Waiting for the Sun to show up.

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I have loved being at the ocean for much of my life.  Although I have never lived on the coast, I have visited it from wherever I have lived.  When I was a child, we spent time at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire on summer days; we camped in Maine at Old Orchard Beach; we visited Cape Cod.  As an adult, for ten years my family rented a house for a week on Oak Island, North Carolina.  A week at the beach was absolute bliss.  Our honeymoon was spent at yet another ocean retreat, Tybee Island, Georgia.

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There are many things that I enjoy about being at the beach, at the ocean.  The time with my family.  The walks along the sand.  Shell finding.  And, the Ocean.  Looking out at the ocean, and its vast infinity.  Watching the waves crash against the shore.  See the dolphins play in the surf.  It is so peaceful, and awe inspiring.  

 

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When I am at the beach, I am always up early.  I hate missing a sunrise.  They are like few others that I have ever witnessed.  This morning was no exception.  When I walked out on the deck, and saw what was coming, I was inspired and so joyful.  Nature has such as easy, subtle way of shifting anything within me, to a place of pure peace and deep gratitude.  For her beauty and wisdom that She shares, just by doing what it is that She does every day.  

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I found myself waiting for the Sun to arrive, in beautiful anticipation.  Waves crashing against my legs.  Seagulls diving for treasures.  Amazed at the power and inspiration of it all.  

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And She did not disappoint.  As beautiful as ever.  Inspiring me to keep being my true Self in the world, to keep my eyes open to magic and beauty.  To go after my dreams.  To remember, that when I am my self in the world, my Light comes shining through.

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Work in Progress.

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I think I have spent many of the last 45 years of my life, on a diet, or exercise regimen of some sort.  I’ve done Weight Watchers, TOPS (Taking off Pounds Sensibly- where you got on the scale backwards and they would announce in front of the entire group whether you gained or lost weight since the last meeting), Gloria Stevens, which was an exercise center when I lived in New Hampshire, Intensati, liquid diet, running- and probably many others.  Always, the goal was clear:  lose weight and get into shape.  To meet up to an image that I thought that I should maintain, and feel better about what I would see when I looked in the mirror.

 

Or, so I thought.  

 

A diet, always, every time, no matter how it was presented or set up, felt like deprivation to me.  It was not as much a list of foods that were best to consume, or even to do what was best for my body.  It was not being able to have any of the foods that I liked the most, or so it seemed every time.  I went through much of my life, not eating cheese or nuts, equating that with bad food choices. Lettuce?  Yes.  Apples.  Great.  Anything that I craved, that was crunchy or gooey or extra tasty?  Forbidden.

 

I would obsess about what I did, and did not, put into my mouth.  I would rack myself with guilt, for “falling off the wagon”.  I would binge on forbidden foods like chips, candy, fried foods, all because I had messed up anyway, so why stop there?  Same story, different day, year after year.

 

Exercise never felt like my friend, at least, when I called it exercise.  In my childhood, I would ride my bike or walk around town, but I didn’t ever move a great deal.  I preferred to watch television, or hang out playing games.  So when I started to believe that exercise must be part of the equation to lose weight, I would obsess about that too.  I would run, even though I didn’t really enjoy it.  I would do workout DVDs or go to gyms and feel good about it for the moment, but didn’t feel excitement about going in the first place.  Yet, I felt like I had no choice; I had to do it.

 

This has been my pattern my entire life.  Looking for an external motivator to make an internal change.  And, it has worked over the years.  I would feel so proud to be 118 pounds, wearing a size 2 or 4, seeing how tiny I appeared to myself in pictures.  Then, a few years later, seeing my body after having my child, at 200 pounds, and being mortified.  My love of myself was completely connected to how I judged my size and my shape.  

 

I understand that change takes time.  And, gratefully, I have compassion for myself and my many evolutions.  I am an ongoing work in progress.  yet today, I feel so inspired to have tapped into where it is that I need to be and to stay- I need to come from a place of Love.  Love deep within myself.  For myself.  And, starting from that Love, I get to ask myself every day, what would feel really good to do for me, and for my body?  What would feel really good to put into it?  What energizes, excites and inspires me?  

 

I am on a new path, a path that is not about deprivation, but Abundance.  I am ready to give myself this beautiful gift.  I am on a path, finally, that is not me telling my sad story, about struggling with my weight my whole life.  I am telling a new story- a story of Love.  Of Choice.  Of Nurturance and Care.

 

A story of an Extraordinary Life.  

 

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What are you waiting for?

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About three weeks ago, my wife and I watched a documentary that changed our lives.  Now, I live a pretty happy life; I feel contented, purposeful, healthy, and happy.  I feel pretty fulfilled in most realms.  Yet, the sense of excitement for me, in terms of my living my dream, had diminished a bit.  I needed to spark it up again, and not just be going through the motions.

 

The documentary is on Netflix, entitled, “I am not your Guru”; and it is about Tony Robbins, who has been conducting workshops and publishing books for 25 years about living a more fulfilling life.  He is amazing.  I remember 25 years or so ago, a person that I knew buying his audio cassettes, entitled Personal Power, that were meant to be listened to on a daily basis to get you motivated to make a change, or several changes, in your life.  The film is extraordinary.

 

Now, I have been a life coach in training.  I have been in coaching, and in therapy.  I have read motivational books for years, and gotten better and better at knowing what I want in the world, and manifesting it through action.  Yet, watching him work with people at a workshop he conducts once a year in Florida, brought me to tears several times.  He goes right for the jugular; why are you not going after what you want?  What are you waiting for?

