Wake Up Call! – Baggage Wisdom

 


BAGGAGE WISDOM

The baggage of your life will either be a teacher or a prison guard.

My friend Crystal was distraught. She said, “My Mom is unable to live in the present or acknowledge how blessed her life is.” She added, “The terrible mistreatment she had from an employer twenty-five years ago is something she keeps reliving and retelling to this day. I’ve had her go to therapy but to no avail. All she wants is for me to keep validating how awful the injustice was.”

Crystal had a choice to keep feeding her Mom’s baggage or detach from it.

In detaching from it Crystal discovered new freedom. She said, “I cannot accept the learning from that situation or be a prisoner to it; only Mom can make that choice. I can only love her for her wonderful qualities.”

The result has been Crystal’s sadness and frustration at her mother being replaced with a love that hopes for her freedom from her baggage.

Call-to-Action:

  • Be aware of the baggage that informs or imprisons life

  • Be present to the choices that you can make

Notice how letting of real hurts in your own life or that of another frees you to be lovingly present.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Let Go of What You Do Not Have

 


LET GO OF WHAT YOU DO NOT HAVE

To be thankful for what you have let go of what you do not have.

I remember my first Thanksgiving as if it were yesterday. It was my first year after leaving South Africa and I’d been invited to two gatherings. I wasn’t sure what to make of pumpkin pie but I loved the extended family gatherings I was included in. And then I began to think of my family so far away and how the only family I would have would be the one I created.

In that moment I had a choice to focus on what I did not have or open my energy and spirit to something different.

I knew I could not live in a place of longing for what I did not have. I looked around the room and realized that I was blessed by those who had included me.

In my moments of regret or longing I always go back to that moment and remember the life-lesson it still teaches. How will you be thankful for what you have?

Call-to-Action:

  • Let go of yearning for what you do not have

  • Be thankful for who and what you have today

Notice how being present to thankfulness enlivens you.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – The Gratitude Bank

 


THE GRATITUDE BANK

A simple expression of gratitude to someone can be a gift to you both.

I was thinking a lot about Priscilla, a woman whose mere existence is one of the anchor’s in my life. I wrote her a short note expressing my gratitude to her and for the gift that she is in my life. As I dropped it in the mail box I paused and visualized her face.

Instead of taking her for granted I had chosen to be proactive.

I was bowled over by her response. She wrote back to say that she was house bound and feeling how disposable people can be and that my note had reminded her of the fullness of her life. “I still have purpose and meaning” she wrote.

I was deeply moved by what she said and glad for this luminous woman. In that moment I thought of how simple it to express gratitude to another person for simply being who they are.

Call-to-Action:

  • Be aware of the often unexpected people for whom you are grateful

  • Take a few minutes to express your gratitude

Notice how the currency of gratitude is a circle of thankfulness. Who will you express gratitude to today?

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Being Awed!

 


BEING AWED!

Simple pleasures invite awe.

I was out early taking my dog Lucy for a walk. Unlike many of our walks I was preoccupied and wanted her ablutions to be completed quickly. As I looked to my left the morning sunrise had turned the sky into a brilliant blood orange color. I stopped – entranced by the beauty of it. As I turned to look for Lucy a rainbow was in the sky behind me.

Instead of resting in my preoccupation I entered into the awe of the moment.

Minutes later the rainbow was gone and the color of the sky was had become a dusky blue. I continued to walk slowly filled with awe and thankfulness for what I had experienced.

As I headed to my office my preoccupations seemed less important. The awe was more than just a pause in the day; it reminded to be present to awe wherever it presents itself.

Call-to-Action:

  • Be present to moments of awe

  • Take time to savor the awe

Notice how the rhythm of your day changes when simple pleasures invite you to be awed.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Shockingly Wonderful Guides

 


SHOCKINGLY WONDERFUL GUIDES

The unexpected guides who appear in our lives are shockingly wonderful.

A wise and generous-hearted guide appeared in my life two decades ago. As I wrestled with major decisions his words were a luminous light giving me hope and comfort. Then one day as I responded to a question of his he softly said, “You are full of…..” I was startled!

Instead of ignoring or being offended by his observation I intuitively knew he was correct.

I began to smile then laugh at the arresting yet loving way in which he was inviting me to be real and authentic. In that moment I knew that there was no place to hide from the inner work I needed to do.

This unexpected guide who mysteriously appeared in my life for a year periodically still connects to ask if I am present to the new insights along my journey. How will you respond to the unexpected guide whom life presents to you when you are open to new insight?

Call-to-Action:

  • Name the guides who have mysteriously appeared in your life

  • Allow yourself to be present to the guide who might be in your orbit already

Notice how your own journey is enriched when you are open to their shockingly wonderful presence.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Extraordinary Gifts!

 


EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS!

Transforming a gift into something extraordinary for others is an act of loving oneness.

