Where I Am & Where I Am Going

Posted on | September 14, 2011

Where I am, where I am going...
I’m trusting and following my heart and gut and inner wisdom (intuition, insight, instinct, impulse, inspiration) more and more these days and it feels Great. And I’ve been guided away from writing here, on the web.

I’m Out Here, on the Leading Edge, focusing my thoughts and feelings, energies and intentions, doing my Very Best, learning, growing, sharing, and Positively Expanding.  I’m playing with colorful and textural and symbolic mediums to create, and I’m writing the stories of the characters who have been developing in my consciousness and subconscious, and in my heart.  My desire is to uplift.

See you Around.

 

-Dorothy

Likes & Loves: Bare Feet and Poodle Fur, etc.

Posted on | June 8, 2011

This is the first (small and spontaneous) in an ongoing series.  It feels So Good to be grateful for the many gifts each day (each moment) offers us.  The more we choose to focus our thoughts/feelings/energies towards gratitude and appreciation the better we feel and the more open we are to receive those gifts.  Give it a try!
  • my loving/supportive/wise/creative/fun life partner
  • life (energy) being regenerated in the compost pile
  • bare feet touching the floor and, even better, the earth
  • more hours of sun/light
  • the flight/beauty/grace/language/songs/feathers/nests of birds
  • older ladies and men still active and full of life
  • the innocence, imagination, and free-ness of children
  • poodle/wire fox terrier fur (hair)
  • organically grown fruits and veggies (especially locally farmed)
  • the smell of: lavender, oranges, granola out of the oven
  • the sound/vibration of purring
  • people sharing their positive energy and attention freely (volunteering/giving/being-of-service)
  • Abraham-Hicks’ wisdom and guidance
  • the releasing/healing/balancing/energizing of acupuncture (and acupressure)
  • warm smiles
  • feeling/knowing the love, support, respect, and honor of dear friends and family
  • the music of Cat Stevens
‘If You Want to Sing Out Sing Out’ by Cat Stevens
Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are 

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

[Chorus]
You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
‘Cause there’s a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
‘Cause there’s a million things to do
You know that there are

[Chorus]
Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are
You know that there are

Give, Receive, Give, Receive

Posted on | June 1, 2011

A few weeks ago I was out for an afternoon walk at the park in Corte Madera. It was a lovely Spring day and there were lots of parents and children playing. A little boy was riding his scooter down a gentle incline, practicing his balance with both feet on the scooter. His Mom/adult friend was watching and enthusiastically cheering him on. As I walked by I had the urge to add my encouragement, then a part of me thought that he had plenty of that already and so I paused for a moment, self-censoring and second-guessing my natural instincts. Fortunately those instincts were (and are!) strong and overrode that restricting of the flow of positive energy which is my true nature (every being’s true nature.) The wise one within knows there’s never a good reason to hold back our positive energy.

I offered him a big smile of appreciation (for his youthful, playful, joyous be-ing) and said, “Good Job.” And as I walked on, still smiling at his delight in the moment, I heard him say with happiness and excitement, “She said ‘Good Job!’”, which seemed to please his Mom/adult friend, too. I was so touched that two nice words, a smile, and the positive energy offered with them would bring happiness to others. It was a small, yet very important, lesson in how much of an influence our thoughts/words/energy have on the world around us. I strongly desire to be a Positive Force in the world and so I am now even more conscious of the thoughts I think, the words I say, and the energy I cultivate and put forth. And I am getting better at recognizing when I am cutting myself off from the flow of infinite positive energy. Because I am aware of the joy it brings to my life and the lives of those I encounter on this journey, I am committed to cultivating it and radiating it.

The Real Guru is the Divinity Within

Posted on | May 20, 2011

J and I had the honor of meditating with/learning from Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj the other evening. Great thanks to Yoga of Sausalito for hosting the evening in their very comfortable/warm/welcoming studio. And great thanks to Sri Shivarudra Balayogi Maharaj (and those who assist him on his mission) for sharing his peaceful energy and timeless wisdom. And the music and chanting were Wonderful!

This is the beautiful message I am carrying forth from the experience:

Practice, practice, practice!

Dedication, Discipline, and Patience will yield the results you desire.

You are secure and regular, daily meditation practice will teach you, remind you, of this.

The real guru is the Divinity Within (the silent wisdom) which is experienced as inspiration.

