Feeling Vital

Vital:  from the Latin root vita, of course, which according to Partridge’s Origins, has as one of its meanings “life, the opposite of death . . .

“…either a means or a way of life…”

and as words —like life —  tend to evolve in time, thus vita became vital in Middle French and on into vitalité . . .

You get it from here.

And the rest, as it’s said, is history — yours, mine, ours.

Feeling vital is feeling connected to something you love.

Love doing, love being, love being with, love tending, love making better.

It’s a means of living, a way of living your life, feeling connected, flush with joy and passion, love and tenderness, concentration, focus and, well, vital to the moment you are in . . . right … now.

When is it that you feel most vital?

What did you do today that gave you a means of living, a feeling of vitality, and of feeling being vital to that which you care so deeply about?

Dare to feel vital, for surely you are in whatever it is that is ticking away your time here.

And if you don’t feel the opposite of death in your day to day, then

Dare to Begin Again.

Right here, Right now.

Dare to be vital to you and your talents, your love, your energy to give in this world . . .

by living your life time here, in this moment, On Task and On Purpose.

Every moment is a Here You Begin opportunity.

Cheers to feeling vital today!

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

Are you smiling? If so, there’s no doubt that you’re feeling vital . . .Yay You!

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On Being . . . Perfect

In preparing for a next workshop, a friend “in the biz” of helping others noted all the courses she takes continuously and has for a decade or so. Every day in her work she helps others rid themselves of blocks in energy and the ill-health caused by the holdings we all carry. She is ever present, ever helpful and nurturing. Indeed, she is ever on purpose, being her best self with her clients, so insightful and supportive, clearly living the reason for her being here — and yet, in her alone times, her conversation reveals, she is ever searching for being ‘better’ at the courses she attends … but ‘better’ at what I don’t know, for she is perfect in the expression of who she is, right at this very moment.

It really struck me how much we seek being perfect — whether in body, mind, shape, or soul — rather than seek being, well, ourselves in all our naked beauty.

Of course that beauty includes the scars, the bulges, perhaps even the ugly toes or toenails. It includes the moments of Fear and soul-searching, and wanting to be ‘enough’ and each of these come day after day, shadow and light, shadow and light, as we live our days. Because the beauty and the perfection is shining out from within of course. I’ve long told my daughters the most beautiful diamonds on earth are those that are ‘near’ perfect —not totally perfect —and carry the small flaws within for that is how they sparkle and give off the fire from within. I don’t know that it’s true, but it helps to dry a lot of ‘not enough’ tears and thus it is a truth any of us can live:

We must shine with and despite our flaws, believing they, too, can capture our internal fire and reflect the light passing through us.

A hundred plus a little years ago, here in the West where I live, my grandmother’s family struggled to get enough water for each day’s ‘being’.  There were moral conquests as we struggle with, of course, but they entailed following God’s footsteps, not Being Perfect as God.The Work of getting the daily basics — water, food grown with it, roof strong enough for summer tornadoes and winter winds — was honorable and worthy work of Being and with grace and shine they met the day. Gratitude for the smallest boon, such as an icicle hanging on the roof just out the door so breaking the water in the well unnecessary for another day in January, or a pot full of hail in May to ease the loss of another gallon of water that had to be fetched from the creek a mile away and by foot, filled the house with grace and joy and a moment of Being feeling successful, content and purpose-filled.

As our society here today enjoys luxuries unimaginable to my grandmother’s family (and to much of the world today) it seems we’ve focused our moral attention and struggles on that which we feel we do not have, and thus we might too often seek being Perfect rather than simply Being and greatly Shining with gratitude and on purpose.

A sense of ‘enough’ — and being enough — is what’s missing, no?

 

So as you consider today’s ‘being’ and what ‘being enough’ might include,

do take ‘being perfect’ out of the equation.

As I say in my journal guide …

You are not perfect at anything . . . except at being you.

You are perfectly made for the life and work you are here to do in your Life-time.

You are perfectly able to create — in fact you must — your own Work.

