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Friday, August 31, 2012

EASY DOES IT

     Who do we think we are? And why do we imagine that what we do is so important, so crucial, and so worth our angst and stress and fury and discombobulation? Why are we so up tight? Why can't we relax and enjoy the ride? We are sure that we won't get what we want, or deserve, or hope for. And that we will lose everything that matters to us. But why are we so negative? Hasn't life been good to us in the past?
     Why don't we trust in the best possible outcome, no matter what? Blessings often grow from the muck. We survive, and yet, we don't trust our survival. We feel happy, and then we wait for the other shoe to drop. Why are we so suspicious? Let's take what comes and be grateful for it, whatever it may be.
     Life can be that simple if we let it. 

I trust the process of life and stop believing that just because I can't see something doesn't mean it's out to get me.



Thursday, August 30, 2012

DREAMS ON TRACK


          Sometimes things happen in life, and they just feel right when they happen. Even when we have wanted something with almost anxious desperation for a very long time, and have expected to be giddy with excitement and thrilled all over when things start to come together. And instead, we are calm beyond reason. We are reassured in an unfamiliar way, and at a deep and inexplicable level. We somehow know that we are clearly on track, and that everything is as it should be. We can relax at last and proceed steadily. It's as if we suddenly wake up from a fog, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we really can trust in the validity of our dreams.

I feel calm and steady when I am on track. If I do my part, I can trust in the universe to deliver up the goods.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

COLORS

     I love the colors of the world! I love fall leaves and spring flowers! I love green grass and cat-tails, and the color of fruit; of blueberries, watermelon, bananas, and perfect peaches. I love the color of cream, and butter, and pancakes; of ripe tomatoes, sauteed spinach, and rooster feathers. I love turquoise and silver and gold. I love all the shades and angles of sunlight. I love storm clouds and shadows, brake lights, and Chinese lanterns. I love these new-fangled neon sneakers, and bright red lipstick. I love the ever-changing colors of the mountains, and the sky, and the eyes of people. I love colors in contrast, and colors in compliment. Every color has its own kind of appeal. Let's celebrate them all, every single one!

I notice all of the colors around me and celebrate them with joy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HONOR

     Are loyalty and fidelity different things? Can we be one without the other? I have been told this is a European concept: that loyalty is prized above fidelity. It feels snaky to me. It feels like justification for slippery behavior, and reminds me of times in my life when I have been told - reassured even- that what is clearly one thing is actually something else entirely. I have been made to feel like a fool for believing what is evident, and what I see with my own eyes.
     Let's choose to live by honor. It's blissfully guilt-free. Let's be scrupulous, morally meticulous, and have integrity through and through. Let's be exactly what we are, and put a low value on pretension and lame excuses. If we don't hold ourselves to some kind of code of conduct, no one else will.

I choose to live by honor and integrity.

Monday, August 27, 2012

BEING A BEGINNER

     Most of us have a smart-alec within. We think we can figure things out on our own without needing to follow directions. We feel certain we can launch right into anything and be expert; that we don't have to start at the beginning and build up. Other people have to do that, but not us. We can start in the middle, or even at the end.
     By being so certain of ourselves when there is no legitimate basis for our certainty, we miss out on layers of intricacy and understanding. Maybe we even injure ourselves. Making assumptions, thinking we're above the need for help, directions, guidance, etc, is a dangerous place to be. It invites disaster. If we don't right-size ourselves, the universe will do it for us.
     Let's be ok with needing help and instruction, with not knowing, and not understanding. If we must assume, let's begin with the assumption that we don't know everything, and that we likely need to start slowly and ask for help. That is the place to begin, and the one that will insure our ultimate success.

I can be a beginner at things. I'm not afraid to ask questions and seek direction. I don't need to be an expert right away.

