When summer arrives, we all think of vacations, breaks from school and routine, and leisure. I was thinking about "breaks" this past week as I contemplated taking a few days for myself away from this work that I love. And that in turn got me thinking...
However you choose to take a break from routine, make it a special occasion that feeds you, mind, body and spirit, and really enjoy this summer.
Thanksgiving time allows us to consciously focus on what we most appreciate about our lives. We often think that being grateful means that we appreciate something, however there are subtle but distinct differences between the words “gratitude” and “appreciation.”
When you are thankful or grateful for something, you are reacting to something outside yourself, after it has appeared in your life. You may be grateful to have safe and warm housing, or thankful for a friend’s kind act. You are thankful for a positive experience.
Appreciation arises from gratitude. You can be grateful for something but not especially appreciate it. Appreciation more fully connects us with our soul – we CREATE the positive experience.
For example, think of your last meal. Were you grateful to have it? Thankful that you were able to purchase and prepare the food? Take it one step further. Did you fully appreciate the meal, in that moment? Did you savor the aroma, the colors and textures? Were you aware of yourself interacting with the meal in the moment of each bite – how it felt to eat? Now that's appreciation.
As another example, you might be grateful to have a fulfilling career. You give thanks to have the income, the associates, and the work. However, when you truly appreciate that career, you are fully present in each moment, consciously aware of your interactions, enjoying where you are and what you're doing.
Try this as an exercise to really experience the difference between these two concepts.
Stop right now and select something you enjoy having in your life – perhaps a nice view out the window. You’re probably grateful that your home is located where you can see those trees, the neighbor’s garden, and a quiet street. You’re glad that you can afford it.
Now turn to appreciation. Stop and really LOOK out that window. How many different colors are there to enjoy? What movement do you detect – are the trees swaying in the breeze? What do you most enjoy about the view itself? Appreciate the care the neighbor takes with his beautiful garden. Appreciate the birdsong.
Now, can you feel the difference?
Practice more appreciation in your daily life, and you will find much more to appreciate!
You probably know by now that I reinvented myself when a layoff in 2009 "forced" me to change my goals. You know when your GPS says "rerouting"? Well, that was me. And in the process of the journey I've met so many wonderful heart-based entrepreneurs who had the same issue.
Think about it - when you start out on a journey, you can set your GPS to your destination, but you won't get anywhere until the device determines your present location. And if you miss or ignore the instructions it gives you, you may end up in Poughkeepsie when you were aiming for Cleveland!
So I find it important to know my setpoints - where I am now and where I want to go. Once my spiritual GPS is set, I pay close attention while "driving" (living my life) so that I don't miss any of the "turn here" moments that Spirit provides me. That's when I've had the most success in my life and business. Co-creating with Spirit, with my goals and desires as the framework.
How do you negotiate life's turns? Are you good at following direction or do you sometimes decide to go another way? Comment below!
A mirror casts only the reflection of what it sees. Something similar happens to people, although we obviously are multi-dimensional.
Anyone who has seen this website knows that I believe in, practice and teach the Law of Attraction. Not so much a “law” as a property of physics, this concept teaches that the vibration we offer as an energy being is cast into the universe and reflects back up on us. So, if you give off vibes of “annoyed,” you entrain back to you more annoyance. If you emit vibes of prosperity, you attract more of that.
Don’t get me wrong – not a mean bone in her body. But she was the complete, expert Victim who consistently attracted more examples of victimhood.
We all know someone who seems to be the life of the party. The happy individual who sees the sunshine wherever he goes, who is enjoyed by men and woman alike as such a bright star. He will inevitably attract more of the people who appreciate and reflect that happiness back to him.
Take a look around you. Without ego (positive or negative) take an objective look at the people in your life, those you spend the most time with. Do you see patterns of behavior? We all take on different roles at different times, and of course we all have human moods and emotions. But what is the overriding theme of those you spend time with?
My suggestion to you is that if what you see is less than ideal, notice what of your own thoughts, emotions and vibrations are reflecting. Taking an objective look or inventory may reveal some previously hidden themes in your own life. And once uncovered, you can take action to change.
If you don’t much like what you see in the mirror, you have the power to change the image!
What does flourishing mean to you? At this season we usually think of a flourishing, thriving garden, full growth, lush fruits and flowers. But what if your garden is arid, unproductive, dwindling? Of course we realize then that something is missing – water, nutrients, sun, or some other live-giving property.
This is your life. Is it arid or flourishing? Abundant and lush or weedy and sparse? The same properties apply: how are you nourishing your life?
Do you feed, nourish and rest your physical body? How can you change your nutrition and eating plan? What forms of mild exercise can you add? What changes can be made to your sleeping to enhance your rest?
