The Elusive Balance

In today’s world of constant over stimulus from technology, information, trending topics, and general economic turmoil, people find a simple balance in life very difficult to achieve. When I discuss balance in life with most people, a vision of juggling comes to mind. It is believed that a balanced life is one in which, simultaneously, I keep all my projects going and all my relationships healthy. In this form balanced is achieved by sheer strategy and willpower. As I ponder this form of balance. I begin to recognize that balance for me is about order, rhythm, and harmony.

I find myself experimenting with what feels right for me, finding ways to slow down life and find peace amidst busy days. Knowing that my son is growing so rapidly and that each moment that I spend in the chaos of the past or questioning of my future, a realization occurs that balance is a moving target.

I personally have found that balance can be struck by slowing down and allowing myself to enjoy every moment of each day. However, this requires me to focus, sometimes re-focus and choose to find my peace one moment at a time. I have been able to envelop a harmonious state of mind by surrendering with trust to an unseen force. Knowing that I am supported, I can rest in this moment, lift the stresses to spirit and truly live in peace—all the while pieces of my life are flying in unknown directions.

I’m not suggesting that living this way comes easily. There are many opportunities for me re-frame my thoughts. My life is not always in complete balance—however, it works in the waves of ebbs and flows. I rely on inspired guidance and play as much as possible when that inspiration cannot be found. I revel in the life that I am creating, a more aligned description would be co-creating with spirit. I experience joy with the ability to sink into my life at each moment. As I do this, time slows…I know this may not seem possible, however, when I am focused on the moment that I am in, this is being truly present. There is no reflection of what came before or dreaming of what may come next. My experiences are more meaningful and miraculous events begin to unfold in ways that I never expected.

The next time you notice the time on a clock, take note that the pendulum is only in balance at a single point while the focal point swings back and forth between the two sides. Balance is in fact about movement and flexibility. Swinging and swaying in an attempt to remain centered in the counterpoint. And so, my life goes–in perfect balance, once in a while–but always swinging between two tensions.

So, while balance seems like an incredible notion, I’ve historically lived my life with little balance. I’ve also lived a lot of my life in play, in work, in lesson and adjustment–a stream of life never ending but flowing to yet another new opportunity and season.

I think it’s important to recognize that your life can be content, joyful, and meaningful even without balance. Each of us has a different level of comfort when it comes to keeping a sense of balance. As we all know too well, certain things can be disruptive to our balance and we don’t always listen to our inner voice that tells us this is not right for me.
Perhaps balance is more about the flexibility of the moments, the acceptance of the time limitations of each day, each season, each relationship–none totally balanced or totally perfect–but all an incredible gift.

So, today– if we could just see this moment and all that that unfolds for us, with you being the key to your own order, rhythm and harmony, and finding balance by being present. Then we can be grateful and content, joyful and able to enjoy ease in the moments of our days. Take a deep breath–and know that you are deserving of rest in the midst of the swings of our life.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual Architect providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – to reclaim your divinity by guiding you with practical techniques to actively shift perspectives, addressing past human conditioning and centering a new emotional state. #MuseMaven

Losing Myself In Every Little Embellishment

For the majority of my childhood and my young adult life, I have been a habitual liar. 

I would lie about things that were inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but there was a consistent presence of feeling the need to embellish. Now isn’t that a much “nicer” way to refer to lying? These embellishments would burst forth from my mouth without thought, it’s as if I had programmed myself to be in a perpetual state of lying.

There has been one person in my life who always seemed to know better. My mom could always sense when I was lying. She would even question me about how baffled she was about the why. “I just don’t understand why you would lie about the smallest of things, Angie,” she would say.

As the years progressed, I began to wonder why? When I dug in an asked this question, the answer came bounding back to me so clear, I was lying to myself. My habitual lying habit did not begin with whom I was lying too, it was me shielding the truth from myself. My world had become so inundated with lies, half-truths, and embellishments; it had twisted my beliefs…I was losing sight of what was real and true for myself.

Once I recognized that all those lies were just a way to protect myself, I found the courage to begin to unmask my own lies and find my truth. I had become a master liar with the practice spanning over decades. I told myself all kinds of lies every day and had gotten so used to them that it overshadowed my beliefs. It became incredibly clear to me that it was time to face my own self-lies.

