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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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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Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, Relationships, Uncategorized

Letting Life Unfold

I am getting better at this, letting life unfold. But wow, it is hard.

Just like everyone at any given moment in my life, I have a lot of balls in the air. Most are not even related to each other. They are unsettled and undecided.  Who knows how everything is going to shake out. And it is hard for me to not start grabbing the balls and placing them where I want them.  And why shouldn’t I?

Well, for one thing that takes a lot of energy. Moving those balls around, convincing other people this is where they should be. Watching them in case one starts to roll. Feeling responsible that they are all well cared for and in good shape. This is a lot of work. And I am missing the moment and joys of today with all that rushing around.

And then what if the balls I am taking are not even mine? That is important to know, is this mine?  Just because something is in my field of vision does not make it mine. I have to be conscious of that and not take over what belongs to someone else. Here is a little example I have right now. My beloved friend is going through a break up. It is hers. I can be supportive, I can offer a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen with and a caring heart. But that is it. What they do with it, not my call. The lessons they learn, not mine. So as close as my friend is to me,  I am an observer in this.

Here is another, I am looking for a new position.  I work in an agency that has opportunities within my division and beyond. So I have spread my wings, took the tests and am interviewing in a few different areas. I want to take this ball and move it the way I want it to go. But I cannot see beyond the immediate moment right now, and I need to allow for the bigger picture to unfold. So I just move through it. I take the situations placed before me and do my best. I try to stay in a place of ease and grace. I stay with the knowledge that all of this leads me to my good and I need not rearrange the balls. Let life unfold.

Relationships…..this is where I really want to push. And it is the one area that I need to use the most restraint. Because really, a job, housing, a purchase, a decision on education or travel, that is all about me. And if I screw it up, I am the one who gets the lessons. But relationships, I am not in control here. I do not get to decide how someone reacts, what they want, and how they show up in my life. But if I can let life unfold the relationship, in whatever form it takes, it will be authentic. And that is what I truly want.

“As someone who has faced as much disappointment as most people, I’ve come to trust not that events will always unfold exactly as I want, but that I will be fine either way.”

Marianne Williamson

I do have to be responsible and accountable. I can’t just do nothing. I have to be an active participant in my life .I set the context for what I want in my life and I let it unfold.  I have keep my eyes and my heart open and act accordingly. But I don’t need to be stressed or worried. I can remember this is not all on me, it is me with God.

So I am going to sit back and let life lead the way. I am going to stay in a place of trust that all good comes my way and I need not push it. Life is to be enjoyed and there are wonders around every corner.  This is a wonderful amazing journey and I want to be open to where ever it leads. By following my intuition and my heart, and having trust in the Divine,  I can enjoy the ride.

Namaste

 

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Change, Community, Daily Life, kindness, Leadership

Shifting Consciousness, We Can Do This

We can change our world, one act, one thought at a time.  What we do and think and say and how we act, it matters. We can shift consciousness, and when enough of us do, we change not just our world, but the world at large.

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I saw this in action the other day. It was not how it started nor my intention, but this is how it played out:

I see a man standing in a parking lot entry holding a sign asking for help. I watch him for awhile, no one stops but he stands there smiling anyway. He was presentable, his family was in a car next to where he was standing. I rarely do this, but I was moved to find out his story.

So I went up and talked to him for awhile. I asked questions, tried to see if I could help beyond a few dollars. We talked about jobs and housing. He is afraid to go to Social Services for help, he thinks they will take his children. We talked a lot.

But here is what I noticed. No had stopped to help him before. While I was standing talking to him 4 cars stopped and gave him money. One man handed him $20. He looked shocked , amazed and grateful. So I guess my point is that we can shift consciousness by being kind. By my standing there talking to this young man, people were moved to help. He became a person, not a threat or a stranger. The power of kindness can change the world.

So, shift in consciousness….not just mine but in that moment in time other humans shifted and were moved to act. They saw something differently and changed their response.  I saw it on a bigger scale when we had a huge fire in our neighboring county. People stepped up and gave like I have never seen happen in our community before.  It took on a life of its own until they asked everyone to stop bringing donations, as they were overfull. Everyone gave what they could of their time, treasure or talent.  It was beautiful to watch. I was and still am moved beyond words.

