Friday, January 31, 2014

From Pointless to Pointful

From Pointless to Pointful

How do I live a meaningful life? Why do I make a difference? What makes me see my divinity?

Aren’t these nice questions?

Are you getting nice answers? Or at least a nice feeling? Keep asking, and maybe mess with the wording a bit.

Back when, I made a difference by setting a bad example. At least, that’s how I felt. But then, so much of how we experience the world is based on how we feel.

If I want to feel like I’m living a meaningful life, and I don’t, then I need to look at me for my solutions. I need to look at what I’m doing. Do I have activities that feel meaningful to me? Do I take care of my family in ways that make a difference to them? Maybe I do some volunteer work in one of my communities. Perhaps there is an elderly neighbor I check in on.

I need to look at my thoughts. Am I putting me down all the time? Telling myself that I don’t matter, what I do doesn’t matter, that I am dirt, or scum, or garbage? I may have some other version of I’m not good enough. Or that I’m wrong, or bad for simply existing. We all have something like that, our Personal Doubt.

Maybe in my thoughts, I say that my work is bad, that I don’t do enough for anyone, that my efforts don’t count. We may have a way of putting down our efforts, or diminishing or degrading what we accomplish. We may try extra hard, or we may give up. Either way, those decisions are based on old old old mislearnings on which we base our understanding of the world.

Sometimes, we end up pumping up our efforts false, to try to cover up how bad we feel.

Not very meaningful. In fact, it is really sad that so many of us live like this.

How do I feel when I feel my divinity? What makes me feel sacred? How do I experience my natural life?

When I start choosing to live my natural live, I start unchoosing my mislearnings. I am willing to look at me, to consider that my beliefs may need an overhaul. When I start choosing to live my natural life, I am willing to entertain the possibility that maybe my ideas about who I am, how I am, and maybe even why I am, are off. Maybe even really off. And I become willing to release those old beliefs and start incorporating new ones, ones that support my natural life, support simple changes, support good tiny choices every day.

When I start feeling my natural life, I will find moments of bliss on a regular basis, I will feel joy frequently. I will find even my mundane tasks satisfying. I will feel that my day’s activities mattered, that I made a contribution. I will feel like I was naturally kind and compassionate. I will feel my wisdom, and see my brilliance. I will expect miracles, and I will recognize them, and feel appreciation for them. I will fall asleep contented with my day, and awake looking forward to another day of peaceful core, relaxed in mind and body, with passions to pursue, people to love and engage with, and a sense of the pervasive sacredness of life.

How have I changed from feeling like it’s all pointless to fully experiencing my natural life?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01312014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How to Surrender

How to Surrender

We have a lot of ways to describe it; letting go, surrendering, relinquishing control. Doing it can be really challenging, over and over.

But, boy, is it worth the effort.

How do I choose to change? Why do I evolve? What makes me open up to life?

When we start letting go, a whole lot of nice stuff starts happening. We cease to worry when we let go. When we surrender to the flow of life, we stop being afraid. Without worry or fear we have room to find resources. With more resources, life gets easier, sometimes even simpler.

Why do I choose to let go? How do I learn from my past? What makes me grateful?

As I choose to let go, I accept my past. I cease to hide from it, I own it, and find the value of who I have become within it. I integrate those experiences. When I find myself dwelling on my past, or my loss, or what could have been, I stop myself, and find something else to think about. If I can make a positive change, I do that. If I can’t, I practice letting those thoughts flow through me. Sometimes, I am stuck in a bad situation, then I have to leave it to make my life better. When I am always in emotional pain, I cannot realize my gifts, I cannot fully experience what I can do, what I can give.

Why am I free? How do I know I am evolving? What makes me grow?

Now, I feel like I have some breathing room inside, to breathe in deeply, to exhale fully. Letting go gives me room to find my peaceful, joyful center. Relinquishing control gives me room to slow down, at least inside. Surrendering to the flow of life gives me time to respond to life rather than reacting all the time. I don’t feel like I’m always behind.

I start to feel like time is moving at a normal pace again, like a week takes a week, a month takes a month, and a year takes a year. I feel like I can appreciate moments every single day. It is easy for me to notice my gratitude. It is easy for me to value you when I have slowed down. I can see you more clearly for you, I can see past your behavior, if we are having a thing, to the you inside, the you I can now love unconditionally. I like that, especially since it helps me remember that I am also not my behavior.

Now I want to take better care of me, and it’s way easier.

Now I feel respect for who I am, and for where I’ve come from. I am proud of my growth, my evolution. I can see how I have changed for the better, and on my off days, that gives me strength, it helps me remember that this, too, shall pass.

Now I have more energy, now I want to help you, too. I want to help you find your peaceful center, too. I want to help you let go. I want to be a good example of how to live your natural life of bliss and joy, relaxation and peace, satisfaction, creativity, engagement, intimacy and contentment. I want to be present in my life, and live it fully.

