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Monday, December 31, 2012

HOLIDAY MAX-OUT

     By the time I get to New Year's Eve, I always feel rather maxed out on everything holiday and celebratory. The balance of work and play and pleasure and productivity has gotten all skewed. Every year I plan to simplify, to make it different somehow, and every year, the over-exaggerated emotional nature of the time of year becomes too much. It's haunted time in a way, haunted with old memories, disappointed expectations, unrealistic hopes, inconvenient physical realities, and too much food and forced togetherness. I look forward to getting back to the routine of my life.
     And maybe that's what it's really supposed to be all about anyway, the big blow-out before the fresh start-over. By January 1, we are generally ready to purify and make changes, to examine the real-life conditions in which we find ourselves and be honest, more honest than usual, about what needs adjustment.
     For all my resistance to the over-done nature of Christmas and the week that follows, maybe it happens just the way it does to push us to the next level of growth. Maybe, as always, everything I am wrestling with, is exactly the way it is supposed to be, and ultimately happens for my highest good in the end.

I accept the way I feel and I'm willing to look honestly at my life conditions to make whatever changes are necessary- in attitude, in habit, and in approach- to improve my health and well-being, and to improve my overall state-of-mind. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIENNA AND NICK

     For eighteen years I have been a mother. Sienna and Nick came early, right after Christmas, and changed my life in every way possible. They added weight to my daily adventure, and responsibility, and a powerful sense of fierce protective loving. They gave me the desire to teach and guide and inspire and entertain. They fascinated me, and still do. They challenged me and stretched me to the farthest length of every possible limit, and still do. They gave me purpose and taught me to accept and let go, and then accept and let go some more.
     Each of them is beautiful and creative and resilient and sensitive. Sienna is heart and scrap, and Nick is commanding and charismatic. I love my children unconditionally and feel blessed and honored to participate as they unfold and step forth.

I am grateful to share life with my children.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

STRONG AND STEADY

     It is a great virtue to be steady, to be reliable, tireless, dedicated, and well-earthed. Restless, flighty folks spread scattered energy all around them, and one is never quite sure whether they can be counted on, or not. It's easy to be steady for a spell, or for a season, or for as long as a certain mood lasts, but to be steady across time brings unsurpassed rewards.
     We miss so much in life by quitting and running and laziness. It's the story of the tortoise and the hare. Let's embrace the energy of the steady turtle and reach our goals by consistent effort rather than some kind of lottery-type luck.

I master the art of steady progress.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

BOXING DAY

     Another Christmas come and gone and we are left again in the holiday aftermath. Perhaps we have a sense of anti-climax, or maybe we are hungover, or still partying and ready to rock all the way through the New Year. Perhaps we are food-indulged and family indulged- bulging from all of our seams, but happy, hopefully, and still glowing in some way from yesterday's good vibrations.

I enjoy my Christmas leftovers.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

CHRISTMAS

     Christmas is the time to recognize the people we love and appreciate, and to feel their love and appreciation for us in return. The build-up is grandiose and there's always a sense that the day should be big and bold and the height of ecstasy and all of our best emotions, but as I grow and evolve, I find it much more a time to be soft and quiet. Christmas feels small almost, and delicate, easily missed and misunderstood. It is gentle gratitude and warm homespun celebration. It's from the inside out, and not the other way around. Let's breathe and smile and celebrate the great light of love that comes to us in the middle of winter's chill.

I welcome Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2012

CHRISTMAS EVE

     Christmas Eve is the dawn of Love. Let's wake up and be conscious of it. Let's recognize and appreciate our blessings. Let's be thankful in our hearts towards everyone and everything- towards the difficulties that teach us and the sweetness that comforts us. We all have something to be grateful for!
     Let's invite happiness and goodness into our day; satisfaction, serenity, patience, and joy. Let's celebrate the coming Christmas in the purest way possible. Let's glory gratefully in the grace of God.

I celebrate the gift of Love!! 
    

Friday, December 21, 2012

NO MATTER WHAT

     I often want circumstances to be a certain way so that I can feel a certain way- with all things being perfect. But life is not like that. It's rare for everything to come together at the same time. One situation begins to resolve and another is just getting started.
     We have to find a way to be ok no matter what. No matter the who; no matter the why and where, we can be peaceful. We can be happy. We can be well. It is not circumstances that determine our state of mind, but our mind that determines the state of our circumstances.

