Saturday, May 31, 2014

Resect Your Secret

Resect Your Secret

I have a few minutes in the morning when my thoughts can go anywhere. This morning I noticed I was thinking about secrets. I won’t go so far as to say that secrets are the opposite of intimacy, but there is a correlation.

There are some secrets that I love to keep; what I got you for your birthday or winter holiday gift, for example.

I also love to keep your secrets. The image I get is that I put your secrets in a box, and lock it up tight.

My secrets are for telling.

I am doing my best to tell all my secrets to at least one other person. This takes trust, something I really stunk at for a long time. One thing that really helped me start to trust was realizing that there were people out there who had jobs where being trustworthy was in the job description. They have to keep secrets, you know, lawyers, clergy, therapists.

It was a good place to start. And there are some really good reasons for telling.

When I am living my natural life, I am relaxed, in my muscles, in my thoughts, in my emotions.

When I am harboring my secrets, I am clenched in my emotions with fear that someone will find out. I am clenched in my thoughts with trying to hold it down. And those things will often clench up my body. Ow.

When I am harboring my secrets, there are usually some big feelings attached, and when the thoughts of those secrets cycle through my unconscious mind, I will often end up feeling crazy because I don’t know why I am feel so bad, or scared, or angry. As I tell my secrets to trustworthies, that feeling of crazy subsides. Not only that, but I get better and faster at noticing when I have a lot of unconscious material whanging around in my head, and can address more effectively.

When I am harboring secrets, I am also disconnecting from my life. Ow. I cannot have a loving and respectful relationship with myself if I am denying my experience. That’s a big and controversial idea there, so give it a moment.

Why do I own my life? How am I responsible for me? What makes me feel connected?

If I am denying my experience, I am putting conditions on loving myself. Dang. I want to love unconditionally, but as long as I say “no” to my experiences, I am putting limits and boundaries on my love.

As I tell my secrets, and feel the feelings, I remove those edges. I can release the fear, or shame, or guilt, or anger I felt, and now I have more room inside for the nice stuff, loving myself, compassion for me, and you, wisdom, insight. My capacity for connecting with me, and connecting with you, grows, and I enjoy more intimacy, sweeter, and more profound, than I could have imagined before.

How have I changed from clamping on my secrets to feeling free?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05312014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Truth About Happiness

Truth About Happiness

I have been intrigued lately by how many articles I’m seeing that boldly declare that happiness is a bad goal. Or that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. So I figured this is a good time to talk about what I mean when I go on about happy.

Happy for me is feeling on purpose. It’s about feeling connected to you, engaged in my activities, enjoying what I am doing. Happy is about being aware, having mindful experiences, feeling like I make a contribution to the plus side of life. It’s the state of being that says. “I am living my life well.” I’m not talking about the emotional happy I get when I ace my exam, or see my loved ones after being gone, or am having big fun.

When I am happy, I am emotionally relaxed, I feel peace at my core, things are pretty easy. I am strong, competent, and capable. I am beautiful inside and out. I feel creative and inspired and motivated. I feel worthwhile.

So the word happy for me is shorthand for all of this. I have it all squished up into that one word.

Why am I happy? What makes me feel good? Why do I choose my natural life?

I am happy a lot, but I am not always happy. I have learned that when I am not feeling good, I am making some kind of bad choice. Sometimes I am in a bad thought loop, sometimes I am in a bad habit loop. Sometimes, I have a pile of unconscious material sloshing around and making trouble for me. However it goes, if I’m not feeling good, it’s my cue to take some time to look at where I’m at.

If I can identify the bad thought, I can change it, and feel better. If I can identify the bad habit, I can change that, and feel better. The unconscious material, which I often identify as “feeling crazy,” often means I need to either talk with a trustworthy person to bring it into the light, or sit by myself, in a place of deep trust, and the knowledge that I’ve already survived whatever might be down there giving me feelings.

