Posts tagged: Joy

Making Space

Making Space

photo credit: cefeida via flickr

Fall Shopping

Last week I went shopping for new fall clothes.

When I returned home, I pushed and shoved the clothes I already had aside to make room for the new items.

Do you do this?

Making Space

You have so much, yet you acquire more. You cram the new stuff in by shoving the old stuff into corners, lost cabinets, bins in the basement/attic or storage boxes under the bed.

Is it worth it?

How do you feel?  I know at first I feel happy with my new purchases, then I start to feel like an over stuffed sausage with little room to move.

I created a new rule in my house.  When something new comes in something old must go.  If two things can go even better.  Making space is part of the purchase decision.

Making Space for Love

The same goes for our lives.  When you fill your life with fear, anxiety, dread and jealousy there is very little space for love, peace, joy and gratitude.  I’m sure you’d like more of the later.  So are you making space for it?

What about your emotional life?  Can you release one emotion to make space for another?  It sounds simple, but like your favorite old sweater that no longer fits you may be attached to these outdated emotions.  You still hold on because it’s comfortable even though it doesn’t fit anymore.

Emotional Security Blankets That Don’t Fit

Take the successful business woman who lands a big project.  Instead of feeling accomplished, she feels unworthy, a feeling she acquired as a child.  It no longer serves her, but like a security blanket it surrounds her.

Since many people feel a dread on Monday about the beginning of the week, I propose a new idea.  Let’s make Monday’s Making Space Day.  That means every Monday you let go of an emotion, feeling, thought, or action that no longer serves you.

You are doing this to allow space for what you do want to flow in.  If you know what that is, allow it.  If you don’t, revel in your new found space.

This is a great time of year to clear out your inner closets.  Make space for the wonderful new adventures waiting for you.  Start today.

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A Little Mindfulness

A little mindfulness

photo credit: Muffet via flickr

Before your day gets off to a roaring start, stop and take a moment.

Give thanks for another day.

Kiss a loved one.

Welcome the day with a small routine which could just be drinking your tea or coffee in a morning quiet moment.

Think about something that makes you smile from your liver.

Stretch.

Walk outside barefoot.

Set your intention for the day.

Affirm what you want to happen, not what you don’t.

Look at all around you with gratitude.

Listen to beautiful music.

Cuddle with someone you love, even if it’s just you snuggling down under the blankets while you greet the day.

Starting your day with a little mindfulness makes all the difference in the world.  It doesn’t have to take hours of meditation to create peace in your life.  Instead it comes from the small quiet mindful habits of gratitude and love you bring to the day.

“I am loved.  Only good lies before me.”

Joy Filled Beginnings

I remember when my nephews were born.  Every moment of those first days were joy filled.  You couldn’t help but be in wonder as this new life squirmed in your arms.

Then it’s back to normal, the lack luster monotonous routine.

What if you woke every morning and filled it with joy before you started?  What if you remembered the joy filled moments in your life as you put your feet to the floor.

Would it make a difference?

I think it would.

 

“I am joy filled.  I am loved.”

Spread Your Wings and Soar

Spread Your Wings and Soar

photo credit: YLev via flickr

Don’t Worry About The Snakes

In 2008, I traveled to a retreat center in Sedona Arizona.  Coming from New England, I was awestruck by the incredible red landscape.

The guide showed us where our set of bathrooms were because they sat apart from the cabins.  “What about snakes?” I asked.  I didn’t want to come across one on a midnight trip to the bathroom.

“Don’t worry about the snakes,” she said. ” If you come across one, just ask it what message it has for you.”

What?

She continued, “When an animal shows up in your life, many times they have a message for you.  All you need to do is get quiet and listen.”

This philosophy was new to me so she suggested I check out the books in the dining hall.  I could look up the meaning of the different animals I encountered during the day, including snakes.

Since then, I’ve paid attention to the the animals I meet.  For example when my mother passed away, the backyard was full of robins…in December.  I learned robins mean “new beginnings.”

Spread Your Wings And Soar

On vacation this year, I had the opportunity to experience a beautiful eagle at the lake.  He gracefully glided over head, circling and then dove for his dinner.

In 35 years, I’ve never seen an eagle at the lake.  I knew this was special.  During my afternoon meditation, I realized he message was, “It’s time to spread your wings and soar.”

Bringing The Message Home

Day to day it’s easy to get caught up in the mundane.  It’s hard to see the big picture.

The true adventure of vacation is breaking out of your routine and gaining a new perspective.  My eagle message reminded me my unique talents are what will allow me to soar or be successful.