It was a challenge to untangle the vast interconnected web that I had created. There were so many embellishments that the only way to deal with them was to unravel the ball and expose them, each and every one. The way that I choose to shed some light on what was going on inside of me was writing about them. By letting go of the lies I told myself, something spectacular and quite unexpected occurred. I found a quiet space of wisdom. By choosing to face my lies and let go of them, I found the space to open to that wisdom and everything it had to share with me.

I must admit that at first, I didn’t really have an understanding of what was before me. I did not know how to consistently listen to it. I was forced to dig deep enough through all the lies to really hear and trust it. This did, however, show me that if I allowed myself to sit in the space of the unknown and to listen more deeply to myself, in the silence, that I have access to a profound teacher.

I was able to learn that I did know the truth of my life, but I just didn’t like it. I found that in the nature of deceiving myself, and by extension others, that I really did not understand the depths of how badly wounded I was. I also came to the realization that the fullness of my expression was brought to me by the awareness of it.

I‘m sure you know your lies very well. You rehearse them all the time in your mind and through your actions. I would also like you to be aware that there is a distinction between lying to yourself and having your truth shift perspective over time and only you can be aware of this distinction. The next time you find yourself trying to believe you‘re happy by rehearsing your lies take note of what you are repeating. What are the ideas and beliefs you tell yourself over and over?

Our own self-work shows us how deluded we‘ve been and this provides a new understanding to find a lot of compassion towards those who are as lost as we were. It can be natural to want to help people to see clearly and to grow. In these moments, I encourage you to practice moving from your space of truth instead. Living your truth is more important than telling others what you think they are doing wrong. Today, many people aren’t used to seeing someone act from a space of clarity and presence, and you probably haven’t done it that much either. When living our truth, this is one way that we can help to reveal lies to others without actively pointing out their own flaws.

It’s important to recognize that your truth doesn’t need any repeating or believing. It simply is. So the more you are able to begin to let go of your lies and beliefs, the more it frees you to notice in the present what is. Commit today to dig in, let go and allow things to be revealed to you, this is how you come to know your truth.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual Architect providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – to reclaim your divinity by guiding you with practical techniques to actively shift perspectives, addressing past human conditioning and centering a new emotional state. #MuseMaven

Please, Put Away The Camera

When you’ve stood at the edge of the sea lost in the rhythmic percussion of waves on the sand, just as the sun was half into the water (but its reflection in the sea made it look complete). The light turning the puffy clouds, resembling cotton-candy, to hues of orange, and then nearly a fire red…do you allow yourself to witness and marvel in the incredible beauty before you, allowing this moment to fully enter your consciousness, or do you immediately reach for your camera to take a picture?

If your initial impulse is to take a picture, it’s likely that you are probably not fully present to the moment. You’re physically present, but your mind is focused on what a great picture you’ve captured for your photo album. Your heart is present as a witness, but you’ve not allowed yourself to fully open and receive what this moment is presenting to you. You are lacking presence.

Presence is the ability to be fully aware in the current moment. A developed spiritual connection means that you have learned to embrace life, living with an open heart and a consciousness that is fully present to the experience that life has to offer.

Introspection is the process of conscious self-awareness. When immersed in this, it allows an authentic response to simply “be”. The space to create, to dance, or to simply stand in the stillness of the moment.

To be self-aware we have to have the courage to look inside; the courage to shine the light of our consciousness into the shadows of our minds nature; the courage to become intentionally self-aware.

Until we expose ourselves in this way, the unconscious fears and wounds of trauma and conditioning will keep our hearts closed and our minds obsessing about the past or worried about the future.

As children we are living purely from the heart, fully open to the awe and wonder of the world. We played and behaved without self-consciousness. We didn’t worry about how others would judge us or whether we looked cool or not. We played with abandon in the present moment.
As we grew we used the relationships we had with others to determine who we were and how we “should” behave. We began to create the “self” we thought others wanted to see. We rejected our divine self and began to create a self-defined by others. We allowed criticism and judgment of ourselves and others and because we were not living authentically, we found it more and more difficult to belong and fit in with others.

Over time as we moved away from our spirituality, our sense of wonder, and our ability to live in the moment with full presence and full authenticity was also dismissed. Our world grew small, mundane, and many times painful. We began to spend most of our time dreaming about achieving happiness somewhere in the future.

Fortunately, the steps to attain happiness, spiritual growth, and the ability to live in the present moment are simple.

To start, it only requires the courage to begin the inner journey; the journey into self-awareness. Self-awareness can only be experienced in the moment of the present. The spiritual practice of deep self-awareness can be a powerful tool for self-growth and self-understanding whenever we find ourselves being judgmental or rejecting of others. This allows us to explore the unconscious beliefs and assumptions we have about ourselves.

Self-awareness allows us to search for our beliefs that create the negative energy of judgment and rejection. Self-awareness is the spiritual practice of intentionally looking for those beliefs. When we have the courage to do that we are often amazed to discover that much of the energy and passion for life we enjoyed as a child has been quietly hiding, waiting for the invitation to come alive again.

Until we find the courage to look into own beliefs and face our own shadows, we will continue to see those traits in others. The world around us will remain a painful reflection of the world inside of us. By learning to pay attention; to our own conscious awareness, we will soon discover that every person we meet has the potential to be a teacher that reflects back to us the beliefs of our own mind.

The higher the insight we need to glean the more taxing the teachers appear. But they, more than any others, have the power to help us shine the light of our consciousness into the shadows of our own dark beliefs; to illuminate the reflection that we need to dispel.

It is only through self-awareness that we will learn to see the insights that life continually offers us. That we begin to find the wisdom to put the camera away and stand in the stillness and awe with full presence. The only place our spirit can be found, in the present moment.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual Architect providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – to reclaim your divinity by guiding you with practical techniques to actively shift perspectives, addressing past human conditioning and centering a new emotional state. #MuseMaven

Rise Together

Most businesses today, and throughout history, strongly promote competition in the workplace, both inside organizations and in the dealings with the landscape of their industry.  It’s a tremendous flaw to take competition too far. It ends up in a winner-takes-all society. Long ago in my career, I myself was consumed by competition.

There was a particular individual in my department that sparked my spirit of competition like no one else. The company that I worked for created an environment of competition, which is not at all uncommon. I was a medical collections specialist. In order to get our DSO (days sales outstanding) to a more manageable position, the organization thought it wise to challenge individuals in the department to out collect other individuals.

Now, this may seem like a healthy company position, but much later I became very aware of how it changed the way that I viewed working with others. Competition for me roused something dark within, it was based on my ego and resulted in a limiting of my spiritual awareness. The very motivation for employees to compromise their values is in winning at all costs.

I now realize that there is a more sought after approach which creates a win-win scenario. Had the company provided a cooperative environment, one that if an individual achieves, we all achieve, I would not have experienced the pressure to compromise my own values. After all, did I want to be recognized as a winner or just someone who participated? When I engaged in this competition with this particular individual, let’s call her Lila for the sake of identification, I became hostile and intense. You see, the victory of one of the competitors implies the defeat of the other and I intended to be victorious.

I was stressing, straining and pushing to do more, be more. I began not taking my breaks or lunches so that I could get more calls in than anyone else. I even went as far as to speak regularly with my manager about how I was putting in the time and effort in order for the company to recognize its goals, while others did not. But this made me a team player…Right? Actually, I now see how I was reducing others to make myself rise and the environment I was in, supported it. I was being recognized for my achievement.

Compassion suffers miserably at the hands of competition, for compassion seeks our common likenesses, not our differences. When engaged in competition it emphasizes our differences in very black and white ways – winners and losers, successes and failures. When immersed in competition it demands violent and destructive energies. Competition isolates, separates, and estranges. While cooperation unites, embraces, and uplifts.

It’s our responsibility to recognize that we can achieve the outcome without the battle. I conducted a large part of my career like it was a war. Who were my competitors in the marketplace and what were they doing (could I emulate them in some way), who were my peers and how could I outshine them to get recognition for my efforts? Whether it be at home, on the field or in the workforce we all have a choice to foster collaboration rather than competition.

When competition is the sole focus it leads to someone somewhere being hurt. Competition, itself, means that the loss of someone is someone else’s gain. Which means; competition is bound to cause hardships and negative experiences for another. If we can find our way toward cooperation, versus competition, everyone wins and we all move forward at a faster rate united as one human race.

There is another important aspect that needs be relayed. While I believe structuring collaboration rather than competition is critical, it is also my belief that it DOES NOT mean that you give rewards simply for participation. We all have perceived failures and successes alike and just like you I’ve faced many challenging circumstances in my life, the perseverance to continue forward despite what we ourselves consider failure is critical to instill. When you begin operating in the presence of trust and love, the answers you seek will unfold before you.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual Architect providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – to reclaim your divinity by guiding you with practical techniques to actively shift perspectives, addressing past human conditioning and centering a new emotional state. #MuseMaven

The power of giving to life without the burden of expectations.

It is the most liberating experience when you are able to harness life without expectations. We all have experienced expectations some internal and some external – from parents, family, friends. Expectations create preconceived ideas of how things should be that you are attached to. When you can find your way to free yourself of expectations, you go with the flow of life and will not be affected by the outcomes that you encounter. Every outcome serves to move you towards greater realization of your desires. However, when you are attached to the specific path of an outcome, you expect things to happen at a certain time in a certain way. If this does not happen at the expected time or in the expected manner, then what results is a feeling of disappointment.

We did not start out this way. Each of us born in a state of pure love knowing that you are whole and complete. There is no expectations or disappointments. As life continues we get in the grip of fear and we experience disconnection and a sense of emptiness. To manage this disconnection and fill the emptiness, we create expectations of what we believe will fulfill us.

Expectation creates a tunnel of your perception of things. You’re not open to recognizing how things are really happening when you expect them to happen a certain way. This, in turn, prevents you from recognizing the good that comes your way and causes you to push it away. Without preconceived ideas to limit your perception, you are able to accept what comes your way as part of the solution to realizing what you truly desire in life. In turn, this allows you to be able to receive and not resist truth and love.

Many times we feel discouraged when things are not happening the way we want them to happen. We might even lose hope thinking that it’s not meant to be and even give up pursuing it altogether. Let go of expectations so that you can surrender to the journey and let the outcome fall in place in the right way at the divine time.

One of the keys to avoiding disappointment lies within the understanding of expectations and possibilities. Expectations assume a certain result and are future- based. They actually narrow your options, retard your imagination, and blind you to possibilities. They create pressure in your life and hold your present sense of wellbeing hostage to a future that may or may not happen. Expectations create rigidity in your life and cause you to react impulsively to any perceived threat to that future you believe you deserve.

In contrast to expectations, possibilities are based in the present moment, where you’re alive to the mystery of life. You live as fully as you can in the present moment based on your values, which reflect your preferences for the future, but you do not assume that the future will come to pass because you realize that the future is unknown. Being open to possibilities acknowledges that what you may think you want changes with time, or that there is another future that will bring you equal or more happiness, or that the future may turn bleak, or that you may die before any future can unfold. The real joy, then, is that which is present in the here and now.

The best way to live life is to be like the child that you once were just doing what brings you joy and expressing yourself fearlessly in every moment. To truly be in the moment, to not be defined by expectation, requires mindful clarity; a heart conditioned by love, compassion, and empathetic joy for yourself and others; and equanimity that allows you to experience life however it unfolds. This may seem like an inconceivable challenge, but it can be your goal, your beacon through the fog of your life. Most importantly, living in the expression of your truth can inspire and guide you in how to live in the moment.

When you live with an attitude of no expectations, you will experience more freedom than you can fathom. Failure no longer stops you because it doesn’t exist in your perception. You can keep doing what you believe in simply because you are not expecting a particular outcome but you are just expressing the truth that is in you. You are able to release negativity and nothing holds you back from going on in the direction of your desires.
When you hold no expectations, you are committing to the outcome of your higher self. Surrender and lift up the outcome for the divine self to handle while you continue acting on your desires. Yield to the journey with a hope and knowing that the things you desire most will come to you when you least expect them.

I’ve always swooned at the words in this poem written by the 12th-century Persian poet Hafiz, called “The Sun Never Says.”
“Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens
with a love like that,
It lights up the whole sky.”

This is the power of giving to life without the burden of expectations.

Angie Grimes, also known as Muse Maven, is a Spiritual Architect providing Inspiration, Knowledge, and Motivation. Teaching you to look within and awaken – to reclaim your divinity by guiding you with practical techniques to actively shift perspectives, addressing past human conditioning and centering a new emotional state. #MuseMaven