Who would have thought that I would come to a place where I would begin to explore words such as “uncertainty”, “unknown”, “risk”, and “impermanence”? Words that we are taught to avoid at all costs; words whose definition makes most people cover their eyes, plug their ears, and hold their breath, hoping it will go away!!
When I travel back through my life I smile at the teachings along the way, they were put there with good intentions, with love, with hopes for an abundant life full of success. All the “dos” and “don’ts” taught with each passing year – kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, high school and years upon years of college for this girl. Every stepping stone put in place to prepare me for life, to guide me, to tell me “right” from “wrong”, yet I question did all of these teachings truly set me up to live a life of passionate exuberant joy and love? I do believe that the original intentions of it were honorable, however as I watch its impacts on my own children my heart hurts.
Thus as I welcome my fifty-second year of life on this planet, I explore with great intensity the true paradoxes of our world – fear/love, uncertainty/predictable, risk/security, impermanence/forever, passion/apathy, courage/meekness… I begin to fully understand that for me a life of wild raw joy is one that rides the very edge of these paradoxes.
As I welcome edgy fear, I feel more loving gratitude for all that is, my insides squiggle with excited curiosity at just what might happen next!
As I embrace uncertainty I experience the true sense of potential, of becoming more!
In hugging the reality of risk involved in my present situation I open to the possibilities of grander abundance and thus perhaps more real security.
In completely recognizing that all is impermanent I forever humbly honor with immense gratitude that which is!
As I dance with ecstatic passion, apathy falls to the wayside, morphing into empathy for those stuck in such space.
Alas as I breathe deep into my courageous heart to embody the pure potential, I thank the aspects of myself which kept me meek and playing small, for I now know the difference!!
Ironically I ask each and every one of you to honestly look at the truth that all is impermanent, that uncertainty really is what exists, and that without risk, passion, courage, and love, nothing today would be as it is!! Heck, the world would still be flat!!
To manifest a life of unlimited possibilities we must embrace uncertainty. Thus it is necessary for me to take a deep breath that welcomes in the greatness uncertainty offers. As I practice this each day, I pull back the layers of teachings which have covered my body, mind, and spirit like the bandages of a mummy. Beneath each layer I expose myself to a new sense of vulnerability, another layer of hypocrisy stripped away, removing daily the antidotal projection of others. It graces me with the opportunity to wiggle in the pure exposure to “what if”!!
Today is a good day to embrace uncertainty!! Every day is a grand day to expand into the pure richness of the unknown, for who knows what fantabulous quests will unfold, what abundance shall flow forth, and what profound experiences may awaken on the journey.
I invite you today to take a moment to ponder – What is certain in your life (be completely honest here)? Then, what is possible if you embraced a new love for uncertainty?
In the last blog I shared about how I always hear “I don’t have time” from people who say they want to improve their health, start a new well being habit, change a self-defeating pattern, etc… So instead, they put it off for a tomorrow that never comes. Later they look in their rear-view mirror wondering what if I had made time??
Today, let’s explore the second comment I mentioned – “I can’t afford to!” My initial response to this statement is “you cannot afford not to” for your health and well being is what makes everything in your life possible. If you are ill, limited by body pain, and health conditions, then you are not able to engage in life to the fullest extent. Why would you want this?
Here is what fascinates me, people will spend $600.00 or more on the latest cell phone/technology without batting an eye, they will pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a new car, when their old one still works just fine, they will spend $300.00 on a new pair of boots that will sit among the others in their closet, thousands on new clothes when again their old clothes still fit and work just fine…this list could goes on and on! They will not however, go to the local health food store to spend that same $300.00 spent on boots to provide healthy food for their family. Hmmm… I personally find this a very curious choice.
Let’s go back to 300-400 BC to gather the infinite wisdom of Hippocrates a Greek physician who clearly stated – “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Study after study after study has proven that his words hold powerful truth, yet as a mass population we communicate that what we wear is more important, what we drive in, what we play in (rafts, skis, sporting equipment, hotels, etc…), and what we hold in our hands to “stay connected” is of more value than our health.
All of my adult life I have spent more on the food I put in my body than on my clothes or most material items. I am content to type on an old computer, keep my cell phone until it breaks, and drive my car for as long as it will get me from point A to B safely. Adding children who are now teenagers/young adults to the grocery needs certainly increases the budget demands for healthy, organic, local (when possible) food. Here is the glorious trade off, none of us take medications and I have not paid a doctor bill for myself in over twenty four years (except for one pink-eye treatment. I had midwives for both home births), and I can’t remember the last time I took either of my children to the doctor due to an illness. My son who is eighteen has been on antibiotics once and my daughter who is fourteen received antibiotics once when she had to have oral surgery due to a fall that damaged her teeth. Will this good fortune continue, who knows? While we do get our colds and occasional illnesses, we trust our body’s powerful immune systems to heal us.
