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

 

 

Lift each other up!

One of the things I love about my nature walks is the row of cottonwood trees along the gravel path. The slightest breeze makes their leaves sing. The first time I experienced the sound, I thought it was running water, but the creek is in the other direction. It took a minute for me to discover it was the trees themselves producing this glorious noise. Now whenever there a breeze, I look forward to hearing those trees sing to me on my walk.

One of the trees lost its footing in a recent storm. It surely would have fallen to the ground if not for a neighboring tree that caught it and is now providing support for the injured tree.

I couldn’t help but think about all that nature can teach us. As human beings we can learn to lift each other up, support each other when we fall and sing our songs for strangers.

Smiles and hugs!

Gratitude Journal week of 10-8-2017

Sunday 10-8-2017.

Today I am grateful for the volunteers who run the Saturday night program at Hyde Observatory. Amazing time last night. Thank you! For my son’s great taste in friends. Outstanding kids. And for finally getting this blog live.

Today I send love and blessings to Christina (name has been changed).

 

Monday  10-9-2017.

Today I am grateful for Louise Hay and Hay House Publishing. For phenomenal friends who always stick with me. And for warm throw blankets. Brrr.

Today I send love and blessings to…. honestly, I don’t have anything. What a problem to have! I guess today I will be grateful for not having anyone or anything that is bothering me. So thrilled!

 

Tuesday  10-10-2017.

Today I am grateful for my comfortable bed. For cat fur in my coffee. And for audio books.

Today I send love and blessings to my Veterinary office. My kitty is sick and they couldn’t get us in until tomorrow. ☹️

 

Wednesday  10-11-2017.

Today and everyday, I am grateful to the Universe for loving me. For my black socks. Seriously, today while getting dressed, I thought to myself “I love my black socks”, so they made the list. And for the shimmer of the frost in the early morning sun.

Today I send love and blessings to myself for not always being able to practice what I preach.

 

Thursday  10-12-2017.

Today I am grateful for any and all opportunities presented to me on this day. For the chatter of the birds as the sun rises. And for fall blooming mums.

Today I send love and blessings to whoever thought bubble gum was a good flavor for feline pain medication. Hmmm.

 

Friday  10-13-2017.

Today I am grateful for the hail storm that damaged the car I had purchased just eighteen months earlier. The damage was only cosmetic and the insurance money allowed me to pay off my car loan twenty months early. Today I am eternally grateful for my sick kitty finally eating a decent meal. I hope this means we will have a bit more time together. Thank you. And for a job that allows me flexibility with my hours.

Today I send love and blessings to that roofer again. He is right on the edge of breaking our legal agreement.

 

Saturday  10-14-2017.

Today I am grateful for the colors of autumn. For the smell of autumn. And for cool breezes.

Today I send love and blessings to my former boss.

 

Last weeks gratitude journal can be seen here.

 

 

 

A cat lovers guide to Loving without condition

My son and I share our lives and home with three furry felines. We consider them to be part of our family, therefore they are very spoiled and highly loved. Each cat was adopted and has a very distinct and different personality. Just like most of the people I know, their individual traits have been shaped by both their genes and their environments. And just as I believe that every human is equally worthy and deserving of love, so too are these felines.

Unlike dogs, cats cannot be trained to be a good companion. When you adopt a cat it can be difficult to know exactly what you are going to get as far as personality goes. As with anything in life, it must be entered into with an open heart. I love and respect each of these animals for exactly what they are. Each is a divine and unique creature, as we all are, deserving of comfort and care.

The oldest is a fluffy calico female. She is all sunshine and light, has been her entire nineteen years of life. This one loves humans, other cats and dogs. She was very close to a dog I used to have and they would lay around together and groom each other.

She does not growl, hiss or bite. She purrs loud and pretty much whenever there is another life close to her. She is unaffected by the attitudes or behaviors of her housemates. She allows one cat to hiss and growl at her every time she walks by without a second glance. The other cat is allowed to obsessively play with her tail, without retribution. He has been doing this for over three years. She is not critical of my son for handling her too much or of me for shooing her away because I do not wish to be groomed.

This cat is inherently happy regardless of those around her. I have been blessed to have her as my companion for all these years. What an inspiration for the rest of us!

The middle fur child and also the most recently adopted is a gorgeous purebred Ragdoll with stunning blue eyes. I found this beauty at our local humane society. She is much more dark and shadow than sunshine and light. Simply saying she has an attitude would be completely understating her personality. This cat is vocal, demanding and stand-offish. Sometimes she is downright mean.

