Intentional Spiritual Living - A fresh perspective for 2016

The new year is officially here! Can you believe it? It is pretty miraculous to think that we have successfully made it through another year. We are in tact, healthy, happy and so alive. We have learned tremendously over the past year...what worked, what didn't worked, what we discovered about ourselves, others, what we want differently for this year...the list goes on and on.

What's important to keep at top of mind, especially at the powerful energetic time of a new lunar calendar, is that we are conscious, spiritual being that are having human experiences. We have all felt it, at one time or another, where our "humanness" takes over our spiritual essence. Whether it was in traffic on your way to the airport, during an exam for work or simply losing your temper at a family gathering; at one time or another, the fear and negative emotions have taken over and we have forgotten what this journey is all about. 

I am here to remind you that the real magic lies in not the mundane, human driven to-do lists, but rather in the in-between moments. Where is your mind & soul when you are walking to the office or to the grocery store? What are you thinking about, feeling and energetically exuding? THIS is where the magic is. This is how we get closer to God. This is where spirit lives. Spirit is in our every moment, whether we are consciously connected or not, living in our food and breathing our same breath. It is in the sound of the wind and the sight of the sunrise. It lies in every corner and our duty, as spiritual beings on this earth, is to quiet ourselves so we consciously stay connected to this truth.

As we embark on the journey through 2016 together, I would like to share some tips on how to maintain your spiritual connection amidst the daily tasks and stress that keep this connection at bay. 2016 is going to be an incredible year filled with the utmost joy, love, laughter and success and I am so excited to be right beside you on this beautiful and intentional journey into the new year. 

1. Stay in the present. The most difficult task for most of us is to train our minds into living in the present. The human brain has an incredible capacity yet the simplest concept of having an absence of thoughts is next to impossible. This is why the practice of meditation and mindfulness are so key because they teach us to stay on the path of the present. Essentially, when we get to the root of it, nothing else matters except this exact moment. We don't know what will reveal itself tomorrow and we cannot fret over what happened yesterday, all we have is right now. Keep training yourself to stay in the miracle of now and spirit will reveal itself to you, slowly but surely. 

2. Have a consistent morning ritual. Spiritual practices are at the root of our evolution. Our daily intentions matter tremendously and the manner in which we embark our days with is critical in setting the tone. Whether it is meditating, praying, writing, or simply sitting outside and breathing, having an intentional morning is a wonderful tool in remembering and connecting to our spiritual essence. Think bout what practices you currently enjoy and make a promise to yourself to try it out for a week, two weeks or perhaps forty days. Be consistent and  notice the changes. Check in with yourself throughout the day or when you come home in the evening and compare it to the days when you didn't have a morning practice. What was different? Where was your mind and heart throughout the day?

3. Open your heart in every interaction. The heart is where all compassion and love lies. The heart is what captures emotion and what connects us to spirit. Think of a few people this year that you'd like to intentionally open your heart to. Perhaps you were closed off to them for one reason or another, but this year you'd like to reopen the gates. It is important to come into these experiences with a perspective of equal effort and zero expectations. You aren't doing this for them, but rather for your own spiritual evolution and the ripple effect this specific experience will have on both of your lives. The more compassion and love we hold for ourselves and one another, the more this love will cultivate into all of our future experiences. 

4. Stay dedicated to your spiritual growth. Stay on track! This part, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult tasks in our spiritual journey. The old phrase of "keep your eye on the prize" can help relay this tip. What's different is that there isn't one prize at the end, but infinite gifts throughout the journey. Keep surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals and practice gratitude for all that is, exactly as it appears in this very moment. As Abraham Hicks states, by the law of attraction, the universe is working in your favor. Keep positive and keep soulfully dancing through it all! 

 

10 Steps to Keeping Healthy this Holiday Season

1. Do not be in a daze these holidays. Be aware, mindful and respectful  to yourself and your body. Come September, when the weather begins to get colder and you feel drawn to being snuggled up on the couch, do not be tempted to release the reins too much on the promises that you have made to yourself.

We all have accomplished a lot this year while learning more about ourselves and others. Do not let this holiday season to allow yourself to slip back on your progress! Holiday gatherings are notorious for all kinds of peer pressure, so be prepared and unafraid to stand firmly in what you believe in and most importantly, what works for YOU.

2. This is a good time to deepen your family & friend connections. Especially with the Thanksgiving theme of gratitude, dedicate some time to performing actions which reflect on the gratitude you have for what is currently present in your life. Whether it is a gratitude meditation for the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, a heart-felt letter to someone of importance to you or merely a phone call to an out-of-touch friend, allow yourself to be immersed in your heart space and watch how this not only deepens your own spiritual practice but sets the example for others to follow.

3. Come prepared: bring the right foods for your diet. For some of us, holidays are quite easy as we simply show up to a guest’s home. Others will be hosting and most probably be doing most of the cooking and all of the prep-work involved in entertaining. Regardless of which group you fall into, do not forget about yourself!

Holidays are so easy to focus on bringing dishes that you know others would like  and a lot of times that includes dishes with a lot of cream and butter. Perhaps you are on the paleo diet, trying to eat low-carb or a vegetarian. I encourage you not to shy away from bringing dishes that work for you! Not only will this allow you to feel more at ease around the dinner table, but it also sets a positive tone for others to consume healthy dishes during the holidays. Think of your current favorite dishes and how you can twist them to have more of a holiday flare like kale & dried cranberry salad, quinoa or wild rice stuffing and baked sweet potatoes.

4. Exercise is more crucial now than any other season! As the weather cools and our motivation to get outside for early morning jogs reduce, this is the perfect time to kick it up a notch! Especially with the peer pressure around the holidays, we mustn't forget about our health & fitness goals.

Try to surround yourself with wellness-driven individuals and environments around the holidays. Whether it is committing yourself to a yoga class on Thanksgiving morning or starting your big day with a protein-packed green smoothie, commit yourself to some basic guidelines for your health routines in these winter months. What is key here is to stay focused on your goals, yet also allow some space for flexibility as holiday times bring not only stress but also a sense of togetherness with our community. Allow yourself to be present and revel in the gratitude for all that you have while also remembering to take care of yourself through your fitness routines.

