Dying To Be Me

I’ve just finished Anita Moorjani’s, Dying To Be MeIt’s an easy and fast read, yet inspirational. I even assigned it to my 10 year daughter as a consequence for something. She was only a third of the way through when she told me it wasn’t really a consequence because she liked the book!

I particularly appreciated Anita’s prism analogy on page 163 in the Q&A section. She says that unconditional love is like a prism refracting pure white light or love into the different colors of the rainbow. You’d never judge any of the colors as being bad or good, they just are what they are. The same is true for our emotions. Trying to deny an emotion that we judge as negative is like trying to extract a color from a rainbow. Without all the colors, all the emotions, the rainbow can’t exist.

She says, ” We don’t have to act on every emotion; we just have to accept that they’re part of who we are. Denying them would be like prohibiting a certain color from being refracted through the prism. Only by embracing the full spectrum of our feelings without judgement, can we get in touch with the pure essence of unconditional love that resides at our core.”

This reminds me that we have to love/accept all of ourselves–the good, bad, and the ugly–and only then can love grow in abundance.

She also mentions at some point that we can’t give away what we don’t have so if you say to your children or spouse or whomever, “I love you”, but you don’t love yourself, then it rings hollow and false–because it is!

Autum Beginnings Email RePost

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” – Barbara De Angelis, best-selling author & personal growth specialist.

Greetings! I hope this correspondence finds you growing and in motion!

Wow, how did the first day of Autumn get here so quickly!? It’s been at least six months since I’ve emailed and consequently, my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and book/media recommendations that I’ve wanted to share have grown so mountainous that I won’t be able to write about them all or else this will end up being a winter solstice email! So instead of lamenting my lameness for not keeping up, I’ll focus instead on all those “perfect pictures” I’m blowing in order to actually press send on this little communication of mine despite it not being all that I want it to be.

Below are a few of the books/articles I’ve read/listened to which I thought you might enjoy as well…

Eckart Tolle’s “The Realization of Being”. For some reason it’s hard for me to stay with Tolle’s books in written form, but I love listening to him read his books. This is an older book of his, but just as powerful as his newer gems. I think I need to re-listen to this one yearly. I’ve just placed a few more of his on hold at the library and am looking forward to jumping into more of his meaty wisdom.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s “No Death, No Fear”. Death isn’t one of my big interests and I can’t pronounce the author’s name so I resisted this one for a long time. I was running out of options at the library, though, so I just gave it a try and wow, it blew me away!! He talks about changes in physical forms and gives such great examples of how we misunderstand our true essence when we get focused on those forms. It was absolutely fascinating!

I also resisted the Abraham series of books by Jerry and Esther Hicks. I don’t know why, something about spirits talking through people turned me off, but again, lacking other choices, I stumbled upon one of them and enjoyed it so much, that now I’ve checked out every single one available locally and requested a bunch of others from the greater library network. I don’t know if it would have the same impact reading these as listening to them because you can tell when Abraham comes through with the different voice, cadence, pitch, etc. Regardless, I just can’t get enough of these!

A friend sent me this excellent article on mediation http://www.fastcompany.com/3016649/work-smart/from-om-to-omg-science-your-brain-and-the-productive-powers-of-meditation . When you’re sitting there thinking you could be using your time more “productively”, refer back to this article for some hard science on the multitude of benefits you’re creating.

You probably already to subscribe to this newsletter, but just in case, I wanted to share this great article http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Gary-Zukav-What-Is-Holding-You-Back-From-Happiness .

I know this email is long, so go ahead and stop here if you like, because the best part of this email is above while the rest of this is just my waxing on about personal aha moments…

One of the frustrating things for me during this spiritual immersion into my reading material is that I seem to be so short fused and focused on the wrong things with my family. I think there’s a threefold cause:

1)      I didn’t do enough self-care over the summer and by the end, had simply lost my ability to cope with the seemingly incessant demands of three active and creative kids. No one benefits from seeing their mother with her arms up telling the air in an exacerbated tone that she “can’t wait for school to start so I can think!!”

2)      I was strongly inspired by the books/articles and knew how I wanted to be, but that didn’t match my current behavior, which in turn caused me more frustration/guilt. Had I done a better job of taking care of my own needs as mentioned above, I would have had the strength and resolve to actually use more of the skills I was learning.

