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

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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.

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

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