Life is a cycle. We are born, grow up, mature, age, and die, but during that time, we are being reborn over and over, not only physically as our organism regenerates, but also, mentally and spiritually. We go trough many experiences that shape and mold our thinking, our souls, leading to spiritual growth while developing our humanity. This growth is as personal as it can get, individual and unique. What may seem unfair for someone is what the person/spirit needs to advance to the next level.
Imagine a perfect life where everything is in balance at all times, where there is no conflict and things always work the way it is expected. How can there be growth? Many times, we observe the person who seems to have the perfect life according to our definition of “the perfect life” and that person seems to be going through a rough patch. Immediately, we put on our judgement glasses and we cannot understand how is possible for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect Life to even feel challenged in her/his environment. Our human minds cannot accept or comprehend it. However, if we take off our judgement glasses and put on spiritual glasses we see that the person is going through his/her own growth cycle and the experience is unique, and at a different level than our own. What that person feels and experiences is what is necessary for the spirit to move along the journey. Sometimes there is growth and sometimes there isn’t, and that is a decision that every soul in the planet has to make according to the choices presented and the opportunity to choose. The adage, “To each, its own” says it well.
When we are experiencing the challenges of life, the opportunities to grow spiritually and humanely, we get the chance to reevaluate our lives, the challenge, past and present experiences, and look into the future with new eyes. We are given the opportunity to leave behind what does not fit anymore, and change armor. We all do it throughout our lives, at our own level and pace. In order to grow, it is necessary to leave behind that which does not fit our Now.
Why we follow? Why we lead?
The fact that we are social and gregarious might seem to answer the question, and to a point it does; however, whether you consider yourself a follower or a leader is only important because of the Why. I think we are a bit of both throughout our lifespan. Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow. If we discard the image of the big leader followed by a multitude we do ourselves a favor. Many people aspire to be leaders; other people get offended if they are labeled as followers, almost as if one would cancel the other, when instead, we must be open to be both if we want to grow our humanity, and our spirituality. There will be times in our lives when we will have to step as leaders, and other times we will yearn to follow, and even the leaders will find themselves after the path of teaching by learning the yearning of the followers. We have been taught that one is better than the other, or greater than the other, when it is just a different side of the same coin, a different tonality of the same color. The only thing that will decide which side it is at a particular moment in our lives is the Why.
Why we step to lead or yearn to follow? In the Why we found the meaning, and it must be powerful enough to move us, otherwise, we end up pursuing illusions whether we lead or follow. Whatever we look for, the nourishment we need, or need to give, becomes the reason, the fuel, the dream … Somewhere in the process, what developed inside us, and has been there, we manage to transport it outside ourselves, and the search for it starts, and we lead, and we follow, and we keep searching, and leading, and following – and living.
It was at times when I did not follow the herd that I was ignored.
At times when I walked to the beat of my tune that no one heard my voice.
When I painted my picture that eyes were shut.
When I opened my door that other shut theirs.
It was at times when I disagreed, that silence befell.
The rest of the time, the pasture was green.
It was the hardest lesson I understood,
Stepping into my journey did not make me bad,
And refusing to judge got me out of the barn.
Maria Antonia Diaz
Betrayal – I don’t like to hear or even say the word. It is sour, pungent, and yes, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and soul. If you have ever been betrayed and never saw it coming, then you know what I mean. Unsuspected betrayal is one of the hardest things to forget and forgive.
Betrayal is present as a secondary theme in one of my novels – Ramblings of the Spirit (The Dinorah Chronicles). What intrigues me about betrayal is that it comes in many degrees, however, leaving the same feeling, and contributing to an array of other feelings/emotions that attach to it – distrust, anger, pain, desire for revenge, disappointment … all far away from our true nature of loving beings. What makes us depart from that nature? Different paths for different people on different journeys crossing paths in one big journey.
