Our Light is The Way

It’s a feeling of desperation. This overwhelming need to love harder, bigger, louder, as if not only my life but all of humanity depends on it. Gone is the anger. Frustration is difficult to muster. Outrage and disbelief are things of the past. Sadness appears but serves only as a reminder to be happy.

News of torchbearers outside a synagogue throws me off balance. Plunged into deep water, struggling to surface. Disoriented, my soul kicks and flails desperate to right itself.

“This isn’t who we are.”

            “Look for the helpers.”

Like a buoy bobbing to the surface, gulping air, filling my lungs, clearing my head, reminding myself, “All is well.”

Stay in this moment. Hear the birds in the trees. Feel the warmth of the morning sun peeking over the rooftop, the tickle of a gentle breeze. Breathe in. Breathe out.

The only thing more powerful than hate is love.Do Good

“Be love.”

Be love in every moment. Breathe in compassion for the haters. Breathe out loving kindness that might encircle them, lift them, soften them, save them. This is The Way out of darkness, the path to the Light. The Truth is that only love can heal the pain and suffering caused by hate.

Look inward for the answers. Feel the flickering spark of Divine Light that exists in every living creature. Seek to understand the power we have to heal the Universe. Imagine peace. Feel compassion. Express gratitude. Be Love.

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” – Lao Tzu

Doing vs Being

coffee_morning_the_giantvermin_flickr

Walking onto the back porch before the sun has made its way over the roofline and the dew is still glistening on the grass, has a way of instantly relaxing the built up tension in my shoulders from a restless night. As I drop into a corner chair with coffee in hand, a huge sigh releases. A welcome feeling of gratitude emerges as I recognize the gift of the next few minutes I’ll spend quietly reflecting, sipping the perfect cup of coffee, listening to the birds chattering away, and taking stock of how blessed I truly am.

It’s easy to get lazy when life becomes busy. The busier I am, the lazier I get. The more productive I am at doing life, the less energy I put into being alive. It’s easy to believe I have no choice. I have obligations, responsibilities, people depending on me.

  “If it were only me, I’d do things differently. I would eat healthier, exercise regularly, go to sleep earlier, read more books, write everyday…”

It’s easy to convince myself that this is my reality when in truth, reality is what we create for ourselves. Each day I make a choice as to how I spend my time and energy, how I direct my thoughts, and how I feel about what I am doing. It’s easier to “do life” than to truly “be alive.”

What does “doing life” look like? It looks busy, stressed, hectic, productive, important. It looks like long To Do Lists with a lot of check marks, a calendar with no empty space, and a day that zooms by without conscious attention to exactly what is taking place. It looks like events to plan, clients to serve, family to care for, parties to attend, causes to champion, letters to write, phone calls to make, houses to clean, and no time for reflection, gratitude, or rest.

We convince ourselves that our purpose in life is “doing” and the more “doing” we accomplish, the more successful we are. We believe doers are the strongest and most successful in life but this is simply an idea we choose to believe. In reality, doers are lazy. Those who are busy doing are afraid of being. To do is easy. We can be taught to do most anything and if not, we can find someone to help us. Most doing takes little conscious thought. We perform tasks robotically, efficiently, and routinely. Systematically, checking the boxes on our to do lists. Driving the same route to work each day oblivious to our surroundings. Doing can be exhausting but doing does not require strength and it does not equal success. Doers avoid the hard work by staying busy with the mundane.

Being alive is not for the faint of heart or the lazy. Being takes courage. Only the strong are able to sit in the quiet, to look inward at the darkness and see throughto the light. It isn’t easy to consistently make conscious choices, to listen to intuition and ask ourselves the Why before planning the How. To trust that fulfilling life’s purpose is tied to something greater than ourselves and to allow intuition to lead us on the path to fulfillment is hard. It can be scary and extremely uncomfortable. It’s much easier to fill our time with work and obligations, all the while believing we have no choice.

