Tag Archives: Loving Self

AWAKENING TO LIVE HONESTLY

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important matters.”  Albert Einstein

2011 003 (2)

Do you always tell the truth?  How do you feel about little white lies?  Are you the same person on the outside that you are on the inside?

Our Society Focuses on the External Self

Living in a world that focuses on the external rewards of achievement tends to influence us to think that how we appear is the most important aspect of self.  Our image sells products and sells who we are.  When I started learning about marketing for my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness, I was startled to discover my name was my brand.  With that concept, it seemed to me that the business aspect of writing separated me from the artistic aspect of me that came from deep within my core.

Writing inspirational material and poetry comes from a very spiritual aspect of my being.  To quantify it and box it up into a presentation that would sell seems very unauthentic; yet, every writer wants to connect with the readers who will buy, appreciate, and perhaps benefit from her work.  The question then became:  How do I sell myself and my book with integrity?

Design by Leslie Shaw Design

Design by Leslie Shaw Design

This is not just a question for writers.  Many people are daily faced with this question in business and in relationships.  How can I be who I truly am and be appreciated and loved?  At the core of the question is the issue of honesty.

We Are Often Dishonest To Protect Ourselves

Growing up in a family where my mother and father often argued, I became the child who wanted to keep the peace, but I was also taught that it was a very bad thing to be dishonest.  Despite that, there were times when I pretended to agree with my parents or presented a situation as being slightly different from the reality just to keep them from getting upset.  I didn’t feel good about it, but it was part of the survival pattern I developed.

One day when I was a young adult, I thought about my impending marriage and decided I would stop telling “little white lies” to keep the peace.  It wasn’t right and I wanted an honest relationship with my husband.  I knew I could be a better person than I had been and vowed to make this change.  Putting a priority on communicating honestly greatly improved my self-esteem.

Being Honest May Be Challenging

But being honest isn’t always as easy as it sounds because the other person, a spouse, boss or colleague may not like our truth.  There are times when being honest can create huge problems for us.  It may jeopardize a career or relationship.  It may displease people we need to support us in various ways, so we weigh the benefit against the loss.

As Einstein suggests, if we are careless in small matters about being honest, we are most likely to be careless with important issues, and when we have stepped over that line, it may be very difficult to return.  We’ve seen this often in politics.  Richard Nixon is one of the outstanding examples.  Once you know someone has lied to you, it is difficult to trust them after this.

Honesty

Honesty (Photo credit: basswulf)

Honesty Is Basic to Our Spirituality and Wisdom

At the spiritual level, the damage we do to our souls is great when we lie or deceive others.  Thomas Jefferson once said, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”  When we live honestly, there is a joy and energy that permeates our lives because we have no fear that our secrets will be revealed, for there are no secrets.  We have nothing to hide.  When we make a mistake, we acknowledge and take responsibility for it.  We act with integrity so that our words and actions match.

When we model a life built on honesty, we inspire others who may be drowning in the lies and secrets of which they are ashamed.  With these burdens weighing people down, how can they like themselves?  The fear that these secrets will be discovered will always be the shadow that hides who they really are and separates them from the sense of being one with All.

Honesty Frees Us to Love Ourselves

When we accept our deep, spiritual self and feel connected with Spirit, we know that we are worthy of love and learn to love ourselves.  When we love ourselves, we know we are worth more than living a life underground, and we have the courage to reveal our true selves, and clean up the messes in our lives.  As we discard our camouflage, we find a freedom and joy that is authentic.  We gradually learn to simply be who we are, and with the confidence that gives us, we no longer need lie or mislead.

What we put out comes back to us.  When we are honest and have integrity, we will draw to us people and circumstances who will relish our honesty.  Whatever falls away was an obstruction to our growth, no matter how painful that loss may be.  It is all a part of the path we follow to wisdom.

