Posts tagged: Peace

Sacred Space

sacred-space

My Sacred Space

Most mornings I journal.  What I write about isn’t as important as writing.

This morning I pondered why this daily ritual was so important.  The truth is, my journal is my sacred space.  When everything seems to be moving at the speed of light, I know each morning, there is a friend patiently waiting just to listen to me.

A sacred space is an oasis in your life where you can sit back and reflect without interruption.  It doesn’t matter whether it is a church, temple, or the ocean going there reminds you to slow down and listen to the wisdom of your inner voice.

I often crave time alone to decompress.  Just like you, I have whirlwind days.  After a 12-14 hour day I thankfully flop into my bed falling asleep after barely closing my eyes.  Alone time consists of driving from place to place.

When I don’t journal I feel out of sorts.  I get grumpy and frustrated.  Give me some peppermint tea and my journal in the quiet early morning hours and all becomes right with the world.

This week notice what sacred spaces you have created.  They don’t have to be traditional. Cooking sauce from a family recipe.  Reading a favorite novel.  Watching a fire glow in the fireplace.  It doesn’t matter where your sacred space is.  All that matters is you recognize the wonderful gift it brings into your life.

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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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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You’re Getting Warmer

soul games you're getting warmerphoto credit: spapax via photopincc

Playing Hot Cold

Remember the game Hot/Cold.  The closer you got to something the other person would yell, “You’re getting hot.”  The farther away they would yell, “You’re so cold your frozen!”

I watched a couple kids playing this the other day while I was waiting for an appointment.  It was fun to see their squeals of delight as the person got closer to the object.

I believe your soul plays the same game with you.  Since it comes from a world of peace, abundance and love, it wants you to experience this every day.  You, however, have an ego of your own who’s motivation is unrest, lack and fear.

Soul Messages

The more you listen to your ego the farther you get from your soul’s purpose.  That’s when the game kicks into gear.  Your soul starts whispering you’re getting colder.  The more you live in fear and lack the louder the messages from your soul.

Since the soul doesn’t speak in words, it’s message is felt.  Ever have that feeling of just wanting a hug.  That’s your soul speaking.  Do you yearn for more abundance in your life?  You guessed it, your soul is telling you your getting colder.

When you have these tugs at your heart, pay attention.  They  aren’t there to make you feel bad.  They are there to help guide you.

Just like the kids, your soul can’t wait until you’re, “so hot your burning up.”  How will it tell you?  You’re heart will feel so full you can’t help but share with others.

Taming The Shoulds

Life Simplified: A Day Without Plansphoto credit: 416style via photo pin cc

A Day Without Plans

Plans keep my brain occupied, but like you, I need time off.  On days without plans, I putter around first on the computer, then in the kitchen, and finally around the house.   When I start to feel a little aimless, the Shoulds come to visit.

Shoulds Make Unwelcome House Guests

I dislike the Shoulds.  They are unwelcome house guests.  They take the fun out of everything.

The Shoulds make me feel guilty.  They love that.  The guiltier I feel, the louder they talk.  It’s a relentless circle.

Take this weekend for example.  I took an entire day off.  I needed it, but the Shoulds didn’t leave me alone.  They reminded me I needed to cook, clean, make my bed and do laundry.  When I sat down to read my book, they needled me so I was popping up every 15 minutes to do another odd job.

Where Do Shoulds  Come From?

I have a theory.  They are homeless thoughts looking for vacant spaces in your brain where they can take up residency.  Once moved in, they spread out like weeds inviting their friends to come hang out in their new pad.

Friends of the Shoulds are the Coulds and Woulds.  When they all get together, it’s a party.  They shout, dance, and generally make a mess of what was once a calm brain.

Time To Take Control

It’s time we took a stand.  Just because the Shoulds have a lot of friends, doesn’t mean they can take over whenever we relax.

Here’s some tactics I’ve used to keep the Shoulds at bay:

  1. When a Should makes a suggestion, say something like, “That’s nice.  Thank you for the suggestion, I’m going back to my book now.”
  2. If it’s an insistent Should, look at your day,week or month and put it down at a specific day and time.
  3. If it’s a repeating Should, ask where did that come from.  Do a little journaling to see if it fits in your life or is a ghost of the past.

Finally if all else fails, take a nap.  Let your subconscious deal with those little buggers.  It will calmly tell them to quiet down so you can rest.  When you wake up, you’ll find them much quieter if not gone.

How do you corral your Shoulds?  Love to know.

Dying To Be Me – A Lesson For All

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret.  It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.  What is essential is invisible to the eye.  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Whenever PBS has pledge month, I look forward to listening to Wayne Dyer.  Each show inspires me.  I love his guests.  Their stories always bring life to his words.

In his latest program Wishes Fulfilled, his guest is Anita Moorjani.  Her story is about her battle with cancer and the near death experience that changed her life.

I loved the way she spoke about her experience.  She was so loving and peaceful.  I wanted to read her book, Dying To Be Me to learn more.  I signed up for Hay House’s Book Nook and they sent me the book free and in return for a review.  I was happy to comply.

dying to be me

Anita begins the book talking about her life before cancer.  Like many of you, she talks about growing up never feeling as if she fit in.  This uneasiness turned into fear.  She wanted to do things “right,” but always felt out of place.

