Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Return of the light


It is that time of year again when the light returns.
Whether we look at it from the physical, seasonal perspective of the Winter Solstice or from the perspective of the celebration of Christmas; these last days of the year are marked by the return of the light; or Light as the case may be.

With that, it starts a time of new beginnings. The most obvious one the beginning of the New Year. And that often spills over into our lives when we start the year with our New Year’s Resolutions; our decisions to make the New Year even better than the old one has been; to set out to become an even better person as we have been up to now in our lives…

With the physical return of the light on the Winter Solstice, our vital energy starts building again, enabling a greater focus on everything we want to accomplish over the next year. At the same time the days are growing longer again, literally shedding more light on just about anything we focus at so that we can see it with more clarity.
With the return of the Light as we celebrate Christmas, the inspirational Light returns. This is the Light that guides us ~ and while some may see this Light as outside of themselves, others will experience it as the inner connection to the highest counterpart of themselves. As this Light returns, it brings us closer to the (higher) wisdom we need to make the best, the wisest decisions in order to move ahead on our personal paths.

It means that just over a couple of days, both the physical light as well as the inspirational Light come into our lives to give us that opportunity to set our goals for the New Year ~ whether these goals are personal or even global. Independent from our drive to come up with the best New Year’s Resolutions, or whether we have given up on those entirely (as we tend to forget about them, sometimes as early as January 2nd when ‘real life’ begins again), we are pushed to look ahead, to make plans and set goals.

The timing gives us all the tools to see clearly what we want to do, and why. It gives us the light and clarity to envision the structure through which we will achieve the goals we set out to achieve…
This makes this time of year ~ on top of all of the celebrations ~ a truly productive time of year as well. Even if you just use it to create a little list of the ideas and plans that come up so you can revisit them later.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Christmas Spirit


It is the season! When walking the streets late afternoon and looking into the well-lit homes, Christmas trees are appearing one by one. And whether they are ‘fake trees’ chosen to battle the cost of the ‘real’ equivalent, or rather to save the environment, or whether they are the ‘real deal’ spreading the unmistakable scent of the forest ~ it truly doesn’t matter. What matters is the light it brings into our homes and our hearts.

And so, come December, the short days and long, dark nights are countered by a multitude of lights!

In some homes this goes together with a pile of Christmas presents underneath the tree. Others may have celebrated Santa’s arrival earlier this month. After all, even with Santa’s ‘super-powers’ he cannot be everywhere all at once…

It is all part and parcel of The Christmas Spirit.

In a sense The Christmas Spirit then becomes kind of a catch all phrase for that very special time at the end of the year. That time when we celebrate the return of the light. For some that may resonate more from a perspective of the Yule Tide, or of the Winter Solstice, while for others Christmas day has great appeal. It also coincides with the start of the new year; again whether we look at it from a seasonal perspective, or from the actual day and time the new year starts. And all of these things are neatly wrapped up in a ten day period; a time to get together with family and friends.

A time to spread the Light and the love. A time we keep bringing to our minds and hearts our yearning for peace ~ be it in ourselves, our families, our direct environments and communities; and ultimately throughout the world. After all, we all desire to prosper in the very best energies the Universe has to offer to us, just as we have to offer to each other: Light, Love and Peace.

And in that spirit, filled with all of the Light and Love the season has to offer, we can come up with the plans of those things we want to bring to fruition over our next year. Making this a perfect time to set our goals, both personal as well as our job-related goals. And a great time to dream ~ and dream big ~ about the things we would really like to do or experience; even though they may seem out of reach for now…

In that way, when we bring The Christmas Spirit to life, we are certain to set ourselves up to experience the very best in our lives and in our world!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter Weather


It is that time of year again. The leaves have fallen off the trees, the days are almost at their shortest. And depending on where you are at, the weather may be anything from dreary to plain nasty. Although in some areas it can also be nice and clear, and probably very cold.
It is the type of weather the that seems to invite us to get ourselves a warm drink, and to curl up on the couch with a good read. To enjoy the warmth and the light ~ the entire atmosphere ~ of our home environment. In a sense one could even say it is a time to rest before all kinds of activities start happening again…

These last few days of Fall, when the Winter weather has already set in, are precious in that respect. They signal a time of preparation in the cycle of the seasons. Not the preparation for the next year as we find during the Winter months, but more a preparation of ourselves. All that needed to be done before Winter has been done, and although the Winter weather has taken hold, the Winter energy is not quite there, giving us a little time to sit down, to take a deep breath, and to center in that point of Light within. Giving us time to to listen to that inner voice as it tells us what a great job we have done this past year. A time of quiet reassurance that we are indeed right where we need to be on our personal paths, and from that perspective allowing ourselves that little pause to look around and observe where we are at without the immediate need to take action on any of it.

For some of us this means to literally sit back and enjoy the warm drink. For others it can be more restful to seek out the storm while walking on the beach, enjoying the white, foamy heads that appear on each wave as it rolls onto shore where it releases the foam to the wind and the sand.
Whatever activity ~ or non-activity as the case may be ~ is most to your liking in during these last weeks before the Winter Solstice; be sure to set aside some time to do them. Even if it feels like you are indulging yourself for no reason; treating yourself without ‘having earned it’.

Because in the grand scheme of things you have earned this little time to just be with ‘you’ and the early Winter weather. And permitting yourself that little time to step back and enjoy ~ even if it is just an afternoon ~ will truly prepare you for the new energies the Winter Solstice will bring in…
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Friday, December 9, 2016

Seeing and hearing


Sight and hearing being senses, we use them to become aware of what is going on in our environment. This awareness then can be a warning system ~ we can see or hear something that alarms us ~ that can keep us out of trouble. Of course we also use our other senses to that effect; smelling or tasting something; not to forget our sense of touch through which we can feel whether things are right ~ and safe ~ or not.

Yet seeing and hearing stand somewhat apart from the other senses as we use them most often in our every day lives. Hearing sounds ~ something that is almost a continuous thing nowadays ~ and when we want to tune out the sounds of our environment, we start listening to music. And through our sight we get all kinds of input all day long. And when we find nothing much is happening, there is always the TV with 24/7 input…

It begs the question how much of what we are seeing and hearing in any given day in our lives do we truly observe and listen to? In other words, at which point does seeing become observing, or does hearing become listening?

For many things we encounter in life, the casual seeing and hearing is sufficient in order to keep us out of trouble, or even safe. However in personal contact raising our senses a notch to observing and listening can give us a lot more information!

Suddenly there are tone of voice and inflection, there is the choice of words that when truly listened to can tell us more than the actual story being told. And then there is the body language of the other person that let’s us know how that person is feeling about whatever is conveyed or going on…
As soon as we permit ourselves to truly observe and listen to the people ~ but also to our pets, and even to the ‘regular everyday sounds’ ~ around us we become more aware.

More aware of our environment, and more aware of our interaction with that environment. And ultimately more aware of who we are, what we (desire to) do, and what we have to offer to the world around us…

Something else that happens as we permit ourselves to become more aware, is that we start to live more in this very moment ~ rather then living yesterday’s memories, or the things we may be worrying about that might happen tomorrow.
The more acute our senses become, the more aware we become, and the more we are living in that magical moment we call ‘now’.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Garbage


In today’s world there is a lot to do about garbage.
On one hand the actual garbage; the stuff that is broken or we no longer need that we want to dispose of ~ with the question of how much of it we can or should recycle. On the other hand the amount of balderdash we tend to spew into the world. Non-productive sounds, words, messages, sometimes disguised as ‘news’ are washing over us on a day to day basis.

It begs the question why we are okay with that.

Looking at the ‘stuff’ we want to dispose of for whatever reason ~ whether it is broken, no longer needed, or just something that was fun for a while but now we are done with is ~ one could say that we are living in a ‘trashy’ society. We create so much stuff that we feel we have to have, that often is really not giving us anything more than the pleasure we felt when we bought it. Only to find that it truly is not adding anything significant to our lives; and before long it is in the way and we dispose of it.

