Let Go and Move On

Let go of old belief systems. You know, the things ingrained in your brain that hold you back or pin you down. You know what I’m talking about. It might be a family superstition, a religious dogma, an expectation or opinion of you, or a statement made against you. This could be a past humiliation, something that binds you in shame or guilt or causes you a lack of confidence. Many of these boulders of principle date back to our childhoods. Yes, I call them boulders because they weigh so much on our emotional bodies that we are unable to move our physical and intellectual bodies to start the work we need to do. When you can move this block in your mind you enter the wonderful world of emotional and spiritual freedom.

Honor what is true. How do you know what is right? First of all, the ego lies. When we choose to do the right thing it usually resonates in either our heart or gut, sometimes both. The guidance of prayer or meditation helps pave the way, not what someone else tells you is best for you. The answers will come, but you must be willing to listen to spirit.

Clip those wings and fly!

The Road Leads To…

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far” –  Irish Blessing

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far” – Irish Blessing

I consider myself to be a person of keen insight. I have a compassionate nature, and I am a people watcher. I often hear more than is said. However, there are times I totally miss the mark. It is often when sarcasm is used and I don’t get the gist of the remark until much later.

There are times I trust in people rather than watching the patterns unfold before me. The point is I sometimes look back and wonder why I didn’t catch something as it was happening. I wonder if my seriousness and sensitivity override my humor or if my interpersonal skills are not as acute as I’d credited myself.

There are times I see the road before I or someone else walks it and rightfully predict the destination. Other times it is only after getting there I even have an inkling of how it happened. Hmmm…perhaps that’s the difference between insight and hindsight.

I suppose sometimes intuition or experience leads the way and other times it’s ego!

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Reclaiming Peace And Inspiring Creativity

“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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Yesterday I wrote about being off center. Fortunately, I recognized it was happening and knew what to do. I found the feedback from this post interesting since there was overwhelming indication nature soothes us and sets us back on track. Nature is calming. We can’t help but relax into it. The brain chatter disappears and creativity flows. We don’t need to head to the wilderness. A trip to a local park or a walk around the neighborhood seems to be all that’s needed to find ourselves. It’s almost ironic we need to leaves ourselves to find ourselves…but then again we seem to think ego is the safe place to fall. However, most of us know it is when we stretch ourselves we see deeper and reach farther.

I’ve spending my creative time in the kitchen. The past few weeks I’ve celebrated the ending of summer by making homemade ice creams. I tantalized the taste buds with blackberry, strawberry, and peach creams. Then I ushered in autumn by baking peach pies. Apple pies will be following. While I felt better I still wasn’t quite centered until I got some outdoor meditation.

This weekend I plan on getting back to nature and in my groove. I’ll tell you about it next week.

I wish each of you a relaxing weekend. I wish you the opportunity to rejuvenate your souls.

I hope you get outside to enjoy the changing season.

Most of all, I hope you, too, are back in the flow.

A Step of Faith

Faith is a passionate intuition. ~William Wordsworth  red maple 014 We live in a society controlled by ego. The world influences our perceptions and conditions us to make choices based solely on logic. As we fall prey to this pressure we lose touch with our souls.

We seldom take time to listen to the quiet voice within. Albert Einstein nailed it when he said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” We all experience intuition whether we realize it or not. Perhaps it’s a voice or a feeling of urgency which directs us to do something out of our normal routine. Sometimes, we shrug it off. Other times, we obey not knowing how it has impacted our lives.

We have become distrustful of ourselves. We question ourselves until we doubt the validity of the voice. We assume this intruder is our imagination, and we block its entrance into our lives. Through the shaping of society we have lost this Divine Guidance, the gift of spirit connection. Because it is in our nature to question, many refuse to listen to this unknown source often referred to as a gut feeling or instinct. Tapping into this unexplained knowledge requires trust.

