Preparing For The Unknown

Out Of Utero

I thought it may be useful for me to share how I held myself back from the absolute miracles of the mysteries of life for so long. What I hope to accomplish is to illuminate both this fear and my desire to control everything in my world. I hope to remind us all of what we already know about our Light and our creative spirits.

Fear Was A Motivator

Have you ever been disappointed that things in your life didn’t turn out as you imagined? Has it ever gone completely pear-shaped? One one end of the spectrum is disappointment – on the other, major disaster. I have to say that I was a frightened little creature when I was young. It was often paralysing. In my cellular memory, I can still feel the fear that attempted to suffocate my life source. The ways I tried to manipulate my world placed me further away from the light…the light that was always there to be seen. I was scared of the unknown and unseen. I stayed locked in a dungeon of self-fulfilling prophesies, instead of inspired experiences. Fear was a motivator for all things unseen. The inherent almost inborn fear of the unknown had a wily and stubborn grip.

The Delusional Optimist Verses The Annihilating Pessimist

If I didn’t have an absolute clear understanding or picture of something, I was terrified. I didn’t like not knowing what was around that corner. When I tried to guess or imagine what outcome to expect, I usually made two distinct predictions. They fought tooth and nail, back and forth, driving me to one form of insanity or another!  I “predicted” from the stance of an illusory/fantastical/ego-driven self on one extreme (AKA the delusional optimist), to the impending doom/limiting/ soul-crushing self ( AKA the annihilating pessimist) on the other. Neither were healthy or good or based on any form of reality.  Both had potential to cause disaster across the board.

Stagnation Leading To Death

When I couldn’t control the outcome, or predict the future, I would often times NOT ACT AT ALL. This seemed safest. This caused a withering and wilting of spirit, and was no way to live. It was not living at all.  Hiding out in “safe” self-inflicted malaise, waiting for doomsday to arrive – horrible really. From this safe, contrived prediction comes Stagnation…Paralysis… Death… Stagnation by non action. Stagnation by predictability, conformity, mundane survival with no risk taking. Paralysis born from stagnation. Paralysis leading to death of the Spirit. It became the withering of my soul by withholding its natural desire of creating and connecting to the Divine.

I now passionately fight the very notion of wanting to know what the future holds. Instead I am preparing for the unknown, the unimaginable.  My grandest imagination couldn’t bring about the wildest realities. If I attempt to imagine greatness from the limitations of brain and blood and bone, I am left only with what I started: brain and blood and bone…I want beauty and grace and inspired vision that can only come from above and beyond my finite self. What greatness could I summon from relying on my imagination alone? Figments. That’s all.

Allowing For The Real Adventure

Now I have a bit more understanding of it all. I said “a bit!” When I am in this place of the unknown, I am vulnerable. This very vulnerability is the sprouting seed I need to be open to what’s in store for me. Bigger than me. Bigger than my imagination. Luckily, this vulnerability and unknowing is the ultimate footing, and is the spice and wonderment of life. This allows me to live in a world of that which I cannot control, and that which I do not know. Then comes the real Adventure… Growth… Freedom…

Creative/ Creator/ Creation: A Gift For Humanity

I want real creative input from way beyond my own human condition. I am not discounting the human imagination, I actually think it is vital and essential in preparing for the unknown. But I see it as just that – preparation. A preparation for things unseen and unimagined. I can prepare by developing my skills in life. For instance, from a musicians standpoint I can put some dots on a page, or some words on paper. That is not really creating, though, if I am only creating with known formulas and techniques. The formulas and techniques are a part of the preparation and are valid, but they themselves are not the creation. When I allow creative spirit to guide my life in all creative acts, I begin my adventure. I start to grow, and in this growth I gain freedom.  I let go of thinking it is ME doing the creating. When I allow the art of creation, the end result always astounds me. And in that end result, almost always another creative adventure begins. All this is so much bigger than me. It’s awesome.

If I try to create from an egocentric perspective, filled with expectation and prediction, it will be shrouded in inevitable disappointment, and It will NEVER come out the way it seemed it should. Even that expectation of how I thought it was meant to eventuate would be a  minuscule expression compared to the true majestic wonderment that can only be divinely inspired. True inspiration will always astound and amaze me!

Preparation For The Absolute Wonderment Of Life’s Mysteries

All in all, being human is not the easiest task (well, how should I know what would be easier, but still). It’s daunting to say the least – on top of the challenges of just being human, we have this insatiable desire to DO something significant in life. And look at how many billions of us there are. Then look at how much suffering there is in the world. Look at how much fighting there is always going on.

