Monday, December 31, 2012

Seeing in the dark

©2012 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
To have faith is an act of courage. To believe that we are loved and protected even in our darkest moments takes an insurmountable amount of bravery for it is nothing we control. Faith is not something we summon, it invokes us. This is the challenge to our survival: to feel the love even when we appear to be unloved, to know that our dreams are in process even if out of view, that lessons abound in what we don't yet understand, that there is love for each of us even when we are lonely, that peace is real even when discord is loudest, that we have everything we need even if we don't have everything we want, that we are strong even when we recognize our pain, that there is truth even when we doubt.

This year is ending tonight. For most of us it has been difficult. The dare is not to judge 2012 for it has been our teacher and we have survived it. Leave it all here tonight, in the now that will be your past. Leave your fears, your demands, your regrets and your guilt. Call forth all your fearlessness and bring that into 2013.

Celebrate and rejoice the year that is to come, believing in all good things. Have the courage to answer Faith's call, to see in the dark for there is a light...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chiaroscuro

Last night I spent a poetic evening with people I admire, respect and delight in. Between wine, cheese and pears, we exchanged ideas, constructive criticism and stories about our lives. In the handsome space we were in, there floated, on one of the walls, and listening to everything we said, a beautiful painting of a naked woman. It called to me. It is poetry. It reflects the colors life. It is a black and white story stroked with acrylic on canvas.

The beauty of this painting is not only in the image captured, but in the play between the white and black paint. This chiaroscuro–the movement, the relationship between light and shadow–gave it depth and shape. Such is life. Such is my life.

The light aspects of life are pure love. It is in the light that we find our greatest expression of ourselves. We are holy, divine and innocent. But this light is only light in relation to the darkness, that place where we are who we rather not be. It is in the darkness that we find the shameful parts of us, where we judge others and where we project our fears, our guilt and insecurities on to others. The light is only beautiful in relation to the dark. The dark becomes beautiful in relation to the light.

It is in the shadow created between the light and the dark that we become whole. It is in the blend of the two that we become authentic for it is here that we admit our imperfections and our greatness. It is in the gray that we learn to forgive because we understand our collective humanity and frailty. It is here that we learn a healthy expression of everything that we are–our illuminated traits as well as those traits within us that bother us about ourselves.

In the chiaroscuro of our hearts is the splendor, the grace and the majesty of life. It is in the chiaroscuro where life becomes deep and takes shape, a beautiful and honest shape.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

UFOs

Two days ago I was driving along a highway when a piece of foam flew from the bed of a pickup truck into the air. This was, at some point, raw material for a sofa cushion. Now it was an unidentified flying object, but only until it was a few feet away and I could tell it was a harmless piece of foam. Even though I could tell what it was, and even though I could tell that it could not harm me, I still flinched when it flew in front of my windshield. I still closed my eyes waiting for the strike.

This made me think of the times in our lives we flinch when something that can't hurt us flies towards us. The piece of foam could be a conversation with your kid's teacher, a visit from an out of town relative or a change in the interest rate. The flinching can be, too, at good things that come our way such as an unexpected promotion at work, a sudden love interest or an answered prayer. We fear, we stress and we worry even though we will not be hurt. It's anticipation and it keeps us from enjoying life and from thinking clearly.

We close our eyes in fear of outcomes that can't hurt us. Some outcomes may require us to shift our behavior or to make adjustments. But that is what we are equipped for. We know life is not an arrival, it's a constant traveling and flying objects will hurl at us. The trick is not to attach ourselves to a specific end, adapting to the changes and putting events into perspective. The challenge is to keep our eyes open and know within that we can't be hurt by certain incidents in life, but we can receive them, resolve them and grow.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Too busy to be happy...

Are you too busy to live life as you dream it?

Life is full to the brim with chores, tasks, activities and responsibilities. Which chores, tasks, activities and responsibilities you take on are yours to choose. Of course, there are some basic responsibilities that are musts (feeding a newborn, for example), but there are many that we accept as obligations that are really not obligations (such as chairing the PTA fundraiser). I am not going to attempt to figure out which activities are essential in your life. I will just say that if you are not happy with your life, that if you are not living the life you dream of because you are too busy, then you are not living on purpose. When you live on purpose, everything flows and time is abundant. After considering what is important to you, and without ignoring your basic responsibilities, delegate, ask for help, say no to certain commitments, declutter and prioritize. You will be answering to your highest self.  Bring to the forefront those activities which relate to your purpose and to your dreams. Always remember that your thoughts have power. If you think you are too busy, you will be too busy.

