I love the fact that this new month starts on a Monday. My type-A personality just feels like today is a day for a FRESH start. I know from all that I have studied that we are POWERFUL beyond measure and that there are so many tools out there that we can use to tap into our natural power (not that we need tools, but we are human and we forget). I am constantly taking courses and learning more and the more I learn, the more I see it is all the same lesson in different packages. This month, a group of us are focusing on Asara LoveJoy's book, The One Command.
As I am going through the process step by step so I can share it with the group, I see how many of these practices I have learned in other areas of my life. Asara has taken them and put them together in one six-step process. It is a reminder again, that there is a Truth out there, and that all we need to do is commit to co-creating with it.
In one of her videos, she starts by saying there are two ways to live life. The first, as if you are a Powerful Creator, responsible for your thoughts, your brain, your actions and your perceptions. And, the second, as if you are victim, twirling in this endless Universe, with no control and no power. The deeper I go into spiritual practice, the more I see, it is all about personal responsibility. The world will keep turning. Things will keep happening. Many will not be to our liking, but that is the nature of the world. However, our ability to choose is where all of our power lies. Our ability to "turn the other cheek" when someone says or does something that ruffles our feather, or even more, our ability to thank them (silently in our minds) and go deep into ourselves to see why a comment or action was able to ruffle our feathers and heal it, is our power.
There is no lack of practices out there - religious, spiritual, manifesting, health related. This month, I invite you to choose one and really play full out. Do this for yourself. Decide right now, what practice you will undertake for the next 30 days. Decide when each day you will do this practice. Is it first thing in the morning? Is it an afternoon break time? Will you work it into your lunch routine. It does not have to take long, it is all about consistency. My hope for you and myself, is that we really make some huge shifts this month. That we move out of the blah, blah, blah (that is how I characterize winter) and into the fresh, new start of the Spring. We step into our power. We remember that WE ARE CREATORS and that WE CHOOSE. And, then finally, we surrender, and allow the good that is always at the ready and waiting to flow into our lives easily and effortlessly. Join me in getting clear on what you want and let's start this new month with a new powerful tool!
And, if you want to learn how to use The One Command, you can join me and my fellow Creators here! There is a $20 course fee for this course.
One of my favorite books is, Working on Yourself Doesn't Work by Ariel and Shya Kane. They have three principles to transform the way you relate to yourself. This month, in my Facebook Group, Adventures with Amina, I decide we are just going to "drop" a current problem for a month. No more thinking, over-thinking, analyzing, discussing, or figuring it out. For one month, we are putting the problem on snooze. If Facebook can let us put a person on snooze for a month, then putting a problem on snooze for a month seems like an even better idea.
In my life, I have found that when I intensely try to solve a problem, I not only do not solve it, but end up creating about 20 more problems with it, and leave myself feeling like a total failure. During The Joy Challenge in April, we put a goal on the back burner for 30 days while we focus on doing one thing each day that brings us joy. This month, I am trying that with something I feel like I have to figure out - put it on the back burner and instead of focusing on joy (though, I highly recommend that) focus on being here now, not in my brain processing and over processing. This can be referred to be as being present, being at peace, and even being in joy.
In the book, they talk about their three principles to instantaneous transformation:
- Anything you resist, persists - yup, the more I think about how to do something, the more problems, issues, and ick I come up against
- No two things can occupy the same space at the same time - all the time I am thinking and searching for a solution, I am missing the present moment and the millions of opportunities that are presenting themselves for a miracle outcome
- Anything you allow to be exactly as it is will complete itself and disappear - I think of this as a tantrum, if you just let the tantrum run its steam, it will eventually stop and move on. I remember one day wanting to cry and not doing it, because I was afraid if I started I would never stop... I cried for about 8 minutes and then was over it and felt much better. This fear, that we will be stuck here in this place forever.
