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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Begin Anew


I think it’s important to set goals. Yes, it’s wise to live in the present without over-attending the future, but without having some vision for the time ahead, we lack direction. I can go for a drive without having a specific destination in mind—and I like that spontaneity—but before I arrive at the next traffic light, I do need to decide if I will want to turn right or left so that I can maneuver my vehicle into the correct lane. So too in life. If I don’t give some amount forethought to the direction I’d like to head, I aimlessly wander.

Many feel December an appropriate time to take stock, set a plan, and make vows for the coming year. I don’t necessarily believe in making New Year’s resolutions, in setting goals just because a page will turn on the calendar. I believe every new day, new moment actually, offers me the opportunity to set a fresh intention. Why wait until late December to start thinking about what alterations I might want to make in my life? I needn’t wait for an end in order to embark upon a new beginning. Having said that, I must tell you what came to me recently during a deep meditation.

It happened on December 21st, the evening of the winter solstice marking the end of autumn, which coincided with the end of a Mayan cycle, and the rare astronomical alignment of planets. I was prompted to set a specific intention for myself for the coming year. I hesitate to call it a New Year’s resolution, but the timing of it might make it such.

I was prompted toward a decision that 2013 will be my year to step into myself. It will be my year to fulfill my greatest potential. It will be my year of service to the world through my unique gifts and talents. It will be my year of living my life on purpose. It will be my year for coming out of the ebb and stepping into the universe’s abundant flow. It will be my year of releasing patterned thoughts of unworthiness and turning away from behaviors that no longer serve my highest good. This is my sacred intention.

In my meditation, I was also prompted to plant a seed into the future. I planted the seed of “Expansion”—not only for me, but also for you and for generations to come. May we all expand in our awareness of the good in which we are immersed, despite appearances to the contrary. May we expand in our capacity to love ourselves as the precious creations we are, even in the midst of human frailty. May we expand in our appreciation for all that we have, even when we desire more. May we expand beyond tolerance into acceptance of those we see as different from ourselves in looks, beliefs, or lifestyles. May we expand the peace of our planet. This is my solemn prayer.

My meditation did not provide me a vision of exactly what all this looks like—as I mentioned above, I like spontaneity—but I do have an idea which way I’d like to turn at the next intersection. Because I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions, I am not waiting until January 1st to take the first steps toward all this. I resolve to begin anew immediately. How about you?

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Promise Me


Today I’ve been contemplating the commitments we make to other people. We commit to our bosses that we will arrive on time in the office at nine o’clock in the morning. We commit to our children that we will take them to the amusement park on Saturday. We commit to our spouses to be faithful in our union. “I promise you,” we say. These agreements are important to our daily life and relationships. My concern in this post, however, is with the commitments we make (or break) to ourselves.

Maybe our health is not optimal, so we commit to eat better and exercise more. But on day five, we find ourselves sitting in the fast food drive-thru line because it’s more convenient. Maybe we feel the need to deepen our relationship with the Divine, so we commit to a nightly meditation practice. But one night the following week we make plans with friends and the next there’s a favorite show on TV, and we allow these to interfere. Maybe we commit to finishing that novel we started reading last month. But then household chores suddenly seem to take precedence and the book collects dust on the nightstand.       

A commitment is a pledge to follow-through with a particular action. It’s important to honor others by keeping the promises we make to them. We stand in integrity when we do so. Breaking our promises to others severs trust and damages relationships. It is equally, if not more, important that we honor the commitments we make to ourselves. When we don't, we abandon the self, which can lead to feelings of failure and self-loathing. Opting for temporary convenience over long-term accomplishment is self-defeating. Putting the needs and desires of others before our own may seem heroic, but once habituated, becomes draining.

You are important enough to make yourself your own priority. You are worth setting a goal for yourself and letting nothing stand in your way of accomplishing it. You deserve to make a date with yourself and keep it. You are valuable, so commit to being your own best friend. Practice saying, “I promise me . . .,” and don’t break it. You’re too precious not to.

