31 August 2011

A Prosperous Life

Thinking about the hurricanes, tornadoes and floods that have ravaged our nation these past weeks, I give thanks for the gift of life. We do not remember how fragile life is until we are faced with some adversity or devastation. When I witness these calamities, I realize how truly blessed I am.

I received this from the Daily Word. It confirmed my blessed and abundant state of life. May it give you comfort as we pray for those affected by life’s storms.

I am prospered as I circulate God's good.

Water in a pool or pond becomes stagnant when there is lack of fresh water circulating through it. Similarly, when I fail to circulate the good in my life, good can appear to be in short supply. The more I give, the more I receive. The greater my appreciation of life's abundance, the more I am stimulated to share.

As I give love to others, love returns to me. It may return from different people, yet without fail, it will return to bless me. When I spend money, I am doing more than just making a purchase or paying a bill, I am circulating God's good. Prosperity flows to me continuously as I actively and consciously participate in the infinite cycle of blessing and benefit.

30 August 2011

Transcend Your Fears

“You can never become a great man or woman until you have overcome anxiety, worry, and fear. It is impossible for an anxious person, a worried one, or a fearful one to perceive truth; all things are distorted and thrown out of their proper relations by such mental states, and those who are in them cannot read the thoughts of God.” ~ Wallace D. Wattles

We live in a world of wonderful connections and relationships. Yet, there is something that looms within those connections and relationships that keep us stuck, keep us struggling, keep us broke, and keep us falling into habit patterns that simply do not serve. That something is fear. As Wattles says in The Science of Getting Rich, when we are fearful we cannot perceive truth or properly connect with God or one another.

I have read that most relationships end because of lack of communication. I believe the underlying agent is fear. Why can't we communicate properly? We are afraid of what the other might think.... We are afraid of being rejected.... We are afraid of being hurt.... We are afraid of looking stupid.... And on and on and on it goes. Why are we so afraid? Beliefs, habits and paradigms that do not serve us.

Then we get into another relationship that looks exactly like the one we just got out of or even more toxic. The cycle continues. It is time to get off of the merry-go-round of fear and anxiety. Life is meant to be about ease and flow, not effort and fear. Unfortunately, I see more of the latter than the former. I can see it very clearly because I used to be smack dab in the center of it. I was afraid of everything. Growing up in violence, fear was the name of the game. So, I learned to disappear and it served me well - too well, I may add.

I finally made the decision to get off the fear merry-go-round. But it was not easy. It still is not easy; but because I made the decision, I did it. I had to get in alignment with what the universe had in store for me. Today, I have the tools in my toolkit to release the fears that hold me back and keep me stuck, and transcend the fears that are working for my highest good.

Just for today, make the decision to transcend the fear and live in faith!

29 August 2011

Love Purposefully!

During one of my Artist Dates, I had a lovely epiphany. I want to live more in love than in fear. Brilliant, huh? Well, yeah okay, what I mean is… I want to operate my entire life, including my coaching practice, in the love realm. The more speaking engagements I do, the more workshops I conduct, the more students I teach, the more clients I coach, the same issue always comes up: what blocks your living a life of passion and purpose? FEAR.

In my leadership coaching, I teach leaders how to love those they lead. However, this should not be confined to just those in traditional leadership positions, but to anyone who is in the position to influence someone. Guess what? That’s everyone, including you! When we can focus on loving, I believe there will be no room to focus on what we fear. And as I mentioned before, fears will always be a part of our stories, but they should not be to paralyze us, but to bring us to a new awareness. Fear means that something exciting is about to happen.

So are you wondering how do I teach people how to love? So glad you asked! Four simple words: Love as a verb! We need to wrap our brains around loving as something we make a conscious choice to do. Love is not about how we feel; we need to act our way into the feeling. When we behave lovingly, the feelings will come. Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the Church Fathers, said: “Love is the effective willing of the good of the other.” Fancy, yes? Simply put, we choose to behave toward the other for their good. We want only the best for the other, acknowledging the other as other.