Betrayal is defined mainly as treason, as committing an act against … . In movies, and stories of all kind, the heroes are the good guys/girls, but most times they are betrayed. Yes, “good guys/girls” sometimes finish last (a temporary illusion). It is not the goodness in the hero that makes him/her so, but the way he/she bounces back and deals with the emotions/feelings that are packaged in with the betrayal. How we react after we open the package makes all the difference. Do we let it make us less than heroes or do we go through mourning of the self in an array of emotions (because we are human and not super-human) and decide who we want to be? Do we want to honor our loving essence or ignore it? It is a process, not an easy one, but eventually, the hero will rise, that is, if you let it.
Prophecy – An inspired utterance of a prophet, viewed as a revelation of divine will. A prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration. Such an inspired message or prediction transmitted orally or in writing. The vocation or condition of a prophet. A prediction. (Definition by The American Heritage Dictionary)
The topic of prophecy is found in my novels, and I find it very interesting and compelling. Our history is filled with prophecies (good and bad), although I find that our fascination for Doomsday supersede the good examples. From apocalyptic predictions/revelations to hopeful promises of a new Earth, and heaven, our curiosity extends as we try to make sense of the world(s) that surround us. Whether we belief on prophecy or not, of any kind, I think that it begins with us, and the extent of our minds in the material world – what we believe, what we entertain, and what we do or how we react to natural and man-created events. As I ———-(fill the blank) I ———— (fill the blank). As we believe, think, focus, and act/react we become. We create and fulfill our own prophecy.
People might argue that some things we cannot control and are beyond our manipulation – Acts of God/Nature – we call them. However, every step we take (before or after) leads to a path. Nothing happens “just because” (that would be called God/Universe). Science looks for explanation, so it falls outside. What about a natural disaster? We do not control natural (not manmade) events; however, why were we in the vicinity when it happened? Certainly, there where steps that took us to reside there, travel there, born and stay there … it is called “the free-will” to decide our lives (without knowing the future and under present circumstances) – it is Life! It is the steps that we take (how we react and act) when natural or unnatural events occur in our lives that determine how the story unveils. As we write the story of our lifes, we become.
Most of us cannot read minds, foresee the future, or are psychics. We rely on our senses, information, intuition, and emotions to decide. We create our own prophecy as we go, but what we cannot do is expect different results from obvious or predictable behavior. We might have a revelation along the way that will serve as warning to change our behavior and set on a different path to obtain different results. Free will is not so much set on the absence of future events but on how we constantly create the future in the now, and how our past has become our future for the same reason.
In living we prophesy as we become.
My husband keeps this on his desk, and I will add that the game goes on and on and …
Present Universe/Earth – The location
Human – The vessel
The Material – The physical state, the condition in the vessel
Change – Fuel, motivator
Target – The journey, the material experience in the vessel at the location
Goal – Growth through the experience, enjoyment, discovery, being, creation, union … to each its own journey, One as Many
Time/Space – Now (always Now, other measure of time is irrelevant)
Report – Ongoing
Although life might seem a weird experiment at times, it is a journey, a destination in itself, and a different experience for every person. It presents its challenges as a way to keep the journey going in the now. Without challenge, conflict, unfortunate events, fortunate events … without change, there cannot be movement, journey, growth. It is necessary as fuel to keep us going. Imagine a life of perfect harmony, everything goes one way – perfect, and nothing happens that will let you have/create a frame of reference that serves as a compass to evaluate your journey. If everything is as perfect as it can be, how would you know the difference? Simply put, without a compass/navigator you might be lost.
Many times, change (fuel) will present itself in various degrees of difficulty, as much fuel as we might need to propel us to the next level. I truly believe that. Sometimes, the size of a pebble, other times as a rock, or even a giant boulder. Sometimes even as the entire quarry. However, if growth is the goal, the natural way would be to keep walking the path, pick up the pebbles, carry the rocks, and even embrace the boulders, and if we have to go inside the quarry, may we find the message in its walls. And when we do, evolution continues.
