Sunday, January 31, 2010

Who Are You?

How well do you know yourself? I mean REALLY know yourself? Have you ever taken the time to get to know you? The truth is, just because we are with ourselves 24/7 doesn’t necessarily mean that we know ourselves. There is not one person on this earth that we will spend more time with for the entire course of our lives than ourselves. So, we might as well get to know who that person is, and at the very least, practice being good company…with ourselves, that is!

It might sound funny, but it’s not a bad idea to reacquaint yourself with you every day. Just take a couple of moments to reflect. Who are you? How are you going to be in the world today? What is important to you? How do you want to feel? How do you want to express yourself? If it were your choice, how would you like to be perceived, and are your behaviors in alignment with that?

What are your values? What is really important to you? How do you know that you’re living up to your values? [I’ll give you a hint: take a good look at your behaviors! For example, if you said that you value family, but consistently avoid spending time with your family, you might need to re-examine your values, or more importantly, your priorities.]

What is your vision for yourself? Does your vision depict you as thriving or suffering? Are you creating a vision that works for you or against you? If you envision yourself never having happiness and/or success, and you’re currently unhappy and unsuccessful, are you aware of the fact that you are actually living your vision?

What characteristics are important to you in other people? Do you possess those characteristics yourself, and do you make it a point to surround yourself with people who have those characteristics? [For example, if you feel respect is an important characteristic in others, do you give others respect? Do you surround yourself with people who are respectful, or with people who disrespect you?]

What motivates you? What drains your energy? Do you feel deserving of good things? What types of things do you say to yourself about yourself on a daily basis? Do you practice self-awareness? What things do you like about yourself? What things could use a little polishing, or reconstructing altogether? Who are you, and what role do you play in that?

I could go on, but would like to invite you to add more questions that you feel we could all benefit from asking ourselves.

Enjoy getting to know you, and if you feel so moved, share who you are with us so we can get to know you, too!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Living in the Now

Well, here we are, two weeks into the New Year. How are things going? Have you made any worthwhile changes? Are you honoring yourself and playing an active role in creating the life you desire? Really think about it. What are you doing right now that is contributing to your experience of life at this very moment? How are you creating well-being and peace of mind in your present? What are you doing to enhance your now?

When you break it down, all we ever really have is the very moment we are living in. The past is over and the future hasn't arrived yet. Certainly it’s a good idea to think about the future, but it’s now and only now that we have an opportunity to prepare for the future. And even the future can only be experienced in the now…not right now, but in the now that will be at that time. Following me? If not, you’ve got to read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, or The Power of Now. Great books—very awakening and inspiring—as long as they are accompanied with an open mind.

The purpose of focusing on the importance of the present moment isn't to dismiss the past because the past can certainly teach us a thing or two about how to live in the moment. The fact of the matter is we can't change the past, and therefore, there is no true benefit to spending our time and energy fixating on it. On the flip side, if we are always focused on the future we are not plugged in to the present moment, which is the only time we can experience life and take action to create the future we desire. How we spend our time right now directly affects our experience of life in the current moment, and can give us a somewhat accurate idea of the path we’re paving to the future. The truth is this; the only opportunity we get to experience our life is right now. Life is always in the now. When your future gets here it won't be will be in the now.

So, I ask you again…how are you spending your now? Are you spending it doing what needs to be done? Are you engaging in self-care? Are you taking responsibility for your own life? Are you shedding light and clarity on your needs and desires, and orchestrating movement toward attaining them?

Living in the now…what does this mean to you?

Peace and Love,

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The "C" Word

There’s just something about the New Year that feels like a fresh start. I mean, technically, everyday (every minute, even) can be a fresh start if we want it to be, but the New Year somehow makes it official. It’s amazing to me how counting down on December 31 at 11:59pm—10, 9, 8, 7, 6—has so much psychological power. How those last moments—5, 4, 3, 2—can spark so much unity, excitement, and celebration. And how that last second before the clock strikes midnight –1—signifies not only a new day, but a brand new year. And not only a New Year, but CHANGE. There it is…the “C” word.

