Essential- Community

Yesterday, I was featured on the local news because of what I guess you would call a good Samaritan act.  I must admit that I have enjoyed the response because it just feels good to be recognized for something positive.  My original intention had nothing to do with the media.  I was just a woman out with her kids one day looking to fulfill a promise that I made to myself and to the Universe.

http://www.wistv.com/2019/01/30/midlands-woman-sponsors-abc-family-need-i-dont-think-you-have-be-rich-help-somebody/

I have transparently blogged about my recent challenges due to a job loss.  I learned so much during that time through meditation and spiritual connection.  I made a new covenant with the consciousness of money and wealth.  I realized that I needed to be more respectful and creative with my money, so prior to getting my first check from my new job, I set aside a pre-determined percentage of my income to charity.  The first time that I got paid from my new job, I knew that it was now or never; I had to do everything within my power to stick to the plan.  I can’t say that everything went exactly as planned in all of the other areas of my financial plan, but I stuck to my charity percentage.

It so happened that a crisis arose in my city that tugged very hard on my heartstrings right around my first payday.  Two men died in an apartment complex due to a gas leak, and all of the other residents had to be evacuated to nearby hotels.  The complex was condemned, so now all of those displaced residents were stuck in hotels indefinitely and without most of their personal belongings.  The whole scene took me back to when I lived in low-income housing.   I thought about how a setback such as this one would have devastated me financially as a young single mother and I just wanted to find a way to  help.

 

Breathe:

The kids and I made care packages and dropped them off at a local café.  We then went to the community center near the apartment complex to see if there was anything that we could do to help.  It just so happened that a news reporter pulled up when we did; she thought the fact that I was looking for a single parent household to sponsor was special and wanted to do a story.

I really did not think that I was doing anything extra special, but I was happy to cooperate.  I thought at the very least, the story might inspire other people to help other families within this community in crisis.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive.  Sponsoring this family has given me a new definition of Community.

Community is Expanded Consciousness

We are all a part of one enormous brain, but sometimes we only focus on the part that effects our personal physical comfort.  This can unfortunately leave us confined to one way of living and thinking.  We are lulled into thinking that reading about something or watching something on television is equivalent to actually experiencing that thing.  This experience has allowed me to look at reality from the perspective of another segment of the enormous brain that we all share.  I can see and feel how I am connected to people that I never even knew existed.   Connecting to others on a face-to-face and feet to pavement level is something that seems to be missing in our society at times.  It is easier to hide behind electronics or to let a “thumbs-up” button replace our true acts of humanity.  I too am guilty of these watered-down virtual interactions.  This opportunity is (for me) an important step into re-engaging with the human experience.

Community is Elevation

I grappled with my original intention throughout the days that I was aware I would be featured on the news.  I looked for signs of an inflated ego every chance that I got.  I know from experience that there is a very fine line between being authentic and being a show-off…and I measure that line by checking in with my intention.  It occurred to me that even having the presence of mind to check in with my intention was a clear sign of spiritual elevation.   I came to the conclusion that it was okay for me to take a pinch of excitement with me on the journey to helping others.  The Universe wants us to feel happy and excited when we do something with a loving intention, so I took that moment of happiness and excitement and bathed myself in it.  We were all excited and thankful for each other, that we had helped one another get to the next level of our individual journeys.  Community allows you to elevate to a higher quality version of yourself, which by the way feels amazing.

Community is Transformation

Because of this opportunity, I have taken another step towards transforming into a better version of myself.  When I promised this family that I would do all that I could to help them transition, I worked a little harder,  I reached out a little further and loved a little deeper and gave a little more.  Everyone who is involved in this interaction has transformed in some way…all of it (that I have seen) has been positive.  We have all given each other the opportunity to transform and to be a part of something greater than ourselves.  We are all on the same team playing our positions to the best of our abilities and it is transforming realities.  We will be different people this time next year; maybe this experience will be a distant memory but the imprint that it has made on our character will not be forgotten.

