“I Commit To This Shot”

“Golf… is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.”

P.G. Wodehouse

“The most important shot in golf is the next one.”

Ben Hogan

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I have had many of my golfing readers request that I write about this insane game, so I will finally be doing so, dedicating this particular blog to all those fellow chasers of ridiculously small white spheres that do their best (18 times, mind you!) to avoid the 4.25 diameter hole for which they are intended!

(But let’s be honest, folks:

If someone kept coming after you with a club, wouldn’t YOU try to run away and hide too?!

Yep.

That’s what I thought!)

Alright, then ~ Let’s play a round with golf today! (Pun intended)

While so much has been written about golf and all the mental, physical and spiritual aspects that parallel it to life, playing golf never fails to surprise me anew as it points out yet “something more” to ponder each time around.

An earlier round this year provided such an epiphany . . . and the inspiration to write today’s missive.

But wait! Even if you don’t play golf, please read on . . . Because this game and its lessons speak very much to our shared human adventure:

Our successes

Our struggles

And yes . . .

Our true selves.

It’s all in there.

I CAN assure you, each of us will find ourselves somewhere within these words.

So if you find you are curious enough to play this “round” . . .

I will thank you now for pausing to join me today, on this particular tee time on the Power In Pause Course!

If you only find one idea that brings you a single step forward, then this will be time well spent.

(And, I assure you, a lot easier than having to record your true score when you’d rather not!)

Ready?

OK . . . Tee it up! ⛳️

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I pause to stand over my fluorescent(!) yellow ball and I say:

“I commit to this shot.”

What are these five words truly saying?

When we commit to a shot, we commit to many things: where we are standing . . . to the club we’ve chosen . . . to how our feet are positioned . . . how we are balanced . . . to the condition our body is in, (great or not!) . . .the grass conditions . . . and yes, even the weather!

But do we ever consider . . .

That we are also committing to wherever our ball winds up?

This means we commit to facing the downright daunting job of accepting that it lands where it lands.

Middle of the fairway.

In the rough

Plugged in the side of a trap

On a downhill angled lie

Behind a tree

In the water

In someone else’s divot

Lost in the woods

Poised one fraction of a roll away from landing in the cup.

Now, to be fair, let’s not leave out that one “knife in hot butter” shot: pure, effortless, organic, in the zone . . . The “One Shot” that reminds us why we committed in the first place and keeps us coming back over and over again.

The infinite possibilities of . . . Whole Package . . .

And consequently, the infinite possibilities of the potential we each contain within ourselves.

This is true for golf.

But it is also true in every moment of our day.

So use this golf analogy not just to improve your golf psyche . . .

But also as a template for strategizing how to view your own life, the things that happen under your control and not under your control, your choices and the responsibility you take for them.

Practice pausing to say

“I commit to this shot.”

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Whenever I play golf, I can always expect the full range of emotional and psychological experiences, from elation to frustration, from pride to mortification, from dread to wonder.

But because the golf microcosm is Life itself, containing what a single shot holds,

Wherever that bright yellow ball goes, there I am.

Sometimes I’m happy with its results . . .

And then there are all its other destinations I’d rather forget!

Nevertheless, only I am responsible for each and every “home” that my ball finds.

I own each and every position of that little yellow sphere . . .

Simply because I first chose to commit to that shot.

As in life, yes?

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Fortunately, there is a fringe benefit: there is a power in owning my shots . . . With facing the truth, with staying committed.

And it is this very power that gives me the strength and confidence to commit to my next shot from its new location as well.

I can feel doubt and anxiety.

Frustration.

Perplexity.

But once I address the ball, I choose to commit once again.

I focus on THAT.

And then . . .

I swing.

I commit to facing my less than lovely shots . . .

Because I cannot own ONLY the beautiful ones:

Golf is a Package Deal.

Just like Life.

I may get to see myself in all the glory of that perfect connection . . .

And then soon afterward, I am guaranteed that I will experience the humbling despondencies created by my hozzle rockets, pop-ups, shanks, skulls and whiffs.

And then of course there’s everything that falls between those extremes.