I’m not asking you to believe in animal communication.  I am reminding you that you to have unlimited majestic possibility.  You too can soar like the eagle.  Just pick your head up, spread your wings and allow yourself to fly.

No Snakes Here

As for the snakes in Sedona, they kept their distance.  Didn’t see one.  I guess they didn’t have anything to share with me.  Secretly, I was glad.

 

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Authentic Reflection

authentic reflection - Life Simplified

Authentic Reflection

I may not be as thin as a model,

As smart as a scientist,

As business savvy as an analyst.

But…

I am the best me there is.

What others see as flaws,

I see as beauty.

What others doubt,

I dream.

I may not meet your expectations.

That’s okay.

Your expectations are your thoughts not mine.

I’m the best me there will ever be, every day.

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trust your brilliance

 

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Finding Passion in a Carbonara Pizza

Appetite for Life: Finding Passion in Carbonara Pizzaphoto credit: arnold | inuyaki via photo pincc

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. ~ Steve Jobs

Passionate About Cooking

Last night my sister cooked dinner for our family and some friends.  There’s an unwritten rule when you go to dinner at Julie’s, be prepared for the experiment.

We all know there will be dishes served that she’s never cooked before.  Last night was a delectable collection of noshes ranging from a hummus layered dip to individual bread bowls filled with clam chowder.  With each course, the ooooo’s ahhhh’s from the crowd inspired even the pickiest of eaters to try a nibble.

My sister loves to cook.  You feel her joy as she proudly pulls a carbonara pizza from the oven with sizzling bacon and oozing egg yolks.  Some might dread cooking for 12, but not Julie.  It’s her passion that makes what you might think as work, come across as art.

The Recipe For A Happy Life

Here’s her recipe for a happy life…Love what you do, live passionately and “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”  The right combination of these ingredients guarantees a full life.

Are you living your passions?

I hear you moaning about how you want to live your passions…but….

Don’t Listen to the Noise

There are no buts.  Everyone has difficulties in their lives, challenges you need to face.  The only way to live a full happy life is to follow Steve Job’s advice – “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.”

When you think you can’t, remember you can.  When you think someone might not like what you need to do, do it anyway.  When you think what will others think, say who cares.

The only way to live a full and happy life is to be true to who you are and express it in everything you do.

That noise, Jobs talked about, will be loud at first.  Instead of listening to it, but on your favorite music and dance around the living room.

Filled to the Brim (and smiling all the way!)

I’m stuffed with all the good food from last night.  It’s not just my stomach that’s full, however, my sister fed our hearts with her love and passion.  Begin this fall doing the same in your life.

How do you live your passions?  Share them below.

 

Oh By The Way…Here’s the recipe for the Carbonara Pizza.  Great for a chilly night or a fun brunch.

Carbonara Pizza

1 pizza dough (your favorite recipe, fresh from the grocery store or try your local pizzeria)

1/2 lb bacon cut into 1/2 inch strips

1 cup heavy cream – reduced to 1/2 cup and cooled

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (we used fresh) cut up or shredded

1/4 cup Romano cheese shredded.

2-4 eggs

Salt & Pepper

Corn meal for dusting

Cook the bacon until it’s about half way done (the microwave works well for this).  Sprinkle corn meal on a cookie sheet.  Stretch pizza dough to cover cookie sheet.  Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the dough with the mozzarella and Romano cheese.  Drizzle the cream over the cheese.  Add bacon.  Cook in a 450 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.  Take out the pizza.  Crack 2-4 eggs over the pizza.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Return to the oven for another 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.  You want the eggs to set, but not become firm.

Take the pizza out of the oven.  Drag a knife through the eggs spreading the yolk over the pizza.

Serve while warm.

Yummm

Live Fearlessly

Life Simplified: Live Fearlessly

photo credit: blinkingidiot via flickr

Get out and live your life fearlessly.  Anita Moorjani

Imagine 24 hours of living fearlessly.  I don’t meet throwing caution to the wind, but truly living 24 hours without feeling fear.

You might say, “I don’t really live in fear now so that would be easy.”  That’s what I thought.

It’s More About the Small Fears

Everyone has big fears.  It’s what you worry about.  Will your kids turn out okay?  What if you’re laid off?  How well are your parents?  Will there be a war?  Will you get that big client?

I realize these big thoughts can dominate your life.  It was, however, the small fears like what people will think if you eat that doughnut, paying a bill, keeping the house clean just in case people stop by, or worrying if you’ll make the team that make up many of your routine thoughts.

These small thoughts creep into your consciousness.  Over time, they become part of your daily thought process.  Sitting in the background, you don’t even notice them any more.

