Life Isn’t Personal

Photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com

The universe continues to unfold in each moment

Let it

You don’t have to control or hold on to anything

Just take time to pause and listen to your inner wisdom

Trust it’s soft voice

Mistakes and challenges have helped you grow into who you are today

Embrace whatever happens, knowing that you will continue to learn and grow

Nothing has gone wrong

Life continues in its highs and lows

Don’t take it personally

We are all in this together

Life is an Adventure Not a Package Tour

“Life is an adventure, not a package tour.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Life is an adventure

Photo by Jas Poole

This is a great reminder for me today – especially as I will be leaving for Europe on vacation next week.

We are not going on a package tour, but I do want to be prepared and feel in control 😉

When we spend so much of our time planning and anticipating whatever obstacle might come up, its easy to miss the excitement of the unknown and the adventure of it all.

It’s like life…

Take a moment and consider “Am I approaching life with a Package Tour mindset or as an Adventure?”

Looking back on previous vacations, I recall that it was the unexpected that thrilled. Like the moment we followed an impulse instead of the GPS and found ourselves on a dirt track heading towards the clouds. Suddenly a golden eagle flew up in front of the car with a 3 foot snake in its mouth. We didn’t have time to photograph it, but the moment is imprinted in our brains forever. Now that could never be planned for!

Looking back on life, aren’t the moments that take our breath away, the ones we didn’t plan for…

The moments we feel really good about are the ones where we have met unexpected challenges and discovered inner strength and resourcefulness.

Or the moments where we let our guard down and let the love in, to be fully embraced and accepted for who we are.

Or moments of discovery and awe of something that was once unknown.

Life really is an adventure when we allow ourselves to let go of control and notice things as they unfold.

When I think about my vacation, I now ask myself “Can I let go more and allow the present to unfold?” Absolutely, now that I have my bug spray, sunscreen, contact lens solution, change of underwear, reading glasses, GPS and maps packed…

Opinions about Opinions

When I was young I wanted to be grown up and have opinions. I believed that adults with opinions knew what life was about. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted to know things and feel secure in that knowledge, rather than being unsure and insecure.

And so I became opinionated.

I took on a lot of the same values and judgments of my family. But I also went against some of their ways of seeing other people and the world.

And so I formed my own opinions.

Then one day I asked myself  Do my opinions really matter? Do they make a difference or help others … or is it just a facade?  What was behind my opinions?

This is what I discovered.

We strive for knowing in an unknown world. Underneath we still feel insecure and unsure, but we believe that we are right about things. That makes us feel better.

As long as we are attached to our opinions, and how the world should be, our minds remain closed. We become prisoners of our opinions.

Our preferences prevent us from being open to the moment, and can take us off on a wild goose chase to feel more knowledgable, in control … and opinionated.

Opinions about how things should be, keep us hooked on specific outcomes. It takes us out of the present and prevents us from seeing alternatives and exploring new ways.

We judge others as ‘wrong’, when they don’t share our opinions. This increases separation rather than connection and understanding. We become more self centered.

Opinions are an expression of an evolved ego, not an evolved human being.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

 

 

 

* Life Isn’t Personal

unfolding universe

The universe continues to unfold in each moment

Let it

You don’t have to control or hold on to anything

Just take time to pause and listen to your inner wisdom

Trust it’s soft voice

Mistakes and challenges have helped you grow into who you are today

Embrace whatever happens, knowing that you will continue to learn and grow

Nothing has gone wrong

Life continues in its highs and lows

Don’t take it personally

We are all in this together

 

Inspiration – Life is an adventure – Tolle

“Life is an adventure, not a package tour.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Life is an adventure

Photo by Jas Poole

This is a great reminder for me today – especially as I will be leaving for Europe on vacation next week.

We are not going on a package tour, but I do want to be prepared and feel in control 😉

When we spend so much of our time planning and anticipating whatever obstacle might come up, its easy to miss the excitement of the unknown and the adventure of it all.