5. Prepare for holiday gatherings well. Holidays may be cheery and bright, but we all know that when families get together it gets a lot of people with differing opinions in a small space...which means - know what you need to do to avoid conflict!

This is a big part of our holiday-self care. Whatever mindfulness techniques that have been working for you up until now, stick to those! Whether this includes meditation, pranayama, yoga or journaling; this is a heightened time to commit to your practice. You are of course, welcome to try something new, but with all the changes going on around us, I have found consistency and familiarity are key to successful holiday self-care.

6. Build your immunity for the cold season. Stock up on your healthy foods, teas and herbs to keep you going through the hectic holiday season. Overdoing it can lead to getting a cold or flu and dampening your holiday experience. Stay hydrated with lots of filtered water. Replacing some of your standard water with alkaline water will assist in keeping your body pH balanced and fighting off germs. Essential oils are wonderful as they open up our senses and have powerful health benefits. For an immunity boost, try oregano oil and to calm down the senses, try lavender or rose oil. Be prepared for any big trips with an immunity-themed bag which may include Emergen-C, essential oils, immunity teas and herbs, The more prepared you are, the better!

7. Remember to gift yourself. The holiday season is just around the corner and for a lot of us, that means giving and giving and giving. What’s important to remember is to not forget to give to yourself. Without providing yourself with what YOU need, you won’t be able to give efficiently. This is especially important to those of you women out there who are responsible for shopping, preparing, cooking, cleaning and planning for all the holiday festivities.

Remember to give yourself the gift of love, acceptance and self-care. Reflect on what has given you strength and wisdom this year. Was it a meditation workshop? Soulful time spent with close friends? Whatever did work for you this year, gift yourself by giving more time and space to grow, heal and learn in the areas that most loudly speak to you. The more we can be comfortable and humbly give to ourselves, worthy just as much as anyone else, the closer we get to feel our true nature.

8. Eat with grace. The holiday season brings about almost a grazing style energetic vibration around food. Whether it involves mindlessly snacking around the appetizer table or drinking that third glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, all of us are guilty of eating without consciously thinking about the food that we are consuming.

This holiday season, I ask you to invite grace to eat alongside you. This may include saying a prayer before your meal or simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whatever technique works for you, invite others dining with you to share the experience. Observe the energetic shift during and after your pause and notice the subtle differences. Perhaps you feel more at peace or even less hungry. Grace is always with us, especially around the dinner table with our loved ones. Invite others to feel the presence of spirit alongside you and watch the magic happen!

9. Surround yourself with healthy snacks! The holidays are notorious for sugar-filled treats and buttery side dishes. The good news is we have the power to counter them with our preparation of healthy snacks! Everything you traditionally think of on the dinner table has a healthy and equivalent alternative. For example, instead of chips and spinach dip, you can bring hummus and veggies. Traditional stuffing can be replaced with a wild rice and hazelnut dish. A green bean, dried cranberry & kale salad can replace the classic creamy green bean casserole.

Give yourself an opportunity to stay on your diet plan, or perhaps only slightly deviate. Bring healthy snacks with you and don’t be shy to bring healthy dish alternatives. Every gathering could use an additional dish, especially if it is healthy! You will be amazed to realize that others too, are trying to stay healthier and always looking to learn more about health and wellness.

10. Forgive & stay in the present. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult emotional states for humans to resonate in. Perhaps it is because our bold ego gets in the way. We tend not to want to forgive because we are still holding onto the hurt or anger regarding the situation and person involved. I am here to offer a new perspective on forgiveness - forgiveness is the true way to the heart. Whether it is a sibling, a parent, a friend or a colleague, forgiveness is what enables ourselves to heal, learn and grow. We realize that form a spiritual perspective, everybody, including ourselves, is doing the best we can.

A majority of us get stuck in the phase of playing the events over and over again in our minds. This in turn, breeds even more hostility and resentment within us and projects onto the others involved as well. This cycle internally continues to build within us until one day we realize we have not only continued to cultivate these negative emotions within ourselves, but are now projecting this energy onto strangers that had nothing to do with the situation!

This holiday season I invite you to forgive. Forgive yourself, for you were doing the best that you could, and forgive the other person, as they were simply trying to do the same. Really feel your forgiveness from your heart. Try visualizing the other person standing across from you, with your eyes closed, as you have a heartfelt exchange of genuine words of forgiveness. Liberate yourself these holidays with forgiveness. Your heart, mind and community will gratefully benefit as they try to do the same.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Easy Steps on How to Breed & Share Positivity this Holiday Season

The busy holiday season is officially upon us!  You've done so much work to get exactly where you are today. Whether it involved increasing your workout routine, staying committed to your goals, "cleaning out" people and things that no longer worked for you or learning more about what you really want in your life, there has been tremendous progress over the year. 

Allow yourself to take a few moments to reflect on your accomplishments and growth this year and genuinely congratulate yourself for your hard work and dedication. Sure, everything involves luck and universal guidance; but at the end of the day, there is nobody but you who can put action behind your intentions. 

The holiday season brings up a lot for all of us - memories of how things used to be when we were young or being around family members we know are a little hostile and disapproving of our lives. Whatever it may be, I am here to remind you that you have tools to keep you not only sane around the dinner table but actually shedding light unto others. Below are 3 tips to keep you exactly where you need to be this holiday season - in the bubble of positivity. After all, this is what true holiday cheer really encompasses. 

1. Acceptance of the present moment. When we all get together, especially with our parents and ones who have known us since we were just little tots, it's easy for us to shift into a reminiscing state of mind. This is absolutely OK and is usually quite a fun experience. The challenge lies in what happens to us afterwards. Reminiscing usually brings us to a mental position of reveling on how things used to be, and our emotions bring us to a state of disappointment, specifically about ourselves. 

