Living The Magic Of Now

by Mimi on August 5, 2014

 

 Em's Chick Chick Dreams

 

Time. What’s your relationship with it? Does it rule your every move or are you in control? Do you think it’s real (in other words finite), or do you think that’s just our perception? And, like me, have you ever pondered whether there isn’t actually an inexhaustible supply, and the limits we put on it are our own illusion? Or, do you believe (consciously or unconsciously) that if we continue to chase it, we’ll either harness it or at least get to its beginning so that we can finally relax and partake of its elusive benefits?

For years (before I got to pondering), I was part of the majority, the “chase it till you get it” camp. I thought time was never on my side as there were never enough hours in the day, the week, the month or the year…to do the things I had to do, let alone wanted to do. Because I believed time equaled a short leash, I acted accordingly.

I was addicted to squeezing the juice out of every minute but not to savor them. Instead, I marched feverishly to the beat of time’s fleeting drum and never stopped to smell the roses, feel the earth, or allow myself to actually beat in rhythm with life itself. Like so many others, I lived according to the call of the outer “doing” forces, rush, hurry, and never enough, rather than listen to the inner pulses of “being” which are comprised of infinite moments, sweet pauses, and milliseconds of joy.

And like everyone else who is always on the clock, always gasping for air, always meeting self-imposed deadlines, always creating another list, always trying to fit it all in, always racing to the next appointment and invariably always putting pleasure last…I wasn’t happy or healthy. The harder I worked, the faster I ran, the more I accomplished, the less I had. Tilt!

Never-the-less, like everyone else I kept wringing out “just one more hour” for “just one more thing” that once accomplished promised the elusive reward of more time (measured in money, sleep, fun, relaxation, spiritual awareness, success, satisfaction, inner peace, family richness, physical well-being, self-development, etc.), which only brought me more of the same…the illusion of never having enough time!

Like a hamster on a wheel, I believed I was getting somewhere, only to look up and realize I was in the same place, out of breath, tired and numb. But this was the only zone I knew, and even though it was painfully unfulfilling, chasing time had become a default position so I stayed on the wheel.

After all, the stakes kept getting higher… biological clocks ticked, retirement loomed, financial success nagged, professional goals taunted, unrealized creative expression ached, gifts and abilities pushed, purpose and passion beckoned, and long-held heart’s desires all competed against one another racing the clock to be the one to finally outrun time so that I could have time to enjoy any of it.

And there’s the rub! While I achieved many of the things I thought I wanted/needed during those endless years of effort and energy, paradoxically, I had no idea how to enjoy them because I didn’t think I had time. On top of that, I was exhausted and had no energy left for the rewards.

I had become a beast of burden, slave to carrying my own load of “have tos and in order tos”.  I was so far out in front of myself that I had lost myself. Operating within the so-called boundaries of time (i.e. we only have so much/so long etc.) kept me trapped in its fear-fueled illusion of lack, stripping me of my innate ability to be in the present, knowing time as eternal (kairos vs chronos), receiving those gifts.

I know that seems like an oxymoron in a world wedded to 24/7, a world that for the most part believes eternal time only comes with death, but here’s the good news, the opposite is true. Yes! Eternal time is now…you don’t have to wait. Trust me, there’s always enough time… but in order to experience it you have to get off the hamster wheel. But, here’s the bad news, as we are creatures of habit this can be a bit of a challenge.

So here are some of the tried and true things I did (and still do) to get off the wheel and break the spell that time waits for no one…

  • stopped wearing a watch
  • never set an alarm
  • meditate before my feet hit the ground in the morning
  • threw away my lists
  • actually smell roses
  • learned to ask for help and then taught myself to receive it
  • became a wonder junkie (i.e. through the eyes of a child)
  • began to do things I’d always wanted to but never found the time to
  • began to set my hyper-responsible self free
  • surrendered to ‘what is’ and let go over and over and over
  • learned to love myself and what that really means
  • took time to listen to my body and meet its needs
  • started to nourish my spirit
  • gave up warp speed and learned to trust the flow
  • threw away my superwoman cape
  • cultivated kairos rather than chronos
  • painstakingly allowed myself time to relax
  • lovingly reassigned my ego mind jobs of joy
  • gave up being so damned punctual

As I began to slow down, I realized what I had really been racing time for all those years was internal peace.  And, I found it not through conquering time, but through understanding time as a continuum of which we are all a part. Time isn’t outside of us, the face on a clock, the months on a calendar, the wrinkles in our skin, or the years on our driver’s license. It runs through us, a fertile river of endless treasures that we have only to let carry and feed us.

