Category Archives: Encouragement

Thriving Through Change

I am confident we can all agree that if we want our lives to be different in some way, we will have to endure some measure of uncertainty and change. That is no revelation to anyone. It is simply common sense. That doesn’t make it easy to live through! In fact, it is so scary to face uncertainty and change that most of us stay stuck where we are rather than endure it. We sit safely in the comfort zone of what we know, no matter how uncomfortable it may get inside of that bubble. Self Help powerhouse, Tony Robbins, says the more magic and adventure we want in our lives the more we have to get comfortable with, or at least learn to tolerate, uncertainty. I remember reading a short story by author Richard Bach many years ago which discussed just this dilemma.

turtle with a hat

The story was basically about these little creatures whose entire existence, they believed, depended upon their clinging tightly to the rocks at the bottom of a rushing river. If they were ever to lose their grip they would be swept off to a certain death. The rub being that clinging for a lifetime to a rock in the hopes that one can endure, is not much of a life. As in all the Richard Bach stories I have ever read, a rebel appears who can no longer accept the status quo. This little creature just cannot bring himself to endure a  life of enduring any longer. He would rather risk “certain” death than continue to cling to existence. So it is for all of us. We may have many who tell us that our dreams are impossible. We may have an inner choir constantly singing to us of the dangers of our dreams. Sometimes the smallest steps feel like impossible leaps. Sometimes impossible leaps happen, when we are willing to tolerate the unbearable anxiety of uncertainty.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence

by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

~Eleanor Roosevelt


Unexpected Outcomes

 

My last class, although a phenomenal and moving experience, was not well attended. The people who did come received amazing gifts of loving messages and healing energies, and after letting some time go by I realize it was a perfect afternoon. The experience I thought I would have was not the one I needed, apparently, and that is okay. It happens.  I was feeling like I had stretched SO much by talking to so many people about the event that I would surely have a much bigger turnout. For several days afterwards it really kind of felt like I had been slapped in the face. Rather than being proud of how much I had grown and pushed myself, I was only seeing that one piece of the puzzle.

Does this ever happen to you? You work hard and stretch and push and face your fear with all your might, only to feel like someone snuck up behind you and kicked you right in the can. Well, I can’t tell you why this happens. Maybe there is a different lesson for all of us in this experience depending on where we are in our lives. I can tell you what I took away from the experience.

If I am doing something because of the desired outcome, I am missing out on 99% of the experience.

life begins

What I got was  a reminder to seek out the happy, feel good places and let the details work themselves out. I got a reminder to lean in to the Universe and trust that the outcome is only part of the journey and, in fact, is yet to be determined. Life keeps pushing back the finish line and giving us more chances to dig deeper, play harder and truly experience being alive. What I got was the gift of learning that I am stronger than disappointment or embarrassment. They can’t hold me back if I don’t let them,  and that is the outcome I believe I needed to continue creating the life and career I love.


Change With Just A Word

In our recent class, “Harnessing The Power of Energy Healing”, we talked a bit about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments. Many of you are probably familiar with his work. He has studied the effects of words, music and prayer on the formation of crystals in water. His work is truly fascinating and you can’t help but pause and think that if just taping the word “Hate” to a glass of water can cause all kinds of weird, irregular and ugly changes to its molecular structure what will thinking hateful and bitter thoughts do to my own body which is somewhere around 80% water.  Conversely, water with words such as “Love” and “Joy” support the formation of beautiful and symmetrical crystals. How must those types of thoughts and actions affect our health?

After the class I was speaking with a woman who was working to find a way to synthesize all of the information we had presented. How could she apply this to her daily life? I suggested that she take a page out of Dr. Emoto’s book and begin with a word. I have done this myself and found it to be an effortless way to create change in a stuck situation. What you do is when you find yourself in a seemingly intractable situation and you cannot think of a way to get through it, just pick a word that matches what you would rather be feeling. For example, you are arguing with your kids again and feeling like they will never listen and respect your rules. Why not choose “Respect” or “Peace”. Maybe you are one of the millions, maybe even billions, of people who spend a lot of time feeling like there is not enough time and money for you to do or have what you want. Next time you catch yourself in that space, try repeating “Abundance” or “Plenty”. You don’t have to do anything more than that to begin to shift how you are feeling about the situation.

