Tag Archives: vision

You are the Hub of the Wheel

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hub of the wheel

Imagine yourself as the hub of this wheel that daily life revolves around, make the spokes of the wheel as connections to those you care for most. The wheel’s activities, its responsibilities surround you, spinning and spinning through each day, week, and year. You are central, the key to keeping it all balanced. Recognizing this, it’s important you care enough about yourself in order to preserve your mental, physical, and emotional health. And consider this… when you’re out of sorts, the wheel’s balance is too. If you haven’t taken the time to give yourself the nurturing you require, the wheel can lose balance and begin to wobble!

Some years ago while on vacation, I recognized my own wheel-wobble. I wondered why I couldn’t put more oomph into just having fun with my family. Doing my job, both jobs, 1) taking care of my family and 2) working a full-time job, took every ounce of energy I had. I had nothing left to give. Fun, what was that? Playing cards or a board game, going to the museums, taking walks, watching movies just didn’t seem as needed as keeping the house clean, doing the laundry, running the errands, getting my youngsters where they needed to go, you name it, I was doing it. The “work” side of the wheel was heavier than the fun side, and I was wobblin’ big time!

Who suffers when we don’t care for ourselves? Right us, and not just us, but everyone we come into contact with. We are home base for our family, the safety net everyone falls into. It’s important for us to be rested, happy, healthy and nurtured. Use the lists you created from the last blog, “Me Time,” to help you do this next exercise.

ACTIVITY: HUB OF THE WHEEL:

  1. Draw a circle or other shape in the center of a blank sheet of paper and write your name in the center.
  2. Choose another color to draw spokes outward. Label each spoke a responsibility or commitment you have to someone, i.e. husband, wife, significant other, children, pets, church, school committees, civic organizations, fun activities with friends, etc… Anyone or anything you have day-to-day or week to week contact with should be included. Whatever takes time in your life, write it in.
  3. Using another color, draw branches off of each spoke. These will represent duties and responsibilities you perform regularly for that individual, pet, or organization.
  4. Finally, choosing one last colored marker or pencil, encircle your responsibilities connect them one to the next, surrounding the spokes like a tire revolving and spinning on the hub.

Now take the time to look over your wheel and reflect. Who do you spend the most time with? Who or what is an energy drainer? Who or what do you wish you might spend more time with? What do you want to change? Use this visual tool to evaluate your life activities. Do it every week if necessary to get a visual for where your time goes. Turn the autopilot off and make the conscious decision to LOOK at what you do. We will use information from this exercise in later modules to help change your focus to areas you have passion for, or goals you wish to take steps toward.

JOURNAL ACTIVITY:

  1. Who or what do you spend the most time with?
  2. Who or what do you wish to spend more time with?
  3. What do you want to change?

Kudos for this activity:  A workshop participant emailed me several weeks after doing this particular exercise to tell me that he had taped the wheel to the refrigerator for the entire family to see. He wrote, “The kids were amazed at how much I do on a day-to-day basis, other than going to work. After studying my “wheel,” they decided to pitch in to help where they could. Thank you for bringing the awareness of how much I do not just to me, but to my family as well.”

Give it a try. Post your “Wheel” and see what reaction you get from family members, friends or colleagues. Next week: Realities of the Past.

 

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Conscious Decision Making

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Life By Design nl

 

In February 2013, I had a lucid dream experience where I was consciously creating in the fabric of space and time. I was present before the canvas of matter creating images with thoughts and gestures. Since 2013, there have been many mornings when I’ve actually awakened with my arms and hands up in the air gesturing as if I am still creating from the “other” side of the fabric, spirit body on that side, physical body on this side. I know that with regular practice through meditation, lucid dreaming and conscious awareness, I can change day-to-day physical reality creating a more desirable, joy-filled life-path. As a mystic, I know that we are, we live, simultaneously as both source-self (spiritual being) and the physical manifested self, experiencing life. One might look at the physical self as an avatar of sorts, a vehicle that allows us to experience living out all sorts of adventures through a physical body! In short, we live between two worlds.

