“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t” – Frank A. Clark
It is interesting how as a human you tend to want everyone to think just like you do. In my family, we like to have “conversations”. When my grandmother was alive it was so interesting to listen to all of the adults after dinner. She would usually introduce a topic that she knew some of my aunts or uncles wouldn’t agree on. Then she would come at that topic in several different directions. She was a researcher, and in her past had taught school in a country school with all the grades together. She was really smart and if you were going to come at another viewpoint than hers, you had better know your stuff. So I grew up with it being normal to have conversations with others about conflicting viewpoints. No one was ever judged as wrong, just different.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it” – Aristotle
So raising my kids, we would also talk about things that we don’t agree with each other on. My youngest son and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum. We all give each other a hard time, but it is with a joke encapsulating it. No name calling or escalating into arguments. Because whatever your viewpoint is about something, if you have an open mind, you can find good points in almost any viewpoint that you can agree on.
He is pro guns and very conservative. I am the “hippy” who still believes that someday we will really be a global civilization and get along. What is so interesting is that we both have examples of the others beliefs that we can poke fun at, and we have lots of stuff that we are totally on the same page about. The reason it works for us, is that we realize that as we grow and shift and transform, sometimes those viewpoints that we have held to for years, also change. What you felt strongly about at 5 yrs old; at 15 yrs old; at 25 yrs old; at 50 yrs old will not be the same things.
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where is it absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless” – Leo Tolstoy
You don’t have to compromise your convictions to be kind to one another. You don’t need to buy into being in fear of others, just because they are different. People are not meant to be matching bookends to you. It really doesn’t matter what your political viewpoint is; what your skin color is; what your culture is; what sexual orientation that you identify with. It doesn’t matter what your religion is.
Imagine if you were to sit down and fill out a survey about any of the important things in life. Things like being able to feed your family; having a safe place for them to live; having adequate medical care; equality – both for racial relations and work wages. I think that the survey would reflect you could agree on all of those things universally viewed as being important. You might differ in how you think it should happen, but those small differences should never escalate into hatred and violence.
Have you ever become best friends with someone that you didn’t agree with? It is possible to love someone that you totally disagree with about certain issues. My husband and I have been married for almost 47 years . Our politics are on the opposite side of the spectrums, and our religious views are not the same. But in comparison to how much we had in common, those things don’t interfere with our loving each other.
Even though we are in different political parties, I can acknowledge the good in his viewpoints. We agree that we can have our own religious views and still love one another. I think it is part of what has made us successful where so many others failed. We are best friends even though we don’t have the same beliefs about every single subject. The more we can see the humanity in one another, the harder it is to hate someone. No one ever has to be judged wrong, just because they don’t agree with every word out your mouth.
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate” – Rick Warren
You don’t know what is going on in someone else’s life. Something as simple as a smile has turned a stranger who was walking down the street away from suicide. If you could just be kind to everyone you meet, that simple act of kindness could save a life. Be a heart that listens, and throw kindness around like confetti! Be aware of opportunities around you to be kind.
I love the video called Life Vests Inside – Kindess Boomerang’s – One Day. You can watch it on “YouTube”. https://youtu.be/nwAYpLVyeFU
It starts off with a young boy falling off his skate board. A man with a orange vest like a road worker helps him up. Then the boy sees an elderly lady crossing the street and having trouble holding on to her bags of groceries, so he puts down his skate board to help her. Then the elderly lady sees a young woman trying to find coins for a parking meter and hands her some coins, and it continues on to end back up with the road worker being given a cold glass of water. What I loved about it is that they included young and elderly; men and women; white, black, brown races; rich business man and homeless man. Everyone had a chance to both give and receive kindness.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around” – Leo Buscaglia
The growth comes from really understanding that there can be different perspectives. From understanding how what has happened in another person’s background could create a different belief system. We have this idea that someone has to be wrong and someone has to be right. You should never judge another’s choices unless you have a thorough understanding of their reasons for making those choices. That would mean that in almost all cases, there is room in your world for more than one belief. Obviously we are not talking about harmful conduct.
