Daily Life, family, Growth, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, Self

Becoming My Own Example

So I think I am becoming my own example.  Today my grandmother is pressing on my mind.  I am thinking of her passing and the influence she had on me.  My grandmother (Maxine) was really really alive every day.  She lived until 94, every day celebrating being alive. And she has been such an inspiration to me.  She lived all alone the last 20 years, but was never lonely.  She had an active social life, church life and family life.  She never quit, ever. She told me, don’t stop. Be thirsty, be honest but caring. Grandma had her nose in everything, she was curious and loved to laugh.  She did not let life get her down, she kept going.

And then I thought of my mom who passed 3 years ago, and all the inspiration she gave me.  She was bold, fierce.  She took crap from no one. Honestly my mom had other issues and ended up allowing her demons to push away many friends and family that loved her.  But the parts that inspired me, she would fight for what she loved. She never let anyone tell her what to do. She was artistic, flamboyant and in your face.  She loved strongly.  She was amazing.

My dad’s mom, Grandma Stell  passed away more than 20 years ago.  She had a laughter to her life.  She always wanted to have fun.  She was southern to the core and sweet tea was always in the house.  She would take 3 different artificial Christmas trees, make them into one and called it  “pretty”. Married multiple times, again a woman who never gave up.   She loved hard, she loved me, she loved my dad. Oh my gosh, she would defend her family,

So all of these women who have loved and raised me are passed now.  And I am a mix of all of them.  All of their examples, all of their lessons have found their way into me.  Everyone of them was strong and stood on her own in her own way.  I realize that I do not have to be Mom, or Little Grandma, or Grandma Stell, I get to be Sandy.  And that takes nothing from them.  They did not live in another’s shadow but shone their own light.  I shine my own light, I beat my own drum.  I take the best from all, and become my own example.  I become my own inspiration.

All of these women lived and died a simple life.  None of them became famous, none of them left a mark beyond their own family, friends and lives.  No one wrote a book,  they were not politicians or great humanitarians.  100 years from we will hard pressed to find a memory, but I remember. And I am here now, and that matters.  This is how life goes on.  We lives our lives best we can.  I take all that I have been blessed with build my life.  I leave my mark on the world, be it simple or not.

So more and more I become my own example.  I live my life no one else’s.  I honor all of those women before who lived their own lives.  I see how different they were and each life was beautiful.  They made their choices, they became who they really were, no apologies. And I can do that too. I become myself, no one else. And I make no apologies.  I can see other examples, I can see the fierceness, the laughter, the lovingness, and the strength.  And instead of saying that is how I want to live, who I want to be, I can just be those qualities.  It takes nothing from those who have gone before, there is enough for everyone.  So instead of saying, this is who I want to be, I become it and say ” This is Who I Am.”

And so it is……

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attachment, Daily Life, Growth, Love, Relationships

Can I Really Dis- Attach?

Attachment has been coming up a lot for me this week.  Attachment to things, situations, relationships, all kinds of things.  It seems like each time I check out Facebook there is some kind of quote on attachment.  Attachment reminders are all around me these days.

I keep wanting things to stay the same, it is like safety net in some ways.  For instance, I had a possession that I have been holding on to for awhile.  Even though I didn’t really treasure it, I always thought well, if I ever need it……    But this last week it was taken out of my hands.  I let someone else make a decision around it.  I gave that person instructions about letting go of it and she disregarded that and made her own choice.  Before I knew it, it was gone. At first I was taken aback, but then I thought a different way.  The clinging to it, the attachment was gone.  Not by my hand, but maybe that is the way it had to happen.  Because I felt a little freer. Like I could not quite make that choice, so the Universe made it for me.

I have a relationship in my life I am attached to. And I can see some shifting around that.  I might have to let it go. I don’t really want to, it brings me joy and pleasure.  But some things have happened around the relationship which may bring it an end. Is that Life’s way of saying “let go”?  I am not sure yet, but I at least have to look at it.

