October 21

Misusing Time and Changing My Mind about It

a course in miracles

This morning, I awoke in a neutral space, but I could feel that nudge of familiarity egging me towards dissatisfaction.  I wasn’t in gratitude.  I wasn’t in joy.  I certainly wasn’t in peace.  Not a good sign.  I reached for the Course and allowed the pages to open randomly to what I needed to know in that moment.  The first words I read were these.  “I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time.”  This is very apparent to me as I find time frittering away and anxiety mounting over what I feel I should be doing but….  Lately, I find myself wondering daily what I can do to squelch the resistance that I keep bumping up against.  As always, the Course leads me to my answers.  I open to Lesson 90, which is a review.  For some reason I read the second part before the first.

(80) Let me recognize my problems have been solved.

I seem to have problems only because I am misusing time. I believe that the problem comes first, and time must elapse before it can be worked out. I do not see the problem and the answer as simultaneous in their occurrence. That is because I do not yet realize that God has placed the answer together with the problem, so that they cannot be separated by time. The Holy Spirit will teach me this, if I will let Him. And I will understand it is impossible that I could have a problem which has not been solved already.

The answer is with the problem, they are not separate.  The problem is the answer.  “The answer to the problem is already given me, if I will accept it.” I notice my resistance to accepting the answer and then return to the beginning of the lesson.

(79) Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.

Let me realize today that the problem is always some form of grievance that I would cherish. Let me also understand that the solution is always a miracle with which I let the grievance be replaced. Today I would remember the simplicity of salvation by reinforcing the lesson that there is one problem and one solution. The problem is a grievance; the solution is a miracle. And I invite the solution to come to me through my forgiveness of the grievance, and my welcome of the miracle that takes its place.

a course in miracles

“Some sort of grievance I would cherish.”  Ouch.  I don’t think of myself as holding grievances.  What grievance am I holding?  I pause for a moment and scan my mind for the answer.  It is a lack of willingness.  The grievance is that I don’t want to do the things I must.  What that really means, of course, is that I am resisting the miracle.

Wait.  What!!!!

I am resisting the miracle.  Why?  Because some part of me that wants to play small and stay hidden and doesn’t want to have to go there.  I don’t want to grow into a larger version of myself.  I want to hole up and feel sorry for myself and struggle and strive and bitch about it hoping against hope that someone else will do it for me and I won’t have to face myself.

What you seek is seeking you.

~Rumi

I remember my friend Alejandro’s reminder “medicine is the poison, the poison’s the medicine.”  The answer is in the problem.

Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!

I feel like the heroine in a movie when she comes faces to face with the big denouement.  Except, not to jinx myself or anything, but I know my ego is clever enough to suck me back into this forgetfulness.  (Which is why so many of us study the Course for years). The thing I must remember is this:  my lack of willingness is keeping me from the miracle that God would bless me with if I would but allow.  I have been keeping myself from a miracle.

Was hanging on to the grievance so important?  Did I so need someone to take pity on me that I would deprive myself from the joy that God would bathe me in?  Why have I chosen crumbs from the table over the banquet that is mine to have?

I have forgotten who I am.  Today is Tuesday, my night of salvation, the night my Course in Miracles study group meets and I get to remember that truth,  I get to feel how loved I am.  How cherished the space where God would hold me and whisper to me of my guiltlessness.

It is a little strange how we come together and I have these moments where I feel like I get to be a little bit of light for others to learn how to embrace this stuff and yet simultaneously, I recognize how very human I am and how very much I have to learn.  Moments like these, I am glad for others in the group who come to share and open my heart to further understanding.  And indeed, the moments when I come at last to rest awhile with these miracles, I feel my heart open and love rushes in and I know the answer was always here, waiting for me to say hello.  There is no separation.  The problem is the answer.  Miracles have been waiting for me.

May I remember today to let them come.  May I remember who I am.  May I remember who we are.