By now, many of you know that my big bugaboo is going into victim mode. Chances are good that if I feel bad, part of me is thinking it’s your fault. If I don’t feel good, I take some time, and consider if I am blaming someone for how I feel. I consider how I’m feeling; angry, scared, sad. And then I own my feelings, own my attitude, ask some good Creative Questions, and feel better.

Sometimes it takes a while. It’s always worth the effort.

I think it’s interesting that, in general, spiritual leaders talk about happiness as a guide, and it’s the researchers who say that happiness is not that great, that striving for happiness makes us unhappy. They don’t get it.

I also think that the best grownups I’ve known tend not to flap. Stuff doesn’t seem to get to them. Even when they are being excited or passionate about stuff, they still exude an inner calm. They seem to experience bliss a lot. These are my role models.

I’m getting so much better at it. I think you are, too, and that’s about how brilliant you are, how you’ve come to respect yourself so much more, to trust your gut, to notice your thoughts, and to be sweet to your own, sweet self.

How have I changed from feeling frustrated to finding my own happiness?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05302014

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Oo, That’s Nice!

Oo, That’s Nice!

Oo! A two card draw, and two I bet most of us could use. This is gonna be important, so put on your listening ears, and your thinking caps, and be ready to share, cuz we can use all the good ideas we can get.

Why do I have pleasure? Why am I creative? How do I pamper me?

Everyone who has a bit of a challenge pampering yourself, raise your hand. Yeah. I thought so.

For many of us, the only way we seem to take care of ourselves requires getting sick or hurt. Then we feel like we can justify taking time away from our daily routine, to catch up on our sleep, or have some time alone in the house. It’s the only way we can nurture ourselves, soothe our souls, refresh our spirits. We treat everyone else better than we treat ourselves.

When we just plunk away at our routines week after month, we can end up feeling like a drudge, bored, resentful, and sad. We may be living the life we dreamed of, but when it’s the same old thing every day, even paradise can feel dull.

What inspires me? How do I feel refreshed? Why do I feel rejuvenated?

When I take some time, before I get sick, or distracted, to replenish my emotional reserves, it takes much less to leave me feeling refreshed.

So here’s the big question:  What refreshes you? How do you experience self-care? What makes you feel nurtured?

If you responded with an “I don’t know,” then you have some work to do, namely, to find some stuff that makes you feel cared for by your own self.

Walks, bubble baths, massages, a movie marathon with popcorn, a mani-pedi, mindful eating, mindful listening to your favorite music, playing in water, visiting an aquarium and watching fish swim, have a picnic, go to bed early in fresh bedding, aromatherapy, visit someplace new in your town. If you don’t spend much time with your friends, call one. If you are always connected, turn off your devices for an evening. Let folks know so they don’t freak out. Make a list of things you like about you. Read it out loud to yourself.

Those are a few ideas. Some of them just take a few minutes, but 5 minutes spent mindfully consuming a square of chocolate or delicious cup of something can make a huge difference in our stress levels, in our sense of connection to our own lives, in the level and quality of care we can give our loved ones. Even just taking deep, slow breaths, and really enjoying each inhale and each exhale, can go a long way to leaving us feeling like we care about our own selves.

Honor, respect, celebration; these are things we can give ourselves. Treating ourselves well is something we can incorporate into our daily routine, a few moments here, a something nice there. The biggest trick is to focus on that treat, to really experience it in the moment, to savor it, and to enjoy it fully. This may take some practice. So practice a bit each day. Set a timer if you need to. Remember, our soft addictions are not pampering, they are escapes, so pick things you don’t normally go to, at least to start.

How have I changed from feeling like a drudge to treating myself with nurturing respect?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05292014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

You Are Not the Boss of Me!

You Are Not the Boss of Me!

