The Awakening

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About 2 years ago I felt a spiritual awakening begin to happen within myself.  The process has led to many changes in my life including a change in career and a complete shift in my physical body.  At times I’ve been surprised by what I’ve discovered and other times even delighted at what I’ve been able to learn from all of this.  When you open your heart and begin to pay attention to your intuition, beautiful things can be brought into your life.  But it doesn’t always come easy and there are a few lessons to be learned along the way.  “If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are … a different game you should play.” -Yoda

During a time of transition such as this, you may be stopped dead in your tracks by some unforeseen circumstances and realize that you have to stop fighting so hard against all that is coming at you.  You learn that there is nothing to gain when you blame others for the things that have happened to you and that complaining about frivolous things does more to push people away than to bring them in.  You learn to shed the beliefs that you’ve outgrown and realize that people don’t always do what they say or say what they mean.  You realize that integrity, honesty and bravery are worth the effort and being the better person really does mean something.  It’s a time to assess and redefine in order to discover the difference between what you want and what you need.  If you do all of this from a place of truth, then a rising sense of self-confidence is born and you learn to become more self-reliant and feel more secure in your decisions, possibly seek less counsel from others.  In turn, others may start to seek more counsel from you.

Writing has been my companion on this journey, and I can now look back through the phases of my transformation marker by marker.  When I feel that I’ve hit a new marker I tend to go back and not only read through what I have written, but try and go deeper into the thoughts that were beginning to manifest during that leg of the journey.  If I had not documented this whole journey, my mind would have jumbled the details into a mess just as it has some of the other phases of my life that I chose not to archive.  When you script your testimony you create a memoir for the ages that may have otherwise never been shared.  These memoirs can be kept for yourself or shared someday with your loved ones, that is up to you.  But, writing things down in the moment and keeping a running dialogue with yourself can be extremely soothing and even healing should you need it.  It’s amazing how often I’ve needed my own hand to hold over the last few years.

Every awakening comes in phases.  Some happen suddenly and come to an abrupt end and some last for months or even years coming in waves and you risk being swept up by the current at any time during this often unsettling time.  However, the better the foundation you create for yourself, the more likely you will be to withstand the vulnerability of it all.  Ride the wave the right way and you deepen the learning in a way that can only happen during such an unpredictable time.  It is during these times that going back and reading what you have written during less grounded phases will be a well earned reward.

And sometimes, during these times, the most amazing things can happen.  Suddenly things that have been buried deep or long abandoned can find beautiful renewed meaning.  This journey, after all, is about getting back in touch with who we really are and what we really need to truly be our happiest selves.  The one person who knows the answers to all the questions that you’ve been out there seeking is you.  “Already know you that which you need.” -Yoda

Photo courtesy of my friend Devon Delricco and his fishing boat

 

Taking A Moment

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Pick a version of yourself from the past that makes you feel loved, hopeful, and at peace.  Add as much detail as you want.  Is there someone there with you that deepens that impression?  Let yourself fall in love with the person you were and remember that you are still that person.  Embrace her, take some time for her, and let her be free of all the things that you know are about to happen to her.  I’m glad that younger version of me didn’t know how it was all going to turn out.  Why should we worry her with details?  Let her enjoy the moment.  Life’s best moments are just that: moments.

There’s not much I wouldn’t do to make myself well and keep myself healthy.  You might say I’m having a love affair with myself.  I’m pretty invested in making myself happy, and I’m not afraid to say it.  But a big part of learning how to love myself meant going back and learning to love the younger versions of myself that brought me to where I am today.  I have spent some time thinking about the times that were hard and how they have brought about the most change.  There’s nothing enchanting about sitting idle in a brokedown palace.  There is nothing natural about being stagnant.  Life is about evolving and growing.  By embracing the flow and staying focused on self-love along the way you nurture your soul and create hopeful and peaceful versions of yourself in the present to look back on in the future.

So when you convince yourself that you don’t have enough time to devote to yourself, or that you just can’t take a few minutes away from your busy life to quiet your mind and calm your soul, remember that one day you may need today’s version of yourself to draw on to ease your mind another day.  Take a moment. Make a memory.  You’ll thank yourself later.

“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

photo courtesy of mconnors from morguefile.com

Friend of the Forest

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“Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what things ought to be.” -William Hazlitt

An animal is born in a forest.  It has everything it needs and all it will ever use from that moment until the day it dies.  I don’t think a squirrel ever sits back at dusk and thinks about what it could’ve done with it’s life or all the opportunities it may have missed.  It simply enjoys the day.  Sometimes I envy that squirrel, but other days I don’t.  My thoughts go back and forth when I think of what my life would be without all of this responsibility, all of this abundance.  There are days when I want to freeze my life and just take a day to stop it all from happening.  Who doesn’t?  A squirrel, that’s who doesn’t.  But will a squirrel know some of the amazing experiences I have known or will know later in my life?  No.