The good news is that you absolutely have an opportunity to focus on the positive rather than flood your mind and body with negative emotions. We are all our own best friends but also our worst enemies. When fellow family members or friends start inquiring about specific choices you made on your life and yearning for "how things used to be", you have the power to shift the tone of the conversation. A quick reply could be "Yes, weren't those times wonderful? What is even more wonderful is that we are all here together again now." When all else fails, just remember to stay in your heart space. From a spiritual perspective, everybody is doing the best they can and so are you. Stay in the present and stay positive in your holiday conversations! 

2. Be Vulnerable. Most of us are guilty of shutting ourselves off to a certain degree around family members. Sometimes this is a part of our self-care, knowing we simply can't "go there" with certain people. Other times, it may be simply because we have "given up" on tapping into the depth of what certain relationships may have to offer.

What I would like to offer you this holiday season is to begin to cultivate a sense of awareness around the relationships you have. Ask yourself - "Is there more I can give?", "What can I offer to this person from a genuine place?".  The truth is, many people are in scenario two, where they have chosen to no longer attempt to have certain conversations with family members. This is a very common place to be and is a classic parent-child relationship, especially when the child has matured into their adult years. The holidays are constantly giving you an opportunity to emerge out of the edges of your comfort zone as the gains on the other side could be exactly what you need and tremendously beneficial for the other person as well.

This holiday season, look at the undesired encounters as an opportunity to let yourself be vulnerable. Share from your heart, even if it is the smallest bit of detail. It could really resonate with the person in which you share it with and inspire them to share their story. Everybody has a story and the more we honestly share ours, the more we create a platform for others to share and heal as well. 

3. Humbly Give & Receive Love. The usual key words that come to mind during the holidays are gratitude, cheer, merry and peace. The undertone among all of these is love. Without love, we are not able to be happy and feel at peace for we are still resonating in a state of fear. This holiday season, I offer for you to choose love as many times as you can. In your family conversations, in your encounters with strangers, at your workplace and in your own heart. The more we personally focus on love within ourselves, accept ourselves exactly as we are and love every single part of us, the more we can humbly give love to others. 

Take a few moments to think about what things in your current life you are still not surrendering to love. Is it your body image? Your career? Your relationship with your family? Whatever it may be, try journaling for a few minutes to see what specifically comes up for you. When you have compiled a list, rather than be filled with ill-emotions regarding the subject, make an action plan in which how you will promise yourself to counter these fears with love. Perhaps it will be saying a loving daily mantra to yourself about your body or liberating yourself from the tasks that no longer serve you. Whatever they may be, know that there is another route waiting for you; the route of love. This road is unconditional and ever accepting. It surrounds you when you sleep and is there waiting for you when you wake up. It has no judgement and no place for fear. This is the path of love. 

Immerse yourself in all aspects of love this holiday season. Give love in your conversations, relationships and actions, and receive love from every place that is willing to offer it to you. Be open to love and watch the magic live through you throughout this holiday season! 

 

Stopping the Chase - Developing a New Perspective on Opportunity

You've hit a fork in the road, that moment in which you're realizing you probably should've taken a different trail. Negative emotions begin to fill your being while your mind races to find a quick solution. I am here to inform you not to worry. You have officially landed in a blissful bubble of opportunity!

We all have been blessed enough with a human life, a journey that can never be taken away from us and will forever be intertwined with our souls. Karma has lead us here, to this precise moment in which we are experiencing. This instant, regardless of what might have preceded it, is the universe's gift for another new opportunity, setting a new intention or redirection, a real chance to shine. The truth is - all of us struggle with the grasp of opportunity. Merriam Webster defines the word as "an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done". What strikes me in that definition is that it is bound to the concept of time. When coaching clients and talking about fears openly with close friends and family, I have found that the biggest underlying fear of most of us is not having enough time to do what we we are here to do.

I am here, writing this article, to work together with you in redefining the meaning of opportunity for an expression that will truly work in our favor. True opportunity is timeless, bound and dependent on nothing but you and your soul's will. With faith and optimism, all opportunities are not only possible but attainable in alignment with our soul's purpose.  

To help redefine opportunity in your own life and steps on how you can shift your perspective quite easily to grasp opportunity head on, I offer these talking points to get your brain waves positively flowing.  Your life is and will continue to be abundant and all opportunities around you are in attainable alignment with your highest good. Remember that you are co-creating your ideal life with the universe. When we are connected to source and being guided by love, rather than fear, all opportunities that fall into this law of attraction are also seeking us. 

1. Keeping the faith alive - What is your current spiritual practice? How does spirit enter your life and your heart on a daily basis? Each one of us are extremely unique individuals, and we all have different ways of connecting to source. I invite you to think about what you are doing on a daily basis to help ease your mind and connect to your heart. 

Many philosophers and spiritual gurus have handed down the theory that our thoughts create our reality. If our thoughts create our reality, then, how do we create positively driven thoughts to create our most desired life? It begins with controlling the thoughts we aren't wanting to guide us by creating space in the mind so the heart can speak. Whether you meditate, pray, connect to nature or utilize mantras, all of these practices are aligned with spirit. When our mind quiets down, our hearts deepen and that little voice of intuition that lives within all of us begins to speak louder. When we are connected to source, we remember that we are not alone. In fact, we are never alone as we are eternally held by universal love. 

Keep working on strengthening your spiritual foundation. Like anything, it gets easier and more profound with practice. Patience is key here! We all struggle with restless minds. Focusing on your breathing and being in peace within your mind & body will help you. Take this opportunity to think of ways of improving your practice and take action. Human will combined with action are extremely powerful, especially when directed in alignment with spirit. What can you change today? Tomorrow? Do not allow the fear of time to kick you into fear mode, but rather commit to faith. Commit to taking charge of your life and co-creating your optimal reality by stopping the chase and connecting to your heart. 

