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Wake Up and Live Your Life May 19, 2010

Posted by admin in : Life 101, People, Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized , 1 comment so far

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I frequently refer to my life as a journey because there is no destination. I’m on a continuous path of self-discovery and transformation. I use to worry about what other people  thought of me and fell prey to expectations because I wasn’t empowered enough to know better. I finally stopped living my life as a puppeteer when I realized mainstream wasn’t really going anywhere.

Of course I knew this as a child, but when you’re young and uneducated, you have no choice, as we don’t have the same free will living under the roof of another. As we find our way out in to the world and begin to make choices that reflect our own personal values, we find a sense of independence and freedom that leads us on a journey in to our deepest self.

The problem is we are so programmed we don’t even know what our own values are or what’s important to us as individuals. There is no sense of freedom because we are trapped in the minds of our predecessors following in the steps of society as a whole. How can we live an authentic wholesome life when our spiritual growth is inhibited by our predisposed minds?

We need to wake up as individuals and start making conscious decisions based on our own life experience. The change we need to see in this world is the change within ourselves. We are walking around as victims and taking no responsibility for the suffering our ignorance has created. We have to change the under current of past conditioning and start to live in accordance of our higher selves where we make decisions consciously from a place of inner knowing. The more we understand ourselves, the more in tune with life we become because we are no longer living from a place of fear, but from a place of joy.

Once you live from a place of center,  you no longer need the false sense of security we get from following the herd of lost souls who need us to be someone other than ourselves. As we explore the depths of ourselves, we begin to heal from the past, but this process can’t begin until we stop blaming politics or religion or the actions of others and take some responsibility.

Take charge of your life and watch how differently the world unfolds. I guarantee you if you’re unhappy with someone in your life it’s because you’re unhappy with yourself so use your relationships and moments  of unrest or pain to get to know yourself better. Use others as a map to your spiritual center. Let go of what’s happening around you and get in touch with the feeling it ignites or the behavior in yourself, as therein lies the answer.

Find the gift in the argument or the compliment in the judgement or the kind in the hate. Find peace in anger and joy in sorrow. The despair will only grow darker and make you weaker so find the light and bask in your inner radiance, as the world lights up around you.

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Accept the Ignorance and own the Anger January 18, 2010

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I spoke to a good friend the other night and she was really upset with all the anger she was feeling towards her mom. She just wanted it to go away so she could be happy again and I could relate to what she was saying. It’s frustrating not being able to understand some of the choices or decisions people make in their life, but there’s nothing you can do about it because each person is on their own journey exploring life through his or her own eyes and only acting in accordance to what he or she knows. It may not make sense to you, but that’s life.

You will only exhaust yourself trying to understand so have faith that everything happens for a reason and everyone is interconnected and a part of the greater whole so every person and every being has its place in the world. If your consciousness expands and someone else’s doesn’t, whether it be a partner, a family member, a friend, or colleague, you probably won’t be able to connect with them in the same way, as we are only able to operate within the capacity of our past experiences and social and cultural upbringing. You simply can’t explain the way you see life and expect everyone to “get it” because we’re all in different places spiritually, physically, and emotionally. You can only love them for who they are and the path they are on and know they are doing the best they can with the tools they were given.

And you can’t take it personally because there’s a lot of ignorance out there and a lot of people sleep walking through life. Some people just don’t get it and will never get it…not in this lifetime any way and there’s nothing you can do about it so just accept what you’re feeling and be present with whatever arises. Every time I try and understand people and some of the choices they make, I get angry and I feel alone in my thoughts and beliefs and it makes me wish I never started down the spiritual path, but I would never go back…not for anything in the world.

I just have to honor my feelings as they come up and not label them as good or bad. Feelings are a part of life and we need to allow and accept all that is within us, which is why I laugh when someone asks how I’m doing and I say, “angry” and they look at me like I’m crazy. People think I’m always “happy,” but I’m human and I get downright mad at times and I’m not going to suppress my feelings and pretend they don’t exist because I know the anger or sadness or whatever I’m feeling will subside a lot sooner if I just allow myself to feel whatever it is I’m feeling.

