It is what it is . . . but it’s not what it will be

There’s a perfect pithy phrase in the culture right now: 

It is what it is.

It reminds us to look at whatever is occurring right this hot moment with (spiritual) acceptance, no matter how fackacka the situation.

It just is.

This maxim reminds us not to overthink it.

It is!

The saying encourages us to relax into the experience — it is what it is, it’s real but it doesn’t have power over you.

To this I append: . . . but it’s not what it will be.

I do this because so many (including me, always including me) use the saying as a shorthand for (mental) acceptance of a recurring situation, as if it were a permanent condition.

But it’s not what it will be is a reminder that flux is the universal constant, that all things must pass. It is the coda but also the kicker — to live knowing that every experience is fluid, even those that seem frozen in eternity.

This reminder, that I, in my feeling-thoughts and thought-actions, influence outcomes — 

It is what it is . . . 
(business calamity, to use a situation I’m familiar with)
(debilitating back pain)
(betrayal)

. . . but it’s not what it will be
(could be a comeback, could be a new adventure)
(could take up yoga and become supple as a snake)
(could find deep self-love from the experience, could find enduring love elsewhere, could engage in true forgiveness)

It is what it is — this grounds you.

. . . but it is not what it will be — this propels you.

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In praise of nap time

The news is really out now. Though I’ve been doing my best for years — decades — really, a lifetime — to spread the word about the super goodness of naps, it took Oprah to make it official.

Straight from the August 2011 issue of O (The Oprah Mag), Dr. Mehmet Oz has this to say:

A 2007 study of more than 23,000 Greek adults may have revealed a surprising key to their legendary vigor — the siesta. Compared with those who power through the day, adults who nap for a minimum of 30 minutes at least three times a week have a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart disease.

When it comes to this kind of healthy effect I’m all over it. I’m all about excess when it comes to nappage. By my wildly unscientific calculations I figure that if I take three times the number of naps suggested above then I’ll receive three times the benefit. Sure this will require double napping on some days of the week, but for a 111% lower risk factor I’m willing to engage in that extreme discipline.

Some years ago I bought Take a Nap! Change Your Life by sleep researcher Dr. Sara Mednick. I was already convinced about the utility of napping, as is most of my family. My bro — a dynamo from dawn to dark and beyond — is a great example of someone who powers down and then powers right back up upon emerging from a nap. No one would ever accuse him of being a slacker (nor would you for Edison, Einstein, JFK, and Churchill either, among other famous nappers).

I bought it not for me, though it was enlightening, I bought it as evidence for others who poo poo the idea of a nap as they slog on through their afternoons too drowsed out to be effective.

Evolved people know that downtime is one of the most valuable gifts they can give themselves.

— Michael Bernard Beckwith, Spiritual Liberation 

So now you have one more reason — scientific and all — to do what your body is telling you to do.

PS: An effective nap is rarely over 30 minutes long, and can sometimes be as short as the time it takes for a spoon to drop out of your relaxed hand and hit a plate (Edison’s favorite method for the ultra-short nap).

 

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Answers from the lips of many

Today I’m passing along a process DavidPaul Doyle once used to receive inspired answers to heart-felt questions.

Each morning he would form a pressing question. He would frame the question of the day in the morning, before getting out of bed. Though it took a week for the first answer to appear, he discovered that answers came to him symbolically — it might be a leaf swaying from side to side as it fell.

(In this case the leaf answered the question am I on the right path? He understood instantly that it didn’t matter, all paths took him there, like the leaf to ground.)

He would know the answer by the rush, the sensation he felt. The understanding . . . .

As he progressed in his question asking the process took an interesting turn — what I’m sharing here today. The answer to that day’s question started coming from the lips of others. Could be anyone, a service worker, someone on TV, a friend, something overheard.

He’d ask the question . . . and somewhere throughout the day the answer would come. Though the context might be different than the one in which he’d phrased the question, the answer would be unmistakable, straight from the mouth of another, no interpretation needed.

