Tag Archives: reflections

Perspective.

 

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I spent a lot of time in nature today. I laid down on large rocks, I walked on trails in the woods, and I breathed deeply in the air of the day. Nature is close by our home and we spend a great deal of time there. Taking the beauty in through all of our senses is a deep, healing experience. And, it helps always to remind me of the freedom that I have to contemplate life and circumstances from a variety of perspectives.

 

I am grateful for knowing that I have a choice. Many persons, including many in my life, do not know or understand that they have a choice in their perspective on the world. Whether they see themselves as a victim, as flawed or defective, as better than or more evolved than others, as only being their life circumstances and nothing else, they cannot see beyond these roles or situations. And, in addition to that, even if they are told that they have a choice to see things differently, they don’t understand that because they don’t believe that it is true.

 

The truth is, life is different depending on the perspective with which you look at it. Today, I lay upon a rock, that was the length and width of my body, and somewhat suspended between other rocks. First, I sat up looking around, and had one view. And, then I lay on my back, and just looked upward, and the view of course was somewhat different. So it is with my life.

 

I have had a boatload of shit that has gone down in my world in the last year. And, I mean, A LOT. Good, bad, sad, frustrating, blessed, and everything in between. And, if I believed in accumulation, of good or bad circumstances, then I would be believing that 2017 was one of the worst years of my life. However, I don’t believe in accumulation of circumstances. I guess because I have stopped believing in past, or future for that matter. I still understand that memories of the past and projections of the future will occur in my life, I don’t take them as seriously as I have before. I now believe that more than anything, the present moment is all that we have. And, I don’t consider that as a point of view; I consider it to be a fact. This, right now in this moment, is all that we ever have.

 

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That reminds me that peace is always in my grasp, if I only just choose it. To look upon a small pine seedling, a pile of leaves crunching under my feet, or clouds that look like cotton streaks in the sky, or the arms of someone whom I have never met hugging me on the street. Those are moments of sweetness, of truth, love and abundance. And I can only fully experience them if I am present, as present as I possibly can be.

 

But, there are times I choose strife, and anxiety, and worry and belief that the past defines me or that the future will save me. And, then I remember that I can always change my perspective, and I remember that this moment is all that needs to grab my attention, and it carries within it every possibility of greatness, beauty, magic and eternity and infinity within it. That is my saving Grace. 

 

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My Humanness.

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I went out last night with my wife, first for dinner, and then out to listen to some music. I always look forward to our evenings out together,  because we are spending some time as a couple; because I like visiting some of our favorite local businesses, and because I enjoy seeing people that I know. At those times, I feel social and available to others around me, and my environment. It feels freeing and peaceful, and I am present with how in touch with my own self and feel good about it.

 

We began the evening with dinner at our favorite restaurant in the city. We don’t go out to eat very often, but we enjoy this restaurant no matter what our other choices are. The food, atmosphere, and heart in the business draw us there, and it is warm, welcoming and delicious. I always see people that I know, including the owners, and even strangers feel known to me. I feel at home.

 

When we got to the second venue, to see some friends of ours who recently formed a new band perform, I knew right away that it felt different than where we had just been. Something inside of me didn’t feel like myself anymore. I felt like I didn’t want to be seen; that I was too old, not cool enough. And that even if there were people there that were familiar to me, I didn’t care to have them converse with me, ask about me. I wanted to go into a corner of the room, drink my drink and just listen to the music.  

 

Now keep in mind that for two years now, I stand on the street and give hugs to complete strangers to me. And it feels connected, true and warm when I am hugging those people. Like I am connecting with them on a level beyond words, beyond form. It feels deep and true, both what I offer and what I receive. So, to feel uncomfortable in a room with many people, some of whom I knew or could get to know, I felt closed, not connected at all. 

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This morning, when I was sitting quietly, I found the space in me that feels like an open wound. A wound that has been around for years, some years more intensely than others, and is my own tendency toward self loathing and attack. That not wanting to be with other people in an open way, had nothing to do with them, but myself. It feels raw and vulnerable to see the ways in which I want to attack myself for not being enough. When I start to feel really good and sure of myself, Ego is never far away, reminding me of the voice that exists that is self deprecating and attacking. It is always there, wanting to undermine me in some way, undermine who I know myself to really be. 

