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Posts Tagged ‘believe’

Last weekend I finally got around to cleaning out my closet.  Yay!

ClosetIt wasn’t that it was terribly disorganized or anything…in fact it was in pretty good shape.  It’s just that I realized I only used about half the closet because I only wore about half the clothes I had in there.

Now granted, After my car accident, with dizzy spells and a broken ankle (not to mention a few bones in my foot) I wasn’t able to run or hit the gym and put on some weight.  I have been eating better and moving more and dropping some pounds but not everything fits as it used to you know?  (yuck..that was hard to share.)

Still, some things I actually was surprised to see.  It’s been a while and I had forgotten about even owning them.  Anyway..the point it I donated a few bags of clothes (including my ‘fat’ jeans – Yeah baby! ) and got everything organized again and back in the closet.   It looks lovely.  I actually enjoyed opening the door this morning to see everything unsquished and hanging nice and orderly.

I like to do that to my living space quite often. I get the ‘urge to purge’ as I like to call it.  And yes..I know. I may enjoy rhyming more than is normal, but I’m okay with that too.

I make room.  I make room to more easily enjoy those things I already have that I love.  I make room to bring new things into my home that I believe will make life better or more beautiful and sometimes I just make room! (Yes Charlie…that scary rocking chair is gone and never coming back).

The same goes for other things in our lives.  Including our own belief system.  It’s really important to on occasion take a look at what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Are we dragging out beliefs from early childhood to manage our adult life?  Let’s face it, there is a very good chance that isn’t doing us one lick of good.

It’s okay to look at something and realize it’s not true, not helpful or simply off.  Doesn’t matter.  You can get rid of it and make room for a new belief that will serve you in creating your most fabulous life. 

All these learned beliefs that make us victims in our lives can get replaced.   Still you do need to reach into your deepest places and pull them out. Much like I did to my old clothes tucked in the back of the closet.  I couldn’t decide what to do with them until I looked at them, dusted a few off and tried them on even.  A few much-loved pieces I wore often no longer felt right.  They had to go. 

My book Building Your Beautiful Light talks about this.  You can’t build up your light and shine if the window are blocked up by junk. 

You need to make some room.

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Lately I have been moving towards different goals. In the process I’ve been discovering more and more about my true self.  While this is very liberating and at the same time occasionally scary I have noticed something new.

I have been teetering on the brink.  The question I struggle with is the brink of what?

I can only explain in mundane words what I have been feeling but here goes.

Imagine with me for a moment.  There is an edge I can’t quite see over.  Be it a cliff or hill..whatever.  Moving closer brings with it excitement and it is also a bit scary.  When I get too close I pull back to the safety of where I was to take a breath…perhaps just a little closer than before.

I can see the edge and the blue skies beyond it but I don’t know what it holds.

I know, somewhere deep in my soul that I need to walk over to the edge and leap.  I know it.  But fear is a tricky thing isn’t it?

What will I find?  I am not sure but I believe I am becoming me, but even more so.  Does that make sense?  Ha!  Sometimes it doesn’t quite make sense to me.

I am reminded of my good friend Deone’s post comparing his journey to the butterfly.  I actually haven’t thought of that post for a while.  For some reason THAT was the post that showed up when I came to my blog this day.  A little whisper from the universe to move me along?  Perhaps that is what is happening?  Perhaps I am ready to transform, to leave or maybe build a cocoon and grow my wings.

It’s funny.  Not long ago I would have said I already did that.  That certain things which happened taught me so much about my own power, my own light and my place in this world.

I honestly  used to wonder what people did when they got it figured out.   Seriously. I thought…once you learn how to meditate or be calm what do you do then? 

Well, I can tell you that with every pair of wings you have grown; with every sky you have learned to soar in there is more.  There is so much more.  You can’t always see what is above until you can rise up. 

There is a story about how when you are on a train and it goes into a tunnel and gets dark you don’t jump off.  Instead you know to trust the driver to get you through the tunnel and back into the light. 

My friends…you drive your own train.  You can’t help but come across a tunnel once in a while.  Trust in your ability to find the light at the other end.  Some tunnels are longer than others but they all lead somewhere.  On the other side…the light might just be a little brighter.  You’re light might be a little brighter.  Things might just fit more perfectly then they ever have before.