How have I changed from clutching tightly to letting go and feeling free?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01/30/2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Three Cheers for You

Three Cheers for You

You are such an inspiration to me, to so many of us. Your little kindnesses, your cool ideas, your interesting stories, and fun activities are so engaging. It’s good to be around you. And I get such good ideas about stuff listening to you and seeing what you do.

Why are you such an inspiration?

I know there are days when you don’t get it at all. When you feel like you don’t contribute anything, It’s just a feeling, Don’t trust it, and like the old saw, this, too, shall pass.

It’s the little things all day long, the little smile at the stranger you passed, staying calm in traffic, and when that person budged ahead of you in line. It’s the gentleness with a child, a pet, a co-worker. You do these things without thinking.

Why do I share my passion? How do things flow from my heart?

I know there are days when you think no one ever notices, but we do. And we think you are terrific, even if we don’t say so.

Why am I appreciated? How do I feel honored?

And when we see you doing all the little things you do, we feel inspired to do them, too. Your loving ways ripple out, and have a sweet impact on so many of us. Your smile makes us smile, and we pass that on.

What makes me an inspiration?

You do these things spontaneously, from that place of love. You just get a great idea popping into your head that makes things go really right. You get great ideas about a lot of things, and, because you’ve learned to trust you, you bring ‘em out and let ‘em get some air. We love those great ideas. Sometimes we like them so well, we take them for our own.

Why am I so creative?

And here’s another thing. You are so cool, so smart, and talented, and just generally amazing, but you aren’t all arrogant and swell-headed. I can’t tell you how cool that is. You own it, you don’t pretend you aren’t those things, but somehow, because you are so comfortable with them, and you look for them in me, I end up feeling cool and smart and talented and amazing when I am with you. I love that.

I love to know you. I love to hear about the things you do for your family, how you take care of business at work, the ways you contribute to your community. I like to hear about your hobbies. You are so fun to do stuff with, even mundane things. In fact, doing mundane things with you elevates them.

Being around you helps me to remember that any space, any activity I engage in can be a sacred thing. When I remember to slow down inside, when I remember to be aware, when I remember to feel appreciation and gratitude, everything enjoys significance. Thank you for helping me remember that.

How have I changed from muddling through to feeling clear and appreciative?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01292014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bloomin’ Happiness

Bloomin’ Happiness

Happiness. When we are depressed, we’ve never had it. When we aren’t it, we have all sorts of ideas about how to get it.

Sometimes it seems like stuff will make us happy, or mood-altering chemicals, either prescription or recreational. Or we think that the right relationship, or car, or house, or job, or boat, or children will do the trick.

Sometimes it does.

Mostly, it doesn’t. But we feel relief, and sometimes that seems like happiness for a little while. Or we feel a little manic, and after feeling so blase, that can seem like happiness.

When we look outside for our happiness, we will find a lot of things, maybe even treasure, but soul happiness isn’t out there.

How do I live in bliss?  What makes me joyful? Why am I thrilled?

There are steps we can take to make our happiness easier to get at. They are simple, if not always easy.

First off, we have to slow down and relax inside. Our outside lives may be crazy, but we don’t have to be. Being aware, noticing what we are doing and thinking, paying attention to where our bodies are, to how we feel, gives us room to breathe, room to respond rather than reacting. We are now running the show. Can’t do that when you’re going 90 miles a minute.

Why do I relax? What makes me serene? How do I feel when I am peaceful?

Second off, we have to have an idea of what we want. That’s a weird and simple thing about being a grownup. Grownups know what they want. We start out learning what we don’t want, but as we grow up, we start focusing on what we do want. Sometimes, you’ll hear this talked about as setting goals. All it means is that we have maybe three things we want to work on, let’s say wellness, savings, and a daily practice of some kind.

When we overload ourselves with goals, we will most likely fail at all of them. Keeping the list short gives us a fighting chance at improving our success rate. Goals are not the same thing as the todo list.

What makes me know what I want? How do I choose? Why do I decide?

Third off, we may have to let something go in order to achieve our inner happiness. Bad habits can get in the way big time; substance abuse, co-dependent relationships, bad jobs, dangerous living situations. We get used to them, they are familiar. Not comfortable, mind you, but familiar, and letting go of the familiar for the unknown is, um, interesting. But this is one of the reasons we have courage.

Why would I choose happiness? How could I choose to let go? What makes me step up?

Fourth off, we need to treat ourselves with gentleness and respect. When we do this, we create an environment conducive to nurturing happiness. This is a simple list; good food and water, blessing our bodies with movement, sleep, quiet time for contemplation and meditation, time with loved ones, nurturing spirit time, challenging and informing our minds.

