Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Peaceful in Paradise

Laurence and I just returned from an awesome vacation on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. We were at an amazing resort where everything was provided. Guests could swim in one of the beautiful pools, play on the water slides, snorkel in the ocean, shop, eat…the opportunities were unlimited.

One day I overheard three women complaining at the Lazy River water ride because it was past 10 a.m. and the ride wasn’t open yet. I found the irony of being impatient at the Lazy River was just too humorous. Suddenly I thought, Oh My Gosh, is that what I sound like?? I realized I had also been complaining –outside is too humid, inside is too cold, the line was too long at the snack bar.

Complaining is like a virus that invades our thinking and saps the joy out of the moment leaving us tired and weary. We notice other situations that are not working and the more we complain the bigger those things become. Webster’s definition of a virus is something that poisons the mind and spirit. Complaining gets us caught in a downward spiral of doubt and disappointment.

Emma Curtis Hopkins tells us “You will feel less spiritual inspiration when you are mourning, whining, and complaining, but when you praise and describe the Good you will feel full of spiritual fervor.” I decided to shift my focus and find all the good things to be grateful for. I thanked the cook at the restaurant for the delicious omelet she made for me. I acknowledged another employee at how patient she was with each customer. I noticed when I had the urge to complain and controlled my tongue to keep silent.

Turning complaints into compliments is a powerful technique to keep us connected in Spirit. It helps us maintain peace and harmony inside and out. And isn’t that the real paradise? Have an extraordinary month!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Grass is Always Greener...

I have Lawn Envy. Our neighbors yard is immaculately cared for. Their lawn is almost free from moss or weeds. I admire it each time I drive by.

Envy is defined as painful or resentful awareness of another’s advantages. We have a great yard and lawn, in fact we often receive compliments about it. But when I move into that place of envy, I forget to be thankful for what I have. Gratitude is a healing practice and it can't be practiced too often. It is helping me overcome my Lawn Envy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Judging blocks Love

I judged someone recently. I thought she wasn’t doing what she agreed to do and so I emailed and told her what I thought. She called and graciously thanked me for checking in on her. She told me her grandfather became very ill and she had to take him to the hospital. Needless to say, I felt pretty bad. Instead of truly checking in to see how she was, I just judged her.

Righteousness can be an ugly thing. It creates separation and division. It blocks the flow of love. By stopping the flow of love, it stops the flow of Good for everyone. I learned a valuable lesson.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

My husband Laurence was gifted a ‘previously owned’ ipod. We’ve had it for months but did not know how to add our own music to it. Besides, I really didn’t understand what the attraction was with having an ipod. I have to be in the right mood to listen to music. I like quiet time to be able to brainstorm ideas and work on my writing. So figuring out how to use it was not a priority.

I wanted to download a TV show Laurence had missed. After many attempts, I was able to download the TV show and some music. On Friday I tossed it in my purse thinking it was my palm pilot and left for some appointments. I ran some errands at the mall and sat down for a snack. I saw the ipod in my purse and thought what a perfect opportunity to try it out.

I put the headphones on and the noisy mall was transformed into my personal concert hall. I could see people moving their mouths but all I could hear was the beautiful music of Enya. I sat for the longest time not needing to read or write but to simply sit and enjoy this soothing music. I felt rested, peaceful and filled with joy.

Being a baby boomer I can be a little slow to catch on to things. But I found I am not alone. I was talking with a couple of members of my woman’s group last week and proudly announced that I have a new blog. One friend said, What is a blog anyway? and the other one said,
I would just like to figure out how to back up my computer.

So I am proud of my ability to access technology, as slow as it may be. Actually, I am now shopping for the best deal on an ipod nano. Laurence may ask for his ipod back any day now.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Where ever I go, there I am

A friend told me she left her job because she didn’t like the people she worked with. I remember a time when left a job for the same reason. The funny thing was, when I went to the next job I ran into the same ‘type’ of people. Whatever mannerisms or behavior I didn’t like showed up in other people at the next job.

Through my spiritual practice, I discovered it wasn’t the people that I didn’t like. They pushed a button in me that registered a fear or belief that I didn’t want to look at. It seemed like it was just easier to leave. But it wasn’t. That same pattern in people showed up over and over again until I healed it within myself.

I think I have more compassion now. When I recognize that everyone is dealing with some kind of limiting belief or fear, there is more room for compassion and understanding. As the saying goes: Where ever I go, there I am.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Why am I not enough?

I was surprised at how I couldn’t let the issue go. I talked to a friend recently and she shared good news about some goals she had accomplished. I congratulated her and immediately went into comparison about where my life is compared to hers. Why wasn’t I at the same place that she was? Why haven’t I progressed farther than I have? Why was I having difficulty achieving my goals? Why am I not enough?

