Posts tagged ‘life’

How Grateful Are You?

I have seen the above video a couple of times, and could watch it much more.  I think this was the inspiration for one of my Einstein shower thoughts about being grateful for every bit of my existence.

What if I remembered that I wasn’t taking any material things with me after this lifetime?  (Even my physical body!)  What if I woke up in the morning, grateful for the opening of my eyes?  Grateful to have this physical body?  Grateful for breath, for heart beats, for working body parts?  What if I were grateful for the carpet, floor, and house when I swung my feet over the side of the bed?  We could go on and on, right?

But, do you see?  I’m beginning to see that there is gratitude, and there is GRATITUDE.  Something I’d like to strive for, for sure.  I hope you enjoy the video. 🙂

Much love, many blessings. ❤

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Story Saturday/Sunday: What Lies Within Part II

The continuation of What Lies Within by Teri Karl, Illustrated by Christopher Walker

Evelyn was surprised to see a faint glow coming from below. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she was even more astounded that a set of steep steps were now visible, swirling downward into the abyss.   She closed her eyes for a moment, took a few deep, and slowly began the descent. It appeared the journey had just begun.

Though Evelyn was fairly athletic, with good balance, she wasn’t thrilled to be walking down a damp stone stairway with limited vision. Soon she began to lose track of the number of steps she had taken and began to grow impatient with the time it was taking. She paused as a momentary bout of panic swept her body.  She took in the darkness and felt the humidity hanging heavily on her skin. “Am I claustrophobic?” she suddenly wondered as her eyes blurred and the cave seemed to contract, tightening around her like a large earthen black casket. She quickly closed her eyes again and took some deep breaths. “No, you’ve never been claustrophobic,” she reminded herself.   She squinted at the light ahead of her; it didn’t seem any closer than when she’d started. “Nevermind,” she told herself, “We’re finishing what we started today.” Re-centered, she continued on.

She focused on her breathing. The steady flow in and out comforted her, and she began to hum to herself. She chuckled at the songs that popped into her head, old melodies her mother used to sing to her when she was a baby, a jingle from one of her first baby toys, the tune from her first jewelry box. Some songs were sweet and old.  She had no idea where they’d come from.  Soon she was lost in a musical reverie, but this was disrupted by the sound of a whisper near her ear.

Where are you going?

She froze. Though it was dark, she could clearly see enough to know there was nothing but steps behind and in front of her. Had she misheard? She continue onward, but the voice returned:

Where are you going?

“This is crazy,” she thought, “Should I answer back to nobody? Or am I speaking with the cave?”

“Leave me alone!” she shouted. And she found the will to move a little faster.

Though she continued to hear the whisper, she didn’t falter, now more determined than ever to reach the bottom. She could feel the quiet fury of whoever or whatever was speaking to her as she quickly moved down the stairs. She felt the rush of wind, as though someone was shoving past her; she thought she caught a flare of green and purple.

And then, just like that, the stairs ended.

Her feet met flat ground, but the momentum propelled her forward, sending her flailing into a door.

A door? In a cave?

Light was streaming out from the cracks of the door frame. Evelyn reached for the doorknob and then hesitated. She turned back to face where she’d come from, gazing up toward the many, many flights of stairs. “I’ll never make it back,” she thought. Shaking her head, she resolutely turned back to face the door. “I can’t think about that now.”

She swung the door open and entered the room. She gasped in surprise at the faces staring back at her.

She was in a room of hanging mirrors. There were thousands of them, facing many different directions. But instead of seeing her own reflection gazing back at her, Evelyn saw thousands upon thousands of other faces. Evelyn began moving through the room, pushing through the mirrors and looking for an exit on the other side. She was disturbed to notice that the faces mimicked her every expression and movement. She abruptly stopped her forward motion and spun in a circle, studying the faces around her. There were faces of every sex, age, race, and nationality. Some were familiar, but most were unknown. She recognized her parents, cousins, friends and coworkers. Some faces were kind, others full of joy and laughter. Some were serious, and others . . . cruel. Many were completely foreign, but there were those who felt incredibly familiar, like she’d really loved them once. And others felt like they were her.

