When you are struggling in life with something, what's the first thing you do? Do you ask others for their advice and opinions? Do you search endlessly on the internet for the answer? All the answers you need for your life are within you. You have access to a rich inner source of wisdom. Your Higher Self, which is your highest Divine version of your physical self, knows exactly how to help you. All you have to do is ask or begin to listen for your inner voice. The way to connect to your Higher Self is to sit in silence and set your intention. Once you ask for assistance, you need to trust the answer you receive. If the answer is to take action, you will feel inspired to do so and it is then your responsibility to follow it. Taking inspired action is much different than taking action using sheer human will. You may not know why you are being led in the direction that you are, but if you follow it with trust in your heart, you will eventually understand through hindsight. As you begin to connect more and more with your Higher Self, you will find that following your inner guidance will get easier. Life will become more peaceful, loving and definitely more joyful. Here is a story that some may be familiar with about what happens when we ask for assistance, but then turn it away. It's the same thing if we ask for assistance and hear our inner voice and then we don't follow the guidance or take action.
The Drowning Man
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, "Jump in, I can save you."
The stranded fellow shouted back, "No, it's OK, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me."
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. "The fellow in the motorboat shouted, "Jump in, I can save you."
To this the stranded man said, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, "Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety."
To this the stranded man again replied, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, "I had faith in you but you didn't save me, you let me drown. I don't understand why!"
To this God replied, "I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"
What action can you take today that you are being guided to take? Listen to your inner voice and trust what you hear!
Quote of the day: "See where your own energy wants to go, not where you think it should go. Do something because it feels right, not because it makes sense. Follow the spiritual impulse."
The other day I was at the library with my daughter. We went into the coffee shop to have a snack. As we were walking to our table, I felt guided to sit in a certain chair facing out the window. As we were sitting there eating, I focused in on a woman sitting in the window bay having lunch with a friend. I overheard a part of her conversation even though I was about 20 feet away from her. She was not talking very loud. I then felt the need to talk with her and invite her to a monthly meditation group I attend which was happening the very next day. This is not something I would normally do, but the feeling kept getting stronger as if I was being pushed out of my chair.
After several minutes, I discreetly made my way over to where she was sitting. The opening for me was that she noticed my daughter and took an interest in her and we started to talk. I told her I overheard something she said and that I thought she would really like our meditation group. She initially looked a little shocked, but then asked for more information. I gave it to her, told her it was nice to meet her and started to walk to the door. As my daughter and I were walking out, she came up behind us and sounding more enthusiastic, thanked me again. I gave her my cell phone number so she could text me her number in case the group cancelled for any reason. She sent me a text the next day telling me she couldn't make it that night, but would love to come next month. Whether she will or won't is not the point of this story. I believe that we are all guided at times to help others in any way, but may not because of fear. Our ego can get in the way. I could have not gone over to her because I did feel a little embarrassed that I had been "eavesdropping". But what if this changes her life in some positive way and I had never told her about it? I may never know the outcome, but that is not my business anyway. Our responsibility to our self and others is to take action when being guided to do so. And then you let go.
Following our inner voice, our Higher Self, is essential to living from a place of joy, love, peace and abundance. And as you continue to listen and follow the guidance and live from your Higher Self, you will make a difference in others' lives as well.
Positive Quote of the Day: "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people,
can transform the world." ~ Howard Zinn (Historian) ~
This month in honor of the new year I have been clearing out my living space. Closets, drawers, filing cabinets, kitchen cabinets. Little by little I've been going through all the nooks and crannies of my home and getting rid of what I no longer need. It's a freeing experience. I just love the feeling of lightening my load. And when we get rid of the old, we make room for the new to enter our lives.
Clearing out the clutter also applies to our thoughts and feelings. It's important to get clear about the limiting beliefs that could be holding you back from living the life you've always imagined. Our conscious minds make up about 10% of what we think, the other 90% is in our subconscious minds. If you don't clear old beliefs or thoughts from your subconscious, you will continue to have the same patterns repeat themselves. In order to know what's in the dark closet of your subconscious, you must make time to open the door. If you are not living your ideal life, take some time to look within. Finding time each day to get quiet and feel whatever comes up for you is so important. This is how you find out what could be getting in your way. Once you get clear about the negative thoughts or beliefs you may be harboring from the past, you will be able to energetically clear them so they no longer guide you in your daily life.
