This is often my morning prayer, "I just want to live in Love."
Each day, I have the best of intentions to do so. And then life—with all its drama and chaos—takes a different turn. I move from flow to flurry in minutes. Love is not left behind, its glow has simply paled in comparison to what tugs and pulls at me from the distractions of daily l life.
I need reminders. Mantras. Readings. Practices. Breathing love in, love out, to keep this biggest, most grandest kind of Love front and center. I am not there yet. I am not an enlightened one or yogi or saint. I am a simple human being who wants to love large but sometimes struggles along the way. My hope is to live through my spiritual heart more and more each day, honoring my wise teachers who oh, so patiently keep pointing me in that direction.
Here's one such reminder, just for today:
It is easy to love those who love us--
My newest book release, Being Love, is now available in 3 formats (paperback, e-book and audiobook) to help you live into Love—Divine Love with all beings, including yourself—to fulfill your sacred purpose and to bring richness and joy into your days.
Read and listen to excerpts here.
Today, an excerpt from my new book,
Love Lesson 23
Forever After Kind of Love
"They’re You’ll Be”, Faith Hill
For me, one of the most poignant love songs of all times is this one, "There You'll Be," sung by Faith Hill. It speaks of everything we ever hope Real Love will be. It also speaks about loss of the person with whom we experienced a very special kind of Love.
The song, of course, focuses on romantic love—and the loss of one's partner or lover. I'd like to invite you to listen to the song a few times to expand its perspective. Listen to it once, focusing on the words as applied to the loss of an intimate partner. The second time, focusing on how the words could apply to anyone with whom you have experienced (or are currently experiencing) deep and abiding love or friendship.
I found this experiment quite interesting. The first time I listened to the song with these intentions I felt a real sense of loss. (I was actually thinking about my husband and what it might be like if he was no longer alive.) My heart constricted with that loss. The second time I listened, I thought about my dear father who passed away ten years ago. I felt loss but also deep gratitude and even hopefulness because as the lyrics profess, "I was blessed to get to have you in my life." My heart felt more open and expansive.
These words helped:
"And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me
Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me."
When we take these words to heart we can see how there could be many people to whom they might apply—siblings, friends, go-workers. There are several people who've loved us and strengthened us, who were present for us. Held in this way, "There You'll Be," can be a beautiful expression of gratitude and remembering, not just loss.
Remembering ... this is one of the other aspects of Love that rises to be affirmed in this song. When we have been in relationship with someone and we have loved one another well, when that person is gone, they are still with us because what we experienced with them has become a part of us. Their presence lives on in us and, in that, we can find some comfort, despite our loss.
May we ever remember that in any given moment we are making memories—remembrances—with dear ones that will sustain us as relationships change, life shifts and ends. Each encounter with another is a "holy encounter." With each glance, touch, and loving word we sow a seed of future remembrance that we were, indeed, precious to one another, and for that we can be eternally grateful.
It is a blessing to be with one another, no matter how long that might be.
©2017, Janice L. Lundy.
Drop into your spiritual heart and be love now ...
30 days of love through the power of music.
Learn more and read excerpts here.
Being Love is now available for pre-order in e-book and print formats.
There is a special price with bonus gifts for your early purchase.
“When you wish upon a star …” Do you remember these lovely lyrics, sung by the character Jiminy Cricket in the Disney film “Pinocchio”? They assure us that if our “heart is in a dream, no request is too extreme,” all of our dreams will come true.
When we were children, it seemed like anything was possible. Wishes could be granted with the wave of a wand or a sprinkle of fairy dust. As adults, we may hold a more mature, realistic view, understanding (from life experience) that wishing does not always make it so.
And, yet, there is something to be said about intentions, wishes of sorts, and holding a clear vision for one’s life. The ability to intend in this way—with passion and purpose—may lead us to the place where dreams are born, Jiminy Cricket style. The alternative—feeling hopeless or embittered—leads us nowhere.
This holiday season, as you find yourself making choices about gift giving, consider what gifts you might like to intend and consciously create for yourself this year. What treasures of the Spirit would you like to bring to life? Here are three of mine. I invite you to pull up a chair, pour a cup of tea, and write down three of your own. Wishing may not make it so, but wholehearted intention will.
