Use Positive Affirmations to Kick the Negative Self-talk Habit

Welcome to week three of seven of my Tools for your spiritual journey series. I am so happy you are here. This week’s tool is positive affirmations.

What are positive affirmations and negative self-talk?

Each of us has an inner monologue going on constantly inside our heads. We may not even realize this is happening. This is our self-talk and it seems to never run out of gas.

Unfortunately most us engage in much more negative self-talk than positive.  Thinking or even saying things like “I’m not good enough, smart enough or attractive enough to accomplish that.”

We are usually our own worst critics. And sometimes our inner voice can be a real asshole! Negative self-talk can become a habit and it can create troublesome issues in our lives. Anxiety, low self-esteem and even depression can stem from the way we talk to ourselves.

That is where daily positive affirmations can help. An affirmation is the assertion that something exists or is true. We are always affirming something with every thought we think and every word we say.

An affirmation opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change.    Louise L. Hay

Why do positive affirmations work?

Our subconscious mind believes whatever we tell it. It can’t and won’t differentiate between the good and the bad. If we can change the words, we can change the way we feel.

Louise Hay explains in her book Experience your good nowthat when you state an affirmation, you are really saying to your subconscious mind: ‘I am taking responsibility. I am aware that there is something I can do to change.’

It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”    Claude M. Bristol

Just because you have negative self-talk going on does not mean you are a bad person or wrong in any way. We all do it. It is time to stop doing it. Kick the guilt to the curb. You are an amazing, beautiful, miracle of life. Treat yourself gently and with love. You do not deserve your own abuse.

How to get started with positive affirmations:

The first step is to recognize your negative thought patterns. What are you saying to yourself? I’ve found the practice of meditation to be the easiest way for me to become more aware of my thoughts.

I wrote about meditation in Week One of this series. You can check out that post if you are interested in seeing what starting a meditation practice can do for you.

My introduction to affirmations was through Janet Conner and her book Writing Down Your SoulI mention her in my post for Week Two of this series on soul writing. I highly recommend.

As I progressed on my journey, I discovered Louise Hay, extraordinary teacher, healer, speaker, author and queen of positive affirmations. She has become a most inspirational teacher for me.

Please visit her website where you can look through some of her uplifting positive affirmations. Choose a few that resonate with you and begin saying them to yourself every day.

What can you expect positive affirmations to do for you?

Daily positive affirmations can be used to create self-love and to attract the abundance we desire and deserve into our lives. The key is to remain absolutely positive. This can be incredibly challenging.

If you are outwardly saying something positive, but the thought in your mind is contradicting it, the affirmation isn’t going to work. If you notice this happening to you, keep trying. Just as with anything else, it will become easier with practice.

One of my first affirmations was ‘I am Beautiful’.  My journey began a few months before I turned fifty and I was feeling a bit negative about my physical appearance.

Seven months later…I feel beautiful, inside and out. It makes no difference what clothes I have on, if my hair is done or if I am wearing make-up. I love what I see in the mirror!

What if your chosen affirmation is too much for you right now?

That’s totally fine. No worries. Your affirmation just requires a little bit of tweaking. Let’s say you have chosen ‘I love my body’ as your daily positive affirmation, but every time you think or say it, you cringe.

Obviously your mind is not accepting this affirmation as is. You must have at least a modest level of comfort with the thought you are creating. I would adjust this affirmation to ‘I am open to loving my body today’. You could also try ‘I have a healthy body that serves me well’.

Choose one that is acceptable to you now. As you become more comfortable with that thought you can up your game and choose a new affirmation to try.

Maybe you feel like you never have enough money. Affirming these thoughts will surely only bring more lack into your life. This has been a problem for me lately too.

Instead of concentrating on the months or weeks or even days ahead. I say to myself ‘Today I have all the money I need’. When my son asks for something we can’t afford right now, I don’t tell him that we don’t have enough money. I calmly say ‘we will have more money for that next month’ knowing that I am giving my subconscious mind instructions to make that happen.

Along with gratitude and forgiveness, positive affirmations have been working miracles in my life. I hope you have even more success!

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe by email so you don’t miss out on the next four tools in the series!

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Soul Writing for your Spiritual Journey

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.  Martin Luther

Thank you for joining me in week two of my Tools for your Spiritual Journey series. This week is soul writing, also known as journaling.

The tool for week one was meditation. Check out How to Create a Solid Mediation Practice if you missed it. Hands down, soul writing and meditation have been the most powerful tools for my own soul work.

Why do I call it soul writing instead of keeping a journal?

Because for me, the quickest way to discover what my soul truly wants is to start writing. Soul writing has always been my default resource when life has me confused.

As a young teenager I kept a diary. Later in my teen years and through my early twenties, I wrote poetry. In my mid-thirties, when I wanted children and my husband didn’t, I wrote letters to my deceased best friend.

It wasn’t until my forties, when my marriage was coming undone, that I started keeping a journal. My soul writing took off like a rocket!

Writing is the indelible fingerprint of my soul on paper.   Michelle L. Buckley

There is no one right way to begin soul writing.

Keeping and maintaining a soul writing practice is a very personal activity. What might feel perfect for one person could feel awkward for someone else.

Almost anything is fair game. You may wish to start by simply recording your thoughts and ideas with a daily entry. Or you could use your journal to release strong emotions you have trouble expressing otherwise.

I have also read about “dump” journaling, where you write very fast and fill the pages with whatever is in your head. The goal here is to clear the clutter from your mind before sleeping or meditation.

My soul likes to write letters, prayers and ask questions. I write letters to God, Universe, Source, whatever you prefer, they are all the same to me.

I write letters to my self, my inner child, my deceased loved ones and to people who are alive and well, but will very likely never get to read what I’ve written.

Expressing gratitude in your journal is a fabulous practice, especially if you can do it daily. Many people keep a separate journal or notebook just for this purpose. I posted my gratitude journal for four weeks last fall.

Soul writing can be more beneficial than talking to your best friend.

When you are soul writing, no opinions matter except your own. You cannot be swayed by someone else’s thoughts on any given subject.

No one is going to judge you for your soul writing. God already knows. The only advice you can expect will be divinely placed on the page.

Write whatever you need to write. There is nothing taboo here. If you can feel it, think it, or wish it, then it is perfectly acceptable and appropriate. No matter what It is.

The more important question is, if you are feeling or thinking something that makes you uncomfortable, why? And where does it stem from? This is what soul writing can help you discover.

Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.   Natalie Goldberg

Daily Soul Writing for your Spiritual Journey

How can you get started with your own soul writing?

I’m glad you asked. I have some great suggestions! Just so you know, I am an Amazon affiliate, which means I receive a small commission if you purchase a product though a link in this post.

I consider this a win, win, win, win situation. You get a wonderful product, I get a small commission, Amazon gets their sale and in this case, the author does as well.

First, I am going to recommend a book called Writing down your soul by Janet Conner. Janet originally wanted to call this book Dear God, so you can see why it was exactly what I was looking for.

In this book Janet provides unlimited subjects for your soul writing and she tells her story of transformation as well.

She also introduces affirmations, mirror work and laws of attraction. All tools I will write about in the coming weeks. Her Prayer Sandwich is pure genius and she will guide through every step.

Also available is a companion journal, My soul pages. I used this cute little journal to start my soul writing while reading her book and I really enjoyed it. Janet has inspirational quotes and poems scattered throughout the journal pages. I love this sort of thing, it makes my heart smile.

The only caveat is that I had the journal filled from front to back in less than two months. So you decide what is right for you, all that is really required for soul writing is a notebook.

What if I don’t like to write?

Well, I have you non-writers covered as well. You can also gain access to your true desires through other creative avenues.

Maybe you like to draw or paint. Then I would suggest keeping a sketch journal, even if you don’t believe you have great talent. You do! This is only for you anyway.

I keep a dream journal on my nightstand. This does require some writing, but it is predetermined. Simply jot down what you remember of the previous night’s dreams.

And lastly, I saw this great little journal in the bookstore called Wreck this journal. I love this idea! This is perfect for the non-writer out there who still wants to try keeping a journal.

The author, Keri Smith, encourages journalers to engage in harmless destructive acts such as poking holes in pages, painting the page with coffee (or your favorite beverage) and coloring outside the lines. Creative expression at it’s best.

I keep imagining how satisfying it would be to stab my journal page over and over again, with my pen tip, of course, if I was angry about something. The goal is to allow yourself to feel the feeling or think the thoughts and then release them. I think this would work.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe by email so you don’t miss out on the next five tools in the series!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice

Welcome to week one of my Tools for your Spiritual Journey series – How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice. As we begin a new year, many people will be setting new goals and making resolutions they desire to achieve over the course of 2018.

In the next seven weeks, I will provide you with seven fabulous tools you can put to use immediately for personal and spiritual growth. If you can commit to create a solid meditation practice, it will change your life.