“The best ideas emerge when very different perspectives meet” – Frank Johannsson
The analogy of the map and directions fits here. If you are going to San Fernando Valley from Ventura, you might take the 101 to the valley or you might take the 101 to the 23, which becomes the 118. Which way you go would depend on where in the valley you were going and what traffic was like. The 101 tends to be tied up with traffic more often and the 23/118 would probably be faster, again depending on where in the valley you were driving to. I could argue for one and you could argue for the other. I could have experienced a faster time one day, and you could have experienced a faster time the other way on a different day. Depending on the circumstances the wrong or right answer would change. Most things in life are that way – it all depends on the circumstances and the perspective you are currently viewing life through.
Regardless of which view you had, you could still be kind. You could still show respect. You could still hold yourself to a higher standard of grace and elegance when having a discussion. You could still try to achieve the same goal, getting to San Fernando Valley.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” – Anais Nin
So be kind. Be compassionate. Be respectful. Express your beliefs with grace and tolerance. Spread #love, spread #peace.
I wrote this poem on a Sunday not long ago. It had been banging around in my head for awhile wanting to be released. So I took some quiet time while everyone was asleep and let it out. The entire poem is printed at the end of the post.
There is no growth without change. You’ve got to let go of some old stuff. And that can hurt. Often when I’m in the most pain, I realize it’s coming from my trying to control everything. Or resisting the changes that come with the progress. But you see that light . . . , that beautiful next level . . . , and that’s what you have to focus on.
– Ali Brown
I found this quote after I wrote the poem and was struck by how much of what I am trying to express in the poem is in her quote. We have to release what no longer serves us. That can be the story that we have been telling ourselves that holds us in chains of fear about success and failure. It can be the story that we tell ourselves that we are not capable of being more. And the stories we tell ourselves go on and on.
The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny,
– Albert Ellis
This control is when you stand up on the ship of your own destiny and release the anchor holding you to your stories. You drop the weight that holds you in place. You open to the winds of change.
You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
– Thimber Hawkeye
It takes a lot of courage to stand up to the storm of fears and doubts. To realize that as you set sail on your ship, that there will be those who you leave behind, because they are still chained to their own stories. When I thought deeply about this I thought of Pompeii. The volcano was going to erupt. It had been giving signs of the coming destruction for months. The people who were awake and listening, left the island behind. But so many of the people didn’t believe what they were seeing on a day to day basis. And they left fleeing to safety too late. I am sure that they fully believed the lies they were telling themselves, the false stories about how safety lay in staying – not in fleeing with nothing to their names, to untold dangers. No, for them staying was the only smart thing to do.
You however, face your fears of not knowing how you will steer the ship, or even where the next safe harbor will be. You have the courage to face the fears of the unknown, to face the lies that you told yourself and make the right decision – to face and live through the changes that are coming.
And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through; how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain: When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in . . . , that’s what this storm’s all about.
– Haruki Murakami
There comes a time when you just have to listen to the music of your soul and set sail to the unknown. And so the journey begins.
Storms without a name whip the seas into a fury, winds screaming through torrents of rain.
Waves crashing against the shore, bring in lost and forgotten debris.
Stand tall on the deck of your ship, as the birds scatter beneath the howling winds,
Let it blow away what no longer serves you.
You feel the backlash of empty words with no truth, the shadows are winning.
No sunlight, every battle lost, and shadow is winning. No rescue.
The lack of love, the hunger for life is insatiable, an open mouth that wails to be fed.
You can’t undo what has been done, it doesn’t serve you.
Thunder rolls and lightning flashes exposing what still needs to be released.
Let it go out the door, don’t run after it as if falls off the deck and into the sea.
Feel the weight of the past, as the sounds of the anchor being lifted vibrate through your body,
The anchor being lifted from the bottom of the sea, the sound of your journey echoing onward.
Change, the anchor of our soul, it both drops into the sea, and is pulled back up into the ship,
Change moves us ever forward on the journey, unearthing the destination clue by clue, star by star.
Change reveals the next adventure, the next treasure that we are seeking,
Change reveals the next harbor in which to rest our soul
Bright morning stars, as day breaks open the dawn releasing the light, as it climbs the clear sky,
Light breezes blow as it fills the sails, with the dust blown clear, we see what has been done.
