Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank you to the whole big wide world for having a place for me. I am seeing more and more the way I am taken care of in ways big and small. I have a beautiful family, cherished friends, a nice warm house, a sweet little dog, money to take a class or buy lunch at Chipotle (Love It!). If I go even smaller, down to finding the right book in my hands at the library, or hearing kind words around me, an offer of help or friendship from somewhere unexpected. I feel more and more that I am held in the arms of something greater than I have imagined.
The first ever seminar in the Brighten Your Light series happened this past Sunday, 2/26. It was an intimate group, and as we sat down to begin I looked at the women around the table and knew it was just as it should be. Susan Keeley led the discussion about healthy foods and healthy eating with clarity, grace, compassion and wisdom. She is a gifted teacher and connects with people in such a clever and intuitive way that makes you feel smarter for having asked the question.
As Susan spoke, I was overcome with gratitude for the women at the table. They came to support me first and foremost but also to learn. I had a journal for each of the women in the group. The journals have blank pages for notes as well as quotes to help guide the discussions. One of the quotes in the journals is from Maya Angelou, “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” Sitting there I felt this truth fall into my lap. I had asked to create a space where women came together to talk, learn, laugh and be supported to spread their wings. I am asking now, with a grateful heart, for even more women to come and share in the experience.
After Susan’s talk, I led a short meditation I found on a website called http://www.bodylovewellness.com about letting go of the hate so many of us feel towards our bodies. I spoke of my desire to get more out of life than just the ordinary or, “not that bad” mentality which had pushed me to start the Life and Friendship community. Susan and I both brought up the concept of an inventory of your life. I have found this kind of exercise so helpful in getting clear about where you want to invest time making improvements. For example, how do you feel about your career? Is it inspiring? What would you change or keep the same? How about your romantic life? Is this area everything it could be or you would like it to be? Some other areas to consider are creativity, education, social life, spirituality, and joy.
At the end of the day, perfect is a moving target. This isn’t about a magic formula that will fix things for life. Rather, it’s about deciding what works for you now and being willing to make changes as needed. We all have different struggles in our lives but the more you break them down the more similar they start to look. At the base of everything is something stronger than a need, more like a primal drive to feel loved and accepted. Catching this feeling is like switching on the lights. That moment when you laugh with someone, give to someone, or allow someone to give to you are a few of the times when you might feel that spark.
We all left the seminar with a home work assignment to think about the spokes on our wheel, or areas of our life. We are supposed to think about what areas we might want to change, and to notice what areas might be better than we thought. I recommend we all put a self-love spoke on the wheel of our lives. Let’s all take some time to send the loving kindness that we so wish for others inward to ourselves. Indulge me for a moment before you go to sleep tonight. When you close your eyes imagine going inside of yourself. In the dark you might bump into and trip over things you cannot see. Imagine lighting a candle and having a look around. As you light the dark with your candle, know you are in a safe place. Protected as you are, feel free to do some cleaning. All our memories, beliefs and life experiences are stored here. Notice if there are any negative beliefs about yourself wedged in with these memories. All of these can be gathered up and taken with you when you leave. On your way out leave the candle burning to know you are always welcome to return. There is nothing here that is too terrible to be seen, or to shameful to felt. You are loved.
Our next seminar will be on Sunday, 3/11 from 3 to 6 pm at the Thompson Library in North Woburn, MA. The cost of the seminar is $30. You can sign up through Pay Pal on the website. It will be the Dress to Be Your Best class led by Maria Cella. Maria is a fun and engaging woman who will give you valuable information on how to dress for the body you have now. I would love to welcome you to our group. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.