Our Subsumed Lives

to subsumeto include or place within something larger or more comprehensive;   encompass as a subordinate or component element

When you were a child, what did you want to be when your grew up?  

seashell-754015_960_720If you are doing something quite different from what you imagined you would be doing, what happened? What swerved you onto a different path that led you away from your childhood dreams?  Or maybe you are still very much there, living the dream, without even realizing it?

There are many subsuming elements that our lives encounter, embrace, deny, or challenge.  Elements that distract us from who-we-are and steer us onto paths into what  feels to be a foreign country where we don’t speak the language and we don’t understand the customs.

When I was a child, I wanted to be Continue reading

The Kind of Stuff You Don’t Hang on the Wall

Stuff that Works . . . This is a GREAT song by Guy Clark.  It inspires me to appreciate the “stuff that works” in my life . . . “the kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall.”  Take a listen.  It is a really beautiful song.

I read a great affirmation yesterday: “Where there is light there are shadows.”

IMG_0975Living in the Pacific Northwest, we experience a lot of gray days.  The sort of days where the horizon line blurs the sky and water into one waterscape.  On these days, there are no shadows and there is an etheral feel to the day — akin to floating.  The lack of contrast lends itself to getting lost in daydreams.  Some find these days extraordinarily gloomy.  Drizzle, fog, and low-hanging clouds cast a mood of Waiting.  Waiting for the sun to return.  When we do get a blue day and the sun is shining, the shadows emerge as well.

It sometimes feels as if the times that have made me the happiest have also cast the darkest shadows.  The brightness creates an awareness that life is both awesome and fragile.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, the clouds can, and most likely will, soon return and obscure the sunlight.  As I put things into perspective each morning, afternoon, and night, this song reminds me of the truly important things . . . the stuff that works.  And there is a LOT of stuff that does work. toaster oven

So today?  I am focusing on the stuff that works.

Balance in Creativity: “a harmonious adjustment”

036Today required some awareness for the need to balance.  Balance requires the art of focus — from my brain, my heart, my body, my soul — and I do recognize that I sometimes choose to focus on that which temporarily tips the scales toward chaotic creativity.  Ideas are large — sometimes enormous — and time and resources are sometimes limited.

This is certainly not to complain.  I have learned that ideas can stay alive and healthy while balancing them to a place that still feels right, do-able, and rewarding.  When I pay attention, I am better able to balance.  Anne Frank wrote in her diary: “It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out.  Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart” (Frank, 2001-2010).  Her words.  Wow.  Full Stop.  Re-read.  Amazing, aren’t they?

Although my ideals and subsequent ideas may sometimes appear to be “absurd” or even “impossible” to incorporate into my daily living, the idyllic life-learning environment for me is an amiable, generous, and benevolent experience.  In my own personal learning journey, much of it can be defined as being those sparks in time that have engaged my brain’s limbic system – that most primitive part of the brain associated with basic needs and emotions.  When I link emotional brain to rational brain, all sorts of amazing creativity rises to the surface.

It is then when all creative Hades busts loose.  I am all over the map.  Folders are created.  Documents are saved with obscure titles and then stored willy nilly in the new folders.  Ideas are scrawled on Post-It notes.  My Idea Notebook is flipped open.  I grab a Sharpie and start scribbling on a vision board.  Scraps and notes are slipped into a drawer of the antique fruit dryer.  I text myself obscure reminders.  I eat pasta.  I write on my bathroom mirror in lipstick.  I decide to apply for another degree program.  I go dancing to tame ideas into a basic rhythm.   It is on me alone to skim that which appeals best to my creative hand.  All the while, swimming in ideas that all feel so great at the time . . . but what to do with all of them?  Where to store them for my eventual return?

Vision Board 075James Allen wrote: “A man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy, healthy, and prosperous being; and happiness, health, and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer of the man with his surroundings.”  This quote is in accord with the importance of becoming self-actualized in order to reach individual and unique maximum potential.  Allen’s idea that there is “a harmonious adjustment” between our internal and external worlds is in absolute alignment with my life philosophy.

Alignment.  This requires focus.  This is to say that I must explore both worlds in order to achieve authenticity and balance in my living and in my learning and my believing. We are most convincing when we truly believe what we express to others. When we are passionate about our beliefs, toaster ovenothers respond to the energy we exude.  We live more fully.  We laugh more readily.  We love more easily.

