Friday, December 31, 2010

New Beginnings

All I can say today is I’m excited. I’m excited by the prospects a new year brings. I’m excited by the possibilities, by the goodness that’s up ahead. I’m excited about the world and what I see before me. I’m excited about 2011.

As I close out 2010 I look back at the crazy adventures I had and all that I learned. To those who say people don’t change I say, “Yes they do.” Because I have changed. The people around me have changed. But I didn’t change unassisted. I didn’t change because I wrestled myself to the ground. I changed because I opened myself up to something greater than myself. I allowed the space for change to happen. I think it’s the same thing with other people and with the world writ large. We allow transformation to happen.

I think for another world to manifest it’s not so much doing battle with ourselves or with each other but rather being open. Clearing out the wreckage of our past and allowing for new growth. Because I promise, if we let it, something great will swoop in. I see that in my own life and in the lives of others and it excites me. I see beauty and love and goodness and serenity and peace. I see happiness and joy and laughter. I see so much.

So as we ring in this new year let’s keep dreaming our dreams. Let’s keep seeing the good things. Let’s keep cleaning up our messes and allow something greater than ourselves to work through us. Let us allow a new world to come into being because I know it’s there, waiting in the wings.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.  

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fear Is Just A Feeling

The profundity of the statement, “Fear is just a feeling,” may have already struck the rest of you, but the awareness came for me the day before yesterday. You see, I had this idea that I’d be able to stockpile my unemployment insurance, that I would be able to earn unemployment while I’m getting severance to guarantee I’ll have enough money to pay rent come February. Not so. I will earn more with severance than with unemployment so no, no extra money for me.

When I discovered this I felt something akin to blind panic. I immediately hopped onto Craigslist and started searching for every conceivable job that has anything to do with writing or editing.

“Maybe I should apply for them all RIGHT NOW. Maybe this is my job. Or this is my job. Or maybe that one.” Never mind that some of them required working knowledge of Photoshop (of which I have none) or experience writing about mutual funds – I must apply anyway!

For me when I feel afraid it’s one of those emotions I do not want to experience. It’s one of those emotions I feel like I must do something immediately to abate. You know what though? Fear is just a feeling. It’s a feeling like joy or anger or gratitude. The feeling itself will not harm me. It’s safe to feel all my feelings, including fear. Fear does not have any power over me unless I let it. Fear is another one of those emotions for me to feel and then give away to my higher power, to transform into love. It’s not my job to combat fear. It’s my job to follow divine guidance and show up for my life.

That’s what I’m doing. Accepting the messages, paying attention to my intuition. I know when a job is right for me. I feel it at the center of my core. Just like I feel that all is well and I’ll be taken care of. My ego may disagree but that’s just what the ego does – it likes to kick up dust storms to remind me it’s still around. I don’t need to worry about my financial situation just because it’s not going according to my plan. I’m meeting with the editor-in-chief of another radiology publication next Wednesday who already knows me and knows my work. My former colleagues are starting their own business ventures relying on their contacts, people they’ve known for decades, and would like me to be a part of the projects.

The opportunities, the right fits are already coming along. I know that either through my Craigslist search or some other way, my higher power will direct me to my right financial situation. So that means I don’t have to use my blind panic as fuel for getting things done. That means I can take inspired action instead. And when the time comes, all I have to do is seize the opportunity.

Do I have physical proof things will work out? That I’ll be taken care of? No, but that’s what faith is. Trusting in a power greater than myself. I don’t know what the future holds but I can say the past has shown me pretty clearly whenever I need money it comes. I can only pray that will continue to be the case. Regardless, fear is just a feeling like all the others. An emotion that I can allow myself to ride through and then be done with.

I dream of a world where we all recognize fear is just feeling. A feeling that hold no power over us. A feeling we can feel and then let go of. A feeling we let a power greater than ourselves transform. I dream of a world where we let love shower us, knowing even as we’re going through emotional rollercoasters, love is there. A world where we practice faith over fear.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Accepting The Messages

A friend of mine jokingly said once, “Oh I forgot, you’re like a shaman – you’re into signs and messages from the Universe.” Yep. That’s pretty true. But just because I receive signs doesn’t mean I always accept or believe them. Sometimes I can be very resistant and willful.

