You’ll Believe It When You Say It

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Photo: Pexels

Affirmations.  You’ve heard the term quite often these days.  Repeatedly saying phrases to make yourself feel better, yet many of us don’t quite believe in them.  But words have power.  Did you know that affirmations are really just training your brain to new beliefs?  It’s like doing yoga to train your body to be more flexible.  When you first begin you think there is no way in hell you are ever going to bend like that.  You might even laugh when you can’t get your butt in the air for downward dog.  Just like you might laugh when you tell yourself that you are wealthy.

Like yoga, if you continue to practice it eventually gets easier.  You can do your downward dog with straight legs, instead of bent knees, and you can hold it for a minute or more.  (Until you get that crazy head rush from being upside down.)  When you keep speaking your affirmations, your brain absorbs the statement and begins giving you ideas about how to make the statement happen.

Maybe you have been stating “I am wealthy”.  You’ll get ideas on how to increase your wealth.  You’ll explore investments, open a savings account, seek a higher paying career, stop your daily Starbucks fix, whatever it means to you to be wealthy.

Affirmations should always begin with “I Am” or “I Have”, never with “I want”.  The Universe hears I Want and keeps you in a state of wanting.  I Am or I Have says you are already there so you will manifest it into a physical state.

You can put affirmations in a list.  For example: you are looking for a home and you have specific items that are important to you.  Write them all down and at the bottom of the list, write “this or something better”.  Fold the list and put it in a place you remember, but won’t look at every day.  Seeds grow faster if you don’t poke in the dirt.  Practice your other affirmations and watch your desires manifest into reality.

Saying is believing.

In The Hunt

cat-3750778_1920We are deep into football season and many teams are in the hunt to make the playoffs.  Most teams have players out of action due to injuries and trading continues throughout the season.  Everyone wants a piece of the trophy.

Throughout our lives, we strive for some trophy.  I could be a real trophy to designate the winner of a physical contest.  It could be metaphorical: the killer job, forever home, beautiful car, great kids or fabulous spouse.  Striving is motivation and carries through the journey of life.

Too often, striving for material things alone leaves us feeling empty or desirous of more.  When we don’t put purpose and soul satisfaction at the top of the list, the result is fleeting.  It is then we must reach deep into the soul and seek the meaning that sustains us.

How do you know what that is?

If there is something you simply must do on a consistent basis, then that is your calling and meaning.  I must create.  Art and beauty soothe my soul.  It can be any medium for me.  I don’t have to pick up a paintbrush or crayon to fulfill that need.  My work life consists of managing money, but even in that lies creativity.  It can be figuring out how to use the money in the best way possible or it can be designing my spreadsheets in a way that pleases my eye.  Creativity comes out in my home or in how I dress each day.  When I am unable to create, my soul weeps.  Depression sets in and life loses its meaning.

As I have previously written, I am in a bit of a funk.  I have limited my article postings and am presently taking a few days away from work to rest and rejuvenate.  I will take some time to just look within and listen to my heart.  To ask myself what I am missing and what I need to bring a happy state back to my soul.  I will work on the manuscript for my book about spirituality.  Exercise.  Right now I am listening to music.  I have been less than my happy self for a good portion of this year and I need to gain that back.

We should always be in the hunt for happiness.  Life is messy and sometimes it is hard to sustain, but our natural state is happiness.  The level can be different for each of us, but it is always there.

Unlike the Super Bowl, it is a trophy that can be had by all.

The Holy Grail

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Pixabay: bluebudgie

“You have chosen wisely.”  I am reminded of the scene in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (Lucasfilm Ltd, May 24, 1989) when Indy crawls into the cavern after surviving a series of challenges and encounters an immortal Knight Crusader.  He then watches the bad guy guzzle from a jewel-encrusted chalice and then shrivel to dust, while the aged Knight states that he had “chosen poorly”.  Indy picks a crudely-hewn mug, scoops up the Holy Water, guzzles it down and feels nothing, or so he thinks.  The Knight approves his choice and Indy goes on to save his father and gets the rest of the team out and on down the road.

The Holy Grail is said to have been the cup that Jesus the Christ drank from at the Last Supper and then later held his blood.  Arthurian literature imbues the cup with miraculous powers.  The term “holy grail” is often used to denote an elusive object or goal that is sought after for its great significance.  (Wikipedia)

Theology and legends aside, what if the Holy Grail and all the variations of its cups represents the choices in our lives?  If each one of us had a different set, number of, shape, size, contents or whatever to choose from for our own quest?  With the ultimate, and perhaps elusive, goal of returning to Spirit.