How to Create a Solid Meditation Practice

My own meditation practice is young. I have only been meditating for about six months. I admit that my own practice is not as solid as I would like. This is one of my goals for 2018. Even so, meditation has improved my everyday life immeasurably. So let’s begin.

What do I consider a solid meditation practice to be?

The meditation goal I am personally working towards is twenty minutes, twice a day. I am not there yet, but I am committed to achieving this goal in the coming year. One size does not fit all. Your meditation practice may vary slightly or drastically from my own.

Some people meditate only seven or eight minutes, once a day. Others spend hours a day in deep meditation. You can even meditate for two minutes at time while waiting in line or for your child to get out of school. I’ll explain this technique in more detail later in this post.

You will have to discover for yourself what will work for you as you create a solid meditation practice in your own life. And I definitely do not recommend trying to sit still in silence for twenty minutes on your first attempt. At six months in, I can get still and quiet for about sixteen quality minutes.

What is required for you to create a solid meditation practice?

You really only need two things if you truly wish to create a solid meditation practice. The first and foremost is to simply show up. Commit to doing your best every day. Meditation isn’t as difficult as many people believe.

Choose a time in your day that you will meditate and stick to it. At that same time each day, show up to work on your practice. I like to meditate first thing in the morning and at 8:00 pm in the evening.

My morning session helps me to get my day started off right with clear intention and intuition. My evening session helps to clear away all of the unnecessary information I have accumulated throughout my day.

The second requirement for a solid meditation practice is patience. Quieting your mind can be very difficult for many people. You may feel you are failing to meditate properly because you can’t eliminate your thoughts completely or your meditation doesn’t immediately relax you. Be gentle with yourself.

It’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect at this!

Meditation doesn’t have to be this deep state of thoughtless relaxation. In fact, for the vast majority of us, it isn’t. We think, a lot, all the time in fact. Thoughts are going to come and go even while you are meditating. Let them.

No matter where you choose to meditate, noises are inevitable. Your child might knock on your door. The neighbor may be outside. Someone may honk their horn in the not so far off distance. That is all fine. Just smile and let the sound come and go, then get back to focusing on your meditation.

I often hear geese flying overhead during my evening meditation. I have come to appreciate and enjoy the addition to my stillness.

Start small. A few minutes a day is all that is required for you to get a taste of what meditation can give you. Once you feel the power of looking within, you can gradually increase the time you spend doing it.

You can create a solid meditation practice anywhere!

There are no rules about where you should meditate. You can meditate indoors or outdoors. Sitting on the floor, on a cushion, in a chair or lying flat on your back. It is completely up to you. The most important thing is that you are comfortable and your back is straight.

I have meditated in my living room, my bedroom and my office chair at work. My personal preference is to meditate sitting up in my bed. I can close the bedroom door if I need to and it is also a place I associate with relaxation.

Another goal for me, in 2018, is to dedicate an entire corner of my bedroom to be my meditation space. I believe this will enhance my ability to create a solid meditation practice of twenty minutes each morning and each evening.

There are many forms of meditation available. Find one that suits your practice.

My recommendation, if you are a beginner, is guided meditation. I still enjoy and use guided meditations. I think they are awesome. You can find guided meditations on YouTube and there are also many apps to choose from that can be downloaded directly to your device.

When choosing a guided meditation make sure you find the voice guiding you to be soothing. You want your meditation practice to be something you look forward to. If you are listening to a voice you find irritating, that won’t happen.

One of my favorite guided meditations is Rebecca Campbell’s light sourcing meditation which is free for you to download and try for yourself.

Another type of meditation I find very useful as a beginner is binaural beats meditation. These are very specific sound frequencies, often set to music, designed to alter brain activity.

Again, you can find binaural beats meditations on YouTube and many apps are available. Headphones or ear buds will be required to get the full effect from this type of meditation.

Look for Theta and Alpha frequency recordings to aid your meditation. I like to use Delta frequency recordings to promote sleep on nights when I didn’t get my evening meditation session in.

The online course I am using to create a solid meditation practice in my life.

There are many forms of meditation I have not touched on, including mindfulness, continuous breathing, concentrating your attention, as well as chanting mantras and using vibration in your practice.

I am learning about each of these forms of meditation practice through a fun and practical online course provided by meditation master Davidji and HayHouse online learning.

The course is The Art of Meditation: A Real World Guide to Balance, Inner Healing and Self-discovery. This is where I learned Davidji’s sixteen second meditation practice. You can literally do this any time and anywhere.

Ready? Let’s do it. Get comfortable. Close your eyes (after you have read and understand the next steps). Take a deep breath in for the count of four. Hold it for the count of four. Slowly and gently breath out fully, emptying your lungs, for the count of four. Hold that emptiness for the count of four.

Woohoo! You did it! The sixteen second practice. Use this to calm yourself throughout your day. I like to call it the sixteen second miracle!

Don’t forget to subscribe by email so you don’t miss out on the next six tools in the series!!

Thanks for reading and wishing you a stellar 2018!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My child’s soul – What is my role?

Photo Credit

When it comes to my child’s soul, I can get very confused as to what my role should be. The human part of me wants to correct and protect, while I know deep within myself that he has his own agenda, his very own lessons that he signed on to learn in this lifetime.

I think most parents try to pass on what they have learned, in their own life experience, to their offspring, in hopes of saving them some trials and heartache. It is my belief, however,  that our souls choose to incarnate on this earth for the purpose of growth, learning and connection.

What if my child’s soul knows more than mine does?

Even the most illuminated of parents likely have a difficult time seeing their children as infinite beings. I am becoming more comfortable with this notion each day.

My son is eleven, and sometimes, I swear he could be forty-five! I have absolutely no doubt that I am learning far more from him than he is from me. I think my child’s soul has been around the block a few times.

So here we are, my son and I, two souls on a mission, here on Earth. Our missions may be intertwined, or not. It’s possible our souls have been reincarnating together over many lifetimes. Maybe he was the parent, and I was the child in a previous lifetime.

What is my child’s soul teaching me right now?

Look, I don’t know about you, but of all the people in my life, my kid knows better than anyone else how to push my buttons.

I can be having the best day of my life. I’m flying around on my own shooting star. I’m dancing and twirling through life. I am maintaining this incredibly high vibration, and then…I pick up my child from school.

He is whining and he wants this and he wants that. He is being disrespectful in public and pushing the absolute limits of my sanity. Can you relate to this situation? I bet you can, we have all been there, right?

Life is always our mirror. It makes complete sense that our children will reflect back to us, the things we aren’t appropriately dealing with in our own lives.

What I’m working on and how my child’s soul has upped the ante.

My focus, all day, everyday, is more self-love, more gratitude and more forgiveness, raising my vibration and shining my light. So what is the best way for me to deal with my son’s preteen attitude that sent me tumbling from my shooting star?

Definitely NOT the way I actually did. I got angry and made threats, that he is smart enough to know I won’t keep. And when he was ready to apologize, I wouldn’t accept it. Now we are both upset, hurt and angry with each other.

Sure, it happens and I’m truly okay with it. Open expression of feelings is always welcome in my house. I intentionally make sure my son knows that no matter how angry we get with each other, I love him with everything that I am. NOTHING can EVER change that.

What could I have done better?

I could have forgiven sooner, knowing that forgiveness will benefit my own well-being as well as his. Or not worried so much about what other people might think of me as a parent. If my child had behaved this way at home, rather than in public, I may not have reacted the same way.

I could have realized my anger was more about my own insecurities as a parent than it was about his behavior. Maybe I could have approached the situation from a viewpoint of gratitude. The truth is, I am extremely grateful for the experience of motherhood and all the challenges it brings.

My final conclusion:

We all have a purpose here on Earth. Sometimes we will teach our children. More often, they will teach us. Your child may be an old soul that you have been traveling with for a very long time. That soul deserves your respect and attention.

It may even benefit us to allow our child’s soul to lead from time to time. Who knows what we may learn.

The best I can do for my son is to lead by example. Try to allow him some space to shine his own light. Accept and acknowledge that his inner wisdom comes from the same source mine does. Remember, that with him, as with everyone else, we are in this together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Radical Gratitude – the Power of Thank You

So what is radical gratitude anyway? Basically, it’s being thankful for absolutely everything in your life.

Most of us long for more than what we have in this life. We want more money, a better job, a more loving romantic partner, more success, a bigger house, the list goes on and on.

We seem to think that if we have more of what may already exist in our lives, we will become happier people. It simply doesn’t work that way. There are a multitude of people who seem to have it all and are still unfulfilled and miserable.

The reason for this is lack of gratitude for what they do have. If you aren’t truly grateful for what you have right now, how can more of anything change that? More will never be enough simply because you do not feel blessed by what you receive and have already received.

In her book Gratitude, A way of lifeLouise Hay says “By the time I have gotten out of bed, I have probably expressed gratitude for 80 to 100 different people, places, things and experiences in my life.”

Is this kind of radical gratitude even possible?

