The Right Question

 

How many times do we ask the wrong question? How do we know when we are asking the right question? Is there a way to know when we could be asking a better question?

Last night a friend shared a story about a young man who broke into a woman’s home and attacked her and her child with a PVC pipe. The random act of violence generated the following questions and statements:

Why did he do it?

Wonder if he was on drugs?

I bet he’s mentally ill.

See, they should ban PVC.

I read the story and my first thought was, “I wonder what demons he was facing that led him to commit such an atrocity?”

While I’m glad that was my first thought and not, “What a scumbag!” I must admit that it might not be the right question. I mean it’s a good question, but is it the best question?

What if instead of wondering what was wrong with the young man, I instead asked, “What is wrong with our society?” I mean why do I want to put the blame on this man instead of on myself? Isn’t the right question the question that figures out what it is in our world that is failing others? Something isn’t working here. We have too many people using drugs. We have too many people suffering from mental illness. What can I do, or better yet, what can we all do to create a loving society? How can we eradicate violence, hatred, hurt and pain?

I have never before taken the blame for acts of violence committed by others, but if we truly all are one human family–and we are–then I share responsibility for an unloving environment. I mean think about your home. If there is fighting in your home who’s fault is it?  Sure there may be one child who is more difficult than others, or who is more commonly the instigator, but doesn’t everyone in the family bear some responsibility for the disharmony? What is causing one of the children to act out? How are the other family members contributing to the lack of peace?

The right question is always the one where we all take responsibility. This approach, owning the blame, is my new barometer for knowing when I’m asking the right question. Since I can only control my actions, I must ask questions that put me in the driver’s seat.

So maybe there aren’t really any “wrong” questions, just good, better and best questions. A bad or unhelpful question is one that pushes blame or responsibility on others–or any question that separates you from the whole of humanity. A crummy question would be, “Why is he such a psychopath?”

The good or better question would be the one that demonstrates compassion, such as, “I wonder what has happened in his life that has caused him to hurt so much and therefore hurt others?”

The best or right question would be, “I wonder how I can help him and all others who are hurting like him meet their needs so that no one feels the need to hurt others again?

When we ask better questions, we’ll get better answers. The right question = The right answer.

Anniversary Numerology

Today is my 2 year anniversary. I cannot believe it has already been 2 years and yet I feel like we’ve always been together.

So far, it’s been an incredible ride! My eyes have been opened and I’ve realized that there is more than one way to skin a cat.  The things I’ve learned from my relationship with my new husband has impacted my parenting, my ideologies, and how I interact with the world at large. He is a great teacher, and I hope the lessons are not yet finished for I feel I still have so much to learn.

Something funny is that Matt and I picked our marriage date because of numerology. I was originally planning on 10-10-2015. I was first drawn to this date because it was a Saturday and because I LOVE double digits–they’re lucky. However, Grant, my future father-in-law, suggested we should get married on his birthdate which is 10-8. Debbie explained that 10-8 is a very lucky day because it contains the numbers 1-0-8. According to numerologists, this is the perfect and most beautiful sequence because it stands for one thing (1), nothing (0), and everything (8 turned sideways is the infinity sign).

I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever heard so we readily assented. We booked the Ogden Temple for Thursday, October 8th.

2 years ago I knew relatively nothing about numerology. Who knew that it would now fascinate me beyond measure? There are certainly no coincidences. I was married in a 3 personal year and Matt was married in 11/2. Both very good numbers for a happy, fulfilling marriage. We are just now coming out of an 8 anniversary year which is one full of business and financial success, and we are now entering a 9 anniversary year which is a time of endings and completions. It will be interesting to see which projects we bring to a close in 2018 and what we give birth to in 2019. These are definitely exciting times!

I’m grateful for a relationship that began as one thing, sometimes feels like nothing, and still has the potential to become everything. If I had to pick again, I’d still choose him!

Squeezing an Orange

Loved the idea Dr. Dyer conveyed today about squeezing an orange. A woman called into his daily radio show all concerned about her upcoming trip home. Her parents vex her and she sought advice on how not to let them pull her strings. She was so worried that they would bring out the worst in her.

