A Cup of Tea

tea-cupIn July of this year I switched from drinking vasts amounts of coffee to sipping on various types of teas. It was a cold turkey decision based on wanting to clean up my diet for health reasons. For a week after the switch, I found myself sleeping a lot. I was no longer jacked up with my normal amount of caffeine. I chose to drink organic green tea in the morning and organic herb tea in the evening. I really found comfort in holding a warm cup of tea while sitting in bed. It has a soothing effect to my body and mind and the ritual allows my thoughts to slow down to enjoy the sip.

Any type of change I make in my life allows me, if I am willing, to observe myself in a fresh way. I become aware of my surroundings again; the things I had become blind to around the home. It is amazing what I had allowed myself to get used to when life gets a bit too busy. The little messes and piles of things become background noise and after a while, I wonder why I am not comfortable in my living space.

As I stopped drinking coffee I became aware of the effects it had on my body. So, too, as I door-with-wreathunplug from a hurried life, I can see the piles of clutter which once cleared brings fresh life and energy back into my dwelling place and I feel lighter.

During the holidays we can find ourselves speeding up instead of slowing down. But, I do hope for anyone reading my blog, that you take time to observe your immediate habits and surroundings and recognize something that needs to change; some background noise you have been ignoring, or putting up with, that has been weighing on your heart. Make a little change there and see how a small shift can make a big difference.

Observing small steps,

Sue

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Choosing to Observe

I read an email from Mike Dooley a few days ago. He said, “Instead of saying I am Happy or I am Sad or I am Hurt or I am Angry, pause and then say… “I choose to be Happy, Hurt, Sad, Angry, etc.” It woke me up to owning where I was going. Also, it No.Blameshowed me where I place blame. No blame is needed… I am acknowledging my choices. I was driving my car home after work this past week and I was tired after a full day of work and all that it entails. But I caught myself and said out loud “I choose to be tired.” Hmmm? What that gave me was the time to pause and think about if I am really tired or am I just saying this for another reason or out of habit? It also allowed me to ask this question: “do I really want to be tired?” So I said to myself out loud, “I choose to be happy. I have had a full day and I am hungry and will eat as soon as I get home.” Just adding “I choose” in front of whatever statement I was about to say evoked the question “do I really want that?”  It shows me the power I have to choose. If you are like me, we grew up learning to blame and not taking responsibility for our feelings. We may have heard things like, “you make me so mad” or “see what you made me do” or “don’t make me think like that.” Wow! How we gave our power and happiness away to other people!

I think that when I say or think things unconsciously out of habit, they perpetuate feelings and outcomes for which I am just used to experiencing. It is like if we always say “Mondays Suck” then that brings with it the expectation and hence, the creation or experience of a sucky Monday. The power of our word and thought is huge and this exercise to say “I choose” in front of what we are feeling brings awareness and mindfulness.

This doesn’t mean that when I am truly hurt, angry or sad I blame myself for a less Thoughts.Ropethan a wonderful experience. No! But, if I am aware that I am ultimately in charge of my life and what I believe, then when I am irritated and hurt I can navigate through it better. What I choose to think and believe next will either take me through and out of the experience stronger or it will spin me downward to be consumed by it. Every thought is a choice and it is a practice to corral them to where I want them to take me; how I want to feel and be in the situation.

I believe that how I feel is directly related to what I am thinking and those things that I am telling myself. Yes, at the end of the day I need to have sufficient sleep and if I am feeling ill, I may need to make an appointment with a doctor. There are actions that I am to take to care for myself AND… those actions include becoming aware of what I am telling myself repeatedly or what am I saying about a situation that rises before me and how I react to it. Those spontaneous reactions are also very informative to my beliefs as they are not guarded and hidden but very much Think.Positivetell tale of what is in my heart and mind when something from left field enters my day or moment.

It takes consciousness to be happy. It is an inward thing. And it takes consciousness to be aware of the stories that you nor I want to play out in our lives anymore. Consciousness is cause and thus I am in training to bring about what I desire by exercising my power of choice.