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Done and Free August 2, 2009

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I recently read a blog post entitled “Three Powerful Words.” The 3 words… “I AM DONE.” As I read the blog, the words danced off the screen singing to me like lyrics of a song. Another’s experience can only resonate at that level when one has encountered the same, as knowledge is what unites sentiment beings and connects us to all. One cannot have compassion without empathy for another. It’s what fuels our emotions and grounds us to reality.

The premise of the blog was people get stuck in situations because they perpetuate suffering through destructive thought patterns and the language they use. People who are unhappy propagate negativity and get stuck there because the mind only preserves pessimism. One cannot find relief or be free until the cycle is stopped, as negativity breeds negativity. I’ve been there to see it…it’s like being pulled down by a tidal wave to the bottom of an ocean and drowning, as the air slowly deprives you of your life. 

The thing about spiraling downward is you eventually hit rock bottom and then there’s nowhere else to go, but up. I spent most of my life, as a victim…a victim of abandonment…a victim of abuse…a victim of control…a victim of manipulation. It played out in many forms and in many different relationships. I didn’t even know I was playing the role, as it became my identity…it comforted me and gave me something to blame and a place to hide when I was hurt. It was my shelter…my refuge from pain. I suppose there was a part of me who needed it…a sense of protection until I was able and strong enough to confront the shadows on my own. 

For that to happen I needed to feel safe and being safe for me meant getting out of an environment where I was being controlled, manipulated and judged, but it took a lot of inner strength that I was only able to achieve after years and years of work…work on myself…digging through layers and layers of baggage.

Often we don’t even realize we’re in toxic environments because something about it fuels our fire and gives us a false sense of self. We feel secure in relationships because something about the other person makes us feel whole, but it’s not authentic, as we are the only ones who can make that connection. This is one of the reasons relationships end because as each person grows, he or she eventually finds his or her own self worth and the other person is no longer necessary to fill the void. If a false sense of security is what initially bonded the relationship, than there might not be enough left to keep it alive.

It wasn’t until I truly found myself and became whole without needing another person there to complete me or play a role of someone or something I was denied as a child that I was able to see the victim, surrender the victim, and change the semantics of my life. I never felt good enough as a child and I struggled with the lack of confidence for a really long time. It wasn’t until yoga teacher training that I was finally able to open up and start the process of healing. It took me being in a circle of like-minded loving people who accepted me unconditionally to finally feel safe.

It was in the sanctity of these yogis that I was finally able to surrender and take off the masks I’d been wearing. I was no longer the victim…I was a survivor…I was free…I was ME! This abandon would have never been possible had I not been “done” playing the victim because one can’t be done with something until one is truly DONE.

If you’re still suffering in some way or find yourself spiraling downward, ask yourself what you’re getting from it. If you weren’t getting something, you wouldn’t still be there and it’s okay if you still need to be there. You just need to be okay with it or do something about it, as you are the only one who can do it.

My mother once said to me “nobody is coming to save you.” I hated the words as they spilled over her lips because I knew she was right. I spent most of my life waiting for someone to save me. I wanted someone to make me feel safe…to protect me from the pain I felt as a child…to hear my cries for help…to erase the wrongs imposed upon me and make them right. In the end, it was me who came to save me. When you are finally able to say, “I am done,” you will be done and you will be free.

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A Celebration of Life June 8, 2009

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A very dear friend of mine just lost her dad to a rare form of cancer. He battled the disease for almost 3 years and we all hoped and prayed he would pull through it, but sometimes life has other plans for us. He was a noble man who fought for his life until the bitter end and his wife dedicated every ounce of energy trying to understand the incurable disease and doing everything possible to find a treatment that would bring him back around, but the disease was too powerful. I knew there was a chance he wouldn’t make it when I first found out he was sick so I held on to hope, but sometimes hope isn’t enough.  I knew the weight it would bear on my friend and her family and the heavy grief that would follow, but there are just some things in life you can’t control and death is one of them. 

