Things are not always as they seem, and our vision is so much more limited than we realize. We think we are seeing things clearly and understanding them properly, but so often, we are not, and it takes a humbling moment to properly perceive the real view.
I realize that more often than not, there is a broader view than I can initially appreciate.
"The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings."
~ Ralph Blum ~
Sometimes the past bubbles up in a soothing kind of way, nostalgically, and brings comforting memories of times gone by; and sometimes it rears up with fangs. I prefer the former, but find that the latter is a helpful, if sometimes painful, tool to show me which lessons I have forgotten that I already learned.
I accept that the past rises up to sooth me, or teach me, and either way, I make sure to pay attention.
"Wishing good, merely, is a lukewarm charity; but doing good is divine."
~ James Lendall Basford ~
If we are loving, authentic, and humble enough to ask for help, help will come. The universe rallies around us when we are straightforward and sincere- no agenda, no pretense- just a simple request for whatever we need. People want to help. We all like to feel like we are contributing and making a difference, so what better way to provide that feeling for others than by allowing them to make a difference for us?
In so many ways, living takes courage. Just to get up in the morning and keep on, in spite of everything overwhelming and unknown in our world requires a certain fortitude, a certain willingness, and a certain faith.
And what is courage really, but faith? Faith that we will be carried through difficulty, comforted when no comfort seems possible, and survive in spite of daunting odds. Let's step into the future with courage. Let's step up and claim our divine right to grow the seeds that have been planted in us. With courage, let's rise, and shine. Let's be brave and bold and go forward, and have faith.
Sometimes we just need to take a day or an hour or 5 minutes to stop everything and be still- to listen and breathe and recover from all of the noise and distraction of life. We need periods of pause and reflection, silence and centering, restoration and ease.
I take the edge off every once in a while and sit quietly breathing.
"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
~ Henry Ward Beecher ~
I am grateful to live in America, grateful for the fact that my children are grown-up and mostly healthy, for the coming fall, open communication, the feeling of compassion, and love in my heart. I'm grateful for clean clothes, iced coffee, peaches, and the full moon. Gratitude reflects our blessings and appropriately acknowledges them, and the list is generally too long to name; but no matter what, it always starts and ends with the fact that I am alive.
"We are like the little branch that quivers during a storm, doubting our strength and forgetting we are the tree- deeply rooted to withstand all of life's upheavals."
~ Dodinsky ~
I'm not sure of the purpose that self-doubt serves, but I think it has one, because it keeps popping up. On the one hand, I know that I have value and feel pretty secure in that, and on the other, I have a kind of disbelief that I have any value at all.
The truth, I suppose, is that I'm good at some things and not so good at others, but my real value is not in what I do necessarily, but in who I am, and my particular perspective. That's what I have to offer and that's what I have to share- my testimony, my experience, and what I've learned. Some may benefit from my offerings and others may not; all is as it should be, and self-doubt doesn't really need to play into it at all unless I'm trying to please everyone.
All I can do on any given day is be willing to show up and share authentically from the heart, with integrity, compassion, and unconditional love.
I needn't be perfect and needn't please everyone. I need only be me. That's where my true value lies.
What if questions generally create a dust-storm of thinking and don't solve much. Whatever happens or doesn't happen, we'll deal with it, process it, learn from it, and grow; so no fear is necessary and no fear is helpful, and no fear is ever and always the best approach.
"Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way."
~ Florence Scovel Shinn ~
Our gut is a good messenger, and it tells us what we need to know. But so often, we shut it down, push it back, and defy it boldly with our powers of logic and justification. And by doing this, we pay a price. How often have we had to admit that we knew better moments, days, weeks or years after the fact?
Everyone wants to sell us something. They angle in innocently enough with promises of unbridled generosity, freebies galore, and a whole lot of something for nothing, but that's not an equation that adds up. Interaction in life is the exchange of one thing for another. That's a spiritual law, and we would do best to remember that before we enter into business dealings of any kind. We better be certain that we want further engagement than what's initially offered because that's what's coming, and what's expected, and what's ultimately the reasonable and fair trade.
When dealing with business of all kinds I practice discernment, and remember the spiritual principle of equal exchange.
"Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today."
~ Malcom X ~
Compassion requires of us that we be gentle and loving, that we approach others with respect and do not thrust ourselves into their personal and emotional space, or enter into their world with too much intensity. We must be quiet and non-imposing, present, and reflective; willing to share whatever is going on rather than trying to fix it, or discount it, or give it some kind of positive Pollyanna spin.
I respect the integrity of other people's emotions and need for personal space, and do not tread all over them with my big ideas and strong desires.
"When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?"
~ Chuck Palahniuk ~
Motivating people with scare tactics feels cheap to me. The you-better-do-this-or-else approach lacks faith and open-mindedness. There are multiple ways to go about things, and not one "right" way, but many. So believing in people and trusting in them to find their way beyond our limited vision for them is the real gift we have to give, and loving encouragement goes much farther than threats.
What a pleasure to be alive- to be bursting with ideas and full of energy, amped up, and enjoying the progressive steps forward into all possibility, intuitive innovation, and the manifestation of our sweetest dreams!
I claim my potential and infuse my vision with life.
It makes us feel good to be of service to others- to be helpful and share ideas and make suggestions, so why do we hesitate to ask when we need help? It's as if we are afraid we will be swallowed up somehow, or become irreparably obligated in a weighty, burdensome kind of way; but it's far more likely that we will simply get... help.
I make things into bigger deals than they are, and I do it with abandon and enthusiasm. I magnify the import of meetings and meanings and the metering out of praise, when the only one they really matter to is me.
I don't blow things out of proportion, but stay cool, and calm and appreciate them exactly as they are.
I used to believe that there was artistic value in things that are obscure and difficult to understand, including people, but I have amended my belief. The purest art, it seems to me these days, lacks pretense of any kind and is clearly accessible, and provocative- yes- but not confusing or convoluted.
In a complex technological world of massive inner-connectivity, social posturing, jockeying for position everywhere we turn, and brains that are assaulted daily with information overload, there is great value in what is straightforward, simple, and easy to understand.
Answers to all of the questions we have are inside us, but we have to quiet the noise and distraction enough to hear and to know. The opinions of others, the powers of justification and denial, our own self-doubt, and critical voices in our heads from our past create a cacophony of chaos around our decision making abilities, but as soon as we make them all hush, the truth of our inner knowing is revealed. And it comes like a breath of fresh air, and with a feeling of deep relief.
I love these pre-fall days of light. It's too warm still to really be fall yet, but it's in the air, lurking. There's a hint of it in the lengthening shadows and the crisper morning air, and it's a whole new lease on life: refreshment, beauty, and promise just ahead.
I am aware of the changing light and appreciate the transitioning season.
Boundaries are healthy for good living, but are not meant to fortress us in, or be solid brick walls. In dealing with human beings, they need to be more mutable than that, and revisited and renewed frequently. We change. Others change. Life softens us, or hardens us, depending, and forgiveness and love are ever evolving features of a conscious life.
I keep my boundaries up but allow them to be fluid and dynamic in order to accommodate the changing currents of energy and of life.