Power is such a funny thing. We all have it, we each use it in our own way. Some of us own our power, keep ourselves separate from others’ shenanigans, and go on about our business. Some of us pretend to give our power away, and feeling like we have to do someone else’s bidding. Some of us pretend that we can take others’ power and get them to bend to our will.

Thing is, and I know this is kind of creepy, but you don’t have access to my power, only I do. I have to go through a bunch of mislearnings to learn to act as your proxy inside my head so you can seem to be the boss of me.

Sometimes I will act as your proxy to push me around from fear of you, or from fear learned a long time ago from one or more of my adults. Sometimes shame may be the impetus, or feeling like we have no resources. This feeling often comes with an icky, shrinky feeling, like we are less than.

Why am I strong? What makes me capable? How am I competent? Why do I trust?

Sometimes I will act like I have power over you. I will try to intimidate, or scare you, or manipulate you in some other way into doing what I want you to do. When you do, I may often feel better than.

Sometimes I am in a situation, like work, where someone is the boss of me, or I am the boss of someone. If I have less than or better than stuff going on, this can make for interesting dynamics we call power struggles, which tend to be high on drama and low on productive activities.

And then there is teamwork.

How am I a good team player? What makes me work toward our goals? Why do I enjoy cooperation?

When I a good team player, I know what our goals are. I know what my job is, and I know how we are working together. When we are a team, we work for our mutual support and that feels great. We get a sense of community. We get a sense of connectedness. We share a sense of purpose, and those things all contribute to a sense of personal well being.

When I am clear about my goals for us, and make sure that we understand each other, working together is much easier. When I am clear about what my expectations of your performance, and my performance are, we can take measure of where we are. Because we are communicating respectfully, we can ask for help or guidance if we need it, and can trust the answers we get.

That is the ideal. Doesn’t always work that way, but I can do my part to help bring it about. I can be clear in my communication. I can ask for help if I need it. I can be straight about my performance and accomplishment. And often, the others will follow suit. They will see that it is way easier. I like that.

How have I changed from pushing myself around to being a good team player?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05282014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Life De Luxe

Life De Luxe

Several years ago, I spent the summer reading about Marie Antoinette. It was interesting for a number of reasons, one being the luxury she lived in. Except in some important ways, it really wasn’t.

She was surrounded by expensive stuff, but didn’t have air conditioning in the hot summer, or central heat in the cold winter. She couldn’t hop in a car or on a bus and get somewhere fast, she had to lurch around in a carriage for days to do a trip I could manage in a few hours.

She didn’t have much freedom to choose what she wanted to do, or where to go. She had very strict rules about her behavior in general and was watched like a hawk. Poor little queen, my life is so much nicer in so many ways.


I can communicate instantly with people I love all over the world. Instantly. I am so old that I remember when calling long distance meant that you talked as fast as you could for three minutes, and it cost a fortune. Now, pfft! We can make a video connection to anyone online for free. What luxury.

I can go pretty much anywhere I can think of to go. It will not cost tens of thousands of dollars to do that. Airfare is relatively cheap, as are trains, and ships. I can rent a car almost anywhere. I don’t need an entourage because for the most part there are tourist bureaus and travel agencies to help me. Luxury.

I have electric lights, climate control, hot and cold water plumbing that can rise hundreds of feet in the air. I have stoves and ovens and microwaves. Food processors, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and permanent press clothes,  that give me hours of leisure every week, a luxury most of humanity has never known.

I have choices to make unrivaled in the history of the world. With the luxury of free time from all the time-saving appliances my life is full of, I get to decide what I want to do. So I have ToDo lists; the master list, the daily list; I have my WannaDo list, like a bucket list without death attached, and my BeDoHave lists.

I have resources the likes of which, until recently,  no monarch on earth could have imagined, much less enjoyed.

With the amazing resources of time I have, I also have the responsibility to spend that time wisely. Where do I commit my time? Do I commit my time to something valuable, to make a contribution, or do I commit my time to TV, or other wasters? Well, I succumb to the siren song of the time wasters often enough, but I am also aware of the great gift.

