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

goblet-3652113_1920
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.

Give Thanks

pray-2408038_1920-1Tomorrow, November 22nd, is the US holiday Thanksgiving.  A time to celebrate abundance and sharing, but shouldn’t be limited to an American celebration of eating.  Thanks-giving should occur every day of the year.

Give thanks for the big dinner you will eat tomorrow, even if you gain 10 pounds, because it represents the abundance of nourishment.  Nourishment fuels your body so you can perform physical activities.

Give thanks for the people you are having dinner with, even it is just those on the television, because it represents the abundance of social connectivity.  Social connections enrich your life by opening your heart to love.

Give thanks for the horrid family member who pushes your buttons at every opportunity, because without them you would not have the opportunity to develop personal boundaries and honor yourself.  When you respect yourself, others will too.

Give thanks for the money you have earned, because it helps to provide you with food, shelter and material comforts.  Self-sufficiency builds self-esteem.

Give thanks for your physical body, even if it is damaged or missing parts, because you are a miracle.  The body is an amazing machine.

Give thanks for your children, even those not of your making, because you are capable of love and caring for another.  Give them a hug.

Give thanks for your significant other, partner or spouse, because you are lovable.  Give yourself a hug.

Give thanks for the planet, because you have an opportunity to experience a variety of climate, cultures and terrain.  What a wondrous place it is!

Give thanks for your very existence, because being human allows you to not only experience abundance but create it.  Focus on what you want, not on what you don’t want.

The more you give thanks for all the wonderful things in your life, and about your life, the more abundance you will experience.

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.

For What It’s Worth

vw-camper-336606_1920“There’s something happening here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down”

Buffalo Springfield, Atco Records, December 23, 1966

The 1960s were a time of great happenings and much turbulence.  Not much different than what we are experiencing in today’s times.  During the 60s, we witnessed these events:

The Vietnam War
John F. Kennedy elected president and assassinated
The Cold War
Bay of Pigs
Cuban Missile Crisis
Senator Robert Kennedy assassinated
Richard Nixon elected president and later impeached
The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr
The Charles Manson cult murders
The violence at the Altamont Free Concert
Protests, protests and more protests
And yet,

We put a man on the Moon
Johnson establishes Medicare
The Beatles invade American music
The rise of the Hippie culture
The Summer of Love
The Woodstock Festival
Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech; wins Nobel Prize
Civil Rights Act
Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress
The birth of the birth control pill
The first airing of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”
Daylight Savings Time enacted

So much crazy and so much good.  Think of the fabulous music that came out of this turbulence and the impact it still has on us today.  No to mention all the other major events.

It is difficult not to freak out when life is just downright nuts.  We fear for our safety and survival.  We fear for our children.  We fear for our health.  We fear for our money and our property.

We fear for our very lives.

But when we fear, we let the Dark take over and bring even more things to fear.  During these times, we must go deep within our soul and promise to care for our self.  We must draw upon our inner well of courage and determination.  We must look to Spirit and ask that the Universe bring about peace.  We must continually give gratitude for all the good we have, because it is only when we are grateful do we bring more into our lives to be grateful for.

“There’s something happening here”, and it’s drawing everyone together, making the commitment to build a better, more peaceful life for all.  For those of us who have lived through the 60s, we know things get better.

And for all those on Veterans Day, thank you for your service.

Star Stuck

art-dawn-daylight-194040Does it seem like everyone has just gone bonkers lately?  Mean, back-biting or just plain snotty?  It’s not you, it’s them.  But it’s not you either.

Those pesky planets are making dizzy circles amongst the stars again.

Venus, the planet of love and relationships, has been in retrograde.  Yes, that-oh-so-sensuous, snuggle-on-the-sofa, planet of swoon has been giving relationships the cold shoulder.  If you have been fighting with your sweetie, your bestie, or maybe just everyone you meet, take heart because Venus is forcing us to take stock of our interpersonal relationships.

But hold onto your socks, or at least your box of tissues, because just when it should get better it is about to get worse.  Venus will stop being all pissy-pants and move direct on November 16th.  Yay!  Just wait, our other little friend who loves to create chaos, none other than Mercury, will go retrograde on the same day.