A busy life is not necessarily a productive life.  The world doesn't need you to be busy, it needs you to fulfill your purpose. When you fulfill your purpose, you find happiness. You find happiness by allowing time for it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Synchro-destiny II

I believe my future is not planned. My fate has not been set. My life is a response to the intentions I set. Every experience I have had and every person I have met have their meaning in the unfolding of my days. Although I set my intentions, however, life sometimes takes unintended turns. I believe I know why.
As a believer of synchro-destiny, events stem from the intentions I have set coupled by the thoughts I have. That's where my synchro-destiny gets interrupted, in my thoughts. If I start doubting, the flow of energy changes. If I start thinking that I and I alone am capable of and deserving of the credit behind my accomplishments, I interfere with what started cosmically in response to my intentions. If I disregard others and selfishly aim for my wishes, if I forget to thank Spirit, if I sabotage my speech with words of can't or if I start having thoughts impossibility, difficulty, lack or fear, my synchro-destiny takes a different turn.

For things to continue to fall into place, for people to continue to enter into my life at the right time, for events to continue to take place as an answer to my wishes, I set an intention. This intention is aligned to my highest-self, that Spirit filled place in me that seeks what is best for all involved, following my purpose. I ask for guidance and inspiration, opening my heart and mind to new possibilities and new thoughts. I notice and acknowledge the collaboration and support that I receive in many different forms. I remain willing, spot the synchronicity and greet the blessings...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Modern Family

We honor and venerate the Holy Family. The picturesque image of mother, father & baby surrounded by nature's love and the support of wisemen. We keep the Holy Family a symbol of nobility of manner, decency and solemnity. It's beautiful.

I find a Christmas miracle in the idea of the Holy Family, but not the obvious Christmas miracle. Of course I believe in the miracle, but the miracle I uncover is another–the birth of love independent of judgment, separation and classification, the upholding of the dignity of women and the immensity of trust. The Holy Family began with the out-of-marriage pregnancy of a teenage girl. Extraordinarily, Joseph, a man of the times, a carpenter–call him a contractor in our era, chose to stay with his pregnant-by-another fiancé when he could have had her stoned. I have goosebumps as I write this and I think of the greatness of God's love in allowing the unfolding of the birth of Jesus to be so human and imperfect.

God, in whom all things are possible, could have just sent his son in a cloud, appeared him magically or have the earth spit him out supernaturally for all to see. He, however, chose a woman to give birth to his son. He asked her, through an angel. He didn't order her. He considered her. He uplifted her role of woman and respected her free will. She responded with a trusting and faithful yes. Joseph, gifted with the same free will, became husband and father of a son he didn't engender. The Holy Family was born.

Both Mary and Joseph trusted in each other and in God, and reverence in relationships was conceived.

Today, let's carry forth the precedent set for us thousands of years ago. Let's remember that good is possible even when we think we don't have the right conditions (remember, there was no room at the inn). Let's respect women's dignity, man's place in the family and society, children's majesty and the diversity of the modern family. For Mary, Joseph and Jesus are spiritual representations of each of us–human, imperfect, important. No longer man, woman and child, but people. Let's be open-minded and respectful of each other irrespective of social class, religious belief, sexual orientation, race, gender, color of skin, national origin, age... We are all family, holy in our origin, holy in our imperfection...

Sunday, December 23, 2012

War & Peace

After years of trying to live a peaceful relationship, you are finally there. You must be, you think, because you don't argue much anymore. You are cordial. You have developed a rhythm between the two of you that keeps everything amicable and polite. This is not peace.

Not only is this not peace, it is not even truthful or honest. The absence of conflict is not the presence of peace. A superficial carrying-on is only a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop attitude in which conflict is simmering beneath the surface. The absence of an argument is not peace.

True peace in a relationship flows from an active commitment to each other in a spirit of cooperation, understanding, consideration, forgiveness, respect, empathy and a willingness to see from the other's perspective. It also takes a commitment to resolve conflict without violence or hurtful words. True peace in a relationship starts within with thoughts of us, not of me vs. you. Love and expressions of love in a peaceful relationship are not only necessary, they are essential.

Today is a good day to commit to a loving and daily effort of peace...