And what of your spirit? An important “nutrient,” your spirit governs how your mind and body thrive. What attention are you giving your inner life? Meditation? Prayer? Journaling? Find a way to give more attention to your spiritual connection to whatever you call The Source. It makes no sense to complain that your device is not working if it’s not plugged in – the battery needs fuel!
If you want your garden to thrive, make the changes necessary in your life. Only you can decide what those are. Pay attention to your inner “knowing” – your “higher self” knows exactly what is needed.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am very connected to nature and animals. I credit my mother with planting that seed! I love the variety of birds that enjoy my feeders – their songs and chatter, their bright colors, their little birdie personalities. I absolutely love pets – I’m often much more comfortable sitting on the floor playing with critters than I am at a dinner party.
And I feel truly honored to have encounters with other non-domestic animals. I feel that they all have something to teach and communicate, and believe that they are far more connected to the energetic spirit world than we are.
I have one cat (down from three) who I love greatly, but it’s important to me to get dog-hugs often (here's me communing with my friend Patti's kids), and to connect with the birds and squirrels around me.
My own belief is that the God-Force (whatever term you like to use) created this incredibly beautiful earth and the creatures within it. We must respect them as intelligent beings with souls and purposes of their own, just as valid as our own.
How do you connect with the natural world? I'd love to hear from you - comment below!
Did you plant a garden this spring? Isn’t it fun to watch the seeds and sprouts growing toward the light?
What seeds have you been planting in your spirit? What goals, intentions, dreams have you created? What have you wanted to change about yourself?
You probably know that I’m a student of Law of Attraction, by whatever name you choose to give it. I believe that I co-create my life by planting seeds of desire, fostering them to growth by focusing on what makes me happy, and nurturing them to fruition. For me, every new idea becomes a seed, and how and whether I choose to nurture it becomes my life.
I’ve recently had so many “downloads” from Spirit, with new experiences, new friends, new teachers, and I am so excited about the expansion. Soon I will be moving to a new home – more new experiences, new friends, new teachers! I can hardly wait to see what grows there!
For me, God is in the dirt…and the green things, and the creatures. Every day I see the miracles of this wonderful co-creation called Earth. Especially in the spring here in NE Ohio, I treasure the refreshment, the re-emergence of life we experience. As I type this, the birds are singing, the grass is vivid emerald, and the trees outside my window are soft with baby leaves.
As we know, everything is energy, and now especially I am grateful for the increased activity in nature, after a long and bitter winter of nature’s rest.
Isn’t it a miracle that the changing light – a miracle itself – triggers such amazing change in the natural world? For those of you who garden, isn’t it a miracle to watch a seed push through the soil to reach that light? What causes that? What innate intelligence creates that growth?
Whatever you choose to believe, savor the growth, the spring, the dirt. Value it for the gift that is the natural world. And do what you can to preserve it!
When I was growing up there were still expectations of the careers and lifestyles of women and men. I think of the television shows that were popular decades ago, showing a man going off to “the office” and his wife, dressed in jewelry and heels, staying home to take care of the house. Occasionally we were shown alternatives, with women as secretaries or nurses or teachers.
So many of us slide into roles that others expect of us. When do we learn what we expect of ourselves?
One of my goals in my work is to encourage people who have a “calling,” a strong desire to create a career path that really speaks to the heart. If this sounds like you, what ARE you waiting for? Whether your belief is that God created you for a purpose, or that you create your own purpose, what if that yen, that desire is your purpose?
Don’t hold back. Don’t dam up the river that will lead to your best life. Find some way of starting NOW, even in small ways, and you will find that the dam will break down and, as Michael Beckwith says, "the Universe will correspond to the nature of your song." Remember, the world needs you and your gifts!
I recently had a conversation with a close friend about how odd we've both been feeling lately, and I have been reading similar stories from spiritual communities I'm involved with. Our earth and our way of life is shifting energetically, and those of us who are sensitive to energy are really feeling the shakeup. No worries, it's all good!
Have you seen news stories of great archaeological discoveries being made after an earthquake clears an area? Or an item of great value being found after a home renovation? In these cases, as now, the shakeup was necessary to bring wonderful things to light.
For example, I've been lately experiencing out-of-the-blue memories of challenges, arguments, difficult situations, and at first I wondered why. However I noticed a pattern, and now each time this happens, I know that it is the necessary clearing to unveil the treasure. I bless the past situation, the memory, the people involved, and move on.
The same with physical symptoms my friend and I have felt - we bless the sensation, eagerly await the unveiling, and move on.
What do you sense is clearing from your life? Don't fear the shift - go with it, and enjoy the treasure!