Observation… Wrong Turn!

Observation… Wrong Turn!

Have you ever being driving down the road, and automatically got off at the wrong exitSign.Freeway because you have used that exit many times before? Unconsciously, your body made the same decision and took you on the path you have gone before so many times. This happens to me we I get on a local freeway, but from a different location. I have the GPS set for my desired destination, but I take that familiar exit which I had no intention of taking. ARGH! I, then, maneuver myself back on the freeway and continue my way as the GPS is doing course corrections.

Recently, it happened again and I observed how this can be equated to how I, and maybe some of you, find ourselves thinking thoughts we no longer want to have or saying words we no longer want in our vocabulary. Words and thoughts have created patterns in our consciousness for so long that we are unaware we are using them until we are 5 Sign.Thoughtsminutes into a conversation in our minds or with someone else. Words and thoughts are so powerful. They evoke emotions and perpetuate the same actions and reactions for which we are trying to free ourselves. I know that I have conversations in my mind… conversations that have never happened in real life. But, inside my mind, my thoughts and words are churning me into a fit of undesired emotions which cause physical reactions in my body. Why do we do this? PATTERNS! Patterns are very comforting even if they are unhealthy. They are known, reliable, and familiar. It is easier to stay in a pattern that is unhealthy than create a new path for the mind to learn and thus, create change.

When I get on the local freeway from a different location, I have to consciously remind myself where I am and where I am going. If I start talking or listen to some music, the familiarity of the exit that I am not supposed to take is very powerful. So are the thoughtsSign.Changes and words I wish to no longer practice in my life. I need to stay mindful about what I want in my life so that I have mastery over my thoughts, words and actions. This is also a time where I can look at how I think about different topics and why I believe the way I do. Is it a habit? Do I truly believe what I think? Do I enjoy the outcome of my thoughts, i.e., do they make me feel better or contribute goodness and peace? Taking the wrong exit off the freeway doesn’t make me feel good. I lose time and it shows me that I was not being mindful. The same is true when I speak or think in old familiar ways. It doesn’t make me feel good, it wastes time, and it can cause needless pain to myself or someone I care about.

Thoughts.RopeWhat are your observations? Are you on automatic, going down the same old path of thoughts and words that steal your energy and time? Taking a new path requires more than just telling our GPS where we want to go, it takes consistent mindful awareness as we navigate to our new destination.

 

Course Correcting,

Sue

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Solstice Shift: The Ritual of Awareness

A new season of the year has begun. Did you notice? We took time last night to be outside and feel the excitement of the shift. We saw the last light of Spring and welcomed the first light of Summer as the western sky was still illumined by the sun that sat less than an hour before. We were silly. We took selfies. We opened our hearts to what is yet to come even though it is the unknown, but our intention was that we were welcoming more Good, more Joy, more Life and more Love.

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The ritual of recognizing or honoring the incoming new season gives us a marker… a line in the sand as to an awakening of shift. It is also an allowing of change while being present in the now. And, by making it a point to become conscious of presence and of our intention, it becomes a wand of sorts. Our thoughts, intentions, and beliefs go out like seeds… and that we can control. We assert or declare, like the wave of a wand, that which we what to come into our lives. And, instead of resisting what we don’t want, which has its own metaphysical responses, we release what no longer works for us, what no longer brings joy, or what no longer nourishes us to become a greater version of our self.

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Intending something is to be coupled with action. In practicing purposeful intention setting, we also learn what is ours to do and what is ours to allow the Universe to do. Each day we can ask what is something we can do to take a another step into our desires, into our Good. The End result or the HOW is left to Source to manage. In taking steps that nourish us each day, we allow Source to show us the next step and guide us in ways we could not think of if we are trying to micromanage the “hows” and “whens.”

Even though last night was Summer Solstice, it spills into today and tomorrow as we will also have the same number of minutes of light. In this, the earth has not yet begun its return tilt towards the next season. Take time to notice. Sit Image may contain: one or more peoplein the stillness for a bit today and tomorrow and ask yourself, “what it is that I desire to lean into?” Where would I like to shift and welcome into my next expression of my perfect Self? Plant that seed and in that, it will be as if you are waving your wand… casting your word out into that which is greater than you to act upon as you do what is yours to do in the present moment.

Happy Solstice,

Sue

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

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

Observation Adjusted a.k.a. A Little Camping Will Wake You Up!

Hues.of.lightI watched the hues of light form, from my window, as dawn came near. It was the most quiet time here at the campground. The waves pounded the shore to the point I felt their energy, the compression of their weight with the release of each wave. There are those moments that are so serene, that time stops and breathing and staring into the beauty is all I can do. And I did. Some hours before, I also stared out this same window. The stars shone brightly and the wind had calmed to allow me to open the window for fresh air. Looking due east I saw flashes of light. I was puzzled in how this could be as it was clear above me. Only light fog hovered over the land briefly, yet it is not here this morning.

In the quiet of my space I made coffee and stood to feel the breeze come through one window to the other. Alive! I turned off the fire from under the pot just before the whistle. Steam filled the cup as I poured slowly and stirred. Bliss… the smell of coffee while camping. That dark elixir that appeals to this writer’s heart. Settling back in to the warmth of the covers, the campground began to stir.

Dogs and children become restless as it gets lighter. Families come out of their campers and tents, squinting at the brightness. The day has begun. Movement. The scent of campfires. The sound of toys and things. Play and chatting. It is a village of sorts and I think about what it may have been like to live in a village type of atmosphere where seclusion is not the experience, but that you hear and see and communicate to your neighbors as soon as you step outside the door. There is still some sense of separation at a campground. Each camper is here for a different reason. Some to relax, others to give their kids an experience, while others are here because they made reservations months ago and it is just the going and doing of it because it was paid for or because there is an urge for the unknown.

One thing about this trip is I got sleep while I was here. It is good to slow down aMoon through the window bit and purposefully be somewhere different to adjust my patterns, think different thoughts and spend time on my soul. That is what this has been for me. Sometimes getting away takes effort and planning and staying home is just easier. But, I am seeing that if I want to get something done, have something change, be somewhere else, the effort is less obstructive than the stagnation of remaining where I am. Wondering whether or not I should do something takes the magic out of the moment. If I feel it… do it. The idea did not come to me just to think about it alone. The creative seed is planted for the purpose of growth and expression and the expansion of Life Itself through me and as me. I was not given breath just to ponder the breath, but to allow it to thrust me forward into the next movement of this dance I am participating in. As long as I have breath I am to be unfolding.

Ganesh mantra came to me while walking on the beach yesterday and as it did, I thought about where I am and the propulsion of where I am going… the desires in my heart the activities I participate in. I see that I have come far, learned much and done much. But I am not done! I am still discovering and still finding shackles that need to be released. I hold the keys and I have the freedom to release myself into wide open spaces. Ganesh is all about removing obstacles and releasing. I think this trip has stirred up my thinking regarding this;  to “walk through” verses thinking and planning the “walk” whatever that walk may be. I open myself to the magic of being lead by Love, led by the Mystery, taking the action and discovering along the way. Unhindered. I teach others to do this, to be it, and yet I have found myself caught in a cycle that needed to be broken and broken it is! I affirm that for myself.

Sometimes we are unaware of our condition until we get out of the condition. Shake up the routine. Do what is not normal. No… it is not easier to stay due to the effort to move! Staying calcifies the energies of the dreams and desires and makes them harder to reach.

Wave.at.DoranThis morning I felt the energy of the waves, their compression as they pounded the shore reverberated throughout the campground. I am the wave.