I posed a gratitude challenge in my post How to live a happier life – 13 actions you can take today, where I asked readers to join me by keeping a gratitude journal for thirty days. The goal was to record three different things each day we were thankful for which would equal 90 things at the end of the month.

I imagine coming up with just three things to be grateful for is daunting for some people, but 100 before even getting out of bed? Wow!

Impressed with the thought of being that grateful, I was inspired to extend myself. I decided that if I applied myself, I could be grateful for 100 things, as long as I had the whole day to do it. Here is how it went:

5:15 am  Radical Gratitude before I get out bed.

Thank you bed for a comfortable nights sleep.

Thank you pillow for cradling my head. I sleep on a My Pillow. I absolutely love it!

Thank you flannel sheets for your softness and warmth.

Thank you Universe for this perfect day!

Thank you Yoshi for the good vibrations. Yoshi is my cat. He is purring.

5:30 am. Radical Gratitude while I get ready for work.

Thank you Kombucha for nourishing my body.

Thank you for this wonderful hot coffee.

Thank you Louise Hay for introducing me to Mirror Work.

Thank you Happy Light for providing my morning light therapy on these dark winter mornings.

Thank you Louise Hay for Power Thoughts and Inner Wisdom meditations.

Thank you Rebecca Campbell for your playlist of soul inspiring music.

Thank you for the bracelet that reminds of my brother, who is no longer of this Earth.

Thank you for the earrings that remind me of my sister, purchased on an amazing girls weekend in Estes Park, Colorado.

Thank you green smoothies for changing the way I eat breakfast.

Thank you for the under counter kitchen fan installed by a friend and former romantic partner.

Radical gratitude quote by Neale Donald Walsh

Thank you for the crescent moon shining in the sky this morning.

Thank you for the stunning pink and orange clouds shrouding the sunrise over the lake.

Thank you for the organic lip balm protecting my lips from the cold.

Thank you for the reliable car that gets my son and I safely where we choose to go.

Thank you for the 36-year-old garage door opener, that still works! It’s a Craftsman.

Thank you to the woman who let me out in traffic during my commute this morning.

8:00 am Radical Gratitude after arriving at work.

Thank you to my cat’s veterinary office for the compassionate sympathy card personally signed by everyone.

Thank you for the low utility bills this month.

Thank you for the support of good friends.

Thank you for my community of fellow bloggers.

Thank you for my paying gig, even when I would rather be writing.

Thank you for a quiet, comfortable office to work in.

Thank you for the windows in our office space.

Thank you for the lunchtime bonding with my co-workers.

Thank you cell phones. Seriously, I have a super computer in the palm of my hand!

Thank you for Facebook groups.

Thank you that I no longer feel like sleeping every afternoon.

Thank you for interesting projects to fill my day.

5:00 pm Radical Gratitude when work is done.

Thank you for heated seats in my car.

Thank you for the computer software I needed being gifted to me.

Thank you for the salt lamp I wanted being gifted to me.

Thank you for the wild bald eagle seen perched in a friend’s tree.

Thank you to everyone who put up outdoor Christmas lights. Beautiful.

Thank you to the person who let into their lane at the accident on 56th Street.

Thank you for my well-lit parking area.

Thank you for my son’s birthday smile.

Thank you for my Keurig.

Thank you for Echinacea tea.

Thank you for the Christmas cat coffee cups I got for $1 last year.

Thank you for my leather chair.

Thank you for my soft warm throw blanket.

Thank you Lilly, for sitting where I can pet you. The other cat.

Thank you Yoshi for my evening hug.

Thank you Eli for doing your homework on the third time I asked instead of the eighth.

7:00 pm Radical Gratitude in my evening hours.

Thank you for my rebounder.

Thank you for my washing machine that sings to me instead of buzzing.

Thank you to my sister for blowing me kisses by text message.

Thank you Eli for your Trampoline Christmas light show!

Thank you for the new Christmas tree that makes Eli’s light show possible.

Thank you for Word Chums with friends.

Thank you for A Course In Miracles. I am currently reading the text portion of the course. I will begin the student’s work book portion on January 1.

Thank you for my girls weekends in Kansas City with wonderful, fun friends.

Thank you for the beautiful handmade Christmas stockings given to us by a special friend.

Pinterest image for Radical Gratitude

Thank you for a functioning dishwasher.

Thank you for warm fuzzy socks.

Thank you for my pink Minnie Mouse pajama pants.

Thank you for guided meditation apps.

Thank you Rebecca Campbell for your sourcing meditation.

Thank you Davidji for your on-line course Secrets of Meditation. I am enjoying this very much!

Thank you for Rose Quartz crystal.

Thank you for make-up removing wipes.

Thank you for poetry.

Thank you for my Chromecast.

Thank you for You Tube.

Thank you Angels.

Thank you Spirit guides.

Radical gratitude quote by Mandy Hale

Thank you for my kitchen trash can pull-out.

Thank you for the cute cat hole in my closet door that leads to the litter box.

Thank you body for performing so many wonderful functions with very little help from me.

Thank you for Eli’s artwork.

Thank you for my parents.

Thank you for indoor plumbing.

Thank you for my good health.

Thank you for healing hand lotion.

Thank you for the lessons I don’t even know I’m learning yet.

Thank you for the memories of loved ones no longer here.

Thank you for the air that I breathe.

Thank you for the many ornaments made by my son Eli, that adorn our beautiful Christmas tree.

Thank you for Canva, which will make the images of this post possible.

Thank you Pinterest, where I find many of my quotes.

Thank you for Google, my very favorite search engine.

9:00 pm. Radical Gratitude before falling asleep.

Thank you for the sleeping state that will mend and rejuvenate my body.

Thank you for the dreams that come, even if I don’t remember them.

Thank you for the stars in the night sky.

Thank you for my night-time wrist brace.

Thank you for new experiences.

Thank you for each new day.

Thank you for every opportunity to learn something new.

Thank you for the peace and love in my heart.

Thank you for quiet neighbors.

Thank you for an incredibly dark bedroom.

Thank you for nature and the wind I hear outside my bedroom window.

Thank you for the miracle that is me.

Thank you for the miracle that is you.

Thank you God!

There it is!

Definitely not an easy task, but absolutely possible. If I can do it, you can too. I bet it will become easier with time and practice.

Smile, hugs and Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

The other reason for my celebrity obsession

Have you ever suddenly been attracted to someone famous and you just couldn’t figure out why? Maybe you’re not into all this celebrity hype, but then, one day you just feel like you want to know more about that movie actor, musician, author, artist or athlete?

You aren’t alone and it is easier than ever to find news and information on just about anyone. Knowing you can trust that information to be true and accurate is another issue entirely.

I was recently “star struck” by a very well-known movie actor. Not since I was a pre-teen, with posters on my bedroom walls, have I had a real celebrity crush.  Sure, we all have favorite celebrities and I do too, but there wasn’t anyone I felt compelled to find out more about.

Photo credit

My recent crush is Keanu Reeves. It didn’t turn out to be a crush so much, although it definitely felt that way for a while. I was eventually able to view my being drawn to him as my stepping off point to spiritual growth and becoming more self-aware.

The Universe was giving me a mirror to look into. And no, I certainly do not consider myself a female, non-famous version of this man, but we do share some attributes and he definitely exemplifies other characteristics I wish to expand in myself.

And, seriously, this guy is an amazing human being. I must have been living under a rock. Even though The Matrix may be my favorite movie ever, I didn’t know anything about the star beyond his roles in film.

Keanu Reeves has experienced some very deep trauma and pain in his life. Some of what he has endured reflects my own life experience. He has managed to come through the other side of his personal tragedy a better person. I am extremely happy to say that I have too.

There are people who become bitter when exposed to hardship and there are people who decide to numb their pain however they can. I believe exceptional people learn and grow through all life experiences to become more compassionate and empathetic souls.

Keanu Reeves is an exceptional person. He is also known for being kind, thoughtful and incredibly generous. He is an introvert and a loner, two things I can definitely relate to. And although I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent, I have a feeling, Reeves’ intellect would blow me away.

Did you know that Reeves is not only an actor but also a published writer. His first book, Ode to Happiness was published in 2011. His second book, Shadows became available in 2016. Both books are a collaboration between Reeves, who wrote the text, and artist Alexandra Grant.

I own and love Shadows, an artsy collectible, with short poems by Reeves paired with photos taken by Grant. Reeves also happens to be the subject of the photography. Definitely a bonus! I missed out on Ode to Happiness, but would graciously accept a gift copy if anyone has one to give up.

Keanu Reeves seems to have a knack for turning his passions into his livelihood. One of his passions is motorcycles and in 2012, he founded Arch Motorcycles with friend Gard Hollinger. In 2017 Reeves, along with Alexandra Grant, Jessica Fleischmann and Florence Grant founded  X Artists Books, a small art book publishing company.

I latched onto him just as I was about to embark on my latest spiritual awakening. Learning about him helped me to achieve a deeper learning of myself and my worth. I was also turned on to other individuals, through him, that helped me continue on my journey.

