Tag Archives: Inner Strength

AWAKENING TO GROW

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer

Are you open to changing and growing?  Or do you try to keep things the way they are despite the Universe’s hints?

Growing Can Be Challenging

I’m a day late posting this blog because I needed to spend yesterday growing.  It wasn’t the sort of growth I like.  It involved downloading new software and learning to use it, and it was very challenging.  One piece, Scrivener, is what I believe will be a very useful piece of software that will make my writing and compiling books so much easier.  I’ve been putting this off because I didn’t want to deal with the learning curve.  But I couldn’t finish the paperback version of my book without doing this, so I took the plunge.

The second software was unexpected.  When I received the book file from my friend Brad Swift who formatted it, I couldn’t open it because it was zipped.  (You technical people know what this means.)  My operating system is supposed to have the ability to unzip, but, in fact, it doesn’t.  It has a bug in this area, so I had to download another program just for zipping and unzipping.  Isn’t that just zippy!

Oneness Will Bring Us Help

Fortunately, I had some good help—from Brad, who is a coach and creative thinker.  We tried everything to get that file open, but finally had to admit, something was wrong with my computer.   I also had a great tech, Jeffrey, from Scrivener emailing like crazy, analyzing and suggesting the next step.  It was a long day.  Sometimes I left the computer to cry, sometimes to scream.  I even stopped to read inspirational thoughts once.  That didn’t help.

Well, I messed up the downloads more than once, but fortunately I could delete them and try again.  I wanted to give up more than once.  My brain felt totally fried.  Despite a part of me saying, “You don’t have to do this now,” I knew I did.  I knew that if I gave in to that part of me that is the helpless little girl, I would be very unhappy with myself.

Awakening to Our Inner Strength

You see, as a child who was often sick, my overprotective mother often told me I was too weak to do something or that I would hurt myself if I pushed too much.  So, I felt weak and helpless for a long time until I began to dance and feel strong.  It’s at times like this that my little girl sneaks out again, and I have to remind that part of me that I have recovered from helplessness and can do this difficult thing.

We all have messages from the past that occasionally haunt us, but if we are willing to grow, we say, “Ah, there you are again.  Sorry, but I need to move on.  I’m grown up now.”  Just as flowers need good soil, enough sun and water to grow, we must nourish our own growth.  It may involve feeding our inner selves with meditation, a walk in the forest, or an inspiring book.  Or it may mean trying to do something we have no idea how to do and deal with the frustration and our deflated egos as we try and fail and try again until we succeed.

Having the Courage to Try

Despite my mother’s fears that I would hurt myself, she taught me a contradictory message that has been so powerful.  She insisted that there was no disgrace in failing, only disgrace in not trying.  If you never try, you’ll never know if you can do it, and you’ll always wonder.

My file is now unzipped with the document sitting beautifully in the new software as if it had been born to live there.  Do I know how to use this program?  Sort of.  But I’ll learn more, and I’m already envisioning how it will help me write my next book.  Thank you, Brad and Jeffrey.  And when this paperback is on sale, I’ll let you know because it is a story of growth, despite many challenges, and I hope it will help others to grow too.

How have you grown lately? Please share.

©2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle – Facing Adversity5 Ways to Let Go of Resistance, A Constant Self-Growth, Awakening to the Power of Pleasant Thoughts

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AWAKENING TO EMBRACE CHAOS

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”   Deepak Chopra

What is your first response when life feels chaotic?  Are you at ease with chaos or do you resist it?  Or does chaos excite you with its possibilities for change.

Changes May Feel Chaotic

I’ve read that the vibration of the universe is speeding up; therefore, our sense of time is changing too.  No matter how fast I move, it seems that I can’t get as much done in a day as I used to.  I could blame it on my age, but I know that’s not the reason because I’m still very energetic.  But time is only one of the elements that contributes to my feeling that life is chaotic.

Life is changing on every level.  In the last year, I have made the choice to complete a book and have it published.  This will happen in the near future and I will soon be posting information about it on this blog.  This has required that I learn about aspects of online technology and marketing that do not come easily to me.  As a result, I feel I’ve been living in the midst of chaos and stressful change.

