|Posted by sandralindsey on October 5, 2013 at 11:15 AM||comments (22)|
Self-reflection and inner serenity are the foundations of spirituality. Knowing and feeling your place in the Universe with certainty. The stressors of life, the demands on our time and the financial strain of an uncertain future can draw the inner serenity from us, and tap our strength.
On an airline flight, we are all familiar with the procedure for administering the oxygen mask to ourselves before dependent loved ones. If we aren't well, we cannot care for people we love. Staying fit and healthy in our physical bodies is a requirement. And staying fit and healthy emotionally, behaviorally and spiritually is another requirement. We cannot succeed without balance and happiness as part of our everyday lives.
"Being solitary is being alone well: being alone immersed in luxurious doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement."
A principle I work on with people in my practice is often fighting against their perceptions of selfishness. Solitude is not a selfish act. It is an essential component to a balanced spiritual sense of self. Prayer, contemplation and inner peace come from time of reflection in a place focus upon oneself. The permission to luxuriate in your own time and your own company is often something that requires practice.
The troubled heart seeks noise, distraction, drama or challenges in an attempt to silence the inner pangs of discord. It is often the very act of distraction that steals years from our lives and fosters regret when we finally admit what we have known in our hearts. It is easier to run from difficulties than to face them.
"Our language has wildly sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone."
Inherent in loneliness is a disconnection from love, care and relevance. It is the silence of a heart that misses the echo of returned love. The human mind is capable of sensing loneliness even when we are amongst a large joyous crowd. In the retreat of solitude we manifest our hearts' desires. We find the solutions to our problems and we face our needs head on.
"Solitude is a place of purification."
With the settling of our hearts comes the roar of our unmet needs. The tranquility of being in touch with our Soul demands listening, not necessarily action. Feelings deserve attention. Our unhappiness threatens the core of our stability, which ultimately threatens our ability to succeed. Facing our unmet needs keeps our minds sharp and creates room in our heart for new love to enter.
"I live in that solitude, which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity."
As we age, our spiritual selves transform with reflection. Action and goals become premium uses of our time. We are more acutely aware of the limitations of time, the need to create stability and strength in our future and the heartbreak of loss. A healthy mind thrives on a clean heart. A focused heart can manifest any goal. And, increasingly, love becomes something easier to give and the returned love becomes abundant.
For yourself, consider solitude your spiritual tune up.
|Posted by sandralindsey on May 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM||comments (0)|
The noise of our lives is to the point of distraction. Instantaneous connection happens with our smart phones, email and Social Media platforms. We have become accustomed to sharing times of our lives with soundbites and without much consideration to the information's relevance in the lives of others. Taking the time to listen, understand and authentically connect to one another is getting lost in the hurried lives we live.
At times our busy schedules make us more reactive than responsive to the presentations of others, and with not a lot of free time in our busy schedules we can lose track of the things that are fundamentally important in our relationships. Listening is an action. It is a necessary part of being a present with me another.
"One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say."
Bryant H. McGill
Friendship is a welcome place to bring fears, doubts and anxieties to another person for an honest assessment of support and assurances of love and abiding care. The basis for friendships and loving relationships is respect and a mutual devotion to understanding one another.
In business relationships, listening to the co-workers that we rely on and need to be successful is essential. It keeps us aware of essential pieces of information that impact decisions and strategy that can bring about success. Information is garnered from those within our companies, consumers of our products and services, and competitors and colleagues.
"The opposite of talking isn't listening. The opposite of talking is waiting."
We all have important points. All of us. Some of us are talkative, emotional and expressive. While others of us are reserved, logical and deliberate in our comments. The diversity of our personalities brings many opportunities to learn new information from each other's experiences. Listening and waiting for recognition and responses helps us connect spiritually and meaningfully with one another.
"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply."
Stephen R. Covey
Wanting to be right is something we are all guilty of at one time or another. When we connect with one another in conflict, it can be very difficult to be a good listener. We advance our points toward one another, beat each other up with facts or feelings and make more aggressive points than thoughtful ones. Listening to one another involves actively accepting another's points of view and opinions objectively before we can truly be heard by another. It's part of the Magic of Connection.
"The word listen contains the word silent."
It takes patience to truly listen to our friends, loved ones and business connections. The patience to slow down, clear our emotional responses and be present with another is essential.
"Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable."
We express our love by spending quality time, hearing what our loved ones have to say and having the opportunity to express ourselves back to those whom we love. It is a mark of love and kindness to prioritize our attention and our patience toward authentically connecting with others.
|Posted by sandralindsey on May 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM||comments (3)|
Time is limited and our energy is vital to keep us focused and successful. As we age, we learn the value of good uses of our time and we are more acutely aware of the need to utilize our time for endeavors that add meaning to our lives. Planning our time and our steps lead to accomplishment, meaningful moments with people we love and adequate resources to limit stress from our lives.
"Planning is bringing the future into the present so we can do something about it now."
