There are many ways and myriad reasons for women to honor and embrace all that they are. And when any individual woman chooses to do so, all women collectively move closer to becoming what they are truly capable of being. By honoring her experience and being willing to share it with others—both male and female—she teaches as she learns. When she can trust herself and her inner voice, she teaches those around her to trust her as well. Clasping hands with family members and friends, coworkers and strangers in a shared walk through the journey of life, she allows all to see the self-respect she possesses and accepts their respect, too, that is offered through look, word, and deed.
When a woman can look back into her past, doing so without regret and instead seeing only lessons that brought her to her current strength and wisdom, she embraces the fullness of her experience. She helps those around her to build upon the past as she does. And when she chooses to create her desires, she places her power in the present and moves forward with life into the future.
Seeing her own divinity, a woman learns to recognize the divinity in all women. She then can see her body as a temple, appreciating its feminine form and function, regardless of what age or stage of life she finds herself. She can enjoy all that it brings to her experience and appreciate other women and their experiences as well. Rather than seeing other women as competition, she can look around her to see the cycle of life reflected in the beauty of her sisters, reminding her of her own radiance should she ever forget. She can then celebrate all the many aspects that make her a being worthy of praise, dancing to express the physical, speaking proudly to express her intellect, sharing her emotions, and leading the way with her spiritual guidance. Embracing her womanhood, she reveals the facets that allow her to shine with the beauty and strength of a diamond to illuminate her world.
The Miracle of Change
Sometimes we feel that things aren't moving along fast enough for us and that the world is passing us by. It may be that time seems to stand still and that we are simply bystanders in our own lives. Other times it might appear that there is nothing new left for us to experience and that we are locked into a never-ending cycle of stasis. If we take the time to listen to these feelings we will notice that there is probably more going on beneath the surface, like our apprehension to venture out into the unknown. By taking a new look at how we live our lives, however, it will be easier to break through our sense of boredom and enter into a more positive state of being.
When life seems monotonous, it is usually an indication that there is something we need to change. Boredom can easily lead us down the path to despondency. Acknowledging our feelings and then setting the intention to alter just one small thing in our life can give us a much more affirmative outlook. This act of change allows us to step outside of ourselves and discover new and exciting things that are often already present in our everyday lives. Simple things such as eating a healthier diet, taking a new class, or joining a club are all ways in which we can go beyond our comfort zone and explore the wonders that exist all around us. Keep in mind that the moment we do something different from our usual routine, the more fresh energy, hope, and blessings we will manifest in our life. What this means is that we'll no longer see things as being tedious but will instead realize the preciousness of everything.
Being able to integrate these subtle changes on a daily basis allows us to recognize the miracles that are our lives. Even though we may think of change as doing something life-altering or drastic, gentle transitions from our habitual ways of doing things and an appreciation of all life offers us will truly bring about positive and lasting transformation.
Life is an Illusion
Playing Your Part
This world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected.
As children, most of us sang that mesmerizing, wistful lullaby that ends with the words, "Life is but a dream." This is a classic example of a deep, sophisticated truth hiding, like an underground stream, in an unlikely place. It winds its way through our minds like a riddle or a Zen koan, coming up when we least expect it and asking that we consider its meaning. Many gurus and philosophers agree with this mysterious observation, saying that this world we perceive as real is actually an illusion, not unlike a film being projected on a screen. Most of us are so involved in the projection that we don't understand it for what it is. We are completely caught up in the illusion, imagining that we are in a life and death struggle and taking it very seriously.
The enlightened few, on the other hand, live their lives in the light of the awareness that what most of us perceive as reality is a passing fancy. As a result, they behave with detachment, compassion, and wisdom, while the rest of us struggle and writhe upon the stage in the play of our life. Having the wisdom to know that life is but a dream does not mean that we ignore it or don't do our best with the twists and turns of our fate. Rather, like an actress who plays her role fully even as she knows it's only a role, we engage in the unfolding drama, but with a little more freedom because we know that this is not the totality of who we are.
And life is more of an improvisation than it is like a play whose lines have already been written, whose end is already known. Like an improviser, we have choices to make and the more we embrace the illusionary quality of the performance, the lighter we can be on the planet, on others, and on ourselves. We can truly play with the shadows cast by the light of the projector, fully engaging without getting bogged down.
Love Shows the Way
We Are Here to Serve
We are living in a time of great change. Many thinkers and seers agree that humanity and the planet Earth are evolving at a quickened pace, and that this evolution will necessarily be severe and seemingly chaotic at times. It is natural for people to react with fear, because these changes will doubtless bring some level of difficulty and loss to many of us. However, it is essential that we all remember that our souls chose to be here at this time and to be part of this process. Every movement in the universe is a movement toward love. This is true even in situations that appear on the surface to be the opposite of loving.
Since we chose to be here, we are capable and ready to rise to the challenges in which we find ourselves. It is helpful to reflect on our own lives and make any changes necessary to fully support humanity and the planet into the state of love. When we open our hearts in love instead of closing them in fear, we serve the divine process. We are all powerful spirits who took form at this time in order to serve our fellow humans, our planet, and the universe. As we find ways we can serve, our fear dissipates. We may serve by remaining calm and loving with our children and our families, even as the situation seems dark. We may serve by sending money to people who need financial assistance. We may serve by going out into the world and actively helping to rebuild lives. Regardless of what actions we choose to take, the essential element will be the internal gesture of choosing to remain in love. This is all that is needed.
When it is difficult to remain in love, we may always call upon our unseen helpers: the teachers and guides who are always with us. All we need to do is ask and then trust that we are being helped. The guidance we receive is love itself, showing us the way.
