You Create Wholeness (in a World that can feel Broken)

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

Helen Keller

Where is the place within you that feels disempowered, vulnerable, weak or simply - "not yourself"? This is the place within you that can become your goldmine of living well. Each of us is the transformational agent that causes movement from scattered, broken, misunderstood, or hurt to - wholeness - where we choose to act on love, generosity, beauty, harmony and grace. You and I, and every other individual, are these agents of transformation. The question is, are you acting on that power from within today?

As a Life Coach and spiritual teacher, I consider it my responsibility to deepen my understanding of how we collectively move towards the high attributes that we all inwardly seek. I know through my profession that love, generosity, beauty, harmony, grace, respect and kindness are at the heart of what each of one of us deeply desires. Sure, we might want a new Porsche, a big house, or fancy clothes too. But these pale in comparison to the deeper cravings that each one of us holds in the depths of our hearts. I know this from working with folks who have flashy cars, homes and clothes, and yet they sit in silent misery because love, kindness, harmony and grace all seem like lofty ideas that hold no place in their lives in the moment. That can change.

Life changes for anyone who takes their precious attention and turns it towards, and in service to, embodying what their heart craves. We are here to embody - to bring into form - those gorgeous attributes! What do love, beauty, harmony, grace, kindness and generosity look like, feel like, seem like to You? There is your answer, and also the world's answer to the very same dilemmas and stresses. You are here to embody your inner vision, to bring it to life and to experience incredible and immense joy in the process of doing so. As we all are, collectively.

Are you ready and willing to use your power within to be one of the agents of change, creating the world you deeply crave? If so, I hope you will find the support you need to come forth. I am here to help.

4 Habits for Getting Unstuck - Are you using your power today? Have you watched any Marie TV? If not, check out this one. Marie is edgy, but spot on in her advice - and she is fun! Here are 4 helpful habits that will shift your inner energy that has become stagnant and caused that stuck feeling! Stagnant energy manifests in disease. You don't have to be stuck where you are, you just have to learn how to become aware of your power to create what you want.

The Path of Change and Self-Trust by Dawn Holland

After a very short time of living in Virginia I have chosen to return to Maine, to begin a new relationship with my ex-husband and to go back to my work at my office in Franklin County Hypnosis. This may seem a quite rapid turn of events. I made some drastic changes in my life over the last year and then moved to Virginia thinking I would be starting over in a new state. Instead, I realize that I have learned what I need and am deciding to return to the place and person I love. Yes - to go back - even though it feels like forward movement. I am a changed woman, stronger and more independent than ever before. This recent “journey” has been about inner changes, a journey I take alone. Although I realize that my change not only affects myself, but also touches the lives of others in many and varied ways.

change imageSome people might find my stay brief. Therefore, the ability to create true change in a short period of time may appear questionable, especially in order to learn such powerful lessons. But I believe that change can happen in an instant. After all I am an expert in the field of rapid change and I have been doing inner change work for more than 20 years! Why wouldn’t it be possible for me to focus deeply on my experience and gain clarity about what comes next, at whatever point that happens to occur? I offer these thoughts to you as a consideration for hope. You too can make desired changes in your life with focus, intention and commitment.

My work of self-change in regard to creating new patterns of response, instead of using my old ways of behaving, didn’t begin on May 13th of 2013 when my move to Virginia took place. The identifying and replacing of unhealthy response patterns started the moment I was honest with myself in acknowledging those patterns were ruling my life. As I brought full awareness to these unwanted behavior responses I could then work on changing them. For me this required a number of courses of action.

The most dramatic was divorce and moving away from my home. In doing this I had the space I needed to be alone with my self/Self and use all my tools of change to face the old patterns, and replace them with new behaviors. I used breathing, meditation, journaling, tapping, prayer, self-hypnosis and talk therapy. I left no stone unturned. It was a committed 24/7 job. Why? Because I wanted to change. I wanted to be self-sufficient and love the woman I truly am inside. Yet somehow that woman had become deeply buried along the path of my life journey. I wanted to find her, free her - and I did!

I truly believe that there is no one particular “thing” that creates or “fixes” what was and now what is. For me it took self-faith and self-trust to move forward through the pain and loneliness of my change-work and in some ways also in my decision to now go “home.” Only I could face my fears from all angles, sit with them - or even walk with them, until they no longer had power over me. This has been my experience of the last 3 months.

