STEPPING INTO OUR GREATNESS

It takes a lot of courage to step out of our comfort zones and into our greatness.  I am reminded of the quote by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?

Yesterday morning I went to this amazing yoga-dance party.  I knew that feelings of inadequacy were bound to pop up so I set the intention to remember that I was just like everyone else and to have fun.  I felt really happy when I saw two women that I knew.  One of the last songs inspired me to really let loose and I held nothing back.  It felt so good!  I think part of me longs for the attention, too.  Like, Hey, look at me!  Aren’t I cool?!

After the event we stood and talked about our intentions for the new year, our passions, our dreams and our challenges.  I notice the jealousy arising.  I was thinking they were younger than me and doing so much more than me.  One woman was working on an album and going on a world tour and the other was into acting and looking to take on bigger roles.  I think I literally felt myself shrinking but did my best to acknowledge their greatness.  When it was my turn to talk, I spoke with passion about the things I was doing and tried to make it sound as glorious as possible but somehow I still felt like I wasn’t measuring up to these two seemingly accomplished women.

Funny, how the ego will, at one minute be feeling bigger and better than everyone else and the next be feeling like a total shmuck.  When I compare myself to others, I inevitably end up feeling separate, isolated and fearful.  When I accept my imperfections and see the humanness of others, I feel connected and safe.  I see that we are really all the same–experiencing the same feelings and suffering in similar ways.

What I see now is that I was drawn towards these two women because we all were stepping out of our comfort zones and stepping into our greatness.  We had taken risks, we had felt the pain of loss AND we had reclaimed our power, rediscovered our creativity and reconnected with our intuition.  We were living with PURPOSE.

I used to just kind of drift along a little in life.  I had followed my intuition when making some big decisions for sure but many of my day to day choices were on automatic.  I don’t think I really believed that there was greatness in me.  Not in an egotistical “I’m-better-than-you” way but in the sense that I am a unique creation of life and I have something unique to offer this world.  No one else dances like me.  No one else sings like me.  No one else writes like me.  I am a one-of-a-kind.  I have a unique combination of special talents and gifts that NO ONE ELSE has.  My self-expression is different from everyone else on this planet!

I truly believe that we are all here on this earth to express our unique SELVES to the fullest!  We are not here to play it small and safe.  We are here to LIVE LARGE!

So these limiting beliefs of mine keep popping up but I do believe they are loosing their power.  It’s weird that some of them can feel really true though.  Damn, they can be tenacious!  It’s like a broken record playing over and over–You’re not as good as they are.  You’ll never catch up.  You’re not healthy enough, energetic enough, strong enough, creative enough, confident enough, capable enough, blah, blah, blah…

So I ask myself, what is stopping me from completely letting go of these limiting beliefs?  Even though they make me feel bad about myself there is something oddly comforting about sticking to what I know.   It seems the more I step out and take risks the more that old record plays.  You can’t really do that!  You really think you are going to make a living being a Life Coach, a writer and a motivational speaker?

I think people who step into their greatness are often feeling anxious and uncomfortable because so much of the time, they are going out into unchartered territory.  The ego senses danger and no doubt puts out it’s alerts!  Danger ahead!  Don’t go there!  Perhaps the trick is to get used to this feeling;  this feeling of uncertainty and possible failure.  Maybe the trick is to get comfortable in this gap of discomfort.  When we begin to leave the person we once were behind and move ahead into unknown areas, it’s scary.  Not only because of the uncertainty of where we are going but the uncertainty of WHO we will become.

Things in nature, do this quite naturally–Imagine a caterpillar that becomes a butterfly or a snake that sheds it’s skin over and over, continually becoming something new.   For humans, our identities become quite sticky.  We like to hold onto our familiar ways of being.  We like to be liked and accepted by our tribe.  We like the tried and true.

