Painting

There are many activities where you can meditate with your eyes open. Some people call this a form of Zen Meditation. Painting a wall is near the top of my Zen Meditation activities which I have experienced. There is a repetitive activity where 90% of the wall’s surface can be painted without a great deal of rational thought. A smooth even hand can allow for an easy flow of paint upon the surface. This can be satisfying because you get to see a result and, barring errors, you are often making a positive difference in the world. BUT, is it superficial and shallow as a positive difference you are making? Covering the surface of the wall with another surface can be aesthetically pleasing to many observers. And, surface painting is by definition shallow. It does not get to the very core of many of life’s mysteries…

There has been an Eastern meditative activity which can fit for wall painting summed up in an expression you may have heard. “Chop wood and carry water” has been said to describe the benefit of mundane, routine tasks… “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. — Zen proverb” (A more complete discussion can be found at: https://medium.com/the-junction/chop-wood-and-carry-water-742765bf4bed Painting in a relatively mindless way, with your thoughts in a neutral state, can lead to being present and maybe some self-reflection. You can allow yourself to get “lost” in a simple task, like painting, and find peace of mind. And, a simple task which allows you to find yourself into a “present” moment and is a humbling activity, for most people.

Wall painting requires preparation. Preparation of the wall’s surface. Preparation of your materials. Preparation of your physical self with proper clothes. And, preparation of the mental/emotional self to most fully participate in and enjoy the process of wall painting. Many people actually really enjoy the activity for their own personal reasons. In the book, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain told a part of the story by having Tom cleverly get help “whitewashing” a fence. Friends wanted to help in the process so badly, Tom was able to get them to pay for the privilege of painting the fence. This is a work of fiction and there is some truth to the attractiveness of the simple task of painting a surface. Obviously, if it is done professionally and is a skill learned over time, it is more like work than the “fun” that Tom Sawyer was selling.

In life, have you ever “whitewashed” over some aspects of your life to create an appearance of change? A superficial change can look different but this may only run “skin deep.” And, even a skin deep change in perspective may turn your life around, under certain circumstances. I am the last one to judge whether your life change is superficial or one deep to your core. The awareness of whether you are taking full responsibility for your activities or responses in this life or working most deeply on tackling the changes needed in your life is really up to you. You know when you are just masking over the real challenges in your life. You are the one learning and growing from these life experiences and whether you are using integrity in dealing with the issues which affect other people.

In truth, from my history of wall painting, I have been told more than once by professional wall painters that I should NOT be a professional wall painter because I do not have the correct temperament for painting. I am a bit too hyperactive. But, for several minutes, I can focus really well and do a great job at wall painting. After that, things get a little rough. When I am moving too fast, I have been known to step in my paint tray and track painted footprints where they should not go… Maybe, someday, I will slow down and be more methodical. Or, maybe, I am not good wall painting material by personality… It should also been said about me that I do not do superficial very well, at least a lot of the time. “Hi. How are you? A lot of weather we are having…” (An example of “small talk” that I am not good at…)

Seeing a freshly painted room is amazing. A fresh start is often a good thing to experience. Now, what will you do with this new created space???… Everyone needs a “fresh start” from time to time. Looking new or fresh can change your personal attitude. Maybe you have more self-confidence. Perhaps your superficial external change is an attention getting device. Changing your exterior can change your mood. I have a story. In college I took an adolescent psychology class. Being a Psychology major this did not seem unusual. We were given an assignment. Since adolescents are transitioning from being children into growing into an adult stage, most new things they attempt are designed to test the waters of being a bit older. So, I decided to take on this project by changing my exterior self. I had always wanted to try “white face” as a clown. I used white face and painted a sad clown face on my face and went to the shopping Mall in town. I walked around wondering what reaction I would get being so unusual for the shoppers. Most people avoided eye contact and looked uncomfortable with this odd presentation. Only two people approached me and they did not care to connect with me or ask why I was looking like a sad clown. What they were curious about is where I had gotten the white face make up. My sad exterior began to sink in and emotionally I began to take on this persona. There is no way I could have expected that this silly makeup would make me feel deeply sad. Do other costumes affect the way people feel? A suit, a tie, high heels, blue jeans, tee shirts, football helmets…

I learned a lot about myself and how my “costume” can create a reaction emotionally and perhaps a “statement” about who I am attempting to be in the world.

You will engage in activities today. Some will be critical and important, so stay focused. Some will be simple or mundane and perhaps turn meditative. What are the “painting activities” of your life? Can you appreciate the simple things as you chop wood and carry water?

