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!

Heartspace™

Today was awesome! I was able to spend the entire day in Kamas with Stephen Palmer learning Heartspace™.  It was an intimate gathering at Ann Webb’s home. If I had to sum up Heartspace™ in a tidy little sentence I’d say it’s a system for owning your emotions and sitting with them in self-compassion.  Understanding your emotions, triggers, and learning to sit with your feelings instead of running from them or covering them up with unhealthy behaviors is the key to living a life free of suffering. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. We are all broken–life breaks all of us. Heartspace™ teaches you how to acknowledge your imperfections and the imperfections of others and how to interact from a safe place–the heart. Heartspace™ is all about getting out of your logical head where you seek to blame and into your heart where you can uncover your core wounds and emotional triggers.

There are five steps in moving from headspace to Heartspace™:

Step 1) Separate suffering from pain

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Learn to make observations and refrain from interpretations for it is in the stories we tell that suffering is born. For example, your dad may have spanked you with a belt. That’s an observation and it could have caused physical pain. BUT, telling yourself a story about how your dad doesn’t love you and shouldn’t have spanked you with a belt, blah blah blah, is adding insult to injury. Your interpretation of the events leads you into the suffering swamp. Don’t go there. are you experiencing pain or suffering

Step 2) Take responsibility for your suffering

Once you realize that your interpretation is causing unnecessary suffering, STOP the story making! 

Your dad spanked you with a belt. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. It doesn’t say one thing about you or him. You can’t even know what it means. It just is. He spanked you.

Step 3) Trace your headspace symptoms back to the original pain

Release the hardness of headspace and move into the vulnerability of heartspace™

What happened to you as a child or what is your core wound that is causing an emotional trigger in you as an adult?

In our group, a gentleman shared how he feels like his wife doesn’t love him because she never expresses appreciation. Because she doesn’t affirm him he’s always feeling like he isn’t good enough. The feeling “I’m not good enough” goes all the way back to his days as a missionary when his girlfriend chose someone else over him to marry. He carries that wound into his marriage and anytime he feels “unappreciated” it triggers his core wound of “I’m not good enough.”

Step 4) Move into your pain by saying the thing that is hardest to say

open your heart to vulnerability

you know you’ve touched it when it makes you cry

say what’s causing the pain “I feel unsafe,” and then state the need “I need to be safe.”

For the gentleman in our class, he realized that he doesn’t feel good enough. He thought his wife didn’t love him, but not feeling loved is not an emotion so he had to dig deeper. Just like peeling layers from an onion, the gentleman was able to discover that he really was carrying the core wound of “Not good enough.” Realizing this empowered him and his wife. He can now own his emotional pain and not keep blaming his wife for not making him feel appreciated.

Step 5) Hold your pain in self-compassion

STAY don’t move away from the pain—move into it and embrace it

The gentleman in our gathering was able to sit with this “painful” realization that his girlfriend (over 40 years ago) choosing someone else, had left him broken and was causing emotional triggers with his wife. This newfound awareness brought him to tears. All these years he has been blaming his wife for not making him feel loved and appreciated when in reality he had a core wound of not feeling good enough. Without acknowledging that core wound and holding his hand to the flame so to speak was he able to take back his power. Now he has the insight to improve his relationship with himself and his wife.

Sit and cry when you find that pain. Hold it in self-compassion. For some reason, our culture has taught us that crying, sadness, etc. are weak and should be avoided. Not so. Face the feelings and they will eventually pass. Suppress them, run from them, project them and you will stay stuck in suffering.

Finally, how do you interact with someone who is in pain? Well, you don’t need to try to fix it. There is nothing “wrong” with pain. I really liked the idea of simply expressing love and letting them know you are there for them if they want or need you.

A simple statement such as:

“Dear one, I am here for you”

says it all.

Heartspace™

I love it. Creating space in your heart to hold your pain in self-compassion. Allowing others the space they need to process their pain. Seeing each other’s hearts. Allowing and loving. Letting go of judgment. Allowing pain to create space in your heart–space that can be filled with joy and love.

I loved being with these enlightened beings. I can hardly wait to see how our paths continue together.

p.s. today we bought a cow and named it Heartspace™ It will go to a widow in Africa and it will allow her to feed her family and put her children through college. That’s amazing!

You Give What You Are

I came across a powerful thought today shared by Dr. Dyer:

You cannot give away that which you do not have

I firmly believe you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself, but for some reason when I read that quote today I thought in reverse. The thought that you cannot give away that which you do not have made me think that you radiate or emit that which you are.

If you hate yourself, you will radiate hate. If you are judgemental you will give others judgment.

So how do we cultivate that which we lack? How can one who has no love create it? The answer seems simple with regards to love. There is no creation or cultivation needed for LOVE already exists. Love is all there is. It is the only power on earth. To feel love all you need to do is sit still and sit in it. It surrounds us all the time. I guess you need to be open to receiving love. I feel love the most when I’m in nature. When I count my blessings. When I’m still. When I’m with people who are loving.

