Honestly, sometimes it is so easy to see the meaning in what is happening, but sometimes life seems so busy it is hard to hear you speaking. So right now I am working on slowing down and being intentional about having the time to listen.
What I have learned is that taking the time to listen is like taking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where I have to enter life and lean in and listen.
This past week I have been reminded that life is unpredictable. By listening to you and your guidance I have found what I needed to lift me up and been able to find new ways of thinking about things. Even what initially felt like the worst of situations became transformative and life giving because you challenged me to enter into the situation, sit with you, and grow. Read More
So most of last week I was thinking about listening and what I wanted to talk to you about in terms of listening and to be honest I was not sure what I wanted to write about. I had been working on more actively listening to others, listening to my body, listening to the sounds around me and was feeling pretty good about how well I was listening to the Universe. Then it hit me, you were listening to me. So I want to thank you for listening to my prayers and the meditations of my heart.
I always tell you talk to me like I am five. Make it plain. Make it simple. Make it clear. I need answers that are so visible that it is unmistakable. So here I am praying about whether I should be thinking and working on repromoting to Director status with Pampered Chef. I wanted to make sure this was what I was supposed to do and not just what I would like to do because of the benefits. Read More
It seems like most of my life I have been told don’t just sit there, do something. As a result, I have become the just do it girl. I was the just do it girl long before Nike ever coined that slogan. So it was interesting this morning that I received yet another confirmation that I need to reverse the lesson I was taught as a child. As Sylvia Bookstein said, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.” I have been getting this message that I need to be intentional about taking time each day to just sit, do nothing, and spend time with myself.
So this is my new behavior to work on making a part of my life – doing nothing. I am sure Zoe is going to laugh when I tell her I am going to work on doing nothing for at least 10 minutes a day. Doing nothing and just sitting here does not mean I sit and play a computer game or I sit and talk with her. Doing nothing and sitting here means I spend that time with myself, having those conversations with myself and the Ultimate that I somehow think I can avoid, when I know that I really cannot avoid myself or the Ultimate. Read More
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all you have taught me about hearing how I speak and the intention others hear when I speak to them. One of the things I have come to realize is that I have not always spoken to myself as lovingly as I do know. I used to think it was a good thing that I could speak to people in such a kind way that they did not realize they were bleeding until after I had left. I used to think that was a good thing, but then I realized that the intent behind the kindness was not coming from a space of pure love and compassion.
How could I be loving and compassionate with others, when I was not even being loving and compassionate with myself. So thank you for modeling for me how to be more loving and compassionate with myself. Read More
I don’t know who said, "A picture is worth a thousand words." So this image is not so much a picture, but it really spoke to my spirit this morning. It reminded me of a few other lessons I try to incorporate in my life. One being HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, or tired). If I am any of these, I need to halt before speaking or doing anything. When I am hungry, physically not emotionally, I need to eat something. When I am angry, I need to calm down. When I am lonely, I need to find a way to socialize with someone. When I am tired, I need to take a nap. I need to do all of these things BEFORE I say or do anything, which I may later regret.
Then there is the Sufi teaching, which reminds me that BEFORE I speak, I must answer three questions: is it truthful; is it necessary; and is it kind. If they are not, then I do not need to speak those thoughts into being. I need to remember to think BEFORE speaking or doing. Read More
One of the things I love about teaching is providing my students with the skills to start with maybe. It is a gift I have had to work on and am still working on in my own life. I have found there are some people in my life who because I have agreed with what they said most of the time, I tend to start by believing what they say all the time. Conversely, there have been those in my life with whom I have disagreed the majority of the time, so with them I found it easy to disagree with whatever they have to say before they say it. All this changed for me when I started teaching critical thinking skills to my students. Read More
My wife has a saying, “opinions are like assholes, we all have them, and they stink.” So perhaps that was not the most spiritual way to start with what is in my heart today, but in many respects, it is true. It seems to me that way too often in my life, I have listened to and internalized the opinions of others without question. It took me a while to come to the place in my life when I changed the way I listen to the world. There were a few things that catapulted me into being a more critical and skeptical listener. One was a book by Henri Nouwen, Living a Sacred Life in a Secular World. He wrote about how when people criticize us or say something negative about us, we tend to internalize it as if it were fact. Conversely, when someone pays a compliment or gives us an affirmation, we question there motives behind that. What do they want? Why are they saying these things? He challenged me to begin changing the way I listened to things. I began critically thinking about and listening to everything that was said the positive and the negative. I worked on no longer believing someone because they said it; especially if it were someone, I considered an authority figure. Read More
I had never thought about myself as being a controlling person, until last night. I had always been more mindful of how I had been controlled and whose should I had agreed to follow. However, it while listening to an associate who was sharing with me how her life is just one struggle after another. I could appreciate where she was at because there was not a positive anywhere in her conversation. Everything was negative. Nobody liked her, nothing was going right. It was one negative after another and she could not understand why her life was so miserable or why she could not get a break in life. At one point as she was speaking, there was this voice in the back of my head that was singing some song from my childhood that goes something like nobody loves me, everybody hates me, guess I’ll go eat worms.
What I should have done was just listen, but Read More
Well, while I would have loved to have done this as requested, that was not possible for a few reasons. one not being able to drive I would have had to have made my liftline reservations three days ago to do this today. Second, is that the roads and sidewalks are still covered with snow and my wheelchair does not do so well as an all terrain vehicle L. Third, it is cold outside. so I decided to reward myself today by staying in the warmth of my home, holding a hot cup of coffee in my hands periodically and thinking about this statue that I have sitting on my living room table. I was about to say I am not even sure where I got it, but then I remembered that I did. I got it five years ago when zoe and I were shopping for furniture at Value City Furniture. There was something about this sculpture that I just loved.
It it this sculpture of two genderless beings sitting back to back and while most of the time they sit still with their backs against each other, the base is curved slightly, so it can rock back and forth. Read More