AWAKENING TO ABUNDANCE

“The key to abundance is meeting limited circumstances with unlimited thoughts.”  Marianne Williamson

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Is abundance based on what you have or how you perceive what you have?  Do you ever feel abundant?  Do you feel lacking no matter how much you have?

During the years I was teaching dance in Denver, I lived in a one-room apartment most of the time.  It contained a kitchen in one wall, one table, a single bed, a small closet, one chest of drawers, and one window.  Most people would consider that an extremely limited space, but for several years I was very happy there.

Abundance Isn’t About Quantity

The apartment was in a beautiful old Victorian house two blocks from Cheesman Park where there were walking trails and I could experience nature within the city.  The bay window covered one entire end of the apartment and filled the room with light and framed the upper branches of a large, beautiful oak.  It was a five minute drive from my part-time job on the edge of downtown.  With rent that was well within my meager means, I felt I had everything I needed.

Our Feelings of Lack Come From Inside Us

Our society has been so focused on money and things that people often feel poor if they don’t have much more than they need.  When we have plenty, yet feel lacking, we need to look within because what we are missing isn’t a thing; it’s what is inside of us.

What Makes Us Feel Abundant May Be Spiritual

What made me feel abundant during those years in Denver was that I was following my passion, teaching modern dance, and I had friends who shared my passion for dance and also my dedication to a spiritual journey.  Sharing their spiritual practices, my friends were also teachers who enriched my journey.  They introduced me to meditation, Eastern thinking, and Science of Mind philosophy.

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Charlie Davidson

Work That Doesn’t Offer Satisfaction May Feel Like Lack

There have also been times when I felt my life lacked abundance, when something significant was missing.  In New Orleans, I tried to work in sales because I wanted more money.  I had a larger, spacious apartment and newer car than in Denver, but my job took so much time and the contention in the office drained my energy.  Although I had more on the physical level, I didn’t feel abundant.  I felt drained and deprived of what made my life feel full.

When we at least have the basics that all people need, our definitions of abundance may vary widely, but it really comes down to how we see what we have.  For example, most people would feel very lacking without a smart phone and having the ability to text and use the internet.  If they can’t keep in constant contact with friends, they feel something is lacking.  I find that distracting.

When We Love Ourselves, We Feel Abundant

But at the base of our concept of abundance is the question:  Am I enough?  If we love ourselves, we more easily love others and share without feeling that sharing involves a loss.  In fact, sharing will make us feel richer.  When we love ourselves, we feel loved even without a romantic partner, and when we feel connected to Spirit, we feel loved in a deep spiritual way.

Wildflower Walk 2014 020

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Thinking Positively Enriches Us

When we have our basic needs met, but still feel no abundance, what do we need to change?  Often we get caught up in negative thinking so that we are always seeing what is wrong with life rather than focusing on what is good.  Reality isn’t always smooth and peaceful, but if we focus on solving problems and maintain a positive attitude that most problems can be solved, we are more likely to find solutions.

Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome many years ago was a gift.  Working with a wonderful holistic doctor, I learned how to use supplements, food, and alternative methods like acupuncture to attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  During that time, I had so little energy that everything I did seemed like a burden.  I also had to continue working in order to pay the bills.

I had to hunt for things to lift my spirits.  Sometimes it was simply the song of a bird or a cool breeze blowing through the window. (I lived in New Orleans)  I was always grateful when a friend came to visit, my mother brought me dinner, or I had more energy than usual.  But whatever I chose to focus on, I gave thanks for it as a form of abundance.

Enjoying the Moment Enriches Us

Making the time in each day to relax allows us time to be in the moment.  Just being in the moment can feel luxurious and special.  It is only then that we can take the time to truly look at our day and be thankful for what it has offered us.  At times, I start my day, before I even get out of bed with five minutes of meditation.  I welcome the silence and am thankful for that and then offer thanks for not only what I have but what I expect to experience that day.

