I love the beginning of a new year. It’s as if once a year we give ourselves permission to start with a clean slate. It’s our opportunity to shed the layers of last year. Just like a snake does when it’s outgrown its skin. Leaving behind all the things that weigh and constrict us from moving forward with greater ease. The trick is, to let it go, and not drag those layers along with us. I started thinking the day after Christmas about all the changes and resolutions I was going to make for the coming new year. As my list grew, I came across a quote from Rumi that put it all into perspective for me.
“There is one thing in the world that we must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there’s nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life… That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person.”
Hum! Purpose! What is my purpose? And at what point in my life am I going to put that purpose into effect? As soon as I start asking these kinds of question the guidance comes in one form or another. I realize that it doesn’t matter how many times I wonder if I don’t open myself to the answer completely. I then think back over my life. What have learned? What do I do the best? What do I do that gives me the most joy? Where do the compliments come from? What things do people thank me for?
As I contemplate the questions and really take the time to consider them. I thought my purpose was simply to be the person God created me to be. But then I realized that wasn’t my purpose. That’s what my meaning in life is, to discover who I am in relation to my creator. Within that meaning lies the key to my purpose. Like the song goes, looking for love in all the wrong places, we go through a lifetime searching for our meaning and purpose everywhere else… except inside ourselves. What we come to discover deep down inside is that we’ve always known who we are, and what we have to offer the world. We just can’t see it until we get out of our own way long enough to touch the depth of our soul where we see a mirror reflection of ourselves through the eyes of God.
So, my new year’s resolution and intent are to practice living a more purposeful driven life. Asking myself along this 2019 journey how does my purpose fit into the changes I want to make in my life. If I find myself putting more effort into the project then the purpose, I can always gage it by how off balance I’ll feel. The beauty of new beginnings is that we don’t have to wait for a new year to start all over again. They begin the moment we put them into effect.
May your New Year be blessed with all your hearts desires as well as peace and love.
As I sit watching the funeral of our 41st President Bush I am awestruck by all those who represent us as Americans and how we can come together as a nation in the most poignant moments in our country.
We as Americans crave this kind of hope right now. That the possibility for a country we can once again be proud of lives on in such an honest example as President Bush represented.
I heard a women say only yesterday that we as a nation need more hope.
As one great leader leaves us the last thing I feel he leaves us with is “hope.”
This morning as I tuned into the Today show Al Roker made the most torturous looking face when reminded that today is the beginning of the 2020 presidential election. I turned it off feeling the same unpleasant feelings that Al’s face portrayed.
Sitting in the quiet with my cup of coffee felt as blinding as the sunlight did after all this ran.
It felt like a much needed rude awakening, and I went into prayer:
”Hi God! It’s me! Do you remember me? Cause I was kind of hoping you could remind me who I am and what I’m here for.”
”Hi Connie! It’s God! Can you hear me cause I’ve been trying to get your attention but you’ve been kind of preoccupied lately.
-I’ve been trying to tell you to untether yourself from fear.
-To speak your truth, than let it go.
-That there is always hope as long as you’re living.
-To respect the uniqueness of each individual because as different as I created you each to be there is purpose in what each soul has to offer.
-Be mindful of what you think, say, do and eat.
-Remember the gifts I give you are the same I give everyone else freedom, choice and above all else love.
-Who you are is an expression of that from which you were created.
-Your soul’s purpose is to experience life right where you are and to be a living expression of that truth from which you come.
-Finally stop making things harder than they actually are, let go and let yourself…be.”
“From a little spark may burst a mighty flame.” -David Alighieri
Our thoughts come as quick as the strike of a match, and without paying much attention the thought it ignites…can warm our house or burn it down.
When we strike the match of fear, mindfulness gives us the opportunity to blow it out before that fear turns into a might flame of anxiety and stress.
That little spark of fear has been ignited under our country and it’s burst into a might flame. It’s burning away our hope and we’re feeding the flame with our own logs of fear.
Some of us keep throwing our buckets of hope on the fire trying to put the flame of fear out. It’s as exhausting as the firefighter who works hard to put a forest fires out. When it gets that out of control you have to fight fire with fire to keep it form going any further, meeting somewhere in the middle.
Right now voting is the only way we have to fight this flame of fear burning. If you don’t want to vote because you think it doesn’t matter than you’re ignoring the very fire that will eventually affect you. If you don’t know who to vote for simple go inside yourself deep down into your soul and ask for guidance. Which vote will contribute to the fire of fear and which one will help us to find a place closer to the middle where it can begin to burn out.
”And the day came when risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
We are like a rose bush full of many buds each one having a new lesson to teach us. Sometimes the lesson within one bud is more comfortable to open up to than the bigger harder lessons that come along. Letting go requires the trust for something better. Resisting only causes pain, suffering and discontent. Sometimes that pain becomes so overwhelming that the only thing left to do is let go and use it to grow into something better. It’s all about choice. Do I want to be a bud that never grows or a Rose in full bloom?
Today, I wonder why I feel so down. What is troubling me? Why do I feel as if I’m walking through a maze of undirected thoughts? As if I don’t know how to think anymore or what to trust. How can so many people be right, and so many wrong? I can’t seem to make sense of anything anymore. Then something I wrote a few years ago pops up to remind me how powerful our thoughts are.
