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Transcendence

You can’t have fear and faith at the same time. Easier said than done. This morning I woke up with another subconscious gift about that phrase. Thank you, God! Rather than approaching fear with the aim of a stealth bomber or well-rehearsed mantras, a more reasonable and achievable approach might be to transcend fear or whatever else is holding you back from living a rich and full life. This means, in general terms, to “go beyond…rise above…or be greater than.” How would we put this into practice?

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.   Eleanor Roosevelt

First it absolutely takes awareness, active consciousness, to notice and identify what is keeping you from expressing as your highest self, your God-Self. This can be accomplished in the wink of an eye or after years of self-evaluation, therapy, classes, emotional pain, and contemplation.

After you achieve the ability to do this a couple of times, recognition of lingering issues and fears usually comes much more quickly. Yes, it means to do what Eleanor Roosevelt recommended (above quote)…and more. You not only “look fear in the face”; you go beyond that fear to a place where it has no power over you. The strength that builds within you comes from a Divine Intelligence and Source of Love. Old reactive habits are replaced with new responding behaviors. Such changes result from recognizing what no longer brings you peace, through spiritual classes and teachers, or past positive experiences upon which you can model future changes.

In the Science of Mind textbook, it says this: “There is, then, no limitation outside our own ignorance, and since we can all conceive of a greater good than we have so far experienced, we all have the ability to transcend previous experiences and rise triumphant above them; but we shall never triumph over them while we persist in going through the old mental reactions.”  (SOM p. 147.4)

transcend-image

We can apply this transcending process to health challenges, time constraints, and fears of all kinds. Every time we adjust our thoughts about some previous fear or difficulty, letting the fear dissipate through acceptance of what is – given we’ve done everything we know to do to that point – we transcend the negative energy of that situation. It becomes less fearful, less worrisome, no longer intimidating. We move beyond it. And just like the creative nature of a spiraling universe, or the spiraling design of our DNA, our consciousness expands upward and outward in an ever greater expression of Life.

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” – James Allen

My greatest application of transcending something particularly significant was when I applied it to the fear of death. My childhood religion had convinced me that, no matter how I behaved, it may never be ‘good enough’ to enter the gates of heaven. Years later, after decades of life experiences, a fresh interpretation of biblical verses, and a mature acceptance of God, forgiveness, and the energetic Spirit that expresses as me… my fear of physical death has transcended into what will be just another experience of Life. Not something to be feared. And not something to be hurried into. But something to anticipate with awe and wonder as I focus on and complete what I must do in this physical existence before the transition occurs.

“In such degree as we contemplate the Spirit of Livingness, It becomes manifest.” (SOM p. 336.3)

As long as my focus is on: living Life to its fullest; serving others to the best of my ability; loving myself and humanity, animals, the world; expressing as my authentic God-Self for the highest and best Good in all situations; and contemplating Spirit with increasing awareness and active consciousness…as long as this is my focus, my life will be well-lived and my time here will have served a greater purpose. There can be no fear in that. Only Faith. Only Love.

 

Tires, Tools & Toes

In my early (young and naïve) adult life I saw no real advantage to having a good set of tires on my car. When money was tight, I’d even purchase “recaps” rather than real tires. I still got from point A to point B and saved a lot of cash in the process. Needless to say, I usually wasn’t the one in charge of maintaining the cars in the family. Many years later, however, after driving through snowstorms, rainstorms, off-road, back roads and highways, transporting children and grandchildren, and being able to experience a number of different vehicles in the process, I’m absolutely convinced that a good set of tires with thick and gripping tread is more important than the comfort of the driver’s seat or any other “extras” that attract us to buy a certain vehicle.

This was made particularly clear to me a couple of years ago when my husband and I were on a road trip through the Rocky Mountains…in March…in a blowing snowstorm…going downhill (faster than I preferred)…with a lot of other cars trying to do the same. My car was not aerodynamic; it was rather lightweight, too. Did I mention the blowing gale-force winds? We had never driven together in conditions like this or with me as the passenger. Yet we stuck to that frozen road better than in any machine I’d ever driven.

ImageThe man who sold us the all-wheel-drive car a few months earlier had also thrown in an almost-new set of snow tires and, being intelligent enough to put them on the vehicle by the first snow, we were now the benefactors of an amazing driving experience through the worst conditions ever! Our path was so securely held by those tires, that we confidently and fearlessly journeyed forward. No subsequent conditions ever stopped us from traveling to our destination.

