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"Pursue the obstacle. It will set you free." Mark Nepo

Do you have an obstacle in your life? Something that seems to block your way no matter which way you turn?

I'm not speaking of an outer obstacle here, although if outer obstacles keep appearing that can be an indicator that something in your life needs to change. But for this post I am referring to inner obstacles.

Maybe a fear that keeps you from taking that next indicated right step. Or stubbornness. I'm sure you are familiar with this: you know a change in thinking would be the best thing, but you stubbornly refuse to make the change...just because. Or maybe it is anxiety. The thought of doing something makes you short of breath.

These are the obstacles to which I am referring.

What Mark Nepo is suggesting with his quote is that instead of trying to get rid of the obstacle, or attempting to block it somehow, we pursue it. He clarifies, in his book titled "The Book of Awakening:" "we are asked not to oppose what blocks us as something mounting its will against our own. For the obstacle will simply give our resistance back to us. We are being asked not to empower or perpetuate the life of the obstacle, but to step aside if we can with openness to the energy of the obstacle—much like the ancient art of Aikido, where instead of blocking a punch, you help the punch move past you."

How could this be done? Nepo suggests that we describe the obstacle as a part of nature. Sort of like the deer in the headlights. And then ask ourselves how is what we want or need colliding with what it wants or needs?

When we go within and get in touch with our inner wisdom, the answers will come. The obstacle isn't really an obstacle. It's a doorway. Open the door.

I now have some openings for coaching sessions that will allow you to open that door. Contact me for rates and scheduling.

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"Pursue the obstacle. It will set you free."  Mark Nepo

Do you have an obstacle in your life?  Something that seems to block your way no matter which way you turn?

I'm not speaking of an outer obstacle here, although if outer obstacles keep appearing that can be an indicator that something in your life needs to change.  But for this post I am referring to inner obstacles.

Maybe a fear that keeps you from taking that next indicated right step.  Or stubbornness.  I'm sure you are familiar with this:  you know a change in thinking would be the best thing, but you stubbornly refuse to make the change...just because.  Or maybe it is anxiety.  The thought of doing something makes you short of breath.

These are the obstacles to which I am referring.

What Mark Nepo is suggesting with his quote is that instead of trying to get rid of the obstacle, or attempting to block it somehow, we pursue it.  He clarifies, in his book titled "The Book of Awakening:" "we are asked not to oppose what blocks us as something mounting its will against our own. For the obstacle will simply give our resistance back to us. We are being asked not to empower or perpetuate the life of the obstacle, but to step aside if we can with openness to the energy of the obstacle—much like the ancient art of Aikido, where instead of blocking a punch, you help the punch move past you."

How could this be done?  Nepo suggests that we describe the obstacle as a part of nature.  Sort of like the deer in the headlights. And then ask ourselves how is what we want or need colliding with what it wants or needs?

When we go within and get in touch with our inner wisdom, the answers will come.  The obstacle isn't really an obstacle.  It's a doorway.  Open the door.

I now have some openings to help you move beyond your inner obstacles.  Contact me now for more information!

Like many of you, and many of the people I know and love, I woke up Wednesday morning shocked, dismayed, and very very frightened.

I consider myself a fiscal conservative who believes in true equality for all. What that boils down to is I think government needs to get out of our personal lives, and stop enabling people by paying for things that, quite honestly, they should pay for themselves. I believe in lending a helping hand. I've taken advantage of those helping hands at times in my life, but while doing so I also took steps to educate myself, and do my inner work, so that I could once again become responsible for my own life. It is very empowering to do that and I am grateful I had people in my life who refused to enable me. But what I believe in most of all, and this....excuse the language...trumps everything else...is equality. I'm so over racism, and misogyny and bigotry and hateful language which very often results in hateful acts. This is a deep value of mine, and one that takes importance over everything else, so when I vote, I vote equal rights no matter what. No matter whether I agree with the rest of it.

I tell you this because I believe it is important we know what our values are, because all of our thoughts, words and deeds stem from our values. I was frightened post election because I perceived that my country had elected a person who, from his words during the campaign, believed in the opposite of equality for all. Not only that, he seemed to embrace misogyny, hatred, bigotry and racism. I'm frightened of that. To be honest, I did not even investigate policy with him, because I couldn't get past the hateful language.

