SHIFTING INTO THE POWER AND VULNERABILITY OF "WE"
Happy 2015 and Happy Chinese New Year to you as well!
While I cannot claim to be an expert in Chinese traditions, I am always interested and excited to learn about the meaning of the Chinese new year. Luckily, my amazing assistant is also a Feng Shui specialist and a Chinese astrologer. She's helped me to understand just how powerful of a year is in store for us if we allow ourselves to dissolve beyond the walls of individuality that we've cherished into a consciousness of collective harmony. (Click HERE if you are curious about Feng Shui or Astrology.)
This year, the Year of the Sheep, serves as one of our teachers, bathing us in the essence of gentleness, peace and calm. The sheep energy calls us into the grace of harmony that exists among the collective whole and invites us to consider how we might evolve beyond our individual truth into the power and potential of togetherness.
Sheep travel in a herd. Aside from the lone "black sheep", we tend to see sheep huddled together, working collectively to graze, move, live, etc. Therefore, the sheep energy allows us to nurture one another and to tend to our home, family and community in a way we haven’t experienced in years. The past three years we lived in horse, snake and dragon energy. All of these signs are very individualistic, and were powerful, charged and growth oriented, catapulting us forward into the truth and expression of who we uniquely are. They were rooted in the masculine, yang life force energy.
This year, in contrast, brings with it a reminder that we need one other. What good is our individual power and expression if we cannot balance it with our need for vulnerability, tenderness and quiet intimacy? The sheep represents the profound, transformational power of the feminine, yin life force energy. It is a time to practice being receptive, to nurture and be nurtured, to be inclusive and trust the greater power of the whole.
This sounds quite kumbaya, doesn't it? All of us getting along, loving one another... it's like a Woodstock hippie revival or something. Well, let me tell it to you straight: I'm a transformational coach. EVERY single client and workshop participant that I've ever had was afraid of intimacy on some level. ALL of us are. Most people in our society shy away from the power of vulnerability, seeing it as something that needs to be protected, something that makes them susceptible to hurt or danger of some kind. The sheep is here to guide us into the power of surrender and trust, teaching us that vulnerability is simply a way of being open to deeper connection.
When was the last time you allowed your heart to break open and ask for support in front of someone else? When was the last time you allowed your voice to quiver as you shared how you really feel with your closest loved ones or friends? Have you allowed yourself to melt into the arms of another, not because you are wounded, but because you embody the capacity to receive the purity of their love? What would it be like to dissolve the walls of facade that you've so carefully built around your precious self? What would it be like to nurture the deepest parts of yourself in community with others? What if you allowed your community into your personal experience so deeply that it allowed you all to deepen a bond that was previously superficial? THIS is the power of the sheep.
Recently, I had an experience with my husband that allowed us to experience a deeper intimacy than we've possibly ever felt together before. In the midst of a minor argument, where each of us was defending our positions, I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and to share a substantial fear that I was facing in my life. In naming my fear and my experience without blame or judgement, I opened to the depths of my vulnerability and asked my husband, who may have been surprised by my outburst of tears, simply to hold me. In that moment, I chose to take the path of the sheep. I could have stayed closed off and defended, even in my vulnerability, feeling too stupid or foolish to ask to be held. I chose instead to drop into the power of "WE"; to lean on him and feel his partnership. He rose to the occasion so gracefully and held me in such a quiet power. A new, deeper trust emerged.
We are being called to dissolve. It is time to dissolve beyond the power of our individual truth and evolve into a new paradigm that is carried and supported by a larger whole. We are being called to TRUST. Trust, trust, trust. Trust in our partners, trust in our friends, trust in our loved ones, trust in our community, trust in humanity once again. The sheep invites us to fall back into the arms of the other and to watch in amazement as they actually catch us. What a stunningly magnificent balance to the part of us who knows how to handle it, who knows how to make it happen and rise to the occasion. In addition to our strength, we now get to experience our softness and our openness. In doing so, our softness and openness becomes our new strength.
So what does it look like for YOU to embrace the power of the sheep this year? How might you lean on your loved ones more to ask for help? What does it look like to open yourself to a new level of receiving - receiving love, kindness, abundance, blessings? How can you open your heart into vulnerability just a little more?
As we open to consider and trust the needs of the whole, we ironically nourish ourselves. Our interconnectedness will be our source of power, so it is a good time for partnering up with your cheerleaders - those people who hold you up and believe in you. If you are someone who likes to control everything and do everything yourself, or if you are a perfectionist, this year will serve as a huge growing edge and opportunity for you. It's your chance to learn to let go a little bit more, to allow others to participate and to surrender into being instead of doing.
