What can we do in difficult and chaotic times?

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How have you held up this week in the wake of all the pain and suffering? 

My Monday morning started with a client sharing the question she poses to herself as she drives to her appointment with me.

She asks herself, "What is heavy in my heart right now?"

I bowed to her, internally, acknowledging the wisdom in her question as well as her courage to face her heaviness and seek healing, rather than turning away and living in anger and frustration.

And so I ask you - "What is heavy in your heart right now?"

What happens when we are hurting? When we don't address what's wounded, we often act out in anger, frustration, bitterness, resentment and other damaging ways.

We are watching the chaos of the results of unhealed wounds running rampant, striking out at the world at large. We are watching ourselves struggle with how to respond and what to say that will unite us and comfort us. 

It's important to seek the leadership that lives in light; leadership that represents the highest values we aspire too. Be comforted by those leaders and let them ignite the leader in you so that you use your voice well. 

Leaders come in all forms. Some are front and center. Many more quietly influence others to open their minds and reorient their inner compasses toward love, compassion, tolerance and respect. We need you, now more than ever, to use your voice of love and respect as we move through the chaos. 

It's easy to lash out at the ones we see as at fault and a problem. It's not as easy to lead conversations that lift us all into more thoughtful, open and collaborative places.

What can you - we - do to serve in a way we desperately need right now? 

Stand for what you believe in. Be quietly resolved - march through each day in service to your heart.

Learn the language of collaborative dialogue. This is a must for our survival.

Strengthen your ability to grieve well without being lost and weakened by all the tragedy of the world.

Be inspired by leaders who uphold your most precious values - lead
your life well each day.

Heal your wounds so you are not blinded by them and unconsciously acting on that pain. Commit to this and get the help you need to really do the work. I am here to help you with this work.


My heart cries with yours as we move through this time of chaos, seeking higher ground, struggling to evolve into a more enlightened human race. 

I send you light and love this and every day.

 

What do you want for the holiday season?

Your desire is the key to creating a life that feels good. To sit with your Self, and allow your desires in their fullness, it's important to be still. And in that stillness you travel beyond the layers of conditioning about how the holiday season is to be celebrated, and into the space where your heart can tell you what will fulfill and inspire you. WaitingForSomeoneElse

The most challenging part of all this is the being still with Self. Most of us, particularly women, have been "trained" to shop, wrap, bake, cook, entertain, prepare, organize and trim for the season. All of this takes precious time and energy. After all this is done, who has time to be still with Self, awake and calm enough to hear the pulses from within?

I do. I make time. My holiday season has become a different experience inside me because I have taken the time. I have listened and I have honored my Self. You can too.

With practice I am getting good at creating new rituals and ways to celebrate this time of year. Last night I held my annual solstice event. I sat in a circle of like-minded women, who lovingly held space for me and 17 other women to share what they want, to be still with our Selves for a couple of hours and to acknowledge a part of our inner worlds that is critical for making a fulfilling life.

I love this connection and glowing experience of the season. It's one of my favorite parts of the holiday time. And I enjoy it because I have taken the time. I have listened and I have honored my Self.

What can you do to begin to bring more joy into this season? Give yourself what you want. TAKE some time ~ no will give it to you ~ and listen, be still and honor what you really want. Others lives will be touched beneficially by this process. It may feel like it's just about you, but you help others to do the same. We can liberate one another from the trappings of a season that may feel like it's about consumption and exhaustion.

Let's create the holidays we deeply desire.

Prosperity for All– Not just the lucky, strong, or hard-working by Pixie Hamilton

“You are the owner of all that you perceive. But you can’t perceive apart from your vibration. Feel your way, little-by-little, into a greater sense of abundance by looking for the treasures that the Universe is offering you on a day-to-day basis.” ~ Esther Hicks

Prosperity is derived from Old French “prosperite” and from Latin “prosperitas” and translates to “doing well.”

To me, “doing well” is NOT about money or material wealth.

Prosperity goes much deeper. I can’t see prosperity. I can’t touch it. But I know it. It stems from a deep contentment in life and my highest purpose.

Prosperity is in every single moment, constantly adding value to my life and those around me. The value manifests in terms of serving, forgiving, accepting, creating opportunities, providing joyful and purposeful experiences, promoting peace and love, creating harmonious relationships, and finding pleasure in everything I do.

