Tag Archives: Consciousness

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 EXPRESS KINDNESS

“This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”  Dalai Lama

Do you consider yourself a kind person?  Are you surrounded by kind people?  How do you express your kindness?

(Thank you Charlie for our topic this week.  Next week, the topic will start with “L,” so please leave your suggestions for a topic in the comment section.  I always appreciate your suggestions.)

Qualities of Kind People

I am always deeply touched by kind people, and there are several things that I notice about them.  They are people who are at peace with themselves.  They look for what is positive in others and in situations.  They are empathetic and compassionate.

These are the kind of people I want in my life, the people I can trust, who when there is conflict will talk respectfully about our differences and work things out.  I can look back on my life and see the many times when I tolerated behavior in relationships and friendships that was less than respectful of who I was and my needs.  Now I find that I am less willing to ignore such disrespect and that more of the people I draw into my life are kind.

What has changed and why is kindness so important to me now?

Kindness Is Based On Loving Ourselves

I read an article “The Magic of Unconditional Love:  An Interview with Don Miguel Ruiz” by Diane Marie Bishop in Science of Mind Magazine.  In the article, Ruiz talks about how we cannot love others unconditionally unless we unconditionally love ourselves.  Over the years, my ability to love myself has grown.  I have let go of my need to be perfect or to fit someone else’s standard.  This acceptance has given me more peace, and I have learned to be kinder to myself and others.

It is all connected.  When we love ourselves, peace and joy automatically become part of our lives and the expression of kindness becomes a natural thing.  We are less reactive and more aware of how our words and actions affect others.  We are also more flexible and able to adapt to the needs of others when it is appropriate.  But we also are at peace with who we are and can say “no” when we must and do it in a way that is kind.

Negative Thinking Blocks Kindness

It was a challenging week last week with many every day difficulties arising.  It was a week of important teachings, a reminder that, instead of getting caught up in another’s negativity, I need to tap into my inner peace and stay there.  I wasn’t always able to do that, but I will continue to pursue that path.  Experiencing peace and love is my priority and that is what I want to share with others.

When we love ourselves, we are more likely to see life as positive.  When we are feeling positive, we are more likely to respond to life in a positive manner and act kindly.  But seeing the same situation from a negative point of view may completely change how one experiences an event.  Negative thinking can be a powerful block that supports our egos worst choices and keeps us from acting kindly from the heart.

Once, I offered to loan a friend a library book I’d finished so she could also read it before it was due.  With a long waiting list, it was hard to get.  She emailed me to leave it in her mailbox, but I wasn’t comfortable with that due to the torrential rains we were having, and it belonged to the library so I didn’t want to risk its getting damaged.  Since we lived close to each other, I asked her to give me a call when she was home, and I would bring it to her or she could pick it up.  She thought my concern was foolish, and she became angry that I wouldn’t do this the way she wanted, rejected my offer, and refused to return my phone call so we could work it out.

I was rather shocked by the whole situation.  Her response to the situation seemed harsh and out of proportion to the reality although, in the past, she had been disturbed about situations she viewed as negative when I didn’t see them that way.  Still, what created this problem?  Had I been unkind without realizing it?  Was she stressed about something or angry at me for another reason?  I didn’t know.  By focusing on the negative rather than the positive aspect of the situation and refusing to communicate, my friend created a problem that didn’t need to exist and eroded the trust I felt for her.

Positive Thinking Supports Kindness

An experience with a sales person when I had a problem with a new cell phone also illustrated the consequences of positive and negative approaches to situations.  This man made it clear that he only had time for people who were there to buy something although I had been required to trade out my phone for a new one due to network changes.

Because of his lack of customer service, I decided not to do business there again.  Instead I went to another store where a kind young man showed concern for my problems and took the time to show me how to use the new phone.  Perhaps he was just a kind person or perhaps he understood making a customer happy might mean more sales in the long run.  Either way he took the higher road.

Kindness May Be Expressed With Empathy and Compassion

Two other ways we can express kindness are through empathy and compassion.  They are beautiful expressions of our love and peace.  With empathy we are able to put ourselves in the other person’s place and feel what they are feeling.  We may make this connection because we’ve experienced a similar situation or because we use our imagination to envision what they are feeling.  Compassion takes us one step further emotionally to a place where we want to help.