I invite you to realize just how much actually has your back. Feel into your back right now as you allow yourself to rest on all that holds you and supports you in this life. All those people, the earth's gravity, the power of the Divine. It's all here holding you so you can relax back into it. Allow yourself to rest on the intervonnectivity that binds us together, the unified whole, a humanity based on love and light.
Here's to your open heart, your nourished self and the joy of feeling your abundant community. May you receive and receive and receive.
PS - I want to hear from you! How are you going to soften and open a bit more this year? What will be powerful for you in that? Please comment below and I'll respond! Happy new year!
The other morning I woke up earlier than usual. 6:35am. I'm blessed to have a large window in my kitchen that overlooks much of the San Francisco Bay Area. This video is what I arose to. Hands down the most magnificent sunrise I've ever seen. I stepped out onto the deck in my pajamas and sat there until the sun completed it's rise. There was a gentle fall breeze. I basked. And then it struck me... Heaven is on earth.
What would your life be like if you stepped out of bed early enough each morning, and the clouds, sun and wind were in perfect condition to give you momentary bliss? What if each day was like watching the best movie of your life? What if you were inspired, in awe and in passion every single day? This isn't out of your control. It's simply a matter of expanding your awareness and choosing the path of Heaven. Our media bombards us with news of killings, violence, distress and upheaval on a constant basis. We're trained to focus on what's not working in our world. What if I gave you a new set of glasses that showed you just how heavenly everything actually is? Would you dare to wear them? Would you share them with your friends? Would you trust that things are actually changing?
It's easier than you think. Here's how to experience your unique Heaven on Earth:
1. Practice Awe. The Garden of Eden is not a mundane place. It's the Garden of Eden! It's totally awe inspiring. To connect to it in daily life, you must start cultivating awe every single day. Slow yourself down, take a breath and soak in the utter amazingness around you. Nature's beauty is the easiest entry point. Notice the precision of the due drops on the morning grass. Let yourself be amazed by the ocean's waves crashing into the shore. Stop to appreciate the fragrance that comes from the roses in your neighbor's garden. Give thanks to the incredible meal on your plate. No more taking things for granted. There are incredible creations worthy of your wonderment all around you.
2. Trust the Greater forces of Life. Have you ever noticed that the sun rises EVERY morning? Every morning. Or that your body breathes for you all by itself without your having to do anything? What about the natural disasters that give growth to new foliage and restore the earth? You're not in charge of that. Something greater is. There are greater, divine forces at work that we rely on regularly. Heaven lands into our daily experience when we begin to partner with these forces. Trust that all of life is working in your favor. All of life is here to remind you that you have everything you need in this moment to feed yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Your life is a beautiful orchestration of events and opportunities that are designed to have you evolve and grow; to return to living as though Heaven is on earth. Begin to trust in the things that are beyond your control and notice how they gift both you and our world what it needs most at every moment.
3. Live in Reverence. What might shift for you if you approached yourself, your loved ones and even strangers with unwavering, loving respect and reverence? Not just a little bit, but full on. What if you saw yourself as a precious gift from the heavens, here to share your light with our world just by being you and experiencing your specific life? What if you regarded others in this way? How might you view your mother? Your boss? That homeless guy on the street? Heaven exists on earth when we regard ourselves and one another with reverence. Treat yourself as the pure gift that you are and notice what you see differently in your life.
4. Take Responsibility. While you cannot control the greater forces of life, you do play a major role in shaping your reality. What are you most passionate about? What gets you excited or moves you to tears of joy? Are you engaging with these things every single day? The experience of Heaven requires that we live in alignment with all that's true for us. It is your responsibility to shift the things in your life that aren't working for you and to own what is true for you deep down inside. By bringing your truth to the surface and infusing it into your daily life, you'll experience the passion, fulfillment, clarity, abundance, love and ease that you long for. This is the gateway to the Garden. The more precise you are with your alignment, i.e. the more you own, live and share what's true for you, the more you'll experience the heavenly bliss that's available for you.
** I want to hear from you! I want to stand for you! I want to live in Heaven on Earth with you! Please comment below and let me know: What would change in your life if you started to live as though heaven were on earth?
Here's to your unique, personal experience of heaven. I invite you to step into more awe, trust, reverence and responsibility so that you can truly know the passion, purpose, peace and utter joy that's waiting for you.
P.S.: Since December 2012, we have seen a shift in our consciousness and our humanity literally took a 180 degree turn back towards the "Garden of Eden". Quantum physicists and spiritual leaders alike are now offering proof that the highest dimension of divine consciousness is now embedded into the firmament of the earth's soil and crystals. This process has already begun and we are being invited into it. You can evolve yourself and our entire planet simply by practicing the four tricks listed above. Dare to allow heaven into your daily life. It will open you up to so much more than you expected and it will allow you to become even more of a light-bearer in our world. Here's to YOU!