I have found that the best way for me to spend my free time wisely is with routines and habits. Like my habit of writing to you everyday. I have my routines in place, and then I can spend some time frittering time with joyful abandon instead of guilt.

How have I changed from counting all I lack to reveling in the luxury of my life?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05272014

Monday, May 26, 2014

How to Commit

How to Commit

I’ve talked about our superpowers before. Superpowers are what we get when we pay some attention, and do a little cultivation, with some basic life skills. For example, our creativity gets more accessible, more limber, when we use it every day. Likewise, our ability to make good decisions improves as we practice deciding. And our decision superpower goes hand in hand with developing our intuition, which is just learning to listen to our belly brains. There is a ton of information processed there, and fast, so practicing our skills in reading that information will serve us well.

Why can I choose, What makes me decide? Why can I trust my gut?

All our superpowers are awesome, and make our lives easier, including our superpower of commitment.

Oh, baby, that’s a big one. The most amazing things have happened as the result of making a commitment.

When we make a commitment from the heart, we are insisting that the universe align in our favor. The universe, our universe, likes to align in our favor. It likes to give us what we really want. It may take a while, it may happen in an instant, but for the most part, what we are really committed to, we will achieve.

Why do I commit? What makes me choose? Why do I own my commitments?

When I look at my life, I see my commitments. Am I committed to peace or chaos? Am I committed to celebration or condemnation? Am I committed to anger and fear or the flow of life? Am I committed to owning my power, or being a victim? I need to look at the direction I’m moving in, not the static situation. Am I committed to making things better? To making the best of my circumstances? To enjoying my life as it is?

How is the present moment perfect? What makes me enjoy the now? How do I commit?

Commitment makes things happen. It focuses our energy, and give purpose to our activity. Before we start to cultivate our commitment, we may find ourselves committed to the strangest things; how many waking hours can I spend in my soft addictions, like TV, video games, computer time, over-exercising, chatting, and whatever your favorites are.

When I am not accomplishing the stuff I think I want to do, I am committed elsewhere. My unconscious mind, that seething mass of secret, wacky material, will make my commitments for me if I don’t make them for myself. That’s how I end up eating a big bag of chips in a day, or having food corrupting in my fridge. This kind of commitment is not our superpower. I have to choose my commitments to make that happen/

What am I committed to? Why do I choose my commitments? What makes me decide?

I cannot commit without goals. A goal is a dream with a plan and a due date.
A trip, a degree, a book, a new look in my home, a new habit, a new friend, a deepened friendship, a savings account, a new hobby; there are a thousand thousand things we can choose to commit to.

How have I change from committing to things I don’t want to choosing my commitments?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05262014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Who do you think you are? I mean that as a question of assessment, not as a shaming question, one of the beat-me-up questions I shake at myself from time to time.

Who we think we are, the labels we attach to ourselves, are ideas we have about ourselves. Woman, mother, wife, worker, friend, volunteer, gardener, cook, painter, vixen, CEO, chauffeur; we all have lists that can be rather extensive or pretty short.

When we use labels, we may limit ourselves.  When we use labels, we have ideas that go along with those labels based on our past. That is kind of a mixed bag because those ideas set standards. If we call ourselves “mother” based on our own moms, we may be trying to measure up to an idealized memory, or to avoid behaviors that caused us pain.

We may do the same with our preconceived ideas about work, or friendship, how a garden should look, and so on.

When we know what we are basing our ideas on, they are tools. When we don’t, we may end up feeling bad, trying to measure up to that unconscious standard.

Why am I authentic? How am I the real thing? What makes me, me?

If I am feeling frustrated with my activity, I might want to check inside to see if I have preconceived ideas about what I’m doing, if I have a label attached. Am I doing my best? How much do I care about the task?

