More than a Coat

I have struggled with overspending for as long as I can remember.  I am now committed to planning a budget and sticking to it because it’s necessary to live the life I want to live.  I am learning to enjoy my life outside of things.  In the past, I have used money in exchange for love and that isn’t a fair trade.  I believe life supports me; all I have to do is show up, be present and do the next right thing.  Yesterday was a powerful reinforcement of those beliefs.

I had a coupon from Younkers for $60 off an outwear item that costs $100 or more and I needed a coat.  I had up to $55 budgeted for it.  My partner found me the PERFECT one but when it came time to check out, it rang up at $79.99 (40% off). The clerk couldn’t change the original price back to $110 so I could get a better deal with my coupon.

I froze.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I asked the clerk to ring up everything except the coat.  I had money for a $55 coat.  I did not have money for an $80 coat.

As I walked through the store to see if someone else could get the coat price down to one I could afford that day, more and more things were jumping out at me and my mind raced with dialog.

“Oh, what a cute tumbler, I could use it!”

“You already have all the tumblers you need, another one would take up room in the cupboard and not bring you any more joy”

“Oh yes, that’s right”

“Slippers!!!  I can use slippers!”

“You have slippers that fit and buying more will not bring you more joy.”

“Right”

“Oh, pants!!!! My son could use more work pants.  Good mothers buy their sons plenty of pants.”

“Dear one, your son is loved and cared for.  He has pants to wear to work.  They wash, they fit, and if something happened, there are 24 hour stores that sell them.  He will not go without pants.”

“My goodness, I need to get out of this place”

I refused to let myself go down the path of bargaining with myself for an extra $25.  I attempted that game many times before and always came up short.  As I shared my angst with my partner, he likened the experience to an alcoholic visiting her favorite bar.  In a former life, I would easily spend $400-$500 in a single visit buying all the items I didn’t buy this trip.  The result was a house overflowing with stuff, an empty bank account and unending stress.  I reminded myself I am changing and it’s safe to change…

We eventually arrived at another counter with an experienced looking woman who I hoped could help me.  I approached without expectation that I would get the coat or not get the coat but I REALLY WANTED the coat.  When I explained the situation, she regretfully informed me that she couldn’t adjust the original price either.  My heart sank.  It was perhaps the most perfect coat I have ever found but I was $25 short.  In my disappointed state, I asked the woman behind me if she wanted to go while I thought about my situation.

Although she could barely speak English, the woman next in line handed me a printed out coupon stamped with yesterday’s date.  It was for $25 off any item $50 or more.  I read the offer as words but the meaning didn’t sink in.  I looked up at the woman who handed it to me as if to ask “what is this for?”.  Her eyes said it was for me.  I looked back down and suddenly realized this coupon would make the coat affordable!  I looked back up on the edge of tears and said “Is this for me?” accompanied with a gesture.  She nodded.  The waterworks came as I said “thank you so much” over and over again.

Tears are flowing as I write this now… I am grateful for the kind hearted woman who was born speaking another language but connected with me anyway.  She was a quiet person; I can be loud.  Her face didn’t express her emotions outwardly like mine does but she had wise, knowing eyes.  When I made eye contact, I saw a hard working woman who knows the pain of heartbreak and has made many sacrifices in her life.  I felt like she understood me completely in that moment despite our differences.  After I paid, I turned around again and asked if I could give her a hug.  She agreed and even more tears fell down my face.

I was overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and grief for all the times I felt misunderstood and unloved.  On top of the gratitude for the coat, I was grateful for the experience and the sensations of my feelings I was experiencing in real time.  She reinforced my faith that everything works out perfectly!

Thank you, dear, sweet woman who made it possible to buy my coat.  I will think of you whenever I wear it.  Remembering your kind act helps me be aware of opportunities to give what I have at the right time for someone else.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

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Open to Receiving

I am open to receiving love, happiness, health and prosperity, knowing I deserve them all.

In response to the left side of my body crying out for attention, I have been working on my ability to receive for the last few months.  I am amazed to learn over and over again that I already have all I want.  Simply by changing my attention to what is here, now, that I appreciate, I have found everything I was looking for somewhere else.  As plans change and things go differently than expected, they keep turning out better than I imagined.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in America.  My husband volunteered to host our family.  He was nervous about how his turkey was going to turn out since it was the first year he took care of it from start to finish.  I had been trying to find the motivation to clean our house for a week and it hadn’t shown up.