Sooner or later I’m going to take the leap over that edge.   I can see the glimmer of light from the end of the tunnel I’ve been travelling in.  I know I will get there.   You’ll see.  I hope you find your next level of growth just as exciting and scary and that you too find the perfect time to go take a look at what you can become when you trust.

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I had to take a looooooong train ride the other day.  I’ll admit to you all that while I’m super grateful that I don’t have to drive downtown, look or and pay for (expensive) parking I do wish that I didn’t have to be crammed into a metal tube with approximately a billion other people.  (hey! I said approximately!)  

I am acutely aware that I have a large personal space; what can I say? Still, the train does provide some interesting things to observe and talk about. 

One thing I wanted to talk to you about today (and get your thoughts on) was the concept of being religious and/or spiritual.

Yessir! We are going deep today. In fact, I kept hesitating around writing this.  Not only is this post rather personal but I know it will inflame someone and being me I don’t like to upset people but I think the world is changing and raising its awareness.  This is a conversation worth having.

Let me back up a bit for you so that you can understand why this peaks my interest.  While some might say the two words really are the same thing I have to politely disagree.  Perhaps it is just my way of making sense of my world to take apart words like this but as you know all know…words have power.

Okay.  So I grew up and went to Sunday School and then Church and I’ve actually read the Bible.  I can admit, I was younger and really skimmed some parts – especially all the ‘who beget who’ stuff.  I’m sure it’s important, but at 14 years old, it was not an attention holder. 

As I grew older, I struggled with some concepts. I loved the services, the rituals and the overall message, but many things confused me.  Let me tell you, as a child it’s hard to understand exactly why adults get so upset when you ask the tough questions.  The Church I went to had wonderful people dedicated to helping others, who had strong faith and who were generally good people and I learned a lot from them. 

However, one of the things I learned is religion is a touchy subject for many. Since I was a young child I have asked questions that have upset people and I never could understand why. It seemed to me that not knowing wasn’t the problem nor was it why people were upset.  I felt that refusing to look at your own beliefs is not faith..it’s blind.

So why did I drift away from my religion and the Church?  It didn’t all fit for me.  So, I started to learn about other religions.  I found that most weren’t really all that different.  Oh sure, on the surface they were but at the roots almost every base of every thing is love.  The love of the Creator – no matter what his/her name – and all living things was the basis for all I could see; but not how many actually lived. 

I found my connection to  a higher power outside of buildings, but was told that didn’t work, I needed to go to Church.  This is where I struggled.

I was blessed as an adult to finally find a Priest who was open to talking about all these questions – and admitting that he didn’t have all the answers. Ironically, he was found in a Church that wasn’t my own.  Someone close to me had decided to rededicate themselves which was a beautiful thing.

This man, he was called Father John, was very matter of fact.  He told me that he was not religious at all til his 30’s when he was called to the Church.  I was taken aback by that.  I mean, how do you reconcile not believing at all to ministering in a Church?  His story opened my eyes to many things.

Father John listened and more than that he understood.  He released my need to have to call myself by any particular name or religious affiliation if it didn’t feel right to do so.  I will forever be grateful to this man for being honest and transparent and allowing me to share my soul with him without judgement.  It was this minister that opened my eyes to how everything is so interconnected – even religions.  It was this man of the church who told me that a church is simply a building dedicated to God – but still just a building.  The Creator is found everywhere at anytime he said. Finally, someone who understood and could help me understand.

It was around this time that I found The Dalai Lama’s quote “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” that something clicked for me.  It was then I started looking at what it means to be spiritual and religious.   We can look at the definition of the words to see there is a difference.

*I borrowed these definitions from www.Dictionary.com if you want to read more of the information there.

re·li·gious

1.of, pertaining to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.

2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
3.scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
4.pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
5.appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances
 

spir·it·u·al

1.of, pertaining to, or consisting of spirit; incorporeal.

2.of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.
3.closely akin in interests, attitude, outlook, etc.: the professor’s spiritual heir in linguistics.
4.of or pertaining to spirits or to spiritualists; supernatural or spiritualistic.
5.characterized by or suggesting predominance of the spirit; ethereal or delicately refined: She is more of a spiritual type than her rowdy brother
 
Please take note of the bolded words.  This is where I lay my beliefs on whether I would call myself spiritual or religious.  I do not connect with one specific religious order anymore.  I find my connection with the Creator is more personal than this.  For me, for my path and journey, I am not religious, I am spiritual. 
 
