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Making More Alive Choices
When considering choices in your life, the "Most Alive Choice" feels like a bit of a risk, makes you giggle, or makes the hairs at the back of your neck stand up. It can be a simple and tiny shift, such as taking a new route.
Or as large as moving your whole life somewhere you haven't lived before.
We are consistently presented with choices. Often, our inner critics run the whole show, and we use a lot of language with these words:
I'd better have to should or else These can be bullies of the language world.
Sometimes we need to wonder who is making our life choices! We might stumble from one obligation to another, lost in a series of have-tos.
People buy wedding gifts they don't want to buy, attend birthday parties out of guilt or fear, spend time with people they don't even enjoy, or push their children into unwanted activaties. And then we all get crabby!
I remember moving succulently as a young girl in Minnesota, from bike flung to the ground, to deep lawn, to creek bulging with turtles, to eating rhubarb for breakfast and fat, vine-grown tomatoes for lunch.
The most alive choice was a natural step -- one to another.
I think that as adults we become rigidified, encrusted with grudges, wounds, and protective devices that don't work anyway.
We walk carefully along, checking our purses, pockets, and car keys.
Gone are our bamboo waling sticks and flags for countries that we've made up. I think those things are only gone because we've stopped calling them.
We've stopped counting fireflies at dusk, standing naked in the rain, finger painting with our feet and stuffing a bag full of costumes and making our"Poet's Corner" in the backyard, with lanterns and tents made out of chenille bedspreads.
We deserve to be the caretakers for our spirits and dreams, and this means truly sensing and listening for our most alive route. It may not be a common path, or a popular one, yet it will be clearly ours.
My life is full of mistakes. They're like pebbles that make a good road.
I remember fishing as young girl and catching a snake -- it whipped out of the water, whistling through the reeds and leading in a hissing circle at my feet.
By then it had gotten unhooked, and streaked back into the water. I stood panting and laughing. I felt terrified and alive.
When we can trust what life brings us, I think we can stand in the center of our aliveness and meet flying snakes along with the whole wild mystery we call life.
Here are some alive choices that may inspire you to choose your own:
Paint your car!...my car (venus) suffered a big gouge in the front bumper from someone's trailer hitch. The repair estimate was $900. Instead of spending that, I donated money to a place called home away from homelessness-a beach house for homeless kids.
Plant flowers for your friend...especially if they don't seem to be planting their own!
I came home from a trip to find that my friend Brigette had planted posts and pots of brightly colored flowers in all my empty pots!
Donate copies of your favorite children's books to the school or library nearest you...
Put up a hanging bar in your house...or place to be easily upside down!
Being upside down gives us a new perspective Make your own book of what you're glad about:
Here are some pages from mine Meditating more often Eating delicious salads I've made at home My wooden wind chimes Being kinder to myself What are you glad about?
Succulent Moves As we choose to add more succulence to our lives, we will naturally and eagerly be seeking more succulent stories. They will spill out and over!
Here are some of my favorite responses from people who were asked, "What one small thing are you willing to do now that will help your life be more succulent?"
"I'm a procrastinator, so I had never filled out my children's baby books. After 46 years, I filled them out with what I could remember and mailed them to each of the kids!"
"To sew my torn long silk kimono and then prance around in it!"
"To stare lovingly into my husband's eyes for 60 seconds."
"I'm going to make a darkroom out of my broom closet."
"Instead of trying to have an orgasm, I'm going to learn how to be an orgasm."
"The next time my son sings repetitive and annoying songs loudly in the car, I'm going to take a deep breath, and say, More! More!"I'm going to buy myself sexy new bras."
"To stand or run naked in the next rain."
"I'm going to wear my colorful scarves...again."
"I'm going to admire and inhale the fragrances of the herb garden I planted. I've never stopped long enough to just do that."
"I'm going to paint with my 2 1/2-year-old daughter. For almost a year she's been saying 'painting now mommy?' and before I can answer, she says, 'I know, in a minute?'"
"I'm going to spend one day just being of service to others."
"I'm going to go to Madrid and drive in a red convertible."
What are your Succulent Moves?
Your Succulent Map Begin here.
As you scan through your life, what areas could use more succulence, more juice?
Your friendships Your bed Your body Your love life Begin to fill these bubbles with succulent scribbling or drawings. Draw out your succulence...
Your sexuality Your relationship with nature Your time with children Your adventure life Your time with old people Your spirituality Leaps of Faith Our lives are filled with places where we choose to leap or stay put. One is not better than the other, yet leaping has its advantages.
Let's look at some examples of "leaps of faith." These are points where it is tempting to stay put because it seems "safer."
Ken -- who stayed on the graveyard shift in radio as a traffic reporter so he could spend most of every day with his 3-year-old daughter.
Adrienne -- who quit a high-paying job as a cosmetic executive, while pregnant, and went on a planned vacation to the Bahamas, trusting that she would create a job she loved by being herself.
Craig -- who left a much sought-after position at Disney to follow his dreams.
Christine -- who quit her lucrative position in retail to spend time with her family and choose a more meaningful job.
Ray -- who left the apparel industry and New York City to move to a cottage by the sea in Carmel and live his dreams.
My great-grandmother packed herself and 9 kids into the cargo hold of a ship and sailed to South Africa form England, in search of a diamond mine. The mine turned out to be a false claim, so they homesteaded and my grandmother ran the post office and general store.
My grandmother then took a leap of faith and moved to California with my grandfather in search of a gold mine! Which also turned out to be false.
Leaps of faith are also taken by staying. If you are raising children consciously, or schooling daily leaps of faith.
Commitments of all kinds require leaps of faith.
Where have you been leaping lately?
We are each directly or indirectly asked to fulfill our dreams and destiny. Sometimes we crawl there, or find ourselves stuck outside of our dreams.
Leaps of faith can put us in a new spot we couldn't see from where we stood before.
I think when we have the courage to separate from a non-nourishing love relationship, it is a leap of faith. We may feel certain that we will never love again.
Sometimes it is a long time before love surfaces again. It is then that we must take another leap of faith within ourselves and trust that we are guided and led in some way.
I find myself doing my least leaping with spirituality and love relationships. I do kind of a sock hop of little faith, testing, checking and rechecking for the false bottom, the hidden trap door, the final entrapment. I am constantly (or it feels constant) searching for the exit, the way out, the safe route.
Leaps of Faith Where do you do your least leaping?
What does faith mean to you?
What examples of leaps of faith are in your history?
Are there places you would like to leap, but don't know how? Leap first in your own heart.
Inspiration by phone Three years ago, I started something called "the inspiration line." It's 3-5 minutes of inspiration recorded by me, monthly. Thousands of people from all over the world call to just listen, or leave me a message.
The messages I make are from my heart and spirit. They include: quotes from poets and writers, moments in nature, admissions of failure and crabbiness, lessons learned, truths sought, and things I "send" telephonically to the caller with the help of my guided imagery and their imagination. People leave the most amazing messages The inspiration is very reciprocal, since I listen to the messages and receive back what I put out there.
It's also a rather revolutionary way to be in touch with the readers of my work. I wish it for every author...who enjoys the phone!
Copyright © 1998 By SARK