I Have Decided to Enjoy My Life

After years of worrying about whether or not I have a right to exist; after a lifetime of concerns about being good enough – I have decided to enjoy my life. 

Nothing changed.  God did not reach a hairy arm out of the sky and hit me with a voodoo joy-stick.

I just decided.   I decided to stop waiting for self- improvement.   I decided to relinquish the need for circumstances to change.  I decided to be consumed by a joy greater than I Am.

I am no longer interested in measuring my worth by accomplishments or LIKES on Facebook.  I measure my life with laughter.  I measure with compassion, kindness, play, and rest. 

While I still see the occasional disapproval of others, I won’t allow it to tether my joy.  I remember that disapproval is often projection.  I remember that all beings are unique works of nature.  And to disapprove of myself or others from a place of pettiness, shame or comparison is like telling a giant redwood tree, “Try not to be so tall – couldn’t you be more like a fern?”

My shadow still exists, but it is more friend than enemy.   I am the witness of the shadow, not the shadow itself.  Even on the days when my shadow tells me I have failed to enjoy my life, I am willing to find comedy in the failure….

Joy, like most of God’s blessings, fills us so we can empty ourselves of it, give it away.  If I wastefully scatter joy into every moment, into every person I encounter; if I recognize that sorrowing, suffering, crankiness and all undesirable inner conditions are joy in disguise, joy seeking to emerge; then I dance with joy and invite the world to be my partner. 

Will you dance with me? 

Will you decide to enjoy your life? 

It has been a pleasure serving you in this series of 28 posts.  I will take a brief hiatus and will be back soon with more words. 

In Joy, Bonnie

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Praise-worthy

Praise, given or received, opens us up to the reality of unspeakable grace that exists within us.

Receiving praise honors God’s gifts.

If you receive a compliment, and say “thank you,” know that this translates as, “Yes, the infinite, presence of God expresses through me in what you admire.  I celebrate the glory of God operating in my life as my talent, creativity, virtues, attributes and goodness.  And because life is a mirror, and you saw an admirable quality in me, this means you also contain this quality.   I celebrate you as I celebrate me.”

This is the proper translation of “Thank you.”

A word of caution about praise:  praise is lovely and often under-utilized.  At the same time, we should avoid addiction to praise as our source of validation.  We also must recognize that while there are many praiseworthy things about us, there are also things that we might call flaws (another kind of gift).   We need to acknowledge the whole picture – our darkness and our light

Yet much of the time, in the name of self-improvement, we dwell on our flaws at the expense of our exquisite beauty.  For today, see if you can receive praise without squirming.  Welcome praise from others.  Try praising yourself without exploding into excuses.  Praise others freely.  And remember, no matter who you are and what you’ve done, there is always something praiseworthy about you.

Can you make a list of 100 praiseworthy things about yourself?  Can you do so without “exploding into excuses?” 

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Teach Them Who You Are

My husband and I visited Sedona Arizona to attend a seminar on the Sedona MethodOn day three, we spent much of the day in meditation.  Afterwards, I was blissed-out.

We returned to our hotel.  Then, I decided to cross a four-lane highway to visit a metaphysical bookshop. In my meditative haze, I walked a little close to a car zipping down the street.  The driver blared her horn and sped by… or so I thought.

I arrived in the parking lot of the bookshop and the driver met me there.  She had pulled a U-turn on the highway to come back and yell at me. 

“Are you inebriated?” she shouted.

“Um, no, I’ve been meditating.”

She launched into a tirade about my shortcomings.  I felt like I had put her in an awkward position, so I apologized three times.  When the tirade continued, I said Namaste, bowed, and walked into the bookstore.

She followed me and continued to yell, surrounded by crystals, tarot cards, and books on conscious living.  Finally, I politely told her I was done and we went our separate ways.

When I got back to the hotel, I asked my husband, “What do you think she wanted?”

“She wanted you to feel as badly as she does,” he said.

I didn’t comply with her wishes, because I didn’t feel badly – just puzzled and compassionate.

I’m not always as poised as I was with the woman who kicked my butt in a metaphysical bookstore.  But I think of this incident when someone is upset with me.  If I’ve done something wrong, I apologize.  And if they want to continue the fight, I respectfully acknowledge that I don’t have to participate once I’ve apologized and made amends.

I call this teaching people how to treat me; or teaching them who I am – a flawed, wonderful, compassionate person who is willing to apologize but not willing to be kicked repeatedly for wrongdoing.  Our willingness to hold this integrity affirms our worth and blesses everyone. 

Is there someone in your life who needs a calm, kind lesson on who you are?  Where do you find the poise to face difficult people with grace? 

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