Posted in Growth, Spirituality

Learning to Surrender to Something More

What Does it Mean to Surrender?

The two forces constantly at play in your live are resistance and allowance. Both resistance and allowance show up as energy that propels your thinking, behavior, and even your emotional state. If you are choosing a state of resistance you are refusing to accept life circumstances as they are. Your energy flows where your attention goes, and your attention is what you focus on. Therefore, by focusing on what you lack, dislike, and find unpleasant you are choosing a resistant energy to handle what’s happening. Of course suffering is a part of the human experience, negative emotions are always going to surface and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, even though it may feel that way. The point isn’t to rid yourself of low vibration emotions entirely, but instead to notice when you are fueling the fire that burns them.

By choosing a state of allowance you are opening yourself to recognize what is happening. You allow yourself to experience life as it is, without comparing or fixating on alternative ways it could or should have played out. Instead of investing your energy on what you don’t want to happen, your focus is instead on accepting it already has happened. There is nothing that can be changed except your point of view and relationship to that experience. This is what it means to surrender, to completely accept what is and release your grips on the idea that it could have been any different.

Whatever you focus on you invite more of into your experience. And although you don’t control all of what is happening outside of you, there is control over what is happening within you. As the emotions begin to surface whether pleasant or unpleasant, you can choose what you’d like to focus on. The sensations in your body, the thoughts in your mind, your overall experience, or what is happening outside of you. See, there are multiple facets of experience, each having a unique lesson to teach if you’re willing to pay attention to it. The attention is your investment of energy, that which you focus on is where your energy flows, ultimately amplifying your experience of that thing. Usually, the mind will focus on the most intense feelings occurring in the present moment, it’s up to you to tune in and shift gears.

Letting Go For What?

Surrendering your resistance to allow implies that you are giving up, and in a way you are. By choosing to resist the life in front of you, because you’re stuck on the thought that it could have been different, you are wasting time and energy. You’re giving up that way of thinking for a different way of seeing things. It’s not that you’re quitting on yourself or your plans, but you’re deciding to acknowledge that life has knocked you off course. Instead of pushing forward with your original plan, you’re opening yourself to the changes that have found you and the possibilities that follow. In order for true change to occur, you must step into the shoes of the now and not at the moment when life veered off the course that you designed for it.

To surrender means to release, let go, relinquish your hold of someone or something. Surrendering takes a certain set of attitudes to practice such as curiosity, openness, non-judgment, and detachment. By practicing curiosity and non-judgment you are bringing a mindful focus to your circumstance while dropping your opinion of what should be. Paying attention to what is happening without expectation of what will follow, or doubts about this moment. While openness and detachment help you release the belief that what is happening is personal. Choosing to see beyond the world created inside your mind and expanding to life within the universe, filled with intricate connections and divine timing that’s a part of a much larger picture.

It’s important to recognize unpleasant experiences are not happening to you, they are just happening. Because if you see yourself as helpless against life than you do not see your responsibility to how you respond to it. Instead, start seeing it as if life is happening for you to practice leveling up. Open your mind to the possibility that you are here to evolve into your greatest self and that adversity is here to help you do that. Although life cannot be undone, and there are plenty of experiences outside of your realm of control, you are the one that decides the mindset that moves you forward. So each time you find yourself experiencing unpleasantness or negative emotions, you are faced with the choice of resistance or allowance. You can choose to resist the reality of what is happening right now, ultimately perpetuating a limit that doesn’t need to exist in your life. Or you can choose to allow the reality of what is happening right now, and the difference is acceptance. You have to let go of the belief that whatever happens to you is personal, only then can you choose to allow yourself to practice acceptance.

But what are you surrendering to?

A higher intelligence. You don’t need to be religious or spiritual, you don’t have to have specific beliefs about the universe, energy, or life. All that you need to understand is you don’t have all the answers, so surrender to that fact. Release the idea that you have to have everything figured out and that life must flow according to your mind map. Lean into the belief that it is happening for you to grow, because even when it’s the worst feeling in the world this belief will move you in the right direction. There’s a difference between what is happening and your relationship to what is happening, which is where your energy gets stuck every time. Focusing primarily on the emotional pain you’re experiencing rather than prioritizing how you’re going to bounce back. If something pains you heal it, always, that’s a pivotal part of the process but it’s not the end of the road. Never allow pain to keep you resistant of what else is out there for you.

