Monday, July 25, 2005

New Chapter

In lots of ways it feels like I'm starting a new chapter....

Just got back from a women's workshop series that I'm taking in Atlanta. This weekend we each told the story of our Spiritual Journey. It was a very bonding, moving experience as each woman shared the struggles and challenges she'd gone through in her life and told of how they'd made her stronger, wiser and more connected to God and to herself.

Telling our stories in a safe, sacred space, we were able to then let all the pain, hardships and baggage of the past go so that we can now embrace the future with a clean slate.

It feels like turning the page to a new chapter.... a fresh, new page full of possibilities, full of the potential to do, be and have whatever our hearts desire. And armed with the wisdom and strength we've gained, we have the opportunity to choose again... to choose this time to learn and grow through joyful, loving experiences instead of through pain.

I am honored to be a part of this circle of beautiful women and to have witnessed their sharing. I am blessed by the experience of sharing my story and of being fully heard, loved and supported.

Thank you.

Here's to continuing the Journey... sharing life stories, letting go of the past and moving forward in joy!


Saturday, July 16, 2005

Moved and Reconnecting

The past two weeks I've been so focused on packing and moving that I have not raised my head out of "my little world" hardly at all....

When the moving company called last weekend to let me know that if there were 40-50 mile an hour winds, they'd have to reschedule my Monday move, I was really puzzled until someone told me there was a hurricane coming!

And, embarrassingly, I didn't know about the bombings in London until several days afterward.

My sincere apologies to all the people who were affected by these events.... my thoughts and prayers are with you.

My friend Paul in the UK gives some informative links on the
London tragedy. He also tells about a great idea for passing along contact info in case of an emergency - ICE (in case of emergency). The idea is to put your emergency contact's name and phone number in your cell phone, for example: ICE - YourContact'sName.

Here's to continuing the Journey... and being reminded again that we are all connected....


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Deciding the Essence

Somewhere, many years ago I think during my teenage years, I heard or read the phrase: Don't limit God.

The context, as I remember, was to not limit God by telling him exactly what you wanted, what you wanted it to look like, and how you wanted it to appear.

Then, later, reading The 11th Element and other such books, it seemed they were all saying the opposite: Have a clear picture of exactly what you want and why you want it.

What's a girl to do!?

Looking deeper, I see that "Don't limit God" carried with it a sense of unworthiness and judgement, as in, "who do you think You are trying to tell God what to do!?"

So I either ended up apologizing for wanting things, or feeling guilty about wanting and asking, or even worse, going unconscious and just not thinking about what I wanted at all.

On the other hand, when I first read The 11th Element, I wrote my "letter to God" like it suggested and manifested an all expense paid trip to Lithuania. (You can read the story here.)

Since then, however, I haven't been able to get as clear on exactly what I wanted. Maybe that experience scared me since it went so against my childhood "training," I don't know.

Lately though, putting 2 and 2 and 2 together and coming up with 8... (yes 8... I never have liked having to follow someone elses rules!) ... I've realized that this whole "deciding what you want" issue revolves around essence:

Decide the essence of what you want and let God, the Universe, Spirit, whatever you want to name it, take care of the details!

An experience this week brought this idea closer home for me....

I've had this long standing desire to get back to the lifestyle I had when I first began teaching many years ago.... write music, articles, do all the creative stuff in the mornings, then teach in the afternoons, with students coming to me at my home.

Also, in a vision of my "ideal day" written I don't know how many years ago, I saw myself doing all the creative stuff in the mornings and people coming to my home office in the afternoons. I don't remember exactly what I or they were doing, just the essence and the "feeling" of it.

I was hoping, with this move I'm currently in, I'd be able to get back to that sort of daily/weekly schedule.... and was actually being a little stubborn about it, even when a friend kept offering other teaching ideas and possibilities.

Then, two days ago, I received an offer to teach a music appreciation class at UAH this fall. And, with the reality of the move setting in and needing some "for sure" income, (as opposed to "theoretical" income since I haven't started fall registration for my teaching studio yet), how could I refuse?

Besides, this opportunity will help get me a little further along in the stretching-my-comfort-zone goal to feel comfortable speaking in front of groups.

The only problem is that the class meets in the afternoons on Monday and Wednesday - which completely screws my teaching schedule idea!

So... back to the drawing board.... That's when I realized I needed to dig a little deeper and uncover the essence of what I wanted.

Here is what I discovered... I want:
  • Peace and harmony within myself,
  • To know that the work I do matters, and that it makes a difference in other people's lives,
  • To know that I'm living my purpose, that I am doing what I came here to do,
  • Financial abundance, with plenty to support my life and my business, and plenty to share,
  • A sense of connection with God and with other people,
  • A sense of being grounded and supported,
  • A feeling of freedom, lightness and joy.
All this... or something better! Thank you, God!

Here's to continuing the Journey.... having the courage to decide what you want, and then saying it!


Monday, July 04, 2005

The Ultimate Freedom

Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.
- Stephen Covey, Author and Speaker

This quote came today in one of the daily motivational ezines I subscribe to. It was a nice reminder for me as I'm going through some personal transitions. I thought it was also a good reminder for all of us, whether we're celebrating Independence Day in the U.S. or just enjoying the Monday of a new week.

Take a moment to read the quote again slowly and think about it. It contains the nugget of truth that, I believe, leads to true peace and happiness....

We decide how people, things, situations, and events will affect us. And we have control over our reactions - or non-reactions to them.

In other words, nobody can "make" us mad or "make" us angry or upset, or even "make" us happy. We decide how we will feel.

Granted, a lot of times we may have a "knee-jerk" reaction to something somebody does or says. But that just means we've fallen into an unconscious pattern or habit. It's our choice whether we continue that reaction or whether we dig deeper and discover the core issue so that we can resolve it.

But that takes work, doesn't it?

It's so much easier to blame someone or something. And most likely, we'll even find a few people to support us in our blame game.... And that validation feels soooo good!

Only problem... this road leads to everything but peace of mind and inner happiness.

Is it worth it?

Like breaking any habit, changing a behavior takes conscious, consistent awareness.

The first stage of awareness is noticing - noticing how we respond to people and situations, noticing how we feel in each instance, and making a conscious decision if that's the response we want to continue.

As we go through today, celebrating or working, let's exercise our ultimate freedom - deciding for ourselves how others will affect us.

Remember, it's not Them - it's Us.... It's our own individual, personal choice.

Here's to continuing the Journey... celebrating another day of ultimate freedom - the power to choose!

- Becky