Courage to discover

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Discovery

– FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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The door will open…

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When one door closes, another opens… Or another five or ten open…but only when that one door closes.

Sometimes we don’t know what that one door is.

Sometimes we do know but do nothing about it. We do nothing about it because we need the promise of another door opening first.

Sometimes we see so many things in the way of closing that door, it is easier not to. Sometimes we are too tired to even try.

But this I know:

If you close that door with love and a positive attitude, you won’t need proof of the doors opening and those obstacles…well, they are just dust under your feet as you head out and quietly close that door behind you.

Love your self enough to no longer be bound by the expectations of others, to reject the hurtful moments when you had to deny yourself, to have to resign yourself to the ‘inevitable’; love your self enough to know you are worthy of all that your soul desires.

And the positive attitude…?

  • Be open to possibilities… those that even you, intelligent as you are, have never contemplated or would have even considered.
  • Be curious, say ‘yes’ to opportunities, to those things you’ve always wanted to but didn’t think you could.
  • Do these things for the love of them with joy of presence.
  • Be accepting of the not-known. The doors that are opening will appear when the moment is right, when you have said ‘yes’ enough times to what you love.

~ FlorenceT

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Sometimes all you can do

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Poetry

Sometimes all you can do
Is take a deep breath
Look up to the moon
And accept the inevitability
Of the passing of love

Sometimes all you can do
Is look back to the life
As the stars shine on
And see the beauty there is
In moments of bliss

Sometimes all you can do
Is rest in the still night
Listen to the giggles
And appreciate lives you hold
In the palm of your hands

Sometimes all you can do
Is to sink into the gentle breeze
Let it take you across
The timeless memories
Into which the future will unfold

Sometime that is all you can do

~FlorenceT

 

This poem is about acceptance. There is wisdom to be found in accepting that of which we have no control. Unlike resignation, there is peace in choosing to accept. It contains the positive energy of creation and transformation.

So it is that this post is a linkup for Silver Threading and RonovanWrites “Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge” – prompt theme being ‘wisdom’.

 

 

© 2016 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

The process of surrender, or not…

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I have been feeling a little unbalanced (as in off-centre, not crazy 🙂 ) the last few days. The feeling that all is right and fine… but not.  I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Then an email turned up which led to a youtube audio clip… and voila!

I have been hung up about a thing I did at work, with which despite positive feedback, it would seem I was not pleased. I presented a paper at a small conference and the session went extremely well with lots of engagement and Q&A.  Which of course led to time running out while I was only two-thirds of the way through. I was disappointed, but more than that, it bugged me, big time. Of course, being who I am, I have been ‘processing’ this ‘bugged’ feeling and as I said, no divine revelation until now.

By now, I know it wasn’t the fact that I didn’t get to finish the paper – the full presentation is being published so no big issue.  It wasn’t that l came out looking ‘bad’ – I had lots of positive feedback and engagement. Neither was it my perfectionistic streak (only a small one 🙂 ) of getting things 100% throwing a tantrum.

What it was is encapsulated in this statement ‘I didn’t get to the punchline’. And the punchline is important to me, personally. It is a message I am compelled to share, my purpose if you like. And for one who is generally quite direct in her communication, I ran out of time? What happened?

There is no accident in life. Only lessons. And this lesson is mine for the week.

BallerinaI took my eyes off the purpose, my purpose, of the presentation – to share a message of connection. Instead I became attached to outcome and judgment.  I was drawn to an intellectual and mechanical exercise of preparing a paper, rather than communicating and sharing a worthy message. It, the paper, became a slave to my ‘more is not enough’ judgment. Academically fine and longer that it ought to be given the time I had. I was prejudging the possible response of the audience and ignored the voice whispering ‘Just be your self. It is enough‘.

I have been on a journey of living a surrendered life. “It is what is it” is a mantra, a meditation to my being. It does not negate doing the best I can, just that I am not hung up about the outcome.  It is living to a (dare I say it…) divine purpose.  I guess I didn’t spend years on a journey of self-awareness without having at least an inkling of what mine is :-). Yet it would seem on this occasion, surrendered I was not.

So here I am – regaining balance, being centered and not beating myself up about it.

Once again, surrendering to the moment of knowing – there is no mistake in life if we learn from it.

Honouring your purpose,
– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Acceptance – the choice to begin afresh

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We wake each morning to a new day. And each new day, we can choose to begin afresh but, I do not know about you, I tend to see the same things, do similar things… and sometimes experience the same discontent, annoyed by the same matters, aggravated by the same people or situations.

As Anais Nin said, ‘we see the world as we are’; from our own unique lens. The same-same each day suggests the same old stale perspectives. For the past week I have fallen into a familiar pattern of old – my critical self, rearing its less than admirable head.

Oh, I know there are different perspectives, different approaches if you like – one that brings peace of mind, instead of a disruptive unfocused mind; and one that opens a generous heart, instead of a closed constricted heart. I know because I have been in that place of grace and peace.

