Choice, Humanity, Inspiration, Love, Soul, Uncategorized

What We Choose is Who We Become

Ernest Holmes says: “We cannot live a choiceless life. Every day, every moment, every second, there is a choice. If it were not so, we would not be individuals”.

A few weeks ago I went to a lecture by don Miguel Ruiz Jr. What resonated most with me was his words around choice. The idea that “where I am right now and who I am right now, is the result of every choice I have ever made.”

We make hundreds of choices every day.  What to wear, what to eat, yes, no, right, left, up, down.  Those are the simple choices, the daily choices.  They shape our day and consequently our lives. We make them without great thought, and yet they create a pattern of living for us. And then ultimately we end up where we are.

Sometimes it looks like a bad choice, something that we wish would have done differently.  But that choice (among all the others) brought us to this moment.  However it looked, it had value.   By knowing that we are the result of our choices we can move forward in a way that accepts personal responsibility and control of how our lives unfold.

When we connect our choices and our Spiritual selves, we make good choices. We make healthy choices and we make choices that ultimately are for the good of humanity.  When we remember to choose from a place of love, of peace and of wanting better for ourselves, then we spread that throughout the world.

All of us have a life that has been filled with choices and that has brought us here to this moment.  We are not here together by chance, but by the choices we made along the way.

And what we do with those connections is our opportunity to help create a world that works for everyone. That is our moment to help spread love, bring peace, to be God and to see God in others. Individually we co create with others to create our reality. If I am living a life of peace and you are living a life of peace, then we multiply peace. Same with love, same with joy.

When we choose to see the good in the world, the world feels it. When we know that every human is a soul longing to be seen, the Universe responds. When collectively we choose to work for a world of peace, love, equality and abundance, life becomes better. When we choose love, the Universe feels it and sends love back so strong it fills our hearts and the hearts of humanity.

We are part of a greater design. As I live my life and you yours, we mesh and become something bigger, something greater than ourselves. We become a force.  We recognize that all of our individual choices have great meaning. We know that together our choices are creating our world.

As Nelson Mandela said “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

Namaste

 

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Connection, Honesty, Inner Voice, Inspiration, Spirit, Truth

The Clues Along the Way…

Paying attention to the little things.  That instant in time when you think something might have happened but you are not sure…. did you hear something, feel something, did something grab your attention, wake up, it all means something.

This came home to me again tonight when I found the milk leaking all over inside the refrigerator. As I was cleaning it up I remembered a moment on Friday. The milk hit something, I don’t remember exactly what. I remember thinking “hmmm wonder if that cut the carton”.  But I didn’t check, I just moved on. And today I found out well yes, it did.

We get clues all the time, little clues, big clues. We have to pay attention.  Life moves fast and it is easy easy to overlook what we don’t want to see. Way easier than dealing with it. I remember dating a guy once and finding a cut straw in his kitchen. If you have been around drugs at all you know what that means. I knew what that meant, but I choose to ignore it. To believe it was meant for something else, or leftover from a previous person. Or whatever lie I told myself so I didn’t have to deal with it. But eventually the truth came out. it all blew up and I could have avoided all of that angst and drama if I had not chosen to be asleep. But the lesson in that was learned and I never forgot it. The truth is the truth, even if I turn my face from it.

People drop clues all the time to who they really are.  I do it, you do it. It is human to do it. We want to tell our story, we want someone to know us, really know us. But it is hard to be transparent, sometimes it is not safe. So we test the waters and we see who cares enough to find our truth.  And those people, those precious few people become our safe place in the world.

I need to look at myself and see how am I doing. Am I being that person, that safe place?  At this point, I get it. It is not about the fancy house or car.  It is not about the power job. It is not about the social ladder. It is not about the money in the bank or the vacation. It is about people and how we make each other feel. All the money in the world, all the trappings, cannot take the place of compassion, kindness and awareness.

My job is to be awake.  My job is to be gentle with the world. My job is listen to the answer when I ask how you are. My job is look past the smile into your eyes and see the truth. My job is to be aware of your body language. Are you shut down, are you in pain?  Do you need a hand? What are your unsaid words saying? The part you leave out may tell me more then the spoken words.  My job is to to listen past the “good morning” into the knowing of how you really feel.

I don’t have to have every detail to give a kind word, a smile or pat on the shoulder.  I don’t have to bleed with you to be compassionate with your pain.  A hug, a smile, a “I know how that feels’, a shared thought, can go so far in today’s crazy hurry up world. We are all so busy and so fragmented that we rush past each other. And I am guilty of that also. And I need to be honest. . If I have had a hard night, say it. If I am a little sad, say it. I don’t have to expand,  but I can be real about who I am. And maybe that gives you room to be honest also. Or maybe it gives you the opportunity to practice compassion, which is awesome.

