Jan 08

We’re sure you’ve seen all the programs, courses and exhortations about making New Year resolutions and setting your goals to accomplish in the coming year. That is all well and good, as far as it goes. It just doesn’t account for what inevitably happens when we embark on the tasks of goal accomplishment. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to look at that dreaded guilt tripper procrastination from a slightly more enlightened and expansive perspective.

The following is by David Whyte, the acclaimed poet, author and lecturer originally from the United Kingdom, now living in the Pacific Northwest.

David says . . .

“Procrastination is not what it seems.

To see procrastination as undesirable, especially in the initial stages of an endeavor is to say that Job was procrastinating by wrestling with his angel; that a woman feeling her first birth pangs should simply get on with it; that a bud should be broken open to reveal the full glory of the flower.

What looks from the outside like our delay; our lack of commitment; even our laziness may have more to do with a slow, necessary ripening through time and the central struggle with the realities of any endeavor to which we have set our minds. To hate our procrastinating tendencies is in some way to hate our relationship with time itself, to be unequal to the phenomenology of revelation and the way it works its own way in its very own gifted time, only emerging when the qualities it represents have a firm correspondence in our necessarily struggling heart and imagination.

Any creative frontier is by its nature a conversational frontier, it is a meeting of the inner and the outer worlds we inhabit, it is a knitting together, a growing together, a surprising arrival with its own, to begin with, unknown unfolding, caught within it as part of its genius. Procrastination when studied closely can be a beautiful thing, a parallel with patience, a companionable friend, a revealer of the true pattern, already caught within us; acknowledging for instance, as a writer, that before a book can be written, most of the ways it cannot be written must be tried first, in our minds, on the blank screen, on the empty page or staring at the bedroom ceiling at four in the morning.

An endeavor achieved without delay, wrong turnings, occasional blank walls and a vein of self-doubt running through all, leading eventually to some degree of heartbreak, is a thing of the moment, a bagatelle, and often neither use nor ornament. It will be scanned for a moment and put aside.What is worthwhile carries the struggle of the maker written within it, but wrought into the shape of an earned understanding.

Procrastination helps us to be a student of our own reluctance, to understand the hidden darker side of the first enthusiastic idea, to learn what we are afraid of in the endeavor; to put an underbelly into the work itself so that it becomes a living, satisfying whole, not a surface trying to manipulate us in the moment.

Procrastination does not stop a project from coming to fruition, what stops us is giving up on an original idea because we have not got to the heart of the reason we are delaying, nor let the true form of our reluctance instruct us in the way ahead. To procrastinate is to be involved with larger entities than our own ideas, to refuse to settle for an early underachieving outcome and wrestle like Job with his angel, finding as Rilke said, Winning does not tempt that man, This is how he grows, by being defeated decisively, by greater and greater beings.”

Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions about this post and even your own “creative frontier”.

written by Paul Cutright \\ tags: , , , , ,

Apr 28

golden-shower-tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Under the Golden Shower Tree

Last week when we sent out the Photo of the Week we mentioned that we were celebrating our thirty-third year of marriage on Saturday April 20. That day we were in the arboretum and happened upon a young couple getting married outdoors in a small amphitheatre. We quietly took a seat on a stone wall atop a hill overlooking the celebrants. We were positioned under the marvelous tree in the photo above.

As we sat with our arms around each other’s waist, we could hear the minister performing the ceremony below, including reading a quote from Neal Donald Walsh. As we listened, leaning into one another, we silently renewed our own wedding vows. We count it no small miracle that we are not only still together, but deeply in love, cherishing and respecting one another even more as the years go by.

Thank you for being here to read this and share in our lives. We wish you no less love and happiness than this.

written by Paul Cutright

Apr 19
Cherry Bl;ossom Time

Cherry Bl;ossom Time

written by Paul Cutright \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Dec 03

Well, of course, it helps! But, it begs the bigger question, what is enlightenment? What can we say about enlightenment that can be helpful in the context of partnership? Let’s start with this. ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE PROCESS OF WAKING UP TO LOVE AS THE UNIFIED GROUND OF ALL LIFE. The operative words here are process and waking up. There is little usefulness in thinking of enlightenment as a static state of unending bliss, unless perhaps you are a recluse living alone on a mountaintop somewhere.