One of the very best gifts I can give myself is to be fully aware of my thoughts and feelings. When I am awake and alert, I can choose how to respond to what is happening around me with grace—instead of reacting to others with sloppy words, impatience, or temper. React or respond, this is the key to inner freedom. We do have the power to choose our words and actions. This is an incredibly powerful gift! If we intend to stop, look, and listen before we do anything, it ensures peace of mind and harmonious relations with others—two more shining stars of the season!
Health and Longevity
I want to be healthy and strong. I’d like to live for a very long time. I love this life! It is a precious thing to be born a human being. But wishing for my body to be healthy is not good enough. Each year many of us intend to eat healthier, organic, and lower on the food chain. We intend to get more exercise to build muscle and stamina. And simply thinking about this by sitting on the couch eating fast food we purchased at a drive-through restaurant does not support that intention. Choice by choice, we give our body a healthful gift or a booby prize. We must make choices every single day to give it what it needs to be strong, fight off disease, and maintain energy.
Did I save the best wish for last? Perhaps. The older I get the more I realize that not much in life matters if I don’t have love. Love of my partner, of family and friends. Love of work and creative expression. Love of the Earth and her bounty. Love of growth and the opportunity to be all that I can be. But in order to receive this love, I must have an open heart. I must be able to fully give love, too. So my third and final wish would be for me to live with a wide-open heart as best I can; to not shut down or close off to others; to not judge or discriminate or neglect. I wish to be kind; to extend myself to others as best I can; to live with unconditional friendliness toward all beings—both animal and human. This is a life worth living, one rooted in love.
“Fate is kind,” sang Jiminy, “She brings to those who love the sweet fulfillment of their secret longing.” These are my secret longings this holiday season— inner freedom, health, and love—and because I do love, I hope they will be granted.
What are yours? Perhaps we can meet under the tree and share our gifts. What bounty we would have!
(Originally published in Women's LifeStyle, Dec. 2010)
"There is a beautiful truth deep within you. It has been your truth since before time began and will remain your truth through eternity."
Do you know what this truth is?
I had the privilege of exploring this truth with a dear friend, a wise spiritual guide, Kenny Brixey, while talking about his new book Discovering the Divine Within.
Discovering the Divine Within is an inspiring and informative resource for anyone on a spiritual path, anyone who wishes to deepen their connection with the Sacred as they understand it. Inter-spiritual in scope and flavor, Kenny presents essays, guided meditations and affirmations for stepping into the truth of your being—the Love that you are by birthright and destiny.
(The interview is 25 min.)
Or download here for later listening.
About Kenny Brixey
Kenny Brixey is the Spiritual Director for Divine Connection-Center for Spiritual Awareness; a New Thought community in Van Alstyne, Texas. He is an author, an experiential speaker and creator/host of "Life's Tool Box" radio show on Empower Radio. He also serves as a coach and facilitator for individuals, couples and organizations that desire to reach their full potential by realizing their own infinite greatness.
You can learn more about Kenny at his website:
Discovering the Divine Within can be purchased through Amazon or Create Space.
Can you look at another with Jesus' or Buddha's eyes?
Can we see the Divine Spirit in each person who comes into our life?
Can we offer them unconditional love and understanding
as our Higher Power does for us?
This may be one of the most difficult lessons on the spiritual path because
it requires us to cast off our human vestiges of
judgment and expectations of perfection.
Spirit entreats us instead to cloak ourselves with celestial garments
of acceptance and love,
to strive to see the world and our fellow travelers with sacred vision.**
This is a beautiful sentiment, isn't it? To see one another as the Divine sees us? To witness someone's innate perfection, as well as the unique way each person is beautifully made? And, to view them this way, rather than focusing on all their flaws and the things you don't like about them, including the poor life choices they may make.
To view others through "lenses of love" is a "non-negotiable" on the spiritual path, but how do you actually do that? Some people are not easy to like, much less love, so how do you get around that real fact?
First, it requires a mental shift about who we are and who we are to one another.
Second, it requires engaging in regular practices that teach you how to do this; to retrain your brain (in terms of perception) and to open your heart (in terms of spiritual principles). Make sense?
You can't think your way to non-judgmental, compassionate boundless love. You can only get there by practicing it and over-riding the way you've been taught to think and feel about it.
I'm all about spiritual practices, as you must know by now, and "Being Love" begins as a spiritual practice. In time--with intention, attention, and even MORE practice--Love Itself will take over the transformational process and lead the way.
