A Curse

2019-07-04 17.51.11

“I feel I must be cursed.”

This was said months ago by one I care about, but who chose a few years ago to take a different path to feel more comfortable with his life.

I feel I must be cursed.

Brambles.

Unable to see through them or identify the things that hurt and tangle us as we try a different route. Or even to continue on the route we thought we were on.

It feels like every way is blocked even tho our path and purpose seem to be just on the other side of the thicket.

I get it.

We all do, because we all have moments like this.

Dark coming on, not enough to sustain us as we continue on our way, not knowing if we’ll get “there” — wherever “there” was supposed to be. Running out of resources and time, or vice versa. The things we need now— love, security, joy, means, pennies— running on empty and no signs that say “Food, Gas, Replenishment, 1 mile” or “It’s going to Be Okay, 5 miles” in sight.

And it’s always easier to feel burdened by a curse, something laid on from outside, than to sit quietly with the horror that maybe I brought it on myself, as I have, even if just from a simple, honest mistake. A mis-take, an error in the grasping of a circumstance I face in this moment.

I’ve felt that often, too, in these last few years, months, days. Looking forever behind me for the moment I took the turn that led to, as T.S.Eliot described for all of us in the 20th century: The Waste Land:

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,

You cannot say, or guess, for you know only

A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,

And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief.

And the dry stone no sound of water…

 

Thank you T.S. Eliot. That is as close as I’ve ever read to how being cursed feels. A blockage put on us from outside ourselves, with a mysterious power, which dismantles our own light-force. Nothing we try to do to help ourselves works, for we can only see a heap of broken images…

…Until the moment we realize that maybe we are standing in merely a shadow at noon. Something we can step out of, if only we pick up a foot to test if the line between shadow and light is really impossible to breach. Maybe tip a toe first to see if it hurts, this line seemingly as impenetrable as a thicket.

I looked up “curse,” being me. I wondered about its etymology, its origin, its history, because when you understand where a word comes from, you can often understand the weight it also carries with it, as burden or as power. For nothing earthly is more powerful than words. They inspire. They kill. They darken others when of anger or hate. They enlighten when of love, with others, our selves, or our world.

“Curse” has no known source as a word. My faithful go-to Origins, by Eric Partridge, traces it back to Old English where it disappears into the swamp “o.o.o.”—of obscure origins—but he offers some guesses.

On one hand “curse” might come from a very old French, meaning to anger (coroz), which itself evolved from very old Latin corruptus, or corrumpere. Yes, akin to corrupt, which in itself carries the heavy weight of having broken up morally—or ruptured from—our light-filled self. Alas, no outer thing to blame here, no curse to reverse with a spell. It’s all inner struggle, these thick brambles that block seeing our way forward from this moment.

There is another possibility, Partridge notes, from a more modern (ok, just Middle) Latin. Perhaps a “curse” is a course, “a series of prayers, especially prayers of imprecation,” meaning we pray repeatedly against someone, certainly praying against ourselves in the process.

In either case, to feel accursed means we have ruptured with our light, our life force, our sense of mission and purpose while on earth. Worse perhaps we repeatedly pray words against ourselves in the process for a mis-take, something we didn’t intend to seize or take (or do?) but which hurts nonetheless.

No wonder brambles feel to be on every side.

The good news is that if we can pray at all in our dark despair, we can also choose to pray— to ask, to request, to woo—that which we seek to light us up inside. We can earnestly seek to mend our rupture within ourselves, so that in asking for direction, for the circumstances of our bramble to get better, we, too, are wooed back into the light of the stardust from which we began our journey. We can ask repeatedly that we be wooed back into love and loving our short time of life.

… I was neither

Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,

Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

For this is essential to living the life, the path, the purpose for which we are here and now

If you only had one prayer left—one last request—in this world, what would it be?

Be that now.

 

 

 

 

Another Path

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We are always starting again, it seems.

Always a new path is seeming to appear just off the one we thought we were on. No signposts.

Is it a path? Or Is it a path wild animals took before us, a “game trail”, winding along a hillside seemingly aimlessly. Until you follow it and find it leads to water.

Of course it could also be a dead end. More than once I’ve taken both what I thought was a pathway just to find it stopped at a cliff. Other times I’ve followed the faintest of game trails, just to find the elusive animal leaped away, and the trail itself vanished so I had to retrace the steps back to the known.