Dr. Dyer explained what I’m going to call The Parable of Squeezing Oranges.

What do you get when you squeeze an orange? It’s impossible to get grape juice. It’s impossible to get grapefruit juice. If you squeeze an orange you get orange juice.

The same is true with people. If you are a loving, kind person, when someone squeezes you, they should get loving kindness. If they get something other than orange juice when they squeeze you, you aren’t an orange.

Here this woman was worried about how her parents would bring out the worst in her and Dr. Dyer so lovingly explained that her parents were only squeezing out what she was. If she wasn’t full of craziness, her parents wouldn’t be able to squeeze that out of her.

This concept reminds me of C.S. Lewis’ teaching about rats in the cellar. If you want to know if there are rats in a cellar you won’t find them when you are in bustling about in the cellar lights on. You are going to discover rats in the cellar when you take them by surprise. You’ve got to fling open the door when they are least prepared.

If oranges are love, then I want to produce orange juice when squeezed.

Which leads me to believe that if God is love, he can’t produce anything but love when squeezed. Which means I can never do anything to produce anything but love from Him. Which means He loves me no matter what. Whew, that’s a relief. There goes a whole lot of pressure.

squeeze an orange

the juice is sweet

squeeze my God

the love runs deep

squeeze myself

what do you see?

loving-kindness?

or bitter seeds?

The title to this poem shall be God is Love

Compliments to the Cook

Tonight we had the best FHE ever! We all went down to visit T in the hospital. My kids have been begging to go see Tyler ever since he came home. Tonight was finally the night.

I told Rebecca I would grab her kids and bring them down with us and dinner. My first thought was to just grab pizza and then I figured a nice home cooked meal would probably be better. I imagine they’ve had a lot of fast food and pizza the past few months. I’m so glad I went with my gut because Tyler never stopped gushing about how delicious it was.

I made a cream cheese chicken sauce that we served over rice. We had salad, french bread, and then chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I knew Tyler would love the cookies as he loves any dessert. He kept asking for seconds and after 3 cookies Rebecca told him he’d better be done. That was when he started using his Oreo coaxing on me. He looked right over Rebecca and said, “Janelle, can I please have another cookie?” How am I supposed to say no to that? I had to look away. He kept asking. Finally, he said, “Okay, just one-half of a cookie?”

I couldn’t tell him no so I suggested that we all go for a walk and then he could have one when we got back. He liked that idea and so we all went out to the labyrinth where we were able to wheel his chair around and around. It was fun. And yes, the instant we returned to the hospital, he asked for his cookie. Fortunately, someone had polished them all off while we were out and about so I could legitimately tell him there were no more. He was crestfallen so I told him I’d make it up to him by bringing homemade brownies the next time I came to visit. He said, “That will be perfect.”

Such a fun night with my favorites. Here are just a few highlights from my FB post recording the night:

FHE with some of our favorites! I have never had so many compliments on my cooking. Tyler still loves food and the steroids make him super hungry. He told me to bring him some svêlo to suppress his appetite lol. He likes going for walks and I like watching Rebecca take such good care of him. To me, she’s the miracle! I am so impressed with her faith, optimism, sense of humor, and strength. Jane bought Tyler a cancer bracelet. He let her put it on and said he might not take it off. He’s the best! Always so thoughtful and kind. He asked all about KickFire and today they did let him get on his laptop. My heart jumped for joy when I saw him like my Facebook box jump post. He begged me for more cookies and I reminded him that last time I almost killed him with the Oreos. He said it was totally worth it! He’s getting stronger every day and he did make Larry (his dead left arm) slide a few inches on the table. Guess Larry isn’t all the way dead! He misses you all and cannot wait to go home. He’s still so much fun and so kind. Cancer can’t keep T down. #fighter#FunTimes #FHE @ Intermountain Medical Center

Love you T! Thanks for all the compliments to the cook! Still great at making me feel like a million bucks! xoxo

Seriously Spiritual

I really liked something Deepak Chopra said yesterday in my audiobook. He was talking about spirituality and said that many people confuse spirituality with being serious. He said truly spiritual people aren’t serious, that’s an ego thing, seriously spiritual people are responsible but don’t take themselves very seriously at all.