Dreaming of our future is a healthy way of deciding what we want to reach for and what we need to add to our lives to achieve a sense of fulfillment. One can successfully do planning for the future without restricting or relying too heavily on knowing too many of the details. Our lives change, our needs change, and with healthy engagement in our Life Lessons, we grow and develop a deeper understanding of our individuality and role in the Universe. Thoughtful casting of our energies forward can manifest clues to where we would like to be and with whom we would like to spend our time.
"Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential."
Plans create a map with fixed sources of strength and little room for dramatic and unexpected changes. The risk of creating a plan is that if one change occurs, it effects the other elements encased in the plan. Effective planning involves attention to investment and process rather than a fixed ending. Productive planning involves growth, engagement and strengthening of skills and resources that can remain nimble in the face of adversity, tragedy and strife. Planning does not have the rigidity of a fixed map, it is flexible and grows with life's changes.
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four on sharpening the stone."
Accomplishing tasks takes focus and great tools to meet the labor required. Planning involves an assessment of your strengths and areas on which to build. The manner in which a task is accomplished can vary, and should remain flexible depending on the presenting conditions. The accomplishment of the task is greatly eased with appropriate planning and forethought.
"A goal without a plan is just a wish."
Antoine de Saint Exupéry
Many of us get caught into dreaming and wanting, leaving concrete decisions and strategy for much later than needed. Emotions can drive our dreams, but they do not fuel them to success. Intuition, ambition and drive are supported with a focus and clear vision of what is needed to get from the point where we are to the point where we need to be. An honest assessment of what we do well and where we need to improve is the start of successful planning to meet our goals.
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
Still, some of us avoid the thoughts of what we may need to do today to prepare for our goals. The avoidance of concrete strategy and assessment is a deflection of purpose, keeping the future at an arm's length. Often the avoidance is fear of change, a lack of belief in positive change or the fear of risk.
"Having a sense of purpose is having a sense of self."
Where we intersect with the Universe in our purpose, where our energies intermingle with others and how this drives us forward into our potential is critical for our sense of individuality. As we age, the need becomes acute to review our desires and find fulfillment. Planning is the doorway to hope. It is an exercise in liberation and creates motivation. With many unknown factors, we can still be at the ready for life's turns and changes. Planning brings spiritual readiness to our future, and allows us to engage more fully in divine living.
|Posted by sandralindsey on May 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM||comments (1)|
In spiritual terms, to learn to keep our energies clean and clear is the start of a careful examination of our own contribution to the energies of the Universe and the importance of direct communication with our peers and connections. Candor is an important principle to live by if you seek to advance toward success with lasting effects.
Candor can be confused with rudeness and harsh truths told for the sake of winning arguments. But candor is not about creating an advantage. Candor is about personal ethos and accurate moral reflection of your beliefs and your standards.
"There is no wisdom like frankness." Benjamin Disraeli
The energy wasted with insincerity and the maintenance of an inauthentic perspective is cause for failure and setbacks, especially in the business world. Spiritual intellectuals reflect the thoughts that they live by, and have enough room in their hearts and minds for change.
A clearly defined position need not create animus among friends, professional colleagues or new connections. The shared growth of intellectual people is built around open discourse and understanding, starting with the commitment to listening to other viewpoints while truly speaking about firmly held beliefs or points of view.
"Candor is a compliment; it implies equality. It's how true friends talk." Peggy Noonan
Strong relationships are built on mutual respect and openness to diverse viewpoints. Often people congregate to unifying beliefs and dismiss their points of view. Elegant banter can include respectful disagreement, a volley of thoughtful expression and playful and open discussions.
Consensus building can be done with candor as long as the core communication and mission is to incorporate perspectives and experiences for the greater good of the representative viewpoints.
"I never did give them hell, I told them the truth and thought it was hell."
President Harry Truman
The responsibility of leadership requires a review of reality, strategies for successful actions and arriving at accomplishments. A professional leader keeps the focus on truth while crafting a message that reaches a diverse group and provides motivation. Candor is needed to keep focus on moving through change and creating successful outcomes. Tenacity of a leader includes a commitment to truth and action.
"There is no diplomacy like candor." Edward V. Lucas
The art of the diplomat is to bring common ground and understanding to a situation where diverse opinions have stalled action. Candor is telling. The truth feels different than a version of the truth or a manipulation of facts. Truth keeps focus and clarity on a situation and is something that can create consensus.
The struggle one can have with candor is the perception that truth could hurt feelings and cause conflict. Truth spoken with care and tempered with understanding minimizes conflict and focuses on the desire to create understanding. An increased comfort with the truth increases the respect and credibility among connections. Spiritually, candor lightens one's energy and creates a pathway to manifest more positive interactions and successful accomplishments.
Facing the truth is essential for spiritual development and can liberate the feelings and free the energies bound by people pleasing. The motivation for telling the truth need be found in the desire to engage more fully in the lessons of life.