I am not sure how or why this works. I just know that it does. I have used it in my own life on countless occasions and it can change my mood almost instantly. Over time I often find that I have begun repeating the thoughts that drop me back to the original level of frustration, fear or sadness and that is okay. I just start repeating my word again until I feel the shift. I saw a cute quote recently that puts a fun spin on this idea,

Words Have Power.

That Is Why It Is Called

Spelling.

I invite you to try this next time you are feeling stuck in the quagmire of life. Then shoot me a comment and let me know how it went.

words are our most powerful form of magic


Waiting

I find myself so often putting off making change in any area of my life because I am intent on getting things “under control”.  I can remember a span of about a year and a half that started with the unexpected and sudden death of my father, which led to my subsequent decision to step away from the graduate program I was meant to start a week later and open a handcraft gallery instead. A few months later I was married and several months after that I lost my my uncle, who on my wedding day just a few months earlier had said to me, “Now that your father is gone I want you to think of me like your father. I want to be here for you.” During this time I can clearly remember feeling disbelief and even rage at the world around me. Why couldn’t everyone just hold still for a few freakin minutes so I could catch my breath?

As many of you who have read my blog for the last year and a half are aware there have changes underfoot with my job. In typical fashion I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for confirmation in regards to what that job is going to become before making plans with the work I truly want to be doing. Tomorrow morning I go in again for yet another meeting. It seems this just has to be the meeting when I find out for sure if I have a job, will I be working part time or full time, and will it be something I even want to do. No matter the answers I get tomorrow, I know this job is not where I truly want to be. It is not the work I feel calling out to me. It is not the work I wake up excited to learn about and practice. It is not the work that makes me feel that I am using all the gifts I have been given. That work has been sitting on the shelf, waiting in limbo to find out, “When will it be the right time to begin?”

OnparticularlyroughdayswhenImsureIcantpossiblyendure_zps531660f8

As I have prepared myself mentally for all of the presumed possibilities of what may come tomorrow, a small voice has begun to creep closer and closer. I realize it is asking me a question, “Why do you keep waiting?”

I was reading a book by Rich German recently in which he suggests imagining all of the things you are juggling in your life as rubber balls. Out of all those pick 3 to 5 that are the most important to you. He suggests you imagine these as being your crystal balls. The rubber ones you can take your eye off of from time to time if you have to. You may not want to drop them, but they will bounce back if you do.  You must always keep your crystal balls in focus because they will be damaged or destroyed if you allow them to drop. These are the things in your life that are too precious to allow them to be damaged. This last year and a half of waiting has got me wondering if I have chosen wisely my crystal balls.

I am very proud and happy to say that I have taken some steps to move forward in creating my career. I am moving the Life and Friendship classes to the Self Center in Winchester, MA. This location gives me many advantages and feels like a big step forward. I will also be partnering with Wendy Carlson in teaching some upcoming classes. She is starting a similar healing and teaching business and it feels great to have some company. I have added a bunch of Upcoming Events and I am so looking forward to meeting a lot of new people. If you do not live in the Boston area but are interested in learning more please sign up for my monthly newsletter or call/email me to schedule a Free 20 Minute Session. You will get a feel for the work we can do together and if it feels like a good fit for you. 781~367~5751 or heather@lifeandfriendship.com


Synthesis

Following my plan of an alphabetical inspiration based on the months of the year, this month’s theme is synthesis. According to freedictionary.com the word synthesis means, “To combine so as to form a new and complex product.” This seems to me what we all do on a smaller or larger scale throughout our lives. Synthesize our new experiences into our being to enjoy more complex and fuller lives. What about our rough spots, thorny patches, places we dare not tread, or the places we cannot stop returning to? The memories and beliefs which cannot seem to synthesize but rather continue to define for better or worse some aspect of who we are.

