Category Archives: Inspirational Posts

AWAKENING TO THE ZEST OF LIFE

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery.”

What creates zest in your life? Are there many things or one?  How do you create the zest in your life?

(Thanks to Lindsey for suggesting this topic.  Since this is the end of the alphabet blogs, I’m delighted to be able to write about an uplifting topic.  This is the perfect one.  I will write some more blogs along the way, but not as much as I have been.  Remember that I have written them for years, so you can go to https://georgannespruce.com and search for a topic under archives down on the right side of the page.  Again, thanks so much for all the help you have given me.)

Every week when I start to write this blog, my energy lifts.  I become more awake, excited about what will come up in my mind, and how it will all turn out.  My whole life has been filled with some kind of creative activity that has brought me pleasure, even with its challenges and disappointments.  It always feels more zestful to have tried to write a poem or essay than to have only thought about doing it.

Success Brings Joy To Us

It is true that the most joy comes when we succeed at what we have set out to accomplish, but we never experience that unless we take the risk of trying.  Anyone who is creative understands this.  When we think of creativity, the arts are usually the first area that comes to mind.  However, people who create new businesses or products feel the zest of accomplishment too.

While the pandemic may limit some of the activities that bring us joy, it is a time when we have to search a bit more to create new things in our lives.  I have a friend who is a terrific cook and she loves to experiment and create new dishes.  That is one of the things that gives her joy.

I grew up in a family with little money, but my mother’s ability to create attractive clothes for me from on-sale fabric remnants was exceptional.  It was a creative activity that brought us both joy.  It also taught me to be creative in my daily life:  how I decorate my house, how I match the clothes I choose to wear, or how to search for an interesting way to teach a lesson during the years I taught school.

Mother with daughter at the factory. Family with a fabric.

Do What We Are Drawn To Do

When these activities of life turn out the way we want, we feel joyful.  We feel the zest of accomplishment lift us into a more positive attitude, so it is always worth trying to do what we are drawn to do. We often learn from this experience regardless of the outcome.

Twenty-five years ago, I bought my first car.  I did some research and was thrilled when I found what looked like the right car and it seemed to be affordable.  But I felt very nervous about dealing with the financial part of the sale.  I asked my sister-in-law, who was and is a talented, financially aware person, to accompany me.

Buying that car was a new zestful experience for me.  Getting it gave me much joy, and I’m still joyfully driving that little Toyota Corolla.  I love not having all the complicated electronic items to deal with that are on new cars, and the Toyota still runs beautifully.  Buying it was clearly the right decision.

What creates zest in your life may be different from what creates it in your friends or family’s lives.  In this time when there are so many limitations, we need to be open-minded and accepting of our differences.  We need to have respect for what gives joy to others and continue to find ways to bring joy into our lives and the lives of others.  May your day be filled with zest.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO JOY

AWAKENING TO SHARE HAPPINESS

AWAKENING TO OUR JOY WITHIN

 

AWAKENING TO OUR YEARNING

“When we begin to desire a thing, to yearn for it with all our hearts, we begin to establish relationship with it in proportion to the strength and persistency of our longing and intelligent effort to realize it.”   Orison Swett Marden

For what do you yearn?  Does it enliven or depress you?  How do you deal with it?

(Thanks to Joanne for our topic today.  She must have been reading my mind because, when I thought about “y” words, this was the first one that came to me.  Thanks to all of you who offered words.   Next week’s topic will start with a “Z” so please leave your ideas under comment.  Many thanks!)

Yearning is a very personal experience, but I suspect there is one thing for which we all yearn no matter how different our beliefs or politics.  We all want Covid in its various forms to disappear.

Yearning may lead us to take actual steps to get what we want or it may lead us to be depressed when what we yearn for is not in our reach. Yearning for what we want may not always take us directly to the place where we had imagined our desire would be met, but that “in between” place may be a valuable part of the journey.

 Doing What Is Necessary

When I had Chronic Fatique Syndrome years ago,  I certainly didn’t want to move to the dry west, but that’s where I needed to be in order to heal.