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let Go and Swim


She hung from his back like an old knapsack whose straps could no longer tighten. Her arms poised limp at the elbows, her fingers leaving imprints between his shoulders and neck, her legs wrapped round his waist at the water line. She declared to him, loud enough for me to hear though I was lounging on a chaise several feet away, "You're my Batman," sounding confident in his ability to protect her from untold dangers. There was a slight pause in speech before his reply. 

"And you're my Robin," he assured her in a lower tone, sounding somewhat resigned to their partnership. He continued to walk short laps across the shallow end of the community swimming pool, continued to grip lightly her bony ankles that clung to his hips.

I brought my attention back to the memoir I was reading and doubted the couple had noticed my interest in their interaction.

I often find myself captivated by real-life vignettes such as this one. I ever look for the lessons behind my observations. This day, I paused to ask myself many questions:

Am I like the Batman in the pool, lugging a weight I’ve become used to but am no longer enthusiastic about? Am I continuing to hold on to someone or something because that’s what’s expected? Am I trudging back and forth the same path without any forward momentum? Am I the Robin who’s trusting that I’ll be carried? Am I a burden unaware? Am I willing to let go and swim?

Are you?

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Useful Reminders


I share with you here the reminders that I right now am shouting to myself in the mirror.
Sometimes, that volume is necessary in order to drown out my ego’s fearful chatter.

I deserve the best!

I did not incarnate to struggle, stress, and strain.

Joy is my birthright!

I am here to learn how to Love.

Pain is not a requirement of the learning process.

I am divinely perfect, not humanly.

My job is to present the highest expression of myself that I am capable of.

My action steps are my responsibility, but only after consulting with God.

If it’s desirable, it’s achievable.

There are no impossibilities when I think outside the proverbial box.

I do not have to figure out all the answers.

No, I am not alone.

I am worthy!

Be enlightened!  ~ M

Sunday, September 23, 2012

On Timing


I was never a procrastinator. Until recently, that is. Lateness was so rare for me. Now, I find myself edging closer to deadlines than ever before.

I used to be the guest who arrived ten minutes prior to the time noted on the invitation, the student who handed in assignments the day before they were due, and the friend whose Hallmark greeting card showed up in the mailbox a week before the special day. That is no longer the case.

I still keep a daily ‘To Do’ list, still have a weekly ‘Papers to Tend’ pile, and I still keep important dates marked on a calendar. The difference is that I’ve bumped the daily to weekly, relegated the weekly to monthly, and the Hallmark greetings have become one-line emails sent on the day of the special event.

What happened? I wonder. Could it be that in middle age I have rearranged my priorities? Maybe I’m following the examples of others who seem to be able to get it all done, even if at the last minute. Perhaps I’ve gotten lazy. Am I starting tasks later than usual or just taking longer to complete them? I seem to get distracted easily these days.

Regardless of the reason, for now, this is me. And I don’t like it. I’m no longer early. But I’m not late either. “Just in the nicka” is my life’s new motif. It all gets done, but it’s uncomfortable. My timing seems off.

I observe the cyclicality of the natural world—spring following winter, moon waxing and waning, trees barren then blooming. Outdoor delights dance to the rhythm of Mother Nature’s heartbeat. Within my body, it’s the same—waking follows sleep, cells exfoliate and rejuvenate, open wounds close. When I view everyday occurrences in hindsight, there, too, I see harmony. My fretting about deadlines adds nothing but strife to the experience. It will be done when it is done, regardless.

For as long as we inhabit physical bodies on this earthly plane, there will be some necessity for watching clocks and tending to the linear construct of time. But this cannot be to the exclusion of recognizing the process of Divine Timing, the ordering of events in synchronistic conformity. For now, perhaps my lesson is in learning how to trust that.

I must take action, yes, but I also must release my attempt to control outcomes. In the bigger picture, the more important broader scheme, I am exactly where I need to be in any given moment whether the ‘To Do’ list is checked or not. My timing cannot be but perfect.

Be enlightened!  ~ M