Nurturing YOU

Your month will likely be filled with preparing for and celebrating the holiday season with family and/or friends. With so much happening that calls your attention to be “out there” - gift exchanging, entertaining and being entertained, feasting, staying up later than usual - it’s natural to feel a little off balance.

How do you turn inward and stay connected to the center of you, your very being, in the midst of all the busyness of doing?

I invite you to read further to explore ways you can nurture your beingness and, thereby, gently move through the holiday season with all of its joys and challenges.

The photos were chosen to give you a sense of the experience of true nourishment: connection, receptivity, love, fulfillment, and rest in each moment.

Animals have the capacity to be present without being controlled by the critical mind. They teach us about unconditional love.

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During really busy times whether they’re wonderful - or not, there is a component of stress that can arise. Your routine shifts. You receive less sleep. Your diet is different. Time to exercise might go by the wayside. You may not have as much quiet, alone time as you like. In putting so much of your focus outward to those around you and what has to be done, you can easily get disconnected from yourself.

Photo credit: Jan Pelcman

Setting the intention to stay connected to yourself by being grounded and centered is an important first step. The world can be loud, and the practice of turning inward is all about connecting to what is subtle within you.

It is key to really get to your know your pattern in dealing with stress. The stress responses of fight, flight or freeze show up differently in each of us and are rooted in our past experiences. As soon as you notice the cues such as tightness, emotional reactivity, judgment of yourself and of others, a sense of heaviness and/or impatience, know that you are already connected to yourself.

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As you honestly see yourself, you have the opportunity to choose to center and ground yourself, in other words, go deeper within. In this, you connect to the stillness, spaciousness, silence that is present within your beingness. Resting into the moment, in itself, will slow you down in a soft, natural way.

Photo credit: Laurie Rubin

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As awareness, you feel close to yourself - regardless of what you are seeing or how uncomfortable you are. In kindness and gentleness without the intention to change yourself in any way, self-acceptance unfolds. Your heart opens and softens as you be with yourself as you are. You experience love.

Photo credit: www.imgur.com

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From this higher and clearer view, your heart pulls you toward what is fresh and alive. You naturally and creatively respond to life and all of its possibilities without any urgency to rescue yourself by making yourself feel better.

Photo credit: Jim Ridley

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You can trust life to create its magic when you are lovingly present to what is within you.

Photo credit: Daniel Munger

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Facing Everything

In Canada, the rich season of autumn has arrived. It is during this time before the bitter cold of winter that us Canadians do what we need to do: in our gardens which we put to sleep, in our closets as we gather our warm clothes together, and within our homes to ensure that we will be warm. Like the animals, we start to prepare for what is to come.

In certain situations, preparing is a necessity.

What are the ways that you prepare for what is next in your life? Across the board, do you make a plan and do your best to stick to it? Do you take the initiative or do you follow? What is your modus operandi when you are focussed on your agenda? What works for you - and what doesn’t? What are the emotions that typically arise in this? How does resistance show up?

I invite you to read more as a starting point for inner reflection. Use this time as an opportunity to increase your awareness about how you create ~ moment by moment.

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As you move throughout your life, there is much opportunity to discover your desires, your dreams, your wants - and go after them with gusto. Your mind will do its best to figure out how you can reach where you want to go whether it’s through trying, pushing, analyzing, strategizing, and using power.

You might visualize your success and/or repeat positive affirmations like, “I am worthy of receiving this” or “I naturally and effortlessly create what I want”. You might check with others - friends, family, experts - to ensure you ‘get it right’. In all ways, you are working hard to get what you think is missing or what you’re afraid to lose.

The question to ask yourself is: how much is this behaviour rooted in the belief that you will gain a quality that you long for when you truly get what you think you want and/or need? Is that quality freedom or peace or happiness or love...or something else?

If any of this sounds familiar, know that there is nothing wrong with what you discover about you. There is so much humanness in whatever is driven by the conditioned mind.

