Sunday, January 21, 2018

How To Be Open And Receptive To Receive Your Blessings

Human life runs its course in the metamorphosis between receiving and giving. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you've decided what you want in your life this year, hopefuly you trust that you'll receive your desires. This approach raises your vibrational energy to attract the good you want. And once you raise this vibrational level, your good will come. It sounds great. But what if your desires don't materialize, and you wonder why the process isn't working?

Desire and faith are necessary in the abundance process. But the Universal Law of giving and receiving requires balance in both giving and taking. And when we go against the very nature of this law we suffer. Takers lack close connection with others, while givers may feel discomfort in receiving. This lack of balance produces negative energy inhibiting ability to receive what the Universe is waiting to give.

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. Les Brown

Many people suffer from fear of receiving, and this fear limits their quality of life. And they unknowingly block their good. Their fear may run from mild discomfort to a sense of guilt, unworthiness, greed, all kinds of painful feelings. They sense a blockage inside, but have no idea where it's coming from. They're unaware that reasons behind a blockage are childhood messages hidden in their subconscious. These messages lead to believing that giving is good, but receiving is selfish or shameful. These false beliefs remain with us all of our life unless we learn the truth about giving and receiving.

Our good comes to us in different ways from small gifts to life changing situations. But when false beliefs remain in our subconscious and motivate our choices, we fail to receive much that could enrich our lives. We sometimes fail to receive gifts, because we think it's wrong to accept from others. Or we fail to accept an important job, because we believe we're not capable. Or we miss an ocean cruise believing, "Nothing turns out right for me." Those messages reduce our vibrational energy, and this affects our life.

As a child I was taught that asking for or receiving something is selfish. I felt undeserving, and spent much of my life with guilt in the pit of my stomach if expected to receive something. And much good eluded me because of my resistance to receiving. Later when my mother grew older and lived on social security, she taught me another lesson. Whenever she wanted to buy me even a small gift, I refused, feeling she couldn't afford it. Then one time she cried and said, "Don't you know when you refuse to accept my gift, you take away my pleasure in giving?" She must have learned something since my childhood years. and I learned that when one gives and another receives, both are blessed.

We are Divine enough to ask, and we are important enough to receive. Wayne Dyer

The Universe hears what we believe and answers in kind. And negative or false beliefs interfere with Universal Law. So if what we want is to become a reality, we must be open and receptive to receiving our good. There are ways to overcome inner blockages, but it takes some practice.

1. Begin by giving to yourself, even in small ways, and rejoice in your gifts to yourself. Learn to feel good about receiving.
2. Talk to your inner child, and teach him/her about the law of giving and receiving.
3. When appropriate, ask for and accept what you want, even if it feels uncomfortable.
4. Watch your thoughts and feelings when you're offered something but feel you 'should not' accept. Talk to your feelings and confront that resistance. Affirm your right to receive.
5. Work on forgiving and releasing any old negative beliefs, attitudes, people, and experiences to make room for the new.
6. Learn to tolerate discomfort until it stops being a problem. And given time, it will.

Using the law of giving and receiving promotes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, and we and the world are blessed. Give to and receive from others, and open your mind and heart to receiving what the Universe has for you. Enjoy the peace you feel from both. You are worthy.

I wish you courage to say 'yes'.


Monday, January 15, 2018

How To Manage Your Vows To Enrich Your Life

Make a vow deep within yourself to have the happiest life possible. R. Sauter

Do you sometimes feel your life is more a struggle than the journey you envisioned for yourself, and you're confused about the way some things in your life turn out? Or you have friends and a family, but you live with a deep, unexplained loneliness? Or has your life blossomed in joyful ways and you share your life with a wonderful partner? Either way, maybe the quality of your life is in vows you made while growing up.

We walk through each day as usual, but seldom aware of that subtle something inside that motivates our actions and determines outcomes--those vows we made in the past, either written, vocal, or just a thought. We make them at any age, but children are impressionable, and they label messages from their environment pleasant or hurtful. Then they create positive or negative vows that affect their adult personality, relationships, work, money, talents, etc.