As to the verbal garbage we are bombarded with ~ and perhaps enter into making small-talk or gossiping with others ~ why are we listening to it? What makes us spend our time and energy engaging in stories of other people’s ~ often celebrity’s ~ lives, rather than creating our own life stories? Why do we accept that anything ‘newsworthy’ is twisted into something that is either exciting or scandalous; not because it is true, but rather because it sells ‘the papers’ (or whichever channel we use to keep ‘up to date’).

Are we really that apathetic that we are not paying attention anymore to what is going on, unless it is brought to us with that outrageous quality added to it that grabs our attention?

And why do we need to be seemingly involved in other people’s lives? Don’t we have our own lives to live? Do we really fail to respect ourselves and others to that extend?
Really??

It may be time to re-evaluate where we want to spend our time, energy, and yes our money.
To start thinking before we buy anything we don’t need. To start living our own lives before we broadcast our ~ often biased ~ opinions of other people’s lives…

Perhaps the best antidote to the garbage in our lives ~ be it literal or verbal ~ is to take a step back and start using our common sense again.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stuck


Have you ever felt stuck?
Perhaps even after having given it thought, after taking action to move forward, or even after taking steps to release the patterns and habits that make you feel stagnant; and you still feel stuck?

It is that very point where you feel you have done all you can do, and while you may be able to move forward a little bit, it seems like you never truly start moving again in the chosen direction of your path. A point that is often followed by frustration, or even indignation; after all, you have done all that was needed and here you are still not freely moving forward the way you intended or envisioned.

At one time or another we all seem to reach that point in our lives. Even when we have taken all the steps and have done everything right…

There seems to be something missing in the process…

The one thing that is quite natural, yet doesn’t help us in the least is when we have worked so hard to get ‘unstuck’, and the moment we start moving again we also start looking back. Looking at how those old patterns did at one point in time get in the way. Remembering how those old patterns had started in our lives to begin with. Recalling all of the situations where they have obstructed our progress…
And before we realize what is happening, we have negated all of our hard work, and brought the unproductive patterns that get us stuck right back into our lives.

In other words, we have to trust ourselves that the work we have done to get moving again is working, is the right thing to do, and will bring the results we are after.
Without looking back.

It is like writing that part of our story down in a book that we can then close. That story then becomes history (or ‘herstory’, as the case may be). It becomes an event that has happened in our lives; an experience that we have learned from, a process that has allowed us to grow stronger as we did the work to come to a solution. And while we can be ~ and perhaps should be ~ grateful for what it has given us, there is no need to look back.
We have moved through it, it is now part of our past.

With that realization we can now focus on whatever we want to make happen today. We can make plans for our (immediate) future.
And as soon as we find ourselves moving forward again we can heave a sigh of relief. We did it! We are ‘unstuck’ and moving into our next adventure!
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Friday, November 25, 2016

Farewell


Throughout our lives there are many times that we bid ‘farewell’ to people and places. Like when we move from one place to another, we say farewell to the home we have lived in ~ sometimes for many years ~ creating the space in our lives in which we can welcome the new house, and the new chapter in our lives. The same is true for finishing High School and moving on to the College of our choice. And as a group of friends scatter in order to start that new chapter in each of their lives, we bid farewell to them. Even changing jobs can have that effect on us; saying our goodbyes to our colleagues while looking forward to that new job, the new challenge, and the hopefully new and higher pay…

The same is true for place that we have been.
When we have spent time in a place that we particularly like ~ even if it is just for a vacation ~ leaving that place can bring a certain sense of sadness to us, as we are aware that we are saying goodbye to a place that has been good to us. A place that we may or may not return to over time; even when right at that moment we are confident we will.
Even in the times of old when our Tribe would travel north in Spring in order to spend Summer in their Summer camp, and travel south come Fall in order to escape the brunt of the Winter.

It is therefore a sentiment that is as old as the ages; that sadness mixed with the realization of how good a time it has been in this place, with this company…

No wonder that there are many ways to wish us well as we start our journey away from our familiar surroundings, and familiar faces.
From ‘So long!’, ‘Later!’, ‘Bye!’, to ‘Be safe!’, ‘Be well!’, or ‘Take care!’. And there are as many or more blessings like:
“A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.”
Or this one:
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again.”

But perhaps there is no wish so all encompassing as the Sailor’s wish:
"Fair winds and a following sea.”

Whether it is for our next trip, our next adventure; or for that last journey when we cross the waters to the other side, when it comes to saying farewell, I wish you fair winds and a following sea.
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Friday, November 18, 2016

Old to new


In the Netherlands, midnight on New Year’s Eve, the New Year is greeted with loads of fireworks. It is according to a tradition that the noise will scare away all evil spirits so that they will be left behind in the old, giving everybody the chance to start the new year fresh and clean.

And while I don’t care much for all the noise, I can appreciate the ritual.

It is part of our make-up to not like changes of whatever kind a whole lot. Not even when we know that the changes will bring improvements into our lives. Our immediate response isn’t as much that we are changing from old to new, but more like we are in a transition from old to bad.
And granted, when we are holding any changes at bay for long enough, chances are that whatever truly need to happen in our lives may not come easy. The longer we ignore changes, the greater the needed changes will com in with a bang!

And perhaps when it comes to that point, the ‘new’ that is coming in will appear to be bad. Evil even.

Maybe even so bad that the whole world will be in an uproar!
As such, whoever bad or evil we perceive is not a whole lot more than a messenger uncovering the things that need changing. The problem is that at this point truly everything that should be changed is uncovered all at once.
And then all hell breaks loose!

As has happened so often throughout history, there is a call to kill the messenger.

Now I have no bone to pick in recent events. Although they are foreboding with elections coming up where I live in just a few short months. And no, I don’t like the messenger, nor his message.

What is clear though, it is beyond time for changes. Changes in the way we view our societies, changes in our attitudes ~ both toward ourselves as well as toward others ~ changes in how we structure and organize our communities.

And that is the easy part.

The hard part comes with the changes in our personal lives; the inner changes. The respect we pay ourselves. The sense of friendship toward others, and the discarding of blaming anyone and everyone for the results of our choices ~ both in our lives as well as in our societies.

It seems clear that we are moving from old to new; not gently and evenly, but indeed with a bang!
And we can make the best of it by making the changes that are knocking on the doors of our own homes, of our own hearts…
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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Connected


I can stand and watch swarms of starlings fly for hours, just wishing dusk won’t change into darkness quite so fast. Seeing them fly in huge numbers, never even touching each other, yet still flying like some grand choreographer is directing each and every single one of them is truly an awesome sight!
And most strikingly, that obvious awareness of where each individual bird is going, when it is changing direction ~ as soon as these large numbers take to the skies, each individual bird is connected to the whole.

It is like how each drop of water is connected to all other drops of water in order to form the ocean, albeit a bit more visible as we hardly ever see a drop of water as an individual entity.

This means that whether we are aware of it or not, we are part of a group consciousness to the point at which even the smallest thought or action affects the whole.

We can demonstrate this to ourselves by consciously smiling to people we pass on the street. Total strangers. And it may not happen with every person we see, but chances are that about five minutes in to our experiment people smile back at us immediately. Of course the same is true when we ‘broadcast’ grumpiness, but why try? Isn’t the world a better place when we are smiling at each other?

So, this is the nice part of the principle. The part that we pretty much all can agree on.

Taking it one step further it immediately becomes confrontational because that would mean that when things are taking place we don’t want to happen ~ because we are part of a group consciousness called ‘humanity’ ~ we too have had a part in it. Perhaps not quite as focused as the events leading up to the end result, but still… It means that our frustrations about the laundry having landed next to the laundry basket instead of in it ~ again ~ add to the frustrations of millions that can eventually set a chain of events in motion.
As such, even if we don’t like what is happening ~ even if that is happening at the other end of the world ~ we still have a part in it.

