Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: family

The Last of this Year’s Visitors- God

A standard was set tonight for what I would consider an ideal New Year’s Eve. Set out to the yoga ashram just outside of town there was to be a three hour ushering of the new ear and celebration of the last year in the yoga yurt complete with direct intention setting, Kirtan, or sacred chanting, meditation for world peace and a fire ceremony. It sounded sacred. It sounded fun It sounded perfect. Yet Drew didn’t care to go and no matter how perfect an evening we were invited to for me it is a no brainier that it would have been a horrible night without him.
I got my perfect evening, though, and was taught at the perfect moment how God will always come to you.
It began by watching a particular a movie that I rented that opened my eyes and, most importantly my heart, to the pain, the disruptive mess and wars abroad. It was a stark contrast to my life, the safety I take for granted and the innocent bubble I can and do create for myself by not watching the news or reading the papers. Although what I watched was fiction, just the thought that such happens abroad and domestically is enough to shake me awake. I saw and could swim in the millions of blessings I experience on a daily basis. Above all, I saw the need for peace and I prayed a true prayer for peace for all people. I prayed that everyone would be given the freedom, the safety and the love the needed to lead their lives. I prayed that all should be as blessed as I have been.
But this was not to end the evening. God came to my door, not ready for me to settle out the year quite yet. After undressing for the day, stripping off the hundreds of dollars of clothes I had just bought today, a man knocked. We thought it was fireworks at first. But then we heard how it was at our door. Drew answered and it was a man who a few weeks ago came around on a Sunday afternoon asking for work and food. I had given him a fresh loaf of bread and he came back, at 10:30 tonight to see if we had any more to spare. Although we didn’t have bread we gave him some crackers and food we did have. Yet it was a few minutes later that all the pieces came together. I couldn’t help but look at and see the need too that exists in our own town, on our own front porch. There were knocks on the door and on my heart.
There have been a few nights over the past couple of years where I have dreamed of using our resources to help those who need it. I have laid awake in bed running over the details and strategies of allowing homeless people use our backyard, water and firewood. I have written out and thought time and time again of somehow using the small yet powerful skill I have learned of making bread to help others and improve the lives of those who we know and don’t. Yet it wasn’t until tonight that I felt what I dare say was a call. Without a doubt, just as He planned the man to ask for bread, my heart to be awakened and compassionate, He too planted the Divine Thought and connection in my mind. This man came asking for bread. And what did I see? I saw God on my front porch saying, “Yes. It’s time. Make bread. Fill the hungry with food and work. Give what you can and what I am asking of you, so you can become who you are.”
It didn’t take a yurt or chanting or a fire ceremony for me to find God tonight. He came to me. He found me. And this is how I enter the New Year. On my knees. Head to the ground and in awe of the good and the hard, with a prayer asking for strength to carry me and you through the work before us.

True Christmas Gifts

I recently heard Cheryl Richardson advise us all on becoming comfortable with “wanting something when we know or understand it’s not our time to have it”. This is a powerful idea. Can we sit and become comfortable with our own wanting?
I think this is pertinent around this holiday season when we are asked what we “want” in a material sense, and then are asked at New Years what we are resolved to committing to in order to get rid if other wants. It’s a time when we are face to face with the exchange between us all. We can face it with anxiety, with hope, with love or peace, but time an time again we are thrown back into the wanting.
Starting seven years ago every Christmas what I really wanted was a miracle. I wanted the Spirit to fix a wound that hurt us all in my family. I wanted this more than any present imaginable. I asked every year for this miracle and not only around Christmas and yesterday it happened.
Wrapped nicely in a 3 word text, “He did it” the Christmas gift I have asked for with my heart and soul came just a few days early.
It’s hard to describe the fulfillment one has after a seven year wait, but to be perfectly honest the gift came a while ago. The gift came when I became peaceful with the wanting. This year I did not pray and plead for this gift. While my desire for goodwill, health and all good things for my family is still very much with me, I am comfortable with it. God heard my prayers. He got the request from me the very first time my heart ached for it and I asked for it. It was coming, it has come. It’s just on His time. It was this Christmas that was meant to get this gift of fulfillment. The six before have us other important things- patience, faith, a recognition of love, joy in the unseen, detachment of the material, strength in family, release of wanting. I can see so clearly now how it was these other gifts with this year’s answered prayer that constitutes my Divine wealth- that which is unshakable despite circumstances and appearances. It is with these gifts that I have been truly blessed and been given things I didn’t even know I needed much more than my own prayers. This is the Christmas miracle- not that my prayer was answered- they always are- but in the mist of our many year long dialogue I was given Life.

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.

My Unrealized Addiction

I have woken up early on this Sunday. This, a rare occurence, yet something I have been intending for some time. I find that this is how life is for me. I pray, ask, set goals around something, yet the way it comes into my daily life is quiet and slow like this peaceful Sunday morning.

The gift of this time alone right now has been great. Through both yoga and meditation, I sat with a physical pain in my shoulder that I have whenever I get involved in a family business venture I had explored, as well as, the anxiety that rises up when I think about the fact that I have been called in to help. The pain is gone for now, as is the anxiety, for the perspective and realization I had this morning helped me to reframe what I was dealing with.

I realized that when I go back to help my family I am caught in the demanding, insistent need to worry. This stress and worry, coming from both my parents, whether real or simply imagined by me, had because my modus operandi for most of my life. It is like an addiction. You don’t want to feel it. You don’t seek to feel it. You talk about changing. You “give it your best try”. Yet at the end of the day, you fall back, awakened by the wild, rambunctious thoughts that destroy the true peace and many blessings that are around you.

My realization this morning was that this is not just a matter of will power. This is a matter of deep change, and altered old mental pathways. The truth is that I do not want, and now choose, to not use worry or stress to gain what I it give me- significance, importance and urgency. Worry had given me these things. It was the language used in my house to get attention. Just like a child who realizes bad behavior will finally get his parents to look at him, I see how we have all done that too in my family, just replace bad behavior with worry.

So what can be done? I have chosen to treat my “need” to worry like an addiction. “Hi, my name is Elizabeth. I am a worrier.”

I have chosen to avoid the situations were it will be, where it will taunt me and lure me over. I choose to make the hard decisions to avoid the people, places and things that have brought me to indulging in worry before. I choose now, instead, to steady my mind, and surrender to the Divine, whose stream of perfection wipes away any cause for concern. I choose to replace this ancient “need” of mine with new positive addictions, like gaining significance through giving generous support and help to others who need it, or contributing to the empowerment and inspiration of others through my words, actions, resources and love.

I realize this is an overhaul change, the type the ruffles feathers, and that the other addicts won’t understand, or will judge harshly. But I also realize that this is the lesser pain, despite the fact that these are the people I love most, not playing their game, closing the door on their methods, is the only way I can move forward into the peace, love and contentment I know are my Divine right.