being mindful. being present. being awake.

We read and hear these words repeatedly in our culture. Often referred to the practice of meditation, of practicing quiet, of not being drawn up in another persons drama, of holding healthy boundaries; but what does it actually do for or to or through the individual  who reaches mindfulness? Or a state of being awake? Or one who is a daily meditator? How does being mindful, present and or awake shift our daily life style, other than less anxious? more relaxed? less stressed? What do we place into the action of our lives from reaching a state of mindfulness?

My understanding, my perception is this; we make better choices.

I am not only referring to the large ‘life affecting all choices’; I am referring to the “smaller”, what appear-less than choices that will one day influence the larger choices. The appear small choices in a casual conversation, which carry a big stick. The ability to choose what is truly necessary to share with another; is it mine or theirs? As our conscious awareness expands, we learn that what is yours you can keep. And I will do the very, very best with what is mine that I am able.

When we are not caught up  in the drama of humanness, we have the ultimate knowledge that every single choice counts. We grow aware that each choice we make, effects the whole of our being, is woven into the fabric of who we are becoming, and who we will be tomorrow, and more importantly; who we are to be in that very moment of our lives. We grow awake enough to see that each word and tone that comes from our mouths affects the whole. (even on Facebook) We spiritually mature to the level of beingness that we realize that every single action, word, thought i say, do or have; has a vibrational effect on me, others, this world i am a speck of. (One powerful speck!) We learn and grow to see that each word and thought I say has the potential to infiltrate you, to become part of YOUR heart. How do I want to treat your heart? As we become more mindful we clearly see; as I treat my own heart, I treat yours. Do unto others as you want them to do unto you has never been more palpable.

I often have my clients sit with the question, ‘how do you want to show up here’ ? Here meaning their day, or relationship, or any experience. I find it to be a  deeply transformational quest. Life changing. Do you wish to be more mindful, then ask yourself each day when you wake up: ‘how do i want to show up today’.

Each of us has had the experience of knowing someone for a long time, and then one day they say ONE thing, just ONE comment; and we can shut down. We can say that’s it, I do not want them in my life. WE can walk away – from ONE comment. Think about this.

Being one who others confess to and confide in, my heart is often hit with what is most unfathomable to me. Some days simply stun you.

Practicing kindness is truly a deeply spiritual practice of the heart. To become awake to the truth that YOU matter, EVERY word and action matters, that each idea, statement, experience causes a like vibration to go out into the world and cause more like energy to expand, grow and increase – well, God has given us each choice, let us implement this gift with as much love and wisdom as possible.  Please.

do i love myself?

(This is a piece i wrote a few years ago. I thought it was worth a repeat.)

There is a question which has come across FaceBook in the past few weeks – about listing the things in your life you love – and then the hook is; how long would it take you to list yourself? Brutal, right? No? Then perhaps you haven’t thought about it – at least it was for me. In fact, so much so, I am awake at 1:00 am right now, days……. perhaps weeks after first reading it, still thinking about it. Brutal.

Do we really love ourselves? Do you love yourself deeply, honorably, with integrity, compassion, kindness and respect? Do you observe how others treat themselves, what they find acceptable behavior by others TO themselves in their own lives? Do you notice how others allow themselves to be bullied, talked into and many times forced? Do you see how easily others say yes to anything – when they simply want to say no? Do you see how by choice, people feed themselves absolute crap? Do you see how people do not allow themselves to say yes to fun, to leisure, to time off – and instead work like a slave, find MORE to do, insist on doing someone else’s workload? Have you ever truly, with the eyes and heart of an observer, watched how another person allows themselves to be treated? Go ahead. What do you see?

I have believed that for many years, I have lived my life treating others as I treat myself – with love, kindness and compassion. BUT, this formidable FaceBook (oxymoron?) inquiry has got me going for sure, and I wonder if I am as kind to myself, as loving to myself; as I am to others. I seriously doubt it.

Like many soul friends on a spiritual path of awakening and heart centered awareness, I have strived to be kind to all around me. I have taken my Buddhist vows, read all the books, practiced all the meditations, paused before speaking, gone to workshops, presented at workshops, volunteered my time, been in service, been a daily meditator, been mostly vegan, a pure essence oil dowsing, flower essence taking, non-main stream preferred healing centered person who has written about self-care, thought about self-care, done self-care, expressed the importance of self-care, helped my little girl feel safe, been in therapy, done years of work as a counselor, teacher and guide, ministered to the dying; yup, been a good woman, no doubt about it, I can give myself that one – but do I love myself, this is the question.

Perhaps loving oneself is not the other side of a coin, not simply the flip side of I treat others as I treat myself – but is a two sided facet itself? Stay with me here – we all seek balance in our lives, yet within each one of those balance seeking experiences lies more lopsided facets which require even more balance. Cosmos within a cosmos, right?  What if loving me not only means self-care, but self-asking? Not inquiry – that is leisurely and can be open ended; but direct asking. And the balance of that; direct answering.  Brutal, right?

Since I have read the ‘formidable’ question of how long it would take for me to list myself as one of the things in my life I love; I have been observing – a lot. To be honest, I have had to observe, because I quickly, instantly, immediately realized; I never would have made my list. Really. If I had casually answered that question out loud, as I did silently in my own mind; the list of things I love in this life are truly extensive! – But, me, myself and I would not have made the list. Gotta be honest here – nope, not on it, not even close. Even thinking about speaking, writing or considering putting me on my own list makes my skin crawl. Yikes, got some work to do.

