Thursday, February 22, 2018

Becoming a Witness to Your Thoughts....Marc and Angel


Life can be hectic; sometimes chaos surrounds us in every imaginable direction.

But just because the world around us is in disarray, doesn’t mean the world within us has to be too.

That’s right, I’m saying there’s a way to stay sane in insane times. I’m saying you can get rid of all the insanity inside you created by others, the past, and uncontrollable events…

Just by being a simple witness of your thoughts.

It’s about sitting silently, and witnessing the thoughts passing through you. Just witnessing at first, not interfering and not even judging, because by judging too rapidly you have lost the pure witness. The moment you rush to say, “this is good” or “this is bad,” you have already jumped head first into the chaos.

It takes a little time to create a gap between the witnessing of thoughts and your reaction to them. Once the gap is there, though, you are in for a great surprise – that you are not the thoughts themselves, nor the chaos influencing them. You are the witness, a watcher, who’s capable of changing your mind and rising above the turmoil.

And this process of thought-watching is the very alchemy of true mindfulness. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, the chaotic thoughts start disappearing. You are thinking, but the mind is empty of senseless chatter.

That’s a moment of enlightenment – a moment that you become, perhaps for the first time, an unconditioned, sane, truly free human being.

So today, let this be your reminder to let all the small annoyances go. Move through your day consciously. Make an effort to notice at least one insignificant little frustration that you would normally get frustrated about. Then do yourself a favor and simply let it go. Experience, in this little way, the freedom of being in control of the way you feel. And realize that you can extend this same level of control to every situation you encounter in life.

At almost any given moment, the way you feel is the way you choose to feel, and the way you react is the way you choose to react.

When you think better, you live better.

But, as I'm sure you're aware, that's sometimes much easier said than done.

Thinking better takes guidance and practice.
Marc and Angel Hack Life

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Now.

Where you are and what you’re doing at any given moment is absolutely essential.
Because it is the only moment guaranteed to you.
You are not on your way somewhere else.
You are not progressing to a more important time or place.
The present is not just a stepping-stone—it is the ultimate destination.
This moment is where your greatest opportunity lies.
This moment is your life!

Marc and Angel Hack Life

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Spirit led life....finding control in the still communion of the great I AM

I was thinking last night when I was exercising, finally, that it felt good to be in control of your body...through the disciplines of dance, exercise, the freedom to walk, stretch...and I wondered again why I always put it off. Then, continuing along that train of thought, I realized how much more I could be in charge of my life if I was in control of my mind! Wow, yeah, that was where it started, control central! A disciplined mind! This notion excited me for about 3 minutes until I realized I wasn't still digging deep enough. A disciplined mind and body were certainly things to be proud of and levels of living that I would love to aspire to, but the real wizard behind the curtain was the soul. Not the control of the soul, but the relinquishing of the soul back to its Creator, for instruction and loving care. All other noble efforts flow from the handover of the soul back to its Creator. The laying down of useless efforts that we feel will turn our life around. The desire to be instructed by the greatest Teacher, to be willing to open our eyes, and lay down our own will in favor of His. This sounds so scary and a bit boring, as I remember back to similar words from my early days as a child in the Methodist church....I always that sort of surrender meant leaving your family and signing on as a worker for the Lord in a third world country and of course being martyred there. Not something I EVER aspired to, though I believe some folks have a talent for doing just and they are eager to share God's love all over this planet. Bless them! But back to my thought of "soul control"...it sounded lofty and hard and sort of removed from daily life. I mean if I can't control how many cokes I drink, how the heck am I going to lay down my agenda for what God has slated for me. Well first, I think I will mark off missionary from my list of ways to serve God and grow soul. I might just start with setting my intention each day when I wake. And that intention can certainly include healthy living, being grateful for my life, the food I eat, the space I live in, the body that takes me through my day, the family that I love....then, I might just ask: how can I make good use of the gifts I have been given? How can I love someone better today, reach out to someone, sit in silence and feel that connection that is the Potter to His clay, give myself permission to accept His forgiveness and to forgive others so we both can experience freedom. And finally (and this is the hard part), to do what I know is the best I can do in each situation, whether that is work, play, rest, joy, heartbreak, fear for the future, regret for the past, and just inhabit the present, where the great I AM exists, ready to fellowship with me and give me rest, now in this moment. The past and the present are just thoughts, memories or anticipation, but this breath we breathe in His presence is Life, is now, is real.