Tripping over the same stone

Imagine you are walking along a path. As you walk, you trip over a stone. You fall, you hurt your knee, you bleed. Tomorrow you walk along the same path. You trip over the same stone. You fall, you hurt your knee, and now your hand. You bleed, again. Damning the stone, cursing the path or begrudgingly taking the same walk each day will not put a stop to your tripping over the same stone. You will trip over the same stone until you are aware of it and walk differently in relation to it or until you take a different path altogether.

In life, we keep running into the same situations over and over again. We stomp our feet, we condemn, we declare never again! to no avail. The same issues will come up repeatedly and in different degrees of difficulty until we learn our lessons.

For example, you want to be more patient, yet every time you decide this is the day you find yourself in heavier traffic. Good grief! I don't need this today!, you think. This is a great opportunity for you to become more patient. You have to do this. No fairy will come about with a magic wand to give you patience.

There is no universal grudge against you. Whatever you focus your attention on will continue to show up in your life–money problems, difficult people, trust issues, forgiveness–not until you get the message, but until you respond differently.

What is it that you need to learn? How can you grow from that lesson? How can you respond differently? Find out, for until you learn your lesson you will trip over the same stone over and over again...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Let the blood flow...


Unlikely twins. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito in a dance to know and love each other as twin brothers. I really like this movie. I learn something from each movie I watch and from this one I learned a few things. This particular scene is one of my teachers. Letting the blood flow teaches me about love and those I love. 

We hold on too tightly to the ones we love stopping the flow of love. If we release just a bit–releasing our controls, our agendas, our judgments, our assumptions and our expectations–we can enjoy the people we love, we can enjoy ourselves and our lifedance with them. We see others–our spouses, our children, our lovers, our neighbors, our friends, our family members–as they are, we love them as they are. In turn, we are loved. 

I let my love loose. It will come back when it will. I am letting the love flow...my happiness and freedom resting on the happiness and freedom of those I love. Go ahead, let the love flow...


Friday, December 21, 2012

When the fantasy is true...

Maybe it wasn't love at first sight, but you had a passionate and meaningful, albeit short, romantic relationship.

Our current culture believes that these moments we share with someone in these type of relationships–moments in which we feel we found glory, we feel time doesn't pass, we thoroughly enjoy the time spent together and that the passion makes life worth living–are unrealistic. We feel we have fallen in love. Reality says it's fantasy. 

The truth is that this temporary experience of blissful love is reality–the one we deny because it seems so crazy, impractical, quick and unreal. The truth is that these encounters are gifts we receive to know romance, to crave it, to want to live it for in these loving experiences we know bliss, the closest and purest feeling to God. When we feel love this way we will work to be the kind of people who attract it–genuinely–in order to share it.

Any other explanation or reasoning of your experience is not the truth–it's fear, it's ego, it's other people's opinions in your head. Fantastic love is true love. There's more to this, of course, but we'll discuss it another day.

We should not be blinded to these magical encounters. We are not talking about sex, but about true soulful connections in which two people make emotional, spiritual and physical sense for each other. Love made us and love is all we have to give. This is the mark of these love affairs that stay with you and bring you to your true self, because love, real love, never ends. Experiencing love this way does not change you, it uncovers who you are. These love experiences are not fantasy, they are real...





Wednesday, December 19, 2012

From arguing to grace...

Have you ever had an argument with someone that left such hurtful feelings that it changed or ended the relationship? Years later, do you remember what the argument was about?

Many times, it is not the why of the argument but the how of the argument that hurts us. In a disagreement we defend our points of view which is to defend ourselves and our egos. We don't see the other person's viewpoint, we don't understand them. We close our hearts. Our tones of voice change, our facial expressions change and our postures change in an effort to be right. The reason of the argument no longer prevails, but the separation does.

When you find yourself disagreeing with someone, let them be right even if you feel they are wrong. This does not mean that you deny the truth. It just means that you see how human they are. They are acting from their level of awareness. See them gently and speak to them gently. Open your heart, for until you do you cannot understand.

Be willing to see things differently, and you will. Give up judging, criticizing, attacking and blaming. When you do, your tone of voice, your body language and your words come forth from your very best self, from your Spirit. Grace fills the air between. What could be a hurtful encounter between two people is now an opportunity for growth and collaboration.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hope

Hope is the last thing to die. Yet we are disappointed at times because, despite the intensity of our hope, we do not get what we hope for. We feel our hope dying.

