Monday, October 1, 2018

What would you do?

I was picking my daughter up from Pre-K. 

We walked back to the car, and I heard screaming.  The type of absolute blood-curdling hysterics you hear in Horror flicks. I wasn't sure if it was someone playing, or seriously freaking out.

I look around and see a boy riding his bike with two dogs next to him.  At first glance, it looked like they were taking a nice ride together.  But the boy was screaming, "Stop! Stop! Please stop!" 

I processed what was happening as fast as I could, got my daugther in the car, and we drove up where I last saw the boy and two dogs.

There was a large parking lot attached to a Jewish Center, and I thought how lucky he and the dogs would be if they went in there... the road they were on was a main road leading to the highway. The dogs were small and fast and running erratically and could easily run out in the road and get hit by a car. 

I saw something white zip around the parking lot.  I pulled in and as I pulled up, I saw the boy sitting on the ground, and two women trying to herd the dogs in. The dogs were obviously upset, scared and in fight or flight. I searched the car for a kennel lead (leash) and walked over. I handed one of the women the lead and she looped one dog while the other woman tried to get the other dog.  The boy had been screaming asking for help, he couldn't hold them and was visibly exhausted (emotionally and physically). A woman helping asked me if the boy could use my phone to call his mom. I was about to walk back to my car to grab it when we heard him say, "Mom!" 

She was riding over, with a trailer attached to her bike. 

The mother attached leashes to the dogs, and they instantly became more comfortable and one of them even jumped up on my leg for some petting. She brought them over onto the trailer, and thanked us all. 

The boy looked completely defeated. Tears ran down his face. 

I said, "Are you ok?"

He looked at me and said, "Yes... are you okay?"

Imagine that? This boy that just went through absolute hell and fearing the worst of watching his two dogs die, asked me if I was OK.  

The situation was over. Although it only lasted a few moments, it had a profound impact on my day and mindframe. 

There ARE people willing to help. 
There ARE people that care. 

People COME TOGETHER in times of need without asking for anything in return, without even second guessing whether they should help or not.  

We ARE there for one another.

Maybe you were at work. Maybe you were home. Maybe you were at the store. Maybe you were someplace else, not at this place at this time. And maybe, you don't realize there are people out there willing to help YOU, that have giant hearts and compassionate spirits. Maybe that person is you. 

Just because we do not witness something does not mean it isnt happening right now in this very moment.  If you do not see it, does not mean it isn't real. 

Right now, someone is helping another person. Some one is lending a hand, a heart, a hug.... 

If we are not looking, we may miss all the beauty around us in each and every moment. All the beauty and love inside the people we share this planet with. 

Our focus dictates EVERYTHING.  What we focus on, we are brought validation for.  I have learned this lesson the hard way the last few months and have been getting messages and validation around it for days now.  The simple act of noticing the problems cropping up for me, ended up bringing me more problems to the point where I was not even surprised anymore when something "bad" happened.  But that attitude (always something, I am not even surprised by this) kept me in a cycle where bad got worse, and I was left totally empty. In so many ways. At this very low point, I realized... focus.  Focus is key. Focus is how the laws of the Universe work. 

If you think people are bad, you are never going to get to experience that heart-warming (albeit nerve-wracking) moment where people come together for another. Without question. Without hesitation. With nothing but love in their hearts. 

The world is NOT a bad place. 
People are NOT BAD.  

And there is evidence of this all over. In each moment.

Today, I want to honor and thank YOU for the beautiful person that you are. And your individual presence in the collective spirit of all things, weaving this gorgeous tapestry that makes up our beautiful world. 

xo
NAMASTE


Friday, October 20, 2017

I've got a personal question for you...

Good morning...

I had a personal question that I wanted to ask you...

I hope you don't mind. You don't have to answer to me directly, but take it as a deep inner reflection and carry it with you today.  Of course, if you feel compelled to share it with someone, more power to you.  But this is for you

What thoughts do you allow to haunt and harrass you? 

