Friday, September 25, 2009

Enjoy now - why wait?

I used to go crazy when I wanted to achieve something. I couldn't rest until the goal was accomplished, whether it was cleaning the house or getting a work project done. Everything else got put on hold. I was missing my "real" life - always living for something to get done, then immediately creating the next thing to do. The angels say often, through my friend Summer Bacon, "When you get there, where you gonna get to next?" There is always another goal. When we pay attention to where we are in the here and now almost anything can be transformed from being mundane to being enjoyable.

The other night after work, I was rushing to give my dogs their thrice-weekly anti-mite dog bath. As I started herding my big guy into the bathroom, he reminded me that I was anything but present. He was resisting me with everything in him. I heard his spirit loud and clear. "I am not just another thing on your to do list and if you're going to make me take a bath, you will have to make it fun." He stopped, dug his paws into the carpet and wouldn't budge!! I started to laugh. My dogs have always insisted on me learning my lessons. "You're right," I said. "Ok I'm doing this because I love you. I don't want those bugs eating you up, so lets make this fun." I started to sing the bathtub song I made up for them... "Rub a dub dub dub, Rub a dub dub dub, I've got a dog in the tub, tub, tub.... All the little mites have to go into the light, Rub a dub dub dub dub." My dog is the only one on earth that loves my singing voice - he smiled, released his death grip on the carpet, and proceeded to cooperate. Mind you - being soaking wet with a 70 lb husky pouring vinegar water all over him isn't exactly my idea of an amazing night, but because I got present again we had fun, my dog got all happy and fluffy afterwards and that priceless smile was worth every bit of work. I'm sure you mom's out there know exactly what I'm talking about!

I try to apply the same principles to all my life activities. I had to sit at the car repair place for four hours last week while Zippy, my car, had some expensive but necessary repairs. Instead of focusing on all the time and money it was taking to fix the car, I enjoyed four hours of quiet time with no phone and no email. I read an entire book, and did some meditations I'd been wanting to do for ages. I felt rejuvenated and abundant in my spirit even though the time had been spent sitting in a waiting room that wasn't exactly a five star resort!

We all want things in the future, but why put off enjoying what is in front of us right now. We can waste our entire lives in worry, or we can live our lives, fully and richly, present to what is in front of us. I am a lot happier than I used to be now that each moment has become precious.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Practice non-judgment

I was saddened a few weeks ago when I received an email going around the internet denouncing the US Postal Service for printing a stamp celebrating a Muslim Holiday. The author of this email cited several anti-American Muslim extremist bombings as if that represented the entire Muslim population.

This type of lumping groups of people together based on the actions of a few is ignorant and dangerous. It would be like saying all Christians are murderers because they burnt witches and went on Crusades, or all Germans are bad because of Hitler's appalling deeds, or all white people are haters because of some extremists. It is so sad that in today's day and age this type of thinking still exists. My father teaches at a university and is friends with some very loving Muslim families who treat him with such kindness that it would put some people of other religions to shame. We cannot and should not ever generalize about groups of human beings based on the actions of a few, or by our limited experience with them.

My grandma, sadly was very prejudiced most of her lifetime because a few young hoodlums beat up my grandfather when they were newly married. It wasn't until the end of her life, when a dear woman of color became her best friend in the nursing home, that she was able to let go of the pain and open her heart to know the soul inside a group she once judged. I was happy for her healing. Mom brought grandma and Rosa some Polish food and Rosa's daughter brought her and grandma fried chicken - it was funny that food was the bridge between racial ignorance and prejudice. We all eat, after all. We all bleed. We all love.

And while most of us on this list wouldn't presume to make such assumptions and prejudicial judgments about an entire population based on race or religion, we have to be careful not to extrapolate our own experiences and prevent ourselves from living. Its so easy to say, "Oh I had a bad relationship so I am biased against all men or all women," for example. I once asked the women in a class to list their negative beliefs about men and vice versa. It was amazing - so many women responded, "Men are controlling." So many men responded, "Women are flaky," and yet I asked, "Have you met all men?" "Have you met all women?" or are these judgments coming from your experiences alone?"

