Wednesday, November 18, 2020

We Are Superstars

I read a novel entitled The Trick of Light. The heroine hired a private detective to find God. There were many adventures that eventually led to their grand discovery. The quests were laced with synchronicity. The mystery of God was unlocked coincidence by coincidence. When coincidence serves a purpose, we call it synchronicity. As I read, I became the characters in the book; I lived in their sense of awe.

The book reminded me of The Celestine Prophecy, and while I remembered the story line, the content of the book was long forgotten, so I reread it. The book narrative centers on a quest for and discovery of nine insights. The first insight focuses on meaningful coincidences. It says as the collective consciousness of humanity awakens, people become more aware of synchronicities. It is easier to see what is happening personally than to see changes in the collective consciousness, but it is comforting to know that the ability to have and notice guidance from the universe is increasing for everyone. Even though the insight came from a novel, I believe this to be true. We are waking up. People believe the end is near; but I believe the beginning is not only near, it is ever always here.

The universe flows in a perfectly orchestrated harmony. Some refer to this as Divine Order. The flow provides a moment by moment individual plan for our lives. The plan is always available, alive, and active. The plan is often referred to as dharma in eastern philosophy. It is the path of right action. When the mind is clear and alert, the plan surfaces. Our actions are frequently sourced by the plan, but the urges are subtle and feel so natural, we are not aware that our behavior and actions are dharmically aligned. (In case you are not acquainted with Dharma, in Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are aligned with the order that makes life and the universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and “right way of living.”)

Even though we are romantically linked to the idea of individual free choice, it appears that our minds and choices are not as individual as we think. We have access to an expanded mind that has more knowledge and information than our local mind has experienced or accumulated. Why do we turn down a street we normally do not travel and later find out there was a traffic jam that would have held us up for an hour? Most of the time we have no idea the consequences of our actions, but theorists say that if even one thing changes in the past or present, the future is modified in numerous ways.

When people think of the plan for their lives, they look toward setting goals to achieve that plan. They look to the future for what will bring meaning and purpose into their lives. They work hard to make their dreams come true. There’s no problem in doing that – it can be somewhat effective, but most people don’t figure out what will make them happy, and, after years of following a dream and accomplishing their goals, they feel even less fulfilled.

Lady Gaga spoke at Yale’s Emotion Revolution Summit in 2015. She shared her struggles. At one point she thought about giving up music. She felt lost and was doing too many things she did not want to do. She found that the more she said no to the things she did not want to do, the more she liked herself. She chose to be in line with her path of right action rather that doing what would further her career. Do you remember her speech when she won an Oscar? She said that people told her that her music would not work. By that time, she lived from her dharma, not her drama. She followed the trail of her heart and became a superstar. Though we may not obtain awards for our actions or career achievements, we all are called to be superstars in our own lives. We do not want to play our lives to please others, nor do we want to tower above them; we want to stand equal in the light of brilliance that we all share.

What if we truly inhabit the present moment, tune into our emotions and bodies, in addition to our heads, and live from that space? Certainly, there would be more synchronicities and a greater awareness of meaningful connections.

We are superstars when we live from the mystery of our lives rather than the mastery of them. It is time give up trying to do important things and trying to be important; what we need is to be present, alert, and aware. When we do, we find that not only do we discover more adventure and satisfaction than our intellect could have planned for or manufactured; we find that life becomes EZier and EZier.


Friday, July 31, 2020

I Don’t Have Enough Time.” Is This True?

I am walking around feeling like I have a lot to do. Time slips through my fingers, but I suspect I feel out of control, not out of time. The out of control feeling or state of mind is my subconscious mind’s way of protecting me. The subconscious mind smears a layer of fear across my life in hopes it is getting me what I want, which is more control. Out of control means that I cannot predict my future. Life is no longer sewed up like a lovely kimono. Regardless, more control does not ensure safety. Controlling life requires a lot energy, thwarting others’ natural aliveness, and a hearty dose of perfectionism. Having to control tears a hole in our lives and, with time, the tear rips our lives apart.

Three things stand out that can ease this breathless feeling of not enough time and feeling out of control.

  • Acceptance - We read much about acceptance. We use it frequently in our lives, but the feeling of being out of control is a symptom that we are not accepting what is. Regardless of how savvy we are about the theory of acceptance and how many times we have used it in the past, if it is not the guiding light of the present moment, we can be assured that, at the moment, acceptance is tucked away neatly in our self-improvement toolbox.

  • Compassion - Buddhism is the path of compassion. It is a way of living in harmony with ourselves and all other life forms. Its teachings are more relevant than ever. We need radical compassion. We might think we have positive, unconditional acceptance of ourselves and that we are compassionate, but the ego backdoors its complaints through others’ voices. People are not literally saying negative things to us; we are just hearing the ego’s complaint through a loved one’s voice in our minds. I am easy on myself, but my husband, child, friend, whomever, thinks I am stupid, bad, dumb, a burden, or messy. BrenĂ© Brown says that blame is a way to discharge pain and discomfort. True compassion requires a moment to moment guide from our higher selves. We must be on the lookout for negative self-talk. We can plant the seeds of self-compassion in ourselves and thwart the ego by counteracting its tactics. Here are some refreshing thoughts to bring forth in our lives and in our thoughts. “I am highly regarded by those who love me. They wish the best for me and see the best in me. I will not use them to destroy myself. I take ownership of my negative self-talk, forgive myself, and offer compassion to my faults and flaws. I will change my destructive thoughts and behavior in the present and forgive my past behaviors.”