Sometimes, I may have the thought that something needs to be done perfectly, and that, surprisingly, can stop me dead in my tracks. I may feel like I don’t have the time it would take to get it done that particular way, or that I couldn’t manage it, and so the task remains undone.

As I bring those unconscious ideas up to the surface, I get to make decisions about them. I get to choose what feels right for me, not right for my idea of what satisfies that label. I take the best care I can of my babies, rather than trying to be the best mom. I learned that I had to make the house perfect back in the day, and hated it. Now, I go for good enough, and have come to love making things sparkle.

Why am I good enough? How do I know my own mind? Why can I choose?

I find that, for me, from time to time, I like to sit down and make a list of my labels, everything I can think of, as fast as I can go. It has often been surprising to see what shows up on that list.

Once I have it, I can think about what each label means to me, decide if I like it, decide if I want to keep it, or modify it, or what it means to me. The more I have played with these ideas, the more I have looked at what goes into them,  the more they serve me, the less I serve them.

I find that I make choices to do things because I want to instead of to satisfy something buried deep inside, and my time is much more contentedly spent, regardless of the activity.

How have I changed from satisfying a label to being my authentic self?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05252014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Home is Where the Body is

Home is Where the Body is

I like to think about where I live from time to time, and to expand it up, into the Universe, and then bring it back; Earth, western hemisphere, North America, USA, Minnesota, all the way down to my body. I think it’s kind of funny to think that I live in my body, like it’s a residence.

We have three primary modes for processing the world, processing our information. We process visually, auditorily, and kinesthetically. Very simply, we see stuff in our minds, or hear words, or imagine physical experience.

We all do all three, but one will be our preferred, one our least preferred. My preference is auditory. I tend to process through sounds, think in words, play music in my head if I’m not thinking about stuff. Visual people are seeing pictures very clearly, and kinesthetics feel their experience. I am working on that one, very useful in my qigong practice.

I try to remember that “I” live with my body, like roommates or something. We speak different languages, and don’t always communicate well. My body tends to be more honest that I am. It never pretends to be full of energy when it wants to sleep, or that one bite is good when it’s ravenous.

Thing is, I make a lot of our decisions, up in my think-y part. You know, about how much to move around, what to eat and drink, when to sleep, when to get up. Body doesn’t have a lot of say in the matter.

I also have tended to treat Body very badly, deprived it, pushed it too hard, withheld water, nourishment, rest, fun. I have spoken to Body cruelly, actively hated it. Yikes. If someone else treated me like I treated Body, I would think about having them arrested for abuse.

Why do I love my body? Why do my body and I get along? Why do I treat my body with kindness and respect?

When I think about Body as hosting me, hosting “I”, I feel so grateful. I want to be a better guest. After all, if it weren’t for Body, I wouldn’t be able to do much of anything. But Body means I can do so much. Smell lilacs, hold a child’s hand, hear little cats purr, see my baby snails look at me, and come over. I can dance, and run, and kung my fu. I can fall asleep, and wake up. I can swim, and talk.

Why do I enjoy my body? What makes me take good care? Why do I like where I live?

Body has her own brain, in her guts. When I learn to pay attention to messages from that brain, my life gets better. Body can often process outside information way faster than I can, and will shoot me the word. If I am paying attention, Body will clue me in to all sorts of useful stuff. We make a great team when we work together.

Regardless of our circumstances, the better I take care of her, the better off we are. When I treat my body with loving kindness, she will respond with lightness, and love back to me.

How have I changed from reviling my body to loving where I live?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05242014

Friday, May 23, 2014

Leaving the Wah-Wahs

Leaving the Wah-Wahs

I’ve said this before, I will say it again. Each of us has our own, particular set of stuff to work through. If we want to be happy grownups, there are some things we need to do.

We first have to accept it. That can take some time. We often feel really sorry for ourselves. We often feel singled out to suffer our own particular hell. We decide that no one understands what we are going through, that no one has ever had to deal with what we have to. This is called “reverse grandiosity.” Seriously. There is always someone who has it worse. If need be, find that person, and help him. Or her. Meanwhile, accept what is.