 

As you consider what your Work might be, here’s a question to ponder from my Work:

 

See a child standing before you. See many!

Look at each face carefully and note for a moment

how beautiful each is.

What one thing does this and every child you see need?

_____________________________________

How can you give it to one of them? Two of them?

Each and all?

_____________________________________

That which you wish to give every other child might be just the thing you yourself need or needed as a child,

whether a hug, a sense of enough, a moment of freedom from life-sustaining chores, or being seen,

or the feeling that comes with feeling

worth the care someone else offers,

like you giving to that child you hold in your vision.

Take a moment and see you giving it to yourself as a child.

Now plan and plot how you can give that to the child

you see standing before you,

whether in your vision or in your reality!

May the rest of your day be joyous in your Being You, shining forth your best and most certainly without being perfect!

Here you Begin!

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

Thinking about Courage and Abundance

I’ve been thinking a lot this week, of course, about courage… Who hasn’t?

With events in our country this wild week, one is reminded that feeling and being courageous is how we are each called to face every day; we just never know when it might be our turn to inspire others with our response.

Perhaps some of us are quietly aware of it as we struggle with starting over or starting anew, while for others being caught in the middle of tragic and unexpected events such as West, Texas, Boston, and innumerable others that didn’t make the world news reports, awakens us to the acts and feelings of courage summoned by the unknowns of each day of our lives.

Long before and long after Julie Andrews swept across the wide-screen and into mainstream America bearing Oscar Hammerstein II’s reminder of self-enlightenment —

“I must be the thing I am seeking;

I am seeking the courage I lack”

— we have been reminded of the high-wire relationship between Being and Feeling when admitting there is something we lack.

Whether courage, generosity, abundance, resilience and resource, we are told acting the part and/or feeling the part helps us to Be that which we feel we lack.

Yet acts and feelings are two different things, and that’s what I’ve been thinking about, as there seems to be a third requirement that is this high-wire between authentically acting and deeply feeling to make the desire a real experience. There seems to be a Something that is at the root, ties feeling and being together, and makes both possible and palpable.

We can act —I don’t mean ‘pretend’ of course, but take action — with courage and not necessarily feel it. We saw that in those who showed up and dealt with this week’s tragedies and we will continue to see it in those who face life-changing alterations in family, body and experience as they struggle to feel it within them in the many coming days.

We can feel courage inside, but it doesn’t always show up in our actions, and yet that can be a noble thing too: Summoning the feeling of courage is how many many of God’s Creation get through each day and it may not be demonstrated externally but is internally in our souls, where it starts like a flicker of light. That’s the courage of healing, meeting challenge and difficulty. That’s the courage of starting over and it starts as a feeling before the action or the experience of ‘being courageous’ is necessarily demonstrated.

Yes, we can Be the thing we are seeking that we feel we lack, and it’s clear with courage.

But is there a third element behind being/feeling courage?

Where does that inner strength flow from?

 

When asked why they run toward the bomb, toward the fire, toward the danger, these brave souls often respond: I did so without thinking; I wanted to be of help (service).

Ah, courage comes, countering instinct to get to safety even, from a faith that one perhaps can be of service, and that one can be and feel greater than one ‘normally’ feels.

Feeling and Being with Faith that one can Be greater in the face of lack or danger — that’s the third element.

How about with other daily required feelings to make tough times transform into living with joy?

Obviously we can feel generous and not be it, even as we seek to experience generosity in our lives. Feeling generous can inspire an action of merely a smile or holding a door, or perhaps just holding a generous place inside when one would rather be irritable at the person holding court in a.m. staff meeting.

Can we be generous and not feel it?  Yes, especially if our acts of generosity are expressed without thinking to a world that feels often filled with unthinking cohorts, like the person texting while the light turns green in traffic in front of you.

To be generous without ‘feeling’ it, at its best, can mean to give freely — whether of soul or resources — without counting.

That means without thinking about what you get, without perhaps even feeling that moment of self-pat on the back. It means being a giver, whether of smiles or nods or tangible substance. Being generous; feeling generous; round and round it can go.

