Tag Archives: Inner Strength

AWAKENING TO IMPROVISE OUR LIVES

“Life we all know is of course completely unpredictable and is constantly changing, and the way we navigate through life is simply by improvising.”  Niels Lan Doky

When you don’t know what to do, how do you approach that situation?  Do you create a plan or improvise?

When we don’t know what to do, we often improvise.  Sometimes that works out well, sometimes it doesn’t, but at least we may have learned from the experience.

This pandemic time is especially stressful for those who want life to stay the same and have a set plan to live by, but it requires some change for virtually all of us, and that can lead us to do things that we don’t usually do.

We can create new games for our children, bake bread, work on the novel we’d put away, zoom with friends we rarely have coffee with, and we wear masks when we go out rather than just wearing them at Halloween.

We Can Learn About Life From Jazz

While changes in life create some discomfort for us all, the ability to improvise can make all the difference in what comes next.  In Niels Lan Doky’s wonderful video How Jazz Wisdom Will Change Your Life,” he says, “You can always create something out of anything.”  Really? Why not?

I hope you will watch  Doky’s video because it is profound.  He states that you can apply the principles of jazz technique to your life.  They are the ability to adapt to change, the ability to be creative on demand, and the ability to treat your life as a work of art.

Following the Unknown Path

When I look at my own life, I can honestly say it has not followed a planned path.  I’ve had to improvise.  As a result, I’ve been exposed to situations that helped me grow.  I would not have thought to create them.  For example, I’ve moved many times, each for a different reason.  Things just happened.

I was living in Denver working at an art school and teaching modern dance part-time when the economy in the 1980’s bottomed out.  I lost my full-time job and couldn’t live on part-time work.  I didn’t know what to do.  I loved being close to artsy Boulder,  was exploring Buddhism, and had a meditation community that supported my spiritual growth.

Making Changes

At the same time, my brother, my only sibling, lived in New Orleans, with his wife and kids.  Since I didn’t have kids, I liked the idea of being near him and experiencing his children going up.  My parents also lived there.  There was much I didn’t like about New Orleans, especially the humid weather, but it was also an artsy place, so I thought, “Why not?”

During the twelve years I lived in New Orleans, my world greatly expanded.  I loved knowing my brother’s children as they grew up, being close to family, and enjoying the arts.  I worked as a full-time high school teacher in two excellent situations. I taught multicultural literature in a private Catholic girl’s school and later taught in a public school in the African-American community.  As a result of this second position, I was one of several teachers who traveled in West Africa for six weeks on a grant.

The Value of Choices We Prefer Not to Make

Unfortunately, after twelve years in New Orleans, I became ill with Chronic Fatique Syndrome.  My doctor was adamant that I needed to live in a dry environment in order to get well.  I had no idea what to do.   Then, that summer, a close woman friend of mine decided to move to Albuquerque to be near her family.  After she moved, she invited me to visit.

During that visit, I fell in love with the colorful art I saw throughout the city and in Santa Fe.  For the first time, I saw art on the side of buildings.  Art and brilliant colors were everywhere!  Amazingly, when I applied for a teaching job for the new school year, I was hired.

Although I never felt at home living in the desert, I liked being near mountains, and the sunsets were stunning.  Teaching in one school with mostly Native American students taught me about the reality of their culture, its beauty and its challenges.   Again my cultural awareness was expanded.  After four years in New Mexico, I was cured of the Chronic Fatigue and ready to move on.

By this time,  two of my friends from New Orleans had moved to Asheville.  I had previously visited them several times and loved being among the mountains and forests.  It felt like my soul’s home and similar to the land in Arkansas where I grew up.   So I improvised again.

The Values of Improvisation

Perhaps I could consider these changes because I had learned the value of improvising when I was a modern dancer.  When  a dancer improvises, she never knows where the dance will go or what the outcome will be.  Each moment, the movement changes.  The interaction of the dancers shifts.  Often the result is a beautiful phrase of movement one could not have imagined.

Life can be like that too.  When we are confronted with a new situation, how we choose to respond may take us to places we never dreamed we could go and awaken us to a new dance of life.  I am grateful that I found the courage to improvise, for that decision has led me to a richer life.  May you find the courage to improvise too.