Messages come in 3 ways: 1) Direct Contact. Someone says to the child, "You're stupid." So the child vows negatively, "I'm so stupid, I can't do anything." 2) Experience. The child stars in the school play. So he vows positively, "I have talent, and I belong." 3) Observation. The child observes parent fighting about money. So she vows negatively, "There's never enough, so I can't expect much." Messages are powerful, and they influence our lives.

Vows are promises to ourselves to avoid what we don't want or to create what we do want, to enrich our life in some way. Vows, intentions, promises...all provide a sense of purpose and direction. But they have consequences, and over time, positive or negative, they may not serve us as we intend. Vows to avoid painful siuations may end up depriving us in the long run. Or vows to get what we want may not be enough to sustain our good. When we make vows, possible consequences need careful consideration.

Avoidance: When we create a vow as protection from painful experiences, we may end up paying a price for it. When I was 6 years old, my father died, and no one was there to comfort me. I remember moving through my hurt feelings vowing that I would never need anyone again or bother anyone with my problems. I spent most of my life true to that vow, being independent, taking care of myself, and never allowing anyone close enough to hurt me. But I learned it's lonely being alone inside, and I finally realized all I'd missed because I clung to my vow. Now I know when vows are not working for us, we can release them and have that fulfilling journey.

Positive Creation: It takes more than creating a vow to sustain its energy. At age 47, I envisioned working in the mental health field. My family thought I was too old for such a lofty goal. But I was determined and vowed to do it. Then reality set in. School was necessary, but I had no money for school, and I'd have to depend on part time work to survive. Fear crept in and shook my vow with thoughts of failure. My vow lost its power, and my lofty dream became a source of pain. My dream could have ended there, but I dug deep inside and renewed my vow. And my dream finally became a wonderful reality. When you create a positive vow, don't let appearances stop you. 

Beginning today and for the rest of my days, I vow to love myself unconditionally. I am empowered. Unknown

If you feel a vow may be affecting an area in your life in a negative way, examine your feelings and behavior patterns in that area. These are clues. Then ask your inner self to reveal what you need to know. Be patient and listen. When you discover a vow not enriching your life, expose it as untrue, and confront it with the truth of yourself and the situation. Remind yourself that you're intelligent, lovable, capable, and all those good qualities you were given when you were created. Release your vow with an affirmation, "I now release all fear and all vows that no longer serve me. I am free." Work on releasing, and know you deserve to be free and happy.

Be happy, dear one. You are worth more than you know.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Finding Your Answers In Nostalgia

"Sometimes you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead." Yvonne Woon

As we think of the year ahead, we remember last year and what we want to bring with us and what we want to leave behind...and how many times we've made that same transition. Maybe we realize our minds and hearts are not time bound. All the years are connected, and nostalgia takes us back to years past, other times, people, and places. We may begin a new journey, but our past is part of us. And from time to time we cross the bridge to yesterday.

It's one thing to remember an experience, but another to relive your thoughts and feelings from that experience. The word 'nostalgia' explains this phenomenon. Merriam-Webster describes homesickness, a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to some past period or irrecoverable condition. Cambridge English Dictionary says a feeling of pleasure and sometimes sadness at the same time as you think about things that happened in the past. A bittersweet yearning for a past experience.

Looking back and learning will enable you to move forward. Eileen Brown

Many times I've heard it said, "Don't look back. If you look back, you can't move forward. Leave it all back there, and move on." That attitude may be feasible in some situations. But I don't believe it's generally workable, because many of your decisions today are based on something you learned in your past. Every day is preparation for the next one.

Nostalgia can serve a purpose in your life with opportunities to reach forgotten parts of you, maybe parts you need to feel again. In the nostalgic state, you can re-experience happiness from other times, or share again with loved ones, or re-visit childhood laughter that releases current burdens and stress. Or your nostalgic experiences might furnish a second chance to correct past mistakes when you fell short of intentions, or you failed to say kind words someone needed to hear, or you haven't forgiven someone...or yourself. Or you might learn more about dealing with bittersweet experiences when they fill your heart with sadness.

