When one opens his/her eyes, the Dance of Life begins. Perhaps you have not even swung your feet out to the floor yet, but thoughts and emotions begin to pummel your consciousness…things to do, priorities, fears, worries, etc. Usually, it is the negative stuff that creates stress that come immediately to mind.
Wouldn’t it be great if your first thought upon waking is: “Thank God I am alive!” Breathe deeply, and feel your mouth smile. Joy fills your being. You are looking forward to another day of living your life, moving to the inner music created by a soul at peace.
If you had to guess, which scenario would come to the mind of most people? My guess is that the first one reigns supreme, with few even believing that the second one is a real possibility and not just an impossible dream.
At the root of the problem is the idea that your reality is subject to many outside influences and situations, most of which are intending to cause you stress and predicaments beyond your ability to cope with them. Your Dance of Life would sound like a cacophony of irritable noises to which you would move like a puppet on a stage, with strings beyond your control. Your breath moves up to your upper chest, denying the lung’s capability to provide oxygen fully to your body. Does that sound hopeless? It does to me.
Who would think that the busy thoughts in your mind could be controlled, with a choice of what and how to dwell on each situation the day would bring? Being able to use your body awareness to soften the abdomen when breathing in, and tightening it to push the air out so you get the benefits of oxygen to all parts of your being is not a silly idea pushed by some guru on television. It is actually the saving grace, becoming the beginning of the Dance of Life that is possible for each and every one.
We have all heard the famous saying, “Life is 10% of what happens and 90% of how you react to it.” In life, attitude is everything; it is what shapes our beliefs and our desires. I would add that it determines how your Dance of Life will unfold.
Yes, there are so many outer occurrences in our life that seem to predetermine our reactions, thoughts, and emotions. But what if you could change that? During this time of fear-filled existence, a sense of loss of so many things that we once considered our divine heritage, and exterior dictates of our daily routine, how could it be possible to be serene and at peace with yourself and others?
If you want a dose of insanity, turn on the television to listen to the daily news. That will begin your morning with negativity enough to last all day and well into the night. Every thought and emotion, every occurrence, etc., will solidify the notion that this world is truly chaotic, with no hope of anything else.
Or: you could get a cup of tea or coffee, sit quietly for a few minutes, and possibly read something uplifting to your heart and mind, concentrating on what is right in the world instead of all that which is wrong. Breathe deeply, do some yoga or Tai Chi as you move into your world with a sense of lightness and joy versus darkness, sadness, and anxiety for yourself and the world at large.
We all know someone who is in dire straits right now, perhaps jobless, hungry, and depressed. Where does one draw the line with compassion for all those others who are hurting deeply in so many ways right now? Praying is a good key, of course. Each person must answer that one personally. But it is possible to remain in a peaceful center while partaking of such activity as you deem necessary…if you begin when you first open your eyes in the morning and before your feet touch the floor.
One thought that has recently come to me is: In the Dance of Life, the part we play (big or small) is just a tiny portion of the lessons others came to this planet at this time in history in order to learn.
It is the idea of a grandfather teaching his grandchild about a butterfly which is struggling to get out of its cocoon. The child wants to aid it by helping to remove the cocoon. The grandfather stops her, saying, “If you do that, you are condemning it to a flightless existence. Only by its struggle to get out of its cocoon will the life force fill its wings so it can fly and be the beautiful thing it was meant to be.”
If you could magically remove the struggles you see every day, would you? Could you? Should you? We all help where we can, yes. But where is your stopping point?
At any rate, your Dance of Life is under your care, custody and control. What kind of music do you want to hear as you move through your day? It is, after all, within your power of choice to determine this, each and every day.
God bless you on your journey!
In the movie”Shogun,” an actor (Yabu) says, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!”
From an observer perspective, that is a very true statement.
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy”
The popularity of fast food outlets speaks to how fast we are moving. As one eats on the run, gobbling up whatever food that has been chosen, did you savor the taste of it? Did you enjoy the scent of the apple before you bit into it? Have you heard a song so soothing that it stopped you in your tracks to listen to it? Or perhaps it had a beat that made you want to dance?
If you are healthy, did you thank God for how well your body is working? If you are not, did you know in your heart that you would soon experience being full of vitality again. Perhaps you are recovering from surgery or a health issue. Do you ever stop to smell a flower or listen to a child’s laugh? What is your focus? So many times, ill health makes one’s mind turn in. The only discussion possible is how badly things are going with you.
