The Spiritual Journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of Love
– Marianne Williamson
Taking action with the collaboration of your life purpose and your personal genius together, is part of being able to listen to your souls voice. This unique collaboration forms your souls fingerprint. When you can see yourself from the souls perspective, you remember what your life’s purpose is. You remember why you came to the earth. Your personal genius is the gift(s) that God gave you to accomplish your life’s purpose with. There is no one else in the world with your unique gifts and skills.
Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who were meant to be in the first place.
Your soul has been speaking to you through your heart since you were conceived. You may in fact remember it from when you were a child, before someone convinced you not to listen to it. They put you asleep, so that you wouldn’t hear it. You woke up the moment that you decided that you were not going to allow your soul to be insulted any longer. When you decided to stop listening to those lies, and accepted that you are a divine gift to this world. You decided to stop just existing, you decided to start participating in life.
The only limits you have are the limits you believe.
– Wayne Dyer
It is when this desire to fully live our lives awakens that we start to seek out more knowledge. Many people will use prayer or meditation as a part of this process. It helps to quiet the mind, so that the soul can be heard. Have you ever had a thought or a dream about something that came true? Have you ever thought about someone and then within minutes they called? Have you ever had “Deja Vu”, that deep feeling that you have experienced something before, when you know that it has never happened before? These are all soul communications. Every experience adds to your personal growth. We begin to release all of the false beliefs that held us in cages. We remove the barriers of judgment of those different from us, that kept people distant. We become curious.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.
– Helen Keller
Now that you are conscious, your souls strong voice can lead you in your journey of transformation. We are all born to be leaders, but sometimes we let life’s obstacles beat us down. We need to learn to be resilient, and then help others to be resilient. What we learn is to stop trying to make things happen in a certain way that our mind has made up, and instead to let things unfold as they are supposed to. We realize that we are on a divine timetable, not a human one. We start to feel the connections to everyone and everything. There are lessons for us if we are willing to be still and watch them unfold in others peoples lives. We see their troubles, their life patterns, their special gifts of the spirit. When we can truly sift away all of the static of judgment away, we see them as God meant them to be. It is so uplifting to see that, to be in that space. It encourages us to try to be what God meant for us to be.
I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there.
– Billy Corgan
Instead of being afraid and running our life from fears, we start shifting into that space of love more often. We let the negative emotions pass through us with less hindrance. We find that anger at the crazy or distracted driver ahead us sort of passes by like a cloud on a breezy summer day. We are not seeking out conflict with others. Those feelings of unrest and frustration that used to gather like a summer storm with thunder and lightning just break apart and disappear over the horizon. We suddenly realize that those tiny frustrations with the kids, our spouse, that person who has the noisy habits at work – we suddenly realize that those negative emotions are less and less. It is like the pressure that they were building up inside of us is just no longer there. The itchy spot no longer is red, swollen, or angry looking. It has faded away.
Spirituality can not be defined, but can be described as a journey to the center of the soul.
– Perter Kemmsies
This doesn’t mean that we don’t have those days when we want to explode. It is just that our attention is no longer constantly being grabbed by it. We find ourselves dwelling more and more in the positive emotional vibrations. We are all born to love everyone we meet. Then fear is introduced to us, and we start being afraid of being hurt, being judged, being less than someone else. So we protectively do that to others, to protect ourselves. A spiritual awakening, or consciousness is stripping away those multitude of fears and putting the acceptance of love back into its place. This is truly living in reality, because our journey has been to lead us back home to our purpose in being here now.
As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination.
The world has been waiting for you. You are a catalyst to help others wake up, and become conscious of their life’s purpose. To help them take action themselves.
We are spiritual beings on a physical journey . . . There are no limitations, other than those that we impose upon ourselves. Mastery is within our power – if we wish it to be.
– Susan Barbara Apollon
This day, let us begin to live our purpose with passion, and give our sacred gifts to the world.
The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
– William James
[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1][lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]
“Nothing is a coincidence. Everything you’re experiencing is meant to happen exactly how it’s happening. Embrace the lessons. Be grateful” – www.livelifehappy.com
“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant” – Horace Mann
The first thing I thought, was well some pretty bad things have happened – how can I just reframe it, to “it’s all good”? I can do it if I can construct a framework that reflects a pattern that strings each thing together, like a string of pearls. Each experience can be examined like an individual pearl. Remember how a pearl is created? It is an object that irritates the mussels, so that they begin putting a covering over the irritation, which becomes a pearl. Mussels do this as part of their defense mechanism. So what kind of covering can you put over every “bad” experience that turns it into a pearl? How freeing is it to think, that you have the ability to cover over any bad experience and make it into something priceless?
“Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live” – Robert Kennedy
Sometimes you can become so enamored with the tragedy, that you drag it around with you everywhere you go. You stand up and testify to how life has done you wrong, and just look at what has happened to you. You proudly present your wounds as though they are medals of honor. What if instead…, tragedy was a tool of destiny to liberate you from the falsehood of fate, which lets fear determine your choices.
What if, … you have a divine blueprint written down in your soul, and now is the time to wake up and start creating the life you are meant to be living?
“There is a force within which gives you life, seek that. In your body lies a priceless gem, seek that. O wandering soul, if you were to find the greatest treasure, don’t look outside. Look inside, and seek that” – Rumi
What if every experience has a purpose and they are all part of the plan? Can you see a way that every pearl that you have on your long rope of pearls, is required and necessary to who you are becoming?
Most people don’t show up in their own lives. We are taught at a young age not to express opinions different than the norm. We are taught that to stick out and be different will just cause us pain and difficulties. So like the turtle, we withdraw into our shell of protection and don’t venture out. What if, … we stopped. What if,… we took off that shell or mask, and stood up as who we truly are?
“A strong woman may remain silent when people talk behind her back. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t notice. It simply means she chooses not to waste her energy on foolishness. She has more important things to do” – Unknown
What if,… the reason the world seems to be so crazy right now, is that we are not showing up as who we truly are?
So, how do we figure that out? Who are we really deep down inside?
“In order to experience the truth of things, you must have a clear mind, be brutally honest with yourself, and make innocence and vulnerability continually accessible, because your perception is always changing and there will always be more to learn and understand and experience” – Amy Larson
One of the most important discoveries I made on my journey with LemonadeMakers is that the vision I saw initially grows and expands as I do. I think that if you could see what it is really possible for you to become, you would not believe it. You would not even set out on the journey, because it would seem too impossible for you to become that person. That is why you are given small visions, that keep growing and expanding. Each time you catch up to the vision, it steps out of range, so that you have to work and grow and expand yourself again and again.
Imagine that it is possible to discover who you really are capable of becoming and being? What your purpose is? To rekindle your passion into a bright steady flame that lights your way. To understand what transforming your life really means? To let go of all of the thoughts, judgments and stories that no longer serve you. As you listen and try to connect to who you are, you get lost. You hear the criticisms, judgments loud and clear, but you miss the compliments in your inner dialogs
Then one day it happens. We notice that we are missing something. We want more. We wake up to the fact that “more” is not more money; it is not a better job; or house, or car. It is elusive, and we may not know what “it” is, but we begin to figure out what “it” isn’t. It is our birthright, and it is what takes our life from “normal” to “greatness”.
Men like Steve Jobs and Richard Branson figured out what that was for them. And while they had all of the things that people think will make them happy, it was the “more” they woke up to, that actually brought them to greatness. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” Martin Buber. They may have started out after all of the material things, but they ended up with the “more”.
Joseph Campbell said , “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” This something else is transcendence. Transcendence happens when we “reclaim the visionary, the utopian, the dream of the better or happier world” – when everything that we touch becomes a prayer.
So how do we discover what it is? We have to walk out the door of the safe comfortable space we have created for ourselves, and we have to walk down that path to the unknown. We have to enter the dark forest. You have to embark on the Hero’s journey. It is how you discover the vast resources that reside within you. A hero’s journey – finding the edge of your unknown forest, and entering into the heart of darkness.
What do you find there? You explore the caves of the past and you wake up to the dreams of the future. You let go of the life of existence, of “go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch TV, go to bed and repeat over and over again”.
Traveling down into the depths of the abyss we recover treasures of life. We recover the dreams we let die; we see that the stories that we have told ourselves about past hurts are not entirely true. We become excavator’s and dig up the bones of the past, and let them blow away like dust on the winds of healing. We see that most of the problems in our life have been mirrors being held up to us, but we were too blind or too scared to acknowledge the truth. By exploring the darkness we become enlightened.
We become curious, our mind opens up to new ideas. Changes begin as we see new worlds to explore that have lain beneath the normalcy of our past life. We see possibilities instead of complications. We wonder. We release. We transform. We heal and become whole for the first time.
We realize that although we were damaged, we survived and that makes us dangerous. Because we now know how to not only survive, we know how to become whole again. We become those that Rumi spoke about when he said, “the wound is the place where the light enters you.” We become both a mentor and a teacher for ourselves.
Being a mentor to oneself with love, light, grace and compassion. Being a teacher to yourself with rage, darkness, fear, and judgment. We are both, and both are required for the heroes journey. Speaking love to overcome rage, speaking light to overcome darkness, speaking grace to overcome fear and speaking compassion to overcome judgment.