I can say that anyone who didn’t know him before knew him after, as his close friends and family did a beautiful job of capturing the greatness of his life in the eloquent eulogies spoken at his wake. He was not only a stoic man, but an incredible father, mentor, colleague, husband, partner, teacher, coach, and neighbor. He was truly an extraordinary man and accomplished both personally and professionally. He was a strong spirit who was unselfishly available for anyone who needed him. He was not a taker, but a seeker and giver and he never settled for anything less than great. His life was honored and revered in such a way that made you want to reflect on the greatness of your own life, as it’s so uncertain and we don’t have time to take it for granted or be ungrateful for all the beautiful gifts and blessings we are given. 

Nobody ever looks forward to a funeral or losing someone they love, but death is a part of life and a necessary part of the journey. In the end we just don’t know where our life will take us or how long we have to live in these delicate bodies. We can only hope that we live a long prosperous healthy life dying peacefully and without regrets because when the time comes for us to pass, we have to accept the inevitable and appreciate the life we lived.

Our death should be a true celebration of our life and not a mourning of our passing and this doesn’t mean that people won’t express their pain or sorrows in losing someone they love, but they will remember you for who you were and not what kind of home you lived in or car you drove. We don’t have time for grudges or regrets or judgments so don’t waste time or energy on things that don’t truly matter. Let go of the past and that to which you cannot change and embrace the beautiful life you are living.

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The New Year January 12, 2009

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This tends to be the time of year when the mad rush of self-defeating thoughts come rushing in as a result of indulging in sweets and alcohol over the holidays and not working out as often because typically, from Thanksgiving until the 1st of the year, most people live outside their normal realm of structure and routine.

Exercise doesn’t happen as frequently, holiday parties fill the schedule, sweets are overly abundant and additional stress and pressures are felt. It’s no wonder we are completely exhausted and worn out by the time January rolls around and in a desperate attempt to get our lives back in to some semblance of order, we force ourselves from one extreme to the other. I hear people say, “As of the 1st, I’m not going to eat anymore junk food, drink alcohol, or stay up late and I’m going to start working out every day, but why do this to ourselves? How about a little compassion? Is there anything wrong with nurturing ourselves a little more instead of jolting ourselves back in to some rigid regimen?

We shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves, as we are not perfect. I think we have a tendency to let everything go during the holidays because subconsciously we need the freedom to let our hair down and be a little wild. The month of December seems to give us some sort of respite from the daily grind of keeping up with the Jones’s or having to live up to a certain set of standards so there’s no need to beat ourselves up for having a little fun. It’s human and necessary so don’t be the victim or feel sorry for yourself  because you gained a couple pounds or feel a little off from all the holiday binging. 

Give yourself permission to take one day at a time and your body will thank you. Let this year be more about acceptance of who you truly are and honoring your imperfections by acknowledging not only the brilliant light of your true essential nature, but your dark shadows as well.  Find the equanimity in your life, but be patience and compassionate, as you honor, nurture, and love yourself!

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Acceptance…the final stage… October 17, 2008

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Everyone experiences loss at some point in their life, whether it is the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship. Everyone responds processes and handles grief in their own way because we were raised differently. Our emotional response depends upon our personality, culture, spiritual beliefs, and religious practices.  The one thing that stays constant is the process, as everyone goes through similar stages of denial, pain, anger, sadness, loneliness and then acceptance. Anyone who has grieved knows there comes a time when the pain finally subsides and you are free. It’s almost as if it happens in an instant…a single moment in time.  

I don’t know what determines how long a person will grieve, but I do know that when it’s done, it’s done. There are many beautiful gifts that arise out of the final stage of accepting and letting go. There’s an awakening of consciousness and liveliness about your being that radiates from within because once the pain is gone, the body has a spaciousness the whole world can see. You feel magnificently alive and you have a new profound sense of self.  It’s absolutely beautiful to witness someone letting go, as the freedom shines right through their eyes.