The spiritually sound know that we should place our hope not in what we want the most, but in what is best for all concerned in any situation. Hoping for something bigger than ourselves we ask that, whatever the outcome, we will be ok. We do not hope for a change outside of ourselves, but within us.

Today, hope that you will see the greatness of God's love and that the things you hope for are aligned with Spirit. No matter what happens, you will be fine. If it is sorrow you are hoping to overcome, you will endure it. If it is work that you are looking for, it will come to you. If it is love you want, it will encompass you. Notice how there are no specific requests here. I didn't write hope for a particular job or a particular person. Hope with faith in Spirit's power over everything–over every problem, every pain, every difficulty. Always remember, too, the gift of free will and that Spirit will honor it every time. Proactive in the work of hope, we stay hopeful and we bring hope with us wherever we go. Hope is our constant belief that we will be ok no matter what...


Monday, December 17, 2012

Emptying the fear in your pocket...

What do you do for a living? Your answer usually starts with I am. I am an accountant, a teacher, an art dealer... Yet this is not really who you are. This is a role you play in the economy. For if you are what you do, then who are you if you lose your job?

Our jobs keep us active in society and provide us the income to pay for our financial responsibilities and to treat ourselves. When something happens to our job, our identity takes a hit. Our self-esteem is hurt. The income flowing into our pockets is now replaced with fear...

This fear can paralyze us and make us desperate. It can make us angry. Any of these emotions obstructs our ability to make decisions based on truth. The truth is that we are not our jobs. The truth is that every ending leads to a new beginning. The truth that you are provided for. As long as you remain connected to your Source, you will be aware of where there is a need for your talents and your gifts. Breaking through the fear, you will attract abundance-work, people, opportunities, money...

Every ending marks a new beginning. Losing your job can be the push and the freedom you needed to contribute in new and creative ways to your life and the life of those around you. Don't despair. Empty the fear in your pocket...leave room for what's to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My new year's resolution: none...



I am going to recommend that you do not make any resolutions for 2013.

Every year many people make lists of new year's resolutions. Making these lists can be helpful because they help you examine where you are and where you want to go, but these resolutions keep you living in the future rather than in the present. New years' resolutions are too long range, setting you up for failure. By March, most people have given up on their resolutions.

If your goal is to lose weight, decide that today you will have a salad and fruit or go for a walk. If you want to spend more time with your kids, decide that today you will go for a walk together or play a board game with them. If you want to change careers, decide that today you will polish your resumé. If you want to have more fun, decide that today you will go dancing or to a movie. If you want to quit smoking, decide that today you will not have a cigarette. We only have this day. You can only act today. Decide each day to live according to what is important to you. Tomorrow, decide again. Resolve to be better today than yesterday.

This is not to say that general long range goals are not important. They are. Planning to be married, graduating from college, going on a Mediterranean cruise are great goals. You accomplish them by proactively working on tasks that will get you to your goal, but only those tasks that matter today, that make sense and do not rob you of the joy of living this day.

In the end, happiness is the motivation behind all goals. You achieve happiness by finding meaning and purpose in your life. Do those things that agree with who you are and your higher purpose and you will find happiness.

Receive the new year with an open heart, clarity about what is important to you and the resolve to make the most of each day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Let's go to bed...

My life has recently been filled with amazing experiences and beautiful people, some new and some not so new in my life. The pace of my days has been exhilarating and incredibly fast. I have been able to accomplish a lot and focus on the path to my goals and dreams participating in events and activities that are not only fun, but entirely related to what I love to do, with my chosen career path. I have been high on adrenaline for a few weeks now. I haven't been able to slow down enough to meditate, practice yoga and sleep.

High on adrenaline, I felt I could take over the world. I didn't feel tired. I just kept going. Until today. I saw a picture someone took of me last night. My skin is gray, my eyes look tired with big bags under them. It's awful. Then, this morning, I woke up late after a couple of hours sleep and I couldn't write-not today's article, not poetry, not a shopping list. I did make it out of the house to take care of a few things, but I was operating in slow motion. I still am. My tongue is heavy. I am crashing.

I stay pretty healthy, but tonight I am feeling a little tickle in my throat and, though the phone has rung a few times with enticing invitations, all I want to do is drink tea and cuddle. As I type this, I notice that I can't see all that well. It's another symptom of my lack of sleep. I want to go back to well-being. I need to sleep.

