Tag Archives: Change

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 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 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 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

 

AWAKENING TO PATIENCE

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away.  That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.”  Mary Pierce.

Are you a patient person or is patience a challenge for you?  How do you stay patient when it is difficult for you?  What is the advantage of being patient?

(Thanks to Joanne for today’s topic.  Next week will be a topic starting with “Q” so please leave some words that I can use for the next blog topic.  Thanks for all your help!)

We are certainly living in a time that requires patience, but even without the pandemic and its restrictions, life always challenges us.  Unlike most of life, when we have those moments when we are physically threatened, we have to act quickly without thinking in order to protect ourselves or others.  We may not even have time to take a deep breath.

But most of life is not like that.  Being patient doesn’t mean waiting forever to see what will happen or tolerating what is harmful or unacceptable.  But it does mean taking the time to truly examine a situation in order to make the best decision about the action we should take.

As a young child I had to be patient for years.  In a way it really wasn’t an issue because my illnesses kept me in bed or limited my ability to be physically active.  By the time I reached junior high school,  I was able to do some physical activity.  I played tennis, danced, and went swimming at the local pool.  It was such a joy!

Needing to Control Makes Us Impatient

Throughout high school and college I was involved with many activities and became more impatient with life when things didn’t move along as I desired.  But at times I was forced to be patient.  I majored in drama and it’s impossible to perform in a play without considerable preparation.  You have to memorize your lines, attend many rehearsals, and learn specifically how to act and move.

Despite learning the value of patience in school, I found being patient in a work environment more challenging.  I worked in schools as a teacher and in offices in various positions.  Every situation required a period of learning what was acceptable behavior, what was quality work, and how to adjust to difficult co-workers or managers.

Determining When to Be Patience

Too much patience could be interpreted as laziness.  Too little patience could create conflicts that would lead to being fired or demoted.  But sufficient patience, at times, allowed me to eventually determine that a position or company was clearly not where I should be or that it was best to stay where I was and adjust my behavior to what was required.

When I first started teaching at a Catholic girl’s high school, I loved the disciplined atmosphere because I could really concentrate on the teaching.  However, an assistant principal observed me every week.  It made me very nervous and I was afraid she came so often because she didn’t think I was teaching very well.

With time, I realized that she was helping me become a better teacher.  She was gently teaching me more effective techniques like using group discussions and projects rather than relying on lecturing.  Her perseverance as well as mine made me a much more effective teacher in her school, but also give me the tools I would need when I went to work in inner city New Orleans.

Patience Is of Value Personally and At Work

Most of us feel unsettled when we are in a new situation, but being exposed to new situations offers us an opportunity to learn.  When I look back on my life, I can see how my lack of patience in social and work situations often hindered me in being successful.  There were times when I knew that what I wanted to say would create a problem, but I said it anyway.  No one was going to control me.

As I matured, I came to realize that at times I would say or do something that did not work for people who were close to me.  I had to take the time to evaluate the situation and perhaps discuss it with others.  While it may take time and patience to work out what I want to achieve, but having the patience to consider others is a requirement for healthy relationships.

Besides, exercising the patience to see where things will lead may lead us to unexpected joys.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO BALANCE THE MIND

AWAKENING TO THE BEAUTY OF BALANCE

DANCING TO CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE

 

AWAKENING TO YOUR ODYSSEY

“The odyssey is not going out and seeing the world:  it’s about trying to get home.”  Pete Hamill

Does your life feel like an odyssey?  What makes it such a journey?  Does it work well for you or are there aspects that you need to change? What have you learned form it?

(Thanks to so many of you for such great “O” suggestions.  Especially thanks to Marguerite for this topic.  As a former English teacher, I couldn’t resist it.  In the Comment area please leave me some topic suggestions for next week starting with “P.”  Thanks!)

Most of us read “The Odyssey” in high school or college.  Written by Homer, it was an epic poem about Odysseus wandering for ten years after the Trojan War, trying to get home.  While most of us are not warriors, although some are, we all are traveling on the adventure of life.

An odyssey is defined as an intellectual or spiritual quest or an extended adventurous voyage or trip marked by many changes of fortune.  Do any of these describe your path through life?

I found Pete Hamill’s quote very interesting because we often have to wander from the path we intended to live in order to discover our true selves.

Changes Offer Positive and Negative Experiences

In the 1970’s I was living in the Washington, D.C. area teaching dance part-time when a friend of mine told me that a college in the middle of Nebraska was hiring a dance teacher to set up a dance program.  I knew nothing about Nebraska, but I needed a better income due to my divorce and was excited by the idea of creating a modern dance minor.