Creating a space that nurtures our inner happiness is simple. The rewards are dazzling.

How have I changed from seeking happiness out there to creating the room inside for my happiness to blossom?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01282014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Honing Trust

Honing Trust

Oo, trust. What a wacky thing that is. There are a bunch of ways that trust works, it’s a thing and an action. We can trust well, or poorly, supportively or destructively.

I can choose whom to trust, with whom to be vulnerable. I can choose to let go of fantasizing that I know the outcome, and choose to assume I will be okay however it works out. I can choose to trust trustworthy people. I can choose to trust my wisdom, and instincts.

I didn’t used to.

I used to brilliantly and consistently trust untrustworthy people. I was in totally denial of my own wisdom, I always knew for sure that things were going to go horribly wrong, and when they didn’t, I knew it would just be worse the next time. “Cheer up, things will get worse” was a phrase I heard a lot, and totally took to heart.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. I’m so glad I was wrong.

How can I choose to feel safe? What makes me protected? Why do I let my life unfold?

As I choose to grow up, I choose to take responsibility for me. That means responding to a lot of stuff. I am responsible for my thoughts. Now, don’t get me wrong, thoughts flow. That’s their nature, and I don’t have a lot of control around what is in that flow as it burbles up from my unconscious mind. But, I do have control of the thoughts I think about. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s profound.

Working that distinction is a skill that meditation affects, that of letting thoughts flow, and letting them go the moment you realize you are thinking them. There are lots of good thoughts to think, and circumstances under which to think them. My whole organism does better when I think positive thoughts, look for the good, and trust.

When I take responsibility for me, I am responsible for my feelings, which are complex blends of thoughts and emotions. If I feel crappy, it’s my responsibility to look at that feeling, dissect it, so to speak, so that I can let it go. I may need to take measures. For example, I used to get really blue every Sunday from about 11 am until about 5 pm. I ran away from it for a long time, by working, but it was still there. When I finally just sat through it a few times, pushing on it a bit, I was able to break it, and now, most of the time I can enjoy a Sunday all the way through.

When I take responsibility for me, I am responsible for my physical well being. That means I feed and water myself with care, clean myself, make sure I give myself some good exercise every day, challenge my mind, and get some decent sleep. It means I take some time to meditate, and contemplate, and practice my Creative Questions. These things take very little time, or a lot, but I get to choose how I do it. Some days I don’t. I am responsible for that, too.

When I take responsibility for me, I begin to find my wisdom. We all have it, deep down somewhere in there. Little by little, we haul it out and give it a test drive. And each time we get it right, we get a little stronger. We start to believe in ourselves, and, as we nurture that, it grows, and grows.

How have I changed from misusing my trust to putting it where it does the most good?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01272014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Committing to Choice

Committing to Choice

The commitment card came up again today. Yeah, commitment. Where do I put my energy and efforts?

I love looking at semantics, my own because of the power they have to flip me this way or that, and ours to see what burns us, and what spurs us.

I used to be into “self-help” because I felt too damaged to wanna go public with needing help. I know, it was pretty sad. Now, the phrase I like is “personal growth” and get help all over the place.

I’ve learned to look around me to see what my commitments are. I’ve learned to pay attention to my tiny choices, you know the ones that, baby step by baby step, take you away from your good intentions until you can’t figure out how you got where you are, or how to get back.

Tiny choices.

We start the moment we wake up, before we open our eyes, we often have a thought, make a choice, about how we are going to address our day. The crazy thing is, that thought is often both unconscious and a habit. I think that’s amazing, for all our love of the idea of freedom.

I will never be free while I am enslaved by my unconscious habit thoughts. As long as I have thoughts that say life is hard, or I can’t, or I’m not enough, or things don’t go my way, or whatever my favorites happen to be, I’m subject to the whims and fancies of my unconscious mind.  

When I start my morning with a Creative Question like, “Why would I have a good day?” I get my unconscious mind thinking on something new and supportive. If I continue to ask variations on that Question as I go  through my morning routine, I start looking for ways that I’m having a good day. Chances are, those things were there, but since I was focused on my bad day, I didn’t count ‘em. Maybe I didn’t even see them.

When I was first getting started, I had Creative Questions posted all over the place. I wrote them on my bathroom mirror in eyebrow pencil, I put them on sticky notes and put ‘em by the door to see when I left the house, on the dashboard of the car, on my monitor at work.

And I wrote them out. Well, I still do that. Why do I, Pam, have a good day? Why do you, Pam, have a good day? Why does she, Pam, have a good day? How do I, Pam, have a good day? And so on.

Tiny choices.

Why do I choose my commitments? Why do I choose my attitude? How do I choose my state of mind?

We like to think that our moods, our state of mind, is somehow not in our control. That it’s because we had a bad day, or we are in a challenging relationship, or something else outside of us. When I make the commitment to take responsibility for my emotional well-being, I can choose to start feeling better.

