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The Dance of Life

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!

Balancing Your Life

After watching the Olympics for several days, it has occurred to me how important BALANCE is to each and everything I watched. If one is just an inch off-balance, one way or another, that person will go down – no matter how good they are, how much they have practiced, or the long hours and many dollars they have spent to get to the Olympics. A speed skater, a boarder, ice skating, skiing, etc. – all require the magic of Balance in order to reach the podium.

I have a mobile in my room. I was watching it for some time. It has seagulls with wires connecting it together. The slightest whiff of moving air will cause it to circle. I noticed that, out of all the seagulls on the mobile, one small section was not moving properly. After studying it for a few minutes, I could see that one seagull had the tip of its wing over that of another. So I reached up and tweaked it a little. The mobile immediately swung back into perfect balance and moved like it should.

The thought occurred to me: How nice it would be if we all lived our lives while paying attention to Balance: Work, play eat, sleep, etc. How we spend each golden hour of our lives each and every day plays a part, just like the wing tip.

We all know what we have to do each and every day. We have to work at whatever we do to earn the money to meet our commitments and take care of our loved ones. But if we are not very careful, we can easily get out of Balance in our lives.

Perhaps you are thirsty so you reach for a can of cold pop instead of water. You are in a big hurry and are hungry. You look on your phone for a listing of fast food outlets nearby in lieu of a health foods store with ready-to-eat items. A child wants you to read him/her a story after a long, exhausting workday, so that moment passes by as you collapse into a chair. Your body is tired and aching from sitting or standing at work all day or night, so you pop a pain pill and settle down to watch some television before bed or sit at a computer, playing games to relax your mind. No thought of yoga stretches or deep breathing enter your mind.

Perhaps you are far too busy and with too many commitments to take that five minutes  for yourself or look for a yoga/Pilates/exercise class that would improve your health. You are shopping for groceries and grab the quickest and easiest meals instead of shopping carefully for items that are healthy for you or your family.

As I said, if just an inch off-balance in Olympic sports, it won’t work – the medal goes to someone else. However, if your life is Out of Balance, you do not feel well. You take a pill for your symptoms and keep going. You miss that beautiful sunset or perfect flower without noticing. Your mind is so busy on more important matters, like making a living, picking up the children on time, wondering where you are going to get the extra money needed to repair the car, how you can clean the house before guests arrive, and a million other things that bombard you from every angle. You are driven by outside forces that consume your time before you crawl into bed for a fitful night’s sleep because you are so over-stressed.

Your life is shortened by the stress caused because of your attention to the extraneous matters/forces. You do not take that five minutes of calmness before you start your day, breathing deeply and thinking/reading beautiful thoughts. When you get the chance to stop for a moment, you check your phone for messages or play a game instead of looking around you, pausing to see that item of Beauty just waiting for your attention. Your mind is crowded indeed. But if you choose to slow down just a bit, you would hear the laugh of a child as you read a story or see the smile return to a checker’s face who has just gotten a rude customer and needs your smile and “Good day!” to refocus his/her attention.

My point? Balance is not a dream – it is a choice. Every moment of your life contains one. You can make a difference to yourself and others. At risk is your health, the livingness you do or do not feel, and to the joy you could spread to others. The thought you put into every act/choice will change your reality.

You just have to ask yourself some questions: What is really important to you? How could you respond differently if you were not harried, tired, and grumpy? What would help change that? What class could you take such as Anger or Stress Management, Yoga, exercise, or something else? Could you stop what you are doing as you sit for hours at a time in order to move about for five minutes, as recommended? Could you take a deep breath and stretch a bit? Could you focus on something else  instead of whatever is making you crazy?

Life is so fleeting. It is our choices each day that will help the time to pass quickly and easily or drag by as we do a job that is eating us alive. There are always alternatives. You just have to look for them. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seagull Mobile

Hibiscus and Geranium

Dillon Reservoir Sunset

Hardy Hibiscus

Front Range Sunset

Zucchini Flower & Honey Bee

 

Renew Your Mind

Romans 12:2 states: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
What does that really mean? The dictionary defines RENEW as “to give new spiritual strength to, revive, to begin again, to refill with a fresh supply.”
Could we then decide to treat every single day as though it was a new beginning? Of course!
How much of yesterday’s (yester- year’s) baggage are you toting around? Perhaps you feel as though someone wronged you so you are JUSTIFIED in carrying a grudge? Perhaps someone did something you class in the “Unforgivable” Category? My own brother did something over 20 years ago to our mother that put him in that category for me for the rest of his life. He died this year. On his deathbed, I kissed his forehead and forgave him. I told him that he was doing the best he could, no matter whether I agreed with it or not. I asked myself if it really mattered after all. What point was there in carrying the grudge anymore? I blessed him on his way. Why did I wait so long? That is a good question. I never spoke a word to him directly from the date the Unforgivable happened till he died. Since then, it has been brought home to me what a burden I carried which I was not consciously aware of…because the minute I truly forgave him, I felt lighter.
So I ask you, what do you need to do to create a new beginning for yourself? Is it something inside of you, in your surroundings, in your companions, or in your life itself?
It is not a difficult thing, nor is it complicated. You just have to be WILLING. That is the first step. You will be guided from there.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet born on 8-28-1749, said, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it.”
What do you need to RENEW? Raise your awareness. It is the beginning so you can control your thoughts and emotions. Are you brave enough to try? What are you willing to release so you may be free?

Expand Your Comfort Zones

Stick your Necks Out!

Stick your Necks Out!

We all get caught up in our daily routines. It is familiar and most comfortable, like a pair of good slippers.

I would like to suggest that daily routines and comfort zones can also become a fence or a wall. Perhaps we might long for an adventure, but we never begin to plan one.

When was the last time you checked the cost of airfare to Hawaii? What deals are out there? Or perhaps it is to take a cruise or a trip to Disney World or Universal Studios. So many plan to do these as a dream, but it is always somewhere in the distant future…and certainly not now. Rationale then kicks in with: “That is too expensive. I don’t have the money.” You talk yourself out of it before you ever begin.

Do you work so hard at your life that there is no room for possibilities? Every day, year in and year out, is full to the brim with all of your lists of things to be done and must do.

It is said that the way to begin saving is to pay yourself first, even if it is only $5 – put it in a special account so that you can stop feeling like you do not have enough money to do anything.After enough time and consistent saving of even small amounts, you might be surprised at how much it could amount to. Dreams become possible one payday at a time.

Do you have a place in your wallet or purse for a “Hold Card“…be it $5, $10, or whatever? The thought behind abundance is this: You  look at something you would like to have, but you automatically think that you do not have the money for it, no matter how small a thing it is. (Like a nice Starbucks for a change of pace.) Yet, if you have a hold card, you could  decide to use it for that object. Or not. (How bad do I want that Starbucks? Do I want to use my Hold Card? I know I can replace my Hold Card on Payday.) But it then becomes a choice instead of an automatic reaction. You are breaking the chain that has held you in place for so long.

My point is that we get so set into our comfort zones that we never “stick our necks out!” Like the turtles above, we can look at our routines and decide if they are a fence or a wall. Analyzing our daily lives can bring to light other possibilities that we have not examined before.

Are you willing to “stick your neck out?”

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