Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Whisperings

The more I listen, the more I "hear". Truth speaks in a whisper, our innate wisdom gently points the way, and the part of ourselves that "knows", speaks softly. With all the noise in our daily lives no wonder we can feel overwhelmed, lost, isolated. I have actually shouted, "Tell me what to do"!!! Nothing. No response. Discouraging, to say the least.

But I have discovered something I want to share. You may have already found this out for yourself, but here it is: The inner urgings are always there to point us to our bliss, our purpose, our reason for being here. The inexplicable feelings I get, the out-of-the-blue ideas, or sometimes just a crazy little notion, IS the still small voice speaking to us! The noise of our lives tends to block out that inner voice, so I believe that our higher self is smarter then we are, it points the way by sending us these urgings. Have you ever had a thought that instantly makes you think, "Oh, that won't work"? Have you ever been led to go down a certain street, or speak to a stranger, or do something out of the ordinary? Do you do it? Or do you discount it? I'm guilty. I tend to think I am so smart that I can filter these things out of my mind. **I have a schedule to attend to, I am busy, I am an intelligent woman that doesn't have time for this non-sense** Ha! I kid myself....and it's humbling! This is Truth leading you! Make no mistake dear friends, our higher self will try to get our attention in the most creative of ways. Pay attention to the things that seem odd, therein lies the key to new opportunities.

We've all heard the stories where someone was led to suddenly change course, go a different way, hesitate or linger, or speak up in a situation, (all out of the norm things), just to find out that many times it caused them to avoid a dangerous situation, or it opened doors to a new relationship, etc. There are too many of these stories to not believe that our inner knowing has a better grasp on our lives then we do. I rest in that. I'm grateful I am not alone in my daily decisions and actions. Each morning I visualize taking the hand of my invisible companion, and I ask for guidance, then I don't shoot down anything that comes into my mind to do during the day.....within reason, I mean it's not like I'm going to eat a whole half-gallon of ice cream just because I thought of it! Not again I won't. But, if you are led to try something you've never done before, if you get the feeling that you need to act on some specific idea....by all means do it! The most pleasant of things can come of it, and you can find your bliss in the process. I know whereof I speak. Couldn't write it if I hadn't lived it!

Here's hoping that crazy little idea you get today will prove to be an epiphany for you!

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Joy

It's one of my favorite words in the English language. Joy. Not happiness, but joy. There is a difference. One has to do with the fleeting and temporary, the other is a deep contentment with oneself and with life in general.

What brings you joy? Where does your heart reside? Do you even know? Hey, I'm the first one to say that a trip to Europe, or a new pair of shoes, sends a little thrill down my spine. The thought of going out to dinner with someone special puts a big smile on my face too. Those are the day in/day out things that gives us a lift, that makes us giddy with excitement, but they're fleeting. We know this. We know the superficial things in life provide little in the way of lasting, long term contentment. If I never bought another thing for myself, if I never got to see Ireland again, or eat crab legs, I would still have a sense of contentment and joy because of the consistent focus I work to maintain. A focus that doesn't involve anything money can buy.

For instance, right now, out my back door there is a creek that runs through the part of my neighborhood I like to refer to as "the woods". It's a creek that is very full of water due to all the rain we've been having lately.....oh, and rain brings me joy too. The sound of it, the smell, the way everything just responds with new growth. The greening of Kentucky is happening in a big way right now....but the sound of the creek in the trees brings me a deep peace I wouldn't trade for anything. That sound available to me out my back door makes new shoes pale in comparison! Another joy is the feel of my cat on my lap, kneading my chest with his little feet, looking at me intently right in the eye, blissed out and content to be close to me. My cat, the Zen teacher. Cats have the art of joy and contentment down! Joy took me by surprise yesterday when I felt my spirit lift so far up, it's yet to come down. It was simply having the windows open with a balmy breeze drifting in and out, the sound of soft rain in the trees, the smell of freshness, the air charged with negative ions from the rain, and the sound of bagpipes being played within earshot outside as I listened to the love of my life teach his students what he himself was born to play....and what personally brings him deep joy. Add that the kitchen was heavy with the aroma of baking, and I just sat there for a moment and let it all envelop me. I was joyful, grateful, and content beyond words.