October 20

Alternate Me

mirror image

by Helga Weber

 

What if I were to spend the day imagining an alternate me?  Some might call it foolishness but in truth everything is born twice – first in the world of imagination and second into form.  Before anything can exist in physical reality, in must first be conceived of in the mind.  Now, having said that, part of the fun of creative endeavors is the spontaneity of following impulse without a clear idea of the result.  It’s catching a glimpse of some half-visible concept forming in the mind’s eye and following it to see where it leads, allowing it to unfold with no clear idea of what comes next..

Any artist knows that art is born of listening to some inner something that tugs and shoves and hardly allows for peace if you ignore it.

Novelists will tell you, the characters develop a reality of their own.  They are the ones directing the story; the novelist is but recording their directives.  And so it is with these alternate me’s.  I can spend time with them; give them names and assignments (you – you’re the successful business person; you – no, that other you! – you’re the kind, wise woman), but ultimately if I allow them to run wild in my brain, they will develop like characters in a novel.  I need only allow them space in my head to play.

I really don’t do that much, but I’m thinking perhaps I should.

After all, the mind doesn’t know the difference between vividly imagining and actually doing.

Although I can’t locate the source of this information, I remember hearing a tape once by Deepak Chopra explaining how they had done an experiment on a group of people for a high school reunion and did a battery of tests on the participants at the beginning of the experiment to measure blood pressure, hearing, eye sight, etc.  They then created an environment where everything was exactly as it had been fifty years earlier and instructed everyone to pretend as if they really were still back in whatever year it was.  At the end of the experiment, they reran all the tests and discovered that the participants were responding as if they were much younger – blood pressure, hearing, sight and other age related ailments all improved.

So I am thinking, I need to spend more time in these alternate realities.  I need to imagine myself thinner, younger, healthier, more well-read.  I’m figuring it can’t hurt and it might just work wonders.

October 19

Tales of a Lying Brain

 

brain

Jumping Brain by Emelio Garcia http://www.flickr.com/photos/10819018@N05/2403693037

Jumping Brain by Emelio Garcia http://www.flickr.com/photos/10819018@N05/2403693037

 

There are some things that my brain lies to me about.  It tells me to hold back, play small – it tries to protect me.  Basically, my brain sometimes acts like this mean babysitter that won’t let me go play and have fun.  So, I forget sometimes, that it is in fact lying to me.  I believe its lies and so I am surprised when I discover the truth.  In this case, the truth is that I really enjoy playing with arts and crafts.  I’d forgotten that.

Yesterday, I spent nearly the whole day over at the home of some friends from church.  They graciously provided the space, some materials and even fed us (well, I might add!) so that our youth could work on arts and crafts for the upcoming 1st Annual Arts and Crafts Fair at church.  We had a blast.  The reason I mention the lying part of my brain is that I seriously didn’t want to go.  I wanted to stay home and do whatever it is I do, but instead I forced myself to go (see yesterday’s post about resistance!).

I made some Day of the Dead stuff, I painted, I decorated a box.  In general, I just let loose.  Is it great art?  Probably not; but it brought me back to my childhood when I would spend hours working on projects, beading, sewing, needlework, making paper flowers, drawing, creating!  And it took me back to some of my favorite times with the kids and grandkids when we set our sights on a project and allowed it to consume us.  It was therapeutic.  It was heaven.

day of the dead

Dead by Brian http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035569931@N01/287471803

 

And it made me wonder, why does my brain lie to me about such things?  What part of me is so consumed with not being revealed that it hides away this creative expression?  Does it matter that it’s not great art?  Is anyone seriously attending an arts and crafts fair in hopes of finding a masterpiece for five bucks?

Our hostess yesterday is an amateur artist.  She loves art, studies it, takes lessons, she even has her own studio.  She showed me around their home, pointing out some paintings along the way, some of which cost her good money.  And what I recognized in that moment is that art is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it; the more people that like it, the more valued it is will be and the higher price it can command, but a lot of that is based on exposure.  If no one knows your stuff exists, then there are fewer people vying for it because fewer people know about it.