 

I have been thinking about and changing my course every day since watching that.  You see, I do a lot of low level dream realization; starting books, writing affirmations, reading, speaking to others, and soul searching about what I really want.  But I don’t always finish what I start.  I have three or four books on this very computer that I have never finished; one that I have finished, and edited already two or three times, but never carried through to publication!  I stop myself at every turn, and why do I do that?

 

FEAR, plain and simple.  Fear can easily talk me out of anything that I set my sights on, at least I think that it can.  I watched that documentary, and I started to make changes that remind me that I always get to talk back to that fear, back to that voice in my head that doubts and creates hesitancy in my action.  

 

Every day, I take purposeful action toward my dream.  What is my dream?  Well, if hugging other people could be a paid gig, it would be that.  And, I know it will include connecting with others through hugging.  What I can say about it, is that my dream is seeing people as capable; strong; free; and desiring change for themselves.  I see everyone as desiring connection, even though they say that they don’t.  And why do we say we don’t want to belong or connect with others?

 

FEAR.  It is the culprit every time.  

 

So I write every day.  I send out positive texts to a list of friends to inspire them.  I give hugs to others as often as possible.  I work on my book.  I get up right out of bed in the morning, greeting the day, walking or jumping on my mini trampoline.  I remind myself that I can do ANYTHING, putting notes on my desk at work or stating them as incantations.  I believe in the dream, and know it will come true.  I feel it.

 

I don’t yet know what the manifestation is going to look like, but the journey has been amazing.  I have brought excitement and magic back into my world, and my energy level is phenomenal.  I am wide awake for my life and all that it brings.

 

Whatever you think is stopping you, remember this minute that it isn’t true.  You can live your dream.  You can be contented and peaceful.  You can be fulfilled in whatever way you desire.
What are you waiting for???????

 

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How to Help Others.

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Since I was a young person, maybe nine or ten, I wanted to grow up to make a difference in the world.  For me, I decided to create that difference by studying to be a social worker.  Social workers were tireless beings in the world that helped those that could not help themselves.  From social work, I evolved into becoming a therapist.  I had a strong belief that there were so many problems and needs in the world, and that my being a helper, in the form of therapy, social work, or care management, was my best way to impact on those needs.

 

This has been my belief, until very recently.

 

Recently, I have been doing some significant soul searching.  Now, when I search my soul, in the past, I would always want to find out the why of the doing of something; so, if my relationships that I sought were negative or non communicative, I would want to trace back in my history as to why I would choose that.  Who was responsible for my current actions.  What I understand now, is that I always get to choose; and that anything that I was ever taught along the line, from anyone, was just a person telling me what they thought might work best for me in the world.

 

Soul searching for me now, means that I don’t have to find out the why; all I want to do is learn how to be more peaceful, present, and forgiving.  That to really be in my life, I must do all of these things, as often as possible.  So, I am discovering that I do not want to help the world anymore, in the ways I have educated myself to do so.

 

I don’t want to be a therapist.  I don’t want to be a counselor.  Or a social worker.  Or a clinician.  I want to simply join with people, make connections to other human beings, and make our connections meaningful in the moment.  Not feel the need to heal or fix the other person.  Just be with them, presently, and in full awareness.  My hugs help me to do that every time I give one.  It is the closest I have ever come to true, meaningful connection with a stranger.

 

This may not make sense to you, but I have come to understand that wanting to help others, for me, is no longer noble and kind, but arrogant.  The way that I always tried to help others, was to create a situation where they needed me to solve their problems for them.  Or at least, tell them how to solve it themselves.  I rarely saw them as being capable to solve their own problems, without my part in it.  I am not judging myself for that, I am just observing the truth.

 

It feels so much more simple now.  If I merely want to connect with others, not try to fix or “help” them, then I need to see them as strong.  See them as capable.  Connect with them on a deeply human level.  See our sameness.

 

And, for now, if hugs are the way to get there, so be it.  I have no idea what that will manifest as in the future, but all that matters is right here and now.

 

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Sweet Freedom.

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Recently, I attended an event that I had a lot of anxiety about.  I kept telling a story over and over in my head, about how it was going to turn out; who would be there; and down to the details of where would I sit, who would I sit with, who would talk to me, and how long I would stay.  I was thinking about it on a daily basis for easily the last two months.  In that time, I thought of all of the reasons that the people there, the weather, the circumstances, were holding me hostage in a way that created discomfort for me.  Like the situation itself was making me unhappy.

 

Then, the event came, and went.  It unfolded in a pretty predictable way, the world didn’t end, and I actually ended up having a good time.  But the only thing that created that scenario was me; it was me, setting myself free.

 

You see, I was going to be spending time with some people that I haven’t, in a long time.  Things have happened. Bad feelings have moved in and gotten comfortable, among all of us.  I became resentful, judgmental, and felt hurt and judged in return.  It became an endless cycle of hatred of self, hatred of others.  I mean, if I am not loving myself, or them, it is hate.  True love has no opposite, but I wasn’t truly loving myself through this.  

 

In true love, I accept myself, and the other person, precisely as they are.  I let the events unfold as they will, and all I need to do is be present, and be myself.  So that is what I did.  I showed up; I was myself; and I found myself looking at others with softer eyes.  With loving eyes.  

 

I realized fully that nothing was holding me in chains, except me.  The longer that I held others hostage, wanting them to be who they were not, the longer I held myself hostage at the same time. The longer that I denied forgiveness, to myself or others, the longer that I would get to suffer.  The more that I could fret and worry and obsess over something that only needed to be let go.  To be set free.

 

And with that, I set myself free, to be me and let others do the same.  Which means, I set them free as well.  When I remember that I hold the key to my own cell, that I only need to drop what is creating suffering for me, and I will be set free.  Into a world that is bursting with opportunities for me to be with my dreams.

 

Freedom is sweet, indeed.  

 

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