Just a magical fucking reminder…

I am magic. I know I am magic, and no one can stop my magical ass!

I have a T-shirt that announces this truth to the world, and yet sometimes I still forget. Why? Because I’m human. When humans come here from nonphysical, we agree to forget our magic so that we can have the expansive experience of finding our way back to our magic, back to our power – the power of All that Is.

We come here intending to find our way back to magic, and to remind our fellow travelers of the Truth that we are all made of magic, and that we are surrounded by miracles everywhere.

At our core – each of us is magic with the power that creates worlds at our disposal. And we are also magically human.

Being human comes with challenges. We can experience confusion and doubt about our own magic. Some of us have been taught by other humans that magic is not real, yet we may sense it’s presence occasionally and feel drawn toward it. Even those of us who strongly believe in magic are human with human challenges.

When those who are asleep to their own magic lash out in fear at the magic-believing human, it can feel like a punch in the gut. It can feel like being plunged into darkness where the light of our own magic does not shine.

This does not mean that anything has gone wrong!

If we do not experience darkness, how can we know that we prefer the light? The darkness is simply one experience. It is not permanent. Whatever emotion we experience – positive or negative – is temporary and will pass.  

Acceptance of the unwanted emotion is key. 

We can face it head on and say something like, “I would prefer to not feel this emotion, but it is the emotion I am feeling, so I will choose it. I will allow myself to feel it, and be with it until it begins to transform.” 

We can dance with unwanted emotions, or hike with them to help move them more quickly through our experience. Any enjoyable physical activity helps move emotions. We can sit calmly with the unwanted emotion as if it were a visitor, and ask what message it has for us. Welcoming unwanted emotions and listening to them diminishes them, and empowers us.

Emotions are energy in motion. If we resist them, they stay with us longer, and can sometimes get stuck. If we choose to accept the experience of the unwanted emotion, the energy will stay in motion and transform more quickly.

Remembering our magic is key.

There is magic in reminding our fellow travelers of our magic. And while it is purpose-filled, and fulfilling to call others back to the light, we bear no responsibility for the ability of others to see their own light, or to connect with their magic.

Let go of people who tear you down and diminish your light, or make you doubt your own magic. Follow your inner light. Ascend into your own magic without feeling responsible for bringing everyone else along with you.

Find people who remind you that you ARE the light! Read books by authors that remind you that Source energy flows through you and everyone around you. Subscribe to blogs, tune in to podcasts, and watch YouTube videos that remind you of your magic and help reconnect you to the magical flow of life.

Grow on!

When you discover that someone or something in your life diminishes you, or depletes your energy repeatedly, have the courage to let it go.

Make a list of all the people, places, books, or blogs that remind you of your magic. Enjoy everything on your list frequently! Share those uplifting sources with everyone to remind them of their light too! 

In my toy box, I keep a running list of resources that inspire the crap outta me and my clients. Share your favorites with us in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

Power Up!

How often do you charge your cell phone? Put gas in your car?

WHY so freaking often?!

Because when we use something constantly, that’s how fast the energy gets consumed.

Now, how often do you use your body?
And how frequently are you charging your batteries? 
Do you know how to refuel your own energy?

These are crucial questions to consider, and ones I ask my clients every week. One of the biggest reasons we can feel depleted is because we have no idea how to fuel up, fill our reserves, charge our batteries. The things that drain our energy are unending, and come at us all day every day. Just lying still breathing requires some energy! If we actually go out in the world to school, careers, social engagements, and all the rest, we are constantly spending our energy supply.

If we are not making space in our schedule to recharge, or have no idea where to go to plug in, is it any wonder we feel drained, exhausted, and overwhelmed?

We can optimize health and energy by defining what recharges us (energy gains), and releasing any energy drains that are optional. 

Killing Time vs. Creating Fun

Just to be clear – relaxed scrolling, or watching TV is not the same as being plugged in. There is nothing wrong with those activities, but they can’t really be counted as recharging. It’s kind of like not charging the phone, but not using it either.  We end up with no net loss or gain in energy. Our battery charger MUST be plugged in for a gain in energy to occur, so simple “down-time” activities like scrolling social media or watching entertainment are not inherently energy building and should not be included when listing energy gains. 

