Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: Inspiration

Merging

Highways might as well be a prayer rug for me that stretch out across the country. I travel often, most often by car, and every time, I find myself on my knees, bowing down, asking for some grace on the journey.

In reflection I can see that I really do love this. It’s a small reminder of the power of living a prayerful life, of surrendering, while still gripping the wheel, heading into your own direction, at speeds hard to fathom.

The prime time I pray- a simple and direct prayer- is before merging onto highways. The cars whipping by. The blindspots. The inability for me to punch my speed to match theirs as quickly. Wow, do I pray.

And there, every time, within moments, the prayer is answered. I cannot tell you how remarkable- truly awe-some- this prayer is. I merge onto congested and racing speedways with wide gaping holes in the traffic. How do I help you understand this even more? Every time, each time, I pray and then I come onto a highway where there are dozens of cars 50 yards ahead of me, and dozens 50 yards behind, but rarely a car even on the 4 lanes I enter. And every time, in the expanse of the highway I am reminded of the power of the Divine. I am reminded of our use of prayer. I surrender in awed gratitude to the ability of Life to protect, guide, and help us.

This past Thursday, as I was heading to Charleston, South Carolina, I was doing this practice, amazed yet again, and a thought came to me, as they so often do- out of the blue.

“Why don’t you pray for the merger of your career?”

Of course it clicked right away. Like the sky knocking on my thick skull – “Hello! If I can work in traffic, I can work in your other future paths too.”

So I did. I prayed for the safe and bless merger of my writing career.

We think these big life decisions, these dreams and songs of our heart are massive and slow moving like glaciers, and sometimes they are. But sometimes they look more like the Interstate.

I can’t help but feel like Squirt from Finding Nemo. When he gets knocked out of the East Australian Current and has to merge back in, with power and with courage, his Father waiting patiently for his safe return, which he knows is coming.

 

Apprenticing Your Soul Work

As I sat in contemplation this evening, I was struck by a new-ish phenomenon – the seemingly rapid growth of the “coaching” industry. How cool is this! Life Coaches, Business Coaches, Career Coaches, Relationship Coaches, Writing Coaches – anything and everything – you can find someone to help. In my internal dialogue, I was wondering why – why now was there this push, this explosion? Why was it all of a sudden so accepted to hire someone to help you in any pursuit – most namely that which you have dreamed about since being a child?

The answer came quickly and clearly. We are at an exception time in history where culture has set up systems for us to be apprentices to our soul work. We accept, recognize and dare to pursue the call of our soul. So often, however, we have no idea where to start or how to get an organized, focused, and clear enough about what exactly our nebulous soul offering is.

Hence, you hire a coach.

Sometimes the money spent will be incentive enough to get clear and get busy. But often times we also need their direct, honest feedback. You need some sacred space to share the embryo of your dreams where they won’t crush it, but cradle it gently and firming while guiding you in how to continue to grow.  You can work with someone to refine your gift, your soul’s work and put it in a readable, understandable package and share it!

Coaching exists in such abundance now because the world is in need of more soul workers. We are actually at a place in the evolution of the planet, where we need to more quickly get to the purpose of our life. Our contribution to the world is needed beyond compare. Coaches help you get there.

So whether you are learning to love, learning to write, learning to market, learning to balance the demands of life there is a new army of teachers ready to help.

We all might feel the stigma of not wanting to ask for directions – especially when the journey is one of getting to your purpose, but let’s admit it – if you haven’t already achieved it, then you haven’t reached the destination. Why not stop and ask for help? Why not pick someone up for part of the journey who has taken that road before? Why not expedite your blossoming and contribution to us! We need you! You are part of the healing of lives and of the world. We all need teachers. We all need the enthusiastic, honest, demanding voice of a coach.

How blessed we are to live in a world that supports these coaches who pry from us the hidden words and dreams we struggle to even admit. They are teaching alchemy. They are healing the world.