Be sure to watch Doky’s video and see how your life is like jazz.  Cool!

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

TRANSFORMING THE FEAR OF CHANGE

AWAKENING TO THE POWER WITHIN

AWAKENING TO UNEXPECTED FEAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO OUR STRENGTH

“Strength does not come from winning.  Your struggles develop your strengths.  When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”  Arnold Schwarzenegger

What part of you is the strongest? The Inner? The Outer? Which helps you to face what appears to be the impossible?

All the children of my nephews and niece are active in sports: soccer, gymnastics, basketball, and anything else that catches their eyes.  I’m so happy for them because physical activity was absent from most of my childhood due to many illnesses and a heart murmur.  When I began to play a little baseball, it was a huge challenge.

We Win When We Don’t give Up

I suspect most sports participants know what Arnold means about struggles and hardships.  It isn’t always easy to become good enough to be on a team, especially a professional one.  It requires years of dedication, losing many times, and struggling to overcome our weaknesses.  It isn’t the physical strength that always makes us the winners.  We win when we don’t give up.

This is certainly one of those times when we are experiencing many struggles: how to survive without a job and income, how to work and stay safe from the virus, how to keep the right distance when we shop for food even when others don’t do so.  It’s a long list and dealing with all these challenges may depress us and make us want to stop trying to take care of ourselves.

But as Arnold reminds us, when we decide not to surrender, we struggle to go on and find our strength and that is what sustains us through this pandemic and the major challenges of life.  The only winner we need to be in this situation is the one that goes on making our lives the best we can under the circumstances, letting our struggles feed us with resolve.

How To Deal With Our Challenges

So how do we do this?  I think Francis of Assisi has some good advice.  “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Now, just doing what’s necessary can be challenging because so many stores are closed and even food markets don’t always have what we need.  This week, two of the vegetables we get every week were so bad they weren’t worth taking home, but they were the only ones the grocery could get.  To stay healthy, we need to eat vegetables every day, so if the fresh aren’t available, we’ll have to eat the canned or frozen ones.

If we have a problem with our backs and need acupuncture or massage, we’re taking a risk even if we find a practioner who will do the work.  Otherwise, we pull out the heating pad or massager at home.  If we need to see a doctor, it will probably be a telehealth connection, definitely not the normal experience.

When what we usually do can’t be done, we have to consider what is possible and perhaps be more creative like some of the people who are creating vegetable gardens in their yards.  It’s more challenging for those who aren’t urban farmers or who live in a high-rise although some apartments do have gardens on the building’s roof.

In some instances, it simply isn’t possible to get what we want or need, so obtaining the impossible isn’t always about doing.  Just accepting the reality can make us stronger, and not letting disappointment become depression that takes over our lives.

We Must Rely On Inner Strength

The strength that will sustain us through difficult times lies within us.  When we face a disappointment, it is wise to take a deep breath, meditate, find the stillness within, and remind ourselves that essentially we are fine.  In that stillness we find the light within that allows us to accept the situation or that presents a solution that has not occurred to us.

Years ago when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatique Syndrome and told I had to stop eating gluten and dairy, that seemed impossible.  There was virtually no prepared food like that and anything baked had to be made from scratch. Despite the challenge, that diet became my norm. Because I chose to do what was difficult,  that decision  resulted in good health.

Many necessary changes in life are not easy, but when we find we can make those changes, other changes seem more possible.  We simply need to embrace the seemingly impossible and refuse to surrender.  Therein lies our strength.

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

AWAKENING TO THE POWER WITHIN

AWAKENING TO ACCEPTANCE

AWAKENING TO STILLNESS

Awakening to Our Challenges

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”  Maya Angelou

What has happened to you recently that was disturbing?  What did you think about it?  How did you handle the situation?

We all have times in our lives when things don’t go the way we want.  When that happens, how do we handle it?  What we do can make all the difference in how we experience the situation.  More than once I’ve lost a job.  The reasons varied.  When I was young I thought I could speak honestly with my boss, but I quickly learned that bosses often only want to hear what they want to hear.  You play the game or you lose, but I was too naïve to understand this.

