from fullness, fullness comes out

It seems, very often, there comes a point that we get fed up and we say, enough is enough, it is time to make some changes. This is actually a good place to be. The energy of being fed up can be the fuel that motivates us to make some serious, much needed changes in our lives.  Though I feel it’s worth noting…while being fed up can motivate us and invoke a feeling of determination, without discipline and daily introspection, we can find ourselves retreating to the behaviors that no longer serve us. (Slightly confusing sentence) It can be easy to lose some of the momentum that we had when we were so gung ho about making changes in our lives.

In order to make lasting change, I encourage you to start talking to yourself as you would a best friend or the love of your life. Love yourself enough to make peace with any unsettledness from the past, so you have room to embrace the present and allow new energy to come into your life.

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.

- Jan Glidewell

Simply allow yourself to fall in love with you. If you’re finding this difficult, simply start placing the intention to do so. Give this little mantra a try or create your own:

I intend to love myself unconditionally and to give myself praise. I intend to be patient with myself. I intend to speak to myself in an encouraging, gentle, nurturing way.

While these intentions are almost sounding like vows at a wedding, I would like to encourage you to do just that, get married to yourself. Like any wedding there are preparations:

Write out your vows to yourself. I vow to honor myself and respect myself, etc. Take some quiet time and really think about what’s important to you. Maybe look at where you have been hard on yourself and create a vow to help heal that. Keep the list of your vows and post them on a vision board or keep them in your wallet, choose a place where you can re-read them often.

Buy yourself a ring, or some token that you can keep with you always, to remind yourself of the commitment you have made to yourself. A commitment of love. Pure, divine love.

Pick a special place, maybe the ocean or a private place in nature, or maybe inside your home surrounded by candles and flowers. Just be sure you feel comfortable and are dedicated to this special, powerful ceremony.

Read your vows aloud or to yourself, with devotion and sincerity. Like any wedding, this time signifies a new beginning and represents great love and commitment.

You may decide to re-marry yourself every year or so. Have fun with it and be sure to celebrate this new relationship with yourself. Treat yourself to something you love, get a massage or another healing treatment. Just be sure to do something special for you. Give yourself permission to take care of you and fill your cup, not just on this special occasion, but often.  Maybe make this one of the vows to yourself, to do something special for yourself from time to time.

My dear friend, Dr. Paul Dugliss, has written a wonderful book called, Capturing the Bliss: Ayurveda & the Yoga of Emotions, in it he states:

“Mired in false concepts, we misconstrue love with self-sacrifice. If we truly sacrifice the Self, we crucify love itself. Love comes out of fullness, not emptiness. The sacred books of India called the Upanishads say this: ‘That is full; this is full. From fullness, fullness comes out. Taking fullness from fullness, what remains is fullness.’”

The more you fill yourself with love, the more you can love others. Fall in love with yourself and then allow that love to then be extended to those close to you and ultimately the world and the universe. Allow the fullness of your love to come out. The powerful energy of love can sustain the positive changes that you see for yourself and it will help you commit to those changes.

a gift for you

Everyday is a wonderful day to practice using the helpful tools we have learned. However, I feel the holiday season is an extra special opportunity because, while there is magic in the air, there can also be tension. It can be an extra busy time and this is all the more reason to keep centered and grounded. My gift to you for the holidays is a pie.

Here are the pieces to your P-I-E, it is divided into three precious pieces:

P – Presence

The fastest, easiest way to get present is to focus on your breath. Also, when you take the breath into your belly area, you instantly send a message to your body to relax. Use this moment to truly relax and surrender without judgment. Have you ever heard the phrase, “my presence is your present?” It usually means, “I didn’t bring you a gift, but I’m here to celebrate with you.” But, your presence (being present) really is a present to yourself and ends up to be a gift to everyone around you.

Once you are relaxed and present, focus on the next piece of your P-I-E…

I – Intention

Use this moment to begin again. Put all negative thinking out the window and release all judgments of yourself and others. This moment is where you set the intention of what you would like to happen and how you would like to be. When you put out an intention, it is another way of asking the universe for what you want. I suggest placing an intention for what you want your whole holiday season to be like and then place intentions daily, hourly, or whatever is needed. You could place your intentions before shopping or on your way to a holiday party or perhaps before your relatives arrive.

For instance, “I intend to have a nice time with my family this holiday season,” or “I intend to stay peaceful and allow myself to have fun at the holiday gathering,” or maybe it’s just a quick, “I am calm.” However you decide to word your intention, remember it and make it your mantra for the season or for a particular event. Now that you are present and you have set your intentions, you get your last piece of the P-I-E…

E – ENJOY

Truly, wholeheartedly let go and allow yourself to enjoy (in-joy) your experiences. Enjoy the sounds, scents, tastes, sights and feelings of the holidays. Let this be a gift to yourself, gift yourself with joy. Immerse yourself in the wonder-full energy of this time of year. There is a lot of surrendering involved here. Surrender to the joy and laughter of the moment. Let go of whatever perfect is. In life, we never get it all done, so just allow it to fall into place. Control and manipulation usually leads you to the exact opposite of what you want. With ease and trust energy can flow naturally and this is perfect in its own way.

P –  GET PRESENT

I  -  SET YOUR INTENTION

E –  ENJOY

The beautiful thing about this process is you can spend 20 minutes, 2 minutes or 20 seconds doing it depending on your situation.

act as if – part two

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

- Shakespeare

You are the writer, producer and director of your play. This is very exciting and liberating.

We get to create who we are. However, this awareness is easy to disregard. If we are not careful we can allow ourselves to feel victimized and/or stuck. It’s easy to get into a pattern of bad habits and then feel unmotivated and lazy about changing the things in our lives that we want to. Usually our negative behaviors become filled with excuses, “Oh, that’s just the way I am” or “My dad always did ‘that’, now I do too.” But, if it is a trait that in your heart you wish were different, you have the power to change it! If it’s something that bothers you about yourself, you can safely bet it bothers those close to you as well. In fact, one reason we are in relationships is to learn about ourselves and to grow and change for the better.

Think of life as your stage production, your play. You can re-write your character to act how you want him or her to. While it takes practice and rehearsals, as preparing for any role does… you can do it. Want to be more patient? Want to be more calm? Want to be more confident? Re-write your character to portray those traits.

It’s easy to stay stuck in old patterns that no longer serve you and then complain about it. Isn’t it frustrating to hear someone complain about themselves or their situation, but then they just sit there and do nothing about it? If you find yourself complaining about something that you have the power to change, take action.

The first action step is to re-write your character. What traits make you feel good about yourself and make you happy? What traits do you admire in others? Writing them out will set the intention and get the wheels in motion. Writing and affirming intentions helps you reprogram your brain. Create your character and then act the part. The most beautiful, freeing part of all of this is that you can re-write your character anytime you want, even in the middle of a scene. YES! Did you ever have a time where you needed to call upon this wisdom?

Have fun with it! If you find yourself acting out an old behavior, try this: pretend the director of your play, which is you, just yelled cut and pulled you aside to have a talk with you. The director takes a moment to gently remind you that in the meeting this morning they had re-written a few things about the character you are playing. You take a moment to integrate this and then re-enter your scene with the new idea in your head…and action, you start playing out the new part, the new you! I know this takes imagination, but you may find it helpful and it certainly adds an element of fun to it. That’s why it’s called a play…so play and have fun!

Life’s like a play; it’s not the length but the excellence of the acting that matters.

- Seneca, Roman philosopher