Abundance is not only about what we have or our attitude about what we have; it is also about what we expect to have.  Positive expectations may draw to us what is most abundant in any area of our lives.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  How to Attract Abundance (Wayne Dyer), Manifesting What You Want – Pt. 1- with Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer (video), Exude an Attitude of Abundance

 

AWAKENING TO EXPERIMENT WITH LIFE

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Snow Bird Lodge 021

Does everything happen exactly as you want it?  If it doesn’t, do you give up or try again?Is there any value in experimenting with your life even if you fail to reach your goal?

If I made a list of all the things I’ve tried to do, but failed, I think it might be a long list.  Despite that, I’m very happy I attempted most of those things because at least I can say I tried.  That makes me feel good.  My mother would be proud too because, despite her failed attempt to make me into a Southern Lady (of the 50’s variety), she always taught me to do the best I could, and I did.

Failures Are Just Steps To Success

One of the things I heard as a young person that motivated me to work at the things I loved was that Edison had 10,000 failed experiments before he created a workable light bulb.  He didn’t think they were failures; they were simply steps he had to take to succeed.  I didn’t feel so bad after that and I got the message:  if you give up too soon you may never reach your goal.

If I’d given up too soon and not kept experimenting, I would never have become a dancer, danced with a company, published a book, or married again.  If I had given up, it would have been a tragedy because I would have missed the joy of accomplishing what I wasn’t quite sure I could do.

Wildflower Walk 2014 034

You Have To Experiment To Succeed

Each success required experimentation.   I had to stretch, bend, jump, and learn to lie still, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.  I like what Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I learned about life: it goes on.”  It went on despite the pulled muscles, torn up chapters, and a divorce.

But if we are willing to experiment as we live life, we may find the answers to remove the road- blocks that stand in our way.  For example, in dance, we perform the same movements over and over.  Through time, we learn just where our weight has to be placed in order to perform a pirouette or to leap and land in perfect balance.

A chef experiments with preparing Chicken Marsala until his creation fits his idea of perfection.  A teacher uses different methods for teaching writing until she finds the one that helps students succeed with the assignment.  A salesperson creates different pitches to sell his product to a variety of people.  Each successful accomplishment is preceded by experimentation.

Experimenting Teaches Us How To Find What Is Best

Every writer knows that the first draft isn’t the one that will be published.  It’s just the beginning and will be followed by editing and rewriting on every level.  We shift words around and rearrange the structure of sentences as well as the order of events.  The pattern we follow is the one that emerges as we begin to tell the story and often takes us to a place we never anticipated would be the ending.

Relationships are the same, although after my first marriage, I wondered how my life could go on.  I felt ill-equipped to take care of myself, especially when I quit my teaching job because I thought my husband would support me while I developed dance classes.  That was when he left.  I had never lived by myself or been on my own.  But had I not lost that relationship, I wouldn’t have been available for my current husband who is everything I ever wanted in a man.

Wildflower Walk 2014 019

Experimenting Reveals New Viewpoints

In a relationship, even with friends, we often experiment in order to find the right words to discuss a delicate subject.  We have to find the best way to handle conflict.  We have to learn that the timing of a discussion is important.   We have to learn to express empathy and be open to shift our own thinking to solve problems and grow together.  We have to be willing to let go of the way we thought things would be to accept the way things are.

When something in life isn’t working, we can run, hide, or experiment with new possibilities.  There are no guarantees that we will make the right decision, but we’ll never know if we don’t try to find a solution to the problem or a way to adapt.

Like the plants in our gardens, we may not be planted in the perfect soil or get the right amount of rain, but as a part of nature, we are capable of adapting.  Like the plants, it’s in our nature to do the best we can.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                              ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles: Experimenting with Life, Keep Moving Forward and Let Go of Failure, Three Simple Steps to Turn Failure Into Success

AWAKENING TO WHAT IS HUMANE

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”  Marianne Williamson

meditating in park

 Do you always think before you act?  How often are your actions based on your need to be right?  What do you do when being right conflicts with being humane?