Within four years I returned to good health, but I also received gifts along the way that I had not expected.  I developed a deep, loving relationship with a man that was not romantic.  I had not known that to be possible.  I was exposed to new cultures and beautiful art that was different from any I had seen before.  Most of all, I was exposed to eastern religious practices like meditation that helped heal me and became a valuable part of my life.

As a result of taking this step, I was able to then move to the mountains where I had desired to live for a long time.  Now I currently live surrounded by the beauty of nature I most love with friends who share my spiritual and political values.

Negative Yearning Does Not Help Us

So often, though, we yearn for things we believe are impossible to attain.  If we believe it is impossible, we won’t make the effort to find out if it really is possible.If we have a strong desire, not acting on it may lead to depression, which will become another obstacle to overcome.

One of the greatest modern dancers of all times was Martha Graham.  She had a different approach to dance movement that did not always please people.  I’ve been reading her autobiography and did not realize how much difficulty she encountered.  But she was persistent because dance enlivened her.  It was her calling, so she was willing to struggle.  She would not stop dancing.  Along the way, she was often surprised by the people who offered her work or artistic help so that she was able to create the dances she wanted.  These people saw her brilliance.

Is Our Yearning Good For Us?

When we yearn for something we do not have, we need to seriously assess if it is something that is good for us.  Yearning for drugs to make us high is clearly not good for us.  Eating enormous amounts of carbs will put way too much weight on us.  Having an affair when we are married is certainly a bad choice.  Yearning for what will clearly harm us requires that we let go of that yearning or see a professional who can help us release that desire.

When we yearn for something, we always need to ask, “If I succeed in getting this, would it be good for me?”  If the answer is no, then we need to release that desire, and if necessary, find the help to do so.

But if getting what we yearn for would be good for us and improve our lives, then we should find the courage to explore making what we yearn for a reality.

May your yearning lead you to wonderful experiences!

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO OUR WISHES

AWAKENING TO YOUR TRUE SELF

AWAKENING TO OUR REALITY

 

 

AWAKENING TO BE XENIAL

“Lead the life that will make you kindly and friendly to everyone about you, and you will be surprised what a happy life you will lead.”  Charles M. Schwab

Are you a good hostess even with people who are not your friends?  Are you happy with your life?  What creates this happiness in your life?

(I’m very grateful to Randy for offering this topic because there are few words starting with “x” that inspire positive ideas.  Most are about things.  Next week’s topic may also be a challenge, but if you have a word starting with “Y” please leave it under Comment.  Thanks to you all!)

Xenial is not a word I’ve ever noticed.  After teaching English for many years, it is unusual for me to find a word that I don’t know.  It seemed to originate with the Greeks referring to being friendly or hospitable to persons from different cities.  Now it primarily refers to the friendliness between a host and guest.

The Pandemic Makes Being Xenial More Difficult

Unfortunately, during the pandemic, many of us haven’t been hosts or guests very often.  Fortunately, the vaccine has made it possible for vaccinated families and friends to visit safely to some extent.  But the current situation has also created some difficulty for those whose families have different views about being vaccinated.

One of our biggest challenges is how to be xenial to those who are not from a different city but to those who threaten our health by not being vaccinated.  Being safe and hospitable often conflict when we have to tell a friend not to visit until vaccinated.

Being Xenial Is The Best Way To Relate

Generally, being xenial is the most positive way to treat others when being with them is not a danger.  When we don’t know someone well, it is a good idea to treat them pleasantly and kindly like we do with our friends.  The energy that we spread through our lives creates who we are, not only affecting others, but affecting how we feel as well.  When we focus on the positive, we are more likely to feel good.

In college when I lived in the dorm, my roommate and I had little in common, yet we treated each other xenially.  We got along well because we found amicable ways to use the shower we shared and agreed when to get quiet and go to sleep.

In contrast, when I first discovered I couldn’t eat gluten and dairy, I often interacted with people who didn’t quite believe my situation because they had never heard of it.  One person insisted I was just doing that to get attention.

