Have you ever gone grocery shopping without a list or started a project without making sure you have all the materials (or started cooking without making sure you had all the ingredients?) I have. A lot. Often. I think I am moving faster, but in most cases, I have to re-do, re-start, break the flow, and everything takes longer. I am pretty sure that is why I married my husband. He never makes a move until he has thought it out all the way, has all the materials he needs, and has thought through the likely scenarios of what may come up. Wow!
I have learned a few things on this latest journey of taking ownership and responsibility of my decision to suffer. One of the biggest things I learned, is that I rely to heavily on the feedback of others. I actually love this about myself. I love hearing different perspectives and seeing things differently. I also know for a fact that I am so unsure of what I am doing. I have made decisions that I was 100% confident and SURE were right, that turned out to be hugely misguided and based on some unconscious unmet need versus my true nature. I have passed on opportunities that I was 100% sure were all wrong, only to be shown later, that they came from a place of deep love and respect and deserved to be at least considered. Knowing my own imperfectness, I looked often to others for their thoughts. But this shifted this year as I worked on my practice of non-suffering. You see, in order to not suffer, I had to change the way I saw everything that happened to me. And, I had to see it completely different than how any conventional wisdom would teach me to see it. In order to do that, I had to stop sharing and telling others about what was happening because 1) if I was talking about it, I was suffering over it and 2) even if I felt good about it, when I told others, they would say something that would make me question myself and thus start another cycle of suffering. In order to stop suffering, I had to stop giving events air time in my life. Internally in my head and externally in the form of telling others what happened and asking for their thoughts and perspectives about it.
I also learned to have more discernment in whose advice I listened to. I wrote a blog post about who to follow and why. I realized upon signing up for a class, that I tend to sign up for classes with people who I see consistently, walking their talk. No one is perfect and the teachers I follow tend to talk about the things they are working on and perfecting, just as much as the things they are rocking and getting right. Authenticity. And, the person who is Remembering Who They Really Are. Because, when I spend time in the company of people who Remember Who They Really Are, I naturally Remember Who I Really Am. They create an environment where that naturally happens for me. In Who to Follow and Why, I suggested some questions to ensure the person whose advice you are taking is doing their own spiritual work. Both of these are essential to consider before allowing outside influences in to your inter-alignment process.
As this year ends, I have noticed I am talking to God a lot more. I am talking about all kinds of stuff. Whether I should try a new recipe or just make the one I always make. Whether I should let the cleaning lady bring someone with her or tell her to come alone. Whether I should take a big trip I want to take or wait longer. Whether I should reach out to offer consulting support or wait and see what flows in. Being in flow, which is my favorite way to be, requires aligning yourself with a higher power. Whatever you call the Higher Power, the key is to align internally to that higher vibration, that higher plane, and get a higher perspective. In my blog, Puzzle Pieces, I talked about how to create the things I want in my life, they are not from using the same puzzle pieces and making them fit, but by opening up and allowing more in to create a bigger, better outcome.
Finally, the last reason for focusing on Inner-alignment is because you are currently Whole and Complete. You have everything you need, right now, inside yourself, to create whatever is the highest, best outcome. I love the opening of A Course in Miracles, which talks about the goal of ACIM. It is not to teach love, because that is something that cannot be taught, but instead, to remove your barriers to love. That is so true about each of us. There is nothing to fix about ourselves or improve, only to remove the barriers, the hurts, the suffering, that keep us from being the amazing human beings that we TRULY are already.
As we step into 2019, this is my prayer for us all
Dear God -
As we move forward, guide our steps, our words and our actions.
Remind us often of Who We Are and Why We Are Here.
Remind us that love is enough.
Remind us that us being our true, authentic self is what the world needs the most.
Where we have fear, replace it with faith.
Where we have judgement, replace it with discernment and knowledge.
Where we have anger, replace it with true sight.
Where we have pain and suffering, replace it with miracles.
Let us not judge ourselves or others.
Let us see the truth of Who each person we encounter Really Is, so that we may remember Who We Really Are.
When we walk away from another or a situation, let us leave with love in our heart and with kindness, under your direction.
When we get triggered, remind us to pause before acting.
When we feel hurt, allow our own self compassion and your love to wash over our wounds and heal them.
Grant us our heart's desires and more than we ever imagined possible, so that we may give more than we ever thought possible.
Ease the burden of every human around the world and allow us to be of use to end suffering for all.
This year, give us the strength to be the men and women we are capable of being so that we may do the work that so desperately needs to be done to uplift the planet and each creature on it.
Use us for the greatest good of all. Use our gifts, our talents, and our strengths. Heal our weaknesses and our wounds so that we may shine brighter and be the miracle for each other.
So it is and so it shall be.
This past year, I had an amazing opportunity to take an 8-week course on Self-Compassion. I was excited, knowing I would learn some cool things that I could pass along to others. You can imagine my dismay when I had to repeat week 1 of the course before being able to move to week 2. "I failed Week 1 of Self-Compassion", was the victim-based thought that went through my mind. However, in reality, the teacher was much more interested in me experiencing self- compassion than being able to mentally regurgitate the correct answers on a worksheet. And, this started a now, 9 week, journey into Self-Compassion that was truly transformational.
While self-compassion is by no means a new word, it does not seem to get the same air time as its cousins self-love and self-care. While I believe it is how a word makes you feel, the vibration, the images, and the feelings it conjures that is more important than the dictionary definition, I did spend some time distinguishing these words. Self-compassion to me is a complete acceptance of Who You Really Are as well as your flaws, weaknesses, and wounds that you received by traveling through this thing we call Life. Self-Love is you ability to truly, completely, and unconditionally love yourself, knowing Who You Really Are as well as your flaws, weaknesses, and wounds. And, self-care, is your ability to take a time out, pause, and take a moment for yourself to re-ground and Remember Who You Really Are, in the moments where you forget. I believe Self-Compassion is the process to get to Self-Love, and Self-Care are the moment to moment actions you take to reinforce the mindset of Self-Compassion. They are all linked and create a process that leads to less suffering in this life.
I remember in my 20s, when I was trying to meet Mr. Wonderful, and kept having one let down after another, people used to tell me, "you have to love yourself first before someone can love you the way you want to be loved." It sounded like great advice. So, I would sit in front of the mirror and stare deep into my eyes and tell myself I love you. Then, I would look myself over and name things I loved about myself. As time passed, and still no Mr. Wonderful, I wondered why this process hadn't worked. "I love myself. I told myself so in the mirror! What else do I need to do?!?!" I needed to accept Who I Really Am and love that person, the one with the flaws and weaknesses. I needed to stop hiding the parts of me that I had not accepted and instead give them space and allow them to be. I needed to realize that the way other people see me is their perception, based on their life experiences, and does not truly reflect anything about me. These were lessons that were yet to come in my life. And, as you can imagine, when they started coming, just the mere beginnings of them, I not only found true love, but I found myself waiting to be loved by me.
One of the agreements of this Self-Compassion course I took is to turn around and teach it others. That is what we are doing in my subscription group and for the month of January, in Adventures with Amina. I am excited to take what I learned and what I experienced and share it with you all. I have seen subtle shifts in my life over the past few months that have led to more peace and less suffering. If you feel like you have made the big shifts and done the big work, I would highly recommend this course. Its like the tiny, thin, washer, when you are putting together furniture that does not seem to have a purpose, yet, is the one thing that makes everything come together in a stronger, more sturdy, more reliable way. That is how I see self-compassion. The necessary component that makes all the other components of your life work so much better.
I had a huge ah ha moment, one that is a pretty obvious one with Law of Attraction circles, the other day. I was participating in The Good Vibe University's 7 Day Receiving Challenge, and on one day, in the video, we were being asked to open up to all the opportunities that are always being offered to us. That, most of us, most of the time, have confined ourselves to a small box of possibility, and we do not have all the things we want. In order to get our BIG wishes, we have to expand that box.