Then look at the amazing people who actually have creatively changed the world by what they did. Jesus, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, to name only a few who completely changed history forever. The world will never ever be the same because of these spirited people. I am sure they were preparing for the absolute wonderment and mysteries of life, by tapping into the creator, the creation, and the creative spirit inside of themselves.They all had amazing courage, and a brave but softened heart. Because of that conviction and light, they shone – bright as the brightest stars in the sky. We can all shine our light upon the world, if we tap into the light first. It is ordained for us. It is in us. We are part of this creation.

As I Tap Into The Divine Light Of Creation

I’m preparing for surprise.

I’m preparing for excitement.

I’m preparing for  experience.

I’m preparing for challenge.

I’m preparing for humility.

I’m preparing for adventure.

I’m preparing for growth.

I’m preparing for humanity.

I’m preparing for freedom.

I’m preparing for the unknown.

Tear down the walls of my ego, let go of all my expectations, open myself for experiences far beyond my deepest imagination. I am in awe of the wonders of creation, when I can be the observer, the witness to the unfolding. I’m off on another adventure, and another fight for freedom. I am ready to be birthed as my fullest Creative Spirit. I am ready to step into the unknown, equipped with Light and Divine Inspiration…

How ’bout you?

Naked And Unashamed

So if you really saw the true me, would you still think I’m cute/pretty/beautiful (AKA, pruteeful?) I already knew the answer when I was a little person, and it was a big fat NO.

What do we identify as  beautiful? Shouldn’t it be the honest, raw, unaffected self, guts and courage and truth? I got really sick and tired of trying to keep up with the stories I invented to keep everyone “kind of” loving me. I was literally sick from it, in my youth, downing bottle after bottle of whatever I could just to be brave enough to blind myself from seeing any remnant of the true me. As I grew numb, I cared less. A whole lot less. I cared about nothing. I felt nothing. I was free, at a price, in the death of drowning from a bottle of poison. Don’t get me wrong, there were many wonderfully grand times as well, it all depended on the motive behind what I was doing. What was I running from? What was I hiding? Who was I killing? Why did I hate myself so much that I didn’t want to hang out in my own company?

The main point was that my authentic self had been bruised early on. That part was not my fault. It was not your fault either. It was just unlucky.The authentic self of me barely had a chance to form before it was stifled, judged, constrained, criticised. That was enough to stunt the development of authenticity, and breed superficiality and creative role play for survival. A role play game using real people, real feelings, real situations as my actors on my stage. That part was my fault, but I didn’t know it.  I thought that’s what everyone was doing. Weren’t you? I thought that not being authentic was the only real way to stay alive. No one was ever really themselves, because either they didn’t know what that was, or more likely, it had been taught out of them early as it had for me. Or so I thought.

I couldn’t know something was wrong that I thought was real life.  The roles I was playing were real to me. It’s what I thought humans did in order to survive. Maybe some of you did. I just know for a fact that I did. I had to. I had no other choice, and if I did, I didn’t know there were choices. I was just living… Well, surviving.

I did survive, barely. And so did you, barely, and I am sorry that I took you into my green room and kidnapped you, holding you hostage to act in my dramas with me, if you in fact, were actually “living ” and minding your own business and not actually choosing  to be cast in some Teenage Off Off Off Broadway production of mine. I’m sure I owe many of you amends. Please allow me to make them.

I just know that acting and making up fantasies was a heck of a lot easier than being real. It was a heck of a lot safer for me, and I thought that I was being a creative human. I just forgot that I was acting out a drama that was messing up actual lives. Mine not excluded, and yours definitely included. A few black comedies, but I had more aptitude for tragedies unfortunately.

So what is it that made this human so terrified of being seen? Was I living out the story of Adam and Eve? Like Adam and Eve who freely ran naked in the garden until they had the realisation that they were naked, and all of a sudden naked felt shameful. “Naked and  ashamed!” I related to that. I was ashamed for who I was. I always felt naked, and many times ashamed. Society fueled our negative self-image creating ideals of perfection that don’t even exist, dosing us with fast food, fear and consumerism to counteract the shame, perpetuating it on and on ad infinitum. Adam and Eve were awesome, beautiful and  free, and they knew it. Until they didn’t. Until they lost it. Until they thought that they weren’t. Until the enemy inside started lieing to them, placing doubt in their hearts about their authentic selves.  Until they felt that they had to hide from each other, themselves and God (their inner self, their heart, their love).

The enemy inside us affects us in the same way over and over again. Our soul goes to battle, against society’s standards of acceptability, conformity, consumerism, greed, apathy, illusion, delusion, illness, until and not excluding death. It makes us feel we are not even ok, never mind beautiful, awesome or free, the enemy makes us feel that we need to cover up and hide our true selves. Complete Soul Assassination, Spiritual Separation, Self Annihilation. 

