New Leaf Mentoring … new thought. new health. new life.

Posts tagged ‘innocence’

The Restoration of Gratitude – It’ll just take a moment!


I woke this morning with a feeling of being blessed. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the temperature with my bedroom window wide open was perfect. I had spent a great evening sitting outside until almost midnight chatting with a dear friend that I hadn’t connected with in quite some time. All felt right in my world. I ruminated on our various discussions from the night before.

At one point we talked about gratitude. My friend has experienced so much turmoil and pain in her life and yet that’s not what she wears on her face. Her face shows the world her hope, her acceptance, and her belief in herself and in others. She is remarkably grateful. She is grateful for every kindness, every opportunity, every experience that crosses her path. She takes nothing for granted. Every small thing is a meaningful blessing. Her life is not charmed, things don’t come easy to her. She has worked harder than almost anyone I know at everything she does, she never hides from a challenge and always tackles anything put before her. Every so often life overwhelms her and her edges crumble a little bit, but in the end she is like the stone in the river bed that millions of tons of water has washed over and made smooth. She is willing to be tumbled around a little bit if it enhances her perspective of life. She is willing to hit some other rocks in the river if it means that she will learn something new about herself. And just because she is willing to engage with life, life engages back. She had always stood apart in her innocence.

But something  had changed. She was worried and sad. Fearful of pending changes. Feeling the need to protect herself. I don’t know her this way. She has always lived in the moment, looking for the opportunity, and seeing the good in it. It usually works; but it wasn’t working now. She didn’t know why not. It took me a good long while in the morning light to understand and identify what was different.  Often epiphany comes when we are doing the mundane, when the mind can aimlessly drift about without clinging to intentional pieces. While washing dishes this morning I realized what it was.

In the same moment I realized what had changed, I also knew why it had changed and why I didn’t see it.  In short what had happened was my friend wasn’t being herself, she had become the way the world typically functions. Her language reflected the way the world talks, she was listening to things the way the world listens to things, she was behaving the way the world normally behaves. And because she wasn’t living intuitively as she normally does, she became lost. I didn’t catch it because she was being normal, as in the same as everyone else. She wasn’t standing alone in her light, she had mentally, emotionally joined the common way of a world immersed in fear.

She had begun to worry about the future. She was fearing the potential loss of her great love. She had become attached to potential failure. She began to anticipate the worst and was looking for the clues in the moment, in order to protect herself for the future. She stopped living in the moment and started living for the future. She was living suspiciously, second guessing, doubting her senses, listening to the onslaught of negativity that spews so abundantly from the minds and mouths of mass population, media and government. She was a like fish out of water.

I see so many people afraid of engaging with life fully because they are afraid of the pain that seems imminent. We are so preoccupied with living the promised fairy tale happy ever afters that we end up judging our lives negatively in comparison. We worry, we anger, we shrink and shirk and blame, we judge, anything to try to separate us from the world around us that we see causing so much pain and failure. Unfortunately by doing so we become part of that darkness that squelches out the possibility of a better way.  My friend had stepped out of her light filled innocence into the shadowy norm and it didn’t fit well. Trying to squeeze all that light and hope into a limited, typical, too small dark box was hurting her. Her compass became disoriented, she didn’t know where or who she was anymore. And worse still she couldn’t find the way out, her re-course became to isolate. That alone broke her heart.

In the end she re-committed herself to seeing the good, looking for the silver lining, and counting her blessings in every moment. In the end she went home grateful for the life she is blessed to have. She’s the bravest soul I know! Are you brave enough to stand in your light? Alone if need be?

Forever Questing…It’s the only way!


As children, my siblings and I were taught to question everything. My Father drilled into us to not ever just believe anything. All trust, all faith had to be earned; even then it was up for discussion. For the most part this philosophy has guided me well. Today I use this philosophy to guide me in my discovery with reiki and metaphysics and even in raising my kids. Because of this questing nature I have a hard time just blindly accepting all the anecdotal information that pours out unreservedly from spiritually minded people. It is so interesting to me how easily smart, educated people will accept the same old ideas no matter how fantastic, without ever asking ‘Really?…are you serious?‘ and believe me I have had no shortage of unbelievable stories in my life. It’s not that I’m really all that skeptical, (OK – maybe I am) but I prefer to think of it as curious. I was that kid that had to ask ‘why?’ a million times a day and I have kept asking why as my life unfolds. The really cool thing is that there is ALWAYS an answer for the why question. Sometimes the answer leads to another question that starts with ‘but if…’ and sometimes it ends with an ‘Oh! I get it!’ and sometimes hearing the answer is all you really need to recognize that you knew the truth all along. Sometimes the truth is simply the hardest thing to hear.

But I have learned that just the asking begins the unraveling of the mystery. Afterall, life isn’t really mysterious, we live in a dualistic cause and effect world and reality is built on building blocks of information. I find that the biggest block to understanding what is really going on in any situation is usually 2 fold. Firstly, we like to wear our favourite coloured glasses (they could be rose coloured or grey coloured or blue or green etc.) to make sure that everything we look at is viewed with the same shading of belief (rosy, hopeless, depressed, envious etc) which keeps life comfortable and relatively predictable; and secondly we keep our blinders firmly glued to the sides of our heads to keep our scope of vision nicely limited. By limiting what we are exposed to we think we can control the path our life will take.

Let’s face it, processing new information is consuming work. You gotta’ think…HARD even sometimes! And furthermore, sometimes those thoughts are going to land you in some unpopular place and we all know how hard that can be. We learned as kids that it is way easier being popular than different. These two popular and fashionable (and by that I mean common) accessories work reasonably well to keep the path ahead uncluttered of unexpected obstacles and doubts. Everything goes along as expected, well that is until one day it suddenly doesn’t. Suddenly, one day, out of the blue, an unexpected terror blocks the road. Death, illness, financial loss, or even extreme boredom appears and screams at us to get off the road! Take a detour! Change your mind! Change your ways! And we stall, dumbfounded, confused and before we know what’s happening we ask ‘Why?’ and the quest begins.

In that moment Universe presents to us an option. Sometimes the one road changes into a very clear forked path and we are forced to choose this way or that way. Other times it seems we are tricked to follow a different path with things that seem to glitter and shine with promises that turn out to be fool’s gold. And other times, we don’t know why, we suddenly veer off into the underbrush following some kind of white rabbit that takes us on a journey we will never forget. However it happens we will, at sometime in our lives, find ourselves on the road less traveled. If we want we can squat down on the road we are on and stubbornly refuse to budge. We can stay there, live there and eventually die there without ever having to change one single thought, peacefully polishing our glasses and re-gluing our blinders every day but this isn’t life.

Life is meant to be lived and experienced not only survived. Only a new choice will quicken the heart and spark the mind. Only choosing a new road will tease the Spirit Within to awaken with groggy interest.  And once on that new road we have to embrace that we are indeed thinking, reasoning, independent creatures of consciousness meant to exercise our inherent right to choose. Our survival will be determined by our choices, our reactions, our resistance/acceptance of the new. Our happiness determine by our bravery, commitment and creativity.

And so life is lived; questing, challenging,  defeating enemies of the one true heart, embracing the unknown, and conquering fears. We are then rewarded with riches untold, unlimited love, and strength of a thousand elephants. After we have quested we come to know the stuff we are made of. We know then that we are strong enough to ask ‘Why?..’ with the innocence of a child and the wisdom of the oldest sage.

So this blog is for asking ‘why..?.’ or ‘what if…?’ or ‘how..?.’ I am every bit as curious as I was when I was 5, except now I have a car, a computer and bigger reality. Today my world and indeed my universe is much, much bigger and so are my questions and thus my experiences.