These are not just memories. You feel every second of nostalgic experiences. Pain lies in wanting to go back, see people and places again, be in what you may feel was a better place. You smile and yearn to relive the happy times. You cry and long to hug those who are gone. You may think of ways to correct your mistakes. And you realize that yesterday is as much a part of your life as is tomorrow. It all belongs on your journey.

As I've grown older, I find I miss the old times more. I remember an Alaskan cruise with dear friends, a cross-country trip with my best buddy who is gone now, dancing to exhaustion, jumping into a pool from the high diving board with all my clothes on, and holding my sides with laughter at a friend's silly joke. I also remember seeing my mother right after she died, and saying words to her I wished I'd said sooner. And other sad times that bring tears. But even happy ones can be bittersweet, because they're gone. But re-visit is what our minds do.

"When you finally go back to your old home, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood." Sam Ewing

Sometimes what we think we're missing is not really what we're missing. For instance, your longing for your childhood home may create quite a surprise. You hear it's empty now, so you return and tour the house. But as you move around inside, what captures your attention is not the house at all, but the childhood you're missing. This actually happened to me, and when I found my old house, my heart ached remembering and missing that child and the family who shared the home.

Yes, your past is part of your present and your future. Where you've been helps you decide where you want to go. And periods of nostalgia bring it all together. The happy, the sad, and the lessons teach us along the way. And we're better for it.

I wish you memories you'll want to look back on.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

Turn Your 'Shoulds' To 'Wants' For The New Year

You're entering a new year. How do you approach a gift like this? You can say, "Oh, another year of the same old stuff." Or you can get caught up in the usual 'shoulds' with lists of resolutions you think you 'should' do. Or you can examine what's going on in your life and what you may 'want' to change or make better. And each one offers a different experience in the coming year.

The first one will probably give you the same challenges you faced last year. The second one implies the possibility of repercussions if you don't do what you 'should' do, so you better do what you think you 'should' do. And the third one sets you free to explore, to envision, and to be and do whatever you 'want' while creating wonderment in your life. The third one requires planning, but the results can be rewarding.

With the new year upon us, now is the time to look at your life and decide what you want to do with it. You have the power to create new blessings in your life and to expand upon what you already have. As you enter this new year, bring the positive with you, the love, the peace, the good times, everything that made you happy last year. And cling to these happy memories with anticipation to bring more good into your life. This year can offer opportunities for you to grow into more of what your heart desires and find more happiness along the way.

"There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on." Zayn Malik

Everything that happens in your life fills a space inside, and some of your painful experiences are part of what you're carrying. When we experience challenges, we get through the best we can. But sometimes we fail to release heartaches, regrets, losses, etc. And we push the painful stuff down out of sight. But this negative energy needs to be dealt with, cleansed, and released from its hiding place, so you don't carry too much of it with you into your new year. This process takes time and patience, but with your determination to let it go and live a better life, most of it will gradually disappear.

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next years words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. T.S.Eliot

Whenever you move in a new direction, you need to know where you want to go and how to get there. So you'll need a definite plan to prevent your life from getting lost in your everyday busyness. You'll still experience detours along your way. But that's okay. You'll be on the right track with good energy. And maybe now you're ready to create a new beginning with a plan to guide you on your new journey.

Now is the time to clarify what you're dealing with and what you'll need and want in your plan. You'll need to consider: 1) What specific issues in your outer and inner world you want to address. 2) A strategy of action to achieve what you want to do with each one. 3) What you want to accomplish overall in the coming year. Then make a list of each of these 3 sections, and begin following your plan. Some people hate to make lists, but lists help facilitate planning, they help you avoid feeling overwhelmed with a cluttered mind, and they promote clarity of direction.

This may seem overwhelming, but time spent in one day can prepare for a successful beginning and make each day more joyous in the coming year. As needed, you can check your 'what and how' lists, and feel confident you won't be at the mercy of troublesome situations that arise in your life. You'll feel free from most 'shoulds' that sap your creativity, and you can do what you 'want' to enrich your life.

I truly wish you a Happy New Year


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

What Will You Give When The Holiday Season Ends?

Some of us are coming to the end of a holiday season, and will soon be busy picking up, putting away, cleaning, etc. If gifts were part of your holiday, you're looking again at the gifts remembering your squeals of delight with each one. But now you look around and know it's over. So you begin waiting for next year when you will again experience the joy of the season. But you don't have to wait for next year.