2. The powerful act of forgiveness - I prompt you to take a few minutes to to reflect on what you may still be holding on to that is preventing you from living in the present.  Is it a past relationship? A disagreement with your coworker? A hurtful comment a friend directed at you? Whatever this may be, no matter how big or small, it is something to consciously work on. Without being able to trace our steps on how we got to where we are now, we aren't able to fully move forward with out lives. Marianne Williamson says "Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness." 

The most important thing in this realm is to be genuine. When writing, meditating or affirming your forgiveness for another being, do it in a truthful manner that speaks to you. Visualize the other person standing across from you as you speak the words you would like to share with them, and see them gracefully accepting your apology. Keep in mind that this isn't a one time win but rather a process that will be repeated as many times as you need. 

Remember to forgive yourself! A lot of us tend to hold the guilt from the experience on our own shoulders which prevents us from holistically forgiving the entire experience. From a spiritual perspective, everything happens for a reason and there is one or several lessons underneath it all. Rather than overly criticizing yourself and replaying the event over and over in your mind, try to send some love and acceptance to yourself regarding the circumstance. For if it wasn't for the experience, you wouldn't have been led to where you are now. 

3. Validating your worthiness - We are an entire, complete universe within our individual selves. The truth is, we don't need any external sources to validate our worthiness, yet so many of struggle with seeking validation from others to prove our worth and place in the world. Many religions and spiritual texts state that we are all children of God, formed perfectly in our exact shape and state. Our ego stands in the way between our trust and understanding of this universal truth. 

Without whole heartedly trusting that you are worth it, you create a duality in which truly grasping opportunities in your life become next to impossible to achieve. The "monkey mind" always poses thoughts of doubt questioning if we are actually worthy of these opportunities that are being presented to us. When there is doubt in the mind, the miracle ceases to exist and has no platform to flourish and manifest in our lives for our most beneficial outcome. Tiny Buddha helps list supportive tips to start building worthiness internally: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/stop-tying-worth-things-outside/ 

A point of discernment - there is a major difference between boasting our worth, from an egoistical standpoint, versus reveling in the state of Self-realization. When we reach the understanding that we are one with universal existence and all that is, a transition takes place. This transition is the shift from a mentally driven world to a heart-led one. By utilizing tools to quiet our minds, our hearts begin communicating words of truth to us.  Over time, we realize that all is truly possible with the grace of God. Opportunities will begin to unfold naturally. This is not to say hard work won't be involved, but rather the fight of opportunity itself and us chasing it will begin to shift to a place of surrendering and trust that these opportunities are equally choosing us. The trust we build with our higher power, whatever that may be, allows us to finally rest and stop the chase. All opportunities that are meant to be will manifest, and all others will eventually fade away.

4. Commiting to your decision - What is important to remember here is the power that lies in not only making but committing to our decisions and opportunities we are opting for. Our environments, whether they are our friends, family or coworkers, place a large amount of peer pressure onto what decisions we "should" and "shouldn't" be making. It seems that nearly everyone is attempting to persuade our decision making! What is crucial to remember is the powerful act of action through committing to a particular decision and maintaining that decision. 

Let's utilize the analogy of climbing Mount Everest, for example. There you are, after years of training,  with a team of hikers, a few of which seem to be true pessimists. Even when you have passed base camp, camp 1 and have nearly reached camp 2, these individual hikers can't seem to halt their negative tongues. This is the point where keeping your eye on the prize is critical. Do not allow external influences affect your decision making process. You felt it was rightfully aligned for you, committed to the opportunity and took action, and now is your time to stay committed! This tends to be one  of the most difficult periods for people to stick with their decisions. They key is to remember what brought you to consciously committing to the opportunity. Rather than allowing others' thoughts and doubts feed into your own fear, try to focus on the positive thinking which led you to your OWN decision making.

Encourage yourself by trusting that you were guided by your higher power to commit to grasping this opportunity. You will know if this no longer feels rightfully aligned for you, but do not allow it to be from a place of fear. You can almost view this stage as little "tests" the universe offers you to see how committed you really are. Utilize tools like journaling to see where you personally stand on your decision. Check in with yourself periodically to see if things are still aligned and if so - keep staying committed! If things have shifted for you, then make your choice to redirect but ensure this stems from a place of love and clarity rather than from a place of fear and cloudiness.

 

Keep connecting to source through trusting yourself and knowing that all things are unfolding in divine timing. Cheers to grasping opportunities with wisdom, clarity and confidence. You got this! 

 

The Shift: The Grasp of A Consciously Lit & Magical Life

This piece was inspired by Wayne Dyer's film, "The Shift". In honor of his passing, I have spent time contemplating on what this shift really entails, how I can fully live it myself and the power of spreading the word on living a fulfilled life, just as Dr. Dyer has. If you have not yet watched the film, please feel free to visit the Hay House site at http://www.hayhouse.com/the-shift-online-video

There are several moments throughout our lives where we have something I like to call "moments of divinity", or commonly known as the classic "A-ha" moment, where a revelation of sorts has come to fruition. I invite you to reflect on one of your most recent moments of divinity and begin to relive the emotions that came along with the encounter. Perhaps it was a sense of ease and fearlessness, relief, joy, gratitude or maybe it was so fantastic and profound that you went into a state of ecstatic bliss(in which case - congratulations!). Regardless of what the revelation was actually about, these moments of clarity are opportunities to re-set our intentions and gain courage and action towards living a light-driven, magical life.

The spiritual community shares a commonly used expression which communicates our existence on this earth being rooted in spirit rather then the surface of what it may be seem like on the day-day activities of living a human life. The original quote, by the French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, states "You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience." The truth is, we have many choices in our human life. As Albert Camus, the great philosopher, says, "Life is the sum of your choices." The impact of each decision does indeed matter, as it leads you to your next point of progression. But how do we know what the decision for each choice should be? There is one overarching choice that we can consciously make which becomes our truest driving force. In simplest terms, the choice is to grasp the belief that we are here for a reason, to fulfill our dharma, or our life's purpose, and to believe that we are being  guided by something larger than ourselves. The flip side of the coin is to push aside the depths of our spiritual essence and live in a state of fear and hopelessness, forgetting our connection to source and divine magic. 

