Tag Archives: empowerment

To the Umbrella Seekers

Earlier today I pulled up to a four-way stop a second or two after the person to my left. We both paused. I waited my turn. Then, said car to my left, roared forward. She looked unhappy. She looked unfriendly. She looked put upon. Most of all, she did not look pleased with me.

Please know dear reader, she may have been none of these. But such were the thoughts I had as I slowly made my way forward. You see, I’ve always been one of those persons who smiles regardless. I keep my true feelings to myself. I share only with a tiny group. That is, if two or three constitutes a group. But even with them I don’t reveal what’s really going on within me. Maybe it’s because I’m a child of an alcoholic. One of which is usually assigned the role of fixer. That was me. Or maybe it’s because I’m a diehard optimist and romantic. By God I think flowers are there to be smelled, and love is there to be felt and honored. Even if not by me. Or maybe it’s because I’m a Libra. I’ve read we are the one’s who entertain our guests well, making sure everyone has a good time. Although, I’ve met plenty a Libra who couldn’t be further from such. Regardless the reason, I smile even when unhappy. Even when I feel unfriendly. Even when put upon.

Today was one of those days wherein my eye noticed the rough edges in life a bit  more than usual. I’ve worked hard to train my eye to see the beauty in most things. Even when life is like one of those puzzles we use to play as children, wherein we had to find the hidden object. Found the hammer nestled within the bark of the tree. Now the umbrella camouflaged within a potted plant. Found it. Oh God, where’s the boot. It has to be here somewhere.

The beauty of life often works like one of those puzzles. The problem is, once older, we don’t find the same joy in having to hunt for it. Instead, it sort of stinks. Or at least on days like today it does. But the hunt is a muscle. At first it exhausts easy. Over time, it gets conditioned. Pretty soon, we barely have to glance out before we pick up on all the little treasures. Things that were there all along.

That’s how life works. At least to me it is. There’s all this stuff constantly looming around. The weight of it can be absolutely crushing at times. And, oh dear reader, don’t even get me started on the pain inherent to life on this planet. It can be brutal. The pain done to us. The pain we see done to others. The pain of letting go. The pain of having to hang on. 

But that muscle, the one that helps us find the beauty, allows us to do more than simply scratch a word off the object list next to a puzzle. It helps us to weather the storm. It builds grace.

Most likely, I will always be the person who sees layers and layers into life. It’s just who I am. But that muscle helps me to see the beauty in that too. It helps me to see the beauty in tears. In a novel so deep it hurts to read. In a song so touching I ache when it plays. The way the waves share their secrets and the moon reminds us of our small size. But also in the laughter that erupts from nowhere. The twinkle in a person’s eye. The kind smile of a stranger. Or the simple nod from someone who also is just trying to find the hammer hidden within the tree. 

It takes great strength to be that person. Anyone can complain. Anyone can point out the tree. But I hang best with those who don’t. I tend to do best either alone, or with those who want to find the umbrella in the potted plant. Those are the one’s that can also see the beauty in me.

So dear reader, surround yourself with those who aren’t afraid to hunt a little for the goodness nestled within the cracks. They are the ones who will also take the time to hunt for it within you. There’s many of us out here. In that, you are never alone. 

Sane

Normally I’m working right now. Who knew building an empowerment company would be so all-consuming (please laugh at that). But I was contacted awhile ago by someone regarding my writing. And the words they shared have stayed with me. To them this post is dedicated. 

Letting Fear Decide Your Fate

fate

It should not take so long before finally breathing deep. Nor should it take so long before finally witnessing the light. But then again, the air of which I speak is not taken in through the lungs. And the light to which I’m referring is not seen with eyes.

The soul does not rely upon the same aids as does the physical body. The soul knows the steady place that is found when standing from a place of being, even when that being is standing on the edge. And yet, rarely do we lean into life with the security found in this innate place within each of us. Instead, more often than not, we let fear decide our fate.

We diligently shape our future using a mold defined by all that pained us from the past. The mind employs the reasoning that by doing so, we are avoiding further pain, disappointment and loss. And when focusing on the pain of life, the pains of life increase, thereby requiring that the box in which we push ourselves, grows smaller.

As many of you know, I do not damn fear. I see it as a beautiful tool. Much like that of any other indicator marking something warranting our attention. Don’t dismiss it. Witness it. View it with open eyes, then move on. Once it has our attention, it is of no further value. Its purpose is complete. But please remember, often the signal of fear reveals something requiring our attention inward, not outward.

Looking forward into this new year. Think for a moment upon what foundation you are creating your future. Is it from a place of love, knowing and hope. Or is it from a place tethered to fear-indicators from the past. When a bone is broken, pain shoots throughout the body pointing to that which needs our attention. We tend to the brake; the brake heals; we move on. Fear is much like the pain of a broken bone; vital in that it signals our attention. The soul knows this. The mind lost this knowing along the way, and allows the signal of fear to become the backdrop of our existence.