Give yourself wholeheartedly over to walking the Path of Love and be amazed at how the Divine will step in and show you how. But willingness is key, and we must be willing to let go of everything we've been taught about love to embrace a completely new model of how we can be with with one another.
** From Awakening the Spirit Within by Jan Lundy. © 2000, Heart to Heart Press.
"Being Love," a 14-day period of intentional spiritual practice on how to put on "lenses of love", will begin Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Learn how to change the way you experience love with others--through your spiritual identity rather than through your personality (ego-identity)—and transform your relationships with others, even hard-to-like people. Connect with and gain unconditional support for your "Being Love" journey in our private conversation community.
Learn more and register.
A few years ago, when I was serving as a magazine editor and feature writer, I had the privilege of interviewing Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD. I'd admired her work for years.
At the time we were talking about her new venture, The Dangerous Old Woman, and the conversation often returned to the subject of wisdom.
I finally asked her, "How do you define wisdom?"
Her answer, "Wisdom is what works."
I've thought long and hard about her answer and, truthfully, have pretty much taken the definition on as my own.
I used to think of wisdom as something lofty. Something only a gift few people had. Or something to be acquired as you aged and had clocked plenty of life experience.
Abiding by this definition, I believe that each of one of has a deep reservoir of wisdom. It may not feel like it on most days, but it's there. Sometimes the difficulty of daily life keeps us distanced from it, frantically paddling in a swirling pool of yuck and muck where we lack the mental clarity and emotional strength to climb onto steadier ground.
Wisdom is what helps us stand tall—calm, clear, confident. Cognizant that we have what it takes to roll with the ups and downs of life. To love rather than hate. To heal rather than hurt. To grow rather than hide. As Dr. CPE reminds us, yes, wisdom is what works.
A few years ago I was guided to engage a morning process of accessing my own inner wisdom. I wanted to remember what worked in terms of living a wholehearted life. I'd light a candle, set the intention to tap into my own good stuff (and that which the Divine revealed to me), then write it down. Those jottings became the "Beads of Wisdom" I sent out to my e-mail list beginning in 2012.
Today, I launched a new version of these Beads. I call them "Beads of Wisdom 3.0" because they're new and different, because I'm new and different.
Passionate about growth, I vow to always be faithful to what is unfolding within me and to where it's taking me. I'm always happy to share what I'm discovering along the way.
So with great pleasure I invite you to join me for a new and deeper understanding of wisdom and receive a daily dose of mindfulness, lovingkindness, and compassion. A dollop of what works for any of us to live in the highest way possible—calm, clear and wise, no matter what.
You can read more about Beads of Wisdom 3.0 here and read some samples too.
They're free, from my heart to yours. Enjoy!
I've been goodly busy here just having hosted our largest family gathering yet for Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful time of being with adult children and grandchildren we don't see quite often enough.
And now we are full blown into the holidays. I've made several vows to myself this year—ways to stay plugged-in to the Holy and unplugged from stress or overwhelm. Here are my top 10:
• I vow to stay present and mindful so I know what I need to feel well and happy.
• I vow to eat mindfully and healthfully.
• I vow to engage in sacred rest when I need it.
• I vow to spend some time each morning with my candle lit and my heart attuned to the One.
• I vow to be gentle and compassionate with myself because this IS potentially a stressful time of year.
• I vow to set healthy limits and boundaries so I do not fall prey to overwhelm, "shoulds," or pressure from others.
• I vow to savor the season with music, lights, laughter and "presence."
• I vow to keep things simple and stay attuned to the true meaning of this "Season of Light."
• I vow to hold a compassionate stance and keep my heart open to everyone—no matter what.
• I vow to give thanks daily for the many blessings I have been given, and offer advance praise for all those yet to come.
Well, these are just a few of my kind promises. I could sit here a bit longer and, likely, come up with a whole lot more but, after all, 'tis the season, and there is much to make jolly. There are surfaces to decorate and cookies to bake.
May I--may we all—do so mindfully, kindly and self-compassionately all throughout this beautiful month of remembering, waiting for, and welcoming in the Light.
What kind promises can you make to yourself to ensure that your love and Light shine during the holidays?
(Photo credits: Top image
The heart broken wide open,
left to heal with cracks of light peeking through,
allows love to flow in and out to our fellow travelers.
These cracks also serve as direct conduits to the Divine,
enabling us to move forward on our spiritual path.
