Category Archives: awareness

Trusting And Learning What Our Feelings Are Showing Us

How many times do you feel your feelings, and wonder what those feelings are conveying to you?   Yup, we tend to take our feelings for granted and go all auto-pilot about them.

When we have a lovely feeling we usually don’t question it, we just enjoy the moment.  But the feelings that are downright unpleasant, are the ones we have to figure out why we’re feeling that way, or it’s abundantly obvious, or we push through the unpleasant feelings because it’s what we’re accustomed to doing.

When a good friend of mine experiences unpleasant feelings, she often says she puts her big girl pants on and gets over it.  Hmmm, perhaps putting our big girl pants on, translates to, I don’t want to look at why I feel this way because I might feel even worse when I find out what it’s really about.  I get it, I’ve been there, but this feeling will keep coming back until it’s looked at and understood.

To experience a deeper connection with ourselves, our intuition, it’s a good idea to pay attention to both, our good, and not so good feelings.  Both types of feelings are teaching us about what we’re creating, how we’re thinking and processing our experiences, all the way to how we react to them.

Let’s focus on our good feelings, and what they can teach us about how to create even more lovely moments for ourselves.

Just as an example, imagine I’m in France eating pastries, and looking at the Eiffel Tower, feeling greater than great.  Oh, how I LOVE France and their pastries!  It’s not possible to recreate that exact same scenario, in order to feel “the France feelings” on a frequent basis, since I can’t afford to jump on a plane to there every week.  But I can think about what it is I loved about that experience, to bring more of those nice feelings into my life, without flying across the ocean.  What that experience conveyed to me is one of adventure, enjoying great food, inspiring views, seeing new people in a different culture, and appreciating architecture.  If I dig deeper, I also realize I love learning and connecting with people.  There’s lots of laughter because I feel relaxed and carefree since it’s about having fun.  I’m inspired by the buildings, food, people, and art.  See how that experience conveys a lot of good stuff resulting in great feelings and emotions?

Now that I understand how and why I felt good, how do I create more opportunities for these kinds of feelings throughout the day, when playing or working right here in my non-France experience?

For me, I enjoy nice feelings most mornings when I begin it with yoga and meditation, preferably beginning before it’s light outside.  When working, I can experience “yippee” feelings when I’m connecting with others through writing a blog post, when I create and deliver a talk and when people positively respond to my words.  And, I experience wonderful feelings when someone comes up afterward to share their experiences with me. When playing, there are the relaxed and carefree feelings I get from walking in the woods.  More good feelings come from my appreciation of art, including creating my own amateur work, all the way to appreciating professional artists in galleries.  Feelings of inspiration show up as I connect with people and hear their stories.  And, there’s gratefulness.

We can begin to see how easy it is to create opportunities that foster higher emotions. This is really helpful when we encounter the inevitable smaller cracks in our sidewalk so to speak.

We’re human.  As you well know, that even with the best of intentions, our experiences will sometimes shift from feeling great to oh this is a drag.  This past week I noticed my yucky feelings around some tired and all too common time-weary practices.  Well-intentioned as they may be, they drain me rather than raise me.  I hit a hard stop, feeling that’s enough of that, it would be wise to stop and choose something else to do.  I did, and my body immediately felt better, my mood came up, and I enjoyed the rest of my day.   As they say, in France, voila!  Actually, I don’t think they say that, that much.

Do you see how easy (and fun) it is to trust, benefit, and grow from what our feelings are showing us?  To make little changes in our routine in order to cultivate more fun, more lightheartedness? …in order to be more creative, joyful, inspired, fulfilled and so forth.

What are the variety of feelings you notice as you experience your day, and what are you learning from them?

 

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Winter nesting habits, fleece clothing, and fear

Right now my focus seems to be on baking pies, painting, and lazing around in my wonderful fleece lined yoga pants and faux fur slippers.   These yoga pants and slippers own me and I’m great with that.  I’ll take them off in April. 

Lounging around until whenever-ish, is pretty terrific.  It’s downright nurturing to just be.   However, I’m slacking around creating my ideas.  And yet, I still very much want to create those ideas.  See my dilemma?

I’ve got this.  All that’s needed is a little course correction.

When I don’t act on my good opportunities coming my way, the opportunities naturally dwindle.  And through a lack of action on my part, sometimes what is coming my way, is not really the best fit for me.  I’m certainly not giving my awesome intuitive guidance much to work with, as I let my side of the partnership laze.

