"If I could just get my hands on a 16 year old, I would tell them how easy it is to start your own business, make money, and pay for your own college education."
This was the conversation I was having this morning. All the things I know now that I wish I knew so much earlier in life.
You see, I did not grow up in an affluent home, though, we always had enough. I remember worrying as a child that we would not have enough money for food because my mom would count out pennies to pay for our groceries and I often got told "no" when I picked out ice cream and sugary cereals that we just had to buy. I had no concept of health back then, so I assumed it had to do with the fact that Cocoa Pebbles cost more than the plain-old-boring Corn Flakes. I had no idea. My father has worried about money at least daily every day of his life, while I guarantee you, he has more than enough. But that is his life story from another time and another era. My grandmother never threw away napkins that were "partially" used because that would be wasteful.
All of these parts of my story is why I would love to get my hands on someone who has not fully developed their "money story". Because your money story directly impacts how much money you have.
My money story was not great as a kid, but I was tenacious. I sold girl scout cookies, determined to lead my troop in sales, and then found a stationary sales when I was in Junior High and High School. Even my lemonade stand made great money. And, here is why. Because I knew what I wanted to accomplish in sales and I used a number of methods to get there - when someone zigged, I zagged. When what worked in the morning, didn't work in the afternoon, I changed strategies. And, through all of this, I kept thinking, "what do people need right now that I can provide". And, it worked!
Now, many moons later, this is what I LOVE to do for a living. I love to help people learn how to authentically, through being of service, zig and zag to ensure they can get their service, skills, and products out to the world in a way that will serve and uplift.
I am thrilled to offer these services to so many amazing people. Each person has an idea, a vision, a thought inside of them that they want to bring to the world. Many people are already doing this, because they can't not do it, but they are not making any money doing that. In truth, what you bring to the world is needed . If it is needed, then you need to be able to eat and live and support your family. Making money by offering your passion is not selfish, it is an honor. The honor that we have to live in this world and to bring our gifts to the world, and to be able to support ourselves by doing that. That is what we have created at Being Present to Serve, a facebook group, where we teach people how to zig and zag to abundant success. I say abundant success because there is a feeling of successful fulfillment when you give of yourself to the world and are sincerely rewarded for doing so. Click here to learn more about Being Present to Serve.
I am one month from my 40th birthday and started to think about what I have accomplished in life and what I really want to accomplish in life. I find myself saying, I always wanted to... and then what I say next is so simple and so easy, that the natural response is, well, why don't you just go do that? In my facebook group, Adventures with Amina, the theme for the month of October is "Bucket List". My dear friend, Candice Carlton was talking to me about her new project and commented, that most of the things on people's bucket list are *easy* to do... so why don't we do them?
As a coach, the first thing I always ask my client (as soon as I have determined their love language), is what do you want? In most cases, this leads to a conversation about everything that is not working in their life, i.e., everything they do not want. I say to them, I see what you do not want, but what do you want? The idea of clarity on what we want in life seems so obvious, but for so many of us, myself included, it can be mysterious and confusing. I believe that most of us, at some point, knew exactly what we wanted, but then external forces pushed us to re-think, re-consider, or just plain, give up what we really wanted. And, for us Type A folks, there is added pressure of am I sure I am going to want this forever?
This month, I am encouraging all my readers to sit with the question, what do I want? And see what comes up. This is especially meaningful today on September 11th. I have a friend who lost a loved one on 9/11. He said something to me that I will never forget. He told a story about something she really wanted and she did prior to that day and said, "life is short, if you want to get something (or do something), you shouldn't wait." Yet, so many of us are waiting. And, it is nebulous what we are waiting for... time, more money, better health, kids to grow up, etc. There will always be something - we all know that. We have to make the time to live right now.
Here is your Amina's 40th Birthday exercise:
1. Pull out your bucket list or Create your bucket list.
2. Evaluate what you have on there and see if they still fit. Remove anything that doesn't get you excited anymore. It is ok to take it off... I give you permission to change your mind :)
3. Re-create your bucket list in the following format:
- column 1: #
- column 2: Item you want to do
- column 3: Is it easy, medium or hard to achieve
- column 4: does it require money (i.e., more than a "normal or within budget amount". For example if one item is visiting your family and you normally have money for travel each year, this would be blank. If an item is a Mediterranean cruise that you need to save up for, then put a "$" to indicate you would need to plan for extra funds).