Naturally and unconsciously through choice, we have created daily experiences using thought and action. However, many of us are thinking, acting, and creating experiences running on “autopilot,” allowing life to occur, to just happen… and as a result, often left wondering why things aren’t quite the way we’d prefer. How do we create change?

The simple answer is to turn off the autopilot. To be mindful of thoughts and consequent actions. To take responsibility for, and examine the choices made… and then choose differently where possible. We can create a new reality, with conscious mindful thought, conscious mindful decisions, conscious mindful planning, and conscious mindful action.

Will daily life then be picture perfect? I can say from experience that it will not because some of the choices made up until now have resulted in the experiences each of us are currently living through. However, I can say it will be better and that circumstances can be changed. Life is better because you will have become fully engaged. Daily life events are no longer just happening to you because you will have become a conscious, mindful, active, participant in its creation.

How to start? Over the next couple of months, each week I will introduce a set of self-exploration exercises to assist in becoming mindful of current life situations, where your focus has been, where it’s at today, how to make time for self-nurturing, and how to manage time and plan mindfully. These simple no-nonsense self-discovery activities are meant to be used over and over as you cycle through decisions, discover new facets of self, choose goals and take steps toward change. These activities have been used in workshops for over twenty years, basic, tried and true.  They are focused, personal, and will nudge you toward self-nurturing, as well as personal and spiritual growth. Next week: Module One – “Primary Caretakers.”

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

And All Is Well

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earth-angel-josephine-wall

Earth Angel by Josephine Wall

 

A member of the community I work for passed away last week. It’s a small community where each member has known the other for years and years… Close-knit and interwoven, there is a hole now where she once was. Ever faithful, loving and kind, she is missed by all.

Living consciously as both Spirit and physical being, I know with conviction that only her body is gone. She lives on, a being unique in character who now flows as one with Spirit, God, all-encompassing Love. My intuitive and clairaudient gifts kicked in the morning she died.  I was hanging laundry and sensed she had passed. I wondered if I should call my colleagues. I didn’t, instead I left to run errands. Jumping out of the car at the store I felt her with me and an encompassing, exuberant joy, “Tell them I am pain-free and happy,” I heard inwardly.  No way, I thought back to her. I’m emotionally involved in this. I’m not saying a word. With inner speak I said, “I’ll tell you what, if you really have something you’d like me to pass on, provide a dream, something someone will get and understand.”

That evening I saw a movie with a friend, cleaned up the kitchen and hit the pillows early. And yes, my request was provided. In the dream, I found myself hovering over the chapel where the wake and funeral were taking place for the woman who had died. In flowing energy form, I was with the woman who had died and a group of others who were accompanying us. There was no time so all seemed to be happening at once, the preparations, wake and funeral, a very odd concept when not in the dream or meditative state.

The wake was beautiful and wonderfully attended and the funeral very nicely done. Everything ran very smoothly. As we observed there were thoughts exchanged, speech was not necessary, “You see all is well,”  I was told. Then, I was instructed to let someone in particular know that she needn’t be anxious to get the wake and funeral details done immediately, that she should complete the other things needing attention first and then get to the business of the wake and funeral. Because you see, “it was all going to be fine anyway so what was the use of worrying, why bother fretting over it?”

I lingered with the group for what seemed like a long time and was shown other events that would unfold over the next short period of time. And drat! Those are the pieces I wanted to remember and couldn’t. I brought back only the most vivid of  images and knew I had to pass on the message. I sent a quick text to the intended party and went about getting the work day started. Once I arrived at the office and was settled in, I checked e-mail and sure enough, there was a notice letting us know she had passed away the morning of the previous day.

Like everyone else I am sad she’s no longer with us, but I know with every ounce of my being that she lives on. What stays with me most from the time in the dream state with these loving souls are the moments of great joy and the desire to reassure the living that “all is well and not to fret.”   My spiritual experiences and life journey have brought me to this dual existence where physical and spiritual energy operate simultaneously.  I feel blessed and fortunate to have been provided with such gifts. What dear reader would help you to know that we are more than this?”

