Recently, my mother passed away and very soon after two of my young nephews died within 10 days of each other. I was also traveling internationally and had an emergency surgery. My days began to blur. I couldn’t eat or sleep. My heart was heavy and my body couldn’t move. The grief my entire family was feeling became overwhelming and resulted in great stress on my body.
Have you ever experienced a time in your life when stress took over your body?
Stress itself can be debilitating. Our bodies go into fight-flight mode. We may crave chocolate and wine even though our bodies slow down digestion. Muscles tense up. We can’t think clearly. We may even cry or scream without notice!
It’s normal to have stress in our lives and it’s normal for our bodies to react. It’s trying to protect us. To help us. Your body is reacting as a way to protect you from harm. The harm may be real or imagined. Your body doesn’t know the difference.
Physically, mentally, emotionally—our bodies begin to echo the stressors in our lives. Sometimes it happens slowly. Often, though, it happens quickly. An accident. Upsetting phone call. Trauma. Unexpected death(s).
Top 10 stressful life events
According to the widely validated Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, these are the top ten stressful life events for adults that can contribute to illness:
1Death of a spouse
5Death of a close family member
6Injury or illness
Maybe you’re in the middle of a drawn-out stressful period in your life as you read this. Maybe you’re just a phone call away from sending your body into “freeze” zone, as I call it. And, our naturally tendency is to grab the first thing we can find to make the pain go-away. We lean towards numbing ourselves when we feel stressed. Sometimes we overindulge in food, gambling, sex, sleeping, exercising, drugs, alcohol, and more. We want to grab something fast in our tool kit to ease the pain of the stressor.
What if, just for today, you made a choice to not wish the stressor away and instead choose some radical self-love?
Radical self-love begins with grace for whatever you’re going through. It begins with honoring your body, your feelings, and whatever is happening in your life to cause such great distress.
Below are a few tips that I invite you to incorporate when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
1- Get more oxygen in your body. Sit down and start to breathe deeply.
2-Pray and meditate. For me, praying is when I’m doing all the talking. It’s also a time of expressing deep gratitude for any little thing you can think of. Meditating is when I get quiet enough to hear the answers. This is when I hear next directions and what my soul is saying to me.
3-Take a long Epson-salt bath with Lavender and Stress Away Essential Oils from Young Living.
4-When you feel up to it, talk to a friend about a happy subject.
5-Depending on the stressor, ask yourself the question… in 5 years, is what is bothering me going to be important?
Eventually, you will be able to function at a new-normal. At that time, bringing in singing, dancing, walking, and gentle yoga would be extremely beneficial to help re-connect to your body while allowing the stress and grief to dissipate naturally. Whether you are experiencing a long, drawn out stressor or one that is suddenly forced upon you, either way, having a few tools in your tool kit for not IF it occurs, but rather WHEN is important. In the meantime, during highly stressful times, continue to practice radical self-love and extreme self-care to help support yourself.
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
Fill out the accompanying form to recieve a free sample of Lara’s best-selling book, More Than Enough and a free subscription to her monthly newsletter. Take the first step towards living your limitless life!
If you’re like me, you’ve got big dreams. Dreams like creating a profitable, sustainable, creative spiritual business. For years you have poured into it and it’s still not taking off. Or maybe you want to meet that special someone. Yet for years, dating has seemed like a bad joke at your expense. Or are you and your partner struggling to get pregnant? Each month arrives with a ‘negative’ line appearing as if you will never hold your dream child.
Your heart and body ache for your dream. You were created with the imprint to go after it as such a time as this. Well meaning friends say, “Well, you should stop trying. It will come to you.” Of course, their comments only frustrate you more because you know they already have all the that you are waiting on OR they don’t have great desires like you. No one seems to understand what you are experiencing. And, yet another year passes with an unfilled dream etched in your soul.
In the meantime, frustration rises in you. You wonder if you should give up.
I know all too well those feelings. One of the circumstances I mentioned above, I experienced years ago. Utter devastation would encompass me every month when I found out that I wasn’t pregnant. I would be curled up in ball on the floor of my bathroom crying in deep grief for yet another month of an unfilled dream.
I knew in my heart I was meant to have children. I would ask myself with tears streaming down my face, “Why wasn’t it happening? What is wrong with me? What am I doing wrong?” I felt like a failure while thinking my body was failing me.
Eventually, after a year, I got pregnant with my first child. And, soon after, my second son. Looking back (they are 24 and 22) I can see the perfect timing of their arrivals.
And, now as I wait for other dreams to come to fruition, I’m having to practice what I learned long ago.
Pour into your journal, prayers, and meditations how grateful you are for exactly where you are right now. List everything in your life that is there. Be thankful for this waiting season in your life. It will help you see the many blessings so that even more can come in.
2-Practice impeccable self-care.
Pour into yourself. Love on yourself like you’ve never loved on yourself. You deserve it. You’ve been given a huge dream that is bubbling up in your body. Your body needs to be honored, respected, and loved on during this trying time. Take care of yourself intellectually (watch your mind chatter), emotionally (handle your emotions as they arise—do not numb or stuff them back down), physically (take daily walks in nature, practice restorative yoga, and nourish your body with balanced diet of organic veggies/fruits and grass-fed meats), and energetically (get rid of toxic people and drama in your life).
3-Do one thing.
Do one thing each day that gets you ready to receive your dream. Are you waiting on a child? Maybe sew a baby blanket. Creating that business serving others? Begin today doing that which you love whether you get paid or not. Waiting to meet someone special? Often we’re so busy that there isn’t space for another to squeeze themselves into our too-busy lifestyle. Make room in your life for that desired partner by cutting out unnecessary activities.
4-Get busy acting as if.
While you’re being grateful and practicing impeccable self care, get busy acting as if you are already living with your dream. Whatever that is… act as if it’s already here. How would you act different? Would you whine about how you don’t have something? No, you would write in your gratitude journal how thankful you are that you are with child. Or that you’re serving in your profitable soulful business. Or you’re thankful for time with your beloved. Whatever it is you’re hoping for, begin to act as if you already have it. Notice your body relax. Notice your demeanor change to joy. Notice your smile return to your face.
5-Surrender the HOW and WHEN.
This is the most difficult step. I know because I do this on an almost daily basis right now. My heart and body desperately ache for these dreams that have been imprinted in my soul. I can’t give up on me or why I’m walking this earth, nor can you. There are people counting on your dream to be fulfilled. In order to ease the pain of waiting though, we must surrender the HOW it’s going to happen and WHEN it’s going to happen. Begin a meditation asking for help to stop the struggle. Stop the frustration. Ask for help to surrender your dream, the HOW and the WHEN of it, as well. Sit in that for as long as it takes, every day. Whenever you’re feeling like you just can’t wait any longer on the perfect timing, this is the perfect time to surrender. Again and again.
