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Transforming Fear

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete, and yet life is ever changing. There is no beginning and no end, only a constant cycling and recycling of substance and experiences. Life is never stuck or static or stale, for each moment is ever new and fresh. I am one with the very Power that created me, and this Power has given me the power to create my own circumstances. I rejoice in the knowledge that I have the power of my own mind to use in any way I choose. Every moment of life is a new beginning point as we move from the old. This moment is a new point of beginning for me right here and right now. All is well in my world.” – Louise L. Hay

What’s been coming up for me hot and heavy in the past two weeks is fear. I’ve been resistant to talk about it because I only want this blog to be uplifting and inspiring and positive. But perhaps by hearing my struggles and my willingness to overcome them it will inspire others. That’s my hope anyway.

I’ve been wearing my fear like a cloak. In my mind fear acts as a protective barrier between me and whatever it is I’m afraid of. If I’m afraid, I don’t push myself. If I’m afraid, I skulk in the background, creeping along the edges in shadow because the sunlight looks too scary. And what will happen if I tiptoe out of the darkness? “I could get hurt! Things could go terrible awry! I could fall flat on my face! It could be a disaster!” are all my mind’s responses.

Normally I try to rationalize my way out of these things. I tell myself, well, you’ve never been hurt, things go according to God’s plan and even your failures are successes. Ok, sure, but I still carry the cloak draped over one arm, prepared to pull it over myself at any moment. I’m finding what works best for me is to turn this stuff on its head, to look my fear in the face and say, “So? So what? So what if I get hurt? So what if I fall flat on my face? So what if I fail miserably?” And somehow by shining a light on what it is that bothers me the most, things shift. I experience a release. What’s that quote? Nothing is as bad as it seems when it’s examined in the light of day? Something like that. Instead of continually running away and convincing myself what I’m afraid of is not going to happen, I stand still. I confront my fear and little by little my cloak shrinks. It turns into more of a poncho.

It’s not like I do this once and boom, it’s gone. But I trust if I continue to face my fear, to confront it head on like the strong woman I am, eventually, gradually, my cloak will turn to dust. And I can start wearing something more fun. Like a feather boa.

I don’t know if this helps anyone else or not but I guess I wanted to say you’re not alone. I’m not alone. Everyone has a personal demon they are facing down. But I want to be one of the brave souls who does face her demons as opposed to playing hide and seek. And I want others to know when we do look at our fears perhaps we’ll find they aren’t so horrible after all.

I dream of a world where people overcome their fears. Where we all bravely walk ahead and confront our deepest demons. A world where we turn fear on its head, say, “So what? Bring it on! I’m ready!” A world where we know we aren’t alone, where it’s ok to ask for help on the battlefield of our personal issues. A world where we know we’re greater than our fears. A world where we realize we’re more powerful and more magnificent than we ever thought possible. A world where people know the only barrier in life is their own minds because anything and everything is possible. I dream of a world where we recognize life is better when we push past what scares us. Where we know all is well and if we can break through our fears we can finally step into the amazing, fantastic, powerful people we were always meant to be.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Peace

The other day on my way to work I was stopped at a red light waiting for the little green man to indicate it was safe for me to cross the street.

A cab driver had the misfortune to be jutting out on the crosswalk and infringing in the space ahead of him, perpendicular to oncoming traffic. Cars driving past honked at the man; pedestrians shook their fists and called the cabbie a jerk (or worse). While stopped at the light, witnessing the spectacle, I could feel the anger/annoyance/frustration bubbling off those around me. I felt how their anger contributed to a bad vibration. To creating a sense of unrest and an emotion quite the opposite of peace.

The now famous Heather mentioned to me many moons ago about nonviolent communication, which basically operates off the premise language has a big affect on the state of the planet. If we communicate with each other peacefully, in a nonviolent manner, compassionately, we promote peace and harmony amongst ourselves. The harmonious environment creates a ripple effect, spreading from one person to another but also changes the Earth in an energetic way. The more peace we experience in our own lives, the more peace we can bestow upon the planet.

What excites me about nonviolent communication is it places the power to create peace in my hands, in your hands, in everyone’s hands. It feels like a tangible way to promote peace everyday. Instead of banging down the door of those in power, it’s a change I can make in my life with some very real results. Here is a youtube clip from the founder of NVC, Marshall Rosenberg talking about a mediation experience between two warring tribes:

I dream of a world where we live in peace. A world where everyone everywhere feels safe at all times, day and night. A world where violence is not tolerated on a global or a local scale. A world where we treat each other with compassion and respect. A world where we communicate effectively, really listening to one another and try to meet the other person’s needs. A world where we live harmoniously with one another in peace and prosperity. A world where we feel protected at each and every moment. A world where peace reigns supreme.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Surrender

I’ve been dancing around the topic of surrender since I first started this blog because it revolves around the issues of planning, control, trust and fear. Basically everything.

“But what is the best way to surrender? Prayer? Asking God for this and for that? There the responsibility for what you ask is yours – you might ask for something very inferior, although you approach the All-Powerful for it. The best prayer is, therefore, ‘Oh Lord! Do whatever you think fit and best for me. I do not know in which way lies my good – You know.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti

When I think of surrender I think of letting go. The phrase “letting go and letting God” comes to mind. I have had many conversations with my father where I’m blubbering on the phone about how stressed I am or how I want something or how I’m extremely frustrated, something like that. He’ll say to me, “Rebekah. Unclench your first. Soften. Soften.” I HATE it when he says that to me but undoubtedly he’s right. I’m holding onto something too tightly. I’m gnawing on an idea or situation like a dog with a bone. I’m clenching so tightly nothing can flow or move. Certainly not what I want to happen anyway. So surrender to me is loosening my grasp on whatever it is that gives me trouble.