How many people have extraordinary talent that few ever find out about because of lack of exposure?

Think Susan Boyle.

One day, a nobody that no one knew could sing, other than perhaps the members of the choir at her local church, the next day an overnight sensation.

The thing that strikes me about Ms. Boyle is that when she walked out on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent she was ready to be seen.  She had silenced the inner critic enough to claim her good, “I want to be a professional singer,” she had the audacity to tell Simon Cowell.

So maybe becoming someone of notice is a matter of decision; it’s a matter of claiming your good and having the pluck to own it.

While painting yesterday, my friend Brandi was working on a painting we all loved.  The depth of the color was amazing, like a spectacular sunset.  But her inner critic wouldn’t allow her to see the good.  “Okay, sure, but nothing to be in awe of.  I’m glad you enjoy it,” was her attitude. It reminded me of a book I had read years ago (I can’t remember the title of it or even the artist it was about) but in the book, the artist was doing a self-portrait and he would make great progress on it, and then there would be something he didn’t like and so he would wipe it out and start over.  This went on for ages, months, maybe even years.  There was no point where he could just live with the imperfection of it.  Maybe that’s a good thing, the striving to be better, to achieve a higher standard, but at what point does it stop being useful?  At what point does it just become self-sabotage?

Sometimes we need the opinions of others to be able to shut the inner critic up.  Sometimes we can’t see our own value because our brains lie to us.  Sometimes ego creeps in and either puffs itself up with grandiosity or crawls under a rock with smallness.  It’s not always easy to distinguish what’s going on.  At what point do we believe in ourselves enough to know we have something to offer without letting it go to our heads?

I know for myself, when I am writing, I often feel there is room for improvement, but I also know when I’m ready to let things go.  As long as I feel movement and a sense of completion over the piece, I’m satisfied.  And, I also know when I think something is good and when I think it is crap.  The trick is learning to shut the inner critic up long enough to get it out there; and to remember that my brain lies to me.  A LOT!  So it’s not really a reliable evaluator. I can’t really trust myself to evaluate myself with any accuracy.  And when I realize that, I am grateful for my spiritual training; I remember that I don’t even need to worry about evaluating, I can just allow.  I can just enjoy having fun without the need to scrutinize.  It just is and often, that is good enough.

 

 

 

 

October 18

The Value of Pushing Through

sisyphus

http://www.flickr.com/photos/38451115@N04/4307189567

Some days I don’t want to.  I don’t want to get up.  I don’t want to do any work.  I don’t want to do one damned thing that is on my list of things to do.  I don’t want to.  What I want to do is crawl inside an ashram, sit cross-legged (although I can’t, but I want to), and meditate for about three days.  I want to just block out the world.  I want to just settle into that quiet space where I can hear myself think (or not think but just be).  That’s what I think I want; except there is this part of me that says that to want that is to oppose what is.  To want that is obviously some ego-based bullshit because I am fighting reality.  I am trying to make God wrong.  I am resisting what is in front of me to do.

This is part of the lesson, the evolution, the thing I’ve been stretching towards.  It is part of the reason I’m here.  It is why I study A Course in Miracles.  It is how I make myself miserable.  It is part of this being human experience.  And I haven’t yet learned how to love it.  I want to but I haven’t.

What I know from studying the Course is that I don’t need to be perfect about it.  It’s okay that I have days like this where I want to rant and rave and scream like a three-year-old in the throes of a tantrum. It’s okay.  It’s fine.  I don’t need to beat myself up over it; in fact beating myself up is just more ego shenanigans.  Beating myself up over it is just a way to keep me stuck, a way to make it that much harder to move past it.

