Hate change? Look for the beauty anyway

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The change happened so fast I barely had time to notice. One week I was taking refuge in the air conditioning to escape the 99-degree weather. The next, I was walking through snow in the high country.

Weather changes quickly (and frequently) in Colorado, so I shouldn’t have been surprised. But as I hiked in the mountains this past weekend, it hit me: fall had officially arrived. I’m a summer kind of guy, so this realization didn’t exactly thrill me.

Many people love fall, but not me. It signifies the onslaught of shorter days, cooler temperatures and less vacation. Fall and winter usually depress me, so the change in seasons felt heavy and restrictive. On top of it all, I knew there was nothing I could do about it.

Change is constant; we know that. Nothing ever stays the same. Ever. So if change is constant in the universe, why do we resist it?

I pondered this question on my hike, feeling my mood darken like the clouds above me. My thoughts became obsessed with all the things I wanted to get done before the end of summer and the list grew longer with each step.

In a trance, I walked up the hillside above the house, not noticing the constantly changing weather. There were periods of sunshine, rain, and some light snow. I didn’t notice the green grass or yellow wildflowers still in bloom. Change was happening all around me yet I was focused solely on one thing: nature was forcing me into something I didn’t want.

Realizing what I was doing, or more appropriately realizing what I was thinking, I searched for something—anything—that would make me feel better. I surveyed the landscape for something soothing and I found it just a few feet away.

Despite being a summer kinda guy, there is one thing I love about fall: the changing leaves. There are some pretty spectacular places on this earth to watch fall foliage changes but fall in the Colorado high country is an experience that stays with you your entire life.

During a “good” season, the Colorado Rockies gradually transform from a sea of green to a kaleidoscope of rich oranges, browns and yellows. Unlike the flora of the east coast, our colorful change comes from the Aspen tree, one of the most prevalent trees in the high country. While the colors vary in intensity year to year, it’s always fun to see what kind of “natural painting” you can catch with your eyes and camera.

Aspens usually transform from green, to orange to yellow before starting their winter hibernation. On occasion, you’ll find pockets of red and brown leaves and those are my favorite. Amid hunters searching for Elk and Deer, I set out on foot in search of ruby red leaves to photograph.

Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of photographs of red Aspen leaves and I never tire of seeing them. So on this particularly gloomy day when I found myself getting depressed over the changing seasons, I was delighted when one small four-foot Aspen caught my eye.

Standing apart from its white bark were branches filled with small leaves of browns, deep reds and a few hints of green thrown in for good measure. The Aspens are referred to locally as Quaking Aspen because in a gentle breeze, their leaves shimmer and shake in the wind, almost like the tree is quaking in its roots. The red leaves seemed to be waiving at me.

As I stopped to take as many close-up photos as I could, one particular leaf stood out. It was caught somewhere between death and life and was divided equally between green and red. It was in the midst of full-blown change brought about by the changing seasons.

The discovery lifted my spirits. Although the leaves in my neck of the woods (excuse the expression) are just now starting to turn, the discovery piqued my interest and caused me to become hypersensitive to any other exotic leaf I could find. And low-and-behold, I found many more interesting photographic subjects on my way back to the house.

The entire experience felt metaphoric. Amidst all of this change: the changing seasons, changing temperatures, and even the change in clothing required to go for a walk, I found something that lifted my spirits ever so slightly. It lessened my depression over winter’s approach and helped me realize that the best thing to do with change is to look for any beautiful aspect you can find.

The Law of Constant Change is designed to help us evolve and grow. Change drives the universe, providing fresh experiences and insights that point us toward our greatest development. Knowing that doesn’t always help us feel better about change so at times it takes a purposeful shift in perspective to understand and accept what change brings.

It helps to look for the beautiful things in change.

Personally, looking for beautiful leaves helped ease the transition into fall and winter. A friend recently diagnosed with cancer told me she’s focused on recognizing every positive thing said to her—about anything. Another friend found beauty in change after discovering a new love for painting. A coworker recognized the beauty of the sunrise when faced with a shift change. 

When you’re faced with change, make a conscious effort to look for something beautiful in it. The conscious search alone will help shift your attention away from the change itself and reframe the experience into something more soothing. It’s another way to Honor Your Spirit by allowing change and appreciating it at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on the wind

thoughtseedsYour thoughts are powerful little seeds.

Spiritually speaking, they pack quite a punch, for your thoughts are made up of the energy of the universe. That energy creates your body, the Earth and all of your daily interactions.

Each of your thoughts—from the tiniest to the most grand—has the ability to manifest in countless ways. With practice and patience, you can help steer your thoughts in positive, purposeful directions and in those circumstances, you may be pleased with the results.

But other times, you simply let your thoughts leave your awareness without giving them (excuse the expression) a second thought. Where do those thoughts go? Do they disappear into the ether? Do they land somewhere unintended and germinate?

When it comes to all those thoughts in your head, it’s important to remember that you have a powerful team working on your behalf. The universe itself, in coordination with your inner self, helps steer those thoughts to the places they can do the most good. Thoughts want to manifest; they want to express themselves and evolve and grow.

Like seeds, thoughts have the ability to take root in the right soil. The universe then acts like a loving wind, carrying those seeds to just the right place at just the right time for them to take hold.

You may not always be able to watch those thought-seeds sail into the wind and follow them to their destination. So how do you ensure that your crop is bountiful? You start by becoming gently aware of your thoughts. You notice them, inspect them and gauge them against your life. Are your thought-seeds producing things you love or are you planting unwanted weeds?