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t believe.  I find my spiritual connections and beliefs in different ways.  I still pray, I still say a deep and heartfelt thank you to my Creator and I still have my faith.  I enjoy the community of others who are open to talking about their beliefs and sharing in compassion and in love.  I enjoy a healthy debate tempered by respect for others means of connecting to their Creator.
 
I see this happening for others too.  The world is evolving and so are people.  Things are changing and I am so grateful that I live in a time where it is okay to explore your own heart and soul connections.
 
I do think there is a difference between being spiritual and religious.  I do not think one is better than another.  I just know that we need to be aware that not everyone will connect the same way and that is okay
 
I have to say as time goes on and I have become more comfortable with who I am and my own set of beliefs, I have also become more aware that the world is not so simple as one group of people getting it right and everyone else wrong.  In fact, I think you can be both spiritual and religious and also from opposite sides of the world. 
 
This rather links back to my last post about labels don’t you think?  The way you connect to your higher power is incredibly personal and should be treated as such.  There should be no judgment from others if you choose to sit on a wooden pew or under a tree to connect; or if you do both for that matter.  After all, we all have different paths to walk and they may not look even remotely the same but they are all connected ultimately through our belief in a higher power.
 
I have to tell you that the Wiccan Rede of “do what you will, but harm none” make so much sense to me these days.  How much more peaceful would the world be if we could all just remember that?
 
Do you think that there is a real difference between spiritual and religious?   How does this discussion make you feel? 
 
Blessings,
 
 
 
 
 
ps.  Watch for a new group of posts that will be coming out on Weds called “Wit and Wisdom Wednesdays”.  I will be featuring a fabulous person who will be sharing their wit and wisdom with you. Whohooo!

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You know how it’s become quite the thing to share these beautiful photos with uplifting and inspiring quotes?

I love them.  I really do and I think it’s a wonderful, beautiful thing that this is becoming so common.  The thing is how often do you come across one that really grabs you and sits you down and says “pay attention to me”?  It happened to me…true story!

It was a quote by none other than Dr. Wayne Dyer. Truly one of my most beloved teachers today.  His message speaks deeply to me and I’ve heard him say this before.  He talks about our thoughts creating our world (you see why I connect with his message right?). 

What he said was

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
 
I get that.  I see where he’s going with it.  However lately I’ve had this quote come at me from many different sides and places.  The other day I ‘clicked’ on something in my own files and my hand glitches and clicked the wrong link.  Take a wild guess what came up?
 
 

I was actually surprised to see this picture.  I honestly don’t remember saving it but that isn’t what surprised me. I had been thinking about this quote over and over for days and here is was again.  Oh how the universe whispers can turn into a shout.

 
You see waaaaay back when I was sleep walking through life,  I expect I was content enough. I had no major illnesses and had a fairly solid set of goals.  Sort of a one step in front of the other routine.  But I wasn’t in love with life.  I was just marking time.
 
I think of it this way..it’s like a car.  I was alive – engine on – but hanging out in neutral.  Occasionally I’d hit first gear and move forward..accomplish a goal or two.  Some people live their entire life this way. 
 
Somewhere along the way I discovered the rest of the gears.  I threw the top down and let myself  love my path.  The wind in my hair, radio up and singing along.  Detours?  No problem!  They were simply new ways and new scenery. 
 
Then a problem showed up that I couldn’t overcome or gloss over.  I not only slipped gears, but may have stalled out for a while.
 
As I started to heal physically, I went back to living nice and safe in neutral.  But you know what? After experiencing real happiness and true living, neutral can feel more like reverse and leave you kind of sad.  I felt let down and in my own words ‘screwed over’.  Life got kind of dark for me.  I realized so much that I’d been missing as I sped along.  Relationships I thought were one way fell apart or simply disappeared.  People I would have sworn would be there…weren’t.  And to my surprise a certain person who I would have put at the top of the fade away list, stood up and came through.
 
My world and what I thought it was, was turned upside down and inside out. 
 
I started, for a while, to see the world through a victim’s eyes.  I know this might tick off a few people but you know what…being a victim is a choice.  What happened to me..or to you may not have been your choice true.  The really crappy fall out may not be your choice, but being a victim to it..well sorry..but that’s a choice.
 
