Living with Passion

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What is living with Passion or Living with Love?  Unfortunately most people only equate passion or love as that which is only possible in a romantic love with one special person.  And in so looking for that one person to make us feel love and passion, we lose out on so much opportunity to have love and passion in every aspect of our life.  When we radiate love and passion out into the world, then we can feel it in every thing we do.

Living with Passion means opening up to experience the beauty, mystery and wonder of life in every moment.  It means opening up to each situation as it presents itself.  It definitely can be easier to feel it in certain situations, and that is a good time to practice- like when feeling the beauty of a sunset, or feeling the sun warming your body after a cold winter,  listening to the sound of the waves, or in sharing a kiss with someone whom you feel a strong connection.

Those moments are the easiest ways to experience passion.  And when you do so, you can feel your life force vibrating in every cell in your body.  It is an incredible feeling, and we equate the situation or person as the source of our passion or love.  But, then what happens when those moments pass?

Some people spend most of there live dreaming of returning to those moments.  We will “survive” 3 months of cold just so we can have that one week of vacation.  Or we think that when we aren’t in a romantic relationship we can’t be happy or feel alive….but then what happens when we are in a relationship, and we don’t feel passionate.  Do we need to try and find someone else who can make us feel passionate?

What happens when you return to a beach or the mountains and they don’t move you the way they did before?  Do we need to try and find another place?  Has this area some how lost it’s beauty?

What if we stepped into the truth- that passion comes from within.  As long as we look outside of our source for passion, then we will continue to be disappointed because it can never last.  Living life with passion means letting your passion out into the world.  When you do this, then you find beauty and love everywhere, in all situations.  Being in these places or being with certain people can help remind you of the passion inside, but they are not meant to be the source of your passion.

Start practicing this in the places that stir you, and with the people who stir you, and then carry that practice with you.  Do things every day that helps to lite the fire inside.  Take walks in nature and really feel the beauty of the trees and flowers and animals.  Listen to music that inspires you.  Read books and watch movies that open you up.  Nurture the passion inside.  Let every cell in your body feel alive.

Then carry it into your every day life.  When you are watering the flowers, admire their beauty and feel it.  When you are eating, enjoy the food completely and celebrate the nutrition it gives your body.  (As you do this, you will start avoiding the unhealthy food as it won’t feel good to your body).  When you are in the store, open up to the cashier, open up to others.

Remind yourself that each day is a gift and each day is also a mystery…..we never know how the day will evolve.  Who you might meet, what you might experience…..why would you want to take the day for granted?  Why would you want to get stuck in the daily check list, only surviving life?  Living with passion doesn’t cost us anything, but can change everything.

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Instruction Manual

It can be very easy to be negative on ourselves when we find ourselves acting in a way that we do not like, especially when it is a trait or action that we have been trying to change-  when we find ourselves gossiping, or being negative, or yelling at our kids, or any of the millions of ways that we may be trying to improve ourselves.  When this happens it is good to remind ourselves- I am doing the best that I can with the instruction manual that I have been given.

What do I mean by this?  Most of our core beliefs, mannerisms and behavior are things that we have been taught by our family and friends.  Our “Instruction Manual” is the go to source that we refer to in all of our day to day situations.  We have been taught how to react/respond in the various situation.  How your family raised you is how your instruction manual was presented.  Was your family negative and judgmental or open minded and inclusive?  Did you communicate and give options in a kind voice or was it generally angry with shouting and no options(just do as you are told!)?  Were you taught to always be early or generally late?

These become our version of “Normal”.   And these instructions were usually not ones your parents made up, they were generally the instructions that were given to them.  Some of them will be ones you want to continue and some will be ones you will want to change.  If you do decide to change one, that’s when you need to remember that it will take time.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation, you will automatically fall back to what you were taught in your “Instruction Manual” and re-act.  Afterwards, you may take time to reflect and realize you “did it again!”  And when it happens, remind yourself that the old way has been ingrained for many years, and changing it will take time and practice.   If you find a certain person or situation always triggers a negative reaction.  Practice.  By that I mean, visualize yourself in the situation acting in a way that you want to act instead of reacting.

Visualization is a great way to help retrain your actions without putting yourself in the stressful situations.  Practice in your head and pick a way that seems best for you and then write your own instruction manual.  Take all the information that you have learned so far and start there.  Then, as you continue to try new ways and learn new options, rewrite the manual.  This should be a dynamic process because you will always be learning new possibilities the rest of your life.

So, remember to be gentle, and also remember that you do have a choice.  Never fall into the trap of- That’s just the way I am.  Or  That’s how my whole family is, so that is how I am.  You ALWAYS have a choice, and you are ALWAYS responsible for your actions.  Start rewriting your manual today!

