What if we moved from the narrow margins of our lives, to a landscape of possibility?
Each of us has a relationship with life. And often it is a relationship of waiting . . . waiting until . . . we have more free time . . . the baby can walk . . . the kids are in school . . . we can quit our job. . we can get a job. . .
And then, we will be content. And then, everything will be alright.
There’s always an excuse for not coming to the banquet!
But we don’t have to wait. Whatever the current condition of our lives, the banquet is right here, right now. And there is a place set for us at the table.
Whatever our circumstances we can experience peace, joy, empowerment and love. We have that ability in us. And life is rich with the possibility of a feast for our senses if we will just show up with presence, attention, and deliberate choice.
We can begin now to live what we love.
We do this by changing our story about how life is supposed to be. We do this by noticing now what inspires us and putting a serving of that on our plates.
Years ago I worked with a woman who had suffered a profound loss in her life, the suicide of someone in her immediate family. When she came to my office, two years after the death, she was numb, calcified, and immune to any joy in life. It was completely understandable. As she recounted the unfolding of this tragedy, tears flowed down both of our faces.
Our work together was slow and painstaking. I was assisting her to gradually change her relationship with the tragedy in such a way that she could give herself permission to take her place at the banquet of life once more.
It required allowing her heart to be unfettered by pouring out its grief; it required self-forgiveness and forgiveness of other; and most importantly it involved trusting that even something so devastating could be embraced as one of life’s teachers. It required surrender and trusting the mysteries of life — knowing that many things are outside of our control and that something larger than what we can see is always happening.
The new narrative that was authored by this courageous client provided a new view about self, about life, and about the choices that we can allow ourselves.
Allow the client did! She picked up a guitar she hadn’t touched in years and began to play. She gave herself permission to date and went dancing. The shifts were simple, but life changing. By starting in the narrow margins of her life, she gradually began to author a new narrative of possibility in dealing with what life had handed her.
Too often we give our power away to the adversity of our lives; to the difficult people who are part of our circle; to current circumstances that indeed feel limiting. But what we focus on expands. A positive shift is possible with the slightest adjustments.
It could be as simple as giving ourselves an extra 30 minutes a day either in the morning, on our lunch hour, or at night to offer ourselves a serving of that something we have been craving – to start a graphic journal, go for a swim in the lake at sundown, drive to Swan Valley for a square ice cream cone, pen a few lines of a poem, pick a bouquet, have a meaningful conversation, read a few pages of a favorite book, turn the television off and dance.
Contemplate these questions:
What would it mean for you to say yes to life?
What would it mean to allow yourself to take your place at the banquet of life?
What unresolved emotions, limiting beliefs, or excuses get in the way?
What would you like more of in life?
What would you like less of?
Even as we just begin to contemplate these questions, we are starting the work/play of expanding our life’s margins. The shift begins within: in our thoughts, our hearts, our inner framework, and our choices. Accepting that it is our birthright to have a joyful, abundant life is the first step towards seeing the banquet that is spread before us now. This banquet does not exclude pain, or trials, or the mundane, but rather incorporates them as bitter and sour flavors that add spice to the meal and ultimately nourish us. We do not want to eat an entire meal of dessert. As we change our perception of whatever we are experiencing or feeling right now, we begin to cultivate a peace that transcends context, and abides like a hearth within.
Join me here next week we for an exploration of “the lost self,”or in other words the ways in which we give away our power.