Life goes on all around us. Yet in our urge to hurry, the point of haste is forgotten. The difference is addressed in The Majesty of Calmness by William George Jordan, written in 1898. “Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries. Every phase of her working shows plan, calmness, reliability, and the absence of hurry. Hurry always implies lack of definite method, confusion, impatience of slow growth. The Tower of Babel, the world’s first skyscraper, was a failure because of hurry. The workers mistook their arrogant ambition for inspiration. They had too many builders, – and no architect. They thought to make up the lack of a head by a superfluity of hands. This is characteristic of Hurry. It seeks ever to make energy a substitute for a clearly defined plan, – the result is ever as hopeless as trying to transform a hobbyhorse into a real steed by brisk riding. Hurry is a counterfeit of haste. Haste has an ideal, a distinct aim to be realized by the quickest, direct methods. Haste has a single compass upon which it relies for direction and in harmony with which its course is determined. Hurry says: ‘I must move faster. I will get three compasses; I will have them different; I will be guided by all of them. One of them will probably be right.’ Hurry never realizes that slow careful foundation work is the quickest in the end. Hurry has ruined more Americans than has any other word in the vocabulary of life. It is the scourge of America; and is both a cause and a result of our high-pressure civilization.”
I have asked myself what the author would make out of our world today, 120 years later? So the idea of “slow down, you move too fast” has greater meaning to us now than it ever has! Hurry has expanded to almost everywhere on the globe as well. Very few places are exempt from it.
You see cell phones and every other electronic technology in action everywhere. The use of these has increased our efficiency and saved us so much time. But how is that saved time being spent? Are you moving slower or faster?
If, indeed, “Life is just the single beat of a butterfly’s wings!” – perhaps one can choose to slow down just a bit, use Haste instead of Hurry, and use your five senses to experience and savor the flavor of your life. It is your choice. What will it be?
God’s blessings upon your journey!
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: awareness, blessings, butterfly, choices, fast food, five senses, flower, focus, God, haste, healthy, Hibiscus, hurry, illness, journey, life, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, Savor the flavor of Life, surgeries, thoughts, To Do Lists, Truth, understanding, willing, wisdom
This analogy of choosing between being a caterpillar, cocoon, or butterfly is, in fact, not a nebulous thing — it is a choice we get to make every day of our lives.
How can this be? You may ask that question honestly.
The answer is actually quite simple:
The caterpillar is interested in just crawling along, eating, and doing its thing. How many times have you looked at your life and felt that way? Too much to do and not enough time to do it, as a rule. Each one of us faces the struggles presented by daily life. The boss just reset your deadline, necessitating the need for you to work overtime or at home in order to get it done. Forget attending the daughter’s play tonight, or taking your son to soccer practice. A job is a job in today’s marketplace, no matter whether you like it or not. You sing these same old songs to yourself, day after day, night after night. Whatever vicissitudes happen in a day seem to keep recurring. It changes very little. Can you see the caterpillar now?
The cocoon represents a big change is coming, whether you want it or not, like it or not. Perhaps a relationship is ending. Perhaps a sudden accident has taken a dear one from you, or perhaps you have endured one, causing a physical disability which will take time, effort, and rehabilitation to achieve a modicum of what once was taken for granted. We usually react in anger, taking even more precious energy and wasting it. The cocoon is a time for reflection about what needs to change, contemplating ways to achieve it, and gathering resources to carry you forward into what comes next.
The butterfly is a true metamorphosis. It is becoming who we are meant to be. It is a time of freedom, joy, and looking forward with zest.
We can look back on the past, take from it those lessons which will help us to blossom, and let the rest go.
That is not an easy lesson. If you take a pencil and place it in your palm, gripping it tightly. Ask someone to remove it as you tenaciously cling to it. The likely response is that you get to keep that pencil. You then open your palm, revealing the pencil, and the other person picks it up easily. Letting go is just that easy and that hard, depending on your point of view.
It is up to each one of us to choose to remain a caterpillar, enter the cocoon of change, and emerge as the butterfly into new expressions of life. We might be each one of these stages in different areas of our life. It is up to you to contemplate them, seeking a new way to live your life in lieu of crawling along in the same old way, day after day.
What will your choice be?
God’s blessing upon your journey!
From Cocoons into Butterflies
Butterflies, each one unique!
You have probably heard this phrase for many years: Are you going to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?
It has been used to explain the difference between someone who wants book knowledge so they can seem erudite and able to TALK the TALK, but when it comes to actually living what they have learned, they do not want to WALK the WALK, or make it personal by applying it to their own lives. One example would be someone who can talk about food, but is unable to fry an egg or make a meal. Until you pick up a cookbook or a recipe, nothing works — it is as meaningless as having a menu on a raft in the ocean, but no food at all. How about one who uses all the right personal growth words, yet still lives as though none of it applies to that person? We hear the words, yet the music that should accompany them never happens. It is obvious that two different things are happening here: WORDS vs. ACTIONS.
I once had an advanced math teacher who was the professor of his division. He could talk the principles and be very exacting in his English, but he could not convey the essence of what he was teaching to most of his students. I ended up in the Math Lab to find the teacher who could help me understand the principles of the problems. It was useless to me unless I could apply the knowledge I was attempting to acquire.