 

With deep gratitude this morning, I say a hearty Thank You for the awareness that catches this in myself. And remembers what the real truth is. The truth is that I am complex and made up of many parts and aspects, in my human form. I have been domesticated in many ways in my life, about many things, and only now in my life do I have the eyes to understand that none of what I was taught is true. That the truth is that I am perfect; I am Light; and to Love myself is blessed. And that I am a part of All and can embrace that fully, but only by honoring and loving myself deeply first.

 

It can be daunting some days to love myself. Yet, I will continue to remind myself every day of how beautiful that is, and how opening myself fully shines my Light more brightly into the world. It reminds me that I am not alone, ever.

Fearing but Craving Connection

 

Grief.

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I have spent the last several days experiencing and thinking about grief. About what it is, and what it is not. About my own grief and how I express it, now in my life, and in the past. I am amazed and at peace at what I seem to be discovering.

 

When I was in college, my grandmother, my father’s mother, died after being ill for a long time with cancer. I had spent school vacations at her home for years, kept her secrets of eating forbidden foods at lunch, and laughed with her. I was so sad, and hurt, and lost when she died. I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want to care about college classes anymore, for months. I thought about her all of the time and couldn’t envision a life without her physical presence in it. 

 

Ten years later, my older brother died, after a long illness. He lived on the west coast, so he was far away and I hadn’t seen him in years. Our relationship had been very close for a period of time in my life, but his last few months had been strained between us. I was the person that he had his caretakers call to report his death. It was surreal and a deep hurt. I grieved in many ways when he died. I cried, a lot at first. I felt guilt at our being somewhat estranged. I felt anger that he had me be the one that had to tell my parents that he had died. And, I felt like a martyr, in a way. I wore my grief like a shroud, feeling very embedded in it. That lasted for a long time. 

 

There have been many persons that I have known since then, friends or family, that had died. My responses to each one have been different. Yet, none so different as the deaths of two persons in my life in literally the last three weeks. First, my beloved aunt, my aunt Ruth, who was as close to me as a family member as my own parents. She lived with my grandparents when I was growing up, and I spent those school vacations with her as well, and many happy times after that. I would go up to her house for a weekend, just to spend time and talk with her. Her heart was so open and filled with love. I thought she would be around awhile longer, if not forever. Her death has been hard to bear, although manageable at the same time.

 

Only a few days after her death, my father in law, my wife’s father, died. I had not had the opportunity to build a longstanding, deep relationship with Ben, but I had felt a deep fondness and love for him, and enjoyed our times together. He gave Brenda away at our wedding. He had many of his own demons, yet I saw the light in him that was love, even though he didn’t see it in himself, it seemed.

 

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What grief represents to me now in my world is much different than I have ever experienced before. Even though we may share grief and the expression of it with others that are close to us, grief feels very personal to me; meaning, my feelings of loss are not going to be like anyone else’s about the person, as no one else’s will be like mine. In essence, I can feel whatever I feel, without any need to compare myself to others. I get to just move through it in the most loving, gentle way that I can. I also don’t feel like I have to express it in any certain way. Whatever seems to help me and bring me comfort and support feels right.

 

Grief also looks like Peace to me now. I don’t know how to best explain that, except that even when I am sad that my aunt Ruth is gone, or longing to spend another day with Ben, I feel at Peace when I accept things just as they are. Accept that they are absent. Accept that I miss them at times. Accept that life will go on without both of them in this physical realm. Letting Go and Acceptance bring me Peace. Bring me comfort. And are deep expressions of Love for me.

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Taking Others Personally.

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Every couple of months or so, I contemplate de activating my Facebook account.  After spending a good amount of time paying attention to the various kinds of posts there, it feels like it would be self loving to take a break. Just tune out, and tune in to myself instead for a few days, weeks, whatever feels good to me.

 

However, the stuff that seems to impact me the most is not the political, commercial, provocative posts that I see there; I seem pretty immune to them these days, feeling secure in my own positions and opinions, and allowing others to have their own. What seems to impact me the most, as I do the one fingered scroll through on my Iphone, is friends on there.  I see pictures of friends, having fun times with other friends, attending or hosting parties, traveling, and I feel a pang of disappointment.  A feeling of being left out.  I feel like when it comes to friends, I don’t matter to many.

