We live in complex times… We are all different yet the same, as we are all human, all part of humanity and the universe. We must embrace our lives, our relationships, and our world as the precious gift that it is, seeing that compassion of heart is truly the only path to both our inner peace and peace for our world.
The lazy, sweet days of summer…
The summer is in full swing and I am thinking about things I can do to really enjoy the fruits of the season. I want to do things that will bring joy and meaning to my summer days. I started to think back to my childhood… I went to camp, played outside, spent my days at the beach… I was carefree and easy drinking bug juice and sailing the summer seas. Childhood immediately brings us to a time where we were playful, joyful, imaginative, and curious. I want this summer to be like that! We are not taking any vacation per say, but as you know I live on an island that is a vacation destination. My challenge to myself is to carve out a little time each day to find a simple pleasure of summer. Here are some of the things that I am going to try to do:
Simple Pleasures – Fun things to do this summer:
- Make a sun tea – my husband is always asking for iced tea and though he is a traditional iced tea drinker, I want to make some delicious herbal fruity drink too.
- Build a sandcastle – it is so wonderful to just focus on digging in the sand and molding shapes with water and your hands.
- Play hopscotch or jacks, or another favorite childhood game like Miss Mary Mack! That will bring a smile to your face for sure!
- Go beachcombing – look for stones, shells, and beach glass, find the sea trinkets that are calling your name.
- Gather your family and friends and sit around a firepit and enjoy smores. Sing a campfire song or tell a scary story too!
- Retake a picture from an earlier time in your life. Family photos are really fun to do! We did that last summer – in the original photo my kids were 10, 7, and 4, in the re-do, they were 23, 20, and 17.
- Play in the waves. Grab a boogie board or a raft and float in the sea.
- Have a bbq and play lawn games – croquet, wiffle or volleyball, or badminton. Capture the flag is one of our family favorites.
- Make a chalk drawing on a sidewalk. Let your creativity flow.
- 10. Go out for ice cream and an evening stroll. There is nothing like a summer evening and a gelato, ice cream or frozen yogurt. My favorite is frozen yogurt with a little hot fudge.
- Play a round of mini golf. When the sun goes down and you are looking for an evening activity, head to your local mini golf course. Make bets with each other and heighten the stakes and the laughs!
- Take an outdoor yoga or tai chi class. A great way to begin or end your day, movement and fresh air will help you ground and balance yourself.
- Spend an hour under a tree in a hammock. What a peaceful way to recharge and reflect.
- Sit outside and read or draw. I love just sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee or tea, reading from my current book, or with a sketchpad in hand, I might color my wildflower garden or the view of the water.
- Have a beach picnic at sunset. One of my favorite things to do is be on the beach at sunset. It is not so much the dropping of the sun into the sea, but the afterglow – the light and color in the sky is magnificent. And don’t forget your favorite food and beverages, or your chairs or blanket, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Let me know what your summer simple pleasures are and more importantly, how they make you feel. This summer, let’s all feel the joy, the peace, and the love that we deserve.
Do things happen for a reason, or is it all just random? And so the question of whether or not there is a prescribed path for each of us to follow, a designated sequence of events, is pondered. Is there a grand plan? A friend recently suggested that if indeed there was a grand plan for everyone, then why was I worried or stressed or sad? I should just trust the plan and more importantly, I should try not to analyze “why” things happened. Are there truly lessons to be learned that we contract to experience, lessons that guide us through our own personal mine fields where we bloom or implode, and outcomes are written in our destiny? It is said that our soul’s journey is comprised of prescribed lessons that we agreed to learn before we came into this life, lessons that we will learn no matter what path and relationships we choose. I read that what you are doing does not matter so much as what you are learning from doing it. Maybe then the lesson is not in the “why” it happened, but in the fact that it happened at all. Life is after all about moments. And each moment and event is filled with the opportunity to learn something about our selves. Each moment or event opens the door to other opportunities and paths for us to explore. But are we guided to these certain experiences by some inner aspect of our selves? How often have we known that a decision is correct, or that a choice resonates truth? Would that be a confirmation from our higher self or divine guidance from within? We simply have to follow the path. One friend described her path as “following the bouncing ball.” She had experienced something extraordinary and now was attuned to the sound of that bounce – the one that reverberates and says, “come” and adds “do not fear for all will be OK”. When I think of my path, I think of following a thread – or a ribbon that is at my place at the table and winds its way through and intersects with other ribbons, embodying all that it feels, sees, senses, and hears, becoming educated in who it is so that when it reaches the big centerpiece box filled with surprises and joy in the center, it lands in gratitude. I like that metaphor – each day, each experience is new and so a surprise, and the hope is that at our center, our lives are filled with gratitude and joy. It is of course up to us to make the choices, have the perspective, and the perceptions that can lead us through our embedded scripts where we will encounter the conflict and pain that will deliver us to that joy filled center. When I watched Life of Pi, I was struck by something the father said, “How can you find your way if you don’t choose a path?” There is always some choice that we will have to make, that will determine what we will experience, what relationships we have, what paths we follow. It is our free will that we must exercise, that we can exercise, to enjoy the surprises that the bouncing ball or the thread invite us to explore. And it is also our free will that can keep us open and listening for that inner voice, our inner guide that does indeed seem to know what is best for us, that informs us of what is true, what path we should follow, and when we will learn the lessons we came to learn. My astrologer of twenty years always reminds me that free will can change everything. It can affect timing, circumstances, and relationships. But ultimately it guides us to see what is within us. It instructs us to transform the way we view our selves and everything around us. So let us bless this idea that things happen for a reason, that we will learn our lessons, and that there exists within us a higher intuitive self that offers guidance and insight. And as for free will changing everything, let it change us all, and the world, for good.