In the past ten days I have experienced this river at its most poignant. In the nexus of time, I held my newborn granddaughter, Emerson Georgia Baratoff, as the river, of which we are all a part, baptized us over and over with its infinite gifts, her four weeks, me sixty-seven years. In this timelessness we shared the heartbeat of life, connected and forged our bond.

Effortlessly we flowed with the river as it met our needs…She ate, slept, pooped, burped, cried, cooed, smiled (for the first time), listened and stared in wonder at everything around her. I did pretty much the same. Without agenda, urgency, timetables, lists or fears she knew she had plenty of everything she needed and always would.

Emerson was (and is) living the magical power of right now and made sure I was too. She reminded me over and over, “Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.” May the magic of now always be with you too!

 

Be the first to comment

 

 

guilt

 

 

Welcome to Self-LOVE Boot Camp aka How To Have A LOVE Affair with Yourself

(A weekly series of treasures, tips, tools and tidbits for the adventure.)

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.” ~ Buckminster Fuller

#6. The Scarlet Letters:  G.S.R.  Guilt not. Shame not. Regret not. (aka Gun Shot Residue)

Guilt, shame and regret are probably the heaviest emotions to carry. Like cement shoes, they weigh us down, hold us under, compromise our bodies and rob us of our life-force.

Through self-love you will learn to have infinite compassion for the parts of you that have carried around any measure of guilt, shame or regret, and in the process you will let them go for good. These three emotions are self-inflicted wounds that have no place in a healthy relationship…with ourselves or with others. They add fuel to our inner bully and prevent forgiveness and personal growth. They are the proverbial thorn in our side, tearing away our true power and ability to find the gifts in all our experiences.

Guilt, shame and regret contaminate our sense of ourselves and keep us from moving on. That’s why I call them G.S.R. – gun shot residue. They are sticky, invisible and hard to wipe off. Also, we believe they are hard and fast evidence of some imagined wrongdoing or unforgivable sin. As a result they have become forms of self-punishment and atonement. And, because they are so pervasive, we accept them as normal when in fact they are eating us alive.

In my experience there are very few who haven’t experienced guilt, shame or regret at some point in their lives. To me, it’s not so important that you’ve ‘been there’, but critical that you’ve gotten to ‘done that.’ In other words, you’ve moved through them and beyond. Let me explain…

Guilt and shame are often mistaken for one another and can go hand in hand although they are quite different. Brenee Brown sums them up most beautifully. “The difference between shame and guilt is the difference between ‘I am bad’ and ‘I did something bad.’”

In other words shame is always about ‘who I am’ and guilt is always about ‘what I did’.  For years I mixed the two up, thinking I was feeling guilt when I was really feeling shame. In actuality, the shame of being me fed my guilt whenever I thought I’d screwed up (which was all the time) making it a vicious and suffocating cycle.

For those suffering at all from an absence of self-love, shame is our internal scarlet letter, a negative brand that has the power to dim our light. There is absolutely nothing positive about shame.  It keeps us locked away from ourselves, and in turn, from others. Shame is a trap!

Guilt, on the other hand, can be a positive force for change, but in the hands of shame becomes her whip and her hair shirt. Instead of using it as a vehicle for healing and learning and then letting it go, it becomes chronic and we carry it like a cross we have to bear.

Regret is woulda, coulda, shoulda on redial. It is an endless cycle of re-feeling what might have been but wasn’t. It is hindsight gone askew. It is a constant churning of the past, what we wish we could have done differently or something we wish we didn’t do. Regret contaminates our ability to be fully in the present, and as seriously, compromises our physical bodies with its emotional erosion.

Together, or alone, guilt, shame and regret are thieves perpetually robbing us of our inner gold which is the power to change, the capacity to thrive and our willingness to be vulnerable which is where we discover true beauty and connection.

But there is good news – very good news: Self-love is the antidote for guilt, shame and regret. Here are the top ten things it will help you remember…

 

  • 1.    You are human and everything about you is a gift. Be yourself. Let your light shine.
  • 2.    You are here to learn and one of the ways you do that is by making mistakes. Embrace them, get the message and move on.
  • 3.    Forgive yourself for everything and then forgive yourself again. Compassion for others is directly relational to that which you have for yourself. It all begins with you.
  • 4.    You are not your story! Discover the treasure and then rewrite it.
  • 5.    There is always something to be grateful for right NOW! So name something!
  • 6.    Look for the good; it is everywhere.
  • 7.    Happiness is an inside job.
  • 8.    Your heart knows more than your head. Think with it. Follow the love.
  • 9.    You only have the present so enjoy the journey. Go with the flow. See the beauty.
  • 10. You’re not here to please others. That’s impossible, but you are here to be the love you are and that’s easy!