The cups might represent opportunities or challenges, and we could try any or all of them in our journey through life.  Would you choose wisely or poorly?  I’m sure we would all pick wisely if we knew what the cup held.  Would you automatically choose the glitzy, jewel-encrusted, gold goblet that could hold a gallon?  Or does the moldy looking mug with green slime boiling out of it intrigue you?

When you look at a cup do you view it as half full or half empty?  Do you always choose the ones with the crack?  Do you mix it up and pick a different one each time?  Do you fill your cup or do you suck down every last drop?  Does it taste sweet or sour and nasty?

Life is a quest, a journey through time and experiences.  It is your quest, with your choices.  And only you can decide if you have chosen wisely or poorly.

You’re Stuck in the Pit of Misery, and You Hate Bud Light

il_340x270.1363166986_24kw[1]With all the chaos and negativity running rampant in the world, it is difficult to keep a positive state of mind.  Dilly-dilly, seems pretty silly when you try to focus on the Light.  Or is it Lite.  (poorly written puns, I know, but thus is the state of my mind)

All silliness aside, I’ve had my share of dark times this past year.  I have a stressful, highly responsible job managing a government department’s funds.  I don’t mind the work, just the demands that go with it and the difficult people with rigid ideas.  I have had a skirmish with someone who decided he knew more about my work than I do, even though he has never done it, much less asked any questions.  It is an ongoing issue, with his passive-aggressive attempts to make me look bad.  He has enlisted a couple others in his quest, who love to make demeaning remarks in group meetings.  Lest you think I am delusional about my skills, I have grade A reviews accompanied by high compensation.

Alongside these passive-aggressive attempts to demean me, these people also want to suck all the knowledge out of my brain and automate everything I do.  It is crazy-making and I am beyond ready for retirement.  My manager does the best she can to defend me, but she is also taking hits from these people.  I have no idea why this is occurring.

It is bad enough, that my sweetie thinks I need anti-depressants.  I won’t even self-medicate with alcohol.  It doesn’t help though, when we get into these repetitive conversations about family members, ex-spouses and our past history.  I have literally felt as though I have been sucked down into the oubliette, otherwise known as the Pit of Misery.  (horrible place, really, look it up)  Enough so, I am considering prescribed meds. 

This morning, however, I woke into a different frame of mind.  I told him that we need to have a cease-fire on such depressing topics, unless it is necessary or relevant.  Such as, I can discuss my work if only to explain why I come home mad.  All of the other is behind us and, instead, we need to talk about how we want our life to look.  None of the rest of it serves any purpose.  He was totally with me on this.

I have a bit of a theory on this, personally anyway, because of my age.  The 2nd Saturn Return occurs during your late 50s.  The first one occurs around age 27 and, well, you’ve all heard of the 27 Club.  Serious sh*t.  The 2nd one ain’t no picnic either.  It’s Life Review time, people, and you might be staring down the hole of the P.o.M.  If you haven’t healed and released your sh*t yet, it’s going to come crawling out of that dark place you’ve stored it and poke you right between the eyes.  What are you gonna do about it and how are you gonna live the rest of your life?  Do you want to stay in the sh*tpile or do you want to shovel it out of your way?  (just remember, sh*t makes flowers grow)

You don’t have to know every single detail of how you want your life to flow from here on out.  Start with today and set the intention that you are improving your life.  Stop talking about the sh*t and focus on the good stuff.  Can’t get past that?  Call upon the Universe for help.  Ask for help with more positive thoughts.  Ask for a peaceful day.  Ask to be protected from a$$holes.  Ask for a good parking spot at the grocery store.

Ask for a pretty mug to pour your Bud Light into so you can toast your peaceful day.

Just Roll Over

directory-466935_1920Have you ever heard the term “dark night of the soul”?  It’s really the same as hitting the bottom of your life; a desperate, depressing time when you just want to sink down in the sh*tpile and call it good.  Ick.  What a horrible thought, but I bet many of you have been there.  I know I have.  A time, or three.

You just lay there, face down in your sh*t, and wonder why and how you got that way.  Maybe you want to stay there.  Maybe you want to get out of it.

