Living As If Silence is Golden

13 Jan

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I’ve spent the last two weeks reflecting on what brings me happiness and how to align my actions and words.   One thing I noticed quickly is that I talk A LOT; it’s hard work to try to match all those words with actions!  There has always been something attractive about people who speak few words;  when they speak, it’s profound.  I covet their calm, wise, self-disciplined ways.   I’m ready to challenge the little voice in my head that’s always whispering, ‘your way is better, prove it’.

In thinking about what makes me happy, I’ve realized that to achieve some life dreams, I have got to focus on listening and leading through actions and not just words.  I’m ready to challenge myself to value silence as much as feeling heard and understood. It’s time to pull Silence out of storage, dust it off and reveal the 24 K gold that’s been covered by insecurity and fear.

First step, awareness.

1) Post a note on my work phone and computer: 2 ears/1 mouth

2) Stop in the moment before I decided to write a long email at work and understand what my motivation is.  I get wrapped up in crafting emails with the intention of being totally understood with one email.  There is so much else I could be doing with that valuable energy.

3) Set time aside every day to be still and listen to myself and make room for receiving God.  I always find clarity, calmness and wisdom inside me when I consistently make space.

4) Don’t multitask.  I’m the queen of multitasking.  I really want to see how being present and in the moment with one thing at a time impacts my ability to be less reactive and be a better listener.

This insight has led me to create an edit of The Golden Rule I’ll use from now on.

“Listen to Others as You Want Them to Listen to You”

Because that’s what you can do when you blog…make up new edits of Philosophical works from Confucius and religion.  🙂

Short and simple today; how apropos.

((hugs))

Living As If I Get Paid to Be Happy

29 Dec

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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and time off however long that may have been!  Last week, I focused on impermanence and man was the timing for that perfect.  Every moment I spent with my family, friends and even complete strangers at the height of Christmas chaos was not only amazingly peaceful and calm; but rich with meaning and purpose.  Really cool stuff!

As I was thinking about my focus for this coming week I realized I have a LOT of free time and energy when my child is away and I’m not working or shopping (two vices I struggle with when lonely).  I’m talking enough energy to clean my whole house, crochet a scarf, put all the Christmas decor away, rearrange my living room, hit the library, take a walk and do some craft projects…in one day.  I have a ton of energy that I’m funneling into my work day and managing the routines of a child as well as fitting in my own personal wants and needs.  Me being the lover of efficiency that I am I really got to thinking…is what I want out of life overlapping with what I’m doing with my life?  Where is there no overlap and where can I expand?

This week I’m going to focus on Living As If I Get Paid to Be Happy.  I’ve made my livelihood on identifying what is value added and non-valued added for companies.  I love it; it’s like my little way of making the world a better place and being the change.  But I’ve realized that for me, the value of my life comes from so much more than money and things.  The value of my life comes from knowing that I’m sharing gifts and talents with others because the gifts have been given to me on consignment; they are not to be hoarded.  It comes from learning from others and loving them for their unique gifts and journeys.  It comes from love.  This week, I’m focusing on a creating a plan for how to weave more of love into the fabric of my life.  How to integrate the gifts, talents and experiences God has given me with how I spend my precious time when my daughter is away and channel it into something bigger and better.

This week many of us are thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and cleaning out the clutter that is not adding value to us anymore.  I encourage you to join me and take time to reflect on what adds value to your mind, body and spirit.  What is creating happiness in your life and what is holding you back?  With any good organizing effort there will be piles.  Sort your beliefs into 3 piles; ‘Leverage and Share, Keep and Work On,Trash.  If you decide to ‘Keep and Work On’ something, please use a clear plastic tote so you can see inside and others can too.  Stuff that gets put in plastic bags, boxes or boxes you can’t see…it just ends up becoming trash eventually.  Share with others what you’re working on; write a plan.  Get the junk out of your metaphorical house so you create space for something new. Jump in now and trust me, you’ll be happy you did.