- column 5: is it something you can do by yourself or do you need to enroll others to support you / go with you / etc
- column 6: If you had to, could you do it today (i.e., could you make a plan and begin execution today). For example, one of my bucket list items is to go to a Notre Dame football game in South Bend. I could buy tickets, make hotel arrangements, etc for that right now, so I would put a "Y" in that column.
Once your bucket list is updated and ready to plan, join us at Adventures with Amina where the entire month of October we are going to be encouraging one another to start doing our bucket list activities. And, since it is my birthday month, there are going to be all kinds of other fun things going on over there (you all know how I roll...)
In closing, I want to remind you all on the power of deciding what you want. Clarity is magical by itself. Once you know what you want, every one of your brain cells lines up to make it possible. You have a huge force that is either managed and working for you or spinning in circles - your brain. Once you get clear on what you want, your conscious and sub-conscious and well, super-conscious parts of your brain line up to show you opportunities that have already existed but you have not seen before. Your entire army (I.e., your brain) will be out there finding ways to make the list a possibility and I know with my heart, we are going to have some miracles this month. My definition of a miracle - that which is beyond your ability to believe is possible. I invite you to join me in getting clear on what you want and allowing the miracles to unfold!
I spend a lot of time giving advice. And, everything I say is really obvious. The person I am talking to has at some point or another heard everything I am about to say, but, they are stuck. Emotions have risen to the surface and any chance of remembering anything in their self-preservation toolkit has totally gone out the window.
And, that is totally ok. Because, that is how it goes sometimes!
What do you do when you are in a tail spin and cannot seem to get your grip, well, most of us grip on harder, which only makes the situation worse! Here is what I do when things get super bad and I have emotional amnesia to every skill, every coaching method, and every tool in my toolbox.
Step 1: Acknowledge what is happening and stop fighting it (instead get fascinated by it). This is what this looks like. “Wow.. I am really upset right now! I feel like crap. I want to do something about it but I am so upset I don’t even know what to do. Help! I need help! Wow… I am feeling totally out of control! I choose not to feel this way. Ick – I really do feel this way. Isn’t that interesting. That ______ is really being unkind to me! I do not deserve that! I want this feeling to stop! Wow… I am really angry right now!”
Step 2: Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to make this a tiny bit better for myself?” You have a toolkit full of great ways to support yourself, but in emotional highjack your brain may not be able to sort through the tools and find the perfect one for this situation. In those times use your “go-to” tools. My go-to tools are 1) going for a walk 2) calling a friend 3) taking a bath or 4) journaling. If it is really bad, I will get into bed and watch an old episode of a favorite show. That at least distracts me long enough to come back to center.
Step 3: Build a supportive community around you. Not everyone is the best person to go for for every problem. There are some that you may want to discuss with a family member, because you know you will get the best, most loving support there. Others, you may want to take to a facebook group because you know you will get the best support there. And, some you may only take to your most trusted companions. And, there will be others that may be best served by a coach or therapist. The key here is to have those various support systems and to know that no one support system is perfect for everything. At the end of the day, it is only you who can shift how you are feeling, but knowing who can help you remember who you really are in this situation is key!
Step 4: It’s not a BIG DEAL! This too shall pass. Remember the last time you were sure you could not go one more day at this job? In this relationship? With your bank account balance being what it is. And, guess what, you survived. Reminding yourself that you have survived so much worse and that this too shall pass helps put the issue at hand in perspective.
Step 5: Develop a consistent practice. If you have a consistent law of attraction practice or spiritual practice, then your body will go into auto pilot and that will kick in when you need it the most. I could do a whole post on this step alone but the basic premise is there is always a balance between discipline and flow. You should engage in a new practice daily for at least 30 days to build up discipline (in some cases a year to build up discipline). Once you have that discipline, keep the practice up but understand that if you change it up one day or miss it, you have built enough of a muscle that it is not gone. I see people get too disciplined and miss the forest for the trees and others never commit enough to build the muscle. It is a fine balance. It is like eating healthy – you have to commit and do it for a long time to build up the discipline, but then you can have a bite or two of something and know that your body can handle it. It is just hard to do that on day 2 of a new way of eating and much easier to handle of day 350. The discipline gives you the confidence to flow with the present moment.