And why are you torturing yourself with your thoughts in the first place?

I received an email with some wisdom from the late Wayne Dyer (an excerpt taken from 10 Secrets for Success & Inner Peace) and it was a powerful reminder to take inventory of the thoughts we not only allow in, but the ones we attach to and continue to fan the flames.

He said, "Every single thought you have can be assessed in terms of whether it strengthens or weakens you. In fact, there’s a simple muscle test you can do to try out any thought that you’re having in the present moment. It works like this: Hold your arm out to your side, and have someone else attempt to push your arm down while you resist. Think of telling a lie, and notice how much weaker you are than if you think of a truth. This can be done for any thought that elicits an emotional reaction."

Do your thoughts empower you or weaken you?

Dyer continues, "In a book titled Power vs. Force, David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., elaborates on this method and provides a map of consciousness to show you how every thought computes to either weaken or strengthen you. Authentic wisdom is the ability to monitor yourself at all times to determine your relative state of weakness or strength, and to shift out of those thoughts that weaken you. In this way, you keep yourself in an upbeat, higher state of consciousness, and you prevent your thoughts from weakening every single organ of your body. When you use your mind to empower you, you’re appealing to that which uplifts and raises your spirits." 

I spent much of my adult life bombarded by thoughts, allowing them to take the steering wheel and drive me insane. In college, I would wait until last minute to work on projects or focus on class, put enormous pressure on myself, then crack and crumble under the weight of the impossible tasks I left for myself. Many times I wanted to "start over," by signing out and starting the semester over next round! This is a great irony as I was a natural-born Student. I love learning! And was always academically advanced in my younger years. As I graduated college (with honors, mind you) and moved onto the "real world," I would often participate in the same pattern of waiting until last minute then caving under pressure. I would have about one mini-meltdown a month (if I was lucky, if not more). I would feel unfit, not enough, overwhelmed and just plain old bad. I would cry, ask "why me?" and have a tantrum of sorts. I was not only believing my thoughts but allowing them to weaken me, big time.

This was all totally self-imposed, though I wasn't aware I had control over it at the time. Let's face it, none of us wants to feel bad. We just aren't aware we have a choice! Or that it's easier than we think to shift perception. Honestly, it can be done in a nanosecond but takes time and patience to become habit.

Byron Katie said, in her book "Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life," “A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” 

When I began a meditation practice (finally gave it a try after years of hearing about it and being nudged and guided to give it a whirl), I started to understand that we are not our thoughts. Meditation helps release stress from the body, quiet the mind, and teaches us to observe our thoughts with out judmgent or attachment. We slowly come to the understanding that thoughts are unlimited in supply, and we do not have to believe them, attach to them, judge them, hide from them, resist them or act on them. We don't really need to pay them any mind at all! We can just watch as they pass by, one by one, like clouds in the sky.  This art of non-attachment and neutral observation allows us to stay standing in our power, not become weakened by these illusionary bullies. Bullies we appoint!

In the email passage I received, Dyer continued, "Power urges you to live and perform at your own highest level, and it is compassionate. Force, on the other hand, involves movement. This is unlike power, which is a standing field that never moves against anything. Because force is in motion, it always creates a counter-force. That counter-force constantly consumes, and must be fed, energy. Rather than being compassionate, force is associated with judgment, competition, and controlling others. For example, in an athletic event, your thoughts are on overpowering your opponent, being better than another, and playing and winning at any cost. The entire muscular structure of your body is actually weakened, because thoughts of force weaken you.

On the other hand, if in the midst of an athletic event you can keep your thoughts on performing at your highest capacity, on using your inner strength to muster the energy to be as efficient as it’s possible for you to be, and to have great respect for your God-given abilities, you will actually be empowering yourself. A thought of force requires a counter-force, and a battle that weakens; while a thought of power strengthens you, since no counter-force is called into play to consume your energy. Power thoughts energize you, since they make no demands on you."