Beginning this blog again is a new path. Obviously it’s been a while and I’ve been wandering in deep woods. Or so it seems from the absence of work here. Instead my path of these last few years was essentially hijacked, as so many of us learn, by the decline of elderly parents whose sudden needs are so overwhelming there is little time for one’s own path pursuits. I don’t say this unkindly; I say it realistically yet knowing that no parent intends to hijack their children’s path, nor do they want to have to. Walking with my mother’s on her path through a decade of dementia is one path totally unexpected to each of us. Trying to join my father on his path with cancer, till he decided to end treatment and resisted all company, was another. For them to coincide, to unify into one path under that complicated term “home hospice,” 45 years after their lives together untwined in divorce, is one of those things to muse on, if there’s any time to do so.

A lot of people are finding themselves on new paths suddenly as well. The invisible but deadly virus in the air around us has put the humans around the world on a new path   and one none of us expected really.

We shelter in place, any plans and paths we thought we were on vanished beneath our feet. We emerge in masks only to find the world around us has changed. Jobs are gone or may never come back. Careers we thought we had have veered off cliffs. We’ve spent time with families, if lucky, or learned to try to connect with them across a airwaves and wifi and in the worst case, were unable to see them as their path ended and ours was barred.

Yes we are all on a new path, one we didn’t expect, and for many of us, our life paths feel hijacked.

Take a moment here. The sun has come up again. The sky is beautiful no matter what is happening in it or where you are, from storms to sun, clouds and rain to striking blue.

This moment is the only step we need to know.

And that’s good because it’s the only one we’re certain of.

If you can see the sky and take a breath, you are on a path and it will lead somewhere.

It’s always been this way, but being shocked into living in this moment, even if it’s the only way to get through years of living moment to moment, day to day as we do near the end of our lives and as we do accompanying those we love to their final breaths, and as we do when faced with the unknown before us, we quickly realize path will take care of itself. For now.

We will find our way again soon.

It certainly will be a new world and a new path, as we all start anew, but we will find our path that brings us to being our heart-filled self, authentic and fierce in our purpose to live shining.

Take a moment again. Just for fun, doodle a path you’ve just discovered leading out your door and to a world you wish to see anew.

 

Power

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sunblaze
©2013 lkshaw

It’s interesting that we talk of power — brand power, political power, spiritual power, God power, might vs right power, power to be ourselves, power to attain success — and yet when faced with needing to start over in life, or create one’s work, it seems we often feel powerless.

 

It seems having the …

— power to change

— power to believe

— power to start over

— power to express the best of ourselves …

 … is putting a lot of emphasis on the handle: Power.

Is this invisible potency what gives the uumph to finish the phrase and the day?

 

We seek power to change, rather than simply change, as in your life or my life now in this moment…

We seek power to believe, rather than simply believe (the active verb form) in good, self, God, purpose, kindness, or that there is Work we can create.

We seek power to start over, rather than starting over (as in I’m starting anew now. Power or Not, I’m doin’ it now, today!)

We seek power to express our best, rather than just ‘express my best’ in this moment.

You get the pattern.

 

Where in your life today did you seek the ‘power’ rather than ‘take the action’?

Yes, when not feeling power-ful, we can feel helpless or invisible, whether it’s economic power or power to move the world to a better place for all, or spiritually powered to meet the demands of another day of creating one’s work here.

It’s as if we are not feeling aware of the power already inside, we instead seek it first as a handle.

 

I’ll repeat:

It’s when not feeling power already inside, we seek it outside of ourselves

— as a cloak of ‘being enough’ — to take action.

 

Of course we do:  The word ‘power’ really didn’t come into use in our English language until the 12th Century and at the time was a noun all about being able to act with strength and might, especially in battle. It descended in apparently a rather vulgar way (cf Partridge’s Origins) through Latin from 842 onward as a noun for a sense of potency, and I’ll leave that image to your imagination.  In just a few centuries, power would be contained in political circles and in industry, with the manufactured electrical power suddenly invisibly fueling industry and the work of 19th C Empire, the engines of progress, and providing light to the common person.