A direct way to move toward what you truly long for is to drop into the heart beyond the limitations of the mind. What does your heart most want? Be in that. Affirmations and crafted visualizations are meaningless if they only come from the mind while the body and heart are facing another direction.

On this path, everything must be faced AS IT IS. The pain of emotions that are often labelled as negative or bad, beliefs that keep you stuck or on a colourless path, attachments, hanging on to past stories and emotions, patterns of behaviour that include trying hard or pleasing for self-gain. Everything.

The more you honestly explore and face all that is present within you without trying to change it or make it wrong, the more a natural flow comes into existence. Step by gentle step.

The true heart, the one heart, the simple heart, embraces everything that is seen through Awareness itself. It is a process to attain this state of true acceptance. It is here where possibility lies for life to have its way - and to trust that Life’s way is perfection itself.

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Gliding through the Stress of Change ~ with Confidence

 

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There is so much change that we experience through life -  change itself can’t be avoided.  With each change, like a new job or loss of a job, a new relationship or the death of a relationship, a new baby arriving or a young adult moving out to create an independent life, there is stress.  Every change in your circumstances can challenge the inner you - whether that change is wanted or unwanted, considered good or bad.

When you turn awareness within in an honest way, you see habitual patterns that stop  you from moving toward what is most meaningful to you. These patterns can run you at an unconscious level but once you see them, you want to change them.

Take a moment to reflect upon what you’ve noticed when you try hard to force or make a change happen.  What is the impact when your intention in making a change is to fix yourself?

My own experience is that fixing or forcing or trying hard doesn’t work.  All of these behaviours are founded upon avoidance and resistance to what is.  You are disliking what you see or are wanting to run from where you actually are, usually because it’s uncomfortable.  Or, you are so comfortable with the habitual discomfort that the mind has created, it becomes scary to move beyond the story into what is virtually unknown.

The freedom comes from honestly seeing the pattern without beating yourself up for it.  You learn to embrace it, as it is, by being mindful of all that is happening within you.

In the It’s MY Life! program, much time and focus is spent on building acceptance using mindfulness and tapping into the wisdom of the body and the heart.  Step by gentle step, each person learns the power of being with themselves and their life, AS IS.   In this world of fixing, advising, saving, changing, this is no small task.

From here, gradually, new possibilities unfold.  Change naturally happens when the status quo doesn’t feel threatened.  A spark arises. There is a pull in the heart to move on to what is next.  Trust in the self and life itself grows.  You learn to like the small changes, to trust the change, and to trust yourself within the change.  The unknown gradually becomes known.  What is most meaningful to you draws you forward again and again and again.

Embracing the unknown which is really what change is about is a gentle process that is worth embarking on in every way.

 

 

Opening Your Heart

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While leading the It’s MY Life! Tele-Group, one of the participants commented that since each module is centered around the heart, it’s more accurate to call this program, “It’s MY Heart!”. That resonated with me.

What I have learned through my own experience and share with others is that when I fully commit to live from my heart each moment in my day, the ability to stand firm and straight in my truth changes everything.

The heart is the portal into awareness. Through the heart, you connect with the stillness within the very center of you. It is in your center, your very core, where a sense of oneness with all existence is alive.

Our world has a tendency to lean toward the mind - there is a push to get things done, to strive, to go after more, to keep your eye on the destination, and to be successful according to society’s definition of success. In this, there can be a preoccupation with ‘doing’ in contrast to the heart which is all about the ‘beingness’ in human being.

The limited mind takes you into the loop of a story made up of beliefs and patterns of behaviour that are created through conditioning. The heart is all about limitless possibility.

Honestly seeing your patterns and opening your heart to embrace each one is taking true responsibility for yourself. As you stay connected to your heart, you can’t help but BE in your own business.

When you feel into the depth of your emotions, particularly pain, your heart opens. It becomes warm, soft, tender. The walls of protection gradually melt.