Of course there are other ways to spend money on caring for ourselves, gym memberships, yoga/exercise classes, meditation retreats, massage, vacation, classes to enhance our lives, etc…. Again it is my experience to observe people putting these on the back burner, instead they buy the latest gadget, go to the mall every weekend, go out to eat several times a week, purchase a latte on the way to work every day, buy the latest camping equipment/outdoor gear, you get the idea.
Again I turn to Hippocrates – “A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.” And “Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.” The present health situation in the United States is absolutely shocking to me, for we KNOW better, yet we make other choices, preferring to pay the cost in extreme ways – seeking and hoping for the quick fix so we do not have to be accountable for our own actions and decisions.
I dare you, keep an account of your expenditures for one month, even two weeks, where are you willing to spend your money. How much do your coffee drinks add up to? Your beer/wine? Material purchases that are not necessary? Cable? Medications? Doctor bills? If those dollars were directed to taking better care of you from the inside out, what might happen? How might you begin to feel? Would you be surprised when health issues started to heal? Hmmmm…I wonder??? Sadly most people do not take action towards healthier choices until they “get ill” or face a serious “health crisis”.
Here is a little example, my favorite latte typically cost a minimum of $4.20, if I were to purchase one every day during the work week I would spend $21.00 a week, by the end of the month $84.00, in a year $1008.00 – WOW. Instead of a latte I could have a gym membership and add money to my grocery budget for organic greens or fruit; an investment into my long term health and well being.
I must be extremely honest, having the money to feed my family high quality food has not been easy, at times it has been very challenging, however I joyfully know it is the right choice. I am daily grateful for this body that takes great care of me, that continues to thrive and live very fully with no limits!!
I can’t afford to!! Really?? I sincerely ask you – how can you NOT afford to? Your health is truly the most important treasure you have (but you already know that!!) and our bodies are miraculous at healing if we give them the fuel and energy to do so….
Of course I sincerely honor it is your choice – if how you spend your time and money is serving you presently to the utmost, in manifesting a life that is healthy, happy, full of passion, joy, and love, then don’t change a thing. If however you do not feel good, are not happy, feel dead inside, experience that again you are on the same self-defeating hamster wheel, I would humor that maybe it is time for a new choice.
As a health coach, teacher and writer I get two comments almost all the time with regard to encouraging someone to care for themselves and live their life to the fullest with passion and joy –
First – I don’t have the time to meditate, go to the gym, create healthy meals for my family, go after my dreams, take time for myself, etc…
Second – I cannot afford to, buy healthy and organic food, to get a gym membership, pay for a health coach, see a counselor, take a yoga class, invest in myself and my dreams, etc…
Today I want to chat about the first statement; the second one will grace us down the road.
Let me begin by first sharing that I am a single mom with two teenagers, running a business, teaching classes, coaching clients, working out, meditating, journaling, preparing home-cooked meals, and I make it a priority to share high quality time with the people I care about (this means I had to learn how to say “no” and create boundaries). I do not share all of this to brag, or compare, I share it to state right from the start that I get “being busy” – I truly do!! I also get “Living Life to its Fullest NOW!!”
I can look back on a couple of times in my life that make my present life look very simplistic. The first was when I was thirty years old, I started a publication business with a partner to create the first color, creative Real Estate booklet (before the computer and internet took over), boy, was I crazy. Selling ads to some of the best salespeople around took some real tenacity and determination. “Homes of Idaho” was birthed- it was my first child in many ways (it still exists today, owned by the people who took it over). Now what made this venture crazy was that in addition to the business, I also helped to manage a local coffee restaurant, the “Koffee Klatsch” and I worked at the mall in the evenings at “Limited Express”. My day would start before 4:00am and end at 11:00pm or later. Ahhhh to be that young and foolish again, hehehe!!
The second time I found myself burning the candle on both ends was in 2009. I was now forty-four years old with two young children (son 9 yrs old, daughter 6 years old), I had lost my home and car due to job loss, so we were forced leave our mountain home and move to town. We embraced and learned the gifts of biking or walking everywhere. Unable to find a job that could provide for us, I decided to embark on completing my long overdue Bachelors degree. Full time school, part-time work, two children (single parent), with bikes as our mode of transport!! We were blessed with incredible friends who helped us with big grocery runs, projects, and the list goes on and on!! This time period was definitely character building for the three of us, we discovered personal things about ourselves and how we truly do show up to be there for each other. Upon reflection, this experience truly solidified us as a family that rode the waves together with love, patience, understanding, and determination. I am so grateful for this experience, for it humbly woke us up to MORE!
During the periods of time mentioned above I continued to work out, journal, prepare meals at home, and enjoyed the gift of walks whenever I could sneak them in. My workouts would morph according to what I could fit in; an early morning run in the dark, free weights in the living room, a yoga video, or crazy wild dancing to keep me sane. Journaling has been a part of my life for over twenty years, it is how I start my day – a time to download and upload depending on where my conscious and subconscious wish to wander. Meals were a time to honor my internal body, it was very important to keep it healthy, for I needed it fully functioning to maintain my crazy life. Last but not least, walking in nature is one of my forms of meditation, it has been a part of my life since I could physically put one foot in front of the other – a necessary for this girl to maintain sanity in a world full of chaos.