Pay Gratitude:

I am grateful that something changed within me during my spiritual journey.  My gratitude changed from putting words on paper into putting words into action.  This was one of those times.  I was not out to save the world last Saturday, I just wanted to live out my gratitude as I had promised the Universe.  I wanted to do something with the feeling of despair that I felt around the tragedy that happened at this apartment complex.  I wanted to transform my despair into something positive by putting my gratitude into action.  The thing about gratitude is this:  the more you pay it, the more it pays you.  The gratitude that I feel has become a consciousness.  It is a constant sense of calm and of fullness.  It is life.   I am grateful.

 

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Love:

To everyone that has called, texted, donated, prayed, offered help, I send you love and light.  Thank you.  To the young lady who has given me the honor of being a part of her family for the next few months, I send you love and light.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I do believe that you are helping me even more than I am helping you.  We are in this together.  We are all connected.  Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

Essential- The Mirror

Over the course of my awakening, I have become predominantly indifferent to many things (and people) that used to drive me to tears and sleepless nights.  The causes of these emotional meltdowns stemmed from an ego that convinced me that it was indeed all about me.  I am thankful that I have released this burden of claiming everyone’s bad behavior as my personal responsibility.

There are few things that I dislike as much as a cliché, but you really should not take another person’s behavior personally.  Let’s look at road rage as an example.  Someone whom you have probably never met before is riding your bumper and angrily laying on the horn (productive, right?).  A reflex could cause you to flip this lovely individual off and that would be understandable.  It is not however rational to let this person ruin the remainder of your day, because their behavior is not about you.  Do not take this person’s poor behavior into your arms and coddle it like a new born baby; just let it go.

Now, let’s think about the time that your kid threw an absolute fit in public because you said they couldn’t swim naked in the fountain at the mall.  The kid is screaming at the top of his lungs, kicking, crying spitting and maybe even swearing.  You find yourself square in the middle of a “I’m a horrible parent” drama, but you are not and this meltdown has absolutely nothing to do with you personally (and the people who are staring and pointing can really take a hike).  You are not a horrible parent; you are a person in a situation with other people who all need each other.  The Universe uses us all to help one another; it brings us together so that we can all learn and grow together.

So- what do we do when someone else’s unsavory behavior lands right in our personal space?   Here are a few of my favorite hacks:

Breathe:

 

I Turn Myself Into A Mirror

Because that’s what I really am in this moment; a mirror that can talk back to the person that is all in my face right now.  As hard as we may try, our stationary reflections just will not give us the answers that we want sometimes.  This could be because who we really are is not fully represented in the mirror.  The mirror only gives us a recognizable visual projection of our mind, soul and spirit.  Sometimes others lash out at us because they see something within us that they need to resolve; we become the talking and (hopefully) rational mirror to someone else’s issue.  Unlike a stationary mirror, we can and usually will respond in the manner that the person in front of us needs us to.  There are no coincidences;  whomever we are in contact with (be it briefly or for a lifetime) has come to help us along our journey.  Your reaction as a mirror can show you many things about yourself if you will allow it to do so.

I Send Them Positive Thoughts

Once I was driving in to work and came upon an intersection.  There was a guy driving in from the left at top speed in order to beat the red light.  It didn’t bother me to give him the right of way, so that’s what I did.  The gentleman took the time to turn and look at me and give me the middle finger as he was traveling about 65mph in a 25mph zone.  This was years ago, but whenever I come to that intersection today, I think of him and send him positive thoughts; I pray that love and light floods his life every moment of every day because life has to be pretty bad for you to flip someone off for giving you the right of way.  Be the brighter person and just send them some kindness.  You have plenty extra to share and they need your extras.

