The Heart Knows the Way

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Yesterday I was broke. Here  Today I am lazy.

The day that I was born, my sister became my mother and adopted me as her very own living, breathing baby doll.  The fact that she was only two years older did not get in her way.  She went about her task with fierce determination, meeting my every need before I needed it,  doing everything for me that I could not do for myself.  She continued her mothering duties well past the years when I was old enough to do for myself.  Not surprisingly, I earned the reputation for being lazy because for some odd reason, I simply didn’t bother to do anything for myself.  Imagine that.

I won’t give her full credit nor blame for my well-earned lazy reputation, because chances are that I showed up in life with lazy as my middle name.  Nonetheless and even so, in her well-meaning mothering helpfulness, she facilitated the process and sealed the deal.  Lazy I was.

My family claimed that I liked to get up earlier so I could loaf longer.   Efficiency experts agree: If you want to get something done, give it to the laziest person in the room because she will find the quickest, easiest, fastest way to get the job done.  So true.  Efficiency equals longer loaf time.

If there is any truth in my belief that we arrive here on classroom earth with a fully loaded curriculum specifically tailored for our soul’s growth, then I was parked in the perfect family to help me realize and understand my need to overcome the obstacles that I brought with me into the classroom.  Broke and lazy.

But here’s the good news.  Like two sides of the same coin, we also come equipped with the wherewithal and the way to grab our demons by the tail and fling them over the cliff of self-doubt and fear.  We have the ability to gain mastery over ourselves and whatever beliefs we hold that cast a shadow over the joy that is our inherent birthright.  It’s all a part of the journey toward wholeness.

Easier said than done, one may say.  How do you erase the pain of the past and heal old, worn out belief systems that stand in the way of personal peace and happiness?  How does one answer such a question in the Reader’s Digest version of a lifetime quest?

For two years I held a grievance involving a husband and a friend.  Not until I was able to see the profound damage that I was doing to myself by my unwillingness to forgive did I begin to realize the benefit of letting it go.  Incentive and willingness became the key.  Dear God, I want to forgive, but I don’t know how.  Please help.

Sometimes it helps to take a “what’s in it for me” approach.  Focus on the donut.  Seeing the benefit can provide the energy that fuels the desire to make a change, even though doing so may be uncomfortable.  Every situation is different.  Every solution is different.  Every soul is a wise teacher with our best interests at heart.  Follow your heart, ask for help, listen to the teacher, study hard for your tests, and a diploma is your sure reward..  It isn’t easy, but it’s always worth it.  Godspeed.

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 Wealth of Poverty

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When I was a little kid, I yearned for piano and ballet lessons.  Apparently, my mother always wanted to be a Girl Scout, so I got sucked into being a Brownie instead.  It was the beginning of the harsh realization that life didn’t always produce the results to which I would like to have been accustomed.  No lemonade for me.  Oh to be young and have no control.

To be fair, I will admit that the cost of piano and ballet lessons was out of the question for my dear widowed mother whose sole focus was on feeding her three children and keeping a roof over our heads.   But of course, my small child self didn’t see it that way.  I only saw that I didn’t get what I wanted.  I vividly remember fretting over how one moves from a $0.25 per week allowance to acquiring an entire house plus contents and everything else that goes with being a grown-up.  I also freaked out over the thought of being put in jail because I couldn’t afford the overdue fee of a library book   Hence, at a tender young age, I developed a healthy sense of poverty consciousness that I wrestled with throughout my adult years.  It wasn’t really a very good start to life.

Around age six, I poked a small finger at my own body and then at the body of a friend and wondered, “who” is in there, and why is she in “there” and why am I in “here”?  Why does she live in her family, and why do I live in mine?  Who decides?    It was this same young friend who said to me, “Did you ever think that none of this is real?”  Hmmm.  Heady questions for a couple of little ones, wouldn’t you say?

