Tag Archives: Fearlessly Feral

And so it is the end of the month.  A momentous month! If you are just tuning in, November is the month during which I do a deepened gratitude practice. This practice consists of, every day, making a list of ten items for which I am grateful. Without repeating anything on the list. Which means at the end of the month I have a list of 300 things for which I am grateful.  Doing the deepened gratitude practice this month was a bit different than in previous years.  I remember my first few years of doing this practice, my gratitude lists all consisted of things:  I was grateful for items in my life that either gave me joy or made my life easier.  Things like kitchen appliances and vehicles, coffee pots and Instantpots and slow cookers.  Hay, delivered and stacked for me.  This year was different.  Yes, I did list the things.  But more importantly, I also listed inner awarenesses and shifts.  Things like my confidence and inner peace and communications skills.  Things like compassion and courage. This is important because when you believe in a teaching that says it all begins within, all those things are inner things, and I am happy to say that if I were to count the items there would be more inner than outer.  And for that I am very grateful. Spiritual practices such as this are powerful, and when one takes the time to do the same practice each day for an entire month, it shows.

I’m working on a book about spiritual practices and principles. It’s called How to Live Fearlessly Feral. It’s going to be a bit like a daily reader, only instead of daily, it will be monthly. There’s a description of spiritual principles, and also of spiritual practices, and then for each month there will be a combo pack of practice(s) and principle to concentrate on for the month. A deep dive.

In anticipation of that, I’ve decided to start that right now. Tomorrow will be December 1. I hope you will join me in the spiritual practices of mindfulness and contemplation, all based on the spiritual principle of love. With a practical twist: clearing the clutter.

As you go through the month, pay attention to what occupies your day. This is basically what mindfulness is. As you pay attention, you may discern that there are some things that you wish occupied less of your day, and some things you wish occupied more of your day. You may see things in your home that seem like they are in the way, or that seem like they give you more joy than others. The key to this is to move towards having more things and activities that bring you joy, and less of the things and activities that don’t.

There are two things to consider here: there may be some activities that you don’t enjoy but can’t get rid of. Like a job. The key here is to change your perception. Surely you can find something about that job you enjoy, like perhaps the paycheck? If you have to be doing something you don’t enjoy but you have to do it, there is no sense in just putting up with it. You can change your perception of it by finding things to be grateful for about it. And if you can’t do that, perhaps it might be time to consider a different job.

The other thing to consider is that if you release things you don’t enjoy, there is a void. As they say, nature abhors a void. Which means that void is going to be filled. Here is the beautiful part: you can fill it, or let nature do it. It’s up to you. Personally, I like filling voids myself. I’m at choice as to what I want to fill it with. And here is where daydreaming comes in. I like to play a game I call “what if?” when it comes to daydreaming. I dream of possibilities, and then I fill voids with things that make it possible for good things to manifest.

So, for December: mindfulness and daydreaming. Based upon a foundation of love. Love what is happening now in your life, and find ways to love it all. Love the possibilities. And because it is holiday season, love everything and everyone. Find things to love!

In this way, you will set yourself up for a wonderful new year and enjoy the holiday season!

“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” Walter Bagehot

I love this quote. I love doing what people say I cannot do. I’ve been doing it a long time. In fact, I have a little physical emoji of a can that says “I can!” I suspect this thing was made to be one of those pins you stick on your lapel but since I wear very little jewelry and no accessories, this little can is now stuck in the wall in my bathroom where I can see it regularly.

I was thinking about this quote today and realized that it isn’t just people who tell us what we can and can not do, It is also ourselves. We all have those little inner voices that chatter away in the background, telling us “you can’t do that!”

But that isn’t true. We can. It sometimes takes a bit of work. It sometimes takes a change in what we believe to be true about ourselves. For example, do you believe that after you reach a certain age you can’t do certain things? Why do you believe that? Is it because someone told you? It is because the adults in your life modeled it for you? I was lucky, I had a dad who water skied and played professional trumpet till he was in his 80s. Then he retired and hit the road in a motorhome. He modeled for me that we do not have to believe what others, or ourselves, tell us about our age.

We are only as old as we make up our minds to be.

This is just one example of examining our thoughts and beliefs to discover what we believe about a thing, and then asking if it is really true. Or did we just assume it to be true?

