This is the most HONEST blog I’ve written to date. I’m putting my truth out on the table in an act of radical self love. Here you go...
Happy Valentines Day! To all of you who are in love and those of you who crave love, I wish you a happy day of honoring how love can show up even more in your life. In recent years I’ve begun to consider Valentine’s Day the day of practicing more Self Love. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be having a special evening with my honey tonight and I’m very grateful for that. But I’m also clear that I wouldn’t have gotten to this point of dinner and music with my husband if it wasn’t for self love.
As the Universe would have it, I'm being given yet another opportunity to practice profound self love these days. After getting married and going through what felt like a major spiritual portal of self growth and evolution a few months ago, I became ready to birth my life’s work. Truly. I’ve had a few ideas and dreams brewing in me for close to a decade now and I am finally ready to share them with the world. (Ironically, I needed to go through some major dark times and undergo a process of intense physical healing and restructuring of my life to become ready). The birthing of my dream is coming in the form of ALIGNED, a revolutionary 7-week transformational program that begins on April 3rd. You’ll be hearing all about it in the coming weeks :-). This is the culmination of everything I’ve been through, all that I’ve learned and integrated, as well as how I coach my clients towards living their ultimate lives. I really believe in this work and stand fully behind this process. It's how I live.
WHAT'S SELF LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
I became ready to offer these teachings because I love myself enough to commit to being the person I wanted to become. That person is living the dream that has been brewing in my belly. That person is humbly and courageously offering her own teachings based on her experience of walking the path of truth and reaping it's rewards. That person knows that all she can really do is walk her own path fully and by doing so can model the option to others of doing the same for themselves. I OWE it to myself to birth this dream of ALIGNED and the other offerings I'll be sharing this year. I can’t not do it anymore and in doing so I have to practice Self Love more radically than I ever have before. The old me who used to cut corners and step over her intuition and body occasionally is not the woman leading these courses. The old me who was an amazing film and photo producer because she handled every detail, burned the midnight oil and put others first is not the woman who models embodied truth by honoring the pace of her spirit and surrendering to what she cannot control. The old me who over scheduled herself and remained in her head instead of living and loving from her body is not the woman who will balance career, partnership and family rooted in simple pleasures and generous love. The continued fruition of my dream depends on me loving myself enough to gently put down another layer of my old skin yet again and become again and again who I'm meant to be.
WHO IS THE NEW YOU THAT YOU'RE BECOMING?
When I work with my clients on who they are becoming, we often give a name to the new them. This allows them to really identify and personify the charicteristics of their future self. Luckily for me, I’ll naturally be changing my name this year since I recently became married. My new name is Rony Reingold, which so wonderfully means “Pure Gold”. I’ve seized this as my opportunity to really slide into the skin of the me I am becoming. I am Rony Reingold and it's been very fun to define exactly what that means for me. It creates a new land to live in and an opportunity to step fully into my highest self.
So who are you becoming? And if you’re not sure of that yet, who do want to be? Who is that person within you that you owe it to yourself to become? How do they live their life? How do they dress? What car do they drive? What music do they listen to or do they choose instead to sit in silence? What is their body like when they sit at the computer? What is their relationship with food like? What is their relationship with themselves , their children and their soul mate like? How do they respond to situations that trigger them or situations that fulfill them? What brings them ALIVE?
THE RAW TRUTH: A DANCE BETWEEN OLD AND NEW
When my husband catches me in my old mode of being driven and over-extended, he calls me "The Producer". It's kind of a joke, but more of a gentle reminder to check myself and remember my new definition of what it means to produce and create from within. There’s no room for my old ways if I’m going to truly fulfill this dream and embody Rony Reingold and all she means to me. The new me produces and creates, in fact it brings me alive, but I do so from the center of the goddess within me; of the humble teacher and the person who fully and joyously dances down my own path of empowered self actualization for the sake of personal evolution and inspiring others.
I’ll be honest with you, there are days when I get consumed by the old anxious and controlling producer in me – she lures me into working late, getting disconnected from my body and stretching myself thin. This is my deepest self sabotaging pattern and at times it feels that the new me and the old me are engaged in quite an arm wrestle, each trying to prevail! However as I’ve experienced through evolving beyond other patterns in my transformational journey, when we practice radical Self Love, slowly but surely the new way prevails – in a peaceful and effortless, simple kind of a way. It’s beautiful. And I know that I’m already here. The new me embodies such a deep love of self that when I catch myself in an old way I simply stop and take a breath. I put my hand on my heart, I go for a walk outside, I sing or do a yoga posture to get back into my body. I ask for a hug. Within minutes or sometimes hours, I’m back to embodying Rony Reingold. It feels incredible. This is the path. This is the work. This is what it means to Embody our Truth.