3)      Finally, the universe will often push back when we change and grow as a sort of “test” of our commitment to change. If you can persist and get through the growing pains phase, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I am just still in that stage of the growth cycle. Again, had I done a better job in #1, I would have been able to move through the resistance stage much more rapidly.

I share this just as a reminder that when you take care of your own healing/needs, everyone around you benefits. Self-care is the best gift we can give to others. This is a good thing to remember when we enter the “gift giving” stage of the holidays.

I did, however, have some moments of pure joy this summer and although fleeting, they filled me greatly. These times were not the one’s I’d imagined we’d have back at the beginning of the summer with that lovely blank slate to which I’d thought I’d fill with adventures during our last dog-free days (we got a puppy in August). They were just ordinary moments, but perceived differently. I’ll try to explain…

These experiences of immense joy didn’t happen during any Martha-esque moments; they occurred during real-life and ordinary situations–although in hindsight, it wouldn’t have mattered had it been a Martha moment or not. It was simply during those moments when I could completely release my perfect pictures about what summer should “look” like (smiling children, happy/fun mom having adventures and discoveries together, baking, crafting in a clean house, etc), that I could truly be present and experience this indescribable joy. When I could release the resistance to what “was” based on what I thought it “should” be, I was able to allow the grace of the moment in which was incredibly moving. It was as if I was experiencing the moment with my inner essence and not my physical eyes/brain/body if that makes sense. I am pretty sure this is what Eckhart Tolle is describing when he talks about being “present” in the moment, ie, it’s one thing to be present with your mind’s attention (which is certainly a step in the right direction from our normal distracted selves), but it becomes a whole other level when you are present with your essence. Maybe that’s why they call it presence. I don’t know, but I do know, I want to create more and more of these and eventually live a greater part of my life like this.

Anyway, as you know, I just love this stuff and could go on and on, but I’ll leave you now with a Happy Autumn wish for your own continued growth and happiness.

PS As always, should you wish not to receive my musings, just shoot me an email and I’ll take you off my distribution list. We’re all busy and receive way too many emails so no hard feelings.

Warmest regards,

Susan

Meditation and Other Tidbits Email RePost

Greetings,

I hope this email finds you feeling blessed and in motion.

Below are some articles, books, links, etc that I wanted to share with you. They may not be the latest and greatest, but still wanted to pass along.

I can’t remember if I sent this link out earlier, but I love it so much, thought I’d include it just the same. Try doing this morning and night until it becomes habit and you can do it on your own before you wake up and go to sleep http://www.oprah.com/oprahs-lifeclass/Tony-Robbins-Emotional-Flood-Exercise-Video

The house I’m renting is full of inspiring books and the one I’m currently reading from their library, “The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer–a high recommend!!

If you missed Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Deepak Chopra, here’s the link to the episode. He does a great job exploring the purpose and benefits of meditation http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Super-Soul-Sunday-Full-Episode-Meditation-101-Video I really enjoyed it and hope you will, too.

I don’t know how I started receiving these daily emails about living a loving life, but I’ve found them a quick read and inspiring so wanted to share the site in case you wanted to sign up, too http://www.entheos.com/?c=3673. I think you can choose to receive them daily, MWF, or even just weekly.

I know this has been out awhile now, but having just landed back in the states, I watched the documentary, I Am, and really enjoyed it http://www.iamthedoc.com/. I had the kids watch it with me and they didn’t protest too much so I think it was a winner:).

Being surrounded by all this inspiration has helped me grow personally and professionally and also dramatically increase the joy in my daily life. I hope you’ll find as much or more of the same for yourself. Please feel free to share what resources you’re working with as well. It’s fun to keep the positive energy spreading!

I  hope you and your families are enjoying this holiday season!

Best regards,

Susan

Happy All Saints Day Email Repost

“If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.” – Barbara De Angelis, best-selling author & personal growth specialist.

Greetings! I hope this correspondence finds you growing and in motion!

Wow, how did the first day of Autumn get here so quickly!? It’s been at least six months since I’ve emailed and consequently, my thoughts, ideas, experiences, and book/media recommendations that I’ve wanted to share have grown so mountainous that I won’t be able to write about them all or else this will end up being a winter solstice email! So instead of lamenting my lameness for not keeping up, I’ll focus instead on all those “perfect pictures” I’m blowing in order to actually press send on this little communication of mine despite it not being all that I want it to be.