Energy flows where attention goes. Thoughts become things. These are both quotes you may have heard floating around.. and they're true. What we focus on ultimately determines our quality of life, and the stress we put on our bodies. Too much stress eventually becomes dis-ease and illness. Intangible things like thoughts can and do have physical effects and manifestations.

So, I'll ask you, again... why are you torturing yourself when you have a choice to remain unbridled?  Seems like a silly thing to do once we know we have a choice in the matter.

We came here to experience love and joy in its purest form. It's about time we ditched the old patterns that don't serve us, focus on what does, on what feels good, and stand in our own power and magnificence. You deserve to be happy. We all do. And it's so much easier than you may "think."

Today, when you feel uncomfortable or stressed by a thought, try just letting it be there. Relax the body, one muscle at a time, take a few deep breaths and see how you feel if you turn the thought around or just don't give it any weight. Do you believe that if you ignore the thought something bad will happen? It's just a thought! If it's important (or pesky) it will come back. You'll have ample opportunity to practice. There's nothing to lose, and so much (sanity and peace) to gain.

See your uncomfortable thoughts as neutral today, do not judge or resist or attach. Just observe the thoughts are there. And move on, shifting your focus onto something positive.  You can even try turning the thought around to make it something you are grateful for.

For example, "My house is a mess." Yes, it is a mess. This may be true. But... I'm so grateful that I have a house that can be messy. I have shelter, warmth and a place for my family to grow. The mess means we live in the house! We play, we sleep, we eat, we enjoy the space it provides. Perhaps you can even be grateful that your body allows you to clean the mess... you have limbs, energy and a capable body. It may feel strange at first, but this simple shift in focus moves you to a whole new vibration and frequency, and over time, will improve the quality of your life in a huge way.

Give it a try...Unless you want to remain stuck, imprisoned by your own thoughts! But, I don't think you do ;)

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” — William Shakespeare


“Bring yourself back into the pleasures of being human by slowing down and noticing the beauty that is surrounding you now.” Excerpt From Rise Sister Rise, Rebecca Campbell #risesisterrise #rebeccacampbell #beautyisallaroundus #lifeisbeautiful #slowdown #presence #gratitude #baskinitsglory #human #meditation #mindfulness #bethelove #quietthemind #enjoy #greatoutdoors #wednesdaywisdom

Friday, September 15, 2017

Starbucks Sign: Fall in Love. The Season is Here....

Fall in love... the season is here!

As I drove up to the local Starbucks, I noticed a sign they had written on a chalkboard. Though they meant fall in love with all of the delicious fall flavors available now, the saying struck me. 

There's always been something about Autumn that touched my heart, deep within. It always inspired me with a profound sense of appreciation, aliveness, and love. It has to be my favorite time... when the weather drops just a bit, the breeze is cool, the leaves change color and the intoxicating smell of bon fires fill the crisp night air. The colors are vibrant and beautiful, rich in character. You get to throw on your favorite hoodie or snuggle under a blanket. Enjoy hot drinks in awesome mugs. It's an enchanting time of year. 

When I read the sign at Starbucks, I thought, "yes...fall in love." 

Fall in love with yourself.

Fall in love with life.

Fall in love with every single breath you take.

You do not need to be married or in a relationship to fall in love.... You can be single and still fall in love every moment of everyday. 

There is so much to fall in love with.  Especially this time of year. 

Falling in love is simply realigning with the divine source that is already within you; the love and light. The spark of magnificence and the truth of all that you are.  Falling in love is a feeling that comes from within; we can manifest it in any moment we so choose. It does not need to be directed at a person. It can be directed at anything, anyone, everything and everyone... including ourselves. 

The feeling of ecstasy that comes with falling in love is the feeling of freedom, of being, of presence and mindfulness. It is our connection to the powerful and limitless energy that moves through us all, that moves through the universe and created worlds. An energy that is always there, always available. 