©2013 Georganne Spruce                                                   ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Wayne Dyer: Trust Your Inner SelfWorldly and Spiritual Values:  Humankind May Depend on Rediscovering a Natural Balance, Are You Being Honest With Yourself, Debbie Ford:  Honesty and Integrity (video)

AWAKENING TO NEW LIFE

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.  How do you know this is the experience you need?  Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”  Eckhart Tolle

 Flowers 033

Is the urge to grow part of your life?  Are you willing to encounter what is unpleasant in order to make changes that will improve life?  How does positive thinking enhance your life?

Finally, spring is here with a few warmer days, blooming flowers and heavy pollen.  My front stairs and deck have been covered with the yellow pollen of the oak trees in my yard.  Every few days, a new flower blooms and adds color to the yard.  Because I’m not a very good gardener and I’ve left the yard as it was when I moved into the house, I often forget exactly what is there. As a result, spring becomes a delightful series of surprises.

Spring Awakens New Life

Spring is the constant unfolding of new life.  It’s dynamic and color drags us out of the winter doldrums and reminds us of all that has been lying fallow beneath the snow.  The reality is that although nature is tied to this cycle we are not.  We can awaken to new life at any moment, any day.  When we are open to new ideas and experiences, we create a spring with our lives and new things blossom.

What do we feel in spring?  New energy, excitement, freedom, and hope.  Life that has been restricted indoors moves outdoors where there is more space, more stimulation, and more possibilities.

Spring of Life, 2006

Spring of Life, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let Go of the Negative and Welcome the Positive

So how can we create these positive and uplifting feelings in our own lives?  We can let go of those things that no longer serve us:  resentment, fear, lack of worth, and attachment to the past or attitudes that keep us from moving forward.

I often write about letting go of fear, but what do we do once we have released it?  Releasing fear creates a space where all things are possible.  We ask for guidance and it will come to us if we are listening carefully to our inner selves.  Of course, sometimes, what we need manifests in the physical world right in front of us.  Are we willing to open ourselves enough to experience the unfamiliar?

To do that, we have to either take a positive view assuming that it will be an improvement in our lives or at least a neutral attitude that allows us to explore the possibility.  There are no guarantees that everything that comes our way will be good, but if we choose to live with a positive attitude, that there may be some good in whatever shows up, we are more likely to experience good.

Find What Is Good in Each Experience

Living with the attitude that life is basically good is rather like experiencing spring or summer year round.  We can live like this when we are willing to focus on what is positive in each experience we have.  Any change we make requires an adjustment and this may seem uncomfortable, but if we aren’t willing to experience some discomfort, we may never move ahead.

For example, when we begin a new relationship, there may be conflicts.  We may feel the other person wants too much of our time or doesn’t want to see us often enough.  Our partner may reflect qualities of the last partner with whom we had a failed relationship, or we may project qualities of that person or a parent onto the new partner.  We may not like the same movies or food.  But we have a choice every time the conflict arises.  We can choose to assume for the moment that this is an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the other person, and if we can thoughtfully engage in a conversation and try to understand why the issue is a problem, we may be able to create a positive and meaningful relationship.

Let the Light Inside Grow

In the spring, the light and longer days are inspiring as well as the new growth of nature.  The sunlight gives us the Vitamin D we need to feel good, and it makes it possible for us to enjoy more time out of doors gardening, hiking, or playing.  So, it is also worthwhile for us to look for the light inside us.  What are our positive qualities?  When new possibilities appear, do we think we are worthy of a better life, job, or relationship?  Is the light within us a match to this new opportunity?

Loving Ourselves Brings Spiritual Growth

We can choose this moment to nurture and love who we are, to expand the light within and to allow the best of us to blossom.  If we are to grow, it is so important that we are willing to try new things and take risks.  When these things turn out well, we feel better about ourselves, but it is critical that when we take the risk and it doesn’t turn out well, that we applaud ourselves for having the courage to try.  That is a positive thing too.  Applauding ourselves increases the light.