Here’s the truth: you can be and do anything you wish. Period. Don’t let the naysayers, whether they are in your own mind or in the minds of others, tell you what you can and cannot do.

You can be and do anything you wish.

#fearlesslyferal

There is a Force in the universe that is everywhere present.  I suspect you may agree with me on that, even if you call It a different name.  I love the omnipresent feature of Spirit, because if It is truly everywhere present, It is also within me. From the teachings of Science of Mind and from other teachings, I have discerned that this truth has much greater ramifications than simply God is within me.  It also means that God is AS ME.  In fact, I like to think that, as human beings, we are the way that God shows up in the world.  We are God’s opportunity to speak.  I believe that this is what it means when the Bible says we are children of God.  If this is true, then we have both a gift and a responsibility.  The gift is that with God as us, we have all the power and love and joy that God has.  This has great potential for being able to live our lives successfully, with joy and peace.  It is truly a great gift.  The responsibility is that, with God as us, we need to act like it and not allow our fearful humanness to get in the way.  Here is where we can take the love, power, strength, joy, beauty and peace that is attributed to Spirit and make it ours.  If we all live as if we truly believe that we are physical manifestations of God, imagine how wonderful things would be!  So today I sink into the gratitude I feel for this wonderful truth, that God is such a part of me that I have all the power and love and of God as a part of me as well, and today I walk in power and strength, I have unconditional love for myself and others, I feel and appreciate the beauty and joy of life, and I feel at peace.  I am One.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Do you have dreams? If not, why not? A good spiritual practice is to sit down and figure out what your dreams are for your life. And I have news for you: always have a dream. Because when we have a dream, the universe conspires for it to happen. Once we discern our dream, there is a giant YES there and everything that happens from that point onward is simply another step to achieving that dream. Sometimes it may not look that way. Have you ever heard that old adage about not praying for patience because you will get something to be patient about? Yeah, that. Just keep going. Handle whatever comes up with dignity and grace and keep moving confidently in the direction of your dream.

What if you have a dream, but you don’t think it is possible to achieve it? Dreams are nice, you might think, but they are just dreams. Not true. There are a lot of definitions for the word dream, but I prefer this one: an aspiration or a goal. Yes, dreams do come true. If you don’t think it is possible to achieve your dream, start there. Why do you not think it possible?

And if you do not have the confidence to advance in the direction of your dream, that is the place to begin.

Ultimately, dreams are good stuff. We have an idea or a dream, and the yes is always there, waiting for our participation in achieving it.

Today, I confidently advance in the direction of my dream.

Quotes for today that are tickling my fancy:

Alan Watts: “If we cling to a belief in god, we cannot likewise have faith, since faith is not clinging but letting go.”

Joseph Campbell: “… to worship a god, you must become that god. No matter what you call the god or think it is, the god you worship is the one you are capable of becoming. The power of a deity is that it personifies a power that is in Nature and in your nature. When you find that level, then you are in play. That is the work of art in general, because art really is a worship.”

Me, yesterday, in conversation with a friend: “instead of going with the flow, I want to take it deeper. I want to TRUST the flow.” Because trusting the flow means I can truly let go. Sometimes, when I’m just going with the flow, I’m still attempting to control or manipulate it. Truly letting go takes trust. Which then means I must explore what it is I am trusting.

Then there is this, from Obi Wan Kenobi: “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together.”

The Force is, for me, what god is.

And lest you scoff at me quoting fictional movie characters, I’ll just say that the creator of Star Wars, George Lucas, studied Science of Mind. It is my personal opinion that the concepts in the Star Wars movies are great illustrations of this wonderful teaching that has so effectively allowed me to live an even greater life than I ever imagined.

So here I am, trusting, embodying, having faith instead of belief. Asking myself, what does that look like in every day life? It is an interesting exercise in self reflection. If I trust, then I must also accept. Oh, and here’s another comment, made by me when asked by my horse trainer/equine therapist, as she does after every lesson “what did you learn today?”: “allow but continue on.”

This means I must allow what is happening (which for me means I don’t resist it, judge it, try to manipulate it, or attempt to control it) but also continue on with my mission in life. Whether that mission is to continue the horse back ride or to continue doing my minister work in the world or continue doing the laundry or continue to know the good for myself and others. I must allow but also continue on. And that takes trust, and embodying, and having faith.

