Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Most Mondays I wake up raring to go. Some days I hit the ground running, but other days, the sheer number of things I want (and tell myself I “have” to do) paralyzes me. My best defense is to dump everything that’s swirling around inside my head onto the page. This morning my to-do list looked like this:
Meditation and prayers
Write in journal
Write blog post
Re-read last section of memoir
Unpack from trip
Respond to emails
Write birthday thank you notes
Talk to Helen (my daughter)
Consult web designer
I don’t know if I’ll get everything on this list done today. Probably not. It helps to remind myself that it doesn’t matter if it takes me two or three days to complete these items. What does matter is that everything on my list I’m doing for love.
Dr. H. Ronald Hulnick, author, teacher, and world-renowned pioneer in the field of Spiritual Psychology, once told my class at The University of Santa Monica: “The only reason to do anything is for love.” That statement gave me pause. Really? I thought. Part of me wanted to disprove it. I wanted to say that was a luxury few people could enjoy. Would this be true for disadvantaged people? And on and on. But then I stopped myself, and asked, What if this is true? What might my life look like if love motivated my actions? What if I replaced fear with love? Unfortunately, as is the case for many of us, fear motivates a lot of my behavior. I began to wonder how life might be if instead of feeling pressured to do things out of obligation, insecurity, doubt, and fear, I flipped the paradigm on its head and chose to do things out of love.
So I experimented. The result was joy. It’s been interesting to realize that the specifics of what I did every day remained pretty much the same, but how I did things changed. When I realized I was doing what I was doing because of love, life felt lighter. For example, instead of complaining about cleaning my house, I focused on how much I loved my family and my home, and how great it was that I was able to clean my home. It also occurred to me that I was lucky to have a home. Instead of bitching and moaning about how much work it is to be an author, I reminded myself that this work is part of why I’m here. I love it, and I get to share it. How cool is that!
I am sometimes invited to do things I don’t want to do. When this happens, I ask myself, “Where’s the love here?” Maybe it’s connected to a person. Or perhaps it has something to do with the love I feel for a college, institution, or cause. I root around and sniff out the love. If I don’t catch its scent, I say no and move on.
I’m not absolutely positive that Dr. Hulnick’s statement is a maxim, but it’s been a sweet guide in my life and it’s helped me recalibrate everything I do so that I’m looking at my actions through the lens of love.
Recently, Robin Finn, a friend and former student of mine, published her first novel, Restless in L.A. Robin told me months ago, when she signed with her publisher, that her intention was to enjoy bringing her book into the world. And though there have been bumps in the road, which is always the case, she has not strayed from her intention to enjoy the ride. Here’s a great example of a teacher learning from her student, because as I gear up to bring my own memoir into the world next May (2018), I’m going to follow in her footsteps and hold the intention to enjoy the journey—potholes and all! And I’m going to remind myself that I’m publishing my memoir for love. Love for myself and love for others. Publishing is an act of generosity of spirit. It takes courage. The root of the word courage is heart. Anything coming from the heart resides in the neighborhood of love. And when you live there, life is good.
What do you do for love? Please share your thoughts. Hearing from others, making meaningful connections, is one of the things I enjoy most about blogging!
3/20/2017 11:46:21 pm
I wash the dishes for love, so my sweetheart who cooks doesn't need to clean up. I write her story for love and because I love how writing makes me feel especially when I read it later. I feed my kitty cat and am careful to be gentle with her because she is my constant and loving companion. I swim to love my body and wake up my cells. I see clients in healing work because I feel unconditional love flowing through me. Thank you for your thpughts that inspired my reflection.
3/21/2017 06:21:59 pm
This is lovely, Rosemary. Thank you for reading and leaving this beautiful comment. xo
3/21/2017 11:46:03 am
First, I love this, what you share, what you inspire and what you do.
3/21/2017 06:28:52 pm
That's great, Nat. Except perhaps for the worrying. That's a habit I'm trying to quit, because I've learned that it just doesn't help. There's a great line in the movie, THANK FOR SHARING, which says, “Worry is a meditation on shit.” I try to reign worry in as much as possible. When I don't anxiety sours my life.
3/21/2017 06:32:29 pm
correction: rein, not reign!
3/21/2017 06:29:47 pm
Thanks for your comment, Nat. You are lovely!
4/9/2017 06:15:08 am
I read this first on SheWrites and commented there, but I wrote about replacing love with fear. Interesting Freudian slip! This blog flipped some kind of a switch in my life and changed absolutely everything. I can't stop thinking about it. I went back to SheWrites this morning in order to hunt down you website and read some of your other work--find out more.
4/10/2017 03:43:01 pm
Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing this with me! I know what you mean about feeling like you're writing to yourself when you blog, and I also resonate with the need for connection more than praise. It fills me with joy to know that what I wrote helped you. Yay! Isn't that what it's all about? Sharing our gifts in service to one another. Doing things out of love instead of fear is a practice. But having the awareness that this is possible comes first. It provides a launching pad into yumminess. Keep writing your blog. Eventually, people will respond. And keep practicing doing things for love! Many blessings to you. Stay in touch and let me know how it goes. Or send me a link to your next post so I can read about it! XO, Bella
4/13/2017 08:55:22 am
Here's the post you inspired, in the website box. I'll be reading you! Jenny
4/13/2017 12:06:55 pm
Congratulations, Jenny, on taking such huge steps forward! So glad you something clicked for you when you read my post. You were ready! Light ahead! Bella
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