So maybe I don’t yet know how to have such things arise and go immediately into love.  So what?  I don’t yet know how to feel good when a former client contacts me because he got screwed over by the buyer that I found for him.  I know that it’s not my responsibility, but I feel bad.  I feel somehow responsible and I don’t know how to love all of that.  I don’t know how to be in the throes of a bad situation and feel nothing but gratitude.  I’m not that evolved.  I may be a spiritual being having a human experience, but I haven’t reached the point where I have transcended the impulse to allow myself to be pushed around by it. So what?

byron katie

http://www.flickr.com/photos/85608594@N00/12248119753

 

It’s okay.  It’s okay that I am not so evolved that such things no longer push my buttons.  This is where I develop compassion.  This is where I hone my ability to let go of judgment about it all.  I can recognize that I want to do better.  I can notice how much further I have to go.  But I can also let go of thinking I need to be perfect about it now.  I can be gentle with myself.  I can let myself off the hook for having a bad day.

AND, I don’t have to fight what is.  In our ACIM study group last Tuesday, an important point arose – judgment is not necessary.  Judgment is, in fact, the idea that I know best what should be happening.  But the idea is ludicrous on many levels.

“I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”

― Byron KatieLoving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

So recognizing that takes me back to humility.  It takes me out of my indignation over what is happening and allows me to settle into acceptance.  Whatever is happening, is happening and I can either go with it or fight it.  Going with it stirs up rebellion from my ego who wants things to be the way it wants things to be.  But they aren’t that way so, I must be mistaken.

life is simple

Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it… it’s just easier if you do. Byron Katie

So, I’m choosing easy.  I’m choosing to power through my resistance and be gentle with myself.  Because sometimes I have days that my ego wants to label as bad.  But since I’d giving up judgment about such things, maybe it’s just easier to say, some days, I have days that I don’t always like but I always choose to call blessings.  And so it is.

October 17

Following Joy

joyful living[ ATTRIBUTE: Please check: http://www.flickr.com/photos/85608594@N00/14693572104 to find out how to attribute this image ]

 

What if each day you sought joy?  What if your purpose each day was to express joy, to find what makes your heart sing and attend to that?  How would it change your day?  What if that’s what you are supposed to be doing?

I don’t believe we were brought here to be miserable or work hard.  I believe we are here to express God, or as Reverend Patrick used to say, “To show God a good time.”  What if I followed my heart, explored the things that had me happy, devoted time to that?  It’s not that there aren’t things that must be done – if you don’t pay the electric bill they will leave you in the dark – but just as surely there are things that nurture, activities that make the heart happy.

So if you were sent here to do one thing, do you know what it is?  If you don’t, how will you find it if you don’t spend time exploring?  Rumi has much to say about it, though I will not reprint it here.  For today, I just want to consider the possibility, that joy is a compass.  Follow it and see where it leads you.

BOOK REVIEW: The OPA! Way: Finding Joy & Meaning in Everyday Life & Work

This husband and wife duo reminds us of these age-old truths, and prompt us to discover our own path to meaningful and joyful living. This road compels us to look at all areas of our life, to identify what’s truly important, to simplify, to even begin

ChooseWiser

How 2 Advocate 4 Your Own Health: Lessons in Joyful Living’s Kimberly Rinaldi & myself. @Live_Joy_Fully http://t.co/xRV7fgxXaC

Opening Words: Exploring Joy – ~ Tending Joy ~

And I love to make connections between wisdom traditions, listening for what others have said throughout time and around the world. This has become a kind of path for me, and it is the way in which I have been exploring Joy …
October 16

Fishing Lessons: What Do You Want to Catch and Will It Feed You?

“Catch a man to fish, and you can sell it to him.  Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity,”  — Karl Marx

I’m about self-sufficiency.  Always preferred teaching others to fish rather than fostering dependence because as some point, I’m not going to want to be responsible for another person’s ability to eat and I’m going to want to move on to some other venture.  There are seriously not that many things in my life that I want to be forever, so I am definitely of the “teach-a-man to fish” genre.

But what if I am missing a huge business opportunity?  What if the business is teaching fishing?

Lately, I find myself wondering what this blog is for.  It feels like it wants to grow into something bigger than it is.  It feels like I want to post a big sign that says:

“Fishing Lessons Available Here.”