“It’s important to have the right tools for the job,” my dad had told me more than once. Again, life (and my income) didn’t always provide everything exactly as I wanted or needed, so sometimes I had to improvise. That could mean a project would take longer or not look as good as I had pictured in my mind. It might even result in unnecessary aches and pains due to the exertion of more muscle than I would have expended if I’d only had the right tool in the first place.

Having the right tool for the job DOES make a big difference, even if there’s a learning curve to using it. The project gets done more efficiently, looks more professional, and you often don’t have to buy additional materials to replace the ones you messed up the first time (or two) due to improvising. It’s an experience that benefits you in numerous ways. You grow through the process, perhaps learning patience along with new skills. There’s that sense of accomplishment when it’s done correctly. The right tools give you power to create your vision!

So what about toes? They do serve more than one purpose, according to experts. First they provide balance to the body. In addition, extensive, scientific testing shows that they help accelerate the running function in conjunction with the heel and the ankle. I’m content for the balance aspect (and being able to squeeze my toes into mud in the summer garden).

What is the purpose of all this “Tires, Tools and Toes” stuff? All of them relate to Divine Source (you knew there was a connection)…and can serve as our reminder when performing routine tasks.

  • Like the tires…when I’m firmly grounded and living with a deep belief of my connection to God, grounded in my beliefs, I don’t swerve or waiver in my life’s purpose and intentions to express fully, confidently and fearlessly as I journey ever forward in this world.
  • When I use the right tools to keep my life working properly – tools like meditation, studying, praying – my consciousness expands and I powerfully co-create with Spirit a life filled with joy, happiness, abundance, and love.
  • As for the toes, I pay attention to the little things in life so I can stay in balance. As I simplify my material wants, my needs are generously provided. Along the way, I take time for fun.

 Everything has purpose and meaning. Today, this is mine.

Decadent Self-Care (a Spiritual practice, I’m sure of it)

LIst_todoI’ve gotten a little behind in my self-assigned tasks. I keep track of things like that. Lists help. There’s no one to blame and I’m not feeling all that guilty, either. The truth is I’m starting to experience a more balanced life (a Spiritual practice) and schedule, including having some creative/hobby time, recreational activities, and feeling rested. This can be attributed, in part, to the fact that we bought a new bed… actually two. Let me explain how it’s impacting my schedule…in a very positive way.

My husband and I will celebrate …[getting calculator]…16 years of marriage in a couple of months. The very first piece of furniture we bought together back then was an Amish oak, Mission-style queen bed frame and mattress set. Mattresses come and go, but the bed frame has been a centerpiece in our marital life. We bought it together and, like our relationship, it is strong, secure, and will last for many, many years.  Our sleeping habits, on the other hand, have changed since the honeymoon.

This awareness came unexpectedly a couple of months ago during a period of illness – we both came down with the flu and chose to sleep in separate beds until our fevers and coughs subsided enough so we could sleep together again. I wasn’t hit with the virus as hard as my husband was, so I chose to sleep in the guest room and use a small, twin bed we had placed there.

The experience made me realize how small a twin bed had become since my childhood days.  However, sleeping alone on a twin bed actually gave me more space than being crowded over to the edge of a queen bed. I took measurements. The twin mattress was 36 inches wide. I made comparisons. A regular twin is normally 39 inches wide or about one-half the size of a king bed, which ranges from 76 to 80 inches wide. Our queen bed mattress is 60 inches.

I’d become accustomed to being in about one-third of our mattress space during the past few years. I don’t call it sleeping – not really. Between our snoring contests, blanket-tugging wars, and my hot flashes, sleep had become something I did for two or three hours at the most, wake up for awhile, and start again. Not a lot of “rest” in there, but the disturbances had become the norm. Then I got to experience a full 36 inches of mattress – all to myself – and I began to notice how deeply I slept and how refreshed I was the next day, barring the flu symptoms. I recovered rapidly and I began formulating a plan. No longer would I be happy with 20 inches of sleeping space for the rest of my life. Changes were about to be made.

new_bed_021913I had all the measurements of various bed sizes. We visited a couple of stores to test out different mattress styles and sizes. I presented an idea to my dear husband, and after lengthy consideration over a period of weeks, we purchased TWO full-size mattress sets – one of his choice and one of mine – and placed them side-by-side in our bedroom. Now we each have our “own” bed with 54 inches of space to roll around in…108 inches of total AWESOME and decadent self-care! (again, Spiritual – I’m sure of it!)