Embrace the process of falling in love. And do it over and over, again. Cherish it, hold onto it a bit longer than usual. Let it move through your body, ignite your passion and joy, and energize your mind and creativity. Bask in its radiance. Let it light you up. And be grateful. 

Yes, it sure is the Season....it's always the season. 

Let's fall in love. 
xo

Today's Card / Message of the Day: Separation is a call for help....

Today's card / message of the day: 


"Attack, pain, fear, judgment, and any form of separation are merely calls for help.” - the Universe Has Your Back cards (Gabbie Bernstein)

How true, how relevant, how powerful is this? 

If everything is either an “act of love” or a “cry for love,” such acts as attack, judgment or separation are merely cries for love, cries for help. 

Whether we are the victim or the perp, recognizing this truth is powerful and transformative. We can extend kindness, compassion and understanding towards ourselves and others. Be gentle; everyone is doing the very best they can in this moment with the available resources. This includes you

Understanding this very simple principle allows you to not get too attached to the external world, to realize that how someone treats you is most often not personal but a reflection of their own inner state.  Their pain, their separation, their suffering.

We are all in this together; let’s create unity where there is separation and extend love where there is pain.  To others, and to ourselves.


xo

#separation #selflove #extendlove #fearisanillusion #bethelove #gabbiebernstein #theuniversehasyourback #cardoftheday #livefulltoday #lovefulltoday #gentleness #acceptance #love #mindfulness 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Day 21 of Oprah & Deepak's meditation challenge [my destiny is joy] - too powerful not to share....

I participated in Oprah and Deepak's 21 day Meditation challenge

Today is Day 21.  The message was so powerful, so touching, I had to share it... 

Below is what Deepak had to say.

Try to take this to heart... as truth... and use it to guide your thoughts, words and actions.

Namaste, my friends.
xo

Deepak:

You know now that within you, you have all the tools you need to access your pure potential, to evolve your dreams into reality, and to live a life of extraordinary design. Now is the time to take your chance as you reach for the stars. It is your destiny.

Right now, imagine something that you have always wanted but perhaps thought impossible. That one idea that you keep tucked away, perhaps with such care that you may not have even dared to speak it out loud. Yet, you hold onto the dream because it resonates so deeply with you. Close your eyes and see it. Really see it.

Envision that you are living this dream right now. It is your life, no cutting corners, no holding back. Your deepest dream in motion. What is your life like? What do you feel? 

As humans, we have the remarkable ability to transform all we imagine into reality. Understand that if a deep desire lives in your heart, a dream that is part of your soul's fiber, a path exists to bring it to life. 

Abundance in all its forms is our birthright. We were born to enjoy every aspect of life. To experience every emotion. And to discover the seeds of potential that live within.

As you practice trusting that the Universe is always there to support you, I invite you to continue stepping into your greatest self to experience everything there is, to be confident in the knowledge of who you really are. A radiant spirit worthy of everything life has to give.

See yourself united with the unlimited potential dwelling within you, and everyone and everything that is part of the Universe. From this place of unlimited potential, give yourself permission to dream big. Tap into that vast reservoir of courage that is available to all as you move through and well beyond your comfort zone into the space of infinite joy, peace, and possibility.

As you embrace life with passion, seize each wonderful moment and make the most of each adventure. Be bold, rooted in the knowledge that you're as mighty as the Universe itself, full of love, joy and power. You are stardust; a bright golden light and all good things of this lifetime are indeed your divine destiny.

Consider this centering thought: My destiny is joy. My destiny is joy.

Throughout the day, envision yourself as the powerful being you are and think about our centering thought. My destiny is joy. My destiny is joy. My destiny is joy. Namaste.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The "How" = Paralysis [Step 1 to addressing this age-old Question]

I often notice themes in the thoughts, feelings and conversations of those around me and closest to me. The most recent theme that surfaced was what I like to call, "the How."

