What Is Your “Superpower”?

“When we imagine suffering, we suffer. When we imagine joy, we rejoice. Imagination is the superpower of the human species. Use your powers for good.”

Martha Beck

What are you thinking right now?

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How about now?

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And now?

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To imagine, we must choose to Pause long enough to do so.

What we imagine, we bring into existence.

So even in our darkest times, we can always envision “Light”…just like the small spotlight shining on the flower in the picture above:

Darkness surrounds the flower…yet it glows with the light before it.

Imagination is the “light” before our eyes.

So…

How will you use your “superpower” for good today?

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Today’s challenge:

Search your heart for just one single compassionate “superpower move” you could enact.

Envision how you could bring this “move” to life, somewhere, sometime, into your activities today.

See yourself going through this action and completing it, step by step. It’s important to see yourself doing it; just thinking about it – or hoping it – is not enough.

See your vision happening.

Then…

Sometime today…

Act upon it.

Say to yourself:

“I am brave. My heart has chosen. I am now empowered.”

Repeat these phrases as needed.

Observe your thoughts, feelings and needs surrounding this action: before, during after the action.

What comes up?

Continue to observe what is happening within your mind, your body, your spirit…before, during, after…

but always carefully refrain from judgement during this adventure.

(Yes! It really is an adventure!)

Notice what roles Fear might be playing.

BUT…

Do not back off from following through with your action.

A Superhero/Superheroine never backs away…

Because they have already “seen” it happening.

Will yourself – steel yourself – to go through with this action that your heart has chosen.

And then notice what is shifting in your life because you have taken this action.

Now…

Repeat this imagination process

With another action…

And another.

Again.

And again.

And see your strength improve as you do.

You are getting stronger every moment you use your Powers.

We are all practicing…

Together.

So we are never alone.

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We are ALL

Superheroes

With

Superpowers.

Find yours.

Acknowledge it.

Love it.

And then share it today.

And each day that follows.

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Oh…And by the way…

Surprise!

You have more than one Superpower.

So get ready to

Really

Fly.

The Hidden Child

“Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary.”

Uta Hagen

Pause a moment to consider:

What extraordinary parts of myself do I still keep tucked away?

Dare I ask…

“Why”?

Let us take a few moments to select one of these “tucked away” yet extraordinary parts within ourselves to cradle with love and acceptance…

A smile

A kind word

A gesture of assistance…

This time TO YOURSELF.

Breathe deeply

Just stay still a moment longer

While you hold this “newborn child”…

This child

Is

You.

This miracle is

You…

Being

Loved

With no reservation.

This is

You

No longer feared

And hidden away.

Finally, notice what happenis as when we choose to “own” the following affirmation

For this beautiful child we hold:

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“Today…

I give myself permission

To be Me”🦋

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See the miracle child that is you

Being gently rocked

Gently rocked…

In the arms of your heart.

Repeat

As

Needed

Visitors

“This body is a guesthouse each morning someone new arrives.

Welcome them all for they may be messengers from the invisible.

Each time a thought enters your heart treat it as an honored guest…

Be grateful for all you receive, good and bad alike, for it may be a gift from the treasury of Spirit that will bring fulfillment of your most secret desire.”

Excerpts from Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, The Heart, and the Spirit p.16 (trans: Mafi/Kolin)

Listen!

Who is that, knocking at our own door right now?

Oh what to do? What to do?!?!

So hard to decide:

Stay or Go?!

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What if we choose “No”?

Refusing to answer

Because our heart rides river rapids filled with dread

Buoyed by belligerent resentment

Maybe afloat on the ballast of invincible assurance of our “rightness”, another’s “wrong”.

Or perhaps instead we are submerged by waves of fear, watching as our confidence…

Water in a desert…

Trickles away to nothing?

With “No” I will risk

Never knowing:

…Who took the time

To stop by.

…Who would explain the “Why?” of their presence

At this exact moment.

…What unlikely Visitor would deliver a message carried miles for me alone?

“No” says:

“I elect to live with a Lesser Stream of water

One less turbulent…

Tho it leave me

Wondering

Forever…

What was mine in that moment…

Now gone.”

So then I muse,

“Just how long could one truly and fully sustain a life with such choices?”

Time would surely float past

The water closing ever so slowly overhead

Barely perceptible but…

Inexorable

Ever.

Always.

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Unless…

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…we chose instead “Yes”…?

No matter how our Visitor may frighten us?

Anger us?

Sadden us?

No matter how ill-timed their arrival may be?

Consider:

The new possibility gifted to us

At the sound of every knock.