My peace of mind was shattered because of something I am not accepting of. What, I do not yet know. All I can intuit is a sense of restlessness manifesting in impatience, annoyance and frustration. Perhaps it is the new path before me which is unfamiliar and uncertain, perhaps it is the need for acceptance from others not received, perhaps it is a fear of an alien self. What am I not accepting of my self?

Acceptance takes more than a ‘I know what it is’. It is not resignation to a state and certainly not avoidance of the reality of my light and shadow. Acceptance is a acknowledgement and warm embracing with goodwill and without guilt. It is saying “I’m ok. I’ve got this”, “it is what it is” or “all will be as it should be”. When we accept who we are and where we are, we gain peace of mind.

Acceptance-LaoTzu

Peace of mind also comes from our acceptance of others and of our world.

In my less than gracious moments, in my interaction with others, I do end up watching and occasionally questioning, somewhat critically, why others do what they do, to grapple with the why, how and wherefores of our relationships. Negativity abounds. In a similar vein, we are agitated over how others perceive us, and why things happen to us. Is it beneficial to our wellbeing to be stuck in the vicious cycle of blame and victimhood? Does it bring peace of mind? Accepting what is – the person before us, the situation in this moment – allows us to step out and see a way forward. When we accept others for who they are, we give ourselves space to explore, without interference of the pushing, the resisting, the explaining, the confronting… We give ourselves permission to be free.

Sometimes things happen, they just do. It has little to do with you, you are not responsible or to blame, just that you happen to be caught in it. Can you accept that? Do we wail and rail against the Universe, against God? Or do we accept? I do not mean to ignore or undermine the awful situations some find themselves. When we can step out from the vicious cycle – this whirlwind of blaming ourselves or others and claiming our victimhood over and over again – we will feel empowered to make positive choices. Can we acknowledge the thing has occurred; and from that place, move forward with a vision to create something new.

This profound prayer says it well:

SerenityPrayer

Like forgiveness, acceptance takes time and can only happen when one is ready to do so. It is different for everyone… there is no rule, no timeframe… just the awareness of what can be. It is a choice to be made.

What do you need to accept, about yourself, about your relationships, about your situation, about your world, in order to move forward, to begin afresh…?

Namaste!

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Ride the waves

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“I beg your pardon I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine there’s gotta be a little rain sometime

I am prompted to write about ‘How do you keep positive’ by Ronovan for #BeWow.

Ideally, we prepare ourselves for the times when a positive attitude is required, when we need to look on the bright side of life. So what do we do? We practice self-care which comes in various forms – meditation is one that comes to mind for me, exercise for some serotonin, get some oxytocin happening (I meant hugs!), reframe our views etc.

Most of us have developed coping mechanisms too, some healthy some not so in the form of dependencies, obsessive behaviours etc.  Please don’t misunderstand – while coping mechanisms may include addictive behaviours, not all addictive behaviours are coping mechanisms. We learn skills, we fill our tool box with tools for those so-called ‘bad’ times. We toughen up or become resigned to our situation, we become cautious and vigilant or intently reckless, we withdraw from or reach out for human connection… well, we know what ours are 🙂

It is not naivete that informs me. Of course it is fantastic to have an arsenal of coping mechanisms, healthy ones which can provide relief in the process of ‘pain and suffering’. However, there is at some point, an acknowledgement, is there not that life can’t just be all rosy… can it?

In our expectation that life ought to be almost always positive and our resistance to prospective negative situations, we can instead be ruled by them. By focusing on the ‘bad stuff’ or their likely arrival, we have taken our eyes off the ‘good times’, the positive things we encounter each day in order to look out for the negative things. Inevitably, we are then still responding or reacting to a negative stimuli.

As with the crest and trough of the waves, life moves on…

We want to ride the waves on the high and the low, and stay afloat. Struggling against the movement of the waves and resisting will only tire us out.  So first we have to accept the waves…of its nature to rise and fall. Acceptance of the rolling waves allows us to enjoy the lull of its rhythm, we allow ourselves to be carried by it…to another place on its journey, all we need to do is stay afloat through the many coping and self-care mechanisms.

So first and foremost, ride the waves! 

I have no idea how I ended up with this given Ronovan’s prompt, guess this is a consequence of going with it :-)!

– FlorenceT

P.S. The above quote is an extract from the lyrics for ‘Rose Garden’, a song made popular by Lynn Anderson in 1971, and yes, I have used it a little out of context. 🙂

The image is ‘Boiler Bay Wave Rolling’ by Mike Dawson.

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Positivity is change

Ripples
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If we are 100% certain everything will remain as is then there is no need for positivity, or negativity for the matter.  If ‘things’ are great now, then it’s fait accompli.  The same for the so-called ‘bad stuff’.  Realistically, there are few things that are truly ‘bad stuff’, rather perspectives.