We can sometimes get in the habit of lumping groups of people together and classifying or labeling them; those people, that group. Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once wrote, "When you label me, you negate me." We must see each person as an individually-made expression of the Divine. This is part of our purpose, to recognize that we are uniquely made expressions of the Divine and live that to the fullest. When we live this, fear has no hold on us; we only operate in love.

Lovely epiphany? I think so. I look forward to your epiphanies and your comments on my epiphany. Take yourself on an Artist Date and dream. You never know what the Universe has in store for you.

Live purposely in love,

26 August 2011

Friday's Purposeful Question

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Author and teacher Byron Katie says that when you question your stressful thoughts, the freedom that comes out of that graces the world for all of us.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Who are you being?”

“Who are you becoming?”

You can tell whether a woman is clever by her answers. You can tell whether she is wise by her questions.” ~ attributed to Naguib Mahfouz

25 August 2011

Your Power to Choose

“You have the power to create. Your power is so strong that whatever you believe comes true. You create yourself, whatever you believe you are. You are the way you are because that is what you believe about yourself. Your whole reality, everything you believe, is your creation. You have the same power as any other human in the world. The main difference between you and someone else is how you apply your power, what you create with your power. You may be similar to others in many ways, but no one in the whole world lives her life the way you do.”

~ From The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz

You have the power to create. Your power is called choice. You have the power to choose whatever you want. Not choosing is also a choice. But remember, whatever you choose, whatever you create for your life, choose the path of love. The path of love will take you much farther than the path of fear and doubt.

You have the power. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

23 August 2011

Who Are You?

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

22 August 2011

Who We Are

“You are not barred from attaining greatness by heredity. No matter who or what your ancestors many have been or how unlearned or lowly their station, the upward way is open for you….

“There is a Principle of Power in you; if you use it and apply it in a certain way you can overcome all heredity, and master all circumstances and conditions and become a great and powerful personality.

~ The Science of Being Great by Wallace Wattles

No matter who you are or where you came from, you have the power within you to become great. There are no limits – other than those set by your own mind and the minds of those around you. If you can conceive it and believe it, then you can achieve it.

The achieving is in the actions you take. Taking conscious action steps moves you along to the greatness you desire. When you allow others to derail your efforts, or allow your own fears and doubts to speak louder than your dreams, then surely you will stay small and lifeless.

The choice is yours. And your life is yours as well.

Make the choice to show up more powerful for your own life.

19 August 2011

Friday's Purposeful Question

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

“What do you say to others about yourself?”

Remember, you teach people how to treat you. 

If you disrespect yourself, then guess what? So will others!

18 August 2011

Self-Love Begins With Self-Respect

“Imagine how you would speak to someone whom you love and respect immensely. If you have a pet dog or cat that you love and adore, how do you speak to your animal friend? Now consider how you speak to yourself. What do you say to yourself every day when you look in the mirror, when you are bathing or dressing or going about your day? If you speak to yourself in a critical, judgmental way, it’s because you have learned to do this from others. You agreed to treat yourself this way, then you practiced this habit until you mastered it.

“Now that you are aware of the agreement, you can choose to break it by saying: ‘I no longer agree to treat myself with disrespect. Every time a self-critical thought comes to mind, I will forgive the Judge and follow this comment with words of praise, self-acceptance, and love.’

“Make a list of at least four things you say to yourself about yourself every day, then review your list and decide whether these words are kind, respectful, and loving. Treat yourself as you would treat a queen or king, an innocent child, or your favorite pet. Choose to be impeccable with your word. Self-love begins with self-respect.”

~ The Four Agreements Companion Book by don Miguel Ruiz

16 August 2011

Journaling For Joy

A beautiful article I want to share with you. When you think things are bad, think again - it could be much worse. There is always something to be grateful for. The mere fact that you are breathing and reading this blog... Need I say more? Enjoy!

