Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Learned this Weekend

     So you know that I am doing Oprah's Life Class.  It's really all about living the best life that you possibly can.  Each day is a different lesson.  I am a bit behind- okay, a lot behind- because of my self imposed evening tech breaks.  I have been NOT spending my evenings in my little office area (where my PC and television are) and I have been instead spending the evenings in the living room with hubby and the pups or out doing things.  Tonight I am going to see paranormal investigator Patrick Burns speak at the school.  I am too excited.  But back to this weekend's lessons from the life class.

     How it works is- as you are watching the show, there are interactive parts.  There is a series of questions that are curated by Life Coach Martha Beck, and then a journal for your notes from the show.  Since I am behind, I am using it in a way that works well for me.  I answer my questions online first, then save them to Evernote so that I can look back on them.  Then, I sync my iPad to the show which gives me extra quotes and polls that follow with the topic- you can answer the questions on the iPad also, but it's too much for me to do at once.  Meanwhile, on my PC I am on my online journal that accompanies the course and take notes of important (to me) thoughts that come through as well as the quotes that come through on the iPad.  My only criticism about the whole thing is that I would like to be able to go back to the content that comes through in the app but you cannot.  I really enjoy the way I am doing this because I can concentrate more on the class rather than trying to answer questions, take notes and listen all at once.

     The first episode I watched was last Friday's Joy Rising course.  It was based on the famous Car Giveaway (YOU get a car, and YOU get a car...EVERYBODY GETS A CAR!!!) and the Wildest Dreams bus from season 19.  The message was; giving joy, giving of yourself, is as good for you as it is for the recipient.  The quotes from this episode that touched me the most are:

"Anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given.~~Deepak Chopra
 "If you knew what I knew about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way."~~Buddha

      One of the questions on the "homework" was: When was the last time that you gave joy to someone else?  I think we do things for other often, but I don't know that we often truly give what I think of as JOY as often as we could.  At that time, I couldn't even think of an example but since then I do recall a recent time that I gave joy.  I am not going to discuss it here because it kind of feels like bragging and that is against the point of learning about myself but just recalling the smile involved makes me happy.  I also know that the surprise I have coming up (assuming they aren't reading this) will bring my parents joy and just thinking about that makes me giddy. There is so much truth in what they said about giving.  It really does feel good to be able to make someone happy if even for a moment.   

The second episode that I watched was last Monday's Who are You Meant to Be? show.  The first, and best example that was given to us of someone who was living the life they were meant to is Lady Gaga.  Now, I have a perverse thing where I tend to discount shows, artists, musicians that are instant sensations because often they are a flash in the pan- plus having spent over 10 years managing a night club- if I never hear club music again it will be okay.  From the first time she was on the show Oprah and Lady Gaga blew that out of the water.  Behind all of the crazy clothes and huge makeup is a person who is truly working her butt off to live from a really genuine place.  More importantly, her message is very simply BE YOURSELF because who you are is beautiful.  After the first show, and compounded by the other media appearances that I have seen, my respect for her has only grown.  Though her music is extremely dance-able, the words are very powerful.  If you have never heard Gaga, I recommend you go to youtube and watch both her Poker Face and Born This Way videos.  Look beyond the costumes (close your eyes if you need to) and just listen to the words and you will see why so many people, kids and adults alike, are gaga for Gaga. Again, there are two quotes from this episode that together epitomize what I took from this show:  

  "There's the gift, there's the spirit, and then there's the work- all three have to come together. If one of those things is off, i can stop you from becoming who you are meant to be." Jay-Z

"We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be. " Anne Lamott

I took a lot of notes from this class.  The notes that I took that speak to me are these:  

  • Everybody has a calling. We just may not have found it yet.  Your real job is to find out what that is and who you are meant to be and begin honoring it.

  • "God - how can I be used in service?  First to myself then to others?" 
  • Honoring your calling make everything else better. If you are able to honor that feeling, that is when you most come alive. 
  • You never know where the inspiration to follow your passion will come from. It doesn't have to be the biggest idea in the world, it just has to fuel and feed your passion.
  • It's never too late to find your purpose and start living your best life.
  • If I live to 80, can I have lived my life so that I can look back with as few regrets as possible? 
  • Recognize that you have a calling, that your being here on earth matters and is meaningful. Everybody that is here is here in some way to lift up the planet. I all comes back to the recognizing the deeper meaning that is inside yourself. The answer comes when you are open to receiving it.

     This episode for me brought up a lot of internal questions.  It made me realize that I am not, currently following my passion but also that I don't quite know what that passion is.  My daddy has always said that I don't know if I want to be a cowgirl or a ballerina, and he is right.  At 44 I have still not found that thing that, when I do it, makes my heart sing.  

     Actually- I enjoy writing but more, I enjoy when someone reads what I have written and let's me know that it spoke to them.  This blog is a great platform for that because I get some really terrific comments whether folks agree with me or not but this is not something that I could support myself on in the end.  Perhaps what I need to think about is what steps I can take to parlay my love of writing and the interaction into a career.  I am just at a loss as to how to do that.  I also worry that I wouldn't have the necessary discipline to follow through.  

     If I learned nothing else, these 6 (of 10) classes so far have taught me one very big thing.  The biggest takeaway that I have from this class so far is this:  
"You can either chase happiness or you can choose to be happy. It really is that simple" ~~Robert Holden

     That quote is reminder of all of the things I have been working toward in my life journey.  It epitomizes what I have been saying in regards to living with a chronic illness in a very succinct way.  If I had the courage, I would tattoo it on my body where I could see it every day.  If I take nothing else from this show (fat chance!) I would be happy with that one lesson because it just boils it down to the nth degree.  

I choose to be happy.  I choose to look at everything from a positive standpoint, be it my illness, my job, my marriage, my family; my entire life.  I can go forward from today and choose happiness because chasing it is just exhausting.  I hope that you can choose happiness too.


deb aka abcsofra said...

So so true! We must choose to be happy and it is that simple. I personally try to live this every single day. Do I accomplish it 100% of the But I keep at it and hopefully I will succeed 98% of the time :-)

Remicade Dream said...

I hadn't heard of Oprah's Life Class before - sounds great! Thank you for the inspiration.