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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

I don’t usually comment on things that are in the news but today I felt a need to.  There have been a lot of horrible things happen in our history. There has always been someone who thinks that hurting others is not only okay but somehow justified. Those who come to life full of anger, hate and cruelty.

And then, there are those who have stepped up into their own light and said no that darkness. Those who refused to allow it to seep any further and in fact push it back.

The number of these folks is growing and this shows me that the shift I believe is coming to our global consciousness is doing its work.

We have been taught to respond to the violence of others with righteous retribution. Vengeance, retaliation – all in the name of justice. While I do think that those who commit such cowardly crimes as the bombs that went off during the Boston Marathon need to be brought to answer for their crimes, I think on a bigger scale we need not answer this with a call for more hate, anger and violence.

We’ve done that many, many times before and how’s that working for us? We might throw a band aide on things but nothing really changes.

What if, instead of focussing on ‘getting them back’ – we focussed on how to mend the hearts and souls of those hurt. We instead recognize that compassion will trump hate any day of the week.  What if we looked to and supported the helpers rather than the war mongers?  We spread love and light instead of more anger and darkness?helpers

Really, do you think that the average person wants to go to war? I don’t. I think no matter what country you’re in, what religion you are, most of us simply want to love our families, live our lives in peace and in a way that makes sense to us.

The puzzle piece that is missing is the human race is so damn afraid of differences. Why is so hard to see that there isn’t one right path, every one gets there just a little bit differently.  Someone else’s differences do not impede your ability to find your own way.

I remember trying to explain to a small child the differences between two religions. I can’t even remember what they were to be honest but I do remember his reaction. A light suddenly came into his eyes and he said oh! it’s like how I call my mom ‘Mom’, but my dad calls her Helen and my cousin calls her Aunty but she is still my Mom.

In his own simple way he did get it. We are all heading to the same end, it really doesn’t matter what we call it, how we pray or where we do it. As long as we aren’t hurting any one or anything why does it really matter? How is it MY responsibility to force my way of thinking on anyone.

Really, do you seriously believe that one person, or one group has the entire truth of it all and everyone else is simply wrong? I think it’s incredible arrogant for any one group to believe they have it all figured out like that.

We need to learn to be accepting of difference and make that the new normal.

We need to begin to live with love and compassion first. Go out into the world and spread your light, share your love and practice compassion. Let’s make the light in this world brighter and brighter so that the darkness that lurks can no longer show it’s face.

Blessings to all, especially to those who are waking up to face the grim reality in Boston. Thanks and blessings to all those first responders and those who risked their own selves to help others.

As Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

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Do you ever get that feeling like your sinking…and sinking and sinking?

Not the one that comes when your stomach sinks and you realize “oh crap, this one thing is not going as expected.” That’s different from what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the feeling that you are sinking into a deeper and deeper pit of nothingness.  Like some sort of weird emotional quicksand.  I’ve been there and when I think back I’m always reminded of the Neverending Story. Do you remember that?  The story world was being swallowed up but nothingness because of a lack of belief.  Sounds rather familiar no?

The nothingness is a dark place, a lonely place and I want to talk about it.

There I said it.  People have cautioned me about talking about this because they say if you spend a lot of time thinking and writing and thinking some more you are going to invite that into your life.  Bunch o’crap if you ask me.  My intention is not to do that. It is to talk about so those who feel that way know that they are by no stretch of the imagination, alone.  I want to stop the nothingness too!

You are not alone.  The nothingness pit if FULL of people.  Trust me. You just can’t see them yet because that is the trickiest part of feeling this way.  It causes you to isolate yourself without you even realizing it.   It’s hard to see past your own self.

Shame, fatigue, lethargy, confusion, embarassment…you name it.  The emotions that prevent us from stepping out and asking for help runs a rather large list.  

There is so much of this going on right now with all the cutbacks, homes being lost, fear etc that I really feel the need to talk about it. To bring it OUT of the darkness.

There is no shame in falling down.  It happens.  Sometimes, through literally NO fault of our own, sometimes we’ve made a bad choice and sometimes…yes sometimes, we royally screwed up and ended up face first on the floor.

It happens.

As with every event, it’s what you do afterwards that really matters.

What I’ve learned from feeling like life screwed me over, is that I  have a choice at that point.  I can play the victim card and start the sinking.  Or I live in gratitude for what is still in my life and what is still to come. 