As Tolle points out, each experience we have is an experience we need to have to grow.  We need to value each one, even the unpleasant ones, for this life is our spring.  We are here to learn and grow and expand our energy, and move into the light.  How do you bring the light into your life?  Please comment.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                      ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Dont’s Miss this video:  Eckhart Tolle: Shifting from Negative to Positive EnergyIt’s Time To Wake Up,  Are You Ready to Awaken,  

AWAKENING TO A FULL LIFE

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”  Mae West

Wamboldtopia

Wamboldtopia

Does your life feel complete?  Is it satisfying and fun?  If not, what is missing and what can you do about it?

Unlike Mae West, I believe we live more than one life, but I like the spirit of her quote.  Just because I believe I may have another shot at this earthly life doesn’t mean I don’t want this time to be great or that I’m willing to stop trying to create the life I want.  Right now, what I’m experiencing is what matters and I want to feel good about it.

A Full Life Is Based On Spiritual Values

What is a full life?  I think of it as a life that is satisfying and full of peace, love, and joy, my three favorite spiritual qualities.  It means I have good friends with whom I can share art, nature and good conversations and know there is a deep connection of love and respect.  It also means that I am following my passion in the work I do, and the activities I engage in bring me joy.

However, we are each on an individual journey and have individual desires and needs.  For example, I would feel deprived if I couldn’t view fine art often.  It touches my soul and lets me see into the soul of the artist.  But there are some people who never view it, who consider it frivolous or uninteresting, and feel no need to have it in their lives.

A Full Life Includes Love

To have a full life, we have to be connected to someone or something that we love, for the things we love feed our souls and expand who we are.  When I am around my nephews and niece and their children, I feel such joy because, not having children of my own, I had the privilege of seeing them become adults and now parents.  I’ve laughed and cried over them through the years and counseled and encouraged.  There is no doubt that my life would be less full without their love and my love for them.  So instead of feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t have children, I created relationships with them.

005

We Must Fill Our Own Lives

We are the only ones who can fill our lives.  We decide what we will let into our lives and what we will reject.  To most people, having a full life is about what we have in terms of security, family, friends, or work, but it is also about how deeply we are willing to live.  What are we willing to do to make our life full?  Are we willing to be the hero or heroine in our own life and take full responsibility for creating the life we want? Or do we choose to be the victim of circumstances?

If your life does not feel full, what is lacking?  What are you ignoring that is too painful to look at?  Over the years, I’ve seen many people who are educated, financially secure, and intelligent who have ignored aspects of their lives that make their lives less than desirable.  I always wonder why they choose not to change what can clearly be changed. Perhaps they feel hopeless or are afraid that making the change would also have negative consequences in other areas of their lives.  There is always a reason why we are not the best we can be, and understanding the root of the problem may require us to look deeper with the help of a therapist or counselor.  It is important that, regardless of what limitations we feel exist, we are willing to take that first small step.

Good Change Requires a Shift in Thinking

Every good thing that has come to me has come after I made a shift in my thinking It is how we think about a situation that makes it possible for us to change.  When I was in high school I was fairly shy, despite my involvement in speech and drama.  In my senior year, the Thespian Society members gave me a Best Actress Award.  That was a huge boost to my confidence and led me to believe later, that if I could be that good, maybe I could also be good enough to become a modern dancer and dance with a company.

A few years ago, as a relationship was ending, I suddenly became aware of the fact that this man was so much like my father in his stubbornness and his inability to understand how his unwillingness to compromise created problems between us.  Like my father, he was emotionally shut down.  As I looked at him from this perspective, I saw more negative points of comparison.  It was startling!  How could I be so blind!  I thought I had worked through these issues.

We Can Learn From Positive and Negative Experiences

While winning the Best Actress Award was a positive event that motivated me, the ending of a relationship was a negative event, and yet, it motivated me to heal and let go of an old pattern that was limiting my life.  We can learn from the positive and negative.  Taking the time to heal these old patterns has allowed me to attract a man into my life who has none of my father’s negative characteristics.  The work that I’ve done in the last two years cleared out past issues and opened a space for a more fulfilling love to appear.

