Rest Well

“Your tiredness has dignity to it. There is no shame in admitting you cannot go on. You have been on a long journey from the stars. Even the courageous have to rest.” – Jeff Foster

In this hurry-up, catch-up, keep-up world, we rarely take time to rest. Technology enables us to  work from anywhere, anytime. Which is wonderful and distressing at the same time. When do we take time to stop?

Several years ago I was on vacation, hiking in a beautiful state park when I answered my cell phone and took the call from a congregant wanting to know how to register for the class starting that afternoon. I was glad to give her the information, but when I hung up, I wondered why I was compelled to answer a call. The call took me out of the present moment of the magnificent scenery and the dazzling bright sunny day. Can you relate?

It takes dedicated practice to be present, to be mindful. Living in the moment can be a rest for the busy mind. Getting my mind to stop thinking can be a challenge, but I can pay attention to where I am and how I am feeling. 

When I take a break, I allow myself to stop, breathe and open to my awareness of Spirit. When I rest, I allow the Universal presence of good to come into being. I allow faith to be the guiding presence in my life. 

From Ernest Holmes: “The Spirit within me is in perfect rest. The center of my being is quiet and poised. I let my inner spirit fill my whole being with peace and stillness. With this word, I now relax in body and mind.  Let the Divine Tranquility fill me.”

Stop. Breathe. Rest well. 

Affirmation: I rest in the joyous presence of radiant Spirit.

Are We There Yet?

“Impatience is a failure to trust in the universal intelligence and it implies that we are separate from the all-providing spirit. Impatience implies that our ego is the boss of desire.” — Wayne Dyer

Have you noticed there is an impatient four-year-old who lives in your mind? Are we there yet? How much longer before we get there? How much time is this going to take?

Time takes forever when we are waiting for an event to happen but disappears when we are living in the moment. Time seems endless when we want our goal achieved but vanishes when we release attachment to the results.

George Leonard shares in his book, Mastery, that in martial arts training, there is a moment when it appears the student is no longer improving. The skill level seems stagnant and stuck. Actually on the inside there is an abundance of activity of the mind, body, and soul all coming into alignment. The challenge is not to stop practicing but to continue, regardless of the outside results. Progress is happening on an inner level that we can’t see. 

Change happens, not always on our time schedule. This is the practice of faith.

Faith isn’t something we turn on or off. It is a seed planted in us. As we nurture and cultivate it, our faith grows deeper, stronger, and more profound. We build faith when we find something to be grateful for in the midst of a challenge or experience, a moment of joy in the midst of sorrow.

Faith expands when we appreciate each day as a treasure and every experience as a gift.

May your days be filled with patience, faith, and a sense of peace that you are doing exactly the right task, at the right time, with the perfect outcome.

Affirmation: I have the faith to live each day with patience and peace.

Excerpt from Soul Musings: Finding the Sacred in the Ordinary

Ask and Ask Again

“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” – Maya Angelou

When out to dinner with a friend, she asked if she could have the chicken warmed up on her barbecue chicken salad. “No” replied the employee. He didn’t say, “Sorry it’s against company policy,” “Not usually, but let me look into that,” or the most customer-centric answer, “Of course, we can do that for you.” His reply was clear: No. 

So she asked the question again, and the reply was still no. She rephrased the question and asked a third time. Finally, seeing that my friend was not going to take no for an answer, the waiter asked another employee who said, “Sure, I can do that.”

What fascinated me more than the disturbing lack of customer service, was my friend’s persistence in asking for what she wanted. Three times. She was never rude or arrogant, but politely continued asking. She was clear about what she wanted.

Wayne Dyer says, “We are divine enough to ask, important enough to receive.” This is a great reminder to continue to ask. It may not happen the first time or second time, but we should continue to ask with quiet expectancy. All that we desire is already available to us. Our work is to be willing to receive graciously and lovingly. Our practice is to live in a state of gratitude.

This is a simple yet powerful reminder of what is available to us every day. “Ask and it shall be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be open to you.” Matthew 7:7  

Affirmation: I accept that whatever I ask for is already known in the mind of God.

