Balance, Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, life, Soul

Drink From Your Glass

Is the glass half full or half empty?  That has been the eternal question.  Your perception of the glass has been used to judge your general attitude for life. Or at least at that moment in your life.

So the other day, someone asked me that question, and I paused for a moment to think. To really give an honest answer and what came up for me, is it doesn’t matter. Because the glass is refillable.  So I can drink from the glass,  I can empty the glass and then fill it back up.

Life isn’t always a full glass.  If the glass is a metaphor for life, well then we need to use the stuff inside.  If we just left  the glass sitting there, full, it would, in time, become stagnant, stale, unused, not enjoyed.  Whether it is love, or money, or energy, or time.  Whatever that glass is representing needs to be used. And then guess what, we can fill it up again.

So I say drink from the glass, use everything you can.  Don’t watch the levels, know there is always more available to you.  In this abundant universe there is always more. Believe in this abundance, believe you can always fill your glass.  You don’t have to hoard your time, love, energy, wealth.  You don’t have to keep your glass full, drink from it, drink from life.  And then fill it back up.

Namaste

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attachment, Change, Daily Life, Freedom, Growth, Release

What’s in Your Vacuum?

When  a lesson is needed, it shows up. The trick is to see it. Because lessons,  they hide in the most unexpected areas.

Yesterday I am vacuuming.  My vacuum is less than 3 years old. And it is doing an adequate job, but I am struggling a little. Going over and over the same spot.  It was not picking up like it should. Whats wrong here vacuum?  So then I think, oh Sandy, when was the last time you dumped the canister. Yes, it full, very full.

How often do I clear out emotional trash, but not get rid of it?  I hide it, tucked away, just kind of hanging on to it. And then when something new comes up and I need to clear that, there is little room for movement.  Old wounds, old emotions are still cluttering up my mind and my heart.  I thought I cleared it, I thought I moved on, but maybe it is still in the vacuum canister.

As I am cleaning out the canister some of the dirt spilled on the kitchen floor.  And I am looking at that, almost looking to see if I need to save anything. Did an earring get in there, a penny? Really, let it go.  Honestly I decided months ago that it wasn’t worth keeping, why am I still sifting through it.

So I really let the dirt go. And then I thought, this is like my life. All the stuff I have processed again and again, but held onto, let it go.  Don’t save the dirt of my life to sift back through later. Make it disappear.  I am done looking backwards, I am done trying to make a different ending to something that is over. I am done trying to rewrite the stories.  I am done holding on to anger or pain. I am done trying to learn the same lesson multiple times. I am done.

And when I thought my vacuum was cleared there was a bunch debris up in another section (please don’t judge me).  So then I think, more hidden dirt.  And I clear that out, realizing that some stuff is really deep. It doesn’t want to leave. That even though it is dirt, it is my dirt, and can I really let go?

I think that our dirt can be really powerful. Overcoming an addiction, for instance, is painful, but moves us forward.  Letting relationships go when they are done (my big issue) is one of the biggest ways to grow. Overcoming fears, changing our minds, learning to trust,  loving ourselves, all of these things are started when we move our dirt around.

It is hard to grow when we are clogged up. For instance, if I have a fear of changing my housing, then I to deal with what is real today. But what comes up for me is “I am losing another home”. Remember when my house was foreclosed on…. remember how bad I felt, what a failure I felt like, how sad I was. None of that has anything to do with today, but holding on is keeping me stuck. Because instead of being optimistic about change or realistic about my circumstances, I slip back in past. I need to dump the dirt. I need to say “that was hard and painful, but it is done” I don’t have to carry those feeling into my current circumstance.

There are always lessons on the way.  There are always opportunities for growth.  And some of it will be painful and need to be looked at. And we need room for that.  A fresh clean vacuum. So in the memory box put your lessons, put your “well I’m not doing that again”. put your treasures, the things that helped you become the person you are. You will need those things.

But as for the dirt, clean out the vacuum, clear out the closet, clean out under the sink. Where ever you discarded your emotional trash, throw it away.  Make room for more.  Because more will come, that is life. Be ready, make room,  and then let it go..

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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Blessings, challenges, Change, Healing, Inner Voice, Inspiration, Lessons

I Forgot Who I Am

I have had some physical symptoms going on for about a year now that I have not been dealing with. Well, not dealing with correctly, like going to the doctor. There has been much heart racing, anxiety, some rashes,  extreme fatigue, loss of hair, etc and I put it all to stress, aging or emotional issues.  And I tried to fix it that way. I prayed, I meditated, I exercised, I spent time with friends, anything that felt joyful or stress relieving I brought it in. I tried hard to not feed the stress and negativity that we all encounter in our daily lives. By doing all of that I am sure I mitigated the problem, but it did not fix it.  At some point (couple weeks ago) I got it, this is not working, and I went to the doctor and have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  It explains pretty much all of these symptoms which can treated medically and I should be fine eventually.

