Category Archives: Reflections

What If It Doesn’t Feel Right?

“If you want something in your life you’ve never had,

You’ll have to do something  you’ve never done.”

                                                                                              -JD Houston

Trying new things is most often an uncomfortable experience. Some brave, adventurous, and possibly kooky individuals have come to enjoy living in that uncomfortable place. It seems life would be adventurous and exciting if I was happy to live in that often uncomfortable place of the wild unknown. Alas, I am not. I am pretty big on comfortable, known, and expected outcomes. It suits me fine! Thank you very much.

Except, I now am building a career as a healer and teacher. Something I have not done before, and I can feel the uncertainty of it, A LOT! How do you know how to do what you have not done before? I do a lot of the expected, rational things like ask questions of people who have gone before me, read lots of books, try lots of ideas, and do my best to trust my gut. I rely on that last one a lot!  I put a lot of stock in how things sit with me, like how I feel when meeting a new person.

In the recent Spring Manifestations class we spent a lot of time getting in touch with what we feel like internally and using that internal state as a guide to what we want to manifest in our lives.  We spoke about what happens when what we think we want brings up a fearful reaction in our bodies. How spending some time feeling that fear can help us begin to tease apart anticipatory or unfamiliar feelings of fear vs. a flashing red beacon from the Universe to turn around and look for another path. We also realized how many of us were facing those grown up decisions where there is no “right” answer. The decisions you kind of wish someone else would make for you. How do you know what to choose when everything feels scary or not quite right?

 I saw a film called “The Thought Exchange” which so thoroughly examines this dilemma. First of all, a distinction between feelings and sensations is made. Feelings such as happy, sad, or mad are labels we attach to sensations we experience in our bodies. Uncomfortable or painful sensations are so unpleasant that we most often exchange the thoughts that brought them up for ones that make us feel more familiar or comfortable. These uncomfortable sensations almost always show up when we envision for ourselves attaining or creating something new in our lives. For example, “I am creating a financially successful business doing work that I love,” becomes “I will never create a financially successful business doing work that I love.” Why would we make a switch like that? How could it ever feel better to believe this negative thought? Well, if the idea of creating a financially successful business feels new and challenging and scary, maybe even impossible. Then the thought, “I will never create a financially successful business” feels much safer and less overwhelming. In this way we unconsciously sell ourselves down the river. Foregoing what we truly desire so we can feel comfortable, even when what feels comfortable doesn’t feel good.

If we can, moment by moment, feel the sensations and do it anyway, that is how we cross the bridge from where we are to where we want to be. Sit with the uncomfortable sensations without needing to attach labels or thoughts to them. If you absolutely have to you can make up new labels that serve you better. Instead of sick with anxiety, how about giddy with anticipation?

There is a cute example of an exercise people try at the Thought Exchange workshops. Someone pretends to be working behind the counter at the Thought Exchange Department Store.  Another participant is encouraged to approach the counter and exchange a thought.  In this example, the customer comes up to the counter and says, “Hello, I would like to exchange the thought,  ‘I’m a piece of crap’.” The woman behind the counter says, “Yes, okay and what would you like to exchange it for?”  The customer says, “I would like to try ‘I am an amazing person with limitless potential’.”  The woman behind the counter says, “Yes, no problem. Here you are” and pretends to take one box away and replace it with another. The customer walks out with the thought, “I am an amazing person with limitless potential.” I encourage you to play with this exercise next time you are thinking that something is impossible or never going to happen. Sit with a different thought for a moment and see if the sensations you experience in your body change. This has been a fun way for me to begin noticing the difference between something that truly “Doesn’t feel right” and something that just feels uncomfortable or intimidating because I haven’t done it before.

dont give up

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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


career dreams

I am in the process of creating and defining a career for myself that feels like the perfect fit for who I am. “Sounds great, how do you do that exactly?” You might be wondering.

I wish I knew! This is me, out here winging it!

winging it

Let me start with what I know I want:

  • The main focus of my work will be connecting people to each other  and themselves in a way that makes them feel more confident, comfortable, safe, and connected.
  • I will hold space for perfection, peace, and joy. I will hold space for all of this even when life looks like everything but.
  • I will use my intuition, training, common sense, and compassion to help you dust off your own inner compass. I will trust that inside of you are all the answers you need to be who you dream of being.
  • I want this career to grow because what I offer is what you want. It will grow because you will tell the people you love about the simple, easy and painless changes you have made that make you feel so different.

What I know I don’t want:

  • Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. where I blast every email I can get my hands on with a glut of promises about life transforming classes, books, formulas which cannot possibly be anything other than a hook into their fears designed to draw them in.
  • Hard work. To be clear, I want to work, a lot. If it is hard work like, “This is a real  struggle, but it will be worth it.” No Thanks.

