35. Flow

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” -Lao Tzu

Let go…Let Go…LET GO!!!

It is so easy to forget how little we are in the river of life; to get wrapped up in how we would like to change and shift the world so that it better suits our perceived wants and needs. When I step back just a little I can see this in my life, in the grand scheme of things I am just a small piece of the whole that makes up my experience.   It is noted in the quote above, that to resist the flow only brings sorrow. Yet moment to moment I am trying to jockey the universe to play by my rules, trying to redirect the flow of the cosmos instead of truly taking the easy road and going with the flow.

As I look back on my experience I can detail many times when I tried to fit the world to my likings and what resulted was great pain and disruption. Conversely, in my life when I just let go of the outcomes and did my best, to be my best, what resulted were better outcomes than I ever could imagine.

Yesterday was a perfect example of this materializing in my life. I had some very broad stroke plans in place to spend time with my brother and enjoy a day outside.  As the day went on more and more opportunities showed up for us to share the time and enjoy each other’s company. If we had planned our day to the minute and not allowed for the universe to surprise us, our day would never have been so full. I choose to trust in the flow of the universe and to fit myself to it. It is much easier to swim with the current, if you don’t believe me, give it a try.

Affirmation:  I am part of the stream of life and today I will go with the flow.

Call to Action:  This is a call to be mindful. The only way to properly do this is to set reminders throughout the day to check your motives and choices. Watch out for times throughout today that you try to shift or control the world around you.  Do your best not to change the cosmos but to see how you can change to better fit in the flow that will carry-on with or without you. I think this may really be the easy way.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

34. Forgiveness

“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope

Since mankind has considered making efforts to change life for the better, the concept of forgiveness has been at the top of the list. A few years back, I had the chance to put some physical force behind the weight that we carry when we hold on to too much anger or hate. The instruction was to make a list of all the things that set us off, the things we resented, and the people we held grudges against; then for every one of those we picked up a rock and placed that rock in a back pack. The next step was to carry that bag of hate on a hike up a hill. Needless to say, before we were halfway done we all wanted to empty our bags so we could enjoy the hike. When we finally stopped we were asked to remove the stones one by one and consciously let them go back into the world, so they no longer had the weight to carry us down.

I am so grateful today I do not carry many things in my bag of resentment and as a result I have been able to release some of the biggest stones that were directed at myself. Self-forgiveness has been one of the greatest lessons I have had the chance to be taught. It seems the only way to learn either of these lessons was to practice them on a daily basis, when that is done, it is incredible how quickly my burdens slip away so that I can enjoy what is here and now.

I have found over the last several years of listening to inspirational speakers and reading stories on drastic change, one thing above all that always reminds me of the power of the human spirit, is when I hear incredible stories of forgiveness. I have seen people who have lost their closest loved ones have the courage to forgive those who were most responsible. If they can forgive, maybe I can forgive the world too. 

Affirmation:  I am inspired by my choice to forgive everything and everyone. I am especially excited to forgive myself.

Call to Action:  As you read this today, perhaps a name or image of one or more people, places or things, popped into your consciousness. These people or things no longer serve us, why should we give them power? Take some time to actively release the bonds of your past.  Try writing a letter of forgiveness that you may not need to send. Find some words that you can repeat to build a mental bridge. Ask the universe to take it away. What ever the vehicle, take the action, so the next time you see the word forgive you do not have to lug your whole past up to cloud your present.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

33. Unconditional Love

“Find me one person who is for something and against nothing…” – Ernest Holmes

The exact date and time of when this quote entered my life is difficult to recall, however; over the last couple of months I have spent considerable time in meditation about this very subject. As I observe the world as a whole and my local community, I frequently notice people standing for something just by opposing the opposite stance. My contemplation of this topic leads me to one idea over and over, unconditional love. If I stand for unconditional love of everything, how can I be against anything?

Unconditional love, love without conditions. Is this just an ideal or a concept that can be practiced and put into action. Today, I choose to believe, that putting the practice of unconditional love into my life, will cultivate more love in all of the relationships in my life. I am not just talking about romantic ones, every single relationship I have in my life is crucial and an opportunity to strengthen and practice an unconditionally loving life.

I am able to pose questions to myself throughout the day. Can I love you? Can I love each and every person? An amazing woman shared this C.S. Lewis quote with me a couple days ago “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did.” Act as if; I use this little saying many times a week, but do I practice it?