 

I Think Before I Speak

Talking less has become a thing since my awakening.  I prefer to listen and to think about how we all intertwine with one another; about how the Universe works to bring us to the right place at the right time with the right people.  All of this thinking makes it hard to give a quick response in tense situations, which used to be my thing.   I would have comebacks so quick and slick that I surprised myself by some of the things that came from my mouth.  My ego was always ready for battle!  Now…meh.  Is it really worth me lowering my vibration to engage in what seems like foolishness?  In most instances, I choose to vibe high.  I like feeling free to think about beautiful things and places and I just cannot stand to chatter about things that won’t even matter in the next 15 minutes.  My goal is to be the best mirror that I can be so that I can show others the best within themselves.

 

I Measure My Growth

I was in the store the other day, walking towards the checkout when a lady with a buggy started walking behind me at a speed that was faster than mine.  I did not allow this to change my pace, however her energy was yucky and took me out of my zone when her buggy threatened to run into me.  I turned and looked at this lady and smiled, even belly laughed at her as I said “I really hope you hit me with that buggy”.  My laugh was so genuine that it caused her to have a genuine laugh as well.  We were laughing like old friends while casually and potentially getting ready to have some level of an altercation.  She laughed and said “I’m not going to hit you with the buggy”, to which I replied while laughing almost to tears “I really, really hope you hit me with that buggy lady, we are both about to have an interesting day.”  As you can see, I am a work in progress.  My words and demeanor did not really match but it was a definite improvement from the days when I would have just verbally taken her to the river.  #Growth.

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful for my turns at being on the good side of the  mirror.  I can see how far I have come and how much my connection has grown to my fellow man.  We all behave badly sometimes, which is just part of being human.  I am grateful for those who serve as my mirror.  Thank you for showing me the best and most challenging parts of myself.  We will not always get it right, but we need one another in order to make it.  We need empathy and understanding and kind words.  We need those screaming kids in the mall to remind us that we all just want to be loved, valued and free and to live without judgement.

 

Love:

We are all mirrors of each other, and we all want love in some form.  I hope that we can love each other through the periods of road rage and buggy fights .  I hope that we can love each other through gossip and lies and deceit and dishonesty.  It is not always easy, but it is always possible.  We are in this together, capsuled by the same earth and sky.  Each new situation is an opportunity for organic growth of love and human connection.  It is a chance to mirror the real truth of who we are- limitless spiritual beings searching for love and solitude within one another.  Let love win.  Namaste.

 

 

Essential- Time Illusion Management

After four months of being conventionally unemployed, I recently returned to work.  When I lost my job as an executive director, I knew that I could not go back into that type of role.  I realized that the things that I truly wanted…to be a better mom, to be more active in my own life and to be available for a romantic relationship could not be found in traffic jams and hospital meetings.  In order to get what I really wanted, I had to make space.  I had to get rid of the things that were sitting in the seats reserved for my own true happiness.

I decided to manifest a work from home position that would allow me to be more present within my own existence.  I had plenty of time between jobs to dream big and to set goals that would allow me to do it all; write books, read books, meditate and connect with others, just to name a few.  What I did not plan for was the amount of adjustment that it takes to work from home.

 

The first week was mentally challenging.  I had to realize that although I was working from the comfort of my own living room, I was still working.  This meant that I had to dedicate a work space, set up bulky equipment  and actually be accountable to someone else for several hours of each day.  I was literally late for work one day because I was so used to wandering around the city on my own terms, and time just slipped away from me.   Now that I am close to the end of my second week in my new position, I am settling in to my new lifestyle, and I must say that I am excited about this new chapter of my journey.  There is so much time flexibility and freedom that has been missing in my experience, and I am grateful that I am able to have a new type of reality.

Throughout all of the changes that I have experienced over the past four months, time has revealed itself to me as more of a societal fixation.   It is a construct to keep us somewhat under control.  Here are some of the time illusion management lessons that I have learned by working from home.