This being connected with all of humanity ~ and perhaps even with all of nature as well ~ means that it is incredible important to be balanced within ourselves. To be absolutely honest; even if it is just to ourselves. To transform our judgements, our angers, our shadows.
To become more and more aware of all people around us.
And by all means, smile at them!
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Sunday, November 13, 2016

I hold you in Light


I hold you in Light
You who are traditional, liberal and you who are progressive
You who have voted and you who have not
You who are protesting and you who are cheering
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who are leaders, and you who are followers
You who make plans and foresee, and you who are easily surprised
You who take a stand, and you who draw a line in the sand
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who are fighting for a cause, you who are right and you who are righteous
You who are finding yourself in circumstances you cannot alter
You who are locked in a routine you don’t want to change
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who are struggling, you who are living day to day
You who are sailing smoothly through life
You who spend your time at home, and you who are out and about
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who have an open mind, and you who are biased
You who are loud and boisterous, and you who whisper truth
You who are unseen, and you who are in the spotlight
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who know it all and have seen it all
You who are ever searching and exploring
You who are truly celebrating life
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light
You who are involved in the world, and you who inhabit the earth
You as an individual, a community, a culture
You as women and men, and you as humanity
I hold you in Light

I hold you in Light

For it is in Light
That acceptance and balance exist
In all colors and shapes and sizes
In factual truth and in personal truth
For it is in Light
That one light affects all others
Like the waves in the ocean
A loving glow that grows stronger
For it is in Light
That we are all connected
Like the drops in the ocean
A living web of Light on a living planet

I hold you in Light

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Long drives


The other day I heard of someone mentioning that a two hour drive is a long drive. And there is no doubt that it is. However, whether we deem a drive to be long or short depends on many things.

At first there is the time it takes us to get to where we want to go. Some places are just around the corner, while other places take a bit of time to get there.
Second, a road trip taking scenic highways with hardly any other traffic on it may take us longer to get there, however it may feel like it was an easier drive.
Third, if we are really looking forward to events that are likely to happen ~ if we are filled with expectation of what lies ahead ~ the trip may seem a lot shorter than the actual time it takes us to get there. And by the same token, going home can have that same effect.
Fourth, if we are used to driving long distances, a couple of hours to go from one place to another may be a short drive. In our experience, that is.
Fifth, and perhaps most importantly; if we think that it will be a long, hard drive with lots of obstacles we will have to overcome ~ if we think that unfamiliar territory is hard to navigate and will take lots of time and energy on our part ~ chances are that even a relatively short one hour drive seems to be an endless challenge to us.

So, while the actual driving time can give us an idea as to how long a drive it will be going from where we are to where we want to go, it seems like there are many other factors that have just as big ~ if not a bigger ~ influence on our experience in actually getting from ‘A’ to ‘B’.

The same is true for our path through life.
As long as we feel that life has to be a struggle; that the ‘normal’ in life is that it is filled with obstacles, chances are that is what our experiences will be.
If we define our wishes and desires by excluding the things we don’t want to have or don’t want to happen in our lives, maybe we fail to see all the good things that are coming our way.

Perhaps it would be a good thing to approach life as if it is a scenic highway that we are driving in the sunshine ~ with hardly any traffic that could be hindering us in our progress ~ enjoying our freedom!
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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Cravings


While we can crave many things at different points in our lives, craving specific and sometimes weird kinds of food seem to be most common.
The dictionary lists the craving for chocolate as a prime example.

The interesting thing is where the craving comes from; in other words, what makes us experience ~ and perhaps give in to ~ this specific craving at this moment.
The two big reasons are either emotional or bio-chemical.

From an emotional perspective we may feel that we have done something, reached some point where we really should reward ourselves with this special something. Or perhaps more so feeling a sense of discontent because of not doing what we set out to do ~ failing to achieve that goal we had set for ourselves ~ and therefore we can at least console ourselves by treating ourselves to that special something…

And while the celebration aspect of emotional cravings makes perfect sense and may even be a good way to honor our accomplishments, this is far less true for the consoling part of our emotional cravings.

Looking at bio-chemical reasons, our cravings may point us in an entirely different direction.
Suddenly that instant craving for chocolate may come up because we are lacking magnesium; which is actually very often the case. Taking this further, each specific ~ even weird ~ type of food; especially when it is something we normally wouldn’t feel like eating very often, may have a distinct vitamin or mineral that our bodies may need at that very moment.

This means that whichever way we look at it, it is a good idea to pay attention to our cravings. To ask ourselves whether the reason might be emotional, and if that is true, if it is because we are very happy about something, or rather because we feel the need to console ourselves. If we need that consolation, we may want to ask ourselves if we would want to go about that in a more fundamental, or even constructive manner; for instance through asking for help dealing with it.

If our cravings do not stem from our emotions, it makes sense to observe what our cravings have to offer us from the perspective of vitamins or minerals. Is our body trying to tell us that we are lacking something? For instance, could our tiredness be caused by such a lack of a vitamin or mineral, as opposed to ‘just being busy’? And is our body itself trying to solve this situation by instigate a craving for what it so desperately needs?
If that is the case, there may also be a way to handle the situation more constructively…

Either way, when we feel we are craving something, more often than not it is a signal from our bodies that tells us to take better care of ourselves…
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Friday, November 4, 2016

The way it is done


There are always certain chores and tasks that we do in a certain way ~ or perhaps at a certain time ~ just because it is the way it is done. It is therefore the way we have always done it, and it works fine; so why change it?

And in reality, if something does work for us, why change the way we are doing it?

On the other hand it does appear to be helpful to every once in a while evaluate what we are spending our time and energy on, how we are going about that, and why.
Not because we are doing something wrong, but more because sometimes we are doing things just because it is the way it is done.

This is especially true when we find ourselves spending a lot of time on something that, when we really start thinking about it, is not something we feel is a priority in our lives.
For instance, of course it is a good thing to do our grocery shopping. But is it something we want to spend time and energy on every day? Or would we rather do it once a week? Or even shop online and have it delivered?

The interesting thing is that if we were raised doing our grocery shopping a certain way, chances are we will do it in a similar manner when we are doing them for ourselves. Without truly questioning it, because it is the way it is done…
And when we start thinking about it there often are any number of things we do ~ or do not do ~ because of the way ‘it is done’…

Like getting busy with a hobby we may have; can we do that before all the work and chores are finished? Can we stop and smell the roses, or are there always other tasks that can be done ‘that are productive’. And can we pick that carrier we truly love, rather than going for a career path with a more or less guaranteed income?

Whether we run into any of those type of things or not, taking time to look at why we are doing certain things in a certain way may benefit us a great deal. Asking ourselves when we started doing the things we do in this manner, and so on.

We may discover that we have our priorities straight, but want to get things done more efficiently. Or we may find that there are things we are doing because our parents and perhaps even our grandparents were doing them ~ sometimes even in exactly the way we are doing them now…

Again, if that is totally working for us, there is no problem.
But perhaps we will find that what we are doing is not so much what we want to do in the way we want to do it, but rather that we are our parents’ and grandparents’ copycats, and that it is time to change our ways…
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Friday, October 28, 2016

Discontent


Do you know that feeling? That vaguely sensing there is something wrong without being able to tell what it might be? That sense of discontent, without having anything going on to be truly discontented about?

I ran into it upon finishing a five week course.
I had picked this particular course for both its interest as well as the fact that it would only be a five week course. A short time period that would fit in with other things that are going on in life. I was even a little bit put off when it started a week later than expected as the teacher felt he wanted to give us more information even before the course started; making it in effect a six week course. And as the course moved along it gave me a great deal of insight, which in turn sparked changes in attitude. And before I knew it those five weeks had passed and I was listening to the last class in the series.

And that is when it hit me, that feeling of discontent. That sense that right now good things started happening for me, I was abandoned. Left to fend for myself ~ something that hadn’t always worked out right for me in the past. So why was this happening to me? Again?

