Something Bigger Than

Seems like whenever I witness something bigger than myself I’m in awe. It not only occurs when I’m the one feeling part of something larger than myself, it also happens when I observe it elsewhere. Last night as we watched Luke’s Christmas band performance I felt “the sum is greater than its parts” feeling that causes my heart to stir. It’s funny because I think there was a time in my life when I wanted to be the “Big Part,” or to play the primary role, but now I see the beauty in true teamwork where every part matters. What would the band sound like without the bass, or bereft of the brass? Each piece contributes to the beauty of the whole.

That’s how I felt the first day at Nutraceuticals as I toured the office depot and I felt it again yesterday as we took Cory, Matt, and Jer on the same stroll. We are a part of something bigger than ourselves and I’m completely content to play my small part that will hopefully contribute to the greater whole.

On a closing note, I wondered why this phenomenon seems to move me so and I think I now know. . . it’s because being a part of something bigger than oneself is the universal DNA code. Humanity is the whole. It moves me so when I consider the small, yet eternally significant part I play. We are all part of something bigger than ourselves for we are all a part of this great, eternal family we call humanity. We all need each other and together we are beautiful. Just like my sons concert band–one symphonic soul!

Between You and God

I love Mother Teresa! She is one of my heroes. Today, I was pondering this quote:

In the final analysis, it is all between you and God . . .

I love this quote so much because it’s a powerful reminder of whose business we should be about, and of that which we should be concerned. Who cares what others think about our decisions and our beliefs. Ultimately, we will be judged on the “content of our character,” not our religious affiliations, color of our skin, our gender, our socio-economic status, etc. Who we are and what we have become is what matters in the end.

When we concern ourselves with the opinion of God, and not the opinion of men, we cannot go wrong. God is love. Therefore we are God when we love.

Furthermore, God loves us no matter what. In fact, there is nothing we can ever do that will separate us from the love of God. His love is always there. We only feel separated when we forget to connect with him. Spencer W. Kimball always said if you are feeling distant from God, “Who moved?” God isn’t ever moving away from us. Closing the distance is up to us. And I like to think of it even different than that because I believe God will feel after us. He doesn’t let us run away from him (yes, we can’t get very far from Him) for His love follows us wherever we go “for he causeth his son (sun) to shine on the good and the bad,” so really we just have to turn and face Him for He is always right there. Maya Angelou always says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Well, I like to apply that quote to God, “Wherever you go, there He/She/They are.”

It’s really hard for me nowadays to just refer to a loving Heavenly Father and only use the pronoun Him. If I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and blesses me, surely I have a Mother in Heaven who is equally involved. If not, why would I ever aspire–as a woman–to be a God someday? So I can play a quiet, passive, supportive role? Sorry, woman has been playing the quiet, passive, supportive role for centuries here on planet earth. I’ve enjoyed seeing her impressive strides forward to equality. Great gains have been made, but there are still miles to go before she sleeps. It’s an amazing time to be alive and to be a woman. Never before have we had so many rights, privileges, and opportunities. I thrill to think what the future holds for my daughters and my son.

Alas, I diverged as the point of my post today is to free yourself from the good and bad opinion of others and instead focus on the opinion of God. ‘Tis the Divine that matters most and it never was between you and them, it always has and will be between you and God.

The Purpose of Paradox

I originally wrote this post and titled it “Hurt so Good.” I was interrupted prior to publishing and as I revisited it, I decided to change the title to “The Purpose of Paradox.” The evolution needs no explaining, simply commence your read.

Hurt so Good? Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? I mean, how can something that hurts, feel good? Well, that is what happens at Structura. I had a deep fascia massage and everything about it was intense! There were parts that hurt SO bad, and the only thing that made it bearable was that I knew it was doing me good.  I told myself the sensations were not pain. I told my body that the sensations were AMAZING, and producing results. Whenever the sensations became abominably uncomfortable, I focused on the fact that training my fascia would help me achieve my pistol squats, along with a few other moves I cannot yet do because of mobility restrictions.

Visualizing myself able to achieve these advanced yoga positions made it possible for me to endure the torture. In fact, the future realization made the hurt so good.

I am particularly fond of paradoxes. In fact, I wrote about another paradox the other night Giving up for Gain   And tonight I came across another one I liked:

Infinite Patience Produces Immediate Results

I find it fascinating that contradictions can help us see more clearly. Seems like I’ve stumbled upon another paradox–contradiction clarity.

Giving Up for Gain

I just came across this killer quote:

One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain.

I’m going to summarize this principle as Giving Up for Gain. It is something I have come to appreciate a lot lately as I’ve walked a more Zen and Buddha path. Detaching from outcomes, freeing yourself from the good opinion of others, accepting reality, allowing people to be as they are, all of these true principles perfectly illustrate Giving Up for Gain.

