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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family, Gratitude, Growth, Healing, Love, Mother, Relationships

Mother’s Day Without Our Moms

For myself and many of my friends we have Mothers day without our mothers. Be it mom, grandmother, aunt, mothers of our heart, the woman that loved us. They are passed, Whether 1 years, 5 years, 20 years, it doesn’t matter. There is an empty spot where mom should be. There is a sweet longing that comes up, a melancholy for times past and the feel of her hand on my face. I miss her voice, I miss knowing someone loves me, no matter what. I miss having her support and her unwavering belief in my good, even when I wasn’t . That is what a mom does. I miss having that wisdom ahead of me, teaching me. I miss having someone to rebel against. I miss that feeling of two women in the world determined to live their own lives and still be so interdependent in each others. I miss her laughter, I miss her fierceness. I could go on and on.

And I know this is the same for so many of my friends. We are at an age where the torch is passed and we step into the spots our mothers and fathers left behind. There is honor in that. There naturalness and beauty in that. But still, on these special remembrance days, there is a wistful sadness for times past. I guess the best we can do is honor our mothers and stay in a place of love. Take the day and recognize the woman who raised us to be the people we are today. And celebrate the present with the humans who are here with us today. For someday, we, or they, will be a memory. so make it a good one.

Happy Mothers Day my friends.

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challenges, Choice, Daily Life, Gratitude, life, Love, Today

Just For Today

Oh my gosh today is beautiful. Just for today I am setting aside my complaints, my stresses, my sorrows. Just for today I am stepping into the moment. I hear the song of the birds and the call of the dove. I see the gentle breeze flicking the bamboo. I feel the freshness of the morning air and I know I am blessed. For today, I do not worry, I do not argue within my mind. For today I accept all of God’s blessings and claim them as mine.

This was my Facebook post this morning.  And then I thought why “just for today”?  Why not everyday?  Everyday feels big to me.  Forever?  Really?  Not worry, not stress, be in a place of calmness and peace…..forever?  Wow, all kinds of resistance comes up around that.  All kinds of monkey mind starts chattering.  But what about all the things that I call challenges?  Finances, relationships, health, those are the big 3.  I can’t just let that all go can I?

Well…..just for today I can. Because it is a beautiful day out there for me to enjoy.  Why should I miss that?  What if this is my last day?  And I missed it.  What a shame that would be. I am sitting here in my little apartment with the morning air and doves are cooing. And it is beautiful.  And the day is mine.  Mine to enjoy or worry away. Mine to see the blessings or the sorrows.  Mine to feel Universal love and support or stress and fear.  I choose Love.

I know it is close to impossible to live this every day.  I am not sitting in a secluded place where only love and peace touch my world.  I live in the real world.  It is messy, it can be stressful.  There is loss, change, worry. There are many interesting challenges.  And there are people everywhere showing me all kinds of mirrors.

But today I am looking at the mirrors that show me how blessed I am.  The big mirror of beauty, of love, of peace. Just for today I am going to breathe in the beauties of life.  And maybe tomorrow also.  Because the more I practice the more easy it is for me to slip into a state of grace and ease. Mainly I simply have to remember it is there and available all the time.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.…….Dr. Seuss

Have a Beautiful Today

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challenges, Daily Life, daily practice, Gratitude, kindness, life

Kindness Matters………

Kindness, that is what is on my mind these days….

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

I have an event in my life right now that has made me more fragile than usual.  My grandmother passed away this week.  I can go into that more at a different time, right now I have been thinking about kindness and how everyone needs this.  I go out into my day and I am wounded.  I am sad,  I am feeling a loss, an important one. And 98% of the people I meet have no idea.  The people in line with me at the stores don’t know, the person I pass on my walk has no idea.  Many people in my church today had no reason to know.  At my work this only a handful of people knew.  Of course my friends know and are helping me.  They reach out, they are gentle with me, they are loving to me.  They understand I am little fragile right now.

But what about the others, the majority of people I interact with everyday. Well, what a blessing, most of them are kind. They smile and the smile reaches their eyes.  They greet me happily.  They wish me well.  They are nice to me. And they do not know I am broken inside. What I am thinking is that most of them are too.

Plato did say it “we are all fighting a battle”.  The women in line at the grocers, maybe she choose food instead of fuel.  The person walking past me, does their car run? Do they have one? That person that greeted me, are they well, is someone they love sick?  They child that is smiling, do they live in a loving home?

I could go on forever, you know what I am saying.  It is hard out there. Life is not just an easy slide to heaven.  There is work do be done here.  There are lessons to be learned here.  We have to break our own boundaries and our own barriers.  We have to love and lose and love again. We have to have sickness and then heal. We have to stand at the edge of disaster and feel the power in ourselves that comes from recovery.  All of us, everyone, has pain, frustration, loss, sadness and longing. All of us, everyone, needs to know we are loved.