I fall terribly short of this way of life everyday, but I am graced with a teacher that embodies it like no other being I have ever known. Fleetwood, my miniature dachshund, is almost two years old. He is always ecstatic to see me, ready to show me love without condition. No matter how long it has been since I saw him last, no matter if I did a good job at work, no matter if I told him I loved him before I left, no matter anything he is excited to see me.  In him I see a way of living that would surely remove any hate or contention in my own experience, if I could live my life as he lives his. Today, I plan to embody this characteristic of Fleetwood and attempt to love everyone I come in contact with.

Affirmation: There is only one Love and that is the Love the Universe has shown me this very day. I take this Love into every interaction to make it brighter. I take this Love into every relationship to make it stronger. Unconditional Love is what allows me to truly be for something life changing.

Call to Action: Here is a challenge for the ages. During every interaction you have with another being contemplate the idea of unconditional love. As your thoughts allow you to lead with your heart please share what experiences you had or what insights you gained.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

32. Time

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst” – William Penn

Earlier this week I went to a social event with a few of my family members and was reminded of a very precious commodity. This item can not be bought and sold like gold or silver, and we have no idea how much we will be allotted in a lifetime. I am referring to time of course.

The event ended a bit earlier than I would have liked, and we all went our separate ways. On one hand I was frustrated because it seems that the time we spend together is less and less but on the other I was granted a chance to look a bit closer at how I choose to use my time.

There have been points in my recent past where I have knowingly chosen to waste time and others where I have prayed for time to stand still in order to continue enjoying an experience. Time can be very tricky but it touches all our lives so I choose to focus on the good when it comes to this fact of life.

I think about the gift of time and how I share it with the world. When I donate to a great cause, the satisfaction is far less compared to showing up in person and donating an hour or two of my life. When I catch up with an old friend over a meal, just for the sake of catching up, it puts a smile on my face. Time spent with family means so much more today than it did last year or even last week. My appreciation for life and who I spend it with continues to grow each day. How are you spending your time in order to get the most fulfillment? If you are not sure, perhaps take a moment right now to reflect.

Affirmation: Today I will give my gift of time to the world in the most positive and fulfilling way that I can.

Call to Action: Think about how you spend your time and which activities give you the most fulfillment.  Can you redirect more time to those areas and separate out some of the time spent doing the things that are superfluous.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.

31. Carpe Diem

“Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero.” – Horace

“Seize the day, putting as little trust as possible in the future.”

“Carpe diem.  Seize the day, boys.  Make your lives extraordinary.”  – John Keating, Dead Poets Society

The single biggest change in my life did not take decades of planning, years of speculating, and months of work.  It truly took a single moment. I made a decision to not live the life I had been living.  In that single moment, my life changed drastically forever in a very positive direction.  This leads me to believe, that same shift in perspective and circumstance is available to everyone.  I believe in the presence of miracles and their ability to change the world around us, or at least, how we see it in a true instant.

The biggest block for most of us between our current circumstances and the miracles that we so desperately want, are a collection of negative thoughts and beliefs that tell us the lies we have allowed ourselves to believe.  Those tapes that say we are not good enough, or we are not worthy, the ones that we allow to tell us that our dreams are unreachable.  Maybe today is the day that we replace those tapes that do not serve us in any way with some affirmative ones that remind us how special and important we really are in the world. 

Last I checked, in the whole entire universe for all of history and time, there is only ONE of you.  One, for ever and always, the chances of you even being able to live and breath are so slim. Frankly, it is a miracle that any of us are here at all.  SO I say, since we were given this chance to be right here right now, let us seize the day and express the miracles of life that we are. We will express this miracle in such a way that everyone around us and everyone that we come in contact with, are reminded that they too are miracles.  This life is amazing and beautiful, wonderful and awe-inspiring if we allow it to be. Today, I allow it to be, boy o boy, do I ever love Fridays!!!!

Affirmation:  “Today I will make my life extraordinary!”

Call to Action: Take the time today starting right NOW to make the choice to live this day differently.  I know for myself when I read something like this my subconscious places a situation for me in my head that I need to address, that is probably the right place to start.  Remember, miracles happen in instants and they are abundant and available, I hope your miracle comes today.  Please share your experiences with our CYLFriday community below.

Copyright © 2011-2012, Change Your Life Friday. All Rights Reserved.