“We are participants in a vast communion of being, and if we open ourselves to its guidance, we can learn anew how to live in this great and gracious community of truth.” ~ Parker Palmer

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/

Living Christ – Blessed Gift

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Nativity

In February of this year I was gifted with an amazing spiritual opportunity while in deep meditation, the opportunity to experience living as Spirit. During meditation I found myself surrounded by others. I was one of  many energies existing as a unique pattern, yet connected and intertwined having no means, method or desire to be separate. We, our “bodies” consisted of colors, vivid, alive, moving and flowing, all character, each unique pattern was clothed in differing fluid colored hues. The air was alive with excited conversation, which was transmitted as thought yet even thought had a color and sound of sorts. We were planning a path of events that would occur in the physical world. There was a joyful sense of knowing in the midst of this natural beauty and being. There were trees and nature, but nature was aware and also lived as part of the Spirit Collective. It was…is an interwoven existence of what can only be called great love, the most encompassing love, which was our state of being. In this “place” we are Creators. I exist as my Creator, or rather I am the Creator of my “self,” the body manifest on Earth. You exist there as the Creator of your self. I am, you are as you exist physically on Earth only with no physical form. In this place, there is nothing but Love, no strife, no pain, no opposites.

During that time, I understood and was completely aware that earthly reality provided the opportunity for individualization, individual creativity and autonomy, something we cannot experience as part of the Collective Spirit. Yet even at the core of this earthly individualization, there is a creative story and interweaving of all personalities that is agreed upon in the purest form before it manifests on the Earth. We create our physical world. Toward the end of my meditative experience, finished with our discussion, we agreed it was time for me to return. Me, my self as a conscious representation of the Whole, returned to the physical. I felt acceleration, a traveling along a thread of energy and was completely aware that I was returning – still I know with conviction I am always connected to the Whole and need not fear life.

Now, back in the physical rising out of meditation I open my eyes and feel a sadness and yearning because of the knowledge and awareness. I feel homesick, but have a heightened sense of purpose and know that you dear reader are the reason I write.

Each December 25th we celebrate the birth of the living Christ, a spiritual being who lived among man completely connected and with total awareness of both the physical and the Spiritual Whole, the Father, God, Love. He lived as an aware spiritual being, meant to be born, to live as physical, to die and to rise again in order to teach humanity through living example that we are more than this. God manifested as flesh.

How he must have longed to be at “home,” part of the all-encompassing Collective Love rather than living among the ignorance of man. He sacrificed with full knowledge so that we might KNOW. How blessed we are to understand the Christmas gift.

“I therefore…urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, …Ephesians 4:1-32 ESV

We are more than this…

“Look into Your Hand”

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A World in Your Hand by NixenG

My parents have both transitioned to Spirit. I miss them, especially my mom. This past Thanksgiving was the sixth year anniversary of her passing. She was our comforter, always there ready to listen and provide encouragement. In his book Peace in Every Step, author and spiritual leader Thich Nhat Hanh tells a story about looking “into your hand” to see those you miss. A mindful practice that brings us to knowing we are still connected to those we love and have gone before us.

Look into Your Hand

“I have a friend who is an artist. Before he left Vietnam forty years ago, his mother held his hand and told him, ‘Whenever you miss me, look into your hand, and you will see me immediately…’ Over the years, my friend looked into his hand many times. The presence of his mother is not just genetic. Her spirit, her hopes, and her life are also in him. When he looks into his hand, he can see thousands of generations before him and thousands of generations after him. He can see that he exists not only in the evolutionary tree branching along the axis of time, but also in the network of interdependent relations. He told me that he never feels lonely.” pp. 78-79

Gazing into my hand, studying the creases and lines, I remember sitting in the grass with mom searching for four-leaf clovers, picking raspberries along the river by grandma’s house and the rose she handed me on my 16th birthday. I remember putting up jars and jars of tomatoes in the summer and packing lunches with her in the kitchen for all us kids so we could go down to the lake to hang out for the day. It all comes back and suddenly, she’s with me again and I don’t miss her so much. She’s right here with me. Practice mindful moments, look into your hand. We are more than this…