This is the choice for a SHIFT. Nobody can make it but yourself, but, once you have firmly decided in living a divine filled life, it sets you on a road filled with hope, love, intention, faith and utter magic. Sure, it won't be easy, this isn't a smoothly paved road filled only with butterflies and rainbows (although those do exist!), but it will be a path of surrendering to something deeper and grander than yourself. The point in which self (lowercase "s") and Self (uppercase "S") collide is the moment in which I am referencing.  I invite you to step into the possibility of the light filled journey with me by taking action on some of the simple suggestions listed below. The beautiful thing to keep in mind, is that this shift happens over time, and we have the opportunity to explore our sense of purpose each minute. Every single day brings a new opportunity for liberation from our minds filled with human burdens and worry. By redirecting our thoughts and actions to serve a greater purpose, the magic takes over and begins to show us the path as we consciously choose to make the shift to living a magical life. 

1. Begin the day with a sacred moment. Every moment is a sacred opportunity. If you take a moment to actually think about how we got here as humans, it is nothing but a miracle. Not only did we evolve into the species we are today, but to ponder on all of the mothers in the progression of our lineage having given birth to healthy and whole humans is yet another miracle. The great effort it took for us to get here is something out of our control. No matter how healthy and well prepared a mother is to give birth to her child, it is undeniably known that there is still a chance something could happen to her baby.  Although most of us are keen on pushing that possibility aside, the reality still exists. But what is it that actually makes things turn out the way they do? It is nothing other than something greater than ourselves holding it all together, guiding us and supporting us. When we take a step aside to think about our human existence on a broader spectrum, it places us in a state of awe, gratitude and humble acceptance. 

The human range of emotion is vast, however, we will focus on two of them being love and fear. Love is a state of acceptance, gratitude, joy and hope. Fear is filled with regret, dissatisfaction and hopelessness. If we think about the 1,440 minutes in a day, we have the choice to focus on how long and dreadful it will be to last through the day, or we can focus on the 1,440 minutes of sacred opportunities the day is filled with. 

As soon as we wake up, what can we mindfully do to vibrate in a state of love? It could involve telling our family members that we love them and really meaning it, praying before we start our day, journaling about our intention for what the day will bring forth, whatever the action is, start it with love and intention. Utilize the power of the shift as soon as you open your eyes each morning by taking a sacred pause. By living an intentional life that is connected to something larger than ourselves, the divine magic begins to work its way into our life.

2. Have active dialogue with source. Once we break through the initial barrier of our ego, which consistently tells us we aren't good enough, are alone, need to do more, etc., we get immersed into a space where we can feel courageous and clear enough to have divine communication. This will be different for each one of us, but some of the most common ways of doing this are through our thoughts, prayers and actions. Neale Donald Walsch's book, "Conversations with God: A Uncommon Dialogue" explains different methods to have this dialogue take place.

The most important thing is not to have fear about taking action on this step. You may feel hesitant at first as this may be new territory for you, but just remember that all that is taking place is a conversation with your Self. A platform set for self-discovery and healing is being rooted by being in a place vulnerable and safe enough to allow you to speak your truth. Once you get through the first few times, it will begin to flow more and more effortlessly. In fact,  you will actually begin to start looking forward to these communications with the universe. A sense of surrender will take over you as you begin to boldly trust that something larger than yourself is taking care of you and guiding you throughout your life. 

This dialogue can be performed at any time of day and of course, more than once a day! Keeping a journal in your car or on your nightstand will allow for an ease of transition as you begin. Whenever you have a few free minutes or feel like you could benefit from a moment of grounding and connection, whip out your journal and begin to openly speak and ask. Whether it is just about your day, getting something off your chest or asking the universe for guidance, let it flow and think of this practice like your on-demand therapist. 

3. Surround yourself with other shift-seekers. A strong community holds a very powerful influence in our lives. Another part of making this shift involves weeding out things and people that no longer serve us. To live a consciously bred life, we must make some hard choices in our lives that may include letting go of some people that currently have a presence in our lives. Once we start resonating in a state that is truest for us, the things that no longer hold a significance for us will start to make themselves apparent. Remembering the mantra that "When one door closes, another opens" here is key. Letting go of people is an extremely difficult and heart breaking task, however, we must remember that this road isn't painless. It asks for our courage and persistence on a daily basis. One could say the universe is almost testing us to see if we really are seriously committed to making this shift in our lives.

I ask you to spend a few moments thinking about some key individuals who have a strong influence in your life today. Ask yourself a few questions of discernment such as "How do they make me feel?", "How much of my living my truest life am I sacrificing for them?". When we begin clearing out the clutter and firmly making decisions rooted in a higher purpose, the traffic begins to clear off of our road which paves the way for new opportunities that are more aligned with our higher self. 

Ask yourself how your current community contributes to your life. If most of your time is spent in a network of complainers, this community is most likely taking more of your energy away rather than fulfilling you. Having a strong, spiritually connected community is crucial in making this transition. Perhaps it takes place in a community center, a friend's home, or at a retreat center, but finding like-minded individuals who are also actively making this transition isn't very difficult. Utilizing tools like the website Meet Up http://www.meetup.com/ is wonderful in connecting people. Message boards at local yoga studios, health food stores and book stores are wonderful places to meet fellow community members who are also consciously choosing to make this transition as well. Remember not to get discouraged! Building a strong community can sometimes take more time than we would like but remember that it is all happening in divine timing! If there is a delay, the message may be to spend more time in solitude while you gather more of your personal thoughts together before you share them with the world. Whatever it may be, know that you are absolutely being supported and guided throughout your journey.

 

I wish all of you a beautiful week ahead as you continue to live your life filled with light and pure magic. May you keep your hearts, minds and lines of communication with source open as you transition into this magical SHIFT. 