As much as we would like to patch the holes in our broken heart,
move quickly beyond the suffering and forget it ever happened,
the greatest lessons are learned through experience.
When the pain is too great to bear or our agony
veils the clarity that will eventually come from a broken open heart,
we can take comfort from the 12th century Persian poet, Rumi,
who wrote, "Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That is where the light enters you."
Excerpted from Awakening the Spirit Within
I'm getting ready to launch my most ambitious spiritual growth offering to date: "Creating Spiritual Health." It will roll out on Monday, Feb. 17. Prepare yourself by taking my "Spiritual Health Check-Up" here. Are you curious about the current state of your Spiritual Health?
What Are You Pointing Yourself Towards? Choosing a Virtue of the Spirit to Guide You in 2014 - Part I
There's great benefit in going with the flow.
There's also something to be said about pointing yourself in a certain direction, especially when it comes to the spiritual life.
The mind is fickle and untrained. It goes wherever it wants to go and takes us right along with it. It requires discipline to stay attuned to the path of the soul.
Each January, I take a time of reflection to ponder this. And to ask myself what my soul is really calling me to. What "Virtue of the Spirit" would I like to cultivate within me this year?
This year the answer came fairly easily and quickly: Love. Though I have to admit there was a bit of unsettled energy around it. Just Love? Was that enough?
Love is one of the most misunderstood of Virtues because its essence is often forgotten—left in the dust of our efforts to find romantic love, the perfect partner, the one—our soul mate.
It became clear, however, that the Love to be claimed as a focal point for me for 2014 was not this kind of human-to-human love, but an all-encompassing Love (Love with a capital "L"). It is the Love I associate with the Divine One Itself—the All of Our Existence, the Sacred, the Holy—the "God" of our understanding.
In my view, this Love is the ultimate, because it lives within us and can be made manifest in all our relationships, as well as surrounding us and enfolding us. Sometimes I even think of it as the "glue" that holds us all together.
As I sat and pondered this in the early wintry days of January, a word came to me. And when it came I knew that it was to be the guiding force of this year—and perhaps, for the rest of my life on earth: Spacious Love.
Spacious Love, when accessed, feels to me like a great inner ocean of affection and connection; a sacred cavern within me that is so large and open that it can hold everything and everyone. It welcomes every experience we have and everyone who enters in; received with with tender regard, wholesomeness, and appreciation.
This is the mind and heart state to which I aspire. In 2014, I will be pointing myself in this direction again and again until there are no more closed doors or windows to my heart.
Take some time right now to reflect on and discern what your Virtue of the Spirit will be for 2014.
What does your heart know and what are you willing to point yourself toward to make your life an embodiment of the Sacred?
Stay tuned for Part II to learn HOW to point yourself toward and stay faithful to this Virtue all year long.
A series of posts on life as a "Mindful Mommy."
An excerpt from:
The Mindful Mommy's Back-to-School Survival Guide
From SOS (Serenity Over Stress) #9: Loving Yourself More
"Bless Your Heart and Hope to Thrive"
I recall a certain truth-telling practice I did as a girl with neighborhood friends. “Cross my heart and hope to die ...” We took the “cross your heart” part pretty seriously. When you crossed your heart, you were making a solemn vow that could not be broken because the heart is the seat of trusted truth. (Thankfully, we didn’t take the “hope to die part” seriously at all.)
As Mindful Mommies, we are always trying to do our best. We are not perfect mommies, but we are women who play multiple roles and are beyond busy, so there will be times when we are off-balance and errors are made. Things said. Situations or people neglected. At times we may feel less than kindly toward ourself— self-critical, judgmental, or disappointed.
When this happens to you, take a deep breath and make an adult-sized promise to yourself: a promise to thrive and love yourself more.
Place your hand over your heart. Bring your awareness to your heart center. Feel the warmth of your hand covering your heart with understanding.
On the inhale, breathe in a feeling of kindness. On the exhale, breathe out your disappointment.
Breathe in understanding, breathe out concern.
Breathe in self-forgiveness, breathe out relief.
Continue in this way until you return to a feeling of equanimity and balance.
Place your hand over your heart. Bring your awareness to your heart center. Feel the warmth of your hand covering your heart with understanding.
Receive what your wise self knows: You are doing the very best you can.
Receive what your faithful heart says: You are loved.
©2013, Janice Lynne Lundy. All Right Reserved
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.