Saturday, August 30, 2014

Have An Amazing Long Weekend

I've been really good at eating healthy lately so on this long weekend, I'm going to splurge a little.  I'm treating myself to eating out at a few favorite places that are not so friendly to my waistline but the food sure tastes good.  Do you have any fun places you like to treat yourself too?   I'd love to hear of them in the comments.

I hope you get to enjoy your long weekend - and here are a few fun and inspiring links from around the web.

10 ways to eat brunch like a chef

This is a great quote to remember when we let the opinions of others get to us

"To Be Takei": the joyful, painful life of 'America's Gay Uncle'

Beware the human-like felines!

Never be too busy to enjoy your life

Scientific proof that you need a vacation right now

Where is your favorite place to get a sandwich?  This is mine

Staying present and grounded in the age of information overload

Tomorrow is never a promise so live full today

Are you spinning your wheels?

Celebrate YOU and change the world

Why having difficult conversations improves your life

And, here's a quote for your Labor Day weekend from Jim Rohn: "My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future."

Photo courtesy of Jacinta Moore/Flickr

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3 Truths About Spiritual Clumsiness

It seems to happen to me fairly regularly -  the wall sneaks out of nowhere and smacks into me; the chair scoots out and I trip over it; the table jumps up and tweaks my little toe.

I wish I could blame the furniture but - I am clumsy.  And it's been a hard-learned lesson at times to pay attention to my surroundings, especially when I am on the move.

I also know that it's part of my life and it's something that I'm sure I share with others.  I would bet that each of us has had our clumsy moments.

So, what became clear as I had that realization?  I can also be spiritually clumsy.  Sometimes, my spiritual blunders are small and other times the goof can be more serious.

Now that I've made that observation, I noticed that there are 3 clumsy missteps that stand out and here's my take-away from each of them.

Trust but be in expectancy:  With affirmative prayer, one of the key steps is to release the prayer to the Action of the Law.  Let it go and know that it's already done.  The idea is to trust that the Universe is bringing to you exactly what you need.  I assumed that meant blind trust and I don't need to do a thing.  It will all just automatically unfold.

But, I didn't realize that I would need to take steps toward what I want.  AND, I would have to remain expectant to my good.  I can't simply sit on the couch and wait for my perfect job to fall in my lap or the perfect partner to knock at my door or the money I need to appear in my bank account.

Pray, then take steps in the direction of what you want.  PLUS, have that feeling of excited expectancy that your desire is here, now, just waiting to be unwrapped.  That vibration of expectancy partnered with action will ALWAYS guide you toward the fulfillment of your vision.

It's OK to get angry:  Whenever I felt angry, I spent so much time trying to avoid feeling it.  I would stop and affirm positive things in my life.  I would make myself sit and be quiet until I could stop thinking about what had made me angry.  I would play music, sing out loud and try and avoid dealing with the anger.  The only thing that accomplished was an increase in the anger, a frustration over what to do and guilt that I felt anger in the first place.

I thought I was doing all the right things.  Instead, I learned that anger can bring gifts.  Sure, there is a dark side to anger that we need to be aware of so we don't become bitter.  But, anger can also connect us to our passion.  It can be the impetus we need to make a positive change.  In my own life, I eventually got so angry at how I was treated at work, I decided to take a sabbatical and it's been life-changing.

I now deal with anger completely different.  When I get angry, I admit to the feeling and take a closer look at why.  And it's usually in the "why" that I can find the light side to anger and deal with it.  It lets me just chill out and see if it's a situation that I need to clean up or something that is pushing me to become more.

Understand your judgements:  We are each unique individuals which means we will each have our own approach to doing things.  Sometimes, they might fit well and compliment the way we move through life.  Sometimes, they are complete polar opposites.

In my spiritual clumsiness, I spent so much time trying to convince others why MY way was the right one.  And, I would spend so much time controlling things and nitpicking the details, I would be exhausted.  But, mostly, I would make judgement calls - often not very nice ones either.

I eventually saw that my judgements were reflections of what was going on inside of me.  Knowing that let me see that there is no right way or wrong way, there is only the way we choose.  We are all different and it simply is what it is.

Ultimately, what I've recognized is that I am here to learn, to love, and to laugh.  So, while I still might trip into my spiritually clumsy moments, I can learn from them and find something in them that even makes me smile.

So, what are some spiritual blunders YOU'VE made?  And, what are you doing differently?

Today, I set the intention to learn from my spiritual clumsiness, knowing it can happen to anybody and that it's all part of my journey here at this time.

