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Glimpses of Heaven….. 2004

November 14, 2013

I’m keeping my promise to myself to post once a week and even though what follows was written in 2004 it still applies to my life today.

I may add a postscript….

GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN

2004

Today I am more consciously aware of the world around me and my place in it, not because of anything I have done and because of everything I have done. When I say I’m more aware, not because of anything I’ve done I don’t mean that I passively sat back and let my life happen. Yet today, as I look back over the last 25 of my 71 years on earth, I know that one day at a time, my life unfolded.

Years of food addiction and people pleasing kept me asleep to who I was and all that I could be. During those years I unconsciously went through the motions of life, doing what I thought I should do rather than what I could do. Yes! Life happened to me while I actively participated in it. What I needed to do next was revealed to me and I acted. But I have a sense there was a Divine Plan and a purpose for all that occurred. I realize today that this process I call my awakening has been going on since the day I was born and maybe even before that, and I believe it will continue even after my body is gone. I can’t help but think about what Mohandas K. Ghandi said about his growth. “In my search after Truth, I have discarded many ideas and learned many new things. Old as I am in age, I have no feeling that I have ceased to grow inwardly, or that my growth will stop at the dissolution of the flesh. What I am concerned with is my readiness to obey the call of Truth, my God, from moment to moment.”

So…I cannot remember how the concept of God was first introduced to me. I also cannot remember a time when God, in varying degrees, has not been in my awareness. However, I do remember that as a little girl I was taught that God was everywhere, in everyone, and in everything and that there is no place, situation or circumstance where God is not. It was that basic belief that kept me searching and yearning to know God more deeply. That seed planted in my young mind was the force driving me along my spiritual path.

Over the years I have learned that “awakening” is not a destination. Awakening is a process of unveiling, of walking through one phase after another, one set of circumstances after another, trusting that what I need to know and do will be revealed. The awakening process, though simple in concept, such as “be in the present moment,” is difficult. Awakening requires courage and commitment. It also requires humility, that is, the ability to reach out for help in times of need. Most importantly, awakening takes the courage to be honest with ourselves and the people who are there to help us.  The deeper I go spiritually, the more challenging my life experiences become for me, the greater the opportunity to experience the Grace of God.

These challenges have taken many forms: being a mother of three children, the death of their father at a young age, ( he was 39 years old), a second marriage that included five children and the scary big “C” in my body to name a few. But the greatest growth for me comes from everyday living experiences with my relationships. Working on the relationships with my family of origin, my husband, children, stepchildren, friends and coworkers has provided me and will continue to provide me with many opportunities to look at myself and to change.

And that brings me to the most important relationship I’ve had to work on…the one with myself. I spent at least ten years learning how to become my own best friend. By working the 12 Steps of Overeater’s Anonymous and participating in an Al-Anon program, private counseling, prayer and meditation, I learned to tame the critic within and to love myself unconditionally as I was being transformed. The more I learned about myself, deepening my relationship with God, through working the 11th Step*, the more my relationship with others improved. My experience showed me that in order to live a life that is fully conscious and peace-filled, I had to have a good relationship with myself. Today I live a healthy lifestyle, I eat moderate amounts of healthy food most of the time, and I exercise several times a week. But most importantly I have strong, clear boundaries and am careful not to do for others what they can do for themselves. I ask for help when I need it and I am willing to look within to resolve conflict in a relationship, asking myself, “What is my part in this?” and “What can I do to make a difference?”

In recent years, experiencing the Divine has come from discovering and claiming my creative yearnings. My Soul’s sincere desire to be a public speaker and to write articles such as this has provided me with the opportunity to confront and walk through my greatest fear…the fear of failure. Public speaking is easy for me. Writing those speeches is torture. And now knowing that someone else will read them… well I’ll keep on taking one step at a time, trusting that I will grow and change while learning all I can about writing.