Wherever we are in this spiritual journey to experience fullness of life, we must know that we are meant to live in peace, love, and joy.  Our purpose here is to expand our lives through experiencing these qualities, and it is our responsibility to do the work that will take us to a fuller life.  May whatever you need for your journey, show up.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Nora Ephron’s Advice – Be the Heroine in Your Own Life, Be A Hero: Save Your Own Life, Make Now Count:  How to Live a Fun Life Full of Possibilities, How to Be At Peace:  Eckhart Tolle Seeing the Good in Life 

AWAKENING TO BEFRIEND OURSELVES

“I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do.”  Brene Brown

 workshop 011

Are you as supportive of yourself as your best friend is supportive of you?  Do you have the courage to own your own story even if you don’t like it?  What are you willing to do to empower yourself?

I’m glad April is over because I don’t feel so guilty any more that I didn’t complete a project I promised to complete.  It wasn’t anything terribly important.  It certainly wasn’t earth shattering.  I doubt that anyone cared about it but me.  But I’m a person who values commitments and so I’m rather disappointed in myself.

I had joined the event called NoPoWriMo which meant that I committed to write a poem every day.  It didn’t have to be polished and it could be a first draft.  I only completed six poems.  Why?  Well, the rest of life intervened in ways I couldn’t ignore.

Opportunities to do events or publicize my book and preparation for a Release Your Fear workshop that I gave on Saturday took more time than I expected.  A wonderful new friend came into my life with whom I chose to spend some time.  Everything that pulled me away from writing the poetry was really good and more important.

Being More Conscious of Intuition

My error was apparent from the moment I made the decision to do this event.  My intuition said quite clearly, “This will put more pressure on you.  You don’t need to take on one more thing.  If you feel pressured, you won’t be able to write poetry.  You won’t be in the right frame of mind.”  Clearly, I should have listened, but my sometimes overly optimistic self said, “I’ll find time.  It will be a nice way to relax in the evening.”  Hah!

So, I failed to meet the goal I had created for myself.  Although this wasn’t anything that impacted my life in a negative way, it’s a good example of how I used to have too much of a tendency to over commit.  I would get so involved with so many activities and people that I would be exhausted all the time.  This felt like I was backsliding.  As an introvert, I must have my quiet time each day in order to recharge, but for years, I often didn’t leave enough room for it.

Loving Ourselves to Make Good Choices

The damage I’ve done to myself by pushing too hard or over committing is one of the stories I need to own.  I have a tendency in this area to make bad choices because there are so many interesting things I love to do.  But if I love myself, I have to be willing to say no, not only to myself, but to others as well.  Usually it’s easier to say no to myself; it’s much harder to say it to someone else.

Going Deeper to Awaken

Compared to many stories, my poetry experience is trivial.  For example, feeling we failed at relationships is a much harder one for most of us.  It is important that we take the time to understand why it didn’t work and the part we played.  When we can do that, we can learn to make better decisions and choices the next time.  But then, after the analysis and owning our part of the story, we need to love ourselves enough to forgive ourselves, knowing we did the best we could at the time.

At those moments when we are most disappointed in ourselves, can we give ourselves what our best friends would give us?  Elizabeth Gilbert once said, “Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend.”

Eat, Pray, Love

Eat, Pray, Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Experiencing Friendship With Yourself

As your friend, you will listen carefully to that voice in your head that tells you you’re not good enough, and you will tell yourself about all the ways you are good enough.  You will have compassion for that hurt child within you who sometimes feels powerless to change what makes you unhappy.  You will empathize with your hurt self and reassure that self that things will be better and that you have the courage to seek out the hard answers.  You will remind yourself that you deserve the very best and that what you desire will come to you.

Our best friend

Empowering Ourselves On Our Spiritual Journey

When we hear these things from our best friends, it feels good to know someone cares so much, but when we can say these things to ourselves and believe them, we empower ourselves.  The bravest thing we can ever do is to look inside and openly observe our deepest self.  The next bravest thing we can do is begin the journey to fix what needs repairing.  These journeys may be challenging, but they will be more manageable if we learn to be our own best friend.

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Befriending OurselvesThe Art and Craft of Befriending Your ExperienceIs it Realistic to Befriend OurselvesBefriend Yourself