That was all she could take. She started again, running blindly through the maze of mirrors, aiming for the nearest wall and hoping to find another door. Finally, she reached one of the walls — and a door! This door was a gleaming white that radiated with a blinding intensity. She could tell there was an immense and powerful source behind it. She eagerly tried the doorknob, but it was locked. There was a keyhole, but she had no key. She jiggled the door handle in frustration, and as she did so, her skin began to prickle. Someone was watching her, one of the faces in the mirrors.

She steeled herself and ever-so-slowly turned around, then screamed in terror at the face staring back at her. It was her face.  But the face was a corrupted, monstrous version of her own.

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Part III continued next week.

Much love, many blessings! ❤

Summary Saturday/Sunday: It’s the Weekend! — End of an Era, Cleanliness, What Do I Eat?, Where Do I Go from Here?, Control Freak?, and Why I Received This

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the Weekend! — End of an Era

I’ve sometimes wondered if anyone gets annoyed when radio stations announcers get excited about the “weekend”?  It makes me wonder who the listeners are for that station.  What about the waiter/waitresses, retail workers, computer programers, bank tellers, car dealers, customer service representatives, etc who don’t have a “weekend”?  As a weekend worker myself, I was at least amused.  And next week marks the reclamation of my first “weekend” day back.  I used to have 3 consistent tutoring students on Sundays.  One ended for the summer, one switched to Monday nights, and my writing/clarinet student of 2 years had his last lesson with me today.  (The student’s parents seemed sadder to see me go, but I know he’s feeling it somewhere inside, too!)  I am ecstatic to have the time back.  If you ever start feeling bored, just fill up your schedule ridiculously much and then slowly start taking things away —  like the farmer who complains he can’t sleep, then proceeds to add animal-after-animal to his house upon the advice of a wise man, and finally can sleep after he takes all of the animals away again.  The power of perspective and attitude is amazing.

Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cleanliness

I am coming to realize my guests will likely never see a perfectly clean house again.  The carpet is worn, I haven’t dusted, I couldn’t catch all of the cat fur, I could have scrubbed harder, and I may have missed some spots around  and in the furniture.  But every little bit helps, and most of the rooms are pretty clutter-free, the countertops are clean, the dishes are done, the area is vaccumed, and I gave the kitchen sink and floor a good scrub.  Even though it isn’t perfect, it feels that much more pleasant to be home.

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Do I Eat?

Today I had to laugh at myself because I realized I’m still a child in some ways.  (Actually, many ways, but let’s focus on one thing at a time. . .)  People — like my parents — have said that the cure to a picky eater is simple: They choose to eat what you give them, or eventually they’ll get hungry and will eat what’s available.  Today I felt into one of those “There’s nothing to eat!” episodes, staring despondently at the emptying freezer and fridge.  Translation: There’s nothing snack-y or ready made for me to eat.  Thankfully reasoning kicked in, and I took a deeper look at what was available.  I finished the leftover soup Then, I pulled out the leftover broccoli stems (I’d used the heads for salad), cut off the questionable parts, and chopped the rest into chips that I doused in olive oil and set to bake in the oven.  Then I rescued some strawberries, cutting of the squishy and moldy parts and getting that satisfying snack I was craving.  Satisfied my hunger and cleaned out more of the fridge.  Bonus!  . . .  And just now Brian came home with some leftover strawberry cheesecake ice cream cake — Holy cow, it must be Christmas! 🙂

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where Do I Go From Here?

Sometimes it’s good to take that look back on your life and try to find the thread that ties all of the pieces together, so you can see your growth and not beat yourself up over your “failure”s.  Fore example, I like to beat myself up over studying education.  I often ruminate over that talk with my college counselor, when she called me into her office, and I confided that I had little idea of what I wanted to do with my life “but I’d thought about maybe teaching.”  I later berated myself for my indecision, for going along with what I thought I was “supposed to do” and not going for what I wanted to do.  “Look at me now!” I’d say.  “I’m working in a warehouse!”  “Where did that education  actually get me?”  But as I turn around and take a panoramic view of my situation, I begin to see some things.

First of all, where did that idea for teaching come from?  It was not a strong urge, but the notion came from somewhere.  I’d remembered playing teacher as a child.  I knew I loved to learn.  Maybe classroom teaching didn’t turn out to be the love of my life, but there was something that about teaching that had gotten my attention, and I believe it was my intuition.  I knew I had an urge to learn, and I knew I had an urge to teach.  I was on the right track.

