Define Yourself

Posted on February 29, 2016. Filed under: Spiritual Awakening | Tags: , , , , , |

At the beginning of our life, we are like sponges, soaking up everything from our environment:  thoughts, beliefs, goals, values, rules, agendas.  We see ourselves through the eyes of those around us.  When they look with love, we learn to love and value ourselves.  But all too often, they look at us through their own woundedness, through their own cracked and damaged filters.  We then learn to see ourselves as flawed and damaged too.

At some point, we hopefully begin to see that this definition of who we are just doesn’t fit
right.  The beliefs that we’re broken, damaged, wrong, flawed – whatever words we’ve come to identify with – start to become uncomfortable, limiting Accept no one's definition of your lifeand restrictive.  The truth of the matter is that they’ve always been confining, but at some point we notice that restriction and begin to rebel against it.  We try to break free of the bonds that we don’t even realize we’ve unwittingly accepted.

At some point, usually when the pain becomes unbearable, we begin to shed the layers of our human woundedness and seek the truth that has always resided beneath that surface story of our flaws.  We begin to search for the true definition of who we are.  It is then, in my opinion, that life begins to truly be the magical experience that it was always intended to be.  It is then that we begin to wake up to the truth of our divine heritage and release this illusion of broken-ness with which we’ve always identified.

The freedom that ensues from reaching for this personal definition of self is nothing short of mind-blowing!  We realize that WE get to choose.  We alone get to define who we are.  And if we allow others to impact us, we realize that it is a CHOICE – a choice we can change at any point in time.

The pattern of needing unbearable pain to be the impetus to begin this process of self awareness and understanding seems to be shifting too.  No longer will it be necessary to dive into the depths of what has been called “the dark night of the soul” in order to examine and change these definitions of self.  Certainly, that pattern still exists and is a valid choice.  It’s just no longer the  only choice available to us.  That makes it so very exciting to be alive at this time.  Life is shifting.  Our awareness of ourselves is shifting, changing and expanding.

Let the momentum of these shifts carry you forward in your own self exploration.  Begin to release the notion that you are flawed or broken or damaged.  See yourself instead as the powerful, creative and imaginative being that you’ve always truly been.  Embrace the freedom that you hold to define yourself – and accept nothing less than the magnificence that is your birthright.  This is how life was meant to be experienced – from this place of power, grace and love.

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Suffering is optional

Posted on December 5, 2015. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Life holds so many mysteries and surprises – some exciting and uplifting, some downright devastating.  No one seems to make it through life unscathed.  We all bear scars of one sort or another as if to prove that yes, we have walked through the fires of life.  Why then do some seem to do it with so much greater ease than others?  What secrets do they know that pave their journey with ease and grace while others are continually raked over the coals?

The answer is both simpler and more complex than you might first imagine.  Life happens.  Pain occurs.  Whether it is physical or emotional, painful things happen.  However, our response to the painful stimuli or the pain itself determines whether we suffer or not.  That response is within our control, and it is our response which gives us the power to move through the pain by letting it pass or to stay stuck in it thereby creating our own suffering.

Suffering is optionalAs you might guess, our thoughts have a tremendous impact on our responses.  If we see life as a struggle, we’re going to attract circumstances to prove that perspective.  Contrarily, if we see life as supportive, we will experience evidence to support that view.  Letting go of the need to suffer then becomes yet another benefit to adopting a positive outlook on life.

The following suggestions can help to shift your thoughts toward a more positive perspective and thus reduce the amount of suffering that you experience.

Accept personal responsibility.

When we assume responsibility for our lives, we put ourselves in a position of power.  We hold the power to choose.  We have the authority to exercise free will.  We can set limits and boundaries.  We put ourselves into the driver’s seat of our life.  We empower ourselves.

By accepting this responsibility, we raise our vibration above helplessness which feeling like a victim to life’s seeming randomness engenders.  This shifts our perspective as well.  It gives us the insight that challenges happen, difficult experiences occur.  However, we no longer see these happenings as meant to beat us down but, in fact, to give us opportunities to rise up.  Challenges become the pathway to personal growth and expansion.  We build upon our previous successes and believe in our ability to overcome whatever life throws our way.  We will not stay down when we know our own power.

Be open to learning.

Life is about the journey, the continual unfolding of experience and understanding.  We are here, I believe, to experience ourselves as the divine creators that we are.  As such, we are continually given happenings through which we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and our power to create.  We learn about our resiliency, our tenacity, our precociousness.  We test our limits so that we can move beyond them.

