World as Friend: A Radical Shift

World as Friend: A Radical Shift

I wrote this post a couple of years ago after having a startling experience. I never shared the post at the time. It seems particularly relevant now in the wake of my poetry book recently being accepted by a publisher. I hope it inspires you.

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”– Louise L. Hay

I had a breaking open the other day, beautiful, startling and deep.

For months I have been sending a manuscript of my poems out to presses to find its rightful publisher. Suddenly, I saw how much I was expecting not to find a publisher, assuming that no one could possibly want it.

This is despite the fact that I have had many poems published in journals, been invited to read at literary events for years, received heartfelt appreciation from enthusiastic audiences and even encouragement about this particular manuscript from noted editors.

I see how often I have unconsciously expected to be rejected, shut out, not wanted or just not understood.

It is an old pattern. I anticipate that others will not want what I have to give. And so I sometimes attract those very results I fear.

But here is what came to me suddenly, not just as an idea, but as a deep wonder and inspiration.

Changing the View

What if the whole world is my friend and I behaved as such?

What if I went through my day as if I knew in my bones that I was loved by all of life.

Not in a full-of-myself way, but beautifully empty. Having “no-self,” the way a tree does or a sky. Open, generous, received and receiving.

What if I cultivated a deeper relatedness, a calm sureness and bountiful love for self?

What if I let my star rise, my flower open, unperturbed? What if I let myself be fully loved and embraced? What if I believed in the value of all I am doing?

Letting in Love

If my voice is actually needed here, if I am given these words for a reason, if I am given my love of music for a reason, how do I embody this knowing?

For years I held myself outside the sanctuary of a deeper love, not love from another person, but LOVE itself. And because of that, I have been fearful of so much, constructing imagined catastrophes, feeling I have to do it all by myself.

Golden sun bathes the treetops. We wait for love, while the whole day paints itself lavishly before us. Now I am peering through the curtain, beginning to see something that rends me open.

What if I could allow myself all this grace?

How Might Your Life Change?

How might your life be different if you knew in your bones that you are loved, wanted, accepted and needed by Life?

If you behaved as if you knew this?

  • How would you move differently in the world?
  • What would you do that you have not been doing?
  • How might you be different in your relationships, your creativity, your work, your finances, your play?

Write in your journal, allowing yourself to explore this. Then…

Practice Living As If

Try it on today, even if you are not sure it is true. Commit to acting as if it is true.

See what miracles arise, what synchronicities come to bless you, what revelations present themselves.

See how you feel differently in your heart, how your posture and movement change, what new choices you make. How you become a blessing to others as you stop worrying whether you yourself are loved.

Behave as if you are the beloved of all of Life.

You can play with “what if” statements in your journal and in your thoughts to open yourself to new possibilities.

We often use “what if” in a fearful way, imagining the worst, as in “what if I fail?” Try using “what if” to bring you into expansiveness, wonderful new ways of being, openness to blessings. “What if I knew I was wanted and needed here, loved, a blessing and blessed?”

Try taking this on right now inside yourself and share what comes up for you. How does it feel in your body, your heart, your mind, your spirit?

3 Mantras to Live By – part 2

Here is my second mantra and core of my teaching. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

Love Yourself Better:

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”  – Buddha

two women friends laughingIn my experience, learning to love ourselves better and better is a life-long journey. I have made huge strides in this since I was a teenager filled with self-directed anger, but I still continue to uncover ways I am mean to myself, things that I think or do towards myself that I would never say or do to a beloved friend.

When I say self-love, I am not talking about self-indulgence. I am talking about being your own best friend, ally, soul mate, and a loving, kind, clear parent to yourself all at once. The parent part is very important, because everyone of us has a child self living inside us, no matter what age we are (actually, several of them at different ages), and that child needs good parenting in order to thrive—lots of love and encouragement, oodles of acceptance and curiosity towards what that child wants, needs and loves, time for play and adventures, good guidance and clear boundaries.

Learning to be kind to ourselves in all ways—taking care of our bodies, our minds, our hearts and our spirits, being patient, caring, compassionate towards ourselves—is, in my experience, the foundation for accomplishing anything worthwhile in life, having healthy relationships of all kinds with other human beings, and being able to enjoy life. The better you get at this key, the better your life and the lives of all those around you will be.

Start by noticing when you aren’t kind, when you say or do something you wouldn’t say or do to a close friend, when you fail to acknowledge, appreciate and encourage yourself, when you don’t take care of your body, mind, heart and spirit. When you notice this, just bring your loving awareness to it; don’t beat yourself up about it, that doesn’t help. Simply bring your compassionate awareness to it and make a different choice, a more loving, kind choice.

ChildLeaves_Michael PodgerChange the way you speak internally to yourself, the way you motivate yourself to do things (Is it punitive and harsh, or encouraging and kind?). Take care of yourself the way you would take care of a beloved child, giving yourself the encouragement, support and structures you need to thrive. Just take it one step at a time and watch your life blossom.

Stay tuned for Mantra #3 in my next issue.

A Love Practice

A Love Practice

Ask yourself: “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself today?”

Now, get quiet.

Wait past the first answer the mind wants to offer, which may be a reflex or something that’s habitual for you.

Listen. Tune in. Pay attention to your deep heart, your wise heart, and ask that part of you, your deep knowingness, “What is the most loving thing I can do for myself today?”

Or if that feels too big, “What is one loving thing I can do for myself today that would feel really good?”

If “I don’t know” is the answer that comes, just keep listening.

Perhaps it will come to you in a few minutes, perhaps in a few hours. Just hold the question open and see what arises as you move about your day.

You may be surprised. It may be very simple, or something you never would have thought of. Maybe it’s something that scares you a bit or is a leap for you in some way, but you know it’s right. Self-love isn’t the same as self-indulgence. It is kind and it is wise.

Another way to access this is “What am I needing now? and how can I give that to myself today?” Or simply, “How can I show myself some love right now?”

When you get an answer, be sure to do that thing. Make time for it. Give yourself that act of kindness.

It doesn’t have to be huge or time-consuming. It might be as simple as stroking your face lovingly or making a cup of tea or stepping outside to listen to the birdsong. Or it might be carving out an hour to write or paint or dance or sing or call a friend.

If you got something that’s impossible for you to do today, then you may have been listening to your mind, rather than your heart. The heart always is in the present moment, aware of your circumstances, aware of everything and able to move with what is. It’s not irresponsible, though it may seem irrational from the mind’s viewpoint. It may ask you to stretch in some way. For instance, if you are a workaholic, it may ask you to take a nap. But if you have a deadline, it knows about that.

So try it now. Ask yourself and listen quietly for the answer:

“What is the most loving thing I can do for myself today?”

Photo by Daria Sukhorukova


Brilliant Playground is a space of inclusion and honoring for people of all colors, races, paths, genders and sexual preferences. You are welcome here!

Creative Sparks provides tools, guidance and soul inspiration about once a week to:

  • Ignite and sustain your creativity
  • Identify and realize your heart’s true dreams
  • Live a life of passion, purpose and deep play

We are soul-crafting here. Join us!

 Subscribe here

Join me on Patreon for insider access to my best stuff!

Blog Archives