When you first begin to do this, life may temporarily feel more chaotic and unorganized, just like when you begin to organize your home. Piles of stuff may be everywhere as you purge, but once you let go of what is no longer serving you and reorganize there is a sense of peace and calm in its place. The same occurs when you clear out old ways of thinking. But once you go through the process of clearing old thoughts and beliefs, your life starts to come together more easily. As you clear the clutter from your mind and body, you will notice that you will be able to hear the still, subtle voice of your heart. This will lead you to exactly what you need to do or where you need to go. You'll be more inspired and passionate about your life. Every time you clear old thoughts and beliefs, you make room for new positive ones to take their place. This is how you attract all the things you desire in life.
Pay attention to your reactions during the day. If you are worried, fearful or feel that things are never easy, go within to find the belief that you are operating from. Just being conscious of it you will notice a releasing of the old way of thinking. It's time for all of us to live more consciously and this is a good place to begin.
Albert Einstein "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
We are being asked to raise our vibrational frequency with an urgency that is evident with the disasters that are happening all around us. As a collective consciousness, we can bring about change. Change that will affect how all of us are living. It starts with you. We each need to be more conscious and stay at an emotional level that is more aligned with our true essence more of the time. Working on our own energy systems will heal all those around us. Anger, resentment, fear are low negative vibrations and need to be cleared. In our personal lives, our "stuff" is coming up fast and furious to get our attention in order for us to do the work to heal. Illness, financial problems, difficult relationships are occurring in order for us to look within and heal old wounds. Holding onto resentment and anger toward others does nothing to the other person, but can wreak havoc on our own personal emotional and physical health. Forgiveness is a very effective way to clear these negative emotions and neutralize our karma releasing ourselves from the bondage's we've kept in place . When you forgive others and ask for forgiveness, the emotions associated with the situation start to clear until you no longer feel its affects. This is a Universal Law. Forgiving others does not mean you condone their behavior, but rather it frees you to move forward with peace, joy, hope and spiritual well-being to create your life on your own terms. If you think you don't have any anger or resentments, notice what is not working in your life and then go deeper to find the cause. Unless you are blissful every day, there is work to be done.
According to Dr. Carolyn L. Mein, a chiropractor and acupuncturist, saying forgiveness prayers every morning and every night for 10 days to two weeks can transform any relationship. (And you can continue with everyone in your life where you feel these negative emotions). We heal within our relationships to others, so this is important work. You will know when to stop saying the prayer everyday when you feel peace in your heart. The following is one forgiveness prayer by Dr. Roberta Herzog (there are many other prayers of forgiveness; please check my links and resources page for additional prayers):
"_________, I forgive you for Everything you've ever said or done to me in thought, word or deed that has caused me pain in this or any other lifetime. You are free and I am free! And __________, I ask that you forgive Me for Anything that I have ever said or done to you in thought, word, or deed in this or any other lifetime that has caused you pain. You are free and I am free! Thank you, God (Higher Power, Diving Light), for this opportunity to forgive____________and to forgive myself."
A new day is coming very soon. Positive change is coming as we all heed the warnings to heal ourselves and in the process heal others. It starts with you.
Quote of the Day: “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” -Marriane Williamson
I recently read the following story and would like to share it with you. It's the story of the Golden Buddha which was published by Jack Canfield in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit.
Back in 1957 a group of monks from a monastery had to relocate a clay Buddha from their temple to a new location. The monastery was to be relocated to make room for the development of a highway through Bangkok. When the crane began to lift the giant idol, the weight of it was so tremendous that it began to crack. What's more, rain began to fall. The head monk, who was concerned about damage to the sacred Buddha, decided to lower the statue back to the ground and cover it with a large canvas tarp to protect it from the rain.
Later that evening the head monk went to check on the Buddha. He shined his flashlight under the tarp to see if the Buddha was staying dry. As the light reached the crack, he noticed a little gleam shining back and thought it strange. As he took a closer look at this gleam of light, he wondered if there might be something underneath the clay. He went to fetch a chisel and hammer from the monastery and began to chip away at the clay. As he knocked off shards of clay, the little gleam grew brighter and bigger. Many hours of labor went by before the monk stood face to face with the extraordinary solid-gold Buddha.
Historians believe that several hundred years before the head monk's discovery, the Burmese army was about to invade Thailand (then called Siam). The Siamese monks, realizing that their country would soon be attacked, covered their precious golden Buddha with an outer covering of clay in order to keep their treasure from being looted by the Burmese. Unfortunately, it appears that the Burmese slaughtered all the Siamese monks, and the well-kept secret of the golden Buddha remained intact until that fateful day in 1957.