“One thought of discord whether it be between people, things or ideas can be like a tiny spark in the woods creating a forest fire. One thought, that’s all it takes!
On the other hand, one thought of joy can have the same effect only it doesn’t destroy. It nurtures like rain quenching our thirst for something better. One thought that’s all it takes!”
Where do our thoughts come from?
The things we lay our eyes on. I can choose to see the beautiful roses in bloom or the weeds that grow around it.
I can turn the news on because I think I must always be informed. Or turn some music on knowing how much it feeds my soul. How good and alive it makes me feel.
I can talk about someone I don’t understand or talk about someone who lifts me up.
It’s all about the thoughts we choose to entertain and how we feed into them. Like the cowboy with his rope, we have to round our thoughts up. Grab hold of the ones that are out of control and take them out to pasture. Keep the ones that honor who we are, the ones that are life-giving and leave the rest behind.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you. It’s funny how talking or writing it out helps us to see things much clearer.
“The Freedom to Be Me”
America, the land of the free. Who wouldn’t want to live in a country where they could say, “I’m free to be me?” Is that not why our own ancestors came to this country in the first place? To live their lives in a way that would fulfill their potential and personal calling from God? But freedom is not merely entitled to those who come to America. The source of freedom was given to us by God from the very beginning when he created us in likeness. He taught and continues to guide us through his example. That through our thoughts, words, and actions we create the world we live in, the country, the family all the way down to ourselves. Freedom is not just a word. It is nothing without choice. That choice is like the stone you toss into the still waters, it creates a ripple effect and touches everything around you. So, while the freedom to be me is a beautiful God-given gift. It also comes with a great responsibility not just to the people around me but to this great big wonderful world I live in. The real power of freedom begins with you and me right where we find ourselves…now. So, on this special day of freedom and independence maybe we could all take a moment to pause and ask ourselves, am I adding to the better-good of all through my thoughts words and actions? Or could I make a new commitment on this 4th of July to do the best I can to forgive and love one another as God first loved us? I’m in! How about you?
“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
-William Ernest Henley, “Invictus”
And God is the compass that points the way.
It’s up to me
which way I sail,
Which way I go
Is where I’ll be.
Sometimes I feel
Alone at sea.
Inside of me.
I look for an answer
A narrow telescope.
There is nothing in sight
But a seagull
Why do I forget
Its easy to see.
It can’t get lost,
For its inside of me.
I am after all
Of my soul,
But it’s the compass
That shows me
Way to go.
I think as we journey through life we come to the end of each path wondering how am I going to get from here to there? Sometimes the next journey requires us to walk through valleys or up steep mountains, maybe even across paths of hot coals, or over wobbly bridges, and what about the ones that are paved in stones across the sky. Will, freedom, choice, trust and faith come into play surrounding me, and ego steps into view with its limited human perspective announcing that there is no way on earth to get from here to there. All the while the spirit within waits and watches patiently until will, freedom, choice, trust and faith can finally see past ego and into the depth of their purpose.
We walk through a period of our life being host of our soul. Showing it all there is to be seen through our eyes, senses and emotions much like a tour guide on a trip. But eventually the spirit within the soul becomes bored and tired of seeing the same thing as we circle round the Ring of Kerry over and again. We are at the point of our crossroad and it’s time for the ego to get out of the drivers set and let the spirit take the wheel. The spirit doesn’t’ need the maps or GPS to get us to the next path in life. It tells us now to sit back and enjoy the ride, choice is our ticket, trust is all we can take, will is what pushes us on the bus, and faith is what gives us the courage to take the first step, freedom is the weightlessness we feel as we let go of all the things that hold us back from moving on. As we travel once again around the Ring of Kerry on our way to the next destination we see as if for the first time because now it’s through the eyes of God.
Simplicity, patience and compassion are truly the three treasures I’ve learned to live by.
The lesson in patience came first for me as I was in the midst of raising four children. I asked for prayer from a wise woman, and she told me that when you pray for patience God gives you lots of opportunity to practice it. I was certainly getting lots of practice then, and did learn a great level of patience, but the learning didn’t stop with just that lesson. I found many other areas of my life that patience needed to be mastered, and I am still learning to this day.
I always had compassion for others. It’s a nice quality to have except when you’re always putting everyone else above yourself. The hardest area for me to work on was being compassionate toward myself. It required that I learn to love who I was, and I wasn’t able to do that until I saw myself through God’s eyes. As I became more loving and compassionate with myself, I found I was better able to serve others in a more compassionate way.
Simplicity came into play after years of trying to do everything the way I thought I was supposed to. It was actually in the midst studying the Bible over and again that the very word simplify began popping off the pages. I would always ask the question at the end of my readings, “what is it that you’re trying to teach me today Lord?” Then I would write the answer that came to me in my journal. What I wrote was a dialogue between God and me, what he told me was that I was making things far more difficult than He had created life to be. As I let go of trying to find the answers I was looking for, I found simplicity by trusting in the process. The more I let go the freer I became, and with that freedom came the deepest of understandings in the simplest of ways.
Simplicity, patience and compassion are the ingredients that come from love, and there is nothing more important we can do in life than to do all things through love.