By now you know I started a business with my friend: Tri-Sight Entertainment. What you don’t know is I feel like I’m not doing enough. That we’re not moving fast enough. That we’re not making enough headway. (My business partner says, “Moving fast enough for who? About what?) I feel like I’m slogging through the trenches knee deep in mud making effort after effort. My higher power though? Soooo doesn’t want that for me. How can I tell? Because I’ve received some major signs.

My higher power wants me to rest and relax. Sign number one: the last day of my full-time job was supposed to be Dec. 30. Now it’s 10 days earlier but I’m not using any vacation days. I’m getting paid 10 extra days without having to show up for work. Sign number two: I walked around too much on my sprained ankle and my physical therapist told me to rest and take it easy. The biggest sign though is number three: I have a horrible sore throat and a cold. Bad enough that it hurts to sit up for long periods. (Why yes, I am typing this while lying down on my bed.) God is practically shouting at me, “Relax! Take it easy! Rest up!” And my response is, “I don’t want to!” So basically my higher power literally incapacitated me to make me chill out.

It’s hard and I don’t like it because you see the more effort I put in the better. That’s kind of a half-truth if you think about it. Because I can push and push and push at a brick wall but it’s not going to budge. But if I rented a bulldozer and then pushed the wall, the whole thing will tumble over. Which one required more effort? And which one had the desired outcome? Effort doesn’t mean everything. Effort only takes me so far. There’s also my relationship with the Universe. And the Universe communicates with me all the time. What’s that saying? First God will nudge you and then He’ll send a 2x4? Ok God! I get it! Rest! Relax!

I also want to tell myself I don’t need to be afraid of the messages. I don’t need to doubt them or think they’re untrue or that my higher power is tricking me. It’s all for my own good, as I've written about before. And sometimes things just take time. Tri-Sight may not make enough to support me tomorrow but it will. It’s coming. Everything my higher power has said to me is coming, I just don’t know when. But that’s the joy of being alive, you just have no idea what’s around the corner. That’s the excitement of life – everything is a surprise. We get frustrated when we think we know what’s ahead. I’d like to instead live my life free of expectations, just letting things come one day at a time. God willing, I'll be able to.

I’d like to close with an affirmation from Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life that I feel is very pertinent for me right now:
In the infinity of life where I am all is perfect, whole and complete.
I support myself and life supports me.
I see evidence of The Law working all around me and in every area of my life.
I reinforce that which I learn in joyous ways.
My day begins with gratitude and joy.
I look forward with enthusiasm to the adventures of the day, knowing that in my life, "All is good."
I love who I am and all that I do.
I am the living, loving, joyous expression of life.
All is well in my world.
I dream of a world where we all feel everything is well. A world where we accept the messages our higher power conveys to us. A world where we know our higher power has our back. A world where we move our self-will aside and allow divine will to pour through. A world where we live each day with excitement about what’s next.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Shadows On The Wall

My mind is abuzz. This has been one of the most trying weeks of my life. On top of all the other things I’ve been dealing with, I’m also experiencing emotional upheaval as well as shock and loss because I found out today someone I went to high school with committed suicide.
. . .

All day I’ve been seeing an image of a little rowboat out to sea. I’m sitting in it surrounded by fog and drizzle and darkness. Then the fog clears and I can see I’m not alone in the boat – sitting next to me is my meditation teacher, smiling at me. My always and forever friend, my one true constant. Just there, smiling at me with love.

Because really, love is all there is. I may get caught up in the circumstances of life but ultimately everything is an expression of an infinite loving consciousness. My sprained ankle, getting laid off, tumultuous relationships, even death. All of it is Parama Parusa, God, Brahma, Love. When I remember that I stop falling for illusions.

In Sanskrit there is a word maya that means just that – illusion. More deeply maya means all the worldly trappings that distract us. That’s not to say the worldly trappings don’t exist but really they are like shadows on the wall. They exist but we’re not seeing their true form.

I skimmed through one of my favorite books, A Return to Love looking for a quote to fit in with this blogpost and I came across, “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” The shadows may dance on the wall but the hand that creates them remains unperturbed.

This post is my effort to return to love. To remind myself what is real. Is it the pain in my ankle? Is it my financial situation? No. They are merely shadows on the wall. The real reality is Parama Parusa. My higher power. The lord. My ego likes to pretend otherwise. Likes to enjoy the sound and the fury of life, if you will, because that’s the only way my ego will survive.

In truth I am peace, I am love, I am divine. In truth all is well, all always was well, all will always be well. No matter the circumstance I go through, no matter the upset, no matter the drama, it’s just noise. The hand creating the shadow is at peace. My soul, my essence remains untouched. Because ultimately love is all there is.

I don’t always operate with that belief. Sometimes I just pay lip service to the idea because I need to wash my dishes in the sink, and you know people are hungry two blocks away. It’s easy to forget and disregard that love is all there is. That everything is an expression of the divine. Especially when life is super dramatic. That’s when I need to pause the most. That’s when I need to jerk my head away from the shadows dancing before me and remind myself where they’re coming from.

I dream of a world where we disengage from the ego’s drama. A world where we bisect the trouble and get to the heart of the matter, which is love is all there is. Even among the violence and upheaval, love is there. Love will always be there. Love always was there. I dream of a world where we know that and feel that and return to that. A world where we focus on the hand creating the shadow rather than the shadow itself.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

Friday, December 3, 2010

First Things Suck And Then They’re Awesome

“First things sucks and then they’re awesome,” could be the theme for me this week. I was in Chicago for my annual work conference and things just did. not. start. well. I checked into my hotel – kind of a dump compared to where they put us up last year – and looked around the room for the mini-refrigerator I requested. (Eating my sattvic diet, which means no meat, no eggs, no onions, no garlic, no mushrooms can be quite challenging while traveling. The easiest way to cope is to go grocery shopping.) The fridge wasn’t there.

I picked up the room phone and dialed the front desk.
“Hi, I requested a mini-refrigerator weeks ago and it’s not here.”
“I’m sorry, we only have one refrigerator in the entire hotel and it’s for medicine,” the front desk clerk told me.
“But I requested it weeks ago,” I explained while trying (unsuccessfully) to keep the frustration out of my voice.
“I’m sorry, so did our other guest. Do you need it for medical reasons?”
“Yes.” (Diet is a medical reason, right? Plus I still have a sprained ankle and needed somewhere to freeze my icepack.)
“Can you keep it here at the front desk?” she asked.
“No, I need to take it at regular intervals.” (Food needs to be taken at regular intervals!)
“Ok, let me get back to you,” she said.

I sat on the bed, already cantankerous because I was completely exhausted from waking up early to catch my flight and from traveling over Thanksgiving. I was so not in the mood to deal with this.

She called me back and said I could stay in the studios next door, which had full refrigerators.

“Is it going to cost extra?”
“No, it’s for medicine, right?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Then no, it’s not.”

I packed up my stuff again and went next door to the hotel’s long-term residences. (I think that’s what they’re called.) I walked in and the place was practically twice the size of my previous room. And it had a full kitchen – stove, microwave, refrigerator. First things sucked then they were awesome.

A couple of days later my icepack snapped in half because the freezer setting was too high, making my icepack extremely brittle. Aiyee. Walking around a conference all day on a sprained ankle without ice is not a good thing. I strapped on my black medical boot and hobbled to the closest Walgreen’s in the freezing cold. When I got there what did I find? They were running a special on combination heat/ice packs. Buy one get one free. First things sucked then they were awesome.

I could write a few more because this whole week things have been like that, but really I want to say this is an extension of my post from two weeks ago: “Hitaesan├ípresito’pavargah,” meaning ultimately everything is for our own good. I may not believe it at the time, but this week has been a good indicator of how my higher power really does love me and really does want what’s best for me. How everything happens for a reason in my best interest. I may not believe it at the time but really it does.

I needed to be reminded of that this week because I’m undergoing massive challenges in my life right now on seemingly every plane. It’s enough to make a girl sit down and cry (and I have). Sometimes I don’t believe everything will turn out the better. Sometimes I believe things just suck. Period. But they don’t. It may just take a while for the awesome to show up. It may take years before I understand why I had to go through what I did. But every time I look back I see clearly I came out the better. I see the hardship, the pain, the suck, if you will, ultimately led me to something bigger, broader, grander, and more awesome. And when I remember that I feel much better.

I dream of a world where we can hang in long enough to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. I dream of a world where we realize everything is ultimately for our own good. A world where we understand sometimes at first things suck but then they are awesome. A world where we understand sometimes the weeds have to be cleared to allow for new growth. A world where we can keep in mind divine right action is always taking place in our lives whether we know it or not.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.