Archive for the ‘personal growth’ Category

Our deepest fear…

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles,” 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech)

It is exactly in this spot that I struggle along with my fellow travelers in the journey of ours. I want to learn to love myself like I so easily love others. I want to help others love themselves as easily as they love me, easier even. If I wish to find a genuine reflection of self-love in the looking glass each day I must find myself worthy of it. I must be something, some one I can look in the eye with respect, with gratitude, with kindness. There are two sides of this and I intend on working on both. It is a balancing act, self-love, but I have my tights on and I am ready to walk the walk…no matter how narrow or windy the road, no matter the obstacles before me. It will be an adventure and I am so ready for one!

I Am Mine by Brooke Waggoner
Beautiful Flower by Indie Arie
Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

There is nothing…

Monday, June 28th, 2010

…a good pair of rainboots and stripey socks can’t handle…no road too broken, no hill too high, no sadness too deep, no situation too mussed.

© BeNonsensical.com / Crowgyrls.com

 

Oh, the road gets so bumpy and rain falls. Good thing I love rain, love, love, love it. And bumpy roads make for great photographs, don’t they? I will move forward through the muddy times, through the sadness, through the tears and find new photographs to take, new books to read, new friends to make, new adventures, new cubbies to explore.

Life is all about the cobblestone and rubber boots. It is all about the rain and the struggles and the unexpected connections. It is about the frailty and exposed state of being exactly who you are…

Be the change…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

It is time we Americans help be the change we voted for with Obama. He said he could not do it alone. It is time we help him. It is time we help ourselves and each other. Your time is precious. My time is precious. We can still give an hour or two a week. You can find local volunteering opportunities here.  Or maybe it is time to really give our time and to get back something far greater than we can imagine by committing to a year or two of full time service in programs like AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps. Long-term service commitments have financial compensation as well, not much but enough, particularly for students. (They even offer scholarships!) But mostly, it will offer you a new lifeview. It will change your life forever.

Or start researching what is needed in your community and figure out how you can help fill that need. Nothing is impossible with motivation and imagination.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
    Albert Schweitzer

It's your world, your chance to make it better. Join AmeriCorps. Click here to learn more.

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

United We Serve - Let's Read.  Let's Move.

Passion

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Passion burns down every branch of exhaustion;
Passion’s the Supreme Elixir and renews all things;
No one can grow exhausted when passion is born!
Don’t sigh heavily, your brow bleak with boredom;
Look for passion, passion, passion, passion!

– Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

Passion is important in life. In relationships with others and yourself, passion keeps things moving, keeps things interesting and oft times is the catalyst for positive change. How can we revive passion when it feels like an act of futility? I am not referring to romantic passion, I am referring to having a passion about the choices, the ideas, the activities, the people in our lives. I am talking about enjoying our lives for whatever they are, wherever we are, whatever we are doing.

How can we remind ourselves that life is finite and every minute is worth enjoying, savoring? I know it sounds hokey but really, what are you doing right now (besides reading this post)? It is not what you do as much as why you do it… and how you do it. If it is watching TV or reading this post, are you enjoying yourself? Is this what you want to be doing? Are you actively engaged in the present moment no matter what it is you choose to be doing?

For example, we all must work to pay the bills or most of us anyways, right? Well, most people do not ‘love’ their work but they do it anyways. Why shouldn’t we love what we do? Why shouldn’t we be in the moment, present, active and enjoying what we are doing? We have all seen trashmen who are singing whilst doing some of the dirtiest work. We have also seen movie stars or famous singers wallowing in their misery, loathing every minute of the job that was once a favorite hobby. It is all in perception, really. It is not about being inspired to be passionate by some one or some thing else. It is not about finding everything rosy and wonderful. It is about being present and bringing passion to everything you do. It is about being the change you want to see in the world.

Does this mean everything is wonderful and you should pretend as such? No! Passion does not claim any one emotion, it does not disqualify or negate any either. If you are hurting, allow yourself to do so. Do not deny yourself the right to feel whatever you are feeling. Do not be harsh on yourself for your feelings. Respect them! Passionately love yourself! Give yourself the right to feel or experience whatever is real. This is what I need to practice.