Being Shocked By The Challenge

For two years, I worked as an employment counselor at a fine arts school.  My boss had helped found the school and had developed very specific procedures for my job.  I loved the work and I was very successful helping students find employment while in school.

We were doing so well that we needed another counselor and the boss hired a second woman to fill the gap.  After a while, I realized she wasn’t following the boss’s guidelines.  As a result, her actions created conflict and affected my work, and she often flirted with him and behaved unprofessionally.

I became very upset and every day there was a new challenge that wore me down.  The only other “adult” in the office refused to become involved, and when things reached the breaking point for me and I talked again with my boss, he fired me despite the fact I was the one getting the students the most jobs.

How could I be fired for doing the best job?  The unfairness stunned me, and when I complained to the president, she apologized but did nothing.  Being fair was a basic part of my moral values and I was devastated by this experience. How could I trust any school or business?

Looking At the Source of the Challenge

I was angry for a long time and deeply sad because I had loved the job and nothing else like it was available in the area.  I didn’t understand why this could happen, but when I stopped feeling sorry for myself and analyzed the situation, I realized the attention my boss received from the other woman made him feel good and that was more important than production.

He was a hugely overweight single man whom I suspected lived a rather solitary life.  Suddenly, every day he had this attractive woman fawning over him, getting him coffee, making him laugh, behaving like his girlfriend despite the fact that she lived with a boyfriend.  While I was pleasant interacting with him, I had maintained  professional behavior.

Letting Our Negative Thoughts Feelings Go

Accepting that some situations are not fair is difficult.  One feels helpless.  While it is important to examine the situation and try to understand what, if anything, we did wrong, it is also important to let go and move on.  I had to accept the fact that I did my best, and that I did the right thing by continuing to behave professionally.

So, what can we do when these negative experiences overwhelm us?  I’ve always found that quiet time is very valuable and helps to release the negative thoughts that keep circling through my mind.  Some people may “run-off” the stress through exercise, talk to a best friend, meditate or go hiking through the woods.

Releasing the Fear

Regardless of the practice we use, we must release the fear beneath our feelings of anger or inadequacy.  My method is to quietly breath deeply and when I feel the tension releasing, I direct my mind “Release this fear (name it), it has no power over me.”  I take another deep breath and feel positive energy rising through my body, and I repeat the phrase until I feel my mind release the fear.

Using Affirmations

The validation that we are good must come from within.  Self-affirmations may also help heal for they remind us who we really are.  Regardless of what others say, I accept that “I am a loving and competent person.”  Repeating this positive message helps us to remember there is much good about us; we don’t need to believe in the negativity that limits us.  The exact words we use must be fashioned to fit our particular situation.

After this experience at the art school, I had another negative experience in the business world.  This was very scary because I was barely supporting myself on low wages and needed reliable employment.  I had thought I could make better wages in the business world, but in the end  I returned to teaching, my first love.  While the wages were low there, I was doing work that really mattered to my teenage students, and that lifted me up regardless of the challenges.

What self-affirmations work for you?

AWAKENING TO RELEASE OUR FEAR

DANCING TO CHALLENGING EXPERIENCES

AWAKENING TO BE IN THE MOMENT

© 2020 Georganne Spruce

 

AWAKENING TO ACT WITH COMPASSION

THIS POST APPEARS ON BARBARA FRANKEN’S BLOG SITE, ME MY MAGNIFICENT SELF.  PLEASE VISIT THE SITE TO READ MY POST AND CONNECT WITH HER WONDERFUL BLOG.  MAY YOU ALL FIND COMPASSION IN YOURSELVES AND OTHERS.

AWAKENING TO TRUST YOURSELF

“TRUST IN WHAT YOU LOVE, CONTINUE TO DO IT, AND IT WILL TAKE YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO GO.” NATALIE GOLDBERG

University of Nebraska at Kearney dance students 1979

Do you trust yourself to make good decisions? Do you listen to yourself? Do you trust life to guide you where you need to go?

Last night I watched a video of dance performances that I choreographed when I taught dance at University of Nebraska at Kearney. I had forgotten how good the students were, considering that most of them had never studied dance. I also felt rather proud of myself for creating choreography that made them look graceful and talented, rather than like beginning dancers.