Light from nowhere. Electricity flowing invisibly, suddenly everywhere… no wonder we are confused as to the source of our power and needing to feel the might of the term. Much of the 19th and 20th C spirituality is all about the unseen ‘power’ flowing through us and to us, our idea of God and might mixing away into an unseen flow of energy within us as magnetism, attraction, juice, that which we call upon to make our human efforts be successful.

I’m all for power and for feeling and doing what makes any one of us feel powerful enough to be seen. I’m all for expressing our light and using our talents and gifts, doing the Work we are here to do for this world.

When do you feel most power-filled to do this Work you are here to do?

_______________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________

 

Here’s a key, I think:  It’s a power-action circuit.  Take an action On Task and On Purpopse, feel power-filled. Feel powerful, take an action…

Do you feel more powerful when taking the action or do you feel you must wait for the power to kick-in first?

 

I express my best; I feel power–filled when I do. That’s what I’m here to do.

I believe that there is Work I am needed to do and I’m doing it; I am power-filled when I do this… I believe that for you, too.

I change my life —now— to create my work; I shine that inner flow to the outside when I do.

So do you, when you change, create, shine whilst in action. And it comes right back as a feeling of power, a self-circulating energy flow.

 

Waiting to feel power is feeling helpless. I know this; we all know this. Waiting to be recognized as ‘enough’ to be powerful is a long, long wait in a dark, dark closet. The electricity, the shine, the power flowing is within, coming out.

Taking action, shining one’s best, expressing one’s heart, soul, talents, creating your Work, that is taking action that makes a person feel powerful, handle or not, outer recognition or anon.

 

Back to our question:

When do you feel most power-filled to create and do the Work you are here to do?

What actions are you taking that feel to rev up the feeling of power within? Then the power that you feel is a result of these actions, taken with grace.

1) _______________________

2) _______________________

3) _______________________

We are, each and all, needed — by friends, beloveds, our visions and dreams, and by our Time here on Earth — to be our best, taking actions, and making felt the power that is our energy made visible.

In starting over and anew today, shine as only you can, through your actions, expression, believing and doing!

Blessings on your day!

 

Elizabeth Darby

Joy is the Essence of Success

Joy is the essence of  Success…

My teabag tag on this cold winter’s night.

Don’t you love gifts like this?  It is a winter’s night when the snow has melted slightly and turned to black ice, the moon grows full, and it is a deep cold. The frosted air and all its various contributions — the musky fox who darted through the yard a bit ago, car exhaust, someone’s passing cigarette smoke, the dog who has recently over eaten, and now a sweetly scented cup of spicy tea — clings close to the ground to join into a soupy, heady moment in which to be aware of life passing by.

And yet, this is just it . . . and thus the gift of a moment in time no matter the moment:

When one feels a success, one feels joyful.

When one is joyful, one is a success.

 

Yes, it’s that simple.

 

When do you feel joy?

 

When do you feel a success?

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to remember to feel either or both of these during many moments of each day or on a cold, winter’s night?

For feeling each or both is, in fact, a moment’s choice.

Choose it now and take a deep breath! If in this moment, you are able to connect to heartfelt joy, you are a success. And, if in this moment, you choose to feel a success — you are here doing good work, after all, right? Being your shining best in this moment? — then you feel joyful.

Round and round it goes, success to joy to success to joy…

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about success lately. It seems there are so many recipes to achieve it and so many encouragements in the world to define and attain it. There was even an entire TED radio hour on it on a recent NPR show (good to listen to! Here’s the link: http://www.npr.org/2013/10/25/240777690/success ).

 

When I first heard this show several weeks ago, I scribbled notes immediately as I took issue with so much of what was discussed, for it seemed there was something missing from many of the definitions of success explored in that assembly of speakers.

And what I felt was missing was simply this:

Heart.  Shine,  Soul.

A sense of Being You, On Task and On Purpose.

A sense of being here to do specifically what you are here to do . . . And doing that.

Call it living one’s shine and using one’s gifts for this world.

Although we try to measure success in so many outward ways, as the Ted Radio Hour on NPR explored, the real measure of success is exactly what my teabag reminds me tonight:

Joy.

 

And that, simply, is what I hope any of you feel after working through my book or in working with me one-on-one.

Joy and Success: You are being You at your best and deepest heart-level.

