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

check out EdgeofAnAngel on Facebook

Advertisements
Standard
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.

 

 

Standard
Daily Life, friendship, Growth, Honesty, Love, Self, self love

It’s Okay if You Don’t Like Me… I Like Me

Is the quickest way to peace of mind to love yourself?  For some reason this week this statement has been running through my mind “It’s okay if you don’t like me, I like me” I don’t even know why but all of a sudden I am kind of falling in love with myself.  And it feels good.  It feels peaceful, no struggle, no trying to fix myself.  No trying to change for someone or appease someone.  No thinking they are right about me and I am wrong. I am simply relaxing into who I am.

katieI think most people like me, but not everyone.  At one point I would have been wondering why.Did I do something, was I offensive, do they disapprove of my lifestyle?  How can I fix this?  Can I make them like me. Well no I cannot. And is that okay?  Yes.  You can not like me, you can not want to be my friend. I like me and I will be my friend.

The more I am loving myself the better I am to the world.  The better to my friends, my family and the community I live in.  It is like stopping a struggle, the struggle to prove myself.  I get it that I am not everyone’s cup of tea.  And that is okay, there are many flavors out there.  And what I know is, I cannot please everyone. I have to start with myself.

There are certain people I have great respect and love for.  These people, I do care what they think.  I do listen to their opinions and it is important to me that they like me, that they approve of me. But that is a handful of people, and honestly at the end of day if they cannot love me for who I am, I still cannot pull myself in pieces trying to be who they need.  They are just going to have to need me to be as I am, and love me anyway. Everyone else, take me, or don’t.

Okay I am not perfect.  I see things in myself I want to change.   I can jump to conclusions.  I am defensive, I can be self absorbed.  I will let my emotions rule my head.  Sometimes I talk too much and forget to listen.  Other times I don’t talk at all and shut down. I will overshare and then undershare.  I will take way too much crap and then be mad at others and myself.  So I guess I am human.

But I am also amazing.  And I don’t even need to list all those things, it is enough that I know them.   Also,  I am a work in progress.  And I am learning more every day and trying to apply it.  It is all about baby steps.  One after another.  I can look back and see progress.  I am way less concerned with how the world sees me and more connected to my own vision. I am not afraid of you anymore.  I am not afraid of your opinion.  I don’t not have to change for you. I am free, or least on my way.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”

– Louise L. Hay

Someone I loved gave me a box of darkness…. I have spoken of that before. My mother, one of my great teachers.  She did not like herself, let alone, love herself. I watched her push the world away one by one.  I heard her say  so many times things like “Well, I don’t like me.”  And I thought, I love you, can’t you see that?  Can’t you see how amazing the world could be for you, if you would stop this, and starting loving yourself.  She never did, until the very end, she pushed us all away. And I do not want that for myself.  I do not want to repeat how my mom lived.  I do not want to not love myself. I saw what it could do, it was not beautiful, or loving, or peaceful.

The more I accept and love myself the better I am to myself.  I recognize that it makes a difference in the foods I eat, I sleep I get.  I seek out people and circumstances that feed my soul with joy.  I make sure I relax and not be demanding on myself.  I speak well to myself about myself. When I am in a state of self love, I can go out there and change the world.  I can go out there spread love.  I can be joy.  I can be compassionate.

And the struggle to be something we are not can end.  When I know I do not have to change for you to like me, I also know you do not have to change a thing for me.  You are perfect, you are amazing.  You are a beautiful, unique and irreplaceable. You get to celebrate that.  We can each shine our light, our perfect light out into the world saying “Here I am, there is no one else like me and for that I am grateful”.

Namaste

Check out our page on Facebook  Edge of An Angel

Standard
Change, Daily Life, friendship, Gratitude, Honesty, Inspiration, Love, New Year, Self, Soul, Spirit, The Past

Living With Intention

So we have reached a new year.  However we got here, in whatever state we have arrived, we made it to 2015.  And there is a lot of energy around that.  Happens every year right?  Even for those us (me) who do not make resolutions it is hard to not see this as a fresh start.  This is the year I am going to ….. fill in the blank.  It is different for everyone. We are always reaching for something or someone to jump start us.  Looking outward instead of inward. And so each year those resolutions fade away and our real life steps up.

Resolutions work when they come from our soul.  When we can look inside and have a knowing of a need for change. I was cleaning out my computer last week.  Getting rid of old files and I came across something I wrote in 2010.  It was “My 2010 Intention”. Wow, what an interesting read.  I had forgotten all about it. And what I know is that my life has followed the path of those intentions.  Let’s take romance:

” I am ready to receive the gift of love, knowing it may be fleeting or transitional..  I do not expect or even want forever.  Forever seems way too big at this point.  But I want now, and I deserve that, and I am making room and going for it.”

