Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Month: January, 2012

Happy Thoughts

* G.T.’s Synergy Kombucha Tea, Guava Goddess Flavor

* singing loudly in a car alone

* getting all your “run-around” done

* the Southern expression of a “honey-do” List

* knowing there is enough time

* “He was injured. Injured bad.”

* writing in only your favorite colors

* 67 degree days in January

* feeling needed

* when you make a new dish and its good!

* suddenly seeing clearly your path

* a winning streak of cards

* space heaters at your feet

* meeting goals

* being driven by values

* therapy

* liking what you do so much it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it

* the first shower after a long camping trip

* clean sheets

* reminders that spring always comes

* a good finish to a rough start

* remarkable accomplishments of friends

* Goddesses

* feeling the emotional charge of your bed from your dreams the night before

* how flags in the wind sound like shrouds hitting the mast

* walking into a sacred space

* places that give your dog a treat when they see him with you

* sparkling water

 

Walking into your Desert- Committing to Your Standards

My second year in college was  one of the hardest years of my life. At the beginning I had boisterous friends and a renewed, lustful, romantic relationship. I was focused on fun, knowing full well the negative reputation of both my boyfriend and my closest friends.  Even beyond other people’s judgments of these people, I myself had seen the signs of selfish, materialistic nature and playboy attitudes, yet chose to disregard them.

“They treat me differently; it won’t be the same for me” were thoughts that I couldn’t help but think, as I continued in my fun, pleasure-filled life.

Yet like the ancient yogic tale of the scorpion stinging the animal that brings it across the stream, it was in their nature to act as they eventually did, even if it completely devastated me. I was fully aware of their sting before I became their friend or girlfriend. Therefore after much pain, many tears and eventually silence, I realized that I was the only one to blame for my present hardship. I had to take full responsibility for all the emotional turmoil and agony of that year.

By choosing to take responsibility for my present situation, I was choosing against being angry. I was choosing against revenge, against gossip. I was recognizing that as I had created such a terrible situation, I was the only one who could create the opposite, as well.

Through this pain, I now had a brilliantly clearer vision of my expectations for all of my relationships with others. Hidden in this emotionally tumultuous time in my life was the golden lesson of the power of standards and not settling.

Although I don’t keep in touch with these people, I have forgiven them and myself and count the pain and the suffering of that year as a blessing. They taught me the price of settling and what it takes to commit to new standards every day.

The pain from this year was so distinct and clear, that I was very driven afterwards to not settle for friends or relationships that were not composed of true character. My commitment lead me to understand and to face the fact that I would go through a period of not having close friends or a relationship. At that time, I didn’t have close friends that met my new standards, that were “too good to be true” and I certainly wasn’t close to being in a relationship with someone like that either. Therefore, I knew it would take time to find and establish new friends aligned with my greatest needs and standards. Since my new commitment helped me to clarify that it wasn’t worth my time or emotion to become involved with anyone less than this standard, I knew this process of finding new friends or a relationship would begin alone. Very alone.

I call this the “desert” period and it always comes after we have claimed a new standard for an area of our life. It is as if once you have truly asked for what you want there is a drought of it and you are faced with the greatest fear that comes when you claim new standards  – the fear of never getting what you truly want.

There are two ways to deal with the desert before us once we have established our new standards. One we can turn around. We can settle and live in the land that we are coming from, that we know does not supply us with your highest and most ideal situations or relationships. Or, we can boldly face the barren ground before us and trusting, walk forward.

Although it is one of the hardest things to do in life, facing and walking into our desert serves us greatly for two reasons. One, it is an outward symbol to Life that you are committed to what you have asked for. You are willing to undergo some pain and discomfort now (in fact, the exact opposite of what you have asked for) in order to get what you truly desire, even if there is no sign of it anywhere on the horizon. Two, it serves to mold us. Without the desert we would never be strong enough, confident enough or proactive enough to enjoy the life and the relationships that we desire and deserve.

I believe it is the fear of the desert and the risk we think there is in “holding out” that lends us to settling. This then eventually leads us to live lives that lack the luster of our dreams. To some of us “good enough”, living with some pain forever and settling is better than living with the pain of the unknown, the pain of having to actively make the journey through the desert to get to the place of joy on other side.

The truth is, though, that although you may turn away again and again from the sandy, lifeless space in front of you, you will always know deep down inside that you aren’t living at your best.