"One of the most freeing things we learn in life is that we don't have to like everyone, 
everyone doesn't have to like us, and it's perfectly OK."  

"The mind is a magnet and we attract that with which we identify the self. 
 In order to get the most out of life, we must learn consciously to change many of our habitual 
thought patterns.  This is not easy, for our old thought patterns cling to us with great tenacity
 but, being thought pattern, they can be reversed."  
~Ernest Holmes, The Art of Life

Affirmative Prayer:
In this moment, there is the gurgling of a fountain and the water splashing softly into the pool below.  It is in the joy and happiness of this simple moment that a knowing of Spirit is uncovered.  There is a Divine Wisdom that is awakened as the qualities of the One Life shine through even the simple things of the day.

These gifts of joy and happiness, wisdom and intelligence are expressed through me as Source, as God, seeks to expand within me and as me.  I am filled with energy and excitement as my soul connects to the One Life that guides my steps and makes my path forward clear.

Smiling at the realization that my life is an opportunity for expansion and growth, I welcome each lesson that lets me rise up to the person I am here to be.  In each minute, I hold on to the excited expectancy that the seeds I have planted with my thoughts will be revealed in Divine perfect timing.  I let go of any thought that feelings of anger are bad and instead, I seek the reason why I feel it, trusting that it is directing me toward my passion and purpose.  And, I affirm that everything in my experience of life today, and tomorrow, and the next day, are exactly as they should be, allowing me to be the unique expression of Spirit that I am and allowing others to be the unique expression of Spirit that they are.  It is all a beautiful mix of the Divine and I celebrate it.

I am so grateful for the clarity I receive as I live my life the best I know how.  I am thankful that my spiritual clumsiness has brought me to a place of greater learning so that I can move forward with more confidence.  And I am filled with gratitude that I can leave behind an old pattern and shift into a new design for the unfolding of my gifts and talents.

Grateful for my magnificent destiny, I simply release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I sit in expectancy of my good.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Billy Wilson/Flickr

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Have A Wonderful Weekend

It's my 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday and I'm looking forward to a nice dinner out somewhere.  Of course, I have no idea where I'd like to go AND I still don't have a card for Kevin (this one might work though, haha).  That means, I'll be doing some research and might even get brave enough to try and make a card for him.  Calling all my crafty friends for help!  Hope you enjoy your weekend and here are a few fun and inspiring posts from around the web....

"You're all my boys': Coach inspires team after Little League World Series loss

What Oprah Winfrey asks herself to make sure she's moving toward her goals

Keep this in mind the next time someone tells you to stop dreaming

I love 'easy' food and want to try and make this

This is the butter knife we never knew we needed

Why do I feel like I'd enjoy this movie?

6 ways to dazzle in conversations

The Pioneer Woman made me laugh

I'd like to hit the road in Victoria one day

Llamas in Montana?  I had no idea....

These kids won't soon forget their whale of a time

If you don't ask, you don't get

Life is flowing beautifully for me right now and I love this reminder from Iyanla Vanzant, "The only thing required for your enlightenment, for your blessings to flow, is for you to figure out that you don't have to know what is going on.  All you have to do is trust."

Photo courtesy of Lulu Lovering/Flickr

Friday, August 22, 2014

Are You Ready To Just Ask?

Here's what I know:  I'm getting better at paying attention to my feelings.

Here's what I'm still struggling with:  Learning how to communicate what I'm feeling.

I don't sweep my feelings under the rug and pretend.  After all, some feelings may point to an unmet need or desire.

But - when I try to explain how I feel to someone, I can get frustrated when they don't seem to get what I'm trying to tell them.  Can't they just read my mind?  Highly unlikely.

My challenge is that what I want to communicate is crystal clear in my head.  It's the words that actually come out of my mouth that pose the problem along with the tone I take.

From my perspective, I'm stating how I feel in a positive way.  From my husband's perspective (for example), I can come across as angry or demanding.  So, who is right?

My answer?  Both of us.  It can be so easy to fall into a trap of assumptions.  I assume that what I'm trying to say is clear and kind.  My husband assumes I must be having a bad day since I'm so short and snippy.

And the lesson in this for both of to ask.  It's so simple and yet, I still struggle.

If you think about it - I can't know what kind of day someone has had.  And they can't know mine.  But, if I detect a note in someone's tone or pick up on a word or two that might point to something beneath the surface, I can simply ask.

And - I can ask in a way that leaves them open to NOT wanting to discuss it at all.  It's their right to choose what they'd like to share.  It's my choice that if someone's communication style is not a fit for me that day, I can excuse myself from the conversation and come back to it another time.