He had been talking previously about the four heart chakras that include Peace, Harmony, Laughter, and Love. Truly spiritual people focus on these four pillars till their very being radiates peace, harmony, laughter, and love. A spiritual person is one whose presence can still an argument or light up a room with peace, happiness, and joy.

I thought of the stories I had heard about Joseph Smith, Martin Luther King and other spiritual giants. Many of their close associates talked about their jovial natures. Indeed, spirituality is about loving others, appreciating God’s creations, living in peace and harmony, and not taking life, or yourself, too seriously.

I’m going to add meditating upon the four heart chakras to my daily routine so I can become seriously spiritual 😉

Divergent

We watched Divergent Saturday night and I loved it! I loved the social commentary each character supplied. First, there was Triss who was born into the Abnegation faction. She never felt like she belonged there and rather longed to join the Dauntless faction. Triss’s aptitude test revealed that she didn’t belong to just one faction for she possessed Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite capabilities. The fact that she was different than the others made her dangerous as she couldn’t easily be categorized and controlled by the cookie cutter factions. Triss was advised to never divulge her divergent ways and instead choose a faction wherein to fit and thrive. Triss followed her heart, left her native faction and joined Dauntless. Triss’s decision to leave her native faction demonstrated courage, but another faction cannot be a divergent’s final destination, for like Four, divergents see the beauty in all factions and rather than join them, they rise above them and try to bring all the divisions together in one. Their goal is unity not division.

Perhaps this is why I loved the movie so much. I see myself as divergent. I find it impossible to thrive in one faction. Leaving one’s family or faction behind requires undaunted courage for true divergents become factionless as they cannot choose sides when they see the beauty in all beings, beliefs, and ways of life. We divergents want to unite not categorize. Peace, love and harmony are our battle cry.

I love that the author of Divergent chose the word faction. It reminds me of fraction. Factions cause division. Divergents refuse to divide and classify. Although factionless, they are the only ones who are not fractioned and therefore the only ones truly whole. Who better to bring everyone together than those who diverge from the fractured, factioned paths?

I am diverging for divergent am I.

Spirit Connections, Energy, and Allowing

I promised to write more about what I learned last night at the John Edward event. There were many takeaways, but tonight I’ll write my insights surrounding spirit connections, energy, and allowing.

John allowed the audience to ask some questions at both the beginning and the end of the event. One lady said her sister was driving her crazy insisting that their dead mother was always with them. She said she can’t believe her mom is literally “always with her.” John’s reply was brilliantly insightful.

“Do you have Facebook?”

“Yes,” she replied.

Are your friends always with you?

“Well, no.”

But you are still connected, right?

John picked up the chair that was sitting on the stage and carried it around with him as he talked.

Just like your facebook friends are always connected to you even though they aren’t sitting right here by your side tonight, so are those that have crossed over to the other side. So, like your facebook friends, your mother is still connected to you.

And if you think about it, just as we can easily access those connected FB friends via our phones that we always carry with us, so too, can we access our loved ones who have crossed over to the other side.

John talked a lot about energy and how he carefully protects himself from negative energy. He explained that we all emit energy and told us to think of ourselves as a giant broadcasting station emitting energy waves as we walk around. The type of energy we emit determines the type of energy we invite back into our lives.

This concept wasn’t new to me as I have always believed that light attracts light, and negativity attracts negativity. etc.  But I had never applied the concept to challenging relationships. Basically, he was giving a woman–who had just come out of a bad relationship and had once again attracted a similar doof into her life–some advice. John explained that until she did the work to heal herself and let go of old baggage–particularly her inability to trust, be vulnerable, and let go–she would continue to attract broken men who could not be trusted. He said we all continue to attract into our lives those individuals and situations that will teach us what we still have failed to learn.

I made a mental note to carefully examine any drama in my life to see if I could determine the lesson I was still in need of learning. Recognizing the lesson that still needed learning is the only way to cut the drama.