Once we’ve been able to accept our situation, we assess it relative to ourselves. How does this impact my life? Is this my new normal? Where are my edges? What is gone? What have I gained? Where can I change for the better?

Notice that these are not Creative Questions. Creative Questions have results built in. These questions are searching questions, assessment questions. And it is good to ask questions like these often. I need to remember that my situation will change. Some things will get better, some things will get more challenging. Nothing is static. So my assessment is for now. My plans are plans. When I flow with my life, some plans will work, some will need to be modified, some dropped.

Now that I have accepted and assessed my situation, I can start to grow within it.

How have I changed from feeling sorry for myself to feeling alive? What makes me love my life? How do I experience joy?

I may need to acquire resources. These might be actual items, like canes or walkers, hearing aids, oxygen tanks, medications, or special glasses. These might be tools like behavioral choices, or emotional flexibility. I may need to learn some new things to do when I feel angry or blue. I may need to get help from a 12 step group, or a therapist, or a physical therapist, or some other kind of healer.

Why am I resilient? What makes me flexible? Why do I go with the flow?

I may need to make some amends if I was acting out before I accepted my situation. I may need to make some modifications to my home, to my diet, to my activities. I may need to let go of a relationship that supports me in suffering rather than in joy. Dump my misery buddies. Find a new place to hang out that promotes my well being.

How do I feel like a divine and infinite being? What makes me so positive? How do I feel when I am happy?

As I grow within my circumstances, I am proud of myself. When I stumble, and we all stumble, I pick myself up, or get some help to pick me up, and treat myself with loving compassion, gently, kindly, wisely. I encourage myself in feeling alive, in spending time with people who lift me up. I celebrate.

How have I changed from living in the Wah-wahs to loving my life as it is?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05232014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Glamorous and Esoteric Practice

A Glamorous and Esoteric Practice

Many years ago, a coworker said something to me about being mindful, a term I had never heard before. It sounded very glamorous and important to my ears, and I asked her what she meant. I thought it would be some sort of esoteric activity brought about by hours of secret initiate-meditation.

Turned out it just meant paying attention, which she really needed to do. She was always forgetting stuff, running into things, hurting herself. I felt smug because I was a little less so, but, jeez, how was a girl supposed to pay attention to all that outside stuff when there was so much going on inside?

I pretty much lived in my head. Worrying, fretting, fantasies about the horrible things that could happen. Making wishes, have conversations with people that seemed inevitably to turn into arguments. Conjugating verbs in Ancient Greek or Latin. Sometimes I would be rearranging furniture in my mind. Or washing the car. Or designing a knitting pattern,or working in pastels,  but I was up there all the time noodling around with something until *OW!* Stupid real life would so intrude.

I was living the John Lennon quote: Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans.

So I started trying to pay attention, and boyoboy, was that interesting. Seemed like my thought world was really sticky, and getting my attention on what I was doing was super challenging.

Why am I aware? What makes me stay present? How do I enjoy experiencing my life?

I found that if I chanted what I was doing, quietly, under my breath so I didn’t sound like a total nut job, I could focus a bit more, a tad longer. “Vacuuming vacuuming vacuuming. Cut and paste, cut and paste, cut and paste.” For example.

I found that if I could pay attention to what I was doing, I actually enjoyed doing it, or at the very least, it was more satisfying.

I found that if I could pay attention to what I was doing, I knew where my keys were, I didn’t miss the last step, or walk into door frames. I didn’t pour coffee on my cereal.

Why am I in the moment? What makes me feel alive? How am I fresh and awake?

I also learned something really interesting to me. There is a huge difference between living in the moment and living for the moment. In the moment, I am aware of what I am doing, where my body is, how it is feeling, how I am feeling, what I am thinking, where I am located, who is around me, and so on.

