“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?
Sometimes life becomes as twisted as a vine. The tighter it wraps itself around one circumstance after the other it becomes hard to breath. Hard to understand. Hard to think. The desperation to reach and cling, and climb brings us to a standstill. In this place of resting we find the breath of life, and clarity begins to set in. We quench our thirst from a drop of the ocean, and we begin to see that we are a part of something much bigger then ourselves. We begin to feel the need for expression going deeper within where we feed on the nourishment we’ve collected along the way. In the process, we become a bud growing within instead of out. The need to express what we are becoming grows ever stronger until in the mist of all our twisted vines what we were created to be burst forth in all our beauty and glory.
We can become who we were created to be if we stop twisting ourselves up knots. If we stop fighting against ourselves and others. If we stop to listen to the voice…not calling in the wind…but the one that comes from within longing to be expressed through…you…and…me.
I have lots of doggy friends of different sizes and colors. One of my very first friends was a Great Dane I meet at my people training class. He was as big as a horse with black and white patches like a cow. Then there’s my neighbors Lulu, Phin, Teddy and Gracie. I don’t know all the different nationalities of my neighbors. Lulu is very big and white, Phin is medium size and black, Teddy is small but not as small as me. He’s kind of funny looking with tight curly hair and a mixture of gray, silver, black, white, brown all over. Then there’s Gracie who is just a little bigger than me, I think, it’s hard to tell because she has lots of thick reddish brown fluffy fur. I also have lots of family doggies to play with. Hunter is a big German Shepard. When he barks it scares me but his bark is louder than his gentle personality. I have a lot of fun playing with Stella. She’s medium big and as black as night. I like nibbling on her long skinny legs. It makes her dance. Some of my doggy friends are pure bread like me, but the others are a mixture of all kinds of breeds, but none of us seem to notice or care. Each butt smells different it’s true, but on the inside the dog god made us all the same.
Hot dang I’m glad I’m a dog, a lucky dog at that indeed, for I was born to love and be loved…
…Weren’t we all?
Image from balanceforlife.us
“Celebrating Of Life”
Who doesn’t want to wake up with the celebrated enthusiasm for life. I do! It truly is as easy as it sounds. However, the thing that makes it difficult is moving aside what stands in the way, and when we can’t move it, we need to find a way to rise above it.
When we are living within our own limited abilities as a humans, the ego state of mind, we often feel like the Whack-a-mole. What holds us up against that which knocks us down comes from a deeper connection within us. I call it our personal trinity, the mind, body and spirit. Some people will say that it is not me but the God within me that makes good things happen. This is true, but God also created us as humans with a mind all our own, and a personality to go along with it, and there is a purpose for all that makes up who we are. Our calling is to bring all the working parts God gave us together, and in partnership give to the world what only we can give.
Ego only wants to keep us in it’s grips. It tells us there is nothing else to see but the limited reality that’s in front of us. It’s always that which exist outside of us. Everything is connected. Just as Love works within all creation, we are called to be inter-connected with the same Love within us. In so doing we are able to reach out and extending that Love to one another. How beautiful to think the world could be if we lived within the means of our God given authenticity being the unique individual we were created to be.
Waking up each day remembering all that we have within us to work with . That trinity of mind, body and spirit all rolled up into one with no other intention but to extend the love from which we come. Now that’s a life worth celebrating everyday.
Imagine if you will, that there is one ingredient lying dormant inside you. It is the heart and soul of who you are, and it can only be activated by what you choose to pour into it.
Let’s use the example of making bread. There are 5 basic ingredients yeast, water, flour, sugar, and fat. The yeast is the ingredient that sits dormant. There are thousands of living plant-like microorganisms in one pack of yeast alone. Think of all the microorganisms waiting to be awakened in us. It is the most essential ingredient, and without it the bread can’t rise. It is flat, hard, dull and lifeless just as we become when we are not utilizing all our inner ingredients.
So what does it take to activate the yeast? It takes action, desire and willingness. For without this nothing can be accomplished. It’s not just a matter of putting the ingredients together. It’s working the ingredients with our hands until it’s well mixed. It’s letting it sit for a while so it can raise, and then we punch it down again re-kneading it mixing and pushing until we know for sure that what we’ve put into it has been brought to perfection.
