Tag Archives: Happiness

AWAKENING TO OUR REALITY

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”  William Arthur Ward

How do you usually react to new situations?  Do you tend to resist, ignore, or adjust to an event or condition you don’t like?  What works best for you?

I often think of myself as an optimist.  Years ago, I was very involved with the “think positive” movement, primarily because life was difficult and the many changes in my life often wore me down.  I also learned that much of the negative thinking I did could be released when I learned to release my fears because those fears created the negative thoughts.

All these experiences helped me to get my negative thinking under control, and by seeing life from a more positive perspective, I was a happier person.  But choosing to be an optimist about everything is not always the best choice.

Being A Realist Is Wise

The wisest approach to life is to be a realist and develop the ability to adjust to what is actually occurring because ignoring reality can be harmful.  I once had a friend who was very creative and with whom I did presentations that combined my poetry and her photography.  This was a very powerful creative connection I had not experienced since my earlier years in modern dance and theater and I deeply valued it.

When she became ill, she refused to see a doctor, insisting she would be fine. After many months, her daughter convinced her to face the source of her pain.  When she finally visited the doctor, she discovered she had very advanced cancer that could not be treated.  She died four months later.

I was stunned, heart-broken, and angry.  Having dealt with many illnesses over the years, I had always seen a doctor, even if I dreaded what I thought the answer would be.  I knew that whatever the sickness was, I needed to face it and treat it.  But my friend was not a realist.

Adjusting the Sails of Your Life

Life is not the perfect drama we would like it to be.  There are ups and downs and surprises, but what creates a good life for us is how we deal with the winds that blow through our lives.  None of us would choose to be experiencing a pandemic, especially one that is clearly not going away soon, but it is here, regardless of what we want.

So how can we be realistic and live well during this time?  I strongly suggest listening to the medical experts about wearing a mask, social distancing, and getting tested instead of to a president and his followers who deny these needs exist.  As George Bernard Shaw once said, “Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

Be a realist and “adjust the sails of your life.”  My husband and I love to go to the movies.  Now we have discovered the PBS series “Poldark” and often watch it when we’re in the “movie” mood.  What is nice about this is that we don’t have to get dressed and spend money.  We can even watch it in our pajamas.

While it would be nice to eat in a restaurant, we can get a pick-up dinner and eat on our deck with a lovely view of the trees and the continual bird song.  For more outdoor pleasures we walk in the neighborhood and around a nearby lake.  We can visit and see friends faces on Zoom. These choices are not what we prefer, but they are the wise, realistic ones.

Being Realistic May Include Some Optimism

While being a realist makes sense and can safe-guard us during these particularly challenging days, being optimistic at times may also be helpful.  It’s better to hope than to become depressed about the worst.  It is worthwhile to consider what is needed for us to accomplish the goals we hope to pursue when restrictions ease.

What research might we undertake about the degree we want to get, the trip we desire to take, the job we hope to receive or the skills we wish to develop?  Even if we can’t pursue such things right now, we will learn what preparation we need and if we can begin any of that work now. We also may discover that there are other choices we overlooked which are more appealing.

With a willingness to adjust our sails, we may find the path we truly need to take to a destination where the sailing is smoother.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:

AWAKENING TO GOOD DECISIONS

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR FEAR

AWAKENING TO ACCEPT REALITY

 

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO LIFE NOW

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”  Mark Twain

How does your age affect the choices you make now?  Are you happier at this age?  What do you consider the perfect age?

When I first read this quote by Mark Twain, I chuckled.  He always makes me laugh, but underneath the humor is often wisdom.  I’ll admit that at seventy-five I wouldn’t mind being a bit younger with a body that requires less upkeep and has unlimited energy.  On the other hand, at this age it’s easier to let go of irritations and live more in the moment.

Most of all, I’m glad I’m not approaching eighteen.  I was extremely limited at that time in terms of dealing with life’s changes and disappointments.  I had more illness because I didn’t know about my food intolerances.  At nineteen I lost the boyfriend I thought I would marry after college.  But I did have a lot of fun:  being in plays, singing, going to parties.  It’s just that I didn’t have the maturity to always make good choices.

Regardless of whether we are eighty or eighteen, our lives now are full of challenges we could never have dreamed and we have no way of knowing if life will return to “normal.”  In this situation we need some of age’s wisdom as well as the optimism of youth.

Age Teaches Us How To Deal With Change

Life continues no matter how much we may try to stop the change.  But when we’ve been around quite a few years, we’ve learned what we can change and what we can’t and how much time it is reasonable to take in order to make a change.

