The Joy in Life’s Challenges

Have you ever set a difficult challenge for yourself and celebrated when you accomplished your goal? Perhaps you wanted to run a 10K footrace. Or, you wanted to lose 20 lbs. Or, you want to master a piece of music and perform it for an audience. What if you set a very difficult challenge and you did NOT succeed or meet your goal? Was the effort and attempting to push your limits worthwhile and a “stretch” which made this effort worth your time and energy? Testing yourself and attempting to “stretch” your limitations is often the most important learning you can have. Life, yes your life, is full of challenges which can ask you to “stretch” and can feel difficult, even painful. The most painful challenges are often the most satisfying when you can achieve your goal. Even when you fail, you can learn, and grow, a lot.

Living can have its painful lessons. We can find the lessons useful and these can broaden our confidence or experience, at the very least. The challenge is to find “Joy” in each experience, even the most difficult. Life is about taking risks and “Stretching” ourselves. Safely sitting on the couch doing familiar activities does not create the learning experiences which can move us forward. When we learn and “grow” we have more to share and stories which, when shared, makes our lives more interesting. Sure, the successes may be more fun to retell but the difficult experiences can have great, if not greater, value to our witnesses. (Perhaps of what NOT to do…)

Everyday is a miracle! You can wake up in a mundane life and have the possibility of stretching yourself and having a most unusual experience or learning opportunity. Look for the Joy in each day, each moment, each interaction so you can celebrate at the end of your day and bask in these treasures at the end of this life. No regrets, live each day…

Pain is something that happens in living. Your “suffering” is optional and your creation. You CAN make the best of any, and every, difficult situation. You can find the Joy in each experience and celebrate the learning and growth you can find in life’s experiences, particularly in life’s challenges. One personal example, after 19 years of marriage, my wife, and my life’s partner, was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Though I would NOT wish this on anyone, our experience for 8.5 years made us closer and taught me so many important lessons that I cherish these days. It had traumatic moments and incredibly loving moments. The experience made us closer. When my wife finally transitioned from our life together, I discovered a void that I could not have ever known before and learned valuable information which I share when the situation presents itself. My ability to serve has increased tremendously.

I challenge YOU to find the Joy in each experience you are lucky enough to experience. Ask each experience and each interaction, what have I come here to learn and how can I be of service to others from the message I have received?

You are a Miracle! You are a Unique Blessing! Thank you for being you and traveling this path to higher consciousness!

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

Your Quest to Remember

Maybe, you know your Divine Purpose in traveling through this life. If you are uncertain then be aware that your quest, in this incarnation, is to seek your Enlightenment by working to Remember, who you are and where you have come from. This may sound difficult or confusing. This may sound easy with your path most clearly marked out for you. There will be distractions and for every answer ten new questions may pop up for you but… You are here to Remember that you have come from the Divine Spirit and there you will return after you have the adventures of this lifetime. Your adventures are the lessons and challenges you have to experience to continue your evolution in consciousness AND to serve the other souls you meet to move them further along their path.

Some not so random questions: What do you like best about your work? What do you like best about the positive relationships you have in this life? Chances are you like being of service and finding the positive and supportive experiences you find along your way. Connecting and supporting others is a reward and assists you in accomplishing your “purpose” of serving other pilgrims.

If you are not finding these positive relationships, then let’s ask another question. Do you feel like you “do not fit in?” Perhaps superficial conversations regarding: the weather, or sports scores, or fashion do little to “float your boat.” You feel like something is missing in your life. Perhaps you know that there is something else you could be doing which is more important or significant you would like to commit yourself to. I ask you to search your own soul as you attempt to remember “where you have come from,” where you will return to, and why have you come here NOW to this life at this time?

If you have read this far into this blog, YOU are on a quest to Remember and then to apply the core wisdom you find within your heart and soul. You must find the courage to follow the path less traveled by many others in our culture. Following your heart into service of the Divine is never the easy path but it is the most satisfying in the long run. You are not asked to proselytize a religion or some mind made philosophical belief. You are asked to live as a positive role model, from your heart, and share love and wisdom you remember from your connection as an essential piece of the Universal Divine.