Creative Pathfinder- Learnings, Weeks 21-26

Posted on | May 11, 2011

I embarked on the Creative Pathfinder journey on September 3, 2010 – eight months ago! And I’ve so enjoyed the experience – every step on the “path” I’m finding/creating. I’ve said it before, but need to say it again: Mark McGuinness is smart, and wise, and insightful, and Creative, and most generous to share this course for Free. It’s worth a lot. I’ve benefited a great deal in these eight months of examining myself and learning methods and practices to increase my productivity and success.

Lesson 21
Topic = What Motivates Us?
Insights

  • I have a hard time ranking the intrinsic motivations. Really they are all super important to me, but if I had to, this is how I would prioritize them: meaning; purpose; creative flow; interest; learning; challenge. This is helpful to know in terms of how to get and stay really motivated.
  • Also good to consider that extrinsic motivators do play their role and help us along, too. For example, I particularly enjoy praise (positive feedback, etc) and appreciation.
  • And it’s always worth keeping in mind that the hardest part usually is getting started. I find that once I “get into it” the momentum builds on itself.

The funny thing is, the work is usually quite enjoyable when you get going and intrinsic motivation takes over. But to get you going in the first place place, you sometimes need the extrinsic motivation of ‘deadline magic’.
-Mark McGuinness

Actions

  • Keep reminding myself that meaning and purpose (my two biggest motivators) are found in the simplicity of living each moment to its fullest: being really Here and Now, being the best we can be (our Authentic Self), and offering our Positive Energy to the world around us, whatever we are doing, no matter how small it may seem. And also remind myself that every time I pick up a pen, paintbrush, pastel, marker, etc, and start moving, if I stick with it for awhile, I get into the creative flow (the third of my motivators) and what a nice place that is to be!

Lesson 22
Topic = Rejection and Criticism
Insights

  • Yes, when we “put our heart and soul” (even a small bit of it) into our work, it hurts when others don’t like/appreciate it. Also, we all just, at a fundamental level, want to be loved – that’s human nature, whether we’re aware of it or not.
  • Similarly to homeopathic medicine, when we expose ourselves (in small doses) ,repeatedly, to what challenges us, we become stronger.
  • It matters not that we fall down and get dirty. (We will – it’s a natural part of being human.) What matters is how we choose to respond. If we learn and grow from the experience then we are living our purpose.

Actions

  • Meditate everyday! By tuning in to my Inner Light, my Highest Self, and connecting with the Abundantly Positive Energy of the Universe, I am strong, balanced, calm, clear, and confident. I’m planning to participate in The Chopra Center’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge.

Lesson 23
Topic = Difficult People

People are much more complex than the labels we stick on them.
-Mark McGuinness

Insights

  • Not only do we generate potentially negative energy by labeling people, we also limit the possibilities for how we can interact with them. If we recognize them as multi-dimensional, ever-changing, infinite beings like ourselves (see last Lesson 22 ‘Actions’ re meditation…) we expand the possibilities tremendously.
  • As usual, focusing on the specifics is worth every bit of effort. If we understand what we want from the other person, and why, and if we take the time to understand their perspectives and motivations (empathy serves us well), we can approach the situation with clarity and a big-picture view.

In Aikido, Harmony, and the Business of Living (Zanshin Press), Richard Moon calls the practice of being fully present and fully aware “Feel Where You Are.” If you are to truly listen, engage, and empathize with someone challenging you then you yourself must be completely aware of your situation and aware of their situation and all the subtle signals. One who is fully in the present cannot be caught off guard. “Feeling where you are,” says Moon, “refines awareness into attention.
-Garr Reynolds

Actions

  • Give others respect and understanding by not labeling them, not assuming, just as I hope others will do for me.
  • See last Lesson 22 ‘Actions’ re meditation…

Lesson 24
Topic = Fun and Informative Presentations
Insights

  • The best presenters are great storytellers. They know why they are asking for their audiences attention and what the desired post-presentation actions are. And, they weave in interesting stories that illustrate their points, so the audience is entertained while being informed. While studying architecture, learned that even math can be fun (for an arts and literature type) to learn when taught by someone who is friendly, funny, entertaining, and engaging.

Actions

  • Follow the ‘three key points + call to action = the structure of your presentation’ formula for fun and informative presentations.

