Connection, Daily Life, daily practice, friendship, Inspiration, Love

Love is An Action Word

There are a million quotes on Love:

Love what is

Love makes the world go round

All you need is love

You love me? Real or not real? Real.

I could go on and on and on. Love is the most talked about, written about, sang about thing in the history of all time. But I was thinking what kind of word is love?  Is it a   verb or a noun? Or even an adjective? So I look it up..it is a verb, a noun and  an adjective. How really all inclusive love is.

But Love in Action, that is what I am thinking about right now. To really recognize when I do something, I am showing Love, in action.

When I water my plants,  Love in action.

When I listen to my friend, Love in action.

When I go to my friends sons baseball game, Love in action

When I text someone to say good morning, Love in action.

When I make my home clean and comfortable, Love in action.

When I help out a co worker, Love in action.

When I pray, Love in action.

When I greet a stranger with a smile, Love in action.

When I am welcoming to my lover, Love in action.

When I support my community, Love in action.

When I step up and help a friend who cannot ask, Love in action.

When I share food, Love in action.

This list could go on and on. All of this are actions that have happened in my life in the last 4 days. All of this love in action. And this is how I want to live. To recognize all these acts of love that are not called love, but are Love.

We speak much of love. We write songs, we tell each other I love you. There are poems and sonnets. And that is all amazingly beautiful and necessary.  But let us not overlook the million simple ways that love is shown.  Because these ways are simple and part of our daily living perhaps we tend to not give them the importance and acknowledgement we should. Yes, a song is lovely and I will enjoy it. But a meal made and shared with a friend, that will live in the heart long after the note of the song has faded.

 

 

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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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attachment, Change, Daily Life, Freedom, Growth, Release

What’s in Your Vacuum?

When  a lesson is needed, it shows up. The trick is to see it. Because lessons,  they hide in the most unexpected areas.

Yesterday I am vacuuming.  My vacuum is less than 3 years old. And it is doing an adequate job, but I am struggling a little. Going over and over the same spot.  It was not picking up like it should. Whats wrong here vacuum?  So then I think, oh Sandy, when was the last time you dumped the canister. Yes, it full, very full.

How often do I clear out emotional trash, but not get rid of it?  I hide it, tucked away, just kind of hanging on to it. And then when something new comes up and I need to clear that, there is little room for movement.  Old wounds, old emotions are still cluttering up my mind and my heart.  I thought I cleared it, I thought I moved on, but maybe it is still in the vacuum canister.

As I am cleaning out the canister some of the dirt spilled on the kitchen floor.  And I am looking at that, almost looking to see if I need to save anything. Did an earring get in there, a penny? Really, let it go.  Honestly I decided months ago that it wasn’t worth keeping, why am I still sifting through it.

So I really let the dirt go. And then I thought, this is like my life. All the stuff I have processed again and again, but held onto, let it go.  Don’t save the dirt of my life to sift back through later. Make it disappear.  I am done looking backwards, I am done trying to make a different ending to something that is over. I am done trying to rewrite the stories.  I am done holding on to anger or pain. I am done trying to learn the same lesson multiple times. I am done.

And when I thought my vacuum was cleared there was a bunch debris up in another section (please don’t judge me).  So then I think, more hidden dirt.  And I clear that out, realizing that some stuff is really deep. It doesn’t want to leave. That even though it is dirt, it is my dirt, and can I really let go?

I think that our dirt can be really powerful. Overcoming an addiction, for instance, is painful, but moves us forward.  Letting relationships go when they are done (my big issue) is one of the biggest ways to grow. Overcoming fears, changing our minds, learning to trust,  loving ourselves, all of these things are started when we move our dirt around.

It is hard to grow when we are clogged up. For instance, if I have a fear of changing my housing, then I to deal with what is real today. But what comes up for me is “I am losing another home”. Remember when my house was foreclosed on…. remember how bad I felt, what a failure I felt like, how sad I was. None of that has anything to do with today, but holding on is keeping me stuck. Because instead of being optimistic about change or realistic about my circumstances, I slip back in past. I need to dump the dirt. I need to say “that was hard and painful, but it is done” I don’t have to carry those feeling into my current circumstance.

There are always lessons on the way.  There are always opportunities for growth.  And some of it will be painful and need to be looked at. And we need room for that.  A fresh clean vacuum. So in the memory box put your lessons, put your “well I’m not doing that again”. put your treasures, the things that helped you become the person you are. You will need those things.

But as for the dirt, clean out the vacuum, clear out the closet, clean out under the sink. Where ever you discarded your emotional trash, throw it away.  Make room for more.  Because more will come, that is life. Be ready, make room,  and then let it go..

Namaste

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Change, Community, Daily Life, kindness, Leadership

Shifting Consciousness, We Can Do This

We can change our world, one act, one thought at a time.  What we do and think and say and how we act, it matters. We can shift consciousness, and when enough of us do, we change not just our world, but the world at large.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I saw this in action the other day. It was not how it started nor my intention, but this is how it played out:

I see a man standing in a parking lot entry holding a sign asking for help. I watch him for awhile, no one stops but he stands there smiling anyway. He was presentable, his family was in a car next to where he was standing. I rarely do this, but I was moved to find out his story.

So I went up and talked to him for awhile. I asked questions, tried to see if I could help beyond a few dollars. We talked about jobs and housing. He is afraid to go to Social Services for help, he thinks they will take his children. We talked a lot.

But here is what I noticed. No had stopped to help him before. While I was standing talking to him 4 cars stopped and gave him money. One man handed him $20. He looked shocked , amazed and grateful. So I guess my point is that we can shift consciousness by being kind. By my standing there talking to this young man, people were moved to help. He became a person, not a threat or a stranger. The power of kindness can change the world.

So, shift in consciousness….not just mine but in that moment in time other humans shifted and were moved to act. They saw something differently and changed their response.  I saw it on a bigger scale when we had a huge fire in our neighboring county. People stepped up and gave like I have never seen happen in our community before.  It took on a life of its own until they asked everyone to stop bringing donations, as they were overfull. Everyone gave what they could of their time, treasure or talent.  It was beautiful to watch. I was and still am moved beyond words.

So how you live your life, how I live my life makes a difference. People see what we do, and it becomes safe for them to be giving, to be kind, to be open.  When we open our hearts to the world it is a little scary. We become vulnerable. What if people laugh at us, or think we are foolish?  What if we look weak?  What if people take advantage of us?

But hey, what if kindness is the new strong?  What if being vulnerable is the bravest thing you can do? What if we move beyond caring what people think? How about we pave a new path and shift consciousness? We can do this, one parking lot, one community at a time.  People are doing it everywhere all the time. I want to join those people.  I want the consciousness to be one of love, safety and abundance. That starts with my belief for myself and spreads through my world.

So however you want your world to be, than be that. Feed that which serves you best. People are watching, some are just waiting for someone to make the move, to have the belief. And then it becomes safe for them. So we get to be the trailblazers and we follow in the footsteps of amazing people. Let their footsteps not dissipate, but deepen them. Of course  Ghandi said it best

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

You, me, us, we can shift the consciousness around us. We can create the energy we want by our thoughts and our actions.  Start believing you can make a difference and watch how it unfolds. Work with the Universe to create a world of kindness and love. Others will follow, just as we are.  Together we truly can make a difference, one kind act a time.

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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