Friday, August 24, 2012

SMART AT WORK

     Work smarter, not harder. That's never been my forte. The concept of expending less effort and achieving greater results I understand in theory- to flow instead of fight- but my instinct and nature is more like a beaver. I chew and build, and chew and build, and am busy busy busy... always hard at work.
     I seem to believe that the harder I work, the more worthwhile whatever I'm working towards will turn out to be, but I'm not entirely sure of the truth of that. There's something about the energy of pushing and striving and going hard at things that seems antithetical to peace and happiness.
     Maybe hard work doesn't have to be hard. Maybe it's all about our approach. We can be strong and steady and purposeful and consistent, but we needn't be straining and uncomfortable. Work, in the end, is designed so that we might contribute our special talents to life, and to fulfill us deeply. It's not meant to strip us of every possible thing we have to give.

I take the strain out of my work effort. I can be effective and worthwhile without being self-destructive.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

EQUILIBRIUM

     I used to be prone to explosive little fits of temper. I felt the inconveniences of life, and things not going just my way, to be some kind of personal affront that required great sighs from me, and justifiable irritability. For the most part, I have out-grown such behavior. But I see it in others and have great compassion. It puts us in such a snippy and petulant place, and is so entirely un-necessary. Our temper tantrums don't change anything about circumstances, and only make us angry and edgy and full of hatred. It's not worth it, not for one second.
     Let's get better and better at not indulging our bad moods and disappointments. Why do we expect life to be so easy? If it were, it would hardly be satisfying. Our challenges grow us. So let's learn to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good, and find a way to keep our equilibrium the best we can throughout the ride.

I feel myself amping up into a fit of temper, and stop before I get there. I remember that life is not supposed to be challenge-free. I can stay calm in spite of whatever goes wrong.


    

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN

     Impossible things happen every day. We are sure that we don't have enough money, or luck, or experience, or savvy, or style, and yet, we manage to accomplish unheard-of things, and survive against all odds. Believing in what's possible comes first. We don't have to understand, or know, or figure anything out. We simply have to keep our minds and our hearts open. If we can do this, we will be blessed many times over, and then again.
     Traditionally, we think small. We sell ourselves short. We believe only in what we can see and feel, and what we know for sure. But there is a whole other world at work that we cannot see. If we are truly open to all-possibility, the sky is the limit. Anything can happen, and does. It makes for good living, a boatload of gratitude, and blessings galore.

I am open to possibility. I believe that anything can happen, even if I don't understand how.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

THE POWER OF THE PECS

     It's difficult to successfully perform any kind of athletic movement without a strong and stable trunk. Like a tree, our trunk is the thing that roots us to our life-source, and supports our growth. Made up of abs, and back, and chest, it is our power point, and our still point, our confidence, and our stance on the earth.
     And though we all know about the importance of "the core," and having a strong and healthy back, few of us give the chest the credit it is due. The way we present ourselves to the world is primarily through our chest, the keeper of our heart. Are we sunken? Puffed-up? Flabby? Or solid?
     A strong chest gives us more than we can possibly realize. It gives us internal grounding, among other things. It holds up our abdominals, supports our shoulders, and balances our backs. And this is as true for women as it is for men. Ultimately, it's about balance, and being strong all over, and through and through, but let's not underestimate the power and purpose of our pecs.

I care about keeping my back and my core strong and healthy, so that means I care about keeping my chest strong too. The chest is the uncelebrated muscle that makes all the difference.

Monday, August 20, 2012

BODY WHISPERS

     Every body has its particular way of expressing itself. Some bodies speak in wiggles, some in angles, and some in curves and flesh. Our bodies have their own kind of personalities. They like certain things, certain movements, and styles of touch, and stretches; and they feel aversion, and discomfort towards other things.
     Finding the language of our body is a vital part of self-discovery. Understanding the joy of strength, and stature, and length, and grace, as it suits us specifically, guarantees a life of healthy physical function, and a happy body that feels honored and appreciated.

I honor the calling of my physical being. I tune in to discover the ways my body loves to move, and then I move that way.

