MK2 WK 24: Beginning

Commence: begin, start, take the first step.

Beginning this week I realize this is my life. It’s the life I’ve been given and it belongs to me. Many resources are available for my use, the most precious of which is my heart. I’ve spent the last 2 years uncovering the truth that my heart beats for a reason. The fact that I’m here means I have something of smokin’-value to contribute here… and the key is found in the question, “Miriam, what do you want?”

I’ve consistently suggested to g-kids that they take to go inside their hearts and consider the options they’re offered. “Take time to think a bit, waiting until you have a settled place inside your heart to let me know.”, said Nana (that’s me) to the children I love and even some I hardly know!

It’s within me to KNOW the value of pondering a bit. I am learning to sit. Asking for God’s wisdom and fully expecting it will be just as available for me as it is for those children, I wait.

Commencing my journey this week, without the daily structure of the MKE program, means I can choose. I’m fully able to integrate the habits and lessons, making deeply resonant choices with the treasures and priorities of my heart. Or not. I have the option of going back to the old blueprint, as it’s been squeaking pretty loudly this week.

Here’s part of what I’ve learned: habits, not knowledge produce change. Therefore I carefully protect time for daily reading of MKE material and mastermind connection. I have everything I need buried inside of me and I will sit quietly until pathway pieces gel in a settled place.

MK2 Wk23: Following Curiosity

Miriam, you’ve decide to commit to living LIFE… really living it. It’s great to INTEND to live a rich, full life, filled with the wonder and delight of living. But, how does that really play out, Sweetie? What can someone actually DO to begin that process?

I’m going to do a mock interview, asking you a few questions, Miriam. These don’t follow a straight-line, scientific path. They’re a ramblie collection requiring you quietly sit with your own heart. (The questions are prompted by glancing through Elizabeth Gilbert’s book BIG MAGIC.)

  1. Miriam, when was the last time you felt truly light, happy and genuinely creative? If you follow your thoughts about that light, happy time, where might they lead you?
  2. What can you do and do and do and do and feel like you love it as much as ever? Like, never get tired or worn out?
  3. What makes you, sweet Miriam, feel alive and ageless? When do you forget about your age and just “play”?
  4. What feels like the best you-way to unfold the beauty in your life?
  5. What opens your heart in ways and places nothing else can?
  6. Miriam, what makes you feel like your life is bigger and happier and really very interesting?
  7. Looping back: when was the last time you felt that kinda happy-light?

Maybe, just maybe this will lead you on a curious path of discovery about what’s tucked inside. That beautiful treasure or gem quietly waiting to be discovered. And when you discover it for yourself, the whole planet will be richer. Watching your happy makes me open to following curiousity to discover my own.

 

MK2 WK22A: Choose Life

Completing focused time in quiet listening this week, I discovered a few things:

  1. I want, no I NEED more quiet thinking time
  2. I can hear and listen to my heart and begin to hear its whispered invitation to … MORE
  3. There’s an open invitation, asking if I have the courage to consider and bring forth the treasures God’s hidden inside me. These are treasures the world needs and I’m here now because now is when they’re needed. I’m connected to people and places because these are the ones who need the treasures.
  4. The gems and the jewels I have to share require that I step onto a journey-path. This path requires a level of risk, therefore I must be willing to be in a place of “not knowing”. Not knowing details or specific steps or directions. But, trusting that if I accept the risky adventure of seeking the gems, intent upon lovingly and openly sharing them, the path will appear.
  5. The only way to begin is to leap, trusting the next step to appear.

I’ve not finished the quiet yet, because I’m not in a place of settled, confident knowing. But, new awareness is awakening and drawing me more into my heart to educe ever more life-forward pieces.

I have the option of staying-put. Staying where I am means I know but I don’t grow. Knowing LIFE is always reaching toward new, open growth, I choose LIFE. The pieces will become clear if I wait and quietly listen to the whispered invitations of my heart.

MK2 WK22: Epic Journey

We’ve spent epic months together in the MKE, (ending year 2 for me) each one listening for a personal pulse and the rhythm, searching for a personal path toward a more expansive understanding of who each was created to be. We’ve built tribes with those who seek, no YEARN for awareness and understanding into the deeper heart-calling of “who am I and what am I here for?” We’ve pondered and written a “Definite Major Purpose” in life, dreaming and describing-forth a clear image of our dream life-journey playing forward in realtime, real-life.