These five steps will help you increase your own self love. That is really the end goal to any of these disturbances to know and love yourself through them. They will continue to come up, but the more you practice the five steps above the better you will feel. When we have emotional amnesia, we are really saying, I cannot remember how to love myself in this situation. Knowing this is part of the process and allowing it to be is a step to greater peace. My wish for you is the opportunity to build up your self love during your periods of emotional amnesia!
As a person who loves spirituality, ceremony, learning and participating in every religion and group, I often times find myself “celebrating” spiritual days for other religions and soaking up the benefits of them as I know a group of people around the world are doing the same. Whether it is chanting from the Baghavad Gita in the woods of Florida; doing a native American sweat in a tent of a friend’s backyard; creating miracles in my life during Hanukkah about how I can experience the oil lasting for 12 days; or celebrating the Epiphany with my own, I have always loved a good spiritual practice. Because each of those events have hundreds of thousands or millions of people celebrating around the world and being in that juicy energy with that many people holding a positive intention is the perfect place for me to be!
With that in mind, I thought, how would I invite my non-Muslim, spiritual-loving friends to celebrate Ramadan with me? When I was younger, my friends used to try fasting for a day with me and while an interesting life experience, any Muslim can tell you fasting for a day is torture but by the time you do 4 or 5 in a row, it becomes a lot easier (though, still hard). But Ramadan is not about the fasting. Fasting is a vehicle for the deep spiritual work. And, just as I do not necessarily go to Jewish services in Hanukkah to get the benefit of the spiritual work, you do not have to fast to get the spiritual benefit of Ramadan. Here are the 5 spiritual practices that you can bring into your life for the next 30 days to experience the essence of Ramadan.
After a number of years of practicing law of attraction, this is my personalized list of how I have seen it work the best. Note: I have not studied it nearly as much as many people out there, but I have consistently used law of attraction in my life for 10 years. Consistently. Almost, daily. And, with that, I learned that there are some sure fire ways to fast track things right into your life. I also learned that there are some places where you can do everything “right” and still not see results. This list is more to address those areas, the ones where you have done it and tried it all and are still not seeing the thing you want the most to manifest! I write this post while holding the highest intention that you get your “impossible get”!
#1. Give that which you want to receive. - I could stop the list here and you would have everything you need to be successful. What we crave is the thing we hoard and the thing we do not give. Want to be in a committed relationship – ask yourself how well are you committing to the people currently in your life today? Want to receive money? Ask yourself, how willing are you to give money when an opportunity (justified or not) presents itself? Want more friends? Ask yourself, how willing are you to be a friend to someone who does not meet your “friend requirements”? We desire that which we are not giving the most. If you think about what you really want – security, love, commitment, companionship, acceptance – ask yourself, how am I not giving that? Where am I not giving that? Sometimes when I am waiting for a phone call or communication from someone, I go through my voicemails and see who I have not called back in days or weeks. And, I do it then, and it always results in the phone call I am waiting for to come through. Give that which you want the most to receive.
#2 – Bless It! Dying to have a baby and not able to get pregnant? Bless every pregnant woman you see when she walks by. Now, I do not mean stop here and perform some sort of a holy ritual on her! I just mean, when you pass someone who has the thing you most want, send them a good wish or prayer in your mind. Writing a check to the IRS for taxes, bless the money before you send it. Same for all your bills. Say a wish/prayer that the person receiving this money will do good things with it and that the money will create more good in the world. Want to mend a relationship – bless the person and pray that they are happy and get everything they need in life.
#3 – Don’t track it! If you had oodles of money, would you be checking your account balance daily? I know you would think yes, but the answer is no! When you have oodles of friends, you don’t inventory them daily. What you feel you have more than enough of, you do not track. When you have tons of people calling you for dates, you do not count every text and phone call. Stop tracking what is and is not happening with your biggest dream! Instead, start telling yourself, I have so much of this, I don’t need to spend any mental energy “tracking” it!
