Tag Archives: change

On New Beginnings or A Tale of Dancing Into 2016

Red onion skins and New Year’s Eve have much in common –-
they both peel away to reveal new vibrancy.”
Alex Morritt

2016 is here and I’m ready for bigger and better things.  “Wait,” you say.  Where have you been Kenny? There’ve been no blogs for many, many months.”  Well. I’ve made several career changes this year, directed an outstanding production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and fought tomato blight.  OK, we’re all caught up.

To begin again, 2016 is here and I’m ready for bigger and better things.  To do this, I’ll need to make some huge changes in who I AM — who I’ve become or as my guru, the Beatle, George Harrison puts it, I’m in need of “regrooving.”

George

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Mark Twain

At the opening of each New Year, we stand on the threshold to view the vista of a new beginning.  We see more clearly the possibilities that lie ahead of us – so many unexplored opportunities, so many paths.  Do we take the road less traveled, or trod the familiar path?  The choice is ours.  We are not shackled to the choices of the past.  We can, at any moment, let go of self-limiting thoughts, actions, and tendencies – the things that stifle the soul and hold us back from achieving our greatness.

“Awaken your habit-dulled spirit
to zestful new effort.
Rest not till th’ eternal freedom is won!”
Paramahansa Yoganada

Yogananda

Seize this opportunity – this new beginning — and feel renewed, refreshed, and start anew.  Begin by accepting the challenges each day, week and month bring.  Awaken your passion and grit to accomplish what you know is right and good and true.  Take up something you think cannot do and then do it.  Seeing the power of your tenacity will give you self-assurance and lend momentum to your will.  By doing this you will unleash the unlimited strength within you.

I intend to be more faithful in my blogging this year and share my journey with you.  Thank you for reading this and for sharing the trip with me.

I pray that you are blessed in this year and that you may bring to fruition your dreams and aspirations.

New year

On Doing Battle With The Adversary or A Tale Of Learning To Love The Station Master

But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44

Today I had the blessing of attending mass with Father Daniel Schuster.  I’ve only heard FR Schuster preach a handful of times, but each homily he’s preached has moved me; to me FR Schuster is the real deal, a rock star among priests.  Today’s homily was on becoming a sanctuary.  Today’s homily rocked me to my very foundations.

The foundation of this homily was a Gospel reading from Matthew, Chapter 5.  Matthew is my favorite New Testament work with chapters 5 – 7, The Sermon on The Mount being my favorite of all biblical writings.  “But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  WHOA.  This hit me hard and in a new light.  Love your enemies – and then it hit me — I’m my own worst enemy.  Pray for those who persecute you – no one has every persecuted as painfully as I persecute myself.   Who do you need to pray for Kenneth? You need to pray for you Kenneth. Not a prayer of vanity or a prayer of asking, but a prayer of forgiveness and love.  “Help me God to forgive myself for the way I have abused and treated myself.  Teach me to be more loving of myself so I may love others more fully.  Fill me with light and illuminate my mind.  Help me to be worthy to be a sanctuary.”

Of course this isn’t as easy as it sounds.   We all struggle with.  Yes, we’ve all heard the saying “I am my own worst enemy.”  But hearing this today was different.  I heard this with my inner hearing – my spiritual ears.

“Your actions are your only true belongings.”

Allan Lokos

Instead of loving myself, I obsess over whether or not someone could find me loveable and used superficial targets to validate my existence—possessions, grades, jobs, friends, cash, and degrees for fancy coursework.

I feel like a voracious black hole of yearning.  I consumed everything that was closest to me—food, love, validation — in an attempt to fill the void that I experience on a daily basis. That feeling of not being good enough, of seeking desperately for the last piece of the puzzle, the piece that would round me out and make me whole.

I micromanage those around me, offering help that has not been asked for, repairing others because I don’t have the courage to believe I’m repairable.

I require my own love and support. I need my actions to resonate with the deeply hidden spark thriving inside my spirit, that light that hopes someday I’ll come to retrieve it and be a worthy sanctuary.

Now, I often tell people that the spark inside of them, no matter how dim or deeply hidden, is like Tinker Bell as Tink’s light is being extinguished in Peter Pan. That, like Tinker Bell, that spark is enlivened and emboldened by the clapping and cheering and belief in its relevance – belief in yourself. 

That spark represents your inner wisdom, your inner light — the light that will guide you directly toward a life that is tailor-fit to your specifications, a life that is in harmony with all, a life that is worth of being a sanctuary.

And yet, there are times when I doubt its integrity, I doubt myself, favoring instead the words and programs and gospel of experts and gurus, wanting desperately to be fixed, to be whole.

There are those days where I’m certain that if I just read enough or I’m kind enough, that I will be transformed into a person deserving of a beautiful life, deserving to be a sanctuary.

I forget I am the one that I am waiting for.

Who looks outside, dreams;

who looks inside, awakes.

Carl Gustav Jung

So how do you shift this perception?  You do the work.

We can bury our magnificence, but it’s impossible to destroy.  Loving ourselves isn’t a onetime event. It’s an endless, moment by moment ongoing process.  It begins with you, enfolding yourself in your own affection and appreciation.  So despite all the things that you think may be terribly wrong with you, love yourself – LOVE YOURSELF.

The best way to create this is to begin your day with love, not technology – don’t start your day with email, voice mail or Good Morning America; turn the phone off. Remind yourself of your worthiness before getting out of bed. Breathe in love and breathe out love. Enfold yourself in light. Saturate your being in love.

Take time to pray, mediate and journal. Spend time focusing inward daily. Pray is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.  Begin with 5 minutes of pray and meditation and 5 minutes of journaling each morning. Gradually increase this time.

Journal to remember all the times you’ve been your best, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Break these moments down into distinct parts, like a chemist in a lab distilling the most significant components.  If there was a place that felt injured or broken or if you can’t think of a time, give yourself the permission to imagine what might feel really good there. Let yourself dream.

Take that list and boil it down to five needs.  My five daily needs are: adequate sleep, plenty of hydration, spiritual study, moving my body, and silence.  Those are the five ingredients that I could provide myself to concoct a truly supported and nourished day where my body felt whole, my mind felt alive and my spirit felt encouraged. Your list might look radically different than mine, but the importance is that it is something that works for you. Try to meet those needs in whatever way you see fit, however imperfect or intermittent.

Over time, you’ll begin to see yourself as a person worth loving. You’ll begin to believe you deserve a life that is deeply immersed in and led by your own inner wisdom and self-love.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters

compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yes, I know; learning self-love isn’t easy. I look at it this way. Throughout the day, I’m confronted with many opportunities to disregard or attune to my feelings, to judge or to honor them, to keep commitments and be responsible to myself, and to act in accordance with my needs, values, and feelings. I have an opportunity to learn self-love all the time. Every time I talk myself down, doubt myself, exhaust myself, dismiss my feelings or needs, or act against my values, I undermine my self-esteem. The reverse is also true. I will make healthier choices, because you and I will both benefit from this.