Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter
Life. It's something we all have in common, no matter our religion, our race, our gender, our whatever. We are alive! Which means we have choices we make, constantly, whether we are aware of it or not. We get to choose from a wide palette of emotions, attitudes, and actions. Some may be adopted from our heritage, our environment, our siblings, our friends, and some may be unique to us.
Choose Life's Colors
While we may sometimes get caught up in "poor me" attitudes and think we have no control over anything that happens to us, the truth is quite a different matter. We always have a choice. And we always do choose -- even when our choice is "no choice", which of course is a choice in itself.
The "Choose Life's Colours" card in The Life Navigator Deck reads:
"You can either paint a dark picture of life -- or choose a brighter, happier palette. The brilliant hues of joy, gratitude and love will turn your life into a glowing work of art."
If your day is dreary, sing a happy song, or watch some funny videos, or play with a child, to help you change the lens you are seeing through. Once we realize that our energy is dependent on the choices we make, it makes it easier to make those decisions that support our well-being and our innate joy.
Life Is About Balance
While life may seem to be about extremes - night and day, winter and summer, love and hate -- it is actually about the balance between all of those. While all extremes exist, we learn to walk the road of balance... between extreme giving and extreme receiving, between extreme exertion and extreme relaxation, between extreme joy and extreme sadness.
We learn to balance all the energies so that we are not tilting in one direction or the other, but remain mostly in equilibrium between the storms. We have moments of joy and moments of sadness, but we realize all of those moments are just that... moments, fleeting moments in life that are just passing through.
We learn to live life in balance, accepting that there are ups and downs, moments of extreme joy and extreme pain, moments of love and times where love seems absent. And when we learn to accept the ups and downs, we learn to enjoy the middle ground, without needing the extreme highs or lows to feel alive. We learn to feel alive in the middle, in the balance, between the extremes. We realize that everything exists in flux. And we remember that, in time, everything passes.
Finding Your Way
Life can be confusing. At times, we are not sure where we are headed, or if we are headed in the right direction, or even how to get to where we desire to be.
At those times, we need to stay focused on where we want to be -- not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. If we desire better health, we keep our focus on the end goal, do what we know to do in this moment, and trust that the rest of the path will reveal itself.
And it's the same with any other dreams and goals. Keep the end point in your mind and heart, and let the Universe, in all its forms, guide you each step of the way via information, synchronicities or "coincidences", and guidance in its many guises.
When I think of trust, I am reminded of the scene in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, where he steps off into the abyss, making a leap of faith and trusting that there is a way under foot, even if he cannot see it. And so it is with us... Even if we are not sure which way is the "right" way, we proceed by listening to our heart and our intuition, and trusting that the path will be revealed as we need it, and we will find our way one step at a time.
Blessings Are Everywhere
Even on the darkest day when the clouds seem to be everywhere, the sun is always present, up behind the clouds. The sun is always there, even when we don't see it.
And so it is with the blessings in our life. They are always there, whether we are conscious of them or not. Sometimes they are hidden behind the dark clouds of our thoughts and attitudes, but the blessings are nevertheless always present and available to us.
The best way to discover our blessings is to start looking for them and naming them... one by one. And once you start looking for them, it will become easier to recognize them - big and small - all around you. The more we recognize them, and are thankful for them, the more they will appear to our awareness.
Stillness is of the Essence
In order to live in balance, find our way, and recognize our blessings, a state of stillness is needed -- as often as possible. When our mind is busy busy chattering away about this and that, how can we tune in to the awareness of what is or of what can be?
Stillness can feed our intuition, our inspiration, and our innate joy. Stillness comes when we disconnect from the chatter, both internal and external. When we breathe deeply and remain focused on the present moment, rather than reminisce about the past or worry about the future, peace finds its way into our being.
Inner peace is not an end game. It is a daily necessity in order to discover our true path, tap into our source of joy. and connect with our source of inspiration. Creating space and time for stillness in our life allows our soul to connect to the essence of inner peace.
While stillness is essential, it doesn't mean life stops while we're being still. Life continues moving, flowing, and changing.
When we resist what is, we dig in our heels and end up stagnant and stuck in place. However, when we pay attention to the direction Life is flowing, we often discover pathways that we had not seen, while we were busy focusing on the one path that we thought was "the one" we were "supposed" to be on.
We've been taught to try to control life, others, and ourselves. But what if we chose instead to honor the uniqueness and the oneness in everything... and allow others to be who they are, allow ourselves to live our truth, and flow with the "coincidences" and synchronicities of life.
Our role, should we choose to accept it, is to use Love to guide us and let Life lead us along the way. How do we do that? Relax. Be attentive to what "shows up" in your life, and then be willing to let the flow of Life and Love guide you to new experiences and new solutions.
Always Something Better
As much as we like to know ahead of time what is going to happen, life doesn't work that way. We may try to make it so by creating a life that is full of rules, routines, and protective measures. But as we all know, no amount of rules and plans keep us from surprises on our life's journey.
If we try to meticulously plan for everything in the future, we are often wasting our time. Life has a way of magically heading in a direction other than the one we had 'chosen. Sometimes that is a wonderful surprise, and sometimes it is difficult.
Someone we love may die, or move away, or get angry with us. The job that we felt was secure, no longer is... whether because something changed in the job or company, or something changed in us, and we are no longer interested in remaining at that job.
The best way to enjoy life is to loosely make plans, then allow for those plans, or something better, to manifest. I read about someone who was looking for a job and who said: "I prayed for something - God laughed and gave me better".
When we are willing to have dreams and plans, and trust that they will manifest in perhaps a different way than we envision, we allow ourselves to experience the mystery of life, with its numerous blessings.
Article inspired from:
The Life Navigator Deck
by Jane Delaford Taylor and Manoj Vijayan.
Whether we are navigating tumultuous eddies or paddling in still water, this set of inspirational cards offers guidance and new perspectives for our day. The cards focus on empowering us, encouraging us to trust in our own innate abilities to handle life in a truly positive, creative and dynamic way.
The pack can be dipped into for instant inspiration as each card contains one idea with the text beautifully supported by well-chosen artwork.
Info/Order this card deck.
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About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com