However, when I visited a friend who was diabetic and had to eat four times a day, she was very sympathetic and made sure I had the food I needed.  She was very xenial around this issue.  I have no doubt she had experienced a few unpleasant experiences in relation to her food limitations.

We All Appreciate Kindness

A welcoming attitude always makes a difference.  When we apply for a job and are welcomed pleasantly, we are more likely to want to work for that company than when we are treated as if the interviewer hardly has time to talk with us.  We want to work in hospitable places so that we can look forward to going to work each day.

In order to be kind and friendly, as Schwab suggests, we have to feel good about ourselves.  Meditation, for example, can help calm us when we need to let go of anger or negative feelings to make room for positive thoughts that will help us and those around us.  Taking care of our inner selves allows us to be more positive with others.

If we treat  co-workers, friends, and family members kindly, they are more likely to return that pleasantness.  “What goes around, comes around” is true.  Having a xenial attitude toward others is the best way to live.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO DEEPER FRIENDSHIPS

AWAKENING TO EXPRESS KINDNESS

AWAKENING TO A PEACEFUL HEART

 

 

AWAKENING TO OUR WISHES

“Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start the habit of thoughtful wishes.”  Mary Martin

What are your most constant wishes?  Have any of your wishes come true?  How did that happen?

(Many thanks to Larry today for our topic.  As usual, you all offered many good ideas, and I thank you.  Next week, I will need a word starting with “X” and that will be a challenge finding a topic that I can actually write about, so I look forward to your ideas.  Please leave them in Comment)

What do you wish for today?  No doubt we all have one common wish: end the pandemic.  While it has not stopped all our wishes from coming to fruition, it certainly has restricted many of them relating to travel, jobs, and socialization.

The large increase in patients reminds us that the wishful thinking that the virus won’t hit us so we don’t need to get the vaccine is not thoughtful wishing.  Even when we wish, we need to be aware of reality and consequences, especially if there could be danger involved.

Our wishes often determine how we see things.  When we are lonely for friends or a relationship, we may meet a person with whom we have much in common and to whom we are drawn.  With time, we may find that our wishes and reality do match and this friendship will become long-term and positive for us, but we may also find that it is not what we hoped it would be.

We May Only See The Surface

When a relationship begins well and matches our wishes, it may be difficult to see beyond those wishes.  What we have seen may only be the surface.  As the differences and difficulties arise, we need to face the situation thoughtfully.  Can these problems be fixed?  Is this relationship likely to develop in a more positive way?

In these situations, we especially need to explore our “thoughtful wishes.”  We need to think as well as feel.  Are our wishes leading us to take more time to understand the other person’s desires and needs?  Is the other person showing us respect and honoring our needs?  As long as the answers to these questions are “yes” we are letting our wishes lead us in a wise direction.

If we discover that our needs are not being met, then we need to rethink what we are doing.  We may be disappointed that the friendship is not what we had hoped, but we need to realistically evaluate to see if it is time for us to move on.

Thoughtful Wishes May Manifest

At times, our wishes may be able to help us make our dreams come true.  When I was young, my greatest wish was to become a dancer.  I could see it wouldn’t be easy since my early illness had kept me from the usual activity of childhood.  But when my high school offered modern dance, I jumped at the chance to become strong and expressive.  Over time I had to let go of wishful thinking and embrace thoughtful wishing that led to action.

By doing that, I was able to make the choices that allowed me to follow my “bliss” and take care of my health at the same time.  My wishful thinking led me to thoughtful wishing and that led me into a life I loved, a life that no one early in my life would have thought I could achieve.

Wishes May Come True

We’ve all heard the expression, “Be careful what you wish for.”  I always thought of it as a warning that made wishing rather dangerous.  If you wished for the wrong thing, it could be a disaster.  Now when I hear the phrase, I think it is saying, “Think about what you wish for and be sure it is what you want, because you are likely to get it.”