What is the cost?

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What is the cost?  That’s a question that is asked daily, and we are usually asking what is the cost in terms of money.  We have become a culture of wanting a lot for a small amount of money.  Bigger is better, more bang for the buck, always looking for the cheaper price…that really good deal.  But, what is the cost?

I am not asking about the money value, what is the actual cost of this product we HAVE to get?

Does that cheap candy result in the cost of child labor?

Does that value meal hamburger cost someone a decent wage?

Does that Ivory statue cost an Elephant it’s life?

Does this cheap processed food put local farmers out of work and produce food that no longer has nutritional value?

What does that supper sized house cost in terms of energy requirements, raw materials….?

Most of the time we have become so separated from the real cost of the things we buy, that we don’t even consider it.  We just want more, bigger and cheaper.

What if we became conscious purchasers?  What if we really looked at the cost and the value?  What if on every product they put the real cost- the things that had to die, the people who work in sweat shops, the real cost for me to get what I want?

Maybe if we really thought about the impact we have with every purchase, we could really start to see how we are all connected and hopefully come back to somewhat of a balance.

The truth is for me to live, things have to die.  Plants and animals will give their lives so I can survive. The environment will be impacted by my wants and needs.  If I become a conscious purchaser, I start to live more from my needs instead of my wants.  If we all start thinking about this, how would things change?

Maybe animals will stop being hunted to extinction for parts of their body, maybe we could produce healthier foods, maybe people will have fair wages, maybe the child slavery and sweat shops would no longer exist.  And maybe, just maybe, people would actually be happier.  When they stop worrying about having more and start realizing that living simply not only makes their lives easier, but also positively effects not just the other humans on this earth, but the animals, plants and entire environment.

In the end, we are all the same living unit….and every thing we decide we want has a cost…..what is that cost?

Soaking up the Sun

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After the long, cold winter you will notice that on the first warm days of Spring all the animals will lay in the sandiest spot, soaking up the warm rays of sun.  We need to remember to do the same….take time to allow our bodies to thaw from the cold days.  To let our muscles relax from all the tension from the cold.  To let our hands and feet feel the warmth all the way to the joints.

Many times we rush right from one day, week, month, season to the next.  Never stopping to celebrate the wonder of the seasons or fully participate in the gratitude that the warm days return and that we are once again provided with all that we need.  No, as humans we take so much for granted and also lack appreciation for all that is provided.  Because of this we many times get stuck in the belief that we are lacking or in the mindset that we need more.  Does this sound like you?

What if you took the time to appreciate everything that is freely given?  Like the air we breathe and the warmth of the sun?  What if you took time on those first warm days to stretch out in the warm sun and let ourselves live in abundance for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, an hour?  Fully realizing that you are living in such abundance.  Feeling the sun warming every cell in your body as you also feel the air you breathe in providing the more than enough oxygen for your body.  Letting yourself soften into the support of the warm ground as your muscles relax and your mind quiets.

As you lay there and feel the sun and have gratitude for the return of spring, remind yourself that with spring comes new life- the plants and flowers can be planted and will grow that will provide the nourishment for you and the other animals on this earth.  Then the seasons with transition into summer- growth-  and then the fall-harvest- and then into the season of winter- rest.

And every season of your life is also a necessary phase and will provide you with things we need.  But, you will never be able to fully enjoy the phase you are in if you are always worrying about what may or may not come, or thinking there are things you need before you can enjoy life.  That once you have the new car, house, job then you will be happy.  Or you can’t take time to rest and enjoy until you make a certain amount of money.  The truth is the only way to fully be present in your life is to take time to appreciate each step as it unfolds.  It won’t always be pleasant, but many times we miss the incredible moments because we are too busy trying to get to the next stage.

Each season provides you with a unique stage in your life and each season should be met with reflection and appreciation and gratitude.  If you do this, then you will be able to fully live from a place of appreciation, abundance and gratitude.  And break the cycle of ingratitude, scarcity and balefulness.

So, try it today.  Find a nice warm spot and take some time to bring in more appreciation, gratitude and abundance.  Go soak up some Sun!

Revealing the Masterpiece

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Michelangelo believed that every piece of stone had a life within- a masterpiece- and his job was to chip away the excess and to reveal beauty from within.  I believe it is the same with the healing process.  During our life we have had things put on us that hide our masterpiece.  We were taught that we had to follow rules and beliefs that closed our minds.  We experienced hurts and traumas that taught us to hid our light, and harden our heart.  We may have been told that we were bad, that we deserved to be hurt, or that there was something wrong with us.

This results in us potentially turning hard like a block of stone. We have hardened hearts that results in us being angry, depressed, lonely, and cut off from love.  Forgetting that love is all around us.  We lose the magic and wonder of being alive.  And we can become bitter and cruel.