Maybe you are blessed to be conscious of an “awakening experience” (an STE (Spiritually Transformative Experience.)) A momement or an experience where you felt your deep connection with the Divine Spirit and it has moved you to expand your perception on what is possible and how YOU fit into the Divine Spirit’s plan. It may have been subtle and you may not believe it really happened. Or, it may have been a massive shift where it is not questioned but makes you feel like you have been hit with a “crazy stick!” You are not weird or crazy. You are here to answer the “call.” Your perception of your reality is changed forever. (Like a Near Death Experience survivor lives with no fear of death. And, this changes the way life will be lived…)

Do not think you have not had these experiences of awakening. Perhaps you did not trust them. You may have doubted yourself or the experience, BUT, it does not mean you have not been given the gift, and challenge, of seeing a broader consciousness. Everyone has had these moments of connection with the Divine. Your ego and past religious or cultural training has created denial or the barrier for your growth. At some “right time,” you will be ready to accept your “calling.” Then, your new wisdom will become part of the “message” you are asked to share. Tell your story. The “right” people will be blessed to hear your account of this awakening and this will serve their expanded perception. You are a “GIFT!” You are a Blessing! You are a “Master of Your Journey” and a beacon of light in our world! Shine bright! Light up the path for others to follow!

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

Service to the World, Are You Doing Your Part?

How much service to the world is enough? Being of service takes many roles and can be offered in many ways, but are you doing your part? Most of us are engaged in “survival” and we might not have the time or the resources to consider living our lives in service. Most of us do not even really understand how much service we provide because we are not conscious of the regular interactions which benefit the people we bump into. An unconscious gesture like the smile or the thank you or the acknowledgement of appreciation can offer a lot. And, there are some of us who seem to wake every morning excited and considering what acts of conscious service we can provide.

Most of us feel really good when we are doing something we know to be “good” for another person. As we share this loving energy, we get more in return by our act of “giving.” The act of giving, without any strings attached, is a true gift. When providing a service like non-judgmentally listening to someone’s “story,” we, as the “witness,” provide a huge service. Yes, something as simple as listening in a loving way can benefit everyone involved AND even the “Universe.” Demonstrating: patience, acceptance, gratitude, support, love, and connection, are all acts of service which can improve the general levels of consciousness and specifically the individual souls who bask in these higher energies. Thank You for your service, in advance…

By being most conscious regarding your interactions with any of the fellow pilgrims you bump into, you offer an opportunity for positive growth. You do not have to agree with the behaviors which get acted out but you can still look to the beauty and perfection of the person standing in front of you. They are a Miracle! They have arrived to assist you in your lesson, sometimes providing challenges for you to learn your lessons. Even when the situation may feel negative and overwhelming, you are able to “practice” your growing strategies for moving into higher consciousness. What a blessing!

Be aware! Take off your blinders! All of your interactions have a value and purpose, even if you are not clearly aware to what the purpose may be. Look to live in Love! Feel the perfection of each situation. Take responsibility for your reactions and behaviors. And, when all else fails in a difficult interaction, you can with empathy ask, “What has happened to this person to make them act the way that they behave?” You may not know the answer, but you are feeling, with empathy, the life experience and lessons this person is working through. (Or, they are pushing your buttons, because that is the lesson you require…)

If you can think of nothing else, do not miss the opportunity to look into someones eyes and appreciate the beautiful soul in front of you. Giving thanks offers a connecting experience and demonstration of your acknowledgement. Again, thank you in advance for your acts of service and higher consciousness.

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

LifeSaving: Pay Attention!

What if you treated every lesson, every interaction, as if YOU were responsible for learning a “LifeSaving” procedure or technique! You would pay attention! You would learn as if you were supposed to be the teacher, and a life might depend upon it, and you are here to share your wisdom or your learning. Your teaching can save a life! Your sharing can be used to reduce the pain and anxiety which may be suffered by a friend, or a family member, or even by a stranger who hears your information.