Did you know that all you have to do is roll over?  Yes, really.  If you roll over, you look up towards the light and the way out.

Most people who hit the bottom are just ready to give up.  Death is certainly a way out, but why would you want to do that when there are other possibilities?  Instead think: Surrender.  When you surrender, you give up control.  So if you roll over, look up at the light and surrender to the Universe, you flip on the light to something brighter and better.  The Universe will get you out of the sh*tpile if you give up control.  If you pay attention, the Universe will put ideas in your tired little brain that you can use to improve your life.  The Universe will send people and resources to help you move forward.  But you have to be open to it.

The biggest miracles occur when you have a dark night of the soul.  Things you never, ever dreamed would happen show up at the right time making you wonder why you ever thought things were so bad.  But you know something?  You don’t have to wait until you are at the bottom of the well to get miracles.  You can get them anytime you want.  Yes, really.  The Universe is on-call 24/7.  To you.  To anyone.  No limits.  No running out of data.

All you have to do is roll over and surrender.

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Fall has dug in and is flirting with Winter.  The mountains are getting snow, which makes all the skiers and outdoor people delirious.  I prefer the “apres-ski” version, where you sit in front of a fire in a cute outfit and fuzzy boots and drink warm, alcoholic beverages. Oh and I can’t forget, dip a hunk of bread in warm, melty cheese.  Yum.

Fondue pots aside, the weather is slowly shifting to chill.  When I take my daily walk, I wonder why I haven’t uncovered my selection of faux fur coats.  Maybe I just haven’t forgiven summer for leaving.  When I get home from work, I want to crawl into bed instead of sitting outside in the sun.  ‘Tis the season.

Cooler temps make us want to hibernate, or at least cocoon inside.  There is definitely a biologic aspect to this, but also a spiritual one.  As we move inward, it is the time to turn inward and take a view of this season of your life.

Have you let go of people and things that no longer serve your greatest good?  Have you set goals and intentions, if so, what progress have you made?

Winter is the time when we look into our soul and envision new things.  We take action steps in the Spring to plant the seeds.  Summer, our plans grow and mature and blossom.  And Fall is where we look back and harvest our dreams.  Did they bring us all we asked for?  Did we allow them to grow beyond our imagination?

Or did you let your field of dreams lie fallow?  Like reclaiming farmland, letting your dream field regenerate can be healthy, especially if you have been overly productive with your dreams.  Maybe Fall is the time when you sit back, sip your peppermint hot chocolate, and thank yourself for all the work you have done to make your life better.

Don’t forget the fondue.

Calming The Zoo

squirrel-316022_1280Sometimes the endless chatter in your head can make you feel like running and screaming.  Whether it’s your monkey mind or squirrel brain, feeling overwhelmed can be like living in a zoo.

Today’s world is fast and endless.  Technology drives the pace and global media points the direction.  We are turned on and tuned in, when sometimes we just need to shut it all off.  How many times a day do you reach for your cell phone or other personal data device?  If we do shut them off, we become starved for the electronic hit like a junkie desperate for a quick fix.

Technology is amazing, no doubt.  You can consult with a doctor, or watch a video on how to scope out the toilet.  A lot of useful things, but with the consequences that everything should be “on-demand”.  Including our brains.  We fuel up with caffeine and sugar to keep up with the hype and then wonder why we can’t fall asleep at night.  Counting sheep has been replaced by chasing squirrels.

Is it any wonder why so many undiagnosed illnesses that are treated with a pill end up creating one?

You don’t have to unplug to calm the zoo.  Even hyenas take time to eat, sleep and play.

One of the easiest methods to unwind is to ground yourself.  Hug a tree (like, for real), walk barefoot in the grass, put your feet in water or just simply imagine a cord attached like a tail to the base of your spine and going deep into the earth.  None of these things will harm the earth.  Mother Earth is very willing and able to dissipate your yuck energy if you give it to her.  She can take a lightning strike with ease, so you are no big deal.  Remember to breathe deeply while doing this as it helps move the squirrel energy out of you much quicker.

Deep breathing is another way to calm your mind and help you think clearly.  No need to go to that oxygen bar and waste your money.  Deep breathing can be done in about five secs.

Faster than clicking on the latest Twitter feed.

I’m Better Than I Never Was

photo-256887_1920Remember when you could run a seven-minute mile?  Wore a size 2?  Could live on five hours of sleep a night?

