Leaning into is the Only Way Out

As long as we’re in this world, we can’t escape its hard knocks. Many problems are created by our own bad choices and negative thoughts. Some struggles are out of our control. While other life issues develop because of poor attachment to our original caretakers and as a result we don’t know how to form healthy adult relationships. A number of difficulties are a result of traumas. Some people develop a lack of trust in their ideas, talents or sexuality because others mocked or shamed them.

Working through this pain while staying connected to our humanity helps our Soul become stronger and more resilient. When we choose growth over pathology, acceptance over denial, healing over victimhood, we’re embracing our authenticity. When we honor our unique struggles verses denying we have any, we’re in touch with our Sacred Self.

Connecting to that sacredness is about leaning into the pain we feel and working through the puzzle of healing. When we avoid our inner turmoil by blaming others, self medicating or repeating old patterns that are harmful, we’re riding a whirlpool of chaos. The only way out is to confront our suffering. This way forces outside of ourselves no longer control us. Stepping out of the vortex puts us into the eye of the storm, which is where calm resides.

When we grow psychologically, we stretch — sometimes it’s messy, always uncomfortable. At times it’s downright painful. Like the twisting of gold wire to make jewelry, we’re applying pressure to achieve new form. The wire becomes stronger as it bends to hold the beautiful gemstone. It doesn’t change what it is, only manifests into something greater than its initial form.

Reclaim all that is within you.

–Cheryl Lewallen

Art-Deborah Koff-Chapin

http://7dimensionsofthesacredself.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/leaning-into-is-the-only-way-out

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Inner Peace; Finding It and Keeping It

by Karen Hood-Caddy –

There is such a pervasive sense of uncertainty and unknowing. Once upon a time, you could find out the “answer” to almost anything by going to an ‘expert’. These days however even the experts don’t seem to know what to do. Whether the issue is our financial situation, our health or our relationships, there is a great deal of differing advice about what we should do.
The good thing about not being able to get an definitive answer about what to do is that we are being forced to tune into our own inner sense of things. When we truly know what is right for us, it does not matter what others say.
But how do we find out what our own sense is? The first step to inner listening is to become calm. We can’t look into the depths of our inner pool if the surface is chopped up with waves. We need to calm the waters and then look.
Here are some ways to settle yourself down and become calm.

1. Come back to your senses.  

Notice what you’re touching, tasting, hearing, seeing and smelling right now. Most of our fears and anxieties are based on what we’re worried about happening in the future. When we tune into the present moment through our physical senses, we get a strong and immediate confirmation of how supported we actually are.  

Take one minute to do this now: Notice what your senses are sensing. Feel your lungs breathing and notice that all the air you need is there for you every minute of every day. Now notice the way the chair you’re sitting on supports you, holds you up. Allow yourself to experience how your basic survival needs are all being taken care of. Recognizing this will help you relax. Inner peace lives in this relaxed state. 

2. Belly breathe for a few minutes whenever you can.  

This will bring you into your body and help you access the peacefulness that is already within you. We often forget that Inner Peace is something that’s already inside us. Sometimes we get so caught up in paddling through the big waves on life’s surface, that we forget about the ocean on peace that dwells under the surface. 

3. Do things more slowly.  

Again, this is a small intervention, but remarkably powerful. I think it works because inner peace is inherently a slow thing and when we move more slowly, we come closer to it energetically. 

4. When faced with challenges ask yourself, “Does this really matter?”  

See if you can do this once a day. You’ll be surprised and refreshed how often the answer is “No, it doesn’t really matter.” 

5. Remember times you felt peaceful and go back to them.  

There is a beach in Greece and a few islands out on Georgian Bay where I’ve experienced deep peacefulness. When I return to them in my mind, I make my imaginings them as real in my imagination as I can. I remember the sound of the wind, imagine the smell of summer sun on rocks, feel my kayak bobbing in the waves. Just writing about this makes my shoulders relax.  

Remember, the unconscious doesn’t know the difference between an imagining and reality, so your body will respond to these remembrances. And the the more you do this, the more you will be laying down pathways in your brain, which means the easier it will get. 