Not unlike Eve may have felt, for me the shame game was on. And shame won. Not only was the inside not to be looked at, but the outside needed serious work as well. How could a young girl, with nothing but apparent innocence and beauty only see ugliness? Only hear a monster in her head, and see a terror in the mirror? Naked and ashamed. That was it. Through and through. Shame became the label that I identified myself with. Shame became my badge, and I was waving that flag. Identifying with the image, the actions I took followed and I lived immersed in acting out the lie. The story of my life became a full-scale production, lights, camera, action, an exact reenactment of the first draft when the seed of shame and self-doubt was planted. The seed of the lie. The “not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not rich enough, not cool enough, on and on enough” lie is what ended up ruling my life. It almost ruined my life, it definitely sabotaged my life until I woke up, and realised that I actually wanted LIFE.

I WANTED TO LIVE. Fully embracing all of life, and all the majesty in it, glorified in its jagged perfection of the past, present and future. As it is, unashamed, unapologetic and raw.

So I came to see that my open, honest, courageous truths that I thought were too frightening and ugly to share, in fact have proven to be the most beautiful parts of me.

 No one is cast in my productions anymore, I am not the stage manager, I’m not even an actor at all. I am a warrior for love because I have everything my heart wants, I am love. My spirit is awakened, I’ve heard the calls, and I have a soul on fire.

In its essence, truth is unashamed. Truth is naked… Cinderella, The Ugly Duckling, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, the Princess and the Toad, the stories of so-called ugly misunderstood characters are transformed into beauty, their outward falsities transformed into truth, the ultimate love story that we owe to ourselves. These characters are testament to what is truly beautiful, when they were to be truly witnessed as their hearts were all along.

So, real beauty does exist, in its ultimate truth, the surrendered heart in its ultimate nakedness, baring all…

And I saw myself naked.

And I accepted the ugly beauty that I am.

And I told myself my truth, and became a real person. 

And I learned to love myself as I am. The jagged, raw, honest, naked and unashamed princess that all true fairy tales are made of.

T.R.I.B.E.

I’ve spent my whole life thus far wondering what I was supposed to be doing. As a kid it seemed so black and white. Happy or sad. Right and wrong. Loneliness or togetherness. Acceptance or rejection. Yet personally filled with a sense of mystery, majesty, beauty, imagination. Coupled with a sense of fear, questions, doubts and confusion.

I was  told that I was gifted, and the gift was music, and that I had “musical intelligence” first and foremost and above any of my other intelligences. I do agree even still to this day that my musical intelligence far outweighs any other intelligences I may possess, relatively speaking. But why? What could music really do to change the world? How could playing the cello really help anyone? It sometimes felt like it was just a form of entertainment, predominantly for the affluent and the elite. It felt like not many folks really dug classical music unless they, too, were on stage playing it, or had some other association to it. On countless occasions, truth be told, even I got really fidgety at concerts of classical music unless I was on stage, or unless it was mind-blowing. I never made peace with the fact that cello alone would not save the world. I knew that people like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell were changing the world,one song at a time,  so I took a page from their books and started “rebelliously” writing songs to my mother’s dismay. I wanted this to be my gift, along side of my cello prowess.

I wanted to say something. Something more than just an interpretation of the beautiful dots on a page, as I understood that those classical masterpieces were many times politically charged, spiritually inspired, and unmistakably life changing and poignant during the periods they were being written, just as Dylan’s words and songs were. Not that I thought of myself as anything close to those geniuses, but I still wanted to voice something relevant to the world as it stands, in my own humble musical and textual expression, as those masters had in their own way.

So as I grew up, and made many mistakes (nothing to do with the music I was making, but from my glaringly obvious more underdeveloped intelligences), and I became superficially worldly, I lost that hope I felt as a young person. I somewhere lost the vision. I thought the dream had just been a childhood fantasy, with no relevance or place in a grown up world. And I became complacent, dismayed, apathetic, despondent. I felt even less able to do anything that might help anyone, as through my trials, felt I could barely help myself, so what could I possibly offer to anyone else? I wasn’t getting answers to the problems of the world, I was getting more questions, and contributing to the problems of the world. That was a sad realisation, but it was not accurate. It was honest, as far as I could understand. I was seeing reality as it is, as where I had failed, as to my mistakes, and my lacklustre.

