(A Thought for the Week)
"Worry is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere." ~ Unknown
"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy." ~ Leo F. Buscaglia
(A Thought for the Week)
A Thought for the Week
"The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination." ~ Don Williams Jr
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." ~ Ursula K LeGuin
"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." ~ Alex Noble
A Thought for the Week
Forgiveness is letting go of angry and resentful thoughts and feelings. It is a key element of happiness, because if you continue to think about the “wrong” somebody did you, you are fuelling unhappy emotions.
When somebody hurts you badly, it can be extremely difficult to let go of your anger towards them and forgive. A lot of the time it’s difficult because you actually don’t want to forgive them - you don't think they deserve it! In order to protect yourself, you hold onto your anger. This is all very understandable, but regrettable too, as in harbouring these feelings, the person you’re hurting most is yourself. In hanging onto these feelings you’re affecting your own energy, and not to your benefit. Forgive, if not for the sake of the person “who done you wrong”, then for your own sake.
Every action that anybody takes is, at its unconscious root, motivated either by love or fear. When somebody treats you badly, the unconscious reason for that was their own fear. Bear this in mind, and it may help you to feel compassion rather than anger, or at least to let go of your resentment.
Forgiveness does not have to mean you pick up the pieces of your broken relationship with the person you feel betrayed or let you down. You can let go of the friendship if that’s what feels right, but the essential thing is that you do let go of your feelings of anger, betrayal and resentment. It can take time to get there, but if you resolve to move on for your own sake it becomes easier to let go of the angry thoughts when they do come to the fore.
It is just as critical to your health and well-being to forgive yourself for past mistakes, as it is to forgive others. In fact, learning to forgive yourself will increase your sense of compassion towards others and make the act of forgiveness easier whenever the need arises.
When it comes to self-forgiveness, ask yourself what good do you do yourself, or anybody else, by beating yourself up? It will not help you to move forward. In fact, it will stunt your ability to grow from whatever "mistake" you made.
Growth is about accepting what happened, identifying what you can learn from it and how you can do better in the future, then letting it go. and in order to be happy in the present, you need to stop focussing on the past. It's over and done with, you cannot change that. If there's a way you can make things somewhat better, then do so. Then decide to do better in future and move on.
Treat yourself with the same compassion you need to treat others in order to forgive them. Understand that you acted from a place of fear, and set the intention to go forwards living, as much as possible, from a place of love.
Letting go of Fear
Easier said than done, I know, but fear is a giant stumbling block to your personal happiness. Strictly the domain of the ego (your Spirit knows only Love), fear is an emotion that arises to protect us, but in doing so it often limits us.
Fear is the opposite of love, and in the coaching world it's used as an acronym for False Events Appearing Real. When you feel fear rise up inside you, ask yourself if that could possibly be the case. Because sometimes fear is associated with a very real threat and serves us well. But most of the time, our fear is around the anticipation of some uncomfortable outcome that may or may not actually arise.
And what's more, fear - like love - is a powerful energy, and we attract into our lives those things we love and fear the most, because those are the areas where we focus most of our attention.
To live your very best life, you need to learn to let go of fear. Otherwise you will not push yourself to do that which scares you. And it's fine not to do something because you don't want to. But to not do something because you're scared is a shame.
I know it's not easy. For most of my life I was a coward and would avoid anything that meant overcoming a fear, be that for my physical, pyschological or emotional safety. Eventhough I longed to do more, I would sit on the sidelines and watch rather than take risks. But over the last decade I've slowly pushed myself, stretching my comfort zone a little at a time. When I look back now I can hardly believe what I'm willing to do compared to how I used to be.
It starts with the decision: I'm not going to let fear hold me back. To borrow Susan Jeffer's term, to live your very best life, you need to feel the fear and do it anyway. And reading that book would actually be a very good starting point ;-)
Freedom is a sense of being, rather than a reflection of your life situation. You don't have to be footloose and fancy-free to feel free. It's about choice, or to be more accurate, feeling as though what you do in life is a choice.
And in fact, you always have a choice. You may not be able to control every situation in your life, but you always have a choice about how you respond to anything that occurs. And therein lies your freedom.
When you recognise this freedom to choose your response, you will find yourself more accepting of what is. You won't need to struggle with life, because you know that even if things aren't how you wish they are right now, you can choose how to view it, and how to deal with it. You can choose to look for lessons instead of feeling sorry for yourself. You can choose to find a way to use your situation to help others deal with similar circumstances. You can choose to remember that everything is temporary and this too will pass.