6. Turn Off the News.  

Studies have shown that people who watch the news before they go to bed don’t sleep as well. Not surprising, given the doom and gloom in the news. Remember, doom and gloom sells, but you don’t have to buy it. Limit the number of times you listen to the news or read it and choose wisely the time of day you let it in. 

7. Play soothing music or nature sounds.  

This can have a strong subliminal effect. 

8. Take breaks in your day. 

Our energy tends to balance itself naturally if we let it. Get out at lunch or take your computer to a park (that’s where I’m writing this from) and let your energy recoup.

Practice these ideas and you may find yourself feeling, showing some of the following ‘symptoms’ of inner peace.

SYMPTOMS OF INNER PEACE

1. Tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.
2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
3. Loss of interest in judging yourself or anyone else.
4. Loss of interest in conflict.
5. Disinclination to worry (this is a very serious symptom).
6. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
7. Connected feelings of connectedness with others & nature.
8. Frequent attacks of smiling through the eyes of the heart
9. Increasing susceptibility to extend love to others.
10. Increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

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The Malady of Debt Denial and How to Heal It

by Jane Straus –
In my practice, I’m noticing an increase in a malady caused by fear. It is manifesting in particular ways that I’d like to alert you to… just in case you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of this malady and you haven’t yet noticed. The malady is Debt Denial.

Symptoms of Debt Denial

If you have even one symptom of debt denial, please don’t ignore it. As with most dis-eases, it is much easier to recover when it’s caught earlier rather than later. However, if this dis-ease has already progressed, it’s never too late to stop it from getting worse. So be honest as you read these symptoms:

1. Your budget is tighter than your jeans after the holidays: You gave yourself permission to spend during December but now are at the store looking at toilet paper prices. 

2. You’re hiding credit card bills from your significant other: You know you’re avoiding an inevitable fight/showdown but you can’t convince yourself to face the battle yet. 

3. You’re not opening up your bills: They’re stacked in a corner and the pile is growing daily. 

4. You can’t stop overspending: You’re trying to maintain your state of debt denial for as long as possible, convincing yourself with those “incredible” post-holiday bargains. 

5. You’re lying to yourself about what you have spent and are spending: You’re reassuring yourself by calling your purchases needs as in, “I needed a cashmere sweater anyway.” 

6. You feel ashamed, resentful or hopeless about your debt level: You are overwhelmed and feel powerless so you’re either in paralysis or ignoring how you’re feeling—or blaming someone/something.

If any of the symptoms of Debt Denial are ruining your day, year or relationships, take heart; I have at least 5 steps you can—and deserve to—take right now:

Five Steps to Healing Debt Denial

1. Look at the bigger picture. When did you really start to lose control? How? Be honest. It’s one thing if you had a huge, unexpected medical expense; it’s another if you bought a car you couldn’t really afford. Most of us don’t suddenly find ourselves in debt; it is something we create over a period of time. You can begin to fix the problem if you know the timeline of events; otherwise, you’re likely to create a “quick fix” that will backfire. 

2. Ask for help. The worst thing to do is to keep avoiding the problem, juggling credit cards, or lying. It’s no accident that the first step in AA is to admit that you need help. Without that admission, you’re still in danger of continuing your denial. Tell the truth to a friend, your partner, your therapist, a financial advisor. The saying, “We are only as sick as our secrets” is a call to shine the light in the attic of our self-deceits. 

3. Get over the twisted “I deserve what I want” logic. If you really believe you are deserving, then you know that you deserve to be less stressed about money. You’ll do what it takes to make your life more comfortable, including doing without unnecessary stuff and services. 

4. Stop striving for happiness, particularly through stuff; instead strive for meaning. Happiness will make more than an occasional appearance when your life is rich in meaning. 

5. Remember that life is like a cup of coffee. If you’re at a restaurant and the waiter comes by with two cups of coffee—one in a beautiful cup, one in a plain cup—which cup would you take? There’s no wrong answer but remember, by concentrating only on the cup, we may forget that it’s the same coffee inside. You are the coffee in life. Your value, your “net worth,” comes from how you brew yourself, not from your portfolio. So stop saying that you’ve lost X% of your net worth. 

