Charlie Calling—Or Is It My Soul?

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It’s not that I don’t like dogs, mind you.  It’s just that I like them a whole lot better when they belong to someone else.  Nope—no dog for me.

Get a dog.

Gee thanks, but no thanks.

And a few days later—

Get a dog.

The banter went on for weeks.

I was emphatic.  NO!  I don’t want a dog.  Ever.  I don’t want the responsibility, the expense, the restriction, the dog hair in the butter, the walks in nasty weather, the accidents on the carpet, the health issues, the suffering through the loss at the end.  No.  No dog for me.

Get a dog.

Finally, after several months of serious resistance, I gave up and got a dog.  Surrender Dorothy.

Enter Charlie, a Japanese Chin named Charlie Chin—a caramel sundae of a fluff ball that stole my heart and changed my world forever.  It would take too many words to tell you about the wonders or Charlie, or the gifts that he brought into my life, but maybe another day.

Even now after twelve years, it is difficult to fathom the profound lessons that came along wrapped in the package with Charlie.  Among the many, the one that stands above all others is the willingness to heed the call of the Inner Voice that knows what is best for the growth of the soul.

Trust me, I’ve heard about a bazillion voices throughout my lifetime, most of them annoying, confusing, obnoxious, and just plain downright not nice.   Thankfully through trial and error, I’ve managed to narrow them down to my favorites, the ones I call the committee in my head.  By the way, and just so you know, I never thought of myself as crazy.  Maybe a little misguided from time to time, but never crazy.  Misguided would be courtesy of listening to a bazillion wrong voices.  It pays to hear with a discerning ear.

Dogs don’t need to learn how to hear with a discerning ear because they already know.  Charlie was wise.  He knew how to just listen and be.  Sometimes I called him Yoda.  Charlie Chin Yoda.

I want to be just like him when I grow up.  I want to just listen and be.  I want to develop that inner wisdom and knowing that lives within the animal kingdom, and that also lives within us two-legged creatures, if we will just be still long enough to seek it within ourselves.

As we stay cloistered within the walls of our own homes, what better time to do just that—practice our communication skills with the wise Voice within—the voice that leads unfailingly down a path beyond fear and toward love.  We’re all going to get where we’re going eventually.  Guaranteed.  It’s just a matter of how long we’ll linger along the way.

Me?  I prefer sooner rather than later.  It’s why I got a dog.  And quit smoking, and knocked off the wine, and signed on for a daily blog.  I guess I’m in a bit of a hurry.  How about you?

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 Truth Will Set Your Free

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I had a little chat with my friend (the one who plans to buy a gun) and without going into great detail, it turns out that our differing interpretations of the meaning of yesterday’s blog (Faith Trumps Fear) was Venus and Mars.  I thought that such misperceptions only happened between men and women, but apparently, I was wrong.  That happens a lot.  That I’m wrong, I mean.

As the last child in my family, I often did not feel heard so I learned to stuff my words back down my throat to avoid choking on the disappointment of not having my needs met.  My inability to understand my feelings and express my thoughts became the undoing of my failed marriages, but thankfully, after decades of trial and error, I have learned a great deal.

Oh, there were lots of errors—sometimes comical, sometimes painful, and often they came wrapped up as a combination platter.  In one of my marriages, my husband and I developed what we called the two-week rule, a tool that we used in the midst of an argument, or anytime that we faced a weighty issue that affected both of us.  It gave us two weeks of radio silence to mull over options and consequences and seek answers from within.

At the end of one such period, my husband’s conclusion was that he was leaving.  “WHAT?  What do you MEAN that you’re leaving? That’s not what we were supposed to be thinking about,” I bellowed.  “That’s what we were thinking about and that’s my decision” he replied.  “Noooo—we were thinking about whether we would invite your son to come and stay with us for a while.”  Talk about the mother of all miscommunication!