The “simple” tasks are important, though seemingly basic. Appreciate the moment. Find your way into being present. And, consider even the most superficial acts as a possible doorway into a state of meditative consciousness which can have value. You are a Miracle. Consider what a miraculous thing it is to paint a wall with ALL that goes into that seemingly simple act… And, if you do not want someone stepping in a paint tray and tracking footprints around, you want to ask someone other than me for assistance with your painting project.

You are NOT superficial. You are perfect. You are a miracle. And, whether you have been told this or not, you are loved. The Divine Spirit burns bright within you.

BTW… If you have read this far, I want you to know that my son and I recently painted every wall in a new home. It was an effort that I did out of love for my son and his family. It made a difference and is an experience which we shared. When you offer an act of service it benefits both sides of the equation. Even a simple task can add value to your relationship in ways that only time will tell. Appreciate every act of service given to you AND everyone you perform. These are Life’s unspoken miracles, much of the time.

You are Amazing!

Choice

How do YOU choose to Live? I have been told, and believe, that in our human incarnations we have “free will.” We can make choices. In every situation we find our way into, we have choices on what to do and how to react to what is perceived regarding this situation. We can choose to be responsible for our behaviors and our circumstances. Or, we can choose to act as if we are victims. We control and choose how we react, at some level, and how we choose to respond. And, no matter what, we can choose to learn from every interaction we participate within. When we find ourselves in a difficult, even a dangerous, challenge can we learn from it and take responsibility for what occurs? It is sometimes not easy to take responsibility when our lives are confronted by less than ideal situations. (But, what good does it do to find blame?)

You have a choice to live in Love and Light and to find Joy and Miracles in your life. From a different perspective, you have the choice to look for the negative or the pain or the victimhood in almost any interaction. Which do you most commonly choose? And, Why? Life is not always a magical, lovely experience. There are insights to find when the road seems dark. In fact, in my life, I can say that I have learned more from my mistakes and difficult experiences than I have learned from times which seemed easy and when things have gone as well as expected. My life has been blessed with experiences you can define as easy/good and many which are difficult and pain filled. We have all had these as bumps in our road through life. How YOU choose to perceive and to learn from the “hard times” is up to you. But, try this on… Life is a miracle filled with amazing gifts and joys! You do have to look for these, especially when the emotional road seems darkened by difficult relations.

Let me ask you a question. If you knew you had only a few months to live, what would you choose to do with your remaining time in this life? Stop for a minute and really allow this concept to find its way into your waking consciousness. And, answering this question, why are you NOT doing these end of life optional activities with your life NOW!??? Consider the excuses you are using and ask yourself if you can LIVE with these reasons for not living the life you might want. Sure, you can not always drop out of current life to run willy nilly into another life. However, you can consider your options and find motivation to move in a different direction. Would you have regrets if at the end of your life you did not get to do certain things? Why are you choosing to not do these experiences? Life is for living. Choose to live in the Light and to find Joy!

The amazing power we have as humans is to make choices. We often live lives of quiet desperation where we do not challenge ourselves and sit back while life seems to happen to us. This is a choice! You have awareness and this power to choose to do your life differently. Most of us, need to do some research, make a new life plan, and take steps to follow through even when we may lack some of the new skills required and good support. We have all done this in some fashion. When I left home, for good, at the age of 19, I had no idea where this would lead. I worked three jobs and saved money. I turned 20 in Europe. When I returned from this travel, I moved 400 miles from where I grew up. No regrets. And, no excuses or what ifs… This is what I wanted and needed to do at that time in my life. Without a lot of family or work responsibility this was fairly easy compared with some people’s situations. And, it takes a driven commitment to jump into a new life. My move was driven by frustration and anger with my environment and the politics of that time. It takes some consideration but you can choose to do your life differently. Sometimes the smallest awareness can lead to a tiny change which can lead to a much larger lifestyle shift. Just know that you can make new choices. This alone gives you power. AND, where ever you are in your life, YOU made the choices, at some level, to be in your current situation. And, it has been useful for your learning, even if, you learned what not to do… (Human life is NEVER going to be perfect or always easy. It is tough and that is why we are here, in this life, to be challenged to find wisdom and joy even when our lives are difficult.)

You made the choice to read this posting all the way to this point. You found these words and you made the effort to read them. These choices alone prove that you are open and willing to consider what is possible in life! Consider how incredible it is to be open to searching for alternative choices. Yes, you even have to be brave to allow these words to find their way into your consciousness. AND, you have allowed yourself to be open enough to consider these ideas. Imagine how brave all pioneers are when they set out on their life changing adventures, traveling into unknown territory. For what ever their motivation for change is, they have pushed through doubt and made their choices. Adventures always make for possible learnings and great stories, so remember to share your adventure travels through life. Yes, even if what you have to share is what NOT to do. Yes, you have the choice to share your stories…

And Yes, YOU are a miracle. No matter how you choose to react to these words, you are amazing and a Blessing!

