Knowing is Momentary

It’s been more than a year…

..and I only remembered the other day, when discussing a website for my upcoming coaching career, that I have had a private personal blog @ WordPress.  That idea was forgotten for a couple more days, until I stumbled upon it today.  And, I read it.

In looking at the very few things I wrote more than a year ago, I found myself both constricting and expanding.  In reading the words that I was no longer comfortable with I found myself sucking in, chest tightening ~ Was I that sure of myself?  Did I feel that bold about what I thought was true?  Why did I believe it then? Why do I question it now?  Why do I care that other people might see what I thought ~ especially when I question it now?  Why do I now believe that I have to right?  Why are the gremlins in my head having a heyday with the idea people might see something I wrote that I now question?

I have seen and read plenty of other people’s ideas, perceptions and truths.  Some of which I agree, some of which I disagree.  Most of which I am in wonder that they put themselves out there so readily…so courageously.  Courage to say, ‘this is what I believe’.  And, ‘I believe it so passionately that I am going to put it out there for the world to see’.   Courage to say ‘not only do I believe this for myself, but you might like to know this, too’. That’s a lot of courage ~ a line in which I am now standing.  I have replaced those constricting feelings with ones of expansion. Because, in reading my blogs to date and being aware of my body’s reactions, I have learned a couple of things.

Self expression is expansive.  There are many forms of self expression, writing just one.  Expansion fills you up in a wholesome way ~ alignment, awareness, presence, and peace.  When writing those previous blogs I was writing from a wholehearted space from within.  It was a freeing experience.  It was joyful.  I was not concerned with the possibility of someone stumbling upon my blog and reading it.  It was truth, for at least a moment.

Which leads to my second knowing today.  We are all changing our truth as we continue to live with an open mind to incorporate all that we come to understand about life and living, whether that notion is complex or simple.  We are all evolutionary creatures, and all uniquely placed at different points on that evolutionary path.  In fact, there are many paths, as well as points along the path.  So, of course, I realized that the constriction I was feeling was simply judgment about where I have been, and entirely unnecessary.  It has been a year or more since I last wrote (here) and my own personal evolution (transformation, awareness, consciousness ~ whatever you want to call it) is calling for me to reevaluate some of those thoughts, and perhaps fine tune them.  Maybe even change them completely.  And, that’s okay.  No one stands still in one place.  Why do I expect this of myself?  Why have I expected it of others?

We keep shedding the notions that keep us out of alignment…that keep us unbalanced, small, and out of wholeness.  We keep shedding the thoughts and ideas that keep us out of living whole heartedly with joy, abundance, freedom, peace ~ bliss.  It doesn’t happen over night.  It doesn’t happen with a big bang.  It doesn’t even happen with consistency.

So, we write things that fill us up.   Then, sometimes, down the road, we reread it.  And it doesn’t feel as close to our center as it had been.  And, just as you begin to judge, you become aware of that constricted feeling in your body and realize what has really occurred is growth.  You are becoming more of who you are, and always were.   You’re awareness, your memory of you, is filling more of you up.

 

Advertisements

For my son, Hayden, on his 16th birthday…

Written, and borrowed, for the first child to call me ‘Mommy’:

I love the Jewish tradition of the Bar Mitzvah, the celebration on a boy’s 13th birthday when he becomes a man in the eyes of the Jewish community. I love it for many reasons. It is such a festive celebration, no matter if one is the most religious orthodox Jew or ‘only on high holidays’ observant Jew. So, I did a little research to see if I could retrofit this Jewish tradition into our Christian home. After all, my thinking, Christianity stems from Judaism and I’m creative so I can make this work… Well, my research quickly showed me that retrofitting would not work, mostly for practical reasons, not ideological ones…so I put down my notes, and tried to give up the idea. That was not so easy either because I wanted to do something to really mark this birthday as something ‘more’.   A ‘right of passage’.

So, I want to share some of the aspects of a Bar Mitzvah that I believe are relevant to Hayden on his 16th birthday.