Mercury, the ruler of all things tech, communication, travel and legal will be giggling with glee as he turns his back on the sky and stays there until December 6th.

What. The. F*ck.

I guess there is a bright side to this.  Just when you are about to press Send on the nasty, go-F*ck-yourself text, your phone seizes and dies.  Or you are about to send your resignation letter to your boss, along with your list of the thousands of ways you hope the company dies, your computer goes into the blue screen of death taking all your files with it.

So while you are standing in line at the phone store, you’ll have plenty of time to re-think those messages.

You see, retrograde is the time to turn inward and re-think, reevaluate, review, remind and any other re-word that causes you to pause for a different purpose.

Maybe that relationship wasn’t so bad after all.  You might be pushing yourself too hard and biting someone’s head off just because you are tired.  Or maybe it really is time to call it quits, because you just can’t deal with their drinking problem.

Maybe you are taking on too much at your workplace, trying to make up for inadequacies in your team.  It might be time to step up and tell them to handle their own responsibilities.  Or maybe you need to polish your resume, because playing office politics that wreak havoc with your value system of integrity and correctness are causing you an overload of stress.

So while these planets are vying for dominion in the sky, hunker down in your nest and look within for answers.  Seek help from Spirit for the best direction and action steps to take.

Or maybe just make a wish upon a star.

Money Is The Root of All Believe-il

money-2724241_1920Poverty conscious or abundance.  Which would you choose?  Well, duh, abundance.  Why wouldn’t you?  If your belief system is rooted in poverty or lack, abundance might not seem to be a choice.

It is and you can have abundance in your life, but first you have to change your beliefs.

What might be readily apparent in your life, such as always thinking you’ll never have enough money or you’ll never be able to get out of the situation you are in, can be changed.  Yes, it can.  You know the saying “what goes around, comes around”?  That is the key to changing your life to accept abundance.

What messages do you tell yourself?  Whether it is something you say out loud or just think, those messages become reality.  When you go to the grocery store, do you think “jeez, all I can afford is lousy mac and cheese”?  Nothing wrong with mac and cheese, it’s the thought of that’s all you can afford.  When you take your car in for new tires, do you think “jeez, these a$$holes overcharge me for everything”?  Now what do you think will happen with thoughts like that.  You will overpay for those tires.  What you put out there comes right back to you.

What if the message was “I am so grateful/happy I can provide for my family or myself with good food”.  Or “I am really glad I have new tires for my car so I can be safe on the road and drive it for a long time”.  What do you think happens then?  Your experience will change.  Take it one step further “I am really glad/happy/grateful that I have a nice grocery store [tire shop] nearby that offers good service and good prices.  The people there are really nice and helpful”.  How does your view of the situation change?

This is not about being fake, blowing sunshine up someone’s a$$, or winning the lottery the next day.  (The lottery might not be out of the question, if your belief system is structured that way.)  A simple, “I feel good about this situation” is all it takes.  Just a brief moment of sincerity can cause ripples of abundance to flow through the Universe and stream right back to you.

What goes around, comes around and quite often multiplied.

Pay attention to the garbage that rolls around in your head.  Consider it fertilizer, if you must, to grow a new garden of thoughts.  Try thanking yourself for getting good food at the grocery store, for having enough money to meet your needs.  Then thank the Universe for providing abundance in all forms.

And look around you and see all the abundance that you might have missed when you were agonizing over the mac and cheese.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

 

“Happiness is not having what you want.  It is wanting what you have.”  This quote by Rabbi Hyman Schachtel always seemed perplexing to me.  I focused too closely on the “not having what you want” portion and totally missed the meaning behind it.

We all exist in a state of want.  More money, better job, nicer home, prettier clothes, more loving partner, the list is endless.  But just “wanting” will keep you in a state of more want.  These days, everything happens quickly and we can exist in a state of insatiable desire.  And most all of it can be achieved in minutes.  But is that what it really takes for happiness?

“It is wanting what you have.”