I share the above periods in my life to empathize, respect, honor, and say with true sincerity, “I get it” – I truly do!! Each and every one of us has faced times of intensity, demanding schedules, unexpected life upheavals, etc… How we live in that challenge is what sets the tone for our well being and presence in the “storm”. I sacrificed sleep (not a good practice) and missed out on many shared times with friends during these intense times. There is always a choice we face, for I do not humanly know how one can “do it all” – the give and take dance is a part of the survival.
My response to “I don’t have time” is – “are you willing to actually take a serious look at where and how you spend your time?” At the end of this blog you will see an image of a “time sheet” I created, please feel free to mimic it or if you would like a copy just let me know at email@example.com and I will email you a copy.
On this time sheet be completely honest – the only person you hurt by “fudging the truth” is you!! How long are you on social media, how long do you watch television, shop, etc… At the end of one week take an open hearted look at your time sheet – “Is this how you want to live your life?” “Is the way you are presently spending your time going to help you manifest what you want?” “Do you now see windows of opportunity to get a workout in, eat healthier, pursue your deepest desires/dreams, spend more quality time with those you love, etc…?” It is my experience that most people do not realize how much time they waste in a myriad of ways. There truly is no right or wrong way for one to spend their time per se; however, I am going to guess that after a week of keeping a time log, your awareness of how you spend your time may change. Hope you’re up for the challenge, it is eye opening – maybe you “do not have time” to keep a time log, just teasing….
Once a week for years now I have opened the “Boise Weekly” publication to view the “Free Will Astrology” by Rob Brezsny (http://www.freewillastrology.com/). Every time I read the new entry, I am floored by how spot on he is with where I am in life and what is up for me! What I have always loved about these zodiac moments is that he makes me think, for it is not the normal blah…blah…blah… horoscope predictions, they run much deeper. Free Will Astrology has been hitting the stands in over 120 publications for over 28 years; definitely stood the test of time.
Anyway, to get back to the title of this blog entry – Yeasayer!! My birthday is on the horizon for this week and as you know I am madly working on my new business Haleness Hub (http://halenesshub.liveeditaurora.com/) a lifelong dream and passion. As with anything in life, when you step off the hamster wheel of “what is known” to create something different, your new way of being or living seems to get bombarded by the “naysayer” while what we deeply need is the “yeasayer!!”. The ones who support, cheer, and help us to manifest with great optimism. Thus I had to chuckle when I picked up my horoscope for this next week –
“The word “naysayer” describes a person who’s addicted to expressing negativity. A “yeasayer,” on the other hand, is a person who is prone to expressing optimism. According to my assessment of the astrological omens, you can and should be a creative yeasayer in the coming days — both for the sake of your own well-being and that of everyone whose life you touch. For inspiration, study Upton Sinclair’s passage about Beethoven: He was “the defier of fate, the great yea-sayer.” His music is “like the wind running over a meadow of flowers, superlative happiness infinitely multiplied.”
In actuality I am not sure I could ever embrace being a “naysayer” ugh…just the negative energy I would have to hold and send out makes me shudder – yuck!! I cannot imagine getting up everyday thinking negative thoughts – way to draining and depressing. Besides if I want a fill up on “naysaying”, I can just turn on the news, media, Facebook, etc.., to get my fill and then some; especially right now with all the political buzz.
Nope, I prefer being a yeasayer for myself, my children, friends, family, and anyone who crosses my path. Nothing feels better than sharing a smile with a stranger, exchanging positive words with an acquaintance, helping someone to accomplish something, encouraging my children to dream, the list goes on and on – for there are a zillion ways to show up as a YEASAYER!!
When I think of the amazing people in the world who have risen above, manifested great things, walked a path of authentic expression, and been willing to go outside the bounds to create – I see the yeasayers in the crowd!! They all had to have the strength, courage, faith, and love to block out the naysayers, so that all they heard was the cheers from within and the few yeasayers who rallied behind them.
As I continue to step with impassioned faith towards my visions, I am intensely fueled by the excitement I feel with serving my purpose in assisting others to come home to the “yeasayer” that lives within them. To help them recover the healthy body, mind, and spirit that is waiting. To guide those who seek to live a life uncommon and to role model my belief that anything is possible!! A smile crosses my face, for I have only just begun – there is so much I am working on that will soon be offered to those who want to step off the “naysayer” path to ignite their dynamic truth.
I can understand why there are naysayers in my life, for I have always struggled to find satisfaction and contentment in the “life we are taught” to live. It is not that it is bad, for many are extremely happy and satisfied living this way, which is a wonderful thing. However there are also many like me who feel an uneasy feeling, a sense that there is more, that there is something we are meant to do, to experience, to share. Like me they keep trying to fit in, but.., the feeling only grows more intense as the years go by.
