You have much to look forward to, some of your best memories haven't happened yet!
What ever hard stuff is happening in your life right now, it's not the whole story. The hard parts of life shape us and help us grow. There is also beauty and wonder, pleasure and delight. So, if you're in a challenging time, know that "This too shall pass." You have yet to meet someone who will be dear to you, you have yet to see a new sight that is magnificent, you have new songs to hear and new songs to sing.
You have much to look forward to, some of your best memories haven't happened yet!
When you have stuff going on in your life and you have to work out what to do, or what to say, or what you're feeling, how do you know what to do? It's really important that answers come from inside you. You can ask for advice. You can ask what other people have done in your situation. It can all be really helpful. That said, one of the best ways to discover what you really want and need is to write it out.
How do you do this?
Writing like this is a way to bring clarity to your dreams, and healing to your heart. It's really that powerful. So simple, safe, low cost, high impact. When you heal a little bit inside yourself, you've also healed the world a little bit, too.
With blessings for finding all the answers you need in the most perfect timing, Laya
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If you only knew how many women (and men!) need a good word and guidance about sexuality in marriage. Here's wonderful information with ideas about how you can make a difference in your marriage!!
Here is an actionable exercise; you can do it right now. Do this with your spouse or do it alone. It is simple. You can learn this goal setting technique in a few minutes; then take a few more minutes to take action!
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I try to put a little time into my garden each day, especially in the summer time. It's such a reflection for growing. I've learned some things from my garden that I can transfer to other areas of life. Maybe thinking about some of these will help you get through the some of the hard or discouraging stuff we all have to face.
1] You gotta plant things where they'll thrive. You have to know who you are and what kind of environment you'll thrive in. There are some general guidelines that hold true: we all need love and encouragement, the right balance of warmth, and also mental and spiritual inspiration. Make sure you surround yourself with people and ideas that lift you and bring out your best.
2] Not everything you plant will make it. Sometimes you plant something you think is hearty and strong, you nurture it and water it, and it still doesn't take. That's okay. The plants that don't make it can be recycled to the compost bin and then you can replant something else wonderful. When something doesn't work you don't give up on your garden. Some trees need to be cared for and watered carefully when they're young but will live the rest of their lives in strength and bearing fruit! Don't be discouraged by failure, try again until you find what works for you.
3] Everything has its season. Some veggies and fruits ripen in the summer and some, like citrus, in the winter. Fig trees bear fruit in the summer but the figs don't ripen all at once, they come a few more each day for their season. Irises have a short season. They bloom and they're done. Ice plants will give you new flowers all summer long. They're all good.They all contribute to the beauty of the garden. One summer I planted some flowers in the same sun, same patch of soil and they all got the same water but some bloomed really fast and others weeks later. Don't judge yourself by comparing your progress with others and don't judge yourself that you're not blooming fast enough.
4] Plant for all the seasons. If you plan your garden well, you'll have something to enjoy all year round. I learned this from watching a garden in a home we bought that a master gardener planted. Every few weeks something new bloomed or flourished or bore fruit. All of life's seasons have some gifts to offer, so look for the good.
5] A plant is itself and nothing else. A walnut grows into a walnut tree, and a tomato seed grows into a tomato. Don't try to be something you're not or put yourself down for being different. Your very self, your soul, is perfectly formed to be YOU. At the same time, it's okay to struggle as you break through to blossom and grow. Shine in who you are with all your talents, strengths, and heart's desires.
6] Each tree, flower, fruit or veggie gives! All plants give in one way or another just by being what they are meant to be and growing. They nourish our bodies or our senses in one way or another. They are all good. Simple or large, you live your highest purpose by sharing your gifts and talents in your world.
We all know that life has some really hard parts to it. Knowing that doesn't always make it much easier to bear the hard times. We still need reminders that we can make it through the hard stuff. Luckily for us all there are reminders all around. In the season of spring we see trees that have been dormant begin to sprout leaves. We have the bounty of beautiful produce and we know that those very plants that nourish us began as a seed in a dark and solitary place in the dirt. Every fruit was a blossoming flower that withered and died. We have to let go and let go again of what was beautiful in order to get the next fruits.