Because of the threat of an ice storm, most of the extended family ended up staying home. We had the turkey, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce and green been casserole in town but the family that didn’t come had all the desserts. To make our meal complete, my husband picked up a pumpkin pie from the grocery store that morning and I whipped the cream.  When the turkey got done early, my son and husband pitched in to a 45 minute speed cleaning session.  The floors were freshly dried when our visitors showed up.

We ended up having what I felt was one of the best Thanksgiving dinners ever!  Conversation was effortless and I got some great tips from my sister in law on how to make my own environmentally friendly, non toxic, inexpensive cleaning products.  I believe everyone had a wonderful time.  I’m pretty sure my nephew ate around 2lbs of turkey breast himself so the meat was a hit!

I approached the day open to receiving love, peace and joy.  I had a couple of tense moments directing the men in house on what/how to clean but they did a great job.  Everything worked out perfectly in the end.

The above affirmation was on a solar plexus meditation handout from the Shekinah Life Purpose Center.  I came across it this morning when pondering what I wanted to write about today.  In the past, I have tried to put myself in a position to give but because of my resistance to receiving, I blocked many great opportunities to exchange love.  From a place of self criticism, I judged others unfairly as I judged myself unfairly.

This year will be the least expensive but most fulfilling holiday season yet for our family.  There is no greater gift than being fully present in the moment with another person.  I see that now.

Wishing you and yours health, peace and love this Winter season.

 

From my heart to yours,

 

Thanks for reading

 

Learn more about the Shekinah Life Purpose Center here:

http://www.shekinahlifepurposecenter.com/about-anita.html

Embrace the Journey

I demonstrate my power in ways that empower others.  I release any guilt for being successful and my desires manifest in ways that are the best for all.

Part of becoming a licensed Heal Your Life Workshop Leader was participating in the 2 day intensive workshop.  My intention going into the training was to remove any blocks standing in my way of success and to open myself to receiving love. I got even more than I bargained for.

The opening affirmation came to me on the flight home while I was reading “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain.  In the training, I was surrounded by people who celebrated my natural abilities and demeanor.  I was open, free and strong.  Many fellow classmates told me that I exuded love.

I realized that somewhere inside, I felt that I couldn’t be completely happy unless everyone around me was happy.  I learned there is plenty for everyone.  My being all I can be to the best of my ability doesn’t take away from what is available to anyone else.  We all have access to abundance in all things!

As fellow classmates were commenting on my confidence, I felt a little self conscious.  I worried that I was being too much, too free, too emotional, too dramatic.  As the week progressed, I was able to let love in.  I was able to be vulnerable and less afraid.  I now affirm I am loved and accepted exactly as I am.

Near the end of the training, we visited the home of Patricia Crane and Rick Nichols.  They have a beautiful labyrinth in their back yard.  I had never walked one before.  When I approached, I initially thought “that’s it?! you can just skip over the lines and go straight to the center, that’s not big” and I realized that has been my approach to life at times (skip the journey and go right to the destination).

As I began my walk, I looked down a lot and adjusted several rocks.  As time passed, I looked down less.  My arms started a kind of energetic dance.  My movements FLOWED with the music playing in the distance.  I started sensing where the path was, instead of looking, and I realized I have the same ability in everyday life.  Embrace the journey, go with the flow and sense the path.

There were several of us walking the labyrinth at the same time.  I brushed shoulders with the same people several times but after we passed each other, we went different directions.  We met for a moment of time and then separated.  We were on the same, yet different, journey.  I was reminded of my attachments to people and how the best way to love someone is to truly set him/her free.  If I were to grab on to someone walking the labyrinth, one of us would have to go backwards or halt progress.  The same is true in life.

In the center, there were stones with words on them.  I quickly grabbed the one that first caught my attention.  It said “blessings”.  I took a moment to express gratitude in my heart and headed back.  At one point, I thought “Is this ever going to end? How long does this take? I thought I would be done by now.”  I realized I feel that way in life sometimes.  The end of the journey was like the beginning but I was not the same.  I had a different energy and different perspective when I went over the same sections a second time.  The people who brushed shoulders with me in the beginning were not with me at the end.