Hence began my lifelong spiritual quest, and what an exciting, amazing, baffling, mystifying experience it has been.  I’ve heard people say they’re not interested in finding inner peace because it would be boring.  Boring?  Ask anyone committed to a personal spiritual quest they will say that it is anything but.

Why was I born into a financially-challenged family?  Why am I “in here” and why are you “in there”?   Why are there as many life situations and circumstances as there are people on the planet?  The only thing that I know for sure is that there is always a reason.  For everything.

I believe that every life circumstance is a divinely orchestrated opportunity to provide us with the lessons necessary for our soul’s evolution.  There are so many rich blessings and lessons to be gained from each one, if we can see past the blind spots that cloud the vision of what appears to be real, but in truth is only the illusion that we make up in our own heads.

My lifetime as a spiritual seeker has taught me that my work is just to grow where I’m planted.  Certainly life hasn’t all been fun and games, but my willingness to travel down this road has led me to a place where I am content, happy, and at peace with myself.  And by the way—it has never been boring.

Circumstances may appear to be immutable, but minds are not.  They can be changed.  A change of mind brings a change of life, both on a personal level and on the world stage.  Every mind makes a difference. And it’s up to each one of us how we choose to think.

I began my life poor in mind, body, and spirit, but poverty has been replaced  by a wealth of spirit.  Now I can afford the overdue library book fee, and the house and its contents thanks to the realization that everything I need is readily available if I look within myself.  There are miracles hiding inside waiting to happen.  Seek and ye shall find.

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 Gateway to a New World

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Troubled times of crisis bring changes that can affect us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually—changes that can jostle us out of our comfort zones.  Yesterday a friend reminded me about a life-altering dream that I wrote about years ago and I think that it might be an appropriate time to share it again.  Fair warning though . . . it is about 400 words longer than my usual blog size.  And it begins . . .

Today I am reminded of a dream that I had many years ago, a dream so powerful that it provided me with the courage and energy that I needed in order to make a gigantic leap from one chapter of my life into the next. I feel moved to tell this story today in honor of those who are struggling with life circumstances that they wish to change, and who may benefit by being reminded that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In my dream, I am walking toward a bridge, and want to cross, but there is a closed gate. I use this as an excuse to tell myself that I cannot cross because the gate is locked and is blocking my way. Instinctively I know that this bridge will take me to my future, but I am afraid to leave my past and move on. I am afraid of what I might find, that my future may be worse than my past.

Feeling a great sense of relief, I turn to walk away.  As I do, I hear a voice that says, “Oh, but it is not locked. All you need to do is open the gate and walk through.” My excuse has vanished and fear clutches my heart. I do not want to go. I do not want to risk what I might find on the other side of the gate, on the other end of the bridge.

I am at a painful transition point in my life, in the midst of wondering how I will ever manage to find the courage I need to leave my husband of many years, and move from the West Coast back to the comfort of my roots in the east. I want to leave, but I can’t. I’m stuck. I lack the courage to move on with my life. I’m in the sunset years of middle age without the resources to sustain myself for tomorrow and forever. It is a frightening scenario. I am paralyzed with fear.

The persistent voice urges me to open the gate and step onto the bridge. With trembling hand, I lift the latch and walk through the opening. The gate closes behind me, and I look ahead at the vast expanse of space that separates me from the certain present to the uncertain future. I want to turn back but somehow, it no longer seems to be an option.

With great reluctance, I swallow my fear and put one foot ahead of the other as I start my journey across the bridge to greet my future. At the halfway point, I stop and realize again that I am again paralyzed by fear, unable to move one way or the other. I imagine myself living the rest of my life firmly rooted in the middle of that bridge, somewhere between the worlds of the past and the future.

Mentally, I review my options. The gate has closed behind me and I am not ready to face what awaits me. I can stand stuck on the bridge forever with one foot in the past and the other in the future. Or I can jump.