To share our feelings of concern through either of these expressions is an act of kindness.  We care if another person is in pain or difficulty and want life to be better for him/her.  I have another friend who frequently expresses these qualities.  The trust I feel toward him because of this is huge.  Whether he thinks my feelings are foolish or not is irrelevant.  What he offers me is concern and empathy first.  If we argue, it becomes a respectful conversation that allows us to understand each other and helps our relationship grow deeper.  As a result, I feel loved and at peace with him.   I can always trust that he cares about what is best for me.

Allowing kindness to become an important part of our lives can truly change them for the better, for kindness is part of the holy within us.  It’s just another aspect of treating others as we wish to be treated.  Perhaps it is also another way of changing our own little worlds and contributing positively to the larger one.

What kindness have you expressed or experienced lately?

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:

AWAKENING TO WHERE KINDNESS HAS GONE

AWAKENING TO A PEACEFUL HEART

AWAKENING TO COMPASSIONATE COMMUNICATION

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR PERFECTIONISM

 

AWAKENING TO OUR JUDGEMENTS

“We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect.  The judgement of the intellect is only part of the truth.”  Carl JunG

When do you most often make judgements about others?  What are those judgements based on?  Do they reflect how you feel as well as how you think?

(Thank you, Joanne for the word “judgement” for today’s topic.  My next blog will be based on a word that begins with “K” so please leave some suggestions in the Comment box.  Thanks for your help!)

When you notice yourself making a judgement about a person’s opinion or behavior, do you know where that judgment originates?  Is it based on what you think, what you feel, or your spiritual or political beliefs?

Webster’s definition of judgement is “the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing.” This definition supports the process that includes an intellectual activity in which we recognize patterns of details, noticing their similarities or differences, and draw conclusions based on this information.

This describes a good process, a wise way of evaluating a situation and deciding the best course of action to follow.  But is this the process we often use to make a decision?  Not always.  We all have different tendencies when it comes to decision making and we all have an emotional and a spiritual self in addition to our intellect.

We Fear Being Different

Many of the racist attitudes we see in others are clearly not formed from the intellect.  Often people accept their parents’ or friends’ attitudes because that’s what one does to fit in.  We don’t want to feel separate because that feels lonely and is scary.  It may also put us in danger if we don’t follow the same path.

Last week I asked this question about integrity:  What if a woman can’t feed her children and steals food from a store so they have something to eat?  When you read that, what judgement did you make?  Your intellect might have said, “She broke the law and she should have been arrested.”  Emotionally, you may have felt sorry for her and hoped she got away with it.  Your spiritual self may have forgiven her wrong doing and prayed that she could find a way to safely feed her children.

Notice The Source Of Our Decisions

When we make a judgement, we need to be aware of the source of our decision.  Our best decisions usually come from a wholistic awareness.  We notice the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of a situation to determine what we need to do.  In this case, our whole selves are making the best decision possible.

Hopefully over time, our experiences teach us the best way to determine the basis of our actions.  That doesn’t mean we always get to do what we “want” to do.  Sometimes I’m prediabetic – just barely.  But I don’t want to be diabetic, although my mother was and my brother is.  Every day I have to  put my emotions in my pocket and choose, not the food I’m craving filled with sugar, but the food that is healthy for me.

This decision is intellectual in the sense that it is reasoned.  I am aware of the scientific evidence of the effect of sugar on people like me, but it is also emotional.  How much do I care about myself?  If I choose to harm myself, I certainly won’t feel better.  When I do what’s best for me, it becomes easier to do what’s right because I feel good about myself and want to keep feeling better.

When we care enough about our well-being to make wise and healthy decisions, we not only can accept our friends and family making their best choices, but it is easier for us to accept and support them.  If their choices are different from ours, we simply accept they have different desires and needs and don’t view their decisions as actions taken against us.

When we can see ourselves and others as a whole, we are more likely to make the wisest choices, and are more able to accept the diversity in life.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO OUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS

AWAKENING TO WHO YOU ARE

AWAKENING TO GOOD DECISIONS

AWAKENING TO INTEGRITY

 

AWAKENING TO HEAL WITH HUMOR

“When you awaken love and laughter in your life, your mind lets go of fear and anxiety, and your happy spirit becomes the healing balm that transforms every aspect of your human experience.” Jesse Dylan

Do you laugh often?  How does it make you feel?  Do you like making others laugh?  Does it make a significant difference in your life?