Expand your awareness beyond the thoughts and emotions that hold you in an unpleasant place. Open up to the idea that this could be used as a way of bringing you closer to a pleasant place. Create space in your mind for the possibility that there is a higher intelligence that can be tapped into and that you have a say in the direction of your life. Allow yourself to explore the opportunity of surrendering when you feel like you’re doing too much, because you most likely are, and surrender it to something that can handle the magnitude. Become mindful of your relationship with whatever or whoever you are surrendering too, and nourish it. Let go of the idea of what society says this higher intelligence is and seek that for yourself. Start believing that you are here for a reason and get curious about it. Contemplate the person you are, who you’d like to become, and what all of this means to you. Give yourself the opportunity to have an incredible life, allow it into your experience by letting go of resistance so you can receive it.

Open up and Allow Life in

Where there is another cycle of breath entering your lungs, there is another chance to choose a more expansive and evolutionary path. Choosing again starts by becoming aware of how resistance is impacting your overall wellbeing and focus. Throughout any given day you’ll be faced with the choice to resist the reality of your circumstance or to accept it’s truth. Accepting where you are in this moment, especially if it’s not where you desire to be, is not a commitment to stay stagnant. It’s simply a practice of awareness without clutching to the thought that the present moment can be any different that it is.

Open yourself up and allow life to flow in and find you where you are. Start trusting your ability to change directions when life throws you an obstacle. Instead of seeing it as something that’s meant to stop you, or that these things are happening to you, open your heart and allow yourself to see the magical opportunity to evolve higher. By choosing acceptance over resistance, you are choosing to create a magnificent life for your future self. Each time the world outside of you causes suffering, look within for the strength to allow this experience in and transcend your darkness into light. The changes you are asking for may show up disguised as pain, transformation, loss, or vulnerable exposure. Acknowledge and honor your feelings, while simultaneously using them as a compass to seek ways to adapt and overcome. There is nothing you cannot be, do, or have in this life once you get out of your own way. Take a deep breath and choose again.

Love. Heal. Grow.

Posted in Practices, Spirituality

Counting Your Blessings To Create More

How Do I Feel Grateful?

Gratitude is an incredibly powerful attitude to live by because it attracts more into your life to be grateful for. By practicing gratitude you are bringing into your focus all the wonderful ways life has blessed you already. To feel gratitude is to experience a thankful-ness about the things, people, events, circumstances, or feelings in your life. Sometimes it can wash over you in an instant, like on holidays with family or during a graduation ceremony when you’re reminded of what it means to tangibly be grateful. But this magical feeling doesn’t always happen by chance and that’s when it’s needed the most.

Gratitude happens by focusing your attention on the abundance of your life. This state of mind, however, isn’t always easy to tap into, especially when the focus is on what you are lacking. Once you become aware that the you’re focused on all that you don’t have enough of, you’ll need something to guide you back to the right mindset. The compass that will lead you to this feeling of happiness and abundant joy is your emotions. Although most people see their emotions ONLY as something that fluctuates within them naturally and without their control, there is another way to experience them. Emotions shouldn’t be pushed down or ignored because they are signifying an experience unfolding within you, leaving you breadcrumbs to further understand how you’re handling things in your life. They can, however, be directed by or generated within you to stop feelings from controlling or dictating your next move.

For instance, if you suddenly begin to feel fearful it’s important to honor those emotions as they arise because they are real. But it’s just as important that you tune into how they are hijacking your decision making because oftentimes those scenarios in your mind are not real. A feeling is something you can choose to focus on as a response to an emotion. In order to experience gratitude, it must be felt and you must be aligned with that feeling. It isn’t enough to say “I am grateful for this moment” when you’re feeling miserable because energy never lies. In order to invite more blessings into your life, you have to FEEL grateful now for all that you have.

