Spiritually Speaking Blog

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Don’t Trip Over the Small Stuff

“The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.” – William James We are bombarded on a daily basis with small things that can bring great misery, small things causing worry and pain taking over our lives. Kind of like the ant taking over the molehill! A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about cheerfulness being an indicator of a wise person. A wise person can laugh off the “small stuff” that can bring us down into a pool of negativity. Richard Carlson, Ph.D. had summed it up in his book title: “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff”. His premise is that nothing in this world is so important as to cause us to have constant anxiety and suffering. Besides learning distressing techniques, calming down, and acquiring the art of “chilling out”, the story of the dessert fork can be a great reminder. Remember the story about the woman terminally ill meeting with her pastor to plan her memorial service? After choosing particular songs and scripture readings, the dying lady had one more request. “I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.” She further explained the meaning of this request going back to the many socials and dinners this woman had attended. She always remembered that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, “Keep your fork”, knowing that everyone’s favorite part was coming….velvety chocolate cake or deep dish apple pie! This lady’s last wish was to remind all who attended her funeral that ….the best is yet to come. So... read more

“Faithup”

My eyes, drawn to this license plate, read: “Faithup”. Immediately my mind started playing mind games:  buckle up, man up, eat up, stand up….. The driver of this car “got it”, and is sharing the important reminder with everyone on the roads. Yes, we need to “faithup” if we are going to make it in this life. Life is tough….buckle up.      When we are born we shoot through the birth canal only to be slapped into breathing and set on our way. What an entry! We come into this world remembering and longing for our heavenly home. St. Augustine said that, “our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, oh Lord”. God did not kick us out of our heavenly home without some divine support. God gives us the inner powers, the tools of the heart, that will enable us to carry on.  God shows us how we can be happy each day of our lives, even in the face of troubles and failure. God will not insulate us from adversity, challenge or pain. But if we are “faith-filled”, He will share happiness and peace even on the worst of days. The Lord will always see us through our trials and tests but promised to be with us until our journeys are ended. God gave us his promise and will not take it back. Life is not easy; it might feel like we are not making progress. But sure enough we are getting through with faith and that is something to celebrate. Let us take God’s word into our hearts with confident, and patient expectation. Let’s “faithup”... read more

The Lord is My Shepherd

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” Marcus Aurelius My carefree days of childhood were weighed with fear. Fear, not so much of death, but of disappointing, fear of getting into trouble, fear of getting hurt, fear of dogs, snakes, etc, fear of going to hell and fear of mostly everything and everyone. As Marcus Aurelius would say, “Never beginning to live!” But as I’ve matured, my fears are still with me but they have aged also. Now it’s fear of getting ill, fear of losing a loved one, fear of losing my mind, job, retirement. The same fear in this wacky world is difficult to shake. But amid all my fears (real and imaginary), I was raised in a family, school and community of faith. We learned (or had drilled into us from memorization that God is everywhere and always with us). We recited prayers, novenas and prayed the psalms all reminding us of God’s constant love and protection on this scary journey of earthly life. Psalm 23 is perfect for worrywarts like me:  “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want…. He restores my soul…He guides me in straight paths……Yes, though I walk through the valley of he shadow of death….I will fear no evil….For Thou art with me…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” God is not insulating us from life’s troubles:Bad things do happen to good people. He is promising to give us what we need in order to face our trial and to prevail over our troubles.... read more

What Can We Learn From a Mermaid?

As I walked down the pier in San Diego I related to this hand painted wooden sign:  “Kinda Pissed At Not Being a Mermaid”.  Now I’ve always loved the water, its peace, its immensity and the many lessons that can be learned by the ocean. Guess I’m a “Mermaid Wanna Be”.  I never tied my legs together, but I do try to swim like one with my mermaid kick. (Similarly wrapping a towel around my head to try out being a nun…but that’s whole different story!) Why am I so enamored with these beings? What is the endless allure of these creatures, half air and half ocean? Can they teach us anything? I’ve read that mermaids are beings who show us how to love ourselves. This is because they love themselves without guilt, fear or hesitation. They revere desires, beauty and instinctuality. To me, the mermaids embody a beauty and grace that symbolizes the acceptance of flow and balance embracing the highs, the lows and all the spaces in between with beauty and grace.   I’ve often thought that maybe, just maybe our whole purpose of being on this earth is to learn to love ourselves as much as God does! Wow, that’s a pretty tall order, when we get caught up in the eddy of self-incrimination, judgment and rebuke, oftentimes missing the marks that society sets for us. Maybe, just maybe, the ocean is a sign to us of how much God loves us… how deeply, how vastly, how powerfully, how rhythmically and how constantly without judgement. Maybe just maybe, the mermaid is a beautiful creature here to... read more

Want to Start Over?