Choosing to Observe,

Sue

Golden Gate National Parks: Pictures versus Observing

GG.National.ParkI have this yearning desire to be at and walk about the Golden Gate National Park and all its various sites of interest. Lands’ End with the Sutro Bath ruins, Ocean Beach, the Cliff House, and Sutro Heights. Marin Headlands with Muir Woods, Mount Tamalpais, and all the hiking and breath taking views and their oneness with land and sea. The Olema Valley and its farms and rolling hills that gives way to horseback riding. The Tennessee Valley in Marin with its wildlife that longs to stay untouched by development. Point Bonita Lighthouse that shines her light for ships to sail safely through the Golden Gate. Fort Baker and Fort Point with its Cliff.House.Posterhistory of protecting the entrance into San Francisco and its Lighthouse. Stinson Beach that hosts many memories of playing with my dog and the gathering of friends. Crissy Field and its aviation history along with the Presidio and Alcatraz, too. I want to walk and play and to be a part of it all. I want to write about it, learn about it, and imagine the people of “then” that made my “now” what it is.

I was looking at the printed posters, by the artist Michael Schwab, for each of these places and I imagined a room with them hanging on the walls along with photos that I have taken. I love my pictures and I love expressing through the eye of the camera; to capture the Cliff.House.Sutro.Wing.Sunsetessence of the moment. There are times, though, that my camera cannot replace the act of just standing in the presence of the aweness of a location or event. To even try and take a picture is to miss the moment. I must be fully present with what is before me. My memory will prove to be a better memento that comes with feelings and sensations than a photo which cannot capture the grandness, the full experience, of what is before me. Yes, there are times for pictures and it is when it can capture the essence of the moment and the Sutro.Bath.Ruins.and.Marin.Headlands.at.duskfeelings. And when the light and balance within the frame harmoniously plays with each other… it is magical art and it is the embodiment of the soul being displayed as art. I can stare at it and gain more awareness of not just what I am looking at, but an inner awareness of myself… the Self that is stirred by looking through the thin area of the veil and seeing beyond what is physically there. It is then I just observe and do nothing more than be in the presence of what is before me and notice how much I am a part of it.

What are you observing?

Sue

Gratitude Observed

Backyard.abundanceIt is the day before my birthday and I am home. The morning air was brisk as I went outside to change out the corn cobs for the squirrels and add seed to the bird feeder. Evidence of their presence gave me heed to assure their pleasure continued. The sun is bright this morning and there is a magical feeling I get when I stand in chilly air along with the sun’s warmth. It is like sweet and salty, laughter and tears, living in the now and yet grateful for all that has comeCorn.cobs before this moment. Truly, it is a blissful thing to live in gratitude. It opens the heart to the flow… to the Universal desire to express Joy and Happiness. I did not come to this planet to live in dread nor in lack. I came to thrive and express. I came to share my gifts and to breathe in all that Life has for me. I am co-creating my life, and the experiences in it, by how I live and how I open my heart, mind and body to what is available. In doing that it all becomes one fluid expression.

In the mornings I set my intention on that which I am to be. I set my thoughts towards happiness, joy, love, beauty, abundance, Bird.feederhealth, influential vitality and wealth. I give thanks that it comes to me in all forms and avenues. I don’t worry about the “how,” yet I just open myself to the next perfect step and walk in the direction of my goals. In doing that, I allow the Universe to do Its work. I see myself as Its open channel, expressing through me perfectly and it does. I rest not my thoughts on the negative but I open my eyes to the Good that is around me and I think thoughts of love and wholeness to those people who cross my path even if we are standing in line together at the grocery store or at an event. I make conscious choices to bless and not curse. I see the Good and by doing this, more comes into view. It has to. Anything we set our mind to and focus upon creates more of those experiences. If we focus on the appearances of lack and harshness and loss and unfairness, it seems that it creates more of that in our experiences… as if that is the reality we conjure.

