Sending love on Valentine’s day

Today is Valentine’s day and my wish for you is that you know how loved you truly are.

It doesn’t matter if you are married, divorced, single, in a relationship or alone, today is a day to celebrate how special you are.

If there isn’t someone in your life to treat you great today, treat yourself well. Give yourself something wonderful. You deserve love.

I think you are…

Amazing, just the way you are.

Beautiful, inside and out.

Creative, in all that you do.

Divine, you are love and light.

Enough, more than enough!

Fabulous, fun and full of life.

Generous, to all who know you.

Happy, just being you.

Intuitive, to your immense gifts.

Joyous, in the life you create.

Kind, to yourself and others.

Loved, yes, you are so loved.

Magnificent, a true miracle.

Non-resistant, willing to grow.

Opulent, truly abundant.

Passionate, you know what lights you up.

Quintessential, simply perfect.

Radiant, I think you are glowing.

Spirit, infinite wisdom is in you.

Tremendous, you are absolutely extraordinary.

Unique, because there is only one you.

Valuable, you are more important than you know.

Whole, because God makes no mistakes.

XOXO, hugs and kisses for you.

You, this is the one job no one else can do.

Zestful, and loving every moment.

Have a fantastic Valentine’s day overflowing with love and kindness!!

What is Mirror Work and how can it help me?

Hi. Welcome to Week four of my Tools for your Spiritual Journey series. I am so happy you’re here. This week’s post is about Mirror Work. This is the perfect follow-up to last week’s post on affirmations.

What is Mirror Work exactly?

Mirror work is a very powerful practice for your journey that basically involves saying affirmations to yourself in a mirror. This may sound hokey to many of you and downright frightening to others.

Of all of the tools I now use, this one is my favorite and it also the practice I always show up for. I do this everyday, without fail. I believe mirror work is absolutely key to learning to truly love who you are.

Louise Hay was famous for practicing and teaching mirror work. She is the author of many books on the subject. She says “mirror work is the most effective method I have found for learning to love yourself and see the world as a safe and loving place.”

Robert Holden, Ph.D, was a student of Louise Hay who has taken up the teaching of mirror work himself. Robert says “you won’t find what you have been looking for until you look in the mirror.” And I couldn’t agree more.

Who can benefit by practicing mirror work?

I think everyone can gain more appreciation of self by doing this work. Those who suffer from low self-worth or low self-esteem will certainly benefit from doing this practice on a regular basis.

If you cringe at the thought of looking into your own eyes and saying “I am beautiful” or “I am smart”, “I am worthy”, or Louise’s favorite, “I am loveable”, then mirror work is definitely for you.

Do this! Face your fear. You are so much more than you believe!

Are you in? Awesome!

I was first introduced to mirror work in Janet Conner’s book, Writing down your soulThis is a wonderful place to start for many of the tools in this series of posts. In her book she encourages you to start by looking in the mirror and telling yourself “I am precious, I am important”.

She admits that this was too much for her when she began and had to kind of side glance at the mirror to get the words out. After much practice, however, she was able to look at herself straight on and say the words. Just as you will be able to if you keep at it.

I began my own mirror work with “I am beautiful”. For me this is not so much about physical beauty as it is seeing my inner beauty. I do believe that most of us focus on our flaws when we look in the mirror and telling ourselves we are beautiful, sexy, gorgeous or handsome can shift the focus off of what we consider to be less than desirable.

Shortly after starting my mirror work practice, I listened to the audio book Life Loves You by Robert Holden and Louise Hay. Now I was really hooked. This stuff works!

Learning from the best…

Louise Hay says “positive affirmations plant healing thoughts and ideas that support you in developing self-confidence and self-esteem, and creating peace of mind and inner joy.

Robert Holden offers his loving yourself free video series, focusing on mirror work. I have watched the entire series and I highly recommend. I tweaked my own practice to incorporate some of what I learned from Robert in this series. As he begins the first video, he says

“The one piece of equipment you need is a mirror. Any mirror will do. Make sure you give it a good polish before you begin. You are about to meet the most important person in your life”.

I love that! It is so true. Truly loving anyone else is not possible until you can learn to truly love yourself. Once you have done that, everything else will begin to fall into place.

If you would like to read the other posts in this series, I have included links below.

Thank you for reading!

Week one – How to create a solid meditation practice

Week two – Daily soul writing for your spiritual practice

Week three – Using positive affirmations to kick the negative self-talk habit

Week five – How to use the energy of crystals for your spiritual growth

Week six – Try a manifestation box instead of a vision board

Week seven – Pay attention to your inner guidance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

If you would like to read the other posts in this series, I have included links below.

Thank you for reading!

Week one – How to create a solid meditation practice

Week two – Daily soul writing for your spiritual practice

Week four  – What is mirror work and how can it help me?

Week five – How to use the energy of crystals for your spiritual growth

Week six – Try a manifestation box instead of a vision board

Week seven – Pay attention to your inner guidance

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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.

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

 

 

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!!