Anita Let Go Of Fear

In Anita Moorjani’s book, Dying To Be Me,  she talks about a near death experience.  Throughout her life small fears had shaped her world.  She always strove to fit in, and never felt she did.  After her experience, she learned, life is not about fitting in.  It’s about letting go of all fear and living in love or “being love” as she describes it.

Louise Hay in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, talks about fear being one of the four top reasons people develop illnesses.  By holding onto fear whether we developed them or were handed them by others, we only hurt ourselves.

How To Let Go Of Fear

Because you might not recognize the smaller fears at first, it’s easier to start with something you can name as a fear.  I’ll use the example of Maisie’s training.

I feared Maisie going crazy when she saw other dogs on our walks.  It stopped me from taking her places, walking during certain times or even allowing her outside.

Working with our trainer, Nancy, she brought a dog to walk with Maisie.  My first reaction was to pull Maisie back.  It was then I realized it was my behavior, my fear, that caused Maisie to act out.

Releasing this fear came in a couple steps.

  • Recognize and own the fear.  Give the fear a name or a picture.  Then own it.  Know it’s all about you and no one else.
  • Visualize the situation.  Visualize the situation that you fear.  Then change the picture.  Imagine you have no fear at all.  It’s all working out fine.  Send love to the thing you fear, for me it was the other dogs.
  • Practice.  Whenever you’re in the situation, go back to the good visualization.  Practice living that new visualization in real time.
  • Love yourself.  The first couple times I had Maisie out on a walk, I didn’t prepare as much as I should.  We encountered a dog.  I tensed up.  Maisie barked.  Then I did something different, instead of telling myself I failed, I congratulated myself on trying.  I didn’t judge.  Instead said I loved and approved of myself.  This practice was perfect in what I knew so far.

The last step is the most important because it’s where you’ll make it or break it.  The typical pattern I see in people is to scold themselves after not meeting their own expectations (or others). This feeds the fear.

By not judging and sending myself love, it was like shining a light into a dark room.  The fear shrunk away.  I was ready for the next dog to come along in a good way.  It didn’t feel like I was going into battle (fear), but instead another opportunity to practice (love).

You Choose.

Every moment of every day, you get to choose whether you’ll live in fear or love.  The natural choice is to live in love, so choose it.  Wherever you are in your journey, always choose love.

I Love And Approve of Myself

Life Simplified garden 2012

Part of the Life Simplified Garden

Love who you are, what you are and what you do.  Laugh at yourself and at life.  Louise Hay

 

My Garden

Last weekend I planted my annual herb garden.  This year I’m also trying my hand at tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, spinach, salad greens and summer squash.

Planting each seed and seedling, reminded me of how I’d once again stopped doing my inner work.

The meditative work of planting my garden, reminded me of life’s simple law.  Plant seeds.  Care for them.  Tend to the weeds.  In the end you’ll be rewarded with the seed’s unique gift.

The same is true for our personal and professional inner work.

What Mental Seeds Are You Planting?

If you plant a tomato seed, you don’t expect a zucchini.  Yet every day you the mental seed of I’m not worthy and expect love.  Spend 24 hours monitoring your thoughts.  They are subtle, so listen carefully.

What do you say to yourself if you are running late?  What do you say to yourself if a bill comes and there is no money in the bank?  What do you say to yourself when those summer clothes are tighter than last year or you have to put on your bathing suit for the first time?

Are those seeds you want to grow in your inner garden? I thought so.

I Love And Approve Of Myself

One of the most powerful, yet simple affirmations I use I learned from Louise Hay, “I love and approve of myself.”  When I decide to plant this seed rather than other negative seeds, I find life, personally and professionally, takes on a whole different hue.

Imagine walking into a situation saying, “I’m fat.  No one wants to talk to me because I’m so boring.”  Got it.  Now imagine the same situation and instead you’re saying, “I love and approve of myself.”  Can you feel the difference?When I do this work with clients, I see them sit up straighter, smile and relax.

Tend To Your Garden Daily

If you’re a gardener or just have a few herbs from the grocery store on the windowsill, try planting this mental seed while you’re tending your garden.

As you water your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  As you weed your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”   As you smile with pride over your first tomato, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  

You can certainly repeat the affirmation other times as well.  The garden just gives you some time to meditate the feeling of the affirmation.

By connecting this practice with your garden, you’ll find you’re not just reaping tomatoes this summer.

You will see the little miracles occur in your life.  The things you are ready to eliminate will go of their own accord.  The things and events you want will pop up in your life seemingly out of the blue.  you will get bonuses you never imagined! ~ Louise Hay

Be Joyful In What You Ask For

Be Joyful In What You Ask For

photo credit: kazzpoint0 via flickr

Often – even when you believe you are thinking about something that you desire – you are actually things about the exact opposite of what you desire.  In other words, “I want to be well; I don’t want to be sick.”  “I want to have financial security; I don’t want to experience a shortage of money.”  “I want the perfect relationship to come to me; I don’t want to be alone.”  ~ Abraham via Esther Hicks, Ask And It Is Given

What You Think About Comes About

You’ve heard that before.   You’ve tried to focus on what you want in your life; a new car, a soul mate, a thriving business, but things aren’t working out like you planned.

Could you be thinking about what you don’t want rather than what you do want?

Ask And It Is Given

You know what you want, but you are feeling the lack of it.  This feeling of lack focuses you on the opposite of what you desire.  For example, positive thought: “I want a new computer.”  Feeling of lack: “I can’t afford a new computer.”  Without knowing it every time you say, “I want a new computer” you are actually saying, “I don’t want one because they are too expensive.”

A New Lesson

I’ve read Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks a hundred times.  Never before did I pull out this lesson until just recently.

After my initial ah-ha moment,  I looked back on my life.  When I set goals and was positive about an outcome, I got exactly what I desired, and pretty quickly I might add.  More often than not, however, when I asked for something I unconsciously focused on the lack behind it.  In those situations I was given exactly what I asked for…more lack.

Discovering the Lack

Through this activity, I realized I’d built a habit of focusing on lack.  The key to breaking a lack focused habit is to check in with your emotions.

Here’s an example.  I’ve wanted an iPhone forever.  However, when I thought about having an iPhone, my focus was on not having one.  Even when my phone was due for an upgrade and an iPhone was an option, I didn’t get one because I came up with a dozen excuses.  I now see those excuses were coming from my thoughts of not having an iPhone rather than having one.

I felt horrible during this process.  This was my first clue I was focusing on lack.

Let Your Emotions Be Your Guide

I’m still learning to tap into my emotions as I set new goals, create new visions, and develop new plans.  When I don’t feel good, I check in to see how I’m feeling. These feelings always point to my thoughts of lack.

Listen to your emotions.  If you don’t feel good, do a check in, like I’m learning to do.  When you think about your goal, vision or plan you should feel excited and passionate…like you are standing on the brink of something very exciting.

That’s when you know you’re on the right path.

Who’s Your Greatest Love?

Who's Your Greatest Love

photo credit: barbtrek via flickr

Where there is great love there are always miracles. – Willa Cather

Who is your greatest love?

Did the question bring a smile to your face?  Who did you think of?  Your child.  Your husband/wife.  Your best friend.  Your sister/brother.

Who said themselves?  Go ahead raise your hand.

Loving Yourself Is The Greatest Love

Love for yourself is the cornerstone of every great love.  Without it, you can lose your sense of self, your dreams, your spark of life.  With it you find more love in everyone else.

Love Is Not Boastful

Loving yourself can sound foreign, even vain.  Let’s stop that notion right here.  Sure there are people who love themselves for the wrong reasons.  When you scratch the surface, they don’t know what love is.  They think it’s about looking good, being the best, or having the most money.  In essence, none of those matter to your inner self.

Truly loving yourself means embracing everything you are right now.  Do you look in the mirror and say, “You’re perfect just the way you are?”

Or is everything wrong?

Love Does Not Judge

Try the opposite today.  Every time you think a negative thought about yourself.  Stop in the moment.  Apologize and give yourself a little Valentine’s Day hug.  If this is hard to do, think of the person in your life who loved you unconditionally.  Imagine they are beside you all day today cheering you on.  I’ll bet by noon, you’ll feel like a different person.

Here’s another loving thing you can do for yourself.  It came from a moving meditation we did at my yoga class.

Stand up tall.  Place your hands in prayer at your heart.  Slowly reach your arms up above your head.  Continue to bring your arms around in a big circle, arching back a bit, heart toward the sky.  As you bring your arms close to your body, turn the palms up and scoop up the energy from the earth and bring it back to your heart.  Hands close in prayer at your heart. 

Put on some beautiful music and continue this flowing movement for one full song.  You’ll feel as light as a bird at the end.

Your Valentine’s Day

Let’s change the notion of Valentine’s Day to make sure in includes some self love.  A friend reminded me last night how much I love the fragrance of Star Gazer Lilies.  I plan on picking some up between appointments as a gift for myself.

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line.  ~ Lucille Ball

I propose a toast.  Raise your champagne glass and toast the wonderful love of your life, you!

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