Some will disagree with me. Some will even argue that “this is the way life is.” And I will say yes to them. Yes… this is the way it is for you and I am sorry you are Mom's.Lemon.Treeexperiencing hard times. I know I have had my share and I have been very grateful for my friends who came near to comfort me in times of challenge, of loss and of confusion. I have felt lost and wonder and question current and past events. And then I breathe and my breath makes space around me as it is a symbol of my willingness to open my heart and mind to something more; to experience something grander than what I have experienced up until now. I am bigger than I have believed and Life is more than what I have seen and there is a magic in pausing and questioning this expanse. It truly is a playground filled with illusions and we get to choose what illusions to play.

So, on this day after Thanksgiving and the day before my birthday, I honor this Life I am living by choosing Joy and Happiness, expressions of Love and Beauty, Health, Fitness and Wealth, and Influential Abundance playing out in all I desire to do. I walk in the direction of my dreams and practice kindness and gratitude. Life is so worth living and I am here to live it.

Open at the Top,

Sue

Observing Resistance to Winter

Late Autumn and Winter in the Northern Hemisphere brings with it the illusion that the days are shorter and the belief that there is not enough time to do all we want to accomplish. When I get home after the end of my work day, the darkness Early.Winter.Lightingdrives me inside where the house is warm and the lights are ambient. It triggers the sensation that the whole day is over and that it is time to wind down and tuck myself in for the evening. I observe my resistance. I notice that this time of year changes the amount of activity in my life. Yes, there are still errands to run, the job, the chores about the home, etc. But I feel that the creative, break-me-out-of-my-routine activities become less. That inner-bear wants to scurry home to hibernate as this cycle of the season gets underway with the titling of our planet that shortens our exposure to the light of the sun.

As an observer of life, I do see that there are natural cycles that flow from one into Early.Winter.at.Lakeanother as the seasons go from spring to summer and from autumn to winter. The plants do not resist. They drop their leaves willingly and their growth slows down. The squirrels in my back yard also change their habits. They gather nuts and seeds from the trees that line the creek beyond my fence and their playful presence diminishes for a few months. The neighborhood is also quiet as the after dinner walks and curbside basketball games have been replaced by indoor activities. We take shelter.

It is true that, with the nature of seasons, winter tends to bring a time of reflection and slowing down; an ending of sorts so as to prepare us for the new beginnings that come with the arrival of spring. It is a time of nurturing and review. Inner work tends to take place, if we permit it, as well as the process of closure that comes at the end of a year.

Yet, there is still something inside of me that earns for the feeling of longer days. Time has not changed. There are still the same number of hours and I long to be active and not succumb to the slowing down of things. It is true that we as humans have our own cycles and that we ebb and flow as we traverse changes in our lives. Early.Winter.SkyBut I am not desirous of conforming to the sheltering effect that winter brings. My life desires expression. My body desires activity. I earn for connection that is beyond cyber chats and video links. My urge to touch life as it is happening is alive and pressing! Therefore, I look to this new day and position myself to do something that brings forth greater expression, expansion, and vibrancy to my mind, body, and my relationship to all that surrounds me. And… I will also stay open to what winter may bring for she is knocking on my door. I choose to open my heart to her, to observe what it is I need to know, where I need to release resistance, and how I can become present in the midst of this change in seasons.

Observing what is,

Sue

Observing Our View – The Bigger Perspective

Tall.Avocado.TreeGreetings Observers of Life!

I have been noticing something about being an observer. It requires me to change my vantage point. I cannot stay where I am and expect to see something different. I must either move to a different location or even higher ground to be able to see and better understand what is going on around me.

When I was a young girl, I loved climbing the avocado tree in the back yard. I would shimmy up the large branches and drop myself onto the garage roof. I loved seeing my yard and house from this view. They seemed smaller and I could see details that I couldn’t from ground level. I also liked climbing the six foot fences that bordered the houses behind and to the side of us. I was able to see the other yards and our relationship to them. Things were easier to understand when I changed how I viewed them. I would spend what seemed like hours, over the years, climbing and going higher to gain a bigger view of my yard, the house, and what was beyond them. I liked having that perspective plus, I got to see the changes that were taking place in the neighbor’s yards. That was fun.

