Sunday, May 29, 2011

Perspective is a Choice

I’ve heard before I can choose how I feel so I interpreted that to mean I can feel happy all the time. But you know, that’s simply not true. If my dog dies I can’t all of a sudden feel happy. I’m an emotional being with emotional responses so I’m going to feel all of my feelings. It occurred to me today, however, I can change my perspective on a situation. That certainly is a choice.

This weekend has not unfolded AT ALL how I expected: unexpected houseguest! Little to no sleep! Crazy busy! I really thought I was going to spend this weekend sleeping in late and watching Netflix. Walking down the street this morning I started to feel resentment my weekend hasn’t even closely resembled that. What about all my sleep?!? What about all my rest?!? Then I heard an expression ringing in my ears: “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Aw shucks. Instead of whitewashing my feelings I changed my perspective: perhaps even though it’s not what I wanted, it’s what I needed. I got to be of service this weekend helping out my best friend. We hung out in a way we haven’t for months. Someone else made me dinner and washed my dishes and I got to play with a video camera. I laughed and relaxed and released a whole lot of tension. And I still have tomorrow.

This post probably isn’t very profound, but it just occurred to me my feelings are my feelings: I don’t need to change them or mitigate them or do anything except feel them. My mind though? That is a completely different story. I can absolutely choose to think differently even if I cannot feel differently. I can absolutely see the bright side of everything. I can absolutely believe God is doing for me what I cannot do for myself. I can absolutely aim for a broader perspective. There are things I can change and I choose to change them.

After reflecting on my day, I’m closing it feeling gratitude instead of resentment. I hung out with my bestie! I saw my favorite singer! I watched Kung Fu Panda 2! I filmed chase scenes with my neighbor! These are not horrible things. In fact, these are pretty awesome things. And that’s the beauty of perspective: it makes everything better.

I dream of a world where we change our perspective. A world where we see the bright side of everything. A world where we feel our feelings and change our thoughts. A world where we accept things as they are and change what we can. A world where we live, love and let go.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

Creative Passions

This week I was in Boston for my sister’s graduation. The commencement speaker was Richard LaGravenese, an Oscar-nominated writer and director. He was funny and self-deprecating and inspirational. I highly encourage you to watch the whole speech and don’t be intimidated by the time count, it flies by, I promise.

What I really love about his speech is he spoke several truths. “You won’t change the world but you will change your world.” Yes. How right is that? Each of us live in our bubbles that sometimes intersect with others, but for the most part we are in our own self-contained universe, which is why the law of attraction and manifestation is so powerful. What we put out in the world comes back to us. So yes, we will change our own worlds, several times in fact.

And here is a man who barely eeked by as an actor who followed his internal guidance. The nudge that kept pushing him to be a writer instead. And success followed him. Fame, critical acclaim, money. He trusted his gut and went after it. I can think of no more inspirational feat than that. A person who has a dream and chases it, not letting any obstacle deter them for long. And what’s so inspirational to me is that he achieved his dream. It may not be what he started off with, but it shows me how true my favorite expression, “Your wildest dreams are ant-sized compared to what lay ahead,” is. He never imagined his life would end up the way it did and in fact he says it’s better. Yes. Here is someone who models that, who reminds me the same can be true for me. Who shows me I too can chase after what I want and I may be surprised by what I get. He reminds me anything is possible and amazing things happen in the world. That not everyone is born to be a dancer or a singer, but that doesn’t mean they have to settle for second best, because perhaps they’re being pushed in a different direction. And that intuitional feeling, that gut, as he calls it, is never wrong. This too is where honesty comes in.

I think it’s important to chase our dreams yes, but also to be honest with ourselves and to look at our motivations. I think about all those contestants on American Idol who are convinced they are the best singers ever and I have to wonder, what is their motivation? Do they want to be on Idol to become famous, or because they love singing and moving people with music? If it’s the former then yeah, perhaps being a singer is not their path in life. Success follows talent it seems and not everyone can be talented in the way they want, no matter how hard they try. A teeny part of me would love to be a model because I enjoy being photographed but the brutal honesty is that I don’t have the body for it and even if I starved myself I’d never be tall enough. Them’s the breaks sometimes, but that doesn’t mean my life will be unfulfilling.

I dream of a world where more people are like Richard LaGravenese. Where people are their authentic, original selves. A world where people seek to express themselves rather than court the marketplace. A world where people have drive and ambition and create for the sake of creating. A world where people take risks even if they’re afraid to fail. A world where people focus on their own paths. A world where people follow their hearts and watch the magic of their lives unfold.

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

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Letting Myself Be Mothered

I love my mother. She did a fantastic job not only of taking care of my siblings and me, but showing us how to do things for ourselves. It’s because of my mother that I’m able to cook, clean and sew buttons. Even though I’m a grown woman I still sometimes want to be babied. And by that I mean I still want someone else to take care of me. Not in the sense I want a sugardaddy, but I want someone else to make dinner and wash the dishes and take over for a while because right now it seems like everything falls on my shoulders.

Since I’m out of my parents' house, that means I’m the sole person responsible for my well-being. I have to take care of everything and it can be exhausting, so of course I want to be babied every now and again. Except my view of the world has been flawed. I don’t have to do everything myself. I don’t have to rely completely on myself to take care of me because there is a power greater than myself I haven’t factored into the equation.

It’s a subtle thing, but of late I recognize God takes care of me. I’m not walking through this world completely alone because the universe supports and loves me. There’s an energetic difference because now I’m allowing myself to be taken care of. I’m allowing my higher power to show up for me and shoulder my burdens. One of my burdens is financial. I’m only working part time and I’m freelancing to pay the bills. I’ve been fretting because it feels like I’m completely responsible for all of it. I’ve been telling myself I have to run ragged to make ends meet. I have to find those opportunities, market myself, get out in the world. Everything is on me. I’ve written about allowing things to be what they are, but this is different. This is me acknowledging it doesn’t have to be my concern. I can let God be my ultimate caretaker.

I’m probably rambling a bit but what I’m getting at is God can be the one who’s in charge. The one who makes decisions and steers my life. I don’t have to constantly decide for myself whether something is a good idea or not. I don’t have to stew in worry and anxiety about the world because instead I can check in with my higher power. I can let my higher power decide what’s best for me, where the money will come from, all of it. I am not alone in the world. Not only because I have friends and a community but because there is an energetic being that watches out for me all the time. That sticks with me through thick and thin. That will never abandon me no matter how angry or whiny or childish I act.

I love my mother and I’m extremely grateful for all that she’s done for me. But now I’m allowing my higher power to take over that role for me because really that’s exactly what my higher power is supposed to do.

On this mother’s day, I dream of a world where we let ourselves be taken care of by a power greater than ourselves. A world where we let our mothers also be mothered. A world where we let someone else shoulder the burden for a while. A world where we feel at peace because we know someone else is taking the reins. A world where we know we’ll be provided for now and always.

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

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I Am My Ultimate Authority

Sometimes I think other people know better than me. Sometimes I think other people’s intuition is stronger than mine and that somehow they have more answers than I do. That their higher power is better than my higher power. That my own intuition can’t be trusted and that other people know what’s best for me. As I’ve gotten older the circle of people for whom that applies has narrowed, but there are still some whose word I take as the gospel truth. Or who I think ultimately know better than I do. On Thursday I had the painful realization that’s not true. No matter how enlightened I perceive someone else to be, no matter how intuitive or how wise, they do not know more about me than my own higher power.

The details of what happened Thursday are not important except to say I paid attention to my higher power’s voice during a kung fu exercise and then I was pressured not to. Instead of listening to my higher power, I gave into peer pressure. It was very small but I believed someone else knew better, that somehow I was wrong or confusing my higher power with my ego. Let me tell you: The other person doesn’t know better, didn’t know better, and won’t know better. The divinity within me always knows best.

On Friday I had a conversation with someone who asked me, “How do you know what your ego is?” I think it’s worth mentioning here. A ton of people discuss this such as Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, and numerous spiritual teachers. The simplest way for me to put it is the ego is crazy. The ego is impatient, demanding, angry, loud. Anytime a voice says, “Rebekah you must do this NOW!!!!!!!!!! I want, I want, I want!!!!” it’s the ego. In contrast, my higher power is loving, kind, gentle, quiet. Anytime a voice says, “Rebekah, it’s in your best interest to do this,” or says with gentle understanding, “The best thing you can do right now it go to bed,” it’s my higher power. The calm, rational voice is my higher power. The irrational and slightly hysterical voice is my ego. I have the tools to distinguish the two.

I’m reminded of a blogpost I wrote in 2009 about how the truth is within me and spirituality is about finding the God within. The point of this post is to expand that idea and say even the teachers of my path do not know better than I do. That my teachers are here to share information but they aren’t always right. That my teachers are to be questioned and my teachers are to be disobeyed when it’s not in alignment with my highest self. Because only I know what’s best for me. It’s hard for me to admit that, but Thursday’s exercise demonstrates that to me.

I dream of a world where we turn to ourselves for answers. A world where we separate out our minds from our hearts. A world where we listen to the divine guidance we are given above all others. A world where we trust ourselves. A world where we trust our intuition even if it flies in the face of what others say. A world where we turn internally because we know we are our own ultimate authority.

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