The reason I love this story is because it describes human nature. When we are born we are pure and shine with light like the golden Buddha. As time moves on, we pick up ways to be in the world based on our experiences. Essentially, we start to cover up the light within us. Anger, resentment, sadness, fear, etc. are ways we cover up our true essence. Beliefs get formed and many years later, without careful introspection, we continue to live based on these beliefs even though they may no longer serve us. Without realizing it you can continue to live this way for many years, sometimes a lifetime.
With courage and determination, you can peel away the layers of "clay" that are hiding your own true essence. You don't need a chisel and hammer thankfully; all you need is more light. When reading this story, I could feel what the monk must have felt when he "stood face to face with the extraordinary solid-gold Buddha". Imagine the relief and the awesomeness of seeing something so magnificent. Imagine feeling this way about yourself once you uncover all that is hiding your true essence.
Positive Quote of the Day: "We can try many ways to get rid of the darkness, but none is as effective as simply increasing the light" -Unknown
Today I had to see my primary care physician for an annual physical. The wait to see the doctor was much longer than usual and once I was taken back to the exam room I was rushed through the vitals the nurse needed to perform before the doctor came in. Although she was rushing she was quite nice and said that they were short nurses today. The visit with my doctor was great and she patiently listened to me and any health concerns I had. One concern I had was that I was feeling heart palpitations again and brought this up. She said I would have an EKG and she would send in the nurse when we were finished with our visit. Five minutes after she left, a different nurse came barreling through the door with the cart holding the EKG machine. She didn't say hello or look at me. She just asked me if I was waiting for an EKG. To which I replied, "yes". Next thing I knew she was hurriedly placing the electrodes on me and snapping the wires into place. When it was finished, she tore off the electrodes. I asked her if she was very busy and I received a curt reply of "yes". Right before she left was when she asked me my name to write on the top of the result page. She left the room with same force with which she entered. I just let the feeling of annoyance go out the door with her.
Until I had to see her again for blood work. Another nurse popped in the room to say she would be back to do the blood tests. I was relieved. That is until the cranky nurse flew into the room. I said to her that another nurse said she was coming back. She mumbled something under her breath about how the other nurse was not doing her job because she should have just stayed then and did the tests. She proceeded to jab me in the arm to take blood. My annoyance level started to rise and reached its peak when she said, "I should have just let her take your blood because she's not very good at it".
I felt really annoyed and was about to say something back in response when all of a sudden I felt an unbelievable calm come over me. I didn't take her comment personally and realized she was just expressing a lot of anger and misery that had nothing to do with me. Except that she is in a profession that when working at warp speed angrily could result in a serious mistake. I said to her, "You're going to have a long day if you keep going the way you're going". She said with her voice quivering with emotion, "you don't know the whole story". And then she mumbled something about the other nurse. I missed my opportunity to say in a compassionate way that she didn't have to worry about the other nurse; that maybe focusing on being the best nurse she could be was her main priority. That calmly and politely taking care of her patients was more important. That the anger that was brewing in her was making her very miserable and causing her a lot of stress. She was the one suffering.
I believe it is our right to speak up and not tolerate poor behavior. The way to do it is compassionately because the minute you come back with a snide remark is when things turn bad fast. I left there wishing I had said more. I was still feeling annoyed. So I am sharing this story as a way to let it go. Why do I need to suffer and cause myself stress for the rest of my day or however long I choose to be angry? I can let it go. What I learned was that I need to speak up even more in the future.
Here is a great story about letting go:
"Two monks are walking along a country path. They soon are met by a caravan, a group of attendants carrying their wealthy and not-so-kindly mistress and her possessions. They come to a muddy river, and cannot cross with both mistress and packages - they must put one down and cannot figure out how to do so. So the elder monk volunteers to carry the woman across the river, on his back, allowing the attendants to carry her things, and then all can go on their way. The woman does not thank him, and rudely pushes him aside to get back to her caravan.
After traveling some way on their own, the younger monk turns to his master, and says, "I cannot believe that old woman! You kindly carried her across the muddy river, on your very own back, and not only did she not offer thanks, but she actually was quite rude to you!" The master calmly and quietly turned to his student, and offered this observation: "I put the women down some time ago. Why are you still carrying her?"
