What I did to create transformation in my life

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Many years ago, it was so dark in my inner world. I was sad. I felt helpless, and I wasn't even sure I could tell you why.

The darkness had been there for so long. The sadness a constant companion - a friend...

How did I step into the light? How did that inner mess change? What were the keys to my transformations?

Was I afraid of that darkness? I wasn't. I had lived with it for so long that it truly was a companion of sorts. In fact, I probably didn't know how dark it was because I had no light to compare it to back then.

But it was painful and I was tired of the pain. 

What did I do that created transformation? 

  • I let in some light. I talked to someone(s) about my inner world who could shed light. I gathered with others who also were struggling with emotional pain and we shared our stories. Telling your truth is so healing.
  • I took responsibility for exactly where I was, blaming no one and yet knowing there were reasons I was feeling that pain. Again and again and again, I looked in the mirror - and continue to - to see what thoughts, beliefs, patterns and habits were supporting my darkness. I did the work of actively changing what no longer served me in my mind and in my heart.
  • I accepted the world around me as it is, and then got to the business of fulfilling my potential to effect change when and where I can. Fulfilling one's potential goes on endlessly. As long as I walk this path of spirituality, personal development, and conscious awakening, the deeper the layers of growing into my potential. It is both exciting and sometimes frightening. 

As Marianne Williamson says, "it is our light, not our darkness that frightens us."

Why frightening?

When I reached a point in my inner development that I knew, I had only come close to scratching the surface of what I came here to do, it was a "WAIT a minute!" moment.

And it will be for you too my friend.

Listening to your inner calling to become, to discover, to experience all that your heart desires... that's courageous. Because you will be called to do what is hard, what can be heart-wrenching, and what pushes you to the limits of your self-love and acceptance - so that you can expand into more.

Wanting more in life is a good thing. It's a game-changer when you heed the call.

More is limitless... it is infinite. Part of you is too.

Your call to more will lead you into that aspect of you that is infinite, that wants to fully express. It won't happen without taking risks, a fall or two (or more), and without calling on your courage - again and again. 

You and I can become more light

light of heart
light in energy
light in voice
light in creativity
light... always more light.


I've learned that I can deeply influence the light and the dark within me through my choices everyday. 

The world needs your light!

Are you listening to the call? Are you feeling like you want to step up but don't know where to begin?

Begin with you. Come home to your inner life. Connect with your precious inner power. You have light to share, love to give and more to experience. You do not need answers or direction or a plan. 

First come home to your authentic nature. The rest will follow.

Self-forgiveness

When we hold judgment, criticism and shame for our past transgressions or "failures" we set ourselves up to come from an "I don't deserve this" place. Here are 7 steps to self-forgiveness. Get out your journal and get to it, to open the doors and create the life you deeply desire. 

 

1.     Allow the transgression (I like this word because it tends to be less “judgy” feeling to me, but feel free to use whatever word works for you) to be fully considered. Take time to write about it in it’s entirety. Tell the whole story with only the facts included. (Hint - it will sound like a police report.) 

2.     Now take time to explore all the feelings, complications and implications that you are struggling with regarding the situation. This is a time to let go of the facts and take inventory of how this experience has impacted you, limited your life, and caused judgments andcriticisms about yourself, others, and even the world.

3.     Ask yourself - what do I need to do or say to let this remain in the past? Is there an apology you need to make? Is there a letter you need to write a conversation you need to have?  Amends that you want to extend? Now do it.

4.     Be clear on what you learned about yourself, life, and humanity through this experience. State that clearly and make a decision that you have grown beyond the past experience, and have changed.

5.     Begin the process of letting go. Send yourself love and compassion for what happened, agreeing that you learned something valuable and that your soul has grown. Do this repeatedly anytime it comes up within or around you.

6.     Hold yourself accountable to living from this more evolved and wise place by embodying and living your wisdom in whatever way you feel is right for you.