If you are one of those people who claim to not like change, but you celebrated with joy the onset of the New Year, and have been pondering the things you’d like to start doing or stop doing on account of the New Year, then you might not be as fearful of change as you originally thought. This is good news, and a very pertinent piece of information to know about yourself as it will serve you as you transition into 2010. You’ll have to frequently remind yourself of this pertinent piece of information, of course, otherwise you might forget and your intentions for change will slip away only to show up on next year’s list.

Instead of just writing down my intentions, a friend of mine suggested doing a 2010 intention candle ceremony as the blue moon graced and introduced us to the New Year on December 31. I liked the idea. It was different and seemed to fit the theme of change. So, I did it. Shortly after the clock struck 12 and I had my New Year cry (Auld Lang Syne does it to me EVERY TIME…don’t know the words or what they mean, but the tears flow), I lit my candles, stated my intentions from deep within my heart, and released them to the Universe one breath at a time. I had seven intentions, Universal requests, resolutions, revolutions, transformations, things I’d like to manifest…or whatever you’d like to call them. Unlike the birthday candle wishes, I think it’s safe to share my New Year wishes with you:

(1) Clarity—about who I am, what my purpose is this year, what my role is in attracting and maintaining healthy relationships with others, and what beliefs I still hold that no longer serve me.

(2) Creativity—to assist in transforming my relationship with myself and others, my career, health, finances, and spirituality.

(3) Let go and receive—learn to let go of things that don’t serve my better good so I can receive things that do. I believe that our ability to give from a healthy place stems from our ability to receive from a healthy place.

(4) Internal knowing of my value, goodness, and grace as a contributor to this world.

(5) Courage to stand up to, challenge, and move past my fears.

(6) A stronger spiritual bond.

(7) Gentle kindness and loving care for myself and others.

I was watching the movie Evan Almighty on New Year’s Eve, and in it God (Morgan Freeman) said, “When people ask for patience do you think He just gives them patience, or does He give them opportunities to be patient?” This statement resonated with me on a very powerful day of the year, a day that marks a fresh start, a new beginning, and endless possibilities.

I’m really looking forward to the opportunities that await. How about you? What are your 2010 intentions? How do you plan to transform yourself and the world this year? What changes are important to you, and what are you going to do to assure that you make them? Set your intentions and brace yourself for the opportunities that will emerge everyday (big, small, obvious, and in disguise).

Happy New Year!

Warm Regards,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Season's Greetings!

I inadvertently took the month of December off from blogging, but am excited about getting behind the keyboard once again in the new year. I hope you will join me, and share your insights as well.

I'm looking forward to a new year of revelations, challenges, personal growth, and taking action to achieve my goals. How about you? What are some of the things that you are looking forward to this year? What are some things that you would like to manifest in your life? I'm not talking New Year's resolutions; I'm talking New Year's REVOLUTIONS! What transformational goals do you have, and what action steps do you have in place to achieve them?

Remember, the three keys to creating what it is that you want in your life are (1) intention, (2) gratitude, and (3) ACTION.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a wildly successful New Year!

See you in 2010,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Personal Growth Compilation

Last weekend I went to a personal growth conference in Tampa. I’ve been going every year for three years now, and always find it to be valuable and spiritually replenishing. This week I thought I would share with you some inspirational quotes and words of wisdom from a few of the speakers:

Dr. Wayne Dyer was the main keynote speaker. Here’s some of what he had to say:

“Everything you believe to be true about yourself is your self-concept. How you interact with the world stems from your beliefs about who you are.”

“If you wake up and expect a bad day, you’ll rarely disappoint yourself.”

“Self-reliance is imperative. We need to be able to rely on ourselves regardless of the circumstances.”

“The only thing you have to help you create what you want is your imagination, and the only way you can change what you believe about yourself is through your imagination. If you can’t imagine what you desire then you are giving up the only tool you have to make a change.”

“The last five minutes of the day are the most important. Take that time to reflect on what went well.”

These next words were shared by Bruce Lipton:

“If you perceive yourself as a victim you have no power. The person who has the power in your life is the rescuer.”

“Our consciousness is creating the world. As we change our consciousness we change the world.”

“Evolution is driven by cooperation, community, love, and harmony—not by competition.”