Our minds get set in the mentality that there is only one way, or we take on the “us verses them” mentality.  Forgetting that we are all connected and what you do to anyone else you are also doing to yourself.  We can become judgmental and critical of others.

Being exposed to spiritual truths can open up the door to healing and start to put cracks in the cement we have placed around ourselves.  As we start to chip away and heal ourselves physically, emotionally, menatlly and spiritually we can start the process of freeing our true and beautiful selves.  Freeing our true brilliant loving, gentle spirit.

But many people limit their growth and healing because they hold onto the belief that something is wrong with them at their core.  That they need to continually guard or that their “baddness” will come out.  But the exact opposite is the truth. What if we believed like Michelangelo believed?  What if we really believed what all spiritual masters have taught us throughout history?  That at the core, we come from source- called different names in the different spiritual books.  That self- awareness, healing, growth is about chipping away the things that keep our true light and beauty from coming out.

If we lived from the belief that every step forward in our healing journey would reveal yet a more loving and beautiful aspect of ourselves, that could completely change how we progress in our journey.  When you let go of the fear of uncovering what is “bad” within and instead that we will uncover the parts that are blocking our beauty from shining through, then we would move forward with eager anticipation instead of fear and trepidation.

What if we believed that our purpose was to reveal the amazing masterpiece that was within each and every one of us?

Kind, Gentle and Powerful

Kind, Gentle and Powerful….. Those words do not seem like they belong together. Many people think those are opposite. That if you Kind and Gentle then that means you let people take advantage of you or are in some way weak. And to be powerful you have to be aggressive, loud or even hurtful. We many times equate power with some sort of battle or struggle. But, that does not have to be the case. We can be gentle, kind and powerful. Learning how to become empowered is essential for leading a healthy life. By becoming empowered, we can learn how to set healthy boundaries in all aspect of our lives. We can be kind and gentle with ourselves and others.

So many of us believe that only way to get people or animals to listen to us or follow our wishes is by yelling, by threatening some physical act, or actually being physical. But usually those happen when the person doing this really is not connected to their inner power, and so they have to resolve to these aspects. What do I mean by this? This is the difference between someone who is constantly yelling, with no results verses someone who can quietly say a statement that will silence a room. I recall the various teachers that I had during school. There were ones that no matter what they said or did or how loud they got, no one listened too. And then their were the teaches that could quiet a room with one sentence, and they did not need to raise their voice. What was the difference? The difference was that the teacher who could quiet the room was speaking from a place of power and truth. If she said we needed to be quiet we knew it was the truth. If we didn’t listen there would be consequences. Not yelling, physical abuse or anything inappropriate, but that what she spoke was her truth.

Being empowered comes from speaking your truth. All the rest is just noise. The problem is that most of us are scared of our power because believe the lie that power means force. So we fall in the cycle of trying to be nice to get people/animals to do what we want, and when that doesn’t work we become angry and resort to yelling or physical force.

I keep using the example of animal because working with animals can be such an incredible way to learn how to use our power in a healthy way. At Motion For Life we facilitate sessions where people interact with horses in specific programs that will help people start to learn how to become empowered and set healthy boundaries. Horses are such wonderful mirrors to how we are really feeling. And when you interact with the horses, you can get the feeling of when you are being empowered, forceful, or passive. It takes feeling this to really be able to use it in your life.

When we interact with other humans, it can be hard to get this felt sense initially because the people we are interacting with have their own issues they are bringing along where horses can be a mirror. Then, once you really get the feeling while working with horses, you can then use that as guidance when you are interacting with humans.

This concept of being empowered, kind and gentle is a concept that needs to be understood and learned so that we can start to interact with each other in healthy ways. It seems that we have completely gotten out of control with the abuse of power, especially in our society.

Roses or thorns?

I ran across the following quote this week-  We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.- Abraham Lincoln

So much in just one sentence….One possible point to look at- do you rejoice in the beauty that is always there, or complain about the part that can POTENTIALLY bring harm.  So much of our time is spent worrying about the possibility of being hurt or having discomfort that many times we fail to appreciate the beauty that is always there.   We can spend so much time trying to plan out every detail of our life, that we forget to just jump in and enjoy.  So much of life’s best adventures come when our plans fall apart.

When we are find ourselves getting “lost” on a road trip and stumble across a beautiful overlook that we never would’ve seen if we had stayed on the main road.  Or when we jump on a horse bareback and head off at sunset to spend time in nature and lose our trouble of the day.

Whatever presents itself during the day, do you look at the potential beauty or do you look for the potential thorns?  That will determine whether you have an opportunity for adventure or if you let worry and fear take control.

