Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: maximizing life

Intention and Resolution Questions for 2013

Ever since I began a daily spiritual devotion I have gained greater clarity with each passing day and year. It is comforting to come to New Year’s Day with a peaceful heart and the ability to articulate clearly what I desire to contribute and be in the coming year and years. My goals are attainable but make me stretch. My vision is exciting. My plan to accomplish these things is enjoyable! I hope that you too enter into this year with excitement, passion and clarity!
My affirmation for myself and you is that this coming year is the best yet! That 2013 is filled with deeper love, greater growth, more abundance and joy in every day!

While we all have ways to establish our intentions for the coming year, below is an outline of questions that were sent to me and that I have found useful and enjoyable at this turning of the year. I hope you do too. I toast to you!

1. What do I truly value?
*My primary goal is:
*I want to be _________ kind of person
*How do I want to feel each day?
*What do I want to experience in this life?
*Where does love fit in to this picture for me?

2. Personal Mission Statement
*What is my goal for my daily practice?
*Share that goal with someone else.

3. How can I express myself and my goals in my life?

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.

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.

Visual Choices

If you read my previous post I have been committing to a diet for a month that doesn’t involve any flour, sugar or potatoes. Essentially, I have chosen to give up my fall back foods. The foods I know I use to bring me joy, which I can see as being potentially dangerous if I don’t tame myself now. Please note- I am not going against the unadulterated joy of eating! I am still doing that, just with lots more veggies which when I calm my mind and bread-loving ego I am very clearly drawn to give up for a bit.
But here is the important lesson I have learned today. While vibrant health is a top priority of mine, above even that I prize freedom. And if course, where do I feel the most free- when I am choosing food, eating food and defying the need to diet ( I still don’t believe in diets). That is the point that was the hardest thing for me during this cleanse and commitment of mine. Not the actual letting go of some foods, but the idea that I couldn’t eat them.
The truth is that despite my commitment I am still the one choosing every bite. The ultimate authority lies with me, not with someone else’s guidelines that I am trying.
So tonight, coming off of a long day of work, getting back home around 8, I ordered sushi. It’s late. I love sushi. So what if I break this guideline and have some white rice tonight.
I was thrilled.
But then it happened. As I was picking up the food, the other option came to me. I quickly ordered a side of veggies and a seaweed salad. Why? Because right when I had given myself permission to “cheat” I didn’t want to.
It was actually joyous to see both options side to side and choose the one I knew was right for me. Not because of a need but because of a choice.
The real need I realize is not about restrictions and depriving ourselves, but to see and accept the abundance. From there we make our choices that align us with our intentions and highest selves. Sometimes it can be a bit more wasteful or expense as you put the options side by side, but it is worth it to be reminded that the choice is always yours.

Insert Joy

I have been torn by a decision. What I realized last night as I sat saying I was “worried” that if I follow what would bring joy that then I would be too tired, too overwhelmed, too etc, that my mindset what going to create that very situation. I was working with the rational mind.

So this morning, when I choose to follow the joy, when I chose to find the bliss in the situation and pursue it despite rational arguments against it,  everything fell into place. I had a surge of energy unlike I had in a while. I saw, instead of worry that to pursue this thing would bring me tremendous happiness and joy, despite the long journey there.

The point of this vague and rather convoluted story is to remind us all that we must insert joy into every day, especially into our decisions. We must pursue, against the rational mind’s arguments, that which brings us joy and accept the risk of such a commitment.

Hard Work

It buffs out your jagged edges.

It rubs you down until you’re shiny and in better shape.

It satisfies you unlike any other type of food, drink or substance.

It’s your contribution to the world, truly your “body of work” – it’s what will be left for others

And if you learn to never fear it, but see its power to transform circumstances, yours and others, then can be one of the greatest tools you will ever have the privilege of using.

This is the beauty and blessing of hard work.

 

Why I cried on the bus this morning…

I accept this part about my myself, and I can’t help but think that maybe if I share a bit of my craziness (as culture and society might label it) then perhaps it gives someone else permission to feel deeply the joy and blessings that they too have in their life.

The thing that I love about Life is that you never know when a moment is coming. It’s as if, in this love relationship with Life, there are surprises at every corner, floods of love and appreciation fill me in the most unexpected times. This is exactly what happened to me this morning.

I caught an earlier bus than I had ever ridden, arriving at the bus station at 6:40, so that I could make a yoga class at 7. Perhaps my soul was prepped by the iridescent pink sunrise that rose over the trees as I waited, or by the strap of my yoga mat presenting the weight of the class that was coming into my shoulder, as I felt a tangible relief in myself as I approached this day. As I took my seat on the bus, my eyes welled with tears at the thought that I was going, that today I could do yoga. I felt the presence and power of my body as a tool to bring me to peace. I felt the relief of my soul as it knew that there was now coming a time to be. The cells of my body laughed at the joy that they felt and that was altering them.

And this was all from sitting down in the bus.

Yet then, as we pulled up to the next stop, the bus driver approached me and asked me to move. I didn’t understand, but of course gladly complied. Then I saw him. An attractive young man wheeled himself into the place my seat used to be. The driver had lifted the whole row of seats and this man rolled himself into the place, allowing the driver to meticulously take some straps and attach them to his chair. Then man in the wheelchair took a gloved hand and drank from a sporty water bottle. He was clearly fit. You could tell he was a man who would have used his legs if he could.

Words, right now, are too small of containers to capture my suppliant gratitude towards Life for the gift of my legs.

The truth is, why should it be crazy that I couldn’t at that moment, and even now, stop crying out of gratitude that I have legs? Why can’t we celebrate what we have when he have it? Why can’t we pay homage to the aspects of Life and ourselves that serve us every day, not just in functional ways, but in spiritual ways too.

In the following yoga class each downward dog was a pilgrimage to this place of thankfulness. The run I dashed into from the bus to the class was a celebration of two of my best friends, my legs. The truth is, every movement and motion I take with them, is a gift of endless and greatest pleasure. It breaks my heart that not everyone can enjoy this gift, whether because they are disabled or simply distracted.

This isn’t about not taking anything for granted. This is about living a life so mindful and conscious of the life-force and ways you can use it that you can’t help but be moved in the small and dramatic moments of everyday life. It’s about being madly overwhelmed with gratitude when nothing but something inside of you has changed. It’s about loving and using every aspect of Life you have been given.

Look out for Icebergs

I realized this past week, as I was in a conversation, that when we make a new acquaintance, we really don’t know the depth of the person. How quickly we cast judgements (or at least I do) that they are this way or they are that. Or dare I say, we even in our mind think of what they can do for us (I hope is that this thought is shifted to, What can I do for them). The reality is that we know so little from just meeting a person. It truly is, just the tip of the iceberg.

The bulk, the majesty, the massive contribution of each person usually lies under the surface, hidden from our view. Yet we encounter these icebergs every day. Each person has not only a story that supports them, but a growing contribution to the world that we cannot see.

What if we approached more people and more moments conscious of the whole iceberg, with the curiosity of a scientist wanting to know more about their depth? What if we went into every situation knowing that we truly can only see the tip of the matter or the person, at best.

What if we greeted everyone with the acknowledgement of their strength and power to create mountains and change the world?

What if?