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!
That question, “Are you listening to your own drummer?” is a formidable one. If asked sincerely by your mind, what would you answer?
Life comes at us helter-skelter, haphazardly, causing confusion in its wake. From the moment one wakes up until one falls into bed at night totally exhausted, incoming information about a plethora of things bombard the mind and emotions. Even if we succumb to sleep, it is not a peaceful one, even if one takes a pill to get a little shut eye. How does one quiet this cacophony? Does one just simply react to each thing? It becomes a conundrum of spirit, to say the least.
Life is not simple. It can get very complicated in a heartbeat. So much can control one’s very being because it commands the time, thoughts, and everything one turns a hand to do. How does one survive this onslaught?
Simplicity is forgotten amongst the rubble of it all.
Einstein’s definition of insanity is apt: If one keeps doing the same things the same way but expecting different results, it is truly insanity.
So, if you ask yourself honestly, “How do I get off this crazy merry-go-round?” the answer actually is a simple one.
Stop and breathe deeply. Inhale with the diaphragm and then pull the abdomen in and push the air out. (The first thing to go when enduring stress is the breathing. We become chest breathers instead.) Perhaps get yourself a cup of tea or something warm. Sit down. Stop the scurry for just a few minutes. Then you can truly ask yourself:
“Am I listening to my own drummer, or am I just overwhelmed by the cacophony of it all?”
Perhaps you could put on some quiet music and think of a happier moment in your life. Transport yourself to that moment by closing your eyes, remembering the scene, colors, scents, and sounds.
You will find that five minutes of breathing deeply and thinking of something else, much happier, will be magic to your soul.
Life will, indeed, go on. But if you can but stop like this, you will find a tonic for your soul that no pill can compare to it.
Your own music is sweeter by far than anything else could possible be. Are you willing to stop and listen?
God bless your journeys.
What do you most treasure in your life?
Time flows like sand in an hourglass – it is in our attention zone for such a short time, like a second, and then passes beyond our reach where we cannot change anything that just happened. Yes, we can make changes in future seconds in what is about to happen or is pending.
So, I ask you, where is your focus? What are you thinking about or spending time doing? What do you cherish?
If you answered these questions, then you must ask yourself the next question: How am I spending my time, which is so very precious because once that moment is gone, it cannot be changed? Every day counts. Every choice matters.
Are you working so that you might have more stuff, be it a Gucci bag, a Rolex watch, a new home, or a vacation? Or are you working because you are a solid citizen who pays your bills, but in many instances the incoming moneys are not enough to satisfy the outgoing layout? At what point do you draw the line? In this economy, many people are just surviving, working more than one job, and yet do not have enough to pay for necessities, let alone luxuries like steak. Homelessness of individuals and families is growing in this country because the pay for the available jobs is not enough to rent an apartment, let alone own a place to live. Many are eating the foods they can afford, which are the type that not only add weight but also contribute to extremely poor health.
In short, life happens. Dreams can die if you let them. Possibilities are never realized because every day we jump into the hamster cage, going round and round, with nothing changing.
Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
Time moves faster as one ages. Days fly by, months evaporate, and years come and go. You can look at the past and wonder where it all went and why. Many times it ends up in castigating oneself because of the negative perceptions/expectations unmet/sad remembrances.
So I ask you, where is your focus? Where do you want to put your energies/time/dollars/goals? Your answer is the essence of the choices you make every single day. So I ask again, What do you most treasure in your life? Are you keeping that in mind when you make your choices? Every act of every minute of the day becomes history, with its impact felt like the ripples that form on the lake when a rock is thrown in.
Time is very, very real. How you spend it – every second of it – really does matter, for one day the sands do run out. There is no turning of the hourglass for you. Do your choices reflect what you want to achieve? If not, a change is required. Are you willing?
God’s blessings on your journey.
How often do you perform Upside Down Thinking? Some call it Inverted Thinking. In real life, people call it, “Having a Bad Day!”
If you were to look at each day from a spectator’s perspective, analyzing how much time you spend fussing, fuming, angry, afraid, wondering if something bad is coming your way, etc., ad infinitum ad nauseum, you might get a big surprise. All of the spectrum of negative emotions are included in Upside Down Thinking/Inverted Thinking. You spend so much time emotionalizing over the bad stuff, that the days just pass you by. Your life passes you by in the same way. Nothing changes…or it seems to get worse.
Which, in fact, it does…because the more you use your brain/mind/emotions, pondering all the horrible stuff in your life and in the world, that is what you are adding the multiplication factor to…each thought, each emotion, each agony. How long can you do this? Answer: Forever. Then you wonder why everything seems to be falling apart, getting worse, etc.
How can you stop yourself from participating in Upside Down Thinking?
Like the old song says, “Accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with Mister in between!”
It is both harder and simpler than it seems. It is harder because we form habits based on our thought patterns and dwell upon everything that is not working in lieu of trying to figure out what needs changing. It is simpler because you can take conscious control of your mouth, your mind, and speak: “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be an virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8
Why? Because what you think about, you bring about!
In this example, you can add the idea of emotionalizing over the bad stuff, which does not change a thing. Your soul is not refreshed by any of it.
In short, “Let it go!” If you feel like you are being drowned in the pool of negativity, cut off the anchor you tied to your own foot. The second you cut that rope, you will begin to rise into newness of life.
You can feel the light energy filling your heart and mind. Light dispels darkness, always! No exceptions!
The only question is: Are you so tired of what is not working in your life that you would be willing to try something different? The choice is yours.
My husband loves a saying by Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!” Is this you? Answer: You cannot keep doing what does not work. Are you willing to turn your mind around so you are doing Right Side Up Thinking? (Also called Vertical Thinking.) Turn from Pessimism to Optimism! You have the Power, so use it!
God’s blessings on your journey!