Aspects of our life aren’t born until we take the journey ourselves, alone, through the heat, the silence and the expansiveness of our individual deserts.

If you have dreamed of something being “so incredibly good” then it does exist and exists just for you. Are you willing to take the journey towards it? Are you willing to cut away all that you know that is not quite good enough?

Broaden Your Words- Broaden Your Life!

Don’t just be “good”, “fine” or “happy”. Be specific!

If you can articulate exactly what you are feeling by choosing the right word you can consistently inspire and communicate better with yourself, those around you and Life. All of the words below describe a positive state you can enter into immediately by choice and recognition. What a true abundance of joy we all contain through our emotions!

The central question here is, Could we enhance our lives and the lives of others by choosing better words? Let’s try it out! Over the weekend, find one word that “clicks” with you, that tastes delicious in your mouth, and use it repetitively. How do you feel after you use it? At the end of the weekend?

May this list be the beginning of one that you use to define your states more clearly . May it help you realize how brilliant, blessed and self-aware you can be.

  • Absorbed
  • Adventurous
  • Affectionate
  • Alert
  • Alive
  • Amazed
  • Amused
  • Animated
  • Appreciative
  • Ardent
  • Aroused
  • Astonished
  • Blissful
  • Breathless
  • Buoyant
  • Brilliant
  • Calm
  • Carefree
  • Cheerful
  • Comfortable
  • Composed
  • Confident
  • Contented
  • Cool
  • Curious
  • Dazzled
  • Delighted
  • Eager
  • Ebullient
  • Ecstatic
  • Effervescent
  • Elated
  • Enchanted
  • Encouraged
  • Energetic
  • Engrossed
  • Enlivened
  • Enthusiastic
  • Excited
  • Exhilarated
  • Expansive
  • Expectant
  • Exultant
  • Fabulous
  • Fascinated
  • Free
  • Friendly
  • Fulfilled
  • Gorgeous
  • Glad
  • Gleeful
  • Glorious
  • Glowing
  • Good-humored
  • Grateful
  • Gratified
  • Helpful
  • Hopeful
  • Incredible
  • Inquisitive
  • Inspired
  • Intense
  • Interested
  • Intrigued
  • Invigorated
  • Involved
  • Jazzed
  • Joyous
  • Joyful
  • Jubilant
  • Juiced
  • Loving
  • Merry
  • Moved
  • Optimistic
  • Overjoyed
  • Overwhelmed
  • Passionate
  • Peaceful
  • Perky
  • Phenomenal
  • Pleasant
  • Pleased
  • Proud
  • Quiet
  • Radiant
  • Rapturous
  • Refreshed
  • Relaxed
  • Relieved
  • Satisfied
  • Secure
  • Sensitive
  • Serene
  • Splendid
  • Stimulated
  • Surprised
  • Tender
  • Thankful
  • Thrilled
  • Touched
  • Tranquil
  • Trusting
  • Upbeat
  • Vivacious
  • Warm
  • Wide-Awake
  • Wonderful  *

Please feel free to send me more words! Let’s compile a list so grand and so joyous that we cannot help but refer to it daily like stooping down to get a cold, refreshing drink from a flowing mountain stream.

* The majority of this list was taken from Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D’s brilliant book, Nonviolent Communication. If I could create “mandatory” curriculum for all humans, this book would be on it.

Joyous Waiting- The Woman’s Journey

Two Things I have joyously waited for

Waiting is not sexy. Waiting is hard. Waiting is challenging. Waiting is usually boring.

Yet what if waiting and the way we waited was a large part of the relationship we have with Life? What if we realized that waiting was an active part of our days and our relationship with Life?

When I was a nanny, during lunch one day the three-year old girl asked me for a yogurt. “Sure,” I said, as I stood up and starting walking to the fridge. In two seconds, though, she began screaming at the top of her lungs. Her legs began to kick the bottom of her high seat. “YOGURT! YOGURT! GIVE ME YOGURT!”

The scene was quite comical, since there I was already going to get it. All I could do to move faster to the fridge that 5 feet away would be to run. That was entirely not necessary.

“I am going to get it…. See I am at the fridge.” I spoke in a clam voice, trying to help the child understand that her request was being answered. Yet she was completely blind to all the movement that was going into the fulfillment of her request. Even when the yogurt was finally put in front of her, she was still screaming and in such a rage she didn’t notice it.