What most often guides your actions—being right or being humane?  As I sat listening to the comments on what it means to be right during a group discussion the other night, I discovered I didn’t know what to say about my own concept of being right.  I kept thinking about all the destruction created in the world by those who believe they are so right that they have the right to destroy those whose beliefs differ from theirs.

Fear Is At the Core of Needing To Be Right

As the discussion progressed, I reflected on the past and times when I thought I knew what was right and how I tried to impose it on others.  Of course, fear was at the root of that.  I was afraid something bad would happen to me if I did the wrong thing or expressed an idea that would upset my parents, teachers, or friends.

But I’ve come a long way since then, realizing that, in some areas, it is clear to me what the right thing to do is because I have enough life experience to know what the possible outcome of certain actions are.  I think more often now before I speak or act and try to act in a conscious manner.

It Is Better To So What Is Humane Than What Is Right

Finally, toward the end of the discussion the other night, I realized that my intense discomfort with trying to decide what I thought was right was because it really is relative.  Several people had pointed this out quite vividly.  One action may be a good one in one sense but not in another.  Then I realized that instead of trying to do the right thing, perhaps doing the humane thing was a clearer guide.

Snow Bird Lodge 066

It appears that too many people in this world believe it’s all right to kill anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs.  So I have to ask, “Is it humane to kill innocent civilians who have had nothing to do with the political conflict that provoked this violence?  Why have we not developed a more humane way to resolve differences?”  Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

Needing To Be Right May Make Us Blind

Unfortunately, much of the world seems to be blind.  As I follow the actions of the leadership of my state, North Carolina, I often wonder why they are unwilling or unable to find solutions to problems that are respectful of all people and their basic needs.  Where is their compassion?

To be humane means that we believe everyone’s basic needs are met by creating an economy that provides jobs for those who can work with salaries that allow even the most basic workers to make a reasonable living.  When middle and lower class workers pay a higher percentage in taxes than the most wealthy, there is a lack of conscience among those who allow such laws to exist.

Snow Bird Lodge 063

To Be Humane, We Must Find Inner Peace

When did we forget how to share as a nation?  How did we forget that democracy is about all the people?   Doing what is humane is always right because it is doing what will help or heal or support another who is in need. When we do that, we are expressing positive energy that flows out into the world, inspiring or helping others.  Every action we take affects those around us.

But our actions reflect our thinking, and until we can find peace and love in our own hearts, we cannot share it with others.  We must learn to accept different points of view and embrace those that are humane.  After all, the Spirit, of which we are all a part, has throughout time sent many holy ones into our world to teach us better ways to live with love and peace.

Shifting Our Thinking Can Change the World

When we look at the heart of the world’s main religions, there are few differences although each may emphasize different aspects of spirituality.  We would have a much more humane world if we would focus our efforts on seeing how alike we are rather than how different.  Shifting our thinking can literally change the world.  So how far are you willing to stretch out of your comfort zone to explore thinking that is different from yours?

I am always reminded of what my dear spiritual teacher Gladys taught me—that when I release my fear, my mind is free to find solutions to my problems rather than reasons to continue being afraid.  What would happen if we released our fear and allowed our most humane thoughts to direct our lives?  We could become the peace which we desire in the world.

©2014 Georganne Spruce                                          ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  A Human Approach to World Peace,  Peace Summit with Dalai Lama,Eckhart Tolle, and Nobel, 10 Eckhart Tolle Take-a-Ways for a Peaceful 2014

AWAKENING TO TRUE LOVE

“True Love is born from understanding.”  Buddha

Snow Bird Lodge

Snow Bird Lodge

For several weeks, I have not written a new post for the blog.  Life has become the priority—a mixture of joyous happenings and challenging struggles.  Dreams have come true and pleasures have been dashed.

Life Was Good

I was married in late June.  A year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have thought it was possible.  I had created a life, without a partner, that made me happy most of the time.  I had met a couple of nice men, but we weren’t really a fit.  I was promoting my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness and beginning to explore a way to publish some poetry.  I had found a stimulating discussion group where I was making new friends and was hiking with a nice group of people.  Life was good.