Those are the places where the flow stops and the energy sticks. What I believe is that  you need to give yourself permission to release and move on. Even though you don’t know what moving on will look like.  We all become habituated to being a certain way. Thinking of releasing the intense pain you feel when you remember a really ugly break up, for example, seems like a no brainer. “Of course I want to let go of that so I can move on to a new fresh relationship”, right? Well, maybe hanging onto that pain has become my security blanket. It is always there for me. It protects me from the mistake of making myself vulnerable to the same pain in the future. I can pull this memory out any time and even feel special and unique in the quality and flavor of my sadness.

We don’t do this because we are stupid, bad, lazy, or weak. We do this because we are human. Permission to let these painful parts synthesize and become a part of our tapestry is what open us up to the fullness we are meant to experience. By letting go of our identity as the one who was cheated on, the one who cheated, the one who never gets what they want, the one who nobody listens to, the most beautiful, the least beautiful, the favorite child… we open to all the other possible us-es we could be.

Who would you be if you told a different story?

I would

Wow! Got right to it after my summer break with a heavy one right out of the gate. Check out my upcoming event page to see what’s cooking for the Fall.


Mantra

Are we this far into May and I haven’t posted my alphabetical inspiration yet? Yup, that’s right. Forgot all about it.

mantra machine

I am gonna fly by the seat of my pants here and go with Mantra. I am not going to attempt to educate you on the use of Mantra in meditation, prayer, healing, etc. Many of you probably know much more than me. I will tell you I have devised a few of my own that help move me out of  yucky emotional spaces or when I find myself stuck in repetitive negative thoughts.  My most recent is super embarrassing but really hit the spot when I realized that I had been pretty mean to myself all morning with the same worrisome messages over and over. Imagine this sung to the tune of Frere Jacque,

I am awesome, I am awesome

Yes indeed, Yes indeed

I really really love me, I really really love me

Yes indeed, Yes indeed

Did I feel like a complete wackado in my kitchen humming to myself? You betcha. But after a few minutes that little tune started to drown out the other stuff and I could happily get on with my day. Zero calories, free, and it makes you feel good. What’s not to love?

Click here for Deva Premal and enjoy Mantra in a much more melodious form.

 


Trust The Process

I noticed something interesting about how people create at our Messy and Grateful class where we created Gratitude Boxes. At the beginning of class we mingled around and picked out our supplies. It became evident fairly quickly that everyone had a little bit different process. Some people were more hesitant and asked questions before they began. Some people picked out a few supplies and quietly and methodically began constructing their box. Others were up and down rummaging through the supplies and creating on the fly. As I looked around the room it made perfect sense.

Strategy

painter

 

 

 

tiny businesswoman

The way we create matches our personality, and is a mirror for how we approach life.

“As we do one, so we do all.”

-Jennifer Longmore

It got me thinking about what my style of creating life looks like. I am definitely a jump all the way in before you have a chance to over think it. Assume it will all be smooth sailing, and if it isn’t then discover you have no idea what you are actually doing.

This is where I always begin to beat myself up and lose confidence. Why am I not more organized like so and so. Why didn’t I get more support before I started. This would never happen if I was more…

But now I have a new perspective. I see this is just my process. I can actually see a fun and beautiful pattern to all of my fumbling and creating and success and failure. This is me and it’s how I live and learn and create. When I look at it from this angle I am pretty darn proud of myself.

How do you do what you do? 


I Believe In Miracles

“Every thought you have

either supports the positive energy of the world

or pollutes it.

Be mindful of your thoughts.”

– Gabrielle Bernstein, May Cause Miracles

happy ping pong ball

I am reaching the end of Gabrielle Bernstein’s book May Cause Miracles. It is 6 weeks of daily meditations, intentions and subtle shifts and I love it! Among the many reasons I love this book, a big one is that I have experienced concretely my belief that change does not need to be arduous and painful. Oh, it can be, I know that! But the beauty of this book is that Gabrielle guides you through daily intentions which some days don’t feel like much of anything. Just the act of reading it, believing in the process, and setting the intention in your mind creates a ripple through your life.

I have become a much more diligent watcher of my thoughts without the need to scold myself for bad behavior. If this sounds monotonous, I have greatly undersold the experience. It is beyond freeing to notice when I am believing fearful thoughts and to release them.