So how you live your life, how I live my life makes a difference. People see what we do, and it becomes safe for them to be giving, to be kind, to be open.  When we open our hearts to the world it is a little scary. We become vulnerable. What if people laugh at us, or think we are foolish?  What if we look weak?  What if people take advantage of us?

But hey, what if kindness is the new strong?  What if being vulnerable is the bravest thing you can do? What if we move beyond caring what people think? How about we pave a new path and shift consciousness? We can do this, one parking lot, one community at a time.  People are doing it everywhere all the time. I want to join those people.  I want the consciousness to be one of love, safety and abundance. That starts with my belief for myself and spreads through my world.

So however you want your world to be, than be that. Feed that which serves you best. People are watching, some are just waiting for someone to make the move, to have the belief. And then it becomes safe for them. So we get to be the trailblazers and we follow in the footsteps of amazing people. Let their footsteps not dissipate, but deepen them. Of course  Ghandi said it best

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

You, me, us, we can shift the consciousness around us. We can create the energy we want by our thoughts and our actions.  Start believing you can make a difference and watch how it unfolds. Work with the Universe to create a world of kindness and love. Others will follow, just as we are.  Together we truly can make a difference, one kind act a time.

Namaste

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Change, Choice, Daily Life, family, home, intention

Who Is In Control Here? Me or the World?

Who is in control here, me or the world? To some extent the world I live in has set the pace for my life. But really, I chose that. I could live differently.  Right now, I choose to have housing, medical insurance, a vehicle etc. I have to pay for that. So I am employed and that sets much of the tone of my life.  I am expected to show up and put in a days work, 5 days a week. And you know what, I am okay with that. But some people choose differently and maybe I should I look at making a different choice.

I am looking at housing these days (yes again) and wondering can I go even smaller?  Would I be comfortable? Do I really need all this stuff? Right now I pay for storage each month.  To store furniture I don’t have room for. I could almost let it all go, except my dad built this beautiful china cabinet and I could never replace that. Still, I saw this studio apartment for rent and thought, maybe? After all, how much room do I need?  It’s not me that needs the room, but my stuff.  I am attached to my stuff.

And why am I attached to my stuff?  It is not expensive stuff.  Probably the value of all my furnishings, pots and pans, lamps, rugs etc is under 2k, way under. But I look around and here is my history. My mom had that vase, my grandmother had this table. I remember how I struggled to pay off the living room furniture. This picture over my chair came from my moms house,  the clock came from my dad. Over and over, this is my collection of my life. And I am attached to it. I have let go of the people through death or relocation or just the rhythm of my life, but their fingerprints are all around me.

I have seen this over and over, when going through and clearing out someone’s house after they pass. Their memories are everywhere.  What meant nothing to me, had a whole story for them. Why did my grandmother have vials of her fingernails stuffed away in drawers?  We will never know the answer to that.  My moms things…. I knew the stories of much of what was visible. But the handkerchief pressed away in a book or the old worn out pair of shoes she did not let go of, those were her memories. And they left with her.

It is said we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. And yes we do. Sometimes in a way that is global, people fought for freedom, civil right and women’s rights. We would not be where we are without all those who came before us. But personally we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. Good or bad, they set the tenor of our lives, at least the beginning.  Some of us became very strong through adversity. Some of us became very strong because we were believed in. We all had family and started out somewhere. And we carry that with us.

But back to the beginning, who is in control here? Do I want to live by default or choice?  I have a history and that is what it is. I cannot rewrite it or change.  But I can choose to bring along with me that which makes my life better. Because it was not all pretty, none of ours is.  I can take my mom’s strength and recognize how hard she fought in a world that seemed unloving to her. I can leave behind her criticism and disapproval of me. I can see just because someone else says I am clumsy (for instance) does not make it so. I can see myself as graceful and make that my truth.

So everyday is a choice and my daily choices add up to my life. I can choose how I see myself and that translates to how I move through the world and how others see me. I set the tone for my day by intention. Each morning I can intend to have a good day, or a peaceful day, or a day I feel strong. I can intend every day to live my best life. I can intend daily to be kind, to be loving,  to be a person others feel safe with. I can intend every day to find joy. I can be open everyday to all the Good life has to bring. I can intend to see myself as beautiful and valuable. I can set all these intentions and more because I get to choose how I react to how my life unfolds.

And so do you. This is your day, you week, your life. Honor those whose shoulders you stand on, but stand on your own two feet. Make your own choices, live your best life. See yourself for the beautiful human you are and get out there and let your light shine.

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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Balance, Growth, Healing, self love, Soul, Wholeness

Balance and Wholeness, Can We have Both?

Wholeness and balance, what is the difference? I was having a discussion with my friend the other night.  We got into the balance/wholeness topic.  So my friend was speaking about balance, needing balance in her life and working towards that.  So I comment that I am focused more on wholeness and then question comes up “can we define those terms?” And so that is what is on my mind.

Balance: super important. When I am out of balance my skin just doesn’t quite fit, my life is uneven and I am invested in one area way too much. This happens all the time. I take on too much work and I quit having fun. I share way too much and then withdraw. I focus on a relationship and everything else goes out the window. I decide to get healthy and forget to relax. I could go on with many examples. Probably you could too. It is not necessarily bad, in fact I think it is human. We become engrossed, passionate, committed, and it feels good, until it doesn’t.

I have learned to recognize the symptoms more quickly these days.  I can say “I am out of balance, I am spending too much time on this, i have neglected that.” I am much quicker to correct the situation.  Sometimes I cannot, life does not easily allow me to move out of the situation. For instance, if I was  put in a care taking situation, or any kind of crisis where I want to help, it would be hard to step away. But I can recognize it and work towards taking care of my needs. I can look at the what I am putting my attention to and dial it back a little. I can see that balance will be regained in the future and therefore have peace with the present.

But if my very life has created the imbalance, well I have the tools to fix that. There is no need for me flounder and feel out of control. I make my choices and I look at the big picture.  Am I paying attention to my health? Am I paying attention to my Spiritual life?  Am I paying attention to my responsibilities? Do I have enough love in my life?  Am I laughing enough, am I enjoying myself?  When all of these facets are full my life flows with balance.

But wholeness, that is different to me. I realized they are not one and the same. For me, wholeness is being complete in myself. Wholeness is accepting all parts of me.  Accepting the good of me, the difficult parts of me, the intellectual me, the crazy me, the driven me, the relaxed me, the funny me, the cryptic me. All of me. And loving all of those pieces of me.

Wholeness means I do not look for something outside of me to fix me. I know that cannot happen. I look inside for that. I am responsible for my being. Wholeness also means I will walk beside you but not try to fix you. I accept your wholeness just as it is presented to me. If you have pieces missing right now,  you are still perfect in this moment just as you are.

Wholeness does not mean I am not broken, but it does mean I have put the pieces back in. I have worked to fill the cracks and mend the scars. Wholeness means I do not search for someone to complete me, but to complement me. There have been times, even in recent years, I have felt fragmented. Like I had left pieces of myself all along the way of life. Mostly with people, sometimes places. I have gathered many of my pieces and brought them home. I recognize that I am One with The One. This last time when I lost my Grandmother, I felt broken inside, like there were little pieces of me broken but still within my skin.  This time I did not leave pieces behind. I kept them and I healed them. I am full of scars, they are part of my wholeness.

What I know is this, wholeness feels like peace, like love. Wholeness feels like I am enough, just as I am. Maybe that is it, I am enough. Broken, scarred,. fractured, healed, good, bad, beautiful, wistful, curious, searching, lonely, full, loved and loving, all of this and more, I am enough. I am whole, perfect and complete and I am enough, just as I stand.

We need both, Balance and Wholeness.  We will lose our way over and over with them,   We are here to learn about life and lessons come in all sorts of packages. But if we can remember along the way to take a step back and say “Am I in balance, Am I feeling whole?” then we are ahead of the game and surely at the end of the day we have a certain peace and calmness that lives within us.

Namaste

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