Practice it as you go into your day.  On a walk, on a drive, as you eat your breakfast.  Look around and open your eyes and open your mind.  Check to see where your thoughts go.   If you tend to notice the thorns, take not and see if you can expand your view and see some roses too.  You will be amazed the difference in your day as you change your perspective.

Why did I title my book- “Feeling Your Way Through” – part 2

The second part of why I titled my book “Feeling Your Way Through”  covers my idea that every journey is unique and dynamic.  I encourage everyone to take the advice of others, go to seminars, get various treatments and then decide which one works for them.  The growth and healing process, and life in general, should always be a dynamic event.  If we get stuck in “one” way, idea, belief…. if we think there is only one set path than we can not be open to all the information available.  

For example- If I find a certain stretch or exercise that helps to ease my physical pain one day, my body may not need it the next day.  We should learn how to connect with and listen to our body to see what it needs every day. It is the same with beliefs and thoughts.  Every day have the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and information and when we do so, it may change what we previously believed or thought.

So, every step of the way, we need to “Feel Our Way Through”.  Check in with our inner self and see what actions, ideas, beliefs will be helpful on that day, and which ones may not be.  To do this, we first need to learn how to connect to our inner wisdom and guidance system.  This is what will lead to a dynamic growth and healing journey that is true to you.  And to a real and fulfilling life!  🙂

Why did I title my book- “Feeling Your Way Through?” Part 1

Many people have asked me how I came up with the title of my book.  I decided on the title “Feeling Your Way Through” because I thought it represented two major components on the healing journey.  First, that we need to check into our feelings to find our truths and not just be guided by our head or what we have been told to believe.  And Second that everyone’s path will be unique.  Today I will talk about the first part.

It’s important to understand that most of our thoughts and beliefs come from what we have been taught and told to believe.  And some of those thoughts and beliefs may coincide what is actually true to us, and some will not actually be true to us.  And we need to step back and look at the things we have been taught and have held as our truth or belief and see if we actually truly belief that way or not.  This is how we can then look at any negative or self defeating patterns and start to change them.  And how we really start to live a life that is true to us instead of living a life that everyone else wants us too.

One example that may not be emotionally charged would be- are we someone who thinks we should always be early to an event or is it okay to be late?  It seems like a simple thing, but when you have two people who believe differently, it can bring up some conflict.  If “John” was taught that being early is a sign of respect.  Then if his friend Sam, who does not believe the same way, is consistently late when meeting him, John may take that as a sign of disrespect and this can lead to conflict even if there wasn’t any ill intent.

Even this simple belief can lead to hurt feelings and conflict, so image more emotionally charged beliefs.  And many of these are based on things we were taught to believe by others, not what is really true to us.  So, by taking the time to really look at all the beliefs and judgments we have as they come up and then feeling into them, we can start to let go of ones that really are not true to us.  And in the process, we can many times become more open to the others beliefs. We can ask ourselves- how does it feel when I believe this?  How would it feel if I believed in another way.  It can be as simple as the belief that men should have short hair, to a usually more charged belief like should capital punishment be an option.  When we really look at the fact that most people are just repeating cycles instead of really looking at all options, it can help us to look at situations with less judgement and with more compassion.

This can really open our eyes a lot when we start doing this.  We will realize that most of our actions are actually not from a conscious thought from the present, but actually we are just- running through the motions.  From what we eat, what we buy, what we put value on how we treat others….the list can go on and on.  Most are a reflection of what we were taught by our family and close friends, not really based on any reflection or insight of our own.

Only when we are open to see other perspectives or ideas do we realize there are other ways.  This many times can occur with traveling, or expanding our knowledge through books, and meeting people who come from different areas than we live in. By expanding our knowledge base.

This idea of being guided by our feelings, by really connecting into our own insight, is an important aspect in growth.

In my next blog I will talk about each person’s dynamic path.

Taking time to quiet the mind and refresh the spirit!

As you notice, I did not put a blog on for several weeks! I decided to take a month and take a break from starting new projects and to slow down and catch up! I also decreased the amount of time on the social media venues. During this time I also took a one week vacation down in Alabama. It is always amazing how long it can take to quiet down…
For my vacation, I took my horse Holly and met my cousin and a long time friend for a week of horseback riding and camping. It was a much needed break! It is important to remember to have fun and relax!
We went riding every day and enjoyed the beautiful landscape, and the quiet of nature. It can be so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness in life and forget to enjoy life! Many times while we are making plans and looking toward the future, we forget to enjoy where we are.
It was really nice to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones, to build a better relationship with my horse, and to reconnect to me again! 🙂 I feel refreshed and recharged.
So, remember to take some time every day to quiet and also carve out some time to really get away and refresh your spirit. What do you do to take care of yourself?