#4 – Decide it is SO, with NO effort – I teach 0% effort, 100% return. It 100% does not work if you are convinced you cannot get there without effort. I cannot change your mind for you. So, decide the thing that you have worked “so hard” for for year (and, I say this lovingly, not gotten) could maybe be better achieved if you stopped working for it at all? You’ve tried laboring to get it. Why not try letting go and letting it come to you? But, that decision is one you must make. So, decide today, that if it worked for me and countless others, that you are not “that special” (smile) that it could not work for you too!
#5 – Meant to Be – Marianne Williamson shares a story that we are all enrolled in a school while we are here on Earth – some of us are in the school of health, school of relationships, school of money. Very few people have all areas of their life perfectly ticking at all times – though, I totally believe it is possible for all of us at any time! So, what school are you here in? What did you come to learn? Financial lessons? How to love? How to forgive? How to have compassion (health lessons help you develop your compassion muscle pretty quickly)? Whatever it is, are you ready to graduate? I am! So, ask for the lesson. Ask that it be shown to your quickly and easily, so you can learn it, and MOVE ON! And, then, move on. Stop reading books about it. Stop talking about it. Stop thinking about what you did not learn that everyone else on earth seems to know. Ask for the lesson, assume you learned it and MOVE ON! Have you ever noticed how much free stuff rich people get? Funny, right? That’s not their school, so they excel in that. They aced that lesson. Now, it’s time for you to decide you will learn it and graduate!
#6 – What would you do if you got your dream? So, the money is being deposited into your account tomorrow at 9 am, what are you going to do first, second, and third? Where is it going? How much is going there? Where else? What is the detailed plan? Prince Charming is going to ring your doorbell tonight at 7 pm – what will you say? Are you going to open the door or assume it is a telemarketer? Start thinking about what happens when you get your “happily ever after”. Most of us are fixated on a point, one action, one item, that we have completely lost sight of what happens if we get it and what will we do with it. Spend a few minutes daydreaming. What would your plan be if the Universe Fed’exed your dream to your overnight?
#7 – Create abundance (save $) – If you are manifesting money, start a savings account, piggy bank, stash under your mattress and start tucking bills and/or coins away. The best way to get money is to think, this is how much I have, oh and I also have a stash tucked away in another bank acct, piggy bank, etc. Start to feel abundant with what you have! Love – start giving love to everyone you meet, you will quickly collect an abundance of love in return. Health – put up pictures of you in a healthier time and remind yourself you have had good health and you can always go back to that place (if not physically, then in your mind).
#8 - #1 Again – Give as you wish to receive. This one is the BIGGEST one, so I thought I would make it two entries to emphasize! This is the bonus version of give as you wish to receive – give to those that you think deserve it the least. Give your love to the person who has been unkind to you in the past (not abusive, but unkind). Give your money to someone who has money or an able-bodied person asking for money on the side of the street or whoever you believe does not deserve / would not appreciate your money. I told a story about giving a $20 bill to a very rich man and the profound impact it had on him (he stills carries it in his wallet as a reminder). You never know who needs what you have to give. So, give freely, so that you can get freely! Because as you give, so shall you receive J
#9 – Watch the documentary, Happy. Pretty sure you will see that you do not need another anything in your life to be happy. Practice being happy right now, without the thing you desparately want. It is a great way to tear a big hole in your wall of resistance and allow that thing to boomerang into your life. Release it, let it go, and remember you are whole, complete, wonderful right now, without out! Be happy! And, if that sounds cliché, well, watch the movie to see how un-cliché it is and how good you have got it!
#10 – It is SO not about you. Your dream, your wish, your desire is SO not about you. So, who is it about? Who will benefit from you getting your dream? Think about them? Think about all the people you will serve with the extra money. Think about all the people who will get your happy company if you were in better health. Think about all the joy you would bring to someone’s life if you were their partner. Focus on that and it is sure to get you everything you have ever wanted! I remind myself of this daily using a prayer from A Course in Miracles. I share it here for you to use if it works for you too.
Dear God / Higher Self – Where would you have me go today? What would you have me do today? What would you have me say and to whom? Use me for the greatest good of all. Let me be of service today.
John F. Kennedy had it right, “ask not what your country can do for you, but rather, what you can do for your country”. Ask not what the Universe/God can give to you, but how you can be used to give to others and in the process, you will get everything you need and more than you could have imagined possible!
