Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?

3044850-inline-i-1-dove-is-really-reaching-with-this-new-stunt-that-forces-women-to-walk-through-doors-marked-aThe following Dove ad was sent to me by my sister and it holds a great question—Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE? I put myself in this situation and asked myself which door I would choose.

We all have different insecurities, we may have things we feel are inadequate or even undesirable, but I believe in the end we all have things we also find beautiful. I think the world puts too much emphasis on the outer, the shell, the cosmetic…but I took this beautiful vs average question & focused on the things that are beautiful about me, within me, the lessons learned, the growth, the talents, the whole. How can you ever make such harsh, cruel judgements about yourself when you only look at a small piece?? It would be like looking at a painting and making a statement about it, but only being able to see one corner of its beauty, its possibility, its brilliance.

So, with that, I ask you to watch the following ad & put yourself there. Ask yourself what you feel is beautiful about you and then walk through the door. Do you still feel average OR beautiful??

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I LOVE these quotes, but this last quote—what a great exercise for all of us. If you could truly take in and believe YOU ARE EVERY LOVELY WORD—what would the world be like? What would that look like? Here are some lovely words to put into practice and exercise them on yourself. Try it…I AM…Beautiful, Unique, Loved, Special, Cared for, Lovely, Precious, Strong, Empowered, Secure, Thankful, Gracious, Stunning, Present, Gifted, Awesome, Charming, Delightful, Extraordinary, Fabulous, Glorious, Heavenly, Incredible, Joyous, Kind, Magnificent, Outstanding, Remarkable, Superb, Fantastic, Terrific, Valued, Wonderful, Caring, Fun, Amazing.    Feel free to add to this list and make it your own.

Now, ask yourself, Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?    Have a beautiful day -H

You & Your Body Image

ImageI know most people do not like their body. According to an article by glamour magazine that surveyed 300 women of all sizes found…Our research found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

Psychology Today said, currently, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders. 

WOW!! that is some serious stuff. Not too surprising, but I still don’t think that most women understand that the majority feel the same way—there is always something we don’t like in the mirror.

MY BODY IMAGE. When I was in High School I was this little thing (under 100 lbs) and even on my wedding day everyone raved about how tiny my waist was. I grew up with people wondering if I had an eating disorder (which I didn’t) but it definitely didn’t help my self-esteem having people accuse me. I had one of my boyfriends mother’s flat out ask me if I had been throwing up in the bathroom after a meal we had just all enjoyed at a restaurant. Talk about embarrassing. No, just a small bladder. I had camp leaders tell me I exercised too much when I went on a hike with a couple girlfriends. Sure, I was small, but I honestly didn’t have an eating disorder.

I truly didn’t even understand eating disorders until I was in college and it seemed all the boxes of cereal we were buying were gone–quick. One of my room mates would binge and purge and she would spend an hour in the shower, my heart sank for her. Then I began to understand a couple of my younger sisters had the same problem. I ached for their emotional emptiness, but I truly did not understand.

My body issues have evolved over having a daughter and gaining 60 lbs, my husband’s porn problem (that mentally & emotionally messes with you), having people say, “Didn’t you use to be a hottie” , a brother telling me that I “use to be skinny like his wife”, my Mom talking about how skinny she was & then telling me “you’ve gained weight”, never feeling comfortable in a swim suit, not liking pictures of myself and no one taking pictures of me….It can mentally mess with you. But, I also haven’t liked having my picture taken. Who does?

 

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BEGIN TO SEE SOMETHING YOU LOVE. Well, I just recently came across some good info. to share with you about body image, taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and finding the little things you do like and allowing those to shine.  I just listened to a podcast with Vivienne McMaster, she has a blog called “Be Your Own Beloved.” Don’t you just love that name. It just sings to the soul and you want to know more. She has an amazing story of self-loathing, depression and beginning again each day to try and find something beautiful in nature, your surroundings, yourself. Here is her site http://www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com

BEGIN AGAIN. The funny thing is, I just began to take a couple pictures of myself last week. I always frowned at “selfies” as vain, too me.me. but I am slowly beginning to see that just a little picture of your feet, your hands touching a flower, your face at an angle you like—can lead to little bits of self-love. You can find something you like about yourself, so if you have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror, begin again. Take a little step, a little snap of your camera phone and find a little piece of yourself that you lost. Hopefully, little by little we will all begin to focus on the truly beautiful things we see—in ourselves.

 

BEST BEFORE AND AFTER I recently had this video sent to me from my sister–it is great–check it out.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-story-behind-one-of-the-best-before-and-after-photos-ive-ever-seen?g=2&c=ufb1

 

DOVE BEAUTY PATCH If you haven’t seen this video by Dove–Dove Beauty Patch–check it out. So good!!

 

Here are some final thoughts from celebrities..

.ImageImageImageImageWell, I hope all of this info. will make you take a step in a better direction for yourself. That you may find some little something about you that you can love. When we begin to truly see things we can love—that will spread and that will be a Bea-YOU-tiful thing.

