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Being with the same man for 27 years (since I was 14) has been a wonderful experience.  But I’m not gonna lie; sometimes I need an extra match to get the fires burning.  So Wednesday night I was thinking about how I used to read books of erotic/romantic poetry and I miss reading poetry.  Then the very next day while walking through the Women’s Show, I came across a booth with a banner that said “Sassy Reading” and “Hot Woman”.  Then I saw this book!

I asked, and the  universe provided!!!

Like I do for all books, I turned to the back cover to see what it had to say.  The top line said, “Are you in the lost and found line looking for your libido?”    How the heck did they know????  I thought that was my secret!  I guess I’m not the only woman in her 40’s trying to renew her mojo!!!!

While I was visiting with the authors in this booth, Elaine offered to read me my “birthday poem”.  I gave her my birth date.  She flipped the pages to May 7th and quietly she read.  Then she looked up at me and looked straight into my eyes with that “Are you ready for this?” look.  She began to read to me…….  When she was done, all I could do was clap my hands, stomp my feet and squeal like a school girl!  SOLD!!!!!

Of course, I bought the book!  Now I realize I am supposed to read one poem a day for a year.  But there were 2 issues with this.  The book started with February 14th…and this is September!!!!  If i waited that long, I would NEVER find my libido!!!!!  Then I had to take my blog into consideration.  I need to read it (entirely) NOW!

I realized as I read this book just how much I miss reading poetry.  I LOVE words.  I truly  have a love affair with them.  I love the way words can make me feel.  I love the words create images in my mind.  I love the way words convey moods and senses.  It  just amazes me.  I wish my husband understood just how much words “do it” for me……..ah well.

This book is amazing!  I realize the word “erotic” may scare some people, but rest assured there was only one “bad” word and it was the F-bomb.  There is nothing “in detail” in this book, but there are certainly words in this book that will make your body respond!  There is a poem for everyone in this book…some sweet and romantic..other hotter and more intense.  There are funny poems in this book that made me laugh out loud and there are poems that made me a bit sad.  There are poems in here that reminded me of times when Tracy traveled for work all of the time, and there are poems about enjoying nature at its finest!

I can’t post quotes for this post because, well it would require sharing whole poems.  I totally think these poems should be read from the book….with chocolate in hand…naked while wrapped in a fur (fake is perfectly fine) blanket..and maybe even with the object of your affection for a romantic night!  They certainly don’t belong on a computer screen!

Get out there and check this book out; it’s a great $12.95 investment :).  It will awaken that fire in your soul..and inspire you!  I promise!

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Rules to Achieve title of Lieutenant Badass (or as I would say…to live by):

1) Go Outside

2) Quite the Internet

3) Do Something That Scares You

4) Something New

5) Tell Your Parents the Truth

6) Fix Something You Did When You Were Being a Total Douche Bag

7)  Make A Decision

These are just a few of the jewels of wisdom you will find in this book!

So if you have been reading my blog at all, you might have read that I have started Fresh Meat practices for the Treasure Valley Rollergirls (Roller Derby).  This is something I have always wanted to do, and I’m loving it.  I even have a derby name now, thanks to my fellow rollergirls.  It’s  Martha Smashington, as in Martha Washington, only replace the “W” with “Sm”.   For short, everyone calls me Smashington…well okay, not everyone, but the other Fresh Meats and one of the Vets do :).  It will catch on.  *laugh*  Anyway, since starting Derby it has pretty much taken over my brain; I have learned from Vets (and in reading this most recent book) that Derby has a way of doing this to a girl.  So when I saw this book was about Roller Derby..or a girl who gets involved with Roller Derby, it became a MUST READ!

It’s about a woman with a broken heart who is trying to figure out what to do with her marriage, and her co-worker introduces her to Roller Derby.  She becomes Fresh Meat.  There is a lot of reading about relationships, both romantically and with friendships.  There is talk about following your dreams and doing what you love instead of “what brings the money in”.  But mostly its about being true to yourself and life lessons learned through Derby.

I have to be honest, when Roller Derby was first introduced in the book, I silently cheered:  “Yaaaay!!!!!”  I was so excited to finally get to the part I really wanted to read about.  *laugh*  What can I say; it gets in your blood!  Once it got into the Derby stuff, I immediately found a kinship with our Heroine.  I’m Fresh Meat; she’s Fresh Meat.  There is even a part where she breaks her tail bone and learns one very important rule when healing from a tailbone injury:  You must not sneeze!!!  Since I too have a tail bone injury (thanks to Derby) I laughed and totally empathized.  It’s allergy season here in Idaho, and I have been sneezing up a storm…..OUCH!!!!

So I loved what our heroine found out about the Derby and the way she thought about the women who played in it.  Here are some excerpts from this part of the story that I absolutely found true and love about the Derby from my own perspective:

“These women are all different shapes and sizes, and they move like they were born with roller skates attached to their feet.”  (I love that this is  sport for all shapes and sizes of women!  I also love the fact that you can get newbie skaters out on the track right along with women who seemingly were born with skates on their feet.  I have always felt like I was born with skates on my feet….its my endurance and strength that needs the work now.)

“They take off their helmets, and I’m taken aback by the long hair that flows from their heads.  After all that brutality, that aggression, their femininity makes them seem like superheroes.” (I think if Wonder Woman was going to  play a sport, it would be roller derby!!!!)

“But, if I have to be completely honest, it looks like a lot of fun.  Part of me wishes I were brave enough to try  something like that, to be the kind of woman who could just strap on some skates, climb onto the track, and take off.  It  must feel pretty great to be able to go that fast, to slam into someone and not worry about the consequences.  To be an athlete.  To be strong and confident and fit.  I get winded from climbing the stairs to my apartment.”  (I have sooooo been there!  I have found the courage to follow one of my childhood dreams and really LIVE life to its fullest!  I’m still learning to do the slamming part, but I have been learning some blocks.  I have to be honest, it does feel great!  It does feel great to be an athlete…even if I get seriously winded and noodle legged and can’t skate with the Vets yet.  The point is, I’m DOING IT!  What have you been waiting to do?  What have you been afraid of trying?  Get out there and do it now!)

LOL, here is another great quote that sums it up, “Come on, you know it’s fun,” she continues.  “You go fast, you hit hard, and you do something most people are way too chicken**** to do.”