When life is viewed with the intent to learn something from every experience, we no longer need to judge things as either good or bad since every experience teaches something.  We create more latitude and freedom to go beyond our previously conceived limitations.  When we can release the need to already know everything about life and ourselves, we open to learning more than we ever dreamed possible, often through means which we never even considered.

Don’t take it personally.

We so often act as if everything that we witness in life is aimed at us personally.  We take offense at a friend’s apparent thoughtlessness.  We become wounded because someone we want to be with is busy doing other things.  We assume that our partner’s silence or withdrawal is our fault.  We create stories in our minds that explain whatever we’re observing, and for one reason or another, we make ourselves wrong.

Putting ourselves in this place of being at fault for every little thing stems from the unconscious perspective of being a victim to life.  But we are not victims – we are the creators of our experience.  So when we stop telling stories that perpetuate the myth of our victimhood and stop making up reasons why we are at fault for things, we are free to simply observe life.  That friend’s thoughtlessness may have been caused by her preoccupation with her parent’s failing health.  It had nothing to do with our relationship.  The friend we want to be with who is busy doing other things is juggling a full schedule and will happily spend time with us soon.  And our partner’s silent withdrawal may be his way of dealing with added pressures at work.  Most of the things we observe other people doing have absolutely nothing to do with us.  So quit taking responsibility for their actions.

Being detached enough to simply observe life creates an incredible freedom to respond with love rather than using things as excuses to feel bad about ourselves.  Rather than becoming yet another reason to suffer, life becomes inviting and exciting.

Avoid comparisons.

When we operate from the unconscious perspective of being a victim, we often compare our experiences to others.  Without understanding what someone else has done to get to where we now see them standing in life, we simply decide that we are “less than” or “not enough” because we aren’t also standing there.  We inevitably make the comparisons about our worth which can only be damaging.

When we become confident about our undeniable value and worth, we no longer need comparisons to validate our position.  We realize that comparisons are actually irrelevant.

Trust that things are always working out.

Holding onto the belief that things are always working out for us puts us in a place of positive expectation.  We begin to see our experiences as life affirming rather than negating.  We weather difficulties with more ease because we understand that all situations are temporary and that by not resisting them, we allow them to flow past us more quickly.  We trust that every difficulty is actually an opportunity to break through old limits and create a more expansive future.  We look at our life as the mirror it is and rather than deciding that things are indicating we aren’t good enough, we see the areas in our lives where our beliefs are creating barriers to our potential.  Then we use that information to create even greater joy by moving past those barriers.

Life offers us endless support when we are willing to accept it.  Otherwise, we can also experience an endless array of difficulty which must surely indicate that we are unworthy and unlovable.  Ultimately, the choice is ours.  We can allow life to validate our worth, create ever greater opportunities for growth and endless opportunities to share love.  Or we can wallow in the despair of never being enough, never measuring up to whatever self-imposed standard we’ve created internally, and having no chance of beating the overwhelming odds that life stacks against us.  One choice is filled with love, light, joy and possibility.  The other is mired in despair, helplessness and hopelessness.

Isn’t it awesome that we can choose either option?!

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Figuring it out as we go…

Posted on December 22, 2014. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Life is a process.  Each experience leads to another, to the next.  For better or for worse, we can only take one step at a time, whether that feels like a forward step or a backward step.  We just keep racking up experience after experience.  And we hope that we are going somewhere – somewhere that feels good, that feels fulfilling.

We made assessments about life at a very early age.  We made determinations about our worth, our value, about success and failure – long before we fully understood the depth of meaning of those concepts.  Then we spend our lives marching to the tune of those beliefs acquired long before we had the power to choose deliberately and consciously.  We were subjected to customs, traditions, duties and obligations – and those things became the fabric of the tapestry of How We View Life.

At some point, most of us wake up to the fact that we can actually examine and discard those beliefs that feel like vices around our very lifeblood – those things that choke the hope, joy and love out of our existence.  You know the ones I’m talking about – those things like, “You’re a worthless piece of ^%*$,” or “You don’t deserve to be happy,” or “It’s all your fault.”  Pick your poison.  We’re all carrying some version of it around inside of us.

The way I now see it, the path to happiness lies in exposing these false beliefs that underlie the very Each experiencefoundation of who we see ourselves to be.  They impact everything.  Every relationship.  Every interaction.  Every choice.  We’re either proving to ourselves that they’re true, and we are worthless – or we’re faced with the realization that the very foundation of what we’ve built our identity upon is cracked, damaged and in dire need of rebuilding.

