Essential- Gratitude

It is amazing how gratitude changed my life.  Of course there are other outstanding principles by which to lead a fuller and more pleasing life, however gratitude does it for me.  Gratitude is the center that leads me in the right direction within any situation.

 

Breathe:

I did some reflecting on the ways that gratitude has expanded my reality, and here is what I learned.

Gratitude makes you slow down.  This is not a big leap of course, but it is worth saying again.  Some of my biggest sources of discontentment have been from failing to slow down and enjoy the present moment.  I often wonder how many missed opportunities have driven right past me because I was in a rush to get somewhere that I probably didn’t even want to be.  I firmly believe that if we were to all listen to that voice that tells us to slow down, we would find all of the happiness that we desire.  We would live within the only thing that we truly have, which is the moment that we are in.

Gratitude saves you money.  So again, I have gone through some difficult times over the past few months that have caused me to review and redefine my relationship with money.   Through reading several books, I realize that money has a vibration that has to be honored.  Saying that I need money even though I have loose bills and change laying everywhere does not honor the money that I do have.  When I had this revelation, I grabbed an empty water jug and wrote all sorts of nice words on it and gathered all of my loose change.  Once I was done depositing change I probably had about a quarter of a jug full.  After that, I organized my checking and savings account and made a 6-month financial goal plan.  Now that I am learning to be grateful for the money that I have, money seems to seek me out personally.  Just like all other living things, money wants to be appreciated and loved.

 

Gratitude increases your creativity.  The other day, someone gave me a box of goods out of the blue, and I was very thankful.  There was only one item that I did not know what to do with, but I did not want to waste it, so I just saved it and kept it in mind.  I figured that eventually I would give it to someone who could use it.  A few days went by and I was working on one of my many projects.  There was something missing from the project but I didn’t know exactly what.  I ended up using the item that was given to me in the box of goods a few days earlier and created something new and exciting.  It makes sense that we should  look a little closer at the things that we would consider throwing away out of mere convenience or disinterest.  These could be the things that would change our lives for the better if only we would slow down and look a little closer.

Gratitude helps you set positive intentions.  Gratitude and intentions are like peanut butter and jelly.  You could have them separately, but together they make an unforgettable duo!  Gratitude comes with rewards that you just do not want to lose.  It is a good feeling to live in abundance of love, wealth and good health.  Setting positive intentions helps you to pay reverence to gratitude; it is a way of saying “I acknowledge your gift and I will honor your gift with thoughtful and meaningful actions.

 

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful that I have learned the benefits of gratitude.  Without constant and deliberate gratitude, I had a habit of being wasteful with energy, with time, with love and with money.  Gratitude allows me to evaluate and appreciate what I have.  It shows up in my life all of the time; I realize that I don’t need that shirt because I just bought the exact same shirt 2 days ago.  I can save the financial cost and the energy expenditure by being grateful for the shirt I already have.  I don’t have to wait for someone else to love me because I am grateful for all of the love that I have inside of me that I share with others.  I am grateful that everything that I need truly does live inside me, and that I have had the good fortune of going to find those things for myself.

Love:

I love to write about being thankful.  Whenever I am down, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for.  I realize that there are thousands of people who would take my problems in a heartbeat and turn them into a masterpiece.  I love what the past year has taught me and I am excited about starting 2019 with the tool that will get me everywhere that I need to go- Gratitude!

Namaste.

Advertisements

Essential- Justice

Pursuing justice while walking a spiritual path has  always been a bit of a challenge for me.  I believe in being kind to others and walking away from conflicts as often as possible, sometimes to a fault.  Recently however, I received spiritual guidance through meditation that clarified the role that justice plays in spirituality.

pexels-photo-531970

The clarity that I received through meditation  is that we are all connected.  Prior to this revelation, I had the tendency to look at things only from my perspective.  I was the one being wronged or mistreated and everyone else were the jerks inflicting unnecessary pain and suffering upon me.   It finally occurred to me that perhaps the people involved in an uncomfortable situation all have something to learn from each other.  There are no coincidences; the people involved in a turbulent situation all need to be there with each other for individual and collective spiritual growth.

 

Breathe:

My most recent personal experience with injustice involved a business transaction with a major bank.  Being treated unfairly at the hands of a multi-billion dollar financial institution caused me to reflect on some deeply seeded societal perceptions of my personal worth as a human. Make no mistake,  I consider myself a blessed and fortunate woman.  My wealth is reflected in the love that I receive from my children, family and friends; it is reflected in the “thank you” messages that I receive from those whom I have helped.  My wealth is reflected in my good health and my ability to use my talents and gifts in a multitude of ways.  My wealth is reflected in my spiritual connection.  These manifestations of wealth cannot be taken from me because they are derived from my internal power.   I nurture, cultivate and protect my internal power because the world needs my gifts and talents, and I want to give my best to humanity and to the universe.

