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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Choice, Daily Life, daily practice, Growth, Inspiration, Religion, Spirit

Spiritual? Religious? Do We Have to Choose?

I keep hearing this comment and question.  Are you spiritual or are you religious? Like you must be one or the other.  This is a question Oprah likes to ask a lot on Super Soul Sunday of her guests.  Most of them say spiritual. But what I think is there is room for both, inside me, at the same time.

We were in a discussion in class last night regarding practice and devotion.  How do you see that differently? Is it different? And for me what came up was spiritual vs religious. I cannot separate the two, I need both.

For me spiritual is how I live my life. It is the inner work that I do. It is my personal connection to something greater than myself. It is in the decisions I make, it is in how I view myself and others. When I decide I want more love in my life and so I stay in a place of love, that is Spirit.  When I realize I am judging someone else, and stop, that is Spiritual. When I sit out in nature and listen to the call of the birds, that is Spiritual. When I read a book that moves me to tears, that is Spiritual. When I say I want peace and joy in my life and go out with the faith it is already so, that is Spiritual. So spiritual, for me, is my personal daily connection to God (or whatever your name is) and how I take that into my world.

Religion, I thought I didn’t need it. I thought I could basically wing it. I’m all about God, I’m all about Love.  And that worked for a long time. But all the humanness became mixed up in that and I didn’t have structure to help me through the happenings of my life. Yes, it is fine to sit on a hilltop and feel the Grace of God. But now, I have to go down into the world and try to live my life with grace and ease.  And I need support around that.

So I get that through my church. I go almost every week. And I go because I need the lessons that give me support during the week.  I attend the Center for Spiritual Living, which is a Religious Science church. I found this belief system works for me. We do a lot of work around the here and now. You can look it up more if you like. I am not saying it is the only way, I am saying I have found this to work for me.

So religion, why do I go?  I need the structure around me.  I am reminded each week to do my daily practices. I am inspired by the lessons I hear. I am given tools to help me maneuver through my emotions. I am reminded over and over that I am worthy, that I am loved. There are classes to help deepen my knowledge, of both myself and the Creator. There are people who are like minded that remind me why I am Spiritual.

I know I need both. I think they go hand in hand. If I am simply religious and not taking that spiritual connection into my life, I am missing the whole point.  If I am spiritual, but not including religion, I am not grounded and supported enough to sustain it.

Am I spiritual?  Am I religious? I am both.   What I am is whole. I use everything available to stay that way. I can’t separate them and I don’t need to.  Why would I?  I have the best of both worlds.

Namaste

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Choice, Daily Life, forgiveness, Growth, Healing, Inspiration, Mother

You are the Star of Your LIfe

This is your life, own it.  Everyone else is a spectator, you are the star.  If you do not live your life, your way, you are missing out on the greatest gift the Universe has to offer, your own wholeness.

There are many people around you, most of them have an opinion on how you should live, act, think, believe. Who you should love, why you should love, where you should love.  Everyone has their own agenda, it doesn’t matter.  Own your life,  this is your gift to yourself.

Even the most well meaning loving people have their own agenda.  I have one,  I have ways I want people to react.  I might want them to believe something because it is important to me.  I might want them love me, because I love them.  I might want them to behave in a certain way because it supports my belief.  And all of this wanting is done with a loving heart.  It doesn’t matter. It is not up to me.  I need to at look at what I want for others,  as my mirror for myself.

I have sat at bedsides of loved ones dying. I attended my mothers, and more recently my grandmothers death.  As heart wrenching and painful as those moments were, here is the truth, they died, I did not. It was their death, not mine, It was their life, not mine. At that moment what do you want to remember?  I want to remember I owned my life.  I did not give it away.  I felt my pains, I celebrated my joys, I chose my loves, I made up my own mind on my beliefs.  This is my life, not anyone else.  And when I die, I take my life with me.  The ones left behind are free to live theirs.

So this is our moment, this is our time to say “I am going to live my life, I am going to own my life. It is too precious to give away.  My beliefs, my decisions, my scars, my joys, my loves, my struggles, my lessons, my triumphs,  they are mine. I have earned them. I will keep them and I will celebrate them.”

I know it has been said way too often, but today I need to say it one more time….Today is the first day of the rest of your life

Have a beautiful day

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challenges, Daily Life, daily practice, Growth, Honesty, Inspiration, Self

Flexing my Spiritual Muscle

It seems like there are 2 types of people around me these days.  Like minded and challenging. Sometimes (often) they are one in the same.  Human’s are complex, when I am in agreement in one area I can be polar opposite in another. It is those opposites that strengthen.

