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Last week I was going on a day trip.  An hour or so from home, we would be there for several hours.  I planned carefully, imagining how it might go, and calculating what I needed – food, warmth and the like.  I also figured what I wanted to get done before we left and what I hoped to accomplish when I returned.  I knew when I wanted to leave.

With that knowledge, I went with the moment. Laying down in it, efforting only for awareness.  In this way I was able to enjoy whatever came up.

The best laid plans, of course.  I left at just the right time, but got home later than I planned – traffic happens.  And when I arrived, the situation was different than expected.  Because I had thought it through, I knew I’d have time the next day to catch up.  I got what I knew was important and let the rest go.  All was well.

Some lessons from this:  You begin by planning well.  Imagining and dreaming what you’d like to happen, what you expect to happen. Spend as much time as you can.  Paint it in living color.  Add the details, down to the shutters on the house or the trim on the car.  The more specific and concrete you can get, the better.

Then, you let it all go.  Open the shutters of disbelief and limited possibilities. Relax into the moment.  Look for the fun. See the lay of the land.  Observe, listen and stay open for guidance.

In the end, the shutters may turn out to be blue instead of green or no shutters at all.  If you’re willing to let go of what you imagined, you may be amazed at what you get instead.  Allowing the warp and woof of life to reshape your vision will make it so much better!  Co-creating, if you will, with life, with God.

Just this past week, I saw a pattern of mine.  People say they’re going to help me and for one reason or another, it doesn’t happen.  I can’t blame them because there has been a dizzying array of faces in this place for me.  It can’t be anyone’s fault but mine:   this even happens to me when the person hasn’t offered a thing.

Let’s say I have an issue.  I see that I have arrangements to meet with several people over the next few days who could offer some good perspective.  Lo and behold, the dates get cancelled, or I show up and the other person has something more important to talk about and my issue never even reaches the table.

This is clearly all about me and my pattern.  Why, I would tend to wonder, upon seeing this unfold once again, do I thwart myself like this?  With this latest go-round, I’d say I might have even expected it.  Don’t I want the help?  Of course I do.  Then, why?

Nothing.  Why would I do this to myself?  I can’t think of a reason. Okay, what if I take the positive slant and turn it around?  What if I ask instead, “What am I trying to help myself see?”  What would I do or say if I was going to use this a lesson?

When I phrased it that way, 3 things came to me:

1) Quite clearly, life is trying to tell me to just figure it out by myself and stop expecting others to do it for me. Conversations with God Book 1 says that there is no sin – except maybe to take someone else’s word for it.

2) That doesn’t mean I don’t need the help and support of others from time to time.  So maybe I can  be more proactive about getting help.  I’m the one who’s asking for it, after all.  Don’t let it slide.  Stay with it until I find the answer to the question I seek.  Get clear on what it is I want to know. The more specific I am, the more likely I am to get an answer. I might also try to ask for one thing at a time, instead of a general ~ I need help with this issue.

3) Be sure I follow through on my offers to help others.  It always pays to act the way you want others to act.  Like attracts like.  What goes around, comes around.  I have found in matters such as these, that it is not however, necessarily, the path you are expecting it to be.  (Networking, I believe, works on the same principle.)  You may be talking to one person, but that energy can spread to others.  Lots of others. You never know from where unexpected help may come.

In the end it just doesn’t matter if, in fact, I was thwarting myself because of some fear of success or deep down I’m afraid of what they will say or what I will need to do about it . . .   Waste of time.  That’s just an ugly quagmire.

This way, instead of kicking myself, wallowing in self pity or feeling myself a loser, a victim, afraid, I have an action plan for how I can move forward.

Interesting things these expectations.  On the one hand, they are good to pave your way.  When you know something’s going to mess up, you expect it and it doesn’t upset you so much.  Expecting only good things to come your way opens the way for nothing but good  to come to you.  Expectations can set you up to accept, allow and open to life flowing.

On the other hand, expectations can trip you up.  Expecting others to act a certain way or that things will happen in a certain way, is futile at best. How much does anticipating that things will mess up create the circumstances ripe for exactly that?

People who expect to have a good meal on the table, expect to have money and be healthy, tend to have all those things.  How much of our expectations affect the weather, I wonder?  Or allow the sun to rise each day?  The collective conscious belief is a strong one.  What you believe about life tends to put you in a position of expecting, which can set up the conditions for that being your experience.

I’ve not thought this all the way through.  I welcome your comments on this concept of expectations.Interesting things these expectations.  On the one hand, they are good to pave your way.  When you know something’s going to mess up, you expect it and it doesn’t upset you so much.  Expecting only good things to come your way opens the way for nothing but good  to come to you.  Expectations can set you up to accept, allow and open to life flowing.

