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Choosing Your Best Life in 2015January 2, 2015
How do you intend to spend the new year? What would you love to do or be in 2015? Can you describe the life you would love to lead? Persian poet Rumi wrote, "Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love."
As a writer, nothing touches me more than an empty page, inviting inspiration and creativity. Except perhaps a fresh new year, awaiting each choice to be made. I want to enter this precious period with the virtue the Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of Hinduism, calls Fearlessness – absolute trust in the Divine will. My greatest ambition is to give up ambition and follow God's lead. The blessings that flow from "Out of the Blue Productions" are more lustrous than anything I could dream up for myself. There are steps we can take to design our lives leaving plenty of space for Grace:
1. To make space for the new, we must give up something old. What do you need to bless and release, relying on Detachment to let it go? Nothing in the past is wasted as long as we learn from our teachable moments. There are four things we would all do well to relinquish: fear, addictions, unforgiven resentments, and clutter.
If you want to attract what and who you love, you have to sacrifice anxiety. Will you nurse your wounds, opening them again and again, keeping them painful and sore? Or will you seek healing through forgiveness, prayer and pure intentions? Your inherent virtues will guide you. Service is redemptive. Gratitude is a wonder remedy for anxiety. We cannot entertain fear while feeling grateful. "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (1 John 4:18) The Baha'i Writings say, "Love is a light that dwelleth not in a heart possessed by fear." Forgiveness by praying for one's enemies releases untold blessings. Addictions block joy. They are a pitiful substitute. Creating a clean, open space in our homes and workplaces attracts true abundance.
2. Choose your friends wisely. "Let the dead bury the dead," Jesus told his followers, "and follow me." (Luke 9:60) What if you choose not to waste time with people who are lost, except to minister a bit of compassion, or cheer their hearts for an hour or two? Spend too much of yourself enmeshed with them, and you will become as lost as they. For the soul, every quality is contagious – whether love or hate, honor or dishonor, hope or hopelessness. Which do you want?
3. Dare to discern your own true path. If we fail to choose, we choose to fail, in the sense that each of us has a destiny rich with promise, a part to play in the Divine plan. If we are blind to it, we will never see which direction to follow or where to place our feet. You never know when a kind word from you might save someone's life. That happened to me when I was a young mother and said something even I thought a bit strange to a young mother of four when I was walking with. I told her she was precious to God, and wondered why I said that. A week later she told me she had planned to commit suicide that night but those words stopped her.
Every spiritual journey begins with truth. Tell yourself the truth about what you really want to leave behind and what you would truly love to have and be in your life. Why not "shoot for the moon" as Les Brown writes, "Even if you miss it you'll land among the stars." So, if you could make any dream come true at this season of your life, what would it be? It won't serve you to think small. You are not tempting fate by wishing large, you are welcoming it!
"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be," said poet Robert Browning. Studies show that the happiest people on earth are in their 80's! Nothing left to prove, wisdom to appreciate the simple things of life, true contentment and often heightened creativity.
"Tell me," says poet Mary Oliver, "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" This is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. So, choose your path carefully, keeping a true pace of Grace, balancing work, rest, play, worship and time for simply being. Design a simple plan for living a life you truly love, one that will allow your love to illumine the path for others.