I thank you, at the end of this year in this season of returning light and cold nights, for your joy, for your heartfelt connection in reading my thoughts, here or in my book, or even just for smiling after looking at my work here. Your many likes, nice comments and follows make me feel joyful and have helped to make Here You Begin, a tiny book of good intentions in a sea of self-help gurus, what I feel to be a success.

And so I thank you again!

If I were to define success, for any one of us, you know it would be this:

To feel that you are here, shining, doing your work, on purpose and on task, using your unique combo of talents and heart for this world and in this world.

And that makes everyone around us — as well as you and me— full of joy.

Thank you for daring to shine in whatever moment is before you in your life in this moment, right now.

Blessings!

Elizabeth Darby

Box of Life

It’s Advent. It’s the time of darker days leading to light.

It’s the time of year to quietly give away all of that  —

That

You know, the stuff sitting around — inside — which clutters the windowsill and prevents our shine from pouring out — whether through our eyes from our souls or from our heart/hearth and home into the dusk of shorter days of this time of our year.

And so, with longer nights, we are often faced with longer hours to look at the clutter of our hearts, souls, and living space.

So here’s is a little fill-in-the-blank for your soul:

Quickly, without looking really, fill in the following:

The real reason I can’t live this very moment, no matter how dark or busy or scheduled,

in joy, abundance, peace, poise, and power are:

1) _____________

2) _____________________

3) _________________________________

4) ____________________________________

5) ______________________________________

You might find a lot of name-calling when you fill in the blanks:

They didn’t, He refused, She said…

Name the “They” in your Life, or the He or the She’s that have somehow become crowded in with you in that clutter.

There’s not much space for the answers.

The reason is I want you to write really, really small…

Because these ‘reasons’ are making you live really, really small…

Now then put these  ‘reasons’ for living small in a plain cardboard box.the box of life

Why?

Better to do it outside yourself rather than keep that box of small-life inside, no?

Now, what to do with it?  Obviously it’s nothing of you— your best you shining and full of light of a life on task and on purpose — that wants to be handed on, given away, or wrapped into a nasty surprise for others…

No, this is a present for your self. You’ve put all your feelings of small and reasons for living any further moment of your life in a small way into this box.

Time for transformation:

Now go through your little list and change the pronoun to “I”…

In doing so, you’ve transformed your box of ‘reasons for living small’ to a box of choices for living your life fully, by realizing the ‘reason’ is a personal one:

If a She didn’t love you, you’ve transformed it to “I don’t love me”;

If a He let you down, you’ve transformed it into “I let me down”;

 If They won’t accept you, or believe in you, or support you,  you’ve transformed it into

“I won’t accept me, or support me, or believe in me”…

Open your box, look at your reasons for living small, as if in a box, and change them into

‘I … “  but also add:

“But now I can…’

The magic of this present to yourself is you can end each of your ‘living small’ pinchy reasons by this magic of the season incantation:

‘But now I can… support me, believe in me, love me, be reliable to me…

 — with light, love, and heart and soul and light—

 now I can.”

And as you do, you are letting the light —

of your soul and your being,

your shine,

and the infinite energy of the Universe which animates you into life,

moment to moment, breath to breath —

Into your personal Box of Life, clearing darkness,

allowing the light to flow in, out and into this moment of your life-time  here.

No open box can hold the light, after all..

Now you can radiate shine and leave that smallness behind.

And now you can choose:

Live now, in this moment, no matter how busy, scheduled, or dark,

shining and feeling it from inside.

You are choosing to live On Task and On Purpose, shining brightly,

beaming out of your Box of Life.

Choose light, choose love, choose abundance, choose joy,

choose using your unique talent,

and see what happens… now!

The light is soon returning to us; Life is here now.

Blessings on your day

and thank you to each and everyone who has honored me with

a moment of their time spent reading and writing to me his year!

Elizabeth Darby

On Surrender — to Your Work and to Your Life as the journey it is…

Surrender to one’s Work, not work, is the essence of Life, not just a ‘life’ or the life you are told to ‘get’.

As many say, while we live, we must Live – with every ounce of our being, joy, focus, happiness, and use of our talents and gifts. To live, spending pennies of our life-moments and not living as if we will never have ‘enough’, as of course we can’t take those pennies — our moments of time — with us.