A feeling of aversion or attachment toward something is your clue that there’s work to be done…….Ram Dass

I have to listen to those signs.  What is coming into my awareness?   When I am sleeping (even though awake) it is easy for me to pass by the clues that I don’t really want to see.   If I see, hear or feel something, but disregard it, that does not mean it is not real. It means that I choose not to acknowledge it because it challenged my attachment.  The more I am attached to something the less awake I am to change and growth.

Because I am awakening it is harder for me to ignore the signs along the path.  And more and more I know everything means something.  All kinds of signals come my way.  I heard what you said, I saw the sign,  I felt the wrongness in my stomach. I knew it felt bad, I could feel the loss of personal power and choice.  Because I am attached to the idea, the belief, the person, the possession. the safety, the status quo, the past, my story I disregard the signals.

I am attached to so much, and does it serve me?  Only to a point.  When attachment impedes my growth it is not serving me.  When attachment holds space in my life keeping out newness it does not serve me.  When attachment keeps me feeling safe, that is an illusion. When I am attached to an outcome that is a set up for frustration and disappointment.

attachment So can I let go and let life happen?  I want to.  I did this week, a baby step.  I let go of a possession that I had been clinging to .  And I did it gracefully.  After a small feeling of shock and feeling an empty spot, i let go.  I even said thank you to the Universe for helping me dis attach. The relationship?  I am not sure yet, but at least I am willing to look with fresh eyes.  To not cling blindly and without thought.  I may make a choice which seems the same on the outside but has been made from a different mindset.

Sometimes I confuse attachments with love. It is easy to do.  Both have similar feelings for me. But they go down very different paths, and that is the trick, staying on the path of love.  Not straying off into attachment. Because attachments have expectation around the outcome, and often those are not met. For instance, I love my son. Simply love him. But I do have some attachments around that. Way less that I used too, but I am attached to the idea he loves me back.  I am attached to the idea he will stay in my life. I love him clearly, without judgement, without needing to change him, without wanting to control him.  The attachments I have are around how I want our relationship to play out. And I have to keep that separate in my mind.  When I become frustrated or hurt, this is not about the love, this is about the attachment.  And the attachment keeps me a little needy and a little powerless.  So if nothing else, I can recognize that and take the lesson.

I know this, attachments seem comforting in the beginning.  Whether it is a thought, a belief, a person, a situation, a possession.  But at some point when the agreement is not given freely attachments can become my burdens.  They stop me from living from a place of choice and freedom.  So I work on that.  I recognize when I am attached and look at how important that is to me.  Can I let it go?  Can I be free of that?  Can I have a different thought? Can I take a different path?  When I can do that I am free to enjoy what life has placed before me.  I don’t look to see where this is going, I don’t push the river.  I can be in the moment, I can dis attach and enjoy my life. I let go of worry on the future, I release the bindings of the past.  So this week that is what I am working on.  Dis-attachment and simply staying in the moment.  Letting Life take me down the road.  Because I can never be empty.  The Universe will always fill the spaces I open when I release.  I am open to the joy and love coming my way and I am making room for it.

Namaste

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Change, Choice, Growth, lov, Love, Relationships, self love

It is Not About Them, It Never Was

This week I have been on vacation.  I have had a lot of time to myself to relax my mind and do some self reflection.  A few days ago I was sitting out by some water doing a guided meditation on self love. It took me down some paths I did not see coming.  As I was letting the words stay in the background I was thinking about a couple of circumstances in my life now.  Both of these things have given me much stress and angst. On the surface they are appear different, but I looked for a common thread.

I realized I have looking for validation in both places.  Looking outward, saying prove how much you want me, prove I am valuable to you.  Won’t you sacrifice this or that for me?  Aren’t  I worth it?  Oh my gosh, this is not about them and what they have been doing, this is about me. Okay then, that doesn’t feel as good.  Where did this start?