7.     Share your truth with a trusted other in complete safety. Be sure to choose wisely so this step doesn’t send you back and continues to move you forward.

Share your comments, questions or confusion in the comments below! I'm here to support your journey into self-forgiveness.

Practicing acceptance and making way for self-love

Have you ever learned something about yourself that felt soul-shifting?

And once you learned that thing it cleared the way for so much goodness? Welp, that happened to me this past month - hard and fast.

I’ve been focusing on practicing acceptance in the Live Your Inner Power (LYIP) program and wow has it created some huge shifts. Accepting in this sense is all about acknowledging where you’re at...

In life
In work
In relationships
In your body
What’s past
What’s present
All of it

...and accepting it for what it is without resisting or trying to change it. When you’re able to take a step back and become a witness to your life it’s totally groundbreaking.

My goal for this program is to shed my fear of judgement and I’m already well on my way after learning this practice. As I was learning and working my way through the journaling questions for this practice it became clear that I’ve been judging myself all along - it hit me like a freight train. For doing too much, for not doing enough, not being productive enough, wanting to do this or that differently, wishing for more of this, wanting more of that.

As women we are always judging ourselves, our bodies, our friends, our lives, every little facet of it and when I was able to step back and see that my fear of judgement came from how I’ve been talking to and treating myself...whoa, that was big.

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After I uncovered this, I was able to consciously try to move past it towards what I truly desire which is more authenticity and vulnerability, allowing myself to be seen in all my beauty and imperfections by others. Whenever I felt myself resisting or assessing how things were in a good or bad way I would stop and simply accept them as the reality of what’s happening in my life. That’s all. No judging, no resisting, just being.

I found that after I started doing this I had more energy and more clarity about my direction and how I wanted to spend my time. I’m able to arrive in each moment more fully and see the abundance that I already experience in my life with the knowledge that I created that. I’m able to love myself even more now because I’m not resisting or judging anything that happens but instead recognizing right where I’m at and how amazing that truly is.

Setbacks are Learning Opportunities by Pixie Hamilton

My friends and work colleagues say I have an uncanny ability to concentrate.

So, I sit and wonder what that really means?

In the past I would have linked that to self-discipline and self control.  

Today, I link concentration to bringing myself to a common center and putting my attention, intention and emotion to what I want and who I am becoming in this world. My concentration is more linked to a higher power or guidance system, rather than self-discipline.

Just for an hour…this next hour I determine what I want to think about. I hold onto it, letting my mind and heart concentrate from my core, moving along my path of higher consciousness.

I relax my body because this is now only a mental and emotional exercise, which quickly becomes part of my soul.

I am in a state of harmony.

I vow NOT to walk downstairs and practice any type of fear, self-doubt, anger, gossip, or disappointment today…because I know that then, I will introduce disharmony into my state of being. My subconscious mind will become confused and my day will take on an increasingly muddled state.

My desire is that my prayers, thoughts, words, and deeds reinforce one another because the effect in my day will be glorious and powerful. Where they are not in accord, they will cancel out, leaving me where I started, or even worse off.

I start to lose it a little. I instantly sense frustration because I didn’t (can’t) hold onto the harmonious state I achieved in that hour of concentration, meditation and prayer.

It’s ok. I am human. I am reminded that spiritual growth is not a steady upward line. I accept that I will not have a path of unbroken progress in the attainment of happiness and fulfillment every day. It’s ok to move steadily for awhile and then have a setback.

I stop beating myself up. I forgive myself and know that I will learn from the setback. I realize that my setbacks are not important as long as the general movement and desire for fulfillment of my life purpose is forward.

 

“Keep on, keepin’ on” comes into my head. I smile. The Divine is always leading me in the most perfect of ways.

An Unexpected Path to Self-Love through Relationship by Pixie Hamilton

I love Laurel's blog entry about Surrendering to Difficult Relationships.

 

But in reality, what is missing for me in this blog is the “reality.”