So that brings me back to my initial comment – Life is a process.  I said that to a friend today, and he thought he heard me say, Life is a crock.  Perhaps that’s really what I was saying.  Sometimes the process just plain sucks.  It can be hard.  But only – and I mean ONLY – because somewhere along the line we’ve deemed it so.

See, we came in with a clean slate.  We entered this life knowing that we are divine creators, still basking in the loving oneness that precedes and supersedes life as we consciously know it.  And then we forgot.  We forgot that we come from love and that the point is and has always been simply experiencing and expressing this love in an infinite variety of ways.  Somewhere along the line we messed it all up by coming to believe that we are anything less than who we were when we began this journey as little tiny infants.  We created limiting beliefs … and now we’re on the journey of exposing them for the falsehoods that they are, one by stinking one.

Gradually we begin to reassemble the pieces of the puzzle into their proper places.  We begin to see ourselves as the powerful creators of our experience that we always have been, but which we were taught to diminish and discount, belittle and bemoan.  When we take responsibility for our lives, we see that each experience is one more piece of the puzzle reassembling our divine birthright which is to know that love is all there is.  Everything else is illusion.

So while it is true that sometimes the process stinks, it does lead us to the magnificent revelation and understanding of our divine connection to all things.  As humans, we’re all just figuring it out as we go.  And nothing could be more perfect than that.

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The illusion is that someone else put up the fences – when it’s been our doing all along.

Posted on December 9, 2014. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

The illusion is that someone else put up the fencesWe want to hold someone else responsible for the fences we run into. We want to blame them for putting up these barriers – when in reality, any barriers we encounter are always of our own making.

I know that is a hard pill to swallow. “How can that possibly be? Why would I put up fences to hold me back? So-and-so is the one that made me mad or is being a jerk or …” or whatever story we tell that shifts the focus from our own thoughts and beliefs that are really responsible for creating the feeling state that we’re in. And try as we might, that responsibility falls squarely on us.

I understand. I get it. Life happens. Things break. Kids make poor choices. People act crabby or get depressed. We have disappointments. But in ALL of these things, it is up to us alone to CHOOSE how to respond, how to feel and then how to act. We can let our inner dialogue convince us that we’re powerless, that someone else is at fault – which again just puts us in that victim stance of powerlessness – or we can recognize our power to pause that inner conversation and shift it.

I’m not saying this is easily done. Hardly! There are so few role models for this. It is certainly NOT what most of us have been taught. We have no idea what this looks like – but THAT is no excuse for not making the effort, for not choosing to stop self-defeating self-talk, for not interrupting the “automatic” knee-jerk reactions we’re used to employing by default.

Pause. Breathe. Ask yourself, “What is appropriate for me right now?” Or “What good in this situation am I not seeing?” It’s solely up to us to change these patterns which no longer serve us.

And sometimes… it’s best to just lay low, curl up with a book, and wait for another day to try again.

Whatever you choose, own it. Be okay with it. Know that somehow all of this is leading to a better tomorrow – once we quit banging against those fences that we think are holding us back.

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Choosing from My Now

Posted on September 23, 2014. Filed under: Spiritual Awakening | Tags: , , , , , , |

I know that life happens in this now moment.  This is where I make my choices from, and the only reason my past impacts mySunshine now is because in this now moment I remember my past.  Past hurts.  Past choices.  Past repercussions.  And in the moment that I remember them, I’ve just included them in my present.  I’ve re-activated them.

If I could wash the slate of my past clean, then those past hurts, wounds, memories would no longer influence my now.  I could live freely in this moment, choosing based solely upon how life is showing up right now.  Without past baggage coloring and influencing my choices.

How will I know whether something or someone is what or who I want to keep in my life, I wonder.  Well, I’ll know based on how they choose to show up right now.  In this moment.

I will be free to respond by simply deciding if this is something I want or don’t want, like or don’t like.  And that frees me up to simply be.  Be alive, fully present, in this moment.

Ever so slowly, I am accepting me in my totality.  With my wounds.  With my fears.  With my brilliance.  Standing fully – in love with life.  As love.

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No Explanation Necessary

Posted on August 16, 2013. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , |

“Never explain yourself.  Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.”  ~ Belgicia Howell

We use words all of the time – to share information, to promote ideas and products, to educate and to entertain.  Our days are filled with written and spoken words, but how much of that is just the noise with which we fill our minds?

Obviously, words are not our only means of communicating with others.  Our actions speak.  Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words.  And our energy speaks Never explain yourselfvolumes.  In my opinion, it is actually our energy that people respond to more powerfully than our words, because as we all know, words can lie, manipulate and deceive.  Energy does not.  Ever.