When you are able to give up your need to control others and simply allow them to be as they are, you are gaining peace of mind and improving your relationship with that person. When you are able to detach from outcomes you are giving up your need for control and gaining serenity and trust. The universe smiles kindly upon those who allow it to do its work. No one likes a meddler yah?

When you give up your need to be right, or your need to be liked, you are gaining personal freedom to be who and what you are. Following your own life path is one of the most rewarding, joyful, fulfilling journeys you can make. I cannot imagine traveling my life path any other way. And I love that I have discovered we all have our own unique life paths. There is no “one” right way to do anything. There are many ways and you should do whatever feels right for you.

I gave up my business, I literally just walked away and gave it to one of my epic employees. I have gained peace of mind, more time, and an incredible new career. I am feeling so grateful for all the personal growth I’ve experienced. I’m grateful for my life path that is teaching me everything I need to know as I need to know it. I love people. I love my life. I love my family. I love my husband. I love God, Universe, Spirit, and the eternal soul. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

I wonder where else I can apply the principle Giving Up for Gain?

Free from the Need of Approval

Approval seeking? Why do so many care so much about what others think? Why put your happiness and future in the hands of others? There is nothing more liberating than being free from the need of approval from others. Do what you want. Be who you are. Quit conforming to societal and cultural conventions–especially if you disagree.

Think about it, it’s really impossible to secure the approval of everyone at all times. There is always going to be someone who disagrees with you. In fact, you probably can’t even please half the people in a given room at any given time. So why not get comfortable with disapproval. It’s a fact of life. If half the people, half the time, will disapprove of what you do, why not do what you want to do?

And here’s another point to consider. Think of all the people you approve of. What is it about them you like best? Are they sycophants? Or are they independent, confident, self-actualized individuals? I don’t really admire chameleons and every historical figure whose earned my admiration has been a radical, a reformer, or a revolutionary. These inspirational figures were not the ones who walked the prescribed path of the masses–not Jesus Christ; not Gandhi; not Mother Teresa;  nope, not one, they were all completely unconventional.

So let’s not be the kitten who thinks happiness lies in his tail, so he chases it thinking he’ll finally be happy once he catches it. The harder he tries to catch his tail, the more disappointed he becomes.

A wise cat knows that happiness is going about your business, allowing your tail to follow. Where ever you confidently venture, it will chase after you!

This cat tale perfectly highlights the insanity of thinking happiness lies in chasing the approval of others. Tis far better and wise to pursue one’s own path and happiness and self-approval will naturally follow.

In conclusion, I’d like to close by adding this additional piece of wisdom from a man who didn’t let the approval of others determine his divine destiny. Abraham Lincoln said:

If I were to read, much less answer all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how–the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out alright, what is said against me won’t amount to anything.  If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.

Let us, like Abraham Lincoln, be free from the need of approval from others.

Belief Relief

There is a certain amount of relief that comes from expressing beliefs. For months I have felt like I was hiding something from family and friends. Talking to the Bishop about my concerns was liberating and finally sharing my feelings with my family last night was equally freeing.

It was an interesting encounter. I realize now, more than ever, the importance of allowing others to believe according to the dictates of their own conscience. I also reaffirm that there is no “one right way.” Everyone must own their own truth and walk their own path. Shaming, ostracizing, and belittiling those who hold divergent beliefs emanates from a place of fear, not  love. God is love. I try never to act out of fear, for when I act in fear, I am not acting in love.

I wish I could recreate the scene from last night’s party, but doing so would not cast some members in the best possible light, and since their actions were simply reactions, I will allow those re-actions to be forgiven and forgotten. My desire to be right no longer trumps my desire to be kind.

I do want to express my gratitude to the powers that be for the peace, love, happiness, and joy I feel in my life. I have never felt so much genuine content. I am constantly in awe. God is awesome. People are awesome. Life is awesome! I sometimes feel as if my very heart will burst! I’m grateful for everything I’m learning. I’m grateful for my family. I feel that this “belief relief” is divinely orchestrated to help expand our consciousness. Because of me, and others like me, my family will have the opportunity to practice unconditional love. God works in mysterious ways. They are good people. They have taught me so much, and they are continuing to help me to learn and to grow.

Silently By

Today was stake conference. There were several messages I enjoyed, however, there were several remarks that made me smile. One that cuased me thought was our stake president thanking the women who sit silently by supporting their husbands and the priesthood as they build the Kingdom of God.

sit silently by, supporting

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being relegated to the sidelines in a supporting role. I’d like to get some playing time and help my team move the Kingdom of God forward. I don’t believe God wants his daughters to sit silently by, supporting the men in God’s work. 

I am so grateful that God has given me a knowledge and sense of my worth and role in His work. I do not sit silently by supporting others. I pick up my sickle and I thrust. I push my plow and I hoe my row. I am not going to simply support men and their priesthood as they “build the kingdom of God,” and I’m ashamed that we still find it acceptable to speak in such a manner.

