Monthly Archives: October 2012

Bravery In Believing

Is it  just me, or is it hard to have faith in people sometimes? So often I find myself writing some one off as being somehow unworthy of my faith in them because I question their judgement or motives. I can hear myself saying things like, “I wish they would make healthier choices, BUT they don’t have a very good track record.” Sometimes it sounds more like, “She is such a nice person really, BUT she just gets so nasty. I am not counting on her to change.” Sometimes I even go so far as trying to talk others into believing as I do. If a friend is saying how great someone is, I have felt somehow obligated to point out that person’s flaws. Am I trying to make myself look better, that may be part of it. But really I just cannot fathom how my friend could have such faith in this questionable character. I don’t want them to be duped.

This habit of mine has a definite air of arrogance. That some how I know what is best. When I catch these thoughts lately I recognize them for what they are and let them pass on by. I no longer feel the need to distance myself from someone to prove my own good judgement. I can extend my compassion to them, knowing that sometimes life is hard. Understanding that sometimes it doesn’t feel like you have any good choices available, so you just pick the one that seems the least bad or maybe the most fun.

The strange thing is, that the quality I probably admire most in others is the ability to see the good in everyone. This is a quality I really tend to in myself, hoping to help it grow and flourish. I just listened to a story on The Moth storytellers podcast by Ellie Lee about her father Ming Lee. She told how he opened a low cost grocery store in Boston’s Chinatown and grew the business to be almost a living member of the community. How when it burned down, several Chinese women were standing across the street crying because they felt they had lost their home. In Ellie’s attempts to learn more about her father’s life she would often ask him to tell her stories from the grocery store. One story he told was of trailing a 10 year old shoplifter around his store. The boy was blatantly stealing food and stuffing it into his backpack. At one point he even stopped and sat down in the aisle for a lunch break, chowing down on his stolen food right in the store.  Ming Lee approached the boy and asked him if he had enough to eat. The boy said, “Almost” and continued munching away. Then Ming started to work his magic!

He found that the boy’s parents were at work and that the boy had no food at home. Ming told the boy,  “When you take stuff, especially at a store, and you don’t pay for it. That’s stealing.” The boy started getting nervous and began angling for a way to escape. Ming continued, “In the future, if you don’t have any food at home. Please just come find me and ask me for whatever you need. If you ask I will give you whatever you want. Just don’t steal because stealing is wrong.” Ellie knew that her father must have enjoyed the times when the boy came in to the store. That was how he was. He saw the good and met people in that place inside of themselves.

What is a mistake really? A misstep. A decision you made that had a different outcome than you expected, maybe. Acting on the belief that things would go one way and having them go another. Isn’t that how we all learn best?

In other words, life.

I am slowly loosening my grip on the belief that if I can see the weakness or faults in others I can protect myself from harm. I am slowly starting to embrace the belief that life sometimes looks messy and there can be beauty in the mess.


Creating A Dream Book

I recently heard about Dream Books which are sort of similar to vision boards. Basically you break down all the different areas of your life and make separate vision board (s) for each of them. You can get even more involved with affirmations and things. The idea is to get clear about what you really do want. This seems to be a process and not a destination. It can be overwhelming to people who believe things like, “I don’t know what I want.” or “I don’t really have any dreams, passions, goals.”

This is not a road block, it is just a different way of thinking. For all of us we can start by getting clear about what doesn’t work for us. Most of us have that nailed down pretty well! Then we can start throwing out ideas of what might be good or things that have worked in the past. Then we can start brightening that vision. Really polish that sucker up until it is good any shiny.

Most of the information I found recommends looking through your dream book first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I tend to really stink at this. I just can’t be bothered with all that remembering… like taking my vitamins (Yawn). I found a website with a great explanation of why this is so often recommended. It said,

“This frequent repetition of affirmations and images will create and strengthen neural pathways in your brain (like wearing a path in the woods), making it easier for you to believe in your success and take the necessary actions to create it.”

This makes sense to me. The more I immerse myself in these images and ideas the more it starts to feel real. The more it feels real and possible the more I start to see opportunities around me to make it happen.  Voila!

I would love to hear from anybody who has made a dream book or has information about them. If nothing else it sounds like a fun craft project.

 


Joy happens

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.

                           -Marianne Williamson

What a concept!

What is great in your world today?


Behind the Mask

Go ahead, take off your disguise and show the world your irresistible true self.

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are

when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved

and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed

and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world

but to unglove ourselves so that the door knob feels cold

and the car handle feels wet

and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being

soft and unrepeatable.”

                                                            –Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening

I heard this beautiful quote this morning on a podcast from Tara Brach. I promise you if you are feeling out of sorts for any reason just listening to her voice will make you feel better. If you focus on what she is actually saying… forget about it!

She says, “The less we’re identified with the hard ego coverings the more we can be touched by life.”

This is so fitting for what is happening for myself and so many people around me right now. As we think about giving up long-held beliefs about who we are or secrets we believe define us, it feels raw and scary. Like we are exposing ourselves to unnecessary pain and ridicule. The potential pay off is so huge. We grow stronger, not weaker by exposing our true selves.  Feeling loved and connected to others is the most basic of human needs and recognizing those flashes when you really feel it and express it, are the first step to figuring out how to live there.  I encourage you to find ways every day to be a little more real, a little more from the heart. Trust in the wisdom of the universe to take care of the rest.

I want to remind you of my offer for 2 free months of Life Script Editing with me. I have a few amazing “clients” who have signed up and would like to start a few more people in the beginning of November. Just in time for the Holidays- get ready to imagine less drama this year! Please email me at: heather@lifeandfriendship.com if you would like to sign up or get more information.


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