Glimpse Into My Day

Today has been a wonderful day of happy surprises and beautiful things. First and foremost, my best friend from way back in the fifth grade is having a VERY special day today and I couldn’t be more tickled. Only thing that would have made it better would be if I could have been there .

Before my day got started I had a few conversations with friends both old and new, as well as getting to hear a voice that always makes me smile while having coffee.

My day is being spent gloriously happy. I’m editing my poetry book.

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I got an early delivery of a massive amount of acrylic paint to further explore my newfound painting method, which someone was sweet enough to surprise me with. I have more paint sitting here which was gifted to me by my sister, but I won’t be unboxing that until she is here visiting. Can’t wait to see them! Last night I came across a fantastic sale on canvases and ordered a batch of 20- 16×20″. So, be prepared to see a lot of new art posts in the near future.

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Last but not least, I ordered some flowers last week from a local florist and she called to let me know that they were in. I’ve been craving a big bouquet of peonies and hydrangeas for the past few years and decided to treat myself.

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Now that I’ve gotten all of the deliveries in the door, it’s time to get back to editing. Just thought I’d share a glimpse of my day with all of you. Hope that you are having some happy moments of your own today.

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What Does Your Mental Diet Consist Of?

Many of us are fairly aware of and put some thought into what types of food we put into our bodies, whether we make changes or not. What about the material we feed our minds with though? We are exposed to a great deal of negative material on a daily basis. The thing about it which disturbs me the most is that so many have become desensitized to violence, negativity and hatred. Even further, many have adopted it as a normal part of their own interactions with the world at large.

I stopped watching the news for the most part years ago. I try to take a quick glimpse at headlines now and then to see what might be happening in the world so that I know where to send loving thoughts and energy, but otherwise I avoid the news. For a long time, I was in the habit of watching it daily and after a while, found it too disturbing/depressing. It was impacting the way that I viewed the world and the people in it-and I didn’t like it. Getting rid of the news habit was a good move for me mentally and spiritually. It eliminated a great deal of stress and feelings of fear/distrust when I stopped consuming a regular diet of “what is wrong” in the world. I’m not asking you to agree with this-just sharing something that was better for me personally.

Now, I find myself at another crossroads when it comes to my mental diet. Lately I’ve been increasingly avoiding one particular social media site due to the amount of negativity, violent attitudes, and hate speech that is becoming more and more common. Each time I sign in, I find myself cringing at the amount of hatred that I see being disseminated. It isn’t that I think that it’s wrong to dislike something or the way that a person conducts themselves. What is becoming too hard for me to swallow is the way that our society has seemingly confused voicing an opinion and being outright hateful and sometimes threatening.

The questions that all of this raises in my mind are these:

Have we become so accustomed to this type of speech and behavior that it has become the new norm?

If this is true, what can we do about it?

I realize that I cannot change anyone other than myself. So, the conclusion for me is to eliminate another source of disturbing material from my consumption. It is my belief that what we focus on becomes our reality, and what I’ve been seeing on an ever increasing basis in my feed is not acceptable for me as a reality. So, my quest is to find the best solution in making sure that I will be exposing myself to the material and people who feed the loving and joyous parts of me-that are catalysts for positive change as opposed to dissension.

I’ve been asking myself more and more lately about my intake, actions and thoughts to see what changes need to be made in order to create a more positive and compassionate world. I’ve found several things which I’m working with now, and am looking forward to the shift of my personal reality as I continue making these discoveries and changes.

The reason that I’m writing about this is to help create more awareness around what we are feeding our minds with on a regular basis. Simply ask yourself if the things which you are exposed to on a regular basis make you feel positive or negative. You will gain incredible insight as to whether your mental diet is a healthy one for you. This isn’t about finger pointing or judgement. It isn’t my job or desire to do that. One of the things which means a lot to me, and always has, is the importance of bringing people together. It is our thoughts and mental attitudes which have the greatest power to accomplish this, and that is what this post is about.

 

 

 

 

 

Make A Wish

When thinking about bringing our dreams to life, a key part of making this happen is the spirit in which we pursue it. Often, what we believe or disbelieve about an outcome is exactly what happens…positive or negative. As a dear friend of mine said the other day…like attracts like.

Yes, it is true that we do not get everything that we ask for. At times, even when we do get what we ask for, it comes about in a different way than we had imagined. Though it might seem hard to believe, when things are difficult, we are still very much loved. Sometimes what love does is help us to make it through our trials with more ease, without taking the trial away. We often think that if someone were listening to our prayers or wishes, that everything we request should be delivered.

Deep in our hearts, we know that having our requests met isn’t the same as being loved. A good example would be to think of a young child who is asking to climb out onto a steep roof to look at the sky. Out of love, we would tell the child no. They may feel as though we are being mean to them or denying them a fair request, when in reality we are saying no because we love them too much to allow them to risk injury or worse.

Sometimes though, we do get what we ask for, and in the past few weeks, I have been seeing real results from practicing more trust in the universe when it comes to manifesting wonderful things. What I’ve been learning is that when I ask for what I need and desire without having concrete expectations of how it is going to look-well, that’s when great things happen. When we simply practice gratitude for the things which we desire coming to us, without thinking about how unlikely it might seem, it really is more likely to come to pass. That voice of doubt that lives in all of us has the power to turn into self fulfilling prophecy. The opposite is also true.

This type of thought change doesn’t happen overnight, and I realize that. Hell, I lived in a place of doubt and fear for a few decades. When I write pieces like this, it isn’t me being preachy or passing judgement on anyone. The reason that I share what I learn and see is to encourage those of you who are going through a difficult time. I’ve been there, and I do what I do because I know how hard it can be to break old patterns. If you do not agree with me, there’s no offense taken. If you don’t believe that the things that I’m writing about can happen to you, there’s no offense taken there either (but it is my wish that someday you will believe that you deserve for good things to happen and that it is possible).

When you read what I write here, please do not feel as though you have to defend your position which may be different than mine. It is your right to feel differently. If it is your belief that I am completely wrong, that’s perfectly okay with me too. My words are meant to encourage you to keep on trying if you are seeking more peace and contentment within yourself and share tips that have worked in my life or in the lives of people that I know. Your ways may be different than mine which is perfect…because if it works for you, that’s the goal. Your experiences with how you’ve created and manifested positive change could inspire others and me too, so please feel free to share them here or on the Facebook page.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

 

 

 

Inside Out

There has been a lot going on in the world, and with people. To say that there has been a lot of disturbance would be an understatement. This is not an easy time that we are living in. It is a time of great change. The shifts that are going on are epic. Not only are we seeing and feeling it as people, but the planet itself is shifting. We have reached a time in our history which many would describe as a crossroads.

Think that I’m going to go all gloom and doom here? While it might seem like it, by the time you reach the end, you’ll see that I’m not. Yes, this time is difficult. Yes, there are a lot of things happening which at times feel crushing and scary. Trust me, I feel all of that too. The more that I think about it though, I keep reaching the same conclusion…and it keeps getting affirmed and fortified. We have finally reached the time in which business as usual no longer works. What does this mean?

It means that our ways of thinking…our ways of doing…our ways of reacting have to change. As a matter of fact, they are changing with or without our permission. We can choose to be a part of the process, rather than letting it happen to us. The things which we’ve been conditioned for so long to see as priorities no longer have a place at the top of the list right now, because the very foundations that these priorities were built around are crumbling. We see it in our economic systems…in our ecological systems…in the ways that desperation and fear seem to be more and more dominant. Change is here.

As human beings, the changes need to happen from the inside out by reframing priorities, being more conscious and present, shifting to a space inside in which we begin to understand that all of these things which we simply feel we must have are mere things, that love and compassion are the keys. How in the world are we going to know more joy, more health, more quality of life if we remain enslaved to our material stuff and get swept away in the waves of fearĀ  which are washing through our societies? When you look at the increases in violence, hate, indifference…this is all fear. Fear of the uncertainty we are all feeling as we watch things grind to a halt…as we realize how little control we have.

With everything going on around us it is becoming more apparent that our outer selves…our outer lives…are a reflection of what is happening inside. Now more than ever, the focus on the external which we’ve all become so comfortable with…well, it is no longer comfortable. The choice, as far as I see it, is to get swept up in the fear and discord…or to turn our focus inward…to work on looking beyond our differences and difficulties…and to finally get to the heart of what matters. And what matters is so simple.

What matters is love, the interconnectedness of all life, compassion, caring about the big picture and the consequences of our actions on others. I am not advocating a life of monastic selflessness…not digging out my hair shirt, or asking you to grab your own. The first step begins within each of us. When we turn our lives around from the inside out…this is when the magic happens. When things are right from the inside…how can the outside do anything but react to reflect the inside? To put all of this simply, we each have it within our capability to decide what we are going to reflect outward into the world.

While this time presents a lot of challenges, it is also presenting a tremendous gift…and that gift is the opportunity to rise to the occasion by hearing the call for acceptance. To stop fighting and bucking, and make the shift toward love and unity.

 

Holding Onto Your Power

Giving away your power is easier than many people realize. It can sneak up on you in the most innocent looking of ways. Many people mistake the giving away of power for compromise. The two are very different, but sometimes due to upbringing or manipulation, the mind sees the two as being the same. The dangers of giving up your power are many. It steals self-confidence, causes people to question their every move, creates situations in which people live their lives being someone other than who they are because it feels easier than standing their ground, growth is stunted, and sometimes it makes it all too easy to give away the responsibility for your own life and actions.

