On getting in our own way.....

"Life didn't get in the way, you got in the way. Stop saying yes to so many damn things." Kim Klaver

I heard this on a master mind call today. I don’t know about you, but it’s the kind of message I can’t hear too often.

Sometimes it’s just so darn hard to narrow our focus to the things that truly matter.

It’s just so dang easy to say yes. I mean, there are so many cool things to say yes to, right?

Every morning my inbox is flooded with interesting things. You click one link and zoom – down the rabbit hole you go… to end up an hour later goodness knows where.

It takes discipline to stay focused. It takes renunciation. Now that’s a concept – not a very popular one I bet. Renouncing the fascination with the new shiny things that tantalize us from the endlessly fascinating world we live in, where everything we could possibly want to know is a mere click away.

It takes choosing to stay true to our commitment,  staying faithful to our passion and our goals.

It’s a good reminder for the likes of me, perhaps you too, who like to wander in this every expanding universe of possibilities.

A Spring Update: More musing on caring for an aging parent

An afternoon outing on Spring Lake
 It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three months since my recently widowed 88 year old mum made the journey from England to live in a small care home near us here in Northern California.

We’ve been finding our rhythm, settling into some kind of routine, where she spends at least 2 weekday afternoons and evenings with us, and much of the weekends. Yesterday was the first time I took a much-needed break and took the whole Sunday to go sailing in Tomales Bay with my hubby –pure heaven!
A little role reversal, her turn to push

What have I learned in the past months? Well, for starters, that when you are caring for an elderly parent, as much as you love them, you will go through the whole range of emotions – from enjoyment of their company to exasperation, from affection to irritation, from gratification to overwhelm, from fondness to guilt, from love to helplessness and everything in between.

But the best part? To realize it is all OK.  The whole gamut. It’s just part of the deal.
I guess kind of like raising kids – you adore them, and sometimes they just drive you nuts. But then they are so cute you forgive them anything and fall in love with them all over again.  The main difference is there‘s not always as much of a cute factor at age 88, though my mum can be pretty darn cute.

Another big lesson – the importance of self-care; of tuning into my own well-being regularly enough so that I can recognize the early subtle signs of burnout and the need to take a break. The need to balance my needs and hers, to find the ever shifting sweet spot of the right amount of time together and time apart, to learn that there is only so much I can do for another’s happiness, to know my limits. To discover that I can stretch more than I thought I could, to seek and find support from my family and tribe, and most of all, to feel gratitude to have the opportunity to return the loving care that she gave to me, all those years ago.

Are you caring for an aging parent? I’d love to hear your experience!

Giving birth to a new reality: the missing ingredient

When the soul wishes to experience something, she throws an image of the experience before her and enters into her own image.
Meister Eckhart

I just love this beautiful description of stepping into our soul’s vision for ourselves.

Something new - it all starts with our imagination – that taste of a possibility, that moment of inspiration when we glimpse the prospect of something as yet unknown, the moment that we give birth to that “rocket of desire” that shoots off into the far reaches of the Universe, creating the mental equivalent of our heart’s desire.

In the Science of Mind philosophy, we could say this process is a manifestation of the Divine Urge to grow, to express life.

And what is ours to do once we have launched this desire?

Perhaps the more important question is – what is ours to be?

For we are all about the doing, in this culture. We are great at strategies, actions plans, and processes. And there is nothing wrong with that – it’s all necessary.

But first, comes the being. If we take care of that, the doing will flow more harmoniously. Even though we may be working hard, even harder than we have ever worked, it won’t feel like quite such a struggle. 

So, what is ours to be? 

The state of being in which we know that we are already in the Flow, by divine birthright. The state of being in which we allow, and relax, and open to that greater unfolding. The state of being in which we trust that just as surely as Life creates the  desire, it creates the means and the wherewithal to bring it into fruition.

When we are in this state of allowing, receptive being, the steps to the doing show up in all kinds of synchronistic ways. New doors open. Unexpected connections materialize. Fresh perspectives emerge.  Magic happens. The entire Universe conspires for our happiness. Stars are born!

No Guarantees

I was pondering this today as I sat down to write my blog post for the day.  

How often do we choose the safe road because it promises safety and stability?

A path of freedom, of choosing your own path, that requires facing life with a certain measure of fearlessness, or to put it more accurately, with a willingness to embrace the inevitable fear and forge on ahead regardless.

Sure, who wouldn’t like the reassurance of a guaranteed outcome? If I go out on a limb, there will be someone there to catch me. If I take a risk, someone will be there to tell me it’s all going to be OK.

Well, the fact is, it’s not always going to be OK. We may fail. We may get scratched and bruised. Our egos might take a beating.  We might even fail miserably, not once, not twice, but many times.

But we will be in good company.

Did you know that Dr. Seuss’ first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was refused by 27 publishers?

Or that Vincent Van Gogh only sold one of his 900 paintings in his lifetime?

Or that Henry Ford went broke 5 times before he finally succeeded when he founded the Ford Motor Company?

The list goes on and on.

So, dear one, if you are contemplating jumping from the nest, take heart. Embrace the fear. Let your wild free self fly.

How to relive the joy ~ one happy memory at a time

A good friend told me something fascinating the other day. Did you know that reliving your positive memories has almost the same positive effect on your nervous system and sense of well-being as living the original experiences?

Now that beats the price of a vacation!

So next time you are feeling blue, or frazzled, or out of sorts, try this simple strategy.

Take a deep breath.
Close your eyes, if you wish.
Focus on your chest area.
Feel your breath coming in and out through your heart.
Picture a time when you felt free and happy, see it in detail, and in living color.
Allow a feeling of gratitude to infuse your being.
Enjoy the sights, the smells, the sensations and the feelings of that happy moment.

Come back to your day ~ refreshed, renewed, and with a lighter heart.