Yes, I have tried many different things over my crazy life journey – 31 different jobs/careers over my thirty-five year working life; lots of experiences that fuel my empathetic understanding for all who enter my world. Yes, I have failed! Yes, I have fallen down really hard! Yes, I have struggled to provide for my kids and self! Yes, yes, yes…. President Abraham Lincoln (also an Aquarian) did not arrive at his presidency without “failures” under his belt, failures that made him more, that served him well in understanding the people he represented while in office (http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/abraham-lincoln#). Thomas Edison (another Aquarian) the youngest of seven children did not “learn to talk” until he was four years old. At eleven years of age he became a home schooled student because his teacher saw him as a problem child with an “addled, scrambled” brain. By the way Lincoln was one of Edison’s heroes (http://www.thomasedison.com/biography.html), a role model in the crowd for this entrepreneurial inventing young man who continued forth despite immense naysayer push back!! Are you not grateful to these two persistent, determined, creative, wise men, who listened to the yeasayer inside of themselves? What about, Nelson Mandela (27 years in prison), Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, and… They all said YES to the yeasayer that lives inside! If they had given voice to the naysayer where would we be today???
One does not have to become a president, inventor, world leader, or anything else that huge to become a magnanimous impacting yeasayer! The impacts we each make upon those around us is more than we realize. I am sure you had a favorite teacher along the way whose yeasaying made you want to be more! What about the amazing wait person who made your last meal out an incredible positive experience. The janitor who maintains with pride and respect the space you occupy during the day? The entrepreneurial individual who runs your favorite spa, store, business… We seek out the yeasayers because they are the ones creating the waves for a better next moment, and next, and next.
I conclude today’s post with a HUGE thank you to all those who have had the courage to say YES to the yeasayer within themselves – for they are the game changers, the ones who embark into uncharted territory, the people who fall down and get up with renewed faith, courage, and perseverance. I am immensely grateful for they are the role models I look to, the fuel for my fire, and the source of my inspiration to keep stepping towards my dreams.
Really think about it – Do you want to roam through your life as a cautious naysayer, full of negative doubting energy? Or, would you prefer to embody the positive energy and way of being of a yeasayer? The choice is yours to make in all your moments. The life you have is yours, how do you want to live it? How do you want your children to journey it? It is a new year, what are you going to do with this precious time?
I say hat’s off to the YEASAYERS everywhere – bring it on with full passion!!
My blog entries have been published on Monday’s and Wednesday’s the new days will now be Monday and Saturday :-)!! That way you can sit with your morning cup of tea/coffee to read in a relaxed manner after a busy week.
Thank you for reading my blog – I truly appreciate you coming to the page to ponder life with me; exploring and exposing ourselves to deeper places/thoughts.
See you Saturday – I leave you with my all time favorite Gandhi quote – what I strive for everyday!!
There are two ways that you and are exactly alike, two ways that we are like everyone else on the planet – yep, you guessed it – We are all born and we will all die. How we live life in between those two experiences is uniquely an individual journey. Today’s little blog is to poke at the edges of inquiry as to how do you live all the moments you are graced with between your first breath and your last?
When I came screaming out into this world I actually had something else in common with you – I was born naked!! Yep, I was not wearing the latest fashion, did not have my hair in place, most certainly did not have my make-up on, and I did not put on a happy face just so you could feel good about yanking me out into this cold world. We are all born completely naked, spending the rest of our lives figuring out how to cover up, make up, and mask the amazing vessel we exist in – why???
I can see the people who know me shaking their heads with a half smile on their faces, for they know that I believe nudity is a wonderful thing to embrace as often as possible!! For me, every human is absolutely exquisite when they are shining in their full radiance from the inside out/outside in – they are in that moment divinely present, vulnerable, exposed, and REAL. No coverings, no pretending, no trying to be someone else, no hiding…!! We are all born fully exposed, but sadly before we can even walk, most of us are taught to be ashamed of our bodies, to hide them, mask them in a myriad of accouterments. Oh how this shame sinks deeply in, becoming a daily dose of self abuse.
Now, I want you to think back to when you were really young, for some of us that is definitely further back than for others. When you were a toddler/youth do you remember a time when you danced, sang, played tag, created art, lived in your world of imagination, explored uncharted territory in a nearby park/woods? Sit still with yourself for a few moments; go back into that time, go back into your body – how did it feel? If you were by yourself or with friends your age doing the same thing, I am going to bet you felt GREAT!! You were the belle at the ball, the best singer ever, conquering undiscovered places, creating art that received great admiration, absolutely blissfully enjoying the present moment for all it was without worry, fear, or shame. However, if an adult entered the room you stopped, even though they did not say anything you felt silly and perhaps even a tinge of shame sparked up. Then the older we got the less we “lived fully in our vibrant being”, we continued to expand our shame, our comparison, our acceptance that we were to “act normally” within the confines of society’s expectations.
