My last class, although a phenomenal and moving experience, was not well attended. The people who did come received amazing gifts of loving messages and healing energies, and after letting some time go by I realize it was a perfect afternoon. The experience I thought I would have was not the one I needed, apparently, and that is okay. It happens. I was feeling like I had stretched SO much by talking to so many people about the event that I would surely have a much bigger turnout. For several days afterwards it really kind of felt like I had been slapped in the face. Rather than being proud of how much I had grown and pushed myself, I was only seeing that one piece of the puzzle.
Does this ever happen to you? You work hard and stretch and push and face your fear with all your might, only to feel like someone snuck up behind you and kicked you right in the can. Well, I can’t tell you why this happens. Maybe there is a different lesson for all of us in this experience depending on where we are in our lives. I can tell you what I took away from the experience.
If I am doing something because of the desired outcome, I am missing out on 99% of the experience.
What I got was a reminder to seek out the happy, feel good places and let the details work themselves out. I got a reminder to lean in to the Universe and trust that the outcome is only part of the journey and, in fact, is yet to be determined. Life keeps pushing back the finish line and giving us more chances to dig deeper, play harder and truly experience being alive. What I got was the gift of learning that I am stronger than disappointment or embarrassment. They can’t hold me back if I don’t let them, and that is the outcome I believe I needed to continue creating the life and career I love.
“If you want something in your life you’ve never had,
You’ll have to do something you’ve never done.”
Trying new things is most often an uncomfortable experience. Some brave, adventurous, and possibly kooky individuals have come to enjoy living in that uncomfortable place. It seems life would be adventurous and exciting if I was happy to live in that often uncomfortable place of the wild unknown. Alas, I am not. I am pretty big on comfortable, known, and expected outcomes. It suits me fine! Thank you very much.
Except, I now am building a career as a healer and teacher. Something I have not done before, and I can feel the uncertainty of it, A LOT! How do you know how to do what you have not done before? I do a lot of the expected, rational things like ask questions of people who have gone before me, read lots of books, try lots of ideas, and do my best to trust my gut. I rely on that last one a lot! I put a lot of stock in how things sit with me, like how I feel when meeting a new person.
In the recent Spring Manifestations class we spent a lot of time getting in touch with what we feel like internally and using that internal state as a guide to what we want to manifest in our lives. We spoke about what happens when what we think we want brings up a fearful reaction in our bodies. How spending some time feeling that fear can help us begin to tease apart anticipatory or unfamiliar feelings of fear vs. a flashing red beacon from the Universe to turn around and look for another path. We also realized how many of us were facing those grown up decisions where there is no “right” answer. The decisions you kind of wish someone else would make for you. How do you know what to choose when everything feels scary or not quite right?
I saw a film called “The Thought Exchange” which so thoroughly examines this dilemma. First of all, a distinction between feelings and sensations is made. Feelings such as happy, sad, or mad are labels we attach to sensations we experience in our bodies. Uncomfortable or painful sensations are so unpleasant that we most often exchange the thoughts that brought them up for ones that make us feel more familiar or comfortable. These uncomfortable sensations almost always show up when we envision for ourselves attaining or creating something new in our lives. For example, “I am creating a financially successful business doing work that I love,” becomes “I will never create a financially successful business doing work that I love.” Why would we make a switch like that? How could it ever feel better to believe this negative thought? Well, if the idea of creating a financially successful business feels new and challenging and scary, maybe even impossible. Then the thought, “I will never create a financially successful business” feels much safer and less overwhelming. In this way we unconsciously sell ourselves down the river. Foregoing what we truly desire so we can feel comfortable, even when what feels comfortable doesn’t feel good.
If we can, moment by moment, feel the sensations and do it anyway, that is how we cross the bridge from where we are to where we want to be. Sit with the uncomfortable sensations without needing to attach labels or thoughts to them. If you absolutely have to you can make up new labels that serve you better. Instead of sick with anxiety, how about giddy with anticipation?