In the past I’ve used the imagery of dandelion seeds blowing out of my hand and being carried by the wind. That imagery works for me but so do some other things.

When I’m holding tightly I say, “God, I just want what’s best for me. You know what that is. I want to align my will with your will and to know your plan for me. I give it to you and put it in your hands.” Some other methods I have for surrender are writing down everything associated with the event/person/idea, every thought I have, and then ripping up the piece of paper and burning it. Or flushing it down the toilet. The point is I’m getting rid of it, I’m letting go, I’m surrendering in a physical way. Some people do this same sort of thing with a box, called a God box. Another method I have is to get on my knees and imagine a lotus flower in my hands. I close my eyes and let a color spring to mind and offer it to God by placing it on the floor before me. I do this four times and on the fourth the flower is white because white is the color that encompasses all colors. It is the color of surrender and acceptance. I fall completely to the floor and prostrate myself before God in an act of humility and surrender.

Why surrender in the first place? Threads of this run through my blog – God has sweeter plans for us in mind, things are easier, etc. Mostly though I surrender and want to surrender because then it’s no longer in my head. It’s no longer something I’m worried about or obsessing over and I get peace of mind. I feel tranquil and calm. I feel better, easier, and yes, softer. I feel carried by a force greater than me and I can relax. I can sink into the feather bed my creator put before me and let someone else take over for a while. I get to nap instead.

Surrender is something I’ll have to do over and over again I’m sure. It’s not like I can surrender once and boom, that’s it. It doesn’t work that way because there will always be new situations, new people, new things. But what I hope is I will surrender faster and faster. Instead of waiting for my idea to fester, I want to surrender when it’s a mere scratch on my skin as opposed to a deep wound. I want to let go of it more quickly. And I trust pretty soon it will get to the point where I’m surrendered all the time. Where I’m dancing in the divine rhythm and surrendered at each and every moment.

I dream of a world where we give up our own notions and instead attune ourselves to God’s. A world where we say, “I do not know what’s best for me. You do. I give it to you.” A world where things are easy and filled with grace. Where we let go of the ideas that keep us fettered to our own minds. A world where we let go of the idea we know what’s best for us and instead turn to something bigger than ourselves. A world where we move in the divine flow and paddle with the current as opposed to against it. A world where surrender comes naturally and we live it day by day, moment by moment. A world where we sync up our lives with what God has in store for us and understand God’s plan is always better. A world where letting go is a good thing, a great thing, a God thing.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Patience and Timing

What’s coming up for me this week is patience and timing. I feel like I finally know and understand that virtue. I realize things happen on God’s timeline and there’s nothing I can do about it.

There are some things in life I really, really want. In the past I’ve taken steps to attain those goals and felt impatience/frustrated when I didn’t get what I wanted the very minute I wanted it.

When I moved to California, I wanted a job and apartment and friends immediately. That obviously didn’t happen. I spent much of those seven months feeling frustrated and wanting to beat my head against the wall. I think about how I scoured Craigslist hourly, looked at every media job bank available, joined a temp agency, used my connections, etc. I did everything I possibly could to become employed and felt SO aggravated when it didn’t happen right away. Now I look back and laugh because clearly things happen when God wanted them to, not when I did. And that’s what I’m learning, that’s where patience comes in for me: acceptance of someone else’s timeline.

I see how God has a timeline and it more than likely does not match up with mine. I mean, really, I joined a temp agency and didn’t get a stitch of work. Not a single job. I just have to laugh because clearly it all happened when God deemed fit.

It’s a lesson I’m applying to my current situation as well. I really want to be in a relationship. I really want a companion in my life. I get out a lot, I know tons of people, I’m on a dating website, but it’s not happening. I’m doing everything a person can possibly do but it’s not manifesting. Here’s the thing. It’s not up to me. Not really. The timing has to be right, not just for me but also for whomever I’m going to end up with. My life is clearly guided by a force greater than myself, a force that knows what’s in my best interest and that’s something I’m learning to accept.

I guess what I’m saying is I finally accept there are some things (many things) I do not control. Many things, like timing, are out of my hands. I can finally accept that. And in my book acceptance is a synonym for patience. I accept I’ll be in a relationship when God deems it time; I accept I’ll get to the front of the line at the bank when I do; I accept the bus will come when it does. When I accept what life is I feel patient. I can either beat my head against the wall in frustration or I can enjoy what’s before me. (This is where being present comes in.)

I choose to accept my life as it is, to feel content with what’s before me. I choose to enjoy my situation, feel satisfied with the present moment, and know everything has a timeline and will eventually blossom. I choose to savor every drop of my life because this moment is all I have. I know some things take a while and I’m finally willing to wait.

I dream of a world where we realize change can happen at any moment, every moment, not just externally but internally as well. A world where we recognize things happen according to God’s timeline and in the meanwhile the best we can do is enjoy what is. I dream of a world where each person is filled with ease and patience and joy. A world that caters to our best interest as opposed to instant gratification. A world where patience is valued, where we’re willing to wait for what we want. A world where we are present and content and happy.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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