I had a dream the other night, I am sure motivated by seeing this amazing picture Mhedwi posted on Paulo Coehlo’s (The Alchemist) facebook page. In my dream, a man was sitting on top of a high sand dune and watching a battle rage below him. In the far distance, he saw caravans of supplies coming towards one of the army camps but it was on the other side of a set of sand dunes. These dunes were not a barrier to getting the supplies to the army, they were just too high to see from the ground of the army camp. In my dream, I was this man; I was in his head, seeing what he saw, thinking what he thought.
I sat there watching the battle rage on, but I was high enough to not see any individual actions. It was like watching GI Joe figurines posed in two jagged lines, facing one another, and every once in a while, you would see one figurine drop sideways. I was in some form of a deep meditative state, because I was not overly concerned about anything I was seeing, just noticing what was happening in the precise moment, without any feelings attached to it. Normally, I would have a response to fighting, people dying, a caravan with supplies coming, but somehow, I knew, that it was not my place to have an opinion, that this scene was being shown to me for my observation. And, in that state, I understood something powerful.
When we are on the ground in our day to day battle that we call life, we cannot see the environment around us. We are not high enough to have awareness of what is right around the bend (or on the other side of the sand dune). We are stuck in these seemingly never ending day to day battles, having no idea if this is the day we are going to succumb or if supplies will make it today, tomorrow, or never. We keep boldly facing what is before us and psych ourselves up to deal with the matter at hand, having no concept that an hour from now, a day from now or a week from now the entire landscape can and may shift or change. That change could bring relief or bring yet another set of day to day battles. And, with this realization, I understood in a new way, why spiritual leaders suggest you talk to “your higher self”, when you have an issue. Because that part of yourself, sitting on the sand dune next to your personal battle, has the fuller picture. That part of you knows when to push and when to stop. That part of you knows that if you do the same thing today that you did yesterday, it will not work because the entire battlefield is different today. And, those are things that we simply cannot know when we are on the ground. Those things can only be known at a different vantage point.
There is a part of you that knows without doubt that everything is ok, just as it is, in this current moment. For many of us, we do not sit in this place often enough, or at all. But that place is inside each and every one of us. Every spiritual and religious teaching has teachings that talk to the fact that even when bad things are happening, they are part of a greater plan for good. Because there is an even higher vantage point than a sand dune, a universal vantage point, in which the small or huge sadness of today is one string, woven into an enormous tapestry called all people, in all places, in all time and space, and your string as small as it is, in one beautiful, important thread into the larger tapestry called our collective human experience. That is the ultimate vantage point. To understand that everything, every, single, thing, that happens to you has ripple effects on hundreds, thousands or maybe even millions of other people and that there is a higher order and a higher power who has all of that under control. Your job is to spend time on a regular basis in that place within you that knows all is always ok. Your job is to sit on the sand dune, with a higher vantage point, and look at your life, to see, that everything at every moment is just as it should be and something new is on the other side of the next sand dune.
What if you could get everything you wanted with no effort?
In fact, what if the secret to achieving your biggest dreams is following your joy and living life in a state of ease?
Sound too good to be true?
Well, it is possible and here’s why: big dreams do not come with effort, they come with ease.
I know this from personal experience in transforming myself from a burned out type-A overachiever into living my dream of working from home, taking yoga class in the middle of the day, helping my community, as well as other things – all while working half as many hours and making double what I used to.
Within two years of deciding that’s what I wanted, I was doing all of that. Working half the hours with double the salary.
Everyone asks me how I did it, and I came up with the three key ingredients that when combined got me out of burnout and into a life that I love!
Here are those three ingredients:
1) Identify the things that bring you joy, and then do them!
For me, it was dance class, yoga, going for walks, and spending time with my nieces and nephews. I went to soccer games, grandparents breakfasts (even though I was an aunt), read in their classrooms. All these activities made me happy and brought me great joy!
What I see more and more today are people who are not following their joy. Their reason – they simply do not have the time. And, the less they follow their joy, the harder it is to achieve their goal.
I found the fastest way to achieve a goal does not involve effort, but rather, belief the goal will be achieved and living a life of joy.
2) Focus on feelings rather than actions.
As an overachiever, this one was a shocker for me! What I was doing was much less important then how I was feeling! The actions are unimportant. Read that again. The actions are unimportant. What is important is the feeling, the belief, the being. The doing is negligible.