Golf . . . Like it or not . . .

Is always a picture of me.

The parts I love . . . and the parts I may not be ready to face.

But yes, I signed up for this tee time . . . So if I’m truly in for the entire round? I have to face all of it…

Everything I created by how I made each shot.

A Package Deal.

A Relationship.

******

Hit.

Move.

Commit again.

Repeat.

Oh and one more thing:

“Move” just means “Leave where you were.”

The direction matters not so much as the fact that you DO move . . . letting that former place go because it’s no longer relevant . . .

Moving away to accept the new locale of your ball.

After all . . .

You put it there.

******

My round is a continuous string of commitments

Of repetitions.

Of responsibilities.

Of a relationships.

Of reminders that only I own my round

From the first shot

To the last.

But . . .

The first commitment is to myself.

“I believe there is a gift to be discovered.”

“I accept where I am.”

“I commit to this shot.”

So life, as with golf, becomes a continuous search “to improve upon my current locale”.

******

“I commit to this shot.”

Pause . . .

Take a stance . . .

Craft a swing . . .

Then move to your next locale . . .

And begin again.

Eventually your ball WILL find the hole.

Of course . . . you might have a slightly longer adventure getting there at times . . .

But I CAN assure you, you won’t be alone on the course!

“Hit ’em straight”, my friends!

Now…Isn’t That Just Divine?!

“The chief thing that separates us from God is the thought that we are separated from [God]. If we get rid of that thought, our troubles will be greatly reduced. We fail to believe that we are always with God and that [God] is part of every reality. The present moment, every object we see, our inmost nature are all rooted in [God]. But we hesitate to believe this until our personal experience gives us the confidence to believe in it. . . . God constantly speaks to us through each other as well as from within. The interior experience of God’s presence activates our capacity to perceive [the divine] in everything else—in people, in events, in nature. We may enjoy union with God in any experience of the external senses as well as in prayer.”

Thomas Keating

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This quote gives me such hope in these days and times.

If you’re like me, you look about at the turmoil of our world and wonder,

“Well, what can I possibly do? I’m just a single person.”

All too often we let such doubtful thoughts mitigate, if not extinguish, any forward motion.

However, Thomas Keating strongly counters that perspective with inspiration for any of us, no matter how we might choose to define the word “divine” or “God”.

Pause here…and set aside for a few moments any thoughts of what you think you can and cannot do.

Such limited thinking is frequently the much easier choice…

Even though we can clearly hear that our world is crying out for a view that is more infinitely unbounded.

The divine is asking us to see…

To see in a new way this truth:

The divine is unlimited.

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So where exactly IS this “divine” I’m seeking?

The word divine comes from the Latin word “divus” meaning “godlike”. But when we look for the divine, we’re not looking for “a god”; it is instead a personal choice to seek what is rare, special and pure in every experience…to seek what has been lovingly created, wherever we find ourselves…to look for how everything connects to us.

It may be readily apparent…or it may take time, patience, gentleness and faith to wait for it to be revealed.

But we choose always to believe…that it is ALWAYS there.

******

What I am hearing from Keating is this:

It is our own choice to choose to invite separation or unity…and it happens in every moment, whether we’re aware of it or not. More commonly, we see it happening in others and then our judging stage can quickly follow; it takes more to be able to see it occurring in ourselves. This is why our pauses are so crucial. If we act without awareness, without presence, we are living blindly and our life will reflect this.

When we see something and judge it as separate, it becomes immediately divisive. We have, in effect, isolated ourself, and this is solely because we adopt and often act upon this perspective. This is where loneliness, anger and anxiety begin to erode us from within…and then this colors how we see going forward.

Enter: the Pause.

If, however, we choose to take a breath, in order to allow ourself to be open to the belief that the divine is within everything, we are doing a correction right then on our path: we straighten ourselves out from a deviated course…and are then enabled to discern how we are fundamentally connected. We can then widen our perspective to notice that there is so much to be cherished, that there is hope and that we actually are powerful enough TO SEE such divine elements…

To see that our own change is possible.

And this is precisely where true healing begins.