I also believe that after all I've experienced and done in my life, I am not here to live a fear based life. I believe that we either live a fear based life or a faith based life. Living a fear based life means I believe in us and them. Living a fear based life means I say hateful things, take sides, view others with suspicion, and feel a need to protect myself. It also means I judge others who are not exactly like me. It means I can't make eye contact with people I meet on the street. I can not and will not live like that. I choose to live a faith based life. Living a faith based life means I believe in Oneness, there is no separation between me and you. If I say hateful things to you, I am also saying them to myself. And vice versa. In my faith, I have learned that everything I experience has been for the good. And I've experienced a lot that most "normal" people don't. It has all been for the good. Living a faith based life also means that when I'm experiencing fear, as I was the other day, the call is not to declare sides and lash out in anger and blame others. The call is to go inward and investigate what it is I am afraid of, exactly, and why. And do my inner work so that I can move back into faith. And then make amends if, in my fear, I did any damage.

I've done the inner work. I am now back in faith. I now once again remember that outside appearances have no power to affect me except if I give them that power. I now once again remember that we are all one. I now once again remember that blame only keeps me in the problem. Pointing fingers at others only keeps me in the problem. Focusing on what I am afraid of only keeps me in the problem.

I am not advocating spiritual bypass....which is simply an exotic way of talking about denial. What I am advocating is that we stop contributing to the divisiveness in this world and begin to contribute to peace.

It is time for us to do our inner work, and make amends. I've been reading some interesting articles that basically say that Trump won this election not because of his misogyny, bigotry and racism, but in spite of it. He won because he represented change to a people who are tired of not making enough money, tired of things not working right. I'm tired of that too. I'm tired of people telling me they won't hire me as a photographer or wedding officiant because I charge too much. I'm tired of people who value price over quality. I'm tired of people telling me ministers should do the work they do for free. I'm tired of the government telling me what I can and cannot do in my personal life. Don't EVEN get me started on seat belts. My point is here that those of us who say we believe in tolerance and equality have not listened to the cries from "those other people." We've just judged and separated ourselves from them. Part of my amends is that I will no longer do that.

I've received a few phone calls and emails the past few days from ministers and practitioners (spiritual coaches) who wanted treatment (prayer) and help with the fear they were experiencing. I am also witnessing many who are posting things on Facebook that indicate to me they are still in fear. It is time to move out of our fear folks. It is time to embrace what is. Should we hold Donald Trump accountable? You bet. Do we need to ensure that human rights don't take a step backward? You bet. Should we blame and point fingers and say he isn't our president, when he will be come January? No. That is more separation, more fear based thinking, and it will only keep us in the problem.

One last thing: the good that has come out of this? Ernest Holmes, the founder of what we now call Centers for Spiritual Living, said that healing can only come from revealing. For a long time we've been able to hide the fact that there is racism and misogyny and bigotry in this country. Now it is out in the open. No one can deny it. Now that it is revealed in all its ugly glory, we can heal it. That is my job from this point onward. I don't know how I'm going to do this job, but I know I'm going to do it. Won't you join me?

On Sunday, I will be speaking at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City about how to survive....and thrive....in this unsettling time. I hope you will join me. Meditation at 10, service at 10:30. 3579 Highway 50 East in Unit 301. We are in the iStorage Business Park across from Goodwill. Don't use GPS to find us unless you want to take a scenic tour.

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I made a decision long ago to not die an unlived life.  Growing up, I watched some of the people I cared about in my life limit themselves.  Their favorite phrases seemed to be, "I can't do that!"  And they were always coming up with reasons why they couldn't do that.  It affected everything from driving at night to achieving wonderful things to simply having peace in life. ...continue reading "Do Not Die an Unlived Life"

KAL_3387Has it ever happened to you:  that feeling that you are NEVER going to get it all done...NEVER!  I know it has happened to me.

It is called overwhelm, and I think it happens to all of us occasionally.  Overwhelm can be caused by a number of things, but usually it is because you have said "yes" to too many things.  The second most common cause of overwhelm is projection:  you are thinking about some point in the future instead of right now.  Overwhelm has a tendency to stop us in our tracks, there might be a feeling that there is so much to do that we might as well sit down and do nothing, because there is no way to get it all done.

Here are some things you can do to prevent overwhelm:

  • Say no.  If you can't say  no, the invitation is to take a look at that.  Why can't you say no?  Usually there is some underlying fear that causes this.  Fear of displeasing someone, fear of not being included, fear of not being accepted.  Take a good hard look at what you have said "yes" to and see if you can remove any of those yesses from your life.
  • Live in the moment.  The Buddhists have it right when they say  mindfulness is the key to peace.  Don't think about yesterday, it is a done deal.  Don't think about tomorrow, it hasn't happened yet.  Think about right now.
  • Break it down.  I don't know about you, but I can do anything for an hour.  I may not be able to even contemplate doing it for a day, but I can do it for an hour.  If you have a number of tasks in front of you, pick one and work on it for an hour.  Then give yourself permission to take a break.  Then do it again.

And if you have a pattern of feeling overwhelmed, consider that it may  not be serving you.  It might serve you better to get some help to change that.

I can help, contact me.

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