Is there a third feeling behind it? An internal resource required that connects being and feeling generous?

I’d say awareness or connection, something we act with, on, or in spite of. Awareness that we move and flow as if in a tide on this earth, all in the same invisible sea of Creation.

 

For those of us starting over or starting anew, we all know that ‘feeling abundant’ is supposed to grease the wheels toward not having to scramble for change in the bottom of the closet, so your child has lunch-money again today.

We are told over and over that to Be Abundant in this world one must Feel Abundant.

That’s hard when one is scratching in the dark emptiness of that purse, closet, bank account or hiding place for one’s soul when facing dark times or starting-over times after pink slips from job, career, college or marriage. Yet we are told to Be the thing we are Seeking . . .  we must be the thing we lack, and in this case, it’s tangible. How can one Be Abundance when one is lacking it?

When starting over or starting out in life, can one feel abundant and not be so?

Yes, if one looks to the abundance of nature, or to the sky and the abundance of space or stars, or to the abundances of education, or to the magnificent resources of the world others experience — and if they can do it surely I can — until empty pocket time comes again. And then it’s a challenge of discipline to feel abundant and not experience it.  It’s possible, it requires faith and awareness, courage and generosity with self and with others, and gratitude for what one does have: Life, perhaps health, the sun and the moon. Feeling abundant without experience of it is indeed a spiritual discipline.

Can one Be abundant without feeling it?  Obviously, as people all around are ‘being’  amazingly abundant, especially here in the US and don’t necessarily feel it. And especially those who will never feel that there is enough in the account regardless of the millions in abundance s/he might have in an account … but the question was Be Abundant, not be ‘wealthy’ or be ‘rich’ without feeling it.

Nope, the question of abundance seems more about that third element, the one behind the feeling or being the sought-after quality or experience when one feels ‘lack’. It’s not just about feeling gratitude or being grateful, though that’s where it starts.

 

It’s about Worth.

                        Feeling like you have some.

About Being and Feeling enough from the inside.

Feeling and acting Worth-y of abundance, whether looking at it from the feeling or being side.

 

Can one feel abundant if one does not feel to have worth inside oneself?

 

Can one be abundant, experience it and not lack, without being ‘worthy’ in one’s self-estimation — perhaps due to that nagging tiny voice inside that claims, usually without our outer awareness, that one is not ‘worthy’ of all that joy, love, connection, acceptance and care that comes packaged with having Worth and thus experiencing Abundance?

 

Feeling and knowing one has Worth — Faith that one is Worthy of love, care, and sustenance — is the third element to feeling/being Abundant.

“I must be the thing I am seeking;

I am seeking the ___________ I lack.”

 

If one puts Worth in there, rather than Abundance, one has a way to Be and to Feel Abundant right… this… very… moment….

And then we have it all:  Faith, Awareness, Worth, Being of Service to something Greater

 

Whether facing a new day, new territory, and challenging times,

with these above inner connections to Something Greater

flowing through our selves and in the Universe,

we can feel and be On Task and On Purpose: abundant, generous, courageous.

 

From the book Here You Begin:

 

These Actions help me to Feel I have Worth and Abundance —to give —in my Time Here:

 

1) ______________________________

2) ______________________________

3) ______________________________

 

 

 

With gratitude to all those who were and are abundantly and generously courageous today, tomorrow, and always.

 

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I help you?

sliceofsky, UK ©2013 elizabethdarby.com please don't repost without permission!

sliceofsky, UK ©2013 elizabethdarby.com
Please ask permission before reposting!

How can I be of service to you today, in this moment?

Could I hold your worries,

even if just for a few moments,

while you catch your breath on this long hillside of life?

Here, I’m listening. I’ll help you unload them now, like an over-heavy pack.

Let’s enjoy the view and light of the day for a moment before you start again on your journey…

Could I encourage you

that it will soon (very soon)

be easier than it is now?

 It will be.

