I am taking a break today. Mother-in-law is visiting and I haven’t had a lot of time to think of a new post. I should have another piece up over at Owning Pink, so head over there and see what you find.
I’m not sure if it is something that naturally happens after you’ve been blogging for a certain period of time or if something inside of me has shifted, but the way I write this blog has changed a bit.
I used to over-analyze the way I worded things, particularly those in the context of spirituality. I was very careful when using the word God. I’d offer (or just use) alternatives to the word or I’d specify exactly what I recognize as God. I didn’t want to offend anyone who might be reading that would take issue with the idea of God, specifically in the context of certain religions. I was trying really hard to walk a line where I wouldn’t offend anyone.
I was always concerned about comments and if someone might hurt my feelings or cause me to have to defend myself. There was a nervous feeling that washed over me every morning before checking my blog stats. And of course sometimes it actually happened. People have hurt my feelings and people have challenged me. I could almost argue that through the Law of Attraction I brought it on myself for thinking so much about it.
For quite a lot of months now, I’ve gotten a minimal amount of comments. My stats have remained the same but things are very, very quiet. I’m not sure how many readers I have, but I know some of you are still out there. I also know that I no longer worry when I press publish (except for yesterday b/c I wasn’t sure about using that FB status from my friend). I don’t censor myself anymore or seek to keep everyone in their comfort zone. I say God a lot these days. Maybe I’ve come to a place within myself that I no longer feel uneasy with that word. I know what it means to me and I don’t really need to explain it anymore.
I think this is a good shift. This blog has become a peaceful aspect of my life when it was once (at times) just another invitation for drama. I know there are days like today that are probably not as interesting to read, but I am certain the low-key nature of my life right now feels pretty nice.
Almost everything that pokes at me and sends me out of my comfort zone these days originates from Facebook. I think this window we’ve created for ourselves into the lives of people we know, but don’t really know forces us pull our heads out of the sand and admit that there are all kinds of other viewpoints out there. If we can’t embrace each others’ differences, we at least have to learn to accept them because they exist and denying the existence doesn’t change that fact.
For me the button that is most often pressed is the one in charge of my politics. I know that I am not the only one that could admit this. Today a friend posted something that was so very true, yet left me feeling a mixture of angry, sad, and fearful. I’ll try to paraphrase what she said:
Do you ever notice how when you find out someone’s political beliefs your opinion of them instantly changes and you no longer feel the same about them? It’s interesting that that happens.
Reading that made me sad because, after two years of being her Facebook friend, I know her political views and they are not the same as mine. It was a reminder that the instant I am open about being liberal there are people who will think less of me and perhaps even write me off. The comment made me angry because it means that all the respect and love that brings us to a relationship in the first place can be torn apart in one moment of categorizing ourselves. Finally it made me fearful because, like I said before, it was a very true (for probably most people) statement.
I’ve been in both situations before. I’ve been in the place where you’re hanging out with a new friend, you like them and see the potential for a great relationship and then the subject of politics come up. They say something that lets you know their on your team and suddenly you feel those warm fuzzies. In your mind you’re running through a field of daisies with some sweet song playing. In one instant an alliance has been made, and yes, you like this person more than you did the moment before. I’ve also been in the moment where the new friend expresses a political opinion opposite yours and the sound of a record scratch resonates in your head. How could this be? She/He can’t possibly be one of them! And just like that, you’re not so sure you could ever find common ground with this right-wing/left-wing crazy (gotta love how our ego exaggerates)!
If there is something I want to transform about myself it is this reaction. I want to see myself have these snap judgments and be able to take a time-out to pray for God to heal my thoughts and help me see what’s real. In reality we all just want the same basic things. We want to feel safe and loved. It doesn’t matter what your political party affiliation is. The negative reactions about our differences come from fear and that fear is used so well in politics to divide us, even from those we respect and love.
More and more these days I am finding friends on the other side of the fence whom I have so much in common with. I am better for having them in my life and hope that in the future my political allegiances never keep me from connecting with people like these smart and loving ones I already know!
*A note to my FB friend if she is reading*
I hope I didn’t offend you by paraphrasing you here. Thank you for inspiring me to look within at my own reactions.
I think I’ve told you about how each year at church we write a letter to God. The letter includes our goals for the year and of course is written as if they have come to be. That is one of the ingredients in the Law of Attraction, to believe it has already come to pass instead of just hoping it might happen. Anyway, once the letters are written, church staff puts them away and mails them off to us the following year. Last week I received my letter and have decided to share it with you.
You have me, do what you will for me. I continue to be the instrument. Show me who you desire me to be. I am open to your voice and the inspiration you send. I will put you and our work as priority in my life. Guide me to heal and help those in need. Offer me the platform to do your work. Show me my purpose. Let me be a voice and messenger for you. I am open. I am listening. Move me, show me, make me. I am here for you. You have me. I am trusting and faithful to your will for me.
As I re-read and reflect on this the only thing I am certain of is that God gave me a platform at Unity with the preteens and teens. I am so happy in my position teaching those kids! At the end of this year I am guided more than ever back to these goals. Above all I want to listen and be open to guidance.
“We can safely place our lives in the hands of God, as his Spirit knows far better than we do how to turn our earthly existence into streams of radiance. Yet the ego stands guard, lest we break free of our self-destructive patterns. The ego, after all, cannot live without them.” -Marianne Williamson
I have a Christmas post up on Owning Pink today so I am just going to direct you all over there. Click here for the main page and you should find my article there. I titled it A Christmas Story I Can Believe In though I’m not sure if it will be up as that or not.
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!
