We get at least a hundred opportunities in a single day to ask ourselves:
WHO DO I WANT TO BE?
Do I want to be love, abundance, forgiveness, present, Spirit-centered and in Divine flow? (or all kinds of other ways)
We get at least a hundred opportunities in a single day to ask ourselves:
Do I want to be love, abundance, forgiveness, present, Spirit-centered and in Divine flow? (or all kinds of other ways)
One of the reasons I love the sea, is that it reminds me that everything comes and goes.
We, eternal beings, would be placed on a planet where everything was constantly in motion. A thousand things a day would come at us–some of them difficult and confusing–but all of them temporary, while we searched for happiness, and survival.
What would we do? How would we respond?
While I sit here in front of the ocean, I have the thought of two years ago when I went through some really hard times. I can’t remember much. The details are so faint in my head now. The one part I can remember, is thinking that I was going to die, the pain was so intense sometimes.
I didn’t die…. [ to my surprise at times]
I just kept living. I couldn’t die, it seemed.
I’d fall into bed exhausted, and the next day would tap on my shoulder and wake me up wanting to me to live it. Day after day, new opportunities came to learn and integrate that learning into my being.
I am so saturated in happiness now, I sit in wonder often at how all this came to be.
As the waves roll in one after another, no end in sight, I am looking for the pattern, trying to pin point how I got from there to here.
I remember that in each life situation that came rolling in, I would look for my own center–Even if it tumbled me, I was looking to grip the ground.
I always had to take that exit alone, getting rid of the story of “everyone else,” –what they said, what they thought, what they did — blah, it only weighed me down.
Christ–who is the God of my understanding–WAS my tour guide. It was His voice I looked for; His presence, and I could find it every time I silenced the world and asked him to meet me.
A while ago, someone asked me how I got to be attuned to spiritual things. I have no answer except that I know if you reach for your God a thousand times, a REAL BEING comes to meet you. He is completely alive. His voice sounds a certain way. His Spirit has a resonance. His Light is so familiar. He is not an ethereal fictitious character written with black ink on thousand year old pages. He — is — close, so reachable.
There is no lack of access to Him; all of our separation is lack of desire and discipline in reaching FOR Him.
My own affidavit that God is in our cells, waiting for us to take look into our own DNA.
I am not sure what tomorrow will bring. Thankfully, I don’t need to know. There will definitely be more waves.
Yesterday there were four different people who expressed a unhappiness with me for different reasons. There were two phone calls of business emergencies, a total emotional fit from my daughter, and a twelve year old deeply unhappy I said no to him. Plus, I have a load of whites I haven’t washed for three days and I am totally out of underwear now. (That’s probably more than people want to know.)
There is going to be more waves…lol…I know that for sure.
I will always have the same question in front of me.
How do I want to experience this?
Who do I want TO BE while I am here?
I really do feel, that looking for the CENTER, the Highest response, and direction from the God of my understanding, is the ONLY answer there is ever going to be to these thousands of situations.
It no longer surprises me to read things like, “The kingdom of God is within you.”
It’s more difficult to believe that you are unworthy and desperate to be good enough in God’s eyes.
Our plan was to plunge below our heavenly home, live away at earth school, experience everything WE ARE NOT, have a veil covering our minds so we know little outside of now, encounter opposition on every side–even from within our current nature, and be left to struggle day to day for survival (natural cause for stress built right into the fabric of the system)
and against these odds and limitations.. the GOD SELF (in embryo) would rise in us, and re-create what we already know deep within.
By CALLING it FORTH AGAIN (against opposition in and around us), we would accelerate our growth in a way that no other situation could equal.
We become stronger, more knowledgeable, and LEGIT–having REAL DATA, TRUE ABILITIES that took the form of something tangible in who we are, being earned with the street cred of EXPERIENCE.
It was the plan for your day today and it’s what’s on the agenda for tomorrow.
It is so much EASIER to believe this–that you have a God-self a process of wakening…than to scramble around on the ground looking for your worth.
I have just been born this day.
It is as though I have never existed before Now. Everything is new again, everything is alive with Joy, and with L-I-F-E. There is no past in my mind. There are no post regrets, no such thing as mistakes. If I have been here before now, I have been a vessel on a river carrying my forward living as one thing, living for one thing; Learning.
I would say that I had forgiven all my debtors, but I don’t remember having any. If anyone caused harm to me, it was not to me, but to themselves and I wish them peace and freedom.