For one reason or another, as I sat back down, asking Life what I was suppose to take from this experience, I realized that I was the screaming little girl. I was still yelling, screaming, kicking, for my requests to be brought to me. I was the one who was ignorant to all the movement that was happening for what I have asked for to be brought to me.

Now, after making certain requests of Life, I often pause to remember that Life still has to “go to the fridge”. It is useless, silly and quite a waste of emotion and energy for me to freak out. Little does she know, but I am so grateful to that child for her tantrum that day.

Joseph Campbell discovered through his life’s study of myths the commonality of what he described as the Hero’s Journey. Campbell’s account of the Hero’s Journey influenced George Lucas to make Star Wars and a plethora of other artists, writers, and therapists  have taken this structure of the Hero and applied it to their life and their art. Ever since I had heard of this though, I have asked the question, what is the heroine’s journey?

I found Campbell’s answer in a book entitled Pathways to Bliss that compiled some of his essays. At the end of the book a dialogue between Campbell and two of his students was transcribed. I found the female student asked the question I had been waiting for – but what about the heroine?

Campbell’s response –  Her journey is to wait. 

While men will go out, engage in action, externalize their feelings and emotions, we find the woman’s world is one of staying in one place, of waiting “it” out, of turning inward.

He cited the presence of Widow’s Walks, the story of Odysseus and his wife, Penelope, whose task was to wait, and he spoke of other examples of women waiting in the world.

There is some truth to this, as I look strictly at the biology of women vs. men. When I think of joyous waiting I often think of pregnancy and how there is little to do but wait as the child grows in the womb.

Joyous waiting, too, for me is found in gardening. There is a delay between the planting of the seed and the fruit that it bears. There are weeks when we just wait, expect, prepare and get excited.

Writing about waiting came to my mind today because I have recently realized that I am living in the states – emotionally, relationally, financially, physically and spiritually – that I asked for one year ago. This is a harvest period of my life. I am living into my answered prayers, hopes and dreams. Life got back from the fridge!

I had relinquished my desire for these states a year ago after I had asked for them, knowing that there would be a time lag and being completely aware of my ignorance of how things would come to be. Yet I kept my mind open and excited every time a sprout, something small that indicated the coming of the fruit, appeared on my path. By letting go of my requests, I allowed myself to be present, and therefore, able to not only enjoy Life, but to recognize the hints that it was working on my behalf.

If there has been something that you have been wanting in your life, something you have wished for, asked for, or perhaps simply secretly dreamed of in your heart, acknowledge and get excited for that seed of desire to grow into what you have asked for once you seriously decide to plant it in your life. Even if you see no signs over some time, not even a sprout, trust that the fruit will come in during its perfect season.

Find peace in knowing that even though you are waiting, what you have asked for is coming to you. Life has your request. It has such a crush on you  that of course it will fulfill your desire to the best of its endless ability. Your job now is to wait and to do so with happy, excited joy.

Happy Thoughts…

* bedtime rituals of toothpaste and soap

* the head massage when you get your hair cut

* hitting only green lights when you are in a rush

* finishing a great book

* stopping a bad book

* executing an idea

* learning how to work a new phone

* receiving unexpected flowers

* positive responses for your work

* all of a sudden knowing that everything is going to be great

* skin still hot from sitting out in the sun

* the ache of your cheeks after smiling too much

* finding a perfectly intact starfish

* a splash of cold water after a hot shower

* a clean house

* giving a dog a back rub

* doing something from a genuine place

* biting into fresh hot bread

* finally knowing what you want

* times when Life speaks to you

* shoulder stands

* space heaters

* sisters

* making a good friend after a friend drought

* hand writing letters

* someone who changes your world

* a new, refreshing thought

* drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day

Accepting Your Wealth

In my favorite book, 14,000 Things To Be Happy About, Barbara Ann Kipfer clearly articulates the fact that we have thousands of things to be grateful for every day. In each of her listings, whether it is “the cold side of the pillow”, “dancing in the kitchen” or “the joke on a popsicle stick” I am reminded that there are hundreds of aspects of my Divine Wealth hidden throughout my life.

As I lay in bed last night, I became keenly aware of how lucky I was to live my life.  I realized that I wasn’t focusing daily on the many wonderful and amazing things in my life.  Instead, my focus was much more on all the things that I “stress” over. One of the best definitions I have read of “stress” is “the state where we feel our needs are not being met”.