We struggle to know the difference between ego and intuition. Ego is in your head whereas intuition comes from within, meaning you will feel a physical sensation as well. Ego speaks loudly and becomes almost obnoxious when ignored while intuition is more of a gentle nudge in the right direction and will continue to whisper or redirect you if you make the wrong decision.

There are times we must not look to others for answers but to ourselves. Answers and guidance reside within us. We must quiet our minds and listen.

The inner voice is in agreement with our bodies, minds, and spirits. It knows what we need to hear and when we need this information. It is important to learn to distinguish intuition from thoughts, emotions, and opinions.

Exercising awareness develops intuition. As we practice attentiveness we grow intellectually and spiritually, thus connecting us with our life’s purpose. Where has your intuition led you?

The Matter Of Back Story

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” ~Mother Teresa

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How important is back story?

In fiction back story creates sympathy for an otherwise less likeable character.

We think it is necessary to know someone’s past to understand their present.

In reality is it necessary to know someone intimately in order to overlook their shortcomings? Is it pertinent to know why they did something in order to forgive them?

The lady who lives around the corner complains about everything. She annoys you to no end. You find out she lost her family in an accident years ago. Your heart softens.

A guy at work talks about his male companion. You have issues with his sexual preference so you exclude him from your conversations. You hear through the grapevine his father beat him when he was a child. You begin to feel sorry for him.

An acquaintance goes through men like you go through underwear. You call her despicable names behind her back and avoid contact with her. You hear she was molested as a child. Her life begins to make sense to you.

Someone embezzles from a charity organization. You are enraged. Then you hear he was downsized from his job. You excuse his behavior.

Your neighbor is always in everyone’s business. The soccer coach drinks too much. The room mom wears low-cut blouses. The math teacher picks on your kid. The car on the interstate cut you off. The teller at the bank was rude. The cashier at the supermarket ignored you. They all have stories. So do we. Is it necessary for each of us to know another’s’?

Must we excuse a behavior to accept a person? Or does it depend on the behavior/crime?

We are human. We have strong opinions and we use them to judge everything and everyone around us. If we sympathize with the person or situation, we allow a bit of slack. Otherwise we are downright harsh.

Is it law, society, or perhaps our own personal agendas, which determines the degree of wrong we place upon those we accuse?

If we have worn another’s shoes we humanize them, thus we show them compassion. If the circumstances are beyond our understanding we scorn those who empathize.

Our societal conditioning demands back story to comprehend. Our moral compass determines judgment. Our reaction deals the punishment.

Living in a civilized society does require us to follow moral and legal codes. It is necessary those be dealt with accordingly. I am referring here to how we allow our own opinions and emotions to rule our judgment, what and who it allows us to accept or refuse.

How difficult it is to forgive freely? How difficult it is to love unconditionally?

Ego demands back story while the heart simply loves. Today I will place my ego in the back seat and allow my heart to drive. Will you come along for the ride?

Putting Ego In Its Place

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Have you ever had a day, due to your own expectations, which put you into a pity party, made you doubt if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing with your life at this place and time? I had one of these days on Saturday.

I had a book signing…after my last two which went well I had expectations this one would also. I had friends who assured me they’d be at this one. My venue offered me so many unexpected pluses. I touched base prior and the person who I’d made arrangements said all was according to plan. I got there and a different person was in charge that day and nothing that was previously discussed was done. And after the fact I found my Facebook post was on custom (not public) and went to one friend. The odds were not in my favor after all.

As you know I am not good at selling myself in the first place. I refuse to push my books on anyone. I have faith the people who are meant to read it will find it. During the two hour span the store only had about ten customers. They walked in the door and would immediately turn the other way…you know …avoid eye contact…don’t- look- that –woman- in- the -face -or -you -will -be –obligated- to- buy- whatever -she’s -selling…you know the guilt concept. Don’t lie, you know you’ve avoided looking the bell ringer in the eye at Christmas time…come on, you know you have. Anyway, I said hello to anyone who looked my way, but that’s as far as I went.