But, most likely you aren’t. Like us, you are probably in the world, engaged in the hustle and bustle of the modern marketplace with diverse value systems in which a permanent state of bliss can seem challenging, if not impossible. Or you might be sharing life’s path with intimate others who regularly “push your buttons.”
So, for now let’s allow it to be a process in which we are all in various and changing states of wakefulness. And we can help each other to become more awake.

For those of you who have known us for a while, you probably know already that
our specific goal for our love relationship was to bring out the best in one another. For us that included attaining higher levels of consciousness, sometimes referred to as the Higher Self, Buddha Mind, Christ Consciousness.

What does the dictionary have to say about partnerships? Partnership is a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility, as for the achievement of a specified goal.

The key thing here is mutual cooperation and responsibility. We would also add commitment. Partners usually have something at stake, whether money or heart or both. Partnerships are intentional relationships. People enter into partnerships because they choose to create a future together.

Well then, what makes for enlightened partnership? First, let’s distinguish between the partners and the partnership, for they are not the same.  The partnership is a completely separate entity from the individual partners. We think of our relationship as a garden that we both nurture and receive from. So, there is Paul, Layne and our relationship.

We say a relationship or partnership is not a “thing” you can own or be owned by. Rather, a relationship is a “space of possibilities”; it is a living, probably evolving, process in which you participate. For many, this concept represents a paradigm shift in their thinking about relationships. Relationships are alive and they have a flow of life in them and that flow has a direction.

What is the direction of the flow in your partnerships? Where is the partnership headed? What is the partnership focused on? It is the flow of a partnership that determines whether the partnership is enlightened or not. What distinguishes an enlightened partnership from an ordinary one is that it is always headed in a direction that honors the Spirit. Enlightened partners are motivated by a vision and passion that results in an extraordinary level of cooperation and creativity.

As teachers of spiritual relationships for over 35 years we have demonstrated the essence of our Spirit is love. When we make choices out of love we elevate our spirit. The opposite of love is fear. When we make choices out of fear we diminish the expression of our spirit in the world.

Therefore, an enlightened partnership is one that is committed to making choices out of love and an elevated vision rather than fear. In an enlightened partnership we ask ourselves, “What would love see here? What would love say here? What would love choose here? What choices honor the spirit in all of us?” These questions help us gain some spiritual altitude that delivers uncommon and inspiring solutions.

We use the terms enlightened partnerships and evolutionary relationships interchangeably. We also use the terms spiritual or soulful relationships to define relationships that honor the incandescent Light of spiritual awareness. No matter what term you use, we know that the awareness of your internal landscape and an experience of your Higher Self come into play.

We have found there are relationship savvy skills that take us far beyond the ordinary relationships that we used to settle for. And the learning of those skills requires regular practice to master. Just like playing a musical instrument or martial arts requires practice sessions to be as good as you can be, so does the art of spiritual relationships.

If we all learn the practices of enlightened partnerships and we used the skills, what kind of future could we create for ourselves and others? In our experiment with this idea, we have found that we can enjoy intentional creative relationships that foster the development and evolution of everyone involved. We continually dedicate ourselves and our relationships to a soulful wisdom, compassion and trust.

Are we enlightened? The most honest answer is yes and no. Remember we consider enlightenment as a process of awakening. This process is never ending because it involves the eternal nature of our individual souls. That means as advanced as we may get in our comprehension of Truth and Sprit, it can always get more sublime.
It can always get more expansive. The possibilities are truly infinite.

There are times when we easily shift the gears of our awareness to a soulful wisdom and love. There are other times when we are stretched to the limit of our capacity and we fall short. Falling short is a familiar experience for us because, as conscious evolutionaries we are living at the edge of our capacity.

But, if you ask us do we enjoy an enlightened partnership, we would unequivocally say, “Yes!” We have been loving and learning together for over 35 years. We are wiser and more loving because of what we are dedicated to in our relationship. We’ve had lots of ups and down, hard times and good times. We keep falling deeper in love with one another. Our experiment was to find out how to keep the love alive in our relationship and we discovered how to do that. It was to connect with a soulful love that never ends, within ourselves, and then to share it with one another.