Sleep restores your body, restores your mind, reduces stress, recharges your energy, boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, improves memory, increases stamina, sharpens your attention, helps with metabolism and more. Sleep is wonderful. It puts me in a good mood. It heals me-body, mind and soul. It can heal you too. Tonight, let's go to bed with enough time to restore ourselves and enjoy the healing power of sleep...





Friday, December 14, 2012

Free to love again...

Ahh...the pain of a broken heart...

When a relationship is over, one or both lovers hurts and in that pain it is easy to fall into behaviors that prolong the anguish and postpone the healing. Such behaviors include attachment, arguments, fault finding and dependence, among others. We do this because it is what we know to do and because we lack a knowing that everything is going to be ok.

When a relationship is over it is time to release...release the attachment and dependence...to release the lover to a higher force. Holding on to what happened, why it happened and why you, stops the possibility of remembering kindly (remembering that everyone acts according to their emotional level of understanding, including you) in order to learn, grow and move on. Every time you love, you get closer to the love you really want. Releasing and forgiving clears the space open to love again.

When you let go, you allow yourself to be taken care of. It is a show of faith. You feel that all will be ok. Start...let go and feel the healing and the joy of a resentment-free heart. Let go and see the love already around you. Let go and accept the love that comes your way. Let go...you are free to love again.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

What do you have to lose?

Wake up and give thanks...for anything, for everything.

It's a new day, you have things to do...give thanks for you have an opportunity to make a difference. The neighborhood is noisy...give thanks for you live in a lively community. The kids are up early on Saturday morning, jumping on the bed and the tv is too loud...give thanks for they are healthy and joyful. Traffic is held up...give thanks for you have time to think. It's raining and you had plans to be outside...give thanks for you can improvise and be adventurous. Everything is taking too long today...give thanks for you can practice patience. People are being rude...give thanks for you can practice understanding. You argued with your mate...give thanks for you can make up. You broke up...give thanks for you are free to love again.

Giving thanks does not change your circumstances, but it changes the way you feel about them. Go ahead, give thanks. What do you have to lose?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Puffed-up human

He tried to make me smaller by belittling what he thinks I am...for he thinks I am what I do, what I have, what I have accomplished. He is intelligent, handsome and has done some great things in his career field. He is established and, to all outward appearances, self-secure. I think of him and I want to hold him and tell him that it is all going to be ok.

The truth is that he is insecure and can't see his real worth and that he wasn't really belittling me. He was trying to make himself bigger. If he were bigger, he believes, then he would have more respect, acknowledgement and self-confidence. If he sticks his chest out and pounds on it, then he wouldn't feel pain. If he looks down on others he seems better in comparison. Yet what this does is tell us that he is insecure and self-conscious.

We do this sometimes. Insecurity takes over us and we react by trying to outshine. We, like him, turn away from our hollowed and broken hearts to an exaggeration of our facts or a devaluation of others.

I saw in him the pain...the pain that he denies but that is palpable in his moods, his comments, the way he views others. He didn't depreciate me because I am not what I do, what I have or what I have done. Neither is he. Neither are you.

I am, he is and you are a precise part of this Universe. There is no comparison between us because we were all created unique. We think, act and feel different and there's room for all of us. We are all worthy. We each fill a special role. Even he, in his arrogant, egotistic, self-important demeanor is special and deserving of love and respect. Behind the mask there is a contribution he can make, love he can give, service he can render. I see it. The next time you see a puffed-up human, see it too. See behind the mask.



Little things...big love

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love." This is a quote of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I had to google it because it has become such a cliché that I didn't know if I remembered it correctly or if I was even remembering it well. I have been thinking about this quote for a few days now. In our search for meaning, we go out of our way to attempt great things. For some, this is a search for validation and recognition. Yet every now and then I see someone who does small things with great love. 


Recently a friend was dog sitting two dogs for one of his friends. He took the two pups out for some exercise and brought them home with him. The next thing he knows is that the dogs are infested with fleas...and now, so is his apartment. Oh boy. I was so touched by the way in which he took care of the dogs...he was more concerned about their health and comfort than the inconvenience, the interruption of his schedule and the hassle. He bought what he needed to treat the dogs and everything he needed to kill the fleas at the dog owner's house. He took them to their house and cared for them then went on a mission to exterminate the fleas that were living in the house. He then went home and took care of the fleas at his own place. What a nightmare, I thought. However, for him, it was an act of love. I was inspired. 