The second portion of that quote is too often where we get messed up.  Once upon a time, I thought it meant be happy with what you got ‘cause you ain’t gettin’ any more.  Sad.  That is existing in a belief state of lack.  Feeling lack is what gets you stuck in want.  Feeling lack leaves us never feeling satisfied with what we have.  We believe we are missing out on something better, even if everything we Need is surrounding us. 

Lack prevents us from feeling happy.

Abundance is free.  Abundance is your connection to the Universe and knowing that everything you need will be provided for you.  You may have to take action steps to get that, but if you listen to the Universe you will be guided on what to do.  When you feel abundant, you will never want what you don’t need.  I have no interest in having an airplane, so I obviously don’t need it.  Sometimes when you feel abundant you will need less.  Everything you have will support you and you will move through life with more ability to handle stresses.  So how do you feel abundant?

Ask the Universe to help you.

“Universe, please help me to feel abundant in all forms.  Help me to open my heart to experience all that I need.  Thank you for helping me to allow this in my life.”

As you practice this, you will begin to feel differently about your life.  You will likely still want things, but they will be what you need and you will discover ways to have them in your life.

Especially if they are already there.

Response-ability

Do you often feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you have to do in any given day?  I suspect that is probably normal for many people.  Too many commitments, too much wanting, too many expectations.

I took the word responsibility and split it into two parts, and created a new meaning.  “The ability to respond.”

We often take on more than we can handle because we think we should.  If you said “no” to things that don’t belong to you or you don’t feel good about, what are the consequences?  Sometimes you have to say no to people, because if you don’t , they will never learn a much-needed lesson.  The world is full of overworked and overcommitted people.

But what about the people that can’t respond?

I’m going back to the subject of depression, because it is very difficult to understand what is going on.  I have experienced times of depression.  Fortunately, they have been minimal.  I tend to go more the other way, as I have anxiety disorder.  Anxious people are usually the overcommitted, because having control over things keeps your environment manageable if not calm.  Anxious people look for sh*t on the horizon and plot and plan to keep it shoveled away.  I have worked (there’s that word again!) very hard to keep the horizon sh*tpile from blocking my view.

Depression doesn’t even let you see the sh*tpile on the horizon.  Depression says the sh*tpile is inside you.  Depression turns your brain chemicals to sh*t and sends your energy down the toilet.  Depressed people struggle with getting out of bed, much less changing out of their pajamas.  There is no hope.  And they can’t help it.

I’m not a psychologist, so I don’t profess to know all the ins and outs of this debilitating disease.  I have studied it and have experienced a level of it.  Meds don’t always help and many people don’t like to take them because they often create a “foggy” brain.  Many years ago, I took meds for anxiety.  They took away the anxiety, but they also took away my “red flag” filter and I married an alcoholic while I was on them.  Not too many months into the marriage, I weaned off the meds and woke up to the reality of life with a nasty person.  I suffered through it for 7 years, at a great cost to my self-esteem.  In the final years of the marriage, I sometimes went to sleep at night wishing I wouldn’t wake up.  That is what depression will do to you.  (Obviously I got through it or you wouldn’t be reading this blog.  The blog has served as a healing platform.)

I’m sharing this because of the recent celebrity suicides and all the “whys?” surfacing all over social media.  The “whys” are because THEY CANNOT FIND THEIR WAY UP.  Family, friends, money, fame, social status, good physical health. . .cannot fix what is happening to the soup in their brains.  They cover it up and medicate themselves with some sort of substance abuse or addiction, which sends them further out of control. The lucky few respond to outreach, or rescued attempt, and live on to maintain, thrive and even be a spokesperson for help.  But too many, like Kate and Anthony and people you love, absolutely believe that the only way out. . . is Out.

If you know someone who struggles with depression, first do not condemn them.  THEY CANNOT HELP IT.  Find a way to offer your support.  Wrap them in love.  Hold the vision that love is literally pouring into their body and filling them up.  Gently poke and prod them to keep going.  Be the sunshine in their life as they can’t see their own.

And remember, that you too, deserve love and caring and someone to hold your hand.

Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.

 

restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.