I know you have probably heard all of the clichés about team work and how they apply to real life, but I wanted to share with you what our heroine learns:

“Partnering is key in roller derby.  If you try to play by yourself, you pretty much end up useless.  It’s something I’ve grown to really appreciate about the sport.  You always need someone, and someone always needs you.  Even the Jammer, who looks like she’s on her own, actually has an entire pack of girls who have her back. We are all in this together.”  (Does this sound like life to you?  Can you really go about life completely alone without the help of someone else?)

The very last page of the story ends on page 309, and the last 2 paragraphs sum it all up!  But if I shared them with you, there would be no point in reading the book.  It kills me to keep my favorite part from you!  You will just have to read it for yourself.

This is an awesome book about finding yourself, grabbing on to courage and living life!  It’s one of those Girl Power books that is going to take you on a fun journey (but remember her heart is broken..so there is gonna be some of that sappy sad stuff in there too…just like in life, you gotta put up with a little bit of rain before you can enjoy the rainbow!) For all of you Rollergirls and Rollergirl wannabes….pick up this book!  I guarantee you, that you will find something in this book you can relate to!

There is even a glossary of Roller Derby Terms!!!  I learned a lot of things about the actual sport while reading this book; so its educational too!  *laugh*

But for now, I wonder if maybe I need to create a Superhero boutfit (pick up the book and turn to the glossary to find out what that is 🙂 ).

On May 7th, 2010, I turned 41 years old!  It was a party; as a matter of fact, I partied for about 2 weeks!  I absolutely adore my life and celebrate it every day!  And this last year  has been one of the best years ever!

When I was approaching 40, I thought, “I’m gonna lose enough weight to jump out of a perfectly good airplane for my 40th birthday.”  It didn’t happen.  Instead I started my birthday out right with a birthday party filled with laughter.  I had a laughter fitness instructor deliver a laugh o gram, and my whole party joined in the laughter.  We wore silly hats and had a great time! My husband and my best friend bought me a ride in a Nascar Race Car on the Las Vegas Speedway.  I got in the car with a professional racer and went around the track at 245mph!  I was excited and scared all at the same time, and when the car started moving all of that fear went away.  It was fabulous!  I loved it!  And while we were in Vegas we saw Jimmy Buffett and partied all weekend.  It was awesome!  It was a great way to start off my year.

So between my 40th birthday and my 41st birthday, life has changed dramatically.  Until just before my 40th birthday, I hardly ever laughed.  Now I laugh all of the time.  I smile all of the time.  I actually feel JOYFUL 98% of the time!  I know this because in 3 weeks, in 3 different settings I have had people come up to me and tell me that I am radiating love or happiness.  The first time this happened was right after my husband and I joined our church.  One of the church members came up to me at the end, and said, ‘I just had to hug you because you radiated love from up there on the podium.”  Then the next week at a Tropical Cowboys show, the drummer came up to me to give me a hug and told me the same thing, “I see you all the way back here radiating love.”  Then just last weekend, on our way through the security line at the Boise airport (on our way to Vegas again) a TSA lady came up to us and stopped us.  “Where are you going? I just know it has to be some place fun, because I have never seen people rush up to the security line with such smiles on their faces!”  We told her we were going to Vegas.  And she said, “I have never seen 2 people so happy!”    Funny thing is, we weren’t near as excited and boisterous this year as we were last year heading to Vegas.  *laugh*  It’s just that I have changed so much!

So what happened????  To say I really don’t know would be a stretch I guess.  But I can’t tell you one specific thing that has changed.  It is just a matter of things accumulating I think.

1)  I learned to laugh and not take myself so seriously!

2) I found work that I take joy in (being an Independent Beachbody Coach)

3)  I work out alot more..almost every day

4) I have lost weight (not the amount I had always strived for) and I have gained some back, AND I am happy with who I am!!!  As long as I FEEL good that is all that matters!

5)  I take risks!!!!  If I am scared of something, I make myself do it! I don’t let fear keep me down!  I started living FEARLESSLY!

6) I KNOW & TRUST that my highest good is always being taken care of….worrying is wasted energy.

7) I am growing spiritually and intellectually through all of this reading I am doing.

8) I have learned to say “No” and “Yes” at the appropriate times!

9) I love freely and share that love with everyone I meet

10) This is  my favorite..jsut the other day, when one of my class mates was asked, “What part of God do you see in Martha?”  her response was “Authenticity”  When we moved to Idaho, it was my goal to live openly and be authentic with who I am….And her reply was exactly what I needed to hear to know that I am living my life the way I have always dreamed of living it!

Sure I have challenges.  Sure I would still love to be a lesser physical weight.  Sure I would love other things to change.  However, I LOVE MY LIFE NOW!  In this moment, right where I am, I LOVE IT!  I have one of the best marriages I have ever seen.  I have 3 beautiful loving strong children and one  just as beautiful loving and strong daughter in law!  I have volunteer work that fulfills me.  I have a job that keeps me active and encourages me to be better.  I belong to the perfect church for my life and it is filled with so  much love it is palpable!  I am making new friends who love me for me!  It’s perfect!

And for my 41st birthday, that same friend who helped with the race car ride, bought me my roller derby gear.  Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be in the Roller Derby.  3 years ago when Boise got its Roller Derby League, I told my hubby that is what I wanted to do.  And every year since, when I start seeing their advertising, I say the same thing.  “I want to do that!”  Well, yesterday was my first practice as Fresh Meat for the Treasure Valley Roller Girls.  I was scared.  Here I am..41 years old, well over 200#…and just started roller skating again after not skating for over 10 years!  I put on my shiny new speed skates, and pads and got out on that track!  I was scared to fall; what if I looked stupid?  What if I couldn’t get up?  What if it was all too much for me?  What if I am too out of shape?  To heck with the “what ifs”  Just get out there!!!!  So I did.  When it came time for practicing our falls, my new friend Crash told me “you have great knee pads, just trust your gear and trust yourself.”  I did.  And guess what?  I didn’t get hurt!  When it came time for endurance practice, they cheered me on!  When it came time for weaving drills, they cheered me on!  I was told, “You have great skills to build on!”  “You are a natural”   “You must have been raised on skates.”  And when it came time for backwards skating, I blew them all away. Even the non-fresh meats.  I skated circles around them.  “Wow!  Look at Martha go!”  I’m not gonna lie, that felt damn good!   I was exactly where I needed to be.  It was the perfect fit for me.  The only sport I have ever felt comfortable in was a sport that included roller skates!