Peace and lots of LOVE to you.  -Heather

 

A few Horses, A lot of Life Lessons

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I had an amazing experience last Friday, I got to spend a day with beautiful horses learning about myself, energy, leadership and finding a deeper part of myself.

I am definitely a follower of my own intuition. I have tried to listen to any prompting, inspiration to try something, a book that seems to keep jumping out at me…there are always gifts and signs that can guide us to situations that will help us grow beyond our current state. I was listening to a podcast of Koren Motekaitis (she has a great podcast show) and she was interviewing someone named Renee Sievert who was a Equus Coach. I had no idea what that was, but I was drawn to her passion and excitement and then she mentioned working with horses. Deal breaker!! my interest was even more heightened, because I have always had a thing with horses, their wild essence, their spirit, watching them run…whenever I have had bad dreams throughout my life, I envision wild horses running and it seems to calm my soul. Not sure why, so a coach who worked with horses was very interesting to me. I listened to the podcast, immediately after I began to scroll my phone for anyone in my local area who did this type of coaching. I was hooked!! I instantly signed up for a class & was scheduled for a week later. Here we go!!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my experience, but I went with an open mind and heart, ready for anything. I met up with a great coach, Erin Cutshall who was within about 15 minutes from my home & we began our day with hugs & a walk through the ranch to grab our first horse, Ginger. She was a spirited, cinnamon colored horse that I openly admit was a little intimidating. She entered the round pen and began to kick and neigh, running in circles and bucking with spirit. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her. Erin began to explain how horses have a “Leader Mare” they follow in a herd. She has to earn the respect and leadership with every horse that is present. Erin ran through some of the steps horses go through when testing one another for leadership and then the signs when they begin to give in and follow the leader—to be friends, to want to have a meal together.

Now, this whole experience was primarily for me to understand myself and seek answers to why I have felt so disconnected to people. I have struggled gaining trust in friendships and have not had the energy to engage with enthusiasm, so I have no friends. I explained how I didn’t like feeling like I was trying to learn and grow spiritually, but everything I read or watched emphasis the need to have close social ties or connections. It was so frustrating to feel so disconnected and not feel a need for others in my life. I did not understand.

She began training me in how horses are able to “mirror” people & will let off the energy they are feeling within the round pen. She explained how if you don’t hold a high energy or an “inviting” energy, the horse will not follow your lead. She talked about how intuitive horses read the energy we carry & if it is not a leadership, or your best self that is being shown—they will not be interested in you. Erin began asking me questions about me, my needs, my disconnection issue, my alone time, if I enjoyed being around people or if it felt like a drain…She helped me to understand that I have a very ‘Introvert’ personality and being alone is very vital to my personal needs. She helped me see that it was okay to not enjoy being around lots of people and that conversations can be very draining. She expressed how I was energized by being alone and social situations were draining to my soul. I cannot tell you what a weight was lifted in truly understanding my feelings. I had felt all those things, but having someone see it outside of me, hearing my needs and allowing me to be—was freeing. Erin helped me see that when you understand yourself, what your needs are and being able to take care of those needs, then you will be your best self—the leader that lies within.

She then invited me into the round pen & began giving me cues of where to stand to make the horse do what I wanted (to move, to run…) it was harder than I thought. I LOVE seeing horses run, so of course I wanted to see the horse run, but when I tried to get her to move, she didn’t listen. My energy wasn’t strong enough for her to listen. It took some practice & finding my playful energy to send her into motion. It was amazing. She ran and ran & then when my energy began to drop she would slow (like me). I stopped & wanted the horse to follow me. Erin walked me through the final steps to win the horse over & she followed me step by step around the round pen.

We worked with three different horses, all with different personalities & it was exhilarating. It was a craft that took time, learning to angle my body, getting over wanting to lead like I would with a dog. That was another aha moment for me. Erin explained how most people are use to leading like they would a dog, but Erin quickly got out in front of the horse and began to say things like, “please come over and love me, follow me, be with me, listen to me.” the visual was so pathetic and disempowering that I instantly imagined how in our own relationships we could be like that with people. BUT, if we learn to be our best self, take care of our needs, then people (horses) will be drawn to us. The energy we carry will free us from the bondages of being small, acting small & will allow us to be who we are meant to be–to shine, to radiate, to be strong, to lead and guide. It was even relevant to parenting. THink of almost begging your children to spend time with you, to listen, to respect you with a tone and action of leadership and love vs begging. You want those around you to admire and love you, to want to be around you because of the good energy you send out.

Watching Erin was even more amazing because she has been able to master the art. She put me in a large arena with one horse & had me try to get it to go through different sets of cones, but the one caveat, I could not get it to follow–I had to lead it. It was harder than I thought. A couple rows near the fence–easy, but when I was determined to get the horse out into the middle and have it go through a isle of cones–no can do!! I tried a couple different tactics, but my reasonable brain couldn’t problem solve because I figured I would have to go one one side of the horse and then run over to guide it the opposite direction. I finally gave in & just walked through the cones and had the horse follow. Erin smiled & was happy that I had at least finished getting the horse to go where I desired. I explained my only reasonable thought of how to get it through the cones & threw her a challenge to see if she could do it. She smiled and agreed to the challenge. She right away led the horse through the cones—I couldn’t believe it. She explained and showed me how when she began to give the horse space, it would then come in closer to her & that ended up putting the horse right where she wanted. It was an art. I couldn’t believe it.