It took me a long time, but I finally let go of the relationship that ended almost a year ago.  I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but something magical happened. It was if the universe pulled the remaining feelings out of my heart and freed me from the pain and hurt I was still harboring. I never loved another man the way I loved this man. He was absolutely everything to me. It was love at first sight and there was no doubt in my mind he was the one for me, as we talked about marriage and the possibility of creating a family.

I spent the past year trying to understand what happened…trying to understand why the Universe had other plans for us…trying to understand why our paths couldn’t be one. I was mad at the Universe for taking my love away…mad at myself for being committed to a spiritual journey that took me in a different direction. When it was all said and done what I realized was that it didn’t matter what happened between us and nobody was to blame. It was about the beautiful time we spent and the memories we created. It was about the intensity of our love and the life we shared.

There comes a time when you have to accept the fact that perhaps you’re not always meant to be with the person you think you’re suppose to be with in the terms of forever. Everyone is on their own journey and your life’s purpose may or may not take you in a different direction.  It’s possible for two people to share a life together and walk along different paths as long as the relationship is supportive and nurturing. It’s important to continually grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally so a relationship shouldn’t hold you back or inhibit you in any way.

People waste precious time blaming or faulting their partner for stuff that doesn’t really matter in the end. It’s not always about this or that, but something much greater than you or I. If it’s not working, it’s not working. It’s nobody’s fault. It just may be the inevitable. Be grateful for the times you shared together and for all the beautiful things the relationship brought in to your life, but then accept and honor one another when its time to part ways. We are not always aware of the greater plan so it’s important to trust in a higher power.

Our love was a gift I will cherish forever. The hardships we endured and the challenges we faced broke me down to the core of my being. In my struggle to understand and through my anger and pain I was able to break through the hard shell I built around my heart. I prayed to God for many years, as I wanted to find my self. I wanted to let go of the roles I played in an attempt to be loved. I wanted to walk my path and not the path set out by others. I wanted to be safe to explore the inner depths of my soul. I wanted to let go of anything that was holding me back from achieving oneness with my higher soul. I wanted to release and let go of the insecurities that weighed heavy on my heart. I wanted to let go of my fears and anger. I wanted to embrace my inner child and learn to love my self…my true self. 

Part of my prayer being answered was falling in love with this amazing man who walked in to my life and shared his heart with me. He reflected things I needed to see about myself and he was a catalyst for the lessons I learned. My relationship with him was a blessing…a gift from God.  Not only did I find myself, I emerged from a dark cocoon as a butterfly with wings of brilliant light.

I feel free for the first time in my life and I mean free as a hawk sailing high in the sky. I would not be here had it not been for this amazing man, the yoga teacher training, the trip to India, and for all the incredible work I did in between. Some of it was extremely painful and harder than anything I’ve ever endured, but the light was worth the blood, sweat, and tears. 

I was beginning to think I was broke…that I would never be able to let him go. My heart was with him every day. There wasn’t a moment that went by when I didn’t think about him or wonder how he was doing. When we broke up, I didn’t want to believe it…I felt anger and hatred I never felt before…I felt moments of sadness that left me wanting to take my life…I felt alone and scared and now almost a  year later, I am finally done…I am free.

In honoring my feelings and allowing myself to feel the pain in losing him, I was able to finally let him go and it was in an instant…just like that and not a moment too soon. I will never stop loving him, as he had a beautiful spirit, but I was finally able to accept and let go. I am grateful as the grief is finally gone and I can now sit in a place of gratitude and divine love for what we shared. Love and loss can be painfully grueling, but if you allow yourself to process in due time, you will find the journey to be insightful and enlightening.  

