Monday, April 29, 2013

Everyone Has a Love Story

I was looking through the pages at the back of my journal yesterday.  This is where I've written some thoughts that came up at the spur of the moment... but yet weren't "journal" thoughts.  Some were the possible beginnings of a novel, others were observations of what was around me at the time, and this one were my thoughts after reading a book.

The book is "Violets of March" by Sarah Jio.  I honestly don't remember much of the novel itself, except that I borrowed it from the library and that I really liked it.  I wrote what I did, after finishing the novel, on November 27, 2011.  I don't know that I've even read it much since that day, until yesterday. 

It really struck a chord with me, and now that I have this blog (I didn't back at that time), I thought I'd share what I wrote here. 

Here it is, vebatim:

I believe everyone has a love story.  Life itself is one big love story. 

Untimely love. 
Passionate love. 
Long-term love. 
Short-term love. 
Friend love. 
Inappropriate love. 

They are all the loves of our lives.  Each with its own, distinct, separate purpose to fill.  One is not necessarily better or worse than any other.  They each come and go at precisely the right time. 

People come into our lives when we need them then.  They stay just long enough to fulfill their purpose.  Then move on. 

Our lives wind and weave.  And at precisely the right moment, the next love enters the picture.  Will it be long or short, passion-filled or more steadfast and stable?  We don't usually know at the time.  But we don't need to know.  That's not the important part of it all.  What's important?  The love. 

The love is there, regardless of what kind it is or how long it'll stick around.  It's here now, is all we need to know.  Accept it.  Allow it to be.  Just be.  Whatever it is, it is what it is.  It's beautiful.  It's right.  It's always right.  Trust it. To try to do otherwise is pure foolishness.  Because it's all love.  All of it. 

Even in the uncertainty.  Even in the pain and discomfort.  Love is there.  If we're only brave evnough to see it, to accept it. 

Let go.  Let it all go but the love.  There is nothing but love.  The sooner we realize that, the smoother our lives will be. 

Live is love.  Love is life. 

In everyone we meet, in all different forms.  See it.  Believe it. 

When you're in doubt or just plain scared, close your eyes, relax, breathe, and let the love in.  Let it wash over you in all its glory and be strengthened. 

It's all love. 

My reminder as I read my own writing from over a year ago is that love shows up in all different ways and it all has a purpose. 

Some people discount short-term relationships.  But if there's love there, and love is always everywhere, then even the shortest of relationships serves a purpose.  The thing is, many of us, at points throughout our lives, don't see the love.  We're not necessarily living IN love.  We're letting the fear be our guide.  But the love is still there.

The same is true for those relationships that don't turn out like we'd want them to.  The disappointments.  The hurts.  The break-ups.  Even in the break-up, even in the hurt, love is there.


I  know I've had relationships end, not by my own doing, in which I was really hurt and confused.  At the time I didn't see the love.  But once I gained some distance and perspective, I saw that even that was love.  Separating from that person was the most loving thing the Universe could do for me.

It's up to us.  Are we going to choose to live in love?  To see the love in everything?  The love behind everything? 

To do so, we must accept.  Trust the Universe.  Let the love in.  All the love.  The Universe loves us at all times.  In every experience, every decision, every circumstance.

Do you feel it?  Feel the love?  It's there.



Friday, April 26, 2013

Center Yourself Right Now

I was driving to the animal shelter last night for a volunteer appreciation cook-out.  It was late afternoon and the traffic was a little heavier than I usually have when I go for my normal volunteer time earlier in the day.  I found myself getting irritated at other drivers, which is nothing new. 

Only now I'm thinking of it differently.  Thanks to Samantha Sutton and her recent post on The Daily Love.
You can read her entire blog post here, along with the comments:     

Basically her point is that our minds are powerful tools.  So what we spent time thinking about is important.  When driving, for instance, we have the choice to think about how other drivers aren't driving the way we'd like, or if we should turn right at a "No Turn on Red" sign anyway, because after all, no one is coming.  OR we can think about positive things for ourselves.  Manifestations.  Affirmations.

Everything is a choice.  A trade-off, as Samantha reminded me in her comment back to me. 