And how can we show that to the world?  We can be kind. Yes, it is easy to be kind when you know there is a problem.  I am telling you right  now, there is always a problem. We just don’t know it. It doesn’t mean it is not real.  It doesn’t mean the problem does not deserve love or respect.  If we are not told or are not a witness,  does not the pain still exist?  Yes, we know it does.

So we can be kind.  We can assume that everyone we meet needs love, needs a smile, needs gentleness. Be kind, if nothing else, just be kind. Have a moment to say you exist, I acknowledge you.  I know you are fighting a battle somewhere, somehow, and I am fighting my own right along side you.  We don’t have to talk about it.  We don’t have to share or know everything.  We can just start by being here, available and human.  We can recognize that each person has a whole life and parts of it are hard.  And we can show kindness.

So right now i am little fragile, but mostly I am really grateful. And every time someone is kind that gratitude grows.  And it makes me want to be kind.  I want to smile at you. I want to share a kind word. I want you to know you are not alone. Whatever you are fighting, whatever your burden, we are in this together.  So the next time you have a chance, be kind.  It may be the best thing that happens to that person that day.  We never know where our gifts end up, but we do know that kindness ripples outward and spreads peace and love.

May kindness visit every day, many times……

kindness jewel

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Change, Gratitude, Inspiration, Love, New Year, Relationships, Self, Soul, Spirit

Intentions, 2015 and Beyond

So I want to share my intentions for 2015 with you. I believe that stating this out loud to the world gives my intentions even more strength.  So this is an indulgent post, It is all about me.  But maybe something will come up for you that says I want that too.  Because you can have whatever you believe you can have.  And that is the key. The knowingness, the belief, that these things belong to you.  Whatever is yours will appear. So here are mine, for now: This or something better……..

2015 Intention 

In looking at my life I realize there are ways my life can be better, ways I can be happier and have a fuller life.  In recognizing that, I also recognize my role in manifesting these changes in my life.  I have prayed and treated around these ideas.  I am ready to acknowledge and set my intentions for 2015 and beyond.

I want a life that is full of love and community without limiting my need to recharge with time to myself.  I am a loving, caring person and I want that returned to me by those I come in contact with.  I accept nothing less than balance and equality in my relationships. I welcome friends, family and lovers into my life while still keeping my self respect.  I will no longer chase anyone or allow anyone to make me feel my life is secondary. My intention is to live lovingly, happily and fully with those who are likeminded.  Equally, my intention is to allow those I love to walk their own paths with my support, without any fear of loss of love from them.  My intention is to not cling so tightly, but to have mutually respectful and loving relationships.

My intention is to welcome financial abundance in my life.  I recognize that I have been willing to live with lack and I release the belief that this is natural in my life.  I know that the Universe has an never ending supply of whatever I need and I need money. I am now living with the intention that my finances will be multiplied in a way that will enhance my life and the lives of my community.  I see this, I believe this and I welcome this.

My intention is to  live in a healthy body.  This includes living at a healthy weight.  I no longer need to fill any lack in my life with food.  My intention is to wake each day in with a healthy mind and a healthy body.  I see myself growing healthier each day and as a result of clear minded thinking I will reach a healthy weight. I release any need to fill voids with food or drink. I accept and love my body as it is and I am willing for my body to grow healthier.  My intention is to move through my life with grace and ease no longer fighting a battle with my weight.

My intention is to welcome a loving committed relationship into my life.  My life will become enhanced by a singular love which will expand my life.  I release any fear around commitment or settling. I know the love coming into my life will only make my life better and more joyful.  I am ready for this, I no longer need to walk alone. I know a loving relationship is the next step in my growth and I welcome this.  This relationship will not take away from anything and I will not have to “give up” anything that is valuable or important in my life. I have an open honest heart and I welcome the same. My intention is to receive love and commitment in a way that multiplies my joys.  My intention is to say yes to Love.

2015 Treatment 

I know that there is one God, one Designer of the universe and of my life.  I know that God is in everything I do, every thought, every breath.  There is no part of me or my life where God is not.  And knowing this Truth, I know that my stated intentions are the word of God. I know each and every thought of mind and desire of my heart is supported by the Beloved.  And knowing this, I know my life is good.  I know my life will only grow, will only get better and is fully supported by the Universe. I am so grateful for this knowledge.  I am  grateful for light in me that works with God to co create my life.  And as I know this for myself, I know this for everyone.  Everyone is connected, everyone is loved, everyone is supported.  And feeling this deep connection I release my words, my thoughts, my desires into the Mind of God, knowing as I do, the work is already done.  And I let it be so, and so it is.

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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.