But why would anyone come to me for fishing lessons?  I’m still just making ends meet.  I’m still obviously figuring some of this shit out.

I’ll tell you why — because even though I am still figuring out the money, I know I’m almost there.  I know that so much of it is right at my fingertips and once I have it, watch out!  In fact, one of these days, people will be coming to me to get their arms around the money piece. I’m that close.  And seriously, despite that on paper I am so much less than impressive in terms of my financial worth, I am also a person that has managed to keep a roof over my head, and food on the table and keep reasonably current on my bills.  No repossessions.  I tax my taxes.  And yes, all the bills from back three years ago when we were in the interlock business fell by the wayside and yes, we probably should have filed bankruptcy a long time ago, except that it takes money to do that and I sort of don’t want to anyway and by now, three years later, most of those creditors have pretty much given up.  The bills we have, I pay.  We live frugally, but we also have the luxury of a life that works for us on a lot of levels.  And we are paring it down to what is important.

There is nothing like dire circumstances to define your priorities for you.

I know how to do this.  I know how the principles work and although I get that more and more, the “secret” is not a secret, I know that a lot of folks still don’t really understand how to use these principles themselves.  I’m a Religious Scientist – the reason Ernest Holmes called it “science” is that the principles are repeatable and provable.  The tough part for most of us is that we look as circumstances as the proof that the principles don’t work.  We think that those circumstances proof that Law of Attraction stuff is just plain wishful thinking.

But this is scientific stuff.  There is a reason why Pam Grout’s book E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality is a best-seller.  Because thoughts create reality.  Your experience of the world is directly related to your ideas about it.  This reminds me of the story how friendly a town is.  When asked about how friendly a place is, Wayne Dyer asked that person, “How is the town where you live now?”  If the answer was that the place that they came from an unfriendly place, he would assure them that this town was every bit as unfriendly.  But is they came from a loving, happy town, he would assure them that this place was just as friendly.

The world is our mirror – it shows us what we think.  A Course in Miracles puts it this way, 2 Relationships in this world are the result of how the world is seen. And this depends on which emotion was called on to send its messengers to look upon it, and return with word of what they saw.” If you expect love, you see love.  If you expected to be screwed over, you are rarely disappointed.

But ideas about the world we live in can be changed.  They are in fact, a choice.  It is the decision to be happy, and the decision as to what sort of life you want is the beginning to tapping into that happiness. Before you go fishing, it helps to know what you are fishing for.  If that’s not what you catching, then it may be time to reconsider the bait.

October 15

Journal: Reaching for Happy Dreams

I awoke this morning from vivid disturbing dreams about my son.   I was immediately grateful for the Course and the reminder that “the dark companion, the dark way are all illusions.”

9 You will first dream of peace, and then awaken to it. Your first exchange of what you made for what you want is the exchange of nightmares for the happy dreams of love. In these lie your true perceptions, for the Holy Spirit corrects the world of dreams, where all perception is. Knowledge needs no correction. Yet the dreams of love lead unto knowledge. In them you see nothing fearful, and because of this they are the welcome that you offer knowledge. Love waits on welcome, not on time, and the real world is but your welcome of what always was. Therefore the call of joy is in it, and your glad response is your awakening to what you have not lost.

So, I reach for love.  Even though I feel like someone punched me in the gut, even though the dark companions lurk in the shadows with malice and fear, I will not look to them, for they cannot guide me to the light. I remember I am safe.  I remembered I am loved.

Last night at our ACIM study group we examined the holy week while studying the Course, and during the course of discussion came across this. “You asked this puff of madness for the meaning of your unholy relationship, and adjusted it according to its insane answer.  How happy did it make you?… Ask not the means of its [the holy relationship’s] attainment of the one thing that still would have it be unholy.”  I cannot look on insanity to discover sanity.  It will never lead me to peace, only further down the rabbit hole.