I went to my Sunday morning yoga class a few days ago and each week my instructor reads from the Bhagavad Gita, which is a 700 verse Hindu Scripture that "stresses doing one's duty and having an unwavering faith in God". I don't remember the passage she read, but her interpretation about the importance of living our truth and staying on our own path stayed with me. In fact, this is the place from which she teaches. We are to only do what feels right for us throughout the class regardless of the person next to you bending themselves into a pretzel. Her words about not comparing ourselves to the person next to us or in front of us bodes well in everyday life. This message keeps showing up in unexpected places. I feel like since I started publishing my own words related to this, that this message keeps popping up more and more. Now is a time in our lives that we are being drawn to this more than ever. It doesn't matter what anyone else is saying, thinking or doing. But only that we stay true to what is right for us.
Allowing others to make their own choices and live their own lives without judgement gives us permission to do the same. And when we live and build our lives on a solid foundation of faith in a Power greater than ourselves, judgments from others will be meaningless, thus, allowing us to live peacefully the way we desire. Below is a quote that sums this up beautifully.
Positive Quote of the Day: What the world needs now is for each of us to be who we truly are, and to bring our gifts into the world. Don't hold back any longer. Be Present, Be You. That is enough. Really it is.--Nancy Bishop ("Getting To Know YOU")
One definition of integrity is "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles". A physical description of integrity is unimpaired and complete. According to Wiki, "Integrity comes from the Greek words 'integritas' and 'integra' meaning whole. It enters into every aspect of one's life. It is a belief system without faltering, no matter how dangerous it is or how unpopular it is with others. It includes: sincerity, keeping one's word and agreements, honesty, truthfulness, ethics, fairness and justice".
The obvious ways one may lack integrity is by lying, cheating and stealing or causing harm in any other way to another living being. But there are other, more subtle ways one may lack integrity. What I am talking about are the ways we deceive ourselves. You commit to eating healthy and swear today at the party you won't touch the cake. Yet as soon as the cake is cut, you are elbowing everyone out of the way to be the first one in line. Or you swear you won't watch more than an hour of television a day or go two days without exercising. Yet you get mesmerized by the tv and before you know it, it's 11:00, you've done nothing productive and you're going to bed late again. Or four days have passed, you look up and see your sneakers thrown in the back of the closet, and realize you haven't worked out. People pleasing is a big offense to yourself. How often do you say "yes" when you really mean "no"? Not being able to set personal boundaries or speak your truth because of fear of disapproval are all ways of being out of integrity.
You may think it's no big deal because no one except you knows about the personal choices you make daily. But these little dings to your self-esteem add up until one morning you wake up and don't feel very good about yourself. You know you're not making choices to align with your highest self, therefore sabotaging your dream life. So don't lie to yourself, cheat on your commitments to yourself or steal your own joy. Look closely and notice what area or areas of your life are lacking integrity. Then take the next step and make the choices that honor your highest ideals on a daily basis. Day by day as you honor your commitments to yourself, you will start to notice your life changing in amazing ways. Don't settle for less than you deserve. Start today to honor yourself and live with integrity.
Positive Quote of the Day: "Our lives improve only when we take chances ~ and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be Honest with ourselves." ~ Walter Anderson
I was perusing a parent magazine today and the word Joy kept jumping out at me. “Discover the Joy”, “Joy is in Bloom” (love this one), “Treasuring every day Joy”, “Share your Joy”, “Just add Joy", "Just be Joy". Actually the last two are mine. I think I’m onto something here.
Then I came upon an article that made me laugh out loud several times. I can’t remember the last time I read something that made me laugh like that. My 2 year old daughter, who was sitting next to me quietly playing with her dolls, mimicked me every time I laughed, which just made me laugh harder. These are the moments to treasure. We can find joy every day if we are open to it. I believe that most of the time we are looking for the big things to celebrate, but joy can be found right in front of us in the simple, daily act of living.
As one of my favorite authors, Marianne Williamson, says, “"when we are centered in joy, we attain our wisdom." This is important stuff. I am not talking about the happiness we feel when we achieve something we've been wanting to achieve or acquired some new material possession we've wanted. That type of happiness is great. But what I am talking about is the feeling of joy that is independent of anything happening to us. It's a feeling of being free and at peace and full of vitality. Imagine going through your day feeling fulfilled and at ease. It is our birthright to feel this way. Joy is available to us at all times. And the simplest way to align ourselves with pure joy is to remain open to it and stay in the present moment.
What will your “JOY” discovery be today?
Positive Quote of the Day: "If you are not living in Joy, you are out of integrity with your Soul." -Michael Bernard Beckwith