It’s not as though my intuition will leave me as a result of me not taking action or following suggestions.  I’m also encouraged to create a lovely balance in my life, and that involves painting, cooking, relaxing, etc…  It’s unconditionally loving, and always supportive, assisting in every moment, no matter what.  But it is a relationship, a partnership, and my connection grows as I play and work with it, and take action around the information I receive.  We’re doing this together and, to a point, some action is required.

But there’s more.  It’s especially worth looking at why I’m not taking action.  It’s not all about the call of the wonderful winter nesting activities.   Quite honestly, there’s still a certain amount of me holding back out of fear.  Fear of rejection.  Fear of being targeted.  Fear of being seen, my beliefs known, and being ostracized for them.  Those are no small fears.  So, this is when I ask that very same guidance to assist me with releasing those fears, once I’m more clear what they’re about.  In my case, usually those fears stem from “I’m not enough”, an old core belief of mine.  They happen less and less, but can still creep up when I’m feeling that my next steps are  a little or very challenging.

And yet, these fears are a wonderful opportunity.  They’re here to show me, Hey look, here’s that thing again.  Let’s look at it, receive clarity, clear it, and move on.   There’s a process that was shown to me for doing this.  Anyone can come up with their own version to consciously become aware, look at what’s there, as a way to understand and release it.  I may start with writing down my feelings, and then move on to meditation, and visualize releasing what I can to the highest form of light.

We all have our reasons for holding back.  It’s so worth it to honestly look at why we get a little stuck now and again.  It’s nothing to worry about and we’re all totally “unstuckable”.   Asking for help is a great start and assistance will be there.  Various pieces will show up to support us, and we’ll learn about ourselves.

I woke up this morning wanting to add a post script here.  Several years ago I spent a lot of time looking at and understanding more about where my limiting core self-belief came from.  It was work. There was focus, dedication, even tenancity, courage, and self-kindness.  I’m post-scripting because by no means was I suggesting that it’s fast and easy to release this kind of self-belief, <I’m not enough, I’m unworthy>.  But years ago I did deep work in this area and I was able to see where this self-belief came from. I realized that it was never about me, and I took responsibility for allowing that belief to be carried on by me for most of my life.  Without going into every detail, I’ll just say, this work was transformational.  It’s understandable that, now and again, speckles of this belief show up.  I feel it’s a gentle reminder and opportunity to remember who I really am. These speckles show up less and less, and for me now, are easier to notice, have clarity about what’s behind the feelings, and compassionately release the old belief and embrace my truth.  

5 Things I’m Doing For Myself

1- Use only the most helpful and positive technology.  Last month I downloaded the Insight Timer, an app for meditation.  It’s become very important to me that I do some group meditations now and again.  Through the Insight Timer app, I joined a Global Meditation Group that periodically meditates for planetary peace and well-being.  Plus I’ve created a few meditation presets with and without background sound, with varying time limits.  And, I’m connecting with people all over the world.  Technology is here and I’m good with technology if we can use it to support ourselves.  https://insighttimer.com/

2-Join groups for support.  There are a few meditation groups in my area and I’ve been sitting in on their group meditations, in-person (not virtually, as with the app I just mentioned).  I found all of these meditation groups on Meetup.  And all are based on mindfulness meditation practices.  Most of these groups have someone who leads the meditation, offers a message that we can then offer our response to.  We share how we feel and, from listening, we can become more clear.  Plus, I just like the connection I feel from a group meditation.  https://www.meetup.com/

3-Play.  I just finished an art class in pastels, a new medium for me to learn.  Every time I play with art I have to learn that it’s not about striving for more talent in an effort to become an accomplished artist, but more to let go, have fun and play.  This is a good way to feel about art because it takes me away from comparisons, from negative self-talk and instead, I learn to see something beautiful in what I create.  Self-deprecation is not a friend.  Humility is an admirable characteristic, but only to a point.  I’m all in favor of looking at our art, our music, whatever our passion is, and to recognize the awesomeness of what we’re creating, regardless of how it compares to others.