So, he packed up and left.  But it didn’t last long.  He was back later that evening at which point I wanted to throw him out again.  We laughed about it later, but it wasn’t very funny at the time.

Hmmm. Why did I wander down this road, I wonder?  Is there a point?  Does it have to do with being wrong?  Or communication?  Or telling the truth?  Or check all of the above?   Or Maybe it’s just a way to crack open the door and take a peek to see if there is room for improvement to be made anywhere along the line.

There is truth and then there is Truth, and it takes conscious effort to decipher one from the other, to discern the difference between the voice of the self and the Voice of the Soul.  Communication on every level is a skill, a fine art.  To be successful it must be learned, studied, rehearsed, practiced.  But mostly it requires honesty with one’s self.  It’s a trial and error process.  Will there be mistakes?  Absolutely!  Will there be wrong turns?  Of course.  I’m an expert in both, but even in wrong turns, there is great value.  But like anything truly worth having, it is truly worth working for.

Oh—and as a side benefit, it may even eliminate a few trips to Venus or Mars and save a marriage or two.

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).

Give Us This Day Our Daily Blog

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Every morning I nestle down with my coffee and trusty laptop to start the day by hoping and praying that the Voices du jour will just show up on the page with little or no effort from me.  Sometimes it works that way, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Why is that, I wonder?

Perhaps it is a mirror of my life reflected in the experiences that proved easy—finding the perfect home, job, roommate at the perfect time—and those that were difficult, like marriages and finances.  Occasionally, there were times in my life when I was stopped dead in my tracks from moving in a direction that I thought I wanted to go.  I look back with gratitude for those aborted missions, for in hindsight I can see that they would have proven devastatingly painful had I tried to force the issue and succeeded in my efforts.

Day after day as I sit down with my coffee and laptop, I ask myself why I have made this commitment to publish Voices every day.  I drown in an ocean of answers that flood my brain and threaten to drag me down into the undertow of fear and confusion.  Then suddenly, I am catapulted to the surface long enough to see the sunlight and catch a breath of willingness and courage to carry on, regardless of how uplifting or difficult the effort might be.

Even now, in the midst of a patch of fear and confusion, my heart beats with joy at the thought of how much there is to be gained.  I have agreed to enter an institute of higher learning where the question of why will be answered.  It will take time, it will take patience, it will take courage and willingness.

I have no idea where the path will lead but I am looking forward to the journey.  I suspect that there will be an ocean full of lessons, challenges, questioning, tests, frustrations, joys, and eternal why questions, but one day I will be able to look back in hindsight and say, “Oh.  That’s why.”

I would enjoy having some traveling companions along the way and would be delighted if you would  join me for a bird’s eye view of what goes on in the world of a serious Truth seeker in my practice of listening for the quiet whispers of the soul.  And I would love hearing your thoughts and musings as you travel with me.  Please share!

Meanwhile, I fully intend work hard and be the best student that I can be.  As always, it will be good for me to remember that it’s not about the destination, but rather about the journey.

Such an adventure!  Y’all wanna come along for the ride?

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 Road to Somewhere

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The thing that amazes me about this daily writing gig is that it starts as nothing and ends up as something.  Sit in chair, computer on lap, fingers on keys, nothing.  Here we go again, what now?  Sigh.  Sometimes it feels like a mighty struggle, and sometimes fingers fly and the thing just writes itself.  I prefer the latter, but today feels more like a struggle.

Why is that, I wonder?  I start off headed in one direction and end up wandering down a path that leads to an unknown destination.  It helps to have a goal in mind lest I find myself traveling blindly down a road toward an end that I did not seek to find.  But hey—maybe that’s not always a bad thing.  Maybe it was meant to be, who knows?