I wish I could tell you that I discovered a magic wand or some sort of magic phrase that can be used as we all heal and move forward in our lives. The best I have to offer is this, “Be true to yourself in spite of the well-meaning advice of others.” If you do choose to trust others’ offered feedback, choose carefully and wisely. I say this because deep within you is a Wise Self who knows how to help you gain clarity and understanding. Sometimes we reach for that part of us with the help of others, sometimes it is found alone.

Now begins the work of walking my talk and living my “new life.” I am prepared for the old habits and patterns to come knocking on my door as I return to Maine. I have awareness and self-respect to greet them. I know how to sit quietly, walk thoughtfully, and wait them out. There was a day when they may have served a helpful purpose in my life. But that day has come and gone. Now I am free. I plan on enjoying my newfound ability to soar like a bird to new adventures and destinies. And best of all I am filled with happiness and peace because I found me.

An invitation from Dawn: As I read over my writing, I reflect on the sharing of my journey with you. In this recent blog contribution I have done my best to share a summation of what has occurred since the last time you heard from me. As you have just read, there has been a lot of change! I welcome your questions and wonderings as possibilities for future writing. Feel welcome to put them in the comments section (be as brief as possible please) and I will consider them, or try to briefly address/answer them. I have enjoyed sharing my life experiences (as well as the tools of my practice) and look forward to more writing contributions.

Starting Over Later In Life

It's perfect timing whenever we are starting over in life! I often hear from people that they think it is too late to meet the love of their life, to create a new business, or to find a new path with meaning and purpose. Not so! My grandmother married the love of her life at 75, showing me that we are never too old to have our dreams fulfilled. It is only too late if you have given up on the possibility of fulfilling your life dream or purpose. But life has never given up on you. If you have the courage and the willingness to take a risk - anything is possible when it comes to feeling a heart of love and joy. Join me as I spend time with two courageous women who are embarking on new life adventures. They share the inner work it took to get to the place of saying Yes to life!

Loss, Grieving and Letting Go by Dawn Holland

My last Focusing Inward writing was about starting over in my new life. The purpose of that writing was to share my experience of moving forward using the skills and techniques I have developed and acquired over the years. These vital skills support my transition from where I was before my transition, into a new way of living. This lifestyle is so very different and a major life adjustment. I am ready to share another important aspect of moving forward. There is a deep experience of loss and grief as I let go of the past, embrace the present and plan for the future.

Many people think of grieving as something that is done when there is a death of an individual, especially someone who matters in our lives. That certainly is one of the times we grieve. But the aching feeling of loss that I am now experiencing has to do with a different kind of death or loss.

kahil g quote

For almost 20 years I had a dream, a belief of what my life was and would be. It was something that seemed (at the time) unshakeable. My husband was my best friend, my mentor and the love of my life. Whenever I imagined how my life would move forward, the one constant was that we would be together, that we would solve every problem and grow our lives as a couple. Now that dream, that belief, is shattered and I am experiencing a deep and profound sense of grief. There are so many aspects to this feeling of loss that I can’t even fully understand it. There is the realization that he will no longer be by my side or a part of my future. There is the loss of a business we shared and loved. There was the sacrifice, on my part, of a home and friends I adored, in a place that soothed my soul. My reality was built around the life I used to live and the person I shared my life with.

Now all of that is over.

Now I am in a whole new world with new people. No matter how loving and supportive they are, and believe me they are wonderful, they cannot erase the loss I am going through, they cannot take away my pain; they cannot heal me overnight as I wish they could. This is a process that must unfold, as it will.

Yes, I am using all my self-soothing and self-care practices which do help. And at the same time it is only with the passage of the hours of the day and the days of the weeks and months to come that I can fully engage in this new life, while kindly, gently let go of my old life. Frequently the patterns of response I have to my new life situations are what I used for the way I once lived my life. They don’t always work now! That leaves me feeling lost and confused at times. It is a very emotional period in my life and I must respect myself as a multitude of feelings and emotions rise up inside me.

I am blessed to be in situations, most of the time, where I can allow the tears and sadness to be released freely. There are also times when I want to shut down because I simply don’t want to feel, at all. I need a break. And thankfully there are times when I feel fine and can move through the hours with a light heart. It is a roller coaster that I cannot predict. When will I rise up with joy and excitement? When will I dip with sadness and pain? Treating myself with patience, kindness and love are the best remedy. Sometimes it is hard to remember to do that because I am used to being there for others, not being there for me!

It is time to change. I must change my old patterns if I want to move on in a happy and healthy way.