Do not underestimate the power of what you are here in this life to learn and to share! You are a Master and you learning and sharing your lessons is important, perhaps critical! Even lifesaving! So you must pay attention to those moments and experiences in life where you are confronted by the “challenge” and the struggle to find an answer. Sharing your struggle and your answer is an act of service to humanity. Making the effort to articulate your learning can benefit both your audience AND yourself. By reviewing and speaking about your lesson, you will gain perspective and so insight into your learned challenge. It takes work to reach deep within and to find the words that will resonate with the your communication partner. Consider whether you are telling your story for “You” or are feeling the benefit more for your partner. Knowing your audience’s needs is good and will help you to be clear.

You do not always know how your story will be “LifeSaving” or where in the world it will find its way to work this magic. Your story may rise to the surface because you feel the “Need” to share this with your friend, perhaps, for their sake or perhaps because you are still processing your learning. As an example, your story may be related to an experience where you reduced your anger by forgiving a difficult interaction rather than stubbornly fighting for your position while sacrificing a relationship. You were able to let go of your stubborn willfulness after realizing that there are other ways to look at a situation and your partner in this argument has come at their opinion from surviving a very different set of personal challenges. Their perspective may not be in agreement with your beliefs but your strength and awareness helps you to understand their differing point of view. You have bumped up against their belief as a lesson. You might not “know” their idea of truth but you fighting with their ego reminds you that important, though difficult, learning can occur for the person who is willing and open to appreciate the other opinion, even if you can not agree.

Do not be lazy. Be meticulous. Be vigilant. Even the smallest interactions can be a blessing. If you walk through your life experience in a cloud of distraction or unconcern then you may be missing the point of a critical learning and life changing moment. Reach out to connect with people, even the people who you may be “triggered” by, for this is the only way to gain perspective on living. Wearing blinders or avoiding contact by watching TV may slow down your experiencing life in the ways that can enhance your understanding leading to your finding joy in life or maybe even your enlightenment.

Your stories based on your experience have great value, especially when you are willing to share them. Your developing the skills to communicate your experiences clearly and when they “fit” the interaction will elevate your level of service. This takes practice. This will require you to develop your confidence and your intuition, as you read the specific demands of your partner in communication. If your “gut” tells you that you must tell a certain story, at a certain time, to a certain person, YOU may be sharing wisdom that will save a life!

Do not mumble or speak too softly. Your story must be clear and loud enough to hear! Project your wisdom and own it. Whether you “know” it or not, you are a Master!

Blessings to you for experiencing life’s challenges and your willingness to share your story. Just the act of caring enough to take time to share may serve a need that you may not fully realize. A very important consideration is to allow your communication partner to tell THEIR story. You give a great gift by receiving their communicated lesson.

For resources on communication, connecting, and other lifesaving techniques, consider the supportive community, Masters of the Journey.

Sharing Wisdom and an Act of Service

In our spiritual community, Masters of the Journey, we practice a “Triad” process. This is a small group sharing of experience and the wisdom gleaned from living through the challenges of life. The purpose of the Triad is to gather three people into a conversation based around the “story” of one participant known as the “storyteller.” We are all “Masters” and have wisdom to share. If you have lived your life and survived to this age, you have learned from experiences and are moving along your “path” on your pilgrimage through this life.

As an example, the “storyteller” may share a story regarding a treasured experience with a personal mentor. It may have been a special college professor or a wise uncle/aunt or supportive coach who offered you some life changing information that set you on an important direction at one of the cross roads of your life. The lesson was a personal one yet it holds wisdom that can be used by other fellow travelers. The willingness of the “storyteller” to share and the active listening by the two other members of the Triad can make this a moment of “service” for all involved.

In the Triad process, the “storyteller” offers an experience which is heard by a focused “witness.” The second member of the Triad quietly and with focused intent, listens to the story. Using strong listening skills including good eye contact and “open” body language seeks to fully experience the story. Little or no verbal feedback is offered unless a clarifying question is required. The “witness” offers appreciation at the end of the 3-5 minute story. It may be appropriate to communicate what the value of this story has been for the witness. (A key is for the “Witness” to not interrupt or offer their own story but to allow the speaker to share their perspective until offered feedback at he completion of their story.)

The third member of the Triad is the “Observer” who focuses on watching both the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” The “Observer” feels for the connection and rapport between the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” When the “Observer” offers feedback, she/he may share information regarding the skills of the “Storyteller” to communicate their story and also may give feedback regarding the skills of the “Witness” to fully serve by observing the story. These are skills that carry over into relationships in life beyond the “Triad” process.

The act of witnessing is a powerful act of service. Focused listening and demonstrated “caring” can be therapeutic for the storyteller. In my training as a counselor for children, the theory of psychotherapeutic counseling was often less important that the act of “connecting” with the child. When these children were fully heard, respected, and Loved (Cared about) by the counselor the positive bond was created and the therapy could be effective. Outside of counseling, each of us can be of service by developing our skills to listen more fully, connect with the speaker, and then to share the wisdom of the experience of this sharing. The simple but powerful act of sharing a story and having it fully appreciated by the witness creates moments of learning for both sides of this experience. If you believe that we are actually “one” with all other living beings, then the respect and appreciation for another person’s story is a deep respect for yourself and the Divine Spirit within you (and every other soul.)

Do not take it lightly. Your witnessing of the lesson learned raises the consciousness of all the souls which are participating. Raising consciousness in all is the purpose which we all share. This common bond brings us closer and we can find the connections which offer positive learnings. Treat others with the respect of knowing that they are part of a much larger consciousness and though it may be difficult to see, every person has God within them. We may benefit from the raising of consciousness so we may better “remember” that we are all one and that each one of us is a Master with the wisdom of the Divine Spirit within our souls.

Blessings to you and all the fellow pilgrims you, and serve, along your path.

Namaste.

Masters of the Journey’s website and connections are found at: www.mastersofthejourney.com

Finding Your Purpose

Hey, who would not want to live their purpose? This short blog is the first on this topic and will get started on answering the question people almost always come to ask, “What is my purpose in this life and how can I achieve my life’s goals?”

Some people are driven by the most personal goals like survival and acquiring the things (or experiences) that can look like your life has achieved “Value.” Many people strive to make money or acquire property. Others hold their family in the highest levels of their purpose and will do anything to support their family members. Still others look to build communities and work within great service organizations for the betterment of society. Trust me when I say, we love and appreciate all of these purposes and goals. The world would not work without people meeting these life challenges.

Then, there are those people who are not sure of their purpose or in what direction they can go to find and achieve this elusive life path. It is not just the “young” person who may be mired in this search. In fact, many people head down one path in life, sure that it holds their purpose only to find, later in the “game,” that it not quite as satisfying as they had hoped. (It does not fulfill them in the way that they had “expected.”) The truth is that many people question, later in life, the “path” they had chosen to follow. Self-doubt is a most perplexing lesson. Self-doubt IS the lesson.

I have said that people need to trust their intuition and then follow their “feelings.” What I do not say, often, is that you need to honor, respect, and be responsible for the paths that you choose to pursue. No matter where the path takes you, you will find an important experience awaits. Wisdom comes from taking your chances and having those learning experiences. Wisdom must be earned, for if your life was too easy, you might not “Get” the message as your life unfolds.

One thing which I have experienced is that living a life of service where you can share experiences with other pilgrims and offer unconditional love from your soul is always rewarding to your spirit and serves all consciousness. Be the role model of unconditional love and service to inspire those around you.

Do not forget that one of the greatest gifts you can give to another is “Allowing” them to “Give” to you. For many people this is the most difficult gift to give and yet the purpose is of value when given in a sincere way.

What is YOUR purpose? It is not easily found in this brief article, but the foundation for finding your purpose lies within these words.

Wisdom learned is of no value or importance unless you find ways to share it! Remember to reach around and grab the hands of your fellow travelers as you follow your path through the lessons of this life.

Blessings to you on your path. Your purpose is to Live and to Love and to Serve!

Wherever possible, find and follow your Bliss!