I can also allow myself to be on the receiving end of the asking.  If my kids think I'm upset based on something I told them, I can ask why they think that (vs. immediately getting defensive or firing back a quick retort).

The beautiful part in all of this is that my children are starting to mirror back my behavior.  It turns out the age-old advice is true - we learn best from other's actions and not necessarily from their spoken word.

So, I'm practicing 'asking'.  I know the more I practice, the greater my skill at open and respectful communication becomes.  Along with that, I believe, my connection to others becomes deeper.  And that deep connection is something we are all deserving and worthy of.

So, how do YOU work on your communication skills?  Any great tips or tricks you'd like to share?

Today, I set the intention to practice 'asking' as I do my best to improve my communication with others.

"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good.  
It's the thing you do that makes you good." 

"Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, 
which makes it the architect of accomplishment."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Celebrating this beautiful late summer day, there is a deep knowing that there is only One Source of all that is.  It is bliss and joy, running through humankind just as a river runs from land to sea.  And it is a Divine Wisdom that is freedom from limitation and greatness beyond human belief.

Fully present to this greatness, I embrace the fact that this Divine Wisdom expresses as me, manifesting through me in all things seen and unseen.  I embody Spirit in all that I think, say and do.  And Spirit guides and directs my steps, leading me toward magnificence.

I am awake to all the possibilities for my life, and I welcome the sweetness that weaves itself through every moment as I am in community with others.  As feelings present themselves, I know that the right words and actions are always being spoken.  I let go of the worry that I may hurt someone's feelings with my words and I claim perfect calm and grace as I say what is in my heart.  I easily remember to let go of judgement and to ask questions that lead to improved communication.  And I affirm that the Source of Good is directing my path so that I am always in the right place at the right time, speaking with someone who may need me in that moment.

I give great thanks that the perfect words are always in my heart, waiting to be expressed.  I am filled with gratitude for the conviction of my faith that tells me I get better and better as I practice what's important to me.  And I am grateful for the potential in each person I meet to see their own possibilities for speaking their truth.

From a place of belief and trust, I release my word with confidence to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I delight in the amazing results.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Alice Popkorn/Flickr

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who Is Really In Control?

It's so easy to see success and to know that my life is thriving when I am working towards a goal.  But, now that I've completed the course work and the exams and the oral panels, and I am officially an RScP, I'm wondering what's next.

At times, its almost a little scary when I get up in the morning and think about my day.  I don't have to rush to be at the office.   I don't have to think about when I'm going to make it to the grocery store or get my laundry done or get the dog to the groomer.

My day is wide open to spend as I choose. <gulp>

Now, I LOVE that I get to choose what I will do each day.  But without a clear destination, I feel like I'm wandering and not really making a contribution to much of anything.

So, I'm back in a space of believing that I will be guided toward my next steps now that I've finished the last thing that called to me.  And, I'm trusting that the Universe is directing me to even more good than I can imagine.

As soon as those words leave my mouth - well, it makes my stomach hurt to say it out loud.  What am I thinking???  I'm the one in charge.  I'm supposed to be making things happen.  How do I take back the reins?

Since I'm feeling the need to do something, I decide to make a list.  I know that I have a unique gift and talent that is only mine to share.  For me, what works to uncover this gift is to start listing things that I'm good at.

Because -  I want to discover what I'm great at.  I'm no longer willing to settle for good - I want great.  And I believe and I trust that the Universe wants that for me too.

And as I hang on to that thought, I know I will attract the people and the situations that will move me forward.  And, I will know what I need to do each day.  And, even if it's something as small as pulling out my flute and practicing, I know THAT is what I am meant to be doing in that moment.

I believe and I trust - absolutely - that I will be directed toward being the great, unique, awesome, inspiring being that I was incarnated to be at this time.  I may not be able to see it nor am I able to say how, but I can feel that I'm moving in that direction.  And that feeling is where all the power of the Universe lays.

So, where are YOU trusting and believing that the Universe is bringing something good into your life today?

Today, I set the intention to trust that more good is available to me and I simply need to step into the feeling of it to claim it.

"If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less,
 but to dream more, to dream all the time."  

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself
 and not a second-rate version of someone else."  

Affirmative Prayer:
As the sun sets over the hills and the day comes to a close, there is the recognition of one Creative Power and Presence behind all that is.  It glows through the rays of the orange sky, revealing a beauty and joy that is everlasting and all-encompassing.

Standing in the final glow of the setting sun, a sense of immense happiness overtakes me as I feel this Divine Power and Presence surround me, knowing I am one with the One Perfect Life.  I am a unique, individualized expression of Spirit, a creative being in my own right.