No, tempting though it is, jumping is not an option. It is not a viable means of escape. I turn toward the closed gate and much to my surprise, it is now open. Behind it stand a group of my friends, all smiling and waving to me, as if to wish me well and send me off with Godspeed and good wishes. I feel a lump in my throat as I realize that I must once and for all say goodbye to a piece of my past that had served as my painful comfort zone for so many years.

I turn toward the future at the other end of the bridge, and there is no gate. Another group of my dear friends await me, beckoning to me, encouraging me, anxious to welcome me home with open arms. With a mixture of sadness and joy, with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, I place one foot in front of the other and move forward into my future.

I reach the end of the bridge, the beginning of my new present, and joy begins to slowly seep through the sadness to fill the hole in my heart that was left behind in the past.

Today I look back with gratitude because my painful past is behind me, and I have moved on into an optimistic and brighter future, one that had been hidden from me behind a door that I did not want to open.

Crossing takes courage, commitment, and profound willingness. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. All of the goodness and sweetness in life thrives in the happy atmosphere of a satisfied self. It is always waiting to be claimed, right there in front of eyes willing to see.

I guess that sometimes we just have to be willing to go through the brambles in order to enjoy the sweet nectar of life.  And so to all those who struggle, to all those who wish to open the gate and cross the bridge, Godspeed and good wishes. Amazing gifts await you on the other side. Focus fiercely on the light at the end of the tunnel, and joy will be the ultimate reward.

The Donut Hole is Closed

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This morning I parked myself in my Lazygirl with an ominous sense of quiet dread that mid-afternoon might arrive before I even started writing today’s blog.  What shall I write?  What can I talk about?  Has the well run dry?  I sit.  I wait.  I listen.  Nothing.

An unsettling thought silently creeps in.  I’m staring down into the donut hole again.  Somehow, I’ve slipped into uh-oh territory without realizing it.  I wake up, look around, and here I am again, like it or not.  How did I get here without my permission?   I have no idea.  All I know is that I don’t like it.

It might have been a gradual slip that occurred while I wasn’t paying attention.  I may have inadvertently allowed myself to dip into the sneaky, dark inner recesses of my mind that takes great pleasure in undermining me, that distracts me from my path and purpose.  I might have been listening to the wrong voice again.  Yep.  I might have done that.  Note to self:  Be vigilant.

The light goes on and I realize—oh.  This is what I write about today.  I’m back now, with the opposite problem.  There is so much to say in 600 words or less that I don’t know where to begin.  Or end.

I could talk about lights that go on in the dark, or about the importance of developing an up-close and personal relationship with one’s inner self, or about having a sense of knowingness that all is well, or of faith, guidance, or grace, of awareness, or of being woke, as they say these days—I’m not quite sure what that means, but I guess it’s a good thing.

Out of all of it, what has been the most important aspect for me is developing an inner relationship with my soul, the part of myself, that loves me as I am, supports and guides me, that supplies grist for the writing mill, and above all else, redirects my attention back to my path and purpose when I lose sight of it, when I am at risk of tumbling headfirst down the donut hole.

In the midst of the world crisis in which we are living, there are donut holes everywhere I look.  They come in all sizes, shapes, and forms, and their name is fear.  They involve us personally, and they involve the world in general.  If we allow it, we’ll all find ourselves clumped together in a heap at the bottom of the hole.

But wait!  Before sinking down into the hole, stop and think for a minute think about how powerful you are.  Think about the fact that there is something within you that contains the wisdom of the ages.  Think about your ability to turn on the light within yourself to lift yourself out of the darkness, and in the process, light the way for others.

For a brief moment this morning, I forgot who I was and found myself sitting alone in the dark fretting about the subject of today’s blog.  Now, as I come to an end, I am reminded that there is within me, a voice of wisdom that is always there for me, offering the quiet assurance that there is nothing that I need because I have everything, and that all I must do to hear it is sit down, be still, and listen.  There is no crisis that is too big for the power within.