What makes this sabbatical radical is not the length of time off, although a month is truly a delicious amount of space to reconnect and rejuvenate. The radical element comes into play because I've chosen to insert this radical pause smack dab into the middle of my very busy, successful, fulfilling life. It's radical because I'm being wildly intentional and devoted to my highest good. I can sense that there's something deep below for me to access that only has the chance to come forward by my complete honoring of self. I am committing to totally slowing down, and more so, I am committing to receive divine inner guidance by practicing true integrity and ultimate deep listening. Totally radical.
As I prepared myself for this pause, I realized two important things. First, I was aware of how infrequently we give ourselves permission to be utterly spacious. We are trained in our society to fill up every ounce of free time on our calendars and push forward. Or our fear stops us and feeds us the story that we can't afford to pause. These tendencies rob us of our ability to experience our true nature, to face what's here and to access the brilliance of our inner stillness. It truly is radical to choose the awakened response over the reaction; the stillness over the stimulation; the sabbatical as a doorway to the next phase of our life's work and offerings.
I invite you to really think about this. In my own career, society feeds me messages that the next step of growth or success is for me to host a tele-summit or start my own TV show. Go bigger! Become famous! It's a massive paradigm shift to choose to PAUSE in the face of these dangling carrots and listen instead to my inner knowing that reaffirms my truth. I know that my inspiration and brilliance emerges when I have the space to dance through life. I know that something deep within me is coming forward and that it will solidify in the sanctuary of my own quiet and nourished depths. There is massive richness in the quiet deliciousness of the radical pause. Feel it?
The second thing I became very clear on in the process of preparing for this sabbatical is that I don't want to be the only one who is radical. Why should I be the only one who benefits from this indulgence? What if we all embraced the energy of radical intention in the coming month? I asked my clients what they wanted to be radial about in July and I was blown away by their answers. One of them is committing to radical self love. Another has the intention of radial deep listening and gratitude. Another is choosing to be radically free through adventure in July. Wow! We don't need to take time off to fulfill our deepest desires. We can be radical about aligning with our dreams and our truth right now, in between everything else.
So I invite you to join in. What would your life look like if you focused your energy on radical rest? Or radical authenticity? What paradigm shift and liberation is possible for you when you embrace radical fulfillment - only engaging in those activities, jobs, foods and people that totally bring you alive? How can you better serve our world by practicing radical generosity or radical tenderness towards yourself? What is here to access that otherwise would be missed?
As I step out into the vastness of my deliciously amazing Radical Sabbatical, I invite you to join me. Well, you're not invited to come to Hawaii with me next week... but you are invited to evolve into this new paradigm of purity, integrity and full permission to radically put yourself first. This is what feeds our ripple effect and our ability to pay it forward full on. Yes: the ultimate form of service comes when we serve from a place of connection to our highest, most joyous selves; from our fullest capacity and over-flowing hearts. I truly hope you'll consider this and that you'll join me in living a radially authentic, nourished and liberated life this month... and way beyond!
I'm looking forward to sharing my insights with you in August. Until then...
BEYOND MY WILDEST EXPECTATIONS
I am thrilled and honored to announce that In Pursuit of the Divine reached bestseller status within the first 6 hours of being available for purchase on Amazon! It is now #1 status in the category of Self Help Happiness books. In alignment with my vision for each of us to live a limitless life, filled with purpose, power, freedom and joy, I’m offering my Limitless Life Guided Meditation as a free gift to everyone that purchases this book. This meditation is the perfect compliment to a book that is sure to blow your heart wide open!
It dawned on me as I was taking my pup out for an afternoon stroll a few moments ago just how incredible this book actually is. There is a major ripple effect here. You mean because I dared to share what I've been through - more vulnerably, authentically and courageously than I've done before.... some woman in Africa, in Holland, in New Zealand, in North Carolina might find it within herself to choose light over dark? Trust over fear? Personal power and will over choosing to remain shrunken and small?
This is how we do it you guys. This is what happens when each of us dare to really live our truth in the smallest and largest ways we know how. We do truly have the power to heal the world by healing ourselves. I'm totally struck by this. Sitting here at my computer, tears streaming down my face because I understand yet again, the importance of embodying our truths.