Below are a few of the books/articles I’ve read/listened to which I thought you might enjoy as well…

Eckart Tolle’s “The Realization of Being”. For some reason it’s hard for me to stay with Tolle’s books in written form, but I love listening to him read his books. This is an older book of his, but just as powerful as his newer gems. I think I need to re-listen to this one yearly. I’ve just placed a few more of his on hold at the library and am looking forward to jumping into more of his meaty wisdom.

Thich Nhat Hanh’s “No Death, No Fear”. Death isn’t one of my big interests and I can’t pronounce the author’s name so I resisted this one for a long time. I was running out of options at the library, though, so I just gave it a try and wow, it blew me away!! He talks about changes in physical forms and gives such great examples of how we misunderstand our true essence when we get focused on those forms. It was absolutely fascinating!

I also resisted the Abraham series of books by Jerry and Esther Hicks. I don’t know why, something about spirits talking through people turned me off, but again, lacking other choices, I stumbled upon one of them and enjoyed it so much, that now I’ve checked out every single one available locally and requested a bunch of others from the greater library network. I don’t know if it would have the same impact reading these as listening to them because you can tell when Abraham comes through with the different voice, cadence, pitch, etc. Regardless, I just can’t get enough of these!

A friend sent me this excellent article on mediation http://www.fastcompany.com/3016649/work-smart/from-om-to-omg-science-your-brain-and-the-productive-powers-of-meditation . When you’re sitting there thinking you could be using your time more “productively”, refer back to this article for some hard science on the multitude of benefits you’re creating.

You probably already to subscribe to this newsletter, but just in case, I wanted to share this great article http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Gary-Zukav-What-Is-Holding-You-Back-From-Happiness .

I know this email is long, so go ahead and stop here if you like, because the best part of this email is above while the rest of this is just my waxing on about personal aha moments…

One of the frustrating things for me during this spiritual immersion into my reading material is that I seem to be so short fused and focused on the wrong things with my family. I think there’s a threefold cause:

1)      I didn’t do enough self-care over the summer and by the end, had simply lost my ability to cope with the seemingly incessant demands of three active and creative kids. No one benefits from seeing their mother with her arms up telling the air in an exacerbated tone that she “can’t wait for school to start so I can think!!”

2)      I was strongly inspired by the books/articles and knew how I wanted to be, but that didn’t match my current behavior, which in turn caused me more frustration/guilt. Had I done a better job of taking care of my own needs as mentioned above, I would have had the strength and resolve to actually use more of the skills I was learning.

3)      Finally, the universe will often push back when we change and grow as a sort of “test” of our commitment to change. If you can persist and get through the growing pains phase, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I am just still in that stage of the growth cycle. Again, had I done a better job in #1, I would have been able to move through the resistance stage much more rapidly.

I share this just as a reminder that when you take care of your own healing/needs, everyone around you benefits. Self-care is the best gift we can give to others. This is a good thing to remember when we enter the “gift giving” stage of the holidays.

I did, however, have some moments of pure joy this summer and although fleeting, they filled me greatly. These times were not the one’s I’d imagined we’d have back at the beginning of the summer with that lovely blank slate to which I’d thought I’d fill with adventures during our last dog-free days (we got a puppy in AugustJ). They were just ordinary moments, but perceived differently. I’ll try to explain…

These experiences of immense joy didn’t happen during any Martha-esque moments, they occurred during real-life and ordinary situations–although in hindsight, it wouldn’t have mattered had it been a Martha moment or not. It was simply during those moments when I could completely release my perfect pictures about what summer should “look” like (smiling children, happy/fun mom having adventures and discoveries together, baking, crafting in a clean house, etc), that I could truly be present and experience this indescribable joy. When I could release the resistance to what “was” based on what I thought it “should” be, I was able to allow the grace of the moment in which was incredibly moving. It was as if I was experiencing the moment with my inner essence and not my physical eyes/brain/body if that makes sense. I am pretty sure this is what Eckhart Tolle is describing when he talks about being “present” in the moment, ie, it’s one thing to be present with your mind’s attention (which is certainly a step in the right direction from our normal distracted selves), but it becomes a whole other level when you are present with your essence. Maybe that’s why they call it presence. I don’t know, but I do know, I want to create more and more of these and eventually live a greater part of my life like this.

Anyway, as you know, I just love this stuff and could go on and on, but I’ll leave you now with a Happy Autumn wish for your own continued growth and happiness.

PS As always, should you wish not to receive my musings, just shoot me an email and I’ll take you off my distribution list. We’re all busy and receive way too many emails so no hard feelingsJ.