On the other hand, expectations can trip you up.  Expecting others to act a certain way or that things will happen in a certain way, is futile at best. How much does anticipating that things will mess up create the circumstances ripe for exactly that?

People who expect to have a good meal on the table, expect to have money and be healthy, tend to have all those things.  How much of our expectations affect the weather, I wonder?  Or allow the sun to rise each day?  The collective conscious belief is a strong one.  What you believe about life tends to put you in a position of expecting, which can set up the conditions for that being your experience.

I’ve not thought this all the way through.  I welcome your comments on the concept of expectations.

What do you do when you’re humming along, moving in the flow and then thwack!  You stub you toe?  You might stub it on an obstacle  left in your foot path,  a hiccup in your plans, an unexpected bill or illness.

If you’re like me, your reaction is to get mad at yourself for not paying attention, not seeing the hazard ahead.  It’s quite easy for me to skip off into other times I haven’t watched where I was going or how things like this ALWAYS happen to me!

It’s difficult when you’re smacked in the face by an unforseen obstacle, such as a car or computer breakdown, expectations unfulfilled and other such left field stray balls.

This wayward ball  can often throw you off course and leave you feeling defeated, angry, victimized or otherwise closed to the abundant flow.

I find it hard at that point, to bring myself back.  This week, I was flowing along, paying good attention and allowing all the little things to fall away.  I’m not going to get hung up on this and allow my thoughts to go negative, I say.  I’m staying present and happy with life.  No, that’s not going to get me either . . .  What happens?  I find myself in a massive traffic jam.  I get a little crazy when no one is moving at all. “Usual” traffic progresses, albeit slowly.  But when there’s an accident or lane blockage, there is, what feels like, no progress.  Minutes go by and the car only moves a few inches.  It’s at this point I begin to panic and wonder what I’m doing there!  I calculate the time wasted, stress over the wear and tear on the car and end up cussing at my life, along with the other drivers.

Very negative. Very closed.  Very unhappy.

It irks me to know I have such limits.  Why can’t I accept all that happens?  Why are there some things I can’t float through?  I know my fussing does nothing to move me any closer to my destination. There seem to be tributaries of my negative thinking.  Say I accept what’s happening now.  But, I ask myself, how many other times have I been in this situation? Why haven’t I been able to get myself out of this?  What flaw has kept me stuck in this predicament, susceptible to such frustrations?  If I sit long enough, I might even find someone else to blame for it.

It’s true that many walls that toes stub are much bigger and thicker than interminable traffic.  For instance, if I was in the car that caused this jam . . . Surely, sitting behind the wreckage, I have the time to control my thoughts, gain perspective, and put myself back on track.  Before I slam into that threatening wall.

I guess it’s hard when you’re facing the culprit, head on.  But, I feel, this is exactly the time to work on it.  The best tactic seems to be to talk with yourself.  Out loud, if you can.  Tell yourself it’s okay.  Heal the wounds first.  Make sure you show concern for yourself and the situation you are in.  You might slide into gratitude, if you’ve calmed yourself down enough: “I’m grateful it wasn’t my accident. I’m grateful for the cell phone so I won’t leave anyone hanging.  It’s a nice day and the music is humming.”

This is a the time to remind yourself there’s nothing you can do about it  at the moment.  If there are changes to be made, they don’t have to be enacted right no. Assure yourself that it will end and you will be able to clear your head and make a new choice.

This is really good practice. Not only will it make you better able to brush off smaller things, it will also prepare you for those bigger obstacles. Watch your progress and see how often and how quickly you can find that flow again.

I  get annoyed at injustices.  When people don’t treat me or others the way I think they should, my blood starts to boil!

Well, let’s see, we’ve got expectations going on. The fact is, I am expecting people to act a certain way. It’s also a “should” staring me right in the face.

There kind of can’t be any universal justice because what’s “righteous” for me, may not be for you.  But, I guess we need to come up with some laws or agreements on what’s right and what’s wrong in our society.  If we were more evolved, though, I don’t think we would need to fuss about such things.  We’d all just treat each other equally.

So, the point is not whether or not the Justice system is valid.  Instead the issue is if I am wise to judge an act wrong, much less expect that people or situations must be a certain way.  Does it make sense for me to get upset about what I see as an injustice, if there’s nothing I can do about it?

Maybe it’s about what my part is. Perhaps I get angry, go that far, because I feel guilty that I’m not doing anything to change the situation. Who am I to judge the behavior as “wrong,” if I’m just sitting back and letting it happen?

