Choice, Humanity, Inspiration, Love, Soul, Uncategorized

What We Choose is Who We Become

Ernest Holmes says: “We cannot live a choiceless life. Every day, every moment, every second, there is a choice. If it were not so, we would not be individuals”.

A few weeks ago I went to a lecture by don Miguel Ruiz Jr. What resonated most with me was his words around choice. The idea that “where I am right now and who I am right now, is the result of every choice I have ever made.”

We make hundreds of choices every day.  What to wear, what to eat, yes, no, right, left, up, down.  Those are the simple choices, the daily choices.  They shape our day and consequently our lives. We make them without great thought, and yet they create a pattern of living for us. And then ultimately we end up where we are.

Sometimes it looks like a bad choice, something that we wish would have done differently.  But that choice (among all the others) brought us to this moment.  However it looked, it had value.   By knowing that we are the result of our choices we can move forward in a way that accepts personal responsibility and control of how our lives unfold.

When we connect our choices and our Spiritual selves, we make good choices. We make healthy choices and we make choices that ultimately are for the good of humanity.  When we remember to choose from a place of love, of peace and of wanting better for ourselves, then we spread that throughout the world.

All of us have a life that has been filled with choices and that has brought us here to this moment.  We are not here together by chance, but by the choices we made along the way.

And what we do with those connections is our opportunity to help create a world that works for everyone. That is our moment to help spread love, bring peace, to be God and to see God in others. Individually we co create with others to create our reality. If I am living a life of peace and you are living a life of peace, then we multiply peace. Same with love, same with joy.

When we choose to see the good in the world, the world feels it. When we know that every human is a soul longing to be seen, the Universe responds. When collectively we choose to work for a world of peace, love, equality and abundance, life becomes better. When we choose love, the Universe feels it and sends love back so strong it fills our hearts and the hearts of humanity.

We are part of a greater design. As I live my life and you yours, we mesh and become something bigger, something greater than ourselves. We become a force.  We recognize that all of our individual choices have great meaning. We know that together our choices are creating our world.

As Nelson Mandela said “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

Namaste

 

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Blessings, Choice, daily practice, Gratitude, happiness, Inspiration, Uncategorized

My Happy Box

This is my Happiness Box. The plan is to take time on New Years day and remember the things that brought me joy the last year.  It has all kinds of events, moments, thoughts, big things, little things. Basically it is snapshot of the happiness in my life.

2016-09-03-08-07-05My friend is doing this also.  Same plan, filling her box with notes to look at New Years day.  But she has been in a dark place this last couple of months, and the Happiness Box was moved to the side. As dark times do, hers peaked and passed. And she was left to pick up the pieces and move ahead. But the box, still, was moved to the back.

Until one day we were doing something fun and I said “this goes in the Happiness Box. How is yours doing?” And she realized hers was forgotten. So she found it, and wrote a note. One note led to another. She remembered from the summer that brought her happiness. She started filling in the blanks, and life shifted a little bit for her. She started looking for happiness, and found it.

Today we were talking about this and I said “you forgot to be happy”. And that my friends, is the heart of the matter. How often do we forget to be happy?  We get wrapped up in the moment and forget that happiness is a choice too.

There are times in life where happiness is not to found. I have had those times, particularly around deaths. But other losses as well….divorce, foreclosure, job changes, empty nest, lost loves. There is a list of events that happened and I cannot pretend any of that goes in the Happiness Box.

But here is the thing, even within those dark moments there were small glimmers of happiness. Seeing a child laugh, a friends hug, a blue sky, a kind act and on and on. Those glimmers lead us home. Those glimmers are the “don’t you dare give up” support from the Universe. And we have to look for them. We have to court them. And then they come and then they stay.

I can visit the dark but I need to live in the light.  I need balance of seeing both in my life. Having some trouble, sadness or feeling lost teaches me to grow past that.  It teaches me to choose.  It makes me  remember and be grateful for the good in my life.

This is not a lollipop world where everything is wonderful. But having my Happiness Box grounds me to the virtues I want in my life.  It commits to seeking out that which gives me joy.  I physically name my joy and give gratitude.  It is a Spiritual Practice, and it is good.