I had become acutely aware of the polarity between”wanting” and “thanking”. If I was holding a thought of something that I “needed” or “wanted” then I couldn’t be holding a thought of something I was “thankful” for. Then, I thought, since I have had so many of my days filled with anxiety and desire, could I be grateful enough to have days where I live completely in gratitude?

I found that I had a hesitation to live in the world of the consistently grateful.  I honestly questioned who would I become if I didn’t “want” anything? So much of my mind, my days and my identity are filled with my desires. I was fearful to begin to really look and live with the abundance  of good that my life consists of. For some unknown reason, I noticed that I actually thought that  if I paid attention to the good then it would start to disappear from my life, as if my focus would melt it away.

This, however, is completely counter to all spiritual law. Instead, we find through many teachings and our own experiences that what we focus on, the emotion that we consistently feel, is multiplied in our lives and in our future. By generating a radical attitude of gratitude you begin to live more fully. To do this, I had to face these fears, notice their ridiculous nature and above all accept my own position as part of the elite of the world.

The truth is, no matter where you stand financially, by simply being a resident of the United States, you are among the top 6 percent wealthiest of the world. Although I had heard this before, reading this last night struck me with the reality of this statement.  Although you can drill down and notice differences between where I stand and others around me, in the greater picture, I am incredibly wealthy. I can assure you that you are too.

Can I accept this?

Can I live in the bliss of having a hot shower every day?

Can I notice every time I turn on the water, the miracle of the fact that it is clean, easy, and abundantly flowing?

Can I accept the fact that there has never been a day in my life that I haven’t had toothpaste?

Can I look at each bite of food not as a rush or a need, but as a true feast, one that I chose and can enjoy to my heart’s content?

Can I thank our roof for being sturdy and steady, blocking so many of the elements from us?

Can I look to the floor and be amazed at its wooden support and beautiful coloring, far from dirt or dust, yet refined and lovely?

Can I look at my computer and be amazed at its ability to process and connect me to so many people, to be a tool to help me help others and connect with them?

Can I notice that every day there is music in my life, lyrical gifts from others and Life, that help to immediately change my state for that moment and the moments to follow?

Can I appreciate the human touch that comes so freely through handshakes, hugs and even smiles that are given to me today?

Can I see that I have many options of how to express myself and the love I feel every day?

Can I see that 50 yards away from me is just one of many stores offering food, medicine, entertainment and more comforts than I can choose?

Can I accept that by the amount of books I have, I can consider the fact that I have a small library?

Can I feel grateful for my effortless ability to read, write, compute and communicate?

Can I see these things and so many more every day?

Can I live in this wealth and radical gratitude?

The smile is the physical manifestation of the fact that you are  filled with assurance and the perspective that your Life is brilliant, unbelievably amazing and want for nothing. It is radical to be the smiling person at work. You are being radical if you smile at all, nevertheless, throughout the entire day. These are the radicals we need.  The Happy Radicals, the Joyous Citizens, who despite their opinion or other pressures, always keep in the forefront of their mind the excitement, reality and love for such an amazing life.

It is time that we accept our privilege. Accept who you are and the life that you have been given. Accept that it is enough, filled exactly with the lessons and people you were meant to be with and learn from. Accept that it is one of the absolute best situations you could be in. Accept that by just noticing it, you are doing your Highest and Greatest Duty. Nothing more is required from you than a simple and genuine “thank you.”

Most “problems” will disappear of their own weight when we begin to turn our “wanting” into “thanking”. Attempt to be radical today. Smile through any pain. Notice the weave of your clothes, the heat in your building, the dozens of friends that are a phone call away, the knowledge at your fingertips right now.

This is an amazing Life. Today is filled with more wonders than we can count. Every time you find yourself wanting, think instead of 10 wonderful things, especially the small and the silly, that are part of your life. Say them out loud. Count them on your fingers. Write them out.

Accept your wealth – your true Divine Wealth that is not only measured in dollars.

This wealth is meant for you and you are meant to live in this radically grateful way. 

An Uncluttered Life

Can you fall in love, when you are surrounded by your own clutter?

Before I fell in love with myself, with Life or with another, I had to clear away the many physical messes in my life. One Thanksgiving break, I dedicated all the extra time I had after work, to go through the thousands of papers and memories I had accumulated over the years. I drugged up from the silty soil of my home (and soul) the old pictures and memories and forced myself to look at them, through both tears and laughter.