Embracing the Infinite Power that resides within, I affirm that my thoughts are a powerful force, creating a life filled with harmony and grace.  Letting go of the thought that I have to do it all myself, I welcome the guidance of the Universe, trusting that more good is always available and I simply need to claim it.  I accept the answers that are made clear as I remain open to the indwelling Spirit, having faith that my intuition is always right on the mark.  And as I tap into my feelings, I claim the limitless abundance of the Universe that is as natural as the sunrise and the sunset.

I am so grateful for the unconditional love of Spirit and I delight in my uniqueness that allows for the full expression of Spirit to shine through.  I give thanks for the ease in which good flows into my life and I am filled with gratitude for the unquestionable blessings that pour themselves over me every day.

From this place of gratitude, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I am renewed.  I am restored.  I am blessed.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Edgar Barany/Flickr

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Have A Restful and Peace-filled Weekend

After being in San Diego last week, the only thing we didn't do was relax by the pool.  Our week was filled with hikes, a day at the beach and a San Diego Padres baseball game (they won!).  So, my Saturday morning will be spent by the pool with a good book.  I have the latest from Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) called The Silkworm.  I really enjoyed the first in the series, The Cuckoo's Calling, and I'm excited to dive back into the two main characters and watch their relationship develop.  What are you up to this weekend?  Whatever it is, I hope you have some time to relax and enjoy some down time.  And, here are a few fun and inspiring posts from around the web....

Why you should live life and don't waste a moment

3 lessons to learn from traveling solo

I forget it snows here!  A luxury lodge nestled in a spectacular New Zealand mountain backdrop

14 movie plots that would ruin your life

Activating your morning ~ING

A group of dedicated 5th graders in Brooklyn wrote a new children's book to save a very endangered species of Rhino

Who made that paintball?

5 basic skills of power, and how you can learn to use them

"The next time you see someone who is different than you, think about what their day might be like."

This is ridiculously cute!

A valiant attempt and I think this is a dance-off where everyone wins

What. Just. Happened.

7 ways to skyrocket your self-esteem

Why small steps will serve you well

My old hometown is one of the 27 perfect places to go camping

And here's something that I love to remember about living life: "As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."  ~Goethe

Photo courtesy of Julien Haler/Flickr

Friday, August 15, 2014

How Our Hands Reveal Our Character

I heard someone say recently that hands are the window to someone's character.  I never realized how personal and telling hands can be until I started noticing how other's use their hands.

I watch my daughter typing on her iPhone as she smiles and I can see how they allow her to share something that makes her happy.

I see a mother holding the hand of her child as they cross the street and I'm reminded of safety and security.

I notice the hands of a son pushing his grandfather in a wheelchair and I feel the support and strength as they pass by.

I watch the store clerk bag my groceries, using both hands to place each item in with practiced precision.

And - I watch as the cashier hands me my change, giving thanks for the abundance in my life.

I've also seen hands tensed in nervousness, wringing in distress and curled into fists with anger.  Our hands are a beautiful visual display of what we are truly feeling and, perhaps, they are a good indicator of what we're dealing with at a soul-level.

Our hands might also provide insight into our unique gifts and talents.  Many of us are seeking our true purpose for being here at this time.  Maybe if we tune into what we're doing with our hands - playing the piano, sewing a quilt, grooming a pet, even putting on make-up - we can catch a clue to what might feed us or inspire us.

Life is a balancing act of human acts and emotions, of opening up to the experience of ALL of it.  So, whether my hands are clenched in frustration or wide-open to receive a congratulatory hand-shake, I'm starting to tune into the clues from my hands so I can move through the experience that is my life in a way that is healthy, in a way that is loving and in a way that serves everyone, including me.

So, what are YOUR hands telling you?

Today, I set the intention to recognize my hands as an outlet to my soul, allowing for the full expression of emotion to shine through.

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can imagine."  

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, 
we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, 
have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds
 with a warm and tender hand."  

Affirmative Prayer:
In this moment of quiet and stillness, there is an Infinite and Eternal Presence that promises all things are working together for good.  It is a Divine Presence that is unconditional love and joy.  And it is a Creative Wisdom that is grace in every minute of the day.

Surrendering to the Now, I sit in the perfection of Spirit, allowing all that It is to wash over me.  I am the strength that moves mountains.  I am the peace that overcomes all sorrow.  And I open to the Divine Harmony that moves through me, free to express the Creative Brilliance that smolders like the embers of a flame seeking to ignite.

