AWAKENING TO THE WISDOM OF DREAMS

“Dreams are today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions.”  Edgar Cayce

Starry Night by Van Gogh

Starry Night by Van Gogh

” I dream my painting and I paint my dream.”  Vincent Van Gogh

Do you remember your dreams? What do you learn from them? How have they helped guide your life?

Years ago, I was working as an employment assistance counselor for an art school.  There was an undercurrent of turbulence in the office, and although I felt it, I knew little about it.  Then I had nightmares for two nights that included people from the office.

One night I awoke about 1:00 am from a dream in which people were struggling and flailing their arms. I was hit in the mouth and my teeth were broken and my mouth was bleeding. As I walked away, my teeth started crumbling and falling out as blood gushed from my mouth. It seemed so real that, as I rose to consciousness, I put my hand to my mouth and was shocked to find my teeth were still there. My breathing was fast and my heart raced. It took at least a half an hour for me to relax and go back to sleep.

Dreams May Warn Us Of The Future

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The dream felt like a warning, but at the time, my manager seemed pleased with my work.  That September I found jobs for the largest number of students that had ever been hired.  My newly hired assistant had not been available when I most needed her and began breaking rules that my manager had insisted we follow.  When I complained, he became angry with me.  When he asked if I could work with her, I foolishly said, “No.”

He fired me.  Her flirtation had won him over.  It was then that I remembered the dream which seemed like a warning.  Had I been arrogant to assume he would not fire me because I had performed so well?  Perhaps I had just been foolish to underestimate how much he needed the attention he got from her.  And for a moment before I answered his question, my intuition urged me to say “yes.”

Intuition May Guide Us On How To Act

So I had a dream that warned me of impending harm, and my intuition sent a warning, but I ignored them both.  Not very wise.

The Archetypes In Dreams Take Us Deeper

In order to really understand our dreams, it is helpful to know something about archetypes.  These are characters, symbols, settings, or themes that recur often enough to have universal significance.  Their roots are in the collective unconscious.  For example, most people have some fear of the dark.  We can’t see what is there and it’s a mystery.  It’s a place to hide when we don’t want to be discovered.

Vishuddha

Vishuddha

We find archetypes in dreams, literature, advertising, and other areas of life, and the obvious ones trigger an emotional or intellectual response that suggests something deeper.  When I dreamed that someone bloodied my nose, it didn’t mean that would literally happen, but it did suggest that dramatic harm might come to me.

Dreams May Guide Us To Solve Problems

Dreams may also provide us with deep guidance to solve problems in life.  One of the most meaningful dreams I ever had appeared during the year after my divorce in 1977.  In it, there appeared a blond-haired woman in a red dress who had previously appeared in another dream.  To make the situation even stranger (or synchronistic), I had recently worn a red dress when I danced in a modern dance choreographed by Liz Lerman.  I played the role of a woman who rejected the limiting traditional roles of women.

Photo: pensieve.me

Photo: pensieve.me

In the dream, I stood in a huge plaza with a large pool in the middle. On the far side of the pool was a several-story building that was a home for older people. Near me was a green ladder that curved over the pool and merged into an upper story of the building.

When I arrived at the base of the arch, a blonde-haired girl and a young man stood there. We all broke the bread she had baked, taking part in a ritual of communion. The man left. I knew I had to go across the arch but was afraid. The girl represented some part of me so I had to follow her, but I had to make the crossing on my own. The beginning was straight like a ladder and easy to climb, but as the ladder curved into an arch, I became frightened and had to crawl across on all fours.

Dreams May Guide Our Spiritual Journey

It seemed to me that this blonde-haired woman in the red dress was my passion and that the dream was telling me to follow my passion, but move on. It suggested that if I followed the higher road, I would reach old age or a level of security that the building represented. Climbing the green ladder was a sacred act, part of my spiritual journey, a path through life leading me to a higher consciousness.

Because the arch led over the water, which symbolized emotion, it was also telling me to move beyond just reacting out of emotion, which I did all the time, and it created problems in my relationships. I believed the dream was a sign I was healing, and the message in the dream was exactly what I needed to know at that time.  (Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness by Georganne Spruce, pp. 49-50)

Dreams Guide Us To Deeper Answers

With this dream I began a journey to understand my emotions and gain control of them so that I could let go of the reactive emotional responses I had developed in childhood.  They no longer served me well.  That became a central theme in my spiritual journey leading me to learn to meditate, release my fear, and use my mind to create more positive thoughts.

