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Thursday, February 28, 2013

ENDLESS BLESSING

     I am grateful for the cozy feeling of thick socks. I am grateful for walks and the way it feels to stretch. I am grateful for bananas and eggs and toast and molasses and pancakes. I am grateful for biscuits. I am grateful for fresh mornings and the color of dusk; for rain and snow and sunshine; for gentle breezes and possibility and hope. I am grateful for books and wood-smoke and candle-light. I am grateful for sleep, and for waking up.
     One thing leads to another. My gratitude can start anywhere and grow from there. And as it grows, it fills me with good feelings. So it's worth it to feel grateful, and to acknowledge the endless blessings that we have in spades.

I am grateful for my blessings.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MUD PUDDLES

     When we throw rocks in a deep puddle, it clouds the water. Muck and dirt get stirred up. And the only thing that will settle it and clear the water again is time and patience and trust in the return of all things to their proper place. And sometimes it takes longer than others to get clear again.... so let's think carefully before we go stirring up puddles.

I consider the consequences before I throw stones.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PLAYING FOR THE TEAM

     Groups of people do not form without generating factions: the loud, the quiet, the controllers, the clowns. And sadly, one faction usually becomes intolerant of the others and imposes judgment and negativity and criticism until divisions arise. Peoples' darkness is triggered and defenses abound. And what could be simple and fun and interesting and diverse all too easily becomes contentious and sour.
     Let's not let it. Let's aim for the highest good for the greatest number possible, and be gracious good sports. Let's learn to play for the team.

I am willing to put my judgments aside and be a team player.

Monday, February 25, 2013

NATURAL LAW

     Everything is always in flux including our perception of time, and what constitutes right behavior, and the truth. There are very few absolutes in life. Nothing is always and forever hard and fast and black or white. There is always another side, another angle, and another way to play it.
     And yet, we tend to think in absolutes, about the things we would "never" do, and our beliefs, and our loyalties. But if we are honest, we too, are as fickle and changeable as the tides, and something unexpected could happen at any time to rock our world and change our perception irrevocably. We are part of nature, and as such, are subject to its laws.

I am changeable and mysterious and vast. I may not be as predictable as I think I am.

Friday, February 22, 2013

RAINY DAYS

     Rainy days have their own kind of greatness. They add comfort to being indoors and out of the weather. They slow us down and make us change our plans so that we remain flexible and creative. They grow things and cleanse things, and the raindrops sound cozy pattering on our rooftops and windowpanes.
     Rain is its own kind of healing. Let's remember to welcome it whenever it comes.

I remember to enjoy the rain.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

THE POWER OF JUSTIFICATIONS

     What misbehaviors and insanity do we justify to ourselves? We make things ok that are not completely ok. We legitimize what's slippery and sloppy and less than our honorable best. But if we are out of integrity with ourselves, we will experience ever-increasing levels of discomfort. If we want happiness and satisfaction in life, we have to be honest about our justifications, and we have to be willing to come clean. We can fool ourselves for a bit, but not forever. We always have to come clean and get straight in the end.

I stop kidding myself and get honest. I drop my justifications and come clean with life.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BEING HUMAN

     Being human is hard work, with all of our sensitivities and ailments, our grand emotions, our egos and manipulations, our resentments and tears and our need for sleep and food; our hunger for love. In some ways, we are a pitiable lot.
     But we also have our joy and glory, our sensibilities and laughter and hope. We have potential and fine dining and soft sheets and bodies that move and feel and stretch... 
     We are a mix of love and fear, of human desperation and high spiritual aims. And maybe, ultimately, it's the mix in us that makes us so wonderful and beautiful. Maybe it's the mix that keeps us going and carries us forth.

I accept and appreciate the mix of me. I appreciate who I am, and who I am not.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

RESISTING PAIN

     We expect to be pain free and happy forever, but why do we expect that? Our lives are riddled with first one thing and then another. Pain and difficulty of some sort is the standard fare, yet we resist it. We complain and feel that life is unfair, that we have been singled out, that others must surely have all of the things that we do not.
     If we could accept to our cores that it's ok to feel pain of all kinds, whether it be emotional, physical, spiritual, or mental, then perhaps we would not feel it so acutely as something "wrong" and "amiss." Perhaps, then, we could better take it in stride as something to simply experience like all the rest of our experiences- no better and no worse- just a natural part of our living situation.

I stop resisting my pain and let it be.

Monday, February 18, 2013

BEING RESPONSIVE INSTEAD OF REACTIVE

     It's hard not to get defensive when we are verbally attacked, especially when we don't see it coming. We feel side-swiped, lamb-basted, knocked off kilter. It's hard not to react with vigor, and maybe sometimes, that's exactly what we should do, but usually, such a reaction only serves to escalate the situation.
     Better to register our internal alarm and remain calm on top if we can- to say nothing and do nothing until we have had a chance to understand what is really being said. Sometimes, lots of times, an attack has nothing to do with us at all, and it's simply someone lashing out recklessly because of their own consuming fear.

When I feel attacked in life, I have the patience to cool down and consider the real reality before I respond.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE

     In certain situations and with certain people, whatever we do, whatever Herculean effort, whatever labor of love and pure intent... is not enough- is never enough. No matter what we do or how we approach it, we fall short. With certain people and in certain situations we will always fall short. That's just the way it is.
     If we can accept that fact, we needn't let it break our hearts. We can give what we have to give as long as we are willing to give it, and then let go- with love and compassion. We can detach. That's what I know and what I've always heard. But I'm not so good at it really. I seem to care too much in a dysfunctional sort of way. I suppose, like all of us, I am a work in progress.