A Bar Mitzvah is a ‘Coming of Age’ celebration. It is not another birthday that slips into birthday memories. It stands out. It is a special celebration with a clear meaning ~ you are now a man. What does it mean that you are now a man? It means that you have a new status in the world. Your new status brings a plethora of new opportunities and awesome responsibilities. The first of those opportunities is the ability to get a driver’s license, which comes with the obvious responsibility of driving. The ability to drive will bring you more independence so that more opportunities and responsibilities will present themselves to you.   (As they do, remember your new status!)

By the 5th Century, a Bar Mitzvah included a blessing that was recited by the father of the boy turning 13, in which the boy’s father thanks God for freeing him (the father) from the responsibility for the deeds of his child ~ as the child is now accountable for his own actions. By the 17th century Jewish boys celebrated this coming of age by reading from the Torah, chanting, leading services and delivering learned talks. These acts are the mitzvah, of which there are 613 Jewish commandments, or charitable and beneficial acts. And this is where the two roads diverged too much. Not because I don’t think that there are Christian equivalents that you have performed and will perform through your youth group at PRUMC ~ you see, religions in their purest form have more in common with each other than not. It is simply impractical for these purposes… But then I found this:

(A mitzvoth is a commandment (singular form of mitzvah), and I would like to share the one that I found.)

God declared:
“Behold, I have set before you the blessing,
and the curse,
therefore, choose life.”

So, I broke it down and decided to give it to you as your 16th birthday mitzvoth… What does this mean?

Before you came to be, in this fabulous human form that you took on, you were one with God. That is the blessing. The blessing is the oneness with the divine…I have always told you that you are a child of God….God is love.

The curse, then, is the separation from God. This is illustrated in the story of Adam and Eve when the apple was eaten, became aware of the separation, and forgot that they’d been born their perfect self …not a perfect someone else, but a perfect you.

And, because of the separation from God, fear entered into our consciousness, and not all was love. Remember that God gave us free will. So to choose life is to remind you He wants you to choose the life in which you are your highest self with Him.

All of this is to say that as you go out in this world with your new man-status remember that God is love and you are from Him and one with Him. If you can remember that simple fact as you are faced with the myriad of choices that will come before you, then hopefully your decisions will come from a place of love, and not fear. We make a million decisions/choices a day…how we perceive people, how we present ourselves, how we talk to our friends and family
…and how we drive our cars.   Do these things from a place of love.

Now, for some advice from many quotes we’ve found, credit is not always given to the author (sorry!):

Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.

Confidence is silent, insecurities are loud.

Complaining is mouth farting. And like any farting, people don’t mind hearing their own, but they don’t want to hear anyone else’s.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

You are a glorious Child of God. You are joyful, serene, positive, and loving. ~ MW

Never, ever, ever give up. ~ Winston Churchill

Feed your body. Feed your soul. Bust out!

Stand up for what’s right, even if you’re standing alone.

Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.

If it’s not right, do not do it; if it’s not true, do not say it. ~ Marcus Aurelius

Every moment is a teachable moment in which you are teacher, student, or both ~ make the impression you want mirrored back to you. ~ KW

Be with people who make you laugh.

There is no present like your presence.

Never lie about anything really important. The first lie will cause you to have to lie again and again to cover up the truth.   And each time you’ll chip away an important piece of yourself.

Look deeply into the eyes of the one you are falling for to get a glimpse of her soul.

If you get the chance to travel across the country or the globe, take it.

Spend a chunk of time every year with people who are much less fortunate than you are. It will fill your heart with gratitude.

It is better to be a failure at something you love, than a success at something you hate.

Find spirituality that you can wear like a loose coat the keeps you warm in any kind of weather.

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything.

Be sure to taste your words before you spit them out.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. ~Jimi Hendrix

Life becomes easier when you accept an apology you never got.

There is only one thing better than making a new friend, and that is keeping an old one.

The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace. ~ Carlos Santana

A friend is a person who knows all about you and still likes you.