“I could see peace instead of this.”

– Affirmation Day 26

And my favorite quote comes from the Course In Miracles which is truly the backbone of the book,

“Today we celebrate the happy ending to your long dream of disaster. The light has come. I have forgiven the world.”

-Lesson 75 from the Course workbook

I had to stop reading to blink through my tears of laughter. I think I need to put that on a sign.

doomsday


Trust

 

It came to me recently what it is I have been creating with my group of women as we meet in our seminars. As I have been twisting and turning my brain trying to define and focus and perfect my “elevator pitch” to explain exactly what it is we are doing- we have actually been doing IT.

We are holding a space of unlimited possibilities for each other. I recently watched the movie Hungry For Change and a quote from Frank Ferrante stood out for me. He said he joined a support group and they welcomed him into the group with the line, “We will love you until you learn to love yourself.” He was deeply impacted by this. That people he did not know would hold a space of love for him regardless of how he felt about himself, and trusted that he would grow to see himself as they did. Powerful!!!

hands with heart

It popped into my head that our group of women is doing the same. As we are individually asking the questions of what do I want, what makes me happy, do I have the courage to change, do I have the courage not to? We are collectively holding a space of trust that  whatever we can dream we can create. That we are each sparks of Divine energy that is powerful enough to birth babies, soothe hurt feelings, protect dreams, carry through hard times, celebrate good times, and to dare to trust that we are without limit in potential.

mom and baby hands

Please trust and know that this space is here for you too. On this blog, in my classes and connecting in whatever way is meaningful for you. There is a space for you to come and hang out. Soak in whatever you need to begin the process of trusting in yourself.


Meditation Inspiration

I had a Martha Beck inspiration about a year ago to start paying attention to what makes me happy. At first, it was honestly kind of struggle to come up with anything. All the ideas I came up with had a but attached that went something like this, “I would love to ___________, but…”  It was beginning to sound as if I was talking myself out enjoying my life by throwing up all of these rules, regulations, and expectations of perfection. Hmmmmm.

Over time I managed to amass a small but growing list. Eventually I even got to the place where I could recognize and appreciate fun moments in the midst of not so fun activities. That was a big development! I gave up the relentless push to find my “Life’s Purpose”, at least as that applied to career. I made figuring out how to find Joy my life’s purpose. I admit a lot of days I still lose sight of my path, but I am so much more in tune with how I am feeling moment to moment. Being in touch with how I am feeling is like having my hands on the steering wheel of my emotions. By steering towards the happy thoughts and away from the angry, restless, bored, yucky ones I really am a happier person. Who knew!

things to be happy about

I think the biggest tool for me to keep my hands on the steering wheel is meditation. It doesn’t matter how I meditate, just that I do. It slows down my brain enough that I can actually hear the individual thoughts as they come flowing by instead of in the overwhelming torrent they can become without meditation. This is helpful in so many ways but mostly it gives me the opportunity to weed the garden, so to speak. I can ask myself, “Do I really believe that?” or “Is that what I want to tell myself about this?” What a relief.

Ideas or inspiration often comes through meditation and recently I got a zinger. I suddenly had the idea for a big project that combines so many of the things I love to do, home renovation, home decoration, landscaping, painting, community building, and many more. Plus this idea would be a great challenge for me to learn new skills and organize a large group of people. The idea is to organize/create an all volunteer Home Makeover for a family in our town. We will find a family who is in need of home repairs and renovations but has been unable to afford them. We will garner donations from local businesses and individuals and we will get volunteers to donate the labor to fix up their home. I know super crazy, right? But super cool too. I just stopped by the Mayor’s office to see if I could make an appointment with him to speak about it and he ushered me right in. He thinks it’s a great idea and would love to see it happen. He made recommendations to maybe set up a non-profit, find an accountant, insurance, etc. I guess this means the ball is officially rolling.

home makeover

I gotta go pinch myself!

If you have ever heard of this being done or just have suggestions PLEASE send them along. I am open to all ideas. Just please, if you have a word of caution for me, also offer a solution. Now is not a good time for nay Sayers,  (is there ever a good time?). Thank You, Thank You, Thank You


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