 

Tulips

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The tulips are better this year than ever.
It was during our engagement we planted them. Before we had any gardening sense we thought it would be brilliant if we could not only grow the flowers for our wedding, but then enjoy their beauty every year as they bloomed.
Our timing was a bit off on the tulips for the wedding, but not for life. They have sprouted their way each following spring and with them a reminder of the beauty to come, of the seeds and bulbs we have planted for our relationship in the past, a reminder of rebirth.
But there is something about this season’s tulips. They are stronger, taller, more radiant than ever before. Time has developed them. Practice has effortlessly made them more striking and unique.
Of course this observation is dependent on my eyes too. My perspective, I am sure, has changed having come through the the colorless winter. Nevertheless, I can see the miracle now. The tulips and us are stronger, more rooted, more captivating than ever before. Time has been a good friend.

I Don’t Know

Can we relax into this phrase? Can we let go of ourselves into the not knowing? Can you embrace it? Love it, dance, swim, indulge in it?

What if this week we lived in the “not knowing” space? What if we were not only honest with others, but with ourselves – I don’t know.

As I read this idea this morning, parts of my body and soul that were secretly clenched instantly released. I realized I was harboring so much tension in my body because I had set up the standard that I should know the Way of my self-expression, my future, my contribution to others.

While it is a challenging journey to begin to understand what you can uniquely contribute to the world, in recognizing your gifts, your talents, your abilities, and wanting to spread them, it may be even harder to not just attempt to map out your contribution, but to remain honest with yourself, that you really have no idea how it’s going to happen.  The truth is that your path is just that – yours. It has never been experienced before. It cannot be predicted. It cannot be copied.  This individualized adventure, your Divine Self Expression, is wholly unique and the only thing you must carry forward on this journey is this mindset of not knowing. With this comes immense trust in Life, superhuman persistence, dogged determination and a gentleness with yourself that isn’t always supported culturally. Not knowing takes you out of the picture and allows the teachers, leaders, guides and others to point the way, lift you up and enter you into a life of awe.

Today, I admit it. I do not know. 

Carve

As I was lying in bed last night I knew exactly what I needed to do. I needed to become a chiseler. I needed to work on the stone in my heart and mind that is blocking my contribution, my joy, my enthusiasm. It sounds strange, but I can actually feel it. A block. A weight. And with it comes the backed up undercurrent of a life not fully lived.
As I lay there, knowing this, I realized what I was telling myself… Carve, Elizabeth, carve. Carve out the time. Everyday.
With this common language I knew more of what it would take. Have you ever tried to make something beautiful out of a rock? Have you ever chiseled, sanded, cut a stone? It’s not easy. It takes consistent effort, more force than you can imagine, and so often it is hardly beautiful. The beauty doesn’t come out until then very end, the shape and vision you saw from the beginning doesnt appear for some time. The journey there is arduous, filled with a daily attempt at making something beautiful, of expressing your soul in the outside world.
I knew with this one realization through such an everyday phrase that my life and my Soul work is like this. What I must do, what my joy depends on, is giving myself this carving time- a time dedicated, pure, ugly, rough, thrilling- everyday to express and work towards my life work. This what it means to carve out time to write. This is what it means to live your purpose.

Soul Rain

We so often hide from the rain. We cover ourselves from its sprinkles. We put concerted energy into preparing and planning strategies for traveling outside in downpours. We get annoyed when we get wet. But tonight I smelled the earth as it received the rain and my whole body let go of something. My heartbeat found some place in the orchestra of the weather and I felt more at home. I felt safe. I ventured out without a raincoat.
What is it? I couldn’t help but think. What is it that is so refreshing as millions of detailed water drops hit the earth? What is it about the pause and drink the ground seems to take? What is it about the joy the early spring sprouts radiate that I am so attracted to?
The answer I heard was that here you were watching full acceptance- and only with this acceptance can you be fully alive. I thought of my work, how for months I have been resisting more work. Resenting “too much” and struggling to balance. Each raindrop I equated to another detail I needed to tend too. We are watered by these details. We grow by their contribution, but in nature in no way are they a hindrance. No, they are necessary and part of growth. The inundation of every unique drop to the earth is an example of how it all can work out, from the minutest drop to the largest tree. All are necessary. The soil doesn’t resist the rain because it’s too much. No. It accepts it. The animals don’t complain or revolt against the wet. They accept it.
So why don’t we take a lesson from nature for the times in life when everything seems to be showering down on us? Why don’t we lay back with arms wide open and accept it. Why don’t be live like the birds and sit through it? Why don’t we make like the ground and let it change our consistency, structure, and worth to everything depending on us? There are seasons and forecasts for every stage of life, it’s ok to be in a rainy season, it’s a season for acceptance before tremendous growth.

