Day 21 – Belief

day 21

What do you believe in?

Close your eyes – be quiet.  Listen. What do you really believe? About yourself. About those you love – or don’t love?  About the world around you – and the world beyond?

Facts live in your head and are easy to find. Belief lives in your heart, and sometimes what is in your heart cannot be captured with words.  It is a different type of KNOWING than what can be proven in your head.  However, life in the heart is not without pain or deception. Denial, justifying, minimizing and deflecting are what we do with our head in order to cope with what is in our hearts.  It is a crazy mixed up dance the heart and the head engage in. But silencing one or the other is not the answer. Often it is easier to mute or twist the heart to control its expression. This is not the way to fully engage in life!  Our hearts were not created to be silent – so listen to it. Listen to the pain, the torment or the silence. Seek healing. It will be found.

The unchained and the forgiven heart can believe in the impossible and unfathomable. The freed heart is a container for great gifts, and has the ability to touch other hearts with greater impact than the mind can comprehend.

Believe.

Believe in something greater.

The heart is a place of belief.

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Day 20 – Choice

day 20

Do you become anxious and stressed when you have to make a choice?

Most of our choices and moments of decision making get the “go ahead” stamp from that logical ball located on our shoulders. We are taught from an early age to evaluate, weigh and measure. We gather information, make columns of comparison, and list pros and cons in order to determine the CORRECT course of action. We shake and shudder, groan and quiver – “are we making the RIGHT decision?” Granted, some of you reading this may not struggle with this issue, but a good number of us get locked down in decision making.

Of course there are consequences to bad choices and unwise decisions. When we are dealing with logical head matters, there are always absolutes. “I made the wrong decision. You made a bad choice.”

I am a believer in our life long learning journeys. I believe in the internal growth of a human being more than the outward evidence of achievement. I believe what is in the HEART matters most when the day is done. From this perspective – here is a little nugget to consider – perhaps our wrong decisions and bad choices are intended to be a part of our journey. I am still contemplating the complexities of this statement. I have made detours in my life that have had regrettable and uncomfortable consequences.  I truly wish I had made different choices at certain crossroads in my life. But for better or worse, those moments of decision have shaped me into the person I am today. Were my mistakes a part of my growth journey?Are yours?

When CHOICE is determined as a function of grey matter, we create a narrow place of black and white to get our lives “right.” When our hearts are allowed to weigh in on decision making – we allow room for detours, and GROWTH. Sometimes a seeming misdirection can hold treasure.  This is my thought for today – stop being so hard on yourself and demanding that you get it RIGHT!  Don’t limit yourself to black and white, open your heart to a rainbow of colourful options.

Explore CHOICE – LIVE from your heart.

Day 19- Prepared

Day 19-3

It is ironic that I am writing about this today – or perhaps it is serendipitous.

At the beginning of this month I scheduled the days I would write about specific ideas / words. I prepared my photographic pieces and had draft posts waiting to be filled out. I did NOT have my writing completed ahead of time however, as I had planned to do. Then yesterday, I made a huge mistake – I posted the day as day 19, not day 18! How can I write about being “prepared?”

So, this morning as I was “mulling” (I am an introvert – I often “mull”), I had a profound thought.  A change of perspective came as I was challenged about the absurdity of my writing about the word “prepared.” What DOES prepared mean? It might indicate being scheduled, organized, or in control. Or it might suggest being “prepared for life” which means knowing that life will be full of unforeseen, unanticipated sudden turns and changes. These things happen every day.

On Sunday morning I was prepared for my week, at least I anticipated what my week would look like. By Sunday evening everything had changed. For me this week,  being “prepared” meant being ready for change, letting go of my anticipated schedule and embracing new timing. It meant being adaptable and receptive to what was required in the moment.

Would it have been easier if I had all my blog posts pre-written and prepared? Maybe. Probably. But I have had several precious insights as I have “mulled” and wrote my words based on the circumstances before me. It actually has been wonderful – all of this week. I have enjoyed my unplanned, unexpected time with my son.  But my heart was “prepared.” It was ready and able to flow and move as it needed to . I was “prepared” for life this week – I allowed it unfold as it needed to. I had to let go first, and be open.  Oh – how the heart allows us to participate in life! This week has been a great gift.

Are you prepared?

 

Day 18 – Respectful

Day 18-3

Respectful. Respect FULL. Full of respect.

In my head I know what respect is. As a child I was taught to respect and honour my elders, my leaders and ones in authority over me. As an adult I don’t always feel that people in positions of power automatically deserve “my respect” just because they have a bigger title or are publicly visible. (Hmmmm – that may be the rebel in me coming out!)

As I make it my intention to live from a place of authenticity, integrity, and HEART, these thoughts have captured me. It has become important to me to respect individuals and their stories. Life isn’t always easy. People face challenges every day that I can’t begin to comprehend.  They survive or conquer or fall fighting battles that are unseen and not understood. Maybe this is the gift age and my own failings have given me – I understand that one size DOES NOT fit all.