I can be happy and at peace no matter what.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

ARROGANCE

     Arrogance screams out to be right sized. It knows everything and is an expert on everything and looks down from above with judgment and scorn. Most things are painfully obvious to arrogance and it has very little, if any, patience, and absolutely no tolerance for those to whom life is not so obvious.
Arrogant people are puffed up, and they shrink everyone they contact. They are guile and slickness and manipulation, with a touch of cruelty. They believe their own lies.
     Let's be loving instead. Love increases value and magnifies beauty and remains sincere. Love is genuine and complimentary. It is inclusive and has no harsh edges. Love is the best answer and always and absolutely the best approach.

I am on the lookout for arrogance, and replace it with love wherever I can.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

GREAT LOVE

     Some people, and perhaps men in particular, think of love as something soft and mushy, something Hollywood, something sensitive and unmanly. But the truth is that there is nothing more powerful on earth than the power of love. It is the power of transformation and the power of confidence; the power of the body and the power of the heart. It is joy and peace and gratitude and grace. Love alone can dispel fear, darkness, hopelessness, and sickness. Love is the ultimate light.
     Small love accomplishes small things, but great love changes the world.

Love empowers me and makes me unstoppable.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LEAVING WORK AT WORK

     It's an art to be able to leave work at work when we finish the day. So many of us carry it home with us- all of the problems and struggles and stresses. We carry home upsets with our co-workers, resentments, anger, frustration- you name it.
     What if we walked out the door and were truly and absolutely able to leave, and turn our attention fully to home and family and pets and dinner and relaxation- to the evening- free from worry, and free from care? What if we could really leave the baggage of our hard work at the office? Wouldn't it be grand? What if we were able to be present and content and unburdened wherever we are?
     Let's try it. Let's make an effort to stop carrying our stuff back and forth. Let's leave the office at the office and leave home at home, and not keep mixing them up and confusing all of our issues.

When I leave work, I leave it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

NORMAL?

     What is "normal?" Whatever we're used to, I suppose; whatever we have become conditioned to. We can normalize anything: chaos, clutter, freedom, imprisonment, fear, love, optimism, negativity. Let's consider what strangeness and dysfunction we have normalized in our lives, both historically and in the now. What things do we do simply because we have always done them, without ever asking why? And what do we believe and act out and justify just because? 
     We have honesty at our disposal, and choices. Let's make the decision to choose consciously what's "normal" for us, and with our eye towards ever better and better health.

I consider all of the dysfunction in my life that I have normalized, and I'm willing to make different choices to experience better living.

Friday, December 14, 2012

RUTS

     Once we have mastered something, it loses a bit of its appeal. It is then that we must create new challenge or move on. I believe it's the drive of humanity to continually grow and stretch and reach for new heights. I know that's what drives me. There's always another level, and another step, sometimes along the path we are on, and sometimes striking out on an entirely fresh course.
     To stick in a rut is to miss adventure and intrigue. Ruts are comfortable for a time, but eventually they take us in a direction we no longer want to go.

If I am stuck in a rut, I am willing to climb out and look around. I am willing to try something different for the sake of my own evolution.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SURRENDER

     To surrender is to stop fighting and fretting and battling everything we face. It's freedom from angst and freedom from the fierce and insistant desire to contol outcomes and people. To surrender is to let be what is. It's putting down our guns and ammunition and admitting that we can't win at the crazy game we're playing. No matter how we force our will and muscle and power and agenda, we can't ever make things happen our way absolutely. Life isn't like that. It's all about the unknown and the unforseen and the uncontrollable.

I am willing to stop fighting everything and everybody. I am willing to let be what is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

NO BIG DEAL

     We make our obligations and responsibilities out to be arduous. We consider them to be largely unwanted, but necessary, requiring an extreme effort on our part. They feel like weight on our backs-a burden. We make them big in our minds, and difficult to face. But they need not be. Life is made up of many small happenings far more than it is made up of big deals.
     So much more than we acknowledge is unimportant and non-essential. All we really have to do is show up for life and do the best we can with what's in front of us. And remember that we are not alone, and that there's some kind of beauty in everything, and that it's possible to enjoy the whole ride.

Lots of what I think is a big deal is not. I let go of my agenda and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GRATITUDE

     It's so easy- too easy almost- to take things for granted; exceptional things like our good health and our best friends, our spouses and children, our siblings and parents, our income. We are flippant and cavalier, as if there are assurances, as if we have some kind of guarantee.
     And sadly, it often takes a loss of some kind to wake us up and make us appreciative. Anything and everything can be stripped from us in a split second. What we bank on is tenuous as a spider's web. The only answer for the fragility of our lives is gratitude, gratitude here and now and every moment of every day.