So like yeast, we bring it to life by first desiring what it can do for us. The added ingredients represent what we put into this awakening. This rising comes from what we learn from it. The punching down is our way of testing its validity, and the re-kneading is our assurance which allows us to rise above our limitations into our true-selves. The bread creates the “aha moment,” for in it we see how the ingredients brought together creates the bread of life that continues to feed us with the knowledge we need to remain Whole.
What is the dormant ingredient that sits in us waiting to be awakened? I know what it is. Do you?
Today my inspiration comes in the form of a frog. I mean this literally. I have always had a fascination with frogs since I was a kid. I remember watching them for weeks as the only existence they knew was being a tadpole living in the water. Then legs and arms begin to pop out of their body, they lose their tail and the transformation is complete. I just realized they’re the real deal when it comes to transformers like the ones my grandkids play with. Anyway the frog is born and emerges into an entirely new reality. It was the transformation that kept me captivated. How could one thing turn into something so different yet be the same thing? I never knew that frogs were known as the symbol for transformation until I read about it today. Every one of Gods creations has a significance in this world as well as something powerful to teach us. Some would call this transformation of rebirth the change that takes place when we accepting God into our lives. Some would say it takes place when we realize who we really are. Others would say it takes place when we realize our purpose. I would say they are all the same just as the tadpole and the frog are the same. What they are made of on the inside remains the same. While they may seem like a simple insignificant creature to us, they teach us about our own transformation and how we allow ourselves to adapt to whatever limitations we place upon ourselves. As a child looking in wonder at how a tadpole could turn into a frog. I realize now that they were never separate in the first place working as one unified creation fulfilling its purpose on earth controlling the bug population, and teaching us an important lesson about our own transformation simple by being what they were created to be.
Today I was reading about Grace. Not the person, but it’s many meanings. The very sound of the word congers up thoughts of beauty. “Amazing Grace how sweet thy name,” comes to mind. I once knew a friend who called God, Grace by name because it better expressed the gentle loving Creator she came to know in her life. Grace means many different things in the English language, religions, and to each individual. As I look up the word in Google I realize I could write a book on the subject itself. So I’ll just stick to what it’s come to mean to me in my life.
I have learned that God is not as complicated as we make Him. I experience His grace each time I remember that we are inner connected. He is not off somewhere apart from me. It is in Him, through Him, and with Him, that I am the authentic person He created me to be. It’s where I find my purpose, and everything falls together as it is meant to be. His grace is always sufficient, and the only time it becomes difficult is when I forget who I really am.
When the human and soul are in line our true self is able to be expressed. It is then that the veil is lifted and we can see clearly.
‘The subject of my daily reading is “Seek Justice.” It starts with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Justice is defined as “a moral principle determining just conduct.” It’s an innate quality we all have. It’s a matter of getting past the pressures of the society we live in and the influence it has upon us. We can tap into this quality of just conduct that allows us to be good, kind and loving to one another. Our guideline is the Golden Rule. The law of reciprocity. To treat others in the same way that we would like to be treated. If it is done from the heart, it is the most altruistic act you can practice. There can be nothing productive in division. That’s what we do when we believe that we’re better because of the color of our skin, the religion we practice, the politics we choose to follow. We are a world of unique differences, it’s true. Haven’t you ever wondered why God created us all so different? Maybe, just maybe he designed us so differently that we might leave our unique mark upon the world for the greater good.
I know what it feels like to live within a culture of different people as I was thrust into it at the age of 14 and lived as a minority for a year. I was unjustly treated because the color of my skin. I lived in fear at first of what I said or did that could trigger conflict. As time went on though I eventually blended in, because the bottom line was that none of us wanted to be where we were. We were all in the same boat for the same reason, and so it was our unfortunate circumstance that broke the divide between us. We don’t share each other’s history or experiences. So there would never be a way of coming to common ground with either of the injustices our cultures bred upon us. The only place we can start is from where we are today. This is our opportunity as human beings to transform these adverse circumstances into opportunities that create a better good for all. I believe that our differences should add to the equation, not divide us.
Prayer is important, but action must come right alongside it. I guess this is the time to be looking deep inside ourselves, to see what it is that we have to offer. If we don’t add what we were created to contribute, then what we have to offer will never come to be because there will never be another you or me. While we’ve been going through life wanting to feel special we’ve been looking everywhere except within ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty awesome.