There are sooo many lessons to be gleaned from yesterday’s Fresh Meat practice.  Living fearlessly:  Fear is there to keep you safe, but if you are already safe, it is just a hinderance; it’s a lie!  Taking risks is how we grow!  It’s a must!  Learning to trust ourselves and trust “our gear”.  Let go and trust God.  We will never know how great we are at something unless we give it a try!  We will never know the joy of accomplishment if we don’t take that first step!

On mother’s day this year (which was 2 days after my birthday) my  kids gave me this huge card that had this granny woman doing the splits on the cement.  When you opened up it played one of my favorite disco songs.  (My kids know me so well.)  But what they wrote inside of it was so touching.  My 17-year-old son told me he was proud of everything I have accomplished this year and encouraged me to keep it up.  My 10-year-old daughter told me basically the same thing.  That is such an amazing feeling.  They see all the changes I have made in my life this year.  They recognize this brighter side of me.  I know I am setting a great example for them.  I know what I am doing is right!

If you are sitting back in that comfortable space of fear.  If you are afraid to take risks and would rather live a “safe” life, then I challenge you to make some changes.  Take a step outside of that box you have built for yourself.  Get out there and enjoy this life.  We are here to experience it and live it..not to watch it float on by us like a parade!  Get up and join the parade!  Dance with the clowns!  Play those blaring horns!  Maybe even do some juggling.  And remember, even in a parade, there are people who have to pick up the horse manure!  It’s not always going to be fun and games, but it is always worth the risk!!!!!

I’m in the front left hand row with the white shirt.  This is at my first Treasure Valley Roller Girls Fresh Meat Practice…learning to skate in a pack and listen for verbal ques and directions.  So  much fun!

I picked up this easy to read 135 page book when I went to see His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar while he was here in Boise.  Until recently, I had never even heard of him but all of a sudden, I have seen him twice in 2 days (1st a major public appearance and 2nd at a private gathering at my church) and now I have read just one of his books.  When I went to the resource table at the big event, I looked around at all the books and all the cd’s that were there.  The title of this book is why I ultimately chose the book.  I can always use a little more fun in my life.

This book touches on the topics of fun, true intimacy, the four approaches to practical and spiritual life, real laughter, dealing with feelings, the nature of God and being a fool.  When I picked up the book to check it out, I noticed these topics and thought, “Wow!  This should be a fun read…..fun, laughter, being a fool!  That’s right up my alley!”

I have to say that when I started reading the book, I kept hearing Sri Sri’s voice as if he was saying it to me instead of me reading it.  It made reading this book so much more fun.  I saw his gentle smile and heard his laughter in the words he wrote.  I saw the mischievous look in his eyes when he cracked the jokes.  It really did make this book that much more enjoyable.  But even without that first hand experience with Sri Sri, the book is a very easy and enjoyable read.  It does get into some very deep thinking, and I did have to re-read things on several occasions.  This is definitely a book that will need to be read a couple of times.  Good thing it only takes a couple of hours to read to begin with!

So what did I learn?  It is more about what I re-learned.  I take things too seriously.  Reading this book just reminds me of that.

  • I learned that God loves fools and that being foolish is really being more like God than being this serious person is.  The chapter on being a fool was very enlightening!
  • I learned more about laughter!  I have taken laughter yoga classes, and this just reiterated what I learned from those classes.
  • He also talked about observing our feelings; this is something I was working on in therapy.  This is also something I read about in Geneen Roth’s book.  So here I go again, re-learning it in this book.  Being mindful of my feelings, allowing myself to feel them, and then let go.  Sri Sri suggests taking the feeling to its height (which may mean feeling at your lowest) and once you have done that, you have  felt and experienced all there is to feel with that feeling and it will just disappear.  How cool is that?  He says to feel it, but not to act on it.
  • Stop paying attention to happenings.  When we are attached to happenings, we create opinions, then we are stuck and attached to them.  We are living in the past and we will never remain open to new experiences and live in NOW.
  • “An enlightened person may not say, “I love you so much.”  In the very presence, you can feel the love.  In the very breath, you can experience love.  In the very look, you can experience love.  In any word spoken, you will hear that it is full of love.  The very existence is love.  That is enlightened love.”
  • “True intimacy is not in a hurry; it’s not anxious.  It relaxes, it knows.”
  • I am you.  You are me.  We are God.  We are all one creation/mind manifesting itself in different bodies.  This brings a whole new depth to the belief that we are One.  The book explains it so beautifully :).
  • In most of our problems, the biggest issue we have is the fight we have with our mind.  This is so true.  When I am miserable or depressed or stressed, it is because of an issue/conflict I am having within my mind.  It is MY experience, my THINKING that is causing me so much distress.  Sri Sri talks about letting go and surrendering.  and Forgiving myself.
  • This is one of my favorite paragraphs in the book:  “Thinking is like chewing gum.  It doesn’t produce anything.  You can think about only those things which you know.  and once you know, what is the need to  think about it?  And you can’t think something which you don’t know.  How can you?  It is not possible.  Ultimately, thinking is useless!!!”
  • Here is a great strategy for life:  “See life as a game, as a play.  You are God, you know it.  I am God, I know it.  So let us play. And when you come from that level of consciousness, there is nothing to teach.  Only being.  Come and sit, be with me for a while.  That is enough, for you and I are one.  This is love,  isn’t it?  That is what God is telling you every day, ‘I am doing everything.  You come and sit with me.  Whatever needs to be done, I will get it done through you.  You simply stop existing.'”  I know I am guilty of taking life too seriously..always looking for a connection to God..always learning..always searching.  It’s what I do.  Yet, I have found recently that all I want to do is do things that make me smile, feel joy and live.  I find myself wanting to PLAY and be joyful.  Not only am I WANTING to do this but I AM DOING this.  It’s pretty darn cool!

I will close with this last quote found in the chapter about being a fool.  “George Bernard Shaw said somewhere, ‘Cricket is a game where eleven fools play and eleven thousand watch.’  It is true.  All games are foolish acts.  A game is a game because it is foolish.  If you find meaning, purpose, aim and competition, you destroy the whole game.”  How about we just stop looking for the meaning of life, and just in-joy it!  Have fun!  Play!  Laugh!  And just BE!