When we have had our wishes come true, becoming a doctor, an artist, a minister, or a parent, we are able to look at life more positively.  We know that our wishes can come true, but we also know that requires thought and work.

May you all experience thoughtful wishes today.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO ACCEPT REALITY

EMBRACING THE DUALITY

AWAKENING TO OUR CHOICES

 

AWAKENING TO YOUR OWN VALUE

“The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.” Soichiro Honda

How do you measure your life’s value? Has your soul been stirred recently?  In what way? 

(Many thanks to Eleanore and Christina for our topic today.  Again, so many of you gave me such good topic ideas.  No doubt I will use some of them in the future.  For next week, I will need a topic starting with “W” so please leave your ideas under comment.  Many thanks to all who read this blog!)

In an industrial country like ours, society puts great value on success that can be seen in terms of products, popularity, or rankings.  We are considered successful when we make lots of money, own a large house, live in the more expensive parts of town, or have a prestigious job.

What rarely if ever defines success is how kind a person we are or how well we care for ourselves internally.  Of course, we each have our own value system that determines what we like or don’t like about ourselves.

Don’t Rely On Others Opinions

Bernard Hopkins says, “If you don’t know your own value, somebody will tell you your value, and it’ll be less than you’re worth.”  Now, that’s pretty negative.  Yet many of us rely too much on what others think of us and we need to remember that their assessment of us may not always be accurate.

I remember the time when I had an injury to my ankle and could walk about, but only with difficulty.  A friend drove us to a lecture.  She chose to park away from the event instead of parking right in front of the hall where there were places available.

I reminded her that it was hard for me to walk and asked her if she could move the car to a closer place.  It made her mad and she made a disparaging remark to me.  Although she did a lot of good work in the community, there was also a part of her that had always to be right and strong.

While she saw me as someone who was playing helpless, I didn’t buy into her projection.  I saw myself as making the wise decision, not putting unnecessary stress on my healing ankle.  I valued myself enough to speak up even when I knew it would not be appreciated.  In the end, she moved the car while grumbling.

Our True Self At Soul Level

 To find our real value, we must get in touch with our soul.  It is at our deepest and most valuable level.  We must allow ourselves to be touched at that level beyond emotion.  Recently, I experienced much pain as a result of a spinal procedure.  During this time, I often became so angry or upset that I had to stop and meditate and calm down because I knew I was not making the situation better.

When I did take those quiet moments, my soul was stirred.  I felt for a moment that I would be all right.  As the days with less pain arrived, I felt a little thrill, and thanked God.  My soul seemed to be telling me, “You will be okay.”  And now I am doing well.  I have only a few aches in the area around the surgery, but never any sharpness.

Others May Uplift Us

Recently, hearing about a woman who had gone through terrible experiences in a communist country and in an early marriage, I found myself in tears because of the beauty of the courage she had shown.  I was more than happy to discover the story had an uplifting ending.  My soul as well as my emotions were touched by this story.

When our soul is touched, a part of us opens, unhampered by what the people around us think or even by our own negative reflections.  The more we are touched at this level, the more we can see our true and beautiful value.

May your soul be stirred today.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO THE VALUE OF CHANGE

AWAKENING TO OUR SOUL’S GARDEN

AWAKENING TO TRUST YOURSELF

 

AWAKENING TO THE UNIVERSAL

“There is a universal, intelligent life force that exists within everyone and everything.  It resides within each of us as a deep wisdom, an inner knowing.  We can access this wonderful source of knowledge and wisdom through our intuition, an inner sense that tells us what feels right and true for us at any given moment.”  Shakti Gawain

Are you in touch with the Universal?  How do you do that?  If you do, what value does it have for you?  If not, why not?

(Many thanks to Micah and Cathy for today’s topic.  Next week I’ll be writing about a topic that begins with a “V” so if there are words starting with “V” that interest you, please leave the ideas under Comment.  Thanks so much!)

Sometimes we are so involved with ourselves and local events that we forget there is something greater.  Lately, I’ve focused on taking care of myself after back surgery and dealing with the initial pain that took every moment.  It felt like I was living in a tunnel. Now that I’m feeling better and move around easily, I’ve walked out into the light.