Prosperity is constantly coming towards me – an idea, a thought, an inspiration, a hug, the right word, a smile, relationships, wellness, expansion, ease, love, feeling capable, watching a sunset, listening to the songs of birds or a train, and enjoying Nature’s vibrant colors and sounds.

I feel prosperous when I allow this constant flow of universal and abundant prosperity; when I call attention to its presence in every moment; and when I allow the higher vibration to punctuate my life and add value to others.

I have no doubt that recognizing prosperity in all things and becoming aware of life’s small pleasures leads me to even bigger pleasures and more prosperity.

I also have no doubt that prosperity in terms of money follows these universal gifts. Manifestation of material wealth and financial abundance follow the giving of oneself and the creating of value, small and large. It follows a life committed to giving and receiving.

So….go love. And love some more!

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Create a “feel good” experience. Sing, smile, laugh, and do something fun. Embrace joy. And embrace joy some more!

Pay attention to the small and large blessings coming your way. Be grateful for the smiles, touches, hugs, music, and the stillness. And be grateful some more!

Create a larger space for the abundance coming your way by releasing any resistance and blocks due to grudges, fears, and negative thoughts. Forgive. And forgive some more!

Celebrate life’s infinite abundance in your life and in lives of those around you. And celebrate some more!

Giving and receiving are universal gifts of prosperity. Feel them and allow them into your life some more!!!!!!

 

Anybody Home?

My heart begins to race, and with a fleeting breath, I squeeze a smile up and out.

This is the moment, the one my mindfulness practice has whispered to me about, and I can sense the choice forming:

Do I get swept into the stream of disingenuous small talk and shallow chuckles, say something I don't mean, lean into a comment that I don't actually agree with

OR

do I take a breath, cognizant that I have a choice in my own response and experience in this moment?

What a challenging place to be. This is all about being brave and aware of choice. It's raw and gritty (and sometimes a little funky). It might be just a flash of time - the quick space in between the breath and the thought - but identifying the internal choice is the first step to honoring your greatest self. In that flash of time you must rally your courage.

I'm learning when my words and actions come from my deep, wise place of inner-knowing, they feel powerful and true. They have meaningful weight, and by saying "yes" to this self-honoring practice, I am able to say "no" to the things that I don't really want to be a part of, like disingenuous small talk.

Recently, in one of these hot and tight moments, I decided to take 5 and reflect. I'm a lover of words, rhythm, and visual representations. I wrote and created a poem to remind me of this sacred space within my body. It is a place that no matter where I am or what I am doing, I can call "home." And the happy news is, it's within each of us, always. Coming home - to this place in myself - has been the key to courageously choosing to be authentically me in challenging moments.

Feel free to download and take with you on your journey. -rachel

Are you at War?

I tiptoe through the house shortly after 4 am. I put on the teakettle, straighten the kitchen a bit, start the dishwasher. Remembering last night and falling sound asleep on the couch then making my way quickly into bed, I consider the disregard for a tidy kitchen upon awakening. Sometimes you let go. The body tells you to. I take my tea into my meditation space and sit. Such gratitude floods me as I realize I can sit today without the pulling fatigue of my body, without the deep desire to just lay down. Enjoying the next half hour, I simply am aware of the difference of feeling a sense of wellness within. Prayers of thankfulness arise.

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Work calls me forth. Three days of letting it go, being mostly still and resting. Taking care of my body with regret and inner resistance. I see it more clearly now and I am sad.

I walk to the kitchen and refill the mug. I step onto the deck and feel the lingering warmth of the night, before the cold front comes in later. The early rain begins, light drops fall and I lift my face to the sky to feel them, to welcome the renewing water that falls toward me. Tears spring forth, and I want to forgive myself.

  • I forgive myself for becoming impatient and judgey as soon as I feel unwell.
  • I forgive myself for wanting antibiotics so that I can feel better in a snap and get on with my work and feelings of productivity.
  • I forgive myself for still having an inner critic that wants me to be well, all day every day.
  • I forgive myself for not appreciating all that my body does for me, every day – I breathe, I release, I walk and talk, I hug and write, I sleep and eat, the opportunity to feel love.
  • I forgive myself for feeling such disappointment at losing days of accomplishing effort toward my goals.
  • I forgive myself for not readily allowing the need my body has right now to restore its balance, to regain an alignment, perhaps growing in ways I cannot understand.
  • I forgive myself for still working with these old patterns that work hard at holding on and not allowing a more consistent peace within.

