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!
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".
“Manifestation” has become quite a buzzword in the world of personal growth and transformation. We all want to manifest our dreams, don’t we? Ever since the movie “The Secret” became popular some years ago, many people now utilize the Law of Attraction to enhance their lives. Yet somehow, with all of the tips and information available to us, many people still aren’t manifesting the results they desire. The key lies in a subtle and often overlooked, yet enormously powerful manifestation tool that requires us to reframe our approach.
In the process of manifestation, it has been suggested that we first must become crystal clear on what we’d like to make real. Some people meditate on the outcome they desire and others set intention to put the vibration of their desire “out” to the Universe. Both of these techniques are critical to the manifestation process. To truly bring your desire to life however, you must engage in this additional tool that I’m excited to share with you. I’ve seen this tool bring forward incredible results in both my own life and in the lives of my clients:
Let go of form and stay connected to essence.
Huh? What happens with many people is that in the process of manifesting their dreams, they focus on the form they believe their desired result is supposed to take. In other words, what it needs to look like, how tall or big it is, the date it should arrive, the timing within which something will come to fruition, the person or place that they believe or desire their intended result to be. For example, you may think that your dream career may take the form of opening up a yoga studio, or that the thing that will give you the most passion is living in Brazil, or that the relationship of your dreams is with someone who is relatively in your age range and is as active as you are. There is tangible form here.
Essence on the other hand, is the quality of something; the feeling, texture and taste of the experience that is provided from any given scenario, object or event.
Let’s use the example of manifesting your dream career to distinguish between form and essence. Your intention is to get a new job. What’s that really about? Are you open to any job? Probably not. What’s the essence of the experience that you’re truly after? Perhaps it’s feeling that you are living on purpose while experiencing abundance easily in your life. Or perhaps you’re truly after having interactions with thought provoking, conscious individuals as part of a collaborative team where you can share yourself authentically while making a difference in the world. You can start to feel the essence there. In contrast, the form of this particular job might involve a career in a certain field that pays a certain amount of money or it may involve a daily commute or working in a gym. Feel the difference? The essence is what brings it alive.
Form is important, yet when we focus on it too much initially, it boxes us in. What I’m seeing over these years of coaching people all over the world, as well as in my own process of evolution, is that one of our greatest forms of suffering comes when we become too attached to form. By developing an expectation of when or how our desired outcome is supposed to play out, it locks us in and actually limits us from recognizing our dream when it arrives because we’re convinced it’s supposed to look a certain way.
It’s not the package that it shows up in that you want to be committed to. You want to be committed to what it’s going to feel like when you open that dream package. So, what’s the experience that you are truly after? When you bring your dream fully alive in your vision, how does that feel in your heart and your whole body? What are the qualities and textures of your dreams? It’s like becoming so familiar with a certain flavor of chocolate ice cream, that you’ll know if someone has given you another brand. You want to become that familiar with the essence of you’re dream.
The Universe is so much more creative than we can ever hope our minds to be. Think of all of those incredible moments in your life – were they exactly as you had planned them to be? Most likely not. Most likely the best moments in your life were better than you planned them to be. The Universe is limitless. When we require that something’s got to be a certain way because we attach to it’s form (who, what, where, when, how), we accidentally limit ourselves. Instead, stay connected to the essence of what you’re intending to manifest, and let the Universe deliver form that is beyond your wildest imagination.
When we are connected to the essence of our desires, we can taste the outcome we want. This then becomes the most powerful navigation system inside of you.
By prioritizing the essence of your dream and bringing it fully alive in every cell of your body, you’re now empowered to use it as a secret sorting tool inside of you that will quickly and easily allow you to recognize the right form when it appears. You’ll know if person A or opportunity B, if direction Right or path Left is the perfect one for you because it will conjure up the feeling of your dream’s essence inside of you. It won’t matter as much if a handsome man that you’re on a date with drives a BMW or rides a bike – you’ll know that it’s time for a second date because the conversation you’re having brings up the same feelings as the essence of your simple, beautiful, authentically delicious soul mate dream.
Personally, my connection to essence has been the secret key that’s lead me to the things I love most about my life. The joy that pulsed through my veins after each practice coaching session I offered confirmed to me that becoming a coach was the right track for me. It’s lead me to tremendous abundance, fulfillment and that specific feeling of living with a greater purpose that I had always dreamed of. And the softness in my belly actually led me to recognize my husband who I accidentally overlooked for years because his form wasn’t what I thought my husband’s form would be. Yet as I started spending time with him regularly, I noticed my body’s signals – my belly was soft, I felt vibrant yet totally relaxed and fluid. My experience with him each time we hung out was the exact same feeling of the essence of my dream relationship. It was crystal clear to me that he was the one.
So how do we use this subtle yet powerful technique to manifest the results we desire?
Here’s the step-by-step process to lock it in:
1. Name and clarify the dream that you want to manifest (dream job, soul mate partner, new home, financial abundance, baby, vacation, etc).