Those pretty wrapped gifts are also given on birthdays, anniversaries, any day to celebrate. And they are indeed joyful. I remember when I was a child I played outside until streetlights came on, and every evening a man caught the bus on my corner to play in a band downtown. Well, on my birthday, he brought me a box of beautiful hair ribbons wrapped in a pretty box. I never knew his name, but I remember the joy in his face as I opened my gift. And this memory is still dear to me. But gifts like this are not all we have to give.

The greatest gift is a portion of thyself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

What about the gifts that are created within you and can be expressed by you? They're not wrapped in pretty paper, but they're just as beautiful. And you have the power to give those every day of the year. You may not realize you have inner gifts, but you do. They're something you feel inside, and they're unique to you. There's no one like you, and what you have to give is like no other. Your gifts are a part of who and what you are. And they lay inside waiting to be expressed...wanting to be expressed. Perhaps you already use them, unaware of their expression. Many are subtle and go unnoticed as gifts, but they're felt in your life and in the lives of those they touch.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

There are all kinds of gifts with qualities from small everyday gestures to some we may term spectacular. Some people are fixers, good listeners, or leaders, and some are gifted with empathy and compassion. I had a neighbor who repaired children's bicycles so they could ride again. Another woman shared her homemade cookies. And I know a woman who is wheelchair bound with MS, and she waves and smiles at everyone, even strangers, changing gloomy faces to happy ones. And she doesn't see it as a gift. It's just what she does.

I told you about a friend who didn't have money to buy a gift for my birthday, so she cleaned my house for me. And when I worked as a Psychotherapist, one of my patients brouht me a birdhouse his wife made for me, and another patient gave me a lily plant he grew in his yard. What beautiful memories of inner gifts in expression. These gifts remind me that the sharing of heartfelt love is a blessing, and the gift is a symbol of this feeling.

What's your gift? What gives you a sense of satisfaction and joy in the doing? And what gives your life meaning? It may be creating a physical object, writing, music, cooking, sewing, building something. Or it may simply be creating situations that bring happiness to yourself and others. This in itself is a gift. Could you comfort someone who's feeling lonely? Could you offer compassion and guidance to someone who's feeling lost? Could you encourage and support someone who wants to leave a destructive lifestyle, but afraid to reach out alone to change?

If you're not aware of your gift, start noticing what you enjoy and do well that might bring pleasure to others. Ask your inner Voice to show you what you've been given and guide you in using it. When you share your gift, it brings joy to someone else, and you feel the joy too. And remember, when you give someone something with your heart, you're giving them a part of yourself. So, really...dear one, you are a precious gift. 

I wish you many blessings with your gift.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Pay Attention This Holiday Season. You're Making Memories.

We humans are magnificent creations. We have what we need to thrive and survive and display outstanding talents and skills. And one of the most wonderful and complex parts of us is our brain. Everything we ever heard or experienced is held in our brain. It's all there, most of it tucked away in secret forever. But we have our memories. And some of our past is never lost.

A memory is a photograph taken by the heart to make a special moment last forever. Unknown

Memories come to us in several ways. You may want to re-capture something from the past, so you think of it, and it becomes real again. Other times you encounter things like a song, a special memento, or a similar experience that brings up a memory. And you remember what brought you joy and what brought you pain. And you relive those times.

When something comes to you from the past, you remember. You remember those heartfelt happy times, and you cling to the experience when you see it, you feel it, you taste it and breathe in the sweet scent. You remember. And for a moment, you're lost in time. You reach out. You want it back. But you feel the bittersweet quality of memory, and you have to let it go...maybe with a smile...maybe not. And memories are a part of life. So you live with them, and treasure each one.

Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks. Avena

But all memories are not the happy ones. Sometimes they awaken a pain in your heart you thought was gone, never to return and torture you. Maybe you remember loss of a loved one, an opportunity you missed, a betrayal by a friend, words that cut deep to your soul, experiences you don't want to ever see or feel again. But you remember and you relive the whole episodes with the same tips and turns, the confusion, the unbelief, the heartfelt pain. You cringe and turn away. And the more you resist the memory, the stronger it gets. But memories are a part of life.

