Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Month: November, 2012

Happy Thoughts

 

Wrestling with an angel

 

Accepting that you’re not there yet

 

Running during your lunch break

 

Seeing the end of a long stretch of work

 

Poinsettias

 

The tradition of live nativity scenes

 

Having to trust in God

 

Being divided as you grow another business

 

Accepting this

 

Sneaking yoga under yellow-leaved tress

 

Embracing Social Media

 

A deep clean to your office

 

A deep clean to your most recent proposal

 

Getting a handle on things

 

The sound of a chime calming you instantly

 

Reading a funny book

 

Old barns among pastures

 

Just keep moving forward

 

How life can take on different hues with different mindsets

 

Riding the roller coaster of emotions

 

Your favorite piece of jewelry

 

New, crisp business cards

 

When you put the dream away and start getting dirty working

 

Actually kissing the ground and smelling the earth

 

Daily exercises

 

Commitments

 

The science behind motivation

 

Examining yourself

 

Leading with your heart

 

Falling in love

 

Everyone being your teacher

 

Not always being happy

 

Dressing up to fly

 

Who knows where we’ll be in five years

 

The depth that is before you

 

The meditation of scuba diving

 

Stopping my avoidance of pain and bracing myself for it

 

Dancing and singing at the top of your lungs

 

Summer Camp

 

Being Chaplain of a sorority

 

Joy being a catch-word of the season

You, a friend in life and over the page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Compliment Coat

Its fascinating to me how many compliments I get on my winter coat. Drew and I finally made a game out of it since often complete strangers would comment on it. I am very grateful for the compliments, but its laughable too. As I have brought it out this year I am refreshed by the compliments. But not at all for a boost of my ego, but because each one is a reminder of God.
You see I had nothing to do with getting this coat. It’s safe to say all that I have done to get this coat was that I was born. This long pea coat came to me in remarkable ways – through my friend, through my sister, then me. I didn’t ask for it, but I graciously accepted. This burnt orange coat lay dormant in a woman’s closet for an entire year, never worn once, waiting, I suspect, for me. It fits perfectly. I feel great in it. And I keeps me warm for an entire Georgia winter.
So what? Why take time to write or read about a coat? Because it is a physical manifestation of Divinity. This is how Life with God works. You have done the work already. You have been born. These perfect things that match you ideally are waiting for you and coming to you through channels unknown and unconventional. The coat is no different than your true love, your perfect career, your abundant perspective, your best friend. They are all waiting in the wings of your life excited to join with you. And every time they do the world will shower you with compliments because you glow when you are joined with the Divine. But you will know that it’s not you they are complimenting, it’s Him. So you smile and say thank you and then run back to God to laugh about the Power, Playfulness and Presence he has in your days.

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Mind the Gap

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An essential aspect, I have found, to moving into the space where you want to be from where you are now is minding the gap between the two. If you aren’t living it yet then there is space between you and your dream. The question is how can you use your mind and emotions, along with your resources, to close the gap.

I have realized this today as I have begun mentally preparing to buckle down and write a proposal for a book I am planning on writing. As I sit with this, finding the place where I can write genuinely, I see that there is space between me and a successful writing career. This is a powerful recognition since for the first time I am not shying away from this. I am not beating myself up or becoming depressed at the thought I’m not there yet. No, I acknowledge the gap and respect it. It is not harmful or impenetrable. It’s just there. As a soul and human I have every tool to cross this divide in my decisions right now and in the days to come.

My technique to do this, which has helped in both love and career numerous times before is to make a list of the ideal. What is the “too good to be true”. What does it look, taste, sound, feel like? What are the actions a person in that place takes? What are the choices they make? The mindset they have and therefore the emotional well being they display in life? Essentially, I start at the end. What does it feel like an look like when I have attained this goal?

I make this list as exhaustive as possible. I am a writer so I write. But some people like pictures or music or foods that trigger this. Perhaps perfumes trigger it too. All can be used most effectively.

Then I write a list of where I am now in this place. Without being too judgmental or unrealistic, I’m simply honest with myself.

Almost immediately I can see the difference between the lists. This is the gap.

The beauty then is that you can clearly see where you can change. As Mastin Kipp put it eloquently @thedailylove “Who do I have to become to attain this goal?”.

