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Gratitude and Happiness

November 29, 2013 Leave a comment

We just finished one holiday here in the US; some call it “Turkey Day” – affectionately because turkey is the traditional main course for the meal. And we held up our part of the tradition with turkey and all the trimmings at our niece and nephew’s home. It was good to be with the family and I am very grateful to be part of this loving and close extended “Robertson Clan.”

There is a lot of gratitude going around now. I wrote about two of the people I am most grateful for yesterday. My goal is to be grateful and demonstrate that gratefulness every day of the year. As we move deeper into the holidays, already in the spirit of Hanukkah, moving toward Solstice and then Christmas, the 12 Days, a New Year and then Epiphany, I grow ever more excited, contemplative, boisterous, quiet, bustling, restful, high and low. I like this roller coaster ride for the emotions. If I really want to get myself pumped up one of our traditional holiday movies will do it every time.

It is easy for some to remain in gratitude through the holidays. Many give and receive gifts. Our family drew names today for our “secret Santa” gift exchange. We keep it simple just giving one gift to a member of the family and receiving one from our surprise Santa on Christmas Eve. I am grateful we keep the tradition of gift giving and keep it simple; it eases the stress of finding just the right gift for a long list of family and friends.

What are your traditions? Are you happy with them? If they bring stress into your life it might be time to evaluate those traditions and make some adjustments. The rule here is happiness and self-care. Traditions don’t have to be hard and fast rules.

I am on a journey of happiness. I have frequently written here on this blog about transformation. We are on a long road of transformation and it doesn’t necessarily look much like I expected. But I know we are on it for all the bumps and curves coming at us at high speed. Have you noticed?

Is your journey smooth and straight? Are you cruising at a moderate pace, comfortable with the ebb and flow of your life? Be grateful; be happy!

I am adopting the attitude that happiness can smooth out the bumps and open up the tight curves we hurtle toward; and it can even ease the speed. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a practice. Happiness is the journey. Happiness is the transformation!

As we enter the sometimes hectic, sometimes stressful holidays I am taking Rosemary’s advice:  Let’s make this year the year of truly ‘Happy Holidays’ no matter what your personal circumstances might be!

I am choosing this Journey of Happiness! Join me?

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Stay Happy Through the Holidays – Richard’s Commentary

November 28, 2013 Leave a comment

Today, the holiday festivities all begin with the day we set aside here in the US to give thanks. I’ve been giving thanks, writing notes of gratitude in my “morning pages” this week. I began my thank you notes, giving deep gratitude for my incredible partner, wife and love of my life, Rosemary. And if you have been following our blogs and reading our posts you know what a talented and resourceful woman she is. Her advice for conscious living and spiritual evolution are profound and creative. And her advice for the holidays is no different! She suggests:

The first step to staying happy through the holidays is to do a realistic and honest assessment of this time of year for yourself.

This may sound superficial but do you move into this time of year with a perspective of staying happy? We have all heard the stories of people who are alone, who dread the holidays because they don’t get along with family, who feel bad because they can’t afford to give elaborate or expensive gifts, who party and drink their way through the season. Perspective is an all-important first step to be happy in every moment.

Next Rosemary suggests:

Consider a new way of operating through the holidays this year.

Everyone around you is struggling with their own life lessons. Somehow the holidays come with Hallmark Cards and Norman Rockwell expectations that nobody really experiences. If you put self-care at the top of your agenda, IT IS NOT SELFISH!!!! Let me repeat that – Self-Care is not being self-ish!!!

Self-Care – in other words, give yourself the gift of looking out for you! Attend to your health, prepare wholesome meals for your celebrations, if you drink alcohol moderate your intake, stay warm and especially keep your neck and throat protected and warm, keep moving with yoga or qigong or another body practice, take time to meditate and if you don’t meditate this season is a great time to start, celebrate the special holidays in your tradition – make them Holy, honor everyone you meet as learning their lessons just as you are – they are you!

Compassion begins with yourself. Taking care of you is taking care of everyone. Recall Rosemary’s question in her inspirational video posted Tuesday: “can compassion for yourself equal compassion for them?” She goes on to suggest:

Look at your calendar for the rest of 2013 and decide what you will do for yourself. Rest. Relax. Pamper yourself. Watch movies that make you smile. Hang out with friends or go on a silent retreat.

As we approach the Winter Solstice, one of those special holidays we celebrate, it is a good time to go inside, to do the inner work of deep winter. The Ancients took this time to retreat, to look inward for the coming renewal. Deep inner work is another way to take care of yourself on the personal level and all others on the global level. This is true compassion!

Coming back to Thanksgiving I took Rosemary’s advice and turned inward to give thanks for me. I am grateful for my soul path, my spiritual journey back to myself, I am grateful for the health and strength to make this journey, I am grateful to myself for making the commitment, I honor myself for my discipline and I am grateful for all of the spiritual teachers and guides that hold me in their love and compassion.