As we grow, hopefully, we learn how to deal more positively with the difficulties of the emotional stress that change may create.  With years of regular meditation behind me, I’ve learned that when I get emotionally upset, it is best to take a few deep breaths and that calms me.  Walking briskly also works off the adrenal response and strengthens my body at the same time.

After the initial response, I sit quietly and think about what I need to do, if anything.  How can I solve this problem?  Can it be solved or do I need to just accept it?  Does solving the problem involve other persons?  If so, how can I calmly and positively approach them so that they will want the help?  If it can’t be solved, how do I live with it?

Failure Is Not Always Negative

How we deal with a problem is not only related to what it is, but also how we feel about ourselves. If we were not given positive messages about our worth as a child, we may question our abilities as an adult. In this case, it is important that we get the help we need to heal those wounds so that we see ourselves as good and capable people.  If we trust our abilities, we won’t push problems aside or expect someone else to solve them for us.

Hopefully long before we head toward eighty, we have healed any lack of self-worth and learned to accept who we are, not judging ourselves for what we perceive as our failures.  We all experience failures. Sometimes those failures are positive in the sense that they send us down a different path of learning.  Failure may also allow us to explore an aspect of life that we would never have consciously chosen but which presents us with opportunities for growth.

Ballet East Dance Company

One twist of fate in my life began when my family moved to Tulsa when I was about thirteen.  I was not happy at all about leaving my friends.  But there in high school, modern dance was part of the physical education curriculum.  Taking that class, I began to develop muscles and feel physically strong for the first time in my life.  I loved it so much that modern dance became a part of my life for many years. It helped improve my physical health and developed my creativity.

Valuable Aspects of Aging

What I like most about approaching eighty is that I no longer feel driven to accomplish anything.  I write because I love to do it, not because I’m driven to become a famous writer.  I enjoy sharing my ideas with others and especially like it when my blog followers make comments letting me know how my words touched them.

I’m more able to accept my failures or the areas where I lack talent such as my limited cooking skills.  I used to be a perfectionist.  Although that aspect of my personality rears its head from time to time,  I don’t feel a slave to it.  I do the best I can and forgive myself for what I lack.  Growing older has brought me more peace, which is truly a gift, even though I’ll never be eighteen again.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:

AWAKENING TO ACCEPT REALITY

AWAKENING TO SHARE HAPPINESS

AWAKENING TO LOVE ALL WE ARE

 

AWAKENING TO LIVE WITH CHAOS

“We focus so much on our differences, and that is creating, I think, a lot of chaos, negativity, and bullying in the world.  And I think if everybody focused on what we all have in common – which is – we all want to be happy.”  Ellen DeGeneres

Snow Bird Lodge 063What do you do when confronted with an angry person?  How do you find peace when confronted with chaos?  How do you find happiness when there is too much negativity in your life?

CHAOS SEEMS TO SURROUND US

It is a time when keeping chaos at a distance is more difficult than usual.  The news is filled with natural disasters like the fires in California or the floods in Louisiana, with the insults Trump and Clinton hurl at one another, and with the wars in the Middle East that are making normal lives impossible for millions of people.  In addition, racism and misogyny have raised their ugly heads in a way that makes them impossible to ignore.

How do we find happiness in the midst of this without totally withdrawing from society?  The secret lies in how we experience our minds and emotions because the thoughts and comments we hear lodge in our mental spaces and become part of memory.  The more negative ones feed the ego that is always ready for more drama.

Because this is a presidential election year, we have a particular challenge.  We want to learn about the candidates so that we can make good choices about whom we vote for, but the particularly negative nature of the race this year makes that a challenge.  Whether or not we believe what the candidates say, their words and emotions, especially Donald Trump’s, affect our “pain body,” an aspect of the ego.

LEARN TO CALM THE “PAIN BODY”

Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose defines the “pain body” in this way: “The remnants of pain left behind by every strong negative emotion that is not fully faced, accepted, and let go of join together to form an energy field that lives in the very cells of your body.” (p. 142) He also points out that people who have active pain bodies tend to attract hostility and conflict. Others can feel the negative energy that is so strong in them and will react to it by lashing out or avoiding that person.

So the pain body is that part of the ego where we store the emotional pain we have suffered throughout life.  It is always hungry and feeds on drama, so negative feelings and ideas activate it easily.  We start to feel angry, hurt, or offended in some way.  We want to react quickly without thinking, and so we easily find ourselves embroiled in conflict or self-pity and at odds with the person offending us.

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DO WE ALWAYS CHOOSE UNHAPPY STORIES?

