Powerless

You never realize how much you rely on something till it’s taken away. That’s how things are rolling today. I woke up and the power was out. I wondered if it was just my bedroom and figured I would just need to go and flip a breaker switch. But it only took me a second to realize we were powerless and the entire house was out.

Being without power is crummy. I cannot do the things I want to do. For instance, I need to charge my Garmin before my walk with Sharee. I went to plug it in and was reminded that I was powerless. I went to make my breakfast and realized that I cannot cook my oatmeal because I don’t have power. I can’t even do my yoga routine because I’m without internet.

I think being powerless is tolerable only when you know the condition will end. We were informed that a drunk driver hit a powerline on 2nd North and that we should have power restored tomorrow. That’s longer than I’d like to be without power, but imagine if you had to live without power for an interminable amount of time. I think powerlessness would have one of two effects. It would either completely demoralize you, or you could find alternate ways of getting by, thereby creating your own power and no longer relying on the power others supplied.

Hmmm, that last line made me realize we are never truly powerless. We give away our power when we come to rely on others for it, but no one can take away our heart, will, and mind. We get to tell ourselves our own story. I can think today that I am without power or I can choose to focus on everything I can still do because of my own power.

I’m still able to sit here and compose my thoughts. Sure, I’ll have to wait to publish them online till the power is restored or until I figure out some other kind of workaround. Hold on, I just now thought of one. I can hotspot myself and publish this post. If I really wanted to boil my oats, I can go downstairs and dig up my camp stove. I’m not hungry enough yet to do that. I guess what this morning has reminded me is that I’m never really powerless. And that I’m grateful for modern conveniences. I need to never solely rely on other people’s power. I must cultivate my own so I can always power myself.

Suspending Reality

Today was so much fun! I took the kids back to school shopping. We spent 7 hours going all around Farmington Station and the Layton Mall. I LOVED letting the kids pick out their own clothes. It was so fun to watch them be all independent and grown up. They each have their own unique personality and style. And they are so confident and self-assured. I love it!

I think that must be how Heavenly Father feels about his children. He loves watching us discover our interests, figure out who we are, what we like, and what we have the potential to become. He loves being with us as much as we love being with our kids. He appreciates when we talk with him, think of him, and tell him all about our day. He loves being a part of our lives.

I had so much work to do yesterday. In fact, ever since T went MIA with his Brain Tumor, I’ve had double the work–and I was already working more than I wanted. It has literally become impossible to stay on top of everything and so it was with great pleasure that I set aside my work worries and went and enjoyed some shopping with my children. A good friend of mine said to me the other day, “We can’t manage time for it is fixed. We can, however, manage our priorities. My children are more important than my career.

We all went to dinner at Cafe Rio to celebrate my birthday. I’ll be turning 39 on Wednesday. I bought the girls dinner at Chick-Fil-A, Luke dinner at Five Guys, and Matt and I ate Cafe Rio. It was fun to let everyone get what they loved. I think I suspending reality is really good for my soul. I’m going to do it a little more often.

Eyes Wide Open

I’m learning a lot lately about being fully present–eyes wide open–and allowing spirit to manifest itself however and whenever it’s ready. I’ve always loved the following scriptures:

Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will (D&C 88:68)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).

Both these scriptures remind me that God manifests himself to us not in the way we ask nor expect. He has a pattern of showing up for me later in the game. In fact, I’ve come to expect no answer or witness in the moment, and to enjoy waiting for him to reveal himself later. He always does and it’s always delightful.

Today, my divine manifestation came through Frank, the gas pump service man at Sam’s Club. He was such a gift from God. I pulled up and he greeted me enthusiastically declaring his readiness to assist in any manner needed. I thanked him for his greeting and eagerness to help and a wonderful conversation ensued. Frank is a special spirit and has some unique challenges in his mind and body. I could tell he was here on earth to teach all of us how to accept fully and love unconditionally.

I thanked God for the reminder that most of his marvelous gifts are to be found in one another–our spirit sisters and brothers. I committed myself to recognize more readily the blessings God has given me in the form of my neighbors, colleagues, and friends. They are truly the most wonderful divine manifestations ever born. So here’s to living life eyes wide open and embracing the spiritual manifestations presented daily in physical form.

Never Too Late

I’m living proof that it’s never too late. It’s almost 8 (pm) and I just showered. 🙂 You may wonder why I would bother when the day is almost over, but for me, something about going to bed without having showered just didn’t feel right. So I decided to do what’s right despite the late hour. Heck, I even decided to fix my hair, which may seem rather silly, but at least I’ll look decent as the day winds down.