Lesson 25
Topic = Managing Creatives
Insights

  • As fellow creatives, even if we are in roles not traditionally seen as creative (IT project manager, etc..), we understand that freedom plays a big role in our ability to produce. If we are too limited by micromanagement, the flow of our ideas and thus our products/deliverables get restricted. And, every one of us has some creative fire within, even if it’s not regularly applied, or even recognized. So, even if our title is not “manager”, when we are managing and coordinating projects and the people involved in those projects, we’ll do well to encourage that creative fire and the brilliance it can produce by giving freedom of thought and action.
  • Feedback! As a communications and project manager (by nature and profession), I cannot say enough about the value of feedback. The best managers I have had over the years were those who regularly shared their thoughts/feelings about my performance and work. I learn so much, we all do, when others take the time to share their perspectives with us. I also encourage you to actively seek it out as well, as even the most well-intentioned managers sometimes need to be asked. And, whenever you are giving feedback (either solicited or unsolicited), also see it as an opportunity to ask for feedback yourself.

Actions

  • I’m a pretty good listener, but I know what it feels like when someone you are trying to share with is not totally focused on you – it feels like “why bother?” And we’re missing a lot of greatness when we are not really present in the moment with those around us. So, I commit to greater presence and attention when sharing with others. Oh ya, this is important in a management sense, because as we learned in Lesson 23 (when dealing with difficult situations), through understanding others we have a better chance of getting the desired outcomes.

Lesson 26
Topic = Measuring Success
Insights

  • Regular self reflection and assessment allow us to see where we’ve been, how we’ve been doing, and how that measures up to the goals we’ve set for ourselves.
  • Yes, let’s say it again: money is a positive resource if we are using it to do good (and doing good includes taking Great care of ourselves and feeling Great all the time.) The more we prosper, the more good we can do!
  • What we focus our energy on is what we get. So if we desire to be a positive force in the world, we need to actively envision and work towards that.

Maybe you want to save the world, or at least part of it. Or maybe you want to delight and amaze it, which is just as valid. But if you don’t make it a priority, you risk falling short.
-Mark McGuinness

  • I so, so, so appreciate Mark’s shining light on an area that many of us fail to give attention to: recognizing “the positive difference we are already making to others and the world at large.” This is a positive use of our energy and attention. As we acknowledge, and celebrate, the good we are doing each day, we are inspired to do more good! I also appreciate Mark encompassing animals, plants, the environment, and the Universe in the web which we are connected to. And lastly, I would like to enthusiastically agree that even the smallest gestures/actions/reactions can have a large and positive impact, frequently rippling out far beyond what we imagine.

Actions

  • Some of the primary goals I am actively working on?: more collaborating, connecting, and positively contributing.
  • Continuing to cultivate Mindfulness. Being Awake and Aware and trusting my gut/instinct/inner wisdom and the Universe to guide me along this brilliant path.
  • Find meaning and purpose in the choices I make and the actions I take each day which positively contribute to the world around me and the universe as a whole. What a perfect note to end the course on!

Imperfection a’ la Anne Lamott

Posted on | April 25, 2011

The first time I heard of Anne Lamott was eight or so years ago, back in Michigan, when I read the “secret of life” which she had found on a xeroxed photo of Koko the gorilla. It was my email signature for a long time and I still find it one of the best pieces of advice out there: “The law of the American jungle: Remain calm and share your bananas.” Though she did not conceive of that Universal guidance, it resonated with her and she dropped that same smooth pebble into the collective consciousness to ripple outward and help many more of us smile and “get it” a little bit more. And that, I’ve learned in the years past, is a true gift of Anne’s.

She was at Book Passage the other night, the last night of her book tour for ‘Imperfect Birds’. This is the third in the series which started with ‘Rosie’, which I stumbled upon at the library last fall and adored. It reminded me of how a good novel can be like a supportive companion on the winding path of life. The depth and soul of characters like Rosie, her Mom, Elizabeth, and Elizabeth’s best friend, Ray, help me feel less alone in my complexity and nuance. In my hunger for wisdom and guidance, I’d left fiction behind, with rare exceptions, more than a few years ago. I am so thankful for the renewed love of fictional worlds. They kept me warm and rooted during the cold stormy days of this winter just past (hooray Spring!)

Anne is about as down-to-earth as it gets. The kind of woman you immediately feel like you’ve known for years. Yes, partly from reading her words, knowing pieces of her story, but also because her energy is just so damn Real. I know she’s beloved throughout Marin, her lifelong home, and now I understand more vividly why. At Spirit Rock just before Thanksgiving, Jack Kornfield quoted “his dear friend Anne Lamott” on the challenge of going Deep Within. It was something like this,

“My mind is a scary place to be. I try not to go there alone too often…”

Of course, she does go there (and through to the Spirit) alone on a regular basis. That’s the source of her beautiful characters and her kind and generous spirit.

