Soulful By Design
Today is the beginning of a new day... My new day!
|Posted on 27 November, 2015 at 17:45||comments (9)|
The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it still can be difficult to sustain. So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.
Remember that gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach in which the bad things in life are whitewashed or ignored. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts of life, we gain a feeling of well Being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colorful autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm jackets, tomatoes, the ability to read, roses, our health, butterflies. Did I mention chocolate? Hmmm… What’s on your list?
Some Ways to Practice Gratitude
• Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
• Make a gratitude jar for the whole family - one for each person, with lots of paper or post it notes near by. Make a habit of putting one in the jar every day and at New Years, or someone's birthday - take them out and read them out loud. Notice how your heart feels as you read each them.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of your nightly routine.
• During challenging situations, try and find the hidden blessing or silver lining... You may have to dig deep.
• If you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it; express “Thanks for Gratitude.”
As you continue to practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is "The Power of Gratitude" at work.
Live, Love, Laugh - Shine Your Light...
Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications November, 2015
|Posted on 22 April, 2015 at 13:20||comments (1)|
I awaken early... It's a bit chilly out, so I pull on my housecoat and rubber boots and head out to my labyrinth for a walk. Not your usual dress code for walking a labyrinth to be sure, but I'm in the country, so it's just me, my dog Jack and the birds...
The very first thing I see is the image of an angel in a rock sitting in the center of the labyrinth. How did I not see her before, I think? I've walked this labyrinth many times, built it in fact. Had she been there the whole time? Must of been, I just wasn't looking... Wow... I really AM seeing from a different perspective now. I begin my walk, knowing it will be a long one. It's the first walk of the season, so I offer Reiki to clear the space and bring in all the energy from Mother Earth and the Universe for the highest good and loving healing of all who walk this path.
As I walk along, I notice rocks out of place (I have a big dog who likes to walk beside, ahead/behind, around and through me) and I gently return them to their spot. How often do we do that in life, put things back in place or try to... Can I be comfortable leaving them where they are? What thoughts come to me as a result? Continuing on, I notice a dew worm sliding uncomfortably on the gravel. At least it looks uncomfortable to me. So I picked him up, noticing the tremendous struggling & fear showing up... I spoke and it calmed down. I placed it in the grass. How often do we do that? (go into a situation thinking we have all the answers and demand that others follow suit) When I encountered another worm, I placed my hand down and waited - would it accept my offer of help? Would it understand I was there to help? Why did I feel this burning desire to help? How long would I wait? Could I just let it be? Let it seemingly suffer? Nope, not yet... more opportunity for growth... I picked it up and put it down in the grass. As I turned, a moment of doubt – where was I? Could I get back to the spot I was just at? What if I ended up in a different spot, which way would I go? Would I repeat the path?
I continue on my journey. Jack comes running over, blocks my path and sits on my feet. He then rolls over for a belly rub, but the rocks make it uncomfortable; he gets up and looks at me. He then proceeds to paw at some of the stones on the path... wanna play he asks? No, I need to keep walking, and I stop him from disturbing the stones and the work I'd put into it. Aha! Need to balance work & play... Thanks Jack! He wonders off. Where does this need for perfection come from anyway? Can I just let it be? So there are a few rocks out of place. Does this invalidate the work, creativity, love and energy I put into it? Is it no longer good enough? Am I good enough? You can see where this might go... Moving on...
I reach the center; the circle is abundant. The bushes are awakening from their winter slumber and the ice in the bird bath has melted, offering refreshment to the birds and animals as they wonder through. Stella, my cat comes over for a sip... I return on my path, to my role as caretaker of the stones... As I leave the labyrinth, I reflect on the messages and guidance I've received. I thank my guides and ask that the labyrinth be protected; that those who enter the path are given the wisdom they need to continue on their path and I head back into the house... Refreshed, Renewed and Restored. Knowing that I am on the right PATH for me... that my guides are always with me, gently leading the way...
In love & light...
|Posted on 30 January, 2015 at 0:35||comments (1001)|
I just returned from a 4-day spiritual retreat in Ajijic, Mexico. What an amazing experience... I had never been to a spiritual retreat before, so I was a bit apprehensive, at first. It didn't take more than a minute to relax and feel completely at ease with my soul sisters & brothers. Even though we'd never met in person before, we'd spoken or listened to lessons & calls weekly over the past year. It was so great to finally put a face to the voice and soul.
We spent 4 full days opening up our hearts, working and playing together. Meditations, exercises, singing, dancing, colouring, creating and all filled with the love of spirit guiding and watching over us... It was incredible, unbelievable, soul searching, soul stirring; my heart runneth over. Everyone was so supportive and it was amazing how we were all on the same page... We all just "got" each other, instantly. There was no fear, only love & support.
I came back with so many ideas that I want to share, in workshops, dance classes, and even starting mini spiritual retreats.... Please stay tuned for some really exciting and heart filled, soulfully expanding experiences.
It is in the "giving" that we "receive"...
Love & Light
|Posted on 20 December, 2014 at 10:40||comments (0)|
The sun is shining, it's a new day... (sounds like a song eh?). Lately, I have been feeling a lot of anger, resentment, frustration, disappointment, self pity - why me, why not me. There didn't appear to be any apparent reason for these feelings and I couldn't figure out why, or where they were coming from... Well, this morning I had an epiphany...
I am a teacher - I always have been, I just didn't know it; at least not from the perspective "within"... As a teacher, it's my job to provide the student with information, show them how to use it, to offer guidance, experience & suggestions and then... and here's the best part - let the student go! Let them DO what they were taught, let them use their new tools, let them fall, let them soar, let them shine their light...
