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Archive for the ‘Finding Your Center’ Category

Journey

I recently overheard a familiar comment…’it’s not about the destination, it’s all about the journey.’  This brought to mind another saying about the ‘journey of a thousand miles beginning with the first step.’  My mind invited these concepts into play.  Soon I was riding the ferris wheel of my probing interest.  Going slowly round and round, stopping at the top; swinging gently.  Then down again, stopping to pick up some different perspectives.

Of course I checked the old Webster, journey has origins in ME, OFr. and L.  What intrigued me the most was the L. root, diurnus which means ‘daily’.  And also, that journey was a days travel.  This made a great deal of sense to me as I reflected on the above adages.  A days travel prior to the industrial revolution was an arduous undertaking, especially before the horse and buggy.  On foot, or on a donkey, horse, camel or elephant a day’s  journey would often have been demanding, exhausting and dangerous.

More mind musings spotlighted the ‘daily’ journey, with its ups and downs, highs and lows, flotsam and jetsam and provided a profound insight into the speed at which we now ‘travel’ in a day even when we don’t leave home.  This is not a new experience for the majority of us.  However, I wonder if you, like me, get so caught up in the swiftness of the journey that we often miss details; the Hawk on telephone wire, the color of the sky, the smell of the season, a stranger’s smile.

The above sayings now have more depth and meaning for me.  I am inspired to stop for a moment here and there; to catch my breath, to watch a Hummingbird, to play with a child, say ‘Hello’ to a neighbor, and to rest now and then.

Valentine

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  It is a day that is often difficult for singles who have nothing going on romantically.  It is a day filled with flowers, chocolates, champagne, special meals, clothes, gifts, including jewelry, and greeting cards gushing and blushing expressions of love.

For those of you celebrating with that special someone in you life, I wish you a beautiful day!  And for those of you who are alone, I invite you to be your valentine.  It has been for me, a very enjoyable and rewarding experience to buy myself some of my favorite flowers, a bottle of my favorite champagne and to either get special take-out or prepare a special meal for myself.  Set the table, put on some great music, light a candle or two (or more) and savor some really good moments alone.

Wishing each of you a very Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Options

The root of the word ‘option’ is from L. optare, to wish or desire.  My old and new Websters both define option as “…the power to choose”.

We easily take for granted our many routine ‘options’. How we spend our money, who we hang out with, where we live, what we do with our ‘free’ time, what we eat, how we dress, who we vote for, what spiritual path we follow, these are options in the true sense of fulfilling our desires or wishes.  Having the right and the freedom to choose is an enormous power.

There are often times in our lives when we feel we have no choice, no options.  We feel trapped.  Trapped in a job, a marriage, a relationship, an addiction, a dynamic, even a physical limitation.  We can’t imagine that we have any other ‘option’ but to keep things as they are.  Very often it is fear that keeps us bound to circumstances we don’t really desire.  Fear of the unknown, fear of what others may think of us, peer pressure, social mores, religious beliefs, all these are influences that can mask the fact that we have options.

Facing how much free will and choice we actually have is a scary proposition.  For example, acknowledging that we are not, in fact, trapped in a bad relationship, that we have no obligation to remain a victim of circumstance, means making a conscious decision to stay or to go.  We come face to face with our fears. Regardless of what others may say or do, the decision is ours. We are responsible.

It is a good thing to have options whether we exercise them or not.  Consciously acknowledging to ourselves our power of choice, the full potency of our free will, the real scope of the options before us is not only empowering but frees us from many traps.

 

Budget

My 1951 Websters ( unabridged addition) states that the origin of budget means a bag or a pouch.  My Merriam-Webster (11th addition) calls bouge, a leather bag.

Of the various definitions from both above-mentioned resources, I chose the following: a ‘Plan of affairs’ and ‘…an amount available for a particular use’.  Additionally, I added ‘energy budget’ to create a working definition to help guide me through some upcoming stellar events; a family wedding; a family re-union; and a few family mile-stone birthdays.

I fantasized briefly about having more than adequate monies, time and energy available so I could just sail through all these events with a kind of joyful abandon.  Then BOOM, reality blows my fantasy away.  I need a budget.  Relishing having unlimited funds to spend on travel, dress, decorations, gifts, catering, hired help and various other accoutrement evaporated into thin air.  The full scope of the challenge before me began to take root in my psyche, my body and my purse.  How many ways can I stretch a couple thousand dollars to do a ten-thousand dollar job?

