Love or Fear?

It seems I am talking about opposites lately. And with good reason (if you ask me). Many of us have been raised or conditioned to believe there are right and wrong, good and bad, correct and incorrect ways of looking at nearly everything that occurs to us in our lives.

I just have one question: How is that working?

As I examine the results that are occurring around me, to me, through me, outside of me, I have to wonder: what do all these results have in common? And the only answer I can come up with is "me."

When I take full responsibility for the way things occur, I feel the need to add "to me" to that statement, which means it's possible for me to change the way things occur "to me." If that's the case, I choose to no longer be a victim of my life and instead become a creator of the way things occur "to me."

Which leads me to the question posed in this title of this post: "Love ... or Fear?"

I believe, as Einstein did, that there are two ways of looking at the world: as if nothing is a miracle or as if everything is a miracle. To me, that translates to seeing the world through the eyes of fear or through the eyes of love.

And that shift has altered the way the world occurs "to me."

Does it mean that there are no more wars and that babies don't get cancer and crime doesn't happen? No. It means I see things through a different lens and I stop trying to control the way other people do things, say things, understand things. I'm certainly not perfect; however, I am a miracle. And the fact that I'm waking up to my part in the awareness I'm experiencing and facilitating is something that causes me to be joyful.

I'll take that feeling over the feeling of worthlessness, apathy, despair, fear I sense many are choosing to feel any day.

I'm not saying this is a choice anyone else needs to make. I'm just saying when I chose to be 100% responsible for the energy I bring, my whole life shifted.

Take a minute today to examine your overall demeanor. Do you tend to see the glass half full or half empty? Do you worry about things more than you celebrate them? Are other people "making" you angry or upset or disappointed? Or do you see the world through the eyes of love and gratitude?

It's such a simple shift ... not always easy. 

Decide today which way you would like to go. You can be right and be unhappy or you can notice that maybe there is another way. 

The only way to live a dream is to wake up. And there's no time like the present.

Let love be your guide. It may be messy and unpredictable, and even scary. And it will be way better than living in fear. Guaranteed.


Commitment vs. Attachment

I'm thinking this morning about a situation where one of my friends appears to me to be sabotaging his own success. He knows what he should be doing in his professional life and his personal life, and he's not doing himself justice in either area. At least that's what it looks like to me.

I'm thinking that the reason this is difficult for me to observe is because I have a little bit of attachment going on. When you're attached to something, it has to look a certain way in order for you to be satisfied. I want my friend to eat right and exercise, and I also want him to take the steps I think he should take in order to build his career. That's what it looks like from where I sit.

Commitment, on the other hand, is knowing that whatever outcome occurs, that's the only thing that could have happened. To know that given all the information and all the choices, people will make the ones that provide them with the lessons they need to learn on their own journey. 

It reminds me of whitewater rafting. The one and only time I rafted was in Colorado and it was a blast. The instructor/guide had everyone start by getting in the raft on the shore. She sat in the back of the raft and we each got in, three on each side. She told us that there would be times she would tell us to "paddle right" or "paddle left" and we were to listen to her instructions and act accordingly so we would have the best chance of staying upright. 

She also said that there might be a chance that if we hit some rapids, someone could fall out. She said she would do her best to grab the person by the lifejacket and pull him/her back in. If the person fell out and got too far away to grab, she would offer her paddle to pull the person back in. If the fallen person was further away than the paddle would reach, she said she would throw out a life preserver. She would do absolutely everything she could to ensure the person's safety. However, in all three cases, the person outside of the boat would need to participate in his/her own rescue.

It's like that with my friend. I can want him to get healthy and to build his career. I can offer suggestions, I can poke and prod and bug and nag all day. In the end, I can't want success more for him than he wants for himself. And in the end, he needs to participate in his own rescue.

Being detached from the way something happens doesn't mean you don't care. In fact, in some ways it shows how much you do care because you are willing to let the person have his own experience. If you can give up attachment and keep commitment, the only thing that can happen is exactly what is supposed to happen.

Simple, not easy.

Where do you see yourself attached? Could you give up that attachment and keep the commitment? I'll bet it would be healthier for you and for the other person. Send a silent blessing and cut the cord. 


How agile are you?

This morning I'm contemplating the definition of the word "agility" after working at the gym with a contraption called an agility ladder. I'm quickly learning how non-agile my body is at this point; however, I also know I'm very open to the possibility of improving that fact!

Agility, by definition, is "the ability of a [system] to rapidly respond to change by adapting its initial stable configuration." That's a fancy way of saying that when you're agile, whether in mind, body or spirit, you're able to respond quickly to change.

