Tag Archives: spirituality

Looking Up.

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The autumn is settling in here in our home in Northeastern Pennsylvania.  There is a chill in the air that lingers past noon; and then the warmth of the sun penetrates the cold and fills me up.  I love being outdoors much of the time, but Fall is one of my favorite times.  An extra layer, a hat, and feeling cozy.  I really enjoy and appreciate the change of the season.

 

I have been appreciating a lot of change in my life lately.  As a writer, and as a lover of other people’s writing, I would often, in the past, want my writing to primarily be relatable to others, and so would be what I would write.  I would also relate closely to what others would writer, so when I read other writers’ blogs, I would tend to follow the ones that spoke to me in some direct way, either through their experiences, or feelings about those experiences.  Reminding me of something in my own life, perhaps. 

 

Yet lately, I have been sensing a change, a change in perspective, over the last couple of weeks in particular.  As I have been appreciating and embracing my own, unique writer’s voice more deeply, I have had a more genuine appreciation for all of the unique writers’ voices that I have been reading.  I have expanded my willingness to see life from a variety of perspectives.  This has opened up to me to the realization, thank goodness, of every person’s story being of worth and purpose.  It has reminded me that it is always refreshing, and fun, to see things from a new perspective.  

 

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I’ve been so afraid of that in my life at times, to see a different point of view.  I mean, if I look at the world in a different way than I have before, won’t something go wrong?  Doesn’t that dismiss anything that I have believed before?  I understand now that the answers to my fearful questions is no, and that I am ready to appreciate, and celebrate, all of the unique manifestations of our Universal selves, in all their varied forms.  And, looking at something from a different perspective isn’t a dismissal of what I already know, nor does it threaten it in any way.  It is just different, plain and simple.

 

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I headed out with my camera yesterday, my other, brilliant instrument of expression, and instead of viewing my world only horizontally, I looked up.  What a brilliant, amazing new perspective!  And, what beauty was waiting there for me.  I only ever need to look at the world, just a bit differently, just change my view ever so slightly, to see the awe and wonder that lives there.  It is astounding.

 

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A State of Grace.

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Most mornings for a few weeks now, myself, and my wife on some days, walk to the lake that is right near our house.  We walk in one mile, and back out and home.  We sit by the water.  We spend time in nature.  It is an amazing way to begin the day for me.

 

As I walk in at the lake, I spend the first mile considering what I am grateful for.  Initially, when I first started this morning ritual, I would make a list in my mind, of all the people, things and circumstances in my life that I have gratitude for.  It enabled me to find gratitude for things in my life that might have felt challenging, or persons in my life that I had conflict with, or thought that I did, at one time or another.  It helped me to more deeply understand that gratitude is not just for the pleasant things, but for each and every thing, event, or circumstance that I find myself in.  Learning and growth comes from every experience.

 

Recently, instead of a list of things to be grateful for, I find myself simply feeling gratitude, being in the presence of that feeling.  To do this for me, means to be completely in the moment; and when my mind wanders, to come back to the present as often as possible.  A state of gratitude is remembering that everything that comes to me is a gift; every moment has something that it is offering to me, has beauty, depth, and value; and that if I am in a state of gratitude, I am able to see the beauty and worth in every moment.

 

Brenda described that to someone yesterday as being in a state of grace.  I have always had a difficult time understanding the concept of grace, and what that really means.  Yet, I believe that I have an understanding now that makes sense to me.  To be in a state of grace, for me, is to be present, and to be prayerful.  I may not be consciously saying prayers as I walk every morning, yet I am certainly aware of the beauty, sounds, and smells all around me, and have deep appreciation for them.  I am aware of nature and all that She offers to me.  I am aware of the strength and beauty of my body as I walk and move.  I am filled with love and compassion for others that are in my life, and beyond.  I feel inspired, blissful, peaceful.

 

I finally understand, that grace means to be present to my world, to all that is around me, and to honor its beauty and worth with my thoughts and presence.  Grace feels like a prayer that doesn’t feel like a prayer in the way that I have previously known, yet in such a more powerful way than I have experienced before.  Grace is Presence.  Presence is Grace.  And when I remember that, I am filled with a peace that I have never known.  

 

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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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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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