A Tangled Mess

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In the midst of a beading project I lost my head. Oops, I mean my thread. I soon became a tangled mess. Thus began a life lesson knotted within the colored fibers and beads. And how many times did I misplace my needle? A beading needle is fine, just a sliver of steel which easily blends into whatever is beneath. Misplaced, it can lead to the pain of being pricked and left bleeding…that’s what happens when we lose ourselves in the midst of living.

It’s so easy to lose ourselves within the tangled mess of our lives, but this tangled mess is life. And it is this life that holds meaning and love. It is inside the chaos we find clarity. Messages arrive in the cluster of clutter. Whether we head the words we hear or discard them makes all the difference in the world. Perhaps those messages have the power to make our world.

Sometimes we must dive deeper into the twists that hold us together to find what ripped us apart. Sometimes we are a tangled mess. It is within this tangled mess we find ourselves. This is the place we wear our brave. This is the opportunity to exercise freedom, to challenge ourselves to step up our game. The act of surrendering is where we face our truths. We find ourselves in this place between what was and what will be. This tangled mess is a place of discovery.  And the discovery is just the beginning…for life can become as beautiful as we allow it to be.

The Beauty Of Pain

A writer’s heart, a poet’s heart, an artist’s heart, a musician’s heart is always breaking. It is through that broken window that we see the world… ~Alice Walker

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The wound is the place where the Light enters you. ~Rumi

We are each broken. It is in how we choose to use our brokenness that determines who we are. Through this very vulnerability we develop compassion. When people learn to use their wounds to help others heal it becomes a gift of great beauty.

When we deny our wounds we are refusing to allow ourselves the growth of strength in those places. We can use what we know to empower ourselves, comfort others, and change the world. When weaknesses are accepted rather than scorned, everyone benefits. We become connected on a human level and united in love.

What others see of us is determined by how we channel our light. I know several hurting individuals, and my heart warms at the sight of them. One volunteers her time, energy, and compassion aiding those less fortunate. Another is a cheerleader, encouraging her friends. While yet another is stepping into brave, exercising her freedom to be herself. While each one of these women suffers feelings of alienation, detachment, rejection, and damage, the love within them shines in perfect splendor. Perhaps this is the beauty of humanity when one can take her own experiences and help another cope, hope, and rise above current circumstances.

We are but fragments in a universal shattering. As the light shines through us we become the stained glass of humanity…isn’t that a lovely image?

On Being Grounded

“To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”  ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

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Have you ever watched a poised person? They conduct themselves with grace and exude confidence. They radiate a beauty that can’t be faked. They don’t play the blame game, stuck in the coulda’ woulda’ shoulda’s of the past. Nor do they focus on the when I’s (when I get a better job, when I get more money, when I lose some weight, etc…)of the future.

I used to envy those balanced people who seem to have it all. Then I realized I could be one, too. So can you. They really don’t have it all…They are appreciative of what they do have. They are in tune with life and open to the wisdom the process offers. They are at peace. They have chosen to be happy.

They surround themselves with people who love and accept them, and they love and accept others. These people practice and experience compassion and connection. They have found their place in the flow of now and generate a feeling of belonging for others. They don’t live in fear because they trust love to lead the way. For it is only in being grounded we are free to flourish.

How can we be like this? Drop the nomadic mind. Be here now. Instead of spending so much time searching for the light, be the light.

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The First Step

“It is the small doubts of timid souls that accomplish their ruin. It is the narrow vision, the fear and trembling hesitation, that constitute defeat.” ~Alice Foote MacDougall

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The things we reach for or dream of can seem as far stretching as the ground to the heavens. However, that didn’t stop the tree did it? Think of the beauty and comfort humanity would have missed out on had the tree given up hope.  Sometimes the longest mile is simply the first step. Sometimes the only obstacle standing in our way is ourselves. And sometimes the biggest fear is that we do not deserve the things we desire.

There are times in life we lose our way. We don’t realize what we long for is within reach. Or perhaps we know it’s possible but requires risk, a change in status quo. What appears elementary  to one is a daunting task to another.  Even though our heart tells us if we attempt this one thing it will put us nearer to the peace and happiness we yearn, we hesitate. Why? Because change is hard. It’s uncomfortable. There are no guarantees the choices we make will take us where we hope to end up. However, the one sure thing is staying put doesn’t get us any closer…

…and then there are those people who make us believe the tree really will reach its destination, and even if not exactly where planned, it will flourish. I’m not talking about the people who move mountains and lead revolutions, but those who stand up for themselves.

Stretch your limbs to the heavens and know you are the only one who can hold you back.