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).

Learning Lessons in Real Time

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I just spent a couple of hours writing today’s blog.  I put the finishing touches on it before pushing the publish button, then accidentally pushed the delete button instead.  Shoot me now.  It was all about how everything happens for a reason and that there is a lesson that can be found in every unhappy, unfortunate situation.  Well now.  Didn’t I just give myself the opportunity of a lifetime to practice what I preach?  Back to square one.  Sigh.

Fellow writers and bloggers, can you relate?  Lesson 1:  Save.  I knew that, but I flunked Save.  Some of us are slow learners.

So I suck my heart back up out of my stomach and begin again.  Okay, so where was I?  There was something about learning from my mistakes, about wrenching my elbow out of joint while trying to extract my foot from my mouth, blah blah blah.

It was about converting miseries into miracles.  I felt pretty good about it too, and even managed to find a link to add (a shortcoming, you may recall) but now alas, poof—it’s all gone.  Maybe with luck I can find a new link to the thing about links.  Stay tuned but don’t hold your breath.

Meanwhile, like the kid in the room with all of the manure, I know that there must be a pony in here somewhere.

Well I’m just going to have to fumble my way through this one till I find a point, or come to an end, or figure it out, or giggle my way through this cruel twist of fate, or maybe suss out a lesson, or learn to get by on a hum, a wing, and a prayer.  You know—resort to your basic stream-of-consciousness stuff.  What can I say?

One of the things that I’ve learned along the way is that by the time I’ve pushed the publish button, I feel as if I’ve put in a whole day’s work and it’s only 9:00 a.m.  I’m done.  It’s breakfast first then nap.  Like I always say—we get to repeat our lessons until we learn them.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

It would really be cool if the missing blog suddenly reappeared like magic but I doubt that’s going to happen.  But the miracle that I was talking about in the missing blog was about finding compassion, love, healing, and happy endings in the midst of what I call the miseries, those life situations that make you want to pull the ostrich act and run off in search of sand into which to stick the head, kind of like now, this moment, when I’d like to run off and stick my head under the covers.

Well so here’s my question to myself.  Have I learned anything here (besides push the Save button, I mean)?  I don’t know about that yet.  It’s a little too soon.  Maybe I’ll figure it out later.  Or not.

Maybe it’s just about another lesson in letting go, and going with the flow, of being okay with the way things are, of loving and forgiving myself in spite of my silly foibles, of making the best of whatever the situation is.  The deleted blog took a lot of time and thought.  This one was whipped off in about ten minutes and was a whole lot more fun to write.  Don’t know about you, but I enjoyed the process.  Hope you enjoyed the read!

Ta ta for now.  Off for my nap.

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 the Point?

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Some days are just better than others.  Some days I can sit down at the computer and stuff rolls out faster than I can type.  Other days, not so much.  Today is one of those other days.  I keep wanting to compare my life to my jumbled computer filing system, but that’s just bad news and doesn’t work out well.  It’s frustrating.

Friends tell me that during the pandemic, they’ve cleaned out every drawer, every closet in their home.  I, on the other hand, have added to my disorganization by creating a new anthology of computer files thanks to my recent habit of writing a daily blog.  Good luck to me if I want to add a link to something that I wrote days or weeks ago, because I can’t find it.  One of these days I’ll print them all out and stick them in a notebook with some sort of index system.  The whole sorry mess mirrors the closets and drawers of my life that still beg for my attention.  Sigh

Wait—is this the point where my dear friend who was upset with me for not showing myself in a more favorable light might be angry with me again?  Or perhaps is it the point where I might be a little angry with myself?  (See?  A link here would be a really nice touch, wouldn’t it?)

Okay, now I‘m stuck.  Where am I supposed to be going from here?  Is this the moment of panic where I say to myself, “See?  I knew I couldn’t do it!”?  Nope.  Not going there.

