Daily Bliss – August 8


The Angels remind us that while our oath isn’t always clear, it doesn’t me we’re not still on it.  Embrace the fog, the uncertainty about next steps.  With a heart open to opportunity, all will appear as it is ready.

For more information and info for Awakening Angels, visit www.aspiritledlife.org.

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The Time When Light Won

Staircase praise

If at first
You don’t reach the light
Try, try again,
For the light is not found fleeting,
Yet we are,
Our thoughts lost
In insincere and meandering ways,
Victims of the chaos that surrounds
With no preference to whom it takes asunder
In the throes of life

And so, we must not give up hope
Or lose ourselves to fear,
No matter how justified,
For these are the days of fortitude
And progress through transgression,
These are the days when we will recall
To our children’s children
The time when Light won

©SpiritLed 2017

The Power of a Blank Page

blank paper pages on rustic wood

I always have the urge to write.  It’s almost the same as breathing for me.  I don’t always have the follow through to do it, however, even when I feel the desire burning.

Aren’t we all like this in many ways?

We all have these passions that drive us at a deep level, and yet we so often don’t follow through on the call.  We feel the desire toward something new and different – maybe it’s still unspecified and unintelligible but it still burns deep inside with an urgency that reminds us that there is indeed something tangible behind the longing.

Yet we and sit and stare at the blank page.

Not all of us are writers, of course.  Life-breath comes in all forms of unique and varied activities, most often of a creative nature.   And by creative, I mean activities that are soul-fulfilling and result in something new (physically or energetically) where nothing previously existed.

For example, a painting or a poem that just has to come out.  Or perhaps a newly sculpted body from healthy and active choices.  Possibly a newfound joy brought forth by helping to make someone else’s day a little brighter.   Maybe even the simple act of choosing to be happy in the face of great challenges.  The opportunities for creating something new are endless, and not relegated to conventional “art.”

But we tell ourselves, “I’m not creative.”  Or, “I don’t have the stamina.”  Or, “I’ll text her later.”  Or, “I’m not worthy of being happy.” And we put ourselves off another day, another week, another year.

Truth is, I’ve never liked starting anything from scratch.  I need a recipe, a guide, an established starting point.  I don’t like to reinvent the wheel.

However, our creative nature isn’t very forgiving of us when we don’t flex our “ambiguity” muscles; that is, our ability to work and be at least moderately successful in a place of ambiguity and uncertainty.  Yes, we can chug along through life starting only with the help of someone else’s previously-forged cues.  But our creative spark suffers in this mindset, one driven mostly by fear and a sense of unworthiness.

“I’m not good enough.”  “What if I fail?”  “What if someone doesn’t like what I produce?”  These thoughts keep us avoiding that blank page.

However, this inability to start from a blank slate, to restart after a habit has been broken, to reach out to someone who might not understand our true intentions, or to step out in service for fear of failure or rejection doesn’t only hurt us.  What we’re not doing now hurts those who would be helped by us.  Uplifted by us.  Inspired by us.  Healed by us.

As I sat here this week, feeling the urge to write and also feeling the familiar panic upon staring at my blank page, I ran through a list of possible topics in my head, mentally discarding each one.  I sidetracked myself with other legitimate work tasks.  I decided writing could wait a day, or a week.  I ate lunch.

And then, I remembered my book writing path.  I truly had no plan for writing a book.  I avoided it for nearly two years until I finally decided I’d just start each day with a blank page and write what comes to mind – no matter how unintelligible, ridiculous, silly, or embarrassing it might be.  And so The Angel Inside was birthed.

And I remembered the many times I’ve started writing a poem and I penned the first words that came to me until I got into a flow.  And later when I went to edit, I realized the first line or two didn’t make any sense, so I simply cut it out.  And the rest was a nice poem.  Or at least decent.

And that’s all we’re really being asked for anyway.  Nice.  Decent.  Our best efforts consistently applied.

Today, I opened an empty document for the second or third time with no thoughts at the ready.  And within a few deep breaths, I heard “blank page.”  And I remembered that for me, the action of writing is the catalyst that opens the floodgate of more words.

In other words, taking even small action action in a forward direction – simply doing SOMETHING – is often the catalyst for the more in-depth work that follows.