 

Recognizing Your Own Innocence - A Foundation for Healing

Let's be honest, we all do it. We judge ourselves for whatever it may be, making ourselves our worst critics. We blame ourselves for not being where we "should be", not having said what we "should've said", not making the "right" choices in our past and many more "should-have's". The commonality among all of these thought patterns is the emotional repercussions of vibrating our lives in a state of regret. Regret brings nothing but doubt, sadness, disappointment and overflowing levels of concern and dissatisfaction into our lives.

What if reducing these thoughts & fears were as simple as integrating a new perspective?  I invite you to flip the coin along with me for the next few minutes to see what it may be feel like to break through some of these recurring negative mental patterns and granting yourself a platform to truly heal.

Healing comes in many shapes and sizes and at various stages of our lives. The beautiful truth about healing, though, is that we have an opportunity to focus on it on a daily basis through our own self-love. Every moment we have an opportunity to reset our minds towards a positively pointed direction. If we consciously choose to elevate ourselves by incorporating self-compassion, our inner world begins working it's magic and in turn begins shifting our outer world.

One of the best internationally known spiritual texts that masters this concept is "A Course in Miracles".  Several themes are brought within the book that focus on redirecting our thoughts into positive, God-filled ones. In other words, allowing us to forgive ourselves is an integral part of the healing process. Without this step in our spiritual-evolvement, our truth has no place to live and the habitual self-sabotaging modalities take the center stage.

Below are a few, relatively simple steps to start bringing some awareness and action towards your truly magical road to healing:

1. Let go of the negative self-talk. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, this is something that we are all guilty of. Some of the most common prompts are comparing ourselves to our friends & family on social media, thinking we aren't good enough, regretting past decisions or making ourselves sick over what we ate for dinner last night. The more negative thoughts we allow our brainwaves to feed off of, the more these neural pathways find their consistent presence in our lives.

By utilizing our own self control, one step at a time, we are able to water the good seeds. This can be done by some simple techniques like limiting your time on social media, utilizing various gratitude meditation techniques or journaling about what you ARE proud of. Try focusing on positive thought patterns which enable you to presently feel the emotion of what you are aiming to manifest in your life. Most importantly - don't be afraid to give yourself a pat on the back every so often - we are our greatest heroes!

2. Add in the good by utilizing positive affirmations. If a good friend or family member were to tell you exactly what you needed to hear right now, what would it be? Spend a few minutes thinking about what the most common negative self-talk themes are for you. Is it that you aren't good enough? Too cowardly to make swifter and more poignant decisions? Not determined enough? Whatever those recurring thoughts may be, turn them into the equal & opposite positive statement and allow them to WORK FOR YOU!

Let's now create a positive thought to counter those fear-based mentalities. If you are too scared, one of your positive affirmations may be something along the lines of "today I choose to be fearless. May my fear surrender to love and guide me to my highest good for all of the decisions I make today." Get creative and don't be worried of repeating the same affirmations each day. Our souls intuitively know what we need to hear and our job is to simply get quiet and listen.  If you need some further guidance, a wonderful book that lists daily spiritually rooted quotes and affirmations is " A Year of Miracles" by Marianne Williamson.

3. Celebrate your successes! Don't be afraid to be your biggest fan. Sure, we don't want to be feeding our ego, but celebrating our success is a very different concept. We are hard enough on ourselves as it is and we very rarely celebrate when something positive has happened in our lives. Perhaps it is due to the fear of being the center of attention, the fear that others won't think it is a success or the lack of enthusiasm we may have for our own lives, but the celebration of our successes additionally feed positive energy into our consciousness.

To think of a simpler example, think of a child - when they receive a good grade in school, what does their parent (hopefully) do? They congratulate them and celebrate! Let's be real - life is hard work and each day brings forth a new set of challenges so we can't be weary of celebrating the well-deserved moments. Excitement, passion, a sense of pride and celebration are contagious so don't be weary of inviting friends and family to join in your celebration. By doing so, you connect others in a positive environment and encourage your community to do the same when it's their turn. After all, we are all leaders and the one of the most effective ways to stand in what we believe in and set an example is to act on our beliefs.

4. Practice essentialism. Being busy doesn't mean being productive! Get organized and set a daily calendar for yourself at the end of each day as you plan for the next. What is essential for tomorrow? Try to limit your "to-do's" to only one thing at a time, suggests Greg McKeown, author of "Essentialism : The Disciplined Pursuit of Less".

The theory that less is more isn't a concept that has recently sprung up on us. Eastern cultures have been utilizing these types of minimalist theories for centuries. The commonality among all of them is the tie to a greater meaning of life. When we reduce the clutter, metaphorically and literally speaking, we begin to create space. This space in turn allows us to really dig deep and think about what means most to us.

A common inquiry of many life coaches working with their clients is: "if you could do anything, what would it be?" A majority of us tend to answer with responses that are a bit tainted. Whether they are influenced by financial reasons, upbringing, society or simply our own fear, without setting some time aside to really ponder this deeply rooted question, we tend to live a life dictated by others' desires.

Until we know what we want, we can't vibrate at our highest potential through our actions. By taking time alone (yes, alone!) to think about our personal lives and what they would involve for highest level of fulfillment, we slowly begin to gain more joy, clarity and confidence in our everyday living.

5. Trust that there are no mistakes, only experiences for our own spiritual-development.  The word "mistake" breeds fear within all of us. That dreading moment where you find yourself post-decision sitting in your own guilt, wondering, "why did I make this decision?" haunts us more than we'd like to admit. In order to modify our outcome to the theme of making mistakes, we have an opportunity to change our perspectives involving making mistakes. One of Wayne Dyer's most famous quotes is "when I begin to change the way I look at things, the things I look at begin to change." This, ladies and gentleman, is the power of one single perspective shift. As we change our outlook on our lives, our world shifts to a world that benefits us, otherwise known as the universe working in our favor.

I invite you to begin to adapt a new approach to making decisions. All decisions fall into two general categories - made or yet to be made (not the standard identification of good versus bad). Immense power lies in the act of actually deciding something and now it's time to shine in your decision! Once you have decided something, it's time to then follow the path driven by action on either decision A or decision B.