ARE YOU IN?
When we have a dream on the line, we can’t afford not to step up and love ourselves radically. We just can’t. So... what do you OWE to yourself? What is the dream that it’s time to get back in touch with and who do you need to be to make that dream a reality?
Ultimately, the question I'm asking you is: Are You IN? Are you willing to jump into the land of BEING the You You Are Becoming right now? Are you willing to check yourself and bring awareness to yourself when you get stuck in your old ways? Are you willing to take responsibility for those moments when you take things personally and act like a victim, when you react instead of respond, when you feel defeated but know you must continue? Are you willing to gently and simply catch it and choose the new way instead? What will open up for you if you begin to retrain yourself in this way?
I can tell you from my own experience and from the growth I see in my clients that a whole new world of peace, empowerment, connection, freedom, joy and purpose is available to you if you’re willing to start truly LOVING yourself. When you put yourself first and fuel your tanks, speak honestly, take risks in honor of being fulfilled and allow yourself to be seen I guarantee you SO much will open up for you.
You may be afraid to love yourself this radically out of fear that you’ll be deemed selfish, you’ll have to leave your job or you’ll end up alone. If this is how you feel than I invite you to check the story you are telling yourself in your head – most likely there’s a nice, sneaky Saboteur here for you. It’s natural for our saboteurs to show up when we start practicing self love because it threatens their way of being. It threatens the life of the small, shrunken, fearful, accommodating, burnt-out old way. Of course your saboteurs will put up a fit to get your attention when you're about to grow and love yourself majorly. But you’re at choice. You can get sucked into that propoganda in your head or you can simply practice having awareness in the moment and choosing yet again your new way. You can be the you you are becoming.
GO FOR IT!
I cannot wait for April 3rd to come around! It will be the deepest and most profound expression of my truth thus far and I am giddy with excitement to share it all with you. I’ll be teaching you the exact step by step process that I put myself through to walk through the portal of physical, emotional and spiritual transformation. I’ll be sharing with you how I found my truth and what I had to do to reorganize my life to align with it, leading me to my soul mate, my dream career, a healing body and lovely home. It’s the same process I take my clients through and I’m blown away by the inner peace, clarity, deepening of heart, power and spirit that they are experiencing.
As you go about this Valentine’s Day, I invite you to practice more Self LOVE today than you’ve ever practiced before. Become the witness of your own experience and practice catching yourself in the old pattern and shifting into the You You Are Becoming instead. Start to notice the difference in behavior, habits, patterns and response to life in general between the old or current you and the you you are becoming. How does your future self show up in conversation? Is he/she generative and constructive or reactive and small? How would the new you handle this situation? What does the new you want for lunch?
I’m here with you, standing for you, stretching myself as you stretch yourself beyond what you’ve known thus far and into unknown lands of gloriously rich and fulfilling new territory! Your pool of Self Love awaits you. Ready to jump IN?
I am a big fan of clarifying one's vision at the start of any new cycle and the new year is a powerful time to get clear, intentional and empowered. In doing so, most people make a list of New Year's resolutions, focusing predominantly on what they want to accomplish during the year. While this is helpful towards achieving one's goals, most often New Year's resolutions loose their relevance and excitement by March, falling flat. In this video, learn why New Year's resolutions don't work and learn how to engage in a beautiful, invigorating, meaningful and powerful intention setting ritual that will connect you to your purpose, power and joy as you manifest easily in 2013! I welcome your comments below - feel free to share your intentions for the year!
SEEING LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF 'THANKS'
And so again, Thanksgiving is upon us. The holiday in which we are reminded to give thanks as we celebrate time with family and the abundance of the fall harvest. Honestly though, gratitude becomes so cliche around Thanksgiving that it is almost easy to breeze right over it. We focus on having a big meal, on travel and on holiday shopping. Or, we are grateful for a day or two and then go back to normal. What would it be like to always see life through the lens of 'thanks'?