We have to live pouring out abundance and not being a miser with our energy, our love, our talents and gifts, or our Living. As another famously said, I want to be spent when I die, not die with energy and more to give hoarded away inside.

I am re-reading a lovely, life-changing book by the late Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler entitled Life Lessons.

The gist of it, through story, David Kessler’s beautiful reflection, and Dr. Kubler-Ross’s late in life wisdom (she herself was nearing the end of her life at the time of publication), is that it is when we embrace our own inevitable death, we truly are able to live – to Live, On Task and On Purpose with each of our moments we still have to spend here. Too often we do get to this gist of living only with bad medical news or late in life; what a pity, as when we live knowing life is short, we tend to engage more with our time, our love, our passions, and make use of the gifts, talents, and heart-felt purpose we each feel inside. Life becomes more like a lovely ice-cream cone; you know you can’t save it for later when it’s already dripping down your hand so enjoy it thoroughly now.

Toward the end of the book is a chapter on Surrender in which David Kessler tells the Story (Truth begets Story) of a 50-year-old man who faced losing a leg due to complications of his diabetes. He needed encouragement and permission to feel all that was associated with the crisis in front of him and was really angry, of course, as he careened through the grief of his circumstance. David Kessler picks up the story here, as he asked the man if he could “surrender to the situation as it is”.

‘”The horrible possibility that you may lose your leg is constantly on your mind; it’s dominating your thoughts, it’s filling you with fear and anger. Why not think about it for a while, be with it, then let it be? If you’re going to lose your leg, you’re going to lose you leg. Thinking about it, pretending that you are not thinking about it, or refusing even to talk about it isn’t going to make it happen or not happen.”

‘The man responded:  “So if I make peace with losing my leg, if I completely surrender, will it be saved?”

‘I reminded him that deep spiritual work is deep spiritual work. We can’t bargain with it, we can’t say, “If I’m spiritual enough, will I get the prize?” . . .’

 If I’m spiritual enough, will I get the prize?

How many of our moment-to-moment situations in our lives fill us with fear and anger, the twins of demons that eat our life-moments, ebb our energy and our health, and push us off center and off task and purpose? We’re taught culturally never to surrender. And yet, how many of us can fill in another situation, to replace the one in the story, perhaps not as serious or perhaps more, which we pretend not to feel, or think about, but which eats us alive? Especially when starting over, newly jobless or careerless, made redundant and fearing for our future well-being, after life-changing events have happened when returning from war or the race, as well as when starting out for the first time in our life-journey, facing school debts and feeling clueless?  We all have these moments.

And we do bargain:

If I’m special enough,will  I win the prize?

If I’m perfect enough, will I win the prize?

If I’m spiritual enough, I win the prize?

We do this, if only to assuage the fear of . . . surrender.

Surrender to what?

Surrender to what life is presenting, at this moment, as we begin again this day our journey in a finite life-time.  Surrender to trust, to peace, to knowing there is good and light somewhere here, if we just let Life and living be what it is in this very temporary moment.

It’s true that feeling that peace even for a moment can shift your journey from fear to interesting to relief to excitement to even delight.

Surrender is not ‘I give up’, but rather ‘I’m okay and I will look to see what I can do here . . . what are my choices?’ In peace that this   is  the  journey   we often can see what is a choice, a new route, a place of beauty, a new call.  In your choice to be You, authentically and joyfully you, working with your gifts, following your instinctive Yes, is your power. And there is also your Life, being fully lived moment by moment. We surrender to Life and decide, in peace, that we can let it be . . . a journey.

David Kessler writes:

“We take back our power and regain peace of mind when we let things be as they are.

We are, in effect, saying, “I am going to be happy

right now.

I’m not going to put it off.”

That is surrender to your joy, your living Life while here, and to your journey on task and on purpose, filling every one of your pennies of time with the light you are here to give this world.

May you accept your prize today:

A day full of joy, of peace on your journey, and of good — really good — Work that is yours to do in this moment of your Life-time.

Blessings!

Life Lessons, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler, Simon and Schuster, 2000.

A flick’r

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Life goes by in …
©2013 elizabeth darby

“Life goes by in a flick’r…

A flick’r.”

The older man, my host, sat in his kitchen, slightly hunched from his illness, but his bright blue eyes full of energy and wisdom as we visited.