Shifting Your Perception From Lack to Plenty

What you focus on you invite more of, therefore by focusing on all that you are lacking you are affirming this in your life. People often have mistaken complaining about all that they do not have as a way of expressing what it is they want to attract. The words you say don’t necessarily hold the power, it’s the energy you are aligning with as you say those words. The universe speaks in energy and frequency, not your native tongue. Whatever you are focusing your attention on is also what you are focusing your energy toward. So if you’re complaining about being in debt, how you want to get out of debt, and how great things will be once you’ve paid off your debt, the universe hears you speaking loud and clear about debt. All of your emotion behind the word debt is being exquisitely expressed in the opposite way you’ve intended. Your energy doesn’t align with financial freedom, cash flow, abundance, and it certainly doesn’t align with any positive feelings because you’re not feeling them. Instead, you’re feeling, experiencing, and focusing on lack.

The way to bring more of what you want into your life is to get clear on how you want to feel. Start by focusing on feeling blessed for all that you have right now. Bring to mind all of the things that make you feel blessed and remind you of how your life truly is a blessing.

Blessings Practice

If you’re new to visualization than it’s a difficult practice to see yourself with all that you desire. When you’re living life from a lacking perspective nothing will ever be enough for you. So a good place to start is where ever you are, find the gratitude in that. Bring your attention to all of the ways life is working FOR you.

  • Shift your focus to all of the tools, support, people, and belongings you woke up with this morning.

  • Start to bring to mind how your incredible body keeps you alive and healthy for another set of 24 hours, air flowing through your lungs, heart beating, internal systems working diligently without any help from you.

  • Consider the senses you woke up with and the ways they contribute to the life you are able to live today.

  • Appreciate the place you call home, the amenities you use without a second thought. Running water, a stove, a refrigerator, appliances that allow you to cook, clean, and take care of your essential needs.

  • Now expand your awareness to the external, things you were able to accomplish, overcome, create, and make strides in.

  • Take a moment to practice gratitude for all that you are, all the places you’ve been, and all of the lessons you’ve been taught as a result.

  • See yourself, your life, and all that you’ve been through as a blessing that invites more blessings.

Being a Magnet for Blessings

Your life is full of reasons to be grateful and blessings to be counted, it’s time that you start actively seeking them out each day. At the start of your morning count all of the ways that you are able to enjoy this day. Make an effort to connect with the positive feelings of being alive and the opportunities that may brings. At the end of each day reflect on all of the wonderful people and situations that are unfolding making life even more interesting. As you begin to expand your awareness of yourself and your surroundings, try telling yourself that life is happening FOR you rather than to you. Connect with the universal power that is all around you to ground you into the wonders of this moment. This will help you practice shifting into alignment with all that is meant for you to receive.

Jon Kabat-Zinn says “As long as there is breath in your body, there is more right with you than wrong with you.” If you ever find it challenging to focus on all the goodness in your life, start with the fact that you are still breathing. Breath is still flowing effortlessly through your body and that is the ultimate reminder that you are meant to be here for something greater. In order for you to receive more than you already have you must appreciate what you already have. Learn to see the beauty in the chaos, the growth in each obstacle, the joy in each pain, and the beginning in each ending. Make a habit of looking for the blessings in each day and watch as they continue to increase. If you want to be a magnet for blessings recognized that you are already blessed. Start by knowing you have all that you need in this moment because that in itself is a blessing.

Love Heal Grow

Posted in Growth, Practices, Spirituality

Be Mindful of Your Focus: Conversations With The Universe

Identifying Your Focus

The dance between desire and resistance is constantly pulsating throughout your life. It lives in every thought that arises, every emotion that surfaces, every decision being made, as well as the consequences that follow. Each day you are sifting through what you want and don’t want. As you identify your goals, dreams, desires, planning out the next steps, and learning all that you have to overcome, you are co-creating your life with the universe. Figuring out what you desire takes energy, just as figuring out what you do not desire takes energy. If you want to attract a better, more improved lifestyle, it’s essential to understand what you are constantly focusing on.