Sometimes just knowing this is enough to allow your mind to be still, to be at peace, to trust that the pain of today is the very thing that is sprouting us to become even more of our beautiful selves.
Don't stop seeking the tools and resources that will heal (body, mind, emotions, relationships, spirit). At the same time it's not always about what you're doing. Have faith that the Life Force that breaths the very breath of life through you, the same life force that ignites the electricity in your mind and body, the life force that pumps the fluid through your veins and connects you to this earth, has got your back!!
What looks like the hard parts of life today, are the seeds for some of the best in you. You are not alone.
Hugs and blessings!
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We often talk about how being a caterpillar is leading up to getting into that cocoon and becoming a butterfly. It's great to be a butterfly when the time is right, but you have to earn becoming a butterfly! If you want to fly, be present and nourish the caterpillar stage of life first. Take care of yourself where ever you are in life because it's a beautiful and necessary part of your life cycle. Everything in its right time. If you're going through a caterpillar stage, be a caterpillar. Enjoy that life is about consuming and growing and shedding what no longer fits. That doesn't mean it's easy. Heck, caterpillars have to molt about four times in the short part of their life cycle. The big picture of that part of the butterfly's life cycle is very short but you can't be a butterfly without being a caterpillar first.
You get the metaphor, right? We go through cycles many times in our lives, hatching, growing, transforming and then flying. You don't have to grieve when you're not in the winged butterfly stage of your life. Be where you are; you're still growing. No one starts out as a butterfly.
And when you're in the butterfly stage you have to know that "this too shall pass," as life brings its ups and downs-the broad places and the narrow places. If you're in caterpillar mode, don't worry, you'll fly, but before you do, you'll need to grow as a caterpillar. The time will come to rest inside your cocoon. Then, only when the time is right, you'll fly.
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Here's my newest book!! This sweet picture book brings comfort and gently, joyfully builds bonds. Everyone loves to hear how much they are loved. Toddler, parent, and grandparent tested, this book guarantees smiles.
Follow Frog and Duck throughout their day from the morning sunshine to sweet dreams.
I invite you to help bring this book to print by heading over to Indiegogo to join in the campaign by choosing the perks and rewards that you love.
I appreciate your help in sharing this special book with people in your circle who would love to have a snuggle and a smile with the little ones in their lives. Click the button below and watch the video to see a sample of I Love You So Much.
Let me know what you think.
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Some questions to consider: What are you allowing into your awareness each day? What do you click on when you're online? Who are you spending time with? What are you reading (besides this blog, and I'm glad you're here!)? What's happening in music you listen to?
Is it working for you? Are the people you spend time with lifting your spirits and inspiring you? Are the places you spend time in making you smile or bringing you peace? Does your music make you want to dance or bring you peace, or does it make you feel lonely? What about your home environment? Do you love it?
When you see, do, and hear things that lift your spirits or grow your mind, you're going to feel great at the end of the day.
You can have choices about where you go and who you're with and those choices will have a big impact on the joy or comfort or contentment you experience. You can impact your world by your choices.
There's a whole lot we can't control. We're not in control of the things other people say or do. We're not in control of much actually. Even if you're a positive person who looks for the good, this is a world that is full to the brim with challenges. Things get in the way of that smooth ride. Traffic and flat tires happen, ants come into the house, and people can act like jerks (and it really stinks when you're feeling vulnerable or tender on top of that).
What matters in life is not if things are going your way or not, but how you relate to what's happening! How do you respond when the going gets rough?
Here's the secret: Have a plan about the way you want to react to the hard stuff of life. Practice in your mind. Rehearse the attitude you want as your nature. You're not supposed to get it perfect but you can grow, and the growing feels great.
You choose silence, kind words or harsh words. You choose forgiveness or grudges and resentment. You choose. You have the power over some of what you're around and almost no power over what is flowing around you. Your real power is over what you do (on the inside of you and in your reactions) with what is happening around you. There are other posts on this blog with tools to help you grow in the way you perceive and react to life. It starts with the intention to make your life better and the choice to start with one small change.
