Wake Up, Gently Rise, Co-Create, and Be Free

Empowering words during a time of transition

By Paula Figueroa-Vega, front yard tree, winter 2017

Sometimes, people may wonder and spend time thinking, “if I had known years ago what I know now, I would…”  However, I believe that we experience what we need to at the time we are open to receive that particular lesson. The lessons we experience now are for us now.

I am experiencing a time of transition after leaving a job I held for nine and half years that provided security, a short commute, and a nice benefit package.  I had absolutely amazing and unforgettable moments at the job. I gave much and received just as much. Yet, I know this was my time to leave. 

I am reminded over and over again that I am making this decision at the right time for the right reasons. The universe continues to reassure me in numerous ways.  One way has been words and quotes that I have come across these past few weeks. Here are some quotes that have spoken to me in the recent weeks.

“One day you wake up
able to name the weight
you’ve been carrying.

You set it down gently,
in the long soft grass
at the side of the road
and walk on.
And you are free.” – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“There are times when you have to spread your wings and gently rise on the current of your own soul’s breath, even when it means leaving the comfort of familiar company.” – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“The world we live in is a co-creation, a manifestation of individual consciousness woven into a collective dream. How we are with each other as individuals, as groups, as nations and tribes, is what shapes that dream.” Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely you will be free.” – Ajahn Chah

“In life, if you are intelligent, you are admired. If you are wealthy, you are envied. If you are powerful, you are feared. But if you are blessed with a good heart, you are remembered, always.” Unknown

“We will never find confidence in identity. Identity makes us awkward – it takes away our agility. We can’t be joyful and responsive… there will always be something to hold together or to project out into the world: “the maverick”, “the intelligent one”, “the victim.” We don’t have a clear relationship with the world when we cling to identity … it’s like walking into a room full of people and having that anxiety of not knowing where to sit. When we are not clinging to identity we can sit anywhere. We can sit on a throne if that is what serves, and we can sit on the ground if that serves the situation. We are flexible.” – Elizabeth Mattis

“If you can honour the story that got you to today, if you can honour the strength you showed in keeping to the trail, if you can pay homage to the tragedies that revealed how deep and loving you really are, if you can look back and see the beauty of your soul growing throughout all the difficult moments when it felt you were locked in an invisible prison, a beautiful life you will feel all around you now, the sacredness of your breath, the fact that you have so much behind you because you kept on going. Tell me your story with your head held high. Because you became the hero you needed. Nobody else. You got yourself to today. For that alone, you should be proud.” – S.C Lourie / Butterflies and pebbles

“When the individual’s needs are at odds with the group or relationships, they must break into new ground, either by choice or by divine intervention. These are what I call Initiations by Exile because, as we discovery in myths and fairy tales, every hero or heroine must endure a period of their own exile if they are to be initiated into the true medicine of their calling. If we haven’t been listening to the early warning signs of restlessness, doubt, and longing, one day a strong gust of fate will blow through our lives and knock us right out of the soil. Whether by way of an accident, a physical illness, or a sudden loss or crisis, life will have its way with us. Though we think of belonging as static, the healthiest forms of togetherness allow for, and even require, periods of exile or separation in order to mature.”  – Toko-pa Turner (an excerpt from the Belonging book)

I find these life-giving quotes, put together by gifted writers and spiritual teachers and shared with the world, as messages sent to me at the right time. The words nourish me like the water and the earth nourishes the big tree in my front yard. 

When I read these quotes and think about my experiences in 2017, I feel completely and utterly empowered. I am the observer of my experiences and I can see my growth.  I look forward to 2018 with openness and curiosity, with gratefulness and graciousness. I hope to continue coming across moments where I can grow and encounter writers, spiritual teachers, who can accompany me along the way.

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