I like to practice this from time to time, and when I do, I call it floating. I associate floating with not doing a darned thing. You just lay there (for me, soaking up the warm sun) and relaxing. I think relaxing is a major spiritual principle that does not get enough time and glory. So much good comes from doing nothing. So much good comes from letting go and dealing with it another day. When I was a kid, I loved a series of books called Sweet Pickles. One of the books in the series was Goof of Goose. Goose, the main character's house was in disarray, and if anyone said anything to him about picking up or cleaning up, he would say, "not today, I can't today, maybe tomorrow". The book ends with it being the next day (aka tomorrow) and something happens and Goose realize he needs to relax more, and he then starts the day with "not today, I can't today, maybe tomorrow". It is hilarious and perfect. So, during this month of July, my attitude whenever a pesky thought comes up is to say, "Not today, I can't today... I am relaxing, maybe next month".
I know from my practice with Surrender, Miracles and Law of Attraction, that the quicker I let go, the quicker things get resolved for my higher good easily and effortlessly. Solutions that I could not have dreamed up come flying in... letting go, surrendering, relaxing, is a practice that invites in miraculous outcomes. This month, I invite you to join me in letting go and floating. Let the Universe, who loves you and is wanting to bring out your highest good, or God, who deeply cares for you and wants your highest good, to find the solutions, while you jump on your big float, grab a glass of lemonade and float into relaxation! If we need to, we can still pick it up tomorrow (or in our case... next month)!
May you easily find the solutions you are seeking. May the things that seem too hard and too difficult, transform before your eyes to some of your most beautiful life experiences. May you experience the transformative power of relaxing and handing over your biggest dilemmas to the One that Knows All. May you spend this day, and every day, at peace in your soul - physically, mentally and spiritually. And, so it is and so it shall be.
I had an experience a few weeks ago where I jumped into someone else's nightmare. When you think of describing nightmares, or even dreams, how would you describe them?
- They make no sense
- Things that are normally one way are different - like your living room coach is in someone else's dining room
- you wake up with the feelings of it, but none of it really makes much sense, you are left to interpret it
- Parts of it, remain a mystery to you - you can't remember the whole thing, where it started or how it ended or parts in the middle.
Studying A Course in Miracles describes this life as a dream (or a nightmare) but not real, as do many spiritual traditions. Each of us are living our own little melodrama full of high notes and low notes; some moments a dream and some a nightmare. And, each of us, in our own way is desperately trying to either wake up, or check out so completely that we cannot remember the dreams or the nightmares. But, now imagine, if you were to jump into someone else's nightmare. The one where their couch was in someone else they knew's dining room. It would be even more confusing. At least in our own nightmares, we can make some sense of what is happening around us, but all bets are off when we are in someone else's. And, yet, each day, sometimes many times a day, this is what we go. This is what I did, majorly, the other week.
I started looking at how someone was behaving and started to try to make sense of it, as it related to me. This one sentence really sums up the definition of insanity, yet, how often do we catch ourselves doing this? When someone is acting strangely, it a) rarely has anything to do with you (see my blog post on the 90/10 rule) and b) will make no sense because chances are they are in their own nightmare; one that they can barely interpret and now I have jumped in and tried to understand how this reflects on me! The insanity of it all! Sometimes, people's behaviors really seem targeted to us, as it did in this case. In this case, I was actually told what I was or was not doing. It seemed totally personal. But that is where being solidly grounded comes in. In that moment, I was far from grounded, so I believed every word of it. I did not internally check it out, or maybe I did, and found it all to be super valid. And, thus, jumped even deeper into the nightmare. I forgot that what other's perceive is at best, helpful feedback, at best. Sometimes, someone's perception of you can tell you where you have a blind spot, and this experience did shed light on a blind spot. But the rest of it is each of us trying to make sense of ourselves in an ever complicated model where none of us are grounded in the truth of Who We Really Are - a divine, wholly perfect, wholly cared for, creation of the Infinity and the Eternal. When we are grounded in that knowing, someone can come right up to us and say anything, and sometimes, we don't even notice! Someone else has to point it out to us that someone was rude or unkind, we are too busy being us and living in our True Self.
