Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Difficult Relationships

Excerpt from Lessons in Living by Susan L. Taylor:

Spiritual ideas and concepts alone won't bring about change and create the happiness and joy we long for. Only staying aware of and practicing them will. Our relationships give us opportunities to explore the breadth of our own unique being and to become accepting of ourselves, which is the starting place for acceptance of others. Too often in our relationships, we focus on the disruptive behavior of others rather than our own. But life is biased towards growth, and it invariably draws us to the people and circumstances we need for our highest development. Our most difficult relationships offer us the greatest opportunity for growth and change.

Understanding that these challenges are for our spiritual awakening should inspire us to examine vigilantly our own behavior, to expore our own feelings and responses with compassion and love. By dedicating ourselves to this process of self-discovery, we open the way for a deeply intimate relationship with ourselves. This primary relationship is fundamental to our sense of self-worth and self-acceptance and is the basis for creating loving relationships with others.

Our relationships are mirrors; they reflect where we are in consciousness. And if we are willing to face the truth about ourselves, our relationships offer the lessons that lead to our greatest transformation.
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Monday, February 22, 2010

About Love

"Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you. When you dare to reveal yourself fully. When you dare to be vulnerable."
-Dr. Joyce Brothers

"To love is to risk being disappointed, let down and broken hearted and be vulnerable anyway. Love and freedom both require risk. It's not about whether someone else lives up to your expectations, but if you live up to your own. Don't be attached to people, focus inward on your own experience of love and bring that to every situation. This is how you take your power back! If you do this authentically, everything your Heart desires AND MORE will be yours."
-Mastin Kipp

"To attract love 3 qualities must be cultivated: attention, affection, appreciation."
-Deepak Chopra

"I have learned that if I am love and allow it to flow through me, then people, places and situations will change."

"Love can be hard. Love requires you to be kind when you are angry, patient when you feel anxious, compassionate when you judge others, caring when you feel apathetic, trust when you've been wronged, let go when you want to hold on, know that the other person is you, take risks when you're scared, to always see the lesson and never look back once you've decided."
-Mastin Kipp

"Love looks for ways to improve someone else’s life. Love brings out the best in other people. Don’t just get up in the morning thinking about yourself or how you can make your own life better. Think about how you can make someone else’s life better."  
-Joel & Victoria Osteen

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”
-Zora Neale Hurston

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

PLPT Reading List: Add More ~ING to Your Life

Gabrielle Bernstein is a motivational speaker, life coach and the author of Add More ~Ing to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness. In the book, just released in January, Gabrielle speaks about learning to live according to your "~ing"--your inner guide, as opposed to your ego. Through her book, workshops, video blog and audio mediations, Gabrielle helps you "to change your life by accessing a state of flow, helping you connect with your ~ing, your inner guide, and readying you to release your limiting beliefs and to choose happiness."

I have been listening to Gabrielle's lectures and find them helpful in getting through days where I find myself frustrated and irritable. A lot of the information she presents is in changing how we react to difficult situations and encouraging us to view all situations--and ourselves--with love, acceptance and forgiveness.

The following video is from the workshop and book signing conducted in Washington, DC in January:

ADD MORE ~ing TO YOUR LIFE LECTURE IN DC from gabriellebernstein on Vimeo.

Purchase Add More ~ING to Your Life: A Hip Guide to Happiness from Peace, Love & Pretty Things.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

I once was lost...

photo credit:

The thing about losing yourself is that you don't realize when it's happening to you. And you most certainly can't be told. You have to discover for yourself. It's not as if we get lost without our own consent. Not only do we consent to it, we give ourselves away willingly. How else would we escape our fears? Avoid vulnerability? Hide our flaws? We bury ourselves for protection, and by doing so, we protect ourselves right out of opportunities to experience the true and burning desires of our hearts. You know, the ones that we think we don't deserve.

How can anyone truly love and honor you the way you deserve when you don't honor yourself by being who you really are? No one can give you what you cannot give yourself. If you will sacrifice your own needs and ignore your boundaries to keep a man, fit in with a crowd, keep a job...then you are essentially squeezing yourself into situations where you don't belong. You think you are hiding and no one can see you, but just because you don't realize that your butt is sticking out of that hiding spot, doesn't mean that it's not sticking out. Folks can see you from a mile away and you don't even know it.

I'll tell you what. The best part about losing yourself is the search and rescue is often initiated by it... if you choose to venture into the unknown territory within you. It can be a scary place sometimes, but all of the potential in the world is in there. If you get fed up enough, a change gon' come. In the meantime, look for yourself and what you believe in everything you do. If you can't find yourself, what are you going to do about it?

What do you do to stay centered and grounded in yourself? I'll share first. I'm not saying that I always get it right, but I make a conscious effort to do these things to stay true to myself.

I write. Mostly about feelings and growth. Writing connects my heart and my mind.
I check myself. I hold myself accountable for my own behavior.
I speak the truth and hear the truth without fear.
I don't apologize for being me.
I don't base my happiness on anyone else's behavior or opinions.
I communicate my needs. (This is a tough one for me.)

What else? Are any of these extra challenging for you? Any advice on how you got out of a rut or a situation where you'd lost sight of you who are? Sharing your story may help someone else's healing process.

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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ego vs. Spirit

The ego needs recognition. The spirit does not need to thank itself.

The ego wants to be noticed. It needs stroking, pumping up and limelight. The ego needs to compete just to prove it is better. It senses danger around ever corner, difficulty in every challenge and trouble coming through everyone. The ego can never be enough, do enough or have enough. The goal of the ego is to be well liked and authorized because, for some reason, it does not feel qualified. The spirit is qualified by light. The light of truth, peace, joy and love. It does not seek to condemn, condone or compromise what it is. It simply knows and is it. The spirit does what it can and moves on to something else. It does not ask for an reward or wait for rewards, it is just spirit being spirit. One of the difficult problems in the world is the competition of egos. They want to be noticed and applauded so they compete and dominate. When we truly understand that we are spiritual beings, we will no longer have a need for recognition. We will do what we can because we can do it by virtue of the light of spirit.

Today I will go unnoticed.

~Author Unknown

Imagine how much happier we'd all be if we didn't compare ourselves to others. Our egos tell us that we need the career status, clothes, cars and homes that show status and success. All of these are temporary things. Our egos tell us that we need our lives validated and approved of by others. The spirit within each of us doesn't have a beginning or end. The burdens that seem to hold so much gravity now, are of no consequence to the Spirit. Embrace your spirit, nurture it and cherish it. Love yourself and love your journey for what it is.
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