My 14-year-old daughter invited me to go on a museum field trip with her class this week. To me, this was a BIG deal. At 14, about half the time she acts as I’m the dumbest person she’s ever met and the other half of the time she doesn’t want to be around me. So the fact that she wanted me to be with her on a school trip with all her friends – priceless. I jumped at the chance. Never mind that she rode on the bus with her boyfriend and complained at me through the whole museum that I was being mean. She wanted me there.
While the riding the bus from the school to the museum (alone in a seat!) I was looking out the window, thinking. Often in my quiet times, my mind automatically goes to business: when to market this program or that class, how to structure the new program, when to schedule the next email series. This day, my mind focused on connection. I’ve been taking an intuitive development class since last spring and I have my first professional opportunity this weekend to put my skills into practice. With 20 minutes of downtime, my first instinct was to practice, to cram, if you will, for the first test of my abilities this weekend.
And just as suddenly as that idea popped into my head, the bus hit a bump, bounced me around, and jolted me into a new reality. My time is carefully planned out, that’s for sure. Working full time, running a business part time, and managing a family takes planning. Yet here was this golden opportunity to be present in this moment – an opportunity that may not happen again and a moment that is for certain already gone – and I’m focused on work.
It’s true that there’s never enough time in the day, and perhaps many successful professionals and entrepreneurs would tell me that fitting in work where I can makes good business sense. Yet, in my heart I know something deeper: this is about FAITH.
FAITH tells me that even if I don’t commit every spare second to my business, it will still work out. It may even work out BETTER because I actually have some time to be present in the moment, to be open to what about that moment can inspire me in ways that simply thinking about things can’t.
FAITH tells me that being present for this moment of my daughter’s life, even if she’s not right there by my side in the bus seat, will help raise a young woman who is confident in the support systems in her life. She can tell when I’m present or not, even if I don’t have a phone in my face. Both of my girls tease me a lot about “zoning out” or talking to myself as I think. They know when I’m there with them, and they appreciate when I am.
FAITH tells me that I don’t always have to practice everything. Yes, we need to build skills, but we also need to know when to trust our own abilities and accept that the first few times (maybe many times) will not be perfect. And it doesn’t have to be. People like realness, not perfection. I teach for a living, I like to be polished and professional and prepared for my classes. And at the same time, I don’t like to be scripted because I know from experience that learners don’t respond well to that. That isn’t facilitation or teaching, it’s a speech. Faith reminds me that by being present, I can respond in real time to the needs of the person or people in front of me.
FAITH tells me that I can trust myself. It builds a quiet confidence and belief that I’ve got this, no matter what “this” is. History hasn’t been so kind as to instill that kind of trust. Being present opens us to a kind of faith that feels vulnerable. There’s no relying on history, good or bad. There’s no relying on anyone else. It’s simply being there in the moment and trusting it will go well. Or it won’t and the world won’t end. We’ll just become stronger and more trusting in our own resilience.
Where in your life to do you find that being present helps enhance your faith – in yourself, your spirituality, your business or work, or your life in general? Where do you find that lack of faith causes you to be less present with yourself and the world around you?
If you’re looking for ways to enhance your ability to be present, I invite you to join me for my next Simple Self Healing program, starting Sunday, February 12th! We’ll explore a variety of self-healing tools and techniques that require presence as the foundation. Registration is open now and the early bird rate is available through Monday, February 6th! Click HERE for more information and to register!
Love and light,
As you know, I started off this year with the inspiration to Love Full Out. In doing so, I’m keeping my focus on three main practices in my daily life:
Last week, I got my first big opportunity to practice being present (spirit tends to work quickly, you know). You may have noticed I didn’t post an article last week. All week long, I had a sinus headache, an earache, and felt all-around lousy. I thought it was allergies or the changing weather, but apparently, it was a cold.
As per my usual, I don’t have time to be sick. It’s the first of the year, after all, and there is planning to be done. After a break from work and school, we were all trying to get into a normal routine. I needed – wanted – to write, to work, to get back into my groove.
So I tried to rally. I didn’t miss any work, but by the time I got home each day, I was exhausted. Early bedtimes, Echinacea tea, and even hot toddies didn’t give me the energy I sought. I finally acquiesced. The cold simply had to run its course.
Such is the way of being present. My reality was having a cold. Period. No matter how much I wanted to pretend or ignore or fight, my body needed rest. It needed nurturing. And it needed me to be present to its needs.
How often when we consider being present, do we forget out about our most important instrument, our bodies?
How often do we run ourselves ragged, while our bodies faithfully preserve to keep us moving?
How often do we ignore the aches and pains and cries from our bodies to slow down and pay attention?
BEING PRESENT – LOVING FULL OUT – INCLUDES KNOWING AND RESPECTING THE VOICE OF OUR UNIQUE BODIES
Yes, our bodies talk to us. They tell us what they need and want to stay healthy and functioning, but we’re usually too busy to really listen. Or we don’t believe they actually have this capacity.
So how do we stay present?
We get in touch with our unique bodies. We sit in quiet contemplation daily and slowly scan our bodies from head to toe. We notice how each part feels in that moment. We ask our bodies what they need from us. Then we stay quiet and listen for what comes up. Really, truly listen.
We tell our bodies how much we love them and we thank them for being the vehicles that ensure we move forward.
We apologize for any harsh words we’ve said. For the moments of disdain and disgust. For the times we wished for a different shape or size or color.
We touch our bodies gently and tenderly, like we would any other love in our lives. For this love keeps us alive.
We trust that when our bodies tell us they’re sick or sad or tired, they are. And we take care of them. In return, they will trust us back.