Next time you find yourself in a conversation that leaves you feeling unhinged, ask yourself, "did I just jump into someone else's nightmare?" Most of us have had the experience of off loading on someone else only to realize that something else was eating at us and we re-directed the energy (and "feedback") onto someone else... I know I have done this too many times to count. And, while it is not my ideal, nor pretty, it is never intentionally unkind. It is one person, drowning in her own nightmare, and reaching out to grab onto something solid, and accidently, pulling them in. The truth is, the only solid thing we can grab onto is our own Inner Knowing of the True Self - the one peacefully sleeping, the one having the nightmare, not the one in the nightmare. And, just like waking from a nightmare, once we turn on the lights, and wake up from the nightmare, we can see the insanity of it. But, while we are in it, it feels very real.
The kindest thing you can do for someone who is in their nightmare, is to kindly and lovingly exit stage left. There is no need to do anything. But to get this point, we have to first identify that the other person is having a nightmare and living it out. To do this, we check in, "Is this about me?" And, almost always you will see quickly, it is not about you. Then, "Is this person having a moment of insanity (the kind we all have all the time)?". Often times, if we can slow down enough to ask the first question, we will see that they are. And the final question, "What is the most loving thing I can do in this moment?". In most cases it is to let the person be and still hold your love and high regard for the person, without taking this moment into consideration - after all, it is not real, they were just having a nightmare. And, we were aware enough (this time) to not jump into it.
I recently went through an amazing course on the Power of Prayer and Meditation and through that experience really saw some of the patterns I was playing out. One of the biggest things I learned was how everything, literally, everything in our life is a mirror. I knew that before, but really got to see it in action. Because of this, I have been super aware of the thoughts and feelings I have when I am interacting with others.
I was recently talking to a very close friend of mine and listening to her talk about her life. She floated quickly from one topic to another, all with the current theme of something going wrong, someone doing her wrong, and all the tries and failures. She was upbeat about the next step, but I saw in her something that at the time I could not quite put my finger on. Later, when I was thinking about the stuff she said, and the people she talked about it, it hit me! Her life is a tragedy. Her life has been one misfortune, one misstep, one mistreatment after another. And, while her attitude is definitely one of surviving and picking herself up, the underlying theme is about the wrong that had been done and her ability to overcome it. I realized I was feeling sad when talking to her and now I understand why. When you read a good tragedy, you wince at the uncomfortable parts, and in the end, you are left feeling a bit sad. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Julius Caesar, MacBeth - in all of them you feel a bit sad at the end.
I started to think about my own life. And, I started to see that I often talk about my life as a tragedy. The missed chances, the opportunities that I was not brave enough to take, the mistreatment I have had to overcome and I felt a little ill. My life is NOT a tragedy! Nor, do I want to have any energy or underlying energy of my life being a tragedy. I can see all the blessings and the good in my life, but yet, I too can see an underlying theme of things gone wrong and more importantly people who have done my wrong. I have forgiven them, but I have not released the energy associated with the events that makes them seem tragic still. I then started thinking about a lot of other people I know. And, so many of them have tragedy stories, the ones they are trying desperately to overcome but somehow, no matter how they try, this underlying theme of "I am overcoming a tragedy" remains. And, I thought of people like my parents and many of their generation as well as others I have met. They have truly tragic events in their life. Both my parents lost their Dad at a very young age, for my Dad, this meant becoming the "Man of the Household" as an adolescent and having to deal with lots of adversity with people trying to take advantage of the fact that his Dad was no longer around. And, yet, these folks don't see their life as a tragedy at all. And, I kind of want to clue them it that it is, but they don't have that perspective. In fact, they are grateful. They are content. They are happy. They do not see their life as a tragedy.
At the beginning of each year, I choose a theme for the year. It is usually the theme I am most working on or working with to deeper my own personal growth. This year, along with peace, no suffering, choosing again, the theme that has most emerged for me is Remembering Who I Really Am. Someone recently texted me and said, it is critical that you make your own decisions and follow your joy, because no one is an invested in your happiness as you. And, it is so true. Many of us are givers and we love the satisfaction of doing for others, the personal joy that comes from that. It is one of my greatest joys and I hope that never changes. However, I am also realizing that I am here to create something and it is my job to ensure I do that. That means I need to be vigilant about my own path and my own joy as well.
