Back in the early part of the twentieth century, one of the best-known advertising campaigns of the United States began – Burma Shave signs. If you are not aware of this American icon, the promotion was the placement of a sequence of signposts along the road, usually five or six, that each contained a portion of a message. The last would show the name of the product (Burma Shave) or the punchline of a joke. Here’s one for example: “No matter the price . . . no matter how new . . . the best safety device. . . in your car is you . . . Burma Shave.”
Now, as we’re traveling the road of life, we drive along just going wherever the road takes us, paying little attention to the view, often with no clear goal in mind. Sometimes we’ll get lost, or we’ll get mad at the wrong turns or confusing traffic signals. We create most of our journey by drifting unconsciously along the road.
Then there are those of us who go through life based on what others tell us is the way we should go, because that’s the way they went. "Should" is a nasty word that tells you that you are wrong. Are you wrong for preferring blue to red? Cool temperatures to summer heat? Mountain scenery to flatlands? Of course not! And certainly you are not wrong for making choices in your life that may differ from the choices of those around you. Only you can make those decisions.
You can decide to live your life by a different method, one taken by many spiritually evolving people: creating the journey consciously, by following your own internal maps and GPS devices, and by paying attention to signposts along the way. Sometimes these signs contain messages of importance, and sometimes they’re simply encouragement, but they are always sequential, just like the Burma Shave signs. When we learn that the guidance exists and learn to watch for it, we find that by taking inspired action based on the signs (like choosing to do what the message suggests), our lives of conscious creation seem so much easier and more enjoyable.
So, now you’re traveling down your road of life fully aware and creating consciously by making your own decisions. You choose to ignore the detour signs and end up at a dead end – your choice had consequences, but you can now choose differently based on the consequence, and turn around.
Or you may get distracted by something on the road and miss the last directional sign, the punchline to the message, and realize you’ve taken a wrong turn. When you become aware of these “mis-takes” then you can consciously create a new experience and go back and try a different way. You learn through these events that following guidance that feels right for you leads to a life that feels fulfilling.
One of the great new-age teachers, Abraham (www.abraham-hicks.com), tells us that the knowing of what you do not want leads to the knowing of what you do want. The contrast between the two can be bridged by the awareness of your thoughts, which leads to a change in your feelings, which leads to a change in your beliefs, until at last you are hearing the music of your ideal life.
Most spiritual teachers say that there are only two true states of being: love and fear. One is joyful, positive, loving; the other is sad, afraid, negative and sometimes hateful. I believe that God/Universe/Creator intended for us to live joyfully, abundantly, and lovingly.
You can re-program your spiritual GPS, to follow new signs and to re-start your life from this very moment. Savor the creation and enjoy the view. As a dear friend of mine says, the message is simple: be love!
This PSA is being brought to you through the eyes of experience! Don't ignore physical sensations (I don't care for the word "symptoms"), but instead pay attention to what they may be trying to tell you.
Case in point: Me! I spent a great deal of my life in fear. Fearful childhood experiences, fearful school and then work experiences, fearful social experiences...and I never understood why. I was always told to "toughen up," shamed for my sensitivity, perceived shyness, and easily triggered emotion.
I've been reading a wonderful book by Dr. Judith Orloff, The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, and it has changed my life. Now I understand! This book "appeared" just when needed (don't ya love when that happens!), as I'm going through a deeply self-reflective process, learning new systems and patterns of thought.
I spent my earlier life in fear because I was a highly sensitive soul - my mind, body and spirit are all hyper-tuned to energy around me. The result of this untreated life-long sensitivity as an empath resulted in some unpleasant physical reactions (off-balance endocrine system, especially adrenals; frequent headaches; tinnitus; IBS), which I now know are stress responses to energy overload. What a relief - I am neither a freak of nature or truly ill!
I've been working on this idea with a couple of trusted healers as well as my own intuition and guidance, and now I finally understand that there is nothing at all "wrong" with me! Rather, I am learning tools and strategies to ease the stress, tone down the body's response to energy, and change my perception/viewpoint of what is going on. I'm learning to see the tremendous blessings in being empathic, and far from needing to "toughen up," I would benefit by expanding my abilities and awareness!
I'm sharing this because I know for sure I'm not the only person who has or is going through this process. If you are experiencing physical results, do some research to find out what your body (an expert in its own state of wellness) is trying to tell you. Get bodywork, energy healing or spiritual counseling. Learn ways of moving the Qi (energy) through your body with QiGong, Tai Chi, Yoga, dance. Meditate - definitely meditate!
Accept who - and HOW - you are, and rejoice in all that you can be!
I have friends in the holistic community who feel boundaries are restrictive and limiting. In my life, however, I find that healthy boundaries allow me to honor myself first, so that I may share abundantly.