All of my life, I have either been over weight for FELT like I was over weight.  Why?  Because my mom told me I was fat.  My dad told me I was fat.  My brothers told me I was fat. And the kids at school told me I was fat.  When I look back at my high school pictures, I see a completely different story; I was gorgeous!!!!  I have spent my entire life believing this story.  Which means I have spent my entire life (from time I became a teenager to now…at nearly 41 years old) on some kind of diet or thinking about being on a diet or thinking about how fat I am or that I would feel so much better if I was thinner.  I would say that I became conscious of my body shape and size at the age of 5; 36 years is a very long time to not like yourself/body image, don’t you think?

To try to change things I have been on numerous diets.  As a teenager, I would take dexatrim like it was candy.  I would binge eat then exercise like crazy to work it off (exercise bulimia).  As an adult, it started with “Medical Weight Loss Plan”.  I lost 60 pounds on that, I think.  Then I joined Jenny Craig; didn’t do so well with that one.  Then I took Phen/Fen; thankfully my heart was unaffected.  Then I tried just the “good” part of the Phen/Fen; that didn’t work at all.  Then I did Weight Watchers…..twice.  Then I just did my own thing; eating healthy and exercising; it worked great.  I even saw a therapist.  I felt great.  I even became a Beachbody Coach and started selling workout systems and coaching other people.  Yet, I gave up the eating healthy part and even my exercise routine has dropped.  I have gained back 10 of the 40# that I have lost.  Now what?????

This is where the email from Oprah came in.  She suggested everyone read Women Food and God.  Now I’m not one of those people who drops everything and does what Oprah says to do.  But this one intrigued me.  Probably because I was already on my 52 books in 52 weeks journey; and this book sounded interesting.  Besides, it might actually help, right?  So I ordered it…..

I have to be honest and say that before I started reading the book I felt pretty jaded.  What is a book going to say to make that much of a difference in my eating/weight issues?  I have been through almost every diet out there; at least every type anyway…except surgery (and that is only because that scares the heck out of me).  But I read it anyway…  And what I found was spot on!  This book is such a worthwhile read.  It’s not just for those of us with weight/food issues.  It talks about Compulsive eating, but I think this book would help anyone with any kind of compulsive behavior like smoking or drinking.

“Compulsive eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular  moment, feeling, situation.”

One of the biggest concepts this book talks about is “Bolting”.   “Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron writes, ‘Never underestimate the inclination to bolt.'”   Bolting; this is something (I realize now) that I  have learned from my father.  Whenever the going got tough, he ran.  He ran from churches, from places of employment, and from his emotions.  Me?  I have bolted from friendships, emotions, and sometimes even volunteer work.  When things don’t go my way, I have been known to throw a temper tantrum and run.  How does this pertain to food?  Well, when things go bad, I like to eat..and eat alot!  This is “bolting”.  It’s the way we run from our emotions or “stuff” them as some people say.  Instead of staying present and feeling what we feel, we “bolt”.  This was a huge Ah-ha moment for me.  I have done this alot in so many ways.  But it stops here!

Like I said, I have done alot of diets..some were very successful it helping me lose weight.  But it has never been about the weight; well okay part of it is.  Mostly its about what caused me to put on the weight, until I could figure that one out and go from there, I would also put the weight back on.  Figuring out that I use Bolting to “protect” me is a big step in figuring out why I eat the way I do.  “Saying where you are with what you are feeling or seeing or sensing is the first step in ending the obsession with food.”  Yes, indeed it is.  “Staying requires awareness of the desire to bolt.  Staying requires being curious about who you actually are when you don’t take yourself to be a collection of memories….When you stay,….anything becomes possible.  Even living through the extraordinary pain.”

Roth says it’s not about the weight.  We spend so much time in what she calls the “When I Get Thin (Change Jobs, Move, Find a Relationship, Leave This Relationship, Have Money) Blues”.   We wait for something before we start living our lives.  I am so guilty of this.  I say, “When I get down to my perfect size, I’m going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.”  Well you know what?  I can do that now.  Sure, I will pay a bit more, but I can do it now!  I don’t have to wait!  What does jumping out of a perfectly good airplane represent to me?  Freedom. When I say I will do it when I lose my weight, I am saying that I am STUCK.  Well I’m not stuck, and what a horrible story to tell myself.  My weight may make it uncomfortable to do things, but it certainly isn’t going to stop me from  living a full life!  And it shouldn’t stop you!  Yes, get healthy!  Yes, use food as nutrition to fuel your body.  But STOP putting things off until you get to whatever it is you think you want to get to.  This kind of thinking has you believing that you are not worthy of your dreams right NOW…and You are..I am.. WE ARE!!!  Start living today..stop waiting for that perfect time.  If we can start living today, the rest will catch up!

I loved this quote; “Because until you understand who you take yourself to be, true change is not possible.”….”The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value, possibility.  To change your body, you must first understand that which is shaping it.  Not fight it, Not force it.  not deprive it.  Not same it.  Not do anything but accept–and, yes, Virginia–understand it.”

This is what I was saying earlier.  Until we understand who we are and what shapes our beliefs, our body will not change.  We need to understand what is making us run, hide, stuff and eat compulsively.  The same can be said for alcohol, drugs, smoking……..  “Truth, not force, does the word of ending compulsive eating.”  We can’t force it with a strict diet, by counting points, by eating premade frozen meals, by taking shots, or swallowing pills.  We must find the truth..by being curious, by inquiry.  Asking ourselves, why we feel like eating.  What is that food going to “fill”.  Where in our body are we feeling?  What does it feel like?  What color is it?  Once we can recognize this, give it a name and sit with it in truth instead of trying to run from it or stuff it, we will realize that it’s not going to kill us..and guess what..we don’t want to eat anymore!

Just when you think you don’t want to feel those things that hurt, comes this quote from Roth: “the medicine for the pain is the pain.”  Last weekend, when I did a Firewalk, I heard myself say, “you need to feel the pain.”  So I let myself feel the hot coals beneath my feet.  Walking fire can be “easy” and painless, or you can choose to make it  hard and or feel the pain.  I chose to make it easy AND feel the pain?  Why?  Because I need to feel the pain in my own life.  I need to recognize when I feel sad, lonely, hurt and FEEL it instead of stuffing or bolting from it.