Sure, sometimes it's satisfying to think about what someone else should be doing, in your opinion (which, of course, is the right opinion).  But is thinking about someone else's action or inaction worth the trade-off of not thinking about the wonderfulness you'd like to manifest in your own life? 

To put it another way, every moment is an opportunity to center yourself. 

Things in life pop up that may irritate, annoy, or anger us.  We can choose to be irritated, annoyed, and/or angry, OR we can choose to center ourselves.  Go within.  Find the peace that is always there.

This reminds me of something I learned from Wayne Dyer.  He suggested to imagine a candle within you.  This is your Spirit.  Your Peace.  And when you're feeling stressed, in whatever fashion, to focus on the candle within.  To not let anything make that candle flame flicker.  In other words, don't let anything cause your inner peace to waver.  That is the meaning behind one of my tattoos -- I liked that concept so much, I wanted a constant reminder to go within and focus on the peace.


So I thought about this when I was driving last night.  I remember being behind a slow driver and feeling the instant irritation.  Then I reminded myself to go within and get centered.  I did, and my irritation instantly disappeared. 

I had to do this a couple of times, which is ok.  It's not like you can always get yourself to that peaceful place and stay there, especially in some situations.  It's ok if you need recurring reminders.  Be gentle with yourself.  We all have triggers.  And it's an on-going process to learn to not let those triggers trigger you. 


But here's the good news.  You can center yourself right now.  Wherever you are, whatever's happening around you or in your life.  Stop, breathe, feel your whole body relax, feel your emotions settle.  Notice the peace inside you?  The calmness?  The acceptance and love?  It's there all the time.  You can tap into it whenever you want. 


Additional Quotes:





Thursday, April 25, 2013

Set Your Intentions and Fly!

Do you ever have lucid dreams?  The dreams where when you're in them, you realize you're dreaming?  You're totally aware.  I absolutely love those dreams! 

Sometimes I'll be having a dream where I'm being chased, or just trying to get away from something or someone.  Then all of a sudden, in the dream, it occurs to me that it might be a dream.  To "test" this, I attempt to fly.  To lift off the ground.  And I do. 


All I have to do to fly in my dreams is to think it.  Set the intention.  Make up my mind that I'm going to lift off the ground and float.  And it happens. 

I also have to keep that intention.  If I let my mind wander, or have doubts about whether or not I can actually fly high enough so whatever it is can't get to me, then I don't go very high.  But when I relax and believe in myself, I can fly as high as I want.  Literally. 

I was thinking about these dreams last night (while awake... and no, I didn't have another lucid dream last night), and made the connection to waking life. 

Our reality is largely determined by our intentions and beliefs. 

Perhaps entirely.

If we intend to slug away in a job we don't care about, just trudging in day after day for the paycheck, then that's precisely what we'll do. 

But, on the other hand, if we intend to live a life of passion, follow our heart, wherever it leads... then that is what we'll do.

I know people who are working that passionless job who would say it's not what they really want to be doing, that they're just doing it "for now" until _______ (fill in the blank).

The thing is, that "until" rarely comes along.  Something always comes up.  If they're working the job until they build up more savings, unexpected expenses pop up.  If they're working the job until they get another one, they have a hard time either finding another job to even apply for, or getting hired. 

Now is the right time to be happy.


Now is the right time to listen to your gut. 


Now is the right time to follow your heart. 


If you don't set your intentions and take control of your own life, who will? 

Additional Quotes:





Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Learn to be Ok with Being Vulnerable

I don't know how you are, but the more I want something, or the more I like someone, the more scared I get that I'll lose whatever it is. 

I have a problem being vulnerable.  I tend to put on a "tough girl" hat and don't let on how I'm really feeling.  Or at least don't show the depth of my feelings.  Why?  I'm afraid of being hurt.  Afraid that if I show just how strongly I feel, really put myself out there, that it won't be reciprocated and I'll feel stupid. 

This ties into my "playing it safe" that I've blogged about recently.  With jobs and in relationships I do what I know I can do.  I pursue jobs that I feel confident I can perform excellently.  And I pursue relationships in which I feel I have the "upper hand."  Where I like the person, but not too much.  Where if it turns out they don't like me, or I decide I don't want to be with them after all, then I know I'll be just fine.

