A Touch of Spirit: Revisiting the Past

mexic picoEarly yesterday morning, I sat looking out over the water and the form of the mountains against the dark sky that comprised the view from the balcony of my hotel room. An occasional fishing boat passed by, making its way out to the Pacific. This is my annual trip to Mexico; a tradition I have held since 1990, almost a decade before my kids came along. Since their arrival into my life, I have shared this tradition with them and schedule it each year to coincide with my birthday. This year marks my 47th.

Perhaps it is because this week also coincides with Mercury Retrograde, but rather than looking forward I have found myself revisiting the past, both in my thoughts and, unfortunately, in some patterns that seem to present themselves in my life over and over again. (Those dreaded “life lessons;” they are always so generous in giving me chances to demonstrate understanding!)

In this time of revisiting, I recognize that in some areas of my life, I didn’t have the insight then that I have now; insight to myself, my motivations, my fears and my “reasons.” Alas, I admit that I have some regrets. But rather than feel saddened by these, I now see that they hold the seeds of my greater understanding.

We are often afraid to admit, to ourselves or anyone else, that we have regrets; that doing so in some way implies wrongdoing or failure. But if we come from a position of self-honesty and allow ourselves to revisit the past from a place of transcendence, we may find in those memories we have tucked away, safe from our view, the opportunity for growth and understanding.

Today, if you feel so inclined, revisit an area of your life you wish you had handled differently. But instead of simply feeling the emotion of it, rise above it. Spend some time in quiet contemplation with love, patience, and maybe even a little courage.

I am continually reminded that, even when striving to live a conscious life, we are here to grow and learn. Each step toward new awareness and greater understanding has purpose, even if we don’t want to admit it!

Many Blessings,
Sheryl

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A Touch of Spirit: Going with the Flow

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This time last year, I was on an extended leave from my job as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit focused on child abuse and neglect. I called it a sabbatical of my own making; I asked for eight weeks off and my Board of Directors approved it. After 25 years of “sowing” in my career, that was my reaping. While I did have to take care of some things for my job here and there, I was able to unwind for the first time in years. When it was all said and done, I was ready to go back to work a week early. And the past year? Well, it was filled with new ideas, creativity, energy and successful implementation. So great was my experience that I decided I would use my vacation time to do a shorter, modified version this year.

As I write this, I am on “leave,” and I have to tell you, it’s not unfolding as I had hoped. It’s like the lineup of the stars is creating circumstances that are keeping me from reaching my creative goals. Then something hit me; in fighting this reality, I’m going against the flow. And by flow I mean The Flow—of life, energy and the universe.

I am a big advocate for making a list, checking it twice, and doing what needs to be done to meet a goal. As they say, “Someday is not a day on the calendar.” We have to make a decision to do something; schedule it in, and do it. But what if, in spite of our commitment and diligence to meet a goal, we still can’t make it happen? Or if it seems like we are repeatedly derailed, or the creative juices aren’t running through our veins in the allotted time? It may mean that instead of floating on our backs and riding the river of life (riding the flow) we are swimming against the current.

As you move through your day, consider if there is an area of your life in which it feels like you are swimming against an invisible current. If so, ask yourself, “Am I willing to lay back and let the water carry me, even if it’s not taking me to the destination I had in mind?”

Remember, sometimes the universe has something else in store for us; and it might even be better than what we had in store for ourselves!

Many Blessings,
Sheryl

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A Touch of Spirit: Re-Creation

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Counter to conventional “new year” goal-setting wisdom, I have a tendency to drag mine out. For that reason, I am still plodding through my workbook for 2015 even though it is already mid-April. This may not be the most effective means of setting goals, but for right now it brings me joy to look at what I have already written and accomplished, and to experience my own evolution as the year progresses

A few weeks ago I sat by the lake wrapped in a blanket, looking out as the afternoon sunlight reflected off the ripples in the water. I had just read over something I wrote back in February while in New Mexico with my kids skiing. I wanted one of my themes for the year to be recreation, and how appropriate it was to read that message to myself after a lovely walk in the woods.

The fact that I chose recreation as one of my themes is significant, and showed real intention to move away from my “overworked” work ethic and requirement for constant productivity. Big stuff!

Recreation. I repeated the word in my mind a few times, responding to it like it were a meditative mantra. Recreation. Recreation. Recreation. And then my mind lit up in an instant –

Recreation…. Re-creation.

How beautiful is that?

     Recreation creates opportunities for re-creation. If I want to re-create myself, renew my passion or commitment to my life’s work, the answer isn’t necessarily to work on it or focus on it. Perhaps the answer is to relax, play, and participate in life in new and different ways. And with that epiphany, my theme word of “recreation” took on an even more wonderful meaning.

Many Blessings,
Sheryl

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Happiness

Years ago, I had a repeated conversation with a dear friend of mine about what it meant to be “happy.” Neither could adequately explain our concept of what happiness was, but when he disagreed with my idea that it had to do with contentment, I gathered his sense of it was different than mine. This elusive concept of happiness; what is it?sunflower-1

When I think back to when I was in early adulthood, I felt most happy when I was seeking an experience, going someplace new, and feeling like I was living my life with gusto. As I got a little bit older, my emphasis shifted. I met someone, got married, had kids, built a home and life in all the ways that we are raised to believe are related to happiness.

In a nutshell, happiness was about the HIGHS in life.

I had an idea of what happiness was and what it might look like. What I now see is that it is possible to have picture perfect moments and experiences in life that make us feel those highs we think of as happiness, but at the same time have an undercurrent of discontent.

Another decade has almost passed. The pieces of my puzzle “fell apart,” and being a single mom, my adventures and ability to live my life with gusto are slightly reduced. Yet, for some reason, I am content in a way I have never felt before. My life and heart are full, and I go to sleep each night with a sense of joy and peace.

Coming back to the original question, what is this elusive thing we call happiness? Going back to my original thought that it was related to being content, I took it upon myself to look up the definition of “content” and this is what it said:

“a state of peaceful happiness; satisfied, pleased, fulfilled….”

And I let out a deep sigh…. this is what happy feels like.

Many Blessings,
Sheryl

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