This past week I encountered a few comments on my Facebook page that needled me until I wrote a commentary about it all.  I was overwhelmed by the many supportive responses that I received, and many pointed out the obvious:  I needn’t have provided any explanation at all.  This brought home a point I’ve encountered before and that is alluded to by the quote at the beginning of this blog:  any explanations that I offer are really an attempt to convince myself.

That, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly a good thing to be clear about.  I use words in this way quite frequently.  Journaling, blogging, writing are all ways in which I process my thoughts to become clearer about what I think and feel.

So are explanations ever useful?  Oh certainly – as a means of providing information, they’re helpful.  Do they ever convince someone who is opposed in the first place to see your viewpoint?  Probably not, and the reason for this, I believe, lies in the energy that is projected.  By virtue of needing to explain and consequently justify one’s actions by way of the explanation itself, the “explainer” is projecting an air of uncertainty about their actions.  That energy is never going to convince anyone who doesn’t already agree with you to change their perspective.

All that being said, providing the explanation that I did definitely solidified my comfort level in advertising my services on my FB page.  I get to do whatever I want on my page – and everyone else gets to stay or leave according to their needs.  No explanation necessary.

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Claiming My Own

Posted on July 4, 2012. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , , , |

During a recent visit with extended family, I was shown just how radically different my beliefs have become.  My sense of “right” and “wrong” has been completely altered – not that I have different standards now, but it’s almost as if there are no standards except whatever feels best at each and every moment.

Doing something out of a sense of obligation no longer works for me, and watching others act from that duty has become uncomfortable.  Why would I do something that I really didn’t want to do?  Because it would make someone else feel better (i.e. that sense of obligation) is definitely NOT a good enough reason anymore.

So, this visit with extended family gave me an opportunity to observe all kinds of choices – mine as well as other’s.  I tried to hold no judgment because ALL choices are valid, but it was curious to observe MY reaction to the happenings going on around me.

The environment was wrought with anxiety, chaos and turmoil – certainly not the usual energies that I choose to surround myself with.  At times, I felt like I was losing my grip on what has become my new reality – this peaceful, calm, centered way of moving with the flow of life.  Fortunately, I was able to connect with a friend who reminded me that I’ve got this, that I’m good at holding my center.

I believed that these alternate energies could affect my connection to my own truth.  In fact, it is the most natural thing for me to BE in the flow of life.  Anything else that I tell myself is simply part of the old belief system that I am releasing.

So, today I claim MY truth as my own.  I allow myself to remain connected to my Source at all times.  And I celebrate those times when my connection slips because it is through that contrast that I find the clarity of my desire and expand evermore.

It’s another FABULOUS day to be alive.

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Uncommon Dialogue

Posted on April 4, 2012. Filed under: Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , |

Our thoughts create our reality.  All of it.  So how do you expend that creative energy?  Do you dwell on the things that have happened in your past?  Do you tell and retell the stories of struggle, pain and suffering?  As a culture, we seem to have embraced the notion that suffering is noble and it’s all we have the right to expect.  Bullshit.  To me, there’s nothing noble at all about wallowing in the self-imposed prison of despair and suffering.  I’ve seen the beauty and magnificence of love and light.  I know beyond question that our lives were meant to be expressions of glory, greatness and unlimited potential.  Do you really want to squander all of that by telling stories of pain and suffering?

It’s true that life throws us curve balls, catastrophes even – but maybe the point isn’t to reduce us to ashes.  Maybe the point is to create the opportunity for us to rise up when everything around us has been leveled.  Maybe the point is for us to exercise our incredible powers of creation as we mold those ashes into monuments of greatness, towers of ingenuity and pillars of determination.  Maybe the point is for us to experience our divine nature as we craft worlds out of nothing-ness.

Life as we know it is changing.  We’re being given more opportunities to cultivate our connections to our divine, eternal, multidimensional Selves.  We’ve been shown aspects of our Selves that we can no longer discount.  We are being asked to step into the greatest version of our highest Self that we can imagine.  And saying, “No thanks, not now,” is no longer an option.

So what are you creating as you tell the stories of your life?  Are you painting masterpieces of color, light and texture on the canvas of your life or are you playing small by keeping all of the canvas dark and dismal?  It’s your choice.  Either choice is valid, but know that the days of casting blame for our life circumstances on powers outside of ourselves is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Your choices create your reality.  How are you going to exercise your creative control?