I Met the Love of My Life

Then I met my Love.  It was an accident.  I was on an online dating site and made the mistake of clicking on something that took me to a site I didn’t want to be on.  There he saw me with one of the posters beside me for the Releasing the Fear classes that I teach.  He said it was my eyes that attracted him.  When he later returned to the site, I was gone, but he didn’t give up.  He googled “releasing your fear” and information appeared that led him to my email address.

I’m glad he is a curious and sensitive man.  His email was thoughtful, letting me know he was not stalking me despite the search he had made, so I responded.  Of course, before doing so, I googled him as well and discovered he was a spiritual person and a writer.

photo (21)

This was all a switch for me because in the past I had often been the one who made the most effort to get together with the men I met.  I liked being pursued, but I was cautious.  We used email and the phone to communicate and that went well, but I knew meeting him in person would tell me the most, especially since I am very sensitive to another person’s energy.

Spiritual Compatibility Is Important

The rest of the story is too long to tell here, but he came to a workshop and liked my work.  We read each others’ books and liked what we read.  Although our spiritual backgrounds are very different, we are very spiritually compatible and he has become a part of my spiritual community.  Still there are differences, and most conflicts came from not understanding one another.

Conflicts Often Result From Making Assumptions

So we learned along the way and will always be learning how to understand one another.  It is so easy to make assumptions and draw inaccurate conclusions about another’s behavior.  Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements advises us not to make assumptions, and that’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.  Our assumptions are always about us and rarely offer us truths about the other person.

Part of my journey in this relationship has been learning how to live with another person because, with the exception of one year with a roommate years ago, I have lived alone since 1977.  I never realized how set in my ways I am.  Fortunately, my Love has had more experience, but he’s also flexible.  Together we’ve learned what to do to make this work.

There were some challenges, especially when I fell hiking in mid-April and broke my ankle.  My Love moved in to take care of me so that I would not have to go to a rehab facility.  It stretched us both, but his love and care were wonderful.  We joke about him earning his nursing degree during this time.  What I saw was a man who simply does what he needs to do to care for those he loves even when it’s difficult.  I learned I could trust him and depend on him.  He had inner strength.

Understanding One Another Leads to a Deep Love

But here’s the bottom line.  Many of us want relationships and marriage.  I’ve wanted it all my life but was never willing to settle for a relationship with a man who was uncommitted or controlling or not on a compatible path.  I just knew it wouldn’t work.  The truth is that the most wonderful thing about this marriage relationship is something I had never felt—a feeling so wonderful that it still seems quite unreal.

It isn’t the illusion of “being in love.”  It is something so much deeper.  It is knowing that on a spiritual level you are a match, that your love is a healthy love that supports you both.  It is a feeling of deep peace and joy, knowing you are loved for who you truly are, and that you share the same kind of commitment.  It is knowing that the other person will be there for you, and that you, without a doubt, will be there for him.

We Cannot Truly Love Another Until We Love Ourselves

I thought I knew what True Love was, but I didn’t.  What I had felt once in the past doesn’t even come close to this, but I also realize that I can experience this True Love because I have spent many years learning to understand and love myself and created a life I liked.  With these two things in place I was energetically ready to attract my perfect mate and had become the person who could be his perfect partner.

I’m now back on my feet, walking almost normally, but still doing physical therapy so I can return to my former hiking strength.  Life never feels quite complete without my time on the forest trails.  I feel most grateful for this healing and also for the partner I now have who shares all the paths I follow.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Dr. Wayne Dyer:  Dating, Desire, and Attracting Love, Deeper Dating – Finding A New Approach to Love, Relationships: True Love and the Transcendence of Duality (interview with Eckhart Tolle)

 

 

INTERFAITH DIALOGUE EVENT

Grateful Steps Book Signing

Grateful Steps Book Signing

For several years, I was a member of a spiritual group that met once a month to share our spiritual journeys and to participate in programs that would teach us new spiritual techniques and expose us to a wide variety of spiritual beliefs.  It was one of the most enriching and inspiring experiences I’ve ever had, and I learned so much from what others shared.

