Who Am I?


This morning, my sister sent a blog link, http://aleafinspringtime.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/a-guide-to-the-dark-side/

I know I meander in my thinking and writing a lot of the time but I’m really a bottom-line and short-attention-span kind-of-person so clear, concise messages appeal to me.   After reading the blog, a question resurfaced.  I’ve pondered it recently while reading Tolle and The Untethered Soul…if I’m not my emotions and mind voices, then who am I?  All of my life I had determined who I was by what now I understand were egoic standards, what I do – not who I am.   That identity  has changed over my lifetime.  I also unconsciously sensed that I was more than my self-description but never put conscious thought to it until recently.

I’ve known most of my life that my gut is my guide.  It is how I understand my life.  I have so far been able to consistently depend on God speaking to me this way.  It’s about the only constant in my life.  And I am a good listener.   Also, without much thought,  I’ve known that my gut is  always right and I’ve felt very certain of my decisions when I had that gut knowing.   But I don’t always get it when I think I need it and that is when I’ve started, in the past, to question if what I’m hearing in my mind voice is God speaking – or not.  Well, now I know it is not.   I will question no more.  I will quiet myself and wait for my gut knowing.

I didn’t understand the role of the mind chatter and have spent untold hours of emotional pain and anguish, endured many sleepless nights because I engaged and listened and tried to make decisions from there.   Until recently, I didn’t know I had a choice!

I don’t have a problem with all of this when things are going well.  My mind voice gives me some useful information.  It’s when I feel anger, fear, distrust – all of the negative stuff…that’s when the negative mind voices kick in.  And they are scolding, accusing, bring up the worst case scenario – every time – just plain negative thoughts.    They intensify feelings of regret and insecurity… and on and on…

I’m sure I heard or read this somewhere but I’ve found that if I try to watch my thoughts – ask myself, “What are my thoughts right now, what am I thinking?”,  I realize I have no thoughts when I’m doing that.  It helps clear my mind.  Sounds confusing maybe, but try it and see if it works for you.   Deepak Choprah says to concentrate attention on our hands, sensations, tingling.   It breaks the mind cycle.  That works for me as well.

After reading several books and listening to many “messengers”… Oprah, Iyanla, Michael Singer, Maya Angelou, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra..and others, learning to observe  the chatter patterns – I was finally able to put it all together today.   I know that life unfolds and goes on, the sun comes up and goes down, seasons pass…   Life doesn’t cause problems for me.  Challenges, yes.   I’ll bet my problems could almost always be traced back to the negative, dark side  mind voices that are full of misinformation and making problems from my inner issues!  I’m becoming more and more aware of that.

Back to who I really am, while talking about it with my sister this morning, I chuckled to myself.  Funny!  I suddenly remembered  that I had already figured out who I really am.  I had just forgotten for a moment.  In the last month, after Deepak Choprah ask Oprah who she really is, I decided to define myself.   Here I am, 72 years old and I finally figured out that my name (label) is Sharon, and none of my accomplishments define who I am.   They’re a part of what I do, not who I am.

God put me here, in human form,  to express who He is in spiritual form.  I’m a spiritual being, an expression of God. I’m here to express His love, service, grace, peace, comfort, mercy, encouragement – all good things that He is.    A reminder of how I want – and need – to respond, initiate, live my life in a more purposeful way.   I’m a student and a listener living in abundance, passion and love.  Yes!

My spiritual identity, who I really am, is one that that doesn’t change.   Describing what I do is so different from how I do the things I do.     My challenge is to remember why and how I choose to “do” my life.   I have clear guidelines.

What a difference a day makes!  And as usual, I need to write my new AHA moment down so that I don’t forget who I am again… Chuckle.

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Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 13: When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them


Lesson 13: When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

Webcast Week 3 in Review

Oprah says that of all the lessons she’s learned in her life, this one may be at the very top of her list.  Maya Angelou explains… people know themselves much better than we do.   So don’t expect them to be something other than who they are.
Aired: 10/26/2011
Today’s Question:   Think of someone you met recently. What have they shown you about themselves? Who are they?
What Others Are SayingJournal Questions:

Often when a person does not show you the exact problem or issue, you get little whispers, little messages, little problems – something is a little off.  Although she did not know he was gay.  He had shown her that he was a person accustomed to keeping secrets, deceiving, not being open.
Make a Pro and Con List
If you’re still searching for a soul mate, relationship expert Iyanla Vanzant urges you to pay attention to red flags and don’t settle for someone you have to fix. Like Iyanla said in 1998, “If you see crazy coming, cross the street!”

Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes:

Always be prepared to renegotiate an agreement.  If the original agreement does not work out, renegotiate.

Remember to Pay It Forward…

 


Oprah’s Lifeclass
Oprah’s Lifeclass Lesson 13: When People Show You Who They Are, Believe them
Oprah’s Webcast Lesson 13:
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes
Today’s Lifeclass Question

Lesson 8: When You Know Better…


Lesson 8: When You Know Better…

Maya Angelou is one of my very favorite people.  She’s had a major impact on my life.  Oprah shares some of her Maya Angelou lessons.  Oprah relives some of her  most difficult moments and gives some insight on how to respond when you we do or say something we wish we hadn’t.
Oprah’s Lifeclass: Lesson 8:When You Know Better
Oprah’s Lifeclass Webcast Lesson 8: When You Know Better…
Today’s Question:  What do you know better and are now doing better?
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes: 
Oprahs Lifeclass Lesson #8: When You Know Better….
Oprah’s Webcast Lesson #8: When You Know Better
Oprah’s Lifeclass
Oprah’s Lifeclass Notes
Today’s Questions

My Life Class Notes


There are two emotions – Love and Fear
Anger is really a manifestation of fear…
Fear of losing the love of someone – rejection
Fear of being powerless or helpless, hopeless, vulnerable (maintain control) – fear of being unsafe
Fear of losing control – of self, others, how, when and where it will happen
Fear of not being seen as valuable, necessary
Anger – never angry for the reason I think I am.  I’m not born with anger in me.  helpless, hopeless, vulnerable event happened that impressed my soul.  Stirs up anger.  When anger is triggered, the trigger is simply reminding me that there is something down there that I need to deal with.
Anger is the easy way out – when I’m angry I get the control.  Anger is the #1 addiction.  Right below the anger is a world of hurt.  It’s easier to stay in the anger than to go deeper and deal with the hurt.
You can accept or reject the way you’re treated by other people but until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed.  You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life.   You must find the strength to open the wound,  you must stick your  hand inside, pull out the core of the pain, the memory, and make peace with it.
Spirituality – the most real part of me.  My connection to the knowing that no matter what happens, I will be all right.  The knowing that everything that happens in my life is bringing to my purpose, the real me.  Live in openness to what is.  With that openness, a far greater power comes into my life.  Inner stillness – out of this comes aliveness, joy, creativity.  I become rooted in the aliveness and fullness of the present moment.
Spirituality has to be practiced.  We must stop, take a breath, become still inside – the act of meditation and contemplation.  Be in nature, connect with the arts, and connect with ritual.  Moments of serenity, stillness is when we experience something much larger, transcendic than what we are.   Meditate – go into the stillness of my soul.  Breathe.  Look for the message in every problem.  Don’t fight them, ask them – what are you here to teach me?   Share my spiritual path with others.  Find others that are like-minded.  There is nothing out of order with me.  Everything is happening for a reason.  I’m growing closer to spirit.  Pay attention to my life – it’s teaching me.  Listen.  Get clear, still and listen to my soul.   Tap into my best life.  Stillness is my religion.  Stillness is when I can connect.
Meditation – sit and smile.  Smile in my organs, in my arteries and blood vessels.
I understand that everyone I meet is sent to me as a teacher.
I need a shift in the way I look at life – that’s all.  When I discover the world around me, I also discover the world within me.
My inner journey
1.  Ask myself and journal – What do I really, really, really want?  Every day.  The answer will come
2.  Write the happiest moment of the day every night.  Learn it, study it.  Keep it in a happiness journal
3.  Refine my mantra.  Whatever I’m repeating consistently in my mind is my mantra.  If it isn’t working for me – I need to
     choose another mantra.
Entrances are everywhere.  There are accesses to God in all sorts of situations – be alert.  Find a tiny corner of my life for stillness when I can connect and ask questions.
I need to stop wearing my wishbone where my backbone ought to be!
When I experience a truth, I don’t need to experience it again, I know it and I carry it with me.
When we help, we heal.  Find a way to be of service.
Selfishness – beneficial to myself.    Am I being cruel, greedy and hoarding?  If not, do it.
Happiness – the people around me, a state of mind, love, share
What makes me feel good?  Am I missing pleasure?  Am I missing devotion?
I’m the hero of my own life’s journey.  This is my life and I write my own story.  No one else gets to write it – just me.  I get to be who I am.   Does my life look like me?
“I don’t know” is a legitimate answer.  I’m allowed to ask for as much time as I need until I do know.  If they aren’t able to give that time, they’re allowed to leave.
Write to myself as though I were a best friend.  Write out my questions.  Answer myself as a friend.   Listen to it, believe and lean on it.
Newton’s Third Law – For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Cause and effect.
The energy of emotions and  thoughts are frequencies of energy that always come back to us.
Every action we take creates a reaction in the world.  The sum of all those reactions is what we call our life.
The energy I generate creates my life.
Intention always determines what the effect will be.
Love changes everything.  It heals.
If I ask for courage, God doesn’t Zap me with courage.  I get the opportunity to be courageous.
Listen to the whisper.  Don’t wait for the brick to fall on our heads.
Whatever I need to be the greatest force for good…. bring it on!   If it’s a lesson I need to learn, I want the lesson.
Separate myself from negative people and negative thoughts.  Period!  I will not allow them in my life.
If this is in the best interests of me and those around me, then please let it happen.
Who do I want to BE in the world?  what kind of person do I want to be remembered as?   I want my love to effect others.
If I can’t do “it” with love, I won’t do it.  I can either decide to do it with love, or I need not do it.  Before I take any action, I need to clarify my intentions and make sure they are good.  Then good will be returned to me.
The people that I have in my life reflect who I am.
What am I doing to create and attract negativity?
Appreciate the ordinary
Acknowledging my mortality motivates me to live my life more fully.  My days are gold and I use them wisely and fully.
Do You hear me?
I see you
Do my eyes light up when I see…..?
God made me and made sure I am enough!
I no longer think that its possible for other people to hurt me. They’re just giving me their observation and I’m giving it meaning so I get to choose what that meaning is.
If I think I need it, that’s ego. I already have everything I need. The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.

