The Ultimate New Year’s Resolution

We are “Come to the Edge Today” people, striving to live our lives to the fullest, answering daily invitations to grow and expand.  Because this is who we are, we view the approaching New Year as an opportunity for new insights, new beginnings, new resolutions.  We are determined and resolved to make changes.  Like you, I am anticipating the New Year with expanded visions and dreams for my life.  Mindful of these dreams, I began reading and journaling.  I’d like to share with you some of the insights I uncovered.  As the words began to flow onto the page, I could feel the resonance of them flowing from deep within.  I share them with the hope that you will find their meaning too.
 
 
Reflections on a New Years resolution:  Unfolding My Rose

It began with these quotes from “The Dance” by Oria Mountain Dreamer:

“What if your contribution to the world and the fulfillment of your own happiness is not dependent upon discovering a better method of prayer or technique of meditation, not dependent upon reading the right book or attending the right seminar, but upon really seeing and deeply appreciating yourself and the world as they are right now?”

“What if the task is simply to unfold, to become who you already are in your essential nature – gentle, compassionate, and capable of living fully and passionately present?”

“What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?”

“What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practices that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?”

These quotes “wowed” me with their truth.  And then I read this:

“Because you have no faith that who you are is enough”.

I was thrown off my chair with the truth and depth of this simple sentence.  “Because you have no faith that who you are is enough”.  Take some time to consider this!  Isn’t this at the core of how we live so much of our lives?  We do, relate, buy, prove, disprove, etc. etc. because deep down, we think there is something missing, something lacking in who we are.  We see ourselves as broken.  We think we are not enough.

What if nothing is broken?  What if our lives are part of the grand Whole and living is an opportunity for unfolding the gift that is already present?

This revelation that I am “enough” is a lifelong unfolding process – unfolding layer upon layer of the Wholeness that is already “me”.  It is like unfolding the pedals of a Rose.

This year is an opportunity for learning and allowing “me” to come forth.  It’s not about ‘becoming’ anything – it’s about the discovery of ‘being’.  There is nothing to overcome or to mend.  There is only revealing and unfolding of the me that ‘is’.  There is nothing to improve.  There is only unfolding.

My life, my world then, becomes a treasure chest to explore rather than something broken to be fixed.  And, if nothing is broken in me, then nothing is broken in you either.  My relationship with you and everyone in my world is about the unfolding of seeing you as you really are too. 

There is nothing to improve.  There is only unfolding.

Let us “Come to the Edge” this New Year with the intention to experience and ‘know’ that “Who I am is enough”.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  Spend minutes, hours, days considering the following questions.  Ponder, journal, meditate, ‘unfold’ these questions for the New Year:

What does it feel like to know that ‘all I am is enough’?  What will it look like to experience the unfolding of my Rose?  How will I see and interact with you if all I see is the unfolding of your Rose?

You are a perfect Rose to be unfolded and discovered, as am I – Joan Kappes 

Happy New Year from Come to the Edge Today!

Photo courtesy of TinyPic
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Posted in Leaping Practice by JoanK. No Comments

The ‘To-Do’ List Takeover

Stuart Miles 2I felt it coming.  Sweeping into my life, predictably showing up 5-10 days before Christmas, the annual Christmas ‘To-Do’ list takeover.  Through the years it has become an expert in overwhelming my thoughts, actions, feelings, schedule and everything else connected with the last two weeks of December.  I become a robot, transfixed with checking off items on ‘the list’ – sometimes, even checking it twice!

True to form, it arrived on schedule but this year I didn’t struggle with its entrance or give it much attention.  In fact, I barely noticed its arrival.  I greeted it and acknowledged the To-Do list (which I really do want to complete), but this year, instead of turning myself over to its frantic, ‘gotta-do-it-now-and-do-it-right’ robot mode, I am approaching the whole list and season differently.