The feeling was neither logical, nor truly relevant. After all I was totally and fully aware of all of the changes I had already made in my (outlook on) life. Realistically these five or six weeks had already given me a lot more than I even anticipated when I started.
And I wanted a short course! I didn’t want to find myself having to take classes for months on end.
So, what is the problem?

If it wasn’t the course ~ and the teacher truly did a great job ~ than the only other part at play was me. Therefore the ultimate question became ”What is it in me that I am feeling discontented about?” Had I wanted to do more? Spend more time on it? Integrate all of the things I had learned more fully? And if so, what was stopping me from doing that now that the course has reached its end. After all, now that there was no longer the large amount of materials to go through, chances are I would have more time to do so. I could go back to specific parts in the materials as needed, and continue to move forward with what I had learned.
So what is the problem?

Often when something like this happens in our lives, chances are there is something about ourselves that we are not entirely happy with. And perhaps, when we realize this is happening, it is time to make a conscious effort to embrace all that we are ~ the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ ~ and know that we are going just fine on this journey through life!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reasoning


Whatever story we tell ourselves or others; we all have a set of reasons behind it. We are reasoning ~ either with ourselves or with others ~ why we tell the story that way…

This makes the reasoning we have one of the most intriguing parts of our interaction! What reasons do we have ~ or do we give ourselves ~ to tell the story that specific way? And why?
Are we leaving parts of the factual truth out? Or are we embellishing the facts as they have happened? Do we stick to the same story, independent from who we are telling it to? Or are we telling different people different aspects of the story based on relationship to the situation or people involved?

It all seems to come down to the question: ‘Can we handle the truth?’

Can we handle telling the truth?
It often involves admitting all of the facts of what is going on; it requires us to take a good, brutally honest look at the situation and where we stand in it. Are we able and willing to do that? Or is it easier to just stick to that part of the truth we can handle, and leave the rest out?

Can the other person handle the truth?
Or do we feel we need to protect them from what is factually going on, and from all of the implications that come with it?

Whatever the reasoning, when two people involved in the same situation tell the story of that particular situation, chances are two entirely different stories are being told.
Part of that may be because of the extend of the emotional involvement ~ emotions can easily take over factual happenings in our experience. Another part can be how much we ourselves are willing to handle; and talking about it ~ telling the story ~ makes it real. And then there may be a part that is told for effect… A choice of words, or even a choice of which facts make it into that version of the story in order to generate a desired effect in to audience. For instance leaving things out in order to not let your audience be worried. Or making things sound slightly worse in order to make your audience feel sorry for you.

Whichever way we look at it, it leaves us with the why.
Why do we feel we have to tell a story from a perspective of effect the story will have, rather than from the clarity of the content we wish to relate?
Why are we reasoning that we are doing ourselves and those around us a favor by just telling them what we think or feel they can handle ~ and in the process leaving them short on the information they would need in order to take action…
What is our reasoning on that?
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Distracted


Usually, after I wake up, yet before I get up, I make a plan for the day. I consider it one of the perks of being self-employed to schedule my life this way, day by day. It enables me to go with the flow of energy that is most prevalent that day.
Anyway, that is how it works in theory.

No sooner do I reach the kitchen to feed the cats and make myself a cup of coffee, or I see the leaves of one of my favorite plants looking a little ‘droopy’, and I realize that it has been too long since I have watered the plants. And I decide to just do that right away so that I won’t have to come back to it later.
As I am watering the plants, I notice this box again. It contains all kinds of different little things ~ most of which can be tossed ~ that I need to sort through real quick. After that is done, at least then that box can be discarded and the space it has been taking up for far too long can be reclaimed. So as soon as I finished watering the plants, I get busy sorting through this box.
When that is done, I remember that there is also this bag of which I think I know what is in there, however, I’m not entirely sure. So Let’s just see…

By this time an hour has gone by, and I return to the kitchen to get myself that cup of coffee.

As I walk to my favorite chair ~ coffee in hand ~ the phone rings.
It turns out to be one of those unsolicited calls. The person calling asks me if this is a good time for me and I tell him he got two minutes to get his message across to me. This offends him, yet he tries to make it in his allotted time. I’m not buying. Not today anyway.

I check my emails ~ can’t resist to check Facebook as well ~ while drinking my coffee.
I post my blog, and decide to answer those emails that actually do need a response.

A quick look at the clock tells me that it is almost noon, so I may as well have some lunch before I get going on what I set out to do today. Eating a sandwich I figure that now that I am slightly off track anyway, I may as well wash that load of laundry. At least then that is done.

At the end of the day, it turns out that I only spend about an hours on what I intended to do this day. And it is not like I haven’t been busy; or even that I haven’t done anything productive… I have made myself quite useful, even if I say so myself!

I just got distracted.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Attitude is everything!


And along that statement of ‘Attitude is everything’ comes the perspective that it isn’t necessarily about the things that happen in our lives ~ the things life throws our way ~ but rather about how we handle them.

Both are easier said than done. Both are hard to forget when we find ourselves in de midst of things, or when things ~ at least from our perspective ~ go horribly awry.

Yet the cold, hard truth is that we can either go sit in a corner and weep our eyes out because life is treating us so badly, or we can take a deep breath and conclude that the way we have been going about is doesn’t work for us and decide that we will try and reach our goals in another way. Or perhaps even adjust our goals such that we can reach them more easily.

And that is attitude.

By the same token, we can make things that aren’t all that bad a whole lot worse by approaching it with an angry attitude. Or a condescending attitude. Or with indignation…

The funny thing is that if we have a so-called ‘bad attitude’ ~ because we have a ‘bad hair day’, or a head ache; or just because ~ this tends to reach far beyond to actual situation that sparked it. It can simply color every interaction we may have that day with that tinge of ‘bad attitude’.
And that in turn can be felt by the people around us.

If it just happens one day because of these particularly bad circumstances, most people will be happy to support us in our efforts to get over it. But when it becomes a pattern, it can push people away. After all, who would seek out the company of anger, indignation, or even a condescending attitude?

Even when we do something nice, like giving another person a present, the attitude with which we do so is important. Do we give it as a true gift? Without expecting anything in return? Or do we feel they now owe us their gratitude? Or they should use this gift ‘properly’ ~ read: the way we had intended for them to use it.
When we do expect something in return, we may feel good in our effort of giving the gift; however, the receiver may feel not quite as happy about it…

Therefore it is a good idea to be aware of our attitudes ~ especially as research has shown that a smile can be felt through the telephone ~ as it can help us handle anything life throws at us in the smoothest way possible!
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Body language


In Dutch language the same word is used for both ‘attitude’ as well as ‘posture’, and even for some specific cases of ‘being embarrassed’. It shows an interesting link to our verbal language and our body language. It being the same word would indicate that our interaction would be most clear as long as our words and our posture say the same thing.

Sounds logical and true, yet it doesn’t happen like that all the time.

Ever seen someone positively affirming a statement while shaking their heads? Or saying something like ‘Trust me’ while looking away from you?
In cases like that ~ and there are many, many more ~ the verbal language and the body language state totally different, even opposite things. And while we can pick and choose the words we are going to say in order to get what we want, it is a lot harder to have our body, our posture to agree with our statements; especially when those statements are not actually stating the factual truth as we know or understand it.

Refining this principle, our facial expressions can tell a lot about our feeling about something. It is not just the rolling eyes of a disagreeing teenager, but our facial expression can tell if we are angry, unhappy, or thrilled ~ independent from the words that are spoken.

The reason for this is that both our body language as well as our facial expressions are directed by our subconsciousness and so they convey the message we hold in our subconscious selves. So as soon as our subconscious self knows we are not telling the truth ~ or even telling a big fat lie ~ a discrepancy is created between our words and our body language.