Change and Chaos May Contain Hidden Gifts

Change often seems overwhelming, and our fear of change may develop into a resistance to embrace new experiences and limit our possibility for growth.  A wonderful spiritual teacher of mine told her students to ask the universe for what we needed because the universe would send it to us.  She also warned us that it may not look like what we expect nor come when we want it.  So, what if exactly what we need is buried in this chaos and change?  If we are unwilling to look at what is there, we may not notice the treasure.

That’s the problem with chaos.  It’s so distracting.  It may also bring conflict into the situation.  Even if it’s good chaos, it may face us with too many choices.  How can we deal with all this?  Oneness recommends the following: “When your energies are at a low ebb and you are experiencing resistance, it is time to pull inward and not to escalate adversity by directly confronting those circumstances.” (Page 94) In the silence within we can consider the value of each choice we face and get in touch with our inner, higher selves.  When we look inward, we are more likely to make wiser choices.

Embracing Change Leads to Spiritual Growth

I’m sure that you, like me, have met people who resist any change.  They may be satisfied with their lives the way they are and don’t want to “rock the boat.”  They may also fear any unknown.  Chaos is disconcerting because it reminds us that having the ability to totally control our lives is an illusion.  Our fear about it often comes down to one major fear—that we will not know how to successfully deal with the change.  But the reality is that if we’re alive, we will at sometime experience adversity, and that’s not always bad, for it often brings us face to face with lessons we need to learn.

I really admire a friend of mine.  In the last two months, her husband has had to have surgery, then he injured his knee, then their dog died, then the day before they planned to leave on a trip their car developed a major problem.  Obviously, this has been a stressful time, but she has had a great attitude because she accepts each thing as it comes, looking for a positive solution, doing the best she can without letting anger and resistance create more problems.

“For to realize the full potential of this journey, it is necessary that you be willing to immerse yourself in the treacherous waters of change, knowing that the ability to swim like a champion, under all possible conditions, is within you.” Oneness, (Page 97)  My friend is definitely swimming like a champion.  If you don’t know how to swim, this is a good time to learn.

When we can embrace the possibilities that chaos offers and trust that the answers we need lie in our deeper selves, we no longer need to fear the chaos.  Without the fear and beyond ego, we will always be led to decisions that are for the highest good of all.

How do you manage the chaos in life?  Please share your specific comments.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: The Universe As I See It: Order and Chaos, The Calm Before and After the Storm, Chaos and Disorder: Why We Need Them by Dr. Larry Dossey.

AWAKENING WITHIN TO AN ABUNDANT HARVEST

The passionate colors of autumn always touch my soul deeply.  As we move toward the cold and darkness of winter, they joyfully distract us for awhile with their brilliant colors.  They are part of the abundance of this harvest season when what we have planted comes to fruition.

What have you planted in the last year that has come to fruition?  Entrepreneurs are abundant where I live.  People are not waiting to see what will happen with the economy.  They are finding ways to follow their passions and support the lives they really want.  Ironically, out of the losses created by a failing economy, creativity has blossomed.

Do You Feel Worthy?

How we think about our lives largely determines how we experience them.  If we have received our sense of worth from the money we make or the things we own, or the house we live in, it is difficult to feel worthy without them.  We have to look deeper to find our true abundance.  When we take away the façade, what lies under it?

We need to know that we are all worthy, that we can love and be loved, that we have the strength to overcome adversity.  We need to know that we are connected to Oneness, the loving Spirit of the Universe, and it is always there to guide and uplift us.  The more we believe and affirm the good in our lives and in ourselves, the more we are able to manifest what we desire.  We are the only ones who can create the persons we want to be.

Creating the Inner Strength to Succeed

For the last year, I have been passionately committed to my writing.  I created this blog and have completed a book I hope to publish soon.  In order to do this, I have had to commit to putting this passion first in my life, to believe that it will bring abundance and joy, and that whatever I need to succeed will come to me.  I have had faith that the inner guidance I receive is authentic.  The joy I have felt as I pursued this path and the remarkable support that has appeared has convinced me I’m doing what I was meant to do.

