Since it’s all about Love, I love coming across writings that support that and I love to share them….

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, author Shane Claiborne’s paraphrase).

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Our world can feel so hard-hearted. Which means that the people in the world are being hard-hearted. Our true nature is Love. When we feel loving, our hearts are soft.  When we make a whole-hearted commitment to be loving to ourselves, when we have a softer heart for ourselves, we can be softer and kinder to others.

There is a famous quote from Ian MacLaren, a noted Scottish author (this quote has also been attributed to Plato). It goes: “Be kind. Everyone you meet is carrying a heavy burden.” It is often stated as: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  We know this to be true, we feel it for ourselves.

So let us be kind, to ourselves first. We all carry heavy burdens, even as we endeavor to come to terms with them and find peace in the midst of them. We often feel we are fighting a hard battle. Be kind, soften our hearts to ourselves…..and our compassion for ourselves will flow out from our full and open hearts to everyone around us. And life will feel softer.

I have an ongoing daily dialogue with my Guides. I call them my Angels or my Guides or my protectors in spirit….my Higher Self is part of my entourage or group that I talk to, consult and call on regularly. What does this mean? And how do you do it or why would you want to do it?

I like things to be simple, effective, direct. We want to call on our Guides for…..well, everything! Our Guides, our Higher Self, are part of each of us….the higher, wiser part of us. If there is a willing being always at hand ready to help with absolutely anything and everything, no matter how trivial or mundane we may judge it….and the biggest things too….why wouldn’t we call on that being and make life easier? As they saying goes, two heads are better than one….how about an infinite Universe at our beck and call?

It’s easy to feel alone in this human world. But we are part of Spirit, Divine, even as we are manifested in this human body. That’s why we are always inherently Love, because Spirit is inherently Love, and we are an indivisible part of that. So we are never alone! We just can’t always see or hear or feel the “rest” of the Universe of which we are a part. That doesn’t make it any less real or available to us. And make no mistake, the Universe is available to help us with absolutely anything and everything! We just have to ask….and receive. And trusting that we are entitled to ask and trusting we will be answered makes the process even smoother.

We all have ways that we think of God, Source, the Universe, All That Is, Oneness….it doesn’t really matter as long as we remember that we are part and parcel of the Oneness, indivisible with all Love and Beingness. We have all the qualities of whatever we think of as God….we just are not all of it…..it takes everything to make up the Oneness. The quality of the Oneness is Love.

And when someone loves us unconditionally, they are there for us. And the Universe is always there for us. It’s like we’re joined at the hip and when we ask for something, there always has to be a response…. although it may not look like what we are expecting. When we push, the Universe is pushed. When we pull, the Universe is pulled. We can’t be disconnected. We can feel like we are disconnected, but we never are in reality.

And it doesn’t matter if we hear anything or are aware of anything. Our words and thoughts do not fall into a void or a vacuum. We are heard and responded to. So it’s so important to always ask for what we need and know there will be a response even though we can’t necessarily count on what it will look like.  The response will always be for our highest good.

Years ago I had a vision of many people pushing against a fence. I came to realize they were Guides, or how I think of the helping aspect of the Universe. They told me,  We are here for you! We are here to help you! But you have free will….you have to ask! Now go and tell people to ask….and trust they will be heard and will receive what they need.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for a very long time. I tell people to ask for help with everything. And expect to receive a response! And I remind myself of this, too. I make it a practice to send a request out for everything that requires some consideration….why not use all of my Being and All of the All since it’s available to me? Wiser Mind than just my own human mind will weigh in, if invited. And I mean, I ask about everything. Should I do this now? What should I eat? What would feel loving now? How should I adjust my schedule? Should I make or cancel this appointment?  What about another glass of wine? How about this bill? It’s not that I can’t think for myself or make my own decisions. It’s about giving up being on auto-pilot and really asking, what is the most loving thing I can do here, the most loving action, the most loving decision, for my highest good and that of all concerned?

If I just use my human mind, I may not come up with the most loving course of action. Sometimes, the most loving course of action is no action! But human mind often wants to do something. Our Divine Mind will be more thoughtful, more aware, more conscious more loving, more true about what’s loving. We just have to take a moment, take a breath, and ask.

