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 :)

Surrendering to a Difficult Relationship and Finding Comfort

We mistakenly believe that relationships that are difficult are not worthy of our attention or time.

Or worse, we obsess over what to do but do nothing but think it over, and over and over. 

And at some point leaving a relationship may be the wisest decision. But leaving prematurely means you might miss an opportunity to really grow and gain essential wisdom. 

My suggestion is first to surrender to the difficult relationship. Because it let's you know what you really want, and own it.

So how do you know what to do about a difficult relationship? Surrendering can be taken in steps ~

1. Identify why you began the relationship. Be clear and precise about what you were seeking in it.

2. Assess what you want from it now. Be clear and be precise.

3. Ask for what you want. Be clear in your communication. If you are clear in yourself, you will be clear in your communication. If you are not clear in yourself, go back to step 2. 

4. Get an answer from the "other" about whether they are willing or interested to have and give, what it is you want to receive and offer, in this relay-tionship. Remember it's about both of you, it's about a back and forth. The dynamics change when BOTH people want change.

5. When the relationship is causing difficult feelings to come up for you, take time to know what the feelings are and what your expectations behind the feelings are.

6. Do your shadow work! When you are bothered by a quality in someone, ask yourself "how does this quality live in me?"

7. Trust your heart to move through the process honestly and authentically. Without authenticity you suffer and others do too.

What you want matters. If you don't claim it forthrightly, it often goes underground and makes life messy. It's courageous to own what you want.

What stops you from saying what you want in a relationship? Share that right here  and we can support you to grow in any difficult relationship you are experiencing.

Choosing to be Silent and Listen by Pixie Hamilton

One of my best friends, who is also an educator, told me that she used to say to her 5th graders,

“Be silent and listen! They have the same letters!!”

I laughed at the time, in large part, because I had a vivid vision of my spontaneous, impulsive, engaging, and contagiously funny friend trying to get the attention of twenty restless 11-year olds.

My laughter quickly turned into another “AHA” moment as I began remembering key turning points in my life after sitting in silence and listening to the voice of my heart, not the noise of the world.

In 1996 I boarded a plane to return home from a business trip in Colorado Springs. I was exhausted and drained from the week and thinking about the tough management and financial decisions in front of me when I got home. Chaotic, intense, and very noisy thoughts filled my head, throwing me into an overwhelming vortex that was spiraling out of control. In the midst of those swirling work-related thoughts I remembered that I had talked to my 6-year old son the night before but couldn’t remember the stories he shared about his day. I was too distracted to listen, or sadly, to care. It wasn’t the first time. The tears came.

“When you take time for stillness amidst the chaos you transcend the world of “doing” that can easily engulf you and diminish your connection to your true self.”

~ Panache Desai

We prepared for takeoff. All electronic devices were turned off. The flight attendant had finished her spiel. I closed my eyes, shut off the world, and got silent.

To this day I can’t put a timeframe around what happened next, but at some point in my air-borne silence I heard a whisper, “What are you doing?”

Sounds simple enough, but it wasn’t. The question was a sincere, soulful, strong and inescapable ground trothing from my heart.

I couldn’t articulate it then, but I now know that my heart was seeking affirmation of my truest desire. At that time I didn’t fully appreciate the significance but now realize that my desires set my intentions which become my will and my deeds… and in so….become my destiny.  Wow!

My world became clear in the silence. I momentarily escaped the chaos I had been living for nearly 2½ years.

In that moment of clarity, I changed my destiny.

I deplaned and walked to the baggage claim in Richmond, Virginia at 9 o’clock on a Friday night with a lighter, less burdened step. I found the nearest phone booth (which sounds very strange as I write this in 2015) and called the lead of my agency. I had told no one – not even my family - but without any hesitation I told him I needed to step away from my management position. He asked me what I was going to do. I didn’t know.  We agreed to talk the following Monday.

I had no backup plan. But, I didn’t care because I left all attachments to outcomes, expectations, and fear in the clouds. Crazy huh, especially because I was the breadwinner of the family!