So whether you make box, write in a journal, post it on social media or sing it to the world, celebrate everything that makes you happy. Because what you call into your life will appear and multiply.  So make that be your joys.

Be Happy

 

 

 

 

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Change, Choice, Courage, friendship, Growth, Relationships, Truth, Uncategorized

Having Hard Conversations

I am with a friend this week and a hard conversation comes up.  If you are in the US you know we having a lot of division regarding the killing of blacks by police. That is a stark statement, but that is what is happening. So people are lining up and taking sides. And we have peacemakers who say #lovematters or #alllivesmatter. But it does seem we called upon to choose a side. That is a problem for me. I know there is good and bad in each segment of the population. I can’t really choose to support one side over another.

But apparently my friend could, as she came down on the side of the police. And she made some racist statements and then ended it by saying “well, I am a bigot” in this offhand manner. I know I was supposed to laugh it off, I know I was supposed to ignore the statement. I know she expected me to support her or at least not call her out. Sigh.

These are the hard conversations, when it is your friend, your family, someone you want to have  a continued relationship with. It is easy online to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are in company of like minded people to stand up for what you believe. It is easy when you are disguised behind a keyboard to stand up for what you believe. It is hard when you are one on one with a friend and you have to say “well I am not a bigot, and this is why”

But I did it. If I am going to present myself as a person who does believe that all lives have value and that we have a problem with racism in our country, then I have to stand up and say that. Am I willing to risk being uncomfortable or offending a friend?  Are my beliefs worth that?  Yes. Am I willing to say I feel differently than you, I believe you are wrong? Well I guess I am.

speak the truth

So we had a conversation and I saw some of where she was coming from.  Her experience with a black person (beyond superficial) was not a good one. It was traumatic for her, and the police were her angels. And from that place she built a belief system on who is right and who is wrong. And the police came out on top.

I know what she went through was hard, and she struggles with it to this day. But I have a different experience. I have a close long term relationship with a black man . I have friends who are black. I am able to hear and see some of their struggles first hand. And I shared that with her. Maybe, just maybe, she saw some common humanity in all of our struggles. Maybe.

But this is what I know. My job is to speak my truth, even when it is uncomfortable. My job is to back up my thoughts with my words. Even when I don’t want to . It is not enough to stay quiet anymore. It is not enough to not “rock the boat”. That is how we got in this mess. It is not about being loud or forcing my ideas and beliefs on someone else.  I can speak respectfully, I can listen to the other side and I can learn from a different point of view.

But I will not be quiet anymore just to keep someone comfortable. I will speak my piece and call out racism, homophobia, misogyny or any other belief that keeps people down. If you are uncomfortable with that, I am not even sorry.  Because it is when we are uncomfortable we know we have work to do.

So speak up,  have those hard conversations. That is how we will make the changes we all want and need in our lives. Stand up for what you believe and do it with Love. Be willing to be the one who opens the conversations. Be Brave.

Namaste

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Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, Relationships, Uncategorized

Letting Life Unfold

I am getting better at this, letting life unfold. But wow, it is hard.

Just like everyone at any given moment in my life, I have a lot of balls in the air. Most are not even related to each other. They are unsettled and undecided.  Who knows how everything is going to shake out. And it is hard for me to not start grabbing the balls and placing them where I want them.  And why shouldn’t I?

Well, for one thing that takes a lot of energy. Moving those balls around, convincing other people this is where they should be. Watching them in case one starts to roll. Feeling responsible that they are all well cared for and in good shape. This is a lot of work. And I am missing the moment and joys of today with all that rushing around.

And then what if the balls I am taking are not even mine? That is important to know, is this mine?  Just because something is in my field of vision does not make it mine. I have to be conscious of that and not take over what belongs to someone else. Here is a little example I have right now. My beloved friend is going through a break up. It is hers. I can be supportive, I can offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen with and a caring heart. But that is it. What they do with it, not my call. The lessons they learn, not mine. So as close as my friend is to me,  I am an observer in this.