Friday, August 17, 2012

LIGHT

     The light is changing. I feel the fall coming, and the subtle difference in the evening air, and the sun. The earliest leaves are turning, on my potted vines, and certain weeds that grow along the roadside. I am grateful for the change of seasons, and for the promise of coolness after the summer heat, and all of our Virginia humidity.
     We have seasons of change within us as well- slight shifts to mark the coming of newness in life, and the ongoing transistions of our living evolution. If we are diligent, we become brighter as we age, more full of wisdom and self-understanding and patience with the way things are. We can become beacons of good living, and examples of what it is to have a quiet heart.
     Let's celebrate light in all of its manifestations- in ourselves, in others, and in the air. Let's celebrate the rising morning, high noon, and the lengthening shadows of evening.

I am aware of the changing light, and welcome the subtle transitions in my life.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

PRESSURE OFF

     We have to find a way to put a bit of vacation in every day, and some weekend in our weeks, and to stop overdoing everything on a regular basis. That's what eats away at us and wears us down: too much over and over and over- too many hours, too many obligations, too much guilt, and busyness, and not enough lag time.
     We overstructure our hours in an effort to fit it all in, and it's exhausting to live that way. We need to allow for unstructured time, to just be, and sitting in front of the television set is not it. We are all about the doing, doing, doing, and it's burning us out! We ache. We are weighted down with have-tos. And it feels like we don't have a choice, but we do. We always have a choice. We can choose less doing, and experience more bliss. We need to. If we don't, we pay the price, and it's no great victory to break down physically or emotionally. It's a sign of deep need- for care, for attention to self, and for ease and relief. It's a sign that we need to take the pressure and turn it off.

I don't have to do everything I think I have to do. I always have options for relaxation available that I choose not to take.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF DAYS

     Some days dawn bright and crisp and our energy is lively and excitable. It feels good to be alive. We are happy to go to work, or to do whatever is before us. We have a sense of well -being, just because we do. And then, some days, are flat, and stale, right from the get-go. It's hard to wake up, and the journey of hours stretching before us seems heavy. We don't feel capable of the effort we know we will have to expend. Even if we have a willing attitude on such days, the body's energy is sometimes just not there. Maybe it's burn-out, or maybe it's just life. If it weren't for the one kind of day, we might not appreciate the other.
     Nothing is better than to feel good- to feel enthusiastic, and energized by life. But there are definitely worse things than to have an off-day when everything doesn't come easily flowing. It can't all be glorious. It's not meant to be. We can learn to roll with the punches and accept whatever the day brings, knowing that whatever we're not feeling is likely just around the corner... so if we are willing to wait for just a bit... then... we will have it all! :)

I accept that some days everything comes easily and I feel great, and that some days require more effort.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WATERING

     Every day in the summer I check the plants to see if any are particularly parched and in need of water, or if they all are. Even when it rains, I check them, because sometimes the rain is not enough. A happy plant requires plenty of water, sunlight, and a certain amount of respect. And we are no different.
      A particularly hard day or relentless heat can whither us, and leave us drooping, just like a plant. The efforts of life require sustenance and replenishment. But we so easily forget to check ourselves. We push on and push on. And then when we do need water, or rest, or food, or beauty, or laughter, or sleep, or whatever, we grab for the nearest thing and thrust it upon ourselves. And then we feel frustrated that we don't bounce back more readily.
     Let's give ourselves the same care that we give our plants, and if our plants are dead, or dying, that tells us something too. We must spread care. We must be gentle and attentive if we want to live a life refreshed.

I pay attention to my whithering energy and replenish my body and my spirit with loving kindness.

Monday, August 13, 2012

ROOM FOR EVERYONE

     We are not meant to serve the world as sacrificial lambs, sacrificing our needs and wants to those of our children, our spouses, our parents, bosses, or friends. Believing we don't matter, or that we are somehow less important than others, is ridiculous. No one is more important than we are, and we are no more important than anyone else. It's not a one or the other kind of proposition. We are both important. Our needs matter and so do theirs. And there's a way to do the best we can by everyone, including ourselves. We can successfully compromise and negotiate. That's what compromise is for. We needn't habituate ourselves to lay down on the alter of life. That's martyrdom that is neither recommended nor required.
     Let's be well. Let's honor our needs, whatever they may be, and equally honor the needs of those we love.