Thanks JJ Joshua. For JJ’s Thoughtful Thursday video reminder regarding your choice for how you live follow this link for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkVc8pjKECw

Releasing My Connection

There comes a time when when you might become aware that you are not needing to be as connected to your human life as you have been earlier in your current incarnation. I am not talking about “giving up” on life. I am speaking about not being so tightly bound to living in your current human body.

I have been told that the Dalai Lama has a daily practice which he does 7 times per day. It is a meditation practice of being most aware as he transitions out of his current life. Being most fully aware at death seems to be a goal for high level Buddhists and something that they strive to achieve. I am not sure why or have any details, but the source of this information is someone I trust. Before you can prepare fully for high level awareness at death, you first have to: eliminate your fear of dying, be present, and be prepared to let go of your human life to be able to freely rejoin the Divine Spirit. (These are my thoughts.)

Many people have some consciousness regarding their approaching life transition. Some people go into fear or denial. Some people might look forward to this experience with an openness that seems highly conscious, to me. It is an inevitable transition and being conscious and perhaps better prepared seems like a good idea. Anyhow, it dawned on me the other day that my recent lack of “grounding” may be a kind of preparation for an end of life transition. Since I am over 70 years of age and I do not look to be an overly old, older person, this may be a bit of a wake up call. I am not sure I want to rehearse my conscious dying 7 times a day like de Dalai Lama but I may want to consider my mortality in an expanded light. Some people set longevity as a goal and want to live past 100 years. I am not one of these longevity goal setters. There is some longevity running in my family. My Father was 85 and my mother was almost 94 when they transitioned. Both these ages seem long enough, perhaps, even longer than I have in my mind for myself.

No matter what your thoughts are on this topic, I challenge you to live your passion and leave your current life without any regrets about the “could of’s” and “should of’s” in your life. Life is short so do not wait too long to do what you really want to do. A great life, to me, would have “No Regrets” when considering all of what your life has included and all that has been possible. And, take responsibility. You have choices and YOU make these decisions regarding how you live your life. When you came to your crossroads, you made your choice to follow the path which you headed down. Enjoy your life and find Joy everyday. Laugh out loud and love without limits or expectations. Find a way to serve your fellow travelers. And, keep your heart open to guidance and the Divine Spirit. When your time comes… go towards the light and the Unconditional Love of the Universal Divine. If you do not feel clear about what this is, consider reading several, if not many, accounts of NDE’s (Near Death Survivors.) Determine what “Feels” right for you in these various accounts. (Not your head (thoughts) but your Heart (Feelings.)) Live in the Wonderment of the amazing life you came here to experience.

You can also read another July, 2021 blog posting “When I Die” you can get a bit more background information. Perspective on Living and Legacy.

For your consideration, be aware of your personal expectations. I am not a fan of expectations and living with expectations laid on you externally or from your need to please someone else seems, to me, to be a dangerous minefield. For me, connecting with your inner guidance for what feels best for you seems a better choice. Then, take responsibility for whatever choice you have made.

Also I add, when someone seems too young to leave their lives, it may seem unfair or wrong in some way. Consider this possible perspective… These short-lived individuals may be “Old Souls” who came into this incarnation with the “agreement” to only be here, in their incarnation, for a relatively short amount of human time. But, Why? Possibly to assist in creating a learning opportunity for other humans who are helped on their path by experiencing the loss/death of this young individual. The brutal emotional lesson can jar those people involved in the lesson of human mortality, appreciating life, and even finding the Joy in a difficult, dark human experience. Personally, my life has been jarred and learning has happened when the lives of people I know seem to been “cut short.” Life is short. Live fully and find Joy…

Thank you for your time and consideration. You are Amazing. YOU are a Miracle! And, You are Blessed! You share the Light of Unconditional Love with All souls and You are an important piece of whole Divine Consciousness.

Expectations

Part of our human drama includes living with expectations. A well used saying: “Expectations screw things up…” Because if you “expect” something to happen, then when it does occur, it is no big deal because you assumed it would happen and takes a part of the joy out of the accomplishment… And, when your expectation is NOT met then there can be levels of disappointment because you expected something else to have happened…
It is difficult to live without expectations especially if you expect that you can…

Expectations Definition:
a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.
“reality had not lived up to expectations”
or
a belief that someone will or should achieve something.
“students had high expectations for their future”
Similar word:
assumption

Where do these come from and how do they affect your life?
External expectations from other people can cause emotional pressure and then there are internal expectations, which are often the more difficult to deal with…
In my world…

Expecting something, especially a personal accomplishment, leads to a diminished celebration of the accomplishment of the expected goal. ‘Cause you expected as much of yourself…

AND…

What if another person, or persons, “Expect” something of you. Their expectation creates an assumed compliance and accomplishment of the behavior, goal, or activity. Perhaps leading to a reduced appreciation due to the assumed expectation… “Well, I expected as much, of you…”
(When does an expectation become an assumed promise??? Even when it is an Unspoken desire.)

