October 3, 2012
Possibility grows in the space of uncertainty. If we were absolutely certain about how everything would turn out in our lives, we would have no room to consider what might happen if we choose a different path altogether. We would be stuck in a one-way street, on a track with rails so high, we would never be able to see beyond the straight and narrow.
If you think about it, a seed is both fragile and packed with possibility. With the right conditions, it can grow to be a towering tree or a plant that bears fruit, vegetables or flowers. But remember: a seed grows in its own time, at its own pace, to its highest potential. For that seed to reach its best, it needs nurturing, love and care. It needs sunlight and rain and cooler days. It requires protection, attention and support.
We human beings are no different.
As we traverse the terrain of our days, we need each other to stay the course. We also need people to encourage us to take another road if the one we are on proves to be unhealthy, unhappy, unwhole.
At the same time, we need not fear the uncertainty because it is the very packaging of our existence from which we unravel the mystery of our lives.
In a phrase, uncertainty rules. If you have learned to despise it, I invite to reconsider its purpose for you.
Imagine a Christmas tree in which none of the gifts are wrapped in bright paper, bows or bags. They are laid out for everyone to see. No surprise awaits you. Just the certainty that what lays there is yours. Consider how less exciting your holiday would be if you knew every gift you were about to receive.
So I ask you: Do you really want to know how the next ten years of your life will look like?
I think not.
It is in the anticipation of what could be possible that makes life fun. And for possibility to breathe itself into reality, you need fertile ground, stable conditions and sunshine in your heart. With a dose of uncertainty of what will become of that seed, you possess the magic that is your life in your hands.
September 29, 2012
Happiness is a decision.
It’s that simple.
Our mindset has everything to do with how our day will be. On those days when we’re off center, we are less apt to choose happiness. Most likely, we buy into our self-pity as if it is real. We convince ourselves that there is nothing we can do. We may feel a sense of doom and gloom that lingers over our heads, inescapable and crushing.
We’ve all been there. It’s the human condition to feel the depths of despair as well as the high that happiness brings.
There is nothing wrong with being unhappy. It happens. In our smiley-face culture, we are taught that happiness is what we should strive for (it’s even in the U.S. Constitution!). But let’s be real for a moment. Sustained happiness is a pipe dream. What comes up must come down. And we can choose in any given situation how to respond.
It takes training. Not every day is the same. You might have the very best intentions to start your day out right, but things go awry and you’re left overloaded, spent and downright stressed. With some practice, you can put yourself back on track, but everyone has their own pace to getting there.
That’s okay too. I hereby free you from the shackles of the must-be-happy doctrine. You can spit fire and curse too. Where there is light, there are shadows.
Are you ready for the biggest irony of all? If you can accept that part of you that you wish to hide from the world, you will be happy.
Of that, my friend, I am very certain.
September 25, 2012
What happens when you are absolutely clueless about a situation? You simply have no direction and your inner compass has gone haywire. Resting in the place of unknowing can be scary for most of us. We are used to always having an objective, a goal, a vision. In our linear understanding of time, the clock marches forward, not backward or sideways. When we are clueless, we are in a swirl that has no boundaries.
Did you know it takes the human brain a few milliseconds to process information so that what you experience is actually delayed in time? What you see, smell or hear happened in the past. So when you are clueless, it is as if you are standing in the immediate moment between what has happened and your experience of it. And that can be your bridge to understanding.
It is a place of suspension, of absolute nothingness, of inner space, of Ma. We can use that space to truly allow things to unfold, then let our brains catch up to experience its unfolding.
Imagine being clueless as a powerful place where you needn’t have the answers. They will come in their own time. And you get to be the participant-observer of their birth.
You don’t always have to run the show. In fact, in many ways your personal script has already been written. The question is which part will you play?
September 22, 2012
A few months ago a friend of mine taught me a valuable, life-changing exercise I’d like to share with you. It has to do with removing the mental barriers we place on ourselves that ultimately hinder us from getting what it is that we want.
You may not actually be able to define exactly what it is that you want, but you know something is missing. Or perhaps you think you know what you want (but really don’t). Maybe you know what you don’t want, which is closer than not having a clue. Regardless of your current state, this exercise will release blocked energies that are holding you back.
When you engage in the receiving, you enter a place of nonjudgement. You accept everything that comes your way, opening your eyes to a new way of looking at the world without cynicism. Only love drives you. It is this unconditional love that will set you free.
