Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finding One's Way

We all have a purpose on this earth. Maybe this is something that you've heard before, but never truly considered. What would it mean if you actually had specific things to accomplish, orchestrated right down to the minor details? What if there are things in your life that will keep coming up for you until you deal with them? You know the things I'm talking about - uncomfortable things, challenging things, seemingly impossible things. What if you were your only obstacle to obtaining a sense of true, lasting peace? What could this mean?

This has all been coming to light for me, personally, since I picked up
"Sacred Contracts" by Carolyn Myss. I have always believed that I chose this life, the scenarios, the people, the challenges. I remember as a child reviewing the romantic relationships that I would have, being clear that the first love wouldn't be the only love, and knowing that there would be a truer love awaiting me. I also remember consciously choosing to forget my "contract" in order to fully live this human life.

This message of order was brought into clearer focus still when I attended a Women's Lodge with
Dianne Tharp of Ayami International. We were asked to create a life's mission statement for ourselves. By focusing on what makes me ... me, it truly brought my whole philosophy about life into clearer focus. The things that I've always held as rules for myself are very important actions and lessons, and are a huge part of what I have to offer the world. My one governing rule is very simple, and was something I first learned from my mom: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This is how Jesus worded it ... But when researching this very simple idea, I came across a beautiful plethora of quotes from all different religions:

Buddhism: "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."

Judaism: "Thou shalt Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Hinduism: "One should always treat others as they themselves wish to be treated."

Zoroastrianism: "Whatever is disagreeable to yourself, do not do unto others."

Confucianism: "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."

Christianity: "Whatsoever ye would that others should do to you, do ye even so to them."

I certainly don't know what the rest of my life holds for me, but I do have a clearer focus on the direction I'd like to lead my life in. I want to be a person who helps others to feel positive, confident and peaceful. I want to live my life in a way that spreads joy and love to the world. Here is my personal life's mission statement:

I will be a confident role model and an inspiration to others. I will strive to connect others while enjoying the magic and the goodness of my connection to the Divine. "Harmonious Spontaneity".

All we can really do is to be more conscious in the way we decide to encounter our lives. Maybe that means taking the time to really consider our reactions to people, places and situations in our lives. Maybe that means setting an intention at the dawn of each day. These are all things that make life simpler, but perhaps this is the key to living a fulfilling life. All I know is that I am taking a vow today to be more mindful of my reactions. That is something I have control over.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Marathon Training

I decided to be brave a few months ago, and I have begun training for a marathon. I am still trying to figure out why I feel this need to train for something so big. Especially today, when my muscles are tired, and I'm still fighting to get myself rehydrated .... my mouth is so dry.

Why do we willingly challenge ourselves? What is the point of such a venture? These are the kinds of questions that held me back many times from achieving wonderful things. Once upon a time, I walked away at the sign of any challenge - big or small - and now I am taking on one of those big feats, and I'm not sure why! I suppose I want to prove to myself that I can do this. There is the question of failure, always. But I am beginning to know about failure, and sometimes the best lessons are to be had from it. The only person who recognizes your failures is You. I know I am not going to be the very best at this, but I can do my very best today, and when I look back I will be proud. Proud that I saw the challenge, took it, and trained four days a week, tried to eat the right foods, tried to drink enough water, tried to get in tune with my body.

It is fascinating how much our bodies say to us, and how many times we disregard these messages. I can see how easy it is to lose touch with our physicality, by simply ignoring. It is becoming clearer every day that I need to pay attention to the signs and symptoms of my body. I cannot ignore my body's reactions to certain foods, to coffee, to sugar (groan). But I feel encouraged by this training to put only the best fuel into my body, simply because I feel better when I eat well. All such simple concepts, but so easy to ignore! Especially the sugar ... I am a baker after all ... But even in that way, I feel challenged to bake things that are low in sugar and fat, adding extra healthful ingredients to get the highest level of nourishment from all food.

I don't know what road I will be weaving through in my mind throughout this training, and that scares me a little, I admit. But I am quickly discovering that this running is forcing me to face some very basic facts about myself. At this point most of me wants to skulk away, avoiding these things: I am addicted to sweets. I don't spend time preparing healthful foods for myself, but I will do it for my kids. The idea of a challenge still freaks me out. I don't listen to my body.

But I am now facing these facts, and I cannot wait to see what kind of person emerges from these strong legs. My strong legs.

Here is a little recipe I created that is very healthy!

Stuffed Avocado Salad

Slice an avocado in half lengthwise, remove the pit. Scoop out the green goodness and dice. Toss in a bowl with cooked Quinoa, diced tomato and diced orange peppers. Drizzle with Apple Cider Vinegar & Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine well, and serve in the avocado shell. Happy eating!