Try giving a little smile now, just a little one, and see if that helps lighten …

Could I remind you

that you are here for a purpose

and have very specific and great work to do?

Really, exactly who you are is what is needed . . .

to do the beautiful work of your time here.

How can I be of service to you in this moment?

For being of service, on task and on purpose, is what we are each here to be. . .

How may I help you?

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

To Shine and To Prosper

Prague window: ©2012 j michl, used with permission and appreciation. Please contact me before reposting, as a courtesy to the artist.

Prague window: ©2012 j michl, used with permission and appreciation. Please contact me before reposting, as a courtesy to the artist.

I found myself stressed on 6 fronts this past two weeks, each needing focus, belief, courage and breath to start again. Today. Now. Anew. So I wrote them all out on paper to get them out of my swirling mind. I handed them off to God and thus gained some breathing space.

As I added up all I needed with all I have been given, very long term of course, I found that it balances out to within a few cents over a lifetime.

Which got me to thinking about that Bible parable which makes me unsettles me so —  the 3 talents one—  as I tend to identify with the guy who buried his talent, his measure of money in those days, so as to make sure he can give it back. Like him, I don’t want to not do right thing or lose money, etc., and yet it is he who is ‘put to death’ for not prospering with what is given by God.

The ‘truth’ of it is in the ‘prosper’ part, of course. And that entails more than a balance sheet apparently; it entails how each of us defines a self-image of what need and abundance (even the ‘if only’ dreams) looks like reflected in the mirror. Right there, in your and my face, is the image: Are we just getting by on all needs? Are you reflecting “if only” dreams or the great gifts given and shining them out? Am I reflecting the yearning of what I need — and the feeling of the need already met in this moment — or am I reflecting the feeling of hiding the need and the desire and the talent … well, you see what I mean.

There’s lots of energy there, wanting to not need much, needing to do right thing, yearning to give back what given, to live in balance, to live in abundance not in deficit and to not lose what is given — wanting to do this life thing right while being aware that what is reflected back to us is what we are living inside… lots of energy there.

But we are instructed by such Story that we are here to do three simple things:

To Light and to Prosper and to Love. . .

and not necessarily in that order.

And there is the discomfort.

Is the picture of your life or mine a reflection shining any of those — the gifts, the talents, the yearning desire, the need — as demonstrating more than ‘just getting by’? Of making do by a whisker or a life of just making it and accommodating what looks like ‘reality’ or ‘ability’ or ‘situation’… rather than shining and prospering with what we are each given?

I feel such a picture of just getting by is a mirror of giving personal power away and not taking any of gifts given already in hand as tools or expressions of shine or of love.

I asked this question of Soulful Self and of God: “How do I expand my sense of incarnated self so that I can shine and prosper all I’ve been so graciously given — and what would that feel like? As clearly, we are given over a lifetime what we feel we need, rather than given a lifetime of needs as so many millions of us experience.

I think that’s where that ‘living like you already have all you need’ comes from — and there is a magic in it — as the parable teaches we already have all we need; it’s what we do with it that is our Task and our Purpose.

What would it feel like for you? Living, taking actions daily to shine and to prosper what you’ve been given inside, rather than focusing on the outer number of just getting by or living in need? What does abundance feel like after all? Is there a magic number by which you define yourself, or is it an experience?

I asked a dear daughter, as I was still feeling ‘careful’ trying to figure out this uncomfortable balance sheet of life. She said simply:

I feel abundant when I’m living with abandon . . .

you know like you just ‘do it big’ and it’s huge and wonderful and…

By now, she was sweeping arms now and I remembered the feeling from years of dance training —  of living, breathing, moving with abandon, rather than clutching the movement which looks terrible of course and feels terrible, too.

Living with abandon: 

It’s the feeling of being at the top of a mountain;

The feeling of leaping into the air and hanging there for a moment

suspended as art meets light;

The feeling of whooshing on a swing with long ropes;

The feeling of galloping fast on a horse;

The feeling of the waves splashing around running legs…

 

What’s your feeling of living with abandon? For in it is found your living in Love with life and source, to Shine and to Prosper,

So I looked up the etymology of abandon:

á banon. To + power/authority.