There is room in life for everyone's needs to be met. Melodramatic sacrifice isn't necessary.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BALANCE IN COMMUNICATION

     No news is not always good news. For the person we are waiting to hear from, it may mean that we have lost our appeal. And too much news is no better. There is a kind of dependent sickness in constant checking up and checking in. It feels fun at first, but wears thin.
     Healthy balance in communication is the same as healthy balance elsewhere. It needs to be just right. Not enough feels like abandonment, and too much is suffocating. We have built-in warning systems on both ends of the spectrum, but it's easy to ignore them. And though we may play at making no news after a certain point something other than disinterest, if it goes on too long, we are kidding ourselves. The no news is, in fact, it's own kind of news. And we can pretend that too much is actually being meticulously attentive, but too much, in the end, is always too much.
     Let's beware of imbalance in communication, both what we send out, and what we take in, and read the clear signs to appropriately set our boundaries and expectations.

I am honest about the reality behind communication that is skewed one way or the other, either too much of it, or not enough, and make good decisions based on the real reality.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

CONSIDERATION

     Consideration is a high form of art. To be aware of those around us and consider what they might appreciate, and then act on it, is meaningful beyond measure. To be thoughtful, to not splatter our mess all over the place, to keep our part in things neat and tidy: these are behaviors that make us compatible with others. These are the things that bring love and thanks raining down upon us.
     The opposite behavior is tiresome. Unlike consideration, which is an ever-delightful surprise, inconsideration is a constant burr in our craw. It's exasperation and frustration. It's unbecoming. It's the height of selfishness. To expect others to clean up after us, and deal with our inefficiencies and misplacements without losing their cool, is unreasonable. It's enough for all of us to take care of our own "stuff" without having to make allowances and exceptions for those who do not take care of what is rightly theirs.
     Let's be the considerate ones. Let's be a source of pleasure to others and not frustration. We will feel better, and so will they.

I clean up after myself and take the time to be considerate of others.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

THE UPSIDE OF MISFORTUNE

     We like our misfortunes to be taken seriously, and we have all had a hard run of it in life one way or the other. We have suffered injury, losses, abuse, neglect, betrayal, and heartbreak. We have felt greater than others, less than others, worthless, and puffed up with pride. It is all this "stuff" that makes us human, and these are the realities of human life. But happily, because we have all suffered in our own ways, we can relate to each other. We can have compassion, and feel helpful as we share the up-and-down experience of our own path.
     Our misfortunes and our grief do not separate us, as we may fear, but actually bring us together, and connect us deeply, at a level almost beyond words. Because we have lived through whatever horrors we have lived through, and survived them, we have something of value to share, and likewise, others have valuable experience to share with us. We do not have to let our hardships isolate us. We can join with others who know how it feels. There is always someone who knows how it feels.
     And maybe we can even learn to laugh at our defense mechanisms and fears and avoidance strategies. Maybe we can learn to graciously accept the pitfalls of being human, and find a way to somehow enjoy our own vulnerability.

I am not alone in my suffering. As I suffer, so does the rest of humanity. It's all a part of the dance.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

THE PHYSICAN WITHIN

     We want doctors to fix us, but they have their limits. The body has mysteries beyond comprehension. The recipe for our ultimate healing has to come from the physician within. Medical professionals can put us back together when we break, and medicate our symptoms, and put us through a series of tests and protocols, but after they have done what they can do for us, sooner or later, we have to face our own health and take responsibility for it.
     We think that it's easier to have someone else do something external to correct whatever ails us, and be made well forever, but it doesn't work like that. Health is a state of mind as well as body, a resulting condition from our amalgamated choices and the habits we keep, so how we feel is largely up to us. This is good news! We have within us the very real power to improve our well-being if we choose to. No matter what state of health we are in, no matter where we begin, we can help ourselves to feel better. We can always help ourselves to feel better.

