Ego and Spirit

Suppose you were offered a choice between a beautiful, delicate, finely braided gold chain bracelet or a twisted, knotted, tangled bracelet.

If you don’t like bracelets, imagine you can give it to someone else who loves them, so the decision about your choice is still worth making.

Which would you choose?

I suspect that unless you love the challenge of untangling things, for the joy of success you feel afterwards, you’d probably choose the first option.

Changing directions a little…

Suppose you were offered a choice between living a life of freedom and ease, or a life full of unmanageable tangles and knots that complicate everything for you.

Which would you choose?

Again, I suspect that unless you thrive on facing challenges and difficulties, you’d pick a life of freedom, one lived fully in the present rather than one with heavy baggage that would weigh you down.

As I sat back and thought about these two options it seemed clear that the first one was far superior to the second. And yet I realized that I often choose the more difficult route through life. Perhaps at times you do as well.

I could not avoid the obvious question…why? Why would I choose to complicate my life in this way?

It didn’t make any sense to me.

That is, until I allowed myself to move deeper into the question. It was then that a beautiful clarity appeared in the form of individual voices representing my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego selves. Each one speaks to me and offers insight about the whole of me.

I know this may sound a little over the edge, but give me a chance to explain, then decide what you think.

I believe that each part of me contributes something to the whole. Sometimes those contributions are helpful and sometimes they are harmful, in the sense that they affect the amount of joy I experience in this life.

When one part is overwhelmed, it tends to adversely affect the other parts and the whole of me suffers. This happens most frequently when my cultural training kicks in. Throughout my life I’ve been influenced by those around me to believe certain things. In effect, I’ve allowed myself to be programmed, that what I’ve been taught is correct. During some of my rebellious phases I’ve railed against some of this programming, but much of it still persists.

I realize my ego plays a key role in my life. Its primary function is to protect me, and it does this by performing threat assessments and taking what it believes are necessary actions. Over time, ego has created numerous default settings, which lead to automatic responses to the same or similar events. Unfortunately, my ego may treat all threats in the same way, and not see any distinctions. The truth is that some threats are real (encountering a bear in the wilderness), and some threats are false (I will catch a cold simply by being cold).

If I want to experience an untangled life, some interpretation is necessary. I have to be able to see beyond my ego’s misperceptions.  

I need to hear from my spiritual voice. So, I invite it to come and share its profound insights with me. I want to know how I can tell the difference between what is real and what is false.

Spirits appearance comforts me deeply. My breathing changes, slowing down, calming. A soothing feeling pours over me, and my ego relaxes and patiently awaits guidance.

Spirits voice is clear as it speaks to ego saying, “I love you and treasure that you try to protect me. I want you to know that you are precious and necessary. You can relax now. Together, we can share the load you carry. The truth is that our protection needs are few because we are safe. I see that there are other things you need to know, and I will tell you. For now, be patient and rest easy.”

Ego kicks back a bit, letting go of the gas pedal. It knows answers are coming and it believes all will be well.

More will follow in the next post.

Expectations

What do expectations do?

It’s been an intriguing question for me, and I’ve spent a great deal of time considering it. Considering, but not coming to any real conclusions…until today.

Expectations appear to jeopardize my success. They block my progress forward, making it harder to experience what I am hopeful about. They are harmful things because they are projections of an uncertain future and are not easily controllable.

When I create expectations there is a tendency to generalize them, which makes any evaluation of their success difficult. Worse still, I tend to attach my sense of happiness to them.

Expectations also create fear for me. Fear of not experiencing them exactly as I would like.

Often, I have a sense of what my expectations are, but I don’t write them down and recognize them. I don’t take specific actions steps to make them happen. I just expect them to occur on their own because that’s what I want. Truly, a recipe for failure.

I will be the facilitator of a retreat soon and I’m sensing an inner concern about meeting both the groups and my own expectations.

While considering this I feel guided to write down what I expect will happen. I come up with nine items and upon review, I notice that I have absolutely no control over the outcomes for five of the items and only limited control over the other four. I might be able to enhance the chances of meeting some expectations, but this seems entirely uncertain.

I also notice that if I allow my happiness to be conditional on successfully meeting my own and others’ expectations, I will be doomed to failure.

It becomes apparent that there are two key elements involved here. First, my setting any expectations, even if they are specific enough to be recognizable, creates a certain degree of fear. And second, it is evident that I have no real control over what will happen for any participant or for myself, which produces even more fear in me.