When I was Activity Director at the nursing home I loved taking the patients out for activities away from the home. Their faces would light up with wonder, joy, and anticipation – just like the children’s faces when I worked at the Daycare and we were out on a field trip. Put these two groups together and oh my, the experiences that would blossom forth filled one with joy. Interesting to me, is that the population of our society we deem as wise, intelligent, successful, and “important” is the mid-ages, not too young, not too old (please note there are cultures who still honor the elderly and the young). I have been blessed to spend time with amazing people from all age groups and in my experience I seriously question our assessment of the prime age.
Most of the “prime age” people I know spend time worrying about their clothes and outer image, they are afraid to sing out loud even in their own home, they definitely do not dance with abandon, rarely smile at a stranger, often scowl, do not know how to really laugh and would never be caught naked outside of their bathroom!! This is a no brainer for me, I would much rather be with the old or young thank you!!
The elderly know how many years they wasted pretending and living life “half-way”, they see down the barrel to the shortness of life; each moment precious, each moment a celebration, a dance, a song, a sweet memory to be cherished and embraced.
The young have not learned or accepted our “play small” game, the game of pretend where we no longer explore new worlds, dance because it brings us joy, laugh until tears of happiness fall, sing so everyone hears, or wake up ready for new experiences with wonder.
Long story short…I would rather dance naked in wild abandon through the field, swim in the cool river water with the clothes I was born in, sing at the top of lungs when my favorite song comes on, laugh full and loud because it feels so good and brings forth joy, hug a friend just because, tell my children I love them as many moments as I can, and remember that every day is another chance to celebrate, to not take for granted, to live all out, for we know not how long we truly have….
I was born this way!! A nude, joyous, content, curious, wiggly, being… I hope you will join me in peeling back the layers of artificial fearful teachings to come home to your natural self.
Today’s post is about being still. Can you do it? Can you actually sit quietly with yourself, no cell phone, no TV, no computer, nothing but you, your breathing, and the silence around you?
As the years go by I am struck by how rarely I see people embrace the gift of sitting in quiet stillness. As a junior high language arts teacher it saddened my heart to see how busy students were, scheduled for this athletic practice, dance class, piano lesson, etc..,homework would begin when they finally got home late that night. Their only time with family might be the drive to and from school and/or activities. The parents role modeled stress, rushing from one thing to the next, schedule, schedule, schedule!! The stress filled the space to extremes at times – students would come into the classroom just to cry in sheer exhaustion and overload – and I mean seriously cry.
As a restaurant manager I was struck by how few people actually sat with one another in true eye to eye connection, visiting sincerely without the distraction of a cell phone. Couples would come in and look at their phones more than each other, talking about something that just got tweeted, or was on Facebook – really!!
At work I would listen to colleagues talk about their long “to do” lists. They ran from here to there after work, trying to get everything done before finally going to bed stressed and exhausted. Men I dated struggled to just be, for the things that needed their attention nagged on their brains and tugged at their sleeve. To sit still with their partner and not be doing anything else seemed to be sheer toture. I get that men are more internally programmed “to do”, but all of us NEED time just being in the stillness of now.
What do you fear about sitting still? Do thoughts come up to the surface that you do not want to think about? Do feelings start to stir that make you uncomfortable? Will you actually begin to feel below the surface into the raw real space of you? Does the silence scream at you, unbearable because it leaves space for you to breathe deeply, thus your body relaxes allowing you to truly think and be?
What amazing things might you discover if you began to grace yourself with just five minutes a day to sit and be quietly still? What if you set aside all electronics for ten minutes a day to let yourself breathe deeply into the quiet truth of yourself? What might become if you sat down with your partner and just quietly held hands for three minutes, no words, no to-dos, just still connection time? Press this possibility even further – sit and actually look into the eyes of the person you love for a whole minute – stop time for ONE MINUTE! The connections that will spring forth from such truthful moments with yourself and with others will shift your world from the inside out. As you begin this practice, most of you will squirm, some of you may sadly choose to never do it again. If you have the courage, go further, expand this time, this presence, and really dig into the grace of being still.
When my children were young I had a daily practice that I called “Namaste time”. I would get down on my knees, so that we were at eye level or I was looking up at them. We would make quiet eye contact and then after a few deep breaths I would share with them what I loved, honored, and cherished about them. It might be an act I noticed they did, it might be how they shared something, it could be how respectful they were towards another; there was always much to choose from. I closed this time by telling them how much I loved and felt blessed to have them in my life.
Often tears would surface, I did not hide them or brush them away, I allowed them to be the full expression of my truth. I wanted my tears to role model that our emotions are not bad; they should not be hidden, for they are a glorious part of the human experience – even anger has its place and purpose.
