It's Wednesday, which means it's time to write a post about gratitude!
Feel free to click here (or below) to learn more about our Gratitude Project.
Okay - now for today's post:
Sometimes sad and horrible things happen in life. Things that we don't understand. Things that don't make any sense at all. Things that make you question the divine order of everything and wonder how these horrific events can occur.
The world can be a violent, scary place filled with hatred and anger.
And I am the first to admit that I have a hard time embracing this part of our world.
I struggle to make peace with events that bring me to my knees from sorrow.
I have fantasies of waking up one day to a world that is completely euphoric. A place where angels sing, animals play, everyone gets along - complete utopia.
And then I remember that we are all here to learn lessons. And these lessons are often painful and excruciatingly difficult to even comprehend - much less learn from. But getting through these hard times helps us grow. Working on understanding the painful, sad, and sometimes horrific events that occur in our world on a daily basis helps us become more empathetic and forgiving. Putting everyone and every thing in our world inside the framework of learning lessons helps diffuse my anger about all of the injustices that are happening around me.
This definitely doesn't mean that I am condoning such harmful acts. It means that I am working on seeing them through a lens of understanding, empathy, and forgiveness.
There will always be sadness and pain in our world.
But there will also always be love and learning and growing and helping and forgiving.
And being grateful for both sides of this wonderful world we live in is what I am striving for.
Let's go down this journey together.
Have you ever wondered how others see you?
Have you ever stepped back from your life and
looked at it as though you were an objective bystander?
Have you ever felt stuck and asked a loved one to offer guidance and perspective?
A few months ago, Dan and I were on a call with a wonderful life coach, and she asked us how we defined success. At the time, we were in the mindset of "when this happens - we'll feel truly successful." We quickly listed off many things that needed to happen in our lives for us to feel like we were successful. Our list went something like this:
We will feel successful when we...
are the bestselling authors of inspirational books.
have inspired many people through our writing and how we live our lives.
make a certain amount of money.
move into our dream home.
find a way to balance it all and still have time for ourselves and each other.
And the list went on and on.
When we had finished listing things off, she said something that truly opened my eyes. She said she already saw us as successful.
She listed the following examples:
We had started a business that was still supporting us seven years later.
We had fallen in love and built our lives around being together.
We created products that inspired people to go within and live their best lives.
We were featured on Etsy as an example of someone who was able to work for themselves and make a living at it.
Our journals were bestsellers on the top spirituality-based website.
And while we felt that we still had a lot of work and growing and accomplishing and inspiring and creating and living to do - in her eyes we were already there.
We were successful.
This truly changed the way I looked at my life.
Instead of constantly striving for the next level, I began to look at what I had already accomplished and sit with it for awhile. Be still with it. Pat myself on the back. And acknowledge my success.
Sometimes we need another's perspective to see how far we have come.
Try seeing your life through someone else's eyes.
Your loved ones and friends don't have your inner critic. They don't have your checklist and goals in their minds. All they see is where you have been and where you are now.
And because of this, they will be able to give you a fresh perspective of how far you have come.
Go ahead and ask a friend to tell you how they see you.
Have them tell you how your life looks through their eyes.
Ask them to look at you through eyes of love and support and describe how much you have grown and how much you have succeeded.
Sometimes when we are feeling down and stuck, having another perspective is all it takes to allow us to step out of ourselves and our rut and our negative self talk and move forward into a positive space.
Learning to love ourselves right where we are is so crucial, and this is a great way to start doing just that!
Happy August to everyone!
The past couple of months have been super busy for me. I've been feeling extra frazzled, so I'm really looking forward to a fresh month and this new moon period where I get to create new beginnings and the life that I choose.
I really love that each thought we have and each choice we make has led us to right where we are in this exact moment. I love it because it empowers us to take action and make positive choices if we aren't happy with everything we see.
