What does your heart need right now?

January 8, 2009 at 6:50 pm | Posted in Emotional honesty | 2 Comments
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It’s really easy for us to get stuck in thinking in a linear way. After all, it’s a pretty linear world that most of us live in, right? The kind of world where reasoning traditionally follows a fairly 1-2-3 pattern. For example, “I need to work at a job that pays well enough, so I can save enough money, so I can buy a house, so I can start a family.” Or, “I need to stay in relationship with this particular person because without him/her I can’t survive financially and we’ve got a family to support and, besides, what would people think?”

Do you hear the fear that can often accompany linear thinking? Fear that if you don’t do things in a particular style or sequence, you won’t get what you need . . .

In his book, The Theft of the Spirit: A Journey to Spiritual Healing, Carl Hammerschlag refers to the heroic journey being one where we recognize and confront our fear so we can move past it to discover our truth. I like to believe that this is what the Authentic Life process is all about — moving from fear-based living to a reality based on trust, becoming more honest and free along the way.

Wherever you are today is exactly where you need to be, to learn what you’re called to learn. When you feel you’ve learned what you can — and your heart is ready for a fresh direction — move on.

There are times when a linear approach is appropriate and other times when it can keep you from movement, growth, change. Sense the difference, release the fear. Take a leap of faith and ask yourself, “What does my heart need right now?”

So tell me, what does your heart need right now?

What do you expect from your relationship?

November 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Posted in Emotional honesty | 2 Comments
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I’ve been listening to an audio version of Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, and recently heard a familiar idea posed in a brand new way.

Tolle writes about the impossible expectation that many of us have that when we find the “right” lover, spouse, or friend, we’re going to experience a transcendently joyful relationship. Quite a few of us seem to believe that a relationship is going to make us happier. Tolle points out, however, that relationships are meant to teach us, not necessarily bring us bliss. Certainly, relationships can bring us love and deep fulfillment, but the discomfort or heartbreak we also can feel is designed to help us learn and express who we are and also discover more about the other person.

I agree with this concept – how about you? What have you learned through a recent relational conflict?

Imagine how our families and communities would be transformed if each of us could embrace the opportunity in conflict . . . if we didn’t avoid it or get explosive about it but were committed to exploring it together and better understanding each other’s needs. What incredible light and truth would fill our lives and our world.

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“Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.”

July 14, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Posted in Emotional honesty | 9 Comments
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I’m pretty late in coming to the worldwide party for Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love.” Admittedly, I’d passed right over it many times in the bookstore because, based on the title, I thought it sounded too “fluffy.” I couldn’t have been more out to lunch!

The minute I opened Gilbert’s book to the introductory quote by Sheryl Louise Moller , “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell truth,” I sensed this was going to be a transformational book for me. And it was.

“Eat, Pray, Love” is Gilbert’s memoir of her one-year journey of healing and self-discovery in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Her story is funny, inspiring, poignant, and deeply involving . . . but the element that was most meaningful for me was her refreshingly real, authentic voice. Gilbert is so vulnerable about her humanity and womanhood, so incredibly honest in sharing the questions she asks about life, questions many of us wonder about silently but may be afraid to say out loud. She seems to be fearless about telling her emotional truth.

In case you haven’t yet read this vibrant book, I’ll refrain from going into further detail . . . except to urge you — no, implore you — to run to the closest bookstore or library or friend who has a copy you can borrow, and begin reading it now! It’s THAT good!

If you’re already a fan of “Eat, Pray, Love,” — or even if you’ve read it but didn’t care for it — I’d love to hear your impressions of this story. What did you learn from it? How did it change you?

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The Christmas song that always makes me cry

December 1, 2007 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Emotional honesty | Leave a comment
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Margaret O’Brien and Judy Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis”

As I was driving around doing my Saturday errands today, James Taylor’s mellow tenor came on the radio singing an arrangement of a song I’d never heard him cover before — “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” His version was so simple, and by the time he was half-way into it, I had a big ole lump in my throat.

I can never hear this song without remembering Judy Garland’s poignant rendition of it toward the end of the 1944 musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis.” It also reminds me of friends and loved ones who have persevered through a lot of life and, together, are holding on to hope. “From now on our troubles will be out of sight.”

My tears are a sign to me of what I view as most significant in life, so I try to pay close attention when the waterworks begin. Most often, my tears are inspired by either happy or sad relational situations — children being rescued from abusive environments, people in pain I can do nothing to relieve. As my family knows, I tend to get emotional fairly easily, not usually “out of control” emotional but the quieter variety.

Our capacity to cry is a lovely, expressive gift, a miraculous reliever of tension and joy. It is one of the qualities that makes us human. If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it above our hurting world and cause it to more graciously embrace tears as a symbol of compassion and strength . . . so we could all be freed to move one step closer to living authentically.

Write and let me know what song or life situation makes you cry.

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