Co-creation has a great deal to do with focus and decisiveness. Whatever you focus on is what will begin appearing in your life. Once you’ve decided on what action needs to take place, the momentum will begin to shift the sails of progress in your favor. When you know what you want, and believe that there is a force out there helping you reach it, life will propel you toward the next steps. Co-creation is happening whether you or not you are aware of what your attention is on. Therefore, if you’re focused on fearing the worst and catastrophizing all of the ways your life can unfold, you are aiding in that particular co-creation in your life.

A common mistake in co-creation is focusing the majority of your attention on that which you no longer want. You may think you’re simply separating that which you desire from what you do not, but that’s not what your energy is saying. Each time you talk or think about what you wish would change in your life, what you’re lacking in your life, how unfair circumstances are for you, what you don’t like anymore, and all the ways you are suffering, you are focusing your energy on resistance. Resisting what you WANT by focusing on what you DON’T WANT. See, the universe doesn’t respond to the words you’re speaking. It doesn’t hear “don’t” “can’t” “no”. The universe speaks in energetic frequency or the feeling you experience when thinking those thoughts and speaking those words.

When your attention is focused on what you don’t want you to feel contracted, closed, limited, frustrated, and far from that which you’re searching for. The more you experience this feeling, the more you share the energy of resistance to what it is you truly want. because that is the frequency you are strongly emitting. Therefore you have to become attuned to the energy and feelings that your thoughts are generating so that you are aware of what it is you are calling into your life. It’s very important to distinguish what you want from what you don’t but what comes after is monumental.

Tapping Into Your Desires

Visualizing the best version of yourself is a powerful form of communicating exactly what you want. It’s a practice of building up the muscle of your mind to create goodness in your life. It’s easier to play out the negatives in your life because you spot them easier. The brain was designed to keep you safe, out of harm’s way, so you’re likely to notice the wrongs over the rights in your life. All this means is that you’re practicing focusing on one more than the other. So it’s important to implement a visualization practice into your daily routine. Start building your imagination muscle to create the wonderful abundant things in life you label as “impossible”, “some-days”, or “dreaming big”.

Start by asking yourself questions that dare you to dream big. There are no limits to your imagination unless you put them there, so when you begin to notice them start dismantling them. It may be hard at first if you’re someone struggling with self-doubt, disbelief, and fear of that which you have yet to see. That just means you have to practice shifting your thoughts into the limitless possibilities more often. Remember that all things that exist today began in the mind of someone, just imagine what’s waiting in yours.

In your mind’s eye play out what it would look like to be successful, how it would look to feel peaceful, how it would look to be happy with yourself and in your relationships, how it would look to have a job you love providing a service you believe in. If you’re not sure of what exactly you want out of the next phase of your life start by focusing on what brings you joy now. Think of the activities where you’re smiling not worried about the time, experiencing flow, feeling fulfilled and exploding with love. Bring to mind the people who make you feel good, the places that ground you, the events that are forever etched in your memory bank as magic. The longer you hold your focus on a thought, the stronger you emit that frequency, the more clear the universe gets your request.

Aligning with that which you desire is simple to do, but requires constant awareness of your energetic focus. Once you’ve become aware of the many ways you are feeding into low vibrations, distracting thoughts, and negative feelings, you can start bringing yourself into that which you do want. Start looking for things that make you feel good and appreciating those moments while they are happening. Practice visualizing the life you want to live when you notice you’re focused on all that you want to change. Begin strengthening your focus on better feeling thoughts and you’ll start attracting improved circumstances.

Walking Forward in Faith

It’s called co-creation because you’re not alone in making things happen, although there is still work to be done on your part. Identifying your desire, practicing gratitude for your current blessings, focusing your attention on what is on it’s way to you, and taking the practical steps to make this shift into abundance-these are all your responsibilities. Spirit is all-knowing, therefore it has a different role in the co-creation of your life. Spirit’s role is to guide you on the path. Not reveal the next 2 miles ahead, you’ll only get a few hundred feet. Not to give you the answers outright, but will give the guidance on the next step IF you ask. Not to provide all the solutions for you, but to lead you to the resources to help build your levels of knowledge, resiliency, and awareness on this journey. If you’re lost on the path you can, and always should ask for guidance. Release the idea that you know how life should unfold for you, or the specific steps you think need to happen. Let go of the idea that you are in control of the how because you’re not. Set up the best plan you possibly can, take action on it every day, keep moving forward in all the ways you possibly can, and then let go of the outcome.