My recent days spent in intermittent deep quiet have settled some things. While many life specifics are still unfolding in a peaceful way, I found that what I thought wasn’t a beautiful thing is really very beautiful. A trait I’ve known about myself and been frustrated with I now see may be one of my greatest strengths. This treasure inside me may even be the reason God created me and sent me here. I’ll need a little more time with this idea, but it may be the thing I’ve been sent here to give away at this time to each person I meet.

Lori and Lucinda’s mid-season 3 day teaching helped me completely nail a two-word description of myself perfectly (for now). Now that I have the words, the expression is flowing out of me continually. These words, combined with reality that there really is a Miriam-gift and knowing it’s here to be delivered for the greatest good, I’m thrilled to press on!

The deep-quiet these past few days helped connect these outward-expression dots. But, the biggest gift of these past quiet days and this 2 year MKE season has been giving myself permission to take time to listen to my own heart.

I can easily list the things I’ve NOT completed this year: I have not taken time to dream and finalize written details about my home or what I want to do or be or have when I grow up. But, I’m realizing that this is the journey of a lifetime and will take… a life time!

Seeing and celebrating the Miriam-treasure and respecting my heart enough to stop and listen to it… these are epic steps forward toward discovering and loving myself. I am well satisfied that its been good and will continue to be VERY good.

Was the time, effort, angst and grace required to finish MKE year 2 worth it. YES. A loud, clear, YES is what wells up inside me (that and the stuff leaking out of my eyes as I write this.) Love

MK2 Wk20: Performance Pattern

Feeling endings and transitions in a deeply negative way, I realize my habitual pattern is to drop-off at the end of an experience. I try to escape the finish line. It scares me. My pattern has been to quietly step away in the winding-down phase, hoping to avoid the pain of the finish-line entirely.

I have attached separation and sadness to finish lines, envisioning the beauty of the experience dropping into a deep, forever-gone chasm. Recognizing this and knowing  my power to think, I realize I can attach a new emotion and view the finishing phase in a new light. I can create a new reality for myself.

I’m able to choose to focus on celebrating new skills, tools, accomplishments and relationships. Carrying these forward I see they’ll embellish and nourish greater beauty and delight in each next-phase of life. It’s a beautiful thing trusting the new phase will be nourished and supported by the building blocks gleaned both yesterday and now. Engaging deeply and well with the wonder and joy of life today plants seed for the beauty and “yes” of life both now and tomorrow.

Re-framing the finish line, I see the beauty I now have to carry forward. There’s a party at the end and I’m part of it! There’s celebration in the Wow-of-now and in noticing how far I’ve come.

I’m thankful my awareness was drawn to this pattern. I clearly have a choice. Does the pattern of quietly, gradually evaporating toward the ending of the MKE or anything serve me? The personal growth stretch will be staying engaged to the end, staying the course and finishing well, NOT limping over the finish line completing the bare minimum.

I am gathering the tools, re-engaging the routine and people I’ve grown to love and respect. I am embracing the scary growing and stretching path. Taking a deep, peaceful breath I realize this is a tool I want in my toolbox and a personal-party I don’t want to miss.

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MKE2 WK19: LAST Day

Our family was enjoying the beautiful white sand Lake Michigan beach the day my dad died. Everyone laughed and played together and I found an unusual piece of gun-shaped driftwood.

Fast forward 2 days and a police officer showed up at my home. An officer carrying a gun and the news that my dad shot and killed himself. Not sure of the exact day, but somewhere around the sunny-beach day and the gun shaped driftwood find, my father used a gun to end his life.

My neighbor friend Mary showed up at the door later that day. Mary’s first words were, “How can I be helpful?” “How can I be helpful” were the most beautiful and memorable words of the event.

There was nothing Mary could do to either change anything or help in any tangible way. But she was fully my friend, fully present and I knew 100% whatever I might need, not only for the moment but for what felt like forever, Mary was there.

And for the last 35 years she has been. She’s brought vases of fresh flowers, meals, visits and walks when some years later the world turned upside down yet again. Being helpful walked out across the last 35 years and an entire lifetime of grace-filled service to me, her family, other friends and total strangers.

The tragic ending of the life of my father was like a sudden gunshot, sending shockwaves of grief and bewilderment down through these years. But, more than that, the waves of “How can I be helpful” created a mantra and life perspective continuing to build a legacy of intentional kindness and a helping hand into today. Living each day as if it’s my last, because one never knows.

My fathers’ sad last day on this earth ended in reverberating pain through time. But that day is deeply marked by those 5 simple words spoken by my friend Mary.

MKE2 Wk 18: Concentrate

Concentration and focus have been a recurring theme throughout the MKE journey. It’s no surprise that it loops again in the final thoughts of lesson 19. Haanel 19:27 “For your exercise this week, concentrate, and when I use the word concentrate I mean all the word implies; become so absorbed in the object of your thought that you are conscious of nothing else.”

I’ve struggled with this.  My mind has spent moments, months and now over a year wondering various paths. I decide to focus then find my mind wandering. I’m repeatedly, gently bringing it back to the question or idea.

Suddenly I’m noticing what’s been here all along: a method for developing focus.

Og Mandino says in Scroll 4 of “The Greatest Salesman”, “I will concentrate my energy on the challenge of the moment and my actions will help me forget all else.”

Concentration of (thought or physical energy) PLUS action is apparently one key.

Going back to the early Karate Kid movie clip I see concentration means paying attention AND doing something with detailed excellence or repetition. Wax on/ wax off in the movie trained the motion, but there’s more. Waxing a car and mowing a lawn (both tasks in the movie) are tasks requiring paying attention.

What are the ramifications of living life from the perspective of tasks attentively done well?

Accomplishing fewer things on the list-of -the -day.

Each task taking a bit longer.

The peace in my heart may rise when things meeting my eye in each space actually belong in the space.

I may plan for breathing space in our schedule. Allowing more time between activities may give me time to finish  and enjoy activities before moving on to the next one.

Without getting carried off into the land-of-high- expectations, I’m choosing to do one thing. I am making my bed with excellence. Taking extra minutes to tug sheets, straighten and tuck blankets and fluff pillows finishes the task the way I was taught to make the bed.

Stepping away to enjoy my beautiful bed I feel satisfied. I honestly did my best. Each time I walk through or past the bedroom I glance  at that bed and feel appreciation and joy for the work I did.

Attending to the task and the moment in one area will increase my concentration capacity in other areas, too.

How have you successfully trained concentration.?

MK2 WK17hj: Walking with Fear

Hero’s Journey. The sound of it speaks of adventurous exploits and brave paths going where no person has gone before. And so it is. Going into my heart and answering the question WHAT DO YOU WANT, Miriam? This is the synthesizing question. Then having the courage to take the next step forward toward that goal and the step after, and so on, until I reach the goal.

Fear is available to protect me at every turn. It whispers (or screams), warning me to stay in the place of safety. Suggesting that safety, where I know how life works and what the landscape looks like is what I really need. But I don’t. There’s something inside of me drawing me to grow, to become become better and more than I am.

So, thanking the fear for its protective heart, I’m quietly letting fear know it’s safe to move on. The goal isn’t to know every detail or be assured up front of how life will be. The goal is to grow and explore and embrace the adventure.

Hush please, fear. And if you cannot, it’s okay. I’m acknowledging and thanking you and walking forward toward adventurous exploits and brave paths. I don’t know what’s around the next bend, but together my fear and I will find out!

MK2 WK17: A MOMENT

Our current Master Key experience is developing awareness of character qualities we may not have been aware of withinside of ourselves. Shining a light of focus on one quality weekly, I’m seeing an abundance of each one…. and the abundance pile gets bigger earlier in the week. I simply observe and notice. The pile grows!

This week, I’m persistent. I’ve steadfastly continued forward, despite sometimes feeling like a weed-wanderer and today something opened! There was a moment where I FELT like love! In that epiphanized moment there was a shift from thinking about love, speaking love or having loving-kindness in my head space, to feeling like I’m made of the particalized fabric of love. I felt a love-connection to everything around me.

I thought of the Jesus Movement in the late ‘60’s. What a glorious and powerful experience that must’ve been. Separating its purity from the drugs, etc. there must’ve been a similar atmosphere to the peace, joy and ethereal unity I felt in a moment today.

I’ve heard the comment, “You were made first class, by first class, for first class” a few times over the course of my Master Key experience. Today I have a new knowing-place: I was made by Love, conceived in Love, created for Love, and all by and through the very God of Love Himself.

From this moment, I neeeed to live LIFE in that place! I need more, Lord.

Thank you.