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Thursday, January 31, 2013

FROZEN TURKEY

     The other day, we forcefully defrosted a frozen turkey so that we could roast it and have it for dinner. We bathed it in scalding hot water, but it wasn't happening fast enough for us. We clawed at the bag of giblets, frozen solid in the chest cavity. We used pliers and force and more scalding water, and finally got the thing soft enough to cook.
     I basted it with care while it was roasting, but my care was too late. The bird was tough eating and indigestible. After the way we abused it, how could we realistically expect anything else?

I consider the manner in which I approach things. If I want loving kindness, that's what I better be handing out.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

EVER PRESENT SUN

     Even when the sun is blocked by clouds, it's still there, behind them. The warmth, the light, and the comfort of the sun is ever-present, but sometimes we can't see it, and we can't feel it, and begin to doubt it's there at all. We are experiencing hail and wind, or snow, or rain, or thick cloudiness.
     But the muck always clears eventually, and the sun bursts forth yet again, cheerful as ever, smiling, and shining bright. We welcome it gladly, but don't always recognize that it was there all along- blocked- but present nonetheless, and giving us energy and daylight all the same.

Even when it's stormy, I remember that the sun is there behind the clouds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SURRENDERING OUR AGENDA

     Sometimes we want people to do things so that we will feel better. We want them to make the decision to see things our way and to do what we suggest, what sits right with us, and what seems fitting from our perspective.
     But they have a perspective and reasoning of their own, and we are meant to respect their choices even if we don't necessarily agree with them. It's a mistake to force our will and make ourselves right and make them wrong. We all have our lessons. Let's surrender the agenda we have for other people and trust them to follow their own right path.

I don't impose my will on others. I let them live their lessons, just as I must live mine. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

GETTING THERE ALREADY

     So often we want to skip the journey and arrive already. We want to be in the next room before we get there. I believe our desire to get ahead of ourselves may have more to do with fear than with actual impatience. Maybe we're not sure we can do what's being asked of us. We are afraid to get found out. We are afraid to fail. We are afraid to miss the deadline, miss the mark, make a mistake. We want to be done so that we can be happy. We want to be done so that we can relax.
     But as one thing passes away, something else comes to take its place, and it's always something on our plates, and always something challenging for us to do. And when we are finally and completely "done" for good, the game is over. So we better find a way to enjoy it while it lasts.
    
I don't have to be afraid. I trust myself to do the best I can.

Friday, January 25, 2013

TIME

     I have turned time into an enemy. I am consumed by the feeling that there is not enough of it- not enough for what I have to do and what I want to do and the achievement of all of my dreams; not enough time with my husband and time with my children; not enough time alone; not enough time to relax, to sleep, to be with friends, to shop, to create, to do nothing. There is not enough unstructured time; not enough time for paperwork and bills, for walks with the dog and soaks in the tub.
     I have created a fantasy of lack. I want abundance in my life and actively demonstrate scarcity. Me of little faith. Whatever is is enough. I have time for everything if I will only stop dictating the terms of my life that are not mine to dictate. Let me do what is before me with good nature and care. Let me stop when I am tired or hungry or out of steam. I needn't insist on squishing my life into time pressurized compartments. I am strangling my hours with demands and wonder why I feel suffocated.

I stop trying to squish things into certain shapes to fit my tight schedule.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

WHAT I BELIEVE

     I believe that things happen for a reason, and that everything that happens is for my own, or someone else's, spiritual growth and evolution. I believe in the power of love, and in kindness and courtesy. I believe in compassion and creative genius, in courage and good clean living.
     I believe in redemption and forgiveness and the freedom of choice. I believe in changing my mind and changing my habits; in changing my perspective. I believe in beauty and healing. I believe in cycles and the ever-changing light. And what I believe sustains me, and requires a considerable amount of routine revision. I am willing to update my belief system regularly in order to keep it fresh.

I honestly consider whether my beliefs are outworn, and if they are, I'm willing to consider anew.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

RUSHING

     There is no benefit to rushing, and yet, how much of our lives do we spend that way? We hurry up so we can wait. We speed through things and have to go back and re-do them. We miss the experience, whatever it may be, by pushing through it. Instead of learning whatever we're supposed to learn and enjoying the unfolding development, we create angst and stress and resistance because we are not willing to put in the time to do it right.
     Let's bring awareness to all of the ways we rush through our lives and feel dis-satisfied. Let's slow down and trust time: that there's enough of it, that we'll get done what we need to get done, and that it's possible to enjoy every step and stumble along the way.