Warmest regards,

Susan

Random Thoughts and Resources Email RePost

Greetings,
Thank you for all the support from my last email to keep the communications coming. While I didn’t intend for another to be created so soon, when the material is there, why wait to share??! This is a random collection of thoughts and resources. It’s much longer than I normally send and I apologize for that with the busy season we’re in, but hopefully, if you glean a nugget or two, you’ll find it worthwhile. I should probably start another blog, but in the meantime…here is a monster email. As always, if you’d prefer not to receive these, just say the word…

First, I know you have been joining me in sending our heartfelt prayers to the families affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. Their suffering is all our suffering. In my opinion, the best action we can take to help, is to rededicate our commitment to love–increasing it within our own selves and then letting it shine onto others. I wanted to share this video which helped me feel more grounded and inspired than I have been since Friday. Perhaps you’d like to sit with your family and watch it together http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxSF-Louie-Schwartzberg-Grati .

*****

I was working with a client recently on setting intentions for the new year–not your run of the mill New Year’s Resolutions, but rather consciously choosing what to manifest in our lives. The New Year is a fantastic time to make an energetic shift and that started me thinking about the other fun dates coming up.

There’s been a lot of talk about the end of the Mayan calendar happening on the winter solstice this year, but rather than the doomsday fear-based people worry about, this is just a marking of the dramatic and world-wide awakening of our consciousness which has already been happening and will continue to do so faster than any of us can imagine. Regardless, this would be a fun day to do something to honor the earth or simply acknowledge our spiritual selves. My husband suggested we build a miniature Stonehenge with the kids which I thought was a fun idea. I think we’ll also go for a hike to a nearby hill and watch the sunset. I’d love to hear other ideas.

Another date right on the heels of 12/21/12 is the 31st. Year’s end is a wonderful time to end any cycles you choose not to take with you into the new year such as old habits or behaviors that aren’t serving your highest good. It would be great to meditate on or get clear about your top few energetic distractions whether they be habits, relationships, beliefs, etc. You can release them down your grounding cord energetically, for example, and then follow up with a physical action such as writing them on a piece of paper and burning the paper or throwing it in the trash. Just make it meaningful to you and dare I say, fun?

Then, on January 1st, have your intentions ready to rock. Again, getting very specific on your top intentions energetically and then doing something physical on the 1st to signal to the universe that you absolutely will manifest those intentions. For example, if you want to buy a home in a certain neighborhood, go and take a walk in that neighborhood. If you want to improve your health, buy a shot of wheat grass at your local smoothie shop. It doesn’t have to be a big deal or cost a lot of money, you just have to have the intention intensely present in your action. Then you have to trust, have faith that your intentions will manifest, that you will meet the right people, you will create the learning experiences needed, you will attract the right resources, you will continue to take actions toward your goal to manifest those intentions into the physical dimension. Again, raising your vibration via love, joy, and amusement speeds the process immensely.

My children and I have been discussing consumerism, marketing,  and brand consciousness lately as the hype for holiday gifts/wants goes into overdrive. I shared this video with them (for older kids only, please preview first) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAg3uMlNyHA We watched it 4 or 5 times since they had more questions after each viewing and it provided a nice back drop for furthering our discussion. Perhaps this will spark a little conscious raising about the difference between thinking of ourselves as our ego driven bodies and our true essence, our souls.

Speaking of our souls, I know I’m late to the party on this, but if you missed Oprah’s interview with Neurosurgeon and now best selling author, Eben Alexander, here’s the link to the full episode online http://www.oprah.com/own-super-soul-sunday/Oprah-and-Neurosurgeon-Eben-Alexander-Proof-of-Heaven-Full-Episode  I enjoyed the whole thing, but the last two segments in particular–save this for when you have 40 minutes or maybe check out the book…

The principal at my children’s school is facilitating a school wide book club on “Raising Caring, Capable Kids with Habits of Mind,” by Carner and Iadavaia-Cox. At our first meeting they showed this video http://video.msnbc.msn.com/rock-center/49202614#49202614 about the importance of teaching grit. This isn’t particularly spiritually focused and you might be wondering why I’m including it here, but one of the habits of mind is metacognition, ie thinking about thinking and feelings. As I try to do more of this, I realize I have to be in the present moment to do so and that, of course, is a huge part of being spiritually aware. I also liked how this video portrays grit as a positive which reminds me of how we create situations for ourselves to grow and typically, grit is involved in that growth. I’m only three chapters into the book so I will refrain from recommending it or not until I read on, just throwing it out there while it’s on my mind. An even better example of someone displaying  determination, and grit is this 5 minute video I recently shared with the family http://www.ted.com/talks/ludwick_marishane_a_bath_without_water.html .

