Tag Archives: awareness

Love is Not a Portal.

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In my reading and studying of The Power of Awareness by Eckhart Tolle, I am learning about ways to become more present in my life, and that the diligence to presence allows me to experience the Universality of this world; another realm of consciousness. What I mean by that, is that when I consciously stay in the here and now as often as possible, I am not focused on the future, or the past, and can more fully experience my connection to the world around me. I am also more aware of how I am a part of all that there is. This is the closest so far in my life that I have come to a spiritual awakening and seeing the light of something bigger than just myself.

In this book, Eckhart talks about some of the main ways, or portals, that he believes there are in order to access this alternate state of awareness, this connection to all. First, by being in the present moment; also, by connecting with our body internally, meaning, feeling the workings of it on a very direct level, feeling the energy within; breathing consciously, at the same time as slowing down the constant thoughts that run through our minds; and if there is nothing we can do, then surrendering to what is. Each one is effective in its own way, and each portal is one which I have utilized in order to feel more peaceful and still within. In these moments, peace feels the pinnacle of my life experience.

What is interesting, however, is that most of my life, I have believed that Love was the experience that would most lead me to spiritual awakening and peace. By loving others, and loving myself, and doing so in a nonjudgmental, open way, I would allow myself to experience my connection to everything else. That actively loving others, as a verb, would bring this about. And, I am beginning to understand now how this is not the case.

Indeed, I do love, feel love and express love to myself and to others in my world, as well as to creatures and nature that I am present to in my daily life. But I don’t believe anymore that the love comes first. You see, when I am not in the present moment, in other words, when I am focused on a past transgression or future event, I am more prone to judge others when I am around them. I am viewing them through my own filters and biases, my own expectations and desire instead of just accepting the moment, and therefore the person, as it is. So, in that sense, love does not come first; however, when I open the portal to higher consciousness, by being present, or surrendering to what is, I am allowing the light of love to shine on through me.

This may seem a lofty goal, and one that we could easily talk ourselves out of as being too tedious, or not being worthy or necessary in how we spend our time. However, for me to have a more full experience of my life, I want to be present; I want to savor the here and now and be with those in my world. I want to see life with fresh eyes and keep my heart as open as possible.

And, when the portal is open to a higher realm, the Light of Love awaits us all.

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How About A Hug? Part 3: Give your arms a Rest.

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When I decided that I would spend an evening hugging persons blindfolded, I had no idea what my level of energy and stamina would be. I had a hunch that I would feel completely invigorated physically, because of the excitement within me around the project. And, to some degree, I was correct in that.

However, there were periods of time that I was holding my arms up for awhile, and they would get tired. I would lower them for a few seconds, stretching them out, and then put them up again.

But, something really interesting happened along the way, and it happened a couple of times before I realized it. Even when my arms would get tired, as soon as a person would come up to me for a hug, and I would wrap my arms around them tightly, after they would walk away, my arms would not be tired anymore. If anything, they felt well rested and light.

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Now, some of that relief was bound to happen, because in one sense, I was putting my arms down, and resting them on another person. Yet, my muscles within my arms were tense and strong when I would hug the person, and the rest would literally only be for a few seconds. So, I feel sure that the energized feeling my arms would experience were directly related to the experience itself, my own opening of my heart.

At one point, I had a person come by, who told me as she hugged me that she had hugged me earlier, and came by for a second one. Then, she went on to tell me, that her purpose was to help me to relax.

She told me after giving me a second, beautiful hug, to give my arms a rest. Her voice was gentle, kind and compassionate. And, her words went right to my heart. Right to the core of me, and was yet another confirmation of why this project felt so fulfilling to me.

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To be offering a gift to the world around me, with little anticipation of what would happen, and little ability to see what would happen, was opening my heart plenty. But, to then receive from a person, in such a genuine way, was to understand that my offering was how I was to deeply receive.

My life is so full of magic, wonder and peace. And, that continues to expand every day. Yet, to be in that small chunk of time, and encounter so many miracles of humanity, has exponentially increased my awareness and deep appreciation for the humans in the world around me. Even when we are so bombarded with how messed up this world is, there is kindness and love at every turn.

What a miracle.

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Saying No.

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So, I have been contemplating a new job for the last few weeks. I was approached about an opening within our company, to do something pretty different than what I am doing now. It sounded exciting, intriguing, and like I could make a difference in this new position. It would be working in schools, helping young people to help themselves. I had been thinking recently of how much I enjoy spending time with my daughter and her friends, and it seemed like a logical transition.

I was called up for three separate interviews over the last three weeks. I felt like I had a great chance to be hired for it. I was thinking about the changes that would come, welcome changes for me. I had been feeling discouraged and not fulfilled by my current job. It seemed like just the right combination of factors for me to have a good, solid change in my life. A job that could see us through to the next phase of our lives in a couple of years.

Now, as you all may remember if you read me here on a regular basis, I am often advising and believing that we should say Yes in our lives whenever possible. My thinking in regard to this has often been that if we say no to many things in our lives, we disconnect from opportunities and ways to engage in life, to take a risk and even have some fun. Say Yes, I would say. And, that still holds true.