The How can lead to:

  1. Confusion
  2. Procrastination
  3. Analysis Paralysis
  4. Immobility
  5. Laziness
  6. Fear
  7. Avoidance
  8. Distraction-tactics
  9. Derailing
  10. Setbacks
  11. and the most dreaded.... nothingness. A total and complete halt and lack of movement. In other words, you stay stuck.

The How is the age-old question we ask when we want to change something.  We want something else, want to be something or somewhere different, we want to acquire or achieve something... "But, how?" We just don't know HOW to do it, get it, be it, or get there from HERE.

Here sucks... but how do I get out of "here?"

Let me share a story with you. I recently stumbled upon a note I had written someone about four years back. As I read it, I gasped in horror [insert gagging face here]. Someone had asked how I was doing, and I basically said: life sucks. In different words, of course, and in MANY words as I described ALL the ways my life sucked. From my point of view now, it sounded like I could find something negative in any situation. And I did just that. I went on and on about why my life sucked [cue: snoring]. I think the most alarming thing about this message I had written was that this was a story I had told for YEARS. And guess what? Because I kept telling the story, it kept it alive and real for me. The story kept feeding itself and recycling and my situation never changed but compounded to be MORE of what I was complaining about as the years passed.

Fast forward to 2017... with the story still playing actively in real life, I decided one day to make a new choice. I decided that I was going to stop being the victim in this horror flick and start shifting my perception so that I can not only receive more blessings but RECOGNIZE them as they came along.

This was a process. It's months later now and I am JUST beginning to fully embrace my life as it is and the challenges, and maintain a good attitude about it. Not just a good attitude, but GRATITUDE for what is, and what isn't.  What I complained about in 2013, I am grateful for today. Not an easy switch, but totally doable with practice and patience and commitment.

Here's the problem... 

So often we get stuck in the "how" that we live in LACK and keep repeating the same old stories. Our stories are our beliefs and become our reality. With our view so narrow, we can't even recognize the good things that come our way. We are too busy focused on what's going wrong. So blessing after blessing, lesson after lesson, are passing us by... and we are too busy whining and moaning to notice... never mind embrace them!

We wonder HOW can we get from A to Z? From here to there? Our options can feel limitless or limited. We don't know the answer and we become incredibly frustrated. Incredibly overwhelmed. And sometimes, hopeless. But here's a teeny, tiny secret wearing a giant red cape, coming to save you.... 

You don't have to DO anything or figure anything out to start changing your life. [insert applause here] 

The How is less about doing, and more about being. Being grateful, that is, and shifting your focus, attention and perception. That's it. Pretty simple stuff, kids. Not always so simply to implement and maintain, though, as you have to recondition your brain and programming. And ditch those stories (they really aren't serving you anyway). 

So, Step 1 in the How is to:

  1. Ditch the story.
  2. Re-focus your attention and energy.
  3. Practice gratitude daily.


Instead of complaining about your job, for example, find ways to appreciate your job and what it gives you. It provides income, learning, opportunity, social interaction... the list goes on, and it's your choice how to create that list. Another example... if you're complaining about how you always have to do the chores around the house, be grateful you have a house to do chores in. Be grateful you have an able body that allows you to do those chores. Shift your focus and perception off of what's missing or wrong, and onto what's right and how much you do have. 

Here's another secret: as long as you're breathing, there is more right with you than there is wrong (Cory Muscara).  With every breath you take, you have choice and power. And the fact that you're breathing indicates you're alive, and life is limitless. There is always something to be grateful for. 

So, here's how it works. The more you focus on the positive, the more positive things are brought to you. Period. And not only that, you are able to recognize and accept positive things in your life because that is now your focus. Thoughts become things (Mike Dooley); the more you focus on the good, the more good things are born and brought to you. If you're busy telling that age-old snooze story, you guessed it: you're going to continue living in the hamster wheel. The more you cling to your story, and play victim, the more it will continue to show up for you. And even if it doesn't, that's all you're going to see, anyway.... more story, more drama, more yuck.