That’s when a beautiful thing happened.

I realize that in all cases, fear serves as a divine messenger for me. In this case it creates legitimate clarity because it brings home the message that neither setting expectations nor controlling outcomes is where I want to focus my attention.

Recognizing my fear allows me to widen my view, to take notice and to shift my awareness from what I can’t do to what I can do.

I can’t meet all of my own expectations nor those of others because I don’t have control over any outcomes. Life is too complex and fluid for that. And I can’t guarantee my happiness when it is tied to achieving all of my expectations. My vested interest if just too strong.

I can however release my perceived need for setting or accomplishing any expectations. I can embrace being present in each moment, realizing there is inherent value in simply loving myself and others and going with the flow of life.

When I am ‘in the moment’ and fully engaged I can be vested in the creation of depth of connection with and for others and myself. That’s when I experience joy and for me that’s what this world is all about.

Three Words That Matter

Imagine this for a moment. Suppose that we were going to play a game that would last one whole day and you could only use three words. What words would you pick?

I know it seems like a crazy idea and when I thought about my answer it took me a while to decide. I considered whether they would useful or descriptive or questioning words. I wondered what might I need and who would I be ‘talking’ with?

Maybe you want to stop right here and pick your three words before I continue, so mine don’t influence yours.

If you’re back or don’t want to choose at the moment, but still want to see my choices, here they are…

I chose; 1) hi, 2) yes and 3) no.

I am fascinated by words. Three specific words are having a profound impact on my life, so much so that I felt a strong desire to share them with you.

They are want, choose and claim.

I recently had a conversation with Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god that I often talk with) where I asked if she could provide some insight and clarity about the differences between these three words.

She said, “wanting expresses a desire, but what is missing are the actions necessary to make the experience real to me.” She went on to say, “wanting does not create anything but the sense of itself- wanting. Without action, there will never be a sense of having.”

I told her I understood now how little power there was in the word and concept of ‘wanting’ and that I needed to shift away from using this word unless I was prepared to take action.

I then asked about ‘choosing’ and Lia responded immediately by saying, “choosing is an action word, ordinarily making a decision between different choices, but sometimes between either doing or not doing something.” Lia went on to add, “choosing means you are consciously setting your direction and will experience results based on your choices. If you are unsatisfied with the outcomes, you have the power to choose differently.”

So far, so good. I sensed the next word was going to take me in a new direction. I asked what ‘claiming’ meant.

Lia didn’t hesitate, telling me, “Claiming is a very powerful word. It implies a deeper understanding about life, including the realization that every pathway of choice already exists. No pathway must be created, they simply can be claimed. Claiming also implies an awareness of your masterplan and is the most direct avenue to experiencing the object of your claiming.”

I sat in stunned silence. I’d never understood the relationship between these three words nor the magnificence of their progression.

After regaining my attention, Lia went on by saying, “Claiming contains conviction, while choosing is often tentative.”

I wanted a little more confirmation and posed this to her, “so, my wanting something is okay, but is only the beginning of the process. It provides some clarity and direction, but if I truly expect to experience the object of my wanting, I have to take action.”

She agreed and I continued, “so, I can change wanting into choosing by taking action and I can change choosing into claiming by recognizing that all pathways already exist and that they are available to me to claim as my own.”

Lia agreed, then shared this insight, “the idea of claiming your best life demands that you identify, know, or clarify what that looks and feels like to you. Once you have this awareness deeply inside you, you will be able to claim and experience anything.”

I am extremely grateful for this conversation because I now understand the difference between these three words that matter to me and how to shift my perspective so that I can claim my best life.

Paradox to Paradise

If I asked you, could you define or give me an example of a ‘paradox’?

It’s interesting to me that we can often recognize a paradox when we hear it but aren’t able to explain why it’s a paradox. According to one internet source, a paradox has three key elements or aspects. First, it is a statement that contradicts itself. Second, it seems absurd and third, it points out the absurdity of life.

My post title begins with paradox but implies a movement to paradise. We may all have our own definitions for the word ‘paradise’ but I’m going to suggest we start from a common point, that paradise represents an ideal place or state of being.

So, you may be wondering, how do these connect and why would I spend time writing a post about them. Good question.

I’d like to share two examples and hopefully they will provide the answer.