I wish I knew how long this grieving will take. I wish I could clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t and I can’t. But what I do have is self faith that at some point in any moment I will find myself at peace and know that I am reaching my new normal, that new balance that is already out there waiting for me.

Are you ready to feel strong and live fully?

Who doesn't want to feel strong and fulfilled? What keeps us from feeling this way? When clients come to me it is because they know that things can be better - they just don't know how to get there. Together we navigate the places within that often trip you up in the course of living and keep you in patterns you don't want. Often it is emotional content that unconsciously drives you into the experiences you don't like or want. Anyone can learn what to do with emotional content that is frightening to address. Gaining skills that allow you to become free of old patterns and habits feels so good!

Let's consider 3 examples of how to grow towards what you deeply want.

1. Fear, anger, and disappointment are three emotional experiences that most of us were not taught well how to navigate. Each one of these energies is a valuable teacher for discovering the life that leads to great fulfillment. I teach you how to tolerate the emotional energy, recognize it as energy to work with. Together we identify and understand the story you are stuck in around this energy that keeps you frozen in "time" and "space" and powerless to move forward in the ways in which your heart and soul truly wants. With time, you move beyond the stuck story and begin a new story of fulfillment.

2. Feeling strong involves the ability to experience the truth of what you are feeling, and know you are more than the stories attached to the feelings. I help you connect with the aspects of yourself that recognize you are more than feelings and stories. Because of conditioning, you may need a guide to help you move through this process in an effective way to connect with your dormant inner strengths.

3. Living wisely entails awareness of emotional energies, learning from them, releasing the energy, and then using your balanced mind to take action. Intense emotion interrupts balanced thinking and productive action. Emotional intelligence involves recognizing emotion for what it is, fuel that can drive your life in directions you love and feel passionate about. Emotional intelligence can be learned and grown through conscious living and practicing the specific skills involved with putting emotional energy to good use.

My successes come when clients share the positive changes that emerge as they test out the new behaviors that they are learning and practicing. Through these new behaviors, they feel powerful and effective in their day-to-day lives. Everyone has the potential to feel this way - it is simply a matter of addressing where you are stuck and how you have been conditioned to stay there. You don't have to stay there.

Are you ready to feel strong and live fully? If so, be on the look out for fear, anger and disappointment. These can be three keys to unlock ways how you may be sabotaging yourself. With a shift in response to these emotions, having what you want becomes second nature.

Stop Following

Most of us are moving through our days on automatic pilot, not really giving thought or consideration to the fact that we are creating our daily experience. We have been conditioned by the culture to behave and shape our lives in specific ways that are not necessarily fulfilling or joyful. Unfortunately, we don't always know what else to do, so we just keep on following along with some "program" that's been delivered to us along our journey into adulthood. Today's video challenges you to seek the places where you are following along with a program that doesn't really fit with your heart and soul's desire. By finding those places of discomfort and conflict, you begin your path out of an uninspired life and into a life of passion, excitement and joy.

Confusion as a Useful Path

In the early years of my healing path I enjoyed time with a proficient teacher who shared sage advice from his teacher. In its essence the message is - "Oh confusion - now you are getting somewhere!"IMG_0501 To a person who is feeling confusion, this line can be experienced as a koan. A koan is a brief thought which one poses to the mind that seems not to make any sense. But if the line is held in the forefront of one's mind long enough, it becomes a guiding truth, and a deeper understanding is reached.

I invite anyone who is feeling confused to work with this line. "Oh confusion - now I am getting somewhere." Because when we are certain about life, rigidly holding onto a particular perception of the world, of a relationship, of self, or any other perception, we are headed for a fall. Rigidity equates to death. Certainty that excludes any other possibilities is rigidity. Rigidity feels uncomfortable. Being around people who are rigid in thought (any thoughts) is uncomfortable, especially when we are attuned energetically. Most of us are attuned energetically, but there is a disconnect between energetics and consciousness, thus we feel confused, often dismissing the feelings because we are unable to make sense of the experience.

When I am working with clients and they share a sense of confusion about where they are on their healing path, I exclaim - Great! This outburst is often met with resistance or more confusion. As I explain that confusion is a useful path, that it is a sign of deeper wondering and a search for a new understanding and truth, there is relief.

How do you work with confusion - how do you make good use of the experience? Here are some ideas -

* Relax into confusion by practicing getting comfortable with the experience. (Oh this is confusion - hmmm...)

