Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Category: organization

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?

The Balance of When to Let Go

I was an English Major. This was an excellent choice of study, except I had not mastered one thing yet that would have made my life tremendously easier – when to let go. I suffered from the problem of never feeling a paper was complete. Essays could always be tweaked. I believed that I could never fully be ready to hand something in. While I can see this belief stemmed from self doubt, I set up systems too that didn’t support completion. I procrastinated and waited till right before the paper was due because I had made the task so ominous that I had no desire to finish or start early. If there is no chance of completion, then we often delay starting.
Since then I have learned not only how to chunk processes into bite size and doable steps- even writing papers, but I have embraced the fact that when I come to the end of my abilities that is when the Divine takes over. As it turns out any and all tasks are not only up to me. I have a partner in God. Yet just like any other group project, I have to bring my best and offer it to have the other team members play to their best. I can see very clearly as I have grown more organized and more aware of God’s presence that my job is to do my absolute best- to follow through on every idea I have that seems good, to exhaust my resources, my intelligence, my planning and come to the end of my abilities. Then it is my job to let it go. While we can all expect more from ourselves there is a fine line of being too demanding and therefore never allowing ourselves the satisfaction or joy of accomplishment. It is ego that tells us it is all on our shoulders and causes us to forget we are intimately and forever paired with the Divine. Give yourself a fighting chance of producing your best work and know that there will be many more opportunities to try again. None of us are expected to be perfect, at the beginning or the end, but we will get better at doing our job and then letting go, allowing the work to go through the refining fires of God’s grace.

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.

 

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.