I knew that the second box of Saffron given to me would remain unused so I asked a friend if she could use it. She was overjoyed to receive it. The next weekend she posted on Facebook that she had used the spice to make a chicken dish that she served to 100 people at a soup kitchen.

Instead of keeping the gift for the enjoyment of her immediate circle she chose to use it all in an offering for the hungry.

When I asked her what prompted this she said, “I wanted to use this exotic expensive spice to create a beautiful meal. I didn’t want to hold on to it like a personal treasure. The best part was seeing how much the meal was enjoyed.” Then she giggled with delight!

A simple act – a gift shared in the creation of an extraordinary meal – was with joy from those not expecting such a feast. What gift of yours will be transformed into something unexpected and extraordinary?

Call-to-Action:

  • Be mindful of the many gifts you have

  • Be present to unexpected opportunities to do something extraordinary

Notice how your act of transforming a gift into something for others affirms our oneness.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Scars of Beauty

 


SCARS OF BEAUTY

It’s in the scars of my life that I discover the love and kindness that shape my heart.

A good friend and I sat on the lawn talking about the most difficult and harrowing experiences we have each lived through. We know one another so well that we didn’t need to dwell on the pain, fears or maliciousness of those experiences. It was a conversation of thankfulness for what we have learned.

It was a choice not to dwell on past hurts but to explore the rich texture of life that the scars reveal.

As we spoke of wading through and beyond the muck we remembered the moments of being there for one another and those who loved us amidst the shards. And we named our own mistakes and naivete.

As we hugged one another we shed thankful tears for our hearts and lives expanded with love, kindness and gentleness toward ourselves and all who had contributed to the luminous scars and their healing. The response was our gratitude for the journey thus far.

Call-to-Action:

  • Befriend your scars by naming the beauty they reveal

  • Pay attention to the gift each scar has bestowed

Notice how your life is shaped by the rich texture of transformed scars.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – What Matters

 


WHAT MATTERS

Some of my concerns seem trivial, keeping me from what matters most.

On the last leg of a trip a delay kept me in the airport for hours. I was tired and longed to be home. My frustrations were interrupted by watching a family with three young kids, one of whom was in a wheelchair following cancer treatments. Their tender interactions were remarkable. As we spoke I realized I was in the presence of love.

I could have held onto my frustrations but instead was invited to return to what matters most on the landscape of my life.

The family whom I encountered caused me to think about those who have nursed, nurtured and nourished me with loving care. My thoughts of them soon morphed into gratitude.

Instead of a frustrated passenger boarding my last flight home I got onto the plane feeling grateful. I fell asleep that night feeling blessed by the people and love that matter most. I woke up thinking of the family I’d encountered and gave thanks for them and their unexpected gift.

Call-to-Action:

  • Name and give thanks for those whose who love you

  • Intentionally name one person each day that matters to you

Notice how focusing on what matters most in your life changes your reaction to the frustrations of the day.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Navigating Conflict & Peace

 


NAVIGATING CONFLICT & PEACE

The competing energies of conflict and peace shed light on where your heart is.

I was talking with a wise woman about the practices of stillness and mindfulness that have brought her so much inner peace over many decades. She said, “It’s hard to talk about this when the world seems to be at war and when I cheer for any actions to stop the be-headings.” Then she added, “I feel torn about even saying this.”

She or I could have chosen to avoid the awkwardness of the moment and move to a safer topic.

Instead we kept “chewing” on the paradox between her support for violence being used to eradicate violence and her lifelong devotion to peacemaking in the world along with her own inner peace.

As I left she said, “I’m hoping that some wisdom or a lesson is revealed in my struggles. Perhaps I can try to be at peace and listen to the stillness.” She knew where her heart was to be found.

Call-to-Action:

  • Be aware of what competing energies reveal about where your heart is to be found

  • Pay attention to what the stillness says

Notice how engaging your competing energies of conflict and peace diminish the power of conflict.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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Wake Up Call! – Love no Matter What?

 


LOVE NO MATTER WHAT?

Celebrate the people who love you no matter what and do the same for others.

In my early teens I tried to take my own life because being gay seemed like a terrible and fearful thing. So I took what I thought were enough aspirin to do the job. I was surprised when I woke up the next morning.

Instead of imagining ending my life I had a vivid image of my grandmother’s embracing me and expressing their love.

The constancy of their love was a life jacket to me. Years later I began to understand that their love, which had turned my thoughts to life and not death, was the threshold of the journey to loving myself.

I think of them with gratitude, even though they have been dead for decades. I celebrate their love and hope that I am doing the same for others. Whose love has been a saving grace to you and how will your love be a life-jacket to others?

Call-to-Action:

  • Express your gratitude for those who have loved you no matter what

  • Be open to doing the same for others

Notice how your awareness of generous love expands your heart.

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©2014 Robert V. Taylor

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