The Feeding of Bodies and Minds

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I’m not a big fan of having do anything that I don’t want to do. Maybe you know the feeling?  Anyway, when I was invited to attend a seminar about nutrition and healthy eating, I balked because I didn’t want to hear somebody tell me what I already knew and refuse to do, but lunch was included, so how could I resist?  I figured that I might be choking down some miso and bean sprouts, but oh well.

Much to my surprise and delight, there was a fabulously delicious healthy meal, and nobody stood in my face lecturing me about what I had to stop doing that was wrong, or what I had to start doing that was right.   Instead, there was just Elizabeth, handing me a piece of chocolate and teaching me how to eat it mindfully.   I liked it (both the chocolate and mindful parts).  I expected a lecture; instead, I got candy.  What a deal!  That says a little about expectations, doesn’t it?  Now, when I receive a newsletter from Elizabeth, I open it up, enjoy it, and sometimes even try a recipe.  I particularly enjoyed the pumpkin laced spaghetti sauce.

Today I am inspired to share a newsletter that I just received from Elizabeth because it perfectly echoes my philosophy of life, and says in someone else’s words what I’ve been babbling every day since mid-April.  Positive thinking and good news always bear repeating, and sometimes it’s helpful to hear it from a new perspective.  The topic is nutrition, but the premise reaches beyond the boundaries of healthy eating habits and can be shifted from what we feed our bodies to what we feed our minds.  Elizabeth says it well:

“This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give you to help you reach your nutrition goals:

There is no failure when it comes to nourishing your body—only FEEDBACK.

You simply can’t fail with your healthy eating goals when you adopt this outlook. One bad meal, day, week, or more does not dictate your entire nutrition journey. You cannot give up because you think you “messed up” using this approach.

The true measure of success—along with genuine transformation and lasting results—comes from the ability to get CURIOUS NOT CRITICAL.

The #1 most helpful thing you can do when you feel like you’ve gotten off track, overeaten, made poor food selections, skipped too many workouts, or whatever else your perceived “misstep” may be …is to ditch the crappy self-talk and defeatist thinking in favor of adopting a growth (instead of a fixed) mindset.

This means you need to learn how to ask the right questions… how to listen for the most helpful feedback… and know how to use the information you gather to inform your future food choices.

… go crush your goals!

You’ve got this.”

Yes.  You do.  Go for it!  Thanks Elizabeth.

See more from Elizabeth here.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Cocoon of the Soul

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I frittered away most of my writing time this morning, but oh well—there’s always later with lunch in between.  One of the things that I’m learning in my time-out is to quit picking on myself about petty stuff.  No, wait.  Make that quit picking on myself about any stuff.  It’s not good for the psyche.  In a world where criticism about one thing or another is wildly abundant, what’s the point of adding an unhealthy heap of it upon myself?  The rest of the world will be happy to do it for me.

Running away to solitude is a lovely temporary solution to remove myself from the world stage, but unless I’m prepared to repair to the wilderness for 40 days as Jesus did, or take the Buddha approach to enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, or cart myself off to an isolated mountaintop somewhere, eventually, I’ll need to return to the outside world.  Do I want to?  Well, not really.  Not yet.  I kind of like it here in the cozy container of my own home talking to myself and enjoying my own company.  It’s a lovely little vacation away from anything that makes me cranky and it brings me peace.   It parks me in a place where I am learning that the only judgment in my corner of the world at the moment is my own.

Sooner or later I will need to emerge from my cocoon, but until then, I’m hanging in here until I’m fully cooked.  Or at least until my wings are strong enough to carry me through whatever storm might be brewing in the outer world once I decide to make a break for it.  I don’t know what’s coming, but I know that I’m going to need all the strength I can muster to make it safely to a space of quiet calm.

What a great process.  What a great opportunity to be in the world but not of it, to be able to sit back and watch the show without being a part of it, exempt from the drama, judgment, and the need to find a safe haven from the voices of personal opinion that separate and divide one from another, that perpetuate fear rather than love.

What a joyous vacation.  What a sanctuary for the soul.  What a gift of Spirit.  How blessed I am to be able to enjoy it.  My wish for humanity is that we all find the safety within the quiet of our hearts and rest there in gentle stillness for a while.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

 

Feasts and Fasts

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A couple of days ago—oops—I forgot to write a blog.  Yesterday’s was published very late in the day instead of at the beginning, and amazingly enough, I didn’t die from it—I’m still here to tell the tale.  Wahoo!   In fact, it was rather refreshing to allow myself the luxury of getting up and out of my self-created hot seat to wander around in the sunshine and breathe a little.  I successfully said no thank you to the finger-wagging shame-on-you guilt trip that my ego tried to lay on me about copping out on my commitment and away I went.  That’s progress, I’d say.