But have our old ways REALLY been effective?  This is where the deep exploration is.  We need to dig deep and uncover the ways that these beliefs have served us, even if it’s in a dysfunctional way.  Has believing these beliefs gotten us sympathy, attention, acceptance or kept us from the pain of failure?   Or are we waiting until we are more perfect to make our move?  Are we thinking that because we have screwed up in the past that we are bound to screw up again?

I heard a poem yesterday:  Why Wait For Your Awakening, by Danna Faulds

Why wait for your awakening?

The moment your eyes are open, seize the day.

Would you hold back when the Beloved beckons?

Would you deliver your litany of sins like a child’s collection of sea shells, prized and labeled?

“No, I can’t step across the threshold,” you say, eyes downcast.

“I’m not worthy” I’m afraid, and my motives aren’t pure.

I’m not perfect, and surely I haven’t practiced nearly enough.

My meditation isn’t deep, and my prayers are sometimes insincere.

I still chew my fingernails, and the refrigerator isn’t clean.

“Do you value your reasons for staying small more than the light shining through the open door?

Forgive yourself.

Now is the only time you have to be whole.

Now is the sole moment that exists to live in the light of your true Self.
Perfection is not a prerequisite for anything but pain.

Please, oh please, don’t continue to believe in your disbelief.

This is the day of your awakening

Do yourself a huge favour today and acknowledge the amazing and great being you already are!  Make a list of all the things you like about yourself as you are now.  Make a list of all the things you have done that you are proud of, big or small.  Make a list of the ways that you are unique and and the special talents and gifts you have, even if you think they’re silly.  Make a list of all of the skillful choices you’ve made.

So often our mind will focus on all of our flaws, the “mistakes” we’ve made and all the ways in which we have “failed”.  We need to intentionally bring our attention to the wholesome qualities we have, to the victories we have had, to the goals we have reached.

And not only can we do this for ourselves, but we can do it for others, too.  Acknowledging your friends, family and loved ones for their special qualities and accomplishments is a powerful thing!  It builds connection.  It helps people to feel SEEN which is such a basic human need.  It’s just like saying, I see you.  I see who you are.  I see your efforts.  I see how far you’ve come.  I see where you’re going.  I see what you’re passionate about.  I see what makes you come alive!

You don’t need to do or be anything more than you already are.  Your GREATNESS exists right here, right now!  Once you see that you are already enough, the fear, the disconnection and the striving for perfection can end and you can simply be free to be authentically YOU!  Forgive yourself.  Release the past.  Wake up and step into your full power and greatness today!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BE FRIENDLY WITH EVERYTHING!

We all have an inner critic.  It sometimes goes something like–You’re not smart enough.  You’re not capable enough.  You’re not good enough.  You should be stronger.  You should be thinner.  You should be more successful.  It’s says–Don’t do that!  It could be dangerous.  Oh, you shouldn’t do that.  You could fail.   I can’t believe you made that stupid mistake!  You are such an idiot!

Believe it or not, this voice in our heads, which is often labelled as our ego, has good intentions.  It wants to keep us safe.  It wants to protect us.  It want to make sure we don’t get hurt.  It wants to make sure we don’t feel the pain of rejection and failure.   But when we are not aware of it, it can rule our lives, keeping us small;  keeping us from being as magnificent as we really are.

My inner critic has been working extra hard lately.  It has been telling me that I’m not capable enough to make it on my own;  that I can’t handle it.  It tells me I’m not smart enough, not tough enough.  It tells me that I’ll never really make my reach my goals.  It tells me that I can’t.  It says–Who do you think you are, dreaming big!?  You’re a loser and you’ll always be a loser.  You’ll never succeed.  –Sounds extremely harsh, doesn’t it.    When it was just in my head, it still had power over me.  If felt like they were true statements.

So for a while now, I have been talking to my inner child, giving it attention, comfort, love, empathy and compassion.  It’s the part of me that it sometimes crying out–I’m scared!  I feel sad and confused.  I feel lost!  I don’t know what to do next?  Help me!–I talk to her from my wise and compassion self.  I don’t just reassure her that everything will be ok but I try to really listen to see what she is feeling and needing.