Now, I know this man meant no harm. He’s a product of his culture. I don’t believe he has a secret, private agenda to supress women. I believe he is simply ignorant of his words and how they loudly reinforce womens’s relegation to “supporting,” and “silent” roles.

I am grateful that I find meaningful ways to serve on my own and that I don’t have to silently sit by as a supporter. I will not worship a God who builds his Kingdom this way. I have no desire to be in the eternal courts of a chauvinist. My God loves all of his children and bestows no special favors upon either gender. He does not have roles, he has goals. His goal is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of his children and he needs both men and women on the front lines playing active parts. No one race or gender is to sit silently by in a supporting role. We march forward together–foot soldiers engaged in the mighty cause of truth and right. My daughters will not sit silently by, and my sons will not hope their women only fill supporting, silent roles.

Enough

Seth Godin had a great post this morning about Thanksgiving and the tendency to overeat. He wondered why we stuff ourselves full when eating enough is infinitely better. Enough feels good. Full doesn’t. Full, while uncomfortable, also has other deliterious consequences. Weight gain is one. The feeling of full doesn’t last so overeating just causes you to gain weight.

Why does the natural man seem to have an insatiable appetite? True freedom and happiness comes from being content. Learning to recognize that we have had enough and that we have sufficient for our needs really is the recipe for a happy life.

I’ve had occassion lately to contemplate enough versus stuffed. It’s tempting to overeat just because you can. But stepping back and realizing that eating more than you need really doesn’t have any benefit, and actually makes you feel worse off than before, helps remind me that I already have everything I need. I don’t like feeling full. I like feeling enough. I’ve always had sufficient for my needs. God and the universe have made sure of that. Why worry that this will ever change. God, and the universe, will continue to provide and supply.

Hot Potatoes

We watched some inspirational messages tonight from Dr. Dyer and Eckhart Tolle. Both convened for a conference in Maui and were discussing great spiritual teachers. Dr. Dyer joked how he just saw a list of the top 100 most spiritual teachers and he was shocked to see himself as #3. The Dali Llama was #2 and Eckhart was #1. Dr. Dyer said his ego was stroked to see such a list and wondered how he could displace Eckhart and the Dali Llama haha.

Eckhart then talked about how you must learn to let praise go. Treat it like hot potatoes. If you grab on to them you will get burned. Too many let it go to their heads and lose their spirituality for ego erodes spirit.

It was a good reminder for me as today I found out some very good news. I’d like to blog more about it later once everything is formalized.

Nothing Happens by Chance

I believe nothing happens by chance. I also believe that coincidences are not just happenstance, but divinely orchestrated. We all come to earth at our divinely appointed hour and we will all leave at our divinely appointed time.

I believe that events unfold in our lives exactly as they are supposed to and I believe that everything happens for a reason. Everything is a lesson designed to teach us exactly what we came here to learn. I believe that we will never stop progressing. We will continue to perfect our abilities to solve problems,  withhold judgement, serve others, and love completely.

I loved the story Dr. Wayne Dyer shared in his book I Can See Clearly Now wherein he described his desire to one day appear on the Tonight Show. He knew from a young age that he wanted to be a writer and speaker and that he would one day inspire audiences with his messages of self-reliance and love. After writing his first book called Your Erroneous Zones, Dr. Dyer was invited to appear on the Tonight Show.  Johnny Carson was absent the night of his interview so a substitute host interviewed him and he nailed it. Unfortunately, he received news later that day that his show had never aired as for the first time in NBC history, the Tonight Show had been pushed aside by the Republican National Convention.

Dr. Dyer was crestfallen. His one chance to appear on National TV had been thwarted. Fortunately, Johnny Carson heard about the excellent interview and phoned up Dr. Dyer inviting him to appear the following night. They flew him back out and the night of his appearance with Johnny Carson, the guest prior to Dr. Dyler, leaving him only a few minutes time. Johnny felt so bad about it that he invited Dr. Dyer to stay one more night to be featured again. What ended up happening is the night he was flying back for the live appearances, NBC ran his pre-recorded interview. Which was then followed by his first truncated live show and then his subsequent longer live appearance. Dr. Dyer ended up having 3 live appearances on National TV instead of the originally schedule 1. What had begun as devastating news ended up working out for an incredible good. 3 appearances in one week on National TV garnered so much exposure that it launched Dr. Dyer’s career. Previously, he had been doing small gigs peddling copies of his book from the trunk of his car. Now he was a world reknowned author and he never looked back.

There was a reason Dr. Dyer’s original interview didn’t go live as planned. Having 3 exposures on National TV was just what Wayne needed to get started sharing his messages of hope and inspiration with the world. God had a plan and nothing happens by chance.