The Course makes it clear: I don’t know what any of this is for.  I bring judgment to it because, as one person pointed out, that’s what we do; it’s like this cultural expectation that we should have opinions about this, as if our duty as human beings is to examine “reality” and make assessments.  But the Course asks, “Does one ask judgment of what is totally bereft of judgment?”

1 Prepare you now for the undoing of what never was. If you already understood the difference between truth and illusion, the Atonement would have no meaning. The holy instant, the holy relationship, the Holy Spirit’s teaching, and all the means by which salvation is accomplished, would have no purpose. For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams, from which you waken easily to knowledge. Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

My fearful dreams can be made happy.  Many of my “failures” are my greatest advances.  I don’t know what any of this is for.  I do what’s in front of me to do.  I don’t let the nightmares keep me from the truth.  This morning, I posted an ad for my husband’s motorcycle, knowing the sale could be the salvation that keeps takes us through the next month or two while we restructure our lives. Five minutes after I post it, my husband gets a phone call from an interested prospective buyer.

4 A simple question yet remains, and needs an answer. Do you like what you have made?-a world of murder and attack, through which you thread your timid way through constant dangers, alone and frightened, hoping at most that death will wait a little longer before it overtakes you and you disappear. You made this up. It is a picture of what you think you are; of how you see yourself. A murderer is frightened, and those who kill fear death. All these are but the fearful thoughts of those who would adjust themselves to a world made fearful by their adjustments. And they look out in sorrow from what is sad within, and see the sadness there.

I made it up.  I don’t know what any or it is for.  I only know that choosing love feels a lot better than choosing fear, so I’m choosing love.  I’m choosing faith.

October 14

Who Said Anything About Needing Permission?

“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.” – Robert Fritz

Yesterday, I saw that quote on my friend Brandi’s Facebook page and I stopped dead in my tracks when I read it.  How much unhappiness is born out of that disconnect, out of the place where compromise is the only option because no one ever gave us permission to dream?  In fact, many of us were actively discouraged from dreaming. I teach what could loosely be termed Sunday School at our church and about a month ago I was doing a project with the kids that involved making a list of your dreams.  I was attempting to stretch them beyond the seemingly possible into adventure.  The shocking part was that even though the age range was from four to eleven, most of them were already adept at making themselves small.  A couple of them were still big thinkers, but most of them were already limiting themselves to what they thought was possible. This one kid couldn’t even stretch his imagination enough to come up with anything that he wanted to do.  He excelled at just accepting whatever life brought to him and this kid is only nine!

I don’t dispute the value of accepting of what is – I’m actually a huge fan – there is also value in reaching beyond what seems possible.  I am working on a lot of lists lately and one of my new games is, if there were no limitations of any sort, not money or distance or age, none of that, what would I like to do?  Where would I want to go?  Who would I want to talk to?  What adventure would I  go on?  It’s a bucket list of sorts and I think that it’s really important that people make them, not because we are all going to die, although we are, but because if we don’t then the chances are really good that we will slip into the default position.  We will sit on the couch and watch TV or play video games or otherwise fritter away our lives.  And it’s not that there is anything wrong with watching TV or movies or that playing games is bad – this isn’t about judgment, it’s that if we don’t stop to think about these things, then we find our lives have passed us by without having done a fraction of the stuff we wanted to do.

Here’s the thing, if you don’t ever let your mind go there, how the hell is your body ever going to follow?

A few nights ago, it was time to eat dinner and I was deep into reading
.  It should therefore come as no surprise that when my husband was ready to settle in for an evening of TV watching, I rebelled.  We were eating the rest of the lasagna I’d made for the technology fair at church so there was no real cooking required and that broke our routine enough for me to consciously choose how I wanted to spend my evening.  Part of the reason we moved to New Mexico in the first place was to break free from our bad habits.  When we left Massachusetts, we had arrived at a point in our lives where we went to work each day hating our jobs and then came home each night, poured ourselves a drink and settled down in front of the TV for the rest of the night.  We weren’t really living so much as surviving.