The interesting thing is that this also works the other way around…
What if we grew up with a message that says we will never amount to anything worthwhile, we are stupid, can’t do anything right etc. Pretty soon, our subconsciousness will file this away as ‘truth’, and this ‘truth’ is then reflected in our body language.
While it can be very hard to counter the perspectives we grew up with from a logical place, the other way to change this false ‘truth’ about ourselves is through purposely changing our posture. To start doing physical exercises that help us create a posture that says ‘I’m worth it!’, ‘I can and will reach my goals because I’m good at my trade, my profession’.
And pretty soon our subconsciousness starts to reevaluate this truth about ourselves, and will ultimately change the ‘false truth’ we grew up with into the truth we are living in our lives right now.
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Friday, September 30, 2016

Holding close or letting go?


We would probably do well if we would take some time every year to evaluate what we want to hold close, and what we feel we can let go. Not just from a material perspective; although that can also give us more space ~ not just the actual space in our attics or basements, but also in our minds ~ but rather from a perspective of our emotions and values.
To sit back and observe the patterns of our lives. Our reactions to new things, to old traditions, and to outlandish adventures ~ our own or someone else’s. To notice the situations that bring tears to our eyes, and to ask ourselves whether these are tears of this point in time, or rather of a far and distant past? To reflect on our (old) hurts, and how they still may be affecting our lives.
To ponder the thought of what life would be like if we would let those things go. If we would release them to their proper time, their proper place…

Perhaps even ask ourselves whether they were ours to start with, or if they were patterns we adopted while growing up that had more to do with how our parents experienced life, than they relate to what we value in life?

The interesting thing is that especially those questions can make it very clear as to what we can let go of, and what we want to hold close. Both from a values/emotional perspective, as well as from a material perspective.
We may just have contemplated some pattern in our lives that we seem to have a curious relationship with, and suddenly it can dawn on us that pretty much everything in those boxes in the corner of the garage are no longer needed, and can be released.

And the space that is created when something like that happens will materialize on multiple levels. Of course there will be more space the garage, yet on top of that there seems to be more space in our minds; we may even feel more freedom; even a greater sense of self.

The other side of this is that we can discover something about ourselves, our family, or how we were brought up ~ perhaps even something that was almost forgotten ~ that, now it comes up and we start thinking about it, appears to have great meaning to us.
Those are the things that we would do good to hold close.

At least until our time of evaluation and reflection of next year…
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Best buddies


Have you ever wondered why some things you may want in your life just don’t seem to stick? Even when you manage to get them, to acquire them, to manifest them, one way or another they seem to move out of your life almost as quickly as they appeared.

It is a principle that can apply to almost anything in our lives, although it hardly ever happens ‘across the board’. More likely it happens with specific items. Often over and over again.

Recently I have come to the conclusion that ~ at least for me ~ this is at least partly due to the thought that I am not ‘best buddies’ with that item.

For instance, if you really want a car, but in your heart of hearts you don’t like cars. You feel they are polluting monsters, that on average cost more than they are worth; give you more trouble than comfort. In that case you may be able to buy a car, yet chances are you will find that the car will move out of your life again as well.
Or perhaps you like this really nice, light, modern furniture. However, you were raised with the message that furniture should be sturdy enough to last a life-time. And somehow, even though you are careful with your new furniture, it keeps breaking… Until you finally capitulate and find yourself sturdy, well made, boring furniture; just because you get tired of the hassle.

For a lot of people, the item that moves away from them almost as fast as it comes in, is money.
Of course we do have to pay the bills, have a roof over our heads and feed ourselves and our families, yet even when logic says that we should be able to put a certain amount each month into a savings account, there is never any money left to save.

Whatever item it is ~ even when it is money ~ it is probably a good idea to evaluate our thoughts about that item. Or even the thought patterns we grew up with concerning that item.
To ask ourselves whether we are in effect ‘best buddies’ with that item…

Now it is easy to say: ‘Yes! I love to have all the money I would need to buy whatever it is I desire!’
But is that the true message we are giving ourselves?
Might there be that little voice deep within that whispers for example: ‘You’re not worth it’. Or: ‘Money is evil’. ‘Rich people are mean’. ‘The more you have, the more you have to lose…’.

If so, then perhaps it is time to put that statement in the spotlight and to see whether it is part of our (personal) truth. To see what we can do to change it such that we can become ‘best buddies’ with that which we desire to have in our lives.

When we do that, chances are it will stick!
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Foundation


It is always a good idea to build upon a strong foundation. Whether we are building a house, a business, or our lives; when the foundation is sound and strong, chances are whatever we are building will work well for us.

And just like we may want to remodel our homes or reorganize our business, there may be a time when we want to restructure our lives.
Sometimes because of some life-changing event, but more often because of a sense of discontent. A sense that we have lived within our comfort zone a bit too long, and we find ourselves getting hungry for new adventures, new perspectives, and new inspirations…

It is at those times that it is also necessary to look at our foundation.
First, we have build our life as we are living it on the existing foundation. Therefore it is a good thing to realize that our foundation is not a bad thing; it is just that we feel we have outgrown what it has to offer and are ready for something new. In other words, our ‘old’ foundation will always be the stepping stone for any new things we invite into our lives.
Second, if we truly want to restructure our lives, chances are we also want to re-evaluate our foundation. To see what parts of it are still serving us well, what parts of it need strengthening, and where we want to extend or expand our basis such that the new life-style we desire can be built upon a new and strong foundation.
Third, it is essential that we take actual steps to build that new foundation for ourselves, for our lives. This can be very physical steps like a redo of our garden. Or it can be taking a class learning something truly creative. Or perhaps it means taking time to truly see where we have come from and where we want to go. To look into our (family) traditions, cultural wisdom, and personal truth in order to gain clarity as to what our new foundation will resemble. The clarity needed to imagine not only our new foundation, but also our ‘new lives’.

The funny thing is that when we do something like that ~ even though we don’t feel like we are changing anything yet ~ those people around us may notice how we indeed are changing already…
It may be in a new and different favorite color, a new sparkle in our eyes, or even slight changes in our handwriting. Whatever it is, the signs are there…

So if you feel it is time to start changing things, to bring newness into the lives we live ~ consider rebuilding the foundation you are building your life upon!
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Friday, September 16, 2016

Sidelines


Looking around, it seems that many of us are ‘sideliners’.
Like standing on the sidelines of a sports match, knowing precisely what the players should do and where they are going the wrong direction. “Armchair quarterbacks’ in a sense, although when we are on the sidelines we have this sense that we are part of the game, without ever stepping foot on the field.

Let’s be clear, it is great for parents to support their children at their sports events; or for fans to support their favorite team from the sidelines! Yet it is our kids or our favorite team that are playing the game, and we are there for support and as such not part of the game.

And all of this is perfectly okay when it is our aim to support. To share ~ as supporters ~ in the victories and to be there to give comfort when they loose.

But when it is about our lives, it is an entirely different ball game!
When it is about our lives, we shouldn’t be on the sidelines, supporting, and watching how the game unfolds. We should be on the field playing the game! Living it!

When we stick to the sidelines as our lives play out, we become observers to our lives. And as observers we have no real impact as to how the game ~ or in this case our lives ~ is unfolding. And pretty soon we get to a point where we may feel that life is something that is happening to us.
We see it, we support it, we know what we should do or how we should have answered; what we should have said at that moment, but in all reality we see it as a game that is being played out there on the field, that we are not truly a part of.

This is not how life works.
Our lives are meant to be lived, not just supported or observed. We should therefore place ourselves in a position where we can impact our lives, make our own decisions, our own moves.
And while we may listen to the coach and the referee in the game of life, ultimately it is our play.
This also means that the consequences are ours, but at least they are the consequences of a decision we have made, rather than from a play that we have seen from the sidelines…

So perhaps it is time to leave the sidelines and step on the field to play the biggest game ever; the game of life!
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Friday, September 9, 2016

The navel of the universe


Often when this expression is used the picture that emerges is that it is about the center of our lives. Perhaps even about the center of the area in which we live our lives, the environment. And while that environment may have been small in the past when travel wasn’t as widely available to us, the navel of our universe would have been in the center of that area where most of our life would play out. Nowadays it is so much easier to travel that the expression may not refer as much to an actual area, but more to a priority we have in our lives.