((hugs)) and Happy New Year!

Gah, it’s already been one year that I’ve been blogging ‘Live As If’ and I have had one of, if not THE, richest years of my life.  I am blessed beyond words to have people read what I write and get something from it.  Blogging…that’s definitely a keeper!

Living As If Only the Moment Exists

21 Dec

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I’ve been thinking about impermanence a lot lately.  Yes, this is really what I think about.  Some of you watch tv, I contemplate life, whateves… This year, I’ve found peace in accepting that Life is a series of moments, interconnected in ways that are difficult to imagine.  There are times it seems like I am completely alone with what I’m experiencing.  Then, I get smacked upside the head with a little ‘forget-me-not’ experience from the Universe saying…’Hey, you.  Yeah, you. You’re not the only person going through this.’

I know now we are all part of something so much bigger than any one of us could ever accomplish alone and with our own agendas.  I see so many people who are wrapped up in ‘what if’ and so worried about what will happen next, in fear of the judgment of others, fear of failing, fear of being alone.  So consumed by what is to be or what was, that being present and in the moment isn’t even something they understand.  I struggle with it all the time, but I can feel when I’m living as if only the moment exists and when I’m not present.

At work, I am not in the moment.  I am looking ahead, planning, strategizing, trying to catch up and trying to be ahead of my workload…trying to be in control.  If I were to be in the moment, I would not have the sense of urgency that makes me effective at doing my job.  During the grind of the school year I struggle to be in the moment.  There’s always a competition between slowing down and being mindful and being to work on time, picking up my child at a time that does not cause guilt, completing homework, getting through a morning and night time routine and having structure that a child ‘needs’.  There’s not much bliss going on…not many smiles and contentment as I’m passing out exhausted and empty.

Bliss comes at the moment that I stop.  I stop to see a beautiful flower and soak it in.  I stop to hold my daughter as she falls asleep in my arms, to feel her breathing and her life.  It comes when I feel safe and loved and understood and vulnerable.  It’s the moment when something happens that reminds me that I’m not in control.  It’s the second that I ask for help and I receive…not the seconds before that are filled with anxiety wondering if the person really cares enough to lend a hand.  Not the years before that taught me that people can’t be trusted; but the fleeting second, when I believe they can.

Impermanence is all around us.  The snow falls, we build a snowman, the sun comes, the snowman ceases to exist.  One day someone is full of life, and the next, they are gone…their name written in a newspaper to be forgotten by most.  A week later, their life is nothing more than a memory…they’re deleted as if they never existed.  One day, we’re falling in love with someone, lying in their arms and a few weeks later, we realize it wasn’t meant to be and we never see one another again.

This doesn’t bother me anymore because I accept that only the moment exists.  I struggle to live this way, but knowing it exists has changed me…there’s really no going back.  I know that being present and mindful brings such clarity and happiness.  It brings Life.

This week, in the crazy of Christmas, I’m focusing on Living As If Only the Moment Exists.  Taking time to reset my stress levels and remembering what is really important.  For me, it will be conciously slowing down.  It will be going to church, praying, meditating, connecting with friends, watching the joy in my child’s eyes as she opens gifts…and recognizing that she’s just being a kiddo when she chucks them to the side and wants to go shopping for more gifts.  It will be stopping to feel the moments of sadness when she leaves for her father’s house on Christmas day. The gift of being present is knowing that I’m human and sometimes moments hurt; it’s also knowing that all moments pass.

((hugs)) and Merry Christmas!

