Choosing Wisely During Your Day...

Choosing Wisely During Your Day...

Choice is perhaps our most vital freedom. We sometimes start sentences with “Given a choice . . .” In reality, almost every waking moment offers myriad choices. Many are small and inconsequential, whereas others are life changing. Together, all choices create the pat­tern of your life, revealing how your life is trending.

Choice is a blessing. Do your choices trend toward being bless­ings by enhancing strength, increasing wisdom, regaining balance, developing empowerment, spreading kindness, and promoting self-love and love of others? If so, I am encouraged and feel hope for Mother Earth and her children everywhere. If your choices have not been gentle and self-loving, they can begin to be from this moment on. It is up to you.

Today I am choosing to love myself because I want
to love others more purely.
—COLLEEN GEORGE

I have a couple of favorite soap­boxes from which I write and, increasingly, live. One is the yearning for feminine and masculine qualities and power to come into balance and harmony within all people and the world. The other is the belief that loving ourselves into wholeness and closer to holiness is our souls’ task. Doing so allows us to be open-hearted and able to share our innate wisdom and kindness with others and the world.

Choice is your power point. You can choose to embrace and act from your intrinsic feminine qualities. Very importantly, choose to love yourself. Self-loving people express and elevate heart energy, cre­ate balance, and abet healing. As the Buddha said, “If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”

LEANING TOWARD THE LIGHT

Everything we do, think, and feel is on a contin­uum from fear to love or, for the sake of this meditation, from dark to light.

Fear .......................... Love
Dark ............................ Light
Heavy ........................... Buoyant
Obscure ........................ Transparent


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With its emphasis on connection, forgiveness, and inclusion, feminine energy leans toward the light while also being able to cou­rageously be present when experiencing darkness herself or compas­sionately caring for others who are wrestling with darkness. Whether in miniscule or mighty amounts, each choice we make either adds light or increases darkness.

By her own admission, Melanie, our sassy dog groomer—who traded a responsible corporate position for a four-footed clientele to “save her sanity”—has a quick Irish temper, especially while driving. After a couple of scary incidents with other drivers, Melanie decided to stop letting her temper put her and other drivers in danger. She set an intention not to act on her temper and put a reminder on her dashboard that says, “DO NOT ENGAGE!” Who knows? Mel-anie’s reminder may be a lifesaver. It’s certainly made driving more peaceful, she says.

Intention is our ally. It actually helps us build inner strength by creating a plan and a focal point for change. For instance, if you set the intention to speak more kindly to yourself, your brain is likely to give you a little ping. Hopefully, before you badmouth yourself, but definitely after.

Intention is a reminder in your brain—similar to your phone—to help you lean toward the light. And talking to yourself in the way you talk to a friend is a huge move toward the light of love.

One great way to lean toward the light is simply to smile. As my son Brett says, “At the intersection of every path you cross, plant smiles.” Smiles are heart-lifters and excellent energy-uppers.

During your day . . .

-: In what ways would you like to lean toward the light? Jot them down. If you feel strongly enough about leaning in a certain way, set a gentle intention to do so.

-: What kindness can you begin giving yourself? As if you were your own BFF, provide it.

-: Give yourself credit for at least one way you already lean toward the light and spread love.

If you want to do something for world peace,
cultivate kindness, stop hating, and have hope for
all individuals including yourself.
—PATRICIA SUN

LETTING GO OF EFFORTING

Tomorrow is my birthday. I love birthdays. This year, I will have lived five years longer than my mother did, and that alone brings up a mul­titude of feelings. Paramount among them is gratitude for countless blessings and for friends and family whom I can count on. Along with intense thankfulness comes a little musing about what might have been and what is.

One of the thoughts that bubbled up was how much of my earlier life was spent efforting. Trying too hard to be perfect, to be liked, to please others, to live up to unrealistic expecta­tions, to be an always-available friend, a sexy/fun wife, a compassion­ate and insightful therapist. I’m sure you can add a list of your own areas of efforting to the list.

The kind of efforting I’m talking about is different from the desire to do your best or give something your all. When doing comes from love, enthusiasm, and desire, it is fulfilling and soul-feeding. The efforting I’m referring to is rooted in fear, steeped in anxiety, and reeking of expectation. This type of guilt-ridden effort is driven by neediness and sabotages your strength and dampens your spirit.