I noodled on that all day as I opened myself up to see where the Universe is offering me bread crumbs in the direction of my dream. It was knocking around in my head all day. That night, as I was going to sleep, all of a sudden, I realized something! I have a picture in mind of what I want (my vision), and I have a handful of puzzle pieces. I keep using these puzzle pieces to create my vision and they do.not.work (argh)! But, of course they don't work! They are not all the right pieces. Some of them are, some of them are pieces to someone else's puzzle that I have the opportunity to give away and help someone else's dream come true, and I am missing some pieces, that are not here, yet.
Have you ever tried to make one of those really hard puzzles. And, you think you found a piece that "should" fit and you try to ram it in and it does not fit? How often do we do that with life? We know what we want, but the puzzle pieces in front of us won't give us that, so we duck tape pieces together, ram them together, or just sit there and lament about the puzzle pieces we have. In reality, the pieces for the picture we want are on their way, or maybe even right under our nose (did you check under the table to see if it fell down there) but we are not seeing it, because we are too focused on a handful of pieces and making those specific pieces work.
After realizing this, and it was a huge ah ha. I was laying in bed and when I saw this, I felt a mix of pure excitement and relief. And, then I felt a little silly, because I KNOW this already! In Law of Attraction, you focus on what you want, and leave the how to the higher power. In spiritual principle, you ask to be used for the highest good and to be directed by the higher power. In no principle, except our insanity as humans (I love that about us) does it suggest that you sit down and try to figure your entire life out with a pencil and a piece of paper. The one thing we know that does not work is us trying to be the mastermind.
This is such good news. It is the kind of news, where you can fall back in your chair, and let out the breathe you are holding and say, ah. There is nothing for you to do. There is nothing for you to figure out. You will get the puzzle pieces you need at the right time. And, the fastest, quickest, best way to get those puzzle pieces is to:
1. Be clear about what YOU want - your vision
2. Be grateful for the pieces you have (even those that don't belong to you and need to be returned, like debt, illness, lack of opportunities in your field of expertise, etc). After all, not all puzzle pieces are the preemo corner pieces, but together, all of the pieces make the picture.
3. TRUST that the puzzle pieces you want and need are in your immediate vicinity. Not just on their way to you. But, right here, as you do #1 and #2, you will have the eyes to see thm (as my friend, Ming Chee would say).
Final Thought: I go back and forth about the idea that Life is Hard. There are many days, that I do not believe that at all. I certainly have a ton of evidence in my own experience that shows that life is easy, magical, and constantly surprising me with goodness. However, I do like the thought of elbow grease. I like the idea that we are not put here to have things fall in our lap (all the time, but a lot of the time, yes!). That instead, we are here to push ourselves to growth. It is not that the puzzle pieces are being kept from you, but that you are being asked to reach a little, to sing a little, to prioritize your joy a little more, to be more grateful. At the end of the day, I do not believe we are here to get what we want but instead to become the men and women we are capable of being. To grow, to expand, to stretch. Not in a painful way, though, in moments, it may be uncomfortable, but that discomfort is what makes the attainment of that puzzle piece all the more sweeter!
I am here to be of service. Use me today to be the best me I can be. May I be helpful. May I spread love. May my life be helpful to another. I know that as I walk the earth with this attitude, that all the things I want and need will magnetize themselves towards me and find me. I no longer worry about what I do not have, what is missing, where I need more. I understand that the human condition is one in which we always believe we need more, we are Strivers, and while that can cause our pain and suffering, it also causes us to create and be better. Today, instead of striving, I show up for myself and my life with the puzzle pieces I have and say, I am so grateful. I trust and know that whatever I need to grow and improve myself and my life is always being offered to me in the perfect way at the perfect time. And, so it is.
Hi! Welcome to my blog, Lunch with Cinderella. I love writing about my life experiences and the fact that they may help spur some cool experiences of your own. If you are here, leave a comment... I read them all and love hearing from you!
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