Time to Wake Up

14 Aug

I’ve definitely had some kind of spiritual awakening within the last year.  I wish I could quantify it with data and give you a chart showing a correlation between love and overall happiness but, there’s no magic equation or a way to create this happiness in a laboratory.  Overall, awakening has come in spurts, over time, with a lot of work and practice and is this really amazing general feeling of being in control and being happy and clarity.   If I could graph it it would be something like this…

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I spent a lot of my life in a trance.  I always felt there was a void, that no matter what I did or had, I always wanted  more.  An insatiable thirst and hunger that could not be quenched.  Sound dramatic, well honestly it was.  There was a lot of drama that was tied to all of that.  Toxic relationships, bingeing and purging, anxiety and depression; just one big pendulum swinging back and forth, over and over and over.  There was nothing that could fill the emptiness that I was holding inside…other than fear.   I was so afraid to be alone and felt so unworthy of love that I put myself into and stayed in really unhealthy situations for long times.  They all taught me so much in hindsight but in the moment, there was a lot of pain and disconnection.

What’s love got to do with it?  Well Tina, glad you asked.  Everything.  I’d experienced all kinds of love but just being honest, I’d never loved myself for just me.  I really had no idea how to love, what it looked like to me and how take of myself unless it was in some type of self-sacrificing way.

Through a lot of practice and prayer, I’m loving myself as the perfectly imperfect being I am.   I’ve forgave myself for any mistakes from the past, started to focus on the present and stopped making life decisions out fear.   It’s been great to learn, explore and live in ways I never have before and to live with an open heart.  The old saying is true, ‘you cannot give away what you do not have’.

I know so many people who get into relationships out of fear.  So many people who settle, who talk themselves into and out of situations and who are out of touch with their spirit, their essence.  It’s a lot easier for me to spot toxic situations these days; and harder to withhold judgment and give compassion.

The spiritual awakening that happened in me is the result of self-love and the love and support of others.  It’s the result of taking control of my life and not looking for others to solve my problems.  It’s being ok saying yes and no only when I mean it and accepting that I am a child of something way bigger than myself.  For me it was slowing down, meditating, being in community and believing with my whole heart that no matter what, fear is not going to ever fill my heart again.  I am awake.

((hugs))

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Life is a Road Trip…

5 Jul

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 Are you in tune with your power and the energy of the Universe?  No matter where you are in your journey, there are always pieces of your destiny floating around you, unseen until you are mindful.

Let me give you a very practical example.  Think about the last time you were thinking about buying a car.  Remember how in tune you were with what kind of cars were around you after setting your intention of seeking out a new car?  That type of mindfulness is within your grasp each day.  No, I’m not suggesting you will find yourself hyper in-tune with cars henceforth; I’m talking about mindfulness of your thoughts, dreams, intentions and goals.

A few months ago, I had a strong feeling that I wanted to connect with someone from the past just to say thanks.  The person and I realistically had no chance in hell of seeing one another; literally, chances were slim to none.  But in meditation, I felt this desire to meet again and exchange realities just totally out of the blue.   I thought nothing of it at all except that I could not figure out why on Earth I was thinking of someone that I knew was not right for me.  Then, I ended up literally almost running straight into this person at a random place in my neighborhood.  Completely unexpectedly, the level of unexpectedness that makes you want to simultaneously say, ‘oh my god, seriously, I’m manifesting shit’; and ‘um, oh my god, I didn’t actually really want this to happen in real life!’  I completely did what an self-respecting person does, I acted like I didn’t see him, turned and walked away while secretly looking over my shoulder trying to glance/avoid simultaneously.

You know what I did a couple of days later?   I said, I’m going to Live As If right now and send this guy an email, saying thanks for what I learned from my odd, self-relection instigating stint with him.   And you know what, it was great.  The lesson I learned was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.   I learned that guys have emotions, and not all are superficial jerks and I am very intuitive and  not a crazy fruit loop and love is love and it just is; it can’t be created from nothing.  Oh, and guess what?  I’ve been objectifying men just like I’d always thought they’d been objectifying women.  It was so powerful for me and just reaffirmed that the path I am on is exactly right for me; letting life unfold organically and focusing on hobbies other than dating to bring joy to my life.

Life is for living, every single day whether you understand the bigger picture or not.  Change and life and love happen organically and as much as we may think we’re in control, we are not.   There are many things that pull and push us together and the best learning comes from letting go and trusting that synchronocity is a crazy cool way the universe uses to remind us that we’re so much more than just one little being; we’re part of an amazing mosaic of what it means to be human.

