Spirituality

Happy Bright Monday!

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Here’s my Easter takeaway: I need to renew my commitment to practice forgiveness, compassion, peace and love. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet)

Today is known as Easter Monday by Roman Catholics, a huge chunk of Canada and some hearty folks in North Dakota. Easter Monday is also known as Bright Monday or Renewal Monday and is the perfect opportunity to mindfully (and brightly!) focus on my renewed commitment.

Last night I had a crazy dream

My sweetie and I were staying in a hotel in Oklahoma, one of those all-suite places for reasons that weren’t pertinent to the dream. At some point we heard that a large group of people were staying in the hotel too, in a section that had become a makeshift hospice for a young woman who was dying.

The group included many people connected to Reba McIntyre; the young woman was related to someone in her band.

We couldn’t help but get caught up in the drama, which, by the way, had little to do with Reba (although I did meet her!) and everything to do with me connecting with the young woman.

As I write this, I’m aware that I knew in my dream that any and all results from that connection were none of my business. I was just supposed to show up.

I’m aware too of how my actions are often conditioned by how I interpret someone else’s motives. @bheretoday (Click to Tweet)

My young friend in LA

Also as I write this, I’m thinking of a young friend who is stranded in Los Angeles. She left Texas almost two weeks ago on a vacation that held deep and significant meaning to her. She also left in a car that finally broke down just outside of LA.

Yours truly thought the trip was ill-advised. No job, no money, my friend threw caution to the wind and laughed in the face of crone-wisdom that squawked about all the reasons why she shouldn’t go.

You see, I am the one with the crone wisdom since I’m twice my friend’s age. Oh, we never spoke about my righteous concerns for her wellbeing but I’m certain she would have laughed.

So I judged instead. I really hate my judgy self. I judged her before she left and I especially judged her when she set up an online funding campaign to fix her car and get her back to Texas.

Now it’s Easter Monday and I’m wondering how my Reba/dying girl dream relates to my judgy self.

I was willing to make a connection with that dying young woman in Oklahoma. No questions asked. In my dream I willingly practiced compassion, forgiveness, peace and love.

I just showed up and loved.

Do you suppose the dream and my internal dialogue about my stranded friend have anything to do with each other?

My gut says yes, in which case, there is work to do. First order of business: forgive myself for my human feelings.  I suspect that compassion, peace and love will follow.

Then, I’ll know the right actions to take. Actually, I think I already do and it begins with just showing up, no questions asked, no motives questioned.

May your Monday be Bright with Renewal.

Winter Solstice 2014: Here Comes the Sun!

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There’s something about the Winter Solstice in North America, perfectly timed with celebrations around the birth of Christ and the turning of the annual calendar that really appeals to me this year.

Call it a desperate plea for an upward trend, financial fortitude and business success.

Tweet: I don’t know about you, but I’m oh-so-ready to kick butt and take names in 2015. I’m through playing small. @bheretoday

What the solstice means for you and me

In a 2012 Huffington Post article, teacher and activist T. Thorn Coyle wrote, “For contemporary people, solstices — summer or winter — are a chance to still ourselves inside, to behold the glory of the cosmos, and to take a breath with the Sacred.”

I couldn’t read that sentence without pausing, taking a deep breath, and reading it again.

The Winter Solstice began last night at 5:03 Central time, making Sunday night the longest (and darkest) night of the year. Today, our days grow gradually longer (and brighter) as we work our way back to the sun.

Tweet: What do you say that we make a concerted effort to leave the darkness of our souls behind and embrace the light? @bheretoday

We can follow the tradition of centuries of people before us who celebrated the winter solstice with feasts of joy and merriment.

Did you know that in pre-Christian Scandinavia, there was a Feast of Juul to celebrate the rebirth of the sun? Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days and eventually gave way to the custom of burning a Yule log at Christmastime.

Are you ready to get busy?

Now is the time to plant seeds for your growth in the Spring of 2015. “When you think about 2015, start with deciding who you want to be versus what you want to do or accomplish,” says my friend Tess Marshall who has a new venture starting in January called the Unstoppable Courage Club.

Who do you want to be in 2015? I decided this morning as I journaled about who I want to be instead of what I want to accomplish, to use I Am statements instead of I Want statements. Much more powerful.

For example, I Am physically and mentally healthy and I Am a successful and prosperous writer and marketer.

What are your strong I Am statements? Let’s get busy and get those statements seeded so the returning sun can grow them!