Claiming the magnificence of Source that surrounds me, I rise up to the possibilities for my life.  Looking at something as simple as my hands, I smile as I see how they show me my soul's desire.  I welcome the experience of cooking dinner, of playing with the dog, of brushing my hair, knowing they each have their own story to tell.  I let go of any thoughts of limitation and step up with conviction into my greatness.  Even in the simple, daily tasks, I see the exquisite perfection of doing exactly what I am meant to do, in exactly the right time.

I give great thanks for every experience in my life, knowing they each contain blessings.   I am grateful for the unfolding journey of my life that reveals the potential for something even better that I can imagine to emerge.  And I am thankful for each new day that is filled with opportunities for abundance and prosperity that are my Divine birthright.

From this place of thanksgiving and gratitude, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  My good is manifesting, right here and right now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of sciencesque/Flickr

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Have An Exquisite Weekend

I'm so excited!  We're off to San Diego for 5 nights and it should be perfect weather.  No June gloom and none of the recent heat and humidity we've had in California lately.  Kevin and I are definitely going to a Padres game and picking one nice restaurant to try.  Other than that, we're leaving it open to being completely spontaneous.  I hope you are leaving some room for spontaneity in your weekend too.  Have a good one and here are a few fun and inspiring posts from around the web....

The arrival of the $4,000 toothbrush

World's fastest trains

Kama, the Surfing Pig, rides waves like a pro

You must add this hike to your bucket list

A real-life fairytale

10 small steps to achieve your goals faster and have way more fun than the neighbors

34 ways to encourage positive thinking

The 101 best movie dance routines of the last 35 years

This hilarious 5-year-old "apparently" nailed his live television debut

It's been a week of the freedom to choose coupled with the discernment to know WHAT to choose so I leave you with this thought: "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."  ~J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter series (one of my all-time favorites).

Photo courtesy of Dmitry Lyakhov/Flickr

Friday, August 8, 2014

Creation, Reflection, Progress and Courage

Wednesday's The August Break photo prompt was "Reflection".  Of course, I went for the obvious and took a picture of my dog, Cody, and his reflection in the mirror.  The prompt also had me reflecting on life and particularly, how beautifully my life is flowing right now.

At the same time, in Creative Thought magazine, Rev. Veronica Wright talked about how we can make our life our business.  She recommended that "at regular intervals it is wise to look back at our lives to review, to evaluate, to see what we have accomplished, and how we have progressed."

She suggests that "sometimes, the quality of our life we want doesn't seem to show up, no matter how hard we work to 'earn' it.  This might be so because the Universe does not compensate us based upon the activity of our work, but on the activity of our thinking, on the activity of our consciousness."

If we make the time to do a review and reflect, we can then see the changes (or the lack of progress) we've made.  Then, it becomes a great opportunity for a course correction if we're not happy with what we see.

What I noticed during my reflection is that I didn't really have a super clear vision for how I want my life to look.  I did write a sort-of script for how my ideal morning would flow and I'm certain that has driven some of what I have manifested.  (I attribute that to Jennifer Grace's book, Directing Your Destiny).

I also noticed there are days that I still feel a little lost tho' and I blame that on the push to have a "9 to 5 job" and a "steady stream of income".  I'm often asked by others what I do for work and I haven't quite figured out the best answer to that question so it usually comes out as "um, ah, well, I'm on sabbatical right now."

And the conversation stops.

But - I'm not uncomfortable with their response....and that's completely different from how I would have felt a few years ago.  So how did I make the change?  I believe it's because I have been doing the internal work and purposefully setting intentions for what I'd like to create.

I have been taking control of my thinking and not settling for the old patterns stuck in my subconscious mind. 

So where did I see progress?

1. I no longer need the approval of other people.  I am the only one responsible for my life.  Keep in mind, that's different from the support of others - friends, family, a mentor - when you need a little help or just a sounding board.

However, I am really the only one who knows what fuels me, what makes me get out of bed in the morning, and what lets me sleep like a baby at night.  And staying true to that vision has let me release the need to feel guilty or ashamed when others don't agree with my choices.

2.  I'm allowing others to be themselves.  My biggest challenge, although I love my husband, is that there are certain things I'd like to change about him.  I have to believe we all feel that to a certain extent.  What I'm clear on now is the things I wanted to change are really issues inside of me that I wanted to improve on or didn't really like.

My husband was the perfect reflection back for the areas I needed to clean up in my life.  Now that I'm being mindful of those things, I no longer feel I need to change him.  I'm much more accepting and loving and, as a result, our relationship is thriving.