Be grateful for yourself! I am grateful for you because I know you are supporting me on my journey.

Have wonderful, blessed and happy holidays!

ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Stay Happy Through the Holidays!

November 27, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s that time of year when the stores seem to reach out to grab you to come inside and spend your money. The meals and parties get you focused on food and drink. You have to make sure you can get to all the events, have the right clothes, the right gifts, the travel arrangements. And for many it is a time of overwhelm.

For others, though, it is a very lonely time. You might be worried about finances and wishing you had more money with which to buy gifts. You might not have any family to visit or they are too far away. You might be looking at the holidays with no plans or parties or meals to attend.

And for a few you might have family gatherings in which to participate that you are not really anticipating with pleasure.

Even those who love the holiday season can have expectations that are not met and, thus, experience disappointment.

Let’s make this year the year of truly ‘Happy Holidays’ no matter what your personal circumstances might be!

The first step to staying happy through the holidays is to do a realistic and honest assessment of this time of year for yourself. Do you really need to buy everything that you usually do? Do you need to put as much pressure on yourself as you usually do? Do you need to attend every party? Every gathering?

What is your energy level now, as the holidays approach? Do you need more rest and self-care than you need excitement and company? Why not choose a different pattern to your holidays this year?

How are your finances? Do you get stressed out by spending before the end of the year and then worrying about the bills in January? Do you buy a lot of gifts because you feel you must instead of genuinely wanting to share?

The honest assessment leads you to understand what YOU need in this season.

Next, ask yourself if you really must spend time with people who upset and disturb you or if you can find time for yourself without that burden this year. This might even be your family. Are you looking forward to seeing them or do you dread the time you spend there?

Consider a new way of operating through the holidays this year.

Everyone around you is struggling with their own life lessons. Somehow the holidays come with Hallmark Cards and Norman Rockwell expectations that nobody really experiences. If you put self-care at the top of your agenda, IT IS NOT SELFISH!!!! Let me repeat that – Self-Care is not being self-ish!!!

Taking care of yourself might be limiting what you spend this season to what you can comfortably afford. Make some gifts. Give away something that’s meaningful to you and share its story with the recipient. Go to bazaars and thrift shops and find unusual items that will delight someone.

Look at your calendar for the rest of 2013 and decide what you will do for yourself. Rest. Relax. Pamper yourself. Watch movies that make you smile. Hang out with friends or go on a silent retreat. If you’re lonely, find a shelter where they need volunteers. If you’re overwhelmed with social ‘obligations,’ decide how to handle the schedule to preserve your energy for the activities that matter most to you. Ask for help if you need it.

Spend some time planning for 2014. This doesn’t have to mean the big New Year’s Resolution list, but pick a theme for the year that resonates with your heart. Delight yourself with your plans. Dream BIG!!!

Remember that everyone around you has something going on in their life that they are having to handle. Take care of yourself so that you can show up fully present to everyone else. Be CURIOUS . This helps to keep you focused on the mysteries and not on what upsets you. Have healthy boundaries. Eat healthy foods. Take care of your own health.

Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have at any given moment – even you!

May you truly have Happy Holidays this year!

PS: Need help making it a happy holiday time? Looking for guidance and additional resources from beyond the norm?  You can receive personal messages from Guides, Spirits, Angels and loved ones who have crossed over at Rosemary’s next event: a Conversation with The Other Side December 6 at 7:00 pm Eastern. Click for details

ROSEMARY’S INSPIRATION: Find Compassion in Yourself

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Rosemary’s “Three-Minute” video for the week: Find Compassion in Yourself

Note: this clip was taken from our November gathering for Satsang.

PS: You too may experience channeled messages from Rosemary. In fact you can receive personal messages from Guides, Spirits, Angels and loved ones who have crossed over at the next event: a Conversation with The Other SideDecember 6 at 7:00 pm Eastern. Click for details

MONDAY’S POEM: Surrender

November 25, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s been a heck of a week since my last poem post on Monday – quite a “journey”! But I am coming around and accepting the journey openly and with excitement! Stay tuned! Meanwhile I can only recommend:

Surrender

It is a struggle to let go
of everything that holds life
Together.

The ego doesn’t release easily
without a fight for its life
Together.

The pain of release can hold
on for years, life times, all
Together.

The call to surrender is not one
to follow a path of ease, but
Another.

The path of wisdom and compassion
for all sentient beings is distinctly
Another.

It is a path the ego rejects
out of blind fear of death, yes
Another!

Surrender; choose death for joy!

©2013 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.

 

Necessity – The Mother of Invention

November 22, 2013 Leave a comment

In yesterday’s post I offered a story about how I assess what is necessary in my life. As I get older less seems like more to me. I do know the leaves this year seem more abundant, heavier, and they just keep falling! I need to get out there and rake again.