 

Please, read on before you feel sorry for me; this is not to elicit sympathy for myself.  It is a tremendous learning ground for me, and I am grateful.  But at first glance, when I see friends of mine having fun with others, I don’t just think that I am happy for them that they are happy.  I feel left out, left behind.  I don’t take it out on them; I take it out on ME.  What is wrong with ME?  Aren’t I fun enough?  Inspiring enough? Why don’t they call me to go out, to have tea, to come over for a movie?  Why not ME???? I take the entire “exchange” personally.  And, that is the kicker for me; there is no exchange; there is no rejection.  It just is what is.

 

I have been reading the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz for a couple of years now, over and over again, and one of those agreements is to not take ANYTHING personally. Now, I have put it into action quite successfully and gratefully in my world over and over again, in relationship to my work; my family; and various friends. But then, I always get another opportunity to try the lesson on for size again, just to seal the deal. So, this is another time for that.  

 

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I certainly do not feel one bit peaceful when I take others personally.  I feel frustrated, confused, rejected, sad, and angry. I feel like I am not enough in some way, shape or form. I feel like I want to be seen and acknowledged and it just isn’t happening in the way that I would like. I take an image from a social media outlet and think that means I know all that there is to a story. Because that is all it ever is, really.  Just a story.  Just a story that I tell myself and then come to believe as the truth.  

 

The thing is, I always get to decide how I want to believe things to be.  And, the lessons that I get to learn in all of this, are vital and substantial for my expansion and evolution. I am learning deeply about letting go; letting things and people be just as they are. When I do that, I accept more and judge less. Another lesson that I get to learn is that NOTHING in this world, not one thing, that is going on with another person, ever has anything to do with me.  Even when it does, it doesn’t. This one of the four agreements is the one that I struggle with the most, yet gives me the most peace within when I ascribe to it.

 

And ultimately, that is the real win for me, is to come back to a place of Peace, always and as often as possible.  When I am feeling peaceful, I am amazed that I could ever want to choose something other than Peace. Yet I do, day after day after day.  And, then, gratefully, I get to remember, day after day after day, that Peace is the choice that I prefer, and it is always available to me.  That I can pick it up, and hold it closely, as often and consistently as I desire.  That I am beautiful, bright, of value and worth.  That I am full of Love, Light, and Purpose. That all those that are meant to come in and out of my world are nothing short of blessings, and that I get to honor them as such, without putting limits, rules and expectations upon them.  I get to let them be their beautiful selves, and celebrate the Self that I am in every moment.

 

I am forever grateful to be able to keep growing, learning, and Being in the brightest, most brilliant way that I can imagine to Be.

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I Am a Writer.

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I said no, probably at least three times in as many ways. I was not going to spend $297 on an online course about writing. Why bother? I knew what I had to do to write- I just had to DO IT. I didn’t need writing experts to tell me that. I don’t need creative writing prompts and ideas. I have many ideas in my head- I just lack the discipline and drive to get them onto paper.

 

Today, I am eating the ENTIRE humble pie. I am grateful for humility. I am grateful for politely, yet firmly, telling my arrogant know-it-all self to shut up. I am grateful for my remembering that I am worth investing in, and that I can afford. I am grateful for pleasure, self love, and being playful. For laughter and vulnerability. I am grateful for Waking Up.

 

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After three no’s, I said Yes to easily, one of the most profound experiences of my life, completing the Setting Your Writer’s Voice Free course. There was no doubt that once I began it, that I would complete it. But, what I didn’t know definitively was what I was seeking in it, at least, not in the very beginning. What I thought the reason was that I decided to yes to this course, was so that I could increase my chances of getting published, which has been a long held dream of mine, albeit out of reach in my mind. I also believed that it could help me to become a writer and get paid for writing opportunities. I was even pursuing some at home writing options to be able to stay home, get paid, and in between, work on my big book. I thought that by getting the ears of two well known, published writers in this course, one of them being SARK, whom I have adored for years, I would then know the “secrets” of becoming “successful”. 