Rather than helping us disengage (like watching or scrolling), energy gains are usually things that engage our energy and feel like fun. With this distinction in mind, we can begin to define a list of people, places, and practices in our lives that actually feed us energy and fuel us up, and which ones drain our energy and leave us feeling exhausted and empty inside. 

The lists below are merely suggestions to get us thinking about what fills us with joy, and where we actually choose to spend our energy supply. They are not meant to be all inclusive.

Maximize Energy Gains

  • Any self-care practices you already do, or want to begin doing.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Look at beautiful nature photography.
  • Enjoy nature videos on YouTube.
  • Move your body in any way that’s FUN.
  • Read uplifting books and articles.
    – Find people who inspire you and LET THEM!
  • Listen to inspiring podcasts.
    – Find people who inspire you and LET THEM, but with your ears.
  • Talk to a coach or therapist.
    – This is an excellent way to personalize a shift in mindset.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Relax often.
  • Slow down with meals to gain more pleasure from your food.
  • Offer yourself unconditional love.
    – This takes practice, and often requires support from others.
  • Frequently tell yourself and others what you appreciate in them.
  • Hug everyone.
  • Say what you think always, but say it with love.
    – Speaking our truth is essential for health, and so is not harming others with our words or emotions.
  • Schedule time to do the things that make you happy!
    – THIS is the key to increasing the energy available to us!
  • Dive into my toy box and find lots inspiring ideas!

Play with any or all of these as feels right in your experience!

Minimize Energy Drains

  • Negative self talk!
    – This is the most energy draining activity humans do.
  • Neglecting self-care.
  • Judging self and others.
    – Everyone is right where we need to be, and doing the best we can in each moment.
  • Negative emotions like anger, frustration, irritation, depression, fear, guilt, worry…
    – These are NORMAL human emotions to feel and then move through, and they drain our energy when we get stuck in them.
  • Doing things you do NOT want to do.
    – Don’t force yourself to say yes when you want to say no.
  • NOT doing things you want to do!
    – Not doing what charges our batteries drains our energy double time.
  • Limiting beliefs.
    – Any thought we keep thinking that keeps us from moving forward.
  • Taking things personally.
    – Their behavior is never about me and always about them.
  • Poor quality food.
    – Nourishing foods increase our energy. Poor quality foods deplete our energy.
  • Gossip and drama.
  • People-pleasing.
  • Clutter, disorganization.
    – Visual clutter can drain our energy.
  • Overuse of caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.
    – There is nothing wrong with using some caffeine, sugar, or alcohol, and overuse of any of these powerful substances will deplete our energy.

Play with watching what shows up in your experience. 
Play with identifying where your energy is leaking.
Play with letting go of these as you become willing to release them!

Once we create our own lists, we are able to make choices based on how much energy we have, and how we most want to spend it!

Grow on!

Try creating your own lists of what fills your fuel tank and what leaves you feeling empty! Then schedule some of the battery chargers in your calendar, and play with letting go of some of the behaviors that drain you.

Please reach out if I can help! Schedule a chat at THIS LINK so we ca connect!

Call me at 707-515-8324!

My Lucky Day!

I read an article somewhere about 40 years ago that explained that people who expected bad luck on Friday the 13th often found bad luck, while those who did not expect bad luck rarely find that Friday unlucky.  I decided then and there the I would not expect bad luck on Friday the 13th.  I took it one step further when I decided to dub Friday the 13th my own personal lucky day.  Since then I have had many happy encounters on Friday the 13th, in fact my first child was conceived on Friday the 13th.

Around that same time I also read an article that explained that symmetry was one of the markers for beauty in human faces.  The more symmetrical the face, the more attractive other humans find it.  In fact currently Wikipedia says “Facial symmetry has been found to increase ratings of attractiveness in human faces. More symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive in both males and females, but facial symmetry plays a larger role in judgments of attractiveness concerning female faces.”

I agreed with the concept when they trotted out photos of beautiful celebrities and started measuring and comparing the two sides of their face.  Symmetry is wonderful indeed.  Nature is symmetrical in many beautiful ways.  Symmetrical lines of architecture always draw my camera’s lens.