Our dreams etched in our very being will come to fruition at the right time. The right time though, isn’t up to us. In the meantime, you know what to do while you wait expecting joyfully.
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
Fill out the accompanying form to recieve a free sample of Lara’s best-selling book, More Than Enough and a free subscription to her monthly newsletter. Take the first step towards living your limitless life!
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb
I’m sure, like me, when you think of the word “tribe,” all kinds of images come to mind. Maybe even a group of people dressed like Indians circling a bonfire, chanting! Although the image may be a tad outdated, the purpose of a tribe in today’s world still holds true. We all need like-minded, supportive people around us.
The first and closest layer in our tribe should be our loved ones. We need to deliberately surround ourselves on a daily basis with these folks who support us. On purpose, you need to seek love, as well as be open to receiving love when it shows up at your door.
I had a friend tell me once it was difficult to show love to me. I had erected a wall around myself as protection from potential hurt. I found it easy to give to others but the door only opened one way–it wasn’t a revolving door. Today, I consciously keep my generosity from depleting me and am open to receiving others’ the gifts of love.
The next layers of our tribe can be other friends, mentors, coaches and even health care professionals. When I began working with a coach, I was always surprised when asked, “Who is supporting you on a day-to-day basis?” I hadn’t considered that I needed someone to lean on! I lived by myself, newly divorced, an entrepreneur and empty nester. I felt like an island castaway most days! I needed people in my life who understood and saw me, and could help me maneuver the road less taken.
After my divorce, I gradually began building a team of support. I wasn’t very good at asking for help, but I had to learn. If they said “no,” it was okay. I no longer took it personally, but needed to at least ask. My group included friends, family, doctors, nutrition experts, a finance manager, an accountant, a bookkeeper, a virtual assistant, help keeping up with the family home, a business mastermind group, and a book coach.
When I look at my life now compared to even a year ago, I am surrounded by a strong tribe in layers of support that cannot be easily broken.
If you realize that your tribe could be a little tighter or more supportive, begin journaling about your own values and dreams. Ask yourself questions like I did:
- Who or what kind of person do I need to add into my life to help support me?
- Where am I lacking that someone else can help me?
- Who supports me?
- Which loved ones surround me on a daily basis?
- How can I connect with a friend today?
- What support in my business do I need?
Where are you struggling? Look at those areas and see where you could use support. Don’t be shy about reaching out.
Let down your guard to allow love and support into your heart. If you’ve been hurt, as most of us have, this can be scary. Sometimes we have to move through fear into love. As I started to appreciate who I was created to be, I was better able to let others into my life who could love and support me. These people were folks that I deliberately set out to bring into my life.
You, too, can expand your tribe and benefit from the increased nourishment it brings. The African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Being a part of a tribe will allow you to feel loved and supported, and challenge you to grow into the best version of yourself.
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
Fill out the accompanying form to recieve a free sample of Lara’s best-selling book, More Than Enough and a free subscription to her monthly newsletter. Take the first step towards living your limitless life!
- Work / Career / Purpose
- Social / Friends
- Community / Causes
- Self – Physical, Emotional, Mental Health
Next, rate each of these categories along a scale from “I’ve got this one in the bag!” to, “Eesh, I’m the worst at _____.” Be honest with yourself, but not harsh! It’s an assessment, not a guilt trip. Now you’re ready to get creative. Sit back and look at your “balance map.” You’ll notice some peaks and valleys. Where you are already strong, congratulations! Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for excelling in the areas you do. Surveying the valleys–i.e. Your “Eesh!” areas–now gives you an opportunity to begin brainstorming how you might move the dial in a more fulfilled direction. For instance, if you just never manage to go visit Mom, ask yourself what might be a creative, enjoyable step toward more Mom-time. If visiting is impossible right now, can you increase your calls to her? Get creative with it. Could you call her on your way to work, instead of catching up on the Top 10 radio hits? Once you’ve come up with some (manageable!) strategies for climbing up the valleys in your chart, have a look at your peaks. We only have so much time and energy in a week, so to get a bit more time or energy for one under-attended part of your life, you might need to pull something from another area. This is a good moment to examine if those peaks actually need all the time you’re giving them. Is it really critical that you attend that work BBQ, or would it perhaps earn you just as much respect to give that time to your health, your community, or your family? Or, maybe you can do some clever combining: bring the family to the BBQ, or use some of your time there to invite your coworkers to help you support a cause you’re passionate about. Finally, find a buddy to join you on this adventure. We all need accountability and inspiration, and creating balance requires time–so, you’ll need someone to report breakthroughs as well as challenges along the way, or someone with whom you can powwow and re-visit your map. Hey… maybe that person could be a friend you’ve been meaning to spend more time with?
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
How many of us grew up with the image implanted in our minds of that “second half,” the partner who, once we succeeded in finding them, would complete us?
Billions are spent around the world each year producing and consuming products and services to deliver the redemption of perfect romantic bliss.
Rarely do these tricks or tools turn us toward what actually has the power to grant us the “completion” we seek: the realization that we will never be truly happy in any relationship unless and until we take responsibility for tapping into, cultivating and realizing our own fullness; for making ourselves complete.
How can we do this? Start with these (free!) tips and tricks:
Recognize your souls’ independence
Whether it’s with your new flame or your spouse of twenty years, your connection doesn’t change the fact that you are, at the end of the day, still two separate souls, on your own paths of awakening to your own greatness and missions. We, alone, are responsible for moving ourselves steadily along that path.
How does this change things? Instead of blaming your unhappiness on the apparent problems or deficiencies in your partner or relationship — her lack of psychic understanding of your need for space (or closeness!), the way he leaves clothes on the floor, or a “tension topic” that never fails to stoke a brutal fight — you can see these instead as something your soul has chosen for you to grow from and with, so that you can become a more complete person able to create harmony from these icky dynamics.
How much do you make intentional time in your day to do something that expresses love for yourself? My guess is, not much. It takes practice, and we each can find our own way that fits, but that old homage will always be true that if we can’t love ourselves, we cannot love someone else authentically or authentically accept love from someone else. Some ideas:
- Journal each day about something you did well, or a great quality in yourself that you observed;
- Take a few moments in front of the mirror to focus not on your imperfections but on everything you like about yourself;
- You know those things you keep complaining your partner never does for you? Stop waiting… Do them for yourself! Take yourself out to a movie. Buy yourself those nice earrings or shoes. Take yourself to your favorite romantic spot.
Actively appreciate your partner
Like two side of a coin, actively loving ourselves and loving others go hand in hand. When we are intentional about one, it feeds our ability to do the other. So make a point to look each day for what your partner does, or who they are, that you can appreciate. Look hard if necessary… So they didn’t empty the dishwasher like you asked, or complement you on your choice of attire before you both headed out to work? But, he did get out of bed, and she did go to work today, contributing to your quality of life. Then, once you have found those things–however small–thank them!