Our dreams are rich with answers to our deepest questions.  Exploring our dreams is one way to begin to value and respect the wisdom that can be found in the dark.  One of the best sources to learn about symbols which may appear in our dreams is Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols.  May you dream well tonight.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                               ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Carl Jung- Man and His Symbols, Part I (video),  Dream Interpretation: What Do Dreams Mean?

 

 

 

AWAKENING TO RITUAL

“The purpose of ritual is to change the mind of the human being.  It’s sacred drama in which you are the audience as well as the participant and the purpose of it is to activate parts of the mind that are not activated by everyday activity.”  Sharon Devlin

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Do you like to participate in rituals?  Do you ever create your own?  What do they mean to you?

When people suggest I might do a ritual of some kind to heal a problem, I usually resist.  It isn’t that I don’t like ritual, but I often find that I can’t seem to get involved with it to the degree that it becomes meaningful.  Despite that, I have had several very meaningful experiences with it where the ritual took me to a very spiritual place.

Chanting May Create A Loving Feeling

Chanting is a perfect example.  When I try to chant by myself, it seems to go nowhere—not even to the nowhere it is supposed to go.  When I am with a group and singing a chant, I am carried away into a warm, fuzzy centered place where I am one with the group and it feels like the love of the holy is flowing within us.  But creating one’s own ritual can also create deep meaning and connections.

One of my first experiences of creating a ritual took place in Nebraska when my two dear women friends and I were parting ways.  One was heading to Omaha, another to Texas, and I was moving to Denver.  The thought of leaving each other was painful and we found ourselves withdrawing because we didn’t know how we could say “goodbye.”

Creating Our Own Rituals May Be Very Meaningful

Then we realized that we needed to create a “goodbye” ritual.  The following is a description of the ritual from my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness.

“When the moon was full, we went to the sand pits where we used to swim. We brought with us tokens of the life we had shared: flowers, tea, rocks, shells, dryer lint, unfinished pot holders, orange water, herbs, a fan, and a feather. We played instruments, and Carolyn, with bells around her ankles, and I danced. Donna, with her curly, sandy hair, watched, looking like a wild lion with a morning trumpet rising like a horn from her head. In this sacred space, the moon goddess blessed us, shining clear and bright in the darkness. The water was cool and serene, and the sand was soft beneath our feet. Our burning candles were hidden from the road by a small dune, and while we were there for two hours, no one disturbed us. My friends were like two sides of myself: the daring beast and the mystic. Speaking, I honored them.

North Platte river

The Nature Conservancy

‘Donna, the Leo, you give me strength to speak my own name, to believe in my beauty; you are laughter in my life; you are the fire of anger that sets me in motion; my defender, sister traveler, my comforter, my equal, my loving friend. You are the flower of celebration.’

‘Carolyn, the Sagittarian, you make the cycles of nature sing in my soul; you help me see the beauty, the humor in simple things; you are constancy, you are calm, you show me humility and forgiveness, my sister traveler, my equal, my loving friend. You are the simmering fire that warms the tea we drink together.’

I would never forget the peace of that night when all good forces in the universe came together to protect us, when we brought the ancient into the present and transformed it with our love.”

Rituals May Connect Us At The Heart Level

Many years before I visited New Mexico for the first time, I subscribed to New Mexico Magazine.  I was fascinated with the landscape and the Native American culture and art.  I don’t know why I felt such a deep connection to a place I had never seen.  When I finally moved there, it was for my health, but while I was there I experienced a deep heart-level connection with its original people, and some need that I cannot explain was filled.

One day a friend and I drove to see Chaco Canyon.  We spent the night nearby and drove into the canyon well before the sun was up.   It was the morning of the summer solstice and we stood at the edge of Casa Rinconada, a giant kiva, waiting for the first light of day to flow through an opening and strike a small window within on the opposite side.  The black sky sparkled with stars and slowly lightened along the horizon.  Time seem suspended as the light flowed across the sky and through the window into the center of the kiva, gradually moving its spear of light  through the dark opening of the window and illuminating it.

