I am returning with fresh energy after a brief hiatus. My step father, who was 101 years old, passed away on May 6. We were close in every way. I had the extraordinary experience of being with him during the last days of his life. Here are the 10 things I have learned about life looking through the eyes of this time.
Love is really all that matters in the end.
We will be remembered for our virtues and our impact on others (not necessarily how much money or stuff we have left.)
It’s all very mysterious and silent. Where do we go in the end?
I am courageous and capable of WAY more than I thought I was. The Energy within can meet any challenge. I trust that Energy completely and draw my confidence from there. (You can too.)
There are amazing people all around who show up fully (and without hesitation) in moments of intense need. These people are not necessarily who you expect (or hope) they will be. When you are called to step forward, step forward with a big YES. There is not necessarily a back up.
Loss and birth are intertwined. “The Universe says that loss demands birth and two are lovers.” Deena Metzger.
Seeing death at close range, gets us committed to LIVE life fully and passionately.
Focus on the goal and savor each moment.
We really don’t have that much time to dink around doing what doesn’t resonate.
Playing a ukulele can make you smile no matter what is going on.
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Spring is here! I am oh so ready to move out of the cold grey rain into fresh green blossoming energy! What I’m noticing is that the grey has become my comfort zone. Yipes! This is how we humans are wired. We get comfortably content, fearful of challenging what is, even if “what is” is not bringing fulfillment. So, today I offer a step by step prescription to move out of being comfortably stuck.
Step 1:Know the boundaries of your comfort zone. Understand your comfortable abode and the energetic costs of staying there.
Step 2:Enlist the support of some carefully selected folk to call you out of your comfortable place. (I’ll call this your Entourage.)
Step 3: Look deep within, listen and envision what’s next. Tell your Entourage what you are up to.
Step 4:Get moving: Act, Experiment, Do.
Step 5:Celebrate the miracles. Articulate what you are learning.
I feel stuck. Stuck is really hard for me. One of my highest values is freedom. I feel stuck because I am holding on to strategies, which need to change. I am holding on when what is really needed is to let go so something new can emerge. As I tighten my grip, the intensity (and drama) escalates as I try to ward off the winds of change, which are in fact here to ultimately release the stuck place. Crazy right?
A friend of mine reminded me of this fantastic sailing tip that is of great support in getting through intense situations. It is simply this: When a big gust hits and you are getting blown over, the last thing you want to do is pull the sails in tighter. You need to remember to let everything go… and, here’s the cool part, simply allow the boat to right itself and choose a new direction. If you have ever done this little maneuver in a strong wind you know it is a loud, sheet snapping affair that can seem pretty chaotic and it DOES WORK!!!!
So much of our lives are subject to unpredictable change. (Obvious newsflash, I know.) It is no longer the kind of world where you can be successful just by focusing on strategy, hard work and having great people around you. All this helps, for certain AND you can still get in big trouble if you hold on too tightly. When the huge billowing gusts of change blow through providing what is intended to be welcome relief and fresh inspiration, you gotta be able to let go and allow your boat to right itself.
Once your boat is upright, choose a new course. There you have it…you are now un-stuck!
In my spiritual tradition, you always receive a blessed gift with both hands. You never try to snatch a blessing away, you always put forth both hands. To receive the greatest experience, one offers of oneself wholeheartedly giving from ones entire being.
When unexpected gifts come your way do you honor them by receiving them with both hands wholeheartedly? This is a powerful practice that requires focus, presence and agility. Life’s most magical moments often arise from surprising invitations. What if we made it a standing, house rule to pause and accept these with both hands?
I’ve noticed lately that I have gotten into the annoying habit of considering the impact of every darned thing before I receive it. I ponder, “How does this gift fit it into my schedule or business plan?” I evaluate, “Do I have enough money or energy to fully utilize this gift?” How exhausting and frankly, off-putting. I’m pretty sure gifts are NOT going to flow in easily to one in this state of relentless analysis! What would it be like to simply receive with both hands?
This week when you are offered a gift, especially if it is unexpected, (which is the best kind, right?) simply focus on receiving with both hands, offering yourself wholeheartedly. I wonder what breathtaking turning points will unfold?
At the very least, this practice will yield; you got it, to the greatest blissful experiences. Sounds perfect for the year of Honor, Ease and Bliss, right?
How did the rose ever open its heart
And give the world all its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise, we all remain
Between the two inner realities of “Who we are.” And “Who we are not, yet” there is an edge. This edge is the dividing territory between the bud and the rose. Once we have crossed over our edge, the rose becomes the reality of “Who we are”. We stand in our new full-bloom splendor full of confidence, stunned by our beauty and wonder, What was all the hub bub?
To evolve into the leaders we are capable of becoming, we must become adept at journeying across our edges. To use Hafiz’s imagery, we’ve got to find a way to journey from bud to rose. Our edge is the place where we stop, gripped by fear. We are tempted to stay in the reliable, comfortable, status quo of the tight bud that never opens to it’s full potential.
To bloom we must recognize when we are at an edge. It is immensely valuable to understand the specific nature of the edges we you are up against. In this way, the emotional intensity of the edge doesn’t scare us into believing that…”Oh no, this is not meant for me.” In fact, at our edges, it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be inner saboteur voices that demand, in no uncertain terms, that we stay a bud. Please remember with equally firm conviction that these voices are not your Truth. With consciousness of the edge, we can discern the saboteur voices and support ourselves in crossing the edge insuring success.
Techniques for crossing over:
Champion yourself with encouragement and gentleness.
Call yourself forth with fierce remembrance of your burning power.
Find the part of yourself that has the resources to cross and have that part get it done.
Forbid yourself from crossing. (I mean it, tell yourself you are not to bloom, you don’t get to change…you will be surprised how much energy you can muster.)
May we shine forth sun upon each other as we gracefully cross over our edges from bud to rose.
A few gems of wisdom from my SOLD OUT 30 Amazing Women-Seattle Event this past Monday.
Guiding principles for Turning Points:
1. Each life has a destiny & purpose that is unfolding and there are often deeper clues to that purpose at turning points.
2. We can sense the turning point coming and at these moments we are called to let go vs. hang on.
3. It’s not easy to let go. There are pitfalls and there is fire. There are places where fear or unexpected events can cause us to waiver or wobble. This is part of the process and easy to misinterpret. If we choose to hold on when we are called to let go, we just keep “circling Dallas”. Forward progress is indeed slow.
4. There is a flow that is wanting to happen if we listen. The flow helps us wisely discern what to hold on to and what to let go of and WHEN.
Assimilate. Sounds like a word from a science fiction movie doesn’t it? As in…YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED! It actually means toabsorb into the system or to take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend.
In order to live Consciously (i.e. avoid overwhelm) it’s important to include assimilation time in our schedules. Especially after we have taken in something new and transformative. Without assimilation we risk having all our attainments scattered around like the logs on the beach in the photo above.
If you are attending the Sept 25, Retreat to Advance Day, notice that I have added an overnight option at the conclusion of the day. Why, you might ask? To assimilate. To take into the mind and thoroughly comprehend the retreat experience for the sake of sustaining its impact.
Assimilation can look like quiet meditation, a walk or journaling. In this retreat, I’ve labeled it ” Music, Stories & Laughter“…time to spend with other participants unpacking learning’s and celebrating new patterns.
This week, try scheduling bits of assimilation time as you transition from one activity to the next and simply notice the wisdom it brings to your journey.