This then would make ‘the navel of the universe’ in years gone by pretty much our homes, while in the present we may be able to relate to it more as ‘family’, ‘work’, ‘adventure’, or things of that nature.

Our navel, or bellybutton, is that spot that is related to gaining insight into ourselves. Located close to our solar plexus it is said to show us who we are in reality when we take time contemplating our navel.
The universe… Well, in literal sense it is the ‘All Around’; and bigger than we can imagine.
So putting the two together in one sentence may seem like a little bit of a contradiction in terms. After all, when we cannot truly imagine how big the universe truly is, then how would we determine where its center might be found?

However, there is a way in which the navel of the universe can come both close at home as well as neatly fitting. And that is when we consider the possibility that we ourselves are the center of our universe; the creators of our lives.
In that case our navel, that point related to whom we are in reality, would turn out the center from which we create our universe…

It is a perspective that has lots of ramifications…
First and foremost, it assumes that we do create our lives. Not just a little bit, or just the parts that we are happy with or that turn out well, but all of it. And with that come this tiny caveat that says that if we have created it, we are responsible for it. Nowhere else to look but at ourselves if we have created something that we don’t like quite as much as we had thought…

On the other hand, if we are the center ~ the creator ~ of our universe; it is up to us to change it into the best place we can imagine (!) simply by cultivating all the good things in life inside ourselves…

And perhaps contemplating our navel to see where we are at is a good place to start!
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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

To do or do not


As Yoda told young Luke when he said he’d try to raise the spaceship from the swamp: ‘Do not try. Do or do not.’

And while we may not be faced with spaceships that need raising from swamps on a day-to-day basis, it is a good perspective to ponder.
How often do we tell ourselves that we are trying our best, but…

The distinction between trying to do something or deciding that we are going to do something is conviction. When we decide to try something, there is some part of us that is uncertain about the event. It may be that we are uncertain whether we like doing it, whether we like the taste of it, or even whether we can do it at all. When we decide to do it, we will actually do it no matter the outcome. We do the best we can, and if it is within our abilities we will have success. If we are not successful the first time, we can either decide to learn more about it, hone our skills and abilities; or we can decide that we are not willing to put our time and energy into mastering whatever it is we are doing…

The choice is always our own.

The real question then becomes why we would try doing things, rather than decide to do them or not do them. Where is the uncertainty coming from?
Is it because we feel pressured? Do we feel we should do it, but we don’t really want to? Are we having a hard time stepping out of old patterns and habits, perhaps to the point where we say ‘yes’, while our whole being is screaming ‘no’?

Ultimately most choices are not that hard.
We either want to do it, or not. We either can do it, or not. We either will do it, or not.

As soon as we tell anyone we will try doing it, chances are we are accommodating the other person while we truly don’t see a way in which we can make it happen in the first place. And rather than saying, ‘Sorry, no can do’, we’ll say ‘I’ll try’.
This may seem nice toward the other person, it may even be the polite thing to do. Yet it has a tendency to put our own needs and desires on the back burner as pretty soon we are trying to accommodate everybody around us, rather than taking care of the things we really need in our lives.

So ultimately it may be a good time to take Yoda’s advice: ‘Do not try, do or do not.’
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Pendant by Taliswoman Me   www.taliswoman.me

Friday, September 2, 2016

Personal power


In this time of polarities even the term ‘personal power’ seems to be brought to its extremes. People either seem to feel that they don’t have any (personal) power at all in a world that seems to be regulated by big corporations, or they go out of their way to exert their personal power ~ almost with an ‘anything goes’ attitude.

As with anything that is brought to its polarities, the point of balance is likely found somewhere in the middle. And as with anything that seems to come up in this point in time, that middle ground is not always as easy to find as one might think.

On one hand it does seem like big corporations have more influence than they know how to handle correctly, and consequently greed takes over while integrity is lost…

But to truly look at our personal power, it is a good idea to first look at what this power entails as it is not domination of one person over another. That would be bullying and is something else entirely.
When we talk about power, we are talking about expression; especially where it concerns personal power.
This would define personal power as the personal expression; the expression of who we genuinely are. The expression of our potentials.

When looking at personal power in this respect, there seem to be very few instances where we would be bothered by big corporations of whichever kind. It suddenly is all about us. About ourselves and how we create our lives.

The one thing that could hinder us to no end in using our personal power this way, is if we give that power away.

Sounds logical?
Yet it happens more often than one may believe.

The moment we buy in to what other people tell us to do, we are taking a step away from our genuine selves and therefore away from our personal power.
Now there are situations when this is not a problem; for instance in our jobs. After all we are getting paid to do our jobs in a specific manner, and our boss is the one telling us ‘when’ and ‘how to’.
But in pretty much all other area’s of life, when we permit other people telling us what to do or how to behave, we are not taking our own decisions anymore and are as such diminishing our personal power.

Ultimately, our personal power has a lot to do with taking responsibility for ourselves and our lives. Not just for everything that is working out fine, but perhaps more importantly also for those things that don’t work at all.
The moment we decide to do that, we have taken back our power and have truly experienced personal empowerment!
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

School of life


When I look at people’s Facebook pages, more and more often I find that they have stated under ‘Work’ something to the effect of ‘student at the Universe’ or ‘student at the School of life’.

Certainly from a spiritual perspective, we can learn most from life itself! Especially as life gains us life-experiences which are truly our own, rather than thing we learn from books and teachers which may or may not relate to us, or to our personal truths.

Yet, from that very perspective the ‘school of life’ is a contradiction in terms, as a school suggests a place where we gather knowledge, while life is where we amass (life)experiences.

That being said, there is value in both.
Perhaps not quite as much in our traditional education where almost everyone can tell you that they had to learn things they haven’t used since leaving school. But certainly it is a good idea to ‘back’ your experiences with a certain amount of knowledge.
And sometimes it is not about ‘learning’ something that we didn’t know, but more about hearing a particular truth explained in different words. In words that resonate more clearly with our own experiences, or perhaps even with long-forgotten memories…

From that angle, it can be fun to take a class or a course, just to see what it is about. And to then take that what we have learned and put it into words that resonate with our unique experiences To see where knowledge and experience coincide, and where they move in different directions. To perhaps even explore that different direction for a bit in order to see whether it is a direction that suits our particular path, or if it is a different path altogether.

The interesting thing about this is that sometimes we have learned something ~ and perhaps even experienced it in our own lives ~ but until we are told that very same thing in words that resonate with us, we fail to truly incorporate it in our every day lives. Not because we don’t understand it, or fail to recognize its value, but rather because the explanation didn’t fit into our frame of reference; didn’t seem to have an application within the structure of our lives.
And then, suddenly, just by changing a few words all pieces start to fall into place!

Perhaps that is because ~ at least to a certain extend ~ we are all students at the ‘School of life’, or maybe it is because we are tenacious in finding the right words to express a particular truth.
Either way it allows us to move forward on our paths through life!

Energy Art by Taliswoman Me
www.taliswoman.me
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Saturday, August 27, 2016

The longest moment


When we are looking forward to a certain event, it seems like time moves more and more slowly. While at the same time it is moving way more quickly than we anticipated where it concerns those chores we still have to do before day’s end.
Similarly, something that only happened last week may seem like years ago, while something that happened a year ago feels like it only happened yesterday…

Time is funny that way!

Overall it seems like we have never enough time to enjoy the good things, while there is plenty time figuring out how to resolve the challenges that may pop up in the future, or dwell on hard times that once were.

The way we perceive time often is linked to our emotions. And it is only natural that we would like happy, pleasant, joyful times to last forever! The tricky thing is that we tend to also look at all the things that can go wrong. The plans that may not work out as well.
In a sense we look at all the what if’s, both in the past as well as in the future.

What if I had decided differently? What if I had told them the truth? What if I had taken into account that the unexpected happens and things can go wrong?

In doing so, it seem like the time flies by rapidly, and we don’t get anything done…

So what if we would decide to live in the longest moment ever? That moment that some may even say is eternity?
What if we would start focusing our attention right on this very moment?

Instead of bringing back memories of the past, or overplanning the future out of fear that something may go wrong; what if we would take a deep breath and look at what we want to do right now ~ be it a chore, something fun, or even meeting a challenge of some kind head on…

This moment right now is when we can make the biggest difference. When we can achieve the most. And our awareness of this very moment, right now, wil give us an inkling of what will come into our lives, giving us plenty of time to react appropriately to it, or even plan for the obvious solution.

So, what if it isn’t time that is moving, but rather events and situations ~ life in general ~ is moving in and out of this moment that is right now? Leaving us to be living our lives highly effective, and aware in the longest moment… Ever…
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Seven daises


Dais, according to the dictionary: a low platform for a lectern, seats of honor, or a throne. Middle English; from Old French deis, from Latin discus.

The thesaurus provides us with seven words for it, including ‘dais’: dais, platform, stage, podium, rostrum, stand; soapbox.

If we had those seven ‘dais’ ’, what would we be telling the world?

On the ‘dais’, would we tell about history? Something old, from long forgotten times? And if we did, would it be our own (family) history, or something more general? Something close to our heart, still pertinent today in some ways?

On the ‘platform’, would we talk at all? Or would we rather play music, the truly Universal language? If we played music, would it be a happy tune? Or rather a mournful song?

If we stepped on ‘stage’, would we be ourselves? Or would we be an actor ~ in a sense ~ just showing the world what we want them to see? Or even what we think they want to see?

Would the ‘podium’ be waiting for us to dance? To move, perhaps to a tune only we can hear?

And when we climb the ‘rostrum’, what would we want to sell? Would we sell ideas? Antiques? Or just those things we no longer need but that may have value to someone else?

Standing up on the ‘stand’, what would our message be? Would we dare making a stand? Making our message one that can truly make a difference, to ourselves and to the world in general? Or would we keep ‘playing it safe’?

And finally, when we find ourselves on our ‘soapbox’, would we be riding our ‘high horse’? Would we be shouting and screaming, ranting and raving for anyone to hear? About how we are being wronged? About how the world is ‘going to hell in a hand basket’?

Seven daises, seven perspectives.
Seven aspects of ourselves that we may or may not want the world to see or hear.
Stepping up to the dais ~ by whichever name ~ takes courage!

The thing we are all too often forgetting is that in our lives, we are the guest of honor! Therefore we are seated in the seats of honor; sometimes even on a throne!
So perhaps it is time to step up. To ~ at least to ourselves ~ be totally frank and honest, and to answer those seven questions as what our stories, music, performances, ideas, truth, or even ‘stuff’ would be, if we had seven daises.

I am certain it would tell us all lot about ourselves…
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Friday, August 19, 2016

Smoke and mirrors


When there are lots of smoke and mirrors around us, it becomes hard to determine what is real and what is not. Therefore, whenever that happens it leaves us confused, uncertain what to do or where to go next.

However, when it is the universe holding up the mirror, chances are we are surrounded by smoke and the universe is showing us a way out!

The esoteric, or even spiritual perspective says that everything we come across in our lives is of our own making, as we are creating our lives as we are living it ~ second by second ~ through the choices and decisions we make. This means that anything we encounter is telling us something about ourselves and our lives. When good, pleasant things cross our paths, it ensures us that we are doing just fine! When trouble, difficulty or ‘smoke’ becomes part of our lives ~ however temporary ~ it invites us to take a look at something inside ourselves we may want to change or release.

So rather than complaining about whatever has entered our lives unbidden, we could benefit from recognizing it as a mirror being held up by the universe in an attempt to show us how we can make our lives easier, more productive, and more fun.

The concept is as easy as it is unpopular…
After all, it is much easier to point a finger at some cause for the trouble we are encountering. The downside of doing so is that we would accept neither responsibility for it, nor place ourselves in a position where we can actually do something about it.

By accepting that everything ~ and I mean EVERYTHING ~ in our lives is of our own creation, even when we don’t understand how we got ourselves into that mess, at least we have the power to change it.
In other words, with that acceptance comes empowerment.

Often whatever the universe’s mirror is showing us is much more immediate than “perhaps you were unkind to that person in another life-experience”, or “karma”.
It is more like if you are bothered by the ‘lack of cleanliness’ of a place, where do you lack purification within yourself? Do you stuff yourself with ‘junk-food’? Or are you accepting anything other people tell you as truth, even when it is not your truth? Are you ‘eating’ the demands and attitudes of those around you?
Or when you are going some place and all traffic lights turn red when you drive up to them, do you really need to go there right now? Or is the mirror the universe is holding up to you telling you that even though it is on your ‘list of chores’, now is not a good time to do this?

In the energy of this point in time, when we find ourselves surrounded by smoke, it is time to look for the (universe’s) mirror to find our way out!
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It is not my fault


We are all doing it to a certain extend; when something happens to us that we are not thrilled about, we are quick to find a reason why whatever happened wasn’t our fault. Of course there are some instances where we will take responsibility, for instance when we have made an honest mistake. But there are a lot of things that may happen to us ~ let’s say in the course of a week ~ that ‘cannot possibly be our faults’.
For instance when we got cut off in traffic. Or that time when we got lousy service in a restaurant as they were serving everyone who came in, except us. Or when we stumbled over a loose tile on the sidewalk, when there are extremely long lines in front of the registers at the super market ~ or when it rains and we get soaked…

As it turns out, we can be quite creative in explaining why what happened wasn’t our fault.

However, if it were true that all those kinds of things are happening to us without our input in any way, shape or form, then this would mean that for the most part we are at the mercy of other people’s decisions, other people’s actions, and our own needs and desires become inconsequential. We are leaves in the wind, blown in whichever direction the wind blows today…

If we accept this as truth ~ and are okay with it ~ then there is no problem. We’d best keep living our lives the way we have up to now, and don’t rock the boat.

If we feel that we are missing something, that there has to be more to this, then there is good news on the horizon!
More and more it is becoming clear that we are designing our own lives up to the most minute details of what is going on. The good news is that we can do a lot about situations we encounter. The bad news is that ~ in a sense ~ it is always our fault.
Not from a guilty point of view, but more from a let’s pay more attention perspective. Becoming more aware of the signals we are receiving from life as it happens. Being more alert to our inner voice that tells us to do our shopping earlier rather than later ~ for us to find that there are no lines in front of the registers at all…

And when every once in a while something doesn’t quite go as planned ~ while it may not be your fault ~ we did create it into our lives, and it most definitely does have something to tell us!
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Artwork by Anne Claire  www.womandala.me

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why? (part two)


If we look at why we do, say or think the things we do, perhaps the most important objective is to observe the impact our actions, words and thoughts have on our lives, and yes, on the world in general.

From a spiritual perspective our thoughts, words and actions create our lives. And while that starts with just our own lives and our immediate environments, the spiritual perspective sees it as energy that moves out from us and ultimately affects the World on a global scale.
Therefore, it is in our best interest to create the best life we can muster for ourselves ~ perhaps not from a material or monetary perspective, but rather from a perspective of harmony and peace.

And as soon as we become more conscious of our impact on our lives (and the world), the way we answer the ‘Why?’ has a tendency to change.
No longer are we reacting ‘blindly’ to what people around us do or say.

We start reacting to how what is happening around us makes us feel. As long as we feel good about what we sense and see around us, chances are we are on the right track on our personal paths.
As soon as we start feeling frustrated, angry, or just plain out of balance by what we sense or see around us (or on the news), the ‘Why?’ becomes very personal:
“Why did I bring this into my life?”
“Why have I created this into my world?”

So, if we see a world divided, and we don’t like what we see; then what in our personal lives is divided? If we see people acting our their frustration ~ sometimes loudly, even brazenly, or on a large (global) scale ~ then what are we frustrated about in our own lives? If we see violence; what is festering in our own lives?

Why do we so easily accept the things that ‘aren’t quite right’ in our own lives, while pointing fingers at what is going on in the world around us?