Journaling for Joy: How to Create a Gratitude Journal
One year, as I sat down to write my annual family Christmas letter (yes, I am one of "those people"), I was overcome with a severe case of writer's block. It had been a difficult year and I could not motivate myself to write my usual greeting filled with joyous memories of shared experiences and happy childhood milestones. Instead, I thought only of the loss, tragedy and isolation I felt throughout the year. Who wants to read about that?!

So I set aside my task (despite the fact that it was already December 15 and I was on a tight deadline!) and asked God to give me clarity to see my life in a more positive light. He immediately reminded me of my many blessings by exposing me to the devastation of others – husbands killed while serving their country, children stricken with terminal illness, wives battling end stage cancer, families displaced from their homes... sadly, the list is endless. There is nothing more humbling than to learn of someone who has suffered a greater loss.

You know the feeling – just when you think your life is miserable, you get an uncomfortable reminder from God that someone else has bigger problems. I call this the "It Could Be Worse" message from above.

All around me, people were losing their jobs, their lives and their hope. Yet, I was truly blessed.
When I returned to my desk to write the letter, the joy and gratitude began to flow. It poured forth as my spiritual muse reminded me of the true meaning of Christmas. I vowed to keep a Gratitude Journal the following year and record all the Little Things That Bring Me Joy. I dedicated my journal to finding Moments of Joy in Everyday Life. As an avid subscriber of the KIS philosophy (keep it simple), I decided to make a list and number each entry. I set no expectations on how often or how much I would write. But I kept the journal easily accessible, within sight, so I could jot down phrases and words as they emerged in my thoughts.

As life unfolded, I found myself recording simple pleasures, like "sleeping in!" and "listening to the sound of my children laughing." I made note of meaningful events such as "standing in the quiet of a snow covered mountaintop" and "spending a crisp fall day hiking in the woods." Whenever I received good news, I added it to my list. "Sue's stress test was negative!" Or, "Patti got a job and is moving to Cape May!"

As the seasons changed, my list grew longer. It was filled with small moments of happiness. It contained all the things that remind me of what I treasure most in life. The list was more than just a Gratitude Journal. I came to think of it as my Time Capsule of Joy.

Indeed, by the next December I had documented 118 Joy-Filled Moments. Not bad, considering that I went weeks at a time without an entry. As I reviewed the list, I was reminded of the day I came home from work to find my husband vacuuming. And the time my daughter's poem about inner beauty won first place in a school contest. Several entries were tributes to mothers who helped me in simple ways –transporting the kids to an activity while I was out of town, or taking the time to listen when I needed a friend. The pages were filled with the myriad of ways God blesses me and my family every day.

If you are feeling the need for a gentle reminder or an "It Could Be Worse" message from above, try capturing your moments of joy in a Gratitude Journal! Here are some tips to get started:

1. Choose a beautiful journal with an inspirational photo or a soft fabric cover – something that is inviting to you.
2. Dedicate your journal to a special intention in your heart.
3. Set aside 10 minutes a day to write in your journal so it becomes a routine.
4. Number the lines of your journal in advance so the empty spaces are just beckoning you to fill them in with grateful thoughts.
5. Don't worry about spelling or grammar – just jot down your thoughts and feelings of gratitude.
6. Keep your journal someplace that is sacred to you – somewhere quiet with no distractions.
7. Use colored pens or markers to celebrate the joyful moments in your journal!
8. If you can't think of anything to be grateful for, then look outside your own heart – think of someone you know (or a stranger) who has been blessed and express your gratitude on their behalf.
9. Write it all down. There is nothing too small or insignificant to include in your Gratitude Journal – our lives are filled with blessings in all sizes!
10. Just keep writing! If you skip a day, a week, a month, don't beat yourself up. Just begin with your thoughts of gratitude for today and move forward.

Any time is a good time to start your Gratitude Journal. I think you'll find that there's something therapeutic about Journaling for Joy.
I totally agree! Journaling can lift the lowest of spirits and set you on a different path. But don't just take my word for it....