A little aimless meandering once in a while is good for the soul.  It is like opening the windows in a dark and stuffy room to allow fresh air and light to flood in and evaporate the gloom, to cleanse, refresh and restore old, worn out thinking that doesn’t’ work anymore, to make room for the new.  Sometimes when I’m stuck somewhere in the middle of a conundrum, I take a little time out.  When it’s just a writing quagmire, it might be a quick trip to the loo for some bathroom wisdom.  A bigger issue, on the other hand, may require an extended period of time that includes complete radio silence.

What I love about a good time out is that it frees me from hearing the noisy voices and opinions of others and provides a moment in which I can hear the quiet wisdom of my own.  It gives me precious time to sit, sift and sort through confusion and complexity and decide what is worth keeping, what should be expelled.  When the mind and heart are cleared of the dross that clogs insight, resolution springs forth, mental clarity shines through, and peace returns.  It’s a place to rest, stop, look, listen, reevaluate, and invite inner wisdom to be the guide.  It’s both a spiritual fast and feast all at once.  Answers reside in the silence.

Hmm.  When I first started writing, I thought that there might be something related to the subjects of compassion, empathy, and sensitivity to others, but for some reason, that thought evaporated along with the gloom that disappears in the light of an open window.  Well, maybe tomorrow.

So that’s it for today, folks.  For now, I’m going back inside to continue my time out, enjoy the view from my soul, and hang out in radio silence for a while longer.  See you tomorrow.  I think.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Getting a Grip

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Yesterday, when I went to fetch a copy of the blog du jour from the jaws of the printer, it wasn’t there.  Wait—where is it?  Didn’t I print it out?  Then I remembered—oops I forgot to write it.  After three months of perfect attendance, I forgot?  Really?  That can’t be good.

If you’ve been following along recently, you may remember reading that life in my lane has presented me with another marvelous opportunity to get over myself, learn another new lesson or two, and take the next step forward on the personal growth path. I make a wish for—oh, I don’t know—whatever floats my boat, and suddenly shazam—like magic, whoosh—here we go again off on another merry round of learning.  Watch what you wish for.

This time, it’s like someone came along and uttered one simple little sentence that pushed the plunger that exploded the dynamite that blew the cover off my foxhole that exposed me to the dirt that has lurked beneath the surface that tormented me for eons.  Whoa.  Scary.  I think I still must have a whole lot to learn.  At this point, I can’t say for sure how I’m doing, but every once in a while I catch a brief glimmer of hope.

I think that maybe the extended days of COVID restrictions are making us all a little crazy.  What started as a kind of interesting fun little extended recess at home moment has morphed into the realization that frustration has replaced fun, and that we will be socially distancing and wearing our masks for a v-e-r-y long time.  Our recess has gifted us with  frustration, exposing frayed nerves and tests of patience.  We are chomping at the bit to get back to the beaches, eat in restaurants, swim in pools, and return to our fitness centers.  Now, more than ever, we want and need physical activity to dissolve the stress and the frustration of the limitations placed upon us.  I have lost control of certain aspects of my life and now, crankiness has replaced civility.   It is disturbing to watch as I try to wrestle my selfishness into the willingness to come to grips with my inability to have what I want when I want it.  No wonder I still have lessons to learn.

Uh oh, watch out everybody.  It looks like she is going to smack us with another cheery little lecturette again.  Always on a rainbow unicorn toot–love everybody, forgive everything, look for the good, blah blah blah.  Yep.  Preaching to myself, mostly.  I guess I won’t get it until I get it.  The good news, though, is that at least I know I will get around to listening to the smart Voice in my own head eventually.  Maybe someday I might even pay attention.

The only thing I know for sure is that I’ve finished today’s blog—or is this yesterday’s blog today?   I am brimming with the hope that I’ll ace this pesky marvelous growth opportunity soon.  Soon, soon, soon.  The current curriculum is pretty intense, but I’m not dropping out.  I’m going to stick in there no matter what, watch intently to see what unfolds next, and remember that tomorrow is another day and another blog.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

In the Soup

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When I woke up today I felt as if my mind was swimming around in a bowl of alphabet soup in desperate search of a way to line the letters up in correct order.  So much going on, so much to do, so much to think about, plan for, deal with.   The soup is swallowing me.  It’s supposed to be the other way around.