I know this for a fact, because I chose that role for a while.  I saw the world as a cruel place.  A place where people were waiting to see you fall, to find a mistake and mess you around all over again.  I thought the world was uncaring and heartless.  I walked around waiting for more shoes to drop and scared to feel happy in case it was yanked away again.  It’s a dark and unhappy place to be.
 
I think this is what Dr. Dyer is talking about.  The world hadn’t changed from when I was happy and looked at the world as full of opportunity.  I had changed.  ME.  My perspective and what I chose to see.  
 
Think of it this way.  If you are full of joy you will see beauty in the rain, the lovely sound, flowers growing again after the summer drought and pretty reflections in puddles.  If you are sad and bitter you will see the same rain as dark, dreary and see the deadness of the flowers, weeds to be pulled and puddles of dirty old mud.
 
It’s the same world…the same rain and the same garden. 
 
Despite all that I still have coming down the line to test me, I choose to see the joy.  I choose to think that for the most part, other people are kind and want to do what is right given a chance.  I choose to bring love and kindness to the world and belive I will have it returned to me.  It’s been a long spell of ups and downs.  A hard road but even the worst roads will get you somewhere right? 
 
My lessons are my own.  I share them so that you know you are not alone.  I share them so that you can see there is a light and you have the right and the choice to see it.  I’m letting you know that even amidst all the pain and struggle it’s okay to get better and it’s okay to feel joy.
 
I choose to believe that the rain is going to bring me some freakin amazing rainbows.
 

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In my last post, entitled What Time is It Mr. Wolf, I talked about how we need to listen to what our needs are today.  It does change as we grow and experience new parts of life. 

However, it’s not that post that inspired this one; it was something in the comments.  Yup, I read ’em and respond but Roberta’s comment started me thinking about something that happened to me not long ago.  I wanted to share this with you to not only show you I get it, I walk this talk; but to share an experience you might relate to.

It’s about my car.  I know, I know! I have written about that car before and how much I love it and how much it has been causing me trouble.  This time it’s a good thing. 

You see my car has been having some trouble staying running.  Yup, it will be driving along as nicely as you please and suddenly, I notice I’ve lost power steering and brakes.  You see the electrical is just fine so the radio and lights are all on…including the check engine light.  Luckily, I do have a clue and was able to safely get my car over to the side.  (picture me flexing my muscles–if you haven’t driven without the power steering before, trust me you need muscles!). 

As you can imagine this really gets the heart pumping

The first time I took it in, the garage plugged it in only to say that there was no code because the engine light comes and goes.  They didn’t know what to think and sent me on my way.

After a couple more times of this happening, I knew I really, really had to get it looked at again so took it to the far more expensive dealership’s garage.  Lucky me! The engine light was on and boom.  Found out the problem.  Mass airflow sensor (of course…why didn’t I think of that? lol). 

So just imagine, I’m stressed over driving my car there, shocked at the amount of $ they charge and tired from trying to get it done quickly with a minimum of fuss and annoyed because I have things I should be doing. I already wasn’t feeling well and was so busy!  So, the next day I’m back at the shop to pick up my car.  The estimate is nowhere near what I am told on the bill; it’s much, much higher. 

Crappity crap crap!

Well here’s the thing.  I had a migraine coming on since the day before (all this humidity I suspect) but I still didn’t want to relinquish control over what was happening.  The problem is I was having a hard time. My stress level was getting really high and I was having trouble trying to focus.  Migraines do that to me.  

Suddenly, my far more sensible brain piped up and said ‘you’re being dumb here, let someone help you’. 

So I turned to my boyfriend, who had driven me to pick up my car and asked him very nicely to deal with it for me.  I know he is quite good at speaking to (charming) people, he’s more than bright enough to figure the math and wasn’t feeling poorly.  I literally stepped aside. 

At first, I was a bit anxious and then I made a choice.  An on purpose, very deliberate (yup I was talking to myself ) choice; I let go.  I trusted that others had my best interest at heart and I let it go.  And I was able to relax and smile again.  He took over and took care of it.  In fact, he and the manager found not one, but two errors that would have cost me $250 more than I should have been charged. Whew!

I need to make this clear…this is not easy for me.  Letting someone else take over; letting..goodness asking them to; well it goes against everything I’ve learned growing up and how I dealt with life for years.   I had (still do at times) a belief that I must take care of my own ‘stuff’ or I was weak and vulnerable.  Oh…I think that’s the first time I’ve said that out loud and in public.  Yay me!

