As promised, below you will find the posts from the brief and tumultuous six-day lifespan of my beloved sister blog site, Love and Curiosity – Gems for the Journey. Many thanks to the loyal fans who followed my musings there. While Gemmy has returned to the creative ether from whence she came, rest assured you will find lots of future Gems here.
Day 1 of 6 February 5, 2011 – The Keys to the Kingdom
Here you will find the words I live by. Brief daily insights inspired by my favorite authors, including Julia Cameron, Pema Chödrön, Wayne Muller, Dawna Markova, Louise Hay, Mary Anne Radmacher, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Mary Oliver, Cheryl Richardson, Parker Palmer, Thomas Moore, Bruce D Schneider, Wayne Dyer, Sue Monk Kidd, William Bridges and untold others.
When approached with Love and Curiosity, each day is a gift of endless possibilities for good.
Day 2 of 6 February 6, 2011 – Creating a Life
Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way,” quite literally saved my life. My body, mind and spirit began the journey to wholeness when I began living her teachings. That all of us are essentially creative beings – not just those who call themselves Artists with a capital “A.” That our creativity is Divinely Sourced – as essential to sustaining life as breathing.
With deep gratitude I dedicate this new online journal to Julia Cameron and the other writers and teachers who make my life a joyous adventure of personal discovery and unlimited possibilities for good each and every day. I encourage you to purchase a copy of Julia’s daily readings book, “The Artist’s Way Every Day – A Year of Creative Living” and read along with me .
Believe in yourself. You matter. Dream big. With curiosity, love, compassion and a sense of humor, all things are possible. Namaste.
Day 3 of 6 February 7, 2011 – Passion and Purpose
At nearly 57 years of age, I am in the best health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – of my entire life. While I still have my ups and downs, my days are woven with deep peace, lasting joy and meaningful relationships. This great blessing is the result of the quest I introduced in the preceding entry – a Journey to Wholeness that began five and a half years ago with the reading of Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way and has continued with input from many other sages. I found myself living alone for the first time in my life – unhappy, unhealthy, unfit. While it was very hard for the first four months as I continued to struggle against my solitude, one day in a moment of grace I realized isolation afforded me the opportunity to work on the relationship I had neglected my entire life – the relationship with myself. Stripped of my habitual pattern of avoiding my own needs and feelings by focusing on caring for others, I finally turned my attention to myself. With Love and Curiosity, in the words of Robert Frost, I finally took the road less travelled by and that has made all the difference.
A core text I recommend to my life coaching clients to stimulate self discovery is Wayne Muller’s How, Then, Shall We Live? Wayne poses four questions that help us reveal the passion and purpose of our lives by awakening four realms of the inner life – Identity, Love, Daily Practice and Kindness:
- Who am I?
- What do I love?
- How shall I live, knowing I will die?
- What is my gift to the family of the earth?
In his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainier Maria Rilke urged, “Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” I transform the challenges of my life into opportunities by living the answers to these questions every day, for Life is indeed a Journey, not a destination. And while the answers grow richer and deeper with the passage of time, the essence remains the same. My purpose, my passion, my reason for being here is to help others live their dreams by finding their own answers.
May your life be one of endless self discovery and growth, resulting in passion, purpose, deep peace, lasting joy and meaningful relationships. Namaste.
Yesterday I had a thought – what if all of my striving to make things happen was actually working against me? What if I was missing many of my best synchronistic opportunities because I was too busy working my plan? How might my experience be transformed if I just stayed more centered in the present moment, clear in who I am and my purpose, but not trying to architect my life down to the last detail?
Here’s how the Universe replied:
Today’s Daily Word reading from Unity was titled “SYNCHRONICITY.” My daily reading from Julia Cameron was on SYNCHRONICITY. My Pema Chödrön and Wayne Muller daily readings were also on SYNCHRONICITY. The daily creativity prayer from Julia Cameron was on SYNCHRONICITY. The Wayne Dyer audio lecture I finished today closed by extolling the virtues of trusting in SYNCHRONICITY. Get aligned with Source Energy, and the Universe will support your endeavors.
Just me, just here, just now, just be. Ya think?
Namaste and good night.
Day 5 of 6 February 9, 2011 – Charity Begins at Home
As we approach Valentine’s Day, the subject of love is top of mind. If, according to Merriam-Webster’s 2011 dictionary, charity is “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” or at a minimum “lenient judgment of others,” then I suggest it has to begin at home – it has to begin with me. My ability to truly love others is directly dependent on whether I truly love myself. While as a good actress I can fake it – keep all the judgmental voices inside my head – there is a vast difference between faking it and the real thing.
So what does love this kind of love look like? According to a well-known treatise on the subject found in 1 Corinthians 13:v4-8 (New International Version, ©2010):
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
Imagine applying these to yourself. Being patient with yourself. Being kind to yourself. Not being envious – believing you deserve good things. Always treating yourself with honor. Always protecting and trusting yourself. Always hoping for the best for yourself. Always being there for yourself.
This is the heart of my personal transformation over the past two years. With the compassionate guidance of Buddhist Life Coach Pema Chödrön, I am learning to always approach myself and others with Love and Curiosity. This way of living is a path, a Journey, not a destination. It is not about self-improvement. It is about being aware and awakening my heart, moment by moment, day by day. It is a path to deep peace, lasting joy and meaningful relationships.
You are loved and loving. You are blessed and a blessing. With Love and Curiosity, all things are possible. Namaste.
Day 6 of 6 February 10, 2011 – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly
I’ve spent much of the past two days listening to 8 lectures by Pema Chödrön. Throughout the program, she warns that the more you study and practice Buddhism, the more you will encounter your own frustrating nature. That just when you think you should have it all together, you realize the only thing you’ve figured out is that you don’t have it all together. Everything was just ducky until I sat down to write this blog. Then the whining began. BINGO!
I used to think Buddhists were people who had risen above normal human experience. They were always very “zen” – chanting and not caring about anything. Boy, was I clueless. According to Pema, Buddhism isn’t about escaping your emotions, it’s about embracing them – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s about awakening your heart with constant awareness of yourself and your feelings. It’s about observing them with love and curiosity – accepting everything about yourself, especially the most frustrating aspects. The point of enlightenment is not to become superior and feel no pain. It’s to open your heart wider and wider to your own pain and, through that experience, to the pain of others. It’s to help you develop deeper love and true empathy for yourself and everyone else. So you can finally connect to all of humankind on the most profound level by understanding we are all fundamentally the same. We are all Just Human.
So, here I sit. Tired, confused, not sure where my life is headed. Feeling a little sorry for myself. Pissed that I committed myself to a second blog site. Not sure what to write that will inspire anyone else when I feel so uninspired. Not sure anyone really cares whether I write now or ever. Nothing to write. No reason to write. So alone.
In tears of frustration, I close my eyes, start breathing slowly and deeply, and ask for guidance. The answer comes, “Observe the teachings.”
(inhale) I embrace the agony I am creating for myself.
(exhale) With compassion, I send myself love, joy and peace.
(inhale) I focus on the people all over the world who are tired and confused.
(exhale) Others who don’t know if they are on the right path.
(inhale) Others who feel alone and that no one cares.
(exhale) With compassion, I send them love, joy and peace.
After a few cycles of breathing and holding these thoughts, peace envelops me. I know that all over the world, others are observing this same practice as they sit with their personal pain. Total strangers and yet we are thinking of each other with compassion and sending each other love, joy and peace. We are not alone. Someone does care. We care.
I am thinking of you with compassion
and sending you love, joy and peace.