I continue to explore ways to expand and extend this practice into various relationships when I want to slow time down, honor someone, open the space for more, or be completely present in a space of truthful love. Just taking the time to be completely present with eye contact will expand your heart into glorious grace.
I close this blog inviting you to sit still. Be quiet for a minute, two, three… Allow yourself the gift to just be for five minutes each day, see what surfaces, embrace yourself with pure acceptance. If you want to stretch further, try out “Namaste time” with someone you truly care about – be open to the explosion of deep intimate connection it will unleash. I can tell you from working in a nursing home, people do not remember or reminisce in their last days about all that they “got done”, the titles behind their name, nor the money in their bank account – what they share are the stories full of emotional connection, love, and the coming together with others.
Slow down, be still, connect with yourself and with those you love, maybe even share a smile with eye contact to the stranger you pass by.
(Definition of Namaste – In Hinduism it means “I bow to the divine in you”. My personal definition, “The divine in me sees and honors the divine in you”.)
Today I found myself struggling a bit with having the faith to keep stepping. Bombarded by fear from the media via Facebook (I do not watch the news), I found myself allowing the scarcity teachings and negative stories to take up space in my heart, soul, and mind. My optimism was a bit weak and in need of a boost!! I turned to my cup of tea, journal and trusty fountain pen. It was another day to explore, to be, to take action, to listen for guidance, and to be humbly grateful for the immense grace that fills my life.
As I let my pen flow upon the page my spirit began to rise. I knew from within that I was on the right path; there really was no question, just minnie fear monsters tugging on my pajama sleeve, and the inner naysayer quotes knocking on the conscious brain. Word by word the negative limiting thoughts showed up on the page in a rich dark blue, leaving my body/mind/spirit. Courage!! I needed to breathe deeply into courage today. Looking out into the darkness of the early morning a small light from across the river caught my eye, that’s my courage – a bright light in the chaos of our fear driven world.
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. Anais Nin”
The above quote arrived in my mind – it is one of my all time favorites, from a courageous woman who truly lived her life vulnerably with authentic truth. I could not go back to living a lie, to walking through my days like a robotic zombie, to role model “giving up”, thus accepting the limitations set by a culture ruled by fear – the thought made my whole body convulse from the inside out.
I must keep stepping, putting one foot in front of the other with absolute unwavering faith! Holding on tight to the string of the kite I had put up in the wind. Just like a kite that weaves up and down, today was one of those days where I took a wee bit of a dip – I was at choice to pull up so it would catch the wind updraft, or let it drop to the ground. You can bet I am choosing to pull up with all that I have!! I already know very intimately how the ground feels.
I invite you for a moment to think about someone you admire. Think about a person you watch and think, “Wow…I wish I could be like that!” Think about the amazing people who have truly impacted the world and changed life for those around them. As you bring these people to mind, I want you to truly explore, did they wake up one day and make it all happen? Did they never fall down along the path? Did people laugh at them, even throw stones at them, did they get scorned and bullied? These courageous people did not accept limitations, they did not allow the naysayers to have power, they did not give up on what they believed was possible.
Today we have what we have due to these courageous people. Hmmm.., I wonder what will be created and shared next by the courageous souls of today. Instead of “bad” news, why is there not a news station that celebrates and shares stories about all the amazing people who are making differences and changing life’s every moment? It is happening, everywhere. Acts of courage flourish around the globe in every moment – yet we choose to focus on the actions created by fear. When I was a teenager I fell in love with a song by Anne Murray “A Little Good News” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOR6Vx-Ogbk.
As you listen to the words, ask yourself, have we learned, have we changed, have we found the courage within ourselves to be that change? It is one of my dreams to someday create that “Little Good News” station!!
I ask you how would your life change, how would the world change if we turned our focus to the “Good News”? Could this small change begin to shift us, awaken our courage to go for it? I invite you or actually I challenge you – for one week, turn off the news, choose to listen and watch only positive uplifting songs, movies, shows, etc… For one week, grace your body, mind and spirit to ingest only positive things. Put up a quote board, listen to your favorite songs, and read about a person who totally inspires you…you get the idea. At the end of this time check in, how do you feel, what is your outlook on life, how are you treating others?
Nothing great was ever manifested by choosing the easy well worn path. Now I do believe it can be easy, but that is another blog story for another day. Today I choose COURAGE! I take a very deep breath that says, “I can, I will, I am!!” As a young child my favorite book was “The Little Engine That Could” and “The Lorax” who wisely stated, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”I think I can and I am someone who cares a whole awful lot!! Carpe Diem (look that one up)!!
It is January 6, 2017, twenty-four years ago today I moved to Boise, Idaho. Looking out my window I smile, for it looks much like it did back then, lots of crisp sparkling snow blankets the earth. In 1993 I looked out my window at the soft glorious mountains that surrounded my home; they were dancing in the hibernation of winter. Today I look out my window at a frozen pond to observe the release of snow from burdened branches on nearby trees, they sigh as the morning sun strikes their arms. Rarely does the city of Boise find itself wading through drifts of snow – one who lives here goes to the mountains for such winter play.