We limit ourselves from living if we extrapolate our judgments based on a limited range of experience. I wanted to try a can of Lychee fruit from the 99cent store for example. It was something I'd never had and I figured it was only $1. It was horrible!! The taste of the can permeated the fruit! But will this stop me from trying new things or even Lychee if I ever get it ripe off the tree? No! It will just stop me from trying that can again :)

And on a bigger scale, I have had some pretty scary experiences with spirits in the past when I was worn down and not paying attention to my own intuition - most of you heard about the one last year that socked me. But will that stop me from talking to spirits? Not at all. It will just remind me to be more mindful of my own well being so as not to get tired and let that in.

Life is so varied, so diverse, so amazing, that we only hurt ourselves when we make sweeping judgments. We stop trying new things because something didn't work once, or twice, or even three times. We assume we'll never find love. We limit our exposure to only people like us. But there is spice in life in the diversity. If all the people in the world, or all the ice cream scoops in the world were plain vanilla, well that would be pretty boring :) Thank God (literally!) that we are different. Thank God we share different perspectives.

We don't have to agree with anyone else. We just have to appreciate the diversity. One of my dearest friends and I disagreed on nearly everything for years, and yet the more we know each other the more we find the common ground. I disagree, in general, with extremism in any form, and yet I can appreciate the passion these people have for their beliefs. I just don't have to be around it. And if it affects my life in any way, I will deal with it then. For now I have more important things to do :)

Practice non-judgment when you can. I'm not perfect at it, and you may not be either, but we can always do better. You will free up your soul to BE who you want to be, rather than fighting those who are not whom you wish they would be. And that, dear ones, is the point of this earthly journey - to learn to BE the love we truly are.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Avoiding the boulders

I used to waste a lot of time trying to move the boulders - meaning I used to try to convince unkind people to be kinder; I tried to educate people about what I thought was right; and I did anything I could do to try to prove to people that I was a kind and loving person. I worked overtime and went above and beyond the call of duty to be 'loving' to others even when they were unkind to me. I strove to be 'forgiving' while allowing others to abuse me with words and behaviors. Sometimes my loving words and behavior authentically reflected what was in my heart. Often, it did not. We get the same lessons over and over until we learn to be real.

During my twenties, another coworker admitted he stole something from me when he was at a gathering in my home. The rest of the conversation as to why he stole it was even more appalling. Being young, naive, and "holier than thou" at the time, I strove to 'forgive' him, thinking that was what God wanted of me. Now I realize God would have wanted me to be real instead of faking loving behavior, while in reality I felt sick. I could have truly forgiven more easily and authentically had I told him that I found the behavior unthinkable and disgusting and proceeded to be professionally cool to him, or at the very least terminated the friendship without expressing a thing. Instead I worked harder than ever to be forgiving and friendly, trying to help him see that there was a nicer way to be, and trying to prove that I was a loving and forgiving person. Instead of changing him, his behaviors went downhill, and eventually I had to have a conversation with him saying I was going to have to turn him into human resources unless the inappropriate behaviors stopped. A week after I set my boundaries, for a reason completely unrelated to our discussion he was transferred. I got real, and God removed the difficult situation from my life.

The universe gave me another chance with the same lesson - just to help me see I'd learned. I was sent as a young engineer to a company in California to work with their engineers. The man there decided to gather up a group of guys and drive me to lunch. Well the lunch turned out to be "lingerie lunch" at a local dive where they proceeded to enjoy some extremely foul jokes at my expense while scantily clad women served us terrible food. This time, I was more real. I ignored them the entire hour, refusing to dignify their behavior towards me with a response, went back to my own company and told my boss that this wasn't ok and that I was never going back to work with these people again. He called the customer and in very direct terms described how I was to be treated. From that day on I was treated with the utmost respect. I had learned to be real. The situation was handled quickly and easily, and I was much more easily able to forgive and let it go.

