Monday, July 27, 2015

Merry Go Round

That title is a double entendre because it seems as though the universe has placed me on a ride of sorts this week, taking me to places I had no conscious intention of going, and it's been a continual round of the same lesson again and again - acceptance. Each time I think I've embraced acceptance another situation presents itself and I am faced with the same choice once again, fight the derailment or accept it. Ultimately, I am left with the choice of accepting acceptance. Someone appears to be saying I need the practice.
They might have a point because my strong will, sometimes defined as stubbornness, can leave little variance for distractions that are not part of my initial plan. I often have a clear vision and focus and when something arises that veers me from my intended course, my initial reaction is to be irked. The step that comes immediately after that knee jerk response is to try to figure out how I can force and bend my world to the plans I foresaw. This method has worked to my benefit many times in my youth, it was a fine coping skill that allowed me to survive my abusive upbringing, but times have changed and so must I. To my credit, I have much more flexibility today than in days gone by but I was been asked to adapt and accept in real time versus a delayed response. Thus, the season pass to my personal amusement ride.
So what does acceptance look like from where I stand? The first step is awareness of the resistance that arises as I face a roadblock. I feel an internal clenching as I fight to hold my ground and I hear a mental boycott of what is being asked of me. The pivotal choice comes right after the internal observation, am I going to sit mired in defiance or willing proceed down the path I am being lead?
In theory, it really is a quite simple choice: If the interruption does not cause any major harm or catastrophe, or I am not being asked to shirk my responsibility, then I take a deep breath and accept where it is I am being guided. Basically, if no one is going to lose a life, then what's the harm? There is none, and that is what I need to remind my ego when things aren't going my way.
Next, I make the commitment to be fully present for the latest interference. I consciously choose to open my heart and get out of my head, where I will only find further complications. The step that follows is to set the intention to engage willing and not with an air of concession or victimhood.

Lastly, I trust that the forces at large are guiding me to a place and time that best serves me and perhaps others. After all, I have limited vision of the big picture and am open to the idea that I just may be being guided to bigger and better things that I could not have imagined.

So this is how I spent my week, again and again. It leads me to wonder how many of my readers are being encouraged to do the same, practice acceptance. I'll take a wild guess and say quite a few, as it does seem to be a human affliction that acceptance of any given circumstance that we don't deem desirable is at the very bottom of our list. I'm about to hop off this ride and encourage you to climb aboard for a spin. As for me, I'll continue to explore the carnival of life. I just hope the roller coaster is not in my foreseeable future...
Be well and happy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kripa Hum

I learned this Sanskrit phrase this week, repeated as a mantra, while practicing the free meditation program offered by Oprah and Deepak. It's translation is "I am divine grace" and it has created a freeing and comforting awakening within me.

I have always understood grace to be something granted to me, a sacred gift if you will that was handed to me. But as I listened to Deepak's words and embodied the mantra I was filled with a sense of wonder that me, I am divine grace! It sits differently for me than the teachings that offer the understanding that we are all an individual expression of Spirit. Kripa Hum suggests to me that all that I am is a divine gift bestowed upon the world, not something external which I receive. For reasons I can't explain, this blows me away.

Without any thought or effort on my part my mind released the long list of things I am not, my human "flaws". Even when not in meditation I kept hearing myself repeat, "I am divine grace." I was free of personal judgment and self analysis. That I am divine grace suggests to me that I am enough and complete, concepts which I've always sought to fully embrace and now suddenly found myself knowing, and more importantly feeling, as truth.

Joy and an inner calm fill me as I envision myself walking about my day to day existence, my mere presence divine grace amongst others. This comes not from my ego, but my heart. There is nothing I need to do other than be all that I am, most especially no pressure to do more or be better.

I share this with you so that you too might know and embody this about yourself. Allow your heart to feel this truth. We are all divine grace, a gift to one another in this time and space. Who and what you are is enough and I thank you for sharing your version of grace with me and our world.
Be well and happy.

(One business note: Per Google you will now be required to have a Google account to read/follow this blog. I hope you consider doing so!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Misery Loves Company

