Conscious Choice: Whatever the Question, Love Is the Answer

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have the good fortune to live less than a ten-minute walk from the “I Have a Dream Memorial” in City Park here in Denver.  Since I walk by it several times a week on my walks through the park, I often reflect on the short life and huge legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

This weekend at church, I learned something new about his message of love.  He talked about how he didn’t always like someone or like their actions, but he knew he was called to love them. 

I’d never thought about liking and loving that way and it resonated deep within me.  Bringing love to situations that I don’t necessarily like calls me to act from the better part of me.  If I see all of my words and actions on a continuum from the darkest/meanest part of me to the lightest/kindest part of me, then I chose to make a practice of choosing the love end of the spectrum more.

While it certainly isn’t always easy to love someone or some situation that I don’t like, I absolutely know it is worth the spiritual practice and spiritual discipline.  I am deeply and humbly grateful for the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  His message inspires me to do my part in leaving my own legacy of love.

Would you like to join me?  What message is calling you right now?  How can you more fully live something that you value, something that calls to you as yours to do?  Feel free to post your answers in the “Comments.”

Self Improvement: Getting Beyond Habitual Conditioning

Consciously choosing is one of my core values.  So is loving kindness.  Yet, in some situations, I’d like to respond to someone with loving kindness and I instead hear myself defending my ego or reacting from programmed conditioning.  In these moments, I realize how automatically and ready are my ego and my conditioning.

To go beyond these ingrained habits, I use one or all of my “Choosing” tools:

  • As often as I remember, I affirm, “not my will, rather Thy will.”  This reminds me to choose from God/good consciousness.
  • In tough situations, before I speak, I take a breath.  This gives me a moment to actually choose a response rather than habitually and automatically reacting.
  • If I do react, I apologize and ask for a re-do.  This allows me to consciously respond even after I’ve reacted.
  • I actively listen for inspiration and guidance.  And, I follow it, even if I don’t fully and logically understand it.  This accesses the inspired path, rather than the habitual one, because I already know where it leads!
  • I remind myself to allow grace and miracles.  This chooses for me far greater outcomes than I ever could have imagined.

If we don’t consciously use choosing tools, we react as we’ve always reacted and get what we’ve always gotten!  Feel free to use my tools liberally and I would love to learn and try your tools, too . . .

Self acceptance: For the love of simplicity

In the past week, I’ve had two people tell me about business opportunities that excited them.  They wanted me to get involved because both of them involve network marketing.  One involved a coaching product and another a health product.  The products interested me.  And, I’m looking for additional revenue streams that complement coaching to share with Thriving Coaches.   

Yet the complexity and vagueness of the business model turned me off.  If I don’t understand, how can I share it with anyone?

And, then I realized that I needed to just walk away.  

One of my core values involves simplicity.  Maybe others enjoy complexity.  Those business opportunities would be best for them.

And how beautiful is that?  No one has to be wrong.  I gravitate to what is simple and clear.  Someone else gravitates to what is complex and intricate.

I love having my core values guide me . . .

The more I grow personally and the more I support my coaching clients in their growth process, the more I notice that the most powerful thing we can do to creat our most fulfilling life:  unabashedly love and accept ourselves.  The more I live from my strengths, core values and quirky passions, the more I love my life and fill my own cup.  And, then I have more to share with those who’s lives I touch.

What a beautiful, clear compass to guide me . . .  

Spiritual inspiration: Obama calls me to a better version of me (day 5)

Listening to Obama address Congress and the American people tonight, I felt called to do my part for humanity.  I’m not a civil-servant type, I dislike groups and until Barack Obama somehow crossed my radar screen about a year ago, I had zero interest in politics.

What strikes me about him again and again: he was born to do this very tough job.  He is clear and unwavering in who he is, what needs to be done and getting about the business of doing it.  And, inviting each of us to join him in doing our part.

I’m so new to this political thing, I don’t actually know what my part is yet.  However, having the honor and priviledge of serving as a business and life coach, I am not new to calling people to the best version of themselves.

So, for now, I ponder the question, “how can I take a stronger stand for that in which I believe?”