Deep Breaths Release Pain

What finally made the difference was my choice to look beyond this body.  I prayed, “Please release this pain from me,” as I took deep breaths, letting the exhale flow down my leg while mentally experiencing a release.  When I felt fear arise, and I usually did, I envisioned light pushing it away.

The more often I did this, the more I felt some release of pain or at the least, my fear of not recovering went away.  In those moments I moved beyond my ego and body to a universal place.

Our World Generates Fear

Even if we aren’t experiencing physical distress, the world around us is filled with anxiety-producing events.  The crazy and sad situation in Afghanistan breaks our hearts for all of those who cannot escape such a dangerous situation.  We also worry about those in other countries controlled by dictatorial leaders, and if in their fight for freedom they will survive.

The world-wide pandemic, instead of declining as we had hoped, is becoming a worse threat to our daily lives.  Despite all the scientific evidence, there are still those who refuse to be vaccinated or wear masks.  As a consequence, many of us fear going out into public places, even as the restrictions are choking our lives.

God And Nature Connect Us To The Universal

While it is important that those who can protest and work in public help people with these problems, we need to keep in mind that there is something beyond what we are experiencing on this earth.  We are all connected to a greater life force that some may call God.  We are also surrounded by the energy of Nature which is one with the universal.

Living among the lush forest of the mountains, I feel that I am part of something greater than myself.  It isn’t surprising that we refer to nature as Mother Nature, for this life force does create that which keeps us alive with food, air, and water.  Being with nature illuminates the universal and teaches us to be better stewards of our lives as well as of the Earth.

The Universal Has No Boundaries

When we are disturbed by what is happening in our family, city, or country, we need to remember that this physical life is not all there is.  There is a spirit within us that exists beyond our time on Earth.  Feeding our spirit is just as important as feeding our body.

Taking the time to walk through the forest or desert, meditating or reading spiritually uplifting material, enriches our souls and strengthens our intuition.  It allows what we know at a deeper level to rise to the surface and assist us in making the best choices for ourselves and those around us at any given moment.  The Universal knows no boundaries and can open us to its inner riches.

May the Universal guide all you do today.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog posts:

AWAKENING TO BE QUIET

AWAKENING TO DEEPEN OURSELVES

AWAKENING TO THE ONENESS WITHIN

 

AWAKENING TO TENDERNESS

“Care is a state in which something does matter; it is the source of human tenderness.”  Rollo May

Do you feel tenderness is a good quality?  Are you a tender person?  How do you express that in your life?

(Many thanks to Sue for today’s topic.  Thanks to all of you who gave me suggestions.  Again, it was hard to make a decision with a list of so many good topics.  Next week the topic will begin with a “U” so please leave some suggestions for next week.  I hope you enjoy today’s post.)

We often think of tenderness in relation to touch.  A sore spot on the arm is tender.  An overworked muscle is tender.  A bruised place is tender.  In these situations, tenderness is related to injury, but it is not always a physical experience.

We all love the sight of a mother talking sweetly and lovingly to her baby or small child.  The action tells us she really cares and puts her ego aside to give full attention to this small one who needs to feel loved.  When we express tenderness, we are saying we care.

Tenderness Is Masculine and Feminine

We also often think of tenderness as a feminine quality, and there are men who will hide this quality, if they have it, because they feel it is not masculine. The truth is that tenderness is not about gender at all.  All caring human beings are tender.

My grandfather on my mother’s side was a carpenter.  While he was hacking away at wood in his shop, making items for the house or to sell, he allowed me to play with the sawdust and discarded pieces of wood.  I made fake food and doll houses and we said little to each other.  He was definitely a masculine guy building things.

But when we were relaxing together, I would curl up in his lap or next to him on the sofa and he would gently stroke my hair, talk to me softly, read the Bible or tell stories.  I learned early in life that tenderness was a part of masculinity just as it was part of the feminine.