“It was fast enough before I got the ________ but now…” He shook his head meaningfully.

“Life goes by in a flicker. There’s not time for loggerheads.

No time for loggerheads. . . .”

I sipped the lovely sweet coffee and homemade tea cake his delightful wife offered. And I listened intently to his and her lovely, lilting accent and way with words and phrases in this Welsh border-village.

I learned many things in my week in Wales, in not necessarily in this order:

1) I look forward to returning soon;

2) My tendency to repeat myself when using story to offer lessons is clearly due to my Welsh great-grandmother’s ‘Way’ of Story, which I learned from her daughter (my grandmother) with whom I spent every day of my life till her death in 1980. Those I spoke with in Wales like to repeat the important parts of the Story they tell a visitor. It’s the important stuff they repeat.

3) Life goes by in a flick’r.

So, in flipping through my book today and preparing for a second edition, wondering what to keep and what to leave behind, what helped my reader and what doesn’t, I came across this question below.

I pose it to you, now, for you know, ‘Life goes by in a flick’r’ . . . and living On Task and On Purpose requires we live with full heart, full passion, and full love shining forth every moment possible. Nothing held back; no loggerheads inside as well as out.

The Questions:

What I really care about is:

________________________________________________________

How do I show this now, in this moment?

________________________________________________________

If I don’t presently, how could I?

________________________________________________________

How do I want to show or demonstrate this in the future?

________________________________________________________

That last question is a hint about your Work here.

And now.

Demonstrate who you are and Who You Are.

Do it now, for you know . . .

“Life goes by in a flick’r. There’s not time for loggerheads.”

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

Never, never

I may never again find a job.

 

What do you feel when you read this?

 

The work I did (that defined me) for my xx year career is no longer open (to me specifically).

 

What is the picture of you that you hold when you dare to feel this or even to say this?

 

Regardless of reason — whether age or factory closing, work moving ‘elsewhere’ or one’s profession eliminated by the advances of technology and cultural taste — the work is specific to you, and thus closed to specifically you. And your identity is, for a dark moment, shattered like Hamlet’s mirror.

 

I am a care-giver, jobless or not, and this is also the work that defines

the hours spent of my life.

 

Until it doesn’t, for those who need caring for also move on — to life, to death, to college, to others, to ‘next’ — leaving you without that outer-definition of ‘work I do’ in life as well.

How do you feel, seeing yourself as a care-giver, knowing that it, too, is a temp position if it’s outwardly defined?

 

“Even if they do all the things they’re told to do — network, improve those computer skills, find a new passion and turn it into a job — many [unemployed and older people] struggle with the question of whether their working life as they once knew it is essentially over,” writes Alena Tugend in The New York Times last Saturday.

(‘Unemployed and Older, and Facing a Jobless Future’,The New York Times, July 27, 2013.)

 

I would suggest this is true for anyone unemployed or in life transition. It’s harder, yes, when facing this when older for when we’re young, we expect there to always be a next gig. But in reality the news from those newly educated and unable to ‘find a job’ for all their investment of hours and thousands of dollars aches just as much and tugs at the soul in the dark of night facing bills and an unknown tomorrow.

 

Our life is spent in a series of ‘temp jobs’, however, no matter our age. Until we find and self-define our Work here to be done — the work only you or only your friend, or only I can do.

 

When our work defines our hours, our journey, our self-esteem, our ability to provide for those we love and ourselves, obviously it’s important. No matter the age or circumstance, whether demonstrating for a living wage as a fast-food worker, a journalist wondering where all the newspapers went (along with the fact- and spell-checking staff), or a care-giver who graduates a child from college the same year the remaining care-needing parent leaves this earth, the work that we see as defining us and fills our ‘productive’ hours is very important.

 

Notice, however, that all of this esteem comes from the eyes of others: the pay-check, the role, the business-card/title and the all-important ‘connections’ and the who-you-knows. These are the tacit measures of Your Worth — the other-defined value of what you do.

 

In a world where people’s souls are reduced to ‘what can you do for me’ bosses and the entire category of workers summed up by the term ‘human capital’ rather than ‘the person who works with me and for whom I’m so grateful s/he does,’ our Worth and Value is too-often defined by what we ‘produce’ rather than what we give and contribute of our unique talents and enthusiasm. It’s a demeaning system when looked at this way, no? And this, too, is nothing new.

