Last week I talked about the thread that runs through whether or not we are able to overcome our struggles. The thread as you may recall is to Save Yourself First.
This week the conversation continues. The bottom line is that every single one of us has something we struggle with, whether or not we admit it. Those of us who have the courage to admit our struggle, then come upon the "choice".
The choice is: Will we see our struggle as a curse or as a blessing?
Throughout my life I have mostly been an optimistic person. Yet, there have been countless times where I have felt cursed. As I share in my book, Reclaiming Joy, my father's unexpected death 3 weeks before my wedding was one of those times.
In the midst of this "curse", the discomfort I felt--grief, sadness, anger, anxiety, loneliness, was unbearable at times. At the time, I did what I had to do to survive-- over working, over eating, over drinking, over doing. I did this until I was ready to choose the other path.
Several years later, upon getting divorced, another curse, I was at a choice point. I had to decide how I wanted to live the rest of my life. I did my deep spiritual healing work as I share in my book, and ultimately asked myself: Will I see the past as a curse or as a blessing? Feeling that it couldn't get too much worse, I took a gamble on seeing my experience as a blessing. Looking back, I understand that until I was ready and able to see all of my life experience as a blessing, nothing would ever change. It was the right choice.
In Chapter 2 of my book, Reclaiming Joy I talk about this concept often-- our ability to see all (the pain and the joy) of our experience as teachers...blessings.
When we practice this way of being, seeing the blessings, it has the effect of helping us to feel more comfortable in the discomfort of life.
There is a part of us, way down deep inside that knows it requires discomfort to grow. Some would say, myself included, that at a soul level we actually "call" the discomfort into our life in order that we heal. A wake up call you might say. You know what I mean. You've seen it. You've experienced it.
OK and? The challenge arises when we want to flee from the discomfort...also known as abandoning ourselves. The key for many of us is to stay committed to our path of healing, overcoming...whatever words you want to use...no matter what.
The ultimate freedom (peace) comes when we realize discomfort is not something to fear. Rather discomfort is something to embrace, to bring our love and our light to so that we may transmute what is underneath it.
With consistent practice and support, we realize on the other side of our fear, lies our freedom. This wisdom carries us so when the discomfort arises again, and it will, we feel so much more comfortable in it. We stay with our self through the discomfort instead of abandoning our self. We are wise to know there is growth here and that our freedom, our peace, requires us to exhale and stay.
Wisdom = Knowledge + Intuition + Experience
Last week I shared with you how every year to help me to stay committed to taking action, I create a theme.
I invited you to do the same! How did it go? I would love to know :)
This week I want to share with you how to combine the process of creating and manifesting what you desire in 2017 with creating a theme so you begin creating your goals.
A word on goals. Goals use to be a scary word for me. SO much expectation and structure. However, after self-publishing my first book, Reclaiming JOY, in 6 months, I realized goals are valuable and necessary! Quite simply, goals provide structure and a road map for action. And when you have lots to get done, structure and a map are keys for success.
In 2017 I want to experience more fun. In wanting to have more fun, my actions need to be centered around a goal that will make this happen. That goal is adventure.
Adventure has many "faces". It starts with me having an adventurous spirit, which I do! From here, I allow adventure to inform my thoughts, words, and deeds. Remember, thoughts are energy. Our thoughts are the causes of our life. Our experiences are the effects. In order to change our experiences, we must change our thoughts. Yes, this is one big reason why I meditate...to master my thoughts :)
I will tell you having adventure as a goal is a powerfully fun and eye opening practice.
Why? Mainly because it reminds me to lighten up in my head. While I am immensely playful like my cats, I am also very mentally intense and driven to succeed in all areas of life. Big goals!
Having adventure as my goal, I am reminded to reprogram my mind in order to see the world with new eyes.
So, instead of bringing my intensity to everything, I get to bring my sense of lightness, fun, creativity, curiosity, and play. This makes my big goals so much more fun to go after.
And, I get to say thank you, thank you, thank you (my theme this year), for the experiences that provoke my intensity so that I may learn how to bring in my sense of adventure. Wow, I feel lighter already!!
What is one of your goals for 2017?
If you want to share with me, thank you, yes, I'd love to know!!
Share the love...forward this blog post to a friend :)
Last week I shared with you that committing to clarity requires courage. Often when we start to "see" what needs to change, it's scary. I also gave you the next steps to help you get clear on what you want to "make happen" in 2017.
This week I will share with you what I do personally every year to help me to stay committed to taking action. May it help you as well!
What is it I do? I create a theme for the year! When I decide on the theme, one of the things I enjoy is making that theme the cover of my daily "planner". Glitter and all, as you see in pictures above.
Yes! I still use an old school planner. There is something about the art of pencil in hand writing out my days that is simple and beautiful.
So, back to themes:
2016 was Reclaiming JOY.
While this theme continues to evolve, I have decided to make 2017, Thank You.
Why Thank You?
As the journey of living continues to invite me to grow into new ways of being, at times breathless, kicking, screaming, crying and laughing...all that makes sense to me is THANK YOU for ALL of it.
Thank you for another day.
Thank you for YOU.
Thank you for choosing to see the beauty everywhere.
...the list is endless...
What will be your theme for 2017?
If you want to share your theme with me, thank you, yes, I'd love to know!!
Share the love...forward this blog to a friend :)
Last week I invited you to carve out one hour to connect, reflect and redirect.
What did you come up with?
This week the process continues. Perhaps you have gained clarity about what areas you want to focus on. Perhaps not, and you need more time. Awesome!!
In addition to giving you the next steps, I want to share with you that committing to clarity requires courage. Often when we start to "see" what needs to change, it's scary. Let's face it, staying with the familiar is easy. Yet for many of us, not sustainable. There comes a time when we need to face the music and make change.
So, here are the next steps.
1. Review your notes from the reflection exercise.
2. Decide on which area you want to focus on...health, relationship, career/life purpose, money...
3. Commit to taking action to create what you desire. For example, let's say you want to improve your health and well-being by managing your stress. Begin exploring ways you want to do this - yoga class, meditation, exercise, more fun! Whatever you choose, commit to taking one of these actions consistently over the next 30 days. Feel free to be flexible. Maybe you try yoga and it's not for you. Stay open, explore and have fun!!
If you want to share or need support, please email me.
Share the love-- forward this blog to a friend, thank you!
Last week Kamesh spoke about what it means to have abundant health, practice radical self care and enjoy the awesome adventure of life! Did you do the practice? What did you notice?
This week I invite you to continue the process by daring to dream.
Why? In my experience of life, there are occasions when it would seem so logical to stay where we are, when we are unhappy. The truth is, we are meant for so much more.
When we begin to understand that it is fear of: loss, the unknown, what others may think or say, etc that keeps us stuck, we are at a critical choice point. We either choose to take responsibility for the direction our life, or not. If we don't take responsibility, fear will control our life and keep us unhappy. If however, we choose to take responsibility for our life, we admit we have had enough. We commit to take control back by learning from our fears. Learning fuels us and we begin to allow ourselves to dream.
At this stage of my life, there is simply no other way for me to live. As many of you know, I have dedicated my life to helping others THRIVE. That's my medicine, my life purpose, why I am here!! This wisdom is what keeps me on the path, even when I want so badly to be asleep and not feel. I bet some of you are nodding yes? Great, let us stick together please!
It's funny really. Over the years people have watched me Reclaim Joy. Some have said, "You are lucky/special/old soul/wise". While it is well meaning, thank you, it agitates me. Guess what? I am not! I am dedicated to living my truth. That truth includes the reality that we teach what we most need to learn. I am not lucky. I am teaching and learning, like you.
Here's what I will say. When you dare to dream, you open yourself to new possibility. With support, you stay the on the path. When you get to the end of your life, you will look back, and have no regrets. To me, this is the gift of being alive. And everyday is a new day to begin again. No matter what your age or stage.
At the Sanctuary I co-founded Our Mission is to provide the space for all beings to thrive. Our services, events, staff, and yes, those yummy snacks are all here to support you to be your best.
We are all unique and require different support- pampering with a Massage or Facial; balancing energy with Reiki or Acupuncture; easing the mind with Meditation; connecting with others in a Full Moon Ceremony on Jan 12th. And sometimes, we are at a major crossroads in life and need deeper, more consistent support with private mentoring. Whatever it is, I support you! Feel free to email me with questions or comments.