The key as we enter this year is to decide ahead of time Who You Are Going to be in any situation and then, to the best of your ability, live up to that. For example, who are you going to be when you get bad news? Who are you going to be when someone disappoints you or upsets you? Who are you going to be when someone else gets the thing you want? How we respond, how we show up, is completely our choice. But, we already know that. What makes this practice more powerful is to understand that there is truly nothing that can hurt you. God/The Universe is doing what it does to move things forward and that is all that is happening. Things happen so that you can grow and heal and increase your capacity to love. Often times, we label these life events as bad or negative. That is where this theme really comes to play. Is it possible that a loving God, a loving Universe, would be punishing you or wanting you to hurt? No, it is part of a larger design. And, our job is to REMEMBER. I know from personal experience remembering when you are hurting is so difficult, but there is no real other alternative. You can get swept away and lost in the pain, anger, etc, but that is just more stuff to clean up later. It is simpler to get still, feel what you feel, but as quickly as possible, REMEMBER your decision to trust, to know all is well, to know that this is part of a larger picture and to get back on your joy horse as quickly as possible.
My invitation to you is what I am practicing myself this year - Radical Self Accepting Love coming from Radical Knowingness that you are a perfectly created child of God. Not the kind of self love where you get massages and manicures (though, I encourage that too) but the KNOWINGNESS that you were created to go through experiences for a purpose. And, that you are where you are for a reason. You will stay here for a season and this will lead to whatever is next. KNOWING that is huge. Then, there is no reason for guilt, feeling bad, regret, or hopelessness. Becoming the type of person who goes, "YES!", when something "bad" happens, because you know it is on the path to your becoming a deeper version of yourself.
20 wishes as we enter 2020
I recently went to a Christmas party at a friend's house. I was very excited to attend, because when I was last at her house this summer, she told me that she completely redecorates her house every Christmas. Every single decoration she has inside, which includes shelves in the kitchen of Salt and Pepper shakers are changed. She then showed me her storage area where she stores all her Christmas decorations. There were shelves filled with storage boxes of goodies. Now, I am the type of person who loves anything decorated and I LOVE people who are passionate and get into something.
That's why it won't surprise anyone that I was so excited to see her house decorated. Sure enough, every one of the salt and pepper shaker sets she had displayed were now changed to Christmas salt and pepper shaker sets. Every framed picture in the house was wrapped to look like a Christmas present (I loved that) and she had at least 6 Christmas trees, every one of them themed and covered in decorations. Walking through her house felt like living and breathing Christmas. It was all so amazingly beautiful.
A few days later, I stopped by her house again. This time, knowing, what the inside would look like. As I approached her house, I noticed she did not have any Christmas decorations on the outside. No lights, no little snowmen in the front yard, not even a wreath on the door. This shocked me. Knowing what the inside looked like, I thought, "no one would even know she celebrated Christmas just by looking at the outside". And, that is when it hit me... it is not about the outside. It is not about anyone knowing she is celebrating Christmas. It is not even about me coming over and seeing all the Christmas salt and pepper shakers. It is about her, her joy, and her getting to walk through her house and feel the magical Christmas feeling, all day, every day. Christmas, like everything else, is an inside job. It is about the internal feeling she gets when she puts up the decorations. The memories as she tells me stories about who gifted her what and what came from her in-laws, and what was passed down from her parents. It is about the feeling of connection. The mementos that represent something bigger - a feeling of joy and peace, and connection.
The thought occurred to me, because I am reminding myself more and more each day, it all starts on the inside. Sometimes, we are so focused to get it looking right on the outside, that we forget to actually nurture and take care of the inside. Whether it is peace, love, joy, it all has to start internally for it to actually work. How often have you spent the least amount of time complimenting, listening, or even spending time with the people you love the most? It happens to all of us. Getting wrapped up in buying the perfect gift, or making the perfect Christmas dinner, and forgetting to take the time to really fulfill our insides first. As we move forward towards a new decade, the Roarin' 20s, make a commitment to foster the inside more and not worry as much about what the outside looks like. When the inside is aligned, the outside always follows!
I recently heard a song I loved in High School by Trisha Yearwood. The song is titled "She's in love with the boy" and the chorus has the line, "what's meant to be will always find its way". I started to think about that line. I believe that. What's meant to be WILL always find its way. I can see from my life that that has always been the case. I remember my Senior year of college, sitting on my bed, crying, after a hugely successful event on campus that I managed because on my way home, I had stopped to check the mail and got a rejection letter from Cooper and Lybrand internal consulting. It was my dream job - the one I wanted. I got rejected. I only had one other place left that I had applied and not yet heard from, Andersen Consulting. They were supposed to let me know by that day too and had not. That night I had heard from someone else that they had heard from Andersen and I hadn't. I assumed that meant I did not get that job either. I was devastated and scared. I did not know if I would have a job when I graduated. Mind you, it was November, Senior Year, but in overachieverville, this was bad news. I sat on my bed crying while my bestie and parents sat next to me. They had come out for the big event. And, instead of celebrating at the end of the success, I was on my bed, crying. I spent that entire weekend depressed thinking that I would be the only person from Georgetown graduating without a job lined up. I felt like a failure. On Monday morning, I got a call from Andersen letting me know I got the job. They called one group on Friday and my group, which was a different department, on Monday. That job was one of the best experiences of my life and put me on an amazing path. I am grateful every day for my time at Andersen Consulting.
That is just one example of things working out. I have millions. And, my guess is, you do too... if you think about it. Things do always work out. While we are going through the worst part of it, there are moments where we think, "this is truly terrible". And, in that moment, that feeling is real. But, like the Monday morning phone call, there is always a miracle around the corner. And, the miracle may not be getting the exact job, it might be something all together different. I really wanted the other job, but in truth, I have realized, I do not know what is best for me. Coopers no longer exits, Andersen Consulting is now Accenture and still opens doors for me 12 years after I left. Sometimes things in our life have to fall apart for the bigger, better, more aligned thing to come in. We all know that. But, we also can tend to forget it when life seems to be going not according to our big, beautiful plans for ourselves. In those moments, I find this to saying to be helpful - what's meant to be will always find its way.
What's meant to be will always find its way.
The power is that is that there is nothing to do. Like being in out of control rapids, sometimes you have to realize that you just have to hold on and get through a rough patch. Not falling in is success. We tend to want to be in control and at the top of our game for everything. Sometimes, the top of our game is just holding on. Another quote I love from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams: "What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?" To which, Maggie the Cat replies, "Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can." Very rarely does life need you to jump. If you can sit patiently with the discomfort, it will pass, and what is new will come through. It always does. The rain always stops and the sun shines again. Winter always transitions to spring. And, what is meant to be, always finds its way.
The next time you find yourself worrying and unsure about what might happen next, remind yourself, that there is nothing to do. This one spiritual practice could change your life. We tend to want to jump in, fix, discuss, analyze, be sad, be mad, take charge, hide under the covers, etc. But, in reality, there is nothing to do but to ride it out with as much peace as you can find. In these times, remind yourself, that this is God/Higher Power giving you an opportunity to release and let go and rely on it to get you through. It is our reminder that we are not in control. It is our reminder that we don't have to figure it all out on our own. And, most importantly, it is a reminder that no matter how alone we may feel, we are SO not alone. There is a benevolent, loving force that is handling things for us from the other side. This force brought us to this situation, the one that we think is terrible, and has us on our knees so that it can bring us out on the other side to a much better outcome - every time. I realize some of our life experiences, it may take us our whole lives to see what the better outcome was and some we may not get to know while we are here on earth, but I do believe, every one of our painful moments leads us to something better. That concept was really reinforced for me after reading about numerous people's near death experiences. In each case, they were shown the worst moments of their life, and how that led to something so beautiful and good. A great example of this is Anita Moorjani's story in Dying to be Me.