So, take away from this story that yes…we can learn to change and it does make a big difference.  We are not stuck in our roles unless we choose to be.  Our belief system is not always right and it certainly is not always working in our best interest. Perhaps at one time  it was something we needed but that doesn’t mean we should assume it always will be.

When was the last time you examined your belief system?  When was the last time you let go of something that wasn’t serving you anymore?

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I used to think of miracles as the re-telling of a story.  The kind of story that is difficult to imagine being true but the kind you really want to believe in.

When I was younger I thought miracles had to be of a religious sort to be really called miracles.  You must have been touched by the hand of God or one of his Angels to qualify.  After all miracles happened in the Bible, not so much at the mall right?  I mean water into wine, feeding the masses…rising from the dead!  You just don’t see that sort of thing happening in the food court or the cell phone kiosk.

As I got older and began to experience more of the world, I realized that the universe is a vast place full of amazing things we cannot understand or explain.  But wasn’t that the definition of a miracle?  I think my idea of what a miracle was expanded to more than just those in the bible but you know they still had this spiritual, other worldliness feel about them. Miracles just didn’t happen every day to regular people.

Is the idea of miracle just a way of explaining away something fantastic that we can’t understand..at least not today?  After all, plenty of people probably thought magicians performed miracles rather than tricks and sleight of hand. Then again I have a belief that there really is magic in the world.  Magic and miracles are not so far apart.

“I am realistic – I expect miracles.”
― Wayne W. Dyer

It has only been recently that I have realized there are many miracles that happen every day in this world.  How could we not be in awe every single day?

You can find evidence of this everywhere.  People who have terrible car crashes, but escape virtually unharmed.  People win the lottery; are struck by lightning but survive, mothers who lift cars to save their child’s life and so on.  The stories of people hearing whispers to wait or run and being saved from certain death (Angels?). 

But look closer.  There are every day miracles which we often overlook.   Babies are born; the caterpillar emerges as a butterfly, flowers bloom, rain falls and kindness happens out of sight.  You are alive and capable of creating joy and love.  What you think of as every day, regular occurrences are in fact, worth another look.  Miracles do indeed happen to regular every day people.

Everyday miracles.  Every Single Day

Look around.  Life is joyous because even in at its darkest, miracles are happening.  Big ones, and everyday ones.  I can’t be bothered anymore to wait around for some big and flashy miracle when I am surrounded by them every single day.  I already have enough to believe in miracles.

Have you a miracle you’d be willing to share? I’d love to hear it.

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There is no other basic lesson around mindset that you need to know or that I can teach until you understand that your mindset precedes your level of achievement.  Every single time.

It doesn’t really matter what activity you are taking on.  Your mindset plays a very big role in your level of achievement in that task and how you think you performed it.

If you begin something; be it an everyday minor activity or a brand new, exciting role; your mindset plays a big part in how you begin and you will end. 

Good or bad; your mindset has a hand in it all. 

Mr Napoleon Hill had this one bang on.  When you think about it and believe in it you can achieve just about anything you set out to do.  And the opposite is also true. When your belief system tells you that ‘failure is where you’ll end up anyway’ and that ‘it will be hard’ and on and on…you begin to believe this to be the truth. It’s call a self-fulfilling prophecy (You can learn more about that in my book Shine On!)

And this is all independent of any sort of reality. The important thing to understand here is that you can alter what is true for you with your determined belief. 

Most people I think believe that a good attitude will make things easier and a bad attitude will make things seem even more yucky than they perhaps have to be.  I rarely get anyone challenging that.  However, I get good and challenged on the deeper understanding of how powerful our mindset and belief system are.

The most common jab I get?  Well, if that’s true can’t I just really believe I can fly and just start flapping my arms?  Or something along those lines anyway.

I’ll be honest, I first thought these same kinds of things when I started my own journey into my spirit.  It took some time and reflection and I realized someone already DID that

Remember the Wright brothers?  It took them 4 years of trying, experimenting and failing (yup..failing) before they had their belief rewarded with that first delicious success of a flight! The flight lasted only 20 seconds and went 120 feet.  Not much by today’s standards but amazing none the less.

My point is…yes you can believe and learn to fly.  Maybe not by flapping your arms…but you can certainly learn to fly.  But first, you have to choose to believe you can!

Share with me a time when your beliefs either held you back or propelled you forward.  Hey! Shifts happen!

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