Who is Your WHO? – Richard’s Commentary

Rosemary’s question this week is:

WHO is it that you are serving?

My first reaction to this question is to think about my Qigong students; they are my clients and I do feel that I am serving them when we are in class together, when I am leading them through a form, focusing on breath, gathering and storing Qi for health, well-being, and peace. The beauty of my “who” is I am serving myself as well. I am doing the research into Taoism, the basis for the effectiveness of Qigong. I am going through the form with my students, leading myself to health, well-being and peace. And I am working with the forms on my own as well, practicing the forms every day. I continue my research and reading on the subject to go deeper so I can take my students deeper.

In response to Rosemary’s statement:

If you don’t take care of your own health, no one else can do it. You know this. You accept this. But what about your spiritual and psychological health? Your emotional health? Your mental health? Are you serving yourself by taking care of yourself in those areas?

I can feel pretty good, right? Qigong covers all these aspects of my life. Qigong contributes to my health. And the study of Taoism supports my spiritual and psychological health. Reflection on the Five Elements, the basis for Traditional Chinese Medicine, helps me work through my emotional and mental issues. Through all these levels I am serving my students and I am serving myself at the same time!

If only it were that simple!

Everything I’ve written above is true. And Qigong does help my students and me work through issues. But what about others I serve?

What about Rosemary? She is my client as well. I support her business, TheScientificMystic.com, through managing the technology to operate the business, handling the finances, and helping her with the messaging and marketing of her services. How am I doing with that?

Here I can’t be quite as glib with my answers! Sometimes I grow impatient that Rosemary doesn’t work to my schedule! Whose business is this? Sometimes I get frustrated with the procrastination. But I am a great procrastinator! And too often I get bogged down with the technology rather than focusing on what drives the business – Rosemary’s talent!

So, I need to take Rosemary’s advice here:

My work is to build a relationship in which I support them.

My work with Rosemary is to create the best possible business relationship we can have in order to best serve her, as my client!

And I need to do this analysis for all of my relationships. Everyone is a “client” of everyone else. It is important to nurture client relationships and it is vital to nurture all of our inter-relationships.

Who are your clients? Are you nurturing them? Are you nurturing every relationship with others as if they were your client? Are you nurturing the relationship with yourself?

What a world it would be if this were the case!

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Conscious Relationships Start with Self-Love – Richard’s Commentary

Humans are social beings. It is all about relationships. Last week I wrote about our interdependence with others, what Thich Nhat Hahn calls “interbeing.” We are especially dependent on and interdependent with other humans. Here’s what Rosemary says about that:

Human beings are relationship experts. We are constantly adjusting relationships, in one direction or another. Relationships with significant others, with parents and with children, with co-workers, clients, neighbors, hairdressers, waitstaff at the local restaurant, checker at the grocery store. Every interaction with another human being is an element of a relationship.

And every relationship begins on the inside of ourselves. This is why it is so important to have that relationship in the first place! Do you have a good relationship with yourself?

In her post Rosemary writes about choices we have and we make moment to moment. The first choice is to have that inner relationship. How do you do that? It’s as easy as breathing! And we all need to do that!

The “conscious relationship with self” begins with conscious breathing. That’s right, bring your consciousness to your breathing pattern. Don’t try to change it or make an effort, just bring your attention to how your breath feels; think about the inhale; feel it as it comes in through your nose, down your throat, into your lungs. Where does it go there? Does it fill up your chest? Does it go down into your belly? Just notice. And on the exhale, how does that feel? What happens first? How much air do you exhale?

Shifting just our focus on our breath, with no change at all in rhythm or style, changes our body chemistry and our mental awareness! Imagine what might happen if you actually, consciously begin to control your breathing. Maybe your in-breath goes a bit deeper and is longer; maybe you hold it for just a moment as you sense it, notice the feeling of expansion. Then as you exhale maybe you do this more slowly, deliberately. And maybe you expel more air, even flattening your belly, back towards your spine as you push out more air – to make room for a bigger in-breath.

And you can continue in this manner, watching your breath, taking longer, deeper, slower breaths. This is the beginning of a relationship with yourself, your deeper self.

I’m not writing here to teach meditation. But I am echoing Rosemary’s intention that your best relationship is with yourself, inside. Here’s what she says about you:

Who you are, deep in your core, is a beautiful being of Light. Who you are, inside, is a spark of divine energy. Who you are, in the essence of you, is a person of access to great wisdom and love. THIS is the person that you really want to show up in every relationship, isn’t it?

I would like to have a relationship with this being of Light – you! Wouldn’t you?

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ROSEMARY’S INSPIRATION: Let’s Talk About Relationships

My “Two-Minute” Video for this Week: Let’s Talk About Relationships

ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Conscious Relationships Start with Self-Love

All Love flows from Self-Love.

I’ve shared this many times and will keep doing so until each of us is totally in love with our own divine Self!

The most important relationship you have is the one you have with yourself. What is the measure of that relationship right now? Are you giving this relationship time, nurturing, attention, even money? Or are you putting off taking care of yourself while you care for others, or think that you cannot ‘afford’ to take care of yourself?