That pretty much sums up the romantic adventures I have been on.  I said it out loud, I do not want forever. And yes, that is what I received.  But now, 5 years later, I can feel the shift in my soul and I do want forever. I have to set that intention.

How about how Spirit worked out?  I studied for years with a teacher who took me down paths of Shamanism,  Spiritual healings,  Mind, Body and Spirit connections. working with the Sacred Wheel.   It opened a whole new world for me and I am forever grateful for that, those lessons still serve me well.  But at some point I felt it was not my true path, and I was lost. My 2010 intention spoke about that:

“I need to find a spiritual balance in my life.  I ask for a teacher to arrive.  The student is ready.  Great Spirit, help me to keep my eyes open and see the gifts you are giving me.  I feel a shift in my body, in my mind, I am ready, show me the way. ”

And oh my gosh, did I find that.  I not only found a spiritual teacher, but a spiritual teaching that has filled me beyond  anything I expected.  It fits so very well into who I am  I walked in 5 years ago and found my place.  I know that this teaching has made my life better. Of all my intentions this grounded me the most.

I am giving a couple of examples but there was more to it.  About being more present, feeling worthy, new friendships, letting my light shine. All of this has come to pass in some way.  So it was really interesting for me to take a step back in time and then see how all of that has manifested in my life.  Some good, some challenging, but all valid and important.

Because the last 5 years have not been a piece of cake for me. I let go of so much.  From deaths, to lifestyles, to dreams, to friends, to my home, my pets.  If I looked at all this without love, without seeing the gifts, it could be very depressing.  None of that has been easy, and at times I was less than graceful about letting go. But always, even in the midst I knew that this too is God, and here lies a lesson.

And the gifts of the last 5 years.  I cannot even count the amazing people that have walked into my life.  Some fleeting, some forever, all have touched me and helped me on my path.  I am so blessed.  I have more freedom, that came from letting go.  I am confident, I no longer ever wonder if I am worthy. I am absolutely worthy. Do I let my light shine? Usually it lights up without me even trying.  Sometimes I keep it low because I need the light for myself. I have learned to take care of myself and love myself.

So I stand here at the door of a new year, looking ahead to the next 5 years and what will come my way.  I need to set some new intentions.  Because another part of rereading those the 2010 intentions is that most of them have come to fruition and I can intend for more, more of what is needed in my 2015 life.  2010 no longer fits me, I have outgrown it, how wonderful is that?

“Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome. The law creates the world.”
Brenna Yovanoff, The Replacement

Intention works better for me than resolution. Intention is something I work with, it is fluid.  It is a combination of my mind and my actions working together to manifest what I want to create in my life. For some reason resolution feels a little limiting, not fluid.  Life is going to take many paths during the next few years  but if we can hold our intention we can see our way through everything.  The intentions we have set support the lessons sent our way.  The path is not always easy, but it is always good.

So I am going to spend the next few days looking at what I want in my life.  How do I want my life to appear? What is working? What is not working?  What blocks need to be removed?  Some things really jump out at me, but I want to give them time to ferment.  Because however I set my intentions, that is what I am going to have, at least until I have outgrown them and need to reset.

And I kind of want to stay with the 5 year plan. It is accidental that it worked out that way, but really nothing is accidental.  1 year is fast, it is hard to get a perspective from 1 year.  But 5 years, it is a little lifetime.  If I had just looked at the last year I would not really have seen the bigger picture.  How I have arrived here in this moment.

So it is a brand new baby year. And we can decide what we want.  Actually we don’t have to wait for a new year, a new week, a new anything.  We can make a change, a decision, an intention at any time. The Universe does not really care that the date changed.  But we do have a new year, and it is a good time to look back and to look forward.  I encourage you to set some intentions.  To look at your life and decide where you need to grow, what you need to bring in, what you need to let go of.  What is working for you?  What is holding you back.  Write it down, speak from your heart. No one ever has to read it, this is about you and your life.  You are the designer.

I am telling you this, if you do not state what you want and need in your life you will be living by default.  Stuff is always going to show up, make sure it is there by your desires.The universe will respond to your thoughts, whether or not they are conscious thoughts. .  Do not live unconsciously, be awake and aware.  Invite the good into your life. Make it known.  As Rumi says:

“What you seek is seeking you.”

Because the Universe will respond to your spoken and unspoken words.  Make them the words of your heart, of your soul.  Create the life you want.  This is our moment, this is our time. Don’t live by default, make your words, your thoughts and your desires known.  And live your best life.

