Friday, June 18, 2010

CELEBRATE EVERY STEP

We talked about how lasting change always begins within. About starting from within –setting our intention and using this Intention to guide us as we make decisions and choices about what we are doing. Start with the ‘being’ and then go ahead with the ‘doing’, making sure we are always aligned with our Intention.

Perhaps one of intention words regarding your home is simplicity. Then you look at the paper and see garage sales coming and you want to go and buy some stuff. Hopefully you will pause – because you are making a decision – and ask yourself – does this action match up with my Intention? Oh right –simplicity is one of my words, bringing home more stuff is not aligned what we is my true heart’s desire.

You can match your actions to your intention on a regular basis to ensure you are aligned. And you know what – when you feel the struggle or unease, it is probably a pretty good sign that you are out of alignment with your Intention.

As we do make progress and things get ticked off the ‘to do’ list – we sometimes forget a very important step. Celebration! We forget to stop – and say – hey, I did a pretty good job there!” or whew – that was a big step!

We often don’t stop and appreciate what we have accomplished. We tick one thing off the list and add two more – the list never ends – we just go on and on and on. We often don’t celebrate, sometimes we don’t even pause.

This pause and celebrate - has been one of my biggest learnings – and I still forget at times. To stop and reflect for a moment on what I have just done. For instance, the Serenity service – took hours of preparation and thought. Many people found it enriching and meaningful. When I got home – instead of checking my email and looking at the next thing on my list…I sat down with a cup of tea and savoured the time. Just gave myself a moment to soak up the feeling of fulfillment.

It is important no matter how large or small the project – that we take time to do this.

Here is a little fun way that reminds me to celebrate or at least acknowledge that I have completed a step.

I have 2 jars of these pretty stones………….every time I accomplish something – answered all my emails – drop a stone. Finished my report to the Board – drop a stone. Prepare a Sunday lesson – drop – maybe that one is worth 2 stones!
Doing this makes me stop and consciously appreciate what I have just done. So I don’t end up at the end of the day wondering: where did it go? What did I do? I know…. its right here in front of me.

When the jar is full I will treat myself – to something that I find personally rewarding.

There is another aspect of celebration I would like to explore.

As we go through our daily lives we sometimes encounter ‘bumps’. Some experiences – or people….that seem to hinder us from moving forward. Something that trips us up. Something unexpected.

It could be a situation: building a bookshelf, we order special brackets – we go to pick them up, they are the wrong ones. Taking a plane – its late – we miss the connection. Want to cook a special meal – we go to the store – they are out of a key ingredient. These things – large or small happen all the time.

Or it could be a person: we join a group for fun and one person there talks too much – doesn’t talk enough/is always late, we go out to enjoy a walk and we see someone not pick up after their dog. These things also happen all the time.

What is there to celebrate in that?

Everyone in our lives – everything that happens – is always there for our highest good. I know this is sometimes really hard to swallow. I have had many ‘discussions’ with God about this – I just could not believe it was true! How can this be for my highest good when it looks so bad? How could this be good when it feels so awful?

But if we are one, and we sing about that and talk about that and it’s in our prayers – if we are all one – how can someone/thing be against us? It’s impossible. Every person and situation is for us (not against us).

The good news is we have the power to change how we look at any situation or person.

We could say – I’ll never do that again (fly, join a group, build a bookshelf).
Or we could re-arrange our lives so that we don’t have to encounter that person or situation again. When we do that we are missing a huge opportunity for growth.

We are surrounded by our teachers. We don’t have to sign up for a course or attend a seminar. We don’t have to pay big bucks to learn this amazing life-transforming lesson. No book to read, no studying – it is in front of us all the time. And it’s free! When we look for the good around us - we will find it!