Under The Influence of Contrast

Contraction & expansion. Each of us having our own moments… one or the other not more right. Both, actually, essential.

Evolution is expansion and contraction.

And though I focus mightily on the word expansion and even optimysm, life isn’t always like that.

It’s a mixture of both expansion and contraction. The nature of our physical universe. And that which is beyond (and preceeds) the physical.

The flow of movement, like the sea moving across a thousand sandy beaches today. It’s constant. Like eternity.

Last week and well into this one, contraction moves in and around me. And at times, my attention feels consumed with subject matter I’d rather not be thinking about at all. Nonetheless, I do keep thinking about things that keep a pit in my belly or a 500 pound block on my chest. And sometimes I can get my head so cloudy with thinking, I can no longer see the words on my computer screen.

Under the influence of contrast or contraction.

It makes us do funny things. Under the influence of contraction, I’m cut out of my current time and space. Hurled into isolation. My attention consumed by painful thoughts. Separation. Separated. Away from. Beyond reach. Alone.

Why do I choose to share this with you?

Because it’s part of the path. And I frequently wish that some of my favorite people I love to read, would share more about their own encounters with the shadow. And all the different ways we process our painful parts. I want to know, that even when I think I am alone, you’ve been there also.

A bit of comfort, in my sojourn, through this dark passage.

Darkness does fall. From time-to-time. Until a moment that comes in my dark place when I am able to hear Hope whispering. And immediately after, the relief of Dawn.

And I’m through. Re-emerging again with a new lightness. Acknowledging my traveling companions beside me, courage and bravery.

Contraction is part of my expansion. I make peace with this. I’ll deny it not. For in my darkest moment, a desire is born within. That takes my own personal expansion beyond where it’s ever been before.

Contraction creates in me, a great moment of asking. And oh how I ask.

hanging on.
i don’t feel like i belong
to myself…

divided up
into segments of time
i belong to those i serve
i belong to a calendar, that tells me who is next
who has lined up for more of me

because there is a line
which reinforces the belief
there is not enough me to go around
certainly not for all of you

and i miss myself

the more i give away me
the more i must give to myself
the more i’m called to love me
and matter to me…

instead of disappearing into tiny little pieces

 

 

 

Business & Alignment

A lot shifts, when you begin focusing on your alignment.

Most times, those shifts are not the ones I expect. Or daydream of. They’re usually beyond what I could imagine dreaming on my own.

My 40-day-alignment series has concluded. I challenged myself to show up more. Here on my blog. To write and share more. I guess to show up more in my life really… when I even thought to choose Alignment as my word for 2011.

40-Days was me, on a major run at getting in alignment. Making it my #1 priority. The best I could. Over “approximately” 40-days-or-so.

The soft deadlines, not knowing each morning what I would write about (I had a rough conceptual outline consisting of 4 bullet points I wished to cover). All on purpose. Intentionally giving myself room, not to try too hard at this. Let it be easy (my 2010 word).

And here we are. A quiet fallow period last week (hat tip to Dian Reid).

Except it hasn’t been quiet, although it may seem that way to you. Behind the scenes, my life is exploding with growth and change that seems all too much to share, even everyday, here on my blog.

One of the biggest changes that happened last week (well really over the process of several weeks and probably longer) is that my focus shifted to my business. It was requested actually. It became increasingly clear to me that I needed to discover greater alignment in my business with the services I offer and what I was charging for them.

So, if you look closely, you’ll see changes in my business. Adjustments that help me feel more in alignment. Certainly on-going and forthcoming in many other areas of my business and life. The nature of everything, really. Change.

Except my change is now guided by this idea about my alignment. About looking forward in my life and thinking about the things that elicit visceral emotional activity within me. The good kind of course. And I’m letting those good feelings guide me to the next step for today.

I can trust the good feelings. I can trust good. I’m still experiencing a bit of resistance here, in the area of trust, so I sort of soothe and appreciate the resistance and bingo, there is a letting go that happens. A shift. A realignment. Simply by softening the resistance. It’s a whole other angle to work and explore if you are deliberately teaching yourself about your alignment like I am.

I’m finding more and more, that alignment for me, is about standing up in my life. It’s about aligning an outer worldly self with my inner being, which is much bigger than my worldly self. It’s the part of me that is also you. It is the we, that is eternity. In that knowing, I’m inspired to stand up.

Stand Up, Dave Matthews Band

 

Natural Alignment: A Guest Post by Lisa Capehart

One of my favorite people on the planet… she’s been on my journey with me for almost two years now (I think). She is my partner in wellness. With Lisa, I am free to fall outta my wellness saddle without shame or hesitation even. It’s a very compassionate place to be with your body image stuff.

I’d say my real wellness journey began after meeting her. It’s been a real journey up till now, in and out of the saddle so many times over my life. My lovely Body endures. Stands with me. She feels no shame. She radiates magnificent beauty and health all the time. Under sometimes brutal conditions, she remains true to me.

That is what’s different about my wellness journey. I see myself differently. I am processing less and less through my fear driven filters. And I’m seeing my own beauty, strength and power in more real ways.