Remember that abundance is “that which already exists within you.” You have the potential to have an abundance of love, compassion, wisdom, joy, humor, dedication, perseverance, intellect and happiness. To be a person of genuine worth, we only need to heed this bumper sticker:  “Become the person your dog thinks you are.”



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10 Steps for Transforming Negative Thoughts into Positive Beliefs

by Alex Blackwell –

We have the ability to create our own reality. For the most part, we can look at a situation and see the good or we can look at the same situation and choose to see the bad. Often times the lens we use to view what’s happening is filtered by our thoughts.

“We can always choose to perceive things differently. You can focus on what’s wrong in your life or you can focus on what’s right.” –Marianne Williamson

Positive thoughts create more positive circumstances. Alternatively, negative thoughts contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction and disappointment. Therefore, changing our negative thoughts is essential to achieve happiness and peace.
The following are the most common negative thinking behaviors. Becoming aware of these is essential to transforming negative thoughts into positive beliefs.
1. Stay away from “all-or-nothing” thinking.
When we slip into “all-or-nothing” thinking we see our circumstances as either black or white with not much in between. By shifting to someplace in the gray, a fresh perspective is created that helps us to realize more options do exist.
To lead an emotionally healthy life we need to have balanced emotions. Words like: always, never, impossible, terrible and perfect, are rigid and allow little room for interpretation or flexibility. Instead, when we live somewhere in the middle then we are in a better position to find sturdier footing which will lead to improved balance.
Look for the gray in these statements:
  • I can be an intelligent person and still do something stupid.
  • I can love my wife and still be angry with her sometimes.
  • There are parts of my life I enjoy and there are parts of my life that create stress.
  • My children bring me joy and they sometimes drive me crazy.