From Old English and Old French. Or as Eric Partridge writes in his fabulous book Origins:

“a sovereign’s proclamation within his/her jurisdiction…”

Oh, dear God! That’s right! Living with abandon, living to shine and to prosper, is living proclaiming sovereignty within the jurisdiction of one’s life while on Earth.

And that means, since you are a sovereign over your actions while here on Earth, it’s a given you have power, authority, treasury at the foundation of your life, as that’s what a sovereign has as a given

So what will you do today, to shine, to prosper all you have as a Given, and while Living with Abandon?

Blessings ,

Elizabeth Darby

You Have a Choice

You have a choice, right in this moment.

“Choose not to worry.”

Ernst Holmes wrote this as his second of recommendations to live well.

“Worry is an acquired habit. . . . You didn’t worry when you were a child. . . .  Loose [the past] and let it go and look forward to the future with hope. Build up a great idea of yourself the way you would like to be and work toward it, knowing that God is your partner and friend, and wills you to be happy. Think, feel, and live this.”

How much of  worry — anyone’s worry — is fear?

Most of it, it would seem. Fear of what’s to come; fear of what has been; fear for won’t be or will be that isn’t wanted…. worry is fear of those things out of our control, moment to moment.

And as the proverbial truth reminds us, worrying is akin to praying for what we don’t want, keeping it present and with us, a fear shadowing our every step.

Unfortunately worry also defines our steps — was that a stumble? A wrong path? Am I in danger? Will I fall or flail?…

So how can we choose to not worry, to live like children of light again, when worry trips us so? It seems almost to easy to say just let it go and look to a future with hope” when the shadows are marring our view.

The answer is in the action of it:  to choose to Work.  Holmes suggests the sure way: To envision a great idea of yourself and then work — work toward it, work in the moment, lean into idea.

It seems to me there are two working ways into the light from the shadow of worry, as actions take us out of the land of internal shadow.  Use either one, as the magic is in the work of working toward your vision, knowing you are not alone in it:

Here’s the first:

People don’t know this, but I’m really, really good at:

_______________________________________

________________________________________

 

. . . And I like doing these things.

 

Here’s why:

In feeling — leaning into — why you love doing what you’re really good at, you begin the work of building into the vision of you as you wish to become. Even just feeling that great idea of you, and then working toward it, seems to loose the worries, moment by moment.

Here’s another way to loose those worries:

I care deeply about

___________________________

___________________________

and I’m good at …

___________________________

___________________________

So clearly the World needs me to put these together

in this way as my work while I’m here:

_________________________________

_________________________________

Finding a purpose — your purpose — in the world and actively leaning into it, moment by moment, brings light into the shadows that plague us in the worries and fears. Focusing on what we care deeply about strengthens us, as acting On Task and On Purpose, we find we are working, in light and shining light out.

Action looses the worries and the fears — the choice is yours to take it.

Walk, no Act, in light and with blessings today…

Elizabeth Darby

“I can, if I know I can…”

“I can, if I know I can”

 

Ernst Holmes wrote in 1968 of how we can live a life On Task and On Purpose. He didn’t call it that; his prose was much more eloquent. Yet today I am reminded it is so similar a process:

“Overcome negative mental attitudes,” he wrote. “Your basic thought here should be: ‘I can, if I know I can.’ Negative thoughts will produce negative results, while positive thinking surrounds you with an atmosphere which tends to draw good into your experience. Successful people do not permit themselves to think of failure….This doesn’t mean arbitrary or dogmatic thinking; rather it means a sort of good-natured flexibility with yourself, because you are the greatest single asset you will ever possess…”

You are the greatest single asset

you will ever possess.

I don’t think one can hear — or live — this enough, especially with ‘good-natured flexibility with yourself’.

