a hardwood tree in winter with a purple sky in the background
Image by Alicja

Written and Narrated by Marie T. Russell.

Watch video version on YouTube

Just like nature, we have cycles and seasons. These can manifest as moods, or cycles of life such as teenager, young adult, parent, grandparent, etc., or as different jobs or careers. Everything in life is in flux, even when it seems dormant. There is always something taking place inside, like tea leaves slowly brewing to become a delightful cup of tea.

Stay Present

Staying present sounds like it should be an easy thing to do, but it makes sense that we get caught up in the past or the future. After all there are a lot of past moments and future ones, but there in only one present moment. So, the numbers are not in our favor... There's a lot more of the past to dwell on, or the future to dream of, than there is of the present moment.

Yet, the present moment is all that exists. The past is done... gone... dead. The future is... well, it doesn't exist at the moment, so it's not real, at least not yet.

Yet all of our past moments and even our future moments make up the "now" moment. What we do now is based on the past, and the future will be based on what we do now. So this is why it is extremely important for us to stay present and focus on the now moment, and what we will do with it.

The more fully we live the present moment, the better our future will be. The more we focus our attention in the present moment, the more glorious will be the future that grows out of this moment.

Body, Mind, Spirit

When we think of ourselves, we tend to identify with our body. We are of a certain age, weight, build, hair color, skin color, etc. Yet we are so much more than our body.

We are also mind. Our intelligence, our thinking and reasoning faculty, this is also part of who we are. Though of course when asked about ourselves, we probably give the physical characteristics (I'm a female, brown eyes, age... etc.). We don't tend to say when asked about ourselves, "My IQ is..."

And, we must remember that we are also spirit. This is the part of us that is "of higher mind" or of the "higher self". The part of us that is wise, insightful, intuitive, and Loving, that is our spirit. We are the trinity of body, mind AND spirit. Remembering this will give us more clarity, more strength, and more purpose in our day to day decisions and actions.

Stay Curious

Our guidance can come in many ways. Sometimes it's from the people we know, yet at other times it comes as a whisper in the wind -- a feeling that it might be good to try something new, to explore new avenues, to discover new things... or not to do a particular thing.

If we assume that we already know all there is to know, then we aren't open to receiving new inspiration and new blessings. It helps to stay curious about new information and new people that come into our life. We never know what will be developing into a new direction for us.

When new things seem interesting, go ahead and explore them. Remain curious and open to new possibilities. When you're drawn to something, or someone, this could be a signal that this is the right time for you to move in that direction.

Insights and Inspiration

When we remain open to new ideas, we then can receive insights and inspiration. These come to us more easily when we are relaxed rather than stressed, playful rather than stern, and unhurried rather than rushed.

The best ideas are the ones that come naturally. This could be when we are taking a solitary walk, or taking a shower, or right on the edge of sleep as we relax in bed, or perhaps in those first few minutes when you wake up before your attention goes to the outside world.

No matter what is going on in our life, we always have access to insights and inspiration. We simply have to stop, or at least slow down, and open our senses to the messages and guidance that are always present. 

Follow Your Joy

If someone were to ask you if you prefer joy or fear, I'm sure you would say you prefer joy. We all prefer feeling joy over feeling fear, yet, often that's not the choice we make.  

When we choose not to do something we would enjoy because we are afraid it would either: 1) cost too much money, 2) take too much time, 3) just not be enough anyway, or 4) be risky, or whatever other reason or excuse we come up with, then we are choosing fear over joy. Fear would always have us take the path of security, of surety, of safety, rather than the path of trust and joy.

In order to follow our joy, we must trust our intuition and trust ourselves and Life Itself that we are at the right place at the right time. When we follow our joy, we will find ourselves on the path of the heart, which is the higher path.

Download Love, Harmony, and Peace

We all have stressful moments, angry moments, tense moments. Even the Dalai Lama when asked, "Do you ever get angry?" replied, "Angry..." with a big smile on his face. "Oh yes. I get so angry." 

The emotion or emotions themselves are not the problem. The problem is what we do with them, or how long we hang on to them. Someone summed up the message they got from that conversation with the Dalai Lama as "getting angry on the inhale, and letting it go on the exhale". In other words, shorten the amount of time you stay angry, or stressed, or whatever emotion is taking up the whole space in your being.

One good time to work with this is in quiet moments or meditation where you can practice feeling the emotion and letting it go on one breath cycle, and then downloading love, harmony and peace on the next. Repeat until successful and/or until it becomes second nature. Is it easy? Not always, but you can still have good results while practicing! 

A Tree in Winter

A hardwood tree in winter appears dead. There is no sign of life... no leaves, no buds, nothing that is vibrant to the eye. Yet inside the tree the process of life continues as it rests and prepares for the next cycle of Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

It is the same with we humans. You may look at someone (or at yourself) and think they are hopeless, they will never change, never grow, yet you don't know what is going on inside of them. All sorts of transformations and changes are continually taking place, sometimes unbeknownst even to the person themselves.

We must not give up on others, or on ourselves. Change is continuous, and we are all, at some point, like trees in winter or as the seed of a greater potential. Transformation is on the way, and actually, already happening, whether we see it or not. 

Be patient. Trust Life and Love, no matter what you see -- or don't see -- in front of you, or inside of you.

This article was inspired from:

The Life Navigator Deck
by Jane Delaford Taylor and Manoj Vijayan.

cover art: The Life Navigator Deck byby Jane Delaford Taylor and Manoj Vijayan.Whether we are navigating tumultuous eddies or paddling in still water, this set of inspirational cards offers guidance and new perspectives for our day. The cards focus on empowering us, encouraging us to trust in our own innate abilities to handle life in a truly positive, creative and dynamic way. 

The pack can be dipped into for instant inspiration as each card contains one idea with the text beautifully supported by well-chosen artwork. 

Info/Order this card deck.

More Inspirational Card Decks 

About The Author

Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.

Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com