I consider financial wealth an external power because people can take away your money, so whenever I feel attacked in this area, I am a cross between a lion and a lamb.  A lion because you are quite frankly messing with my money.  You are messing with my ability to maintain my life and to develop my creativity (and don’t get me started with my kids- have you heard of mama bear people?).  A lamb because I just want to return to the peaceful and harmonious land of internal happiness.  I just want to have the financial freedom to write and create and travel and be happy.  Is that too much to ask?

Justice is defined as the quality of being fair and reasonable; these are things that everyone is entitled to from earthly arrival to earthly departure.  When justice is not delivered, there is a feeling of depletion and degradation.  Is it just for a single person living a modest life to have their secured funds held for two weeks on the whim of a financial giant?  Is it just that the people who work at the branch level of the financial institution be caught in the crosshairs of human tears and unjust policies?  It is time that we think of others as individuals and not as social security numbers or credit scores; we are not being just with one another when we sum each other up within the first 2 minutes of meeting based on superficial averages and statistical data.

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful that my eyes were opened to the need to pursue justice.  Spiritually, we are all connected.  There are lessons for each of us to learn from one another and from every human encounter.  Although the bank employee involved did something that he thought  was the right thing, it ended up hurting me emotionally and financially.  I am not angry with him; in fact I feel deep sympathy for him.  I know what it is like to be caught in the middle.  Although he could completely see my point of view, he still has to remain loyal to the rules and regulations of the institution that employs him.  My intentions to seek  justice may or may not have an impact on his life, but it is not up to me to distribute or monitor his life lessons.  Before realizing that we are all connected, I would have wanted to let the whole thing go as to not harm this gentleman, but how could I know for sure that it would not harm him?  What if this whole thing leads him to something better, be it a better understanding of how the banking system works or even a better job?

I am grateful that I am spiritually supported enough to stand up for what is right.  I am grateful that I was able to calmly and articulately explain my side of the injustice, because it may help others in the future.  It may change a policy; it may keep another single mother from facing financial depletion and emotional despair.  I am grateful that we are all connected and that we will all learn what we need to learn.

Love:

In the end, the internal powers (love, gratitude, compassion) are the real winners.   The big financial institution continues to exert it’s external power by holding my property and funds.  Internal power (love) however found a way to sustain me.

Just as saying no can be an external power in order to gain or maintain control of a situation, saying no can also be an internal power.  Operating from spirituality often means seeing the bigger picture and walking away from things that are trivial, but sometimes it means standing up for what is right.  On the one hand, I could sit and wait quietly for my money for two weeks while meditating, talking to birds and reading inspirational memes until my eyes bleed.  On the other hand, I can stand up for what is right; I can use my intellect to research my options and implement a fair plan, then meditate, talk to birds and read inspirational memes until my eyes bleed.  I choose the latter.  Justice and spirituality can walk hand in hand peacefully and without harming others.

Love is not always warm and fuzzy.  Sometimes love has to make us aware of what needs to be corrected.  It hurts in the short-term.  I know because I was also a part of this injustice; I had to learn something from this as well.  Actually, love has been correcting me for months now and I am okay with that.  The more you are corrected, the less it hurts.  Although I am more comfortable with the love that ends with hugs and well-wishes, I am also okay with the love that has rough edges and spikes.  It all works itself out.  Namaste.

Essential- Trial and Error

The stress of the holidays is slowly passing, but there are lessons to take away from this and every holiday season. The pressure of getting the right gift, inviting the right mix of people to our parties, wearing the perfect outfit and cooking an amazing meal is heightened around Christmas. I often wonder why we fall for the same script every year. Recently I heard a story of someone who spends almost 50 thousand dollars a year just in Christmas lights because that is how they have always done it in their family. Everyone is entitled to whatever makes them happy, but this person says that it was extremely stressful for them, but they could not break the Christmas tradition.

 

pexels-photo-716658

Maybe we want things to be different this year, so we create the Holiday of our dreams in our imaginations (trial). Everything is glorious; we imagine ourselves happily moving through the holiday season in a way that makes sense to us. There is no sitting in holiday traffic or waiting in long lines and no over-spending, just family and friends enjoying the special feeling that the holiday brings. It occurred to me today that the problem lies with the possible “error”. We want to make it to the beautiful imagery of a stress-free holiday without suffering a possible loss along the way. Maybe the loss (error) would be something as heinous as disappointing a family member or a friend or even appearing to be less than perfect. The tricky part is to figure out if the error is really a bad thing. Maybe being less than perfect is actually good.

 
Breathe:
Due to unforeseen circumstances (and possibly lack of long-term preparation on my part), I gave a lot less gifts this year. I was not in the position to overspend or overcommit. I prepared my children in advance for less unwrapping this year. A funny thing happened– they survived. The trial and error ended with the manifestation of the beautiful imagery of Christmas that I had in mind many years ago. The difference? The trial was not optional; otherwise this may have been another year of wishful thinking with no real plan to make any substantial changes.
I told my children months ago to write down 4 things that they wanted for Christmas but only to expect two of those things under the tree. They were instructed to prioritize their lists and given a date to have the lists submitted to me so that I could forward the lists to Santa. They thought diligently about what they really wanted and gave me their little lists before the due dates. There were no fits pitched and no attempted negotiations; they knew what to do and they did it without any complaints. For a 6 and 8 year old, I was pretty impressed at their maturity in understanding the situation and the rules and abiding by them accordingly.

 
Pay Gratitude:
I am grateful that the little ones were both happy on Christmas Day. They got the things that they asked for and were extremely happy with their gifts which actually held their interests for more than 5 minutes. I am grateful that instead of sitting in traffic or waiting in long lines, we made meals together and in-between their fighting, we also danced and laughed and sang.
I am grateful for the trial. The balance of life is crucial to happiness. In the past I found myself attempting to make up for lack of time for my kids with materials. They did not buy it. Of course they were temporarily happy for having a new toy, but eventually they still wanted me to play with them and the toy. This Christmas, there was balance. Interestingly, the balance between time and materials spilled over into other areas. There was also a greater balance between indulgence and exercise, between activity and rest and between laughing and crying (I mean, it’s still the holidays). This year, there was much less waste from boxes and wrapping paper and a great reduction in thrown-away food. We even had time to organize and carry out a community service project.


Love:
I love that this year, I got a little closer to doing it right. I love that it is December 26th and I still have my sanity. Namaste.

Essential- Facing Fears

I once liked a guy.  I could not tell if he liked me in the same way, so I asked him.  He did not.

pexels-photo-14303

Breathe:

Before I asked the guy, I was fearful.  I spent countless hours attempting to untangle the mixed signals that went on between us.  I overthought it of course, as was my tendency.  One day on social media, I saw a post that said something to the effect of “if you want to know, just ask”, so I did.  It was not the answer that I was hoping for of course.  Indeed there were tears and what’s wrong with me type shenanigans for a few hours, but there was also immediate freedom.  I had faced my fear and survived.  Who knew.

Most of the time, fear is just a big bully.  It over-exaggerates itself to keep us intimidated and huddled in the dark corners of it’s imaginary shadow.  Once I faced my fear and survived, I realized it was not that big and bad, so I moved on to other things that I had been avoiding because of fear.  What about the guy that did like me, the one I kept on the hook because I was afraid that no one else would ever want me?  I released him with love and light.  I would no longer allow fear to stand in the way of his happiness or mine.  I was learning how fear worked, how it could steal months, years or even lifetimes of happiness all because of it’s exaggerated posture in society.  We had it all figured out in grade school:  do you like me?  Yes or No- check the box.  It was just that simple.   Make your decision and move along.

Adulthood can cause us to play games and wear masks that are no longer fun and innocent; they can be hurtful.  Often times when I view adults with an intuitive eye, I can see them at a much younger age.  It reminds me that we are all evolved from childhood; somewhere along the way we got a big shove into this adult reality whether we were ready or not.  Sometimes we came carrying duffle bags full of fear…am I smart enough?  Am I good enough to even try?  What happens if I fail?  What if no one likes me?

 

 

Pay gratitude:

I am so grateful that the guy told me the truth.  I have the deepest respect for his honesty.  In hindsight, I can see that this entire interaction was a major player in my spiritual evolution.  We communicated and behaved with maturity.  Of course it was a bit uncomfortable, but we both honored ourselves and our feelings.  He did not play games or pour sugar all over the situation; he did not take advantage of my vulnerability.  He was kind and honest.   For this, I am eternally grateful.

This human interaction taught me that in most cases, fear is completely overrated.  Of course you do have your alone with a bear in the woods moments where a healthy dose of fear is warranted.  In your typical everyday should I say hi moments, fear is basically being an asshole.  Of course you should walk over and say hi- you’re a human speaking to another human- it is not as serious as fear makes it out to be.  Should you start the business you have always wanted?  Of course you should!  Once you have your vision, start working on the small pieces that it takes to get started.  There is victory in each of those small moving pieces.  Every time that you make a step forward, you are stepping out of the shadow of fear and rendering it weaker and weaker until finally it is gone.  Write the book, submit the screenplay, ask the guy out.  If it doesn’t work out the first time or even if it doesn’t work out the way you wanted it to at all, you conquered fear.  You faced it head-on and realized that you are greater.  Fear cannot create so it tries to suck the life out of your creations.  Don’t fall for it.

black-and-white-sport-fight-boxer

 

Love:

I send love and light to everyone who is walking away from situations that once held them in fearfulness.  It takes courage to step out of the sidelines and into the arena of your own life.

To say that I have it all figured out would be complete non-sense.  There are days when I have no clue what I am doing or if I am doing any of  it right.  In those moments, I proceed with love; with self-love and with love for others.  We are all vulnerable because we are all human.  Love neutralizes fear and allows us to go on with our lives.

Love wins.

pexels-photo-220068

 

 

 

Essential-The Reset Button

 

Recently I wrote about the flood of creativity that has thankfully come my way.  In hindsight, I have always been involved in something creative; I’ve been involved in  furniture restoration, crafts and singing just to name a few.

The thing that is different this time is that I asked the Universe to align my creativity with my true life purpose.  I asked, and I received a wealth of creative options, all of which spoke to me in some way.  That’s the beautiful thing about the Universe…it provides you the answers without taking away your free will.  Of course the Universe knows what you really want, but it gives you the opportunity to explore your creativity and to ensure that you truly want what you have asked for.  It’s almost like one of those exams that you take in high-school, you get all stressed out about it and then find out that the grade does not  even count.  The importance is in the exploration of the topic, not in the final grade.

pexels-photo-542556

 

Breathe:

I am amazed at how things have come full-circle.  My true purpose and wish for my life is coming into fruition.  I feel it with certainty; it’s a feeling similar to when family is coming to town for the holidays.  You invited them so here they come.  I went on an adventure with my creativity; I explored all of my options, I wrote novels full of ideas and countless goal boards and vision boards.  It was an amazing experience and I learned so much.  The Universe even revealed a new gift to me that I did not even know I had; I am eternally thankful for how this gift has and will continue to enhance my ability to help others.

So much of what I have learned is coming with me on the next phase of my journey, but I also had to relinquish some of my ideas to the future.  It is as if I received an “all circuits are busy” message and I had no choice but to push the reset button.

pexels-photo-236171

Pay Gratitude:

I am grateful for the clarity that I receive during my meditations.  I prefer to accomplish all of the goals that I set, but the Universe gave me a clear message this morning that completing every single goal that I have set was not the challenge.  The challenge was to become mindful and to reengage in the excitement of life.  The message was “Only those who are striving towards something great have to push the reset button.”  I am grateful that the reset button is a sign of growth and maturity.  In order to achieve greatness, there first must be focus and clarity.  Knowing when to push reset requires trust and commitment to your truest life purpose.

I am grateful to have discovered the invaluable tool that is my purpose.  When things seem to become complicated; whenever I feel lost or overwhelmed, I refer to my life purpose.  Like a compass, my purpose will always point me in the right direction; it will always lead me home.  No matter how thick and treacherous the forest becomes, the compass remains faithful.  It is a true friend.

pexels-photo-207962

Love:

I love my new path, because now I am empowered to live my life on my own terms.  I do not compromise my purpose.  I always know how to reach my power source because it is located within me.  I am confident and free because of the consistency the Universe provides.  When I am living the values of my purpose, I feel infinitely supported.  I have everything that I need and abundance to share with others.

I love sharing this message with anyone who will listen because it saved my life.   I am no longer just getting by; I am thriving and excited about my life and my future.  I love that I am not perfect; imperfection allows me to dig deeper into the practice of unconditional love.  It allows me to look for new and innovative ways to create harmony and peace with others.  I love that the holidays do not stress me out because I have everything that I need on the inside.  I love that giving is greater than receiving.  I love that creativity is celebrated and rewarded in immeasurable ways when you live your true purpose.

Namaste!