2. Imagine yourself already there. Bring forward this dream and start to feel yourself living already. What does it feel like when your soul mate love caresses the small of your back? What does it feel like when you make a difference in someone’s life by sharing your authentic gifts with them? What does it taste like to watch your kids ride their bikes down that country dirt road? Feel the essence of it all.
3. Notice your body’s response to this essence. This is key. You want to really take stock of the subtle body messages here. When you connect to the essence of your dream, what happens to your belly or your legs? Does your face soften? How do your shoulders and neck feel? How do you feel overall? Most often people feel a simultaneous sense of calmness and energy, freedom or power pulsing through them. Lock this into your cellular memory. This is your new “Form Radar” or GPS sorting tool.
4. Use this new essence sorting tool in your life. Take it out with you everywhere to see where the right form may be hiding. When making decisions in your life, ask yourself if this decision is going to have you feel the way you feel when you connect to the essence of your dream life. Does this job, person, place, object, food, etc. bring up that softness in your belly and that flutter in your heart? Do you feel that sense of freedom and rightness with the form (person, place, object, event, etc.) that you are engaging with? When a new opportunity arises, tune into the essence of it and be open to the limitless number of forms that it might take.
5. When you feel the essence of your dream taking a certain form, ACT FAST. Follow through. Jump in. Go for it! This is the dream you’ve been waiting for. It might look different than you expected or it may have taken longer to arrive than you wanted, but when it’s aligned with your dream’s essence, it’s time to act!
When you utilize this powerful tool and apply it to various people, scenarios, activities, etc., then suddenly you’re in the sweet zone. The world is your oyster and you’re able to manifest the results you truly desire. The power of this is beyond words and you’ll begin to notice how many opportunities arrive out of nowhere. You’ll know in your body and from the place of essence when something is right for you and you’ll be tapped into the limitless abundance of life.
Here’s to happy manifesting! May you be surprised and delighted by all that comes your way.
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.
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.
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.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS
Our society is on the perpetual hunt for more happiness. As a Transformational Coach, I encounter a LOT of people who want to be happier in their lives. Just this morning, a client expressed to me: "I just want to be happy!". Happiness has turned into something that people believe is outside of themselves as if they play no role in creating it, like something you can buy at the store.
What I see more than anything is that people are longing for deep fulfillment, not just happiness. People want a sense of richness, depth, purpose, direction, contribution, freedom and joy in their lives. What's amazing is that in every state of "unhappiness", nearly 100% of the time people know what it is that is making them unhappy. And they KNOW what they need to change in order to become more fulfilled in their lives.
HAPPINESS ISN'T THE ISSUE.
The issue then may not actually be happiness or unhappiness. The issue really becomes about the courage and willingness to do what it takes to make yourself and your life "happy". The feeling of living a miserable life arises when we are too afraid to acknowledge or own what we need to change. The feeling of boredom, dried up, I-don't-even-know-where-to-begin, emerges when we are living out of alignment with our truest nature. The fear of changing the status quo keeps us stuck in our misery; in our small, old, habitual way of the familiar, yet suffocating "comfort" zone.
In our society, we are terrified of disappointing others, we are terrified of the unknown and of rocking the boat. It is the loyalty to this fear that keeps people stuck, miserable and playing small. It is your lack of courage to change that is making you feel "unhappy". To be truly fulfilled in your life, you must allow yourself the sheer pleasure, the gift and the responsibility of structuring your life so that it is in alignment with your most authentic truth inside. If you are someone who needs space in your calendar to be creative and thrives when you experience collaboration and variety, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in an administrative job that requires you to work rigid hours. If you are someone who loves to talk about current world affairs and marvels at the rich experiences of your life, then most likely you will be unfulfilled at a dinner party where people are focused on fashion and reality TV. If you are someone whose truest nature is to be visionary, inspired and playfully express yourself, then most likely you will be unfulfilled in a romantic relationship where your partner is threatened or uncomfortable with you in the spot light. You can begin to see where living out of alignment with your truth is actually the thing causing your unhappiness. Under different circumstances that reflected and celebrated your truest needs and authentic nature, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be radiantly HAPPY. Our true nature is happy... and it's simple. We allow fear, assumptions, worry and lack of trust to overcomplicate things for us.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO CHANGE.
So how do we obtain and strengthen the courage to change? Here are 5 key steps that will help you muster up the courage to change things in honor of living your most radiantly juicy and deeply fulfilling life:
1. Acknowledge your dream. I have a question for you: What do you OWE to yourself? What will you regret at the end of your life if you do not make it happen? What is the dream inside of you that you have buried so far down below that you can't remember what it even is? If you want to have the courage to create more happiness, then you need to be willing to look under the bed, dust off the boxes and take your dream out once again. You need to put that dream in the light and tend to it daily, watering it with your loyalty and intention, caring for it by making it a priority once again. The first step to finding the courage to change is admitting that you actually desire happiness and to clarify what that looks like for you. You will not be able to develop the courage to change if you're not willing to admit that you want something different than what you've got now. You must let your dream live. Let it shine!