I would catch glimpses of my part in the story, but had no idea how this weakened sight could contribute anything to anyone. I was humbled to the point of despair. I was paralysed in fear of never being remembered, never really contributing anything of value to the world. Yet I called it hunger for fame, fortune, recognition, yet I really only wanted to be loved, and heard, and seen. But it was too scary to let anyone see me, because who I was could not be seen. If you saw me, in my vulnerability, then you might have rejected me. You may not have liked what you saw. So it was easier to show you what I thought you wanted to see, only perpetuating the isolation and separation that is born from insincerity and hiding behind veils. As long as I looked a certain way, did nice things for people, and was a relatively good person, than I must have been a success. But that was not true.

My motives were all wrong. The motivation for achievement and the value I put of my life was directly measured by how you saw me. This is the definition of Hell on Earth, and between a giant rock and a very hard place. The weight of the world I created was far to heavy to continue to hold, so I landed in a heap on a very hard and cold surface of a futile feeling existence.
That was the problem, I was only scraping the surface, and only existing, not living. I was so busy trying to convince you that I was ok, that I hadn’t looked at whether I was or not. I clearly wasn’t.
Then a shift happened. As I called them often, epiphanies…. Now I tend to call them “rememberings“, because I think I did always have a sense of what the point of it all was. I remembered I had felt alive as a child. In wonderment, in awe. Not understanding everything, but being teachable and hungry for life’s beauties and magnificence. Able to see clearly with a trusting heart. I could see that as I “grew up”, and I had experienced real pains and struggles, that I had built giant walls around my heart to survive. I chose to numb out, and forget. I closed shop on epiphanies, I had stopped remembering, until I remembered, again….. and whew…
Shift happens…. and is still happening…. and will always keep happening. I think it is for all of us. As I allowed myself to recall that bewilderment of my childhood, I started to see that you, too, while you were growing up, may have started closing shop on your “remembering” too.

So, as we felt apart from, as opposed to feeling a part of, we were all in the same boat. We all grew up, and hardened our hearts, and forgot to trust, as the risk was too great. When we openly shared about these experiences together, and saw that we are all have suffered  at different times, and that we all just wanted to reunite with our tribe, and make a difference in this world, we learned that we could trust each other. So we decided to take a leap of faith and reclaim our tribe.

My tribe is your tribe.
My tribe is humanity.

I now remember that I am a part of the bigger story, I am seeing how my gifts can reach the whole tribe, and through song, and through cello, and through words and through our children. And your gifts will too. Not EITHER/ OR, but AND.

T: Trust, Togetherness, Truth, Teaching
R: Relationship, Respect, Reuniting, Right Action
I: Inspiration, Integration, Involvement, Imagination
B: Brotherhood, Belonging, Being, Bringing
E: Empathy, Evolving, Empowering, Enjoying!

Here we are now… A part of our T.R.I.B.E.

I Don’t Talk Politics Or Religion…Or Do I?

Politics, Religion, War, Poverty, Injustice, Greed, Apathy, Abuse, Corruption, Closed-mindedness, Fear, Consumerism, Wastefulness, Separation, Denial, Suicide.

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Maurice Sendak’s Classic, Where The Wild Things Are

Those words reflect a sad view of the human condition. What has this world come to? What have humans evolved into? Wilder beasts than the scariest of stories.

“The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind and another.”

To summarise Maurice Sendak’s wonderful classic story, Max’s mother thought Max was being a naughty boy. After going to bed without his supper, Max found himself in a dream like state, where he witnessed wilder beasts than himself, and at some point after teeth gnashing and terrible roars from the Wild Things, with great courage, he asked them to “Be Still!” Max became respected as the most Wild Thing of all. He became the King of the Wild Things. Yet, this sense of purpose was not what he truly wanted in his deepest heart. He only wanted to be accepted, and had the realisation that  his yearning for acceptance was not born out of respect from intimidation and fear, but out of pure, unconditional love. “Max, the King of all Wild Things was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.”

All of those words at the top of the page represent the human condition of not feeling loveable enough, not being good enough, not feeling a part of anything, not feeling important enough, therefore leading us to places and beliefs and ways of life that only lead us to the exact state of being that we don’t want, and that we abhor in others, and ourselves, like Max.

If I read that top list of characteristics, I get a nasty feeling in my gut. Surely I am not like that. Surely I am the exception to this malady of humankind. In some ways, perhaps. I don’t start wars, I try not to be greedy, I am aware of what I’m purchasing at the shops, I recycle, I try to self evaluate so that I am not in denial, I am kind to others, and I help old ladies in the shops if they can’t reach something or read a label on a soup can. So, I’m all good, right?

I stay away from politics, and I believe in God, but from a spiritual centred place, not in a “rules and regulations thou shalt not” kinda way. Yet I feel that I am meant to speak about these things that I apparently have nothing in common with.