I would say that I had forgiven myself of my debts, but I can’t remember them.
I only have NOW. This moment, sitting outside as the sun rises into the sky, in the fresh Fall air, with the distant sound of a bird alerting us that it’s almost here.
The Day. The Sun. A new Life.
Here I Am.
I am taking yoga from an Indian woman named Shosh who has no idea she is teaching me how to LIVE.
Shosh is her nickname, not her real name. She is part Indian and her given name, which I could not for the life of me speak properly let alone spell accurately means …. “Strong Deer.”
I just call her Shosh.
She is a stunning creature and one look at her will tell you why she carries that name. She has a graceful, peaceful gait with piercing eyes. She is lean, strong, confident, and gentle all at the same time.
Her long black hair is always swept up in a loose pony tail, a gentle natural curl throughout and gray roots growing in around the crown. The roots looks 50 but the body, a modest 23.
People love her. She doesn’t ask you to love her, or seem to notice whether you do or don’t, but you can’t help it.
I began coming to this studio last month when I woke up one morning and my intuition said, “Go to Yoga.”
I’ve long since been a huge fan of yoga, but that doesn’t mean I go. Well, maybe once every six months I’ll catch a class at my neighborhood gym. It’s like being a huge fan of New York City, but never really setting foot in the Burrough. You like the idea of it, but until you’re inside, you really don’t know what it’s all about.
That day I followed my intuition and I did what I was instructed–I went to Yoga in a real studio.
Taking yoga from a person who uses it as spiritual practice versus taking yoga with the exercise only “gym” approach is the difference between dining at a gourmet, five star restaurant vs inhaling a burger from a fast food assembly line.
It is a gourmet way of exercise. Slow, concentrated. Planned, it seems, for decades and served with regal exactness.
It is deeply transformative and though it’s ‘exercise’ it is first and foremost a SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE…and then a physical one. Afterwards, every muscle aches with fatigue, but the energy in the body is so supremely high that even the ache somehow feels blissful.
You know you’ve been to yoga when your legs and arms are trembling, your mind is clear and you feel in love with the whole entire world.
I knew yoga would change my body and I sensed it would clear my mind, but I had no idea what it would do for my religion.
I’ve been a Christian for about 25 years and I’ve been a Yogi for about five minutes, and I kinda stink at both of those practices.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be hard on myself, just real. I’ve been at the self love thing long enough to say with honestly that when it comes to most aspects of myself I feel somewhere inside the range of “Alright to Damn Good.” I like the way I look, I feel like I’m a good mom, and I’m confident in my business….
But I suck at being a Christian sometimes.
And when I go to church, it doesn’t seem to help because I often leave with more intense feelings of, “I am terrible at this,” than when I first got there. And it’s not until I’m alone and grounded back into my own self, where my spiritual certainty emerges again and I recover.
For six more days.
Until another Holy, Insecurity-Inducing Sabbath rolls around to say Hello.
This has been my common experience of church attendance for several decades now. And it’s not the people there, or the church itself, it’s me. It’s the way I process the information that I hear.
And yet Shosh, the Strong Deer, my present day Yogi New Age Saint, is teaching me a different experience when it comes to spiritual practice.
The first day I showed up at yoga, I was a mess. I was in a healing crisis. My body ached with so much pain of a recent emotional injury that I could barely hold a pose. My downward dog looked more like a squirming pig with it’s face in the mud.
While in the child’s pose, all I wanted to do was melt into the fetal position. My shoulder’s burned with pain of a restless nights sleep and my head ached with hurt and anger. I could barely hold any pose for longer than 30 seconds and when my body broke from the position, I’d just sit on my mat in a cross-legged meditation style, close my eyes and breathe long slow breaths through a quivering mouth.
I happened to be in a room full of people that could do every single move Shosh was instructing–every age range and body type seemed to be proficient in this practice. Even the rugged, stubble bearded old guy who looked like he just climbed off of a back hoe, stopped at the bar for a beer, and then hopped on over for a little Yin Yang yoga. He could rock a Cobra pose, while I was laying face first on the mat gripping the floor, hoping that it would hold me and never let go.
I was a mess and stinking at yoga…even more than stinking at Christianity.