I have been sleeping more soundly than I have in years. If a hot flash warrants blanket fanning, I know it won’t wake up my snoring husband…and he’s so far away on the other side of the bed acreage, that I don’t hear him that much anyway. We reach out our hands (or a foot) across the sheet to validate the presence of the other, comforted in knowing our loved one is near, peacefully sleeping close by, sort of.  It sure beats sleeping in separate rooms (as we’ve heard older folks sometimes do in their maturing years).

While we still need to work on further customizing comforters and headboards, we look forward to early bedtimes and sleeping later whenever we can. We’re thinking about moving a coffee pot upstairs, too. It won’t be long before this bedroom suite beats any 5-star hotel. I’m sure there are plenty of other features and décor items we can add to make it a place to spend the weekend (or at least a long Saturday morning). I think I’ll sleep on it for awhile.

Family Love

Sometimes a commercial holiday can be beneficial in triggering us (me) to think about its particular theme, such as Valentine’s Day being about Love. While I’ve been truly blessed to spend parts of the day with a devoted husband and loving children and grandchildren, many thoughts about love today centered on those I’ve not seen in years…members of my family of origin.

I may have mentioned this in an earlier writing, about being the oldest of five siblings and leaving home (and the state) when I was 19. I traded the Midwest for the West Coast and an early marriage. My three brothers and one sister were all still in school; the two youngest were still in grade school as they are 11 and 12 years younger than me. Not only were we years apart in age and maturity, but as a result of my moving away, I never really knew them as individuals. I still don’t.

Life being what it was, I rarely went back to visit, but I did make the effort a few times over the years and am glad I did. There were no big family reunions. My parents didn’t travel or take big vacations. My mom has never visited my home.  It took nearly 40 years before my dad finally came to see where I lived. He stayed for five weeks. That was one of the most special, sharing events of my life. We now have conversations several times a week.

That’s not true for my siblings, however. Our interests and lifestyles are vastly different. We live in three or four different states with one or two having outdated addresses or no interest in making contact. I talk with one brother once or twice a year; another every couple of years; and the third maybe once a decade. I’m not sure where my sister is living or how to reach her. Even if I did, I’m not sure it’d be a good idea; she doesn’t seem to like me much.

The few conversations shared amongst the five of us over the years have been about feelings of abandon­ment, jealousy over the distribution of family possessions, reliving early childhood memories or family celebrations, catching up on where our adult children are living or how many grandchildren we have, what to do about aging parents, and hoping everyone is able to stay working and caring for themselves sufficiently for as long as possible. Not the healthiest types of relationships, to say the least.

While we share family bloodlines, it seems rather strange to declare real “love” for people I hardly know. Frankly, we’ve all had such separate lives for so long, it feels quite artificial to initiate any kind of meaningful relationship now…and yet I feel such a deep sense of loss. It may be time to try again.

I don’t regret leaving home at a young age. (My father actually encouraged me to go.) I like the person I’ve become through the experiences Life provided. My world is full of love from a blended and extended step-family, children, grandchildren, and friends. I promote regular family gatherings with our children and insist we communicate and share in each other’s lives. I want them to know the importance of such family connections…to learn about one another as adult individuals…to experience family love with their brothers and sisters. Maybe, someday, I will, too.

Claiming My Space – Declaring My Place

I can finally see my office floor! For several months my desk has been surrounded by piles of boxes, files, photo albums, and years of memorabilia. Until recently, I had been slow to unpack, sort, shred, or move the contents of these boxes to where they belonged. However, after I made the commitment to our church’s women’s group, the accountability and deadline I imposed on myself put me into high gear and, with the help of my daughter, I finally claimed my office space as my own.

Little did I know how much I would appreciate opening up the center space and reviewing my possessions, which had been stuck in boxes for so many years. Journals by the dozens, 35mm slides of people I don’t remember from a past photography class, a couple of books I wrote and have yet to publish, and so much more. I shredded bags of old documents that no longer matter. Empty boxes flew out the door as file drawers received their contents. There is much that still needs sorting, but at last there is space…for me.

