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

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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