Sunday, September 30, 2012

My thoughts on Religion

I know that most people strongly believe in their choice of religion and will not ever be moved. Great. I say perfect, stick with it. Hold firm. Don’t be swayed. This post probably isn’t for you. I’m not trying to run you off but I’m giving you fair warning that you might not care for this post. I hope if you stay and read it, that you will read it with an open mind and understand that we all have the freedom to make our own choices and that is okay.

Now to the meat of the thing.

I grew up in a family that believed in God but did not attend church. My grandfather’s church was his recliner on a Sunday morning watching Oral Roberts. I was at his home almost ever Sunday morning and I watched too. Friends invited me to church and I went a little here and there. Sometimes I’d go when I visited my step-granny, Granny Lucy, who never missed. In my early 20’s I started dating a guy who went Sunday morning & night and Wednesday night. He talked a big talk when it came to being a Christian but he was by far probably the least Christ like man I’ve know up close and personal. I dated him for almost 7 years and I played along and went to church every time they opened the doors.

During those years I went with the boyfriend Sunday 2x and Wednesday night. I really got steeped in the belief system. I studied hard. I tried to be as good as I could be. When I’d have a personal fail I'd go home on my lunch break and beg Satan to leave me. I learned that from Oral Roberts. It just seemed like no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t find peace.

Spending all that time at church I began to notice that it really wasn’t feeling right anymore. I had at one time believed so strongly but it was starting to move from belief to confusion. Every sermon seemed to condemn someone sitting in that room who wanted to be a better person. I was one of them. It started to make me wonder what good could come of it. I know there wasn’t a soul there that had a greater desire than I had to be better and I couldn’t help but feel condemned during some sermons.

We know God as the Father of all men and I started questioning his parental skills. I was a parent. Being the mother of two sons I couldn’t see myself not loving my boys no matter what. I know they say God loves you no matter what but the Bible shows that isn’t true. Numerous times he commands the murder of children and the rape of women. He even saved Lot when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorra after Lot just the day before offered his two virgin daughters up for a gang bang to save his houseguest from being raped. Do women not matter to God? If His ego is so great that He needs that kind of sacrifice and fear then what is the purpose of even being a God? These are the traits of men. I don’t need a God that isn’t better than that. I need quality in the God I choose to believe in.

Looking at all of this just made me think if this is how God does it then I want to be better than God. I want to love people for exactly who they are. I don’t succeed everyday but it’s not because I’m not trying. I didn’t quit church right away. I kept on trying but I finally had to come to terms with the fork in the road. I could keep on my old path or go my own way.

When you walk away from a religion that teaches you not to question it or face going to Hell to burn for eternity it’s not an easy walk to take. The authors were pretty crafty to have thought that up. Over time it does get easier and the more steps you take in the other direction the more beautiful the world looks.

My belief became that there isn’t a separate being to be called God but God is a collective of that bit of goodness that is in each of us that allows us to love perfectly without ego. We are all a piece of what makes up God. We are God. I didn’t know anyone who believed this but somewhere inside of me I determined this to be my truth.

I was in Tower records February 12, 1994 with the then boyfriend and I purchased Kindle My Heart and Quantum Healing (my First Deepak book). I know because when I recently pulled out “Kindle” the receipts were still in it. I obviously couldn’t afford them because I purchased them on my credit card. Thank goodness for that card. I essentially bought a new life philosophy on credit and had to pay for it on monthly installments.

photo

When I read Kindle My Heart I was never the same again. I recognized it from the point of my soul. This book (since then there have hundreds more) was the first evidence I found to support that what I felt in my heart was true. It’s been so many years I can’t remember a lot about the book but I do remember the theme of God within you. I found this on the back of the book and it kinda makes the point:

Gurumayi tells us that the Truth, the essence of our being, is present at every moment and we must make the effort to go within and find it. In the beginning you might think that it is esoteric or beyond your reach…but when the experience of the Self takes place you realize how close it is to you.”

God is within, beauty is within, divinity is within: This is an age-old message. However, just saying it is not enough. We have to contemplate it. It is said that man is what he thinks…When you contemplate the Truth, you become the Truth".” And the Truth, she tells us, “is always full…absolutely satisfying.”

I knew I would never look back. It opened me up in ways that grew me so largely outside my old shell, I couldn’t have fit back in if I had wanted to. I didn’t want to. I felt free of judgment for the first time in my life and I knew it didn’t matter if I couldn’t be perfect because all I had to be was me, flawed as I was.

You can live so much more open and honest when you walk away from the judgment we are taught by most religions. Just because you stop feeling judged doesn’t make you start being a bad person. You actually start doing good for good. You do what is right because it is the right thing to do not because you’re afraid of the consequence of Hell.

The point of this post is to let you know that if you question your beliefs, you aren’t the only person in the world that ever has. My advice to you is not to follow anyone’s path but to seek your own. If that leads you back to where you started at least you know you arrived there on your own terms.

Note: Please don’t comment in any way to try to save me or tell me where I am wrong. I’ve heard it all. If you follow a different path that is okay. Just know I have the same right and know that I have studied long and hard to arrive at my beliefs. It wasn’t a switch I threw in the heat of the moment. If you want to counter what I’ve said here you have the whole internet at your disposal. Maybe say it on your Facebook page or your own blog. This is labeled personal philosophy and this is my blog.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Always Fulfill Your Own Prophecies


Prophecy - A prediction of what will happen in the future.

What you think can't help but become reality. There's just no way around it. Let's think about this scenario:

You see a person that you think doesn't like you. What will your reaction be when you run into them? Maybe you:

•Avoid them?
•Pretend you don't see them?
•Look at them but don't speak?

Be honest. Would you walk up and speak to someone you think doesn't like you in the same manner as you friends, family, and close acquaintances? You know that you wouldn't. What do you think happens when you don't? You put that person in a position to react to the signals you are putting out. If they decide to go up to you upon seeing your reaction to them, then they are now in the same place mentally you are.  That place is a feeling of insecurity, thinking you might react to them poorly. Now no one has good feelings about the interaction. It might appear neither of you care for one another. 

You just fulfilled the thing you thought with your mind. By thinking the thing with your mind and acting according to your thoughts you have created the very thing you thought would happen.

Now this is just one scenario but believe me when I say, we do this with our life all the time. I know this and still I have no immunity to it. I still have to remind myself and try to be better.

Got it? It's a tough lesson and a hard one. Even when you get it your ego won't always allow you to move passed it. You just have to try to always be a witness to where your mind is and step through the door leaving your ego on the other side.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

to find you

18436679694069792p2lWE7bac(Photo found here)
Years ago, probably close to 20 now, a friend of my boyfriend at the time asked me what I like to do. I rattled off a string of things that I did with this particular boyfriend. He had known the guy since high school and knew the things that I listed were all his stuff. So, he said, “That’s what Mark likes to do, what do you like to do?” This was one of those moments when your world goes into slow motion and you watch yourself out of body. After a long pause, I meekly said, “I don’t know.” It was almost inaudible. The time after you say those words you either crash and burn or you decide to change directions. I’m not a crash and burn kinda gal. So, I changed directions. 

How do you find yourself after you have forgotten who you are? I kept a scrapbook. It wasn’t pretty, nothing I would show off but it was the best tool for the process I went through to find myself again. In that book I put everything that intrigued me. It had bits of religion, politics, flowers I liked, articles about current events I wanted to remember, songs, lyrics and musical artists I liked and photos of people I admire. I could look inside it and see myself and that started me back on the road I forgot I was on.

When I was 8 my Brownie troop leader Mrs. McCormick took us on a five mile hike through Standing Stone State Park. Of all the things I’d done in my 8 years that was the thing that stood out most. I loved it. I never stopped looking back on it with fondness.

I had 2 boys and wanted to find a way to engage them in boyhood things in case there was never a permanent man in our life to play that role. I didn’t have a clue what sort of outings we could find to do that little boys normally gravitate to since I never played sports. I thought about my hiking trip and decided they might love it as much as I did. When they were still too young to stay home alone we went hiking almost every weekend during the months the weather was cooler and hiking became my thing. They eventually gave it up when they were old enough to stay home but I never have.

When I had time to myself I found my own adventures to feel at peace in my life.
A few those of times I drove to an open field that belonged to a friend’s family and sat in the middle of it listening to Billie Holiday. Once I took a notion to pull off my clothes and run through the high grass while the music blared. It felt like the highest form of freedom. It was a world I could control where no one knew and the tall grass didn’t judge me.

I’d go to the lake alone and lay on the bank, look up at the stars and lights from the dam and listen to nothing but quiet. I’d lay there and wonder if everyone in the world stopped fighting for a bit and did the same thing I was doing, at the same time I did it, if they would take up arms again when they all resumed life’s daily activity. Could everyone feeling and hearing that much peace at the same time heal them/heal us all? I wished so hard that it could.

At one point I lost my job and with my severance and unemployment I decided that I had to take advantage of not having to go to a job for 8 hours a day. I knew that being a single parent I wouldn’t have many opportunities like this. I scoured the paper for things I could do. I found lots of things but the one that intrigued me most was going to group meditation at the Very Center.  I probably attended every weekly session for a least 6 months. It changed me so much. I will always be grateful for what meditation has taught me and brought to my life.

I can’t tell you all the ways I’ve changed since that question in one blog post. Needless to say Jamie Beaty changed my life the day he asked me the simple question, “What do you like to do?” and didn’t let me BS my way out of answering.

If you can take away anything from this post let it be that you should know yourself. Don’t go through life without finding your own answer to the question, “What do you like to do?” The answer to that question defines you. You need your own definition, not someone else's.

What’s life without a little music?

I know if you have completed the happiness exercise you probably aren’t sad anymore right ;0) but just in case here’s a little pick me up:

The B

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The man you see pictured in the photo above is a real life superhero. His superpower is being real. Until I met him I didn’t know a man could have this power.

We met at work in 1997. It took a while to wrangle him into a date but I finally did. To quote Bogey in The Big Sleep, “She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up,” Well, that’s what I did to him and then one day it finally paid off. I won’t go into every detail but we had a time getting started.

By the time I found him I had dated what seemed like every other man in all surrounding counties. So many folks I can’t even remember half of the names. Every date was pretty much the same. We’d go out to eat and then they would spend the evening telling me how wonderful they were trying to wow me and I’d counter bits of the same type info to appear like I was interested. Usually that was the end of it on my part. I wanted a man who was real not just one who told me he was. Here comes B swimming out in front of this sea of other men and it was on.

On one of our first dates he left me standing in the rain while he unlocked his car door. got inside, put the keys in the ignition and then finally remembered my drowning ass in the rain and opened my door from his nice dry seat. That is probably when I knew for sure. I was smiling from ear to ear when I got in. This was the first time at the start of a relationship that a man didn’t try to impress me. He was then and still is just as he is. We never had that awkward first date type conversation. It just seemed like from the beginning we got each other.

It took a couple of breakups for us to figure out that we didn’t want to be apart and then we got married in 2001.

Here is the key to being in a marriage for that long and not ever fighting. We made the commitment on the front end that we would never try to change each other. We said if there was something we didn’t like about the other we would get over it. How important is putting the cap back on the toothpaste and other silly things people fight over? If you want the cap on the toothpaste and he doesn’t care if it’s on just put it on yourself. If you what your socks folded a certain way and she refuses to learn the way, fold them yourself. The thing we are talking about here is that your way is just that, YOUR WAY. Other people have their way and they should be allowed that. I guess that is the secret to our success. It just works for us that way.

In all my life I have never felt as loved for being exactly who I am as he makes me feel and I hope he can say the same.

Bryan Boles you are my superhero.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

a little message

he
Hopefully if you made it through your three days you saw that the world didn’t come crashing to a halt without criticism or correction from you during these days. Hopefully you saw that many of the times you wanted to correct someone or a situation and you didn’t, the correction you withheld wasn’t really necessary. Hopefully you are starting to realize you can go through the day and let things be as they are. Turning loose of the reins will allow you to just be there as a witness to the beauty that surrounds you. You are not here to create the beauty but no bask in it.

I am happy but there is no such thing as too much happy and there is no such thing as a perfect human. So, I’ve been wearing my yarn around my wrist right along with you. In fact, I don’t know when I’ll be ready to take it off.

What I’ve learned going through this process with you is that when I start to judge someone else I need to stop and realize my part. I’ve begun even more to ask myself, “what in me needs to control, question or judge this?” The answer is always the same. “I don’t!” When that answer comes back to me I move on. It makes me realize the value of being humble. Hopefully with more practice I won’t need to do this so much and I will just learn to be in a humble and loving state naturally. Hopefully we all will.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I LoVe this video


Falconbridge Family Film from Michel - Family Sessions on Vimeo.
This is a collaboration with Tara Whitney. 