After I wrote my dream life (kind of a vision board, but with words and process flows), I never really looked at it again. I hung it on my wall, so subconsciously I probably saw it all the time, but I never really read it again. Until I was taking it down two years later and shockingly realized I had achieved every single thing I had written down.
The actions were unimportant, but the time I took to create that board and the feeling of freedom and joy I had when I imagined that life, miraculously transformed into it occurring.
3) Take care of yourself, and only you know exactly what that means for you.
I did not learn this in a positive context of achieving my dreams through ease; I learned this through sheer mental and emotional exhaustion.
I remember being exhausted and deciding that I just did not give a [blank] anymore. In that state, all I had energy to do was anything that would get me to stop feeling the pain I was in. I was an overachiever leaving work early to go for walks (sure I was having some sort of nervous breakdown). I was scared, but too tired in that moment to do anything other than the little things that brought me joy.
Once I came up with these three keys, I decided to test them out and ensure they worked.
I took a year to see if I followed my joy, did not worry about the specific actions or exert effort, and took great care of myself, could I make the same amount as the previous year?
I did better than that - I made more than the previous year, working even less and taking even better care of myself.
Since then, I have consistently made more each year for the past five years, each year working significantly less hours than the year before.
I only say yes to work I really want to do, so it does not feel like “work.” I do a lot of “work” for free because I love what I do, and somehow, the money keeps showing up. But, I know now, if I chased the money or “tried” to do something, it would not work nearly as well as just doing what I love and trusting that it will all work out financially.
In yoga, there is a philosophy about balancing between ease and effort. I have found this philosophy to not only apply to yoga, but to all areas of life. There is a time for action. And, when that time comes it feels really, really, really good to take the action. It does not feel like effort.
Do you have moments where you are working harder than ever before (which appears to the outside world as putting in tons of effort), but it doesn’t feel like you are working at all?
In fact, rather than feeling stressed and exhausted it feels joyful and exhilarated? That is what 0% effort, 100% return means. It does not mean you will never “work hard” again. It just means that when you are working hard, it won’t feel hard. There is no strain, exertion, exhaustion – instead it’s joyful.
The key ingredient for this to work is JOY! Allow the magical force of the world to easily, effortlessly, bring your biggest dreams to you!
Want to try it out for yourself? Join us in April for the 30 Day Joy Challenge! Sign up here.
What if I told you it was all alright, right now?
What if I told you, it is unfolding so perfectly? I wish you could see it the way I see it; from my vantage point. It is so clear to me that everything that is happening right now is happening exactly as it should for you to get to where you have to go.
What if I told you, you are dreaming so much smaller than your potential? That the vision you have for your life is not nearly as exciting, thrilling, enriching and satisfying as the one I have created for you?
What if I told you that it was me that put those desires in your heart, because the world needs you and what you have to offer?
Would you relax, then? Would you trust? Would you let go? Would you see that there is nothing to complain about in the present moment? I understand from where you are standing, it is hard to see the bigger picture, but there is one. There always has been. Remember the last time you thought it was horrible and terrible and how that worked out to be the best thing ever. This is no different. And, it won’t be the next time it happens, or the time after.
All I need from you is trust.
All I need from you is to follow your joy. That has always been the way to the big things, the ones that are grander than you could have ever imagined.
I know you know all this, but I also know you forget often. And, that is ok. I just wanted to remind you that you are not alone. You are not directionless. You are not confused. You are not failing in any area of your life. In fact, you are healing and growing. These moments that seem so hard are moments where you cells are going through spring cleaning and getting rid of all the beliefs that they picked up that are not in line with your true self.
When you look back on yourself 2, 3, 5 years from now, you will actually remember this moment. You will tell stories about how you were debating losing hope, but something inside you wouldn’t let you and how grateful you are that you just let it be, just sat with it. This moment is going to be one of those that turn into one of your best ever life stories.
As you feel the sun on your skin, remember that love surrounds you. You come from love and will return to love. You are constantly surrounded by love and there is no lack. Anytime you do not feel the love, it is because you are blocking it (consciously or subconsciously) but when the sun gets blocked by a cloud or your hand, you do not say the sun is no longer there. You know it is always there, always around you and simply marvel at the block and allow it to be for the time it needs to be, knowing, that like the clouds, the blocks will also float away.