I have been friends with Heather since I was 15 years old (actually you could argue 11 years old, since we were sorta friends in 6th grade). She’s one of the people I admire and cherish most. I’m pretty sure that somewhere along the way, Heather attached an invisible cord to me and when I get too far away she gives a tug. No matter how different our paths have looked throughout the years, her loving presence has remained constant.
When I think of Heather, I can’t think of a person in my life who is more genuinely considerate. She always has the right words to say to lift you up. She has always encouraged me in all my endeavors, especially my writing (going all the way back to high school and my dorky poetry). Meanwhile, she’s one of the most talented people (and writers) I know, who manages to let her talent speak for itself. Heather will never boast about being good at any particular thing, yet she is actually good at everything (ok, well except singing and dancing and she’ll tell you that).
Yesterday Heather called me to inform me that she accidentally missed me on her Christmas card list, so I will not be getting one from her this year. She apologized and explained the mix-up. It was that act of thoughtfulness (seeing as she could have just ignored her mistake and hope I didn’t catch it) that reminded me of the card I found in a drawer recently. It is not dated, but I’m guessing it was written in the months after Mark and I got married and moved away. Here is an excerpt so you can see for yourself how sweet my friend is.
“I pray every night for each of you (you probably don’t believe that, but its true) and when I pray for you I ask for you to be happy with yourself-I also pray to have you with us more often because I’m selfish and I miss you. Please don’t lose touch with us-and know that I’m glad for you if you are happy-I love you Leslee-you are a beautiful person inside and out and I truly admire you. I know you will be a success-please don’t forget about us peons. Love Heather”
Thank you, Heather, for your love, friendship, and support.
I took the time to sit and meditate for 20 minutes this morning. What came to me in meditation was a reminder of what worked for me in the past. The other day I wrote that post titled “Healing” and mentioned how in 2008 I was more intuitive then I am now. I wasn’t really asking why that was. At some level I know and just haven’t said it out loud. What came to me in meditation inspired me to put the answer out here.
When I first started down this path I did two very important things. I read The Law of Attraction: The Teachings of Abraham by Jerry and Esther Hicks and I took a meditation course. It was around that time that I was manifesting a level of success and peace I’d never seen before in my life. In that time I decided to write a novel after 12 years of not writing at all. I’m sure the idea sounded crazy to everyone around me. Most people didn’t even know I could write. But I set the intention with absolutely no plans of failing. I also just wanted to create a better me and a more joyful life.
I started meditating 2 times a day for 20 minutes at each sitting. The girls were very young at that time. Looking back on it I don’t see how I even thought it was possible, but I did and it became possible. I was disciplined and it worked. It changed me forever. I also started visualizing my day on paper every morning and reading a daily devotional. I would write out the way my day would look, filling the page with affirmations about peace, love, and joy.
When the idea for my first novel came to me I made a writing schedule. I’d write three pages of my novel every evening NO MATTER WHAT. I took my lap top and wrote when we were on vacation. I wrote when a friend came to visit from out of town. I stayed up late and wrote if necessary, but I always finished those three pages and often wrote more. Before each writing session I’d write my intentions and affirmations about what would be achieved in the session then I’d say a prayer.
I finished that book in 3 and a half months. It ended up being 100,000 words which is almost twice as long as the second novel that I spent over a year writing. That first one is raw and amateurish, but it is also intense and powerful. I was truly tuned into God when I wrote that book. Often times I’d go back and read in disbelief that the words had come from me.
I continued some of those practices long after the book was finished. It was at least 2 years before I missed a meditation session and I planned my day on paper for about a year.
At some point though, I got overconfident or lazy. I thought I’d reached a point where I didn’t need to “plan” my day or meditate as often. I allowed myself to get busy or slack. So I made those quantum leaps of progress a few years ago and am no where near where I thought I’d be by 2011. Without a doubt I took 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. I can never go back completely, but right now I’m close enough.
So I’m examining what worked for me before and I am setting the intention to embrace something that works for me again. I do so want to be an instrument for the Divine and not a slave to my Ego. To take an idea from Wayne Dyer…I’ve had enough of this Edging God Out.
It is Monday at 3 pm as I sit to write this. I have nothing inspiring on my brain right now because today has been an epic failure. My plan was to have an early meet-up with Mildred and then come home so Mark could head to work. I was going to do some cleaning and take the girls out to find another gift or two for Mark. Later this afternoon we would have gone to Bella’s music lesson and then we were hosting a little girl from Bella’s class for a sleepover. It was going to be our first sleepover…very exciting stuff. I was going to make them cheese quesadillas for dinner and eggnog milkshakes for dessert. I was even planning to let them stay up as late as they wanted.
Instead, at 10:30 last night we heard the dreaded sound of fitful crying coming from Callee’s room. Sure enough she’d gotten sick all over her bed. I got her and the bed cleaned up, while praying it was a one-time incident. It wasn’t. I ended up spending the night with her in the twin size bed and running her to the bathroom 8 more times throughout the night. She got sick one more time this morning and ran a fever for a few hours. Once I was sure she’d keep it down, I gave her ibuprofen. She is currently playing and acting normal for the first time since yesterday afternoon.
Needless to say, I canceled the meet-up with Mildred, shopping plans, and the sleepover. And after all of that was done, Mark went out to his car to discover the battery was dead. With help from the jumper cables, we got it started and he was off to work. For the rest of the day I’ve done little more than stay on the edge of my seat with a trashcan nearby just in case the bug reared it’s ugly head again. The upside is, I had an excuse to blow off cleaning the house…
Today is one of those days where I truly understand the meaning of the saying “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Today Life definitely showed me who was boss. For some reason we all needed to be home and resting today. Let’s just hope I can get all the shopping and cleaning done considering I just lost a day…