I love her photography. She was a style inspiration to me when I had a photography business. I think you will enjoy it as much as I do and that song is gonna get stuck in your head in a good way. Simply beautiful and for this family, something to look at with gratitude for the life they have been given.

Joey

joey

You meet people like him everyday, I know you do but it still makes me no less proud.

This is my oldest sibling Joey. He is 14 months older than me and maybe the bullheadedest (not a word I know but I don’t cop to the foolish restraints of grammar) person I know. He hated school when he was younger but he has always loved coaching basketball. I won’t claim to know his stats but almost every girl’s high school team in the surrounding counties went to the state championship this year and this man coached starters on all those teams in AAU. No one around here doubts his abilities.

A few years back he, with the help of his insistent wife, decided to go to college. Three years later and you can see in the photos he succeeded. He is 47 now and teaching his first year of school so that he can earn a living being what he wants to be, A COACH.

You can have what you want…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ZenHabits

I found this great post at ZenHabits about reducing stress. These are simple and to the point ways to make your life better. Go take a look.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

waiting for it to catch

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Today marks another day where I start from scratch on believing this will catch on. I give up on this idea everyday and then something happens. One day it was when Jan jumped on board and decided she was in. I realized that day we didn’t need the whole world. With the wide stroke of magic she paints across the world in just being her own beautiful self everyday and the fact that I started out thinking I was just going to do this on my own anyway made me feel like that was all we needed. Of course when you look at it that way one can’t help but think there’s no need to keep this blog. With only 2 peeps in we could keep up with that by email.

Well, folks let me tell you I have lived my life taking the reins and going my own when I couldn’t get others on board. Maybe there is a lesson here. I have until 12-12-12 to convince you folks that having a happy day with the world participating is a crazy brilliant idea. So, I’ll just be over here posting and adding inspiration from wherever I can find it and when you are ready you can play along. I’m not giving up.

Here is a little story of a man who inspired me.

The winter I was 7 I watched the Little Drummer Boy with my grandfather. At one point in the movie the lamb of the LDB dies and he plays until it wakes from death and stands up and walks again. When this happened in the movie my grandfather looked at me and told me that no matter what you want in life if you just ask for it you will get it. He was the King of my kingdom and if he said it, it was true.

Everyday for a good long while after that I would look through the Sears catalogue and pick out everything I wanted in my house. I’d pick out the baby I wanted and I imagined what the outside of my house would look like. There was never a man in the scenario. At night I’d pray that when I woke in the morning it would all be across the street and I would just walk over and start my new life as a 7 year old homeowner/mother. I’d jump out of bed and run to the window every morning to see if my house was there and then one day I finally gave up and thought Granddaddy was wrong.

Guess the universe didn’t think I was old enough  to grant this at the time. Fast forward 16 years and  I found myself the mother of 2 boys and the owner of a newly constructed house. It took a while to look back and think on this but one day I realized I got exactly what I asked for then. It took me years after that (14 to be exact) to be open to adding a man to the equation but when I was ready that happened too. 

Look out, I’m about to do some askin’ again.

Hello universe, so great at granting wishes, let those who need a little peace, love and happiness in their world find this blog and join in our official day to welcome the 3 permanently into their life.

Thank you in advance for granting this but please don’t wait 16 years if you can help it, we kind of have a target here. Thinking 12-12-12 if you are available.

Blog Post Share


I love this post by Holly and wanted to share it. It reminded me of the metamorphosis I went through as a young mother when I decided to put my children before all else and let the rest fall inline in it's own space however it (all else) was suppose to fit.
(photo by Holly)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Yay Peace Day

The emails have gone out, more will be sent later and we got our first response. I wanted to share it because it just seemed a perfect response for the feeling I'm hoping this day evokes.

"This sounds like a marvelous plan! And on 12-12-12 I will take time to dance and sing and play music and let it all be in the name of peace and love and unity... most days I just do it cause I'm half a wack-a-doo."

Her idea is so simple, light and keeping with the spirit of the day.

Now, let's have more please.We have chairs to fill.


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