How does an expectation of oneself become a burden? For example, as I am getting older, I still assume and expect that I can do things (physically) which I used to be able to do like: run fast or run long or carry big boxes upstairs when helping a friend move… OR, my personal expectation that everyday I will be active and pursue activities of service and “high in value” as my life’s expectations of living at a highly productive level of service… When in my life is it OK to “kick back” and to slow down? When is it OK to rest without guilt? When can an active, assertive person be able, or allow themselves, to be passive? Clearly, I have not learned when or how to be “passive.”

When can my participation in allowing life to flow become an allowed, even celebrated, expectation? When is it OK to have passive participation as a witness or observer rather than down in the arena of active accomplishments. When is it OK to watch and to be the necessary “witness”??? For me, this answer is still in process…

What does it take to understand that when you want to do something “well” but do not have the skill or the strength or the experience to know that an expectation of high level achievement of a certain activity is actually unachievable. This is a struggle in “acceptance” and in “allowing” things to occur rather than as expected… I am not expecting perfection in all things but perhaps expecting an unreasonable higher level of ability based on memories or expectations from the distant past.
When is acceptance of “reasonable” success a victory and not an emotional personal defeat?

I am not saying do not set a difficult goal. However, the emotional baggage of a difficult or undoable expectation can make you feel like you are less than you are. My ego gets involved with internal and external expectations because it wants something that is not quite in hand. If I do not have this thing, will I be unhappy or think/feel that my life is unsatisfying, or a “failure?” Again, my ego has placed me in a no win situation and I can benefit from learning how to be aware and to check my ego’s created expectations.

Is there a graceful way to set limits on the expectations which other people may have for you and your available time and energy? You can not control their expectations or their response to you saying “No” or to your compromising negotiation. Oh well, you can not please everyone all the time. THAT would be an unaccomplishable expectation.

The drama of having expectations in your life and allowing these to affect the way you think and feel about yourself is a challenge to learn from. You are creating these reactions within your mind. A fully conscious spiritual person may take any perceived expectation in stride and instead focus upon the positive, joyful miracles of life. Even laughing or smiling at the misstep of failing in a personal expectation. Living in the “present” moment also helps to lessen the strong emotions which can be attached to a perceived expectation. No matter how you react you can work to maintain a level of higher awareness and perhaps a sense of good humor when a mentally constructed expectation flies across your consciousness. (These can look and feel very silly.)

No easy answers here but lots of great lessons/challenges to learn from. Just keep moving forward and expanding your awareness and consciousness. Share your learnings and wisdom. Find Joy everyday in the miracles you find. This is MY expectation of YOU! Fact, not expectation: You are a Blessing! You are Loved and a part of the Divine Spirit.

And. Finally, having expectations are common. Life is full of lessons learned by attempting new activities which are NOT perfect the first time. If these were perfect the first time, every time, then you have set the bar way too low to reach out and to expand your skills and to test your wisdom. I have learned more from my mistakes and failures than I have learned from my expected successes. Managing your expectations is useful. Learning from your mistakes is an essential part of living as a human. (Example. If we attempted to walk as a baby and fell down the first time and never attempted walking again, we would never have learned to run…)

You are a miracle. Your imperfections make YOU perfect. And, you learn most from your mistakes.

Your Purpose is to Love

Startling new insight came to me today! (Thank you, Amari Magdalena, for offering this information for me to ponder.)

Yes, You found your way into this incarnation to share Love in your unique way as a test of the wisdom you have gathered…
How you choose to love is your unique lesson

What you do in this life and how it will demonstrate your love through your service is what your life’s path is all about.
Do you warmly hold and caress the individuals you connect with or do you prickle and irritate people so they can learn from this abrasiveness in your relationships?
Either way, you Love and You can serve.

Are you open and giving?
Or
Are you closed and self-centered in appearance?

Are you conservative and straight-laced?
Or
Are you wild and possibly a raging substance abuser who demonstrates the “Dark side” lifestyle for others to bump up against?
Either way, there are experiences and learning to be had… (An Example: “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers,” by Annie Kagan, look it up (Amazon link) and know that this is one of my favorite stories.)