I love sci-fi and monster movies, not so much people killing people, but more the fantastic kind – werewolves, mummies, aliens, vampires …. One thing these movies have in common is the cup of coffee that the desperate people who have run for their lives decide to have once they have found shelter, a safe place for a brief time, until the ordeal starts again. It never fails, whether in an abandoned building, a hut, the middle of the forest, or a cave, they manage to make that cup of coffee that seems to bring comfort, somehow. This is one of my favorite moments in a movie, so much, that sometimes, I run to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee for myself, as if I too, am being comforted, and inside the movie. Besides, I happen to love coffee so much, that any excuse is good enough to have that extra cup. Why am I writing about coffee? Well, because we all need that moment, or what I call “the comfort cup of coffee.”
We need to have that moment of peace, of feeling safe, of stopping all the running we do and coming to a halt – to meditate, ponder, and reassess our direction. We need that cup of coffee (whatever that may be for you) to help us reenergize and keep going. One thing I have understood is to take that moment when I seem to need it – it makes a difference in what follows next. Whether your cup of coffee is time alone for yourself, a much-needed vacation, a weekend or day off, a sabbatical, a walk in the woods or the beach, or time well spent with people you love and have not seen for a while … it doesn’t matter what it is, because it is personal, and the result is always “feeling better,” “re-energized,” and “strong.” Timing is also different for everyone; you will know when it is time for that comfort cup of coffee.
Food for thought – What represents that cup of coffee in your life? Have you ignored the need for it? Why? What happened as the result of not having it?
Today’s post was “The Vintage Office,” however, after reading a post this morning, I decided to write a different post, and reschedule that one. The post inspired me to ponder/write about the issue of success, and what it means or how it measures. The more I thought about it, it continued to be clear to me that success is not something that can be defined in one way, neither measured.
Our society conditions us to measure success by the expectations of the majority, and we may end up measuring our own success with the same narrow stick – money, material possessions, fans, popularity … . However, success goes beyond labels and expectations, and it should matter more to us at a personal and deeper level. You should measure your own success by the ruler that you create at a particular moment in your life, and that is why what others think of success, might not necessarily apply to you.
What is success to you? Think about it, and think deep. What makes you happy? What rings your bell? What is your ideal state of success? It may be wealth, it may be glory, it may be writing a novel, maybe, being able to stay alive one more day. Those represent examples of success for somebody. Someone is measuring success by what makes them happy or fulfilled, and that differs between people.
This is why it is important to never apply someone else’s definition of success to your own; otherwise, you will be miserable and may waste your time following someone else’s dream and path, or someone else’s misdirection.
The timing of success varies as well. Today, you might find success in making tons of money; tomorrow, you may find success in giving part of it away – and making other’s dreams possible. In both circumstances, you have been successful, but according to your own measure of success. It may be that you want to write a novel and publish it. You work hard at it, and finally, you publish it – you have been successful in accomplishing that part of your success story. The rest, you keep measuring one inch, one step, one dream at a time, making yourself accountable, by your own efforts and determination.
The frustration and sadness, as well as the insecurity or doubt comes to us when we use someone else’s yard stick to measure our own success, being that, someone’s opinion of what “success or greatness means,” or when we compare our lives or our own success to that of another, not realizing that although we are all related and intertwined in this universe, it is only by achieving the measure of our own success that we make our contribution to the universe, and find happiness/fulfillment.
I have been guilty myself of measuring my success by the rulers of others, at times, as well as by the dreams of others (whether for themselves or their dreams for me); however, it wasn’t until I understood this concept that I was able to let go of all the rulers collected over time (and a long time that was), and start adding inches to my own.
Think of what makes you happy, of what you love, of what makes your bell ring, and your days brighter … measure your success by attaining those.
Much success to you all!
I came across this audio put into a video on YouTube and shared by youtuber PSNy2kUK, and what caught my attention was that the narrator is from 1956, Earl Nightingale. The same principles apply today. Think and enjoy.