Yes, I feel a bit like a crazy person these days, talking to myself.  But it has brought me so much healing that I feel I need to pass it on.  The real breakthrough came when I had the critic talk and inner child have a conversation and then have the compassion one talk to both.  This is when I really let it rip!  Although, I was kind of aware of the negativity in my head, I had never really allowed the critic to speak.  And when I gave it permission–Whoo!  It was some pretty dark stuff.  Is this really what’s in my head–Yikes!  I would never talk that way to anyone else!

Before we go on, I want to tell you that this is perfectly normal!  This is actually the way our mind works.  We sway towards negative thinking in order to protect ourselves from perceived dangers.  We shame ourselves to keep us safe!  Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it?  But take public speaking for example.  Our critic comes out in full force saying–You can’t do that!  You’ll make a fool of yourself.  You’ll forget what to say.  Everyone will see that you’re a fraud!  You will be totally humiliated.–Yup, that’s why public speaking is such a huge fear for us.  Take another example–going to the dentist.  I don’t know what comes up for you but for me it’s fear of pain, shame, fear of lack of control, fear of the unknown.  (I just had a gum graft done–perhaps I’ll tell you in the next post!)

When we are feeling some strong emotion like fear, shame, anger, disgust, we can be sure that the critic is there, filling our heads with limiting beliefs about ourselves (or cutting down someone else to make us feel better).

So back to the conversations between my critic, inner child and compassionate self.  I was amazed at how this brought me inner peace!  It was like ending a war.  Seriously.  It was like the compassion self was mediating the other two.  Pretty wild, right?!  The compassionate self acknowledged what the critic was thinking and feeling and also empathized with the inner child.  Then it reasoned with the critic, giving it evidence to the contrary, showing it how much I have changed.

I realized at an even more profound level what healing really meant.  I was an integration of all the parts of me.  It was loving and accepting it all.  It was bringing wholeness to my being.  It was being friendly to everything!!  What a revelation!

I find myself saying as I often do–Why can’t children be learning THIS in school?!  Why aren’t more adults learning this and sharing this?  Imagine a world where people had peace within themselves!  Outer peace would be the beautiful result!

I was just watching a Lisa Nichols interview and she had a great idea for getting in touch with our limiting beliefs, the lies we tell ourselves.  She said, write down all of your lies in pencil, leaving space to write underneath each one.  Then under each lie, write the TRUTH in red (or I suppose any bright colour!)  and say them together each day.  Finally, when the truth feels true, erase the lies.  Brilliant, I thought.

Another wonderful technique I have heard comes from Tara Brach.  She says if you are in suffering (confusion, worry, resentment), ask yourself–What am I believing?  Investigate and find out what limiting belief is there.  Do some digging.  Bring some compassion to it.  You can also ask–What would my life be like if I didn’t have this belief?  Who would I be without it?  Then realize that it is not you.  Release your identification with it.

Byron Katie has an amazing method that has really worked well for me.  Simply write down the judgements you have about another person.  Change it into a “should” statement.  For example, My partner is always late! –My partner should always be on time.  Then ask yourself–Is it true?  Is it true that your partner is always on time–NO!  The reality shows you that it is not the case…Your partner is often late.  (noticed I changed “always” to “often”.  Words like “should”, “always” and “never” indicate a judgment)  Now you know the truth and you can take action!  How freeing is that?!

In my Life Coach course we learned a way to delve into limiting beliefs, too.  Basically, you write (or say) a sentence that expresses your strong emotion about something.  For instance, I was really angry when my partner showed up late for dinner.  Then find out more about the anger:  I was angry because I had to wait and I wasn’t sure if he was going to show up.  Next uncover what that means for you:   It means that he doesn’t really care and doesn’t respect me.  And you can continue asking what that means to you until you get to the root belief.