(Thanks to Eleanore for “healing” and Sherry for “humor.”  I wouldn’t have thought to put these two together without your suggestions.  Next week I need a word starting with “I” so leave your ideas in Comments.)

We often think of humor as a “light” element in life.  It’s fun to laugh but it’s nothing to take seriously.  We watch a comic movie or a comedian and laugh, lifting our energy up and into a positive place.  It feels good, so we do it without ever paying attention to what is going on deep within us.  We just like the good feeling it gives us.

Laughter Can Stop Arguments

Have you ever had an intense argument with someone you love and watched it escalate into a degree of anger and unkind words that could rip the relationship apart?  Then suddenly the other person takes a breath and says something very funny and you both start laughing.  The anger spills away and your love comes rushing back.  Laughter can change a relationship and turn it into what really matters.

Laughter Changes The Body’s Chemistry

When we are stressed, and anger is certainly stressful, laughter reduces the level of stress hormones and causes the body to release endorphins which make us feel good.  It’s also a healthy cardiovascular exercise because it makes the heart beat stronger.  Blood flows better, and delivers oxygen to the cells.

Laughter Can Relieve Depression and Stress

All of these physical responses rejuvenate us.  If we are feeling depressed, it’s a good time to read a funny book or watch a comedy show on TV.  Humor lures us to push aside the fear that is causing the depression, giving our mind and body an opportunity to release the constriction and begin healing.

The other day it seemed that everything I did on the computer was a mess.  I tried to find the results of a recent medical test.  It wasn’t there.  The lab had no record of it.  Another website failed to come up, and I couldn’t find the place on a particular site to respond and correct a problem that had arisen with another doctor.

Finally, I had had enough!  I took deep breaths to calm down, but still felt tense, so I just sat and looked out the window at the trees.  Two squirrels were chasing each other all over the yard and up and down the trees, flying from limb to limb.  I couldn’t help laughing at them.  It was a comedy show.

When the squirrels disappeared, I checked out how I felt.  Much better and I laughed at myself.  Why do I let technical things stress me so much?  It isn’t good for my mind or body.  The problem is that I feel inadequate in a world where nearly every aspect of life has a technical element.  I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a husband who is technically savvy to help me and who has a good sense of humor.

Humor Is Healing

The humor we often share, especially corny jokes, is very healing.  We both love words so our humor often comes from playing off the word or phrase the other has spoken.  I love making him laugh and I think he enjoys my laughing at his jokes.

Perhaps instead of feeling bad about  inabilities, we need to laugh at them first, forgive ourselves for not being perfect, and seriously get those endorphins flowing quickly.  Any time we can lighten fear and anxiety, it is beneficial.  It doesn’t mean we need to ignore things that are complicated and require patience. It simply means humor can transform what we feel at the moment, and allow us to let go of the fear and anxiety that get in the way of  what’s staring us in the face at the moment.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

Related Blog Posts:

AWAKENING TO LAUGH AT SIMPLE THINGS

AWAKENING TO THE LAUGHTER WITHIN

AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR FEAR

 

AWAKENING TO FOCUS

“The focus is what is right before you – to give it your best.  It sows the seeds of tomorrow.”  Kiran Bedit

How focused are you?  On what do you focus most days?  How do you stay focused in order to complete what you started?

(Thanks to Eleanore for suggesting today’s topic and to Joanne for seconding it as relevant.  Next week I need a word starting with “G” so please leave me some words in Comment at the end of the post.  If you don’t want me to use your name if I choose your word as the topic, please just write “no name” after your suggestion.  Thanks for participating in this venture.)

* * *

Oh, my gosh! That beautiful bluebird just landed in the shrubbery outside the window.  I can’t decide if that’s my favorite or the red-winged blackbird I saw at the lake?

Isn’t that cute! The little girl from the next block has a new pink helmet – she needs to be careful riding her little bike so fast.

Oh, gee! I forgot to put out some protein to defrost for supper.

Now where was I going with this blog?