 

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Not so tough afterall October 10, 2008

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As I was writing about my experiences in New Delhi, something dawned on me. I always thought of myself as someone being tough because of my upbringing. I grew up on a Farm…I watched animals get slaughtered…I was raised with brothers who were rough on me…I was taught how to use a bow and arrow and how to shoot a gun before I was ten…I’ve gone 4-wheeling and driven a tractor…I’ve built a fort in the woods and changed the oil in my car. I learned the art of taekwondo and found a love for kick-boxing. I moved to Japan without knowing the language and traveled around the world. I camped in the woods and cooked on a grill. I wrestled boys and played basketball in heels. I was hit in the face with snowballs and shot in the back with a bee-bee gun. I was raised in an environment where people thought I had to tough and “get over things” instead of “feeling things.”

I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest when my best friend in the whole world moved away. I was seven years old and felt more alone than ever the day her family left. I was laying in my bed crying and wanted someone to come tell me it was going to be okay, but instead I was told to “get it together” and clean up my room…that crying wasn’t going to bring her back.  I was met with a similar reaction when my dad died. I was fourteen years old and absolutely devastated. I needed to grieve, feel and honor my feelings, but was told to be strong instead. Nobody seemed to be able to handle my raw emotion so I cried alone behind closed doors in the dark of night. 

I remember my brothers use to say, “don’t mess with my sister…she’s tougher than anyone I know.” I never really believed it, but it became my identity. I wanted to be a lover, not a fighter. I didn’t want to beat anyone up. I didn’t want to be tough. I didn’t want to “get over it.” I just wanted to be myself…my sensitive loving self. 

I didn’t like confrontation or things that made people hurt. I didn’t like things that were dirty or messy.  I didn’t like foul smells or musty odors. I didn’t like creepy crawling things in the night. I liked things that were pleasing to the senses. I liked pretty things and girly things. I liked sweet things and things that made you smile. My heart was tender and full of love for life yet I lived my whole life trying to be this tough girl because that’s who everyone made me out to be. 

I went to a 3rd World Country thinking I would be okay because I was a tough girl, but I wasn’t okay and I wasn’t “tough,” but it didn’t make me a weak person. I was still strong, determined, and resilient…just not “tough” in the way that might enable someone to endure the physical unpleasantries and hardships of traveling around a developing country where there weren’t a lot of comforts of home. 

I didn’t need to be tough in that way. It’s not me and it feels really good to be able to see and honor a different side of myself. What can I say? I like nice things and I enjoy being comfortable. It’s not to say I can’t endure because I’ve lived through a lot of suffering and pain, but I’ve worked hard to get to where I’m at and I like the sweeter things in life and I enjoy being pampered. I don’t have to go to a poor city to meditate and grow spiritually. I can do the same thing in Mexico on a beautiful serene beach with mystical sunrises and sunsets. It’s not to say I wouldn’t go back to India…I would probably just skip over the poor cities and go straight to the mountains.

It’s exciting to know I can now honor parts of myself that have been denied for so many years. It’s amazing how we can become and behave in ways characteristic of those who had the most influence during our formative years or how we can get stuck in patterns like thinking we have to suffer in order to grow. We become what we are told or what is expected of us. Self-realization is about honoring your true self and being comfortable with being you…the real you. It’s liberating and freeing in a way I can’t even describe.

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Pure Consciousness August 4, 2008

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What is “pure consciousness”? I’m always talking about being awake or conscious, but then it dawned on me that people may have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. What would you say if someone asked you the question, “Who are you?”  I was actually asked this question on the application for Yoga Teacher Training and my first response was, “Oh, that’s easy…I’m this…I’m that…I’m…I’m.” I had to keep starting over because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t put it in to words…it was beyond words.

We are not our jobs and we are not the cars we drive or the homes we live in. We are not the clothes we wear or the friends we hold. These are just identities we associate ourselves with on a day-to-day basis. There is so much more to us than life’s external identifiers, but sometimes it takes a paradigm shift to open yourself up to seeing beyond the veil and realizing there’s a duality to our existence. Do me a favor and wiggle your toes. How are your toes moving? Your body, right? Well how did your body know to wiggle your toes? Because the body heard me say it or because something beyond the physical told the body to do it?