Metaphorically, many of us have endured long and dark nights. The beauty of this time of year is we can allow ourselves to catch the sun’s rays and ride them into a new and beautiful life.

I am so ready. Aren’t you?

I’ll leave you with this thought from T. Thorn Coyle:

After the longest night, we sing up the dawn. There is a rejoicing that, even in the darkest time, the sun is not vanquished. Sol Invictus — the Unconquered Sun — is seen once again, staining the horizon with the promise of hope and brilliance.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Blessed Winter Solstice to you!

Photo courtesy of hotblack

How You Can Truly Believe Anything is Possible

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You may have been raised to believe, as I was, that “you can do anything you set your mind to.”

The power of positive thinking–with or without Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book–can land a job for you, get you out of debt, find the right and perfect relationship or simply get you out of a grumpy, woe-is-me state. Yes, it’s true.

Really? Can you really think your way into your dream job or financial freedom?

In a word: No

Beyond seeing the glass half full

I’m a glass half-full kind of gal. I say it all the time. Optimism is usually my default button but there are times when no amount of thinking something is good will make it so. Other factors come into play that are out of my control.

For some people, when a stack of bills is larger than the amount available in the bank account, the next logical step is to hit the “there’s not enough” button. It’s okay to include yourself in this group; I’ve been there much of my life.

It’s pretty tough to hold positive thoughts when your bank numbers are red.

Keep in mind, the bills and bank account are just one example of what I call “dis-spirited” thinking. (“Dis” meaning against, i.e, dishonor  or disrespect–in this case, “dis-spirit” means against spirit.)

If you’re a person new to recovery, you can be as positive as sunshine is to a tomato plant. But if your tomato plant is surrounded by pests and rotten soil, even the sun can’t keep it healthy. Same with you–if you take your newly sober self to places where there are pests and rotten soil . . .

You get my drift. You need more than positive thinking.

Attitude, Amplify and Action

However, if you add three key ingredients to positive thinking, your Positive Power skyrockets. Those key ingredients are: Attitude, Amplify and Action.

With attitude, it’s all about believing–truly believing–that whatever you seek is on its way to you. There can be no room for doubt.

  • You may not know how you’re going to get enough money to pay the bills, but you believe that you will.
  • You may think there are no jobs for your qualifications, but you believe you’ll get a job
  • You may not understand how a person can maintain recovery for a year or five or even 10 years, but you believe that it’s possible.

Amplify is about turning up the volume. Once you believe, take your positive thoughts to the next level by giving them voice. Speak what you believe to be true.

Call them affirmations in the Unity tradition, or yes statements or declarations, as Pastor Joel Osteen calls them, but the power of your voice coupled with your positive thoughts is explosive.

There have been times in my life when I’ve written positive statements and placed them in my car, on my bathroom mirror on on my computer screen so that I will regularly speak them aloud. It’s a powerful practice.

Finally, action is, as my dear friend Claudette used to tell me, putting feet under my prayers. When your thoughts are positive, you believe them with your entire being, you speak them aloud (with I AM statements!) and you then take action, there anything is truly possible. You have the power of the Universe behind you.

It’s a formula for sure success and one that I’m practicing right now. How about you? If you like this post, please share with your social media connections. As always, please send me a note or leave a comment because I love to hear from you!

Photo courtesy of conniemig

Are You Living From Your Head or Your Spirit?

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“If I love with my Spirit, I don’t have to think so hard with my head.” ~ Peggy Cahn

Within a few days’ time, I received news that two people I know–one a friend and one a high school classmate–have a child with significant, life-threatening injuries as a result of horrific car accidents.

Another friend spent Thanksgiving on life support after she tried to kill herself, eerily close to the one-year anniversary of another friend’s suicide attempt (thank God she was not successful!).

Last week, I spent four nearly sleepless nights in a row coughing and blowing with the head cold of the century while contemplating the lives we make for ourselves.

I believe I now know the difference between living from my head or from my Spirit.

How to tell the difference between head and Spirit

My first sponsor, Shirley Rapp, used to talk to me all the time about how I didn’t know–couldn’t possibly know–anybody’s real story. “Girl,” she’d say, “you gotta just allow people to do the best they can because you don’t know their whole story. You’re just getting bits and pieces.”

Those situations I described? I feel immense sadness around all of them. What I don’t feel is judgment, because I don’t know the entire story behind any of them–no one can except those directly involved.

