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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Choice, Growth, Honesty, life, self love

Who is Setting My Pace?

Yesterday I did a 5K charity walk for cancer.  It was a color run and I had been looking forward to it for a couple of months.  Overall I had fun, I was with friends, there was music, people were throwing color on me, it is a good cause, the sun was shining, life was good.

But about halfway through I noticed it wasn’t as much fun. I was struggling to keep up to pace my friends had set. You should know I don’t even hit 5 foot, so really short legs. And I had to work hard to keep up with my friends who are taller, faster and younger. At the time I just went with it, but I noticed, wow, this is not as much fun as I thought it would be. And I started feeling bad about myself. Beating myself up a little for not being in great shape, being older.  I judged myself and came up short.

So later after we were done and recovered I had some time to think about how it went.  I realized my problem was that I allowed someone else to set my pace. The truth is I would have relaxed and enjoyed it more if I told my friends go ahead, I will see you at the finish line.  And why didn’t I? I’m not sure I know.

But think about this, how often do we let others set the pace for our lives?  What if we want to go slower? What if we are not concerned about keeping up?  It can be something as simple as a meal, do we hurry up so we don’t hold up others? I have done that, noticed I am lagging behind so hurry up and eat.  Meanwhile I lose the enjoyment of my food.  It happens in classes, it might be fast paced and perhaps we learn and absorb more slowly. But we hurry our pace to match others and miss things along the way. It can be a walk, that I was supposed to really enjoy, until I let someone else set my pace.

Or it can be the exact opposite.  How often am I moving quickly and have to slow my roll for the person in front of me?  Watching a slower eater finish the meal, when mentally I am done and out the door. Reading a book and waiting for a long time to discuss it because the other person is a slow reader.  So it is not about being fast or slow, it is about having our own pace and trying to match it out in the world with other humans. It is not always easy.

So am I willing to own my pace and be public about that? Well I guess I am going to have to be if I want to live my own life. I have to be willing to walk alone sometimes. I have to be willing to say, no you wait for me while I finish.   I have my own pace and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It is perfect just the way it is.

I think your pace, my pace, is our perfect rhythm.  It is how we step out into our world and each pace is unique. When I am slower at one thing, I am quicker at another. There is no one perfect measured step through life, but many steps and of a great variety. All are valuable, all are equally important.

Sometimes we alter our pace to share an experience with another. It is important to be sensitive and aware of others needs.  I want to share experiences with others so sometimes I have to bend and be flexible. And that is good, as long as it is done mindfully. Make that choice consciously. Do not live by default, do not get swept up in the moment and lose the choice. That is what happened to me yesterday. When it starts feeling wrong and uncomfortable, well then, we have to look at that and make a different choice.

I am going to be mindful of my pace. Am I moving through my experience in a way that feels comfortable and natural to me? If not, why and can I change that? In a world that works for everyone all paces should be welcome. So if you see me ambling on the road of life, while others rush by, know I am taking my time and setting my pace.

Namaste

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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, Daily Life, Growth, life, Self, strength

The River Flows as Does Life

Yesterday I walked along a river and noting all the different ways the river flowed.  From its source to the natural end,  it goes through many different incarnations. There are calm pools, there are rapids, there are easily flowing streams, there are waterfalls, it widens, it narrows.  Sometimes it is a trickle and sometimes a flood.  There are twists and turns, over rocks, under branches. So many times life has been likened to a river, I am remembering that now.

Could we not look at the above paragraph and substitute life for river?  From the beginning of our lives we cannot see where it is going to take us.  And though we have conscious thought, choice and control within our lives we cannot always see how we got to where we are.  Life will respond to our unspoken words, our true beliefs and the thoughts we fill our minds with. So even when I say, well this is not what I wanted, is it not what I believed I could have?  Of course it is. My thoughts, my desires, my belief in what I truly can accept is what makes up the river of my life.

I think I have to have all the parts of the river to be whole.  I need the rapids. The rapids make me strong.  I can look back and say I survived that.  I survived that loss, that divorce, that growth, that disappointment.  I build emotional muscle when I run the rapids.  And the waterfalls,  they build my faith.  When I am falling with no idea how this will end, I step into faith. And trust. Let go and let God, or let Life, however you look it.  These are the waterfalls of my life.  This is when I stand up and know whatever happens I can survive.  The rapids have made strong and faith takes me though it.

At times the river is narrow and twisty.  I can only see a small piece of my world.  Perhaps I am focused on one area.  Usually there are rocks underneath and branches above.   At those times my world feels shrunken and tight. I have to work hard to move through it. Maybe there are dangers, things I need to raise my attention to.  These are the times I step carefully, working my way to smoother waters.

At times in narrowness the river dries.  Never completely empty, but pooled and stagnant.  These times are dark.  In those moments of life, it is easy to get stuck. It is muddy and I get bogged down. I feel the stillness instead of movement. In those times I learn what I really want and need in my life. And I call to it, I reach out.  This stretch of the river teaches me patience and strengthens my faith. To know I will make it out of the muck, to know there is movement beyond this moment, this time. Life always returns, and me with it.

There are pools in the river, places to rest.  These times give me peace, and serenity.  To know that I will be back in the river, but for this moment, I get to rest.  I get to be still.  I get to stop look around and make a choice.  For me this is a time of reflection, a deepening. Even though the movement of the river takes me forward,  the pool gives me a moment to breathe and reflect.  I need that in my life to keep my direction.

The tinkling brook, the sounds of the water flowing freely over the rocks.  There is joy, there is ease. It is a busy time, with much movement in my life. I think this part of my life is one of my favorite times.  I feel alive, engaged, happy.  Yes there is work, but in the way that frees me to move forward.  The river sparkles with light, and I sparkle with life.

Sometimes the river is wide and calm and peaceful.  I move from the busy brook to wide river knowing my soul needs rest. I feel full during these times.  I am reaping my harvest from the busy times. I am moving forward, but a pace that affords me rest.  These times fill me with expansiveness and love.  I feel the breadth of my life.  I see my rewards, I feel my peace.  My soul cries out for these times.  To rest, rejuvenate,  and gather myself for the next  piece of the river.

Because I need all of the pieces of the river.  Just as the river is not whole without each facet, neither am I. I am a sparkly brook, a wide peaceful stream.  I am also a waterfall, a rapid and a pool.  All of this makes up the fabric of my life.  Each pieces teaches something about myself.  Each piece brings its own gift.  Each piece makes me whole. And wholeness, well that is Life.  So I am going to love each and every moment of the river. I am going to love the rapids, the falls, the mud, just as much as I love the sparkling brook,  the deep pools and the wideness of my life. It is all me,  this river of my life.  A crazy, twisted, calm, wide, narrow, sparkling ride.  I wish you safe journey down your river, see you at the end.

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