You can choose to feel free (and you can choose to be happy!)
But of course! You're allowed to have fun. In fact, many of the most enlightened souls on the planet are very light-hearted with it. So lighten up. Make a list of the things that make your heart sing and do at least one item on the list every day.
A Thought for the Week
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." ~ Unknown
"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become." ~ Unknown
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." ~ George Eliot
A desire quietly evolved over the last number of months: to leave Dublin and move to the West of Ireland.
It's a subset of my Big Dream: to buy a big georgian country house and run a retreat centre from it. I can't afford that dream yet, but as Mike Dooley says "The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living it, at once, to any degree you possibly can."
And I can move west without the big country house. And I can rent a house there for less money than I'm paying for my one-bed apartment in Dublin. And I might even be able to dedicate a room in that house for teaching meditation.
And so it formulated... And I set up alerts for houses available to rent in a number of counties in the West of Ireland. I kinda felt drawn to Sligo, but didn't want to become too attached, so remained open to what might come up elsewhere. I felt that if this was the right thing for me to do, then I would find the perfect space in the perfect place, and I was determined not to force that to happen, but to allow it to unfold easily.
And what emerged was that the place that felt really right, that I was very drawn to, was in Mayo, not Sligo. The lovely Westport, I decided, would become my new home.
But again, I didn't want to become too attached to the idea - I know from experience that attachment thwarts my desires. Detachment helps them to manifest or keeps me open to even better things emerging than I originally planned for. So, I decided that now I'd found the perfect space, I would not actually make the move until I found the perfect place, eventhough a friend living 20 minutes from that town invited me to stay with her till I'd found somewhere of my own to live.
That felt like it might be forcing the issue a bit. The move will be very big logistically (not to mention emotionally as I'm leaving behind the life I've built over the last 16 years to begin a new one) and I believed if it was really right then everything would fall into place. I just needed to patiently allow that to happen.
But at the same time I also took some action - doing my bit to let the Universe know I'm serious about this plan ;-)
So, I did my homework. What were the people like (seriously friendly); how easy would it be to make new friends (very easy, I was assured); could I engage in leisure activities I enjoy (kayaking and hill-walking clubs - check; great surf nearby - time to finally learn to stand up on the board); were the people in the vicinity open to holistic practices (oh my God, yes!!).
And I looked at places to live. That was less encouraging. Most were damp and dingy. They definitely didn't feel like home. I started to wonder if it was meant to be. Maybe it wasn't. I surrendered.
And then more places came up to view, and one of them just felt So Right - yay! There were a couple of issues to be ironed out, and cheaper rent to be negotiated, but that all worked out too. I was all set to head to Westport last Wednesday to sign the lease and pay my deposit. And then the night before it all fell through. The house now won't be available till Christmas at the earliest.
I was really disappointed. I had become attached to that house! And I knew immediately that it just wasn't meant to be, but it still sucked having to let it go. It offered so much space, aesthetically it was to my taste, and its location in the town was just perfect. How would I possibly find another place as good?
But I also knew that if I'm meant to move there, then I will find the perfect place, and that house just wasn't meant to be.
The next morning I read this post on surrender by Megan, guest posting on The Jungle Of Life. How perfect! It got me to wondering if I'm simply too attached to the idea of moving to Westport. Maybe that's what's not meant to be. Maybe I'm meant to stay here in Dublin after all.
But I don't want to stay in Dublin. I want to make the move, I think the time is right for that.
I need to surrender again. Maybe what I want isn't what I need right now... I need to release my attachment to this particular dream and allow it to evolve to perfectly reflect what I really and truly, deeply desire at a level I may not yet be aware of.
So I'm shifting into wondering instead. I'm still hoping to make the move to Westport, but instead of being attached to it happening, I'm curiously wondering if it will. It's a much better place to be in :-)
What about you? What have you been attached to in the past that you now realise wasn't meant to be? And are you all the happier for it not coming about?
A Thought for the Week
"Nobody succeeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations." ~ Ralph Charell
"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way." ~ Eileen Caddy
"Expect the best and a funny thing happens. You often get it." ~ Unknown
A Thought for the Week
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” ~ Andre Gide
“Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.” ~ Unknown