My answers may not be your answers – despite how convinced I am that I am RIGHT. Life is full of chaos and unexpected twists and turns. Your race is not my race. You may not make the same mistakes that I have made, for you have your own to claim. This is the GIFT.  We have the privilege to travel a path, sometimes shared, but  always unique to each one of us. As unique and individual as our fingerprint.

Being opinionated and judgemental is a stance I am familiar with.  But I am making it my intention to change, because living from this stance closes off my heart and makes my world very small.  The heart longs to be expansive and inclusive. It longs to reach out, touch and connect. Heart connection is not made when I am RIGHT and you are wrong – or vice versa. My heart is open when I honour your journey and listen without judgement to your story.

Living from my heart  means that I live in a way that carries acknowledgement for the steps you choose to take, for the unseen battles you have fought and the unique road you have travelled. I does not mean I agree or like it, but I respect the lessons you have  learned and are continuing to learn. There is freedom in this for me. Living life with an attitude of respect expands my world.

What do you think?

Day 17 – Conquer Fear

day 17

Do you know what fear feels like in your body?

Can you describe the physical sensation? I am sure most of us can remember a moment or incident when our bodies were enveloped by fear.  But many of us are unaware of the fear / worry / anxiety  we carry – and many of us carry that low level chronic hard ball of tightness everyday.  Close your eyes, can you name where it sits in your body? For me it sits at the top of my stomach, just below my ribs. In the past there were periods of time when that sensation was my constant companion. It is when it takes up residence again that I am aware of how familiar it feels and of how long I carried it. I am thankful fear doesn’t claim that body spot in the same way today.

This journey of “heart words” began with the question – “what would life look like if I lived from my heart?” I wrote down “conquer fear.” How is that a heart word?  I believe it is because living WITH fear closes our hearts. The tight knot tightens our bodies. It causes us to become tense and be protective of our physical body, our emotions, spirit and heart. Our defensive posture creates walls that close us off from the world – externally and internally.

Heart words such as trust, hope, joy, and letting go must be experienced from a place of openness. They are not experienced in defensiveness.  Relaxing and surrendering in my physical body causes a release in my mind where my worries and anxieties originate. Try it. You can’t release the physical knot without changing your state of mind.The tight knot in my belly is conquered when my heart is in charge.  The hardness melts into something else when I choose peace or joy or hope.

Living from my heart, fear is conquered.

Day 16 – Listen

day 16

LISTEN is usually an easy word for me. It isn’t necessarily an easy word for many people.  I am blessed to generally have a quiet morning routine. I have strong introvert tendencies, so getting quiet is a joy and I move there with ease. Usually.  NOT this morning! I am flooded and flooding with STUFF!!
Today, LIFE has happened and quiet is nowhere to be found! I am planning a long distance drive to see my son who is dealing with some health issues.  Concern. This is a sudden decision to go, so I have to take care of some business issues before I leave. Stress. ANXIETY.  There is laundry to do before I pack. RUSH. I can’t go grocery shopping today like I intended. WORRY. This is the start of my list …
This is life. It is normal. Wouldn’t you agree?
Over the years I have learned this practice of listening and I can move my heart to that place. But today that quiet place is tight, tense, dark, hard and restless. I am struggling to relax, and breathe deeply. In order to step out of the chaos, I need to become still and LISTEN for the gentle whispers of my heart and wisdom from God. I have to step toward calm in order for calm to come.
This morning as I face my challenges, my thoughts have fought against me as I struggle to to LISTEN. But when I finally become quiet enough, I am able to hear the voice of wisdom that has helped me to restructure my day. I don’t need to panic – there is time for all that is important. I am able to LISTEN as I pray, and I am able to take hold of peace. I am calmer and I can sit still to write my words.
In conversation, the ability to listen cannot happen without me stopping my dialogue.  In relationship, listening means setting aside my agenda and being willing to hear from someone else. Do you need to stop what you are doing for a moment to take time to LISTEN?  And what do you need to listen to? Sometimes it is our kids, or our spouse. Sometimes it is listening for the sounds outside and out of doors. Sometimes it is our heart  and the wisdom it offers us.  This is another place where heart treasure awaits you – take  time  and space to LISTEN today. Find the treasure in it.
Is your heart asking you to listen?

Day 15 – Action

day 15

Action. Call to Action. Move. Transition. Change. Schedule. BUSY.

We are always in action – aren’t we? Or are we?

What about HEART action and the motion of your heart? Sometimes I believe that the flurry of activity in our lives keeps our hearts paralyzed and immobile. But it is as our heart moves and responds that real life happens. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction – it is a law of physics, and a law of the heart. Open your heart, look for opportunities to be in heart motion and be ready for the returning wave.

Have you been kind to someone recently?

Have you shown love to someone you love?

Have you given grace to someone who needs that gift?

Have you smiled?

Have you touched a heart?

Don’t let fear or doubt or procrastination stand in your way. Commit your heart to action today.