At times, I felt like I was going to fall but I didn’t.  I regained my balance and slowed down.  That’s exactly what I need to do in life as well! I realized that if I focus only on the destination, I miss out on the fun of the journey.  Sometimes, it’s good, even necessary, to take the LONG way around.  Some of the most enjoyable part of the experience was when I was the only one on a section.  There’s no need to fear being abandoned/alone.  I am never truly alone because I always have the source of life within me.

In my heart, I do wish everyone to feel the freedom I feel inside now but everyone has to do their own work.  I am excited and honored to have the ability to accompany others on their journeys!  There is always more to learn, somewhere deeper to go, something to release.

Cheers to the journey!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Resources/Recommend Reading:

“You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SEHQ96/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

“Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001LORH1O/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1

More with Less

This quote succinctly described the recent awakening I experienced (it graced my Facebook feed today courtesy of the “Conscious Consumerism” page).  I have spent over two decades buying into the concept that security is found in getting a ‘stable job’ with ‘dependable income’ to be able to afford stuff.  I am embarrassed to say how much money I have wasted on things that don’t really matter while hurting my health, experiencing distress, and being unavailable for my family.

I believe the universe has enough for all of us to experience abundance and I deserve it.  However, my definition of abundance now goes far beyond a paycheck.  I value my life… My physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing are PRICELESS.  I appreciate the home in which I live and the people whom I share it with.  With a new attitude, I see I already have all that I need and the ability to create the life I want to live.

Two of my dearest, long time friends have been in this place for a long time.  One grew up in poverty and I have always admired her ability to support herself on very little income.  She has always had a beautiful, clean home and wonderfully eclectic wardrobe.  Another has lived by his own rules for over 50 years and earned enough money to support many trips around the world.  He tried to teach me years ago that ‘normal’ concepts of security are an illusion propagated by capitalism but I wasn’t ready to learn.

Growing up, I was surrounded by people who worked at jobs they hated so that they could knock on people’s doors preaching someone else’s ‘truth’ for 90 hours a month.  They drove Chevy Citations, ate donuts and had potlucks for fun.  Most of them were very unhappy and unfulfilled.  They put on fake smiles and talked about a ‘future Paradise’ to console themselves.  Looking around as a child, I promised myself that I was ‘never going to be like them’.  I spent a long time resenting the way I was raised.  Now, I see it as more of a blessing than a curse.

I know first hand that we choose our beliefs and our beliefs shape our world.  Each of us can choose to be as ‘crazy’ as we like and it doesn’t matter what other people think.  Today, I am grateful for my past.  I am grateful for the people who use my services.  I am grateful to have the skills to provide them.  I am grateful for this new world view.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Reminders from Paramahansa Yogananda

Today, in my sacred space, I was moved to search for teachings from Paramahansa Yogananda.  I downloaded “The Law of Success” and started reading.  As I read, the following reminders flowed into me…

Aligning my will with the will of the source of life is the way I experience success.  In every failure, there is an opportunity to grow and heal.  There is no need for suffering.  Suffering is a flag that says “hey, something is off here”.  Answers appear when I go within and ask what is off with an open heart and mind.  The answers to every problem and solutions for every need are available at any moment.  The quicker I learn lessons, the less trouble I experience in life.  I give no energy to focusing on the trouble.  Instead, I spend my energy focusing on the lesson, the gift, within the situation.

It is important not to do things for selfish power or to be “special” because of what I can do.  That is a desire of the ego that distracts me from my spiritual quest. It is important for me to set aside time to connect with the source of life so I can attune my will to that source.

I have tasted the sweet fruitage of aligning myself with the unconditional love, goodness and power from the source of life.  I also know the tragedy, stress and suffering from pursing goals that “prove” something.  This duality is a gift in my life.  I can choose the former whenever I wish.  I choose it now.

This is freedom.

This is joy.

This is passion.

This is the gift of my life!

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows

I blamed my employment for stress and lack of time.  It turns out, I am capable of creating stress and running out of time no matter what I do for employment!  I have heard variations of the phrase ‘where attention goes, energy flows’ multiple times in multiple contexts.  I am experiencing how true that statement is first hand.

There are always two or more ways to look at any situation.  The first two are 1) the way I see it now and 2) the OPPOSITE of how I see it now.  In between, there are hundreds of more ways to see any situation if I take enough time to think about them.  My power lies in being able to choose which way I want to focus my energy on.

I am grateful for my fear because it serves to keep me safe.  It’s a warning light that says “hey, something is different here” but that is all it is.  Beyond acknowledging and being grateful for the warning, it doesn’t do me any good to think about fears.