In other words, you may believe in positive creation, no limits, and infinite possibilities, but I'll bet you lock your doors at night!
This topic came up recently when I was asked for some minor business assistance by someone I just met who is spiritually very needy and clingy...the sort who will not let you go. I had to be very aware of, and hold onto, my time and energy limitations in order to honor my own needs first. FIRST, not instead of.
It can be a tricky balance to observe your own boundaries while at the same time being of service to others. The person without healthy limitations may end up giving everything way...their knowledge, their time, their energy, their being. But when you give it all away freely, you may find yourself with a well that's running dry.
When you are aware of and accept what you are (or are not) willing and able to do for others, you take care of yourself first. For me, this means doing only work that brings me joy, limiting the time I spend in crowds or noise, staying aware of my time and commitments, and frequent self-care.
Whether in a personal, work, or play setting, are there times when you default to giving no matter the cost? How have you resolved this...or HAVE you resolved it?
Remember, an attitude of ME first is not selfish, it allows you to stay in integrity for yourself first, with balance. It allows you to have the resources to share your gifts and light in appropriate and healthy ways.
Please comment below...I'd love to hear how you balance your boundaries!
If you live in the northeast, or have in the past, you'll understand when I say that winter can be a challenging time to feel motivated. Dreary skies, short days, bitter cold, biting snow and wind...a recipe for hibernation!
Is this such a bad thing? Probably not. When we hunker down in wintertime to enjoy warm food, cozy evenings, and indoor activities, we're following the example set by much of nature. Many animals hibernate or slow down in the cold; plants and trees stop growing to conserve energy.
This season of hibernation is a wonderful time for self-care. Notice what does not feel good in your life and find a way to change it - or at least change your attitude toward it. You may not be able to make it sunny every day, but you can be sure your home and workplace are well-lit with full-spectrum bulbs. You can add plants and flowers for a touch of life and spring.
If your body feels sluggish but you don't want to go outside, increase your indoor activity level. Take up yoga or Tai Chi, dance around your living room, make laps around the house, run up and down stairs.
If you feel blue, take daily time for introspection. Start and end your day by listing what you feel deep appreciation for in your life. Meditate or pray more often - and for longer periods. Sleep as much as your body needs to. Fuel yourself with healthy foods to keep your body strong.
Be like the bears. Hibernation is a great place to visit...just don't live there!
One of my favorite CDs is a recording of a Celtic musical of Peter Pan. A highlight for me is a lovely song-poem which includes the line, "And those who trust shall grace attain."
This got me thinking...what is grace to me? And can it be attained? Can it be bestowed?
Most Christian religions teach that grace is "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings." I disagree with this completely, because I do not believe in the concept of salvation or that some outside force decides whether you are worthy of blessings. (If you believe, otherwise, you're welcome to continue to believe that. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise!)
My definition of grace is that undefinable connection with Spirit (God, Allah, Universe, whatever your term for a higher power). I believe that this connection can be reached whenever you allow yourself to go deeply within, through prayer or meditation (which to me are the same thing), to that realm of no-thought. That space that is composed of only BEing. When you are in that zone, you are in grace.
And so, in a very real way, I believe that you can attain grace by entering into that "BEing" space. As the song says, when you trust that you can indeed reach that state, and then trust that your experience there is very real, that's where the magic happens.
In my view, in this lovely space of co-creation you tap into your blessings through this state of grace. Blessings are the result of the connection and the inspired action you take, trusting in the creation and the outcome.
I recently lectured and taught a class on how to discover your life theme. You see, we all have a running soundtrack of sorts, one that's playing in the background, creating opportunities to co-create with the universe.
That theme song is not consistently playing all of the time, and in fact may change a bit or a lot over a lifetime.
Let me explain.
If you follow my writing you probably understand a bit about the Law of Attraction (or Manifestation, or Co-Creation). The energy you put out comes back to you in some form. If you constantly say (and believe) that "I can't," then indeed you can't. The Universe will show you more reasons you can't.
And if you believe that creating what you want in life is easy, then life shows you more reasons to believe that.
So, consider your life right now. Is the sound track playing a dirge of "life is hard and I can't get ahead"? Or is it playing a lively jig: "WOW this life stuff is fun!"
How can you tell? Think of your interactions with others - easy or hard? Your success, your satisfaction, your contentment - all present and accounted for? Watch your words - are they positive creations or negative? Neither is wrong, but both create - choose your creations carefully.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE! You're the composer, the orchestra, AND the conductor. Decide what you want your soundtrack to sound like, and have fun with it!
Last month I had the most recent of OH-so-many synchronicities (i.e. "co-incidences") in my life.