I invite you today to be yourself a little more than you were yesterday, to stand up for yourself, to acknowledge your beauty, to say NO, to strut your stuff and open your heart just a little bit more. This is how we do it. YOU have an impact on everyone around you, whether you're aware of it or not. You were put on this earth with a purpose of living as YOU, as divinely as you can. When you do that, it inspires the rest of us. This is our time. This is YOUR time. Amen to this little book called In Pursuit of the Divine. I’m totally honored and humbled to be a part of this incredible collaboration. Here is to the divine power within each of us!
Grab Your Copy & Free Gift HERE
MY NEW INSPIRATIONAL BOOK ANTHOLOGY BECOMES AVAILABLE ON AMAZON THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH!
In just 3 days, the book anthology that I co-authored, In Pursuit of the Divine, will be released on Amazon. I was invited to participate in this incredible, inspiring and impactful collaboration by my friend and the book's compiler, Krista Gustavson who asked that each of the book's 30 co-authors share our stories of empowerment and transformation more truthfully, vulnerably and courageously than ever before. The result is a collection of stories that is incredibly real, totally inspirational and packed with tools to empower women around the globe. This is our time. This is YOUR time. To be utterly and gloriously YOU and to shine your light fully for your sake, the sake of your loved ones and the sake of our world. This book will empower you to do so. Stay tuned for the Amazon link which will become available on Friday so that you can purchase the book for yourself and all the other women who are important to you!
The purpose of this book is to inspire and empower Women all over the world to reclaim their Feminine Power and align with who they are so they can fully express their deepest truth. Each co-author invites you to witness their own Transformational Journey, one that empowered them to be who they are today as the Feminine Rising. Each chapter reveals the truth, what they discovered on their path to cultivate healing within themselves. Each story reveals the beauty already inherent in each one of us, a unique journey where a time of darkness initiated deep feminine wisdom of spectacular threads woven together in a tapestry of courage, bravery, trust and triumph In Pursuit of the Divine.
MEET THE CO-AUTHORS!
I joined forces with 29 other healers, coaches, visionaries and thought leaders from around North America and the U.K.
Each co-author will touch your heart and speak to your soul, giving you greater awareness, clarity and inspiration. You will learn that losing yourself in the midst of pain, grief and loss can be a portal to strengthen and empower ourselves. I invite you to step into your own story so that your true purpose can be revealed. When we are completely aligned with our Purpose, we are the greatest contribution to the world.
Our Purpose is to inspire and empower Women all over the globe with our transformational stories. Every Woman has experienced some form of disempowerment in her life leaving behind traces of her pure essence; she then becomes hidden from the world. Our purpose is to expand your awareness, acknowledge you and provide a sanctuary to reclaim your own Feminine Power. Women now more than ever are being called upon to come together as a collective entity. With our unique offerings, we have a desire to support you and guide you in activating your own inner wisdom so you can align yourself with the greatest expression of who you are and know your purpose in the world.
WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MY CHAPTER TITLED "WHEN SPIRIT CALLED ME HOME".
TAPPING INTO DIVINE WISDOM
Is there a larger plan for each of us? How do we know where we are supposed to go and how will we get there? These existential questions are common on the path of searching for enlightenment and truth, especially when we find ourselves at an important cross roads.
A friend recently asked me: "How do I figure out what the Universe has planned for me?". Our ability to access the answer within may be more simple than you realize.
There are many theories around fate, destiny and the potential power we possess over our own lives. It can feel scary to ponder these unknowns and overwhelming to try to answer these questions in a concrete way. Regardless of our religion, upbringing or spiritual practice, each of us has the ability to sit with a question and to become open to receiving clarity or guidance in the form of an answer. The process of accessing such deeper wisdom begins with honoring the process of being in question in and of itself. So often in our society, people are looking for a quick solution. We want to get things done, feel accomplished and move onto the next thing. When a tough question comes our way that we don't have an immediate answer to or solution for, it can feel incredibly frustrating. I wonder however: what might it be like to simply let this question live in you? What begins to open up for you when you allow yourself to sit with the unknown? In coaching, we call this type of open-ended question an "inquiry". An inquiry is the type of question that you chew on for a while. It may have several layers to it and usually, simply by being with and exploring the question itself, an answer begins to emerge. I invite you to pause and sit still. Sit down next to this question of the path that is meant for you and notice what arises.
Here are some techniques that you can begin to use that will create a safe and courageous container for you to explore your deepest questions. These tools will allow you to be in conversation with the Universe. We are co-creative, meaning that we work in partnership with life, and therefore it's important to open up to life's wisdom and to learn how to commune with the forces way bigger than ourselves.