I will have a budget.  I will comparison shop; I will invite good planing; I will accept my limitations; I will invite team-work; I will have a plan of affairs; I will allocate time, energy and funds befitting each event; and I will pace myself to the best of my ability.  Most importantly, I will focus with joyful abandon on how rich I truly am!

Passion

When beginning a new year, a new cycle, passion is activated, engaged.  We are energized and enthusiastic.  Stepping beyond the passion that fuels our intimate relationships and looking deeply within for the passions that feed our souls, what do we find?

For some the answer is evident in active ongoing involvement with creative expression, athletic activity, causes, and, commitments to desires of the heart that bring deep satisfaction.  For others the road is less clear.

I believe there are some key components to passionate expression of the soul.  Essential to successfully living your passion  are belief or faith, trust, commitment, desire, confidence, willingness including the willingness to be wrong, to lose, to stand up to ridicule, to step out of your comfort zone, to try new things, to accept criticism as well as accolades, to work with others or to work alone, to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

As we enter 2012 and the labor pains birthing a new age become  more powerful and more intense the necessity is greater than ever for each of us to find and to persue our passions.

 

Occupy

Our thought processes come with the development of language.  The English language, in particular, is not static; it continues to grow, to change, to develop.  ‘Words of the Year’ reflect major themes, conditions, roles, and changes in our society at large over a given period.  Occupy, chosen the Word of the Year for 2011 by the American Dialect Society, is a good example of this process.  Pragmatic is the Word of the Year for 2011 chosen by the folks at Merriam-Webster.

Whatever your thoughts and feelings are about the Occupy Movement, it is a historical event of global proportions. The Merriam-Webster definition of occupy is  “…to engage the attention or energies of….”  To be pragmatic is to “…be down-to-earth, realistic….”

On a personal note as we begin 2012, I invite you to bring occupy pragmatically into your daily activity.  Find a cause, a circumstance, a situation wherein you can engage the attention or energy of yourself and create a down-to-earth, realistic goal for personal change in your life.

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Resolute

This word of the week blossomed in my mind refusing to be passed over, calling my consciousness to its timeliness.  To be resolute is to be ‘…firmly determined in purpose’.  Our seasonal ritual of making resolutions always includes this firm determination to change…to change ourselves or our situation in some fundamental way; to improve ourselves.  ‘True’, ‘loyal’, and ‘faith’ are all synonyms for resolute; and resolution is an action word.

I received a very insightful e-mail regarding the focus of this traditional passage.  Rather than direct our steadfast determination to change a pattern, behavior, habit, or situation that we consider negative, why not shift the focus to the positive?  I invite you to examine the possibilities of exploring,  expanding, creating, discovering and using more of your innate potential.  And be resolute!

 

Inspiration

Christmas has passed and we are heading toward the New Year.  It is a traditional time for new beginnings and making resolutions.  According to Merriam-Webster, inspiration is “…the act or power of moving the intellect or the emotions.”  As you relfect on the year that is passing and make plans for the year to come, consider inspiration; allow inspiring goals to take form; welcome the opportunity to inspire others;  let your creativity flow.

Traditions

Perhaps more than any other Season this time of year holds the greatest awarness of our traditions.  Solstice, Christmas, Hanakah, Kwanza and other winter celebrations have traditions unique to each.  And then there are family and individual traditions.  It is a very special time of year; a time to share; to give; to connect; to reflect; to create; to laugh; to cry; to pray; to focus on the best of human nature.

It is also a time that spotlights ‘need’ and the not-so-nice side of humanity.  As you go about the business of celebrating your seasonal traditions, I invite you to create a new one.  It can be as simple as saying a kind word or two to over-worked sales people; flash a hearty smile at harried strangers in the supermarket; say ‘thank you’ to the people who serve you all year long; make a donation to a favorite charity; support a local food-bank; be a Secret Santa.

Love is the greatest gift we can give and the finest tradition we can celebrate.

Lights

I love lights.  I am a huge fan of pyrotechnics; I  always have Christmas-like lights in my home in all seasons.  This time of year is a beautiful banquet of beams, sparkle, shimmer, twinkle, candlelight, lamplight firelight, white light and festivals of light.

Light is so necessary to our very existence in every sense; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I invite you to enjoy, to relish the seasonal light show, including the most magnificent of all light shows…the starry heavens.  Winter brings clear, crisp, intimate viewing of the wonders of the heavens.  I saw a shooting star a couple of early mornings ago; brief and breath-taking.  It is also a time for deep reflection in the darkness of shorter days; a good opportunity for soul-review.

Invite the numinous; rejoice in the light.