I’ve been afraid.
Afraid of submitting my writing without first editing it myself, or submitting it to the editors of Elephant Journal. This is the fourth week that I have been drenched in the coursework of Elephant Academy’s “Write Your Heart Out,” and I am digging deep to do just that.
Write my heart out.
One of our assignments was to simply write and submit. Raw.
No editing, without having any other eyes on our work. Oh my God, really?
That feels so naked to me. Put me out there in all my vulnerability, sharing my “unedited” feelings with the world?
“Yes,” says Waylon, who is our teacher and mentor.
So, here I am in fear that you may not like my article at all, and I tell myself that life isn’t a dress rehearsal. You can’t wait until it’s perfect, even after 497 edits, and I find myself still waiting (procrastinating) to post it because it’s not perfect.
It’s not even so much that your opinion matters to me.
Yes, that’s part of it, but the rawest, juiciest part is being seen. So, whether you leave me a lovely comment or “heart” it, it still feels so good to be afraid and post it anyway.
Because friends, life is not a dress rehearsal. I don’t get to practice life until it’s perfect and then show up. I’ve tried that, and I failed miserably because I’m never going to get it right.
I’ve learned that it’s about showing up as you are, at times, with teeth clenched and a cringing body and saying, “Here I am, like it or not,” and truly meaning it.
As I speak to you, I am also speaking to myself.
So, I take a deep breath, and here it goes.
This morning, I was reading a page from a book called Opening Doors Within, and this quote popped up on the page. I felt frozen in time.
I questioned whether this was a message from the universe to just trust, jump, and submit my article, and eventually, I may see the sunshine.
“Fear not. Move through the cloud of unknowing into the glorious sunshine and be consciously aware of me and my Divine presence, for I AM everywhere. There is no place where I AM not.” ~ Eileen Caddy
Taking in the first sentence I envisioned the clouds hovering over a mountain, unable to see the sun shining above, and I felt cold, shivering, and afraid of going any further.
I asked myself, “Is this the time when He/the Divine is going to show up and deliver courage?”
This is exactly how I feel about life in all of its unkind uncertainty. Dress rehearsals or not, can I trust myself? Can I trust the world to be kind?
“Fear not and Fail not to give thanks for everything in your field. Life will be better if you do.”
In the deepest darkest moments in my life, the only thing that has constantly saved me (eventually) is having gratitude to depend on. I don’t need to be perfect, just grateful.
I don’t need to be well, just grateful. I don’t need to be wealthy, just grateful.
Some people see gratitude as a fundamental spiritual law that governs everything, and I might agree with them. And it’s in these dark times where I can’t even fathom feeling grateful.
It kind of feels like a smart practice for life to get us through the imperfect times.
But damn, it’s so easy for me to forget to be grateful or appreciative for even the tiniest of sparks in my day-to-day life until something goes wrong. It seems that as long as my life is going well, my humanity often takes most everything for granted.
And then, when the “whoopsies” happen, and I get blindsided, there is a conscious remembering that I experience the “oh, have I forgotten to give thanks today? Even for this?”
I try to remind myself that when I am consciously aware that everything is a gift and a tiny miracle, even the events that are not “welcome” because they are challenging or get in my way, then I can still win.
This awareness of my consciousness, to pull back and become curious and ask “what is trying to arise here and be seen” holds the possibilities to keep me on track (even though it might feel like a diversion) to allow life to flow in the exact direction it is supposed to, with goodness and graciousness and all of its imperfections.
And, of course, life is not without abrupt lessons to be learned.
The pause and questioning bring me back home to me, much quicker than if I bypassed the invitation.
Coming back to gratitude has everything to do with my vibration because it elevates it. I feel better after acknowledging that I have a comfy bed to sleep in, delicious, fresh food to eat, clothes to wear, and beautiful friends and family to love.
And when I have an elevated vibe, then I will attract more of the same. I want all the good stuff to be a part of my life, just like you. Curiously though, I find that it takes a constant remembering, and maybe someday, I will embody this flow effortlessly without thought.
This is why I try to remember to begin each day (well maybe not every day) by giving thanks for everything. Everything. Everything.
I may not like the “everything” in my life, but that doesn’t change my appreciation for it, and if I don’t accept it, I invite resistance in.
That which we resist, persists.
When I forget my gratitude practice, I realize that I am allowing life to take over by default.
It’s similar to beginning my day without intention. When we don’t make plans for our life, someone else will.
When we set our intentions for the day, then we are taking action and responsibility as the creator of our lives. This does not imply, however, that every day will go our way.
Shift still happens.
This is what life is.
Raw. No dress rehearsals. Juicy.
Just a lot of practice.
I have gleaned from all my years on this planet earth, that even in the most difficult circumstances, when we look deep enough, we find the gifts and the message for our next lesson to be learned.
I must not allow my ego to reign and hold me back, but acknowledge it, thank it, and move on into the light, the challenge, the direction where my spirit is guiding me. Trust.
My belief is that the spirit-led path holds the truth and can save me so much time if I tune in and listen.
I invite you, dear soul, to take the reigns of your own life today.
Leave the rest of the world to their own making.
Remember your gratitude practice as often as you can.
Create the future of your dreams and destiny with your limitless imagination.
No one but you can create your life. You are the creator of your own soul.
I’ve read that the sooner this is realized, the quicker one will experience total freedom and happiness. I hope to meet you there.
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I hope you have an amazing day, my friend.