Watching the tapes was a joyful experience. It reminded me of a time when I loved the work I was doing and of the wonderful lessons that I learned from dance. Having been often sick as a child, I grew up not trusting my own body because of its weakness.  I felt insecure doing physical activity except for the hikes my family took when I always had someone to help and guide me.

Strengthening the Body Develops Confidence

In high school, I had modern dance one day a week, and as my body changed, my confidence improved. I developed muscles and strength. I felt stronger. I liked my body which I had previously not liked because I thought it was too skinny.  I began to trust myself more socially.

Dance Can Be A Spiritual Practice

The more I trusted myself, the more I loved studying dance and dancing.  As I matured, dance became a spiritual practice.  It took me where I needed to go, to a place where I learned to trust my body and my creativity, to moments of silence, to a balance between opposites, and to the expression and moderation of boundless energy.

Silence Takes Us Deeper

I learned to trust silence, to stand quietly, to be okay with doing nothing, to use silence to mindfully prepare for action. I no longer saw silence as time wasted. It allowed me to explore my inner richness and value what deeper thoughts rose to the surface to guide my life and movement.

Balance Requires Being Open

Learning to balance was a basic aspect of movement.  In class one day with Jenny Scanlon, a member of the Jose Limon company, teaching, we practiced balancing on our toes with our feet apart in second position. I was struggling, trying to decide what muscles to contract to keep my rocking body in position when Jenny said, “To balance you have to stretch – reach out into space.”

At that moment, I suddenly realized why I was struggling. I was contracting inward toward my center. I took a breath, lifted and opened my chest, stretched out into the space with my arms, lifting my spine toward the sky as I pressed my feet into the ground. Balance! Perfect balance!  I had to open in order to balance.

Confidence Allows Us To Take Risks

Most of all dance changed me from being a person who was afraid to take a risk to one who was often fearless.  Like all risk-takers, I had to learn when it was wise to take the risk and when not, but even trying to take a risk was a huge change for me.  If I could run across the stage, jump into the air and trust that my partner would catch me, which he usually did, I could learn to do other things in life that scared me.  And in those times when I jumped and my partner and I both fell from the force, I learned how to survive the fall without injury.

This taught me to put more energy into what I wanted in life—to go for it! I learned to choreograph my life.  To create moments of silence between my energetic expressions, organize what activities were most important, and venture into areas where I was a novice all took me to new experiences that broadened my life.  I learned to trust my intuition, my instincts, and my desire to live life more fully.

Dance Connects Us With Nature and Trust

It was never the applause or costumes that I loved about dancing—it was the earthiness.  I was a modern dancer and loved the feeling of my bare feet on the wooden stage.  It grounded me. Eartha Kitt once said, “I’m a dirt person.  I trust the dirt.  I don’t trust diamonds and gold.”  After all, the earth is our home, our foundation, the abundance that feeds us. After loving nature all my life and spending my childhood hiking and swimming in lakes and streams, despite my infirmities, I needed to feel in touch with nature.

As I became more in touch with my own body, I also became more aware of the earth on which I danced. When we dance, we interact with gravity.  We rebound from the earth.  We suspend in the air. The physical activity is basic to life.  Dance nourishes the body and soul.

Instead of being fearful of life, I learned to trust myself and life’s twists, turns and detours.  I learned to trust that whatever happened, I could handle it, and I learned to risk moving on when I eventually needed to stop dancing.  I risked becoming a writer and sharing my voice.  I learned that trusting what I love would take me where I needed to go.

What will you do today to become more trusting of yourself?

© 2017 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Limon Company – Psalm (excerpt), Awakening to Release Our Fear, Three Ways to Develop Self-Trust

AWAKENING TO THE BLESSINGS OF RENEWAL

“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” Isabel Allende

Photo:Georganne Spruce

Photo:Georganne Spruce

I have been away for a while, resting and healing my body. After two years of a variety of symptoms and visiting various doctors whose tests revealed nothing, I returned to a wholistic doctor I saw when I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. At that time, I had spent several years becoming more exhausted and unable to sleep, but my doctors insisted I had an anxiety disorder.

Now I sleep throughout most of the night and have good energy each day. Most of the symptoms that were a result of inflammation are gone. Life almost feels normal, and the healing is taking place without harmful drugs.