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Falling into TRUST

Posted on November 30, 2011. Filed under: Spiritual Awakening | Tags: , , |

The concept of TRUST has been playing around in my head lately.  I want more trust – I want to trust my inner guidance, my knowing-ness, my connection to Source, my intuition.  I want to TRUST myself more.

I’m a person who spends a lot of time in her head.  I like to know things.  I like to learn and to figure out how things work.  I like to know the why so that I can understand.

But I’m learning that life is an energetic ride – and a truer measure of where we’re heading is not a matter of knowledge but of emotion.  Our feelings guide us into alignment with all that we’re wanting, dreaming, aspiring and expanding into.

So I’m practicing being happy.  I’m making feeling good my number one priority.  I do things only because I want to.  I’m catching the word “should” and eliminating it from my vocabulary.  …And do you know what?  It’s working.

Life has become a series of little miracles and amazing happenings.  I see beauty wherever I look.  It’s utterly mind-blowing how much beauty there is to appreciate in our physical world.

This is where TRUST comes back into the picture.  Am I where I want to be?  In some ways, yes; in other ways, no.  But I’m leaning on TRUST to see me through.

There’s still much I don’t understand, but I TRUST I know everything I need to right now.

I still don’t know what form my business will take, but I TRUST that it will be revealed to me in perfect timing, and I TRUST that it will fulfill my dreams in ways that I can’t even imagine right now.

I don’t know how thousands of dollars are going to show up in my experience, but I TRUST that the Universe (which is infinitely more capable than I at this) will orchestrate everything in the best possible way.

I know that what I see in my life right now is the result of what I’ve given my attention and focus to in the past.  And I TRUST that by keeping my focus on things that feel good to me now, I’m creating a future full of all kinds of things that I want and that will give me more reasons to feel happy.

That’s what the saying, “Our power is in the NOW,” is all about.  It is in our NOW that we focus our energy and attention.  And it is that focus that creates the next moment of NOW.  In fact, that’s all we really have to work with – an endless string of NOWs.

When doubt and fear creep into my thoughts, as they occasionally do, I keep pulling back to my number one priority of feeling good.  I focus on how I can regain my joy, my happiness.  And again, I reach for that TRUST – believing that everything really IS okay.

As I practice relying on this TRUST, my inner guidance grows stronger and surer.  My intuition gets louder.  I gather “evidence” and “proof” that All is Well, and that the Universe really does orchestrate things perfectly.  Until I reach that place of complete knowing, until what I see matches what I’m now wanting, I will continue to TRUST that I’m on the right path, on MY path, to becoming all that I can be, all that I already am.

Because, you see, I already TRUST that that is what life is all about – becoming ME, becoming more of me in every way possible and experiencing the power of my creating my life in any way that I choose.  It’s up to me.  And I TRUST that All Is Well.

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Reaching for Happy – I Found Me

Posted on September 3, 2011. Filed under: Spiritual Awakening, Spiritual Practice | Tags: , , , , , , , |

ARE YOU HAPPY?

A potent question.  One I don’t think we give enough consideration to.  Think about what your answer would be…

But STOP!

The question isn’t, “Do you have everything you want?” or “Do you love your __________ (fill in the blank)?”  The question is ARE YOU HAPPY?

This is not a question about external circumstances.  This is a question about your state of being – a completely internal affair.

When put that way, isn’t it easy to see that being happy is SEPARATE from the THINGS in our lives?  Yet, we all seem so ill-equipped to navigate this internal terrain without the touchstones of our physical experiences.  We all hesitate to unequivocally proclaim our happiness because we are not yet THERE – wherever there is.

Being happy does NOT preclude wanting MORE – more money, more love, more fun, more freedom.  Being HAPPY simply declares that I CHOOSE to love where I am – right now, in this moment, however temporary this place may be.  Being HAPPY gives me the power and momentum to attract more into my life – more of whatever I want.

And it is in the PROCESS of attracting, creating, allowing new circumstances into my life that I discover my POWER.  I AM the master of ME.  I AM the creator of my world.

In knowing that it is all up to me, in owning that expansiveness, I allow all sorts of magnificence and abundance into my life.  Happiness is just the portal through which my power flows.

Being happy is not saying that I’m done, that I’ve achieved whatever the goal was – and now there is no more.  To the contrary, choosing happiness invites greater achievements, bigger opportunities, grander adventures.

Every time I get THERE, I can see farther, pursue greater dreams.  Happiness simply fuels the journey.

And therein lies ME – the truth about my magnificence and the power to create worlds.

My journey can never be the same now that I’ve acknowledged my power, now that I’ve found me.

Let the games continue!

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