In order to pursue this passion, I have had to harvest only supportive and positive thoughts about what I’m doing and let the negative ones lie fallow.  I remind myself daily that I have the wisdom to sort and choose only those thoughts and words that will give value to what I write.  I have had to release any self-doubt the moment it arises or it will burrow into my consciousness like the voles that undermine my backyard.  When a negative thought arises, I release the fear connected with it and affirm the positive aspect of the thought, thereby neutralizing its negative effect.  I then luxuriate in the peace that follows, and then repeat the positive thought I want to be my guidance for the day.

Having an Abundance of Inner Resources

Feeling that we have the inner resources to solve the problems in our lives is a great gift.  To reach that point, we must monitor our thoughts frequently.  It may require us to meditate daily or read inspiring materials.  It may involve avoiding negative people.  It may require more time alone.  Creating this inner abundance always results in a happier, more peaceful life. Even if the exteriors of life are challenging, we are better prepared to learn and grow from those challenges.  And even in the midst of those challenges, we will be able to know “All is well,” in the deepest sense.  When we plant an inner landscape with positive ideas, we will have an abundant harvest.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

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Related Articles:  The Power of Thoughts, No Ordinary Light, The Only Manifestation That Matters – Esther Hicks, Abraham

TRANSFORMING THE FEAR OF CHANGE

“People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them.  The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.”  Stephen R. Covey

Fearing Change

We always have more than one choice in life.  Will we give into our fears in a situation or will we find that core within us that will give us the strength and guidance to go beyond the negative choices that fear dictates?  Carlos Castaneda said about difficulties, “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.  The amount of work is the same.”

We live in a time of enormous change and fear.  The Universe, our lives, the structures of nature and government are changing and evolving.  Even Facebook has just made some changes.  Every time I go to the grocery store, I have to hunt for a product I have bought for years because its container has been redesigned.  Our DNA is changing.  Everything is evolving toward an experience of Oneness that will create a new and more cooperative world, but it sure is a pain sometimes.

At our best, we just give up and flow with what we can’t change.  At our worst, we fight the change every inch of the way building a wall of useless resistance.  We wonder if we will survive this.  We fear the consequences because the unknown is always a scary place, unless….

Finding the Spiritual Gift of Change

How often do you consider the possibility that the changes in your life may be good?  When I had to give up being a dancer, I thought, “Who am I, if not a dancer?  As the years passed and I looked at who I was more deeply, I realized what a narrow definition I had given myself.  I was much more than a dancer.  Now, if you ask me who, I will say, “I’m a creative and spiritual person.”  These aspects are part of my core.

When we choose to feel miserable about the changes in our lives, we choose to be less and see ourselves as the victim without any power.  Although this may seem like the easy way out, it isn’t.  Our most powerful strength is not the strength we use to fight against change; that will only defeat us.  What we resist, persists.  The strength that we need to develop in these changing times is unrelated to the exterior.

Awakening to the Strength of Our Spiritual Core

When we meditate or sit with Nature and escape from the external worries of our lives, we find that quiet, centered place where we connect with Spirit and our own soul, for they are One. When life is raging around us, being able to stand in a place that is peaceful allows us to make wise choices.  From this place, we can release our fears, separate ourselves from the outer discord, and look within our hearts and souls for the best answers.  When we choose to stand in our own inner power, we empower ourselves.

While I can’t say change never bothers me, I have learned not to fear most of it.  Many times I don’t know the answer to my most current challenge, but I know that if I stay in touch with who I really am, I will find the answer.  I know there are lessons in all experiences, and I know a significant experience may appear out of nowhere.  I have learned to see life as a wonderful mystery and I’m willing to take the ride, even when it gets bumpy.  I have had many challenging experiences in life, but whenever I have chosen to be strong rather than miserable, amazing opportunities and lessons have appeared.

What path do you choose today?  What do you think about Castaneda’s comment?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Readings:  How Simple Thinking Leads to a Brilliant MindThe Change Paradox:  Transforming Fear into Excitement and Opportunity

INTUITION – THE VOICE OF OUR SPIRITUAL CORE

“It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.”  Jonas Salk

Listening for Intuition’s Wisdom

 The longer I live, the more I rely on my intuition.  My journals are full of entries describing how I ignored it and the unfortunate consequences I experienced as a result.  The most difficult times to follow it are when it advises me to do what I don’t want to do.