Second, I have been blessed because of teaching.  If it weren’t for teaching, I likely wouldn’t have the house I have now.  Thus, I’m not sure if I would have met Brian.  I wouldn’t have met my wonderful colleagues, who I try to keep in touch with.  I wouldn’t have had the beautiful memories I’ve had of past students and fun experiences.

Third, I’ve learned some useful skill from teaching.  I’ve improved my communication skills, I’ve felt more comfortable giving lectures and presenting material.   I’ve learned how to problem-solve.  I’ve come to recognize and appreciate my patience, and I kept up my Spanish.

Finally — I am still teaching. When I quit teaching I stopped calling myself a “teacher.”  I my eyes, I was done.  But I’m really still teaching all of the time.  I’ve changed paths, but it’s the same road.  I tutor, I teach metaphysics classes, I’m considering starting preschool enrichment classes, and I teach whoever wishes to hear — whether it be through this blog, through social interactions, through Facebook, or through my example.  I am a teacher.  I was meant to be a teacher, and I knew it, though I didn’t know it.  The soul knows what it wants.

And, so, I’ve decided I need to shut up for a while.  Because I know.  Even as I cry out for clarification, afraid that I will be lost forever, my soul knows.  It’s just waiting me to be quiet for a moment and stay still enough to listen.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Control Freak?

I’ve been thinking a lot more about my most recent intuitive report, the Past Life Crossing.  I just shared it at a SIR (Society for Intuitive Research) meeting that focused on past life crossings.  I haven’t delved into this report as much as I have for my other intuitive reports — my Past Life and Health Analysis.  This particular report — the crossing — hadn’t resonated with me as much, and as it was a report I shared with Brian — who wasn’t sure how much he was into it, I didn’t put my full attention into it. However, I’ve begun noticing a few things.

First, that in that past life I’d been a caretaker of children.  I didn’t think that was a big deal, except that I’ve likely had many, many lifetimes doing many different things, and in this one I happened to be working with children.  Was that a message for me, a person considering working as a nanny or trying out preschool?

Also, the report drew my attention to my desire to “throw down anchors.”  I am frequently attempting to stabilize by trying to control my environment.  My report advised that this wasn’t useful, especially as it related to other people.  I can find centeredness — “control” — by aligning within myself.  Be still and find peace within, and the without will match.

I’ve been noticing more lately the judgements that surface in my thoughts and the frustrations I experience when people don’t act or respond in a certain way.  From an objective standpoint I can see how ridiculous this is — I cannot control other people!  I will find happiness by aligning with my own goals and purposes.  Beyond that I must keep the conduit of my heart open at all times, sharing love with all, attracting those who want to receive what I have to offer, and sharing of what I have to give.

I’m interested to see how I work through this lesson in the couple of weeks. . .

Image courtesy of nuchylee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuchylee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why I Received This

I had an epiphany Friday morning when I was outside doing my exercises.  I was thinking about karma and situations the universe sends to me/I’ve sent to myself.  I was thinking about how one of the doctors of the school told my teacher that if someone was self-critical it meant that they needed that criticism.  I didn’t understand.  I thought I did.  I feared karma, and I struggled with the brutality of my inner thoughts.  Then Friday morning something clicked.  It’s all about love.  Why are we here?  We are here with a soul purpose.  And in each lifetime we seek to advance to be that much closer to enlightenment than we were before.  We are hear to learn and to grow.  Experiencing the same repeating, awkward, and uncomfortable situation is not punishment.  Recognizing areas of weakness is not meant to be for belittlement and derision.  It all comes from love.  Because someone who really loves someone hopes for — desires — the best for that entity.  And the best a person can do is continually change, continually grow.  To live and learn and benefit from every life experience.

So, that same lesson is not coming back again because my soul yearns for it, and the universe is on board.  I am recognizing areas for change because my soul sees an ideal and what’s me to be aware of what I need to be to reach it.  So, I will receive each loving gift.  Even if I do not at first appreciate its value, I will not return it.

“Slow Down!”

Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

Image courtesy of zirconicusso / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

Presently all of my life experiences are  telling me to slow down/ de-busy-ify/stop and smell the roses, etc.  But as long as I can remember I’ve kept myself busy, moving.  It’s a tough life lesson to learn, and I’ve been resisting it.