Such are my thoughts today as I move out into the world to get a massage and do a wedding. And see the completion of the derockifying of my riding trail. WEEHAW! Can’t wait to ride on it!

Today I trust, embody the good, and have faith. Oh, and I play today. And because I also want to play a bit, because play is always a part of things in my life, I’m going to include an oldie but a goodie meme I made three years ago. Because it takes trust, embodiment and faith to do things that are considered crazy, delusional and ambitious. And that, my friends, is what a life looks like when one lives in trust, embodiment and faith.

Jeff Anderson: "It's the nature of things to orbit!"
Ernest Holmes: "Every person should take time for this inner communion…"

I believe there are stages in life, and I also believe that we need to honor those stages. In doing so, we honor ourselves. I used to be a highly social person…I fed off of social situations and enjoyed them immensely. I was ok being alone, but given a choice of a night with people, no matter what we were doing, or a night at home alone, I chose to be with people. Now….given that same choice, I will usually choose to be at home alone. I still enjoy social situations, and I work with the public and love them believe it or not. But I have these urges that say, "let's just stay home." I believe this to be a stage. I don't know how long it will last, nor do I care. What I do know is that my job is to listen to my inner callings, and honor them. In doing so, I respect and honor my personal journey through life. I am not recommending that you stay home and sleep or eat junk food, especially if you are in a depression. What I am recommending is more of a personal self awareness practice so that you can know your own truth and honor it. Be kind to yourself. Above all, be kind to yourself. You are the one who gets to determine whether being kind to yourself means staying home, or going out. Know thyself is the message of today's reading. What do you do to know thyself?

Affirmation: Today I take time to know myself, and to honor and respect myself.

Calls for change come in many forms.

We may be presented with a health challenge. Or our spouse asks for a divorce. Or we experience a loss. Or we switch jobs. Or some person place or thing really just pisses us off, on a regular basis, and a pattern emerges.

These are all calls for change. These are all nature demanding that we change in order that we may advance.

The reason for the call then becomes irrelevant. The story: the health challenge, the divorce, the loss, the job switch, or whatever is pissing us off, it is all irrelevant. What is important is the call for change resulting from those things. What is important is that we heed that call. It isn’t an invitation. It is, as Holmes calls it, a demand.

In heeding the call, we do what is necessary to change our own thinking, our own beliefs. The action will then seamlessly follow. And healing will occur. And then we will become grateful for the call to change.

This is how life works. It has been proven to me over and over again.

So when I read words of wisdom such as these, from Ernest Holmes, found of Centers for Spiritual Living, I take comfort for I know that I have taken advantage of all the calls to change, and I have. I hope you have as well.

Today I’m thinking of the joy of living. What makes it possible for us to live joyfully? And what do we do when things would attempt to get in the way of joyful living?

Ernest Holmes says in his book called 365 Science of Mind: “I know that in my true self I am joy, for I am God-Life.“

So joy isn’t something we experience. Joy is something we ARE. And yes, we know we are joy when we have that feeling of experiencing it.

But Holmes tells us that we can only receive as much as we will allow, and we can’t be joy unless we allow it. The truth is that we are joy all the time, we just allow life stuff to get in the way of that knowingness sometimes.

So if we aren’t feeling the joy, what do we do about it? I believe a clue exists in what Holmes said, we ARE joy. So if we are joy but are not feeling it, then maybe the place to begin is in knowingness. In believing that what he said is true. The we are inherently joy. Then the task becomes to go within and examine what within us is getting in the way of that. If it is physical, perhaps a lifestyle change is in order, in what we eat or how much we exercise. If it is in relations with another human, since we cannot do anything about them and their behavior, we look within to our own stuff and examine what within us is asking for change? If the block to joy is in a lack of faith, a lack of knowingness, if we simply do not believe that we are joy, then the invitation is to examine that. If we aren’t joy, then what are we?

As for me, today, I needed to remind myself of joy and the reminders showed up freely in my life. This morning I got to see the sky change color as the earth tilted to allow the sun to greet us. It’s a beautiful warm spring day here in Northern Nevada and after the long challenging winter, that right there is enough to allow me to experience joy. And when I get right down to it, I need no outer “joy fixes” because I do believe that I am joy. There is simply no other way to be. The outer joy fixes are simply evidence of that, because I would not be able to see and appreciate them if that quality were not already inside of me.