Releasing the reins on the how is one of the hardest things for humans to be. The ego drives you into thinking that your perspective, your plan, your idea, your way is the right way. This kind of thinking can cloud your judgment, sometimes taking you away from what’s best for you. Spirit is all-knowing and always knows what’s best for you. Walking forward in faith is about trusting that the higher power you are co-creating is orchestrating life to work in your favor. The connection you share with Spirit is one of unconditional love. Just as a parent wants nothing but the best for their child and will do anything to make that happen, Spirit wants that very same for you. When your desires are clearly communicated, your energy is aligned with your purpose, and you are taking action on your goals, Spirit begins paving the unknown for your arrival.

On top of all of your concrete actions that need to be taken, there is yet another powerful decision to make that can’t be seen or measured. It can only be felt, believed, understood, and experienced. That is having faith in that which you cannot see but already believe. A prerequisite of acquiring the life you want is believing it will show up, even before there is any evidence proving you right. Keeping a strong sense of faith during times of uncertainty, suffering, loss, change, illness, and fear is going to be difficult. With each challenge you find yourself facing you will have a choice: strengthen your faith or strengthen your doubt.

Doubt comes from the inability to believe that something is possible, mainly because we are focusing on the specific tools, knowledge, and circumstances currently available. Doubt creeps in and plans it’s hostile take over when there isn’t enough “proof” that everything is going to work out. Doubt is strong, and the mind has had plenty of practice in building its case with it. Faith, on the other hand, comes from the ability to believe in something that is felt but not seen. Faith is the medium of communication between who you are now and who you are becoming. Faith is harder to keep around than doubt because it’s asking you to keep going when it feels impossible, to keep your head up when you’re exhausted, to keep moving when you “think” you have nothing left. But faith will bring you to the other side of fear, where all of your desires are waiting, while doubt will keep you complacent and safe from change.

Piecing It All Together

There will always be the labeling of the wanted and unwanted, desire and aversion, attraction and resistance. This is how people sift through categories of life, creating mental vision boards of what you believe is best for you, and what is not. Now you understand the energy that goes into this process and just how powerful that energy is. The energy you release with the thoughts you experience and the words you share are creating a conversation with the universe. You are communicating the details of the life you want to create, whether you are aware of it or not. And now that you’re aware of it here are 10 practices you can start today.

  1. Be mindful of where your focus is throughout the majority of the day

  2. Spend less time focusing on what you DON’T want

  3. Practice shifting your attention toward the blessings you already have

  4. Begin thinking of how good it feels to have what you are attracting into your life

  5. Build a plan and keep working toward attaining these goals, successes, accomplishments

  6. Surrender the outcome to a higher power, release the how

  7. Actively choose faith over doubt once you become aware of the choice

  8. Practice building your imagination muscle and visualizing your future

  9. Stop limiting what is possible for you

  10. Be gentle with yourself in the challenging times, you’re doing the best you can.

Spirit has been waiting for you to finally commit to co-creating your life with a conscious effort. Each time you practice you release what no longer serves you and gain clarity on what is best for you. Lean into the process by having fun with your imagination and conversations with the universe. Asking for help can be as simple as “I don’t know what I’m doing, please help guide me”. Just be sure to practice patience for the answer to the surface within you. Keep an eye out for your surroundings and anything that could be seen as a sign, you’ll just feel it. The more you practice communicating with a higher power the more comfortable and clear your relationship will become.

Love, heal, grow.