May the next year bring you gentle lessons to take you to the life you intend to live.

Standard
Change, Daily Life, friendship, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Spirit

Each Day is a Blessing

Yesterday I was blessed with a day I was not sure would ever come again. For years my sister and I have spent a day during the holiday season going out in the community and taking part in all it has to offer. Craft sales, bazaars, trolley rides, music, lights, truck parade. It has been “our” day. And it so easily could have been lost. For us, we had a real crisis visit us late last summer.  I watched her struggle to live, to talk, to walk, to come home, to understand what had happened, to rebuild her life, to regain joy, trust in the future and her foothold in the world. And none of us knew then, or even know now, where all of this eventually will end up.

But this is what I know today, yesterday I was blessed.  I spent the day in joy, i2014-12-06 18.02.07n love, in peace, in laughter, in song, In happiness. Here we are last night at the lighted truck parade (she is the blonde), a moment we were not   guaranteed to ever have again. Because there are no guarantees, and I really get that now.                                                                                                                                                                                        We have this moment, this day, right now as it is.  Do not let it slip by without some appreciation, some thankfulness.  It is the small things we will miss when life takes a different road.  The voice, the sound of laughter, the sharing of “our song”, someone saying “mom, or dad”. The shared meals, the easiness of simply loving someone and sharing life.

The lesson that comes up for me over and over is be grateful for today. Be grateful for this moment. Be grateful for the simple things.  Wake up and say “Thank you for today”.  Show compassion, people are struggling with hidden pain, sorrow and fear.  We are all human, we come from the same Stuff.  It is easy to give someone a smile, maybe that smile can change their day.  Maybe it is what they need to not give up. Be kind, show how much I care.  Be loving, don’t pass up the chance to give a hug or say I love you.

One thing I knew when my sister was in the hospital was that she knew how much she was loved by me. If the worst had happened I would not have had regrets on our relationship. But I can’t say that about everyone.  It is easy to get get caught up in the day, the week, or month.  Time goes by really fast so make each day, each moment count.  Reach out, don’t let people you love slip away.  In today’s world it easy to connect.  Yes, I would rather hear my son’s voice and feel his hug, but a text from him that says “I love you” feels so darn good. We have no excuse to be disconnected.  All the modern technology makes it easy.

So my yesterday was a gift. But so is today.  I cannot sit in yesterday, whether it was amazing or trying, it is over and the lesson mine to keep.  So I take that lesson and I move in today, with all of its unknown.  I have no idea where the day will take me.  It could a normal day to be grateful for, there could be unknown adventures and lessons waiting me.  It is important to treasure it and it all it brings. Be they lessons, delights, simple pleasures or adventures, the day awaits.  I will not waste it, because this I know, Time is precious, life is precious, I am precious and the Universe is ready, willing and available for me to join in and dance.

Standard
Change, Daily Life, friendship, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Self

We Have to Love What Is

We have to love what is.  We have to. I  will say it again, We have to love what is.  If we want to be happy, if we want to have joy, if we want to have peace, we have to love what is. We awaken each day and are presented with our life.  We get to choose how we spend that day.  Because the day is, what the day is. Our lives have taken us down many paths, we have wandered through people, places, events, circumstances and they have all brought us to this moment. And we waken to it. And it is ours to live it as we choose.

And where we go from there is what defines us.  Here is what is for sure, life is going to change. It could be subtle and slow, it could be overnight, it could come in like tidal wave. And sometimes the change is hard to love, even impossible in that moment.  But there always another piece of life to love even in the midst of grief or disaster.

For instance, when I lost my home that was hard to love. I had to watch my son move out on his own under less than ideal circumstances. I had to hand over keys to a home I had married in, raised my child, and pretty much grown up there. It was my grandmothers house before me.  So how to love anything about that?  Well I get to see my son grow into a man.  He takes care of himself, supports himself, he is building his life.  He was stuck before, now he is growing. For myself, that house was draining me.  It was too much for me, too large. I did not have money to keep it up as it needed. The house took all of my energy and money. So for me, my life is easier. I have much less responsibilities and headaches. I have time now to look around and see what else I want in my life.  I feel less stressed, less burdened and way more free. So everything has shifted, I know now that was a gift of growth for my son and myself.

But back to today and loving what is.  If we close our eyes to the joys of today because we are missing the past or uncomfortable with the present we cheat ourselves.   We have to live in today, and we have to love today, just as it is.  Say yesterday was this beautiful blue sky day you spent in joy.  That is awesome, but it is done. Now today, the sky is grey. Love the grey day.  Don’t miss today because we are looking backwards. Take the joys of yesterday, and the sorrows, and the lessons and move into today and love what is.  This is our gift of today, there is always something to love.