Take this time to love yourself. It is not hard to do if you simply do more of what brings you joy. Think and feel less, sit in quiet and be more. The answers are not out there, they are all around you. They are in the first signs of a blue bird in the early stages of Spring, in the plunge of a duck’s head underwater, in the green-ness of the grass after a good spring rain. If you simply quiet your thoughts, all you will need for this moment, will become present to you.
This is one of my favorite posts from last year and in honor of February, and Valentines day, I am re-posting. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. And, this month, in all your interactions, sprinkle a little more love on it and see what magic we can create!
It is one of my favorite times of year, Valentine's Day! And, I love Valentine's Day, partly because I am a romantic - I adore flowers and cards, going out to dinner. But I relish in the idea that there is a holiday created specifically to celebrate love. And, not just romantic love, but human love. Remember when we were kids and we brought in Valentine's for each of the kids in the class? It was so uplifting to walk away with 20 little cards, some with stickers, some with candy, but all with a cute, sweet, loving message about how great we are, even if some card company came up with that message; it was fulfilling to read it all the same.
This Valentine's Day (aka Month), I invite and encourage you to be the source of love in your life. I am not sure if you have noticed this in your daily interactions, but people are in dire need of being loved. And, providing that love is as simple as validating who they are, appreciating something they did or simply giving someone a hug. The other day, I was at a hotel restaurant. The women serving us, Brenda, was not very friendly. I just smiled and was polite to her. Finally, when everyone had cleared out and it was just the two of us, I took her my plate to save her a trip to my table. As I handed her my plate, she mentioned how tired she was and how, after working a full shift, she had to go home and cook for her son, who was hosting a Super Bowl party at her house. I just stood there and listened to her. I showed interest asking her what she would cook, and remarked how lucky he was to have her as a mom. She smiled and started telling me about her famous chili recipe. This interaction took about three minutes. It does not have to be difficult or time consuming to sprinkle a little love on people. And, opportunities to do so exist everywhere!
There is so much conflict, fighting, tension, traffic, anxiety and fear out there! And, not enough smiles, 'how are yous?', 'it's oks', and 'nice to see yous'. The world is in deep need of these right now. Now, more than ever. We are in a time where we are fixated on someone being right and someone being wrong, good and bad, and there is little acknowledgement of the real truth - we are all in this together. We are one human family and whatever happens to a part of our family impacts every single one of us. So, instead of being the one to talk about what is wrong (and, yes, I understand there is quite a lot to say about) talk about what is right. And, if you don't feel ready to take on the whole world, then take on your office mates, your family, the checkout person where you shop, or the driver in the car next to you. Let someone merge during traffic, even though they drove all the way to the end to cut in... I know, they don't seem like they deserve love, but the truth is all of us have moments where we don't seem like we deserve love, and that is when we need the love the most.
This month, I encourage you to get past the flowers, candy, and cards and go deeper into true, unconditional love. Make a list of the three to five most important people in your life and ask yourself have I loved them to the best of my ability? Have I been present to them when they wanted my time or attention? Have I told them how much they mean to me? Have I helped them with something they deem important (versus something you think they "should" deem important)? Have I given them a hug or a kiss lately? And, have I given them a gift (handmade or store bought) specifically to bring a smile to their face? These are the five ways most people experience love. This month, I invite you to do all five of these things for the three to five people in your life you care about the most. If you want to learn more about how people experience love, check out the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, guaranteed to change your life and the life of those you care about most! http://www.5lovelanguages.com/
There is a common spiritual belief that as you give, so shall you receive. And, I have found this to be true in all areas of my life. Whatever I tend to give the most of, is what I tend to have the most of. When I coach people on manifesting money, the first lesson is always to give money away, it always comes back to you... multiplied. The same is true for love. Give it away for free. It is not your job to determine who is deserving of your love. That is a waste of time and energy. Your job is to freely give love. Remember, sometimes the person who seems to be least deserving of your love is the one who needs it the most. This month, stretch yourself. See if you can freely give love to one person, who you believe does not deserve it. I guarantee the impact on your life will be monumental. Because, someone may be withholding love from you too, and the only way to open the door to this withheld love is by opening the door to the love you are withholding from others. This month, in as many situations as you possibly can, sprinkle some love on it. And, as you do, you will experience love returned to you in ways you could never anticipate and in quantities you could not imagine. It is always important to love yourself first. If you do not, then there is no excess love to give to others. But, even if at this moment you are not feeling like you have any love to give, I promise, if you rally and follow the steps below, the person who will benefit the most is you! When you give love out, it exponentially boomerangs back to you.