“I guess that’s the thing about a hero’s journey. You might not start out a hero, and you might not even come back that way. But you change, which is the same as everything changing. The journey changes you, whether or not you know it, and whether or not you want it to.” Kami Garcia
Check out our current event page, to see when our next webinar is scheduled and join us in learning more about not only the Heroes Journey, but about the entire process of transforming our lives. See Lemonademakers.org/events
“Alice: How long is forever?
White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second”
– Lewis Carroll
Life seems like that sometimes. I remember years ago that we were driving north on I-5 in Oregon and we had just crested the top of a hill around Roseberg. You could see quite a way in front of you as the road sloped down into a valley. Ahead of us was a semi-tractor trailer and he ran over something that looked like shiny metal in the road. Immediately his tires blew and he started swerving and then the whole rig tipped onto its side. For a moment it was like slow motion. I could see so many small details as the whole scene played out like a movie. Then whoosh, time sped back up and my husband was pulling off the road and running back to make sure the driver was ok. The driver was just shocked by what had happened. But for me, it was the weirdest experience of time I have ever had. It was like the rabbit said, forever came in just one second.
“Dare to dream again. For dreaming is the language of your soul, and nothing your soul truly desires could ever be wrong or impossible” – Jacob Nordby
“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
It takes a lot of courage to have a love affair with the unknown. It means that you are constantly learning something new. Each new thing demands that we let go of an old belief. You may think like Alice “this is impossible” but as the Mad Hatter replied, “Only if you think it is.” My favorite line is “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
“May I have the courage today to live the life that I would love. To postpone my dream no longer. But do at last what I came here for and waste my heart on fear no more” – John O’Donohue
It took me years to find the magic of self transformation. Each transformation I go through, awakens me a little more. It is a personal and sacred journey each time. Each time I get curious about something, I know that my soul is sending me a new message to wake up. It’s time to make another transformation, another change, another shift in my life.
I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.
– Joshua Graham
I now know that I no longer have to walk through the dark night of the soul, to transform my life. I think about the experiences in my past, and what I learned going through each experience of death and rebirth. It is the death of something that needs to be released, something that no longer serves me but rather belongs to the old sleepwalking me. It is the rebirth of the real me. The parts of me that I hid deep within. It could be something about myself that I disowned as a child. It could be the dream that I was told wasn’t possible coming back to life. It is the realization that I am whatever I choose to become.
I realized that strong souls are forged living through the fires of hell. That the fire itself is healing, The fires may feel like they are consuming us, but they are refining us. They burn off the false truths that we cling to. Like false messiahs they promised they would keep us afloat, but it was all illusion. They were shown to be false prophets of our subconscious, seeking to keep our souls bound, unmoving in chains. The fires consume the false beliefs, freeing our souls rise up from the ashes like the phoenix. We rise up with wings of faith and soar into a brightly shining divine destiny.
What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.
– Charles Bukowski
While I prefer to live the rest of my life, proactively seeking transformation, I can still honor the forges of hell for the deep truths that they provided. I am climbing up to the top of the next mountain summit, to view the next horizon of transformation. Within each new transformation, there is a pattern that reappears in every persons life. This pattern weaves itself through the tapestry of our life. In one corner we have the scene of our home and family life. In another section of the tapestry we find our employment or career. In another scene we see the health of our physical body, while another reflects the health of our spiritual body.
In all these scenes there is a common thread that winds through. For myself, for years it was the fear of being seen. What is so interesting is that I discovered this thread came from my mother and was actually her own pattern. When I realized that it didn’t belong to me, it was as though the thread dissolved, and could no longer be located in my life tapestry. We all have threads in our tapestry that don’t belong to us. They belong to friends and family. We need to pull and release these threads back to their true owners.
Other common threads or patterns in the tapestry are my own. My fears, which hold me back. They are like the loose hairs that thread and wind themselves into your laundry. The fears wind around and through the patterns of the cloth. Have you ever taken a item of clothing out of the dryer only to find stray hairs wound into the fabric of your clothes? It isn’t part of the material, but it somehow has wound itself into the material. When you pull on it, it will break, but it is really hard to get all of the hair out of the material. That is what these patterns of fear are like. We pull at them, and break them up. But there always seems to be a part of them still there.
I have a need to be all on fire, for I have mountains of ice about me to melt.