In my personal world, I have an enormous amount to be grateful for at this time. I just got married 10 days ago! Woo hoo!! It was the most thrilling, authentic and celebratory experience I've ever had and I can honestly say that I am over the moon happy. It's easy for me to look at life with grateful eyes right now. But what about those times when it's not easy? What about when life gives us lemons? What does it mean to possess an "Attitude of Gratitude" and how do we cultivate that?
THE HOBBLING BRIDE
Two weeks before my wedding I sprained my ankle. In a clumsy, frenetic moment in which I was running around scattered, I tripped and injured myself. I couldn't believe it. A sprained ankle before the wedding?! How was I going to dance or to walk down the aisle? What about the fabulous heels that I bought for the occasion? After a short lived solitary pity party in which I came to terms with the disappointment of adjusting to unexpected circumstances, I realized that a gift had been placed in my lap. Ironically, the thing I wanted most was to be well rested and grounded before my wedding weekend. The Universe delivered. Despite the pain and the frustration of hobbling around during one of the most important weeks of my life, I was given the chance to slow down. I slept a ton, caught up on my emails and actually enjoyed reading a book before my wedding. And thanks to my sprained ankle, I ended up wearing cowboy boots under my wedding dress, which is the most fun thing I've done in a while! It put me in the most festive mood! Most importantly, I truly began to see everything through a lens of gratitude. I leaned on gratitude and it came through for me, shifting my focus to the truly important things, showing me how much love exists around me whether I'm in heels or in my pajamas. I became grateful for my body that has the power to heal itself. I became grateful for my legs, my arms, my breath, my toes and for the strength and generosity of the people around me. It connected me to grace and spirit during a very special time in my life. That is the power of gratitude.
Possessing an Attitude of Gratitude means looking at the glass half full and focusing on all that is going well for you regardless of the current circumstances. It means seeing the gift in everything. During the week of my honeymoon, my extended family members in Israel experienced the frightening reality of being surrounded by political unrest - literally running into bomb shelters to protect themselves and their children. Who am I to complain? There is way too much to be grateful for. We take the basics for granted.
FOUR EASY TIPS
Cultivating gratitude is actually quite easy. It can be done within a matter of seconds, any time, any place. All it requires is having your focus on it. Like with anything in life, what we focus on becomes our reality. Here are a few of my favorite ways to open to gratitude and look at life through the eyes of 'thanks':
1. Wake Up Grateful. Before getting out of bed, mentally list 5-10 things you are grateful for. I recommend starting small and taking nothing for granted - be grateful that you have a bed, be grateful for your cozy comforter, be grateful to your body that breaths on it's own while you sleep, be grateful for the morning sun, etc.
2. Start A Gratitude Journal. At the end of each day list 10 things that you are grateful for in your life. Simply by taking note of this, actually writing it down every day, your whole life can change. Be grateful for the person who held the door open for you, be grateful for the smile from the stranger, be grateful that your pen still has ink in it, be grateful for your children's curiosity.
3. Be Grateful For What Is To Come. It is incredibly rewarding and uplifting to be grateful for all that is coming our way. Yes, having gratitude for those things that haven't happened yet! This is especially powerful when we are feeling down or sorry for ourselves with regard to a certain situation. For example, being grateful for your soul mate who is making their way towards you at this very moment can turn loneliness into excited anticipation and hope. Being grateful for the unknown possibilities and surprises of the coming year can turn year-end gloom into wonderment, spontaneity and possibility. All that is coming our way is a gift. It's easy to forget this. Think of how grateful you are for the friends you have in your life now whom you didn't yet know ten years ago. Imagine all of the wonderful people you will know and love in a few years from now!
4. See The Gift In Everything. Yes, everything. See the gift in your health crisis. See the gift in your relationship crisis. What are these things awakening you to? What blessings and opportunities are being divinely handed to you? Sometimes it is our most challenging interpersonal relationships that establish the playing field for personal growth by teaching us surrender, forgiveness, authenticity, compassion and empowerment. Aren't you a better, more grounded and loving person because of this? Haven't these dynamics helped you in other areas of your life? See the gift in your loss. Even grief can present the opportunity to relish in the precious moments that were had with another. There is always opportunity to see the blessing and to be grateful for what you've had and currently have. Magic is all around.