One of the ideas in this book also blended well with The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Ruiz says to listen and be skeptical.  He was talking about doing this with others, but you should also do it with yourself.  According to Ruiz, we have been “domesticated” from the time we were children.  It was important to be thus so that we could learn not to put our hand on a hot stove.  We were domesticated for our own safety.  But these teachings also went further than this.  These teachings also taught us who we think we are based on someone elses’ perceptions of who they think we are.  Roth suggests the same kind of thing with the practice of Inquiry.  Be still and listen..be curious..ask..but don’t believe everything you hear.  Remember that what your mind tells you is what you have learned from the past..from other people..  Inquiry is body based.  What is the Body feeling..not the mind.  Listen..and be skeptical.

Roth calls this banter inside our heads “The Voice” (what Ruiz calls domestication).  The Voice has been running our lives.  Telling us that we are fat, our thighs have too much cellulite, we are quitters, we are losers..yadda yadda yadda.  Those are lies!  We are so much more than that.  We are the very essence of GOD; we are LOVE and JOY.  When The Voice talks, tell it to shut the heck up!  And get back to feeling what you feel in your body.

Another practice Roth suggested in this book is to meditate…..ON YOUR BELLY.  Think about what you belly feels like.  Now I know that as women, we try very hard NOT to think about our bellies..  But if I told you NOT to think about your belly, what is the first thing you think about?  YOUR BELLY!  So instead of pretending not to think about it, embrace it.  Your belly is your place of personal power.  It is your 3rd Chankra..your solar plexus.  This is what balances you and gives you power to speak your truth.  You NEED to focus on it, and love it and listen to it.  It is where you intuition resides.  It is an amazing part of your body, and by ignoring it, you are mistreating  it and yourself.  You deserve better than that :).

There is so much more to this book than what I have typed, and I have typed ALOT!  She goes on to talk about whether you are a Restrictor or Permitter when it comes to food (or even life).  She goes on to talk about the Sufi’s 3 ways to God and how that pertains to our eating.  And she gives us her Guidelines for eating, remember that you can eat anything you want and still get to your NATURAL weight.  To learn more about these, you will want to read for yourself.  I just can’t do it justice.  But I will leave you with a couple of quotes…..

“Bliss occurs by arriving where you are.  When we are not reconstructing the past in every nanosecond, what is here is so satisfying, so loving, so unbelievably simple that once tasted, it changes everything.  because then you know what’s possible and you refuse to settle for anything less.”

“There is nothing like having chocolate cake three inches away to reveal your fear of chaos or your desire to melt into it.”

“Once ou realize that it’s possible to feel good by not eating certain things and including others instead, the compulsion begins to fall away because you’ve found something better:  getting your life back.”

This book is the follow-up to The Four Agreements also by Don Miguel Ruiz.  When I opened the book, and saw that it went over the first 4 agreements again, I thought “Wow! This is going to be a long re-read!”  I was completely wrong.  Yes, it went over the first 4 agreements again, but it gave me new insights.  This is always a welcome treat.

Have you ever had a book where you love almost each and every word you read?  It’s like each word has a direct link to your heart and means so much more than the paper it is written on?  That is this book!  Almost every page is dog-eared and has notes written on its pages.  I love the quotes that can be pulled from this book as well as the huge insights and awakenings it gives!  You won’t be disappointed!

I am pretty certain I have said this before, but I have always felt that if we just listened to each other’s stories, World Peace would be a reality.  Well the 5th Agreement is just that!  Be skeptical, and listen!  Listen to each other.  You don’t have believe what they say or share their believes, but LISTEN.  You will find out where they are coming from and why they act the way they do.  You will UNDERSTAND why they are different from you and maybe even find out that they are the SAME as you!  Listen, but be skeptical.  I loved this!

You know that saying, “Ignorance is bliss”?  Here is a quote in this book that reiterated this for me:

You existed  long before you understood all those symbols, before you learned to speak, and just like any child before he or she learns to speak, you were completely authentic.  You didn’t pretend to be what you are not.  Without even knowing it, you trusted yourself completely; you loved yourself completely.  Before you learned knowledge, you were totally free to be what you really are because all those opinions and stories from other humans were not in your head already.

We knew bliss once before as a child.  Before our parents and society told us what to believe about ourselves and the world around us, we knew we were perfect.  We were thrilled with ourselves.  We  had no reason to believe we were anything other than amazing!  We experienced bliss every single day of our lives!  Before knowledge, there is ignorance…and IGNORANCE IS BLISS!  Once we let go our attachment to this “knowledge” we will find our way back to that bliss :).

One of the reasons I loved this book so much is that it spoke to the huge issue of Self-esteem.  Since I teach a self-esteem class for girls, this obviously got my attention.  One of the subjects we touch on in my class is the idea of perfection.  As a society, we tell ourselves that no body is perfect.  What a lie!!!!!  Ruiz, tells us that by teaching our children and believing that “nobody is perfect”, we spend our entire lives measuring ourselves against this idea of “perfection”.  We spend our entire lives trying to look perfect, act perfect, be perfect.  We create “perfection” in the media through digital manipulation and tell our girls, “This is what perfect looks like.” But even the woman in that picture doesn’t look like the woman who is in that picture!  Seriously!!!!  Just go take a look at the video clip “Evolution” by Dove  and see for yourself.  Yet, here we are telling ourselves and our children that “nobody’s perfect”.  It’s a lie!!!!  Every human is perfect!  “The truth is that everything in creation is perfect, including humans.”

I love this:

Everything about us is perfect, including any disability or disease that we may have.  Someone with a learning difficulty is perfect; someone born without a finger or an arm or an ear is perfect; someone with a disease is perfect.  Only perfection exists, and that awareness is another important step in our evolution.

PERFECT!!!!  It’s not enough to say this, but we need to BELIEVE IT!!!!  I believe it, do you???

I will leave with this thought.  Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in this world.”  This is something I remind myself on a daily basis.  If I want my children to be a certain way, then I must model that for them.  Ruiz says, “When you’re happy, the people around you are happy too, and it inspires them to change their own world.”  My passion and mission in this life is to be of service and change the world through my service.  If you want to change the world, start with yourself.  Be the change you want to be see in this world, and the people around you will follow.  Change/better yourself = change/better the world.

Thank you for reading  my blog.  Even if you don’t comment, I see that you are reading, and that means the world to me.  This journey is mine, but it is also yours.  We are walking this path together and together we can accomplish anything!  So thank you!

This is one of my favorite books. I first read this so many years ago that I can’ t even remember how long ago it was!  Since it has been so long ago, and I have gone through so many changes since the last time I read it, I decided it was time to read it again and learn it all over again.  It’s time to reclaim my power the Toltec way.