When I mention the word, ‘failure’, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s something you’ve experienced in your life, in the past or something happening right now.

A common understanding of failure is that we don’t reach our objective, however we’ve defined it. Or maybe it’s how someone else has defined it. They may have placed demands on us, and we were unable to meet their expectations. Often, failure is challenging because there are so many potential opportunities for it to occur and it may become overwhelming to continue our pursuit of success.

I’d like to invite you to consider shifting your attention and your view of ‘failure’. What if you altered your concept and embraced the idea that failure, is the absence of trying? That failure has nothing to do with any outcome, so that you are free from any expectations of success.

What if you gave yourself permission to TRY, recognizing that it may or may not work out exactly as you plan, and accept whatever outcome occurs? In this way, ‘failure’ has a built-in freedom.

Seems like a paradox to me which leads to a paradise of freedom.

The other example I’d like to offer is, ‘fear’.

I’m quite sure I needn’t provide you with any illustrations of fear. I believe we all know intimately about fear and its impact on us.

One of fears hallmarks is that it prevents us from living our lives to the fullest. It can overshadow, overwhelm, intimidate, riddle us with intense feelings and stop us in our tracks. Fear disguises itself, masquerading as seeming logical statements, but its intent is always the same…to prevent us from moving forward and living a satisfying life.

There is another way to view fear. We can shift our perspective and claim a new concept, one that can dramatically alter our outcomes.

How?

By seeing fear as a source of power. I suspect that each of us has felt the enormous power fear manifests. If we shift our understanding, we can harness fear’s power and use it to our advantage. I’d like to suggest that we consider that fear exists to provide us with a valuable message. If we allow it, the message can show us how we would benefit by changing direction. Fear can serve as an energetic motivation to give us the drive we may need to improve our lives.

Seen in this way, fear becomes a divine messenger, offered to us to assist in moving the direction we most cherish.

Feels like another paradox to me and one which can certainly lead to paradise, if that is what we choose.

Changing an Attitude

Are you task focused, or can you go with the flow?

I recognize that many times I become very task oriented as I’m sure folks who know me best would confirm. They’d probably tell you about my To Do lists, several of which are color coded. That should give you a pretty clear picture.

Fortunately for my peace of mind and sanity, I’ve altered my views about my lists. I now use them more as guides, rather than as mandatory self-assignments. They currently stand as reminders of things I need to attend to (doctor and dentist appointments) or people I’m getting together with or meetings I have. Things I don’t want to forget.

To be completely open, I do have other lists too, the kind that can become overwhelming and oppressive, if I let them. Maybe you have a few of these too.

Over the course of time an antidote arrived in the form of a complete sentence.

“Aim for progress, rather than completion.”

What an incredible freedom this offers. It allows me to keep an item on my list and make strides with it, but without the burden of feeling like I have to finish it (or else). It helps let me off the hook.

I also discovered a companion to accompany this antidote.

“There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.”

For me, this one takes a lot of getting used to, especially considering the amount of cultural training I’ve received. My entire educational and work experience demanded and rewarded the completion of tasks be done in the ‘correct’ way. Thinking outside the box was often punished and there were only rewards for compliance with the ‘right’ way. It took an abundance of years for me to understand there are other possibilities and more than ONE right answer.

Then I was struck with a novel question. What if there was no such thing as a ‘right or wrong’ way, only the way I chose? This idea encouraged me to reexamine my entire thinking process and question the underlying assumption of there being ‘one right way’. I came to discover that in many cases, perhaps in all cases, I’d never know until I experienced the final outcome. There are just too many connections along the way to know the truth about any of my choices.

Then came another idea to join the group, a helpful suggestion designed to shift my attitude and attention.

“Focus on feelings, rather than on accomplishments.”

I love this one because it reorders my world and focuses my awareness on what’s most important to me…my feelings.

It’s entirely likely I will not accomplish every one of my aims. For whatever reason, I might get only so far and have to stop or redirect my attention elsewhere. However, the progress I did make and how I felt along the way, I get to keep and savor.

As it turns out, my feelings are the truest barometer of my satisfaction with life. They connect me with my source (divine nature) and with others, all those I love and whom I want to share my life with.

One final idea came along, and it enhances all the others before it.

“Come to a place of peace and joy with everything.”

And, I think to myself, isn’t this what I am really after? And my answer is YES.

Things Worth Considering

Random thoughts run through my mind all the time. Does this happen to you too? Do you wish that you could keep them around a little while longer, so you could take advantage of what they might offer you?

Many years ago, I decided that I would buy a few small notebooks and place them in spots where they would be easily accessible to me, that way when a thought popped into my head, I could capture it.

I’ve filled several of the notebooks and recently paused to scan some of them to see what I’d written. What I discovered was fascinating to me and I have the feeling that it might make an interesting book, even if its distribution is limited.

I thought I’d share some of my ideas and observations with you and see what you thought.

So here goes…

** What is the first question I ask myself in the morning when I wake up? Responses included the following: how do I feel physically, what time is it, is it too early to get up, did I get enough sleep, what is happening today, will I be able to get the necessary things done today, how important is it that I do my exercises?

I pretty much know my answers to these questions and although I want to be happy about them, sometimes I find they bend me in a ‘negative’ direction, one I have to dig myself out of. Maybe I need to ask better questions.

** How many good years do we have to travel and where do we want to go…Banff in the Canadian Rockies, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Paris, Hawaii?

There are so many places that interest us. Of course, we could stay close to home and enjoy our own fantastic scenery. But what’s really important about this question is the state of our health and whether we are doing things to promote it and improve it, so the focus shifts in that direction. Travel can take care of itself.

** In one moment of insight an idea came to me that I (anyone) can CLAIM (intentionally choose) to experience anything or move in any direction, because ‘everything already exists’. We do not need to create it or manage it or maintain it. There is already an infinite web of creation, far beyond what we are capable of presently conceiving or understanding. This web stretches infinitely in all directions and everything is a part of it. What we believe are detours in our lives are only alternate paths headed toward the same destination.

** In a moment of clarity, a quote came to me (or is it ‘through me’) that feels true to me…” worrying about unpleasant outcomes in my life makes me an immediate victim.” I wondered, what is the sense of doing that?

** I have long felt and believed that heaven is an ocean of bliss, and that love is its expression on earth. I feel this way because I have memories from heaven, not what it looked like, but how it felt. And it feels wonderful, and it belongs to each of us. We all came from there and return to there. What a beautiful awareness.

** I sat wondering why I am here, on this earth, at this time. It seems to me that I wanted to experience ‘separation’ and an incredibly strong sense of abandonment. Separation from my home in heaven and a feeling that I was abandoned here, left to fend for myself. And yet, shadows have shifted, leaving me in the light and I realize those intense feelings gave me direction and ‘forced’ me to open up. And once I did, I began to remember, to awaken to the truth that we are all divine beings, seeking a depth of connection (like the one we experienced in heaven). And now that I see more clearly, I want to share, to speak my truth and encourage others to do the same.

There are so many more musing. What strikes me is that everyone probably has passing thoughts that are important to them, they only need to offer themselves the chance to capture them and sit with them. If they do, I believe wonderful treasures await them.

Joy

Do you think there is a difference between happiness and joy? Or do they seem like the same thing to you?

I admit that in the past I was confused about the difference between the two terms, or I used them interchangeably, until one conversation occurred with a friend of mine. He shared that, for him, joy was a much deeper feeling. It gave me pause and inspired me to reconsider my views.

While I love both feelings and enjoy their power, I believe one is far more important to me than the other.

Happiness seems to come from the outside, while joy comes from the inside. Happiness is triggered by all sorts of things I encounter in the world, while joy feels like an overflowing of love from my heart.

There are things and events which create and produce both feelings. Personally, I find happiness is short lived when compared with joy. Sometimes happiness feels like a present I’ve dreamed about but once I have it, its power fades, and I’m looking for the next thing to make me happy.

When joy arrives, its power remains with me, and I feel its love radiate through me. Although my life moves on, the memories of the joy linger and will easily return, if I bring them to mind.

So, what about you? Do moments of joy visit you and stay with you? Would you like there to be more moments of joy in your life?

If I answered my own question, my response would be, ‘yes, absolutely I want as many moments of joy as possible.’

You can probably guess my next question.

What would bring about more moments of joy?

Part of me is always pragmatic, searching for an approach that supports me and brings into my life that which I most treasure. In this case that would be to create and experience more and more moments of joy.

I sat back one day and let a calmness wash over me. I opened my heart and encouraged myself to allow my love to overflow. I did this because I know that joy responds to this call. It lives within me but wants to be unleashed into my world.

I believe that joy lives inside each of us, ever present no matter what our outward experience of life is. And perhaps it wants to spark and ignite into existence when we are down and need it the most. But we have to allow this. We have to open the pipeline, and the wider the better. We are the ones in charge of clearing the way.

I wanted to know if there was something specific I could do to enhance joy’s presence in my life. As soon as I asked the question, the answer appeared…give yourself the gift of illumination…and create a memory list of moments of joy.

I thought…what a phenomenal idea. And what started out as a simple list, expanded into thoughts of a joy journal or a joy scrapbook.

Something inside me caught fire.

One recollection ran into the next and then cascaded, filling page after page. It was as if I had opened a treasure chest of joy. What a sensational feeling.

One of the best parts of this experience is that I can share it with you. I am absolutely convinced that we all have the power to overflow joy into our lives and into the lives of those who surround us. We are connected to each other, both here and beyond and joy is one of our most intimate languages.

I hope you call forth the joy that lives in your heart and let it overflow into your life.

New Year Love

I’ve chosen to repeat my post from the end of 2020 because I still believe it represents the truth and I wanted to remind you about it. So, here it is.

I wonder what you want from this life. If you were given a notebook or a journal or a clean slate, what would you write on it?

Here’s a choice…you can stop reading this post for a few minutes and write down the first things that come to you or you can keep reading and perhaps, if you’re interested, do this later (although I may spoil it a little with the rest of this post).

This isn’t the typical New Year’s resolutions, nor a list of challenging items to attempt to accomplish. Rather, it’s a wish list of the experiences you most want to have this time around.

Now, what would happen if I asked you to narrow your list down to only one thing. Would that be difficult for you?

I think it is often the case that we have so many options it becomes challenging to sort through them and choose only the ones that we think will make us happy.

Years ago, Maureen and I were in San Diego and went to brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was incredible. I think they boasted that they had over 130 selections to choose from. It was overwhelming and almost everything looked delicious. I seriously doubt whether anyone left there without a massive stomach ache. They should have handed out Tums as folks walked out the door.

That’s how it can be when we’re given too many choices. Often, we want more things than we can manage. That’s my reason for asking you to narrow your list to only one item. To gain some clarity and focus.

I want to share with you what I chose.

I want to feel loved and that it makes a difference that I’m here on this earth.

I am profoundly grateful that there are those in my life who tell me that they love me and that I make a difference in their lives.

But sometimes, I only hear long after the fact that what I did or said, reached someone. I long to be a part of others’ lives, connecting deeply them. I want them to know that I love them.

From time to time, there is an aloneness that comes to join me. When this happens, it is hard to feel others love for me.

In one of those moments, I asked Lia (a feminine part of god I know as Love In Action) about this and was surprised by her answer.

She said, “YOU are always free to do this…to offer love to yourself and to others. And you can always talk with me and I will tell you the truth…you are made from pure love.  You needn’t be troubled by your own misperception that you are anything else but love. The truth remains the truth, that you and I are ONE. One pure love.”

I don’t know about you, but for some reason it’s hard for me to tell myself that I love me. It’s only on my wisest days, that I can hold still, take a calming breathe and tell myself that I love me and that I know it matters that I’m here. That I have a purpose and a mission.

Lia offers this reminder, “It is the same for every one of you. You all want to know and feel love. I ask that you believe me, that you are love.”

My hope for you, heading into this new year, is that you know love and feel loved. It’s truly the reason why I write these posts.

Thank you for allowing me to repeat this. My next post will be new, I promise.

How to Be Bigger Than You Are

I want to see if you are interested in being bigger than you are at present. Are you game?

Maybe you want to know what I’m really asking before you commit. Okay, fair enough.

I’m wondering if you’d like to challenge yourself with a new experience. It might be something on the wild side or simply different from what you are used to.

Here’s one example of a choice I made.

Recently I was offered an opportunity to write a haiku and submit it to a contest site. In the event you’re unfamiliar with what a haiku is, it’s a very short poem with a specific structure. It takes the form of three lines, the first and third lines are five syllables and the second (middle line) is seven syllables. It is a style created in Japan and has a fabled history dating back to at least the sixteenth century.

I could have ignored the prompt to create using this unique style but something about it grabbed me. The contest was very specific that you must use the word ‘blue’ somewhere in the haiku.

The very first image that formed in my head was the brilliant blue ice of a glacier my wife and I saw while in Alaska. Simply gorgeous!