We know that the kind of relationship we are talking about here may seem impossibly on the moon for some of you. It certainly was for us before we met. But, now we know it is possible for anyone who is sufficiently motivated, willing to let go of the past and preconceived notions and willing to learn and be coached in learning the skills of enlightened partnership.

So, what do you think? What does this bring up for you? Please share . . .

Many blessings,

Paul & Layne

written by Paul Cutright

Nov 26

Did you know that relationships live in patterns of familiar feelings that are unobserved? Most people don’t.

You won’t neutralize these limiting patterns unless you stop judging feelings as good or bad and start looking at what they are trying to teach you. When you act blindly out of your feelings, you can limit and even damage your relationships. But, your feelings can be your greatest teachers if you will listen to them.

You can seize healing opportunities by paying attention to your feelings, discovering where they are coming from. This eases the way for deeper integration of your spiritual nature. This moves you to embodying higher spiritual truths rather than living in empty concepts about them.

Perhaps you need to acknowledge what you are really feeling mad or sad about. It is usually deeper than the obvious and being able to be fully present to your feelings without judging those feelings opens the door to your own deep self-awareness. This attentiveness to your deeper emotional landscape is part of re-claiming emotional health and well-being. You must also be able to let the emotional energy move through and out of you without judging it.

Find a way to express yourself in a way that doesn’t hurt others and gives you the chance to fully purge the emotion. Find a healthy balance that actually clears the feeling from your energy body. Getting into your head about your feelings usually doesn’t produce fullness of emotional healing. Most of the time you’ve got to feel to heal.

Here’s an idea, you might keep some old dishes safely taped up in a cardboard box that you can throw around in the garage in a creative tantrum. (One of our clients said there was no greater satisfaction for her when she got mad. She made a trip to the second hand store to get her supplies). Or you may need to cry or scream into a pillow or just have a “conscious pout” for a while.

This means that when you get upset, you look more deeply, rather than deftly suppressing it, only to have it resurface under new circumstances. Let’s say someone was going to do the dishes but didn’t, and you’re peeved. Maybe it’s really resentment that he or she isn’t spending much time at home. Maybe you were brought up in a house where the kitchen was always a mess and you were embarrassed about that. Who knows? Only you do.

You’ve probably heard that what you resist persists, so allow yourself to feel your feelings without judging them, to honor whatever emotion is there in a safe and healing way.

Keep in mind, there are steps to honoring/mastering your feelings:

  1. Give yourself permission to have these feelings.
  2. Recognize what they are, name them.
  3. Fully feel them. Breathe deeply into them.
  4. Determine the appropriate level of expression.
  5. If the feelings come from a memory, look to see if there’s another way to view the painful incident. Is it possible that the meaning you have attached to it is not the highest thought? Look for a higher-self interpretation. Often the gift in our pain is wisdom.
  6. Take responsibility for your feelings and get the lessons they hold so you can move to a higher level of awareness.

The long term effect of emotional healing is that unresolved historical feelings don’t intrude and keep recycling in your current relationships. You no longer have this big reservoir of feelings in your heart and belly, looking for new evidence to justify their existence.

Emotional healing gives you the freedom to be happy with yourself and others more and more of the time, making your relationships an oasis of love, peace and fulfillment. You will feel more alive and find a greater happiness naturally bubbling up from your deeper spiritual nature, infusing you and your relationships.

For us, choosing to use our relationships for our personal development and conscious evolution required us to heal our emotional body. We committed ourselves to the process with great gusto! We learned to trust that underneath all pain, fear, judgment and anger burned the eternal flame of spiritual love. Doing our own personal work led us into a profound understanding there is no wisdom in suppressing our feelings.

We are committed to helping others with relationship challenges to gain relational maturity,
so they can enjoy harmonious, co-creative relationships bursting with trust, fulfillment and a compelling vision for their shared future. We hope you will join us for the journey.

Please share your thoughts, feelings and impressions about what we have said here. What was new or validated for you?

Thanks for spending your valuable time with us,

Paul & Layne

written by Paul Cutright

Nov 19

Giving Thanks

We all want the holidays to be beautiful and filled with love and joy. But, more often than not we are stressed by too much to do in too little time, obligations we would much rather avoid and unresolved family issues bubbling to the surface of our awareness or even erupting in our relationships. If any of these seem to come along with the holidays for you, we have some solutions to make this holiday a whole lot better.

Not enough time? – Create your idea of the perfect holiday season this year.  It is often difficult to observe how our culture affects our thinking. We often blindly follow the dictates of social custom without any deep thinking. These cultural or societal values show up in our minds as “supposed tos”. For example, “The holidays are supposed to be a time to give gifts” or “The holidays are supposed to be spent with the family.”

Want to know what beliefs are stored in your own mind? Try this simple exercise. Write at the top of a piece of blank paper:

 

The holidays are supposed to be _______________.

Then if you like, do this one.

During the holidays I must ______________.

Then with a free flow of consciousness pour your responses onto the page. Repeat the statement after each written response until you run out of responses.

Then read over what you have written with a discerning eye. Are the things you wrote absolutely true? Are you aware of where you got these ideas? Is there any merit to thinking beyond these ideas and re-creating your current version of the perfect holiday season for this year, unfettered by the rules of the past?

If so, then see how you can design this year’s holiday to be as enjoyable as possible. Discuss it with your loved ones and come to a mutual agreement for this season.

Too many obligations? Look to see how you can shorten the list. Are the obligations parties? Work related? A long gift list with shopping, wrapping and shipping involved? Are any of them optional? Could you have a good holiday season without fulfilling any of these obligations? Can you relieve yourself of any of the obligations without undesirable consequences? Can you decline any of them without feeling guilty?

Unresolved Family issues? Is there a way for you turn your complaints into requests?

For example, “My brother always spends a lot of money on gifts and I can’t compete with that,” could be translated into a request that sounds like a brief phone conversation where you say, “This year I’d like to suggest that we give one another cards where we acknowledge what we appreciate or love about one another. We could read them out loud around the tree. I think this could be a good way of making our love visible in a different way than the usual gift giving and I think it could make us feel even closer as a family, what do you think?”

Or another complaint could be, “My parents feel hurt if we don’t spend the holidays with them and it makes me feel guilty to not be with them.” This could be translated into “Mom, we would love to be with you during the holidays, yet John & I haven’t had any quality “alone time” for way too long. So I’m wondering if we could get together after the holidays for a family meal. Would you like to do that?”

Or the complaint that says, “My wife is always is so stressed doing things for other people that she is too tired to really enjoy herself,” could be translated into “Honey, I want us both to enjoy the holidays together this year. So, how about we ask everyone to pitch in and keep things as simple as possible. Would you help me put this idea into action this year?

Turning complaints into requests is a useful idea even after the holidays are over, and it takes some practice to get good at it. Hint, hint ;-)

For those of you in the United States, we wish you a most fulfilling and nurturing Thanksgiving!

written by Paul Cutright

Aug 21
This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Top 10 Habits for Successful Relatonships

 

 

The Top Ten Habits for Successful Relationships

#3 – Speak Your Truth Appropriately, Quickly, with Good Intention and Emotional Congruence

>> Turn Up Your Speakers <<

Click Here to learn about our new Heart to Heart Talks Communication Program!

We hope you are enjoying these videos! What are your thoughts about telling the truth as discussed in this video? Please let us know what your own experiences have been.

 

written by Paul Cutright

Aug 09
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Enriching Your Relationships Series

 

 

The Top Ten Habits for Successful Relationships

#2 – Listen without Interrupting or Being Distracted and Respond with Sincerity

>> Turn Up Your Speakers <<

Click Here to learn about our new Heart to Heart Talks Communication Program!

We hope you are enjoying these videos! What are your thoughts about listening as discussed in this video? Please let us know what your own experiences have been.

written by Paul Cutright

Jul 20
This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Enriching Your Relationships Series

 

 

The Top Ten Habits for Successful Relationships

 #1 – Know What You Want and Ask for It In Ways That Inspire Cooperation

>> Turn Up Your Speakers <<

Click Here to learn about our new Heart to Heart Talks Communication Program!

This is the first  in our new series of video blog posts. Please leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

written by Paul Cutright

Jun 01

 

 

So sorry, but for some unknown reason the
video on this page has stopped working.

Click Here to see the video and check out our
Art for Heart Legacy Project.

 

 

 

 

written by Paul Cutright