I have always believed that God, or the Universe if you wish, provides whatever or whomever you need to gently push, or violently shove you down your true path. You know the saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This could not be more true.

This is also not the first time I have manifested the appropriate “teachers” into my life. It just happens to be the first time one of them has been a famous actor.

Now that I feel more spiritually aware myself, I can’t help but notice similar awareness in others, literally everywhere. It is like a light has been turned on. I can see the connection in movies, hear it in songs, read it in books.

Celebs, in particular seem to exude spiritual knowledge and abundance. This makes perfect sense to me. Creativity and spirituality have a very obvious connection the way I see it. If you follow what lights you up, the creativity will flow.

Our  favorite celebrities became famous by chasing their joy, living their passion. They have walked through the fear involved with being in the spotlight for doing what they love. We can choose to see them as a shining example of what is possible for each and every one of us.

Thank you Keanu Reeves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear and Childhood Trauma – My Story

No parent intentionally screws up their children’s development. Even so, I have never met a human being without issues to overcome. Of course, not all childhood trauma comes from our parents. It may stem from teachers, peers, other relatives, neighbors or even strangers.

Overall I think the vast majority of us learn our patterns from our parents. Some of those patterns may be positive, but many will be negative. These unhealthy patterns can last a lifetime because most of us don’t realize that they even exist, much less, that the patterns need correcting.

It’s important to remember that each of us is only doing the very best we can at any given moment, that includes our parents while they were raising us. That being said, I picked up some pretty undesirable stuff from both my mom and my dad. I love them with all my heart, but these are things I must face if I truly want to heal.

I guess a bit of background is in order before I really get started. My parents were divorced when I was five years old. My sister and I lived with our mother and spent every other weekend with our father, for the first few years, anyway.

My father remarried almost immediately after the divorce. He and his new family moved to another state when I was about eight years old. I didn’t get to see my dad again for six years.

Not only did my mother not have any skills required for a career, she also suffered from Multiple Sclerosis which prevented her from working full-time. My sister and I were raised on a welfare disability check.

The entire situation created some intensely difficult and conflicting emotions. Emotions I really had no good way to deal with as a child.

My mother had become very ill by the time I was eleven years old. Her disease progressed from that point, taking more and more of her livelihood until we were forced to move her into a nursing home when I was sixteen years old. She was just forty-five at the time.

During those five years preceding the nursing home, my sister and I cared for our mom the best we could. It was a lot of responsibility for two young girls to handle.

We certainly learned many useful skills of household management we otherwise may not have mastered at such an early age. We also rebelled against our situation every chance we got.

Always searching for that opportunity to be free of our responsibility and feel like children again, we both tended to “adopt” our friend’s parents as our own.

I grew up viewing my mother as a saint and my father, well, he bolted and I was very angry. Let’s just say I wasn’t very fond of my dad back then. I wanted to hate him, but I couldn’t. He was my dad and I loved him. So I blamed him instead, for pretty much everything.

No matter how much I admired my mother for what she endured and her determination to raise us, our relationship was upside down and backwards. The parent is supposed to care for the child, not the other way around.

This type of family dynamic can, and in my case did, create some codependency issues. I am a caretaker by the nature of my upbringing. I have always struggled with setting boundaries and taking care of myself. Everyone else’s needs always seemed to come first.

We were also very poor, living below the poverty line. My mom did a fantastic job with what little money we had, but there was never enough. Two undesirable lessons came from this unfortunate situation.

My mom always went without so that my sister and I could have what we needed. So, of course, my sister and I learned this strategy from her and brought it with us into our own adult lives.

The second was the lesson of lack. When a child grows up knowing, or being told, consistently, that there isn’t enough money, safety, food or anything else, that child will learn lack. It is a lesson that is extremely hard to let go of.

Although I am educated, I have a career, and I make a decent wage, it still feels like a struggle to make ends meet. It always feels like there just isn’t enough. I feel lack as an adult because that is what I learned as a child.

My father and I didn’t have much of a relationship when I was young. Between the ages of eight and twenty-three, I spent two weeks with him total and that’s it. We would talk on the phone and occasionally write letters. I always wanted him to be proud of me, even if I was hating on him.

My mother passed away when I was twenty-five and I realized I only had one parent left. I decided I wanted to make the best of that and try to repair my relationship with my dad.

So for the last twenty-five years my dad and I have been okay. We still live in different states, but we see each other more often. He is proud of me and he says so. Yet, I am still fairly uncomfortable around him.

Why? Because he doesn’t really know who I am. He has some strong beliefs and opinions about life and so do I. The problem? Our values don’t match, in fact, they probably couldn’t be farther apart.

I’m fine with his views and who he is, it’s all good, but my childhood fear of being abandoned by my father still exists today. I am afraid to be myself with him for fear he will reject me.

And the cherry on top is I really don’t like that I feel this way. The admission alone took a tremendous amount of effort. And I know, on some unconscious level, that I am beating myself up for not being able to overcome this fear.

My hope is that by putting this out into the world I will release some of my fear and begin to heal. Begin the process of forgiveness. Me forgiving my dad, for only being able to do his best at any given time. Me forgiving me and treating myself with kindness when I am not as far along my path as I would like to be.

Peace and love.

 

 

 

 

Why is there a blue spot on my cat’s belly?

What is that mysterious blue spot? I adopted one of my cats from a rescue organization when he was six months old. He has short white fur on his belly and I soon noticed a blue spot. I had no idea what it was but I didn’t feel it was anything to get too worked up about.

Maybe you have noticed that your cat has a blue spot or a blue line on its abdomen and wondered what the heck it is. Well, let me be the one to tell you, your kitty has a tattoo.

The idea behind these tattoos is actually pretty cool and don’t worry, kitty didn’t feel a thing. Some veterinarians are giving their spay and neuter patients small tattoos while still under anesthesia.

The tattoo is a marker that easily shows that the animal has been altered and can no longer reproduce. If for any reason the cat needs to be rehomed, there will be no question about its status.

Why is this such a good idea? Because it isn’t always as easy as we think it is to know for sure if a cat has been fixed when we don’t have its history.

I adopted my other cat from the local humane society when she was seven years old. They didn’t have any veterinary records for her and knew very little about her history. They did not know for sure if she had been spayed because she did not have a tattoo.

They thought they felt a scar when she was examined, but we were sent home with instructions to bring her back if she showed signs of heat. Even if she would have had a prominent scar, that doesn’t positively mean she had been spayed. It would only indicate that some type of surgery took place.

My cat is a pure bred Ragdoll, that was on her shelter paperwork. She could have been a retired breeder, which would have made it more likely that she hadn’t been spayed and there was also the possibility she could have required a caesarean section which would have presented a scar.

Back to my male cat that does have a tattoo. I always thought you could just look under a male cat’s tail and see that he has either been neutered or not. Apparently this is not always the case.

A male cat can have a condition called cryptorchidism where the testicles don’t fall and remain in the abdomen. In this case, it may look like the cat was neutered when quite young, which is common practice in crowded animal shelters.

This condition can cause other complications that can be quite dangerous for the animal. If the tattoo is present, it will let a future veterinarian know that the testicles have indeed been removed.

So now I know what the mysterious blue spot on my cat’s tummy is and I certainly wouldn’t mind if all of my cats had one. It is a simple idea that can really have a positive impact on caring for our pets.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

25 Cat Quotes Worth Sharing

Cat lover or not, it seems everyone has an opinion about cats. I’d like to share with you some thought-provoking quotes about the feline, attributed to equally interesting people.

“The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you’ll live ten times longer than if you have ten cats. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It’s truly ridiculous.”  Charles Bukowski
“I have lived with several Zen masters – all of them cats.”  EckhartTolle
“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, loveable, wise creatures, and cats love authors for the same reasons.”  Robertson Davies
“Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.”  Jim Davis
“We have three cats. It’s like having children, but there is no tuition involved.”   Ron Reagan
“My quest these days is to find my inner child, but I’m afraid if I do, I’ll end up with food in my hair and way too in love with the cats.”  Kenny Loggins
“I read that when cats are cuddling and kneading you, and you think it’s cute, they’re really just checking your vitals for weak spots.”  Kandyse McClure
“Time spent with cats is never wasted.”  Sigmund Freud
“There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.”  Tay Hohoff
“A cat is the only domestic animal I know who toilet trains itself and does a damned impressive job of it.”  Joseph Epstein
“Kittens are angels with whiskers.”  Alexis Flora Hope
“My cat speaks sign language with her tail.”  Robert A. Stern
“The cat seldom interferes with other people’s rights. His intelligence keeps him from doing many of the fool things that complicate life.”  Carl Van Vechten
“There is no need for a piece of sculpture in a home that has a cat.”  Wesley Bates
“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause the most inconvenience.”  Pam Brown
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”  Terry Pratchett
“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.”  Abraham Lincoln
“A cat pours his body on the floor like water.” William Lyon Phelps
“I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It’s not. Mine had me trained in two days.”  Bill Dana
“I believe cats to be spirits come to Earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.”  Jules Verne
“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.”  Hippolyte Taine
“I used to love dogs until I discovered cats.”  Nafisa Joseph
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”  Ernest Hemingway
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”  Charles Dickens
“The problem with cats is that they get the same exact look whether they see a moth or an ax-murderer.”  Paula Poundstone

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!!