I believe in love. I have a huge desire to give all my love away. Which is another incredible realization. Love is like the cruse of oil that never wastes. Love grows in the sharing. It’s replenished or returned in the moment you give it away. It’s like a circular force or a magnetic draw. Actually, as I try to explain it my mind just expanded so that I can see clearly that the amount of love that exists never changes it. It is an energy that surrounds us. . . . like oxygen. When we give love away, we are opening ourselves up to receive the loving abundance that surrounds us. Giving love is like opening up laden arms so that they are now empty and free to receive the surrounding love. It is in the sharing that we open ourselves to the return. Gosh, I stink at explaining this. I feel like I could illustrate it better. Essentially, just take my word for it and open yourself to love by giving away your love. For in the giving of your love you will receive love so much that you won’t have room enough to store it all. . . you’ll be forced to give away the extra in a vicious awesome cycle of love.

Remember, you give what you are. You are love. Give love. And prepare to be overwhelmed by love.

Instrument of Peace

I’ve been thinking a lot about the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. It begins with Lord make me an instrument of your peace.

Last night I was not an instrument of peace. I allowed someone to elicit from me a less than harmonious response. I want to be the kind of person that doesn’t allow others, or circumstances, to disturb my peace. I want my outer body to be an impenetrable armor to my spirit–for my spirit is where my peace resides.

I’m reflecting now on what it was that caused me to lose my peace as the person who I allowed to steal my peace is someone I love very much and I’m intent to learn from the experience so that in the future I respond differently.

When I try to get to the bottom of the problem it seems that it was all a misunderstanding. There were, in fact, a series of misunderstandings:

  1. original desires
  2. division of labors
  3. financial interests

I’m realizing right now that when you boil down any altercation what remains is simply a misunderstanding. Communication is so crucial. And if, after your altercation, you don’t identify the misunderstanding, you will have “missed” understanding each other, and you will have missed the opportunity to lay a foundation of correct “understanding.” Interesting how similar the meanings of “foundation” and “understanding.” Solid foundations allow us to build sturdy buildings. Correct understandings help us build solid relationships. Both supply something solid to build or stand upon.

What I learned from last night:

  1. My antagonist and I need to come to an understanding about our desires moving forward.
  2. My antagonist and I need to come to an understanding about our division of labors.
  3. My antagonist and I need to come to an understanding about our financial interests.

Something I learned about myself last night is that while I am getting better at communicating my feelings (I have a tendency to keep what I’m feeling inside for I hate conflict and confrontation), I still need to work on communicating what I’m feeling dispassionately. Essentially, when I’m feeling frustrated and upset, I would like to convey those feelings in a neutral manner. I do believe it is possible to communicate my frustration without becoming frustrated. Last night, however, was not one of those moments. So I will do better next time because I want to be an instrument of peace. I cannot allow others to disrupt my peace. I could have listend to the other person’s concerns without judging their concerns as complaints and personal attacks. I could have realized that what that person was saying revealed more about them than it did about me. I could have chosen not to take it personally. Had I had the insight I now possess, I could have looked for the underlying misunderstanding(s) so we could correct our foundation and build something solid to stand upon. I would not have “missed’ understanding each other.

I’m also reminding myself to look within for I’m finding it easy to identify all the things “wrong” with the other person, but remembering that others are our greatest teachers, and applying the principle of the light of vexation, I’m humbled by the remaining self work I have to do.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Glorious God Realizations

I think one of the most glorious God realizations I have had is that God is not some Heavenly Being who hordes “goodies” and dispenses them according to our behavior.  Nope, God is a benevolent giver of all good gifts, he pours them forth abundantly upon all his children, unconditionally, irrespective of their behavior. In fact, God loves and blesses all his creations for GOD IS LOVE. Anyone who says differently simply doesn’t understand.  They must have been taught that God loves his obedient children more than his disobedient children and that he will punish the sinners and withhold blessings till they bring their lives in line with His commands. Naturally, anyone taught to believe in this punitive type of God–one who views their struggles as “sins” that make them unworthy till they repent–would feel “unlovable” and “separate” from the love of God. But we know that there is “nothing that can separate us from the love of God.” NOTHING.

We don’t have to be “obedient” to secure God’s pleasure and blessings. God loves us regardless of our behavior because God is love. There is nothing we can do that will change who he is and his character. We must rid ourselves of erroneous notions. Believe that you are loved. Believe that commandments exist to ensure happiness not to punish. I’d imagine it’s more difficult to feel Spirit moving in you and others when you are inebriated or drugged up. Just like it’s hard for the hangry to be happy when they’re hungry. It seems entirely possible that it would be hard to feel of worth when you prostitute yourself and profane. Anytime you breach your integrity you will feel dissonance. This dissonance is a result of disconnecting from your divine center. Mastering your appetites and passions–so they aren’t your masters– allows you to stay connected to Spirit. Again, it’s hard to tune into higher spiritual frequencies when we are out of sync with the divine within.