I end this post with a reminder to myself and to each of you that are reading this - have faith and trust. There is nothing to do. There is a wonderful plan unfolding. Your joy is your indicator on how to follow that plan. For those of you who have done Joy Challenge, you know in the difficult moments, joy may be a nap, going for a walk, taking a bath, or talking to a friend. Sometimes, in hard times, joy comes in the simplest forms. You can create this life to be whatever you want it to be but you don't get to choose how it unfolds, that is where trust and faith come in. When in pain, do for others. That can be as small as praying for someone, especially people who have hurt/wronged you, giving money to charity, or spending time with someone (parents, children, etc) and being present. Giving from your heart always lifts the spirits because it takes the focus off of you and what is or is not working and focuses it on being of service. You create with your thoughts, don't let reality deter you. Everything has to be created in the mind before it can be created in reality. Be more dedicated to creating peace and joy in your mind than you are to what circumstances are showing you. Have great compassion for yourself and everyone else in the situation. If someone is not doing right by you, it is because of pain within them, not about you. Have compassion for their struggle and have GREAT compassion for yourself. You too are doing the best that you can. Find gratitude for all the things that are always going right. I like to be grateful for my senses, my arms, my legs. When you are unwell in any way, it is such a reminder of how lucky we are that our bodies work (any part of them) and how much we benefit from that. It is a very uplifting gratitude practice for me. During the month of November, we are doing a 30 day gratitude practice in my Facebook Group, Adventures with Amina, based on Pam Grout's book, Thank and Grow Rich.
And, finally, trust that the unfoldment and know that what's meant to be will always find its way.
I woke up this morning to an interesting question, one that I have gotten a few times lately - are you creating or destroying? The Universe is constantly in motion, getting bigger, expanding, and allowing for more and more creative energy. Each of us have the opportunity to do the same - constantly grow, learn, adjust and create. However, often times, when things don't go our way, it is easy to fall into negative thought patterns that are destructive.
As I was pondering this question in the early hours of the morning, I realized that in every moment we we have a choice to create or to destroy. We can either look at a situation in our life and see a positive way to create something from the situation, or we can find ways to blame, complain, and make another wrong. Making others wrong, spending time in judgment is so easy, and it is a very destructive force.
True confession - that affirmation is still aspirational for me. Currently, I base my happiness on a lot of external factors. The least of which include the weather, and the worst of which include other people (who, have you noticed, are totally unpredictable?). Today, I woke up in a great mood and within the first 10 minutes of my day I got information which immediately turned that happy into anxious, worried, and generally icky feelings. And, just like that, I lost my own happiness.
My new habit has been to start my day with a walk. As I got dressed to go, the general malaise feeling followed me and I found myself dragging my feet (for 30 minutes!) from getting out the house. A walk is a sure fire mood-shifter for me, but once in that ick state, it is hard to even do the things that I know will make me feel better! When I finally got walking, I was still lost in thoughts of worry. And, then I saw my daily Abraham Hicks quote jump up on my phone.
Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel — and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.
Excerpted from Asheville, NC on 4/30/05
And, there are days and moments, where sometimes just a simple reminder is all it takes to shift your mood. And, there are other days, where I can listen and read 100 of these before I feel a tiny, bit better. But, today, was the day where I just needed the reminder. And, I realized that I could feel ok, no matter what. It reminder me of my Non-suffering practice. It reminded me that I get to choose if and when to give up my Peace. It reminded me of Who I am Really Am and the power that is my ability to choose the way I want to show up in the world at all times.
Those of you who know me, know that I am into astrology. I just find so much of what they say to match my life experience. While I don't fully know it or study it extensively, I keep up with the eclipses and retrogrades. And, I know that July is going to be a full month of stuff - good stuff, big stuff, changing stuff, just stuff. For that reason, I thought this is a good time to remind myself of the fact that I can be happy no matter what. I get to make that choice. I do not have to give up my happiness based on another person and their personal drama, or an external event which I cannot control. I can be happy anyways. It is a really empowering feeling to know that I own my own happiness, and honestly, my own peace. They are mine and I get to stay in them (or lose them) based on what I decide. Don't let your mind fool you, like mine did this morning, and tell you that these things are out of your control. Take a moment to remind yourself of Who You Really Are and get your happy back!
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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