Like any smart writer, I own ‘Bird by Bird’ now, which I fittingly picked up here in Marin. I’m savoring it, bit by bit, picking it up when I need a new dose of Anne’s medicine for the trials of life, which she reminds us, with wit and mirth, are a necessary part of the journey. My favorite dose so far is for coping with those in our life who do not see/feel how their abundance and success can sometimes, when we are going through one of those trials, make us feel a little less worthy. I haven’t had use for the phrase yet, but have almost pulled it out a few times and smile whenever I think of it.

“I had been around someone from the South that summer who was always exclaiming “Isn’t that great?” – only she made it almost rhyme with “bright.” So when my friend would call with her latest good news, always presented humbly like some born-again-Christian Miss America contestant, I’d say, “Isn’t that gright, huh? Isn’t that gright?”

Thank-you, Anne, for sharing your truths so freely. I have benefited from them and they are tucked away in my mind/heart/spirit so it’s not such a scary place to be; companions on

that…”lifelong search for shards of light.”

And thank-you to Book Passage, for hosting so many insightful and inspiring creators.

Creative Pathfinder- Learnings, Weeks 17-20

Posted on | April 1, 2011

This quartet of lessons from Mark McGuinness takes us through the fundamentals of protecting and sharing our intellectual property, recognizing and utilizing our many non-monetary assets, and knowing our self.

Lesson 17

Topic = Protect Your Work, Respect Their Work

Insights

  • As a creator, putting your work “out there” to be experienced/enjoyed (and purchased!), it behooves you to know your ownership rights in relationship to that work, your intellectual property.

…since ideas and their execution are the basis of your creative and commercial success, you can’t afford to be ignorant about intellectual property.

-Mark McGuinness

  • Likewise, when we use the work of others, incorporating it into our own work (e.g. quotes, photos, video/audio clips, etc), we need to know what is legal/fair use. Mark lists some good resources and I highly recommend Creative Commons for learning about and engaging in smart sharing/collaborating. Their video section is a fun place to start learning.

Actions

  • Get CC licenses up on all our sites (this action item is long overdue.)

Lesson 18

Topic = Share!

Insights

  • Now that you’re well educated about protecting your creative work, it’s time to start sharing. Giving freely of products and services that will help/inform/entertain others is both generous and savvy. It’s a way for people (potential clients/customers/connections) to get a taste/feel for what you have to offer, and begin learning the value of your work. This course is a grand example of that.

Actions

  • See Lesson 17 Action.

Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright…

-from CreativeCommons.org/about

Lesson 19

Topic = We Have Many Assets

Insights

  • This point – that we each possess many valuable assets, besides just the financial – is really worth understanding. Recognizing the value of our network, reputation, popularity, credibility, time, attention, opportunities, and web presence means we can leverage and enhance these assets for the success and growth of our business, which will increase that other valuable asset, money.
  • These assets are all interconnected and complimentary. For example, if we invest our time and attention into sharing our work freely (see Lesson 18), assuming the work is helpful/insightful/entertaining, our network/reputation/popularity/credibility/opportunities will grow over time. Aha!

In a sense, all of the other currencies — including money — are designed to create more of this one. If you have money, a great reputation and network, valuable intellectual property, and control over your own time and attention, you’re in a great position to create new opportunities.

-Mark McGuinness

Actions

  • The worksheet for this lesson is full of good questions for assessing the current status/value of your assets. I’ll be referring regularly to my answers to leverage and enhance these assets.
  • Invest more time in networking. Current goal = 2+ hours a week. Long term goal = 5+ hours a week.
  • Continue building credibility through studying, training, learning, practicing, doing, giving.
  • Continue the healthy daily life practices to improve my attention: meditation, mindfulness, eating well, deep breathing, yoga/movement/walks/exercise, getting Out and experiencing the New.
  • Recognize the many opportunities that are available to me Right Now, see the value of each step on the path, and keep walking!

Lesson 20

Topic = Know Thyself

Insights

  • We talked about it in Lesson 13 in relation to marketing, where it was really more about knowing your work (products/services.) Here we go deeper.

I can say with great conviction that the more we understand what makes us tick/hum/dance, how we approach and interact with the world, and what we do best, the greater our happiness and success will be.

  • It’s OK, healthy even, to be at peace with what we are not good at. That frees up energy to apply to our natural talents. What am I not good at?: statistics/accounting, aerobics/complex dance moves, and competitions (mostly because I don’t like them.)

