A Personal Declaration of Independence – Revisited

•July 4, 2017 • 2 Comments

Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.

Rumi

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Four years ago, just before Independence day, I spent some time looking at our country’s Declaration of Independence. I was amazed by the power of the Declaration. I believe each of us would be served by exploring, declaring and honoring our fundamental Truth, that in having clarity and commitment to our own integrity, all are served.

I share mine here, (as I did in a post in June, 2013), tracking the language of the founders of our nation.

The Declaration of My Independence:

When in the course of a person’s life, it becomes necessary for a person to dissolve all bands or cords which have connected him or her with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle him or her, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that each person should declare the causes which impel him or her to the separation.

I hold this truth to be self-evident: that all people are created equal, that each person is endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and Happiness. That to secure these rights, each person is personally empowered. That whenever a person experiences anything contrary or limiting to their own unique expression of Life Itself, it is that person’s right – and duty – to institute a new foundation, so as to effect that person’s Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate and experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of unfulfilling experiences shall ensue, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such ways and beliefs and manner of living and to provide otherwise for their future security and happiness.  To the extent that this has been my experience, and such is now the necessity which constrains me to alter my former way of being.  My history with my thus-far inner authority has not yielded the full expression that I believe is not only possible, but my birthright, as it is the birthright of every living being. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world:

I am not my past, my history, my culture. I am not my mother, or her expectations of me. I am not my father, or his expectations of me. I am not the person that my family once regarded me as or believed me to be. I am not limited by any person’s beliefs about, or expectations of, me. I have the right to choose.

I honor my ancestors and accept the gifts they offer but am not defined or limited by who they were (or were not), what they believed or what they saw possible for themselves.

I honor the God I grew up believing in and the traditions in which I participated and accept the gifts they offer but do not limit myself, my beliefs or my experience by what I was told was true. I open to the experience of the Divine and allow Life Itself to inform me.

I honor all individuals with whom I meet and interact. I maintain curiosity and respect for others and, in each interaction I choose to honor myself as I honor other, never betraying myself to put another’s needs as greater in importance to my own. From this place of honoring all, I serve – wholeheartedly.

I choose to participate fully in life. I choose to live sensually – allowing all of my senses to inform me. I choose – to the best of my ability – to live in the moment.

I grant myself the gift of compassion, for myself and for others.

It is with great conviction that I make these choices, this Declaration of Independence, for myself and for others, as and when I am able to support others in their own pursuit of independence.

I declare these truths especially for my children. I choose to see them as whole, independent and free.

I, therefore, appealing to God and Life Itself for the rectitude of my intentions do, in my Name and by my authority, solemnly publish and declare, that I am, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent. That I am Absolved from all Allegiance to any limiting thought, belief, relationship or experience and that all connection to such limitations are totally dissolved; and that as a Free and independent person, I have full Power to live in Peace, create healthy and loving relationships, and to do all other Acts and Things which each and every Individual may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, I pledge my Life, my Sacred Honor.

Time to Let Go?

•April 28, 2017 • 1 Comment

Ed was right. Of course he was right, he was always right, but sometimes doing the wrong thing was also right.

                                                                        ~Liane Moriarty, in Big Little Lies

 

I didn’t want to cry. But tears flowed in spite of myself.

I’ve recently decided not only to listen to my intuition, but also to act on those intuitive hits. Up until now, I’ve often been stubbornly resistant to change.  These recent changes have included losses, letting things go – so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by the tears. What does feel surprising though is that I’m feeling both deep sadness and the hints of a rumbling optimism rising up from deep within. It’s possible – it’s actually honest and true – to feel both deep sadness and light-hearted hope at the same time. I notice, too, that my mind tries to force me to pick one, with a strong preference for sadness, and even self-pity. I choose, instead, to stand in the center of the extremes. Hopefulness and sadness, creating a new sense of aliveness.

While a known routine can be comforting, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for change. There has to be open space, time and energy for something new and different to emerge. It’s important to stop, now and then, and confirm whether the task in front of us is still relevant to what is important and true. Just because something – a routine, a habit, or even a job or relationship – has been working doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit from some tweaking. Some of our habits and routines last for decades, without ever being questioned. It’s important to sometimes ask why. Why am I doing this? Why is this task important? Does this task align with my Truth and my priorities? What are my priorities anyway? I know I go through times in my life when I’m going from one thing on my schedule to the next, without really slowing down or asking why. Holding on to things without realizing that they’ve lost all meaning and purpose.