Was it my ex husband?  We were married for 20 years.  During that time his drinking took him over.  My story has been that he choose alcohol over me.  But that is just my story, what I have told myself, and then the world.  I don’t know that to be true.  I don’t know what it is like to be an alcoholic. I don’t know that even he had a choice. And if he did, the choice is his to live with. It is time to let my story go and have a new thought about it.  I don’t know how that looks yet, but I know something shifted.  Maybe I choose happiness, sanity, a better life over living with an alcoholic.

I kept on with the meditation letting the voice fall into the background as I dug deeper.  Could this go back farther?  You know, my mom was not easy.  I could write story after story about her.  At my moms core she did not feel loved.  I know my mom loved me as best she could, but there were lots of lessons around that. So if I can just look at that I can see she had a lot of “prove your love” in her.  Love wasn’t given freely, it had to be earned.  You had to be “worth” it.  I saw that in how she moved through the world.  I saw that in her relationships.  I saw that in how she taught me about being in love.  She never loved herself, she felt unlovable and these were my first lessons.

And I took those lessons out in the world.  I had a dad who balanced much of my mom.  I knew I was loved, my family loved me.  I was not ignored or abused.  One thing my mom always said is ” I want my children to have a dad that loves them, I never had that”.  That was important to her, that we felt loved. Still I was little girl learning about life and love from my moms example.  And I think I might be finally sorting out these lessons.

Keeping on with my meditation I had a moment of ‘I will remove this person from my life’.  And at the same time the podcast said ” you can’t reject any part of you, you have to love everything”.  At that moment I saw that removing a person only left room for the same thing to happen over again.  It didn’t really fix anything.  Because it is not about them, it never was.  Both of these circumstances that are playing out have happened multiple times before.  It really is  a here we go again feeling. Okay, who is creating this?  Me, I am. Everything around me has been by choice, my invitation. I can consciously accept that and start to make a change.

Because it seems at the core of all of this is me saying if you love me, if you value me, prove it.  I want you to sacrifice for me.  I choose men who would have to give up something to be with me.  This last one, he would have to move 500 miles, giving up living by his family, his children, in a community he has grown up in. He would have to give up his job, basically everything to be with me.  If he is not willing to that , well then what, he didn’t love me enough?  I wasn’t worth it?  And this is just the last one, this is a pattern.  Because shutting him out,  deleting him, I will just replace him with something similar.  Someone who has to make some kind of sacrifice to prove they love me.  Love should not be this hard.

It is not just relationships.  I see this played out in other ways throughout my life.  It comes up in employment a lot.  I  end up frustrated and feeling devalued.  It will take years, but it happens.  Then I make a change, and end up years later in a similar situation.  Sometimes with long time friends, I see them move on to different friends, lifestyles and I feel rejected.  I am better with that now, but it has played out in the past.  It seems when I have time and an emotional investment in something or someone I have set it up so that at some point I need them to choose me. Prove they love me.  It seems I am needy that way,  I have to let that go.

So this was never about them,  it is always about me.  About my growth, my lessons, my being willing to look at things differently and have a different story.  I am not unworthy of love, I am not unlovable, I am not my mother. I don’t have to keep repeating those lessons.  She never learned differently, she never really trusted love.   I don’t have to draw circumstances into my life where I feel like being loved is a win. I can let go of the need to prove myself through others that I am lovable.  I can let this go.  Maybe not overnight, these lessons are almost hard wired in, but I control my thoughts and I can have a different thought.  I can say I am ready to be loved just as I am.  I don’t have to earn your love and you do not have to prove you love me. We can let be easy, we can let it flow. I can start here, in my 3rd act, ready to be open and learn a new truth about myself.

Because it is not about them, it never was.