There are days when I float through my existence feeling happy to be alive and enjoy running from one responsibility to the next.  I can even brush past traffic jams or small bumps in the road that used to make me pause in frustration.  I feel the growth.  All this hard work has taken me far.  But still, I don’t know if I am truly enjoying this life the way it should be enjoyed.  My perspective has changed, my attitude has improved and my momentum is good.  This promise to be my best self is in full swing and I feel good about where I am standing when I look behind me.  But life throws you curve balls and just when you think you have things under control, the universe will try and teach you a lesson that you are not always ready to receive.

At this point, now that my eyes are wide shut and my mind is widening, I’m able to extract more lessons from life.  There are signs and significance all around us, the trick is to open your mind to let them in.  How we receive information, and more importantly what we do and how we act upon what we learn, is what sets us apart from our animal friends.  When a squirrel runs into traffic only to run back when it realizes it will never make it across alive, it is demonstrating a smart choice.  If a squirrel had the thought pattern of some people, I think we would see more dead squirrels.  They have two choices: run or go back.  I feel pretty confident in saying that they don’t over think the process.  Humans on the other hand, have mastered the art of over thinking.  So, what are YOUR thoughts on being a squirrel?

“It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his perceptions.” -Mark Twain

I would never call a squirrel dumb.  Those smart little things have it made in the shade.

I love this life and I enjoy the abundance I have been granted.  I will continue to enjoy the goodness that I have been handed and be thankful for my life everyday.  But, that is not to say I don’t often pause and wonder what some of these lessons are about that my life seems to be throwing me.  Am I on the right path?  Have I made good decisions?   Will I continue to honor myself and make decisions that will lead me down the best path?

Life is a journey we take alone, but there is nothing that impacts us more than those we meet along the way.  There is nothing more important that spending time with the ones we love.  Even a squirrel would agree with that.

“All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.” -Samuel Butler

Become A Master Of Forgiveness

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Your computer runs infinitely smoother after you empty your junk and clear your cache, or computer’s memory.  Your computer knows that less “stuff” in the way means that more energy can be focused on the important task at hand.  I always enjoy my desk more and feel more productive after I’ve cleaned off the surface of extra papers and “stuff” that I don’t need.  When I follow through and complete the “clearing out” in whatever way it needs to be done, I’m always happy I did.  It feels like a weight or a burden has been lifted and it brings me a bit of peace.

This same principle can be directly related to how we feel about the “stuff” in our lives.  All too often we give up valuable space or “real estate” in our thoughts to the useless junk in our minds that doesn’t serve us and is in serious need of being cleared out.  We tend to hold on to these thoughts and feelings for far too long.  When we feel hurt or wronged it’s hard to let go of the negativity that attaches itself to a situation and gets under your skin.  Be it from a simple, fleeting traffic incident or a deeply rooted issue, our thoughts about a situation or experience can occupy valuable space and keep us from living well and thinking freely and to our highest potential.

So how can we begin to live free of this burden?

The first step to letting go of negative feelings is to validate them.  Take them out into the light, give them a chance to be heard.  Allow them to speak their peace.  Say it, write it, breathe through it, get it out, and let it be done.  This process looks different for everyone.  For some, it can be the validation from another person that can finally allow you to move forward to the next step.  For others, it can be the act of writing it down or letting yourself think it through and giving that thought some time and focus.  The key to this step is to recognize and authenticate the importance of that feeling and give it recognition.  If it has occupied space in your thoughts and brought pain or any other significant feeling or emotion to you then it deserves your respect.  Stop and accept your feeling and allow your spirit to confirm it’s existence before moving forward.  The action of validation is an offering of respect and will lead you to the next step in your journey.

The next step, and the most important part, is forgiveness.  Forgive the feeling you have validated or the person whom has done you wrong or the feeling or situation that has led to this moment.  Forgiveness is a strength we all posses but few know how to truly harness.  Forgiving is something you can learn and master.  No one can tell you how to do it, but if you want to learn, all you have to do is try.  It looks different for everyone, but the end result is the same.

Forgiveness allows you to release the burden and clear your “cache”.  Your mind is now free to let go of the negativity that held your thoughts prisoner and breathe in new thoughts and ideas. When you free your mind of the junk and let “stuff” go, the reward is peace.  The process may seem simple, but the task is hard.

Validate.  Forgive.  Release….. Peace.

Above photo courtesy of hotblack on morguefile.com

myhappypromise

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