Conforming to the 5/7/5 syllable format presented quite a problem for me. It limited my freedom and I think that’s a big part of any new challenge. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is always difficult, but if you never do, you’ll never know what you are truly capable of.

So, I spent time creating and recreating. Finally, something came together, and I liked how it felt. The image really stood out for me and gave me a sense of inner satisfaction, which was the whole point to me. Although it would be fun to ‘win’ the contest, I’ve already experienced enough value and enjoyment that it doesn’t really matter if I do.

In case you’d like to read the haiku, here it is.

shafts of midnight blue

silhouetting moon lit ice

dreaming of heaven

I’m not suggesting that this is a way for YOU to be ‘bigger’, just that it was one way I chose.

Are there ways that occur to you? Things you’ve always wanted to try but never got around to?

Do you know what’s stopping you? Can you imagine it being fun to try something brand new and see where it leads you?

Obviously, safety plays a part in this adventure. My wife has exempted me from skydiving, hang gliding, even rollerblading, but that’s not really very limiting. And I can think of lots of ways to explore the world.

I don’t want to stay the same size that I am right now. I want to be bigger and to expand, learn new things, meet new people, experience new journeys. How about you?

I’d like to encourage you to follow your dreams. You can start small and work your way up if that feels more comfortable to you.

The idea here is to release a bit of the rope that keeps you tethered close to the ground. If it feels right to you, let go a bit and explore. There are literally thousands of ideas out there in the world, many of which require no money, travel, or a dependence on others to try. They only require your willingness and excitement and participation.

I end with this hopefully encouraging haiku:

it is up to you

to explore your dreams or not

i suggest you do

A New Context for Disappointments

How good are you at dealing with disappointments? Does it make a difference about the size of the disappointment, or do they all effect you the same way?

It’s a topic that’s on my mind at the moment because I’m experiencing a significant disappointment. There isn’t anything I can do about it practically speaking, and of course, that’s also part of the problem. If there were things I could do, then at least I could take some action, even if it didn’t entirely fix everything.

Maybe you’re experiencing some disappointments of your own. They may be the temporary versions or perhaps, ones that repeat themselves over and over.

I decided I needed to have a chat with Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god who loves and cares for me and who is always willing to talk with me about anything).

I brought up my issue and asked for some guidance.

Lia responded by saying, “Your attitude about your disappointment is completely under your control. You can be disappointed and feel your feelings BUT then exercise great care with your next choice. You can allow this disappointment to manifest into intense feelings of it being ‘unfair’, but you need to realize this is a subjective judgement based on limited information.”

One thing I immediately realize is that Lia will never allow me to consider myself a ‘victim’ in any circumstance, since I am in complete control over the attitudes I choose in my life.

The next thing I realize is that Lia is challenging me and offering me something valuable to consider…that I am taking the ‘short view’ (limited information) and I would be wise to reconsider this.

I’m not sure how though and she already knows this.

Lia continues, “Whenever you choose to view life solely from the short view, you miss the full story. Everything is not revealed in one single moment (or event). It takes time to become aware of the fullness of life.”

Admittedly, I’m still a little confused. I get the essence of what she’s saying but need more.

As always, she understands and adds to her explanation with a magnificent illustration.

“Imagine there is a string of dominos set up in a line, so that once the first domino is tipped over, it creates a chain reaction…a sequence of falling dominos.”

It’s a great picture for me because I’ve done this hundreds of times in my life.

I can feel Lia smiling at me as she continues, “This is your life, a constant sequence of events, which may appear unrelated, but which are intimated connected. If you judge the whole solely by the first domino, you ignore the end result of the chain reaction. Try to remember, everything is connected.”

And although I get what she’s saying, I still wonder how I can release my disappointments and shift my attitude.

“The shift I’m suggesting is for you to develop an awareness, to pay attention, and to carefully observe your life. When you encounter a disappointment, feel it fully, then make a wise choice based on knowing the disappointment is a part of something much larger in your life. It is connected to the events that preceded it and the events that follows it. Watch carefully for how marvelously everything is organized and how everything serves you (in the long run). Cultivate a level of trust in the process so that you can sit back and watch how, what you at first thought was a disappointment, turns out to be a significant part of something much larger and wonderful.”

I recognize this is going to take practice, but I already sense the incredible value it will bring me. Now I think I’m ready to put my disappointments in a new context.