Thanksgiving

Photo by rizknas on Pexels.com

When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite holiday, hands down! Special decorations, shiny things, presents and all the traditions that only come in December.   As I have gotten older, the magic of Christmas morning has changed to a profound awareness of thanksgiving and gratitude during the Thanksgiving season.

Maybe because with each passing year, the thread of my life gets shorter and so do the opportunities to say thank you, to remind someone how precious they are and to acknowledge their imprint on my journey.

Many of you know, my mantra is living my life in gratitude and I hold on to a number of profound statements that I hope keep me authentic.  There are scripture verses and those four agreements that Ruiz shares, but one that I feel can be an umbrella to them all is Ram Dass; “we are all walking each other home.”

I am aware of my flaws and imperfections and I am humbled when I think about all the people who are in my life to teach me. Thank you for being alongside me, behind me, and in front of me.  Thank you for being there for decades, years, seasons, weeks or just a day.

The State of Grace

We all know the acronym GRACE – God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. But what does that mean? How do you translate that into your life? What are God’s riches that we receive because of Jesus’ death on the cross at Easter? I am asking myself just as I am asking you to meditate and journal perhaps on your ideas and beliefs here and if you don’t know, maybe do a bit of reading to see if you can find some answers.

As a practicing Christian, I believe in the grace given because of the cross. I realize that some here my not know the love or sacrifice of Jesus life and death on the cross but that doesn’t mean you can’t live in the state of grace.

In one of my readings in Daily Om, this is how they described Grace. “Grace exists inside of all of us and around us. It is our inner beauty that radiates outward, touching everyone we meet.  It is that unseen hand that comes from the divine, raising us up when we most need it. To be able to live in a state of grace is not based on worthiness, nor is it earned through good deeds, ritual, or sacrifice. Rather it is an unearned favor, freely bestowed and available to all, that is inherent to our birthright. All we must do is open our eyes to its presence and we will find and experience grace everywhere. 

Grace is in the rain bringing relief to drought-ridden farms, and the unexpected lead for the perfect job opportunity that comes from a stranger. Grace is what happens to someone when they miraculously escape injury; it is even the simple events that happen to us that we call “good luck,” like when we don’t get a parking ticket after are meter has expired. Grace resides in the love between two people, and in the acts of forgiveness we extend. It is grace that moves us to go out of our way to help a stranger.” Grace is dropping your to do list to be there for someone who is hurting and needs comfort or care. Grace is seeing a need and filling it; mowing the elderly neighbor’s lawn, making a meal for a sick friend, writing a note to let someone know they are being thought of. Grace is the state we are in when we are doing nothing but just being who we are. 

To live a more gracious life means we accept the desire to live in a state of grace. “Knowing we are graced gives us hope, makes us more generous, and allows us to trust that we are taken care of even when we are going through difficult times. Grace is our benevolence of heart, and our generosity of spirit. Grace is unconditional love and the beauty that is our humanity. When we know that we are blessed with grace, we can’t help but want to live our lives in harmony.”

May the grace and peace of God be with you today and every day. May you be filled with the power of the Divine to live graciously and to see places where you can extend grace and notice where grace has and is being given.

 

Who is Shaping You?

Do you let the opinions of other shape you?

Most of us have probably said yes to this question. Shedding light on this question however, I hope will begin to create a work in you to be reminded NOT to let the opinions of other shape you!

We can stop letting others control how we feel or think right now.

Chuang Tzu in the 4th century B.C.E. spoke these words, “The whole world could praise Sung Jung-Tzu and it would not make him exert himself. The whole world could condemn him and it would not make him mope. He drew a clear line between the internal and the external.”

It is difficult to not be shaped by what others think. It is hard to stay true to yourself, while staying open to how others feel without letting them affect you by what they think. Others affect us every day. The spiritual work is to let truth and love shape us from the inside out. Maybe the words of Chuang Tzu can be a reminder not to let the opinions of others change us or shape us.

We all have wants:

The want to be liked.

The want to avoid conflict.

The want to be understood.

We can recognize these wants and at the same time, give the voice from within us freedom to come into the light. By doing so, we may not be liked, we may create conflict with the desire for loving resolution and we may find that in trying to be understood, we may agree to disagree.

So, who is shaping you? If the answer is not Source, God, Your Wise Self then it is time to pause and breath. It is time to take back the wheel and live your true intentions and values.