Speaking of creating…

4-From dawdling to prioritizing.  When I doubt myself, get scared, I can procrastinate which way the hair blows down the back of a gnat’s ass.  However, what I really want is to continue taking steps to create my dreams and ideas.  I have a habit of first cleaning the house, then cooking, maybe paying bills, running errands, and then, if there’s time, working on my ideas.  Rather, on a good day, when I prioritize first what my passion is, I’m sending a message to both the universe and to myself that my dream is important.  The more I prioritize my dreams, the more I open to the next steps to act on my ideas.  I begin to receive assistance in all kinds of ways.  And, I’ve asked for assistance when stuck in procrastination mode.  Even as I’m dawdling, I’ll ask for assistance for moving forward, and an opportunity will show up gently encouraging me forward.

5-Practice awareness.  Becoming aware of how assistance is coming through for me.  Becoming aware of my self-talk and thoughts.  Especially becoming aware of my heart as I meditate, as I meet with someone, even as I’m out doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.  Ok, I’m human so I’m not aware all the time, but I am more and more, and it’s making a positive difference in my life from the way I hold myself to the connection I feel.  This past week, I was at a holiday party for a wonderful non-profit, and as their volunteers were being recognized, I stood there watching and thinking “May everyone feel peace, love, support, and a sense of cooperation, and collaboration”.   To me, they’ve been creating exactly that, peace, love, support, cooperation, and collaboration.  It was kind of a metta (loving kindness) meditation while standing in a room full of people.  And then a funny thing happened, my raffle ticket won the big raffle prize and I was shaken out of my reverie big time.  In the next moment I was thanking people, shaking hands, and having my photo taken and walked away with a high-end sailing jacket.  For a long minute (maybe two hours or so), I felt guilty for winning that jacket because I only volunteered one to three times for that organization.  My husband had to talk me off the ledge by reminding me it was a raffle ticket that anyone was able to win, any active volunteer like himself, or a non-volunteer, anyone who attended the party.  I kicked my guilt to the curb, allowed myself to be thankful for winning the lovely gift, shut-up, and enjoyed the moment.

One more thing, and this brings it to six, not five, but who’s counting?

6-Watch less TV!  My husband and I have really gotten into a rut of watching TV.  Granted, they’re not violent shows, but there’s usually something upsetting happening at some point.  night-television-tv-theme-machinesHere’s the deal.  My brain or body doesn’t know the difference between real life and the make-believe lives on TV.  So when I watch a TV show and get attached to the characters and the story lines, it’s like it’s really happening.  The emotions I feel, the tension in my body, are a result of watching the show.  What’s worse, later on I may still think about it as I fall asleep, or when I wake up.  That’s why I watch the news almost not at all.  It stays with me and revisits me, visually and emotionally, until I feel dis-empowered, depressed, and hopeless and then I’m no good to anyone.  It’s important to remember that everything has an energy,  and what we take into our bodies affects us visually, emotionally, and physically.  In our world, when my husband and I watch TV, one of us isn’t playing guitar, the other isn’t painting, we’re not sitting in front of the fire listening to music, or talking to each other.  TV is a time suck and we have too many interests for time sucks.  It rarely adds to my life, and it’s addictive.  pexels-photo-688019So, in an effort to get back to a good balance, we just finished eating our chili in front of the fire, and I’m now writing this post in front of the fire.  The TV is in the other room, and it’s off.

 

Our moods have a lot to do with how we are being and what we’re creating.  Can you think about how you’re supporting yourself (or not) by your patterns and habits?  It’s so worth a look.  Little steps can make a huge difference in our lives.  It’s fun to learn how we can create big change in our lives, from taking small positive steps.

 

 

I recently met Joy

Do you ever feel that you’re all in your head, thinking about this or that?  Oh, I sure do.  I wonder about and consider things so much, that I tend to go seriously serious.  Granted, while a lot of what I’m considering is fascinating and worthy of much consideration, it’s not my intention, but my “thinkiness” holds me back and dampens my mood.  It’s impossible for me to be both analytical and joyful at the same time.  Knowing this, I head off to my favorite local hiking trail to enjoy myself.  IMG_9188 copy

Still pondering universal naval fluff, I focused on my breathing and on navigating my way around the newer trails.  On my return route I saw a man and his puppy heading my way.  The minute I saw the puppy I felt my heart jump.  He was happy to see me too.  He jumped up licking my hand, did a couple of pirouettes, jumped up and licked my hand again.  It was a love fest.  I chatted for a couple of minutes with his person while I petted this adorable puppy.  It was time to continue in our opposite directions.  After a couple of steps, I looked back and saw the puppy had stopped and was looking at me.  He seemed to be wondering “you’re not coming with us”?  I said goodbye and turned back to my walk.  I never asked his person what the puppy’s name was, but I would have named him Joy.  Imagine people asking what’s your dog’s name and answering “this is Joy”!   Joy showed up at just the right time, excitedly encouraging me to get out of my head and to choose lightheartedness.