Come to think of it, my life has been a lot like that.  Kind of a go-with-the-flow, seat-of-the-pants adventure.  It is comforting to know that whatever happens and wherever I land, there is always good news, for there is experience to be gained and lessons to be learned.  Classroom Earth offers an amazing curriculum, perfectly timed and tailored to suit each individual need.  No road traveled is a waste because eventually it will lead back to the destination, even if the destination may seem obscure at any given time.  Sort of like today’s gig.  I’ll get there eventually, even if I don’t exactly know where is.  All I need is just a little faith.

If I had a goal it would help.  What might that be?  Hmmm.  How about this?  How about feeling really good about pushing the publish button?  How about feeling that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and that however it turns out, it’s all okay?  How about letting it just be what it is without judging it, or myself, or caring what anybody thinks of it?  Well that would be pretty awesome, right?

Indeed.  Have you considered the lessons that you are learning as you fulfill your daily writing commitment?

Well kind of and sort of, but not really.  Not thoroughly.  I know they’re there, but maybe that’s a topic for another day.

Would you care to share about your experience of writing today?

Sure.  It was a struggle at first.  But after several starts and stops, it got easier.  It just sort of flowed.  Again, a lot like my entire life.  It’s not always easy but it sure is worth it.

When do you think that it became easier?

About the time when I gave up on my little self and turned it over to You.

How will you feel today when you push the pubish button?

Pretty darned good, I think.  Thank you.

It is Our pleasure indeed.  We know that it takes great courage serve others by your willingness to share from the heart and be who you are.  We love you and We thank you.

My gratitude to You as always, and as a way of saying thank you, I shall push the publish button and feel really good about it.  Ta dah!

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).  

Onward, Upward, and Inward

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Today marks the two-week anniversary of my daily writing commitment and in another six days, I will celebrate the four-month anniversary of a black TV screen.  Not bragging, not complaining, just saying.

I reread A Night Without TV Link and was reminded that my intention is, was, and always will be, to do whatever it takes to move one step further ahead on the path toward enlightenment.  Sometimes it’s a big ask, but the rewards are greater than the sacrifice.  It takes time and patience to make progress along the way, and sometimes forward motion is not visible until seen in the rear view mirror.

No TV is a big ask, right up there with quit smoking, give up wine, and get a dog.  I did it all because I don’t want to risk being sucked back into another lifetime by my addictions, if you believe in that sort of thing.  If I come back, I want it to be because I want to, not because I need a glass of wine or a cigarette.

Ah, but I digress.  What have I done to fill the gaping hole left by a blank TV screen?  The only thing I know for sure is that I haven’t used the time to dismantle the stack of paper on my desk.  Beyond that, I cannot say, exactly.  Meanwhile it seems that I have finally decided to act upon the guidance that I received while in the midst of writing the no-TV blog, and I quote:

“I say to myself, “Self,” I say?  What am I supposed to be doing with all of this blank-screen TV-less time on my hands?”

And my Self says to me, “Write your own story.  Tell your own truth.  Say it like it is in your world and do not concern yourself with how it is perceived.  Judgment is not your job.  Your job is simply to write.”

So I write.  I clog up in-boxes with whatever comes to mind, be it ever so helpful, annoying, good, bad, or indifferent.  It may or may not ever be read, but I truly appreciate those who take the time to do so.  Meanwhile, in a week or so, I may have another little chat with my Self about the possibility of reevaluating and/or readjusting the writing schedule.  Perhaps it would make sense to move to a three-day a week plan.  We’ll see how that works out.

There will come a time when I look in the rear view mirror and clearly see the magnificent gifts of growth and learning that come along with the big asks.  Meanwhile, I plod along day by day with faith that I am on the path to higher consciousness and I’ll get there in this lifetime or the next, or maybe the next.  There is nowhere to go but up and within.  With  time and patience on my side I’ll get there eventually.  Inch by inch. Hallelujah!

 

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).   

What’s in a Lifetime?

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It’s 7:35 a.m. and I’d like to push the publish button by 9:00 a.m. so I can start the day by attacking the stack of papers that grow in the night and taunt me in the morning.  Is anyone else experiencing a bout of laziness and/or procrastination during these days as shut-in’s, or is it just me?