When I am living for the moment, I tend not to be aware. I tend to be engaged in activities that take me out of the now. These behaviors can also be hard addictions. These behaviors can also be soft addictions like video games, or TV, glamorizing, computer time. For some of us, cleaning can be a soft addiction, and so can exercise or even meditation. Food, sex, smoking, talking on the phone for extended periods of time, well, you see what I’m getting at. I indulge in these things to take me away from something. I might find I have better choices if I stop and think about it.

How have I changed from being oblivious to experiencing all of my life?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05222014

Do you have a favorite soft addiction? Mine is video games. I can fall in for hours, and only be vaguely aware of time passing. I'm getting better and putting down the device.

It makes a difference to me, personally, when you interact with the page. Just sayin'! Thanks. Why are you terrific?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

So Many Blessings on My Head

So Many Blessings on My Head

As I stepped out the door today, I noticed a thought that almost got away. “How will the world delight me today?”

It was an easy thought today. The sky is bright, the birds were singing their little hearts out, the lilacs are ready to go. The recent rain has scrubbed everything fresh and clean. The world is very appealing today.

Wasn’t always the case. Use to be that “out” was scary. I was flinchy most of the time, and expected to “get got” pretty much every time I left the house. I expected horrible traffic with scary situations. I expected crabby, sullen, unhelpful clerks. I expect to get ripped off, that everything would be hard, that people would be jerks.

I was rarely disappointed.

How sad.

Thank goodness we understand our experience filters, and that filtering for crap, we will mostly just see crap, and filtering for delights, we will mostly find delights.

That Creative Question I posed at the beginning might be better phrased as, “How will I find the world delightful today?” Or maybe, “How will I be delighted today?”

Over and over, we find places where the difference between a wonderful time and a horrible time is just our point of view. Where the difference between a great day and a crap day is our attitude. Where delight and disappointment come up based on my expectations. Am I looking for the silver lining or the cloud, the doughnut or the hole, the dying worms on the sidewalk or the rainbow.

Recently, I have been seeing a lot of stuff online that is basically saying that happiness is overrated. As someone who has been desperately unhappy, and happy, I will go with happy. I’m not talking about the “I got a new car/puppy/cordless drill” kind of happy, but soul-happy, the kind that comes up from the core.

Those happiness-doesn’t-matter people talk about how important feeling on purpose is. They don’t understand that when I am soul-happy, I am on purpose. I am contented and satisfied at the end of my day. I am relaxed and joyful. I find bliss all over the place. And the world is out to delight me at every turn, from a subtle scent in the air, to happy critters, to a little bit of beauty tucked away somewhere.

How could nature empower me? Why would my environment support me? How else is all creation for my well being?

Now, I’m not just talking seeing pretty stuff outside, I’m even talking cash appearing when I really needed it, unregistered gift cards, magical parking spots. Thank you, World.

How have I changed from cringing from the world to enjoying it’s blessings?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05212014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I am a Non-Count Noun

I am a Non-Count Noun

How much is a drop of water? Is a leaf an individual? Does a cell get lonely?

What would it mean if we have existence beyond our skin? We think because our thoughts are private, our feelings,and  our dreams, unless we share them, that somehow we are separate.

What if we aren’t? What would that mean to you? How would you feel? What if our biggest mislearning was that we are isolated?

What would it mean if we all together, were part of a much bigger organism, like a cell in our body, or a leaf on a tree? Or like Thimmamma Marrimanu, the huge banyan tree in India?

These are some wacky ideas, so please bear with me.

I used to think that we were in this together because we were family, or community, or humanity, that is, the same sort of thing. I have had the experience many times now of being part of a whole, of being part of a whole with you. Experiencing our oneness. Wowie kazow.

Why do I connect? How am I engaged? Why do I feel a part of?