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Oddly, it often happens one small piece at a time, not usually as a Big Bang, so don’t be expecting to be whacked in the head or heart by it: it’s usually gentle, a drop or two at a time, and as you reflect on how your experiences went during a given day, or week, or month, you will be given the gift to see how it is working its magic.

Searching for the divine…

Is not about anyone else…

Is not about anything else.

It’s all about you and what YOU choose to see.

More than ever, we MUST become Pause experts…practicing catching ourselves over and over…to be able to see the divine and then to grow this ability further.

(PS: In fact, that also goes for all change of any kind, yes?)

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Our lives are meant to be one continuous meditation on how to look for, absorb and then reflect the divine that we discover.

We each already contain it, this divine portion, so as we acknowledge this in ourselves, it makes it easier to see it in another.

Therefore, our practice is to look for it, expect it …everywhere, as well as honoring it within ourselves…

Reaching for every moment, believing it contains the gift that it already is.

Essentially, we’re seeking the parts that match us…like putting pieces of a puzzle together…divine calling to and connecting to divine.

This is how we each heal…

And how we each help another to do the same.

And as we help another heal, we will find healing reflected back, returned to us as well.

This is how the divine is shared and then multiplied.

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My wish for myself…

And for you, my dear Reader Friends…

Is that we each become so adept at expecting the divine to show up everywhere, in every person, thing or event that crosses our paths, that we cannot possibly perceive of living and seeing life with any other means of vision.

And as far as WHERE to begin looking, you ask?

Begin right where you are.

Exactly in this moment.

It happens Now.

In every Now moment.

With me.

And with you.

Now…isn’t that just divine?!

The Artist Within

“All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, of inner stillness.”

Eckhart Tolle

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Welcome to 2021, everyone!

After a long absence, I want to begin our year with a clean slate . . .

As we all may be contemplating some aspect of

“Beginning again.”

So let’s start with exactly what we have . . .

Who we are . . .

Right now.

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What if I told you:

“You are an artist”?

It wouldn’t be surprising that many of us would immediately jump in with

“Oh, I can’t paint or draw!”

“I’ve never been able to play the piano well!”

“Taking a decent photograph just escapes me!”

“I’ve always wished I could build beautiful cabinetry . . . But I just don’t have the talent.”

Well. those are some of the obvious “art forms” . . .

But I’m not here to get you to focus on that.

What if told you that you are always creating? No matter what you’re doing?

What?!?!

Ah . . .

Now we’re opening up a bigger space.

Because we ARE creating in every moment.

Our very presence ~ anywhere ~ by definition “creates”.

But the deeper, truer question is:

Am I creating consciously or unconsciously?

And following that,

What exactly AM I creating?

And this is where it can get a bit scary because this means I actually am, in a sense, controlling my world . . . Whether I’m present or not.

Wherever I go, I change what it going on just by the energy of my being there.

This is a powerful thought.

I make a difference here.

You make a difference where you are.

Each of us does this, whether we’re aware of it or not.

******

But before we become frightened out of our wits at the hugeness of that concept, let’s bring it down to something more quotidien . . .

Something we can handle without being overwhelmed.

What if we ask instead:

What happens when I view each action I take as the action of an artist?

Let’s review some the simple gestures that might occur everyday:

Say . . .

How do I open the fridge? Could I find the grace in the movement of my arm, the curling of my fingers around the handle, the strength and tension of my muscles as I pull? Could all of that be part of a dance?

In cleaning the kitchen countertops? I am a dancer here as well, gauging the distances as I sweep from side to side, timing them equally . . . Or not!

How am I moving about, step by step? Can I feel the pressure of each foot as it holds my weight, perfectly balanced? Step evenly, lopsidedly? Altering the tempo like a musician? Yes!

Could I point out to a friend the sound of a bird or the intricacies in a wildly colorful leaf? I would then be an orator, one who might bring change for the better.

How would my speech change if I knew I was the one who could make it even more approachable for others to hear? Feeling discomfort, could I remain open enough to rephrase someone’s opinion to show I was truly listening to their values and feelings, without adding my own colors of judgement or anger or stubbornness to the canvas? Then I would be a painter.

