Friday, December 26, 2008
As a life coach I have the privilege to witness and partner in astounding discoveries on a regular basis. The discoveries of which I speak are not of a new planet or cures for diseases, but the discovery of self.
What a thrill it is when someone has the courage to look at themselves deeper than their skin...to look beyond their intellect and their experiences....to see who they are is not where they were born, or the level of money and privilege they may have had. To discover self , the true self, is to get to know one's spirit, which cannot be adequately described with words.
The discovery of self creates a feeling beyond anything one may have imagined. It is a joy that can exceed any previously experienced. The simplicity of the discovery is mind blowing. It is the route one takes to reach that point that can be confusing and challenging.
Imagine this.....the true self is always present, deep inside each of us. We may not have noticed it's presence, but the beautiful gift of who we are is eternal. As our true self exists without our awareness, we live our lives trying very hard to prove our worth and value. In this process of working to be our best, we sometimes lose hope of truly being happy. We become fearful that we may not learn the secret of lasting joy. We examine our lives and all of our accomplishments and think..."Is this it? Is this all there is to life?"
As we work hard at being who we think we should be, our true self is patiently waiting to be discovered so all mysteries can be solved. This beautiful discovery does not mean that one must make a drastic change in their relationships or work. It does not mean that they will no longer contribute to the world by sharing their gifts. It does mean, however, that which was once believed to be necessary to be happy, no longer has the same importance. It means that they no longer see themselves as separate, less than, or better than anyone else. They see the oneness of life and know they are a part of it.
This dramatic discovery of self can connect one to what is truly important. It can help one to live life with passion, purpose and love and without fear. This amazing discovery can suddenly make sense of why we're all here in the first place.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
On this Christmas day many of us share joyful experiences in church, parties, special meals, gift giving, travel and basically spending time with those we love. The stage is set for joy. How could one not be joyful on this special day of celebration of the birth of Christ?
Although I have enjoyed very positive experiences for most Christmases, there are many whose life situations do not allow them to feel the joy of the season. On the contrary, there are many so ensconced in the difficulties they face like joblessness, financial debts, health issues, relationship problems, addictions, etc, suggesting they have joy on Christmas day might feel like a slap in the face. While living out their challenges day to day, their focus may simply be on surviving, putting joy on the shelf until they have a job again or money in their pocket, an absence of health problems or a healthy loving relationship.
It seems to be a great challenge for those in a state of overwhelm, to look within and feel the truth of peace, rather than put all of their energy into simply surviving the storm. When one is able to actually feel peaceful in spite of their current situation, they learn they are more powerful than what they believed. They have the ability to feel joy unconditionally.
The practice of simply quieting the mind can help each of us live in a state of unconditional joy. Feeling joy regularly can lighten your perspective and create hope where only desperation and hopelessness once lived. When that is true...anything is possible.
A challenge? Yes! Possible? Definitely! It can begin with your next thought.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Tis the season for good tidings and wishes for peace, love and joy.
I received a lovely Christmas card this week stating this was the season for love. I took a deep breath when I read it, but not because it warmed my heart. I felt kind of sad that this author believes love has a season. Now I know people do tend to show outward signs of love more this time of year than what they may normally do with gift giving, kissing under the mistletoe, giving to charities etc, but love does not have to be confined to the four weeks or so between Thanksgiving and New Years.
I'm not complaining that people tend to be more attentive to one another and show their appreciation with gifts and gift cards, but come on.....can't we extend the season? Can't we continue to soften our hearts to one another past January 1? Can't we be cheerful and outwardly kind to our co-workers after all the office parties are over and the decorations have been put away? Can't we feel joy when we hear music where the lyrics speak of miracles in the summer time? Can't we toast one another at special family dinners and set our tables with the good china in August? Can't we appreciate and celebrate the oneness of all and feel love as we share it all year round?
Well here's my response.....I hereby officially declare the season for love to extend to every day of the year. This does not mean you must give gifts every day....unless you want to. You need not send cards to those you love all year round.....unless you want to . This declaration simply would be a call for everyone to remember love does not have a season. It costs nothing and is painless to share or receive. Love is abundant and will never run low....there is enough love in the world for each of us to be filled with joy and happiness every moment we live.
As citizens of the world, I call you all to revolt and to love everyday. Give and receive love freely and watch what happens to our earth and all that inhabit it.
Would would be different in your life?
Monday, December 22, 2008
I think we have all experienced times when we felt we were on a roll. Sometimes it's a negative roll where nothing seems to go our way. Other times, it is a positive roll, where every detail seems to work out in our favor. Today was one of those positive roll days for me.
There was nothing extraordinary about my day, although it was delightful. It began with a hot cup of fresh brewed coffee, reading a couple of sweet emails from friends, my meditation time, a workout to my Latin dancing DVD, catching up with some details at home, a two hour relaxing facial, a visit and gift exchange with a good friend, running into two old friends I haven't seen in 10 years, and then an effortless grocery shopping trip (in the midst of Christmas chaos).
What I could clearly see in my day's experiences (and it is not over yet) was that I felt great all day. My lineup of activities were those I chose to do and fully enjoyed. As I moved from one thing to the next, my gratitude grew. As my gratitude grew, so did my joy. I carried a feeling of lightness which I believed then helped create the next lovely event.
There is no question in my mind that I create my own experience. Although I may want to blame someone else when things don't go well, I know how I am being and feeling affects what shows up.
Perhaps we notice this more readily when we're on a negative roll and one thing after another goes wrong. If you have ever noticed when something occurs that annoys us, which in turn will contribute mightily to a darker mood, it will almost seem like we are walking around with a storm cloud over our head. Naturally, if we're carrying around a dark storm-like energy, more darkness will come forth.
In my bright series of experiences of today, my beliefs were reinforced. I (and you) are so powerful, we can create a day filled with joy filled occurrences....or not. Since we have a choice on which way we would like to live, why not have it be on a positive roll?
Sunday, December 21, 2008
There's only four days until Christmas and the rush is on. Many people are still scurrying around town looking for the perfect gifts, picking up the special foods for their holiday meals, decorating their homes and trying to fit in all of the parties. The feel can certainly be stressed as everyone rushes from one place to another. The alternative can be to slow down and tap into peace and joy.
What makes the difference between operating from stress and anxiety or peace and joy? I've operated in both arenas and I know what causes stress is when my tasks are done with the objective of doing "it" a certain way, and with the hope that when the gift, the meal or the party is perfect, then I will be rewarded with joy. In other words, my joy would be dependent on the reactions of others. The harder I worked at making things perfect, the less peace I felt. Year by year, I seemed to be getting this lesson learned, but still I would get caught in the trap of handing over my joy to others. I realize I took it upon myself to create the perfect Christmas for everyone...not sure why.....it might have been in something in the egg nog served at Thanksgiving, since the rush always started a day later.
The alternative of the stress and anxiety is peace and joy and is clearly an inside job. I may still shop for gifts, prepare special meals and host parties, but now I manage to do it from a calmer place within me. It's lovely when those with whom I celebrate the holidays enjoy what it is I have done, but my joy is not dependent on their reaction. I have taught myself to enjoy the process or don't do it.
There is so much to enjoy around this time of year. By simply slowing down the pace and becoming more deliberate and present with all that is happening, peace and joy will show up. Actually, they never left. They're always inside you waiting to be discovered.