It’s like life…

Take a moment and consider “Am I approaching life with a Package Tour mindset or as an Adventure?”

Looking back on previous vacations, I recall that it was the unexpected that thrilled. Like the moment we followed an impulse instead of the GPS and found ourselves on a dirt track heading towards the clouds. Suddenly a golden eagle flew up in front of the car with a 3 foot snake in its mouth. We didn’t have time to photograph it, but the moment is imprinted in our brains forever. Now that could never be planned for!

eagle soaring

Looking back on life, aren’t the moments that take our breath away, the ones we didn’t plan for…

The moments we feel really good about are the ones where we have met unexpected challenges and discovered inner strength and resourcefulness.

Or the moments where we let our guard down and let the love in, to be fully embraced and accepted for who we are.

Or moments of discovery and awe of something that was once unknown.

Life really is an adventure when we allow ourselves to let go of control and notice things as they unfold.

When I think about my vacation, I now ask myself “Can I let go more and allow the present to unfold?” Absolutely, now that I have my bug spray, sunscreen, contact lens solution, change of underwear, reading glasses, GPS and maps packed…

* Behind Every Label …

labeling a person

Behind every label is …
A need to resolve complexity
A drive to know and understand
An impulse to feel secure in that knowing
A sense of comfort when feeling in control

When we label people however, it brings …
A distancing from the rest of the person’s qualities
A withdrawal from our humanity
Closed-mindedness and stereotyping
This kind of judgment is the precursor to violence and war.

What if we could let go of labeling?
Would we be more accepting of complexities and the unknown?
Be more open to not knowing?
See more clearly what we have in common rather than our differences?
Bring more compassion, kindness and acceptance into our lives?
Get along with our fellow imperfect human beings?

Our brain is built to analyze and filter information. We may not be able to erase labeling from our minds, but we can bring a more mindful awareness to it and its impact on all of our relationships.

Why not bring in this new awareness as you go about your day today 🙂

The Complete Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer is an inspiring piece for people struggling with life challenges. It helps us become grounded and find our Middle Ground: that place to find serenity, courage and wisdom in the waves  of life.

What most of understand as the serenity prayer is actually the first stanza of an entire prayer written in 1943, most probably by Reinhold Niebuhr.

prayerI have written before about how we can bring the Serenity Prayer to life by asking ourselves certain questions. See my earlier post Are there Missing Words from the Serenity Prayer?

Now I want to bring more meaningful perspectives here by sharing the entire prayer.

The Complete Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

What resonates with me, is how I can bring this into my daily life. So I’ve let go of the the language of Christianity and penned my thoughts here.

Let go of trying to control things that are out of my hands.

Find the courage to take control in areas that I can AND should.

Take one day at a time. Enjoy each moment at a time. 

Accept life as it unfolds… both the highs and the lows.

Trust in a higher power that makes life okay.

What resonates with you my friends?

Namaste

 

 

 

* 12 Principles for a Happier Life

happiness is a choice

I’m doing some Spring cleaning of inspiring resources on happiness, navigating the highs and lows in life  and bringing about positive change. If you are ready for a Spring makeover, this is a really good one 🙂

The following principles are simple, and may be familiar to you if you are on a spiritual path. You don’t need to make big changes all at once, a tiny change adhered to is more powerful than a half hearted bigger one!

1. Attend to your life, no one else’s. Instead of focusing outside yourself, trying to control or change other people, pay attention to yourself. The people around us reflect who we are. Our reactions to others tells us that what we need to work on in ourselves– the only thing we really have control over. Every encounter is an opportunity to learn and to help another. Live and let live.

2. Stop focusing on imagined problems and turn to solutions. Stop making a big deal out of ordinary situations. The lows  are just as part of life as the highs. Choose to step back, remain calm and disengage from chaos. Come into the present moment and acknowledge how things are and the feelings that come up. Trust that a solution will show itself and let the anxiety about the unknown slip away.

