Fellowship with Humanity

Image courtesy of smarnad, published on 19 October 2013 Stock Image - image ID: 100211250, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of smarnad, published on 19 October 2013 Stock Image – image ID: 100211250, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

I had a lovely early dinner, dessert with friends Saturday evening. It started out as a late lunch and with all our talking, stretched from lunch to 9PM dessert. I was enjoying time with friends, and recognized I missed these marathon chat sessions. Remembering to “stay in the moment,” I realized why it felt so good to be amongst friends. What we were having was connection and fellowship – but not always of the church variety (we talked about everything; oftentimes, not sanctified).

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could be in fellowship in every aspect of our life? Like at the post office, at the deli, or while waiting in a long line in an amusement park.

I bet it makes for a fun time, no matter who you’re with or where you go. I’m talking about fellowship with humanity, and letting it begin with you, your friends and spreading to all of humankind.

Last Thanksgiving Eve, I found myself, last-minute, picking up a ham at the Honey Baked Ham store – like hundreds of other people found themselves at 4:00 PM. The line wrapped around the building, snaking around the parking lot and doubling into itself. I groaned inwardly, and stared at the line, not sure if the ham was worth it. A business woman in a nice, black suit could see me thinking about leaving and she called out, “might as well join us!” I shrugged and walked over.

Soon, I was laughing with about five or six other folks in the line and by the time we reached the doors to enter the store, we seemed like old, best friends. In addition to the business woman, there were construction workers, a Comcast cable installer, a teenager who sagged his pants, and a couple of hipsters, too. Not one was glued to their cell phones, all was living in the moment. 

We laughed when we saw an unsuspecting shopper come around the corner and to see the expressions turn from smiles to “what the hell?” We chuckled and teased when a car had a hard time maneuvering about the throngs of people, and then finally having to help the driver back out of the parking space without hitting something or someone. We helped a lady find a missing earring. We collectively felt and showed empathy for the family who unwittingly brought their five children to this “boring” errand, entertaining them with our jokes.

It turned out to be one of the highlights of my 2013 Thanksgiving holiday as opposed to a memory of when I had to spend an hour and a half in a line with strangers. Having fellowship in what seemed as an unlikely place – a Honey Baked Ham store.

Imagine having fellowship all the time. What would that feel like to be present in the moment and in the company of others, all feeling good and happy to be there?

Next time you’re around a group of people, allow yourself to fellowship and see the opportunities for happiness to unfold.

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Just Be and Let Others Be

– exploring ways to be present and non-judgmental in every circumstance and situation.

Happy balls

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 04 November 2013, Stock Image – image ID: 100215277, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

When you remove the worry of the future and stop fretting and focusing on the past, you allow yourself and/or the person in your presence to grow up to a higher level of being, just by focusing on the present. Remember, our power lies in the Now. It is what we do and feel in the present that creates the future. Why hold on to past pains and hurts, just to carry it into the future?

When you remain focused on one’s less desirable qualities and the past hurts they’ve afflicted, you are placing your energy to that which you don’t want and living in the past.

Fundamentally, there is a loss of faith when one engages in not letting others be where they are in their journey. Or, not accepting where you are in your own journey.

Allow faith into your heart and trust that all things work out for the Greater Good. That state of being will wash over you and all who come into contact with you.

From a Law of Attraction standpoint, what you focus on is what you receive. If you are focusing on the negative in a person, then more of that will manifest on the physical plane. If you celebrate even the slightest of a positive attribute, more of that positivity will unfold into your experience.

People can change, moment to moment, but it will not be because you’re nagging, begging or fighting them into transition. People change when they are ready to change. That change can happen overnight, or it can take a lifetime or two.

You can always set the space and distance between you and that person, even if you’re married (or divorced and broken up). The space and distance I am referring to is not physical, but instead spiritual and emotional. No longer will you be the instigator of fights over change because you will accept them for who they are and where they are in their journey right now. Or, you will get to a point in your own journey where it’s time to grow on and upward.

If you find you can’t be around a person because their present state is not in alignment with where you want them to be, remember, they have a journey to walk, too. Your focus must ALWAYS be on where YOU want to be. All you can do is hold on to your peace and not lower your vibrational energy to the less desirable, but to maintain the knowing that you and all around you is rising up.

We hear the saying, “live and let live,” but are we doing this with our spouses, children, parents, exes, friends and co-workers? Or, are we sticking our judgmental noses in everyone’s business or up in the air in judgment? Let judgment go – it serves no one and it most certainly will not elevate. It only keeps the energy surrounding that relationship stagnant.

To be in the present means to focus on the very moment that is before you – not the past, not the future.

Infuse love in any and every situation. When you’re having a difficult time with a person or situation, ask yourself, “how can I bring love into this situation?” Love is the cooling salve that heals us all. Self love and Universal love has to be the center of your heart and your experience.

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Decency versus Artistic Expression

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, published on 14 January 2010  Stock Image - image ID: 10011501, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono, published on 14 January 2010
Stock Image – image ID: 10011501, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

People had lots to say about Beyoncé’s performance, going as far as she’s nobody’s role model and the Grammy’s show was inappropriate. My mother, had an opinion along the same vein.