As the heart melts, you learn to accept yourself as you are and accept your life as it is. This is truly living from the inside out. With acceptance that unfolds in its unique way according to your nature, your heart organically leads you through life with a sense of flow grounded in trust.

Explore what life is like when you give all of yourself to the heart:

  • Do you allow your feelings to flow? Getting into the body is a wonderful way to embrace ALL feelings. Being with your emotions without a story leads you to presence/spaciousness/stillness where wisdom arises.
  • Are you aware of your body - listening to when your heart expands or contracts? The nature of your breath? The levels of tension and relaxation? From here, are you able to listen to your heart’s knowing?
  • Do you take the time to nurture your relationships? Do you connect mind to mind or heart to heart with your loved ones? Explore the difference.
  • There is fulfillment in giving your gifts to those around you. Do you notice an ease when you are being in your heart and expressing yourself in your unique way? What’s different when you fully stand in you - your heart, your feet, you ‘spot’ in this world?
  • How connected are you to the freedom and fulfillment that lives in the heart - beyond the expectations, needs, preferences, and wants of your human identity?

It is through the heart that we can rest into the compassionate and all-embracing witness of our humanness. The practice of mindfulness dramatically shifts when you see from the heart and can be more aptly called heartfulness.

Practice:

Find a place to rest comfortably and gently close your eyes. Connect with your breath, being with it as is.

Scan your body from the crown of your head down the front of your body to your feet and then up again through the back of your body to the crown of your head. Simply notice your body’s sensations without changing anything.

Remain still.

Now scan the body again through the eyes of the heart.

Notice the difference.

 

A Share from www.TheFordInstitute.com

I've used the words, "claim your life as your own" many times in my writing on this blog.  This message continues to deepen, as this article so beautifully illustrates.      Thank you, Kelley, for the inspiration and the work that you do to carry on Debbie Ford's work in the world.  

Lovingly, Jeannie

 

 

Claim Your Life!

Two weekends ago, I had the extreme honor of leading The Shadow Process Workshop in Miami. No matter how many of these workshops I have attended, participated in, or led over the years, I am always in awe of the shifts that people experience in the short time span of 2 ½ days. I am also so grateful to Debbie Ford for creating a process that continues to live on and transform the lives of so many.

On a personal level, I am always amazed that even after having experienced this process numerous times, I always take away so many insights and a-has! From the Miami Shadow Process, the concept that I was really struck with is that it is up to each of us to "claim our life!"

We all have heard the adage "You teach people how to treat you." Yet what many people might not realize is that it is often your unconscious mind, which is far more powerful than your conscious mind, that tells and teaches people how to treat you and how to interact with you. It is also your unconscious mind that is filled with shadows and shadow beliefs -- all of that internal dialogue that plays in your head and repeats disempowering statements like "I am not good enough." "No one will ever love me." "It is not safe to stand out and shine or be seen." Ultimately, it is your negative internal dialogue that is your inner teacher, instructing the world how to treat you!

If you don't see yourself as worthy, loveable, or someone who has something to offer the world then neither will anyone else, since how you see yourself, consciously or unconsciously, is reflected in how others see you! Debbie always used to say that if someone told her that the world treats them badly, she knew that it was because they treated themselves badly! If a person was seen as a "worker" instead of an executive, it was because the person saw themselves as a "worker" and had not claimed and truly owned that they are an executive.

If you truly want to live a life that inspires you, if you want to keep evolving, if you want to step into the next greatest evolution of yourself, then you need to claim it! When you claim yourself as your highest self, the universe alters. When you claim and truly own that "I am that!" the Universe will align with your deep sense of knowing. Understanding this concept is really quite exciting because if you do your work to bring the shadows, thoughts, beliefs, and negative dialogue that live in your unconscious mind into the light of your conscious awareness, you will be able to shatter your limitations and step into creating magic and claiming the life that you long for. The really exciting news is that everything you yearn for is already inside of you. You just need to claim it!

Transformational Action Steps

1. Take on "Claiming Your Life!" Identify some goal or achievement that you are chasing in the outer world. Ask yourself, "What is the number one quality or characteristic that a person who could achieve that goal would display or have?" Is it confidence? Discipline? Charisma? Spontaneity? Or something else?

2. For the next 28 days, wake up every day and ask yourself, "What can I do today to really own or display that quality?" Commit to yourself to do whatever action or practice you hear.

With love, Kelley


 

For you...

You do not have to be good.You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

~ Mary Oliver

An Uplifting Moment

We went to hear a wonderful choir in Buffalo called Vocalis Chamber Choir.  I share the words of this song written by Dolly Parton with you after hearing Vocalis sing it so beautifully to us. Sometimes we need to be reminded that all is temporary.

With love, Jeannie

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Light of a Clear Blue Morning

It's been a long dark night, And I've been a-waiting for the morning. It's been a long hard fight, But I see a brand new day a-dawning.

I've been looking for the sunshine, 'Cause I ain't seen it for long. Everything's gonna work out fine. Everything's gonna be all right, It's gonna be okay.

I can see the light of a clear blue morning. I can see the light of a brand new day. I can see the light of a clear blue morning. Everything's gonna be all right. It's gonna be okay.

~ Dolly Parton

(And a special thank you to www.clouds365.com for capturing such beauty.)

The Human Tendency to Try to Fix

We have a human tendency to fix. To try to fix is more the reality as the fixer so often feels victimized by the powerlessness of not being able to 'fix' another person. The Women's Circles are about service of another.   We gently and softly hold space for each other to truly be where we are as we are.  This is love in action.

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Fixer

 A fixer has the illusion of being causal. A server knows he/she is being used in the service of something greater, essentially unknown.

 We fix something specific. We serve always the something: wholeness and the mystery of life.

 Fixing and helping are the work of the ego Serving is the work of the soul.

 When you help you see life as weak. When you fix you see life as broken. When you serve you see life as whole.

 Fixing and helping may cure. Service heals.

 When I help, I feel satisfaction. When I serve, I feel gratitude.

 Fixing is a form of judgment. Serving is a form of connection.

 Seeing yourself as a fixer may cause you to see brokenness everywhere, to sit in judgment of life itself.

 When we fix others, we may not see their hidden wholeness or trust the integrity of the life in them. Fixers trust their own expertise.

 When we serve, we see the unborn wholeness in others; we collaborate with it and strengthen it. Others may then be able to see their wholeness for themselves for the first time.

~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Interviewing Teresa O'Neill - The Pleasure Coach

Firstly, I want to introduce Teresa, a dear friend and colleague, who truly walks her talk.

Natural. Real. Fresh. Creative. Fun.

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Teresa O’Neill, CPCC, PCC, the founder of Become A Women Soaring, champions and supports hectic yet successful business women in claiming their own personal pleasure points.  When you work with Teresa you will learn that you must mix business with pleasure.  Her motto is “Play Powerfully, Work with Ease, and Feel the Flow”. Teresa is in her element when she sees  women celebrating and having fun.  She loves to create new opportunities and the visual reminders for them to enjoy even more space for their personal pleasure while running their businesses.

In this interview, Teresa shares her insights about pleasure and how it all ties into confidence.  She answers such questions as:  How are confidence and pleasure linked?  What does making space for pleasure give you?  How can you begin adding more pleasure to your life today?

Listen in….

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Your Inner Teacher

mime-attachment6I have an inner teacher. You have an inner teacher. Every human being has an inner teacher. Some of the other terms for inner teacher are soul, true self, inner core, essence, higher self, big self, original nature, inner light, and integrity. Each term describes the ‘being’ part of a human being.

What you call it is not important; whether you nurture it determines the quality of your life. To nurture ‘beingness’ is to turn inward. This simple and powerful act will gradually lead you to deeply listen to yourself and your own knowing, and to connect to the inner stillness and silence that lies deep within.