Sometimes when we are quiet and still, we may feel a prompting, a nudge, to make some changes. Or let something go. Or move in a different direction. Or try something we’ve never tried before. Sometimes change can even feel wrong (especially for us rule followers who are always trying to do the “right” thing . . .). It’s so unfamiliar. The new is as-yet unknown. It’s risky. What if. . . .?

Yes, what if.

 

 

 

 

Procrastination

•March 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.
~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Procrastination seems like a good place to re-start. My last post was about a year and a half ago. As they say, time flies! I love to write, and love to share my thoughts here and, somehow, month after month after month passed without my coming back to this place of contemplation and stringing words together.

Even though it often doesn’t feel like it, every single moment is a choice. Right this minute, I can choose to either go for that run I was planning on going on – or – sit on this couch and break the long-running silence of my blog. Both options have merit. For the past few months, I’ve been choosing ‘option A’ and running or working out, and those precious morning hours have been quickly spent – and the day begins. Time to face all the rest of my responsibilities.

While walking in the woods recently – the best place to ponder, by the way – my friend (you know who you are) and I found ourselves talking about priorities. We noticed that our stated priorities didn’t necessarily match the actual focus of our days and hours. We thought it would be interesting to actually take the time to list our priorities and sort of chart out our day-to-day lives – hours spent at work, grocery shopping, with friends, etc etc. To what degree would the two lists align?

I haven’t actually made any lists yet. (Please see title to this writing. . .)

“Live each day to the fullest.” I want to wake up to the Truth of this statement. I want to bring greater consciousness and awareness to the moment-to-moment choices that I’m constantly making, no longer putting off for tomorrow what is essentially important in this moment. I want those choices to come from a connection with Spirit, a dance in which I allow Spirit to lead, and I follow. Even though I’m not a very good dancer! Even though I often try to lead instead of follow! In this moment, I’ll begin again.

And this one. . . and this one. . .

Sense the Moment

•September 17, 2015 • Leave a Comment

 

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Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.

Antoni Gaudi

 

Earlier this week, I spent most of a day looking for fabric to recover a chair in my family room. I started out thinking I wanted one certain kind of look then traveled through most every possibility of color combinations and possibilities. By late afternoon, I felt completely overwhelmed. After some rest – and sitting in the family room – I realized that I had ventured out for new without really seeing what was already there. I hadn’t noticed the details of the area rug, the beauty of it – and busy-ness of it. I hadn’t noticed that the other chair in the room is also screaming to be recovered; in my mind, it was still the crisp, clean yellow that I saw on the day I bought it. I sit in this room at some point most days and, yet, hadn’t really seen it. And once I started seeing that room, the cushions on the patio furniture just outside started screaming for attention, too! They’re even more tired and worn. Once my eyes were opened, there was so much to take in.

On a certain level, who cares. In the grand scheme of life, how worn my furniture is, or isn’t, does not matter. Truly. However, paying attention to the details, really seeing, taps in to a deep place within and has the power of elevating ‘to-do’s’ to an experience of life as art.

I visited Barcelona recently and was completely taken by the work of Antoni Gaudi, who used the perfection found in nature as the basis for his architectural design. Everything he created was for the glory of God. Among the items on display in the Gaudi museum I visited were slices of pinecones and snake skeletons. Everything Gaudi saw in nature provided a possible pattern to be imitated. What a beautiful way to see the world!

Some days I feel like I just go through the motions, one day not so different from the last. Ennui threatens. I’m lulled by the sameness of it all. The very routine I created seems to have power over me. I feel powerless.

Contrast the ho-hum boredom with a day of truly sensing the moment-to-moment details. Truly smelling the coffee. Actually seeing the colors of the berries in the white bowl and tasting their sweetness. Feeling the softness of the worn-out chair where I relax and contemplate the day ahead. Somehow the moments themselves expand. Powerlessness becomes possibility. A feeling of gratitude wafts into awareness. Meeting the day sensibly.

Collaborating with the creator.

Beauty

•August 11, 2015 • 4 Comments

 

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There’s a bully living in my head.

She’s an early-riser, apparently. Because by the time I even consider opening my eyes to the new day, she’s there, reminding me of all the things I need to do. She wants me to hurry. HURRY UP! YOU SHOULD BE WORKING OUT BY NOW. Her favorite word is “should”. According to her, I should work out every single day – twice a day, in fact. I should only eat vegetables and never drink wine. I should be available 24/7 to anyone who needs me. I should always be sitting at my desk at my office, ready to handle any person’s trouble. My house should be free of dust and cat hair. I should have amazing organic food available at all times. I should drink less coffee, watch less TV, eat less chocolate, lose more weight.