Love in your mind produces love in your life. This is the meaning of heaven.
Fear in your mind produces fear in your life. This is the meaning of hell.  ~ MW

I’ve not failed, I’ve just fund 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas Edison

Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. ~ MW

Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. ~ MW, ACIM

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

And in the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So…
Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
Or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

And, to bring it full circle.
This is one of the goals of the Jewish way of living: to experience commonplace deeds as spiritual adventures, to feel the hidden love and wisdom in all things. ~ Abraham Joshua Heschel

Always remember we love you,
no matter what happens.
You cannot lose us.
We will always be here for you.

~Read on Mother’s Day at Hayden’s 16th birthday celebration with our extended family.

To my boys…

Hayden and Benjamin,

I know that you are good boys who will grow into good men.  

I know that I, unfortunately, react to you from a place of fear at times.  (That is my karmic journey to overcome.)

You, as men, will tend to have more power in society than most women throughout your life.  (No judgement here, simply an historic insight and prediction.  I wish that I would be wrong.)

Use your power wisely, and from your hearts.

I have seen your hearts.  They are gentle, kind, compassionate and good.

Live your lives from that soul-centered place.

You are my life’s two greatest blessings, and a blessing unto yourselves.

Know this always.

Teri

Teri is my sister.

We’ve shared a bedroom, lived in different countries, and lived in the same city.  Recently, she moved ~ and is still moving ~ as she and her husband, Tony, sold ev-er-y-thing, bought a deluxe RV and are traveling the country for two years.  I’m not sure where she is today, but I’m guessing it is somewhere between Texas and California.  I think about her every day.

One morning, before Teri left Atlanta for her new adventure, the following words wrote themselves when I woke up:

Love Letter to Teri

~ written 12.31.2014

~ for her despedida 1.3.2015

I woke up this morning thinking about you and your eminent departure from Atlanta for your adventure out West with this particular thought (which inspired this love letter)…

I chose you, too!

I can’t believe that the thought hasn’t taken, or received, more of my attention until now. However, it is clear to me that when I was that lovely spiritual being deciding to come back to earth, I didn’t just choose a mom and a dad ~ I chose you and Mark as well. In fact, I chose the lot of my life, but this is your love letter and how we came to be.

For centuries the Bushmen in Africa have greeted each other with “I See You” and “I Am Here”. ‘I See You’ is a fabulous validation of another’s personhood. It takes in, and accepts without judgment, condition, or complaint, all that a person is and ever will be. ‘I Am Here’ is to have who we are, where we’ve been, and what we will be, be seen.

I believe, that prior to my arrival, I spoke to you in a dream of yours and said, “I See You.”

And, you replied, “I Am Here.”

And in that moment, an agreement was made.

This may seem insane, as our road has had its bumps and grinds. But it seems to me that our agreement did not promise to be without them. Only that in the instant the promise was made, we knew that it was all for this precise moment.

Because, all we have is now.

There are no past sorrows or future apprehensions.

We have here and now.

Love and excitement.

And also in this moment I feel contentment for lives well lived, together and apart ~ and, assurance that there is much more ahead.

So, I raise a glass to toast “T”, and her beloved Tony, on their exciting adventure, lives well lived, and love.

“I See You.”

Interesting…

I write almost every day, and have done so off and on since middle school when my writing was simply copying quotes and poems that I enjoyed.   I stumbled upon creating a blog after signing up to follow someone else.   And, as is the course of my life these days, I’m going down a rabbit hole that looks like it might be interesting.  It speaks to me on some level.  I’ll see what it says.  

The thing I am most curious about, is how the act of typing, rather than writing by hand, suits me ~ or not.  I enjoy writing by hand….skipping lines, indenting, and indenting again – using lines and arrows and graphics.  I know that that can all be done via computer as well, but there is such an art to putting pen in hand and letting one’s thoughts drip out like percolating coffee.  Such an exquisite feel, in fact, that I’m going to do that just now!

tootles