That this saying is a common phrase in our society is no mistake, it is truth spoken because many times when we are feeling down we relish seeing others miserable as well. It really is a perverse pleasure but we've all been in that space. Well, it was one of those weeks- someone in my world had sunken into their personal deep waters and they were trying to pull me under too. I had a choice, sink or swim.
I chose to swim, but this was a riptide I was dealing with and it required use of a couple of options in my tool bag. The first tool I chose to put into action was compassion. This individual was being triggered by their own ghosts; having been triggered once, okay maybe twice, in my life I fully understood the challenge that was before them. I also knew that this person had been on the receiving end of my triggers and misery once, okay maybe twice, in our relationship with one another. Fair is fair, it was their turn to be held in loving support, which I willingly committed to in my own mind.
Next I pulled out of my bag a bit of universal wisdom- We can not go through another's process for them. I had thoughts and ideas that were itching for expression floating about in my awareness, which I believed were golden nuggets to possibly aid the other in moving past their upheaval. But alas, they had not asked for, and were honestly hostile towards, any suggestions or insight I might offer. Right, let them go at their own speed and direction. Check!
I was feeling fairly enlightened at this point, really kind of proud at my ability to hold this space for another, when I decided to whip out one more piece of spiritual magic- I would envision myself along with this other person in loving connection and joy. Not a bad idea, right? So, there I was quickly approaching guru level... I jest, I was just an average person trying to consciously manifest that which I sought and I was steadily humming along there for a few days quite successfully.
Until...They finally found the right ammo from their space of despondency to take me down. I crumbled. I too stood right along beside them in my own misery, which only made me more miserable. Damn it and all! I was pissed, the ranting in my mind held a vigil for all that fueled my anger, and I now I found myself wanting their misery to accompany mine until we were one heavy, gray cloud that blanketed our lives. Ugh. Am I bringing you down now too?
Thus began stage two of the dramas: How the hell do I get myself out of this one and do I really want to? Yeah, I didn't feel like being Miss Pissy Pants for days on end, so I went back to the basics in any tool bag- seek the support of another. By that I mean I found someone that allowed me to vent my frustrations. I spewed all the venom that was storming about my innards, I must admit it felt divine, and then I was done. This sweet spirit heard me and acknowledged my feelings. There was nothing else they could do to fix the situation and so I was left to let the dust settle. My goal in sharing wasn't to maintain my victim state for all eternity, but was instead to allow an honest expression that dissipated the hostility so that I could come back to center. Further misery averted. Ta-dah!
Some might think that I failed in my attempts to not be seduced by another's woes but I see things from a different perspective. I admit, I had a temporary lapse, but temporary is the key phrase, because it suggests growth to me. In days gone by I could have unconsciously stayed in that state for an untold amount of time but in this instance I had much more insight and use of conscious skills at hand.
I had done the human tango, humanity had spun me about on the dance floor until I was left feeling a bit dizzy but nevertheless, I was an active participant. That's all we can ask of ourselves as we hurtle through the days of our lives, attempt and effort at being aware and active in our role, healing and growth. So the next time another's misery asks, "May I have this dance?", respond with a vehement, "Let's cha-cha!"
Be well and happy. 

Monday, July 6, 2015


Our mind is a magnificent and necessary component to our human makeup. It allows us to engage with and be aware of the world in which we live. With our minds we think, feel, learn and grow- all integral components to this plane of existence. Most recently, however, I was reminded that it is also like a bored two year old because it will find a way to destructively entertain itself if not gently guided in its wanderings. I know this because I found my mind meandering down dark alleys that only served to bring me conflict.
It's been a peaceful week, the fruits of my many years of personal growth blossoming about me in a sea of contentment. As I took in the calm that surrounded me I soon discovered another level of awareness close on its heels, one that was skittishly scanning my environment for something to go awry. It was then I realized my mind was not comfortable with the serenity but instead was looking for trouble, trying to find something to sink its hooks into and create unnecessary drama. My two year old had awoken from her nap and wanted to go exploring, trying out the power of cause and effect. If I shine a light and my focus on this, can I turn it into an emotional theatrical explosion?
I actually had to chuckle to myself as I observed my mind searching for something to be wrong, something to analyze and dissect into all its faulty parts. My more sage state of awareness refused to be persuaded by my rambling mind and simply directed my mind's attention to my tranquil surroundings. And just like any other two year old, my mind stopped its feet in defiance and began once again its futile search for the chaos, turning over past conversations and situations in the hope that fodder for turmoil might be found there.
Like any conscious and compassionate parent, I once again redirected my mind to the soothing sights and sounds that filled my world. I took time to acknowledge and feel grateful for what was before me because I had created this for myself through much toil and effort. I paused a moment to honor myself and those in my life today that make this moment even sweeter.
And like any loving parent I did not shame my mind but simply understood that it believed it was taking care of me by remaining on alert for potential harm. I took comfort in knowing that our brains are wired to cling more tightly to and search for negativity as a means of survival- this is its normal developmental stage if you will.
As I continued to dance with my mind, assertively taking the lead, I realized that in this process of self discovery and healing it's easy to have tunnel vision that is always on an eternal quest to fix and scrutinize the next issue, lesson or layer. While I would never choose a path for myself that isn't about deeper personal healing and growth, I also believe that enjoying and relishing the fruits of our labor is vital and I am thankful for the forces that called this to my attention. "It's okay to sit back and enjoy," was the message I was receiving. Indeed, it is. I invite you my friends, to scour your life and your world for the harmony as you ease into the cradle of tranquility you have manifested for yourself, rocking your mind with the soothing lullabies of your life.
Be well and happy.