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All You Need is Love, Sweet Love-Kindness Challenge Week 1

KindnessWeek1 SelfloveMy Week 1 Kindness Challenge of Self-love had a theme song. Lionel Richie and his Commodores have randomly and quietly been singing lines of Sweet Love to me over and over and over. I inwardly smile each time this mellow song finds its way into my head. It was comforting, supportive guidance. Let me acquaint you with a few lines from this week’s theme song:

 

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh Sweet love (Sweet love, well)

I know you’re searchin’

I know you’re searchin’ for a little love

The Commodores were correct, I was searching. Searching for my definition of self-love by starting with questions.   What is self-love?   What actions are self-loving?   When am I feeling self-love but don’t embrace it?   What is the difference between self-loving and self-centered?   When I am self-loving what does my life look like and feel like?   Does my life improve if I live from and with self-love?  Or does my life not improve but instead naturally align to my spiritual truth?

These questions revealed my truth of self-love. During the week, I experienced self-love as a healing balm, guiding wisdom, and a bunch of good feelings! Each morning, I gently reminded myself to feel self-love. I took a moment to imagine an inner emotional landscape being bathed in self-love.  Of course, it felt enjoyable, but it was so much more than that.

It created a world where unhealed emotions, like depression, fear, and hurt came to soothe themselves. The wounds and traumas that birthed these feelings felt safe, loved, and cared for enough to heal. They were called to the self-loving energy and instinctively opened to heal naturally.

This healing experience had the human sensation of the welcoming effects of the first warm summer-like day. When you feel pulled by the sunlight and warm air to drink it all in by taking a walk or sitting outside. It’s a feeling of refreshment, peace, and relaxation. This is how my unhealed feelings felt in the presence of self-love.

I need to go further with this…my repressed parts, or at least some of them, awakened. I felt unnamed hurts that were always carried with me, loosen up and bathe themselves in the presence of self-love.

My energy of self-love wasn’t only healing the suffering it was guiding me toward activities that were self-loving instead of activities that were distracting or mere habits. When I allowed my attention to follow this feeling of self-love it was like it was waving flags to focus my attention toward the self-loving choice. Each choice was an island and self-love confidently, happily, and purposefully waved her flag, next to the most self-loving choice.

I followed self-loves accurate lead. I needed relaxation and soothing by watching Blue Bloods. This family police drama allows me to spend time with a tight-knit family that supports, connects, and cares for each other. Their struggle and insistence on doing what is good heals and acknowledges a part of me.

Thru this relaxing moment with Blue Bloods, I sensed a very young child part that was ready for healing. This young conscientious part must accomplish grown up tasks that she isn’t developmentally equipped to comprehend. Being a pleaser, she insecurely attempts them while searching the adult faces for validation. The adults don’t fill her needs. This innocent moment in time sets the stage for a lifelong unconscious feeling. An unhealthy sensation of anchoring her little feet and stretching herself to live life years ahead of her emotional development. This adult pleasing part always feels emotionally unbalanced and insecure.

This week the young, stretched thin, insecure part of me was raised to consciousness and acknowledged. The energy of self-love pumped a healing balm thru me thanks to the requests of this week’s Kindness Challenge. While this part isn’t freed from the unbalanced and insecure feelings, yet, it is enjoying being seen and out of subconscious hiding. I can only assume that self-love’s energy will fully heal it.

The Commodores, singing this soothing and healing song of Sweet Love to me this week, offered self-love’s silent healing powers a sound and vibration. I guess the Commodores share the wisdom of the human soul and the Beatles….it turns out, it’s true…All You Need is Love!

6 More, Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success

6 More...Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate SuccessIt’s time to continue celebrating my blog growth!

I hope you decide to celebrate a success as well because the honoring expands you into a higher self. At least that’s what I’m learning….

Celebrating began with my 30 Ways to Celebrate Success post, that created a foundation of guidance where I learned surprising concepts. The key concept is that celebrating success equals honoring myself. Honoring myself has a reverent energy, vital for a peaceful opening and growing into a higher version of myself. The reverent act of honoring myself is essential to experiencing growth thru a positive, life affirming energy. This positive influence is literally a light that guides me into a happier life experience.

Plus, it supports my growth in a way that is waayyyy more fun than picking at my mistakes and ruminating over what’s wrong. I for one, prefer to grow by kicking up my heels along this happier pathway.