“She needs to put some clothes on. It’s getting old, she’s getting old,” my mother said, after watching a YouTube video of the mega star’s Grammy performance. I asked her to expound.

“She has a daughter now. Now, my girl Emeli Sande, she’s always dressed and it’s her voice that stands out.” I made my mother watch the entire Grammy performance, certain that once she saw Beyoncé’s dance routine, surely she’d feel differently – I mean the girl was straddling a chair for God’s sake! How on earth would she be able to do that with a long gown? My mother shot me a disapproving look and shook her head, “no.” In mom’s opinion, time’s up for Beyoncé’s body suits.

Clearly, we feel differently, and at first, I was quick to write it off as yet another difference of opinion between the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. But, something still nagged me about people’s reaction to Beyoncé’s performance.

I suppose she could have sung and straddled the chair in some biker shorts and still be sexy. But, why was it even an issue? Is America that moralistic that they could not stand to see a woman’s butt cheeks bumping on her husband’s frontal area? And, whatever happened to artistic expression and freedom? Is decency more important than an artist expressing themselves (even in a sexually charged song and dance)? 

Beyoncé is free to write, sing and perform whatever she wants to. If she wants to make a personal album detailing explicit moments between her and her husband, that’s most definitely okay. I want to hear it. Artists are not meant to fit a mold for the sake of being a role model. It’s the parents’ job to filter what their children should be listening and watching. It’s not Beyoncé’s or any other celebrity’s job to water down their artistic expression to spare someone.

I’m sure people will argue that little girls look up to her and she should save these type of performances for the bedroom. I disagree. She’s a role model not just to girls, but to women who fantasize about dancing for their man, and the world appreciating her body and her voice. She’s an excellent business woman and I’m sure a wonderful mother and wife. I appreciate her making art for herself. I think all artists have an obligation to create art just for their own appreciation.

Her performance was racy and beautiful. A woman singing for herself and to her husband, what an amazing thing. But, to appease my inherited moral compass, I tell mom, “yeah, she could put on a little more on the bottom.”

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Carving out time for Love

Image courtesy of CNaene, published on 23 December 2013  Stock Photo - image ID: 100224326, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of CNaene, published on 23 December 2013
Stock Photo – image ID: 100224326, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I was on writer’s hiatus this weekend, for a lover’s rendezvous with my husband. We drove forty minutes outside of town, to the California foothills, checked into a hotel, and hung out in the onsite restaurant. We ate, joked, laughed, flirted, and channeled our youth. We had every intention of exploring Gold Country, but never left the hotel – there was no need. We had each other and that was more than enough. We elected to skip the fancy dinner for a late night (1 AM!) run to In and Out Burger.

We discussed what we wanted from each other. He wanted me to be more “housewife” without the “house.” I later understood he wanted me to show more praise and appreciation for what he does for the family. I wanted more affection and more time to write. He offered to take the kids so I can write uninterrupted and he ran his fingers through my wild, natural hair (versus the very straight strands I normally wear). I surprised us both by embracing the untamed mane, standing a little taller.

I had a school assignment due for my California Literature college course where I had to post thoughts on a brief history of the Golden State. I wrote and he edited and picked the classmates I’d write a response to. We remembered we still carry super liberal ideals and we are still in love with each other. I’m sure we knew this before the trip, but our level of appreciation for each other and the union we’ve created deepened.

We had a moment to remember why and how we fell in love. We’ve known each other for twenty-two years, been together for seven, and married for almost two. Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of life, putting our love affair on the back burner.

Our families rallied around us by being understanding of missing my niece’s birthday party, taking care of the kids and giving us a worry-free night away. I suppose love and all the messiness that comes with it, is a worthy life investment.

Now, we’re rejuvenated, deeper in love, and our ties are more connected than before we left for the trip.

Take Aways:

  • Make time for love
  • Cherish the small and large moments of life by celebrating with a loved one
  • Partnership in love can be achieved and sustained by carving out time and energy to support it

~Your Curator of all things Love, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Ladies, Buy Your Own Flowers

Flower courtesy of my husband 🙂

I am the source and receiver of all that I want in this life…

I was a flower thief as a toddler. There wasn’t a flower that was safe. Amusement parks with signs saying “Don’t Touch The Flowers” meant nothing to me. I’d throw tantrums if I was denied the chance to pluck a bloom. As a child, I was chased out of yards by barking dogs, all in my quest to get a rose or a tulip. Despite all of my flower passion, the only men who gave me flowers were male co-workers who pitched in for obligatory birthday bouquets or my father, who once moon lighted as a florist.

I know some women who wait and wait for men to give them flowers, gifts or love. What are you waiting for? All the Universe will do is give you more of what you’re doing and thinking – wait, wait, and more waiting. Instead of waiting, get your own flowers and love yourself. Be the source and the receiver of all that you want in this life.

I set the intention as a little girl flowers were going to come into my life and guess what? They did and abundantly! Girlfriends, family members and yours truly got me flowers. I didn’t wait for a man to provide what I could manifest in my own life. Sure, it’s nice to now get flowers from my lover, but it was even more rewarding and satisfying to pick out my own and proudly display them at work. When people asked, “who bought you the pretty flowers?” I’d say with robust pride, “me!”

-Your Curator of all things abundant and beautiful, Kimberly Jo Cooley