The other night, I asked someone quite special to me what he wants done upon his passing. He admitted that he didn’t know. I admitted that I did. When my time here is done, I want a celebration. I want those closest to me to look upon my life and see that it was lived and shaped from a place of love – not fear. I do not want my children looking upon my life and noticing all that I avoided for fear of what others would think; for fear of failing; for fear of not knowing how. Instead, while listening to my favorite music, drinking my favorite wine, I want their hearts to move with the love that was the current on which I floated through life. Fear isn’t the water. Fear is merely an outcropping along the stream. Don’t take your canoe out of the water and place it on this rock.

With every thought we think, we are shaping our life – dear reader, shape it with love – not fear.

Sane

Originally posted, January ’13

And, Before All Else

Marilyn The Last Photos by Allan Grant, 1962 (3)

“Faith goes before; understanding follows after.” A great theologian believed this, and so do I. Believing after the fact is simple. Believing before the manifestation has presented itself, is not. And yet, faith requires such.

You are the artist of your own life’s portrait, I believe. I also believe each of us has more power than we know; more power than even Saint Augustine knew 15,000 years ago when he made that statement. To me life is a combination effort. At times I have waited on God. At times God has waited on me. And when I choose not to take an active part in the creation of my life, things become stagnant. I become stagnant. The paint upon my canvas dries, and the picture stays incomplete.

Pick the size of your canvas. Choose the colors. Paint with wild abandon or with careful precision. Just paint. We don’t have to understand the unfolding, just have faith that it will unfold. Don’t give up. Don’t doubt due to a lack of understanding. Faith needs no understanding. Often understanding hinders faith. If we look only to the left, because our understanding knows only that direction, then we will miss what may very well be arriving to the right. The universe utilizes all things, not just those of which we are aware and are familiar.

It isn’t easy painting within yourself an image that lies in bright contrast to one’s reality. And I would be remiss if I did not admit that at times I have had to turn away from my own canvas as it pained me too greatly to see the dissonance between what was wanted and what was. But always, when ready I pick up the brush again, dab it into Cerulean Blue, and move across the canvas with broad strokes. God allows us these moments. And I have faith that during which this benevolent force keeps me afloat.

We must step back from the canvas of our life at times. We owe ourselves as much. Not to scrutinize but to survey. At times we swipe out something that no longer suits us, and start over. Sometimes we add onto what is already in place. Its our canvas, and I believe God is pleased when we do this. My God is not one of dominance. My God is not one of judgment. My God wants to explore this world through the vehicle that is me. No one will experience the world in the same way. And that, in my opinion, is what the soul us up to, what God is up to: Exploration, expression through all of us.

Paint the life for yourself that makes you smile. Don’t sell yourself short. You need not understand how things will come together; just have faith they will. It will not work unless you do. Your job is to keep believing, and to take action when the time is right. Keep the faith. Keep the essence of that which you want held firmly within your mind, your heart, and your inner being. You are energy. And energy fuels the universe. Energy does not require of us to understand its ways. Faith comes first, that’s the mechanics of energy.

Sane

Originally published, July 2013

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Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo

As you head out this July 4th, with thoughts of independence in mind, I’d like you to consider liberation on a larger scale. I realize while living these seemingly, all-consuming, physical experiences we get caught up thinking that all we see, is all there is. Please consider that this is not so.

To see what rests under the surface of life one must first grow quiet. It is within the quiet place behind the mind that awareness of the soul is most felt. And the stillness of the soul is where we come to familiarize ourselves with the peace of the Divine. God is calm. God is non-judgment. God is joy. God is love. And God can be found within every minute of every day – even the most chaotic ones. You just have to go within to see it, feel it, experience it. And that dear reader, is freedom.

If this sounds daunting, if this sounds like a near impossible task, start by noticing your commentary. From the moment you wake until the moment you sleep your mind offers comments on everything. The first step to silencing the commentary is in noticing it. By shining the light of awareness, we begin to take back our power. No longer is the mind something allowed to run rampant. Instead, we see it as an unattended tool.

Just because a comment is voiced within your mind doesn’t mean that it is accurate. It doesn’t mean it is in your best interest or a guiding force. Nor does it mean you have to listen. Allow it its moment, then tell it to hush – even for a second. In time that second will grow into minutes. And those minutes will, if we are patient, become an hour. Soon, that hushed stillness will be our predominant way of being. And our judgments of the world will be few and far between.

It is liberating to allow yourself not to have an opinion on each and every thing we see. It is freeing to allow yourself to let go and let it be. It is true peace to feel this calm within chaos.

There have been many times, dear reader, when I could not find silence within my mind. During those moments I refrained from inundating the heavens with my feeble words, but instead, asked for words to be given unto me. What I received was: let it be. And so with that, I said those three words repeatedly until I felt a wave of calm settle over me.

Awareness is one of the greatest spiritual tools given to us. It is your key to freedom. Life mirrors our beliefs. When we free ourselves, we free the world around us. It’s a subtle ripple that carries with it a great spiritual impact. Use your key my dear, sweet reader, and set yourself free.

Sane

Written to: Beatles, Let it Be. One of the many songs on my spiritual playlist.