2. Make your dream more important than your fear. Are you going to feed your desire for happiness or feed your fears? Are you going to prioritize your dream life or prioritize your sense of obligation to others? If you are not living your dream than you are living someone else's, and in all likelihood, that's keeping you miserable. So you're at a moment of choice: you can choose to stay stuck, stay small, stay co-dependent, stay worried or you can choose to honor this amazingly radiant, loving and authentic truth and knowing within you. You can choose to let your fear drive the bus of your life or you can step into the driver's seat yourself. It's your life and it becomes whatever you choose to make of it, so the choice is yours. The time is now to choose a new direction of loyalty to your happiness. No more loyalty to your fear and tiny comfort zone.
3. Step into Radical Responsibility. As Katherine Woodward Thomas says, "Life happens through us, not to us". You are not a passive victim in your life. In order to live the life that you truly desire, you must be willing to accept Radical Responsibility for your circumstances and all aspects of your life. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner landscape. If you are focused on what's not working then not much will work for you. If you are tending to your happiness and taking responsibility to change yourself then change and happiness will happen. The good news is that taking radical responsibility puts you in a wonderfully empowered position. Own the fact that YOU are the one who will change your life and you'll be much more excited to jump in and do so.
4. Be willing to say NO. One of the biggest roadblocks that people have when trying to create a truly fulfilling and rewarding life is their fear of disappointing others. I'm going to give it to you straight: I guarantee that you will disappoint at least one person in your life by choosing to walk down the path of YOUR truth and happiness. AND... that's a really great thing! It means that you're beginning to honor what's true for you instead of just going along with others or with whatever is presented to you. It means you're starting to be intentional and give energy to those things and people that light you up instead of pull you down. When you say NO to one thing, you say YES to something else by default. (You can read my full blog article about that HERE). So let yourself say NO. Say NO to the job that is sucking you dry. Say NO to the relationship that isn't what you actually want. Say NO to the incredibly lucrative, sexy, potentially delicious opportunity that is being offered to you but doesn't feel right somewhere inside. This will fill your courage tanks to FULL. I promise you that you'll be OK (actually, I bet you'll be more than OK - you'll be HAPPY) after you enforce boundaries with others and choose instead to follow the energy of your YES. I promise you that you'll be happier by taking the risk of leaving behind what so clearly isn't working for you. Let yourself step into happiness by practicing saying NO to all that isn't working for you.
5. Shift your perspective about the unknown. Many people in our society are more comfortable when there is a plan and when the future is "secure". I am guilty of this myself at times. The unknown can be a wildly scary land to explore and yet, it's the only guarantee we have as we cannot predict the future. Thank goodness we cannot predict our future - can you imagine how boring life would be without any mystery at all? I invite you to embrace the unknown and instead of seeing it as a daunting, threatening thing, start to view it as a yummy, juicy place where you can anticipate and taste your happiness growing and growing. The whole point is to experience what you haven't known before because what you've known thus far hasn't been fulfilling for you (if it was, you wouldn't want more happiness). So let yourself step into the unknown with delight, curiosity, trust and yummy anticipation for all of the wonderfully new and fulfilling things you are creating. See it as a journey to the best place you've ever been.
Change is risky. There is always a risk, no matter how you slice it - leaving your current situation for hopes of a better one doesn't come with a guarantee. What you know in this moment is that you're unhappy. So I invite you to take a risk. Take that leap of faith that feels so right and tingly inside even though you're so afraid that your teeth are chattering. Take the risk of walking towards your happiness and creating a totally NEW way that is actually freaking amazing and unknown. Take the risk of allowing life to provide for you once you own your YES. The day will come when the risk of playing small is greater than the risk of shining. I invite you to seize that day, jump in with both feet and GO FOR IT! Your utterly happy dream life awaits you.
RADIO SHOW WITH CAROLYN CJ JONES
Yesterday I had the privilege of being interviewed by Carolyn CJ Jones, a "Forgiveness Coach", Best Selling Author and radio show host. She has a weekly radio show and asked me to come be a part of it!
I LOVE the topic of forgiveness. It shifts us from anger into acceptance, from illness into healing and from a closed heart to an open, connected life filled with possibility.
During this 50 minute show, I speak with CJ about how practicing forgiveness is a critical part of being able to live our truth. I touched on my own healing journey and the role that practicing forgiveness towards myself and others played in opening me up to live the life of my dreams. We spoke about anger, love, being the curious "Observer" of your emotional experience and so much more. It was a fun, rich and authentic discussion! I invite you to check it out and to get interested in what opening the gates of your heart can do for the rest of your life. It may just lead you to bliss!
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About Rony Reingold
Rony Reingold, HLC, CPCC is CEO of Embodied Truth Coaching. As a Certified Holistic and Transformational Coach, Motivational Speaker, Forthcoming Author and Inspirational Change Agent, Rony works with people who are ready to claim their lives and create more freedom, power, purpose and joy for themselves on a daily basis. Rony has guided countless clients across the globe towards inner and outer success by helping them clarify, claim and then create their personalized dream life. Rony specializes in working with individuals and groups who are awakening to something more and are ready to step into their deepest fulfillment and full potential.