Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Expression

Each of us is unique, no two alike. We express from our human self and our spiritual Self, but we rarely think about expressing anything. We just think, feel and act without searching for the unexplored wonder that lies within, that part of us that needs to be nurtured and expressed in our life. And we miss out on the joy of being more of who we are.

I don't believe that life should be wasted. When something isn't used, it either dies or lies dormant. Sometimes a talent stays hidden for a lifetime, only peeking out occasionally to nudge us, a nudge that we ignore, not believing that we have anything worthwhile inside. It's saying look at me...I'm part of who you are, and I need expression. Self-discovery is one of life's greatest blessings. We just need to look inside and find all the good stuff. The next step is learning to let it shine in the world.

I belong to a writer's group, very talented writers. Some have been published, and some are just beginning to believe in themselves enough to submit pieces for publication. Recently, one of the writers had her first piece published. She's ecstatic, and we're all sharing in her happiness. Writing is one way Mary and the others in the group express part of who they are, and we all find joy in this expression.

Each person expresses in different ways, tangible and intangible, and to different degrees. But the value of each gift is immeasurable. You can't touch a smile, but it can turn someone's heart in a new direction. The sweet smell of a flower you've grown may linger in memory for years, and the sound advice you give to someone may make a difference in the rest of their life. Fixing your neighbor's bike may illicit a rare smile, and maybe someone really needed to hear the joke you told. We have no way of knowing the impact our expressions will have. We just need to use the gifts we've been given, and let the energy do its work.

The saying goes, Let your light shine. Being the light that you are, in whatever form it may take, will bring joy to you and others that's meant to be.

Whatever your gifts, express them.

Marilyn

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Never Give Up

There are time when problems knock us flat without warning. Other times they creep up on us, and we don't realize they're there until we're too weak to pull back up. Either way, a weakened state can make us believe we're helpless, and all we can think about is giving up. Too weak to go on. But there's something in each of us that's programmed to pull us out of the hole if we give it a chance.

It appears that all creatures have this inherent drive, or will, to life. And this is what keeps us breathing and getting back up when we're knocked down. I prefer the term will to life rather than will to live. To me, the will to live implies to be alive. The will to life implies to thrive and grow. But we can't do that if we refuse to get up when we feel like we can't.

Birds strive to fly again when their wings are injured, animals lick their wounds and try to heal, fish come to the surface for oxygen, plants reach for sunshine when they need energy, and people pray for strength and enlightenment for healing. At our most desperate times, that inner something pushes us to life. And it will bring us through if we listen. We can't afford to give up.

After our merciless winter I thought I had lost the peace plant on my patio. But a few days ago, I saw some new growth peeking through the dead leaves, green and healthy. New, tiny leaves saying, I lost a lot of what I was, but I'm starting over and will become even more. My heart jumped. I felt so happy, I wanted to hug the little thing. It reminded me how strong the will to life is, and I have that within myself. I too can start over and become even more. Not easy when I feel I'm on my last leg, but it's doable.

We could take a lesson from the other forms of life. Maybe they listen to instinct, whereas we allow fear to take over and look for excuses to give in and give up. I'm grateful to my little peace plant for reminding me that I can get up and do more than what I sometimes think I can.

When you think you can't get up, listen to the wise voice within.

Marilyn

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Resistance

How often does a problem in your life seem to hang around forever? You stew and fret about it. But it doesn't budge. You dig in your heels and tackle it head on. But it won't go away. You try everything you know to resolve it. But it refuses to move. The more you push, the bigger it gets. So what's going on? Well, there's a saying--resistance breeds persistence. Is it possible you're giving it the gas it needs to keep running?

Everything in the universe is energy, and our minds are more powerful than we realize. Every thought produces energy, positive and negative, and it affects our inner life and our outer life. Each time we have a thought, the energy produced has to go somewhere and do something. The more we focus on a problem and resist it's presence, the more power we give it over us. It's like pouring coal into a furnace instead of allowing the fire to die out.