* Ask yourself lots of questions.

* Become aware of all that you are feeling.

* Watch thoughts as they arise.

* Notice ways you might be attempting to find a rigid answer for the confusion, but resist attaching to one.

* If you are feeling deeply troubled by your confusion, work with a life coach or therapist for a time to help sort through the experience and explore your inner life at a ripe time.

* Let the confusion help you release old out-dated beliefs, fears and old hurts and angers.

* Stay in the state for a time and welcome the opportunity to "not know". In the not-knowing, you join the ranks of seekers, who throughout history have been looking for the deeper truths of life that stand the test of time.

Confusion is an extremely useful path to enlightenment and awakening. It simple takes courage to allow it to open you.

Count the Ways You Love Yourself - "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within"

Loving yourself is the core of successfully leading your life in tune with your soul and your deepest desires. And how can you know who you are without sitting still and turning inward to discover what lies beyond your ego and the endless chattering of your mind? Life can be a series of experiences in which you learn Not to Love Yourself. These experiences include - less than great and respectful parenting, the structure and focus of our school systems on academic perfection, an economic system based on ego/fear models of interactive humanity, and never learning the importance of your inner life. These four significant patterns are the bulk of what I work on undoing consistently as a Life Coach and Spiritual Teacher. Then my clients and I work on recreating the pattern of Loving Self. I say recreating because we were all born self-loving until we were taught otherwise.

Here are examples of personal experiences and ways to enlighten yourself, freeing yourself of your own detrimental conditioning

Read about my personal pattern of self-criticism when I was anything less than full of energy and ready to perform at life, and awakening to my own entrenched inner critic in one of my first blog postings entitled, My Body Is My Teacher.

Read about my mentor and friend Baeth Davis' wake-up call to make spending time communing with her Self a priority. Her cancer diagnosis is bringing her deeply within, to the truth of what her being calls her to experience in this lifetime.

Every client that I work with walks the inner path of discovering, layer upon layer, the myriad ways that they judge themselves and often hold anger and disappointment for simply Being who they are.  A great culprit of the inner critic is the less than "cover girl body and face" pattern that causes women to loathe or attempt to control their body image. Wow, ladies, we still have work to do as a team to end this war against our bodies. Follow Dr. Christiane Northrop, a holistic medical physician who focuses on helping raise our consciousness about the seriousness of this war with self, and has been for more than thirty years. She is a wealth of knowledge and self-disclosure.

The prevalence of anxiety disorders is an epidemic in our culture! Who is not anxious about living today? Only those who learn how to be still with themselves. Count the ways the culture instills fear into our very being daily in order to create momentum in particular directions - our political system, our medical system, our economic system!!!! Yipes! What is the antidote to anxiety? Cultivating inner peace. (Cultivating inner peace workshops with Laurel are available). The other staple of my business is guiding folks into the space within that is a sanctuary of peace and ultimate bliss. Yes - right here Within YOU and ME! US! Right here. You don't have to GO anywhere. You simply have to stay still until it is a habit.

Once you can - Stay Still Until It Is A Habit - your answers will eventually emerge. The early experiences of sitting still require discipline to create the habit of moving into the role of Observer, where you watch how Your Mind creates personal misery until directed to do otherwise. The wisdom and love that reside in the deep recesses of your being - beyond the mental chatter - will help you Count the ways you love yourself. Trust me. It works every time!

The sitting in stillness habit

Join me and many others who are making this miraculous discovery that all you need, your greatest resource and wealth is already within you. The meta-physical directive that heals - "The Kingdom of Heaven is Within" - is being discovered as the path to healing by the latest generation of seekers. Come on along and enjoy the experience with us. You'll be glad you did.

What do you want?

I ask this question as a simple but powerful technique for creating what you want. It may seem simple, but not if you work with it beyond a superficial level.

If you are not ABSOLUTELY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT, do not be surprised if you are chronically feeling like you are NOT experiencing what you want.

Think about experience rather than "stuff". Your conditioning for focusing on material acquisition will get in the way of knowing, truly, what you want.

What you deeply want is connected to life experience, not having stuff.

What do you truly want?

Can you make this shift, experience instead of stuff?

Pay attention and let me know.

Are you stalled where you don't want to be?

Here is an article for flushing out how to go about seeing how you may be too focused on what you don't want and are stalled there in boredom, frustration or just stuck. Movement towards what you do want means change.

Journal about it. Dream about it. Talk about it. Create the experience with focus.