I accepted the position when they offered it to me.  After the interview, an art teacher on the dance committee took me out to a bar in town where I discovered he was charming, funny, and a great dancer.  I looked forward to getting to know him.

When I moved to Nebraska, I shared a house with community arts organizer and made two other wonderful women friends very quickly.  I expected everyone to be as friendly as the few people I had originally met, but I soon discovered that people generally were very distant and rarely shared their feelings.  No matter what I did I couldn’t break through those barriers.

The art teacher and I had become very close. I fell in love with him.  Although he said he loved me, he said he needed to get out of the small town and move to Oregon.  He needed to be alone to find himself.  I continued to teach at the college, but I felt stifled in such a small place.  I missed the diversity of a city.  I knew Nebraska was not my true home.

New Experiences Help Us Grow

I moved to Denver because I could easily teach my own dance classes there and it appeared I might be able to get a part-time job at a college.  Besides, the man I loved had to fly through Denver in order to see his parents in a small town near the state line, not far from Denver.  It would be easy for him to stop and visit with me.

To some it may seem I wandered too much in the west, but the wandering was beneficial. As it turned out, making it convenient for my lover to see me never led to a commitment. However, Denver became a true home where I grew in many ways.

During my odyssey in Nebraska and Denver, places I would previously not have considered living, I grew enormously as a teacher and person.  Especially in Denver, I felt I became more of who I truly was.  Because of a Buddhist friend’s influence and a quarter  of a semester teaching dance at the Naropa Institute, I decided to learn to meditate, a practice that expanded my spiritual life and benefitted my health.

I also made hiking friends and climbed to the top of huge mountains to be awed by God’s magnificent creations.  I attended a Science of Mind church and studied its teachings.  They helped me to pay more attention to the negative thoughts I allowed to control my thinking, and I learned how to release them.

These years were a time when my odyssey led me through trials and tribulations, taught me what I needed to let go of and what must become a part of me.  This journey brought me home to who I truly am.

Unexpected Gifts Help Us Grow

 Isn’t that what happens to so many of us?  On our odyssey through life we come upon the unexpected many times.  The world around us continues to change regardless of our choices and that often affects how we live and may force us to change.  Each experience is an opportunity to learn a better way to live or to define clearly what we don’t want. We may have to change the path or destination we had planned, or the experience may reassure us that we are on the right path.

I’ve often moved to take a new job, be close to a friend or family, or be in a healthier location.  There are negative and positive aspects to that, but there is one constant.  Every situation is an opportunity to learn, to experience new people and cultures, and I am grateful because it has helped me understand my journey and other people’s life quests.

Now as I move into the last decades of my life, I feel at home, living as my true self in a place that is my soul’s home, with a man who is the partner for whom I always searched.  My life isn’t perfect but it’s been a fascinating journey that has allowed me to become who I want to be.

May your odyssey guide you home.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blogs:

WHERE THE JOURNEY LEAD

AWAKENING TO JOURNEY WITH GRATITUDE

AWAKENING TO THE JOURNEY THAT IS

 

 

AWAKENING TO THE NEW NORMAL

“We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal:  a new kind of society, a new relationship to earth, a new experience of being human.”  Charles Eisenstein

How do you feel about your new normal?  Has it been good for you in some way?  Has it created new challenges that you don’t know how to meet?

(Thanks to Joanne for today’s topic.  Please leave me some topic words that start with “O” for next week.  I greatly value the ideas you, my readers, suggest.  Thanks so much!)

Anything new that occurs in our lives may challenge us in terms of understanding its value.  The same thing may occur to two different people, but how they see that event or action may vary widely.  For one, it may be an opportunity to  move on in a new beneficial direction.  For another, the change may feel negative and overwhelming.

Many Have Lost Basic Necessities

The employment situation has changed for many.  For some people, the loss of income has caused a loss of housing and money for food.  For others, it has allowed them to move on to a better paying job that will make life less stressful.  Still some people have used this time to create their own business and work from home.

When so many people are in need, it is shameful to allow people making enormous amounts of money not to pay taxes.  It is outrageous that such a situation exists, for the amount that they should contribute would provide enormous support for those who are in desperate need, not because they have been foolish, but because they have genuine needs.