It is simple, really. Close your eyes and say the following words: “I am going into the receiving of All That Is. I welcome what comes next with love, not fear.” Then tell yourself you are no longer going to push your way through the world. Remember: insistence creates resistance. When you enter the receiving, you needn’t do anything at all.
I often have to consciously remind myself to enter the receiving place. And when I do, it is amazing what happens. People suddenly let you at the front of the line at the grocery store because you only have one item to buy, or cars let you merge more easily. People show up in your life just when you need them (but maybe didn’t know it at the time). As your wall of resistance dissolves, you open up a pathway to your best life.
All it takes is trust that what unfolds is exactly what needs to occur. Imagine the whole world dancing in the receiving. What a wonderful world that would be! The more people who enter the space of receiving, the more energy gets unleashed to heal ourselves and others.
When you believe, you unlock the key to your own divinity, which automatically has a positive effect on others. Like laughter, this space of open receiving is contagious, really. And that, my friends, gets us all one step closer to Nirvana. I’m willing to do my part to get us there. Are you?
September 21, 2012
The heart speaks in ways we sometimes don’t understand. That is the nature of its language: we can’t always interpret what it means through our minds. It speaks in riddles, always informed by our intuition that delivers meaning beyond words. Our hearts can make us cry without our wanting to do so. It effects everything about how we see the world when we lead by its example.
As a physical organ, the heart can tell us when things aren’t quite right with our world by beating out of step, seizing up entirely or aching because we hurt immeasurably. It can shout at us when our minds are in conflict with it, leaving us confused and uncertain. Our hearts can flood us with overpowering emotion, shower us with forgiveness and, yes, even grace.
The heart speaks a language that is universal. No matter our culture of origin, the language of the heart is always the same. It speaks of love as easily as the wind blowing through the pines; it sways to its own internal song like the reeds on a lake’s edge; it dances like a prayer on the lips of a priest. The heart’s meaning is deeper than the caverns of Middle Earth. It is stronger than steel.
When you listen to your heart, you are unstoppable. It holds the key to your very existence. Embrace the meaning that your heart gives to you. When you let your heart be your guide, your highest purpose in life will be revealed.
The heart is life’s greatest teacher. Believe in its power. It will lead you to where you need to go. Every time.
September 18, 2012
Words touch me like fire and wind. They move my heart, my spirit, my soul. They haunt my dreams, collecting themselves in a line, pushing through my mind to be heard.
So I give voice to them however I can.
In the silence of the forest, I listen to those words whisper their truth in my ear. They march alongside me like soldiers, stomping their feet in unison.
Whenever I express a particularly deep truth, I am moved to tears by it. Those words, so sincere, caress my very being and I can do nothing but weep. My friend, who is also as tearful as I, recently asked me why he cries so much when he’s with me.
“We step into the mystical-magical, my dear friend!” I told him. We are close to such powerful truth that it can be overwhelming and what is a mere mortal to do but to cry!?
Stepping into your mystical-magical needn’t be that dramatic. It might cause you to smile warmly to yourself as you observe a beautiful moment in time such as a small child delighting in an ice cream cone or the slant of light as it pierces the morning mist. It only requires that you look and listen closely.
Your mystical-magical is waiting for you, too, if you slow down long enough to let it in.
September 12, 2012
Have you ever observed the battle of wills between a parent and a child? The parent insists that the kid should eat his vegetables. The child, in his fury, resists. The more the parent demands a certain action, the more the child refuses to deliver that action.
The Universe is like that too.
When we insist upon something, stomping our feet like little children, we are creating a wall of energy against the very thing we demand. It is universal law.
And what we resist persists. Have you ever noticed that too? When we are in fear about something, we automatically show resistance, which sets up the same wall of energy that sustains the thing we wish to repulse. We become attractor points for that which we push away.
Insistence is the pull. Resistance is the push. In both cases, we don’t get what we want. And we feel horrible in the process.
I have learned a great deal about letting go this past summer. When we spend all our energy hoping to avert the worst case scenario, we are placing all our attention on that which we don’t want to happen. And because we have fed it so much of our power, we are left drained and the fear grows. We then create the very circumstances we wanted to circumvent by our sheer level of concern.
Someone once said worrying is like praying for what you don’t want.
The next time you find yourself insisting on something (whether to a child, your partner or even God), remember this: what you insist resists and what you resist persists. You can shift a great deal of energy by simply taking a different action. Divert your attention to something else. Move forward without concern. Have confidence that your choice is the right one for you.
Surrender, my friends. And do it with all the grace you can muster. In one simple act of loving release, you will be set free.