 

I look forward to hearing your stories about how you finally let go of guilt, shame and regret. And, if you liked this post, please share the LOVE on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!

XXOO – Don’t forget to LOVE yourself today!

Be the first to comment

 

glass-half-full1

 

 

Welcome to Self-LOVE Boot Camp aka How To Have A LOVE Affair with Yourself

(A weekly series of treasures, tips, tools and tidbits for the adventure.)

 

“There’s nothing more bad-ass than being who you are.” ~Darren Criss

 

#5. Seeing the Glass Half Full

We have all heard this phrase many times but how many of us live it? We might like to, we might even aspire to it, but the backwash of life has a way of getting sand in our eyes, sweeping away our best intentions to keep focused on the prize rather than what’s in the way. But here’s the good news, and even though it may sound too good to be true, I assure you it isn’t…When you start to love yourself your entire relationship with life and the world in general shifts in the most profound and often unexpected ways.

One of the most obvious and immediate changes is negativity in any form begins to transmute into positivity as we begin to see ourselves through new glasses. Rejection becomes acceptance, discontent becomes appreciation and misunderstanding becomes forgiveness. Caterpillars become butterflies.  As the magic happens in our own mirror, it is reflected outward.

And before we know it, half empty becomes half full, victims become their own heroes, Murphy’s law becomes Murphy’s opportunity and there is treasure in every moment. Quite simply, it turns out that as we see the beauty in ourselves, we are able to see the beauty all around us. And this becomes the self-fulfilling prophecy we’ve dreamt of.

Here are a few things that may help as you begin to get the sand out of your eyes…

  • Happiness Minutes – I was shocked when I first began the road to self-love by how sad I was and how it colored so much of my view of what was possible. I wanted to override it at first, but as that wouldn’t have been very loving I gave it space to be but I balanced it with happiness minutes. Happiness was clearly a muscle I needed to build so I’d time myself to see how long I could hold happy thoughts. (no joke!) My progress was checkered to begin with but it didn’t matter, the positive energy created its own momentum and eventually sadness wasn’t a way of life anymore.
  • “The love in me salutes the love in you. This is a version of Namaste which I personally love and silently use all the time. It is hard to stay in a negative space when you are coming from this place of knowing and feeling we are all love.
  • Rephrase your thoughts – Start to recognize your limiting/negative thoughts such as: “I can’t do this. I don’t know how. I shouldn’t. I should. I screwed up. I look silly. People will laugh. I’m too tired. I look fat. My nose (etc.) is too big.  I’m not smart (pretty, good, rich) enough… and many, many more including any sentence with but in it (substitute and). In the beginning carry a notebook and write them down as it will help raise your awareness to the extent of your own trash talk and how grimy it is. (I was humbled and horrified.)It will also help you think of ways to reword them into positive statements that can become part of your new loving and supportive inner dialogue.
  • Banish Worry – Worry, by definition, is fear driven and focuses on negative possibilities sucking energy from the very things we want and giving it to the very things we don’t want. Lose it and see how your life changes.
  • Protect yourself from negativity i.e. the news, angry people, people who suck your energy, naysayers, drama. Surround yourself with what feels good and let go of everything that doesn’t.

 

I look forward to hearing your glass half full stories here as sharing is a way for all of us to grow. And, if you liked this post, I encourage you to share it as well on Facebook and Twitter. Thanks!

XXOO – Remember to LOVE yourself today! You deserve it!

 

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment

Victimology – Chance or Choice?

by Mimi on April 25, 2014

 

 

tears5

 

Currently, we are living in an unparalleled time filled with both challenge and opportunity at every turn. A new paradigm is birthing and fear is rampant as the world as we’ve known it falls apart in order to renew, realign and reharmonize.

No matter how grounded or expanded you are, it is a challenge to see the woods for the trees in the midst of endless natural disasters, polar vortexes, pervasive deceit, new wars, governments melting down, depraved indifference, contentious attitudes, random acts of violence, accidents and sudden illness (to name but a few).

When our lives suddenly zig left over a cliff, and everything we thought we knew (and even held dearly) isn’t anymore, we find ourselves asking big questions: Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? When is it my turn? Why are my efforts not yielding the results I want? What am I missing? And of course, the universal biggie we can all relate to, “Why me?”