I am blessed to have found the help I need. It has been worth it to discipline myself to not eat many foods that I like, to take numerous supplements at specific times, to keep a schedule that sometimes has felt very stressful. This was what was required for my healing to take place. I had no choice if I wanted to be well again.

Life May Be Very Challenging

Life is like that sometimes. We have to do what is uncomfortable or challenging in order to get what we want. We have to stretch our resources, patience, or abilities beyond what we believe is possible. We have to dig deep for a strength we are not even sure we have.

As a nation, I believe we are in a similar place. We are being tested to see “what stuff we are made of.” Solving the problems that require urgent care means that we have to reach deep within to find the place where we are willing to partner with those who are different from us.

Only Change Can Bring Us Renewal

We are facing a new year, so the question is: Will we make it a new year, a time of renewal, a step forward, or will we continue to wallow in the mud of insults, sexism, and racism and ignore the desperate needs of so many people? What do we need to do to renew the basic principles of a democratic nation? How do we begin to make the changes in our own lives?

At the base of our resistance to do what we need to do is fear. It is always lurking there behind the excuses we use not to change. It may be that we have our lives so organized that changing anything feels like chaos, and we wonder if the change really will make things better. Unfortunately, most of us can’t see into the future so we have to take the leap and hope for the best.

We Need To Release Our Fear and Have Faith

Not only do we need to release our fear, we need to have faith, and the following quote always helps me go on when things are not going well. “When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”

Jumping Over the 3rd Largest Pyramid in the World

We Also Need To Take Action

This is a powerful guide on the spiritual level just as releasing our fear is. But in addition to this, we need to take action. For example, if we don’t like the way our political system is working, we need to get out and vote, but first we need to research what is really the truth. Presidential candidates tend to twist the truth so that their opponents look like poor choices. We have to research the details of situations so that we can make meaningful choices based on reality. Does the person we choose have a background that indicates he/she will be able to make the changes we want made?

What if our first choice doesn’t become the candidate? Are we going to throw our hands up and let others make the choice for us? But if we are willing to shift a bit and vote for our next best choice, we still will have a voice in the process, and we can still make a difference.

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Life Changes

Life changes whether we want it to or not. The seasons bring us the beauty of snow, flowers, brightly-colored leaves, and warm sunny days. Each season has its delights and challenges and we have no choice but to adjust. Each time we adjust or change, we learn something new. We may have dreaded the change, but in the end, it may have brought us something better.

Do I like the rigid schedule of taking multiple supplements seven times a day? No, I don’t, but if I want to be well, I have to do it. Do I like not having tomatoes, coffee, chocolate, or spicy foods? No, I love them all, but they cause acid reflux that damages my throat and esophagus. Do I want to be healthy and energetic? Of course, so I have no choice but to do these things.

When I see the difficulties that the immigrants flooding so many countries have, the changes I’ve made seem minor. I’m still in my house. My husband is alive. I have plenty of food and heat. My home is in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My health is so much better.   I’ve had to make many changes in order to have this life, but all the work has been worth it, and I’ve learned to do things I never thought I could do. Life is good, and that’s the choice I’ve made.

What have you done that you never thought you could do? Please Comment.

© Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Awakening to Live Without Fear, Releasing Our Fear to Awaken, Transforming the Fear of Change

DANCING TO DIVINE ORDER

“When you have come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.” Anonymous

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Have you ever had to “wing it?” How did that work out for you? When there seems to be no solution to a problem what do you do?

More than once in my life, I’ve faced a difficult situation and not known what to do. I used to agonize over it, do extensive research, or talk to my women friends about it. Sometimes those actions gave me information that helped solve the problem or at least moved it a step forward.

At other times, though, nothing led to a solution and all I could do was wait for a new idea, connection, or event to materialize. As time went by, I began to notice that situations were harder to solve when I was determined to solve them. No matter what was happening, I was not going to give up!

Divine Order May Guide Us in Unexpected Ways

When I began to study Unity and Science of Mind teachings, I discovered the concept of Divine Order, and I began to understand that sometimes things happen the way they do because there is something evolving beyond our understanding.