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Change, Daily Life, Gratitude, Honesty, Inspiration, Relationships, Self, Spirit, The Past

Tradition and Letting Go

We are winding up the holiday season and I have been thinking on tradition lately.  What works, what doesn’t, why it so important to us, and how to let go of it.  So lately, I keep bumping up against tradition, my friends share their traditions, my family talks about ours, it seems to be very prevalent right now. And so many things have changed that I don’t even know which traditions are left. Is that good or bad?

Let’s just talk Christmas for a minute.  Traditionally my family celebrates on Christmas eve.  My family gathers, we eat and exchange gifts.  I do love that tradition (so I guess I have one), but the feel of that has changed over the years.  My family is small, we have no children, the excitement level is way calmer.  But we love each other and we want that sharing to happen.  However, all the traditional food we used to make for the dinner, gone.  This year we had Mexican food, it was wonderful.  Easy, everyone loves it and its healthy.  Is it a new tradition? Maybe….. I know we had fun, I know we laughed, I know we shared gifts and love with each other.  I know it felt good to all of us to share balance

the evening.  I think that was enough. We are evolved into a new way of coming together.  All we really want is to be together.

Everything changes with time, and traditions can either be a beautiful coming together or a expectation that no longer serves our well being.  When tradition changes to expectation or obligation, we need to make an adjustment.  As beautiful as some of traditions are sometimes holding them up is forced and feels sad to me. My holiday season is totally different than 20 years ago.  And I had expectations on how I wanted that to play out in my life. My family was supposed to be bigger, I was supposed to have grandchildren, I was supposed to have a partner, we are all supposed to share large Christmas Eve’s and Christmas day dinner. Traditional dishes, Grandma’s stuffing, my other Grandmas duck. The smells filling the house.  Much singing, cooking, laughter, all of that was supposed to happen every year.  It would be tradition.

Fast  forward to my life now.  Every year my sister and I go to this little lighted parade.  This year for some reason she did not go.  I went with other friends, had fun, enjoyed myself. At first I said to myself  “but we always go”, then I realized things change.  I can change with it and have fun, or I can be miserable.  Maybe we will get back to it and this will be the year we didn’t go. Or maybe that is just over and I can make it into something new that fits my life now. On my sisters birthday this year we baked cookies for Christmas.  That could be a nice new tradition, or maybe it was simply the perfect day, a one time thing.  I can be okay with that.  Traditions are built around time and circumstance.  Last  year a friend of mine and I spent part of New Years day walking out at the lake.  This year we plan to do the same.  Is this becoming tradition?  Maybe.  If we are still doing it in 5 years, then yes, this is our tradition. But if in 5 years one of us has moved,  circumstances have changed, whatever, that does not take away from this time. We should both be celebrating the New Year in the new way, while still remembering and honoring our times together.

“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.― Gustav Mahler

So tradition is a lovely way of remembering the past, the places and people that brought us to today. And I love those feelings. The remembering keeps me connected to not only myself, but where I came from.  Honoring traditions is one way of doing that.   I want that for myself, my son, my family, my friends, my world.   But I want more.  I want to love today, just as it is.  I do not want to sit in tattered memories and worn traditions that only make me feel sad and lacking.  I want to remember my past and carry it into my future.  I want to celebrate today and make new traditions (or not) that fuel the life I live today.  I cannot live my life around outdated traditions that just don’t fit. And I don’t want that for those I love.  This is my life, not the remnants of anyone else’s.  I get to choose what I bring in.  I get to make my own traditions, and I get to let them go when the right time comes
“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.”
Yesterday, (Christmas day,) I sat on a rock for an hour listening to a guy play his guitar and sing out to the water. I was all alone, it was totally random, I can never repeat that moment, and I was absolutely at peace.  I felt connected to Spirit, to all those who have passed.  I felt such love for my people and my world. I was whole, perfect and complete in that moment.  I could have been elsewhere, (upholding tradition)  I was invited places, but followed my desires and found a perfect moment.  My wish is that others had that moment in their own ways.
So don’t do anything that feels forced.  Don’t say :well I have to, we have always done it this way”. No you don’t have to.  You get to choose what works for you now, without guilt. If someone says “well we have always done it this way,it is tradition” ask yourself this:
Does it feel good?
Does it feel right?
Do I want this?
Does this have meaning for me?
If you are not answering yes, then maybe it is time to rethink the act.
This is your life, live it.  Take the traditions that work for you and celebrate the hell out of them. Honor old traditions as it feels right for you, and make new traditions. But be ready to shift when life calls you elsewhere.  Life is going to change, be ready. Embrace it. don’t sit sad and alone because things are different.  Get out there and live.  We are the past, the present and the future in one breath.  We are one with the whole, and that includes time. But here in our humanness we have today.  And it is ours, so make it your own, dance your dance, sing your song and live with joy.  May all the traditions you choose to keep bring you joy, peace and a sense of rightness within your world.
Namaste
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