For example, I tried so hard to be a good . . . who am I kidding? I thought I should be a perfect mother and stepmother. Looking back, I realize not trusting myself or my parenting abilities caused me to fall into the effort abyss. Trying too hard often got in the way of really enjoying my kids as much as I would have if I’d been more relaxed and less worried.

I’m not beating myself up now, just musing. Hind­sight has given me perspective, and I truly believe I did the best I could. Thankfully, I’m making progress in letting go of efforting, and as a result, the kids and I have an easy relationship. Plus, I just plain enjoy life more.

Musing about past lack of trust reminds me to upgrade today’s trust in myself to the same level I have for “my birthday” daffodils. I know they will bloom anew each season, even if there is snow. I had my first glimpse of spring daffodils today, and seeing them lifted my heart. When we give ourselves the love and trust we deserve, we also bloom anew and lift hearts in the process.

During your day . . .

- If you notice yourself efforting in an uncomfortable way, mindfully stop and ask yourself why. Is your reason rooted in love or based in fear, guilt, or need?

- Consciously relax and allow blooming to take place naturally.

Anything done with, and from,
love is usually good enough.

ACCEPTING THE PARADOX OF PERFECTION

I believe we are perfect. All of us, you and me, and everyone else. Spiritually, as a soul. A definition of perfection I resonate with is “free from any flaw or defect in condition or quality; faultless.” Although I don’t see the Sue writing this in that list, I do believe with all my heart that the definition does pertain to the soul animating my human self. As it does yours.

If human perfection is an unreachable star, why do we bludgeon ourselves with the impossible dream of achieving it? For me, as a kid, I got the idea that being perfect was expected of me. I believed the payoff for perfection would be warm fuzzies such as love, acceptance, and parental pride as well as protection from rejection, anger, and criticism. Perfection meant I’d never be a disappointment to myself or those I cared about and counted on. This, of course, left me pretty darned disappointed much of my life.

Over the years, I’ve come to believe one of the reasons my soul chose to come here is to experience imperfection and learn to feel love and compassion for myself and others, as imperfect as we are. Although I don’t have empirical evidence to back up my theory, I do have an ever-increasing sense of knowingness about it, and that’s good enough for me.

Choosing to be at peace with imperfection didn’t come easily or early. Until the last few years, I think I clung to the illusion of human perfection because I was afraid letting it go could lead to giving myself a free pass, a Get Out of Jail Free card. Without such a lofty goal, would I lazily stop growing, learning, and evolving? Exactly the opposite is happening. Freed from the tyranny of perfection and the shame of failure, I’m more loving toward myself and others and much more eager to learn from the experiences at hand.

To me, the paradox of perfection is that we’re never going to get there, although we already are. Because you (and all of us) carry a spark of the Divine Beloved within your core, perfection is your Essence.

During your day . . .

-: Cherish the divine spark within.

-: Love yourself as you are.

-: Be amused by your imperfections; most are endearing.

The spark divine dwells in thee: let it grow.
—ELLA WHEELER WILCOX

©2019 by Sue Patton Thoele. All Rights Reserved.
Excerpted with permission. Publisher: Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC.
www.redwheelweiser.com

Article Source

Strength: Meditations for Wisdom, Balance & Power
by Sue Patton Thoele

Strength: Meditations for Wisdom, Balance & Power by Sue Patton ThoeleStrength is a wise and profound book that helps women deal with both the large and small bumps in the road of life. Here are over 125 meditations, stories, and musings on becoming stronger, happier, healthier, and more bodacious. Strength can be read cover to cover or more casually by choosing topics from the table of contents. Topics include: facing fear, embracing your inner Brunehilde, mirroring Jesus and Rosa Parks, sharing wisely, and knowing you're good enough is no longer enough. (Also available in Kindle format, as an Audiobook, or Audio CD.)
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About the Author

Sue Patton ThoeleSue Patton Thoele is a licensed psychotherapist and the author of numerous books, including The Woman's Book of Courage and The Woman's Book of Soul. She lives with her husband Gene near their extended family. Visit Author's Website.

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