Twenty-four years ago I got stuck trying to drive up the mountain to our new home, today I got stuck trying to drive out of the cul-de-sac which has not been cleared. Back then it was my “stupidity” for not making sure the truck was in four-wheel drive, today it is because the city is not prepared to handle the impacts of such white abundance.
I have been stuck for three days now, grateful to the very bone for the fact that I work from home, thus I do not need to go out into the chaos to dodge the next sliding car. Fortunately for me my kids are with their dad who has the four-wheel drive truck and lives on a more traveled street – however, they return tomorrow, thus the crumbs that live in the cupboard and the scraps in the fridge will not suffice, nor keep them nourished. I must hasten out of my snow cave to brave the piles of mushed up snow in an attempt to plow through the ruts as the person before me.
Being “stuck in the storm” right after returning home from our Christmas holiday in Michigan has been profound, for it has forced me to sit with myself, to dig deep, to search, to heal, and to awaken in new faith and love. In the silence I have watched the swirling of the wind upon the heavy branches of nearby trees, I have observed the geese, ducks, eagles, herons, hawks, and squirrels as they go about surviving in the cold and layered whiteness. I have felt my breath create tiny icicle particulates upon the ends of my hair as I scuffle through the fluffy winter coat, seeing my breath in the -6 degrees Fahrenheit I smile, for beneath it all there is vibrant life. You can feel it there, all the trees, rocks and creatures await its awakening, for they know with patience it will become, with determination and perseverance it will again be giving life in grand abundance.
Nature offers us such wisdom, yet we are typically not patient, determined or willing to persevere – instead we push, we force, and we work against the natural flow. Recently I opened the pages of my well worn book, “Walden”, by Henry David Thoreau. Glancing at the passages I had highlighted I marveled at how his observances of humanity in the mid 1800s is still what resides today – perhaps on a grander more confused scale. One of my favorite sections is as follows:
“However, if one designs to construct a dwelling-house it behooves him to exercise a little Yankee shrewdness, lest after all he find himself in a workhouse, a labyrinth without a clue, a museum, an almshouse, a prison, or a splendid mausoleum instead. Consider first how slight a shelter is absolutely necessary.”
A bit further down the page –
“Many a man is harassed to death to pay the rent of a larger and more luxurious box who would not have frozen to death in such a box as this. I am far from jesting. Economy is a subject which admits of being treated with levity, but it cannot so be disposed of. A comfortable house for a rude and hardy race, that lived mostly out of doors, was once made here almost entirely of such materials as Nature furnished ready to their hands.”
Our “boxes” and “burdens” grow fiercely in a world where humanity is always chasing what will make them happy next. Sadly the new boxes and things only bring joy for a brief time, yet to have them and keep them we must toil, we must sacrifice time with those we love; we consciously choose to have it become our “splendid mausoleum”. We glance into the rear-view mirror of our perfectly manicured Hummer to see that it all passed us by, the eyes that look back at us are sad, enclosed by wrinkles and haloed by grey hair – the time to dance is past.
During this time of “stuck-ness” so freshly in the New Year I ask myself in the silence of my patience, why do humans repeat their patterns century after century? We “teach history” in our schools, so that we will not repeat our mistakes, yet soon we will change the tapestry of another country with our “western advancement”, “civilizing” a savage culture to join us in our obesity, our discontent, our anxiousness and our ever expanding depression. Thoreau like Socrates, Plato, Einstein, and so many others have tried to share the truths, the patterns, the lessons and wisdom. Our ears seem plugged from the buzz of mass chaos which keeps us distracted and in the pursuit of grander “boxes” and possessions that will surely make us happier, right???
In the eyes of many I have “nothing” – I do not own a home, do not own my car (the bank does), our clothes are second hand (except for gifted ones), I have no savings or retirement portfolio.., however I am immensely and profoundly rich!! I sit in a home we are blessed to house sit; it is tucked in the quiet arm of nature – reminding me daily of that which is true and important. We have access to local food which keeps us wealthily healthy from within. I am graced with friends and family who love and support us. I daily wake up to pursue with passion my dreams, to joyously serve others, to be the safe place for anyone seeking to be their truth. I dance in the constant ever present joy life is! I know that like the winter, my “new life” is budding from within – soon it will spring forth in full abundance.
Today I celebrate in the sunlight which juxtapositions itself upon the frigid white sparkles. I laugh with the ducks and geese floating by on the dark slow river. I hold myself open with love to the pure potential of change, for it is ever constant. Impermanence is guaranteed, uncertainty reins, we all have two things in common – we are born and we shall die – how we choose to live in our moments from start to finish is that which we have control of.., nothing more. I take a deep breath in gratitude for the storm – like the Grinch, my heart continues to expand. What comes next, I do not know. Will my business prosper, grow and become, I do not know. Will my books one day grace your home or kindle, I do not know. I do know I must try! I must not give up!