Breathe:

1.  You are not being forced to do anything.  External power trips tend to make us feel a false sense of obligation.  This is one of the reasons that I am transitioning away from external titles as much as possible.  External titles give a false sense of importance, which puts false limitations on our time.  I did not have to be an executive.  I did not have to dedicate 1.5 hours to travel, 8 hours to working, then another 1 or 2 hours of working after work to this title.  It was a false sense of power that gave me a false sense of self-importance.  Looking at this now, it is amazing how the perceived lack of time follows an inflated sense of importance.

2.  There is a light and dark cycle; 24 hours in a day is a man-made concept.  This revelation came to me when I was taking a nature walk during my lunch break.  I knew that I needed to blog today but I did not have a definitive subject matter.  I also had to think of the best “time” to blog around my conventional job.  It occurred to me; I would still be a valuable human even if I did not get everything done within the strict timeframe that I had set for myself.  We all have jobs to do here on earth, and I believe that everything that we are sent to do will be completed before we move on to the next realm.  This is where trusting the Divine timing comes into play.  I have set a standard for myself to blog every Thursday, but if I don’t it will be okay.  It will still get done.

 

3.  You can create your own time reality.  Sometimes we get so caught up in statistical data and best practices that we forget about our individuality.  While sleep is absolutely necessary, is it too far fetched to believe that some people may not need a full 8 hours per night?  Maybe some of us need 4 hours of sleep, then 2 hours of awakened creativity, then 5 more hours of sleep.  Maybe some of us only need to be completely unconscious for 6 hours per light and dark cycle.   Personally I have found that my needs vary from day to day and my body and spirit appreciate the flexibility.  This way of managing time has reduced my stress levels by about 98%.  I just do what my body and spirit and creativity tell me to do and life is good.

4.  You can be fully present. I do not even need to rely on a watch or a clock and I rarely know the actual date.  I just know that I am present.  Sure I set reminders for the important things, but I do not obsess over the past or the future.  I found that this can be frustrating to others because it can come off as being aloof.  For example,  I had a birthday a couple of days ago, and my daughter was distraught that I was not overly excited.  It is not that I was not excited, I just appreciate it differently.  I just let those special days and events flow into my life without anxiety or coercion.  I am present.    If I listen to my body and my spirit, they will guide me to a full and healthy and rewarding life.  I can be present for my children, for my job, for myself and for love.  It is possible.  There are many challenges that come with changing your lifestyle in this manner, but they are completely worth it.  We just have to be brave enough to follow the path that has been set before us.

 

 

 

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful for my ability to work from my home.  Although I believe that this is the wave of the future, I know that this is not possible for everyone so I do not take it lightly.

I am grateful that I choose not to sit in traffic for hours each day.  Now I spend that time taking care of my home or going for a walk or reading or creating something.  My frustrations with not having enough time are a thing of the past.

I am grateful for the financial abundance that follows a life of passion.  Now that I am spending my time on the things that I love, it is amazing how much farther my dollars will go.  I am also much wealthier in time and health, which are the true measures of success.

I am grateful that I am connected to my authentic self.  People always say that there is boredom with working from home, but I disagree.  I spend my days fulfilling my purpose, which is an amazing feeling.

Love:

I love that I was able to loosen the constraints of my own deadlines to realize that everything happens at the right time- if there is such a thing.  Namaste.

 

Essential-Personal Truth

The truth is a very personal event, yet for some reason we leave a lot of truth up to hearsay and to other people’s interpretations of hand-me-down information.  While some truths are necessary for the sake of a consistent society (ex. a chair is called a chair for  societal consistency), other truths deserve exploration and customization.   C.G. Jung wrote in his book The Undiscovered Self, “People measure their self-knowledge by what the average person in their social environment knows of himself, but not by the real psychic facts which are for the most part hidden from them.  What is commonly called ‘self-knowledge’ is therefore a very limited knowledge, most of it dependent on social factors of what goes on in the human psyche.”