That reality, for me, is that the answers to these very important steps can only arise from a state of spiritual maturity, growth, and self-love. 

Authentic handling of these steps requires a space of clarity and openness; a willingness to be vulnerable; and, most important, a space in which you first love yourself, without the affirmation of those around you and outside the boundaries and expectations of our social world.

I lived this reality.

My marriage was in tatters in 1996. For the next seven years I tried everything – anti-depressants, counseling, self-help books, church(es), more counseling, alcohol, and obsessive working and career climbing. Thoughts of suicide became more and more common. 

I now know that I fought for this most intimate relationship in the most absurd way – first, without any self-love and self-worth, and second, in the company of others, allowing their influence to take precedence. Social norms and pressures prevailed, keeping the marriage vows and knot tied for more than 20 years.

Finally, I could not take the relationship any more. I garnered enough courage to somehow edge out my fears. I left. Broken. Shamed.  I left feeling like a failure. Socially, I felt unacceptable.

No doubt, I left my marriage in fear and resistance. I didn’t surrender to the relationship out of love.

I couldn’t.

I had to first connect to me - my spiritual core to love myself. I had to tap into the universal love, abundance, intelligence, and peace that were in me all along before I could love someone else, authentically.  Only in that space could I ever surrender to a difficult relationship like my marriage.

Over the last decade, through gratitude, meditation, prayer, friends, and mentors, I returned to love. It’s in that space that I can authentically develop, maintain, surrender, and, yes, leave relationships (if my true self leads me that way).

I realize now that my soul won. I left that relationship to save myself.

In 1996, these "relationship steps" most likely would have annoyed me. I wouldn’t have understood their essence.

Today, in my space of self-love, the power of those steps is amazingly alive and resonating.  In fact, in a space of self love, surrendering to relationships in this way becomes a natural way of handling life.


I now view all relationships as gifts—opportunities to surrender to myself, others, my core, offering more views of forgiveness, boundary setting, self-realization, acceptance, awareness, and life.

I also see relationships as dynamic. They can’t be possessed or bounded by a time frame (and certainly to a "death do we part" perspective). I accept that each will change. I depend on my true self to guide me on their shape. I now know that it’s ok to let them be or go, and if that means leaving a marriage or changing a relationship with a parent or child to evolve into something else, that’s ok, too. As long as the changing occurs in a space of self-love.

Many years after my divorce in 2005, I reached out to my ex-husband from my space of love (not fear or resistance) to establish a relationship at a different level. I remember it as one of my most scary, courageous, vulnerable and forgiving acts. Unfortunately, he was not receptive and that relationship never evolved.

And that's ok.

It wasn’t about him.

It was about me, and the continued growth of my soul.

The relationship was one of my greatest gifts in this world. And, I love him more for that gift every day.

How Is Life Calling You – Don’t Resist – Be Present for the Truth

Life has been calling me ~ Grandmother. Elder. Crone.

I am looking in the mirror. Yes, I see her.

Inside I am still me, a young woman who wants to explore life with others. I want intimacy, I want truth. I want to love openly and with wild abandon.

Why was I resisting grandmother-hood inside? It was a subtle, deep and unwanted feeling, this resistance. It was there, I didn’t resist it or ignore. But I also was uncomfortable with it.

I discovered why. Suddenly. Without struggle, without being in the story of my life. It came as a quick ah-ha as I sat at the edge of the bay with my adoring husband sipping a glass of wine on my birthday.

I was resisting the experience because I was afraid of it. I was afraid of less free time. I was afraid of losing the ground I gained in my work life this past year. I was afraid of being ME. The Mother who loves babies and bonding, who wants to be there for her loved ones. Who will sacrifice herself for the child that needs her.

And now another one? Oh right, I am not this baby’s mother. But maybe my daughter will need me :)

How am I going to fit this new experience, this new pull, into my bulging life of goodness? Oh poor me. I know - you feel so bad.

But this is the truth of life. Life comes and we need to respond. How will I respond?