What is at the core of these unhappy feelings?  Tolle says, “Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness.”  For example, why are so many people attracted to Trump’s negative remarks?  Because he activates and supports their unhappy stories.  He feeds the pain body.  So instead of speaking to what is good in us and our society, he convinces us that our lives are awful (and some truly are) and only he can fix that.  Like many politicians, he speaks to people’s emotions and ignores any contradictory facts.

ONLY WE CAN FIX OURSELVES

The reality is that no candidates can fix us.  We can only fix ourselves by not attaching to the negative stories they perpetuate.  We must find peace in the midst of chaos by going within and centering ourselves.  Then we are able to see healthy solutions to the problems that haunt us and are able to differentiate between the candidate who has real solutions to the country’s problems and the one whose ego promises whatever will make him look powerful.

Becoming aware of the pain body, releasing our unhappy stories, and learning to be present and accept what we are feeling will allow us to be happier because we can then feel who we truly are.

By observing our own reactions, we can become aware of the kinds of events or comments that set us off.  When we are more conscious, we can choose a different path of behavior.

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BE CENTERED IN THE MOMENT

In those moments when the pain body is activated, we need to be in the moment, feel what we are feeling, and release our need to react.  Having practiced meditation, I know how peace feels and I try to release any need to react.  I want to simply be in the moment and observe the story that is emerging.  If I can choose not to attach to the negative emotions and ideas being expressed, I can choose not to experience the unhappiness inherent in the reaction of the pain body.

Every time I feel my pain body activate, I ask, “Do I really think this?  Do I really feel this?  Do I really need to respond to this?  Should I just let it go?  Then I affirm only what I believe is true. Each time I learn more about who I am.  Whether we like it or not, working with the pain body and letting go of our unhappy stories, can change our lives—and maybe our country.

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As Ellen DeGeneres said, “We all want to be happy.”  So, in addition to learning to live in a healthy way with our pain body and not letting it run our lives, we need to focus on what is good in our lives.  What do we have to be grateful for?

GRATITUDE ALSO LEADS TO HAPPINESS

Personally, in this divisive time in our country, I am grateful that Hillary, a well-qualified woman, is running for president and has a good chance of winning.  I wasn’t sure I would ever see that in my lifetime.  Despite all the negative things that are said about her, the fact is that she has worked to help others, especially women and children, all her life.  She has demonstrated she knows how to get things done that help people, and she doesn’t segregate people by race or gender.

When we focus on gratitude, we support what is good in our lives, what we have together and in community as well as in our individual lives.  That is our greatest source of happiness.

©2016 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  AWAKENING TO OUR MISDIRECTED PASSIONAWAKENING TO WHERE KINDNESS HAS GONE

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO LIVE WITHOUT FEAR

“I must not fear.  Fear is the mind-killer.  Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.  I will face my fear.  I will permit it to pass over me and through me.  And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.  Where fear has gone, there will be nothing.  Only I will remain.”  Frank Herbert, Dune

Dune-by-Frank-Herbert

How do you feel when you’re free of fear?  How do you find that mental place?  How does it affect your life?

I’ve never read much science fiction, but a few years ago when I read Dune, it motivated me to explore that genre, and for a couple of years, that was all I read.  I was awed by the authors whose imaginations could conjure up whole new worlds—a talent that I hadn’t explored in my own writing.

To Release Fear, We Must Admit We Feel It

What really hooked me was the above quote about fear.  It resonated because it was so similar to the experience I had when I learned to release my fear using the technique that I teach in my workshops.  In order to release your fear, you must first be willing to admit it’s there.

At one of my workshops last year, a man came in with his wife, and when they introduced themselves, he said, “I don’t have any fears.  I’m just here with my wife.”  I tried not to smile too broadly and said, “Well that’s very nice of you to do that.”  Afterwards, he came up to me with a puzzled look on his face and said, “I guess I do have some fears.”

Fear May Be Disguised As Other Feelings

It isn’t always obvious to us when we are experiencing fear.  It may appear as resistance, anxiety, anger, withdrawal or other feelings that create problems in our lives.  So, we need to remember that all negative thoughts and emotions are based on fear—either the fear of being inadequate or of being rejected.  Releasing our fear when these discomforts come up is the best way to start dealing with the difficulties that fear creates.

We need to release fear as soon as it comes up because, as long as it is there, it blocks the mind from focusing on solving the problem.  But what do we do after we’ve directed the mind to release the fear and we’ve let go of the fear?  This leaves a space in the mind for helpful information to come through from the unconscious, such as our memories, the knowledge we have stored, or our spiritual source.

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With A Clear Mind, We Can Receive Guidance from the Subconscious

When we have cleared the mind, we ask for guidance.  We ask the mind to fill our current need.  Recently, there was a conflict in a group to which I belong.  It seemed like unnecessary drama to me and my first inclination was to walk away.  Then, I realized that I was feeling afraid that this conflict would become an on-going thing.  I released the fear and asked my mind, “What do I need to do—create peace or walk away?”