I accept the limitations of doctors, and look within to improve the quality of my health.

Monday, August 6, 2012

THE BREATH

     We forget about our breath. We take it for granted. We rarely pause long enough, or expend the necessary consciousness, to focus on the the air within us as it travels down the length of our spine like a wave; ebbing and flowing all day and night like the tide. Because we forget about it, we shorten its path. We breathe shallowly, from our chest to our mouth, in chops instead of waves, and suffer for the lack of distance. We miss out on our available well-being and rejuvenation.
     The breath has the power to assist us. It increases our strength on the exhale, and increases our relaxation as it fills us up on the inhale. It expands and contracts us in balance. It is release of tension and relief from pain, from anxiety, exhaustion, and suffocation. It is life-force. It is meditation. It is health.
     Let's remember it. Let's remember to breathe fully and deeply, smoothly, and with rhythm. Let's take advantage of our body's best medicine for calming and healing on the one hand, and intense power and stamina on the other.

I breathe with gratitude and awareness. The rhythm of my breath heals me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

THE LIMITS OF GRABBING

     When we stop grabbing at life, everything that we have been grabbing for seems to come to us. We cannot receive by force, but only by grace. It is not for us to make up our minds about things and then expect them to play out exactly as we plan. When I sought to make a fortune, I went bankrupt. When I decided to wait a year to have children, I found myself pregnant with twins. When I was absolutely at peace with being by myself, and didn't "need" a relationship, I met my husband.
     We have to come to the place where we know we are enough- that we are ok, no matter what. We have to accept that we don't require anything in particular to be happy and feel fulfilled; not a certain amount of money, or some particular position at work; not the perfect relationship or the perfect family or the perfect past; not an ideal weight, or some specific amount of intelligence or artistic sensibility. We won't ever be happy if only this, or if only that or the other thing happens in our lives.
     If we are happy simply to be, then we will attract happiness and happy situations to us, without effort, without struggle, and without grab.

I surrender my agenda and open to the fountain of happiness within me. I have everything I need.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

SAVORING MOMENTS

     There is a certain comfort in the impermanence of things. That nothing remains constant is actually a blessing if we look at it in the right way. It keeps life interesting, and we are sure to never get completely and irretrievably stuck.
     Everything is variable. Our pain is acute, then dull and aching, then un-noticeable, and then it moves elsewhere. Our moods are light, dark; our energy jazzed, mellow, dried-up. We are talkative. We are quiet. We feel like dancing. We feel like sleeping. We laugh, cry, talk with enthusiasm, whisper. We are king of the world, victim, overdone, undone, fresh, weepy, and passionate. We are punchy. We are frantic and edgy. And we can be all of these things in the course of a single day, and often are. Sometimes our vision is fuzzy and sometimes we see like hawks. Our perfect moments do not come to stay, but neither does our trauma.
     Wherever we are, let's enjoy it, knowing that it will not remain. It is exactly because each experience is fleeting that it is so incredibly beautiful.

I savor my moments. I appreciate what's happening right in front of me right now knowing that it will change faster than I realize, and never be the same again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

LET GO OF MY EGO

     Our egos spew their grandiosity all over the world. Ego in action is a power trip. We push our weight around because we can. We do it with a certain arrogance, smaller in some and larger in others.
     But the true test of evolution and grace, it seems to me, is to have the option, and even the legitimacy, to say, "I told you so," or to exert our expert opinion, and to choose silence instead- to remain quiet, to send love, and to not insist upon making others smaller so that we can feel bigger. If we are spiritually fit, we know that we are big enough already, and that there is no real percentage in squashing people down.
     We don't have to be greater-than. We don't have to be mean and nasty. We don't have to be righteous. We can be forgiving. We can be right-sized. We can be comfortably human.

I recognize when my ego wants to take over and I keep it in check. I smile, breathe deeply, relax, and remember that I have nothing to prove.