Connection, Daily Life, daily practice, friendship, Inspiration, Love

Love is An Action Word

There are a million quotes on Love:

Love what is

Love makes the world go round

All you need is love

You love me? Real or not real? Real.

I could go on and on and on. Love is the most talked about, written about, sang about thing in the history of all time. But I was thinking what kind of word is love?  Is it a   verb or a noun? Or even an adjective? So I look it up..it is a verb, a noun and  an adjective. How really all inclusive love is.

But Love in Action, that is what I am thinking about right now. To really recognize when I do something, I am showing Love, in action.

When I water my plants,  Love in action.

When I listen to my friend, Love in action.

When I go to my friends sons baseball game, Love in action

When I text someone to say good morning, Love in action.

When I make my home clean and comfortable, Love in action.

When I help out a co worker, Love in action.

When I pray, Love in action.

When I greet a stranger with a smile, Love in action.

When I am welcoming to my lover, Love in action.

When I support my community, Love in action.

When I step up and help a friend who cannot ask, Love in action.

When I share food, Love in action.

This list could go on and on. All of this are actions that have happened in my life in the last 4 days. All of this love in action. And this is how I want to live. To recognize all these acts of love that are not called love, but are Love.

We speak much of love. We write songs, we tell each other I love you. There are poems and sonnets. And that is all amazingly beautiful and necessary.  But let us not overlook the million simple ways that love is shown.  Because these ways are simple and part of our daily living perhaps we tend to not give them the importance and acknowledgement we should. Yes, a song is lovely and I will enjoy it. But a meal made and shared with a friend, that will live in the heart long after the note of the song has faded.

 

 

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

Is Today the Day You Love Yourself?

How much can you love yourself?  How good can you be to yourself?  Are you willing to put yourself first?  Are you willing to step into your own greatness?  Can you love yourself as much as you want someone else to love you? Can you say this is my life and it is important? Are you able to do that?

It is hard, to love ourselves. From birth we are taught to put others first.  We are taught that taking the back seat is polite, even honorable.  We are taught to look up to people, to emulate them, to strive to be a carbon copy of someone else.  And we need teachers, and mentors and people who pave the way for us.  We need heroes, we need to look up to people.  But at some point we need to be our own hero.

And maybe for some us that day is today.  Maybe it is time to say I am done sacrificing this one life I have.  Maybe today is the day we break free.  We can release old patterns that hold us back telling us that we come second. I have seen it over and over again.  People give up their lives and take second place.  People in relationships do this. One person becomes the star of their world and the other is supporting cast.  Children want to please their parents, they make life choices that are not theirs. People deny their true beliefs to conform to a party line or a religion or even a job.  All the time, we make adjustment that go against our own true nature.

People settle, everyday people settle. Settle for less than they want, less than they deserve. Why?  So we don’t make waves?  So we keep people happy? When do we make ourselves happy?  Is today the day? Is today the day we say this is my truth, this is who I am, and I love myself.  And nothing on this earth is set above that. Is today the day we say my life is important?  Is today the day we say my dreams matter?  Is today the day we respect our own journey and give it wings?

As close as we are to other humans, we walk alone.  Be it our family, our partner, our best friend, there is a separateness.  When we die we go alone. No one else lives in our brain nor our hearts. Our mind belongs to us. To not respect this is to devalue this beautiful gift of life.

What do you want, do you want respect, do you want love?  Can we really expect that anyone will love or respect if we do not find ourselves worthy of that?  Should not the first person to give us these gifts be ourselves?

Adore yourself, delight in yourself. Find your humor at yourself, be compassionate with yourself.  Praise yourself, truly be a friend to yourself.  Speak well of yourself, take care of yourself.  Appreciate your body and enjoy all the things you do with it. Sing to yourself, comfort yourself. Love yourself, can I say it any louder……Love yourself my dearest one. This is the first step to true living, the step to happiness. Recognizing your value, and treating yourself with respect.  You are as important as anyone being on this planet. You have a right to your breath.  You have a right to your ideas, your dreams, your thoughts. They are as valuable as anyone’s.  Never let anyone make you feel less than.  Simply by being born you have a right to be happy, to be loved, to be respected, to be honored.  It is up to you to exercise those rights.

Let’s do it, let’s make today the day!

Namaste

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Change, Daily Life, Growth, Healing, mantra, Self

Turn the Page

Change, transition, acceptance, release. surrender…..oh my gosh, turn the page. Sandy, just turn the page.

“Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”
Mary Manin Morrissey

I have been noticing mantras in my life lately.  So mantras are good to have.  I can’t really accept a mantra that comes from outside myself.  I can read them and think oh that sounds good.  I like that.  But to have it in my head and working in my life it has to come from my Source.  And I have to pay attention to those. I have a really good one right now “I am a money magnet, it’s the Law”. That comes up for me, a couple times a day.  It feels good, it feels positive and it feels authentic.

And here is another one, and this one comes up more frequently and has more struggle around it.  Turn the page. Well  it feels bigger, turn the page, turn the page, turn the fucking page. Everywhere in my life, just stop with the past, embrace the present and live right here, right now.  Turn the page.

Sometimes I do it visually.  I see a face like in a book and watch a page turn to cover it up. Turn the page, let it go. I see a way of life that has passed, turn the page. I see a friendship that is completed, turn the page. I see an unhealthy habit I no longer need, turn the page.  I see a role in my life that has played out, turn the page.  I long for my old home, turn the page. I mourn relationships past, turn the page.

But here is the problem, I can turn those pages from here to eternity but if I am not stepping into something new, I will keep going back.  Turning the page and seeing the blank slate scares me.  I don’t know what to do with myself.  I am so free in my life. I really only take of myself.  I only have a couple of relatives left and both of them are adults who have their own lives. Sure if they need me I am there to help, but in daily life no one is dependent on me. I don’t even have a boyfriend. So what do I do with all these blank pages?  I don’t know and I think that is why I am stuck.  And I turn the same pages over and over.

I can take today and enjoy it, and honestly I will.  I will have a good day, I will talk with friends, smile at the world. I am off work this week  so I will relax and enjoy myself. But somewhere in the back of my mind and buried within my heart is an echo of “I don’t know what to do with myself and I am a little lost.” And then the past calls me back, and I have to turn the pages all over again.

I don’t know how to step into the future except by one breath at a time. Yesterday I was out walking and I had a moment of fearlessness around the future.  I had a moment of my heart saying “I will say yes to everything placed before me”. I had a moment of releasing the past and being right in today.  I had a moment of freedom. I had a moment of endless choices and the ability to move into them.  I did have that moment. Can I have more than a moment, can I have a day, a week, a month?

Was yesterday my baby step into the future?  I believe this to be a truth for me.  I need this to be a truth for me.  Otherwise I am spinning my wheels and wasting my time.  And I don’t really have time to waste.  So I am going to remember my baby step and that is page I am holding open. Here I am, free and available to the Universe for a beautiful and fulfilling future. Perhaps Tupac said it best:

“You can spend minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even months over-analyzing a situation; trying to put the pieces together, justifying what could’ve, would’ve happened… or you can just leave the pieces on the floor and move the fuck on.”
Tupac Shakur

So I really have to be willing to leave the past in the past.  Yesterday I cleaned out drawers and closets, filling bags with things that no longer work in my life. It is a step forward, to let go of what does not fit, what never fit, what someone else thought I should have, what is worn out, torn, stained, simply over. My closet is a microcosm of my my life.  A snapshot of who and what I am.   I kept the most precious, I kept what works in my life and makes me feel good.. The rest I release to the the Universe. If i can do that with clothes and shoes I can let go of thoughts, ideas and habits that no longer support my growth and my joy.  Let it go Sandy, turn the page.

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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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challenges, Choice, Daily Life, Gratitude, life, Love, Today

Just For Today

Oh my gosh today is beautiful. Just for today I am setting aside my complaints, my stresses, my sorrows. Just for today I am stepping into the moment. I hear the song of the birds and the call of the dove. I see the gentle breeze flicking the bamboo. I feel the freshness of the morning air and I know I am blessed. For today, I do not worry, I do not argue within my mind. For today I accept all of God’s blessings and claim them as mine.

This was my Facebook post this morning.  And then I thought why “just for today”?  Why not everyday?  Everyday feels big to me.  Forever?  Really?  Not worry, not stress, be in a place of calmness and peace…..forever?  Wow, all kinds of resistance comes up around that.  All kinds of monkey mind starts chattering.  But what about all the things that I call challenges?  Finances, relationships, health, those are the big 3.  I can’t just let that all go can I?

Well…..just for today I can. Because it is a beautiful day out there for me to enjoy.  Why should I miss that?  What if this is my last day?  And I missed it.  What a shame that would be. I am sitting here in my little apartment with the morning air and doves are cooing. And it is beautiful.  And the day is mine.  Mine to enjoy or worry away. Mine to see the blessings or the sorrows.  Mine to feel Universal love and support or stress and fear.  I choose Love.