Imagine instead choosing a “Yes” called Curiosity.

Trembling hand on the door knob

Poised in stillness

For a mere single droplet of a moment

We

Oh…

Lean away just a degree or two from our

Hammering heart hesitations

Only long enough

To peer out…

There.

Just a fraction

Beyond.

Beyond…

What we thought surely must be there.

Slowly now

Shhhh

Gently

Finding in the act of opening

Of looking…

We are gifted instead

With a sharp knife of

Crystal

Clear

Vision

Slicing the shadows cleanly away.

We now see

On our doorstep

One small lost piece of our True Self

Forlorn

Wearied

Huddled

Hidden

Hoping…

To hear “Yes! You belong. Your respite is here.”

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“Yes” promises

We need never live

In doubt

Or fear

Again.

“Yes”

Assures

We will Seek

And Find

Always

Our own Miracle Visitor…

With every knock.

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Oh say “Yes”,

Evermore..

Vow never again

To close that door.

Puzzle Pieces

“Be…

Exactly what you wish to receive.”

Libellule

We often feel sad or anxious or angry

That there are things that are “missing” in our life.

This could be a closer relationship

Or even a relationship, period.

Perhaps it’s

More appreciation

More respect

More beauty…

It could be

More money

Food

Or clothing…

Maybe more peace

More compassion

More understanding.

Always we sense there should be “more”

Because in some ways, we see ourselves

Or our lives

As “lacking”

“Less”

“Not enough.”

But what if these missing “puzzle pieces”

Are our teachers?

Our tools?

Our chance to change the direction of our path?

What if the “More”…

Needs to come FROM me

Not TO me?

What would happen if I took any one of those “missing pieces”

And gave them instead to someone else?

…If I began practicing looking for people or places that are offering me opportunities

Right now

To give out

Just exactly what I BELIEVE I want to have in my own life?

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Pause a few moments.

What do you see missing in your life?

Name it.

Speak a phrase of gratitude for that feeling of “lack”.

You are actually now one single step away

From receiving what you need.

Then…

Look for someone

Or somewhere

To give that very thing away…

In place of wishing it for yourself.

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Our puzzles 🧩

Will fill in

Piece by piece…

And peace by peace…

As we help others to fill theirs.

I Believe In…

“Be the reason someone still believes in magic, truth, authenticity, compassion, intelligent conversation and love that doesn’t have an agenda.”

Brook Hampton

Whether we confirm and solidify someone’s outlook or rattle it and start a change within them, our individual energy is always a “player in the game”.

Realizing that we have an effect ~ even an unconscious one ~ places us squarely into the Seat of Responsibility.

For ourselves.

And secondarily for others.

I’m not saying I control others’ thoughts and actions…

But I can be more aware of how I enter a situation and how I wish it to come out. If I plan a win-win scenario, I am more likely to experience that then if I plow in with little to no forethought about how I want to show up.

“Who do I want to be?”

“What do I want to reflect?”

Yes…

How will others walk away from an interaction with me…what might they take away?

if I’m going to be sitting there, I’d much rather have some idea of how I want to direct things from there.

Three quick and simple actions to add a Pause into your day:

Morning:

Somewhere between the time you wake up and the time your feet hit the floor, close your eyes, take one minute to choose how you might affect someone’s belief system. Do you want to present “compassion”? Unconditional love? Patience How do you see yourself “changing someone’s mind?”

Your presence is always a catalyst, so being aware of your effect holds enormous power. We need wisdom, and then some!

Practicing awareness is key.

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But how can I STAY aware?

Well…this won’t happen all at once. It’s a habit and so it begins with smaller steps.

Read on!

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Daytime:

Pause…and prepare to look for a “Trigger Moment” ahead of time. Say your day will include driving in heavy traffic, or maybe dealing with a judgmental coworker, or possibly being confronted with an angry person whose anger actually has nothing to do with you:

These are examples of “Trigger Moments”.

By seeing yourself entering such moments ahead of time mentally, you will be “triggered” to more easily notice them…and this helps you to remember how you wanted to “be the reason” for someone to believe in something like magic, truth etc as Hampton encourages us above.

Visualization ahead of time is an easy way to remind ourselves to be present.

Before you go to sleep:

Pause to review the events of your day where your Trigger Moments occurred.

Review how you “showed up”. Did you behave as planned?

Were there some glitches(!) in the process?

Without judging, note what you felt were successful ventures and which could use a little more time, thought and preparation. What would you change so that when your Trigger Moment happens in the future, you can move in with a different approach?