Be gentle with your ego critic.  It is really doing the best it can to keep you safe and insecure.  Talk to it.  Let it know that it’s ok to make mistakes;  it’s ok to “fail” and let it know that you will get up again.  Show it all the times you have been resilient and strong.  I do believe that the voices will dissipate and lose it’s power over you.  It’ll certainly come up again.  But you will be prepared!  You will be ready with your tools!

Also, let your critic know that it’s ok to SUCCEED!   That you will be able to handle that, too!  We are not here on this planet to play it small and safe.  We are here to THRIVE–to live abundant, joyful, uninhibited lives!!!  I truly believe this and I will make it my mission to share this message with the world–There is nothing wrong with you.  You are absolutely okay!  You are enough!  Allow yourself to SHINE and be the RADIANT, POWERFUL being that you are!!  RISE UP!  See that you can be so much more.  Believe in POSSIBILITIES and MIRACLES!!

 

 

 

 

 

Compassion & Empowerment

I want to speak what is true for me.  I want to say what I am really experiencing.  I want to express myself fully and freely, no holding back.  I don’t want to create a drama or wallow self-pity nor do I want to wear the mask of, “I’m fine!  I’ve got it all under control.”  This morning in my bath, I reflected on a conversation that I had with  woman from my meditation group and she commented on how exciting it must be for me.  I was like “yeah, it’s so exciting”  but wasn’t really feeling that way.  Yes, sometimes I am feeling excited, sometimes, I am feeling inspired, sometimes deeply connected, sometimes joyous and I’m also sometimes feeling sad, scared, lonely and hopeless.  I just don’t want to pretend anymore.  This is the full range of what it means to be human and it’s ALL ok.

Leaving Shogo was the hardest decision I have made in my life.  It has been incredibly painful to separate from someone I truly love and spent 14 years of my life with.  We had so many great times together in Japan.  In Canada, things were just falling apart and I couldn’t deny the lack of connection I was feeling with him anymore.  I needed to leave for the sake of my own mental and emotional well-being.  On the last night of my personal retreat, I had a dream and it said, NOW!  I knew that I needed to go straight from the airport to my friend’s place.

For the first couple of weeks after going to stay at my friend’s house, I guess I was feeling like a powerful woman, like “Yeah, aren’t I strong and independent!”  Then I went through a period of regret and panic where I thought, “What have I done?  I’ve made a mistake! This is all wrong!!!  I want Shogo back!”

Then the anxiety started to set in–tense neck and shoulders, mind racing.  It was hard getting myself calm enough to get out of bed in the morning.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and had trouble focusing on what my friend was cheerfully saying at 8am.  She had been so generous and kind and yet I knew I needed to look after ME.  I set boundaries–telling her I didn’t want to talk in the morning.  I put in my earbuds and listened to guided meditations or soothing music and mantras.  I started talking to a picture of myself as a 5-year-old.  Instead of trying to make the anxiety go away, I would ask her how she was, I would ask her what she was afraid of and tell her it was okay to be scared.  There was some relief.

For a while, I frantically went about my mornings looking for a job and place to stay.  I must have sent out thirty emails and messages to people on craigslist offering a room.   I thought I had finally found a place–the cost was low, it was pretty near my work and the room was big and bright.  On paper, it sounded pretty good.  But when I met the landlord I felt completely turned off and scared.  I literally wanted to run out of the house!  When I got home, I convinced myself that I was overreacting and decided to take it.  I went back and put down the deposit.  The next morning when I woke up, I knew without a doubt that I had made a mistake.  My intuition was shouting NO!  And so, I called him and turned it down, without guilt.  A week later, I saw the ad for a Bachelor Suite in the same building my friend was living!  I couldn’t believe it.  I went down right away to put in my application.  When I received the phone call that I had got the place, I was overjoyed and slightly in disbelief.  I went back to put down the deposit and told them when I was moving in.  This was really happening.  It was a huge validation of my intuition.  I was learning to trust myself.