You could psycho-analyze this to death, but these types of questions aren’t suppose to be logically thought through. They are just here to get us to think outside the box. For example, how do you think the body heals itself when it gets sick?  Don’t think about it because it’s too complex for the mind to understand. The mind wasn’t meant to grasp such refinement, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more going on just beneath the surface. People are stuck in wanting to understand from a logical perspective…they want cold hard facts…scientific proof.

Evolution can’t always be explained, but there is a beautiful higher intelligence that guides, heals, and protects us whether the mind grasps it or not. This inner intelligence is what some may refer to as our spirit or soul. This light within us is always trying to communicate with us, but we don’t always hear it because we are so distracted with life and everything going on around us.

Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a friend while you were at a rock concert? No, of course not. And why? Because you can’t hear each other, right? You would have to scream in order for you to talk and there’s a concert going on so why bother? Well think about what it must be like for your spirit to try and communicate to you when there’s constant noise in the background. We live in a world where people are in front of the television or listening to music or playing video games or out having fun with their friends allowing social conversations to mute the soul.

If you want to find your true essential nature, you have to step back from the distractions and allow for some quiet space in your life. Most people can’t stand to be alone or in any kind of silence because they are afraid of what they might see. The ego has done a good job in convincing you that you are not enough and it doesn’t want you to find yourself because that means you will see and feel the truth and will know that you are not the ego…you are not your thoughts…you are not your emotions. You are simply a beautiful compassionate  loving being who wants to be loved. The ego tells you love hurts and so you run from love, but you will never be able to free yourself from the ego until you learn to love yourself….your true beautiful self.

Pure consciousness is that place of divine love that rests peacefully beneath the thoughts and emotions and armor you wear. Think about a time you went up to the mountains or out to the beach and got up at dawn to see the sun rise? Think about the pervading quiet stillness. Think about the awakening dawn and all the pleasant sounds that rang out from the heart of the divine mother. Think about the sky and the marvelous colors that gave birth to new splendid hues of light. Think about the sun and the sweet peace you felt as it came up over the horizon. Think about how you felt in that moment of stillness with so much beauty surrounding you. It was pure and perfect in the unfolding moment because life was perfectly aligned. Feel in to the divine energy you felt…feel the peace and the love and all the stillness…what you are feeling is you…the real you…the soul you…the spirit you…the conscious you.

Your job…your social schedule…your house…your car….your favorite sport…your yesterday…your tomorrow……none of it truly matters in the grand scheme of things…it’s the beautiful loving “you” that truly matters. Somewhere deep within ourselves there is this yearning to be free from the ego. People who do not know themselves have this underlying unhappiness somewhere in their life and this malcontent will continue to haunt them until the day they die because they are stuck in the pattern of negative thoughts, strong emotions, and thinking they have to be this or they have to be that in order to be happy. All it takes to move through the disontent is to be fully present…without judgment or fear….give yourself the freedom of being in the here now and the beautiful conscious “you” will fully emerge from deep within the depths of your being!

 

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Finding forgiveness August 1, 2008

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I had an awesome day. I spent several hours on my new businss plan, I practiced yoga, I meditated, I went and taught a beautiful yoga class, I went to the grocery store and bought some fresh vegetables to make a nice healthy salad, I had a great conversation with my mother on the way home, and then I walked in to my house to find the kitchen pretty much on fire. The house was completely filled with smoke, I couldn’t see two feet in front of me and the smell was horrendous. I couldn’t breathe and it took me a second to realize what was happening. 

Backing up about an hour and a half…I walked down the stairs to head out to teach my yoga class and saw my roommate was boiling a dozen eggs. This isn’t uncommon considering there are three girls here who love to eat hard boiled eggs. We pretty much eat them every day and you’ll usually always find one of us boiling eggs at some point in the week. The only difference was nobody was in the kitchen, but I thought, “hey…we’re all adults, right? She knows they’re there…she’s watching them…she’s probably just multitasking…no big deal.” I left and didn’t say anything to her, which I’m still kicking myself in the butt for not following my intuition and saying something, but such is life.