I know my books are not meant for everyone because they attract a certain type of people which not everyone fits into, and I’m ok with that. Still, this was scheduled during what was supposed to be the busiest time of the weekend. Epic fail on that part. I did not work the people, epic fail on my part. Anyway, as one couple was leaving the woman came over and asked me to tell her about what I was doing. I told her about my books, and she bought one. As she turned to leave she said to me, “Keep doing what you’re doing.”  She smiled and I smiled back and thanked her. I didn’t think much about it. I began to wallow in my misery…you know not that I want to be rich or anything, but it would be nice to break even on my investment for the books I purchased.

I had made a tiny profit on my first order and applied it to my second order.  Yes, I have sold books, but I’ve given away three times the amount I’ve sold. Bottom line is all the people who tell you they are dying to buy your book, aren’t. All the people who tell you they are going to your book signings aren’t. Sorry, but it’s the hard cold truth and I should have been smart enough not to base my purchases on feedback from others. People say these things because they want to make you feel good. However, most want to wait to see if you really are going to make it or not…you know, they depend on the media to tell them. Now of course, you really do find out who your friends are as well. They are the ones who rush out to buy your book and show up at your signings to support you…and yes, I had that at my first two signings. I started thinking that perhaps I’d run out of friends…sad state of affairs. I decided I just wasn’t well-liked after all. I basically felt like I sucked big time. In fact, I typed it out in a text to a friend who lives several states away and can count on during times of great elation and despair. Then I thought about it and deleted the message before sending it. I wasn’t focused on the sale I made…my mind was set on the sales I failed to make. I was not thinking about doing good in the world. I was thinking about losing money. See where I’m going with this?

Then, visions of those exploited American Idol contestants ran through my head. You know the ones who not only lack what it takes to make it in the music industry, but can’t even carry a tune? The ones Joe Public makes fun of? I began to wonder if I had been falsely encouraged because people didn’t have the heart to tell me my writing sucks.

I couldn’t sleep when I went to bed. I began to question why I was even writing. Was I writing because I had something to say or because I just wanted to say something? There’s a big difference between the two. Then the words of that woman replayed, “Keep doing what you are doing.” A Divine message. She was the messenger of the words I needed to focus on. I had fallen victim to my ego. I had let my purpose slip from sight.  I know why I write and why I choose to share what I write. Like most every other writer, it has little to do with money. The reason I have chosen this path runs much deeper.

It is not necessary for me to know the bigger picture. Perhaps this is the beginning of what’s to come. Perhaps my writing purpose is the delivery of a message to a particular person. If I know within I am doing what I am supposed to do, does it really matter why I am doing it? I know I only need to keep doing what I am doing, and the rest will play out in time.

I remind you to heed the words of the messenger, “Keep doing what you are doing.” You know deep in your soul if you are doing what you should be doing. Your heart is leading you. Know you are worthy. You are gifted in the area you are for a reason whether you are aware of that reason or not. Have faith you are doing what you are supposed to. Don’t allow the ego to guide you in this world. There are much deeper reasons for following our passions than status and money. Be thankful for your gift, and when your messenger speaks be thankful for that gift as well. Each star and planet is small in comparison to the many galaxies, and the infinite cosmos. We’re each but a tiny spot in this universe, but equally important and together we span the earth.

The Merit of Self Maintenance

Sometimes we are broken. We might have minor dents or chips. Or we might be in desperate need of repair. We might be aware of our faults and fallacies, or we might not even have a clue. Some of us might not even care. Sometimes the people we associate with hammer us into the shape we are in. Maybe we’ve been on a self destructive course. It could be simply the wear and tear of time. And sometimes all we need is a bit of glue and a little polishing.

We might feel worn, rusty, outdated, overlooked or underappreciated. We might possibly be the victim. And then again, if we take a closer look we might find we are our own demise. Sometimes an adjustment of attitude makes all the difference.