Tips For Accessing Divine Insight & Understanding:
1. Allow yourself to be in the question and in the process. Ironically, when it comes to the divine, the answer is often in the question itself. Notice the magic of your question. See if you can appreciate the question, the mystery and the unfolding of life such that the question becomes enough on it's own, without actually needing an immediate answer. Usually when we need to know something so badly, right away, we are acting from a mindset of fear instead of our true center. Because we are afraid of the unknown, of the Great Mystery that is life, we feel the need to attach to something concrete, and this usually comes in the form of needing to know the "plan", the route, the answer. What part of you is trying to control the outcome by needing an answer to an unknown in this moment? What becomes available for you as you let yourself honor the great mystery that is here for you to journey through? How can you practice non-attachment, surrender and vulnerability? Keep your existential question in your back pocket and take it out from time to time during the day. See how your circumstances inform you and how they relate to what you know inside and all that you don't.
2. Utilize your body's wisdom. Although we are each divine and are made of spirit, we come equipped with a living, breathing, tangible human body. Ironically, this body is our doorway to the divine. Begin to notice your body's signals. When is it comfortable and relaxed? When do you feel alive, vibrant, clear and connected to life itself? When do you feel shrunken, contracted, uncomfortable or in danger? Our bodies are wiser than we can ever hope to be. They are constantly speaking to us and when we can learn to decipher their messages and honor our body's guidance, then we instantly become connected to our intuition, our inner wisdom and the larger force field of life. As you bring forward your potential vision of your path, check in with your body. How does your body feel if you were to follow through on Potential Life Path "A"? What messages does your body send you if you imagine yourself following through on Potential Life Path "B"? Notice how your throat, belly, shoulders, legs and energy feel when you follow through on your gut instinct vs. when you choose to act out of fear. Notice how much wisdom is actually available to you there. The quickest way to become aligned with the larger divine forces or with the Universe itself, is to follow through on the divine wisdom inside of you. Your body will tell you when you are in sync with your intuition or not. Honor this guidance and watch yourself open to deeper and deeper awareness, clarity and connection.
3. Get clear on what you already know.
You know a lot more than you may think and you have more power than you realize, even if you aren't in charge of the divine mystery that is at work in the greater scheme. I don't know if there is a "plan" for us. I don't know if God, the Universe or our soul chooses on our behalf along the way. What I do know is that we are here to evolve and that we are here to help one another on this sacred path. Even if there is something larger at play, you are still at choice throughout the day. It is your divine birth right, and your responsibility, to take ownership of your life and your relationship to your circumstances. We are always at choice. So... what do you know? What are you clear on right now? What is your intention for your life and your legacy? This is yours to solidify and more importantly, to claim. We are not passive victims. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You get to co-create your life with the Universe by standing in integrity, being intentional, getting clear and living in alignment with your truth. Some questions you can ask to get clear: What is most important to me? What do I owe to myself and to my legacy? What do I long to create, experience and contribute in my life? If I took full responsibility for my life and my situation, what is the next step I would take? What do I want to feel at the end of my life and what will get me there? These are big questions in and of themselves. Take your time. Get quiet and get clear. You'll see the Universe back you up immediately!
4. Practice the art of prayer and deep listening. This is where it starts to get fun and this is where we truly begin to access not only the inherent knowing that exists within us, but also the divine wisdom that resides beyond. Begin by centering yourself. You may want to download my free Centering Meditation MP3 to help center and expand your energy. When we are centered and expansive, we can tune into ourselves more easily as well as more effortlessly access divine answers. From that space, simply ask. You may ask God, the Universe, whomever or whatever source you need to ask. Offer the question: What is the greater plan for me? What is the greatest path of highest good for me and everyone else involved? You may also want to offer the question of: What are my greatest lessons? What am I here to learn? What do I need to accept or take responsibility for? What is it time to let go of? I like the approach of humility within the sacred container of prayer and meditation. Imagine your questions rising up or coming out from within. And then sit. Simply sit in silence and be. Be open, be accepting, without attachment, and see what comes. You may want to say aloud (or quietly within) that you are open to accepting and receiving, or that you are open to answers and guidance. As you sit, really practice being open and unattached. Something may come or something may not. It's ok, don't get frustrated. Be open to answers coming in all times and forms - sounds, sights, feelings, senses, intuition, etc. Eventually, the answers and insights will come. I like to think of prayer and meditation or deep listening like the ebb and flow of the breath: In prayer, we exhale - we offer our question or our longing. In meditation we inhale - we open to receive the clarity, acceptance and guidance from beyond.
This blog is a sacred invitation to bask in the Great Mystery of all that is. It is an invitation for you to rise to your own occasion and claim your longing, your calling and your truth. Here's to the questions, to the clarity and to the divine unfolding of it all.
Hello beautiful ones!
Here we are, at the end of another phenomenal year. I find myself deeply grateful, reflective and hopeful for more growth and authentic fulfillment in 2014.
I found 2013 to be a great year of deepening my truth, expressing myself fully, leaning into more growing edges, evolving old fears, celebrating love, relishing in simple pleasures, community, family and learning to open my heart even wider. I have this little guy to thank for much of it. Meet my new puppy, Simi! He is outrageously cute and is teaching me so much. Here he is enjoying a zen moment on the beach in San Francisco.
As we wrap up the year, I invite you to reflect on the new territories you visited in 2013. How did you grow? What did you learn? What are you ready for next?
At the close of any cycle, it is important to make time for reflection, especially at the end of the year. Taking even 15 minutes for quiet space can provide the opportunity to tie up loose emotional ends, to realize how much you've actually accomplished, to feel complete within and to become clear on your vision for the coming year. You may want to go through old journals to see what your dreams were in January and to understand just how much you've transformed.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about 2013:
* What am I most proud of?
* In what ways did I grow the most?
* What moments proved my resiliency, courage and strength?
* What experiences lead to the most joy and fulfillment for me?
* What fears or old patterns did I move beyond?
* What is it time to leave behind so that I can be more of who I want to be in 2014?
* What is it time to forgive in myself and in others?
* What am I really clear on after this year that it's time for me to own?
My commitment to you is that I live and embody my own truth as courageously, vulnerably and joyously as I possibly can so that I can serve as an example and hopefully a source of inspiration for you to do the same in your own way.
Here's to an empowered, radiant and fully alive 2014! I have a bunch of new offerings in store to kick off the year including new radio interviews, a New Year Ritual, a workshop called "Sing Your Truth", new audio products, exciting classes and more. Stay tuned for more information coming soon!
Wishing you many blessings on your journey.
THE MAGIC IS HERE IF WE KNOW HOW TO OPEN UP TO IT...
As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S., there is a lot of talk about gratitude. Thanksgiving is a holiday of harvest and abundance; reminding us to bask in the gifts of our lives and to generously give to others. It’s easy to experience gratitude when we are on vacation, or on a mountain top (literal or figurative), out in nature, with the breeze in our hair and our daily responsibilities far from the forefront of our minds.
But what about experiencing gratitude in the middle of a Tuesday? Or during a process of loss or uncomfortable growth? Or on one of those days where everything just seems to be going wrong? How can we connect to the magic of life that is here for us at any given moment and how does it benefit us to do so?
The secret to instant gratitude lies in the present moment.
Let’s face it – most of the time our focus is on the past or the future. We become consumed thinking about how things could have occurred differently in the past or we loose ourselves worrying about how things might come together in the future. How often have you replayed a past experience over and over in your mind? Or how often does your to-do list lure you into daydreaming or wanting to be somewhere else?
Residing in the past or the future is disempowering because we are only truly at choice in this very present moment. Living in the present moment empowers us because we can seize each moment as an opportunity to be at choice – with our thoughts, words, decisions, actions, beliefs and vibration. It is the only place where we get to change our mind and course correct. It is the only place where we get to notice gratitude, where we get to take a risk, to open and share ourselves. The present moment is actually where we get to heal the past and where we can truly influence our future – how perfectly ironic. Therefore, giving most of our awareness and attention to this very moment allows us to shift and mold our lives.
This very moment is where our opportunity lies to become grateful. It is our doorway to awakening to everything and anything that exists right now, right here, for us, as a blessing. When we focus on what is working and we awaken to what is truly available for us NOW, then we can begin to align ourselves with our ultimate life and truth. This is where the real magic takes place.
So how do we actually become present and once we are, how do we truly feel grateful and believe it? Awakening to the blessings of the present moment is a practice that requires life long cultivation. Just like practicing to speak up, learning to consistently act out of integrity and self love, being present to life’s magic requires that we strengthen a new muscle and make it part of our natural, daily approach to life. I find it’s something I’ve worked on for years and I sense I will continue to cultivate this practice for the rest of my days.
Tips For Becoming Present:
1. Pause. Most of us function on auto-pilot throughout the day, running from one activity to the next, trying to cross everything off of the to do list. In this state, we are focused on what’s next. We completely skip over ourselves and miss the opportunity to experience the magic of our truth in any given moment. To get present throughout the day, simply pause. If you are walking, running errands, driving around, etc., simply stop what you are doing and press pause for a minute. In that minute, breathe and close your eyes. Tune in. Ask yourself: what do I feel right now? What is my experience of life right now? The words “right now” are your entry ticket to the present moment. There is no need to do anything about how you feel. Simply feel it, acknowledge it and become present to what your experience actually is.