So what are the Four Agreements?   Be impeccable with your Word.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t make assumptions.  Do your  best.

Be Impeccable with your word:

What does Impeccable mean?   According to Don Miguel Ruiz, it comes from the Latin language that means “without sin” and a sin is anything you do which goes against yourself.  He says, “When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself. Sin begins with rejection of yourself.  Self-rejection is the biggest sin that you commit.”

To me this simply means, “Say what you mean; mean what you say.”  Yet it goes a bit deeper than that as well.  Watch your words.  What you say about yourself (even in jest), you will believe about yourself.  What you say about others is just a reflection of what you think about yourself.  So if you are telling a friend that you think another friend is useless or ugly or mean or bitchy, what you are really saying is that YOU are those things.    You are rejecting yourself.  You are sinning, and tearing yourself down.  Your word is how your create your life, your thoughts, your dreams, you intents. It is pure magic. It is your creative energy put into action.  Be careful..be IMPECCABLE with it!

Don’t take anything personally:

You might laugh and say, “well that’s hard if not impossible”.  But it can be true, and it is so very important.  I am not talking about the gossip you heard about yourself from a friend of yours; I’m also talking about the GOOD things you hear about yourself.  Don’t take ANY of it personally.  What you hear about yourself from other people is THEIR perspective/version/dream of you and how you fit into their world.  It is not YOUR TRUTH.

The other day, while I was watching the Oscars, I thought about how amazing it would feel to have someone stand up in front of  millions people (okay, I would be happy if it was just in front of my family and friends) and sing my praises (like they did for the nominees for Actor/resses in Leading Roles).  Those speeches were so beautiful.  I thought that unless you win some type of award, you usually don’t hear these things until someone dies praises are sang during the Eulogy.  I wanted someone to sing my praises to my face BEFORE I die.  *laugh*  Wouldn’t that feel amazing?  I also remembered an exercise I had to do while attended a James Ray seminar.  We were told to write an introduction for ourselves that would be read at an awards ceremony….like the Oscars.  So I wrote this amazing speech about how amazing and successful I was/am.  And I wrote my acceptance speech as if I won this award.  These pieces would be voted on by the workers at the seminar and 3 winners would be introduced with their speeches by James Ray at the awards banquet.  Sure enough, I was one of those people that he introduced.  Hearing my own speech made me cry.  Feeling the love and support from that standing ovation was like no other feeling I have ever had.  It was awesome.  Yet, here I was watching the Oscars and wishing someone ELSE would write this speech about me and give me some kind of award.  *laugh*  Then I read this part of the books again.  Don’t take anything personally!  Not even the good stuff!  So now what?

Ruiz tells us that we create our own movie!  We are the director, producer, main actor/ress of our movie…everyone else is secondary.  What other people think just doesn’t matter!  Our point of view is personal to us, and its no one’s truth but our own.  As long as we pay attention to our own movie, speak impeccably about ourselves…that is all that we need.  We don’t need other people to write those introduction speeches.  We should just write them for ourselves!  Believe me, just writing them and feeling that feeling of endless possibilities is a very powerful experience!

When we stop listening to other people’s opinions about us..we we stop giving them the power over what we believe about ourselves, we let go of fear and negative feelings.    “We can say “I love you” without fear of being ridiculed or rejected.  We can ask for what we need and feel free to say yes or no to people’s requests without guilt or self-judgment.  We can choose to follow our heart…all the time.”  How powerful is that?!

Don’t make assumptions:

You know what they say about assumptions……

But have you heard this, “All the sadness and drama you have lived in your life was rooted in making assumptions and taking things personally”?  Ya, I hadn’t either until I read this book.

This may seem overly simplistic, but it is so true.  “It is always better to ask questions than to make an assumption, because assumptions st us up for suffering.”  So why don’t we ask questions?  We are afraid of being told “no”.  We are afraid others will judge us, abuse us, victimize us…like we do to ourselves.  It seems so easy on paper.  I teach this..”Ask for what you want” in the self-esteem classes I teach to young girls.  Yet it is hard.  We have been “beat into submission” or Ruiz calls it “domesticated” by our parents and society to be/think/feel/act a certain way…this includes fear of rejection.  But by living these new agreements, we learn to stand on our own two feet and change our dream.

So here is an example of this.  This morning, my daughter (Omi) get’s up and gets dressed for school, then she lies on the couch under the blanket until it is time to go.  Then she gets up and brushes her hair and teeth and puts her shoes on.  And we are off to school.  When I get to the end of the road, ready to turn onto the major street, she realizes I am about to turn left and head to school.  She was hoping and ASSUMING I would turn right and head to the convenience store to buy her breakfast first.  So instead of being assertive and asking for what she wanted, she made an assumption.  When she saw she wasn’t going to get what she wanted she said, “I guess I can live without breakfast.”  I asked her to repeat what she had said.  Then I reminded her that she had been laying on the couch for at least 30 minutes..plenty of time to get up and make herself a bowl of cereal (which we had plenty of at home).  But she chose not to, in hopes that I would take her to Maverick.  I let her know that if she had wanted to go to Maverick, she should have ASKED me and not made the assumption.  Because now, she is not going to have breakfast and will likely be hungry all  morning (suffering).  I told her that all she had to do was ASK, but the answer might have been “no” because we had food in the house to eat.  And hearing NO would have been okay, but make the assumption is NOT okay.

It is our right to ask for what we want/need.  But is also the right of the person we ask this of to say yes OR no.  Then it is up to us not to take ANY OF IT personally.  There is true freedom in this!

Do your best:

How many of you have said or heard, “It’s not about whether you win or lose, its how you play the game.”  Well its true!  This agreement is probably the most important one out of all of them.  While we live our lives, we are bound to make mistakes.  While we are changing our agreements and changing our dreams, we are bound to make a mistake.  We are bound to speak out of turn and not be impeccable with each of our words.  We are bound to have hurt feelings by something someone said or feel our heads get a bit bigger at a compliment.  And (as a married woman) don’t even get me started on assumptions!  But as long as we are doing our best, things will get better!

We are going to make mistakes.  So recognize them, and then tell yourself, “tomorrow is the start of a new day.”  Or, “From now on, I will be impeccable with my word.”  Pick yourself up and move on.  Forget about the past, don’t worry about the future and focus on THIS moment.  This moment is all that we have.  We can choose to live these new agreements in each moment of our lives.  If we mess up..guess what, there is always the very next moment to start all over again..FRESH!  JUST DO YOUR BEST!

