In this very month that I'm hosting a gratitude challenge in the Soulwoman Sanctuary, I have been held accountable by someone close to me for being ungrateful. Once I got past my initial indignation, I reflected deeply.
How is it that someone who knows me very well can perceive me to be ungrateful when I know how much gratitude I have in my heart? I've been keeping a gratitude journal for years and I write thank you notes to the Universe all the time. I thank Life constantly for real and imagined blessings. In fact, I have a little mantra that's never far from my lips: "Thank you, God, thank you, Universe, thank you all the angels for (whatever)," whenever (whatever makes me happy) shows up in my life.
But maybe, just maybe, I'm not expressing my gratitude with enough sincerity and conviction to the (gasp!) people in my life. I'm not talking about saying thank you when someone passes you the salt, or thank you when someone does you a favour or presents you with a gift. There is...
This morning during meditation, I came face to face with one of the frightened parts of my personality. I named her Hateful Hedda, since the meaning of Hedda is 'one who struggles'.
Hateful Hedda is best friends with Fearful Flo, and together they dance through my consciousness with mindless abandon. There are other parts of my personality too that don't want the same harmony, peace and cooperation that my soul yearns for. These are the parts that get angry, defensive and judgmental. They cry out for attention... and the more I try to deny, suppress or avoid them, the more frantic their demands to be heard.
It has taken me a long time to work out that painful emotions aren't just unpleasant experiences to be averted at all costs. They are designed to bring attention to the parts of your personality that ache to be healed.
What you need to...
I wake up to the sound of rain on the roof of our tent. The world around me is emerald green and steaming wet; the air alive with birdsong. It's our last day on Great Keppel Island.
Being in this moment. Experiencing this beauty. Appreciating the miracle that is nature. Here on the island, we drink fresh rain water and cook simple food in a communal kitchen. It doesn't take long to slow down to the pace of island life.
For many years I've been telling my clients - those who are anxious, depressed, or stressed out of their minds - to spend more time in nature. For its rejuvenating and restorative power, communing with nature is my most treasured spiritual practice.
I'm torn between wanting to stay here for a few more days, and returning home where I will reconnect with our Soulwoman Sanctuary community members who bless me with their warmth, wisdom and grace every day. I can't wait to share stories and insights gained... at least I have something...
I'm a liar.
There. I admitted it.
I lie to myself all the time. I lie to myself every time I come up with the excuse that I don't have the time, or that it's too late to start now, or that I'll get my shit together... tomorrow.
The truth is that it's not a time-issue, it's a priority issue.
I create even more time for the things that are easy and I love and don't require me to master new skills.
Some of the lies I tell myself are so ingrained that I don't even recognize them as lies anymore. Like the lies I tell myself about over-indulgence and a lack of self-discipline and the challenges of change. The easy way out is to believe the lie that it's too late to change now. But we're always changing, aren't we? It's just that we resist change, even though deep down we know that raw power will show up with the willingness to change.
I'm willing to bet that, just like me, you lie to yourself all the time. Perhaps you...
Yesterday I bought a new dress. It's not so much that I needed a new dress, but it was the soft purple of the jacaranda trees that lined the streets of the city in spring where I grew up. Every time I look at my new dress I feel absurdly happy. This particular shade of purple does that to me. So I plan to look at it often and wear it as often as I can.
There is a simple recipe for happiness that is utterly fail-proof.
It's simple, really.
It makes me ridiculously happy to wake up to birdsong in a tent. Guess where I am right now as I'm writing these words? I'm on Great Keppel, a small island just off the East Coast of Australia, where I unplug for a couple of days every month to write and relax.
I woke up about an hour ago at 5.55am to soft light streaming through the open weave mesh paneling of the tent. Even now, the air is still alive with birdsong and needless to say, my heart is...
Want to have more joy in your life?
Play is a creative expression of who you are – the highest vibration of happiness and love. Your soul wants you to play and be in tune with the natural flow of life.
Whenver you're stuck, or frustrated, or hopeless and helpless, play. Whenever you're tired, down, unmotivated, or miserable, play.
Playful expression is a shortcut to transformation.
Everything is energy and energy can change in an instant. When you lighten up your energy, it becomes so much easier to take action. Play around with your energy. Go backwards and connect with something joyful that happened in the past, or fast forward and build a beautiful dream for the future.
Did you know that playing is instinctive and fundamental for any human being, no matter what age you are? Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, classifies playfulness and humor as emotional character strengths that help you to...
Fitting for the start of a brand new year, the challenge for members of our Soul Sanctuary this month was to get rid of stuff.
If every surface in your house is covered, the sacred buried under the mundane, and you're feeling overwhelmed by the sheer weight of possessions in your house, it may be time to ask yourself:
Your external environment reflects your internal self. If your surroundings are disorganized, it's impossible to experience clarity and focus on the inside. If you think you can just close the door behind you and pretend chaos in your environment doesn't exist, think again. Those masses of unanswered emails, piles of paperwork on your desk, unpaid bills, unopened mail, useless gifts gathering dust, tupperware containers without lids and mismatched socks, all have a suffocating effect on your soul.
By cleaning up the...
Stop what you're doing for a moment, Buttercup...
Tune in to yourself.
Are you feeling hurried, stressed, annoyed, sad, or bored?
Are you feeling calm, relaxed, content, at peace, invigorated, in harmony, or joyful?
Your feelings make you aware whether you're on track or off track. Your feelings are the only guide to health, wealth and happiness you'll ever need. Every single thing in your life as it exists right now is feedback. Your successes are feedback. Your failures are feedback. When you tune in, you KNOW.
That heaviness in the pit of your stomach when you think about someone or something?
It's a warning.
The tightness in your chest? The resistance in every cell of your body? The weariness and fatigue?
They're hints that you're off course.
And the gladness?
Yes, that carries a message too.
Your feelings are the perfect guidance system because you'll always feel emotion about something that matters to you. Your emotions tell you what...
In a world where technology allows us to stay tuned in to what is happening in the world at all times, it can be challenging to avoid a continual flow of negative media. When adversity strikes as it recently did in Connecticut, we are subjected to dozens of stories about misfortune, sorrow, injustice, and outrage. After every disaster, the drama provides the background noise to our lives for weeks.
I vividly remember the shock I felt when I first heard of certain traumatic occurrences such as the 9-11 event, the tsunami in Japan, and now the tragedy in Connecticut. When you witness news coverage of catastrophe, the fight or flight response is triggered in your own body. You experience the anguish almost as if the event is happening to you. Your muscles tense, your stomach tightens, and your heart rate goes up. Coupled with thoughts that the situation is hopeless and you're helpless, you may experience every intense emotion under the sun, from anger and fear to grief.
A few months ago, I sat at my computer, surrounded by my books and magazines that I love so much, wondering what I could do to serve the world in the biggest way. I am not even sure how the idea crystallized in my heart and mind, but it came to me that I should create an online magazine for women.
I wanted to create a platform for women to support each other whole-heartedly, grow spiritually, and do something spectacular in the world. Specifically, I wanted to share soul-centered women's best ideas on concepts such as abundance, creativity, courage, transformation, and simplicity, to name a few.
At the time, there were many unknowns: How would I find people to contribute to the magazine? Would I be able to communicate my vision to get others as excited as I was? And would readers be interested in what I had to say?
Creating Soulwoman eMagazine was a daring undertaking for me. I had just completed my book, Awaken to Love: A Mindful Path to Healing your Heart and Transforming...