I take nothing for granted. I appreciate what I have.

Monday, December 10, 2012

ACCEPTING THE WHOLE SELF

     I have been resisting myself- my feelings and my physical limitations, my have-to mentality, my need to keep moving, and my moods. It's a bewildering thing to realize- that I am at war with myself; that I have been angry with my body for its aches and pains, for having a cold, for headaches and cramps and whatever the day might serve up. It's ridiculous. It makes me all out of whack.
     I need to come into integrity with myself, to accept all of me as me. I am not only lofty thoughts and high spiritual experiences. I am base and human, in need of sleep and tenderness. I require healing and hot showers, and an occasional medical solution. I cannot push on without stopping and expect my body to rally at a break-neck pace forever. I need rest and recovery and a whole lot of appreciation for the totality of who I am. We all do.
     Let's accept our whole selves, and be kind and loving with our ailments.

I am grateful for my physical discomforts. They remind me that I am body as much as spirit, and in need of ongoing physical care.

Friday, December 7, 2012

THE MOTIONS

     Some days are better than others. Some days we are on top of our game and some days we would do better to crawl under a rock. We feel the need to retreat from the world and spend a day in our pajamas and lick our wounds... but our responsibilities call us to action, and we have to keep on, and keep on, and keep on. And though we may resist it, the truth is, that taking care of all that we have to take care of, and going through the motions that we have to go through, is ultimately the very thing that keeps us afloat.

I am grateful for the motions of my life. They keep me going against all odds.
    

Thursday, December 6, 2012

LIFE'S SAVING GRACE

     The one certainty of life is that it goes on, no matter what, and carries us with us. Some days we are willing to go with the flow and enjoy the ride, and some days we dig in our heels with angst and dismay. But life carries us anyway. It doesn't care that we resist. It carries us through difficulties and past hardship and across time. Life always seems to find a way to bless us in the end.

I trust in the far side of sickness and emotional storms. I recover eventually, and feel grateful to be alive and well.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

RESISTING THE NEW

     Why do we resist what's new? Even if the old is worn out and not working? Maybe because we are comfortable with the old and we know what to expect. We know how to play our angle and we can speculate accurately about reactions and outcomes. We are settled in and comfortable. We have made our peace.
    With new people and new situations we are off balance and unsure. But rather than admit our fears and uncertainties we prefer to spew hostility. We pre-judge. We condemn in advance. But we needn't. Let's look for the best in all that comes our way, and keep an open mind. Let's allow for opportunity and growth and evolution. Everything comes to teach us a lesson.

I feel resistance when facing something new in my life and let it go. I open with curiosity to whatever is there.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ADMITTING LIMITATIONS

     It's hard for me to admit that I have limitations. I believe in all possibility and I have a sense of spiritual greatness within, but I have physical, human realities that hold me back, and keep me in check. I get tired. I get sore. I am susceptible to changing hormones and colds and less than a good night of sleep. I feel fear and doubt. I have unhealthy patterns of belief.
     And yet, I have moments where I can glimpse what's beyond the realm of what I can see, and it's beautiful and unlimited and I want it all the time. But I have to work within the parameters of daily living, and time constraints, and physical stopping points, and most of the time, that's ok. There's beauty in all of that too.
     Where I get in trouble is when the endless possibilities and the short term realities clash like titans inside of me, and I become torn and conflicted emotionally, not understanding how the two can share the same space. I think it has to be one or the other. But it doesn't, and it isn't. It's both and all. It's side by side and everything matters, and there's a time and a place and a reason for all of it, even if I don't always understand.

I trust that everything I feel can coexist peacefully within me, and all of it together makes me who I am.

Monday, December 3, 2012

CONTROL FREAK

     I make myself sick trying to control things. I resist what I don't want and what I don't like as if my sheer resistance will change the facts. But my resistance only makes me edgy and irritable and rigid all over. It is a fine art to know when to surrender and when to exert my will. And the truth is, even when it's the right thing to stand up and make an effort and make a change, I cannot do it with force and angst. Grace must be the underlying principle, if I want to be calm on the inside. I get too attached to outcomes and way too intense.
     If something is meant to be, I believe it will happen, whether I come at it like a dog at the bone or a bubbling creek; and if something is not meant to be, no amount of my urging and pushing and forcing and stressing will make it happen any sooner or any way at all. So I can let go and ease up. I can trust the path and keep following my inclinations, and do a little bit stress-free, and then a little bit more.

I am tired of holding on to everything so tightly. I am willing to loosen my grip.