Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Simply Spirituality

Constantly amazed by
the blades of the fan on the ceiling....

Simply Spirituality is turning 2 years old!  

Wow!  Can you believe it?  When I started this blog two years ago, I thought there would be 6 or 7 posts!  Here is it 24 months and posts later...... hard to believe!  A special thank you to those who have been with me, encouraging me, on this journey.  

To celebrate this birthday - I wanted to share some of the things I have learned from writing this blog over the last couple of years.  Though each of these could be a post in themselves.... here they are briefly:

1- Release the outcome - applied to the blog - never click the "post" button until I have no attachment to how people react to the post.  This is an internal shift ..... it is NOT about not caring.... because I care deeply about this blog.  Non-attachment means more that no matter how someone reacts to what I have written, it is OK!  That is because I know I have written a post that is "true" for me and coming from the best place I can today.... then it  does not matter if someone does not like it.  It just is not true for them, today.... and that is OK too!  (But I still love comments!!!!!)   ; )  
A simple way you can apply this in your own life - don't attach to what someone else thinks about your clothes, your house, or car.  You can take it further by not attaching to what someone else thinks about you personally.  Try it with something small..... feel the freedom in it... and then try it with something bigger.  Remember that if someone does not like your car, that is a statement about them and their preferences, not about you.

Taking this idea one step further, and possibly more challenging, it also means not attaching to it when someone DOES like what I've written.  If someone likes my shoes, again it is a statement about their particular shoe preference, not about me.  Maybe you can try not attaching to even the positive comments.   

2 - Trust - in the beginning I thought I would share a few ideas ... maybe covering 6 or 7 posts.  My intuition  has always said.... post a solid, useful, post once a month.  Every month, something has come to me following this schedule.  I have staying in trust about that and it has always happened ("trust" might need its own post one day!) 

A simple way you can apply this in your life - trust your own internal feeling about something.  Don't look to or wait for confirmation from someone else.  The post titled Road Maps of Life touches on this a bit more.  

3 - Take ACTION!  Or MOVE when the spirit moves me! The moment I get inspiration for a post, I WRITE!  I used to think that I would be able to remember it... but not so!  At least not with the same initial intensity and energy.  I prefer a computer, but if I don't have one, paper will do.... I've used napkins in a restaurant before and the back of a picture. 
A simple way you can apply this in your life - how many times have you had a flash of insight or some sort of inspiration only to allow your brain to discount it or talk you out of it.  Usually in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds.  At the very least, write the idea down and consider doing it over the next day.  Is there some small action you can take towards doing it?

4 - Speak and act from the truest place you can in the moment.  I only post those things I know as Truth for me.  I do not ask them to be truth for you.  If something resonates with you, great!  Try it out in your own life... if not, that is fine too.  Explore what is true for you!
A simple way to begin applying this in your own life - check out, internally, what you are about to say.  How does it feel?  Does it feel congruent with your internal beliefs?  Also, don't say something is "ok' if it is not.  If someone asks you to do a favor, like babysit their kids, and it is not convenient..... don't say, "OK."

5 - Take time for stillness every day!  Stillness is like "magic" that opens up creativity.  Not just in writing or arts.... but in every day life.  It helps solve problems, comes up with something fun for the kids to do..... or a new way of doing something you've done 100 times before.  Posted in the next post below is a simple stillness exercise you can try yourself!  See if you can be amazed by the blades of a fan on the ceiling as the quote above from the Jimmy Buffet song says!  Enjoy!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas or questions.  Please feel free to leave them in the "comments" section below.

To read last month's post on What is NOW?..... click here

Scroll down to the next post for the Stillness Exercise.

Until next month...
Keep it simple!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stillness Exercise

Stillness Exercise

Inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song, "Little Miss Magic" quoted in the post above.

Constantly amazed by
the blades of the fan on the ceiling....
You will need a ceiling fan.  If you do not have one, other possible things you could use are a child's swing in the park or a pendant or pendulum on a string, necklace or chain.   Let me know of other possibilities you may come up with.

Turn the fan on and allow to come up to normal speed... then turn off the fan.   Watch the fan as it comes to a complete stop.  My suggestion is to lie down under the fan (like the view in the photograph in the post above) and watch it, but most importantly, be comfortable.  

Don't cheat and stop watching before the blades are still!
For swinging options:  If you are using either the pendant or pendulum, you will need to find a location where it can swing freely.  Pull the swing, pendant or pendulum back.  Find a place where you can watch it come to a complete stop. 

If all else fails, look at the photograph of the ceiling fan above.  Watch it for a full minute.
This entire exercise should only take 2 to 3 minutes max... depending on how fast your fan or swing is going.  

While it is slowing down, continue to watch, but also watch your mind.  Is it quiet?  Is it talking?  What is it saying?  There are no right or wrong answers.  The objective is to observe.  

If your mind is chatting away... what is it saying?  Is it complaining?  Is it saying things like...
I don't have time for this!
This is ridicules!
What a strange exercise!
This is peaceful!
Is it going over a mental to-do list as soon as those darn blades stop spinning?
Is it counting the time you are "wasting" doing nothing?
Is it enjoying the momentary break?
The possibilities are endless! 

My suggestion is to see if you can touch that place that Jimmy Buffet sings about, while watching his daughter, "Little Miss Magic."  See if you, too, can once again be "amazed by the blades of the fan on the ceiling!"  

Again, I want to stress that there are no right or wrong answers or outcomes.  This is an exercise designed first to help you become aware of what your mind is doing and second if your mind is chatty..... to become aware of what it is saying. 

If you are feeling especially introspective, you could follow up by asking yourself why your mind might be saying those things.  For example, if your mind tells you, "I don't have time for this!"  You could ask yourself why your mind is not willing to give you 3 minutes to do an exercise without also adding on some guilt!  Whatever the outcome, trust that it will be just right for you!

As always, I would love to hear your comments in the section below.
Keep it simple!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Roadmaps of Life

We are the only true experts 
on our journey to enlightenment. 
Filter all information through your own heart.
- Daily OM

The following was originally published on Daily OM... and republished with permission.....

All the major spiritual traditions serve the purpose of offering us a roadmap to guide us on our individual journeys to enlightenment. These roadmaps are made up of moral codes, parables, and, in some cases, detailed descriptions of mystical states. We often study the fine points of a particular ascended master’s narrative in order to better understand our own and to seek inspiration and guidance on our path. In the same way, when we plan a road trip, we carry maps and guidebooks in an effort to understand where we are going. In both cases, though, the journey has a life of its own and maps, while helpful, can only take us so far. There is just no comparison between looking at a line on a piece of paper and driving your own car down the road that line represents.

Some people seem well-suited to following maps, while others are always looking for new ways to get where they’re going. In the end, the only reliable compass is within, as every great spiritual guide will tell you. The maps and travelogues left behind by others are great blessings, full of useful information and inspiration, but they cannot take the journey for us. When it is time to merge onto the highway or pull up anchor, we are ostensibly on our own. Strange weather patterns, closed roads, and traffic jams arise in the moment, out of nowhere, and our maps cannot tell us what to do. Whether we take refuge in a motel by the side of the road, persevere and continue forward, or turn back altogether is entirely up to us.

Maps are based on observations from the past and we are living in the present, so we are the only true experts on our journey to enlightenment. We may find that the road traveled by our predecessors is now closed. We may feel called to change direction entirely so that the maps we have been carrying really no longer apply. These are the moments when we learn to attune ourselves to our inner compass, following a map that only we can see, as we make our way into the unknown territory of our own enlightenment.