Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lead with your heart! What's really important in life?

When my yoga instructor, Denise,, an angelic classically trained dancer with a soothing voice, directed me to lead with my heart as I went from Down Dog, to Plank, to Sanskrit Chaturanga Dandasana, to Cobra, I knew, even though I didn't know why, that the phrase was important. I knew that it would be the next topic that I wrote on, although I didn't know what I would say or why I just had to say it. I knew, from past experiences of getting goose bumps for no particular reason, that God would reveal its importance to me. So I waited. I listened. And I watched: First, by chance, a documentary on Oprah's Soul Sundays by a successful Hollywood Director, Tom Shadyac, who gave up his wealth, a 17000-sqaure ft mansion, and a private jet to live in a trailer in Malibu and teach his philosophy of life at a University as he embarked upon a spiritual journey to discover what was important in life. I watched as scientist hooked him up to a device that showed how his energy affected Yogurt, of all things.

I thought about my own journey of finding a joyful and meaningful life, which began when my sons, now ages 20, 23, and 27, were babies, I was depressed from working a job that I hated, and I had learned that my oldest had disabilities that would severely limit his achievement in life. I didn’t have a mansion or private jet to give up so I did what I had been taught to do over the years: I prayed and read scriptures. I did what is like breathing to me, I listened to music. It was 1992 and the sound track from Eddie’s Murphy’s Boomerang movie was in my car cassette. The song, These Three Words: I Love You, by Stevie Wonder played over and over as I drove around L.A. In my prayer time, I was drawn to Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. I read it a 1000 times!

The answer to my call for direction and understanding in life would come. But first I had to go to Him with everything, the good, the bad, the scary, the ridiculous, the hurtful, and the disappointing that was jammed in my heart. So the examinations, the truth, began to pour off of my lips so that I could lead with my heart!
I would shine my light and have hope about what the future would bring. I’d be truthful about what made me happy: Music, genuine and deep level connection with others, creating art of some kind(at the time I didn’t have any idea I would end up writing), my relationship with God, my sons, my marriage, and serving those in need were what was most important to me. I wouldn’t worry about what the Jones’ had. I wouldn’t worry about whether I had the right title to impress others. I would always find a way to serve the neediest of society. The Los Angeles riots had occurred earlier that same year and the Haves (the West Side that didn’t burn) and the Have Nots (South Central Los Angeles which had almost burned to the ground) were seared into my brain. I would smile when I entered a room. I would leave negative encounters behind when I left. I would forgive others for wrong-doings, and pray for forgiveness when I injured others with my deeds and/or words. I would constantly excavate hurt from my being so that I would always be free to lead with a heart filled with God and love instead of a head filled with revenge, jealousy, competition, ego, disappointment, and discouragement. I would love.

It’s been several weeks since that Yoga class and I started writing this. Now I understand that God sent that phrase to help me get focused, to remember who I am, even though, at the time, I didn’t understand I was in need of help. Now I realize that I’d been feeling a little out of it of sorts: Not sure what I was to write for this blog. Not sure whether I should re-mount my play and complete another one that I started. Not sure if I should continue with the eBook series which I've developed. At 51, my ‘been there, done that’ attitude was doing me in, and the tranquility in my soul was saying it’s okay to stay at home and watch the flowers bloom (I’ve always connected with God in really simple ways). Yet, underlying all of that was something poking at me to carry on, although I wasn’t feeling excited about it at all. With folks informing you of their every move on Facebook and Twitter, I must admit that I was sometimes feeling pressure to do something, anything, just to keep up with the hi-tech Jones, knowing good well from my 20 year old pledge that I should never move when feeling that way! So instead of "doing" in 2012, I’ve been still. I’ve been thanking God for His provision, protection, and all the blessings of my life, not knowing what I should ask for, really.

Until I re-owned the phrase, “Lead with my heart” nothing had been crystal clear. Now it is. The heart is the place where God installs His will for our lives. The phrase God gave me in Yoga class re-connected me to what I came to understand 20 years ago, but had temporarily forgotten. I am! I am only to create -- write, put up plays, host seminars, continue with -- from a full space, where my only desire is to love, inspire, and entertain others, the specific call and assignment He’s placed in my heart. I must be honest: Being a LA girl, at times, I’ve become caught up in the glitz and glamour and longed for another assignment: To walk the red carpet, make millions, and run with the Hollywood crowd. Thank God for divine guidance. The documentary discussed above is, interestingly, named, I Am. It, too, reminded me of what’s important in life, that man’s measure of success is often times different from God’s, and that I should always stick with His.

A relaxed beginning to 2012 is exactly what I’ve needed. For me, silence, prayer, family time, sleep, music, art, and empty spaces are where He gives me the fruit to create. After three months of empty spaces, here it is: Lead with your heart. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. He will reveal the plan He has only for you. Just listen and be still and observe all that is around you. He, the great I Am, will speak to you. And when He does you are to move forward, excavating any hurt in your being so that you can lead and love with your heart and bless us all with the calling He has placed on your life.
I am so excited for you. 2012 is the year to move forward with God's plans! I would love to stay connected with you by email at Stay inspired!


PS: SHOUT! Lessons of Hope for Tough Times, an eBook, will be available on Amazon by May, and the plays, A Sizzling Hot Cooking Love Story and SHOUT, a play with music and dance, will start running at a small 99 seat theater in Los Angeles in September. God is good.

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