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Reflections September 2016

Life Now

Flowing with the Stream of Life

By Dusty Reed

Being content with where I am right now allows enjoyment of the scenery along the way. I can continue to look forward to improving myself, whether it be in spiritual living, my job or relationships with others. I can do, have and be whatever I choose.

There is a life purpose for each individual that expands to fill the space of being. I desire life to be meaningful. The gift of life is an offering of time, energy, and freedom that brings a cascade of delight.

How do I use these to express a meaning of life in the world? What action expresses satisfaction?

Looking to others or to religious expectations does not necessarily create action. I must take the first step toward what I desire. The next step may be a bit easier and the fuller picture will begin to unfold as I continue to pursue a desire.

A musician does not sit down at a piano for the first time and play a Debussy masterpiece unless, possibly, he or she is a child prodigy. For most, it takes many years of, "practice, practice, do it again." (If you had children watching Mr. Rogers in the 1980s, you will probably recognize that phrase.)

I realized several years ago that I did not know what my purpose might be. I took a look back to see what has been a fulfilling experience over the years. Had it been caring for someone elderly? Had it been helping with a volunteer group? Had it been visiting the sick? Had it been making telephone calls to share good news with others?

Had it been through teaching, which could be accomplished in a variety of ways? Had it been by welcoming newcomers in the neighborhood with a fresh loaf of homemade bread or a tray of cookies? Had it been through writing letters, offering good thoughts and encouragement?

Maybe this thing called memory was provided just for the intention of allowing me to remember and build on the favorable things in life. That gift can be abused by remembering and dwelling on unfavorable happenings. Or it can be used to offer guidance by remembering what and how successful events have taken place. What was my desire? What was my feeling about that desire? Was it satisfying? What were the first steps I could take to provide a feeling of success?

Purpose is an ongoing happening. It does not just happen in one day, or week, or year, and then it is completed. No! It stretches and grows as I continue through life.

There are many tributaries flowing into the river of life. I am just a droplet in one of those streams, continuously moving, expanding. I might be bumping along with a few other drops, flowing into a quiet pool or a lake. I might even find myself in the ocean, unrecognized and uninformed about what is happening in the vast surroundings. Even though the ocean affects the droplet, my surroundings may seem insignificant but that droplet of water still contains a purpose.

Being content with where I am right now allows enjoyment of the scenery along the way.

I can continue to look forward to improving myself, whether it be in spiritual living, my job or relationships with others. I can do, have and be whatever I choose. Others may say it is impossible to do, have or be something, but that is not true. Every individual has unlimited potential.

Investing all of my energy in attempting to move ahead in the stream of life or searching for that satisfaction is not necessary. A mental picture and feeling the joy upon attainment of where I plan to go offers a gentle reminder. This keeps the desire active and provides assurance everything I do right now is leading toward a desired purpose.

Keeping a journal has proved helpful in discovering what provides joy. Staying aware of feelings as I write about what happened can offer clues to whether that happening was joyful, a dread, or just a routine chore.

Sometimes there may be some irritation when a detour of the stream acts like rushing or rocky waters – often like the detours in daily activities. The day was going fine until the phone rang and something had to be put on hold to go take care of something else. When a change in activity occurs, it might be considered an unfavorable turn. Remembering that it is for a purpose, something can be learned that will provide empowerment once I get back to the highway.

When I get back into the mainstream, the scenery may have changed. My objective can change, as well. Circumstances surrounding, traumatic experiences, lifestyle changes, all can reroute what I consider my goal in life. Flowing with a necessary adjustment can bring back the bliss in whatever I am doing.

As each sunrise occurs, joy is expressed for this day. It is a new day, full of life. When I experience joy, I can be assured that my aim in life is being accomplished. "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is a cascade of joy bubbles as I flow with the stream of life.

 

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