I've Been Thinking...
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about leaving. I don’t mean leaving on vacation (although I am looking forward to my annual August break). I’ve actually been thinking more deeply and broadly about the different ways we all leave a piece of ourselves behind each and every day.
We leave jobs or careers that no longer bring us joy. We leave relationships that don’t work for us anymore. We leave religious or political affiliations that no longer stand for what we believe. This week, under President Biden’s direction, the U.S. announced plans to leave Afghanistan. Former President Bush said it was a mistake, but Biden said it was the right move. Meanwhile, Texas legislators dramatically up and left the state capitol while the legislature was in session to protest voting rights suppression.
Do you feel like you can’t embrace anything these days? You go to the store and encounter a scowling face. You hear some bad news, or you get a call, and you have a terrible reaction. You don’t want to embrace it. You want to erase it! How many of you wish you had a giant eraser? And isn’t that what we’ve been trying to do most of our lives when things go wrong?
Wouldn’t it be nice to live from something that, at any moment, never feels like whatever it’s looking at is too much for it to embrace?
The balance of peace in the world can seem overwhelming, as if huge forces outside our control are in charge. But you can take a different perspective, setting yourself the goal of creating peace all around you. The source of violence, war, discontent, rebellion, and unrest lies inside each of us. When you become a unit of peace consciousness, exemplifying the quality known as Ahimsa (harmlessness) in Yoga, you have added in a unique way to bringing the world to a state of peace.
In the coming week, you can develop your peace consciousness by focusing on a different habit every day.
I've Been Thinking...
Happy Fourth of July, dear America! It’s your birthday! Happy, happy birthday to you!
Lucky are those of us who live within your shores and get to call you home. You get another turn around the sun, and I, for one, am grateful you are still here and still standing.
The day you realize that you can overcome any weakness, you are the winner. You should accept that your subconscious can solve all your problems, heal your body, and prosper you in every way.
LEARN TO TRUST
Trusting the power and wisdom of your subconscious mind is essential. By living in this fashion you are creating a superstructure for happiness. Since happiness is the ultimate and only goal of the individual, focusing on it completely is extremely imperative.
When you wake up in the morning, it is essential for you to repeat to yourself "Divine order takes charge of life and things are working for your good, Divine Love enfolds me and I move forward in peace"
After the more than a year of lockdown and the global nightmare we’ve all experienced, it’s time we dive into a summer of fun and celebration.
You deserve it.
Your family deserves it.
And, like all successful manifesting, we must begin with a clear vision of what our heart’s desire is.
Begin by thinking about all the things that represent summer to you: Activities, Food, Special events, things to see and do.
Since we don’t have any major vacations to Tuscany or Bali planned,
I desire my Summer 2021 to be a daily celebration of love, life, and lots of fun and I’m declaring that my Summer begins TODAY.
In no particular order, here’s what is on my list:
A Question to Walk With: Describe a passage in your life and how it looked before you experienced it and how it looks to you now on the other side.
This excerpt is from my book of poems, The Tone in the Center of the Bell.
This week I had an experience that made me think about my triggers and personal life story. I believe that ultimately we all face one karmic lesson, that if mastered, helps us live a peaceful life.
I was out on the trails with my very energetic pup. It was early morning and cloudy. We almost had the entire preserve to ourselves. My companion lets me know when bobcats, bunnies, or other wildlife are near. On this particular morning we heard some coyotes off in the distance. My dog paused and looked in the direction of his cousin’s song.
After the howls and yipping, our world returned to calm.
Before long, the tranquility was shattered by a very large, off leash dog baying loudly as it chased a coyote across the desert floor. The coyote was running for it’s life.
Life passes by slow and fast. We have both good and bad times. Happy and sad experiences. We walk through life and experience joy and loss, as well as happiness and death. There is contrast through it all. As I arrive at my 50th time around the sun, I took the time to sit with SOME of what I have learned. These are in no particular order and are certainly not all I have learned. I am sure I have forgotten some BIGGIES, but it’s a good start; and more importantly, on my birthday day, it is a good reminder to me of this amazing life I have been blessed to experience and all that I have journeyed through … on both sides of the contrast.
Enjoy ~ Sunny Dawn Johnston
When you are in your teens and 20s, life seems to extend into the future like an endless expanse of potential experiences. You can’t imagine not having the opportunity to visit places you love again or see friends and family regularly. As you grow older and encounter both loss and change, life takes on a quality of uncertainty, sweetness tinged with sorrow. A favorite uncle or a parent dies, friends move away, you yourself may move multiple times. The tapestry of life is always shifting, and we too shift with the changes. At a certain point, you may realize that the years ahead are possibly fewer than those behind. It may awaken a deep sense of appreciation for every moment you are given. This is how our lives teach us gratitude. Yet now, at this time on the planet, that lesson is coming up in unexpected ways.
When things don’t go according to plan or work out how you intended, it can be a huge disappointment and let down, especially when you have invested so much time, energy, and money.
It’s easy to judge yourself as a failure and beat yourself up harshly. But this serves nothing.
When you try so hard and your dreams don’t happen, it’s easy to question yourself and even want to give up on the dream itself.