Here is another, I am looking for a new position.  I work in an agency that has opportunities within my division and beyond. So I have spread my wings, took the tests and am interviewing in a few different areas. I want to take this ball and move it the way I want it to go. But I cannot see beyond the immediate moment right now, and I need to allow for the bigger picture to unfold. So I just move through it. I take the situations placed before me and do my best. I try to stay in a place of ease and grace. I stay with the knowledge that all of this leads me to my good and I need not rearrange the balls. Let life unfold.

Relationships…..this is where I really want to push. And it is the one area that I need to use the most restraint. Because really, a job, housing, a purchase, a decision on education or travel, that is all about me. And if I screw it up, I am the one who gets the lessons. But relationships, I am not in control here. I do not get to decide how someone reacts, what they want, and how they show up in my life. But if I can let life unfold the relationship, in whatever form it takes, it will be authentic. And that is what I truly want.

“As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way.”

Marianne Williamson

I do have to be responsible and accountable. I can’t just do nothing. I have to be an active participant in my life .I set the context for what I want in my life and I let it unfold.  I have keep my eyes and my heart open and act accordingly. But I don’t need to be stressed or worried. I can remember this is not all on me, it is me with God.

So I am going to sit back and let life lead the way. I am going to stay in a place of trust that all good comes my way and I need not push it. Life is to be enjoyed and there are wonders around every corner.  This is a wonderful amazing journey and I want to be open to where ever it leads. By following my intuition and my heart, and having trust in the Divine,  I can enjoy the ride.

Namaste

 

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Balance, Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, life, Soul

Drink From Your Glass

Is the glass half full or half empty?  That has been the eternal question.  Your perception of the glass has been used to judge your general attitude for life. Or at least at that moment in your life.

So the other day, someone asked me that question, and I paused for a moment to think. To really give an honest answer and what came up for me, is it doesn’t matter. Because the glass is refillable.  So I can drink from the glass,  I can empty the glass and then fill it back up.

Life isn’t always a full glass.  If the glass is a metaphor for life, well then we need to use the stuff inside.  If we just left  the glass sitting there, full, it would, in time, become stagnant, stale, unused, not enjoyed.  Whether it is love, or money, or energy, or time.  Whatever that glass is representing needs to be used. And then guess what, we can fill it up again.

So I say drink from the glass, use everything you can.  Don’t watch the levels, know there is always more available to you.  In this abundant universe there is always more. Believe in this abundance, believe you can always fill your glass.  You don’t have to hoard your time, love, energy, wealth.  You don’t have to keep your glass full, drink from it, drink from life.  And then fill it back up.

Namaste

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Change, Choice, Daily Life, family, home, intention

Who Is In Control Here? Me or the World?

Who is in control here, me or the world? To some extent the world I live in has set the pace for my life. But really, I chose that. I could live differently.  Right now, I choose to have housing, medical insurance, a vehicle etc. I have to pay for that. So I am employed and that sets much of the tone of my life.  I am expected to show up and put in a days work, 5 days a week. And you know what, I am okay with that. But some people choose differently and maybe I should I look at making a different choice.

I am looking at housing these days (yes again) and wondering can I go even smaller?  Would I be comfortable? Do I really need all this stuff? Right now I pay for storage each month.  To store furniture I don’t have room for. I could almost let it all go, except my dad built this beautiful china cabinet and I could never replace that. Still, I saw this studio apartment for rent and thought, maybe? After all, how much room do I need?  It’s not me that needs the room, but my stuff.  I am attached to my stuff.

And why am I attached to my stuff?  It is not expensive stuff.  Probably the value of all my furnishings, pots and pans, lamps, rugs etc is under 2k, way under. But I look around and here is my history. My mom had that vase, my grandmother had this table. I remember how I struggled to pay off the living room furniture. This picture over my chair came from my moms house,  the clock came from my dad. Over and over, this is my collection of my life. And I am attached to it. I have let go of the people through death or relocation or just the rhythm of my life, but their fingerprints are all around me.

I have seen this over and over, when going through and clearing out someone’s house after they pass. Their memories are everywhere.  What meant nothing to me, had a whole story for them. Why did my grandmother have vials of her fingernails stuffed away in drawers?  We will never know the answer to that.  My moms things…. I knew the stories of much of what was visible. But the handkerchief pressed away in a book or the old worn out pair of shoes she did not let go of, those were her memories. And they left with her.