So, maybe it was a little crazy to let my feelings and heart serve as my inner GPS, rather than my head and “shoulds.”

I did it because the moment was real fullness and somehow I felt unlimited in opportunity.

I felt inspired.

Unstoppable.

And, I intuitively knew that doors would open easily when I followed my heart’s strong calling.

I close with a happy ending. Doors DID open. I received a phone call the next Monday from a high-level official who became one of my greatest supervisors, teachers, and mentors. His opening statement on the call was “I feel like I just took a walk and stumbled on a $100 bill.” He offered the most perfect work opportunity. We worked together for the next 14 years with common purpose and joy.

More importantly, I was more present when listening to the stories of my young (and now grown up) son!

In fact, I am now more “present” in life. That incident and many afterwards have taught me to seek stillness every day, as much as I can. I listen for the calls that question my desires and excite my spirit. I take advantage of the energy, ideas, and solutions that come easily in the stillness. I feel grateful. I feel awakened to the thrill of being alive, to trust the unknown, and to not press for an outcome.

In the stillness, my heart knows the answer. I let it lead the way in creating a life of my deepest desires, knowing that those desires are always supported by Universal love, intelligence, wisdom, and truth every step of the way.

All I have to do is be silent and listen – it only takes six letters!

Thank you for allowing me to share my story. My hope is that you also keep asking “What do I want?” and let your heart lead the way to your desires and destiny.

Choosing to be Courageous by Pixie Hamilton

Courage is a mysterious thing. What I know to be true about courage is that it is deep within. It is always available. A pulse or an urging from my soul to make a change never happens without an unlimited reservoir of courage.

Yet, sometimes I listen to my soulful urgings. Sometimes I resist.

What courage I displayed at 17! I remember listening to my inner impulse when I was 17 years old. My gym teacher (wow, that term sounds so old) drove me 4 hours to Penn State University to meet the field hockey and lacrosse coach. They “wined and dined” me (whatever that really means for a 17-year old). We ate in a special campus dining room with white table cloths. They showed me the special athlete dorm and workout room to which I would have access. I was offered a full 4-year athletic scholarship.

Unknowingly courageous, I followed my “truth”; I knew I was going to turn it down.

    

 

 

I didn’t know why, but my feelings were strong. Perhaps I didn’t want to be viewed solely as a jock. Perhaps I didn’t want to be treated differently from other coeds. I still don’t know to this day.


On the ride home I told my teacher I wasn’t going.

She told me I was ridiculous and how stupid and inconsiderate of me not to seize the opportunity.

“My family had no money. My mother was single, supporting four kids on a minimum salary. I was lucky,” she said.

I had no response. She didn’t speak to me the rest of the trip.

I postponed college for a year, spending it in Sweden as an exchange student. The same gym teacher told me that I would never play field hockey or lacrosse again at the Division 1 level because my skills would wane. People would forget about me. New players would appear the next year.

In Sweden I received a letter from William and Mary with a really great offer. I played Division 1 field hockey and lacrosse for the next four years (which were, by the way, some of the best four years of my life).

The really “fun” part of this story is that we beat the number one rated Penn State and went to Nationals multiple times.

The “courageous” part of this story is that I listened and somehow followed a deep “knowing” without resistance. I was courageous without effort. Unknowingly, I had faith in “me” and my Source, even though I didn’t have a clue about how it would turn out. I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect outcome.

Fast forward 30 years. I was literally suffocating in my marriage and tolerating behavior that was against everything I stood for. Even though I felt the same deep “knowing” that I experienced at the age of 17, I didn’t listen. I was too scared. I was uncertain of the future for my kids and being alone. I convincingly and masterfully accumulated reason after reason and excuse after excuse not to leave.

Finally, after 8 years of resisting and living an inauthentic life, the largest branch of my soul went from bending to broken. I left my marriage.

My reservoir of inner courage finally won over my fears. Courage was always there for me to forgive and walk away from an unworkable relationship. Courage was fighting for me to be myself.