 

Essential-Accountability

Since starting this Essential Her Blog, my life has changed drastically.  I came to realize that I am not the only person who felt alone and disconnected because of the busyness of daily life.  My creativity was non-existent and I did not know the purpose of living.  Little did I know at the time that were so many other women out there like me.

pexels-photo-288583

Breathe:

The Bible says to be faithful over a few things in order to become a ruler over many.  My group currently has two members outside of myself, and I am extremely faithful to them.  I look for more and more ways to be faithful to them and to be better and more consistent.  I am constantly bombarding them with ideas and sharing insights, probably to the point of nauseum.  I do this because those two women are me.

I realize now that the details are what count the most.  What if I had waited until I was at my ideal “full capacity” before starting this group?  I would have missed out on weeks or even months of life changing events that have already occurred between the three of us.  We have encouraged each other so much over the past few weeks; we have held each other accountable not only to our goals, but to the small steps that need to be taken to achieve each goal.  We share book ideas and inspirational videos.  We have each delved deeper into our individual aspirations.  I have even published my workbook that was created specifically for this group, which feels amazing.

Pay Gratitude:

Gratitude has become my life.  The more that I am thankful for, the more the Universe gives me to be thankful for.  It may sound super sugary, but I don’t really mind.  I am grateful for gratitude.  It has changed my life.  Not many people realize the depths of the hard times that I have endured recently because I simply chose to focus on what is going right.  Like everyone else, I am a work in progress; I don’t always get it all right.  But when I get it wrong, I acknowledge it, ask for forgiveness, forgive myself and proceed with love.  Being grateful does not make all of your problems go away, it just makes you thankful for what is going your way.  Gratitude holds me accountable to the things that matter most.  Love, happiness, kindness, compassion and creativity just to name a few.

pexels-photo-424517

 

Love:

I want to again say I love you to the members of Essential Her- The Sisterhood Experience.  We have worked hard to identify our self-limiting beliefs and to make plans to overcome them.  As we all move into the next phase of accountability, I love that you have trusted me to lead this mission.  I also love that you have held me accountable- I never want to let you down so I work hard, except it doesn’t really feel like work.  It feels like sisterhood, like love and commitment to our advancements.  It feels like dedication to ourselves, our families and our communities.  I love you.  Namaste.

Essential-Making My Bed

I have a confession:  I never , ever used to make my bed!  In fact, my bed was always an absolute mess.  I never really cared about it,  until I started to care about it.  I now realize that my bed was a direct reflection of my life: chaotic, overwhelming and in need of clarity.

Breathe:

The more I reflect on my journey, the more I realize that there were so many signs that I was about to crash and burn.  My messy bed was one of those signs. A seemingly insignificant morning chore of making my bed has helped me to realize how important it is to be consistent.  Every morning now for about the past 2-3 months, I honor the place where I rest by straightening the sheets and smoothing out the blanket and fluffing the pillows.  It is a time for me to reflect on my blessing of having a warm and comfortable bed with clean linen.  This quick 1-2 minute endeavor helps me to reflect on my previous night’s rest and to think about the joys of the day ahead.

Pay gratitude:

I am grateful that this  simple morning chore has led me to be more consistent in other areas of my life.  Once the bed is made, then follows conditioning my home with the aroma of essential oils, which helps me to breathe deeply and focus.  Once the oils are going, it is time for some music to penetrate the atmosphere and raise everyone’s vibe.  Once the vibe is raised, breakfast and coffee are made and then everything seems to flow like the ocean (for the most part).

Before, when the bed was messy, there was yelling, frustration, tears, lost homework and missing gloves.  I could never keep up with my keys or phone and invariably had to go back into the house 10 times before I could leave for work.  My children were consistently 5 or 6 minutes late for school, and I am almost sure that they felt defeated before their day even got started.  I know this because that is exactly how I felt- like a defeated, subpar parent who never knew what was going on.

It is so amazing to me that one little positive shift can have such a big impact.  I love the results that being consistent has given me- I am better able to write out and reach my daily goals, my children have displayed better self-governance and self-control and we have all experienced greater creativity individually and collectively.  Of course there are days when things do not go as planned, but making the bed each morning assures that we get off to the best start possible.  Who knew!

Love:

Consistency is another word for love; it requires selfless dedication and commitment.  I have found that since I have made daily self-love non-negotiable, I am consistently reliable to myself and to my family.  I have made room to give and receive love by setting boundaries for myself.  Chaos (messy bed) and love (neat bed) are not friends; they are enemies and just cannot get along.  Chaos is confusion, pain and insecurity, whereas love is consistent and compassionate.  Love yourself enough to make your bed every morning.  Namaste.