******

What if I practice saying: “I am an artist?” in as many moments today as I can be conscious of?

What will change before my very eyes simply BECAUSE I was THERE noticing?

We can then say:

“I am an artist.

I create as I go.

I am always adding to the world and I pledge to do this with care and compassion.”

Tolle reminds us, though, that we must first choose stillness ~

To Pause ~

In order to create.

Realizing we are each artists brings the potential for appreciation for each thing we do, every day, every moment.

When we are immersed in being creative, we are actually expressing gratitude . . .

Because we see things with a fresher perspective.

And as we create, we grow our very hearts

Our confidence

Our love for ourselves

And for our world.

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My practice today is to ask, as often as I can:

What uplifting gesture of beauty…or grace…gentleness or mindfulness… can I add to this moment?

“I am an artist.”

So

How can I Dance?

Speak?

See the Art all around me?

Bring Music to any of my moments . . .

As only I can?

******

Just now…

What will I create?

What Do We Do NOW?!

“You cannot find yourself in the past or future. The only place where you can find yourself is in the Now.”

Eckhart Tolle

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What DO we do NOW?

Well…let’s talk first about “finding yourself”…

Simply in reading this you’re pausing…

And that’s where you begin this “finding”…this search for yourself.

In the Now.

So inquire:

Where are you right now…

Physically?

Emotionally?

Pause again for two breaths.

Listen internally for a few breaths and just observe the information coming in.

No action required.

No judgements necessary.

Just watch.

That’s it.

You just gave yourself the gift of Now…

Now, where we live and find answers….

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With the growing restrictions we are all experiencing worldwide due to COVID 19, we may be finding more pockets of time on our hands.

I am examining for myself: how am I choosing to spend my time? Where AM I in all of this?

We may anxiously channel surf without even noticing that an hour or two has passed…

We might wait in line at 5:00am with 100+ strangers for the grocery store to open at 6:00, hoping to find what we need…then stand in the checkout line for 45 more minutes.

We could also find ourselves lying awake at night for hours, wondering when/if things will return to normal, how our loved ones are faring, pondering the state of the economy, or perhaps whether we will ever be able to shake off our stream of fears without finally going down the river with them.

Tolle’s quote reminds me that my only place of true power (and control) is RIGHT NOW.

Now always IS where we live, think, act.

Thinking in terms that we each have a personal store of energy to “spend” on thinking and doing, where are you regarding how you are using your own precious energy?

Past and Future are, at this moment, no longer accessible (they represent living that is either completed or not yet to be), so spending copious amounts of time there can quickly become a futile activity.

Therefore any “living” in Past or Future with my thoughts requires some wise, mindful monitoring.

The Past contains beautiful memories and lessons learned, which can help me Now.

The Future contains both Hope and Fear.

So while there is value in looking back or forward so that we can grow and learn, the intention to look there need only be to access means to increase the good we each have tucked away within us. If it brings no forward progress, it actually subtracts from our store of available energy.

So we need to stay aware of what drains us vs. what fills us.

Ask:

If I get stuck in Past or Future, why? What am I looking for there.. What am I longing for…and how can that assist me Now?

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So I’ve decided to see (as often as I can remember!) these turbulent times through the lens of the many opportunities to reflect on what is truly important to me.

Yes, me first.

Selfish, you say?

Here’s the why:

Because if I take care of what is happening inside me, then I am much better prepared for what is going on outside of me.

I’m building up stores of what will assist me in going forward.

Once I have committed to spending time with me (i.e. how many Pauses can I find today?), I find I am not so inclined to be as overwhelmed by the circumstances surrounding me.

Whatever gifts I receive by pausing and breathing, spending time with myself, no matter how uncomfortable I may feel at times in facing the thoughts and feelings that come up, these gifts then become a lens through which I can more clearly see others’ words and actions. Judgements can begin to dissipate…and I can begin to bring curiosity to my surroundings:

What can I do NOW?

How do I want to show up?

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These are scary times and truly overwhelming, as we are saturated by the continuous barrage of “helpful” information on the news and other sources.

