Monday, December 14, 2009

New Features

There is a new feature I've added to the blog.  It is a Community Gratitude List in which we can all share the things that we are grateful for and experience what a difference gratitude can make in your life.
Please click here to add to the list.....




Continue reading below for December's post....
Thank you!
Penelope

It's a Wonderful Life.... Happy Holidays

Quote of the month:

Strange, isn't it?
Each man's life
touches so many other lives.
When he isn't around
he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?
-Clarence, Angel, 2nd class

I just finished watching my favorite movie.... not just my favorite Christmas movie, but my favorite movie! It's a Wonderful Life.

If there is anyone who is not familiar with it, it is a classic movie in which George Bailey, played by Jimmy Stewart decides everyone would be better off if he had never been born. Clarence the angel, in an attempt to save George's life, gives him the opportunity to see what it would have been like had he never been born. Suffice it to say that George realizes he has touched far more lives than he could have ever imagined and begs to live again. Seeing how many lives he has touched, and the difference he has made to his town... not to mention helping Clarence earn his wings, George realizes that, despite his problems, he really has "a wonderful life."

Though I've over simplified this classic movie, the idea I'd like to leave you with was recently stated in a Daily OM newsletter.... Everything you do matters! What follows is a reprint of that newsletter....

It is easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone’s life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples moves onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of positivity.

Just as Clarence says, each man and woman's life really does touch so many others. Do not underestimate your influence on the world! It really is A Wonderful Life!
If you have a few minutes... there is a clip in the post below of the ending of my favorite movie! Enjoy!
I wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday and a safe and peaceful New Year!Penelope

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude - Happy Thanksgiving

What Are You Grateful For?
(Portions borrowed from Threads of Intention)


It seems like we are skipping over Thanksgiving a bit this year with all the ads for Christmas already. I'd like to take a moment to focus on Thanksgiving and gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most powerful catalysts to a joyful life! It is important to take the time to reflect on the wonderful things that are present in your life.

I invite you to pause for a moment...yes, right now and just think about something you are grateful for. Go ahead, take a moment.... it's Thanksgiving! I'll wait.

Notice how you feel when you focus on something you are grateful for. Bring your attention to your heart and recognize the feeling of love and joy that fills your heart. Doesn't it feel GREAT! Savor that feeling and know that you have the ability to take yourself there any time you choose!

I am grateful for many things, but I'll list here that I am grateful that I sometimes get to spend time by the Gulf of Mexico! Scroll down to the next post for 1 minute of waves for you to enjoy or meditate to...... make sure your sound is on!



To add to our Community Gratitude List.... click here.

To continue reading the next post, It's a Wonderful Life, click here.....

Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Penelope

A Minute in the Waves

A minute in the waves at sunset....
Gulf of Mexico, FL
(make sure your sound is on!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

How to make a Watch Disappear!

Quote of the month:
The mind craves for formulations and definitions,
always eager to squeeze reality into a verbal shape.
- Nisargadatta Maharaj


By the end of this post….. I will make a watch disappear! You will, then, also be able to make a watch disappear, if you want to! I must give credit to Tim Freke, author of "How Long is Now?" He is the one who taught me!


First, let’s review just a bit. In August, we talked about the voice and the ego. We talked about how we learned English, but that of course is because we were born in the US….. and had we been born in China, we would have learned Chinese. This is how the voice started, how it is formed...but it then continues by each experience life brings our way, be it in school, our family, the media, church.... or our interactions with others. In our struggle to make sense of the world, our brain categorizes…. our ego makes judgments about what is good and bad, and assumptions about why things are the way they are and why things happen.


This is necessary to function in our world. Look at the picture of the month down two post below, taken on a summer day, this past June, in Times Square, New York City. Notice how many people, shops, lights, etc. When one is walking through Times Square, it isn’t really possible to go into each store or shop in a day or eat at each restaurant. It isn’t possible to stop and say, “Hello” to each person you pass. I recall a study from my Sociology days in college that found people on a crowded city street do not even make eye contact with each other. It is just too much input for us to process! Our brains must categorize and make assumptions in order for us to function. When we left Times Square and walked on the other regular streets in New York City, it almost felt like a relief. Those streets were still busy…. but not AS busy. Still on those streets, we did not make eye contact or greet the people we passed by.


In our efforts to function in the world, we have to make assumptions and judgments. In doing this everything becomes a concept - an idea - something conceived in the mind. This is something that is basically made up that we have all agreed on together. When we see other living beings that look somewhat similar to us, we have all agreed that we will call them “people,” (unless you are in Spain and then you call them “gente” or in China…. “da zhong,” etc….) I knew that “people” were passing by me on the street, but I did not know that Joe Smith or Nancy Brown passed by. I might have noticed a color of someone’s clothing as I passed by but I did not notice if I saw a pair of Hollister jeans. I saw “people” wearing “clothing” and passing by “shops.” Aside from someone who might have a photographic memory, this may be a somewhat similar experience for many of us.
Here is another example, I heard that “Staycation” was recently added to the dictionary. Who had heard of a “staycation” five years ago? We have all agreed that a vacation spent at home or nearby will now be called a “staycation.” Maybe it is simpler to see with this newer concept and how it is basically something we made up!


So, what does this have to do with the watch? Maybe you can guess by now what I am going say. “Watch” is a concept. Most of us know what a watch is and some of you may be wearing one right now. More and more, people depend on their cell phones for time, but I think most of us have grown up knowing what a “watch” is. If I say I am wearing a wrist “watch,” all of you will know what I mean.


So picture me taking off my watch and holding it up in the air. Then I declare, “I am going to make this watch disappear.” Then as Tim Freke explains, “Actually, I’m going to show you how to make the watch disappear using no more than the power of your imagination.”
Can you see the watch in your mind’s eye?


Ok, now I want you to take a moment and imagine that you don’t come from this culture. Imagine that you have been born in the deepest jungles of Borneo and don’t know anything about Western civilization. Then you inexplicably find yourself here with me holding something up in front of you.


What do you see now? Do you see a watch? Probably not.