One by one I accepted these things (symptoms) into my life and they became part of who I am.  I allowed myself to be okay with being too tired.  I blamed it on aging or getting up early every day. I put up with a racing heart thinking I could not handle the stresses in my life. My thinning hair  and dry skin, again I must be getting old. My anxiety and general impatience, well I am overwhelmed and cannot handle anything beyond the moment.  Everything I was feeling I judged myself for and came up short. I forgot who I truly am.

So there are some reasons I would go to stress and feeling overwhelmed as my default.  I have been through some challenges these past few years.  And the hits kept coming. So it felt natural to say I am finally at my breaking point and body reflects that.  But it wasn’t true.  I made  up that story.  I forgot who I was.

I forgot I am strong, I forgot I am capable, I forgot that I handle life like a boss. I forgot I have an amazing belief that my life is good.  I forgot I am juicy.  I forgot my mind can see the truth.  I forgot my ability to see past the surface. I forgot to believe in myself. i forgot that I am amazing and destined to live in a way that celebrates life.

I started living by default.  I started letting my beliefs around what was happening to my body determine my quality of life. How often do we do that? My wake call (this time) was physical, but it can manifest in a zillion ways. When I accept a relationship in my life that is stealing my joy.  When I make excuses for it and blame myself. When I stay at a job that is killing me but am afraid to let go of the security. When I believe that is all I can have. When I look at my finances and think of them as meager instead of seeing the abundance around me. Then I am living in fear of lack. So one by one I ignore the little hints in the situations and end up facing a thyroid storm, or whatever manifests from blaming myself and not seeing the truth.

So my job now is to remember who I am.  And to trust myself. And to trust the God within me. To remember I am strong and wise.  To turn off that auto pilot of self blame and open my eyes to a different truth. This lesson could have been much harsher. I ignored something medical and it could have been way more serious.  I was too busy blaming myself for not being enough.  I am grateful for the blessing of this lesson. And I am done forgetting who I am.

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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Choice, daily practice, Growth, Healing, Love, Relationships

Go Where the Love Is

You know how phrases get caught up in your mind.  You could call in an affirmation, a mantra, or simply something that is stuck in your head.  For a few days now this is mine….Go where the love is.  I have struggling lately trying to get my footing again in the world.  I make a few steps forward and then life comes along and blows me down a different path.  And I need some healing, some way to stay in my center.  So, go where the love is.

Love is everywhere.  It is not a person or a place.  It is that and more.  Love is a feeling of being wanted, being welcomed.  Whether walking among the redwoods or laughing with a friend, there I find love.  Love is a feeling of peace in my heart, I can find that in a sanctuary or by the water.  I can find love in a good meal, a good book, watching a little league game or while writing this. Love is a state of being, a calmness within that allows me to recognize I am supported by the Universe and that God wants only to give me my good.

And my good is love.  So why not go where the love is? Why spend any time in places or with people that do not support this?  Sometimes I am strong and I can go out there and be the love of the world.  I can take on the haters and show love anyway.  I can let their opinions and negativity roll off my back.  I am armored in love. I can lead the way.  Those are amazing times.

And there are times like now, I am more fragile, I have broken pieces.   I love this practice from Japan.  How they fill the cracks with gold and the piece becomes even more valuable.  I want to fill my cracks with love. That is how I will heal myself. fill with gold I will be richer, more valuable and have more depth in my soul.  I will let these jagged pieces smooth with love.  I will patchwork myself back together with love.  I will breathe in love  and I will breath out peace. Love is the strongest force in the Universe.  Love always wins.  Love is stronger than hate, sadness, fear, despair, anger, apathy.  So letting love heal, I will be amazingly strong.  My cracks and fissures full of the most valuable energy ever known.

So I have to go where the love is.  And that means listening to the call of my heart.  That means saying no to the people, places and things that do not love me.  In those circumstances where I know I am out of balance I have to step away.  I must close my ears when I hear things that do not support loving me.  When I feel uncomfortable or anxious I have to look at what I am doing and who I am with. I have to be willing to step away and say this does not support my healing.

That can mean letting go of people or circumstances already in my life. Although I am pretty careful about who I let in,sometimes someone comes in through a crack. Perhaps I am lonely or emotional.  Maybe I think they need me, my ego wants stroking.  It could be an outgrown job or social connection.  Old friends, who somehow have hung on.  And it  is mainly me, holding on to fears and outgrown ideas.  Hanging on to the past to avoid the future.  Clinging to today because tomorrow seems scary and unknown.

So right here and now this is my mantra, this is my daily prayer…..Go Where The Love Is.

And when that moment is done, again, Go Where The Love Is.  and again and again.  Stay where the love is. Only accept love.  Fill myself body and soul with love.  Seal those cracks with love. Be Love. Live Love. Breathe Love. Stay where there is Love. Because that is what will save me, Love will save me. Love will make me whole.  And then, armored in Love,  I can step out as warrior for Love.  So then, when you need to “go where the Love is,” I am here for you.

Namaste

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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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