I feel very fortunate to have a dedicated space of my own and one finally large enough to contain the busyness of my life – past and present interests. It wasn’t that the space hadn’t been there before. It was. I just hadn’t claimed it for myself. And I realize I’ve done that a lot to myself…in the past…up until now. Once I declared a place for myself, my husband and I agreed to plans that benefited both of us and arrangements were made for everything to come into being. It was a relatively simple process; one that I had not bothered to pursue before. I am now taking this experience, this lesson, into other areas of my life.

Part of the delay to take care of myself in this manner, I’m sure, comes from a lifelong practice of taking care of everyone else first. As the “oldest” sibling, as a mother, and even now as a grandmother, plus the type of service-oriented careers I’ve had, created a mindset in me of being more concerned for everyone else’s needs before my own. To do otherwise seemed selfish…up until now. In fact, just the opposite has occurred.

The better I take care of myself, similar to the airline’s example of putting on my own oxygen mask first, the better I can tend to the needs of others. When I declare my place in the world – my world – there are times when I am first and times when I’m not, depending on the situation. However, there is no reason to put myself last in every situation. Thus, I’ve not only claimed my office space, I’m also claiming time to take diligent care of myself…to enjoy my creative hobbies…to visit with family and friends…to take a break or a nap when I feel the need…to engage in work that fills my heart and soul with joy and enthusiasm…to enjoy the NOW moment every day…to share the love for life!

In the process of changing past priorities, I’ve discovered a lightness to living and the ability to be truly authentic. I’m rediscovering who I am on so many levels. As I learn to love myself better, as a precious child of the Divine, there is room in my life and my heart to connect more deeply with others. Now THAT is truly being of service!

5 Bags of Clarity to Lift the Soul

It’s not often that I do yard clean-up in late January, especially in Colorado. Time and circumstances as they were this week, I was able to rake and trim one day, then shovel snow the next. I’ve missed doing such yard work in the past couple of years. But based on the accumulation of leaves and debris left behind by former tenants, it won’t be long before I get my quotient filled.

Whenever I spend time raking, collecting, and gathering leaves, it’s very therapeutic for me…even meditative. My hands are busy and productive doing this physical labor. My mind vacillates between planning the day’s “to do” list, listening for Spirit’s direction, and just enjoying the silence between thoughts.

On this particular day my thoughts focused primarily on insights I had received earlier that morning. I have been praying for clarity for several weeks. I am ready to accept direction and purpose for my life, specifically in regard to intellectual projects that have been drifting through my mind for years. Like the layers of leaves and debris I was now raking, I am ready to tidy up and simplify a myriad of ideas, projects, and career directions.

By the time I completed the small front yard project, I had collected five large bags of plant debris. I had also created titles for five key writing projects and identified my role in developing five separate income streams. Spirit definitely likes a void! Clean out the old and the Divine Creator will fill it up with better and more! My prayers had finally been answered: I had clarity.

While it might seem that I’ve only made more work for myself, none of the new writing projects or financial sources needs to be created today or even simultaneously. Identifying and writing them down gives me structure, comfort, direction, and focus for the long-term. Frankly, the creation of one supports the life of another. For example, writing and publishing a book establishes an author, just as doing research for my doctorate will require some travel/vacation time with my husband.

I’m not ready to establish schedules or timelines for completing these lists of five. Several of them are already in various stages of progress. However, I find satisfaction in recognizing that I’ve been moving forward in their creation for many years, and that continuing on this track – albeit with more clarity – will keep me occupied for years to come. I find that having direction brings me incredible comfort and motivation. I absolutely know that focused intention will accelerate a successful completion of each treasured purpose.

Just for today…I turn my attention to finally cleaning up my office. I discard everything that no longer serves my highest vision and purpose. I make space for organizing future endeavors. And I welcome into my consciousness the peace and joy and uplifting energy of expressing my life to its fullest possibilities. With God as my partner, I cannot fail!

 

Inspired to Co-Create

A seed of an idea sprouted in my mind several years ago and finally grew into form earlier this week: the creation of a spiritually-based women’s group that supports one another in their pursuit to be successful in whatever endeavor they wish to pursue…especially financial success. That group met for the first time a few days ago.

I’m grateful to see this initial meeting take place. I was inspired not only by the positive energy and the number of women present, but also by their high level of interest and active participation in the meeting’s activities. I look forward to our supporting each other, learning and growing together.