For many of us, it will be the first time we’ve given our bodies this kind of attention and compassion. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable and we may not even fully believe what we’re saying and doing just yet. Presence is a practice.
Make a daily commitment. Pick just one of these and repeat it until you really feel it in your heart and soul as truth. Then add to it. Make it your own.
Above all, commit to being present with your body. It’s the first step to being present in all other areas of your life, and to Loving Full Out.
Love & light,
There’s not doubt this has been a tough year in many ways. Personally, I’ve had an overall good experience, yet I can’t help but be affected by all that’s transpired around me: dozens of artists’ deaths, a still-contentious election, the destruction of Aleppo, a global migrant crisis, multiple fatal police shootings and the unrest that followed, deadly worldwide earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires, the protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Pulse nightclub shooting…the local and national list goes on and on.
The magnitude of these events – or perhaps it’s just the mindset I’m in these days –motivates me to stop and think deeply about my part in these global events.
How do they affect me and those I love? What could have I have done differently? What could I do going forward to have even the slightest effect?
I think about A Spirit Led Life and the impact it already has on my clients, students, and readers. I know because you tell me, and it means so much to me! I also think about my family and friends, my place of work, my online connections near and far, and even the companion animals that share this life with me. We all impact each other in big and small ways.
It starts with us. We can’t focus globally without also focusing locally. These bigger world events are simply a big-picture reflection of the unrest and turmoil we carry in our hearts. We the people are unbalanced, and therefore so is the world. We see it every day.
So what is the answer?
I’m not certain there is one single answer. Nevertheless, one phrase keeps coming to mind when I consider my focus for the coming year: LOVE FULL OUT.
"The world doesn't want to be saved. It wants to be Loved.
I know “love” is mostly seen as some cliché new-agey concept. I know love alone does not end wars, or stop riots, or resolve post-election turmoil. Love does not bring people back from the dead or keep those we love from dying. It doesn’t end our suffering. Perhaps that’s why it’s so overlooked and undervalued.
Yet, I know from practicing energy work that the world is in desperate need of love. Not romantic or familial love, but deep soul connection. People are so parched that when I sit in meditation and send out the energy of love to all people, it feels like a massive sponge, soaking it all up. People can’t get enough.
Our daily lives don’t exactly set us up for success in this regard. We are busy, harried, disconnected, rushing from one thing to the next. Most days are one big checklist of activities. We even schedule times for intimacy and connection. Or worse – we don’t.
We have to take time to refocus our energies. That’s the message I’m getting. We can’t keep on like this. Our world can’t keep on like this. Each of us can play a small role, make small changes toward a greater good. Each of us can LOVE FULL OUT.
What does loving full out look like? Well, I have a few ideas.
Loving full out means we are here in the moment. Right now. Wholly and exclusively with the person or people we love. Giving them our full attention in that moment. Nothing else. No one else. Being present means losing the distractions. It’s a tough sell because we are a distracted people. For the sake of those who need us, and for ourselves, we need to put down the devices, the chores, the activities, and simply be aware, be alive, and be present.
We can’t be fully loving when we’re full of judgments or carry resentments and anger from past experiences. Loving full out means we stay curious about the world around us, and about our role in it. We don’t get caught in the drama and the fear and the political or social entanglements that cause division. Instead, we stay open to what drives other people, even if we don’t agree with them. We look for the areas of similarity instead of focusing on differences. And we do the work to get past all the old, painful stuff that still binds us to the past.
BE OPEN TO RECEIVE
This is tough for many of us because receiving involves vulnerability. And we’ve been hurt. We’ve been judged. We’ve learned that the world isn’t safe. And the world sure doesn’t look safe in many ways right now. That’s why the worlds needs us to be open and to love full out right now. We can give, give, give all day long and we will only get exhausted. We need to be able to receive as well. And not only to receive but to discern what is healthy and needed and what can be turned away. We don’t have to receive everything that comes at us, just as we don’t need to give our whole selves away. We need a balance. The world needs us to balance. The world needs our giving AND our receiving, as well as our conscious choice to break up the blocks that keep us from receiving all the love and goodness available for us too.
This new year is likely to be tough in many ways, and yet it has so much potential, especially if we all make the commitment to LOVE FULL OUT – our loved ones, our enemies, our politicians, our world leaders, our animals, our earth, ourselves. Loving full out means embracing it all. We can’t pick and choose who and what gets our full-out love. It’s a package deal. And it only serves to benefit us all.
To be clear, I’m not suggesting we all have to like everyone. There are people who do hurtful things, and hurtful things need to be addressed. I’m not suggesting we all run out and forgive everyone for everything. Some things take time to move past. Some things we never get past. I’m only asking that we open ourselves to a deeper, richer, more vulnerable way of interacting in the world, and with our own selves. For our sakes, and the sakes of all living beings. Just a small amount of love poured into the world from more individuals can make a huge energetic impact on us all.
Are you ready for the challenge? Ask yourself:
Where in my relationships can I love full out?
Where do I need more work in letting past hurts go?
How can I allow myself to be more vulnerable?
How can I be more present in my own life and the lives of those around me?
Where can I set my judgments aside and be more curious about others’ lives, beliefs, and choices?
In what other ways can I love full out?
These are just a few ways to love full out. I know you have more ideas to share. And I want to hear them! Let’s stay connected this year and support each other in staying committed to loving full out, in all aspects of our lives (because we can’t do it in just one or two areas of life anyway!).
I invite you to join me in my Facebook group, Heal Yourself, Heal the World, to attend classes and programs coming this year (look for announcements!), and to become a private client if that calls to you. Whatever we can do together to keep growing, keep learning, and keep LOVING FULL OUT!
Much love, light, and healing for a happy 2017!
For more inspiration, visit my original blog.