Rather than reacting, I have created a new perspective about the list and the potential it holds to experience joy and happiness because of it.  Instead of being controlled by it, I am deliberately choosing to complete each item with intention and love for the people who are the receivers (whether it is grocery shopping, baking cookies or planning a party) and, just as important, I am choosing to experience each item on the list with an elf-like spirit of fun, playfulness and joy (yes, even cleaning the house)!  I am being deliberate about what I am doing and why I am doing it.  Such a difference in the quality of my days!

Elf shoes TinyPic

 

I renamed it too.  Rather than the ‘To-Do’ list, it is now my ‘Elf’ list.  Sounds like more fun, doesn’t it?

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, my fellow elves!Joan Kappes

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‘Follow Your Bliss’ – Sometimes Scary, But Always Worth it

“Follow your bliss” – Easier said than done sometimes, yet always worth it.

bliss2I had a crossroads choice today.  I could go with my familiar ‘you should do this’ option, or choose the option at ‘the edge’ where I would need to leap into the unknown.

From a logical point of view, I ‘should’ have chosen the opportunity presented to me as it would have spurred my life coaching and my passionate message to you of living life with joy on a fast track.  My monkey mind was saying, “But, this is the opportunity of a lifetime!  But, who are you to refuse such an offer!  But, but, but…………”  My insides, however, were lovingly prodding me that this would not be the perfect path for me; this was clearly illuminated through my journaling and the sick feeling I had on the inside as I considered  the ramifications of saying yes.  Still, the ‘shoulds’ continued running through my thoughts.

Then, I imagined what it would feel like to say ‘no’ and what it would feel like to say ‘yes’.  This too was clear.  My heart was saying I wouldn’t like how I would feel taking this path as it currently stood.  Yet, my thoughts kept saying, “But, this is the opportunity of a lifetime!  But, who are you to refuse such an offer!  But, but, but…………”

I was proud that I kept open to the process.  Next, I played the What-if game:   “What if” I chose this way?  “What if” I chose that way, imagining how it would feel to live a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ path.

It became clear to me that this was a moment for me to follow what I have been writing about for so long:  Listen to my heart, act from what I hear and follow my bliss (even though logic demanded otherwise and the result was unknown).  Funny side note:  the assumption I made was that saying ‘yes’ was a known path!  Not!

I decided to let go, trusting that there would be many other options presented to me that would be more in line with my intentional joy path.  Going with the guidance I felt within, I picked up the phone and declined the offer.  RELIEF!  (FYI, I knew prior to the phone call that relief would be the result because of the imagining games I played above.)

Low and behold, 3 hours later, I received a phone call from the person whose offer I declined earlier, offering a wonderful option that fits perfectly with what I want for my life’s experience!  A win-win for both of us!

What is most important to me is I let the ‘shoulds’ go.  I listened and remained true to my heart’s message! luigi diamanti THIS is the true joy of the story.  I DID IT and the magic followed.

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise:  Next time you have a crossroads choice, try the following:

  • Give yourself time to quiet your mind and open your heart.  (Meditate, sit in silence or listen to quiet music)
  • Time to journal.  Be incredibly honest with yourself.   Express your feelings, pros, cons, etc.  Get it all out on paper
  • Next, imagine what it feels like to say ‘no’ and what it feels like to say ‘yes’.  (Note:  Feelings are your heart/soul’s language!  Pay attention!  ‘Good’ feelings are saying ‘yes’ and negative feelings are saying ‘no’)
  • Now, play the What-if game:   “What if” I choose this way?  “What if” I choose that way, imagining how it would feel to live a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ path.  Listen to what your heart/gut is saying to you
  • Take time to sit with what you are hearing and feeling.
  • Decide with awareness and intention.  Trust yourself that what you are hearing is your truth guided by your heart/soul
  • Let it go. Leap.  Give thanks.  Allow yourself to receive from The Universe

Leaping with the intention of following our bliss is really living.  Listening with intention and acting in faith is totally ‘safe’ because we are leaping with God/Source.  There is no need to look for a net either, because when we leap with our heart, there is no bottom, only unlimited sky from which to soar.

This is really living – Joan Kappes

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Photos courtesy of tinypic and freedigitalphotos (luigi diamanti)

 

Not Your Run-Of-The-Mill Thanksgiving List

Thanksgiving Day is one of the magical days of the year when we are drawn to reflect and give special thanks for the bounty that fills our lives.  This year, I invite all of us to slow down a few notches during this holiday weekend.  Turn off the news, noise, holiday ads, the ‘to do’ lists (you get the drift) and spend time with your Thanks-giving list below.  Feel the beauty, grace and love that has filled your life this year.

StuartMiles

My Thanks-Giving List

For each category below, listen for and record the answer to 4 specific questions designed to get your ‘thank-full’ juices flowing.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

My Gifts & Talents

1. The gifts I have received from my gifts and talents:

2. How my heart has grown because of my gifts and talents:

3. How my gifts and talents have caused me to expand into the real ‘me’ I know I am:

4. What I am most thankful for regarding my gifts and talents:

 

My Life’s Passions

1. The gifts I have received from my life’s passions:

2. How my heart has grown because of my life’s passions:

3. How my life’s passions have caused me to expand into the real ‘me’ I know I am:

4. What I am most thankful for regarding my life’s passions:

 

My Body/Health

1. The gifts I have received from my body/health:

2. How my heart has grown because of my body/health:

3. How my body/health has caused me to expand into the real ‘me’ I know I am:

4. What I am most thankful for regarding my body/health:

 

My Abundance

1. The gifts I have received from my abundance:

2. How my heart has grown because of my abundance:

3. How my abundance has caused me to expand into the real ‘me’ I know I am:

4. What I am most thankful for regarding my abundance:

 

My _____________

1. The gifts I have received from my _________:

2. How my heart has grown because of my __________:

3. How my ____________ have caused me to expand into the real ‘me’ I know I am:

4. What I am most thankful for regarding my ____________:

 

This is not your run-of-the-mill Thanksgiving list because there is nothing run-of-the-mill about you or your stuartmiles2special relationship with God/Source!  We are unique beyond measure and it is a magical day when we become aware of all that we have and, more importantly, all that we are!

Thank you for sharing all that you are with all of us – Joan Kappes

 

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Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net   Stuart Miles

 

The Trash That Dreams Are Made Of

landfillInspiration is everywhere.  It cares not of perceived worthiness, fame, social status or any other kind of status.  Inspiration gives itself to those who are open to hearing its melody & to those who are willing to follow its path.

This is the amazing story of the townspeople of Cateura, Paraguay (Favio, Don, Miriam, Ada and all the children).  These are people who heard the melody in their hearts and quite simply, took inspired action.  They turned their focus from what ‘is’ (poverty, squalor, contamination…) to focusing on hope and a new reality through the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra, a children’s orchestra made from the recycled trash of the landfill upon which they live and depend for income.

Allow yourself the time to be inspired by this short video (below) and/or the full 60 minutes story (click link) of the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra.  Be transformed by a teacher, an artisan (who didn’t know he was an artisan), townspeople who dreamed of a better life for their children and a group of amazing children who heard the call of the music and followed it……..right into our hearts.

 

YouTube Link for above video:  YouTube - LandfillHarmonic

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise:  Consider these quotes from the video

“I thought trash was useless” – Ada, 15 year old musician

“I couldn’t believe you could make music with trash” – Volunteer musician/teacher from Maryland

“Send us your garbage and we’ll send it back to you as music” – Favio Chavez, creator of Landfill Harmonic Orchestra

Ponder your responses and listen for your heart’s response:

  • What is the ‘trash’ you live with in your life?  Like Ada used to believe, do you think that trash is useless?  Could you imagine creating a new reality around it, like the townspeople did with recycling trash to a new purpose?
  • Where is your focus – is it on the ‘poverty’ it causes or is your focus on the music that could come from it?
  • Do you believe it is possible for you to make music with your trash?
  • What music could you create with it?  Is there one note you could play today that could shift your focus from ‘lack’ to the music of inspiration?

Listen for your music.  It’s already playing in your heart – Joan Kappes

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image22083187Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected.Connect on  Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

Image courtesy of Creative Visions Foundation, video courtesy of Youtube

The Best Halloween Costume – Ever!

I love Halloween!  It brings out the magic and playfulness in all of us, doesn’t it?  It’s no wonder Halloween has become a $7 billion dollar event!

debspoonsSo, what to be this year?  I can be anything!  It’s a field day for my imagination!  I can be a genie, a princess, a doctor, a pirate, a famous person, an athlete, an astronaut, a creepy monster……………Wow.

Then, it occurred to me – How often during the year do I already pretend to be someone else?  How often do I assume another’s persona?   How often do I put on another’s boots and walk in the path of their expectation or masquerade as the personality of my fears?  How often do I wear a mask that isn’t me – a mask that is binding and stifling, viewing the world through two narrow eyeholes?

I am meIf, on Halloween I can be whoever I want to be, then this year I’ve decided to let go of the mask, the costume and the boots.  This year (and ALL year long), I’m going as ME!!!

The “Me” look is Fabulous (and looks great on you too!) – Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more inspiration on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter! Let’s “soar’ together!

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net   deb spoons / google images

Strangers That Warm Our Heart

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”  ― John Holmes

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VentrilockThis is a short story as most pay-it-forward stories are, yet their impact lasts a lifetime for both the receiver and the giver.

Last week, we met my in-laws for breakfast at a local restaurant.  Irene is 90 and Bill is 92.  They have been married 70 years this past July.

Irene walked up to our table with spunky, sparkling eyes and said “We have big news for you!”  Both sat down and she began her story.  “Yesterday, we went to Jensen’s Restaurant for breakfast.  As we waited for a table, we talked with 3 young women (probably in their late 20’s).  We told them that we celebrated our 70th wedding anniversary this year.  THEY SIMPLY COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!  They thought it was fantastic and amazing that we could be married that long! They told a story of how their parents were married for 50 years, but….70!”

As Irene shared her story, you could feel the pride and joy in her voice as she recalled the acknowledgement and lovely encounter.  It was delightful to be swept up in her excited energy!

Then, she exclaimed:  “When we went to pay for our meal, the waitress said, ‘Oh, those 3 women over there already paid for your meal’.  We went over there to thank them for their generosity and they said, ‘Thank You’ for being such an example to us’!!!   We were flabbergasted!!”

Bill, who had been quiet during the telling of the story, smiled-happiness flowing from his eyes, too.  They had just been acknowledged by a stranger for a lifelong commitment.  This meant more to Bill and Irene (a couple who rarely allowed their accomplishments to be known) than words could ever express.

They were truly touched by this genuine act of appreciation and connection.  This became a treasured gift for all involved; this memory will last forever.

Pay-it-forward acts of appreciation are powerful because they come from the heart and soul.  Words cannot describe the Love behind the touch of one soul to another soul and I guess they don’t need to because ‘we know it when we see it’, (or rather, ‘we know it when we feel it’) don’t we?  Can you recall a soul to soul gift of Love you received or gave in your lifetime?  (Recall the feeling and enjoy it now!)

Today’s ‘leaping’ exercise:  Make your day and another’s by scheming and delivering delightful surprises Stuart Milesto a loved one or stranger! It’s so much fun to look for opportunities to spread joy!   Listen to your heart for inspiration and feel the happiness of it.  Let your soul delight and surprise their soul!  (After all, that’s what life at “Come to The Edge” is all about – creating and  co-creating experiences where we really l-i-v-e!)

Surprise! – Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). I share more inspiration on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter! Let’s “soar’ together!

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net   Stuart Miles/Ventrilock