For years I have attempted to practice the presence of God in all that I do. I pray and meditate on a regular basis and feel close to God when I’m writing. My awakening has been a gradual one. As a result of taking responsibility for my thoughts and actions and living as best I can surrendered to the will of God, I have more peace, more joy, more satisfaction and more fulfillment in my life. This awakening was not a euphoric, one-time experience, but has been glimpses of Heaven in the here and now.

*11th Step…..Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

P.S. Yep that me and my story in a nutshell….Glimpses of heaven still show up, Grace filled experiences deepen my faith and next

time I’ll write about trust. I had someone ask me, “Anne, What is the difference between faith and trust?”……..stay tuned.

 
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My 80th Year!!!

November 15, 2012

On November 12th, I celebrated my 79th birthday. So I’m now embarking on the beginning of my 80th year. I don’t know for sure why, but I am excited! But, more than excited I’m truly grateful to be alive, healthy and happy. I’m stronger and more willing to risk and live life to the fullest, more willing than I’ve ever been before. I’ve been graced with a very full and challenging life that has filled me with satisfaction and great joy. My life has had many twists and turns and all kinds of surprises…..never a dull moment and always filled with tremendous faith. Thank you God!!!

12-12-12 I celebrate 22 years cancer free, that’s something to celebrate! And now after almost two years of treatment of various kinds for back misalignment with severe sciatic nerve pain, I am pain free.

It took me a lot of time, a lot more money and and whole lot of faith to finally find the Chiropractor that was able to show me on a X-ray what was going on in my back. The top part of my fifth lumbar was jutting forward toward my internal organs putting pressure on my sciatic nerve and headed for my spinal cord.

Today I can walk two miles with comfort and ease which was not true even a few weeks ago. So I’ve decided to start training to be able to walk the 5K (3.1 Miles) Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning in downtown San Jose. In the words of a dear friend, “This is my skydiving challenge.” Only God knows what I’ll do next. God has surprised me with many challenges over the years all of which has made me the happy, healthy, energetic faith filled, woman I am today. I look forward, by the grace of God to do more….. thank you God.

As most of you know I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the concept of “Love.” One day as I was pondering God’s love for me my heart burst open and in flowed a real sense of God’s love for me in a new and real way. That’s all I can say. It was not a feeling. It just was real…. beyond explanation. I now know without a doubt that God loves me just the way I am, flaws and all. I know that there is nothing that I could do that would separate me from God’s love unless I let it. And I’ve discovered that my work now is about loving myself the same way.

God is my refuge and my strength. God is my cheerleader, always putting supportive and encouraging words in my mind. I refuse to listen to any negative thoughts at all. I remember years ago when I first started working a 12 step program and learning how to take care of myself, I realized that if I talked to my friends the way I talked to myself I would not have very many friends. If what you hear in your head is not encouraging and supportive of who you are, gently guiding you in a different direction it’s not God. God is always firm but gentle, always kind and loving, supportive and encouraging. We must do the same for ourselves and for others.

Negative thoughts enter my mind less frequently but when they attack me, and attack me they do…. I’m prepared with an affirmation or scripture and I pray until they are pushed out of my mind and I am peaceful again. I trust that if there’s something I need to change or alter in my life, God will reveal God’s will for me in the situation that was being used to attack me.

That’s one of the ways that I love myself…..In my next post I’ll talk more about how I love myself and how I do my best, not ever perfect, loving others.

Peace is always for me, the answer to prayer. It’s in that peaceful place that I’m able to know and act according to God’s will. I do my part and leave the rest to God.

Remember to feed your soul and you will change your life!!!

Love & Blessings to you and yours for a glorious Thanksgiving Day……Anne

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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God IS Love!!! Love IS a Choice!!!

September 27 2012

This morning I’m filled with the awareness of God’s love for us. Jesus’ message is all about love. Most of the people of His time did not get it and we know how the clergy of His time felt about it all. They were so threatened by his message of love they made it their job to stop Him. They were very comfortable following the rules. Follow the rules is what they wanted him to do. He calmed the waters when the boat was in a storm but he rocked the boat more often than not on the land. They did not like that at all.

