Have others defined success for you? Do you subscribe to the popular view that bigger and more is better?
How do you define success? Is it a big house and three car garage in the fashionable part of town? Is it a stressful high powered career in which you get to boss others? Is it lots of money in the bank?
Is your definition of success winning at your game of choice? Are their losers in your game?
Is your idea of success feeling happy in the life you’ve chosen? Is it thriving in the place you’ve chosen, doing what makes you heart sing, feeling comfortable in your body? Is it having time to relax and enjoy your family and friends; the simple but soul satisfying moments of a life well lived?
Decide what matters to you, what success is to you. Take the time to quiet your mind and get in touch with your inner spirit, beyond thought. Your heart will know the truth.
You are the master of your life, your time, your energy. You choose how to spend these most precious resources. Spend them wisely! Spend them in support of a life that satisfies your soul!
Worry is like a thick gray cloud around your mind and heart; a self-generated fog machine.
Dear ones, worry wears you down, ages you dims your clarity and light, weakens you.
If you are worried, you are not living in the present. You are living in your head projecting scenarios and events which will most likely never occur, which you most likely have no power over!
In short, you are wasting your time and energy when you worry! You are scaring yourself with self manufactured drama for no good reason.
If you are worried about the future, get the facts you need to solve your problems and face them head on! Take informed action within your locus of control. Make plans based on the facts. Set boundaries within your circle of influence. Live in the here and now.
Inhabit your body, place awareness on your feelings, sensations, your senses, the flow of life through your body, the natural world around you. Come into the here and now where your power lies!
Have you read that caring for others is the highest good? This refrain has been repeated so often with such piety that many believe this to be gospel! To be a saint is to deny the self and care for others, to sacrifice your own desires for others.
I am here to tell you that this idea must be questioned and tested. Your true purpose comes from within and cannot be imposed upon you by others, or by some rules and codes of conduct devised in ancient times.
The highest good in life is to be fully yourself, to line up with your purpose, your light and power. Perhaps your divine purpose is to be a light for others to help guide them… and perhaps your true purpose does not involve caring for others.
Dear ones, you can help others, if you are called to do so, by allowing them to access and know their own power, to discern their purpose, to draw on their own inner resources. You job is not to hold others up with your own strength or to rescue or to save them.
You are to line up with your light first and foremost. In this way, you will find your true and sacred purpose. Do this and you will thrive! Those closest to you will thrive as well!
Sometimes you feel you must go it alone when the drama, the unhappiness of others seems to drag you down and pull you into their vortex of fear and negativity. They drain your energy and leave you like an empty shell. Allowing this, my dears, is not “love” or caring.
Your central task is to maintain your energy, know your power and align with the source of your creation. The energy vampires will not like this!
Bird on thorny locust tree
It is not your job to make them happy, to rescue them from unhappiness, to smooth things over and put on a happy face for them.
You were set firmly down in this time space reality to shine your light fully, to be truly yourself. Anyone that diminishes you is not your friend!
As you gain clarity, focus and empowerment, those of like mind and heart will be drawn to you like a magnet. And your life will thrive!
Your bodies may age, your hair my grow gray, your skin my retain the creases of your habitual facial expressions. You may move slower than before. Your children may be adults already and have their own children. You may wonder how you got to this point in your life!
Make no mistake! The invisible soul, spirit, and energy of your being is forever fresh, young and full of passion and enthusiasm, delighted to be here in a body. Your spirit is indestructible, gaining wisdom, knowing, and expansion from lifetime to lifetime without end.
Dead branch – Grandmother Cottonwood
Can you allow your wise self to be a witness to your body for a few moments, and see without judgment the arc of your physical life- from infant to toddler, small child, adolescent, young adult, parent, middle aged, older grandparent, elder, aged, and even then on your death bed? Can you see and know yourself as a free spirit unencumbered by a body? You are all this and more!
Your body is a vehicle for the spirit, limited in time and space. This is so you may focus on the blessings, the challenges, the desires, the conditions of this life, for the advancement, the education and expansion of your soul.
Do you get pulled like a magnet to the agenda and needs of others or do you set your own course and steer according to your stars?
Cardinal in winter
You may think it is kind and loving to help, to support, to sacrifice your goals and dreams, your unrepeatable moments for the sake of others. But my dear, when you focus so fully on others, you are not living in the magnificent current of power and light that is your birthright, your highest good. Those you sacrifice for will never know their true power or inner strength.
My dear ones, decide what you can do for your family, friends, loved ones without resentment, without giving up your dreams, without becoming a shadow of who you are meant to be.