Namaste

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Choice, Daily Life, daily practice, Growth, Honesty, Love, Relationships

Loving Myself is a Daily Practice

Yesterday I was having lunch with a friend and she was talking about how she is overworked at her job.  She has been working 6 days a week for months now and is feeling the strain in her body.  Here is the deal, although there must be some kind of pay off it is not financial and she is not trying to advance in her job. So why then?  Only she can answer that, but it got me to thinking…..

“self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice.”
― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

My response to her it that I will not do for my job.  Maybe a different job at a different time, but not this one. I am clear on my boundaries with my job and I am comfortable with how clean my side of the street is.  But that is just my employment and there is a whole bunch more to my life.  And I do get sucked in.  And why is that?  I guess it changes according to the situation.  In a crisis I step up, no question about that, especially when it is my family. I will set aside my life to help them. If my son called I would set this aside, jump in my truck and go. That is a given.  But I will reclaim my life as soon as possible.

Right now my grandmother is in a convalescent home.  She is improving and right now they say she is going home this week.  I know she would like me to be there every day visiting her.  Not going to happen. She has visitors every day, it does not have to be me.  I love my grandmother so much, but my life is important too.  And I get to take care of myself also.  I think it took me being in my fifties before I could say that comfortably.

Before that I was all about self sacrifice.  I stayed in a marriage too long thinking It was better for him and my son (wrong by the way). I would become over involved in my employment only to see at the end of the day I didn’t own the businesses and everyone can be replaced.  I hung on to friendships past their expiration date thinking I could save something that was over. Even over involvement in volunteering or community becomes draining, stealing the joy from the original intention.  Men, on my gosh, I gave up my life, making theirs the focal point of our relationships. The list goes on…..  If I just loved more, worked harder,  gave everything, well then I would be important, I would be loved, appreciated,  no one would leave me.  It didn’t really work out that way. And now I have learned some lessons from that.

the buddha

At the end of the day no one can bring me happiness beyond myself.  Loving and caring for myself must be first on my list.  To move through life with a full heart, means I have to fill it.  And this is not easy.  It is almost a reflex to say “yes”.  It is how I was raised. My impulse is to set myself aside and take care of you. But is that what is best for me, and in the end you, perhaps not. So I need to be mindful of when and why I say yes.  I need to listen to my body and my heart when it starts saying no. I need to be okay with putting myself first.  And that means unlearning behavior that is years ingrained. Loving myself needs to be a daily practice.

Yes, if you love me, that can make me feel good.  But if you love me and I don’t love myself, I won’t believe you. I won’t trust that love. Because how could you love what I believe to be unlovable?  When I do not value myself what value can you put on me?  If I am so willing to set aside my wants, desires, dreams, time and energy why would you respect them? I want to engage with those people who have a healthy self respect for themselves and their lives.  I want them to love themselves so I can love them back.  Please don’t sacrifice yourself for me, I cannot carry the weight of both of our lives.

This is not about those times when I need help or you need help.  Those are teaching moments in our lives.  Those are moments that give us connection and a sense of belonging outside of ourselves. Those are times when we can almost touch love. It becomes tangible. But to do that without resentment or expecting a return we have to come from a place of love.  And love starts within.  It all comes back to loving yourself.  To loving yourself so much you have love to give others.  You have filled your time and spent your energy so well, you have it to share.

So it is not selfish to say “I love myself first”. It is not wrong to be wise with your time and your energy.  It is okay to say no when something is draining you, taking more than you have to give.  You can put yourself first. This is your day, this is your life. You get to choose how you spend, where you spend and who you spend it with.  Life moves fast and time is precious. Be sure to have time well spent.  And spend that time loving yourself.

Namaste

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forgiveness, Growth, Inspiration, Love, Relationships

Second Chances

Second chances, we get them sometimes.  A chance to make amends, to forgive or be forgiven. I had one of those come up for me recently.  When my mom died hurt feelings were left behind with 2 people who I have known and loved my entire life. Circumstances around honoring my mothers wishes fell to me.  And because of that I had to make choices that did not include them.  And I always felt they were mad at me, that they held me responsible.  And I really hated that, but I didn’t know how to make it right.