Do you ever think about going somewhere where nobody knows you and starting a new life? I found this question posed on the Internet. The question initiated a lot of conversation with almost 2,000 comments. I didn’t have time to read all the comments but the bulk being that most of the people answered yes! I was amazed at how many people wanted “out”, and even expressed it openly. Most were sharing intimate thoughts reaching out for comfort and confirmation that they were not alone. Most found themselves in the “muck of life” that we sometimes find ourselves in. Either of our own choosing or that of what fate has blown in. That’s life. Sometimes it’s difficult, even tragic. Being human brings challenging situations, but I don’t think the answer is to pick up and anonymously move out of town, even though the thought of starting over may be appealing. Wherever we find ourselves, no matter how much we think WE’VE screwed up or GOD has screwed up, there is always hope. We all have expectations for ourselves and others. We try to create our lives according to this vision, but our expectations can be dashed to the ground. But whatever the situation, it’s always an invitation. It’s an invitation to change, evolve, and move deeper into the human experience. Or we can remain in the status quo fighting, shutting down or running away through denial. The events in our lives are calls to action. We need to hold on and know deep in our hearts that God has a plan. (If we only knew the plan and purpose,... read more

What is the Sure Sign of Wisdom?

They say with age comes wisdom….not necessarily! Nothing will supply the want of sunshine to peaches unless you have the cheerfulness of wisdom. – Ralph Waldo Emerson One of the surest signs of wisdom is not the number of years you’ve counted but a display of cheerfulness.  This ever-present state of mind is not due to only pleasant and happy occasions we may find ourselves in, but because we are wise enough to know that deep down that “it’s all good”! We know that life comes at us, not in leaps and bounds, but unfolds like a treasure map. Accepting every situation as it presents itself each day, signals that we are “on track” to secure this treasure of life. One of my favorite authors, Neale Donald Walsch wrote: “Nothing is as bleak as it looks, everything is a blessing.” We need to see the blessing or the opportunity in each of life’s circumstances. In one of my workshop discussions, a woman summed this up using the word: “Blesson”. A blesson is the lesson that we are meant to learn in these trying circumstances, but at the same time is really truly a blessing disguised. Next time that you are trying to understand what in the heck is going on, searching for positive meaning, ….it just might be a blesson! I found this on Facebook and gives us a great perspective on our journey: “Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine.” So no matter where you are on your treasure map, carry... read more

Got Potential?

Have you ever been deemed with “having great potential” or voted the “most likely to succeed”? Most people would look on these comments as compliments, a vote of confidence in someone’s abilities. OK, so we’ve been given many gifts. But now what? What if we don’t measure up? Wonder if we don’t meet the world’s expectation of us? Like Charlie Brown bemoans, “Oh, the curse of great potential!!” According to our power-driven standards, if we are underemployed or, not in the fast lane of achievement there is only one reason…..we are not living up to our potential. We need to raise the bar of success by hard work. Most of the world would subscribe to this reasoning: “(Your) potential doesn’t mean shit if you don’t get off you ass and start working.” – Bishank Jhavar, Champion’s Handbook: Meteoric Guide for Meteoric Success But what happens if the road of worldly success does not hold the keys to fulfillment and happiness that makes your particular soul sing? If we strive to meet some false standard of happiness, if we live with thoughts of “someday….” “if only….” then we will never find that joy in this life. Maybe, just maybe: “If you’re happy living what some might call a mediocre life, then you’re not living a mediocre life at all.” – Mike Bundrnat Set your own terms of success, listen to your own drummer, and write your own story. Listen within to find YOUR happiness within YOUR true... read more

Shine On!

We are not who we think we are! We are not defined by what we do for a living, where we live, what is in our bank account or who people think we are. “When we’re growing up there are all sorts of people telling us what to do, when what we really need is space to work out who to be.”  Ellen Page So who are we REALLY? There is a part of each of us that is divine. There are moments when our “Higher Self” is trying to emerge through our overwhelmed thoughts. Amid the static, our divine nature shines through.  “Who we are to be” is our calling to connect with our “Higher Self”. It is simple. It is God who has always been inside of us waiting to meet us. We meet God in many ways while fulfilling our mission on earth, our destiny just being true to ourselves. On our journeys, our souls are calling us, leading us through the thicket of daily life to shine, share, and illuminate this divinity inside of us. Our journeys may differ. There are many roads to the kingdom, and not one right way to get there. As we look back on our lives we can see the subtle ways that our souls are pulling us to discover one thing:  who we really are – divine children of God. Neale Donald Walsch describes a soul true unto itself: Heaven is not a kingdom where you pay homage to someone else. It is a kingdom where you greet yourself as royalty.  It is this “aha” moment that takes a lifetime... read more

Find Your Beach

Love that Corona beer commercial reminding us of an important key to happiness – the ability to disengage. What a waste of time and energy we expend! Most of our stamina during the day is spent on things/activities that don’t really matter. We are bombarded with pressures to accomplish this, acquire that and measure up to someone else’s standard. We go to bed at night with our minds racing of yet what we need to do, feeling that whatever we have accomplished is not enough. Our poor souls are flooded with the misguided notion we need to do “more”. Why don’t we remember who we really are and why we are really here? Besides the mental ambush, we are bombarded with “notifications”. Our peace and quiet is disturbed with beeps, ring tones, chimes, horns and a host of other alerting sounds calling us to more action. Sometimes we need to take a vacation to “get away”…get away from our normal routine to put things in bigger perspective. We need some “me time” some “alone time”.  When we can “get away”, all the items on the “to do” list seem a little less important. With a travel vacation we find new surroundings, different people, and diverse milieu, we are forced out of our rut and jolted into a new awareness, like a breath of fresh air. The pressures gripping us release, our shoulders may drop and we exhale experiencing true peace. But instead of waiting for a yearly getaway, I think we need to carve out “beach time” during EACH of our busy days. What gives you peace? How do you... read more