Sleep – The Princess and the Pea

As a child, I loved the story of the princess and the pea. If you are not familiar, there is a princess who gets caught in the rain and knocks on the door of a castle. The queen puts a pea under her bed as a test to see if the young woman will feel it, because only a real princess would be so delicate that she would notice a small pea. As a result, the queen allows the young woman to marry her son, a prince. You see, the princess when asked in the morning, “how did you sleep?”, she replied that she endured a sleepless night, kept awake by something hard in the bed that she is certain has bruised her. Now, I am not really sure what Anderson had in mind for the MORAL of this tale, but, obviously the princess was super sensitive. So am I – although I can assure you, I am NOT a princess.

Possibly the princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Princess and the Pea‘ suffered from FMS since chronic sleep disturbances are typical in FMS. These sleep disturbances have been attributed to a dysfunction in the systems regulating sleep and wakefulness resulting in loss of deep sleep. Again, who knows!

What I DO KNOW is that SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. Let me say that again…. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT

As a society we are sleep deprived. We go to bed late, we look at screens before closing our eyes and even in the middle of the night, we don’t plan for an adequate number of hours in bed and our REM sleep is disrupted. I am not sure if we comprehend the consequences of these actions.

So one in three adults don’t get the recommended seven or more hours of healthy sleep, which can lead to a number of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. See why sleep is important!!! Who wants these things (see above)

Now we have to think about what time to go to bed OR what time to wake up! Did you know that our circadian rhythm, the internal clock that runs our sleep and wake cycle, resets EVERY morning. If we think about our morning rather than our bedtime, maybe we could get into a better routine and feel more energized when we get up.

Just this morning I was counceling a client on better morning habits because she can’t get out of bed. Here are a few tips I offered. Maybe they will help you too.

  1. Have a realistic and consistent bedtime.
  2. Set SEVERAL alarms. Keep at least one across the room so you HAVE to get out of bed.
  3. Short afternoon power naps help. I like a 20-25 minute nap or meditation to “reset” between 1 and 3 pm
  4. Add supplements to your diet. Melatonin and Valerian Root at night might help.

Sleep Well and Prosper!

Hado – The Energy of Life

Hado is a Japanese word that means “wave”, or “move,” but the official definition of Hado is: “the intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness.” according to and used by Dr. Emoto for his purposes.

The study of Hado was first explored by Dr. Masaru Emoto. Dr. Emoto was born in Yokohama prefecture in July of 1943. He attended Yokohama Municipal University, where he focused his study on International Relations. Then, in 1992, Dr. Emoto earned a Doctor of Alternative Medicine certificate from The Open International University, and was first introduced to micro cluster water. This served as the catalyst to his obsession with the “mysteries” of water, and invention of the Hado school of thought, pertaining to consciousness.

As Dr. Emoto explains on the official Hado website, the above definition essentially means that everything emits an attitude, or aura, and this affects the things around it. What’s more, external stimuli can affect the vibration of certain entities, and thereby change the mood of those entities. Examples of such stimuli are music or spoken or written words.

The study of hado tells us that the energetic vibrations from our thoughts affect on our physical realities.  Each of us has the ability to manifest a specific intention through the hado that we send out.  However, we are often unaware that our thoughts are creating vibrations in the world outside our minds.  Once we know that this is the case, we can become more aware of our negative thinking and train ourselves to stay positive and think with intention.

Giving thanks for a meal before we eat can change the energy of our food.  Expressing gratitude by thoughts or words makes a huge difference to both the giver and recipient because you are sending them hado. A kind smile really makes a difference when you work consciously with hado.  Once we become aware of the power of hado, we can create positive changes in every area of our lives: our physical space, mental and emotional health, relationships, and businesses.  One of the most important principles of hado is to monitor your thoughts and intentions every day. Enjoy the improvements that you will create in your life and the world around you by consciously working with hado. 

I love no only the idea of the water having a spirit and that we have the power to change the vibration of the water we drink and enjoy, I also love that it is present in all things. There is so much more to this life than what we see – what a world it would be if we all made a conscious choice to raise our vibration, to pray, to offer thanksgiving and to care for every aspect of life from humans to the earth and beyond.

When you can’t see out the window… and other problems with lack of clarity

It's a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions  are poison to any living goal.” - Steve Mara… | Words, Inspirational  quotes, Daily quotes

Well, this has been the year. Covid has been around for a year now and the back to normal life will be slow to arrive. I know if you are like me, this is starting to get irritating. Looking back, it did give me time to slow down and to make some changes. I’ve had the opportunity to explore new creative outlets and make some decisions.

I have been asking myself WHAT’S NEXT? WHAT DO I REALLY WANT IN MY LIFE AND FOR MY LIFE? I have even taken time to ask other women this question and some have never even thought about it. For me, I have thought about it SOOOO much that now I am a confused mess. The world is my oyster and I want to do it all!!! I have come to the conclusion that I suffer from LACK OF CLARITY!