Since we are all connected as spirits, we love in our unique ways and this will provide experience for the souls we bump into in this life. Each soul has their unique path and is challenged by our specific learning requirements. And, when we interact, we provide a part of the lesson/experience. So, what lessons have you come here (to this incarnation) to have or to teach?

Divine Love is the glue that holds the Universe, and beyond, together. This concept and practice is more than the human mind can fully comprehend. (You can try, in fact, you should try to more fully understand the limitless power of the Divine and unconditional Divine Love.) The 3 dimensional world and the thinking ego’s limitations allows our incarnations to be on the “Adventure Travel” we have come into this life to have. Struggling with our limitations and attempting to get more fully conscious regarding our soul’s life and “remembering” where we have come from is the ultimate goal. Sharing your idiomatic Love with every soul and with the Universal Divine Spirit is happening even if you lack full awareness. You and your love are unique and essential to the Divine Spirit. Being most fully conscious is optional and yet the goal of our human experience.

And, if you can find your way into the “present,” feeling the wonderment of the miracles you are surrounded by, and no matter what’s happening you feel the “Joy” of the Divine burning brightly in each person and object you encounter, then you are getting closer to the “enlightenment” seekers have come seeking! (Wow, what a long sentence…)

No matter where you are in your developing consciousness, YOU are a Miracle! Your soul is a bright beacon to light the way along the path to remembering and full consciousness. Your presence is an act of service. Your service to our world is an act of Love.

Be Love – Feel Joy – Light the World!

Observing and Judging

I am a bit confused today as I write. Recently, I was confronted regarding a habit I have and I got a little defensive. You see, there is a longstanding habit of being a keen observer of nature and behaviors and then considering what I observe. During considering, I appreciate, I learn, I question, and I “Judge.” So this blog is designed to “J.J.” or Justify Judging. Are you laughing or are you Judging? Well, both would be correct in this case.

As I admitted, I am an above average observer. Notice the Judgement. Most of the time, I can find most of my way into being “present” and noticing the surroundings and the behaviors in my surroundings. Sure, everybody “notices” and everybody misses things but I catch a lot in my observations. (A Judgement.) Since I am a “visual” person, I take in a lot of information and experience through viewing what goes on around me. As I process these images, I put them into context and look for anything unusual and out of the ordinary so I can “note” this and possibly figure out what is going on AND then maybe learn something new. As you can see, this is NOT unique to me or uncommon. BUT, and there is a But, I do not just accept what I discover, I analyze and then record my thoughts and feelings about this experience. Yes, I judge it…

Lets’ look at some examples. It is Spring, as I write. New growth is happening. Green leaves are blossoming. Beautiful flowers begin to bloom. My heart sings with this new growth and abundance of budding new life. Or, at the end of a Summer day, I look into the Western sky in late afternoon and I observe a glorious colorful sunset. Yellow, and orange, and pink as the sun begins to set behind the far Western horizon. Again, my heart sings with the Divine beauty created. Heck, I might even take out my smart phone and take pictures. I might even want to share this beautiful creation with other people so I post this sunset on social media. Now, J.J. kicks in… The green leaves are budding from a tree. Did I judge the tree? Yes. I decided that the leaves were green and the bark of the tree was shades of brown. It may be an agreed upon fact that the leaves are green and the bark is brown but am I OK in thinking this? Is this an observation or a JUDGEMENT? The beautiful blossoming flower was spectacular but unusual. Was it natural or an invasive species about to procreate in our natural world and negatively affect our native vegetation? And, the glorious colorful sunset was it colored by smoke or smog or other pollutions in our atmosphere or just a bit of dust? And, what am I supposed to do or think about these possibilities? Is it a “Fact” or a “Judgement?”

Likewise, if I am walking in a store or down the street and I observe an adult beating a dog or a child and I feel uncomfortable with what I see, what do I do? What do I do with my Judgement? Maybe the child or the dog like being beaten and the adult is just making them feel good. I have no idea what is really going on with these people or dogs. Perhaps if I had perfect equanimity and acceptance, I could view this incident without any judgement but I AM HUMAN and I can not view this scene without responding in some level of judgement.