The more there is at stake, the more you stand to lose.  And that's freaking scary. 


All my life I've succeeded at what I've sought out to do.  Basically anyway.  I always succeeded in school.  I knew in college I could pursue anything I wanted.  Granted at eighteen years old, I didn't know what I really wanted.  Hence the degree I have now that I don't use. 

Growing up, there were always boys that liked me.  But I was shy and boys scared me.  Relationships scared me.  Probably due to the lack of bonds I felt with either of my parents.  But anyway, I didn't go on my first real date until I was a senior in high school, at eighteen years old.  And didn't have my first serious, really deep relationship until I was twenty-two. 

I don't like to be vulnerable.  To be in a position with my heart and soul wide open, where it could easily be stomped on.  So I keep my emotions to myself, largely.  I hold my cards close to the vest, as they say.  If I liked poker, I think I'd be an excellent poker player.  People have told me they have a hard time reading me.  I know this.  I know how to "play it cool." 


This came in handy as a teacher, but not so handy in relationships.

I'm learning it's ok to be vulnerable.  It's uncomfortable for me, but it's ok.  I'm learning to let go and live all out.  Little by little anyway.  Baby steps. 

I know, this coming from the girl who "jumps in" all the time.  I guess I'm realizing as I type this blog that I jump in when I feel comfortable and more or less confident that I'll succeed, or at least be ok.

But I'm as scared as the next person.  Especially when it's something new, or an area I'm not all that confident in.  It can be terrifying.


So here's what I'm learning these days:  You have to learn to be ok with being vulnerable in order to experience greatness.  Be that great love, great success in a field you're truly passionate about, great whatever

So take that step.  Put yourself out there.  BE YOU!  The Universe made you the way you are for a reason.  You're beautiful and amazing.  Accept that.  Trust it. 

When you're vulnerable, you allow yourself the capability to step into your true awesomeness.  To step into your spiritual power.  The power we all have.  You allow yourself the opportunity to experience amazing things.  Give that gift to yourself.  No matter what happens, it will be ok! 

Additional Quotes:




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Live in the Present, not the Forever

None of us knows how we'll feel or what we'll want to do in the future.  We may think we know, but that assumption is based on our present feelings, our present circumstances, and our past experiences.  Any number of factors can change or shift, causing us to wants things in the future that we never thought we'd want, or do things we never thought we'd do. 

When I bought my first house after college, it was exactly what I wanted.  An updated house, fairly new, in a fairly new neighborhood, with a decent-sized backyard.  It wasn't too far from my family, but not in the same exact town as them.  Instead, it was across the street from the neighborhood where my best friend lived.  I had visions of us meeting once a week for walks and talking.  In short, the house was everything I wanted at the time and couldn't think of anything I'd rather have or anywhere I'd want to live more. 


As the days and weeks and months went by, it turned out that my best friend and I only met for walks a handful of times.  And a couple years later, she ended up moving with her husband to the other side of town to be closer to his work.

The drive to where my sister attended school, while not far, was getting annoying (I went to all her sporting events).  As was the drive to my grandma's house on the days I would help take care of her.  And to top it off, the neighbors that lived behind me were complaining more and more about my dogs (despite having dogs themselves). 

All of a sudden my "perfect" house was no longer perfect for me.  I didn't have anyone close by that I hung out with.  It wasn't particularly close to the places I went or the things I did anymore.  And I wasn't crazy about my neighbors.  I also rarely used the fireplace, a feature that I loved at the beginning.  Plus, the house in general just no longer felt like "me."  It was time to move on. 

Within a matter of two and a half months, I got my house fixed up to go on the market, listed it, sold it, bought a new house, and moved.  What can I say?  Once I know what I want to do, and the time feels right, I do it.

I've been in my current house four and a half years now.  And I love it.  Right now, I could honestly see myself living here the rest of my life.  I'm creating "my space."  Creating "my perfect home."  Last fall I had two new trees planted that I'm looking forward to watching grow.  I also have new landscaping projects planned for this summer.  Along with a list of house projects that will happen when the right time presents itself (mostly due to money and necessity). 

I have no intention to move.  Right now.  But then I remembered that that's how I felt when I bought my first house.  And that things change.  Circumstances change.  Desires change.  Needs change.