Tenderness Shows We Care

The events of life often call us to express our caring in tender ways.  Being with a friend who has lost a loved one is certainly one of those times.  Our tenderness guides us to give hugs, cook food, and offer help in many ways.  We want those persons to know we are there to aid in any way they need us.

Letting others know that we care about them is a sign of our inner strength.  At times that strength may call us to speak up in ways that are not popular.  We have to assert our position, but when that is expressed with care, even if our words are powerful, they are a reflection of what is beneath the surface, a tenderness that respects all humanity.

Treat Ourselves With Tenderness

Not only do we need to be able to express tenderness to others, we need to be able to express it to ourselves.  When we are grieving or unhappy, we need to be gentle with ourselves, and allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling.  Shutting off these feelings because we think they are a sign of weakness or disgraceful is not wise or healthy.

Stuffing intense feelings can create mental health issues, relationship problems, and wear down our immune system. When we feel emotional, we need to acknowledge what those feelings actually are so that we can begin to understand how to deal with what created this intensity.  We must care about ourselves as well as about others.

In order to express tenderness, we must care.  In this difficult time, although we are separated by the pandemic, we are fortunate to have electronic opportunities like Zoom meetings to connect with others.  The masks we wear may cover our facial expressions, but our words and actions can still be expressions of tenderness.

May you care and be cared for with tenderness today.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Bog Posts:

AWAKENING TO GOODNES

AWAKENING TO LOVE OURSELVES

AWAKENING TO GOOD DECISIONS

 

AWAKENING TO SIMPLICITY

“Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”  Isaac Newton

Is your life fairly simple or are you busy all the time?  How do you feel about that?  Do you try to please everyone or are  you simply who you are in every situation?

(Many thanks to Randy for giving us today’s topic.  Again, thanks to all of you who made so many great suggestions.  For next week, the topic will begin with a “T” so if you have a favorite word starting with “T” please leave it under Comment.  Thanks!)

Simplicity is a word most of us are unlikely to use to describe our lives at the moment.  It’s a lovely idea, but in reality, it is often challenging to achieve.  We’ve all grown up in a world where we can move around freely and explore whatever appeals to our curiosity.  Now, though, we are surrounded by limitations that make shopping, playing with kids, visiting friends, or going to school or work more challenging.

So, how do we create the simplicity we need in our lives in the midst of chaos?  If we have more time at home, like many of us who are retired, the easiest way to simplify our lives is to downsize.

Simplifying Things Can Be Easy

I enjoy organizing things in the house and rearranging as if redecorating a room.  But to create a simpler environment at present, I have to get rid of some books.  So far, I have failed to do this.

The few books I have cleared out haven’t created much space and they still sit in a box waiting to be taken away. Every time I pick up a book I think I’m ready to let go of, I find a reason to keep it.  If I had to move, perhaps that would push me to let go, but that won’t happen in the near future.

Clearing out some of our collection of things is probably the easiest way to simplify.  However, clearing space to find who we truly are may be our greatest challenge, and living in a complicated world makes this confusing at times.

Becoming Our True Selves Can Be Difficult

Being who we truly are means shedding the costumes we wear in different situations.  Who are we at home with the spouse and/or children?  Who are we at work?  Who are we with other members of the family or with friends?  Having to play a different role in various circumstances complicates life.

We have to look beyond the outer.  Do we like who we are?  If not, are we willing to make the changes that allow us to be our true selves?

Being a different person in different situations may mean we do not accept who we really are.  If we accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths and love ourselves, then we are more likely to draw to us people and situations that are pleasing.

Finding Acceptance With Others

I moved to Asheville because I knew it was my soul’s home and I knew I had to follow my soul’s guidance in order to find a way to live and be myself.

I became part of a spiritual community that accepted people as they are.  They didn’t try to convert people to their way of thinking because their philosophy was based not only on Jesus’ teachings, but eastern spiritual paths as well.  I found peace there because I didn’t have to pretend to accept views I was uncomfortable with and I quickly made friends.