What if these and many others things like them that you tell yourself on a regular basis are really just lies to avoid accepting yourself for who you are now?  If you quit saying them, could you embrace your reality, could you be kind and loving to you?

And if you did, might you be better than who you thought you were?

It is easy to get caught up in the past.  It is about who you were, but your memories might be tainted.  Maybe things in your life aren’t going very well.  Struggles with a lover, unsatisfying work, body image, bank account a little low.  Not surprising you might wish for what was.  Not surprising you might think the past held better times.  Maybe it did.

What if you could change now?  The good news: you can.  How?  Think differently.  You are better than you were or you wouldn’t be here now.  You are better than you were because you have experience.  You have more knowledge.  You know what you really want, but did you know that your thoughts create your reality?  What you focus on is what appears in your life.  The more you think your life is crap, the more crap appears in your life.

Start by thinking of all the good things in your life.  Write them down.  Put a sticky note on your mirror to look at when you brush your teeth.  Stay focused on the good things.  Like attracts like.

Before long, you will realize that life is better than you thought it was.

Wastin’ The Day Away

patio tiki barI am taking a “stay-cation” next week.  It’s practice for when I’m retired.  I would like to know what it feels like to be at home all day and choose what I want to do.

Luxurious, I’m thinking.

I realize that taking a week-long break from work is a whole different animal than being at home day-after-day.  A break from work usually means doing nothing, doing everything, or maybe just wastin’ away in Margaritaville.  There will be a small amount of Margaritaville in my week.  It’s summer, we have a little pool and a tiki bar on the patio. . .so why wouldn’t I?

There will be fun festivals bookending the week.  I have my usual chores.  A little bit of de-cluttering.  Spiffy up my ride.  Exercise.  Walk the lake.  Lounge in a chair and read.  And hopefully, write and stockpile a bunch of articles to keep you entertained in the weeks to come.

A lot of what I anticipate my days will look like in retirement.  Regular exercise will be priority on my list.  Writing because it pleases me.  Writing my book.  Yes, there is one of those.  I am calling it “Phucensch*tt – Spirituality for People Who Swear”.  Yes, really.  But I’m not giving out any more info on that.  You will have to wait.  I plan on trips to the library.  Trips to cool places in Denver that I’ve never seen in all my years of living here.  Like the Molly Brown House.

I will walk to the grocery store and buy a few things for that day instead of stockpiling from a warehouse store.  I will poke in the dirt until it begs me to stop planting flowers.  I will chase pigeons off the roof.  (Hopefully that problem is already resolved.  Haven’t seen them in a day or two.)  I will re-ignite my love of cooking.  I will meditate.  H*ll, I might even take guitar lessons and become a rock chick.  Or not.  Guitar Hero might be enough.  I’ll watch all my favorite movies over and over until I can recite every word,  “Welcome to Columbia, Joan Wilder.”  And if I feel the need to work and serve, I’ll give readings at my favorite little metaphysical store, For Heaven’s Sake.  I just won’t be doing what I’ve done for the last 30+ years.

Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll put on a pair of flip-flops and search for my lost shaker of salt.

Freedom

religion-3426187_1920 (1)It is the 4th of July in America.  People all over are waving flags, watching parades, staring in wonder at dazzling fireworks displays, and consuming vats of food and drink.  I think sometimes we forget what it really means.

What is freedom?

We know that it represents Independence Day, or the birth of the United States.  It changed the world and the people that created it.  But what does freedom mean to you?

Freedom is the right to speak and act without hindrance.  It is not the right to do this without regard for others and causing them harm.  It is not the right to harm creatures and property.

Freedom is about choice.  It is about the ability to think, to decide, to act upon what is for your highest and best good.  It is about choosing who you want in your life.  It is choosing a career path that makes you happy and utilizes your skills.  It is wearing what you like.  It is doing the things that make you happy and fulfilled.  When you feel happy and fulfilled, your life will feel smooth.  Oh, it will never be without issues, for you are human after all.

Freedom is simply just a thought process.  It is allowing your thoughts to run wild, imagining, dreaming, just completely letting loose.  They are just thoughts after all and don’t have to be shared or put into action.  “Die Gedanken Sind Frei” is an old German song about the freedom of thought.  Its lyrics speak of thoughts being within your mind where no one can shut them down and no one can imprison you.

That is the true meaning of freedom.

So how will you set your mind free?