I park my buns in the Lazygirl and prepare to tackle it all, but I can’t figure out where to start.  The pen wins and I pick up my journal to try to sort through the soup.  I begin with a little chat with my muse.  “I want it to be easy.  I want it to be quick.  I have things to do.  I don’t want to sit here for half a day slogging my way through a blog.  I’m drowning in the soup.  Can you make it easy today please?”

And my muse responds.  “Yes, we can.  We anticipated your wish and are well prepared with an answer BUT, we already hear doubt creep into in your head.  “Really?  Are you sure?  Am I going to have to sit here until lunchtime before I’m finished?”

I watch myself as I pick up my phone to do a quick text unrelated to anything.  I watch as I take a minute to check the weather to see if it’s a good day for a walk.  I watch as my mind wanders off into next week’s agenda; I’m still in the soup.

I reach for the laptop to begin the blog du jour and hesitate.  Wait.  Maybe I should meditate first.  I should meditate first before I do anything.  Meditation lines up the letters in the soup.  But why do I keep forgetting that?  Why do I not do it every morning?  Because meditation is on the do list, like exercise, eat healthier, and get organized.  It’s a whole lot harder to do than it is to not do, like not smoke, not drink wine, not watch TV.

So I put down the pen, leave the computer where it is, and opt for meditation.   I close my eyes and watch my mind as impatience tries to lure me into further distraction.  The soup swirls around in my mind, catawampus letters threaten to choke the life out of me, until finally, I see that I can order the letters to settle down and get themselves together.  Ah.  Quiet stillness and the return of sanity.  I can relax into the day, because the race for completion within the confines of time is unnecessary.  Everything will be done.  Everything is in good order, including my mind.

When will I get it?  When will I remember to quit diving headfirst into the soup before taking the time to float gently in stillness of my Soul for a while?

Thank you my Muse for proving me wrong, for showing me that when I am willing to sit still long enough to listen, all that I need will be provided, all I ask for will be given.  Wonder of wonders—it’s 8:30 am.  Today it was easy.  What more proof do I need than that?

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Activist Hat – Again

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After a lengthy discussion with a 50-something friend who is mightily concerned about the state of the world, I see that it’s time to don my activist hat again.  The depth of her fear about the future sent me into a depth of my own fear about the power of fear, and how much of it there in the world.  It was an eye opener, a reminder that the best I can do for the world right now is to keep my head on straight, not allow darkness to take over my life, and urge one and all to wake up and see the light.  On with the hat.

When I sit all smug and cozy with coffee in hand and feet up in my Lazygirl, it’s easy to believe that all is well in the world.  But what about everyone else?  What about the heartbreaking closed sign on the doors of my favorite Nordstrom where I worked when I was 50-something?  What about the folks who wonder how they will feed their families, or if their kids will be shot in their beds, or if they’ll be done in by a virus?

In yesterday’s conversation, my friend expressed her deep concern about the future of our economy and about what would happen after the election.   From her perspective, I could see that things indeed looked very dark, very depressing, and very bleak.  Seeing the depth of her fear was what sparked my own.  If her thinking is representative of a large majority of the population—and I think that it may be— we are in big trouble.

Our chat reminded me to remind myself and anyone else within reading distance or earshot that we must change our vision, we must change our minds, we must rearrange our thinking, we must change our focus, because if we don’t, the power of our own minds will indeed create the very thing that we fear the most.

To build a new and better world, we need to shift our thinking away from the horrific “what if” possibilities of decay and destruction and adopt a new belief system, one that embodies everything that we want, and nothing that we don’t.   Yes, this is easier said than done, particularly when we face so much negativity on a daily basis, when we are forcefed nasty news by the media, and when it appears for all the world that there is no hope.  It heightens the need for us to work harder.

There is hope.  It lies within the heart and soul of each and every single one of us.  We each bear the responsibility for snatching our world away from the clutches of the evil dark forces of the powerful and greedy, and put the power back where it belongs—into our own hands.  But it requires all hands to do the job.