Now 3 years have passed, and I get a Christmas card from them. First one ever.  It was in response to my sisters illness, just saying thank you for watching out for her.  A nice card.  It opened the door a little bit for me.  I thought I should call and thank them, but I was afraid.  Afraid all the pain of my mother dying would be fresh again,afraid all the decisions would have to justified.  Afraid the card was not really an opening, but just a politeness. So I sat the card aside, but never let it go in my mind.

Lately something has been changing inside me.  I want to clean up my side of the street. I want to heal wounds I have carried and created.  I want to be open and honest and real. More and more I am telling people I love them.  Not just my family, I have always said that to them, not even old friends, they know that.  But those people who are important to me. Who I love and maybe I have never said that to them.

I think somewhere in my mind saying “I love you” carried some responsibility, some sense of commitment….scary stuff to me.  That is kind of shifting for me.  Now loving you, means I love you.  I care about you, I care that you are happy and healthy.  That your life has value to me. That I am joyful to be with you.  I does not mean I owe you, or I am responsible for you. i do not have to make you happy.  I do not have to heal you.  I can simply Love you. For me, this is freeing, it opens the door to all kinds of Love.

Back to the card….. Yesterday I called them.  I was a little hoping I would get the answering machine.  But no, she answered. After the first couple of sentences the awkwardness was gone.  I simply said “Thank you for sending the card, it meant a lot to me”. And then we just started talking, about family, about life. We brushed on my mother but did not dwell there.  Maybe someday I can explain, maybe I don’t need to.  Maybe it is done and forgiven without words.  This is what I know, before we hung upsecond chance she said ” I love you, please stay in touch”.  And I felt forgiven, I felt so much guilt disappear. I felt healing in my soul.

But here is the deal, I was lucky.  They are still here for me to have had that conversation with.  I am ever aware it could be different.  If something would have happened I would have never known I was forgiven.  I know forgiveness starts inside.  I know the real forgiveness is me forgiving myself.  And on many levels I have done that.  I was in an impossible circumstance and I did my very best.  I forgive myself for any missteps I made during that time.  But a piece of me needed to know they were okay with me, that they understood and still loved me.  And I got that chance, I had that moment.

So don’t wait, don’t wonder.  Timing is important.  In the thick of things it is hard to get a true perspective, from either side.  But don’t drag it out.  I waited three years, anything could have happened during that time.  I would have carried those thoughts (that were not even true) for the rest of my life.  I would have always wondered.

I must look at my self also.  Where do I need to forgive?  What am I holding on to?  If someone needs a second chance with me, am I ready?  Have I healed?  Can I be gracious and be open to the idea we can have a better ending?  I want to be that person, I am working towards that.  Maybe just taking the first step is half the battle.

I have to let go of ego, or the I am justified feeling. I need to take down the fences I keep up because I think they keep me safe from rejection.   Looking inside myself I don’t want to carry those feelings.  Those feelings stand in the way of my good, those feelings keep me trapped.  Perhaps those feelings at some point protected me from what I perceived as vulnerability or further hurt. There comes a time when those walls do more to keep me in than others out.

I know now to grow I must be vulnerable, I must willing to be open and honest.  I think most of my growth has come through pain. Joy is wonderful. Happiness, peace, these are places my soul can rest in.  But pain, growth, soul searching, vulnerability, these places make me strong and whole. I must experience it all to be complete.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain. Kahlil Gibran.

So be willing to open the shell, to grow and see a different ending.  Be willing to forgive and be forgiven.  Forgiveness is not about condoning bad behavior or letting anyone use you, or lessen the person you are.  Forgiveness (for me) is about letting go of the picture I thought should have happened and accepting what really did.  It is about moving past that moment, taking the lesson and growing into a new idea or belief. It is about seeing the relationship in its wholeness, not just one piece of it. It is about letting go, moving on, and being free.  Free from anger, free from bitterness, free from pain.