3.  I am more open to sharing my spirituality.  I have been fed and fueled by so many inspirational leaders - Louise Hay, Michael Bernard Beckwith, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer.  And on Sundays, it's easy to be in conversation about Spirit and a Divine Source and offering affirmative prayer.  It was much more challenging to weave it into my everyday conversations with friends and family.  I was hesitant and slightly embarrassed about how they would react.

But, as I see things like mindfulness become mainstream, and as I have become better at the language around spirituality that I'm comfortable with, the easier it is for me to lay it all out.  I don't have to preach, there's no one to 'save', and it's not about religious choices.   The conversation is about the wisdom of choice, my belief that thoughts become things, and that the Universe is always conspiring for our good.

I am getting better at understanding myself and accepting of myself.  When I am challenged, I no longer need to defend why I do things.  I don't lash out.  And I don't shout.  More and more, I flow through life with grace and ease and a sense of humor.

That's the quality of life I want to show up - every day!

So, if you reflected on the last year of your life, what are the changes you'd notice the most?

Today, I set the intention to make time to reflect on my life, noticing my progress and having courage to make adjustments as needed.

"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life.  I don't think 
that's what we're really seeking.  I think that what we're seeking is an experience
 of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have
 resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually
 feel the rapture of being alive."  

"Placing the blame or judgement on someone else leaves you powerless
 to change your experience; taking responsibility for your beliefs
 and judgements gives you the power to change them."  

Affirmative Prayer:
In the space between thoughts and the stillness, there is the One Divine Source.  It is a Creative Life that ripples through the water, clear and vibrant and always available.  It is an Infinite Allness of perfection and love, of harmony and grace.  It is a sacred shelter that provides safety and peace in any moment of the day.

Opening my heart to this shelter, I allow the Divine Creator to move within me and to express love and perfection through me.   In the sacred now, Divine Spirit has Its being as me, ever-expanding Its consciousness as the uniqueness that is Sandy.

With a sense of appreciation and awe, I embrace my alive-ness, celebrating my relationships and my finances and my health.  I release all doubt and affirm that my quality of life gets better and better each day as I keep my thoughts focused on what I want to create.   As I share this experience of humanity with others, the vibrant possibilities for life are reflected back in beautiful ways.  And I rejoice in the new beginnings that hold the potential for even greater good than I can imagine to be made manifest.  I am free to be who I am here to be, never separate from the Divine Source that says I am enough, just as I am.

Accepting the perfection of life as mine now, I am thankful for the blessings that rain down on me all the time.  In deepest gratitude, I see the possibilities unfolding as I stay the course.  And I give thanks that my good shows up so quickly and so effortlessly, just as I have envisioned.

Aligning with Spirit, I open at the top and release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  My highest and greatest good is here now.  I let it be so and live my life fully.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Scott Swigart/Flickr

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Does Trying Something New Scare You?

One of the things I really like about myself is that I am willing to dabble and explore new things.  A lot of people would feel intimidated or scared or exhausted to continually try new things but, for me, it's energizing.

I sometimes find it strange that that's the case because I'm such an introvert.  After a while of being in the surge of social energy, I start to find I need to recharge by some time spent alone.

Knowing all this, I recently stumbled on something new and fun - The August Break.  It's a project where you take a photo a day for the whole month of August.  The site that runs this provides a list of suggested topics for your pictures and then, you post them to Instagram or Flickr using #augustbreak2014.

Why am I doing this?  Because I believe we each have our own unique gifts and talents that we are here to share.  And, if I'm always trying new things, it might just turn into the opportunity that reveals a hidden strength and allows me to shine.

If I am always waiting around for the right time or the perfect conditions to get started, I could be waiting a LONG time.   I'm not sure who said it but I would agree - there is no time like the present.

What's even better is that my husband, Kevin, LOVES taking pictures and is really good at it.  And, I don't even hesitate.  I'm smart enough to ask for help and get a few useful tips and pointers when I have a person willing to be a teacher.

So, here's my key take-away.  When we make the space to start saying "Yes" to new opportunities and to release things that we may have tried and decided weren't quite the right fit, we move closer to living in the flow of using our gifts.

The beauty in that is, because we are are all one in sharing our human experience, not only does this choice impact ME, it could easily become the catalyst to impact someone I come into contact with in a way that allows THEM to shine.

When one is living authentically, we are all living authentically.  

And for that reason, I keep my eyes open and my radar tuned to the wisdom of my inner guidance.  This month, I'm taking pictures. Next month?  Only the Universe may be able to answer that one.

So, how do YOU feel about dabbling in new things?

Today, I set the intention to be led by my inner guidance, trying something new that inspires me so that I might step into an incredible life.

