K.I.S.S.

No, I’m not calling anyone stupid, but I am going to point out how incredibly complicated we tend to make the simplest things…

We have been blessed with minds that allow us to think with great depth.  We have been blessed with hearts that allow us to feel great love.  We have been blessed with souls that allow us to feel compassion and empathy and millions of other feelings to make us human.

But, instead of accepting what is we tend to think too much, obsess, pick at, and tear down things we perceive as being undeserved or impossible.  We take the opportunity to succeed right out of our own hands by believing we can’t do or be something.  Maybe it’s because we were all taught that fairy tales are just that . . . tales and magic doesn’t exist in the world.

I, or course, disagree but you have to be able to clear away the complicated mess we tend to make of everything to get down to the simplest thing and then learn to appreciate what it is no matter how simple.

Reach for the stars, we are told.  That’s a lofty goal if ever there was one.  How about just enjoying the night sky and having gratitude that your piece of the sky is filled only with stars and not bullets or bombs.

Get to the top and you will be a success, we are told.  That’s great but in trying so hard to reach the top, sometimes at breakneck speed, you miss all the beauty of the mountain itself.  What if you enjoyed the view and the cool mountain air as you climb?  And what if you sit for a moment, or a day, or even a year and reflect on where you are and find joy in that place, rather than bemoan where you thought you should be?  There’s no time line but your time line in reality.

My point here is to find a way to enjoy this moment, the Now, even amid chaos.  Seek to find just one simple thing you can be grateful for.  How about waking up this morning and having one more day in this world?  

Today I could tell you was an absolute waste.  I, yet again, accomplished nothing I wanted to.  I could allow myself to be burdened by that, but I won’t because in the middle of not doing anything I deemed worthy of merit I heard my favorite bird song.  I truly felt Spring’s presence here and like the tiny things sprouting from the new earth I know I am yet again enjoying a rebirth of Self.  The million things I had to do today will be there tomorrow.  But today I existed in simply inhaling and exhaling the air and being fully conscious of it.

So stop over-thinking everything.  Worry is a waste of time.  Trust the Universe.  Love one another.  Keep it simple . . .

Peace.

 

Into The Fire

Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries and the situations that arise aren’t always positive no matter how much personal growth you’ve got under your belt.

Recently, I had to enter into the fire in order to stay true to myself.  I had to stand up for my integrity and that meant challenging others who viewed themselves as my superior in the workplace.  Unfortunately, just because YOU’VE grown spiritually doesn’t mean others have.  In fact that’s probably the most common situation and the least humorous, (read: trying)

 Into each life a little rain must fall but whether you view that rain as a negative or a positive is entirely up to you and the outcome will stem from how you view the situation.

Knowing I had to suit up so to speak and gird myself for the battle, I asked the Universe to help me find the right words.  The Universe responded quickly, like a slap upside the head, and I heard these words very clearly:

‘If you approach a situation with hostility, you will be met with hostility.’

Yes, I’d been feeling threatened.  Yes, my ego was running wild.  Yes, I had given my power to others due to my feelings of anger and resentment.  And . . . yes, I was feeling rather hostile.  What I’d meant by the request to give me the words was to make sure I didn’t drop any F-bombs… (look, I said I was on the Path, NOT that I’d made it to the finish line).  Sigh.

So, when I received the message I immediately changed my tact.  Instead of approaching everyone with the slow burning anger that had been fueling the days prior to this meeting, I let it all go and focused on what I wanted, not just for me, but for everyone involved.  Was it ridiculous?  No.  I wanted everyone to shed their egos and come to this place Open and with the intent to work for the greater good.

I let go of the Fear.  I spoke calmly and clearly and with purpose.  Without any emotion.  Emotion equals ego.

And you know what?

Everything fell into place.  People listened.  They agreed.  They admitted mistakes and they promised going forward things would be different.  We all agreed to move forward together and instead of pointing out our differences as a negative, we determined we would celebrate each person’s individual style as long as we all accomplished the goal we set for ourselves.

I’m still a bit stunned.  This was a high profile meeting that I felt, early on, I had no chance of being heard at . . . and then, simply by letting go and trusting the Universe, everything fell into place.

Wow.

Still awed.

I hope each and every one of you experiences the difference you make when you change how you approach a situation.  It truly can be amazing.

In gratitude.

Peace.

I Am Thankful for You

We are all connected.  This I believe.  We are all tangled up in the same web no matter our race, sex, religion, no matter what outwardly divides us.

Sometimes I forget this.  I forget about the Universal Community.

And then I come here to pour my guts out on this blog in hopes I can somehow figure out where I’ve been and where I’m headed, and I find you. Or, you find me.

Maybe it’s just a comment.  Or maybe a ‘Like’.  But we reach out across distance and time and interact and you remind me that all is never lost and no one faces the trials of Life alone.  You give me Hope.  And I thank you.

It is nice to know that even in the darkest of Nights there is still Light.  And you shine like dozens of twinkling stars reminding me that the darkness always gives way to the light.  Always.  Even if it seems like forever.

Thank you for keeping me humble.  Thank you for understanding.  Thank you for extending your words and wisdom.

Peace.

Humble Pie

In my opinion, I think loads of people need a second helping of Humble Pie.

Where are the ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’s anymore?  Does anyone greet a stranger with “Excuse me?” instead of just blurting out their demand for service from across the room?  And what’s with people and their cell phones and their inability to even acknowledge the person who is waiting on them?