When I woke with Bell’s Palsy, that long-ago article was the first thing that came to my mind.  My next thought was, “I’m no longer beautiful,”  because my face was completely asymmetrical.

My smile opened many doors to me in the first fifty years of my life.  It was difficult to imagine my life could ever be the same or that people would ever see me the same magical, privileged way I had been seen when I had my symmetrical beauty.

I mistakenly believed that my value, my worth, was intrinsically tied to my physical beauty. Once I began working with my amazing energy coach, I began to see that my worth was intrinsic. My value had nothing to do with my smile.  My beauty emanates from my core vibration, not my face.  This shift in perspective improved my life in more ways than I can say.

It must be my lucky day!  After all these years it finally occurred to me that if I can just decide that Friday the Thirteenth is lucky for me, then I can just decide that asymmetry is beautiful.

Grow on!

What thoughts/beliefs/perspectives are you currently holding onto that do not serve you?
In what ways is that thought/belief/perspective limiting you?

Choose the Challenge

Life throws us curve balls.  It’s part of being human.  

We have challenges in myriad forms, every one of us.  Some challenges are self-chosen, like training for a marathon, changing careers, or getting a puppy.  Others are gifted to us by Life University, like a broken bone, health and weight challenges, or caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s.

Oftentimes the challenges we choose can inspire us, grow us into new phases of our lives, or give us a sense of accomplishment.  In other words, these challenges can energize us.

Challenges we do NOT choose can often burden us, feel like a crippling blow, or give us a sense of powerlessness.  In other words, these challenges can deplete us.  

So HOW do we keep Life’s challenges from sucking the life force right out of us?  Facing challenges requires stamina, effort, and energy.  If we feel victimized because circumstance was forced on us, our energy is stolen before we begin, and the challenge quickly drains us.

Choose the Challenge

One strategy that can preserve our precious life force (ENERGY) is to choose the challenge.  Yes – the unwanted challenge that Life just threw in your lap.  Choose that one.  Why?  Because it’s the one Life gave you, so it’s meant for you!  Hating it, despising it, resisting it, and running away from it drains energy faster than anything.

Choosing to be with the challenge gives us power.  Choosing to be present – with whatever life hands us – gives us energy.  Wishing we didn’t have the challenge exhausts us.  The simple act of choosing to be here, challenge and all, shifts the energy in our favor.  

Many clients come to me with challenges they did not choose, do not want, and wish to be rid of quickly.  Often they have the idea that this unchosen challenge must be overcome so their ‘real life’ can begin.  But real life is here and now.  If we wait for it to begin at some distant point in the future, we are missing life!  

Life handed us a challenge.  We can choose to cast ourself as the victim, resist the challenge, and try to survive till it’s over – at which time we will presumably step into our power and begin our real life.  Right?  Or we can choose to live our lives right through this challenge, rising to meet it at each step, and retaining as much energy as possible. 

Let’s take a broken ankle for an example.  How do we choose a challenge like this?  

I seriously doubt that a broken ankle is asking us to get a walking cast and stomp right on as if nothing happened.  How do I know this?  Because ‘business as usual’ is what Life is trying to shake up!  Life is asking us to grow in new directions.  

Choosing this challenge might mean accepting help from others, letting go of commitments, or learning to care for self – it’s different for each of us.  Rising up to meet this challenge might mean slowing down!  If Life is asking us to slow down with a broken ankle and we do not slow down, Life will deliver another challenge and another and another – until we slow down.

Choosing the challenge means getting curious about what Life is asking us to learn, and doing our best to listen for the lesson.  We are not being punished.  The challenge is never a punishment.

We are being asked to grow and mature into the competent, confident beings that we truly are! Life is trusting us with this lesson at this time because Life knows we’re ready. We can trust Life, relax into the challenge, and get curious.

When we choose the challenge, the challenge is still challenging, we just have more energy to meet it, learn from it, integrate its gifts, and grow.  In other words, we allow it to energize us instead of deplete us.

Grow on!

Does your current challenge feel energizing or depleting?
What is this challenge asking you to learn?
If this challenge has a message from the Divine, what is the message?
What insight have you gained from this challenge?
How is this challenge asking you to grow as a person, or grow in relationship with others?

Celebrate the Body!