I will respond gracefully I hope. Now that she is here, she and my daughter are well, and life is flowing onward. I am returning to my centered self. It will all work out. I do trust life.

Fear visits in transitions, when we don’t know, can’t predict, when we have to learn and grow. It’s just life.

Be present for your truth today. Is there something you are resisting, something that feels uncomfortable, something that is really fear but is showing up with a different emotional face?

How will you respond to your uncertainty, your call to grow today? I’d love to hear what your being is working with and where you want to go with it. Post a comment below and let’s allow resistance and fear in to the light where we can transform them. 

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.

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surrender to love
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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 :)

Sick and tired of rescuing others? Maybe you can help by stopping that...

Stop right there! Do you want to rescue the people around you from discomfort and stress? Read this first! cropped-examine.jpg

Discomfort can be a way the body registers stress and the need to grow and change. It can signal the need to act differently. It can be the call to change or connect with the changes going on around us. It can be a plea to listen and pay attention more carefully. It can herald new beginnings.

As a mother, a woman, a friend and a daughter, the most difficult times for me to let discomfort be a servant, is when my discomfort is signaling a loved one's discomfort. My immediate reaction is to help, to make it better, to make the pain go away for them. I have learned to no longer react to this instant inner response.

My path to changing this pattern and creating a new way of interacting first took hold when I practiced the agreement "No Advice Giving" at our women's center. No advice giving embodies the belief that each of us holds our own best wisdom and advice internally, that we are brilliant - inherently smart enough to know what we need. We simply need a space to connect to that inner wise one. We can learn to provide that space for others. It's a different way of supporting that releases the knee jerk reaction of rescuing.

Being a sacred space holder for another is a high act of service and wisdom. It requires doing your own work so you can get out of another's way of growing well. It requires adopting new beliefs about what really helps others when they are stressed and in need. It means you become skillful at sitting with discomfort yourself and wondering about it before instantly making it go away or distracting yourself from it. All this helps you return to the childlike curiosity of a fresh mind. It's quite liberating when you experience "being a sacred space holder".

The next time you have the urge to rescue another, take a breath. Notice the urge. Don't act on it. Begin to wonder, what does this person want? How might their discomfort serve them if I can hold space for them and encourage them to explore their discomfort more deeply? What in me needs support or growth so that I no longer "need" to rescue?

If this posting speaks to your heart, take a look at my newly released book, Courageous Woman, Live Your Inner Power. The book is a full dive into new ways of considering how to connect with yourself and the world around you, a way to grow your capacity to be fully present to life, live powerfully and feel good!

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How can your Ego help You? by Pixie Hamilton

I have always thought of the Ego in a somewhat negative light. I saw it separate and as the part of me that “steals” from my Divinity and my “truth.” I have been taught in church (including the New Thought church I currently attend) that my Ego is bad – that it Edges God Out, so to speak. Over the past 15 years I have looked at my Ego through “black and white” eyes; my Ego was the “Fear” in my life, whereas my Divine Source was the “Love.” My Ego was “evil,” and the Divine Source in me was “good.” My latest breakthrough, or “AHA” moment, was that I have been giving Ego a really bad rap. I need my Ego. I especially need my Ego as defined by Webster and other dictionaries: “Ego is the mediator in the material world around me; it is that part of me that is thinking, feeling, and willing; it is that part of me that experiences and reacts to the outside world and mediates the demands of the social and physical environment; it is that part of me that controls my thoughts and behavior; that part of me that facilitates me with the external world and reality.”

What if my Ego was also my mediator between me and my Divinity?

What if my Ego wasn’t all bad? What if my Ego was my friend and my ally?

For 15 years, I essentially (and unknowingly) gave it up for Divinity. Sounds strange, but I gave up my Ego to save my soul.

So, at 57 years old I began to ask what does my Ego look like? What does its voice sound like? Is it manic? Sinister? Kind? Smart? What would it (essentially me?) look like if it were illuminated?