The truth is that I was fine before the conversation. I was happy with my life and content with the goals I have set for myself. There should be a warning label stapled on the forehead: Comparison can be hazardous to your health. We compare ourselves all the time. We are brainwashed by fashion magazines, TV, movies, advertising…to name a few.

When we compare we negate what we have done. We begin looking at what we don’t have or haven’t achieved. The more we look at what isn’t working the more we see what is. Universal Law #24, Whatever I put my attention on increases. The more I thought about it, the more I saw where I was lacking.

Gratitude can put a stop to the most aggressive judgments we have about ourselves. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve women. I am grateful for the opportunities to write, to speak, to teach, to share powerful tools to inspire women’s lives. I am grateful for the abilities and possibilities I have each day. I am grateful for being me. Actually, I think I am.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Catalyst for Change

I watched the special about Oprah’s Leadership Academy special last night. What an extraordinary demonstration! It was so moving to see the girls in Africa and what they had to go through to get to the Leadership Academy. I cried when I heard their stories and watched their courage and rejoiced for the opportunity that they now have.

But mostly I cried for Oprah. I cried tears of joy because of the experience she is connecting with. She shared her realization that every incident, every event and every experience she has lived has been for this moment in time. She was guided to be the powerful and successful woman that she is so that she can change the lives of others. I completely agree with her awareness that when you change a woman’s life, you change the life of her family and ultimately her community.

I share that vision and intention. I know that every woman has the ability to change the life of those around her. Every woman that can get past the fears that hold her hostage, release beliefs that no longer serve her and ask for what she truly wants, will eventually change the shape of the world around her.

I tell this to my clients over and over again. We are the leaders for our families. We are the pioneers to pave the way for other women, so we can show others how to get past limitation and achieve the dreams in their hearts. We are the vision holders. As women, we are the catalyst for change.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inspiration instead of Desperation

I attended a workshop this weekend and noticed how easy it is to fall into that place of thinking I have to do everything myself. When I am the one doing everything, life seems to be a struggle. When I connect with my intuition, I open up to being more accessible to what life has to offer. Whether it is speaking or writing or just getting things done, it is much easier to live out of inspiration instead of desperation.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Getting past procrastination

Why do I find it easier to clean out the tray of the toaster oven than to do my daily spiritual practice? Why do I find cleaning out the closet more captivating than writing my daily three pages?

I think a big reason for procrastination is the focus on the task instead of the big picture. I recently found one of my journals from 10 years ago. Wow, has my life improved over the past 10 years!! All the issues I was stressing about have been resolved: debt has been paid off, have a terrific husband, a great house, doing what I love. At the time (according to my journal) I was lazy and ineffective at getting things done. Somehow I inched past the inertia and procrastination to move ahead on my spiritual journey.

I think that’s where we shortchange ourselves. We focus on the ‘to do’ list activity instead of the big picture down the road. If I can see the end result, I can take the small steps to get closer to the goal.

That’s what is great about living by intention. Intention is a daily declaration of acceptance. Example “I am gratefully living with energy and vitality.” “I am living a grace-filled life with my beloved husband.” Intention is about living in the now and not worrying about tomorrow.

Ok, gotta go. Time for my spiritual practice:)

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Secret Behind "The Secret"

You’ve probably heard about the book and DVD called The Secret. It is creating a buzz about the Universal Law of Attraction. The Law of Attraction states: Whatever we put our attention on we bring into our life. When we focus on things that are working we see more things that are working. When we focus on what we don’t want, we attract and see more of what we don’t want in life.

If you saw The Secret on Oprah or watch the DVD, you are probably very excited. It’s a new way of thinking and being that can transform life. But how long does that last? How do we incorporate this powerful principle into everyday life? What happens when we have a bad day, a throbbing headache and demands of a busy life? It’s so easy to go back into thinking about what isn’t working and will all this ever change.

The key to maintaining the enthusiasm and excitement of this Universal Law is to DDSP. It is Daily Dedicated Spiritual Practice. That simply means that we commit to at least one practice that keeps us in the flow of this universal principle. A daily practice could be journaling, meditation, affirmative prayer, reading uplifting books or taking a class that keeps in connected spiritually. Committing to a daily spiritual practice is about creating discipline. Ernest Holmes, author of the Science of Mind, states “A Trained mind is much more powerful than an untrained mind.” When we bring spiritual practice into our lives we begin to train the mind to think and react differently. We begin to experience feeling of compassion instead of anger, faith instead of doubt, peace instead of chaos.

Let me just say, if there was an easier way to incorporate this teaching in life, I would have found it. I have tried lots of different techniques, methods and tools; Anything to get out of having to add one more thing to my ‘to do’ list each day. But I learned that the daily practice is the secret. By taking the time to say a prayer, to read something inspirational, or taking a moment to meditate and breathe and enjoy the life around me is the secret to attracting more Good into my life.

Knowing the Law of Attraction doesn’t make it real. But living and practicing each day transforms my life into something amazing.