There are times we are simply locked out of ourselves. The key is lost. The gate is reinforced. We just can’t seem to find our way back in. We expect others to repair us when we aren’t willing to do the work ourselves. Sometimes we forget that we indeed do hold the key even if it seems invisible.

Other times we don’t see the whole picture. It’s possible we are perfect just the way we are. Just because we don’t realize our own importance or purpose does not mean it doesn’t exist. We do exist, and we are important. None of us are without purpose. We often depend on others to tell us. Sometimes we fail to remember how necessary it is for us to tell it to ourselves.

A Segment of Sometimes Series

Feeling My Way Through Life

“It is the mind which creates the world around us, and even though we stand side by side in the same meadow, my eyes will never see what is beheld by yours, my heart will never stir to the emotions with which yours is touched.” ~George Gissing
 
I am a highly emotional person. Some call it a sensitive nature, others heightened awareness. Emotions have been my weakness most of my life. I wore my heart on my sleeve, and I still do. My feelings are easily hurt as I tend to take things personally. I have tried so hard to hide my feelings, but I’ve learned that it is a useless battle. I suppose that maybe emotions have kept me honest. I could never lie and get away with it. When people deal with me , they know exactly what they’re up against. If you’re someone I love, there is no doubt in your mind. In recent years, I’ve found emotions to also be my strongest asset as it allows me to function on a different level. How can it be both? It is like a shadow that pulls and stretches and takes on a life of its own if I allow it.

I feel things deeply, not just my emotions but other peoples’ as well. I’m not just the friend who cries and laughs with you, but I’m the stranger that cries and laughs with you, too. I am able to put myself in someone else’s shoes. This has helped me develop compassion, but it has also put me in the position of being used by others. Like anything else in life, it is a learning process. Most times I can see into people which keeps me from being manipulated. Even if it doesn’t I usually learn and prevent it from happening again with the same person.

Emotions enable me to make every situation all about me. Many of the things that upset me actually have very little to do with me. I have to step back and remind myself of this. When I am able to detach the “me” from the moment, I can see things in a different perspective, one that is much clearer. It has been a difficult concept for me to accomplish. I am able to do it deliberately, but I have been unable to just be that way at all times. If I look back later at specific occurrences, I find that I overreact due to my emotional state. If I wait to speak or react to any given instance, I am better off. My emotions often change on the particular subject. Sometimes, I don’t have all the facts, and sometimes I am just not in the best frame of mind.

I find if I don’t think and I just am, I am at peace. It’s the thinking that welcomes the chaos of conflicting emotions. Maybe it’s simply being able to separate ego and emotion from the moment. Is it a matter of my emotions controlling me or me controlling my emotions? It has taken me a lifetime of work, and I have not accomplished it.

Emotions are expressed differently by everyone. At least, I have learned not to judge others for not feeling the same way I do about certain circumstances. I realize we are individuals with different genetics, personalities, conditioning, and belief systems. Our difference of emotions doesn’t make me or you right or wrong…it just makes us individuals.

Given the choice of being oblivious and not feeling anything at all or feeling sorrow to the point of suffering and joy to pure elation, I choose to feel my way through life. I’m not saying this because I am a deep feeler. I was once on a medication that gave me a “don’t care” attitude about everything. I only stayed on it a couple of weeks. I couldn’t live without compassion nor would I want to. I don’t understand some peoples lack of compassion, but I remind myself that it is not my job to be concerned with it. I also know that caring too much invites pain. Maybe it’s a personal decision as to whether it is worth it or not.

I will probably continue to struggle with detaching myself from situations and not letting my emotions get in the way of making decisions. I will probably continue to follow my heart in most circumstances. I will probably continue to be embarrassed by my public displays of emotions and try unsuccessfully to keep them in check. If there is a plus side, I know I have these issues. I also know how to distance myself. It’s a matter of applying this knowledge and actually wanting to live that way. Besides, it takes a lot of work, and I’m lazy. I don’t like exhausting myself. I’m worn out from just thinking about it!