Although this process was one focused on my external surroundings, it was a highly emotional and a deeply physiological experience. I supported myself  during the process by treats like my favorite store-bought tea (Kombucha) and listening to my favorite  music (Enya) or perhaps a book on tape that was enthralling. Above all, I allowed myself the time to look, to change, to purge and to remember. It was a very self-indulgent time. This experience was felt in both my body and in my mind, as I saw old aspects of my past and myself.

By designating this time and clearing the clutter, I found a sense of lightness and freedom. I became free from my past and other lingering strongholds that I had a vice grip on for years.  On a spiritual level, by facing and clearing away my environment, I was creating space within my life to welcome in who I was, as well as, other people and more love. There had been only a few other times when I felt so in sync with the Universe and “clear” about what I wanted from Life.  Each  of these times were when my surroundings were simple, useful and uncluttered, like during long camping trips, sailing voyages and being at camp.

As you choose to embark on this purge and self-examination, be strong as you face the dark, hidden spots of your own self and the past.  Through this honest self-examination and “de-cluttering” you are creating an opportunity for personal change. While this experience can be emotionally challenging, you will come out of it stronger, more confident and clearer on your purpose and goals in this life.

I encourage you to come to this task with an open mind, asking questions like “Why do I choose to live this way with all this stuff?” In my journey, I realized that my constant pattern of having a mess reflected a distrust I had towards Life. By maintaining clutter and a messy environment, there were four main things I was not trusting. One, that there will be something good and meaningful to do in the future. Two, that there will be more memories and more things to look forward to. Three, that it is ok to take time for myself in “indulgent” ways. And four, that I am good enough to live in a beautiful, clean and self-serving environment.

I found that each of my piles represented my fear of letting go and facing the truth that I was worthy of spending time on me and living the life I desired. Over time these piles, and therefore my fear and self-neglect,  built up and began to take over my time and life.

My mess was also an excuse. “I can’t do that, until I clean up here.” “I can’t accomplish that until….”  This deadly conditional phrase had kept me from pursuing and following every day that which I needed to accomplish. I was sabotaging myself and using my mess as my excuse for not living the way I wanted to live.

Everything in our lives serves a purpose for us, even our messes. After I had taken the time, that entire week, to look through these piles, although I felt better, I hadn’t cured myself of the habit of creating them. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that now these piles served another purpose by giving me “me time”. Having had the great experience of the first purge, I now set my life up so that I could spend weekends, perhaps weeks, dedicating myself to clearing, cleaning and organizing. Although this may not sound fun to many people, this was a time that I could completely and utterly indulge in my life. I had created a system that set me up to have time that was focused on me, in a way that I felt was acceptable and necessary. After realizing this, then I was able to address the real “need” I had for piles and disorganization – it was my way of claiming time for myself, to reflect, to remember and to honor myself.  I, therefore, had to find a replacement, and a change in my understanding that there were other, more constructive ways of focusing on myself, than setting myself up for marathon cleaning weekends.

As you can see, the process of understanding ourself through our stuff is endless and constantly changing, yet it is one that we must look at and address. If you want some change, if you want to begin to create more love and excitement both externally and internally, we must all look to the piles and the messes surrounding us. What have we created and allowed to maintain presence in our lives? We must accept all that they hold and represent. Then, we will notice how by addressing our environment we can change ourselves.  As on the external, so the internal. Address the mess. Address the need it is fulfilling in your life and then consciously choose to fulfill these needs in other, more meaningful and significant ways of your choosing. You are worthy of this.

(One of the greatest lessons I learned about organizing is that it is not just something we are born with, but a skill we can each acquire. The best book I have read about organizing is Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out. I highly recommend this book as a way to gain knowledge and encouragement about useful ways to organize. It has transformed my own life. I still will listen to it while I am cleaning or organizing to remember the tips and tools she offers. With Love, – Elizabeth)

The Geography of Heaven

Photo from National Georgaphic

I find there are contradicting thoughts about the different “places” where Heaven can be. It seems juvenile and old-fashioned to look to the sky now and say, “Oh, the heavens” and to think that this is a place in which people will go after they die. I suppose this feels weird to say and think because space now is a place people have been. We have expanded our frontier into the Universe and the stars above whether through manned trips within our solar system, or sending pairs of eyes through cameras beyond the reached of what we are capable of.

Yet there still remains this idea of Heaven. I define Heaven as a place and a personal state where everything is in harmony and balance. It is filled with the presence of Divine Perfection.