In my post 6 out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success, I tried the author’s ideas and blogged about my illuminating experiences. For this post I did some cheering, breathing and a whole lot of nothing which delighted me. This post’s honoring activities:

Take a deep breath

Give goals a one day break

Cross it off your master list

Veg out

Cheer for yourself

Take a day off from work

Treat Yourself to a day of rest and relaxation

Let’s start with the deep breaths and cheers! Cheering and deep breathing a few times, in the privacy of my cottage, produced a pleasant surprise of a loving energy moving thru me. If this energy had an image it would be arrows pointing “THIS way”. Of course, “THIS way” is a positive experience where I dwell and reap the benefit of honoring my accomplishment. MY way is the opposite. MY way, maybe a lot like your way, has my body scrunched up, head down, intense face vigorously poking at the keyboard creating the next to do list. Moving on…as they say!

My intuition hints that my soul has teachings whilst in the realm of honoring. The soul’s teachings were revealed during the downtime activities suggested by the author. With space and time to contemplate, I grew to understand that honoring is a factor in balance and authenticity. By deeply taking stock of my accomplishments my balance shifted. I’m no longer who I was before the accomplishment rooted. This balance transforms my authenticity. My new skills and emotional growth make me different. I can do longer see myself in the same way. This quote by Patricia Spadaro spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you as well…

By honoring yourself, you are respecting, appreciating, and giving birth to your best self so you can give creatively—and abundantly—in ways that honor others.” —Patricia Spadaro in Honor Yourself

Skipping the honoring phase and doing it MY way; I would have missed living the experience of giving birth to my higher self.

Photo Credit – Fantasy Wire

6 Out of 30 Ways to Celebrate Success

fantasywire“I just feel really good about my accomplishments. I haven’t had, like, a party because a deal goes through or something like that. I don’t know. I need to develop that – I need to have something that I do when things go right.”, said Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent. I don’t know if he followed his advice but I’m gonna follow it.

In my post 30 Ways to Celebrate Success, I set the stage to honor my blog’s growth. My original plan was to skip the honoring thing and create another to do list. But then I had an intuitive flash of a glowing orange and yellow egg shape. It was nestled beneath a grey geometric structure. While my human self felt enthusiastic about creating a brand new to do list. My soul, via the image, was politely requesting that I honor this leg of the blogging journey.

Knowing my soul’s messages expand and heal me I listened to my soul’s wisdom and applied 50 Cents advice. THE Google supplied me with the article 30 Ways to Celebrate Success. And I got busy celebrating! I grouped a bunch of similar ideas to start with. I planned to:

2.Share the news with family, friends, and colleagues

7.Thank everyone who supported you

8.Tweet about it

9.Accept and Enjoy the compliments

21.Write your (my) success story to share in a newsletter to colleagues, clients

22. Write a Blog Post about it

Sharing the news with people who have supported me and thanking them, was a somewhat easy step. It felt right, after a few quick pulses of fear that said, “They don’t care, they don’t want to hear your bragging.” Taking in a deep breath, I asked myself if fear was correct. Immediately, an authentic, caring part of myself emerged to remind me that they want you to succeed, to be happy, and to enjoy yourself in this process. They would feel joyful and happy to hear about your accomplishments. They are on your side…this is how people act when they are on your side. Of course, my caring self was accurate. I was supported with congratulations and woot woots!

I must admit that, I still haven’t fully digested #9 – their compliments. I do sense that this is a necessary act in honoring. Maybe… next week…. I’ll fully digest their compliment…It’s a lot of love all at once. 😉

On to the surprising effect of writing about my success (#27 & #21). A part of myself felt ashamed to write my story of success. My shame felt fearful of being humiliated and therefor unsafe. Shame wonders…what will happen to me as I open to honoring. Truth be told, this part of me is new to the limelight. And maybe it’s just too much attention.

As I dig a little deeper, I unexpectedly realize this shy, ashamed part wonders how this change will effect her life. My shame realizes this honoring is acknowledging the new skills and growth. This shy-shame part also feels a bit sad and somewhat nostalgic. This part of me reminds me when I asked my niece what she thinks she will be like when she turns 5. She very sweetly and sadly said, “I’ll miss 4.” The sad, shame, and shy parts are tangled together as they feel the growth happening. I assure them they can let go and growing will be okay albeit; foreign and bumpy.

As my shy-ashamed-sad self adjusts by growing into accomplishment’s shine and success simultaneously another part of me feels honored. respected from being acknowledged. It feels revered. This honored part has been confidently waiting for me to arrive at this level of growth. It was always expecting me, having no doubt that I would make this stop on my journey. This reverence is so profound. I must serve it by completing #8 …Tweet About It.