Mainly, I don’t want you to think badly of me, because I really care about what you think. I don’t want to be judged, because, believe me, I learned a long time ago how to judge you. I was taught early on how to stand in a position of defence … Yet I say I am not a believer in War. So how come I have placed myself in the middle of a war, just by caring too much what you think of me? Obviously this is an individualistic, singular perspective of the internal war, the internal battlefield,  as opposed to the “big time blow ’em up” war involving countries, or even the world at large. What’s the difference?

Is there a difference in the wars we create, and the battles we personally face on a daily basis, and the world’s act of war?

Because I care so much about what you think of me, it can tear me up inside, it can lead to other ailments besides a defensive stance, it can lead to the biggest of all human dilemma, FEAR.

Fear is what drives all of these conditions. Politics thrives on instilling fear into the public at large, making false promises to keep us safe from the bad guys, pointing out who the bad guys are, meaning that we are somehow the good guys. Who gets to decide that? Again, we are judging a whole people from a black and white perspective of good and bad, right and wrong, just because they live somewhere else, and wear different clothes, and build different temples or mosques or churches. So there we are, involved in politics, judging the world based on some fundamental beliefs systems that make us right, and them wrong.
Old School Organised Religion (O.S.O.R. I just made that up!)  has given God a really bad rap over the years as well, because of the authoritarian perspective of separation, of alienation, of original sin (as if we are all bad inherently, and just have to try to become less bad. This is a really flawed theory I think, and only feeds the sickness of the soul we grow to have from our separation from our fellows), of bad and good, and mainly because of the reflection many pose as doing God’s work, in the name of God, as they kill anyone who is not agreeing with them. That is not an act of God, that is an act of man, of MAN IN FEAR.
I am not a politician, and I am not a preacher, and I am not a war monger, but I am a human being. I get to play whatever role in this tragedy, or comedy or masterpiece that I choose… That depends on me. I don’t want to try to get into the politics of the world, I don’t want to try to begin to talk about religion, but I do feel that I can talk about the human condition, because I do qualify for that. As we all do.
So, I am guilty of having greed, I can get into thinking of myself too much, and I can lose focus on the important things when I get wrapped up in what I want, and what I don’t have. We know that the world is still suffering greatly with millions of people in need of basic life essentials and it’s easy to remove this from our awareness when we get busy in our lives, and like a horse with blinders, we sometimes only see whats in our own back yard. The first step for change from where I sit today, is to see that the greed of one culture, is creating and perpetuating the poverty of another. That does not sound “fair” to me, as equal lives on this globe, we all deserve the basic human rights of food and water. So, I get to think about that, and feel that, and see what responsibility I have in all of it.Then I get to act accordingly.
When I can see that we are all the “same” in that we are all unique, individually beautiful creations, then I feel more able to see you, and be able to help you. We are all a part of the tribe of humanity. When I get out of myself and stop focusing on whether or not you are judging me, as I judge you judging me, then I can get in a place of complete love with you. I can feel the connection we share, the life that we both bring, and then can have fascination by the different views you may have to mine. It’s refreshing, and often illuminating and life altering.

So I choose to be open-minded, I choose to be empathic, I choose to be compassionate, I choose to be giving, I choose to be caring, I choose to be proactive, I choose to be a warrior for light and love, justice and equality.

I don’t want to commit slow soul suicide, which is death in itself. I want to make a difference in this world. I want to help this planet be a little better and brighter because of me. I am writing this as all of us. The “I” in this story is Us. Together, united, healing the planet in one smile, one step, one decision, one surrender at a time.

Our Scars Tell Our Story

“There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

None of us are perfect, but we are all beautiful.