I know this email is really video heavy, but sometimes (always??) messages from others are more accepted and remembered than from mom harping, not that I’m a harper, haha:). In any case, I also loved this quick clip http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50197003/#50197003 Do you think this kid said to himself, oh I’m not good enough, or I don’t have the time to make up the difference, or it’s too late, or my lame team mates didn’t help enough, or complain that the circumstances aren’t right? No, he just got in there and did it with his faith, determination, and grit!
Hopefully, you saw this  next one from one of those “daily love type” emails I referred to in my last communication, but if not, it makes me smile so much, I wanted to give it an extra shout out:) http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150732909504865 As we all know, having amusement in our lives, makes everything better–despite the external circumstances.

Finally, I’d just like to thank you for your faith in me, your generous referrals, and the gift of joining you on your growth. I leave many of our readings together inspired to challenge myself to push my own boundaries farther and faster. Please accept my wishes for a wonderful holiday season for you and your family; one filled and overflowing with warmth, laughter, and presence.

Warmly,

Susan

Relocation Email RePost

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Leo Tolstoy

Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you in motion and with abundant blessings.

Fall is a wonderful time of transition. The leaves turn lovely hues before falling to the ground where they decompose thus providing nutrients for new leaves in the spring. Humans are part of nature as well and we need to release old thought patterns and behaviors that are no longer working in order to be able to bring in new ones that we consciously choose to manifest.

Personally, I have been in a huge transitional phase since early summer when we decided to leave Paris and move to Santa Barbara. This was one of the most difficult decisions my husband and I have ever made and ultimately, we made it based on “signs” rather than logic. Let me explain.

About two years ago, I was doing some soul searching on where I wanted to live. While meditating, Santa Barbara came up although I’d only been here for one weekend many years ago. There are other communities with similar characteristics that I was much more familiar with, but Santa Barbara was the place that came through loud and clear. My mind didn’t understand this since it thought you had be Oprah to live in this beautiful part of the country. Santa Barbara is not a hotbed for business, so it seemed you needed to be self funded to qualify as a resident. Nevertheless, inspired by a friend who always does something physical on his birthday to signal to the universe what he intends to manifest in the coming year, I changed the weather and news on my computer homepage to be about Santa Barbara.

I certainly intended to live here someday, but in my mind, I assumed I’d be much older since I’d need a much larger savings account to make it possible. As usual, the mind can’t imagine the power of the spirit and just 18 months later, a series of unexpected and unimaginable events, too long to go into here, were put into motion that enabled us to be here today–and none of them involved what my “brain” believed were the necessary prerequisites. I am humbled and awestruck.

Following spiritual guidance doesn’t necessarily mean things will be easy. Getting here for us meant taking a huge leap of faith. My husband had to leave a company he’s been passionate about for 14 years and had a golden reputation with, to start with a new, smaller company as an unknown and with much less financial security. The timing wasn’t ideal either in that our enjoyed time abroad was cut shorter than expected and we arrived here with just a few short weeks to find housing, schools, cars, phones, drivers’ licenses, the works. It also meant that we had to give up the opportunity to move back to our home and dear friends in Seattle. It’s not always easy letting go of our “leaves”.

My husband has a strong cerebral side and and tried to use a spreadsheet to help him with his anguish over the decision. He ran the numbers and listed out the pros and cons for a couple of weeks. On paper, it did not make sense to make this change. Ultimately, however, there were so many “coincidences” and signs that we eventually decided to trust them and take that blind leap of faith.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking of you and wanted to share some of these insights since I’m still blown away by the miracle of me writing this email from Santa Barbara–a place I’d dreamed of living, but never imagined I could manifest as a reality so soon. I thought it would be fun to share my experience in hopes you’ll be inspired to revisit and connect with your own dreams and the very real possibility of creating them in the present.

My family and I are just temporarily settled as we continue to look for long term housing, but I am finally back to reading regularly.  If you would like a spiritual perspective on your own transitions or for any other reason, feel free to contact me and we’ll get something scheduled. I am attaching my Q&A for your reference.

In the meantime, I recently watched this video and thought you, too, would find it of interest http://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html

Blessings to you,

Susan