For example, over the years I free-lanced or taught in situations where I made little money, but for most of those years, I loved what I was doing either teaching modern dance or English in private high schools. Despite the low income, I always had what I needed so that I could continue doing what I loved. Unexpected work would appear at just the right time.

Divine Order May Contain Hidden Gifts

When I was teaching in New Orleans and took a summer course on teaching the African novel, I had no way to know that in two years I would be spending five weeks studying in West Africa on a grant. The trip grew out of the course, but was not part of the original plan. This was a dream come true for me because I had wanted to visit Africa from the time I was a child enamored with Albert Schweitzer’s work with the lepers.

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At times during these years, I had to use savings to pay the bills, but by the time savings were becoming depleted, I was old enough for Social Security, and that, plus substitute teaching, supported me. I had given up teaching dance years earlier, and by this time I was beginning to write seriously. Writing of course was my second passion and being able to choose when I worked gave me the freedom to write more.

Having grown up with Depression Era parents, I had learned how to stretch every dollar, and I never felt I needed lots of things. On the other hand, I always felt that I had what I needed growing up because my mother was a creative person who, among other things, made me beautiful clothes and passed the skill on to me. We never did without anything that really mattered. The values I learned early served me well as an adult.

Being Open May Bring Us Spiritual Answers

For many years now, my daily affirmation has been “I affirm Divine Order, Divine Guidance, and Divine Protection.” It seems to me that covers it all. I know I don’t have all the answers, but I do trust that the answers I need will come to me. I have faith in Divine Order, keeping an open mind when life becomes difficult, knowing there will be a gift or lesson in the chaos.

Being in touch with Divine Order requires us to be in touch with the silence within so that we can hear Spirit when it speaks and to be aware when the message we need comes from someone else. It is so easy to ignore that message when it isn’t what we want to hear, but if we are in tune with our inner self, we can sense when we are hearing Spirit and not our ego wanting to control the situation or please others.

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Divine Order Brings Us Peace

And when things don’t go well or the way we want, accepting Divine Order can bring us the peace we would not have otherwise. At times, we must accept a situation, at least for the moment. It doesn’t mean it won’t change; it just means our only alternative is to live with it, and stay open to any future guidance about the next step we need to take.

Divine Order Manifests Synchronicity

I also think of synchronicities as moments of Divine Order when what we need comes to us in unexpected and timely ways. Several years ago when I was finishing my memoir, I belonged to a writer’s group. After a meeting, I went over to talk to one of the members, a man I knew had published several books independently.

I asked if he knew a good cover designer. Our conversation went in several directions, finally ending with him offering to format my paperback book for free. He saw it as an opportunity to learn more about formatting and to help me succeed at the same time. Another man in the group volunteered to format my eBook. Being in that group was a beautiful example of Divine Order because the intent of the group was to help each other succeed at a time when I had a great deal to learn. What a precious gift it was!

Dancing to Divine Order

We often may fear the unknown or unexpected because we have been surprised in negative ways, but some surprises come bearing gifts that change our lives in positive ways. Accepting those changes often requires us to learn new steps so that we can dance with the Divine and stay in touch with a loving and deeper part of ourselves where all answers reside.

© 2015 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Trust Divine Order (Wayne Dyer), Trust in Divine Order

AWAKENING TO GROW

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer

Are you open to changing and growing?  Or do you try to keep things the way they are despite the Universe’s hints?

Growing Can Be Challenging

I’m a day late posting this blog because I needed to spend yesterday growing.  It wasn’t the sort of growth I like.  It involved downloading new software and learning to use it, and it was very challenging.  One piece, Scrivener, is what I believe will be a very useful piece of software that will make my writing and compiling books so much easier.  I’ve been putting this off because I didn’t want to deal with the learning curve.  But I couldn’t finish the paperback version of my book without doing this, so I took the plunge.

The second software was unexpected.  When I received the book file from my friend Brad Swift who formatted it, I couldn’t open it because it was zipped.  (You technical people know what this means.)  My operating system is supposed to have the ability to unzip, but, in fact, it doesn’t.  It has a bug in this area, so I had to download another program just for zipping and unzipping.  Isn’t that just zippy!