Practicing these habits can help shake you from toxic yet seductive assumption that your partner is anything but an independent soul there to offer both supports and challenges to you in your growth as another independent soul. They do not complete you — rather, as two complete, appreciative and self-realized individuals, you can realize a love that is light-years beyond what we have been taught is possible.
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
From birth, we’re pressured to plan, project, and plot out our lives. And while I heartily advocate envisioning your future, ancient wisdom reminds us that our best possible future begins now — and, more specifically, in being able to live in the now.
What does this mean? Think back to your last captivating conversation, walk in nature, or some enchanting street. Or think about the last time you created art, music, a craft, or a great meal. You were fully focused and engaged with what was inside and out. Life was rich, full of color and dimension. Do you remember what it felt like to be fully present in that moment?
Intentionally getting to this state can sometimes be difficult. Today, we battle not only our future-centric conditioning, but also the endless small-but-crucial details needed to manage modern life. We have fancy devices, carefully crafted advertising, and a bevy of indulgences constantly waving tasty distractions in front of our mind’s eye.
Like most great things, presence is achievable through steady effort over time. Think of it as building a set of habits–a few tiny, repeated actions. Over time, these and the habit of presence will become second nature.
Try these 5 habits to strengthen your connection to the now:
- Meditate. Not just a new-age fad, meditation is a technique used by many successful people. One of the most powerful things you can do each day to pull yourself into the now is to set aside time for meditation. Even just 10-15 minutes will increase your mental clarity and bring you back in touch with your inner wisdom, intuition, and capacity for living joyfully.
- [Actually] Eat Your Lunch. Another small habit to bring you into the powerful now is mindful eating. By bringing presence to the lunch–the meal we are most prone to rush–you can re-set your equilibrium to the present for the rest of your day. Use your break to step away from your desk, put your phone away, and fully enjoy the experience of eating. Taste it. Feel each bite. Think about where it came from. You might even let yourself give thanks for who and what helped make it. You’ll also be doing your body a favor, since we absorb more nutrients when we eat mindfully.
- [Don’t] Hold the Phone. Our newfound connection to smartphones has most of us constantly picking up our devices to “plug in.” These gadgets are here to stay, but you can create habits to demote them as rulers of your mind, focus, and life by intentionally putting your phone down at regular intervals in the day in order to be fully where you are. Look around. Smell the air. Listen to the sounds. Check in with your body. This is especially beneficial to do when interfacing with someone important to you.
- Check in with Nature. The natural world has an amazing knack for zooming us back to the moment. Spend just 5-10 minutes in nature every day, even if it’s stepping outside your office or taking lunch in a local park. Stop to fully admire the sunset on your way home. You’ll find your attention deepen and expand the rest of your day.
- Journal. Whether or not you consider yourself a “Writer,” journaling is a simple ritual that can unleash your own latent abilities to be intentional in your life and work. It is also incredibly good for your mental health. Before bed, give yourself 10-30 minutes to write freely, without self-monitoring or need for perfection, about what’s on your heart or mind. Getting ideas down on paper helps you to clear space in your mind, freeing your attention and allowing you to more fully embrace the present moment.
By bringing ourselves into the now, we can live our most joyful, intentional, and creative lives. Don’t wait to start trying these out, or experimenting with your own “now” habits.
CLARITY. CONFIDENCE. CONNECTION.
Life has taken some unexpected twists and turns. Even though it may not feel “good” in the moment, I know all is as it should be. Maybe you’ve been there? I’ve gone deeper inside with each (appearing) setback questioning what brings me joy, getting rid of what doesn’t and praying how I can serve you, my awesome community being open, transparenLife has taken some unexpected twists and turns. Even though it may not feel “good” in the moment, I know all is as it should be. Maybe you’ve been there? I’ve gone deeper inside with each (appearing) setback questioning what brings me joy, getting rid of what doesn’t and praying how I can serve you, my awesome community being open, transparent and authentic. Over and over I go back to my first book, More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
Recently I’ve thought, I wrote the book and now, I can move onto something more important, more meaningful to serve my community. So, I looked everywhere for the new message I was supposed to teach—inside myself as well as others. Never did I find it. I felt stuck, frustrated. Even angry at God.
Have you ever gone searching for something and the answer was right in front of you?
Finally, in my quiet time (Chapter 1 of my book), I was reminded again that I am “more than enough”. I continue to peel back layers of this ‘NOT ENOUGH’ everyday. We teach what we ourselves need to learn.
Many others also need support understanding how their worthiness and own self-esteem is at the CORE of all they are and do. It is the small, hidden rudder steering their19657429_10209954149590052_1734048526162106914_n-medium.jpg ship of life. The relationship with ourselves is THE CORNERSTONE of our entire life. It’s the essential piece to the puzzle bridging us to a healthy life [intellectually, physically, emotionally, energetically] as well as with our relationships with God and others. More to come in the weeks ahead on this very subject!
What is so ironic is, I didn’t think my message of More Than Enough, was ENOUGH! There had to be more!
In the past I never felt like I HAD ENOUGH, was GOOD ENOUGH, or was DOING ENOUGH. I pushed myself all the time and thought I had to prove constantly that I was worthy. I’ve spent years praying, researching, testing, writing, and implementing tools and strategies that have helped with my own unworthiness and deep self-hatred. Some worked…some didn’t! Although I forget on some days like everyone, I can honestly say now I LOVE MYSELF. I am happy to be alive and have the body that I have to serve me. I am honored to bundle my years of experience and help you..
embrace your body you feel disconnected too.
learn to feel again without fear of your emotions.
Find Your Happy — whatever that is for you.
live life in an easy, simple flow—full of joy and love.
break through the barriers that hold you back from living life full-on.
have harmony, balance, peace and organization even if a hurricane is swirling around you.
have CLARITY in your purpose.
increase your CONFIDENCE in who you are.
have a deep CONNECTION with yourself, God, and others.
My heart is full knowing I get to be a warrior for your worth, walking beside you on your journey to authentic self-love.
My good friend, Mary Garvin Burkhart said after reading More Than Enough she realized, “Self-Love is not a luxury. In fact, is a necessity for health, happiness and fulfillment.”
And, that’s what happens when you finally can own your worth— the world opens up to you. Health can return to your body. Happiness and peace fills your days. You can see your own unlimited potential and have your bravest dreams.
My message of ENOUGH not being ENOUGH almost stopped me from living my dream. Recognize in your own life where your unworthy feelings have stopped you from moving forward. I invite you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share with me where your NOT ENOUGH is keeping you stuck.
Want to learn more?