You only see a watch when you have the concept of “watch.” If you came from the jungles of Borneo, you’d see whatever you could conceptualize. You might see “leather” or “bracelet” or “round metal object,” but you wouldn’t see a “watch.”


We are conscious of what we can conceptualize. If you look around you now, as I am, you will see that you have a concept for everything. I can see “computer”…… “keyboard”…… ”mouse”……. ”cat”……… ”paper”……. Is it like that for you too?


We experience this moment through a filter of concepts. We’re living in our ideas. We’re telling ourselves a story, all of the time, about who we are and what life is…. Sometimes we become so engrossed with our stories that we’ve lost the plot. [For further reading on this topic, please see "How Long is Now?" By Tim Freke]


What I want to suggest in this post that much, if not all, of what the ego/voice is telling you is basically made up. Much of this is necessary to function in every day life, but this also can prevent us from truly living fully. I would further suggest that you try to take off the ego/voice glasses and see the world through unfiltered eyes. Tim suggests stepping out of the conceptual mind and entering into a state of "not knowing."


You have probably heard the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This applies, but I am suggesting that we try to take it a bit further than books. Think about all the judgments and assumptions you make every day. Think about people you see at work or in a store. Some you don’t know at all others you know a little. Do you make assumptions about their lives? What they do when they aren’t at work? Or who they might be spending their time with? Or if they might be taking a staycation?


It really goes much further than this…. The way we then interact with those people is based on our assumptions. We are not really interacting with them so much as interacting with our idea about who they are. And guess what…. They are interacting with their idea of who you are too. Do the two of you ever really meet?


The ego, the judgments, the voice, the assumptions won’t really go away. Elizabeth Lesser says that the ego is a part of us. It’s like having an arm. It is part of being a human being. What I want to suggest here is that hanging out in the observer mode (see blog post from September 2009) allows us to notice when we may be making some of these judgments and realize that there is a lot of made up “stuff” out there. If we can first recognize it, it gives us the choice if we want to go along with it, or get to know Nancy Brown for real.
I’d like to suggest that it puts the wonder, the magic, the flavor and the mystery back into life. Try it for yourself and see what you think! See if you can make your own watch disappear!


To continue reading the next post, Gratitude, click here.....


I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. I also would like this to be a place where you can share your thoughts about what has worked or not worked for you. Feel free to do so by clicking the “comments” link below, at the end of each post. If you prefer, you may also send comments to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com


Until next month….
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Whole and Complete, Just the Way You Are!


Quote of the month:
Whole and Complete
Just the way you are!
- Billy Joel, (with a little editorial license...)

Look around you right now - what do you see? I see stacks of laundry that 1) need to be washed, 2) need to be folded or 3) need to be put away. I could go on, but I am sure you can see your own “to-do” list in front of you. The things on this “to do” list will get done….

Come in a little closer. Put your awareness closer in to where you are. What do you feel? I feel heat coming in through the vent. What this Florida girl is doing in Minnesota is still a mystery to me (paraphrasing a line from another singer, Jimmy Buffet!) Anyway, maybe you feel something different - a fan blowing, a dog laying at your feet, the chair under you, the mouse or keyboard under your hands…..

Come in a little bit closer. What do you sense? Feel what your body is telling you. Are you hungry? Cold? Hot? Comfortable?

Can you come in any closer? Is there really ANYTHING you need in this moment? Right here, right now….

Right about now, I can hear a few of you saying, “Sure I need one thousand dollars…. Or one hundred thousand dollars…. Or one million dollars….. Right now!”

Really? Do you really need it right here and right now? How would that change or add to WHO you are in this very moment? The very first thing it would do, is add 3 or 4 things to your “to-do” list!

Maybe you are saying, “I need a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a husband or wife.”

Really? Right here? Right now? (I can tell you FOR SURE, that will add to your “to-do” list!) : )

It might be a “want,” to share your life with someone special, and that is fine, but in this moment, right here, right now, you do not NEED another person to complete you, add to who you are, change or improve you in any way.

Maybe you need to exercise, eat or shower. These are all fine things to do to care for your body, but in this particular moment RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, even that you do not need to do.

Maybe your health is not what you would like it to be. Let’s all take one full deep breath - can you feel your lungs expand? Can you feel your chest and belly rise and fall? Can you find your pulse somewhere on your body and feel the blood flow through your veins as your heart beats? Just feel it for a moment as you take another breath. Can you feel that you are alive? Right here, right now.

Truly is there anything missing from THIS moment? Right here, right now?

If you have read this far, my suggestion would be to take a few additional minutes to sit in this stillness we have created together. Your mind, your ego, your internal voice, will start up soon enough. Even if you only glimpse it from reading this post, if you can sense the stillness, the peace, the sacred internal space, or consciousness, allow yourself a moment or two to memorize this place. Carry this peace and stillness into the world with you as much as possible and return to the memory when you need to…. Or to this post to re-energize!

To continue reading the next post on How to make a Watch Disappear....click here....

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. I also would like this to be a place where you can share your thoughts about what has worked or not worked for you. Feel free to do so by clicking the “comments” link at the end of each post. If you prefer, you may also send comments to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived along with other useful information at Simply Spirituality .

Until next month….
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!

Penelope

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Observer

It feels right for me to preface this month’s post with a reminder about why I am writing this blog. These posts are a summary of things that have worked for me. I share them with the intention that it may in some way be helpful to you on your own path. If you find what I write resonates with you, I would encourage you to experiment with it in your own life. If it does not, that is ok too! We are all finding our own way on our own paths.
*********************************************************************************************************
 The Observer
Quote of the month:
When you are present in this moment,
you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.
Then true intelligence arises and also Love.
- Eckhart Tolle

As you begin reading this post this month, take just a moment….. take a breath…. and another….. look around your room. What do you see? I see a cat sleeping with his nose tucked lazily under his paw. Listen to what you hear. I am hearing crickets right now and some work men across the street. Feel the chair under you. Try to bring your attention fully to where you are right now. Not to what you have to do at work later, not something the kids said earlier, not your to-do list waiting for you when you finish reading this post….. Just simply here…. now! Let’s start from here!