Oneness Will Bring Us Help

Fortunately, I had some good help—from Brad, who is a coach and creative thinker.  We tried everything to get that file open, but finally had to admit, something was wrong with my computer.   I also had a great tech, Jeffrey, from Scrivener emailing like crazy, analyzing and suggesting the next step.  It was a long day.  Sometimes I left the computer to cry, sometimes to scream.  I even stopped to read inspirational thoughts once.  That didn’t help.

Well, I messed up the downloads more than once, but fortunately I could delete them and try again.  I wanted to give up more than once.  My brain felt totally fried.  Despite a part of me saying, “You don’t have to do this now,” I knew I did.  I knew that if I gave in to that part of me that is the helpless little girl, I would be very unhappy with myself.

Awakening to Our Inner Strength

You see, as a child who was often sick, my overprotective mother often told me I was too weak to do something or that I would hurt myself if I pushed too much.  So, I felt weak and helpless for a long time until I began to dance and feel strong.  It’s at times like this that my little girl sneaks out again, and I have to remind that part of me that I have recovered from helplessness and can do this difficult thing.

We all have messages from the past that occasionally haunt us, but if we are willing to grow, we say, “Ah, there you are again.  Sorry, but I need to move on.  I’m grown up now.”  Just as flowers need good soil, enough sun and water to grow, we must nourish our own growth.  It may involve feeding our inner selves with meditation, a walk in the forest, or an inspiring book.  Or it may mean trying to do something we have no idea how to do and deal with the frustration and our deflated egos as we try and fail and try again until we succeed.

Having the Courage to Try

Despite my mother’s fears that I would hurt myself, she taught me a contradictory message that has been so powerful.  She insisted that there was no disgrace in failing, only disgrace in not trying.  If you never try, you’ll never know if you can do it, and you’ll always wonder.

My file is now unzipped with the document sitting beautifully in the new software as if it had been born to live there.  Do I know how to use this program?  Sort of.  But I’ll learn more, and I’m already envisioning how it will help me write my next book.  Thank you, Brad and Jeffrey.  And when this paperback is on sale, I’ll let you know because it is a story of growth, despite many challenges, and I hope it will help others to grow too.

How have you grown lately? Please share.

©2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle – Facing Adversity5 Ways to Let Go of Resistance, A Constant Self-Growth, Awakening to the Power of Pleasant Thoughts

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AWAKENING TO EMBRACE CHAOS

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”   Deepak Chopra

What is your first response when life feels chaotic?  Are you at ease with chaos or do you resist it?  Or does chaos excite you with its possibilities for change.

Changes May Feel Chaotic

I’ve read that the vibration of the universe is speeding up; therefore, our sense of time is changing too.  No matter how fast I move, it seems that I can’t get as much done in a day as I used to.  I could blame it on my age, but I know that’s not the reason because I’m still very energetic.  But time is only one of the elements that contributes to my feeling that life is chaotic.

Life is changing on every level.  In the last year, I have made the choice to complete a book and have it published.  This will happen in the near future and I will soon be posting information about it on this blog.  This has required that I learn about aspects of online technology and marketing that do not come easily to me.  As a result, I feel I’ve been living in the midst of chaos and stressful change.

Change and Chaos May Contain Hidden Gifts

Change often seems overwhelming, and our fear of change may develop into a resistance to embrace new experiences and limit our possibility for growth.  A wonderful spiritual teacher of mine told her students to ask the universe for what we needed because the universe would send it to us.  She also warned us that it may not look like what we expect nor come when we want it.  So, what if exactly what we need is buried in this chaos and change?  If we are unwilling to look at what is there, we may not notice the treasure.

That’s the problem with chaos.  It’s so distracting.  It may also bring conflict into the situation.  Even if it’s good chaos, it may face us with too many choices.  How can we deal with all this?  Oneness recommends the following: “When your energies are at a low ebb and you are experiencing resistance, it is time to pull inward and not to escalate adversity by directly confronting those circumstances.” (Page 94) In the silence within we can consider the value of each choice we face and get in touch with our inner, higher selves.  When we look inward, we are more likely to make wiser choices.