How are you going to live your moments in 2017? Full of excuses or impassioned by loving purpose?
I shall conclude this post with more wise words from Thoreau –
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats.”
“What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.”
As we embrace a New Year, we tend to spend some time in reflection, or at least I hope we do…, for there are great lessons in the rear-view mirror. I experience that there is always great enthusiasm for what the New Year may offer, unfold, and share with us. It is a time to reflect and dream, release and embrace – a moment when past and present come together with the tick – tock of the clock. While 2016 was not a bad year for me, actually quite wonderful, I must admit that I am ready for it to be a part of my history. The end of the year brought important change which has me very excited for what 2017 is going to birth.
Today what I want to explore is an honest reflection into the past, taking what we see and learn from that space into the present, thus impacting our future individually and together. When I look back I am not just looking at the concrete, actually I spend very little time looking at the material aspects of my life – I know, absolutely no surprise for those who know me. What I breathe deep into and truly explore is what were those magical moments, the ones that touched my heart, the ones that brought me to my knees, and the times I spent trying to do and be what I am not. All of these moments teach, share, and grace me with an opportunity for expansion. Yesterday is already gone, tomorrow is yet to arrive, and now is all we have – however to bring forth wisdom from my past can add to this glorious present moment and all the future I am blessed to live.
I look back on twenty-sixteen with a smile, there were definitely times I wasted in worry, an energy that truly serves no purpose. It stresses the physical body and mind (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/anxiety_and_physical_illness) on so many levels. Being anxious about paying bills does not get them paid, matter a fact it wastes energy that could be used in manifesting change. Being worried about arriving to work on time sure does not get me there faster. Concern about what others think, well wow…that sure is a negative way to spend time – who cares!! Oh I could go on and on, for I am amazed daily with how many of us spend precious energy worrying or being anxious about life. In twenty-seventeen it is my intention to take this negative energy choice and move it over to an arena that actually serves in bringing more joy, love, connection, and grace into my world.
Twenty-sixteen was also a year where I once again poured time into a job that was not in line with my life purpose, passion, or way of being. While I did genuinely show up each day with pureness of heart and the intention to serve others, my soul was not invested – thus it often drained me, stripped me of my vital life force and passionate zest for life. Most importantly it role modeled a life of “going through the motions” – yuck!! Gratefully as many of you know, I was shoved off the proverbial work cliff to either fall smack to the hard ground or lift up my wings to soar into a new choice. I selected the latter, with fear biting at my toes; I embraced the discomfort of the unknown, trusting my heart/soul to light up and guide the way. For those of you who prefer a more concrete expression – I began to take a tally of what ignites my passion, what am I really good at, what could I do that would embody my gifts and serve others. Twenty-seventeen is my year to fully embrace my purpose and keep stepping with surrendered faith towards living a life that is passionately serving, inspiring, and awakening others to their true magnificence.
Fear!! That is a powerful force which has been used throughout human existence to control and limit. Now, do not misunderstand me, fear has its place, I want you to run if someone is attacking you – there are times when fight or flight is a powerful necessary energy. Fear can also be a rudder for us to use in staying on course with our passion…for there is an edgy fear that gurgles up when we are walking an unknown path. This type of fear I have learned can actually fuel my journey and keep me stepping in the correct direction. The type of fear I am choosing to let go of is the type that tries to push me back into the herding pen with all the other sheep who are afraid to step out of the confines society and culture have set. In that pen I grow to feel like a caged lion, desperate to run, to be free, and to knock down anything in my path to get where I can breathe again. I have never been a successful sheep, following the rest of the flock just because that’s what I am supposed to do – guess that’s why it took me twenty-eight years to get my bachelors degree.
In this New Year I embrace fear with love! I welcome it as my guide post in a world that seems quite lost. I joyfully breathe deep into the sensation of fear, listening quietly for the teaching, evaluate it and then step. For most of my life I have been taught that fear is the opposite of love, recently thanks to Mastin Kipp, Wayne Dyer, and some other mentors I have begun to explore a different perspective of fear. Think about it, the first day of a new job you feel anxious, a bit fearful. Is this bad, no actually it is an excited fear that fuels you to do your best, pay extra attention and really listen. When you bought (buy) your first house, was there a touch of fear? Welcomed a new baby into the world? Fell in love? Fear is one of those incredible emotions/energy that can be utilized with awareness to live our life more passionately and fully.
Another huge energy we can explore is the power of love…whew!! However, I think the exploration of love is best served in a separate blog. In the mean time, I do invite you to ponder, does love, like fear have different roles? Can we utilize the emotional energy of love to make the “tough choices” and to dance in the “glorious decisions”?
I close this post by asking you, in twenty-seventeen where are you going to focus your emotional energy? In every moment we are graced to make a different choice, to change a pattern, to awaken to new way of being. The power and choice are yours!! The Happiest of New Years to you and yours!!