Once you get a handle on what you are thinking, spend some time deliberately choosing thought-seeds that will grow into things you want. This is a numbers game: see if you can produce more positive thought-seeds than negative. Since you don’t know where the universe will send those seeds, make sure the ones you release into the air are something you can appreciate down the road.

After all, if you’re going to walk among your thoughts, you may as well enjoy a beautiful path along the way.

 

 

Your are the inner circle

You are at the center of it all.

You are at the center of it all.

It may seem egotistical to say, but you can admit it: you really are the center of the universe.

Your life is built upon your thoughts, emotions and expectations. You literally create the world you experience. The physical world, then, serves as a mirror of your inner state, allowing you interact physically with the subjective thoughts in your mind. It’s actually quite a cool process when you think about it because you can adjust your thoughts, change your emotions, or adjust your expectations to create the reality you want to experience.

Some people (myself included) have a hard time wrapping their head around this concept. How is it possible to create the world around me? Doesn’t that make me God? In some ways, yes it does. But you’re not alone. We all create our own individual worlds, which then interact with one another, helping ourselves and everyone else evolve and grow. “God” is within all of us and we are all within God.

If creating the universe seems like a hard concept, try substituting the word, “attraction” instead. You attract things to you: people, events, interactions, rendezvous, and physical objects. Your thoughts create an environment where you draw to you those “things” that match your subjective thoughts. Thoughts of poverty and lack will bring bills and an empty wallet. Thoughts of war and violence will attract protests and fighting.  More importantly, thoughts of peace will bring peace. Thoughts of love will bring love.

Yes, this is law of attraction but it’s also so much more. It’s having the conscious knowledge that you create your world one thought at a time. It’s knowing that you have the power and ability to change your thoughts to bring about different results. It’s realizing that you are the center of the universe and the director of your own experience. Pretty cool, huh?

So go ahead and own up to it. Realize the world is predisposed to you and you alone. Realize that the universe wants nothing more for you than your own fulfillment. And when you experience less-than-desirable results, remember that you have the ability to change things.  After all, you’re in the center of it all.

Growing your spirit in tough conditions

Use your thoughts, beliefs and imagination as fertilizer for your soul.

Use your thoughts, beliefs and imagination as fertilizer for your soul.

I love spring. Seriously, I really love it. Here in Colorado, the snow is finally starting to melt and the first signs of rebirth are emerging on the landscape.

Glimpses of the Earth’s awakening are everywhere, from tiny green buds on the trees to the appearance of baby squirrels in the back yard. I find these reminders of spring comforting and inspiring especially when I take the time to notice them.

For example, yesterday I noticed a small patch of grass that sprouted up against the back wall of my building at work. In the middle of an untended and unused alleyway, this little plant pushed through mud and concrete to bask in the morning sun. The grounds crew does not tend to it. There is no fertilizer applied. Instead, one lone grass seed decided that conditions were right for it to sprout and grow.

The same thing applies to your spirit. Your soul has the amazing ability to turn any situation into fertile soil that helps you grow and develop. Where you see negativity and turmoil, your soul sees a nutrient-rich environment, selecting those ingredients that benefit your highest purpose and service to the universe.

Too often in self-development, we tend to concern ourselves with creating the perfect environment before feeling secure enough to grow. We concentrate on the barriers to growth and try unsuccessfully to control the world around us before allowing our own fulfillment.

The nutrients your soul craves are the positive thoughts, images and beliefs that come from your inner self. When you take the time to cultivate—consciously cultivate—positive and constructive thought forms, you automatically fertilize the very world you live in. No matter the physical circumstances you find yourself in, you can use your thoughts and beliefs to change your outer environment. Your spirit can flourish in any environment…if you allow it.

 

 

 

 

Have a talk with yourself

 

We spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to convince others of our worthiness. We talk, write, sell, present and plead for others to see us for who we are.

But those actions only speak to the ego. They are false ideas of the self.

To live from a truly authentic place, you need to convince yourself of your own worthiness. You need to see it first-hand. You need to understand and feel your own worth and place in the universe. You must keep your mind focused on your own sense of value and learn to believe in it wholeheartedly.

When you do, others will automatically see you for who you are: a beautiful extension of All That Is. Pure energy. Pure brilliance. Pure love.

 
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Your impulses guide the way

Your impulses guide your soul toward fulfillment. Follow them.

Your impulses guide your soul toward fulfillment. Follow them.

When nature demands to be seen.

Words and pictures can barely do justice for Nature’s display tonight.

The glory of the present moment can sometimes take you by surprise.

My friends like to tease me for all of the sunset pictures I take. Throughout the winter, the Colorado skies are pretty spectacular. Tonight was one of those nights and, of course, I had my camera at the ready.

Tonight, nature asserted herself through a surreal display of awesome colors, textures and emotions. So vast, so vibrant and so moving was tonight’s sunset, it demanded to be seen.

I was talking with a neighbor, returning from a walk with the dog, when we both looked up to the sky at the same time. His voice stopped mid-sentence. There was no longer a need for words. Together, we experienced nature fully, basking in its glory and living supremely in the present moment. That’s the power of nature–when it can stop you dead in your tracks, sit you down figuratively and show you how moving, special and inviting the present moment can be.

We forget about living in the present moment. There’s Christmas presents to buy, floors to vacuum and emails to send. So when nature affords us a chance to unplug from the grind and reconnect to source, we’d be fools not to stop and take notice.

There will be other stunning sunsets. I’ll continue to take pictures of them. But tonight, nature’s demands have been met. I’ve sipped at the cup of the present moment and my heart and soul are pleasantly full.

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