A compromise would be a situation such as having dinner plans with a friend or partner, and having them ask if you can do something else because they just saw an ad for something that they have been dying to do or see. There’s no harm in changing the plan for the evening to do something that they are obviously so excited about.

Take the same situation. For the fourth time in a row, this person asks to do something other than go to that new restaurant that you’ve been wanting to try. See the problem? If you continue to allow them to change the plan and dictate what is happening, you are giving away your power. Obviously, your wishes are not important to this person on some level. They could be self-centered, or it could be even worse…they could be a controller. In either case, the air needs to be cleared because you are now on the slippery slope of sending the message that you aren’t deserving of consideration.

The above is just a simple example, but as you can see it doesn’t take much for the balance to be tipped. It is not possible for a person to make progress on their own journey when someone else is always in the driver’s seat. You may have been taught that nice people allow others to make the decisions…that it isn’t a big deal if you are always giving in to the desires of someone else. This is one case then your mama was wrong…if she was the one who taught you this. Before you know it, you will be seeking the approval of someone else before taking any action and you know on some level that this isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. It could go even deeper. Maybe you had a childhood in which the only way to retain some form of safety was to stifle your thoughts, desires, and emotions.

Okay, so it might seem easier to let them have their way than to engage in an argument. At that very moment it might be. We all know that fighting sucks. If that’s what the relationship is like however, don’t you ever wonder why in the world they are in your life in the first place? There are all kinds of reasons that can be presented. I know that, and at the time it might just feel like the right thing to do because it could be one of the most important relationships in your life. There will come a time though that you will find yourself with the full realization that maybe it shouldn’t be.

I had also mentioned giving away your responsibility for yourself. Even though it doesn’t feel good to be there, it isn’t hard to find yourself in the victim role. Once you get there, it is a daunting task to make your way out of it. Let’s face it, when your power has been handed to someone else, it is impossible to truly work toward making your dreams a reality…because the person who is in control is the one who decides what is a worthy effort. The manipulators love to plant seeds of doubt and fear. When that doesn’t work, they can and will stoop to intimidation or gaslighting.

If you find yourself in a position like this, the worst thing that you can do is blame yourself for letting it happen. To do so would just reinforce the belief that you aren’t capable of being in charge of your own life. It can be a long road, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Sometimes it isn’t possible to make it all better overnight. The important thing is to begin taking little steps to take back your power. Start asserting your right to decide some of the things that you will be doing together. Start asserting your right to have some time for yourself that is yours and yours alone.

It is important to state something which might be obvious, but needs to be said. If you are in any physical danger, you would not wish to do any of the above. If this is the case, it is important to enlist the help of friends and/or law enforcement to get out of the situation. Someone who is physically abusive is not going to cooperate with any effort that you make to be independent.

When walking in your own power, you may initially lose some relationships and you may end up with less relationships as a whole once all is said and done. This can feel scary, but it’ll be okay. Once you are comfortable being fully yourself, good relationships will stay in your life and new ones which are healthy for you will naturally be attracted. Hang in there. Things will get easier…one step at a time.

 

When Did This Happen?

Something hit me last night. It hit me so hard that I am surprised that I didn’t wake up with a hand print across my face. The realization which popped up, and that I’m really having a hard time dealing with today, is that somewhere along the way my inner child has been buried beneath layers of seriousness, sorrow, doubts, negative messages which I’ve allowed to seep in, and who knows what other kind of muck.

No, this isn’t me scolding myself over what I think that I should be doing. This is me saying that if I don’t get an infusion of fun into my life and soon, I know that it isn’t going to be good mentally, spiritually, or physically. Last night, sleep eluded me as I tossed and turned wondering what in the hell I was going to do to fix this.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty despondent and still confused about what I was going to do to remedy my situation. Well, this afternoon as I sat here finishing up something that I’ve been working on, the answer came. To be honest, right now I have no desire to get involved in group learning events…that’s more seriousness. It isn’t that I have lost my desire to learn. That will never happen. It’s just that what my heart needs at this does moment cannot be found within the walls of a class or serious on topic meetup group. I can study on my own. I’ve always excelled at that anyway. Not only that, but I can always do the group learning thing later if I choose to…it just isn’t my current priority.

Over the past few years, times have been tough and it has slowly taken a toll on me. I know that there are a lot of good things happening in my life too, and I am very grateful for all of that. Not to worry, my heart is still very much into my writing, doing readings and other spiritual work, and art. It’s just that I have lost my silliness. Between heartaches, heartbreaks, and perpetual worry about one thing or another I just don’t goof off anymore…and I’m tired of it.