When a problem enters our life, of course it needs attention. We can't usually ignore it. But pushing against it doesn't work. Accept its presence for as long as it's with you, while you're doing all you can to resolve it. This doesn't mean giving in without a fight, but take your fight to the solution--not the problem. Ask for inner guidance, and ask the problem what you need to learn from it for your own personal growth. It's there to teach you, and it won't leave until you've learned, sometimes only on a subconscious level.

How can we grow without those challenges to expand us? Our journey is a series of glider rides and wild river rapids. Enjoy the rides, and concentrate on the paddles when the rapids get big. Practice non-resistance, do what's yours to do, and grow through it bigger than you were before.

I wish you happy rides through life.

Marilyn

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Disaster or Opportunity

Recently, when I learned of Al and Tipper Gore's separation I was glad to read that it's agreeable to both parties. But it brought to mind the perception we sometimes have of major disruptions and painful changes in our life. Our emotional response is usually one of helpless confusion, fear and dread. It may even seem as if our life is over--we have no worthwhile future. But, given time, these experiences can become catalysts for a wonderful, new episode on our journey.

I know someone who had been married for 26 years when her husband suddenly decided to divorce her. Her familiar world crumbled, and there was nothing she could do. For months, she suffered all kinds of emotional pain until she finally decided to get up and search for her own way. She went back to school and now works with children in the medical field. She's also happy with a new man in her life. She discovered talents she didn't know she had, she found joy in her own efforts, and she found a more fulfilling life she would have missed had it not been for the divorce.

When a catastrophe knocks us off our feet, we have two choices. We can either choose to live or to die. This doesn't necessarily mean existence versus non-existence. It can mean the difference between emotionally dying inside or finding a new way to live a more purposeful and meaningful life. Yes, we may have to go through a time experiencing the pain, but there always comes a time for choice.

Each of us has the potential to be more than we are now, and those traumatic invasions of our status quo are opportunities to express more of what we can become. Status quo can be comfortable, but when we get thrown into deep water, it's better to swim than to drown. And when we swim to shore, we may find treasures we didn't know existed.

I wish you positive choices in life's unexpected storms.

Marilyn

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Why Conform?

Each choice we make is motivated by laws, cultural mores and just what's in our own head. The laws and mores pretty much decide what we can and can't do, but while we have free will in most other decisions, we tend to conform to what's expected by others. In this way, we create our own obstacles to what we want to have, be or do. Why do you think we listen more to others opinions than to our own inner voice? Wouldn't it be nice to have it the way you want it?

There are always people out there who will tell you how you should live your life, of course according to their standards. Could it be you fear criticism, embarrassment, confrontation, guilt, not measuring up, being different? What's the obstacle you've set up inside yourself?

People have said to me: Everybody has a cell phone. You should have one. I don't want one; Everybody puts cream and sugar in coffee. You drink yours black? Yes; Why don't you wear bright colors? Everybody else does. I like muted colors; Everybody reads a magazine from front to back. I prefer back to front. And so on and so on. I think I'll start asking people who this everybody is they keep talking about and how they got to be an authority on my life.

I remember one time my mother and I were in the airport waiting for our flight. She stood up and began staring at some other passengers, and I suggested she sit down and stop staring. She defiantly put her hands on her hips and said, "I'm old now. I can do whatever I want." While I still feel she shouldn't have made other people uncomfortable, that statement jarred a question in me. Why must we wait until we're old to give ourselves permission to be who we are? What's wrong with just being ourselves and ignore what those everybodys think? Most of our idiosyncrasies are harmless anyway, and no one's opinion can change who we are. If their standards don't fit, we can choose not to adopt them, and this doesn't make us less in any way. Besides, sometimes it feels good to be different...in a kind of smug way.

So wear your bedroom slippers to the ice cream shop and enjoy your pistachio ice cream soda while you smile at everybody with their vanilla, chocolate or strawberry sodas. It's fun, and above all you're being wonderful, different you.

You're pretty special. So live and enjoy who you are.

Marilyn