15 August 2011

Create A Transforming Story

This is a time of great transformation on our planet. We all have a part to play, just by being will to be our true, magnificent selves.” ~ Shakti Gawain 

To truly be our magnificent and authentic selves, we must be fully present in our own lives. Our days generally consist of a series of automatic, rote tasks and activities. We are rarely truly present or fully aware when we are performing them. 

That is why creating your ideal day puts you in a conscious state of mind. Instead of what you are already currently experiencing on a daily basis, what would you like your day to look like? Focus on each of the tasks and activities of your ideal day. Especially pay close attention to how you are feeling. Are you feeling calmer? More peaceful? Instead of asking for less stress, ask for more peace. 

The time of great transformation that Queen Shakti speaks of in the quote is your transformation; you are transforming your current story of lack, scarcity, fear and worry to a new story of peace, joy, abundance and prosperity. This is not some airy fairy, pie-in-the-sky notion – unless you choose to focus on it that way. It is all about making choices; and only you can make the choice to transform consciously, mindfully and intentionally. You are going to transform anyway, whether you like it or not. So why not do it on your own terms; create it the way you desire and live the life of your wildest dreams. 

So, just for today, choose to create a new, transforming story!

12 August 2011

Friday's Purposeful Question

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

It is said that the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions.

So, what questions are you asking? 

Power is not about exerting our will over others, it is about being in complete truth with yourself.

“Are you living in your own power? In your own truth? Are you being truly authentic?”

You can tell whether a woman is clever by her answers. You can tell whether she is wise by her questions.” ~ attributed to Naguib Mahfouz

11 August 2011

Dream BIG!

"I dream, therefore I become." ~ Cheryl Grossman 

Your dreams allows for possibilities beyond your current reality. Whatever you can dream, you can achieve – if you believe. 

Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream. 

Gandhi had a dream. 

Mother Teresa had a dream. 

What about you? 

Dream. Dream big. Then, believe in those big dreams. 

"Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." ~ John Updike

10 August 2011

Use Pleasant Words

"You will find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make earnest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy." ~ Lydia M. Child, 1802-1880, Abolitionist and Women's Rights Activist 

Remember that ration of one thousand words per day? 

How many of them are words of encouragement? 

How many of them are words of doom and gloom? 

How many of them are words that blame and complain? 

How many of them are words that edify and inspire? 

So, how are you using your words today?

09 August 2011

Staying Conscious

For a more grounded life, choose not to get caught up in the fast-paced world around you. 

1. Live simply and live deliberately. By choosing not to get caught up in the details of this fast-paced world, you are doing your part to slow down. You will discover that you have more time to enjoy being alive. 

2. Stay in touch with yourself. Soul searching, meditation, and journaling are just a few of the many activities you can take part in to stay aware and learn as much as you can about your emotions, reactions, likes, dislikes, dreams, and fears. Having a solid sense of self gives you a firm foundation for living in this world. 

3. Support or teach others as often as you can. This can help you form connections with people while also giving you an opportunity to make the world a better place. 

4. Consciously choose what you will allow into your being. The media bombards us with visions of hate, war, and pain. Be judicious about what you read, watch, and listen to. 

5. Acknowledge the beauty that resides around you. Whether you live in a sprawling metropolis or a stereotypical suburb, there are natural and man-made wonders just waiting to be discovered by you. 

6. Nurture your ties to your tribe. If you don’t have one, create a community that you can belong to. Modern life can be isolating. When you have a tribe, you have a circle that you are a part of. Its members – loved ones, friends, or neighbors - can be a source of support, caring, guidance, and companionship. 

7. See the larger picture. Remember the way that you choose to live is not the only way to live. Widen your perspective by exploring other modes of being through research, travel, and discussion. 

8. Embrace the challenges that life presents to you, and challenge yourself often. After a time, even the most exciting jobs or lifestyles can seem routine. Never stop assimilating new knowledge about whatever you are doing, and your life will never seem dull. 

9. Move your body. In this busy world, it can be easy to live a sedentary life. Movement reacquaints us with our bodies and connects us to the earth in a visceral way. It also restores our vitality. 