Just take a step

I had the fortune of riding for an hour yesterday with a good friend and a professional counselor. It occurred to me a bit into the conversation I should ask her about a dilemma I had been facing. Nothing of major import, but a situation where if I didn’t move quickly then the opportunity would pass me by. Her advice was clear and rung true within me- just take a step.
You don’t have to know the whole picture right now. You don’t have to commit to a program or path and make a decision right now that defines your future. You just have to take one step in the direction.
She pointed out the fact that who knew what I’ll learn about myself or the world after I take that one step. It may open other options and paths I’m not even aware of. My job right now is not to know the whole picture, it to just take one step.
For the first time looking at this dilemma I have actually felt excited. Her advice opened me up to follow my bliss, not a program already designed that I have to prescribe to. It opened a world of possibilities I wasn’t even aware existed.
So I share this advice hoping it may open something up for you too. Is there something you just can’t figure out about moving forward? Great! Lift up just one foot. Take one step and explore yourself, your life and what you have to offer from there. While we are tremendously powerful forces of life we aren’t built or meant to have it all figured out before the journey. Where would the adventure be then?

What thought would I have to think right now to feel great?

This is the question that has been occupying my mind last night and this morning. Every time a sense of overwhelm creeps in I pause. “What thought would I have to think right now to feel great?” In an instant my perspective, my day, my body changes. I am focused and forced by the question to see my options of other thoughts and of other ways to feel.
I know questions can be one if he most powerful mood, emotion and life changers- but it’s rare for me to find one that works so universally. If this life is ours to create, the foundation, the blueprint starts with these questions.
Take some time right now while reading or next time you start to feel stressed, annoyed, even physically sick and ask yourself, what thought would I need to have right now to feel great? What do you hear? What thought are you led to?

Abundant living comes from recognizing, seeing, and embracing the abundance that is already ours. Any thought can be yours. Your wealth of thoughts abounds. Enjoy it!

I would like to offer deep thanks to Cheryl Richardson for bringing this question to me and to Louise Hay for bringing it to her. It has opened up a whole new world for me! I hope you enjoy it too!

Little Talks

I find one of the most important things I do in life is to talk to Life. Often times my prayers are pleads, yet these little talks with Life are more real, insightful and invaluable. It’s like talking to my wise sister, a best friend, a parent for advice.
This morning I caught myself talking like this in my mind while I was walking to the bus. The quiet place within me bubbled up a question. “Why don’t you trust me with the bigger stuff?”
I knew this was a deep question underlying much of my anxiousness and worry.
I was quiet.
“You trust me in the little things. It is no different. I am the Power the causes and designs breath in your body and planetary movement on scales unimaginable. Do you think I can’t handle your schedule? Your job and responsibilities?”
“I know.” I thought with a sense of surrender of self that released something- the control I had been trying to exert.
“Remind me.” I asked. “Help me to remember and know that really everything can be touched, influenced and handled by you.”
I knew were we both smiling. The gentleness of power had graced me yet again. The Voice is always there. Are we quiet enough to hear it? Are we vulnerable enough to engage it?

Time Affluence – Developing a Practice of Experiencing Awe

Drew picked up on it this morning.

“Are you ok?… Are you happy?”

I had to face the question with honesty. In truth, the underlying current of my being really wasn’t happy. It was muddled. Overwhelmed. Being beaten up by my own self-criticism. By looking at myself honestly, I knew exactly what he felt- I had lost a sense of myself.