Robert Ohotto said:

“In trying to connect with your purpose ask yourself, ‘What does the collective need from me?’ What are your skills? What is your grace? Grace is what you do to provide a healing energy to yourself and others.”

“Your destiny is not exclusive of serving others.”

“What do you do well, and how are you going to give it back to everyone else?”

And one of my favorite quotes was by Loretta LaRoche:

“Become the fun you are seeking.”

Have a great week!


Friday, November 13, 2009

The Power of Writing

Writing is an incredibly powerful tool that allows us to connect with ourselves and grow emotionally. Song writers often find healing through the lyrics they write. The same can happen for those who write plays, movies, books, etc. And for the rest of us, journaling does the job.

Do you journal? If not, why? Some people think it’s a feminine thing to do. Some think it’s corny. Perfectionists might cringe at doing it because it becomes a task to make sure everything is written perfectly. Some people choose to not do it because they fear others will read their journal (fear…it’s so intrusive and inhibiting, isn’t it?). Some don’t want to take or make the time to do it. And others avoid doing it as a form of resistance because they fear (there’s that bad word again) what they will find or the emotions they will feel. No matter how you label it, though, journaling is simply writing, and you don’t have to be a female to do it, nor does fear of any kind have to accompany it. It’s just writing!

Why is writing so powerful? Well, for one, it helps you to stay focused on the topic at hand. It’s a wonderful and healthy outlet for pent up frustration or emotional tension. It helps you tackle issues on a much deeper level than merely thinking about things. When writing, your mind doesn’t get in the way and create multiple distractions. It brings the content of your mind into the physical world to be seen and challenged. More specifically, it enables you to extract important content from your mind which is often packed with all sorts of mental clutter.

Writing gives you an opportunity to explore what you really think. It often produces revelations (or what Oprah calls “aha” moments). It actually helps you to remember better, and assists with creativity. Writing as opposed to just thinking uncovers much more information, and it really does help to get you out of your head and plugged in to what is really going on in your life.

So, what do you say? Is writing something you’d be willing to give a try? It’s definitely a skill you have, so you might as well use it! You have nothing to lose, and if it's out of your comfort zone then that's even better! All growth occurs outside of our comfort zone. Your task this week is simple...journal about anything you wish once a day for five days, and have fun as you observe your thoughts coming to life before your eyes.

Have a great week,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Patterns of Our Lives

Do you practice self-awareness? Are you aware of your thoughts, behaviors, and emotions as they are happening? Do you consider yourself to be a highly conscious person? If so, what percentage of the time would you say you are completely “plugged in” and in tune to what’s going on with you and around you, and what percentage of the time are you “in your head” and running on autopilot? If asked to describe your characteristic way of thinking, feeling, and behaving would you be able to accurately identify your patterns? If not, you might not be as self-aware as you think.

Self-awareness is the prerequisite to personal growth. Without it we become disconnected from ourselves. So, think about it, what are your patterns? How do you react in novel situations? What do you tend to do when faced with a challenging task or circumstance? When thinking about a potential outcome what common beliefs or expectations surface? Do you tend to think positively, or do you more often than not focus on what could or will likely go wrong? How do you react when you receive constructive criticism? What does your communication pattern look like? How do you react mentally, behaviorally, emotionally when you’re in social situations, or when you find yourself in a situation where others may be judging you?

Speaking of judging, do you tend to judge others? Do you have avoidance tendencies? Do you look for and clearly see the good in others, or do you focus on what you perceive as their flaws? What do you spend most of your mental energy on? Are your thoughts consumed with your job, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, the government, the weather? What moves you? Do you laugh a lot? Do you let yourself cry when the urge strikes? What do you do well? What things do you need to work on? Are you working on them? What are your hang-ups? What triggers you, and more importantly, why? Are you happy? If not, what role are you playing in that?

Spend some time this week thinking about and being very aware of you. If you don’t practice this regularly it’ll probably feel like you’re meeting yourself for the first time. Relish in the things you notice about yourself that you like, and honor yourself for being brave enough to take a close look at those things that you don’t.

We can’t make changes unless we know changes need to be made. And the only way to know is to be aware.