Listen-in HERE where I go in-depth on Enough is Enough [Episode 22].
Imagine, if you will, a PROJECTORS on our head–looking out in the world. So, as we are all walking around, we are projecting our own “stuff” onto others. Now, it shows up as they other person is…
but in reality most of the time what we see in others is really a mirror of our own stuff.
Projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.
For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. Sort of a blame shifting.
Projection is quite common in everyday life.
This is SO IMPORTANT. Because it’s a clue to how we are doing or what we need to work on. It especially happens when we have a lot of unprocessed emotions that we don’t what to deal with.
Maybe we are numbing ourselves so we don’t have to deal with emotions that are coming up. Eventually, though, it’s going to show up. It may show up as anger projected onto someone else. Usually those closest to us—our loved ones.
It’s also important before we go blaming others for being a certain way or complaining about so-so being selfish, we really need to look within.
These uncomfortable, even embarrassing and frustrating emotions that we don’t want to deal with are going to show up.
According to famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, these emotions are projected onto other people, so that other people become our carriers of our own perceived flaws.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, this form of emotional displacement, makes it much easier to live with ourselves because everyone else is responsible for our misery — not us. We are the victim or the good and righteous person.
There’s no end to the types of feelings or emotions we can project onto other, but here are a few of the most common:
1-Insecurity or Body Image Issues.
When we feel insecure about some aspect of ourselves, especially our body image, we often project onto others those same insecurities. For example, he or she is so ugly. In reality it’s YOU that thinks you are UGLY or whatever you are calling the other person. You are probably just insecure about yourself. People with low self esteem tend to put others down because in that’s how they feel about themselves. This is also what bully’s do often.
2. Attraction to someone other than your partner.
This is actually quite common when someone is attracted to a third person. They feel inside it’s not acceptable to be attracted to someone else so instead they blame their spouse for cheating. It’s their way of not dealing with their own feelings.
3. Disliking Someone.
He or she doesn’t like me. If you dislike someone you aren’t willing to admit it, you may try to convince yourself the other person doesn’t like you. In reality, it’s YOU that doesn’t like her but you’re unwilling to admit your own feelings.
Anger is a very common feeling that is projected often onto others. You may be steaming on the inside but instead of handling it yourself, you tell yourself so-so is such an angry person.
If you are noticing or being triggered by someone /something someone does, I challenge you to look at it closer.
We all project in our daily lives to protect ourselves against emotions, thoughts, and perceptions that we judge as being too “bad,” “ugly,” “shameful,” or even “uncontrollable.”
I do want to say that if you feel as if someone is PROJECTING their stuff onto you, even though you’re pretty certain of this, telling them probably isn’t going to do any good! Holding up the mirror to them most likely will be met with massive resistance that you think you’re all that. This may be a time in your life that you should lay down your desire to be right and focus on your own stuff.
I’ve been the target many times for people to tell me what they think I should be doing different in my life. When I am not asking for your advice, let me tell you, I AM NOT OPEN TO HEARING YOUR OPINION. I will ask you if I want to hear what you think. People ask questions when they are ready to hear the answers. Let me say that again, this statement is very important.. People ask questions when they are ready to hear the answers. Until then, I recommend keeping your opinions to yourself and this includes telling others they are projecting onto you.
I honor that everyone is on their own journey and learning along the way is optional!
Projecting thoughts or emotions onto others allows you to consider how dysfunctional the other person is, but without feeling the discomfort of knowing that these thoughts and emotions are your own. We can thus criticize the other person, distancing ourselves from our own dysfunction.
This is one of the problems with projecting our stuff onto others—it makes us think we are so much better and superior to others. It makes me think I don’t have to look at myself and my own inadequacies instead I can just focus on how messed up you are!
We fail to see the good in people because we are so busy picking out their flaws. Which, in reality, they are our own FLAWS!
Secondly, projecting can create a mess because we don’t deal with the feelings in the first place. This is one of the main points that I teach—-embracing our emotions. Not being afraid of them. Welcome them. Feel them. Let them become a part of you. It’s then and only then they can’t hurt you anymore. Until dealt with, the unprocessed emotions will always find their way to the surface. Sometimes even hurting others.
In order to stop projecting onto others, we must become aware of what we’re doing. It’s about getting quiet, being still and noticing what’s happening in our lives. What are we saying to the people around us? What are we saying to ourselves?
When you are seeing others in a negative light, ask yourself, “Am I projecting?” Also understand that when others are criticizing you, they may well be criticizing a projection of themselves.
And, remember the visual I gave you of us all walking around with a projector on our head—shining on others our own stuff. Become aware of what you’re beaming out into the world and choose to handle it yourself.
My intention every day is to help my clients, listeners and followers navigate the ups and downs of life while staying true to their own guidance and soul direction. It’s a noisy world out there though. How do you know you’re not listening to your soul?
Do you feel a little off?
Something troubling you and you can’t quite pinpoint it?
Do you have an uncomfortable feeing in the pit of your stomach?
Frustrated? Trouble focusing?
All of these are signs you are not listening to your own guidance system. They are clues to SLOW DOWN, get quiet and get real with yourself. First though, we have to NOTICE that we’re feeling off. We need to become AWARE there is something in our body seeking attention.
Noticing what happens to be is the first step in hearing the whispers of your soul. Just notice your surroundings. Notice what mind chatter you are telling yourself. Notice where you feel frustrated in life. Notice if there’s a spot in your body pinging for your attention. Noticing what is means to become AWARE. It’s the opposite of numbing ourselves so we don’t feel. Instead of pushing down feelings, emotions, or ignoring situations that may get us off kilter, we allow what is. We notice. That’s it. No judgement. Only awareness of what is.
We are constantly bombarded with outside messages, stress, life demands and more. Often it’s difficult to know if something is “off” let alone hear our soul speak to us. For me, noticing usually sends me straight to the couch or a walk on the beach. This is my BE STILL time I write about in More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
Recently, I was personally experiencing that “off” feeling I am describing above. I was confused and couldn’t concentrate on my work at hand. In the past, I would push through. Or I would find something, anything, to numb the uncomfortable feeling. Doing what I do now for a living, it didn’t take long for me to realize my body was pinging for my attention. I immediately took some quiet time to pray and mediate on what was happening. I didn’t get up from the couch until I felt better! I needed to hear my soul whisper to me that something wasn’t sitting right in my heart and during that quiet time I was given the next steps to correct it.
As we slow down and make a concerted effort each day to BE STILL, we can begin to hear those whispers of the soul. We become AWARE of our language and surroundings, maybe for the first time. We begin to even NOTICE possibly the drama that we contribute in our lives.
