maybe by New Year’s Day we’ll all have a little more peace in our steps and lives.

My all time favorite practice from the book is “What’s Not Wrong,” which I share a portion of below:

“We often ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ Doing so, we invite painful seeds of sorrow to come up and manifest. We feel suffering, anger and depression and produce more such seeds. We would be much happier if we tried to stay in touch with the healthy, joyful seeds inside of us and around us. We should learn to ask, ‘What’s not wrong?’ and be in touch with that. There are so many elements in the world and within our bodies, feelings, perceptions, and consciousness that are wholesome, refreshing, and healing. If we block ourselves, if we stay in the prison of our sorrow, we will not be in touch with these healing elements…Life is filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby…Awareness of the precious elements of happiness is itself the practice of right mindfulness. Elements like these are within us and all around us. In each second of our lives we can enjoy them.”  pp.77-78

So ask yourself, “What’s not wrong?” Appreciate the flocks of birds gathering to fly off for the winter, the laughter of your colleagues over lunch, sunshine on your face, being able to move from one breath to the next without effort. Start your practice today, include it every time you see something wonderful and ask the question again, “What’s not wrong?” I look forward to hearing from you. We are more than this…

Paint the Day

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One morning as my teenage son and I were leaving for school, he looked up at the monotone grey clouds and said, “Someone forgot to paint the sky this morning.” Wow, I thought. What a simple and awesome  statement. Glancing up at the canvas of clouds I thought he’s right, we can paint the day however we wish, it’s just there presenting itself in all its simplicity.

How do we paint the days? I know that sometimes I make things so complicated my head spins. Too many projects all open at the same time, the revolving office door, to-do lists, and home-life responsibilities that consume me. It really doesn’t have to be that way. I am a multitasker who welcomes challenge. Still, I do have the choice to paint the day in simplicity. How would that look?

First I would stop multitasking. I can hear you now, but wait! Aren’t you a craving multitasker with the ability to work in a fast-paced, multi-faceted job? Ah, true that but simplifying is appealing. What if I were to take the day down a notch? What if I prioritize each project according to deadline, shut my door at times, well at least to a crack, and concentrate on just one thing at a time, well that would certainly simplify AND provide greater accuracy (to which yes I admit mistakes have occurred, sadly yes).

Family member needs might be approached in the same manner. Helping my oldest with his resume needn’t be upon demand. How about scheduling time instead of being on 24/7. (Ok, I know I’m a mom, but I do have limitations!) Or when the middle daughter wants to sit and spill her guts just because she can and I’m sitting here writing, looking like I’m just playing on the computer. “How about coffee tomorrow honey? We’ll get a favorite latte and sit at the coffee shop.” Oh yeeeeaaah!

A conversation with a colleague about this very thing triggered movement. I was talking about the many tasks and detailed projects, she agreed too many details, then went on to say, “My hope is to simplify.” That one sentence did it.

“Simplifying would be fabulous. Totally and completely fabulous.” I responded thinking and I know how to do that, now I just have act. With a few last words from her I was hooked into making a change. She said, “I look forward to your next blog on the subject.”

You got me sister! Totally. And here it is. Paint the canvas of your day with simplicity. Choose to focus on the task at hand and leave the frantic multitasking to the adrenaline seekers. Take it down a notch, prioritize and remember you are just one person and that it’s O.K. to move from one task at hand to the next.  Addressing one challenge at a time, be it in the workplace or in the personal arena, gives you the opportunity to meet each challenge and do it well. (Thank you my friend!) We are more than this…

“Our life is frittered away by detail…simplify, simplify, simplify!” ~ Henry David Thoreau