For example,  it was a “slow” day at work today — The perfect opportunity to practice slowing down, right? — and I couldn’t handle it.  Instead of letting off the accelerator and coasting through my activities, I kept myself busy.  I picked up a broom and swept.  Multiple times.  I wiped counters; I grabbed carts that could wait; I rushed crammed in as many carts as I could at the end of the day.  Why so frenetic, Teri?  What’s the rush?

Yesterday I was late for almost every appointment I had.  I was incredibly stressed about the first one, and yet I proceeded to be late for each proceeding event.  Strangely, I felt I had no control over it.  It was like I was on auto-pilot, disconnected from myself and watching in amazement and horror as I re-lived the same mistake again and again.   What was going on?  I figure I was squeezing too much in.  And it was compounding to the point that I had lost control.

Now I’ve finally noticed that I’m so accustomed to rushing around, that I’ve unconsciously been visualizing rushing around. Before I go to sleep, as I’m planning out my morning, I actually see myself rushing around the house, flying from room to room and sweeping my lunch bag, book, water bottle, and study materials into the whirlwind that is me, as I put Bowser away in his crate and fly out the door.

I cram every minute of every day with something.  I take classes, I add tutoring students, I do homework, I go to events.  While driving I listen to my intuitive reports, practice with the holiday concert recording, and do metaphysics exercises.  I find myself contemplating what to squeeze in while I’m waiting to punch in to work, waiting for my next tutoring appointment, or waiting for my food to be ready.

What would it be like to be bored?  I sometimes wonder if that’s what I am afraid of.  Or maybe it’s something deeper?  A memory pops into my mind: I’m a kid, and I hear a friend talking about how bored she was the past weekend, and I remember thinking “Oh, not me.  Never me. I’m never bored.”  So is that it?  Am I afraid of being some kind of bored loser? Does being busy make me feel important?  Or is it more  of a metaphysical issue, that I am afraid of  quiet . . . of simplicity . . .  of nothingness. . . (of everything-ness?)   What would happen if I were just . . .  still?  What would it be like to have nothing to do, nothing on the agenda, nothing in the works?  What would it be like to let it be and not fill in the blanks with work/projects/visits/chores/homework/Facebook/e-mail, etc?

How about you, out there?  Are you a void-filler, too?

Here’s my plan for this week:

  • First, notice the needs to squeeze.  When I have those extra minutes, am I using it as a nice traffic buffer for my commute?  Or do I feel the need to squeeze in one more metaphysics exercise or check my mail?
  • Second, take those 15 minutes to just be.  Instead of pulling out my phone to make a phonecall while sitting at that red light, how about I just sit there at that red light?  Instead of trying to read my lesson while standing at the time clock, what if I just stand there at the time clock?  I can relax.  Breathe.  Notice my surroundings.  Feel what it’s like to be inside my body, and feel what it’s like to still my mind.
  • Third, take a good look at those big events and commitments.  (Proper perspective!)  No more tight back-to-back scheduling.  Or, in positive form: leave lots and lots of space! Allow myself to just relax,  linger.  Maybe I chit-chat a little with one my tutoring parents or a random stranger.  Maybe I sit outside for a bit, if it’s warm  Maybe I read or journal a bit. . . or maybe not. Maybe I just sit.  There’s no rush.  There is time.   I have an abundance of time.  (Affirmation alert!)

This lesson is a big one. (I think I’ve been working on this one since fourth grade!)  What have you been learning this week?

There Are No Mistakes

"Yellow Empty Room" courtesy of sumetho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Yellow Empty Room” courtesy of sumetho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“It is our hope that you will see the value in what you have thought and done.”

This is a quote from my second lesson in the School of Metaphysics.*  To me it means to look back at my past.  It means to see everything in the light of learning.  We shine light on what we have accomplished — even those areas that make us squirm, that we would rather leave in the dark. 

I know there are no mistakes.  Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been different if I’d made different choices.  I’ve preferred to float around on the breeze, letting the universe take responsibility for my life, so that I would not have to face the consequences.  Well, now I see that this is something I must unlearn.  It is time for me to consciously make choices, big and small, day-by-day.  It is time for me to accept responsibility for my actions, revel in my fulfilled promises, evaluate my accomplishments.

Besides the regular exercises that I am completing for class, I have added voicing my choices aloud during the day.  (“I am going to do a load of laundry.”  “I am going to apply for this job.”)  And then I recognize my accomplishments. 