This might be the only question we ever have to ask ourselves as we embark on personal change. From this place we not only know what we need to do, but what and who we need to be. This is the only thing within our control and the key to lasting and meaningful achievement. So here I go, one more step into the gap.

Take Yourself Easily

I wasn’t feeling well last night and so this morning I slept in (until 7:30). Wow what a difference. My whole demeanor if different. Nonetheless I am feeling better. It’s as if Life has said, “Oh yes, welcome back. This is where you belong”. Within an hour of waking and observing this difference in my body and mind I can see how incredibly harsh I have been on myself. Comparing myself to others. Needing things to be perfect. “Should”ing myself in all areas of life. “Elizabeth”, I can hear this gentle voice say, “why don’t you let go of the reins you’ve got so tight and just ride.” I can see that it’s not that I have to get off of the horse completely or let go of you ability to direct it. But nothing will get done if I am this tight. . . and no one, especially me, will be happy.
My commitment this Monday morning is to embrace this new gentility I have towards myself. There is no reason to put more on me, but instead time to take somethings off. While I can’t change the demands on me from work, I can change the demands on me from me. I can sleep in the extra hour. Take a little but longer walk at lunch. Take a bath. Enjoy a flower. Embrace imperfections and take the time and care to fix anything I mess up.
For the month of December I am relieving myself of standards I have put on myself like waking up in the 5s. Of needing to take the next and new course of study. Instead I am creating space. For my health. For my joy. For the light of Christ to dwell with me and my life this Holy season.

Golden Thread

Today I follow the Golden Thread within me and before me. The delicate yet indestructible ribbon that thinly flows from my soul outward. The One Path to follow. The unique Life designed exactly for me. Today I surrender the other choices, which really are no choices at all, that crowd the sidelines of the Thread. I see only the glowing light unravel before me, wrap itself around my heart of hearts and pull me gently into the sphere of love that is our promised perfection. My feet balance as I step onto the Golden Path and my hands wrap around it as I bow down, then somersault my way forward propelled by joy and supported by the invisible field of the Golden Thread that will never let me stumble.

Happy Thoughts

Meditation to ease into sleep
Clean sheets
Family traditions
Hot spiced apple cider
When someone lays on top of you
Naps
Pecan pie
Wives that want your attention all the time
Coming up with Happy Thoughts together
Being the little spoon
Fried Oreos
Pea coats
Hot tubs
Husbands that make you laugh
Laughing until you cry being just what you need
Giddiness
Well worn holey t- shirts
Good friends
Smooth skin
Bundled babies
Deep leather couches

Bottled up joy

And so it begins. The excitement, the joy, the freshness of the season has arrived. Just when things are starting to look drab, when days are a bit cold, and daily routines taste a little stale it has come. I love this time. I love it because it starts with thanks and ends with love and in between is filled with movies about miracles and cookies and a twinge if not a bucketload of belief in the good of humanity. Its as if I have been given a Christmas gift early. Drops of joy that are bottled up and distributed adding a glisten to every moment. Its the excitement if seeing old friends, of giving and getting. Of photo cards coming into homes and a recognition of each other as siblings. More candles are lit than other times and its more culturally acceptable to simply be happy. Yes. It’s all wrapped up for us again this year in the rituals, the songs, the lights. And it all makes me overwhelmed with gratitude that seeps out in tears and makes me fall to the ground in worship of this Life. My blessings this Thanksgiving are too abundant to count. But I know just like looking at clear winter sky studding with more stars than can be counted that its not about a quantitative measure but our submission and awe as we recognize that we are a part of and able to enjoy such majesty.

Ishvarapranidhana

I love this word. I love it so much, I have probably written about it before. But today calls for it too. This Monday, the start to a holiday week that then tumbles into an even greater, merrier, cheerier, stressier, happier, cookier, noggier season somehow marks the beginning and the ending for me in many ways. This is the first day after a day of completion yesterday where I tied up many large and looming projects and proposals. And today, I am up bright and early preparing for the next commitment.

I have thought a few times, as the “to dos” pile up with me putting on thing after thing on my calendar and commitment list, that I might not be setting myself up for the peace of the season. But the truth is, I am excited about all the things I am doing! I am thrilled! I want to do it all – just like I want to attend every Christmas party, every Thanksgiving potluck. I cannot help but feel I am called to do everything I have committed myself to do – even if this is a tremendous amount more than what I have done before. It must be a sign that I am growing.