Peter Pan 'N MeLike all of us, I’ve had my share of pity parties but for some reason (probably because I’m one of those feisty fire signs) I was always ready to dust myself off and get back on the horse, which I was proud of. But there came a point when I realized I had to look at the deadly dynamic this was creating, and that’s when I really came to understand victimology and its counterpoint, the power of choice.

Here’s the short version of a long story…perhaps it will provide some answers to your own questions.

Fifteen years ago I wrote a book called, Self-Love-The Crown Jewel, which documented how I began my journey to self-love, the astounding things I was learning, and my greater understanding that it is the seat of our truest expression and freedom. One of the driving forces behind the creation of the book was to break the silence of family secrets and abuse, which had been violently forced on me, but eventually became conditioned choice.

For me, birthing the book was a watershed experience. I took a monumental leap out of the dysfunctional (yet seductively pervasive) victim mentality, challenged my misplaced pride as a survivor and publicly set out to become the winner of my own life.

Here’s why. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to know joy. I wanted to live fearlessly. I wanted to love instead of hate. I wanted to be healthy instead of wounded. I wanted to forgive instead of blame. I wanted peace instead of war. I wanted ease instead of chaos. I wanted to consciously create my life rather than live by default. I wanted to trust that no matter how it looks, all is well. I wanted to go with the flow rather than swim against the current.

And so I dubiously set out on a crazy three-legged race, determined to find my winner by helping my victim and survivor learn to surrender!  Little did I know that along the way, I would learn as much about the collective experience of being human as I would about myself as an individual. What stands out the most now is that at one point or another we all spend time believing we are victims and that there are actually four stages of awareness that all humans travel through on our way to remembering who we really are and why we’re here…

But, this clarity was hard won and didn’t come until I really understood what it means to be a victim, a survivor or a winner. Here’s a bit of what I learned…

Why Me Charlie BrownVictims are easy to recognize. We all know someone (even ourselves) who is (or was) wedded to their story, and to the endless drama of things they believe happen “to them”.  Most victims are those whose actual sufferings are long past, yet their present is molded by the imprinting of those old events and circumstances, recreating history in one form or another over and over. This can lead to what I call the “career” victim.

Victims live in fear (actively or passively) believing that, “if it can go wrong, it will”, assuming they are powerless, thereby reinforcing their powerlessness. Victims see themselves as victims, helpless to change the circumstances of their lives.

All too often they are fully vested in the blame game, finding fault in everyone and everything but themselves. Forgiveness doesn’t come easily to victims and most live with some level of resentment, anger and shame. They see mountains (life’s challenges) as obstacles, just one more thing to prove that “bad things always happen” to them.

Survivors, on the other hand, see mountains as challenges to overcome. Compared to victims who live in fear, survivors endure. Always ready for battle, they live prepared for the next catastrophe. As a result, they can’t really move forward or finish anything as they live on red alert, always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It took me awhile to figure out that survivors are victims’ alter egos. Rarely do you find one without the other as they share the same engine. Each one is focused on what can go wrong, but from a different perspective. In my case, I created a constant menu of disasters (unconsciously of course) that I could survive. I became a master at making lemonade (survivor) out of the lemons (victim) life served up and that became my identity, Survivor in Chief!

And I was in estimable company because around the world we give a lot of power to survivors. We wear our badges of honor proudly, the pink ribbon, the purple heart, the yellow wristband etc. But, as I learned the hard way, the sad truth is these tokens of valor often come with a higher price tag than what it took to earn them in the first place. Being a survivor can be a lot to live up to, a self-perpetuating hell of beating the odds.

But winners change the game entirely. They break the tie so to speak. Winners see mountains as gifts, opportunities for inspiration and wisdom. They accept responsibility for their lives and know they are always at choice. They know they can focus on either that which creates fear, or that which fills them with joy. Winners understand that to follow their bliss creates more of it.

We're All WinnersI have come to understand that winners live in all of us, just as victims and survivors do. Winners are born out of having suffered the agony of defeat, but instead of staying curled up in a ball, they choose to use what they’ve learned to positively move forward.

Obviously it wasn’t an overnight process to get clear on the difference between these three, but when I did, it was a hallelujah moment. Immediately, I was liberated from the illusion I was a wounded animal and always would be. Empowered like never before, I took creative charge of my life, and while the patterns of victim and survivor took time to dissolve, positive change prevailed. Today, my adrenals kick into high gear once in awhile and I can still whip out my “Pitiful Pearl” crying towel just like anyone else, but for the most part I create my life from the winner’s circle.