Actions

  • See Lesson 19 Actions. Just as the healthy daily life practices of meditation and mindfulness help us to improve attention they also help us know who we really are. And not only does that make us more comfortable in our own skin, it makes our interactions more comfortable too. And I for one am all for more comfort, inner and outer!
  • Re-engage some of my dormant talents, specifically drawing and writing poetry. For many years they came naturally to me, but those creative channels have gotten somewhat blocked and I want to get into that FLOW again.
  • Review on my MBTI profile and reflect on how to best honor and utilize my natural tendencies.
  • Start learning about the Enneagram, something which has interested me for years.

The Journal Archives – Solid And Supple

Posted on | March 9, 2011

October 2, 1997:
In this entry I quote The Astrologer’s Manual by Landis Knight Green:
In Buddhist and Hindu Philosophy the conscious sense of purpose is called dharma, the law for living and developing one’s own character through fulfilling the right duties.  A person’s entire horoscope is a key to understanding and defining these duties; however, it is the Sun that dictates the exact nature or heart of this conscious and mature relatedness.  The planets which form aspects to the sun show exactly how this is carried out.  Naturally, this refers mainly to a person who has developed self-awareness to a degree where he can determine many of the conditions of his present, as well as future, life.  In the I Ching, he is called a “Superior Man.”  Astrology, as it is being discussed here, would have little meaning for someone who is not assiduously seeking the truth about his being.

The solar individual is enlightened to the degree that he can utilize, direct, and project his energies and his will precisely there that life has the greatest meaning and value.
-L.K. Green

The conscious person (solar self) is even more receptive (lunar self) so that he can continue to learn the laws of life that make his survival easier while he develops himself spiritually.

October 5, 1997:
I want to ponder what is happening w/ my existence and how to react to it.  And, more importantly I think, what I want to happen and how to work towards that.  I feel like my life is 90%  (mas o menos) me struggling against the tide.

What are the lessons I need to learn?

In The Wisdom of Insecurity by Allen Watts, he talks about how we are all searching for comfort and stability, but that those things are illusions, so we are really just fighting off life.  Is that true?  To a certain extent I believe it is, but where is that line between building a solid foundation and being able to sway and bend with the wind.  If only I could solve maybe one mystery, maybe I’d get some confidence which would give me more energy to keep striving.

Today:
I am very happy, and grateful, to report that there is little struggle in my life these days.  Still plenty of challenges, yes, but I have learned (by much trial and error) that struggling against them is a waste of energy and serves no purpose.  I do a lot of “swaying and bending with the wind” while at the same time making that foundation ever more solid and stable.  I don’t think there is “a line” between the two.

Through meditation, mindfulness, reflection, observation, exploration, study, and practice, I have come to see that the foundation is our infinite soul and the more we are aware of it and honor/care for it, the more it will keep us steady in the worst of storms and serve as firm ground for our personal evolution.

I’m beginning to believe that the insecurity Alan Watts is referring to is a result of our clinging to and grasping (things, people, events, expectations, etc), not wanting to accept the inevitable changes of life.  But, with a strong foundation, supple body/mind/energy/spirit, and awareness of the infinitely fluid rhythm of life, we can begin to embrace it in all it’s magically mysterious glory.  So that’s what I’m going for these days, thirteen and a half years later.

November 3, 1997:
Life seems so short to me sometimes, oftentimes, so I want to jump in and swim and be carried by the stream – without checking to see how cold the water is or if there’s a big rapid or waterfall ahead or a rock or branch in my path.  I get bruised a lot.  Cuts and scrapes are inevitable, cracking my head open kinda sucks, for awhile.  If only I could figure out how to really apply this metaphor to my life.  Just because the water is warm when you jump in doesn’t mean it stays that way.  Life is not static.  I’m not sitting in tide pools very often (I don’t like pollywogs sucking on my toes.)  And how do I know if there’s a strong current up ahead – I can only see about 2 feet in front of me.  And, even if there is , is it worth the risk if I really want to get there and there’s no way around?  These are questions I can’t answer so I usually/sometimes decide that the only way to know is to find out.

Today:
Life is not short!  At the same time, though, each moment is passing, replaced by a new one.  The more richly we experience our Now, the more satisfying our life will be.  That river metaphor is a bit muddy but I do think that we all must find a balance, that works for us, of being safe and grounded and diving into the rough waters and getting banged up a bit.

I’m feeling pretty good about my balance these days.