Challenging one’s personal truth is hard work, but it is critical to authenticity.  No one wants to live a personal lie.  This is not to say that we were lied to per say; rather the truth as our leaders and ancestors knew it may not be what is best for us today.  Finding one’s personal truth may lead to broken relationships or disappointments.  This is okay.  It is hard and it may hurt, but it is okay.  Everyone is entitled to live their lives as they see fit and everyone is entitled to his or her own journey.  Being brave enough to own one’s own truth may spark another person to re-evaluate their own values and principles.  In other words, you may knowingly or unknowingly start a revolution because you are awesome.

Breathe:

The Universe always leaves breadcrumbs.  I for one became really good at pretending that I did not recognize the breadcrumbs until finally The Universe just balled up a whole peace of bread and threw it right at my forehead.  Here are some of the signs that you may need to pay attention to in order to avoid such a dramatic cosmic display:

  1. Your gut. Also known as the solar plexus area, your gut is a lie detector of sorts.  The solar plexus area wants us to feel significant; it wants to lead us to a place of truth, power and personal identity.   Those butterflies that you get when something is not quite right…pay attention to them.  They want you to follow them to the truth of the situation at hand.  Remember- your life journey is just as significant as anyone else’s.  Your truth comes from the same place that someone else’s truth comes from.  The truth comes from the soul; from your connection with your Spiritual source.  Blindly taking ownership of someone else’s truth can lead to a life of misery and confusion.  Finding and living your own truth can lead to spiritual awakening and internal bliss.
  2. Losing sleep.   For over 8 years, I took a prescribed sleep aide because I could not get a consistent 8 hours of sleep.  I would invariably wake up somewhere between Midnight and 2am and had a difficult time getting back to sleep.  Since I have stopped taking this medication, I sleep like a baby most nights.  The only thing that I did differently was following the journey to my personal truth.  I sat with all of the issues that I was having.  I got to the root of my own personal truths, and I decided that I would live within those truths regardless of how others felt about it.  It was not an overnight thing.  As a matter of fact, it took months and it was very emotional, and I would do it all again without a second thought.  In hindsight, all of those years of sleepless nights were signs that I just would not acknowledge.  The Universe wanted me to pay attention to the way I was living, which was mostly fictitious.  I was living to make my ego happy at the total expense of my very soul.   Now when I wake up during the night (which is not very often), I review any areas of my life that may need some attention.  I honor my personal truth.
  3.  Forgetfulness.  To count how many times I had to go back into the house because I forgot my whatever would be a complete waste of 2 weeks and 6 days.  I was constantly forgetting something, misplacing whatever or just completely unaware of why I was standing and breathing in a particular spot at a particular time.  This went on for more years than I care to recall.  The Universe will utilize any part of your being to get your attention.  For me personally, the course of waking me up started with intuitive hints and progressed to physical manifestations.  My recommendation would be to take the hints and not require progression to a full-blown crisis.
  4. Physical Illness:   You get the point.  Take care of whatever is bothering you before it gets this far.  Trust me on this one.

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful for free will.  Imagine living in a consciousness where you had no choices or no ability to think things through for yourself.  I am sure there may be some benefit to not having to think, but there is a definite benefit to being able to determine the truth for yourself.  The biggest benefit is the ability to be a creator.  Our greatest inventors and thought leaders went against the handed-down truth and discovered their own truths, thereby inspiring generations and changing the very course of history.  I am grateful for the Spiritual leaders who blazed their own trails; they inspired me to blaze my own trail of truth.  I am grateful for whoever invented laptops- they followed their own truth and expanded on existing technology.  I am grateful for the person who is reading this and considering determining and following their own personal truth.  Namaste.

 

Love:

Love allows.  It allows everyone to be free.  It allows everyone to think, to grow and to expand.  Love is not constricting or controlling.  Love loves personal truth and personal exploration.