And my job for myself, stay awake. Listen to what the Universe is telling me. Because that is where Truth comes from. The truth of who I am. That inner all knowing voice inside has only  my best and truest intentions and will never lead me down the wrong path. I can trust that voice.  I cannot afford to close my eyes to what is uncomfortable, scary, sad,  or challenging.  It won’t disappear because I don’t pay attention. It will come back, messier than ever.

It is time to live with my eyes and my heart open.  To gather the clues I am being shown and work with them to make a better way of life. No more stumbling through life, saying I should have known.  The truth is I did know and I did not pay attention.  Everything means something.  Most of the time it is so far removed we cannot see the connection, but it is there. So pay attention to the world. Pay attention to the signals the Universe gives.That inner knowing will warn you of pitfalls and the Universe will always guide you to Love.

Namaste

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Change, Daily Life, Growth, Honesty, Inspiration, self love

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

So what story am I telling myself, and is it even true?  Something happened today that made me take a look at the stories we tell and where they come from.  How we build lives around them, make decisions around them, and was the story ever really true?

Someone I know (my son) has been living this story that today proved to not even be true.  He bought a car 1 1/2 years ago.  In order to register it in his name he had to have it smogged.  This car had modifications to the engines (guys car) so he said it would not pass smog.  He could not finish the registration and transfer because of this.  Time goes by, he gets an extension. More time goes by, he gets a tickets as his tags are expired.   He cannot get the tags, because its not in his name.  He gets another extension.  We have multiple conversations around this. He tells me there is an engine light causing the problem.  To fix it would mean much work and many dollars.  More time goes by, he gets another tickets.  Next move is impound.

There is much stress, anxiety, many conversations around this.  My sister tries to help, my brother in law gives advice.  Finally I say I need to tell my mechanic exactly why it won’t smog.  Tell me what the smog people said. My sons says “well I never tried to have it smogged.”  What?????  Deep breath…… Okay son, take it to the smog people, get an exact reason it will not smog and we can go from there. Today he takes the car in.  It passes smog.  There is no problem.  The story was not true. He built a whole piece of his life around a story that was not true.

our story

Our stories are important. We define ourselves,  we connect with others, we make decisions, all around the story we have decided is our truth.  But we have a responsibility to ourselves to  question these stories.  We cannot live blindly or stuck in an old story.  That does not do us or those around us justice.  Every now and then we need to check in and say is this still true?  How did we start believing this, was it ever true?  Looking at that will help us move forward and grow.  Maybe the story is still true, okay then we know are on the right path. We have to be wiling to look at ourselves and what we believe about ourselves every now and then.  Otherwise we are living by default.

One story I tell myself is that I am not the kind of woman a man wants to marry.  Where I decided this I don’t know.  I think it was to protect myself from being rejected.  This thought helped me get through failed relationships, giving me an out (not my fault),  after all I am not the kind of woman that men marry.  It couldn’t have been that I picked men who were emotionally unavailable, or younger and wanting to make a family. It couldn’t have been that I did not want to be married.  Shouldn’t every woman want that?  Isn’t that the dream?  How could I not want that?

Here is the thing, that thought helped me get through some really fragile years.  Years I should not have been thinking of marriage or any long term relationship.  So that belief served me well. It protected me, it gave me time, time to grow. I came out of a 20 year marriage and I had some healing to do. So that story that I told, well it helped me then.

But now, maybe I need to look at that again.  Because I still say it, and I am not so sure it is true anymore.  I think differently now.  I have grown in many ways and now my life has changed and so have I .   But if I keep thinking that and saying that, I will be stuck in an old pattern.  A pattern that doesn’t fit anymore.   Yes, I am independent and tend to need alone time, but I am sure there is someone out there that I am perfect for.   I am changing my story.

Our stories can be good, they can be empowering.  One of my mom’s stories was that she was lucky. And she was!  She was always winning contests and jackpots.  She went through her life saying “i’m lucky” and it served her well.  So how about some good stories.  How about I say I am smart, funny, capable? How about I believe that I am amazing?  I could say I am lucky in love, in finances.  Just plain lucky.  I could tell the story of how I survived a divorce and came out on the other side with my sanity. I could believe that I am available to be a wonderful partner. My story could be I am a great mom. My story could be I leave a blessed mark wherever I go.  My story can be whatever I want.

But I need to look at it.  What am I telling myself, what I do believe to be true?  And is it? No more hiding, no more fairy tales.  The princess is a queen now and stories are in the open.  Whether pretty, ugly, sad or uplifting, I own them.  I invite you to look at your stories.  What are you telling yourself, and is it true?  We all have many stories through our lives.  We can change them, we can write another chapter.  It is all in our hands.  But mainly be sure the story still fits.  Don’t try to live in outgrown skin.   Make a new story, and fill it with love.

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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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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