I invite you to welcome that stillness into your daily life. The time you take for NOTICING and AWARENESS allows your soul to whisper to you. You may experience…
- Release from old programs, blocked emotions, layers of patterns and agendas that held you back in the past
- Renewed clarity in projects and life direction
- Increased overall confidence
- Expanded connection to God
What is your soul yearning to whisper in your ear? I invite you and give you full permission to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of tea and take that quiet time to honor yourself. And, after you do and if you so feel led to share, shoot me an email and let me know what your soul whispered to you. I would be honored to share the experience with you!
Have you ever wondered what ONE thing you could do so you didn’t react to little annoyances of daily life?
Have you ever wondered what ONE thing you could do so you stayed on your healthy eating/exercise plan?
Or, are you curious what ONE thing you could do so stress would slide off your shoulders?
The ONE thing you can do to improve your life in many areas is MEDITATE.
And, here’s why… It blows everything away that I’ve ever tried in order to truly change my life. I would say affirmations. Make goals. Set intentions. Pray. And, still I couldn’t change important areas of my life. I seemingly always failed, feeling worse about myself than when I began to make changes. My body would still crave chocolate when I was stressed. I would often react to people and situations in an unhealthy way or spend money on unnecessary items. The triggers of daily life sent me in a frenzy. Until, I started to meditate.
Meditation cuts through to the patterns that are already programmed in your subconscious. Those old programs are running the show in your life. You may be “trying” to change on the surface but the computer software that is really running the show, your subconscious, isn’t going to have it!
Almost immediately, when I began to meditate, I could feel a difference. It reprogramed me to live from my soul’s purpose instead of what the world says I “should” do. When you are meditating, every cell in the body fills with more energy which results in joy, peace, and enthusiasm. Old programs that are running the background are disabled so you can meet your goals, eat healthy, and most importantly, live life in the present instead of in reaction mode from the past.
The great news about meditation is that the results are cumulative. As you embrace the practice, the benefits accumulate, like when you exercise. When I began meditating, I felt an all-around peace. My thoughts were clearer; my energy was focused. Life had an easier ebb and flow. Messages were crystal clear. I began to sense, see and hear angels. The more I surrendered my agenda, my expectations, and my ego, God was able to speak to me in a powerful way.
Studies show over and over how meditating: strengthens the immune system, improves your relationships, increases serotonin production, improves concentration, encourages healthy lifestyle, problems shrink, brings to mind solutions, reduces stress, depression and anxiety, adds clarity and peace of mind, lowers blood pressure, decreases tension in the body, and increases the energy level.
Embarking on this sort of practice might seem daunting. Let me take the scariness out of it for you by providing a simple guide to get started. Meditation means to engage in contemplation, usually with a focused mental intent or a single point of reference. According to Psychology Today: It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.
When I first began meditating, I used a guided meditation which helped me relax while staying focused. As my skill increased, I was able to take a few deep breathes before dropping into the space of openness in almost an instant. When I’m seeking guidance on important issues in my life, meditation is always my first stop. I invite you to look within your own heart for your soul’s direction for your life. I can’t imagine my life without meditation. My life has transformed mainly due to this one practice alone. It quickly centers me and provides a reset anytime, anywhere. This, too, could be your go-to for reducing the stress in your daily life.
At first, you may see progress in terms of physical relaxation and emotional calmness. Later, you may notice other, subtler changes. Some of the most important benefits of meditation make themselves known over time and are not dramatic or easily observed. Persist in your practice and you will find that meditation frees you from the worries that gnaw at you. By opening up space inside, you are free to experience the joy of being fully present, here and now. Start with five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night before you go to sleep. This ONE thing will skyrocket you to a more centered, more peaceful life—-externally and internally. To download your FREE meditation to get started, CLICK HERE.
Are you struggling in your business to make the money you’d like? Or maybe you’re in a dead-end career and unsure where to go next.
Do you wonder why you are not attracting the love of your life? OR if you are in a relationship… is TENSION fueling the flames instead of love?
Has your health taken a turn for the worst?
If you’re even a little curious what is blocking you from the ideal career, relationships, OR health, you’re ready to find out the answer. That answer is…. you are not living from your soul.
Your soul is your Divine Spark that stays connected to God/Spirit 24/7 leading and guiding you masterfully. It guides your every decision.
When it’s shut down, you shut down. Your relationships die. Your body gets sick—emotionally and physically. Your work fizzles. You listen to other people’s advice instead of following your own GPS. You don’t trust yourself and you certainly don’t trust others. All the armor around you pushes love, money, good health to the corners of the earth. You close down.
How do I know, you ask… because I lived shut down and closed for years. A perfect storm of a divorce after 25 years, spiritual awakening, and a health crisis took it toll. Struggling against my circumstances, I became very angry at God, my husband and the world as I fought my inner demons of not being enough. I was disconnected from my body and hated myself in every way, shape and form. Strangely enough, from the outside, things were picture perfect… successful husband, successful home business, beautiful home, two amazing and talented sons, a great school system, fabulous vacations, a tight-knit community, and church family. EveryTHING the normal American family desires and more. But none of that mattered. I was miserable. And was sick and tired of being sick and tired! I began to dig for answers to the questions above. And, I didn’t stop until my attitude and world began to change for the better.
Maybe you’re there too… If you’re sick and tired of being hit wth a 2X4 in life, it’s time to live life differently… from your soul.
It’s time to ignite that Spark inside of you and begin living from your SOUL. You already have all the answers inside of you. I can give you the tools to tap into those answers to guide yourself to that dream life you’ve always envisioned..
- satisfying finances and career
- true partnerships and relationships full of intimacy, honesty and transparency
Isn’t it time for you to light your own spark?
Ways to work with me…
1-If you’re ready to join me in a journey like nothing you have EVER experienced in your life, shoot me a quick email at email@example.com for a complimentary 30 minute session, with your top 3 choices of times/dates.
2-Save the dates….February 23-26, 2017 Siesta Key, Florida, Group Women’s Retreat
3-Florida Residents: Join me next week….
Light Your Own Spark of Hope with Best Selling Author Lara Habig, at Four Pillars, Lakewood Ranch, Florida
I’m stuck right now. I can’t decide which direction to go in writing to you, my dear friend. Frustration is building. I have so many things to say and yet, I am frozen, like little Olaf in the Disney movie!
I recognize this “stuckness” like the back of my hand. It’s debilating. It freezes me so I don’t move forward until I recognize what is happening. Then… I take one step. Just one. I begin to see (become AWARE) I’m stuck and I get to choose. I can choose:
- Stay where I am. For me this means staying small and hiding.
- Move through the fear and frustration and do it anyway. I get clear on what I want to convey or do and focus on the bigger picture.
Maybe you feel stuck in an area of your own life. Does it feel like you’re wading through mud and not sure what is holding you back? Or, maybe you know what is holding you back. Something from the far away past that you struggle to forget yet it is always a monkey on your back. Do you ask yourself, “Is this really all there is to life?”