I realize that in our lives we may not all achieve recognition or get the validation that we are looking for...we will not all become famous, but we can all be important in the lives of others. We achieve this importance by doing little things with big love. 



Monday, December 10, 2012

Who's fault is it anyway?

In any situation in which something has gone wrong, it is no one's fault-if you decide to look at it that way.

When you look to blame others, or a situation, you give them power over you. If it is someone's or something else's fault then you have to wait for them to change so that you can heal, grow, get better. Yet, if you own it, you can do something about it. You don't need to walk around claiming everything is your fault. Not finding fault includes not finding fault with yourself. Accept responsibility for the choices you have made. It's fine. Right or wrong you made a decision. Now learn from it. Claim your power. Don't blame. Grow.

Traffic, rude people, your birth order, the government, your alarm, your cheating spouse, the high cost of living, your bad luck, etc. can all be reasons for why your life is not on track...or why you are angry, surly, pessimistic and negative. You can claim all these reasons and more, or you can see them as excuses. You can always respond differently. You can always acknowledge that you also have a part in any of these. We all make decisions the best way we can and finding fault does not change anything. 

Who's fault is it anyway? Who cares...Life is best lived when we don't go around assigning blame. 


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Traveling light

I used to pack my suitcases with everything that I thought I would need...and anything I thought anyone traveling with me would need. Then I made a packing list...and copied it...and saved it online in case I lost it on my trip.

I am a recovering packer...for travel and in life. I have shed the excess. When I travel, I leave room in my suitcases for what I may pick up here and there. In life, I have made room in my mind to learn, in my hands to give and in my heart to love. I have not missed anything I have given up. Moreover, I don't worry about things, t-h-i-n-g-s. When I had so much, I had to insure the stuff, keep track of the stuff, maintain the stuff, house the stuff, store the stuff...I was stuffed. When you are stuffed you don't have room for anymore or anything new. I have since purged and now I travel light, everyday.

It is a blessing not to need anything more than what I already have. This lightness helps me see what I do have...the unconditional love and support of a beautiful family, the joy and trust of loving friends, true love, the company of brilliant people, art, beauty everywhere, time...

Traveling light everyday allows me to laugh, to join a friend for lunch, to help a worthy cause, to see opportunities in which I can use my talents, to put my shoes on and just go when I am invited, to tickle my son in the middle of the afternoon, to read, to enjoy this beautiful island I live in, to write, to have an unhurried talk with my parents, to be a better friend, to dance with my twin nephews, to learn something new, to love fearlessly, to work in what I truly love...

I acknowledge that this journey has not been easy and has taken its time, but it has been worth it. I invite you to experience it. What could you do to reduce the load of your baggage? Find out, then come with me...let's travel light.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

What are you high on?

Your either high on ego or high on Spirit.

When you are high on ego, nothing is ever enough. You want more. You need more. You want more things, more recognition, more achievements, more status, more success, more money. You need more of these because without them you have no worth, or so you think. You worry too much about what people may think of you, even if you think that you don't...well, you do. When you are living from ego, you are constantly driving, but never getting there-wherever there is.

Many people who have been high on ego get to a point in their lives where they are tired of this constant striving, of the arrogance that self-importance requires. It's difficult to enjoy the beauty of life, the tender touch of love, solitude without pressing thoughts, friendship without an agenda, spontaneity, a holding-hands-walk, tossing a ball back and forth with a kid, laughter–the kind that starts in the gut and makes your cheeks hurt and savoring other people just the way they are, among other life affirming gestures, if you are operating on ego. People get tired of this. If you are tired of the never-ending chase, then slow down. Slow down enough for you to steer in the other direction.

Steering in the other direction does not mean that you will no longer live in abundance or have prosperity. On the contrary. When you are living from your Spirit, you are on purpose. You are ambitious in a way that serves your Higher-Self. You do less, yet you accomplish more. You are no longer interested in being in the limelight, but more so in fulfilling your purpose. You are no longer interested in being right, but more so in keeping the peace. You don't feel the lack. Instead you are thankful for all that you have. You live in abundance. Aligned with Spirit, what makes you happy materializes.