The answer was to create peace so I asked how I could do that.  The guidance I received, which was not so much a thought as an intuitive feeling, was to write an email message to the leader of the group.  I did that and so did others in the group.  The result was that the conflicted parties talked and all is now well.  I feel very happy that I took the high road.  If I had listened to my fear, I would have walked away angry from something I enjoy.

Mustafa Ozer Statue of Peace & Brotherhood by Mehmet Aksy Kars (Turkey)

Mustafa Ozer Statue of Peace & Brotherhood by Mehmet Aksy Kars (Turkey)

Release Expectations about How You Will Receive Guidance

It is important to be aware that when we ask for a solution to a problem that we may be offered only the next step rather than the total solution.  In fact, we may not receive an answer at that moment.  We may be given guidance on where to find the solution, or we may be told to do nothing.  Trust that when the time is right, we will receive the answer we need.  Be at peace with that and continue to listen to your inner voice.

Clearing the Mind Allows Us to Experience Peace, Love & Joy

When we have learned to work with our minds in this way, we can trust that we will receive the information we need when we need it.  This gives us a wonderful peace of mind.  It allows us to trust ourselves, knowing that when difficulties arise, we are capable of finding good solutions.  Without the fear dominating our lives, we are also able to love and become who we truly wish to be.

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This practice of releasing our fears puts us more in touch with our deeper selves where peace, love and joy reside.  When we can experience these feelings often, our lives feel rich and satisfying, but only we can create these feelings so that they are lasting experiences.  When we rely on external things to make us happy, our happiness is fleeting.  But going deeper allows us to be in touch with what is eternal and beautiful within.

If you would like to learn more about my November 1 Release Your Fear Workshop, visit my website and click on workshops.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: 6 Steps to Release Your Fear and Feel Peaceful, Eckhart Tolle: The Origin of Fear,  What If Syndrome: Why You Need to Live Your Life Without Fear of the Possibilities

AWAKENING TO TRUE LOVE

“True Love is born from understanding.”  Buddha

Snow Bird Lodge

Snow Bird Lodge

For several weeks, I have not written a new post for the blog.  Life has become the priority—a mixture of joyous happenings and challenging struggles.  Dreams have come true and pleasures have been dashed.

Life Was Good

I was married in late June.  A year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.  I had created a life, without a partner, that made me happy most of the time.  I had met a couple of nice men, but we weren’t really a fit.  I was promoting my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness and beginning to explore a way to publish some poetry.  I had found a stimulating discussion group where I was making new friends and was hiking with a nice group of people.  Life was good.

I Met the Love of My Life

Then I met my Love.  It was an accident.  I was on an online dating site and made the mistake of clicking on something that took me to a site I didn’t want to be on.  There he saw me with one of the posters beside me for the Releasing the Fear classes that I teach.  He said it was my eyes that attracted him.  When he later returned to the site, I was gone, but he didn’t give up.  He googled “releasing your fear” and information appeared that led him to my email address.

I’m glad he is a curious and sensitive man.  His email was thoughtful, letting me know he was not stalking me despite the search he had made, so I responded.  Of course, before doing so, I googled him as well and discovered he was a spiritual person and a writer.

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This was all a switch for me because in the past I had often been the one who made the most effort to get together with the men I met.  I liked being pursued, but I was cautious.  We used email and the phone to communicate and that went well, but I knew meeting him in person would tell me the most, especially since I am very sensitive to another person’s energy.

Spiritual Compatibility Is Important

The rest of the story is too long to tell here, but he came to a workshop and liked my work.  We read each others’ books and liked what we read.  Although our spiritual backgrounds are very different, we are very spiritually compatible and he has become a part of my spiritual community.  Still there are differences, and most conflicts came from not understanding one another.

Conflicts Often Result From Making Assumptions

So we learned along the way and will always be learning how to understand one another.  It is so easy to make assumptions and draw inaccurate conclusions about another’s behavior.  Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements advises us not to make assumptions, and that’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.  Our assumptions are always about us and rarely offer us truths about the other person.

Part of my journey in this relationship has been learning how to live with another person because, with the exception of one year with a roommate years ago, I have lived alone since 1977.  I never realized how set in my ways I am.  Fortunately, my Love has had more experience, but he’s also flexible.  Together we’ve learned what to do to make this work.