Smiles and Hugs!

 

8 Simple questions that reveal glimpses of how you have been guided all along

We are constantly being drawn to the truth about who and what we really are. Of course, the closed, sleeping mind will not realize this. Once you are awake or have opened your heart and mind to why we are here on Earth, life may start to look a bit different to you.

Everything around you may take on new meaning. You may begin to see, on a much deeper level, the impact of the movies you watch, the books you read, and the music you listen to. Your preferences may begin to transform as well, becoming more in line with your true authentic self.

I want to share with you a look back at the very early origins of my own journey. There were always signs, events and preferences drawing me toward my ultimate goal. Even though I only truly awoke to our purpose recently, I can now see how I was consistently being shown the way throughout my life.

Remember to look to your past and your childhood as you answer these questions. That may be where you find the most connection and meaning.

1. What is your all time favorite song?

Music moves us. It is something we connect to very deeply in many cases and what we are attracted to may say something significant about us.

I never have to think about my answer to this question. It is a given for me. I had my favorite song tattooed on my hip when I was twenty years old. The name of the song, not the lyrics! It is the only tattoo I have and I can still cry when I hear the song, some thirty years later. It touches my heart in a very deep way. My song is “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Back in the nineties, before my ex-husband and I were married, we attended a Peter Gabriel concert in Phoenix, Arizona. We had eighth row seats, I believe, and it was amazing! When he sang my song I cried like a baby. My ex wanted to know why I was crying. All I could say was “I always wanted to feel this way (about someone).”

I didn’t know the truth of my why. My sleeping mind believed, as most of us would, that someone external might provide this feeling for me someday. I now know that is unlikely to happen. This depth of emotion can only be found within.

I now believe this song to have a more spiritual meaning that I just couldn’t see back then.

2. What is the best book you have ever read?

I love to read! Reading is knowledge and I want to continue to learn every day of my lifetime. I read non-fiction almost exclusively now, but when I was younger, fiction was definitely my thing.

My favorite book of all time is “The Talisman” by Stephen King and Peter Straub. I first read this book around age nineteen or twenty and have re-read it a few times since.

I now see Jack’s quest to find the talisman as a spiritual transformation journey. A journey experienced in multiple realms, where Jack was required to walk into his fear and face his demons. All the while he was receiving divine guidance and protection.

Wolf is a favorite character in this story. His famous quote is “Wolf! Right here and now!” Could this be a not so subtle message about staying present? Below are quotes I found from each author, just for fun:

 

 

3. What is your favorite movie of all time?

Super easy question for me. The Matrix. Written and directed by the brilliant Lana and Lilly Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves. Released in 1999, the special effects were ahead of their time, but it was the story that captivated me.

The timing of this film was impeccable with the internet really starting to take hold. I felt the story was incredible and yet credible at the same time. One part of my mind (the ego) doesn’t want to believe anything like this is possible, but another part (the soul) knows that is.

And, of course, Neo is on an epic spiritual journey in The Matrix, which seems to be a theme for my favorite things in life. This movie is the ultimate story of spiritual awakening.

I was thirty-two when it was released eighteen years ago and there has not been a film since that has grabbed hold of me like this one.

4. What was your favorite television series ever?

I really had to put some effort into this one. We watch so much TV and there are so many shows to choose from. Although I have a couple of currently running favorites, I took my own advice and looked to my past to find my answer. The X Files. Absolutely.

Again I see the struggle of ego versus soul in this story, but brought out by the individual characters in the series. Scully represents the ego to me. She is the smart, practical, closed mind that has to see it to believe it. Mulder represents the seeking soul here. He instinctually knows things he cannot see with his human eyes. He lives his life based on his intuition.

As the series progressed Mulder and Scully learned to work together and rely on each others strengths. Not at all unlike the process of the awakening soul’s struggle to convince ego of what it refuses to believe and create conditions where soul and ego can learn to work together toward a common goal.

5. How did you express your creativity as a child?

When I was a teenager and young adult, I wrote poetry. A lot of poetry. I was never published, I just wrote to retain my own sanity. I did briefly consider becoming a journalist around the age of thirteen or fourteen, but it faded out.

It seems all of my life I have turned to the written word to get me through the most difficult of life’s challenges. From journaling, to letters, to prayers, yes, I often put my prayers on paper. I write to express my emotions. I write to ask for guidance. I write to release my fear. Writing is my default mode.

Yet, I didn’t consider myself a writer, not until recently anyway.

6. What do you collect?

I think most people collect something. I’m not a pack rat. I have moved so many times in my life, I know how to purge! That said, I do hang onto a few keepsakes due to their sentimental value and I have a few collections as well.

What defines a collection? Let’s say, for the sake of this article, that a collection is a group of five or more items that relate to each other in some identifiable way. As far as clothing is concerned, I would say, overall, it is not a collection, however, if you have a shoe fetish, are crazy about handbags or have twenty cardigan sweaters, that might count.

I have a collection of Austrian leaded crystal animals. 1988-2008

I have a collection of cat statues and figurines. 1988-present

I have books. I purge them, but it is difficult for me, and some always make it back into the collection. I have many waiting to be read and would love to have a small library area to keep them stored and displayed.

I love shoes. I have been purging these lately as well, but still have way more than is necessary.

I have a Pandora type bracelet. I suppose the beads qualify as a collection. 2010-present.

My newest collection is healing crystals. I’m learning more about their energy and properties everyday and I have been using them to enhance my meditation practice. 2017

Obviously I am an animal lover, cats in particular. Cats are Zen masters who share their energy and high vibration with us. I love that cats can physically manifest their vibe by purring. Check out my post 6 things cats know about mindfulness and awareness.

Unknown to me when I started collecting, Austrian crystals are often used to clear energy blockages. I guess those will be coming out of storage!

Shoes, it seems can symbolize both paired-ness and the ability to stand up and walk forward. Books represent, for me, knowledge, wisdom and the longing for continued growth. The bracelet beads, which each represent something “me”, is a subtle presentation of myself to the world. Coming from a very private person, it might be a significant statement.

7. Are you drawn to a certain stone, crystal or gem?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, right? Not always the case, but if you happen to be captivated by the Diamond, there may be a reason why.

The Diamond is a crystal of Light, a symbol of perfection and illumination. It has been known since antiquity as a “Stone of Invincibility”, bringing victory, superior strength, fortitude and courage to its wearer.

Although I wore Diamonds while I was married, this stone has always seemed to be the sidekick of other gems in my life. The reason may be that I require only a small bit of the Diamonds energies added to the larger energy I require from another crystal or gem.

I believe a certain type of stone may “call to you”, drawing you into its energy field. I also believe that the crystal you require for growth can “find” you or seek you out. This may happen for you when you receive a piece of gemstone jewelry as a gift.

The first crystal to look at in your story is your birthstone. Each birthstone will have specific qualities and attributes that say something about you. crystalvaults.com is a great source for researching this information.

In my post What your Favorite Stones and Gems say about your Journey, I talk more about this subject and share some of the crystals and gems that have influenced my own spiritual journey.

8. Who was your very first spiritual teacher?

Yeah! You’ve made it to the final question. Let me start by saying that a spiritual teacher doesn’t have to be a practitioner of any “woo woo stuff.” Your first spiritual teacher may have been a parent, child, friend, professor or someone you met for only a brief encounter, but who left a very lasting impression on your soul.

My first spiritual teacher was a friend. She was my soul sister and one of the most fascinating human beings I have ever met. We met when I was fifteen years old and she led me on a journey that shaped the person I am today.

We dabbled a bit in the “woo woo stuff”, just enough, perhaps, to provide me a base to come back to later in life. She taught me some of my first lessons in unconditional love. That we can love each other despite our differences. That “family” doesn’t have to mean “blood”. We can create our family to include whomever we wish.

Wherever this amazing woman led, I followed. As I followed, I learned and every turn seems now to have been only in my own best interest. Without question, she directly influenced my career, where I have lived and the people I have met.

Our journey together, here on Earth, lasted seventeen years. And even with her passing from this physical world, she was guiding me to life choices I would not have made otherwise. She continues to visit me in my dreams and I am so very grateful for her continuing presence in my life.

Smiles and Hugs to you!

 

 

 

 

What do your favorite stones and gems say about your journey?

The connection between humans and crystals is as old as time itself. Crystals have been used throughout history for jewelry, armour and other adornments. They have even been found in ancient grave sites, apparently intended to accompany the deceased into the next life.

