Friday, December 31, 2010

Belief - Living Your Intended Life

"Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do." ~ Neale Donald Walsch


Do you know who you are? Isn’t that the million dollar question?  Looking at my bookshelves it appears I’ve been on a journey spanning a couple of decades gathering information to bring insight to this question.  If I’m lucky, I’m about one third into this lifetime.  I'm hopeful to possible have two thirds left to 'get this' and create the life I desire.  Goodness knows I’ve lived enough years refining who I think I am in order to make better decisions.  One of my favorite artists summed it up best saying, “To find, try and find myself-hardest thing I've ever done” (Sevendust's “Shine").  Why is it the hardest thing I’ve ever done?  One answer kept coming to the forefront as the root of anything and everything lacking in my life, BELIEF. 

Fostering a belief in who we are and what we came here to do, learning to believe in possibilities, and believing in the abundance of the universe are all integral parts of the journey.  What I’ve been mulling over as of late is the process of developing an unwavering belief of self,  in order to become one who can then take that belief and apply it to all events, occurrences and situations as Mr. Walsch says.  One must learn how to think positive, to affirm what's right, to see possibilities when others see defeat.  All of the worlds greatest teachers share this.  Mahatma Gandhi said that, "Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning."  Ralph Waldo Emmerson also noted that, "Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief in denying them."

I’ve been doing what many of us tend to do around the Holidays, taking stock of the last year.  I ask myself those hard questions such as, “I am living the life that I was intended to?  What’s getting in the way of this?  What am I going to do about it? What’s working in my life?  What gives me peace, joy and happiness? Am I listening to the 'affirmations of my soul' 100%”  Then I take the answers and weave them into a vision of the year ahead.

What I’ve found is that if I’ll just shut up and listen to myself (read: the universe) that the answers come easily.  This is often referred to as meditation or the act of being quiet and still.  How is it then that the answers come so easily when this occurs? Probably because they’ve always been there waiting for me to develop them.  Now, just because the answers your seeking are there as intangible thoughts doesn't mean they're going to be handed to you in life as manifestations on a silver platter.  It’s an irrefutable fact that it takes belief to turn a thought into an action just as it takes belief to manifest (including that which is undesirable).  Belief goes either way, it's a choice.  You can believe in that which serves your intentions or that which doesn't.  

I’ve learned that belief’s opposites known as doubt and/or a negative thinking aren’t really cured, they’re managed.  I’ve also noticed that there is for me at least, some sort of universal guidance going on.  I’m not the only one though.  Some call it divine guidance, others The Holy Spirit or God.  Whatever you label it, just know that the shortest path between A and B in your life rests in your ability to not second guess when you’re led by it.  You must be able to believe in yourself enough to listen to it.  We screw it up guessing and doubting.  Hello McFly, you and I can't get the blessing if we get in the way of ourselves  (… :o) … the Back to The Future movies have been running all week and my eleven year old can’t get enough of them).  Sadly, this seems to always be the recurring issue, getting in the way of ourselves, at least it has been for me.

So again, what has worked for me the most this past year of transformation has been to shut up and listen to the intentions of my life.  How does one know their life’s intentions?  I’ll tell you a secret, you probably already know them.  Frankly put, they’re those recurring themes, desires, and wants that are often disguised as hurdles, molehills and the mountains in your life.  Recurring because they don’t go away or transcend to what they’re supposed to be (read: knowledge gained, lesson learned) until you take notice and get ‘them.’ At least for me, once this happens, I’m much more open, willing and able to do the work required to be able to identify when thoughts are negative or limiting.  I’ve basically learned how not to pre-judge my own life’s intent and in doing so I’m learning how to not pass on or assume that any person I’m about to share with won't receive (to include when the universe is sharing ‘universal knowledge’ with me).  That's between them and their universal guidance, not you and them. Got it?  Just believe and get out of your own way.  It's working for me and so many others, I know it can work for you too!