There were some challenges, especially when I fell hiking in mid-April and broke my ankle.  My Love moved in to take care of me so that I would not have to go to a rehab facility.  It stretched us both, but his love and care were wonderful.  We joke about him earning his nursing degree during this time.  What I saw was a man who simply does what he needs to do to care for those he loves even when it’s difficult.  I learned I could trust him and depend on him.  He had inner strength.

Understanding One Another Leads to a Deep Love

But here’s the bottom line.  Many of us want relationships and marriage.  I’ve wanted it all my life but was never willing to settle for a relationship with a man who was uncommitted or controlling or not on a compatible path.  I just knew it wouldn’t work.  The truth is that the most wonderful thing about this marriage relationship is something I had never felt—a feeling so wonderful that it still seems quite unreal.

It isn’t the illusion of “being in love.”  It is something so much deeper.  It is knowing that on a spiritual level you are a match, that your love is a healthy love that supports you both.  It is a feeling of deep peace and joy, knowing you are loved for who you truly are, and that you share the same kind of commitment.  It is knowing that the other person will be there for you, and that you, without a doubt, will be there for him.

We Cannot Truly Love Another Until We Love Ourselves

I thought I knew what True Love was, but I didn’t.  What I had felt once in the past doesn’t even come close to this, but I also realize that I can experience this True Love because I have spent many years learning to understand and love myself and created a life I liked.  With these two things in place I was energetically ready to attract my perfect mate and had become the person who could be his perfect partner.

I’m now back on my feet, walking almost normally, but still doing physical therapy so I can return to my former hiking strength.  Life never feels quite complete without my time on the forest trails.  I feel most grateful for this healing and also for the partner I now have who shares all the paths I follow.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Dr. Wayne Dyer:  Dating, Desire, and Attracting Love, Deeper Dating – Finding A New Approach to Love, Relationships: True Love and the Transcendence of Duality (interview with Eckhart Tolle)

 

 

AWAKENING TO CREATE HAPPINESS

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”  Jim Rohn

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Are there any little things in your life that make you happy?  Are you always looking for something better or bigger?  What is the smallest thing that ever brought you happiness?

We are all different I know, but I learned a long time ago that the world, particularly the natural world, is an interesting place.  There’s nothing I enjoy more than walking through a forest and discovering something I’ve never seen before or a pattern of flowers or bark on a tree that is unique or particularly aesthetically pleasing.

Nature Can Provide Us With Delightful Moments

I remember when I was at the Botanical Gardens in Denver and saw the trees in the picture above.  The knots on the trees looked like eyes, as if the inner tree were looking out at me and smiling.  I was delighted and even laughed out loud as I imagined the conversation the two might have been having and how they were teasing me with their look.

I’ve always felt One with nature, having spent a childhood outdoors a great deal.  These little experiences like finding trees with eyes create happiness for me.  Just a little thing can change my mood quickly:  the song of a bird, the gobble of the turkeys nibbling on my lawn, or the neighborhood cat rolling around on the deck.

Photo: G. Spruce

Photo: G. Spruce

Little Things Can Make Us Happy

No matter what is going on in my life when these things occur I experience a moment of happiness.  I think I’ve learned a really important thing.  Many little things can bring us happiness if we are fully present and open to letting life interrupt our focus for just a moment.

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

When we are always focused on our accomplishments or achievement in our society, finding happiness can be challenging.  We usually set standards for ourselves and judge our actions as successful or not.  If we fail to live up to the standards we set, we are unhappy and disappointed.  We feel inadequate and the fear that we won’t be good enough grows.

Of course, it is important that we are able to do what is expected of us as parents or workers in order fulfill the responsibilities we have accepted, but too often, instead of enjoying the little successes each day, we keep expecting more before we are willing to feel good about what we do.  The tragedy is, though, if we keep putting off feeling good about ourselves or taking the time to lift ourselves up, we may never take the time to be happy at all.

Photo: G. Spruce

Photo: G. Spruce

We Can Choose to Experience Happiness

We can create happiness whenever we want.  It’s about how we choose to feel and that relates to what we are thinking.  Some people think my delight with little things is silly.  Maybe it is, but at times, silly makes me happy.  Maybe doing a crossword puzzle delights you.  Maybe trimming the shrubs enlivens you.  Maybe listening to a particular piece of music inspires you.

Make a commitment to allow something each day to make you happy by taking a moment to appreciate something that appears in your life.  Start your day with meditation, reading something inspirational, a piece of chocolate, or a hearty breakfast.  Savor it, and think how fortunate you are.  That few moments of creating happiness can radically change your day.

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I’m sharing with you today several pictures of things that have delighted me.  I hope you enjoy them and become more aware of the interesting images that appear throughout your day.