However, with this job, I thought about it a bit differently. At first, I was sure that this was an opportunity that was not to be missed. I felt flattered that I was so highly recommended; I felt encouraged that they had met with me three times, which led me to believe I was still in the running. Yet, something about it continued to nag at me a bit.

This new job meant travel, and while I love to travel for my job, this one had potential to be A LOT of travel, overnights frequently. And, that is where I had a flicker of doubt. You see, I have spent the last few years really building a LIFE for myself. With my daughter, I have been diligent about opening up communication and being available to her. Watching her grow and fly on her own. In love, I have said yes to all of it, and that means, meals together, early morning meditations, and everything in between. I love my life, right now, just as it is.

Yes, I have been feeling a bit discouraged and done with my current position. But, that isn’t about my workplace, or job duties, or hours. It is all about ME, and my attitude about my work. My aspirations for something different. My itchiness for the next, big thing. This job was to be an easy out.

SO, I said NO, firmly and honestly. I said no to this job, and yes to my family and my evening meals with my love. I said no to this job, and yes to my current job, my work friends, and an environment that I can count on and feel good about. I want to stay in the comfort and warmth of what I have now, and feels so good.

I said no to this job, and yes to the warm embrace and waiting arms of full, unbridled love. And that not only brings love into my life, but a deep sense of peace as well.

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Death and Dying.

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For the last few days, I am have been thinking a lot about the process of dying, and death. It has been on my mind in relation to physical health and illness; the aging process; and leaving this world while others live on.

I feel great, and continue to be fully attached to living, so I am hoping that I won’t be leaving this world anytime soon. However, I am becoming more and more invested, and present to the idea, that I am a fragile being, even with being healthy and vital. I am literally a breath, or heartbeat, away from moving to the other side, to death, to transitioning to the next chapter.

We don’t talk about that much in this world. When the subject of death comes up, a reality that will visit us all one day, people get uncomfortable. It feels icky to talk about not being in the world anymore, at least not as a living, breathing human being. As if the very discussion of it will bring something to pass.

The truth is, I have always been scared of death. Scared to talk about it, in relation to myself, or those whom I know and love. Scared to think about not being here as a living being anymore. To be without those whom I love. Scared to think about the actual process of dying, of taking my last breath. Of being in pain or discomfort.

Today, I am more at ease in thinking about death. That has come about for a variety of reasons. First of all, I am aging, as is all of us, but I am acutely aware of my own aging process, and that my loved ones are also aging. Although we could die at any moment, as I get into my older years, I am more aware of it seeming to be closer. I am not sure if I believe in heaven specifically, but another aspect that has put me more at ease, is knowing that death is another chapter in my life; it is like walking into another room of the journey that we are making in this world. Yet another aspect to be experienced.

But the biggest ways in which I have let go of my fear, the last parts of the fear that I have held onto, are related to those that live on, and being in the present moment. I have always been so filled with fear, and upset, to know that after I die, those that love me, that are still living, will suffer miserably with my absence. I have come to a deeper peace, in the knowing that although those that love me will grieve my death, life DOES go on. As it should.

The other part of death that I have made my peace with, is that whether I am 15 or 51, death can come to me at any moment. When I remember that, I am more able to live in the present moment, being in it and cherishing what comes from it. Really, all we have is in this moment, RIGHT NOW. The past or future doesn’t exist, and who knows how long we will really be here. Right now, is perfect and magical.

It reminds me that living fully is not something to make time for someday, but to start in this moment.

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Building Faith and Trust.

I have been working really hard the last few weeks, to become much more present to and aware of some of my most challenging traits.  These traits are the ones which are the most sneaky, the most evasive, yet do the most damage to myself, and to my relationships with those around me.  The work that I have been doing since early last month is getting me much more acquainted with why I do what I do.  Let me explain.

 

I have always considered myself to be a good person.  I still do, no worries.  Yet, I always have had thoughts that I wasn’t willing to share with others.  So, there are two main ways that they would come out, sideways if you will.  If I was saying to someone, “I am fine”, when actually, I was hurting in some way, I was actually lying to that person, and being fake about what was really going on with me.  I have done this for more of my life than many who know me may realize.  Besides the fact that it hurt me to keep all of that pain and difficulty to myself, it was a way to keep myself from being authentic with those around me.

 

The other thoughts that I didn’t share with others was when I was worried, frightened, or concerned about something going on.  The thought that I would have would be arrogance, that if that other person would only do, say, or think the way that I did, they would be happier.  Now, this ending you might be able to predict:  since we all need to make our own decisions in life, it was more often than not that those around me wouldn’t do what I wanted them to, so that always gave my mind room for thoughts of judgment toward another.  When they didn’t do as I believed was best for them, my brain left lots of room to judge them for the outcome.

 

Now, I am blessed and fortunate to have so many people around me, who love and care about me.  And, I haven’t lost people in my life as I go through this process of transition.  However, it presents a new, amazing opportunity to get real with people, about what is going on with me, and to keep loving them, right where they are at, at the same time.  Just think:  if I can embrace my own humanness, frailty and vulnerability, imagine how easily I can embrace it in others.

 

I am on a path of awareness and understanding, and with the added, increasing benefit of faith and trust, that I will be cared for through it all, I can hardly wait to see what comes next.