Human beings are relationship experts. We are constantly adjusting relationships, in one direction or another. Relationships with significant others, with parents and with children, with co-workers, clients, neighbors, hairdressers, waitstaff at the local restaurant, checker at the grocery store. Every interaction with another human being is an element of a relationship. If you are having a bad day, do you walk into the hardware store and act like the grumpy guy from down the street? When you have a bad day at work, do you come home and snap at the family?

When you have a great day, do you smile at the barista at Starbucks? Bring flowers home for the dinner table? Call a friend just to say ‘hi’?

You have choices. And every interaction with another human being involves a choice on your part about how you are showing up in that relationship.

Maybe you haven’t thought about how you treat the teller at the bank as a ‘relationship,’ but it is. It deserves care and tending. Your family members, too, deserve to have a relationship with you that comes from caring and love and it is your choice whether or not to offer nurturing in that relationship.

The first choice that you are called to make is to be true to your Self. Your relationship to your inner Self determines how you will relate to others. Do you struggle with a lack of self-love? Do you lash out at others instead of taking a breath and seeking guidance from your inner wisdom? Do you judge people without compassion about their circumstances, about which you might know nothing?

Who you are, deep in your core, is a beautiful being of Light. Who you are, inside, is a spark of divine energy. Who you are, in the essence of you, is a person of access to great wisdom and love. THIS is the person that you really want to show up in every relationship, isn’t it?

Take some time today to check in with yourself about your relationship with your Self. Tap into your own inner wisdom as you look around at the relationships in which you participate every day.

The word ‘namaste’ means ‘the Light in me honors the Light in you.’ Let your Light shine in every connection that you experience. Come from loving yourself, valuing that Light within, and sharing that Light with the outer world.

Conscious Relationships are the most rewarding. Start with a Conscious Relationship with your Self!

ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: Still in School?

As I write this we are experiencing a huge snow storm on the East Coast of the US. Schools have been closed, businesses are closed, even the Government Offices are closed. No matter what plans had been made, what meetings were scheduled, what classes/tests/speakers were planned – they are not happening.

Life happens like this all the time. We create a PLAN, our very own statement about how things are to go, and the Universe arranges a different way for us to learn our lessons. For that is really what every incident in our lives is – an opportunity for us to learn a lesson.

We are always facing circumstances over which we have no control. We do, however, have control over how we respond to those circumstances. That is what we do when we accept what is going on around us and seek the lesson.

Of course, you can curse what is happening, or bemoan the lack of what you had wanted and planned, but neither of those choices advances your learning. What if, instead, you were to ask, ‘What is the lesson in this for me?’ and spend your energy seeking the chance to grow?

There is a popular saying that you must ‘Bloom Where You Are Planted.’ I would change that to, ‘Learn in the School in Which You Find Yourself.’

No matter what your circumstances are there is something for you to learn from those circumstances. No matter what you feel you lack, you have everything you need right now, in this moment, to learn the lesson that is there in front of you. Still can’t see the lesson? Then go inside and seek the answer there.

Sometimes the answer is to learn how to wait for guidance. Sometimes the lesson is to learn patience. Sound familiar?

And sometimes the lesson is to let go of fear and take a big step out into your Life Purpose! Maybe now is the time when you can’t hide from your Self and everything else becomes an excuse to avoid growing and moving forward.

It takes more energy to stay stuck than to let go and move forward! And, yet, for many, choosing to stay where you are seems less frightening that moving forward. Just because the familiar seems the comfortable place, doesn’t mean it is the best place for you to realize your highest good.

Look around your life and see what has stayed the same for a long time. Are you staying in your comfort zone because you are waiting for lightning to strike or the time to be perfect or for someone else to change? Or are you staying in a place where the lessons are becoming more difficult for you to learn but you are afraid to move out into an unknown classroom?

Seek out your lessons. Move out of a space where you cannot learn anymore. Leave behind a place, job, relationship, town where you are ready to graduate and learn new lessons. The school that you find yourself in will always present you with an opportunity to learn, but what if the lesson is that it is time to graduate and move on? Are you ready to complete that class?

Long-term relationships last because the people in them support each other in learning their lessons and continuing to grow. This is true of intimate relationships, friendships, jobs, associations. Are you feeling stagnant? Then ask yourself if you can find a new classroom, a new school, where you can learn and grow and expand.

Love yourself enough to learn the lessons! Step out of your comfort zone and learn the graduate level classes. You left kindergarten and grade school and high school behind you when you were ready. Maybe now it’s time to move into the Graduate Academy of Life and keep learning!

There are no ‘snow days’ in this Academy of Life!

What’s Hiding in Plain Sight? – Richard’s Commentary

Rosemary’s messages always contain truth for me. And they often challenge me to go deeper, to examine, to look for the hidden message, often staring directly at me when I “have the eyes to see.”

Tonight as I write this I am spending it in my family farmhouse in Wisconsin. I’m not sleeping in my old room but in the guest room just adjacent to that room I spent hours in and dreamed my boyhood dreams. And with every experience on this visit, I am looking deeply for the lessons.