Have you ever messed something up so bad that you didn’t think there was ever going to be a way to fix it? Maybe you made choices in your life that you thought were right at the time, only to find that they weren’t? Or you made blatant choices that you knew deep down were not right, but you didn’t care? Have you ever been in desperation? Have you ever felt that there was no way out of the pain that you were in? Have you ever hit the bottom of your soul, only to have the bottom drop even further? If not, I am surprised that you are even human.
As much as the isolation creeps in when we feel we have messed up, or failed in some way, the most painful part is that feeling of loneliness. That feeling of complete despair, as if we are the only one that has ever been through what we are going through. That feeling of hopelessness, and unworthiness can not only freeze us in our tracks, but can propel us to make even more bad decisions if we stay in the place of shame. Shame is an incredibly debilitating emotion, that serves no one. There is a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is necessary to our growth, because it is our barometer of right and wrong action, our conscience, or that still, small voice. Shame is what happens when we identify with the guilt as a description of who we are. It becomes our identity, our label, and we begin to live from this place of shame. If we begin to believe we are bad, or we are evil, then naturally our actions will follow that statement, thus perpetuating the cycle of behaviour that is hurting us and others in our midst.
I’m not implying that we all are walking around with guilt or shame all the time, but I would be surprised if you haven’t experienced either of these. I think it is one facet of being human, and a good place to start sorting out how to live truly awake, truly alive. Shackled by shame keeps us dead, keeps us living the lie we keep telling ourselves to who we are. Eventually we can forget that bright-eyed child we once were, who saw life through amazement and wonder. We forget that we are beautiful, scars and all. We didn’t know that in these moments of despair, we have the greatest opportunity to grow, and to heal. When we surrender to the absolute human-ness we possess, and know that everyone makes mistakes, of varying sizes and we will all make mistakes again. We will see the same old story come around for ourselves if we don’t seize the opportunity to know ourselves through these hardships.
Not only can these errors in our lives teach us about ourselves, bring us into our hearts, but the best part about it is that when we do learn and grow from our pain, we have an amazing gift to give someone else. Compassion. We let them know that they are not alone. What we have done has been done before, and someone has suffered as greatly as you are. Others have overcome the guilt and the shame and have become a success in their lives because of it. They have inspired and transformed those lives that were without hope.

So let’s let the light in. Let’s be courageous in our searching for the truth of ourselves. Let’s love ourselves and forgive ourselves of what we have done. Let’s not forget the past, but find a way to give it away. Let’s express with our unique creative voice what our story is. We all have one, and it is uniquely ours, scars and all.

Purpose… 5 Questions That Need Answering

Can I help any of you? Do I have something, anything to offer from what seems like an ordinary life? Don’t we all want to feel that we have something valuable to give? I believe so.

No matter where we have been, or what we have done, or how insignificant we feel at times, we all have more than something to give. We have ourselves to give.

Perhaps your gift to the world was laid out in very obvious fashion early in life. Perhaps you were always exceptionally talented, exception being the focus word. Maybe you have glaring talents and gifts, and your life has just fallen into place in the most extraordinary way.. Or maybe not.

There are you out there where this has been the case. And you ran with it. And you have been blessed. Does that mean that all of the others do not have exceptional gifts? I don’t think so. I believe we all do.

I was taught early on that life was a struggle. It’s hard. You have to work really hard, and then maybe things will work out, or at least you will be able to get by. This didn’t make me very enthusiastic about my “lot” in life. Work hard, struggle, and maybe you will be ok. This was not a very motivating prospect to me… Sounds down right painful and pointless.

I do agree with it though, in certain ways… But I believe the focus was wrong. I agree that life is hard. Yes there will be struggle for all of us at times. But where was the part of the story where I knew that it was all with a deeper meaning, and that the work I would do would be able to change lives? Touch someone. Help someone in need. Be fulfilled not by how much praise I received, but by how I could see the tiny miracles daily by how I chose to live. So again, it was all back to perspective. What angle was I approaching life from?

When I approach life as what I can get out of it, I suffer greatly. It is like the dangled carrot that is always out of reach, and I am starving and my appetite in insatiable. This is so flawed, and would inevitably always lead me to discomfort, resentment, unfulfilled life and emptiness…. So why bother working hard…..

Work is not a bad word. Again I was approaching life’s tasks from the wrong angle.

We have hands that can write, build, create, touch. We have minds that can think, ponder, problem solve, equate. We have emotions that can engage, open hearts, and heal. We have a spirit that is limitless and perfect in its entirety.

So how do you use your gifts?

Are you one of the few whose talent is  so obvious that there is no question to who you are and what you are meant to do? That’s awesome if so… Can you see how you may be able to give even more than just the obvious?

Do you realize that it still takes a heck of a lot of work even with your enormous talent potential? Are you willing to do the work?

Can you differentiate between your dreams and fantasy? Fantasy can lead us astray in thinking we have a gift that has nothing to do with our real talents. Sort out which is which, because if you are chasing fantasy then that is only a self-serving motive, and will never be a true calling for you. I’m sure we have all had a few of those (I guess I’m not meant to be a professional skateboarder after all!)

Do you see the value in the smallest acts of kindness?  The person whose job is to help the elderly, and do the thankless tasks are such gifts to humanity. The guy who decides to pick up litter he sees at the park, the volunteers all around the world sacrificing their time and their lives. There is no such thing as a small gift. A gift cannot be measured. Whether you help one person, or a million, every act of selfless giving is an unmeasurable gift!