Every color sparkles as it plays upon the sea, as we awaken, transformed once more,
We hear the music of our soul, whispering as the journey begins again, echoing ever onward.
“Do not settle for less than exactly what you want. Your heart’s desires are there for a reason. Chase them. Pursue them relentlessly. Do not lose sight of your goals. They are your very reason for being” – Franki Durban
As a little girl I learned that other people didn’t like you if you were too smart, and knew all of the answers. I learned that if the teacher was wrong, that you couldn’t correct them, even though they were teaching something that wasn’t true. As a little girl I learned that it was safer to be invisible. I learned to settle for what I got and not to ask for something better. It wasn’t that they might say no, it was that they might take back the little I had just got. Even so, deep down inside I knew that I was worth more than I was receiving.
I also learned that those who were supposed to love you, would let you down. I learned that I couldn’t trust them to do what they promised. I learned that even though they said they loved me, I couldn’t trust them. I understood that even though I might know someone my whole life, I didn’t really know them al all. I learned that people that I thought would never hurt me, could and would crush my soul. I learned that even with the best intentions in the world, the people you care about will fall short. And I learned that this had to be ok. I learned to love them for who they were, and not what my expectations of them wanted them to be.
“Some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies” – Sarah Jessica Parker
It took me years to undo the programming of being less, and settling for less than who I am. I decided one day that I wanted to feel alive every waking moment, no longer hiding in the shadows afraid to be noticed. That I wanted to have a passionate life, full of experiences. That I wanted to shape what was left of my life into wonderful memories. That I wanted to be a part of making my own world a better place. No more just existing, but rather celebrating my life by constantly being “all in”. I wanted friends that laughed with me, not at me. I wanted good deep conversations about things that mattered. I wanted to be able to share my dreams and have them ask, “how can I help you?”
“Don’t downgrade you dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny” – Unknown
You are more than enough to go all out, and pursue every dream that you have. Your abilities are not something that you have to hide from, that you have to be scared of. No one should be afraid to be the magnificent person that God made them to be. As Franki said, the hearts desires are there for a reason. It is your very reason for being.
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary” – Jim Rohn
No one should settle for the ordinary, hum drum existence. The habit of working all day to make an employer rich. The habit of crashing on the couch and watching TV until you go to bed – only to repeat it day after day.
“You can’t run away from who you are. But what you can do is run toward who you want to be” – From Ghost, Jason Reynolds
What you will discover in life is that just being smart, attractive, or physically strong is not enough. That being talented and gifted isn’t enough. That degrees in your chosen education are not enough. The will all get you so far and no further. There must also be a spiritual strength to hold you when everything else fails. When life strips away all of your identities you need spiritual strength to survive. You need spiritual strength to develop the capacity to examine the real you that was left lying face down in the mud.
“If you do not work passionately (even furiously) at being the best in the world at what you do, you fail your talent, your destiny, and your God” – George Lois
This is when the new door opens to you. It is not just that something new is entering your life. It is that your life is becoming something new. Then it is important to remember a vital life truth – the way you meet an ending impacts your new beginnings. Release the need for life to be perfect. Demanding perfection makes these life changes irritating, like a scratchy wool sweater it just makes you uncomfortable and frustrated.
Risk the unusual and pursue a dream. Go for more. This “settling” is not what God put you on this earth for. You are not the kind of person who settles. Listen for what is calling your soul. Create intentions that connect you to that calling. Use emotional language in creating your intentions that connect your thoughts, feelings and desires to the souls calling. Create the possibility of focused change and transformation. Honor who you are by saying yes to everything that forms that connection and saying no to anything that distracts from it.
“Words reveal your beliefs and intentions. Actions reveal your character. When they are in alignment, they reveal your greatest life” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
Look at your life in this present moment – What is it that thrills you? If you can’t answer that question in one second it is time to take a deeper dive into how you are currently writing your life story. It is time to reconnect to your heart and soul. It is time to ask the deeper questions. Dig up your old dreams. Why did you abandon them? Do they still stir your imagination?
