Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Have a little faith

As a kid remember my grandmother having this unwavering faith that things always had a way of working out. She was able to assuage my childhood fears the way a cool cloth soothes a warm forehead. Now that I'm older I try to remind myself that in any situation I've encountered, things generally tended to work out for me. Sometimes what I perceived as a really crappy outcome was simply there to make way for something better. The point is we cannot always see the bigger picture.

But being a writer it's difficult sometimes to trust that everything actually is working out when the phone isn't ringing, or the bank balance begins to drop, or the ideas are not flowing as easily as you'd like them to. I think this goes for every artist. My friend Emery has a saying: "The Universe is running on time," meaning that there is a greater plan. I freely admit that there are days where I would like nothing more than hand over the reigns of my life to a Higher Power and other days where I'm like: "I'm nothing, I'm no more than a spec of dust and the universe doesn't give a rat's ass about me." I call those my Woody Allen days. "What if there is no God? What if we're just a bunch of absurd people running around with no rhyme or reason?" 

He can't be right..... can he?

In most twelve-step programs they say we should "let go and let God" but I have a really hard time with that. I think it's because I am not a natural born follower, why would I choose to believe that some unseen unproven entity has more control over my own life than I do? On the other hand I  don't see myself as leader of the pack either. I suppose if it comes down to it, I'm a bit of a lone wolf so trust does not come easily. Do you remember those exercises they used to do in gym class where your schoolmate would stand behind you and you were meant to fall back into their arms, trusting that they would catch you? I had a hard time in both the catch and fall positions. Maybe that was an early indication that I didn't truly trust myself or anyone else.

That's been my homework of late. Not only trusting myself and my instincts but also loving who I am free from judgement. All of the running dialogue of who I "should" be at my age, or "what" I should have acquired by now are beginning to lose relevance as I learn to quiet the critic in my mind. Through this process I am learning to hold space for myself, to breathe into my heart and connect. Being raised a Catholic I maintain that I was given a somewhat distorted vision of who "God" was, I mean I was convinced I was absolutely going to hell by the time I hit second grade. I'm slowly making peace with the big guy/girl, our Source and as I'm doing that I am on a constant scavenger hunt for tools to help me trust more in him/her as well as myself and my fellow human beings.

As I was prepping for a morning meeting and texting my friend Sophie and reading an online article (all at the same time, damn I have really got to learn to focus) I read something that stuck such a deep chord I had to share it with Sophie and I also wanted to come here to share it with all of you (my one noble reader).

It's from The Full Moon Report on a site I enjoy called The Cosmic Path, you can read the full article HEREThe writer, Emily Samet, whom I have quoted a number of times before on Instagram, wrote this:

Do you have faith that all is coming? That the Universe meets your needs? If you don't, see it as an invitation to explore this further. (Invitation accepted Emily)

Practice trusting in Divine timing. (it's like what Emery says above). Listening to a recording the other morning I heard the astute comment that when we exhale, we don't worry about where the next breath is coming from. (I love that! I wonder who made the recording??) A few hours later I heard my yoga teacher reinforce the point saying, the inhale is given, don't force it. And it is - you don't have to force, you don't have to worry. Yet you do have to make space. If you don't exhale, you couldn't take in a fresh breath. (Did you try it? Lol I did, it's totally possible Emily! Sure, maybe not comfortable but it is possible. See? Not a follower!) It becomes much more difficult to grow when you resist a natural flow. (fine, point taken)


My homework on today's full moon lunar eclipse, (and your homework too should you choose to accept it) is to look for ways where I can create space in my life so that I can allow the natural flow of the universe in. I really do want to believe that there is a bigger plan and that everything I want is making it's way to me on time, and that like my Grandmother used to say: Things always have a way of working out.



  1. Shan, I'm glad you've been able to post again, I really enjoy your "voice" among all the noise out there. This is a timely message for me, I'm going through significant life changes at the moment (marriage ending, moving out, figuring out how to break this to my preschooler). Despite all the uncomfortableness and uncertainties of this I really do feel in every fiber of my being that it is the right decision...and that everything will be okay. Maybe not comfortable, but OK. And it will work out eventually. I accept your homework assignment!

    1. I am truly sorry to hear that you're marriage is ending and yes breaking it to your child will be no easy task, but you are making the best choices for you and for the good of all involved. I am happy to share space with you and to be working through our respective life changes.

  2. God this is stunning in all regards. You have a divine talent dear friend. So much love to you and yes... "The universe is running on time" and I can see right where it will take you .. Now let the tide take you and fall right in to the river ... Trust is everything now .

    1. Emery, I absolutely love that I am sharing this journey with you my friend.

  3. How much do I want your Grandmother to be right! What a beautiful post to read. I, too, accept your homework challenge.

    1. Let's do this! One intentional breath at a time my friend.

  4. The only "advice" I have is Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, Seek, Knock
    7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened

    Your post made me immediately think of that verse.
    Take 2 minutes whenever you can, grab a notebook and write down your prayers, give thank.yous or concerns etc. you'd be surprised what flows.

    Just "talk" and write.
    C.S. Lewis and his reflections are wonderful to read as well.

    1. I love this passage Gia, it's one that really resonated with me as a kid. I often journal, but I hadn't really thought of it as a prayer before. Thank you for this.

  5. Ooh! I hope you don't think I'm trying to covert you! Not at all! The verse was intended to give you an idea or a push one way or the other

    As a matter of fact, in regards to God, here is part of a quote from my favorite Beatle, George Harrison:
    From his Wiki page:
    The senses of the body ... are the horses pulling the chariot, and we have to get control over the chariot by getting control over the reins. And Arjuna in the end says, "Please Krishna, you drive the chariot" because unless we bring Christ or Krishna or Buddha or whichever of our spiritual guides ... we're going to crash our chariot, and we're going to turn over, and we're going to get killed in the battlefield. That's why we say "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna", asking Krishna to come and take over the chariot."

    1. Hi again, no need to apologize at all. Isn't it funny how we get all up in our head and start judging our actions? The trick is to learn to love ourselves in a compassionate, judgement-free zone. I am familiar with the Bhagavad Gita and the story of Arjuna. In fact I also have an old recording of George Harrison chanting Hare Krishna from an ashram somewhere along the way. It's so cool.

      I think it matters not what we call God, Great Spirit, Jesus, Mother, Creator, Source, Krishna, Siva, what I have learned over the years is this: "The names are many but the God is one." So thank you for sharing.

  6. ok, Note to self - iPads and responding to blogs are not happy bedfellows - I suppose the same as iPhones - how many times have I lost a whole diatribe of response to the blog ( i use the word 'the' as its the only one I follow!) due to an apple/blog miscommunication.

    This is such a fab post Shan!! Not just in subject, but also your wonderful prose - so easy to read and relate to.
    My mind is a bag of crazy squirrels, which means I worry if I can get the thoughts out in any form of use.... so... a LIST! yes!! a list is what I need to keep my ramblings on course.

    1. How much did I smile when I read your analogy of the 'trust' game at school! How much did I dread doing that exercise?!! As of course - in my mind at least, the person behind me would not be able to resist the laughs brought on by stepping away and watching me land with a thump. Sufice to say, my career as a trapeze artist was nipped in the bud.

    2. I too take huge salve in the belief/understanding/acceptance that the universe is in balance.
    No matter what stress, or upset we may currently be experiencing.. the summer follows the spring, the plants grow towards the sun, and it will always rain during public holidays...
    This adds weight to the thought which brings most relief from any current crisis: 'we are exactly where we are meant to be'. and 'everything is temporary'.

    3. Frustration, stress, anger are simply the other sides to their partners - 'peace', 'calm' and 'contentment', they are one and the same. All equal, just some a little more convenient than the other. So welcome them all.. as the partner will not be far behind.

    Don't get me wrong, I find it very hard to sometimes remind myself of these solid thoughts when I am sleep deprived, over worked and mega stressed, but even if I mange to cling to one, like a passenger on the titanic, it somehow helps to keep me ever so slightly grounded.


    1. You're always so incredibly insightful and wise my friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and as you know I too like lists!