Along the Path
Last night I was perusing Facebook and found out about the sudden death of my friend Molly. I went through feelings of shock, disbelief, sadness and back to shock quickly. I still have sadness and disbelief swirling this morning as I wrap my mind and heart around acceptance.
For my benefit and yours, I’d like to share what I know and remember about beautiful, vibrant Molly. Molly was, (so strange and uncomfortable to write was) a caring friend, loving mother, very active physically, socially and spiritually. She was a model of health, an advocate for animals and lover of life. She was passionate and supportive of causes that promote health, personal growth, animal rights and spiritual awakening. Over the years I have looked to her as a confidant, guide and wise council. I have admired her excitement, courage and fearlessness. I have watched her in the role of mother and witnessed her daughters grow into beautiful, empowered, independent women. She spoke her truth and shared her heart. I am grateful to have been influenced by such a bright light. I have learned many lessons from her life and possibly the biggest lesson from her death.
Something big shifted in me last night, I became aware of the importance of now, the urgency in every single day, every relationship, every encounter and conversation. I also received tremendous clarity in an area that I have struggled with for a very long time. Now it is time! I don’t have the luxury of waiting until I feel less fear, I can’t use the excuse that I’m not ready. Molly you have taught me that it is a disservice to myself and others, to sit and wonder how, when. Thank you Molly for the gift of truly knowing that what I have to give is necessary and whether I feel I am ready or not, I am willing to show up and serve in a bigger way. I have made a commitment to myself and now publicly that in Molly’s honor, for Molly, I will embrace her example and zest for life to show up, to serve and play bigger, to love deeper, to embrace life more fully, to notice everyday miracles and be in service to each person in front of me.
I also encourage you to live your life in the spirit of Molly. Let’s honor her legacy and serve the world in our unique ways with our unique gifts. We don’t have the luxury of putting it off until we feel ready. What you have to offer is needed now. We each have something to contribute. It is our innate unique divine purpose that encourages us to serve and empower the lives of humanity and the lives of animals. I pledge to honor Molly’s life through the spirit of my service.
My heart goes out to you receiving this message and to everyone whose life has been touched by Molly.
“What would you have me do today? Where would you have me go? What would you have me say and to whom?” ~Marianne Williamson
Namaste, Eileen Owen
I am sitting directly outside the market as the city begins another day. Tourists and locals greet each other as they mill around with their coffee and breakfast in hand. The first horse drawn carriage tours are off; the delivery drivers are in full swing. Shops are opening and traffic increases. The market vendors are unpacking and setting up for the day. The pedicab driver readies himself with sunscreen; his gallon size water jug gets its first swig of the day. He looks over his rickshaw and awaits his first job. The city trolley with Patriots Point Yorktown advertisements on the side has passed twice. Good Morning Dad. At 9:30 it’s 79 degrees. The day may reach an all time high of 95 according to the weatherman. I am sitting here in my makeshift outside office at the corner of church and market, taking it all in.
You see I had to find a place where I had a strong cell phone signal for my 10 am client. At first I thought it very unfortunate that I could not get reception in my hotel room. Now I sit here in gratitude. I will coach right here where I get 4 sometimes 5 bars. Armed with my cellphone, laptop, college ruled notebook and headphones with a mic, I am ready! I love my job! I can travel and still meet with clients. Thank you!!
I have had the title and subject of this blog ever since I wrote my first and only blog in January. I knew what I wanted to write about, and, in so doing, discover what steppin' up does and does not mean for me. I knew I wanted to expand and express my spirit more. I wanted to try new things, take chances and learn as I grew. I wanted to challenge myself.
Even though I didn't write this blog before now, I have been consciously steppin' up. After a long, cold, lonely winter, I went back to the gym! Two weeks later, I committed to working with a personal trainer. One day on the treadmill participating in a fund raiser, my trainer asked me to run!(?) Wow, I hadn't ever done this but he assured me it would just be for a minute. And I did it!! Then I rested for about 3 and 1/2 minutes. Ok try again--really? Well, just one more minute, why not? Wow! What an accomplishment for me. And I realized then I had no idea I could it until I tried. How much more could I do?
So I would go to the gym, get on the treadmill and run almost every day. Now at first it was only a minute, then two, then the running became longer and the breaks shorter. I loved seeing my progress and usually called or texted my husband with the latest mileage. I will never forget the day that I completed 5 miles on the treadmill! Now besides running for the fun of it, (yes it is fun!) I wanted to see the pounds dropping--I mean I was working out every day. Well, that did not happen; although my clothes were fitting differently and I could tell my body was changing.
Hey, what if I exercised with the goal of getting healthier instead of reaching a specific number on the guilt machine? New realization--this feels much more compassionate and I am not so inclined to beat myself up if the scale is not moving down. So steppin' up can also mean acceptance!
When I think of steppin' up, I think of traveling outside my comfort zone and risking. If I am steppin' up, what would I do? Finding and using my voice is still somewhat new and somewhat risky. I fear being judged, and maybe that is one reason this blog has been stewing inside me for the last 4 months. But today I choose to step up and release it to the page. One way I want to step up is to start using my voice and quote myself. I quote many inspirational speakers and authors. I rely on famous speakers to inspire myself and others and to express how I feel. So I figure by blogging, I am speaking from my heart. If I am able to inspire others that is great too. For me, even writing about steppin' up is steppin' up!