Trust the timing of what shows up in your life. There always comes a time, when you realize that you have been sleeping through your life. You discover that you have been drifting with wherever the current takes you. It’s time to take the wheel back, and get back on purpose. You have just been given a wake up call. Trust that it is happening for a reason. Don’t push the snooze button and miss the call because you overslept.
“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less” – Kurt Hahn
No more settling. Pursue a passionate life. That is our true destiny. It’s not easy, but it is worth it.
One of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage.
Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away? He demonstrated how true the maxim is that every cloud has a silver lining. Can you think of examples when you went through a dark time only to find at the end that it gave you what you had always dreamed and wanted?
“We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life” – James Van Praagh
Your body knows when you are not living your authentic life, and you will receive a wake up call.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is perspective, not the truth” – Marcus Aurelius
This is where the ability to both look around you, and within yourself becomes important. It doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It just means that you need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey. U-Turns don’t take you all the way back. They just take you back far enough that you can take the turn you missed. Life’s road twists and turns. There are no two directions that are ever the same. So when you complete a U-turn it is just like taking a right hand turn. You can’t truly go backwards, although it seems like it some days. Trying to is very disappointing, as you can’t recreate what we left behind. You changed and so did everyone else.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary” – Michael Josephson
Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. This is what happens when you try to go backwards.
If you do, that is when you know that it is time to listen to the heart. Your heart and soul are like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path.
“Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road. Turn around” – Edgar Cayce
I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I may only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.
I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 40 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.
He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down. I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job. I felt I should have stayed where I was, safe in my comfort zone.
“Sometimes a wrong turn can get you straight to the right track” – Marva Ezzat
We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.
Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.
“Move on. It’s just a chapter in your life. Don’t close the book, just turn the page for a new chapter” – Unknown
So you will fall down. You may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as you take out that compass, listen to your heart, and keep creating the courage in your soul, you will be on the right path. As long as you tune into true north, you can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.
“Life is full of surprises and serendipity. Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success. If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns. Just find your next adventure – do it well, and enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next” – Condoleezza Rice
If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.
“You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you” – Dodinsky
So many of you have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. You spend all of your time “earning” the love of others by being who they want you to be. By doing everything in your power to make their life perfect. You put others ahead of yourself and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way you wanted it to. You are left feeling like a failure, just “not good enough”.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you” – African Proverb
There is a show on PBS called “Home Fires”. It takes place in England during WWII. It’s about a women’s group that contributes to the village and the war effort. In the first season there is one woman whose husband abuses her. Like all abusers he makes every time he loses his temper to be her fault. The real issue at hand for the story line is that he is a newspaper writer who can’t get enough work, so of course he takes it out on someone he is supposed to love.
A few of her best friends figure out what is happening, but at the point in history there really isn’t anything they can do about it. She is too ashamed to admit what is happening. The times that she struggles to fight back, he leaves her self worth in even more tatters. At the end of the first season, one of her friends was successful in getting him a war correspondent job without him being aware of her having a hand in it.
He leaves the village to go to the front, and now his wife has the opportunity to start loving herself and building up her self esteem. The hope being that she doesn’t fall back into the same situation when he returns. One of the underlying contributors of why women stay in abusive situations is that they don’t love themselves enough to gather up what remains of their self worth and self trust, to leave and not look back.
“Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness. Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past. Love yourself enough to move on” – Dr. Steve Maraboli
You may not be in such an extreme situation with your self love, but you only have to listen to the comments you make to yourself, to know that it is something you can still do more work on. When you live your life in such a way that reflects you’re coming in last, you buy into a lie. A lie that loving yourself first will take away from loving others. A lie that says the only way to be worthy of self love, is to prove that others love you first. How could you attract the love of others, if you don’t even love yourself?
“Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible” – Unknown
Trying to in essence purchase the love of others by the self sacrifice of yourself, is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole. You can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from your soul, that begs you to put “love us” first.
5 Things to Quit – right now.
You have the power to choose where you are going. You have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt you most. You have the power to stop hating your body, your personality, and the pieces of you that don’t fit in the square hole. You can start with loving yourself, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”. You can get the truth of the situation into your bones – nobody will ever love you more than you love yourself. It is critically important to your health and happiness – both physical and mental – that you treat yourself right.