And so, I did!

 

Photo credits –  FantasyWire

 

More Messages To and From the Dying

 

more messages to and from the dyingIn my last post, Messages To and From the Dying, it appeared my mother was receiving tutoring from the other side in preparation for her death.

One day as she gathered her energy to shuffle around the common room, she stood still, stared at me hard and said, “I just need to let go”. Letting go was not how my mother lived. She favored holding on tightly to grudges, pushing though problems, suffering stoically thru pleasant or unpleasant events, and generally living with and creating discomfort. I giggled when she declared this plan and said, “Yes Mom, you can.”. I assumed she was handing out a clue about her death preparations.

In Final Gifts-understanding the special awareness, needs and communications of the dying, Chapter Six, Preparing for Travel or Change, the book speaks about how dying people know they are dying, even if they weren’t told by a physician.” They attempt to share this information by using symbolic language to indicate preparation for a journey or change soon to happen.”

The book spoke about how people delay death because they have something to heal, express, or accomplish before they can pass. When I asked my mother if she felt like she had unfinished business to complete before she died, she said she needed to take care of her younger sister. Her younger sister was 75 years old. I explained that her sister was an adult, meaning she had been taking care of herself for years. I told her about her younger sister’s job, her children, and her home. My mother was understandably confused but didn’t seem frustrated or agitated, a common experience for people with dementia. Given that she was preparing for a journey she had never taken before, thought she had a younger sister to care for, and had dementia she seemed comfortable with our conversation. Her demeanor was of a person who had a to do list to finish. She spoke candidly of her preparation needs.

Final Gifts suggests you help the dying complete their necessary tasks, so I called my aunt and asked her to speak to my mother. I wasn’t sure my mother would understand what was happening, she no longer knew what a phone was and certainly didn’t have a clue what a cell phone was. I could hear my aunt’s voice through the phone although my mother didn’t respond. I have no idea what my aunt said to her sister. My mother seemed calmer after listening to her sister but I’ll never really know how the call impacted her. We never spoke about my aunt again.

When my mother was living her final hours, my aunt, her younger sister, came to visit. My aunt was the last person my mother spent time with before she died. After all of my mother’s careful preparation, I can only assume she felt she had taken care of her younger sister before my mother left her body.

Messages From and To the Dying

get in lineMy mother’s dementia was progressing. She was acting different. Saying she could see the children lining up, she could see her mother. She would point to where they were standing, lining up, or hanging out. With dementia, her sentence structure was jumbled but when she spoke about the children and her mother she had complete clarity of mind and speech. I sensed that she was preparing for death. I don’t know how I knew. I guessed that the comments that were said calmly and clearly seemed to come from a different part of her.

While speaking to a friend about these experiences, she told me to read Final Gifts. Final Gifts, written by Hospice Workers, Maggie Callanan and Patricia Kelley, noticed when people where close to death they went thru a process. The authors wrote the book to help friends and families of the dying to understand the process and interpret the messages of the dying.

I would love to tell you that I ran out and bought Final Gifts upon the recommendation, but I didn’t. Weeks went by, until I finally called the library to locate the book. With spirit and luck on my side, it arrived the day before a large snowstorm which allowed me to curl up and read for an extended period. I quickly learned that my hunch was correct about my mother making plans for her next journey.

Let’s start with Chapter One. The first chapter, “It’s Time to Get in Line”, are almost the exact words my mother said when startled out of a nap. I was sitting next to her in a common room at the nursing home, while she and another man napped. Without a sound present, they simultaneously woke up with wide eyed expressions. The man was unable to speak but my mother explained, “She needed to get in line.” She wasn’t alarmed. Her speech was crystal clear. Callanan and Patricia say this is a common signal that death is near. It gives the dying and the friends and family of the dying an opportunity to heal, have overdue and much needed conversations, share loving and meaningful stories, and make plans and create instructions for the living. What a gift to understand this message and act upon it.

Another day, while having a repetitive conversation like one does with a dementia patient, my mother suddenly became quiet and stared into the distance. With complete clarity she said, “There is my mother.” while pointing toward what I can only assume was my grandmother, my mother’s mother. I couldn’t see anyone or anything but by the curious and clear look in my mother’s eye she saw her mother. In Chapter Seven, Being in the Presence of Someone Not Alive, the authors delicately and clearly speak about how the dying will see people who have passed on. It’s believed that the dying person is interacting with passed family members, friends, pets, or angels, or even spiritual leaders. During these interactions the dying person is calm, happy even. That was true of my mother’s experience. Besides speaking of seeing her mother often and pointing her out to me, she would mention the children who were lining up. She smiled when she saw them. I wished I could have seen what she was witnessing.