 

And, I was scared shitless to find out. And, to encounter other writers who, most likely, would be better than me. Who would judge me secretly for not writing “stories”. Who would live in different parts of the country, or the world, that enabled more success in these efforts. I was scared to be judged, and to find out that the dream of being a writer would only ever be a dream. 

 

In our first session, we were reminded by Dr. Scott that we each have our own unique voice, our own perspective of the world, and it is our contribution to the entire symphony of the Universe. Although, intellectually, I understood this, I wondered how that could be true? I mean, wasn’t the sign of being a good writer that people could easily identify with what you write about? How unique could our voices be? And, was there really room in this world for so many unique voices to be heard? To be published? To be successful? I was, again, so filled with fear! Wanting to defend myself to people that I hadn’t even met yet. I was afraid to read the writing of others, and see how much better they were at expressing themselves than I was. 

 

One thing that I love about myself, is that even when I feel afraid, I plow through and try something anyway. I take a risk. However, with that comes a canoe full of self doubt. An ocean liner, for that matter.  THE TITANIC. Yep, it feels that dramatic at times. So, I started slowly, reading the samples of writing that other persons in the course were posting. I made comments, but would worry if I sounded genuine or fake? Am I over the top in my praise? Then, they might not have clicked “like” on my comment (this is a Facebook page) so I wondered, what does that mean? Still, I kept going, I kept reading, and I started posting my own writing on the page. Many people saw my posts, but hardly any likes or comments. What did that mean? Oh no! I suck! People don’t get me! Yet another external “confirmation” for me to see myself as a freak, an oddball, not fitting in anywhere. Yet, I kept at it. I kept reading, and I kept writing. I even posted a link to my blog, and wondered if that was “too much” of myself. 

 

Beautifully, something shifted in me after our first two sessions. Something broke open that had been locked up within me, and although I perceived that something as being unavailable to me, I was wearing the key to unlock it around my neck. I don’t know if it was belief, acknowledgment, or a deepening understanding. But, one day, I just suddenly saw myself as a Writer. I no longer called myself a person who likes to write, who is taking a course, a person who wants to BE a writer. I put the key in the lock, turned it, and heard it click:

I AM A WRITER.

 

I had never said it before. The word writer gets used for those that are paid for their writing. Who have their words published on paper. Blogs don’t count- that’s not REAL writing. I had been invested for years in not seeing myself as a writer, even though my love of writing had been encouraged and nurtured in me since I was ten years old. It filled me up, it brought me joy, and flutters to my heart, butterfly wings in the soul. My writing drew persons to me, bees to the flower, by the dozens. Yet, I only saw the action, I didn’t see who I really was. The moment that I unlocked those self imposed chains, I was free. Free to write endlessly and fearlessly, just for me. Free to savor lusciously every tidbit of writing that others posted. Free to gush and goo and revel in all of that magic deliciousness. As I read the writings that my fellow writers shared, I remembered that there is an open invitation and space for all of our voices, and, that all of our voices together is what creates the most beautiful music. 

 

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Sure, solos can be exciting, and having a spotlight just for me can create a sense of importance. But, it is fleeting. It disappears quickly and I am left with emptiness. Community of voices is pure, unique, inviting, and warm. It is the first hot chocolate of the fall. It is delicious, satisfying and comforting. It reminds me that I am not alone. I am among friends. I am love, and I am loved.

 

I am in the nurturing stage of turning the soil, planting the seeds patiently, and caring for each tiny vessel to burst to life. I write wildly every day- at home, at a cafe, at the office, when I travel. I am filling books and using colorful pens. I am stunned at how different I feel when my words appear in purple ink, rather than the standard black or blue. It calls the joy of it back to itself. It is savoring the richness of chocolate cake with an inch of frosting, decadent and delightful. Every bite more delicious than the last. 

 

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I have tools and solutions if I feel discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated. I have a community of new friends to cheer me on, and I get to do that for them, too. I am writing poetry, prose, and inspiration. I have set myself free to fly high, and to ride the wind and trust that it will carry me where I will best and most safely land. I can trust that this path is not only my writer’s path, but my Spirit path.  I am Home. 

 

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