Friday, October 24, 2008
Wouldn't it be great to just skate along in life without being held back by fears of all the "what ifs"? Well, that is exactly the dream I have for myself. I know that there is always more room for JOY in life when I fear less and skate along more, trusting I'm not alone.
Last night I had a dream, and of course, I found a message in it. I was in a skating rink, which has always intimidated me since I was a little girl. I felt safe skating on side walks and could even do tricks, but those big rinks scared me. I'm not sure if it was the big open space, the wood surface or all those other people flying past me showing off their skills, but something made me feel very uncomfortable. Since I was always frozen with fear in the rink, I forgot about my skating abilities from the sidewalk and inched my way around, petrified.....and not having much fun.
In my dream I was an adult on skates and I was being held by someone from behind. When I relaxed and let myself be held, I felt confident. At first, I was cautious and then after a short time, my trust grew. As I became more trusting I began to try some fancy moves, still being held by my unidentified skating teacher. My speed would change from fast to slow and back to fast again. After a few times around, I started trying some fancy moves with my feet and found it was even easier to turn corners when I used these moves. I stopped caring how I looked and just had fun. The greatest feel of the experience was that of complete joy and freedom.
The message of this dream to me is that when I relax into the arms of God (Universal love), I can do more than I thought I could. Comparing myself to others or being perfect doesn't matter anymore. Remembering that I am not alone, but am always being held and guided gives me confidence. When I am fully trusting, I can better follow my intuition and find my way around the rink of life with greater ease and enjoy the journey along the way.
When I am relaxed and allowing myself to move through life naturally, I feel good and skatin' is easy.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I often speak of living with JOY, and I do my best to practice ways to live joyfully. To me, JOY is the result of a spiritual focus. It may be love, forgiveness, gratitude, compassion or service to others that create JOY. A close cousin to JOY is FUN.
For as long as I can remember having FUN in my life has been a priority. I create FUN things to do no matter what compartment of my life I am focusing on. I co-create FUN in my work with leading workshops, working with students or in coaching my clients. I make it so it will be FUN to take care of my tasks of....cooking....cleaning.....shopping. I have a FUN attitude about traveling and having new adventures (planned and unplanned). I have FUN talking on the phone.....going to public events.....being in plays. I also enjoy having FUN in my dreams. Whatever may be calling for my attention in any given moment, I am always open to having it be FUN. Typically I am successful.
You may be thinking too much FUN is not a good thing. You may believe that a FUN-lover couldn't possibly meet all of their responsibilities, since serious, hard work is what you must do. You may believe that if you don't suffer then you don't deserve the positive perks of life. Well, my answer is I, and my fellow Fun-lovers, do accomplish many things. The difference is we enjoy most of what we do. We suffer less, complain less, laugh more and enjoy more. I boldly create FUN without guilt or apology.
With some creativity FUN can be woven into every fabric of our lives. What part of your life do you wish would be more FUN? What needs to change in your beliefs about that compartment of life that would make more room for FUN? What would be the outcome of your many roles in life if you had more FUN managing them?
I encourage you to practice paying attention.....play with it......and most of all.....have FUN in your process of creating FUN!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I am repeatedly amazed by the resilience of the human spirit. What I mean by resilience is the organic, natural ability to reconnect with the truth of one's self. Knowing that ones inner strength will not only help them survive a challenging situation, they can triumph in a stronger state than that which they began. The spirit may be stretched, but it's original form cannot be permanently harmed as it grows.
There are countless examples of this type of spiritual resilience experienced every day. We each have had our own personal experiences of moving through daily struggles, health challenges, personal tragedies and sometimes even catastrophes, and not only survive, we are often stronger for the experience.
I recently had a dream where a white Gumby appeared (remember the pliable, stretchable toy from the 60's) to me. Gumby was a friendly sort and was apparently showing up in my dream to teach me something. My pliable friend spoke with a British accent and without question was there to be a supportive friend. When I awoke, after laughing at my subconscious mind's creativity, I wondered about the message.