In doing so, my light is shared. That's it. I don't have to actually do it too. I don't have to compare myself or my abilities to theirs. I don't have to covet their success and wish it were my own... That's not my job; My job, My purpose, and My gift is to teach, to share, to heal, to love, to support, to forgive, to hold sacred, to be. To BE the best ME,That I AM. Pretty simple eh? Took a while, but I've got it now... SHINE ON MY FRIENDS, SHINE ON!!!
I'd like to share this article, written by Chris Cade Dec 19, 2014. It's from one of the daily emails I receive through participation in "A Course In Miracles, Online Lessons (www.ACIM.org). It opened my heart as I read, and I knew I needed to share. Feel free to pass it along.
Love & Light
_____ Enjoy - article below _____
Across all eras, cultures, religions, and spiritual traditions, the greatest sages and leaders have all agreed on one Universal principle: Change starts from within. There are many reasons for this, and we'll explore several.
The least of these is that we cannot control others. We can only control ourselves.
When we try to control others, we are pushing against the current of life. We are trying to mold the world into how we feel it should ideally be. Yet with 8 billion people on the planet, how can any of us presume to individually know what is best for another person?
No more than we can expect others to know what is best for us. This is one reason why so many people who try to "change the world" end up frustrated or angry.
Sure, some of them make a difference. Some make a huge difference. Those who make the biggest difference are coming from a solid foundation within themselves.
Generally, they aren't fighting out with anger towards an unjust world. They aren't trying to conquer the world. In a way, they're trying to conquer themselves and the world is changed as a consequence of who they become in that process.
That leads into another challenge we often face. Many people who want to change the world do so out of a sense of lack. There's a part of them that feels deficient or lacking and they don't want to feel that experience. Instead, they subconsciously hope that if they can get everybody else in the world to change and be like them, then they won't have to feel their own deficiencies.
The quiet hope is that by projecting all of their attention and energy outwards towards others, they won't have any energy to focus attention inwardly at their feelings of shame, inadequacy, futility, or helplessness. Nobody wants to feel those difficult and sometimes painful emotions, yet they miss the hypocrisy inherent when they try to get others to change those experiences when they are unwilling to do it for themselves.
When thinking about emerging victorious in life, it's also important to understand the nature of change...
Change is rarely revolutionary. The "large leaps" in consciousness are extremely rare. More often than not, they are preceded by many small steps. Hundreds. Thousands. Maybe millions. All small steps leading towards a particular outcome. Those small steps start from within.
When we try to just change the outer world, we're skipping those small steps. We're trying to get other people to "do the work" for us.
The thing to understand is this:
When we reach a roadblock or challenge, something that "knocks us back," it will knock us back to our highest and strongest foundation that we've developed. We can either be a slave to this universal law, or we can leverage it to our advantage.
If you are going for the "big jump," you are creating a big space in which you can be knocked back. If you're trying to just change the world without changing yourself first, then the result of getting knocked back can actually throw you off course completely.
If your inner foundation isn't solid, you might even be unable to continue forward. This is because there was no foundation to fall back on. No grounding. You just have a giant canyon between where you are and the last solid step you took.
On the other hand, If you've taken small incremental steps, and specifically created an inner foundation, then challenges don't have as far to knock you back. You get metaphorically knocked back by a few feet instead of several miles. At worst, you might have to step back over a crack (not a canyon).
Each small inner step creates that solid foundation from which you can launch into the next small step.
Most people believe that the biggest changes happen because of what you do. This is one of the biggest limiting beliefs that cause us to act out in the world when we want things to be changed.
This is where people often start, and it's...
While it's true we usually need to take action to impact others, the biggest changes happen in the world because of who you are. They happen because of the Presence you bring to the world. People can sense your energy, intention, and internal state.
This energy you put out significantly affects how people will respond to you. If you really get this, if you live it, then it's possible to inspire change in the world without doing anything other than being yourself.
(That's not to say action doesn't matter. It does. It's just inherently limited.)
For example, when you are angry and forceful, when you are frustrated and trying to force the world to change, people can feel that. If not consciously, deep down they know it.
This activates their inner defence mechanisms. They become defensive because anger and hostility are present. They want to avoid the unconscious threat they are perceiving, and so they will actually create resistance against whatever changes you're trying to get them to make.
This makes it very difficult to change the world.
On the other hand, if you've done the inner work to create a space of peace, calm, and compassion within yourself, people also sense that. They understand that when you make recommendations or seek to change the world, you're coming from a place of compassion and positive intentions.
They can sense that what you want is for the best of everybody, including others, and including them specifically. This helps people open up and be receptive to the changes you want to bring forth in the world because they feel safe.
To put it in a different perspective, when change is focused purely on the outside world, most often that's coming from a place of selfishness. Selfishness is based on feelings of lack, fear, and insecurity.
On the other hand, when you come from a place of inner stillness and connection, when you change within yourself the aspects of the world you don't like, you're coming from a place of selflessness, confidence, and safety. You're sending a message to the world that there is enough and you're going to step into life courageously.
From that place, you can be an example for others. You can be a literal model that they learn from and seek to become like.
And, above all else, you're putting out into the world the energy you want to receive back: Love, support, compassion, and wishes for us all to co-create a better world.
Not just for yourself, but for everyone.
And when everybody is on board with change, it makes the successes that much sweeter...
Your Partner In Being The Change,
Liberate Your Life