My friend said that my long term habit of judging perhaps came from my past insecurities and that I should examine my past, get resolution, and move beyond my judgement. Personally, I take this as a Judgement but this comment is worth examining. When I was a very young child there were adults hovering around me to guide and to protect me. To teach me and to protect me, these adults said “NO” do not touch that fire (hot appliance) or electrical plug. They were right as in correct. Because, when I put the bobby pin in the electrical outlet the shock and my little legs straightening out sent me across the room. But, these adults sometimes judged my behaviors and later I had to compensate for my insecurities and some aspects of my self image which grew out my interactions with adults. As an observer, I learned that there were certain things to be aware of and certain people to be careful around. To this day, I do not like large crowds of drunk people. Is this an unnecessary judgement? Maybe…

My son is a keen observer. His son is a keen observer. I joyfully J.J. (Justify Judgement) by wondering whether they learned this from me or is it this just passed down in our DNA code. They watch and learn. They make decisions from what they observe. They learn stuff. But, there are levels of judgement which exist in our world that are based on fear, insecurity, anger, generational beliefs and lies which I can not accept or attempt to justify. This is a blindness of prejudice and closed thinking which I judge in other people as less than ideal. I draw the line in the sand regarding many judgements. Yes, I judge the judgements which seem to offer tolerance to racism, sexism, and religious or philosophical intolerance. Yes, I am intolerant of intolerance. Most of the time, I give people the “benefit of the doubt” when I first meet them unless they are engaged in abhorrent behaviors or activities. And, this bad habit proves that I am judgmental. I do not always wait for an explanation or excuse for intolerant behavior.

I labelled the witnessed behavior as bad or abhorrent. I did not remain in equanimity. I did not accept the behavior. So, I know I have a long way to go to move into full enlightenment. I am a human living in a human and imperfect incarnation, struggling with my challenges. But, more often than not, I take responsibility for my behaviors and my judgements. I am not a victim or unconscious about my role in what runs past my eyes as I observe the drama of life. AND, I am looking to lead with love and acceptance, though it is not always possible for me to carry this out… This is:… My challenge & My dilemma.

With all of this said regarding my relationship with being judgmental, I am still confused regarding where I am headed with my learnings from this human challenge. Will I someday be unemotional and accepting of all human behaviors and all relationship interactions or will I still discern whether actions witnessed feel right or wrong? Will I act upon my feelings? Will I be judged for my judging? And, will I care if I am judged or judge myself for being judgmental? (A lot of J’s in these past few sentences.) I will continue to be an observer and vigilantly watch the miracles of life unfold around me. No promises regarding my reactions to what I witness…

I am self-confident enough to know how bone headed I am. (And, that is another Judgement.)

Thank you for your time and consideration as a witness to my confusion.

Next Steps Toward Enlightenment

What are YOU working on to increase your consciousness and to move down your path toward “Enlightenment?” Creating a Plan is a great way to improve your focused direction. You will need to consider your own specific challenges and then build a program/plan to assist you in moving forward. Or, you can also just stumble down your path and you will get to where you are supposed to get to with a few possible side trips. Either way, You are a Miracle and your travels will be amazing… (Not always easy or direct but amazing…)

My list includes these possible considerations. These are not necessarily in a specific order of importance. You are free to consider which of these may apply to your program…
So, consider:

1.) Be Present (lessen my emotional reaction to live in the Past or in the Future)
2.) Find Equanimity first (before my knee-jerk reaction of frustration and anger) This is not easy for me and my habitual responses.
3.) Live in Allowance… Accept more, push less (Attempt to Not Try to Figure it ALL Out. Observe and learn.)
4.) Beam Unconditional Love
5.) Less Judgement and More Acceptance & Compassion
6.) More fully remember my Spiritual Power, beyond my Human limitations
7.) Listen with Love and Empathy
8.) Embrace the Miracle of Life, Appreciation!
9.) Bask in Joy (even if you have to look under some dark, scary rocks to find it)
10.) Express Gratitude (Thank You!)
11.) Celebrate each interaction with other souls as my current lesson.
Live in the Spirit of “Namaste”
12.) Give unconditionally and support my fellow pilgrims
13.) Live in Wonderment and Amazement (Beginner’s Mind)
14.) Channel Love and Healing
15.) Know that life (Human incarnation) is a state of Impermanence
(Life is temporary and so are all the challenges…)
AND, finally…
16.) We are all Interconnected, so show Love and Respect for Fellow Pilgrims

My hope is that this brief posting offers a chance to consider plotting a good direction for you to move in. I am sure that there will be necessary steps for me to add or to evolve my focus upon as I move forward, so I am not etching this particular list into stone.

No matter what else crosses your consciousness maintain your channel with the Divine Spirit. Obviously, keep this open and available… So, learn to trust, or at least hear/feel your intuition.

Along the way, celebrate all your travels down life’s path. Remember that it IS the experience of these travels and Not the destination which will offer you the wealth of life experience… When possible, remember to look up to the horizon (and not just down on your footsteps). Look for wisdom and Joy to grow out of your “Wonderment.” (Be surprised by the unlikely interactions which may hold the most unexpected learnings…)

Travel well. And where possible, be the beacon of light for the fellow souls you encounter along your path… We are all in this together.
YOU are a Miracle!

With My Love!

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Tis the Season

Yes, as always, “Tis the Season” to reflect upon the returning of the Light! This NEVER changes. Your Light is always needed. Your Heart and your Service shine brightly in every moment and are required to lead in developing consciousness and dissolving the barriers of separation. This is not a seasonal thing. This is a moment by moment exercise in raising Awareness and then Consciousness. You can do it! You Do it with every breath you take as an incarnated human. Your Perfect Soul burns brightly, whether your mind believes this or not. (This is not just an end of year thing while hoping for a redo in a New Year.)

For many people, the “Season of Giving,” takes precedence in the months of November and December as Winter develops in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet. People’s lives are more apt to consider giving presents, or donations of money or food or time, or of gathering with family and friends to brighten the darkness of shorter days. We celebrate the return of the Light which begins after December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. Religious ceremonies were created to honor the times from before Western religions in pagan times. We light candles and pray for the birth of generosity as we reach out to support fellow pilgrims.

But, this is NOT just a seasonal activity for our souls. This is but another opportunity to “Share” and bring more light into the Darkness of Spirit in the shorter days and the more reflective period for the Northern Hemisphere. We really can embrace the sharing of the light throughout our yearly cycle around our Sun. The most Enlightened amongst us look to share the light in every moment we are allowed in our human incarnations. So, find your way to give the presence of YOU (presents are less required.) Stop and listen to a fellow traveler. Care for the people you bump into, YEAR Round! Look into their eyes and connect with the people you meet. Remember that everyone you are blessed to connect with is yet another form of YOU and we are ALL in this life together. Allow others to give to You as a gift so they will feel the awesomeness of Giving!

Do not think that you NEED to go shopping. No gift can be as sweet as a sharing from your Heart. Be Love. Share Love! Even in a pandemic, imagine that you can put your arms around a fellow traveller and support their journey with less judgement and unconditional loving concern… This IS the Light we pray for most to fully return.

No matter where you are on your human journey, YOU are a Miracle! Thank you for being you.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

I am Sad and Depressed Everyday

How would you respond? What words can you convey to be of service? Can you feel empathy?

Comment which was received anonymously from a past blog posting:
“I am extremely sad and depressed everyday. Cry a lot. Think about suicide all the time. As a 54 yr old female, I am wondering how to achieve enlightenment to elevate my soul and spirit…”

How do YOU respond to this comment… So this is the Response from Guidance:

“Thank you for your comment. I am sorry that you feel sad and depressed everyday. Life is a Miracle. Living can be brutal. Perhaps you can set out everyday to find one miracle in your world. Look for it. Find it. Feel it. AND, Know it…
This may be difficult to believe but even though you feel unhappy, you are a Miracle. You are amazing. No one else could do what you do. If you shared your life’s story, people would think that you are a SuperWoman to have survived. You have wisdom to share AND do not miss the opportunity to share your wisdom, even if what you share is what not to do… Your warning may change someone’s life.

By answering your comment, my day has been changed. Thank You.
You are a Blessing!
When possible, find Joy even in the darkest day or the most difficult challenge. This is easier said than done BUT you can get good at this… by… looking for the miracles and the good there is to find…

Please take good care of yourself. I am sending you my love and my thanks.”
———————
Additional thoughts from Guidance:

Most people find times in their human lives which do not feel happy. It is part of our challenge to live as humans in a world which often teaches through pain or fear or anxious uncertainties. Perhaps we survive and feel stronger and more resilient. Perhaps we survive and feel scarred and broken. The difficulties we face are part of the “drama” we sign up for as spiritual beings come to have “human” experiences. And, Pain is real, suffering is optional…

Life has its physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. These lessons are essential. How we deal with our losses, our pains, and our life challenges is an option we have. If you want to carry your victimhood as suffering, you have that as a choice AND as a lesson.

“That which does not kill us, makes us stronger” is attributed to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche and delivers wisdom worth sharing. (It also reflects upon our life experience as an affirmation of resilience.) No Guide from the Divine ever said that human life would be always easy or fun. The times when we often learn the most are when we are most tested. However, living life in a state of constant sadness or depression is probably not the intention for every soul walking the Earth. We are tested and true “Enlightenment” often includes the ability to find light and joy in every dark corner of our lives. Not as a Pollyannaish response but as a reverence for all lessons, especially the tough ones.