Plus, who am I kidding? I’m gonna be up for at least another 3 hours so I might as well look my finest. Best of all, I don’t have to wash my face and do my evening skin care routine for I just now did it! And lest you think my skin care routine consists of something exotic, allow me to disabuse you of that notion. I subscribe to the same morning and evening procedure as most adolescents across America . . . drumroll please. . . Proactiv! 🙂

So there you have it! It’s never too late to do what feels right. For if it’s anything like a late evening shower, you’ll not only feel cleaner, you’ll also sleep sounder.

Summer Days

I love summer days! It’s wonderful to not have to rush my kids off to school. I love letting them wake up when they are done sleeping, and I especially enjoy eating breakfast together. We discuss our dreams and our plans for the day.

The kids have all made their own summer schedules and I love watching them stay busy and engaged doing what they love.

Each day they type, practice their instruments, play outside, read, relax and play some more. They have all picked topics they want to learn more about and spend time “Researching.” The best is letting them make their own lunches and just be in charge of their own schedule. I am such a fan of freedom and thoroughly enjoy watching them embrace their agency.

It’s funny how empowered they feel by simply making their own sandwiches, or choosing to microwave a burrito. I taught them how to properly fuel their body with carbs, proteins and fat and explained the importance of eating plenty of fruits and veggies to stay healthy. They know it is their job to balance their meals and take good care of their bodies. And so far they have been doing wonderfully well.

It’s funny because I never realized how much I ran the show. My children did fine with me calling the shots, but I feel like lately we are all having much more fun since I’ve relinquished total control. Letting go has afforded me additional freedom too. It has been a total win-win and allowed all of us to thoroughly enjoy these epic summer days!

Hakalau

I’ve been studying about The Learning State also known as Peripheral Learning or Hakalau. The Hakalau originates in Hawaii and it’s a state that is 100% pure awareness. It readies the mind for learning by calling conscious and subconscious awareness into present.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how increasing awareness can enhance learning. I’m so fascinated by all of this because I used to be a teacher, and have always been a devoted student of all things so I find it insane that this is the first I’ve ever heard of NLP techniques (Neruo Linguistic Programming).

I sometimes can’t help but feeling like I live under a rock. The whole, “The more you learn, the more you realize how much you don’t know” feels so true to me right now. I’m going to buy some more books and courses on NLP and Hakalau. This isn’t the last you’ll hear about this technique from me.

Leashless

I LOVE summer mornings! The children get to sleep in and I get to go for morning walks with my book. And now, since we have Thor, I get to take him with.

It has been difficult to try to walk the dog while reading my book. Primarily because I find it hard to both hold the leash and turn the pages when I’m walking. I’ve done it many times, but it’s annoying. So the past few days I’ve allowed Thor to walk leashless alongside me. We both LOVE it!

I love the way he playfully explores. He loves to smell flowers, fire hydrants, splash through puddles, sprinklers and greet everyone we pass on the streets. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see him so happy. And how happy his happiness makes me, and how happy I am that we are both on a walk enjoying ourselves. Walking leashless also allows me to easily read. The freedom is made possible by our mutual trust in each other and his heeding my instructions.

I wondered how this post compares to my former post concerning the need for a leash that I wrote about here. It seems that learning to walk with a leash was a necessary  step in Thor’s progression to now be able to walk alongside me leashless. He understands and can hearken to basic commands such as “leave it,” “stay”, “uh-uh,” “come,” etc.

Is this how it is with God? Is there a preparatory period where we must learn to heed the leash so that we can one day walk leashless. Is that the ultimate goal? Because leashless walking is so much more enjoyable for both parties. I feel like Thor’s true personality unfolds when he isn’t tied down and I’m free to express my love rather than my control.

Whether the leash or not is a necessary preparatory step, I cannot for sure say, but this I do know. I was on it and I finally feel leashless. I’m loving the latter. I’ve never felt so alive, fulfilled, happy and free! Each day is a new adventure and I’m loving my leashless life!

Family Home Evening

We had a wonderful family home evening tonight. We all washed the windows (inside and out), pulled weeds in the front and backyard and then headed to Dairy Queen to treat ourselves to some ice cream. Working as a family together is tops.

