26. Silence

“_______________________” – A meditating monk

Last May a friend of Change Your Life Friday made a parody and called it “Shut the %^@$ up Sunday” One of his insights included the fact that fish do not talk and they seem to get along just fine. I am joking, and I am just serious though. Silence is extremely important especially in regards to meditation and contemplation. Today let us turn inward and listen for that insight that we have not heard because we have been distracting ourselves. Our brevity today is our form of honoring silence.

Affirmation: Today I listen for profound insights that come in the form of a Universal whisper.

Call to Action: Find some time to sit, be quiet, and attempt to quiet your mind by focusing on your breath or a calming word. Be sure to try and bring silence into your personal interactions, and listen to what people are really trying to tell you. Please explain how silence touched your day in the comments.

25. Innate Nature

“Every child born, has innate goodness.” – Chinese Proverb

I recently had the chance to listen to a man give a talk. The majority of his talk was about out ‘innate nature’ and how that can show positively change our life. He gave multiple examples of people who would not follow this innate nature or calling within them and they would be miserable until they had the chance to follow that path. He gave an example of a judge who was always tense, moody, and just hard to get along with. When he retired he was able to finally do what he had always wanted to, but was not able to due to it not being “practical”, he became a totally different and happy man. The speaker’s own experience was similar, and he talked about how he had gone through three different professions prior to becoming a professor at a university and he now loves what he does.

I truly believe we are all born with this innate nature in our soul. I feel that innate nature is filled with goodness as the above quote mentions. What is your calling? What makes your heart sing? Last week we read about a woman who began to dance and fell in love with it. I know when I clear my mind of all the practical things in front of me, and take some time to really recognize what makes me excited about life, it is time well spent. Over the last five years I have watched people go into their professional careers, and the people that do stuff that makes their heart sing really excel in their life and in their happiness.

Affirmation: Today I listen to my calling. It comes easy and effortlessly, and my heart sings when I take action towards my innate nature.

Call to Action: Share with us a time you have listened to your calling from deep inside of you. If you have heard that Universal nudging please share with us what your first step will be to answer the call.

Let Your Heart Dance

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“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.” 

Martha Graham

 

Growing up I was never much the life of the party.  I was always the shy one that hid in the back of the corner with my eyes to the floor.  Anytime I was lucky enough to be invited to a party I pretty much keep to myself and whenever my friends would ask me to dance with them I would always say no.  Secretly though, I really wanted to join in. Secretly, in my heart I wanted to dance, but I just couldn’t. I felt stupid because in my mind I was the worst dancer ever. I hated that I was so awkward and hated being cursed with two left feet. I truly envied those that were so free with themselves and their body and could move so gracefully though the crowd. 

In college I decided to be brave and take a beginner’s ballet class.  At first, I was nervous and felt silly because here I was a grown adult with basically zero dance experience taking a ballet class. It didn’t take long before I feel in love with the class. Even though I was unsure of my body and how to make it move the way my teacher was instructing me to, I felt something inside me began to come alive.  Slowly, but surely I no longer looked at the ground when I walked around campus and there was a certain pep in my step. I smiled more and began to have more confidence in myself. There in my college ballet class, I realized that there was something about learning to control my body that was helping free myself of all my fears and helping me become a better person. 

At the end of the semester my teacher sat me down for my final review and basically told me that I sucked at ballet and that maybe I should consider taking some other elective.  I first I was completely shocked and utterly disappointed that a dance instructor would say such a thing to one of their students.  Upon further analyzing my dance abilities I realized that in fact I was terrible at ballet, but that wasn’t going to stop me from dancing.  I liked what dance was creating inside of me and the person it was creating within me.  I wasn’t going to stop.