Journaling…

Keeping a note pad by your bed to jot down key words that motivate you for the next experiences coming your way…(I like using the memo pad in my phone)…

Perhaps sketching a picture…

Creating a mini collage (on a note card) of pictures from a magazine…

Or perhaps recalling (and softly singing!) lyrics to a song that deals with your focus…

Things like these can only help solidify our resolve to notice more, to re-evaluate, to shift and to take action.

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Pause to consider:

How did you “make magic” appear in your day?

For yourself?

For someone else?

How will you do it again…

Tomorrow?

Inner Creates Outer

“As I renew myself, I renew the world.”

Deepak Chopra

This statement was the Centering Thought for Day 21 of a Deepak Chopra meditation series called “Energize Your Life”.

Hmmmm…

I see I could take this to the next level.

Fill in the blank:

As I _________ myself, I _________ the world.

Let me try…

Love

Forgive

Show compassion to

Free/release

Take care of

Listen to

Am curious about

How do those feel within me, to sit with those choices?

Conversely, I could have also filled in the first blank with:

Fear

Feel anger about

Judge

Condemn

Separate

Despise

Reject

Ignore

Feel hopeless about

What is the feeling within me, as I sit with those choices?

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How I fill in that first blank will direct what I think.

What I think repeatedly will eventually become what I believe.

What I believe will always direct my actions.

And so in this way, my outward actions are reflections of my inner world.

Inner creates Outer.

Now…

What would your beautiful heart, your miraculous True Self, desire to put in your first blank right now?

How, where and when do you envision putting that into a concrete action today?

In what ways could you imagine the world around you might change, if you did?

Take a few moments throughout the day to Pause…

And watch.

It’s the changes I make within me

That will be reflected in the world beyond.

So…

Exactly what DOES my heart truly want to see out there…

In this very moment?

Where Is Worthy?

“Some people can’t believe in themselves until someone else believes in them first.”

Sean Maguire

Where does this quote lead your heart and mind?

This is what came to me:

1) It is 100% likely that any person I come across today does NOT believe in some part of their own worthiness. They cannot yet see the whole miracle that they are.

2) It is 100% likely that I will have a thought along the same lines about myself. I cannot yet see the whole miracle that I am.

3) In what way today will I share a smile, an expression of gratitude, perhaps even forgiveness…

To another?

To myself?

THIS is where worthiness resides:

In seeking it…

And in expressing it.

4) Am I willing to commit to a daily practice of Looking for Worthiness…

All around me…

All within me…

Until we ALL believe?

Until we all see endless miracles everywhere?

Please know and remember this:

You are worthy of such a practice.

So am I.

Yes.

100% Worthy.

Pause just a moment longer.

Now what do you see…

Everywhere?

I send peace always to each of you…

As you walk today in your outer and inner worlds.

What Is Perfect

“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior. People are simply unique, incomparable.”

Osho

I love this idea because it frees me from my habitual worrying about having to be enough…to have to measure up…to be perfect.

Perfect is a relative term.

Since we each have our own definition of it, how can it ever be a singular reality? It changes depending on what person is designing/creating it. So its only “reality” is that it contains infinite possibilities.

There is no “right” or “wrong” of it…

Perfection is merely another category of opinion.

Yet still we spend inordinate amounts of time pursuing it…and discovering along the way that its definition can shift at a moment’s notice…and this can often become a continuous drain of energy.

Having an idea of perfection before me as I pursue any endeavor is invaluable:

It enables me to create goals, have a vision and be inspired to give my all to whatever I am creating in that moment. This is wonderful.

What isn’t wonderful is the moment I decide to let that image be my end-all “god”, directing how I see myself and others…

How every time I fall short, I become a little less “worthy”…

How I surely must be losing respect, love and acceptance from others…

How hard it is to live up to expectations (real or imagined!)

These reactions happen every time I forget that my “image” is unique to me and that there are still infinite possibilities out there that might be “more perfect”.

Now THERE’s an oxymoron for you!

More perfect?!

Wait ~ That’s the key!

As soon as I realize that there could be a “more perfect” option, my previous one ceases to be perfect. I am then released from the previous idea to explore and create another to lead me forward.

I am not failing…

I’m changing the formula.

I must remember that perfection will ever be elusive…and only awareness will open my eyes to the other more motivating views I may adopt at any moment.

My idea of Perfection will either inspire and fulfill me…or restrict and empty me. The former will create feelings of joy, freedom and peace; the latter will bring tension, anxiety, disappointment and sadness.

As you go along, Pause to see which you are feeling.

