The GIFT of WAITING

Are you one of the amazing few who have all the patience in the world when it comes to Waiting and being kept Waiting? Perhaps it’s in your nature or you’ve learned earlier on the value of Waiting.

I for one, have to work a little harder on patience, and frankly, I’m not a big fan of Waiting!

If this sounds like you, here’s a big WHAT IF:

What if Life is giving us plenty of opportunities to wait, in order to reveal the Gifts behind it?

2 years ago, I stumbled on a book I never knew I needed. I would not have found it if not for a person that kept me WAITING… I arrived for our lunch meet on time, but the other person overslept and was still in bed. She promised to rush over in an hour or 2. I stood at the sidewalk, melting in the heat of the sun as cars rushed by, absolutely frustrated and wondering what to do. That’s when I remembered a secluded bookshop I’ve been wanting to check out. Finding my way there was an adventure.

Once there, a strange looking blue book caught my eye–not for the title at first, but because of the author’s name: SUE MONK KIDD. She comes highly recommended, but it wasn’t this particular book.

Flipping through the pages, her words were as Light to me, in my time of darkness. Every chapter would be useful in guiding me forth in a time of uncertainty, as I waited and lived my way through the questions of the unknown.

Thing is, I discovered this GEM of a book because I was kept waiting! Imagine my surprise, when I decided to buy it, and noticed the title, ‘WHEN THE HEART WAITS’.

I burst out laughing on the spot. This is one of Life’s funny jokes and a true Gift in that present moment.

This year, there’s been many enriching instances where learning to surrender and relax into Waiting, proved to be a rewarding decision.

But just for laughs, here’s a funny instance of the Gift of Waiting.

The other night at the parking lot, I was waiting in the car for a friend. He was off to pay parking. 11 minutes passed. Still no sign of him. I called, no answer. 15 minutes in, my Imagination was filling in the blanks:

  1. He’s lost
  2. He fainted
  3. He got punched / he’s in a fight
  4. He bumped into friends / a hot chick
  5. Super massive queue at the ticketing machine

Turns out he came back from the supermarket with the Lindt Bear I was looking at earlier. o _ O

DUDE. That was so unexpected. But sweet!

DSC_1638_20141223112157899

Then the other day for lunch, us girls met up at YUZU. But we were waiting and waiting and waiting for another friend to arrive. When she finally did, she brought out a huge present for each of us.

In these three instances, there are no deep lessons to be learnt. Just a light, sweet and simple reminder, sometimes, Waiting isn’t such a bad thing (though it may seem so at first).

There’s a Gift in every experience if you look for it… Just WAIT, and See.

“The Greek word for soul is psyche, and is often symbolized as a butterfly, Both the soul and the butterfly are metamorphosed.

While it was tempting for me to think that the growth and emergence of my authentic self would happen with little time or effort on my part, that isn’t so.

The fullness of one’s soul evolves slowly. We’re asked to go within to gestate the newness God is trying to form; we’re asked to collaborate with grace.

That doesn’t mean that grace isn’t a gift. Nor does it mean that the deliberate process of waiting produces grace. But waiting does provide the time and space necessary for grace to happen. Spirit needs a container to pour itself into. Grace needs an arena in which to incarnate. Waiting can be such a place, if we allow it.

Not long ago I came upon a poster hanging in an art shop. On it was a golden butterfly, its wings spread against a blaze of sky. “Your soul is your greatest work of art,” the caption read.

As I looked more closely, however, I noticed in the bottom lefthand corner of the poster the husk of an empty cocoon, a painful reminder that bright wings and works of art don’t just happen. They require the courage to let go and spin the chrysalis.

In soulmaking we can’t bypass the cocoon. Wherever there are bright new wings, there’s always the husk of waiting somewhere in the corner…

…I had tended to view waiting as mere passivity. When I looked it up in my dictionary however, I found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pat, which means “to endure.”

Waiting is thus both passive and passionate. It’s a vibrant, contemplative work. It means descending into self, into God, into the deeper labyrinths of prayer. It involves listening to disinherited voices within, facing the wounded holes in the soul, the denied and undiscovered, the places one lives falsely.

It means struggling with the vision of who we really are in God and molding the courage to live that vision.” – Sue Monk Kidd, ‘When the Heart Waits’.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Hey Love, are you Patient with You?

It’s funny (and I love it) how time and time again, I am reminded that the very thing you teach, is the very thing you need to learn.

On Sunday, a beautiful young lady was sharing her heart out with me and we got to the topic of Self-Love.

I listened to her idea of Self-Love and suggested for her to check out 1st Corinthians 13. “Love is Patient, Love is Kind.”

Are you Patient, with You? Are you Kind, to You?

When we are patient with ourselves, we are kind to ourselves.

How we are with ourselves, is how we are with others.