A perfect red cardinal can bring me deep joy. Maybe it's the color and vibrancy of this beautiful bird that moves me, maybe it's the sheer abundance of them here, I don't know, but I wouldn't want to be where I couldn't watch them come and feed in my yard. I engage in a silent communion with these birds. I send them a deep gassho when I am graced with their presence. Then there's the sound of trains going by in the distance. Hot tea in a perfect mug. My child's kisses. My cats purring. My clients gratitude for a wonderful massage....my knowing I provided them with a respite and a place to heal. Joy for what I do. Joy for just being.

Another joy I feel is the realization that I can accomplish anything I set out to do. There's a real sense of joy in getting out of one's own way and allowing your life to flow. With it comes a knowing that you will be alright. My joy is secure because I know this. I will be alright, and so will you. And so will you. I know I can handle whatever life throws at me....but that's if I choose to catch it. There is also great joy in knowing that I can just let the negative drop. No effort to catch it, no desire to deflect it, no need to fix it. It's freeing to just let it drop by the wayside. Joy undisturbed by life's chaos is something that I work towards. It's not always perfectly done, but it's worth the effort. What a blissful place to be! It's a choice, and it's yours too.

Do you choose joy today? If not, why not? It just takes a shift in perception to transform your entire day. Joy is that laughing companion that awaits to greet us in the morning. Take her hand and let it lead you. "Joy cometh in the morning...." What do you love? What makes you smile? What makes your heart feel content? Simple questions, and not so simple questions, I know. Ponder the things that are deep within you, the things that keep whispering in your ear. These are the urgings from that part of yourself that longs to feel content, that longs for lasting joy. If you need to change outward circumstances to attain a more joyful outlook, then please pay attention to those leadings of your heart. They can lift you up and out of whatever is holding you back from experiencing contentment.

So, what is your bliss? Consider, then act.

Until next time.....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Shadow As Teacher

The greatest lessons we can learn come from the shadow part of ourselves. Without the darkness there is no light. Embracing all that we don't understand about ourselves, or all the scares us, is one of the greatest gifts we are given. "Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so". Thanks Will Shakespere. Once you set upon a path of self-discovery you will encounter the darkness of your heart and soul. It's in there. I know it, you know it. Do you flee or do you stand and face it? And, are you ready to face it? Sounds so ominous, doesn't it? THE DARKNESS of your soul. The black heart of every man, woman and child. Religion would lead us to believe this is the "sinful" part of ourselves. I disagree. It is the part of oursleves that will yield the greatest growth, and it's a sure path that will lead out of darkness and into the light...truth, awareness, love and all that good stuff. The darkness is good too, don't get me wrong. The darkness has been associated with negativity for too long in my book, but you don't need to believe me or accept anything I say here. I simply write from my heart, and my heart has taken a walk on the dark side before. Stepping into the light is such a glorious thing, but it doesn't come without shadows. Shadows will chase you, sort of like the one on the sidewalk as you walk in the sun. Light/dark, see, they go together. Let's reframe the darkness. How would you recognize the light without it? Seriously, how would you even know the light has been turned in a room if you weren't standing in the dark for a moment?

When I was a child I was terrified of a dark room. There were monsters in there of course, and they were just waiting to eat me alive. I knew it, I could hear them breathing. Well don't you hear some of your own demons breathing down your neck daily? "Am I good enough"?, "Will they love me forever"?, "Can I make it in life"?, "Will I have enough to live on"?, "When will I die"? On and on, whatever your personal fears may be, they will stalk you. Last year I faced many of these dark shadowy thoughts, and the way I did it involved my sitting outside at night, in the wee hours of the morning, propped up against the tree in my backyard. My senses became aware of every sound, every creak of a branch, the soft fall of a leaf, the footfall of a small creature, and the thoughts I always feared came rushing to the forefront. The darkness enveloped me in a way that allowed me to let it all "be". No one could see me, no one was there to tell me how stupid my idea was to sit in the dark in my backyard all night. And no one knows I did this until now. For what it's worth, it was a path out of my hell.

After a while, and I did this three nights in a row, the darkness became my friend. My eyes longed for the comfort of darkness. My heartbeat could be heard, soft and steady, and I found comfort in hearing myself living and breathing in this dark space. I was keenly alive in a way that only utter darkness can provide. In my attempt to get away from it all, I sought an empty space devoid of the glare of my current life situation. In that space I found I could be comfortable with my dark side. As the thoughts came up one by one, I got to where I could acknowledge them and let them go, then await the next one that came. One by one I met my fears. Even now when I am fearful, I go into the darkness. It's a metaphor I use, I go into the heart of what I really fear and I ask it what it needs to teach me. The shadow side of ourselves has gifts to bring us. Darkness is comforting to me now, both literally and figuratively. My eyes seek the velvety comfort of blackness, and my heart awaits the fears that surface and come to me seeking motherly care. A mother tends gently to the wounded child. Tend gently to yourself as well. All that shadows need are a light to shine on them, then they flee away, laughing....for they are finally free.