I look at where I am now, and I look at my choices.  I see the people (and animals!) I have put in my life.  I see what I chose to study.  I see what jobs I chose.   I see what value I have given myself.   I see what life I have chosen.   And I begin to see where I go from here.

 

*Lessons may last more than one day.  I have had 4 weeks of class, but I’m on the 2nd lesson.

Heartbreak

"Crying Eye" courtesy of kjnnt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Crying Eye” courtesy of kjnnt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My heart aches

For those I’ve left behind.

They’ve forgotten me already.

Some say they miss me.

That we should see each other soon.

But they’ve moved on already.

And something has broken inside.

I see your face sometimes.

When the passing stranger turns.

I want to tell you that I love you

And miss you.

But I know that we’re in different places now.

You’ve moved on.

I’ve moved on.

But I still love you.

I miss you.

Days 6 & 7 on the Road to Happiness

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“Rock Style Woman with Headphone” courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

1. Health – I’ve been back and forth on this one.  Losing some sleep because of karaoke; karaoke’s liquid diet is not so great for me either.  Besides karaoke and Easter candy, I’ve been faring fairly well.  I had a bit of ice cream for the first time at my friend’s house today, so I feel like I’ve officially fallen off the limited sugar horse for this week.  Exercise has been on and off.  I missed it today but got some Zumba in yesterday.

2. Creative Time/ Me Time — I think Game of Thrones would count for this.  Though today I was grading as I watched, the creativity of the show is still inspiring, even as I work.  Yesterday I was sucked into the living room couch void and didn’t feel like I got much work done nor explored my creativity.  I CANNOT do anything beyond TV watching in that room.  Nothing happens there.

3. People — I love the new karaoke crowd.  They are probably not people I would normally hang out with on a regular basis, but they seem down-to-earth, friendly, and fun.  I got to sing “It’s Your Love” — a Faith and Tim duet — with someone I barely knew from karaoke, and it was awesome.  (I also sang “Somewhere Out There” again with one of my regular karaoke buddies and some other songs solo.)

I visited one of my teacher friends again who just had twins.  Her daughters are seriously ridiculously adorable.  And they are still at the age where they like to be held, so that’s wonderful.  My friend and I are at pretty similar places in our lives (minus the twins), so I feel like we can relate to each other.  Spending part of the day with her today reminded me of how important it is to get out of the house.

4. Being in the Moment – I’ve felt a little less in the moment and in touch with myself the last two days.  But I have been in the moment enough to enjoy the simplicity of a baby’s life, to take note of my ranging emotions, and to observe my “stuckness” yesterday (when I couldn’t get myself to work nor play and sat paralyzed on the couch).  Maybe I can’t meditate for long periods of time, but I can feel the benefits of even centering myself for a moment.  Immediately I sigh, taking in a deep breath, which in itself is a blessing.

5. Life Purpose —I talked with Cindy, my coach, yesterday.  I had it set in my head that I was going to do retail.  I was going to start retail and find my way.  She asked me how I felt about it, and I was noticing a blob of depression sinking down my chest.  I told her I felt a bit depressed, and she asked me to go into it more, and I got choked up and could barely speak.  I told her that it felt like I was lost and I knew it would be a pay cut, and that things could be a struggle for us for a while.

I think my fear and Cindy’s concern is that I’ll get in a rut again, as I have with previous positions.  Retail is fine – and I remember that I’ve enjoyed working the cash register and interacting with customers in the past – and I may work it for a while, but it’s not my final destination.  And I need to keep working toward that final destination or I know my soul will cry out again.

So, Cindy brought up music therapy.  I’d considered it before.  I’d first become aware of the profession when I’d read the book Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.  I wasn’t sure I could do what the protagonist was doing, but I was definitely intrigued.  I looked into the profession on-and-off, but wasn’t interested in learning music theory.  I’d never wanted to major or minor in music because of music theory, so I didn’t think I’d be interested now.

But I think I’m going to give it a shot.  I love music.  I love performing it; I love listening to it.  It moves me in a way that nothing else does.  I’m also very interested in healing, in helping people.  Music therapy seems a natural marriage of the two.  And since therapy has been an interest of mine for some time, this may be just the entrance I need into it.  I have a musical background, so I won’t feel like I’m diving into completely new territory.

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