This morning I realize I’ve recently fallen back into the trap of “no choice” and it isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, this is a fairly solid pattern I’ve created. Over the past six or so years, I’ll dive deep into the area of self-discovery for a period of time. Doing the hard work, I’ll connect with inner intuition, glimpse life purpose, and taste my true passion. Coming out of the experience, I’m energized and determined, feeling I know what I’m here to do and excited for the journey ahead only to be distracted by the busyness of life shortly thereafter. Often I’ll beat myself up for falling into the trap of doing yet again.

  “What’s wrong with me? I know better. Why can’t I do better?”

But trying to do better is exactly the problem. Life isn’t about doing and the harder I try to do, the further I am from actually living. Life is about allowing, letting go of expectation and trusting the Divine path that is set before us. We are all part of a universal stream of energy that flows swiftly and effortlessly toward our life’s purpose. Being aware of this energy and trusting our place within it is all that is required in order to participate in the abundance that life has to offer.

Imagine this stream of energy like a river with each of us in our own little canoe. If we are so busy paddling our canoe that we don’t take the time to notice the direction of the river’s flow, we might spend our lives paddling furiously upstream, never making any real progress. But, if we pick up our paddles and sit quietly long enough to become aware of the flow of the water, we soon feel our canoe floating along swiftly in the flow of universal energy. Life isn’t meant to be a struggle but picking up our paddles can be scary. It means giving up what we see as control and letting go of the belief that busy equals success. It means trusting in something greater than ourselves. This takes courage and it takes strength. It takes forgiving ourselves when we get scared and start paddling furiously again. It takes the courage to pick the paddles back up and to sit quietly. It takes the occasional gift of a morning on the porch with a perfect cup of coffee.

When I look at this photo

When I look at this photo

When I look at this photo I see my grandmother’s wedding band, the pearls my dad gave to me on my eighteen birthday, my precious grandbaby, and a mother pausing for a moment to soak in the last moments before her son is married. This moment in time highlighted by memories of the past and promise of the future.

I’m reminded of words my Dad gave to us, given to him through his mother. Words with meaning that grows deeper as the years pass.

“The past, the future, are linked together by the now. What is today is because of what was yesterday, the day before, and long ago.” – drw

From the vantage point provided by experience, I’ve begun to see that what I once thought was a past littered with missteps and fumbles, was in reality, perfect in every way. There are no missteps and past fumbles only serve to propel us a little further down the path. Every thing happens for a reason and all of it leads to where we are meant to be today.

With the passing of each life event, Dad’s wisdom comes more clearly into focus. His words echo Universal laws and teachings I have come to embrace. I believe in soul contracts, all part of a Divine plan of agreements we make before entering into this life experience. A Divine plan that provides a map of sorts for the journey that will be our life. Each journey provides opportunity after opportunity for the soul to have exactly the experience necessary in order for it to learn lessons agreed to in the original contract. The choices we make when confronted with these opportunities determine the next turn our path will take. In the moment these turns often feel like problems, challenges, tragedies, and drama leading to what we perceive as missteps. Only through the passage of time are we able to see the wisdom gained, the growth experienced, and the blessings hidden in these turns along the way.

“Each thought, each word, each deed acted in the now becomes a fragment of eternity.” –drw

Life moments are precious, each one filled with meaning. What we choose to do with these moments is up to us. We can wish them away, ignore their significance, or treasure them for what they are but regardless of our behavior, all become fragments of eternity. Every thought, word, and deed carries significance whether chosen with intention or performed mindlessly and forgotten. Given the power of choice, choose intentionally. Wake up to this moment. Use this gift to craft your life. Pay attention to the lessons as they present themselves along the way and make choices that challenge you to expand and grow to the fullest expression of yourself.

“Life means there is no choice but to use this gift…the trust, the love, the power…indenting destiny.” -drw

When I look at this photo, I hear my Dad’s voice reminding me to pause, to appreciate the moment, its connection to the past and link to the future. Life doesn’t provide a pause button. It’s up to us to create moments of pause, time to breathe, to reflect, to soak it all in.

When I look at this photo my heart fills with gratitude for the woman who wore this wedding band, for the man who gave me these pearls, for my child about to be wed, and for the baby snuggled against my chest. I am blessed with the gift of appreciation that allows me to savor moments like these, because truly, these moments are what life is all about.