I enjoyed learning the parallels of life and the energy we carry. Horses are definitely a mirror, when I got calm, they got calm, when I got excited they would run, when they were confused by my needs and wants they did not follow, one actually began leading me by sticking her head out in front of me, so I was behind. When you give them space, they want to follow. It’s a balance, a dance, a harmony between two spirits. It was a beautiful experience that I will always cherish.

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You are the greatest Miracle

Last week I got to get away with my husband and just relax and play, just the two of us, it was wonderful!! It is always a good thing to take a break from the normal every day and feed your soul in different ways. We went on long walks in the desert and had a greater appreciation for the beauty that the desert holds. We ate yummy food, relaxed and just talked. We took a morning and did an exercise I would highly recommend to anyone in a relationship—we wrote a eulogy for one another. We called it a ‘Life Eulogy.’ We imagined if something tragic had happened and our life was changed forever what we would say to the other person, about the other person, what we would want others to know, but especially every little detail of what we loved about our life together. This was a great exercise in getting grateful for one another on an even deeper level. It truly made us evaluate what we would miss in one another, what we valued about our relationship and the deep feelings of friendship and love we share. TAKE THE TIME—it is worth it!!

We also spent the trip reading Og Mandino’s, The Greatest Miracle in the World. For some reason this book made me cry deeply with emotion and I knew I needed to make a movie that held some of the beauty this book holds. Here is the movie. Please take the time to watch, read and take in the meaning that is YOU…the greatest miracle in the world. It has beautiful sentiments and thought provoking meaning to who you truly are. I hope you enjoy it and it touches you in some way.

Peace to you.  -Heather

Where is the little YOU??

ImageOn my walk yesterday I came across a mom and her little daughter who was dressed like a cat from head to toe. I commented on the cute costume and her mother smiled, “she dresses up in something different every day!”

What happens to that youthful essence? the part of who we are that yearns to play, to dress up in wild costumes, to show a side of ourselves that shines, the part that yearns to be creative, to risk…

Halloween is a wonderful time to dress up and be anything or anyone you wish to be—even just for the day!! I have a friend that comes to our halloween party every year as his favorite college football fan. He wears the same thing almost every year. It makes me a little sad that he doesn’t take the time to let his inner child play, to find the freedom in the fun!!

I was listening recently to a podcast with Kelly Ray Roberts who is a “artist, author, possibilitarian”—you may have seen her work (smile) here is her link http://kellyraeroberts.com  I LOVE that my computer just underlined “possibilitarian” because that just goes to show you that not EVERYTHING has reason. The very word doesn’t show up, but to me this yells…creator of possibility, I want to be one of those, endless possibilities, the world should be cheering and applauding at the very thought of this existence.

Talking about the essence of youth made me think of something she said—she explained that she looks at herself as someone who has her inner child creating the art (being wild, crazy, youthful, creative), and the adult part of her that runs the business, while there are other parts like mother, wife…I loved the thought that she taps into this essence within herself to let her little child be free, to create, to touch that part of her that wants to be free.

So, where is the little YOU? Is it hiding, have you not talked to them in awhile, is she/he been afraid since you were little? Is there a part of you that wants to forget that little you? Whether you need to nurture or neglect this part of you—it is there, hoping you will tap into that part of you that can help you remember things you love, things you use to enjoy doing, a little part of you that longs to play, create, be alive and remembered.

ImageHere are some exercises, tips and ideas to tap into the little you:

Dawn Breslin, Coach and author of “Power of Zestful Living” http://www.dawnbreslin.com has a great exercise about helping you remember the little part of You (the child within). She has her readers find a picture of them self at a young age and has them hang it somewhere that they can look at it whenever they need inspiration, are making a big life decision, are trying to be creative, etc. When you look at this picture of the little you, you then go back in your mind & ask that little you what you need right now?? and then listen. You may be surprised at what you hear within yourself. Try it.

Children love play, fun, creativity…so be open to this on a personal level. Take time to step away from the “serious adult” part of you and just enJOY!! Find enjoyment in little things: get outside, play in the leaves. The other day I challenged my daughter to lay under a fall tree that was beginning to drop its leaves. She didn’t want to because of the feeling of crunchy leaves, but took the challenge. We watched the tree as one by one a leaf fell and we tried to catch them. True JOY in a small thing!!

Slow down and do something that slows you. Children can play in a sandbox or beach sand for hours just moving the sand to create forms. Sit by a stream and just listen, watch birds,  water plants, play in sand, just sit and take in your surroundings, calming the little one within.

Nature calls to everyone–young and old. Take a walk, stare at the moon and stars, listen to the sounds outside.