It is said we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. And yes we do. Sometimes in a way that is global, people fought for freedom, civil right and women’s rights. We would not be where we are without all those who came before us. But personally we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Good or bad, they set the tenor of our lives, at least the beginning.  Some of us became very strong through adversity. Some of us became very strong because we were believed in. We all had family and started out somewhere. And we carry that with us.

But back to the beginning, who is in control here? Do I want to live by default or choice?  I have a history and that is what it is. I cannot rewrite it or change.  But I can choose to bring along with me that which makes my life better. Because it was not all pretty, none of ours is.  I can take my mom’s strength and recognize how hard she fought in a world that seemed unloving to her. I can leave behind her criticism and disapproval of me. I can see just because someone else says I am clumsy (for instance) does not make it so. I can see myself as graceful and make that my truth.

So everyday is a choice and my daily choices add up to my life. I can choose how I see myself and that translates to how I move through the world and how others see me. I set the tone for my day by intention. Each morning I can intend to have a good day, or a peaceful day, or a day I feel strong. I can intend every day to live my best life. I can intend daily to be kind, to be loving,  to be a person others feel safe with. I can intend every day to find joy. I can be open everyday to all the Good life has to bring. I can intend to see myself as beautiful and valuable. I can set all these intentions and more because I get to choose how I react to how my life unfolds.

And so do you. This is your day, you week, your life. Honor those whose shoulders you stand on, but stand on your own two feet. Make your own choices, live your best life. See yourself for the beautiful human you are and get out there and let your light shine.

Namaste

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Choice, Daily Life, daily practice, Growth, Inspiration, Religion, Spirit

Spiritual? Religious? Do We Have to Choose?

I keep hearing this comment and question.  Are you spiritual or are you religious? Like you must be one or the other.  This is a question Oprah likes to ask a lot on Super Soul Sunday of her guests.  Most of them say spiritual. But what I think is there is room for both, inside me, at the same time.

We were in a discussion in class last night regarding practice and devotion.  How do you see that differently? Is it different? And for me what came up was spiritual vs religious. I cannot separate the two, I need both.

For me spiritual is how I live my life. It is the inner work that I do. It is my personal connection to something greater than myself. It is in the decisions I make, it is in how I view myself and others. When I decide I want more love in my life and so I stay in a place of love, that is Spirit.  When I realize I am judging someone else, and stop, that is Spiritual. When I sit out in nature and listen to the call of the birds, that is Spiritual. When I read a book that moves me to tears, that is Spiritual. When I say I want peace and joy in my life and go out with the faith it is already so, that is Spiritual. So spiritual, for me, is my personal daily connection to God (or whatever your name is) and how I take that into my world.

Religion, I thought I didn’t need it. I thought I could basically wing it. I’m all about God, I’m all about Love.  And that worked for a long time. But all the humanness became mixed up in that and I didn’t have structure to help me through the happenings of my life. Yes, it is fine to sit on a hilltop and feel the Grace of God. But now, I have to go down into the world and try to live my life with grace and ease.  And I need support around that.

So I get that through my church. I go almost every week. And I go because I need the lessons that give me support during the week.  I attend the Center for Spiritual Living, which is a Religious Science church. I found this belief system works for me. We do a lot of work around the here and now. You can look it up more if you like. I am not saying it is the only way, I am saying I have found this to work for me.

So religion, why do I go?  I need the structure around me.  I am reminded each week to do my daily practices. I am inspired by the lessons I hear. I am given tools to help me maneuver through my emotions. I am reminded over and over that I am worthy, that I am loved. There are classes to help deepen my knowledge, of both myself and the Creator. There are people who are like minded that remind me why I am Spiritual.

I know I need both. I think they go hand in hand. If I am simply religious and not taking that spiritual connection into my life, I am missing the whole point.  If I am spiritual, but not including religion, I am not grounded and supported enough to sustain it.

Am I spiritual?  Am I religious? I am both.   What I am is whole. I use everything available to stay that way. I can’t separate them and I don’t need to.  Why would I?  I have the best of both worlds.

Namaste

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