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Self-awareness

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Three Legs of the Stool of Life

Warm, spring weather gives way to snow …

Warm, spring weather gives way to snow …

Freedom awaits on the other side of self-awareness and self-love. (Rev. Jane Beach - Science of Mind Magazine, Daily Guide for April 5, 2019)

These words caught my attention one morning last week as I read the SOM Daily Guide, part of my morning ritual.  They’ve stayed with me, aligned as they are with my beliefs and understanding about their importance to living a good life. Yet, despite that alignment, I sensed something to be missing. A solid stool needs three legs.

I hadn’t given the idea much thought until this morning as I began to put attention on this week’s post. What’s been my focus this week? What’s had my attention? The answer came quickly: self-care and rest.

 As I generally do on blog day, I opened one of Gregge Tiffen’s booklets to see what would catch my attention as a starting point. I opened it to the last page.

The spiritual purpose of sleep is to refurbish in order for you to create. … Life responds to you! (Gregge Tiffen - The Language of a Mystic: Application – April, 2009)

Hmm, I thought as I turned to the preceding page.

Ask your body what it needs in terms of stamina and maintenance. (Gregge Tiffen - The Language of a Mystic: Application – April, 2009)

Although I knew this post would flow from what I’d read, I didn’t sense the direction. I felt empty and tired so I set aside my journal, curled up and dozed in and out of awareness and with a sense of going deep within.

When I woke a short while later, I gulped. Self-honesty was the missing ingredient that I’d sensed. For some time I’ve ignored the awareness that my body will be healthier and happier if I eliminate sugar from my diet.

Honesty has become a premium in our time. Self-honesty has become like a lode of uranium. To the person who is willing to dig for it and carry it to the surface, the life rewards are abundant. (Gregge Tiffen - The Journey Continues: The Legacy for Generations – November, 2010)

I want a strong, healthy body, and I love chocolate.  The internal conversation around sugar is the same I experienced more than three decades ago when I (finally) quit smoking: I want to stop, but … I want to be healthy, but …. I discovered that the truth was I only desired to ‘want to stop’.

I needed to shift: from ‘wanting to want to stop’ to truly desiring to do so. Making that shift gave me the clarity to prioritize my health and to honor the request of my precious (and at that time precocious) young step-son who clearly saw the hypocrisy of smoking while saying and doing other things to be healthy.

In hindsight, I see how the three legs of self-awareness, self-love, and self-honesty were at play in coming to that choice. From that awareness and the dose of self-honesty that fell in my lap this morning, can I summon the self-love to fuel my will and honor what my body so clearly needs? Will I stop the game I’ll stop when _____ (this batch of cookies is eaten, this chocolate bar is gone)? Will I leap from ‘wanting to want to stop’ to ‘truly desiring  eliminating sugar’?

What are you ‘wanting to want to’ do or to stop? Are you ready to join me in making the leap?

Interesting shapes  naturally mark this trail in the woods.

Interesting shapes naturally mark this trail in the woods.

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A Reflection on Awareness

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Life is awareness. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: A Taste of Devotion – April, 2010)

Consciousness equals awareness. … When you begin to enjoy life, you begin to learn, but you can’t learn under pressure or negativity. … Consciousness sees everything as joy and harmony. Gregge Tiffen (Open Secrets: The Hidden Worth of New Wealth – April, 2011)

I’m drawing a blank this morning as I reflect on and open to what wants to be shared this week. Sometimes when I’m not aware of the topic as I begin my day, our morning walk calls it forth. Not on this day.

While I appreciate the emptiness and spaciousness of not knowing, I yearn to honor this weekly commitment and to be in the rhythm that’s evolved since I launched ‘The Zone’. It’s Thursday, and that’s blog day in my world.

Early this morning as I began to read and think about the post, the quotes above from Gregge Tiffen drew my attention. I typically see a connection to some experience I’ve had or observation I’ve made and the post flows from there. However, this day there’s a gap between my experiences and Gregge’s wisdom. What awareness am I missing? Surely that holds the key.

Late last week, I traveled to visit a friend to celebrate a new year, the beginning of the last year of my seventh decade on the planet (you do the math!).  I scheduled a couple activities, had a list of things I wanted to do, and trusted the trip would unfold perfectly. It did, although not exactly as planned.

The weather forecast (high wind and snow in the mountains) along with an awareness that my energy was lagging on the day before we planned to meet friends for a hike in the mountains, led me to suggest an alternative. That choice worked perfectly for all, the canines who got to run, romp and get plenty dirty and for their peeps who took great joy in observing the purity of their play. Once again, Cool Hand Luke fulfills his role as teacher, having much fun in the process!

Other activities, including time out to rest, fell beautifully into place. I was honored to help a friend make some adjustments to the beautiful labyrinth (a complex, heart-shaped one with amazing energy!) she recently built. We laughed, talked, and enjoyed great food and a bit of March Madness with another friend. We shopped, discovering an unannounced sale just getting underway (a sale we would have missed had we kept to the original plan). I departed at a perfect time to miss heavy urban traffic and enjoy and easy drive home.

It’s easy to grasp life’s joy and harmony when life seems to be going our way.  It’s not so easy to trust that all is well and to look for the harmony when life throws us curveballs. And, yet, I’m discovering more and more that life is about just that: awareness not just of conditions that we’re a part of, but awareness of what consciousness knows as the perfect unfolding of our lives in all their conditions and forms.