I have no idea what time she left the house, but the stainless steel pot boiled on high for the entire time I was gone. The carton of eggs exploded all over the house so there were eggs everywhere. The gas stove was still on high when I got home and the pot was burning away. I immediately turned off the stove, opened up all the windows, and then turned on the A/C to try and pull some of the smoke out. I left the house because I couldn’t breathe and headed over to my friend’s house. (Many thanks to Jill for taking me in, feeding me dinner, and having a glass of wine ready and waiting!)

I called the roommate who left the pot boiling, but she didn’t answer. I was upset with her carelessness and annoyed with her irresponsibility. I found myself judging her and not being compassionate. We’re not perfect, right? We all make mistakes and I surely wouldn’t want someone being upset with me over something I didn’t mean to do, but on the other hand, she could  have burnt the house down. How could she be so careless?

I immediately thought back to the time I opened a bag of dark chocolate espresso beans in my boyfriend’s new vehicle and the bag totally busted out the bottom and all the beans came flying out. It was totally by accident, but he got really upset with me. He jumped out of the car, ran around to my side and starting picking them up agitatedly. He made me feel terrible and I will never forget feeling like a total idiot for something I didn’t mean to do.

Stuff happens…it’s life! What’s important is that we learn from our mistakes. Life is just a big playing field. Sometimes we hit home runs…sometimes we hit fowl balls. It is what it is and making someone feel worse about something they already feel terrible about doesn’t serve anyone. I could feel my roommate’s energy when I walked in to the  door and I immediately wanted to put my arms around her because I knew she felt terrible for what happened. I know how that feels to know you’ve done something horribly wrong and not be able to do anything about it. What’s important is that she will never do it again…that’s for sure! To have made her feel worse would have been inhumane. We must learn to forgive more easily and leave room for error, as we are human after all.

 

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Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture July 28, 2008

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How is it that 6 million people have viewed Randy Pausch’s “Last Lecture” and I just heard about it for the first time this weekend when someone mentioned his passing? Should I be embarrassed for not knowing the name, “Randy Pausch” or just be thankful that his message came at the right moment in my life…a moment I needed to hear some inspiring uplifting words of encouragement about living your life as true to yourself as possible? He said, “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.” Sometimes life happens that way…messages cross your path when you are ready to hear them…signs and spiritual guidance are given to you when you are ready to receive them.

I was totally moved by the Last Lecture and Randy’s words spoke to me in a way I needed to hear. The two things that stood out the most were the comments he made surrounding challenges that cross our path. He said, “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.” Isn’t that the truth? How often do we get frustrated because something isn’t happening or working out the way we intended. We get stuck in the negative disposition of what is happening instead of what’s not happening and the irony is that the gift is usually in what’s not happening. It’s about letting go and trusting that something beautiful is happening whether or not we are aware of it. If we always got exactly what we wanted in the exact way we wanted it, how fun would our lives be and how much would we really grow?

The other thing he said, “Brick walls are not there to keep us out…they are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” I know this to be true and from years of experience. Almost every gift in life came from breaking down some sort of wall and I’m not saying that life has to be hard in order for you to gain any value from it. I’m just saying the road blocks in our life are there to teach us something…to make us work a little harder…to show us how important our dreams are to us…to show us our own strength. If you just quit and walked away from every wall ever placed before you, where would you be in your life? How successful would you be? How much would you truly appreciate your life?

If you aren’t part of the 6 million people who already watched the “Last Lecture, ” then you might want to take the 76 minutes it takes to watch it. Randy is someone we can all learn and grow from. He’s months away from dying of pancreas cancer yet he’s vibrant, full of laughter, having fun, and refusing to die feeling sad or sorry for himself. He’s being true to every moment and he’s speaking his truth as he knows it from real life experience. He’s not using the time to get attention or any sort of spotlight. He’s not playing the victim or trying to play the martyr. He’s just a noble man humbly sharing the story of his life and what he thinks is important to live a successful life.

What a remarkable story!

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