Am I defined about what other people say? Does it determine how I feel?

When I receive criticism, they could be right.

Does I love you equals I’ll trade you?

Is this a business contract or do I really love you?

I’m happier when I love you – whether or not you love me. It matters not – whether or not you paricipate.

Just the fact that I’m here makes me “worthy”.

Fear is always involved in big egos – there lies our deepest fears.

Will I be sorry that I let this opportunity to pass? Even if I don’t succeed, do I want to give it my best and see? Is it the most meaningful, fulfilling direction?

What is the fullest expression of myself as a human being. What am I meant to do here on Planet Earth?

What would I do if I weren’t afraid? What does fear feel like?

As Maya Angelou explains, people know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.
Feelings buried alive don’t die. They stink and re-emerge
What would I do if I had no fear? Do it anyway. That’s courage. Be it!
What is my life worth?
Is this the fullest of expession of me?
When I hear criticism – they could be right. It’s their view of me.
Give up resistent to life. Go with it.
When I think I need it from “out there” – that’s addiction.The way I know I don’t need it is when I don’t get it.
Ego is anything that I think I need that I don’t have. I already have everything I need.
Oprahs lifeclass Notes
Oprahs class
Oprahs Super Soul Sunday

When I Know Better – I Do Better – My Maya Angelou Mantra


I feel that I hurt, turned off, scared, dumped (not about her)  on my daughter yesterday and she’s either hurt or very turned off.    It wasn’t anything devastating, in fact it was expressing myself about my own issues.   But she was trying to help and couldn’t and I have no idea about how she actually took it.   I wish I had taken a deep breath and made sure I knew how she took it.   I have a feeling she somehow ended up feeling guilty about “something”.  If I could have a “do over”, I’d have left her after making it clear to her that she had nothing to do with my pain – I think she knows – but I’d feel better had I made that clear.  That I didn’t expect her to “fix it”.   I feel I left her in my emotional turmoil.  She’s in a pretty painful place right now, going througha divorce, and I imagine our experience yesterday left her with some feelings of her own to deal with.

I  later texted her – her preferred communication – apologizing for expressing my anger and sadness in a way that I didn’t like.  She hasn’t responded.