When you are high on ego, your self-importance is a curse that keeps you defending yourself, competing, comparing and always having to prove yourself. When you are high on Spirit, you know that you are important, worthy, lovable and that you don't need to prove what you are capable of. Living in Spirit, you live in harmony, peace, prosperity, abundance and love. When you are high on Spirit, you are high on life...


Friday, December 7, 2012

Today began...

Today began just when yesterday ended. We don't have yesterday any longer. It's gone. No...don't think about it anymore. If you do, you'll waste today. Before you know it, today will be gone as well.

This day, today, is the only one we have. It is this moment the only one we have to live. We can't live any other moment. Today is the only time when you can laugh, learn, do, feel, grow, make a difference, love. Today is the only day when you can plant seeds and imagine. You can't have joy in the past. You also can't have joy in the future.

Fully embrace this moment, this day. Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. Only do today what you can do today. Transfer the energy of tomorrow's worries to a to-do list, a planner, your smart phone or anything that can hold that thought until you can do something about it...tomorrow. Transfer the energy, then let it be, let it go.

What will you do today? Make it worthwhile. Don't count on tomorrow. You can't go back in time.  Live this day.

For now, relax, tomorrow will come, but only when you are done with today...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No fear...

We live in fear. We live with doubt. We see confirmation everywhere that evil is lurking, that we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop for something bad to happen. The news and the gossipers confirm that everything and everyone is going to hell in a hand-basket.

To make matters worse, we live uncertain of the future. We have no control over most circumstances and feel we are not safe in the world.

Do we really need to live like this?

I propose that, since we can't change this uncertainty and lack of control, we get over this fear. Knowing that we can't be sure of what will happen actually gives us a very powerful reason not to be paralyzed, to live life at full-throttle, in full color. Change your attitude, the way you talk about life...and for crying out loud, change the way you think! Then live and love joyfully and creatively conjuring love into everything. Not knowing what the future holds should be the catalyst for us to live life fearlessly.

Today I choose to live with no fear...



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The pain of heartache

When I was a little girl my dad used to hug me when I cried. He would rock me back and forth saying "ba, ba, ba..." and nothing else. It became a soothing mantra. No words. Just a loving action, soulful comfort.

As an adult I have had to learn to self-soothe. When my heart aches I reach for comfort, for the "ba, ba, ba..." available to me. I begin with the toughest part, forgiveness, which changes my heart...it is only there where we can forgive. This is not a brain action, this is all in the heart. I follow this forgiveness with compassion.

When someone has caused us pain we feel we have cause to be angry and to blame. This only makes the pain deeper, wider...longer. I stop myself there, however terrible the painful action has been. This is very difficult to do, I know. Yet, by making myself willing to forgive, understand and be compassionate I find comfort and healing in affection from loved ones, kindness of strangers, the love of friends...  It is as if Spirit says ok, you're willing, I'll help. If the pain is collective, my willingness shows me the coming together of people in an effort to love one another to effect positive change. Loving action is contagious.

Forgiving does not excuse the harm done to us, but it does release us from the pain. Compassion reminds us that those who hurt us are hurting too. Compassion also reminds us that we, too, have hurt others. Compassion releases mercy.

When we are hurting we have a tendency to explain what happened. This can help us understand, but, many times, it make us justify and find fault. Feel the pain, forgive and release. When you forgive, the pain starts to heal. When you forgive, the pain of heartache goes away...clearing the way for you to participate in life more fully, allowing you to be of help to others, to be the "ba, ba, ba..." for those who are in pain.

...in memory of José Enrique Gómez and with loving thoughts for his family and everyone who is affected by the terrible crime that took his life. May love, compassion and mercy bring us all together. Only love can change hate...




Pick me!


I love this movie. It's so funny. Donkey is hilarious. And although many people look at Shrek and his layers as a source of contemplation on life, Donkey is the one that makes me think. 

As in this scene, people get so eager to belong that they jump up and down screaming "pick me, pick me" with their attitude and their behavior. They get anxious and act desperate. It is doubt. It is fear. It is insecurity. It is forgetfulness. People doubt that good can come their way. People fear that they will not be chosen. People see themselves through the opinion of others. People forget that they were created worthy and valuable. The truth is that their talents and gifts are meant to be shared and have a time and a place. In the disorientation, people will do anything to belong.