Summertime affords a lovely opportunity to sit outside at night and take in the velvety blackness of the Universe. You can met your Teacher there in that darkness. You can ask, listen, and dispel the shadows that haunt you. Then stand, walk into the light....and be free.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Connections

We are all connected on some level, and in some mystical cosmic way....(yes, I'm running the risk of sounding a little too "new-agey" here, but hey, it's how I'm wired). We are all basically the same at the core....in our humanness, our vulnerabilities, hopes, fears, and joys. These make us one. In this season of Spring, with all it's renewal and rebirth, I'd like to focus on our interconnectedness. It's more then we realize.

One year ago I was knee-deep in isolation and fear. I felt connected to NOTHING, NO THING, and certainly NO ONE, not even my children, and it pains me to write that. But in the process of losing myself over fourteen years I had allowed myself to disconnect from even that which was intrinsically connected to me. I lost my humanity in that I did not feel a kinship with any other human being. It was a self-imposed hell born out of forgetting my true identity. It happens. What I didn't realize was that all I had to do was look up and out from my little world at the bigger one around me. I won't rehash the whys and wherefores, I have already written about that here when I first started this blog last year, but I will say it was an extremely emotional day when I actually saw myself as part of a whole again! It brought me to my knees, and I've decided to stay there in gratitude for the healing I experienced. Spring in all it's symbolism was not lost on me last year. No, it smacked me upside the head instead!

Have you ever been to a party or any other kind of event where you felt entirely out of place? We all have. Do you recall a time when you could feel yourself shrink, literally shrink in significance when you were in a crowd? It's a universal dis-ease, this detachment thing we do when we're not in touch with our heart's center, our core, our soft underbelly. I understand introverts and many times I admire them and their restraint from adding to the noisy chaos of this world! But what I'm talking about here has nothing to do with people who choose to withdraw, the ones who choose to lead quiet lives (again, I admire you), what I want to address is the disconnect that happens when we refuse to feel the unseen cord that binds us all together. For instance.....

The Homeless Man/Woman on the street, reeking and muttering to themselves. The Single Mother shouting at her children in the grocery store. The Angry Road Rage Prone Driver. The Bubble Headed Teenager at the mall. The Protestor. The Republican. The Democrat. The Atheist. The Italian Fisherman in his little boat off the coast of Naples. The Women Of Darfur (remember Darfur?). The Girl Sold Into The Sex Industry In Thailand. The Small Town Gossip. The Transgendered. The Corrupt Politician. The Woman With Too Much Eyeliner On and Clothes Two Sizes Too Small. The Vet. The Shell Shocked. The Red-Headed Knock-out. The Lost. The Forgotten. The Children of Alcoholics. The Thief. The Monk. The Queen of England. The Drug Addict. The Millionaire. The Little Blue Haired Old Lady That Drives Too Slow. The Frightened Dark Eyed Muslim In Her Burka. The AIDS Patient. The Actress. The Oil Field Worker. The Janitor. Your Neighbor.

Random? Far fetched? Can't relate? We're all connected. If I am honest with myself I can see a part of me in every one of these people. Every one, at one time or another. There is more then one way to see yourself in other people, if not literally, then certainly symbolically. There is something in us that understands. And if any of these people anger you, or make you feel that in no way would you ever be connected to them....then I would ever so gently suggest you take a second look and see if there isn't on some level, deep within you, a tiny moment when you have felt like one of these, done something you weren't proud of, or maybe just thought about doing something similar. My point is this....it wasn't until I learned to embrace that which makes us different, that I was able to open my heart to living a whole life again. This was my way out of pain and isolation, but it may not be your path or desire, and that's okay. But you see, today I had an Aha! moment. As I sat outside in the warm sunshine, profoundly glad for the beautiful day we were having, I felt my heart expand in my chest. Unbidden, my heart opened to accept and embrace all of humanity, with all it's imperfections. I felt larger then my mere body encased in 118 pounds of flesh and blood. I felt a part of all that lives and moves and breathes. My heart was vibrating with love for everyone I saw. I can't explain this moment I had. I can't tell you why this is even important to write about, but write I must, and here it is for what it's worth. This may be a blog entry that won't get as many hits today, or it won't be read past the first paragraph (when it starts to get "new-agey"), but write I must....and this is the musing of my heart today.