Can anyone relate to this?  I know it would be smart of me not to have my desk facing a front window, but on the other hand, the beauty of my neighborhood often inspires me.  What’s a gal to do?  Clearly, I need to focus on the task at hand.

How To Use Our Time

Do you ever experience this challenge?  With the pandemic, some people have more time on their hands than they like, so the question is how it is best to use it.  With others of us, the day is already too full of things that have to be done and we have to prioritize.

Wednesdays are the day I focus on writing this blog post, but the other days are not so focused.  Over the years, I’ve learned that the best way for me to get things done is to make a list each day of what I need to do.  As I complete each activity, I check it off the list.  At the end of the day, if I’ve completed them all, I throw away the list and tell myself – “well-done!”  If anything is still on the list, it is moved to the next day.

The Value of Long Term Lists

I also have a list that is not attached to a completion date.  These are items that need to be done in the next few days or week, and I can fit them into my schedule whenever it’s convenient.  While I can probably remember the things I need to do on a certain day without a list, other items can easily slip out of mind for days.  When I have completed the daily chores, the list reminds me of other productive ways to use my time.

A list doesn’t have to contain only work we need to do.  It may also remind us of social events as well.  Now that so much socializing takes place on Zoom, I place events on my calendar so I won’t forget when one is to occur.  I don’t attend them all, but this helps me remember options, so I can choose what I’m in the mood for that day.

Present Choices Affect the Future

Much of what we do today prepares us for tomorrow.  A champion baseball player didn’t become great over night; neither did a ballet dancer with the New York Ballet Company.  Becoming a doctor takes years, and getting a teaching certificate requires a college degree.

Especially as we age, how we focus on taking care of ourselves determines how active and healthy we can be for the present and the future.  We may have more restrictions in our diet, trying to avoid or maintain a low level of diabetes or other disease.  We may need to follow an exercise program to avoid back problems or just to keep us strong enough to go hiking.  Caring for ourselves requires doing the best we can right now, by focusing.

To meet any long-term goal, we have to focus on the moment and stay on track.  That requires commitment, discipline, and the willingness to avoid tantalizing distractions.  (Darn, there’s that blue bird again!)  What we do right now affects tomorrow.

It is probably a good thing I was at the lake yesterday watching the birds or I would be even more distracted today.  However, writing is also a major pleasure for me and creating this post is the goal I focus on right now.

What’s on your list for today?

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

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AWAKENING TO EVOLVEMENT

“The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”  Oprah Winfrey

Do you feel you are evolving in a good direction?  What do you do to keep growing as a person?  Do you like who you are becoming?

Thank you, Eleanore, for today’s topic.

Spring is a time when we joyfully watch nature evolving.  Trees with grayish brown trunks and branches slowly evolve into leafy green umbrellas.  Their branches become covered with greenish yellow or dark green leaves, depending on their growth stage.  Others suddenly burst full of white or pink flowers.  Stubby little shrubs like Azaleas blossom intensely red, calling attention to their beauty amid their flowerless neighbors.

Heredity and Family Affect Who We Are

While the evolvement of nature is seasonal, our evolvement follows many different paths.  Heredity may predetermine what we look like or what medical problems may arise during our years on this earth, but who we become depends on the choices we make and who we decide to be.

The family or environment in which we grow up forms much of who we are.  Some people choose to conform to their family’s way of life: doing the same work, following the same religion, voting for the same party, socializing in the same way.  For some, this is a good fit; for others, change is required to become an authentic person.  We may begin with one goal only to discover as we mature that we need to head in a different direction

Books About Finding Ourselves

As we evolve, the world around us changes as well.  Recently I read two books that have expanded my understanding of what being Black has meant in this country.  The first is the classic by Zora Neale Hurston, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” published in 1937.

It is the story of Janie, a Black woman, who is searching for her true self.  She marries twice to men who want to control her every word and movement.  It is only with her third husband, Tea Cake, who doesn’t want to make her “one man’s mule,” that she is able to be authentic.  Like she says, “two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves.  They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”

The other novel is “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett.  It’s the story of light-skinned twin sisters who are growing up in a southern Black community.  They run away from home at sixteen, but each eventually chooses a different path for dealing with her racial identity.  One “becomes” a white woman, disappearing from her family, never revealing who she really is, while the other accepts her reality, marries a Black man and has a daughter with him who is black-skinned and thereby lives an authentic life.

