Tag Archives: Acceptance

AWAKENING TO THE JOURNEY THAT IS

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”  Douglas Adams

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Is your life the life you envisioned ten or twenty years ago?  How have your dreams and ambitions changed?  Are you at peace with the life you have now?

I had a lovely evening of conversation with good friends the other night.  All three of them had academic careers in colleges and universities and could share stories of this time with each other.  There was a time when I had aspired to such a life and had taken a position in the middle of Nebraska thinking that would give me the experience I would need to move on.

Dealing With Life Can Be Challenging

Very quickly, the cold in Nebraska caused on-going joint pain that made it impossible for me to stay.  I moved to Denver where there were more opportunities and I found part-time work at several studios and colleges.  However, the full-time position I desired never developed.  For years, this was a source of disappointment and grief.  Why was I not good enough?

In talking later with one of my friends about that night’s conversation, he complimented me on how courageous I was to continue following my dream to teach dance even when I lacked the security of a stable position.  As I thought back on those years, I never thought I was courageous.  I just did what I had to do to keep teaching dance because I loved it so much.  I followed the journey where it took me, and I’ve never been sorry I did.

Life’s Surprises May Open New Opportunities

When life doesn’t take us where we want to go, we can see it as our failure or blame it on others, or we can assume that what we thought we should be doing isn’t what we should be doing if we look at the situation from another perspective.  Life’s unpleasant surprises may actually open us to opportunities that will benefit us more than the ones we chose.

A Spiritual Perspective Comes From the Heart

When we see our journey through life from a spiritual perspective, how we need to live may be quite different from what we imagined.  After a difficult time teaching in New Mexico high schools, unable to find the next job, I turned again to writing, and soon it became clear that was what I was supposed to be doing.  Eventually this path led to publishing my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness and fulfillment of my dream to be a writer and to inspire others to use the challenging experiences of their lives to learn and grow.

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Clearly, in this life, my heart has taken me in a direction different from the one my head wants me to follow.  Perhaps the lesson I most needed to learn was not how to have the security of a stable job, but to learn to have courage and follow my heart.  What if all the things that have happened that seemed negative were only lessons that had to be learned to arrive at a better place?

So often in this society, we have been taught that the things we have or the position we have defines our level of success.  We focus on the outer and feel we are failures if we don’t have those things, but our humanity is not measured by things.  It is measured by our ability to love, share, and find a deep and peaceful connection within that makes us aware that we are all One.

We Can Find Joy Being In The Moment

This morning, about ten turkeys nibbled across my lawn—some adults and some the youngsters that were born in the spring.  I was thrilled to see them again, and I realized how little it takes to make me happy now.  I am in the moment more, connected to the nature around me, and on most days I take the time to listen to the birds or notice a new flower blooming.  The simplest thing brings me joy.

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When I think about the past, I remember so many times when nothing made me happy, when I resisted changes I didn’t want and judged myself and others constantly with my perfectionist-programmed mind.  Although dancing taught me the beauty of being in the moment, it took me much longer to discover the value of being in the moment in my daily life and going with the flow of life.

If my life had been the perfect life I envisioned, would I have learned what I most needed to learn?  Who knows?  But what I know is that I’ve learned about courage and perseverance and this journey taught me to trust the flow of life.  Earlier, I could never have imagined feeling the peace and confidence I feel now.  I am grateful for whatever it took to bring me to this place, for I have found so much of what I need by following my journey’s circuitous route.

Follow The Journey Wherever It Leads

We are living in a time when we must be creative to survive.  As any artist, composer or choreographer knows, you may begin the art work with a specific idea of how it will look or sound, but when you begin creating it, it will have a mind of its own and may easily lead you down a different path.  Our lives are like that.  We may follow our intentions, but our entire universe is changing.  Holding on to the way things were will not serve us well.  We must trust that the journey will lead us where we need to go.

What are the surprises you have experienced in your journey lately?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Accepting Life’s Challenges with Gratitude, 5 Ways to Masterfully Navigate Life’s Challenges, Wayne Dyer/How God Tells You It’s Time for a Change

AWAKENING TO OUR JOY WITHIN

“Find the place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”  Joseph Campbell

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How do you create joy in your life? Do you feel it because something good happens to you or does it well up inside because of something you do?

External events Create Joy

For years, I experienced joy as a mysterious feeling that burst forth from within me because of an event in the outer world.  When I was in a play in college, I was given a role where I was the center of attention for a few minutes delivering a very funny monologue.  I was ecstatic when I discovered I could make an audience laugh.  Generally, I wasn’t a very funny person in my real life.

When I was chosen to dance with a modern dance company, I was filled with joy.  My dream had come true.  It’s true that my hard work took me to the place where I was good enough to be accepted, but it was someone else’s decision that stimulated my feeling of joy.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if we could feel joy whenever we wanted to?  What would that feel like?

Internal Joy

It’s wonderful that we can feel joy about the good things that happen in life.  But there is a deeper practice and a deeper joy to be found within.  There are some days when I have no idea why I feel joy.  I just do.  Some mornings it just wells up from within the moment I rise to consciousness.  I don’t remember having a particularly good dream, and I don’t have any exciting plans for the day.  In fact, it may happen on days when I have to clean house and that isn’t a task I particularly enjoy.

Following Our Passion Creates Inner Joy

So, what causes the joy to appear?  I think there are two answers.  For some time now, I have been following my passion for writing.  When we are doing what we love to do on a regular basis, it raises our vibration and energy level.  We have something to look forward to.  We are doing something that is satisfying at the soul level and it connects our deeper self with our outer life.  We feel whole, we feel complete.  We feel confident we are on the right path.  Even ego feels peaceful.