For the rest of the month I went back and forth, going to our old apartment to sort, pack, get rid of stuff and clean.  I did it in manageable short chunks powered by Kombucha tea!  There were moments when I felt so competent and capable and surprised at myself for really handling this all.  I was so excited on moving day! I was so looking forward to having my own place and to not have to worry about listening to other people talk to me.   I needed my space so I could think, reflect, heal and figure out my life!  The moving day went so well and I was on a bit of an adrenaline high, I think.

For the first week, I eagerly went about setting up my place and getting some of the things I needed.  I had my profile up on a couple of nanny sites and I continued to look for work.  One day, I got a message from someone who said they needed a nanny from 10am-4pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday to care for their twins.  It would pay $25 bucks an hour.  WOW!  I was so excited!  I really thought that I had manifested my perfect job just I had manifested my perfect apartment.  Everything really was coming together!  It was working out!  Yay!  I sent my resume and arranged when to start.  Then came the message from the site that this person was a scammer.  I was completely deflated.  I felt so ashamed and stupid.  How could I have not known this was a scam?!  For a day or two, I felt horrible.  It fed my story that I wasn’t smart enough to make it on my own.  But then I thought, ok, this is a lesson.  I need to be more careful when dealing with people online.  I need to protect myself and my identity.  Funnily enough, I realized I was having a bit of an identity crisis.  Who was I without Shogo?  It felt so sadly strange to not have him by my side anymore.  It wasn’t Donna & Shogo anymore.  It was just me. There was a constant nagging feeling like something was missing.

One of the first weekends after moving, I went to a painting workshop that was being offered for free.  The theme was happiness and we painted our image of what happiness was and then wrote letters to “happiness” to ask it questions.  It was exactly what I needed.  I felt so grateful and thanked the woman who held it.  Later I emailed her and she suggested that we go for tea sometime.  Wow!  I had just moved into the area and already I had made a connection with someone who lived just blocks away.  And as it turned out, she was also dealing with grief.  It seemed that I was being supported through all of this.  Thank you, universe!!

The next couple of weeks, were a little tough.  I felt sad and unmotivated.  I felt very alone.  Even my friend who lives in the building had not come by say hello.  I as beginning to wonder if I was expecting too much from people.  I knew they had there own struggles to face.  Yes, it was sad, yes it was tough.  But I wasn’t just a little sad, I was grieving a significant loss;  the death of a relationship.  Some days it was hard getting myself out of bed.  I felt overwhelmed simply with going to the grocery store and cooking myself something to eat.  One morning, I wondered if I should quit my nanny jobs, fearing that I couldn’t handle it.  But that day, I got myself going and caught the bus as usual.  As I looked for a seat, a woman said, “Donna!”  It was another mother from the same school the kids I look after go to.  We sat and chatted and she asked me why I had moved.  I explained that I had left my husband.  She told me her story and said that she had divorced her husband due to his addiction problems.  She had gone to Alanon as well.  She seemed to really get it.  I thought, wow, this cannot just be a coincidence.  She said, “You are not alone.”  And I think that’s exactly what I needed to hear.

Some days I felt a wave of hopelessness and went about my day in a slightly dissociated, state.  I would forget things.  My brain felt like it wasn’t working properly. Kind of in shock, I think.   One Saturday morning, I got up, determined to go to the Laughter Yoga session.  As I walked I cried, thinking of the impermanence of everything.  Nothing lasts.  “What’s the point?”  I thought.  It was over, like it had never really happened.  I realized that the only way to deal with the pain was to move through it.  I could only think, “Let this serve Awakening.”  I went to the Laughter Yoga and soon after letting the laughs come out, I started feeling more present and open.  I sensed that allowing myself to laugh was bringing some deep healing to my heart.