P.S. From Marie Forleo: I have learned that the secret to finding your passion is to bring passion to everything you do. You can be complaining and miserable ninety percent of the time and expect to feel passionate the other ten percent. Most of us don't realize passion is an inside job. It is a muscle that gets stronger the more you use it.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

It's Saturday, the sun is shining and this is what I read this morning....

...from Oprah Winfrey's book, The Wisdom of Sundays, excerpt by Elizabeth Gilbert:
Sartre saide "Exits are everywhere". But I feel like entrances are everywhere. And I think that the world would be an even more cruel place than it already is, if the only people who are allowed to go on spiritual journeys were people who could afford a plane ticket to India, you know? Because we all know that people find access to God through those thin places in the Universe and the thin place in theirs lives where they come very close to the divine, in all sorts of situations. You, know in prison, in their house, in the middle of the night, in the middle of a bad marriage, in the middle of a traffic jam. It's always there. There's an entrance that you can slide through. But I really do feel like the one non-negotiable thing you need is to be able to find a tiny little  corner of your life, of your day of stillness, where you can begin to ask yourself those burning essential questions of your life. Who am I? Where did I come from, where am I going, what am I here for? And for that your need to find a sacred moment of silence to begin to look for that journey. And that's available to everybody.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Purpose



Every wonder why you are here...what is your purpose? Here are a few questions from Verily Magazine that will help you find out.

01. What did you love to do as a child?
02. Where does your mind drift when you daydream?
03. Where and when do you feel the happiest?
04. When do you feel like your best self?
05. What do you value most in other people and yourself?
06. What inspiration, idea, or vision keeps coming to you?
07. Who inspires you with their passion and purpose?
08. If you could do anything in the world without worrying about time, money, or energy restrictions, what would you do?
09. What’s not working in your life?
10. What do you do most naturally, with effortless ease?
11. What would your future self say to the present you?
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain


Friday, February 2, 2018

Enough

Today, I am going to gift myself with a day of rest...rest from not being enough. Today I am going to be slim enough, good enough, talented enough and cool enough. I am not going to weigh myself, cringe when I have toast with my expensive coffee, wallow in photoshop, drown in photography blogs, sigh over instagram perfect rooms or beat myself up for cooking the same old thing (or not cooking at all). Instead of meditating, I might just stare off into space or daydream. I could try to keep up with the news, or relax with old Andy Griffith shows. I will leave the camera alone and paint a very simple watercolor. I will wear my fave outfit even though it is not right for a pear shaped woman over 60. I might buy sketchers so i can walk around my neighbor, really just stroll...without counting steps or hauling my camera along. A day of rest...from an overactive mind, fueled by perfectionism and fired up by the internet. I am writing this in my pjs and I haven't made my bed...sigh....



Monday, January 29, 2018

Getting there...