Over my nearly 20 years as a massage therapist, I’ve seen hundreds of clients over nearly five thousand office hours.  I’ve seen every shape and size of body, but the one thing I’ve seen that every single body has in common is that it is truly a miracle, without doubt.  You may have forgotten that your body is a miracle, and if that’s true for you, you are in the majority, because most of us have.  

We forget about breathing because we don’t have to think about it.  Our miraculous lungs do that for us.  We do not have to think about making our heart beat, so it’s easy to take it for granted and forget that our entire form is a miracle.  When a baby is born – our children and grandchildren – we glimpse the miracle of human life, we may even remember that we are also miracles.  But days, weeks, months, years later we simply don’t think about it because we don’t have to.

Our miracle bodies often take enormous abuse and neglect before breaking down.  They support us 24/7 without ever stopping – even while we sleep – until they stop for good, then our Soul/Spirit/Energy moves on without the body.  The true essence of Who We Are moves on, and leaves the body like an astronaut stepping out of her spacesuit.

Our spacesuit supports life, so it’s worth taking care!  We care for all kinds of things; plants, kids, cars, pets.  If you own a home, you take care of it.  The body is no different!  It is the home for the physical experience of your eternal being.  Our body is supposed to be loved and nourished in return for all it gives us.  Our physical body is meant to be enjoyed while we are in it, and it’s so much easier to enjoy when it’s feeling great.

It’s super easy to fall out of the habit of self-care! 

I’ve been fascinated for years by something I have observed as both a massage therapist and a life/health coach.  I have observed that any time humans feel short on time or money, we let go of the things that serve us best to make space for the “have-tos” in life.  We focus on finances and chase work hours at the expense of our health.  We take care of parents or children, and let go of our own spiritual and physical needs.  Most of us assume that at some point things will calm down and we’ll get back to the yoga class or the spiritual practice when we have more time.

I invite you to celebrate your spacesuit NOW!  That miracle you’re wearing has been with you, supported you, given you life 24/7 since you arrived here.  I invite you to celebrate that amazing feat, that miraculous performance, that steadfast support, in whatever way feels satisfying to you!

Honor the temple that houses your eternal spirit in ways that elevate your spirit!

The following is a short/incomplete list of little daily acts that honor/celebrate/nourish the body.

Brush & floss teeth.
Wash hair.
Moisturize skin.
Eat slowly.
Choose foods that nourish YOU (different for everyone.)
Be present when you eat.
Rest. (Two ten minute relaxation periods a day do wonders.)
Hydrate. 
Soak in the tub.
Move in ways that feel good.
Make love.
Focus on breathing.
Get a massage/facial/mani-pedi.
Walk barefoot in the grass or sand.
Ask the body what it wants and LISTEN to what it’s saying. (MORE on this in my next post!)

Grow on!

Make a list of ways you are already celebrating your body.
Congratulate yourself for all the things you already do.  That’s awesome!
Look at the list above and pick one or two that sound really great to you.
Add them to your schedule and try them out.

Feel good NOW!

Most of us know that when we look good, we tend to feel good.
But are you aware that the opposite is also true?

When we feel good, we look good.

Think about a time when you felt really great about yourself.  How much more comfortable were you in your own skin?  How powerful and confident did you feel?  When we feel accomplished, triumphant, successful, truly loved, filled with purpose – of course we look better.  Our body chemistry is completely different than when we feel confused, failed, unloved, directionless, or under attack.

It is common in this world, I have noticed, for people who are reaching for a weight-loss goal to try to reach that goal by forcing, harassing, restricting, stressing, pushing, and hating themselves.  

It is also common to decide that the body is not right by societal standards, so it must not be liked, in fact it must be hated.  We feel we must hate the body into submission, hate our eating issues for making us fat, hate food for being so fattening and delicious at the same time, hate our appetite, flog ourselves at the gym until we finally reach a weight where we will feel better about ourselves, or just give up entirely and eat for solace because we are so damned imperfect.

If any of this resonates for you, you’re not alone! 

Somehow this crazy world has conditioned us (brainwashed us through media propaganda, and advertising campaigns designed to sell a magic fix for bodies that are not right by societal standards) to believe that we must hate ourselves until we reach their standards.  To which I feel compelled to reply:

Fuck. Their. Fucking. Standards.

