Archive for August, 2012

Distractions #34/2012

“What are your plans for today?” my boyfriend asks.

“My book.” I declare with certainty. “I plan to write the ending to my book today.” In my mind I’m thinking, I haven’t a clue how to start that last chapter.

We get up to start our day. I discover I can’t place an outside call because my land-line just died. There’s no dial tone. Okay, I’ll have to call the phone company about that. I call from my cell phone and it starts acting funny too. Twenty-five minutes later I have finally made an appointment for service from Comcast. Then I remember my car’s sun visor broke yesterday. It is dangling vertically down to the steering wheel. Okay, I need to scout around for replacement parts for that. Meanwhile, I remember my son’s birthday is fast approaching and I need to order his gift on-line. My computer is not cooperating. It awakens so slowly that I have time to do the dishes while I’m waiting. My cat isn’t helping. She is throwing up on my living room carpet. I stop to clean up the mess . . . and so my day goes.

It’s now 2:30 in the afternoon. What was it I said I was going to do today? Oh, yeah. My book.

I’ve discovered that writing is like any other creative project. When I’m on a roll with what I want to write, a bulldozer rumbling through my apartment couldn’t get my attention. However, when I’m not quite sure what to write, even the smallest distraction will easily derail me.

I think, Don’t know what to write, Paula?

I tell myself, No, but that’s OK. I’m too busy doing tedious, mundane, irritating or gross tasks to have time for any thing I deem important.

Let your spirit soar!

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Suffering #33/2012

I just finished speaking with a woman who has endured more hardship than any one person should ever have to bear. She came to me, seeking information about A Course in Miracles. Studying the course is no small undertaking. People often turn to it when they’ve reached a point of desperation. It’s not the only pathway to joy, but it’s the most gentle, most effective one I know.

I have great compassion for this woman’s suffering, but I also recognize the opportunity it is affording her. I would never wish suffering on anyone. God does not want us to suffer. His will for us is perfect joy. I am becoming more joyful each and every day, but I have to admit, my greatest advances often come on the heels of what I perceive as some level of suffering. I find it’s not until I reach a point of surrender, of saying that I don’t know and I’m willing to entertain a different way of looking at things, that I crack the door open to the joy that is always there, waiting for me to recognize and claim it for myself.

I can’t choose joy for this person, but I can reassure her that it is possible for her to choose it for herself. Now that she’s cracked the door open . . .

I hope she steps through.

Let your spirit soar!

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Shifting Gears #32

Shifting gears   #32

Early morning caller . . . “Is there any chance on such short notice that you could mind my daughter today from 10am-2pm? ”

“Today?!!!” I ask. “Oh, I can’t.”

I have plans, you know. I usually go line-dancing on Fridays and then I have an hour long conference call starting at 11am. I tell her my reasons. “Sorry.” Case closed.

“Could you possibly take your conference call from my place?” she asks. Hmmmm. I hadn’t thought of that. (First gear) “Can I think about it and call you back?” I say. I see that I already have a salad made that I could take for lunch. And I still have time to pack up my computer and materials I need for my call before I go dancing from 9-10am.

 I’ve been dealing with a health issue that has lowered my energy level. Will I really want to dance the whole hour? Probably not. I guess I could leave the dance a little early. (Second gear)

Besides, couldn’t I use the extra income? (Third gear)

And, didn’t I promise myself that I would assist this friend through a tough time for as long as it took? (Fourth gear)

I pick up the phone. “Hi. I can be there by 10:15.” (Cruising)

Some plans can’t be so easily changed – “I’m boarding a plane in 15 minutes.” OK. But more often than not it’s a simple case of resistance. I made these plans and I expect things to go this way. More and more I’m discovering that, when I let go of needing things to go a certain way, they actually turn out better. Today I still got to go line-dancing. I saw my young friend for four hours. I had my conference call as usual, earned money while doing it, got the inspiration for this blog, and helped out my friend at the same time.

Now, was that so hard?

Let your spirit soar!

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The Phantom #31/2012

In studying A Course in Miracles, I’m learning that only love is real and that fear is just an illusion. I’ve long been a fan of the beautifully dramatic musical, The Phantom of the Opera. Last week I saw a special 25th anniversary production of it on television. Once again, I was entranced by the soul stirring music, lavish costumes, and special effects as Christine struggled in her love/hate relationship with the luring, seductive, yet fearful Phantom. When it ended, it struck me that it was a perfect example of what the Course is teaching me. For starters – the fearful figure was just a “phantom.” I sat there thinking what the moral of the story was. For those who have not seen it, I won’t reveal the whole plot and ending. For those who have – you’ll know what I mean when I say:

When you look fear square in the face and show it love   .  .  .  .  .  . it disappears.

Let your spirit soar!


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