In the major life transition I am experiencing now, I see I have the choice between thinking about how to prevent what I’m afraid of and thinking about how to create the life I want.  If I spend energy thinking about preventing catastrophe, I feel limited, smothered, anxious.  If I spend energy thinking about creating the life I want, taking steps in that direction, I feel light, energized, excited and free!  No one makes that choice for me.  I decide where my energy flows.

I am becoming much more picky about where I spend my energy these days.  I have a list of high priority items which include: peace, joy, satisfaction and purpose.  There are distractions from those things everywhere, all the time, but I don’t have to feed into them.  I can choose peace and joy at any time, no matter what is happening around me.  When I get off track, I remind myself of that fact and move on.  When I focus my efforts on being present and showing up, I am blown away by the opportunities that effortlessly fall into my lap.

My relationship with my son is improving because I am opening myself up to experience the world in his way instead of trying to make him fit into mine.  I can look at all the things he’s not, or I can cherish all the things he IS!  The latter is much more satisfying than the former.  In learning how to focus on his strengths, I am also learning to focus on mine.

I am learning how vitally important it is for me to take time to get quiet within.  It is only in the quiet moments that I can hear my inner most desires and identify what brings me joy.  The quiet moments give me clarity and remind me that all is well in my world now, in this moment.  I am safe and protected.  Life supports me!

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading

Everyone Has A “Thing”

I believe in the depths of my soul that everyone has something they are good at, including people with dramatically differing abilities.  Problems are caused in people’s lives when there’s a disconnect between their abilities and what they are doing.  Align life with strengths and magic happens!

I believe that life supports me and the spiritual realm has my back.  I didn’t always believe that.  I’ve redefined what the ‘spiritual realm’ means to me many times.  Every definition I’ve had was what I needed at the time.  Energy spent fearing failure is wasted energy.  There is no failure… Even if something doesn’t work out, there’s a valuable lesson available in the experience.

There are some experiences I would like to protect people from if I could.  The way some people treat each other is abominable.  However, every survivor of abuse I have ever met has more strength of character in his/her little finger than someone who’s coasted through life.

When I wrote down the terrible things I experienced in a recent spiritual journey class, my dearest values were revealed.  I hold dear the concepts OPPOSITE of the negative experiences I’ve had. I felt controlled so I value freedom.  I felt disrespected so I value respect.  I felt mistreated so I value kindness.  Etc…

In the space I am in now, I do not fear failure because I welcome lessons in my life.  I grow.  I learn.  I own my destiny and embrace my inner source of power.

 

From my heart to yours

 

Thanks for reading

Grateful for the Bunny In My Backyard

A rabbit has taken up residence in the MIDDLE of my open backyard.  He spends most of the day in the same spot.  The dog leash is long enough the dogs could chase him if they wanted but they don’t bother.  I sense that if I were to try and approach him, I wouldn’t catch him, and maybe the dogs feel the same thing.  He doesn’t move when they come out; he just hunkers down in his spot and watches where they are.

In him, I see the capacity to be hyperaware, vulnerable, and yet completely calm.  He knows exactly what’s happening around him but chooses not to move.  He doesn’t hide under or behind anything and yet is somehow protected.  In the place where he sits, he can exit in any direction at any time but he lives in the moment.  Perhaps I can too.

In my yoga practice this week, I have set my intention on moving steadily, effortlessly, through the movements, letting my breath guide me.  I let go of being having perfect timing and just let my pace come naturally.  I think about the peaceful bunny in my backyard when I catch myself having jerky movements or feeling afraid.

Rabbits can bounce around frantically or they can be completely still.  I have the same ability.  My mental adjustment has made my practice feel completely different. I feel vulnerable on my mat but I’m learning to embrace that feeling.  I am safe.  My body knows what to do.

Life supports me.

I’ve spent much energy in my lifetime, running away, resisting, fighting, opposing…  I’m learning I can be just as effective sitting still.  My stillness does not mean I can’t move quickly.  It doesn’t make me stuck or less significant.  I can be aware and move where I choose, when I choose, just like the bunny in my backyard.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

I Am

“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.”  ~ William Gibson

I just got back from the “I Can Do It” Hay House conference in Denver, Colorado.  In many ways, the format was familiar to annual experiences growing up: book a hotel, get up in the morning, eat, go to conference center, sit, listen to people talk, take notes, use restroom and repeat until dinner time.  The difference is that instead of my soul feeling like I was being sucked dry and wanting desperately to escape, counting the minutes until I could rip off my uncomfortable clothes and indulge in endless desserts at that night’s all-you-can-eat buffet… I felt FILLED UP!  I nodded my head often as the speakers spoke truths I have always known but were told were lies.