The more aware we become on how we are affected by what others think, say or do; the better we can take conscious steps to counter it by addressing the things we could do better. More harmonious. More balanced and at peace within ourselves.

The least that does is it makes our personal lives better.
Yet why would it stop there? Chances are that when we create better, more balanced, more peaceful lives for ourselves; the world will become a better place!
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Friday, August 5, 2016

Why?


Perhaps the biggest question we may be facing in our lives is ‘Why?’. It also tends to be a recurring question as we can put that particular question mark next to pretty much everything we see, do or think.
Why do we feel that way when someone says that to us? Why de we do the things we think we have to do? Why do we do the things we think others are expecting of us? Why do we say the things we say? Why … ?

While there are as many answers to these questions as there are people, there are some categories to them.
The first category is pretty much called ‘common sense’. If we have a job, we make sure to show up and do the work we will get paid for.
The second category is ‘because’. Because doing it this way gives me pleasure and enjoyment. Because I don’t have to explain or defend myself to anyone. Because this is what feels right to me…
The third category is ‘reaction based’. We are reacting to something that is happening in our life; be it our (extended) family, our environment, our Country, or the World on a global scale. There is a often sense of ‘right or wrong’ associated with this one.
And finally, the fourth category has to do with ‘conscious manifestation’, and is therefore linked to our personal paths. If I want to bring something into my life, I either have to work toward it, or attract it through my attitude about myself, my life in general, and whatever it is I desire to haven my life.

Every once in a while it is a good idea to evaluate where we stand on this issue. To see if the things we do are bringing joy into our lives. To honestly ask ourselves why we are doing things in order to determine whether those things are still serving us, or if perhaps they were useful long time ago, yet have since outlived their reason for being on our lives altogether. And if the latter is the case, the next question becomes why we are still holding on to them? Wouldn’t it be better to release them and make room in our lives ~ and maybe even in our minds ~ for new ways of doing things, new experiences?

Ultimately it boils down to the question: “Are we happy with the way we are living our lives?”
If we are, then let’s celebrate the path we have chosen. If we are not, let’s  see what we can do, say, or think differently to change our lives…
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Random Acts of Kindness


Not too long ago, I had a discussion with someone who felt that there was no way we could have any effect on what is happening in the world today. After all, there are so many things not right at the moment ~ divisions, violence, anger and frustration; not to speak of banks and ‘big business’ in general ~  and how can one person make a difference? And how would ‘fighting the system’ provide us with any sense of fulfillment?

Keeping up to date (more or less) with the news these days, it is easy to see where that person comes from. After all, what can one just person do to create meaningful change?

On a global scale it is certainly hard to see a way to proceed; to make a difference.

Yet when we touch it where we can touch it, right in our direct environment ~ in our very own lives ~ we can make a tremendous difference.

It all starts with giving ourselves credit for being the unique, potential filled person that we are. To not break ourselves down because of something that may have happened in the past, but rather see how we can become an even better person today than we were yesterday. To be kind to ourselves, and to not ‘punish’ ourselves for relatively minor ‘offenses’ like for instance having somewhat cynical thoughts about someone or something. To decide that starting right now, we will stay away from negativity; even though other people may be negative, we don’t have to accept that as part of our lives…

We can take a next step by keeping our environments clean. Not just clean from unwanted thoughts or energies, but also in the most literal sense, keeping it clean from trash. Making sure random stuff ~ even when it wasn’t discarded by us, but moreover by a stranger; or even when we just see it laying in the street ~ doesn’t fail up our personal environment. So we take care of it and discard it is its proper place. Not because we have to, but because we can…

But perhaps the greatest difference can be made by engaging in random acts of kindness!

Like a smile and a ‘thank you’ to the person at the register of the supermarket. Like helping someone cross the street. Like doing the grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor.

There are thousands of small things we can do each day that will help another person. That will make another person’s day a little brighter, happier.
And that will, in return, make us feeling more fulfilled; and make us realize how much of a difference we can truly make!

Let’s start practicing ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ and see the difference in our lives, and in the world!
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Bumba


This October Bumba will have been with us for 15 years. That is a long time no matter how we look at it, but for a cat it means that Bumba now is of ‘advanced age’. Living his ‘Golden Years’.

For the longest time he has been the King of the neighborhood, but lately he hardly ever picks a fight anymore; almost like he is waiting for one of the new arrivals to come of age and take over his leadership role. In the meantime he observes the world from his ‘special place’.

A couple of years ago, a lot of changes were going on in our neighborhood. Suddenly one neighbor after another decided to move away. Even Bumba’s best friend moved. It created a lot of stress in Bumba’s life.
Where we may be happy for our friends and neighbors that they have found another great place to live, for a cat there is just the stress of the upset. An unbalance ~ at least for a while ~ until the new neighbors have settled in and found their way.

It is clear that stress is a major cause of ailments; there has been sufficient research been done to prove that stress may well cost us years of our lives. And while that makes sense; living our lives we may not feel particularly stressful ~ or perhaps we are just used to s certain level of stress ~ and therefore we don’t really see the effects stress may have on our health.

With Bumba the increased stress level has created very apparent changes in his (well)being.

At first he just seemed a little lost. But the strong cat he has always been was certain to find his own way and handle whatever life was throwing his way. Like he had always done in the past.
But pretty soon he started to loose weight. Being hyper vigilant and extremely aware of what was going on in the neighborhood, he was still looking good and healthy, but he was starting to feel thin.
According to the vet, it all has to do with a thyroid issue… An unbalance that started just as soon as the stress in his environment was raised to a level that he had a hard time comprehending.

In a sense the very same thing may happen to us.

As soon as we get ourselves in a situation ~ especially when it is a prolonged situation ~ with a higher stress level than we are used to or can handle, chances are it will affect our health adversely. How exactly it will affect our health is a very individual thing. But it will take away a part of our well-being. A part of our joy of living.

Like Bumba, we would do well to take time to reduce the levels of stress in our lives, and take time to become truly whole again.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Seer


According to the dictionary, a Seer is soothsayer, oracle, prophet(ess), augur, prognosticator, diviner, visionary, fortune teller, crystal gazer, clairvoyant, psychic, medium; literary a sibyl; a woman able to foretell the future.

In the most literal and modern sense of the word a Seer is one who sees.
One who can observe and see what is going on with great honesty and without having a stake in it. So there is no reason to defend either perspective; no reason to take sides.

A Seer sees not only what is happening right now, yet can also see how this situation has been building ~ perhaps over a longer period of time ~ and what the effects will be. Not just in our own environment, but also on a national, even global scale. So it is not just about honestly seeing what is in front of the Seer with great clarity and expressing that; it is also about having the foresight as to the ramifications of what is happening and communicating those ‘results’.

As soon as we call the one who sees a Seer, suddenly we are thinking about fortune tellers and soothsayers. As soon as we call such a person a ‘Futurist’, the dictionary defines: a person who studies the future and makes predictions about it based on current trends. In other words, one who sees current trends and makes predictions as to how they will affect our future.

But whether we call them a Seer or a Futurist, the ability to grasp or even foresee the consequences of our actions is something that has a lot to do with common sense. If we pick a fight, chances are we get hit as well.

Looking at it from this more common-sensical perspective, one might hope that those who are ~ or are aspiring to be ~ our leaders have a lot of the qualities of the ancient Seer, or the modern Futurist. One would hope that they can observe with honesty what is before them, and, given foresight and forethought, can more or less accurately predict the consequences of their actions. the results of their decisions.
Not just locally, but also from a national or global perspective.

Those are among the qualities of a true leader. His or her ability to make wise decisions can then make them a great leader.

Observing the news ~ globally ~ it seems like while we value the qualities of the Seer ~ the honesty, clarity, wisdom and the ability to see the consequences of their words ~ more and more, those who are our leaders seem to have an entirely different agenda in their thoughts and actions.

Perhaps it is time to give the ancient Seer a prominent place in our societies again…
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