Look around you - take a look at the life you have created. Do you like what you see? Do you like who you have become? Do you like where you live? who you spend time with? how you react to stress? how you react to joy?
Spend a few moments really breathing your life in.
Close your eyes and feel what it's like to live this life.
And take responsibility for your part in creating it. You created all of the wonderful parts in your life, and you also created each of the parts that you would like to change.
And on this new month that is starting with a new moon, let's each breathe some new life into our own lives. Let's each think about any part of our lives that we would like to improve or change or work on. And let's start making choices and thinking thoughts that lead us closer to our ideal life.
I could sure use this exercise, so I'll definitely be doing it right along with you.
Shared Wisdom Guest Post - Featuring Carolina Caro
I am a firm believer that the universe is designed to grant us everything we could possibly desire. So you might be asking yourself, then why don’t I have the perfect life? If you’re anything like me, you might have some limiting beliefs that stand in the way of having everything you want. I’ve mentioned in previous posts this notion of picking up negative programming as early as our childhood. Most of us have been taught that life is difficult in some form or another; therefore, our circumstances manifest themselves to prove us right. Exploring our dark side is a way to understand why we act in ways that are opposite to the desires of our conscious mind. Once we grasp why we have certain self-defeating attitudes, we can work towards diminishing them and eventually eliminating them completely.
Identifying these shadows from our past is not always easy because by the time we are adults, we have developed a sophisticated ego mind. This ego does not want to be examined very closely because it prefers to keep us enslaved by our wounds rather than to have us get acquainted with our higher Self. Think of every time you’re inspired to behave in a way that would better your life. Isn’t there always a pesky voice telling you all the reasons why you shouldn’t move forward? That little monster is the ego. Its sole purpose: to keep you from being truly happy. I like to refer to my ego as the saboteur. The most dangerous thing about the saboteur is that it usually tries to convince me that it’s acting in my best interest. The ego doesn’t realize that it sees the world as a projected perception based on all these distorted ideas it has accumulated.
I certainly grew up with the ingrained belief that everything would be a struggle. I would need to work really hard to get the grades to land the stable job with the big salary to support a family and afford all the perks in life. Sound familiar? Then if I add to that every belief that was born from my bad experiences, the recording starts to sound like this: the world is a scary place, people shouldn’t be trusted, you need to compete with others, there isn’t enough to go around, people will hurt you and on and on. And then I wonder why my experience of life is the way it is!
But what if none of that were actually true? What if our inner dialogue could be completely different? What if it sounded something like this instead: “My life is effortless. I acquire information and skills about the things I am passionate about. I am fortunate enough to apply my knowledge in my job, which never feels like work because I enjoy doing it so much. I am well compensated for my work. I am surrounded by people who do the very best they can everyday. I have wonderful personal relationships that are supportive and nurturing. All my desires are fulfilled”. Does that sound too good to be true? I know my ego would certainly say that’s a bunch of airy-fairy stuff.
But I’m learning to pay close attention to the voice of that saboteur so that I no longer accept its arguments at face value. Sometimes it’s like a little wrestling match between my ego and my higher Self. And yes, sometimes the saboteur wins. But with every confrontation between these two, my ego shrinks a little more allowing my higher Self to step a little more to the forefront. And sure enough, when my higher Self is steering the wheel, life is definitely abundant in all areas. The right people and the right circumstances just show up at exactly the right time – the synchronicity of the universe never ceases to amaze me. The blessings are all there, just waiting for us to get over ourselves. We really are the only ones standing in our own way.
Carolina Caro has had the pleasure of holding many different careers from being a research scientist in the area of HIV/AIDS, to holding various sales and marketing positions in the corporate world to being an actress in theatre, film and television. But her most thrilling experience is her ongoing spiritual journey towards her higher Self, which she openly shares with others through her coaching and her writing. http://www.signsfromthesoul.com
Thank you so much, Carolina, for this wonderfully insightful post! Kudos to you for going within, recognizing your limiting beliefs, and then allowing your higher self to rise up and let the universe work its magic. Great advice for us all!