Steppin' up is not just action for me either; it can also be doing nothing, taking some down time and nurturing myself even when the 'to do' list is screaming.
Steppin' up could simply mean listening--spending time in nature, or listening to beautiful inspirational music, or meditation. Turning off the television, limiting my time on the computer, simply minimizing distractions makes it much easier to hear my inner voice. So, for me, Steppin' up is slowing down as much as exercising more. It is knowing that if I lead with my heart and listen to which area I am feeling nudged to step up, I can move in any direction and expand, express, challenge myself and grow!
Trusting that inner nudging and guidance is the subject of my next blog. ; )
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.”?~Karen Ravn
This is a question that I have asked myself recently. Am I giving to give, or Am I giving to get?
In the past my offering has been I give in love because I love to give… My giving came from a place of there is always enough and I am so grateful. For truly I love to give! Whether it is in monetary or less tangible ways. I am a giver.
The previous less enlightened version of myself gave too much (sometimes I still do, I am practicing ; ) At that time I was giving to please others, what I thought they wanted or needed. I gave of my time, I gave to receive the fleeting feeling of contentment, I even gave when it didn’t feel right. My pattern was to put everyone else before myself. I compromised, settled and kept giving. I didn’t realize it then, now I know, this type of giving was selfish and conditional, I was giving to get.
What did I get? Compliments, praise, and the empty feeling of martyrdom. At the time, I thought that was the actions that a good person did. I was being good, nice and giving to everyone else. I gave too much of myself and realized that I had to start giving first to myself in healthy, nurturing ways.
So you may think this sounds selfish. It did take a while to get used to, putting me first when I hadn’t ever even been in the equation before. I sometimes still need reminders. Giving to myself is the way that I get refueled. First I had to discover… What do I like? What kind of music? What kind of food? Do I really have an opinion or preference? Wow! This opened up a whole realm of discovery and possibility. And, I didn’t have to have the same likes as my partner or children. I learned autonomy, to be an individual. To you it may sound simple, to me this was unchartered territory and a quest that I still continue to hone.
With this new sense of self and a full reservoir to draw from I am back to giving to give in a healthy way where I consider the needs of my self and my family. I have added discernment and thought before I raise my hand with an eager “Yes, I will do it. “ Now I ask, Will I have enough time? Does this align with my values? Does this interfere with my current commitments? What does it cost? Once again the cost can be monetary or less tangible. The cost or the toll it may take on me and my family.
Then there were opportunities to dig a little deeper; my values were challenged more than once, I was told how to give. This is how much you should give, This is how you need to track your giving and don’t do it the way you have been doing, it doesn’t benefit us. Or, we don’t want you to do that this time, we are going to save it for another time. I was hurt, I was confused, I caved…
It crept in slowly this doubt and fear of lack. I was told how to give. At first I was upset. How dare you tell me how I should give! With that anger came resentment, detachment, and the loss of my conviction. I’ll show them…
Instead I got a lesson from these teachers. I did it their way, and kept a running tab of how much and where I was giving my time, talent and treasure. It became a distraction this having to keep track. Again I was giving to get. Making sure I got mine first.
Huh, was this the same as my past behaviors? Was I once again putting others first? Yes, I had put their opinions and ideas before my own. I was starting to see and believe in lack. Not my happy place. Now this didn’t come all at once, I heard many stories about how the economy is so tough right now; real stories of how people are struggling. Maybe I better be careful, not give too much, there might not be enough...
Now I am a believer in The Secret, The Law of Attraction. I have seen evidence that it works. So what was I attracting?
Ah ha, In my fear of not enough, that is what I was seeing. Not the reality. The facts were, thankfully, our income hadn’t changed. I now had more time than I ever had. So what was it?
I had believed the opinions of others; I had put their beliefs before my own, again. Ugh! Okay so a deeper lesson. Am I giving to give? Or am I giving to get?
My heart, the real me knows that there is always enough and what I put out to the world will always come back and I don’t have to keep track. I can trust.
So getting back to the most recent opportunity to learn this lesson. I volunteered to give of myself again, It started from an innocent place of giving to give, and snow-balled into frantic, hurried, fear and lack. I was now giving to get. I wanted recognition. I wanted appreciation. I wanted to be reimbursed. I was only seeing what I could get.
Now the real me knows, truly knows that I may not know how this comes back to me fully. It could be so much more than the dollar amount on the receipts. It could be what propels my personal growth and expands my trust in myself.
Recently I had a conversation (with my daughter) that brought this awareness. I have been thinking about whether I am giving to give or giving to get. Do I expect to receive and keep track of the ways that I want to be compensated or do I trust in the knowing that what I give does come back and I may not know how that will manifest?
I do know that it is all-ways for my own good and the good of everyone. Ah, taking a breath. For this is the truth, It feels right with me. I believe in abundance.
I was reminded of this in an email this morning… I can give the gift of giving. I come from my heart, I use discernment, and I let it go knowing that I am blessed in so many ways. I am so grateful for this deeper awareness. I am grateful for the lessons, I am grateful for the teachers I cursed. I offer and I ask for forgiveness.
“And just think of the ripple effect!”
Namaste, Eileen Owen CFLC
"Every day "the score" is even. Every second, in fact.? Everyone lives each day for him or herself, no matter what they did. ?No one owes anything to anyone, no matter what happened.? And from this, what I hope you most get, is that whatever you do next, you do it for the joy it brings you."
Joyfully,? The Universe