The focus of last month‘s post was “the voice.“ This is term I am using to describe the mental dialogue that goes on inside of our heads, nearly all of the time. I am curious if some of you have had a greater awareness of the voice in the last month? Over the last year or so, the focus of this blog has been centered on ways to “manage” this voice. This is useful and can allow one to live a more peaceful existence, especially in those times that one cannot quiet the voice. August and September’s posts are taking a little bit different slant and suggesting that there is another way around the voice.

If you would like to try making this post experiential - as you are reading, try shifting your awareness as you are reading - from the voice to what I am calling “the observer.” Making this shift requires that you are present in the moment as the quote above suggests. You cannot be thinking about what happened at work yesterday or what you are having for dinner later tonight. You must be right here, right now. You can also experiment with this in your daily life. Life will get one caught up in the voice quickly again, so then try to make the switch again… and again.

What I want to suggest in this post is to begin to think of yourself as the OBSERVER of the voice. Yes, the voice is inside your head, in your mind, or a part of the ego or personality…. But since you can also hear the voice, consider the possibility that you can just observe it. You do not have to believe, follow or get caught up in everything it says. You can be aware that the voice is there and you then choose where to focus your attention.

Let’s try an experiment that I do with my boys. When they are upset about or scared of something, I tell them that I am going to make them think about a purple elephant. They of course roll their eyes (more and more often as the teen years approach!) but generally play along anyway… so here we go! So think about a purple elephant…. Can you see it? Now put a hat on his head. You can choose any hat you like. A sombrero, or a top hat, it’s up to you. Any color you like. There will not be any quizzes at the end of the post, so do not worry too much about the details.  Just have FUN with the exercise!  Next, picture a clown riding on his back. Can you see it? Now, let’s make the elephant walking on the beach…. and some big waves rolling in. There is a surfer riding the waves and he comes over to say hello to the elephant. He introduces himself and says his name (you make up a name for Mr. Surfer!) Mr. Surfer also says that he really likes the shade of purple you chose for your elephant….. can you picture the whole scene? Observe the scene. Could you tell me about it? In detail? I am wondering what shade of purple you chose? Deep dark purple? Lavender? Violet? Periwinkle? What name did you chose for your surfer? Observe the scene for a moment more.

Can you feel yourself as the “observer” of the scene? See the scene in a part of your mind and picture yourself observing the scene. Try to sense where that observer part of you lies. Words are a bit misleading here… but since we need a way to talk about it, I’ll do the best I can within the limits of language. There really are not 2 of you and there really are not 2 “places” in you…. but it can be useful to talk about it in this way.

Is any of the scene real? Of course it’s not real. We made the whole thing up together. We did this by focusing your attention on it. Think of the scene as “the voice” and the attention to the scene as “the observer.”

I am NOT saying that real things have not happened to you or that those things shouldn't be a part of your voice. It is very helpful to only have to learn once, “Do not touch the hot stove” and then let that be part of your future internal voice, so you do not have to learn this more than one time. Can you take a moment to hear what your own voice may be saying right now…..? Is it calling me nutty yet? Is it telling you that you should be folding the laundry? Can you sense yourself as the “observer” of that voice? Can you try to shift your awareness to that part of you that is the observer?

Let’s try another example…
Pretend you are watching a movie in a theater. Let’s make it one of the Star War series, just for fun! Have you ever had the experience of being so caught up in the movie for a few minutes… or maybe longer, that you lose awareness of everything else? For a moment or two you become Luke Skywalker….. you have your blue light saber in your hand… you can hear its hum and you can feel the force is with you! Darth Vader, red light saber in hand, is in front of you! The battle is raging….. you hear the louder clashing of the light sabers and feel the sparks flying around you. Darth Vader then severs your hand with his light saber and is persuading you to cross over to the dark side. “Never!” you yell! Just as Darth Vader is about to say, “Luke, I am your……..”

Suddenly the film in the projector breaks…. bright lights flash across the screen, the sound is haywire! Abruptly, you are jolted back into the reality of sitting in the seat, being in the movie theater…. with someone crunching popcorn a few seats away. What just happened?

The movie is an analogy for how we can also lose ourselves in “the voice.” You may have even become lost in it for just a moment as you read. Then when you suddenly became aware that is was indeed a movie, through the flashes of light and haywire sound, you shifted out of being Luke Skywalker and into “the observer“ of the movie.... and the observer of the description of the movie in this post. Can you sense that "observer" part of you again? This example is far more jarring than it need be. It is simply set it up that way to make the distinction a bit clearer between the voice and the observer.

Another note of clarification, a few months ago I wrote about the voice of intuition. In that post I mentioned that there are lots of different “voices” we hear and they can sometimes be difficult to distinguish. Actually quieting “the voice” of your ego or personality will allow the voice of intuition to be heard more clearly.

For the past year, I’ve mainly been writing about “managing” this voice. This is useful and can allow one to live a more peaceful existence for those times that one cannot make the shift into the observer position. By making the shift, and setting aside the voice of your ego, it can help to stop creating negativity, suffering or unwanted consequences in your life. You are the observer of the voice. You can choose, if you want, to believe what it is telling you OR consider that it just might be making up a purple elephant! Further, you can just observe it without any judgment at all!
To continue reading next month's post on Whole and Complete.... click here!
I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. I also would like this to be a place where you can share your thoughts about what has worked or not worked for you. Feel free to do so by clicking the “comments” link, below, at the end of each post. If you prefer, you may also send comments to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived along with other useful information at
Simply Spirituality .

Until next month….
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

September Photo of the Month

Observing......

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Voice

Quote of the month:
And the peace… passeth all understanding.
-Philippians 4:7


Imagine you are a man at a party…. and a very attractive woman approaches you and begins talking. Inside, your mind is racing…. “What was her name?!?! Marge? Margaret? No! NO! That‘s not it! Why can‘t I remember? Marie? Maria? NO! I met her at Whole Foods and here she is again! Looking better than ever! What an idiot I am!” The woman continues to talk, but you are only catching half of what she is saying because you are locked in the fear of not remembering her name! Finally, she mentions someone you both know and POP…. you remember! “Marcella! MARCELLA! Whew! Thank goodness I remember before she figured out how foolish I am!”