3. Let go of outcomes and find joy in the present moment. When things don’t go as planned recognize that life is unpredictable and outcomes uncontrollable. We are only responsible for making the effort. Stop worrying about the future. Worry is a state of being that is only possible when we are not living in the present. When we worry we are fortune telling

Change your mind. If you don’t like what you are thinking, you can change it. Whatever thought we harbor, we give power to. Our thoughts determine how we view others and ourselves. The thoughts we are held hostage to are handed down to us from parents, teachers, friends and loved ones. When these thoughts no longer benefit us we can change them. The first step is to be more aware and be willing to change the familiar patterns of thinking.

5. Choose to act rather than react to others. Most of us grow up letting other people’s perceptions of us or actions towards us determine our feelings. We react to them. The opinions of others matters, but when we accept and take responsibility for who we are can choose to act rather than react. The knee jerk reaction is almost always wrong. Don’t let the mood of others determine how we feel.

6. Give up your judgments. Our judgments of others reflect how we feel about ourselves. We project negative things on to others that we want to deny exist in ourselves. Fear is usually behind a negative judgment. e.g. feeling inadequate, we put down others to elevate ourselves. The choice to see the good is always available to us. Every time we choose a positive behavior towards others we increase our self respect and our self worth.

7. Remember you are not in control of other people.  Controlling others is often a way of avoiding our own goals or looking inward to how we are doing. Realizing we are powerless over others is a great gift.

8. Discover your own lessons and cultivate new behaviors. Acknowledge the power we have over our thoughts and the filters through which we see the world. With someone else on our mind we miss our own lessons. Letting go of what other people think relieves a heavy burden and helps up to listen to our own inner voice instead.

9. Do no harm. Harm wears many cloaks – not just physical harm but when someone feels hurt they are being harmed. Do no verbal harm by becoming aware of our words and how they affect others. Avoid reciprocating to a hurtful remark.  Being rude or criticizing is a reflection of our own insecurity. Choosing to be helpful not hurtful is choosing love over fear.

10. Quiet your mind. Whoever you think you are, you are. You are as happy, serene and peaceful as you choose to be. Any thought that doesn’t nurture you can be discarded, so choose another way of looking at things.

11. Find the lesson in every encounter and experience. Understand that the behavior of others reflects how they see themselves and how they feel about themselves. They have little connection with what we say or do. Being offended is an option. Choose to be grateful. If we see ourselves in others accept our frailty.

12. Choose the right voice in your mind. There are two voices in our minds. (Remember the two wolves story) The loud ego one elevates us at the expense of others and keeps us separate from others. It harbors fear, agitation, anger and inferiority. The peaceful voice comes from our heart and belongs to our higher self. Choose to listen to this voice and make peaceful responses. This brings peace to ourselves and others.

There’s a lot here. Why not print the list off and keep it handy. That’s what I’ve done. And then take a moment to choose one to be especially mindful of this week……

 

*Adapted from  “Change your Mind and Your Life will Follow” by Karen Casey

Are there Missing Words from the Serenity Prayer ?

Most of us are familiar with the Serenity Prayer. It’s moving and inspiring.

“God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Praying_Hands_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_p

I was reading it online and noticed some variations. Different words were emphasized.  Look at the interpretations below:

images1783827

Which words resonate with you?

No matter which words resonate, it dawned me that there may be some missing key words for me and some of you.

These are:

Controlling – Letting Go – Trusting

To me the Serenity Prayer is about letting go of control and trusting to something bigger than ourselves.

When you read the Serenity Prayer, instead of it soothing you in a “I wish it could be” sort of way,  think about how you can really bring it into your life and what you might consider differently. How can you live this wisdom?

One very practical way is to think in terms of what you are holding on to in order to feel in control and what is controlling you.

From the abstract bring it into the specific.

From the ideal make it work for you here and now.

What aspects of my life are controlling me right now?

What don’t I control but have been trying to?

What do I need to let go off?

What could I control that I have not?

Where can I trust where I have been holding back?

Just like the Serenity Prayer, when we see a new perspective it opens up choices.

Why not take a moment and consider what could you let go of or take action on to find serenity in your Middle Ground?