It occurred to me that I am "into" the acquiring phase of many things, or goals, but don't realize when I have arrived or consumed or acquired enough. Some examples might be: You want to lose some weight, you do and now you think, "just a few more lbs"...you want a great camera to up your photography game, you get the camera and you then start researching the newest gear and try to figure how much better it is than the one you just bought. You think if I just had this or that, maybe an item of clothing, something for the house, a trip...and in no time you are so over it or worse yet you never really enjoyed it in the first place! I was thinking about this yesterday when I chanced on a beautiful wool coat in my closet that I got for Christmas. I loved the coat in the store, my mom bought it for me and I have only worn it a couple of times. I tell myself it is too good to wear on casual occasions, it will get dirty (it's white), it itches...at this point I will outgrow the coat before I can enjoy it. I have lots of stuff like this. I just wish I had the time and money back I wasted on wanting these things. I don't think it is wasteful to want nice things, add to your treasured collections if those items add to your life in a measurable way. But I have noticed for me the "getting" of the thing was of more interest than the owning of the thing or using the purchase.  Every person puts a different value on the stuff they acquire. We have two dogs and they are expensive to raise and require a lot of time. Our pup destroys anything he can put in this mouth. But we think it is worth the time and money to enjoy the canine companionship. My mom's life has become more joyful by adding a kitten to her household, and she never wanted a cat in her life....until now. But so many purchases and time commitments are thieves of our time and pocketbooks, and it takes some thought to find out what we really need and what was a waste of time and money.  It seems to make sense to buy the best you can afford at the time and only replace it when it wears out or becomes hopelessly dated. But the classics in any genre rarely go out of style, so that is the  best reason for investing in them.  Magazines, catalogs, and now the web have influenced so much of my spending...If I had the money I have spent of publications, pocketbooks, and watches alone, I would be one well off lady! One of the reasons I am unloading a ton of stuff from my life.....

Mom's kitten.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Never better....

Today was so fine after torrential rains yesterday. While walking my dogs in the muddy field I snapped this of our pup.


"There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you ..... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself." 
-  Ruth Stout

"The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter's long, cross-questioning brunt."
-  D. H. Lawrence, Winter in the Boulevard, 1916  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Two quick thoughts:  I remembered a dream I had a while back....I was walking through my house, opening doors and discovering rooms I had forgotten where there. I was thinking, "wow, this is a nice room, how come I don't use it. It is so empty and dusty, what could this room be? I was rediscovering parts of myself or my life that I have neglected or taken for granted...my 2 cents worth.

Also, as I was struggling to accomplish some items on my to do list and thinking I wasn't going to be able to do them all, I thought: well better to clean one room than give up and not clean any at all, better to exercise for 15 minutes than to moan and lay on the sofa watching tv. Better to be average and move forward just a bit, than to be perfectionistic, become overwhelmed and stymied, do nothing and feel like a failure. All or Nothing Thinking at its finest!


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sunday wisdom

"My hope is that you find the courage to tune out the negative voices telling you all the reasons to give up. Make the choice to turn up the volume to your unique calling, the glory that is your own life." Oprah, The Wisdom of Sundays



Sunday, January 7, 2018

After the snow storm of 2018

Finally today we were able to freely move around our property. Yesterday we slowly ventured out of our community. Slow going all around. This was quite a storm...usually I feel romantic and cozy during a snow event, but this WEATHER ASSAULT was not a thing of romance. We couldn't open our porch door to get wood for a fire because of the 6o mph winds and extremely low temps.  I couldn't make more than one trip out to feed the birds, that arrived by the dozens. I shot very few photos because of the threat to my gear. Our dogs have been underfoot, day and night for 5 days now and I am over sleeping with pets! The good news is we did not lose electricity. Thank God for that. I don't know what we would have done, since we couldn't have left our house for a couple of days due to weather/road conditions. And we were warm and had plenty of food in the pantry. So, compared to some, we did just fine. There were places in our yard where there wasn't an inch of snow and other places with drifts that we up to my waist....and the drifts formed a perimeter around our yard hemming us in. I had nice snow boots, but what I needed were waist high waders! My Land's End goose down Commuter coat was warm wall between me and the elements. Definitely worth every penny!
So...when I finally got out I bought some blooming bulbs that showcased fresh, green spears of warm weather promise. I am making chili today, shoveled the sidewalk, cleaned out the kennels and feel life is getting back to normal January weather. But those waist high drifts....they are going to be here a while....




Becoming a Witness to Your Thoughts....Marc and Angel

Life can be hectic; sometimes chaos surrounds us in every imaginable direction. But just because the world around us is in disarray, do...