I’m so pleased to share my friend and fellow companion on the path who dedicates her life to wellness. Yours and mine. Please meet Ms. Lisa Capehart. xomm.

Nature, Rhythm & Alignment

So, here we are, about six weeks into the New Year, and you’ve already fallen off the New Year’s resolution wagon. Or, heaven forbid, you never even made a New Year’s resolution! Either way, you’re beating yourself up about it. You wanted to change something about yourself you didn’t like and now you’ve screwed it all up. You weren’t perfect, so you chucked it all!

I’m getting ready to make you feel much better about all this…really, I am.

I’ve come to think of change, or evolving, less as fixing what we deem as wrong and and more about embracing what feels right for you and making more of that happen. So give yourself a break, because it’s all peachy at any given moment, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. It’s all about an ongoing process, so I’m suggesting you may need more time to figure out what you want to do for yourself instead of what you think you should do or have to do. Hence, the idea of dormancy. In the winter, at least in my neck of the woods, the trees are bare, the fields are brown and all is right with the world. And, when the time is perfect, new growth will emerge.

The value of dormancy struck me only after moving to rural Kentucky. I had never liked winter, but here I came to appreciate not only winter, but the beauty that each season has to offer instead of focusing on the aspects of each season that I had considered undesirable. I can see the rhythm of nature’s wisdom in the fields of crops and understand the different stages of the growing cycle. The field that has been dormant all winter is rich with compost and nourishment for the new crops – just the fact that it has lain undisturbed has made it richer and more able to support the new plantings. Once the seeds are planted, they are nurtured with sun and rain and loving care. Sometimes, there are challenges – drought or too much rain or a late frost or extreme heat – that’s nature for ya! In good time, the crops will be ripe and the goodness of all that care can be harvested and enjoyed.

We are part of that cycle of nature, too. It’s interesting that we pick these arbitrary “special days” to begin afresh – January 1 being a popular choice. But, why not the first day of Spring or the Jewish New Year, which is in the fall, or my very favorite day, March 4th?

Or, how about when you’re ready?

Just like in nature, the seed begins to sprout when the conditions are most supportive for it. Allow yourself the freedom and compassion to do the same – to rest, to lie fallow, to ponder what’s really important to you -and trust that you will know when it’s time to plant the seeds in that field that is you.

You can find Lisa on Facebook or at LisaCapehart.com.

Little Wonders

Gratitude

When you feel awesome, milk it. Line up all the blessings you can and count each little wonder tenderly!

When you feel awful, acknowledge it. When you feel like you have nothing else, if you look, Gratitude is still here. Helping you to remember, every “right here and now” becomes a “that was then.”

Go to gratitude. Any way, shape or form of it. Just find a way to get there.

Take a walk and look for things to appreciate (it’s what saved me from a window ledge once). Look for something in your life you love that you already have. Go back in time to a memory that brought you amazing joy and re-experience it again.

Building lists: Add 5 gratitudes a day

Today, I’m grateful for these things…

  • A very blue sky. Or a very dark and cloudy one. Both equally worthy of my gratitude and appreciation.
  • A warm hug hello. A sweet kiss goodbye.
  • A space to tell my truth and the willing heart who listens.
  • Warmth. Socks. A full hot bath. My made-for-me blue aphgan. Tea-cupped hands. The heating pad comforting my lower back.

Gratitude. The doorway. The path.

Little Wonders, Rob Thomas

[This is a video post, so you might need to click through if you’re reading this via email or RSS.]

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don’t you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don’t mind
if it’s me you need to turn to
we’ll get by,
it’s the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

Getting In Line With Your New Story

Abraham calls it Lists of Positive Aspects. Making a book, to hold the place where you are telling yourself new stories about how you want it to be. So you can get in line with those stories now.  One bullet-point at a time.

Telling new stories is another kind of process, or skill. It’s hard sometimes though to begin even thinking about the details of what that would be, when you are in the vibrational slumps of slow-your-mojo. What I need to think about to help myself, is no where to be found.

So I make the step smaller. Telling the new story is too big of a jump from where I am… There is an ease and relief in that decision alone.

List building is my smaller step. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I can make lists. Even standing in line at the store behind the woman writing a check when I’m already late for something important.

I shared the bidnizzy tip of creating a list of positive aspects about your perfect client (and future clients). Here’s another one about using that list once you create it, especially if you are like me and a lot of my clients when we first started out blaaaaaahging or running our own online bizes, you are nervous! And you wonder if you have anything to write about, that is interesting enough to share… and here’s that tip (I made ya wait for it), you can write to that client on the list. Make her your focal point and address the teensiest idea as if you were speaking to her in your office or living room. HUGE help for me and my clients, in the beginning.

But there is something else really important I want to mention. About the idea of training yourself to be looking forward at where you are going. Versus being lost in the here in and now, completely unaware of the vibrational signal you are broadcasting.

Because continuing to look at your here-and-now just keeps more of the here-and-now active and present in your awareness. So the looking-forward thing, the telling-new-stories-about-the-way-I-want-it-to-be thing, starts with identifying smaller aspects or qualities about my life that I want and that would make me feel better about a particular subject or situation. And even better would be to tell a new story that generates feelings of eager anticipation for the thrill of what’s coming next for me!

