Staying Grounded Amidst Change

When change in your life and on the planet is afoot, it’s helpful to try to stay grounded whenever you are able to. I’ll admit, I have had a hard time of it sometimes. When life is really changing fast, it’s difficult to get my footing and remain centered. I get swept up in the current and become easily ungrounded. 

Paying attention to my breath is the most important technique I’ve found to stay grounded. I’ve heard about the importance of breathing for years. I even help kids practice their breathing every day in my work as a speech and language pathologist. Does that mean I remember to breathe? Of course not! But, some days are better than others.

It takes practice to remember to breathe, however, once I’m aware that I need to get grounded, I’m able to breathe deeply and calmly. The best part about breathing as a grounding and centering technique is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have to connect our minds with our bodies and help us stay grounded. If you are feeling the winds of change in your life and feel you have nothing to hold on to, get centered quickly by paying attention to your breath. 

Wishing you deep breaths and open hearts today!

Listening to Your Heart

Your heart is your center. It is connected to all that is. Your heart will provide you with hunches, guidance, and feelings about what to do, which way to go, and what you need – when you are quiet enough to listen to it. Everyone has this capability, because everyone’s heart comes from God. The trick is to honor it. That’s much more easily said than done! 

When I began healing, I did not know that listening to my heart mattered or was important. In fact, I did everything I could not to listen to my heart, because I had been in so much pain. When I began healing, I did so because my heart was calling to me underneath the pain. Listening to my heart allowed me to clear my pain by entering it and releasing it. I had been taught in therapy that many of my instincts were wrong because of my trauma, but I still had a heart that came from God. The trick was and has been to learn which urges came from my heart, and which came from my mind. 

Listening to your heart can make you more intuitive and put you in touch with your highest good. When I listen to my heart, especially when making hard choices, the results of my choices are more beautiful and much happier. It’s taken a lot of practice to listen to my heart over my mind, and it’s something I still work on. The best tip I can offer on listening to your heart is that it really helps to get quiet, get still, and meditate – then listen to yourself. 

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a beautiful day.

Accepting Your Life

Accept your life as it is, right now. Appreciate the things you have already. Be thankful for the many blessings in your life. Allow the things you are grateful for in your life to blossom and grow. It can be easy to worry and to see the worst in the world. Look deeper. God is in you. God is with you. God is guiding you.

I have been practicing appreciating my life and the many blessings in it, even as I have caught myself worrying about many things in my life and in our world. Worrying does no good for anyone. It doesn’t help make things better. It doesn’t improve one’s life or the world. It leaves one in a rut. However, accepting and appreciating what you have allows your blessings to multiply. As Neale Donald Walsch put it last weekend, “when you feel good about life, life feels good about you.” You can create a positive feedback loop in your life.

Instead of worrying, love your life. Instead of worrying, take action on something that is within your reach to change. Accept what is. Appreciate the many blessings you have been given. Center yourself in your heart as much as you are able to, and your life will blossom.

Living a Sacred Life in the Modern World

What does it mean to live a sacred life in our modern society? I think about this a fair amount. How is it possible to connect to the sacred each day, going to work, raising a child, and existing in a capitalistic society with massive inequality? It can feel difficult to create a sacred space in the middle of strip malls. I’ve been cultivating several practices that help me feel connected to God and allow me to live a sacred life even in the middle of this world. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Living in the moment: living in each moment fully, releasing thoughts about the past and the future, is a very sacred space to exist in and truly helps love and light arise in my heart. If you have read of The Power of Now, this book goes into great depth about this approach to life.
  • An altar: I have a small altar that I have in my guest room/meditation room. It has a candle and some stones. Sometimes I put pictures or cards on it. It is not complicated, and I don’t know much about making an altar. It is a place I can sit where I meditate and pray. Just lighting the candle helps me immediately connect to a place that is bigger than my own small world.
  • Writing: writing reminds me to connect to a larger world and to God. It helps me reach a place of peace in my heart, and helps me remember who I am.
  • Meditation and yoga practices: When I have time, I like to meditate before bed, and try to practice yoga in the morning when I wake up. These practices help clear the clutter of my mind and help me open my heart.
  • Prayer: Praying is a wonderful thing to do, and I pray many times throughout the day. My favorite prayers are prayers of thankfulness and gratitude, as well as the 23rd Psalm and the Our Father.
  • Reading sacred texts and spiritual literature: I love to read books that bring me wisdom, truth, and guidance. They are points of light in my world. 