I can't please everyone, even if I want to, so I am willing to give what I can, and then surrender the rest.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

OLD AND FAITHFUL

     I have an old pick-up truck that has happy energy. It hums along down the road- not speedy- not righteously powerful- but steady and just right in its own way. It has old knobs and old dials and a door that doesn't lock, but it starts, and it runs, and it cruises me up and down the road.
     Slick and new is not always best. The old and faithful has its own kind of soul.

I'm grateful for the things in my life that are old and reliable and steady. They add richness and depth to my journey.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WINTER SUN

     The winter sun is healing. Its warmth and brightness soaking into us and splashing through windows is delicious. Winter sun-bathing is good medicine and good feeling and good times. It's a sweetness and a tenderness in our otherwise cold experience.

I love and appreciate the winter sun!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

TRIGGERS

     Our perspective on life reflects our experience. We are scared by things that trigger our childhood fear, and have low or high expectations of ourselves and other people in direct proportion to how we have been happily surprised or disappointed in the past.
     If we recognize this fact, we can have compassion for ourselves as we react to circumstances in the way our history would predict. And we can change our patterns and the way we see things through our awareness and with practice, and more practice.
     Before we can be the best that we can be, we have to understand why we do the things we do, and all of the ways that we have been conditioned to cope.

I learn about the way I am by the things that trigger me, and with compassion, and patience, I learn to be less reactive.

Monday, February 11, 2013

THE LIMITS OF POTENTIAL

     Particularly if we are visionary types, it's easy to fall in love with someone's potential. We can see their strengths, better than they can, and we appreciate all of their special gifts and talents. We feel certain that they will blossom and thrive exactly as we expect them to under the umbrella of our loving attention.
     And when they do not, we feel let down. But for whatever reason, not eveyone is capable of reaching their potential, or has any desire to do so. We would do better to fall in love with people as they are and where they stand, in whatever state of self-realization that we find them. If they are awake, or beginning to wake up, then the will likely continue on the awakening path, and if they are unconscious, well then, that's where they are.

I accept people as they are and do not expect them to change in the way that suits me best.

Friday, February 8, 2013

LITTLE BITS ADD UP

     Little bits of effort every day in the right direction become big life changes over time. We get stronger and wiser and sober and kinder one day at a time. We change our habits. We change our thinking. We change our behavior. Like quarters collected in a jar, our daily efforts add up.
     So let's be sure we're moving in the direction we want to go- toward the light, and not away form it. Let's be sure that our small daily actions carry us forward in the direction of our dreams.

Little choices every day have big consequences over time. Understanding this, I choose with care.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

RECLAIMING OUR POWER

     When we finally reclaim our power from those to whom we have erroneously handed it over, it's like unveiling the Wizard of Oz behind his curtain. We have made someone, or a group of someones, bigger than they are. We have lived in fear of them, of getting in trouble, of not being liked, or approved of, or whatever it is.
     But we are more powerful than we realize, and we are not meant to crawl and beg. We must learn to stand on our own feet and speak our truth. And if our truth is unpopular, well then, so be it. Far better to be unpopular than to live under the daily lash of self-betrayal.

I hold my power and honor my truth.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

THE LESSONS OF PAIN

     It is from pain that I am made to pay attention, to question, to consider, and to look. It's my warning system and my out-of-balance alarm clock. It wakes me up.
     Without pain, I am blind to what needs to be changed in my life. Pain points me in the right direction and shows me where to go and what to do next- if I am honest- if I am not a victim- and if I am willing to be personally responsible.

I let pain be my teacher.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

WE ALL HAVE OUR TURN

     When I hear of people's suffering, I want to fix it. I want to magically erase their pain and hardship. I want to make it all better. And I carry a bit of guilt around because I am not able to do this. Which I recognize as insanity, but I carry the guilt nonetheless.
     It's an extension of my wanting to control things, I think, and my wanting to manage all of the unpleasantness in my world. It's hard for me to enjoy my own feeling-good-ness if anyone around me is feeling less than good. So I take on everyone's stuff. I want to carry it so that they don't have to, as if I can do that and still enjoy myself.... But that, of course, is not true, so instead of relieving other people, when I take on their stuff as my own to bear, they don't feel any better, and neither do I.
     I suppose, if I look at it the right way, it's got to be ok to feel great when I feel great, because the truth is that feeling great doesn't last... not for any of us. The truth is that we all have our turn in the barrel.

It's not my job to fix other people. Life is about sharing the ups and downs that we all experience.

Monday, February 4, 2013

APPRECIATING OUR BODIES

     As a general rule, I think we under appreciate our bodies. We are cavalier about our health, our breath, and our moving parts. We speak cruelly about our physical selves. We forget to honor all that is beautiful and functional and strong in us, and we gripe about our imperfections instead. We pick ourselves apart.
     Let's not! Let's celebrate the miraculous wonder of our bodies and treat them with kindness and care. Let's say thank you every day for all of the physical aspects of ourselves that we so easily and readily take for granted.

I appreciate my miraculous body and stop whining about my little aches and pains.

Friday, February 1, 2013

WORRYING

     We try to control things that we don't understand by worrying about them. If we consider every possibility, surely we will be prepared for any and all outcomes. We steel ourselves in advance, attempting to protect ourselves from having to flail about in uncertainty for even a moment, when whatever is going to happen happens. We have thought of it, and have a plan prepared...
     And yet... no matter how much we worry, it always seems to be the one thing we have not considered that actually happens.... and somehow we end up surviving nonetheless.

I stop worrying and trust life to deliver me up exactly what I need.