I’m writing this to remind myself to ask questions! To state them clearly. And then to be attentive: for the answer will always come.

This post was inspired by DavidPaul Doyle’s book When God Spoke To Me: The inspiring stories of ordinary people who have received divine guidance and wisdom. Yep, it’s a long book title, you have to plan ahead for oxygen intake if you’re going to read it out loud. My advice — take a deep breath after the title, then plunge onward into the subtitle, there’s no stopping now. His own story is on page 145.

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Resources beyond understanding

What encourages me in darkish moments is this: That we have resources beyond our understanding.

All spirituality and a major category within any bookstore attest to it (self-help/personal development/human potential).

We hear stories all the time about surprising resolutions for the beleaguered.

If it’s true for one human, then it can be true for all.

Imagine you’re a mosquito. With your evolutionarily perfect proboscis you’re able to tap a rich vein and summon just about everything you need.

So can we. Evolutionarily complex, we can tap into the sustaining resource a thousand thousand ways.

You can:

create  (art, commerce, meaning . . .)
serve  (others, the world, Spirit . . . )
love  (yourself, all, the one you’re with . . . )
join  (in, a cause, together . . . )
move  (dance, run, yoga . . .)
express  (write, sing, play . . .)
breathe

The simplest is silence.

I forget this in darkish moments.

I forget to go silent, to go within.

When I remember I’ll begin the silence and — if especially wired — beg off. Almost anything will serve for quitting being silent with my self when I’m tension charged.

When I guide myself back into the silence — reverently — soothingly — long, deep initial breaths — letting go of thoughts and muscles and must-dos — and nestle there in the pregnant void — I am surprised at the rejuvenation. Though I shouldn’t be, it’s unfailing.

There’s a point in the silence where you float through Alpha into the slipstream of Theta, you’ve gone so deep it’s as if you’re being breathed by All.

It’s the drop-off point where you relinquish conscious awareness. You’re still aware, but instead of thinking you’re the pilot you acquiesce into the passenger. If you weren’t sitting upright you’d swear later you were napping.

That is one sweet spot.

I need only touch that zone for but a moment and I know the world is new again. It was always new again, always. I’d simply oppressed my ability to (always) see it with new eyes.

The world is always new again.

What the caterpillar wants is quite different from what the butterfly wants.

~ Michael Bernard Beckwith, Life Visioning

When I come out of the silence what is important has changed. I want to remain aloft, connected.

Connected, you find yourself compelled to:

create
serve
love
join
move
express
breathe

Related posts

For you Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for (occasional) notes at the intersection of creativity and spirit. Once a month, maybe.

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Playful does it

Hard work does it too.

The heart light and zippy does it.

Focused intensity does it too.

Sprinkling everyone with love laughter does it.

Energetic does it too.

Methodical certainly does it.

Walking right up and boldly asserting yourself does it too.

It’s doubtful that occasionally will do it.

Also unlikely that a wish without weight will do it either.

Don’t think that sulking does it, except for spoiled kids and trophy wives.

Taking your mind off it — after your mind’s been on it — will do it in day dreamy ways that surprise.

Both happy and vibrant will do it, but disappointingly, so too will greedy and brusque and mean and low and a thousand other ways we wish wouldn’t, but do.

So many ways to do it — whatever the it of your desire is — you get to choose.

How you do it doesn’t define the result, only the enjoyment of it, and you.

 

 

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My ABCs: Always be creating

A few months ago I took on a new power mantra: Always be creating.

I use mantra loosely here, in the sense of a phrase that becomes a personal motto through repetition, even a mission. I don’t mean it in its tight definition: a sound or phrase focused upon in meditation.

Though if the personal motto becomes pervasive . . . mind-uttered frequently through one’s days and weeks . . . the effect is similar.

Sue-Bee-Doo, a friend of ours, once commented that if you create things you never need to worry about money. She’s an artist and she was speaking about having control over her life.