In all my reasoning, in all my deducting, and in all my intuiting, I find that Heaven cannot exist anywhere but right here and right now. The map of where Heaven is, in my mind, has shrunk to be held within the individual and is demonstrated in their affairs.

Christians everywhere today will pray the Lord’s Prayer. A prayer that states, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be your Name. Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

I have always understood Heaven here to be a word representing the Divine Order that is perfect under Grace and in perfect ways. It is the realm beyond “good and bad”. It is the realm beyond duality, where Life simply is.  This Heaven is a place where the Divinity of every thing, from a flower to a stone, is recognized, acknowledged and effortlessly given to its greatest purposes.

The only division between me and Heaven in my life has been my mind and the perception that I carry. By reminding myself of this idea that as I have asked in prayer that Heaven come down to Earth, right now, I bring to myself again to the reality that I truly move and live in Heaven. This fills me with exuberant amounts of  peace, excitement and love every time I think of it.

Heaven is here. Heaven is now. We are each given the opportunity to choose to live and love into this reality. It is only after doing so that we find Life responding with its Heavenly nature. We see perfection in everything including “imperfections”. We see Life offering itself again and again to us. We see that nothing is too good for this day and all that happens. We see angels in our friends or in strangers we come across. All becomes good and well.

Yes, there is no need to wait. There is no question of whether you will “get there” or not. Your chance is now. Your Heaven is before you and within you. Look inside. Ask and you will see how suddenly with Energy and Excitement you can enter into Heaven, into the Divinity within yourself, with the surrender of all previous conceptions.  With the acquisition of this new reality that this, right here and right now, is Heaven, all is changed and Life, in all its greatest glory, opens itself up to you.

 

So, Life, what do you want to do today?

Can you have a conversation with Life, one where Life talks back?

Can Life become a friend, a confidant, a lover, a guide?

These two questions lead us down an interesting and exciting path. If we are able to take away our limiting belief that Life itself cannot speak to us, then our days become wide open and filled with messages, encouragement, signs and wonders that are truly hard to believe. On good days, I am speaking to Life all day long! And Life is talking right back!

When we begin to have an actual relationship with Life, as if It was your very best friend in the whole entire world, then we can begin to dialogue with Life. Just as we adopt our ways of communicating with certain people, we must here, too, destroy certain “ideas” we have of how a conversation must go.

As with any friend, or good talk that we have, we must enter the space and the dialogue with no expectations, yet a willingness to learn, laugh and enjoy what the other “person” has to say.

Life is waiting for you to start to ask some good questions, to tell it stories and for you to reach out as if you were casually sharing with your best friend. It is waiting for you to start listening in ways that you have never thought of before. It is waiting for you to show up, sit and have coffee with It. In the bounds of your very days, in the limits of your schedule, Life has the uncanny ability to talk and laugh with you. It is up to you to be open for all the chatter.

How to Converse with Life?

But how to do you begin this? How do you befriend Life when its boundaries are so nebulous?

The answer lies is your ability to drop your own boundaries and to understand that Life has the ability to use anything in your life to talk to you.

Just like in most conversations, questions are the most potent and broadening aspect of the dialogue. I suggest beginning by first asking questions and trusting that Life is close by, listening and ready to respond. Do this in the most playful manner possible!

Common questions I find myself asking, are “Ok, what should I wear?” , “What would be most fun to write about today?”, “Where should I look?”, “What should I do?”, “What do you want to eat?”, “What am I missing?”, “Where should I be right now?”, “How funny is this video/ book/ scene?”, “How can I get out of this mood?”, “Tell me something I need to know.”, “Tell me  a story.”, “Is today going to be a good day?”,  “What can I do for you?”

Nothing is too small or to0 big to ask about.

Life will answer you back. The answers come in a variety of ways and maybe not delivered as quickly as you would like, but they are always on their way. The answer might be through a sign, a tangible and physical  answer you find in something you pick up and read or see. Or maybe you have a “gut” feeling about something and find yourself gravitating that way, only then to meet with your answer. The answer can be in a song, in someone else’s words to you, in the mail, in an email, in the trash, in the sky, in your heart, in your journal. The answers will come in the most creative, fascinating ways. It is up to us to listen, remain open and trust.

Some of the Ways Life Talks to Me

* A friend or acquaintance tells me exactly what I need to hear, or repeats the same question I have asked Life

* Every time I come home and there is a dog SO excited to see me (That is Life saying, YAY! YOU’RE BACK! I LOVE YOU!)