Life segments as storylines

The Wheel of Life. This is so easy to picture in your head, trust me. Draw a circle, big on the page. Make nice equal segments or spokes on the wheel to make 8 to 10 segments (so 4 or 5 lines, right?)

That’s it. Circle that is now pie  🙂

So I will spit out all the segments for you, to get you started. But first…

What I’d invite you to do, is simply scan the last 24 hours or 7 days and ask yourself what thought you keep thinking over and over. On any subject in your life. What is active right now? Yup, cuz it is. With your constant chronic thinking on it… you’ve activated the shit outta it so it’s a good idea to figure out in which way you’ve activated it (are you worry/fear/doubting or expecting your new story?)

Write the topic of that active chronic thought in one of those wheel segments.

See the truth is, with our untrained attention (and it is), we are pretty much captivated with the one chronic obsessive thought or worry or concern. And it’s our own responsibility to learn about the idea of training our attention. No one else can learn that for us. We must teach it to ourselves.

Writing down the lists of positive aspects and eventually learning to look forward by telling myself a new version of the story, is the training.

  • What major topic am I thinking about chronically? What do those thoughts sound like? Write them down so you can see them. If after reading what you are saying to yourself, you feel good, go directly to GO & COLLECT $200. If not, begin reconstructing your story. What do you want to be feeling? What conditions would need to be present for you to feel that way? And away we go…. (write it all down).
  • Use these other life segments for generating new storylines: Physical Wellbeing/Health, Money, Intimacy/Romance, Friends & Family, Fun & Recreation, Physical Environment, Career/Business.

Build your lists & your new story will come

So start with where you are. Learn to apppreciate the shit outta what you already got and begin conjuring up your make-your-dreams-reality mojo. One bullet-point-at-a-time!

Book of Positive Aspects - The Lady On My Desk

My Book of Positive Aspects - The Lady On My Desk

Everyday Religion: A Guest Post by Judy Kinney

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. ~Lucille Ball

This is a letter that I recently wrote to a friend. I could have just as easily written this note to myself, or to you for that matter…..So, go ahead. Pretend that I wrote this letter to you.

My Dearest old long time friend,

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought today would be a great time to write you an old fashioned letter to tell you how much I love you. Aren’t I such a romantic, writing and sending you a snail mail letter! Who does that any more? Ha! Who knows what romantic juices this note might inspire within you!

Okay, okay…..I know that love is a sensitive spot for you right now. I can only imagine that Valentine’s Day is like pouring salt in the proverbial wound in your heart. Hey, FORGET Valentine’s Day! You that any ONE-day holiday that purports to be THE holiday of love should be viewed suspiciously anyway. Let’s celebrate love everyday!

Okay, back to you…One of the things I love most about being your old long time friend is how well we know each other. We have been there for each other in the best AND the worst of times over the years…….Hmmmm, when I look back, most of those times had an awful lot to do with love. Okay, I know you may not be in the mood, but think about how much love has impacted your life.

Girl, you wouldn’t be you without ALL the love that you have explored and experienced in your life. Nope. And who else would you possibly want to be? Yes, I know you wish you were taller and had a tighter bum….but other than that you know you are the bees knees. Don’t pretend you don’t!

Friend, when did you lose your gusto for love? Where was I?!

Yes, I know you enjoy remembering a few of those finer adventures in love. Yes, you had many beautiful adventures; each is worth remembering. I know you are still holding onto your dreams of what love can truly be like in the future. Memories and imagining are still GREAT ways to tap into the ol’ love flow. But, who else but your Old long time friend would ask you,

How are you going to get to your dreams when you have your love-dampers on as if you are expecting a big storm to tear your heart apart?!

Dang, girl….you know how energy and beliefs work! Hello, you are the queen of serendipity! You are the “watch me create my fine life” woman!

Damn, I wish I was there in person. We could do something wild and fun. We could laugh big and loud and then it would be much much easier for you to hear me when I tell you that,

“You will truly enjoy life to the degree that you are open and vulnerable to love.”

Yes, I AM suggesting that you be Vulnerable to love EVERY day. Sorry sister, your relationship status is irrelevant! Love is love.

Go ahead and try this mantra on for size…

“My strength and joy expands as I am open and Vulnerable to love E.V.E.R.Y. day!”

yes, dear one, you SHOULD say that everyday too!

Come on, you KNOW that the tug in your heart is calling you to live with the greatness of love. Don’t go to the damn doctor again complaining of chest pain! Jeez, my Old longtime friend, how else can I tell you that the time to love is now. THAT is what your heart is trying to tell you.

You know what? Forget sending you this letter. I am going to be even MORE old fashioned and hand deliver this note to you. I want you to look up and see how much I believe in you AND love.

That’s right! Let’s laugh, walk in the park and open up our hearts to the love that is always alive and well inside both of us.

Why? Because that is what old longtime friends do with each other.

With love galore,
Muah!
Me!

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Judy Kinney, the one name that came to mind when I began considering who in my orbit, I could ask to share and expand on the topic of alignment & relationships/Love.]