“The Limiting Belief of Comfort Zones”

“The Limiting Belief of Comfort Zones”

 

There is a lot of discussion and coaching that centers around the concept of “comfort zones”. We’ve all heard sayings like, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” and “Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens.” So what is a comfort zone?

A simple google search provides the following definition:

com·fort zone (ˈkəmfərt zōn/) noun

  1. a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.

There are countless articles, books, programs, and workshops that offer the “Science behind Comfort Zones”. Some profess how to help us “Identify our Comfort Zones” and others explore “Reasons to step outside our Comfort Zone”. Depending on your eagerness level, you can find advice from the world’s leading experts on how to get out of our comfort zone in as little as ten and as many as fifty-two ways.

We are taught that our limiting beliefs are what keep us stuck in our comfort zones. Beliefs, many of which are formed in our childhood such as, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t deserve that dream”, “I’m not capable”, or “that’s not who I am” serve as anchors that keep us within a zone of comfort that we eventually believe we might not be capable of leaving.

But what if a comfort zone is nothing more than a story we tell ourselves? What if the comfort zone itself is the limiting belief? How might we change the story?

For the entirety of my adult life, I have been uncomfortable seeing and hearing myself recorded. I’ve avoided photos, videos, and facetime conversations because the experience is extremely uncomfortable. At times I’ve been forced in front of a camera for work or school and I’ve praised myself for “stepping outside my comfort zone”. I’ve told myself that the more I practice, the easier it will become. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. I practiced and practiced and learned how to look into the camera and read a script better but the process never became something that I enjoyed. However, recently a still small voice inside my head was heard to say, “it would be so much fun to make a video and put it out into the world!” And for the first time, I listened. I listened and I allowed myself to feel the excitement without shutting it down, judging it, or labeling the idea “outside my comfort zone”. Instead, I opened my computer, walked out to my deck, and without a script, said what was on my heart. And in the process of looking into that camera and speaking my truth, I began to relax and enjoy what I was doing.

I realized in that short three-minute timeframe that the idea of a comfort zone was just a story I had made up to keep me from playing big in the world. I had let myself believe that making a video was outside my comfort zone. My comfort zone was limiting how I showed up in life. It had been a convenient excuse for not listening to what my soul’s purpose was trying to express. Today I know that my soul wants me to feel comfortable connecting with people through video, facetime, zoom calls, and whatever other technical tools show up along the way so that I know there is no limit to how big I might be in this life. So, I changed my story.

As a little girl, I loved being in front of the camera. I was called a “camera hog” and over time began to feel that wasn’t an acceptable way to be. But what if the things we loved doing as children were never judged or labeled as good or bad? What if we were never made to feel uncomfortable for expressing the truest versions of ourselves by an insecure world that wasn’t capable of holding space for the enormity of our authentic passion? What might happen? Who might we be? Change the story.

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?

“If you’re going to be a writer, you have to f%#&’n WRITE.”

I go through life with words, phrases, sentences, messages swirling around in my head, bumping into each other in a chaotic mess that vibrates and echoes often leaving me exhausted and dazed. I’ve waited for the words to arrange themselves, thinking that was a necessary step before written expression would be possible. I’ve given up that idea. Whatever comes of this exercise is no longer of importance but only the act of release that matters, for without that, I fear I’ll soon be rendered permanently STUCK. Stuck in this plane of life, unable to move beyond what I am now.

And what is that exactly?

Aware. I am aware, aware to the possibilities before me and aware of the struggles behind me. Accomplished enough to know what I am capable of yet inexperienced enough to remain fearful of failing. Aware that failing is a natural step in the progression of personal evolution. Starving for the next step on this journey, I’ve seen glimpses of what is to come. In my mind’s eye, I’ve lived brief moments of this destiny. Through dreams and visions I’ve felt what is possible, just enough to whet my desire and leave my soul craving more. Nanoseconds of realization experienced with a divine truth signaling my soul, “this is IT.”

And what is IT exactly?