Have you ever been talking with someone, and they are speaking words that are English, yet they do not communicate at all in such a way that you can understand it? You can hear the words, but they do not make any sense to you. It might as well be a foreign language for all the good it does.
These are just a few ways of how we can get caught up in the sound of our own voice, yet never check to see if we are actually being heard and understood by our audience. (Forget Active Listening Principles as they are fast becoming a lost art.)
Personally, I have met people who can talk Religion in many forms, Protestants of many kinds, Catholics, metaphysics, New Thought, etc. They love the sounds of their own voices so much that they never consider whether or not they are actually communicating. They are reiterating some creed or dogma as though it was the only way to Heaven. Never mind that many others differ on just exactly how that will happen. Never mind that each person has their own definitions and points of reference. Just keep hitting your audience over the head with your words, hoping some of it will sink in so they can come to your point of view (whether or not it is good for them). TALK, TALK, TALK!
I have attended many workshops, sought after many teachers of varied personal growth subjects, done symposiums, heard lots of lectures from people of note, and spent a small fortune in doing so. I say to you that it is all for naught unless one actually USES whatever it is he/she hears with the best of one’s understanding — put the words into your heart and mind. Act from that new wisdom that is created when the head and the heart meet. The product of that meeting will influence you the rest of your days. WALK the WALK!
If you hear a great sermon on Sunday coming from the pulpit, think about it long after the church doors close. Do not just go on your merry way and do as you please. Make a list of the ways that you can apply those good words to your life, and then do it. WALK the WALK!
Ernest Holmes, the Founder of Science of Mind, stated that you can only fly as high as your roots grow into the ground. In other words, your mind can fly up to the ether, but your feet have to stay on the earth. You cannot over-reach in your zest and enthusiasm but must stay grounded in utilizing what you have learned in your every-day life. You have to realize where you are, and take the steps to grow into whatever else you are attempting to achieve. If you are a Caterpillar, you will have to go through the Cocoon stage before you can become that beautiful Butterfly! Take each step, one at a time, in the direction you need to go. WALK the WALK!
You are the captain of your ship, whether you want to be or not. You sail your ship as no one else can. If you TALK the TALK but do not WALK the WALK, you are rudderless in your journey. Is that something you want to do? Doubt it. You never get anywhere when you do that. That is usually accompanied by feelings of being out of control of your life and hopelessness, wondering if anything will ever get better. ANSWER: Nope, not till you change your attitude.
Read your books, go to the workshops, take the lessons, and listen to wisdom in any form. Just know that you are the only one who can make a difference in your life, and no one can do it for you. You cannot send your valet to the gym and gain muscle strength thereby. You have to do it yourself. It is no different in learning new ways to interact with your world, respond to others, and live a more fulfilling life. That is why you get on your computer, looking for good words, or read books, etc.
PERSONALIZE whatever it is you are seeking by looking for ways to use it in your day-to-day living. You can TALK a good game, but can you WALK it?
Life comes to us every day in many forms, some good and some not-so-good. How you react to what is happening will determine how you live your life and how it will unfold before you.
If you are a SEEKER, be a FINDER as well. When you find something that rings your chimes, USE IT to the best of your ability and understanding. It will change your choices, which will change your life permanently for the better.
The ball is in your court: Do you want to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?
Posted in Uplifting Thoughts
Tags: attitude, book knowledge, butterfly, Ceterpillar, change, choices, cocoon, erudite, essence, finder, life, living, metaphysics, New Age, New thought, personal growth, religion, seeker, talk, TALK the TALK, thoughts, understanding, understood, uses, walk, WALK the WALK, wisdom, words
Metamorphosis is defined as, “Change of form, shape, structure, or substance; transformation; a marked or complete change of character, appearance, condition, etc.”
This happens during Autumn of every year. I revel in the sight of leaves drifting down from the trees and the changing of their colors.
It reminds me that I need to examine my own life to see what is not serving me very well so I can let it go. Amazingly, there is always something to find. Life does it to us, serving up a cup of sad memories, should have’s, shouldn’t have’s, wish I had, wish I hadn’t…you name it. That includes lack of forgiveness for myself and others. We hang onto the memories, both good and bad.By hanging onto the memories, we also hang onto the emotions. In most cases, that gives us more grief than the original occurrence of whatever happened. As usual, it is the bad stuff we hang onto the tightest. We wonder: Why am I so bummed out? Depressed? Sad? Angry?
Like a caterpillar that spins its cocoon so it can morph into a butterfly, we need to examine our attitudes, emotions, thoughts, etc. We cannot become who were meant to be as long as we continue to hang onto whatever is holding us back.
I tell myself that this is a time to accept changes and let go, peacefully and without frustration or gnashing of teeth. It is like putting a leaf into a stream and watch it float away with the current, releasing it.
Life is a journey, not a destination. I would rather enjoy the journey, wouldn’t you?
It is very difficult to enjoy something when you carry so much baggage with you, isn’t it?