The visible success of our initial meeting validated that the timing was right for a group like this. Apparently, I was not the only one seeking ideas on the professional path, starting a business, handling personal finances at a higher level of expertise, or in need of a “sisterhood.” We were, are, able to connect at a spiritual and intellectual level that will support our adventures in life’s realm. We’re up and running!

The inspiration I felt during that meeting followed me home, kept me awake most of the night, and got me up with renewed enthusiasm to meet the morning. It has been filling me with confidence and determination to focus on a bright and growing financial future. My brain has been going non-stop as I consider the possibilities before me. The insights and honest suggestions shared at the meeting, and with friends since then, give me courage to make adjustments in my daily work schedule right now that will offer me greater life balance overall in a short time as well as long-term.

One of the aspects of making immediate and significant changes in my professional and financial directions, and sharing my commitments with the group, is how I must become accountable for my plans and actions. In fact, being more accountable is one of the key components and appeal for creating this women’s group. No more wiggling out of something you said you were going to do. When you share your intentions with someone(s) who writes it down, and follows up to see if you did what you said you were going to do, you’re more likely to actually do it. It’s the step beyond just saying it or writing down your goals. Yes, it’s important to do those tasks, too. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself on-track, motivated, and focused.

Did I mention I was excited about this process? Can you tell I’m inspired by the new mutual support that’s developing? I also am excited and inspired to see what I can co-create with God as my partner…and what Spirit will unfold in each area of my life to which I bring focus. I’m inspired to support the dreams of the other women in whatever way I can. Life is going to a whole new height!  

Did I mention I was excited?

Freedom To Be Me

The more I learn about who I am, the more I yearn to express fully as me. This may not seem like such a difficult undertaking, yet for someone who has focused on work first for most of her life, this is not an easy or simple undertaking. The most familiar way for me to express is through my work. Any alternative is challenging, and sometime feels very foreign. I find my freedom through my work – whether it’s for payment or pleasure.

I discovered in my early teen years, that by going out into the work world, I was not so easily relied upon to take care of younger siblings (four of them). I found it easier – and more palatable to my sense of independence – to go to school, work part-time, and pay room-and-board at home, than to be a teenager in the house, taking care of little ones, and being under the scrutiny of my parents. Working gave me a little money for my own spending, yes. But more than that, working gave me freedom!

Being in the workforce so early in life (babysitting at 9, restaurant at 14, bartender and office worker at 18, etc.) planted seeds of a workaholic behavior to which I now pay close attention. It’s often difficult for me to slow down or find balance in life. I dream of extended vacations, but I don’t often take them. Instead, I do refreshing mini-retreats each day through meditation, reading, and tasks that require minor brain energy. It’s a beginning toward greater experiences.

The act of working gave me the opportunity to discover how I fit into society, the world. I discovered I learned quickly, retained and honed skills easily by challenging myself through accepting tasks of greater difficulty, and was (am) able to complete projects efficiently through constantly improving production processes (specifically, desktop publishing, editing, and marketing tasks).

It’s interesting to observe how much I expect of myself. However, when I get lost in the creative flow of a project, humming along and losing track of time, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a graceful dance, a euphoric ballet, or high-energy hip-hop routine. I’m in the flow of Spirit; it’s Oneness in action. My time and energy become an easy give-and-take of talent and a creative expression of years of finely-honed skills. There’s a mental committee urging me on, encouraging me to challenge the status quo…watching my progress as I stretch myself and reach beyond previous levels of achievement.

These are moments of freedom to be me. I determine with a somewhat critical eye if I’ve done my best…at least, this time…where I can improve…and how I can explore diverse interests. I get to dig deep into my years of experience, get lost in a puzzle of complexity, and come up with answers or ideas that resolve a riddle or challenge. Then, I take a breath, turn around, and look for another set of questions that has no answers.

In that break between focuses, no matter how long it lasts, there is freedom to dream new creations, new endeavors, new accomplishments that bring new skills…and the cycle continues with great anticipation…the freedom to express as me!

Detoxing My Demeanor

A couple of weeks ago I came down with a seasonal flu or cold or something viral. It kept me in bed for two days (sort of), sleeping and eating vegetables and fruits as much as possible so my body could heal. I love that about the human body. It KNOWS how to fight off infections, viruses, bacteria, etc. if we only provide it with the proper conditions for healing….rest, water, nutrients, positive intention.  So that was my goal. My body recovered pretty fast (I don’t make a very good patient anyway).