When I feel oneness with you, suddenly, taking care of you, caring about you, treating you well, kindly, with love, is the same as taking care of me. It is as important. When my heart breaks, I understand your heartbreak. When my heart fills with joy, I understand your joy.

Empaths get this. They pick up on others’ feelings. Psychics, too. We like to laugh about their skills, like they aren’t true, but those talents are part of how we are connected. And since we are one, working together for our well being is just what we do.

Each time I have had that experience of all is one, I have been filled with love, and light, and bliss, and joy. You do that. When we are together as one, our combined light is dazzling. The thing is, we are always like that. Divine and infinite being that we are. We just don’t see it, we have mislearned ourselves blind to it.

How do I feel connected? What makes me notice? Why am I aware.

The card I drew today is from the blue and yellow deck. The main question is “Why am I attractive?” And one of the “sub” questions is “Why would I be lovable?” That’s what got me thinking. At our core, we are all lovable. At our core, me are we, so to speak. We are greater than we can imagine.

In order to feel this more easily, we need to relax relax relax. We need to let go our fretting about stuff. We need to get out of our heads, into our nice relaxed bodies, and experience ourselves from our belly brains. We don’t get this in our highfalutin, fancy thinker brains, we get this in our gut experience, our intuition, that part of us that is language free. We have to choose to let go of our idea of being separate, and get that it’s just an idea we use.

When I slow down enough to be a part of us, my life becomes richer than I can even experience, it makes me stretch into nicer. I like that.

How have I changed from feeling you and me to knowing we?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05202014

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Yakety Yak

Yakety Yak

What one thing will transform your relationships, realize your dreams, help you love yourself, and generally make your life better? Here’s a hint, Creative Questions is part of it.

Good communication skills are fundamental to your happy life.

How do I communicate effectively? Why do I know my mind? What makes me like people?

“I think.” “I feel.” “I want.” “When you say X, I feel Y.” “I hear you saying X. Is that right?”

When I am communicating well, I am using “I” statements. I’m taking responsibility for me, so I don’t say things like “You made me” or “You always, you never.”

When I am communicating well, I am not yelling. I am not saying shaming things, or blaming you, or fault finding. I ask questions, but I give you a chance to respond, I don’t hammer them at you.

When I am communicating well, I feel respectful, of both you and me. I hold my own space, regardless of your behavior. I notice, and take a moment if I need to, when you try to get me cranked up. When I am communicating well, I don’t try to crank you up.

When I am communicated poorly, I don’t use “I” statements. I don’t know what I want, or how I feel, and I won’t take the time to figure it out. I may even encourage you to push my buttons, so I can work up a good head of steam, and blow.

Most of the time, my communication skills are good.

Why do I say what I mean? Why do I mean what I say? Why do I want to communicate well?

As I practice thoughtful, compassionate, straightforward communication, the people who don’t like it often do one of several things. They may just kinda leave. But, they also may step up and join us in better communication. That is such a lovely thing.

How am I a leader? What makes me a role model? Why do I enjoy good attention?

For many of us, speaking to one person or many, can be scary. We fear being negatively judged. We fear being seen, we fear being ignored. As we grow up, we can more easily let go of that fear, and know that just the act of standing up will inspire someone else. The act of communicating well will inspire someone else. Good communication is an act of respect.

When I approach a conversation with the intent to communicate with you, that means I want you to understand me, and I want to understand you. I listen to you to hear you, not to formulate my clever response. Communication, then, is also a means to engage, to connect, to be intimate; things that will help us clean up our emo crap, things that will help us live our natural life, and come to love our amazing selves.
By choosing to communicate well, I am taking my well being seriously. I am making a commitment to be apart of something; a communication. I am choosing to step up, to step out and be seen. I am owning that I am good enough, that my opinion matters, that my ideas deserve to be heard.

How have I changed from hiding behind my words to communicating effectively?

(c) Pam Guthrie 2014 all rights reserved 05192014

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