There is a cute example of an exercise people try at the Thought Exchange workshops. Someone pretends to be working behind the counter at the Thought Exchange Department Store. Another participant is encouraged to approach the counter and exchange a thought. In this example, the customer comes up to the counter and says, “Hello, I would like to exchange the thought, ‘I’m a piece of crap’.” The woman behind the counter says, “Yes, okay and what would you like to exchange it for?” The customer says, “I would like to try ‘I am an amazing person with limitless potential’.” The woman behind the counter says, “Yes, no problem. Here you are” and pretends to take one box away and replace it with another. The customer walks out with the thought, “I am an amazing person with limitless potential.” I encourage you to play with this exercise next time you are thinking that something is impossible or never going to happen. Sit with a different thought for a moment and see if the sensations you experience in your body change. This has been a fun way for me to begin noticing the difference between something that truly “Doesn’t feel right” and something that just feels uncomfortable or intimidating because I haven’t done it before.
In our recent class, “Harnessing The Power of Energy Healing”, we talked a bit about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments. Many of you are probably familiar with his work. He has studied the effects of words, music and prayer on the formation of crystals in water. His work is truly fascinating and you can’t help but pause and think that if just taping the word “Hate” to a glass of water can cause all kinds of weird, irregular and ugly changes to its molecular structure what will thinking hateful and bitter thoughts do to my own body which is somewhere around 80% water. Conversely, water with words such as “Love” and “Joy” support the formation of beautiful and symmetrical crystals. How must those types of thoughts and actions affect our health?
After the class I was speaking with a woman who was working to find a way to synthesize all of the information we had presented. How could she apply this to her daily life? I suggested that she take a page out of Dr. Emoto’s book and begin with a word. I have done this myself and found it to be an effortless way to create change in a stuck situation. What you do is when you find yourself in a seemingly intractable situation and you cannot think of a way to get through it, just pick a word that matches what you would rather be feeling. For example, you are arguing with your kids again and feeling like they will never listen and respect your rules. Why not choose “Respect” or “Peace”. Maybe you are one of the millions, maybe even billions, of people who spend a lot of time feeling like there is not enough time and money for you to do or have what you want. Next time you catch yourself in that space, try repeating “Abundance” or “Plenty”. You don’t have to do anything more than that to begin to shift how you are feeling about the situation.
I am not sure how or why this works. I just know that it does. I have used it in my own life on countless occasions and it can change my mood almost instantly. Over time I often find that I have begun repeating the thoughts that drop me back to the original level of frustration, fear or sadness and that is okay. I just start repeating my word again until I feel the shift. I saw a cute quote recently that puts a fun spin on this idea,
Words Have Power.
That Is Why It Is Called
I invite you to try this next time you are feeling stuck in the quagmire of life. Then shoot me a comment and let me know how it went.
I find myself so often putting off making change in any area of my life because I am intent on getting things “under control”. I can remember a span of about a year and a half that started with the unexpected and sudden death of my father, which led to my subsequent decision to step away from the graduate program I was meant to start a week later and open a handcraft gallery instead. A few months later I was married and several months after that I lost my my uncle, who on my wedding day just a few months earlier had said to me, “Now that your father is gone I want you to think of me like your father. I want to be here for you.” During this time I can clearly remember feeling disbelief and even rage at the world around me. Why couldn’t everyone just hold still for a few freakin minutes so I could catch my breath?
As many of you who have read my blog for the last year and a half are aware there have changes underfoot with my job. In typical fashion I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for confirmation in regards to what that job is going to become before making plans with the work I truly want to be doing. Tomorrow morning I go in again for yet another meeting. It seems this just has to be the meeting when I find out for sure if I have a job, will I be working part time or full time, and will it be something I even want to do. No matter the answers I get tomorrow, I know this job is not where I truly want to be. It is not the work I feel calling out to me. It is not the work I wake up excited to learn about and practice. It is not the work that makes me feel that I am using all the gifts I have been given. That work has been sitting on the shelf, waiting in limbo to find out, “When will it be the right time to begin?”