To stop this madness, this giving away of who you are, stop where you are and take a slow breath. Decide that you will take time to inventory what you have to offer. Think of what you would like to do with your abilities and keep your focus there. Stay alert for opportunities that call for you. Don't rush into things. Don't sell yourself short. You will be picked.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The curse of sincerity...


Honesty is such a lonely word...everyone is so untrue...sings Billy Joel. This song speaks to the heart of many people. It speaks to my heart. It's one of my favorite songs.

I do believe, though, that many people are honest even though the truth may be something else. The human brain does not recall events in a continuous strip of memory. It takes highlights and when it recalls, it pieces them together. Those pieced highlights of memory have gaps in between. The brain then fills in the gaps. Those gaps are filled with the mood, the experiences and the feelings inherent in that person. What you get is honesty-ish.

Then there's sincerity. This one is especially true for me. Honesty is one thing. Sincerity is another. Sincerity is freedom from duplicity. I have difficulty in separating the two. I am transparent.What you see is what you get. My mother insists that this is a flaw. I am not sure yet. This sincerity opens me up like a raw piece of fruit–vulnerable, mushy, sometimes too sweet. I could change that, but I don't want to. Sincerity keeps me alive, feeling the sentiment of the world, responding truthfully. I suppose my mother worries because she fears I will be taken advantage of. It can happen, but I can't worry about what can happen. What someone does to me is between them and God.

My father on the other hand never worries about me. He thinks I am strong, the way bamboo is strong. Flexible, unassuming, enduring strength. My mother's worry is her mother's love for me. My father's confidence is his love for me. They both understand who I am.

I part from the premise that everyone I encounter is honest with me, truthful...sometimes sincere. In a world where people hide who they are, lie to get what they want, and manipulate others, I stay my course. I take what others give me.  Don't confuse my generosity of spirit with gullibility or naivety. I accept who people are the way they are. If someone proves to be a liar, a manipulator or simply cannot be trusted, then I release them from the benefit of my love and friendship, with a blessing and a prayer.  I send them on their way. It's the way I love. It's my sincerity, honestly...

Enjoy the song...



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Empty hands

The afternoon was rainy and beautiful, perfect for writing. I made myself a cup of tea and a plate of cheese, crackers, yogurt and apples and went upstairs to my writing room. I stood in front of the door and stared at it. I couldn't manage to open it. My hands were full.

With all the best intentions, many times we come carrying too much. We want to learn, but we come knowing too much. We want to see people for who they are, but we come judging. We want to help, but we come with our own intentions. We want to understand, but we come with too many spoken words. We want to enjoy life, but we come full of ourselves. We want to love, but we come full of doubts.

 If we empty ourselves of expectations, our own ideas, our wants and, more importantly, our egos, we empty ourselves to receive. We are less preocuppied with ourselves and available to help, serve and think creatively. The best we can offer is our emptiness and our willingness. With our hands empty, we can open doors, hold each other and receive what life and love offer us.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

(Im)Patience

I plant seeds and sit to watch them grow...then I wish for them to grow quickly, and pretend that I am being patient. Then I ask sternly...then I scream: Grow!

Can you imagine a flower growing that way? Silly, I know. Although I have never actually screamed at the seeds of a flower to grow, I have, somehow, screamed at other seeds I have planted. Whenever I have, not only do the seeds not grow any faster than nature would have them grow, I stunt their growth. I sometimes halt it altogether.

I do this because I get excited. I open gifts on Christmas Eve, never on Christmas Day. I tell everyone my good news as soon as I know. I buy gifts in anticipation of a celebration. I blurt out Surprise! before the lights come on. This is just to name a few of the instances in which my impatience is born out of excitement.

I also get impatient because of fear–fear of losing an opportunity, fear of missing something, fear of lack, fear of being hurt, etc. When in fear, I sabotage the outcome. Attitude is part of this. Not taking the time to think things through is another. I am always sorry after I act impatiently and spoil what could have been.

Impatience also makes me settle for less than perfect. Instead of waiting for the seeds I have planted to grow into the right job or the right opportunity, I jump at the first chance. The seeds tend to stop growing after that.

I rush everything. I rush through everything. I don't enjoy the process and I don't learn as much as I could. Being impatient takes away from the richness of life, but there's always hope...

I have planted seeds that I have not screamed at yet. I am hopeful and already thankful for the wait. I see the soil stirring just a bit each day with seedlings making their way up.

Today, I plant more seeds–seeds of service, work, friendship, love–and then I trust...and then I wait.