Your World According to Should

should-i

 

(when trying to create a Vision for your life)

It may be necessary for you to relax your ideas about what you think a vision should be.

As you’ve probably realized by now, “should” places a heavy burden upon the shoulders of the person wearing its cloak, a burden that will never be lifted because the wearer keeps allowing things to be added to the pile. One thing to realize about all the “shoulds” in your life: they always come from a source outside your True Self. Your “Still Small Voice” will never tell you what you should do – it’s much more direct than that (if you’re listening to it). It tells you what TO DO.

If you have lived your life according to the “shoulds” of society, family, friends, co-workers, and peers, how might you be feeling right now? A bit overwhelmed? At a loss where to turn or what to do next? Out of control? Anxious? Depressed? Like, if it weren’t for the awesome responsibility your “shoulds” have created, you would just hang it all up (either by just walking away or perhaps, drastically speaking, suicide)? “Suicide by Should” is not the way to go.

You hurt yourself and limit your real abilities when you take on the responsibility of “should.” It creates an expectation you can’t possibly live up to, and then, when you don’t quite measure up, you have “failed.” Is there anything worse than the sense of failure instilled by an unfulfilled “should”? Family and friends are disappointed. Grade cards and annual reviews are not quite as glowing as they “should” have been. Even worse is that deep sense of regret, shame, and guilt – perhaps even anger – you may feel inside when you realize you just can’t cut it, according to “should.”

Then someone comes along and informs you that you “shouldn’t” let this or that have control over you. I trust nowhere in this book will you find a sense of you “should” do this or “shouldn’t” do that. No expectations are being imposed upon you from this side of the page – hopefully, only practical advice and guidance as to how to regain control of your life.

Anytime you feel “out of control” or unable to handle the things happening in your life, it’s because you either haven’t created a vision for your life that you’re committed to, or you’ve lost sight of it somewhere along the way because of some sense of “should” that you’re trying to follow. No matter what kind of trouble you’re having in your life, you can probably trace it back to the basic concept of a vision, or lack thereof. This brings you back again to “visionizing” your life.

But where do you begin?

It may be helpful as you pursue or peruse this vision concept if you simply suspend judgment for the duration. Let go of the “shoulds.” Let go of your expectations and preconceived ideas. It matters little how far you are on the spiritual path compared to your neighbor or your Sunday school teacher or your dad when he was this age. Refrain from judging yourself by any standard. Simply let loose and let go of all the inflexible ideas you’ve held about where you “should” be by now.

(This is an excerpt from the book, Blessings by Divine Design, by Barbara Quin, to be published by the end of December, 2016, by Great Spirit Publishing.)

You Are Everybody and Everybody Holds the Key

unity-for-everyone

 

Everybody is Somebody

It’s interesting to observe the reaction of people when seeing former colleagues, or even distant relatives. Recently, I witnessed a person visiting the place where I work. I’ll call him John. Everyone who passed by John stopped and exclaimed about how good he looked, how great it was to see him, inquired about his activities since retirement, his family, etc., and laughed about previous times shared together. As John went through the building, other workers would stop and call out to him in recognition. Smiles, laughter, handshakes, slaps on the back. All good; all should make John feel good about coming back for a visit, to be so warmly received. Which is usually the goal when visiting a former place of employment or other belonging, like a club or school.

I don’t know John from Adam. I have no idea who he is and have no working relationship with him, so it could have been a meaningless experience for me; I merely observed and let it go. But what it actually did was point out that Everybody is Somebody. Everybody has some measure of influence where they work, go to school or church, etc. They impact the people around them, whether they are aware of it or not, the degree of which depends on how they interact. Are they positive, pleasant, and friendly, or critical, complaining, and micromanaging? How a person interacts with others and shows up day to day will determine the quality of such a reunion.

Have you experienced this? How do you want to be remembered at the place where you work, learn, share, and grow? Remember, you are making an impact not only on the present environment, but you will leave a lasting impression that will ripple back in any future encounter, to be witnessed by others who were not there the first time around.

Always remember:  Everybody leaves no one out. Everybody is Somebody. And YOU are Somebody, too.

 

Everybody is Dealing with Stuff

One of the popular quotes passing through the ethers now, in essence, states, “Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle.” While this has been widely mis-attributed to Plato or Philo of Alexandria, amongst other modern writers and philosophers, the actual originator of the statement is believed to be Rev. John Watson, writing as Ian Maclaren, a Scottish author and theologian who lived from 1850 – 1907. His original statement was written as, “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.”