I am one of those retired people with a small income.  I live in a house because my brother was able to make it available for me and because I am now married.  With our combined income, my husband and I live comfortably.  However, my income would no longer be sufficient for me to live alone because the cost of every thing is so much higher than when I first retired.

In the area where I live, within the last few years, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment is twice what I used to pay for a two-bedroom apartment.  The cost of food is much greater.  These are the basics and yet many people’s salaries have remained low and stagnant for years.

We Are In Transition

This is a time of transition.  The changes in the environment have pushed us to a point when we need to transform the use of fossil fuel into solar.  We need to require affordable housing.  We need to raise wages for those at the lowest end of the economy and raise taxes for those at the highest end.  We need to revamp our laws to provide care for those caught in drug addiction.

Change Requires New Solutions

Our government is grappling with all these issues, as we are individually.  The right changes could transform our lives into a new normal that actually meets everyone’s needs.  No one should be going without health care, housing, or food.  It has never been more critical than it is now to vote for people who want to make positive changes for especially the poorest.

Recently, I talked on Zoom with a woman whom I’ve known casually for a few years.  I was shocked to discover that she believes all the lies being told about the value of the virus vaccines.  I wasn’t able to have a conversation with her because as soon as the topic came up she went into a rant.  Well, my new normal will definitely include keeping my distance from her.

We all need to respect others who still need to wear masks or keep social distance.  There is no way for us to know what health challenges another may face.  So hopefully, our new normal will include respect for each other’s well-being, even when it is somewhat uncomfortable for us.

Think Creatively About The Future

When challenges arise, we need to look beyond the obvious. We must become creative thinkers, considering ways of living and relating in ways that we never considered before the pandemic.  Even if what we try doesn’t work, we have eliminated one option and can move on to the next possibility.   And what we learn on the way may change our lives for the better.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO TRANSITIONS

TRANSFORMING THE FEAR OF CHANGE

AWAKENING TO EFFECT CHANGE

AWAKENING TO GOOD DECISIONS

 

 

AWAKENING TO LIFE’S MOVEMENT

“Consciousness is only possible through change; change is only possible through movement.”  Aldous Huxley

How do you feel about movement in your life?  Do you enjoy new experiences or do they make you nervous?

(Thank you, Mike, for today’s “M” word.  It definitely moved my thinking!  For next week, I need a topic that begins with “N” so please share your ideas with me in the comment box.  Thanks so much!)

At this time of year the movement of nature is almost overwhelming.  The trees are lush and full, gardens are abundant with flowers and vegetables, and where I live, the rains frequently replenish the earth.  Then, when fall and winter come, these gifts disappear.  Under the colorful leaves of autumn, acorns grow and fall to feed the bears and the arriving cold weather pushes us to get out our sweaters and coats.

Our Lives Change Like The Seasons

Aside from our need to adapt to nature’s changing seasons, the seasons of our personal lives may change too.  Couples are married, babies are born, friends and relatives pass away.  We experience accidents or illness that force us to live differently by resting more often, spending less time with friends, or helping care for those who are ill while we’re still trying to work.

How we deal with the movement in our lives may determine how much we grow.  Every change presents us with an opportunity to make new choices.  If we are afraid of change, we may miss the chance to try something new that could be a true gift.  Fear of change may also prevent us from healing wounds that have given us pain for years.

Chance Movement May Bring Gifts

A number of years ago, I felt very frustrated with my dating experiences with men.  I had been in a few relationships over the years but seemed always to be drawn to men who wouldn’t or couldn’t make a commitment to me.  Since trying to meet guys in person wasn’t working, I considered going online, but I didn’t think that was a wise approach.  How could I know if the guy was telling me the truth when I couldn’t see him in person?

Because I couldn’t think of other options, I decided to try it.  Most of the men didn’t live anywhere near me and the last thing I wanted was another long-distance relationship.  Then, one day I got an email from a man who had seen me online, was interested, but said I had disappeared from the website where he found my profile.

As it turns out, I had accidently gotten on that site and when I discovered it, I deleted my account.  But this guy didn’t give up.  He searched and found my blog and an email address.  He seemed rather interesting and we began emailing.  He was planning soon to move to a town near me.  When he did, we started dating.

This week we joyously celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.  My true soul mate had found me accidently!  Life can be beautifully surprising!

Movement Helps Understand Others

It’s also true that some ideas we have may lead us in the wrong direction, so we have to look at the possible consequences and weed out what is dangerous or unwise.  But when the change could lead us to a better job or a better life or friendship, it is good to explore the possibilities further. The key is to keep moving instead of remaining stagnant.