That’s why learning and practising Self-love is important.

Last night, a good friend of mine was smiling kindly when he asked, “Are you a Patient person?”

I came up with all my answers and reasoning, the flipside of Patience and Impatience, how each virtue has its Pros and Cons. I concluded that I’m working on it, and that compared to last time, my level of Patience with myself and others, has increased so much more.

So he got specific, “In a scale of 1 to 10, how Patient do you think you are?”

I said 5.

“There you go… Ask any of your trusted friends. Would they describe you as Patient? You need to be Patient for what you want to do…”

Good reminder.

But at first Fear does what it does best, freaks out, and asks, “Does that mean I cannot do what I want to do, since it’s not in my nature and I’m not PATIENT ENOUGH?”

I listened to my Fear, and allowed it to Inform me.

Love picks up from there, and says, “It’s good you’re Aware of what you need. All of us have different strengths, and different area of struggles. You CAN do what you want to do. Keep GROWING and cultivating Patience, that’s all. 

Sounds like a good deal.

Looking back at past relationships, the ONE quality that stands out to me in a Loved One is Patience. They never speak about patience or announce that they are being patient. They don’t even ask of it, from me. They just exude patience, and show it in the way they are with me—the best way they can, for as long as they can, before they hit their human limitations.

I love how GENTLE they are, when they point out something I need to pay attention to. For me, a sure sign someone is Patient with you, is how Gentle they are with you.

It leaves a lasting impression, long after that moment has passed or when they’re gone. This lasting quality is LOVE in action. It feels warm and gentle to your soul.

It feels LOVING.

You feel LOVED.

It’s true what Maya Angelou says. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Last night, though the question, “Are you a Patient person?” made me uncomfortable at first, the way it was being asked felt gentle, felt loving, in the end.

That’s Patience, in action.

Being reminded that PATIENCE always feels good in the end, makes it worth the effort of practising Patience, though it’s not easy, initially.

It gets easier with practice.

And I have a feeling, it gets easier and easier because you’re reminded more and more that being PATIENT with yourself and others feels good.

It feels really good.

And you know, as an encouragement to others who are more hot-blooded like I am (LOL!), they say that what you admire in others, already exists in you.

You can’t possibly see and admire something in others, when you don’t already have it within yourself. We see others, as we are.

The idea is to really dig in, and find a way to unearth that quality you admire in others, that’s already hidden within you.

It takes Patience, but You’re worth it.

“Have patience with all things, but first of all, yourself.” – St. Francis de Sales 

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

May every encounter this merry week of celebration be an opportunity to explore, practice and experience the Power of Love, Belonging and Being Enough.

Brené Brown: “Love and belonging are essential to the human experience… If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging…

The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. So many of us have knowingly created/unknowingly allowed/been handed down a long list of prerequisites:

*I’ll be worthy when I lose twenty pounds.
*I’ll be worthy if I get pregnant.
*I’ll be worthy if I get/stay sober.
*I’ll be worthy if everyone thinks I’m a good parents.
*I’ll be worthy when I can make a living selling my art.
*I’ll be worthy if I can hold my marriage together.
*I’ll be worthy when I make partner.
*I’ll be worthy when my parents finally approve.
*I’ll be worthy if he calls back and asks me out.
*I’ll be worthy when I can do it all and look like I’m not even trying.

Here’s what is truly at the heart of Wholeheartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. WE are WORTHY of LOVE and BELONGING now. Right this minute. As is.

In addition to letting go of the ifs and whens, another critical piece of owning our story and claiming our worthiness is cultivating a better understanding of love and belonging…

Love:
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them–we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.

Belonging:
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance…

…We can only belong when we offer our most authentic selves and when we’re embraced for who we are.” – Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Have a merry week of celebration and a mellow week of contemplation. 

May every reunion, gathering and encounter be an opportunity to explore, practice and experience the Power of Love, Belonging and Being Enough.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

What is YOUR WORD for 2015? 10 Days to Reflect, Realign, Rephrase, REWORD.

Your words are the mirror to your soul.

Say what you need to say. Say what you want to say.

But remember, what you say about ANYTHING, ANYONE, says more about YOU than anything else.

What are you hearing You say? What is it showing you about You? Are these the kind of words you’d like to EXPERIENCE more of in 2015?

Your Words shape your World.
Your Words direct your Destiny.
Your Words paint your Future.
Your Words create your Life.

What is YOUR WORD for 2015?

What is the ONE WORD that can sum up YOUR VISION for the New Year? What are the actionable words you can turn into YOUR MISSION and make it happen? I’m still in the process of Listening In for My Word. I invite you to join me in this CREATIVE process of CREATING the life you will love!

10 days countdown to THE END of 2014
(and A NEW BEGINNING) begins TODAY.