Yes, there may be times you must focus on helping others when they are in crisis, but those times must not eclipse and overwhelm your commitment to yourself.
Focus on your dearest dreams, goals and inspirations first. Do for others in ways that strengthen you and them. If you feel depleted, you are giving too much.
The source of all being has plans for you that coincide with your deepest desires. Let your divine purpose be the central focus of your life.
You are meant to dance!
You with two legs and a heart are meant to dance, to love the easy movement and flow of your body. You are meant to take action, to reach with your arms and gather in the amazing variety of gifts this planet offers.
Sunlit ornamental grasses
You are meant to allow the energy of life to move you to play, sing, speak with a clear pure voice.
You are meant to gather your children and grandchildren with loving arms so they will feel your heartbeat in sync with the rhythm of the earth, so they will know your love and be calmed.
You with two eyes are meant to open them to the breathtaking beauty of this planet, the prairies, forests, lakes, rivers, mountains, wooded valleys, sea shores… open them also the unrepeatable beauty of your beloved ones, for they are priceless treasures that have been entrusted to you.
You with two ears are meant to come into silence and listen to the sounds of life on earth– the sighing of wind in fields of grass, the ticking of insects, the shimmer of breeze through summer leaves, the hoot of owl, birdsong, the full stream rushing along, the crunching of autumn leaves under your feet, the calling of spirit.
Ripples on a shallow stream
Breathe in the cool autumn air as you lay on the mother earth, silent under a billion stars and know you belong.
Coming into this moment now through your senses, worry, fear and doubt will drop away.
You are meant to take delight in the magnificent life that is spread before you. There is no charge, no commission to pay for pure joy in the sensory joys of your life. They are freely given to all!
Remember at this time when your precious little ones go to school. They need so much more than food for thought, coloring within the lines, math worksheets and memorization drills.
Girl and her fairy house
Within each child is a universe of emotion, feeling, and sensations. If you ignore their emotional literacy you ignore the greater, most powerful educational requirement in life!
I recommend a daily allowance of 5- 10 minutes for a feelings check in: How do you feel today? Where do you it in your body? Can you tune into that feeling and that place inside you and just listen feel and notice and breathe?
There is no right or wrong! No red pen writing comments, no colored star, no check marks, no frowny or smiley faces. Just feeling, knowing and accepting the inner truth.
Help your children learn the most important lesson of life as you learn it along with them. Do it together!
Grandmother Cottonwood’s prescription for all humans, especially children: Tune in to how you feel. Name the feelings. Notice your feelings and emotions in your body. Feel them. Pay attention!
What are you missing?
New oak leaves
Why must you try to get 5 things done in an hour, rushing here and there in your shiny heat reflecting air polluting cars? As you rush do you notice the red cardinal zooming past the budding maple tree? Do you see the delicate blossoms of bleeding heart that will fade and go to seed soon, not to reappear for another 12 months? Do you hear the age old call of the mourning dove? Do you know one is nesting in your eaves?
Do you gaze at the sky, the dramatic mountainous clouds piling up in the west as you buy a ready made meal made not with love and care, but additives and an eye for the cheapest ingredients? Do you put this in your body? Do you taste and savor the real food the earth has provided for you today?
Do you pause to greet each person you meet? Or do you hurry past them as if they were a manikin in a store window while staring at your blinking shiny object? That is obviously more fascinating than your spouse or child or neighbor or your own ideas and thoughts.
You are missing your life! You are AWOL, locked up in some prison, not even realizing that enormity of what you are missing!
Slow down! Pay attention to the life, the people around you, the earth at your feet, the sensory delights of each day! Come back out of your trance and inhabit your body once again. You were given this life. It is not too late to live fully!
Grandmother Cottonwood speaks of newborns.
You know you are in the full presence of the divine when you are honored to hold, or look at, be near, or touch a newborn infant. All the universe is contained within this tiny perfect being. All possibilities, all collective wisdom, the web of life is reflected in her.
The newborn radiates trust and peace. She allows you to contemplate the divine light she brings to your family, to all who call this planet home, for she is an expression of the infinite unending love that holds this universe together.
Allow yourself to learn from the little one. Let her teach you to simply be, to bask in the simple joys of life in a body. Let her teach you the sense of wonder as you open your eyes to the magical world of material form before you each morning. Learn to see through her eyes, everything, fresh and new and magical.
Allow yourself to be moved and changed by this new relationship, to connect and feel and know once again where you come from and who you are. A miracle of divine light.