Seeing and Believing

I’m not sure where the fall has gone – it seems to have evaporated, and suddenly the holiday season is upon us, a time of year for looking back and looking ahead. Back, in gratitude for all we have experienced, (yes, all . . . life is a package deal . . .) and ahead, with anticipation.

I have three day books that I am following at the moment. (I’ll list them at the end of this message, should you be interested.) I know, one should be sufficient, but each of these is special in its own way, and sometimes, they are oddly synchronous in their messages, a double (or triple) whammy of some idea I already know but need to be reminded of once again. I think that’s the role of day books: we already know, really, everything we need to know, but we get mired down in the very daily, our immediate circumstances. We lose sight of our place in the scheme of things, so we need lots of gentle reminders. At least I do!

Case in point: “We only see what we believe.”  (Quoted from A Year of Living Your Yoga)

The usual phrase is “seeing is believing,” but I think Lasater has it right: To a great extent, we cannot see what we do not believe. If we believe that our resources are limited, we see scarcity everywhere we look. . . . Limits, “yes, but’s”, problems, and on and on. If we believe in possibility, those limits (no one who is reasonable would deny that they exist) have a whole different dimension. “How can I use this situation?” “What alternatives are there to this boundary, this limitation?”  “Why am I presented with this challenge? What am I supposed to learn?”

It’s not an easy road, but believing in abundance rather than scarcity feels so much better. It changes me from being a victim, somehow, to being proactive, seeking to fulfill my destiny, whatever that may be, for my time on earth. And let’s face it, proactivity beats passivity hands down, every time. Better to be a “survivor” than a “victim.” And if we can figure out how to be a plucky survivor, so much the better!

I have a friend who has said to me repeatedly, through multiple cancers, family deaths, all nature of calamities, “I choose life!” I have long admired her spunk, and her faith. She’s got it right: choose life, choose to see its possibilities, and you will see what you believe. I know this is true, because when I am able to stay in that mode, things seem to work very differently. Perhaps that’s what the old Italian proverb is trying to tell us: “For a web begun, God sends a thread.” Surely our webs start with our intentions, and our beliefs. Here’s to believing in possibilities, in beginnings, and to the intention to go beyond “survive” to “thrive.”

A Year of Living Your Yoga – Daily Practices to Shape Your Life  (Judith Hanson Lasater)
Morning Notes – 365 Meditations to Wake You Up  (Hugh Prather)
The Book of Awakening – Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have  (Mark Nepo)


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