I have been in a position where I had to sell some of my things in order to eat.  My goodness that was hard.  I cried and cried about how I didn’t deserve this; how I’d always worked hard and done the ‘right’ things in life.  Yet, here I was. You know what?  At the end of the day it wasn’t that bad.  Stuff is just stuff. 

Here’s the other interesting thing I learned.  The darkness cannot easily exist when the light of love, hope and a thankful heart are present.  It just can’t seem to co-exist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I had some days that were darker than others…but I was no longer sinking into it.  I know where the exit is located.

Can I share an example that still makes me so grateful that I have a bit of tears show up?  I was cutting waaaaaaay back on everything.  I cut out the TV cable and was pretty sad about that because I used it to distract myself from life of painful recovery.  I looked for another way to use my time and I began to use it to read books that taught me so much more about living well.  I count that time as a time of peace and internal healing.  I snuggled up with my dog and cat under a blanket and a cup of tea and read.  I wrote in my journal and had time to reflect and think. 

It was like I had been living in a room with a dim light and suddenly someone added a whole bunch of bright lamps. 

If I had simply despaired, or tried to fight it, I never would have had that time.  I looked for what opportunities presented to me and I stepped up and took them as small as they might seem.

The thing is if you are experiencing that feeling of life being out of your control, please know that it is not.  You have the power to change it. You really do!  It may not happen overnight and there is no magic pill but you can step out of what is dragging you down and pulling you under.  This is what I help with – setting goals and breaking them down to ‘those little steps’ that make a huge difference.  I’ve seen the difference it makes.

Ask for help if you need it.  Sometimes this turns into a depression that needs medical help to overcome.  That’s okay as long as you get the help you need.  Sometimes you just need to force yourself into a next little step.  Let’s face it.  You are reading this and made it to the bottom which tells me you don’t want to live stuck in the dark.  You don’t have to. 

You can do this.  Your light, your energy, is needed in this world as much as anyone’s.  It’s time to talk about feeling like we’ve sunk and are sinking.  It’s time to throw a few life preservers out there for others.  Let’s shed some light on this and lift each other up.

Blessings

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We’ve all got ’em, we’ve all dealt with some of them and we all have a few that still chase us in our nightmares.  Fears.

Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion that only gets more and more powerful as time goes on.  Unless, of course, you DO something about it.

The biggest and most important thing you can do when it comes to our fears is not let them take on a life of their own.  Put them in their real place and start dealing with them from there.

Many who’ve been kicking around this blog know that a few years ago I was in a serious car accident.  Some of you also know that because of said accident my bank account plummeted VERY quickly and I soon was in some trouble. 

At first, I wasn’t capable of dealing with those decisions.  I really wasn’t. I did the best I could but I could only do so much and was in a lot of pain and confusion (concussions are NO laughing matter).  So…things slid.  I let them slide because I really thought I’d be better ‘soon’.  Soon is an interesting time frame lol

Anyway, my point being things got bad quick and soon it was really scary to look at those numbers and know that bills were coming.  I did what I could of course but wow…the stress of it all was really awful.  It wasn’t until I finally forced myself to sit down and really look at my finances that a great deal of the stress was gone.  The money was still a struggle but KNEW exactly where I was and could try to make a plan to deal with it. 

I hid from the issue for a while. I really can’t say what I was thinking except I didn’t want to have to deal with it. Maybe it was embarassment or shame? Maybe I hoped the budget fairy would come and take care of it? 

It’s funny because knowing you are short on rent money is really different to knowing your $125 short.  The first one is like a big black hole of terrified fears around not being able to pay rent.  The second is having to deal with asking for a bit of help which isn’t nearly as bad.  Really weird how our brain works isn’t it?  The unknown factors always throw a HUGE shadow, but often aren’t as big as you think when you turn on the light.

It’s the same with most fears. 

I really advocate writing them down.  Being able to put the racing thoughts into a coherent sentence or two helps you look at them a little more objectively and writing them down allows you to look these little monsters right in the eye.

From my experience with my own issues and with other people I’ve worked with, almost every single time you already know what you have to do to fix the problems. It can just seem so overwhelming and putting pen to paper helps you get organized and figure out what I call ‘the little next step’. 

With every next little step you most certainly are taking back your power.  That shadow on the wall gets smaller and smaller and much  less scary.  It does get easier.

You can only hide from the fears so long anyway so you might as well deal with them before they get any worse.  I waited longer than I should have; I can admit it now but it was hard then.  Tomorrow is only going to make it that much worse but today…today is better then it will be. 