Yes, our world is in a miserable state of decay.  But it is a necessary part of the evolutionary process that will make space for us to recreate something better, a hospitable, sustainable environment.  It is all part of a Divinely orchestrated plan that is for our benefit.  Together, we can do it—and we need all hands, all hearts, all minds, all souls on deck.  A future built on fear is destined to collapse, but love will sustain us for eternity.  Build on love, not fear.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Grace Under Pressure

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Writing yesterday’s blog was hard, like trying to pour caramel sauce over ice cream in an igloo.  Today, I’m telling myself that it’s going to be easy.  I’m going to just make up my mind that writing today will be a breeze, ideas will flow, words will pour forth and fill up the blank space of my computer screen like gently nuked caramel sauce on a warm summer’s day.  Well, that’s what I’m telling myself.  Whether it works or not is another story.  I’ll just have to wait to see how long it takes me to get to the finish line today.  It will be a test of how well telling myself what to do works.  I can be pretty bossy sometimes, so maybe there’s hope.

Today has to be easy, because this morning I suddenly realized that in addition to writing Voices, the monthly newsletter that I publish monthly for my condo building is due tomorrow, and somewhere in between that, there’s a lengthy board meeting.  Well, now there you go—a cause for panic if ever there was one.  But no.  I’m not giving in to panic.  I’m going for grace under pressure.

I’m not sure yet what the theme of the day is, but it might be procrastination, or faith, or doing my best work under pressure, or perfection, or check all of the above.  I’m experienced in all.  I guess it’s a little like making my way through life—I’m not always sure where I’m going, but it’s a pretty darned good bet that if I have a set destination, I’ll get there eventually.   Oh, there may be a few futile side trips along the way, but there is value in everything, even the wrong turns.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is that if something is hard, I might be headed in the wrong direction.  If I set my feet upon a path that is not in my best interest and find obstacles at every turn, it may be a warning that I’m headed for disaster.  I once observed as a friend launched into a dogged effort to fight the obstacles that were thrown in her way in her attempt to facilitate the purchase of a business for her husband.  Her struggle was rewarded with a resounding failure.  Had it been right, the road would have been smooth.  We need to listen to the whispers.

Wow!  I told myself it would be easy and apparently, I listened.  I’ve passed the finish line with hours to spare, the hair on my head is still intact, and there is still coffee left in my mug.  Maybe I’ve turned a corner—I hope so.  Maybe it’s because I exchanged hard for easy, or because my new mission of spirit guide communication is working, even after only two days of practice.  Whatever the reason, however it happened, I am truly grateful.  May it be a harbinger of things yet to come.  Grace under pressure.  I’ll take all I can get.  Grace, not pressure, thank you very much.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Dissecting the Voices

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Today is a start-stop-stuck blog writing day, definitely not one of my more shining moments.  In truth, I’m making myself crazy.  It may have to do with my latest mission of trying to enhance my communication skills with spiritual guidance.  I’ve had lots of practice, but apparently there is still much to be learned, because messages are garbled.  Especially today.

My current assignment is to speak to my guides out loud.  I’m working on it, though I must admit, it’s a strange sort feeling, one that is a whole lot different from hiding out in my head speaking in whispers.  It feels weird, like emerging from a dark closet buck naked into the spotlight on the stage of an auditorium full of people.  Whoa.  It gives new meaning to coming out into the light.

The morning is marching on by while today’s blogs sits on stall.  A myriad of thoughts pass through my head—I want to quit now, why is this so hard, what am I supposed to be writing, why isn’t it easy, I want it to be easy, where is the clarity, why am I doing this, when can I stop?

Jumbled confusion reigns in my head and expresses itself in words on my screen.   It occurs to me that this muddle presents the perfect picture of what it’s like to try to sort through the myriad of voices that float around in my mind.  I have just spent the last hour presiding over a plethora of unproductive thoughts.  In desperation, I finally gave up and headed for the kitchen for some breakfast and a little clarity.  What is the matter with me, I ask myself.  Why can’t I sit down, focus, write, and finish something that I really, really want to finish?

That’s when it hit me.  I’ve just wasted an hour of precious time in ego mode allowing self-doubt to stop me in my tracks.  I’m too hard on myself.  When I’m too hard on myself, joy goes out the window.  When joy goes out the window, it takes inspiration with it.  Ah.  A bit of fresh air wafting in through the window of my soul, a bit of kitchen clarity to redirect my thinking back to sanity.

Well now, there you have it.  The stark contrast between the screaming voice of the ego and the gentle, small Voice of the Soul.