 

Now, just for a little moment, focus on what your Work is:

What is your Mission should you decide to accept it

— the Mission you have the perfect package of heart, soul, knowledge, enthusiasm and vision to undertake

(skills can be learned) —

right here and right now?

 

Feeling one’s Work to be meaningful, we know, creates a feeling of self-worth and self-esteem. We carry ourselves differently, we hold our Value in our presence and in our smile, knowing we are using our specific talents, gifts and vision and creating something valuable with our time here.

 

That’s true whether the value is in a well-raised child who flowers using his or her gifts On Task and On Purpose, or in creating good living conditions involving hands to hold and good food to eat for the last few years of a beloved’s lifetime here, or in something new that only you can see and create, whether you sell it or give it away.

 

It’s amazing to me how quickly we go from being seen as miracle, as every new baby feels to a loving family, to being cut down with a snarky ‘Who do you think you are, God’s gift to the world?’ a few years later when we are shining with Presence and working very hard at our job. This feels to be all thanks to a system in which we are made to feel value-less unless meeting someone’s definition of value or ‘worthy of being remunerated’ for what is our only time and our specific and unique gifts to be used in service of … well, in service of what?

 

Something greater than our short lives, simply.  Something we feel moved to do by an inner desire that aches to be made manifest.

 

Call that something what you will. For military, it’s in service of country and maybe even God; for others of us, it’s in service of God or Creation. Yet, for others, it’s in service of society or of leaving the world a better place.

But for anybody, is our individual Worth and Value felt in service of ‘the Boss’ or a corporate board’s paycheck? That doesn’t mean making a beautiful door for a car isn’t a worthy use of one’s life-time here; it is because you are good at it, and when it requires your creativity, skill, discipline, time and yes, joy, for it to be well-made. It requires You, your best shining forth.

 

Your real work is defined by You, shining your best into the world. And that’s possible only if you feel Value and Worth — self-defined — powering it. That makes it more than a job. And it makes it worth pursuing and holding in vision; that makes it Work the world needs and only you can do.

We are charged with this Task: To Be our best, use our specific and unique skills, gifts, talents, and infuse them with joy and enthusiasm in the service of something greater.

 

This is your Work to do:

Use your gifts to be a Gift to this world.

It may not be the job you had before or will ever have again;

but if you are doing your Work you really will feel alive.

 

And hopefully, it will never look like however you defended or defined your ‘value’ before by others. Hopefully, this is the way to find and create your Work, and it may be better than your life spent at a job up ’till now.

 

Who do you think you are . . . ?

 

If you are shining On Task and On Purpose, feel that maybe that’s an affirmative: You are a gift for you are a care-giver and this time it’s not a Temp position. You give your care, your energy, focus, talent, time as truly a gift to this world, for it’s a role only you can be great at, a Work only you can do, a You only you can offer.

 

 Blessings on your day today!

 

Elizabeth Darby

Creative Opportunity

“The secret to a happy life

is to recognize

that no matter what the situation,

there’s a creative opportunity in it.

 

Also, finding meaning and purpose in your life

to make a contribution. . . “*

Deepak Chopra

Yes.

What can you see today through the glass of creative opportunity that might give you a new view of your purpose here and now?

What might be your contribution to the joy of the world in this moment of today?

A question I ask clients when we work together:

I’m a patron of ___________________ and this is what I do, right now, to contribute to my beloved causes…

Why?

Because when we are looking to create our own new Work, journeying in search of our Purpose and Vocation, or especially when needing to find our footing in our Work and Worth in the world when we feel the ground shift and lurch, we need to know — know — that we have within each of us the ability to contribute to the Life of the World right now, in this very moment.

This is your task of purpose today: Fill in the blanks of your Soul that long to put You in the service of your Creative Opportunity, right here and now. Here You Begin…

Step forward with blessings,

Elizabeth Darby

*And Yes, the Chopra quote is from a magazine interview with Oprah over a year ago… how nice to see such ideas so mainstreamed! What a lovely new world we are fortunate to live in that such ideas could become ‘commonly spoken of’ compared to a generation ago of women’s magazine topics.

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