If you’ve been following along for the past several days, you may have noticed a thread of self-doubt running through the pages.  Me too, and do you know what?  I’m sick of it.  Enough already.  It’s old news, it’s boring, and it’s time to move on to lighter and brighter things.

Okay, I’m struggling here.  Why isn’t this easy?  What am I doing wrong?  If this is an assignment and I’m willing to do it, why is it so hard?  You know me—I always want everything to be easy.  Easy suits my lazy nature.

The clock is ticking and I’m nowhere near completion.  Whoa.  Now there’s a profound statement if ever I heard one!  Will life run out before I’m finished?  It’s enough to poke me in the derriere with a hat pin and get me moving post haste.

Dear one, no one said that it would be easy.  Anything worth doing, being, or having is earned by virtue of the willingness to apply oneself to the task at hand.  For some that is easier than others, based upon the soul qualities that one chooses to work on at any given time.

Yes, well willingness is one thing.  Application is another.  In my case, I’m loaded with willingness, but I have the attention span of a gnat.

We beg to differ.  You may think that your attention is limited, but We would like you to review what you have accomplished during the course of your lifetime.  By keeping your eye upon the donut, as you like to say, you have marched steadily toward the achievement of your goals and desires, even though at times you may think otherwise.  Your evolutionary journey toward enlightenment is furthered by your willingness to accept this assignment.  We know that it is not easy, and it is not comfortable.  We have asked and you have answered, and for that We are grateful.  From your limited perspective it would appear that progress has been slow to the point of being imperceptible, but viewed from a distance We see you standing strong amidst the growing cadre of global lightworkers.  Hold the torch high to help light the path for others who struggle to find their way out of the dark.  This, indeed, is your assignment, and We thank you for your acceptance of it.

No, thank You, and you are welcome.  And thank You that it’s 8:42 and I think that I’m finished.  Well, at least for today.  A lifetime is another story.

 

What Do You Believe?

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“We are never more than a belief away from our greatest love, deepest healing, and most profound miracles.” – Gregg Braden

Good morning my dear Friends.

I’m slipping already!  Only eleven days into my new Voices gig and already I want to give up.  When will the reluctance go away—or will it?   What is this resistance, anyway?  Can we talk about that?  I mean, I guess it all boils down to self-doubt, again, right?  As much as I’d like to think that I have my act together, apparently, I don’t, and that’s hard to admit to myself.  Rats!  I feel as if I have been given a mission-impossible assignment that I’m not comfortable with.  It brings up issues about how others see me, and how I see myself.  I get that others think of me is none of my business, but what about what I think of me?  I’m the one who has to live with myself.  When does this merry-go-round of self-judgment end?  When can I get off?  What do you want from me?

We want your joy and your happiness.  We want you to love what you are doing.  We do not ask you to do anything that will make you feel unhappy or uncomfortable.  We simply offer ideas, suggestions, and opportunities—“assignments” as you like to call them—that will move you closer to your heart’s desire.  Whether or not you choose to accept them is entirely up to you.  If you feel that something you have chosen to do is too much for you in the moment, you are free to change your mind, but in so doing, we encourage you to do so without self-recrimination.  We wish to remind you of guidance that you received many years ago when you were struggling with a decision about whether or not to leave a job in which you were miserable.  Do you remember what that guidance was?

Absolutely.  It left a lifelong impression.  “If you can stay and be happy, then stay, for there are many profound lessons to be learned.  If, on the other hand, you stay and cannot be happy, then, by all means leave, for to stay in a place where you are not happy is not beneficial to your or for anyone else.” 

And?

I made a decision in favor of my heart’s desires and stayed for another five years.

So basically, you shifted your belief system from seeing your job as a miserable experience into thinking of it as an opportunity to take another step forward on the ladder of evolution, correct?

Yes.  Eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.

And the donut?