January 4, 1998:
I’ve been feeling that I’ve been sacrificing and avoiding focusing on my inner reality and my future goals and dreams and my healthy.  Well, I would like those to be my new focuses – I believe they are way more important to true peace and balance than the exterior realities (distractions and diversions a lot of the time) and they have been sorely neglected for a long time now.  If the Universe is listening, I say a little prayer to be thankful for all I have and to ask for the strength to make these changes in my life and stick to my goals.

Today:
Thanks for listening!

The Journal Archives – Not the Same River

Posted on | February 25, 2011

From my journal – September 1, 1997:
I think I’ve been avoiding writing on this page – starting a new book of my life.  I guess I was hoping I could time it right, so it felt like I was entering a new chapter of my life.  But life doesn’t work like that – at least not mine.  I don’t suddenly wake up one morning and watch all the pieces fall into place.  I don’t wake up one morning and watch everything fall apart.  It’s more like a river, a stream, always moving, but never quite the same.  Each corner, each bend holds something new – a challenge, a lull, a pool, a storm, a tide, a waterfall, a twig, a branch, a rapid, calm…

 

You cannot step into the same river twice.

-Heraclitus

And today:
That was 13 ½ years ago.  I haven’t read those words for a long time.  Strange to read my own writing from years past – years full of change and growth, full of falling apart and falling into place, and so on, and so on.  The river analogy is one which I continue returning to.  It just works.  Life – time and matter – are continuously moving and we are in that stream, either moving with it or against it, or temporarily at rest, while it moves around us.  I’ve experienced the forward motion, the backward motion, and the unmoving states.  And these past reflections on life offer me, now, a view of the waters I’ve traversed, my methods/approach on the journey, and what I have learned thus far.

Pretty Inside

Posted on | February 24, 2011

A few months ago, I had one of those strange encounters with a stranger. The uncomfortable kind of strange, not the pleasant. But it ended up being one of those experiences that helps me to see some of the positive growth that is happening in my life. Personal growth can be hard to detect because it’s generally subtle, and we don’t have the benefit of distance and space, which makes us more aware of changes. It’s similar to how when we see someone all the time, we don’t notice the little changes happening in them (physically, etc), but if we don’t see them for awhile, we do notice. Interactions with other people can provide a mirror that shows us how we are changing. But we need inner clarity in order to separate the thoughts/feelings/opinions of others, from the reality of our being.

So, I was out for a walk, taking a “breather” from computer time. It was a nice walk, at a brisk pace and on my way home, downtown, I passed a guy, just kind of hanging around on the sidewalk. I’m not sure if he tried to make eye contact because my eyes were focused forward – I was “in the zone” as I tend to be while walking. As I passed him, he said, “Pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside. That’s what you are.” I was a little surprised, and disappointed, of course, and said softly, to myself, “That’s not very nice.”

As I continued walking, I thought about it and let myself really feel it. The nice thing is that it didn’t have much of an effect. It didn’t feel nice – it never feels nice to have someone send negativity your way – but I didn’t really take it personally. I checked in with myself and was able to remind myself that even though I’m far from perfect (inside and out), I am trying and I do care. I strive each day to be kind and loving and the best creature of the Universe I can be. I am actively working to share my true gifts and natural talents and positively contribute, to make the world a happier and healthier place. With that as my central approach to life, I can’t be too bad. He doesn’t know me so how can he know my heart, my intentions? And even if he did, I need to remain focused on my inner sense of balance, peace, calm, clarity, strength, light, and…beauty.

Other’s Opinion Are Less Important Than My Personal Guidance System.
-Abraham-Hicks

Being steady at the center (which I cultivate through positive daily practices such as meditation, yoga, creating, etc), I may sway with the breezes/winds/storms around me (coming from the people and situations I encounter) but my base and core are solid and healthy. That’s how I felt and that’s a good feeling. Strength and Balance: the more we have, the more we can share!

Later that evening, J and Karin and I went out to Spirit Rock for the Monday night meditation gathering. It was a cold night and Karin and I made tea to bring with us. During break, we went into the lobby to have some of our warm tea and she and I both had a good laugh (I had told her about my earlier encounter) reading my Yogi Tea bag:

There is a beauty in your presence. Show who you are.

I don’t take such coincidences lightly anymore. It was a little dose of Universal love, in support of the personal growth glimpsed earlier, and I accepted it with gratitude.

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  • Let’s Connect

    I am grateful for the time you spend here and hope you will share your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and questions.

    Thank-you for being part of the journey!

    All visual art by moi and all photos by me and Jeph.

  • Themes

  • Our Network