Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: motivation

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.

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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?

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.

A Brat about Bread

I pushed away my bowl of breakfast and dramatically offered it to Drew this morning.

“I have lost the will to eat.”

He couldn’t but help and laugh in my face.

Why? Because I have chosen, yes, it was my choice, to commit to not eating gluten, sugar or any refined products for a few weeks (except one day each week). Today is day four.

What I am experiencing is not hunger, but the mentality and psychology of a screaming ego. Who knew I would become such a brat about bread.

I just know with my love and seemingly “need” of bread that I am of European descent and have it built into my DNA that in order to survive I need to indulge in the freshly baked warmth of a loaf at least every few days. It is probably the food I just can’t imagine life without . Jesus even called himself bread. Yes. Exactly it’s really important.

But the truth is, this is an ego problem, not a hunger one. My energy has been great. My body starting to “hum” a bit more. But my mind – oh yes, it is kicking and screaming.

So what? On this day four of my diet change, as momentum has run off, I am starting to realize that this isn’t about cleansing, or health, or calories or weight. This is about God.

Somewhere along the lines I believed more in what bread could do for me than what God can. Somewhere along the way, I decided that I was in control and part of my control plan is the joy and physical reaction I have to bread. So of course now, this lack of bread is not just a preference, it is rocking my world. It is God saying – “Yes. Give me your tools of “control”. See how Life really is. Look to me. Stop looking to yourself.”

This voice and perspective is useful as I tame the toddler of my ego that is acting out horribly. What an incredibly spoiled brat I can be.

It is starting to help me understand just what our sermon was about this past Sunday. The hard passage in Matthew that discusses the wealthy man who came to Jesus to ask what he can do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Sell all your things and come and follow me.”

But he just couldn’t do it.

The point of this story is not to instigate all of us to sell our things, but it is to ask us to relinquish to God all that we hold most dear “to make our lives work”. What is one thing that you do use to tightly hold and control your days? While it sounds quite crazy and I am sorry that it got to this place in my life – bread is one of mine.

So take it. One month. Shape me. Not my body. But me -this screaming, whining, dramatic child that needs Your Presence and Power to make me disciplined and dependent by and on Your Will, Power and Strength – not on just a man-made fickle thing as bread.

20% Days!

There is a successful business practice that allows you to take 1/5 (or 20%) of your time to pursue what you want to pursue. This is complete and total autonomy, except for one typically requirements –  to show what project you worked on in a meeting later (yet even the meeting later might be fun perhaps serving cake and beer!). Other than that it is you, creating.

This is a beautiful thing.

What they have found that this 20% time is actually vital to the production and advancement of companies – and it makes employees happy!

I am not one to learn something and not try it out in my own life. Miraculously, in the past few weeks, I have allowed myself a “20% day” (usually on these glorious Wednesdays) and it has proven to be tremendously useful in producing not only results at work, but within my own positive psychology. No one (before this post) knew I was taking it. I still showed up to work. I still answered emails and attacked what was absolutely necessary, but… if something came up, if I wanted to look into something, if lunch lingered longer… This is my 20% day! Pursue it!

What I have found is twofold.

1. I still get just as much done at work, except am able to “check” the stress at the door, since I don’t actually have to “do” anything (I have two more days to pursue that later).

2. Life supports this! What do I mean by that? In the past few weeks, as I have approached my Wednesday as a 20% day amazingly fun things have come my way – sushi making (“makin’ maki!”) parties come to my office  or free health screenings are given where I get to discuss and perform tests I would have done in my free time anyway.

What I find is that I am happy. I get through this transitional day pleased since I have given myself permission to do and be as I hope, not as I am expected to be. This is incredibly freeing and productive.

So can you take a 20% day (or perhaps apply it to 1/5 of your workday if you don’t want to take a whole day)? Can you give yourself permission to be “on” but “off” for a certain allotted amount of time? Can you pursue what you want to pursue joyously, without the restraints of guilt?

I hope so!

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.

Weeding Rudeness

I am in a grumpy mood.

My body is bloated with the frustration. My mind is revolting against work. I find I am angry at inanimate objects like my computer and lights, and then frustrated at things out of my control like the sweltering Georgia heat.

What is going on?

This is very different from my usual self.

When I asked myself this question a few moments ago my mind began to answer – Well, you didn’t have breakfast. Well, it’s Thursday, maybe you are tired. It’s the task. You just don’t like this one task you have to do.

But then I had a thought. I was happier earlier, when it was still Thursday. I was fine when I actually did eat something when I was hungry. And I like working!

Then I realized it. I had my first negative interaction at work, and it threw me. My supervisors had sent me to someone, since that is what had done when they were in my shoes, and she looked at me and goffed at my request.

I felt like a kid again when your teacher scolds you for something that literally you had no idea about. She laughed at me like I should know better.

But I didn’t.

Thinking of this, I can see, that her rudeness planted a seed in this day for me, that continues to grow rapidly, squeezing out the focus, nutrients, and need the other healthier and chosen plants and things in my life need. Her one comment grew in my day suffocating the good that I usually feel.

But luckily, as any planter knows, we can all weed.

Yet, how do we do weed on an emotional and a mental level?

I think it is very individual, but even right now, I find processing, writing and sharing about it is helping tremendously.

We can focus and do a task that we not only like, but that helps boost our confidence.

We can move our bodies, shake them, jump them, stretch them, mold them so that eventually they too can’t carry the discomfort of the comment.

We can made a happy list, a practical one, to be used to bring back our focus on the good things in life. Or we can read a happy list!

We can clean up our immediate surroundings. Some times cleaning up around us, cleans up the junk within us.

Maybe even take a break with a caffeinated drink. The extra jump might get us out of our slump.

Yes. Thank you for listening to a blog that was a processing blog. A blog that worked to get me out of my head and mood, and into the actions I can take to create and be and experience what I most greatly desire. Thanks for listening.

Here is to a great rest of the day.

 

Ring the Bell!

I love it!

A bell rang unexpectedly a moment ago and there at the door was a timid and nervous boy. He was asking if he needed someone to cut the yard.

There is something so powerful in this one action. It didn’t matter that he was visually nervous. It didn’t matter any qualifications. It mattered that he rung the bell. He asked. He had the tool to do the job, and he saw, probably from the garden of dandelions that have sprouted up around the house, that he might be able to meet one of our needs.

This is the bravado that whispers to me, that says, “Yes, I am here – I, Life, have so much to give you, but first you have to ask for it first. You have to ring the bell.”

I feel that sometimes I get caught in a spiritual pitfall, where I ask for God for the things, yet I don’t pursue them on the physical and material plane. I don’t go after it. I don’t face the fear, the person behind the door, the possible rejection.

But what if instead of just asking God and Life for so much, we realize that those around us, every living person we encounter, is an aspect of God? What if asking them is just as important, if not more, than asking in prayer? What if we take our “needy nature” in the world and responsibly pursue the enactment and creation of our dreams and greatest desires?

What if we ring the bell, the real bell, on a real door, to meet a real person to ask for a real need and to give a real service?

We cannot help but to change. We cannot help but to grow. We cannot help but to get closer, no matter what the outcome, to living and being the person we dream of being.