Her demeanor has improved greatly in the three years she has been with us. She will now occasionally seek out attention and she allows unsolicited petting as long as it is brief. She will always give a warning before she lashes out. It wasn’t always this way. I bled many times before earning her trust. She has come to know that we will not hurt and we will show her love and kindness that does not require any specific behavior on her part.

The other cats have accepted her as well. We adopted her at seven years old and no information about her life before she joined our family. We are just very thankful that she is with us now and receiving the love she deserves.

My youngest kitty is a black and white male. His coloring exquisitely depicts his disposition. This cat is the absolute perfect balance of light and dark tendencies. He is by far the sweetest cat I have ever known, yet he is also joyfully naughty. He is energetic, curious, intelligent and playful. Hmmm. I might need more human men like this in my life.

This cat is my lap warmer and the source of most of my daily hugs. I like to press him to my ear to listen to and feel his purr. My son can handle him as much and in any way he chooses.

True to his nature, however, this cat does what he pleases, which includes walking on tables and counters, running through house as if he is on fire and trying to “pet” the fish. He will cheerfully antagonize the other cats by showing his perceived dominance, and in the next moment submit by rolling over to expose his belly or cuddling up for a nap.

The day we adopted this precious feline, we had gone to foster home to see his sister. My son plopped down on the floor after we arrived and this cat immediately crawled into his lap and got comfortable. He chose us to be his family. It was meant to be. And I can’t imagine life without him now.

So what do you think? Could you love each of these fur balls unconditionally despite their very unique nature? Do their purrsonalities remind you of any humans you know? Do you or can you love these humans even if they don’t follow your path, knowing that they have been shaped their own genes and experiences which certainly differ from your own?

It’s all about perception. How do you view the people in your life? Choose love.

 

 

How to live a happy life – 13 actions you can take today

I originally intended for this article to be a list of fifteen actions you can take today to live a happier life, but with today being Friday the thirteenth, I thought a list of thirteen might be more appropriate. Enjoy.

1.  Practice Gratitude

It is so easy to take the beauty in life for granted. It seems sometimes that we are built for negativity. Practicing gratitude can be a powerful way to realize how wonderful your life already is. It’s not always easy to feel authentically grateful, especially if things aren’t going your way. The good news is that gratitude can be learned. You can fake it until you make it.

I challenge you to practice gratitude for thirty days. Start a gratitude journal and each morning, for thirty days, list three new things in life that you are thankful for. It can be something huge like divine guidance or something small like warm socks or anything in between. If you would like to see my gratitude journal, it will be posted weekly, for a limited time, on this blog. At the end of your challenge, I would love to know if this practice improved your life and how.

2. Practice Forgiveness

Forgiveness will set you free. Holding a grudge only hurts the person choosing to hold it. Why spend your precious energy all worked up over something you can’t change. The past is done, there is no undoing it. You can’t change the fact that you have been hurt and you can’t force anyone else to change their mind or behavior. What you do have some control over is your own thoughts and actions. Rather than wallowing in your own hostility, why not change the way you think about the situation. Wish your adversary love. Pray for them.

The most important person for you to forgive, is you, and this is often the most difficult task to accomplish. If you can forgive and love yourself, you will find it much easier to forgive others in your life as well.

One good way to get started is to send love and blessings to one person or thing that is irritating you each day. This can be yourself, someone else or not even a person at all. I list mine right after the three things I am grateful for in my journal. Repetition is encouraged on this practice as it may take some time to truly forgive the hurt that runs deep. You will be training your brain by doing this practice daily and it does work.

3. Write your stories.

Start a journal. Writing can be a very powerful tool for healing. Spill your emotions and fears onto the pages in whatever way feels therapeutic to you.  Write poems, write stories, write letters you will never send. Try writing a letter to God, the Universe or your higher self. If you can’t take the chance of someone finding your written words, feel free to burn the page when you are done. What is important is that you release what is bottled inside of you.

4. Learn to say no and yes.

It is time to start saying no to people, events and things that drain you of your life force. It is not your responsibility to deal with other peoples issues. Take care of yourself first. Ask yourself “Am I doing this out of love or out of fear?” For example, are you doing someone a favor because you love them and are happy to help or are doing it because you are afraid the person will think less of you if you don’t? Choose love.

It is time to say yes to your life. Yes to contining to learn everyday. Yes to new experiences. Yes to change. Yes to the things you love. Yes to your intuition and yes to the power of believing in you!

5. Meditate

Start a daily meditation practice. I cannot tell you how much this has helped me to be present, see clearly and remain calm. We spend most of our time either dwelling on the past or looking to the future. The past is over. The future doesn’t exist yet. Now is all that matters. Meditation can teach you to focus on now. A large commitment of time is not required. You can experience the benefits in as little as ten minutes a day. There are many phone apps available for guided meditation. Play around and find something that fits your style. Give it a try.