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On a rainy day, thirty plus years after stealing something as a teenager, I drove to the store I stole from. I was shaking like crazy. I was so embarrassed. But I went into the store and asked for the owner. I told him what I had done all those years ago. Then I asked him if I could pay him some money and would he please forgive me.
His jaw dropped. He took the money and forgave me. Something that had been eating at me for decades was repaired. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was also one of the most freeing.
We've got the easy "sorry," like when you bump into someone by accident, "Oh, excuse me, sorry."
But then there is the soul-searching-face-the-facts apology. Those kinds of "sorry" are harder to get to. What's the hardest part about saying you're sorry and asking for forgiveness?
There are two situations when asking for forgiveness is especially hard:
So let's start with the "why" ask forgiveness. This is big.
It can be hard to approach someone to ask forgiveness because it's possible that you'll be rejected. That's disheartening and disappointing. Or, the person you're apologizing to will take this as an opening to attack you. Not good at all and then you have to set a boundary. It can be really hard if you did something you're truly ashamed of. Admitting that feels humiliating (like my story above).
How to ask:
The first thing before approaching someone to apologize is to set your intention:
Inside you there is regret somewhere. So use this as a springboard into the decision that you will do your best to do better next time. Feel free to share that.
If you don't think you did anything wrong, saying sorry is a way to keep peace. In a world where peace is sorely needed, you have a chance to let go of ego and go to another soul to bring healing. "I'm really sorry that I caused you pain." That is real. You are not opening up to get pushed or hurt in any way. If the reaction is not nice and you need to set a boundary, do it. We're not talking groveling, but we are also not talking about striking back if someone strikes out at you. You did your best and can let it go. It is swallowing pride and giving a gift. It's the high road and it's worth it.
If you've done something you know was wrong: said something biting and mean, stolen something, embarrassed someone, let someone down somehow, and so on it could be really hard to face that person.
A friend shared that at her high school reunion a woman came up to her with open arms to hug her. She stepped back and said, "How can you hug me? You were a bully and you were mean to me." The woman answered, "I know. When we were young I was being abused in my home and I didn't know how else to deal with it. I came to say I'm sorry." Can you imagine the courage it took for that woman? Can you imagine the healing that took place that day?
When not to apologize:
If bringing up something you want to apologize for will bring more hurt than keeping it to yourself. The idea is not to cause someone else pain to relieve your guilt.
Take account within yourself. Bring peace. Free yourself. Repair the world. Be strong and step into your courage. Let the healing begin.
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What if you were not weighted down by the hurts in your life? Carrying around the hard feelings of life is cumbersome and actually distracts you from the abundant JOY that you can enjoy.
How to let go of the hurts?
One of the most powerful healing elements in this world is forgiveness. You experience great freedom when you forgive. Some of the hurts we receive are difficult to forgive. Maybe we're afraid that if we forgive we will be hurt again. Forgiving doesn't have to do with letting down boundaries or even being around the people or person that hurt you. It is actually about freedom.
Apologies are hard to come by. Not the "oh, sorry" you get when someone bumps into you, but "I said something that hurt you and I did not mean to hurt you. I'm so sorry." Sometimes people are too ashamed to admit they were wrong and sometimes people are not sorry for the hurt.
Here's a secret: people who do the hurting, are people who are hurt. They are missing the capacity to back up and be sorry or they are missing the sensitivity to see that they hurt you.
The glorious thing about life is that you have the capacity to change your emotions around the hurts you've felt. Even if the "other" would never apologize, you can imagine that they did. Do not underestimate the power of imagination and the changes imagination can create within you and even to impact your outer world.
Today's exercise is to write an apology letter from one or more of the people you felt have hurt you. Write it as if their soul is writing to your soul. You can write them back if you want. Then burn or destroy the letter, releasing it on all levels. This is for giving to yourself.
You still get to set boundaries in life that keep you safe.
I just heard a great quote, "Better to have an open heart and a thick skin than a closed heart and a thin skin." You can use this tool of writing your own letters to fortify your skin so that you can keep your glorious, shining heart open.
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