For the rest of November, I put away my to-do lists and just focused on a few things to do each day, giving myself time to reflect and cry and heal.  I continued my inner child work, speaking to little Donna;  comforting her, letting her feel whatever she felt, letting her know that she was okay.  I also wrote letters to myself from my higher self, offering the compassion I was wanting.  I was realizing that I could take care of myself emotionally, that I didn’t need to depend on others to empathize or understand.  I could do that for myself.  I also realized, though, that I wanted to develop deeper kinds of connections with people;  relationships built on vulnerability, openness, empathy and compassion.

My Life Coach Course provided me with that.  Not only was I learning how to be a coach but I was learning what it was like from a client’s point of view to be going through a major life transition and transformation.  What I was experiencing would help me to understand my clients down the road.  I was learning a new way of relating to people.  Not judging, advice-giving, minimizing feelings or reassuring but really trying to put myself into someone else’s shoes and imagine what it was like being them.   Each week,  I listened and I shared.  I grew and expanded.  Everything about it felt right.  Everything I was learning related what I had been contemplating for the last few years.  I knew this is what I wanted to do, what I would be great at doing and what would fill me up.  I am so grateful to ME for making the choice to take the course at the time I did and so grateful for my classmates who are on this journey as well.

I found an Alanon group just a couple of blocks from my house.  Again, I felt so grateful!  It was a very small group;  only 6 or 7 people showed up.  But it was a room where I could be real;  where I could speak in an authentic way;  where I could let down the mask and just be myself and “tell it like it is”.  It was an anchor I knew I could count on every Friday night.

Other feelings that were showing up were inadequacy and shame.  Particularly at work, I sometimes felt this sense that I just wasn’t doing it right, that I somehow was lacking the capability that other people had.  When I did well, it seemed to bolster my self-worth but when I felt like I had made a mistake, my self-worth plummeted.  How did people work full time jobs?!  I often asked myself.  How did they do it?  How did they handle it all while appearing so confident?  Was there something fundamentally wrong with me?  It was taking me half the day just to get going sometimes.  Or was this just part of the story I told myself?  What was I really scared of?  What was holding me back?  I continue to dig to unearth my fears, my comfort with mediocracy.

I began doing affirmations more.  While I was walking or working out I said to myself or out loud, “I am healthy.  I am strong.  I am enough.  I am powerful.  I am capable.  I trust myself.  I trust my judgement.  Life is getting easier.  I am always succeeding.  I release anything that no longer serves me.  I invite joy into my life.  I am a beneficial presence on this planet.”  Most times, after one of my physical/mental workouts, I feel amazing, like I can take on the world!

I also have been listening to guided meditations before I go to sleep.  It seems I always find just the right one to make me feel better.  I feel so grateful for the people who have uploaded these because they have made such a difference in my life.  There are guided meditations on so many things–healing, self-love, being present, bringing compassion to feelings like anxiety.  These have been treasures to me.

I’m starting to focus on abundance.  I”ve started to study the law of attraction more. I’ve been watching Lisa Nichols.   I started to focus my mind on what I wanted.  I want to have all the energy and stamina I need to support myself financially, emotionally and spiritually.  I want to bounce out of bed, excited and eager to start my day!  I want to earn a good living for myself doing what I love AND have time for self-care and relationship building.  I want to feel enthusiastic, passionate and joyous.  I want to feel confident and boldly follow my dreams!!!  I want to live life FULL-ON!!

It’s scary stepping out of the old stories.  It’s scary to leave the “small me” behind and begin to live from a larger sense of Self.  I feel my compassion growing.  I feel my sense of purpose getting stronger and clearer.  I want to help heal this world.  There is suffering and I want to help ease the suffering that we, as humans, face every day.  I mean the suffering in our minds–the fear, the hate, the jealousy, the judgement, the shame, the guilt, the despair, the resentment, the resistance.  To me, a spiritual path is not about angels or soul mates it’s about EVOLVING.  It’s about LETTING GO.  It’s about empowering myself to choose my own thoughts and to RESPOND to life rather than live in a reactive way–blaming, complaining.  It’s about having the courage to take responsibility for my life in every way and to have for compassion for myself when I am suffering.