How have I changed from feeling buffeted from feeling like I am at the helm of my emotional boat?

(c) 2014 Pam Guthrie all rights reserved 01262014

Remember to share if you care. Why are you a contribution?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Living Ego’s Dream

Living Ego’s Dream

One of the most interesting games we play is the ol’ power struggle. I have an idea about how something should go, and so do you, but our ideas don’t match. And I decide not to give, and so do you, and now we have a power struggle that can last forever.

I hate it when I find myself acting like a three year old.

On the one hand, I can’t have a power struggle on my own, or can I?

As I start to choose to grow up, I am going to run into resistance, both from inside me and outside.

The inside me part is what we call ego, that sense of self we construct from childhood on. It’s not very mature, as a general rule. My ego is kind of spoiled and wants what it wants now. It wants instant gratification, it wants its own way, Ego tends to selfish, spoiled, temper tantrums, emotional drama.

When I start to unchoose that behavior, my ego is going to be pissed. Ego doesn’t want to grow up. Ego likes status quo, and so Ego is going to push back. It’s one of the reasons we often find ourselves having trouble with New Year resolutions. Ego says, “no new way!” and instead of acting like a benevolent, firm parent, giving Ego a positive time-out, and holding our power, we cave, because that’s what we’ve always done.

What makes me strong? Why am I competent? How am I confident?

When I decide to unchoose Ego running my life, I start to understand the idea that I am a divine and infinite being. Ego isn’t infinite, poor little thing. Ego is very small, but has a very inflated sense of self. Nothing is more important than Ego. How exhausting, and unrewarding.

On the other hand, when I unchoose Ego, and choose to move beyond, I am moving into my natural life. That’s where I find bliss and joy, peace and serenity, satisfaction abounds. Here I understand that I am naturally the center of my universe, but that I can be a benevolent creature, and put the needs of others before my own.

Why do I recognize my divinity? How do I know I am infinite? What makes me see beyond myself?

I like the saying, “choose your battles.” I remember the first time I heard it, as though someone had flipped a light switch on in my head. Until then, I had no sense of control over what I got upset about. I just went nuts. Sigh. Ego can’t choose a battle, it just goes in swinging, so power struggles are normal and frequent.

Why can I choose? What makes me decide? How do I feel when I am a grown up?

Choosing to be a grown up, choosing a path to enlightenment, choosing whatever you call your spiritual goal, is something we do everyday, Me, sometimes it’s multiple times a day. I want to live free, and that means I have to dump my old traumas and their attendant weird thinking. I have to be aware of my patterns and relinquish the ones that don’t actually support me. I have to be aware of my thoughts and notice when I am in a thought rut that brings me down, or encourages me to be disrespectful to me or to you.

How have I changed from living my Ego’s dream, to choosing to live freely?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 01252014

Friday, January 24, 2014

I Should Be Committed

I Should Be Committed

Here’s a wacky thing to try. Look at your life to see what you are committed to.


The way our lives go show us where our commitments lie. The longer you’ve had a particular situation going, the deeper your commitment.

Are you committed to abundance, or paucity? Happiness or misery? Clarity or confusion? Well being or suffering? Lovely relationships, or trying, difficult ones?

This is a key that will help us open the door to more freedom.


I’ve got a nice example for you. For years I wanted to be a writer. I wrote a lot, but it was mostly entries in my journal about how depressed I was, what a failure I was. I wrote several awful novels, short stories, and poetry. I had several columns that ran in local papers for a while. I struggled and struggled. I was deeply committed not to writing, as I thought, but to failing as a writer. It was clear from what I was doing.

Then I made a commitment to write my truth to you, to share the wisdom that I’ve channeled, or learned, or something, and to write it out in small chunks, in clear language, with specific how-to type instruction, so that you could try it, too.  And to reinforce my choosing to live my glorious, natural life to the best of my ability.

Lo! My commitment to that has resulted in my writing to you every day for over a year. I wake up looking forward to my meditation on pulling the Creative Questions card that will best serve us today, Then, I contemplate the card until I find some point of resonance, then I write, then I publish.

I am regularly amazed that I have done this every day. It doesn’t matter how I feel, I just do it because I am committed.

I now have many such places, where my commitment was to horrible crap I hated, that made living my life super challenging and ugly, and I took responsibility for that commitment, changed it and got almost instant results.

Weird, huh.

I was committed to misery, to finding anything I could to make me miserable.  There was not a silver lining for which I couldn’t find a cloud.

Now I am committed to happiness. That means, for example, when I wake up feeling like, uh, heck, I find reasons for why my life in the moment is sweet, I make minor course corrections, and usually within less than an hour, I’ve got my cheery back.

How have I changed from being committed to a life I hate to committing to a life I love?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 01242014