Make the most of it. Reflect, Realign, Rephrase, REWORD.

All the best, all the love, for your future! 😉

“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave!” – BRAVE, Sara Bareilles

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Shadow Boxing In The Dark…

Do you remember the scene in Disney’s Peter Pan where he loses his own shadow, and quietly sneaks in to Wendy’s room at night to hunt, fight and pin down his shadow with all his might?

This seemingly minute scene is a huge hint at something most of us may not even be aware of:

Shadow Boxing in the dark…

petershadow

The idea of Shadow Boxing came to me on the 3rd of December, ’14.

That night at 8pm, he left me for the desert. His eyes told me he’s going off on a fight.

I saw the seething rage beneath the calm. In an instant, I knew.

He’s going shadow boxing.

This time, the punches will be hard as steel and soul breaking.

It made me want to cry out. “Don’t hurt yourself! Please, be patient with yourself…”

And then, as real as it felt, as quick as it came, the vision in the night vanished into thin air.

It left me wondering who’s the one Shadow Boxing?

Him. Or me?

It could be my projection.

I could be the one, left behind, left to face a most unforgiving fight.

And you may wonder, “But how can one hurt themselves if they’re only shadow boxing? Aren’t you just fighting with… air?” Indeed, Wiki states that in shadowboxing, “only one person is required to participate; the participant throws punches at no one in particular.” – Wiki

But the shadow boxing I had in mind last night was a little different… It’s the fight we have with our own Shadow.

“In Jungian psychology, the shadow or “shadow aspect” may refer to (1) an unconscious aspect of the personality which the conscious ego does not identify in itself. Because one tends to reject or remain ignorant of the least desirable aspects of one’s personality, the shadow is largely negative, or (2) the entirety of the unconscious, i.e., everything of which a person is not fully conscious. There are, however, positive aspects which may also remain hidden in one’s shadow.” – Wiki

I went Shadow Boxing with a group of strangers last night and it was quite an experience.

We sat in a ring. Lights dimmed. The master was on her raised meditation cushion. And then, with a nod, one by one, the fighters took turns to get into that ring, Shadow Boxing, freestyle.

As each of them shared their story and struggles, the master, with eyes as sharp as an eagle, mind ten paces ahead, and experience twice our lifetime, is listening. Every uttered word paints the flow and the movement of the Shadow. She’s quick to catch and redirect, with tough-loving suggestions here and there.

Each fighter returns to his or her seat a little weary but much stronger in Awareness.

Some, like A and I, continued our shadow work even after the sessions were done. Her piercing insight, now that I think of it, was kind of like expertboxing.com‘s guide to improve shadow boxing.

“If something feels too difficult, you’re probably doing it wrong. Your shoulders shouldn’t be hurting during the hook. Your back shouldn’t be aching when you slip. You shouldn’t be falling off balance when you move around. If you’re getting tired shadowboxing, how can you expect yourself to have much endurance during a high-stress fight with an opponent?” – expertboxing.com 

‘Cos I was saying things like, “I’ve been trying to be patient, trying to be understanding, trying to be open-minded, trying to be loving…”

A responds, “Trying this… trying that… trying, always trying… trying means you’re not there yet… you’re not patient, not understanding, not… you get the idea? You think you are but you’re not. If you are, you wouldn’t be trying… you’d BE.”

And she ended our session with the one word I needed reminder of: ACCEPTANCE.

Until we see, acknowledge and understand our own Shadow, coming to a point of Acceptance, we’ll find it hard to Accept others, as they are.

“The shadow personifies everything that the subject refuses to acknowledge about himself” and represents “a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well”. 

If and when ‘an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in others — such things as egotism, mental laziness, and sloppiness; unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots; carelessness and cowardice; inordinate love of money and possessions…” – wiki/Shadow_(psychology)

Shadow work is scary and uncomfortable, but so necessary.

Perhaps when we gradually slip into Acceptance, we can do less Shadow Boxing and more, as cgjungpage.org puts it, “Shadow Dancing.”

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Love Is Allowing Yourself To Feel

theloveculture

Originally posted on 28.06.12:

“We must not numb our pain.

When in sorrow, sorrow.

When in anger, anger.

FEEL IT.

It’s the only way to go through it.” Paul said to me, as we were discussing the problem of alcoholism in Finland.

His main language is Finnish. So when he speaks in English, it’s very simple. But I get it. And I love it. It comes out sounding like a poem.

Paul is saying we must go through the process of whatever it is we’re feeling. So when we’re in sorrow, then allow ourselves to be in sorrow.

Having spent many years working in a rehab for alcoholics in Helsinki, he’s seen how desperately people try to numb their pain, instead of dealing with the root of that pain. In the end, the only thing they create is a bigger mess, ruining their own lives and the lives of their…

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