Posted in Healing, Practices, Spirituality

Staying Well in Times of Uncertainty

There is a constant swirl of mixed emotions surfacing in all of us. For some, there are incredibly drastic transitions occurring. Changes in their work schedule, the amount of pay if any, the responsibility of payments weighing heavy, concerns of educating their children while trying to maintain their own sanity. Other people may be focused more on the virus that has struck globally, concerned bout flights back home, elderly loved ones receiving proper care, trying to keep their immune system functioning optimally, making trips to the grocery store only to find what they need is out of stock. Then there are people who are struggling with the transition of being busy to being alone with their thoughts, no longer making plans with friends and trying to find an outlet to distract themselves from all of the emotions that are forcing themself to the top. There is also the possibility that all of these things are being experienced by one person, a nasty cocktail of overwhelm, scarcity, and fear.

There is no doubt that this pandemic is to be taken seriously, it’s important that people are preparing their homes with the essentials to keep them healthy and safe. However, one thing that continues to be overlooked is how all of this is affecting your wellbeing. Health is not limited to the physical responsibilities of washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, eating healthier, and maintaining a safe distance from crowds. What also falls under the category of health and wellness is mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I’ve created a workshop to help you navigate through these troublesome times.

Mental wellbeing

The wellbeing of your mind has a great deal to do with what it is you’re consuming on a daily basis. If you’re constantly watching the news, refreshing your social feed, surrounding yourself with people who are only sharing negative stories, you are aiding to a negative and low vibrational mental state. This way of thinking will begin to create deeply rooted beliefs about what is and what is not possible for you. As a result, you’ll begin to see a limited world where you lack control of everything, rendering you a victim to what happens to you.

This virus has absolutely taught the world there is an incredible amount of circumstance that will always be out of an individual’s control. However, what you always have control over is your perspective and the way in which you CHOOSE to respond to something. For instance, there is no changing the bad news of the world today, there are unfortunate things happening to people all over the world. What does not help is constantly reminding yourself of all the bad things being experienced, sharing more heartbreaking news than groundbreaking, bonding with people over what is wrong with the world rather than what is right with it. The mind needs you to set boundaries for what it consumes because what you consume shapes the person you become. It’s important to remain informed but not overwhelmed, prepared but not paralyzed with fear, connected with others but not through the energy exchange of worry and stress.

Your brain is an incredible tool that is constantly working to serve you, just as long as you know how to navigate it. A perfect example of this is if you ask yourself (your brain) a question it will search for the best answer or solution possible-based on the quality of your questions. Therefore, it’s important that you’re asking yourself proactive questions that are bringing you closer to a calm state and peace of mind. Instead of asking with a tone of fear, self-doubt, overwhelm “what can I do about what’s happening?”, try asking with the intention to create change in YOUR life, right now. What you can do is turn off the news and connect with the people around you, Skype with friends, step into your yard for some fresh air, read a book about self-improvement. Start creating healthy boundaries of what you allow your brain to think about, that’s how you prepare a mind for changes.

Emotional wellbeing

Honor the feelings that are surfacing for you at this time. If you’re feeling sad for the people around the world dealing with the loss of family, connection, and access to income-then feel it. If you’re feeling scared because you of YOUR loss of structure, connection, and access to income-then feel that too. The emotions that each of us experience are being triggered by an event. They may feel too intense, overwhelming, and maybe burdensome, but they deserve your attention more than the news or social media. Because each of these emotions is a gateway to get to know yourself on a deeper level. You are meant to feel all emotions, even if they aren’t pleasant or coming at a convenient time. Don’t shut out what you’re going through because it’s too hard to face, because the longer you push away the feelings the more challenging they become to face. An introspective perspective is a powerful tool that will help you navigate the brand new difficulties you’re facing. Instead of distracting yourself with substances, the latest news, food, video games, or any other stimuli, stop to ask “why am I running away from this?, how can facing my feelings help me heal?

Sometimes it’s not about taking action but rather just being with what you’re experiencing. If you experience judgment arising about your feelings examine it. Try understanding why you’re not letting yourself feel authentically and what you can do to work through that belief. Get to know the activities that elevate your mood, help you relax, bring you peace, or make you feel a sense of safety. Learn the difference between when you need to feel connected to other people who understand what you’re going through and when it’s time to be alone with your thoughts.