Rushing doesn't give me more time. It ruins the time I have. I am willing to slow down.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

OVER-REGULATED

     Our world is over-regulated. Everywhere we turn we are blocked by rules and by those we are dealing with trying to cover their tracks in the event of any and all contingencies. No wonder we worry and fret. Our culture models the behavior.
     But regulations don't allow for exceptions, and we are all somewhat exceptional. We are sensitive, creative, and uniquely ourselves. In order to get along, I guess we have to find a way to honor our freedom within the structure of regulations. We can thrive and be happy no matter what. It's all in the way we look at it, and in what we allow ourselves to see.

I assert my creativity and freedom in the way I live my life, and in spite of all the rules and regulations that have the potential to squash me down.

Monday, January 21, 2013

LISTENING

     We can help people by listening to them. Just to listen, without judgment, without expectation, and with compassion and love, is a great gift. Emotions that are trapped inside, and fears, and doubts and hopes and guilt... they all spill out. And relief and restoration follow their release. Listening is an under-utilized act of love. It fixes what's broken and opens what's been locked shut.

I don't have to share my two cents about everything. I listen to others quietly, without an agenda, and from the heart.

Friday, January 18, 2013

POINTS OF VIEW

     Everybody has an opinion and a point-of-view, and all of the different perspectives in the world clash against each other like waves on sharp rocks. Spray fumes out in all directions, and feelings often get hurt. We are quick to express our position, but not nearly as quick to try and understand the other side.
     Let's take the time and make the effort, even if we don't agree. Let's be willing to listen and communicate our own feelings, and to compromise where necessary and be willing to change our mind if there's a better way to see things.

I do not back myself into corners. I always allow for the possibility that I might want to change my point-of-view.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ROUND TWO

     It's frustrating to be done with something and moved on from it emotionally and then to have it bubble up again and have to be re-visited. It's disconcerting. We thought we had it handled. It was neatly put away, shelved, happily forgotten.
     And yet, it's come back and sits in front of us demanding a new round of time and attention. It has more to teach us, and even if we don't particularly want the lesson, we have more to learn. And the only way to get through it is to get through it- perhaps more carefully than before- and to hope that this time, when we put it away, it will stay where we put it.

I accept that even if I am done with something or someone, they may not be done with me, and I have to take the time it takes to properly and completely close the door.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

TRUSTING THE PATH

     There is a flowing energy to living life and when we fill up with fear we stop the flow. Let's not. Let's allow for the possibility of goodness and things working out. Let's relax and let go a little bit. Let's stop thinking ourselves into tension and future catastrophe. Let's accept that all must be as it should be, even if we don't understand. There is likely some bigger plan than our bite sized agendas and manipulations. Let's trust in the path even if we can't see where it's headed.

I trust in the unfolding process of my life.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

GETTING RIGHT WITH OURSELVES

     Nobody can make something all right for us if it does not fundamentally feel all right, no matter how willing they may be to justify our situation for us, and to make it appear to be ok. If it's not ok for us, on the inside, then the only thing that will make it be ok is our absolute honesty followed by some sort of action. We have to do something in order to change the way the facts are sitting on the inside.

I don't look to others to justify something for me that I know to be wrong. I get honest and do whatever I have to do.

Monday, January 14, 2013

WHY NOT?

    We often ask, "Why me? Why this now? Why the pain? The hardsiship? The challenge? The surprise?" But perhaps the better question would be to ask, "Why not?" Life is a grand adventure. Let's make a daily decision to enjoy the ride.

I stop questioning and fretting and wanting to understand. I am willing to welcome whatever comes.

Friday, January 11, 2013

EVER NEW

   Every cell in the body is made new on a regular basis. Whether we know it or not, we are in constant physical flux. Depending on our habits, we are either improving our health, or destroying it. We choose every day, and then we choose again. Even the smallest change can alter our life experience. So the question is, what do we choose?

I choose health and well-being, positive living, and ever-expanding evolution in the direction of the light.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

IT CAME TO PASS

     The days are getting longer already and winter is passing away. I used to think a year was an eternity, that a summer was forever, and that whatever was happening was here to stay. But nothing stays in the end. Everything passes. Days, weeks, months, years- in a flash, they are gone.
     The tragedy is that we spend so much of our time wanting to get to the other side of things. We can't wait for the future to come and relieve us of our present-day burdens. We can't wait until this happens or that happens- until we are grown up, married, parents, grandparents, retired, famous, whatever it may be. We miss our moments right here and right now longing for what is yet to come.