Version 2

 

We Contribute, One Thought at a Time

In spite of all the tragedies, natural disasters, polarization, political controversies, including corporate, political, and personal abuse, I still believe each of us everyday, seemingly ordinary human beings, are bringing about more peace, love, and light, in the world.

I don’t own a major company, and most people don’t even know I’m on the planet, but I feel I’m doing my part.  I certainly didn’t wow the educational system or set the corporate world on fire, but in my own way I know I’m contributing.  I have a small following, but I’m still making my impact.   Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to find the most eloquent words to write or to speak, but still I believe I’m able to make a difference.  Everyone makes a difference in the world.  Everyone.

I really believe we beneficially contribute to the world even more so through feeding our spirit by doing what brings us joy, and living from lighter and higher emotions.  As each of us create avenues for positive change in ourselves, all of humanity benefits as well.

Every time we laugh we make a contribution to the collective consciousness.  Every time we’re inspired by a work of art, a book, a film, a conversation, our resulting inspired thoughts and feelings ripple out to all.  When we choose to think a beautiful thought, among so many other kinds of thoughts we could choose to think, we’re contributing to mankind.  When I cook one of my vegan meals and my husband opts in and valiantly eats every bite out of love, he’s contributing because he’s melting my heart with every bite.  No moment is too silly or insignificant.

Most everyone knows that kindness towards someone else, directly contributes to whom the kindness is directed to.  But it’s easy to forget to be kind to ourselves, especially when things get tough.  Self-kindness is a gift to ourselves.  It’s also a gift to others because the beneficial feelings ripple out to all.  How we feel as we go about our day, touches many.  How we’re spending our time.  Joyful, fun, interesting, rewarding?  Or, do we feel constricted?  What are our feelings telling us?  What kinds of thoughts are we holding?  Are they positive or negative thoughts?  What kinds of words are we using?  Lighthearted, humorous, or inspiring, or negative, self-deprecating, or limiting?  Are we taking action on our dreams?   What kinds of habits do we have?

As we become aware of ourselves, open to our light and personal strength, we can’t help but consciously create a more loving, compassionate, joyful experience for ourselves, and the world.  Each of us becomes a light for each other.

For me, the higher I take my feelings by honoring myself with better thoughts and habits, the less I want to name-call any name-callers, or hate the haters.  It also seems especially counter-intuitive to me, to tear down those that tear down others.

I can’t think of a better time for more and more of us to realize our self-worth, our strength, our personal power.  We hold back and hope that someone more qualified, more awesome, more special, more divine, will improve things.  But we’re all already that.  The solution isn’t with an elected official, world leader, or famous what’s-her/his-name, it’s everyone, the collective us.   We’re positively impacting the world as we

  • Lead with our best effort in more moments
  • Create positive messages and take positive actions
  • Act on our own beneficial ideas and solutions
  • Collaborate
  • Support one another
  • Believe in better possibilities

How we are being, how we are taking care of ourselves, is how we evolve our communities, our world governments, corporations, financial systems, educational institutions, healthcare, our world, our hearts, our consciousness, our humanity.

While each of us is having our own individual life experience, we are one spirit and one humanity.

two kids humanityWhatever experiences we’re in the midst of, whether we’re lighthearted, sad, confused, or joyful, we still connect with each other.  We transform ourselves and the world, one beneficial thought at a time, and through even the smallest human gesture.

What do you think?  Do you see yourself individually and collectively, contributing?

When It’s Time To Stop Trying So Hard

If we want our relationships, our work, our art, our life experiences to feel good, we will need to learn to let go of trying to ‘do life right’ and instead learn how to have more fun in any and all ways possible.  More and more are pexels-photo-258330saying to me how are you doing this?  What is it that you’re doing to make this <good stuff> happen?  The truth is I’m enjoying myself in all parts of my life not just my “work” and that’s why and how it’s all coming together.

I see that people are pushing and pushing to be their best.  That often includes striving to be successful, however they perceive success.  In trying to stand out and be successful we actually mainstream ourselves by fitting in to doing best practice mode. 