Jesus’ message lives on…..but it’s evident to me that most people today don’t get it either. Just imagine what this world could be like if we all knew we were loved just the way we are and if each of us would live our lives from that place and love one another.

I think the most important message is that God loves us and wants to love others through us. For me that’s where it starts. What makes it so real for me is that I’ve experienced trying to love unconditionally on my own and have failed every time. My love for others without the realization that it is God loving them and not me ends up being unhealthy love.

God is the doer. The part of me that is one with God is the part of me that loves God, that loves others and that loves my enemies. That’s what God is…..God is love. Of myself I am nothing. In God, all things are possible.

For me, God is the doer, God is the initiator, God is the one who seduces me in my unworthiness. It’s all about God’s initiative! Our work is about giving that love back to the world. Our work is about letting God work through us, letting God use us in loving ways to be active witnesses of God’s love to the world.

If we could really grasp that God lives in each one of us and that we are intimately loved by God and that God wants to express through us I wonder what we would accomplish. If we could just let go and let God guide us and show us the way, we would be amazed at what would happen. I am amazed often!!!

Are you willing to let go of all your old ideas? Most people in the bible were afraid to let go. Are you afraid to let go? Well I’m here to hold your hand to encourage and support you. I’m also willing to let God love you through me, until you are ready to surrender. Surrender is what is required to be free to love in a way that will change the world.

Surrender simply means to take your attention off of the world’s discord and put your attention on God. See God all around you, in the trees, the flowers, in the clouds, in the homeless person on the street, in your husband, in your wife, in your children, in your life. God is everywhere and in everyone. Look for God and you will see God everywhere. That’s surrender! AMEN!!!

I can hear you now, “This is too hard! ‘I can’t do what you are asking Anne!’ Well in the 12 step program we are told, “To act as if!” ‘To fake it ‘til make it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Love is the prize.

I can’t prove this to you…..only you can prove it for yourselves.

Remember to Feed Your Soul……Seeing God everywhere is a way to feed your soul…..and for me it’s the only way to live.

Love and Blessings Galore,

Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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More about living life with enthusiasm!!!

January 25, 2012

More about living life with enthusiasm!!!

For me living life with enthusiasm is the only way to live.  Remembering that we are children of God. Created in the image and likeness of God, we are called to live our life from that consciousness. That is……we are to live our lives knowing that without “Life’s Energy,” we can not do anything, we are in God and God is in us. Remember the root words of enthusiasm….en = in + Theos = God…..living in God is the main motivation to live life fully. Being willing to take risks, trusting that even when we make mistakes, we will learn from them and do better next time. Remembering that life is full of surprises and when we are able to accept life on life’s terms we find peace, no matter what is happening.

For years I’ve said….and thought I was quoting the bible, “We are to be in the world but not of the world.” Well I found out this morning that there’s several scriptures in the bible that addresses this thought but not exactly as I’ve stated it above. Instead I found a quote from the Sufi tradition that says it all.

“To be ‘in the world, but not of it,’ free from ambition, greed, intellectual pride, blind obedience to custom, or awe of persons higher in rank; that is the Sufi ideal.”

What the bible says in Romans 12:2 is in alignment with the Sufi thought.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For me this says it all. So how do we renew our minds. The first thought that comes to me is to first….act as if you know who you are. “A child of God!” Then live your life from that place.

Easier said than done. Living this way becomes a practice that we never do perfectly. In fact we fall short many times but…..we keep on going, looking forward to what is next. For me that’s being enthusiastic.

Let yourself be led. Knowing that you are being guided and no matter what, “all is well.”

Matthew 19:26.  “With God, all things are possible”…..yes all things!!!

These are my thoughts for today.

Remember to feed your soul.

Love and Blessings Galore!!!

Anne

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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