But if we can pause and ask, “Who just chose to turn on that channel?”

Who’s really in charge?!

Guess what?

We are.

Indeed.

“What do I do Now?” depends on “the channel” I’m watching…and I’m not just speaking of TV watching…

but the ones I’ve chosen to dial into…

In my mind and heart.

And then asking:

“Is this channel a ‘drain out’ or a ‘fill up’ experience?”

It does come down to our choices, how present we can be…

How many “pauses” we can find in our day…

For each pause is what leaves space for the flux of roiling feelings, deeper needs and changing events that seem to be controlling our lives.

We have room to experience them, to watch them, without being pulled into them.

We can decide what drains…and what fills…

And choose to discard or keep accordingly.

To an extent, we are being controlled: we watch as we are losing freedoms, as access is being further limited to those we care for, as many more choices are being made FOR us…so there is definitely an overpowering feeling of sadness and even grief, at the loss of connection (at least, as we long for it to be)…

And there is the pervading, persistant anxiety of losing even more of our autonomy as suggestions, rules and even laws are more and more becoming (“normal”?) parts of our lives.

But…could I be willing to embrace “different” for a while?

With one breath, one pause, I can instantly be in the limitless space of my creative mind and my buoyant spirit…and THIS can ALWAYS be where I live.

I can move WITH change, rather than fight it, seeking through Pauses the “fill ups” over the “drains”.

With any Pause, I am Now enthroned in the “seat” from which I “observe” as much as I can…myself, others, events, feelings, beliefs, nature…

There’s a sense of being above it:

Being IN it all, but not OF it all.

And that…

Is always a source of inner peace.

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This virus, alongside its threat and frightening ubiquitousness, is also giving us a chance to look a little closer…

At what is really important.

To choose to live more closely aligned with what we long for, to honor what really matters to us.

It begins Right Now…

And Now…

And also Now.

Every moment holds a new choice.

I can be here, Now, deciding every moment what I want to think about or what I want to do…or CAN do…observing how I feel and what I might be needing in this moment.

In honoring that space, I can then create space for others: I can be more of service to my piece of the world than I would if I stay “locked down” in the “house” of my fears, beliefs, futile thoughts, and succumbing to that massive tidal wave cresting ominously on my heart’s doorstep, smashing at the door over…and over…and over.

“LET

ME

IN!!!”

My dear human beings:

We may have to keep our bodies under quarantine…

But our minds and souls are never under captivity…

And they never ever will be.

Pause = Presence = Peace

Now is the only place where that sequence can happen.

So…

Pause.

Be curious.

And ask…

What do we do…

Now?

Pausing To Be “Greater Than”

“To truly change is to think greater than your environment. To think greater than the circumstances in your life, to think greater than the conditions in the world.”

Joe Dispenza

Look at the picture above and note what you see first:

Did you see the “bars of the cage” in the picture?

Did you think it was “ugly”?

Did you wonder why I’d pick such an uninteresting subject?

Or did you happen to wonder what might be hidden beyond the bars of the cage…in the smaller chinks and spaces, where the light is…and tried zooming in to find out?

How long did it take between the reactions you had?

Just how powerful is our Curiosity in shifting our view and our actions?

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Here we find ourselves at the end of 2019 looking back at our accomplishments, our growth, or perhaps instead at our losses, where we fell short and wish to improve…

We’re always hoping for “better” in the gift of our next New Year, as we plan to diet, exercise, read more, connect with a “difficult” person, do more self-care, speak up, sign up for a class, go volunteer…whatever we might have been thinking will help us to “be more”.

But…just how often do we Pause to ask what exactly causes us to move forward, stay stuck or regress? What motivates us to change?

Hint: It’s not outside each of us.

It’s what we do with our minds.

Often our current circumstances/conditions may seem to be limiting…in fact, it’s so easy and comforting to just say, “Well this is just how it is, so there’s not a lot I can do about it”…

But isn’t that a way of admitting we’re powerless? Is that really what we want to say? Think? Do?