Today, I will try to be passionate about whatever I choose to do. I will try to be forgiving with myself. I will try to respect my emotions and others without losing myself.

I would love feedback on this topic. How do you think we can reintroduce passion back into our day to day lives?

One step removed…

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

“We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.” — Orison Swett Marden

We are all just one step removed from that which we hate, that which we have no control over, that which we are afraid. It behooves us to pay attention to the way we treat people. Are we so willing to discard people because we feel we are discardable? Do we ignore the starving because we are afraid we might starve one day lest we avoid the poor? Do we believe they deserve such fate? Who amongst us would starve by choice? What drives us to ignore those in need? What drives us to abandon those we love? Are we so accustomed to a disposable lifestyle that we believe even people are so easily replaced?

I believe we are all just one step removed from poverty…from being a scoundrel…from being a hero…from being left behind…from leaving another behind. It is not just our actions–our good or bad deeds–that separates us but our thoughts and happenstance. It is our social constructs. It is so many things and we are capable of great good and great bad.

Which will you choose today? And tomorrow? Who can tell?

Think twice before you make hasty decisions. Think twice before you walk past a person starving, begging for your spare change. Think twice before watching a family go hungry. Think twice before firing 2,000 employees in lieu of trimming the salary of the top executives. Think twice before cheating on your lover–be honest with them, it may do you both good.

I once saw a group of people giving out hugs in the middle of a busy city street. They held up signs and offered to give random strangers hugs. I wish to do just this so often. How many of us really need a hug but don’t say it, or don’t even know it? We are all one step removed from loneliness, from isolation, from sadness, from happiness… from good…from bad… from everything.

Human capacity for self-deception

Friday, May 8th, 2009

Oh, the web we weave…when lie, cheat and deceive…ourselves.

The gears in my mind are always turning–and I think I am incapable of having many empty thoughts. Each one is woven tight with many others so that each time I begin to unpack one, it leads to infinitely more. Lately, it is a question of who I once was, who I am and who I wish to be. I, like most people, am not impermeable to self-deception. I am quite capable of ignoring the writing on the wall–no matter how bold or large.

“There is no reality in the absence of observation.” — The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

I am a romantic at heart–wanting so much to believe the best in people. This is often too much work with little pay off. Like extracting water from the sand the way a beetle does–it is a lot of work for humans with very little water collected. I find when you place hope in people, you set yourself up for disappointment but that never stops me. It is more important that we not give up on others. It is more important that we believe in people despite the disappointment.

This will return us our humanity. We’ve lost so much or perhaps I’ve just grown older and wiser. Perhaps the world is as it has always been with problems that seem dire, people who care seemingly fast extinct… it is difficult to discern. What I do know is we cannot lose ourselves or each other in the process. It is in the smallest guestures our redemption can be found–giving to a charity, volunteering, smiling at people who walk by, helping someone who needs it, giving the $5 to that person so down-and-out in their luck that they are willing to beg on the street corner.

It will not be found in self-deception or placing your trust in someone who is not worthy of that trust–it is not found in the mangling of your own self-worth in order to ignore what is obvious in any given situation.

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” — Henri Bergson

We must be prepared to see the best in ourselves and be the steward of our own realities. We must not wait for Obama to do the right thing. We must not wait for conservatives to think like us. We must not wait for our worlds to disintegrate beneath us–losing all faith in others–to get out of bad situations. We must not allow one bad egg to spoil our view on humanity. And I know just how easy it is to do this.

I want not to lie to myself anymore. I want not to pretend I don’t see what I do. I want not to wait for outside hope but rather I wish to cultivate it within. I want to plant a seedling and nurture it till it grows strong the stalk within me; roots firmly planted in my walk. I want to walk the walk of hope knowing no one can take that from me–not George W. Bush, not Karl Rove, not even someone I consider a friend for it will be mine, grown through my own actions, my own behavior… sprouting seedlings for others to follow suit.

Where will you find your hope?