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. Lewis B. Smedes

Many people remember situations involving themselves and others that need forgiving. When this is accomplished, the memory remains, but the suffering is healed and gone. Years ago when I was working, every payday I put money away for my retirement fund. Then a couple years into retirement, I lost my money due to neglect by the person handling it. A bitter memory. Everyone makes mistakes, but if I'd paid off my house instead, things would have been different. And I might have more pleasant memories now. But peace comes with forgiveness.

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Dr. Seuss

There's a saying, "Life is for making memories." But as we move through life with one experience after another, we don't actively create situations that might later become pleasant memories. We don't even think about or fully realize what our experiences will look and feel like in a memory. So why not create happy situations today to bring happiness again tomorrow in the remembering. And what a better time to create good memories than in a holiday season. 

This is a time of year when people are rushing to get things done, with little attention on what they'll remember in the future. So pay attention to happiness that simply happens, and make some of it yourself. Enjoy the holiday season with family and friends, and maybe people you don't even know. Exchange lots of hugs, smile at strangers, play with children, sing out loud, skip up an aisle in the grocery store, call people by their names, share with your place of worship and charities. Be creative and do what makes you and others happy. This is a time to celebrate life and make memories you will cherish forever.

I wish you fun making your happy memories.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

How To Relieve Stress And Find Your Holiday Miracles

It's December, and holiday planning is everywhere. More cars are on the road with fewer places to park, stores are picking up traffic, you see more ads on TV, holiday trimmings are going up, and everyone's looking for just the right gift. In other words, everything's progressing into the usual chaotic rush that strikes this time every year. It can be a time of constant stress OR it can be a time of wonderment and miracles...if you make it so. And isn't it wonderful? Or is it?

Many people are so consumed with doing, they miss the fun of being. They try to move through each day on auto pilot without much thought to where they're going. It's easy to forget things, then have to back track to remedy the forgetting. And pleasant experiences can turn into frustation and stress. If you're someone who celebrates a holiday in December, you know what it's like scrambling to get through it with a sane mind and a strong body still intact. Maybe you feel the reward is worth the stress. But with too much stress, it's like walking through a beautiful garden and forgetting to smell the flowers.

In the midst of the clamor, this time of year can also tug at your heart strings with sweet memories of times past when you held a certain loved one, when family was intact, when life was slower and felt more stable, when so much was 'just different'. You feel the stress of knowing you can't go back and recapture what you had yesterday. And painful feelings prevent your full embrace of the season. But your memories and your love for people and things from the past will always be a part of you. And you don't have to give them up. You can keep them close in your heart, while you focus on expressing love in the present.

As you move through your busy days, be vigilant and watch for opportunities to replace stress with love and joy in each experience. Recently I was in a check-out line in a grocery store, and I spied a small boy around 4 or 5 years old leaning against his mother also in line. I waved to him, and he waved back. And for a while we had fun giggling and connecting with back and forth gestures. Words were not necessary. Then suddenly he left his mother's side, darted over to me, threw both arms around me, and held on tight with his little head nestled against me. I was absolutely awe-struck, and I knelt down and gave him a hug. He finally left with both parents. And I'll always cherish the joy that dear little boy brought to me.

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie 

Send your love over time and space to those you want to hug. They will receive the blessings that your love carries with it. And put your mind and heart in your gifts. No money for gifts? Love is the greatest gift you can give. I remember when a friend had no money to buy me a birthday present, so she cleaned my house. I'll never forget that gift or the precious angel who gave it.

Holiday seasons are rich with miracles if you know where to look. First hug the miracle that is yourself. Then reach out to others with your love. And watch and listen so miracles won't go unnoticed. Smile at strangers, and play with children. If you attend worship services, exchange hugs with others who need hugs as much as you do. And call people by their name. We like being validated. Keep your mind and heart open and receptive allowing your love to flow into this season. And you'll find your holiday miracles. Then you'll reach the finish line with a big grin, because  you can finally sit back, put your feet up, and say, "Ahh. Yes, it is wonderful."

I wish you a holiday filled with peace and love.