PLAY. Sometimes we get hung up on the idea of taking a playful day or break because of all the responsibilities we ‘should’ be doing. But play is so good for us on many levels. Let go of any guilty feelings you may have about doing something fun for yourself. Let go of your adult mindset and allow your inner child to find something fun to do. Whether you have always wanted to try horse back riding, want to parasail, take an art class, buy a record player, have a Star Wars marathon,

Do things you loved as a kid. Did you love baking in a Toy oven, swinging on the playground, dressing up in fun costumes,

Let go of things. My daughter is great at this. She can be mad at me about something and then hugging me the next. I feel like I am spinning a lot of the time. Just this morning I was wishing I could let go of things a little more easily. Feel what you are feeling (anger, frustration, stress…) and don’t judge it. Take a minute and then let it go. Did you know that according to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor anger can only stay within your body for 90 seconds and then it is gone UNLESS you begin to rehash it over and over in your mind. After 90 seconds—let it go. Anything.

Do things your kids enjoy doing. I do love going to the park and swinging with my daughter. Play Legos, build forts, make up songs, paint, draw, color, doodle, read picture books, play ball, climb trees, watch Saturday morning cartoons…enjoy the time with them & let your little you play!

Shock & Awe: Simply JUMP, do a cartwheel, pull out the robot dance move, pull a funny face & make yourself smile. Make your little child within giggle and feel JOY from a simple move. I saw a video of One guy who went around his city and just had people simply jump and spin. Every person smiled or laughed. Here is the link if you want to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8GsoaUIptY He also did one where he found random people and had them pull a funny face (so child like–smile. smile) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2PQj5lAcew

Think back to when you were little & think of all the things you wanted to be and do. Write down your memories, evaluate which ones still resonate with you & begin to create a fun LITTLE YOU LIFE LIST & begin to do them!!

SMILE. Smile often like children do. Make wishes like children do. Be gentle with yourself. Have fun. Enjoy many things like children do. There is and always will be a part of you that is the little you within, so take the time to give that little one some of the desired attention. You will be better for it—I promise.

Peace out.  -Heather

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What defines YOU?

ImageWho defines who you are? What defines who you are? What do you have to have before you can define the person you desire to be? What do you have to do? Where do you have to go? What do you have to obtain? We all do it!! We all compare, judge, are hardest on ourselves.  Why is it that we talk more cruelly to ourselves than someone we can’t stand to be around? Why is it that 80% of people hate what they do for a living? Why is it that we get lost in defining our right life? The life we are meant to shine!! We are the only ones who have control of anything in our life–it’s your decision what you do with it–good or bad.

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—LIFE ITSELF.”  -Walter Anderson

Step out and do something today that will put your course in a direction you want to go—instead of the shoulda, coulda, woulda, if…when…don’t play a victim in your own life. There is always a choice.

ChrisCapre2ndSkiesForexWhatYouNeedtoDotoTradeSuccessfullyI just had a conversation the other day with my brother who has been stuck in a bit of a victim role his whole life. He is at a critical decision to the rest of his life. He is on the tipping point of losing his family & he doesn’t appreciate anything he has. I looked him in the eye & said, “I have one question for you!” He was a little hesitant, but said “what?”  All I said was, “You are at a point of two roads, which one are you going to take? The one that fights for your family or the one that will lead you to a life without your family? What do you think that will look like?” He merely said, “a lonely existence.” I said, “then fight!!”

We all get to different points in our life where we need to figure out something that will define our needs, our strengths, our directions, our thoughts, our actions, who we are or are willing to become…

What is one little thing you could do to define the life you want to live? What could you do today to be a little more loving to the beautiful person you are? Is there a decision you need to make to propel your world in a better direction? Is there something you need to do on a personal level to lead you to a happier you? Do you need a different job? A different perspective? A different attitude? Different friends? You know what you need.

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On a personal level: I definitely could be gentler on my self. I have struggled with weight & body image for years. I have had family tell me “you use to look like that; you use to be a hottie…”   I know this is an area that I am constantly working on, so when I saw the following ad—it spoke to me. It made me well up in tears. We all truly want to love every part of who we are & SHINE!  I am still a work in progress. Thank God we all are.

I hope this ad touches you in some way. That you will not define yourself by labels–of any kind.

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Be gentle with yourself. Do something today that will make your life a little brighter, lighter and better. What defines you is how you live the life you are given. Be grateful, Be gentle, Be a light and your best life will follow.

-Peace and best wishes for you today.

Don’t be afraid to FLY

lady-butterfly-flightThere are so many little lessons in the life of a butterfly…the color, the dance, the journey, the life…

It is indescribable to understand how a piece of colorful tissue paper that has a brain the size of a pea can flutter its way to 11,000 feet in the sky, can see more colors than we can, must have sunlight to fly, & can migrate thousands of miles in its lifetime and always returns to the same tree. There is a beauty, a dream like quality, a pure awareness that is brought by the site of a butterfly. I don’t know if it is pure ah that something so fragile, yet so strong has the ability to stop a child, or a adult in its presence. It almost calls to you and dances around you till you become aware.

There is something special, something so deep that you never want it to leave…it calls and you stay, till it flutters away….