But what if there was no such thing as “failure”?
Consider that every experience is feedback to you from the universe and every moment is an opportunity to learn something more about yourself.
Failure is simply an interpretation of reality based on your current level of consciousness.
So – What if things not working out were really a gift from the universe designed to take you deeper into yourself, forcing you to question, reflect, and let go of anything not in alignment with your highest?
One year ago, we went into lockdown.
Covid -19. The Corona virus. A global pandemic. Holy shit!
They said lockdown would probably only last three to four weeks, possibly six.
We were told to wash our hands, wear a mask, social distance so we could “flatten the curve.”
What happened next doesn’t need to be repeated here.
We’ve all been through our own personal trauma.
For the first few months the loss of freedom to come and go and do as I please, including making future plans, had me cycling through the five stages of grief at a rapid pace.
Although I felt physically “bulletproof,” I worried about getting and passing along the virus to my husband or mother, both with underlying conditions.
I've Been Thinking...
Last week in The Sunday Paper, my friend Peggy wrote about "mental clutter." She wrote about false egos, false thoughts, focusing on the soul's attention, and so much more.
But there was one thing in particular in her piece that stayed with me long after I read it. It was about how the false thoughts we tell ourselves—ones like “I’m alone” or "I have to do everything by myself and for myself"—create resentment, urgency, and clutter in our minds.
Peggy's suggestion was to allow your soul to speak. Allow it to tell you things like, "I can rely on others."
As I read that line, I could feel tears well up in my eyes. Asking for help and allowing yourself to rely on others is uncomfortable for many of us. In fact, many women my age were raised with the mantra of "you don't need help" and "you certainly don’t need a man to help you, so show that you can do it yourself. In fact, you must prove you can do it yourself."
I remember my father offering to help my mother carry her bag. She would always respond, "I can do it myself!" Many of my memories are of my mother trying to prove she could do whatever it was by herself. But the truth is, doing everything on her own wasn’t the truth of her life. She built a worldwide social justice mission with the help of millions of volunteers. She had help in every area of her life, but somehow there was shame around the idea that a woman like herself—someone who helped achieve a big world vision—might also need help in her everyday life as well.
History is filled with powerful forces that change the face of the Earth, and right now we are experiencing one, an explosion of a new coronavirus that has upended daily life. Forecasts of a changing world are in the air once the pandemic is over, but no one really knows what the reset will be, if there is going to be one.
I think the best reset would be over happiness. There is an unquenchable drive for humans to seek happiness, but this means very different things at different times. A day laborer hauling stone to build a cathedral in the Middle Ages was happy, even inspired, by backbreaking physical work that never changed and ended with the breakdown of the body.
That way of being happy is unimaginable to modern people. In developed societies, our formula for happiness generally involves the following: physical comfort, ample leisure, scientific medicine, higher education, endless distractions through entertainment and social media, and a steady supply of consumer goods. In the developing world these values are dominant, not as what people already have but what they aspire to have.
Today, Spirit guided me to talk about the body. The body. I know, you all have one, right? You all have a body, so that’s a good sign. And what I want to talk about is, what story you’re attached to. Do you have a story that you tell about your body?
It could be anything. Back in the day, my story was I’m overweight. I’m never going to be thin. I always am sick. Nobody’s ever gonna love me in this body. I used to talk how big my legs were or how much of a struggle it was to lose weight or just in general, just how fat I was.
So my story was that I couldn’t lose weight. My story was that I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t strong. I wasn’t attractive. That was my story.
Now, your story could be, I always get sick. Your story could be, I struggle with disease. Your story could be my body never does what I want it to do. It’s not strong enough. I’m too fat, too skinny, too tall, too small, too whatever it is.
I've Been Thinking...
So many people I speak to lately tell me they feel like wanderers. They say they feel like their lives aren’t moving in one particular direction. Some say they feel like they are in transition, while others say everything feels up in the air for them. Some say they finally feel open to things they never were before. I’ve heard some version of this message from people at all stages of life, no matter the age.
To them I say, “Same here.” I, too, have abandoned the fantasy of certitude.
COVID-19 has robbed everyone of certainty. I was certain that my government would take care of COVID quickly and effectively. I was certain that it would distribute vaccines in an efficient manner. I was certain that there would be people to help me navigate my way forward in this mess. Nothing has been like I thought it would be. That’s why letting go of the fantasy—letting go of what I thought was true—is the best way forward. It’s the truth of where we find ourselves.
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." —Helen Keller
I've Been Thinking...
I love words. I love how certain words make me feel. I love how they can be strung together to create stories and images. I love how certain words remind me of special people in my life and how they make me feel.
My takeaway from Wednesday’s presidential inauguration was this: Words matter. Tone matters. Temperament matters. Excellence shines. Manners never go out of style. Hope is there even when you can’t see it. And, no matter how old you are, a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” can bring you to tears.
It’s worth pausing to realize that history isn’t just stuffed in old books. It’s unfolding before our very eyes. It’s revealing itself in real time and in real ways. Thank God I’m alive because I’ve felt so lost the last few years and now I feel like I’m found. That’s how I felt Thursday morning after America began her new chapter.