As I grew and became a teenager, I was introduced to hiking in the San Gabriel San.Gabriel.MountainisMountains. Oh, what a joy!!! All of the sudden I gained a bigger view of not just my neighborhood, but the city and the entire valley I grew up in. I saw its relation to the whole and on a clear day, I could see the ocean from that view as well. I truly lived in a marvelous and vast area! My perspective changed and I saw how every city was connected by the boulevards for which I View.of.LA.Oceanrode my bicycle. I also got to see the freeways that took us from our home to grandma’s house near the foothills. Seeing this connection took the mystery out of what was once the unknown. It was also during this time I started buying and studying maps for the fun of it as they, too, showed a bigger view of how to get from here to there.

Where do you need to see a bigger picture of your current location or maybe your current circumstances? Do you feel that you are only surrounded by what you know and you can’t see beyond it and you feel like there is no other solution or option to what is going on in your immediate life? There is and it is here that we get to remember that we are observers and that a higher view can bring a perspective and show options that otherwise were not understood or known. We can rise up and look back to what is occurring and from this view become more conscious to the bigger picture. This expands our awareness and thus we can act from our greater understanding verses the limited beliefs we had as I did as a child in my own back yard.

Changing our vantage point also allows us to observe ourselves better. We are not only the actor of our lives we, as an observer, are the director of it. As we begin to see from a higher perspective, we can guide ourselves to where we need to go. This is because we have seen that everything is connected and this view reveals where we need to go is really a shorter distance than what we once thought.

Observing from Higher Places,

Sue

Remembering Our Oneness… An Observation

20131231_051444-1Yesterday started off just fabulous. I had a creative surge that seems to be coming through more regularly. I read, wrote and posted on one of my blogs as well as my Facebook pages. And that was all before I started work. That creativity and passion carried into my day. Each task I did for my job seemed lighter and filled with joy… Joy that comes from within when I am in my groove. This groove is not dependent on outside forces. It is not dependent on a person and it is not dependent on situations. It is the natural state of my being. Who I am infinitely… one with all life, one with everything around me and beyond. I remember each day who I am and it is that place I look from into the world, at my work, towards my friends, and to the actions that I perform. To remember that I am infinite and everyone else is infinite. We are here because, at some point in infinite time, we chose to be here and to live and experience living and loving; creating and expressing; sharing and receiving; lessons and growth and all that humanness with volition brings. Volition equates to choice and choice equates to experiences including those that seem less than desirable and even horrific at times.

Yesterday, while in this groove, I learned of the acts that took place in Paris. I stopped to pray; to place my intentions of love and peace on those that are experiencing the effects of the choices of other people. Those who misuse the power that is available to all for the use of Good in the world; those who have forgotten their infinite roots; their oneness with all life, and thus used their power to harm. I stop to pray for them, too, and for everyone on this green and blue planet that we are visiting. May each one of us remember who we are, our oneness with all life, that we do have the freedom and volition to do anything, and that we choose to use that power that we have for Good in this world.

As I observe our world, or at least observe what is available for me to see, I can see that we forget at times that we are one with it all. In that forgetting a gap is created in our mind. If allowed to grow, we can begin to think of life as an “us and them” or a “me vs. life” and that is what births the thoughts and feelings that create separateness and angst; fear and despair; depression and confusion; loss of hope and forget the desire to dream. I don’t want that for me or for anyone! So, this morning, as I sit here, I continue to remember who I am and my relationship to you, to those around me, to my co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, the community I live in and the world. I am one with each of you. Our paths cross because we chose them to do so. We each have the ability to use a power greater than ourselves for Good; to make this #aworldthatworksforeveryone. This is why we are here… and when we remember this, we can do so much. Let’s use what we have to heal broken hearts, to nurture the gifts we have, to touch the lives of others, and to remind other people, who are on this journey on this green and blue planet with us of our oneness with each other and with all life.

Today is fabulous and it is because I remember who I am. I am infinitely one with all life and I am one with you.

Remembering with you,

Sue