Saturday, January 10, 2009
During my reflection time this morning I was remembering advice from a leadership mentor to remember to recover whenever you get hooked. Whenever anyone in this particular leadership group was knocked off balance, angered, or just plain scared, the reminder to recover was given.
Recover, recover, recover, was the chant, which was appropriate in any situation when someone was in a struggle. The reminder was called for whether one was in a physically challenging situation or in the midst of an emotional challenge.
What I love about this simple reminder is when one stops to focus on "recovering", they are instantly present. There is also an intent that is made to stop suffering and to recover to well being.
I thought of this word, recover, right after my abdominal surgery for cancer. When I focused on recovering, I could see myself pain free and well. It was one moment of focus that led to the next and so on and so on. As a result, my recovery was brief. I was back to normal sooner than I knew was even possible.
The recover reminder is just as powerful when used in some sort of emotionally painful situation. For me, emotional pain means I forgot who I really am. Something happens or is spoken that hooks me to fear. The accompaniment to fear is vulnerability. It is a dark place, so remembering to recover guides me back to the truth.
Of course, as with any new habit, it take practice to recover. I suggest whenever you feel yourself in a shaky situation, gently tell yourself to "recover" and allow all that is feared to melt away.
I believe without question, the more we practice "recovering", the more joyful we will be.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Earlier today I was shopping downtown in a funky gift shop called the Shabby Rue with the intention to use a store credit. I like to buy gifts in this particular shop since much of their merchandise is not typically seen in other stores. Since my home decor is more antique and Folk art there typically are not many items I see appropriate for myself.
Today was different, however. As I strolled around taking in the unusual modern design clocks, martini glasses bedecked with bright colored polka dots and unusual shaped vases, my eyes lit on a very simple message. The word was BELIEVE. The word was created by burgundy colored blocks with cream colored lettering. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was it. It was a fit. The colors not only matched my family room, I love what the word BELIEVE does for me.
Every time I see the word, I remember to not doubt. I remember that it is my level of belief that something is possible that helps make it become a reality. I remember that sometimes it is the unseen forces working on our behalf (in which I believe) that conspire to help me reach my goals. I remember that believing is more fun than dreading or holding fear about what might be.
Part of my work in the world is reminding others to believe in themselves. I know when one focuses on believing the truth, then peace and joy will be gifted to those that are open to it.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
One of the most difficult spiritual principles I see many people find to be challenging is that of acceptance. It seems to be considered normal to resist, complain, push back, refuse and suffer when there is something present in our lives that we are not happy with. Of course we're free to do whatever we want, even when our suffering protests do not change a thing.
Occasionally within the stream of our life events, when a problem occurs we have alternative choices that can be made that may remedy a situation. The truth is in many cases there is nothing that can be done to fix an issue or development. In many of those situations it is another person's behavior whom we cannot control. Unfortunately, when these instances occur, we often create prolonged suffering for ourselves before we eventually surrender and accept what is.
A personal story that made this motto come to life for me was during a trip to California. While waiting for my flight to board in Philadelphia, an announcement was made that my flight was canceled. As the desk was bombarded with numerous travelers protesting to the gate attendant, I walked to the nearest service desk and got re-routed on a later flight. Many of my fellow passengers with whom I spent most of the day, eventually did the same ( some on a later flight due to their prolonged protests) and then continued to complain about our delay. Their complaints did not make a new plane suddenly appear on the runway. The snow did not stop. All that happened was those that were unable to accept what is had a miserable day.
Acceptance takes practice. I can say from experience, the more I do it, the easier it gets. Since I prefer to feel good (happy and peaceful ), I do not resist what I cannot change. I surrender to it and float along doing my best to enjoy what is now.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
We have all heard the adage that it is much better to give than receive. Another popular statement is that the gift is in the giving.
I was reminded of this when doing my inspirational reading in A Course In Miracles earlier today. The lesson stated to give and receive are one in truth. What I interpreted this to mean was that if we offer love to a person, then we feel love. If we offer peace or gentleness, that is what is returned to us. By the same token, if we offer our anger, jealousy, resentment or hate, then that too is returned to us. It makes sense, doesn't it?
We may like to believe that we can have peace and love in our hearts, yet we have enemies that we abhor at the same time. If we are thinking hateful and angry thoughts then we will not truly feel peace, gentleness and joy. We receive the blessing of love by offering love. It is by sharing this blessing that it is returned to us. We know this by how it feels. Many of us prefer to think that we are all separate beings and have no relation to one another. The truth is we are all one. We are drops of water in the same ocean. What affects one of us, affects us all. This is why our offering of love and peace to another is also a gift to ourselves.
If you're interested, here's a little experiment. Find someone (it doesn't matter if you know them or not) and connect with them with your heart. Imagine you are sending them peace. Notice then how it feels. What happens to your outlook on the world when it is peace that you are focused on and sharing unconditionally? Repeat often , substituting joy, love, understanding, forgiveness etc.
In today's world where there are many situations that reflect animosity and hate, using the power that we each have to receive peace simply by sharing it, is likely to make a very big difference, one heart at a time.
Monday, January 5, 2009
If you're living an active and eventful life then chances are there are assorted disappointments that will show up from time to time. Disappointments can come in all sizes....little ones, moderate sized ones, big ones and super duper huge ones. The wonderful thing about disappointment is our ability to manage the side effects.
You may be thinking you have no ability to control the level of pain, anger, sadness or anguish that comes with the super duper huge disappointments. You may believe if something occurs in your life that keeps you from getting what you want, then you must react in an extreme sort of way and you must wear the badge of disappointment on your sleeve.
The truth is that although disappointments will inevitably occur for many reasons, our response need not be so predictable. As in dealing with any emotion, we are in control of how we will be with whatever it is that showed up on our screen of life. We do that by being more aware of what we think.
For instance if you get passed over for the big promotion, you may believe that occurred because your supervisor didn't like you. Perhaps you'll think that the person that got the job didn't deserve it and said something negative about you. Maybe you will choose to go down the road of thought that just puts you down and justifies your not getting the job because you're worthless. Any of these sample thoughts are likely to extend your disappointment for an undetermined period of time, keeping you in the role of victim.
Thoughts that can diminish the impact of the disappointment could be something like, "I bet something even better will come up for me", or after seeing who got the position, you might say to yourself "I see getting my masters degree will be helpful to move up in this company". Another thought could be "I did my best in the interview and that was all I could do....for some reason, it was not a good fit".
Feeling disappointment does not have to last. If you've ever noticed a child that doesn't get what they want, within a few minutes they have shifted their attention to something else and are not continuing to suffer the side effects of prolonged disappointment.
So the next time you're disappointed, give yourself some time to feel what you feel and then ask yourself how you want to be with it now. You can hold on to your disappointment or you can let it go and give your attention to something else.....your choice.