The purpose of the statement, of course, is to remind us that everybody has stuff to deal with, stuff we know nothing about. I once worked with a young woman I’ll call Mary. Mary was so pleasant and sweet at the office. She had a smile on when she arrived and when she left. I never knew of any difficulties in her life; I even wrote a story for her kids about a little stow-away kitten in her car. Then, one day, Mary announced she was moving to another state. It came to my attention via the office grapevine that she was getting a divorce and leaving a very difficult marriage. Nothing in her demeanor ever reflected the challenges she was facing at home. I admired her strength yet wished I could have provided some kind of emotional support for her. My hope was that Mary excelled in her new job and her life was more blessed than ever. I believe she is the kind of person who would receive a very warm welcome on a visit with former co-workers.

Just because someone is smiling all the time doesn’t mean they don’t have trials and personal battles. And, likewise, just because someone may appear grumpy or cranky, doesn’t mean they are just mean for meanness sake. They may be just having a bad day, or they may be facing tests no one else knows about and they just don’t know how to ask for support or help.

Even you, reading this, have things you are dealing with that likely your closest friends know nothing of, so we can all be reminded of the truth of the words, no matter where they came from, that everyone is dealing with stuff the best way they know how. Let us not judge each other based on first impressions, but seek instead to give each other the benefit of the doubt unless and until proven otherwise.

Above all, if a choice must be made:  Kindness is never a mistake in response to anyone.

 

Everybody is Deserving

You – yes, You – along with Everybody else, are deserving of good things in life. You deserve your dreams to come true. You deserve to have plenty of money to meet your expenses, plenty of food to ensure a sated appetite, and all the things needed to make your life comfortable. You deserve to work at a job you enjoy, to feel you are making a contribution to the Goodness in the world. You deserve to feel your feelings. You deserve health, vitality, happiness, peace, forgiveness, success, and, yes, even You deserve Unconditional Love. Accept that you deserve to receive these things, and let yourself be Blessed to give them to others, too, through your interactions, your attitude, your words, and the way you treat others. And don’t take it too personally when someone responds in a way that surprises you, because you don’t know what they’re dealing with; Everybody also deserves compassion.

Thinking on these things called to mind an old song with the refrain, “Come on, people, now; Smile on your brother; Everybody get together; Try to love one another, Right now” (see link and lyrics below).

If you choose to listen to this song, pay close attention to the lyrics, because they are telling you some of the Secrets of Life:  Love is a song we sing; fear is how we die; we are here but for a moment; listen and you will understand; and You hold the key to love and fear within your hands, the same key that unlocks them both, so it’s up to your command.

Finally, keep this in mind and close in Heart:

You are Somebody.

You are dealing with stuff no one else knows about.

You are Deserving of a great life.

 

Namaste’

 

(click for video and song):  Get Together, by The Youngbloods

 

If you would like to sing along, here are the lyrics to “Get Together,” sung by The Youngbloods, from 1967.

“GET TOGETHER” by The Youngbloods

Love is but a song to sing
Fear’s the way we die
You can make the mountains ring
Or make the angels cry
Though the bird is on the wing
And you may not know why

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Some may come and some may go
We shall surely pass
When the one that left us here
Returns for us at last
We are but a moment’s sunlight
Fading in the grass

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

If you hear the song I sing
You will understand (listen!)
You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at your command

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

 

Do you want Gratitude with that?

liquidgold

There are some days when I have numerous, intense moments of Gratitude. It’s a feeling like being immersed in a deep vat of liquid, shimmering, golden Light. It feels bigger than my Being. It feels more expanded, like Earth being aware of the Space it inhabits. It extends to the far reaches of that Inner Space.

Like “praying without ceasing,” growing a Consciousness of Gratitude is a moment-by-moment experience that doesn’t happen all at once. So much of our day is consumed with gotta-get-this-done-right-now attention that it zaps our energy. We can feel like a funnel that all our attention and energy is pouring through, trying to fill a bottomless pit of stuff-to-do.

Today’s unexpected Moments reminded me of French fries, how they really can hit the spot when you’re hungry for them and they are hot, salty, and fresh. Life hungers for Gratitude like lungs hunger for air, or a dry garden for thirst-quenching rain seeping into its roots. Gratitude could be called the Life Force of our Good. The more we have of Gratitude, the better our life becomes – the better our Life Outlook becomes.

If you have an active Gratitude practice, wherein you are seeking to experience more Gratitude in each day, I invite you to think of Gratitude like a French fry (or a grape from a bunch or a glistening berry in a full bowl or whatever image inspires you). The next time you have one, before you eat it, give it a Gratitude Identity – that is, name a Gratitude for each fry before you eat it and then savor the Golden Goodness as it fills you. You can do this with anything you eat, or even any task at hand – every garment you fold when doing laundry, every dish you wash after dinner, ever step you take in the park.

When you add an Attitude of Gratitude to each day, your life becomes fuller and more abundant in ways you don’t normally think about. Gratitude is not all about money. It’s about Peace of Mind, Grace of Heart, more Unconditional Love and less judgment; more Forgiveness and less resentment.

In case you think you don’t have anything to be Grateful about (yes, I’ve heard people say that), consider all the things you take for granted:  shelter, transportation, employment, education, friends, family, church, hobbies, bills – yes, bills!; food, coffee, tea, running water, art, science, Freedom to think what you want to think, be what you want to Be. Some things are big, some are small, but they all count when being Grateful and the feeling will probably intensify every time you give it your Attention.

Even if your life is different than you think it should be, there are still many things for which to be grateful, so I hope, today, you make the Choice for Gratitude.

Namaste’

This entry was posted on October 26, 2016. 1 Comment

A Tumbleweed Christmas

 
(Note:  This article was also published at Freshare.net in 2007, http://freshare.net/article/a_tumbleweed_christmas/#.VnGnFzbUjDA;
and in Senior Living Newspaper in December, 2009, and in Yahoo Voices in their now discontinued community pages)

Gratitude through the Holiday Season

Christmas-Angel-2Maintaining a Sense of Gratitude through the Holiday Season

Amid the merriment and joy so often expressed during special and seasonal holidays, some people may experience more depression or a sense of separation and aloneness, even when in the middle of a rousing crowd. Many things can contribute to this, such as the loss of loved ones, separation, divorce, unemployment, poverty or lack of resources, poor health, estrangement from loved ones, and more. Some people are good at covering up their sense of grief during the holidays while others express it in grumpiness, aloofness, being a “Scrooge,” etc. And then there are those who genuinely love the whole experience and cannot help but express their joy and happiness.

Wherever you fall in this rainbow of experience, it is still possible to find joy and to be grateful during the holidays, no matter what kind of holiday it is. One way to do this is to realize all holidays are a means of celebrating life, in one form or another. People often become unhappy because they have developed unrealistic expectations about the holidays, i.e., not getting the presents they wanted, not being with the people they wanted to be with, not having enough money, and so forth. After all, how can you expect to be grateful if you didn’t get what you wanted, if Billy, or Joey, or Jenny got more than you, and Gerald and Reggie got the most expensive gifts of all? Where is the gratitude in that?

Finding something to be grateful for can be a challenge if we’re in a mindset that is demanding more and more and more and seeing less as a result of it. It’s a matter of perspective. Where’s your focus? Where are you placing your attention? What are your expectations of the event and are you being realistic? Can you stop long enough to find a sense of peace in the sunset or star shine, a breeze or drifting cloud? No one is ever so totally alone that they cannot be grateful for something, even if it’s just the awareness that Spirit (God/Universe) is present. We might not have a certain person in our presence, but we have the memory or the dream of them in our hearts. When we feel the loneliest is the time to reach out and help someone else who might be feeling that way, too.

You don’t have to be surrounded by close family and friends to experience the same amount of love and joy if you choose to move into a place of community. It might be as simple as working in a soup kitchen for the day, volunteering to help others through some charity, helping to create an event/meal where people can come together to celebrate, or joining in a church service or ceremony. We might not have a close physical family, but we are all part of the Family of Humanity, the Family of Creation. Looking for common bonds we share is one way to be grateful and to take your focus off what you think is missing.

So, how can you be grateful this holiday season, even if you feel a little melancholy or lost? Start by being grateful for simple things. Here are a few ideas:

  • Your health – and the fact that you can heal (and learn from illness or injury if you listen to what it is telling you);
  • Family and friends you do have – if they are not close by, write to them or call them; if you’re estranged, take the first step to reconciliation – what if that’s all it takes to bridge the gap?
  • Pets – if you don’t have any or have lost yours, visit a pet store or shelter to experience the unconditional love of animals – you don’t have to own one to enjoy their energy;
  • Food to eat – even if you don’t have the “traditional” holiday fare, celebrate and give thanks for what you do have;
  • Transportation and mobility – if you can, get up and go somewhere different – get out of your rut of complacency and look at a different scene;
  • Nature/wildlife – go to a park, out into the country, a nature center – watch the birds and squirrels in your own backyard – notice how they are not concerned with traditions or rules of society;
  • Nature/trees/plants/flowers – depending on the time of the season, give yourself permission to just enjoy the outdoors, even if you can only look up and see the sky between rooftops – watch the clouds float by and plant a dream into their vapors to be carried into the Universe;
  • Resources right where you are – look around; you probably have plenty of “things” near you right now. What can you create from them? Can you tidy up and donate some of them to charity? Can you rearrange your furniture into a better-feeling order? Can you create a feast from the items in your pantry or freezer? It doesn’t matter if they don’t “go together” – you can create a lovely meal with what you have – invite others to bring what they have and share a unique dining experience and perhaps create a new tradition;
  • Movies / Music – find some old movies on television or online; pull out some old videos or even home movies or favorite music from when you were younger;
  • Children / Games – give your children an afternoon of completely undivided attention from you, playing what they like to play, or teaching them some games from your own childhood; turn off the media and focus on each other (do the same with your spouse, partner, friend, parent, sibling, or other family member who means a lot to you);
  • Spirit / God / Universal Source – spend some time in prayer, meditation, and contemplation of your Creative Power/Source – allow yourself to really connect and you will discover so much to be grateful for when you release expectations, conditions, and rules. Give yourself permission to just Be in the moment.

As you can see, these are just some of the things for which you can express gratitude. Don’t let a date on the calendar keep you from living your Blessed Life now. Everyone has experienced loss but everyone also has the choice to stay in grief or to seize the day before them to make the best of it and honor the memories of their loved ones (who would not want them to be sad) by claiming Happiness and choosing an Attitude of Gratitude and Unconditional Love.

In this unfolding Christmas season and approaching New Year, I wish you much Love (make it Unconditional), Joy, Peace (make it that which surpasseth understanding), Health, Happiness, and Wholeness, no matter where you are…

~ Namaste’

 

Hunger for Creative Urge

(preface – not sure if this will be used in current work-in-progress or stand on its own, but felt like posting it here for whatever inspiration it can provide – enjoy!)

 

     I believe that the Creative Urge to Know God/Creator/Spirit is within every human, existing from the first moment of awareness of existence. It doesn’t have to be some mystical or mysterious thing, yet that’s what it is – evident in a baby’s face as she recognizes those who take care of all her needs, the little boy as his smile beams with pride when he masters his new tricycle or takes the safety wheels off his “big boy” bicycle.

      Children naturally look to their parents or caregivers for that approving feedback and support that tells them they did good, they’re on the right track, that the sun and moon rise and set in their every accomplishment. Is this a naive attitude, out of touch with the realities that there are many babies and children who do not get this positive reinforcement?

      No, but it’s a perception that this is how it should be, and how it is with the “grown-ups” in our relationship with Spirit (God, Creator, etc.). We are constantly seeking approval from other people, but we really want to feel it from God. What we don’t realize is that God already approves of us and all we have to do is acknowledge the Love here for us now, without the need of mortal approval.

      This then takes us to all those accomplishments we think we need to achieve – the status symbols that say we have “arrived” at some destination good enough to verify and certify our value. The truth is that the only real achievements we need be concerned with are those of becoming more aware of our Divinity as Spiritual Beings expressing in a physical component of the Universe. I do not think we are Spiritual Beings have a Human Experience. I believe we are Spiritual Beings. Period. There are many planes and angles of this existence, but that is a different discussion. The fact we are in a “physical” plane really means nothing, except this is where we are experiencing our Spiritual Awareness. This is where our Spiritual “thoughts” are being manifested. We are thinking ourselves into or through our physical existence and experiences.

      Historically, or traditionally, we are conditioned to think there are certain things we are supposed to want in life. Achieving or attaining these things will make us better than before, perhaps even better than the other people around us. This type of thinking is what leads Wall Street, Hollywood, Bollywood, and the headlines telling us what we should do, have, be, think. It tells us what we should eat, how to dress, and what we should look like. If we don’t do all these things and have all these things, then we aren’t good enough.

      The aching within to achieve all these ideals – these “man-made” ideals – leads to abuse of adult and child, over-eating, drug abuse, alcoholism, stress-related illness, disease, depression, and all sorts of conditions or events that prevent us from reaching that First State of Achievement, that state of having enough approval that we feel – finally – good enough.

      This unfulfilled ache – this Spirit Starvation – eventually leads us to a state of surrender. We finally get to the point where we are willing to admit that having more, doing more, and being more, is not enough in and of itself. No matter how many material accomplishments we make, if we are solely focused on the physical aspect of attainment, we will never be able to feed the Spiritual Starvation that is draining our vital energy. The root of every human hunger is the craving to be fed and nourished Spiritually. Traditional religion tells us we are not capable of receiving this nourishment until we admit that we are “sinners” and that we have to be “saved” from the dark terror always trying to lure us away from our Divine Destiny.

      When we get sick and tired enough of being sick and tired of things the way they are, we may then be able to do something to change our experience. Sometimes, this means changing relationships or being changed by them, moving to a new location, changing jobs, finally saying “yes” to that internal yearning. “Yes, I acknowledge You.” “Yes, I will feed You.” “Yes, I hunger only for You.” We have to be willing to surrender to the way things are in order for them to progress, evolve, or develop into what they are to Become.

      Spiritual enlightenment becomes our next “quick fix.” If we can take a class or attend a seminar and get our spiritual body aligned or fixed, then we’ll have satisfaction, right? Forgive everyone, give up all our bad habits, think positive, profess Divine Love for all, and everything will fall into place as it should be.

      But that doesn’t always work, either. At least not right away, and never as fast as we want it to. We still have work to do; we still have to acknowledge that yearning from Within, the beckoning that comes at all hours, that comes still at the end of the day when we say we’ve done all we can and yet we remain hungry. Hungry for more. Hungry for Spirit. Hungry for the Divine.

      Once we are at the bottom of the well and have surrendered all our human will, then we come to know what it means to be fed Spiritually. If we finally set aside our fascination with accomplishing and achieving and acquiring for the sake of it, we start to realize these things have been symbolic all along of the Abundance of Spirit already in our lives. We don’t have to wait until after death to receive the rewards of Spirit we’ve craved since birth. Understanding our connection to the Divine, we can see how every desire of our heart has been the secret seed planted by the Divine, from that Master Gardener so lovingly tending the Garden, giving us all we needed all along. All we have to do is be like the seed: absorb the nutrients of our surroundings and allow the Growth to occur that is instinctive to us. We can take our nourishment from the soil of our experiences, our daily lives with family, friends, jobs, school, and feed it with the rain and sun of God’s Divine Love for us. Soon, we find we have all our heart’s desires being met without the stress and struggle and strain.

      What do we want? We want to remember what it’s like to be Enough. We want to remember that we are Loved, purely and divinely and unconditionally, without reserve and without end. We want to surrender so completely that we become selfless and un-tethered from the chains of mortal limitation. Co-dependent relationships keep us in bondage and don’t allow us to experience the freedom of God’s unconditional love in expression. This does not mean we don’t enter into meaningful relationships with others, marry, have children, maintain close familial and friendly ties. It means by recognizing the possibility of having these relationships without conditions being placed on them, we can thereby also experience a dimension of God’s love otherwise unfathomable. Giving and Receiving become reciprocal parts of one action originally designed to keep us in the Flow of God’s Grace and Favor, in unity and harmony with all life.

      So what does all this have to do with achieving one’s heart’s desires? Why would you want to learn or come to better understand a process designed – at first glance – to achieving more things? How can learning to manifest “things” or “conditions” bring us closer to understanding our Divinity, our Divine Nature, or God?

      Blessings are those gifts from the Divine we often call Miracles. Some call it luck. Others may call it Grace. I think all these things are synonymous, so our reference herein will be all-inclusive in reference of one or the other, just as God is synonymous to Spirit, Divine, Creator, Universal Life Force, etc. Blessings are the manifestation of God’s Grace in our lives. We are all equally deserving of God’s Grace, since we are all the offspring of the Creator, whether you look at Creation and Evolution as the same thing or not (I seem these serving one another, neither better than the other, but Creation being an act of Evolution and Evolution being a creative process that grows through stages as evidenced by all physical life around us).

      We can live our Blessed life now when we allow our Awareness of God’s presence in our lives to be stronger than our awareness of limitations in the human part of our lives. Blessings are revealed when we are ready to perceive – and receive – them. God’s Favor may seem elusive if we believe we are not deserving in some way, or if we begrudge someone else their natural right to their Blessings. Most of us have felt at one time or another slighted when someone else gets “a big break” that we wished we had. We lament that we could have “been somebody” if we’d had all the good luck that so-and-so had, and proclaiming how our accomplishments have fallen short because we just didn’t have Luck on our side.

      Part of being fed by Spirit in a way that gives lasting satisfaction is releasing this kind of thinking and realizing not only are we “enough” as we are, but there is “more than enough” substance in the Universe for everyone to have their share. Someone else having “good luck” or “God’s Favor” is not going to cheat us out of what belongs to us; however, the thing that will block our good from coming to us is an attitude that it is “owed” to us by anyone else, especially God.

(C) Copyright 2015 by Barbara Quin

Are You “Living the Dream”?

dream

Are You “Living the Dream”?

     A visit to the courthouse to appear as a witness in a motor vehicle accident allowed me to unavoidably eavesdrop on a friendly exchange between a Highway Patrolman and an attorney. I was sitting on a bench in the hallway, waiting to be excused to leave. The State Trooper was standing at the end of the bench. An attorney whom I recognized from his regular television ads came by; he was looking for someone else. He recognized the State Trooper and stopped to speak. Here’s the gist of their brief conversation as they shook hands:

Attorney: “Hi, how you doing?”

State Trooper: “Living the dream, man. Living the dream.”

Attorney: “Me too. It’s great, isn’t it?”

     They were all smiles.

     Earlier, as I was waiting for the bench trial to begin, sitting in the same hallway, I observed court and legal employees walking back and forth, entering courtrooms, calling in witnesses, attorneys visiting with clients. There was one attorney who came through with his highly-styled entourage. He wasn’t a big man but he had a giant persona. Close to middle age (I can’t tell age very well), he was a dandy: slicked back, wavy dark collar-length hair, exquisite dark suit, slip on shoes with the little fringe flap on the front, and bright red socks. He exuded confidence and certainty about what he was doing. I have no idea who he was or what type of case he was involved with, but he reminded me of the super-powerful lawyers you might see in the movies. He appeared to be living his dream with great success.

     This all brought back to mind, a defining moment in my work life established in a law class while studying to be a paralegal. I was working full-time as a legal secretary and going to school at night under the paralegal program. My boss (a prominent attorney) was paying for it, and because he loved the law so much, and because he was paying for it, I felt obliged to pursue the paralegal program with the hopes that my income would increase with the degree.

     The defining moment came one night while sitting in a first semester law class. I don’t remember exactly what the class was, possibly Legal Logic or Theory or something. The instructor was a good-looking, hot-shot young attorney, full of fire and brimstone, probably less than five years out of graduation from law school. He exuded lawful pride and I’m sure he was very successful. But he said something in the discourse of his lecture that I will never forget. In referencing the process of interviewing witnesses, he said:

     “It’s your job to get them.”

     I felt a blow to my midsection, a cringing, echoing, hollow sound ringing inside me that said:

     “Oh, no, it’s not!”

     In that exact moment, I knew law was not to be my career. It would not be my job to “get” anyone. The young attorney had explained that, when questioning or getting information from the opposing witness, “getting them” meant to confuse and frustrate them to such an extent that they muddled their testimony and become un-credible as a witnesses.

     What does this have to do with “Living the Dream”?

     The conversation between the State Trooper and attorney, with their reference to “Living the Dream” in their respective fields, reminded me that every person’s dream is different. To me, their way of living the dream – as a State Trooper and a lawyer – is not a lifestyle I would want to pursue personally. The dandy-attorney didn’t appear to be someone I would want to be around regularly; maybe he was a swell guy, but the vibe I got in observing him from down the hall was a façade. As for the paralegal college degree, I finished the program and got the degree, but from the first semester, from that one statement made by a young man who was in the moment of living his dream, I knew it was not for me. The conviction of “that’s not my job, not what I want to do for a living” equated to “that’s not my dream.”

     What made that experience more significant was that even in getting a degree, I was not following my own dream, but that of my attorney-boss. I let his love of law influence a decision that would affect the rest of my life. If I had chosen my ideal course of study, it would have been Psychology or English, but I didn’t want to be an English teacher and the consensus regarding Psychology for several years had been that there would be no jobs. I needed (or thought I needed) something that would guarantee an immediate income.

     “Living the Dream” means different things to different people. What’s ideal for one person may be of no interest to another. We should strive to respect and accept people for their choices, without judgment. When we are “Living the Dream” that’s meant for us, we will have a sense of devotion that is not forced. We will look forward to going to work or performing our service to others. Challenges will come and go and we will feel confident and determined to overcome them.

     I encourage you to live your own dream. When you let your heart guide you, you will always make the right choices.

Namaste’