                              (I know the grammar in that quote is off, but I liked the quote anyway.)

The thing is this:  I can't worry about whether or not I'll be in this house for the rest of my life.  If I worry about that, then I wouldn't do any landscaping projects or house updates.  What's the point, if I'll be moving? 

All I can do is live in the present.  Right now I love my home.  I love the town where I live (which happens to be where my grandma, who I still help take care of, and sisters live) and the street I live on. 

I have to think that I'll live here forever, so that I can relax and enjoy right now.  I think that's the paradox.  I have to assume I'll be here forever, in order for me to enjoy the present. 


Sure, things might change.  No, things definitely will change, somehow, in the years to come.  I actually have no idea if I'll want to live here the rest of my life.  Any number of factors could change that.  But all of that is unknown.  So what's the point in worrying about it now? 

I saw a quote recently that said it perfectly.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it again to post it here, but it was something like this:
You can't change the past, so don't worry about it.  You can't predict the future, so don't worry about it either.


What the future holds for me, I have no idea.  All I know is right now, I am very happy.

So I ask you, are you very happy right now?  If not, what can you change, or shift slightly, to become more happy with your current circumstances? 

Additional Quotes:





Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stop Watching Others Succeed and Go Succeed Yourself!

I was watching an epsiode of Shark Tank last night.  There was an 18-year-old girl who had developed a company called Simple Sugars.  It's a line of skin care scrubs.  She started working on it at the age of 11, in an attempt to find something to help her own excema.  Now, fresh out of high school, she has a booming business and is featured on a national TV show.  Her business is about to take off!

I was emotional watching her, as I am with many of the people who have found success that that show, or other shows, feature.  I just find it so moving to see someone actually go for their dreams, and make it!

I watch quite a bit of TV.  I always have.  I enjoy it.  It's largely relaxing for me.  But I also enjoy watching feel-good stories like the one I mentioned.  I find them inspirational and motivational.  So the question then becomes, when am I going to stop watching others' success stories and go write my own? 

I mean, I am working on my own story all the time.  We all are, whether we are doing so purposely or not.  I am open to opportunities happening, I feel that I follow my heart, and that I do go for my dreams.  But am I doing enough? 


Surely my hours spent watching TV, even inspirational shows, could be more effective if spent writing my next novel, marketing one of my current ones, doing something else career-driven, or going to the animal shelter. 

Then there's the whole "Divine Timing" thing.  I blogged about that a few days ago, getting the concept from Danielle LaPorte's blog on The Daily Love the day before. 

I really don't believe in pushing.  If it feels you're pushing, trying to force something to happen, then I don't believe it's good for you.  I believe in following the Universe's Divine Timing.  Letting go and following the flow. 


I had a day like that Friday.  I had the day off from the florist.  I had planned to spend hours writing, or working on my craft in some way.  At least that's what I wrote in my calendar. 

Then Friday actually came, and I didn't feel moved to do what I had planned.  At first I was a little stressed by this, but then I remembered, "Divine Timing."  There's a reason I'm not feeling compelled to act right now.  Trust that.  So I did.  The day passed and I wasn't all that productive.  Though who's to say?  Maybe it was a productive day, I just didn't see the effects of it right way.

Anyway, it's still days like that that make me wonder... Am I doing enough to make my dream come true? 


When you see success stories of others, they talk about working so hard, devoting their life to their dream, and they eventually succeeded.  But surely they had slow days too.  No?  Surely they, too, had a day now and then where they just relaxed and watched TV.  Right?  Or is it just me? 

I don't know.  But I think when it's truly the right time for us, we will feel compelled to act.  To do something.  And when we don't, it's because the Universe is lining stuff up for us.  Getting things ready. 

I also haven't blogged in the past four days.  Perhaps you've noticed.  Nothing spoke to me to blog about.  I did write one blog, yesterday, about sugar, but I didn't feel it was strong enough to publish.  I didn't feel moved by it.  And Friday, the reason I couldn't seem to break away from the TV was because I was riveted by the whole Boston thing.  That's what I was really doing on Friday.  Watching coverage. 