By acting upon our beliefs, we show others that we mean what we say, and our energy ripples outward into the world. We are each given unique abilities and a purpose that we bring to the world. Like a puzzle piece, we each have our own place and are equally important to the complete picture. By sharing our passion with the world, we may help to awaken others to their purpose, guiding them to find their place in the puzzle. (Daily OM, 2010).


Into the Blue

what you focus on growsWHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS

I was feeling both convicted and uplifted by this thought this past week.  I got sidetracked by some healing worries that were robbing me of being in the moment.  I was gently reminded by someone that I was worrying and getting away from my self.  It’s true.  I was losing my way.  These were such good and loving words in a time in which I was feeling stressed — and fearful.  I love that this person cared enough to steer me back to my inner self.  To that place that lets me rest in the present moment.  All will be well.  All is well.

The power of the mind (and the heart and the soul and the spirit) never cease to inspire me into a state of wonder.  When I focus on positive things, amazing things happen.  When I focus on negative outcomes . . . I don’t feel like me.  I feel like I am being held captive by my own mis-directional thoughts.  When I no longer allow myself to be a captive, I choose to focus on those thoughts that will allow growth, healing, laughter, and love in my life.  This is SO much better.

Marianne Williamson writes in A Return to Love: “The more we learn about the light within us, the easier it ultimately becomes to forgive ourselves for the fact we’re not perfect yet.”  Perfection is one of those elusive concepts that is undefinable.  We instinctively aim toward Perfection, yet we don’t know what it looks like or where it lies.  It’s like hunting phantoms that skirt our perimeters of awareness.  We think we would know how it would feel if we “attained” it, but I am not so sure.  I think we would keep thinking that we weren’t quite there yet.  Like there is some extra super-duper level of perfect that exceeds 100%.

What all of this leads me to conclude is that Now is Perfect.  I will never experience more Perfection in my life than that which lies in this very moment.  Perfect is neither an A in French Phonology nor graduating magna cum laude with cords, pins, and honors.  It is not a promotion at work, and it isn’t a marriage proposal in Paris.  It isn’t slipping easily into your skinny jeans, and it isn’t pulling a pan of sky-high cream puffs out of the oven.

honey-beePerfection.  It is Now.  That was then, this is Now.  Life blooms into the most beautiful of moments when we least expect them to.  For this, I am immensely grateful.



Marianne Williamson: “A spiritual teacher from India once pointed out that there is no such thing as a gray sky.  The sky is always blue.  Sometimes, however, gray clouds come and cover the blue sky.  We then think the sky is gray.  It is the same with our minds.  We’re always perfect.  We can’t not be.  Our fearful patterns, our dysfunctional habits, take hold within our minds and cover our perfections.  Temporarily.  That is all.”

Whew.  All will be well.  All is well.  I’ve got this.  I can relax into the grey-sky moments, knowing that there is blue sky behind the clouds.  There is going to be that sunset that pierces the clouds with a radiance that inspires wonder and affirms love.  True love that douses fear with its fire.

When I remain in a loving state, I am in blue-sky country.  In blue-sky country, I feel myself re-adjusting my focus — the aim of my life’s trajectory . . . no longer toward Perfection but toward Love.  I might not always experience Perfection — in the sense of my physical humanity and the interactions that my day encounters.  But I can certainly extend the reach of my capacity to Love — which grows its own brilliant Perfection.  It is such a great feeling to reach through and part that curtain of Grey and get a glimpse of Blue.  I feel so. much. love and appreciation for those in my life who inspire me to extend my reach into the Blue.  I thank them with my love and devotion.  I feel so blessed.   toaster oven

I can pick up the phone.  Write that letter.  Express my love in action and in word.  Tell my Sweetheart: I Love You.  Completely lose myself in laughter with my Best Friend.  Encourage the special people in my life who are wondering what’s goin’ on.  Make new pathways to those who no longer feel close.  Be spontaneous in accepting the unexpected.  Show my doubts to the door.  Grow more Love.  Remember that the Grey is just a temporary veil that can and will alter its course.  Blue Sky is always there.  Is here.  “What you focus on grows”: I am focusing on Blue Sky.  It feels Perfect.