So maybe we can dig deeper to ask what can I do today to bring my gifts to the world? This may be in work, in family, with a stranger, every moment of exchange has potential for a life changing moment. We never know what is right around the corner when we come into our lives from a heart centred place.

If you are feeling that your job identifies you, than think again. It’s not your job that identifies who you are, it is your integrity and action that you live by that tells us who you are. It may be that your day-to-day job does change lives in a huge way, or perhaps in a small way, but it all comes back to motives…. What are you living this life for? To make ends meet? Or to change the world?

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Music does not identify me. My motives and actions identify who I am.

I believe if our approach shifts to how we are microcosmically affecting the world in our every action, and take responsibility that if what we are doing does not match our morals or ethics and change what we are doing to serve the greater good,  then our needs will always be met, at the very least. And your spirit will be rewarded exponentially, and the world will be a better place because of you. There is nothing insignificant about your life. You are the gift. Live it.

Honesty Will Get You Everywhere

What is being honest? Is it just “cash register honesty?” Selective honesty is what I think we often times practice, which I am not sure is helping us feel connected to each other. I want to talk about the heart honesty, the real deal. I remember when I was younger always feeling like I needed to explain myself to everyone that asked me anything. As if I had a responsibility to tell them whatever they wanted to know about me, or wanted to hear. It took a long time to realise that this is not the case. Because I felt that I must say something, I would sometimes beat around the bush, or make excuses, or plain out LIE to make sure I didn’t offend anyone or leave them hanging. I didn’t’ realise that boundaries were ok, and even more than ok, necessary. Because I didn’t realise that there was a choice in the matter, where I could discern between what was important to share and what wasn’t, I often felt on the spot to say something… Anything… This led to lots of personal confusion and a loss of knowing what the real truth of myself was. I didn’t like hurting other people, or hurting their feelings, and so this choice to always say something was well-intentioned, just misdirected.

When we are confronted with the opportunity to be honest, and it will not unnecessarily injure another, it is important for a secure sense of self to be as honest as possible. It also allows others to feel connected to you, and even know that they also are not alone, and it can open up a vulnerability and closeness that may have not happened ever between people. We all have things about ourselves that are our secrets, or our shadows, however small or large, they are meaningful to us. They can be debilitating, and even instruct us on how to proceed with our lives. This can be a very dangerous road to travel, as it becomes paralysing in its fear, and also can convince us to make choices that we are probably not meant to make. I feel it is important to recognise that we all have this dilemma. We all suffer from our stuff at times, and yet when we are in the darkest moments, we do feel alone, even if we are surrounded by those that we love. It can be terrifying when we are having our own experience that no one is privy to. Being vulnerable, and admitting that we need each other, is hard. We don’t like to feel that we are not strong, or that we are being selfish when really we are only being human.

How nice would this world be if we all felt we were safe to share the truths of ourselves? How do we feel when we have those moments of closeness and bonding with another person? For me it is exhilarating. It can be life changing, inspiring, teaching. I feel a part of something bigger when someone chooses to share themselves with me. I feel trusted. I increase my belief and love in the human connection, and in our highest purpose. I feel empowered. I feel safe. I feel important. I feel that I can hear and that I am heard. I feel that I can also take the risk of true honest closeness, and intimacy, when I feel you also giving of yourself. A shared experience, and a beautiful one at that. So, as I choose to be open, honest, scars and all, I know that I am reaching out to you. I feel that you hear me, and if you choose to be open also, I will always hear you. This is a gift we have to give to each other and ourselves. Honesty on a new level, as spoken from the heart, not out of fear of being caught, but out of courage that we all have something to give to the world, in the healing and celebration of life.

How To Practice Contagious Kindness

Have you ever experimented with kindness? Have you ever chosen one morning that TODAY you would treat others exactly how you would want to be treated? When I am in a place of seeing what I can give to others, and how I may bring joy or happiness to them, my life changes. It is so easy when things get tough in this harsh world we live, to ask ourselves, “Why should I even bother?” or “what’s in it for me?” or “how am I going to GET what I need?”or “How am I going to be fulfilled and happy when all these obstacles keep interfering?”
I think many of us have had moments of feeling ON TOP OF THE WORLD, and yet end up falling in a big heap when the next mountain seems too big to climb. Usually when we have openings in our lives, we get the inspiration and motivation to start something, it’s fresh, new, exciting, and then comes the hard work. Oh yeah, work… I forgot that anything done well requires WORK. Even the thing that may be your truest talent still requires a great deal of work and perseverance than if you chose NOT to do it in the first place. If you choose not to do it, then there is NO RISK of failure, because you are choosing to stay invisible and safe… This is also called mediocrity. We ALL have abilities far beyond mediocrity!