Shosh didn’t seem to notice. About 30 minutes into the class, the Strong Deer, glided over to me so silently, that I didn’t notice her until she was right next to me. She touched my shoulder with cool, sweet, loving fingers and said, “Why don’t we try this…”
She adjusted my blanket and my mat and two yoga blocks (I call these dummy blocks for people who need extra support), and magically appeared with another blanket. In sixty seconds, she had me laying backwards stretched out on the dummy blocks in a pose that was strange, and strangely comfortable. It was relaxing my back, stretching my spine and opening my heart chakra up to the sky.
When I had relaxed comfortably into it, she said, ‘That’s a girl.”
It was the sweetest phrase–“That’s a girl.” She said it to me all throughout the class like I was seven and I had just shown her a new drawing and she was admiring my skill as though she was Picaso and I was her promising under-study.
I laid back into the stretch and even though I was the only rookie in the room getting “yoga for dummies,” I felt loved.
Tears rolled down my cheeks at being so physically and emotionally vulnerable and accepted all at the same time.
I lay there on the blocks while the entire class moved from one new pose to the next and as she walked to the front of the class, I noticed for the first time, how she was modifying the moves of other Yogis to better fit their skill level.
Not so wrapped up in myself, I saw the real truth.
I wasn’t the only one who needed help. She was assisting all of us.
Then she said aloud to the group, to me, “This is your class. There is no right way to do this. You are here for you. Modify every move to fit your skill level. If you don’t, you will hurt yourself. And you came here to fulfill your own intentions.”
That class changed my life. Even though I spent a good amount of time resting on my mat, I left the class rejuvinated and somewhat healed and I soon realized why I was loving my class experience with yoga and why I wasn’t loving my class experience with Christianity.
It’s not Christ that I was having any sort of problem with, quite the opposite, as He was my anchor for being there, it was my limited understanding of how to practice.
I was struggling because I didn’t understand the principle of modification and altering the moves to fit one’s skill level.
You see, I happen to associate with an amazing group of Christian women and there are just some things I don’t know if I will ever be good at. For example, I work during the day and I don’t do things like visit nursing homes and hospitals. Truth be told, any type of physical care place wigs me out.
I want to like it, I want to be that lady who goes to visit sick people on their death beds and sings with choirs of angels while they find their way into the light…but I feel strange and if I even see any kind of tube going into any part of the body, I get really wiggy inside. Yeah, I pretty much stink in that whole department. Even if I didn’t work during the day, (which is just my excuse) I am really not good at it.
I also don’t take dinners to people very often. I feel hugely accomplished that my own family gets dinner from me nightly and I think this is a good pose for me to hold right now. Unless you want one of those hot and fast delivery pizzas, don’t put me on the dinner list (especially if someone is sick.)
While I’m pulling secrets out of the closet, I might as well admit that I rarely attend church related social activities, unless it’s for my kids. I still haven’t figured this one out, as all the people in my neighborhood church are absolutely amazing, but I still never get my ass in the building when it’s time. (Oh yeah, sometimes I swear too, and that’s not very Christian either.)
Of course, there are other things I am pretty good at.
I don’t care who you are, what you have done in your life, I will not judge you and you will never hear gossip fall from my lips when it comes to you. I rock that Christian pose like the back-hoe beer guy can rock the Yoga Cobra. I also can forgive tremendously deep injuries and I have been known to feel so much love for people, even total strangers, that tears will fall from my eyes because the love I feel cannot be contained inside my body.
In essence, I’m learning. And what I’m learning from Yoga is that my church can be a place of modification.
It’s Christianity on Dummy blocks.
Maybe Shosh is right about more than just yoga.
When it comes to Christianity, she might say, “This is your church. There is no right way to do this. You are here for you. Modify every move to fit your skill level. If you don’t, you’ll hurt yourself. And you came here to fulfill your own intentions.”
Like yoga, church is a place where people are stretching and still working themselves out. It’s a hospital for sick people, not a country club.
I like that. I can go with that. (As long as you don’t ask me to visit those sick people, cook food or plan parties… yet.)
I think the point of the whole experience is that I’m still here, still stretching and still going for the next pose. Some days I can totally do this. I’m in a peaceful state of bliss and I’m so happy just to BE HERE that I’m breathing in every delicious moment.
Other days my legs are shaking and trembling, and it takes all my energy to hold my place just a few seconds longer, and every once in a while, the child’s pose is all I’ve got going for me.
What I am seeing is that where ever I am, it’s okay. It’s my class. This thing has been created for ME to grow in a way that is loyal to myself….not for me to hurt myself performing in a way that is loyal to IT.
Progress happens with practice. Every day things that were once difficult are now a lot easier. I am a little more graceful and a lot more kind. My mind is clear, more present than ever before. I am more open, whole, and love with fewer reservations.