Each of us is experiencing a unique awakening that is bringing to light our greatest feels and that which we are most grateful for. There is bound to be a mix of emotions, strategies to handle them, and community to share in this time of change. Express a little more self-compassion by tuning into what it is you need most. Whether it’s a really good cry, a self-soothing journal session, or a phone call with a friend, it’s just as important as stocking up your pantry. Take care of your emotions seriously, they’re here to help you.

Spiritual wellbeing

Your soul is the vessel in which Spirit/God/Universe/All-That-Is is communicating with you. In order for you to hear the messages meant for you, it’s your job to turn the noise down in your life. An important part of spiritual practice is removing the layers of junk that are not serving your highest good. Lot of these examples were mention in mental and emotional wellbeing such as distracting yourself with coping mechanisms to hide what it is you’re really feeling A great way to expand your connection with the source of life force is by strengthening your intuition and slowing down the chatter of the mind.

There are many different forms of meditation, but the one I am suggesting is Vipassana. The goal of Vipassana meditation is to become aware of the present moment. This means bringing yourself out of the thinking mind which is either meandering in the past or trying to create the future. Both of these places take you away from the only focus that really matters, this moment. The present moment is all that ever matters because it is the only moment that truly exists. Therefore, at this moment lies your control over how you can respond to life unfolding. Instead of worrying about what you have lost already, or stressing about what may never happen, you can rest your attention into what is right now.

Vipassana meditation is best when you wear loose-fitting close, make sure your waistband isn’t too tight and that you’re dressing appropriately for the temperature where ever you are. If you’ve never meditated before or practiced focusing your attention on anything for more than 10 minutes, I suggest starting in a chair preferrably without arms on the side. Rest the arms on your lap with palms facing down, keeping your back straight without being rigid, placing your feet firmly on the ground. One last and very important piece, bring an intention to your seat with you. A common one I like to use is to be patient with myself and with others because your thoughts are bound to take you away from the moment and into what is bothering you. Another one is to be kind to yourself and others. The intention you choose is not as important as the fact that you choose one. You’ll need something to anchor you back to the reason you sat down in the first place. This practice, done daily, will help increase your awareness and the level of calm in your life.

Let’s Review

Life will always be unpredictable, filled with circumstances and events out of your control. The way to navigate through tough times is by focusing on all that you can control. This pandemic has opened the eyes of the world to what truly matters, what never did, and how fragile life can be. It is not enough to prepare your pantry and refrigerator with foods that will give you a strong and healthy immune system. If you’re worrying, living in a fearful state, and not taking care of your soul’s needs, you’ll continue to lower your vibration every day.

Set boundaries for your mental health, create space to allow your emotions to surface, and cultivate a practice of awareness into your daily routine. Even after the chaos of the world begins to settle, and life proceeds to merge into a new normal, these 3 ways of improving your health will still be just as significant. Don’t ignore the relationship you have with yourself because it’s uncomfortable to face. Start by bringing your attention to the parts of you that need it the most. Be gentle as you adopt these practices into your daily routine and be kind to the person you are becoming. Life does not get easier, but you do get better, as long as you keep going consciously.

Love, light, and kindness my friends.

Posted in Spirituality

Learn to Lead with Love

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything, maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.”

Paulo Coelho

When you watch an innocent child enter this world you can see them for what they truly are, love. As you look forward to their future it’s filled with hope, endless possibilities, and limitless potential to be chased. Yet somehow, the more you lived your life, that perception of yourself was lost amongst experiences. Hope was traded in for fear, endless possibilities for the known territory of safety, limitless potential for the limited skill set you’ve already acquired.

So what is the difference between your life and the life of a brand new human arriving into the world? They haven’t been shaped by the opinions, restrictions, and defeatist attitudes of the environment around them. But there is something that you have that they must wait years to attain and that’s the wisdom to know you always have a choice.

Humans have the greatest compass of all- emotions, yet we are rarely taught how to utilize them for our benefit. If you are happy, excited, satisfied you are enjoying the moment. If you are sad, afraid, frustrated you are not enjoying the moment. The problem lies with where you place your focus during this time. Most people don’t allow themselves to appreciate and live in the positive feeling emotions because they begin to shift their attention to the fact that it is fleeting. Rather than basking in all the goodness flowing, the focus is on knowing it will be over soon. For the most part, people treat negative emotions differently with way more attention to detail, visualizing future outcomes and fueling the emotion’s fire. Rather than acknowledging that this emotion is also fleeting, the attention instead is focused on how much worse it can get.