Rituals May Feel Timeless

I was flooded with the sense that I was connected to the many generations of people who have witnessed this coming of the light on the first day of summer.  This site was the ancestral home of the people now known as the Pueblos, 19 groups of which reside in New Mexico.  They were also the ancestors of many of the students I taught from the various pueblos.  What I felt was more than the sense of connection with the people and land but also a connection with time as a timeless concept.

chaco Ruins

Rituals Connect Different Cultures

In 1994 I traveled to West Africa with a group of teachers, and while we were there, we visited a village where the chief was away.  It is a tradition in Africa to greet visitors with a particular tea ceremony.  Because the chief was away, his teenage son welcomed us and led us to a domed structure build from tree branches where we sat on the floor, and he performed the ceremony.  The tea was brewed three times and passed around the circle.  The first time it is bitter like life.  The second time it is sweet like friendship.  The third time it is syrupy like love.

St. Louis, Senegal

St. Louis, Senegal

This was the second time we had experienced this ceremony, and both times we felt the warm, welcoming greeting of those performing it, but it was the chief’s son who impressed me so much.  He was a teenager much like those I taught at the time.  I thought how lucky he was to be trusted with such an important ritual so young.  It was another step in his learning to be a man.

While I felt a sense of Oneness with the Africans we met on the trip, I also felt honored when they shared their rituals with us, and wondered if the lack of ritual in most of our lives was part of what separated us within a community.  These rituals, like the other rituals I’ve experienced, are ways to put us in touch with earth, sky and humanity without us needing to find words spoken in the same language.

Like my other experiences with ritual, this one brought people together in a simple way.  Sitting in that domed hut, I was amazed at how cool it was on a hot day with us crowded closely to each other, an experience not everyone in our group was comfortable with.  Although this village had just gotten its first electric-driven well, the community relationships in this village were what mattered most, not the things they had.  I was reminded of my own childhood where we played in many yards watched over by many parents while the parents performed their evening ritual, talking to each other on the front steps of our homes.

Rituals Take Us To A Deep Spiritual Place

Perhaps because rituals are predictable, we are able to slip away and experience the deeper connections with one another that we may not share in the business of our day.  Somehow, we each have to find the experience that will connect us meaningfully and allow us to activate the spiritual nature that lies beneath our surface.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  (video) Summer Solstice Ushered at Ancient Sites, Senegalese Tea Culture, Create Your Own Ritual

AWAKENING TO GRACE

“Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless mystery it is.  In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”  Frederick Buechner

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What is grace?  How has it appeared in your life?  Where do you believe it comes from?

This year, more than ever, I am aware of how precious life is.  Two women I knew well died of cancer.  A man whom we all deeply admired in my spiritual community died suddenly of a heart attack.  We have also lost public figures like the beloved Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall.

No matter what difficulties arise, I am always reminded how fortunate I am to have the life I live, to have only medical problems that are not life-threatening, to have a loving husband, plenty of food, a home where I can live peacefully, and friends who are conscious and loving.  I am blessed.

Grace Is A Mystery

As far as experiencing grace, I’ve often felt like Anne Lamott who said, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”  I am always drawn to mysteries without needing to solve them.  They always make me ponder and question aspects of life I wouldn’t have noticed if the mystery had not arisen.  In the pondering, a new awareness often arises that enriches my life.

Grace Enriches Our Lives

One of the most profound examples of grace in my life is how I met my husband.  We were both on different online dating sites, and I accidently clicked on something that put me on his site.  He was taking one last look before shutting down his account, saw me, and sent an email. But I never received it.  I had taken myself off that site, but the picture he saw of me included a poster of the Release Your Fear workshops that I facilitate, and that helped him search and locate me.

He could have given up when I didn’t return his original email, but he listened to his heart.   He was in the middle of one of those mysteries life throws our way, one of those key moments when, if we listen inside we will be guided by grace.

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We Don’t Have To Earn Grace Or Deserve It

A friend defined grace as “undeserved, unearned, unexpected, and life-giving.”   It just happens.  We don’t do anything to cause it.  We don’t have to earn it.  It isn’t a reward.  It just is—like our lives.  Grace and the other mysteries of life may teach us we don’t always need to know why something happens.  We just need to be grateful and accept the gift we are offered.

I am not suggesting that we always need to be passive, but I know that some things are beyond our abilities to fix.  When there is a problem, it is wise to try to solve it.  Many times when we have done all we know how to do, it is the acceptance that we don’t know the answer that opens the way for grace to enter and bless us with its wisdom.