Being True To Myself

Both of these books made it even clearer to me how privileged I am to be White and to have been raised in a middle-class environment, but they also reminded me how glad I am that I followed paths that even my parents and my former husband thought  foolish. Eventually, he divorced me because of the path I chose as a dancer.

I remember sitting up in our apartment at night where my former husband and I lived in a steel mill town, watching the light from the factories flow through the window.  It was obvious to me that I could never be who I wanted to be in that place.  I was teaching mostly gym in junior high, not the English or drama for which I had trained.  As a southerner, most of the other teachers ignored me.  I had only one “sort of” friend.

Fortunately, I was able to convince my husband to move back south to the town where my parents lived.  He found an excellent job in a nearby town and I worked with the National Endowment for the Arts program teaching dance in the schools and community.  I was able to be who I truly was, a teacher and dancer.   This experience gave me the background I needed to keep moving for many years in the artistic direction I had chosen for my life.

To evolve, we must decide what serves us well and what needs to change.  We have to explore how to do that, perhaps by getting help from family or friends, seeing a therapist, reading more widely, or thinking in a different way to expose ourselves to new possibilities.

Every choice we make in life defines us in some way.  When we can see who we want to become, we can more easily see the next step in our evolution.

©2021 Georganne Spruce

Next week the topic I will choose must start with an “F” so please give me some ideas of words for that blog.  Just leave your ideas under Comments.  Thanks to all of you who read these posts.

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AWAKENING TO DEVOTION

“When devotion arises, life becomes profound.”  Sadhguru

To what are you most devoted?  How is it a part of your life?  Is it easy to stay devoted or difficult?

Thanks to Bill and Susan for this topic.

Devotion is a word that is often descriptive of a religious practice, but it also may refer to any idea or activity to which we are loyal or dedicated.  Most of all it indicates a practice that is a regular part of our lives because it is very meaningful for us.

Profound Work Requires Commitment

In fact, what we are most devoted to may define who we are.  People I know who have been devoted to helping children with special needs, do work that is profound.  One teacher I know cares deeply about her students and is very creative in a way that makes it possible for them to learn despite their learning disabilities.  For example, she teaches forensics, setting up a crime scene for students to analyze as a way of learning science.  I suspect that if my high school science classes had been that creative, I might have been much more interested.

I have another friend who is a wonderful artist.  She quit her regular job and let go of other activities in order to devote her time to painting.  As a result her work is now in galleries and she frequently sells her paintings.  The work she does is beautiful and her devotion to her love of it has deepened her life.

Another friend was dedicated to teaching students with special needs for years.  Now she, too, is devoted to her painting which is beautiful.  She makes cards for every occasion and I have never been able to throw one away.  Her love brings beauty and joy into my life, and I have placed her cards in my dining room where I see them often.

When we create anything profound, we bring profundity to others’ lives and that is a gift to the Universe.

Helping Others May Be Based On One’s Spirituality

For many people, their desire to make a difference originates in their religious or spiritual belief.  I know a man whose religious beliefs are different from mine, but his have led him in a profound direction.  He is devoted to counseling men in prison and also does grief counseling because he wants to help others become stronger and able to lead their lives in a positive way.

In my own life, the years I was devoted to learning who I really was in the deepest sense led me in various directions studying Jungian psychology, eastern religions, going to Unity Church of Christianity and Science of Mind churches.  But my life has always centered around learning, for as a teacher, I had to keep learning in order give my students what they truly needed.

While I am no longer a teacher, I am devoted to writing my blog every Wednesday.  I need that time to stop and think about life in a deep way and to share my thoughts with others.  I hope what I say is at least sometimes profound for those who read my posts.  I may repeat what I already know, but there are days when a topic speaks to me and I explore that idea, hoping to discover a new and profound understanding.

We Each Have Our Own Path

No two paths in life are alike even when they appear to be.  What may be profound to one person may be meaningless to another.  We all are in our own state of growing and learning, and to keep moving toward the profound we must be willing to devote ourselves to that special journey.

May devotion to your journey lead you to what is most profound for you.

© 2021 Georganne Spruce

Next week’s topic will start with an “E.”  Please leave your suggestions for the topic under comment below.  I’d love to have ideas that interest you.

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