Maybe it’s time to have a little chat with myself.  Okay, fine.  So I’m stuck.  It’s not the end of the world. Maybe there’s a reason for stuck.  Is there a point to all of this go-nowhere jabber?  Am I missing something?

Oh—I get it.  Maybe the point is that I don’t always have to know what I’m doing, or what is going on, but it’s okay, because that’s life.  Maybe the point is that there doesn’t always have to be a point to everything, or that there may be one, but I just may not see it.  Maybe my only job is to let life flow without having to control the outcome, or have an opinion about everything, and just let it be whatever it is.  Maybe I’m just supposed to be the observer, the one who sits back, watches, and accepts without judging, who forgives and loves unconditionally.

I like it.  That kind of a life would work for me—a-let-go-let-God sort of an existence.  Maybe I just need to have enough faith, enough trust in the process to know that it’s all okay, whatever it is.  Pollyanna?  Maybe.  But isn’t that a better existence than stressing out over every cluttered closet or lost computer file, or guys who run around with M-14’s because they don’t want to wear masks?

Maybe it’s time to practice equanimity and work on seeking  a balance between being and doing (Be-Do).  I can be Pollyanna and still clean up a few computer files along the way.  I can shift my focus from fear to love.  I can have a little faith, trust myself, and add a link.  And I did.  Yay me.  It’s a start.  Just start.  Maybe that’s the point.

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 Bridge from Then to Now

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There was a time when I thought it might be kind of fun to be a columnist.  It was an intriguing notion, but there seemed to be just one little problem.  It turns out that it was me.  Imagine that!

The problem was that I had this idea that there was no way that I could ever, in my wildest dreams or imagination possibly conjure up the wherewithal, the way, the wits, determination, self-discipline, the inspiration, the creativity to crank out a column on a regular basis.  Oh, the pressure!  The very thought scared me to death.  No sir.  No column for me.  I packed that thought away and slipped it into the recesses of memory along with all of my other fanciful dreams and aspirations.  But that was then.

And this is now.  Today, I am awake at o’dark thirty, sitting with my trusty computer on my lap cranking out a blog for the 37th day in a row, sorting through a never ending flow of words, possibilities, and ideas that compete to show up on the page.

This is a stunning turn of events.  However in the world did such a thing happen, I wonder?

What have I learned between then and now?  What has changed?  I guess it’s me.  Wait—what am I saying?  Of course it’s me.

There are about 200 more words left to write before I close the computer clamshell on today’s blog.  How can I answer such a profound question in so few words?  How do you cram a lifetime of personal growth in a couple of hundred of words or less?

If I had to put it in a word—literally, one word—it would be listen.  Or maybe three words—listen, listen, listen.

I have always known that there is a still, small, quiet Voice within that is a whole lot smarter than I am.  A spirit, a soul, a guide, or whatever one may want to call it.

But like a stubborn teenager, I have rebelled and refused to listen.  I have gone off on merry toots thinking that I knew what’s right, good, and best for me, until I fall flat on my face and realize that maybe I was wrong.  The prodigal daughter surrenders and returns—at least for a while, until the next time.  But the voice waits patiently, ever there, to forgive and embrace me as I reenter the fold and  I repent, sorry to have so rudely kept this kind helper waiting for me to get over myself.  Countless times, I have left the fold, made my mistakes, then returned home.

Finally, finally, I have learned the wisdom of listening to the Voice that is a whole lot smarter than I am, the Voice that tells me the Truth about me, rather than the lies I tell to myself, the Voice that says yes you can instead of the one that says no you can’t.

Somehow through my years of trial and error, of listening and not, I have crossed the bridge between then and now and finally landed here in my Lazygirl writing the 37th blog du jour.  Who would have thought?

If I had it to do all over again, I would have listened more.  Listened sooner.  Listened to the Voice that knows a whole lot more about me than I do.  I highly recommend it.  It will take you to better places than you can ever imagine for yourself.

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).