Difficulty At Work

Working as a substitute in the high schools was another story.  It made my life more complex because each school had its own culture and the school system as a whole had a culture as well.  Being myself didn’t work well at times because I was asked not to discipline students or to ignore problems that I felt the administration should deal with.

Work situations like this complicate our lives but if we set aside time to reflect and perhaps meditate each day, our quieted minds can give us wise guidance based on the core of the problem.  It may not be what we really want to do, but following our anger or frustration is not likely to improve the situation.

Becoming Who We Really Are

For some of us, the confusion in our minds is related to negative messages we received as children.  Seeing a spiritual counselor or a therapist may help us learn how to let go of the garbage and move on.  We are products of our past, but we are also who we choose to be if we are willing to do the work it requires.

Simplifying our lives may be the best starting point from which to grow into better loving ourselves and others, leaving the unnecessary clutter behind.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

AWAKENING TO LAUGH AT SIMPLE THINGS

AWAKENING TO SEE OURSELVES HONESTLY

AWAKENING TO LOVE OURSELVES

 

AWAKENING TO OUR REFLECTIONS

“The way we experience the world around us is a direct reflection of the world within.”  Gabrielle Bernstein

Do you take time to reflect on your life each day? Each week? Ever?  How does that help you?  If you don’t, why do you avoid it?  Does it make you uncomfortable?

(Special thanks to Jessie for today’s topic.  Thanks to you all for the many wonderful ideas you  gave me.  It wasn’t easy to choose, so I did some meditation and this topic came up first.  Next week I will need a topic starting with “S” so if you have some ideas, please put them in comment.)

Reflection is an inner activity and requires us to move away from the active part of our lives and look at what we are doing and thinking.  Some people are uncomfortable with this idea and value only activity, either mental or physical, but giving attention to our inner as well as outer selves creates a balance in our lives that is healthy and strengthens us in many ways.

Lack of Reflection May Be Detrimental

Being active all the time may be fun, but it may also be exhausting or confusing.  Our minds and bodies also need rest.  At times, that simply means sleep, but it may also mean reflecting on what is happening in our lives and determining if we are heading in the  right direction.

For years, most of my decisions were emotional.  That’s what guided my life and led me to be involved in two disastrous relationships.  I fell in love, and even when my rational mind tried to show me these were not good choices, I ignored it.  I also ignored the behavior of the men when their lack of devotion was obvious.  When reflection presented me with reality, I chose to think that the idea of breaking up with them was just negative thinking.

Our Inner Self Offers Wise Guidance

It is true that we have to learn to distinguish between fear and inner wisdom that warns us not to do what we may want to do.  When I learned to meditate and release my fear, I then more easily respected what my inner reflection showed me.  Even if its guidance was not what I wanted to hear, I respected it and took the time to reflect on its message.  As a result, I began to make wiser choices and felt stronger.

We are now living in an especially chaotic time.  Listening to the news invariably stirs up fear or anger and makes it difficult to even hear what is being reported.  It is almost impossible not to become disturbed, but if we connect with our inner peace, we can experience disbelief or disapproval without it throwing us off balance.

Taking the time to reflect on this news gives us the opportunity to decide what we want to do to help improve the situation, if that is possible, or to let go of the thought or anger that may harm us.  Not everyone can take action, but if we decide to do so, reflecting on the possible actions will help us make the best choice.  Just reacting to a situation is rarely a good solution.

Nature May Help Us Find Peace

The times when I feel the most reflective are during a walk in the forest or under the trees.  Being close to nature always beings me close to Spirit and opens my spiritual self to reflection.  One may also experience this fishing or floating on a lake or stream.  There is something about Nature that clears the dust and tar from our minds and offers a sweet breeze to cool our emotions and open us to positive reflection.

We have the power to enrich our inner lives and to feel love and peace, and we can reflect that out into the world, enriching the lives of all those who come in contact with us.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related blog Posts:

INSPIRATIONAL REFLECTION: DANCING DEEPER

AWAKENING THROUGH SPIRITUAL REFLECTION: WHAT DO YOU MIRROR?