In February 2011, writing and working intensely on the computer to set up a blog and learn to use Facebook, I foolishly ignored the warning my intuition was sending me verbally and through the tension building up in my back.  I woke up one morning with sciatica down the right side of my body. It was the most intense pain I’d ever experienced. It took about six months to recover with acupuncture to relieve the pain and physical therapy to correct my posture and strengthen my core.

In this case and in an accident four years earlier, my physical core was weak and out of balance despite the regular exercises I did.  The key to my physical recovery was building strength in the core muscles of the abdomen with daily exercises, and taking the stress off the lower back where the latest injury originated.

Strengthening Our Spiritual Core

 But more importantly, I needed to correct my spiritual core.  In both instances, I had allowed ego’s fears and needs to override my intuition’s advice.  In January, I had set a goal to have certain things done by the end of the month, no matter what! My ego, so much noisier than my intuition kept reminding me of this.

We have to remember that ego loves to feed off of what is negative.  It demands our attention.  So how can we develop the discipline and awareness to stay in touch with our core intuition?

 Ways to Stay in Touch With Intuition

Sitting in the silence is an important first step.  When we are centered in silence, we are most likely to hear Spirit speaking to us through intuition.  In those moments we are connected to Source, our loving partner, and its words are gentle.  When something starts pushing, it is ego.  When we feel fear, it is ego.  When we are being pushed toward an extreme or to the edge of endurance, that is ego.  The practice of listening in the silence teaches us to discern if the voice we hear or the physical response we feel is ego or intuition.

Secondly, we have to release our fear for it only feeds ego.  We can sit quietly and direct our minds to release whatever fearful thought has arisen.  As we make the statement, “I release this fear,” it is helpful to take a deep breath and in the body feel the tension of the fear release.  With the fear gone, there is space for our spiritual guidance to come through and for us to hear it.

I also believe intuition speaks to us in other ways: through the words of others, the ideas we encounter through reading spiritual books, through experiences in workshops and spiritual gatherings.  When we feel that “Ah, ha,” intuition is saying, “Listen, this is for you.”

So, during this next week, let’s find moments to listen to that partner inside that loves us enough to say, “This is for you.”  And let’s have the good sense to follow its advice.  Like Jonas Salk, let’s remember that what our intuition brings to us is a gift that is always good.

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Readings:

What is Spiritual Guidance?

What is Intuition? Eckhart Tolle

PRACTICING THE SPIRITUAL DANCE – BALANCING

“We learn by practice.  Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same.  One becomes in some area an athlete of God.”  Martha Graham

Awakening To Balance the Mind And Body

Finding balance was one of the great gifts I received from studying modern dance for many years.  Imagine, balancing on the toes of one foot, your spine stretching to its full length, your energy flowing from your pelvis, reaching down into the earth and upward to the sky, a perfectly balanced tension. 

Surry Celebration Team Dance, Flickr.com

To find balance requires strength, practicing pliés (knee bends) and relevés(balancing on the ball of the foot) daily for years until one day, it is easy and one rises miraculously into a moment of perfect balance.

I learned early that in order to perform a movement well, my mind and body had to work together.  This was long before I learned to meditate, so I didn’t’ have the advantage of knowing how to center my mind.  At first, when I tried to balance, I concentrated on contracting the right muscles in order to balance on my toes or one foot.  Then one day, I heard a teacher say, “Stretch, stretch your spine, stretch toward the ceiling, stretch out of the floor.”  I got it – balance was about expansion, not contraction.

We Need A Strong Spiritual Core For Life

Balancing requires stretching and strengthening.  In traditional modern dance, all movement is motivated from the center of the body, the pelvis.  Dancers need a strong core or else we find ourselves foundering, too weak to control leg and arm movement or unable to control our movement as we move out into space.  The same is true in life.  We need a strong, core spiritual belief that guides us.  We may believe that we are all One or we live from a spirit of Love that connects us to others in a meaningful way.  Whatever this belief is, when it resides at the center of our lives, it comforts and guides our actions and choices, acting as the core that holds the rest of our lives together.

Balance Opens Us To Wisdom

We also need a balance between the mind, body, emotions and soul.  If we can see the world only in emotional or rational terms, we have a limited awareness and may not be able to see the whole picture in a situation.  As we stretch, we allow the mind to open, expand, and move into new space.  We consider the possibility that ideas we have previously rejected may have value.  We learn to listen to another’s truth considering the possibility we may learn from them.  We learn to corral the part of our unruly ego that wants to reject whatever is not known and comfortable.

With balance comes wisdom, for balance teaches us to sit in the midst of chaos and remain centered.  When we feel balanced, we may choose not to respond to conflict.  We may choose to take a few deep breaths rather than honk our horn at the slowly moving person in front of us in traffic.  We may be able to stop ourselves from rushing out the door to a meeting when our child needs us to sit and listen.  When we are balanced, we are more aware.  We are living in that perfect tension between earth and sky.  We are an “athlete of God.”

 View the first in this series on “Practicing the Spiritual Dance – Developing Strength.”  

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Readings:

Is Balance Possible in This Lifetime

How to Find That Elusive Balance Between Work and Life

 

 

PRACTICING THE SPIRITUAL DANCE – DEVELOPING STRENGTH

“We learn by practice.  Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same.  One becomes in some area an athlete of God.”  Martha Graham

Dance As A Physical And Spiritual Practice

The practice of dance is one of the most rigorous and spiritual disciplines that exists.  Like all practices, the more one learns, the more expansive are the results.  Each step along the way yields riches of the physical and spiritual kind that not only strengthen one’s dance skills, but which enhance all aspects of life.  Beginning with this post, I want to use the practice of dance as an analogy to the practices that can enhance our lives spiritually.

From 1960 to the mid-1980′s, I trained, performed for four years, and taught modern dance.  Its gifts were abundant!  Dance taught me about inner and outer strength, how to balance and center my body and mind, and the value of flexibility.  Learning the value of daily dance practice and seeing that it could result in my accomplishing something I thought I couldn’t do taught me why it is so important not to give up when life becomes difficult.

Learning modern dance was enormously challenging for me.  As a child, stricken by rheumatic fever and a heart murmur at four years of age, I was not allowed normal physical exercise, nor was I able to study ballet, which was my dream.  Fortunately, I out grew the heart murmur and at sixteen, my high school offered a modern dance class which I quickly embraced.  It was tough for a weakling like me, but with time I developed muscles that gave me strength and some shape to my skinny body. This was the time of Marilyn Monroe and years before Twiggy’s shape became the ideal.

Choosing Physical and Spiritual Health

Without physical strength, we cannot enjoy the activity of life, but we also need inner strength.  A few years ago when I fell on the ice and sustained a broken elbow and two pelvic fractures, I went through months of physical therapy determined to return to my former state of activity.  What I found shocking was that, according to my physical therapist, most people stop doing their exercises as soon as they leave the rehab facility.  As a result, they never fully recover, choosing to remain disabled rather than be disciplined and committed to their healing.

Empowering Ourselves

With any injury or challenge, we need the inner strength to persevere and take responsibility for doing all we can do to overcome the challengeThis is how we grow in confidence.  What dance taught me was that even when a new dance phrase was difficult and I struggled to perform it smoothly, if I kept going, it would eventually get easier, and one day it would flow effortlessly.  There is always some challenge in learning something new.  If we avoid everything that is difficult in life, we miss wonderful opportunities that, through our perseverance, will empower us. We all feel more confident when we have successfully overcome a daunting obstacle. 

Both inner and outer strength require practice in life as in dance.  By practicing, we develop experience, find new ways to solve problems, feel more confident, and grow in awareness.  We can’t learn to dance without dancing.  When we choose to develop strength, we are choosing to become an “athlete of God.”

 When have you been an “athlete of God” lately?  How do you practice?

 In 1960 Martha Graham, choreographed a dance called “Acrobats of God” in which she celebrated and made fun of dancers and choreographers.   Look here if you’d like to see a video.   

 © 2011 Georganne Spruce