How do we hear our Angels/Guides/Protectors in Spirit/the Universe? We all have felt that feeling of, don’t do this, do this. And then not following that inner voice and not having the best outcome. We knew, we felt, we didn’t pay attention. The answer can come in an instant as if it was just dropped in our awareness; or we read something, or see something, or someone says something, or all of a sudden we just realize the answer. The more we practice this, the easier, the smoother the process becomes. The inner voice can be a still, small voice….we need practice to hear it. And practice to trust it.

And sometimes, I actually do hear a voice. But mostly, it’s a sense, or an impression, or suddenly the answer is just there.  All of a sudden I will feel, time to do this now! And I always ask for crystal clear answers. Because even after all this time, I can be rather hard-headed. And then I ask for help to be compassionate to myself.

Sometimes the answer is, just bring a loving response to this situation, difficult as it is, and it will all unfold in just the right way in just the right time. Trust. Because after all, it is All About Love.

 

What if our New Year’s Resolution was to love ourselves more?

I love teaching Reiki. Maybe because it’s all about Love. Yes, we learn to do Reiki treatments in Reiki I and how to do long distance or remote Reiki treatments in Reiki II; and as a Reiki Master you may attune others to Reiki and teach Reiki. But in order to do all that, we need to be willing to open ourselves to the inherent Love that we already are. Reiki is not an exclusive, separate energy that we are using to heal someone else. Reiki is simply the practice, the lifelong practice, if you choose, of continually receiving, “channeling”, the Love that infuses us always, first for our healing. You can think of it from The Universe, God, Source, Spirit, All that Is, Nature, Inherent Good…..everything, including us, are all the same Loving Energy. Reiki simply means Universal Life Force Energy.

Another wonderful thing about Reiki is how easily we can give ourselves a self-treatment. A self treatment with Reiki can be just one minute, but just like meditating for just one minute, that loving attention which makes space to return to our center can be profound and profoundly healing.

For me, Reiki is always about connecting to our Higher Self where all our love resides. So it’s essentially a practice about Love. If we ever want to offer loving energy to others for them to use in their healing, we must give from a full vessel. So the way I teach and practice Reiki is about filling up with this loving energy and letting it spill over in offering to all those around us, whether we do a hands-on treatment or not. The ceremony of the Reiki Attunement which takes place in each class helps open our “channel”, our receiving ability to the continuous flow of Universal Loving Energy of which we are an indivisible part. We consciously recognize this energy that is always available, but to which we do not always say “YES!”.

Reiki helps us say “YES!” Yes to Love, Yes to Life, Yes to receiving and circulating that Love, to ourselves first. It has to start with us.  The Love we learn to flow in Reiki lubricates the gears of Life, and that helps us have a smoother and more harmonious life experience. Come join me in Love.

I wanted to re-post this as I have now collected a number of wonderful Guiding Words that people have chosen for 2019. Some of them are: Nourish, Balance, Letting Go, Clarity, Simplicity, Focus, Endeavor, Forgiveness, Hope, Worthy, Surrender, Let Go, Present,  Aware….what might your word be for 2019?

What is a Guiding Word? This is one word or phrase to help guide you, focus you, keep you on track, inspire you in the year to come. Over the years, my words have been Joy, Embrace, Limitless, Infinite, Peace, Self, Love, Clarity, Simplicity. Our word or words present when we ask our true being, our Higher Self, our inner wisdom. We all have our answers within us.

So, if you’re interested in opening up to your Guiding Word for 2019, let’s begin. Simply, curiously, inquire: what is the word or words that might a guiding light for me in this new year, this new cycle? Just let it rise up, without judgment. Just ask, take your time….you may be surprised at what comes up….it may take some time, a few days, or even into the new year….but at just the right time, you will hear it.

What if you can’t hear your guiding word? Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have one or that you don’t have an inner voice. It may just mean that you have to grease your channel a little bit….your channel to your inner being may be a bit rusty from lack of regular conscious use.

Here are some suggestions: Sit quietly. Imagine the light that is your true being, with all your answers, sliding in the top of your head and settling in you, getting very comfy merging with your physical counterpart…….and radiating beyond your body. Now, as much as you can, just let go into your light…..and think of your year ahead, what you imagine, ask what guidance your inner voice/inner being has for you….without efforting….you might even playfully say, is it this, is it this? with words that come up that you think you might like, that resonate with you.