Unlike many people, I don’t have a life-long connection to one place and the people living there.  Even my family has lived in different cities.  But making my home in a variety of locations has increased my consciousness of different cultures.

When I taught Native American high school students in New Mexico, some students attended school but didn’t do the work.  I learned that they had decided to follow their native culture as opposed to the “white man’s way” and attended school only until they could legally quit. While this made them more acceptable to their culture, it was difficult for them to find work and earn money to feed their families.

Often, when we have difficulty understanding the choices people make, it is because we are stuck in our own beliefs and judge the differences we see in others.  To understand the differences, we must move beyond the surface.  We must allow our minds and emotions to travel to new places.

Seeing a situation from another point of view may reveal the solution to a problem that we thought had no solution.  At the very least it will move our consciousness to a better understanding of the human condition and increase our empathy for others.

The movement of the mind is unlimited, so enjoy the universe through which it travels.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO THE VALUE OF CHANGE

TRANSFORMING THE FEAR OF CHANGE

AWAKENING TO EFFECT CHANGE

 

 

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO INTEGRITY

“With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide.  With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.”  Zig Ziglar

What does integrity mean to you?  Is it integral to your life?  Does it often challenge you, and how do you handle those challenges?

(Thanks to Jeran who offered today’s topic. It was difficult to make a choice with so many good suggestions, but please keep the words coming.  Next week I need a topic that starts  with “J.”  Leave your ideas under Comment)

We often think of integrity as an adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.  But the other definition of it is the condition of being whole or undivided.  We create that wholeness throughout our lives, deciding what we believe and who we are, for what we believe and act on reflects who we are.

If we don’t feel whole, it is probably because parts of ourselves are at war and conflicted.  When we discuss a community issue with one friend, we express what we really think because we know that person will accept our point of view, but when we discuss this with another friend whose concept of what should happen is the opposite, we may agree with that person but sacrifice our own integrity.

Fear of Conflict

When we are afraid of conflict, we may often go against our true beliefs.  When we are unable to be true to ourselves, it is often because we are wounded.  For example, children who are not treated lovingly, may feel they are not good enough or worthwhile as adults and constantly try to please others rather than take care of themselves and remain faithful to what is most important.

Finding Peace Within

As we go through life, hopefully we continue to learn who we truly are.  What we learn may also change our sense of integrity.  The two most important things that have helped me maintain my integrity are learning to release my fears and meditating.

When I began practicing a technique to release my fear, I found that my relationships improved.  I felt more comfortable expressing my true feelings to family members and friends.  I accepted the fact that my ideas might not be accepted, but I wanted them to know who I am and what I stand for.  Meditation helped me experience inner peace and feeling whole.  It gave me an inner security about being truthful.

Years ago when I first learned I shouldn’t eat diary or gluten, one family member made it clear that she thought I was doing this just to get attention.  She had never encountered someone with gluten and dairy intolerance, so for her, it didn’t seem true.

My condition also made for some awkward moments when I ate out with friends.  In those days, most restaurants were unaware of the problem.  I had to ask in detail about ingredients.  It took time. It was awkward.  Sometimes I had to settle for very little food because there was little I could eat, and this occasionally upset friends, but I chose not to harm myself, and my good friends understood.

Choosing Integrity May Be Challenging

Life always brings changes that may challenge our integrity.  What if a mother has no money to feed her children so she steals food from a store?  Is that acting with integrity?  If you can’t afford to lose your job and are asked by your boss to do something that is illegal and you do it, does that compromise your integrity?  If you give money to an organization that your spouse doesn’t approve of and you don’t tell him, does that demonstrate a lack of integrity in the marriage?

Where is the integrity of a country that allows corporations to make billions of dollars in profit, pay no taxes, and pay workers less than a living wage?  We live in a world where there is a rampant lack of integrity in governments and businesses.  When we demand equality we are expressing our desire for integrity.

Caring for others, not just ourselves, is a test of integrity.  The good energy we put out into the world can change things and make life better for all.  Black Lives Matter is a perfect example of how people acting together with integrity can force change.  The change may be slower than we wish, but it is in motion.

What moral or ethical code of values do we choose to live by?  Does living by it make us feel whole?  How do we integrate it into our daily lives?  Those are the real challenges today and we each have to find our own answers.  We can’t buy integrity.  We have to live it.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR FEAR

AWAKENING TO LIVE WITHOUT FEAR

AWAKENING TO THE ONENESS WITHIN