I invite you to join me in saying, “Fuck their standards.” 

If they don’t like my body, FUCK them.  Because you know what I decided to do?  I decided to approve of my body right now.  I decided that their standards are fucking stupid, and they do not appeal to me, so they do not apply to me because I am the authority on what is fucking beautiful in my life.  

Why?  Cause it’s my life. 

Their judgements only count if I give them validity and I just revoked their right to decide anything for me.  I choose to decide for myself.  I invite each of you to step into your own power and decide for your self what is beautiful in your life, because who the fuck are THEY anyway?  Who are they to judge ME unworthy? 

I am a child of God, a conduit of Divine love and light, and I will not dim my light to allow them to feel comfortable in my presence!

They want me to feel diminished, unworthy, and powerless so that they can grow rich and feel better about themselves. Fuck that! And while we’re at it, fuck the collective ‘them’ who believes they are anyone’s authority on what is good and right and beautiful.

If we feel more beautiful when we are feeling truly loved, then what POWER we wield when we choose to truly love ourselves as we are, without waiting for the approval of others.

I choose to feel my true divinity flowing through me.  I choose to feel confident and powerful.  And every time I feel the Divine Truth of Who I am, I look fucking amazing.

photo by donnio, on a day when i felt GREAT and it shows.

Grow on!

  • What is stopping you from feeling good about you NOW? 
  • What baby steps can you take toward loving yourself more now?
  • What kind of example do you want to set for your children and grandchildren?
  • Each time you become aware that negative self-talk arises,
    what can you say to remind yourself to move gently back in the direction of self-love?

Be Your Own Best Friend!

Have you ever told your best friend that she looked fat in her outfit, or that she needs to drop a few pounds?  Have you ever looked your best friend in the eye and told her she should be ashamed of her body or her weight?  No?

Then why the fuck would you do it to You?

Have you ever looked at an infant with her chubby knees and thought, “I just can’t love someone with all that fat!”  I seriously doubt it.  

So why do we withhold love from ourselves, or shame ourselves for fat on our body?  Why would we hold ourselves to a higher standard of perfection?  How possible is it to love ourself the way we love our friends?

Hate does not help.  Hate does not motivate.  Hate does not inspire.

If we perceive that someone does not like us, we often feel wounded, or hurt.  It is no less painful when the disapproval comes from self!  Disapproval of self can damage the psyche, delay healing, and derail our goals.  

We cannot hate ourselves into loving our body, and as a wise client recently reminded me, we cannot heal what we hate.  If we live in a home we hate, how much effort will we put into repairing it?  Same goes for our body!  If we have a body transformation goal, how much effort are we willing to put in if we constantly tell ourselves the body is unlovable as it is, and needs to be fixed?

Next time you look at yourself appraisingly, give yourself as much love and support as you would give your best friend!  Next time you get a little off track with your plan, or goals, try gently encouraging yourself back on track rather than belittling or berating yourself for a perfectly normal human moment.  

Perfection is a damaging illusion, a standard to which we rarely hold others, yet frequently try to hold ourselves. Our body transformation goals cannot manifest when we are under attack.

What will it take to treat you like your own best friend?

Grow on!

Practice looking in the mirror and telling that beautiful human how MUCH you love them. This is challenging for many people, so don’t give up. Persist with the practice of telling you that you love you, more often than you tell yourself negative messages.

Next time you catch yourself saying something mean to self, pretend you caught yourself saying it to your friend, or your child. What would you do? I might hug them and apologize and promise to be more intentional as often as possible moving forward.

Make a list of everything that you appreciate about your body! Our body is a miracle that we often take for granted. We can be so grateful for our lungs that breathe without any effort, a heart that beats for our lifetime, and so much more! We cannot focus appreciation and disgust onto the same object at the same time, so keeping this list handy can help when we are feeling frustrated with our body in some way.

No one has ever been Motivated by Shame

I feel confident in saying that one of the larger underlying goals of most body transformation goals is to increase the amount that we like ourself, and be more happy.  