What has made you happy today?  Please share a comment.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                              ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  What is Happiness?, The Source of True Happiness, The Source of Happiness from The Richest Man in Town

AWAKENING TO SHARE HAPPINESS

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.”  Buddha

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How often are you happy?  Do you feel you have any control over your moods?  What do you do to lift your mood when you are down?”

We Are Drawn To Happy People

Yesterday was a happy day for me.  A close friend who was traveling all summer returned, and we took a walk through the botanical gardens where the Black-Eyed Susans were overly abundant and the Joe Pye Weed towered beautifully above us.  As we began our walk, a man who works there approached us and began sharing stories about the effect of the intense rain on nature, why the butterflies were late, and how happy he was that they finally appeared.

English: Joe Pye Weed

English: Joe Pye Weed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve talked with this man before and learned fascinating details about the plants, but what always strikes me about him is how happy and enthusiastic he is about his work.  His energy lifts me, and I feel happy to know that someone is taking such good care of this beautiful garden that I love so much.  Clearly he is following his passion.

Recently, I talked with another man, Charles Davidson, who is following his passion to create a website, Life Turnings, about spirituality and the healing arts. His excitement about the people he can reach, the conversations the blog will stimulate, and the opportunity to increase awareness on a variety of issues is contagious.  I was impressed with what he hopes to accomplish, so when he asked me to write for the site, I agreed.  My first piece, a blog I had written previously for this site, is featured on the home page under a beautiful picture of Fuchsias.  I hope you will visit Life Turnings.

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Photo: Charles Davidson

Our Positive Or Negative Energy Affects Others

When we encounter people who are happy, their energy is expansive and uplifts us if we are open to sharing their experience.  Although we think of being empathetic when someone is unhappy so that we can understand and offer them support, we are also empathetic when we share another person’s happiness and support their positive experiences too.  As we connect with their light, our light expands.

Have you ever rushed up to a friend or family member with what you considered wonderful news only to have them put you down with their negative response?  Their negative energy depletes your energy even if you don’t think their comment is valid.  When this pattern is repeated over and over in a family where approval is so important, it may over time teach a child that it is not acceptable to express happiness.  Sadly, I once knew a person who had been taught that no strong emotion, even happiness, should ever be expressed.

Positive Attitudes Create More Positive Energy

If another’s expression of negative energy can diminish our energetic vibration, then the expression of positive energy can increase it. But how can we create more positive energy?  Self-awareness is the key.  What makes us feel good?  What thoughts, friends, activities, or food bring us joy and are good for us?  We have to pay attention to our reactions to situations and ask, “How can I best respond to this situation or solve this problem so there is a positive outcome for all concerned?”  We must learn to be the light in the difficult situations that confront us.

We must be willing to learn and grow.  In our society, we are much too quick to choose what appears to be the easy way out of difficulties.  This often leads to addiction because we’d rather pop a pill than find the root of the problem which could cause us even more pain—except the pill won’t help us find a solution.  We must be willing to learn practices, read books, and take workshops that will help us become more aware of how to face life feeling confident that we can deal in a healthy way with our challenges and maintain a connection to happiness.

Release the Fear That Blocks Us

Negative feelings are always based on fear, and we can learn to direct our minds to release the fear we feel about a situation.  When we let go of the fear, it is easier to see real solutions to the problem and follow our inner guidance.  Fear often causes us to assume problems can’t be solved so we give up.  Assuming they can be solved usually motivates us to search more diligently for a solution.

Seeing the Positive Uplifts Us

We can also choose to focus on what is positive and consciously look for positive ideas and events that will lift the vibration of our energy.  For example, we have had excessive rain where I live, and the dark, dreary days can easily drag me down.  On rainy days, I look out at my deck where the flowers are blooming profusely, and I’m grateful I’ve hardly had to water them at all this summer.  I’ve enjoyed their beauty at no expense.  The grass in my yard, which was sparse for many years, is now lush and green.  When I hike in the mountains, I’m surrounded by abundant shade and more wild flowers than I’ve seen in years.  I can focus on enjoying the beauty created by the rain or I can make myself and others miserable over the weather, an element I cannot control.

By taking responsibility for creating happiness in our lives and sharing it with others, we contribute to the well-being of all those around.  Our positive energy can draw to us those with a similar energy and expand the happiness we experience.  It can also help heal those who are struggling with life.  How often has a smile brightened your day?  You can be the candle that lights the world.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                  ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

What makes you happy today?  Please comment.

Related Articles:  Higher Vibrations in 10 Minutes (Abraham/Hicks video), What is Energy: 8 ways to Find Your Happiness, Health and Happiness

DANCING WITH NATURE’S CYCLES

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness and wisdom.”  Confucius

What do you feel about autumn?  Does it depress or invigorate you?  What is good about this change?