In the above paragraph, who is it that is doing all that talking? The voice you hear in your head? Who is it? You would probably say, “Me!” Well, then, I have another question….. who is it, that is doing the listening? Would you say “Me” again?

Have you ever noticed this mental dialogue, the voice in your head, that is going on nearly all the time? Here is another example....

It’s 3 AM…. “I have to remember to buy toothpaste. I can’t sleep! I should try a new toothpaste. I don’t like the one I have now. The dry cleaning should be ready. When I go to the store tomorrow for the toothpaste, I’ll have to get the dry cleaning too. Why can’t I sleep? It’s supposed to rain tomorrow….. We need some rain, so guess that is a good thing……. Hope it‘s not raining when I go out tomorrow for the toothpaste…. and the dry cleaning…..”

Is that you too? Is it you that is talking? What about listening? Are you also the one that is listening? If that is so, then why are you keeping yourself awake at 3 AM? And why won’t that voice just be quiet?

Right now if you are telling yourself, “She’s crazy! I don’t have a voice in my head!” That IS the voice I am talking about, says Michael Singer, in The Untethered Soul. He suggests to try making it say, “Hello!” right now. Can you hear it? “Hello! Hello!” Can you make it say, “Hello!” louder? “HELLO! HELLO!” How about making it whisper? “hello”…. can you “hear” it differently inside your head?

The simple suggestion I am making this month is to become aware that there is a voice talking in your head almost all the time. I have previously referred to the voice, in a slightly different way, as your “mental tape, CD or I-pod.” Singer uses the analogy of having a roommate with you all of the time. Eckhart Tolle describes it as having an inner tour guide, with you. ALL of the time. This tour guide there 24/7. It is narrating life, for you, as it goes by. In either case, if it were a real person, how long do you think you could stand to have them around? Especially at 3 AM!

What I want to suggest in this post is to begin to think of yourself as the OBSERVER of the voice. Yes, the voice is inside your head, in your mind, or a part of the ego or personality…. But since you can also hear the voice, consider the possibility that you can just observe it. You do not have to believe or follow everything it says. Singer suggests the following analogy. Suppose you are looking at three things….. Let’s say a book, a plate and a computer screen. He asks, “Which of those is you?” You would say, “None of them, I am looking at them.” He suggests this is how to see the voice as well. Look at it, but don’t necessarily believe it is all of who you really are.

Where did the voice come from? Let’s start from when you were little. The first people who helped create the voice were your parents, family, close friends. They tell you your name, where you live and teach you to speak English, unless of course you live in China, and then you learn Chinese, or in India, Hindi.

You may go to church and learn about God….. or Allah… As you grow up you go to school and learn how to count and read and write. You also learn things that are important in your culture. The culture contributes to the voice as well… think about what types of things you learned growing up in the culture of the United States.

If you had grown up in Egypt, you would have learned that you always use your right hand to eat, and you always leave some food on your plate.

But, if you grew up in Germany, you would have learned that it is considered polite to finish everything on your plate.

If in Columbia, you would have learned that it is polite to try everything you are given at a meal.

In Senegal, you would have learned that you do not begin eating until the eldest male does.

So if you are a German visiting Egypt, your voice might say something about how rude they are to leave food on their plates. Or an American woman visiting Senegal, your voice may question why everyone is looking at you strangely, when you start eating first.

The role and influence of the media could be an entire post in itself….. Suffice it to say that it plays a large role in how we view things in this country…. What we like, dislike, value, talk about, want to know about…. Who is dating who or if Jon and Kate will get a divorce or not.

I am not saying any of this is “bad”…. I am simply suggesting that the voice you have in your own head is largely shaped by where you were born, if you were born a boy or a girl, who raised you, if you are white or African American, Christian or Muslim, the education you received, if you were raised in the United States of America, South Africa, Europe or South America….. the schools you went to, your religious background, what you watch on TV, read in magazines and listen to on the radio…… and that the voice in your head may very well be quite different from the voice in my head!

My suggestion is that you do have the ability to simply be the observer of the voice… and moreover you do NOT have to believe EVERYTHING the voice says. You can just be aware that the voice is there….be aware where it may have come from…. and then choose if you want to listen to it or not!

To take it just a step further... and maybe we will explore this further in a later post, I’d like to suggest that in the observer position is where peace lies. Some may call this the experience of God, or Jesus or your soul… scientists may say it is a chemical reaction in our complex brains that allows us to sense peace. I will not attempt to answer that… and will leave it to you to decide for yourselves. What is true for me, is that PEACE is a good place to be!

To continue reading next month's post on The Observer, click here.

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. You may comment at the bottom at the blog where it says "comments" or if you prefer, send them to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived on my blog along with other useful information at: Simply Spirituality or http://simplyspirituality.blogspot.com/

Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

Photo of the month:
High falls, Grand Portage, MN, August 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Taking Stock/Mindfulness

Quote of the Month:
Your entire life journey ultimately consists

of the step you are taking at this moment.
There is always only this one step,
and so you give it your fullest attention.
-Eckhart Tolle


It is hard for me to believe this post is the 12th month of the blog! When I began, I thought there would be 6 or 7 and now, almost a year later, I feel as though I've scarcely scratched the surface. As you read this month's post, think about where you were a year ago, what has changed since then and where you might like to go in the next year. Are there things you have changed in the past year..... or are there things you have wanted to do or change that you have not done in the last year? The earth will continue around the sun for another 365 days either way.... to paraphrase a friend of mine! It is up to you what you do with those days in between now and then to make the changes you want to see in your life.

I thought it might be appropriate for me to end this year coming full circle to where we began. The first post was on meditation, but I want to put a little twist on it now and introduce mindfulness.

Mindfulness simply means that we are paying attention. Paying attention to what we are doing, what we are feeling and everything that happens around us in the present moment. Often we go through life on autopilot. We act or react unconsciously or out of habit. This does not allow us to choose our response to a given situation. With practice we can begin to take more control and switch off the autopilot, learning to be fully aware of our sensations, thoughts, emotions and responses.