The war is over. Peace descends and I am grateful. This is the practice of learning how to end a war from within. Peace is a practice, often of deep forgiving.

What are you at war with inside? I’d love to hear your challenges. I hope you are inspired to forgive today. What needs forgiving?

Want an Aha Moment?

Who doesn't love a great aha moment? When I have one, I think of it as a rearranging of my inner architecture, a way to open inside to new insights, opportunities and positive change.  I had ah aha recently while training with my coach. A vulnerable area in my life and within my being is my voice. I have always been horrified at the thought of being the center of attention. Inwardly I shrink when all eyes are on me and I can get flustered and nervous. Depending on how rampant the energy is running through me, hiding seems like a great idea. People are often surprised when I reveal this because apparently many just see my calm, cool and collected exterior and think I am all confidence and comfort. Not so much.

At Rachael Jayne and Datta Groover's Awaken Your Impact conference we were doing shadow work. We were all instructed to think of a quality that others exhibit that we physically react to, and not in a good way. The kind of experience when we can become judgmental or resistant to the truth of the experience. Immediately I thought of being around people who just talk about themselves and exhibit no interest in those around them. It's especially irritating when they go on and on and it seems as though it wouldn't matter if you were standing there or someone else was occupying your space.

The next instruction was to consider how this shadow piece held a gift for us in the way we want to grow or develop our business. Speaking on stage and inspiring others has been a long-buried dream that I recently have allowed myself to own. As I consider this dream and the way I want to impact others positively and deeply, I realize I must become comfortable with getting up and talking about myself and being able to sustain that activity in an authentic, take-charge kind of way. I must embody that shadow quality that so irritates me in others.

Sure I will want to connect with who is in front of me. Yes, I will care that they are interested in what I have to say. But some people in the audience may receive me just as I am receiving others when I feel frustrated or offended by their behavior. They may look at me and say, "who does she think she is standing there and talking about herself?" And I need to get okay with this if I am going to speaking to groups and serve in this way.

I think about the inspirational speakers who have dramatically touched my life. They did so because they abandoned their inner critic for the moment. They let go and openly expressed the great feelings and thoughts they had. This inspired me to change and grow and claim more of me!

authenticpowerradiatesIt's time for me to step up and step out of my comfort zone. To grow into the next version of me who wants to help others claim their gifts and use them to make this world more loving, more harmonious, more uplifting for everyone.

Going after a life-changing aha may mean looking at what you most resist - the last thing you might want to do. Enjoy an aha moment right now ... take a few minutes to ask yourself - what is the quality in others that really bothers me? How might this hold a gift for me? I'd love to hear your aha's :)

Here is a video of the man who first ignited my interest in becoming a speaker - enjoy! His name is Leo Buscaglia: as I listen to him today I realize he touched me because what he speaks also comes from my heart.

 

Are you dating yourself yet? - A Return to Love

When I was newly separated and living without a significant other, I spent time alone when my children were spending time with their dad. In retrospect, I was dating myself. I would wonder - what do I want to do tonight, or all day - that would be fun, fulfilling, nourishing? At the beginning it was a little strange. Coming from a family of five children, being alone at home never happened. This was new territory.

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During these dating years, I discovered that I love to spend time on my own. I am happy puttering around my house. Light cleaning and clearing, along with a little redecorating using what is already in my home, can be some of the most "fun" of my month. Cutting fresh flowers or greens and placing them in my work and sitting spaces makes me smile and nurtures me each time I gaze at the arrangement. I love reading, sitting outside and watching the clouds, listening to the birds. I love creatively writing. I love browsing in stores that have arranged their merchandise beautifully. I surround myself with beauty because it raises my joy level daily. Returning to love creates more joy.

As I discovered aspects of what I love, I returned to love, to a special experience of self-love that exists within myself, for myself. I found a place within that endlessly pleases and delights self by always being ready to explore - what will make me happy and nourish me right now? This discovery led me to live my passion and purpose, it allowed me to own my inner truth and open to desires of my heart, then get to the business of fulfilling those longings. The return to love is a romance with blossoms always blooming!