6. Get out in nature

Go for a walk, or a run or maybe just sit under a tree. Feel the force that connects everything on this planet. Look with wonder at all that you see. Get grounded by walking barefoot on the sand or the grass. Get your toes, or your hands, wet in the stream or the lake. Listen to the wind, the birds, the gravel beneath your feet. Drink it all in. Unplug for just a little while each day. It will be worth it.

7. Do nice things for yourself

Make your happiness a priority. It isn’t selfish to take care of you for a change. In fact, I think it’s necessary if you want to stay healthy. Take the time you need to do the things on this list. You are worth it. Treat yourself to a massage or a little gift, something you’ve had your eye on. Take a class or go out with friends. Indulge in a bit of self-love.

8. Give

It is better to give than to receive. It has been proven that people tend to feel better about themselves if they give to others in need. I personally believe that the more you give, the more you get. The time is always now, even if you feel like you don’t have enough to spead around. No matter what my situation is, I am generous with what I have, there is always someone else who needs more than I do. So donate your money, your time or your stuff. Feel those good vibrations!

9. Spend some time alone

This is never a problem for me. I love my time by myself. Some of you may feel the same way. There is a trick to this, though. You need to be alone without distraction. Yep, that means no television, no texting, no social media. Most people will find it extremely difficult to just be still and quiet with themselves. The reason we are uncomfortable with this is because we will be forced to listen to our own thoughts. When you engage in this practice, be kind to yourself. Remember to practice forgiveness as you do this as well.

There is no better way to become aware of your thoughts and what is truly important to you than being alone without anyone else to influence what is on your mind. If you want to expand on this experience, take a trip by yourself. Go away for a couple of days and only do what you want to do. If this scares you, you may want to ask yourself why.

10. Trust your instincts

Many of us are not willing to act on our instincts or intuition.  We don’t trust ourselves. We may be afraid of failing or of what other people might think of what we are doing. Your intuition is what your soul wants, what your heart desires, it is your higher self giving you inspiration. When you ignore your intuition, you turn your back on your authentic self. Don’t feed your fears. Trust your intuition.

11. Embrace your demons

Have you hugged your demons today? We all have a dark side. If you have taken some of the actions listed above, you may be seeing some of yours by now. This is key to learning self-love. There are parts of ourselves that may be difficult to love, like, or even admit to.  The first step here is awareness. What are you ashamed of? What makes you angry or sad? What are afraid to talk about openly? It may be uncomfortable to acknowledge at first, but it will become easier with time.

The next step is acceptance. No one is perfect. We all have flaws. These perceived imperfections are necessary to the human experience. They are something we all share. Without our darkness, our light would not shine. To experience wholeness you must accept all of yourself.

Finally, it’s time to embrace. Release your shame, your anger, sadness and jealousy by gently trying to see it’s source. Where does it come from? Do not judge yourself. Treat your demons with compassion and understanding.

12. Chase your joy

One of my definitions of joy is watching my son grow, learn and develop in his own way. Another is being curled up with a great book, hot coffee, a blanket and a vibrating cat on my lap. I feel calm, at peace, like everything is right in the world.

What brings you joy? Once you define what that is, start using your energy to chase your joy. My home is rarely as clean as it used to be. Cleaning does not bring me joy. My time is better spent on things that do.

13. Walk into your fear

Whatever you are most afraid of, is what you should be paying the most attention to. Our conscious mind will always choose fear to block us from true awareness. Your authentic gifts can be revealed by facing what scares you. Walk into your fear. Walk into your greatness!

Happy Friday the thirteenth to you!!

Gratitude Journal week of 10-1-2017

Sunday  10-1-2017.

Today I am grateful for the friendship I have with my ex-husband. For the knowledge that eleven year old boys tend to pull away from their moms somewhat and gravitate toward the male role models in their lives and this is normal. And the calico cat that has been my companion for nineteen years.

Today I send love and blessings to the company that sold my refurbished laptop. It may not be human but it definitely has some issues of its own.

 

Monday  10-2-2017.

Today I am grateful for the love fest that happened between my son and our Ragdoll act this morning. The price of admission was running ten minutes behind schedule and totally worth it. For thunderstorms. And for books. I love books!

Today I send love and blessings to the architectural team who created the drawings I am trying to work with at my day job. Smiling through gritted teeth.

 

Tuesday  10-3-2017.

Today I am grateful for my beautiful sister. For occasional playtime with my son, who grows more independent with each day. And for awesome co-workers.

Today I send love and blessings to the father of my fabulous niece.

 

Wednesday  10-4-2017.