Keep going with what fulfills you…

But if you find you are stuck within any debilitating reactions to perfection, Pause to reset and redirect your vision of what is “perfect”.

Perfect is whatever frees you to move forward.

Feelings of discontent are signals that something is misaligned…

Just remember: only you can adjust it.

If I can practice Pausing to notice whether my “perfect idea” is inspiring me…or restricting me…this will be the very moment I free myself to see the “truth” of my vision.

By relinquishing any idea of perfection and the comparisons it constantly requires of me, I am no longer shackled by any person, any idea, any circumstance…

I am completely unencumbered to experience instead the uniqueness of each person, idea or circumstance.

THIS is how I may continually access healing and fulfillment in every moment…

For myself.

And for our world.

So…

What IS Perfect?

The power I own

To pursue

Whatever “perfect”

That frees me…

Right now.

Evasion: A Catalyst For Action

“Caretake this moment.

Immerse yourself in its particulars.

Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed.

Quit evasions.

Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.

You are not some disinterested bystander.

Exert yourself.”

Epictetus

Epictetus uses very strong action words here:

Caretake.

Immerse.

Respond.

Quit.

Stop.

Exert.

His words implore us to go beyond just thinking…

And all together, they reflect the four pillars of Power In Pause:

Repose

Reflect

Reset

Respond

The statement “Quit evasions” brought me to ask where and why certain evasions are in my life…

And Procrastination popped again to the surface…

So I immersed myself there for a few moments…

Again!

This topic has appeared here before but so many of us deal (or don’t deal!) with it so often that I felt moved to bring it up once more.

Procrastination can occur due to fear of failure, being overly focused on perfectionism, discomfort with the unknown, missing skill sets, lack of energy, depression…

There are more reasons (and helpful solutions) that can easily be found online but today I am choosing Fear of Failure, as I feel it is the most prevalent root for many of us that put off doing things.

The belief that we are “not enough” or “less than” may show up at work, at home, in our relationships, at the grocery store…

It follows us around…

And it is debilitating.

So let’s address “less than”.

“Less than WHAT?”

“Less than WHO?”

And just

“WHERE did such views of myself originate?”

If I can take the time to dig down to the root, it is easier to see and then recognize it, especially should it appear again.

Just be aware:

The older it is, the more often it will appear…at least at first. Patience and compassion for yourself is a must…so don’t “evade” those either!

It is sometimes a lengthy path to get to the sources of our “evasions”…but ALWAYS well worth the trip.

The very fact that they exist becomes a gift for each of us…

The moment we become aware of them.

“It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.”

I truly want to be fully “immersed in the particulars”, for this is where true freedom resides!

Today’s motto?

“Evade…but in seeing the evasion, we must then choose to conquer!”

Today’s actions?

See the evasion.

Be grateful for its presence.

Courageously look underneath, keeping compassion close.

And then choose to “respond” with an internal change, however small.

Now watch as the “needless troubles” begin to disappear.

Who Owns What

“Blame is a neat little device that you can use when you don’t want to take responsibility for something in your life. Use it and you’ll avoid all risks and impede your own growth.”

Wayne Dyer

Wow! Dyer packs a big punch with these words, immediately compelling me to take a closer look at that proverbial “log in my own eye” that appears whenever I hear myself thinking about all the “splinters” in the eyes of others…or anywhere else in my world.

You know what I’m talking about:

Those complaining, worrying, over-analyzing, finger-pointing, looking-anywhere-but-at-myself attitudes that momentarily help to get us through a tough time but ~ honestly ~ somehow never result in any satisfactory long-term resolutions?

If I Pause long enough to look, I’ll have to admit it’s about my perspective, my beliefs and my choices…and who wants to own up to THAT?! There’s some heavy stuff to deal with in there.

This idea of ownership of self reminds me of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book title Wherever You Go, There You Are. And with that pointed idea firmly in mind, I finally must face the fact that the only way things will change for me is to do the necessary work inside…for ironically, any cleanup I do there will ultimately be reflected outwardly.

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So…here below is what came to me, thanks to you, Dr. Dyer and I thank you deeply for your inspiration!

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What would happen today if I empowered myself by assuming responsibility for whatever shows up?

Yes.

I mean…

Everything.

What if, for one day, I practice noticing and monitoring my every “blame” thought, my every “judging” reaction, my every “victim” perspective, or even my “anxious desires to fix someone else” and instead stepped back to fully own each one of my own responses to these situations?