While in bed resting, I watched a couple of documentary films about food and healing that included the process of “juicing.” Great idea! In an effort to assist my body back to a healthy state, I started juicing raw fruits and vegetables. You see, I also lost a bit of weight during those five days of illness and I’d prefer they stayed lost. Juicing allows me to take in the nutrients and not the bulk, so I can actually “eat” several helpings of the good stuff – like we’re instructed to do. I am mixing wonderful flavors and really enjoying the added energy, convenient preparation and cleanup, and the variety of foods I now consume. I also started taking 30-minute walks. More excess weight is going away and I’m detoxing in the process.

I wish I could say the process was as quick and effective when it came to my mental attitude in the midst of unnecessary confrontation or challenge. Is there a way to detox my demeanor, too?

I don’t like using the excuse of “I’m not feeling well” as the reason for my occasional sour disposition. I know better. And I certainly don’t like placing blame on others for their rude manners, condescending attitudes, or sarcastic remarks. There are times when I struggle to just let such behavior flow past me or when I’m moved to stop the onslaught and say something. Lately, I’ve been “responding” rather than being reserved. It’s the responses I’d like to change.

Someone reminded me recently how much they “hate” being talked to like they were stupid. I share that sentiment. Yet, I have to catch myself in those challenging moments to not fling back this same stinging dialogue. My ego-self goes into instant defense mode…before my God-self can take a breath, think, and respond – either with silence (for there is power there, too) or with a calm, respectful statement. I don’t like my defensiveness any more than I like being brushed aside. That’s where the detoxing of my mental state, demeanor, comes in. And that is where the simple act of taking a breath may be the key solution.

Just like the juicing machine takes out all the bulk from the raw foods and provides only the juicy nutrients in an easy-to-digest liquid form, taking a breath (or two) before speaking in those tense situations can remove the sarcasm and hurtful sting from words hurled at an unsuspecting target.  A simple breath can cleanse the mind (detox), provide a few seconds of silence (power), and allow only the juicy, respectful, easy-to-accept expression (nutrients) of who you are to be heard and understood. It lowers the negative energy in those tense situations and creates a pool of calm for everyone involved.

Divine Spirit recognizes and connects one person to another, if only for a micro-second, and healing occurs. I feel better already.

Great Expectations

You wouldn’t think that the turning of a calendar page would make that much difference. The exception is the transition from the last day of the year to the first. Starting another year seems to open up people to all kinds of new possibilities. Suddenly, within 24 hours, life is filled with great expectations of promise and potential. I can feel it in myself as well.

My focus is on what lies ahead. I am invigorated with the possibilities of what I might create, where I may go, who will introduce themselves into my life, and how the world will unfold. As I tend to be a bit of a techno-geek, I’m truly interested in what software, gadgets and conveniences will be revealed to the world in the next few months. Besides the people and things that will come into my life, I also get to look forward to how I will grow and express as who I Am.

The eternal supply of ideas that comes into my brain is sure to drop a few into the soil of my conscious mind and passionate heart. Those plans that have not yet been developed need to remain strong and sturdy to root more deeply in creation…in thought. For example, I reviewed a few pages from a 2007 journal to discover seedling ideas that still merit development, but that I had put on the back burner so long ago, they’ve nearly dried up in the dark recesses of my memory. It’s a good thing I write some things down!

It’s not only the promising expectations of “doing” that capture my attention, but also the potential of who or what I will become (“be”). A recent meditation, in which I was directed to ask Divine Intelligence for gifts that would greatly benefit me on the next stage of my journey, resulted in three key characteristics I thought I already possessed…at least to some degree…but apparently am still in short supply of having: maturity, patience, and humility.

Not only did Spirit provide the answer with amazing speed, but as it caused my ego edgy discomfort and a bit of argument, my heart knew it was the correct answer. Yes, I have focused on deepening these characteristics in recent years and have made great progress. But are we ever really finished? If we’re honest with ourselves, there is always something more we can do to be a better human in this world.

I have great expectations of myself, it’s true. As I make my way into a new (dual) career move, give some attention to personal projects, spend time with family and friends, continue to create a life and home I love, and learn how to have balance in my life, the development of these three, strong characteristics will be at the forefront of my mind.

All of creation starts with a thought…and this, for today, is mine.