Fast forward to the past few years and the scenario repeated again, just to be sure I got it. I was at the dolphin tank in Sea World, having fun getting doused by a playful dolphin, when an attractive and well dressed man in a black silk suit showed up and started hitting on me in a most disrespectful way. Words that were created to describe supermarket produce were applied to my body parts, as he continued his attempts to 'flatter' me. I felt the cords from his aura trying to hook into my lower energy centers, and lost all desire to be warm and friendly. "Are you here alone," he asked. I could have lied, but chose not too. "I came here to get away from everyone." (Hint). "I'm alone too!" he said. "Let's do something tonight!" "I am resting tonight. Sorry," I responded, being as kind as the situation warranted. "What do you do for a livling," he asked. "I talk to angels," I responded. "Really?" He proceeded to become human for a minute and to ask genuine questions. His cords withdrew from my aura. I was relieved. Then his baser side kicked in again, and his energy started to slime me as he made another unwelcome offer... "You say you want to rest? I give good massages. I could give you a massage tonight. I can help you rest." "Oh please just go away," I thought to myself, The line had been crossed. He was acting like a pimp on the prowl, and I just wanted to go back to my joyful interaction with the dolphin. I took a breath and quietly prayed and asked God to help me send this man on his way in the kindest way possible. He seemed to be the type who enjoyed verbal sparring so I knew if I just told him to go away he'd be a pest. The ladies room was too far away to duck into and there weren't many other people around.

The idea came quickly. I looked a the dolphin with whom I'd been playing a game of "splash and spit," and said to her, "I think you should splash this man and his expensive suit right now! Yes!! What a great idea. Come on... let's play!! He'd LOVE to get all wet!" The man looked at me in shock. I'm sure the suit cost him hundreds of dollars. The dolphin looked at me, eyes sparkling, looked at the man, and filled her beak with a load of water. She was cocked and ready to spit. The man backed up and away and made a hasty exit! Instead of raging as I used to do when I felt cornered by obnoxious behavior, I had a good long laugh, splashed my friendly dolphin in appreciation and was rewarded with a beak full of water. We both squeaked and squealed with laughter.

People are just people. Instead of treating others like horrid monsters, even if they act that way, ignore them, or if you have to move them on their way, get creative. If you have to work with them or live with them, try to listen to them. Ask them where they are coming from and share your feelings as well. I'll never forget a dear young woman who asked the angels how to deal with a mean kid at school. Bring cookies and share one with her, the angels said. They told her that the mean little girl was just insecure. So this enlightened child did just that and made friends with the 'mean' girl. The angels have often recommended acts of kindness that bridge misunderstandings.

Being real, while still being kind, takes constant practice. I am always challenged to go deeper into my own heart, to communicate with kindness and sometimes humor when I open my mouth, and to know when to simply let things be. It may take a lifetime to perfect being so authentic that we choose love all the time, but the effort is the point of our existence, and very much worth the time and energy we spend learning to perfect it.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back to Basics

It is funny how life can be exactly the same, and yet one minute it looks wonderful, and the next, due to some internal change, it looks much less appealing. I have learned over the years what clouds my vision, when I should make choices, and when I should wait. For example, I've learned to only make choices when I am balanced, rested, and fed! if I am hormonal, hungry, or tired, i wait. When I choose to do life affirming things - things that are healthy and good for my mind, body, and soul, i am able to give so much more and to look at life so much more clearly.

Last week after exercising, I felt more intensely focused than I have in ages! The sky looked brighter, the trees greener, and everything seemed to be in High Definition! I know in these moments that its prime time for manifesting, so I took some time to clarify my intentions for the day. I proceeded to have one of the most productive days I've had in ages. I had so much energy it just kept coming. I even got done with some tasks I'd put off for months. In making healthy choices, we give ourselves permission to be the best we can be. I didn't indulge in negative thoughts that day. I caught myself groaning about a mundane task and stopped myself immediately. I personally didn't feel like doing it, but in my heart I wanted it done!

I used to agonize over choices, wondering what would "make" me happiest. And yet the angels always told me to "go back to basics." That was never too exciting - we humans can have addictive tendencies at times. We want a high, rather than putting ourselves to task and doing what we know makes us feel good. And so every time I'd be looking for something to make me happy, the angels would get very clear with me - eat right, go to bed on time, exercise, and do something to fill your spirit. Now that doesn't sound like high and mighty advice, but it is truly the best advice and it works time and time again. We KNOW how to take care of ourselves. Its not glamorous, but its a wise choice. And all of the sudden all those other decisions seem trivial - if I am happy and feeling good inside of myself, I can choose to do anything and be happy.

So this week, try to make choices to go back to basics, and take care of the basic needs of your mind, body, and soul. You know what works for you, so just do it. And even if you don't think you have time, make some... you can't afford not to - you will be more energetic, productive, and best of all - happy!