As the new calendar year begins, I wish for you peace, love, compassion and unity.  I wish for today and every day to remind you of why you’re here, what gifts you bring to each of us, and how truly special you are.  There is nothing in life you can’t create, become or have.  Your life, like mine, has limitless abundance and amazing things in store.  All we have to do is believe when whispered to.

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Forgiveness & Letting Go

It appears that no matter what happens on the journey, life always presents another new stellar opportunity (read: sarcastic tone) to understand forgiveness and its role in our lives.  It has long been said that forgiveness is not about saying what happened is okay, do it again, I’m a doormat, have at it.  It’s not even about allowing that which hurt you the opportunity to hurt you again.  We’re taught that forgiveness is about us and our ability to transgress that which wronged us (yup, even when we're wronging ourselves).  Even one of the world’s most popular religions centers itself on the ability of one to seek forgiveness for transgressions in order to be considered evolved enough in spirit to be worthy of an afterlife.  So, if it makes you feel any better, this forgiveness thing is not a new kid on the block.  It appears that human kind has been dealing with it for thousands of years and for just as long we’ve been trying to understand it.  I don’t know about you, but just that thought alone gives me a little peace in my own struggle with it.

I came across a wonderful summary of words regarding forgiveness from a rather unlikely source this past week.  Reinhold Neibuhr said that, “Forgiveness is the final form of love.”  Neibuhr didn’t exactly grow up in a country full of love or forgiveness.  He played a heavy role in shaping American politics during some very hateful and unforgiving times of the United States.  Despite this, somewhere on the journey he realized the link between forgiveness and love, a link that many of us are still struggling to find, especially when it comes to our ability to forgive ourselves for our own mistakes and wrong doings.  I get the context of his words.  You see, love is blameless.  What have I learned about blame?  I think Dr. Wayne Dyer summed it up perfectly stating that, "All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you. The only thing blame does is to keep the focus off you when you are looking for external reasons to explain your unhappiness or frustration. You may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming him, but you won't succeed in changing whatever it is about you that is making you unhappy."  It’s pretty much impossible to feel love at the same time as hate or hurt.  Seeing forgiveness as the final form of love makes sense to me.  You have to love yourself first in order to be able to see that you are separate from the wrong and that the wrong does not define you.

Being able to forgive yourself for your own mistakes and transgressions is typically the hardest hurdle to jump.  Sometimes the things we do or haven’t done and/or the words we’ve spoken or haven’t uttered can appear to haunt us forever.  It can sometimes be very difficult to remember that we are worth the effort.  I too am still learning to master this so it’s not as if I have all the answers here on this subject.  What I have learned though is that it seems to me that the root of forgiveness is letting go and finding peace within yourself to move on pass the transgression.  Does that mean that one can forgive someone who’s murdered and tortured someone you loved?  Well, of course not.  Unfortunately, there are some events and wrongs in the world that are incomprehensible to any level of forgiveness.  What it does mean however is that in order to forgive we have to let go of the identity of the wrong and its role in our lives.  For so long as we hold onto that wrong, it has a little bit of our power that could be used elsewhere.   Again, letting go doesn’t mean we make a wrong a right, it just means we’re making a conscious choice to not allow the wrong any more of our energy.  For me at least, that's the essence of forgiveness.

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Contentment: Rejoice in Your Journey

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." - Lao Tzu


There is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.  Strong sentiment.  By becoming content with what you have, with what is, etc. we allow the pathway to gratitude to open naturally.  Why should we rejoice in the way things are, even when things are not as we'd like them to be?  Why not?  Life is precious and fleeting.  Life can be cut short.  Let me say it again if you didn't catch that.  Life IS precious, fleeting and short.  Besides, not being content is nothing more than resistance and non-acceptance in disguise. 


My world was reminded of how short life can be over the last month when a colleague in Canada died at the tender young age of 22.  Her name was Margaret Sia.  She's the stunning young lady that I posted a brief video of on my personal Facebook page from You Tube.  It's really short but it shows her natural spark.  One of my local Virginia leaders in the company was her fiance and the two of them were head over heels madly in love and looking forward to their futures together.  


