Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

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!

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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.

 

 

Happy Thoughts

Organizing taking your stress level from a 9 to a 3.
Dr. Bronners soap
Silver infused toothbrushes
Having a dog in a work meeting
Clinique Happy
Loving your job
Suddenly seeing how much more is being given to you
Counting your blessings as a meditation to help go into sleep
A dream where you are living your ideal future
Being authentic in all business you do
Making up words to get out of a funky mood
Talking to a best friend after weeks of silence
The perfect gift for someone
The West Wing
Picking up the book someone gave you at the exactly right time for your life
Picking three things to focus on and do every day
Being a night owl
Seahorses and how the male is pregnant
Right on fortune cookie wisdom
Taking nature breaks
Trusting and knowing you are exactly where you are meant to be
Going for it
Waves of unexpected love for those you are with

Monday Morning Prep

If you have the luxury, I suggest time and time again, that Monday be your prep day. Perhaps you can only take an hour, or maybe even a morning, but one of the most productive things you can do is to start off the day, and the week, by looking, cleaning and preparing yourself and work space for what is to come.

It is easy sometimes to get bogged down in the to-dos right away. It is too common to jump right in and be in reaction to all that is being asked of you. Yet, I can tell the difference in my productivity, mood and effectiveness, when I pause, I direct my attention to my mission and purpose of work, and then look to the details. Everything that comes up, every “to-do” that rushes into your mind, can have their space on a piece of paper – just not your mental or emotional self. You owe it to yourself and to whatever and whomever you are working for, to start, even if metaphorically, from this place of purpose.

Set your weekly goals. Visualize your week and the best it could possibly be. Breathe deeply as you enter into the ocean of needs and abundance that lays before you.

You will never be given a task, where you also aren’t given the tools to accomplish it.

But first, you must go to your toolkit, take each one out and make sure they are ready and prepped for the job. You must look at your self and your life and design your week and your days to fit your strengths and needs. While it sounds indulgent to us who are “pleasers”, consistently focused on the needs around us, it may be the only way to truly do our job to the best of our ability.

Following your own blueprint at work

It is interesting moving into February and March. This weekend marks the beginning of a downhill slope for me of event after event. All I can think of when August finally does come is that I will have gotten at least 100 times better at all my jobs with all this practice!

But the question- the balance- lays in the approach. Will I derive a judgment of my work by the approval of others? Will success lay in the hands of my colleagues, bosses and general opinion? Or will I so dare to acknowledge the one true judgment, the one true standard, the one that lays within me?

It is an act of vulnerability to fearlessly pursue the tasks before you with your own personal blueprint for joy and unique expression. You are taking off the cloak of business, of stress, or being overburdened, which in some work environments can be measurements of your effort or even success at completing the job.

It is radical to find joy where others find stress. It is radical to trust when typically we try to control. It is radical to move from your heart not your head at your desk.

Like most radical things this new movement of yours will either die of its own accord- or change the world- your world- in deeply moving and profound ways to produce a life you were destined to live.

So yes, there is risk at working according to your own blueprint. But there in also lies the risk of never trying, the pain of conforming to a shape that isn’t yours, and a life spent worrying and stressing over the fickle opinions of others.

I hope as I begin this busy season of work that I remember my own orientation. That I make decisions aligned with the Divine that lives within me and that I remember this guidance is always available so I too can relax and enjoy this marvelous ride.

From “A Course in Miracles”

 

To heal is to make happy. I have told you to think how many opportunities you have had to gladden yourself, and how many you have refused. This is the same as telling you that you have refused to heal yourself. The light that belongs to you is the light of joy. Radiance is not associated with sorrow. Joy calls forth an integrated willingness to share it, and promotes the mind’s natural impulse to respond as one. Those who attempt to heal without being wholly joyous themselves call forth different kinds of responses at the same time, and thus deprive others of the joy of responding whole-heartedly.

 

To be whole-hearted you must be happy. If fear and love cannot coexist, and if it is impossible to be wholly fearful and remain alive, the only possible whole state is that of love. There is no difference between love and joy. Therefore, the only possible whole state is the wholly joyous. To heal or to make joyous is therefore the same as to integrate and to make one. That is why it makes no difference to what part or by what part of the Sonship the healing is offered. Every part benefits, and benefits equally.

 

You are being blessed by every beneficent thought of any of your brothers anywhere. You should want to bless them in return, out of gratitude. You need not know them individually, or they you. The light is so strong that it radiates throughout the Sonship and returns thanks to the Father for radiating His joy upon it. Only God’s holy children are worthy channels of His beautiful joy, because only they are beautiful enough to hold it by sharing it. It is impossible for a child of God to love his neighbor except as himself. That is why the healer’s prayer is:

 

‘Let me know this brother as I know myself.’ “

Chapter 5, “Healing and Wholeness”. A Course in Miracles. Volume 1

 

 

 

 

A Life of Contribution

 

 

I find there is really just one question that can turn my day around – am I acting from a place of contribution?

 

I have a tenancy when I am stressed to become selfish – selfish of my time, my desires, my needs. It’s like I am mad at the world, and therefore everyone around me, for not making things easier.

 

 

Logically, I know that having more on my plate right now is the next step. It is necessary for my own growth, for my own ability and greatest desire – to be of greater service. But I notice within me a deep resistance, a bratty self awakens within me, screaming and shouting for her comfort and stress-free times.