As I have prepared myself mentally for all of the presumed possibilities of what may come tomorrow, a small voice has begun to creep closer and closer. I realize it is asking me a question, “Why do you keep waiting?”
I was reading a book by Rich German recently in which he suggests imagining all of the things you are juggling in your life as rubber balls. Out of all those pick 3 to 5 that are the most important to you. He suggests you imagine these as being your crystal balls. The rubber ones you can take your eye off of from time to time if you have to. You may not want to drop them, but they will bounce back if you do. You must always keep your crystal balls in focus because they will be damaged or destroyed if you allow them to drop. These are the things in your life that are too precious to allow them to be damaged. This last year and a half of waiting has got me wondering if I have chosen wisely my crystal balls.
I am very proud and happy to say that I have taken some steps to move forward in creating my career. I am moving the Life and Friendship classes to the Self Center in Winchester, MA. This location gives me many advantages and feels like a big step forward. I will also be partnering with Wendy Carlson in teaching some upcoming classes. She is starting a similar healing and teaching business and it feels great to have some company. I have added a bunch of Upcoming Events and I am so looking forward to meeting a lot of new people. If you do not live in the Boston area but are interested in learning more please sign up for my monthly newsletter or call/email me to schedule a Free 20 Minute Session. You will get a feel for the work we can do together and if it feels like a good fit for you. 781~367~5751 or email@example.com
I am in the process of creating and defining a career for myself that feels like the perfect fit for who I am. “Sounds great, how do you do that exactly?” You might be wondering.
I wish I knew! This is me, out here winging it!
Let me start with what I know I want:
What I know I don’t want:
Following my plan of an alphabetical inspiration based on the months of the year, this month’s theme is synthesis. According to freedictionary.com the word synthesis means, “To combine so as to form a new and complex product.” This seems to me what we all do on a smaller or larger scale throughout our lives. Synthesize our new experiences into our being to enjoy more complex and fuller lives. What about our rough spots, thorny patches, places we dare not tread, or the places we cannot stop returning to? The memories and beliefs which cannot seem to synthesize but rather continue to define for better or worse some aspect of who we are.
Those are the places where the flow stops and the energy sticks. What I believe is that you need to give yourself permission to release and move on. Even though you don’t know what moving on will look like. We all become habituated to being a certain way. Thinking of releasing the intense pain you feel when you remember a really ugly break up, for example, seems like a no brainer. “Of course I want to let go of that so I can move on to a new fresh relationship”, right? Well, maybe hanging onto that pain has become my security blanket. It is always there for me. It protects me from the mistake of making myself vulnerable to the same pain in the future. I can pull this memory out any time and even feel special and unique in the quality and flavor of my sadness.
We don’t do this because we are stupid, bad, lazy, or weak. We do this because we are human. Permission to let these painful parts synthesize and become a part of our tapestry is what open us up to the fullness we are meant to experience. By letting go of our identity as the one who was cheated on, the one who cheated, the one who never gets what they want, the one who nobody listens to, the most beautiful, the least beautiful, the favorite child… we open to all the other possible us-es we could be.
Who would you be if you told a different story?
Wow! Got right to it after my summer break with a heavy one right out of the gate. Check out my upcoming event page to see what’s cooking for the Fall.
Are we this far into May and I haven’t posted my alphabetical inspiration yet? Yup, that’s right. Forgot all about it.
I am gonna fly by the seat of my pants here and go with Mantra. I am not going to attempt to educate you on the use of Mantra in meditation, prayer, healing, etc. Many of you probably know much more than me. I will tell you I have devised a few of my own that help move me out of yucky emotional spaces or when I find myself stuck in repetitive negative thoughts. My most recent is super embarrassing but really hit the spot when I realized that I had been pretty mean to myself all morning with the same worrisome messages over and over. Imagine this sung to the tune of Frere Jacque,
I am awesome, I am awesome
Yes indeed, Yes indeed
I really really love me, I really really love me
Yes indeed, Yes indeed
Did I feel like a complete wackado in my kitchen humming to myself? You betcha. But after a few minutes that little tune started to drown out the other stuff and I could happily get on with my day. Zero calories, free, and it makes you feel good. What’s not to love?