I didn’t consciously choose it, but courage ended up saving my soul.

I realize now that accessing this deep reservoir of courage can be a conscious choice. So now I choose to listen to soulful urgings and choose courage. It doesn’t mean that the choice is easy or made in the absence of fear. Fear is ALWAYS there. However, I choose to move forward in spite of fear; in spite of the unknown; in spite of going against conventional wisdom; and in spite of maybe walking the path alone.

When the fear comes (and it always does), I acknowledge it. I fully feel it. I experience it. I even give it a name.

And then, with enough time, I allow my deeper “knowing” to help me pull up my “faith and heart” bootstraps and move ahead in spite of the fear.

I watch my stage fright fade away as I actively play in my next role, embracing the next step of my unique destiny, albeit unknown, with a lighter step.


“Come to the edge,“ he said.
“We can't. We're afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.
Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918, French Poet, Philosopher

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.

Ready for A New Story? by Pixie Hamilton

We all have “our stories.” We walk through life, emotionally and mentally responding to what happened today, yesterday, and every day in our past. Our stories are so seemingly unique, personal, intense, defining, and all-encompassing.

Some of us are alcoholics. Some are recovering. Some don’t drink.

Some feel overweight. Some feel absolutely fabulous.

Some of us are gay. Some of us are heterosexual. Some of us may not know.

Some have been abused or raped; some feel unloved; while some have known nothing but glorious harmonious relationships.

Some of us are white, some are of color.

I could go on.

Are we really that different?

Not really. Our “stories” and earthly experiences today, in the past, and what’s to come, simply do not define “who we really are.”

What does matter is that we each are woven into this sacred and wonderful fabric of life, love, and Oneness.

Our stories may not allow us to feel very good, worthy, or loved, but we ARE loved, unconditionally because a divine, pure, and unadulterated love resides in a sacred space deep within each of us.

Imagine that. We all have a part of us – a sacred space - that is untouched and unscathed by any hurt, wound, or rejection…a loving space that is totally separate from our earthly experience or “story.”

tuneoutnoiseI go into that space.

I breathe…deeply. I release my breath.

I inhale again. And release.

My breath is all that matters.

With my breaths I release my story. I release my fears, my anger, my hurt, and all mental and emotional noise and chatter that invades this space.

With each breath, I have no ego. I choose my divine self instead.

I am now deep in that space where I feel free, at ease, surrounded and comforted by warm light. I am not alone. I am strong. I am protected. I am creative. I am happy. And, I am at peace because I know that I am loved.

My mind is blank. My story fades. It’s gone.

Silence and stillness surround me. The feeling is magnificent. I remember now, and recognize “who I really am.”

I remember – yes, I remember - that I am, first and foremost, a divine spark of absolute Goodness and that love is available to me every moment of every day.

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.

JustBeing

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

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!

Love_LimitlessResource

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!!!!!!

 

Welcome to our New Contributors

As the founder of Focusing Inward, I am so proud to be headlining new voices. Big welcome to Rachel Camfield and Pixie Hamilton! Pixie Hamilton's post last week, Feeling the Ease was a fantastic list of affirmations and an exquisite reflection on being fully home in Self. Pixie is not new to Focusing Inward, she has shared her writing before. Pixie inspires us with her post meditation flow. I am so happy her words are here to support us in our journey inward.

This week Rachel Camfield debuted with her first posting entitled "Anybody Home?". Rachel has a unique, beautiful and fun way of expressing herself. Her growing ability to be still with herself and get into her flow are fully expressed in her writing. Her gems of truth are embedded throughout her fresh voice.

Pixie and Rachel will be featured regularly as time goes on. Both of these women give great voice to the beauty and riches that one experiences through focusing inward. I hope they inspire you to look within, to make a commitment to your Self and grow the joy that life offers. You can read more about them our Our Contributing Writers page.

Both of this month's posting reveal the truth that you can find comfort, guidance and your security by engaging a strong connection with your inner world. You are your most beautiful home and your best guide. Please join us in this wisdom.

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