We took some time to describe what exactly it was – why wasn’t I happy. I went through a laundry list of tasks at work and we talked of chunking it down and making it manageable. And, as always, when you continue to talk and really look at the issue, the superficial reasons began to peel away and the heart of the issue emerged.

“I haven’t written.” I finally realized a deeper issue. “I haven’t written because I don’t feel connected to God.”

And that’s the truth. The laundry list of tasks has become a tool of the ego to keep me from living in the present, from dwelling in awe, from trusting in someone and something greater than myself.

Could I flip this around? Could I look to the directives of “my tasks” as coming from the Divine, even if they are presented in a secular world?

The truth is that I knew when I accepted and took this job that it was aligned with a Divine plan. There were signs and perfections scattered throughout the days. Now that it has revved up, I seem to have forgotten the tremendously powerful perspective that it is Divinely Perfect. I seemed to have forgotten how to remain alert, assiduous and diligent – and happy, carefree, and joyous.

The solution, for today, suggested by Drew was to have a happy day. A day dedicated to finding and living in that balance again. I couldn’t agree with him more.

But the tool that really helped me begin this day was an article posted by a friend entitled, “How to make time expand”. Everything within me knew that this was really the issue. It wasn’t the work, the tasks, the job, my overwhelm (I am excited to finally be doing so many things that I love to do) – it’s that I had lost my sense of having abundant time.

When I was intensely practicing yoga last year, I remember the message being delivered that there was more than enough time to do everything. There was more than enough time to accomplish your dreams and your goals. To love those that you love. To transform your mind, body and spirit to be its best. There was so much freedom in this idea. I swam in it. I drank it up. And remarkably, by living in this place of abundant time, I accomplished more. I was more productive, happy, aligned than ever before. The article calls this “time affluence”, a recent term that directly corrects the other aspect of “time famine”. It is rare when you are looking for a term, a phrase to encapsulate what you are struggling with, and then it comes in the most unusual channels to you, but that is exactly what happen today.

Time affluence, and what creates it, is being studied now and I look forward to hearing their research and trying it in practice. But the two things they suggest to create more “time affluence” in the article are giving time away and experiencing awe.  Not only do we have the satisfaction of helping others, of feeling useful and productive when we give our time away to others, but there is also a sense of definitive ending. The tasks we see for ourselves can drag on forever, and this creates more time famine than time affluence.

Then the idea of experiencing more awe is fascinating. Awe brings us to the present moment. Awe creates a sense of time loss – expanding time to be eons within a moment. We lose ourselves (including our “to-do” lists) and we feel happy. But can we do that without going to a waterfall, or meeting a baby for the first time?

Yes, we can. It’s all a matter of perspective, and stopping to see what really is around and within you.

When looking at this concept of awe, this morning, I realize the real reason I write. I write because each day there are hidden pockets of awe waiting to be dwelled in, discovered, played with and lived. I experience loss of time when I write because here I am truly in awe. I am in awe of the workings and perfection around me. I am in awe of the emotions I experience, the thoughts that I have, the ideas I am exposed to.  Writing is my practice of experiencing awe.

I had been pushing writing away for the past few weeks, so no wonder I have been feeling pressed for time and not connected with God. The short 20 minutes I take to write on something remarkable, on some Divine aspect of life that is around me seeps into all other aspects of life. By expanding time just once a day, in one way – I can expand it in everything.  Writing takes me out of living in the future and puts me immediately engaging with the present. This, the present moment, is the only dwelling place of endless possibilities, love, grace and joy.

I can see now that I am not a writer. I am a discoverer. I am an observer. I am a lover. I write because I cannot help but to share what I discover and observe. I write because this is my processing tool. Writing enables me to play and interact with the Divine that is all around me and within me. It is in writing,  in these moments of expanse, that I catch the most wonderful, awe-inspiring, True Life I can ever imagine. And it is in writing that I hope to share, to give this to you, too.