I’m very excited about participating in the Interfaith Dialogue series on Thursday, June 19 at Grateful Steps Bookshop in Asheville, NC at 159 So. Lexington Ave.  I will present short readings from my memoir Awakening to the Dance:  A Journey to Wholeness.   As I read excerpts related to my spiritual journey, we will discuss the concepts presented and share experiences.  The event is free.

 My memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness is the story of a my search to find an authentic identity, creative expression, and a spirituality apart from traditional religion.  Although this spiritual journey began with attending a traditional church, I soon found that it was my love of dance and drama that really touched my spirit.  Through modern dance, I discovered the oneness of the mind body connection, and later began to explore other spiritual practices.  One by one, I enthusiastically explored techniques to release my fear, Buddhist teachings and meditation, Jungian dream interpretation, and Science of Mind manifestation techniques.  Each led me more closely to an authentic identity and a wholeness that transformed my life.

This is an opportunity to share and explore our beliefs, so please join us. 

DANCING FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FREE

“When you are joyous, look deeply into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.  When you are sorrowful, look again into your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”  Khalil Gibran

2012 Botanical Garden 019

Photo: Georganne Spruce

How do you handle disappointment?  Does it plunge you into depression or are you able to learn from it and still expect the best from life?

Yesterday I sat in the doctor’s office nervously waiting for him to appear.  The silence calmed me a bit as did the smile from my fiancé who was there with me.  The doctor came in smiling after having seen the x-rays of the ankle I had broken.  “A good sign,” I thought, waiting for him to speak.

We Share Joy Simply By Expressing It

His words were exactly what I wanted to hear.  The boot was booted, and I could bear weight again.  We were all smiling and I was so happy I forgot to ask the questions I should have asked.  He could tell from the smile on my face that he needed to add, “But no jumping or running.”  And he laughed joyfully with me.

I may have been seated but I was jumping for joy, and so were the nurse and my fiancé.  It was contagious.  But that is often the way joy is—it radiates and infects those around us, and before they know it, they are dancing the dance with us.

It’s the small things on this journey that sometimes give the greatest joy—being able to climb up six stairs without falling, being able to sleep with my foot free of the heavy boot, my fiancé bringing me a vase of Gerber daisies, having two hours to sit and talk with my best friend.  Even the ice cream I frequently get seemed tastier.

We Experience Sadness Only When We Lose What We Value

When we are forced to focus, we may actually realize that we become sad only when we lose or feel we will lose what we care about.  For an independent active person like me, not being able to walk for six weeks was huge.  For someone who is sedentary, it might be just an inconvenience.  For someone who follows a particular football team, the loss of a game is upsetting.  Not being a fan, I wouldn’t even notice.

I value freedom, and I need a lot of it in terms of making my own decisions, following my spiritual path, and writing.  None of these were affected by the restrictions I have had recently, but the physical restriction weighed me down so much that I began to get depressed about growing older, and I worried about the time when I would be permanently restricted.

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Photo: Georganne Spruce

Even When Negative Experiences Occur, We Can Still Expect the Best From Life

At that point, I stopped and thought, “Wait a minute.  I never think like this.  I always assume I’ll be active until the day I die.”  I took a deep breath, did a little meditation, and let the fear go.  My sense of well-being returned.  What happens, happens, but I’ll always take the best care of myself that I can, so there is no reason to dwell on the worst that could happen.  It’s not unreasonable for me to expect all will be well even when, once in a while, negative things happen.

Because I was a dancer for many years, just being able to walk feels like an incredible freedom.  I feel like I’m dancing just because I can look other adults in the eye now instead of seeing the world from a knee-level perspective.  Everyone is my dancing partner and I’m feeling footloose and fancy free.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Allowing What Is, Worried? How Not to Let It Get the Best of You – Wayne Dyer

AWAKENING TO ACCEPTANCE

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality it brings something entirely new into this world.  That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.”  Eckhart Tolle

Photo:  Charles Davidson

Photo: Charles Davidson

Are you able to accept circumstances that displease you and move on, or do you stay stuck wishing the thing had never happened?  Do you resist accepting and letting go because you believe that validates what happened?  Are you able to accept what you can’t change?