The most important word in each sentence is and. The word and suggests a balance; it paints a shade of gray in our lives.
2. Avoid the temptation to over generalize.
Overgeneralization is best characterized when we believe if one bad thing happens, then everything else is doomed to go poorly. Think of over generalized statements as exaggerations. For example, “You never listen to me. He always interrupts me. She always thinks she’s right. Everybody thinks I’m stupid.”
The biggest overgeneralization red flags are words likenever, always, should or everybody. Understand an over generalized statement is another form of a negative thought. Re-think your words and reconsider the circumstance. Attempt to find something positive.
For example, the over generalized statement of “You never listen to me.” Can be reframed to, “There have been times in the past when you were very attentive and I felt as though you heard me. At this moment, however, I’m experiencing you as not being interested in what I have to say.” The second statement is more truthful and less exaggerated. As a result, a more positive outcome can be expected.
3. Would you rather be right or happy?
I can be very stubborn. At times my stubbornness has cost me. It has caused me to miss the opportunity to accept an apology or consider a different point-of-view. I was more determined to be right than to be happy.
The need to be right cultivates more negative thoughts because of our unwillingness to let go of whatever the issue was in the first place. To find some peace and happiness, sometimes we just need to let it go.
4. Change your mental filter.
Persistent pessimism can develop into a habit if we are not careful. Left unattended, chronic negative thinking can begin to shape the way we see the world. The glass will always be half-empty, for example.
We can begin to change our mental filter by allowing positive thoughts to sift through it too. Try to see the good in every circumstance. A long line at the grocery store is a wonderful opportunity to chat with your partner or child; a stressful time at work will give you a better chance to realize the inner strength you possess; and the world’s current economy is a great time to get back to developing and maintaining a budget for your personal expenses.
The adage, “When God hands you lemons; make lemonade,” is the perfect reminder to be aware of the mental filter we use and the importance to transform it from a negative one to something more positive.
5. Watch your tendency for jumping to conclusions.
When confronted with what might appear to be an unwelcomed circumstance, consider taking a deep breath; a full step back, to look at the event at a more holistic level in order to get all of the information.
In my house, Mary Beth and I have an expression we use with our children: “What’s the rest of the story?” When they come home with a failing grade and begin to blame the teacher, we ask, “What’s the rest of the story?”
Often times we learn there was little effort put into studying or there was missing work that contributed to the poor grade. The point is we don’t take much at face value until we seek a better understanding of really what’s happening.
Even with more serious issues, my wife and I have find by falling back to this question provides us with a better opportunity to see the whole picture. This additional information is invaluable when it comes to how we react and respond.
By asking, “What’s the rest of the story,” we are in a better position to monitor our negative thoughts and keep them from trumping what is really going on. The clarity we gain empowers us to have a more rational and positive reaction.
6. Don’t should on yourself.
When we should on ourselves we are issuing negative judgments about our actions and behaviors.
Consider the following statements: “I should be a better parent; I should be making more money, and I should be happier.”
These should statements suggest our current status is not good enough. These thoughts are negative and prevent us from seeing what is positive. Should statements put our thoughts and attitudes in a box and constrain us from seeing other solutions. Remember, it’s a matter of balance.
We can be a good parent without having to be a perfect parent; we can provide for our families, financially, and still possess the desire to earn more; and we can be happy with all we have and continue to look for ways to bring more happiness into our lives.
7. Be aware of emotional reasoning.
Not many of us are like the character Spock from Star Trek who is consistently logical and rational no matter the circumstance. Even though we often have a rational response to a difficult event, we also have a tendency to slip into emotional reasoning when confronted with an especially challenging situation.
A good example of emotional reasoning goes something like, “I feel shame therefore I must be a bad person.” On the contrary, there are many very good people who feel shame – like all of us.
Just because we are experiencing a certain uncomfortable emotion doesn’t mean our character, our soul, has been downgraded. It just means for that moment, in that small space of time, we feel a certain way about ourselves.
When we allow ourselves to be human and give our spirit the grace and mercy it deserves, we are in a better position to reframe self-limiting thoughts and keep them from manifesting to the point they begin to define who we are.
8.Try not to take everything personally.
It may be hard to hear, but not everything is about you and not everything is about me, either. Fear, paranoia and perhaps a measure of insecurity can lead us to believe the way other people react, or the things they say, are directed to us. Sometimes people are insensitive, judgmental or just plain in a bad mood.
One of my biggest challenges is when a person makes a negative comment about one of my projects, is to keep my temptation in check and not internalize the comment. What I often hear is I’m not good or effective – not the project.
What I hear is also rooted in old, negative tapes playing my head. My task, then, is to replace these old tapes with newer, more positive ones that suggests I’m capable, well-meaning and successful regardless of what someone might say.
9. Dial back from magnifying a problem.
There is perception and then there is reality. Our negative thoughts start to churn when we confuse the two. Seeing a situation for what it really is, instead of what it feels like can help us stay grounded. Magnifying a problem only gives the problem more energy and provides the opportunity for the situation to become larger than it was ever intended to be.
My wife and I have been challenged by some of the recent decisions our younger son has made. While Andrew is a moral and well-intentioned young man, like any 17-year-old, he has been making some questionable choices. Rather than assuming our son is heading down an irreversible path, our approach has been to increase our communication with him and offer a dose of empathy and support as well as some needed direction.
The results have been productive – especially for Andrew. Mary Beth and I elected to focus on the positive aspects of our son. We addressed the problem with the intensity it deserved and did not allow our anger or fear to guide us.
Not that we do everything right with our children (trust me, we have made plenty of mistakes), but in this situation we made the conscious decision to deal with the facts and not allow our negative thoughts or emotions to get in the way.
10. Celebrate.
Celebrate the good things when they happen. Don’t simply dismiss them or minimize them.There is no question some days have a few setbacks, a couple of obstacles and sometimes pain. There are even some days when we feel as though someone has emptied our hearts of the passion and strength we need for life. So, on the days we are blessed and have positive things happen, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem, allow yourself the time to enjoy them and then be filled back up by them.

Like attracts like. Positive thoughts and happiness create more of the same.