The key of course is having the courage to be open and honest with yourself.  Hiding from our fears gives the fear power and it gets it by taking ours away from us! Screw that!  Take it back by taking a deep breath and looking at exactly what the problem and fear is. 

You can do – I know you can.  And if you need a hand to hold or a light to shine – let me know.

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We just wrapped up Thanksgiving here in Canada.  Usually one of my favourite times of the year.  Family together, food cooking up and everyone keeping in mind the basis of this holiday – Gratitude.  I am usually basking in all of the joy and good feelings.

This year was not as beautiful as it has been in the past.  I won’t get into why because that would involve telling other people’s stories and that is not my place.  Let’s just say I was struggling to find something to be happy about, I was feeling very hurt and it was lonely.

Not exactly a day to be awash in feelings of gratefulness now is it? 

In truth, I alternated for a while between wanting to crawl back in bed and have a good cry and feel sorry for myself and feeling like railing at the world for its ‘unjustness’ (is that a word? If not it really should be.)

I did neither.  I paused.  I explored the hurt and the sad feelings.  I let them exist for a time.  When I felt calmer I decided to switch my own gears.  I went to my Gratitude Journal and read over my entries.  Then I took my Gratitude Rock and tried to remember all the ‘best’ things from each day that I had given on over.  And then, the hard part.  I sat and wrote 10 things I was grateful for right then and there.  It was a struggle at first because I had to dig deeper then the hurt I was feeling; deeper then the pain of being let down.  Boy I wish that kind of digging burned as many calories as physical digging 😉

During this I realized something deeply that I think I kind of already knew.  We have it so freakin backwards in this world and society.  We think that once we are happy we can find a way to live in gratitude but that is so entirely wrong and turned around.

The truth is we won’t be happy if we live that way.  We just can’t be, because we are always waiting for ‘something’ to change, to come, to leave…whatever.  Guess what…there is always something new to wait for. 

What I realized is this.  When you dwell in a heart that is full of grateful thoughts you create happiness for yourself. 

I was not jumping wildly around happy and feeling eternally blissful after my meditations, I’ll be honest.  My hurt feelings still stung a bit when I thought about them.  The thing is I was peaceful and a calm. The churning in my gut and tears had eased and gone.  Gratitude just changed how I dealt with the hurt. 

It’s really hard to explain how your outlook changes your emotions until you practice this.  It has taken a fair bit of work to get to this point and I’m sure I have a long way to go.  I’m learning each and every day more and more and one of the things I’ll be putting down in my journal today is that I am so truly grateful that I have this forum, this blog, to share with you and to learn from you. 

Blessings and gratitude.

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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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I learned very early in my life that things aren’t always fair.

Recently I have had to face a hidden part of my self, and it wasn’t pretty.  What I discovered was a new level of honest and raw emotions. 

To be honest, I’m in a weird sort of way quite impressed with how well I’ve ignored and/or covered up these feelings and got on with life.

But  no more.

The pain, the emotions are out and they are staying out and they are going to change.

There has been a lot of people in my life who have, by actions (or lack there of) and by words shoved the idea that I was not really worthy of their time and affection.  I could earn some of it by doing for them, or giving to them but I, by myself wasn’t really making the cut.  So I became a giver of myself and in process gave away so much I ended up empty and lost.

I don’t believe for one minute that any of these people meant to teach that to a child and then re-enforce it over and over as an adult.  I think, for the most part it was a double-edged sword.  Maybe even triple edged…is there a triple edged sword? 

My family repeated what they had learned.  I don’t understand how they can not see the hurt, but they simply cannot and will not.  I have had to learn to let that go.  I have to hand that back to those people and let them own it until the day they are ready to deal with it themselves.

As I got older, I repeated this learned patttern on my own.  I gave and did for others and didn’t value my Self.  This included my time, money and love.  And if I didn’t value it I was only going to attract those who also didn’t.  Not bad or mean people…but people who were going to help me repeat this pattern over and over of not getting what I need.  And at one point I was really in need emotionally and physically and ended up pretty much alone.  You want to talk about painful?  Yup..that really hurt and it still kind of does. 

In the past, I would change myself, adapt who I was and what I wanted in order to keep the peace. I’d hurt, but never show it.  I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.