If you have a chance, if your moment comes, take it. Whether it is about forgiving or being forgiven, it is one coin.  There is wholeness when both sides come together.  You cannot have one without the other.  Even if what ends up happening is you forgive yourself, that is enough.  That is more than enough. Still, there is a certain beauty when two souls come together in healing.

May your life be filled with second chances.

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Daily Life, Inspiration, Love, Relationships, time

We Think We Have Time

We think we have time. We live like we have forever, and in some ways we do.  We have time until we do not.  And there are no ways of knowing when that will change. But change it will, somewhere, sometime, somehow. Maybe it is becoming older and seeing people pass from my life and knowing our time was done.  Maybe it is seeing those I love in distress or close to death and getting another chance with them.  Here is what I know, time is precious, days are precious, I cannot afford to waste them.

Since I cannot predict when my last words, or sharing will be with someone every time becomes important.  I have a grandmother, my last living direct female before me, who is 94.  She is amazing.  She lives alone and still goes to church, senior center, out to lunch, she is very active.  And her mind, probably better than mine. But she is 94 and the body wears down.  I had a chance to see her last weekend and I grabbed it.  I spent about an hour sitting next to her, listening to he2014-06-21 02.06.56r stories, seeing her smile and laugh.  I didn’t really know how important that time was, later that day she went into the hospital.  There was some stuff going on she had not shared with us.  She is okay now, and coming home today.  But what if it had been different? And how would I have felt if I had not taken the time to be loving and kind to Grandma?

I know this is an extreme example.  Most people I see are not 94 and headed to the hospital. Almost always I will see them again.  But you know that feeling, that moment when you hear that someone has passed?  For me, one of my first reactions is remembering the last time I saw them. I want those memories to be loving, I want those memories to make me smile.  I want those memories to bring me peace. And that, my friends, is up to me.

Which means I have to approach life with a loving heart.  All those people who seen me for the last time, I want them to have a warm memory of me.  I want them to smile or know we parted with good in our hearts for each other.  Because the truth there are friends and family in my life right now I have had my final time with. And I cannot change any of that.  I can search my mind and my heart to see if I have left wounds anywhere. There are probably a few, I have tried not to burn bridges, but I have also set a couple on fire. Mostly that was self preservation and to make sure I could not cross that bridge again.  If I have any opportunities to make amends I should grab them. I do not always get second chances.

“It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.”
George Harrison

So the past is the past and I have today.  I can connect  with people kindly and lovingly.  When I am feeling I love someone, I can tell them.  I can let people know they are important to me.  I can leave people feeling like they were glad I was there. At the very least I can be gracious.  I can make sure not to throw away time.  I can make today count.

We think we have time, and we do, and we don’t .  Time is a trickster, it fools us into complacency.  A feeling that we have tomorrow, and next week and next month.  And mostly we do, until we don’t.  And that is the tricky part.  You just never know. I cannot live in such a heightened state of time awareness that it stresses me out and I miss the joys of today.  Living each day as if it were my last?  To truly do that feels impossible, how would I even know what that will feel like?  I cannot, as far as I know I have tomorrow.

I want to live in a way that honors every day.  With awareness that my acts of today build my tomorrows.  To know way I treat people, the love I show, the respect and attention I give others will hold me through the losses.  So this is not about dying, it is about living.  Living with the true knowledge that every encounters matters, that everything I do makes an impact.  It is not for me to know where the ripples of my life will reach. I just have to send out good ripples. To live honestly, kindly and lovingly.  To know that whether it is me or another looking back at our final encounter we can smile and be at peace.

Go out into the world today and love it.  Be kind to those you know, be gracious.  Show attention and recognition.  If I see you today I am aware that moment in time is precious for us. Each opportunity to connect and love is a gift.  Let us not waste that.  Let us not waste time, what on earth could be more precious?  At the end of the day, let us know we had we spent our time wisely, lovingly and with awareness.