I am coping with the increase of commitments in a few ways. One of them is remembering and practicing Ishvarapranidhana. This long Sanskrit word means literally to  “Surrender to the Divine”, yet often I have heard it said as “laying “it” at the feet of the Divine”. What an image.

This is what I find myself doing when tiredness creeps up, or I am nervous about the next step I have to take. I pause, I think about what it is that might be a little overwhelming and I see myself bow down, arms out stretched ahead of me, as this burden rolls from me down onto the largest, glowing feet I have ever seen. Then in the midst of the Divine all that I have surrendered – my very best work and my very worse-  evaporates and is made Perfect. My imperfections and errors are erased and I am free. It’s like standing by a fire. The unnecessary is burned away. I realize again, that it is not about me. I am the channel. Life asked for what I just gave it – my wrong perceptions, my feeble attempts, my best test – my thinking that it was me doing the work.

I hope I can remember this as time continues in the next few months. Any moments of overwhelm, exhaustion or the like can be wrapped up and given to the Divine. They don’t have to be perfect – in fact, that is NEVER the expectation. No, give it to Life in the messy form that you have made it and watch with wonder as it transforms before your eyes.

Any stress or anxiety that creep up, I ask now, to be a symbol of the fact that I am carrying the burden when that is not my job. May these emotions be triggers that it is time to surrender fully and allow, with the release of this mis-perceived weight, a flood of joy, merriment, and Christ- light to fill my body, mind, and affairs.

Amen.

 

Happy Thoughts

Writing and reading by candlelight

The anticipation of glittery Christmas Parties

Pumpkins as decorations on desks

To do lists on white boards

Always having colored pencils nearby – just in case

Morning Chai Tea

Tall skinny water bottles

Offering someone who is always upset a cup of tea

Growing up

The physical manifestations of our emotional problems

Accepting

Living in clean spaces

Creamy- Creamless Tomato Soup

Morning skyscapes

Listening to your intuition

Doing what has to be done, with a smile

Being fearless when everything is on the line

Parts of life being like a spa

Diving deeper into yourself

Always going the extra mile

Letting go

Holding on

Dreaming big

“One step at a time”

Welcoming winter with blankets and warm drinks

Finding the things you left in your winter coat pocket from last year.

Simple kettlebell exercises

Routines and rituals

The ease of eating out

Being almost there

Imagining two months from now – what will you be occupied with then?

Reverse Warrior

Aligning your heart and your mind.

Using smart phones to their full capacity

 

Getting a Dirty Job Done

I have been thinking a lot about this question recently. Why? Because there is something within my family that is very disorganized and I keep thinking, is it possible to get this cleaned? Because there is something socially where a dear friend is in involved where all I can say is “This is a mess” and think, how can this be cleaned up? And finally on a physical level, the home I moved into 3 years ago has finally met special cloths that can alter and change its dirtiness, where with every place I look, I enthusiastically ask, can anything be cleaned?

It’s the cloths that have given me the answer – Yes. Whereas before, I thought a faucet should be replaced when I couldn’t get the water stains off of it, I am learning that this is not the case. Anything and everything can be cleaned. But why not until now? I think, based off of my success with the cloths, it is because I was lacking one, if not more, of the three essential things I find necessary to really get a dirty job done.

1. Mind. 2. Tools. 3. Attitude. For years, I was using the wrong tools. Different sprays and products, feeling wasteful, and like I was having to spend too much time cleaning my home. Switching my tools, though, I suddenly realized that my attitude switched too. These were safe tools (no chemicals). These were quick tools (only use water and wipe). These were effective tools (clean in a swipe!). Cleaning suddenly (and truly suddenly) became fun! I looked forward to doing it. I was actually looking for stains and things to clean. “Challenges” if you will, that I knew I could tackle, handle and leave better. With this success, and an environment that was clean on a new level, I realized my mind was quieter, focused and happy. All three aspects of getting a “dirty job done” were reached.

So what? I think one cloth has changed my life. It has made me see that anything can be cleaned. Whether it’s a house, or a relationship, or a career. It’s fixable. It’s cleanable. It’s lovable. But something first has to change. Perhaps its the tool. Perhaps its your mind. Perhaps its your attitude. But it won’t get cleaned by you doing the same thing that you have done before. If you want it to change, you have to change something within you and your approach. This is the excitement of living. This is the freshness we feel when we walk into a clean, organized and fresh life.