February 17, 2014
Hello! It’s been a little while!
I’ve been introspective and not feeling like making entries on this blog.
Looking out at the glistening, diamond like snow, and reading a little Rumi, brought me a little gift of personal insight. So, I thought I’d share.“Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled. So wild flowers will come up Where you are. You have been stony for too many years. Try something different. Surrender.” Rumi
Our solid, rock-like defense system, whether jagged or smooth, helps us be “strong”. If we are strong enough we can keep things from getting to us, or breaking us apart. Familiarity is a rock too. Even when we feel we are hurt, or suffering, unhappy, lonely, the pattern of hanging on and just surviving the current emotion/drama is “safer”, for some of us, than trying something different.
Rumi reminds us to try something different. Let us take a risk and allow ourselves to be ground up ( just a little is ok, it only takes a small crack in the surface), to crumble apart just a little. Something new, and beautiful and full of hope might begin to grow—a wild flower, or….?
Sure, growing “flowers” might be unknown to us. We might have to learn something new. Face new disappointments. Solve different problems and crises. Different doesn’t mean “bad”, “wrong”, “impossible”, “not worth it”. Different means, or can mean “possibility”. We might end with a beautiful “garden”.
At this time in my life I am working consciously on allowing myself to soften, to crumble. I am ready. Some changes have come with little control from me, like my children growing up and moving away. That was a big change that has allowed me the opportunity to open up to other changes. I have started to meditate. I do yoga twice a week. I’ve changed my diet. And I have intention. Intention of breaking out of old patterns of behaviors and expectations. I am looking and my anxieties, my fears, things that make me hesitate, my reactions, my thoughts……a long, long list.
Little pieces of me are cracking and crumbling in a good way. Sometimes it is very hard and even scary because now I am also asking other people to look at me and respond to me differently, because I am looking and them and responding to them differently. By making changes in myself, I am making changes in relationships….and that’s a pretty big risk…..what if the other person doesn’t want to change?
But I’m going for it!! I’m creeping out of old, deep ruts for health and growth. Like the title of the blog, POTENTIALITY, in me is a great potential if I can let it grow like a wildflower among the crumbled, ground up old self..
January 5, 2014
Is our existence “fundamental”?
“Everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality.”
The self…”deep down basic whatever it is, and you’re all that, although you are pretending you’re not.”
(from Spirituality and Health)
There are lot of wonderful, fairly short videos on YouTube. I just “found” them and am thoroughly enjoying listening to them.
November 5, 2013
I think we all have someone, or many someones, who we would refer to as a “teacher”.
Maybe your kindergartner teacher comes to mind. Or your minister, therapist, boss, friend, grandmother, father….
Some of these are spiritual teachers, life teachers, vocational teachers, educational teachers. Teachers, teachers everywhere.
” A true teacher is someone who can offer us a map,
a question, an insight,
or simply a listening presence that sparks a fire in us. “
I read something recently, and I will include the link at the end, that called into question the label of “teacher”, and the value, power, importance we place on that person. Sometimes we put them on a pedestal. Sometimes they put themselves on a pedestal.
But who IS a teacher? What is a teacher? How does someone become a teacher? Are we all teachers? Could we be? Should we be? Is a “teacher” finished being a “student”? Can they continue to learn from others?
What do you think? Who are the teachers in your life? What kind of teachers are they? Are they the kind of teacher that have some kind of piece of paper that says they are a “real” teacher, or have they become a teacher through life experiences? Do you view them as “different” from you, “better” than you, “smarter” than you? Do you regard them as someone “special” or “gifted”? Do you feel you could never be “as good a teacher” as they are?
Are you a “teacher”? To whom? About what? Do you think you’re “pretty special”? Do you feel as if you are a “student” too?
What happens when we stop being a student? What happens when we see ourselves as “above” someone else, or “better” than someone else?
I am a teacher and a student. Right now my most significant teachers are a group of three to six year olds. Sometimes I feel like they look up to me way too much, figuratively and literally, so I often sit on the floor. I am not smarter than they are. They teach me important things: “Just be kind” they say. To them that’s the answer. To almost any question they face.
I hope you have good teachers in your life. I hope you still see yourself as a student. If there is a pedestal involved I hope you can gently remove it.
“I’m not a teacher: only a fellow traveler of whom you asked the way.
I pointed ahead- ahead of myself as well as you.”