I hope that we are all secure enough in ourselves and in our own truths to operate with love and compassion towards our fellow man and woman.  There is no need to try and control another person’s reality because control is not loving.  Control is based in fear, and fear is a signal that the truth needs to be discovered.  There is enough space in this beautiful Universe for everyone to explore and proclaim their own personal truth.  It is okay that we do not all believe the same things; we are a diverse population for a reason.

Love yourself enough to follow the path to your personal truth.  Love everyone else enough to allow them to follow their own paths.  It will all be okay.  Love always wins.

References:

The Undiscovered Self by C.G. Jung

The Key To The Chakras from Root to Crown by Vicki Howie

 

Essential- Gratitude

It is amazing how gratitude changed my life.  Of course there are other outstanding principles by which to lead a fuller and more pleasing life, however gratitude does it for me.  Gratitude is the center that leads me in the right direction within any situation.

 

Breathe:

I did some reflecting on the ways that gratitude has expanded my reality, and here is what I learned.

Gratitude makes you slow down.  This is not a big leap of course, but it is worth saying again.  Some of my biggest sources of discontentment have been from failing to slow down and enjoy the present moment.  I often wonder how many missed opportunities have driven right past me because I was in a rush to get somewhere that I probably didn’t even want to be.  I firmly believe that if we were to all listen to that voice that tells us to slow down, we would find all of the happiness that we desire.  We would live within the only thing that we truly have, which is the moment that we are in.

Gratitude saves you money.  So again, I have gone through some difficult times over the past few months that have caused me to review and redefine my relationship with money.   Through reading several books, I realize that money has a vibration that has to be honored.  Saying that I need money even though I have loose bills and change laying everywhere does not honor the money that I do have.  When I had this revelation, I grabbed an empty water jug and wrote all sorts of nice words on it and gathered all of my loose change.  Once I was done depositing change I probably had about a quarter of a jug full.  After that, I organized my checking and savings account and made a 6-month financial goal plan.  Now that I am learning to be grateful for the money that I have, money seems to seek me out personally.  Just like all other living things, money wants to be appreciated and loved.

 

Gratitude increases your creativity.  The other day, someone gave me a box of goods out of the blue, and I was very thankful.  There was only one item that I did not know what to do with, but I did not want to waste it, so I just saved it and kept it in mind.  I figured that eventually I would give it to someone who could use it.  A few days went by and I was working on one of my many projects.  There was something missing from the project but I didn’t know exactly what.  I ended up using the item that was given to me in the box of goods a few days earlier and created something new and exciting.  It makes sense that we should  look a little closer at the things that we would consider throwing away out of mere convenience or disinterest.  These could be the things that would change our lives for the better if only we would slow down and look a little closer.

Gratitude helps you set positive intentions.  Gratitude and intentions are like peanut butter and jelly.  You could have them separately, but together they make an unforgettable duo!  Gratitude comes with rewards that you just do not want to lose.  It is a good feeling to live in abundance of love, wealth and good health.  Setting positive intentions helps you to pay reverence to gratitude; it is a way of saying “I acknowledge your gift and I will honor your gift with thoughtful and meaningful actions.

 

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful that I have learned the benefits of gratitude.  Without constant and deliberate gratitude, I had a habit of being wasteful with energy, with time, with love and with money.  Gratitude allows me to evaluate and appreciate what I have.  It shows up in my life all of the time; I realize that I don’t need that shirt because I just bought the exact same shirt 2 days ago.  I can save the financial cost and the energy expenditure by being grateful for the shirt I already have.  I don’t have to wait for someone else to love me because I am grateful for all of the love that I have inside of me that I share with others.  I am grateful that everything that I need truly does live inside me, and that I have had the good fortune of going to find those things for myself.

Love:

I love to write about being thankful.  Whenever I am down, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for.  I realize that there are thousands of people who would take my problems in a heartbeat and turn them into a masterpiece.  I love what the past year has taught me and I am excited about starting 2019 with the tool that will get me everywhere that I need to go- Gratitude!

Namaste.