There is within each one of us a fragility, a beauty, a little piece of divine, a light, a connection. When we listen within and live our calling, we are free, free to soar to our personal best, able to share the light we are meant to share. We are then able to share in one another’s journey, to see one another as we are, to walk and know where we need to be, to grow, to change, to feel and only be left with love.

This reminds me of a few things BUTTERFLY related that have inspired me at different times in my life:

THE BUTTERFLY CIRCUS  I just watched this movie again, an amazing movie that everyone should see. Gather your families, take twenty minutes and be touched, inspired, lit up to finally FLY. To understand how to be true to who you are within. Beautiful. Here is the movie…

ImageA great article by Oprah’s Life Coach Martha Beck…

Like a fragile butterfly we only grow through change, we need the struggles and challenges to bring about our strengths. We need to understand pain to truly see the light. We have all heard the metaphors of a butterfly, but there is another, more detailed, more precise then the rest and I would like to share this with you…it is found in Oprah’s magazine.

GROWING WINGS By Martha Beck

What goes on in the cocoon of change isn’t always pretty, but the results can be beautiful. Martha Beck talks you through the four phases of human metamorphosis. Get ready to fly! I used to think I knew how some caterpillars become butterflies. I assumed they weave cocoons, then sit inside growing six long legs, four wings, and so on. I figured if I were to cut open a cocoon, I’d find a butterfly-ish caterpillar, or a caterpillar-ish butterfly, depending on how far things had progressed. I was wrong. In fact, the first thing caterpillars do in their cocoons is shed their skin, leaving a soft, rubbery chrysalis. If you were to look inside the cocoon early on, you’d find nothing but a puddle of glop. But in that glop are certain cells, called imago cells, that contain the DNA-coded instructions for turning bug soup into a delicate, winged creature—the angel of the dead caterpillar.

If you’ve ever been through a major life transition, this may sound familiar. Humans do it, too—not physically but psychologically. All of us will experience metamorphosis several times during our lives, exchanging one identity for another. You’ve probably already changed from baby to child to adolescent to adult—these are obvious, well-recognized stages in the life cycle. But even after you’re all grown up, your identity isn’t fixed. You may change marital status, become a parent, switch careers, get sick, win the lottery. Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis. I don’t know if this is emotionally stressful for caterpillars, but for humans it can be hell on wheels. The best way to minimize trauma is to understand the process.

The Phases of Human Metamorphosis

Psychological metamorphosis has four phases. You’ll go through these phases, more or less in order, after any major change catalyst (falling in love or breaking up, getting or losing a job, having children or emptying the nest, etc.). The strategies for dealing with change depend on the phase you’re experiencing.

Phase One: Dissolving

Here’s the Deal The first phase of change is the scariest, especially because we aren’t taught to expect it. It’s the time when we lose our identity and are left temporarily formless: person soup. Most people fight like crazy to keep their identities from dissolving. “This is just a blip,” we tell ourselves when circumstances rock our world. “I’m the same person, and my life will go back to being the way it was.” Sometimes this is true. But in other cases, when real metamorphosis has begun, we run into a welter of “dissolving” experiences. We may feel that everything is falling apart, that we’re losing everyone and everything. Dissolving feels like death, because it is—it’s the demise of the person you’ve been.

What to Do

When we’re dissolving we may get hysterical, fight our feelings, try to recapture our former lives, or jump immediately toward some new status quo (“rebound romance” is a classic example). All these measures actually slow down Phase One and make it more painful. The following strategies work better: In Phase One, live one day (or ten minutes) at a time. Instead of dwelling on hopes and fears about an unknowable future, focus your attention on whatever is happening right now. “Cocoon” by caring for yourself in physical, immediate ways. Wrap yourself in a blanket, make yourself a cup of hot tea, attend an exercise class, whatever feels comforting. Talk to others who have gone through a metamorphosis. If you don’t have a wise relative or friend, a therapist can be a source of reassurance. Let yourself grieve. Even if you are leaving an unpleasant situation (a bad marriage, a job you didn’t like), you’ll probably go through the normal human response to any loss: the emotional roller coaster called the grieving process. You’ll cycle through denial, anger, sadness, and acceptance many times. Just experiencing these feelings will help them pass more quickly. If you think this sounds frustratingly passive, you’re right. Dissolving isn’t something you do; it’s something that happens to you. The closest you’ll come to controlling it is relaxing and trusting the process.

Phase Two: Imagining

Here’s the Deal For those of us who have just a few tiny control issues, Phase Two is as welcome as rain after drought. This is when the part of you that knows your destiny, the imago in your psyche, will begin giving you instructions about how to reorganize the remnants of your old identity into something altogether different. The word imago is the root of the word image. You’ll know you’re beginning Phase Two when your mind’s eye starts seeing images of the life you are about to create. These can’t be forced—like dissolving, they happen to you—and they are never what you expected. You’re becoming a new person, and you’ll develop traits and interests your old self didn’t have. You may feel compelled to change your hairstyle or wardrobe, or redecorate your living space. The old order simply seems wrong, and you’ll begin reordering your outer situation to reflect your inner rebirth.