Do you ever feel that life is getting just a bit too serious?
Sometimes I find that I'm so consumed with work and have complete tunnel vision toward finishing my projects and meeting my deadlines and managing everything in a healthy and productive way that I forget to have fun.
I love what I do. I absolutely do.
I love inspiring.
I love writing.
I love connecting.
And I love remembering why I do what I do.
Why I have these deadlines.
How blessed I am to have a full plate filled with so many possibilities.
I love remembering that a full life is a lived life.
I love remembering to:
Giving myself permission to take some time off to reconnect with these parts of myself is such a wonderful gift.
I invite you to do the same.
Your projects will still be there when you return.
And think of how much happier you'll be to come back with a fresh perspective.
A lighter perspective.
When life gets too serious, bring a bit of lightness into it.
You'll be so glad you did.
I wouldn't consider myself a team player.
I have always been the type of person who would rather just do something myself than have someone else assist me. I thought that bringing in another person with their own set of expectations about how things should be done complicated things, and I found that it was just easier to work alone.
So I created an entire life based on the premise that I didn't need anyone's guidance.
I believed that I was fine (even better off) without anyone's help.
I created a business. I became my own boss. I got to decide what to do and when to do it. I got to call the shots.
And this isn't entirely a bad thing.
There are parts of my solitary life that I absolutely love.
However, because of this view that I needed to do everything on my own, I developed a barrier between myself and the rest of the world. I found myself isolating and closing myself off from others. And even when I knew that I needed help, my pride and ego stood in the way of my asking for it. I somehow saw it as a weakness that I needed to ask at all. I thought that if I were truly strong and brave, I would be able to handle everything and continue going it alone.
And that part of my thinking is what I am working on changing.
Strength in Asking
It actually shows strength to ask for help. In doing so, we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We are showing the world that we aren't perfect - we don't have it all figured out - and we could really use some help.
And if you get out there and ask for help, I guarantee the world will respond to you in so many positive ways.
It could be that you ask a coworker to take a look at a project that you are stuck on.
It could be that you ask a friend to take your kids out for ice cream for an hour, so you can have some time alone to recharge.
It could be that you have always done your own bookkeeping, but you're finally realizing that your business has grown beyond what you have the time to keep up with. So you ask someone skilled in this area for help.
It could be that you join a spiritual group and honestly share that you are searching for answers to the meaning of life, but you could use some help finding them.
There are so many ways to ask for help, and you are the only one who can know exactly how someone could best serve you.
Make a list of all of the ways you could use some assistance in your life.
Then next to each item, write down who you could ask to help you.
And then begin going down your list and asking for help.
You do not have to go through life alone.
It is not a sign of strength to manage every part of your life on your own without ever asking for help.
It's a sign of strength to know your weaknesses and allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to ask for assistance.
It's Wednesday, which means it's time to write a post about gratitude!
Feel free to click here (or below) to learn more about our Gratitude Project.
Okay - now for today's post:
Throughout my life I have always had a special place where I went to recharge.
When life started to feel a bit overwhelming - which it often did - I could always go to this special place and somehow everything always seemed better afterwards.
This place is my bed.
I remember when I was really young continually asking my mom if I could go lie down. I loved my bed, and I couldn't wait to get back to the warmth and comfort of it. She would frequently ask me to play just a bit longer, and then I could go. (Quite the opposite of what most child/parent relationships are like.)
This continued throughout my childhood. If I was sad about something, I would quickly run upstairs and get under the covers and cry. If I was worried about something, knowing that the comfort of my bed was there waiting for me somehow made it seem less scary.
Having my bed as my special place still continues today. And now that my life is filling up at a quicker pace than what I am used to, I find myself going to my bed much more frequently for mini breaks.