Surround yourself with people who love you enough to accept you for who you are.

Live your beautiful life with your heart guiding the way.

Embrace change for the gifts which accompany it.

Listen to the voice within to find your peace.

Choose happiness.

 

 

 

What If One Day…

“It doesn’t matter whom you love or where you move from or to, you always take yourself with you. If you don’t know who you are, or if you’ve forgotten or misplaced her, then you’ll always feel as if you don’t belong. “ ― Sarah Ban Breathnach, Moving On: Creating Your House of Belonging with Simple Abundance

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There are times we feel empty, unaccomplished. We wonder why we feel stuck. Perhaps we only feel like we aren’t moving forward because our interpretation of our life is skewed.

Seriously, sometimes we look for the wrong things; therefore we don’t see what really matters.  We forget we have a better vantage point looking from the inside out, rather than being the stranger looking at us from afar. We are able to see within the origin of all that has come from us.

The truth is we felt the love, joy, heartache, sadness, and confusion.  We heard the voice that prodded us along. No one experienced what was sacred to us. They only surmised from the reflection we cast.

We have the ability to sift through our lives and find the beauty within. We tend to pull in our scattered petals; discarding the imperfect and pinning the unfurling flowers upon our shoulders. What will it take us to realize it is the whole of us that makes us beautiful and unique? And all the while we are questioning ourselves; we go on living, fulfilling the promise of life before us…and we don’t even realize it.

What if for one day we went about our business unconcerned with what others thought?

What if for one day we felt complete beauty, untarnished by shame or guilt?

What if for one day we were committed to only what truly mattered?

What if for one day we didn’t question but trusted our souls?

What if for one day we loved ourselves as God loves us?

What if for one day we embraced our uniqueness?

What if for one day we lived as if it was our last?

What if for one day we felt we truly belonged?

What if for one day we only loved?

The Illusion of Safety

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” ~Dalai Lama

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Most of my life I’ve worn my insecurities like a fuzzy sweater. I’ve blanketed myself with them thinking they kept me warm and safe when in reality those anxieties kept me cold, shivering, and standing still.

I found my security in the familiar. I took comfort in routines. Veering from my agenda caused me great distress. But I learned by pushing thorough those obstacles that everything was still ok. The world didn’t end. I didn’t die. Everything was pretty much the same. My worry and fear had been an energy waster.

Do I still take comfort in familiar surroundings and daily rituals? I do, but I allow myself to be flexible. It is within those bendable moments life teaches me the most profound lessons. Those are the times my life is enriched. Within this space is when I truly live. In times of control I am no more than a trained circus animal, doing what I am taught to do for whatever meager rewards offered. There is no peace in that. Perhaps I think I find solace in control, but not inner peace. When I feel that inner peace all else is well no matter how wrong they might seem to the outside world.

Am I still afraid? Yes, at times I am. But you know what? I go ahead and just do what I need to do anyway.  I remind myself fear is the opposite of love. I remind myself worry doesn’t change anything. I listen for the voice, the one that reassures and guides. I listen for the me deep within that knows I am enough just as I am.

Half the battle is maintaining the courage to trust myself, the other half is loving myself enough to accept my imperfect self and not compare my gifts/flaws with anyone else.

The Strength Of Fragility

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. ~Mahatma Gandhi

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We forget how strong we are until we are called to remember. We become as courageous and resilient as we need to be. Ever think you couldn’t bear the pain (physical or emotional) of some event only to find out you could?

Those we expect to crush beneath the confines of life often are those who seem to fair the best. What is it exactly that we deem weak? Is it a physical characteristic we find flawed or broken? Is it a show of emotion or a quiet forbearance? Perhaps we should never expect anything, but just be.

I do not think those who suffer in silence build the strongest defenses nor do I think those who share their burdens weather any better. Some draw on inner strength while others look for outside support. I think we are each equipped with what we need and our personalities determine the path we seek.

The absence of love whether through death or separation demands us to face the question of how we can go on. Though the space of another might not ever be completely filled, the closing of other spaces give us hope, and sometimes new direction.

Fissures of our souls are scars we carry deep within. It’s an inner beauty we must carry like badges of honor. It is a beauty of tender mercy to appreciate life’s lessons.  It is only in the darkness we begin to see the light… and oh, how beautiful is this life of ours…

Do you know of anyone who has suffered a recent loss, heartbreak, or disappointment? Did you reach out with a hug, card, or words or encouragement? It might be exactly what they need.

Have you been though recent trials? Did you find you are stronger than you ever imaged? What gave you the courage to pick yourself up and keep on? Sharing your story might give someone the inspiration they need.