What would it feel like to send that monkey flying back home, and free from frustration? Can you even imagine how you would feel? Focused in the present perhaps? Excited for every moment to live fully? Maybe even a full-on screaming WOO HOO from the top of your lungs? [By the way, I’ve done that before!]
No matter what you are doing in your life right now—stay at home mom, waitress, esthetician, entrepreneur, corporate executive, retired– I want you to know IT’S PERFECT! You’re exactly where you need to be. Even if that’s in the feeling of stuck and frustrated! Use it to propel yourself to a bigger vision for your life–whatever that may be.
Just so you know—I get stuck too. And, I have developed tools to work through them so I don’t stay in that place for very long. Life is a journey and I’m here to share what I’ve learned with amazing people like you. I would love to chat with you and share a tool or two to help you get unstuck in something that is holding you back from living your life full on. If you would like a complimentary 30 minute 1:1 session, shoot me a quick email at Lara@LimitlessSoul.com with your top 3 choices of times/dates.
Save the dates….February 23-26, 2017
Siesta Key, Florida
Group Women’s Retreat
For whatever reason, many people are alone and lonely these days, even if they are in a committed partnership. I wrote extensively on this in February ( https://larajaye.com/for-all-the-singles/ ) and feel a need to address it even yet again with another perspective. What if there was a higher purpose to your being single for the time being? What if you NEED to be single before you begin a true loving relationship? For those in a partnership, what is your alone-ness trying to teach you? I was married myself for 25 years and felt such deep loneliness that I can hardly describe it. After the divorce, I thought—now here’s my chance to be with someone new and not feel such loneliness.
LOL..I laugh now thinking that!
Now, back in the dating world, I’ve noticed many things. Most of us LONG for the same things. We desire a deep connection with another. We want someone else to love us as we are. We want someone else to “see” us. Give us the affirmations and validation that we are loved, lovable, beautiful and sexy.
I’ve dated men who on paper looked like the perfect match for me.. and in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. There are other things to consider. The unseen for example. The underlying beliefs — both conscious and unconscious that show up for you both in your everyday life. Recently, I was mad at myself for pushing away this super nice guy in my life. He said all the right things. Everything seemed “on paper” perfect. But my gut was telling me different. There was something missing. A red flag was flying high in the air and I was pretending it wasn’t there.
I spent much time in prayer and meditation contemplating the meaning of this relationship in my life and what I needed to learn. I know that no one can love you fully and deeply (even if they tell you they can) until they love themselves FIRST. This relationship mirrored this beautifully in my life. Although he was saying all the right things to me. Things I’ve for years dreamed someone would say to me. Something was off.
At the same time compliments were being expressed, an underlying yearning from him to complete him were also hiding in the messages.
Hint.. if someone tells you, “you complete me,” run! Although I haven’t read it, Whoopi Goldberg even has a new book out called, If Someone Says “You Complete Me,” RUN!: Whoopi’s Big Book of Relationships.
The bottom line was, he was searching in me for love and validation that only he can give to himself. This is something each of us must do on our OWN. We must focus on being our highest and best on our own, without the need or attachment for another person to complete us. To fill us. Only we can do that for ourselves. No more waiting for Super Man… we are our own Super Hero!
At the same time, we need to give up the attachment to being attached! This is certainly not easy to do. Our world reminds us we are incomplete without that special someone to share love with. TV/movies tell us if we aren’t with a partner “in love” that something is wrong with us. Our bodies remind us daily that we need hugs, touched, and someone to connect with. Yet, love remains illusive.
Ask yourself WHY do you have to have that person in your life? Why are you crying over a person who doesn’t want to be with you anyway? We crave connectedness. We are human! YAY! You are alive. You want a meaningful relationship in your life. And, you don’t want to settle yet love continues to remain out of reach.
Here’s what I recommend for those singles and couples who are struggling in their alone-ness:
Slow down. Take a few deep breaths. And, look inside.
What is it you are feeling right now? Boredom? Sadness? Deep dark loneliness? Unworthiness? Feel it to your core. Let it come to the surface so you can release it. Do this with every emotion that wants to come up. Feel it. Name it, if you’d like. Let the tears fall.
This next part, is one of the most important. Ask God for help in releasing the attachment of having that love interest in your life. Be prepared, this may produce even more tears and feel like your guts are being ripped out of you. Do not dismay! Allow this important step to happen so you can be set free to love and be loved as you desire.
Now, what’s missing inside of you?
It’s time to fill yourself back up.
Focus on giving yourself that love you desire. Imagine your entire body filling with LOVE. As you continue to show yourself this unbridled love, you become who you want to attract.
If you find yourself in a slump again over lost love or yearning for an unfulfilled desire, repeat these steps above as needed.
This is the new you. You have just released many sad emotions around being alone. The attachment to having a partner is gone. And, you have filled yourself up with true LOVE. Divine love from above that emanates joy from your core.
For the singles, while you are living in this joy filled space, hang out with a group of friends that lift you up. Get your hugs and connect from this space of fun. No expectations of love interests, just embracing people who matter in your life. For those who are in partnerships, begin to cultivate the relationship with yourself at an even deeper level and watch your relationships transform into something even more fulfilling.
For me, I realized it didn’t matter who I was with, what mattered was who I was being on the inside. The most important relationship you can have is the relationship you have with YOURSELF!
I believe many of us are living the single life right now in order to learn to love ourselves fully and freely FIRST. It doesn’t mean we will never have a partner to share life with. It just means we needed to learn this step first before we take the next step of true divine love partnership with another. This new partnership will honor each other and challenge each to be their best. It will allow for a deep and satisfying relationship on all levels — physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. In the meantime, do the inner work, allow yourself to feel the alone-ness that is, release the attachment of having to have a partner, and hold the vision for love that you already are.
I’m sitting in a Delta Sky Club somewhere in the United States with tears falling down my face.
One by one, I let the tears fall.
Earlier in the month, I was traveling abroad in an unfamiliar area surrounded by luxury and opulence I’d only seen in magazines. As I was sitting poolside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, tears began to pour out of me. A sadness overtook me that I can’t even explain. My heart was breaking and there was only one way for it to mend and that was to spill out the tears in front of a crowd of people.
I cry in elevators.
I cry at the pool.
I cry at church and of course at weddings.
I cry at restaurants.
I cry on planes, trains, automobiles.
I’m a cancer. Emotional with deep feelings. Over emotional—some would say. I used to hate that I could cry at the drop of a hat. Now, I welcome it. I’m eager to feel whatever is coming up. No longer will I apologize for who I am. If I don’t feel the emotions that want to come up, I know what can happen to me. I get sick. I crave foods that are unhealthy. I get out of balance — not just emotionally, but spiritually and physically. I’m coming off a couple devastating weeks of emotional turmoil. No need to describe it. It’s life. We all have it. The question is— what are we going to do with it?