 

Mystical Cottage

mysticalcottageSeven years ago, she, my highest self, was at it again, dropping bread crumbs. Reflecting on these spiritual bread crumbs, always leads me back to my truest self and her eternal guidance.

I was somewhere doing something and ended up reconnecting with my cousin, Sarah. In the moment, I was told by my highest self to nurture and enjoy this reconnection. She told me by sending a calm and clear sensation thru my body coupled with a knowing within my mind. This experience felt truthful and grounding but honestly, I couldn’t comprehend what had happened but I knew maintaining the relationship would reap a delightful reward.

I convinced myself the reward would be work related but that never manifested. What did manifest was a small, charming, delightful waterfront cottage where I enjoyed friends, naps, and sunsets wrapped in a pace of life that only living in nature provides.

And, of course, the cottage belonged to Sarah which became available a few months after our reconnection.

All I can say is follow your highest self, she is leading you to gifts!  Where is she leading you? What does she do to connect to you?

 

So Insecure

so-insecureSo, I have a feeling, an internal and external sensation, really. It is subtle, bordering on imperceptible. It feels like a quiet, calm moving energy both inside me and outside of me. I’ve learned that this is my spirit, my highest self. But I’m unsure what, she, is telling me. Plus, I don’t know if I want to use time and access patience to figure her out!

She, my highest self, appears as I peruse the Boden Catalog. Boden, is an English company, selling colorful, sporty, clothing. She, wants me to learn something about myself or my life from this catalog. I’m coming to understand this because of the sensation I’m feeling as I turn the pages. I don’t have any idea what her point is but I’m willing to try.

The story of deciphering her message goes like this………I’ve always loved the Boden catalog. It’s fun to see vintage patterns on casual and feminine clothing. This time the catalog was trying to tell me something. Maybe she is nudging me to take a trip to London or to buy new clothing that I don’t need or honestly, want right now. No, it’s not that! I know this because I don’t experience that sensation of clarity. The “ahha” feeling that is a crystal clear signal from her, my spirit, that I GOT the message.

In reluctant pursuit of the “ahha” feeling, I hold onto my catalog. Usually I peruse; pretend I have Boden Bucks, imaginary dollars that allow me to buy everything I want, and then move the catalog to the recycle bin, after spending my endless supply of Boden bucks. But this time, I carry the catalog around because it is “poking” at me.

I perservere. While I’m looking closely at the photographs, she, releases a positive knowing. This validation inspires me and provides the hint that the message will be fully revealed by detailed study of the pictures. I get an idea that learning Boden’s philosophy and who the Boden woman is will lead me to the message. But, guess what, I didn’t learn anything. So, with my Boden Bucks spent, my frustration mounting,  the message unknown, I tossed the catalog in the recycle bin!

To release frustration, I follow the need to turn on my computer and start typing. Then it happens, the understanding that was frozen within me gives way…and I get it! She, is leading me to the secure, easy energy the photographer captured.  Feeling liberated and pleased, I know I have received the intended message. “Ahha.” Simultaneously, I know she is highlighting my insecure foundation. So here is the lesson – awareness of your insecure self must be healed in order to live with a secure and easy energy.

My insecure self, fears my easy, secure spirit. My insecure self is anxious, confused, looking in so many places for information, answers. She makes plans, turns ideas and information over in her mind. Constantly putting the pieces together and then rearranging those very same pieces. She tries to answer all the possible questions, anticipate every move of the players and the outside circumstances. Feverishly rearranging the pieces, trying to make a creation that produces peace, calm, and understanding thereby feeling secure. My insecure self can never get to security through these processes. The constant thinking, planning, evaluating, rearranging and reengaging creates the insecurity. Constantly working from outside information or outsider information.

But Ms. Secure, my highest self, has insider information. She knowingly leans over and reaches into a magical bag or purse or maybe even a doctors bag and pulls out what she needs. She is strong, moves with ease. There isn’t multiple steps and careful pondering and rearranging to gain the  knowledge needed in a situation. There is an internal quiet and understanding that dipping inward provides the message. The message is given on a small piece of paper with a quiet mind, a deliberate bow from a reverent posture. It only requires reading it, believing it and acting on it. Again and again.