I am reflecting on this past year and am amazed how quickly 2009 has passed, and with it so many changes, blessings, sorrows, and gifts of love. As I ponder the past and wait expectantly for the new year, I remind myself once again to let go and allow myself to flow within the river of Life. As I look back at my past year and reassess the moments where I did let go and flow, and where I did not, I am reminded that joy comes from surrender, from letting Life guide our hearts. When I look back at situations, relationships, family etc...and I think about the guidance my inner self gave me, I can see where I allowed this guidance to flow in my life to much success, and where I blocked the flow, got in my own way, and created suffering for myself. Sometimes, as I learned this year, that letting go and trusting my inner voice and intuition meant making some very difficult decisions that created a greater space for joy in my life even if at the moment I couldn't see it. I began to let the feeling of peace guide my actions. Did I feel greater peace and a greater sense of gratitude when I made a decisions or did I feel fearful or anxious? What I discovered in the process of this inward looking was that when I had made the right decisions I felt great peace, when I didn't my body let me know. If I felt like I was running into a brick wall or very fearful, then I realized I needed to ask myself what I really wanted from the situation or person, and then assess whether or not the situation or person was in alignment with my values. I recall the agonizing dilemma over whether or not to move back to Boise to be with my mother who has cancer, or to stay in Portland where my heart feels so free. After much pondering and praying for the right choice, I noticed that every time I went back to Boise a door closed for me, I felt anxious and tight in my chest, I felt like I was suffocating. When I would return to Portland, my heart felt free, I could breathe, I felt so much gratitude that it made me weep. I had the courage to ask myself what was right for me, because in honoring myself, I have more left over to give to my family. So, I made the painful phone call to my family in Boise to let them know I was staying in Portland even though everything here seemed so up in the air and I was scared about how to support myself now that I was out of graduate school. Needless to say, when I got off the fence and committed to flowing with the direction Life and my heart led me, everything has worked out just fine. And my mother's health has stabilized for now. Seeming miracles have occurred, I always ave enough financially, I have community, friends, and the love of my family. I am infinitely grateful daily for the courage to make this choice. There were many who didn't agree with my decision, who felt I was a bad daughter, but my family agreed that it was better for me to get on with my life rather than live where there are no opportunities. This event taught me the powerful lesson of trusting myself, trusting the flow of my own life and to know, truly know that when I listen to the "deep still voice within" that things in my life work out for my highest and best good.
Again and again, I am reminded to turn away from the problem to the solution which resides in all of us. We know the answers to every situation or dilemma that confronts us, we just often forget that we know this. There is no one who can tell our truth for us, they can guide us, repeat back to us what we are saying, have wisdom that might guide us, but ultimately it is our own hearts that hold the truth for us, and when we listen, we have the courage to go with the flow of our own river of life, and we realize a world of possiblities we never knew were possible. And this goes for asking Life for what we really want. Until we really ask ourselves honestly what we really want, Life can not give it to us. In a recent situation, Nelda kept asking me, "Friend, what do YOU want? You keep talking about what so and so wants, but what do YOU want". It never occurred to me to actually ask for what I really wanted, and to allow myself to name it. So, I took the risk and I asked myself what I wanted, and was my situation reflecting that value, and sadly, it wasn't. This gave me the courage to walk away trusting that as I let go of what I didn't want no matter how much I cared for this person, I left room in my life for what I do want to come in. Life can not manifest what we want in our lives if our inner space is filled with what we don't want, and I have discovered that most of us don't really know what we want, but when we do, believe it is possible and open our hearts to receive that we truly and honestly get what we want in ways better than we ever imagine. Yet, it is difficult to have that faith especially if our past has reflected a different picture to us. It is the courage to empty our inner space and wait with the joyful expectancy that draws what we desire to us, not a cluttered emotional space. I recall in Catherine Ponder's book "The Dynamic Law of Prosperity" she tells a story of how she got a new job as a minister, but needed new clothes that reflected her new professional position, but she didn't have the money to do this, so she cleaned out her closet and gave away all the clothes that didn't fit her new self and had faith that a new wardrobe would be provided. As it turned out, a woman at her church gave her trip to the dressmaker and the money to purchase a new wardrobe that befitted her role as a new minister of a church. She has several stories in her book where the physical act of releasing what we no longer want or need provides the empty space of Life to give us what we do want by also freeing our inner space. We only need to ask, we don't need to figure out how, we only need to ask. My friend Nelda, who is from Mexico, is a great manifestor of her desires this way. She does all sorts of interesting things that support and develop her acting career by just doing them and trusting they will be affordable for her. She trades teaching acting in exchange for the training classes to be in the Project Circus troupe. She bids on silent auction items so she can take an auditioning class. She risks the money to get an agent who in turn gets her work in film and television. She believes in herself, in her career, and mostly in Life to provide her with the resources so she can continue to train as an actor, and all this on top of not being able to work legally in America outside of her field. Nelda doesn't work a regular job and yet, Life provides for her. With the small income she does make from film and acting she gives and gives back to her community. And daily I learn from her and her journey how to let go, believe and let Life provide for me, but first, I must be clear about what I want. Every time I was clear about what I wanted and then trusted, what I desired came about better than I could have imagined. And so it is for us all. How many times have we all let "not enough" money get in the way of following our desires. My friend Shannon is a chiropractor who when she was just starting out and couldn't afford her own place right away, so she met someone who offered her a room in his house in exchange for chiropratic treatment, and now she has a lovely home. Much has come to Shannon, like Nelda, through trade and bartering. And I think we often, as Americans are afraid to ask for trade, and yet so many of us have the skills and talents that others don't have and visa versa. We can get what we want if we are willing to ask for it and trust. I've done reiki in exchange for body work, another friend cooks for a friend who helps her with fixing things around the house, and so it goes. This also brings us closer to our community, to building community, to supporting our community.
Risk to ask Life for what you want, trust that Life has only our best interest at heart if we are clear about what we want. As Ernest Holmes has said, Life is a doer, not a knower. We must know what we want in order for Life to do for us. Once we are clear, and once we KNOW that Life provides for us, then Life can provide for us. As we release the past year, as we reflect back on 2009, let us resolve to move into 2010, a new decade, trusting in the flow of Life, in ourselves, in the goodness around us. Let us walk into this new year with new faith by asking Life for what we want and expecting it. We can change our lives and the world around us by asking for what we want and believing we shall receive. We are co-creators of Life, and as we hold the vision, Life will move the vision forward. People will come into our lives, situations will arise, we will begin things that transform the world around us. We must believe this with every action we take, every word we speak. In 2010, let us have a vision for ourselves, our communities, our global world. Every moment let us hold the sacred space of knowing that we can create peace, equality, love, and wholeness in our own life and the lives our global community.
Blessings for a beautiful, bountiful, vision filled 2010