Embracing Change Leads to Spiritual Growth

I’m sure that you, like me, have met people who resist any change.  They may be satisfied with their lives the way they are and don’t want to “rock the boat.”  They may also fear any unknown.  Chaos is disconcerting because it reminds us that having the ability to totally control our lives is an illusion.  Our fear about it often comes down to one major fear—that we will not know how to successfully deal with the change.  But the reality is that if we’re alive, we will at sometime experience adversity, and that’s not always bad, for it often brings us face to face with lessons we need to learn.

I really admire a friend of mine.  In the last two months, her husband has had to have surgery, then he injured his knee, then their dog died, then the day before they planned to leave on a trip their car developed a major problem.  Obviously, this has been a stressful time, but she has had a great attitude because she accepts each thing as it comes, looking for a positive solution, doing the best she can without letting anger and resistance create more problems.

“For to realize the full potential of this journey, it is necessary that you be willing to immerse yourself in the treacherous waters of change, knowing that the ability to swim like a champion, under all possible conditions, is within you.” Oneness, (Page 97)  My friend is definitely swimming like a champion.  If you don’t know how to swim, this is a good time to learn.

When we can embrace the possibilities that chaos offers and trust that the answers we need lie in our deeper selves, we no longer need to fear the chaos.  Without the fear and beyond ego, we will always be led to decisions that are for the highest good of all.

How do you manage the chaos in life?  Please share your specific comments.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: The Universe As I See It: Order and Chaos, The Calm Before and After the Storm, Chaos and Disorder: Why We Need Them by Dr. Larry Dossey.

AWAKENING WITHIN TO AN ABUNDANT HARVEST

The passionate colors of autumn always touch my soul deeply.  As we move toward the cold and darkness of winter, they joyfully distract us for awhile with their brilliant colors.  They are part of the abundance of this harvest season when what we have planted comes to fruition.

What have you planted in the last year that has come to fruition?  Entrepreneurs are abundant where I live.  People are not waiting to see what will happen with the economy.  They are finding ways to follow their passions and support the lives they really want.  Ironically, out of the losses created by a failing economy, creativity has blossomed.

Do You Feel Worthy?

How we think about our lives largely determines how we experience them.  If we have received our sense of worth from the money we make or the things we own, or the house we live in, it is difficult to feel worthy without them.  We have to look deeper to find our true abundance.  When we take away the façade, what lies under it?

We need to know that we are all worthy, that we can love and be loved, that we have the strength to overcome adversity.  We need to know that we are connected to Oneness, the loving Spirit of the Universe, and it is always there to guide and uplift us.  The more we believe and affirm the good in our lives and in ourselves, the more we are able to manifest what we desire.  We are the only ones who can create the persons we want to be.

Creating the Inner Strength to Succeed

For the last year, I have been passionately committed to my writing.  I created this blog and have completed a book I hope to publish soon.  In order to do this, I have had to commit to putting this passion first in my life, to believe that it will bring abundance and joy, and that whatever I need to succeed will come to me.  I have had faith that the inner guidance I receive is authentic.  The joy I have felt as I pursued this path and the remarkable support that has appeared has convinced me I’m doing what I was meant to do.

In order to pursue this passion, I have had to harvest only supportive and positive thoughts about what I’m doing and let the negative ones lie fallow.  I remind myself daily that I have the wisdom to sort and choose only those thoughts and words that will give value to what I write.  I have had to release any self-doubt the moment it arises or it will burrow into my consciousness like the voles that undermine my backyard.  When a negative thought arises, I release the fear connected with it and affirm the positive aspect of the thought, thereby neutralizing its negative effect.  I then luxuriate in the peace that follows, and then repeat the positive thought I want to be my guidance for the day.

Having an Abundance of Inner Resources

Feeling that we have the inner resources to solve the problems in our lives is a great gift.  To reach that point, we must monitor our thoughts frequently.  It may require us to meditate daily or read inspiring materials.  It may involve avoiding negative people.  It may require more time alone.  Creating this inner abundance always results in a happier, more peaceful life. Even if the exteriors of life are challenging, we are better prepared to learn and grow from those challenges.  And even in the midst of those challenges, we will be able to know “All is well,” in the deepest sense.  When we plant an inner landscape with positive ideas, we will have an abundant harvest.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

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Related Articles:  The Power of Thoughts, No Ordinary Light, The Only Manifestation That Matters – Esther Hicks, Abraham