So How do we change our lives? Step one..... change our minds. And watch life unfold before you... it doesn't seem like much, and you may say, "that's it?" [insert raised brow] but give it a try... gratitude with a shift in perception is a surefire way to turn a bad mood around, a day around, a week around, a month around, a year and ultimately..... a life. 

But, hey, you can sit there unsatisfied with this response and continue to ponder your "How" as you stay stagnant, stuck, bland and bored. Your choice!

I'm going to go with Gratitude ;)

Psst.... I am grateful for YOU, reading this. Keep your head up. You're going to get there.

(( to be continued...))


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Water Bottle "Challenge"....

I was driving back from the store last week, and was hit with a totally unexpected turn of events...

As I was driving, my water bottle fell over.  Yep. That's it... but what's interesting here is that this seemingly insignificant occurrence became an important message for me. And it came bearing not one, not two, but THREE lessons within it... 

When you stop laughing or shaking your head I'll continue............ (pause)

OK so, here's the story.  I was driving and I had the bottle standing up against my bag and the back of the passenger seat. It fell over.  I picked it up. As I refocused on the road, I noticed in my peripheral it had fallen, again. So I picked it back up. I moved it around, adjusted it some and carried on driving. As I approached a red light, I looked over and saw it fall...AGAIN. I laughed, and left it there. 

Now, here comes the important part... 

I could have easily gotten annoyed and my day could have taken a quick turn sour if I let this get to me or feed my "story." A story is something we play like a broken record and attach incidents to. For example, I could have said, "Seriously? Why does everything go wrong for me?" Admittedly this sounds silly BUT.... tell me how silly it is when you spill your coffee while you're driving and you're late to work. 

So, here is lesson numero uno, compliments of the water bottle: We cannot control the water bottle, aka LIFE. But we can absolutely choose how we respond to it. When we are hit with stimuli, it's our choice to feed our story, fuel our ego-fire, or take it as it comes and respond differently or more peacefully. I chose to see this very non-important occurrence as an opportunity for growth and learning. A water bottle falling over, seemingly meaningless, became a message for me to share. Through the "challenge" (the bottle not staying up) I was able to uncover a hidden gift. We can always choose to find healing, growth and lessons in challenges. That is our choice. And how we handle what comes to us, will dictate the quality of our moods... and our lives. 

Secondly, the water bottle became a symbol for the human existence. We will often hit a bump in the road, and fall down. The important part is that we get back up. And yes, we will fall, again. It's inevitable as we ride with the ebb and flow and life that we will go up and down and all around. We will stumble and fall, and that's OK. It's all part of life and expansion and learning our soul lessons. 

The third lesson I took away from this 30-second experience was that we are very much like the water bottle in the sense that, just because we fall, doesn't mean we lose our value. When the water bottle fell over, I didn't have to throw it out. It didn't lose its value. It's still water, it's still hydrating, it's still good for the body. It was not tainted in any way. When we "fail" or fall, we do not lose our value or worth as a person. We are not muddied, tainted, or ruined. We still remain intact, we are still priceless and beautiful souls in our human bodies. Falling is part of life; part of being human. What's inside does not in any way, shape, or form, get tarnished.  Falling and getting up makes us stronger, not weaker. Remember this when you're having a self-loathing, beat-up session after a stumble-and-fall. 

Yes, this can sound very silly from the outside... but any experience we encounter can become meaningful for us. And life holds valuable lessons and messages for us when we are willing to quiet the mind long enough to pay attention and receive them. 

So, to recap:

You are a water bottle.  Ha.  No, but yes... symbolically.

  1. We cannot control our environment but we can control our response.
  2. We will hit bumps in the road and fall, and that's OK. What's important is that we get back up. 
  3. Just because we fall, does NOT mean we lose our value or worth. Quite the opposite.
Take this with you as you journey through life and remember.... it may be a bumpy ride, but it's your ride and you get to choose how to view and experience it. 

Sending positive vibes your way! 
xo