When I am in class, in church, among like minded friends I feel loved and supported.  I feel like my beliefs are solid, I can expand them.  I learn how to deepen my faith and my core beliefs.  There is no challenge, I hear thoughts and comments that support the path I am on.  And this is good for me, it is a safe place to grow.

But then I go out into the world. And that is where I get stronger.  Because the world does not necessarily agree with me.  I am constantly challenged by different belief systems.  Some of those challenges come from people who I love and respect.  This is where I step up or step out. Can I stand in my truth and not be afraid to share that?

It is pretty easy to take an anonymous stand.  It is pretty easy to say some headline news story is horrible.  We can mostly be in agreement when comes to global disasters, we can all be aghast at kidnappings, human slavery, famine.  This is when we are wonderful as humans who come together for a common good cause.

But when it comes down to individual beliefs we are different.  I was talking to a friend the other day and he was on a little rant against one of the recent police/black deaths that seem to prevalent these days.  We stand on opposite sides of this.  I didn’t want to argue, I didn’t want to have separation between us.  But I couldn’t agree and feel good within myself.  So I simply said “I have to believe that in the end Love will win”.  And there we found a common ground.

I have another friend who I love dearly.  We have common beliefs but we veer away on others.  There was a post the other day I disagreed with.  I tried all day to avoid it.  But I couldn’t let it go.  For me, if I stayed quiet, then I was complicit. I had to speak up, I tried so hard to be respectful.  I was not trying to change them. But I have to be willing to stand behind my beliefs.

And that is where I strengthen my muscles.  It is in the trenches I get stronger.  I believe in being kind.  I say it, I post it.  I’m all about kindness.  What about when it is not easy?  Can I still be kind?  When I am in line at the grocers and your baby is crying and annoying me…can I still be kind?  Can I see you are tired and simply trying to get home to feed the baby.  Can I just see the humanness and be kind?  When you cut me off in traffic can I bless you instead of flipping you off?  Can I see you as distracted or hurried rather than arrogant? When you snub me in the hallway at work, can I smile anyway?  Can I know a bigger truth about you, and not see you as rude?

Those are some simple daily actions that strengthen my muscles.  Life is the classroom.  Life is where I do the work.  Life is where I put into practice all of the beliefs that develop when supported by like minded people.  So my challenges are my greatest blessings.  They show where I have growing to do. I can meditate till the cows come home, but if I am rude to someone, feel anger, or impatience then I have more work to do. If I am afraid you won’t love me if I disagree or stand up for my beliefs, I have work to do.  And I am not going to see that in my little bubble of bliss.  I have to go out in the world and flex my muscles.

So thank you world, for making me strong. Thank you challenges for letting me see where I have work to do.  Thank you humans for showing me I truly believe my talk and am willing to walk it.  Thank you like minded people for giving me a safe place to grow.  Thank you Universal Spirit for this amazingly complex classroom we call life.

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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Daily Life, Inspiration, Spirit

Seva, Selfless Service

” The idea of selfless service (seva also sewa) is an important concept in most Indian religions and yogic traditions. Because God is perceived as having a relationship with others, as well as oneself, serving other people is considered an essential devotional practice of indirectly serving God. Service to make life easier for others”

Seva, a concept of service I learned at my church and has actually been serving me lately.  I have found myself in the position frequently the last few months of needing to serve others.  Of needing to put another’s needs in front of mine, of needing to (while not quite sacrifice) at least, put someone else’s problems in front of my own pleasures.

The most recent one occurred this last weekend.  My son had some car problems during the week which I tried to help him and I ended up just lending my truck to him, essentially leaving myself walking or staying home.  His needs were just more urgent than mine.  If you have been following you know I done much to help my sister and family these last couple of months.   And recently some almost resentment has crept in.

Now I am human and no angel and certainly not a martyr.  I like to take care of myself and make sure I have what I need to enjoy my days.  But I also love my people and want to help them.  There are fine lines and sometimes they get blurred.  I started to go to a place that stopped the easy flow of giving and turn it into something forced or resented.

Then I remembered Seva, selfless service.  And that was a gift for me.  I was able to step back into service because I started using it as a path to Spirit.  And everything changed.  My attitude changed,  life became easier, I had more joy, and the service I am  giving has more impact.  By removing any thoughts of resentment, stress or selfishness I am able to give with Love.  And what is given with Love can be received with Love.  The action, the service, will flow easily into good and all parties benefit.   And I am blessed with serving God.  Because anything I do for any being, I do for the The Beloved.

So the next time you are called step into Seva.  It changes everything.  You get to have a Spiritual experience and help someone all in the same moment. Isn’t that why we are here?

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