Twenty-two, the same age that my closest friend from my senior year of high school passed away, 14 years yeah, it resonates with me on a personal level because it acts as a reminder of my friend Ann's life being cut short.  Hearing of Margaret's death and watching her fiance grieve online to his Facebook family of course brings it all front and center.  It being life.  The night I found out of Margaret's passing I once again made a promise to myself in my own life to just put it all out there, to take risks, to know love again one day, and to triumph over adversity.  A couple of week's later I saw where a friend had posted the link to the blog page started by Margaret.  Her last message resonated so vividly with me and that blog I'd posted about self love not long ago.  What I was reading was that she too had learned about contentment.  Ahhh, to be twenty-two and so wise. :)


"In order for me to be able to give him my love when he comes, my love must in abundance. I needed to learn to love myself first. I needed to understand inside, that I truly deserve him. I discover more and more ways to give love to myself and without me knowing it, I began to simply give love to others subconsciously. I stopped looking, but it wasn’t because I gave up, I just came to realize that if our love is meant to be, he will find me. Letting go of the search was definitely a challenge, but loving me first – was a very good distraction." - Margaret Sia 


I'm thankful that I'm at the point in the journey that I'm learning to be content in my own life and trying to live in today.  Margaret and her fiance Olander did just that and they both were creating the life they wanted by design.  By Margaret living such a bright life in too few short years, she's left a legacy on those who knew her near and far to shine their own lights bright.  Olander is personally driven and such a strong man of faith that he will undoubtedly carry on their legacy professionally and personally.  


I really believe that there is no reason why you can't create your own life by design.  If this were not true we wouldn't have imaginations, desires and dreams. In fact, when you create a life by design, you find the universe opens itself up to bringing you all the people, places, things and resources you need to make it that way.  My own life has recently had unimaginable things happen that just a year ago were nothing more than thoughts.  Flat out what seemed to be impossible things just happened.  I can't even begin to question the universe anymore.  I'm just holding on and trying my best to steer and enjoy the ride.


Does it mean I'm content all the time? Hah! No! I have a lovely friend I like to spar with from time to time called patience.  You know, that virtue which means 'not right now'...and I hate not right now! Ever find yourself impatient? When I find myself being impatient I go back to reminding myself to be content and to trust in the process, to trust in the manifestation, the end result, etc.  I get connected because when we're connected we trust.  Again, it's not easy to be content, it's not easy to be patient but the sooner you get those two things under control, the sooner life can do what it does best, which is give you what you think about.

Being content is also of course another way of acceptance.  Not being content is resistance.  Resistance is nothing more then a negative or defeatist attitude.  Negative attitudes are in my world parasites, the suck the energy right out of me.  Negativity is toxic and it spreads like crazy.  It manifests and multiplies just as easily as positive does.  Given this, is there even really a choice anymore?  I didn't think so.  Be content.

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

The Awakening by Sonny Carroll

The Awakening
A time comes in your life when you finally get it...when, in the midst of all your fears and insanity, you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out...ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying and blaming and struggling to hold on.

Then, like a child quieting down after a tantrum, you blink back your tears and begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to magically appear over the next horizon. You realize that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings, and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you... and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are... and that's OK. They are entitled to their own views and opinions.

You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself... and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to you - or didn't do for you - and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected.

You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn't always about you.

So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself... and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties... and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for.

You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with.

You learn that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix.

You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era, but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.

You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.

Then you learn about love. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You learn that alone does not mean lonely.

You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO.

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs.

You learn that your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin to eat a balanced diet, drink more water, and take more time to exercise.

You learn that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty and so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn that, for the most part, you get in life what you believe you deserve, and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.

More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone, and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your own terms.

You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.

You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people... and you learn not to always take it personally.

You learn that nobody's punishing you and everything isn't always somebody's fault. It's just life happening. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.

Then, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.

You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.

You hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind.

Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.

By Sonny Carroll