So, I guess I just want to express my gratitude for the glorious God realizations I’ve been given. God is love, always. What am I then when I am loving?

Joy

This is my friend Joyce, but I sometimes call her Joy because she brings me so much joy. Today we got haircuts. Joyce wanted to cut her hair short like mine.

Joyce never leaves her house. In fact, she rarely leaves her chair. This is where she sits all day and sleeps all night. Joyce hadn’t had a haircut in almost a decade. I love visiting Joyce because she is always happy. She never complains. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and I’m grateful I know her. She is a blessing to me and my family. I never will forget the joy I experienced with Joyce today as I helped my friend cut her hair.

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.

AUM

AUM. What does it mean? It’s the acronym and sound for what I’m feeling right now. A is from Awe. U is for unbelievable, and M is for Magnificent, Miraculous and Merciful. And put it all together and it’s the humming meditation sound of “aum.” Which is the sound of Divine creation according to the yogic meditation practice.

This sound or word expresses what I’m feeling as I sit here and contemplate how everything in my life is working out not the way I planned, but just the way someone else planned. My Creator, my Dharma, my universe, seems to have some master plan that guides and directs my path.  I can see how everything in my life has always been just as it should be. Every struggle has taught. Every tragedy has been a stepping stone to triumph, and every bump in the road has jolted me to a higher awareness.

In retrospect, I can see clearly now all the pivotal people who have crossed my path at pivotal points completely shifting the trajectory of my life. I can see clearly now the evolution of my passions and interests and how each has led to new opportunities, relationships, ideas, and beliefs.

Everything that has happened in my life is not random, it has all happened for a reason. The Divine spark I feel inside is guiding me, no pulling me toward my destiny.

I’ve always felt that the Lord has great things in store for me. I’ve always felt that I would somehow make a mark in this world–and golly gee whiz I’m making it! I’m making my mark one person at a time. I remember when I used to think I needed to do some big thing–Mother Teresa style–but now that I understand Mother Teresa–and her greatness–I realize she wasn’t about doing one big thing. Mother Teresa made a mark because she did several small things. In her own words:

I can do no great thing. Only small things with great love.

Small things with great love equals great things for it is by small and simple mans that great things are brought to pass.

Here is another incredible quote I read today by Rabindranath Tagore:

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

I think I’ll meditate on that “AUM.”

Love Pheromones

What if your very presence electrified others? What if others could feel unconditional love in your presence?

Dr. Dyer shared a story where he met Mother Teresa. He was doing a radio show and she was also one of the guests being interviewed. When she walked into the room the atmosphere changed. She elevated the energy in the room and those in her presence said she radiated unconditional love. Dr. Dyer said he got the tingles all through his body and it was as if she emitted love pheromones.

I imagine this is what it was like to be in the presence of the Savior. I’ve felt greatness. Highly evolved, spiritual beings emit positive energy. Being in their presence feeds and strengthens your soul. I want to have this same effect on others. I think I’ll have to work on loving others unconditionally, which means I must suppress ego, not judge, allow, serve, purify, and love. Sounds like a worthy goal. I’ll need to spend more time visualizing this type of behavior and spiritually creating my day before I embark upon it for that which we can conceive and believe, we can achieve. Believing is seeing baby!

How May I Serve

There are two ways we can go through life. We can constantly ask, “What’s in it for me?” or “How may I serve?”

I’ve been guilty of both and I’ll tell you that when I remember to approach life with the latter attitude, I’m enthused. And I literally cannot think of a better way to describe how I feel when I’m serving others or thinking about how I can best serve others than “enthusiastic.” Check out the origin and etymology of the word enthusiasm:

from en- + theos god

To me, en theos means to have God within. It comes from  the Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be inspired

And what is really cool is that when we are inspired, we are in-spirit. Approaching life from the posit of “How may I serve?” puts us in touch with the Divine. We acknowledge the god within and the god in others. We live by–and are directed by–spirit.

When we ask, “what’s in it for me?” we are operating from ego. We simply serve ourselves, and many times at the expense of others. This position creates division and separates us from the whole of humanity. We are meant to be one. When we are one, we are Gods.

When we put others first, the universe conspires to put us first. Essentially, when we serve others, the universe serves us. This is a universal truth.  I meditate daily to condition my natural response to always be “How may I serve?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” I am well on my way to rewiring my brain so that I always operate from a place of abundance. The world is abundant. There is enough to spare and to share. I have been blessed with talents. I’d be a terrible steward if I didn’t share my abundance most generously.