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Attracting Abundance or Allowing Abundance?

by Wendy Betterini –
One of the hardest aspects of manifestation to master is the state of allowing.
Attracting abundance” usually refers to taking daily actions that draw more money and abundance to yourself. Things like focusing on abundance more than scarcity; visualizing; dismantling limiting beliefs, and so on – these are all examples of attracting abundance with the Law of Attraction.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that easily for everyone. That’s because some people (a lot of people, actually) chronically block the abundance that would otherwise be flowing easily to them. We call this being “resistant” to abundance, or just “blocking” abundance.For some people, this is enough. They don’t really have any big blockages where abundance is concerned, so once they change their thoughts and start focusing on abundance deliberately, it flows easily to them.

A person in this state will see almost no progress in their outer life, despite visualizing, affirming, creating vision boards, and any other actions they take to attract abundance. The actions they are taking aren’t the problem – those are all good actions to take – but they aren’t addressing the DEEPER issue; their chronic blocking or resisting the very abundance they are trying to attract.
Have you experienced this before? You spend time on all kinds of exercises that are supposed to draw more abundance into your life, but they don’t work for you. Or they may work a little bit, but not enough, or not consistently.
If so, you may want to give a little more attention to moving yourself into a state of “allowing”.

What is “Allowing Abundance”?

Allowing abundance” may sound vague and mysterious, but it’s really just the opposite of blocking or resisting abundance. A state of resistance feels tight, stressful, frustrating, irritating, desperate. A state of allowing feels relaxed, calm, open, harmonious, and joyous. It’s the difference between ease and strain.
Have you ever tried to achieve a goal that just seemed SO HARD and you struggled with it for SO LONG that you finally just gave up out of sheer exhaustion? And more often than not, shortly after you gave up, something happened spontaneously – some forward movement, a little bit of progress – that renewed your desire to complete the goal after all.
That’s a perfect example of resisting, and then allowing. You dropped the struggle, stopped trying to force it to happen, and when you relaxed, the results you wanted were able to show up. You stopped resisting them and started allowing them.
That doesn’t mean you have to “give up” on attracting abundance! You can easily learn how to move into a state of allowing without taking the drastic step of giving up on your dreams and goals.
But you DO need to start changing your relationship to money and abundance.
What IS your relationship with money like, anyway? When you think about money, how do you feel? Do you feel frustrated that you don’t have enough or pressured as you try to pay a lot of expenses with not enough income? When you see a wealthy person, do you feel a wave of resentment or disgust rise up within you?
These are signs that not all is well in the relationship you have with money. Does that surprise you? Did you think you had a good relationship with money but you just needed more of it? Ah . . . it’s quite eye-opening, isn’t it?!
If you are truly in a state of allowing, every facet of your relationship with money is great. You enjoy money, you never fear not having enough, you appreciate every bit of abundance you receive and you appreciate other people who demonstrate great abundance too.
If you aren’t yet at this stage with money, it’s okay! It’s not hard to get there but you’ll need to put forth some consistent effort.

How to Start Allowing Abundance

The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the feeling of resistance. Again, resistance feels tight, stressful, frustrating, irritating, desperate, pressured, restrictive . . . any negative feeling, really. When you notice that you feel that way regarding money, it’s a huge red flag to DO something about it!
Take a few deep breaths, focus on something about your financial situation that makes you feel good, daydream about an exciting financial scenario – but the key is to make sure you are improving your FEELINGS about money. That’s the biggest reason why visualization, affirmations and vision boards don’t work for many people; they go through the motions mentally and physically but they never change how they FEEL.
When you change how you feel, you easily slip into a state of allowing! Yes, it’s that easy. 

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It’s a Universal Redirect!

