self-care

The Gift of Being Seen

 

How good does it feel when you are really seen? When you are listened to intently? When someone really gets you? 

Do you have this in your life? Maybe with a best friend ~ or just maybe you're fortunate enough to have this experience in your marriage, or with a sister, a mother.

The feeling is like ~

coming home

the warmest blanket on the coziest couch

a breath of spring air just after winter

a belly laugh after having felt down for a while

sinking into a comfy chair with a book you don't want to put down

the feeling is fulfilling, it's soothing, it's uplifting, it's warm and it's love-drenched.

I am wishing this for you today.

My heart is brimming with the feeling after having worked with Rachel Camfield of Carriage House Collaborations. 

Yes, Rachel and I were friends before she gave my website a make-over. And yes, she was in my first circle of women to become Live Your Inner Power graduates in 2015. And yes, we are co-leading a Mastermind group together. So, yes ~ she gets me. And yet, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to work with her if she hadn't courageously set up her own business.

Rachel intuitively listened, and then trusted her instinct about how to deliver a product that was what I really wanted. Thank you are small words for work this big.

Part of my work with Rachel includes a photo shoot. For any woman who has had self-esteem issues (moi included :)), a photo shoot can be part of our healing journey. Stay tuned for Phase 2 this May! It's my birthday present to me.

Are you into self-care, do you treat yourself as the most special person you know?

As a woman, taking self-care to the next level - where it's a work of art and a joy of life, not the tedious next thing to get done, translates to opening the doors to endless possibilities.

 

I'd love to support you in this life changing habit.  Join my list and receive monthly support so you too can make your self-care a matter you enjoy

Surrender and you will receive – really? That’s a surprise ☺

What are your big stressors?

Time - it's the top complaint I hear from stressed women! Relationships - women orient their lives to relationships, of course this is big stuff for us! Love and the desire for good loving - who doesn't want this if we don't have it? 

It's time to surrender...

Do you connect the word surrender with loss? I did for a long time. I have learned, gratefully, that surrender means gain in so many ways. Let me give you some examples ~

When I surrender to my need for self-care, I replenish my energy to give easily and freely.

surrender-self-care
surrender-trth
surrender-difficult relationship
surrender-time
surrender to love
surrender-heart

If you are struggling with anxiety, stress or fatigue, my guess is that mastering the art of surrendering could become your great healing agent.

If you looking for relief from anxiety, stress or fatigue, I am here to help you live your inner power and find that relief.  

What is your great stress? Did you like this blog? I'd love to hear from you :)

What does it mean to live your inner power?

Happy New Year! This week Focusing Inward changes its name as it grows to embody the new title - "Live Your Inner Power". What exactly does this phrase mean?

Living your inner power means -

You have a power - a creative generative force within you - that you have access to all the time which allows you to make a positive impact in the world around you.

You consciously choose to act on the higher qualities of humanity such as wholeness, joy, harmony, peace, prosperity, and efficiency.

You strive to become more of who you know you are at your essence, which relates to the greater energy that embodies us all.

You adopt habits, practices, and behaviors that elevate your experience and those around you by bringing on more feelings like joy, understanding, compassion, kindness and love.

You engage with the world from a place of self-awareness, knowing what you are bringing to the situation matters.

You wake up each day, feel into your Self, and act accordingly.

You feel powerful to move your life in the direction you want it to go.

My goal is to support you in this process. There are many ways we can connect!

I hope you will join us and live you inner power too. The world redefines itself as more and more of us live our inner power and contribute to positive transformation. Welcome to the new year ~

ExperienceMore

Honoring the Introvert Within

Introvert-images-introverts-14863871-440-293The busier I become in my life, the more I know it is necessary to honor and support the big part of Me that is an Introvert. This can be very difficult in a culture that promotes and rewards extrovert behavior. But it is essential to my well-being and I know it is critical to many others who come to me and don't prioritize the need to spend time alone. As my dreams are being realized, expanding and blossoming - loving family around me and fulfilling work - my "free" "alone" time is dissipating. In order to maintain my positive attitude and ability to give freely of myself, it is essential that I create a routine that fulfills my need for this quiet space and time.

We are all part introvert and part extrovert. The extroverted parts are generally encouraged in our culture and the introverted aspects groomed to be minimized. This is unfortunate because this grooming works against our natural Selves who need communion in quiet. We source critical energy from spending time alone. My creative nature bloomed into full being as I cultivated a quiet time that allowed me to explore what my inner being desired.

Today I had a startling and profound experience. This week I have been having nights of troubled sleep and so am overly tired. Add to this two days of being busy from post-meditation time in the morning until dropping into bed at night. Today I made a decision to pull back from a few activities originally planned for the day. I moved slowly and mindfully throughout the first hours of the day. Then I felt the need to sit and write creatively for a few minutes before I headed out the door for a meeting. In ten minutes of creatively writing, I could literally feel my energy shift and the deep fatigue begin to lift! Wow, it could not have been more clear in that moment how essential to my well-being my creative time has become.

Only I can discover what my deep needs are. Only I can honor what they are and stand up proudly on my behalf and claim what I need to thrive in my life. If you are like me and many of my clients, you too may need more alone and quiet time than your life is structured to provide. Only you can restructure your life to provide this quality of time. It is difficult to stand up and decide You are worth it! But in time, when we do not have enough quiet, it becomes a matter of health and vitality, of happiness and fulfillment. These are universally desired qualities that we often struggle to prioritize but are essential to living a contented life.

Honoring the introvert within reaps daily heaps of contentment and joy in my own life. I consider it my first priority to fulfill because I have learned that in order to live my best life, to walk my talk, to rest my head easily on my pillow at night, and to give freely and abundantly to those I love, I must first honor my own deep needs for balance and health.

Creating and Maintaining New Habits

Since I am still feeling unwell, I am offering links to postings at a blog I highly enjoy and respect.  This information will be quite useful for those of you who are working at creating new healthy habits in your life. The Power of Habit Investments

Sticking to  Habit

Hope to be back on video next week with our next masterful habit. Till then, practicing new habits means they will become second nature soon. Keep at it :)

The Solitude Gift

I am sharing a posting from a couple of years ago and I wish it yet again... Someone recently asked me why I thought they might be creating chaos in their lives. I answered that perhaps they did not want to be alone. Their immediate response was that they liked to be alone! I could only ask, are you comfortable sitting with yourself, your thoughts, your desires, your confusion, your anxiety, all your feelings, all your thoughts? Can you sit in the stillness of a space with nothing around you and stay still, just be where you are, allowing anything to surface and spend time with it?

So many of us are running from ourselves. Mostly from our inner worlds. Some are literally running, as in excessive exercising. Some are numbing out by using screens, as in television, computers. Some are hiding in drinking, eating or drugs, as in over or under eating, alcohol, medications maybe. Some are shopping and erranding away free time, as in filling the void with stuff. Some are just over-scheduling their time so they don’t have space for the inner stuff to pop up into consciousness. We can see it - this look of running from ourselves. Just look at all those glazed over eyes, not really connecting. They can’t connect outwardly because they won’t connect inwardly.

So here we are in a season of great beauty and stillness. The symbolism is finding light in the darkness, returning to light after a season of growing darkness, looking out at a symbol of lightness and pure love, like angels, newborn babies, holy spirits. I love all this symbolism and I love the reality of seeing the lights on evergreens, the candles burning in early morning darkness or descending evening quiet, the extra angels poised about my home. All of it feels so comforting as the days get shorter, the nights getting longer.

Most of all I love that I am able to sit quietly with myself and feel great peace and light. I can remember days long ago when this was not an easy thing to do because I had such inner turmoil. I remember my dark night of the soul passage, so emotionally painful during those months of tremendous fear and confusion. But mostly I remember the time after it, when I passed through that tunnel and found incredible light on the other side. Since that passage I have had a sense of lightness about life, a deep sense of stillness that I can touch inwardly at any moment by focusing on that inner quiet within. And I love the quieter life I have created that mirrors this inner calm. When my life is lively, I can enjoy that too. But I always look forward to the peace and light that returns when I go inward, when I quiet and calm the chatter of my mind, and then sense the wonder of what lies beyond this human form that is me right now.

I wish I could give this gift of sitting quietly with “self” to everyone. I would wrap this present up in beautiful golden and silver shimmering paper and ribbons. It would be the most beautiful gift under the tree. Once received, the recipient could have this gift within them at every moment – the gift of the ability to return to light after any moment of darkness. Now that’s a gift. But it is a gift that we can only bestow upon ourselves. How fortunate though, that it is within our reach to find this inner beauty. In our world of fast paced living and immediate responses, it’s an unusual prospect, this sitting still and moving beyond our dark inner lives to the deeper inner light. But for those who give themselves this gift, their lives are changed forever. Their season of darkness has truly passed.

Life Without Alcohol by Dawn Jepson

It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I am walking through the restaurant anticipating a late afternoon antipasto and coffee with my husband. What a treat! As I am led to my table I hear the low laughter at a table near by. When I glance over I can’t help but notice the half-finished drinks on the table, the relaxed looks and smiling faces on the couple sitting there. I am filled with envy. I remember the days of “letting go” with alcohol. Quickly I push those enticing memories away and replace them with other memories - dry mouth the day after, queasy stomach …. I walk on. Getting closer to our table I look to the right and see the bar with all it’s neatly arranged bottles, see my reflection in the mirror. I also see me sitting on a stool having my first sip of an ice-cold martini. Ah, the pleasure of the bite of the alcohol, and even better, the spreading warmth and soothing calm that would wash over me. Once again, I push the image aside and replace it with one of the crusty bread dipped in fragrant oil that I am about to enjoy.

Now - another day, another challenge. It’s my day to grocery shop. I am hurrying, it is the end of the day, I am tired and hungry (all danger zones for an alcoholic). I am trying to find the raisins and of course they have been moved - again. I have to walk all the way back to the far end of the store, am willing to do this (burn those calories) as I REALLY want them for a salad.

There they are. As I turn to hurry back for check out, directly across from the raisins are the shelves of wine …. Bottle after bottle of reds, whites and bubbly. They all promise me the gift of letting down after a long day at the office. My mind starts to imagine uncorking a bottle and pouring it into a glass. At this point any glass will do, a jelly glass would work, it’s all about the relief of letting down with that wonderful soothing glass of wine. Quickly I replace the picture in my mind with my current favorite drink - Vida Coco. I love coconut milk! This refreshment is something special I look forward to - it represents the letting down at the end of a long day.

These are a sampling of the challenges of living a life without alcohol for me. In the past I might have had to call a friend so that I didn’t buy that bottle or two of wine. At the restaurant I might have had to leave, or at least talk with my husband to diffuse the emotions and thoughts that surfaced with the desire for a drink.

After many years of hard work I have learned to use my visualizations to help me.  I have used them so often they have power attached to them and can override the memories of the alcohol and it’s seductive lure, it’s siren call. Writing about this kind of self-care will follow in future posts - stayed tuned!

I have also had to make radical changes in how I live. I have learned ways to have fun other than drinking since almost all my fun and good times in the past revolved around alcohol.

Now my spiritual beliefs, rituals, and, practices have all deepened, grown and become more important in my life.

I remarried. When the time was right I moved closer to nature. I found work I love.

What is important is not so much WHAT I chose to do but the fact that I HAD to do things differently. For me it was many things. For me it was hard work sometimes and sacrifices. For me it was facing a lot of unpleasant truths and illusions. And I am still working on it all. BUT …. The joy that comes from the results of all my healthy choices, even if that joy isn’t immediate, is all worth it. Every step of the way. Every single day.

Has it all worked out perfectly? Absolutely not. Nothing is perfect. I still struggle, I search for answers and ways to live my truth more fully. I want to know the real Dawn - what she truly wants from life. After all that’s what  life is all about, I think. At least for me. Living fully and honestly and knowing myself. And loving the person I find there. I realize all this as I surrender daily to a life without alcohol.

Your Energy is Your Personalized Wisdom - Laurel's Monday Message 10-8-12

This month I encourage you to begin to develop your language around the energetics of your life if you haven't already. We are quickly entering the age of knowing and working consciously with the truth that we are energetic beings who are inhabiting material form for a time. When we live anchored deeply in this truth, the quality of life is enhanced because we realize how much influence we have. The habit of focusing externally sets us up for strife and conflict. Focusing internally sets us firmly on the path of connecting with our most valuable source of strength and wisdom. Today's message offers tips on how to "read" your energy as your personalized wisdom.