Leading with Love or Fear

There are only two choices we make: those rooted in love or in fear. Choices made in fear are a combination of not knowing what will happen next and allowing the outside world’s opinions to penetrate your beliefs. The fearful ones will keep you sheltered from the unknown as a means of protection. The mind and the body have evolved to keep you safe and out of harms way, therefore it is constantly on the lookout for what makes you feel uneasy. Whether it’s a life-threatening reason to be afraid or one that will be incredibly embarrassing, it’s registered as something to stay away from. The mind speaks to the body by sending physical sensations to the body as signals that something wrong is about to happen, such as sweaty palms, tightening of the chest or heart palpitations. The goal of the mind and body system is to keep you away from what you fear, even if life is completely safe.

The choices rooted in love come from the heart and the soul, speaking to the desires that are innate within your being. When you make a decision to lead with love you bring yourself closer to who you’re becoming, which is really who you’ve always been. This doesn’t necessarily mean that each choice made in love will be easy to walk toward but they will feel right. Choices in love are led by your inner voice or intuition, this is different from the self-talk that happens in the mind. Intuition is a feeling of alignment or misalignment about behaviors or choices being made, whereas self-talk can be a mixture of doubt, fear, insecurity, and curiosity. To understand whether you are leading with love or with fear, bring awareness to your body as you consider your choices. If you’re feeling tension, dis-ease, and contracting your muscles-that is rooted in fear. If you’re feeling open, relaxed, and embracing the thought-that is your intuition. Always move forward with love and you’ll be led to what’s meant for you.

How to Use Your Emotional Compass

As always the first step to creating change, particularly an emotional or behavioral one, is by becoming aware of that which needs changing. Considering this is a habit you’ve picked up throughout your life it’ll be difficult to even remember to try and shift your thinking on it. So you need a trigger.

A trigger is something that alerts you when an emotion or behavior is prompted to occur. Personally I’ve struggled with emotional eating, whenever I began to feel a strong emotion occur I feel the urge to eat something. It’s a momentary pleasure that tricks my mind into thinking I’ll feel better once I act on the impulse. The trigger is the emotion, the impulse is to eat. Once I began to raise my awareness of what was causing the urge I was able to stay ahead of the feeling. Now it’s time to find what it is that’s triggering you, the following practice can be used for negative or positive emotion.

Practice

In your mind’s eye begin to think of a time in the past where you were happy. Get as specific as possible with this memory by bringing your 5 senses into the mix. Bring to mind what you were wearing, if you were eating or drinking something, take note of the temperature and any sounds around you. Remember how long that feeling of happiness lasted and whether it ended abruptly.

Did a thought interrupt it? If so, what was the thought?

Was it a physical sensation in your body that shifted your focus?

Make the connection that once you’ve taken your mind off of what delivered you happiness you are now taken into your thinking mind.

You are no longer in the present moment and it’s always waiting there for you again.

Bring yourself back to the now with a deep inhale recalling the happiness you felt.

As you exhale release the focus of the thinking mind and any tension in your body.

Staying True To Who You Always Were

The babies that enter this world are at their purest form, created by, embodying, and deserving of unconditional love. They are beings of wonder, curiosity, and emerging awareness. As they enter a world they know nothing about, it is the job of the parents and loving community to nurture this child. Nurturing extends far beyond food, water, warmth, and safety- these are the essential baselines.

Another type of nourishment is allowing them to embrace the song that sings in their hearts, dance to the message within their soul, explore the world with an open curiosity in an attempt to understand without judgment. But most importantly, those who are growing up need to understand that this journey will shape them, the world around them will try to change them, people will work tirelessly to instill fear and doubt into their precious minds.

These babies that grow into the people reading this post need to know they always have a choice to remain true to who they are. The choice begins when you acknowledge that you are enough, complete, and whole as you are at this moment. I pray that you choose to believe that, today and always.