Stones (crystals) and gems come directly from the Earth and have undergone their own process of transformation. They contain their own energy and vibrations just as we do. Throughout the ages crystals have been believed to have the power to influence our own energies and have been used to promote health and healing, for protection, to attract love and to attain inner wisdom.

There are times you may be drawn to a certain stone or gem and times when the crystal you require finds you, such as when you receive one as a gift.

I’d like to share with you some of my favorite crystals, how they came to be in my life and a brief description of the stone’s qualities. Feel free to click the link on each if you would like to know more.

 Most children like rocks and I was no exception. I remember a rather large piece of Rose Quartz I found as a young girl. I’m sure it wasn’t a naturally occurring substance in my neighborhood. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there, just that it ended up in my hands and I was very fond of it. 

This was quite possibly my very first experience with crystals.  I no longer have this piece, but the memory of it has never left me.

Rose Quartz is considered to be the stone of unconditional love. It carries a soft, feminine energy of compassion and peace. Dissolving emotional wounds, fears and resentments, Rose Quartz allows one the capacity to truly give and receive love from others.

My love affair with the Opal began early in life. It isn’t my birthstone, my birthday is in August so I’m a Peridot. Both my mother and sister have October birthdays, but neither seemed to embrace the Opal as I have.

I had always heard that the Opal was bad luck if it was not your birthstone. I either didn’t believe it or I didn’t care. I wanted an Opal.

My first Opal was a ring gifted to me in my late teen years. The stone was lost when it came loose from the setting and my boyfriend had to replace it. The replacement Opal was even more stunning than the original, but after a short time, the entire ring fell down the sink drain and was not recovered even after removing the pipes to look for it.

I decided that maybe there was more to the bad luck rumors than I thought. Or perhaps my subconscious mind had believed the rumor all along. Either way, I gave up on the Opal, for a very long time.

After my divorce in 2009, my love of the Opal resurfaced. It began with a pair of earrings, I purchased for myself. I was then gifted a beautiful loose Opal by a neighbor, which I later had set in yellow gold with a pink tourmaline and citrine to match the earrings.

The following year I received, as a gift, the most amazing piece of jewelry I own. A bracelet containing seven opals and eight mother of pearl set in Sterling silver.

The Opal inspires love and hope, innocence and purity as well as luck and happiness. Mother of pearl is a stone of protection and it stimulates clarity and intuition. As for my birth stone, the Peridot, it has some very interesting energies I would not have expected.

While some Peridot are born of Earth, others have extraterrestrial origins, found in rare meteorites and comet dust. Peridot promotes responsibility, forgiveness, self-worth and inner-radiance.

Shortly after moving across the country, in my early twenties, my best friend and soul sister gave me a small polished Malachite stone to keep in my pocket.

I still have this blessed gift in my possession. Malachite is a stone of transformation, aiding one with changing situations and personal growth. What an appropriate gift!

On my forty-sixth birthday I received a Blue Sapphire ring, set in white gold. This was my very first Sapphire, of any color.

To the ancient and medieval world, the Blue Sapphire signified the height of celestial hope and faith, believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight.

Most recently I have been crazy about the Pink Tourmaline. This pink gemstone infuses love and spirituality and  encourages compassion and gentleness during times of changes and growth.

I encourage you to explore the meaning and energies of the crystals and gemstones that have chosen you and influenced your own journey. crystalvaults.com is a great resource for your research and discovery. The website has a wealth of information available on each type of crystal. It’s definitely worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Individuality in Nature

I am always delighted to both see and hear a variety of creatures when I walk in nature. Some are repeat visitors and others, well, it can be difficult to tell.

The black squirrel pictured above is one of my favorites. Why do I favor him over the other neighborhood squirrels? Because he is different! I know it is him when I see him. It’s like he is oozing that “over here, look at me, I stand out in the crowd” kind of vibe.

Shouldn’t we all have that vibe? Why try to blend in when we were clearly created to stand out? I am unique. I am the only human being who can be me. You are also unique, one in 7.3 billion (give or take a couple) and the only human being who can be you.

Let’s start celebrating who we are instead of hiding it. Being a little different (or a lot), isn’t a flaw, it’s a blessing. You are the amazing miracle of you. No one else can do that job. It is all yours and always will be.

Smiles and Hugs.

 

Love Yourself Awake

Once upon a time, I was easily wounded by what I perceived as another’s rejection. I was all too willing to take everything personally. The slightest comment, or lack thereof, could be considered a deliberate attack.

My ego was, and still is, capable of creating scenarios completely blown out of proportion and based on events that have not actually taken place. I lived my life from a place of fear.

I was afraid of being abandoned, not being good enough and winding up alone. I was so consumed by my fear that I stopped speaking my mind. I kept my mouth shut, acting as if I had no opinions whatsoever.

I had been avoiding conflict for many years in an effort to keep the peace and be likeable. I had become everyone’s doormat! And no one knew the real me. She was hidden from the world.

On the outside I was strong, smart and capable. On the inside, I was a crumpled mess. That is the story of how ego works. The ego is your self-image, the you that you present to the world, and it is an excuse making machine! Here are some of the things my ego told me:

Strong, confident women don’t wear their emotions on their sleeve.

I am better than they are, so there is no need to argue.

I am patient, tolerant and kind. There is no need to hurt someone’s feelings by expressing what I really think.

Everyone has a right to their own opinion and views. It is not my job to judge.

Now, that might not sound so bad, right? Not if it is your ego doing the talking. The ego tells you what you want to believe to keep you in your place. The ego is afraid of change.

Inside of me was a mountain of repressed emotion that was about to become a volcano of spewing anger, judgement and self-loathing. I had embraced becoming the victim.

It oftentimes seems, that as human beings, we gravitate toward the negative. Rather than take responsibility for our actions, feelings and emotions, we want to blame, complain and stay the same.

I am not the same person I was six months ago. In fact, I am dramatically different. I have discovered the “bigger voice” inside of me. My soul-self is awake and I am allowing her to take charge.

Everyone wants to know what the “one thing” is, the key to happiness, the secret to life. I know that secret. The “one thing” is self-love. There is no stronger force for creating joy than learning to love yourself.

 

You can consciously practice gratitude, forgiveness and self-care with positive results even if you haven’t truly achieved a great level of self-love. My article Soul Growth tells of my journey and some of the tools that got me here.

It’s difficult to explain and I know my old self would have had a difficult time grasping the notion, but with self-love comes clarity. The clarity to see what an amazing creation you are and everything and everyone else is too.

The practice of gratitude and forgiveness takes on a new life as well. It seems to come naturally to me now, without so much effort. There is so much more to be thankful for and so much less that requires my forgiveness.

I now know that strong, confident women are not afraid to show their emotions.

We are all equally perfect in our divine creation regardless of how we express ourselves.

I AM patient, tolerant and kind, but that does not mean I have to keep my mouth shut. My opinions matter. The feelings of someone else are their responsibility and, quite frankly, none of my business.

Just as I believe everyone else has a right to their opinions and views, so do I. It is not my job to judge anyone else on what they believe and it is not their job to judge me. My feelings can only be hurt if I believe what is implied.

 

My journey has been amazing and I look forward to all the future holds for me. A word of caution, however, would be that although I love the changes that have taken place and I am deeply grateful for the awakening, it is not always a comfortable place to be.

You still have to feel your emotions, in fact, possibly on a much deeper level than before. I know, for me, I have good days and bad days, just like before. Now, however, my good days are fabulous and my bad days are, well, not so tragic.

My ego can still get the best of me. My soul-self usually prevails if I use my tools. I always have to keep working. If I let my spiritual practice slide, I will fall back asleep.

So I keep practicing, I keep learning and I keep evolving. With every day I am able to do this, the world becomes a brighter, friendlier place, where we can all be ourselves, we are all connected and we are all enough, just as we are.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

Open your heart to divine guidance

We all have divine guides waiting and willing to help us along our path here on Earth. But how can we open ourselves up to receive this blessed help? And who, exactly, are our guides anyway?

I was struggling with these same questions, so I took a class. Yep, there was a class available, right here in my town, called Hearing your Divine Guidance, taught by psychic medium, Dr. Sandra Monroe. Here is some of what I learned from this class and other research:

Our divine guides can, and probably do include our deceased loved ones, our deceased ancestors from generations past, personal guides that have previously lived their own Earth lives, and Angels. Cool, right?

The first thing to know is you do not have the power to connect to your guides. They must come to you and you have to invite them in. Ask them for guidance.

The next is that spirit needs energy in order to connect. Everything is energy and we are no exception. It is possible to receive guidance from higher or lower vibration guides, so you want your vibration to be as high as possible to receive your best, most divine messages. Check out this great post for more information on this.

There are a few things you can do to clear your energy to help your guides connect with you.

Drink lots of water. This keeps you hydrated and flushes toxins from your system. A cleaner diet can also help with this. Eliminating fast foods, processed foods and anything containing hormones or pesticides is always a good choice.

Physical exercise raises your vibrational energy making connection easier. Practicing gratitude and smiling also raise your vibration.