I took notes and actually READ THEM AFTERWARDS.  My heart is singing.  I am alive!

The event was emotionally exhausting because we explored my deepest fears and insecurities.  However, I was there with the support of my soul sister and showed up with an open heart.  Roger Teel, author of “This Life is Joy” said, “Clarity is power”.  In the next few paragraphs, I will share some of the clarity I received this weekend.

I am not broken.  I am made of light from the source of divine love.  My body, my physical form, is just the house that energy lives in.  My body is not who I am.  My thoughts are not who I am.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with who I really am.

I have a personal self that is ego driven, ruled by the senses.  There’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with that either, but it shouldn’t be taken too seriously.  Those inputs should not be confused with the infinite divine of which I am a part.

I realized that every single unpleasant experience I remember in my life stems from believing I’m not worthy.  It comes from ego driven messages that were handed to me by those who came before me.  They don’t rule my life.  They are part of my journey and I chose this path to learn what I need to know in this life.  I am not suggesting the people who I grew up with were assholes.  I am suggesting that the heartache I experienced as a child had more to do with my environment than a defect within me.

As I listened to Davidji explain his experience teaching “tactical breathing” to Marines, Special Forces and members of law enforcement, I realized that I’ve been expecting the world to adjust to me instead of learning to adjust to the world.  When I say ‘adjust’, I don’t mean change, I mean adjust my approach to situations based on my audience while being fully grounded in who I am and what I believe.  I mean being open and accepting of others from a base of loving myself.  True strength is gentle, flexible, malleable…

Cheryl Richardson said that when she used to hear people say “you need to love yourself”, she wanted to hit something.  I honor that honestly but loving and accepting myself truly is the key to being able to fully love and accept others.  There’s no way around it.

When I’m honest with myself, I see I’ve been hateful towards others when I agreed with their diminishing approach to me.  No one else can make me feel ‘less than’.  No one else can steal my joy because my joy comes from the divine.  If I lose connection with it, all I have to do is ask for help to get the connection back.  Even in difficult circumstances, I can be joyful at heart.  Everyone can.

I want to be a spiritual person.  I want to be connected to the source of life, the creative energy that holds the infinite universe together.  I am.  I am.  Right here, right now, I am connected.

I’m connected to the part of you that knows what I’m talking about.  I need not be threatened by differing beliefs.  I need not hush the inner voice that is connected to the divine for fear it’s leading me astray.  I just need to listen from a quiet, connected, place.  All I need to know is found there.

I am safe.  I am well.  All things will come in their own time.

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

More information about Hay House can be found here:

http://www.hayhouse.com

http://www.hayhouseradio.com

http://www.healyourlife.com

3 Steps to Get Connected

Conversations over the past few days have gotten me thinking about the differences between people who have connection and those who long for connection.  Thinking about my own life and the lives of people I’ve come in contact with, I’ve observed 3 common steps in the process:

1.  Set Intention.  Whether it be “I want a life partner”, “I want friends”, “I want healthy people in my life”… Whatever it is, set the intention and define what connection you are looking for.

2.  Take Action.  Take a step in the direction of your intention.  Don’t worry about it being the right step; just take a step.  Put yourself out there and give yourself permission to change course at any time if what you are doing is no longer serving your purpose.

3.  Let Go.  Once you are taking action, embrace the process.  Spend your energy on imagining how you want to feel and taking continual steps in the direction of that feeling.  If you find yourself thinking that it’s not working, change course.  If you find yourself thinking it will never work, change your self talk.  Have faith that life will work out in it’s own time.  Prepare your heart to being open to receiving it when it does.

Although these steps are simple, I understand they aren’t necessarily easy.  In my journey, a lot of junk bubbles to the surface I have to deal with before I can take any more steps in the direction I want to go.  Instead of resisting what is and trying to force it into being something different, it works a lot better for me to spend my energy just being aware and looking for opportunities to make it better.   Life gets a whole lot easier when I ride the waves of emotion that come up, knowing nothing lasts forever.

From my heart to yours

Thanks for reading