Now, at the moment we are hardly in a great financial position and that will, of course, limit us in some ways.  But having said that, I know that the universe supports me.  I know that if I let go of what I think is possible and just focus on what it is I want, I open the door to possibility.  I open the door for surprise.

I have no idea how this will all turn out.  I have no idea how we will manage to put ourselves back in the black and do any of the things we want to do.  I do know that focusing on possibility rather than fear is so much healthier and feels so much better than freaking out.

I don’t know how to change the world.  I only know how to do what is front of me to do, but I’m thinking that’s probably all I need to do because lately, I’ve been noticing something.  I started A Course in Miracles group at church at the beginning of this year because I find that the text helps me.  I wanted a place where I could study the text and begin to embody it.  We meet every Tuesday night and in many ways, it is the highlight of my week.  I love, love, love the discussion.  I love how loved by God I feel when I read the text.  And what I’m noticing is that even people who aren’t showing up on Tuesday nights are discussing the Course. I love how this seeds the world with love and forgiveness and compassion; how it ripples out into lives and changes them for the better.    So, I know that my little part matters.  It matters to me because I am a better person as a result and it matters because other people are touched in ways I can’t even imagine, ways I will never know.

And so I leave you today with these questions: what makes your heart race?  What makes you happy?  What would you do if you let go of the ideas of limitation and just allowed yourself to dream?  Go there.  Make a bucket list.  Forget how you could possibly do any of it and just let God take care of the details because the truth is you aren’t talented enough to pull together those elements all by yourself.  That’s not a slam, it’s just how it is.  But that should excite you because if you don’t need to worry about all of that (and you don’t) then you can focus your energy on the fun stuff, the stuff you love, the stuff that makes your heart sing and spill open with a gratitude so deep it brings tears to your eyes.  And one last reminder.  Remember what Margaret Mead said,

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Be radical my friends.  Dream big.

October 13

Journal: Carving a Life

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and. if they can’t find them, make them.”

­ George Bernard Shaw

So I guess that I have been attempting to make the circumstances I want.  The thing is that I used to people telling me things can’t be done and I just don’t care to listen.  The result is that I’ve been pegged a dreamer and an idealist and all of that is true.  Yesterday I was reading, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, which along with Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Workweek only fuels my determination not to just find a job where I am tied to a desk 40 hours a week and settle into the status quo.  I’m not that good at the status quo, likely because I have worked for myself for too long.  This puts me at a distinct disadvantage and balancing it against the enough income to live has proven challenging.

I am determined not to go into fear.  I am determined to make my own rules instead.  Yesterday, my tenant finally brought over the balance of the rent which means I will finally be able to pay my mortgage.  But if I don’t figure something out in the next month with regard to paying my mortgage without relying on that income, I may find myself needing to move back into my old house (which is in foreclosure – long story; not pretty).  The good news is that if we managed to do a deed in lieu of, they might actually give us a few grand so we wouldn’t have to move for a few months or perhaps give us the opportunity to figure out this radical living that we yearn for.

Meanwhile, I need to meet with a commercial realtor friend of mine to see about helping out this client of mine who contacted me on Friday.  So, I may end up changing companies if only so that I can find this client the property he is looking for and make a decent commission (which wouldn’t hurt with the tying me over aspect). For a person who doesn’t really do drama, I seem to have my fair share of it – all of it centered around the tension in circumstances, not relationships.

The part that gets me wound up is that I understand all too well that so much of it stems from vibration, from how good I feel so it is crucial not to get sucked into everyone else’s fear.  I am grateful that I can discuss this with my husband and that he “gets” it, but what that doesn’t help that much with keeping him from panicking.  I can’t hide things from him, but sometimes talking to him about them doesn’t bolster me up because he is sitting on the sidelines trying to keep from freaking out and he is even worse than I am at figuring out what to do.