What to Do

Here are some ways you may want to respond when you begin spontaneously imagining the future: Cut out magazine pictures you find appealing or interesting. Glue them onto a piece of butcher paper. The resulting collage will be an illustration of the life you’re trying to create. Let yourself daydream. Your job is to try out imaginary scenarios until you have a clear picture of your goals and desires. You’ll save a lot of time, effort, and grief by giving yourself time to do this in your head before you attempt it in the real world. Phase Two is all about images: making them up, making them clear, making them possible. Moving through this stage, you’ll start to feel an impulse to go from dreaming (imagining possibilities) to scheming (planning to bring your vision to fruition). Write down both dreams and schemes, then gather information about how you might create them.

Phase Three: Re-forming

Here’s the Deal As your dreams become schemes, you’ll begin itching to make them come true. This signals Phase Three, the implementation stage of the change process. Phase Three is when you stop fantasizing about selling your art and start submitting work to galleries, or go beyond ogling a friend’s brother to having her set you up on a date. You’ll feel motivated to do real, physical things to build a new life. And then…(drum roll, please)…you’ll fail. Repeatedly. I’ve gone through Phase Three many times and watched hundreds of clients do the same. I’ve never seen a significant scheme succeed on the first try. Re-forming your life, like anything new, complex, and important, inevitably brings up problems you didn’t expect. That’s why, in contrast to the starry eyes that are so useful in Phase Two, Phase Three demands the ingenuity of Thomas Edison and the tenacity of a pit bull.

What to Do

Expect things to go wrong. Many of my clients have an early failure and consider this a sign that “it just wasn’t meant to be.” This is a useful philosophy if you want to spend your life as person soup. To become all that you can be, you must keep working toward your dreams even when your initial efforts are unsuccessful. Be willing to start over. Every time your plans fail, you’ll briefly return to Phase One, feeling lost and confused. This is an opportunity to release some of the illusions that created hitches in your plan. Revisit Phase Two, adjusting your dreams and schemes to include the truths you’ve learned from your experimentation. Persist. Keep debugging and reimplementing your new-and-improved plans until they work. If you’ve followed all the steps above, they eventually will.

Phase Four: Flying

Here’s the Deal Phase Three is like crawling out of your cocoon and waiting for your crumpled, soggy wings to dry and expand. Phase Four is the payoff, the time when your new identity is fully formed and able to fly.

What to Do

The following strategies—which can help you optimize this delightful situation—are about fine-tuning, not drastic transformation. Enjoy! You’ve just negotiated a scary and dramatic transformation, and you deserve to savor your new identity. Spend time every day focusing on gratitude for your success. Make small improvements. Find little ways to make your new life a bit less stressful, pleasurable. Know that another change is just around the bend. There’s no way to predict how long you’ll stay in Phase Four; maybe days, maybe decades. Don’t attribute your happiness to your new identity; security lies in knowing how to deal with metamorphosis, whenever it occurs.

Well, I hope you are able to take something away from this post that will help you to fly to your better self.

Much love and best wishes to you.  -Heather

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Bring on the SELF LOVE

ImageI was listening to a podcast this morning & the topic of self love came up & the speaker was talking about how much better everything would be if we would LOVE ourselves. I think this has been an ongoing struggle for me. I think it is an ongoing process to find self love and develop it and nurture it. I am going to periodically post different ways to put a little more self love into your life. Here we go!!

Here are my first suggestions for putting a little more self love into your life.

When we are able to LOVE ourselves then we begin to truly recognize our connection to the divine.

Surround yourself with people who enlighten you: surround yourself with the types of people who will lift and build you, enlighten you about higher living, say things that will teach you about becoming a better person, have conversations that stretch and grow your soul then they will be a source of light and inspiration for your life. People you will yearn to be around. If there are people in your life that drain your energy, that are not kind, say belittling comments,  etc. Make a conscious decision to not spend time or surround yourself with these types of people.

Be gentle with yourself: we are often far too hard on ourselves. If you find yourself beating yourself up over past mistakes, eating something you shouldn’t have, talking negatively to yourself, focusing on the lack, etc. Remember, be gentle with yourself, know life is a walk of learning and growth. As long as you are learning from challenges, there is growth. Be gentle, nurture your feelings, be kind with your heart and begin to recognize, see and understand the bigger picture—you are connected to divinity.

Live with a daily prescribed intention: Look at your life & evaluate what you need to fulfill it–do you need to live with more meaning, do you need to feel more healthy, do you need to feel more connection in your life, do you need to feel more spiritually connected…what do you need to feel better about your life?   Then look at a particular area & set a daily intention of something you would like more of in your life. One example of this: I am working on creating an intention of bringing more spirituality into my home, so I am following the steps in Deepak Chopra’s book ” The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents”  it outlines different things you can do each day of the week to instill more spirit in your home as a parent.

You could do this with a variety of areas & take one thing each day if you like. Look at it as a daily dose of self love—prescribe for yourself something each day that would make you feel a little more loved, valued and appreciated.