I have found it to be not only a place of calm and comfort, but it's also a place to recharge and create. It almost never fails that if I am wrestling with an idea or trying to come up with a solution for something, I can go lie down for a few minutes and have the answer.
I like to think that my higher self hangs out there and waits for me. And while I know that this part of me is always there, I am most receptive to its guidance when I am lying down, being still, and open to receiving.
And it doesn't hurt that my sweet cat, Biddle, almost always follows me there during my daytime mini breaks. He is part cat/part angel, and it seems perfectly fitting that he is a part of this spiritual recharging.
For me, my bed is a place that has always held comfort for me.
It's a different sort of space than my sacred space.
It's like a friend. It's always been a constant in my life.
And it will always be.
It's the first place I go to when I need to recharge and unwind. And for that I am grateful.
Can you think of a place or physical object in your life that has continually served as a source of comfort for you - a place you to to charge your batteries? How does going there or seeing this object enhance your life? How does it bring you closer to your spirit?
If you can't think of anything, try creating one today. Feel free to use mine - if nothing else, you will get a good nap out of the deal. :)
To give you another example of a special object, Dan's is his guitar. It's the first thing he goes to when life feels overwhelming and he needs some time to recharge.
Have fun thinking about and being grateful for your own special place!
P.S. - I just announced our giveaway winners! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who entered and shared what they would like to manifest. Even if you didn't win, remember that the power to manifest your ideal life is always within you.
Have you ever gotten out of the driver's seat and allowed your higher self to take over?
Have you ever gotten out of your own way and surrendered to your own higher power?
Have you ever let go of your lower self - your human self - your ego - your conscious mind and allowed your higher self - your soul - your divine spirit to take the reins?
If so - how did it feel?
What was different?
When I sit down to write each day, I never know what is going to come out.
As much as I can control it, I resist planning. It overwhelms me, and I begin to feel boxed in. I feel that if I plan, my higher self and divine spirit won't be free to show up and guide me along my path.
And because of this natural resistance to planning, I am able to write without any preconceived ideas about what "should" be written, or what "must" be written. It is what it is. And I have faith that my higher self and the universe will come together and type what most needs to be written at that particular moment. What my soul feels that you (and me) need to hear the most.
So before I begin writing, I take a few deep breaths, light a candle, put on some soothing music, and wait. Sometimes the words start flowing immediately, and sometimes they don't. Sometimes I start writing - thinking that it is my higher self driving only to find out that my ego jumped in and took over. So I start again. I know that my higher self is back in control when I am filled with love and joy and faith and a knowing that only my pure soul could show me.
It's so important to give your higher self a voice.
It's absolutely crucial that we clear space in our lives for this voice - that we make time to listen to what it is telling us.
And you don't have to be writing to have your pure soul speak to you - through you. You could be creating anything or creating nothing when it happens. You could be painting and notice a moment where the brush seemed to be moving on its own - where you felt that pure love. You could be alone with your thoughts when you notice a new voice - a wise, loving voice that is guiding you toward your path.
When you hear this voice (or feel it, as we sometimes do), you will immediately take notice. It can speak quietly though, which is why it's so important to be still and slow down. You definitely don't want to miss out on its wisdom. When you do take notice, you'll find yourself sitting up straighter and breathing more fully. Your higher self has all of the answers. And it's such a gift that we all have access to this part of ourselves. We only need to learn how to listen to it. Our higher self is pure love, and the more we can let this part of ourselves guide our lives, the more open and awakened we become.
What does your higher self want you to know?
If you ask this question, listen carefully to the answers that come.
Write them down. Be careful not to censor them. And try not to judge them.
Just be open to hearing them.
Starting a dialog with your higher self is the first step toward living a life filled with possibility, openness, and pure love.
P.S. - This is the last day to enter our giveaway! Two lucky winners will be announced tomorrow! Remember that you have to refer others to be in the running for our Manifesting Happiness E-Course. So pass this along! Tweet about it! Post it on your Facebook page! Good luck to everyone!