Experience is not what happens to you – it’s how you interpret what happens to you.   Aldous Huxley

Life is dynamic, like the ebb and flow of the moontide, our life smiles at us and it grimaces too.  Life changes. Not just the so-called ‘life-changing’ events but rather, the miniscule changes in our lived moments that in most times we missed until their cumulative effects are finally felt. Such as a simple putting off writing for one day which, as the days go, becomes a habit.  Then the psychological barrier of ‘it’s a habit so it must be difficult to break’.  It is not, just begin a new habit with one day

So it is that we employ tools to deal with change – through thoughts, words and deeds.  We think positive thoughts to lift us, to propel us forth; we re-frame the stories we tell, we encourage; we reward ourselves with a good book, a walk… to improve our sense of wellbeing.

By the way, we cannot manage change. Change is not an object we can manipulate or mould. Even as we grasp hold of what change is, it has changed once again. What we can is choose how we are in the face of change.  And then perhaps we can influence the change in the next moment by having been aware of how we are in the previous moment…

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.     Anna Freud

Ultimately it is how we respond to change. Your and my responses to change differ, and they differ for the many situations we find ourselves.  Our responses today will also be different from our responses tomorrow for a similar, not the same, situation.  The statistical or scientific illusion of ‘all else being equal’ … well, things are never equal.  We can only measure what we know and can measure. There is a mystery to everything else… how exciting!  But I digress.

Music is the space between the notes.  Claude Debussy

So reflect upon and explore our responses to change:

  1. Do you recognize change as it happens? Are you aware of the ripples in your life? Our body knows, at least it can provide some signals.  Is it the tingling down your spine, the shortness of breath, the tensing of your shoulders, the denial in your mind, the grin on your face, the sigh of relief, the involuntary exclaim… What helps you identify change?
  2. How do you react and why?  Is your initial reaction one of drama, quiet confidence, excitement, dread or …? Is it because we are feeling threatened that we say those hurtful things? Is it because we are happy within ourselves that we can give so freely?  Is it because we are reminded of our past that we re-act intensely to the situation? Is it because we have always had ‘good luck’ that we leap into this?
  3. What choices do you make in response to change? I use the word ‘response’ as opposed to ‘react’ because for me, response comes from awareness. After the initial feeling of doom (a reaction!) and being aware of your ingrained habit of maintaining the status quo, do you follow through with negativity or do you choose to be open to the possibilities?

Away she hurried, not beautiful, not supremely brilliant, but filled with something that took the place of both qualities — something best described as a profound vivacity, a continual and sincere response to all that she encountered in her path through life.   EM Forster

Namaste!
– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Hold back the river

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Tried to keep you close to me,
But life got in between
Tried to square not being there
But think that I should have been
Hold back the river, let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river, so I
Can stop for a minute and see where you hide…

These are lyrics to James Bay’s song ‘Hold back the river’.  They spoke to me today.

Two weeks into the new year and my intentions seem wishful thinking.  The intentions in my mind – to dedicate more time to my writing, to cultivate a habit of creation, to overcome my doubts, have not translated to action. Why ever not? Can I just say, ‘but it’s only mid-January’? When does the new year cease to be ‘new’?  When does it become official that I have procrastinated.

Yes I do believe I am procrastinating. Sometime between declaring my intentions to myself just before the new year and now, I agreed to take on a heavier load for work.  Then, out of sheer curiosity, I submitted a synopsis to present at a conference and, believe or not, it got accepted.  So there I was, wondering what had hit me.  With the intentions in mind, one would think saying ‘no’ to other commitments would be a given…but alas, not.  And behind this created busy-ness is, I suspect, a fear.

This revelation sat with me for days, an unease about my ‘mindless’ decisions leading to more time away from the writing I intended to undertake.  Yet, as I began crafting the presentation, I felt a certain excitement for this topic. The topic is something ‘new’ to me but to be presented in an old familiar environment.  As the excitement increased, its companion guilt reared its ugly head, guilt for not staying true to my intentions.

It was not until today, as I sat on the train too tired to read or write, staring out the window in solitude that it hit me.  Let it be! This is as it should be. This is the lesson.

Things happen as they do. So let it be!  There is no need to look to the past with regret, with self-admonishment, with guilt. Firstly, because I do enjoy my other commitments. Secondly, I have let my self-judgment cloud the lesson to be learnt. Thirdly, I am relieved in the knowledge my self-awareness and power of reflection are well and alive.

Whichever decision or path we take, there are lessons to be learnt. So let it be!  There is no right or wrong, good or bad.  Let the moment reveal itself.

And the moment has revealed itself – exquisite self-awareness leading to fewer blind spots. If that is all that I have learnt in this journey, I am grateful.  I can now acknowledge my fear and embrace it.  It is evinced once again of my need for solitude.  It is in this sanctuary that I touch my truth. I will honor them.

I can now freely revel in the circumstance I find myself.  I will reach out and touch the beauty in these experiences.  Looking into your eyes…you no longer hide…

Let 2015 begin!

How has the year begin for you?  How will you be to claim it and make it yours?

 

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Follow the stream

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Hawkesbury River 1881

Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there.  It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. 

Just follow it.  Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.

– Sheng-Yen

Image: Hawkesbury River by William Piguenit (1881)