For instance, falling in love is easy. We feel that it is exciting to be kind, loving, generous, open, when we first fall in love, and then comes the hard work of maintaining that love. When we see each others imperfections, we begin to realise that in order to STAY in this love, we have to accept the other as they are. We have to practice patience, kindness, and generosity, and we have to accept that at moments, we will be let down. This is life as a feeling, thinking spiritual being in a physical body, I accept that….

Being in the awareness of how our behaviours affect the world around us requires a constant open-hearted approach to life, which is easy to get out of our line of vision when we get too busy, feel let down, and become despondent.

So, maybe the question I want to ask is, why do we look at hard work as a bad thing?
We are designed to work hard, we are fit and capable, and in order for us to truly be generous with our gifts, then we owe it to ourselves and the rest of humanity to do a good job of respecting these gifts and seeing them come to their highest fruition. Isn’t that really what we want as an end result? We want to be really skilled, and really successful, and acknowledged for our gifts, don’t we? I do, and I don’t think that is a bad thing at all, it’s just that the hours of dedication, and the potholes along the way can sometimes make us feel that we really are NOT GOOD ENOUGH, and we stop believing in our gifts. We start to doubt. We lose our motivation and our inspiration.
Back to kindness and giving…. We not only need to remember to practice this kindness of spirit every single day to those around us known and unknown, but we also need to give this to ourselves. This will help us in those dark moments and in those trying times, to keep going. Remembering that with a strong conviction, and perseverance, anything is possible. in fact, everything is possible.
So, today, let’s begin.
1. Give generously of yourself in all areas of life.
2. Practice the art of LOVE everywhere.
3. Start looking at hard “work” as a good thing! (it’s where we get results!)
4. Remind yourself of the truest gifts you have, and practice them A LOT!
5. Ask for help when you need it! Others will benefit by you accepting their act of kindness and generosity, and it becomes a contagion!
6. Don’t be afraid of the obstacles along the way, everyone that has been successful in ANYTHING has had at least as many losses as wins. Trust me!
7. Share your triumphs and failures with others, so they too can find inspiration when they are having a struggle in their life. I promise that they will appreciate it, and who knows what new doors will open from this generous gift you are giving…

We are in one GIANT awesome life boat together, and we ALL are equipped with oars and preservers.

Let’s do this…

5 Simple Steps To Acceptance

When we decide to trust in a higher purpose, and we stop fretting over all the little things that can pile up during any given day, we gain perspective. Isn’t everything in life able to be seen from either the perspective of fear, or the perspective of love? Every choice we make we get to decide if we will be in fear, void of trust and hope, or from the attitude of love, where all things are in harmony, and even when they are not, knowing that in some way, at some point, this too shall pass.
I can be in such a state of fear when I feel that I cannot control all of what’s around me. It is an endless and thankless task, to be master of not only my universe, but yours and theirs also. It leaves me feeling like a failure, and in a constant state of worry, that I haven’t been successful in my ability to control the destiny of all around me. My perspective needs adjusting.
What can I control? People? Places? Things?
That question is the first to answer, and it’s an easy answer, I can only control how I choose to react to people, places and things, but not the objects themselves. This is a great relief, as I still am able to have my “control freak” need met, but from a place of stillness, and understanding of my role in this game. When I relax into this, and look at each experience as an opportunity to practice kindness, compassion, understanding, allowing, I am at peace with me. I can continue to march on to the beat of my drum, and enjoy the resonance of the choir of drums of all of you. Then we are in harmony.
Lets think of some ways that we, today, can choose to act in harmony with each other.

1. Understand that other people have every right to have their feelings, even if they don’t match or meet yours.

2. Learn how to be a better listener to others, it takes practice to listen with your heart instead of a critical mind.

3. Be happy with who you are, and the differences that make you UNIQUE. You are a special gift also, and there is only one of you.

4. When you get frustrated with a situation or a person, take a breath and ask yourself, why am I upset about this? What is it in me that doesn’t accept this “thing” as it is? Sometimes its obvious that someone has hurt you, or let you down, and you do have choices around this. You ned to determine if the situation is toxic to you, or workable. Dig deep to get the answer. It’s not about changing them, but what you can do for yourself that is for the greater good. If someone is toxic, then standing by and allowing toxicity is only enabling them, let go with love.

5. Ask your higher power for more compassion, more acceptance of life and all of its ups and downs. We all go through dark times, and have our shadows, in this we are all the same. When we can truly see the suffering of another, and relate it to our darkness, then we are able to let a little bit of light into our hearts and help each other, and mutually evolve from a place of common ground, and empathy.

Are you choosing to be in acceptance today?