“You don’t get to vote on what is.
Have you noticed?”

~ Byron Katie ~

Life is going to happen, it is going to take weird and confusing twists and turns.  As I said in my last post I did not think my life was headed in this direction. I can sit in the past and be sad that people I love have passed on, or I can celebrate that so many people I love are here and welcome my love. I can mourn lost relationships and have a pity party, or I can be ready  for  the next amazing relationship  headed my way and be happy that I am open for that.  I can be sad that my sister has been through hell physically. or I can be so very amazed at how strong she is and inspired by her fight to have her life back.  I can feel lonely that my friend moved away, or I can love her so much that I am happy she is happy. I can accept that in today’s world distance means nothing, and that the love does not change.   I can look around and see all the amazing people at my fingertips, friends and family that I can reach out and hug. They are here today, Love what is.  I can feel a longing for a time when I lived with my son, his girlfriend and our dogs.  It was a perfect moment and a gift. Or I can see that he is stronger, smarter, more confident and that she is in a loving relationships and so very happy. And they both still love me and want me in their lives. How about I  be happy with that? How about I love what is.

My life is not perfect, but I am damn well going to love it anyway.  I am going to love what I have today, I going to love whatever is coming my way. I am going to enjoy each piece, each step of the journey, each lesson, each joy, every gift.  Because I don’t want to waste my days, I want them to spent in love and joy and peace and laughter. I know that is a tall order,. I know I will trip up and that is fine, I will love that part also. And then I will stand up and remember who I am and why I am here. And that is to be Love

Standard
Daily Life, friendship, Inspiration, Relationships, Self

Sharing our Stories

Are you listening to me?  I had this experience yesterday; an acquaintance asked how my sister was doing.   As I shared about her I could see he was not listening.  He looked engaged, his face was pointed at me, but something was off.  As soon as I finished my sentence he launched into a story about himself and an experience he had.  So really you just want to talk about yourself.  Do you ask me these questions as an opening for talking about yourself?  Do you even care or remember what I said? I don’t think so.

 Thing is, he is nice guy, he didn’t even see what he did.  He probably thinks we had a nice conversation.  His experience was so very different than mine.  And it happens all the time. While we are listening we are preparing our next thought, our response,our words.  And maybe we are missing some really important stuff.

Being heard is essential to our well being.  What happens when we feel heard?  We feel acknowledged, we know we matter, that what we think and say has substance and is important.  Important enough for someone to stop their own thoughts and listen to ours. It is validating. 

So why does this happen, where we jump forward in our thoughts before we hear out the other person?  I think one reason is that people want to share their stories. We want connection.  Long long ago we shared our stories, we shared our lives around the hearth, at the sewing tables, while preparing meals,  during long dark winters. People shared stories. That was how we learned our history and our life lessons.   That is innate in us, that need to communicate and be connected. Somehow we have lost those storytelling skills. But not the need for the storytelling. 

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Maya Angelou

So we are all out here trying to tell our story, in a fast paced electronic world. I am sitting here alone in my apartment typing my story to share with you.  Things have changed so much, our world has both grown and shrunk.  But we still need that human connection, hearing the voice, seeing their eyes, sharing laughter and smiles one to one.  Yesterday I was with my sister and I had something to tell her but we busy at that moment.  So I said ” oh it’s a whole story” and her response was ” great I like stories”.  Yes we like to share our stories, but we need to listen to the stories being offered to us. 

Because that is the other part, we are so darn busy.  My life is simple and I am busy.  Life gets busy, all kinds of things fills our days:  raising families, working, maybe 2 jobs, doing volunteer work, have a scheduled workout routine, finding time for friends, being involved the church, being a caretaker, a million things make up the tapestry of our lives. Listen?  For that we have to slow down. We have to make time. We have to. 

I know to have anything manifest in my life I have to become that thing.  If I want love, I must be love. If I want peace, I have to be in a place of peace,   Want joy? Be joy. So if I want you to listen to my story, I have to listen to yours.  And as always,  it starts with me. I have to put out the energy for it to return to me. I want to be heard,. I want to tell my story.  I want you to listen to me, acknowledge me, actually hear me. So I am going to go out in the world and listen the stories.  Really hear them.  To not think about how I want to respond, what I am going to say.  But listen, and then take a breath and say to the person, thank you for sharing your story. I have learned something from you.  I appreciate you trusting me with your story.  And then, when the time is right, I know I can share my story and really be heard.

“In those moments when we tell stories together,
we are most truly human and most genuinely ourselves.”
Jeannine Pasini Beekman

Namaste

Standard