Life Has A Crush On You

Falling in love with Life one day at a time…

Tag: 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.

 

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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.

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?

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

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.