We Need To Make Room For The Holy

Buechner says, “…touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it (life) because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.” When we can wake each morning, grateful to live life, we fill the day with love and excitement, and we spread that energy to all around us.  Even in the midst of chaos and challenges, we need to find that moment to go within and listen, to make room for the holy, however we define it, to enter and bless us.

We Must Listen To Our Inner Selves

One time when I was in distress about how to solve a problem, I had a friend do a psychic reading for me.  She informed me that my spiritual guides were trying to speak to me, but I wasn’t listening.  She was right.  I was so focused on fixing what was “out there” that I wasn’t listening to my inner self.

We Must Be Open To Grace

Grace may visit us without our noticing it unless we are listening.  When difficulties arise and we shut down emotionally, we build a wall that closes us off from the mysteries and spiritual gifts of life.   We stop listening, and to listen, we have to risk hearing what we may not want to hear.  That is sometimes exactly what we need to hear.

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Living close to nature, even in a city, confronts us with the mysteries of life every day.  I have done nothing to earn the frequent visits of the turkeys that live in my subdivision, nor do I have any idea why my yard has become a playground for a couple of youthful rabbits.  But when I watch them wandering through my yard, I feel I have been touched with grace.  The pleasure that I receive by watching them is a gift from the Divine, and I am eternally grateful.

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Anne Lamott on Robin Williams – Stories Worth Telling

AWAKENING TO BALANCE THE MIND

“No person, no place, no thing has power over us, for ‘we’ are the only thinkers in our mind.  When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives.” Louise L. Hay

coast What happens when we give in to bouts of irritation and mental chaos?  Why do we get out of balance?  How do we bring ourselves back to balance?

Over the last week, I was struggling with multiple computer problems.  Even with my husband’s help, it seemed that when one problem was solved, the solution created another problem.  We talked repeatedly with our email company and with Microsoft who created the email program I use to manage my email.  There were constant error messages.  The challenge seemed endless, and I was not happy these problems kept me from writing.

Resistance Always Blocks Solutions

Over the last two months, I have found it difficult to write the blog because of the attention I needed to give to my ankle when I broke it and preparing for our wedding.  Even thought the latter was a delight, it still took time, so when the computer problems arose and kept me from writing for over a week, I lost my patience with it.

I resisted admitting that these were serious problems and that, of course, was a mistake because resistance always blocks solutions.  Then I let them take control of me and I became a pathetic, complaining, angry person.  Despite that, I did attempt to calm myself through positive thinking, meditation, finally hiring a technical person to fix the problems.

Reflecting on all this, I am reminded again that getting upset never helps and it rarely feels good.  It’s about returning to my immature self who felt helpless and did not activate the part of me that is a strong problem-solver and takes full responsibility to find the solution.

resisance

Positive Thinking Is Most Likely To Create Positive Results

Louise Hay is so right.  It is all about the way we chose to think.  The reason I have been so drawn to Science of Mind principles and the Law of Attraction is that they empower me to create in my life whatever I want.  How I think determines my experience.  When there is a crisis, like this week, I want to know I have the capability to solve it or to get the help I need to solve it.

At times, we just need to take a leap of faith.  We need to expect the problem to get solved, maintain a positive attitude toward it, and do whatever we can to fix it.  We can’t know ahead that the choice we make will work, but we have to have the courage to try.  If it doesn’t work, we simply need to try again, further analyzing the situation and experimenting.

Going within

The Answers Are Within Our Quiet Core

Allowing ourselves to be angry, to feel like a failure, or allow the problem to take over our lives has no benefit.  In that still, quiet place within, we have available to us information from our experiences in this life and information from our current and past spiritual life.  Or as in my case, we look around us and find someone who is more knowledgeable to solve the problem.

Without Fear, Our Minds Can Solve the Problems 

Feeling inadequate doesn’t help.  We all have different talents, and mine is definitely not computers; yet to some people who have never written a blog I seem accomplished.  It’s all in the mind, and operating from a peaceful place without fear is the place where we are most likely to find success.  What is going on in our minds has a ripple effect.  That energy can limit us or expand us.  We can choose.  As Louise Hay reminds us, “We are the only thinkers in our mind.”

© 2014 Georganne Spruce                                                         ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  Create A Balance Between Dreams and Habits (Wayne Dyer), Meditation Techniques for Balancing the Mind

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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 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.

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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.

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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