Don’t look OUTSIDE look WITHIN: The love you need is held within. It is and always will be there. Sometimes the ups and downs of life experiences begin to bury this love, but it is there, patiently waiting for you to look within to find it. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that external things will give you the love you desire. Things can’t buy or give you the LOVE you need.

Take some time to be ALONE: alone time, away from relationships, family, schedules, activities, etc. is nourishment for the soul. Whether you take yourself on a date to the local art museum, go on a walk in the woods, read a book bundled up on the couch alone, have a prayer in your car, or just take a long drive to have some time to be alone in your thoughts. Take some time to be alone in your mind, to go to a place of re-connection, a place where you can hear yourself think, a place where you can pray out loud, take a moment to just be alone—to recharge, to stop, to be still.

Find GRATITUDE: This is always a good thing for self love and self nourishment. You can find gratitude any time, anywhere. You can say it out loud like a prayer of thanks, you can write it down in a journal, you can discuss it with family, you can share it with friends. Gratitude is a great expression from the heart. When we begin to see the little gifts within our life—our life truly changes. The LOVE begins to flow where it is needed most.

LOVE LIST it: We often over look all the gifts we have been given–the talents, the personalities, the things we are good at, the things that make us shine. Over the years I am sure you have heard praises or compliments that brought a smile to your heart. Take a moment and write them all down. Think of anything and everything that people have said about YOU…your beautiful smile, your loving heart, the way you wear your hair, your style, the way you dance, play the piano, the wonderful mother you are, the great friend you have become, etc. Find a beautiful piece of paper and make a LOVE LIST…and list out all the beautiful things people have said about you. Then put it somewhere to make it shine. Somewhere where you can look at it every day and remember the beautiful things that are YOU.

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A couple great links I came across:

A Self Love Quiz—take this quiz and see how you do when the topic is self love. Here is the link   http://www.abundancetapestry.com/self-love-series-take-a-self-love-quiz/

Here is another link to 31 days to Self Love. Check it out and see if it is worthwhile to you.

http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/Galleries/31-Days-of-Self-Love.aspx

Cheers to you and the LOVE you need!!   -Heather

Ideas to Nourish your SOUL

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“It takes a fearless soul to live in the mystery.”  -Elizabeth Lesser

To me this says—you have to FEAR LESS to truly believe in the faith of something greater…bigger…the whole of all that is. The awareness that you are Divinely connected to a God that wants what is best for you. From that Divine connection comes a guidance, a belief, a faith that all that is mysterious, unanswered, feared can be hushed with a whisper from the guidance you hold within.

To be able to fear less we must be patient and have a simple understanding of who we are seeking to become. We are little children in spirit, we seek to be better, but our smallness leads us to believe that our greatness is hiding. While we play this game of hide and seek, we must daily seek to understand our deepest needs.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. 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 now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”  -Rainer Maria Rilke

Seek to do things that will bring you closer to what your soul needs, to the higher aspiration of yourself. When we begin to  strive to “LIVE EVERYTHING” the things that help us grow, the moments that challenge us, to have patience with the questions that are unanswered, to jump, to sing, to love, to live…we will begin to be who we are meant to be. Like a child, we begin to shine.

Here are a few ideas to help you on a quest to nourish your soul:

Listen to your feelings: I cannot say this enough. You have inner tuition and guidance that is a gift given to you, but if you do not listen, it is of no use to you. Begin to feel and notice things that are given to you as a direction. Ex: If you are drawn to a book to read–buy it, read it. If you feel you are meant to call someone, do it. We often receive a little nudge to do something, but how often do we do it.  I have a great story that goes along with this. Last week my husband was going on a little day trip & I had this feeling to suggest the audio book, The Traveler’s Gift. He came home in ah of what he had listened to & began to explain the parallels of our life and the character in the book—guy who just lost his job, is married to a brunette, they have one daughter, the main character gets to a point where he tried to take his life…& then the story begins to help him with different life lessons from men throughout history. My husband loves it!! He is listening to the rest of it this week. No question—it was inspired for this time in our life. Listen to the needs within. Allow yourself to be guided & you will begin to see the gifts these directions hold.

Self-worth: Do you have limiting beliefs about yourself that is holding you back. Not loving yourself is a tough place to do soul work. I know I do have limiting self believes and I know it is a process of working through insecurities to get you to a higher place. We often see and focus on our personal inadequacies. Dove did a great campaign that illustrates how we personally see ourselves in a more negative light than most people around us. Here is a link to the “You are more beautiful than you think” Real Beauty Sketches…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE   It is very powerful, so take a look. We need to begin to focus and appreciate our personal strengths and the beauty we truly hold within.

Do things that light you up—things you love: Fill your day with as many possible moments of something you enjoy doing. Whether you love reading to your kids, being with your family, riding a bike, listening to beautiful music, talking with good friends, eating good food, being creative, going on a walk, do something that sings to your soul. Your soul needs nourishment and pleasure, so if you just fill your day with stress and worry, what does your soul have to feel good about.