I also mentioned, almost in passing, that there is a spiritual component to my sore-from-raking shoulder that both Rosemary and I have picked up on: And the spiritual? Rosemary detects that my heart-mind center is opening. It does feel like something is opening on the one hand; but the constriction feels more like something is struggling to stay closed. Why is there such a struggle for this opening?

I think I got my answer to this during our second Unlocking the Mysteries of Intuition class the other evening. Rosemary quoted a poem by Rumi:

New organs of perception come into being as a result of necessity.

Therefore, O man,
increase your necessity,
so that you may increase your perception.

Am I growing a new organ? Is this what the heart-mind center Rosemary speaks and teaches about is? A new organ of perception?

I am reminded here that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Or in my case, necessity is the mother of a new organ of perception! Am I creating this necessity? And if I am what am I struggling to “see” with this new organ. The way it is feeling this organ isn’t even fully formed yet. It is still fighting to get out of the “eggshell of my shoulder.”

The heart-mind center as I understand it is a merging of the heart center and the higher centers of throat and third-eye. It is a center for the blending of feeling and thought. I have also seen it referred to as the “high heart.” And I have been working on this center, breathing into it during yoga and qigong practice, balancing it along with my other chakras through breathing exercises. Has my work brought on this opening?

And where is the necessity in this? I’m not sure I have consciously set about to increase my necessity. In fact I am looking for ways to decrease what I find to be necessary in my life. But I have the sense that I am not dealing with material necessities here at all!

Both Rosemary and I have written about the evolution of human consciousness. Much of her teaching through the October Satsang event was on this subject and we have published several clips from that evening on this blog. If humanity is to evolve into the 21st century I believe we will need these new organs of perception Rumi wrote about in the 13th century!

And while I might be excited about this evolutionary journey we are on, I didn’t realize there would be pain involved!

Meanwhile those new fallen leaves are piling up!

Assess the Necessity – Richard’s Commentary

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Rosemary asks some tough questions in her blog-post yesterday. The key here is to review our values, especially with the question: “how much is enough?” in mind. Rosemary’s challenge: it is important to decide consciously what is a necessity in Your Life.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I ask this of myself is health. I have been struggling for a week with a debilitating pain in my shoulder. I brought this on myself, raking leaves like a madman a week or so ago. And I felt reasonably good doing it. I did and do realize I’m not 40-something any longer. I took my time and only did the front yard. And I expected some stiffness as an after-effect. I did wake up with a few sore muscles the next day. And then it got worse, and worse. Yesterday, over a week later I was almost unable to move without pain. And I realized health, feeling reasonably physically well, is close to the top of my list of necessities.

Of course, clean water, healthy food, clear air, warm shelter, reasonable clothing all contribute to the healthy body; anything that supports my necessity of health by definition is a necessity.

While I was forced to slow down and rest in relative stillness with my sore shoulder I reached for my books. Ah, if I can’t be moving about, bustling about, getting things done, then I can always take time to read. I discovered another necessity:reading material. (And if you were to visit Rosemary and me in our home you would quickly realize how necessary books are in our lives!)

And as many of you who have read my posts may remember, I write three pages of long hand notes every morning as recommended by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Pen, ink, paper are consumed in my practice. Necessity? This one is on the thin edge. I use my page writing to tune into my inner self, my intuition, and I use what I write, at least in part, as a guide to the rest of my day. Do I need to write it down? Does the process of writing promote the information that comes through to me? Of course there are other ways to receive or get in touch with these intuitive insights. And maybe there is no real need to record the information that comes through. So, maybe I have found a line here.

The point is to “assess.” What are the necessities in your life? How much is enough? It’s a good exercise.

But then Rosemary switches gears a bit when she says:

Humanity is evolving and each of us must step into our power, our empowerment, our Purpose. YOU ARE ENOUGH, just as you are, today!

And you have enough. Assess the necessity of everything in your life. Does it serve your Purpose? You might be surprised at the answers you get when you ask this question!

Wow! I am enough. I have enough. And whatever is serving my purpose is what I need! Health? Check. Books? Check. Pages? Check! My pages do serve my purpose, so they are on the necessity side after all.

Assessing necessity with Purpose as the backdrop is the more meaningful way to answer the question, “how much is enough?

Meanwhile my shoulder got so bad I asked Rosemary for help. I am living with, partnered with a healer! And I finally got around to asking for a healing! As I write this I am feeling much better. We both picked up that my pain may have been triggered by raking, but something else was allowed in, something physical and also something spiritual. The physical is like a viral attack, like a cold in my shoulder; I’m treating it like a cold. And the spiritual? Rosemary detects that my heart-mind center is opening. More on that later!

Do the necessities in your life support your purpose? You’ll feel great when they do!