Don Miguel Ruiz: The Real You

Don Miguel Ruiz

“We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe.”

“Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.”

“Every human is an artist. And this is the main art that we have: the creation of our story.”

“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”

“Just imagine becoming the way you used to be as a very young child, before you understood the meaning of any word, before opinions took over your mind. The real you is loving, joyful, and free. The real you is just like a flower, just like the wind, just like the ocean, just like the sun.”

All quotes by Don Miguel Ruiz

Leave a comment

Filed under great quotes, sunday is for lovers

Take Another Look (Again)

Today’s blog post was written and posted back in December 2011, and re-posted in 2014. And here it goes again! I think it’s good to revisit it every so often, just as a reminder.

When I say take another look, I mean take a bigger look. I’m talking about big picture thinking. Other terms for big picture thinking are: holistic thinking, expanded perspective, macro perspective, perception-enhancement and global vision. What I am suggesting is to raise above your current level of seeing (a situation, your life, etc). Raise above it and see what the view looks like from higher up. You might find that it suits you much better.

If seeing is believing, that means you take what you see to be the truth. Why believe something that isn’t working for you? I’m sure we have all said or heard the following views: “I’m broke”, “This is just the way I am (or she is, or he is, or they are)”, “Life is meaningless”, “They don’t care about me (or us)”, “It shouldn’t be like this (or they shouldn’t be like that)”, “This is so hard”, “It’s absolutely impossible”. Understand that there is always another view. Not only the view from another person (or animal, or insect), but an even broader view. Think aerial view. Think universal view! It’s that kind of view that is the most helpful, that gives someone the most advantage, the most freedom and the most power.

Think of something very personal that happened to you. Hold it in your mind. It’s hard to see it clearly because you are so close to it. You totally identify with it and you feel so close to every detail that it’s hard to see it clearly. It’s like holding a piece of paper up to your face. Imagine that paper being close, so close it’s only one inch away from your eyes. What do you see? Maybe only a few letters, or maybe some blurry words that you could take a guess at. Now pull that paper away from you so that you can read the whole sheet in context, fully and accurately. You needed some distance in order to see clearly, right?

What about something that happened to you years ago, something traumatic? Does it feel the same now as it did then? Think of something that happened 10 – 20 years ago that made you upset. Or think of a lover you had in your life. Think of how upset you were when the relationship was over. Now take your mind to the present. How does what happened years ago make you feel now? Did the distance help to get some clarity, some ease or greater awareness? This is the freedom that big picture thinking can give us in the moment — in the present, while it’s still happening!

Even if you can’t see the big picture. Even if you don’t know why something is happening to you, don’t worry. Just know that there is a bigger picture that only has your best interest at heart. Just the thought alone will revolutionize your life. But you have to take the time to step back and not take what you are seeing and experiencing personally. You have to see it from a greater awareness, a broader view.

2 Comments

Filed under big thinking

Up in the Air

yountville up in the air

Hindsight is definitely 20/20.

Every so often I go through a tough phase. Times when I feel like my life doesn’t match me, where things seem unnecessarily challenging and odd fitting. Over the last six months I felt like my life was up in the air. In a way I was floating, not sure where to land, hoping I wouldn’t come crashing down or drift off to somewhere undesirable. Due to lack of gas and the passion to ignite a powerful spark, it just seemed like I was becoming more and more susceptible to life’s twists and turns. Things began to feel out of my reach, out of my control. Important things, like where to live. During that time I was looking for a rental in Northern California, and I just couldn’t find one. Nothing seemed like a match and nothing felt right. I was considering moving back to New York, and I even contacted an old friend to make possible arrangements. Until, the perfect opportunity crossed my path. On April 1st (which last last weekend — so sorry I didn’t write a blog post! for any of you that were wondering), I made my move. I moved to Yountville, California. I had no idea I would eventually move to the Napa Valley, or hear the sound of hot air balloons roaring for lift-off as my dog and I walk around the neighborhood. A whole array of new sounds, sights and smells. It’s beautiful here, and the experience is all very dream like.

From personal experience, I feel that we can never know what’s in store for us. Just as we think we have it all figured out, life is there to laugh. To present challenges. To help us grow and demand that we see differently. All we can do is be boldly ready. Every significant move in my life was a mystery. The right people, the right time, the right moment. Magic. I could have never mapped it out. The same goes for every regrettable decision I’ve ever made. I can look back and analyze everything, nitpicking what went right or wrong, and wonder how or why. But when I look back on it, when I look at it all in context, it seems so obvious. They were all important pieces to one grand puzzle. And no series of events was complete without the other. Everything was needed for my evolution and development.

As I get older I see that life is a practice of surrender. And the underpinning of that is gratitude. To be able to see everything as magic. As play. As growth. As humility. As a gift that we get to be part of. Every step is important. Everyone is important. To be boldly ready. To watch. To be moved. To be loved. It’s all very simple when we see it from a grander view. The key to that is letting go. To untether ourselves from our fears, or our need to be in control, or to have things unfold as we had planned, or to live up to an image we imagined for ourselves. Nothing is wrong with living up to our highest ideals or inherited paradigms, but at what cost?

I remember a hike I did in the Himalayas. This was years ago, in 2000. I began the journey with so many ideas, of myself and of the climb. When it was over I was nothing. Blank, empty, unsightly, and vulnerable. I was so humble and so grateful. Everything was good enough! Everything was beautiful! Everything was a gift! My feet were blistered, pus filled and swollen. I could not walk without taking every step into gentle consideration. It was also very clear to me that nor the hike or what was beyond the hike, was possible without the loving help and generosity of others.

Life is best well lived. For everyone that means something different. But I do think it takes faith in something beyond our humanness; beyond our brain, blood, flesh and bones. Death awaits each and every one of us. Death is actually quite near. And on that day, we will be humble. We will surrender, and know that we are nothing without the help of others. And that our lives are beyond our control. We can dream big and work hard and create copiously, but we still need the blessing of the Universe and everyone in it. Instead of waiting to realize this, it’s best to embrace it now. To live each day as an eye-opening piece to a magnificent puzzle. And to have fun playing the game. And to see what there is to see. To enjoy it all, even the challenging twists and turns. It’s easier said than done! Trust me, I know. I’m still ‘working’ on it. It’s all a practice. So we don’t need to worry about doing it perfectly. It’s all just an opportunity to let go. To rise up and fully live.

4 Comments

Filed under letting go, sunday is for lovers, yountville

Nic and Pancho

nic and pancho

I have a little white chihuahua, who is my super-sidekick and the love of my life. So of course I’m going to adore the work of Nic Bello and Pancho. Their recent video was too cute not to share. I’m also including a few of their older videos as well.

6 Comments

Filed under art & film, friendship

Rainer Maria Rilke: The Only Journey

Rainer Maria Rilke

“If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.”

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.”

“The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.”

“The only journey is the one within.”

“No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger.”

“Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror. Just keep going, no feeling is final.”

“I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.”

“Believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

All quotes by Rainer Maria Rilke

Leave a comment

Filed under facing fears, great quotes

Time to Overestimate

viktor frankl overestimate

Leave a comment

Filed under ask yourself, challenge yourself

Mel Robbins: 5 4 3 2 1 …Go!

mel-robbins-5-seconds

Gotta love Mel Robbins. How could you not? She’s gives a super-easy to-the-point 5 second trick (technique) to change your life. Plus, she reminds us not to use the F-word. No, not that F-word! The other one.

mel-robbins-instagram

Leave a comment

Filed under life challenges, transformation