The last energy teaching he imparted came at the closing. Right before we all left, he invited us to place our feet flat on the floor and rub our hands rapidly together. We were then instructed to place our left palm up and our right palm down and notice the energy. It was tangible. Next, he had us shake out our hands, rub them quickly together, and do the same thing, but this time we were to hover our hands over our neighbors. The energy force was easily doubled. He talked about energy, love and connection, and how it is the greatest force for good in the world. It was a touching reminder that everyone here on planet earth–and inside that hotel room–were my divine brothers and sisters with infinite potential. I felt the oneness, energy, beauty, and power of it all.

Finally, I loved when John talked about “allowing.” He feels one of the greatest gifts we can give is allowance. Allow others the freedom to be who they are. Focus on love. I love that word. . . ALLOW.  I’m going to allow others their beliefs, their journey, their path. I’ll focus on the little I can control and the rest I will allow to unfold. Thanks again Mr. Edward for the wonderful insights surrounding spirit connections, energy, and allowing.

T Time

Today was one of the happiest days of my life! I was able to finally see T! It has been over 3 months since I last saw him and it was a most joyous reunion. One I never want to forget. Here are some pics and videos that say it all:

I had so much fun with him today! I’ll never forget making him do his exercises and him telling me that I just made him pee himself. I was feeding him Oreos too and he started to choke and we were laughing so hard. We talked about business. I showed him the Obtineo video and he loved it! He loved our event landing page too. Rebecca was there for a good hour and then had to leave. She amazed me! She was handling everything with perfect equanimity and grace. She is a miracle for him right now too!

I was so glad I was there when the Neurologist showed up. She told Tyler about his diagnosis. I was able to hear her tell him that he had a good square inch of his frontal lobe removed. The area that controls his executive function. I knew he had a tumor the size of a racquet ball removed, but I had no idea they had removed some of his brain. I told Rebecca and she also did not know. The doctor said he would begin radiation next week and that his prognosis was not good. She said he would most likely not ever walk again and would be confined to a wheelchair and had a year if he was lucky. Tyler told her he had 4 kids. She said she knew that. I was rubbing his back and arm the entire time. I was SO grateful to be there holding him up as he received that news.

I told him who cares what the docs say.  I told him that if God wants him dead, he will die. If God wants him alive, he will survive, and even thrive! He looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m not afraid of death.” I said, “I know. And I’m not afraid either.” I told him to remember our pact. He asked what our pact was. I told him we promised each other we’d come visit each other after we die. He said yes and then we shook on it. 🙂

Tyler thanked the doctor for telling him the truth. He said no one had told him yet that he had stage 4 brain cancer and that he was going to die.

After the doctor left I told him we are all going to die. He laughed and we both made jokes about dying. It was fun. It changed nothing and yet it has already changed everything. But that change took place over a month ago when I first heard about his tumor. My heart knew then, as it does now, that Tyler is 100% in God’s hands. There’s not a better place to be. I’m going to support and love Tyler on this journey. It’s going to be a fun one for all of us. He’s so damn tough. And he’s just the best guy ever so when he does die, I’m not worried about him one bit. He’s already pure as gold. Thank you God for today. Thank you God for Tyler.

We told each other we love each other at least 5 times. I’ll never forget my T time today.

Oh and how fitting that once I got back to my car, FB posted this photo to my timeline:

Divine Serendipity!

Enabling Beliefs

If you get to choose what you believe, why would you ever choose to believe anything besides epicness? I was listening to Tim Ferris the other day as he and Ryan Holiday expressed their disdain for the sound of their recorded voice. Ryan explained that the reason they didn’t like the sound of their recorded voices was that when they heard it played back it sounded different than the way they were used to hearing it as they spoke.

Tim said, “I like that idea, and since it’s an enabling belief, I’m gonna adopt it.”