To do this, it would be essential that I agree to practice seeing every event, every person, my thoughts, my actions, the thoughts and actions of others…everything …as a continuously flowing stream of opportunities REMINDING ME to choose my OWN response.

To remind me NOT to allow any outside force to control me…

Saying inside,

“This person/event/emotion is a chance for me to step back, observe and decide how I want to truly present myself.”

I would agree instead to retain my own power.

I would say each time:

“I am more curious, and not as much fearful, of what I will find.”

“I stand on my own.”

“I am in charge of ME.”

“Nothing else can take control unless I decide.”

Ultimately asking within,

“What miraculous part of myself do I want to show up here, in this moment…? What fundamental true part of me do I choose to release in this moment?”

Because…

It’s not about what others will see…or do…or think.

It’s about whom YOU want to live with.

We can move, change jobs, decide to get a degree, do more volunteer work…but things like these are external and may be covers for avoiding what we don’t want to look at. Other coverups are our “escapes” through being overly busy, using substances to numb ourselves or perhaps spending an inordinate amount of time trying to solve other people’s issues.

These all fill my time so I can ignore…

Me.

The results are ultimately superficial and temporary.

We will always come up feeling something is still missing…

Because we’re looking in the wrong places for the answers.

Outside ain’t where it’s at.

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Lasting change will only occur if we acknowledge where our own inner weaknesses are and work toward honestly owning up to them (and by the way, that’s a BIG part of the battle won right there!) and then working little by little to recreate them…using them to expose the genuine miracle that is within each one of us.

I live always with ME.

You live always with YOU.

She lives with HERSELF and they with THEMSELVES.

We try to run away from ourselves in so many ways but…

“Wherever I go, there I am”, right?

Why not Pause to learn to be with, accept and love who and where we are? This call is always there, waiting for us.

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Each time I am able to make this conscious decision to be true to myself, eschewing the influences of all else in my outside world, I am not only able to observe the world as it is, without my “labels”;

I am actually extending freedom to myself regarding these circumstances. And whenever I do this, I am actually extending Love to myself. If I always choose first to access this Love within, I am then further empowered ~ and indeed, inspired ~ to share externally this Love I have, wherever I find myself…

And that is how the shifts finally begin to show up in my world.

By effecting change within myself, I am shifting my influence on my circumstances, the others around me…and therefore adjustments will begin to happen outwardly as a result.

Change myself first…

Then wait and watch how things begin to change around me.

So how I would I know I successfully did so?

First, I would feel the immediate presence of Peace that always accompanies such loving thoughts or actions.

Second, I would feel the freedom that comes hand in hand with that Peace.

And third, there will be a release of tension ~ physical, mental or emotional or relational: however small, it will always be there…and we can become very attuned to this the more we spend time being honest, and present, with ourselves.

While I must practice owning the the realization that I will never be fully in control of most of what happens all around me, I can ALWAYS OWN MYSELF.

Nothing is in charge of me…

Except ME.

I never EVER am required to give that power away.

And that is where my stability lies.

What DO I truly own?

Me.

And THAT, my friends, is more than enough.

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Pause at least three times today to see how this “I choose full responsibility in this moment” mindset shifts your view, your thoughts and your responses to whatever comes your way.

Observe any internal results: any movement/shift in beliefs, emotions, perspective and in your physical body.

Ask “What is happening right now?”

Next, notice any external/environmental reactions that may be reflecting back to you. This would include how others are reacting:

Is there a difference from previous experience? In what ways?

Simply observe…

No judgement is necessary.

Just stillness.

Our only “job” is to watch…to be present, as we objectively “record” what is happening within us and outside us.

We often have so very little idea of how powerful we each truly are…

And therefore we cannot yet possibly conceive of the miracles we can perform when we OWN ~ and thus DIRECT ~ how we choose to exist in, and respond to, this world.

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A Poem From Me To You

“With This Breath”

With this breath…

I now take this single moment to be still.

With this breath…

I am only watching.

With this breath…

I release blame…for the past that I cling to…for the present that I see.

With this breath…

I release anxiety for the future.

With this breath…

Should judgment appear, I release it as well.

With this breath…

I DO own myself in this moment.

With this breath…

I WILL myself to choose my next step.

With this breath…

I find peace and freedom…

For here my true self shines.”

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As we say these words and step forward to live them, we will watch with wonder the miracle of how each of us ~ and consequently our world ~ will grow and change before us.

I thank each of you for Pausing here with me today…

You have just spent a few minutes “owning yourself”.

And in so doing, you have actually chosen and experienced Love for yourself.

How does that feel?

And…

Where will you take it now?