Those are some ways that I keep my connection to the spiritual world strong while living in the modern world. I do often wish I could opt out, go live in a cave or the forest, and meditate or pray all day, but I know that my life is here now, with my family, and in this world. Keeping my connection strong with these practices helps me to keep my light alive and my connection to God strong.

What are your sacred practices? I’d love to hear from you!

Love Yourself by Loving Others

I wrote last week about loving yourself, but today I want to write about how showing love to others is a way to show love to ourselves. When you see past someone’s pain and mistakes into their light within, you are also seeing your own inner light. When you love others by giving them blessings and joy, you also give blessings and joy to yourself. “What you do to another, you to do yourself. What you fail to do for another, you fail to do to yourself” (Conversations with God). Or, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12).  Loving another person is akin to loving yourself, because we are all one.

How can we show love to others? Well, it helps to know what they need, and each person has their own needs. Your partner may need a different kind of love from your child, but it’s all love. It is also possible to show love by embodying love for them, by centering your heart in a loving place and sharing that love with them. I do this now with my family and friends and with the children I work with. I practice this in my daily life as I encounter people throughout my day in different parts of the city. I practice showing love to the homeless and to people in need.

When I bless others with love, I feel that love lift me up and make me whole. I hope you have a chance to show love today.   

Loving your Story/Letting go of your Story

I’m getting this out to you a little late today because my daughter woke up way too early, right when I was starting to write. Thanks for your patience on this holiday weekend. Today I wanted to share about my story- how I’ve lived it, learned from it, and also how I’m able to let it go. 

When I was thirteen I was raped by a group of four older boys while many onlookers watched. I believe I was drugged because I don’t remember how I got there. I spent years denying this trauma until I could no longer ignore it. I had several breakdowns and became suicidal in my early twenties. I then spent years talking about it, going to therapy, writing about it, and dealing with it. In order to heal, I had to go deep into my story. 

Now, at this age, with so much time passed and healing undertaken, I’ve gotten to the point in my personal process where I feel willing to release this story. Sometimes, I’m not sure how that happened. I reached a place of peace in my heart and with God. I had a lot of support from friends and family. I don’t consider myself only a rape survivor. I am many other things too- a person, a mom, a human with a heart, a reader, a writer, a healer. I went through something that changed me. I went through something that taught me a lot and thankfully, eventually, brought me to a very beautiful spiritual path. 

This past weekend we talked a lot about letting go of your story. Stories can be so meaningful and important, but they can hold you back if you are clinging to a limited version of your story. Instead of letting my story limit me, I tell myself the story of how I healed. I tell myself the story of how I learned about compassion. I tell myself the story of seeing the light in myself and in others. I tell myself the story of finding many blessings in the pain.

Love your story, hold it, then release it (if and when it feels right for you). 

Loving Yourself

What does it mean to love yourself? It means to sit in a space of love for yourself and embrace yourself in all of your manifestations. Learning to love myself has been a vital part of my healing journey. It’s a step I often overlook and that I think seems a little selfish sometimes, if I’m being honest. But feeling love for myself in the face of difficulty, anger, sadness, and stress, helps me remember who I am. It helps me remember that God created me, and that I’m loved exactly the way I am.

Some of the ways I practice loving myself include saying “I love myself” as a mantra, as well as saying “God loves me.” I also breathe and sit in stillness and pray to feel love, and to feel God’s love, which usually helps me feel love right away. I also practice showing others that they are loved, which allows me to feel love too. As it is said in Conversations with God, “what you do for another, you do for yourself. What you fail to do for another, you fail to do for yourself.” Helping another feel love will necessarily help you feel love too!

I forgot how to love myself after my trauma. The hatred and vitriol I experienced left me lost in a sea of anger, rage, and sadness. I was cut off from myself, from God, from love, and from light. Every time I consciously love myself now, I return a part of my heart to God’s heart, and to love. It can take time and practice, but it’s possible. Loving yourself can make many of life’s problems seem more manageable and less overwhelming. Wishing you love today and every day.