2. Use your body. The body is an enormous asset when it comes to getting present. It is the number one doorway to this very moment. Wherever you are (paused or moving), ask yourself: how does my heart feel right now? How does my butt feel on the chair? What do I feel in my neck or back?
3. Breathe. Our breath is the most consistent miracle that exists for us at any time. When we are moving too quickly through life we forget to breathe. Allow yourself to sit still and simply focus on the ebb and flow of your breath. In and out. In and out. All you have to do in this very moment is breathe. That’s it really. Bring your awareness to your experience of the enriching inhale and the cleansing exhale. Try to keep your focus on your breath for up to 3 minutes instead of letting your mind wander. If your mind wanders simply catch it without judgment and return to your breath.
Once we learn to become present to ourselves and our experience of the moment, we can begin to truly cultivate gratitude. Here are some easy ways to do so:
Tips For Cultivating Gratitude:
1. Focus on the tiny things. It’s very easy to get stuck in “Stickin’ Thinking” when we are focusing on the big things, such as love or a new job, that we don’t yet have. The key to finding gratitude and cultivating abundance is to become grateful for all of the tiny little things that we normally take for granted. Ie: be grateful for your fingers and toes. Be grateful for your breath. Be grateful for your couch and the roof over your head. Be grateful for electricity. Be grateful for the person who held the door open for you earlier today. By acknowledging these tiny blessings, we suddenly begin to feel all of the miracles around us. There is indeed a lot to be grateful for.
2. Gratitude as a first thought. Before opening your eyes in the morning, train yourself to think of all that you are grateful for. You might be grateful for the cozy warmth of your bed, grateful for a full night’s rest, grateful for your family and the people you work with, grateful for the love of your pets, grateful for the delicious, nutritious breakfast you are about to consume, grateful for your connection to spirit, grateful for the fact that you get to take a hot shower. Having gratitude immediately upon rising will shift your energy and ultimately set the stage for generating more abundance and positive circumstances throughout your day.
3. Express your gratitude. Thinking carries it’s own vibration, but voicing our gratitude has an even greater impact. Throughout your day practice expressing your thanks to the postman, the grocery clerk, your neighbor, and most importantly your loved ones. Every year at Thanksgiving my whole family will go around the dinner table and we each get a chance to voice what we are grateful for. It is so wonderful just sitting in the energy of everyone’s gratitude. There is laughter, joy and sometimes, even tears. This open hearted sharing brings us closer together and connects us more deeply to our loved ones and the miracle of life.
4. Shift your energy with gratitude. Sometimes life will “derail” us. We have a plan, we have a dream or goal and somewhere along the way things don’t turn out as we expected (for more on this topic, you can read my blog about learning to let go of our attachment to expectation). When this happens, it can be incredibly frustrating, yet this is the precise opportunity to return to the present moment. Each experience is a blessing, a teacher, a gift. When we can become grateful, we can open up yet again to all that is going right. To do so, take a step back and begin to collect evidence for all of the positive aspects of your current situation. Really tap into the gratitude that you have for the people you met along your journey, the lessons you have learned and the new experiences you gathered. Notice how quickly your energy shifts by appreciating all the magic and gifts that are here for you NOW, even though things are different than you expect.
We are in the season of gratitude, the joyous time of year where we get to connect with our loved ones, have cozy gatherings and tune into ALL the abundance, wonderment and positive blessings that are here for us.
Are you ready to up level your life and maneuver through this holiday season from a place of power and grace? Becoming present and cultivating gratitude are your ticket to doing so. My invitation to you is to take time throughout your day to notice where you are, to feel your body’s signals and to indulge in a deep breath or two. In the moments that you are off course pause, breath and find three tiny things in your life that you can be grateful about. I invite you to share what those things are in the comments below!
I am deeply grateful to connect with you here and to share my inspiration and passion with you. I acknowledge you for taking the time to invest in yourself and I wish you a most joyous, vibrant and deeply meaningful holiday season!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.
When we can begin to honor what our true feelings are inside, then we open the door to an ocean of untapped potential, vitality, power and joy that is waiting to be unleashed and experienced within. What type of people do you truly long to spend time with? If money wasn’t an issue, how would you spend your waking hours and what would you contribute to our world? What activities, places and people naturally light you up at this time?
