“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” — Barbara De Angelis
The other day, I woke up to a text from my friend Matthew DiGirolamo.
Matthew and I worked together for many years. He’s a bright and creative writer and thinker, so I pay attention when he sends me a message.
Matthew said: “I think we should create an ‘Inner Peace Corps.’ Our world is in a mental and emotional health crisis and I feel like we need a corps of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, spiritual teachers, meditation coaches, etc. to be organized in a massive and coordinated volunteer effort. In times of tragedy and grief, they can help people process their pain, trauma, grief, and stress, and help them connect to their core emotions in a healthy way.”
The Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful laws in the universe. Just like gravity, it is always influencing your life and reality. And once you are aware of it you can leverage it to create the life of your dreams.
Simply put, the Law of Attraction says that you attract into your life whatever you focus on and feel strongly about.
So, if you focus on the good and positive things in your life, you will automatically attract more of those things into your life.
If you focus on lack and negativity, then that is what you will attract more of into your life. It’s that simple – and that powerful.
Because once you understand how the Law of Attraction works, you can begin to consciously and intentionally change your results and create a better life.
You can begin to choose to respond differently to the situations that arise during your day.
Change is sometimes uncomfortable, weird, gawky, and stumbling. It’s a messy thing…and just when you feel you’ve got this life dance thing down, the beat changes as soon as you think you know the steps, then you start to get dizzy and you have to sit down! Next, you discover you were actually playing musical chairs!
Yeah… I know, you thought your guardian angel was in charge of all that. Oh.. wait now we’re doing the cha cha cha?! I obviously didn’t bring the right shoes!
Why is it that we think change and transformation have to be graceful and sparkly and shiny and liberating as soon as we consider it? Why is it that when change happens, we recoil in fear and anger and then expect some magic being to fix it (like now please!) when a little time is what we actually need to adjust?
“But I’m spiritual I know these things.. all is well right? The Law of Abundance states… blablablabla… so why don’t I feel good, surrendered, happy, wise, serene, grateful all the time?”
Seriously evolving out loud is part Presence and Wisdom, part Ridiculous, part Graceful, and mostly chasing it all around like trying to catch fireflies in a jar.
Is it because when we wake up and ignite our inner Light we think enlightenment means we will all of a sudden become creatures of never-ending joy and awareness? Is it because we think opening up to the deeper layers of Consciousness gives us an intuition that will guarantee that we will know how to avoid all obstacles, and pain and slide over our fear and loss like Elsa in Frozen singing Let it Go? (gosh I can’t stand that song).
On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight.
What's weighing you down?
Lighten your load.
On the path of life, most of us are hauling way too much weight.
What's in your own backpack? If you're like most of us, you've got too many items on each day's To Do list and too much stuff in the closet. Too many entanglements with other people. And too many "shoulds," worries, guilts, and regrets.
Remember a time when you lightened your load. Maybe a backpacking trip when every needless pound stayed home. Or after you finally left a bad relationship. Or just stopped worrying about something. Or came clean with a friend about something that had been bothering you. How did this feel? Probably pretty great.
Finn is 12 years old. He is learning about the power of intentions, connections and meditations. Our family values these practices. As a parent I am showing him how to blend our habits from home into his outside life.
Many People are in the process of blending their internal practices with the outside world.
Watching Finn make the transition from where he discovered his passion for swimming, to a new environment, held challenges for me as a parent. We experienced the transition differently.
I talked about the process of letting something go. I asked Finn what his expectations were for his new coaches. What type of connection did he want and what did he need to do, to make the connection happen?
This morning I was working out with a friend who was telling me a story about how he went to a quintessential Cuban cafe for breakfast. Although he used his best Spanish to order, they ended up giving him the wrong kind of steak with his eggs. Now my friend, who is dedicated to health and fitness, is vigilant about what he puts into his body and eating clean. When I asked him if he sent his meal back, he shrugged his shoulders and replied,
Being raised around people who sent things back at restaurants, got upset if the service was slow, or took it personally if they didn’t get “the right” table, I vowed at an early age not to be a complainer. I, like many of us, have played the role of the meal martyr and tolerated underwhelming service, waiters getting my order wrong (you know, the whole “no croutons, dressing on the side” thing), and my biggest pet-peeve - cold food, just because I didn’t want to be that person!
I think it’s safe to say that most of us have sat silent, fought with ourselves about whether to say something or send something back or not, and paid for things we did not order because we didn’t want to be that person. Our fear and worry about being judged or labeled as a complainer, spoiled, entitled, or a pain in the butt has caused us to bite our tongue and swallow our integrity along with an order of food we didn’t want or care for.