What I’ve learned is I’ve repeated these relationship dynamics over and over again.  They hurt deeply, but it is what felt normal to me.  I just simply made excuses and shoved my own needs down figuring I can just deal with it myself.  As I mentioned … sometimes you can’t.

I wanted to change this.  I started to see that it didn’t have to be this way.  I wanted OUT of this pattern.

Sadly, it meant inflicting more pain on myself in order to break free.  This is not an easy thing to do.  It can be lonely and scary and well…leave you wondering if it’s worth it.  This is really tough when your boundaries have to change with your family.  People don’t like change, they get uncomfortable with you making changes especially when it affects the relationship.  I had to, at one point step, back and decide to let them initiate contact and do some follow-up on the relationship.  The lack of interest was heartbreaking for me. 

The one big lesson I’ve learned is it’s far more painful to be lonely when you are with someone, then it is to be lonely when you are by yourself.  I rather like myself and so don’t really feel sad at being alone.

I am learning my worth every day.  I have found some kindred spirits who do value my spirit.  It has taken a lot of time, tears and many, many lessons along the way.  It seemed like each time I reach a new understanding, it opens up a wound that must be bathed in tears in order to begin to heal.

I find though that each day I am more ‘me’.  I know more about what I need, what I want and I’m not shy about it anymore.  I still enjoy being a giver, but only so far as I am happy doing so. I won’t wreck  my health or life to make someone care for me because that isn’t real anyway

I wanted to share this because I have also discovered that many people travel the same path and never understand that it can be different. It is possible and it is better.  It was during this journey (and I say during because it’s never-ending I think) that I was lead to coaching.  My life journey is taking me places I would never have suspected once I started living it in an authentic way.

Do you have trouble with boundaries and repeating the same types of relationship dynamics?

We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made of us.
Jean-Paul Sartre

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I have to admit first of all that this post wasn’t my planned post for today.  I was on a kick all about stress and stress busting.   All good things to talk about these days. 

Still I feel compelled to write about Grace.  Not the girl…the concept behind the name.

Over the last few weeks I’ve heard snippets of conversation, read comments and today I read a beautiful blog post  by Lynn Baldwin-Rhoades, all connected to this idea of Grace.   Clearly there is a whisper here to look closer at what Grace actually is…you know?  Those Divine Whisper have been getting louder again.  So I’ve spent the morning doing some reasearch and self discovery around finding out what Grace is; besides a nice lady who used to live beside me when I was a kid…no fooling!

Now I want to be clear as we go about all of this, I am also not speaking so much towards the ability to move in a pleasing way (ie graceful) or what we say around dinner time  okay ?

However, I bet you know I’m heading to my dictionary right? lol And I tried really hard not to get too distracted.

There were quite a few variations on the word; 10 definitions with parts in each in fact! Interesting.  The 3 that I took away (ones that seemed to fit our talk here) are:

  1. (a) a disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill   (b) Mercy; Clemency
  2. A favour rendered by one who need not do so
  3. (Theology) Divine love and protection bestowed freely upon mankind

So in fact Grace is a gift. 

A gift that we are given from the Divine: be it God, the Universe or however you name it. 

Grace is also giving this gift freely to others; even though no one is making us and we don’t have to. 

I’d like to point out here that there is the flip side to this…we also don’t have a ‘right’ to it.  To be a gift something must be given freely, with no obligation attached. 

There is also something to be said for giving this gift to ourselves.  Showering our ‘self’ with love is already being done by the divine of course, but we should also show the same love to ourselves; can we do no less?

I’d also like to point out that gifts should be received with an open heart, acceptance and thanks.  And this is true no matter where they come from; yes..including yourself.

And so we return to living in gratitude for that which we already have. 

So where do we find Grace?  Right here, right now in everything.  While thinking about it today (yes I woke up with it on my mind) I see gifts of Grace everywhere.  From the patter of furry feet in the morning who love me no matter how crazy my hair looks in the morning; to the clear blue sky and to the kind man willing to pet even my giant goofball on our walk that made Charlie dance. 

I find the Gift of Grace in forgiveness; both given to me for my mistakes and that which I give others.

I see gifts of Grace in all the online family I have surrounded myself with (you know who you are!).  And today, I give myself a very special gift of Grace to allow the happy tears and revel in the joy that life is far more good than bad.

For his heart was in his work, and the heart giveth grace unto every art.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Find your gifts of Grace today, hand some out yourself.  Let me know all about it here, or on my facebook page.

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