Identifying Energy Drainers & Energy Enhancers:
Before we can fully consider this, it’s important to define what an energy drainer is and what an energy enhancer is. Energy drainers are activities, people, thoughts, habits, environments, foods, etc. that DEPLETE you of energy or that feel draining to you. After engaging in an energy drainer, you may feel slightly down, you may feel tired or be second guessing yourself; you may be full of doubt or feel as though you need to go for a run or take a shower to “wash” the bad energy off of you. Energy enhancers are commitments, activities, people, thoughts, habits, environments, foods, meditations, etc. that ENHANCE your energy or make your feel more alive! After spending time with an energy enhancer, you will likely feel inspired, you may feel more light or stronger in your body, you may feel more awake and refreshed and you will believe in yourself and your dreams more whole heartedly. Energy enhancers restore our faith in ourselves and in life. They give us a sense of inner peace or add an extra hop to our step. You may find yourself smiling or singing after spending time with an energy enhancer.
To identify your energy drainers and enhancers, I recommend the following exercise:
Make two columns on a piece of paper. On the left hand side write down energy drainers and write down your energy enhancers on the right. Make a list right away of people, situations and things you know deplete you and those that you know energize you. Then, throughout the week notice: Did that food I just ate energize me or deplete me? Did that meeting I had with that person energize me or deplete me? Did that walk through the park energize me or deplete me? Really take a look at how you are feeling during each activity, interaction or choice that you engage in. Make sure to add to your lists throughout the week.
Follow The Energy!
Now, for the real challenge, practice following the energy! Follow those things that bring you alive and restore you. Be relentlessly committed to following through on the energy givers in your life and practice saying no to all that drains you. If it’s an energy drainer and it’s not aligned with your higher vibration and dreams, then don’t put your energy towards it. Preserving our energy for only things that bring us alive will ensure that we are living in alignment with our dreams.
Following the energy is similar to following your intuition, yet it’s more dialed in. It’s about really feeling into what brings you alive and following through on that even if you’re afraid. My invitation to you is to be deliberate about what you’re putting your energy towards in your life. This doesn’t mean letting go of responsibilities and not paying our bills because we don’t enjoy that task. Rather, this is about practicing discernment. This is about practicing self love and self respect. This is about honoring what you long for deep down inside and taking the risk to make it part of your life for real so that you can create a bridge that will take you from where you are now to where you wish to be.
The Thing That Stops Us Short:
Here’s the deal. We always know what’s best for us and what brings us the most joy and vitality. The problem is that we’re afraid to own it. We’re afraid to rock the boat, to offend someone, and most of all… we’re afraid that we’ll end up alone, broke or bored.
Yet living a life that is rich, full of energy, abundant and wildly fulfilling requires that we take risks. It requires that we follow the energy even if our knees are shaking and we are so stuck in our own drama of how it might be risky to do so. It’s your job and responsibility to be the pioneer of this new path in your life. You get to be the pioneer who follows the energy by coming out of invisibility, speaking your truth, following through on what you know is best for you and making resonant choices that bring you alive. We are building a new muscle here. It’s time to only say yes to all those things that bring you closer to your dream, that take you to the experience of life that you long for.
On A Personal Note:
As we shift into the winter months and near the holiday season, there can be a lot of pressure to stay busy, extroverted and outwardly focused. Personally, after a wonderfully prolific and successful 2013, I found that this fall, as the days shortened and the temperature dropped, I experienced a profound need to go inward. My desire to be quiet and internal was so strong that it actually surprised me. After putting so much energy out in the form of my life’s work this year (did you check out my awesome course ALIGNED or my transformational Reignite Your Radiance Retreat?) and enjoying thoroughly, I suddenly needed to restore my energy. Instead of the usual social activities, projects and group programs that typically invigorate me, I found that what energized me most was curling up on the couch with a good book and indulging in the occasional afternoon nap. I even took a 4-day personal retreat to some natural hot springs all by myself in October. On one level it felt risky to do this as I always want to provide great content for you and stay engaged with those of you who take my classes regularly. Yet I chose instead to trust that following the energy in my life would lead me to the right path. I know that these days my energy enhancers are coming in the form of yummy, home cooked meals, cozy nights on the couch, quiet walks alone and taking a break from holding space for others. I know that following this inward desire will lead me to yet another prolific, exciting and creative phase in my life that I’ll get to share with you. Following our true energy ALWAYS leads us to a healthy, loving, abundant and fulfilling place. Guaranteed.
My Invitation To You:
My invitation to you this season is to tune into yourself even more. Practice discernment and follow through on your energy enhancers. Honor yourself and what you truly long for. I promise it will lead you to the place you want to be… and if you’re lucky, it will take you even further… to the place beyond your wildest expectations.
Here’s to your energy!
Whatever we focus on becomes our life. This is especially important and noticeable during times of change. Are you manifesting what you desire by focusing on what's working or are you remaining stuck by focusing on all that is not going your way? In this video I share the Tale of Two Wolves to teach you how to focus on what's working so you can get maximum results in your life! View it on my YouTube Channel HERE.