Sunday, December 20, 2015

I Choose... The Gifts

This week
I Choose… The Gifts

As I’m working toward getting myself and my circumstances to where and how I want them to be before New Year’s Day, I (of course) am finding myself challenged, pretty much by my own habitual choices, which continue to show themselves to me in ways that feel frustrating, to say the least. However, that is one of the Gifts that I am focusing on right now.

It can feel really difficult to actually see the pattern that we’re living, because we don’t live on the outside of those patterns, do we? No, we live within them. So for them to be “showing themselves to me,” that has to mean that I’m beginning to shift myself to a place from which I can see them, right? This is a good thing!

It’s also really uncomfortable.

Which brings me to another Gift that I see that I’ve given to myself lately: The willingness to allow myself to BE uncomfortable. Without that particular willingness, I wouldn’t be able to actually change anything!

Something that I learned a long time ago is this: No matter what my conditions are, I ALWAYS have far more to be grateful for than I do to complain about as I live my life within those conditions. Whether I choose to see (and be responsible for) that, or not, is completely up to me.

My first book, Choose Your Universe, was inspired by a quote from Albert Einstein. He said, “The most important question we could ever ask ourselves is this: Is the Universe friendly?”

I was introduced to this idea in 1999 and it was a life-changer for me! At that time, I was not experiencing a friendly Universe. In fact, it felt to me like the Universe that I was living in actually hated me. It felt that way right up until I began applying the question, “Is my Universe friendly?” in the midst of everything I was experiencing. What I learned during that time was that if I wanted to see and experience a friendly Universe, then I had to choose to see and experience a friendly Universe, no matter what not-friendliness appeared to be happening to me and around me.

As I started deliberately applying this idea in the life I was living—and what I was experiencing at that time was ugly, and it was painful—I found that, even in the midst of all of that painful ugliness, when I began deliberately looking for my Friendly Universe (in other words, The Gifts), I started finding and experiencing my Friendly Universe!

Our answer to that one simple question, “Do I live in a friendly Universe?” (whether we’re answering it consciously or not-consciously) is what determines how we experience our own personal “Universe.”

And that’s what this particular “I Choose” is about. What’s going on in your life right now? You get to choose what your own personal Universe feels like to you. And one way to do that is to look for every single Gift you can find in whatever you’re living right now.

Right now I happen to be dealing with some things that feel frustrating to me. But I know from experience that there ARE some wonderful Gifts that exist in this situation. My work is to look for them with the intention of finding them. And that IS the work that I’m doing at this time.

I invite you to join me. What are you struggling with right now? And if you were to look for the Gifts that are an inherent part of whatever you’re living, what would you see?

The statement I have been using is this:

I Choose… The Gifts

As I work toward the goals that I have set for myself, I know that in those things that frustrate me the most, or that appear to be stopping me from achieving my goals, are the most valuable Gifts for me to look for, find, and actively cultivate.

Join me if you choose to. Try this for yourself, just as an experiment (that’s how I began all those years ago), and watch as your Universe shifts right around you. Have fun with it.

And, of course, over the next couple of weeks, may you thoroughly enjoy whatever holiday traditions that you value the most.

Much, much love to you all,

Rev. Sandi Daly

Have an awesome day if you choose to!

Monday, December 7, 2015

I Choose... My "Why"

I Choose... My "Why"

Hello my friends!
Well, I said that I just might send something out before January 1st, and here I am... I've been watching a particular video over and over again because I find that it compels me to look within myself and ask a hugely important question. And the more I ask it, the deeper I go, and the "bigger" the answer becomes. What's the question? First, I'd like to share the 3 1/2 minute long video that has prompted it, and I really - strongly - encourage you to go and watch it.

WHY am I doing this? WHY am I doing this particular thing that I'm doing right now? WHY am I getting up at 4:00am to work out? WHY am I going to work every day? WHY am I letting go of a church activity that I truly love? WHY am I cleaning my house? WHY am I here in my office doing this work when I could be relaxing on the couch with my husband? WHY am I writing this letter to this young man or that young woman in prison? WHY am I working on this new book or on revising that one? WHY am I doing this thing that I'm doing right now? WHY is THIS important to me?
I really encourage you to watch the video and then ask your own self the question: What is my WHY?
The mom who just left her abusive partner, as she finds herself in a shelter... she knows WHAT she has done. Her WHY is so much more important.
The domestic violence advocate who works in that same shelter... she knows WHAT her job is. Her WHY is so much more important.
The police officer who patrols the streets... he or she knows WHAT they are doing. Their WHY is so much more important.
The man who volunteers his time at the homeless shelter...
The philanthropist who works tirelessly to serve his favorite charity...
The mom or dad who stays home with the kids. The teacher who sacrifices so much of him-or herself to be a good one. The alcoholic. The artist. The inmate. The banker. The retiree. The minister. The drug addict. The author. The boxer. The blogger. The food binger. The activist. The judge. The politician. The house painter. The student. The military man or woman. The bus driver.
No matter who you are or what you're doing. Your WHY has so much more meaning than your WHAT! And I'm not just talking about the positive, altruistic kind of "why," either. I'm talking about the negative and pain-generated ones, too.
I think that choosing to find - and EXPRESS - our chosen WHY could very likely be the most valuable thing we could ever give both to ourselves and to the world. I think I love that video so much because it demonstrates so beautifully the difference in expression between just knowing what we're doing, and then finding out why we're doing it. Just beautiful. And so powerful.
So here is my "I Choose..." at least for this week, and possibly for the rest of this month as I'm REALLY ramping up to my plans for 2016:
I Choose... to KNOW my "WHY"
As I live the rest of this month, I choose to pay attention - in the midst of each and every activity - to the WHY that I am coming from. I choose to pay attention to, and acknowledge, my EMOTIONAL MOTIVATION (whether positive or negative) for doing whatever it is that I am doing. And I choose to go as deep as I need to, to find the real answer and - if I don't like the answer that I find - change it. If I DO like the answer that I find, I choose to cultivate it, and nurture it, and invest myself in deepening, strengthening, and expressing it freely and authentically.
This is my current "I Choose..."
I invite you to join me if you'd like to! :-)
Love to you all,