I must be entitled to my opinion about it, though.  Don’t you think?  Aren’t I free to say this is something I find objectionable?  No, no, no.  It’s about seeing the beauty in everything, rather than judging it.  I can still tell the truth about what’s going on.  Somebody has to.  But I need not judge it before I can decide how I wish to be in relationship to it.   Just tell the truth as I see it.

So, first I need to stop judging that something is wrong.  It isn’t absolutely right or wrong, it just is. If I accept it, just as it is, I am still able to see the injustice.  I don’t have to get so angry and frustrated. The anger is only useful to get me fired up enough to do something about it.   But in that state, not carried away by my anger, I can see better ways to solve the problem.  Or, I can make a decision to let it go.

Okay, so something went wrong.  What I wanted didn’t show up as expected.

If it’s, in fact, a Loving Universe, that means I didn’t thwart my progress for some unknown reason.  It wasn’t because I’m not good enough, either.  All of that is a lie.

In truth, it’s just a part of the process as I wind my way through this journey.  All is well.   I don’t need to dwell on the sad stories about how I messed up in the past, things never go my way, this always happen to me . . .

I can pray for help in washing away those stories.  And I can dream up new ones.  Anything I choose.  Like maybe there’s something even better coming!

Release the stress, worry and pressure.  I don’t need it.  All is well.  The Universe is Loving and looking out for me.  I’m not going to get what I want any faster by fretting about it.

Believe only good comes to me.

Stay Open for whatever arrives.

Let Go of a need for it to look a certain way.

Detach from expectations.

See if I can ask even more specifically for what I want.  Make my intention even clearer.  Renew and refresh my plans, looking for new ways.  Prepare myself to receive.  Breathe deeply and freely.  Remind myself I can.  Keep telling Good Stories.

Rest Easy.    Welcome.    Be Willing.

It seems everywhere I turn these days, people are talking about relationships.  Books, seminars, lectures, and even classes on how to have better relationships.  Maybe I’ve been especially blessed as I’ve always had lots of relationships and feel fairly contented (at least at the moment) with my significant other.

I just don’t think it’s that tricky.  Relationships are what your life is all about.  The relationship you have with the people, places and things around you, defines who you are.  Every relationship is there to help you wake up and learn something new about yourself.  Everyone is your “Zen Master” as my teacher, Paulette Terrels says. 

So, why do people carry on so about them? Does it say something about our culture that people are so dissatisfied with the relationships in their lives? Or feel so separated and alone?  Can I say all my relationships are perfect?  That I wouldn’t want to tweak a few them?  Of course not.  But I try to use them all as a flashlight to illuminate things I need to learn and experience.

We are social beings and tend to congregate.  If there’s no one in your life, it’s probably because you’re not letting them in.

Here are my humble ways to have good relationships:

1)  Be more conscious in your relationships.  Know that you make a statement about who you are by how you relate to everything in your life.  Pay attention and take steps which reflect how you wish to relate, how you wish to be in relationship to whoever or whatever it is.

2)  Let go of expectations.  People are not put here to live up to your expectations and behave just the way you want them to. It’s a practice in peace to allow others to be who they are. It is also the greatest gift you can give them.

3)  Remember very few of us are mind readers.  Frankly, we’ve all got way too much chatter going on in our heads to allow in someone else’s.  If you don’t tell someone what you need or want, how are they supposed to know?  Be sure to let go of your expectations when you do, though.  Just because you ask, doesn’t mean they can deliver. But you’re surely not going to get what you want by being quiet and hoping the other will just know.

One of my favorite episodes of the old Dick Van Dyke show (from the 60’s) begins with Rob and Laura in the car, coming home one night.  Laura is obviously angry at Rob, but he doesn’t have a clue why.  He recounts the entire evening in flashbacks, trying to find the place where he messed up. They went to the theater with friends and then went for coffee and met some other friends. At the end of the evening, Rob picks up the check and we see that is what has gotten Laura’s panties in a twist.  She thinks he doesn’t love their 8 year old son.  Huh? Why would she think that? Finally she admits, she thinks Rob has jeopardized their son’s college education by  picking up the tab for everyone’s dinner when all the two of them had was dessert. I remember that scene when I am thinking someone should know what I want: Laura spent a lot of time feeling angry when all she had to do was tell him!  “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you,” is a lame excuse and causes far more problems than just saying it. If he had known she felt that way, he wouldn’t have picked up the check to begin with.

4)  Allow your relationships to come and go.  What is the saying that people are in your life for a moment, a season or a lifetime.  When it’s time for a person to leave your life, let them go – whether that’s to college, another plane of existence, across town, or the next love. We cannot hold people with us.  It is the nature of relationships to change.

5)  Appreciate the relationships you have.  There is something to be found in every relationship. I’m in a position right now where I come in contact with a lot of people.  Each one of them offers me something different.  Each one is a gift in my life. Notice how even the smallest relationship – like the person behind the counter at the library – can make your day.