((hugs))

People are Just Waiting to Be Invited to Your Party

2 May

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Hey everyone, I hope you’re still Living As If out there.  I’m back from my self-imposed time out and it’s been a super fun time of living life to the fullest.  I want to take this post to challenge you to Celebrate Yourself and tell you how I recently chose to do exactly that!  If no one is there to throw a party for you, throw one for yourself.

So, I’m getting back into dating and while I experienced a very self-affirming confidence building stint at dating during my pre-gaming; I was still kind of dreading the challenge of dating as a single parent.  Dating has been one of those things in my life that has brought me a ton of fear and trepidation.  I decided that this time, I was ready to get down to it organically and without a plan.  I also decided that to do that, I needed to a little fill me up of love and confidence from those who love me.  So, I did what any normal girl does…I threw myself a cotillon.  That’s right, I’m 35 and I threw myself a cotillon and it was AWESOME.

Surprisingly, Party City had no section for this type of event.  The best part was that I didn’t care about fitting into a mold to make this thing fun and exciting I knew that the friends I love and who get me would support what ever crazy train was riding into town.  I got a lot of questions about what to wear…whatever makes you feel sassy and fabulous, ball gown, fancy dress, jeans whatever, and of course I wore a tiara.  I also asked people to bring canned goods as admission, because I’m a humanitarian and I had a piñata with chocolates and plastic liquor bottles because I’m a creative genius.  The activities included being a wee bit late to my own party, Amanda trivia and a formal presentation with a curtsey with me in my wedding dress.  All of this followed up with bar hopping and a finale at my favorite karaoke bar.  Every single thing about this party was me through and through.  Every single person had a blast and the love I felt that night, was amazing and pure. It truly filled me up and my cup runneth over.

Don’t wait for people to tell you they love you, be the change you want to see in the world and follow your heart.  Reach out and throw your own party.  I bet for every one person who actually does this, there are 100 people who are too embarrassed, fearful or nervous to just make it happen.

So, what dreams are in your heart that you’ve been holding back?  What are you going to celebrate about yourself that makes you special?  When are you going to throw a party for yourself in complete celebration of YOU?  Everyone’s just waiting to be invited to your party:)

((hugs))

You Heard Me Right

9 Apr

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You know that feeling you get when your heart knows something that your mind is not ready to acknowledge? I hate that feeling because I’m never sure if it’s fear or my spirit.  In the past, I’ve been very, very good at dismissing my intuition.  I’ve rationalized feelings away, obsessed over them and pushed them down so deeply that along the way, negative feelings buried positive ones.

I’m proud to say that the journey of mindfulness, meditation, and following Christ is paying off.  For the first time in my life, I truly was in a relationship in which I was completely myself and let things unfold organically.  I knew myself and I didn’t sacrifice that or try to mold to the person I was with.   When I felt off balance, I pulled back but didn’t run away and I talked about how I felt without fear of rejection.

I’m a super sensitive person and when there is a connection; it is intense.  For those of you who are not highly sensitive, let me give you a primer. Life doesn’t just happen, it flourishes, grows, withers and fades.  An intersection is a symphony, choreographed with a chaotic melody led by conductors clothed in red, yellow and green.  Kinda get it better now?  Without yoga, meditation and Christ, I get wrapped up in fear and anxiety and I used to get ahead of myself all of the time.  It was empowering to be on the other side of that coin this time around.

This relationship wasn’t for the long haul but you know what…?  I felt like I understood it for what it was when it began, I felt the moment when it changed and I knew exactly the moment is was over and all of these moments just WERE.  I really, truly feel content that everything was exactly the way it was supposed to be and I did exactly what I needed to.  It just reiterated to me the power in acknowledging that everything has a flow and no matter what, your spirit always knows what’s right for you.  You just have to get quiet and listen.

((hugs))