If we want to grow inwardly we must find new ways to learn about ourselves. These higher discoveries call for higher learning. Think of each of the following eleven laws as individual magic strands of a flying carpet. Make it your aim to weave them together in your mind. Then watch how these lessons combine to effortlessly lift you to a higher and happier life level.
The First LawNothing can stop you from starting over.
The greatest power you possess for succeeding in life is your understanding that life gives you a fresh start any moment you choose to start fresh. Nothing that stood in your way even a heartbeat before stands there now in the same way. It's all new, even if you can't as yet see it that way. You've only to test the truth of this fact about the newness of life to discover the incredible freedom that waits for you just behind it. And then nothing can stop you. You'll know the real secret and the perfect power of starting over.
He was thirteen before he knew what a hand drill was. His father saved and bought him one for 75 cents. Before that, he made holes in wood by twisting coal-fired nails into the grain. It was his job to throw wood in the fire after school. When red hot, he’d pinch a nail with a pair of pliers and twist it through the wood, which went soft and dark until there was an opening. Now his skin is thin and just last week he stumbled out of bed and landed hard on the radiator, his forearm tearing like a thin curtain. It took an hour to stop bleeding.
He just took care of it himself. We are held this way in the fire of time where we go soft and dark till our skin goes thin and just waking tears us open.
A Question to Walk With: Ask an elder in your life for a story about the first tool they learned how to use.
This excerpt is from a new book in progress, Compass Work: Finding Our Fathers While Finding Ourselves.
“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.”
~C. JoyBell C.
Do you have the courage to be fully human?
To me it boils down to this: being vulnerable enough to allow your emotions to rise up and flow through you unchecked, without hindrance, without judgment. Inconceivable joy. Devastating sadness. Raging anger. Unmitigated self-judgement. Burning guilt. The entire spectrum of emotions. There is no hierarchy. No one is better than the other. Each are powerful. Each of them teach essential lessons if we are willing to listen.
We get into trouble when we impede this flow and ignore the lessons. Because we are afraid of the change these lessons will bring, we reign in our emotions. We stuff them down and ignore them. We become energetically constipated and slow the vibrational possibility that is always calling us into more. We turn away from the light and reject our best selves.
Ah, carpe diem. How many times have you heard this phrase? But have you really paid attention to what it means? It was made popular by the movie Dead Poets Society in 1990 but when I read the blog post Don’t Carpe Diem, I asked myself, “Why not? Isn’t ‘to carpe diem’ a good thing?”
Glennon Doyle is my hero. I never heard of her until I read her book, Love Warrior. I fell in love with this woman who, in my eyes, had the heart of a lion, opening herself up to the world with her real-life vulnerabilities. That is real courage to me. Her life inspired me to get real with my own fears and reservations and embrace my true self. How could I not? There’s this woman who went through alcohol and drug addiction and bulimia and she was not the slightest embarrassed to talk about it. No shame concealed her words and that is both respectable and admirable. My own life experiences are nothing compared to hers but I’ve carefully and desperately covered up my battle scars my whole life and so I finally asked myself, “Why is it so hard for me to show my wounds when they are the very things that made me who I am today?” I am stronger today than yesterday because I stared suffering down many times in the past allowing it to decide that I have become strong enough for it to leave.
One of Glennon’s most—if not the most—popular entries from her Momastery blog is Don’t carpe diem, which garnered over one million views and had been reposted and shared online countless of times. She talked about how she resented people’s well-meaning but unsolicited advice to enjoy the precious moments with her children while she struggled to “carpe fifteen minutes in a row.” And she’s got a point. You can’t really carpe diem when you’re struggling to get past the challenging moments because its very definition, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the ‘enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future.’ How would you feel if the dentist pulling your tooth without anesthesia tells you to carpe diem?
But here’s the disconnect: Carpe diem is derived from the Latin phrase Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero, which means pluck (or seize) the day trusting as little as possible in the future. And Merriam-Webster defines seize the day as: to do the things one wants to do when there is the chance instead of waiting for a later time. Clearly, the modern definition for carpe diem veered away from its true meaning. Here’s why:
It comes in many forms: illness, money issues, breakups, loved ones pass on (even worse, sometimes it all happens at once)!
Since we can’t control the ups and downs of life, we can discover empowering ways how to respond and react.
I’ve always loved that old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
When I am confronted and challenged with these darker times, I like to make “pink lemonade” – it’s about finding the blessings in the problem and also adding a huge dose of love to it.
Harness the powers of your subconscious mind, teach it to be subservient to your conscious mind and watch your life turn into a big miracle.
" It is our beliefs that create our reality. Start believing in all positive realities and watch the stress fly away."
A belief is a thought in your mind. Believe in your subconscious, to heal and strengthen you. Do not harbor resentment and hatred, allow the beauty of the world to infiltrate your mind and let life be a beautiful ride.