I choose to feel it. No matter where I am. I choose to feel it deeply and let it envelope me so that I can move on. Tears contain gold. Sometimes I even write about it to help you through a bump in your life.
Often, we rush to someone’s aid who is crying. We want to wipe their tears away. What if we let them feel what they need to feel? What if our interference actually disturbs what their body is needing to process? Grief, sadness, even love and happiness can come through tears. William H. Frey II, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist and tear researcher at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota and he thinks that “crying is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration, but it is also a healthy one. Crying is a natural way to reduce emotional stress that, left unchecked, has negative physical effects on the body, including increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.”
I don’t fight my tears any longer. I’m not trying to impress anyone around me, that’s for sure! Generally, whenever my tears want to express themselves, I allow it happen. No more resistance. Try it sometime. Be with yourself. Give yourself permission to honor what’s coming up for you. Don’t be afraid of letting “it” out. When your body is ready to express itself, allow the tears to shed with no resistance, regardless of where you are. Just be with the moment and feel it. Allow it to move through you, even if it means crying in public.
Sitting here alone…curled up in a ball in a Delta Sky Club somewhere in the United States with tears falling. I don’t even wipe the tears away. Tears fall from my eyes down my cheek, onto my neck until they hit my sweater. They contain my feelings and my sadness about a recent event that needed to be felt and honored. It’s okay, I remind myself. No need to hide it. How should you cry in public? Beautifully, openly, and honorably.
You know the most asked question about meditation I get?
It’s not… how do you meditate?
It’s not… what do you listen to when you meditate?
Or even what position (is your body in) when you meditate?
It’s WHEN do you find the time to meditate?
I’ve posted many photos of beautiful places I’ve meditated before. I’m sitting in one of those right now, working from my mobile office (a laptop and chair anywhere in the world) overlooking a pool and the Mediterranean Sea.
But honestly, those beautiful places aren’t the norm. This is WHEN I most often meditate..
ANY chance I get.
Last night I had a brief moment to myself sitting in a hotel lobby. I took a few deep breaths and began to focus on the things I was thankful for. I could feel my body relax as I let go of the hectic day and conversations that didn’t exactly go the way I had planned. A few minutes later, I was eager to move on to the next event without the baggage of the day on my shoulders.
Another time I meditate is when I’m waiting in lines. WAITING for anything I feel is a complete WASTE of my time! However, lines and waiting are a fact of life. Especially as much as I travel. I’m not in control (thank God) of the when things happen and waiting needs to be in order all too often. Last week when my son and I arrived in Spain, we had to wait and wait most of the day. After a day of traveling we arrived in Spain only to WAIT another couple hours in a line to report our baggage that didn’t arrive.
Exhausted and hungry, what I wanted to do was curl up in a ball in the corner of the airport. Instead, my son stood in the line while I sat nearby with what luggage did arrive. No one around to help. Lines hours long. In a strange place.. in need of basic food and rest. I could feel myself ready to explode. THIS WAS A PERFECT TIME TO meditate!
I started with breathing. One deep breath at a time. Is what I told myself. One breath at a time. I reminded myself of some words from a dear mentor, Sabine Mesner says, “This too shall pass. The “good” isn’t as good as it seems and the “bad” isn’t at bad as it seems.” I began to focus on the things that did go right that day. We had some of our luggage. We were safe. We were together. I began praying and asking God and his legion of Angels for help to get through this difficult time. I asked for strength. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath. Tears streamed down my face for a good half hour while I just breathed and re-centered myself. When I was finally able to open my eyes, I stood up and hugged my son. Grateful for the moment.
Just a couple days later I had the pleasure of waiting in another long line in Spain. I missed my train because of waiting. Of course, I could feel myself fuming from the inside – out. Again, this is a perfect time to meditate. THIS IS LIFE! Although I was standing and my eyes were open, I began taking some deep breaths to calm me down in the midst of the stress. After a prayer of thanks, I asked for strength, help in getting on the next train and communicating this in Spanish to the train clerk. I began to focus on something that made me joyful. Anything. This pulled me out of the funk that I was sinking into. This is ONE of the things meditation and prayer does for me. It helps me refocus and recenter when LIFE HAPPENS.. and it DOES and usually not in a way I’m expecting.
I meditate in the mornings.
I meditate in the evenings before bed.
And, I meditate any other chance I get, wherever I am.
It’s easy to pray and meditate when life is easy-peasy. I challenge you to bring it in your every day life or when there is even a hurricane swirling around you and you feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Life may be turning inside-out and you want to scream. That’s the PERFECT time to meditate and center yourself.
I meditate in planes, trains, automobiles, waiting in lines, on the beach, in yoga class, during a massage, getting a wax, walking, while cooking, in bed, in the shower, at a bar dancing, in the bathroom (yep)— anywhere I can get a minute to myself.
I meditate because I feel better when I do. It brings my energy up when I’m feeing down. I meditate because I don’t want my life to be like it used to.. letting the wind and the stress of life blow me around. Now, when it gets “windy” I know how to ground myself in the midst of the swaying trees, stand firm and bring me back to my true center of joy no matter where I am.
If you’d like to read more about how meditation helped me navigate through some difficult times in my life (see Chapter 3), click here and download a FREE pdf of my Amazon Best Seller, More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
Also, if you would like to book a complimentary 30 minute 1:1 session with me, please click here! I would love to chat with you! Have a GREAT weekend.
As I write this, I’m on my final leg back to the United States after a couple weeks traveling in Spain. Before I left, I offered to YOU, the first few who responded a complimentary 30 minute 1:1 session with me. I knew I was leaving town and needed to hold some off until I returned so here is the link for a few open spots. CLICK HERE if you would like to get booked with me next week!
I enjoyed talking with many of you and look forward to meeting even more!
I’ve never traveled to Europe before and certainly never alone. It was challenging at times. Especially because I don’t know Spanish! Minor detail! My son armed me with a few phrases, for example:
- Necesito Ayuda. I NEED HELP!
- Hablas englas? Do you speak English?
- No hablo esplanol I do not speak Spanish.
- Necesito ir al …. I need to go to the…
- Bebida. Drink
Between those phrases and Google translate, I was good to go! So, I thought….
Over the next month, I’ll highlight some of what was coming up for me. Maybe it will help you as well venturing out of your comfort zone. I almost cancelled the trip only because I was afraid to be alone in a different country. I made it and I made it fine. Of course, there were moments I wondered what I had gotten myself into.
Like, when I got escorted OUT of baggage claim in Valencia.
Like, when I got in a fight with the Spanish apple keyboard and it won:) Quick tip: Before you head over to Spain, change all your passwords that have an * to make it easier to log in.