And so I started typing.  One word led to the next and to the next.  Eventually, through a hazy, forward and back approach, and with lots of editing, the words on the page started to take shape on their own, without much conscious thought to structure, form, or outline, a process not unlike the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

In my early adulthood, I never saw the value of a blank page.  I was so fearful of not knowing where I was going that I rarely allowed myself to know or grow in any way that didn’t follow a prescriptive path or that seemed absolutely prudent.

But no more. I’m still fearful of course. I don’t know an honest person who isn’t. However, now that I’ve experienced the mysteries and miracles that a hazy, faith-filled path can bring, I can’t go back.  I won’t go back.

And my wish for you is that you will take out that blank page that’s calling you, breathe into your heart, and create what needs to come from within.

Because that is the power of a blank page.

XOXO
Ashley

P.S. If you can relate to this, let me know!  Leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.  And please share with your friends!

Big Dreams

Earth and Sun

Big horizon
Big dreams
Little cries of hopelessness
Against far-off scenes

Dreams so real
Yet seemingly too big
Hope for some humanity
Set against the fires of change

Burning out of control
In the forest of our hearts
Taking whatever is in its path
Cleansing all we think we know

Heat can take down big dreams
If hope does not prevail
Kept safe in the cool waters of faith and love
And the vision of a distant horizon always there

©SpiritLed 2016

6 Practices to Mind Your Holiday Mindset

Christmas is not a Date is a State of Mind

It’s almost time!  We’re in the last week before Christmas, with the last mad rush of shopping and baking and parties upon us.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it’s hard to escape the hectic nature of the season.  Besides the hustle and bustle of holiday activity, world events keep many of us feeling stressed, bewildered, and hopeless.  It’s safe to say the energy this year is different than in years past.

How do we cope?  Especially in the face of events over which we have no control? 

This has been a personal struggle of mine for years.  The holidays have often been less fun as they could be for me because of the stress they bring with them.  I usually want to simply curl up under the covers and hide all month.  However, my struggles a few years ago with adrenal fatigue and the debilitating symptoms that accompanied it forced me to seek more balance in all areas of my life:  diet, physical activity, sleep, time management, and especially mindset. It’s a daily challenge to find balance in all these areas (and admittedly, I still struggle), but I NEVER want to feel that bad again.

As I said, I’m not perfect, but over the years I’ve cultivated some practices that have helped me keep my energy more balanced and my stress low.  I share these tips below in hopes they’ll help you too, not only to get through the holidays, but to actually ENJOY them.

  • Choose not to stress.  Yes, this is easier said than done.  However, when you recognize that stress is based primarily on your perception, rather than the situation or the other person’s behavior, it helps you feel a whole lot less controlled by outside influences.  Breathe deep and find the peace that exists inside (I promise it’s in there).
  • Banish guilt. ‘Tis the season of overindulgence. Don’t beat yourself up over the past or things that can’t be changed.  We make mistake and poor judgements on a daily basis.  Life is too short to carry around that much guilt.  Do the best you can and do better tomorrow.  That’s all you can ever ask of yourself (or anyone else).
  • Learn to say no. It really is ok if you don’t go to every party or get a gift for every person you know.  We all have limits and boundaries and we need to honor those.  Saying no can be empowering.
  • Practice trust and forgiveness.When you allow yourself to let go of some of those feelings of anger, sadness, and disappointment that pile onto your heart from the daily injustices we all encounter, it can be incredibly powerful.  It doesn’t require letting anyone off the hook for doing something terrible.  Rather, choosing not to carry a few heavy things offers a way to lighten your energetic load and allows you to feel brighter & more joyful.
  • Reframe.  When you choose to see the positives aspects of all situations, you’ll soon you’ll start seeing the world differently without trying!   Can’t see the positive?  Create one!  Use your imagination to create a positive perception, even if it’s only in your own mind.  For example:  “I didn’t get invited to the party.  I’m mad and disappointed.”  Consider instead, “I didn’t get invited to the party.  I’m sure they just wanted a small guest list.  They’re my friends and I know they care about me. ”  Work with this process until it becomes natural.
  • Have faith.Tap into your personal beliefs, whatever they are.  Trust that everything is right, in this moment, just as it is.

Do you have any tips or practices that help you through your holidays or other stressful times? Reply to this email or head over to my Facebook group and join the conversation!

Love and light,
Ashley