ONE MORE TIME
I was recently exposed to a very simple gospel song titled "One More Time". The lyrics are "One more time. One more time. He's allowed us to come together one more time". Regardless of whether you believe in God or if God is male, female, etc., the message within these lyrics is clear: be grateful that we've been given yet another opportunity to come together again at this time. It's miraculous and special and beautiful that life has worked out such that we can share in this experience together right now. Be grateful.
So I invite you to be grateful this holiday season. Be grateful for the people around you at the table. Be grateful for the food that nourishes your body and brings you together. Be grateful that you have a home and a table to sit at. Be grateful that you have money to spend while you are amongst the overwhelming holiday crowds. Be grateful that you have legs to carry you through the stores. Be grateful that you have people to give gifts to and people to receive love from. Be grateful that you can breath in the fresh holiday air one more time. Practice looking at life through the lens of "Thanks". I'll bet you'll be thankful you did.
I'd like to extend a huge THANK YOU to my amazing coaching clients, group and workshop participants, my readers and Facebook followers. I am in awe of your willingness to show up and evolve yourselves daily. It is a true honor and joy to be on the path with you. Thank you to my phenomenal community of friends and colleagues who provide connection, inspiration, laughs, support and truth as I express myself and my purpose fully in this life. Thank you to my beautifully loving family and to my newly extended family who cheer me on and provide a sense of home, foundation and love. And most of all, thank you, thank you, thank you to my most special husband, who is the rest bed to my heart, the perfect companion to my soul and the most illuminated mirror of love in my life. It is a blessing to walk the path in partnership with you.
Wishing all of you and your loved ones a most joyous, illuminated and nourishing holiday season!
Happy, happy Thanksgiving!
AWAKEN TO YOUR TRUTH
On August 13th, I was interviewed by spiritual friend and radio host Jeff Daugherty of NC Kaballah radio. Hundreds of people tuned in to join the conversation and learn how simply BEING YOURSELF is one of the most potent doorways to accessing the divine.
In this juicy hour long show I share the following:
* How to identify what has meaning to you
* How to get in touch with and realize your dreams.
* Tips and small steps to easily bring spirituality into your daily life.
* How the right brain can be used to bring your dreams alive.
* The critical connection between nutrition and spirituality.
Here's what people have said about the show:
"Folks, this is one lady that GETS IT. She is the one you have been looking for to help you get to the next level." - Jeff Daughterty
"Amazing talk last night. It's insane how many of your messages have been completely in line with has been going on in my life. Thank you for the reminders. Look forward to reading/listening to more." - N.M.
"That was great! I listened to the whole thing and it really touched me because I have been feeling out of alignment lately. Thanks so much!" - M.P.
To listen to the FREE Replay, visit here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nckabbalah/2012/08/14/nckfriends
I'd love to hear your comments and questions after you've heard the show! Feel free to share below. For more information on Jeff Daughterty visit his website HERE. To read my personal story of awakening and how the Embodied Truth Coaching Program can change your life click HERE.
Thanks for tuning in!
Although dreaming big, leaping and risking big are all required to seize your dreams and make them real, the choices we make throughout the day-to-day are the ones that keep us on track, intentional and ultimately allow us to integrate transformation over time. Watch my latest YouTube video to learn how you can shift your day and ultimately your life in just two minutes! I welcome your comments below!
LEARNING TO LET GO OF HOW WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE
Oh expectation. Like our favorite item on the highest shelf of the cupboard that we simply cannot reach, you tease us and beckon us to loose ourselves before you.
We have all had the experience of being disappointed because of not having our expectations met. It can show up simply or it can consume us. Attachment to expectation is a powerful force that can potentially pull us completely out of center, out of being grateful and present in the moment. It has the power to put our Saboteurs in the drivers seat, to create strife and adversely affect our relationships and opportunities for growth.
Think of a time when you went to see a movie that everyone raved about. Because you expected to be thoroughly entertained, you ended up being let down. As compared to other times when you didn't even know what the movie was about and you ended up loving it. While being let down by a movie is a simple example, it demonstrates how casually we get sucked into the pattern of expecting things to be a certain way. The disappointment from unmet expectations around larger experiences in life can feel devastating and be potentially destructive. This tends to be particularly relevant for most people when they develop expectations regarding major life events such as birthdays, marriage, having children, a new job or relationship, etc. Sometimes it's just not what we thought it would be.