– William Lloyd Garrison
There are also “not enough” threads which are the spaces were the material creates these little pills – the thread gathers into these little knobs, which affect the look of the item. They are formed from abrasions in day to day life. Places where we felt judged, not appreciated, ill-used. These “not enough” threads get created from stories we have told ourselves all of our lives. These stories, although we would swear are true, are in fact illusions. When we get curious and start examining why we are rubbing our life the wrong way, we are able to shift these stories. When patterns are broken, we transform the chaos into new beliefs. Beliefs of being strong minded; strong souled; strong bodied; and strong hearted. An awakened soul.
The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
– Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
The reason people awaken when they do, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul. They wake up to the fact that they are no longer owned by the desires outside the body, but have awakened to their true nature. Their heart is on fire, and they burn off the chains that have been holding them in place.
Be true to life by being true to your purpose. As you become present and thereby total in what you do, your actions become charged with spiritual power.
– Eckhart Tolle
We are in fact spiritual beings, that are awakening to our purpose in becoming human. We turn inward to remember why we are here and what we came to do.
Go, knock at the door of your own heart.
That is where you start looking for your answers. Enlightenment is a destructive process because we have to let go of things, stories really, that we have told our sleeping selves were true. With each awakening we leave behind something or someone. It takes courage to tear down the stone walls that we built to keep ourselves asleep. Those stones were hidden deep within us, like unseen anchors they held us in place. With enlightenment, we begin cutting through the iron chains with a sacred energy that comes through our divine connection. Heating up the links until they snap apart, setting us free.
It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
– Marianne Williamson
By realizing who we are at our deepest level, we find our personal genius. That unique gift that the divine gave us, is like the fingerprint of our soul. No one else has the same personal genius that we have. Each personal genius is required to fulfill their life purpose and ignite their passions into action. We are all like individual puzzle pieces sent to the earth to fulfill a divine purpose. That we why some of us feel the force of Rumi’s words, “do not go back to sleep.” Because the world is waiting on each of us to fulfill our divine purpose.
This Universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.
Transformation, is a process. If we fail to involve all of the steps in the process, what we end up with is temporary change. We change for a few weeks, or maybe a few months, but eventually the rubber band of will power will snap and we will return to the previous habits and lifestyle. Change is temporary. Transformation is required to truly shift our life, our DNA, into a totally new being. With each one of us that awakens, our gifts bring us one step closer to universal peace and harmony.
Behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire.
– Paulo Coelho
So be curious, and take that first step down the path to awaken. Then be curious and take the next step to enlightenment. Then be curious and take the next step to transformation. Then be curious and take the next step to the next horizon. Then be curious and awaken just a little more. Get curious and become even more enlightened and transformed again and again.
The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.
– Joy J Golliver
[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1][lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]
I have had on my desk for several years a large rock on which is inscribed, “It is not the destination, It is the journey”. We think that accomplishing our big dreams or goals in life is the point. But really that isn’t true. There will always be a new destination, dream or goal. It is who you become on the way to the destination. Every daring adventure is really all about the transformation.
Our brains will try to convince us not to go on the daring adventures. It will insist that we have limitations. It will try to close us off from transforming our life. It tries to convince us that transformation will affect our very survival, that we can’t exceed the boundaries that it deems by logic to be safe and secure for us.
Getting our brain and heart to effectively communicate is a difficult process for most of us. Take the analogy of the shoreline here in the photo. The sand is the logic of the brain. The waves the emotions of the heart. There is a point when the waves come up against the sand and they blend together. That is the space that we are looking for, in having this internal conversation between the logical brain and the emotional heart.. That moment of overlap in which the different perspectives can be viewed. A unity of understanding can be achieved in that moment of overlap, when the two meet energetically – the influence of chaos from the emotions with the logical rigid mind, which is demanding that we stick to the known rules and do not go exploring.
This is one of the things that we will be exploring in our upcoming seminar on “Living A Transformational Life”. There is a wide difference of meaning between change and transformation. When we change our lives, the majority of times it just doesn’t last. We go on a diet, lose the 20 lbs and then less than a year later, the 20 lbs has crept back on. Change is primarily achieved with willpower. The problem with will power is that it is short lived. At some point the rubber band that we have stretched out snaps back or breaks. Then we are back to square one in the changes we had made.
Transformation on the other hand, alters us to the point that we no longer have the option to return back to what we were before. Once the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis it can’t return to the caterpillar’s body, no matter how much it might want to. The transformation process has altered the DNA and physical form. There is no way to return to that old body.
Some of the concepts that we will be exploring with the webinar are the acronym of FACES, being: Flexible, Adaptable, Coherent (resilient), Energized and Stable. It is about creating opportunities in the sea of potential, and seeing the potentialities on the plains of possibility. About movement, about flow, and the charge of being truly alive. It is about collaboration through creating harmonies out of differences. Like the waves upon the sand, we will come together honoring the differences in our lives. We will be linking the brain and heart together to create something new and different for each of us.