The donut was the long-term benefit of hanging in there in spite of the difficulties.

And the hole?

The killer pavement pounding, the crazy boss, the unreasonable demands.

Are you willing to apply the same guidance that you received so many years ago to the daily writing and publishing of Voices?

I can do anything one day at a time because by the inch it’s a cinch.  Self-doubt is just another role, another part I’m playing—a character that isn’t real but simply a story made up in the mind of some scriptwriter to create an illusion of insanity.

I am not the character.  I am the actor playing a part.  And you know what?  I really am quite sane, in spite of any appearances to the contrary!  At least that’s the story that I’m telling myself for the moment.

It’s all about belief, right?

Yes.  It is absolutely all about belief, and if it helps any, We want you to know that in spite of what you or anyone else thinks about you, We believe in you and We love you.

Note:  The beautiful image and meme are courtesy of New Waves of Light (nwol.us).

The Zig Zag Path to Enlightenment

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Good morning my Friends.  I seem to be having a challenging time getting my writing act together this morning.  Too many choices, too many possible directions.  Aborted starts and stops, headed somewhere, going nowhere.  Come to think of it, that sounds as bit like my life, doesn’t it?

It sounds quite a lot like your life, and like many others, We might add.

Shakespeare got it right when he said that all the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.  So true. So many roles, so many parts, so many characters.

Recently someone asked about my career.  That’s a tough question and the answer is elusive because I never really had a well-defined career path.  I just kind of zig-zagged my way through life selling whatever came along that I believed in enough to sell.  I usually lasted for about six years in each venture, and like a butterfly that sucked the essence out of each flower, I moved on to the next available role as soon as the essence had been extracted.  I didn’t exactly appear to be the pinnacle of stability.  In my defense I will say that my references were always outstanding—except for my three-month three-month stint selling prearranged funerals.  That was the pits and earned me my first and only mutual bye-bye experience.  Always in each role though, there was learning to be done, skills to hone, a craft to master.  Juicy essence indeed.

Though “Flaky” may have been my middle name, there were three constants that were the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, three passions that moved me forward on the path in spite of occasional zig-zags and side trips on my disjointed career path.   Whatever the job du jour, I always kept my eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.  The donut was writing, cheerleading, and the search for enlightenment, not necessarily in that order.

There are so many roads to travel, so many choices, so many options to explore, so many possibilities, each one with its own set of consequences, with its own unique outcome.  Which one to pursue?  Decisions, decisions.  Not always my strong suit.

Hmmm.  Maybe there’s a way to toss my three passions into a blender and have them come out as a delicious smoothie.  Or maybe I’m confusing the blender with the holy grail.

Huh. I started out quoting Shakespeare and now I’ve morphed into Donna Quixote.

Well my Friends, it seems I’ve done all the talking here.  I didn’t leave any room for You.  In closing, is there anything that you would like to say?

Indeed, we would.  We are delighted that you are choosing to do what makes you truly happy.  Your willingness to overcome your misgivings about your writing commitment is a major step up the ladder toward enlightenment.  It is an assignment, and you are fulfilling it.  That you are doing so makes Us happy.  You have our continuing love and support.

And that makes me happy.  Thank you for being my cheerleaders, dear Friends.

 

Practice, Practice, Practice

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Good morning.  We have been waiting for you.

Yes, I know.  I’m sorry.  I got distracted by emails again.  It is rude to keep You waiting.

We are always here with you, regardless of how long it takes you to join Us.  Your arrival time is up to you.  Each time you choose Us before all else serves to strengthen your will and moves you one step closer to the attainment of that which you desire.

I know, and before we go any farther here, I’d just like to take a minute to say thank you for always being there.  For always being there, regardless of whether I show up or not.  You wait for me no matter how long it takes, and I apologize whole heartedly for my dawdling ways.  I imagine that you have plenty of stuff to do other than sit around and wait for me all day, or all month, or all year.  So rude.