Living in the Midst of Nature

My yard is almost completely covered with oak leaves, and walking down the driveway is very tricky with the abundance of acorns and the slippery leaves.  When I walk down to get the mail, I have to be in the present giving full attention to where I step.  No matter how fast I’ve been moving through the day, I am forced to slow down.

Yesterday it was in the mid-seventies and I had the back door open while I ate lunch.  A strange sound like a light sprinkle of rain arose.  I looked up from the book I was reading, but it was dry outside.  The sound continued sparking my curiosity, so I walked to the door and looked up into the old trees in the yard.  A wind was blowing, visible only at the very top of the trees, and as it increased, a shower of golden leaves blanketed the deck and yard.

Some mourn the loss of summer and find the autumn depressing, but the changes in nature are so dramatic that I continue to be awed by them and am reminded that these changes are natural.  We can accept the change or be unhappy about it.  It really is our choice, and much of life is like that.

Awakening to the Wisdom of Change

Confucius’ quote reminds us that resisting change won’t bring us happiness or wisdom.  Change is a natural element of life.  In order to experience happiness, we must be flexible, accept the fact we can’t control everything or everyone in our lives.  When things aren’t going our way, we need to see what we can learn from the experience or how we can reframe our response to a more positive assessment of the situation.

Wisdom is also about change and growth.  The wise elders are the ones who can see the depth and meaning in life as it changes and evolves.  They are in touch with the eternal.  They see that, although we experience physical changes through the seasons, birth and death, moving out into the world and finding new environments, these are all physical experiences.  What really matters is how we see and deal with the change and our willingness to look deeper.

Limitations of Resistance

The unwise among us are the ones who resist any and all change.  They create a safe cocoon in which anyone and anything that does not fit is rejected.  They defend their way of doing things to the death—the death of the relationships they have or to literal death.  When we have been close to nature and attentive to its cycles, we know how futile this is.

Finding Happiness in Change

I am much happier than I’ve ever been.  Do I have everything I want?  No.  But over the years I have learned to be more flexible and that has reduced the stress in my life.  I am more accepting of the things I cannot change.  I love Alan Watts’ comment:  “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”

This year I am definitely dancing with autumn, hiking up and down the mountains, sliding down slopes of dry leaves, looking up into the blue sky to be dazzled by the brilliant red leaves waving over head.  Like autumn, my life is in great flux, learning to promote my books, flooded with new ideas like the shower of leaves blanketing my yard.  I hardly know which way to turn, but it’s all good because it is taking me some place I want to go.

Nurturing Our Spiritual Selves

Now the weather is beautiful and I can be outside, but soon the winter will come with cold and snow and unpredictable weather.  Then it will be time to go inside, literally and figuratively.  I’ll spend more time promoting my book online, finding more silence and time for thinking about what to do next, snuggling under the blanket in front of the fire, going deeper.  What’s nice about winter is that if we have nurtured our own interiors, we have no need to fear this time.  And if we haven’t, it’s a good time to start clearing up our “stuff” without the distractions of sunshine and flowers blooming.

So, this week I’m going to plunge into the leaves, dance through them with my rake and move them into the plastic bags the city insists I use (okay, I’m still not happy about this, but I’m moving on).  And once it becomes too cold for pleasant hiking, I’ll just turn on the music and dance inside.

What do you like most about the autumn?  What does it mean to you?

© 2012 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related articles: What if Money Was No Object – Alan Watts

AWAKENING TO JOURNEY WITH GRATITUDE

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” Thornton Wilder

Do you practice gratitude often?  How deep are you willing to dig to find something to be grateful for on those days when life feels awful?  Are you grateful for change even when you don’t know what will happen?

Raising Our Vibration

I’m having a lot of trouble focusing these days.  Yesterday, as I sat on my deck proofing the paperback version of my book for the nth time, I really felt I was in another world.  The sun filtered through the trees as they swayed lightly in the breeze; their rustling leaves gently accompanied the conversational song of the birds resting nearby.  I stopped looking at the book and allowed myself to become one with this vibrant natural energy.

From deep within, there rose such happiness and contentment.  I could easily have sat there all afternoon, and probably should have.  Filled with gratitude for the lovely place where I live, I also longed to have more time for these positive experiences and realized it had been too long since I had taken the time to practice gratitude.

When I had chronic fatigue many years ago, I awoke one morning in hot, muggy New Orleans to the sound of birds and a cool breeze.  I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and as that feeling filled me, I realized that was the key to retaining a positive mindset—to find something everyday to be thankful for.  I hadn’t yet been exposed to the idea that gratitude could raise our vibration, but I knew what I was feeling lifted my energy, and I liked it.

