After dinner the other night one of our four cats, Squeekers, was finally given the attention he so consistently demanded throughout the meal. Leaping up onto a convenient lap he enjoyed getting his nose scratched. He closed his eyes (I swear he was smiling) and to all appearances seemed to have completely tuned out the world around him.
When was the last time you felt that content, that satisfied and that fulfilled? Hopefully you can recount numerous occasions in the past week, but sadly many of us cannot. We can get so caught up in the “busy-ness” of life that we forget to enjoy those brief yet ultimately satisfying moments.
It is far too easy to complain about all the time we do not have. Thanks to 24-hour news channels and smart phones we are subjected to information overload. We are not victims of technology; we choose to be willing volunteers for this electronic abuse. Have you considered taking a break from it?
Leaving on a two-week vacation may not be possible for you this week or even in the foreseeable future. But taking a bit of time, even a minute, just for yourself is most definitely something you can do. The next time you make yourself a cup of coffee or tea take a minute (just 60 seconds), sit down and enjoy the aroma and warmth. Lie down on the couch and have a five-minute nap. This seemingly insignificant amount of time can do wonders to rejuvenate you.
I threw caution to the wind last week and treated myself to a soothing bath by candlelight. I even closed the door to the bathroom! I neglected, however, to see one of the cats, Lucy, between the shower curtains on the tub ledge before easing into the hot, soapy water. Knowing that God is always in charge, I found the purring was a wonderful addition to my meditation.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Human beings are multi-faceted creatures. To make situations easier we frequently place each other into convenient categories. All too often these labels fall far short of describing who we are as individuals.
Psychologist Dr. Dan Gottlieb reported working with a young woman who told him: “I feel like my soul is a prism, but everybody just sees one color. Nobody sees the prism.”
What would it be like if we could actually see the prism of the soul of other people around us? How would our lives be different if we allowed those we love to see all spectrums of who we are?
Think about meeting someone for the first time. Do we ask what their hopes and dreams are for the future? Do we inquire about their deepest fears or greatest joys? No. Usually we want to know if they are married or single; gay or straight; what political party they support; where they went to school; what they do for a living; what kind of car they drive; and, what socioeconomic status they have achieved.
Then, armed with the information, we use a mental check list to arrive at our decision about how to label the poor sod. Judgment, prejudice and bias are often attached to labels. We see only one color, not the full spectrum of visible light or the thousands of shades and tints of their brilliance.
The prism of our soul is all the colors or nuances of our personality that make up who we are. Add to that all the bands of light invisible to the naked eye, both above and below our spectrum of recognition. These unseen energies represent the subconscious or subjective aspects of our personalities; some perhaps not even known to us let alone anyone else.
Be willing to take a step or two back this week from your preconceived ideas about the people in your life. What positive qualities do they possess that you may have overlooked? Then, open up to others fully and confidently in being all you can be by showing a willingness to share your hidden colors with them as well.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
Something that has angered me in the past was having my words twisted by someone else. It’s even worse when those words become a rumor that gets everyone’s panties in a bunch for no good reason. Not so long ago a situation like that would have brought up feelings of frustration due to a need to defend myself about something I didn’t do in the first place.
This kind of a situation has happened recently to me, but then you might have already guessed that from the title of this blog. Instead of allowing the circumstances to involve me in the drama I have remembered two helpful ways of moving through this kind of annoyance.
The first is a quote from a dear friend of mine. When this sort of thing happens to her she tells people the following: “I neither defend, justify, nor explain my actions. I let the results speak for themselves.”
This is the perfect response to give to someone who twists the facts to suit his or her own agenda at the expense of someone else’s reputation. That kind of attack usually develops out of fear, insecurity and vindictiveness. If we are quick to defend our integrity it only feeds the fire of disinformation and criticism.
The second thing I remembered was what a blessing it is to have someone who is that vehemently opposed to me personally! My ministry has the potential of increasing exponentially in the near future. If that opportunity is afforded me and if I choose to accept it, the change to my life would be significant. To say I don’t have some very human emotions about this prospect would be erroneous. I just didn’t know my reservations were so pronounced that it would show up in someone else so spectacularly!
Our lives are the direct reflection of our consciousness. If we are experiencing resistance outside ourselves to anything we are about to undertake then that conflict must be at least partially due to our subjective or subconscious concerns. Believing this, I’ve spent the past month digging deeply to understand why this person has chosen to stir up all sorts of unnecessary nonsense in my life and in that of so many other people.
Fortunately, I’ve come to some fascinating conclusions – the most impactful being that this is far less about me and very much about the other person’s issues. It has taught me, once again, to speak with clarity, act in integrity and allow Divine Right Action to unfold without attachment to the outcome. Like a thunderstorm, this too shall pass. The great thing is, I know that above the clouds the sun is shining brightly. In the meantime, the sound of rain has always been a comfort to me.
I grew up, like a lot of my friends, not really feeling at all like I belonged where I was. My trailer park roots are not something of which I am ashamed, but mother always said that I must have been mixed up at St. Francis Hospital in Dayton, OH, with a missing baby from the Rockefeller family. My champagne tastes on a beer budget have gotten me in a financial pickle more than once.
But that’s not exactly what I am talking about. Sometimes when we don’t feel like we fit in it’s because we really don’t fit in. That’s not to say we are better than those around us, but we may very well be different. It’s as if we are trying to park diagonally when everyone else is parking parallel. We tend to stand out.
While our school systems would like us to believe that we are educating free-thinkers, the teachers who allow students to think outside the box are few and far between. Today many educators are more concerned with test scores and measurements than they are with teaching our young people how to reason or think creatively. When a child does not conform to the norms of the school or society she or he can be set apart as undesirable.
We must each decide how much we wish to fit in without jeopardizing our individuality. At the same time we can be more loving in how much latitude we give to those around us in how they choose to express their individuality. Just because we are different than those around us, or around those who are just different from us, doesn’t mean we or they are wrong. Neither should it require anything more than a change of outlook. It means each of us is uniquely qualified to express life in a way that no one else can. That is something to be celebrated, not repressed.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,