I might like myself better in that special occasion dress, or maybe I like myself better as a potential employee at an upcoming interview.  Maybe I believe that I will be more likable to possible romantic partners once I achieve my goal.  I will like my life journey more when I reach that goal!  I’ll like the way I look in my vacation photos more once I look a certain way.  Along our path we became conditioned to believe that we are “not enough” and that our body is not good enough.  “If my body’s not good enough by cultural standards, I can’t love my body.  If I can’t love my body, I have to hate it.”  But we know we’ll like ourselves much more once the body transformation goal is met.

Here’s the fucking problem ~

We try to hate ourselves to the goal!  We may restrict calories, skip meals, increase workouts that we hate, over commit to new changes, get on the scale every day, get discouraged by weight fluctuations, overeat to soothe our emotions, then beat the crap out of ourselves for not being perfect at body transformation in every way.  We compound our brutal physical treatment of ourselves by brutally beating ourselves mentally for what we see as our own failure.

If this sounds familiar to you, please know you are not alone.  This is pretty common human behavior.  It’s the way we’ve been trained to go after our body transformation goals, and we’re beginning to realize that it’s doomed to failure.  We simply cannot hate ourselves into liking ourselves more.  The path to love and friendship is not paved with hate and shame.

No one has ever been motivated by shame.

Shame and self-hate take us in the opposite direction of our goals.

Let’s shift for a minute from a body transformation goal to a reading transformation goal.

Imagine you have a child who is struggling in reading.  The teacher tells you they are behind the rest of their class.  Would we shame and belittle them into reading better?  Would we hate them until they catch up with the rest of the class?  Would we tell them that we can’t love them until they are a better reader?  Of course not!  This course of action would not only damage the psyche, it would cause the child to hate reading.

Will we create success by insisting they do exercises they hate or by finding fun ways to grow their love of reading?  Will they gain more confidence if we yell at them each time they are imperfect or if we are supportive and encouraging each time they perform well?

How can we shift this same loving approach to our weight and body challenges?

Rule #1 ~ Don’t beat yourself up.

Our healing journey is a roller coaster full of ups and downs.  We need to be easy with ourselves as we learn what works for us, and what does not work.  As I mentioned in a previous post, there are no magic fucking beans. There is no magic pill, nor is there one right way to do relationship to food and body, nor one right way to eat.

For these reasons, we are the scientist in our own body transformation journey. Through trial and error we will find what is best for us individually, though it might not be right for anyone else! What does not work is not “failure.” Rather it is valuable information to inform our future choices!

"The more you beat yourself up for doing something you said you didn’t want to do, the more you will continue to return to the ‘scene of the crime’ and you will continue to do the very same thing that you said you didn’t want to do - NOT because there is something wrong with you - but because that is how body wisdom, and life wisdom teaches us.  We learn through repetition, so body wisdom, life wisdom will return us to the scene of the crime - life classroom - until we learn to integrate the lessons.  Until we learn to love ourselves, until we learn to stop beating ourselves up because we did something we said we didn’t want to do. Until we learn to forgive self."  
            ~ Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and author of Nourishing Wisdom: A Mind-Body Approach to Nutrition and Well-Being

Body transformation starts with love, not hate.

If you’re feeling shame or hate about self or body, please remember you’re not alone.  You didn’t make this stuff up – it’s embedded in our culture. Shame and hate feel icky because they do not belong to our true vibration (our true vibration is unconditional love).  Since they don’t belong to us, we can choose to simply let them go! Check out two ways to do this below in the “Grow on!” section.

Letting go of body shame and self-hate is the ESSENTIAL, non-negotiable first step toward every body transformation goal. We can’t transform the body while simultaneously beating it up. Healing transformation can never happen in the presence of the toxic body chemistry created by shame and hate.

True body transformation is possible

Every body transformation is a unique journey, a process that requires time and love. Making the shift from hate to love is possible. If you’d like some help making that shift a reality, you can schedule a private chat with me at THIS LINK, or check out my Body Transformation group at THIS LINK.

Grow on!

Here are two techniques that are wonderfully useful in letting go of negative emotions like shame and hate that do not serve us.

Grounding it – When you become aware of feeling shame or self-hate, remind yourself that it is not yours and you don’t have to carry it.  Take a deep breath and as you exhale, simply drop it onto the ground.  Imagine it pouring out of your palms onto the ground until it is gone and you feel lighter.