Doubt — doubt of God, doubt of value, doubt of self, doubt of being Loved and lovable, doubt of having anything good going in one’s life — and its dark twin shadow of, well, living in the Shadows of Life are the cause of the shaking of our knees in facing each moment when things look like they’re going badly.

Instead, Shake it off.

Enough.

Draw a Finish Line — right here.

Here, now, you are Finished with those shadows of doubts that cast a pall over the day and a spell over this moment of life.

Step into light and let it flow out of you.

You, full of light shining forth, just for this moment

—and now this moment, and now this one —

are the greatest single asset

you will ever possess.

Take a moment now and smile. That’s a shine beginning…here.

Blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

 

 

Link

More on Success:

This lovely reflection from business professor Clay Christensen, from a couple years ago in the Harvard Business Review. I keep it handy for days when I, too, need to remember that Success is a life-work as well as a moment-to-moment state of smiles:

How Will You Measure Your Life

by Clayton Christensen

http://hbr.org/2010/07/how-will-you-measure-your-life/ar/1?cm_sp=most_widget-_-hbr_articles-_-How%20Will%20You%20Measure%20Your%20Life%3F

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

What a Success!

How do you define Success?

How do you define your success?

Is it how you define success for someone else?

If you have moola-$ and no health, is that a success?

What if you have health and no moola-$, is that a success for you? Today? Now? In this moment of your life or for all time?

If someone else you have deemed “a success” has moola-$ and oh-by-the-way a little later on, you read headlines of his or her living (enduring) in a state of no health (whether addictions, self-destructions, or tragic illnesses), is that Success?

Does that life-experience still count as being in the “What a Success” category — in your estimation?

If you have plenty of moola-$ and no family, is that Success?

Repeat the question for those you esteem: If they have “plenty” but alas did you hear/read about their family… do you still consider Success to be in the equation by your definition?

If you feel “What a Success” about your life’s daily journey thus far … and yet no paparazzi are on your curb, is that Success?

After all, we wouldn’t know about the Success of those we esteem if it weren’t for the paparazzi capturing it for us, would we? And that makes them a … Success?

So “What a Success!!” really quickly gets  down to what you desire, what you want to experience, the costs of trading one success for another.

How do you define success as a Whole Life experience? Because like life insurance, you either buy the Whole Life or you buy the Term insurance — and be assured that they cost very differently and the return is very different.

Defining for you — only you — “What a Success” means also gets down to being willing to admit that what we esteem in others and how we define their Success we may — or may not — want to apply to our own lives.

Maybe this will help: A question from my book and workshops:

To Live Each Day I need*:

1) ___________________________

2) ___________________________

3) ___________________________

4) ___________________________

5) ___________________________

I might want these things:

____________________

____________________

____________________

But I really Need:

____________________________________________

*Need vs Want. Things you Need are things your Soul can’t live without.

The things you need might vary from the basics of a roof over your head to food on your plate. Needs might also include a big sky overhead, peace and quiet, or urban verve, or the connection of a family or a home-refuge nearby, or to be as far way from family as possible!  Among the Wants might be the kind of roof and how big a roof you want it to be and the quantity of the food on your plate.

Needs might include health to enjoy your life successes, large and small, like the energy to join in with the laughter of a loved one, rather than collapsing into a coma at night or feeling irritated at the humor — What are they so happy about?

Needs might also include Time — like having time to lovingly dry your child’s tears on any given moment of a day… (What did you have him or her for, if not to be available when s/he needs you?)

However, both Needs and Wants however defined will end up driving your life, your hours spent, your joy in your moments while here, and ultimately how you define Success in your time spent here on Earth.

Too often the Wants take over.

So Be Clear.

It’s what you need that will keep your Work true to You. . . 

And in being true to You and your definition of Success, your Work will be created more easily and joyfully….

If you are meeting your needs and are clear on how you define your Success, then it’s your paparazzi moment, if so desired:

Take a photo right now, even if only in your mind’s perfect camera, and frame it…

What a Success!

Blessings on your successful day, wherever in the world you are and however you define it!

Elizabeth Darby