A PERSONAL CONFESSION & LEARNING
Recently, as some of you may know, I got engaged. There was some build up to the anticipated event in the months leading up to the proposal and I admit that I began to develop oddly specific expectations of how I thought the big question would get asked. In fact, as I reflect back on the occasion, I unknowingly came into it with a life time of expectation - years of societally influenced dreams and hopes of how my Beloved would one day propose to me in the most overly romantic and perfect way. I also came into it with a pesky, unfamiliar pressure to have a sensational engagement story to share with friends and really society at large. You can hear the Saboteur in this already, the drama and illusion of perfection and the pressure to be over the top. Of course nothing in life is exactly how we expect it to be and most things are not "perfect". Indeed, as the Universe would have it, my phenomenal fiance proposed in a most beautiful way that truly represented who we both are.... And, it was quite different than the elaborate and inauthentic vision of perfection that I envisioned of how I thought it would go. Admittedly, I had to practice self management during the event so that I could appreciate all of his efforts and see the gifts in front of me instead of attaching to an idea that I had conjured up in my head. In being honest with my phenomenal fiance about it later, we both had great learning around letting go of expectations and releasing parts of ourselves that no longer serve us. We also were able to name what is truly important to us and therefore able to appreciate that in one another even more.
Thank goodness that he proposed the way that he did! He captured the true essence and spirit of our relationship wonderfully and in a way that was beautifully authentic. Had my detailed fantasy expectation been played out, we would have missed out on the authentic little moments that represent our relationship. My expectation was unrealistic and not truly aligned with who I am becoming or who I want to be in my relationship.
Key Learning: More often than not, our expectations are unrealistic and while they point to our hopes and dreams, when we attach to them or require them to become reality, then they will turn on us and keep us contracted and small. How then do we balance dreams and fears? How do we decipher that which is really important and that which we should insist on, from those things we can let go of for the sake of our learning?
LOOK FOR UNDERLYING CORE VALUES
The answer lies in identifying our core values. Ultimately, high expectations are a sign that we long for something; that we have vision, hopes and dreams or that something is very important to us. If we are really contracted around our expectations, then they are a signal that something important to us is being overlooked or stepped over. Attachment to expectation can inform us of our core values if we allow ourselves to look beneath the surface. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you catch yourself in the grips of high expectations:
1. What is truly important about this to me?
2. What am I looking for the final outcome to provide me with?
3. What value(s) of mine if any are being stepped on here?
4. What values or parts of myself do I need to honor?
By getting clear on what you're actually after at the end of the day, it will help you open up to accept it in various forms. You can then begin to see it everywhere - beyond just in the way or place that you thought it would be. This is the Universe's magic. When we let go of what we want the most, then the Universe showers us with the very thing we wanted in the first place.
WHAT WE RESIST PERSISTS: HOLD ONTO ESSENCE, LET GO OF FORM
It is our great lesson as a people to remember our true nature and to evolve based on what is in front of us at this present moment. On the path of personal development and spiritual awakening, we are being called to dance in THIS very moment and to see everything as an opportunity for transcendence and evolution. When we hang on tight to our expectations then we miss the opportunity for dynamic change and growth. Resisting this change creates frustration, anger, resentment, self pity, stress and illness as what we resist only persists. There is a difference between envisioning our dreams and clinging to what we think it is supposed to look like. One is open, free, full of possibility and the other is closed, particular and insistent.
Therefore, we must learn to let go of WHAT we think it should look and instead, remain connected to how we intend the experience to FEEL. This is about letting go of the form something takes and choosing instead to connect to the essence of it; the underlying intention. In the example of my engagement, after fumbling around in the land of expectation for a short while, I was able to let go of the physical details I expected and instead appreciate the underlying effort, love and joy being expressed to me. That allowed me to relish in the entire experience and recognize the enormity of blessings in my life that I was being invited to receive. It didn't matter anymore what form it took, where we went, what we did, etc. because everything was a reflection of effort, love and joy. Feel the difference?
Begin practicing finding the underlying essence in your daily life. Let go of what you think it should look like (the form) and instead choose to recognize the essence of what is before you. Is the person in front of you expressing love even if they say it differently than you would? Are you experiencing fulfillment in your work even though this job is different than what you thought would make you happy? Does your body feel relaxed and peaceful despite the situation being different than what you thought would bring you peace? Start to tune in.