We don’t really get along.

She’s really powerful too. When she’s in control, it seems like she can even effect what I see through my eyes. She – believe it or not – can turn off my beauty perceptors. She only perceives responsibility. Looking out to my backyard where the squirrels are chasing each other up and down the tangled branches of the majestic banyan tree, she points out branches that need trimming and weeds that need pulling. When I let her take over, life is a burden. Unfortunately I don’t always recognize when she’s taken over. It’s not really true that I choose to let her. She’s so sneaky that I usually think I’m her, or she’s me; I can’t tell the difference.

Except that my backyard is really beautiful and I can tell the difference between seeing and not seeing. A week of vacation really reinforced the power of perceiving beauty, of resting in beauty. Beauty inspires and relaxes and rejuvenates. So today, my inner-bully is grating on my nerves. Somehow, instead of lashing out at her (and becoming a bully myself), I focus on the beauty before me. I allow myself to be fascinated by the details, the way the leaves move ever-so-slightly in the nearly imperceptible breeze. Everything looks so still until I become still. Only then can I see that there is movement and life everywhere. An orange butterfly alights off a leaf and flutters by. A cardinal swoops in and perches, briefly, on the fence than flies off as well. There’s so much aliveness! I realize that my breath has slowed and deepened.

Nothing else matters.

I’ve been living backwards or upside-down, making the unimportant important, ignoring the essential. Yes, I have things to do. There will always be lots and lots of things to do. My inner-bully, lulled into quiet herself by the beauty before her, will eventually come back to her senses, or her nonsense – depending on how you look at it. But maybe I can do my to-dos differently, more deeply or more sweetly. Maybe I can carry beauty with me. In the words of e.e. cummings:

 

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

 

Maybe I can carry beauty’s heart in my heart.

Resolution

•December 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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It’s almost that time.

A new year. A new beginning. Time to be aware of time. Of past and future. Of what has been and what is to come. Many people make plans for the new year: To try something new. To start something, or stop something. Be more of something, or less of something. It’s a time to begin again.

But maybe it’s time for a different concept of “resolution”. Maybe instead of creating a new resolve, a new goal or plan, it’s time for resolution, meaning “a solution, accommodation, or settling of a problem”. Maybe it’s time to stop seeing ourselves and our lives as problems to be solved.

Maybe it’s time for better resolution, as in “the degree of sharpness of an image”. Time for us to actually see ourselves clearly, to see our lightness and brightness, our Love, our inherent goodness and perfection.

2015 could be that time. Time to see clearly, to see Truth. Time to be at peace.

Many blessings in the new year. May you see your own beauty and light.

Time for an Update?

•November 14, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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I found that every thought, emotion or action I made while expressing

in the physical body had an effect on the Whole.

~Anita Moorjani

 

I was in the middle of a conversation the other day and something happened. In the blink of an eye, I had – unconsciously – gone from living from a full sense of self to a weak, shrunken version of myself. I went from responding to reacting. My senses felt numbed and it was difficult to fully understand the words being exchanged. Through all of this, there was no apparent change that could be seen on the physical.

 

It would be easier, actually, if there were a physical manifestation of an old insecurity being triggered. If, suddenly, I were to find myself in my five year old body, wearing my favorite Humpty Dumpty t-shirt. If that were true, at least my hesitant speech and blind stare would make sense. But, for better or worse, our physical state only very subtly reflects the belief system we’re running on.

 

Our childhood experiences create sets of beliefs about ourselves and the world. Our survival depends on making sense of things around us so that we learn how to respond. Negative experiences have especially powerful impact. I recently heard that negative memories take up more room in our brains; they carry more weight. So along the way, we develop a whole set of beliefs about who we are and don’t really realize that we’re seeing the world through the belief system that we’ve created. Negative experiences seem to have lasting impact, setting in place the “I’ll never. . .” or “I’ll always. . . “ beliefs. I’ll never be enough, be loved, be happy. I’ll always be alone, be broke, be in pain. . . .

 

So maybe it’s time for an update. Time to scan for any mental ‘viruses’ that are affecting our ability to function in our highest capacity. It would be nice if we could simply hit a re-set button. I haven’t found one. Instead, we can scan our experiences, especially the ones that included strong emotions, and notice if any themes are present. Our experiences reflect our inner state. If we bring compassion and curiosity to our inquiry, we allow healing. Our wholeness can never be lost; it can just seem so when we impose who we think we are over our true wholeness.