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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

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2016 has been a very chaotic year, hasn’t it?

I had told my friends in December that I sort of felt like 2016 would be a year Outside of Time: not quite linear with the past, but neither would it be free from past influences. Meaning, just because things went a certain way in the past, that doesn’t mean they’ll go the same way now. We’ll still have to deal with them though, and it may even seem like everything from the past is coming up to be dealt with at once.

That’s exactly how 2016 has been feeling to me. Year of the Id. Everything bubbling up at once, resistant to the old ways of dealing with them.

The upside of this is that we’re getting new opportunities to resolve things that have gone unresolved for far too long. And if the old ‘tricks’ and ‘tactics’ won’t work, then we’re finally forced to resolve them in new ways. Since the old ways clearly weren’t working, this gives us the opportunity to finally move forward.

So if you are also feeling the crushing waves of chaos battering you against the shore — or, worse, the undercurrent pulling you under — take a moment to ground yourself.

Take a deep breath, then breathe it out slowly, releasing your frustration at all that arises.

Take another breath, then slowly breathe out your grief at all that has slipped away.

Breathe in again, this time opening your heart as well as your lungs, letting the breath of fresh air sustain you.

Breathe in another sustaining breath, letting the oxygen nourish your mind, opening it up to fresh perspectives.

Through breathing, create an eye within the raging storm, and let events continue to unfold for you. As they do so, practice acceptance for what’s unfolding, learning to look for the new possibilities opening up.

I have a sense that 2017 has the potential to be a truly beautiful year, filled with progress and possibilities that we hadn’t before thought possible. To get there, we’ll have to make it through 2016, learning as much as we can about how to build the space for such a beautiful year to unfold.

May you find peace and wisdom throughout whatever events are surrounding you this year, and may they bring you to a better place. Just hang onto your center, keep your eyes and mind open, and I trust you’ll make it through.

 

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Whether dawn or dusk,
Change is on the Horizon.
Greet it as it comes.

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perrault_leon_jean_basile_a_mother_with_her_sleeping_child

My little boy is generally very healthy. On the few occasions when he catches something, he is only very mildly ill, and is quickly fully better.

Not so, this week.

Yesterday he had a bit of a cold, and tonight he has coughs and sniffles and a low fever. He’s not used to being sick, but he’s weathering it well. I just pulled out the humidifier, and a diffuser with eucalyptus oil to help him breathe better and get some sleep.

This was another good evening to practice just being there, supportive but not dismayed at the challenge he’s facing nor my inability to simply cure it for him. It’s been a long, complicated day of practicing Active Zen at work, but none of that involved my little boy.

He’ll be fine, though, and I think he’s about to finally rest. I will, too.

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follow-your-dreams

What is that thing that makes you light up at the idea of doing it?

What kind of activity do you feel that itch-under-your-skin to get done, and done right?

When you’re feeling idle or delayed by some part of the day-to-day, what is it you daydream about accomplishing?

How could you pursue that thing, just a little more?

How could you fit a few more minutes, or perhaps an hour, into your day or week?

How much brighter might your life be with more of your dreams alive in it?

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When all the world spins
with Change the only Constant
Close your eyes. Center.

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wanderer-455338_640

You’re not 100% on point every day.

You’ll stammer, you’ll stumble.

Sometimes, you’ll even fall.

So what?

So long as you keep trying every day, both to improve yourself and to mindfully forgive yourself for backsliding, you’ll do all right.

In fact, you’ll do fantastic.

Just keep traveling the road you’re on, resting when you need, and retracing your steps if that time comes.

You’ll get where you need to be.

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labyrinth2_poe1x1

This morning when I found out that David Bowie had passed away, I hoped for a peaceful transition for him.

I then laughed to myself, as the song I thought of most was “As the World Falls Down” from Labyrinth.  My sister had the soundtrack back when it was new, and the music was so dreamlike and soothing, I used it to help me go to sleep.  It was the first song I learned the lyrics to, as I started to sing it to myself over and over in my head when I had a hard time dropping off.

I still do, actually.

Throughout the day, I’ve caught myself thinking about the lyrics again with a fresh mind. I’ve sung it to myself to soothe myself to sleep for so long, I no longer hear it as the seductive love song it was written as, but as a call of comfort from my inner self.

For all the times I have faced upheaval and chaos and pain, I’ve found peaceful refuge in words such as:

As the pain sweeps through,
Makes no sense for you.
Every thrill is gone.
Wasn’t too much fun at all,
But I’ll be there for you-ou-ou
As the world falls down.

I owe so much of my moments of finding-calm to those lyrics. May the man who wrote and sang those words now know peace, as well.

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A star’s reflection
On a clear or icy lake?
Either way, I’ll swim.

 

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I’ve been reading a lot this past year, and several people have shared that the secret to happiness and achieving your dreams is to not get too specific. Oh certainly, focus on the general parameters of your goal. What kind of success are you looking forward to? What will it feel like to enjoy it? What are some steps you can take toward reaching them?

When it comes to the specifics though, it’s best to leave those to life to sort out. Prepare for the path you think may lead you closer to your goals, but don’t get hung up on the exact steps you think you’ll have to take. Don’t even get too hung up on the explicit nature of the form you expect your success to take. Dream in vivid watercolor, allowing the details to take shape on their own.

After all, we aren’t omniscient. We don’t know what exactly will be the best path for us to walk toward where we’re headed. We can’t even be sure that we know now how beautifully wonderful our destination will be, let alone the exact time and place, or even shape it will take.

That also holds true for the backtracks and the sidesteps we’ll have to take to get there. So often, the disappointments I’ve faced have ended up being the best path toward a better place that I never even imagined existed. And too often, I’d wasted some time and energy sitting around feeling disappointed about a particular road not working out, when I could have been picking myself back up and walking down the better road that awaited me.

So for 2016, I’m trying to remember: No Explicit Expectations, No Enduring Regrets.

So that way, when it feels like things or even people try to get me down by interrupting the way I thought things should go, I can remember that mantra and say, “NEENER, NEENER, NEENER!”

🙂

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starlights

This season, have you received what you’d love?

More importantly, have you loved what you’ve received?

It’s been a turbulent season for me. I’ve had hopes raised and splintered, pleasures and pains, and right now the little joy of my life is pitching a fit in the bathroom because soapy water doesn’t turn into clay.

It’s that last bit that most reflects what I’ve learned this year: love and enjoy what I do have, not spoil it all by dwelling on what I don’t. It’s not my job to try to force what isn’t ready to be built, nor to stay sad when things don’t come out the way I wanted. It’s my job to keep my heart open to possibilities, receiving what is ready to come to me. More importantly, to keep myself ready to receive what is to come.

And if it turns out that pouring suds into a little bowl won’t turn it into a clay dome, that’s okay! The point of it all is to play, and enjoy the game where all that is to be won is the prize of joy itself.

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