Forgiveness Releases Negative Emotions

One of the most profound shifts in my thinking came years ago when I was taking a class in the fundamentals of Religious Science philosophy.  We were discussing forgiveness, and the minister pointed out that forgiveness releases you from your attachment to a hurtful situation and frees you to move on.  It doesn’t mean that you think what was done to you was acceptable; it means you aren’t going to hang on to your anger or hurt anymore.

Explore the Themes in Each Conflict

Often, we feel hurt in situations because we don’t understand why the other person has done the thing that hurts us.  At the time I heard these wise words, a friend of mine had dropped out of my life and just wasn’t available after she started living with a man.  I understood her life had changed, but I felt she had handled some things related to me in a very insensitive way. In our interactions with others, there are themes that run throughout our lives, often based on childhood experiences.  An abandoned child or one whose parent was not emotionally there much of the time may feel abandoned when a friend moves away.  Because this is a major theme, this event may be experienced in an intense way.  What is merely a sad event to one may be devastating to another.

Understanding Emotional Themes Helps Us Release the Drama

The intensity of what we feel may also motivate us to create drama around the situation or we may simply shut down emotionally, refusing to deal with it at all.  But unless we are willing to look closely at the underlying theme in these situations, we will repeat them again.  When we look at them closely and are able to understand what the situation is about at a deeper level, we release some of our attachment to the drama.  Then, we can more easily detach from it and accept the situation for what it is. According to Oneness, “Acceptance, unconditionally, of whatever has been presented, without the need to try to change, and without the need to fit it into the context of one’s own system of values, constitutes the recipe for release from whatever contractual arrangement may have been in place with certain beings.” (pp. 166-167) As Oneness points out, the intensity of our feelings may also be related to karmic connections with other people or karmic themes.  When we are able to release ourselves from these and even lesser drama, we are able to accept what is and release the other person with love.  As long as we hang on to the anger or hurt, the drama thickens within us even if we have no physical contact with the other person.

Frederick Leighton - Solitude

Frederick Leighton – Solitude

Release Fears and Allow Solitude to Heal

But how can we let go of those negative feelings?  Choosing solitude offers us the opportunity to go within.  Meditation may be very helpful in detaching from emotional turmoil, and along with that, I use the releasing fear practice that I teach because at the root of all negative emotions is fear.  I explore the fear beneath the anger and hurt.  What am I afraid of?  In the case of my friend, was I afraid I wouldn’t find another friend?  Was I afraid I’d never find a man who would love me? Then I direct my mind to release the fear, naming it specifically if I can identify it.  I breathe deeply and as I exhale, I feel the fear leave my body.   If negative emotions keep coming up, I continue the practice for each one, allowing quiet space to settle over me between each release. Another helpful technique based on acupressure points is the Emotional Freedom Technique of tapping.  I find it particularly helpful for the deeper issues that are more difficult to release with the release the fear technique.  After all, our emotions are energy, and this healing requires that we learn to release what is not healthy for us.

EFT

Tapping Points for Emotional Freedom Technique

Acceptance Includes Loving Detachment

When we have released our fears, we will be able to accept what is and move on even when acceptance may mean leaving those we love.  Oneness says, “Walking away with loving detachment is the lesson here to be mastered.”  Eventually, I was able to see my friend with more objectivity, understanding that the man with whom she lived gave her so much she had never had.  I could also see that I had always invested more in our relationship than she had—an indication that it had never meant as much to her as it did to me. Being able to see the themes in our relationship eventually allowed me to accept its end.  I was also moving into a new phase of my life that eventually would have separated us when I moved to North Carolina.  The end had just come sooner than I expected.  Accepting that as Divine Order was the key and I was grateful for the peace that followed. © 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                       ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5 Related Articles:  Basic Steps to Your Emotional Freedom, Acceptance is Vital – Eckhart Tolle (video), Acceptance and Surrender – Eckhart Tolle (video)