Joe Dispenza is saying above that we’re NOT powerless at all…

And so I’m challenging us all in 2020 to regularly practice Pausing to Be “Greater Than” in our thoughts: to break out of one or more of our “thinking molds” that has been holding us in concrete and telling us we are limited.

Our circumstances are limiting…only if we choose to see them as such.

The power of our creative mind can break out of any “limiting” situation.

But to truly change, we must be willing to take a moment to remember that the “limit” we are looking at is actually self-imposed. Limits only happen when we choose to stay where we are with our current view, belief, or thought.

Sure it’s much easier to stay the same. Isaac Newton figured this out centuries ago with his First Law of Motion:

“A body at rest will remain at rest, and a body in motion will remain in motion, unless it is acted upon by an external force.”

In our case, the “external force” we need originates in our mind.

We will always stay put emotionally, physically, spiritually if we approach things with the same mindset.

Want change?

Find a way to “think greater than”.

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You ARE the creator, the originator, of the external force needed for any change to occur in your life.

You.

Not a family member, a friend, a weather event, a motivational seminar, a letdown, a prize, a compliment or a put down…

Just you.

People, events, words, pictures…are actually neutral…

WE are the ones that assign value and meaning to them, and therein lies their power for us…and over us.

If we start pausing to view our circumstances as neutral…and therefore as opportunities for us to “think greater” about them… our situations become infinitely powerful launching pads for us to change for the greater. They LOSE their power over us because we have altered how we SEE them.

They become less frightening too.

Change IS all about what YOU decide to view and to do about everything that comes your way.

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In what circumstance today can I use a Pause to search out a vision greater than the finite circumstance before me…?

In what situation will I choose to begin my curious search for “Greater Than?”

How am I viewing my present environment that is causing restriction in my ability to move forward?

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We ARE much much larger than anything placed in our path.

Whenever we remember this, we have immediate access to the freedom and power that is always available to us.

Feeling “stuck” is when we are thinking below or equal to the conditions around us: this is how we blind ourselves to the Path of Change that lies right in front of us.

Today:

>Watch out for “knee jerk” reactions in your thoughts: could there be a different way to see what you’re seeing? (Cage…or space beyond?)

>Increase your use of “neutral” labels: “This event is not for me or against me. It is only there for me to practice Thinking Greater.” So…I choose right now, to think “Greater Than”.

(This cage has spaces.)

>Approach with Curiosity, rather than fear.

(I wonder what’s hidden in the spaces?)

>Now…

>>How is your Year 2020 view starting to change for you?>>>

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Happiest New Year to all my Readers! I appreciate your time spent here with me on Power in Pause and I’m looking forward to a year of Thinking Greater along with each of you.

Our Line In The Sand


“The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek therefore not to find out Who You Are, but seek to determine Who You Want To Be.

Neale Donald Walsh 

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Notice what happens in your mind when you Pause to ask yourself…

“Who do I truly want to be right in this moment?” 

Notice…

“What deeper intentions are actually directing what I will say or do in the next moment?”

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When I am actively involved in choosing from my Spiritual Arsenal exactly Who is going to be showing up, I am in the position of creating…

I’m in a state of becoming…and therefore fully responsible for any and all change that ever occurs in my life. 

This is one GIANT position in which to find oneself because…

At any one of my Pause Points, I can either choose the full Truth of Me…

Or any other somewhat distorted version of myself.

Either way, I am creating Who I Am…

So it is oh so crucial to reflect deeply on:

Just WHO this is.

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I am curious to hear your own perspectives:

When you’re at a point in time where you must say or do something…
How does it feel to you ~ within either your heart, mind or soul…or all the above(!) ~ to simply notice yourself standing in this position of responsibly creating something entirely new?

Then, how does it affect you as you move forward to speak or act? Did it change your first impulse?

Did it clarify details? Make you feel awkward or anxious? Free you?

Did it empower you in some way you might not have imagined?

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I feel that Pausing is that exact point where we toe our very own “line in the sand”…

Where we finally divide

What Was

From What Could Be.

I find that Pausing always creates that internal (and yes, eternal!) “click” we hear

When we agree within to “let go” and move on to present a yet larger version of ourselves.