At the close of a business conference I was attending, the speaker invited questions from her audience. A woman seated at a nearby table stood and introduced herself, then asked a very insightful question of the speaker, worded in such a way that indicated to me that she had a similar outlook to mine, an understanding of our co-creation with the universe. I was also very intrigued my her business name, which (as mine does) had a spiritual meaning.
"Something" told me to write down her name and business. Soon after the event, I looked up her website and was blown away...this woman was speaking my language! I wrote to her to tell her so, and tell her of the "still small voice" that told me to pay attention. Her response was to express her amazement and delight that I'd contacted her, as she'd been focused on manifesting someone like me to help her with a major business project.
We met for lunch, and immediately connected. We do indeed speak the same language, and share a deep commitment to shifting the world from fear to love. And further, as we discussed her project, every single item on her list of immediate needs was something that I could fulfill!
Had I not been paying attention, or had I not felt that nudge, what a powerful connection would have been missed to meet a like-minded (and like-hearted) woman with whom I could also enjoy a transformational business opportunity.
The moral of the story? Listen! Know that the messages and road signs are always out there. Allow yourself to focus on the knowing that the universe (by whatever name you choose) always, ALWAYS has your back. But you have to be ready and willing to reach out.
If you read my blog or social media posts regularly, you know that I often write about the importance of taking action toward goals, planting the seed of an idea so that it may take root. There are several types of action that may be taken, and it's important to consider which will serve you best.
We often find ourselves pushing against something we don't want. We rebel against a political statement, we denounce actions of others, or we argue a point in a business discussion. Usually without being consciously aware of it, we add energy and focus to these things by the act of pushing. As most conscious-thought teachers say, whether you are for or against something, you are still focused on that thing.
Sometimes we find ourselves pulling ... taking action to figuratively drag something to ourselves. We may try to force a relationship that does not feel energetically easy, or we may pester a potential client when we don't hear from them, or we may take something rather than allowing it to naturally come to us.
The most energetically easy action to take is to reach. Simply reach out your hand (figuratively and yes, sometimes literally) and grasp what comes to you. When you hold an empty hand out expecting it to be filled with all sorts of good things you desire in your life, that's where the magic happens. You're making yourself available, you're showing up and allowing.
Reaching is an action itself, and an allowing of more action toward your dreams. Hands out!
Hieroglyphs. Ogham. Runes. Emoticons. Tarot cards. Roman letters. Cyrillic letters. Arabic letters. What do these all have in common?
Symbols. Each image depicts an idea that the creator (and his culture) wanted to communicate to others. Pictures and drawings which have meaning only because they were assigned meaning. They have energy, because the meaning assigned to them contains energy.
Think of the swastika, for example. The original symbol in shamanic cultures represented the idea of divinity, of spirituality. We all know it was usurped by a culture which did its best to wipe out divinity and spirituality - and therefore the energy of the image changed.
Does this image - 8 - mean anything? As a drawing, no, it's just a twisty line. However our culture has assigned a numeric meaning to it. Turn it sideways - ∞ - and it has a completely different meaning.
I know people who fear runes and tarot cards, for instance, believing they are evil. These people assign the meaning "evil" to the images because that is the energy they are focused on, so that is what they see. I know other people who value these symbols, because love is what they're focused on, so that is what they see.
When we collect a whole bunch of symbols together, we have an entire system of communication. But the person perceiving (i.e. reading) the symbols will perceive through their own energy filter. This is why symbols and writing will never take the place of face-to-face communication, where tonality and physicality contribute to the meaning.
Is there any wonder why we so often mis-understand?
No, I'm not talking about what car you drive to a meeting or what you're wearing! I'm talking about how YOU show up to others as YOU! Do you put on a mask or do you show your true self?
I grew up as a very talented people-pleaser, and so that's how I showed up...as whatever others wanted me to be. I paid close attention to cues so I would know how to adjust for the situation. I had no clue who I really was, at the core.
As I gained life experience (i.e. I aged!) I learned that it was not only very uncomfortable to work so hard at pleasing others and never myself, but it no longer worked! The time had come to show my true colors. I discovered in the process that others much preferred that authentic self, with humor and wit, love and compassion, confidence and strength. When I saw those qualities in myself, I saw them in others - funny how that works!
I am now part of such a large, caring community of holistic and metaphysical people. For the most part, we all show up as we truly are, hearts exposed. That by no means implies we're doormats or overly vulnerable, but it does mean that we are not afraid to be authentic.
I recently met a woman who showed up as domineering, mean, abrupt and rude. I was shocked as I've been unaccustomed to dealing with that kind of energy. I don't know whether that is authentic for who she truly is. I can't judge, but also it is not important to me - it's doubtful I'd see her again. But it got me thinking about what seeds she's planting with that energy.
I choose light seeds!