Give it to the light – The vibration of shame and hate can feel BIG.  See it shrinking smaller and smaller until it fits in the palm of your hand, or on the tip of one finger.  Hold it up and offer it to the Light.  You feel lighter as the light easily removes the unwanted emotion.

Practice the F Word

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word faith?

I know that’s probably not the F word you were expecting from me, but I’m also willing to bet that the first thing that came to mind when I said “faith” was religion.  I know for most of my life that was true for me.  I thought faith was something reserved for the saints and martyrs, something that didn’t pertain to me in any way. Now I understand that faith has nothing to do with religion, that it’s available to every one of us, and essential to cultivate!

In my observation, far more people resonate with doubt than with faith.  Our culture conditions us to doubt.  We doubt our worthiness.  We doubt our capabilities, our decisions, our thought process.  We doubt our readiness, our level of education, our physical attractiveness.  We doubt our inner voice, and our own ability to change our lives.

Then fear moves in.  What if that little voice of doubt is right?  If the voice of doubt is right, I might never find my true love, or my purpose in life.  How can I possibly ever feel confident or successful?  It’s a downward spiral that becomes more powerful the more we feed it with doubt and fear.

Where do doubt and fear come from?

Doubt and fear are emotions.
Emotions only come from one place: our thoughts.

Some might argue that a circumstance or situation can also “cause” fear.  We know this can’t be true, because if a circumstance caused the emotion, it would cause the same emotion in everyone without fail.  But we can take any situation that most people might face with fear, and we will always find some who face that situation with faith.  So it’s not the situation, but the thoughts we choose to think about the situation that create fear or faith. So what’s the magic ingredient that allows someone to choose faith?

Practice.   

A practice breaks through default settings that were curated through our conditioning.

~ Amit West, Spiritual Sandbox

We are practicing fear or faith every day.  We are choosing to worry, or we are choosing to relax into the knowing that we have handled 100% of our challenges so far, and that we will likely handle 100% moving forward.  We can choose to worry, or we can choose to relax into knowing that we don’t need to have all the answers right now, and that when challenges arise, the way through that challenge will also arise.  We can choose to worry about money, or we can trust the Universe to always have our backs no matter what.

Most of our culture is thinking thoughts that are fear-based, so it’s super easy to keep a parade of fear-based thoughts moving through our mind. 

If currently the fear-based thoughts dominate your vibration, it is only because we have been conditioned to practice fear.  To shift from a steady diet of fear-based thoughts to a steady diet of faith-based thoughts simply requires practicing faith.

So how do we build faith through practice?  What do we even practice?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.  It’s like asking what food plan is exactly right for every person on the planet.  There isn’t one!  We want to play with several elements to dial in the perfect plan to support each individual.

Cyndi’s Fabulous Fucking Toolbox

If you follow this link to my toolbox, you will find some fabulous fucking tools that have proven useful to many people for connecting to Spirit (Source energy/God).  It’s a running list of resources that inspire the crap outta me & my clients so we can build our faith muscle! 

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen with practice.

We may have been practicing negative programming for decades or longer, so we can be gentle with ourselves as we begin to explore this new way of thinking and being.  When worry pops up, don’t beat yourself up for returning to familiar patterns, bless the Universe for this great opportunity to practice faith.  Then do some deep breathing and pull out the tool box.

Rediscover how fun it is to practice faith, rather than fear!

Grow on!

Click THIS LINK to my Fabulous Fucking Tool Box.

There are LOTS of options, so I invite you to identify the ones that inspire you.  As you’re reading the list, which ideas appeal most, or give you a feeling of lightness in your heart?  Click a few links and check them out.  Play with the tools that you love and leave the rest for someone else.  When you find ones that really resonate, use them frequently.  Post reminders throughout your home to practice until they become habit.

F is for Faith ~ a poem by Cyndi, inspired by Dr. Seuss

F is for Faith
And I don’t feel a smidgen
When I try to tie Faith 
To dogmatic religion.

Faith is not tied
To a God that’s outside me.
Faith is a feeling,
An emotion inside me.

And since I create feelings
With the thoughts that I choose,
Faith is simply a matter
Of curating my views.

I don’t want to think thoughts 
That make me feel crappy.
So I’m choosing thoughts 
That let me feel happy!

I won’t predict failure.
I won’t fret, or lament.
I will point to my success rate
Of one hundred percent!

I’ve come so far!
Of my triumphs take score!
I am worthy and capable
Of ten thousand times more!

And when doubt creeps in
From time to time,
I’ll relax and release,
And just let my light shine!

The Universe carries me
on the vibe I create,
So I’m turning from fear
to be carried in Faith.

Be Your Own Best Valentine

Regardless of our relationship status, each of us deserves to feel loved unconditionally. 

Even when we have romance, it’s possible to feel less loved than we might like sometimes.  The other person in the relationship is human after all.  What if they forget Valentine’s Day, or your birthday?  It more likely means they were focused on something else, rather than they don’t love you, but it’s normal to feel less than completely loved in those situations.

It feels amazing and wonderful to experience love and validation from the world around us, of course it does. We’ll take all of that we can get! But it’s also crucial to cultivate unconditional self-love.

When we deprive ourselves of a deep self-love (which is frequently the case for humans) we actually block ourselves from fully receiving all the love that is flowing to us.  When we refuse to practice self-love, we unconsciously teach others that self-love is not worth practicing.  When we practice the opposite of self-love, beating ourselves up, telling ourselves we are not enough, feeling shame about our bodies, guilt about our food, or questioning our own worthiness, then we increase stress to both mind and body, decrease our energy, weaken our immune system, accelerate disease processes, and feel disconnected from Spirit.

Cultivating deep self-love allows others to love us more deeply, and unconsciously allows others to love themselves more deeply.  Cultivating deep self-love gives us more energy, allowing us to offer more energy to the people and projects we love.  Cultivating deep self-love provides a sense of balance and stability when the world around us is in chaos.  Cultivating deep self-love means our cup is always full to overflowing, so when we choose to serve others we do not deplete ourselves.  Cultivating deep self-love boosts our immunity, and is the healthiest thing we can do for body, mind, and spirit.

photo by Dani Navarro

So I invite each of you to become your own best Valentine!

NOT just on February 14, please. I invite you to be your own best Valentine every single day.  Make sure that connecting with You becomes a priority, until it becomes a habit.  Add time to your schedule each week to date yourself and use that time to connect with You, do something you enjoy, and charge your batteries.  Use the list below as inspiration to create your own ever-changing list of at least ten to twelve things you enjoy doing alone.  When the time you have selected arrives in your schedule, choose something off your list and enjoy!

Don’t put it off, or say you’ll do it later! How would you feel if your lover rescheduled a date?  It would likely make us feel undervalued, or taken for granted! I know that’s how I would feel.  Would we put off a date with someone we were truly in love with to do the laundry ,or scroll the internet, or work overtime?  Not unless it was a true emergency!  Right?

Don’t make yourself feel like an afterthought!  Make yourself number one!  Schedule a date to do something you love with You now, and show yourself how truly loved and appreciated you are!  The BEST way to feel loved and well-cared for is to immerse ourselves in unconditional love consistently, every single day.

Grow on!

These ideas are NOT just for single people!
Don’t forget to turn off your cell phone so you can be totally present with You.

Ideas for dating your beautiful self include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Watch sunrise/sunset at a local beach/park.
  • Lie on a beach, or in your backyard and feel the sun on your skin.
  • Take yourself to a feel-good movie.
  • Visit a museum.
  • Cook your favorite dish.  Put flowers and candles on the table.
  • Take a good book, your journal, or a favorite podcast to the park and spread a blanket in the grass.
  • Create a romantic atmosphere in the bathroom and enjoy a steaming bath with Epsom salts, coconut oil, and lavender.
  • Take yourself to a local cafe to be alone with your thoughts.  Bring your journal.
  • Get dressed up and take a dance class.
  • Write a love letter to yourself.
  • Take yourself to a fancy restaurant and read the love letter to yourself while you wait for your meal.
  • Take a long walk at sunrise or sunset.
  • In front of a mirror, look deeply into your own eyes, and make a list of everything you appreciate about yourself.
  • Take a picnic somewhere pretty and revel in your own company.
  • What’s your favorite thing to do?  Add it to the list!