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Just what exactly IS happening…

Within our entire Self…

At the moment we Pause?

Who

Truly

NEEDS to

Show

Up

Next

?

The School of Eternity

“In other words, nonviolence is a skill, just like learning to read. Love is a skill. The transformation of anger is a skill. All these can be learned. We cannot say we aren’t capable of nonviolence; all we can say is we are not willing to do what is necessary to learn.”

Eknath Easwaran

From Gandhi the Man: How One Man Changed Himself to Change the World

What am I willing to learn today that I may venture one more step closer to becoming a tiny bit more skilled…

In showing what Love could be…

For myself?

And for another being?

We can all learn.

But it is a choice…

A continuous choice.

So it only falls to us each individually

To have the first thought to DECIDE to do so…

And then to ACT upon that decision in some way…

Small or large.

No thought?

No action.

Take a moment to Pause.

Create a thought of Who you want to Be today.

Now, even.

Be conscious of having THAT “You” show up

All through your day today.

Then, tonight before you sleep, Pause once more

And look back over your day…

The radiant moments.

The neutral moments.

The difficult moments.

Reflect a few minutes on Who Really Showed Up

Each time….

And seek the “why” behind their presence.

Now, from this reflection

Create again in your mind

For tomorrow

Who will show up.

************

See?

Tomorrow will be “today”,

But one step better:

One step closer to Love

Than you were today.

That

Is truly Learning…

At any age.

And we are each taking lessons

As Eternity’s Students.

A Sparkling Moment

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.”

Buddha

I don’t usually post twice in one day…

And I would apologize for visiting your inbox overmuch today…

But I’m not feeling guilty

For what I am about to give you.

Not one bit.

A few minutes ago, this opportunity came along and said to me,

“Share!!”

The beautiful flower souls pictured above actually live atop a hill in my yard…gracing my life this miraculous summer day of warm sun and cool breezes.

And after I responded to their call to snap a picture, I knew you would need to see them as well…

And know who they are.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Are they miraculous or what?!?!

Just look at that happy intense color, that exuberant burst of energy…

I watch them as they seem simply to hug the sun with their starry petals and just bask there, brightly reflecting their yellow Sister in the Sky and sharing joy with whomever comes by!!

I am

In this moment

So blessed to BE…

And to SEE…

In this world!!

Oh to reflect such

Joy

Color

Light

Acceptance

In my life…

The way that they do.

Thank you, beautiful souls, shining today in my garden, for speaking to me…

And capturing my heart!

~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you see…

Right now?

What gifts are before you

Just waiting for you to BE…

So you can SEE…

Even more than before?

Where might your current source of gratitude be presenting itself to you?

Whether hidden or not, it IS there, I assure you.

Take a Pause…

And find what you are to love…

Right Now.

BE

So you can SEE

The gift of your very own

Sparkling Moment.

The Habit of Empty

Jiddu Krishnamurti says:

“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am created to practice becoming “no thing”…

So I may become “all things”.

I am not meant to be violent.

What does all this mean, exactly?

One of the ideas from Lao Tzu in his Tao Te Ching just bobbed up in my heart to share with you: this particular verse is so encouraging, as it reminds us to “empty ourselves” so we may be continually filled anew.

Here is the whole (short!) Verse #11:

“Thirty spokes share the wheel’s hub;

It is the center hole that makes it useful.

Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room;

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore profit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there.”

(translation by Gia-fu Feng and Jane English)

There is so much more to contemplate here, but I will grab onto that last line:

“Usefulness from what is not there.”

As Jiddu Krishnamurti points out above, our beliefs can definitely get in the way of our ability to be of true help in our world.

We can only effect change when we empty ourselves:

Cleaning out unhelpful beliefs

Ceasing negative judgements (of ourselves, as well as others)

Releasing attachments (“it should be THIS way” not that way”)

Just imagine how we would be seeing the world if we did not carry around this “violent” clutter with which we fill our heart and soul vessels!

We would be able to see more clearly.

Think more clearly.

Respond in ways that we were previously unaware were accessible to us.

The door to our world opens ever wider…

And we can then walk forward to bring this idea…this open “empty” Presence to all beings.

Because…

We can only be filled…

If we are first “empty”.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Easy to say.

Harder to do.

But…

If I can accomplish it just once?

I have readied myself for the next moment.

And then I am then completely open to repeat that emptying again…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Choose.

Empty.

Repeat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Choose.

Empty.

Repeat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I am finding such freedom in my soul just contemplating this sequence…

Choose…

Empty…

Repeat….

…then what joy and peace will there be when I actually ACT upon it?

Each thing that comes our way is the perfect “trigger” to remind us to empty:

Stuck in traffic

“Impossible” co-workers

The never-ending pile of laundry

The pouring rain when I wanted to go for a walk

Our irritation, sadness, disappointment are signs that we are too full, reminding us we need to empty.

We all know that near-bursting feeling that rises up and wants to take control when we’re overwhelmed.

That’s our vessel that is asking to be emptied.

And we know what happens if we don’t:

The overflow can cause some serious flooding…and often lots of regrets later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

We also have the flip side, where we are filled with happiness:

We’re being praised for an accomplishment

We are so proud to watch our child succeed after hard work

We are overwhelmed by a beautiful sunset that stops us in our tracks

Or we’re intensely grateful for an understanding friend who truly listens to us.

These “fill” us in a positive way.

But if we cling to them too long, they will prevent us from being present for what is happening next:

We miss the next “now”.

So truly?

We are not created to hold…

But to let go.

Over and over.

For if, moment by moment, we decide to develop our Habit of Empty…

We will always find that we have a created the perfect space…

To be deeply present…

So Love may reside within our heart and mind.

And even more, perhaps?

Emptying to be filled again…is simply what Love IS…

And what Love was intended to be all along.

As our friends the Beatles so simply put it:

“All you need is Love”!

Choose

Empty

Repeat

This is living The Habit of Empty!

”Gr-Atitu-De”

“Sometimes we should express our gratitude for the small and simple things like the the scent of the rain, the taste of your favorite food, or the sound of a loved one’s voice.” 
Joseph B. Wirthlin

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am a staunch believer that

Gratitude

Is our strongest Soul Tool.

It changes our minds

About what we think “IS”

And opens the door to a much wider view of…

What “COULD BE”.

It is the purest expression of unconditional Love because, by our choosing thankfulness, we are saying

“I accept (love) this moment/person/situation

Just as it is.

Without labels.

Without judgement…

With a faith, a surety, that there is way more underneath that I, in my humble and limited position, cannot yet see.”

Gratitude is for the tiniest flower…

For the most spectacular sunset…

And everything in between.

No limits.

And so for us?

No excuses to hold back ever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now…

Say the word Gratitude aloud.

Do you hear the three word “lyrics” to a “spirit song” in that word?

Not yet?

Remove the “Gr” sound from the beginning and the “D” sound from the end.

Now we’re saying…

“…atitu…”

Nonsense?

No…

Sense!

We’ll need just a dash of poetic license here to discover that…

Gratitude cradles the sounds of three smaller words hidden within:

“Add”

“It”

“To”

Appreciation will always “add to” whatever we are experiencing in any moment, no matter what is going on around us or within us.

The practice of seeking opportunities upon which to place our gratitude will always expand our mind, our heart and our soul…

And suddenly we find

We are able to see far more than we did just a few moments ago.

We have just experienced…

The miracle of creation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pause.

Notice where, and then what, in this moment, you would like to “add to” your day.

What “You” do you truly want to show up right now?

An old knee-jerk reaction…

Or a new gentler response?

Quiet over noise?

Speaking up over retreating?

We know what will happen if we choose to repeat what we’ve always done before.

Do we want to do that again?

Can we be brave enough to ask:

“How can I really reflect the True Me?”

Right on the spot, you can choose to practice

“Add It To”

In your situation.

Watching your “IS”

Evolving into your “COULD BE”.

Notice:

How is this impacting you?

Others?

The environment?

And should you feel so called, share a moment here what

“Add It To”

Added To

You.