I want children to know that they are okay just the way they are, that they are enough, that they are worthy and that whatever they are feeling is perfectly normal.  That they don’t have to “be good” to be accepted.  Working with children has been such an incredible healing experience for me.  Seeing the innate goodness of children has enabled me to see my own Buddha nature.

With one family, I see how each child is already suffering.  The older child reacts to her brother’s teasing.  The youngest child gets upset when he loses at something.  The middle child worries when she needs to make a choice or do something new.  (And the second arrow of shame comes when they are told they are overreacting.)  I could so identify with the middle child and her anxiety rooted in her desire to do things perfectly.  Spending time with her helped me to have more compassion and understanding for myself.

I aim to have compassion and acceptance of myself and all of my emotions, to stop the labelling of “good” and “bad”, to not take things personally and to reduce the victim language I use like–He made me feel angry!  Because another person’s behaviour really isn’t about me at all.  They are busy trying to protect themselves just as I am!  What a crazy world we live in!

I know always have a CHOICE!  I have a choice about what I think, how I feel and how I  respond.  That being said, I am also human which means my brain is wired to judge and find error.   I have the inner critic, as we all do, that is constantly on the look out for anything that seems like it could be dangerous.  It does this to protect me, but in the mean time I hear things like–You screwed up again!  You should’ve done A instead of B.  You’re a failure.  You shouldn’t try that, you’ll make a fool out of yourself–Or I am judging my loved ones, “He shouldn’t be so critical.  Oh, my God, how can she be so annoying!  Why can’t he just listen to me!  If only she would be more empathetic.”

In our culture, we are taught to be hard on ourselves and to be hard on each other.  We think if we aren’t, we’ll be lazy and get nothing done.   In my experience, the more compassion I bring to myself, the more self-worth and self-love I have.  And the more I love and value myself, the more I have to GIVE and the more I WANT to give!!  I realize that I am POWERFUL and that in itself is frightening.  I DO have an effect on the people who cross my path.  I do have an influence in this world.  When I am kind towards myself, I naturally want to offer that kindness to others.

I talked to a person on the street today who was playing her violin in trying to get money.  She said she had lost her home and had been kicked out of her car.  Homeless people litter the streets here in downtown Vancouver.  I sometimes think to myself, “What the heck is wrong with this city?!  Why isn’t anyone helping these people to get a home and get employed?”  But this is the reality.  I want to find a way to bring about some change… I don’t know what I can do yet but I will keep my mind open for answers.

I did my laundry today and as I was heading down to the laundry room I was thinking that I would like someone to meditate with.  I thought of putting up a notice.  A woman was in there folding her clothes and she said hello.  As I was about to leave, I asked, “Do you meditate?”  and she said “yes, a little, why?”  And I explained to her that I was looking for someone to join me in meditation.  She was open to the idea and as it turns out she lives on the same floor as me.  I will talk with her more Monday morning!

These amazing things keep happening!  I seem to keep meeting the people I need to meet at the exact right time.  I do believe that I am exactly where I need to be.  I will likely fall into suffering again and again.  I will miss Shogo, I will worry, I will doubt myself, I will lose motivation, I will tell my old stories of how I’m not capable/strong enough. AND I will keep bringing myself back to my breath, to what is true, to what is really going on. That is the endless practice of mindful living.  That is why I meditate.  So I can remember to be present.  So I can connect to myself.  So I can hear that voice of inner wisdom underneath all the other chatter.

I will live with gratitude and compassion.  I will act with integrity.  I will keep waking up, remembering what is really important to me.  I will empower myself and others as often as possible.  I will be vulnerable and open-hearted.  I will welcome abundance into my life knowing that I am worthy!!  And I will write, expressing my uniqueness and my truth!!!

 

Thank you for listening!

 

Namaste!!