I really liked how Tim Ferris said that. It made my head wheels spin. I pondered as I peddled (I was on a mtn bike ride with my hubby) about beliefs and their power. I wondered why anyone would ever adopt beliefs that weren’t empowering? I then recalled words of wisdom from a mentor who said, “If something serves you, pick it up. If it doesn’t serve you, set it down.” I LOVED it then and I love it more so now. Tim Ferris’ words about enabling beliefs struck a chord.

I’ve been paying attention to my beliefs. I’ve been pruning negative and limiting beliefs while keeping and cultivating positive and enabling beliefs. I don’t see the sense of carrying around any belief or thought that doesn’t inspire me to be my best. If it weren’t so late I’d make a list of all my enabling beliefs I currently realize. The list would include:

I am a divine being

I am good

We are all divine beings

we are all good

I have infinite possibilities

we all have infinite possibilities

We control our perceptions and our perceptions control our reality

Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

saying no means saying yes

nothing is personal

assumptions aren’t helpful

Reality is truth

Everything happens for a reason

Everything works together for our good

God is good

God is loving

God doesn’t punish or with hold love, ever

Resistance is suffering

God will supply

The universe will provide

to name just a few. I want to think and write more about my enabling beliefs, but right now I’m ready for some sleep.

 

Don’t Let Me Die Till I’ve Learned to Love

I was writing my post yesterday about the Universe manifesting that which we need right when we need it most and it led me down the rabbit hole of the meaning and purpose of life. I found myself having deep realizations or revelations about why we are here and what we are to accomplish. I recognized so clearly that the whole purpose of our life’s experience is to help us gain wisdom. And wisdom can be acquired in one of two ways:

  1. through personal learning–meaning we must experience insights from our own life–or
  2. through studying and observing the lives of others

And what is it we are to learn?

Love.

Patience.

Temperance.

Equanimity.

Forgiveness.

Trust.

And More. .

But above all these is Love for Love encapsulates all other virtues. And so if one lifetime is sufficient to teach us all we need to know to live perfectly in love, then one lifetime is all we will need. But personally, I believe I will never learn to love perfectly in one lifetime. Already I feel the crunch of time,  and I worry that I will never learn all that I need to learn nor glean all the wisdom I need to glean in order to be perfect.

And that is why the idea of having multiple lifetimes to learn, gain greater insights, and additional wisdom, along with practicing love is growing on me. I find it extremely comforting for it lessens the pressure to become perfect now. I am able to let go of the frantic, frenetic pace to voraciously consume one more book or implement one more idea about becoming better. Instead, it invites me to slow down, be present, and take my time. For time is never ending, and I have sufficient if this “life” “time” is just one of many.

Yes, I want to learn as much as possible from this particular “life” “time” but I need not worry about learning it all for I will have other classrooms to which I’ll be called to study. I will collectively accumulate knowledge, experience and wisdom that will bless me and others as I progress from each life to the next.

Will I ultimately one day be perfected then? I don’t know. It seems like the more perfect I become the more “perfection” moves for I’m able to see more clearly what perfection means. And so increased understanding moves my target farther yonder. Can one not see the beauty of the perfection conundrum? The better I become the more perfectly I see, therefore true perfection is always just a little out of reach–for how I now see perfection is clearly different than how I saw it before for I am different than I was before because I am seeing a little more perfectly than I was seeing before.

So perfection is like a floating bar that moves with me, ever so slightly ahead of me, as we both progress higher. I’m okay never attaining perfection for to me it is merely the pursuit of perfection that helps me more perfectly see. And it doesn’t feel like some cruel trick where some task master is keeping perfection forever out of my reach. Instead it’s a beckoning, a calling to move ever higher in a most thrilling climb where each move increases my view, it heightens my perception and elevates my perspective.

I am rambling now as these are literally brand new thoughts. They require much more thinking. Time will help me refine these ideas, but I do know I’m on to something because right now as I write my soul is singing. And when my soul sings, I’ve come to know it’s truth that rings. 

I once penned these words after making a climb atop a precipitous rock:

The higher I climb the more clearly I see. 

WOW, I think I’ll end with those powerful words. I want to ruminate a bit more so I can refine and perfect this theory I’m considering calling the paradox of perfection or the perfection paradox. Stay tuned for more.