This week I am beginning a women’s group called Journey Within. It is a four week class on Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30. We will be doing all kinds of talking, writing, drawing,  dreaming and connecting with each other. I am so looking forward to it. If you live in the Boston area you can join us in Reading (pg. 4). Love to see you!!

If you don’t live in the Boston area but think all of this sounds like something you might be interested in just shoot me an email. I am currently taking new clients.

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.

 


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


Acknowledge Awesomeness

Acknowledge Awesomeness, that is my alphabetical inspiration for the month of April. Acknowledge Awesomeness is about recognizing the times big and small when you get a wink from the Universe.

For example, this morning I took my daughter to the pediatrician and was noticing the drawings and family photos hanging in the reception area. In one of the pictures two young boys were sitting with their new baby brother laying across their laps. It was a beautiful shot, but what really caught my eye was the way the middle child was holding his arm out to his side with his elbow bent and his hand palm up on top of his head. If I didn’t know better I would have just assumed the picture was just snapped at the wrong moment. That maybe the kids were fidgeting and it wasn’t possible to get one “perfect” shot. But I do know better. You see it just so happens that for about two years when my son was small the only way he would have his picture taken was with his hand upside down on top of his head. For a few months it had to be both hands. We called that The Double!

You might be wondering what is so awesome in this story. For me, this was a reminder that there is nothing about any of us that is so unusual, different, or strange that sets us apart. We are not ever alone, even in our quirkiest and strangest places there are others who can join us there. What a comforting reminder of the common thread that runs through all of us.

This month I will strive to Acknowledge Awesomeness in all the strange and wonderful places I find it.

hand on headI couldn’t find a digital photo of my son from this stage. Just imagine this guy pre- tattoo, eyeliner, and beard with his right hand more opened. My son was two and a half when he started, so a little smaller too.

 


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

I know you are all waiting on the edge of your seats to hear what the “M” word for the month of March will be. Drum roll please……

The word of the month is: Meditation

The “All About Energy” class really highlighted for all of us the importance of meditation. How taking the time to get quiet and focused, in whatever way works for you, allows you to access and get comfortable with your normal. What does being you feel like without the outside influence of judgement, anxiety, doubt, anger or anything else? It’s kind of like learning to balance on a tightrope.

feet

The more time you spend balanced in whatever place is natural to you, the more easily you notice when outside forces push you out of that sweet spot. That outside force may be something major like losing a job or something more common like getting cut off in traffic. Anything can jolt you out of your center and threaten to knock you off the wire. It becomes easier with time to return to your place of balance and decide how to handle the situation from there.

Meditate, all the cool people do!


One True Thing

One thing I know to be True is that telling yourself mean things doesn’t motivate, support or improve you in any way.

Here I am at the end of February which I decided would be the month of the FROG  (Fully Rely On God).  I spent a good chunk of it in Chicken Little mode running around afraid the sky was falling because I decided I was too fat. Somehow putting on 5 or 10 pounds had turned into an impending disaster and meant I should definitely leave the house as little as possible. As I spent more and more time inside the story of how horrible this was and how I was obviously a flawed human being if I could not control my own body, the more miserable I became.

merry go round

Finally I decided I to step off the merry-go-round of misery and just try acceptance. Lean into the universe a little bit and trust that I am not meant to be unhappy and self loathing. So I spent a little time thinking what is it about my body right now that is making me so scared? What does it mean if I am this weight or heavier forever? Will I love myself less if I buy bigger pants? What am I really afraid of?

That was the real question. What am I really afraid of? For me,  it doesn’t have much to do with health. It has a lot to do with vanity. But deeper than vanity is the fear of  not being enough. That just me without being thin or pretty or funny or whatever- but just me is not worth loving. Well, I am happy to report that when I realized what a load of crap I was feeding myself, I put down my fork!!

At first this was foreign ground. It felt like I was accepting defeat when I stopped harassing myself. It can be hard to make a new habit!  It became clear that I had created a comfort zone for myself  in regards to what I felt was an acceptable size. As I  bumped the boundaries of that comfort zone the alarm bells had started blaring.  For now I am planning on trying to ignore them. I put a call into the alarm company to see about getting the system rewired. I don’t need alarm bells going off to tell me I am fat. I need them going off when I am saying mean things to myself. A reminder to be kind. What would that sound like?

PS: I was told the weight gain  could be related to dairy intolerance. I have been dairy free for less than a week and already feel so much better and even a little thinner. Whoopee!!


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