BECOMING OPEN & ACCEPTING THE FED-EX PACKAGE
By letting go of expectation we become OPEN. The funny thing is that we flatter ourselves thinking that our imagination is going to yield the best possible dream. How foolish! The Universe gives us blessings that are WAY more amazing than what we could ever imagine. This doesn't mean to stop dreaming or to not live intentionally. The opposite. This means live on purpose. Get super clear on what is most important to you, stick to that and let go of the rest. Let go of what it is supposed to look like.
I joke with my girlfriends that my Beloved showed up in a package that I didn't expect. His age, features, job, etc. were different than the image of my life parter that I always expected in my mind. For a long time, I innocently overlooked that fact that he was the one for me. It was like the Universe was handing me a golden Fed-Ex package and I kept insisting that they delivered to the wrong address. The more time we spent together during our courtship however, the more I could FEEL in my body and soul that I was at home with him. When I let go of how I thought it should be and instead allowed the joy of what was actually happening in the present moment, then it was like a light bulb went off and we recognized each other as soul mates.
The truth is that we cannot control what anything will be like. All we can do is set intention and do the important inner work to become very clear on our values and priorities. We can choose to act in alignment with our values and express our authentic truth. The rest is for us to release into the wind. The rest is for us to co-create with the Universe, like two teammates who create life together. We do our part and then we hand the rest over to a force larger than ourselves to provide the greatest lessons, blessings and opportunities for self actualization, connection and awakening.
I invite you to identify and release one expectation that you're currently attaching to that you know is holding you back. Get clear on the values and priorities that lie underneath it and then set it and yourself free. By doing so you'll be proving to yourself just how much you trust yourself and life in general; and you'll be opening to receive life's true gifts.
Happy releasing! Please share your comments below - I'd love to hear what opens up for you around this!
WE ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN SAVE OURSELVES.
Inevitably on the path of transformation and self-actualization, there comes a moment when we feel as though we are totally alone. We long for someone to fix us, to tell us what we need to do, to share "the" secret with us and yet somehow that doesn't seem to fix things.
While this may feel like an excruciatingly lonely or frustrating time, it is actually one of the most magical, special moments on the path to awakening to your true self. For this is the moment when you get to be completely and utterly with yourself. You have the gift, the opportunity and the choice as to whether or not you will keep walking forward with yourself and ultimately develop a deeper relationship with your true self. It is critical to have support on the path - from community, teachers, healers, coaches, friends and family (biological or otherwise). And yet, none of those people can save us. We are the only ones who can truly save ourselves. We are the ones who get to choose if we will love ourselves and practice self compassion as we let ourselves emerge or if we will reside in a mindset of despair, frustration and defeat. We are the ones who decide if we will rise up from the ashes and ask for help and if we will keep moving towards our dreams when help does not arrive.
I invite you to see this moment as the biggest gift the Universe has ever given you. Seize it as your opportunity to take a stand for yourself and to commit to doing what ever it takes to actualize who you truly are in this life. I promise you that as soon as you accept that you are on this journey by yourself and for yourself, that things will shift. The right support systems and cheer leaders will emerge. The fog will begin to clear and your path to deep fulfillment, purpose, joy and authentic self expression will become illuminated step by step.
You are a perfect human being who is creative, resourceful and whole in your most natural state and at this very moment. Trust the whisper inside you. Trust your abilities. Trust that as you keep evolving you will experience the great abundance, love and magic of this world more and more. Below is one of my favorite poems by the great poet Mary Oliver. I am inspired to share it with you so that it may support you in moving forward on YOUR path no matter what.
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save.
~ Mary Oliver ~
"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life."
- Eckhart Tolle
The other day I was talking to a woman on the phone who expressed her longing to make some art. We had an entire conversation about the things she could create and how much she craved it, however when I asked her when she would do it she said: "Oh, I'm too busy with paperwork and obligations at home, I don't have the time. I have to find the time for it."
I was struck by two things. First, that she longed to engage in her creative side but wasn't making it a priority. And second, that she believed she had to find the time instead of understanding that it was her responsibility to make the time for the things she loves.
We've all done this to some extent before. I'll go running this weekend - tonight I need to finish this pile of paperwork. I'll go on vacation later in the year after my big project is complete. I'll go shopping for new clothes once I loose the ten pounds. I'll make time in my schedule for romance when I find the right person. I'll quit the corporate world to follow my dream after I make a little more money. I'll eat lunch after I finish these emails.