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I find that as I grow, many of the same activities still nourish me, and I explore more of me with new activities. Lately I think about watercoloring often. I know it's calling to me and it's time to make space in my life to play with color and paper. Because I have returned to love, I will be watercoloring soon!

One of the books I read very early on in my process of recovering self-love was "A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson. I highly recommend it!

Do you know what you love? Have you dated yourself? A return to love, self-love, will transform and uplift your life. Being in love with yourself magnetizes you to more love and others to you. No time to date? Make time. Falling in love this way lasts forever. You will always be in relationship with you, why not make it the love of your life?

"Grow or Go" - Laurel's "Fight or Flight" System

Your fight or flight instinct keeps you safe. It's one of the inherent inner mechanisms of human intelligence. It works like this. If you perceive you are in danger, either fight or flee the situation to survive. It' a basic inner mechanism to promote life. Living in America and growing up in a nonviolent household, I didn't much need my fight or flight. Unfortunately though, it still kicked in. As a child when I wasn't getting the attention I needed or wanted, I often made myself and my needs invisible (took flight so to speak) so that I didn't feel like I was contributing any further stress or burden to our home. That instinct can still kick in today given the right set of circumstance.

Knowing your versions and patterns of how fight or flight shows up for you begins the change process. These patterns can do you disservice as well as to those we live in relationship with if you are not aware of them. Fighting and fleeing keeps unhealthy patterns entrenched, perpetuating more unhappiness and stress.This is where my more evolved system comes in!

When I am in a situation where I am repeating any behavior that I don't feel good about, I now call on my more evolved fight or flight mechanism - I call it my "grow or go" system. With this self-created system, I call myself to rise to the occasion and determine  how I need to grow in the current situation in my life.

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Whatever stress is occurring, I consider the stress to be for my benefit rather than for my demise. I see it as my need to grow in ways I have not yet stretched and evolved, or to consciously and gracefully move along my path and leave the situation - to go. If I am not contributing positively, then my presence is not needed. It's a choice I hold myself accountable to on a daily basis. When I don't live up to contributing positively or moving on, I feel disappointed in me.

So how would you institute they "grow or go" system in your life? Try these steps.

1. Decide you will see stress as an indicator of growth and opportunity rather than a problem.

2. Ask yourself what behavior or attitude you are contributing that keeps the stress or tension a part of the circumstances.

3. Take a time out and determine how you want the situation to be, what changes you want.

4. Contribute in a new way, in line with what you want and your values.

5. Move on from the situation when you believe you have contributed all that you can in a positive way.

This system helps you improve your skills in beginnings and endings. It allows you to own your truth and your wants. It teaches you how to be responsible of your life and how you are contributing to the world around you. It promotes growth instead of stagnancy.

The next time you sense yourself in "fight or flight", see if you can institute the new "grow or go" system and alleviate the chronic stress patterns in your life.

 

 

False Dichotomy by Pixie Hamilton

I hope you enjoy this writing as much as I do. It's written by Pixie Hamilton, a dedicated practitioner of meditation. She sent it along to some friends (including me) and I asked if she was willing to share it more publicly. She said she'd love to help :) I think it is a beautiful guided meditation piece that allows you to open to the energy of your chakras. There are two separate parts within each of us if we let them be. It’s our choice. It is our free will, every second of every minute, of every day to choose the Divine as we move through our daily routines and throw the humanness to the side.

Bringing each segment of our day into this divine space allows access to the infinite universal wisdom, love, intelligence, truth, life, and spirit. In this space, we have all the answers. In this space, we are calm, protected, creative, happy, confident, loving, grateful, authentic, true to ourselves, intuitive, wise, and one with our Source.

Why not bring our highway adventures, work phone calls, trips to the doctor, appointments, meetings, social gatherings, meals, bath times, yard work, finances, health, wellbeing, relationships…into this space?

When we do, the separation disappears. The dichotomy between Divine reality and human illusion disappears. Everything happens at the perfect time. The right people arrive at the right time and say the right things. There is divine unfolding of events that bring out the greatest expression of who we really are, in every moment. We reach our “soul” (sole) purpose as divine spirits, fully experiencing the contrasts of this earthly experience…all of which are good and all of which move us towards growing, evolving, expanding, and experiencing and expressing the God within.

Each morning I awake and bless my physical being and the divine energy in each cell. But even more, I focus on specific energy centers because I can feel them, sense them, relate to them. Each “center” has a divinity that I love – each center also has human ego that I throw aside. Yes, each center could show dichotomy….if we choose. Erasing the dichotomy in each center helps to erase the age-old resistance, the patterns of beliefs built up over the years that don’t allow us to experience the Divine.

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I take you with me….. I focus on Center 1, at the base of the spine. I breathe, deeply. I feel the spiraling red energy, swirling, expanding, as I allow and receive its calmness, protection, security, and grounding through the divine source. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that protection and security comes through bank accounts, job security, a big house, networks, and stature. I feel the Divine cover of protection, knowing that all is well. My lower back feels alive, full, grounded. And, I am grateful. I move up to my splenic area, the womb. I breathe, deeply. I feel the spiraling orange energy, swirling, expanding, as I allow and receive happiness, creativity, passion, and sensuality through my divine source. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that happiness comes from the outside, through material possessions, romance, and relationships. I feel the happiness within, despite circumstances. I know that happiness is inside/out, and I know that all is well. My splenic area is alive, full, vibrating. And, I am grateful. I move up to my Solar Plexis. I breathe, deeply. I feel the spiraling yellow energy, swirling, expanding, as I allow and receive confidence, discipline, courage, enthusiasm and a surrendering to the will of my Divine Source. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that success comes from work, work, work, struggle, competition, and a feeling that “there is limited abundance for all.” I feel worthy, collaboration, and success, knowing that the right people are in my life at the right time and I am doing exactly what I need to be doing right now. I reach my goals effortlessly. My mid-section is alive, full, vibrating. And, I am grateful. I move up to my heart. I breathe, deeply. I breathe, again, deeply. I bask in the spiraling, warm green energy, swirling, expanding, as I allow and receive unconditional love, gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that love is for only a few. I see Divine love in everyone. My heart is limitless, swollen. And, yes, I am grateful. I move up to my throat. I breathe, deeply. I feel the spiraling, blue energy, swirling, expanding, as I feel authenticity and a knowing that I can be who I truly am, freely expressing the Source within me. I speak my Truth, without reservation. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that I have to “fit in” and say what people want me to say, think what they think I should think, do what is expected. My throat is open, clear, alive, vibrating, allowing. I am grateful. I move up to my third eye. I breathe, deeply. I feel the spiraling indigo energy, swirling, expanding, as I am filled with intuition, wisdom, and Truth. I am tuned into the words of my Source. I am listening. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that I must study, educate, read, and analyze life around me. I have all the answers within. My brow is open, alive, vibrating. I am grateful. Ah, yes, my crown, the Source of spirit. I feel the spiraling violet energy, swirling, expanding, as I am filled with the Oneness of life. I leave behind my earthly beliefs that I am separate from my God. I am infinite in possibility. I am at peace. And, I am grateful. We are given free will to recognize that dichotomy is false. We are Spirit. We are One. Every second, of every minute, of every day. And all is well.

You Can Reinvent Your Life

Do you wake up in the morning excited and eager for the day ahead? If not, maybe you're ready for a reinvention or re-imagination of your life. I've reinvented my life a few times and look forward to at least a couple more rounds as I move through the next decades. Reinvention first requires a re-imagination of the possibility of life. I had a fabulous revelation last month when I seriously contemplated the word "imagination"and it's use. What I realized was that the word "imagination" is like a short version of the expression "in my magic nation". What we do with our minds is amazing! First we imagine what life can be, and then we bring the experience into manifested form through us.

The mind is a magic nation of creative action. It's the land where you are the ruler and participant(s) of the inner world of thought and feeling. You are actually creating all the time, often in an unconscious manner. When you awaken to the power of your mind and heart, you become aware that you can intentionally manifest what you desire through using your imagination, your thoughts and your actions.

Reinvention can awaken new passions, allow new aspects of your personality to develop and bring a juicy new energy into your every day experience. If you are disappointed in life, in how you are engaging in life, maybe its time for a re-imagination - reinvention. Your mind and heart can lead you to amazing new places as you open and allow the energy of desire to work its magic in your life.

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If disappointment and faulty expectations are leading your life, time for a reinvention! If you live in the Richmond area, join me this Thursday, July 24th, as I co-lead a workshop entitled "Reinventing Your Life". Meet me at 6:30 at the Goochland Public Library and we'll open the doors for you to explore some new frontier.