I know it is close to impossible to live this every day.  I am not sitting in a secluded place where only love and peace touch my world.  I live in the real world.  It is messy, it can be stressful.  There is loss, change, worry. There are many interesting challenges.  And there are people everywhere showing me all kinds of mirrors.

But today I am looking at the mirrors that show me how blessed I am.  The big mirror of beauty, of love, of peace. Just for today I am going to breathe in the beauties of life.  And maybe tomorrow also.  Because the more I practice the more easy it is for me to slip into a state of grace and ease. Mainly I simply have to remember it is there and available all the time.

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.…….Dr. Seuss

Have a Beautiful Today

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Choice, Daily Life, Growth, Inspiration, Self, time

You Can’t Buy Time

“All I need is time, and  you can’t buy time.”  This was said to me today in my grandmothers hospital room.  She is 94 and well aware that time is precious for her.  We want to believe that she has many more years, and maybe she does, but maybe she doesn’t. It is harder to believe you do when you are 94 and looking at major changes in health and lifestyle.  So we smiled a little, but the moment was bittersweet, because there was such honesty behind it.

  • It is so easy to waste our lives: our days, our hours, our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the pale new growth on an evergreen, the sheen of the limestone on Fifth Avenue, the color of our kids’ eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of live. Unless you know there is a clock ticking.–Anna Quindlen (A Short Guide to a Happy Life)

We have all watched time slip away on something.  A child growing up and moving out on their own.  We watch those precious days of them under our roof, knowing that will end.  We have been in school knowing graduation was coming and life would change.  We have watched marriages end, the clock ticking as we made our plans.  We have watched friends move away, each day bringing them closer to being gone.  We have watched loved ones die, each moment precious and never to be recovered. We have lain in bed with our lover on a cold morning knowing the world was calling and the moment of separation was at hand. We have watched time slip away over and over again. That is the way of life. Time moves forward.

So what could be more precious than the moment at hand?  Never to be recovered or to be repeated.  How am I honoring these moments, these hours, these days? Am I spending them as well as I can.  Am I throwing away time? Do I recognize its value?

I have a job that I do not love, I also do not hate it. But 40 hours of every week are assigned to being there.  What I know is the job is honorable, productive and serves a greater purpose in the world. It also affords me the means to be independent and self sufficient. Since I have to be there I can look for the good in how spend my time.  I am surrounded by co workers and each one is an opportunity to make a connection.  To see a greater truth about why we are there.  To find some joy and laughter in the day.  To be of support when someone needs a shoulder. Is this easy?  No.  Do I fail? Yes.  Do I keep trying? Yes.  Because I am spending my time there and my time is valuable and I don’t want to waste my days. I cannot replace them.

Beyond that, how am spending my time?  Can I lay down at night and feel I had a good day, a worthwhile day?  Can I look back at last week and think I spent my time with those I love?  Can I see that I spend time in joy?  Did I learn, did I grow?  Did I give back as much as I received?

Can I recognize what does not feed my soul and leave it behind?  Can I say to myself this person, this situation, does not honor my time and let it go?  Can I do that without guilt?  Can I honest and gentle and still put myself and my time first?  Time is too valuable, I need to choose wisely. Not one moment can ever be given back.

Because for me time wasted is not about a Netflix marathon.  If I am happy and enjoying myself whatever I am doing is not time wasted.  Time wasted is spending my time in distress, in unhappiness, being uncomfortable.  Those are the conditions I do not want to lay down with at night.  Those are the things where I can say “this is not bringing value to my life” and move away from them.  I know it is easier said than done.  But I can try, I can start the process. I can refuse to support situations that are not for my greater good.

Because I want to be 94 and still looking for more time.  I want time to have time served me so well that I am greedy for more.  I want a life well lived, and I know that is up to me.  Everyday when I awaken I get to choose how I spend my time.  Maybe not where I spend my time, but how.  Because whether I am at work, lounging around, sharing time with loved ones, stuck in traffic or standing in line at the store I still get to choose the quality of that time.  Those are still my moments and they are equal in value.  Some are teaching moments, some are learning moments, some are simply bliss, and they are all mine.  And sometimes it is as simple I am choosing to be happy in this moment.

So all of our clocks are ticking.  I am trusting I have a grandmother clock which will last a long time. But if I have not spent my time well it doesn’t matter how long I have.  And if I have, I guess it doesn’t really matter either.  At the end of the day time is kind of an illusion we use to mark our days.  The truth what we really have is right now, this moment. The past is gone, the future an unknown, but this moment, this moment is here. You have this time right now…..spend it wisely.

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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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