  • Vision - Sometimes I use vision as a mind trick. The ego is constantly tricking me, so why not use the best in me to trick it back. When I feel out of control, I like to stop and picture a good outcome for the next ten minutes. “The next ten minutes of my life are extraordinary. I am amid a cosmic shake up that delivers stellar outcomes on my behalf. I trust this highly supportive time in my life. I always come out smelling like a rose, and these next ten minutes are catalyst for the best and highest in me.”

As you can tell, self-talk and imagination are the tools of mind renewal. They move us from degeneration to regeneration. When our lives change or when we cannot predict the future, it is natural to feel out of control. That feeling is fear. When one does not know if she will have a job tomorrow, there will be fear. The ego thinks if it can push us to do more, even if it omits the specifics, like what to do, then we will be okay. The egoic mind’s plans never work; that is why we must mind our minds. The ego loves drama, and it drums up drama by pushing an undefined agenda that keeps us breathless and out of control. It drones on and on about us not having enough time. Let’s take control of our feeling out of control and out of time by moving past the egoic mind into a place of acceptance, compassion, and vision, because if we do, our lives become EZier and EZier.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Creativity? Just Do It!

It seems that the time to write articles for my newsletter comes around every other day. I often make myself sit down. I have a commitment. I produce a newsletter that comes out every Tuesday at 9:30 AM Central Time, period! Some articles are better than others. Some are didactic while others are inspiring, yet, regardless of the quality, I do my best, in the moment, with each article. I prefer to write without interruption, but some of my greatest articles were written in the middle of mayhem. I write when life is dusty, and when the dust has settled.

Click image to see it larger.
This guitar was crafted by a farmer who was told,
in a near death experience,
to make instruments and give them to children.

Are there artists who never paint, musicians who never pick up their instruments, or bakers who never bake? Yes. I spent years imagining myself writing and being a good writer. There came a time when wishing, hoping, and visualizing had to give way to action. It was time to start writing. I sent out 2,500 hard copies of a newsletter for ten years. Some of my earlier writings were not only laughable, they were self-centered and poorly written. I usually didn’t have anyone to check for mistakes and the newsletters were riddled with dangling participles, misspellings, and nonsense. There was no spell check and the newsletter was put together by the literal cut and paste method, then taken to a printer.

Next, I went 14 years without putting out a newsletter. I did manage to write a couple of books, but I wrote less and less. Then I started another newsletter. Online newsletters were easier to manage. The first edition came out on Dec. 20, 2011. There were still plenty of mistakes, but Charles Heineke stepped in to assist, in 2012, and the quality of the newsletter vastly improved.

I’ve been putting out this rag for almost 12 years. Why do I do it? Why do I take ten hours out of my week and spend about $500.00 a year to make the newsletter happen? Because I am a writer, and if I don’t make that commitment, the song will die within me. I know me: I need something bigger than a round tuit.* My skills have improved over the years, but, lest they grow dim, I must continue to write.
The enjoyable part is rereading some of what I consider my great articles. I inspire myself. I know that if I were not committed to putting out a weekly newsletter, that they would never have been written. Often it is as simple as sitting down and listening to an inner voice, but sometimes I have to scrape my insides to find anything to say. At other times, I wake up and words come so fast I can barely write them down. It’s a rush – ideas flying through me and onto paper, and I am grateful. It’s the star moment of writing.
If we want our art flow through, we have to write it, play it, or sing it, whether anyone is listening or not. We must act when we are trudging through mud or even at a standstill. No one ever discovered me and encouraged me to write, but, fortunately, I may be my best fan – a must for artists! If we are good at something, we should do it. But, we need to live out our passions, even if we are not great performers or artists. As one can see, by the pictures I put in the newsletter, I enjoy art, but it’s not great art. I have an art section to force myself to draw on a regular basis. It may be messy and take time away from our daily lives, but the only way to participate in the depths of our creativity is to be creative.

Many people are motivated by money; they monetize their talents. But sometimes our books, our paintings, or our poetry doesn’t bring in the money we need to pay bills. Do it anyway. I don’t think how much money we make is recorded at the universal level, but how much we develop ourselves and give our gifts without expectations makes a mark in the ethers.

Here’s a question to ask every day: What can I do today to bring the brilliance within to light? Listen, then act. We don’t want to visit our talents; we want to develop them. We are the saviors of our creativity. No one is going to make us do what we want to do but fail to do. It’s not a moral issue. It’s an issue of the heart. Life doesn’t break our hearts. We break them when we fail ourselves. We can’t go with the flow when we are standing beside a dam. We all have talents, and when we use them, when we develop them, then life, for sure, gets EZier and EZier.

*Round Tuit refers to the saying  “I’m going to get around to it some day.”