Sending Yourself Sunshine
Good Thoughts for the Day
When things go wrong, it is easy to get into a bad mood, and that bad mood has a way of spiraling out and affecting our life for days to come. In the same way, when we feel badly about ourselves, we tend to act in ways that have repercussions, again creating a negative vibe that can negatively influence the next several days. While it is important that we allow ourselves to feel what we feel, and to be genuine, we do not have to completely surrender to a dark mood or feelings of self-doubt. In fact, the more we simply allow and accept our darkness as one part of the picture, the more easily we can also allow and accept our light. In this vein, we can temper our grey moods with an injection of sunshine in the form of sending good wishes to ourselves for the next 24 hours.
If you feel a bad mood coming on or find yourself plagued with negative feelings, take a moment to acknowledge that. At the same time, recognize that things can and will change, and that you can still have a good day, or a good week, especially if you take the time to visualize that for yourself. This is a great way to support yourself when you are working through tough times and hard feelings. When you visualize good things for yourself, you are sending yourself love and warmth, as well as encouraging yourself to keep going.
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, you can take the time to send good wishes to yourself all the way through to the next morning. As you picture your day, take the time to fill in the details—where you are going, who you will see, what you will do—and send love and good wishes ahead to yourself, as well as everyone you encounter. It will be like arriving in a new place and finding that an old friend has sent a bouquet of flowers from back home to welcome you and remind you that you are loved.
Tending the Emotions
Having a Breakdown
Most of us have had the experience of holding back our emotions for such a long period of time that when they finally come out, we have something resembling a breakdown. For a certain period of time, the overwhelming flood of feelings coursing through our bodies consumes us, and we stop functioning. Often, these outbursts take us by surprise, welling up within us as we drive to or from work, watch a movie, or engage in some otherwise mundane task. We may feel like we do not know what triggered us, or if we do know, it does not make sense of our overpowering emotional response. This is because we are releasing feelings that have accumulated over a long period of time, and whatever inspired the release was just a catalyst for a much larger, much needed catharsis.
When we find ourselves in the midst of such an experience, it is important that we allow it to happen, rather than fight it or try to shut down. Wherever we are, we can try to find a private, safe place in which to let our feelings out. If we can not access such a place immediately, we can promise to set aside some time for ourselves at our earliest possible convenience, perhaps taking a day off work. The important thing is that we need to give our emotional system some much-needed attention. It is essential that we allow ourselves to release the pent-up emotions inside ourselves so that they do not create imbalances in our bodies and minds.
When you are feeling better, make a plan to find a way to process your emotions more regularly. You can do this by employing a therapist or making a regular date to talk to a trusted friend. Journaling can also be a great way to acknowledge and release your emotions, as can certain forms of meditation. Making room in your life for tending your emotions on a regular basis will keep you healthy, balanced, and ready for life.
Making Our Best Decisions
When making a decision, gather your information then sit with it and marinate as long as it takes to become clear.
Sometimes when we need to make a decision, we can become overwhelmed or feel pressured into coming to a conclusion immediately. Often, a decision isn't required right away, and the sense of urgency we feel is merely a limitation that we've placed upon ourselves. Once we've determined that we do have the time to make a wise choice for ourselves, we can release the pressure with a deep breath, like steam from a pressure cooker, and proceed to make the best use of our time.
The best first step may be to gather all the facts we can find. Once we have all the logical information we need, we can allow ourselves to sit with it and soak it up. Like a good recipe, we can allow ourselves to marinate in the juices of intellectual understanding while also adding our own spices made up of our feelings, our intuition, and any other considerations. We can taste the recipe for readiness as we go in order to decide if more time or ingredients are needed. We might want to take time to visualize ourselves playing out the various scenarios to see which feels the best, remind ourselves of our goals, or merely sit silently in meditation, listening for guidance. Any of these techniques can add depth and flavor to the recipe of our decisions.
We can allow ourselves to sit with our choices for whatever length of time is needed, whether it is a day, a week, a month or longer. Doing so gives our hearts, minds and spirits the chance to align, allowing us to make a decision that is right for us. Other times, we may need to let the wisdom of the universe unfold for us at its own rate, allowing our growth and realizations to sync up with the universe's secret and essential ingredients so that all of the flavors are ready at the same time. When we allow ourselves the time to sit and allow understanding to sink in, we can cocreate the best decision possible for ourselves and for everyone involved.
*Letting the Curves Take You*
*When you resist what's at every turn, your whole being becomes tense and
anxiety is your close companion.*
Trying to maintain control in this life is a bit like trying to maintain
control on a roller coaster. The ride has its own logic and is going to go
its own way, regardless of how tightly you grip the bar. There is a thrill
and a power in simply surrendering to the ride and fully feeling the ups and
downs of it, letting the curves take you rather than fighting them. When you
fight the ride, resisting what's happening at every turn, your whole being
becomes tense and anxiety is your close companion. When you go with the
ride, accepting what you cannot control, freedom and joy will inevitably
As with so many seemingly simple things in life, it is not always easy to
let go, even of the things we know we can't control. Most of us feel a great
discomfort with the givens of this life, one of which is the fact that much
of the time we have no control over what happens. Sometimes this awareness
comes only when we have a stark encounter with this fact, and all our
attempts to be in control are revealed to be unnecessary burdens. We can
also cultivate this awareness in ourselves gently, by simply making
surrender a daily practice. At the end of our meditation, we might bow,
saying, "I surrender to this life." This simple mantra can be repeated as
necessary throughout the day, when we find ourselves metaphorically gripping
the safety bar.
We can give in to our fear and anxiety, or we can surrender to this great
mystery with courage. When we see people on a roller coaster, we see that
there are those with their faces tight with fear and then there are those
that smile broadly, with their hands in the air, carried through the ride on
a wave of freedom and joy. This powerful image reminds us that often the
only control we have is choosing how we are going to respond to the ride.