What does it look like? Do I know anyone who lives as if they love themselves? And if I do, is my first reaction that they are selfish? Good question.

Do not misunderstand me, I have a good life – I treat my life well, my family & friends with love – but I also know I do not receive well, or gracefully, or at all. A dear sister friend pointed out to me recently, I am really, really good at giving compliments to others, but taking one is agony. Yup, this is true. (No, the truth is TWO friends have pointed that out to me recently, without any premeditated conversation I might add; just out of the great blue ethers. Damn. )

I love my friends, but do I love myself? I love Jesus, but do I love myself? I love my clients, but do I love myself? I love my child, but do I love myself? I love God, but do I love myself? I love my husband, work, my purpose, my congregations, my home, my yard, my art, my gardens……………but, do I really, truly, palpably, with tenderness, kindness and deep caring; love myself?

Loving oneself has nothing to do with ego, but has to do with the quest of treating yourself with the same simple kindness and caring you treat others. If you are a giving person, do you give to yourself? If you are thoughtful to others, are you to yourself? If you listen well to others, do you listen to your own needs? If you encourage others to take time off and enjoy life, do you take time off and enjoy life? If you tell others to wonder what they want first, and then go with that – do you do the same for yourself? If you are one of those helpful, always there for other people type persons; are you also there for yourself?

I realize the common story is women do not know how to do this – for too long we have been taught to push ourselves aside in favor of taking care of others –and the generational martyrdom has built layers upon layers of sacrifice – but I am trying to present this questioning with a deeper sense of loving oneself, men and women, with the same compassion and respect we may love anything else, and anyone else – with self-listening skills from the heart, with enthusiasm, support and joy……………with enough awareness to easily place oneself on the list of things they love in life. Not on the list because it is a belief that we are God in form, that we are each child of the most high Creator of the universe – BUT because we really like ourselves? Care for ourselves? Think of ourselves with love. Treat ourselves lovingly.

Last weekend I, my husband and another couple went for a short hike. As I was moving forward, in an upward direction, (with the incorrect shoes on I might add)……i fell backwards. I landed on my backside, flat against the rocky hill, head heading south, feet north – yet all my bruising is on my left side; my left knee, my left buttocks, my left; the side of receiving, of the Divine Feminine.

What would I say to another who came to me with this story?

Wow, that is great! Your body’s wisdom is showing you and supporting you to open to receiving more – getting jostled up a bit, not getting really hurt, you continued the hike, right? You enjoyed the rest of the day? It was this little hiccup; perfect, just enough to force you to receive.

What do you mean?

Well, didn’t you say you had to ask for help? Or you chose to ask for help? You had the other three folks each help turn you around? You said your head was heading south, your feet facing up the hill and you asked for them to turn you around before you moved on your own?

Yes.

You received help.

So, are you equating loving myself with receiving help?

Well, how do you express love to others?

~

So, if you were to make a list of all the things you love about your life, would you be on your list?

a sacred contemplation

Greetings:  I am just waking up from a week of quiet, meditative, retreat like and internal time. I am so very grateful that i know the gifts of taking this time, of disconnecting in order to connect.

In one of my meditations a most beautiful awareness came to me i wish to share with you. i ask your forgiveness first, for i do not see how i will have the language to explain, but i will try. (language is one of those human requirements which does not exist in the vibration of this new humanity we have entered (finally!!!); so walking the line of awake in form is more and more unique, quiet and tricky like coyote magic each day.)

i was shown how we are the cross. now, stay with me, i am well aware of the startling bigness of this statement.

i have always seen the cross and the crucifixion as represented in our daily living in the moments we must make decisions, implement choice, to turn towards God or stay focused on whatever distraction has our sleepy attention. we do this all day long, sometimes simply by food choice, or to be happy or mad, or anything in the catalogue of human emotions – and then we are given more critical moments to choose…will we hang here in this limbo  or choose for ourselves? will we stay here and feel our soul whimper in the midst of believing this lie, or will we step it up and say NO. will we turn to our faith in the Divine and forgive? the list is as endless as the human path to waking up to love is.

i saw that we are the cross, here in this reality. we each, every single one of us, holds the gift to welcome awareness, love or not. we die daily as our humanness and attachment to emotions is exponentially dissolved/healed, as we choose God. we know, we are nothing without God, literally and figuratively. God gave us life, we are each a child of the cosmic parent – but we are empty inside, fruitless without consciously choosing to see life as God, as Jesus has taught us. (here lies the tricky part, for everyone’s belief around this man, Jesus, varies!)

i was shown an actual cross, which laid upon our bodies. you can feel it, right? to know? we are there, in restraint, until, we choose to know our Oneness with unconditional love, with this new humanity where the majority of the human vibrations no longer thrive. as we are there, behind us is empty, filled with vacancy we once thought was Truth, in front of us is all magnificence we could ever imagine.  we choose from the emptiness or the fruitful.

it was a most powerful experience, sobbing tears of awareness and joy were felt. perhaps if you contemplate this, you may have a positive experience also, for writing it does not do it justice.

with gratitude.

great love to you, Deborah