Also, realize that doing your best in this moment make feel different that doing your best in the next moment.  If you are a morning person, your best is gonna feel alot better than the best you give in the evening after a long day.  That is okay, as long as you are giving your best in each moment..whatever “your best” looks like!  Be grateful for each moment and realize that with each breath (each moment) you have the opportunity to direct your own personal movie and change your dream!  It’s up to you!

I will leave you with a couple of my favorite quotes from this life altering book:

“The first step toward personal freedom is awareness.”

“Your life is the manifestation of your dream; it is an art.  And you can change your life anytime you aren’t enjoying the dream.”

“You can choose to believe anything, and that includes believing in yourself.”

Finally…

“I am awake, I see the sun.  I am going to give my gratitude to the sun and to everything and everyone, because I am still alive.  One more day to be myself.”

P.S.  Stay tuned..my next blog will be on Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Fifth Agreement.  I have never read this before, and I am excited to hear what the 5th agreement is!!!

First let me say, I love all of Dan Millman’s books!  If you haven’t read Way of the Peaceful Warrior, it’s a  MUST read.  Check it out in the library, buy it in the book store, whatever you gotta do, just do it!  *laugh*

As you might have guessed.  I LOVE books.  So a trip to the book store for ONE books, usually means I come out with 2 or 3 of them.  🙂  So it should be no surprise to anyone that when I went to the book store to pick up The Four Agreements and The Fifth Agreement, I decided to look around at what else was out there.  Sure enough, I came across a book by Dan Millman that I had no yet read:  The Laws of Spirit.  At only 110 pages, I thought this would be the perfect book to read while I waited for my friend who was having surgery.

It’s a narrative about a man who takes a hike and comes across a hut with a sage living there….way up in the  mountains.  He ends up spending a couple of days with this sage and they hike through the woods.  While spending this time with her, she shares with him the Laws of Spirit.  It is a spellbinding  journey that is sure to delight you and inspire you to grow.  I LOVED it!

Here are a quick list of the laws as listed in the book:  Balance, Choices, Process, Presence, Compassion, Faith, Expectation, Integrity, action, Cycles, Surrender and Unity.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a philosophical/poetic passage about each law, and then there is a quote by some great thinking/author/spiritual person.  This book is a treasure chest filled with gems!

As usual, there are so many deep thoughts and quotes I would love to share with you.  But I think I will let you discover them on your own.  This truly is a quick and fun read.  You will enjoy it.  However, I will leave you with this beautiful gem…for all of you cat lovers out there, this is for you:

“No cat I have ever known gave much due to past or future.  Like the wisest of sages, cats live each moment afresh.”  I’ll let you figure out which Law this pertains to :).

Create a beautiful day!

Some things are just to beautiful for words, which makes it pretty hard to blog about!  This past weekend was just that.  I had the extreme pleasure and honor of meeting Velcrow Ripper and watching his film Fierce Light:  When Spirit Meets Action and taking his workshop.  And of course, between the movie on Saturday night and his workshop Sunday after noon, there was my regular church service at Center for Spiritual Living of the Treasure Valley.  Wowzers!

When I decided to go see the movie and take the workshop I really didn’t know what I was in for.  Except that I had decided at the beginning of the year to take the workshops, watch the movies, read the books….to help me grow.  When the opportunity came, I had to take it.  Right?  Right.  Besides, it goes along with my passion…being of service.  Or so I thought.

It did,  kinda sorta in a way.  It was more on Spiritual Activism.  I’m not much of an activist.  I mean I attend the same-sex marriage rallies.  Every once in a while you might find me a peace rally.  But in general, I’m not a huge activist.  Mostly because I find people are more angry and one-sided about their side of things, and that is not an energy I want to surround myself with, but when its done from a place of love; it is an amazing thing.  Anyway, this movie was phenomenal.  It spoke of Ghandi, and of what Spiritual Activism means.  It spoke of non-violence.  And it spoke to my very strong belief that we are ALL one!

“I am because you are, and there is no space between human beings, what I do to you essentially I do to myself.”

” We are one family, one people, we are citizens of this world, citizens of this planet.”

Watch the movie, and make sure you have a box of tissues with you when you watch it.  I guarantee you..you will cry.  I sobbed, and I would guess by the sounds of sniffles in the room, at least half of the 50 people in the room with me at the time also cried.  You will too!  It’s a call to action.  Be prepared to feel inspired to be and create the change you want to see in this world!

Then next day, I took Velcrow’s workshop.  I was told it would help me find my “Fierce Light”.  As I am transitioning from  one of my volunteer organizations to “I don’t know what comes next”, I thought this would be a good time to find that “Fierce Light” and maybe find some direction.  What I found during this workshop shocked me.  I found more healing/awareness/teaching around the incest at my father’s hands.  Between Church’s message of “there are no victims” to an exercise that asked “Who are you?”, I found out that I am my father, and that he has gifted me with lessons of compassion.  For that I am grateful.  (I realize that may be clear as mud, but for me to type it all out word for word, would take DAYS!)  Just trust, that this realization was HUGE, HEALING, and POWERFUL.  Not just for me, but for the other women that came up to me later (after I openly shared what I experienced) and thanked me for helping them see it in their lives as well.

The other part that shocked me (or maybe not so much) was what my “Fierce Light” turned out being.  I know I have a passion for youth.  I know I have a passion for service. I also know that my  kids and I have often discussed the lack of things for kids to do at our end of town.  So why did my “Fierce Light” really shock me?  I don’t know.  It turns out that my “Fierce Light/Dream” is to open a community center for youth and a resource center for women/moms here at my end of town.  Not sure why this shocked me…maybe because I have been all talk and not really felt motivated to do it myself.  In my own thoughts, I always thought it would be nice to have but someone else should create it.  *laugh*  The city should do it!  The YMCA should do it.  They Boys and Girls Club should do it.  Not me!  Well, I found out..that Yes, it should be me!  If I see a need, it should be me that stands up and makes it happen.  It not me?  Who?  If not Now?  When?