I wish people a good day regularly and even I am a bit disturbed by how many people say nothing in kind.  Really?  Is it too much trouble to say “thanks”, or “you too”?  What has happened to us as a society?  Are we using texting and emailing as a way to create distance between us?  We’re connecting but we’ve lost all the social graces that come with being in this world.

I try to be humble.  I try to live a humble life.  Sure I have wants that might require pulling down the moon in order to achieve them, but at the end of the day I just want to move through life and Harm None.  And I wish to be treated the way I treat others . . . quite simply with common decency and respect.  Simple things really but in today’s world they seem like major wishes.

I interact with people, strangers, because that’s what Life is about.  I’m not a hermit, though I could imagine myself to be one quite easily, but what does that solve?  If I am out in the world then perhaps my example might be followed.

I was taught to always, always be gracious.  To always say thank you.  To be polite.  I might be old but are these things no longer of value today?

Even I can use a second helping of Humble Pie at times, and yes, it isn’t always easy swimming in the same stream with people who have no regard for anyone but themselves, but I still aspire to being the best I can be.  It’s really easy to be mean-spirited and disrespectful.  It’s easy to remain isolated in your bubble and forget you are surrounded by millions and millions of people.  You can tune out.  You can stay tuned out.

I just think that by forgetting common courtesies we are perhaps missing out on interaction with others that might lead to incredible things.  If you never bother to get off your cell phone while someone is waiting on you, how do you know if maybe something they say or do could change your life?  Every encounter is an opportunity for magic to happen.  This I believe.  If you shut out others due to ego or ignorance, you shut out those possibilities.

So, yes please, I’ll have another helping of Humble Pie stat, with a side of dark chocolate.

Peace.

Gratitude

I have always been grateful.  Not just at this time of year but pretty much year round for things or people.  Pretty much run-of-the-mill stuff really.  My family, my friends, my health, etc.

Now, I’ve learned to be thankful for people I don’t even know.  Those I haven’t met yet.  Those whose path I may never cross.  I’m thankful for the Universe in all its epic glory.  The stars, the moon and my ability to view them day in and day out.  I’m thankful for all the beautiful colors of a sunset and the fact that I got to witness it . . . again.  I’m thankful for the smell of winter on the air and the crisp clean scent of the cold that is to come.  I’m thankful that my heart is beating, that I’m still breathing and that I have not lost Hope in humanity.

I am grateful for all my many teachers.  Grateful that I aspire to remain forever a student so that the learning may never end.  I’m grateful for the curiosity I was born with and the people around me who allowed me to explore and wonder and question without judgement.

I am grateful for the Journey and those I have met along the way.  I am grateful my heart has been broken and has become more resilient because of the break.  I am grateful for my failures and humbled by the lessons.  I am grateful that through it all, even in what I thought to be absolute darkness, I loved myself enough to just . . . keep . . . going.

I am grateful for birdsong (even at 3:00 a.m.!) and my ability to allow all other things to disappear into the background.  I am grateful every single day that I see that ceiling and my feet touch the floor.  

And I am grateful that my soul has never stopped dreaming and creating and experiencing Life.  

I am grateful that I learned to be grateful.

Peace.

 

Consider the Ceiling

I have observed countless ceilings in my lifetime . . . As I’m sure you have even though you may not have consciously registered it.

I have seen a ceiling so beautiful, filled with ancient stone and stained glass, I nearly wept.  For more years than I wish to count I viewed a ceiling riddled with cracks above my head which made me certain that one night I would be crushed when it finally fell in.  I have seen a ceiling covered with tiny baby spiders, each spinning their silken threads as they launched themselves into the great unknown.  And I have seen a ceiling covered with bats whose rustling could barely be detected. I have seen a ceiling painted perfect white, no spots on it, surrounded by equally perfect crown molding which served as a facade because what was contained was far less than perfect.  Now I see a ceiling with a fan on it, whose blades rotate in a meditative sequence.  It is not grand or beautiful, but it is the ceiling that suits me now.

My most favorite ceiling of all is the one I see when I am outside.  Sometimes it is nearly black, the edges turning a fainter shade of navy as the sun makes it ascent and the stars surrender to what comes after.  It is the one that at times is littered with thousands of diamonds which wink at me compelling me to cast my wishes to the wind.  It is the ceiling that is the color of a robin’s egg with white clouds of cotton.  It is the ceiling that becomes a tumultuous dark, dark blue and then darker still just before the heady scent of rain surrounds me.  Or the ceiling that is the perfect canvas of a faultless grey just before the flakes of white float down.

I have been blessed to gaze at all these ceilings, those made by man and those made by something greater.  And each time I am humbled by the opportunity . . .

Because, each time, no matter how insignificant the actual ceiling, I am grateful for a new day.  A chance to get it right.  A chance to breathe and truly understand the gift just a breath is.

Each day, if I do one thing, before my eyes even open, I am aware of the ceiling.  And I honor that vision by giving thanks that I may open my eyes and greet a new day.  Before my feet even hit the floor, as tired and cranky as I feel my self to be having to awaken at whatever hour it may be, I say thank you for the day that awaits me.  I say thanks for knowing it will be a good day.  For guiding me.  For giving me courage and faith and hope and most of all love, even in the darker moments of which I know may come.

I am alive.  In this moment.  And there is nothing I could be more grateful for while I consider the ceiling.

Peace.