A COMMON OVERSIGHT
This is very common. The problem is that this is a passive approach to life. It assumes that things just happen to us or will happen if they're meant to be. It overlooks the fact that we create our own reality. I see this all the time with people and I'm guilty of forgetting this important responsibility myself at times. I talk to people on a regular basis who approach me about wanting to coach together. Many of them are ready to say YES to themselves and the life they truly want right now. I applaud them for it and I jump in with them right away. Yet many are hesitant to say YES to themselves right now. They know they want change, they know that what' they've been doing so far is not creating the level of fulfillment and excitement they want. Some have even moved on from the job, the relationship or the location that wasn't working for them. And yet, they believe that later is a better time to jump on the journey of YES to their DREAM LIFE. Later this year is a better time to engage in the personal work that will create fulfillment, empowerment, connection, purpose, joy and love. Later when I have more money. Later when I have more time. Later after I just do this one other thing. Really? The love of your life, the passion and purpose, health and energy you crave can wait until later?
A HARD TRUTH
Over time what happens is that nothing changes. The dream relationship, job, home, health, balance, etc. do not just show up. We fail to engage in making the necessary changes in our life now, so... things stay the same. Unfortunately, later never happens.
ARE YOU LETTING YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES RUN YOUR SHOW?
This cycle of being stuck where you don't want to be occurs for several reasons. The first is due to the fear of moving forward (ie "what if I fail", etc.). The second is because we think that everything has to be perfect or figured out before we can do what we truly want. Each of these reasons are separate topics that warrant their own blog posts and I will write more about them in the future. The third and major reason that most people put fulfillment off for later is because they believe that their circumstances determine how they live and what choices they get to make. People believe that they cannot afford to take a vacation, set boundaries or engage in activities that bring them joy because of family, work, money, health issues or other responsibilities. While indeed there are some circumstances that we cannot change, more often than not, we are in the drivers seat of our own lives and it is our responsibility to choose what we make a priority and what we don't. Your happiness is not waiting for you out there somewhere in the future. Your happiness is yours now and it will continue to be available in the future if you start allowing for it to exist today.
Later never comes. This is because we continue to engage in the patterns that we are involved in today. In fact, today is yesterday's later. Are you on vacation in Hawaii? Are you feeling the breeze touch your face on that afternoon walk or covered in clay in that pottery class? Are you in the relationship or job of your dreams? Most people are not. We must be intentional and make the conscious choice to prioritize pleasure in the midst of work and responsibilities. It doesn't just happen on it's own. We must create room for it, prioritize it, schedule it, pay the money for it and seize it now.
I'm not saying that you need to engage in reckless, irresponsible behavior that threatens your stability or well-being. Rather, I am inviting you engage in what you long for now. Don't wait. Do it anyways, in addition to everything else. Take a much needed short vacation this weekend. Indulge in morning meditation before you check your email or phone. Make room in your closet for your ideal lover now even though you've never met them. Pay for the class you are dying to take even though you don't know how you can afford it. I guarantee you that doing so will light a fire in you to work harder and generate the extra income you need. I guarantee you that your determination to heal your heart and find your mate will become unstoppable. I guarantee you that the joy you get from painting for 20 minutes today will give you that extra energy you need to finish the rest of your tasks around the house. That is the magic of now.
THE POWER OF ENGAGING IN THE NOW: A USEFUL TRICK & 2 SUCCESS STORIES
You can start practicing all of the above by creating what I like to call "in-between" moments. These are moments throughout the day that we insert into more structured, daily routines. You can create an "in-between" moment in the middle of a busy work day, while you are with your kids, in overwhelming social situations, anywhere. They can be as short as a deep breath and as long as a week's vacation.
To illustrate the power of this practice, I am inspired to share two client success stories. I have two clients each of whom used to power through working at their desk all day, making them tired and resentful at the end of the day. They begun practicing taking a break from their desk to get a glass of water or take a walk around the block outside to breath in fresh air. They would insert these refreshing moments "in-between" everything else they were doing. This helped them become balanced and allowed them build the muscle of engaging in the now. Over time, this muscle became so integrated into their daily life that they began to honor their dreams fully. A simple break for fresh air was no longer enough. One of these clients ended up leaving the corporate job that she didn't like and branching out on her own to become a successful and happy solo-prenuer. The other client learned invaluable lessons around creating and expressing boundaries which ultimately gave her the confidence to heal important relationships with loved ones and create deeper connections in her life. Wow - all of this from engaging in the now!