If, despite the fact that we are following our passion, we are consumed with worry about whether we will succeed at this venture or doubt whether we deserve such good fortune, we need to understand that our negative thoughts will, no doubt, sabotage our success.  They will lower our energetic vibration.

Passion flower

Passion flower (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Creating Temporary Joy

We can temporarily lift our vibration by doing things that make us feel better.  A little dark chocolate will usually give me a lift or going outside and listening to the birds sing.  Reading some inspirational quotes may help or reading from Oneness by Rasha.  Sometimes cooking a nice meal will do it because I’ve reached the point where eating healthy is an expression of self love.  But when we become mired in these negative feelings despite the good that is present in our lives, there is something missing at our core that we need to repair.

Creating Joy At Our Core

There is a deeper joy we can experience.  The joy that seems to well up from nowhere or for no reason comes from our connection with Spirit.  Only in the last few years have I come to understand this.  There were many steps on my journey to this place of comfort and wholeness.  First, I learned to release my psychological fears.  Through learning to meditate, I started to learn about mindfulness.  After I learned that our thoughts create our emotions, I learned I could decide what I wanted to feel about my experiences.

The Joy of Acceptance

But the greatest lesson was learning acceptance—to accept what is, to accept not knowing the answer, to accept that Spirit will guide me to my highest good.  I had to learn to surrender to Spirit what I could not solve, knowing that I would be guided to what was best.  And out of releasing my need to control everything, joy emerged.  It often wasn’t the joy of exuberance I felt at twenty-five or even at fifty-five.  But it was a soft, sweet, calm joy and it felt like love, and I realized that, in surrendering, I was stepping into a level of trust with Spirit and my deepest self that I had never known before.  This time, the joy I felt originated within me.  I could choose to feel joy regardless of the external events of my life.

It is this deeper joy that can heal all pain and create security when we feel uncertain.  It is part of the core of our spiritual selves.  May you find the path that will lead you to this place of joy.  It is within you.

What is the source of your joy today?

© 2013 Georganne Spruce

RELATED ARTICLES:  You Were Born for Joy – Wayne Dyer, 9 Tips For Finding Joy WithinPower of Positive Thinking: How to Find Joy Within

ACCEPTING THE RHYTHMS OF LIFE

“Not everything that is faced can be changed.  But nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin

Accepting Divine Order

When I first heard the term divine order, I latched onto it as way of describing the fluctuations in life that I didn’t always understand.  If a wonderful synchronistic event occurred, I labeled it divine order.  If something thoroughly unpleasant or tragic occurred, I labeled it divine order.  Divine order became the way I described all the mysteries in life.  It explained the unexplainable and helped me to accept what I couldn’t understand.

Learning to accept what is, whether we like what is happening or not, helps us to find peace and erases the resistance that may prevent us from understanding what is occurring.  At times, it may not be clear if what is occurring is a good or bad thing, but by accepting that it is in divine order, we acknowledge it is part of our reality.

Denial Undermines Our Power

People have a tendency to deny the negative experiences of life.  By doing so, we prevent ourselves from growing.  We need to acknowledge all experiences so that, if we are able to improve a situation, we don’t let the opportunity pass by.  Some things can’t be changed, but ignoring the ones that can only makes us feel less empowered or victimized.

The recent events at Penn State are a perfect example.  Many who were aware of the child abuse there chose to do nothing.  They denied and hid what they knew.  They refused to face the horrific effect their lack of action had on many young children.  Being unwilling to face their responsibility to stop this abuse, in the end, led to their disgrace.  Denial only delays the day we have to face the thing we fear.

Accepting What We Cannot Change

Unlike the Penn State disaster, there are events that occur over which we have no control.  The only thing we can control is our response.  A loved one becomes addicted to drugs.  Time after time they make foolish and dangerous choices, and time after time, we talk to them, and love them.  We may pay for them to see a counselor or go through a drug rehab program, but nothing we do changes their behavior.  We have faced the situation and are unable to change it, so we must accept it as it is.

Is the self-destruction of our loved one in divine order?  It is very difficult to believe it is, yet it may be the very experience that will eventually transform this person in a truly positive way.  In the middle of it, we have no way to know.  We can only accept what is and have faith that there is a karmic or spiritual reason for our loved one’s behavior.

Our society has encouraged us not to express negative feelings.  We’re supposed to be positive all the time, and in one sense, our society has encouraged us to deny what we really feel.  There’s nothing healthy about this although it is best for us to be aware of expressing those feelings appropriately.  But denying that we feel what we feel makes it impossible for us to resolve those problems and the issues around them.  We have to face it, if we want to change it.

The Divine Gift of Acceptance

Every year in January, a spiritual group to which I belong has a gift exchange.  We each bring an item that has meant a great deal to us, but one that we are ready to release.  The items are placed on a table and each person gets to choose.  Then, that person explains why they have chosen the gift and the person to whom it belonged explains what it meant to them.  Several years ago, I chose a stone a friend had originally bought at a Deepak Chopra seminar.  Across the stone is written “Acceptance,” and it lies on a table in my family room where I see it often to remind me that I need to accept what I cannot change.  Every year, I think, “I’m ready to let go of this.  I’ve learned about acceptance,” but inevitably life presents me with another lesson to illustrate that I still have more to learn.  I guess I have to accept the fact that I need to keep the stone for at least one more year.  How do you find acceptance with the difficult areas of your life?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Acceptance and Surrender, 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow, Dangers of Denial