And finally, my personal favorite, is to meditate. By quieting your mind and slowing your thoughts, you give your guides the opportunity to sneak their message in.

Your receptors are your six psychic senses. Yes, I said six, because your mind is actually your sixth sense, your intuition or inner wisdom, so to speak. Paying attention to what your psychic senses tell you is the key. Let’s explore each of them a little further.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the most widely known and means clear seeing or clear vision. This is when you receive your guides messages visually.

Clairvoyance is not received through your physical eyes, but through your minds eye. Some refer to this as your third eye. The message may come to you as a vivid, complete picture or it may be very subtle, such as seeing only a number or symbol.

Clairaudience

Clairaudience means clear hearing. This is the inner hearing of things outside the common field of awareness.

This can take the form of spirit voices, which may sound very much like your own voice, music or other sounds. It can be difficult, at times, to distinguish between the guide’s message and your own thoughts. I’m told this becomes easier with practice.

It is possible for clairaudient messages to be external as well. This can happen if your guides really want to get your attention and fast. Try not to shake this off. Follow your guidance. This is likely important.

Clairsentience

Clairsentience is clear feeling. This is not necessarily when you just know something, but when you actually feel it.

Maybe you feel a cool breeze but no windows are open or you feel as if someone has stroked your hair.

It’s possible you may be able to feel the emotion being presented to you as well. This would also be clairsentience.

Clairalience

Not as common as those above, clairalience is clear smelling. It is pretty self-explanatory.

Occasionally you may smell your deceased grandfather’s cologne or the pipe tobacco he smoked. If there is no one else around, my guess is Grandpa wants you to know he’s there for you.

Clairgustance

Also rather uncommon is clairgustance, or clear tasting. This would be tasting something without having actually put anything into your mouth.

Claircognizance

Claircognizance is when you intuitively know something but have no idea how or why you know it. This your sixth sense!

It can be the strong impulse you get to take a different route to work today or when you suddenly know to call your friend because she needs you.

I think we can all relate to this one. I’m sure you all have experienced this at least once.

Okay, so now we know we can clear our energy, pay more attention and try to hone our senses to allow for better connection with our spiritual guides.

One super easy way to ask for guidance from your angels and spiritual guides is to use Oracle cards. You shuffle your deck while concentrating on what you want to know. Ask your angels and guides for help and then pull one, three or five cards.

The deck I use, shown in the photo above, is Angel  Therapy Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue. A guidebook for reading the cards is included.

If you want to go a step further. Try getting a reading from a psychic medium. My girlfriend and I attended the Mystic fest in Omaha, Nebraska yesterday. This was a fun event where we experimented with a few different types of readings.

We both received and were impressed with a connecting with your deceased loved ones reading. Dr. Sandra Monroe, mentioned above, was our psychic medium of choice and she was wonderful. I definitely recommend this if you worry about your loved ones and wish to know they are okay. They are!

We both tried a tarot card reading as well. The psychic medium we chose seemed very in tune to our respective personalities and did a great job. I think my friend enjoyed this reading a bit more than I did.

My friend tried a past lives reading. She was not impressed with this one. This was not a regression and no hypnosis was involved. It was a thirty minute reading and unfortunately, she didn’t feel a strong connection with her reader.

I tried Reiki for the first time. This is a life force energy technique used for relaxation, stress reduction and healing. My practitioner also asked that I be sent guidance for my spiritual path.

I enjoyed the treatment and was able to feel some energy flow but not as much as I expected. When the treatment was over, however, she warned me to get up slowly and remain on the table until I recover. 

I’ve heard this from massage therapists after treatment and was expecting a similar experience.

After having only been on the table for ten minutes, I sat up slowly and honestly could not believe how dazed and unsteady I felt. Something definitely happened to me while I lay on that table.

I have yet to receive the guidance my practitioner promised but, then again, something told me I should write this post.

I hope you have fun with this. I did. And a big “Thank You” to my good friend for sharing this with me.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Kiwi “Thank You!”

Last night I said goodbye to a true friend, my precious cat, Kiwi. At almost twenty years old, she was more than ready to be rid of the body that was no longer serving her. I, however, wasn’t quite ready to let her go, but, I guess, I probably never truly would be. I loved her that much.

As a deep thank you to her for sharing my life, I would like to share a poem I wrote on July 21, 2017:

She is my trusted friend,

My confidante,

This little ball of fur.

For nineteen years,

She has shared my life,

True love, I feel for her.

Through ups and downs,

And all the changes,

Our bond has grown so deep.

We have traveled far,

And cuddled close,

My secrets, she swears to keep.

Fine memories we’ve made,

The two of us,

Together all these years.

I have cared for her,

And she for me,

But I know the end is near.

Oh precious one,

Upon my lap,

I don’t want to see her go,

A truer friend,

I could not have asked,

And that, I hope she knows!

For Kiwi, my friend. February 1, 1998 to October 26, 2017. You are free now!

 

Gratitude 2.0 – Going Deeper

Being grateful for the good things in your life is one thing, but have you ever considered expressing gratitude for the things you aren’t so happy about? Let’s explore this concept together.

In my post How to live a happy life – 13 actions you can take today, I invited you to take a thirty-day gratitude challenge, where you would list three different things you are grateful for, each day for thirty days. If we look at our lists I’m guessing we will find mostly pleasant experiences and things that make us feel really good. That’s fabulous, but now, let’s go a little deeper.

What happens when we become grateful for those not so wonderful feeling experiences and people in our lives? Miracles happen!! Trust me, it is pure magic.

So you might be asking, how exactly am I supposed to be thankful for stuff that makes me feel lousy? Well, to start out, you don’t have to actually feel it. Fake it, if you have to. The more you practice, the better you will start to feel about it. Eventually, you will begin to believe it and before you know it, miracles!

My belief is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience here on Earth. We are here to learn, however, that part of us that is human, has allowed us to forget our purpose here and even that we are, at our core, spirit.

Spirit wants to know contrast. Without knowing pain, how could you know comfort? Without first experiencing fear, how could you experience courage? Without the feeling of grief, you would not be able to know delight. Without sadness, there is no happiness. Without blame, there can be no forgiveness. This list goes on and on and on.

In the book, The Language of Letting Go, Melody Beattie writes, “One simple concept can get us through the most stressful of times. It’s called gratitude. We learn to say, thank you, for these problems and feelings. Thank you for the way things are. I don’t like this experience, but thank you anyway. Force gratitude until it becomes habitual. Gratitude helps us stop trying to control outcomes. It is the key that unlocks positive energy in our life. It is the alchemy that turns problems into blessings, and the unexpected into gifts.”

In the book, Gratitude A Way of Life, Louise Hay writes, “We even want to be grateful for the lessons we have. Don’t run from lessons; they are little packages of treasure that have been given to us. As we learn from them, our lives change for the better. I now rejoice whenever I see another portion of the dark side of myself. I know that it means that I am ready to let go of something that has been hindering my life.”

Life on Earth will know conflict and opposition as long as we are still learning and growing. Cherish all of your moments, good and bad. Every one is required to make you who you are, and you are amazing!

Below is a great quote on opposition. I am not positive of who actually said it. It has been attributed to Winston Churchill, Henry Ford, William Wrigley Jr., and Ezra Pound. I suspect each has said it, in one form or another.

Love yourself, love your brother, love your life. Everyday say Thank You. Thank you God, Thank you Universe, Thank you Life, for everything, all of my experiences, because I know everything is a blessing, even those feelings, thoughts and experiences that don’t look like it at first.

When you are done being grateful, say “Something wonderful is going to happen today.” And it will.

Smiles and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 things cats know about mindfulness and awareness

I have loved and been owned by cats my whole life, starting at age two. I have come to some conclusions after all these years of studying their antics.

I think we humans can learn quite a bit about living life to the fullest from the cats we share our homes with. Cats are truly mystical creatures and seem to have mastered the art of just being.

They seem to know that their presence in the world is enough. Their only responsibility is to exist and share their glory with the rest of us.

So here is my list of six things cats know about mindfulness and awareness that we humans have yet to learn:

1. Cats know how to live in the present moment.

Cats aren’t worrying about their futures or reliving their pasts. They are present, right here, right now, in this precious moment. The only moment that really matters.

Cats eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired and are perfectly content to be still, quiet and simply observe life as it is.

Cats know how to receive love. They are blissfully there, in the now, revelling in the act of receiving your touch. They are not afraid to show you how wonderful it feels for them. What if we could that?

2. Cats know how to forgive.

Cats don’t hold grudges. I have never known a cat to withhold her love from me because I went on vacation that one time and didn’t invite her to go along. Or because I forced him into that little crate and made him go to that place where they poke him with needles. Or because I forgot, that one day, to scoop her litter box.

Cats forgive and forget. They have the ability to move on with enjoying life because their own pleasure is important to them. What if we could do that?