So today, I affirm: Today, I am joy. I know this because I see it and I feel it and I would not be able to do so if it weren’t already inside of me.

About the photo: this is a cell phone shot of the inside of a tulip. I found this little guy nestled in a perfect place, open shade, with light bouncing off the wall to give it “pop.” It was growing at a friend’s house and I was filled with joy to see these tulips lining the walkway to her front door. I did a bit of editing and cropping in photoshop to focus on the details of the inside of the flower. Sometimes mother nature’s intricacy fills me with awe. As well as with joy. Feel free to share the meme, but please do not alter it in any way.

Let’s talk self care shall we?  There are many different forms of self care but the one I want to discuss today is based on a quote by anonymous that I just came across:  “Be prepared for rejection if you refuse to be manipulated.”  So much packed into this one little sentence!  First of all, refusing to be manipulated implies that one knows what manipulation looks like.  I will admit, it took me years to learn the various ways that people in my life had manipulated me.  When I finally figured it out, I got sad with that new awareness.  For a while.  Then I moved out of victim mode and empowered myself by setting boundaries.  And refused to allow those people to manipulate me anymore.  And yeah, there was rejection.  But good self care begins with us knowing that we deserve good in life, we deserve to treat ourselves well and we deserve for others to treat us well.  It begins with learning to recognize manipulation.  I began to learn what manipulation looked like from my mentors.  So really the first step begins with getting good mentors.  Start there.  Find someone you admire, someone who lives the kind of life you strive for.  Find someone you can talk with.  Then ask.   It is really that simple. Just ask.  All they can do is say no, and if they do, move on.  Remember that there is a Thing Within Us that knows a bigger picture, and you can trust that with that guidance of the Spirit within you, the right person will show up.  And then begin to talk with them.  REALLY talk.  Start small, but talk.  This person won’t try and “fix” you because you don’t need fixing.   They won’t try and hold you accountable because you are a big boy or girl and perfectly capable of holding yourself accountable.   Good mentors are people who listen with a compassionate heart, and then offer their own perspective on what is going on in your life.  Such perspective comes from their own experience and wisdom.  They might guide you to a book, or a spiritual practice.  As the relationship builds, it will morph into something very valuable to the both of you.

Your affirmation: Today I do good self care, because I deserve it.

Want more? Listen to the podcast, available on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and here: Fearlessly Feral Podcast

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An affirmation meme
A cell phone capture of people enjoying the immersive Van Gogh exhibit in Reno, Nevada as part of an affirmation meme illustrating today’s post.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go see the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. It made a huge impact on me.  I am still in awe.  I’m in awe at the artist himself, and I am in awe at the technology it took to put together such an exhibit.  At the beginning of the exhibit there was mention of the merging of the digital and the classical to merge with the work, to “vibrate with it.”  That happened for me.  

Van Gogh not only left us a huge body of work, he left us lessons.  Here was a man who knew what he was and how he wished to express it, and he did, no matter what.  In the exhibit, it said that he wished to communicate with his fellow humans, and he used painting to do it.  He paid some heavy prices, but he never stopped painting.  As I stood in that exhibit and experienced his work, I felt that communication.  I felt life, in all it’s forms.  I felt beauty.  I felt awe.  I felt despair.  I felt discouragement.  I felt joy.  At one point I said to my friend who came with me, “do you feel the ‘awe energy’ in the room?”  And she said, “yes.”  

There are great examples of what it means to live Fearlessly Feral, and Van Gogh is one of them.  He exemplified what I envision for people:  to know who and what we are, and to live that.  To express it. To do it.  To BE it, no matter what.  

This is the first day of a new month.  It is the perfect time to contemplate such questions as who and what we are and how we wish to express that.  Are we living our truth?  Are we expressing that truth in ways that serve us and the rest of the world?  Or are we simply showing up day after day, not even knowing what our truth is?  Or maybe we have lived our truth for a long time, but now, perhaps who and what we are has changed and it is time to be and do something else.  That happens you know.

I believe we are here to express as Spirit in the physical.  As such, and by extension, I also believe that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to the world to really know who and what we are, and to live that and express that fully and completely.  No matter what.  Just like Van Gogh did.