by Jackie Lapin –

Tired of making or encountering mistakes? What about hitting the wall? How about running into Murphy’s Law? You make plans and God laughs? Then there are ‘problems’, ‘challenges’, ‘issues’, ‘dead-ends’, ‘failures’, ‘disasters’, disappointments’, ‘hiccups’…  I can go on and on.
Now hear this! These obstacles are not what you think they are. Forget those old labels. What you are experiencing are ‘Universal Redirects!’
How many times have you obsessed over what went wrong, perhaps blaming others or yourself? How often do you keep trying to work through something that isn’t working? How much time have you wasted pushing a rock up a hill? How long have you hung onto problem clients or miserable relationships?
These are all symptoms that you have not yet realized that the Universe is offering you valuable information. Try something different! Change your attitude. Change your actions. Change your expectations. Change your team. Change your route. Change your job. Change your intention. Change your partner. Let go of this course of action!
Many people ignore the gentle nudges that the Universe offers until they get hit with a sledgehammer. But all along the way, they’re being redirected to new, more life-enhancing choices. Now here’s the catch: If you don’t do it, the Universe will do it for you!
I experienced this about 12 years ago when I was running my $2 million bicoastal public relations agency. It had become a burden—the fun had gone out of it. Instead of doing creative PR for my clients, I was chasing money to pay my enormous overhead. And furthermore, my heart was elsewhere, loving a hobby business that I had created selling mineral spheres. I saw the signs but just kept trying to juggle clients, vendors, and employees—with challenges everywhere. The business was imploding on itself and I couldn’t cut the cord.
Finally, three clients all went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the same month, owing me $150,000! That was a very big ouch and it was the last straw. I finally closed up the business, found another opportunity for myself immediately and ultimately relaxed into enjoying life again after finding a way to settle with my creditors. 
The Universe was redirecting me to something far more life-enhancing than that stressful meat grinder I had suffered through those last two years.
When you hit a roadblock, instead of railing against fate, ask yourself: “What is this Universal Redirect all about? 
How can I look at this objectively, step aside and think differently?” 
You’ve heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason.” Apply that to your Universal Redirects and you will begin to see that each one is a blessing in disguise. There are no mistakes, no errors, no accidents, no missteps, no faults…There are only Universal Redirects!
Use these wonderful nudges as your guide early on and you will find your life being easier and more effortless. Tune into the universal language of course correction and you will be rewarded with greater and quicker success, more peace and joy, less struggle and greater abundance.
Just remember, if it’s too hard, you’re being called for a Universal Redirect!
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Gratitude’s, Learning’s and Gifts

by Irene Martina – 

I was blessed to have a very insightful and intuitive mother who became my greatest teacher. I would like to share with you a few of her teachings and my learning’s.

1. Choose your thoughts carefully, they are your destiny.
Since the Secret has come out people have become more aware of the power of thoughts and choices but back in the 50’s when I grew up this type of wisdom was rare to get from parents.
We struggled through some hard times but my mother always told me to focus on the good things life could bring and when my sister and I did, we would see how right she was.
My philosophy to this day is that wherever I am in my life each day; it is exactly the blueprint I have created. You always have a choice about who you want to be and it starts with your thoughts so chose your thoughts carefully.

2. Be in the moment always, it’s all you really have.

I so often hear my clients tell me that they will begin to change or manifest or whatever next week or perhaps sometime tomorrow.

When I first started working with guides and discovered that they work on energy only that meant they worked on the energy I created with my thoughts, deeds and actions. It amazed me to know that they did not care if that energy was positive or negative; it was just energy and they worked with whatever it was.
It did not take long to realize that saying tomorrow, next week, and perhaps later or “I will”… did not create a great response in my present time period until I realized there are no guarantees of a “tomorrow, next week or next month” and that our power was always in the moment.
This moment is the only moment in life we are given so it has the greatest point of power we will ever have. By not living in the moment we miss the joys, the teachings, and the manifesting that each day can bring and it is truly all we are ever going to have.

3. You Are Unique – Believe in Yourself!

I remember one day I was hurt by an insult a classmate gave me about my intuitive gifts and my mother’s teachings as being those of witchcraft. I often struggled with being different or strange as so many called me.

There were always wonderful moments before or at bedtime when she would listen to my daily tribulations and smile. One day she asked me who I would like to change my life with for a day if I could do so.

 I told her I wanted to be a movie star like Elizabeth Taylor. Of course she asked me why! On and on I went about how beautiful she was, rich and famous and adored by millions.