For our lesson, we watched a new 23 and Me commercial featuring Gru. It was cute. Then we read inspirational quotes. We had many favorites but here are the top 5 we found meaningful tonight:

The final principle we discussed was “not being afraid to try new things.” We encouraged each other to look at life as a great experiment or laboratory of learning. If we don’t dare to dream big, we will never know what we could have done. Failure is impossible for we are our only limits and with God, nothing is impossible!. My kids believe it. As do I!

Family Home Evening is always awesome with my stellar crew!

Granny Shots

If you’ve played basketball, you’ve for sure heard of granny shots. Granny shots aren’t cool, but they are the best way to shoot a foul shot. No joke. Rick Barry, the reigning free throw king, averaged 89% as his free throw shooting percentage. And he shot underhand. . . like a grandma boss.

Wilt Chamberlain, the famous NBA player who still holds the record for the most points scored in any NBA game—100 points against the Chicago Bulls—shot his foul shots in that game granny style. Pretty impressive eh? Why then, didn’t he shoot like that all the time?

Additionally, did you know that most NBA games are lost by 6-8 points and that if all NBA players started shooting their foul shots granny style, their teams would score on average 8-10 points more per game. That means adopting this underhand approach at the foul line would result in winning more games—heck even an NBA Championship. And still, they don’t. Won’t. Can’t. Why? Because to them, it just isn’t cool.

I find it fascinating that even though shooting granny style is the most effective means to make the point, players won’t do it because it isn’t cool. That’s sad. And you know what’s even sadder? This is a phenomenon common in all facets of life. How many times are we guilty of going with the flow or doing as others do just so we don’t stand out—even though standing out would be the best way to win?

Why not be like Rick Barry and go against the grain? Find your own flow. Be your own cool. And in so doing, break records, set records, and ultimately, win! Next time you are tempted to just fit in— think of grandma, and go granny shots style.

Falling Into Grace

I just finished another incredible book by Adyushanti called Falling Into Grace. I loved so many things about the book and since I just barely finished the last chapter, one concept is particularly fresh and poignant in my mind and that is my expanded understanding of grace.

In LDS theology, grace is defined as:

Divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

Mirriam-Webster supplies a superabundance of definitions for the term grace and if you’d like to read them all click here.  The definitions that stood out to me in light of this post were:

  1. a :  unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

     b :  a virtue coming from God

    c :  a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

  2. a : disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

Basically, we, as divine beings, can be manifestations of grace to our fellow human beings. We can be that unmerited divine assistance who reaches out to humanity in their time of need. As we follow our Master’s example we can be a divine means of help and strength to our brothers and sisters. We are grace just as we are love and divine and all that stuff I’ve been writing about here.

Adyushanti shared a story of a great Zen master who watched a small boy in India being shunned and teased because of his deformed face. The suffering of the young boy touched him deeply and he wept in the street. He wanted so badly to help the child, but did not know what to do. As he stood there in his “unknowing” his heart opened and he found himself taking the small boy by the hand and walking him across the street to an ice cream shop. There he placed coins into the young boy’s hand and told him to go buy ice cream for himself and the other children. As the boy did, he became the hero and experienced a moment of acceptance from his previous attackers. The Zen Master had “Fallen Into Grace.”

And that is when it all clicked for me. You see the entire book Adyushanti has been teaching about the power of “not knowing.” I could see glimpses of wisdom throughout the book, but it wasn’t until the end, when he illustrated how this Zen Master allowed his heart to show the way to serve that the whole concept of me being an agent of Grace and “Not Knowing” clicked. If I am open and willing, and not afraid of “not knowing” what to do next, the divine in me will move me to act in that moment. The moment will supply what is needed to fill the need. That enlightenment is an act of grace itself that further leads to the divine unfolding of my act(s) of grace. It becomes one eternal round. All things truly are one. And all truth and grace can be circumscribed into one great whole. WOW! It’s literally blowing my mind.

I thought of how many times I go to visit someone and as I’m sitting there and they are pouring out their souls to me, I’m silently praying for inspiration and wondering what to do and say next. My entire life I have been trying to orchestrate inspiration or pull down answers from Heaven, when in reality I simply need to sit with the person and allow the divine to unfold. Sitting in the “not knowing” allows my heart to break open and provides the opportunity for me to fall into grace. . . better yet, allowing the divine unfolding allows both the giver and the receiver to fall into grace. Grace is a divine supply always available. The unfolding comes in the not knowing. We must be open to it, comfortable and completely at peace with not knowing.

I can’t wait for my next service moment. I am going to embrace “not knowing” and instead of trying to figure out what to say or do, I’ll allow the divine to unfold so we can both fully experience Falling Into Grace.