"Life cannot grow old.  Within us is the unborn possibility of limitless experience.  
Ours is the privilege of giving birth to it."  
~Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind

"The time has come for your to nourish your soul.  When was the last time
 that you swam naked?  Or sang in the shower?  Or blew bubbles?  
Or prayed really softly, not from need, but from love?  Has it been awhile?
  Then hurry.  Do it.  Hurry.  That is life that is going by...."  

Affirmative Prayer:
As the light of day breaks through the morning fog, there is a recognition of the One Divine Intelligence.  It is a power and strength that celebrates the effortless start of the day.  It is a love and a joy that smiles and says life is good.

This Divine Creative Intelligence surrounds me as grace as I allow It's expression through me.  I frolic and play with this Infinite Love, laughing as Life moves as me, diving into the ocean of possibilities.  In this moment, I see only joy and happiness, everywhere present and I call it all exquisitely perfect.

In this moment of sweet surrender to Spirit, I am led on an adventure of the heart and soul.  I let go of any fear to try something new and embrace the opportunity to swim naked or blow bubbles or sing in the shower.  I trust that the Universe is guiding me to new experiences for a beautiful, sacred reason and I simply need to claim that my ultimate best is right here, right now.  Welcoming the fun that happens easily as I remain open to receiving, I am inspired to chase my dreams as I participate in this game of life.  And I affirm that my life is incredible as I watch the transformation happening, all in Divine, perfect timing.

Living my life in this way, I am filled with gratitude for the presence of a Source that wants only my highest and best.  I am thankful that each day I thrive as I realize that I have everything that I need.  And I am grateful that my dreams are coming to fruition, always appearing in amazing and magnificent ways.

Trusting that the Universe is supporting me in all things, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it will not return to me void.  It is set in motion and already done in the One Mind.  All is perfect, whole and complete.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Go to Susannah Conway's site if you're interested in joining....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Have a Wonderful Weekend

Happy Weekend! We're actually in town this weekend, for a change, and will be off to a friend's house on Saturday for some really good Mexican food and fabulous margaritas.  They've told me they have a new game using Dominoes that they're going to teach us (both Kevin and I love any kind of board game, card game, dice game....).  I haven't played regular Dominoes since I was in middle school so this should be a blast from the past.  Hope you have a nice, cool weekend wherever you are and here are a few fun and inspiring posts from around the web....

Here's Ryan Lochte about to dive into a 10,000 calorie meal

Fitness Exec: why the latest trend in health is about mindfulness

Why you should always commit to a high dive jump

4 things you can learn from your child

14 inspirational books that can change your life

Here's how you can develop mental toughness

World's scariest hikes

How to fulfill your dreams; passion always trumps excuses

Are you letting thoughts of perfection hold you back from sharing your passion?

This mysterious ship may have been identified

Get this man an industrial size tub of anti-itch cream as soon as humanly possible

The 20 most creative Instagram accounts that will inspire you

Since I'm doing a little self-nurturing this weekend, I thought this quote from Brene Brown would be a good one to remember: "I now see how owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do." 

Photo courtesy of Paul Gibson/Flickr

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 Habits To Harness The Wisdom Within

I believe we are each called to be more in life.  To do more with what we have.  To serve our soul's purpose and uplift our lives and others.  The question is often "How"?  How do I do more?  What is my purpose here?  Where do I even start?

The answers are out there but we're so busy with the chatter of how WE think it should be, we forget to listen to the still, small voice within that wants our success. If you look at the people who are living a life of purpose, they each have cultivated certain characteristics that sometimes make it seem as if they are effortlessly floating through life while opportunities are thrown at their feet.

Knowing that those same opportunities are also available to me, here are ways that help me unlock the potential of my inner guidance system-- and as a result awaken to the possibilities within me for a life of magnificence.

1. Choose how you react to circumstances

We know WHAT we want and we know WHY we want it but we don't always get to choose HOW things happen in our lives.  And when a situation comes up like an illness or a bankruptcy or a divorce, we spiral down into fear and anger and react from that place.

Pay attention to that pattern and every time you want to run the other way, stop.  Instead of complaining, remind yourself that you are in this for a reason.  Find an affirmation that works to see the positive rather than the negative.  Then, make a choice to respond from a place of how this could turn out even better than you think possible.  Choose to see the good and your voice within will find more and more good for you to notice in everything.

2.  Be the awesomeness you are here to be

Ever have a great idea only to be told how it won't work, it can't work, it's impossible?  I don't know why but the ego side of our human existence likes to find the negative aspect in ideas and opportunities.  Maybe it's the flight or fight instinct that is inherent in us.  We can be resentful of others success and jealous when they make it really big.

If you can put that aside and instead bless other's success - really, truly pray for their highest and best - you'll start to get guidance on how YOU can move into possibilities for greatness.  What we see in others is also possible in us.  So, surround yourself with people you think are awesome and pretty soon, you'll become the awesomeness in your own world.

3.  You can only control yourself

Hand in hand with the above tip goes the fact that WE like to give unsolicited advice and assume we know to "fix" people and situations.  We are each our own co-creators with Spirit and no other person knows what our journey should entail except us and our higher power.  When I try to fix something I judge as "bad" or "wrong", I may be saving someone pain in the short-term, however, it's possible the Universe has provided this pain as a lesson.

Instead, stay on your own path.  Do what you feel called to do - give a compassionate ear to a friend who needs to share, ask how you can help someone out, volunteer at an organization that speaks to your heart.  Let go of the need to control everything and everyone and live life to YOUR best ability.  Then, your inner guidance will provide synchronicities that put you on the path where you can best serve.

4.  Go for the joy

Life may seem that it's going well.  We have a decent job that provides a decent income.  Our relationships are okay and we have the 4-bedroom house in the perfect, little community.  We dine, we entertain, we sleep....and so it goes, day after day.  Then, the Universe steps in with some event that shakes things up.

I've heard Michael Beckwith tell the story of how he had a beautiful spiritual counselor practice before he founded Agape.  His life was good and he was satisfied.  Then, he started getting headaches on a regular basis.  Listening to his body, he started visioning for the highest and best for his life.  He was then pulled by the vision to answer the call to be a minister.  Needless to say, after he pursued this path, his headaches disappeared.  He left behind "comfortable" and went for something that would fulfill his soul.

Trust that if change is happening, it's happening for a reason.  Look for the opportunity to move beyond mere contentment and instead reach for the joy.  You are here for a purpose; to share your unique talents and live a life of fulfillment.  When you go for the joy, your inner wisdom will guide you toward what Life is calling you to do.  Life is always conspiring for us and will rush up to meet us when we follow the bliss.

5.  Never stop dreaming

Albert Einstein said, "Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere."  Every day, spend time daydreaming about what you want your life to look like.  Quit telling yourself that you can't have what you wish for and start feeling what it would be like to actually have it.

What really matters in life is the journey, not the destination.  So keep your dreams front and center.  Your voice within is speaking to you.  Move confidently in the direction of that voice of Divine wisdom and your life is sure to thrive!

So, what do YOU do to hear that voice of inner wisdom?

Today, I set the intention to relax into the flow of life's answers, having faith that my inner wisdom is guiding me to success and a life of blessings.

"Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what's out there 
without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it."  

"When you have an emotional reaction to what you see, you are judging.  
That is your signal that you have an issue inside of yourself - with yourself 
not with the other person.  If you react to evil, look inside yourself for the very thing
 that so agitates you, and you will find it.  If it were not there, 
you would simply discern, act appropriately, and move on."  

Affirmative Prayer:
With each breathe, there is the sense of a Divine Presence that is ever evolving and becoming more of Itself.  It is a powerful, healing presence that is all Intelligence.  It is perfection and love, grace and joy.

Remaining still, I move my awareness to my connection with this Source of good.  I step into the light, knowing the Divine Creator is expressing as me - uniquely, exquisitely, magnificently.  Like a beautiful symphony, my life is orchestrated in perfect harmony with each note that is played.  And I am drawn to the crescendo and lifted higher in each moment as the music of my journey unfolds, always becoming more of who I am here to be.

As the strains of the music flood my consciousness, I am free to step into my power.  I choose good and go forward into my day, embracing the love that surrounds me.  I affirm that my inner wisdom is always available to guide me to success, to show me the way to a life filled with miracles and blessings.  I am taken over by the Creative Life that reveals my perfection and infuses my choices with clarity and grace.  I keep my eyes fixed on the bliss of the Divine within and move confidently in the direction of my joy.  I let go of anything and everything that might limit me and I step into my brilliance, rejoicing at the serendipity that fuels my prosperity.

I give great thanks for the joy that moves through me as my awesomeness is revealed.  And I am filled with gratitude for the things that make me laugh and smile as I know they are signs that I am on the right path.  I am thankful that Life has all the answers and I simply need to relax into the flow.

In faith and trust, I release my word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done and written on my soul.  The perfect demonstration is right here, right now.  And I let it be so.  And so it is.

Photo courtesy of Tomas Rawski/Flickr