Even the wealthiest humans amongst us can NOT buy eternal happiness or, more importantly, spiritual satisfaction and wisdom with their financial wealth reserves. In fact, for many people, wealth or the desire for wealth can get in the way of the deepest spiritual insights. (Consider the story of Siddhartha.) Wealth is not bad however its focused pursuit can get in the way of being most fully “present” and then acting on the path toward “Enlightenment” in your human incarnation… (This reflects My opinion based on my guidance…)

“Enlightenment” includes non-judgement, empathy, acceptance, and equanimity of other pilgrims and the interactions which occur. The practice of an Enlightened being includes unconditional love of all souls even the ones who you bump into who teach you lessons as your seemingly polar opposites. A common lesson on the path to “Enlightenment” entails taking full responsibility for the path you are following. No one else has made the choices you have made and you empower yourself by assuming your responsibility to both “good” and the difficult circumstances you may experience along the way. YOU have more power to create than you are consciously aware of in your human existence! (If you do not like your life’s path, change it! If people do not like you, you could change or find new people or learn from this difficult and awkward situation. Quit making the same mistake over and over or accept this condition in your temporary incarnation.)

Depression and Sadness are not uncommon human experiences. Our choice is to “suffer.” On the other side of living a human life, there are miraculous experiences and joy to be found in every day which you are blessed to live.

YOU are a Blessing! You are a Miracle! No one else can do “You” better than you and the Divine Spirit would be incomplete without what your soul brings to our Universe. Thank you for being you… You are LOVED!

You are a Miracle! Thank you for being you.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Relationships

How do you maintain your relationships? How do you maintain your community? No two relationships or communities are the same and yet the “work” of maintaining these social connections has commonalities. If you “care” about these relationships, and often you “should” care, what does the care and feeding look like? The people who you have cross paths with in your life long enough to hear their story can tell a lot about you. The relationships and communities you build, and maintain, speak volumes about you…

For example, if you have called a “friend” do you wait until they return your call (or text or email, etc) before you reach out again? Do they “owe” you something because you contacted them? Or, when next you think of them, do you try again? Not keeping “score” on them owing you a return call… (I mention this because I know a lonelier person who always waited for a return call, feeling hurt or disrespected if a person did not get back to her. But, life can get in the way and not allow immediate responses.)

Relationships and communities are necessary, for most of us, and require some time and attention. They require some level of flexibility because they are rarely perfect or a perfect match to all the unique characteristics you may be carrying around with you, as you. And, sometimes a relationship can include people who may appear as “opposite” to your beliefs simply because these create a wonderful and challenging balance to who you are and what you believe. Do Opposites Attract each other? This perspective may be the essential part of the lesson you have come here, to this life, to learn from. So, no matter what, when you “feel” as if you should reach out, reach out! Chances are your guidance has sent you the message…

A long maintained relationship is not as much a burden as it is a touchstone letting you know from where you have come from and where you are at this moment in time. (Though time is not real, perspective on your life’s experience is…)

People, most people, require community. We require space to reach out and care about others, AND, to let others care about you! It is a cross purpose requirement. It benefits both sides. Sometimes it looks like it is not equal but it is… perhaps not fully known as it may be seen as unequal when it is… (Some people need to “give” more others and some people need to receive more than others.) Consider also, that it is a great gift to receive from another person, especially, when you have difficulty receiving…

And, whenever possible, do a “mitzvah,” a good deed, for another soul. Be available. Be of service with NO strings attached. This is your purpose in this life and the community of our world, our Universe, is better for this act of service. A good deed is not always expensive or time consuming. Sometimes it is simply listening and showing that you really care. Thank you! Share love with reckless abandon, without any unnecessary life-threatening recklessness… Sharing your love freely becomes a bright light to dissipate the darkness…!!! When you do good in the world do not do it because you “have to,” do it because it feels good to know you are living your “true self!” And, do not do good with an expectation of a return. When done purely out of sincere Love, with no strings attached, you are offering our Universe the perfection of connection and relationship.

Now, I invite you to consider the various types of relationships you have. Some are more common but some of us do not share the ones labeled as common, like family. Not all of us have family or significant others as partners. Some of us have many friends and some of us seem to not connect well with others as friends. We have teachers, mentors, ministers, counselors, professional care givers. We have more people in our lives offering remote sources of information or support. Most of us have neighbors, but not everyone connects with their immediate neighborhood community. Even casual relationships with our local businesses or fellow regular exercisers. NOW, ask yourself why did the Universe, the Divine, create the situation where these specific folks are in your life??? What are they to teach you? What are you to teach them? (Yes, even if it is what not to do…)

There are no accidents. And, consider the people you have known for a “long” time. What does this say about you, or them? And, what about the short-term explosions of relationships that did not last or stand the test of a longer time…??? And consider that, “No man is an island, entire of it self, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main…” wrote John Donne in 1624. What does this mean for you?

You are a Miracle! Thank you for being you.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog