heart wisdom

Relationships and Creativity

Relationship energy and creative energy go hand-in-hand for most women because they emerge from the same space in our being. Lately I have noticed how single-minded I have become with work on developing my business. I am specifically aware of how my mind is directing massive energy and attention toward the creative aspects of my work, allowing me to express my passion and wisdom. I am thoroughly enjoying the process despite the many learning curves that I take and the tasks I must tackle, especially when those tasks are not very exciting. I am learning to focus on myself in a new way. What I am noticing is that it is natural and fluid for me to focus on my work because the relationships in my life are in harmonious and healthy conditions. As a woman, my organic psychological process of maintaining wellness depends on my relationships being well. It is simply how I relate to the world and myself, through relationships as well as through my "work". My personal well-being depends on healthy and vibrant relationships with those who nurture my inner world and support my growth. I do not think I am much different from many other women.

For much of my life, I adopted the role of wife and mother. Through these roles, the essential aspect of my success depended on healthy relationships. My energy and attention went to my children, to my husband, to creating stable family. No one told me to do this, I simply believed it was in my role, I felt that is was essential to my well-being, and I wanted harmonious relationships. Not superficially harmonious, deeply harmonious. So my life has been significantly shaped by my choices in my relationships and the ways that I have navigated these spaces in my life. I defined myself for most of my life through the success and health of my closest relationships.

Today I find myself with an empty nest and a happy marriage. Relative to the last thirty years of my life, I am not needed for much in these relationships. What I am needed for, I believe I am providing well. What does that mean? I am left with massive amounts of creative energy that can be used elsewhere. I feel grateful and thrilled most days that I found work that I love along the way of raising my children. Now I am taking that work role and expanding and engaging it in the world in new ways. My life has become focused on the creation of the next stage of my life. My work.

Why am I writing about this? Because I have learned a few things as this major shift in my life has taken place. I have learned them personally and I have learned them professionally by working with women who are in transition and awakening to the truth in the inner worlds. Let me share my lessons - (these may or may not hold true for all women - I am speaking about myself and those with whom I am connected intimately)

* Women care deeply about the relationships in their lives. They will sacrifice much, both consciously and unconsciously for relationships.

* Women define themselves in essential ways through their relationships, therefore their self-confidence and happiness connects directly to the health of their relationships.

* Women feel conflicted when they believe they must choose between the health of relationships and their own health.

* Women can unconsciously sacrifice their personal health to deliver what they believe they "should" in their relationship roles.

* Women's health and happiness depend on healthy relationships.

* A women's happiness depends on how she cares for herself.

* The collision of the last two sentences is often where women become conflicted internally and unable to satisfy both these needs simultaneously.

* The creation of harmonious and fulfilling relationships begins with a healthy relationship with Self. This is news to many women.

The dedication to my work is often motivated by the success I experience with my clients and the process of our work together. As we collectively bring these truths to light, the women of today are learning to navigate the world and our lives in new and exciting ways. We are beginning to tap into our creativity in ways that energize us tremendously. In order to do this well , a woman must consciously consider what is happening in her important relationships, and the ways she is investing time and energy into them. She must learn to accept help and support as well as give it, learn to develop and maintain healthy boundaries. She must recognize when she is experiencing resentment, depletion and frustration and deal with it directly. Dealing with it indirectly continues that heavy energy being perpetuated and most often is playing out in unpleasant and repetitive patterns that serve no one well. As women, we are redefining how to navigate our creativity and our relationships consciously and the conflicts that naturally arise from this attention. Bravo to the conscious woman!

Helping ourselves to find inner peace is the way we ultimately serve the most and the best in this world. When we do the hard work of turning inward and discovering where we are conflicted, then take the time to resolve that inner conflict, we are serving everyone in our lives. We become a role model of health and empowered choice. The world needs more of that for working with the many dilemmas in which we find ourselves today. Self-care directly impacts relationships and creativity in positive ways. Trusting and acting on this truth serves the greater good.

© Laurel Holland

The Language of the Soul

Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed, but it seems to me that we, as a culture, are mostly comfortable talking about spiritual consciousness. Even those that are uncomfortable, and uninterested, know that the conversation has merit. They may not choose to get involved, talking the talk - yet. I chose to get involved nearly 20 years ago. A health problem led me into the world of Chinese Medicine, and then on to psychotherapy and I never looked back. Finally there were answers to the imbalance that existed in my life. There were words to put my problems into a context, words like holistic and energy. From the beginning, I accepted and acted on the truth that we are holistic beings whose bodies, emotions, minds and spirits are complex equations with each facet affecting the others. When my difficult to resolve health problem was viewed in this light, my quest to understand myself and humanity began. It has been an incredibly enlivening and enlightening path.

Today I am celebrating that the more I cautiously and carefully speak openly about what I do, working as a holistic Life Coach, people want to know more. As I share that I help people learn to find their way into the happiness that awaits them within, most people become more interested. And I talk about how people come to me frustrated or depressed about the quality of their lives, and I join them on a journey inward. We encounter what seem like big problems along the way, and we take those big problems and turn them into learning lessons about life. Slowly (or occasionally quickly) the clients I work with reconnect to the deeper power that resides within, and they feel ready to make some choices from a place of sensing a new strength, despite the recognition of their vulnerability as well.

My blog this year has been about inviting readers and viewers to connect inwardly. I have been asking you to become more vulnerable to yourself first, by learning to sit still with yourself. My focus has been on informing you that you are the powerful creator of your life. Learning and acting on the truth that I am the powerful creator of my life, continues daily for me. This is not a quick fix prospect. We are not here for a quick fix. We are here to evolve our experience of humanity to a greater knowledge and awareness of ourselves, and what it means to be spirit/soul in human form. And in order to do this well, we need to learn how to operate the machinery well - you know the body, heart and soul within which "you" reside.

Learning to operate the machinery well (I use this term a bit metaphorically), means you need to know where the controls are. They are within. We are mostly conditioned to view life and the way we influence it, by connecting to what is available outside us. You know, get the right job, find the right partner, raise a family, acquire a home (and all those trinkets). When we come up unhappy in any of this, we start changing all this "stuff" and we may or may not, eventually, find some happiness along the way. And, all the time, there is a naturally occurring happiness well that waits within us to be discovered. Often we stay outwardly focused until something about our well-being causes a problem that can't be solved from the outside. That's when the doors to holistic thinking and the language of the soul become interesting.

As a culture, we are sensing that the problems we encounter now are not being resolved by the usual means. I like to think that these self-created problems are leading us further along in our development as a species, to recognize the spirit/soul aspect of ourselves and then to act on this truth. People are becoming more interested in the language of the soul, and holistic thought. Not from a religious perspective, but from a personal perspective. A perspective that says, I am powerful within, and when I act well and kindly on this knowledge, the world becomes a more habitable place. That means solving problems without violence, thinking sustainably since our natural resources are limited, and implementing technology wisely by no longer threatening the natural environment and ignoring the ways we pollute our home, this planet.

Today, may I suggest, that you consider this by starting at home, with and in your individual being. Today, solve each of your individual inner conflicts without violence to yourself or those within whom you are in relationship. Think of your being as a limited resource and do not overextend or misuse any of your resources such as time, health and attention. And consider how you might be polluting your being in thought, word and deed. These are powerful and longer term actions that involve looking inwardly. All effort in the direction of living and choosing more consciously will not be wasted. We are the powerful creators of this world.

Laurel's Monday Message 2-13-12

Today's Monday message is about love! Click here and consider self-love.

Laurel's Monday Message 2-6-12

Are you paying attention to your life? Most importantly, are you paying attention to what is happening inside - in your inner world? There is a gold mine within, waiting for you to enjoy the treasures. You are the only one who can - the only one who can discover the riches inside. Others will benefit from them when you discover them and live them, because you will naturally express them. Maybe they are buried right now behind fear or anger. Maybe you are afraid to look inside because it feels chaotic or scary. Maybe you need some help to get going. One of the best ways to begin the process is to slow down a bit and starting taking a peek here and there. Let yourself begin to honestly look at what is happening in your inner world. If you afraid to do it, then simply start allowing yourself to feel the fear a little bit, but look anyway. You will build up your courage with practice and also with support.

I hope this message inspires you to pay attention! Looking within is a big step towards creating what you deeply desire.

Laurel's Monday Message 1-30-12

Are you feeling like the powerful creator of your life? Do you feel satisfied with life as you look about you? Are you feeling motivated to make changes? What keeps you from making changes that you deeply desire? Maybe you're feeling ready for a next step after last week's message. Last week's message was to remind yourself that you can begin to recreate your life by saying inside, "I am the powerful creator of my life". It may feel like it's time, as you look at your life, to begin taking inventory. What's working - what's not? The most important attitude you can cultivate with this step is a kind and gentle attitude. Taking our time to consciously craft our lives is like an art project. Allowing the process to develop one stage at time, growing it from a creative place that takes each modification into account, proceeding slowly is prudent. This is not a race, it's important crafting that is worth all the attention and love that you can give it. Click here for today's Monday Message.

Laurel's Monday Message, 1-23-12

It's Monday! And I am here to remind you that you are creating your life moment-to-moment. Yes, you are creating the QUALITY of your life. Your life has a rhythm that is defined by your family, your friends, your work, your personal needs and your priorities - yes - your choices. You have created the rhythm and are making it what it is this day. Have you chosen consciously? Do you feel trapped in a pattern of life and feel stuck with choices that now seem ill-fitting? It's never - with a capital N - too late to make new choices. If the choices were big ones, start small. Little changes can be confidence builders, they can remind you that you are more powerful than you might remember in this moment. I hope my Monday video message inspires you to exercise your authentic inner power, causing you to pay attention to each little choice you make. Remember, you are the powerful creator of your life.

Laurel's Monday Message, 1-9-12

What we do with our minds manifests in our outer life. It's difficult to make this connection until we begin to learn the skill of becoming the observer. When we become the observer we can literally watch as our mind rolls out its familiar ways it works. While observing, we can learn our automatic thought patterns, attachments we have to outcomes, expectations, the proportions of time we spend thinking positively and negatively, and a host of other useful information about SELF. It is amazing the discoveries to made by learning the skill of observer. The most powerful aspect of what I am sharing right now, is that as observer we gain intimate knowledge of our conscious process. We shift our locus of control. This means we shift into a state where we become ready to think differently, able to replace dysfunctional patterns, and willing to infuse our mind with beneficial new patterns. This is truly life-altering!

I hope this Monday message motivates you to start working on healthier patterns, today. Every small step we take is important, empowering ourselves with the needed skills to create a life we feel excited with - every day. Click here to listen to my message.

Relationship Growth and 2012

Here we are in a new era of relationship awareness and growth. Spending time talking with clients about what they want in relationships, what feels uncomfortable and individual patterns that they want to change are topics of importance to everyone I encounter. The quality of our lives is deeply impacted by the condition of our primary relationships, so it seems natural that giving good attention and finding understanding about how we are living in our relationships is key to life satisfaction and fulfillment. In fact the more we evolve and learn about our humanity, we are discovering that relationships are at the heart of our personal fulfillment. Unfortunately, we often feel frustrated and blocked in our relationships and the patterns of interacting and communicating currently established. To push for change may mean that we risk ending important relationships. We avoid change when we fear others will not do the work of self-reflection and acceptance that is required as we sort through the history of our patterns and behaviors, working to develop more effective and supportive ways of approaching our intimate interactions. Indeed it can be a risky proposition to confront unhealthy patterns that we no longer wish to live within but are perpetuated by our inability or unwillingness to address them. In order to find true inner peace, eventually we need to get to the business of addressing and confronting the difficult.

The good news is that with new skills, addressing difficult and sometimes threatening-feeling topics can be – not so bad. We often make drama and extreme scenarios the reality in our minds because of our fear and because of our inability with how to proceed. The new era I refer to is the era of learning the skill of navigating relationships well. Risking the relationship for new beginnings, for more happiness and fulfillment, for inner integrity and honesty by speaking up and learning how to work through whatever issues keep you feeling dissatisfied with your current life circumstances when it comes to relationships - these are skills that I love to share. Finding new life in relationships means confronting what limits us from within, looking at how we might be keeping ourselves, and essentially others, stuck in places we do not want to be.

What limits us from within are the beliefs and patterns we hold onto. We hold onto unhealthy patterns for many reasons, some of which include - because we don’t know what else to do - or because we fear loss or being alone - or we because we avoid confrontation and rejection - or because we are immobilized by others patterns that overpower or minimize what is important to us. We can turn all these patterns around, we can learn new skills, trusting that our inner world wants our attention and communicates to us through any inner distress. The beginning of change and growth is our willingness to risk taking the first step. Often this means we identify and state what we really want, wanting something healthier than the safety of what we already know.

I invite you to listen to a four-part interview that I recorded with Kinlen Wheeler, co-founder of Sacred Pathways. Kinlen shares how she navigates change in her relationship and risks the known for a deeper and more authentic expression of herself in her primary relationship. She shares the tension of taking responsibility of fulfilling inner needs, breaking down old patterns to establish a sense of new life and authenticity in relationship, and turning inward to become clear about personal fears and needs. It is a provocative and compelling sharing that I hope will inspire others to risk looking inward at the truth of what we co-create in our relationships. Click here to access Part I. You will find all four parts of the interview on my YouTube Channel.

Watching these short videos is a great way to start 2012, focusing on the possibility of what life might look like as we awaken to the power of our individual consciousness. Be a part of creating the new world that is arising in 2012 by taking a risk, challenging the status quo. We are the new Earth when we think and behave with true integrity.

Learn How To Use Your Built-In Navigation System. It's 2012 - it's time!

This is my theme for 2012. After twenty-five years of in-depth self-reflection and healing, what I feel confident to say is that your inner world can guide you into a state of peace and joy. The mystery becomes how to move beyond any inner "mess" to discover that inner place of beauty. Finding this inner stillness means a new life - one that you dream about and wish for, but perhaps do not know how to cultivate. Here are my suggestions for heading toward the "good" life:

* Make space in your days to address whatever is troubling you in your life. As long as you accept the status quo, that's what you will continue to create. The moment you make a decision to feel better, the universe will begin to organize on your behalf. * Be willing to slog through some difficult times in order to move the mess out of the way. Until you really move the mess out, you'll just keep putting it in different places for it to pop up and undo what you are trying to achieve. * Get help! Join forces with others who want a truly content life. Find like-minded people who will encourage, support and challenge you to become who you feel you are deep inside. Let old friendships fade away if they are causing negativity and stress in your life - no one benefits from these kind of connections. * Expect to remain human, with all the ups and downs and truths about what it means to be an embodied soul.(Really - some of us think it's just going to become all sugar and spice) Being in human form means we will have human struggles and pains of growing into fullness. But we don't need to suffer to do this. That's the difference. * Stop watching so much television or any other screen activity that causes you to go numb to your consciousness. Stop watching things and listening to things that cause fear thinking. Stop focusing on fearful thoughts and ideas. What you give your attention to grows. Guard your mind with all your heart. Only you can make this change - and believe me - it is a powerful one!

When you read my postings this year, I want to inspire you to use your built-in navigation system efficiently and effectively. The messages that you are receiving moment-to-moment from your physical body, from your emotional state, from your mental process and from the intuitive/heartfelt space within (yes, the spiritual) are the energies that are critical to understand and then learn how to respond to. Any distress you experience is your inner being attempting to get your attention and listen to your inner wisdom - and then change your behavior in some vitally important way. I hope this is the year you listen and respond. The world is ready to support all that you desire when you lead with your inner center of stillness.

Making Good Use of the Next Year

Greetings Friends,Today, 12/21/11, we are a year away from 12/21/12, the day that the prophesies say will be a new beginning. Many have been focused on the ending aspect of this shift in our collective consciousness. Let's commit this day to focusing our minds on the truth that it will be a new beginning, a time when we more deeply understand humanity and our role here on Earth.

As I lay awake throughout the dawning hours this day, my mind rolled along with thoughts about how I will make the new year full of activity that is meaningful to me. My energy focuses on helping people connect with their heart wisdom. The mind is a wonderful resource when we have learned to utilize it well, because it is indeed one of the great resources we are gifted with as a human. Many continue to suffer though mind-based activities like worrying, mental catastrophe creating, and judging. As we continue with these activities, we continue to suffer. When we commit to change, training the mind to focus on gratitude, creative energy, and wondering, our entire being begins to shift into a new experience of life. The most effective way to personally shift into this new way of living is to reconnect with your heart.

Reconnecting with your heart in some respects is quite simple. There may be a period through which you will pass when it can be uncomfortable to make this powerful shift. During the time of shifting, we become more in touch with our emotional energy and must learn the skill of experiencing and directing this vital life energy towards healing and self-understanding. As we heal and come to understand ourselves more deeply, the natural next steps become about using our energy to serve and create in ways that impact the world in healthy and positive ways. Knowing how to do this arises organically from living through the heart.

As we wonder what we can do to find our life purpose, to live a "happy" and meaningful life, we must remember to begin with what is basic and truly under our control - our world within. The most basic step to take is to connect to your heart. Breathe into your heart. Heal any wounds that you carry in your heart - wounds that wait within you in the form of anger, hurt and loss. As you heal those wounds you will discover a new strength and purpose, this energy will surface spontaneously and you will feel like you are living a new life. You will indeed be a transformative force in the world, part of this new beginning where we live consciously and purposefully.

Happy New Year to all. I hope you choose to connect with the infinite energy that your heart holds. It's waiting for you.