I enjoy the taste and the texture of this day. It's one-of-a-kind.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

TRUSTING OURSELVES

      We hesitate to trust ourselves. We think we will make a mess of things unless we follow some standardized set of "rules" suggested by "experts." We follow diets and recipes and exercise regimens fearfully, as if we can blow it all if we should veer off course even a little bit. We are taught to doubt our instincts and second-guess our inclinations.
     But the truth is that we know more than we think we do about what suits us, about what to eat and what not to eat to maintain our best weight, about what exercises serve us and which ones do not, and about dangerous relationships and reachable dreams. If we're honest, we know. And truthfully, the best service that any teacher anywhere can do for us is to lead us right back to ourselves.

I can trust my intuitive knowing. I don't have to consult with experts every time I make  a move. 
    

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

REFRESHMENT

     To have a dark night of the soul is not the worst thing. Like most darkness, it unexpectedly turns out to be a kind of blessing in the end. Light dawns and life is fresh and new, and more beautiful than ever. As time carries us onward, we are restored again and again and again.

I am grateful for the blessings on the far side of pain.

Monday, January 7, 2013

PEACE WITHIN

     If I can find a way to be ok with whatever is happening around me; if I can carry peace inside, and not fight against circumstances such as they are; if I can let people be who they are and do what they do; if I can take care of myself by not over-eating, getting some exercise, sleeping enough, and accepting life as it comes, then I can feel good. And it's worth it. I'm worth it. We're all worth it!
     Let's find a way to keep our peace.

I carry my peace within me wherever I go.

Friday, January 4, 2013

LESS IS MORE

     I over-complicate most things and it's exhausting. I want to simplify my life and my expectations and daily experience. I do too much and forget to look around and enjoy each moment. So I am going to look around today and do a little bit less than usual. I am willing to take off the pressure. I am willing to do less in order to feel better. After all, life is not some great endurance run. It's a gentle gift and a daily blessing, and the proper response to it is celebration and appreciation, not stress and burden and fear.

I slow down and enjoy my life.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RIGHT SIZED

     The ocean and a fire-pit are equally healing. The sound of them soothes the nerves- rolling, crashing on the beach, snapping into the air, humming steadily... The constant movement of water and flickering light restores us to our right size in the scope of things.
     We think we are so much bigger than we are, and that all of our plans and designs make such a difference. But they don't really; not by fire standards, or oceans. We are made small by Nature, and that's a good thing. It heals us, and relieves us of the burden and the need to be so very much in charge.

It's a comfort to be part of the whole, and to know that my part is equal to any, but to recognize that I am not the boss of everything.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

LETTING GO

     I have a perfect and accurate read of my over-all wellness at any time, and the cure for what ails me as well. If I am spinning out of control emotionally or consumed by fear; if I am anxious, worried, stressed-out, obsessed; overwhelmed, desperate, uncertain, feeling like a martyr- whatever it may be- then I am in need of a spiritual adjustment in order to feel better, and the way to get there is through stillness and honesty.
     There's a simple solution, but it's not an easy one. I have to do what I can do in the moment to improve my situation and then let go of everything else. My distress and discomfort come always and absolutely from trying to control things and people and outcomes that I cannot ultimately control. I have to let go to be happy. And then let go some more.

I stop trying to control everything around me and experience the peace of letting go.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

NEW YEARS DAY

     Happy New Year! We stand at the crossroads. We look back and consider where we've been the last twelve months, what has happened and how we've handled it, where we've excelled, where we've been challenged, and what we have learned. We look forward with mixed-emotions. We have hopes and plans. We have secret wants and wishes. We have pocket-fulls of fear. Maybe we set goals. Maybe we write things down. Maybe we are simply relived to be done with 2012 and to have the chance to begin again fresh.
     But no matter what, no matter our plans and designs for the future, all we ever really have is the day we're in. And if we treat it with care, if we do our best to honor ourselves and those we encounter, if we bring awareness to what's going on within us and around us, and are as kind as we can be, and as healthy as we can be, and pure of heart and intention, then what more is there? That is life! That is the question and the answer both, to live the best we can, with love, and compassion, and truth within.

I make plans, but stay in the day, and commit to living sun-up to sun-down, every day, one day at a time.