Reflection and Review

Lake at Acadia National ParkSorry, it’s been almost a month since my last post, but I came down with a nasty flu on New Year’s Eve and my head is finally clear enough to share some thoughts.

One of the things I like to do at the end of the year is reflect on what I accomplished or ways I have grown during the past twelve months. It’s a little like cleaning out the closet before I go buy new clothes. I need to make room for the new stuff by taking a look at the old. Here are three things I changed last year:

1) I love my practice and I have been counseling in one form or another for close to 40 years now but every once in a while I need a break. So two years ago I took that break – which really meant just reducing the number of people I see each week – and I went to work at a friend’s resort in their little store. I loved it! I could meet, greet, and help the people in the store and never once did I have to ask, “how do you feel about that?” If someone came in and bought two cases of beer, I didn’t have to worry about their drinking problem and I enjoyed myself very much. But I started to miss helping people, either by counseling them or giving them readings. Technically I was working in the store, but I really took the job to play and after awhile it wasn’t fun anymore. I realized that I really needed to get back to work in my own field. I also liked being my own boss and there were times when I wasn’t in control of my own schedule and I didn’t like that. So I decided to let go of the job – even if it meant letting go of a steady paycheck – and go back to my own  business.

2) Last spring, I had to go to court because the HOA where I live accused me of building on someone’s property. This had been an ongoing problem for years and I had already written letters, had my land surveyed and had other property owners stand up for me, but ultimately, this was about control on their part.  I was very nervous because the HOA has been known to lie in the past just to get what they want. On the day I was scheduled for court, I was very nervous and called every angel I knew of for protection and had friends and family all over the world praying for a positive outcome. I asked for guidance and protection and then I presented my case. When they presented their case, the judge admonished them for bad record-keeping and inconsistent stories, so I won the case. This was very scary for me to do, but I did it and I felt so awesome standing up for myself and saying, “no you can’t do this.”

3) I also (mostly) gave up sugar when I realized how much I was eating each month and was appalled. I threw every sweet bit of candy, cookies, etc. out and I began monitoring my diet. I immediately felt better and realized I wasn’t tired or sluggish anymore. I was more energized and I felt healthier. And there was one nice side effect this summer when I pulled out my warm weather wardrobe and everything was loose. Yes!

In what ways do you feel you grew last year? Changed? What did you accomplish? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Stillness Speaks

fairey house 017“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass

A long time ago when I was a Girl Scout, we played a game called Listening Post. The object of the game was to stand with your back against a post, close your eyes, and make no noise for one minute, listening to the sounds around you. When the minute was up, we each shared what we heard and the results were very interesting. We could hear the wind rustle the leaves in the trees above, birds chirping near the creek, the roar of the waterfall a mile away and even insects digging in the logs we used as benches around the campfire. Every now and then, I still play this game and I always feel so much calmer and connected to The Universe when my minute is up.

The single most important thing you can do for yourself and your personal growth is to sit quietly for a few minutes each day and just listen.

Don’t think.

Don’t worry about “doing it right”.

Don’t compare your experience from day to day.

Don’t get caught up in the dogma of the practice.

Just Be.