Today I am grateful for free on-line classes and lectures. For being able to see the sun rising above the dam when leaving for work. And for great neighbors.

Today I send love and blessings to the driver who was so impatient at the red light that he felt it necessary to blast his horn right outside my open car window.

 

Thursday  10-5-2017.

Today I am grateful for my black and white cat who is always ready for a snuggle right after my alarm goes off in the morning. For umbrellas. And for my cell phone.

Today I send love and blessings to that roofer, again, as I prepare the letter reminding him that his payment is late, again.

 

Friday  10-6-2017.

Today I am so happy and grateful that my roof is not leaking with all this rain. That my thirty year old garage door opener still works. And for the smell of early morning rain.

Today I send love and blessings to anyone who thinks suing someone over contracting a STI to get revenge or monetary gain is acceptable.

 

Saturday  10-7-2017.

Today I am grateful for mornings that don’t require an alarm. For homemade banana muffins. And for the pure bred Ragdoll cat that we were able to adopt at our local humane society.

Today I send love and blessings to my tendency to procrastinate.

 

Please check out last weeks gratitude journal here.

 

 

 

 

Birdy Bathtime

It’s been a sunless, gloomy day filled with clouds and umbrellas. But even on a day such as this, it isn’t difficult to find an awe-inspiring sight, if you simply pay attention.

I always try to look with curiosity and wonder at all that I see. Today was no exception. While out running errands, I found it. That something special that would leave me smiling with appreciation.

My treasure for today is a puddle. Ah, but this is no ordinary rain puddle. This body of water happens to be a large and quite popular bird bath.

These little cuties were splashing around like my kid at a water park. Several birds took flight as I approached and didn’t make into the photo. This was obviously a private party, but I sure am glad I crashed it!

Smiles and hugs

Positive Parenting – 20 things every child needs to hear

Our children are the future of this planet. They deserve to be raised with a loving spirit, high self-worth and sense of independence, so that they may make a positive impact on our world. Children are not possessions. They are not mini versions of their parents. Our children don’t exist just to make us look good. Children are young growing human beings in their own right. They have minds of their own. Their thoughts, behaviors and actions do not have to mirror those of their parents. We can encourage our children to express who they are rather than who we wish them to be. Our children have their own paths to follow. Inside each child is a precious gift of individuality. We can help them release this gift to the world. Young children especially are sponges and everything they learn from us now will influence the kind of adult they will become. Let’s try to make it a positive experience.

Here are twenty things I believe every child needs to hear from their parent, in no particular order:

  1. I am sorry. I was wrong.
  2. I forgive you.
  3. Thank you.
  4. You are enough just the way you are.
  5. You are the most amazing human being I have ever met.
  6. I love you no matter what. There is nothing you could ever do to make me stop.
  7. Your dreams are important. I support you!
  8. It’s okay to make mistakes. That is the best way to learn.
  9. Perfection is not important. Loving who you are is.
  10. You are entitled to your own opinions even if they differ from my own.
  11. You have taught me more than I could have ever imagined possible.
  12. This is your responsibility.
  13. You are so good-looking.
  14. I think you are an awesome kid.
  15. I respect you as a person.
  16. You can count on me. I will always be there for you.
  17. Your friends are so lucky to have you in their lives.
  18. It is appropriate to feel whatever is inside you.
  19. All lives matter. Bullying and abuse are not acceptable.
  20. You have what it takes to achieve your goals.

Hang Gliding Hawks

It was early morning when I left for my nature walk. I was hoping to catch the sun just as it peeked over the horizon. The warm moist air felt welcoming and the wind blew strong and steady. I always enjoy watching the sun rise above the little by my house and today did not disappoint. It was nothing less than majestic, and yet, it did not end up being the highlight of this communion with nature.

The red-tailed hawks were out on this morning and they were low and visible in the sky. Beautiful and powerful birds, they are quite large and have an impressive wingspan. I was able to locate several groups of hawks in the area, all doing the exact same thing. They were hang gliding!

I have never seen anything like it before. Wings spread wide, facing the wind, gliding effortlessly without a single flap of the wings required. They were simply floating on air. How positively free they must feel. It was obvious to me that these birds were engaging in this activity with the absolute intention of doing so. They were using what had been given to them, in that moment, which happened to be a strong steady wind, to bring themselves joy.

Watching them maneuver to the wind in order hang above me, going nowhere, succeeded in bringing me great joy. I felt a profound sense of awe and deeper connection to life as I gazed upon these glorious creatures. We can learn so much from our fellow inhabitants of this world.

This was an incredible experience for me and I felt it was worthy of sharing. I hope you enjoyed it. Remember to look with wonder at all in your life and you will start to see truly amazing things!

Peace, love and connectedness