“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”
All great drops of advice and all important to having peace in your heart. So why is it that we have such a difficult time doing them? Many of us analyze, over analyze, think, and over think why certain events and relationships happen in our lives. We are stuck on not only the fact that they happened, but on the why. After all, everything happens for a reason. But is it so important to know that reason Can’t we just accept that it happened and look for what it has shown us, taught us, and how it has helped us grow?
If there was ever a statement that strongly resonated with me it would be Caroline Myss’ words: “Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do. I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.” I spent years trying to find the reason why something happened, why I made the choice I did, why things had worked out as they had. It was so painful and I suffered greatly. Living in the past or holding on to a fantasy is such a waste of energy. And it causes great hardship. Trying to decipher all the meanings in our personal universe is exhausting and we may not find all the answers we seek, or want for that matter. The search could be enlightening, but most often we feel anguish, sadness, and heartbreak when we remain in that search for the reasons why.
We all make mistakes. We all experience some emotional trauma. We all suffer. But we have the power, the choice, to free ourselves from that pain. I have often joked with friends about how it is time to get off misery road, that it is within our power to change the trajectory of our lives. We must choose to be vigilant and redirect our thoughts away from the questions of why something happened, why a relationship soured, why a person is the way they are, why a job didn’t work out, why we had to lose a loved one… why our life is the way it is. The best thing we can do for ourselves is give up the need to know why things happen as they do and just accept that they did, that they are as they are now. Just accept and allow the lesson. I dislike the expression, “It is what it is,” but it is the truth, and I find myself thinking or saying those words a lot lately.
So turn off of misery road and turn on to the road of joy, of happiness, of contentment, and of peace. Turn off your wondering mind. Cease the inquiry. Give up the need to know the why and concentrate on what is – focus on the present moment, and then focus on each subsequent moment as you experience life.
“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”
Peace of mind and soul can be yours. It is your choice.
Do you ever wonder why all of the sudden something will make sense, you will finally get the big concept picture, you will breathe a sigh of relief, exclaim “a ha!”… In those moments your soul is clicking into the recognition of its path.
Many of us are searching for those moments, and we search for them in the messages that the universe is communicating to us. We search for understanding, guidance, answers, pathways… all in the framework of inspiration.
Inspiration comes in the morning through the sun rising, spreading its rays of warmth, it comes with the light of day, it comes with the setting sun and the dark of night, it comes as a mystical blanket of stars, or perhaps it comes as the brightening of the magnificent galaxies.
In the drops of brilliant thought we seek an answer, a reason, a paradigm, and find rhetoric of inspiration. Phrases repeatedly seem to appear. Some of my favorites are everything happens for you, not to you; things will keep coming up until you have learned the lesson it must teach; everything happens for a reason; oh and – let it go. It does seem that particular messages arrive in our view at pretty much the precise time that we need them, the universe giving us exactly what we need when we need it. It is these words and phrases and thoughts that click in us sending a clear message from our deepest dreams: and they beckon follow me, I will make you feel better, you will love me, with me you will see wonder, this is your journey, this is your path, this is your destiny.
There are messages for us everywhere. Messages that help guide us along. And we are all seeing the same ones, searching for the same thing – uniquely discovering our place in it all.
We glide through life as mermaids do – breathing in the depths where many cannot, swimming deep into our psyches, our souls, exploring our caverns and all the aspects of ourselves and our soul family. The ocean is our soul’s place and so we are drawn to the water, its well of secrets and magic immersed in the shadows and light of the sun or moon above.
Inspiration is drawn like water from a well. It can be scooped up by handfuls, sipped a few mouthfuls at a time, or drunk furiously out of sheer thirst. At different times in our lives we seem to seek that water… as if it itself holds the answers.
There are just some days when everything feels like it is falling apart. The emotional chaos seems too much to bare, and the reveal of how deeply painful it all is plunges you down into the darkest cave. You try to see light and hold on to all the inspiration you have memorized and planted. The “everything happens for a reason,” “there is a lesson in everything,” and “trust the universe,” all feel so shallow, your faith and belief are clouded. What are you clinging to that is holding you in this vibration and preventing your joyous energy to flow? What if the one thing that you are holding on to so intensely is, when let go, the very piece that will balance everything else into place, and the flow of ease will be restored?
Into your heart and soul you must dive deeply and fearlessly. There is no other way. I often think about my childhood – diving into the swimming pool, plunging into the ocean from the perfect perch on our family’s sailboat. I was so courageous then. I would stand, planning my smooth entrance into the water, taking in the other divers around me, watching how the sunlight bounced off the bottom, reflecting back to me all my bravado and beckoning to me to just dive in. (more…)
I have always loved the sea. From my tender years, I would feel the salt-spray on my skin, taste the warm Biscayne Bay waters that would come to help soothe me, and inhale the air that filled me with energy and perspective. Boating, sailing in particular, has always been an important part of my life. I was my own master on my sailing vessels, pointing to catch the wind so that I could race as fast as I could, feeling the strong and subtle breezes surround me, moving me forward. Owning my independence and solitude, I could navigate my world at hand.
It is then no real surprise to me that I was lured by the idea of being a mermaid… (more…)