Morning’s Darkness

I’m tossing and turning at 4am.  With no planes to catch and actually being in my own bed, I’m annoyed at my mind’s humor.  I try convincing myself that I can fall back to sleep and into that delicious dream.  What was it again?  Something about flowers and a house?

“Humpf!”  I toss over on my left side, seeing the small twinkle of my street lights.  Morning’s darkness and silence teases me about not participating with the rest of the Central Time Zone.  Lord knows if I can’t hear my neighbor’s children…everyone really is sleeping.  But my mind is even more active, touching on every subject of my life.  “Is this really necessary NOW?” My thoughts are barely entertaining at best and I find myself annoyed with how easily my monkey chatter can distract me from quiet stillness.

I drag my tired body and overly alert mind out of bed.  I look out my front windows and see definite proof that my tiny section of the world is still tucked away in their beds.  Why doesn’t this heavy, dark silence seem the same as last night?

It was most definitely different.  The silence that fell over last night’s approach was more one of rest.  It was the ending of a day, the ending of work, chores, and all things that keep us busy.  It was what the birds didn’t say that hinted to the natural rhythm of activity.  Once the sun took its final bow with explosions of pink and orange, the graceful moon shed her gentle light and allowed the heaviness of darkness to blanket the Earth.  It was an external reminder of our internal light needing to dim and quiet. This was indeed the dark and silence that’s needed to rest.

But this morning’s silence and heaviness seems to have a far different purpose.  Could this silence be for internal awakenings…for beginnings?  Just as we were created in silent darkness prior to our birth, morning’s darkness asks for creation.  This lack of light hides “what is” so we can imagine and begin creating what is possible.  With few distractions, we are face-to-face with our own thoughts.  What an amazing thing…to have just spent hours dreaming, hours of tapping into self and to awake to find the perfect condition to create what is possible.  Do these quiet moments exist solely to create our dreams?  Can we tap into this creative moment and carry it throughout our day?  This makes “living your dreams” take on a whole new meaning.

I smile to myself, now loving my mind.  She had her priorities straight.  So I began “day dreaming,”–taking action on my true life’s passion.

Each dark morning asks you to wake up your dreams and start living them.  Please join me.

Self Improvement

I love scouring all the different sections of book stores, always on the lookout for my next beloved book with suggestions of improvement.  I find myself talked into little ways I can improve myself, my home, my relationships….how to feng shui your home, how to feng shui your clothes, closet organizing ideas, the best workout plan to slim, the fat-burning foods, how to approach your relationships with an Eastern philosophy, how to market yourself, business negotiating suggestions….the list goes on.

So here I was, on my quiet journey in the narrow aisles of Half Price Books, ready to discover my newest, and still unknown treasures….when a thought occurs to me:

“Am I searching for true improvements to really be a better participant in the dance of the universe, or am I convincing myself that if I improve…I just might love myself fully?”

Whoa…I need a few more gulps of my soy latte to settle this thought and push it back down where it came from.  Of course I just want to be a better person for this world!  I love myself!  I take good care of my body, eat well, do yoga, meditate…the typical list of many of my friends.  If I didn’t love myself, would I really do all those things?!

But that thought doesn’t sink back down into my subconscious as quickly as I hoped.  And I quietly acknowledge that truth has a way of continually surfacing.

Surely wanting to make improvements in your life isn’t a bad thing.  Improvement:  To make better, to excel in quality.  These are all lovely thoughts.  Who doesn’t want to move forward and excel?  The idea of settling, to become stagnant was a living death in my mind.  How can progression ever be wrong?  But my higher self whispers to me:

“It’s not the improvement or progression that is being questioned, but rather, are you withholding love of yourself until you accomplish that ‘thing’ you’re working on?”

The more I pondered it, the more I started to see the bigger picture.  Surely the world is benefiting from our goals of progression, but it’s our sacred self in this moment that is the one with the courage to change.  How can we not love our courageous self?  After all, it is our current selves who put in the work at this moment.  It is our current selves who get on the elliptical machine, who make meals, who offer kind words to friends, who take care of family members.  It is who we are right now that is facing the journey of life.

I run my fingers along the worn spines of the trapped secrets, suggestions and knowledge.  And for today, walk away empty handed….my heart spilling over with self-acceptance.

Calling of Time

Church bells ring out in my neighborhood, bouncing off of old houses, recycling bins, and even blades of grass…making the earth shake in low agreement.  This event occurs every quarter hour….which is quite frequent if not accustomed to these large brass bells.  DING DONG!  The sound blasts down my shared alley, easily flying past the cement steps, garages and cars…almost as if the sound’s pushing created the alley itself.