Do not set a goal to be mindful ALL the time, just to be there as often as you remember to. NO ONE [except possibly those who live in the mountains at a monastery] is mindful ALL of the time. Most of us are doing well, if we remember to be mindful for a few seconds, 2 or 3 times a day! Sometimes, I go whole days without remembering... so the idea here is to challenge yourself to do it as often as possible while at the same time being gentle with yourself!

One can think of mindfulness in the example of a tightrope walker. When walking on a high wire, one's attention can be no where else. The walker's full attention is on the step they are taking at that moment, the placement of the foot and where the weight is placed in the foot. I had a similar experience last winter walking down steep snow covered steps. It was of utmost importance to be aware of each step and where I placed my foot, so that I would not fall. Walking these steps daily for a number of weeks last winter helped raise my own mindfulness which has carried over into every day life.

There are a number of simple ways one can practice mindfulness in dialy life. A recent posting on Oprah's web site listed a number of suggestions for increasing mindfulness. A few of those are listed below....

Breath - When you wake up in the morning before getting out of bed, notice your breathing. Take a few deep, comfortable breaths.

Motions - Be aware of how your body feels as you move from lying down to sitting up, standing and walking.

Eating - Pay attention as you eat. Chew slowly and completely, and notice the textures and flavors of your food.

Listen - When talking to another person, take a moment just to listen, appreciating the person's experience of the world, though it may be different from your own. Try not to begin formulating your own repsonse until they have finished speaking.

Walking - Practice mindful walking, consciously placing your attention on each foot as it connects with and leaves the ground. (As I did on the snowy steps!)

Standing - When standing in line or waiting, use the time to feel your feet on the ground and notice how you are holding yourself.

I'll add - Completing Chores - doing repetitive chores with awareness rather than rushing through them to get finished. I have a friend who loves to wash dishes and another that folds laundry more peacefully than anyone I've every seen!

Once, while cleaning green beans [with my laundry folding friend] we seemed especially in the moment and enjoyed the actual process of cleaning the green beans together. This reminds me of how families came together in the past and prepared food together. This is something our fast-paced society misses out on in the drive through world of today. My suggestion this month is to do as Eckhart Tolle suggests in the quote above and give your full attention to the step you are taking at this moment, no matter what that step is.

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. You may comment at the bottom at the blog where it says "comments" or if you prefer, send them to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived on my blog along with other useful information at: Simply Spirituality or http://simplyspirituality.blogspot.com/

To continue reading next month's post on The Voice.... click here.

Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

Photo of the month:

This one step.... Florida, May 2001

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wilderness of Intuition

Quote of the month:
You have to leave the city of your comfort
and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you'll discover will be wonderful.
What you'll discover is yourself.

-Alan Alda

In the quote above, Alan Alda is using the city as an analogy for our comfort zone. Most of us start in the city .... the city in this picture is Miami, in October of 1999, though it looks a little bit different today, with many more tall buildings. In the analogy, the city is safe and comfortable. We know the city. We know where the roads lead and we know where to go shopping for groceries, clothing, sofas or whatever we may need. Alan Alda is posing the challenge to us, at least metaphorically, to leave that comfort zone and enter into the wilderness! An area that we do not know and that may not feel as comfortable. The wonderful reward, he says, will be yourself! That sounds like it just might be a journey worth taking.... so go get your hiking boots, grab your walking sticks and meet me at the edge of the forest!

Have you ever had a feeling in the pit of your stomach? It was telling you not to do something... and maybe you did it anyway? Or maybe you didn't do it. Intuition can come in different ways for different people. Sometimes it comes as a feeling or sensation and sometimes you may hear a voice in your head. Now before you think I might be a little bit nuts talking about voices in your head, I want to clarify that intuition is always peaceful and not fearful. It will not guide one to do anything dangerous or unloving, though it may challenge you to do something you do not really feel like doing... and often it might not always make sense at the moment. Often in hind sight, the broader picture comes together.

The voice of intuition can be difficult to distinguish at first from the other voices that may be mixed in there... like the voice of society, telling you what is "right" or "wrong" for example; or the media, telling you what you should wear or what type of shampoo you should use.
You may hear the voice of parent that might still ring in our ears, telling you that "our family does not associate with 'those types' of people" or "....eat meat on Friday!" (Oh, wait, that's religion... that is another voice in there too!) The voice of your culture is also in there.... it tells you how you are alike and different from....or better than or not as good as other cultures, heritages or nationalities. You may even hear the voice of a spouse who expects that dinner will be made in a certain way, the house cleaned in a particular way or that you will earn a certain amount of money..... and of course the voice of the ego or personality is mixed in there, telling you that "they" are not going to approve of how you handled a particular situation, that you are not good enough, not attractive enough, or just plain not enough.....

The voice of "fear" often is difficult to distinguish from intuition but I'll restate here that in my experience, intuition is not fearful. It is calm, yet energizing and peaceful and does not create anxiety. I am not labeling any of these voices as "bad." In fact, we have to make so many decisions every day that in some ways these are helpful. The voice of fear may keep you from doing something dangerous. The societal voice might keep us from doing things that would hurt others, and the media helps to inform us of what products may be available to meet our needs, but adding intuition to the mix helps us to make better choices when faced with those decisions.

So a first step on the journey into the wilderness is to learn to distinguish those voices from one another. [This could be a whole blog post in itself, so consider this an introduction.] To do so, try asking yourself where a particular belief came from? Where did you hear that said before? In the news? At church? Why do you use a particular brand of laundry detergent? Your mother did? The media said it was "best"? Why are you registered Republican? Your parents are? Why do you keep a towel over the toaster? (Oh wait, that's me! And because my family has always done it that way!) With a little bit of practice, it will begin to become more clear to you... and..... meditation helps! ; )

Here are some suggestions to get started with intuition.... try to think of it as "playing" or having fun and don't take any of it too seriously!