3. Cats always follow their joy.

Cats love to play and amuse themselves and they are capable of creating fun out of nothing at all. They don’t require expensive toys or other beings to enjoy themselves.

A cat will chase a shadow, jump at a flicker of light on the wall or hunt and capture a scrap of paper found hiding behind the chair. They never grow out of this playful nature. Cats love to play throughout their entire lives.

If you have ever spent time watching one of these incredible happiness machines in action, you know they give their all to every playtime they create and they couldn’t be enjoying themselves any more, in that moment. What if we could do that?

4. Cats trust their instincts.

Cats do not spin their mental wheels pondering what their next move should be. They instinctively know and they immediately act on those instincts.

The mind of a cat is not cluttered with thoughts of “I should” or “what will the other cats think about me if I do that?” A cat knows what he wants, in that moment, and he goes for it.

A cat has no ego, she can only be her truest, most authentic self, by instinct. And so it is.

5. Cats know the benefits of spending time in nature.

Many pet cats these days are “indoor only”, meaning they live exclusively indoors and are not allowed to go outside. There are many reasons for this, including keeping them safe from motor vehicles, if you live in the city, keeping them safe from predators, if you live in the country or keeping birds and other wildlife safe from them, which has become a concern for some.

My cats do spend most of their time indoors, however, I find it important for them to have time outside as well, sometimes to the dismay of my neighbors.

Cats are considered to be domesticated, but I can tell you, with absolute certainty, that cats are their best natural selves when outside enjoying all that nature can offer, just as we are.

My cats are not allowed to roam whenever they want and I am diligent about having them inside after dark, but they know that even a short spell outside can contribute to their overall happiness. And they are not shy about asking for it.

6. Cats embody the concept of self-love.

Cats know their worth and demand that the world take notice. You will not find a cat with self-esteem issues.

The one-eyed cat acknowledges his beauty is equal to that pure bred Persian down the street. The three-legged cat knows his power to be equal to the four-legged felines next door. And the stray, homeless kitty knows she is just as worthy of love as the pampered pet inside your home.

Oh what we can learn from our feline friends. I hope you enjoyed this post.

Smiles and hugs.

Gratitude Journal week of 10-15-2017

Sunday 10-15-2017.

Today I am grateful for the quiet and solitude of early morning walks at the lake. For the cottonwood trees that sing to me when I walk. And for the inspiration of nature.

Today I send love and blessings to my ego.

 

Monday  10-16-2017.

Today I am grateful for my son’s inner wisdom and moral compass, which seems well beyond his eleven years. For a clear bright day filled with sunshine. And for Vala’s pumpkin patch, a fall tradition for us. This year I will be sharing this adventure with three pre-teen boys!

Today I send love and blessings to my inner critic.

 

Tuesday  10-17-2017.

Today I am happy and grateful for my back patio garden. For the blue jays outside my window. And for mirror work.

Today I send love and blessings to loud neighbors.

 

Wednesday  10-18-2017.

Today I am grateful for time alone. For new experiences. And for Pinterest.

Today I send love and blessings to President Donald Trump. I know that his presidency has a purpose for our planet, but I just have a difficult time wrapping my head around it.

 

Thursday  10-19-2017.

Today I am grateful for falling leaves. For Rebecca Campbell, her book, Light is the new black, and her playlist!

Today I send love and blessings to my cell phone service. It doesn’t work in my kitchen! Ugh!!

 

Friday  10-20-2017.

Today I am grateful for the my journey. For my vision board. And for the fresh flowers on my table.

Today I send love and blessings to middle school kids who agitate and tease.

 

Saturday  10-21-2017.

Today I am grateful for quiet neighbors. For the support of the universe. And for my JotterPad app.

Today I send love and blessings to all of the haters .

 

Last weeks gratitude journal can be seen here.

 

 

 

Soulwork – find peace inside of you

Have you ever just looked around at your life and wondered “How did I get here?” I think most of us probably have at one time or another. This question hit me hard about six months ago. And it wasn’t the first time for me.

I was humming along just fine, happy and grateful for all of the blessings in my life, when something inside me shifted. The outer forces that may have contributed to my shift were that my fiftieth birthday was fast approaching and I had been laid off from the job I love due to lack of work coming in.

My transformation had begun. Who am I? Who do I really want to be? Is this the life I was meant to live? Who do I show to the world? What do I hide and why? Do I have a deeper purpose? I started using Google search like a magic eight ball. Every question that popped into my head, I threw at the search bar.

I couldn’t get enough information. I suddenly wanted to learn and know everything there is to know. I buried myself in a huge pile of books. I started journaling again. Why did I stop? Writing has always gotten me through life’s biggest challenges.

I started meditating and I was completely and pleasantly surprised at how great I started to feel shortly after beginning. I started remembering my dreams, so I now keep a dream journal on the night stand, next to my bed. I began taking nature walks that provide me with a powerful connection to life on this planet.

The answers started coming. I was led to books and people and blogs that could help me on my way. I would find one awesome resource that would lead to another, and that one to another after that.

I started listening to my intuition and taking actions I had previously feared. I ended a long-term relationship that wasn’t serving either of us, willing and longing to be alone so that I could truly discover the real me that lay under the layers of guilt, insecurity and repression.

We walk around blindfolded, unable to see our true reality. Everyone is searching for something. Everyone is trying to fill some hole inside of themselves. But when we are willing to look, very deep inside of ourselves, we will find the answers. The answers that can open our hearts and free our minds.

We are more than what we think we are!

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. All of the answers to all of the questions can be found within ourselves, if we are willing to search the depths of our soul. You have the power to be more!

The ego, or who you perceive yourself to be, is a master at blocking your soulwork and discovery of your authentic self. It will make excuses, fill you with fear and stop you from moving forward. The ego needs to be understood so that it can work for you, rather than against you.

Everything started moving in the right direction for me when I realized, without a doubt, that the only way I would truly be able to love others unconditionally was to somehow learn to love myself in that very way. Being able to accomplish this one task was the key difference between this journey and past self discovery missions.

When you can embrace EVERYTHING that you are, miracles happen. I realized, with great clarity, that we are all interconnected by the fabric of life. There is no separation between you and me. We are one. We are the same. When I look at you, I am looking in a mirror. If I see anything I don’t like, it is simply a reflection of myself. Something I must work on to improve.

When you love yourself, you love life, all of life, everything and everyone in it. You stop seeking to find happiness from external sources. Life loves you back. You will begin to attract the things that are required for you to shine your light on the world.

There is no one else quite like you. The world wants you just as you are. Fly your freak flag high in the air. Celebrate your weird, embrace your inner nerd, give your cat lady self a little kiss. You are already perfect.

Smile and hugs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Split Yourself Open…Letter To An Old Friend

True self-love is all about forgiveness. The first and most important person to forgive is yourself. It’s important to open yourself wide and look deep inside to the shadows of your soul. Accepting and even embracing the parts of yourself that you would rather hide from the world. These parts are your true blessings. Your flaws and fumbles are what make you human and they also make you, you. This is a letter I wrote a couple of months ago.

Dear Old Friend,

I saw you in my dreams last night and today I am inspired to write this letter to confess and confide in you some truths about our past. You may never read this because I may never send it, but it must be written while I have the courage and motivation to do so.

You have always held a very special place in my heart and I believe you always will. I am so grateful to have had both the pleasure and the pain of sharing a little bit of life with you, as your friend and otherwise. I want to tell you two things. This is difficult for me to admit, even today.

Maybe you remember coming to me one night when we were in our early twenties. I was in a relationship with Russell (name has been changed), our mutual friend at the time. You were hoping for an intimate connection and I turned you away. It wasn’t because I was in love with Russell and it wasn’t because I didn’t love you. I had a secret.

I had contracted the genital Herpes virus from Russell. Of course, I wanted to protect you from that, but I was also protecting myself. This was not something I wanted to share about myself, it would have been too painful. So I chose to hide my truth. Forgive me.

Believe it or not, my next confession was even harder for me to accept. Very deep breath. I lied to you once before and it was a much bigger lie. A HUGE lie. I am so sorry. I have managed to forgive myself and hope, that in time, you can too.

There was no baby. There was no miscarriage. I am tearing up even now as I write this. I made the whole thing up. I recited this lie so many times and for so many years that I may have actually believed it myself.

The first time I admitted to fabricating this story was in therapy about eight years ago. My therapist helped me understand that I was trying to cope with how messed up my family life was at the time. My Mom was put in a nursing home at the age of forty-five and I was being shipped off to another state to live with a father I barely knew.

I loved and admired your family very much. I desperately wanted to be a part of that. So my sixteen year old mind created a family of my very own. A child that didn’t actually exist, except in my mind. A child that gave me a connection to you and to your family. Something for me to cling to when my world got turned upside down.

It was never my intention to cause you pain. I have only ever felt a very deep love for you, your siblings and your folks. I miss you all and think of you often. Finally, at age fifty, I am finding ways to heal my old wounds and get peace. I wish the same for you.

With love, your old friend,

Trish