I get it.  There has to be a balance in promoting ourselves.  I’ve taken on some “best practices” too and I’m trying to learn a couple of social media thing-a-ma-bobbers.  But more often than not, I’d rather noodle with art or enjoy the outdoors so my social media presence is meh.  For me, mastering all “the correct and proven steps”, sucks the joy right out of my life and then things get stuck.  So I keep my work related tasks simple and just. have. fun.

There are best practices for everything and I’ve heard more rules from people than I can shake a stick at.   There’s always someone to help us get caught up in doing it better, right, doing whatever it is more correctly, more successfully, more their way.

You want to know more of my best practices?  It’s going for a walk in the woods, painting, taking and editing my photos, writing, hanging out with my husband, sailing, watching a great movie, enjoying a fascinating book, creating a meal, listening to music.

My own personal experience has taught me, that everything, from any particular area of my spiritual growth, meaning my work, relationships, art, even simple everyday tasks and experiences, flourish and bloom as I release my need to force things into place.  And to instead just enjoy all aspects of my life.

This past week, I experienced myself starting to slouch into this is not enjoyable mode, and switched gears.  We went to our favorite lunch spot, ate outside, spoke with some locals, visited a couple of art galleries, took a photo to be framed, and enjoyed a farmer’s market.

Another happy result from joy is that it allows for our best ideas and creativity to blossom, and answers and solutions can show up to any challenges we’re experiencing.

Is your intuition is assisting you in learning to pay attention to how you feel in more and more moments and to strike a nice balance?  It doesn’t have to be OMG this is SO AMAAAAZINGGGG EXCITING kind of feeling because that’s impossible to maintain all the time, but sometimes it’s just a feeling of I’m in the zone, this feels nice.  And if something doesn’t feel right, to learn not to push through it and keep hammering away but instead to take a break and do something else.

If we want our relationships, our work, our art, our life experience to be even better than what we can imagine, we will need to learn to let go of other people’s ways, our quest for perfection, and instead just allow for the enjoyment of life in any and all ways possible.

We’re all in this together

I’ve said this a million times, each of us is unique.  We grew up differently, look different from each other, sound different, dress differently, have totally different life experiences.  Our lives might look as though we’re on completely opposite ends of the spectrum.  Still, we’re all here and we’re all in this together.  diff folksEvery single one of us has a heart that at times is bursting with love or feels utterly broken or something in-between.  Each of us, at some point, want something better for ourselves.  “More” can be everything from better health, more money, healthier relationships, fulfilling work, joy, love, or an end to struggle.

As I put myself out in the world and look to create possibilities with others I’m very aware of our mutual evaluations.  Let’s go with the word evaluation rather than judgment.  We all evaluate each other.  Sometimes it’s all light and an opening is created.  Sometimes it goes the other way, for good reason or because one of us made a snappy judgment, oops I mean evaluation.  Everybody evaluates before making a decision and sometimes it’s based on going with our gut or criteria we need to meet.  I do it.  I consider my feelings around a group, cause, organization, based on their website content, or what I’ve heard about them, what their mission and vision is.  Do I align with them?  Is this something I feel strongly about?  Is there a good possibility my skills could be useful?  And then I make my decision and either reach out or not.

Sometimes, I’m just sayin’, we go overboard on keeping others out for very little reason or based on our own assumptions created by seeing through our own experiences.  I just spent three days with my best friend.  We couldn’t be more different when it comes to our personal habits, beliefs, interests, and how we approach life and interact with the world.  And yet, we’ve managed to have a relationship that’s lasted, and we’ve enjoyed and hugely benefited from, since we were three years old.  From her I’m learning about accepting others as they are and how to not care what others think.  Perhaps from me she’s learning how to stand up for her own needs and to let go of being a people-pleaser.

The way I experience life is that we’re all in this together.  It may look like we’re too different from each other to find common ground.  But that kind of thinking prevents the possibility of a beneficial connection.  And anyway, we always share similar basic needs and heartfelt desires…either in the midst of enormous struggle or when things just aren’t sitting right or if we’re fortunate enough to live joyful, creative lives.  Some of what we evaluate each other on doesn’t really matter.  It doesn’t really matter what our back story is but rather what we’ve done in spite of it, and learned from it.  It doesn’t so much matter what we look like, or where we live.  Instead, wouldn’t it be great to focus on cooperating and creating together?  To learn from each other.  To release our quick to surface dismissive thoughts and, instead, open to possibilities.  There’s no better time in the world for this than now.