She’s been in a very fragile state for the last couple of years and I’ve tried to be there for her.   I’m already pretty worn out trying to deal with some of my own presently heavy issues that she is not a part of – and still be there for her.  I realized recently that I’m feeling a little sad that she doesn’t realize – or at least express – any acknowledgement of what I’ve helped her with during her divorce.   It’s clear she’s had a lot of comfort from our talks and being together, a few “A Ha” moments.  She invariably attributes these to others.  She openly and often expresses gratitude for others who are there for her – and I’m so glad they are.  Deeply grateful for the love surrounding her.  She invariably attributes one of “our A Ha moments” to someone else when she’s recounting to me.

Is it my Ego?  Wanting to feel appreciated some times?  Acknowledged?  Does it really matter who helps her as long as she grows and finds her way?  My egoless self would certainly say that and most of the time I do.  While writing this I just realized – I want to know that she feels like my cherished daughter – a special, not to be duplicated relationship, not me as merely a friend.

We’re extremely close but rarely physically affectionate.  We’re more best friends than Mother-Daughter.  I know that’s appropriate for where we are now but I think I was not a “Mommy” – a consistent safe place – when she was growing up.   I still yearn for that feeling between us, even more as I get further away from the time when it was appropriate.   It’s loudly missing – and has always been missing.  She wasn’t a cuddler, but neither was I.   I missed that as a child and I wasn’t even aware of it.  I certainly would never have given it to my kids.  I was pretty emotionally detached in most ways in the past – from everyone – so that I’m so glad that we’ve been able to sustain the closeness that we have and see it grow as adults.  I guess it’s an intense mother-daughter closeness expressed in the best way that we both know how and are comfortable with.

The first time I can remember “feeling” a hug was when my daughter was about five years old.  My sister and brother-in-law were visiting us from out of town and just leaving our home.  We were in the driveway and my sister hugged me – which she did a lot.  All of a sudden I realized that I was being hugged and especially realized that I wasn’t hugging back.  I did it awkwardly.  It was an emotional milestone in my life that I’ll never forget.  That feeling.   I had always just stood motionless when anyone hugged me.  I got plenty of hugs – from my husband, family, kids – but never felt it until then.  That was the beginning of learning to relish hugs.  My children were about 5, 10 and 13.  I weep for the disconnection I taught them.   I wonder what pain and difficulty attaching they have experienced all of these years.   I’ve watched them as adults and they’re all very physically and emotionally affectionate and connected with their families but that missing part of their childhood  has to have affected them in some pretty deep ways?  Maybe they learned what they don’t want to be?  I’ll start a conversation with them at an appropriate time and hope for healing where needed.  I know from experience that it’s never to late.

Thanks Maya Angelou – once again I say to myself… “When I know better I do better”.  That helps.  And now I hug my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every chance I get.  And really feel it.

And I’m grateful.

What Does It Mean, Anyway?


So many Oprah shows featuring forgiveness… so many touching lessons.  I can’t even imagine that people survive some of their circumstances, let alone forgive the perpetrators who have caused them so much pain – the drunk drivers, the molesters, those who did dreadful things to others while using drugs, the murderers….

I’m a PK –  Preacher’s Kid, grew up in a small town in Oregon.  My parents were divorced – a sad, ugly divorce (aren’t they all!), the talk of our small town.  My father married my mother’s best friend following their divorce.  And yes, I have trust issues – another story.  Needless to say, there was a lot of anger, pain and a huge need for forgiveness – over and over again, and for many years.  What did forgiveness mean?  What would I have to give up if I were to forgive.

My first marriage failed – for some very valid reasons.  How could I ever forgive my ex for some of the things he did.  How could I ever forgive myself?    What did forgiveness even mean?  I didn’t know.   I made so many mistakes raising my children.  How could they ever forgive me?  How could I forgive myself when I realized my mistakes.  Painful, very painful.

I’m 71 years old and over the years I’ve needed to forgive and ask for forgiveness, many times.  But what does forgiveness really mean anyway?

Somewhere along the way, I learned that forgiveness does not mean I’m excusing the person or the incident – saying it was OK, it means  letting go, letting God, not holding a grudge, keeping my boundaries but not building up walls.   It means not trying to punish myself or someone else.  Letting go of blame.

I learned from Oprah’s guest that forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past will ever be different – acceptance?  Acknowledging and releasing?   Yes!  To me, part of forgiveness is releasing fear – fear that the same thing will happen again.   I can learn a lesson from the experience and not allow it to happen again.  I know better.

My mantra is “When I know better, I do better”.   Maya Angelou.  I just love her.