I threw my “black and white” glasses down and began to look at myself with clearer eyes, new clarity and awareness. I stared and stared at the mirror. Literally. I looked hard and wondered who it was. Blankly the image stared back. I stared harder, and longer, and more longingly to embrace a new view of this person. It wasn’t long that I realized a lot about my Ego. Sure, it can be negative. I see why it gets a bad rap. The Ego gives me the urge to inflate, to assert, dominate, interrupt, compare, manipulate, insult, lack curiosity...I could go on. But, after observing “me” with this new clarity, I see that my Ego—my thoughts, my mediation of the world around me—is also very kind, caring, energetic, playful, smart, inquisitive, listening, persistent, hard-working…and, yes, I could go on.

Why would I give that up? Why not embrace and own that part of me and my personality and my behavior? Why not simply become more aware of when my Ego runs amok and those times that my Ego behaves out of alignment with my Source? Why not just sit with a feeling of simplicity and the grace of being myself in those times? Why not watch and “simply be?” I can choose that deliberately– after all, the Ego is my thoughts and mind. If I want to, I can refuse, for example, to make that phone call and gossip. Or refuse to denigrate myself. I can just let it go. My Ego is my vehicle to choose, thoughtfully and deliberately.

LivingConciously

I now realize that avoiding my Ego; hating my Ego; pushing back my Ego; creating that separation over these last years has not allowed me to fully accept “me.” In fact, I am now convinced that it is only up to the last few weeks that I truly accepted and embraced the full ME!

I look again in the mirror, fully without hesitation or questioning. I see the Divine and the Ego. I see the good they can do together. I haven’t fully learned how to tap into “me” yet – my full Ego – but I am now willing to accept and own who I am. I acknowledge the potential raw power. I know that I am unique. I know that I am exceptional. I know that both my Ego and my Divinity are necessary for my wholeness. I need my Ego—my personality, self-image, my projection, my thoughts, my behavior, and my gifts—to express my Divinity, the highest expression of who I am.

Getting to know the Divine and all its universal power, love, abundance, and grace over the last 15 years has saved me. But now I step further into enlightenment. I realize I was only halfway there.

Today and every day forward, I now fully accept my Ego (me) as my critical tool to shine. It is there for realizing that everything that happens is for the expression of the Divine coming through me. What a wonderful thought to think that my Divine Source is using my Ego to serve its (my) glorification. How wonderful to think that when my Ego is in alignment, it is my trusted ally with which I can move forward in this material world – completely, fully, and with Divine love and grace.

Are you practicing acceptance?

Acceptance is an art ~ a craft that you get really good at with practice. The life shifts that occur when you become an artist in the practice of acceptance are often unexpected, but always welcome. You will stop judging.

You will move toward self-love, exactly where you are in need.

You will let go of trying to control the world around you.

You will be a peace generator.

You will discover new perceptions without effort.

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What do you need to practice acceptance with? Anything that causes a disturbance within you. It's the foundation of all positive change. It's the first step in building just what you want. I'd love to hear what you will commit to practicing acceptance with.

In my book, Courageous Woman, Live Your Inner Power, I describe the Inner Power Wheel. This wheel is a medicine wheel of eight practices that allow you to master your inner life and manifest the conditions you want to experience. 

Acceptance is one of these foundational practices. The wisdom of acceptance is a transformational energy that is difficult to describe and must be experienced.

When we accept the truth of the present moment, and surrender to it's information, we bring both outer and inner conditions into our field of perception. We acknowledge the fullness of the multiple dynamics of the present moment. Sometimes these are conflicting and complex, requiring some time to understand. Acceptance must not be rushed.

In order to gain the wisdom and insight you need to navigate your life optimally, acceptance of all conditions is a must. Answers emerge, paths open and dynamics shift as you accept fully. I'd love to hear how life shifts as you embody the wisdom of acceptance.

Sending you love and gratitude,

Laurel