This moment is now critical! The very beginning phase in which your actions begin to gain inertia towards your decision, do not allow yourself to act from a place of doubt! Hold confidence in your decision and don't seek an opportunity for the self-sabotaging "I told you so" fear-based thought to mold within your consciousness. The more space we allow for doubt, the more the emotions of fear and anxiety build strength within our minds and thus, we fall into the vibration of failure. Perhaps the decision hadn't yet been a mistake, but because our subconscious is consistently chasing the scent of failure, we claim ourselves "failures" and continue to fall into this self-fulfilling prophecy of making a mistake.

By trusting in ourselves and our decisions, we begin to take action from a place of clarity and confidence. When we practice compassion for ourselves and others, we truly begin to grasp the idea that all things are possible and that there is no such thing as a mistake, rather, a platform for spiritual-development. 

I wish you all a week of self-compassion as you recognize your own innocence of being a human being and having infinite opportunities to grow. By continuously learning and evolving together, we build a society where we have a deeper level of understanding for this human experience we are all blessed enough to partake in. 

 

 

 

Mantra & Positive Affirmation - The Recipe for a Clear Mind & Happy Heart

 

Used for centuries by the yogis, mantras have been utilized for transformations in consciousness across the globe. Whether they were focusing on treating specific illnesses, controlling their thoughts or praying for something particular, mantras were an integral part of their everyday life.

The word mantra is separated into two Sanskrit words; "man", meaning mind, and "tra", meaning instrument. If we flow those two meanings together, we begin to grasp the concept of mantras being instruments to quiet the mind. In addition to quieting the mind by focusing on a word or phrase, mantras change the energetic vibration within us by calming the nervous system and gaining a sense of peace within the mind-body connection. If we believe that every single word and action we have and do has an equal effect within the universe, then by definition, making the conscious effort to practice mantras and positive affirmations within our personal lives will not only positively affect our individual vibrations but the holistic universal vibration as well.

Mantras have been used in several different avenues and can be effective, regardless of the route. As long as our intentions are pure and our hearts are open, the magic will not cease to exist. Believe because you are! Believe because you can! Believe because you are love and light itself. As the great mystic poet Rumi says, “Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do the visible world”.  

As our lives continue to get more demanding and full of day-to-day tasks, there is no doubt that our cortisol levels continue to rise. More scientific research continues to release documenting the association of stress to many prevalent life compromising diseases. This being said, mantras can aid our everyday lives in quieting the “monkey mind”, or the mind chatter, and centering ourselves in our souls; trusting that we are absolutely being supported, guided and unconditionally loved through this joyous journey.

 

Below are some actionable steps to begin implementing some mantras & positive affirmations into your everyday living, leading you to a balanced and universally connected mind & body.

1. Set an intention and claim that state of being-

Try starting your day with setting an intention and taking few moments to let yourself really FEEL as if you have already achieved this goal or state of being.

For example, if your intention is to be healthy and healed for the day or week, create a phrase that affirms your state in already claiming this as your reality. Such statements could be: “Today I am healthy, radiant and vivacious. My mind and body are aligned with spirit and every step I take I feel the abundance of all things good in my life!”

“I am safe. I am healed. I am whole and I am love itself. Let me be guided to nothing but bright white light, today and for all the days to come.”

 

2. Practice japa meditation-

Japa meditation, the practice of either silently or audibly repeating mantras, has been used across several religions for centuries as a form of prayer. One of the easiest ways to practice is to meditate with mala or rosary beads and repeat a mantra as you slide your fingers over each bed until you finish the band of 108 beads. The wonderful thing about Manasika Japa, or the practice of silent mantra repetition, is that it can be practiced at any time and any place. Even without mala beads, the repetition of calling in the names of deities at a slow, steady pace have wonderful calming effects.

 Health & Yoga gives us some great examples of mantras to practice: http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/news/mantra1.aspx

 

3. Write positive affirmations around your home or work space-

As humans, our minds tend to wander as our days get filled with work and stress. To help re-calibrate, visuals of positive affirmations around our home space or work environments are great reminders to take a moment, breathe and refuel on the good energy. Writing weekly affirmations on my mirror with a dry erase marker is one of my favorite methods. What do you want to claim? You are already there!

 

 

Cheers to clearing your mind this week, opening your heart and living from you soul!

Spiritual Surrender - the clearest path

In a time of turmoil - emotional, physical & mental, we sometimes find ourselves in a place wondering - what makes it all worth it? what is our purpose? why am I struggling so much? what are my goals? why haven't I found myself elsewhere at this point in my life?

Let's face it...in this human life, turmoil will consistently exist. Change will remain our constant in a world of uncertainty. Uncertainty can be "crowded out", a term IIN founder Joshua Rosenthal, frequently uses, by honing in on clarity. A particular type of certainty rooted in spiritual confidence is called spiritual surrendering; a phrase Marianne Williamson utilizes from A Course in Miracles.

When we take a moment to really take a step back and think about what surrendering means, it tends to have a multitude of meanings for various people. To surrender can have as minimal of an intention as "I surrender to what the day brings forth", or as extreme of an impact of "I surrender to it all and am going to quit my job and see what happens". When we utilize the term spiritual surrender, it has a much greater and profound meaning. To spiritually surrender, we acknowledge ourselves as a vehicle for spiritual transformation, in the service of nobody else but God. We accept our value to this earth, in this very moment, and humbly maintain ourselves in a state of love - for it is in the path of love that all miracles are rooted. And when we stray from this resilient vibration, may we fall unto nothing else but the road of hope. 

As we embrace on this journey together, confiding in the surrendering to God, everything seems to fall into place. Our hearts begin to heal, our minds resonate in a state of peace, our bodies default back to their intuitively healthy programming, and most importantly - our paths becomes clearer. 

This week, I urge you to practice the path of most clarity. Whether it means taking a few minutes to meditate, utilizing time for self-care or spending time in nature to feel the call of the divine, trust that this white light of clarity & purpose is running through you - every step of the way, at every second of the day. 