That’s how you know you’re living from your heart.

Shirley gave me a book way back then called Each Day A New Beginning, Daily Meditations for Women. I was 41 days into recovery. It’s a dog-eared copy now, and Shirley passed on a few years ago but I’ll always be grateful for the ways she modeled unconditional love, faith and service for me.

Each day a new beginning

Shirley talked often about taking my troubles to God, about how reaching out with love will always lighten my load. There’s a reading in the book on October 4 that speaks to that subject. Some excerpts:

The answers we’ve been searching for become known to us when we concentrate less on our problems and more on the gift of love we can give to the travelers we encounter today.

The solutions to our problems are seldom found in our heads. They burst forth from our hearts.

When we’re brittle, cold to others, we close off whatever messages being directed to us.

Our love for others softens us, making it possible for the words and ideas we await to permeate us.

Today is a new beginning

All this stuff about Spirit with a capital S? I believe Spirit to be a collection of all the small spirits–you, me, the next door neighbor, the grocery clerk and even the celebrity spiritual gurus–who decide each day that they want to plug-in. It’s a heart-to-heart thing, one heart talking the language that other hearts understand.

Between the time I started this post and the time I finished it, not only did the bulk of it disappear into the great Cyber Trashcan, so did a major ongoing work gig for 2015. That’s two lost clients in about 10 days. That’s most of my monthly income gone.

I think there’s a reason I had to rewrite this post. After the call, I immediately jumped into my head when I know that good stuff–opportunities, breaks, financial windfalls–comes from my heart, and ultimately, from Spirit.

I almost didn’t rewrite it, you know. Would anybody really miss a Mindful Monday post? Truth is, I would. I needed to write it so I could hear the message.

Live from your Spirit so you don’t have to mess with all that head BS. No need for thanks. Just send some love my way.

Photo courtesy of pippalou

Are You Filled With What You Want to Spill?

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Years ago, somewhere in the rooms of recovery, I heard the question, “Are you filled with what you want to spill if you tip over?”

(If anyone knows the origin of this ditty, please share!)

The question came to mind yesterday as I pondered my finances. It’s the holiday season (which I love!) so there’s extra money going out. In addition to family gifting, I always get a charge out of anonymous and charitable giving and in doing the unexpected.

It was right about then that my mind had a bit of a seizure. Holy smokes! How can I possibly do it all? Clients are shifting, pulling back, others on the horizon but probably won’t make a decision until the new year . . . OMG!

What’s up with the limiting beliefs?

Instead of hyperventilating, I paused (as in, when agitated, we paused). Telling myself there might not be enough money is nothing more than a story. Since I love a good story, why not make it a story of abundance rather than one of lack?

Julia Cameron became my rock star hero in 1992 when she published The Artist’s Way. I learned to write morning pages and to do good things for myself on a weekly basis.

Twenty years later, she wrote another game-changer called The Prosperous Heart, Creating a Life of Enough. I swear I will kiss her ring if we ever meet.

This book is really a 12-week course in learning about abundance. It’s meant to change my attitudes and beliefs around money and when I bought it a month ago, I couldn’t wait to jump in.

The first week in my new journal dedicated to The Prosperous Heart exercises is dated November 23. Nothing since.

The point here is there is something comfortable about misery. My old friend John used to say we sit in our own s**t because it’s warm.

Dumping out those thoughts of lack

Say I’m walking the dogs, stub my toe and take a header onto the sidewalk. What will spill out of me? You guessed it. “Not enough. Won’t be enough. It’s always going to be like this. Why can’t I catch a break?”

Well, that’s not good. And certainly not something I’m proud of, human though it may be.

Okay, so what’s the next step?

I have to dump the ideas of not enough. Then I have to really, really wrap my arms around faith in prosperity.

Tweet: Without dumping my limiting ideas, there’s a block against creativity, which in my business, is highly detrimental. @bheretoday

How to begin?

“Prosperity at its root is a belief in a benevolent something–and a belief that that ‘something’ will guide us and guard us, ” Julia writes in the introduction to The Prosperous Heart.

“In my personal history, I have had tight fiscal times and times of greater abundance,” she continues. “I have learned to have a sense of safety based on my conviction that God will provide.

“Looking back, always, when a demand for cash has appeared, the supply of cash has appeared also,” Julia concludes.

Alrighty then. Now I know what I want to be filled with for the next time I spill my insides all over the sidewalk.

Photo courtesy of JEOMYEOL