And hey, there’s a party at my house tomorrow night and 25 people from my church are coming over. Granted, I am not cooking any of the food, but it is in–my–home and I’m kinda excited about it. Never saw that coming.
“That’s a girl.” I can here Shosh say to me, “That’s a girl.”
And I know deep down, she’s right.
I’ve got this. On Dummy Blocks, floating in the air, or falling to the ground–I’ve got this.
This class is for me.
Three months ago, I was meditating and had an experience of ascending into a heaven-like place where I was sitting next to a beautiful, blue lake in pristine clear mountains with Christ.
It was absolute peace and love.
All the desire of the human heart are fulfilled here.
We sat together in quietly, looking at the lake. I was basking in a total completion, warmed by the fire of total love and happiness.
Eventually, a question arose from inside of me.
“How can I help more people get here?”
He didn’t speak, but gave me the answer, ‘Teach them to love themselves. The false beliefs people carry about themselves block them from coming. Teach them that they are enough. When they learn self love, they will ascend.”
I didn’t speak of this experience except to a few people. I was not ready to teach it, because I was still learning it myself.
Since that time, I have been assimilating that truth into my being…and it’s changing me.
It is no longer great and powerful words…It is a WAY of LIFE.
… I am using it like an “eraser,” wiping out the guilt I used to feel about past mistakes.
… I am using it as a “cheerleader,” encouraging me when I am working on new goals that are stretching me.
… I am using it like a “blanket” wrapped around me for comfort when I am still learning new things I want to BE.
… I am using it as a “permission slip” to say “No” when I don’t want to say yes to things that are not right for me.
… I am using it like a “sleep aid” telling me to turn everything off when I need to rest.
… I am using it as a “free pass” to do what I feel is right for me, especially when it differs from people around me.
… I am using it like a “silencer” when people are giving me critiques that don’t fit for me,
or upset with me for not doing what they think I should be doing.
His words to me that day… LOVE YOURSELF… are no longer words. They were a doorway into way of life is easier, happier, and kinder to me than I would have ever imagined it to be. I feel closer to HIM, than I ever have, like Heaven is with me where-ever I am walking.
Today, I am offering them to you… LOVE YOURSELF…. to see what JOY and FREEDOM it might hold for you.
Life is kinder to us than we think it is.
The EYE SEES what the mind tells it to look for, and when you are looking for how much you are LOVED, and that you are GOOD ENOUGH right now, you will see it everywhere.
And you will feel the JOY and the FREEDOM of seeing that SELF LOVE just might be the doorway that allows you to get to HEAVEN, while you are still on the earth.
I feel that I am on a spiritual journey, a quest for healing, for life change, and total transformation. I experience that reality every day with my family. Each Sunday at church and every moment that I seek to bring myself in Alignment with Spirit.
I also experience it in business. At the beginning of this year, I made a decision to consecrate my business to God. On purpose, I put it on the altar, so to speak, and said, “This is yours. Show me the way.” It was a willing decision. The decision of one woman to the One God, asking for guidance and yielding the entire company, practices, decisions, and results to a power Higher than my own. That single act was important. And only carries the meaning that I give to it each day, each moment. I believe that outside of family, and your spiritual or religious commitments, your business is a path that can exalt you….or crush you … and all of that depends on you.
It will prove your integrity. It will draw out your false beliefs and show them to you. It will wring out every insecurity you have and you’ll walk around dripping wet until you heal them. It will try your patience. It will grow your confidence. It will show you what you value most…real people or paper dollars.
In the end, if you can get your compass set to your own true center and walk each day in a direction that is right for you, you’ll get everything you wanted. Or better. At least that is what I have experienced in my own life.
Not that it has been all peaches and roses for me. If you know me well, you’ll know that I have had my own fair share of set backs. You will also know that I see those as the best moments of all, because they showed me what was still mine to learn and that–by the way–is the entire point of being here. I know that if I will fasten my beliefs and my daily practices to a Source of Knowledge that is Higher than my own, and dedicate my life and my business to the service of others….then everything turns out alright in the end. Better than alright. It becomes brilliant.
For my friends, and fellow travelers, and colleagues and clients, I love you. I am grateful to be traveling companions amidst with you. Let’s all look UP, fasten our hearts to God, give ourselves over to this adventure, and all that it has to bring us…and learn.
Then we will get from “business” exactly what we came for.