October 20th, 2015 § § permalink
We all love a vacation, don’t we? I wonder why this is?
For me, vacation was always an escape from “real” life. A chance to relax from the hum drum day to day. But a few years ago, I got to thinking. Why am I living a life that I need a vacation from? Why am I doing things most of my waking hours that I don’t want to do?
Answering these questions has been a process. If you’ve read any other post on my blog you know we’ve quit quite a few things in recent years. Little by little we have eliminated things and activities that we just don’t enjoy, including school, jobs, home ownership and other things. My family has put more focus on the things and activities that we truly enjoy doing. We want to create a life that doesn’t require vacation time. We want a life that feels like a never ending holiday.
We’ve been living at the beach for two months now. We still don’t know where we’ll go next, if anywhere. We may stay right where we are for some time. Our days have been full of work (online work and my husband travels the hour and a half back to our home town to visit customers once a week), yoga, ocean swims, sunrise/sunset watching, playing games with our boys, shooting baskets, cooking good food, visiting farmers markets, playing with our dogs, Cocoa and Ginger and staring out at the ocean for inspiration. Even though we are working, we are doing work we love and so it doesn’t FEEL like work. And we’re living where we want to live and can take our work with us. That’s the kind of life we’ve been aiming for and we are believing and having faith that we can continue indefinitely.
So, what has been my process? How did this all start for me? Here are some of thing things that I have implemented into my life to begin creating a day to day existence that I don’t need a vacation from.
- I accepted my life as it was and still do every day.
- I acknowledged the absolute abundance in my life.
- I cultivated skills in the areas I’m passionate about
- I became open and believed in unexpected income.
- I learned to trust and have faith in the universal flow.
- I came to believe we were put on earth to enjoy it and more importantly to bring joy to it.
- I learned to take chances.
- I quit automatically believing what I was told.
- I cultivated intuition and the inner voice.
- I learned to truly give from the heart.
As I have practiced these divine truths, it became easier and easier to let go of old habits that kept me living a life that wasn’t fulfilling. Slowly but surely over a period of years, life became more like a vacation and less like a daily grind.
I truly believe we came here to be joyful and to bring that joy into the world. Everyone is born with something to give but so many of us have had that gift squashed right out of us.
Hack a full time vacation by living more from your center. Start small and let the inner guide rise up with its gifts and flow into your life. It can be scary at times because it challenges everything we’ve ever been taught, but in the end, living a fulfilling life is like being on an eternal vacation. And if we’re honest with ourselves, that is what we’re all after.
September 2nd, 2015 § § permalink
Sunrise on the beach where my family is living temporarily
This is the definition of the sea I found in the dictionary:
the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface and surrounds its landmasses.
While it is a tangible definition of the sea, it seems limiting to me. The sea is so much more than salt water that covers the earth. When I contemplate the ocean I feel its:
Powerfulness and its gentleness
Demand of Respect
Metaphor for life
Ability to showcase the most beautiful sunrises
Ability to hold Secrets throughout time
Ever Changing tides, waves and disposition
Labels and definitions are limiting. How can we really define the ocean and what we experience of it? We can try but it pales in comparison to the deep experience of it.
When I am at the ocean I feel free. Free from worry, concern or anything other than the present moment. The ocean demands it from me and I comply without resistance. I see that the world is big, the universe is even bigger and that all of life is in flow, whether it be stormy or calm. It is the expansion of life itself.
The ocean teaches me to weather the storms in life with grace and suppleness. I learn to allow the storms without resisting them, like a tree bending with the wind. I sit still in the calmness too and imprint the present into my being-ness. Much can be learned from both the calm and the storm, if only we listen. Nature is the great teacher if we pause and heed it’s whispers.
Easy to do at the beach? Well, yes it is. But nature is everywhere. We are part of it. So no matter where I land, I always want to remember to watch nature without labeling it and breath in all that it has to demonstrate about life.
September 1st, 2015 § § permalink
There have been so many moments in my life that were a struggle. Struggling against what was in front of me. Wishing it weren’t so. Wishing it was another moment. Wanting something better. Wanting things to be different. Becoming reactive to all that wishing and wanting.
We have been taught that if we embrace what is in front of us, nothing will ever change. Embracing what IS, we think, will keep us stuck and unhappy. I used to think that if I didn’t struggle, I would never get anywhere. Never accomplish anything.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fighting against what IS keeps us stuck. Ha! Imagine that.
My family is living at the beach right now. Have you ever been caught in the undertow of a wave? The worst thing you can do is struggle in that situation. The more you struggle, the more you get caught in the current. The more you relax, the easier it is to float to the top and. . .breathe. Spending an extended time at the ocean is reminding me of this in so many ways.
Whatever comes my way I am reminded to embrace it, invite it even. For it is here to show me something. And the less I struggle the more I float. The more I am able to breathe. . .Right action always comes from that calm place inside. Accepting what IS does not mean that changes don’t happen. Accepting what is – as if I invited it myself – allows me to take action from that calm core that we all have access to.
Life is not meant to be a struggle, despite what we are told. Life is meant to be easy. When I find myself struggling I try and remember to accept what is. Accept what is in front of me, no matter what it is, this very moment, so that life can become easy again. So that I can make choices that resonate with the life I want to live.
August 14th, 2014 § § permalink
I have meditated for years. Most of the time I don’t do guided meditations, but I DO love the Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience.
For me it realigns my focus. It gives me new things to ponder or refreshes my understanding about myself. It can be a valuable tool for those who have never meditated or who have had difficulty with it in the past.
The Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation series is happening right now and it’s not too late to join. It’s free and the meditations stay up for 5 days, so you still have time to catch up. We are on day 4 now.
I can’t tell you how much a meditation practice has helped me to cultivate calmness, peace and clarity in my life. It can jump start a meditation practice for you and get you in touch with who you REALLY are.
Here is the link to sign up. You can sign up either by email or through Facebook.
If I could recommend just one thing about meditation:
Just sit and allow the experience to be just as it is. If your mind is busy and you are having trouble focusing, just sit with that WITHOUT judging yourself. Just notice that your mind is busy.
It’s only 20 minutes per day and even if your mind is super busy during meditation you can trust that it is bringing clarity and peace into your life.
The benefits may be subtle at first but if you continue you will see that it can make a big difference in your day to day life experience. So, don’t judge what happens in meditation and keep doing it!
I would love to hear from you if you do try the 21-Day meditation practice. Come back and let me know how it’s going!
August 14th, 2014 § § permalink
Whenever you become anxious or stressed, outer purpose has taken over, and you lost sight of your inner purpose. You have forgotten that your state of consciousness is primary, all else secondary.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose
Despite years of self development work, workshops and spiritual practices, I continue to ask myself, What is my life purpose? Even in midlife, when you’re “suppose” to have it all figured out, I still wonder about my purpose. What grand thing am I suppose to do before I die? What gift can I bring to this planet to make it just a little bit better?
And yet, I have had the answer to this all along. It’s just that sometimes in the craziness of life, I forget.
My inner state of consciousness is my life purpose. This inner state of consciousness is what produces the outer purpose. If my inner state is murky, the outer looks murky. If my inner state is peaceful, loving and non judgmental, my outer purpose is shown to me in each and every moment.
Many times I forget and gaze into the future for some grand action that will make me “sure” I’ve fulfilled this purpose.
My purpose is to be present with what IS in my life right now. My life purpose is to bring presence and quality to every single moment of my day. It is to bring at least acceptance, if not excitement and passion to – washing dishes.
It is to accept my kids right where they are in this moment with love and respect. Even when they’re scowling at me. Even when they are frustrated and my presence doesn’t seem to help them shift to a better feeling.
My purpose is to sit and do my work without regard to the end result. To take my eye off of the end and bring it back to each step that I’m taking. There is great power in this practice, which brings quality and presence into anything we are trying to produce.
Taking time to recharge my spirit is my biggest purpose; meditation, journaling, walking alone in nature, yoga – these are the things that keep me present and keep me grounded. If I don’t do these things, my purpose begins to shift to outer things where stress and discontent live.
When life purpose becomes about being at peace and realizing that I am love; when I can quit looking for these things outside of myself and know that I already HAVE these within me, I am living my life purpose.
I am not a religious person and for many years was turned off by religious texts, but as I reexamine them with new eyes, I can interpret them in new ways. There is a verse in the Bible that has become a kind of mantra to remind me of my purpose each and every moment of each and every day:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ~ Matthew 6:33
That sums it up for me. The kingdom of God dwells within each of us. It’s the peace that passes all understanding. It’s the joy that lives deep within each of us for no reason at all – THAT is the kingdom of God.
When we seek to know that, it is expressed through us into the world and into everything we do. Our inner purpose aligns with our outer purpose and all of life’s gifts are easily given and received. All things that we do from this place of clarity, great or small, have great power in them.
Does this resonate with you? Do you feel that cultivating the inner purpose of peace and love makes a difference in your outer life? I would love to hear your experiences with this.