For some of us, we’ve gone through college, started our careers, started buying houses and getting married and having babies before we actually sat down and considered these things. God knows, I am guilty! In my opinion, this very fact is what leads to so many of mid- and quarter-life crises, divorces, epic and dramatic career changes, etc. The lack of clarity then leads to massive emotional burnout!

Want to know if you suffer from LACK OF CLARITY? Check out the list below.

  1. You’re constantly changing your mind. Have you found yourself bouncing from job to job to job? Have you been bouncing around relationships? Have you moved like a million times in the last couple years? Heck, have you been dabbling in a million different hobbies? Then you, my friend, are probably struggling a bit with a lack of clarity.
  2. You’re overwhelmed by having too much to do. Sometimes people aren’t constantly bouncing around from one path to the next. Sometimes they’re not questioning the things that they’re doing with their life. Maybe they’re just doing everything! Stop! It’s a recipe for burnout, disaster and major overwhelm.
  3. You struggle with minor decision making. I’m not talking the big life decisions here like your career, relationships, finances, etc. I’m talking decisions like what movie to see or what brand of cereal to buy or when to workout. AND I am totally preaching to myself on this one, too. If you find yourself struggling with similar minor decisions, you my friend are lacking some serious clarity. But, why would this be an indicator that you’re lacking clarity? It is called decision fatigue and it is a REAL thing. Seriously, your brain is burned OUT and exhausted because of lack of clarity on the bigger parts of your life. That seeps right down into those little decisions too.
  4. You’re constantly questioning yourself. Maybe you’re not someone who changes their mind all the time…but maybe you are someone that questions the decisions you ultimately do make. Instead of the bouncing ball of mind changing, you are questioning everything… those what if questions leave you confused. What if I change my mind? What if this isn’t right for me? What if I fail? Guess what, these what if’s mean you are NOT clear on yourself.
  5. You are chronically disorganized, distracted, and lethargic. Believe it or not, the mind controls the body. So when you struggle with making a decision you tax your brain and exhaust your body. When we’re constantly analyzing, changing our minds, questioning, doubting, ruminating, and second guessing our decisions, even if it’s happening subconsciously, it IS exhausting to our body. So the next time you choose to binge watch Netflix instead of doing something that will make your life better, you have lack of clarity.
  6. You constantly feel anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated and confused. Haven’t had enough bad feelings yet? Here are a few more. Do you feel any of these? If so you are lacking clarity and it can get ugly.
  7. You rely on your inner pollster. Brene Brown… preach it woman! At some points in our life and in our journey, we either get sick of trying to make decisions or we just don’t trust ourselves to make a decision. Now what?! The next best thing…ask someone else. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Getting input from other people – coaches, mentors, therapists, and friends can be important in leading to a decision, just DON’T give all the power of that decision to the other person! Warning – Red Flag on the Play… Disaster Ahead! Why? Because the ARE NOT YOU!

So now that you are as depressed as I am, what can we do about it? I am tired of living in a fog. For me, I know I am on the path to clarity when I begin to DO THE WORK. When I slow down, dig deep and get in touch with my authentic self. I love the idea of visiting your FUTURE SELF to see where he/she is. That is how you begin to create the road map to getting there.

So here are a few things to get you started.

  1. take a personality assessment
  2. dig into your values and write a personal mission statement for personal life and professional life
  3. do some visualization exercises to see yourself living your fullest, freest and most authentic life!

Voices in Our Heads

Mindfulness Can Quiet Down the A**Hole Voice in Our Heads

I have been getting “messages” pretty strongly in the past few weeks to pay closer attention to the voices in my head. We all have them. Some came from parents, others from kids and teachers growing up and still more just by being a living, breathing human interacting in the world. We take in and internalize more than we KNOW!

Through my meditation practice, I am learning to observe those voices and to detach from them because again I am learning those voices are not me! I have conditioned myself on a subconscious level to believe them and then let those thoughts run my life.

I believe this keeps coming back to me so I can get better at taming them. It’s a process I know. One I will need to revisit often.

A take away for me is to be gentle with myself. It means digging in and uncovering the many layers until I can expose these voices to the light and the truth.

Eckhart Tolle said, ” What a liberation to realize that the voice in my head is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”

Psst..The Grass Isn’t Really Greener!

The danger of entitlement, office politics and 'grass is greener' mentality

Contentment.

con·tent·ment/kənˈtentmənt/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: contentment

  1. a state of happiness and satisfaction.

We have all had periods of unhappiness and stress in our lives. Somehow when we hit those low points we tell ourselves we are the only ones. The “other person” over there has no idea, they are at perfect peace and content with everything and everyone. Why? Why, when we are down do we escalate our own sorrow by telling ourselves these lies?

Remember, maybe, back in high school, you said, “I’ll be happy when I finally graduate.” Then, when graduation day finally comes and goes, you say, “I’ll be happy when I get out of college.” After that, you’re out of college but you’re back in the parent’s house and you just know you’ll be happy when you finally get your own place.

You get a job and get your own place—but you’re not making much. That’s when you just know you’ll be happy once you make a little more money. Then you get a raise, and everything seems to be going well, until you realize that you’re lonely—and if that perfect guy or special lady would come along, you’d finally be happy.

This is a story many of us have lived. What we have here is a contentment problem. A failure to communicate with ourselves on a REAL level. Our world is addicted to a “Bigger is better” and “What’s next?” mentality. So the idea of just slowing down and enjoying what you have right in front of you before moving on to the next thing is foreign to some people.

Contentment is a powerful thing! When you truly realize who you are, you can own stuff without being weighed down by it—and you can finally climb off the “I’ll be happy when …” treadmill and stop comparing yourself to others.

The Bible says God knew us before He even formed us in the womb and that He knows the number of hairs on our head. That’s deep! He doesn’t love us because of our Tory Burch shoes or our Louis Vuitton purse. He loves us because He created us. We were the first of His creations that He called “very good”!

Buddhists believe to find contentment in ourselves and in our lives, we must develop a few skills — known as the Five Faculties in Buddhism which later, with practice, become powers. Through practice and development, we can overcome obstacles on the path to ease and contentment.

The skills we must strengthen, develop and implement are:

  1. Confidence / Faith
  2. Effort/ Energy
  3. Mindful investigation 
  4. Concentration 
  5. Wisdom

So, what IF you still struggling? Well, I have some good news for you. Take time for some introspection. It’s okay. Let go of any FOMO here and go inward. Meditate, journal, ask questions and then see what your intuition tells you. Maybe it’s time for some coaching. Sitting down with someone and have them help you sort out some of the questions.

The grass is not always greener – but sometimes it is… in which case it’s time to make a change. But, more often, I think it’s just a different kind of grass!!!!

Keep it real people and if you think you want an ear to hear you. A coach to ask you some questions I am here for you! Reach out

Soul of a Wanderer

taken in Giverny, France

What’s a girl to do when she loves to travel and can’t grab the passport and hubby and fly?

This pandemic has taught me that I can still nourish my inner explorer even if I can’t get on the plane and be in that exotic location. I can see and experience what is right in front of me and what is around me. I can nourish my soul by taking long walks on the beach and listening wholeheartedly to the waves and the wind. I can nurture relationships with my neighbors and have a meaningful conversation rather than a quick wave and “hello”. I can create fun events to bring people together for a cause even if we are not in the same room. I can stretch myself and learn new things that I never thought were achievable.

Life IS a journey. Are you packed?

Remember, exploration can happen around the block or across the sea. If you still are trying to find that soul of a wanderer, it’s not too late. This evening go out and look at the stars with new eyes. In the morning watch the sunrise and be ready to experience wholeheartedly all that the day has in store.

I hope you will share what you find with me in the comments below!

Enter 2021

Yesterday I chose to spend 5 hours on zoom with people from all over the world – all on a path to better themselves and the communities they live in. A movement to raise the vibration of love and a spirit of giving and service. One of my mentors is Brendon Burchard. I only found him recently – at the start of 2020 in my quest for WISDOM… my word for that fateful year.

Yesterday at the end of our “GrowthDay” summit, Brendon dropped a pearl of great wisdom. He said if 2020 felt like a year of constriction, the equal and opposite reaction would be moving into 2021 as a year of expansion. I loved this and it also fit so well into what God put on my heart as my word for 2021 – ABUNDANCE. Abundance, expansion, that spirit of growing from within is what is motivating me to meet the day no matter what “happens.”

As with so many things I open and read, there was another thread that fit this idea in my prayers and reading this morning. Mark Nepo writes, “We cannot hold on to things and enter. We must put down what we carry, open the door and then take up only what we need to step inside.” Visualizing what I must put down now in order to walk through the door and into this year will be a process for me this week for sure. Things come up all the time and I am grateful for the reminders.

When we learn to fall (and we will), we must remember to get up and only the rare few will then laugh! So let the ego go… let the learning continue because you only learn when you fail but be the person getting up laughing.

%d bloggers like this: