photo credit: jerseytourism
It’s the end of the journey through another year, December in the northern hemisphere where I live. I love this month not for the holiday lights, shorter days and colder weather, but because things slow down for once. Largely thanks to the cluster of December holidays, the pace lets up, and there is time, space, and breathing room to reflect. Mmmmm . . . just savor how good that feels. Take a deep breath, let it out. Exhale. Doesn’t that feel wonderful?
Yet no sooner do we reflect on the past year, or our entire lives to date, than we fast forward to what we will do next, do differently, or both. We can’t help but move from reflection to dreaming and intending for the future.
Intention has been a growing focus in my life this year and is a paramount theme for 2011. And it’s not just me – the concept of living with intention seems to be popping up all around me, and I say it’s about time. Especially with science catching up to spirituality, we’re learning more all the time about the power of intention – even before it leads to action – to really and truly move the physical universe. (If you’re curious for more on that – especially the science piece – don’t miss what Lynne McTaggart is doing at The Intention Experiment. This ain’t hocus, people).
One thing’s for sure on this journey: you can set the course, or [click to continue…]
In any process of learning, growth or change, it’s terribly easy to get caught up in the illusion that you’re becoming “more”.
We send ourselves to school to get titles and degrees – to acquire knowledge and develop the intellect. We comb the far corners of the world to explore, see or experience more. We strive in our jobs and careers in order to become richer, promoted faster, or accredited and known in the process. We save and scheme and plan for a bigger house or more luxurious car, to live in a better neighborhood, or to send our kids to superior schools. Elite athletes train to break records, celebrities vie for more time in the spotlight and press than their peers, and politicians must outdo their opponents in fund-raising and face time to even get in the game.
Such is the metaphor for success in the modern world: climb, rise, move up, escalate, soar, transcend. Most days it feels like if you’re not advancing, you might as well not even get out of bed.
This is a serious pitfall for any seeker, because [click to continue…]
Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
This week, the father of a dear friend died. It wasn’t a surprise – he’d been ill for a while and there was adequate time to prepare – still, the loss is palpable. In the same week my sister’s mother-in-law was seen for chest pains and promptly ushered into open heart surgery for a quadruple bypass. She came through it fine, but the loss of expected freedom, mobility and livelihood during what is sure to be an extensive recovery (she’s in her 70’s) hits hard.
There are losses like these which are significant and permanent. They undeniably affect the person experiencing them firsthand and impact all with strong emotional attachments to that person. In these types of losses, it’s difficult if not impossible to see a silver lining.
Then there are those losses which are really wins in disguise, like my daughter’s recent loss. She’s twelve and has lost her eyeglasses AGAIN.
Mothers of kids with glasses, retainers, and similar personal health implements can relate. You spend thousands of dollars on braces, they finally come off, you spend a few hundred more on the retainers, and you think you’re done. Wrong. Retainers and glasses and sports wraps and such inevitably fall out of backpacks, are left on restaurant tables, and vanish on school buses. In my daughter’s case, she has worn glasses since the age of six and probably had at least ten pairs so far.
I’ve been at this motherhood-vision-care thing too long to freak out about another pair of lost glasses. I’ve been worn down. With calm resignation, I simply booked an appointment at the ophthalmologist. Her prescription had expired so she’d need to have an eye exam before new glasses could be ordered anyway.
Off we go to the doctor and while we’re waiting [click to continue…]
In any growth process, you’re going to encounter discomfort; it simply comes with the territory. The spiritual growth process is no different. It’s good to remind ourselves of this so we don’t get stalled once growth kicks into high gear.
What’s the secret to handling emotional discomfort so you can move forward and past it? [click to continue…]