Is your life a daring adventure? Come to our webinar and learn how to disolve the boundaries that have imprisioned you off from your heart and souls desires. Listen to the words of William Ward:
“The adventure of life is to learn.
The goal of life is to grow.
The nature of life is to change.
The challenge of life is to overcome.
The essence of life is to care.
The secret of life is to dare.
The beauty of life is to give.
The joy of life is to love.”
Ask yourself some great questions: Where are you now? How do you feel about it? Where do you want to go? How would you like to get there? In what manner are you now traveling there? What steps can I take?
“Always believe something wonderful is about to happen . . . ” – Unknown
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings” – Unknown
“When the world says give up, hope whispers try one more time” – Unknown
But what you are going to do is not really mending your heart.
“Just like the butterfly, I will awaken and emerge a new creation. I will spread my wings, take flight and discover my new world” – Sheryl Silbaugh
“A woman’s strength isn’t just about how much she can handle before she breaks. It’s also about how much she must handle after she’s broken” – Unknown
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” – Seneca
“A wise girl knows her limits. A smart girl knows she has none” – @getlanded
Every day we have a choice. We can live in fear or move forward in faith.
– Billy Cox
What does it take to realize the visions and dreams our of soul? It takes faith as Billy said, but it also takes making that faith become real with a solid belief. That belief then needs to move us forward. It takes action to start implementing steps that move us forward with the faith, that we can make it a reality. As we take action, we develop practices and habits to change from where we started. These actions propel us forward to where we want to go.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
– Pamela Vaull Starr
Dreams create transformation in our life. As we bring our dreams into reality, it requires change. Some changes come about from letting go of what no longer serves us. Some changes come about by stripping away who we thought we were, to become who we really are. As the saying goes, “How does one become a butterfly? You have to want to fly so much, that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
Dreams are . . . illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.
Since the road of life is not a long flat road, but has hills and valleys, it also will take perseverance. This is because we will run across obstacles on our road. Some things we can take a detour around; some things we will have to break out the tools to build a bridge over; and some things will require that we climb up and down the mountain. So to perseverance of not giving up, we also need to add in patience and time, because at least for me everything takes longer than I think it will.
Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath, try again.
All of these things are required, because at every turn and obstacle fear is going to try to tell us to stop. That this is not working. That this dream is too big, too much for us to accomplish. That look how far we have come – we can rest now and this will be good enough. Fear will try everything it has to get us to just be happy right where we are.
Carl Jung adds another piece to the picture that we are painting about dreams.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
– Carl Jung
Daydreams are outside dreams. What they call “pipe dreams”, because they are so untethered. Pipe dreams mesmerize us, as they float by. They keep us asleep.
Dreams are answers to questions we haven’t figured out how to ask.
The dreams of your soul are a totally different kind of dream. They are the DNA of your soul, the blueprint of what you have been divinely gifted with to achieve in this lifetime. But in order for us to birth these dreams, and raise them up into the reality of this world, we have to wake up. We have to become aware. That is when our life starts to have true meaning. When we awake to our life’s true purpose. God speaks to us in dreams. Dreams of the whispers of the soul.
Dreams are the guiding words of the soul.
– Carl Jung
That is what made Martin Luther King Jr. speech about “I have a dream” so powerful. The moment he put down his notes and spoke from his heart, the dream he had been given by the divine came through with such crystal clear clarity that it grabbed the soul of the world. It was a powerful dream and even though he has passed on from this world, every year we remember this dream. And even though he is not here to bring it into the full reality of what it can and will be, it is still progressing. This dream has perseverance. It keeps on going and it will keep going until it comes into full reality.
Trust in dreams for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
– Kahlil Gibran
We all have a dream inside of us that is just as powerful and just as necessary to this world. Please, please don’t let the dream die with you. Bring it out of your heart. Add the faith, the belief to know that you can change into who you need to be in order to make it a reality. Know that it will take perseverance, that it will take patience and time, but you can become the person that you need to be to make it happen.
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.
– Mother Teresa
I look at my own journey with LemonadeMakers and I can tell you that this dream has changed my life. That it is constantly challenging me to make more changes to become the person who can not only hold this vision and dream, but to become the person who can shout it from the mountain tops and be heard around the world. If we all join hands, and collaborate together to change ourselves, we will change the world.
So many dreams at first seem impossible. And then they seem improbable. And then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
– Christopher Reeves
[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1][lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]
“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.
[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1][lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]
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.
[lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1] [lp-logic ids=”3473″ limit=1 use_content=1] Content to use [/lp-logic]