George Bernard Shaw
http://www.joantollifson.com/writing18B.html Go to entry 10-30-13, scroll down
September 29, 2012
“We are constantly invited to be who we are.”
Henry David Thoreau
Everyday, as the sun rises and we open our eyes from the fuzzy interlude of sleep, dreams and silence to find a new invitation before us: You are invited this day, to be who you are.
While there may be routine, mundane, predictable parts of the day set before you, there will also be moments of spontaneity, unpredictability and surprise. These moments of synchronistic opportunity that catch us off guard provide us this invitation to be who we are. Not who we are expected to be, predicted to be…but who we ARE. And most of us, I believe, find we are able to RISE to a level we never expected.
Perhaps though , we have to train ourselves to be aware of these opportunities…mindfulness. Perhaps we will be called to muster up some courage and will ourselves to say “I will allow myself to submit to this moment in order to come closer to being the person I am”.
I go through days that are fairly routine, and within the routines, I find myself at risk of being in a rut. If I am in a rut, I most certainly am not living up to my fullest potential…the person I AM. I am not that routine, I am not that rut. I may have to live through those moments, but when I open the invitations that are presented to me throughout the day, and have the mindfulness to take action, I have greater, longer, more frequent moments where “I” am truly “me”. And I surprise myself!!
Sometimes it is an invitation to be kind, or take a risk, or say “no”, or for that matter “yes”. Sometimes it is closing my eyes, or taking a breath, or standing up instead of sitting down. Sometimes it is something big and scary, other times small and seemingly silly. Sometimes it may mean being assertive or confident, other times humble, accepting, or forgiving. But an invitation is an invitation. And if we don’t accept them and take action on them, they may stop coming. And then we may be alone with our routine, mundane, rut living self, rather than OUR SELF.
So, when your invitation arrives today, open it right away! Accept the invite and explore who you truly are!
April 14, 2012
Some days the only intention I have is to get through the day. That doesn’t always seem to be the best or the healthiest way to go about living. Other days, while it may be mired in boring, routine things, I have a plan of action. Other days my only goal is to relax and take the day as it comes. Do any of these really help me live to my fullest on any given day? Do these thoughts and actions serve to boost up and support my potential?
What about beginning each day with focused, purposeful INTENTION?
Definition of INTENTION
1: a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
2: import, significance
3: what one intends to do or bring about
On New Year’s we make “new year resolutions”. How long does that last for you? For me, not so long. Perhaps the old idea of “one step at a time” would work more effectively….the “one day at a time” idea. There are so many things I do each morning to prepare myself physically, mentally and emotionally for the day. Setting positive intentions for the day could easily and reasonably become part of that routine.
Let’s look at this more closely.
We do have the power to make a choice about how to begin the day. It is important to remember that we do attain personal growth through everyday challenges. When your mind becomes cluttered, pause and take a few breaths to gain some clarity and move on. Learn to recognize limiting beliefs that hold you back. Make it a goal to use your intuition and emotions in a positive way. Self acceptance goes a long way.
Little, by little, chip away at the old habits and obstructions in your path, commit to trying something new.
Get a journal, a little notebook, a pad of paper, or use your computer, phone or whatever.
Write down one intention, more if they come to mind. Something positive and realistic.
Recall it throughout the day. Your intention could be as simple as resolving to smile more, to slow down, to say something kind to someone you do not often speak to, to dress more professionally, or to meditate for 5 to 10 minutes.
The next day, review your intentions. Was there an intention that didn’t manifest? Let it go for a bit and include it again later. Give thanks for the intentions you brought to fruition, and then start the process all over for this new day.
There is cumulative power in even the smallest positive actions. You may also begin to notice patterns of behavior or thought that inhibit your confidence. Don’t try to sweep them under the proverbial mat, befriend them; understand where they’re coming from.
Change requires vision and commitment. Daily intention setting is one step to making small changes every day that add up to big changes. Changes that help us grow and move towards our full potential, and along the way, bring others along with us. As you rise to your potential, others will notice and then you have the opportunity to reach out your hand and guide them on a path that may help them discover their potential too.
Have the intention to care about yourself and live with the knowledge that through one small step each day you can manifest your fullest potential.
April 7, 2012
n. pl. po·ten·ti·al·i·ties
1. The state of being potential.
a. Inherent capacity for growth, development, or coming into existence.
b. Something possessing such capacity.
Beautiful idea: inherent capacity for growth, development, or coming into existence.
I have been coming into existence for over 50 years.