“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world” – Lucille Ball
What if for the rest of this year you devoted yourself to loving you more? Your choices will change your life. Make peace with your mirror and watch your reflection change. The loss of judgment in your eyes. The removing of the wrinkles of anxiety across the forehead, that you aren’t good enough. The curve of the smile of self confidence, that says you are amazing and you are rocking that outfit. The glow of inner peace and love that fills your space with light. And – LOL – Best hair day EVER!
Be an original Wild Woman – Shake off whatever is holding you back.
This reminded me of Taylor Swift’s song “Shake it Off” with the lyrics:
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break
And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off”
There are times in our lives where we hear unkind words that have been said about us; where we get those looks of judgment from others as we walk by. When that someone we thought would be our “happy ever after” leaves us. When we have to leave what we love, and move on because what we love is not healthy for us. We lose a job or a best friend. So many things that we have to shake loose and shake off.
All of these situations require us to love ourselves enough, that we remain our own center. That we focus our energy not on looking backwards and fighting to keep the same old way of life, but on building a new life. That we shake off the hurt, the dissapointment, the feeling of abandonment or betrayal. That we forgive ourselves for where we failed and forgive others for not living up to our expectations. Be proud of who you are now.
Decide that your life is yours alone, and celebrate it. Shake off the apologies, the excuses, the blame. Realize that in order to shine, sparkle and glitter, sometimes you need to be cut out of parts that don’t belong, and shine the parts that do.
How can you tell if you still might be in a caterpillar stage of growth? Some questions to think about –
Do I hide my value or discount the gifts that I have for this world?
Am I tightly guarded, afraid?
Do I feel like I am stuck in the mud, unable to move?
Can I see my potential, but don’t know how to unlock it?
Do I feel vulnerable, tossed about with no control?
How long will you allow yourself to remain in this caterpillar stage? Unlike the real caterpillar, we have different phases of transformation. It isn’t a one time thing, go into the cocoon and come out a butterfly for us. We have a mind, body, and soul, which is continually growing and expanding. Which means that we have different levels of transformation and growth.
Each time we feel stuck, we need to enter the cocoon and undergo another change. Each time we realize that we have greater potential than we are using, we need to enter the cocoon and undergo another change.
Taking the caterpillar to butterfly analogy one step further, the caterpillar exists by eating up the foliage of the plants it crawls across. It feeds the caterpillar, but does nothing positive for the plants themselves. Once the caterpillar transforms into the butterfly it now flies from plant to plant and helps to pollinate the plants to bring about new life. It helps in the creation of new life, a truly positive purpose.
In this same way, when we get stuck, hide our value, and become tightly guarded, we are not producing anything positive in the world, but rather we are just using up the resources around us. We are not giving back. We are not contributing.
But when we change, transform and grow, we are then in a space our being open, and sharing our values with the world around us. We pay it forward, because we delight in the joy of giving. We focus on how we can contribute to make the world a better place. We unfurl our wings to move freely in the expanded space of our transformation. We become a new creation, with a worthy cause fulfilling our divine purpose.
This cocoon is the place to enter when we need a breakthrough. Were we excercise the patience to grow and transform. The persistence to follow the breakdown through to the breakthrough. Knowing that the surrender is what leads to the life transformation will produce a new happiness of “we did it”. Bob Dylan said “behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”
So like the butterfly, I know that each time I enter the cocoon I will come out a new creation. That there is some old part of my life, that is outgrown and no longer serving me or the world around me, that needs to end. And in that ending I will, once again have the strength to emerge, and will be transformed in some way to further the unfolding of divine destiny.
Ernest Holmes said, “Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” This time of the year is a great time to reflect back on what transpired for the past twelve months of our life. What happened to the goals or resolutions that you set for the year? Did you achieve them? Did you give up on them? Did you rise up or fall down?
Looking back helps us to see what we want to bring into our life. I trust that I deserve unconditional love. That I can have happiness and success every day in my life. That I can trust my wings and fly. I trust that I am right were I need to be, and that 2016 is going to be an amazing year.
If you look at your reflection in the water, you see of surface of you. But if you put your hand through the reflection, you can see what lies beneath. The question I always ask myself is “why am I doing this to myself? How can I do better?” Through the years of yo-yo dieting I have asked myself this question many times.
It is not the things that happened in my life that define me, but how I coped and adjusted through them, that made me who I am today. Somewhere along the way, weight became a protection. I release that. Somewhere along the way, my will power that had always controlled my life was crushed. I release that. I release the self destructive way of thinking.
Last year about half way through I hired a health coach because I haven’t been successful in losing it and keeping the weight off. So I ask myself “why am I regaining the weight?” The past few months new things have been brought up from the depths beneath the surface and released.
I am working on being a better person, and that includes my body, mind and soul. For whatever reason, the body fights back. So the reflection that I see right now, is showing me who I was. I am reflecting back to it, who I want to be.
I have been listening to all of the talk about Carrie Fischer and what she looks like today, versus almost 40 years ago when they filmed the first Star Wars movie. It is really sad that some of us feel the need to say negative things about how someone looks. Speaking as someone who is overweight I can testify that it doesn’t help me to lose weight. It doesn’t make me feel motivated to do anything positive. It just makes me feel depressed, because it is something that I am working on. I think Carrie Fischer is an amazing woman, who has had her struggles, just like all of us. She is courageous because she does it in the public eye, and says what she thinks. She is my hero.
So what do I do when I see someone extremely gorgeous? I stare, I smile, and when I get tired of holding up the mirror, I put it down
On New Years Eve, my nephew got married in Bullhead City, AZ. We stayed in Laughlin, NV and then went to St George to see my Aunt. We came home Saturday the 2nd, leaving around 1:00 PM and driving back to LA was a nightmare. I foolishly thought that leaving on Saturday would be escaping the crawling traffic on Sunday. The six hour drive took nine hours and would have probably been more if I hadn’t cut off at Highway 58 and cut across to I-5 that way and then down to 118 and home.
I share this because when you are in solid bumper to bumper traffic people seem to lose any manners that they might have had. People were driving on the shoulders, driving alongside the road on the desert, they were cutting people off, honking horns and of course the hand gestures. Every once in awhile I would have to take a deep centering breath because I could feel the frustration, anger, anxiety coming into my car from the people surrounding us. Music has a way of soothing the soul when you are in these types of tense feeling situations.
The other quote I loved and considered for this post was, “music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it a rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.” I went with Plato because of “wings to the mind” and “flight to the imagination”. I love the visuals I get with the words, wings and flight.
The beats in a song are like the heart beating. A steady comforting sound. We hear the beating of our moms heart at conception. We put our ears against our lovers chest and hear the beating of their heart. It is life pumping through our body and soul until the last heartbeat echos off in the distance, and we return to our heavenly father.
There is also a rhythm to music and to beating of the heart. There is even a genre of music called “soul music”. It is a mixture of gospel and rhythm and blues music. It draws your body to move with the music. You might start dancing or clapping your hands, you just have to participate with your body.
When words fail us, music can still transport us up the vibrational scale from the depths of despair back into the nirvana of the soul, where beauty, joy and happiness live. It fills in the emptiness that we feel in our soul and like a string draws the soul up towards the light.
Martin Luther called music, “the art of the prophets” and said “it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Music transcends generations of men. It lives on long after the composer has left the earthly realm. It doesn’t require to be translated like words into one’s own language but exists in all languages.
Think about the musical scores to the movie soundtracks. You can hear the music and your mind will take you directly to the scene in the movie that it applies to. It creates a wide range of emotional responses when you are watching a movie. You can be in another room and practically describe what must be happening in the movie based on the music that you hear. You can tell someone is experiencing great joy and happiness, that someone is dying or has died, that the climax of an action scene is happening, etc…., it can induce goosebumps, tears of both sadness and happiness, and joyous laughter.
It has even been said that “music is the prayer that the heart sings.” I know that there have been many times in my life that music was my only escape from the problems I was experiencing. It allowed me to regroup, put myself back together emotionally and go back into life feeling like things would be ok.
Years ago when my children were young, I would put on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and clean my house. It made the housework go so much faster and not seem like such a chore. So whatever is going on with your life, just know that there is some music to go along with it, or to transport you away from it. You can go into deep meditation or get your party started and rock out your soul!
A caterpillar must endure a season of isolation before it turns into a butterfly. Embrace the time you have alone, it will only make you stronger.
– Steven Aitchison
Life is a journey of learning and discovery. As young children we take in everything we can learn. We are authentically ourselves. Somewhere along the line of growing up, we learn to hide who we really are. To keep ourselves safe. To avoid ridicule. To be the perfect person, so that we will be loved. We have many reasons why we start hiding. But there comes a time in our life, when we realize that in order to be truly happy, we have to transform back into who we really are. We need to become the person we were created to be.
Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.
Transformation gives you the chance to rewrite the story of who you are and who you are capable of being. There are many things in our life that we give negative meanings to. But what if you gave pain the definition that it shows you that which is not for you? This would be a positive thing to know – what doesn’t belong to me or my life. Envy is another word that has a bad rap. What if envy simply shows you things which you may wish to empower in your life? That would be a great thing to know – things I want in my life and can empower myself to obtain.
To be nobody but yourself is a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.
– E.E. Cummings
The being that is forming in the cocoon is no longer a caterpillar. For the caterpillar the past is truly a place of reference. It can no longer live there, because that body is gone. Within the cocoon the caterpillars body literally melted into goo, and then formed a totally new body. As the butterfly’s body grows into its new shape, it becomes cramped as the wings want to expand out. It isn’t a place of residence for the butterfly, so it has to break loose and spread it’s wings and find a new home. Even though everyone who knew you as a caterpillar is expecting you to still be a caterpillar, you can’t go back. You have to fight to go forward, staying true to who you now are.
I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.
– Mary Oliver
The butterfly had to break out of the old place of residence and begin a brand new journey, where everything is experienced for the first time. It must break open its heart to begin this journey, because it has to trust its intuition for flying, for finding food, for making a new home. Literally everything for the butterfly is a brand new experience. You have to have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.
You will know you made the right decision when you pick the hardest and most painful choice but your heart is at peace.
Transformation is a scary business. Because I am a perfectionist, I hate doing something new for the first time. I am doing the best I can with my posts, knowing that I will have spelling errors or grammar mistakes in my writing. I can proofread this a dozen times and the minute I publish I find something I missed. When I sponsor the post, I can’t make any changes, so anything I missed becomes a permanent part of the post. I am living with being imperfect in order to just get the post out there.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
– Steve Jobs
When we listen to our intuition, we are right where we are meant to be. We can impact the people that we share the world with. It may be a tiny corner of the world. Or we could be like a comet and affect the entire world as we fly through the night sky. It isn’t up to us to say how much of an impact we will make. It is up to us to live life as fully as we can. To follow the dreams that have been written in our hearts. To break out of the comfort zone and spread our wings and fly. It doesn’t even matter if we know where we are or where we are going. It only matters that we fly. That we soak up the sun. The we soar with the breezes. And if we can do that, then whatever we leave behind will be sufficient.
“You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…, then you’ll hear the sound of your soul.” Renee Carlino, Sweet Thing
This photo has an amazing story for me. It is a story of how when you set an intention, the universe sets things in motion. It is about waiting on divine timing. It is about miracles. It is all about the heart and soul communicating together in the best possible ways. It is about listening to the heart sing to you about your destiny.
This photo sings to my soul. I first found this photo with another persons caption on it back in July of this year.
I fell in love with the artistry and how the photographer captured so much emotion within the photo. For me it was a spiritual experience. I searched for the photographer and couldn’t find them. I wrote emails to people who had used the photograph asking if they knew who the photographer was, and no one responded.
There are over 18,000 different uses of the this photo and I couldn’t find one that gave credit to the photographer. My business coach who finds things I can’t find, couldn’t locate the photographer either. We continued looking for over six months. I used the photo in July, and again in September, and again in November.
An amazing thing happened in November, when one of the photographers best friends saw the photo and commented on why I wasn’t giving credit to the photographer. I was so excited to finally locate her.
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