 

Focusing on Love & Nothing Else

As the month of February is officially upon us and we observe lovers all around, there seems to be a perspective choice on our plates. Whether we are in a relationship, have someone to spend the Hallmark holiday with, feel love for ourselves or share a loving experience with another, this month is something to shed gratitude on for several reasons. Primarily - to reset the tone of the year which is rooted in the fundamental vibration of LOVE.  As we have over 7 billion people in the world, clearly our goals for the year vary from person to person. Some may have something in particular that they are trying to manifest, others may be focused on a greater level success than the previous year, and some may simply be asking for clarity in their lives. Regardless of the anticipated outcome, it is a safe assumption to say that everything becomes easier with LOVE.

 

Below are some useful tips on how to keep the LOVE flowing in your life - love in your breath, love in your eyes, love in your words, and love in the true essence of your being. After all - we are all here together, brought together and breeding together to essentially bring us closer to the overarching vibration of LOVE.

 

L: Loving Acceptance> I urge you to practice loving acceptance for yourself and others. Today, practice loving yourself for exactly who you are in this exact moment. Utilize affirmative mantras like "I love and accept myself for who I am - yesterday, today and tomorrow", "I love myself ", "I shower myself and others with an abundance of the highest, most pure blessings."

O: Optimism> Every day we wake up, we have a choice. A choice to look at things in a conscious perspective. I invite you to spend a week really focusing on the word "optimism" and what it means for you. It is inevitable that there will continue to  be challenges in our lives and that is something we cannot control, regardless of the illusion of us governing all aspects of our lives. The one thing we can control, however, is the continuous opportunity to change our perspectives on our experiences. Wayne Dyer, an influential author and motivational, spiritual speaker says, "When I change the way I look at things, the things I look at begin to change."

V: Value> Believe that you are of absolute value to this world. Your life, well-being and wholeness matter and your contribution to this world is of the utmost value.  Believing this and truly living your life with this degree of understanding is half of the battle. For the next few days, attempt to reflect a few chosen experiences that occurred and write down how you contributed to the experience. How did what you do have value? How would the experience have been without you? How do people appreciate you? How do you appreciate yourself? RECOGNIZE YOUR VALUE!

E: Enthusiastic Engagement> Engage yourself in today's experiences, yes, right now! Look at the people in your everyday life and ask yourself - "How could I be more presently engaged with them?" The human population is here to do nothing more than support you. We are here with you, right now and for all of the days to come. Shed some enthusiasm and engage in your community - there are an infinite amount of experiences awaiting you! 

Spreading LOVE to you and your cherished ones throughout this month! 

Choosing Gratitude as an Attitude

With the holiday season upon us, it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of rushing around town to get all of your shopping done, anxiously waiting in line at the post office to send off those final few gifts, preparing for holiday entertaining and setting time aside to make sure you've paid all of your bills.

Rather than getting caught up in the "I have so much left to do" attitude, this December, I invite you to choose and spread the attitude of gratitude and allow this to be your conscious choice leading into the new year. Whether it's for your day-to-day schedule, your favorite local coffee shop, your inspiring & loving friends and family or simply how much you've achieved this year, similar to Santa's "nice" list, the gratitude list is endless.

Here are a few ways to spread the gratitude cheer well into the new year:

1. CELEBRATE SMALL WINS. As the end of the year approaches, it's easy to get down on ourselves about not having achieved as much as we had hoped this year. Remembering that life unfolds exactly as it should, allow yourself to trust in exactly that. Rather than focus on what hasn't yet been tackled, reflect on small wins this year. One of Mother Teresa's famous quotes is "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love". As we choose the path of love, kindness and intentionality in our acts and conversations, unbelievable things begin to happen in our lives. Love. Act. Celebrate. Repeat. 

2. EXPRESS YOUR GRATITUDE. In whichever way feels best suited for you, make it a point to be thankful - today and everyday. Expressing our emotions allows us to break through our fears and settle into our hearts. As we have all experienced, living in the heart is equivalent to living in the present which means - we are actively living in our gratitude swagger! Created by Zack Prager who has a masters degree in positive psychology, GratitudeBucket.com allows us to do just that. The app encourages visitors to leave comments about how amazing people are and then they do the rest by sharing it with the individual. Personalized with a photo, this gratitude sharing app is surely worthy of a try!

3. SAY A PRAYER BEFORE YOU EAT. In whichever language, method and length works for you, I invite you to try giving thanks before you eat. Whether it is just in the morning or for an entire day, this is a quick and easy way to immediately dive into the gratitude attiude for something we all need and are rarely conscious of how much we rely on it - food! Having the funds and mindfulness to wholesomely nourish our bodies is integral in our stress-filled, busy lives. Written by the Huffington Post, below are 14 habits of people with a healthy relationship to food have: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/17/healthy-relationship-to-food-habits_n_5107037.html 

4. MAKE SOMEONE'S DAY. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is never fun, but let's be honest - it happens from time to time to nearly all of us. If we take a moment to reflect on how we were able to bounce back that particular day, it most commonly directs back to someone (a little elf, perhaps) appearing out of nowhere and making our day. Whether it was a compliment on our new pair of shoes, a genuinely shared smile at a time of need, or the sharing of a hilarious joke when the laughter helped heal; reach out to make someone's day and be the little elf that is there to spread joy in their day.

5. BE GRATEFUL FOR YOURSELF. Yes, you! Next time you look into the mirror, give yourself a little "Hey, there, good lookin'! You're looking quite radiant today!" Our bodies are our vehicles to not only transform ourselves into our deepest desires, but our primary vehicle to help transform the world.  Self-crticism, especially about our bodies, only leads us to further dissapointments. Mind Body Green lists a few body-shaming habits we should aim to eliminate from our daily behaviors. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15240/9-body-shaming-behaviors-we-all-need-to-stop.html The deeper in love we fall with our bodies, the deeper in love we fall with our surroundings and our lives - exactly as they are today.

 

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season with an abundance of gratitude!