Since that semester in college I have taken numerous dance classes. I even do yoga on a regular basis to help condition my body to become a better dancer.  Each time I take a new class in a new dance form, the challenges before me are great.  Most of the time I’m dancing with people that have been dancing all their lives and to watch them dance is truly an amazing sight.  I no longer envy them because believe it or not, after many years of professional training, I’m not so bad after all. I’ve preformed at some of the greatest dance halls in my state and in front of hundreds of people. The other day I even had one of the adult beginner students in one of my dance classes tell me, “Darling, when I grow up I want to dance just like you.”  “You move so gracefully.”  I almost cried then and there.

Maybe I’ll never win “So You Think You Can Dance,” but somehow I don’t think the purpose of dance is to win a competition.  The purpose of dance is to free yourself from all your inhibitions, completely embrace your true self and just dance. 

Affirmation: I am totally free to become who I was meant to be.  I move with grace and effortlessness towards my goal.

Call to Action: What’s something that you’ve always wanted to do, but have been too embarrassed to pursue because the thought of even seeking it out seems silly?  Maybe you’ve always dreamt of being a race car driver or an actor on Broadway, but feel like you’re time has passed.  Maybe you think you’re too old or have too many responsibilities and no time. I challenge you to get alone in a quiet place and revisit those childhood dreams.  Once you start pursuing your dreams there is no telling what will become of you. 

23. Health

“Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.” -Unknown

As I was browsing the internet the other day I saw the quote above and was completely struck by how simple yet profound it was.  I immediately brought into mind all of the little bumps and bruises I have had over the course of my life time and how consuming they become, so much so that they outweigh anything else that the present moment offers.  Next I started to think about the people in my life who I have seen come under much greater physical challenges than I have ever had to face and how their whole reality was transformed and focused on this lack of health.

My experiences as I stated are small but it seems even the little things create such a mental circus in my head.  I recently chomped on my tongue so hard that it hurt for a week.  I would tell myself every time that I felt the pain while eating to never eat so unconsciously again that something like this could happen.  That process held up for that week being reminded over and over again how great it is to not experience pain when eating or swallowing.  Just as every other example that I could site, once the pain went away I completely forgot about the resolutions that I had made to live more consciously and take better care of myself, I was really just back to business as usual.

There are several experiences that I have seen in others on a much more severe scale that have been shown to be much more transformative.  The first one that comes to mind is the great change in attitude and outlook that I have seen enter some cancer survivors that I know.  Through the process of losing all conception of what health was and being forced to see the value in it, once recovery would take place, it seems an inner shift occurs as well and their whole attitude and outlook on life transforms too.  They had experienced drastic changes physically that offered a gateway to gratitude for something as simple as a pain free day.

With this knowledge I get to ask myself a few questions; Am I healthy?  Am I showing gratitude for the health that I have?  What am I doing to stay and grow in healthy ways today?  If I honestly look at these questions I can quickly say that overall I am a very healthy person, I exercise, I eat consciously and I try my best to focus on the things that are good in me today.  So in some ways I believe I am grateful but I think that I have so much room to grow in this area.  When I bit my tongue I spent so much time and focus on how painful and problematic that issue was, I have never focused that much love into the little things that my body blesses me with everyday.  When I look at it this way it seems like a complete lack of balance. I know in this moment that I don’t want to have to wait to lose something to see the blessings I have right in front of me today.

Affirmation: I am blessed to recognize the value of the health that I have in this moment; today I will focus on all the parts of me that are perfect healthy and whole.

Call to Action: Time to do some work!  My back hurts, my leg is sore, I have a blister…  These stories become our complete reality but while they are obvious concerns the rest of the machine that makes up our bodies are working in perfect harmony.  Today my back may be hurt but that will not define me, My head is clear, My hands feel strong, I breathe with ease and comfort and I can enjoy even the spiciest meal with complete comfort.  Also this may be the time to look at some of those things which are consciously taking away this precious gift of health that you can still seize.  Time to get honest, eh? What health blessings do you have today?  I have ten fingers and toes and for that I am grateful.

happy healthy whole