As she often did, my mom made me close my eyes and visualize most of my life’s problems or desires. She had me visualize a day or week in Ms. Taylor’s world. I told her what I would want to do and my mom would stop me and tell me that what I was asking for was not possible as I had staff and 100’s of people that demanded time and work from her and I had a responsibility to produce for them. She made me see a side of her life that could have been one of sadness because she had no privacy. She showed me how demanding and at times unrewarding and hard her life must be to become who and she was to the world.

At the end of our game she would smile and tell me how unique I was and that every person on the planet had been given a great gift when they were born; the gift of becoming who they were meant to be. We are all unique she would say and each one of us would have our own “staring roll” in the world if we believed in our own magic; our own inner power. She made me create a vision of what I would love to be in my world and that if I chose to be a star it would be of my making and based on my capabilities, talents and unique gifts.

Sadly, I have discovered so many people that I have met in my life who have wanted to be someone else. They could never see their own talents and gifts that they were bringing into the world. They could not see or acknowledge their own power or greatness.

There is no duplicate of you so how can you fail! You came into this world already special, unique and with one of kind gifts to share with those in this world that you will come into contact with. Each of us has to find that inner power and belief in ourselves and when you do; you will become the star you are really seeking to be!

If you believe God created perfection in all things, than you must believe in you!

4. Love Yourself First.

Have you given yourself a hug today? If not, why not? Do you realize that we seldom give ourselves some kind words, a mental hug, or a pat on the back? Can you tell me if you said this gratitude today, “I am grateful for the strength of my spirit (courage, etc.) and for the wisdom of my choices?” If not, why not?

Realize that you really do come first! You cannot give what you do not have! You cannot give love if it is not in you to give. How do you love your family and friends the way they deserve to be loved if you are not loving yourself?

We are constantly giving away our power and when we need it for us; we are drained and too tired to feed our own soul’s, bodies and minds. Can you write ten things down right now that you appreciate about yourself and read it aloud? If you can great, now have you taught your family and children how do this and why it is so important.

5.The Power of Gratitude

My mother worked about five different jobs a week for years to keep us off welfare. I did my best to make the house run smooth for her and to look after my younger sister. As she usually came home exhausted, she did not have the energy to take over as the housekeeper and chief bottle washer.

It was not always easy to keep up this pace and we struggled for years to keep our heads above water. She never complained and she was so grateful to us for everything we could do. I never really saw my mom sick, unkind to anyone and she was generous to a fault.

When I was thirteen I rebelled one night. I got angry and frustrated at my sister because I could not go to a party and have some fun for a change. My sister told my mother how I had been (verbally) mean to her and why. My mother said it was time we all had a date with each other and a treat.

She took a night off and we went to the restaurant for a meal which was rare and costly to her. She told us to order desserts and that was a real treat! When we got home she told us we had to learn to have “down time” and fun, even if it was not going to parties and out of the house.

My mother told us many ways we could treat ourselves such as long baths, listening to our favorite music, talking to friends and write in a journal to share our feelings. But most importantly she asked us to promise her that we would do something for her for the rest of our lives. I have kept that promise and I want to share it with you.

Every night for many years she had us share at least five personal gratitude’s for the day. These gratitude’s had to include one for each other and for ourselves. One day when we got older she had us add something new to the gratitude’s.

When saying the gratitude’s we had to start with working our day backwards because she said our dreams would be more powerful as we cleared the energy of the day. She added another new step; after the gratitude’s we had to find our greatest lesson or gift from the day?

My mom, sister and I looked forward to the evening when we would play this game and we loved finding different gratitude’s each day. It changed our whole outlook on life and each other. When we were seventeen she added the last and most important step.

After we went to bed filled with our gratitude’s, learning’s and gifts we added a new saying in the morning. In her words it was simply this:

“When your feet hit the floor in the morning, simply say, “God whose life will I touch today?”

From that point on, she would ask us if we first touched our own life that day because we cannot touch a life with love unless we love ourselves first. She taught us how to hug ourselves and how important it was to do it often.

Asking to touch someone’s life each day brings more gratitude into your life than you can ever imagine. When your hearts fills with love for others you know it is because you have discovered how to really love yourself. Our gratitude’s were even easier to come by each night from that day on.

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