 

I think this is particularly hard for me to look at and handle today. Not only am I reminded of the stress and abundant pulls on the President of the United States, as he is inaugurated, but I am overly aware too of Martin Luther King, Jr. , whose presence and life are perhaps one of the greatest examples in American History, of taking on a burden, a deeply rooted history and creating change my being a channel of love.

 

It is a national day of service, yet the toddler in me is tantruming because she is a bit overwhelmed, because somewhere, she reverted back to the idea that it was all about her.

 

 

Martin Luther King Jr. did not have an easy path. He created massive change with effort and massive love. His days were riddled with incarcerations and beatings and fightings, and yet, it was lived on the foundation of such a deep love from faith, that the man kept marching, he kept fighting, until his final breath.

 

 

I suppose what I am asking for today is to have that. Is to be so filled up with the confidence, the love, the peace of God that despite the overwhelming task asked of each of us, that I meet it what is being asked of me peacefully, confidently, and joyously, as an act of service to God.

 

As I have prayed continuously that I be of service, it is quite silly to suddenly be upset when I have things to do. These aren’t just “to-dos”. These aren’t punishments. These are answered prayers. The ideas that come up that you feel inspired to follow. The tasks put on your desk at work. The places you are called to serve. The products that you hope to offer others. These aren’t burdens. These are contributions.

It may be messy at first, like a toddler learning how to walk – but it will get easier. Allow yourself to make mistakes as you venture forward and become involved in more, as you are of greater service to more people. Everyone must learn to walk before they can run. As long as you keep your mind on the path. As long as you remember those who have run before you, who reach back every year to help you remember that life, your life, can be as massively contributive and as faithful as their was, even if you fall down time and time again with your attitude, your spirit, or your will. Those that have come before us will reach down and pick us up and train us yet again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God Windows

It’s hard not to write about this when you come into contact with it again and again, day by day. It’s when you walk consciously into an answered prayer. I have been taught that no prayer is too small and here are some examples.

It has been raining all night and all morning. While I thought I was prepared, this morning I realized I didn’t have my umbrella. So I prepared the best I could with raincoats and trash bags and fully accepted the potential fate of being wet all morning from my walk and wait for the bus. I step outside all bundled to find not even a drop is falling. A God window opened.

On Tuesday I drove into Atlanta, a drive that usually makes me nervous especially around rush hour where hundreds of cars vie their way pass you. Yet, just as with every time I drive in a major congested interstate, I prayed on the ramp for a successful and safe merger. Each of the 4 times I entered one of the major highways it was as if there were no other cars for half a mile before me and half a mile behind me. Truly unbelievable that for a 6 lane highway- during rush hour- every time I merged, there were no cars even close. Like a mini- yet no less remarkable- crossing of the Red Sea, I found myself in another God window.

This is what I hope we can all remember today. Despite appearances. Despite known facts or preconceived and lived experiences, we can all ask and be grateful for these God windows. Little pockets meant just for us to live into and keep us safe.

Mind Candy

My morning tradition was disrupted today when I left my iPod in the car that Drew took to work. Somehow, on this rainy Wednesday, this seemed to be a good thing. It seemed to welcome in some space without words into my morning.

I realized that while I love and find it useful and powerful on so many levels to start my day by walking to the bus stop listening to a program, a speaker or something inspiring, it is powerful too to hear yourself some mornings.

Instead of trying to stuff down some programming, I decided to gently step out into programming myself. I was quick to realize that even the positive thoughts and affirmations I used to say, those that come naturally and almost immediately to mind when I think – ok, lets affirm- seem stale, or at least burdened with a twinge of disbelief from my heart.

That is the last thing I want – inauthentic words. Empty vessels trying to create something.

No. The entire power and purpose of affirming, of self-speak, is the emotional certainty you feel with the repetition and knowing of what you are saying.

So this morning I had to back track. I had to be completely honest with myself. When I said something and it didn’t feel “right”, then I lessened the degree. I turned back and let go a bit, and said something new.

It was as if my mind was in yoga. Just as when I enter into a pose, I find the edge – and while I think  “Oh, your growth will be if you push through and go beyond this limit”, my wise self says “Oh, ok, that is where the limit is. You see it; you found it, now back off a bit and breathe. The limit will dissolve by your working at this lesser place.”

It is interesting when you sit with your own mind – in walking meditation, or sitting meditation- without any other words. No voices guiding you. No songs luring you. Just you, being you.

So, while I started this morning with grandiose phrases – ones that I had used before – I ended up being at two simple ones. These were the ones that “clicked”. These felt right. So I stayed there. I dwelled in the rain saying to myself – out loud and quietly – “My job is fast, easy and fun. My job is fast, easy and fun. My job is fast, easy and fun.”

And eventually, it came – the soothing, quiet phrase that whispered to my soul and tasted so good I couldn’t leave it all morning – it was a gentle, “I love you, Elizabeth.” It was a true surrender of all the self-improvement talk – of all the let’s be the best – let’s do better- self-speak that I hadn’t even realized was crowding up my mind quite so much.

So today, this is my mind candy. This is the refreshing drink to my thirsty soul. This is the day, I turn everything else off – and I turn myself on – even if it’s a quiet, ever so gentle whisper. This is the day that I remember, that I really do deeply love myself, as much as, I love others.