Are you ready to sprinkle some love on it?
1. Make a list of three to five people who are the most important to you. Ask yourself, have I loved them to the best of my ability? Then, select one person who you may feel is not deserving of your love or kindness.
2. Do the following five actions for all of them in the next month:
- Be present and attentive to them in your next interaction
- Tell them (using words, cards, email, text) how much they mean to you and one thing that you like, love, admire or appreciate about them
- Offer to help do something for them that would make life easier for them (ask what this is and do what they ask, not what you think they need)
- Give them a hug or a kiss
- Give them a hand-made or store-bought gift (this could accompany the words/card idea above)
3. In each interaction you have with another, see if there is anything you can do to sprinkle some love on it. For example, smile at them, look them in the eyes and thank them for their help, compliment them, look at them and tell them to have a nice day, and if none of those work (such as with drivers on the highway) just wish them well (in your heart) as you drive past.
I am sending all of you a heart full of love this month and always. May the love you give return to you multiplied! Now, go out there and sprinkle some love on it!
I use the word manifesting in my daily vocabulary, and have been since 2006. That was the year that my nephew Jacob was born. By the time he was 2 years old, I had already learned how to apply the Law of Attraction to simple situations and was working on mastering the law of attraction for areas where I was particularly “attached”. In addition, my sister (his mother) had been a long time follower of Abraham, so, we’ll say, Jacob and his younger sister, Sara, grew up in a Law of Attraction household. I have had a number of humbling law of attraction stories from manifesting my way into the heart of Times Square on New Year’s Eve to getting a contract at Disney, numerous victories with money, manifesting a free Disney cruise, but the story that most humbled me came from my 8 year old nephew, Jacob.
Jacob is very passionate and his passion for the day, was a game called, My Singing Monsters. I don’t know all the details, but you get points by taking care of your singing monsters, which in turn, allows you to obtain additional singing monsters. There are tons of common monsters that are easy to obtain and a few monsters that are super tough to get, they are considered rare, and without them you cannot get to the next level of the game. Jacob really wanted one of these rare monsters and had done all the “do” things he could think of to get them. He literally jumped out of bed each morning and ran to the game to see if he had the necessary combination of points and monsters to be able to breed the rare monster he wanted to get.
One afternoon, I was laying on the bed next to him reading, while he was working on the game determinedly. All of a sudden he said to me, “Lala, can you teach me how to manifest?”. I said, “Of course, what do you want to manifest?” He explained the Singing Monster desire and we followed my sure-fire manifesting steps.
1. Set your intention that anything you manifest is for the highest good of all involved.
3. Visualize exactly what it would look like if you already had that which you want. In this case, see the monster singing on the screen with your other monsters.
4. Feel what it would feel like when you see that, the first time, each moment thereafter, get very familiar with the feelings of that already being true.
5. Take a deep breath and blow ALL of it out. Completely releasing the vision from Step 3 and the feelings from Step 4. As you breathe this out, know you have completely removed this desire from your physical body and handed it over to a higher power (the Universe, God, etc).
Jacob followed these steps with me. And, I believe in holding intentions for others, so his little sister Sara and I did these steps with him. And, when he let his breath out, Sara and I did too. And, then we went out to the playground and we played and we did not look at, nor think about the Singing Monsters for the rest of the day. We got busy in the living of life and were having a great time doing that!
The next morning, Jacob woke up super early and ran to his iPad. He came barreling into my room and jumped on the bed with excitement, but more awe, and said, “Guess What”. Jacob was the proud owner of not 1 but 2 of the rare monsters he had been working on. We only manifested the 1 monster, but somehow during that process, he had released more than that one desire, and the Universe responded in turn!
Written with permission from Jacob Marzullo, age 9.
Hi! Welcome to my blog, Lunch with Cinderella. I love writing about my life experiences and the fact that they may help spur some cool experiences of your own. If you are here, leave a comment... I read them all and love hearing from you!
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