6)  Define the kind of people you want in your life and watch for them. SARK talks about “building platforms of support.”  If you want a strong system to hold you up in your life, order up a platform of support. Who are the kind of people that will bring to your life what you need?  Then just be on the lookout for them.

7)  Open to relationships.  Don’t be so picky about it.  Know that you can learn, grow and have fun with just about anyone. Open your heart to others and they will open theirs to you.


As each weekend draws to a close, I find myself saying the same thing: “I can’t believe it went so fast!  It can’t be time to go back to work already.”  This past weekend I realized that I must have an expectation that someone will say, “You don’t have to go to work anymore.”  Funny thing to expect since I would have to do something, like quit, for that to happen. Until such time as I hand in my resignation (or am asked to leave) I am going back to work on Monday morning. There’s no use in waiting for something else to happen or expecting a weekend to be more than 48 hours.  No amount of kvetching is going to change that.

With further investigation, I discovered a notion of the “perfect” weekend (and my lack of such.)  The weekend is never good enough. But it is very hard for the weekend to live up to my expectation of Perfect when I don’t, myself, know what that would be. You might characterize a perfect weekend where you win the lottery or fall in love.  Perhaps a Great Adventure coming to a close at just the right time.  But seeing that I’m not pursuing any of those things, it’s unlikely they will happen.

Perhaps a perfect weekend, for me, would be one where I got something done; for myself or the household.  Maybe having a little fun would add a flavorful dash.  Top it off with some good rest. Well, what do you know?  That’s pretty much what I do on the weekends.

Lately I’ve been seeing through these illusions to the bare facts. Rather than make things worse, these revelations seem to be lightening the load. When I stop wrestling with myself, expecting magnanimous gestures or magical experiences, I can relax into accepting my life for what it is and keep moving ever forward.

(This was written many years ago)

The other day, while I was weeding and tending to the garden, I noticed a jackhammer being used to plumb the depths of the ground for running high-tech cable or conduit for cables for the future of the Internet. 

My head wasn’t pounding, which left me feeling somehow unsatisfied. The guys weren’t even wearing any more protection than a hard hat.  It was disquieting that it was so quiet.  Perhaps, I thought, it’s just the difference between a city jackhammer and a suburban one.  Why, I wondered, should city dwellers be exposed to those decibels while the rest of do not?  Like they don’t have enough noise to contend with.  Maybe it’s simply because you don’t need as much power to traverse soil as you do to get through concrete.  Still, I felt disappointed that the ground didn’t shake from its impact.  My head didn’t rattle back and forth on its axis.

Anticipation and expectations. We humans seem to need the resolution they indicate.  I’m not just talking about special things like getting the job or the person.  I’m talking about things like expecting professional people to act like professionals.  An introduction of your favorite band, to be followed by their music. The taste and feel of wine on your tongue. We are such creatures of habit that if we are expecting wine and get milk it might cause a spit take. Even if you really love the taste and feel of milk.

I find it hard to pull back and regroup when what I was expecting to do falls apart.  As if the forward movement can’t be stopped.  Like I’m leaning toward something, expecting, anticipating that it is, of course, going to be like that. And when it doesn’t, I fall flat on my face.  Like a tamed circus animal.

“Don’t get your hopes up!” my mother used to warn. Problem was, I had no idea how to do that. Hopes have a mind of their own; certainly a power. My hopes were often stronger than the request to lower them. Besides, it felt good when my hopes were up. I didn’t know what was so wrong with it.

The logic, I suppose, is that if you allow your hopes to get up, you might get disappointed. But if I was going to be disappointed, I would do so whether or not I got to enjoy the anticipation.

If the degree of disappointment is intensified by high hopes, it’s not by much. Disappointed a little. Disappointed a lot. I’m still disappointed. Maybe I’m used to it, but I think a slightly sharper disappointment makes me want to try again. If I haven’t gotten my hopes up, I haven’t had the experience of tasting and feeling the joy of having whatever I was expecting. So I’m not as likely to care to try again.

Did the constant reminder to not get my hopes up keep me from being disappointed? Certainly not. In fact, it likely set me up for it. Don’t get your hopes up just about shouts it’s unlikely you’ll get what you want. The Law of Attraction, that like attracts like, would seem to indicate having high hopes would attract good things. If you expect to be disappointed, that’s what you’ll get. I wonder, could that repeated call to not get your hopes up eventually dislodge your ability to hope? Is that a situation a parent really wants for a child? Having no hope?

I love the feeling when my hopes are rising high. I think that’s a part of the Joy of life.

I choose to allow my hopes to soar as high as they can!

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