These are the times that I am grateful to have community, grateful for friends I can turn to who get it and who will slap me if I start to buy into the fear.  Because here is the thing that I absolutely know – nothing bad has happened.  It is only the anticipation of bad things happening that freak us out.  Yet we could just as easily anticipate great things happening.  We could just as easily know that it is really all working out and that God has this awesome sense of humor that tests how rooted in faith we really are.

Whenever I have managed to pull a rabbit out of my hat, it has always been because I refused to buy into other people’s versions of truth; I refused to think everything was falling apart.  It’s all falling together but it is like one of those thriller movies where there is a twist that blocks you from anticipating the outcome because what you think you know is wrong.  It’s wrong.

I’m not that good at status quo.  I don’t want to be good at status quo.  I want to be good at synchronicity.  I want to be good at optimism.  I want to be good at defiance.  When other people tell me something can’t be done, I want to shove them aside and say, “Watch me!”

Do I know how?  Hell no.  But I don’t need to because I know I can count on God to know for me.  That’s called faith, sister.  That’s called knowing.

I live in a supportive universe; one that always says, “Yes.”  I so wish people were not so certain that things are falling apart, because it makes me feel like I have to work that much harder to overcome that.  I can raise my own vibration.  I am actually really good at it.  I can reach for certainty and make it mine.  I can excite others into belief even, but when those around me are just as certain that we are screwed, it can be a challenge.  Or maybe not.  Maybe that is where I need to work on myself, because it could just as easily be easy to show them how it’s done.

“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,”  — Walter Bagehot

So this is the pleasure I am courting.  I have a history of doing things that others say can’t be done.  I rely on that.  I was using Science of Mind principles before I knew what Science of Mind was.  In a sense, it is stubbornness.  It is the refusal to buy into other people’s version of reality.  I love when I can settle into that, because I remember how powerful I really am.  I remember that I have the power of God behind me to create a world that works for everyone.  I don’t know how exactly I am going to pull this rabbit out of my hat, but I am determined that I can and I will.

October 12

Sunday Morning Slow Down

Sunday morning and I want my world slow and easy.  The call of church and a billion activities lingers on the sidelines, for I have lasagna to make for the technology fair, and materials to gather for my class with the youth, but for the moment, I am stopping to enjoy the moment.  The fall air is sweet and mild.  The day full of promise.  I notice that once again, my laptop has decided to pretend there is no network connection that it can see and I wonder if maybe I too just need to disconnect from the outside world for a moment and go within to Spirit.

So today, I am contemplating the value of slowing down.  I am examining it the way a child watches a bug, fascinated, charmed even. As I write this, my mind is pressing me to speed up.  I must hurry up if I am to keep to my agenda for the day.  And yet, somewhere in the middle of this rushing-around mentality is my awareness that if I am to know the precious beingness of God, I must shift gears.  Somewhere in the middle of it all, I am brushed by the theory of relativity and it occurs to me that if I want enough time, I must first behave as if I already have enough.  I must boldly savor what is in front of me and lick the moment sensuously, for it is only in this state of mind that I will be capable of entering slow motion.  In this state of being, I can feel the blood pumping through my veins and my life spreads out before me like a film viewed frame-by-frame.  I remember this feeling.  It is oddly familiar, somewhat disconcerting, as I return to the sensation of time dragging and the moment is suspended, waiting for me to catch up to it and pump it full of everything I could want or need.  I can hear the seconds ticking, but they have shifted from the speeded up franticness of not enough time to the languishing moments of knowing the perfection of NOW.

Yes, time still passes but instead of being at warp-speed it is as if seconds have been transmuted into minutes, each one elongated the way they are when I must execute a dreaded task and time drags.  I play with time and notice its elasticity.

Very soon now I will return to my lasagna making and my preparations for church.  I will undoubtedly fall back into bustle, but for now, I am going to sip my coffee and savor the gentle breeze in appreciate.  I remember one of my favorite lines from the Course and notice how it applies here.  “Only what you have not given can be lacking in any situation.”   To have enough time, I must stop to give it to myself.  See how easy it is to have more than enough time when I simply allow the moment to be?