Our human task as we learn to navigate our bodies through life on this physical plane is to remember what consciousness knows:  joy and harmony are present in the very essence of life. We do that step by step, day by day, experience by experience. Another week, another blank filled in. Awareness. Life.  Joy. Harmony. Color me grateful!

@ Sam's in Erie 012.JPG

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Conviction, Conviction, Conviction

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

Cool Hand Luke says ‘A run in the snow is always a good aim!’

To take each step in the direction of your goals, you will need these three things:

  1. A conviction in yourself and in your uniqueness as an independent individual.

  2. A conviction in your cause, and that Life is better than you are experiencing it. And,

  3. A conviction in your outcome as worthy and powerful. Gregge Tiffen (Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008)

 According to many experts, this is the week that people tend to veer off the track of the ambitious goals and resolutions made to start the new year.  You can find seemingly endless advice about avoiding the pitfalls and staying on track. So, in the spirit of the week, I’ll add my perspective – short and sweet:

 Your conviction is the key.

 As Gregge suggests, you need conviction in yourself, your cause, your outcome to provide the incentive to move toward your goal step by step. If your conviction isn’t present and strong, your opportunity is to grow it. Otherwise, you fall prey to the world and its distractions, finding yourself in overwhelm and feeling like a victim.

You can evaluate your conviction with questions such as:

  • When I look in the mirror, do I love and appreciate the person looking back at me? Do I know and value her/his uniqueness? Do I live fully into my individuality (or does the world determine my choices)?

  • Do I accept myself as the cause of how my life unfolds, not as blame, but as a sense of taking full responsibility? Do I appreciate the events in my life as opportunities presented for my benefit and my learning (yep, including the ones that ‘suck’)? Can I dance with the paradox of loving the life I have while knowing that as I learn and grow my experience of life can only get better?

  • How deeply do I care about what I’m aiming for? Does it consistently inspire and call me forth into action? Is it worthy and powerful, not as the world measures worth and power, but by measures of my understanding of my worth and my power.

As these questions unfolded, I notice areas that invite me to reflect and explore more deeply. Doing so is one of my aims this week. What about you?

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

And, for me, a gentle walk in the snow woods keeps the world in perspective.

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Anchoring In What Is Real

A Clear, Cold Winter Morning …

A Clear, Cold Winter Morning …

Life is apparently going to be more complex than we could have ever imagined. If we do not have something real to anchor ourselves we will possibly be swept away at sea. Gregge Tiffen (The Significance of Beginning – January, 2007)

I chuckle as I read Gregge’s words first published 12 years ago.  Indeed life is and seems to continue to become more complex, more chaotic.  THAT is our opportunity! WE get to deepen our learning in how to navigate the stormy seas of life on planet earth by anchoring in a foundation of what is real.

We’ve turned the page on yet another year. We made it through a year that for many was tumultuous at best. Hopefully, we made some progress – not simply in terms of how the world measures progress (money, career, etc.) – but progress in our capacity for self-awareness, self-belief, self-love and faith in the ultimate good of the Universe. THAT is where our opportunity lies.

Deepening our capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to respond to unexpected events is a requirement in a world that seems ever more chaotic. Otherwise we may be swept into the sea of the world’s chaos and find ourselves contributing to its intensity rather than living a life that counters the craziness.

We need more than a life raft. We need a solid foundation in which to anchor ourselves and our choices.  We need to be stable yet remain flexible. We need not to be stuck, but able to move. Adaptability is the key.

And, we won’t find adaptability ‘out there’. It’s an inside job that requires consistent attention and care if we are to deepen our capacity to not get caught up in the world’s chaos or in the unexpected events that life brings our way.  We measure our progress in how we navigate these each and every day.

Does the ringing phone that I ignore as I write this disrupt my train of thought? Yes. How much? How do I adjust and refocus?   Do I allow an event that could disrupt my holiday plans to do so?   Do I participate or not? How do I do so in a way that contributes positively and expresses my true being?

These are the choices we face each and every day, dozens of times. Many seem insignificant. We may not even notice them. Yet each is a building block that contributes to our quality of life AND to the atmosphere and quality of consciousness on the planet. Positive contribution is our opportunity.

Beyond reporting of the so-called news and the punditry of opinion that follows it is an unseen world of cycles within cycles, vortexes within vortexes. This infinite sea of pure, raw energy is what is real. This is the Universe. Events occur. We choose to step into an event or not using this energy. Play or don’t play. These are our choice points, new beginnings.

We are either caught in their chaotic spin or operating with the self-awareness, self-belief, and self-love to sail our own ship.  When we sail our own ship, we discover the Universe is pretty friendly, and our faith in something beyond, yet connected to, ourselves grows.

I continue to discover that when I make decisions that are true for me, choices from this foundation, they tend to serve me well, if not immediately, then certainly long term. Even decisions that don’t work out as planned turn out in my favor in the long run.

This week I invite you to take a deep look at what anchors you in the sometimes stormy sea of life. How rock solid is your foundation?  How might you strengthen it in the year ahead?

… And Cool Hand Luke LOVES It!

… And Cool Hand Luke LOVES It!



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