How agile is your mind? Are you reacting from your emotions or responding from your thoughts? As I'm working on making my body more agile, I find that being aware of my thoughts while I'm working out is helping my mind agility at the same time. While I might not like where I am today as far as my physical agility goes, I'm so grateful that I'm in the gym working on it.

Work on your mental and emotional agility today. It's important to take stock before you take charge, so it's a great idea to begin that process now so you can start 2013 with a clean slate.

I'm not yet where I want to be, especially in my physical agility; but I'm grateful I'm not where I used to be. Celebrate the victories and begin the rest of your life today!




All I have and all I experience is a result of the way I think.

I know that. Really I do.

And sometimes I forget it. There are times when things just seem to happen to me and I forget to take a look at what lesson those random experiences have to teach me.

Sometimes I just want to not be responsible for those things.

However, that feeling doesn't last very long anymore. Awareness really is cumulative and after a (short) while, that old way of being just doesn't feel as good as it used to.

I'm reminded of Jeff Olson's book "The Slight Edge." Is a random negative or victim thought going to bring me down? No. But a lot of little random negative thoughts over time can have that effect.

Is it is the same with positive thoughts among a lifetime of negativity? Will one random act of kindness immediately turn around a negative situation? Maybe not immediately. But I wonder how much influence that one act of kindness might have on waking someone up to possibility.

I've never been a fan of the thought of sacrifice because it occurs to me that that means giving something up, and I want it all! :)

But when I think of growth and awareness and new possibilities, it occurs to me that I must be willing to give up my old thinking and my former way of doing things if I'm to make room for new thought patterns. I must sacrifice a lower awareness for a higher one. In that way, I really do become committed to sacrificing the former me for the new and improved version.

I am willing to live today like others won't so I can live tomorrow like others can't.

For the awareness which allows me to realize when I'm creating drama around me (and feeding into other people's drama when they are simply doing the best they can with their current awareness), for the awareness which allows me to attempt to see the world through others' eyes, for the awareness which allows me to recognize my own imperfections without beating myself up, and for the awareness which allows me to step into the person I was created to be - for this and so much else, I am duly blessed and truly grateful.

Breathe in and own the perfection that is you today and this entire weekend of Thanksgiving. Become who you were meant to be by stepping into your greatness and noticing how you influence those around you even when you don't mean to. That works in both positive and negative ways. Only when you become aware of your personal power can you make the choice to change the world - your world - for the better.


Noticing ... And Attracting

After a too long hiatus, I am recommitting to sharing my observations. I'm reminded of a quote from a book that was very influential to me several years ago: David Whyte's "The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America" (what a great title, wouldn't you agree?). Here is the passage I'm contemplating today.

"Sometime ago at AT&T I found myself working with a roomful of particularly thoughtful managers. We were looking at the way human beings find it necessary to sacrifice their own sacred desires and personal visions on the altar of work and success. Out of this a woman wrote the following lines. She read them slowly from the back of the room, unaware how stricken we all were by the silence she created.

Ten years ago...

I turned my face for a moment

and it became my life.


 "We have patience for everything but what is most important to us. We look at the life of our own most central imaginings and see it beckon. For the most part we have not the courage to follow it, but we do not have the courage to leave it. We turn our face for a moment and tell ourselves we will be sure to get back to it. When we look again ten years have passed and we wonder what in God's name happened to us."

Do you ever feel that way? That you've forgotten to notice things until something/someone wakes you up to your own life?

I'm currently reading Wayne Dyer's newest book "Wishes Fulfilled" and I'm reminded again that I am totally in control of my destiny, because I'm in control of my thoughts. My thoughts create my feelings, which affect my actions which attract the results I'm producing in my life. When I turn my face, as the woman's poem suggests, it may occur that things are just happening to me - that I am doing nothing to create the results and I'm merely a victim of the circumstances of my life.

However, when I wake up, I realize that everything the Universe is presenting to me is a reflection of the thoughts I'm emitting through my feelings and my actions.

Until I remembered all of this this morning, I was struggling with a couple of issues where people in my life are showing me contrast: allowing me to see what I don't want. I found myself falling into a place of victim thinking and this passage from David Whyte occurred to me (no coincidence).

The Universe (God) wants me to realize Who I Really Am, and that person is NOT someone who wallows in pity and victim thinking. My job in this lifetime is to BE the person I was created to BE and attract the forces I wish to use and the people who will join me in high-minded thinking and action.

I am grateful for the awareness that allows me to change my thoughts; and I'm also grateful for the people who are placed in my life, both to support me and to redirect me.

For what are you most grateful today? 

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