  • To experiment with intuition, try "playing" with things that don't really matter. In the store, ask, should I buy apples or oranges? Should I buy this apple or that apple? See how each "feels." Try buying the one that feels right.
  • I often play with intuition with my boys... guessing which elevator will open first or who might be on the phone (no checking caller ID!)
  • Ask your intuition things like what you should eat, where you should walk, or what exercise your body needs. See what feels right.
  • When driving, if there are 2 ways to go that will get you where you are going.... ask should I go left or right? Take the long way or the short way? Sometimes the answer may be that it doesn't matter, but if you set your intention to pay attention to your intuition, I believe you will get more information than you think you will.
Also try to notice if following intuition led to something unexpected. Something that you could not have otherwise have known. Say for example, intuition says to take the long way home, and although it doesn't seem to otherwise make sense, you later find out there was a traffic jam or accident on the shorter route. [See below for some of my own examples.]

Maybe some of you do this already in way you do not realize. Often people use intuition at work and don't realize it. Maybe you seem to have a 6th sense for how to handle a particular situation at your work, when to sell a stock, how to take a photograph, how to teach a particular subject, say something the way someone needs to hear it, when to buy a property, how to make a product or where to set a price. I have a friend who is a veterinarian and has been able to diagnose my cat over the phone...without even seeing him, on more than one occasion.

Just to clarify, I am not saying that intuition has to be like holding your hands over the animal and suddenly knowing what is wrong.... I mean it in a much less "out there" kind of way..... Like helping you find the missing piece to the puzzle or helping you put all the pieces together in a way that makes sense. Intuition can be in service to the intellect and the brain. Some might say intuition is the voice of God, some might say it is our higher self, or an energy that comes from inside of us like a "gut" feeling or your conscious.

Albert Einstein is quoted as describing it this way..... "The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you."

I, honestly, do not know where it comes from, but I do know that when I can hear it and I listen to it, it always steers me in the right direction. That being said, I don't often share these types of things publicly, but maybe it will help to hear a few of my own personal experiences with intuition.

  • Once I was driving down I-95 in the city of Miami. I was behind a pick up truck when I specifically heard my intuition tell me, "Get out from behind the truck." I had no idea why and it did not seem to make sense, but I did decide to follow it and change lanes. Not more than a few seconds later, a large box came falling off the back of the truck and into the road behind it, right where I had been.
  • Often the things I "hear" are much less important, but end up saving me time or effort in the long run. Maybe to buy 2 of something when I think that I only need one or to bring something along in the car that I don't logically think I would need only to later realize why that was a good idea. (This is a small example, but it ended up saving us a lot of time and money. Once I was headed out the door and I heard intuition say to bring my son's reading list along. I didn't know why, but later I ended up at a store we don't often go to and the library was right beside it. I ended up finding several of the books he needed in one stop and without having to buy them!)
  • Another time, I was nearly asleep in bed. I sat up suddenly and heard, "Go check the garage door." It was late at night, I was tired, almost asleep... it didn't make any sense to me, but I did it anyway. When I got to the garage, the garage door was up. I had no other knowledge of the door being open, I hadn't opened it, but listening kept us safer that night than we would have otherwise been.
  • Another example, when my first son was small, I was putting him into his car seat. I got the feeling I needed to check the seat first. There was a large needle in the seat. To this day I have no idea how it got there or where it came from.
Listening in each of these cases, though they may not have made sense at the time, either kept us safe or made life go more smoothly than it otherwise would have.

I want to also share something I heard recently. When Bea Arthur of Golden Girls and Maude passed away recently, co-star, Rue McClanahan was interviewed about her friend. She described Bea as someone who made her go "out on a limb." She followed it up with "Bea was already way out there on the limb." I believe it is the ability to hear, trust and follow one's intuition that enables one to go "out on a limb," to do what others may not and in this case to help one be more successful and true to who one really is. Just as Alan Alda says above, "What you'll discover is yourself!" Bea Arthur did and both she and the public reaped the rewards of her efforts!

An important part of intuition is having that courage to follow through on what it is saying. Often the ego jumps in there and talks you out of it.... telling you are crazy listening to that voice in your head! ; ) Really, most of what I write here on the blog comes from listening, trusting and following through on my own intuition. I simply suggest try stepping into your own wilderness .... and see what happens!

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. You may comment at the bottom at the blog where it says "comments" or if you prefer, send them to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived on my blog along with other useful information at: Simply Spirituality or http://simplyspirituality.blogspot.com/

To continue reading next month's post on Taking Stock/Mindfulness.... click here.


Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

Photo of the month
The Wilderness, Smokey Mtns., NC, December 1995

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Feeling Fear: Turn the Lions into House Cats!

Quote of the month:
The only thing we have to fear...
is fear itself.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

In March, we used the idea of lions and tigers and bears.... [Oh my!] to describe our fears. Now let's talk about what to do with that fear. The truth is, most of us don't like to experience fear. When faced with the possibility of actually feeling fear, most of us have elaborate methods we use in order NOT to feel it!

Why?

As FDR stated in the quote above.... we are afraid of fear. The nebulous fear that we have is that if we allow fear to surface, we will not be able to handle it.

Honestly, this is the most difficult post I've attempted to write so far.... because the truth is, this topic is not that easy to make "simple." Yes, I am suggesting that we expend a lot of energy NOT actually feeling the fears we began uncovering in the Why Process (December 2008) and further looked into in the post on fear (March 2009). Now I am now suggesting that we do try to feel them! So, before you aim your mouse for that "X" on the top corner of the page to close this out, give me a few more lines..... or paragraphs, to explain why this might actually be a good idea.

The primary reason this is a good idea is that by feeling the fear, it is released.... gone! Over! Most of us, myself included, often resist feeling, which actually holds the energy of that feeling inside. Initially, this can make one feel tired, achy, uncomfortable, overwhelmed. Over time, I strongly believe that emotions that are not felt, can lead to more serious illness. This is NOT to say that it's not real or it's all in our heads, but rather what is in our heads can affect what is going on in our bodies. Our heads are connected to our bodies by more than our necks! There is an intricate system linking our brains and our bodies, wherein each thought we have releases various chemicals into our bodies. There are many people who can speak on this subject with much more detail than I can... but even with this simple bit of knowledge, it makes sense that what we think, what we feel AND what we think about what we feel : ) can influence the body physically.

To cut to the chase.... the most simple way is just to do it.... just allow oneself to fully feel it... and then - the feeling is gone.....and you will probably wonder why you waited so long! Most of us do not do that...... myself included!!!!!!! Most of us resist feeling!

