Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How to Start the Happiness Process

“"I believe that when you stop renewing and are no longer open to change and the possibilities that continually unfold, you stop being alive and are just getting through the years. Transformation doesn't happen unless you're willing: It's your choice."

— Oprah Winfrey

Earlier this week, I did a guided meditation by don Miguel Ruiz, famed author of “The Four Agreements”. Prior to the meditation, he mentioned that he had added a Fifth Agreement to his life plan. The Fifth Agreement states, “Be skeptical, but learn to listen.”

I remember when I was in the midst of fighting anorexia. Many family members, therapists, friends had urged me to start eating, get out of bed, and live. The truth was I saw no point. I was not taking in what they had to say about me (i.e., you are smart, pretty, funny, etc) and LISTENING. They were all happy and busy with their own lives and I felt nothing. I felt that I added no value to the world around me. I was stuck. I was mostly ungrateful to the gift of life.

Slowly but surely, I started to become more WILLING to change my life. That only happened through learning to forgive myself for things that happened in the past, forgive others and gratitude. My girls were born and I saw their joy for life, unconditional love, and smiles that filled a room. When I started to role model their attitudes about their young lives, mine start to shift.

Have you ever noticed a baby’s willingness to try new things?

They are little explorers getting into drawers, flipping light switches, new foods (Well, some! ha!), climbing stairs, learning to walk, learning to ride a bike, and the list goes on. These lively young souls learn something new each day and take chances one small shift at a time.

For most adults, we stop renewing, learning and we get in our own way! And most likely this is because we forgot to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and forgive others for theirs along the way.

An exercise I do time and time again when I am feeling stuck, icky and fading into a bad mood, since My Wide Awakening, is a 5 minute meditation/reflection:

1. Go to a peaceful, serene spot that you feel most calm in. It must be quiet and free of clutter.

2. Close your eyes and get into a comfortable seated position. Take 6 deep breaths with a count of 6 seconds on the inhale through the nose and 4 seconds on the exhale out of the mouth. Deep breathing for a total of a minute should help you quiet the mind and calm the body.

3. Focus on who/what you need to forgive. It can be yourself or a loved one. It can be an event, argument, illness, loss, etc. What is ailing you presently? What are you holding onto? What did that person say to you that you just can’t seem to get over/forgive? Send them love and compassion and most of all, forgiveness. They need your love more than anyone. Surrender it and watch it pass in front of you and out into the Universe. Be free.

4. Take a big deep breath. 6 count inhale through the nose and 4 count exhale out of mouth. Let it go.

5. After you have completed the Forgiveness Meditation, I want you to let you mind take you to all the wonderful things you HAVE RIGHT NOW in your life. Speak softly to yourself and reflect on the abundance you have in your life at this present moment. Make a mental list of all the things/people you are grateful for.

6. Take a big deep breath. 6 count inhale through the nose and 4 count exhale out of mouth. AND SMILE.

Forgiveness and Gratitude unlock the keys to a happier healthy life. When you are stuck in resentment, depression and despair, you lose sight of the wonderful things around you and are not willing to listen, to change, to grow, to heal.

Keep practicing this simple meditation. Give yourself just five minutes of self-love a day.

Once you are free of resentment, you can unlock the power of gratitude. The willingness to listen to yourself and others becomes easier. Now, your BEST SELF can shine forward and happiness arrives. Enjoy today!

Love & Light,


Sunday, January 6, 2013

An Epiphany

The Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th every year by the Catholic Church. It just so happened this year it fell on a Sunday coinciding with the Sabbath. My post today will not bear a religious tone, but a spiritual one so hang on... :)

The Epiphany is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. The people of Bethlehem realized (dawned, believed, aha-moment, etc.) that God has come in the form of a man and therefore had an EPIPHANY they were in the PHYSICAL presence of God.

Have you ever had an epiphany? I bet you have. Oprah calls them “a-ha” moments. I call them “your wide awakenings”! (HA, bet you couldn’t have guessed that one!?!) I have had quite a few. Here is my definition:

Your Wide Awakening: (n.); an extended moment in time where you realize that you have LIGHT, you must extend your LIGHT to the World, and you are in the presence of Light (Universe). Feels like a big burst of self-love that starts a fire inside of you to surrender, forgive, and to live your life with passion and purpose! To choose love over fear.

Why else would we be here?

There is something out there that is bigger than us. Universe, Source, Buddha, God, Spirit, Aura, Self, etc. - call it what feels most comfortable to you. This is where your Faith comes in and why its so important.

I watched my 7 year old have an Epiphany (Wide Awakening) in Church this morning. How magical!

The priest was visiting from out of town. I have been disenchanted by the homilies as of late at Church because they are mostly uninspiring. I feel worse about my sins and need the forgiveness of God after I leave. Instead, I want to shout “Amen!” like I see during homilies/sermons at some other churches. I want to sing the praises of this wonderful Life and feel inspired, blessed, and grateful for God’s blessings that He has bestowed upon me. I want to get energized, restored, renewed to take on the upcoming week certainly not talked down to.

This morning I WAS INSPIRED!

The priest was on fire, encouraging us to realize we are all LIGHTS in this world, just like Jesus. That we are here to use our talents to give to our fellow brothers and sisters!

He told of a story about St. Francis of Assisi. He said every morning when Francis got up he would pray to God and ask “What will You have me do today, God?” and the second thing he would do was to thank God for giving him that very ability to serve others.

St. Francis of Assisi's Daily To Do List


My daughter saw me smiling and saw that I wanted to scream “Amen!” or clap or cheer or jump up. But it’s not that kind of Church so I didn’t. (and to shield any embarrassment a 6 year old or 7 year old kid could experience because of their mother! “Moooooommmmmm!”)

Later on in the day, she asked me, “You liked that priest today, Mommy. He was good, right?” I smiled and asked her,” do you remember the story he told about St. Francis of Assisi?”

And she replied,” Yes, Mom, ummmm, what do you think God will have me do tomorrow!?”

Holding back shock, I told her, “whatever you would like, dear.”

Then, this is what comes out of her mouth, “I think I will help out a friend on the playground. I feel good when I help others.” 

My daughter just had an epiphany with a capital E.

Its feels good to serve others with whatever Gift you have been given. I do not care how sick, depressed, tired, lonely, etc. you are, you have a Gift that can light up one person’s world! A really good listening ear, a knack for encouraging others, or telling funny jokes. There is no Gift too small. They are big to at least one person, I can guarantee that!

So, today, Unwrap your Gift and share it with others... tomorrow, the next day and the day after that! You and my 7 year old. :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Are you choosing LOVE in the New Year?

Gooooood mornin' 2013! I kickstarted my 1st day in the new year with a killer smoothie with my new Nutribullet! I am lovin' the super easy clean up and great recipes they provide with the gadget. Veggie goodness!

This morning, I set my intention during meditation to Choose Love in the new year. Instead of choosing fear, jealousy, anger, annoyance, I will choose to love myself in those moments when they come up. The three ways I will do that are:

1. Take a time out. Go to my happy place in my house (pink chair), breathhhhe, assess situation as not real, and do not let other's project their feelings onto me. If my pink chair is not around, find a safe place, breathe, and breathe some more!

2. Love others. Show compassion for others' situations but do not become a part of it. Do not be the fixer. Be the listener. If they ask my advice, I will give my best authentic answer.

3. Choose to fill my life with happy loving people, happy healthy foods, more water, more risks and more LOVE all around.

What will you choose? Have you set your intentions for the New Year? I would love to hear about 'em in the comments below!

Here's to a great 2013!

Love and Light to All!