Sit in nature for a while this week. Please. Somehow take a a few moments to connect to the sun, the air, the hum of life going on around you. Think of the fisherman in his little boat off the coast of Naples and for a moment see if you can't connect your heart to his as an experiment. See if you don't feel a broadening, an opening to the unseen....and it's in the unseen places where the answers are held, not hid, but held....waiting for us to connect to them. Connect to the humanity that surrounds us. You're not alone. We Are One. How does that feel?

Maybe ponder this question. Or not.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy

Thursday, April 14, 2011

To Be Humble

Let me begin by saying it doesn't mean to be self-depreciating, or to play small. It doesn't mean that you don't stand and SHINE in your gloriousness, in your talent, in your beauty. It simply means to take nothing for granted while you're doing it. Nothing is a given, this we know. Everything is in flux, the tide comes in and the tide goes out....daily. But who are we not to shine while we're here? Who are we to not grab the brass ring and scream with delight at the top of our lungs? My mother thought she was teaching me to be humble when she told me to stop being "precocious", to "settle down", to "be a lady", to "keep your voice down", "don't make too much about your looks", etc. I have come to believe that last comment was her way of shielding me, because the ravages of puberty paid me a visit for a long time back in the seventies! I think she was trying to tell me to see my inner beauty, and that was okay, that was well-meant and valuable to learn, but what I ended up learning amidst all of her other well-meaning directives was the unspoken impression that I should not become too enamoured with myself, which to a timid and gullible teenager that translated into being shy, timid, and awkward. That's not humbleness, and I thankfully learned that later on.

I love truly humble people. They have an aura about them that just pulls you in. They are magnificent and full of life. Their humbleness allows them to appreciate their talent, their abundance, and the love that is showered on them. They are humbled by the fact that their God-given greatness can't help but be expressed, they feel their lives are simply the vehicle in which to manifest that greatness. Whatever your belief system may be, I believe there is a power greater then our human view of life that wants us to co-create with that greatness, that goodness, that richness that is our birthright. Claim this, my friend....I believe with all my heart that it's arrogant not to! I personally will not downplay the fact that we are born to be a blessing to others. We are born to be in community with one another, and if we can grasp that brass ring, it will show others they too can whoop it up on life's merry-go-round! Good times can be had by all. Show someone that today, will you? Thank you....

Every night when I lay down and close my eyes, even after a less then stellar day, I feel the quiet strength of humbleness. And let me tell you, and I'll bet you already know this, but when we have been too full of ourselves, when we been a little to self-important in a negative way, there is always a loving nudge (sometimes a big shove if need be) that will reign us in, that makes you say....wow, maybe I need to reassess my actions and try something different. Listening to that wisdom is humble, and thanking the powers that be when we have a fabulous day manifesting the full expression of our talents and charm is humbleness too. I am humbled by and in awe of the fact that I can be a conduit for grace, for purpose, for poise under pressure, and for lovingkindness.....and if rocking a great pair of red high-heeled shoes allows me to stand a little taller, to be more present, then those shoes are a gift and their little lesson is not lost on me. You see, it all works, it's all here for our good, it's all here to be used and to have gratitude for, and at days end if we can say "Thank You" for our abilities, our strengths, our zeal for life, then we have grasped what it means to be humble.... and that's enough. And no, you don't need a pair of red shoes to stand out and shine. (But they certainly don't hurt either)....

Since coming into my own life, since my reawakening from the last fifteen years, I have truly felt what it means to be quietly aware of just how much I am cared for, and how much I am capable of giving to others. "Humbleness" and "Awe" go together in my book, and I feel them everyday. Every single day. Let's not mistake being humble for being anything less then our magnificent selves. I know this life comes with no guarantees, it can all change is a flash, but even that knowledge is humbling, so while we're here, now, let's embrace just how wonderful we are! So repeat after me: "I humbly accept the fact that I am here to live a life full of abundance, strength, courage, and FUN. I am keenly aware that I do nothing on my own, but simply co-create with that which animates me, moves through me, and supports me in all my endeavors....I am in awe of this, humbled by it, and grateful for all of it"! Now that's humility, and it's a virtue that opens the way for more good to enter your life then you ever thought imaginable. You will bless others just by being you. And in my humble opinion, it's why we're here on this earth.

Until next time....blessings upon your heart

Cindy