Using Gratitude to Light the Journey

At a wisdom group I attend, the teacher quoted from an article by Tom Kenyon in which he said one of the best ways to protect ourselves from the negative energy that is so prominent in our world today is to practice gratitude.  Click on his name to read more about this and the effect of the current solar flares on our energy.  I had expected him to outline some complicated process, but his solution was so simple—just find something to be thankful for each day and allow that energy to encompass you.

Gratitude Comes From the Heart

What is so healing about gratitude is that it takes us out of our minds and into our heart and activates the energy of love.  If we are expressing gratitude for a friend, we are remembering the times they have listened caringly to our woes, not the times we were unhappy with each other.  Practicing gratitude calls on us to focus on what is good, and no matter how difficult it may be some days to find something to be grateful for, making the extra effort will raise our vibration and take us out of the darkness for awhile.  Once we have gotten in touch with that positive energy, it is easier to maintain it.

Use Gratitude to Release the Old Ways

Our world is changing rapidly and it is difficult not to experience chaos in some area of our lives.  Most of us are not terribly comfortable with change, but, at this time, the more we cling to the old ideas and the old ways, the more troubled our lives will be.  Gratitude can help us let go, too.  Express your gratitude for what was good about the old ideas, then release them, having faith that what will replace them will be better.  Resisting change only causes more pain.

Turn to gratitude each day to heal and uplift, to raise your vibration, bring some light into the darkness, connect you with your heart energy, and let go of what no longer serves you.  We are being awakened to a better world and a better life, even when it seems everything is falling apart.  But isn’t that the way it usually is?  We have to clear out the old to make room for the new.  Be grateful for the empty container in your life and envision something beautiful to fill it.

What are you grateful for today?  Please share with us.

©2012 Georganne Spruce                            ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  2012: Think with Your HeartThink With Your Heart and Feel With Your Head (Instead of Over-Reacting), The Law of Appreciation – What Are  You Grateful For (Video)

AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE: Feel the Love, Part 2

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”  William Shakespeare

Where do you find love in your life?  Is your only source other people or do you look beyond and find it reflected elsewhere?

We all need to experience love.  In every spiritual journey, love is the key element.  We learn about it through many experiences; sometimes in secondary experiences through which others have expressed their love.

Art Touches the Heart and Soul

A few weeks ago, as I walked through the entrance of an amazing garden, Wamboldtopia, I felt transported into another dimension, one which brought the ancient spiritual energy of the past into the present.  The energy of this place touched me because of the natural beauty, especially the bright red and iridescent lavender of blooming azaleas and the lush green of many kinds of plants.  But this garden was created by a wonderful artist, Damaris Pierce, to create a natural home for much of her art work.  As I wondered down the paths, I found elfish houses, graceful sculptured women, and the face of a Green Man, and through these, Damaris’ spirit and love of nature touched me.

Only a love deeply connected to nature would create this energy.  But that is what an artist does—connect with that inner source of spirituality, even if they don’t call it that.  That is why we feel uplifted after walking in the natural beauty of nature or through an art gallery where the art reveals the depth of artists’ souls.  When the two are combined, we cannot help but feel the love of Spirit visiting us through those creations.

Through Nature’s Creatures We Receive Love

Other encounters with nature can also activate our own loving source and bring it to the surface.  As I ate lunch today with the back door open to my deck, an older Siamese cat approached.  I had seen her in the neighborhood before and attempted to pet her, but she ran.  This time, I talked to her through the door with warm words.  Slowly I moved onto the deck, and she began to give me those double messages cats love to give:  you can pet me, no you can’t.  I sat on the steps and waited.  She moved closer and allowed me to pet her, then suddenly she jumped into my lap and started rubbing me with her head.  For a few moments, we were lovingly connected.

I am so grateful when I can connect with the creative energy of the Universe, for it is the very source of life.  We are all products of nature, all “kin,” as Shakespeare reminds us.  When I hear the birds in the morning, I am reminded how glad I am to be alive.  I am filled with laughter when the local turkey gobbler performs his dance for me.  I am inspired and irritated sometimes by the community of crows that negotiate in the trees outside my writing room.  Each is a part of life that reminds me I am part of the dance of life.

We Are All A Part of Love

It is this reminder that we are a part of nature too that can be a powerful healer lifting us out of depression or disappointment or loss, reminding us that we are more than just this life on this planet. That is why it is so important that we make time to connect each day with that loving, healing, positive energy. We are part of the Spirit that creates all life and that love will never deserts us.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Emerson’s Nature: A River Reading, Native Pride, Finding God   in Nature

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