Essential- Justice

Pursuing justice while walking a spiritual path has  always been a bit of a challenge for me.  I believe in being kind to others and walking away from conflicts as often as possible, sometimes to a fault.  Recently however, I received spiritual guidance through meditation that clarified the role that justice plays in spirituality.

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The clarity that I received through meditation  is that we are all connected.  Prior to this revelation, I had the tendency to look at things only from my perspective.  I was the one being wronged or mistreated and everyone else were the jerks inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering upon me.   It finally occurred to me that perhaps the people involved in an uncomfortable situation all have something to learn from each other.  There are no coincidences; the people involved in a turbulent situation all need to be there with each other for individual and collective spiritual growth.

 

Breathe:

My most recent personal experience with injustice involved a business transaction with a major bank.  Being treated unfairly at the hands of a multi-billion dollar financial institution caused me to reflect on some deeply seeded societal perceptions of my personal worth as a human. Make no mistake,  I consider myself a blessed and fortunate woman.  My wealth is reflected in the love that I receive from my children, family and friends; it is reflected in the “thank you” messages that I receive from those whom I have helped.  My wealth is reflected in my good health and my ability to use my talents and gifts in a multitude of ways.  My wealth is reflected in my spiritual connection.  These manifestations of wealth cannot be taken from me because they are derived from my internal power.   I nurture, cultivate and protect my internal power because the world needs my gifts and talents, and I want to give my best to humanity and to the universe.

I consider financial wealth an external power because people can take away your money, so whenever I feel attacked in this area, I am a cross between a lion and a lamb.  A lion because you are quite frankly messing with my money.  You are messing with my ability to maintain my life and to develop my creativity (and don’t get me started with my kids- have you heard of mama bear people?).  A lamb because I just want to return to the peaceful and harmonious land of internal happiness.  I just want to have the financial freedom to write and create and travel and be happy.  Is that too much to ask?

Justice is defined as the quality of being fair and reasonable; these are things that everyone is entitled to from earthly arrival to earthly departure.  When justice is not delivered, there is a feeling of depletion and degradation.  Is it just for a single person living a modest life to have their secured funds held for two weeks on the whim of a financial giant?  Is it just that the people who work at the branch level of the financial institution be caught in the crosshairs of human tears and unjust policies?  It is time that we think of others as individuals and not as social security numbers or credit scores; we are not being just with one another when we sum each other up within the first 2 minutes of meeting based on superficial averages and statistical data.

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful that my eyes were opened to the need to pursue justice.  Spiritually, we are all connected.  There are lessons for each of us to learn from one another and from every human encounter.  Although the bank employee involved did something that he thought  was the right thing, it ended up hurting me emotionally and financially.  I am not angry with him; in fact I feel deep sympathy for him.  I know what it is like to be caught in the middle.  Although he could completely see my point of view, he still has to remain loyal to the rules and regulations of the institution that employs him.  My intentions to seek  justice may or may not have an impact on his life, but it is not up to me to distribute or monitor his life lessons.  Before realizing that we are all connected, I would have wanted to let the whole thing go as to not harm this gentleman, but how could I know for sure that it would not harm him?  What if this whole thing leads him to something better, be it a better understanding of how the banking system works or even a better job?

I am grateful that I am spiritually supported enough to stand up for what is right.  I am grateful that I was able to calmly and articulately explain my side of the injustice, because it may help others in the future.  It may change a policy; it may keep another single mother from facing financial depletion and emotional despair.  I am grateful that we are all connected and that we will all learn what we need to learn.

Love:

In the end, the internal powers (love, gratitude, compassion) are the real winners.   The big financial institution continues to exert it’s external power by holding my property and funds.  Internal power (love) however found a way to sustain me.