START THE REST OF YOUR LIFE NOW
One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the movie When Harry Met Sally. It is in the scene towards the end of the movie in which Harry runs across town to profess his love to Sally. He says to her: "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." I invite you to take on this attitude towards your life and your dreams. Engage in them now. Give them your attention, your time, your money and your energy in the smallest and biggest ways you can imagine. Go for it! Don't wait until later. You will be enormously grateful that you allowed yourself to experience more joy, freedom, balance, health and purpose in between all of life's other moments.
I am excited to hear what opens up for you in the now! Please share your comments and questions below.
When you re-invent yourself through conscious inner work and by taking responsibility for your life, things begin to shift. First there are internal shifts such as a deeper sense of inner peace, freedom or clarity and then external shifts start to take place such as meeting inspiring people who support your path or understanding how you can finally move on from that thing/person who has been holding you back. More than anything, as we begin to live in alignment with our values, the purest form of who we are begins to emerge. I experienced this first hand and continue to feel it deepening as I refine and embody my truth more over time. I see it in clients who begin to identify their core values and put themselves first, out-growing old patterns and discarding sabotaging illusions. I see it when we remove processed foods and toxins from the body and allow our body to be nourished by clean, whole foods - a pureness and power is created on a physical level. We return home to our truest selves. Life becomes rich. I am inspired to share one of my favorite poems with you that poetically describes how it feels to SEE YOURSELF, the TRUE YOU once again or maybe for the first time ever. It is called Love After Love.
Inviting all of you to feast on your life and to join me on this magical journey of living as the TRUE YOU.
A WONDERFUL MOMENT ON MY PATH
Yesterday I reached my own personal pinnacle on this journey of living my truth. I had some powerful A-Ha's that brought great clarity and provided a sense of contentment as well as pride for all of the work I've done to get me to where I am today. To celebrate, I hiked to the top of Mount Tamalpais roughly 30 minutes north of San Francisco and basked in the magnificence of what it meant to "reach the top". This picture doesn't do the view justice. It was a 360 degree view of the entire San Francisco Bay, the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the trees, the coastal fog and city's structures. It was simply breath taking to stand in nature, experience the wind in my face and feel the vastness of possibility before me. I literally felt on top of the world. I allowed myself to celebrate this moment in time.
GIVING YOURSELF A NECK CRAMP
Why is it that we forget to celebrate the little pinnacles we reach along our journey? We can become so focused on the ultimate result that we overlook the triumphs we are experiencing on a daily basis. The truth is that there is always further to go. Once we reach one peak, we are exposed to the next. Just as a baby wants to run once it has mastered walking, we too can always see the next opportunity before us. Imagine if you were hiking up a mountain this way though. If your gaze was always up, you would likely trip (or give yourself a neck cramp!). While it is critical to have a clear vision of where you are headed, it is also important to fully appreciate where you are right now.
INVITATION TO CELEBRATE
I invite you to celebrate yourself, your achievements, both big and small up until now. Celebrate all of the wonderful things in your life at this very moment. Honor the internal work you have done to become more authentic, to speak what is true for you, to risk for the sake of being happier. Pat yourself on the back for the times when you fell but got up again anyways; for the things you have outgrown, the new habits you've created and for the people you have forgiven, including yourself. Celebrate how you have changed and who you are now becoming. You don't have to wait until you are at the top of Mount Everest. We climb little mountains of magnificence every day of our lives.
ENJOYING THE VIEW AT THE TOP
Allow yourself to recognize that at this moment you are at the top of a mountain. It may not be the tallest mountain peak on earth, but it's certainly higher than where you were in the past. Bask in the glory of the view from up here. What have you overcome? What has made you stronger... or softer, more open or aware? Look out and see what's possible from here. Soak it all in. If you live in a place where you can go for a hike, I invite you to climb a small mountain to symbolize reaching your successes. Once you get to the top, take a moment to feel it all and congratulate yourself!
I'd love to hear what mountains you've climbed recently and how you are celebrating your efforts! Feel free to share your comments below.