So yeah.  It's not like I wasn't present on Friday, when I didn't feel like "working."  I was intensely present in present events.       

But back to success.  Perhaps the key is just being present.  Being in tune with your inner Spirit and guide. 


Some people believe in pushing for things to happen.  In working, and creating, even when you don't feel it.  I don't agree.

I think what's of utmost importance is listening to yourself and following your inner guide.  And I believe that guide shows up through our feelings.  The trick is being in tune with it.  Being in tune with your Spirit as a guide, and not your ego as a guide.  Both will express themselves, and the Spirit will tend to be quieter and more subtle whereas the ego will be overt in expressing its feelings. 

You have to learn to see past the ego's shouting and don't take the ego's feelings for your own... and see into your inner Spirit and the feelings that lie there.   

So for now I'll continue watching others succeed and be inspired by them.  And I will keep my focus on my Spirit and follow my heart, and feelings.



As Christopher Morley said, "There is only one success -- to be able to live your life in your own way."

I couldn't agree more! 

Additional Quotes:




Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Be Important to You!

I was doing my morning meditation today and an old thought/memory came to mind.  I'm not sure why this came up now, again, but it was suddenly there, in the front of my mind. 

When I was with my ex-boyfriend, he still had pictures of him and his ex-wife in this large multi-picure frame.  It wasn't hung up anywhere (when he moved in with me, it was in the closet), but the pictures were there.  Him and her together, smiling, framed, in my house.

There were also pictures with her in them at his family's houses (his parents' house and his sister's house) that were out, hanging on the wall, that I'd see every time I went over there.   

It drove me crazy... when I thought about it... which was somewhat frequently.  Perhaps a more secure person could simply forget about it.  They're old pictures, after all.  But I couldn't. 

I felt "bad" for feeling this way, though, like I should be stronger or something, so I didn't bring it up to my boyfriend.  Until one day we were putting up some of his decorations (mostly sports memorabilia) in my (now our) house and the big multi-picture frame with the photos of him and her was sitting out (not being put up, mind you, but sitting out with the rest of his framed stuff, as we reorganized). 

He could tell something was bothering me, and eventually it came out.  Not in the most graceful way on my part, but it came out.  I told him it bothered me that the pictures were there.  I, for one, do not have any pictures of old boyfriends.  Anywhere.  When I let go of the relationship, and moved on, I let go of the pictures.  I didn't see the point in hanging on to them. 

My bf said he wasn't going to throw them away... claiming (and I guess I do believe him) that it wasn't about the fact that she was in the pictures, it was what else was in the picture (one was the two of them with the Super Bowl trophy and another was the two of them with my bf's dad, dressed up for a football game). 

But he did take them out of the frame and put them somewhere.  I don't know where.  I felt relieved.  It seems like such a minor thing, but it really helped.

I realize now why this came up during my morning meditation.  I was thinking of the movie, "The Help" again and specifically the part where one of the maids told the little white girl she was taking care of, every day, "You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important." 


Having pictures still hanging around of my boyfriend with his ex, even though he was with me, made me feel not important at all.  Like I was some "after thought."  Or like I was "there," but not really valued. 

I realize this is my own limiting, and false, belief.  It's a deep-seated shadow belief that (of course) goes back to my childhood.  I didn't feel important to my father (he left me and my mom) and I didn't feel important to my mom (for a variety of reasons). 

I started to get emotional again, about the pictures of my bf and his ex, and thinking how I should have said something sooner in our relationship, how I should have spoken my truth and how it made me feel... etc.  I was trying to relive and recreate the past. 


Then I reminded myself that's all over now.  It's in the past.  Get back to the present. 

And that's when the blog title came to me.  "Be important to YOU!"

I have looked for other people to make me important to them, and to show it in a way that I wanted them to show it.  But what I really need(ed) to do is be important to me.

I wasn't feeling important to other people because I wasn't important to myself.  I didn't feel like I really mattered.  So that's the lens I was viewing the rest of the world and everyone else's actions through.   


I didn't feel respected by other people because I wasn't respecting myself.

I know this now.  And I've known it periodically over the years when at times it would become obvious in my mind.  The hard part is changing that deep inner belief.  That's where the real work comes in.  It's a conscious effort.