You've probably heard the saying, what you resist, persists.... As long as you resist, the feeling is going to stick around and try to makes itself known. So let me give you some techniques.

There was an old Blue's Clues (cartoon) episode on frustration when my son was little.
The advice they gave was to:

1- STOP,
2 - breath and
3 - think.


You know how I like to keep it simple. This really is great advice... but let's expand on it just a bit!

The basic keys to feeling fear.... or any other emotion are:
(Note: Each of these could probably be it's own post, so consider this as an introduction.)


1 - STOP - interrupt whatever the habitual pattern is that we usually fall into in dealing with fear. This is to give you a gap of time between whatever it is that is triggering you and acting. [The gap is used to determine what is really going on and eventually determining the course of action, if any.]

Answer the question, how am I resisting?

There are a multitude of ways.... probably as many ways as there are people. A clue for you is if you begin to notice any type of repetitive behavior such as smoking, reaching for a drink, reaching for a piece of candy... or even more socially accepted methods such as shopping, or working too much.... or even things you may not realize..... like glazing over watching a TV show, playing a video game or going out dancing. (None of these things is "bad" in and of itself.... I am simply suggesting that if you do any of these repetitively, there may be something more there.)

The way to tell if you are using a certain behavior to resist or avoid is quite simple according to Gary Zukav. Simply refrain from doing the behavior.... and see how you feel... see what happens.... If you begin to feel uncomfortable, there is a good chance you are using that behavior to resist.

2 - Figure out what it is you are feeling. If you are not clear on what is causing your repetitive behavior (and this is quite normal!!!!) try revisiting the post on the Why Process. Get as specific as possible about the feeling... I call it, "getting under" what it seems like is on the surface and seeing what is really happening.... what you are really feeling. Another clue here is to try to move towards fear, like the teen with the scratch on his car, who appeared angry, but in reality was in fear about his social status.
Then -

3 - Remember an important point from My Stoke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. An emotion only takes 90 seconds to physically move through your body... it is like a wave with a beginning, a crest and an end. Initially it washes over you, the way a wave does, but then also recedes, the way a wave does.

So grab your surfboard ....here are my suggestions for "riding the wave".....

  • Repeat your True Colors Phrase (January 2009) to remind yourself that what you are feeling is not entirely true (this is similar to the idea I've mentioned previously of re-programming a computer, taping over an old tape or resynching the I-pod.)
Though this explanation is from a spiritual perspective, there is a scientific explanation as well. The brain has developed connections from repeated behavior. This can be likened to walking over and over on the same dirt path. After a while, a trench is formed. The trench can be more difficult to climb out of than stepping off the path earlier on... as more and more connections have now formed in the brain... but it is still quite possible to climb out of the trench. You do this by forming new connections in the brain. The True Colors Phrase is one of those new connections.
  • Try to step out of the emotion the way Gary Zukav describes stepping out of a river (the emotion) and on to a bridge above so that you can both view it and are not swept away by it. Eckhart Tolle calls this consciousness or being in the "observer" mode.  This means to try to observe the emotion rather than "becoming" it.  For additional reading on this subject, see The Voice, 8/2009 and the Observer 9/2009
I have a name for it too. I call it "sitting with it." A way to think of it is as "allowing." It has to do with just "sitting with" the feeling and allowing it to pass through you or wash over you. Not fighting it, not resisting it... AND not acting on it in the way you typically might. For 90 seconds attempt to allow it pass through your body. Watch a clock if you have to. If you must, at the end of the 90 seconds, scream into a pillow, kick your mattress or punch a punching bag! I also suggest journaling afterwards, yoga, exercising, or meditation!
It is us (the ego) who spends the remainder of the time (and our energy) resisting the feeling in all sorts of ways as described above. Anything that takes longer than 90 seconds....lets you know there is resistance of some sort going on. But don't be hard on yourself, EVERYONE resists something...most of us many things!
  • Let me add.... a final step
    BREATHE!!!!!! Part of the others but worth mentioning.
AS ALWAYS, I suggest starting with something simple....something that does not really create a great amount of fear. I am going to start with the example of someone getting in line in front of you in the "10 items or less" line with 16 items.....clearly more than they should have...

A quick why process...... maybe it is anger.... ask why does it make you angry?
It's not right?
It's not fair?
It's making you wait longer?

Why does that make you angry?
I always end up getting the short end of the stick.

Why does that upset you (vs. why it might upset me?)
It makes me feel unimportant.


A-HA! See, that is the real feeling! The fear! Outwardly, before, you might have rolled your eyes or looked at another person in line as if to say, "Can you believe this guy?" but now you know... it is really caused because you are feeling unimportant!!! (In my example, your reason may be different!)

Whatever YOUR particular reason....try just "sit with it." Use that extra time in line to actually feel the anger.... please DO NOT ACT..... just feel.... inside. No one else need know what is happening inside you.

A point I want to make very clear here is that lashing out at someone, becoming violent or abusive, yelling at someone.... these are ways people may typically think they feel their emotions. I want to clarify that these behaviors are a CHOICE one makes AFTER the feeling arises. It often happens SO rapidly that we do not feel it as separate or as a choice... but it is. I am suggesting STOPPING BEFORE that choice is made and experiencing the feeling fully. If you can do that, there will be no need to yell, etc. [I may have previously suggested mindfulness and meditation once or twice....ok maybe 6 or 8 times before..... to help with slowing this whole process down!!!!]

See if you feel something in your stomach (uneasy stomach), your chest (faster heart rate), your throat (tightening) or your face (hot, red, etc.) Breathe! This is the actual energy of the emotion moving through your body. Allow it to! Breathe! You will see that after it is finished.... IT IS GONE!

**NOTE - if this is a particularly difficult issue for you, please pick another one such as a traffic jam, a long line at the bank, someone cutting you off in traffic, bad weather....etc.... just something that is not your most difficult issue.....something little first that will pass through you much more easily and with much less resistance.]
I always suggest starting with those issues that don't "push your buttons" so to speak because this is like developing a muscle. You don't go out and run a marathon without training. This is like developing spiritual muscle. With that muscle...... you really can turn those lions and tigers....into house cats!

