And the First Shall be Last…

Thinking about firsts and lasts in my life, I automatically begin with events and accomplishments.  Firsts such as driving a car, earning a degree, holding each newborn child, experiencing a rainstorm with the new steel roof.  Lasts include the last time I got a massage, went on a family vacation, had a snow day, tried a new wine.  All of these put a smile on my face.

 But then the next layer relaxes in.  What about the first time I acted on my intuition instead of just acknowledging it?  The last time I kept a comment to myself?  The first time I responded out of faith instead of fear?  The last time I let go of being right?

Our firsts and lasts connect.  The first time I let go of the outcome is the last time I’ve cried in despair.  The first time I accepted myself right here and now is the last time I wondered if I was good enough.  The first time I said “I am” is the last time I floundered.

Opening the Heart

(I just began Lisa Fugard’s “21 Days to Awaken the Writer Within”, an eBook I purchased from Hay House.  It’s an active program of personal writing.  Cool!)

A man’s work is nothing but this long slow trek through the detours of art to discover those two or three great images when his heart first opened.  ~Albert Camus

This is designed to inspire me to write.  It does, but not perhaps for the expected reasons: Camus is wrong.

I love his phrase “detours of art”.  I grew up with reason first, art second.  And that art was more in the form of appreciation of others’, and less as an appreciated creation or expression from within.  Art indeed were nice detours, but then it was time to get back on the main road.  This resonates with me as I think about my childhood with a smile.

However, that is not my truth today.  The more I explore and embrace my writing, art becomes the main road.  Other things are the detour.  This is true for many. (As is Camus’ interpretation.  Or is it my (mis)interpretation of his interpretation?!?  Aha! There’s that reason creeping in!)

I also completely disagree with “two or three great images”.  I love his imagery of a heart first opening, but there are an infinite amount of great images.  And the heart continues to open deeper and deeper.  Camus makes art sound static and attainable.  My experience tells me it is dynamic, evolving, and not subservient.  Although I may capture a moment I do not contain the whole.  Art is not under control, it is a guiding energy.

Camus makes it sound like a plodding life of unsuccessfully trying to regain a quick glimpse of heaven.  That is not my concept of art.  A joyous life of continually expressing heaven is how I describe it.

A soul’s task is simply this joyous dance through the doorways of art to continuously discover these infinite great images as our hearts repeatedly open.  ~Gina Drellack

Wishes Fulfilled

I just finished a beautifully resonating book by Dr. Wayne Dyer–Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting.  It was given to me by Hay House in exchange for an honest review.

Dr. Dyer offers a mind-opening way of looking at our lives manifested by our spirits in union with our Divine, and he offers specific thoughts and practices for accessing and maintaining this process.  It is both a book of theory and a manual.

This book bathes the reader in support and love.  And, it fills you so much with it that you can’t not live that love and pass it on!  Even if for a moment.  And another one.  And even another one.  And that in itself is a wonderful thing.

Going beyond the moment, the I am (and what to do with it) that is reminded to us is a quiet, deep, Truth that is incredibly personal at the same time it is universal.  Everyone reading this book will remember that they belong, just as they are.

I was surprised when I received my copy, because there were two when I was expecting one.  I gave the other copy away, and after reading this book I understand why two were sent: this so profoundly needs to be shared.  As much as I try to explain here what it is to experience this book, words fall so short.

I encourage you to pick up a copy, either physically or electronically (get it now with Kindle!!), and experience this message for yourself.  And then share it.

I am grateful for this book.

Glass Half Full

You may know you already choose to see the cup as half full.  Okay, some moments I fully know I am immersed in the half-empty mentality–and then it’s my job to flip that thinking.  In just ten more minutes….

Seriously though, I recommend forcing that thinking once you are aware of it.  Just today I was exercising my right to be a little self-righteously cranky about a person in a very small part of my life who…let’s just say unknowingly provides an occassional little personal challenge.  You know what I mean.

After mentally bellyaching over these specific behaviors, I made myself imagine possible plausible reasons this person might have for acting this way.  Okay, some were a real stretch–but still fairly within the realm of reasonable.

Since they were my reasons, darned if I didn’t understand them and start cutting her some mental slack!  From there I realized that she isn’t about me.  And from there I jumped to the realization that none of this really had anything to do with me–and suddenly not only could I let it go, there was nothing there to have to let go of in the first place!

Wouldn’t you know it, about then I ran into her.  (Cute, cosmos, cute.)  I was actually glad to see her.  Okay, at least neutral–which can be pretty much the same thing, in the absence of mental negativity.  What it really means is that I was able to get past my own defensive patterns and that opened up the possibility for…the miraculous.

When we embrace seeing the glass as half full, it actually becomes overflowing.

Keep or Toss

When I was a kid I learned this great way of cleaning my room. I mean the heavy-duty overhaul known as Spring Cleaning, although it could happen at any time of year whenever the mood struck. My mom would participate when I was young, and as I got older I learned to go through this process on my own.

Image from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, via

To start, we’d get two grocery bags (wow, they were paper then!), something special to drink (Coke for me, coffee for Mom), and fun music that we both liked (couldn’t go wrong with John Denver). Then we would go through ALL of my belongings with an eye for Keep or Toss.

Nothing was spared–my bookshelves, stuffed animals, desk, closet, bulletin board, boxes of treasures under the bed. I would pick up an item and decide if it would be kept or tossed. If I decided to Keep it, it went back where it came from. if I was finished with it, it went into one of two Toss bags–Give Away or Garbage. My things, my process, my choice; Mom was neutral moral support who kept me in motion. She was also the one who taught me to Keep if I was conflicted, setting it aside and allowing myself time. As I got older I would go through my things myself, and Mom would check in and encourage.

The whole point was to be aware of what “things” we carry, and to choose what we surround ourselves with. If we have items that no longer serve us, perhaps they might serve another and we can move them along that path. If we have habits we no longer want, we can change them and still remain true to ourselves. And if we find our beliefs no longer serve our highest self, we can let them go knowing we will not lose who we are in the outcome. We are safe to let go as we become; we will be supported and held in loving arms of the universe.

Mom would say she was just trying to get rid of clutter. That’s the Twitter version.

If you find you have clutter, either physical or emotional, I encourage you to examine what you are carrying with an eye for Keep or Toss. If you’re conflicted, set it aside and allow yourself time. You are safe.  There’s really no wrong answer, either.  And I have to say I felt great at the end of the day!

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