Fertile ground is required to listen to your inner teacher and that takes an investment in yourself at a level beyond the daily to-do’s and preoccupations.

 

In this, it’s important to notice when you’re trying hard to reach a goal. Truly connecting to your inner teacher is a journey that calls for softly and tenderly moving more and more deeply into the center of you, one gentle step at a time. Deepening cannot be forced. It happens in its own time and way without an attachment for getting results. You know when you are connecting in those moments when a calmness washes over you, your heart melts, and you let go of the need to understand.

With no end point, there are fruits to this journey along the way. Presence, silence, stillness, spaciousness - this is a magical state beyond the mind’s understanding. As you open to seeing, being with, and embracing all of yourself, you gradually rest into simply being.

“Wholeness does not mean perfection:  it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”  ~ Parker J. Palmer

You grow into authenticity and truth in every way - one small step at a time. You honour your soul. You value honesty so that the truth can be met. You see aspects of yourself that you've judged as bad or wrong, and you've done your best to hide, suppress, deny, or project onto another. You nurture tenderness. You feel the pain that you’ve pushed away and, by doing so, you open your heart. You experience aloneness which is very different from loneliness. You are present to whatever is happening in your body and grow to inhabit your body in a grounded, centered, alert way. You experience greater and greater creativity, flow, ease, strength, and freedom.

As trust in this inner teacher within you blossoms, you discover nurturing and genuine ways to navigate through life. Life, itself, becomes full, rich, and satisfying.

Practice:

Give yourself the space to be silent. To sit. To fully rest in your chair. To connect with your breath, your heart, your belly, your feet. Be fully in your body.

Notice.

What is calling for your loving and tender attention?

The Heart in Decision-Making

image369It makes such a difference when we ensure that all of the avenues are explored in the decision-making process. For a decision to be solid, it needs to be both congruent and sustainable. Being congruent means that there is an alignment with the body, mind, and spirit. There is no disconnection between what you think and how you feel. In other words, the body, mind, and spirit are not in opposition to each other.

When there is congruence between what the mind thinks and how the body feels, decisions are made with a commitment to follow through. A sustainable decision is one in which you feel certain. You no longer second guess yourself - you simply know. You do not need to keep revisiting the decision, wondering if it is the right one. The decision becomes doable, concrete, and attainable. Your motivation stays intact.

 

 

I reflect of how I explored many possibilities around a decision that was to be made - using the body-centered techniques that I’ve learned from Marlena. Even such seemingly small decisions made from such an honest, real place meant a significant increase in lightness and clarity within myself.

You may notice that you often concentrate on what the mind thinks and the valuable information that is available from the body and the spirit are not considered.

Here is what may happen. When faced with a difficult or significant decision, you may let the mind be the dominant factor:

  • You make ‘pro’ and ‘con’ lists
  • You make rationalizations and label things good or bad, right or wrong.
  • There is often added pressure to make decisions based on what you think you should do rather than on what you want to do.
  • You may be operating from what used to be true for you but is no longer the case. You haven’t updated your ‘personal files’.
  • You discount or ignore your intuition, your body wisdom, your inner knowing.
  • You may be overly influenced by fear.

These decision-making processes are reactive rather than responsive. Being reactive is habitual, a knee-jerk reaction, an energy which is often felt in the body, though often discounted.

What to do?

For a decision to be conscious, you must take into account all the information that is available to you. Otherwise, something gets missed and often, that something includes the body’s wisdom.

You often have an intuition and get hunches that you are aware of or sometimes ignore. You can learn to listen to, trust, and make use of this guidance. In so doing, you supplement the mind’s logic and tap into your deeper wisdom in a way that is perfect for you.

You move from your head down into your heart for the hidden insights. Such attention to hidden insights support you in feeling grounded, fulfilled, centered, and present. You have a deeper and stronger resonance with what you know to be true and what you need to do or be to move forward.

Practice:

Find a quiet place to rest and reflect. In your journal, reflect on decisions that are waiting for you to make. Simply notice what is the impact on your energy when you sit with indecision? What are your body’s sensations, emotions, memories, thoughts - anything and everything? What are the insights arising within you about your pattern of deciding? How do you include all of you?

 

The Essence of the Lotus Flower

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Life. Purity.  Beauty.  Awakening. Clarity in heart and mind. Potential. Longevity.

The lotus flower is seen as growing naturally toward the light of truth, love, and compassion. It may appear fragile on the surface, yet it is flexible and strong, securely anchored under the surface of the water.  Symbolic of the purity of body, speech, and mind, the lotus emerges from the water clean.

Honored and respected throughout centuries of time, this flower represents what is possible when we nurture the beingness part of ourselves as human beings.  In this, our potential  rises through the muddy waters of life ~ clear, awake, pure, and open-hearted.

When we place our attention inward to honestly see and embrace all that we find, the beautiful qualities like the lotus naturally shine through the very essence of our being.  

Consider this. Our inner knowing recognizes when we are with someone whose essence is visible and tangible.  We smile. We feel accepted and loved just as we are.  We experience greater stillness.  We are in our body - aware, alert, and present.  We get clear. We are drawn to being with the naturalness, aliveness, and simplicity of this person.

We experience the gift of living from essence, simply being, in such a free and effortless way.

How do you nurture living your life from the essence of who you are?  How does the lotus flower show you the way?

  •  You notice - your body sensations, your emotions, your thoughts, images, metaphors, the inner voice of past authority figures - from the observer, that which is aware of it all.
  • You practice honesty. You watch the habit of trying to control or suppress or fix what you discover within. You practice the art of simply seeing what is there to be seen, as it is.
  • You directly experience in your body what is present to be experienced - without judgment, without a story, without the expectation that you should be different.
  • You value neutrality by embracing feeling uncomfortable as well as feeling comfortable.  You simply notice the habit of chasing after feeling good.
  • You take responsibility for what is happening within you, trusting that all can be used to open your heart.
  • You stop fighting the mind’s critical thoughts.  Keep drawing your attention down into the heart.
  • You develop inner resources to support you in embodying new ways to move beyond the limitations of your conditioning.
  •  You practice being centered and grounded as you interact with your world.
  • You use the metaphor of the lotus flower to inspire you.

 

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, the Spring comes and the grass grows, by itself.” ~ Thich   Nhat   Haln

Practice:

 Ask those who are close to you about the singular way the beauty of your essence is expressed in the world. 

Value these qualities that you naturally express.  

Notice what nurtures them. 

Love shaping your life according to these qualities.

 

 

 

 

Am I the Only One?

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A client asked out loud a question that, I’m sure, many of us have thought in our own minds. “Is it just me? Why am I so sensitive? Why do I have so much mind chatter? Why am I so reactive? Is everyone like that?”

My thoughts? Yes, it is the human way. We all have minds that are filled with concepts and points of view that can be limiting. All of us have ‘stories’ that are rooted in our past and influence how we see our current reality as well as the emotions that we experience. And there are people who choose to keep their inner cave closed, or at least a big part of it - NOT wanting to honestly and deeply explore.

There can be consequences to this practice of hiding or disowning parts of ourselves. Contractions occur which show up as body tension, emotional drama when we strongly react to others and the circumstances that we find ourselves in, and the non-existence of the full range of feelings available to us as humans, including pain and joy.

Feelings or thoughts that are pushed down and kept in the dark can seep through the cracks (staying with the imagery of a cave) in a myriad of twisted ways like addictions, passive aggressiveness, and other destructive behaviours.

We only have to pay attention to the news to see evidence of the ‘shadow’. The shadow is that which is disowned, judged or denied within us and projected ‘out there’ onto others - with the goal of keeping our own inner cave doors tightly shut.

It takes courage to open that cave door and shine a light on what is truly happening deep inside. Due to conditioning and old habits, it can be very easy to judge our feelings and thoughts as either negative or positive, and then to try to make the ‘negative’ feelings or thoughts go away. Resistance to ‘what is’ can become the order of the day.

The truth is that resisting doesn’t work as what we try to push down, in actuality, intensifies.

What does work? Simply noticing our thoughts - they often just pop out of nowhere, and we really can’t control them. Feeling all of what’s there at a body -sensate level without the story. Identifying contractions that can then be tenderly explored - allowing the emotional charge of each opposing view to be released. And there are so many more practices for us to stay connected to our core.

This work is a lifetime process. It doesn’t mean that we reach the place where we have no thoughts, feelings, body tension, or pain. As I said earlier, we’re human. It just means that we’re able to observe, love, and accept our humanness at deeper and deeper levels.

We experience compassion. We experience presence at greater and greater depths. We live with sobriety around what’s real as distinguished from a story that is based on assumptions and misperceptions. We make peace with the unchangeable past. We show up as our true selves instead of an image of what our minds tell us we ’should’ be like. We fully engage with our Life.

For me, the investment of time, energy, and finances is all worth it. Why? I ask - why wouldn’t it be?

Embracing all of life - the darkness and the light - encourages us to walk with the Divine.

Practice

Today take a moment - as many moments as you choose - to notice what is happening within. Notice your breath, posture, emotions, body sensations, thoughts, images, inner voices/rules from the past.

Everything is welcome.

Whatever you notice, be with it as it is. Simply be in the witnessing of it all.

Centered. Connected. Present. Observing.

 

Seasons of the Soul

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sometimes there are no immediate revelations. sometimes there are no immediate solutions. sometimes there is no immediate movement.

sometimes we have to sit in the cocoon of ourselves. sometimes we have to trust the process. sometimes, even with the help of guides or teachers we still are where we are inside of where we do not want to be.

yes, you are outgrowing the container but sometimes you still have to sit inside of it. sometimes, that's just how it goes. and then you grow and unfold and emerge and still, you must wait to dry off those new wings. still you must wait patiently before you fly into your now clear vision.

sometimes...we are cocooning and becoming for quite sometime...

but from inside the cocoon, the caterpillar while dissolving whispered, 'trust the process. trust the process.'

seasons of the soul/stasha ginsburg

Breaking the Same Old, Same Old Pattern

418030_3111392873811_1534065625_2896820_1523077933_nI don’t want  to be lonely no more.I don’t want to have to pay for this. I don’t want another lover at my door. Just another heartache for my list. ~ Rob Thomas, “Lonely No More” (2004)

 

How many of you relate to the words of Rob Thomas’ hit single? You want to share your life with someone, really love someone, and yet over and over you find yourself in relationships that are not working for you. In your search for Mr. or Ms. Right, how many of you have found that the consequences of your choice have been painful and sometimes even traumatic? Divorce, financial loss, and a decrease in your confidence and self-trust along with emotional scars can all result from choices that were made in good faith.

There are those of you who find that too often, you meet a person who is too busy, so you do not feel as important as that person’s work, or even his or her golf game. Some of you may have a pattern of being with people who are manipulative, passive aggressive, or financially unstable. Or you unknowingly invite into your life someone emotionally abusive and unstable or with an addiction that is draining and depletes your spirit.

The key to moving out of this pattern or comfort zone (even though it is uncomfortable, it is familiar) is awareness. Identify your pattern by closely examining all of your relationships, particularly those you invite in as potential partners. Take the time to journal.

What are their characteristics? How do these characteristics reflect who you are in relationship to yourself? Or how do they reflect a belief that you hold about yourself at a core level? For instance, an abusive person may be an indicator of how you abuse yourself with self-criticism. Underlying this may be a belief that you are not good enough or not worthy of the best that life has to offer.

There are important action steps along with increasing your consciousness so you can make different choices. First, own what you see. Be in the pain without any agenda that it goes away. Gradually and naturally you will accept what you see inside yourself.