Namaste

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Change, Growth, Love, Relationships

Love With a Capital L

Can I accept all the love the Universe offers me no matter the form it comes in? How available am I to be loved in ways that are a little different from what I want? Do I simply relax and say yes?  I think so.

I spent the last 48 hours surrounded by love.  I have had 2 days of sharing time with people that love me and who I love back.  All of these visits, meetings, sharing, were unrelated. I just kind of fell onto a pathway of love.  There was a visit, then a lunch, then a conversation, then a visit, then a phone call, another visit and I have an event tonight with a dear friend.  All people who are so valuable to me and who love me all in different ways. An interesting note, not one of those loved ones are blood family.  But they are my family, they are my tribe. They are the people I have chosen to love.

So many different kinds of love.  We go through life building relationships, all kinds.  Family, friend, work, romantic, church, community.  As we move ahead these all change over time.  And that is what I mean, can I accept love, however it comes?

Right now I am struggling to change within a relationship that has changed.  I want it to be the same, but it is not. And I don’t know where to put these feelings.  This change comes from life circumstances that neither of us had any control over. But she has changed, and I have to love her in a different way now.  Our relationship has to find new footing, the old path does not fit.   I think I have to be gentle and kind and breathe through it. I have to be honest and share my feelings and be willing to hear hers.  I have to stay in a place of non judgement and no expectations.  I have to let the Universe do its work through me and through her.  Because she is my sister we will always be connected.  That is, for us, a given. Her path is hard right now.  There are also lessons for me in this. A willingness to let go of what was, and love what is.  Does it always come down to “Love what Is”?  Maybe, standing in the past, holding on to the days that have passed is a lonely way to live.

Hafiz

I love this quote by Hafiz. If we could just love each other, as we are, as we stand here. Can we accept that people are going to grow, are going to change, are going to not want the same relationships that we do, and love them anyway?   Can we not put conditions around how we love, who we love, why we love?  Can we just love?  There is a belief that there is nothing you can do to earn God’s love and nothing you can do to lose it.  Can we love like that?  Can I love like that?

Because this is not about my sister, that was simply my strongest example.  This is about everyone in my tribe.  This is about my son, and loving him even when…. This is about my friends and knowing they have their own lives, be willing to take the amount of love and time they have to share, and not judging that. Or comparing, or keeping a list. This is about men who I have loved when the relationships went south. Can I stay in a place of love even then? Can a different kind of relationship develop?  Can I accept that as our path this time around?  Can I keep seeing love when basic beliefs are different from mine, and yet I love the person? Can I have a loving physical relationship and be good with the limitations around that?  Can I love old friends from afar, knowing our time together ran its course?  Can I have all of these loves and more, and not say “you owe me”. Can I take what is offered and celebrate that?

The answer to that is yes, most of the time. Not always, sometimes I feel sad, or lonely.  I might feel rejected, I might be having a pity party.  But really, that is only sometimes, and doesn’t really last.  It lasts long enough for me to remember who I am and who you are.  We are love, We are of the Universe, we are here to create, to learn and grow.  And our greatest teacher is Love.  We crave it, we name it, we judge it, we cling to it, we cry when we perceive it lost. We lose our minds, our perspective and our sense of self.  All in the name of love.

But let us look at LOVE, love with a capital L. Love comes from Source, Love is energy, Love lets us believe in ourselves.  We see ourselves more gently when we look at ourselves through another’s loving eyes. Love lifts us, Love makes us strong. Love makes us compassionate, Love sets us free.

So when I can stay in the place of Love with a capital L. I can have 48 hours of bliss.  I can welcome all kinds of love coming my way.  And the more I welcome, the more that appears.  Rumi returns with “What I seek is seeking me”. I court Love, I invite Love in.  All Love, all Love is welcome.  I am going to move forward into my day seeking Love, not judging, no conditions, no requirements. Because Love only wants my greater good, only lifts me higher.  Open mind, open heart and ready to claim all the Love the Universe can send my way.  I invite you to join me in welcoming Love with a capital L.

Namaste

Please remember to check our new Facebook page, Edge of An Angel.  All are welcome.

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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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Courage, Daily Life, Gratitude, Honesty, Love, Self, Soul, Spirit

In the Silence I Find Myself

It is in the silent spot I can hear myself think. The sweet sweet sound of silence is so hard to find these days.  I know when I awaken I have a moment of silence.  I may hear the sounds of nature, perhaps rain or a bird. or the occasional car go by, but mostly it is a silent moment to start the day.

What I know is in those quiet moments what is most weighing on my mind appears.  If I wake up and something comes immediately to mind I know it is something I need to take care of.  It can be anything from a person, to finances, maybe something broken, anything. If it finds me in the silence I have to deal with it.  I can hide behind noise during the day.  I can block out the problems with music, tv, voices, the sounds of life.  But I cannot block out the silence.  And in the silence my soul speaks.

The best days are like today.  I awaken and hear the silence, no words coming from my mind. I let the morning come to me, unfold around me. I have a moment for gratitude, I have a moment for peace.  I embrace the quiet of the morning, I drink it in. Gradually the “have to’s” arrive, but nothing weighing. I have to pee, the coffee smells good, life is calling. And I let the silence go.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.

I need this in my life.  I am calmest and most at peace when I have silence commonly in my life.  I can find it outdoors, walking the trails, by the lake.  I can hear the wind, the call of the geese and singing of the birds.  I hear a rustle in the trees but these sounds magnify the silence and make it beautiful. But mostly I can hear my thoughts, my prayers, my problems, my answers, and my dreams.

It is in the silence I find the motivation to go on.  To engage with the world. I can come into the world, and it’s noise, whole and calm,  maneuvering through all it needs of me.  The other day I was in line just ordering a sandwich and simultaneously 3 people were talking to me.  All about different topics. It was a little whirlwind of words.  And so I stood there for a just a second, and then said “I can only have one conversation at a time”. Took a breathe and handled them, one at a time. My point is I came into that place whole and centered.  And because I have those resources within me I can handle the chaos.

I find that the world is noisy, loud, demanding.  Cell phones, Ipods, traffic, horns, voices, canned music, tv, office machinery, everything is designed to grab us and take our attention. And people, we have so many people now.  I live in a small town and sometimes feel the crowding of people all in the same space.  When I am in the city, at some point, I am just overwhelmed with the amount of people and the noise.  I need to be back home.

So in the middle of all this how do we hold our center?  Because life is going to happen and we better be ready.  I have to go to work,. I have people I love needing my attention.  I have friends who contact me, want to talk, connect. I like social media, I want to engage.  I like music, tv and the radio.  I want to have all of these in my life. They keep me juicy, they keep me engaged and alive. And yet, it can be really draining and overwhelming.

I could meditate every day, but I don’t.  I have not found that sweet spot where it fits naturally into my life.  So I search for those natural moments of calm and peace and silence.  I find it when I awaken, and I listen to my thoughts.  I find it when I come home before the evening takes over, and I breathe for a minute.  I find it when I walk in nature,  hearing the sounds of Spirit through the trees and in the flapping of the birds wings. I  find answers in the silence.  I find it in those pauses of conversation, those comfortable silences.  I find it driving when I can get lost in my thoughts.  I find it exercising, when I can use the music as a background and let my mind rest. And sometimes silence comes as a gift.  When I am worn out, when things are difficult, when I am scared or lonely.  A moment of silence blesses me and carries me.  It lets me rest, it gives me peace, it fills my soul.

So for the silent moments that come your way, treasure them.  They are a gift that can soothe your soul, ease your mind and set you free.

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