The sound of church bells has always been lovely to me.  ”Roll down your window Amanda!” my mom would shriek in delight to 5-year-old me, while driving into downtown.  It surprised me, however; that now living here- as an adult- I began to pay attention to them to keep track of time.  Like many of us, I’ve gotten out of the habit of wearing a watch…who needs that contraption when I have an iphone that can tell me the exact time and weather in Uganda? But alas…my phone was 15 steps away and with frequent garden-soiled hands, the bells came in handy.

DING DONG!  Shh….I quiet my mind….DING DONG!  Ah, half past the hour.  This has been my habit for the past year, recognizing the bell’s melodic rings and then noticing the time.

Did I remember to buy those eggs?  That woman at the store was really rough while packing them!  What did she think the shells were made of? Are brown eggs stronger than-  DONG!  Shoot.  I missed it.  Here I was “enjoying” nature and gardening, and I missed what time it was.  Was that the first dong or second dong?

Yoga class was really amazing today, but I could have done better in Crow Pose…that man who did it so beautifully was amazing.  If only I could do Crow Pose like-   DONG!   DONG!   DONG!  Ugh, was that really three gongs or did I miss another?  These stupid bells were starting to be more frustrating than enjoyable.

Yet beautifully, the sweet bells carry a quiet message.  They whisper to each of us, ‘It’s not a calling out of what time it is, but rather; a calling that it is time.  Time to let go of the obsessive mental circles, time to not compare or measure, time to walk into the potential of your true self – who is here right now.  Time to live in your heart, rather than your head. ‘

“Did I just hear something?” I thought.  Nah…  So anyway if I could do Crow like that…I would finally start to think I was decent at yoga and…

But the ever-present time has only that—endless time.  And little do my obsessive circles know they have only 15 minutes longer before being interrupted by the present’s calling.

Love

The English language seems to have only one word for love.  We don’t have words that mean romantic love, friendship love, humanity love, etc.  With such a limited vocabulary for such a broad subject, it’s no wonder we get confused or uncomfortable when “I love you” is uttered. We have no idea what that means.

Love is that emotion that comes with complete alignment of being, when what you’re focusing on (or who you’re loving) is actually reflecting back to you, your own self. It’s feeling in the moment no separation from your focus, no separation from Universal Consciousness and the allowing of the relaxing into all.

Therefore, loving cannot have any right or wrong, times of being inappropriate or a need of being kept secret.  When love gets confusing, it is when the emotion isn’t truly love-and its name is used to mask misalignment.

Love truly is the answer to any perceived obstacle.  It’s an emotion that is able to house acceptance, compassion, humility, understanding, and God-Consciousness.  An emotion that is able to contain all positive resolutions, all allowing of change, all surrendering of separate self—of ego…this is utopia, this is allowing who you are, allowing Source within you to be the experience.

By loving we open ourselves to all possibilities manifesting into form, for Universal Consciousness is within that love and can create anything.  When we hear or say “I love you,” know another universe has just been created.

Silence

Finding absolute silence is quite the task. Needing to go to the depths of the sea or the heights of space seems to be the requirement. One will find here that life has limited itself to the few capable of handling these extremes. So maybe we’re not looking for absolute silence…but moments of silence.

This idea seems a luxury at first, having loud car horns blaring and ricocheting off our vehicle on our way to work, barking out our coffee orders in the Starbuck’s drive thru and trying to drown out our own monkey chatter with music coming from our stereo system. These noises are just the start of our day!

But what if silence was within these noises? What if our moments of peace were inherently embedded within each sound vibration and in it there is a space for pause, quiet, and growth. Perhaps the focus of our thoughts on the sound is the loudest part. For sound can only exist within and because of silence. The sense of “nothingness” is the white canvas, the infinite potential of darkness that houses all not-yet-formed sound. So surely silence is existing within each moment.

Our reaction to the sound is what interrupts our peace. So why react? Why form an opinion on something that is flitting in and out of existence anyway?

It’s easy to find silence on a mountain, in the depths of the ocean, and the vastness of space…but here we are, on our morning commute, participating in our daily rituals….so let’s hear and enjoy the lovely silence containing life.

Passion

What calls you to wake in the morning? What quietly creeps into your mind while you’re focusing on your “work?” What is that idea that you just can’t shake? That is your passion.

Although we think our work and passion may be two separate things, let’s ask ourselves, how can we fuse our passion into what we are already doing? Can we serve tables artistically? Can we crunch numbers while mentally composing our next song or painting?

Our minds are our own. We get to live out our passion on the inside no matter what our tasks are on the outside. By honoring our passions, we’re honoring the truest parts of ourselves. This new focus brings peace and joy internally, which naturally flows out onto others.

Allow the wave of creativity and artist thought carry you into your daily activities. You’ll be surprised where you discover your passion can be expressed.

Let go of only letting yourself enjoy your passion when you get “there.” But rather live your passion so you are always “here” and expressing your most joyful gifts.