Start to envision what you do want to attract into your life and feel deep inside what that would be like for you. What would life be like without the belief that you are not worthy or enough? Instead of feeling constricted by fear, your heart will be open and expansive. From this fresh place, you allow new possibilities.

Add in action steps that are grounded in being centered. Patrick Carnes, in The Betrayal Bond, has many powerful activities to discover more about yourself. Make a list of your “must-haves” in relationships, particularly with your partner. Coming from a place of worthiness, be clear about what you want, and commit to following through on this without settling for less.

What are the choices that you will make for yourself in terms of your behaviour? Be specific and concrete. Examples might be the following: I will notice when I’m trying to change or rescue someone; I will be aware when I’m trying to talk myself into someone; if my body is telling me that I am uncomfortable with this person, I will listen and leave. List your relationship goals, which look like taking 100 percent responsibility for yourself.

Most importantly, what will you do to take care of yourself? Make a list of your needs and what you plan to do to address these needs separate from looking to someone else to fulfill you.

Imagine the metaphor that you are the cake and a relationship is the icing. Audition those who you put in your life from the perspective of what they will add to it.

Shifting out of comfort zones around how you relate is possible and happens gradually as you be in awareness. You can use your past relationships to move forward and create healthy, whole relationships with others as you create that quality of relationship with yourself.

Lean in. Be grounded, centered, and present. Be mindful of the mind’s tendency to self-criticize. Practice gratitude.

This foundational relationship with yourself will be reflected in all aspects of your life: at home, at work, with your friends, and in your larger community. Enjoy that cake...and the special icing on top!

 

Nurturing Playfulness

 

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

 

Playfulness is about exploring and doing things that are all about pleasure - doing what you do for the sheer delight you receive in doing it. There is no ‘have to’ or ‘should’ in playfulness.

The benefits of listening to what makes your heart sing, connecting to the playfulness within, are many.

Relaxation, spontaneity, and a sense of 'letting go' in the playful moments of your life - all are fertile ground for inspiration and creativity along with your happy heart.

Parts of you that you may not know as yet awaken in a fresh way. Stress decreases, connection with those around you naturally deepens, and the room lights up along with your heart.

For myself, I am so grateful for what the Arts - film, music, song, dance, paintings, sculpture, documentaries, wonderful food, decorating, and so much more - bring into my life. All that is a creative, unique, and joyful expression of body, mind, and spirit sparks the joy that is within me.

When you have a playful attitude, you bring a sense of ease and fun to all that you do. Even what appears like hard work has a different feeling when it’s rooted in play.

Years ago I had a wonderful friend, Stella, who died young of cancer. What I most remember about her is that she laughed and played in every situation, particularly with her sister who was her closest friend. They would clean houses together to send their children to college and their fun while doing this was contagious. Emerging from a tough childhood, her sense of play created an adult life that was filled with love and joy.

With playfulness, life lightens up. A childhood innocence emerges. We are present. We get that life is a ride with its ups and downs, and we are able to put it all in perspective. Think of the Dalai Lama who has this playful, innocent quality that arises from his connection to limitlessness.

The mind can get so serious. "You have to be responsible". "You have to do it right". "You have to get things done". "You have to earn your way".  All these messages and more take us away from playfulness - a quality that is so rich and worthy of our attention and honoring.

“The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love - everything disappears.” Osho

When we really get this in our hearts, life gives us more and more opportunities to truly play and celebrate the joy of being alive.

Practice:

Dance. Alone or with someone else. Simply dance. Let your body move in any way it wants to without the mind controlling it. Without a care of what others might think.

In other words, let loose and be silly.

Then take a moment to stop and really check in with what is happening in the body, in the heart, in the breath. Deeply listen to your heart sing.

Welcome it all with open arms.

And dance some more...

Happy playing!

 

She Let Go

SHE LET GO

~By Rev. Safire Rose~

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the right reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected  date in her Day Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go. She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. It was what it was and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone for evermore.

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