Start opening the channel by having the conversation, with expectancy, but not effort. Allow your mind to wander over the upcoming new year and without attachment or agenda, just ask….and receive….trust yourself. A friend whose mind is always active questioned whether the word she heard was being given to her by her true, inner voice, or her active, thinking mind….when I suggested trying other perfectly good words….they just didn’t fit like the word that managed to be heard through all the daily mind chatter. Trust you really do have access to your inner true voice…..it always manages to be heard some way, somehow.

The word you receive will unfold during the year, it will take you to many different places and have many permutations that may not be obvious at first. But it will absolutely guide you. My word this year was “Love”. I wasn’t sure what that would mean beyond the obvious implications….but I just kept it in mind and let it show me what it meant for me all year. It became part of my daily fabric….and it led me to supporting my self and taking better loving care of myself than I could imagine. Love unfolded in its own ways….always for my highest good.

Wishing you joy and ease in the process and adventure of unfolding your own Guiding Word.

I’ve been thinking about Love a lot lately. A friend asked me, so what is Love, really? How would you define it? She felt that appreciation embraced the concept of Love, which is very true.

When I think of Love, I always think of loving ourselves first. If we don’t feel that, it’s hard to feel it for anyone else. And that takes a long time to learn. We are given innumerable opportunities every day to practice, to choose, to be kind and loving to ourselves. And the more we practice that, the easier it is to extend that to others.

One of the ways we don’t love ourselves is by doing things or acting in ways that do not serve us. We may take a rigid stance in a discussion with a loved one. Being rigid and unbending, being unwilling to see how our behavior hurts or affects another, even if we don’t understand it, ultimately denies us closeness and intimacy.  That is being unloving.

We all have our own ways of not being loving to our Selves: some of them might be working too hard, ignoring the Four Pillars of Health (Right Rest, Right Nutrition, Right Movement, Right Relationship within and without), holding anger, not staying on our path (not minding our own business), ignoring the messages our body and Higher Self are giving us, not making space and time to be present with our Self, holding ourselves to an impossible standard of perfection, and thus doing the same to others, telling ourselves stories about a person or a situation….these are some common ways we all can be unloving to our Selves.  Any of them sound familiar to you? I certainly can relate to them….

As I’ve been working with releasing some of my own unloving ways of being and thinking, I reached out to my Guides for help – which I do for practically everything.  They answered me immediately, clearly and unequivocally.  Bring Grace to Bear, they said.  No matter what the issue or situation, Bring Grace to Bear.  Another way of saying this is: Bring Love to Bear. Bring Kindness to Bear. Bring your Highest Self, highest integrity, to every situation. Bring ease, bring compassion, willingness. These are all facets of Grace and Love.

One way we love is by expressing our skills, talents, faculties and abilities; expressing who we are and what is within us in our own inimitable way. We are expressed, birthed by the Universe, and we also want to express in some way, birth something or someone.   It is said in metaphysics that the Quality of the Universe, of Life, is Love. And Love wants to, needs to, be expressed.  the Quantity is Perfection. Not being perfect, but the perfection of everyone and everything expressing itself in its own unique way.

When it comes to relationships, sometimes Love is being willing to love someone in the way that feels loving to them, if it doesn’t compromise us. We can compromise, we just can’t compromise our integrity, ourselves. When someone we love tells us what would feel loving to them, we can decide if we can do that, if it would be for our highest good. If we are being loving to us, it will be loving to the other person.  If we do something out of obligation with resentment, it will not feel loving to us or the person with whom we are in relationship. This is being willing to do what serves us, as we love another.  When we are not willing to do what serves us, what is for our  highest good,  that is also known as getting in our own way.   When we are unbending and unyielding, we are not flexible enough to put our arms around ourselves, much less another. We often get to experience and practice this in relationships. Relationships are the vehicles to really learn about Love, whether it be friendships or more intimate relationships . Or we may think we have it all figured out and it’s hard for us to admit we still have issues to work on – another way of being rigid and unyielding.

Ram Dass says it well:  If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.

Love is also Willingness. Love and Willingness are the Keys to Healing. And the willingness is always – remember how we started – willingness to do what is most loving for ourselves, so we can then fill up and spill over that love. As Richard Rohr says: .grace cannot enter without an opening from our side.

Sometimes the willingness guides us to let go. We can love by letting go of expectation of ourselves or another. We can be willing to see how people actually are and, not what we would wish them to be or the story we are telling ourselves about them. In that clarity, we can decide what is most loving for us. Remember the old saying, Friendships (or relationships) are for a reason, a season or forever? Sometimes the most loving thing to do is to leave a relationship. If we can’t be loving, we won’t circulate love or good feeling, to ourselves or other….and that is our primary mission in this lifetime.

It’s not enough just to say we love ourselves or someone else. This is why the expression, the quantity, of Love is so important. That expression will be individual….but there must be an expression of our Love. The Universe didn’t stay unexpressed as an idea; it burst forth expressed in infinite ways. As part of the Universe, we too must express the Love we are, in our own ways to be sure, but express we must.

Make no mistake: loving oneself is not the same as being selfish or self-absorbed. If something is only good for us and not good for others,  then it is not loving. If we cannot look beyond ourselves and be mutually loving with the appropriate people in our lives who are truly loving, then we must ask ourselves, how much do I really love and care for myself – how good do I really feel about myself, if I can’t return pure love when it is offered – from the right person? 

If we put all of our love to others and deny ourselves that same care and love, it is not a measure of how loving we are but how much we need to love ourselves…. because ultimately we will empty our vessel giving all of our love away and not giving any to ourselves. We need to receive the love as well as give it. If we continually give but don’t think we are worthy of receiving that same love we wind up emptying the vessel and scraping the bottom of the barrel and then feeling resentful about those that we are supposedly loving. We think we aren’t getting enough back but truly we didn’t give enough to ourselves in the first place. We need to give from a full reservoir, you can’t give from an empty place. When we are truly filling ourselves first, receiving the love that’s always available from the All first, and then love others, it enables us to recognize whether we are in a  mutually loving relationship – or not. Then we can make a decision about what’s the most loving thing for us to do. It truly is All About Love.

And then we have to remember….everyone is truly doing the best they can. What does that mean? Even if someone is unwilling or unable or seemingly incapable of loving themselves which then expresses in being unkind to another, that is what is possible for them at that moment. Even if they are making a choice to be unloving or mean or cruel…..even in that choice, they may know better, intellectually – or not – and still justify their unloving actions, indignantly and righteously. Until we find and feel the love within ourselves, we can’t express it. Not that we sanction, condone or accept this behavior…..we don’t love bad behavior. But we need to remember that every human has a Divine part of us, our Higher Self.  And, we have free will. So while our Higher Self is pure love, and that is what we love in everyone, our human self is very capable of  exercising free will to be cruel and unloving in a  myriad of ways….and we don’t love that hurtfulness. We may understand they are choosing not to change anything, or may not know they can change or know how.  Our responsibility is to love ourselves, and we may need to remove ourselves from their presence, in love for ourselves. No one else knows what is loving for us the way we do.

If all this sounds like a lot of work…..well, loving and loving well is an effort. It’s part of the grand adventure that life is.  We are human, as well as divine, so we’re not going to love perfectly. Remember the Quality and Quantity? We already are inherently, intrinsically Love. We already are the Quality of the Universe since we spring out of the energy of the Universe. It is up to us to express the Quantity of Love, which is our individual expression through all of our facets of the jewel that we are. And different facets are “lit up” and expressed at different times of our Life.  That expression is what brings us joy. And feeling joy is the purpose of life. That is why we Love. There’s no better work.

The truth is, this is what a lifetime is for: to be aware of and work through all of these issues:  What we are (Love); Why we are here (To Circulate that Love and Good Feeling, to ourselves first. This is done through the expression of our skills, faculties, talents and abilities); For the purpose of being in Joy.

James Finley, a contemplative teacher and writer and a retired clinical psychologist, often says, “You are not what has happened to you. Only Love has the final word in who you are.”

And then when we’re done with what we’re going to do in this lifetime, well, we’re done! But until then…..we’re still doing the work, every day. Right up until our very last day on this Earth.

 

I want to share one of my favorite Blessings from John O’Donohue’s book To Bless the Space Between Us. I wish you a sweet and spectacular 2019, a “three” year, which represents self expression and exuberance of life; the spiritual being having a human experience.

A Blessing for the New Year

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The gray window
And the ghost of loss
Gets into you,
May a flock of colors,
Indigo, red, green
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the curragh of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.