* Every time there is a love song playing, whether in the car or in public (That is a song Life wrote and is playing JUST FOR ME!)

* The repetition of certain quotations in my life during the same time period

* When flowers are placed on my path

* When there is a glisten and glitter to that which lays before me

* Through books and passages that speak right to my questions

* Through a sense of knowing when one particular thing is meant to be with me (this is a very distinct feeling)

* Through emails, text messages, and letters from people who I just thought of

* Through the warmth and support of a cozy bed every night

Two of the Most Fun Ways to Converse with Life

Although I am continuously amazed by the messages from Life I get and the way they come to me (within the past two days, Life has talked to me through a mosquito and a magazine article, amongst other things). Below, however, are two practices that I have found particularly useful. The first is fascinating and very therapeutic. The second can be a bit more fun and lighthearted. Yet, both, can bring you to greater clarity and answers for some of the “heavier” questions on your heart or mind.

1. Left Hand Writing

Here is a fun way to engage yourself in a fascinating dialogue. If you are right-handed, get a piece of paper or journal and a pen. With your right hand, write down a question you have. Then, without much thought, with your left hand answer it. Dialogue then, between the two hands.

I find with this exercise that certain memories and answers flow through my left hand. I am brought back to a child-like state through the look of my writing and the vulnerability I seem to have because it is not nearly as easy to write with my left hand.  The science behind this practice is that you are engaging your right hemisphere of your brain while writing with your left hand, thereby bringing in the less dominant, more creative and visual side of your life to the page.

* If you are left-handed, do this exercise, but with switching the hands, so that you are answering the questions with your non-dominant hand.

2. The iPod Shuffle Game

Could Life speak to you through your iPod? Yes it can!

It is remarkable how well this one works. In my experience, though, it is with the truly hard questions that we get the truthful answers.

On your iPod or phone, wherever you store your music, go to the largest playlist, or preferably all your songs. Out loud ask a question you really want an answer to. Hit shuffle and listen to the song that comes next. The answer is almost always in there!

This is a great road trip game, yet also a good thing to do alone. It is always the questions that you don’t want to ask, the ones where you are scared of one particular outcome, that the answer comes most clearly.

I like this method since to me it always makes me laugh. It’s as if Life is saying, don’t you dare put any boundaries on me. I am in everything! And can use anything to talk to you!

Go! And Talk to Life

Have fun with this idea that Life is talking to you. Enjoy the wisdom, the humor, the fun that comes with the erasing of boundaries and the welcoming in of messages. Treat Life like you would a best friend. Have standards. Have fights. Seek advice. Go out and play. Share your stories.

You have nothing to lose, and can only gain an amazing friend.



We can only do small things….

“If you think that something small cannot make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” 

Potent things come in small packages.

Ever since the New Year,  I have been enthralled by the power of small things. I am enraptured by the thought of not doing big things. Instead, I am dedicating myself to small, itty, bitty tasks that I can practice every day, bringing me closer to becoming the person I have always wanted to be.

This new mindset has struck me with its power and efficiency. It has removed the pressure I had put on myself to accomplish large and overarching goals (like writing multiple books, learning a language, deepening my friendships, etc) and has put my goals into manageable bite size accomplishments (write one page a day, learn one word a day, write one friend a day…). By committing to less than I think I am capable of, I have somehow escaped the stress of accomplishment and moved into a state of flow, inspiration and contribution.

Before, when I wanted to do “big” things, I was often too stifled to even start. We all want to change the world, to create something beautiful and significant, something that can truly alter our reality and that of others. However, we don’t live largely in our minds or in our time. In reality, we live moment to moment. We live in minutes, in small decisions. So the question becomes, how can you fill this time with equally small, yet intentional actions?

Love is created in the moments you are fully present. Health is created in every bite. Success is created after thousands of tiny steps. If we understand and accept this nature of time and the world, then we are able to see how this day is important. This is a day that I can contribute to my large hopes and dreams, not a day I will complete them.

I encourage  you to remember the way things are created in this world. Everything that grows, grows slowly, and in small unrecognizable increments. It is only over time with each tiny step of growth accumulating on itself that we see something completely new and transformed.

Whatever change you have planted in your heart or in your life this year needs this time, space and permission to grow ever so slowly. Trust in Life and Its ways. Even when you can see no distinguishable difference, your commitment to small steps every day will bud and flower, fruit and prosper into one of the most beautiful parts of your life.