Until not all that long ago, I was always the silly one…the one who would make everyone laugh and then run off giggling to get into more mischief. When I look at myself now…I see a person who feels and acts old. Screw that. I’m not! While I’m not sure yet exactly how I’m going to recapture this lost part of myself…I do know that I will stop at nothing in my quest to find her. I miss playing in the rain, jumping in puddles, feeling the surf on my toes, and blaring my music while the wind whips through my hair or I dance with a paintbrush in my hand. My wildness got tamed by too much tragedy and too many whispers of fear.

Yes, I understand that I allowed it to happen. In all fairness to myself though…I didn’t feel it sneaking up on me. Before I knew it I was living in a gloomy, gray world of going through the motions while life passed me by and I yearned wistfully for a spark. This is going to take a little time and I know it. I have to tell you though…this is work that I am looking forward to more than any other thing I’ve undertaken in quite some time. Relocating the sparkle in my eye is more important to me than finding the pot of gold at the end of the leprechaun’s rainbow.

Have any of you gone through a similar time in your own life? If so, what steps did you take to get back on track?

 

 

 

 

No Regrets Allowed

I find myself revisiting a lesson, making another circle on a well traveled spiral and digging deeper. This particular lesson is about letting go and being okay in the empty places left behind. The loss of my dad back in June has led me to dig deeper into what I wish for my life to look and feel like.

I have found myself looking at the things and people in my life realistically and deciding whether they still have a place there. There have been several things and people which I have chosen to let go of in the past few months. Let’s talk about the things first. I haven’t let go of goals and dreams. I have let go of the expectations that I held onto in regards to exactly how things should go, how I had to reach the goals I had set, and when I needed to do it by.

I’ve let go of making rigid demands of myself and then feeling guilty or paralyzed if I didn’t meet those demands. My father’s passing has reinforced the knowledge that life is fleeting…that there isn’t always a tomorrow…that priorities need to be examined to see if they should even be a priority…that time is of the essence and that we lose valuable time and space by keeping people and things in our lives which aren’t serving us in a positive way.

I used to wonder if I was ‘doing it right’. Now I wonder ‘does this feel right?’. I do visualizations even more than before. I am specific about what I would like to see there…just not on exactly how it is going to come about. My visualizations are now full of me doing things that I love, putting myself in an environment and surrounded by people that make my heart happy, and with feeling the joy and love which make life so beautiful.

We get so caught up in the how and when…and other minutiae…that we completely lose the spirit of our dreams. I realized that I had been doing this. The worries about the how and when had taken so much of my time and energy. I am making progress in learning how to live more intuitively, in the present moment, rather than trying to be such a planner. I’ve finally realized how much I was stressing myself out by looking too far into the past and seeing my perceived failures…and too far into the future to try to see exactly what steps I should take and how things ‘should’ look.

I finally understand that everything is right…right now…as long as I am listening to the voice within. Not the one that harps on me about everything…but the calmer, yet more enthusiastic one which tells me what I need at the very moment I am asking about. Sometimes I am guided to dive in and work. At other times I am guided to sit in the window and feel the breeze on my face or to put on my shoes and go for a walk. Instead of fighting against the sitting in the window or walking moments, I savor them…for inspiration is often found there…even if it isn’t apparent right away, and sometimes we just need to sit in the window with the breeze on our face for no other reason than our soul needs to do so. Sometimes we need to put on our shoes and walk because our soul and body need it.

Drifting away from some of the people in my life has been more challenging. As this is a pretty vulnerable time for me emotionally…seeing my already small circle get smaller has been very uncomfortable. I already have a big tendency toward introversion as it is, so there weren’t a lot of people in my life on a regular basis anyway. Now, there are a few less and this really bothered me for a while.

I saw the need though to let go of the relationships which I had outgrown, ones which were not a two way street, and ones which had either taken a turn for or always had been toxic. A few of the people I’ve needed to drift away from were ones who had been in my life for a very long time and these ones were difficult to let go of. What I am learning though is that in life we have to clear things out from time to time in order to make room for that which either furthers our lives in some way or fills a space with love, happiness, or mutual respect and concern.

I have no regrets for my past behaviors or relationships, because they were all valuable. Some of them only served as lessons in helping me to clear some of the blinders from my vision. Others filled my life with love and happiness for a time. I have no anger or remorse about any of it. I am thankful to each person and thing being released for what role they played in my life. I also have no desire to look back and question myself about these decisions. They were not made overnight, nor were they made lightly. They were made because I had to bring myself into a healthier place in order to keep growing.

How do you feel about letting go without regret?