You are most welcome, dear one.  And you are worth the wait, though we will most certainly rejoice when self-discipline tops your list of most important qualities to achieve.

I’m working on it, but obviously I still have a way to go.  One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

Is there something on your mind that you would like to talk about today?

Bunches.

Such as?

Such as making it through an entire night without stressing over what to write in the morning.  That was exciting.  I was also thinking about Bird by Bird, a wonderful little book that every aspiring writer should read.  It is written by one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, who mirrors my own behavior about seeking instant feedback from the submission of something that she wrote.  In her case, it’s running to the mailbox the day after dropping the manuscript of a new book in the mailbox, and for me, it’s checking emails a hundred times a day to see if there has been any response from a recent button-pushing publishing event.

You suggested yesterday that whatever anyone thinks of me or Voices is none of my business.  That bears repeating because it feels like a really important lesson for me—right up there with self-discipline, detachment, and letting go of the outcome.  Please keep reminding me that none of it is any of my business.  My business is just to write and push the publish button.  Spiritual practice.

Fleeting thoughts drift in and out of my head too swiftly to be captured.  Whatever it is or was that I thought I might write today went its own way without me.  It happens like that.  Sort of like life.  Sometimes it’s best to just let go, let it flow, and have faith that it’s fine exactly the way it is.

Chatting with My Self

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Well here we go again – another adventure into a moment of the unknown.  Blank page, blank mind, blinking cursor, can’t wait to see what’s coming my way.

May We suggest that you stop thinking and start writing?

That’s easy for you to say.

It’s easy for you to write.  Please continue.

Would love to.  No idea what to write about.

Anything.  Just write anything.

Hmmm.  Seems to me we have a little dé·jà vu here.  Been there, done that.  A bazillion times.

You’re stalling again.

Yes.  I am.  Trying to figure out what to write.

Overthinking is the enemy.  Just write.  We hear your censorship of thoughts, the continual evaluation of what is “safe” to say and what seems risky.  We realize that courage is required to bare one’s soul aloud, so to speak, and while doing so in private is one thing, it is quite another to speak publicly so that others may hear.  We understand your hesitancy to expose your innermost thoughts in light of the possibility of the judgment of others and the possible misperception of meaning.  And We see that you are stuck in overthinking again.  Would you care to have a word?

Sure, thanks.  (Note: blinking cursor marks stare-at-blank-screen time).  Yep.  Stalling again.

Why would that be?

Because there is so much to say and I don’t think that I want to say any of it?

And why would that be?

Well, You said it for me.  Fear of judgment and misperception.

Ah.  If you allow fear to stand as an obstacle to the fulfillment of purpose, you will fail before you begin.  Have you considered the possibility that it is not the fear of others that concerns you, but rather the fear of yourself?

Huh?  I don’t get it.

If you look back at your life, you may begin to discern that you are the one standing in the way of your own progress.  You are the one creating the fear that stops you in you in tracks.  You are the one who has allowed concern about what others might think to hide the truth of who you are from the world.  We know who you are.  You cannot hide from Us.  We invite you to quit hiding from yourself, and gather the courage to show yourself to the world.

Huh.  Yesterday, my friend Nancy gave me two words that helped me to put this whole scary daily writing adventure into perspective.  Spiritual Practice.  Odd that I never thought of it myself, but then, I don’t always see things as clearly as I’d like.  As I ask myself day after day why I have chosen to accept this assignment, it occurs to that though there are many reasons, one stands out among all others—at least for this moment—and that is to learn to delete “attachment to outcome” as an obstacle to doing what I am meant to do.  Whatever anyone may think, perceive, or judge about this little journey of mine is none of my business.  My job here is to simply do it and have faith that it’s all just exactly as it should be.

So there!!!  Now all I have to do now is muster up the courage to push the publish button.  Well, I always did enjoy pushing a button or two to see what happens . . .

So here we go—Wheeee!

Thank you Nancy.  Thank you God.