I am particularly struck tonight by these words from Rosemary: “Sometimes people think they are missing something, or broken and need to be fixed.  Sometimes they feel they are not complete and are looking for someone/something to complete them.” I’ve often felt that I left part of me in Wisconsin when I moved away more than 40 years ago. I first left “home” right after graduating from the University of Wisconsin; I traveled to Ethiopia as a Peace Corps volunteer and stayed away for two years. I returned “home” for a couple of years but then left for good in 1972.

Of course there were many visits back “home” while my parents were alive. I now have two brothers who still live here on the family farm; I’m staying with my middle brother on this visit. And here’s what I have found: this is not my “home” and I can find no piece, not even the smallest piece of me here anymore. Does this mean I’ve grown up? Well, many would say I’ll never grow up; but perhaps I’ve finally, after all these years, found my true home. It was hiding all this time in plain sight!

This does not mean I no longer have a part of a Wisconsin farm in my heart. It does not mean the memories of growing up wild and free and at home on this then sprawling dairy farm are gone and forgotten. What it does mean is my home is inside me. It’s not a place, nor a time, not even relationships. It’s a beingness that was, is and always will be there as an integral part of who I am. It’s a home I can experience anywhere and any time. It’s always with me, right there in front of my eyes.

And this confirms another piece of Rosemary’s article. She wrote: “You are complete RIGHT NOW!!!  You don’t need to be fixed or completed.  Everything you NEED is inside you now.” My home is inside me right now; all of it. I don’t have a piece in Wisconsin, a piece in Colorado and a piece in Maryland. It’s right here.

This gets at wholeness. Home is only one part of that wholeness. Relationships are another part and that begins with the relationship we have with ourselves. Can we find the home inside if we never visit there? If we avoid an inner examination of who we really are, can we find any form of completeness? If we don’t have a good relationship with ourselves we may never find home!

It’s taken me 68 years to come “home” and discover I’ve been home for all of those 68 years! Do you know where your home is? Can you come home again?

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ROSEMARY’S EXPLORATION: How Are You Hiding?

There is a Light inside of you that is the Light of the Universe. Are you shining that Light outward or are you keeping it hidden?

Most of us live our lives keeping the lantern of our Inner Light on the dim setting, afraid to shine too brightly because we worry about how others will react if we do. We play it safe. We don’t want to make waves. Or, if we do make waves, we tend to be cautious about how big they are.

The time has come for each of us to claim our power and to reach out into the world to share our Light. There is nothing to be gained from playing small, from staying dim. We have fooled ourselves into believing that we keep the peace around us by hiding, by staying quiet, by simply existing.

Have you asked yourself recently if you are hiding a part of you from the rest of us?

Even if you are feeling as if you are showing up in a big way, I invite you to turn up the Light and shine EVEN MORE BRIGHTLY.

I see clients who want to express their creativity but feel they have to focus on their job or their business. It’s not ‘either-or’ – it can be ‘and’! Other clients have given away so much power to others in their life that they don’t believe they are strong enough to step out in a big way. You are strong!

This isn’t just about doing your work in the world in a big way. It’s about living life LARGE!

Are you showing yourself to your family as a whole person or are you hiding a part of yourself? Are you helping your kids to grow by being human, with the full spectrum of human emotions, strengths and weaknesses?

I sometimes wonder about the wisdom of letting our kids think that everything has to be perfect, that we are perfect. Now, I’m not into baring every little flaw but it might just be our power that we’re hiding along with our flaws. I posted a picture on facebook recently that addressed perfection and imperfection. “I saw that you were perfect and I loved you. I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you more.” I don’t know who came up with those words but they speak volumes.

It is our so-called imperfections that make us human. We tend to want to hide our flaws and yet those who can love unconditionally will love us more if we are human, like them, because we give them permission to be human, too. This is called ‘emotional authenticity’ and, if you would live a conscious life, this is what you are striving to achieve.

It is also our strengths, our power, our Light that sometimes frighten us because they carry responsibility with them. And our greatest fear is often that others will abandon us, will not love us, will feel intimidated by us because we appear to be stronger or more powerful than they are. No one wants to be abandoned but when strength and power come from the Divine Light that is at our core, then we are not intimidating anyone else unless they choose to shrink from our Light rather than to shine their own Light more brightly.

This is the point. Every time we increase the amount of Light that we shine into the world, we invite others to increase the Light that they shine from their own Inner Light. We are only responsible for shining our own Light. We cannot accept responsibility for what others choose to do.

We do, however, dispel more darkness when we shine more Light. Are you willing to come out of hiding to do this?

PS: There are beings you can’t hide from: your angels, guides, spirit guides and loved ones who have crossed over! Oh, you can ignore them; pretend they are only part of your imagination. But they won’t go away because they are here to help you! On June 14, at 7:00 pm, either online (internet or phone) or in person in Annapolis, you can join me for a Conversation with The Other Side to hear what those beings have to offer you. You can’t hide; you may as well listen! Get more information here.