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. You may comment at the bottom at the blog where it says "comments" or if you prefer, send them to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived on my blog along with other useful information at: Simply Spirituality or http://simplyspirituality.blogspot.com/

To continue reading next month's post on Intuition, click here.

Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope
Picture of the month:
Puff the Housecat, FL, July 1998

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Just for this Moment!

Bonus April post! Just for this one moment....

I have an idea.... just for one moment.... STOP, pause your mental I-pod, tape or CD (whatever works for you!) .... don't even worry about what it is saying right now. Take one, full, deep, breath.... do it one more time with your eyes closed.... Be here right now..... with me!

Now, relax your shoulders, especially if you are sitting at a computer we often sit with them tensed... push them down and lengthen your neck. Next, soften your eyes a bit. Are you scrunching your face up somewhere? Maybe your forehead? Relax it a bit. Is your jaw clenched? Open it slightly.

Right now, in this moment, what do you really HAVE to do? You HAVE to breathe and your heart HAS to beat. You body and brain take care of both of those, along with a host of other things you don't have to think about, so don't worry too much about them for this moment.

Is there anything else you HAVE to do right at this exact moment? OK, you are reading... possibly sitting. Your hand may be sitting on the mouse or keyboard... or holding a page of paper, depending on how you reading this post.

You have allowed yourself 2-3 minutes to read this post. Attempt for those 2 or 3 minutes not to rush through this... [I'll make it a short one, I promise!] Try to be present in your chair, reading these words.

Is there REALLY anything else you HAVE to do right NOW?

In a while, you will HAVE to eat some food, drink some water, use the rest room..... and later sleep. Your body will let you know when each of those things is necessary... so don't worry about them for this moment either.

Take notice of what is going on around you......

Observe the area where you are sitting. Do you have pictures of your family or friends? Observe the desk or chair where you are sitting. Do you have a calendar with interesting pictures on it? A window with a view of water or trees? How often do you notice each of these things?

Do you hear anything? Music? TV? People talking? A fan, heater or air conditioner running? A dog barking? Children playing.... or in my case fighting? Even if it is loud or there are other people around, just take notice of them for a moment. Try not to judge any of it.

Do you smell anything? Is something cooking? Does the dog need a bath? ; )

What can you feel? Can you feel the chair beneath you? Are your feet on the floor? Can you feel the keys or mouse under your fingers? Have you ever noticed that before?

In this particular moment, this is really all there is "to-do"......

Later, you may have a phone call to make, work you brought home, clothes to fold, e-mail to go through, bills to pay, dinner to make, a tax return (or extension) to finish .... or a dozen or 2 other things on the to-do list, but if you have decided to continue reading this far, congratulate yourself on putting them aside and taking 2-3 minutes for yourself .... and guess what else....... doing a mini-meditation!

Notice how you are feeling.... do you feel a little bit more relaxed? Were you able to pause the mental I-pod momentarily? If you feel a bit more relaxed or enjoyed reading these few paragraphs, this post will remain here, so you can come back any time you like..... and we can do it again! Simply look in the navigation box on the top of the right column for the post, "Just for this Moment!" and take another moment for yourself!

To continue reading next month's post on Feeling Fear: Turn the Lions into House Cats! Please click here.

Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!
Penelope

Picture of the Month (Bonus!)

Sunset in Key West, FL, August 2003

Sunday, April 5, 2009

You Can't Do It Wrong

Quote of the month:
God makes his rain to fall
on the just and the unjust alike.
God makes the sun to shine

on the good as well as the evil.
-Matthew 5:45

When was the last time someone told you that you could not do something "wrong"?

Before continuing on with the conversation about fear from last month.... I want to share an idea about "doing it wrong." I've heard from a number of people over the last few months that they think they are not doing this spirituality thing "right."

Believe it or not...... you really cannot do it wrong! Gary Zukav explains this as follows.... think of any situation in your life as though there are a series of doors in front of you. Each door represents a possible choice in the given situation. Each door has a given consequence. When you choose the door you choose the consequence. In each situation, there may be an "optimal" choice. Choosing this door will produce the greatest growth, but in no case is there a "wrong" door. In fact, Gary Zukav would go so far as to say that each is "perfect." K
eep in mind that the universe does not judge, only you judge. So if you do A you get B, like in science.

It is the law of cause and effect or Newton's Third law:
Whenever a particle A exerts a force on another particle B, B simultaneously exerts a force on A with the same magnitude in the opposite direction....

or to keep it simple....

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I like to use the example of the toy called Newton's Cradle.... Do you remember it? Here is a picture of it...


Pull one ball out and drop it - it hits the others, and then one ball goes out on the opposite side. If you pull 2 out, then 2 go out on the other side...... transfer of energy .... cause and effect.... Hopefully you've seen one and understand what I am saying.

So if you are happy with the effects/consequences you are getting...keep doing what you are doing. If there is an area of your life where you are not happy, experiment with your life and try something new! You will get results that you can then decide are satisfactory....or not! Follow? It is your choice, the Universe will simply deliver the results you choose to create.

Like all other universal laws, the law of cause and effect knows no prejudice and delivers in exact proportion the same to all, regardless of belief, age, gender, origin, or religion. Just as the quote from Matthew states above.

Unlike man made law, the law of cause and effect is inescapable and delivers back to you, the results of whatever you give to the universe, which is dependent only on whatever action or inaction you choose to take/or not take.

What a relief! Whatever you do will be perfect!!!!

I would love to hear your feedback as well as any questions you may have or topics you may be interested in for the future. You may comment at the bottom at the blog where it says "comments" or if you prefer, send them to me directly at penelope@simplyspirituality.com . All posts will be archived on my blog along with other useful information at: Simply Spirituality or http://simplyspirituality.blogspot.com/

To read the next post and take a mini-meditation, please click here. To continue reading next month's post on Feeling Fear: Turn the Lions into House Cats! Please click here.

Until next month....
Here's hoping you keep your spirituality simple!

Penelope

Picture of the month
Running in the Fountain...
Disney World, FL, September, 2002