10. Make time for stillness, silence, and solitude. The world can be noisy, and we are subject to all kinds of noises nearly every waking hour. We are also often “on the go” and unable to relax. Being alone in a peaceful place and making time for quiet can help you stay in touch with yourself.

 ~ From the Daily OM

08 August 2011

3 Truisms About Your Subconscious Mind

“Feel the joy and restfulness in foreseeing the certain accomplishment of your desire. Any mental picture which you have in your mind is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” 

“Remember that the thankful heart is always close to the riches of the universe.” 

“To affirm is to state that it is so, and as you maintain this attitude of mind as true, regardless of all evidence to the contrary, you will receive an answer to your prayer.” 

~ From The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, Ph.D., D.D. 

05 August 2011

Friday's Purposeful Question

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Author and teacher Byron Katie says that when you question your stressful thoughts, the freedom that comes out of that graces the world for all of us.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your questions. So, what questions are you asking?

“Are the words you are speaking becoming your laws?”

“Life is an unanswered question, but let's still believe in the dignity and importance of that question.” ~ Tennessee Williams

04 August 2011

The Power of the Word

A person knowing the power of the word, becomes very careful of his conversation. He has only to watch the reaction of his words to know that they do ‘not return void’. Through his spoken word, man is continually making laws for himself.” ~ Florence Scovel Shinn

Don Miguel Ruiz’ first agreement is “Be Impeccable With the Word”.

I find it amazing how many people speak just to hear the sound of their own voices, or to fill the void of the silence.

Our words are one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal, yet we do not realize what an incredibly powerful tool it is.

Imagine you were given a ration of one thousand words each day.

What would you say?
Who would you say it to?

Something to think about.

So, just for today, be impeccable with your words speak only if it improves the silence!

03 August 2011

Share Your Story

All sorrows can be borne if you tell a story about them.” ~ Karen Blixen

Whenever I counsel someone who is grieving, the first thing I ask for is their grief story. Grief is about stories; as is all sorrows and sad moments. It is when we can tell and share our story that we begin to heal and move past our sadness.

When the bereaved tells their story – especially if they have never told it before – they always feel lighter.

Is there something in your life that is weighing you down, causing you to feel sorrowful? Find a trusted soul, a nutritious person and share your story. Then, ask them to share their story.

When you share your grief, it is halved; but when you share your joy, it is doubled!

02 August 2011

Love On Purpose

"As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life -- delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay -- I hold this question as a guiding light: 'What do I really need right now to be happy?' What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way." - Sharon Salzberg

So, what do you really need right now to be happy?

This is very insightful as it speaks to reflecting on all of the feelings and experiences of the journey called life. In this journey called life, there will be many different kinds of feelings and experiences – love, joy, elation, excitement, as well as sadness, dismay and even anger and resentment.

We are called to live lives of joy, peace and love. Think about what you are feeling right now. If you are not feeling joy, peace or love, then ask yourself why not. Then set about the work of changing that so you are living a life of love, peace and joy.

Living in love, peace and joy does not mean you will not experience things that cause you to feel sad or angry. What it does mean is that you can still have joy, love and peace in your heart in spite of those not so pleasant events that happen in life. Whatever happens, you must never lose your joy or your peace. And above all, never lose your willingness to love on purpose.

01 August 2011

Radiate Loving Energy

“If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those who are around you. If you can maintain this habit, this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.” ~ Annamalai Swami

I don’t know about you, but I have had my share of grumpy, negative low-energy folks. I want to be around folks who radiate a harmonious loving energy that will uplift me.

Now, here’s the kicker – in order for me to attract those harmonious beings into my life, I must also radiate that same kind of harmonious loving energy. See how that works?

So, if you want to create a steady flow of love in your life, maintain the habit of radiating a harmonious loving energy yourself. You’d be surprised at how easy it gets once you get into the habit. And, your life will have a more peace-filled energy.

Try it! Today!