What I came up with is that if we remember how pliable and stretchable we are as we go through life, the situations that challenge us will be more easily met, allowing our resilience to more easily be exercised. We wouldn't be resisting whatever challenge is before us, but meeting it, trusting nothing is too big for us to move through.
Yes, my friend Gumby's lesson is well taken. I get it. I can meet whatever manipulation, pull, bending or twisting my life's path takes. In fact, it can help me to remember how strong I really am.
One more thing about my Gumby messenger.....he was white, symbolizing purity. This I also understand since our spirits are pure.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The quote "What You Resist Persists" often comes to my mind as I observe myself or someone else avoiding something that creates discomfort, resentment, regret or anger. Remembering this quote is a great tool to keep in your JOY toolbox.
I am currently connecting the meaning of this saying to my procrastination of doing some revision work on the curriculum for Project: Inside Out. Although I love creating the curriculum activities (that is fun for me), I am resisting doing some fine tuning needed before it goes to print. It takes the joy out of it for me. It feels hard. So, what do I do? I resist doing it. Of course, the post-it note for this job is sitting on my desk, constantly reminding me of my resistance. Instead of doing it, I look for anything else that can be done first that I would enjoy more. I make a list of many other things, which I complete one by one, although still feeling the empty feeling of not getting this one job done. Next day.... same story. I have been resisting this task for a month. It does not fulfill me to avoid it. The responsibility persists.
Another common area of resistance for people is in relationships. Perhaps there is someone in your life that you are no longer comfortable in being with. Maybe they hurt you and you are holding resentment and anger towards them. What is being resisted in this case would be perhaps having a potentially difficult conversation. The resentment is not going away, the person that you're upset with is not going away and the discomfort in the relationship persists. It doesn't feel good, yet you resist dealing with it.
If we would just attend to the things we'd prefer not to do earlier rather than later we would save ourselves valuable time and potential suffering at various levels. Our lives would have much more room to enjoy the things we love.
What are you resisting? How will you feel when you have followed through with taking care of it? What might you learn about yourself in your process? How do you want to be in your life....moving ahead with confidence or limited by your own resistance?
Okay, I just inspired myself. I hereby commit to doing the revisions on one lesson plan by the end of the day. Wow, I feel freer already!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I returned last evening from a week-end in Stratford, Ontario where I was part of a group trip with Hamilton-Gibson Productions, our local community theater. The purpose of our visit was to see three plays, Music Man, Cabaret and The Taming of the Shrew. All three productions, although very different in content, were fabulous... giving me much to appreciate.
What was quite evident in using my fine Art of Appreciation is that I must be present and tuned in to whatever it is I am appreciating. Without fully being with whatever it is (in this example, each theatrical production) then I cannot even see all the layers that exist that deserve attention. For instance, I appreciated the theater itself. The seats were comfortable, my view was excellent, the ushers were helpful, and the surroundings, lighting etc. were all beautiful. The curtain goes up and the performance begins....and there is more to appreciate. The set, the special effects, the stage lighting, the acting talent, the singing voices, the beautifully detailed costumes, the orchestra and the story.
Over the course of the week-end I also appreciated the organization and planning it took to make the trip happen, the company of my friends, the delicious food and wine, the quaint shops, my extra spacious hotel room, my easy-to-be-with roommate, the many moments of laughter, the friendly hotel staff and a heavenly dessert (Pavlova) following our last show, to name a few.
When I focus on each of the items listed, my appreciation is expanded. It is as though there are layers upon layers in everything I see, smell, hear or touch. When each layer is fully taken in and enjoyed and appreciated at my fullest capacity, good feelings seem to take over.
The Art of Appreciation is so powerful that when you are able to really let loose and feel the joy of seeing each layer or component fully, you could not possibly feel sad, mad or disappointed at the same time.
So the next time you're feeling a bit low, off center, or just plain grouchy find something or someone nearby that you can fully appreciate. It will surely turn things around. If you're already feeling pretty good, it will take you to an even higher level of appreciation and enjoyment....and that always feels good.