Grounded in Principle

“Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don’t have to like it…It is just easier if you do.“ Byron Katie

I was hiking with a friend in the Mt Hood National Forest when she suddenly tripped, lost her balance and bumped into me full force. Fortunately, I was grounded and didn’t lose my balance. I picked up her hiking pole and we hiked on and enjoyed the beautiful day.

I reflected on this event later and realized its powerful metaphor for life. When I am grounded in faith, secure in my spiritual practice, steadfast in knowing truth, all sorts of obstacles can bump into me and I will not budge. Breaking news, upset co-workers or my own random thoughts and fears cannot sway me off my path. I feel stable, centered and can stand in the midst of whatever challenge is happening.

We are bombarded with overwhelming changes to our lives every day that can take an emotional toll on us. When our emotions are worn down and we feel distressed, we can be easily influenced and may make decisions that are not in our best interest.

Spiritual practice is more important than ever before— the need for us to stay grounded in principle and faith so we won’t falter and fall but will stand steadfast. Ernest Holmes reminds us, “Realizing that all action starts in and is a result of consciousness, prepare your mind to receive the best that life has to offer.” 

When centered in principle we can make conscious decisions —choosing discernment over judgment, caution instead of fear. We can create healthy boundaries instead of borders. Consciousness is the key.

Are you willing to be grounded in peace and not pushed off balance? 

Affirmation: I am grounded in my faith. I am fully supported by the Universe.

Battlefield or Garden?

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

Before you even get out of bed in the morning do you ever find yourself getting ready to fight in the battlefield? When we’ve been offended, misunderstood, dismissed, unrecognized, we often wake up ready to go out to the battlefield, prepared to fight the enemy. You know them—Boss, coworker, spouse, friend. There’s a need to fight and make things right. There’s a need to be understood, to right the world that is spiraling out of control.

However, if we are disciplined enough to make it over to our meditation chair to sit in the stillness and quiet the mind, to release the busy warrior-to-do list for the day, we can tap into peace.

Imagine what would happen if we put aside the battlefield and instead went out to work in the garden? What if we allowed  the warrior weapons to morph into garden gloves and channeled the emotions of battle into energetic vitality? We could use this newfound passion to nurture and till the soil, feeding the precious seedlings (thoughts) with love, peace, wholeness, harmony. Take time to smell the flowers and take in the beauty of nature’s bounty.

If we are willing to lay down our weapons, the challenges of the world can be transformed by the presence of love. It takes mindful intention and a willingness to let go. Buddha reminds us that “Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.”

Practicing mindfulness can give us the resources to face the difficulty of the day. It can help us find words to heal, thoughts to soothe, acts of kindness to share.

Affirmation: I am willing to lay down thoughts of separation and practice the radiant oneness of love.

Aware, Awake and Enthusiastic

“There is a Divine spark at the center of your being. But you need to recognize this, believe it and act upon your belief.” Ernest Holmes, Thoughts are Things

Have you ever found yourself arriving home but don’t remember driving there? Some days we can be so lost in thought that we drive on autopilot, failing to notice the world around us.

When we practice mindfulness or awareness, we are paying attention. How am I feeling in my body? Where do I notice tension? What emotions am I feeling?

Once I am aware, I notice the tension and the tightness in my body. I feel the feelings. I am awake to something more than my physical body and senses.

There’s a subtle shift that happens in the mind when we go from taking life for granted to being in awe of how the world works and how the universe functions. I am awakened to being part of something greater. I am awake to my connection with Spirit.

When we manage to stay in that awakened state, the world seems magical. We noticed the colors, the sounds, the intricacies of a flower, the beauty of nature, the joy of laughter. We live in appreciation and gratitude.

When we live in awareness we live in amazement and we are open to unlimited possibilities. Activist and spiritual teacher, Barbara Holmes says, “When we are fully alert in Spirit, mind and body, we are more than we imagine and can accomplish more than we suppose.”

When we are awake we live in a state of wonder, amazement, and we are seeing through the eyes of our soul. We are seeing through the eyes of love. We know something wonderful is bound to happen.

Affirmation: Today I am aware, awake and enthusiastic.