Maybe I need to start saying an affirmation every single day like the maid said to the little girl.
"I am important.  I am valuable.  I matter!" 
Yes, I think I do. 

Additional Quotes:






Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Does Denying Yourself Lead to Lack of Abundance?

A new thought struck me yesterday.  I'm a master at delayed gratification.  I'm the person who will make the gift cards I receive at Christmas last until the following November or December.  I know how to stretch things out and "make the most" of them.  But is this practice of delaying gratification for myself delaying gratification from the Universe? 

I don't typically make rash decisions.  In fact, when I go shopping it takes longer than anyone else I know because I have to carefully weigh all the options, try on multiple sizes of the same thing, contemplate colors, not to mention prices.  This is why I go shopping alone.  I wouldn't want to put anyone else through the torture.  Plus, I can relax and take my time when I'm alone and not feel like I have to hurry for someone else's sake. 

But my point is, while it may look like I jump quickly (and in fact, I have said that I jump quickly into some things... and sometimes I do), with the "little" things in life I tend to put off and delay receiving them, delay gratification, as long as I can. 

In some ways this can be good.  If I get an inkling of a feeling that I want a latte, for example, I don't always run out and get one.  If I did, I'd be spending way more money at the coffee shop, not to mention gas to get there and back, on top of consuming something unhealthy on a frequent basis.  So when I get that inkling, I let it sit for a bit.  I ask myself if I really want that latte right now.  Really, really?  If yes, then I go get it.  But more often than not, while it may sound good, I don't really, really need to have it... so I don't.  Of course, the upside of this is, as I mentioned, those gift cards I receive last quite a while! 

But yesterday I got to thinking about why I do this.  Why I delay gratification, or tell myself I don't really need it, or convince myself I don't really want it. 

Two things came to mind.

1)  Feeling like I don't deserve whatever goodness, or "unnecessary" item I'm wanting. 
2)  Fear that if I spend money on that "unnecessary" item, I won't have money later for either something I actually need, or something I want more. 

It's really more number two than number one.  And it's that fear of not having enough money... or of running out of money... that made me look at the big picture -- the Universe. 

If I'm so focused on money, and believing that my financial pool is limited (and not all that deep), then isn't this creating that very reality?  If I'm so concerned with not running out of money, that I conserve, pinch pennies, and "scrape by" all the time, then isn't this creating more of that? 


So what's the alternative?  Spend with reckless abandon?  I don't necessarily think that's the way to go either, but surely there's some middle ground. 

The thing is, I always prided myself in being frugal.  In watching what I spend.  In choosing the $50 cell phone, for example, instead of the $250 one that my sister just purchased.  Or in choosing the $45 pair of running shoes at Kohl's, instead of a higher-end running shoe from a running store.  Not that these choices or this type of action is bad... I certainly don't think it is... but I'm wondering of the farther-reaching implications of living my life this way. 

I'm so frugal, and carefully weigh any and all purchases, is the Universe being frugal with me?  In being frugal with what I spend, is this creating a frugal sense in regards to what I receive? 


I don't know what to do about this though.  I'm working on my thoughts.  I know I deserve to be wealthy and never worry about money.  But what about my actions? 


It's the whole "chicken or the egg" dilemma.  Which came first... living abundantly (spending and giving more) in order to receive abundantly... or receiving abundantly, and then giving/spending abundantly? 

Do I live more abundantly... not worrying so much about every dollar I spend... and live by the belief that if I live abundantly, abundance will come?  Or do I live "responsibly" and not spend more money until I make more money? 


We've all heard "live within your means."  That's a motto I've always done my best to stick by.  But if I'm constantly living "small" (because my means are quite small right now), how will I attract that huge success and abundance?


Maybe that's it.  Maybe that's the answer.  Stop being afraid of running out, and enjoy what I have.  The truth is, I have more than I need right now

I have a bad habit of constantly worrying about the future.  How will things turn out?  Will I eventually bring in more money?  Will I sell more books?  What if I don't earn more money, then what? 

Fear, fear, fear. 

I need to find a way to step outside the fear.  Appreciate what I already have.  Appreciate it and enjoy it.  Enjoy the abundance that is present everywhere.     


Additional Quotes: