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Friday, September 28, 2012

ALL ONE

    
That we are "all one" is a spiritual concept that is hard to get a grip on. What does it mean? That we are the same? That we are connected by our being human and having human feelings and issues? That what I do to you I somehow do to myself?
It's an intellectual grapple, and I find myself wanting to figure it out. But I don't really think figuring has anything to do with it. I think it has to do with energy and love and a heart so full of compassion that it aches sometimes with the sad state of materialism and circumstantial life affairs. It’s opening to the divine essence within us all that we share: the flame of life, our spirit, our core. We are connected deep, below the blood. And all any of us want, really, is to love and be loved.
I am kind and accepting with everyone, myself included. We are all aching with love.
 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

SELF-HONESTY

     Most of us think we are more honest than we really are. We fool ourselves with our justifications and our excuses. We talk ourselves into whatever we want to believe. The truth is often hard to face. It requires that we undress emotionally; that we admit that we are afraid, wrong, mistaken, that we may have been cruel. Self-honesty requires us to be vulnerable. We have to confess our imperfection to offer or receive forgiveness.
     But the other side of such honesty is heart-opening relief and freedom from shame. It's clean living and good feeling and well worth the courage it takes.

I stop pretending and get honest with myself.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIDESPREAD ANGER

     There is so much anger in the world, and people are like hair-triggers. The smallest thing fires them off. Explosively, violently, they lash out. They glare with hatred as they pass us in their cars. We are not going fast enough, or they otherwise disapprove of our driving style. They explode their horns. They loudly and publicly reprimand cashiers, waitresses, their children, and their spouse.
     Let's not be one of them. Let's not spew anger like knives. Let's shine a light of love instead. Let's keep our sense of humor. And if we cannot, if we feel irrepressibly hostile, let's stop blaming the world and look within. That is where our issues and our answers both reside.

I forgive those who lash out in anger, and carefully monitor my own irritability to keep it in check.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WHY PAIN?

     Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do bad things happen at all? Why is there suffering on earth? Why is there pain? How do we make sense of it? We grow through hardship. Maybe that is why. We realize things. We learn to apologize and forgive. We learn to appreciate peace and joy when they happen, and all of the good things that we do have.
     I believe that challenge is opportunity. It is a call to evolve. With care and attention, we can transform pain into blessing and suffering into love. It's possible and it's worth it. Scar tissue is stronger than any other, and our wounds make us beautiful. Whatever we may face, let's choose the spiritual lesson instead of the bitter revenge.

I understand that pain and suffering are gifts to grow my spirit, and I am bigger and brighter for all that I go through.

Monday, September 24, 2012

CHOOSING TO GIVE

     Giving to others is healthy and satisfying, but giving indiscriminately not so much. There must be some kind of exchange, and some kind of appreciation. To pour our love into an empty vessel or a leaky sieve is reckless. We deplete ourselves if we give too much away. And in that case, we are easily taken advantage of, and become like shark bait, inviting abusers to us with our puppy-like willingness to be loving.
Sometimes the most loving thing we can do is to say no. We are not meant to invite long-suffering and draw it to us in some kind of martyristic way. We are meant to recognize what and who is before us, and be respectful, certainly, and polite, but not blind. It is our responsibility to protect ourselves from those who would rob us of what we are willing to freely give.
I treat everyone with courtesy, but give the gifts of my spirit with care. I do not wear out my brightness on those who want to dull me down.

Friday, September 21, 2012

LOVING HEART

     Why are we all so afraid of not being good enough? We are as good as we are, and that's all we ever can be. We know what we know and don't know what we don't know. We can learn new things but the learning process is awkward. We all have to be the student before we can be the expert.
     Our value is in our attitude and not in our skill. Are we willing? Are we full of love? Are we patient and forgiving? These are what matter most. Not our knowledge and not our expertise. It's our raw material, after all, that is our greatest gift.

I have a loving heart and that makes me equal to any situation.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

WANTING IT ALL

     I don't want to miss anything. I don't want to be left out. I want to be included and invited, and to be a part of whatever is happening. It might be interesting. It might be fun. Some great, unexpected challenge or adventure might ensue... and I want to be there for it. I want to be there for all of the little details and soft moments; the laughter, the tension, the road-trip . Plus, I want my time alone. I need regular, reflective, solitude time. And I have found that wanting it all sometimes creates a conflict in me. Maybe I want too much!
     By necessity, I am learning to be ok wherever I am and whatever I am doing, and to make peace with my choices; to fully accept my yes pleases and no thank yous. I am beginning to trust that my path will lead me exactly where I am supposed to go, and that if I miss a turn somehow, it must have been the wrong one... for me.

I don't ever have to feel left out. I trust that whatever I experience is exactly what I am supposed to experience.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WELL-BEING

     A sense of well-being is a treat and a sweetness. It is generally a fleeting thing, coming and going like a breeze, or a bird. Some mornings we just wake up and feel good. We have a sense that all is well, and that we needn't worry; that abundance and joy abound. Our bodies are unusually pain free and we are happy to be up and at 'em.
     And then, some mornings require more effort. We are heavy with the unknown, and afraid, and uncomfortable; a bit frantic, and discombobulated. Life is fickle. We feel good. We feel bad. We feel certain. We are filled with doubt.
     When we do feel good, let's recognize it, and be sure to enjoy it. Let's appreciate feelings of peace and rightness. Let's be glad, and be grateful, knowing that sensations of well-being, like all sensations, must pass.

I fully enjoy my moments of well-being. It feels good to feel good!
:)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

PROJECTION

     It's so easy to project disaster all over our future. We are good at thinking of everything that could go wrong, and making contingency plans in advance. We worry and stress-out, thinking that gives us some kind of control, but it doesn't.
     Things rarely end up the way we think they will, and that's a good thing. It's not our job to figure life out ahead of time. We don't have to know how we will feel if this happens, or that. It is our job to be good sports, and show up for the adventure with an open mind and a positive attitude, and to enjoy every little bit of the journey, however it may unfold.

I stop trying to figure out my future and enjoy the present instead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

SELF-ACCEPTANCE

     Guilt and fear can make us sick. So can self-doubt, uncertainty of all kinds, fret, and worry. We become old before our time, and haggard, and rough-worn. We believe in other people's opinions of of our lives and what we should and should not be doing, even if their suggestions don't ring true inside of us. We betray ourselves to please people. And then we feel guilty for our betrayal.
     Let's follow the calling of our hearts. Let's trust in our own health and well-being. Let's trust that we know what's best for us, and that what makes sense for others may not necessarily make sense for us. And that it's ok. Let's rid ourselves of guilt for being who we are, and rid ourselves of the fear that we could be anything less than perfectly ourselves.

I accept myself as I am. It's ok to be me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

THE WILDFIRE OF SELF-DESTRUCTION

     The people we love don't always make the best choices for their own health, or ours. To watch the path of self-destruction run its course like a wildfire in someone we love is excruciating and painful. We want to fix them, to re-direct their path, to make them see! But they don't see, and maybe they can't. We have no power to change their direction. Only they can do that.
     We can only love them and be honest with them about the way we feel. We can be present, and helpful, but we cannot allow ourselves to be used as fodder for their fire. We are worth more than that.
     It's a hard thing to realize that the best we can do when others are in reckless resentment and self-abuse mode is to take care of ourselves. It always feels a little bit as if we should fall apart with them. But that's not the answer- not for them, or us, or anyone. It's live and let live that's required, with our hearts open, and our self-care boundaries intact.

I take care of myself first and foremost because that's my main job. I am loving towards others, but do not throw myself under their train out of a sense of impetuous co-dependence.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

LOVE LIST

     I love the smell of wet leaves. I love the first chilly fall mornings and the feel of the fresh air. I love breezes stirring tree leaves, and having the best husband on earth. I love clouds in a blue sky, and getting into bed after a long day. I love candle-lit dinners and screened-in porches. I love to laugh, and the telling of stories. I love the mountains, and the vulnerability of people.
     I love hope and joy and inspiration. I love being strong, and I love the flow of words on a page. I love the smell of bacon cooking and the taste of coffee, the color of vegetables, and hugging our German Shepard, Boss. I love the early morning and the late night, the afternoon, and the evening. I love feeling cozy, and I love feeling amped-up.
     Giving expression to the things we love lifts us up. It's simple, and satisfying. Let's make it a regular practice to improve the quality of our lives!

I tell myself and others all the things I love about my life!
    

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HUNGER

     We are hungry beings- hungry for answers, for sweets, for love, for understanding, and for all that we lack. We are hungry for different bodies, different lives, and for a certain amount of blood and glory. We are hungry for more of everything: more money, more time, more time off, more sleep, more joy, more patience, and more freedom. We are insatiable. And we stuff our hunger down with food and addictions and bad habits, with whatever we can find to numb us.
     But our appetite is tireless, and nothing external abates it, not really, and definitely not permanently. We quest daily for satisfaction, and to determine finally and absolutely just what we need... to be happy... and full. But the only thing that really fills us is realizing that everything we need we already have. It's inside us. It's in gratitude, and acceptance, and integrity. Our salvation and happiness are as close as the moment; as close as our self-honesty, and a deep breath.

External grasping cannot ever satisfy my longing. Fulfillment happens in the moment, and in my heart.
    

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PROCCESSING LIFE

     We need a certain amount of time to process our experiences. We need to allow for reflection and consideration. We need to make sense of things, and to decide what we are going to make of them, and how we will integrate the new into our already full lives. What spin will we use on the adventure, the meeting, the person, the day? Will we learn lessons, cop resentments, be self-critical and blaming, be resistant, or be grateful?
     Somehow or other, we have to settle what's happened before we can move on. We have to take the time to make our peace.

I allow for the time I need to absorb and integrate the experiences of my life, and do not rush frantically from one thing to the next.

Monday, September 10, 2012

SWEET AND SEEDY

     In life, there's sweet, and then there's seedy. There's savory and unsavory, in food, in the human character, and in the way we choose to live. What we create and surround ourselves with becomes our experience. If we are wholesome, we attract wholesome, and live wholesome, and the same goes for seedy. And if we are one, and encounter the other, it can't help but rattle us a bit. When wholesome encounters seedy, there is a creepy darkness that spills over one way, and an unfamiliar, perhaps even detestable freshness, that spills over the other.
     In cities of all kinds, both things live side by side, and a certain immunity develops, but if we pluck anyone from the comfort zone they regularly inhabit, and place them in the opposite environment, they will squirm. It's good to know where we live, but be able to float amongst the other side on occasion, with our compassion and our curiosity leading the way, instead of our judgment. The earth, with her great generosity, carries and sustains us all.
    

I extend my love and compassion to all people who are different from me, even if their choices of lifestyle make me squirm. No matter who I encounter, I can choose to be kind.

Friday, September 7, 2012

TOO MUCH

     I value my solitude, but I can spend only so much time by myself before it starts to become unhealthy. My mind is busy, and noisy, and not always friendly. It tells me things... Just so, I value leisure time, but can do it for only so long. I feel the lack of productivity. Too much relaxation makes me restless, and I look forward to getting back to work. But too much work depletes me...
     Everything in balance is the rule, and everything in moderation. I can only sleep so much, work so much, play so much, talk so much, listen so much, and cry so much. Too much of anything is simply too much.

I discover where there is too much of something in my life, and tip it a bit in the opposite direction to restore balance.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

VACATIONS

     Vacations are hard work. We plan them and rearrange our lives. Then we pack and travel. Once arrived and settled, we search out our best food choices, and adjust the best we can to unfamiliar beds and pillows, and the reality of our experience as it stands up against our expectations. The weather, traffic, sickness, the wrong clothes, the attitudes of our traveling companions: all of these things are wild cards.
     And then, when it's all over, we have to travel home... and unpack, and do loads of laundry, and re-group. We have to prepare to return to our lives, and work, and the next thing, and the next, with our trip now behind us. And what's interesting, and never ceases to amaze me, is the simple reality that no matter what kind of time we had, it becomes nostalgic. The adventure becomes a "classic" in our lives, even if it was nothing but hardship. And we smile every time we remember it... just knowing that we made it through.

Let's live our lives like we live our vacations, with a willingness to experience whatever comes, knowing that whatever happens, or doesn't happen, it will grow us in the end.
    

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

ASSUMPTIONS

      We make assumptions about the way people are, and the way they feel about us, based on our impressions, and thoughts, and our history. Frequently, we are wrong, and discover that others are equally wrong about us. They think we are mad when we are only quiet and tired; that we are intimidating when we are actually more like friendly pups.
      If we want to know how someone feels about something, let's ask them! Let's lay down our assumptions and take up our listening skills. And let's be willing to share our own truth as well, and talk about the way we feel. Communication is the key to clarity. It is the best possible tool to dispel misunderstandings.

I needn't speculate and second-guess the world. If I want to know what someone thinks, I ask them! And then I believe what they tell me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

THE TWINKLE OF OLD AGE

     In general, when people reach a certain age of maturity, there is a kind of purity about them. Older folks who are in decent physical and mental health are positively twinkly. They are beyond the rush and fret of youth, beyond anxiety, beyond resistance, and largely beyond fear. They seem easily and naturally settled into present moment awareness, and they have learned how to take their time. They are easy-does-it and good humor; amused at all of our youthful follies and self-imposed urgencies. They inspire us. They seem to have learned that in life, as in nature, everything is accomplished in its own sweet time.

I learn from my bright-eyed elders. Life may not be as arduous as it sometimes seems.

Monday, September 3, 2012

LABOR DAY

     Every ending is a beginning, and every beginning is also an ending. They are inextricably linked. Life is full of deaths and births and evolution. It's never-ending and non-stop. It is steady and trickling and crashing all around. It is all things connected.
     Summer ends and fall begins. We welcome cooler weather but remember the heat. It has become a part of us. Each summer of our lives accumulates to make us the bundle of experiences that we are. And we embody all of it, just like the earth. We grow and grow through seasons like the trees.

I express my gratitude for the summer that has passed, and I welcome the coming fall.