Click here for Deva Premal and enjoy Mantra in a much more melodious form.
I noticed something interesting about how people create at our Messy and Grateful class where we created Gratitude Boxes. At the beginning of class we mingled around and picked out our supplies. It became evident fairly quickly that everyone had a little bit different process. Some people were more hesitant and asked questions before they began. Some people picked out a few supplies and quietly and methodically began constructing their box. Others were up and down rummaging through the supplies and creating on the fly. As I looked around the room it made perfect sense.
The way we create matches our personality, and is a mirror for how we approach life.
“As we do one, so we do all.”
It got me thinking about what my style of creating life looks like. I am definitely a jump all the way in before you have a chance to over think it. Assume it will all be smooth sailing, and if it isn’t then discover you have no idea what you are actually doing.
This is where I always begin to beat myself up and lose confidence. Why am I not more organized like so and so. Why didn’t I get more support before I started. This would never happen if I was more…
But now I have a new perspective. I see this is just my process. I can actually see a fun and beautiful pattern to all of my fumbling and creating and success and failure. This is me and it’s how I live and learn and create. When I look at it from this angle I am pretty darn proud of myself.
How do you do what you do?
I recently discovered an amazing book by Danielle LaPorte called The Fire Starter Sessions. This book is all about getting real with your MoJo and not futzing around. It’s about not beating yourself up for what you did or didn’t do and letting go of the unrealistic goals you’re not all that invested in anyway. It is a free pass out of Guilt City with a side of hilarious passion promotion.
Here is what she calls The Eight Second Rule
“My personal theory is that you get ample intuitive information about someone in the first, say, eight seconds of meeting them. If your antennae are honed, if you’ve made a practice of following your instincts, then you know in the first handshake; you know when someone shows up two minutes early or two minutes late; you know from the sound of their voice on the other end of the phone; you know from the tone of their email. Somewhere in your being, you just know. Like or dislike. Open or closed. Curious or careful. Eight seconds.
Pay close attention. There is a Buddhist saying:
As in the beginning,
So in the middle,
So in the end.”
When you think about it, you already knew that. But it is great to get, in writing, permission to trust that first gut instinct. Go ahead and put your guard up. You don’t have to give them a chance for the sake of being fair or nice or rational. You can trust your instincts. Well, maybe take them for a test drive first. Think of some situations that went badly. Did you have a sense from the start or were you completely surprised. Were there signs you missed. You might need to spend some time teaching yourself how to speak the language of your intuition.
What you might be reading as giddy excitement, may actually be your instincts shouting “RUN!!”
“Every thought you have
either supports the positive energy of the world
or pollutes it.
Be mindful of your thoughts.”
– Gabrielle Bernstein, May Cause Miracles
I am reaching the end of Gabrielle Bernstein’s book May Cause Miracles. It is 6 weeks of daily meditations, intentions and subtle shifts and I love it! Among the many reasons I love this book, a big one is that I have experienced concretely my belief that change does not need to be arduous and painful. Oh, it can be, I know that! But the beauty of this book is that Gabrielle guides you through daily intentions which some days don’t feel like much of anything. Just the act of reading it, believing in the process, and setting the intention in your mind creates a ripple through your life.
I have become a much more diligent watcher of my thoughts without the need to scold myself for bad behavior. If this sounds monotonous, I have greatly undersold the experience. It is beyond freeing to notice when I am believing fearful thoughts and to release them.
“I could see peace instead of this.”
– Affirmation Day 26
And my favorite quote comes from the Course In Miracles which is truly the backbone of the book,
“Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster. The light has come. I have forgiven the world.”
-Lesson 75 from the Course workbook
I had to stop reading to blink through my tears of laughter. I think I need to put that on a sign.