Her point: the artist who creates rather than dithers will always find a way to income. It may or may not be grand, it will fluctuate, but it will always be sufficient.

She was saying that creators control their destiny.

Creators aren’t only artists. Or entrepreneurs. If you hold, as I do, as millions do, that our thoughts create, then we are all creators — and this is the way I am addressing it here.

Always be creating is far away from Always be working or even Always be doing.

This afternoon Zane, our eight-year old, was at play in the mud beside the pool with his cousin Lily, also eight. I was there on the other side of the dinky mudhole they were fashioning, and as is my way, I enjoyed being there but not being intrusive at the same time. I would be required from time to time, but otherwise what a revelation to be privy to their interactions as they forgot about me.

At one point I considered doing something else — possibly jotting notes to write you here! — but I considered what I wanted to create at that moment, and that was an immersion experience with these two.

They had their own jazz going and you could only grok it by being utterly attentive.

Always be creating is an imperative. It requires engagement, though not necessarily action.

It implies that you should always be conscious (ABC again!), choosing the experience to create. The experience you desire will dictate all else.

I now ask myself often: What am I creating?

Am I creating a worthy experience?

To ask “What am I creating?” or “What do I want to create right now?” is clarifying!

It keeps purpose and experience pure, aligned. It doesn’t mean I have control of the universe. But it does mean that given the existing environment — the existing dynamic — I can decide this: how do I wish to participate?

Even in constricted circumstances — we’ll use my recent life as an example in mere seconds — you have the ability to craft how you experience it.

We have a business in shock and turmoil, ever since the market meltdown two and a half years ago.

By considering this concept — that I am creating my experience in every moment — I free myself from reacting only. I can’t tell you how sweet this is when you face financial destruction. Or any bad thing of a seeming magnitude greater than you are.

There have been numerous times when all soul energy went dim . . . and I would find myself enervated or scared or crushed. Yet, if you choose to experience it as adventure, one that may or may not turn out well, you are freed!

Not from the turmoil, but from despair. And that freedom brings possibilities which may lead to actions which just might oh mighty might bring something new to fruition . . .

Creating is contributing.

Contribution is service.

Service is God expressed.

Serving is the way to true wealth and all that is good.

Wayne Dyer asks: How may I serve?

To him, the Law of Attraction works thusly. When you consistently ask “How may I serve?” then the Universe reflects this back to you, asking of Itself: “How may I serve you?” And goodnesses are heaped upon you.

Creators create.

Creators nourish the new.

Creators bring forth.

Creators are too busy to be concerned with the inconsequential.

Creators create!

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Delicious spaces in a busy day

 

1. The moment you wake up
2. The moment you get into your car
3. The moment you arrive at your destination
4. The moment you close your eyes for one minute at your desk
5. The moment(s) you repeat the above
6. The moment you close the bathroom door
7. The moment someone says “I’ll be with you in a minute.”
8. The moment you hang up the phone
9. The moment you step away
10. The moment you have to wait for anything — a stoplight, a bridge, a doctor’s appointment . . . .
11. The moment you stand in line at a store
12. The moment you get situated on the bus, the shuttle, the subway, the train . . .
13. The moment you step into an elevator
14. The moment you take a moment for yourself, outside . . . you don’t smoke, do you? Well, then take the time a smoker takes! Take a break, go outside. Instead of sucking in airy ash, you get to take in a lungful of wonderful.
15. The moment you get home
16. The moment you tuck your child, your lover, your dog in for the night
17. The moment you turn off the lights for bed
18. The moment you get up to pee
So many people say they have no time to pause, yet if you take one small minute — repeatedly — to close your eyes, breathe fully and exhale to limp several times, you’ll have replenished yourself in a measurable way.
The day is full of small spaces ready to be yours, even in the midst of hubbub. Claim these times of regeneration and you will ultimately claim the rest of the moments of the day too.
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