AWAKENING TO COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION

 

AWAKENING TO BE QUIET

“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” Robert Louis Stevenson

Do you enjoy the quiet in your life?  How do you use your quiet time or do you avoid it as much as possible?

(Thank you, Katherine and Mike for suggesting this topic.  Thank you to so many more of you who gave me other great ideas for today’s topic.  It wasn’t easy to decide which one to use, but this is the word that spoke to me. Next week the topic will start with an “R” so please leave me some words for topics in Comment.  Thanks so much)

We all experience two types of quiet: the outer and the inner.  Some people are uncomfortable with the outer quiet because it forces them inward and they prefer not to think too deeply about what they are feeling.  They have music or the TV on most of the time, are on the phone talking to friends, interacting on Facebook, or participating in groups online.  The pandemic has stifled what they consider a normal life with its restrictions on being face to face with groups.

Those of us who are introverts enjoy quiet time alone to think, reflect, rest, or read.  It isn’t that we don’t want a social life, it’s just that we need our time alone to deal with our inner selves.  This may include a spiritual quest that requires meditation, prayer, and reflecting on the path we are following.  While it is important to care for our physical body, it is equally important to take care of our emotional, mental, and spiritual selves.

We Are Healthiest When Inner and Outer Meet

The healthiest and perhaps the most satisfying way to live is for all these parts of ourselves to be integrated.  That requires us to take time to work with our inner being, to explore the parts of ourselves that prefer to hide or the parts of ourselves we don’t really like.

When I reflect on my life, I have to admit there have been many times, especially in the past, when I just blurted out what I thought or felt in a tense situation.  That was definitely an unwise choice in a work place and is probably why I was asked to leave or chose to leave in a couple of situations.  I was not going to squash my feelings!

Looking back on those incidents and even some current ones and while working with my inner self, I realize I acted that way for several reasons.  As a woman growing up when I did, I resented being treated as if my opinion had no value.  I also grew up with an extroverted mother who had been a prom queen and who made me feel there was something wrong with my quietness and my not being popular.

Reading self-help books and going to therapy led me to become more aware of expressing myself in a more appropriate way.  It also taught me that being quiet in some confrontational situations was more powerful than arguing.  Allowing some silence in the moment could shift the conversation to a more reasonable place.  Action was not always the best solution.

Learn How To Be Quiet

Valuing our inner quiet and making time to feed it will enrich us.  Physical strength alone is not enough to help us lead a good life.  When misfortune occurs, it requires us to adjust to the new situation.  When I was divorced years ago, I was used to living with another person.  At first, I felt very lonely and heart-broken, but as a child I had often been alone and learned how to make that time feel good.  When my mind wanted to stay attached to negative ideas, I learned to direct it to let go, take a deep breath, and release the thought.  At times, it took many deep breaths to let it go, but with time I became friends with the quietness again.

Being Quiet With An Activity

People experience quietness in many ways.  When I walk around a lake nearby, I feel inner and outer quiet.  There are always people fishing and they remind me of times during my childhood when  I watched my father fish.  We had to be quiet if we were nearby, so Mother helped us play in quiet ways or took us to another area to romp around.  What I didn’t realize until later in life is that, for many, fishing is a form of meditation, a time to go within and be at peace.

We Must Care For Ourselves

We live in such a busy world and are taught it’s a bad thing to “waste time.”  But cleaning out our inner mental garbage also helps keep our body healthy as well.  We have to take the time to care for ourselves, our minds and bodies, and it requires that we take the time to be quiet and to listen.

As our country and the world faces frightening challenges, perhaps the worst in our lifetime, we must learn to take care of ourselves and make wise choices.  In order to do that, we must listen to our inner selves.  Finding that inner quiet may provide us with the strength we need in order to wisely meet the challenges that face us.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

BEING THE RIGHT ONE, Part 3, Meditation

AWAKENING TO OUR LONELINESS

AWAKENING TO SILENCE CHAOS

AWAKENING TO STILLNESS