Just as saying no can be an external power in order to gain or maintain control of a situation, saying no can also be an internal power.  Operating from spirituality often means seeing the bigger picture and walking away from things that are trivial, but sometimes it means standing up for what is right.  On the one hand, I could sit and wait quietly for my money for two weeks while meditating, talking to birds and reading inspirational memes until my eyes bleed.  On the other hand, I can stand up for what is right; I can use my intellect to research my options and implement a fair plan, then meditate, talk to birds and read inspirational memes until my eyes bleed.  I choose the latter.  Justice and spirituality can walk hand in hand peacefully and without harming others.

Love is not always warm and fuzzy.  Sometimes love has to make us aware of what needs to be corrected.  It hurts in the short-term.  I know because I was also a part of this injustice; I had to learn something from this as well.  Actually, love has been correcting me for months now and I am okay with that.  The more you are corrected, the less it hurts.  Although I am more comfortable with the love that ends with hugs and well-wishes, I am also okay with the love that has rough edges and spikes.  It all works itself out.  Namaste.

Essential- Trial and Error

The stress of the holidays is slowly passing, but there are lessons to take away from this and every holiday season. The pressure of getting the right gift, inviting the right mix of people to our parties, wearing the perfect outfit and cooking an amazing meal is heightened around Christmas. I often wonder why we fall for the same script every year. Recently I heard a story of someone who spends almost 50 thousand dollars a year just in Christmas lights because that is how they have always done it in their family. Everyone is entitled to whatever makes them happy, but this person says that it was extremely stressful for them, but they could not break the Christmas tradition.

 

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Maybe we want things to be different this year, so we create the Holiday of our dreams in our imaginations (trial). Everything is glorious; we imagine ourselves happily moving through the holiday season in a way that makes sense to us. There is no sitting in holiday traffic or waiting in long lines and no over-spending, just family and friends enjoying the special feeling that the holiday brings. It occurred to me today that the problem lies with the possible “error”. We want to make it to the beautiful imagery of a stress-free holiday without suffering a possible loss along the way. Maybe the loss (error) would be something as heinous as disappointing a family member or a friend or even appearing to be less than perfect. The tricky part is to figure out if the error is really a bad thing. Maybe being less than perfect is actually good.

 
Breathe:
Due to unforeseen circumstances (and possibly lack of long-term preparation on my part), I gave a lot less gifts this year. I was not in the position to overspend or overcommit. I prepared my children in advance for less unwrapping this year. A funny thing happened– they survived. The trial and error ended with the manifestation of the beautiful imagery of Christmas that I had in mind many years ago. The difference? The trial was not optional; otherwise this may have been another year of wishful thinking with no real plan to make any substantial changes.
I told my children months ago to write down 4 things that they wanted for Christmas but only to expect two of those things under the tree. They were instructed to prioritize their lists and given a date to have the lists submitted to me so that I could forward the lists to Santa. They thought diligently about what they really wanted and gave me their little lists before the due dates. There were no fits pitched and no attempted negotiations; they knew what to do and they did it without any complaints. For a 6 and 8 year old, I was pretty impressed at their maturity in understanding the situation and the rules and abiding by them accordingly.

 
Pay Gratitude:
I am grateful that the little ones were both happy on Christmas Day. They got the things that they asked for and were extremely happy with their gifts which actually held their interests for more than 5 minutes. I am grateful that instead of sitting in traffic or waiting in long lines, we made meals together and in-between their fighting, we also danced and laughed and sang.
I am grateful for the trial. The balance of life is crucial to happiness. In the past I found myself attempting to make up for lack of time for my kids with materials. They did not buy it. Of course they were temporarily happy for having a new toy, but eventually they still wanted me to play with them and the toy. This Christmas, there was balance. Interestingly, the balance between time and materials spilled over into other areas. There was also a greater balance between indulgence and exercise, between activity and rest and between laughing and crying (I mean, it’s still the holidays). This year, there was much less waste from boxes and wrapping paper and a great reduction in thrown-away food. We even had time to organize and carry out a community service project.


Love:
I love that this year, I got a little closer to doing it right. I love that it is December 26th and I still have my sanity. Namaste.