Get quiet: Turn off the television. Take a break from the world. Take a nap, meditate, yoga, breathe. Quieting your world does wonders for everyone. I have been chopping television out of my daughters routine. Yesterday, I sat with her quietly and told her she could draw, color, listen to calming music and have some quiet time. She sat there with me for a few minutes and then said, “This is stupid. I hate this.”  I calmly shared with her the options again and we decided to snuggle up together and fall asleep. It was nice to see her rest. Her little body goes and goes, so the sleep was just what she needed–she awoke refreshed and relaxed.

Plant something: Everyone has there “something” that nourishes the soul. The other day I was having a conversation with my mom and she was quite emotional. She has been living in my home for nearly two years, after someone swindled my parents out of their retirement. She was having a moment, missing her home, wishing she had more money…I looked at her and whispered, “what do you really need?”  She began to cry even more, “Peace.” She then began to talk about how she missed her yard, how she missed planting flowers, tilling, watering and how it was so nourishing to her soul. I smiled, “we have a whole yard you can plant flowers or we can get you a big pot to container garden.”  She smiled.      Everyone has that little something that helps to nourish within. Seek to find those moments and do little things that will bring you hope, that will make you laugh, that will hold you close to the divinity within you.

Most of all…LOVE. Love reminds us of all things. It heals, it helps, it circles, it connects, it remembers where we truly came from.

Peace to you. Have a beautiful day.  -Heather

10 Lessons learned from Children

Image“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.

There are seven million.”  -Walt Streightiff

There is an innocence in childhood, a sincere belief that life holds magic, wonder, and beauty to behold. We can learn some things from the children within our life…they hold gifts that can only be shared.

Spending time around children seems to open your eyes to infinite possibilities ..they want to believe in something greater, so they believe in fairies and super heroes. They cherish the littlest things like glass animals and tea sets.  They find happiness held in the magic of an acorn top & fill it with water for the birds or fairies to drink from.  They find friendship in the comfort of a smile, a special handshake or a “pinky promise.”

What can we learn from the children in our lives…here are a few ideas.

BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC OF SOMETHING GREATER: My daughter finds pure delight in anything magical—leprechauns, the easter bunny, St. Nick…and most of all the belief in fairies. Yesterday she received a small, 3.5 inch resin, baby fairy named “Nolana.”  She instantly wanted to find the magic in everything this little fairy did. She found a old, tiny, china tea set that she placed crumbs of food on for the little fairy. She wrapped the little fairy in a tiny, silk blanket, she nurtured and loved this little fairy like it was real. She wants to believe, her heart yearns to believe in magic that is unseen, something greater.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT: Children seem to enjoy every moment as they swing high on a rope swing, dance constantly on an endless reserve of energy or find pure joy in a giant stuffed marshmallow that is burned to a crisp.

JUST LAUGH: Children laugh 600 times a day compared to an adult who only laughs about 47 times a day. Kids laugh at silly television shows, funny words and jokes, making crazy faces, so do what children do & create some laughter in your life.

AFFECTION: Everyone needs affection, whether its hugs or kisses, share it!! At our house if someone is in need of a little love we sign a special X and O (with our fingers) & we instantly know their love tank needs a little filling.

SAY IT: Everyone needs to hear how much you LOVE them. Little children are great at saying “I Love you.” Make sure you are sharing your thoughts and feelings all the time.

DONT RUN ON EMPTY: On that rare occasion a child may come up empty and finally ready to stop, so they take a nap. Adults seem to go and go and go, with no thought of stopping and taking that needed break. When you begin to run on empty, remember to slow down and take a nap. Don’t look at it like you have too much to do & don’t have time for a nap, instead look at it as a recharge for your day.

DONT BE NEEDY: Children truly don’t need much to be happy. My daughter the other day looked at me and said “best day ever!” I was kind of surprised. I replied with a smile, “Why?” “because we have had time to be together. Just us.”  Children seem to be content with little things like quality time, their big purchases are their favorite ice cream, and they don’t seem to care if their socks are clean or not. (Currently working on this one at our house–smile). Life can be enjoyed on a lot less. Lesson–Enjoy the little things, appreciate those around you.

BE FEARLESS: Children are experts at this. They don’t seem afraid to go head first down a water slide, jump out of a tree onto a trampoline, ride their bike with no hands, have mud fights, sell lemonade on a street corner, talk to strangers or say what they think. As an adult you may need to risk falling, to try something new, to find a way to speak your truth, etc.

CREATE: Children are amazing creators. They color, draw, doodle, write, imagine, collect, treasure – everything!! My daughter finds happiness in a new box of markers, she instantly begins to whirl the colors, to fill in mandalas with great detail and create works of art that no one can duplicate. Children have this natural sense of creating–they do it in everything they do, from chalk drawing on the side walk to the cursive letters in their name. Children are a great example of the creative mind in action. What can you do to be creative today??

WONDER: As we grow we seem to lose our sense of wonder. Children are curious about everything. They are constantly asking questions and looking for answers. As adults we need to get curious and wonder about life, about purpose, about things we wonder about. Take some time to walk in the grass and think about things that matter most to you. Sit under a tree and notice the details around you. WONDER is the first part of making your world truly WONDERFUL.

I hope this post helps you see the gifts your children give.

Have a beautiful day  -Heather