Physically, IT is adrenaline rushing through the body creating a rapid flow of blood and a pounding heart that invigorates, stimulates, and inspires. It is a flush of heat that starts in the chest and spreads up to the head, down to the hands, and radiates out in what I imagine is a visual display of vibrancy. My body feverish and my palms sweaty. My ears, clogged with a slight ringing noise that distorts the sounds around me, not unlike that feeling of floating underwater.

I imagine the physical body’s vital signs might register like those of a runner after crossing the finish line and yet inwardly, calm. There is a knowing that all is well, a beckoning to relax and let go. I’m standing at the edge of a magnificent cliff. The air is crisp. The sun is warm. A slight breeze passes over my body and sends a chill up my spine. This is the edge of destiny.

“Breathe deeply and let go. Trust that this is who you are. Everything that has happened before has prepared you for the next step. Take it. Embrace your destiny. You are worthy. This is your path. All else is a dream. You are the observer. This is your reality.”

And what does IT mean?

It means creation has already taken place. Communicate that which the soul has created.

“Step out of the way and let that which IS be received.”

It means I have only to quiet the noise and trust in the message.

“There is no doing to be done. There is only being. Trust what comes in and let it pass through without thought, judgment, or interpretation.”

There is a fear of madness, a fear of letting go and losing control. Like an addict, never knowing when the point of no return might be crossed, the high is intoxicating. To lock one’s self away and let go without timetables or commitments, abandoning all worries or ties to a world that is constantly demanding and distracting, that is the lure and there in lies the fear. But what exactly is that fear?

Loss? – Fear that connection to everything held dear might be broken and I might find myself alone and with nothing. It occurs to me that I’ve faced this fear before at another crossroad in life, only then the fear was much stronger and the outcome much less predictable. Desperation propelled me forward, not awareness or courage. The pain of the status quo at the time was far greater than the fear of change. It felt less a matter of choice and more a matter of survival. Regardless, the fear was faced and the outcome was growth, confidence, trust, self-love, expression, and ultimately, the experience of a love greater than I have ever known. Had fear won that battle everything I now hold so dear would not be in my life. This realization causes me to pause, the “what if’s” screaming inside my head. Images of the person I was never becoming the person I am makes me feel sad. Ironically, who I am now, living this beautiful chaotic life that resulted from the ashes of what was, is exactly what I am fearful of now losing.

But what if instead of losing, I win again? Instead of desperation pulling me away, what if intuition propels me forward? Imagine the power of that energy. If out of desperation, this beautiful life could emerge, imagine what might be birthed through the energy of inspired creation.

There are two choices: to rest in what is or to evolve into what might be. When what IS no longer fits, there will be no choice but to evolve or to die.

What are you waiting for?

 

Don’t call it love

Don’t call it love

Somehow we as a society have come to believe that love is a given based on the nature of some relationships. The idea that family is forever, a mother’s love is unconditional, blood is thicker than water, etc, etc, have created a false sense of what love actually is.

For those whose blood-based connections are anything less than supportive and loving, there is a feeling of inadequacy and loss. If you were raised up to feel that love is conditional, you’re left with only yourself to blame when that love is withheld. Hallmark cards covered with quotes glorifying a mother’s love, sibling connections, and the ever present bond of family, only add insult to injury.

In reality, some of the deepest pain is inflicted by the closest relationships. Family is not necessarily forever, some mothers love conditionally, and blood has little to do with how we treat each other. This idea of “family equals love” has created an entitlement attitude where relatives carelessly take each other for granted.

Daisies-Green-Nature-1920x1080-Widescreen-High-Resolution-1080p-HD-Desktop-Wallpaper-Mr-HD-Wallpapers-1366x768
Love doesn’t hurt.

The bottom line is this: If it hurts, it isn’t love. It matters not at all who the relationship is with. Call it something else, but don’t call it love.

Love comes from within and radiates out. Love yourself enough that you no longer allow those without love for you to affect your sense of self. Ultimately, it has little to do with you. Surround yourself with those who radiate love and the family you were born to be a part of will emerge. ❤