This fear spread to other areas in her life.  She began to fear cancer because she watched a friend wither away from it’s effects.  When she was diagnosed with cancer, she feared treatment.  On February 2, 2006, she let go of all her fears and died.

She details her near death experience with such clarity.  She describes how her awareness expanded in all directions.  She could connect with her father and friend who had died before, as well as, listen to what the doctors were saying.  She could sense when a nurse had given up on her and what her brother was thinking on the way to the hospital.

Here’s how she described her initial experience:

It didn’t feel as though I’d physically gone somewhere else – it was more as though I’d awakened…Love, joy, ecstasy and awe poured into me, through me and engulfed me.  I was swallowed up and enveloped in more love than I ever knew existed.  I felt more free and live than I ever had…The feeling of complete, pure, unconditional love was unlike anything I’d known before…I didn’t have to do anything to deserve it, nor did I need to prove myself to earn it.

In her choice to come back, she knew she would be healed.  Her message was to live her life fearlessly.  As I read those words, I attached my own definition to fearlessly.  I took it to mean of courageously or adventurously.

It wasn’t until Part 3 – What I Learned From My Experience that I fully understood the message.  Fear is something you create.  It doesn’t exist.  To live without fear means to live in joy.  It’s a simple message.  Let the fear go and replace it with joy.

I’ve already recommended this book to friends and family.  It’s message is pure.  Whether you’re dealing with illness, death or more importantly want to make shifts in your life, this book has something for you.  I know I’ll be reading it several times to absorb Anita’s lessons.

The quote from The Little Prince spoke to me about Anita.  Through her experience she now can see with her heart what is essential.  It’s something we can all learn.

 

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.

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.

The Sand and The Oyster

The Sand and The Oyster

photo credit: 9557815@N05 via flickr

The Sand and The Oyster

Once upon a time there was a tiny grain of sand looking for a place to rest.  It found the belly of his friend the oyster a perfect place to settle down.

The oyster didn’t like that a bit.  It itched.  The oyster tried to ask it to leave, but the little grain of sand was quite happy in it’s new home.

Being sly the oyster asked,  “What if I gave you a blanket?”

“Oh that would be nice.  You are such a gracious host,” said the oyster.

With that the oyster started covering the grain of sand with layer upon layer of  “blankets.”  Soon the little grain of sand was transformed into a beautiful pearl and the two lived harmoniously ever after.

The grains of sand in your life

Do you have grains of sand in your life?  Those little things that drive you crazy?

Maybe it’s the kids running around after school.  Maybe it’s living with your elderly parent (this is one of mine, I must confess).  Maybe it’s something at work.

What if you thought of those small irritants as pearls in the making?  The oyster had to change it’s perception of the little grain of sand.  Instead of thinking of it as an intruder, it welcomed it.  It made it comfortable and ultimately made himself comfortable as well.

I’m not recommending you coat your irritations with polyurethane.  Instead explore them.  Look at them in a different light.  When you do, you have the capability of transforming not only the irritant, but yourself in the process.

War Movies

One of my father’s favorite things to watch are war movies.  Up until a couple of years ago, I didn’t get it.  All the shooting, killing, yelling, stress.  Let’s just say it’s not my idea of spending a perfect two hours.

Then one day on vacation, I had a revelation.

My father was born in 1937.  He was only 4 years old when America went to war.  For the next 5 years, that’s was his world.

Think about the things that comfort you.  I’ll bet their origins were from the days when you were a small child.  Therefore, WWII was and probably is a comfort zone for my father.  He doesn’t see the killing going on.  He sees the heroes of his childhood playing their parts.

My father couldn’t serve in the military because of a medical condition.  He never experienced true warfare.  Therefore he watches the movies still as a child, not as an adult.  I’ll bet without even knowing it, he is reliving his childhood.

Now when he watches war movies, I have a bit more tolerance.  I understand where it’s coming from.  I understand why these movies mean something to my father.

The pearl is born. 

No longer are war movies an irritant.  I know I can watch something else when he wants to watch his movies.  I know they mean something different to him than to me.  I’ve accepted it.  Blessed it an moved on.  I’ve started to create a pearl.

What if the irritant is you?

Believe it or not, the irritant is always you.  You are the oyster.  It’s your smooth muscle that itches and aches.  The sand wasn’t bothering anyone on the beach.  It’s when it took up residence in the oyster that things changed.  The difference is you.

Sometimes, however, something that never bothered you before can become  irritant.  This is because you’ve changed in someway. You’ve changed your likes, habits, motivations, whatever and what was once comfortable, now has become an irritant.

What do you do?

The answer is still the same.  You need to look at it from a different perspective.  Bless it.  Move on.  The worse thing you can do is mull it over and over.  That creates more irritation, less relief.

Notice what seems to rub you the wrong way.  Then start to look at it from a different perspective.  Notice the changes in the irritation.  Beware of your brain wanting to rehash the situation.  Let that go and begin to look at things new.

Make this the year of creating beautiful pearls.

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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