Most individuals believe that people or circumstances cause their emotional pain. They say, for example, “He broke my heart.” They make themselves victims. Creating authentic power shows you that you are not a victim. You discover that your emotions are created by dynamics inside you. When you focus outside yourself, these dynamics remain intact to be activated again. Each time, they generate the same or similar emotions in you.
You have experienced these painful emotions in other places and times with other people. The individual you believe is causing them now is actually the latest in a series of individuals who have activated this dynamic in you before. When you focus on the activator, you miss what got activated.
On my last radio show, a woman was telling me how she felt stuck about her next career move. She didn’t know what to do. I gave her some advice that I’d heard a long time ago which has often resonated with people, namely: “Sometimes you have to live into the answer.”
It’s not uncommon to feel stuck when you don't know which option to take, which direction to go, or which offer is for your highest good. It happens to many people – myself included. We get caught in the trap of feeling that you have to be doing, doing, doing! By contrast, I feel it’s perfectly okay to just be – to pause and reflect for a while – to take stock of what works and what doesn’t.
Another metaphor or saying I often use is: Sometimes it’s the right decision to grab the oars and steer yourself slowly and carefully to a goal or desire. Yet other times it’s also okay to put the oars down and see where the current or river of life takes you. Hence the saying: “Living into the answer.” When I go through such times of feeling a little stuck, I take time out to pray, meditate, and ask synchronicity to help me.
Often, when things in our life seem to go wrong, we feel as if it's the end of the world because we can't see further than what's right in front of us. It is only when we look back, after we've survived the storm, that we realize that those "broken" parts are actually pieces that make up the beautiful picture that is our destiny.
Five years ago, I lost my job. No, I did not quit, I was made redundant (which is just a pretty word for 'fired') from a job for which I worked so hard it almost broke me. Immediately, I tried to get back on the racehorse, so to speak, but in all the job interviews that I've had, I would always land at the top two and not get it in the end. In fact, there was one time that I was the only one left standing and still did not land that elusive employment contract. Going through rejection after rejection, my ego was hurt by others' blatant disregard of my self-worth and value. But it was not so much the losing the job that I mourned but the career I built; and interestingly enough, when I managed to turn off my churning mind and listen to my heart instead for reasons I could not understand then I felt a little flutter of something I could only describe as joy.
There's a common grumble, generally directed at the young, that they are constantly distracted by texting, video games, and other ways to stop paying attention. But few of us have truly mastered the skill of paying attention, or even realize that it is a skill. This is because we haven't looked deeply into how awareness works.
Attention, which is another way of describing focused awareness, is important because whatever you pay attention to grows in importance and significance. If you focus on your job, your relationship, or a favorite hobby, your attention nourishes a feedback loop--you become better at what you pay attention to. Your brain strengthens or weakens in specific areas depending on the input it receives, and paying attention provides concentrated input. Attention can’t be faked or forced. When a schoolteacher scolds an unruly class with, “Pay attention, people!” he may get results for a few minutes, but the demand loses its effect very quickly. Asking a restless mind to settle down and pay attention is even more futile. The secret is to know how attention can be mastered.
This is the way I look at life… everyone gets to choose what they want, and what they want has nothing to do with you… You will never be good enough, nice enough, rich enough.. to change someone else. It won’t happen. People change when they are ready to change… if ever. So, when someone chooses something different than what you think they should have, it is not personal. It is simply what they want, in that moment. Whether they are choosing what you feel is best for them or not, they are, at that time..choosing what they believe will “taste” good.
I love the metaphor of the message below. It is one of the ways I too, look at life so I wanted to share it. I believe it explains something complicated in a very simplified way.
“We want you to enjoy the contrasting experience, just like you enjoy the contrasting buffet. And we want you to reach the place that whenever you’re in front of a buffet that has so much that you do like to eat, as well as some that you don’t like to eat, you don’t feel frustrated that there are things there you don’t want to eat. You don’t feel compelled to put them on your plate and eat them; you just pick the things that you like. And the Universe of thought is the same way. You can choose from it the things that you like.”
The longest, most challenging journey I have ever taken was the one getting home to my true self. It took decades to arrive and I willingly chose to make many side trips through roles, responsibilities, expectations, careers, and marriages where I had to work day and night to become something other than who I truly was. But when I finally found my way back to the real me, the honest me, the most authentic me, there was no greater joy.
I’m not talking about a perfect version of me. I’m referring to the me as I am right now. Comfortable in my 60s. Curly, messy hair. The butt and boobs of a real woman. Wrinkles around my eyes and mouth from smiling at my husband and laughing at my children. It’s me waking up at 3 AM and still worrying about finances. And it’s me dancing around with my iPhone plugged into my ears, joyfully singing Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade.” Like I said, it's all about being yourself.