I’m not certain how this will play out.  Actually, I don’t think I have an inkling of an idea of how it should happen.  I just know it should.  And as a confirmation of that, at the beginning of the workshop we were told to pick out a gift form this bag.  Midge Woods (a community leader here in town) picked out a walnut seed and said how perfect it was for her.  I picked out a bone carving of Quan Yin (Goddess of Compassion) which I thought was perfect for me.  Little did we know that through this event, we would be exchanging these gifts with other participants.  During the workshop, at some point, I was working with Midge and she and I discussed creating community centers (since this is what she has done).  She is very inspiring.  She had no idea what it would look like for her either, but she did it.  And it’s amazing.  Here’s is a spiritual community center.  The very last exercise we did, I was with a completely different person and we exchanged gifts again.  I ended up with that same Walnut Seed that Midge had picked out at the beginning….indeed very appropriate.  The seed of community spirit, center has been passed down from Midge to myself.  It is time.  Not sure how….but it WILL be done :).

I would be remiss if I did not share with you how to purchase or find out more about this amazing movie and workshop.  www.fiercelight.org www.velcrowripper.com Both of these are excellent sources for more information about the movie and the film maker.  Please, if you are passionate about change in your community, world or planet, check out these websites and find your inspiration!  Get involved!  Find your Fierce Dream and shine your Fierce Light!

This chapter on Suffering was another HUGE chapter where I feel like every single page had something underlined and was dog-eared.   And again, it was very appropriate for what is going on in my life, and maybe even in your life.

In Western Civilization, we tend to push suffering aside.  We put it in nice neat little boxes that we can go visit when we have to, but other than that, “out of sight is out of mind.”  We put our elders in retirement homes or nursing homes.  We put our homeless in the downtown areas or “bad parts of town” away from our pretty little suburbs.

The thing is, our natural compassion jumps into action when we see suffering.  Like with Haiti.  Millions of people were affected by this earth quake.  The pictures we see are horrific.  And instantly, the world jumps into action.  Some people jump into action with the “gotta do” mentality.  It’s an instinct, a gut response.  But is this a reaction because we honestly want to help those hurting, or is it because we, ourselves, are hurting from watching this pain on TV and to  make ourselves feel better, we “gotta do” something to make it better (which helps US feel better).  I think sometimes this “gotta do” response is not really well thought and/or planned out well (like with Laura Silsby and her group who went to Haiti to rescue orphans).  I believe their heart was in the right place.  They wanted to help.  But is it possible they saw the pain and felt the pain themselves and went into “gotta do” mode and in turn made things worse or caused more harm?

My old teacher/mentor (James Arthur Ray) is in jail on 3 counts of manslaughter.  To many of us, who love/d this man, it was quite painful to see him do the “perp walk” and see his mug shot.  It’s our natural compassion at work.  No one wants to see someone they care for in pain (even if they might have done something to deserve it)….like a child who did something wrong, and you know they have to suffer the consequences.  It hurts to watch them learn their lessons, but you know they have to do it.  Well, with James and his students, it’s the same way.  I am not defending him in the slightest, yet for his students/fans/followers (even the ones who are completely against him now) there was a twinge of pain seeing him like this.  But SOME of his still avid fans and followers are talking about raising money for his bail.  Why?  James is in jail because the authorities believe they have enough evidence of wrong doing.  This is James’ process to go through.  He needs to be there to learn his lessons, at least for now.  Wanting to raise bail isn’t about freeing him, my guess is that it is about helping his followers feel better about the situation…so they wouldn’t be faced with the pain.

Then I think about being a mom.  My daughter is 10 years old, in 4th grade, and being bullied.  She has been bullied for most of her years in elementary school.  It is so painful to watch.  This year, however, it has just gotten to be entirely too much.  She doesn’t have any friends she believes she can count on (in school).  She comes home from school crying most days.  She begs me to change schools.  As a mom, seeing her suffering, it would be easy to whisk her away to another school.  Would that be the most beneficial for her?  No, but it would stop the suffering at least short term.  It would stop the pain *I* feel.  It HURTS seeing her hurting.  Yet, I know from my childhood bullying experience, that she needs to learn to stand up for herself.  And that is what I have encouraged her to do.  Today, she is working with the counselor to face her bullies in a positive, safe way.  I am scared for my daughter.  She is scared.  Yet, I know this is a lesson she needs to learn, and as a mom (as a helper), it is my job to support that (regardless of how much I want to put a band-aid on it and move her away from this.)

The thing I believe about suffering is that we are all here on this planet to learn and grow.  I believe that we agreed to certain lessons before we ever took our first breaths for this life time.  I believe that if we don’t learn these lessons, we will keep going through this suffering until we do.  And it is our job as helpers/parents/friend/community service members/health care workers to gently support those we are  helping get through these lessons of life.

It can be hard for us to sit with another human being in their time of need.  Our natural compassion kicks in, and right behind it…fear.  Our fear kicks in and wants us to walk away, or choose a certain amount of time to work AT making something better, or we start labeling the suffering as a means of separating us from the person who is doing the suffering.  Yet, if we could just allow the compassion to flow and sit with that person who is suffering and listen to them and be open to them, we will learn what they truly need and how we can make the most difference in their life during that moment in time.

For a homeless person, it may not be just handing them money.  For them, it may be looking them in the eye and asking what their name is and listening to their story..helping them to feel visible and real.  To the people in Haiti, it may not be taking their children away, but rather getting dirty and helping them clean up a disaster and build them a new home to live in (is this easy?  Is this a short time table?  No..it takes alot more of YOU than you may be willing to give, but it may be exactly what they NEED.)  For James Arthur Ray, it may be letting him sit it out in Jail until his court date (I don’t know this, but its possible.)  For my daughter, it’s about getting in touch with my pain from childhood bullying or when I was abused or raped; it’s about remembering that and what helped ME through that and what I learned.  By doing this, it opens me up and allows me to feel her pain and understand where she is coming from, and only then can I be the loving support that she needs.

By connecting with our own pain and fears, we are able to to truly be of service to the people we want to help.  That is where we need to be.  If we can’t feel our own pain and just start moving to help those who we see hurting, we are not really coming from a place of service, rather we are operating from a place that is truly about US not them.

I will leave you with a couple of quotes from this chapter:

“So I sought to be able to enter into the world of the sick, and to live with the mystery of suffering.  I saw that I had to enter into my experience of pain, and to face up to it, and to allow myself to be changed by it.”

“We discovered that the more we opened to the pain of others, the more we found ourselves in their service.”

The next time we feel that natural compassion to help someone, let’s remember to let go of our fear, sit back and feel our own pain allowing us to open up and feel theirs…this is the space from which we can make the most difference.

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