Like, when I was boarding a train to find out my ticket was for the next day.
And, I couldn’t communicate properly to the taxi driver where to go!
Nevertheless, I’m fine and stronger for it.
As you can imagine, every fear I had pretty much came creeping up. During my 3 days in Madrid, I only ventured out of my hotel room for 3 hours to a Tapas/Wine tour of the city. I’m ever so thankful I did. I met an amazing women from Australia that I hope to see again!
In the coming weeks, you will get to read about…
• The most asked question about meditation I get
• What to do if your lifeline is cut
• How to cry in public
• How to be alone with being alone
• Rich in Money vs. Rich in your SOUL
• and MORE!
I look so forward to serving you as you navigate this terrain of life—- sometimes smooth and sometimes rough. Again, if you would like to take advantage of a complimentary 30 minute 1:1 session with me, CLICK HERE before the few spots are gone!
Below is a portion taken from a chapter in my new book, More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
Often, on a daily basis, we’re handling life as if it comes at us, fast and furious. We spend our days putting out fires which causes many other emotional, physical, and psychological issues.
We can’t sleep. We clench our teeth. We forgot to breathe. We forget who we are.
The stress from the pressure cooker of life increases in the body and we become anxious, angry, and can even sink into depression. All this from our everyday life of living!
The past decade has been very stressful in my personal life. Life events such as family member deaths, surgeries, divorce, computers stolen, becoming an empty nester, moving from the family home, illnesses, floods, and more have turned my life inside out. Nature was an integral part of healing me through this difficult period.
As stress mounted in my life, I knew it was time for me to take a different route. I was at a point in my life where my health challenges and past traumas were affecting my daily quality of living. I became concerned as the winter months in the Midwest were approaching. I tend towards depression and Indiana’s cloudy winter days combined with cold temperatures and snow were not sitting well with me. Thus, I made a decision to become a snowbird and flew south to the ocean!
Typically, a snowbird is a retiree who chooses to avoid the snow or cold by living in a warmer temperature climate for a few months out of each year. I’ve always been drawn to various beaches for short vacations so this was an easy decision for me, as I knew it would provide a natural location that would support my healing. Two solid months of rest, relaxation, and being.
The daily walks on the beach, viewing sunsets over the ocean, and relaxing on the Island became an integral part of my routine that supported my body as it healed. When I walked on the sand, I envisioned my past traumas being taken out into the ocean, never to be seen again. Each step meant something else that was holding me back from the life I really wanted to live was let go. Emotions were released from the deepest of cells in my body. Some days I would walk with tears of sorrow. Other days, tears of joy.
Regardless of the reason, the ocean and sunsets provided a background of beauty and support that assisted me in a myriad of ways.
Playing in nature helped me to:
- Mend my broken heart.
- Release self-limiting beliefs that were holding me back.
- Release old patterns and open up to unlimited possibilities.
- Reconnect to my soul’s desire to enjoy the beauty of life.
- Reconnect with my own spark of hope.
- Renew my commitment to my own self-care and self-worth.
- Renew my spiritual connection.
- Renew my commitment to pursue my greatest dreams.
Recently, I spent several days hiking the beautiful Mount Shasta in Northern California (see photo above.) This trip in nature was a last minute add-on to a week of non-stop meetings. The quietness of the forest almost immediately reset my body and mind. Hiking seems to be very healing for me. With each foot in front of the other, my mind wandered, but, mostly, I tried to Be Still and do a walking meditation to keep silent. I wanted to be present. Soak in every noise, every tree rustle. Hear every step and each bird chirping. It didn’t take long before I had forgotten all about the Los Angeles traffic!
To read the full chapter and book in its entirety, click here More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
[Photo Above: Mount Shasta]
Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation will allow you to look at your life from a new perspective. From the inside, out. Easier said than done on some days, but so rewarding. It starts with being still, quieting the mind chatter and next, digging deeper.
Embarking on this sort of practice can seem daunting. I want to take the scary out of it for you and give you a simple guide to get started. Often the words, Mindfulness and Meditation, are used interchangeably. Part of the confusion is that they both have numerous meanings. However, in fact, they are quite different. For our purposes, I’ll share a simple way to differentiate the two.
Mindfulness means being aware or focusing on something intently. Being in the present moment. During meditation, you are being mindful. But you can also be mindful throughout your day during various activities, such as: during driving or when you’re eating, playing with your kids or talking on the phone with a friend. Mindfulness has been embraced by millions of people. You find it in the boardroom (Google), the classroom (various school districts), and even our government.
Here are some top ways to be mindful throughout your day:
- Eat slowly and with focus. Enjoy each bite along with your company and the atmosphere you are experiencing.
- Focus on the person who is in front of you as you are talking to them.
- Be 100% present no matter what you are doing — writing an email, texting, driving, working out, walking on the beach, eating, doing the dishes, talking to your children, playing. Whatever you do — do it with all of you!
According to Doing and Being: Mindfulness, Health, and Quiet Ego Characteristics among Buddhist Practitioners, the 2011 research article that published the survey results in the Journal of Happiness Studies [12(4): 575-589], there were five key ways that mindfulness training increased physical and mental health.
- It strengthened the immune system and physiological responses to stress and negative emotions.
- It improved social relationships with family and strangers.
- It reduced stress, depression, and anxiety and increased well-being and happiness.
- It increased openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness and reduced negative associations with neuroticism.
- It led to greater psychological mindfulness, which included an awareness that is clear, non-conceptual, and flexible; a practical stance toward reality; and present attention to the individual’s consciousness and awareness.
The official definition of Meditation is to engage in contemplation or reflection, usually with a focused mental intent or a single point of reference. According to Psychology Today:
It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. In other words, meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment.
For myself, each day begins and ends with prayer and meditation. When I first began meditating, I would use a guided meditation. It would help me relax while staying focused on the nothingness I sought. As my skill increased in this area, I was able to take a few deep breathes while dropping into the space of no-space in almost an instant. When I’m seeking guidance on important issues in my life, meditation is always my first stop. I invite you as well to look within your own heart for God’s direction for your life.
The benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation are mind-blowing. Studies have shown in meditation, EVERY cell in the body is filled with more energy which results in joy, peace, and enthusiasm.
Specifically, here are a few other benefits:
- Reduces stress/Decreases anxiety.
- Adds clarity and peace of mind.
- Lowers high blood pressure.
- Decreases tension in the body.
- Increases serotonin production.
- Improves the immune system.
- Increases the energy level.
- Improves concentration.
- Encourages healthy lifestyle.
- Problems shrink.
- Brings to mind solutions.
The great news about meditation is that the results are cumulative. As you embrace the practice, the benefits will add up. To read the full chapter and book in its entirety, click here More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.