Is there a point here, and if so, did I get it across?  Maybe, maybe not.  Maybe it’s not for me to judge, but rather to allow myself the luxury of learning to place my faith and trust in the wisdom and gentle guidance that comes when I am willing to apply myself to the task of listening to a Voice that knows more than I do, that unfailingly has my best interest at heart.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Path of Joy

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In spite of yesterday’s blog extolling the virtues of living in the shiny new moment of now and of not reliving my yesterdays, sometimes bits of the past come flying up unexpectedly and hurl themselves in front of my face screaming for attention.  So much for peace of mind.  Hagotcha!  Darn.  I thought I was over that.  Maybe not, else why would it reappear?  Is this another test?

Well, so here’s the good news—at least these nagging bedevilments are making themselves known so that I can decide whether or not to address them or just shovel them back down into the dirt out of sight, out of mind.  But if allowed free rein, they just keep coming up again.  And again.  Shall I listen up and pay attention, or shall I get out the shovel?  My choice.

In the midst of my most recent in-your-face confrontation with the ego, I had a peek through the window of my soul and could see how easy it is to allow despair and depression to take control and cloud judgment.  In my role as a witness I could clearly observe myself in a head-to-head conflict over which aspect of myself would win the battle—the ego, or the Self.

Let me just say—I do not like conflict.  Conflict in any form, either with myself or another person makes me want to turn and run the other way.  Yep—I admit it.  I’m a coward.  If I pull the ostrich act and don’t see it, I won’t have to deal with it.  But if there is no facing it, there is no resolving it.  Obviously, it won’t just magically disappear itself because it will just come up.  Again.

The quest for personal growth presents moments such as these.  It means mustering up the willingness and courage to confront anything that stands in the way of achieving the bliss of a peaceful mind.  Yes, sometimes it brings up issues that I’d rather not deal with, but the struggle is worth the reward of awakening to the yearning of the Soul that wishes for nothing more than to bestow the gift of joy.

These days, when I am rudely awakened by past memories and unhappy thoughts that trigger old wounds, I take my own advice and remind myself to be grateful for the recognition that there is something within me that needs my loving attention.  I ask for help with forgiveness and  pray for the release of anything that no longer serves to bring me closer to my Self, my Soul.  It is safe to take my head out of the sand and breathe freely because conflict has evaporated.   No longer must I learn through suffering and struggle, for that path has been transformed into one of joy.

Ah.  Blessed relief.  Now I am back in the shiny new moment of now.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

Blinded by the Light

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Yesterday was renewed-vision day.  The windows were cleaned and I got new glasses—all within the space of four hours.  Hot dog—I can see clearly again.  Well, at least I think I can.  I guess it all depends on how you look at it.

This morning I sat around waiting for inspiration to strike and was rewarded with zip.  So I shook up the daily routine and went out for a walk.  Usually it’s write first, walk second but apparently, today is shaping up to be a bass ackwards sort of day.  So here I sit in thumb-twiddle mode wondering what to talk about today.  It could be a very long morning.

While simultaneously thumb twiddling and awaiting inspiration, it occurs to me that maybe the well has run dry.   Am I washed up, finished, kaput?  Has my daily blog muse walked off the job and left me to my own questionable resources?  Now there’s an unsettling thought.  That would be tantamount to someone making a decision that affects me without checking in with me first, and I hate it when that happens.

Then it dawns on me that what I think is what I get.  If I think the well has run dry, then the well has run dry.  It’s the purest, simplest form of creating my own reality.  If I add the belief factor in with the thought process, I’m doubled doomed.  I’ve shot myself in the foot and that’s the end of my daily blog.   The muse has run for her life and I’m left to my own devices.

If, on the other hand, I manage to catch myself red-handed in the act of believing the veracity of a negative thought that I made up in my head, I can nip it in the bud, turn it around, and exchange it for a new thought that uplifts, expands, and supports the idea that the well will never run dry.  Aha.  I’m back in the blog business.

It also dawns on me that my thoughts are my entire world, but in the overall scheme of the universe, when compared to the whole, my mind and I seem no greater than a feather on the wings of a sparrow.

Yet, if a single thought from one person has a life altering effect upon that person’s life, just imagine the effect that the thoughts of masses of people might have upon the entire universe.  Imagine the magnificent creations that would become manifest.  Imagine the wonderful new world that we can make up in our minds, just by envisioning them.  Imagine joining the power of just one thought with the masses to create an entire new universe.

It’s such a simple concept, but one that requires vigilance and mindfulness to put into action.  It’s worth whatever effort it takes—for you, for me, for the world, for the future.

Happy dreaming up and creating a brilliant new reality, everyone!

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).