What that means is…I’m not ashamed to follow my bliss anymore. I have given up my old glasses for new ones. I look for possibility in everything, see the glass as half full, lemons are just lemons and have transformed Murphy’s Law into Murphy’s opportunity. Instead of looking for trouble, I look for LOVE and find it everywhere. My life is not in chronic chaos; my body is actually happy; I know that I am enough and thriving has replaced surviving.

I use the four stages of awareness, which I call our “Spiritual Blueprint” as my everyday compass…

  • Stage 1 – Victimhood (To Me) The belief that things happen to you, that you are separate and powerless, that everything is outside of you and beyond your control. This is the ego mind which lives in fear.
  • Stage 2 – Understanding Co-Creative Process (For Me) Beginning to understand that there is a connection between what shows up in your life and the way you think/feel (conscious and unconscious). You still think things of the world are outside you but positive thinking evens the playing field. (Law of Attraction) The truth of your true power begins to grow.
  • Stage 3 – Interconnection (Through Me) You begin to realize that you live within and are one with Greater Mind (Source). You know there is a universal energy that moves within you, through you, around you and is you. You not only change your thoughts but you also surrender your ego mind to this flow, exponentially expanding your awareness.
  • Stage 4 – Incorporation/Transfiguration (As Me) You realize that separation is just an illusion and that you are Creator consciousness. You experience the interconnection of all life and beauty. You experience yourself as LOVE, and you manifest accordingly having woken up into Greater Mind (Source).

As for me, I don’t spend much time in Stage 1 anymore but occasionally I catch myself in the middle of a life is hard, why me movie. The good news is, now I take my popcorn and leave the drama behind. Stage 2 is where I spent most of my three-legged race. It is where I learned to love myself because it is there that we all learn we are the creators of our own lives. I caught on quickly that if I could change the way I thought (and my corresponding feelings), I would change my life. It worked! I began to see the good in myself and in turn my life reflected it back. I got my first taste of winning here.

LOVE kiss for blog picToday, for the most part I live between Stages 3 and 4. I’m still evolving just like we all are and the chaos of change can suck my ego mind into the old fear pit of forgetting who I really am and what my heart really wants. I know it sounds cheesy, but each of us truly is the change we want to see in the world. Which do you choose, victim or winner? Fear or LOVE?

 

 

 

 

I look forward to hearing your stories of crossing the finish line, and if you liked this post, please share the LOVE on Facebook and Twitter too! Thanks!

XXOO – Please remember to LOVE yourself today.

Be the first to comment

Self-LOVE Boot Camp – Your Body Is Your Temple Not Your Trash

        Welcome to Self-LOVE Boot Camp aka How To Have A Love Affair With Yourself (A weekly series of treasure, tips, tools and tidbits for the adventure) “You’ll know you’re falling in love with yourself when… You catch your reflection in a mirror and immediately smile because you’re glad to see yourself.” […]

Read the full article →

Self-LOVE Boot Camp – Meet Your Inner Champion

        Welcome to Self-LOVE Boot Camp aka How To Have A Love Affair With Yourself (A weekly series of treasure, tips, tools and tidbits for the adventure)   “Loving yourself is the starting place for making your life your own.” ~ MCS # 3. Give Your Inner Bully a new Job. Part […]

Read the full article →

Self-LOVE Boot Camp – Daily LOVE

       “Love yourself first and everything falls into line.” ~ Lucille Ball   Welcome to Self-LOVE Boot Camp aka How To Have A Love Affair With Yourself (A weekly series of treasure, tips, tools and tidbits for the adventure)   #2 Fall in love with yourself…every day.   I know that falling in […]

Read the full article →

Self-LOVE Boot Camp – How To Have A Love Affair With Yourself

      Introducing a new weekly series: Self-LOVE Boot Camp – How To Have A Love Affair With Yourself Treasures, Tips, Tools and Tidbits for the Adventure The two questions about self-love that I’m most often asked are the same two questions I most often asked myself throughout my own journey, and interestingly, are […]

Read the full article →

It’s Never Too Late

   Did you know it’s never too late?  For what?  Everything! Anything! All of it! Whatever! You name it! A couple of mornings ago, as I sat in bed meditating, I had one of those shape shifter, lightning bolt moments. You know the kind… when something that you thought you knew suddenly becomes entirely rewritten […]

Read the full article →

Becoming Your Own Health Detective

  We all have STUFF! Everybody is carrying around at least a couple of suitcases full of old negative/limiting beliefs, damaging thoughts, stuck patterns and ancient coping behaviors that no longer serve us. Some of us have packed these bags with our own hands and thrown away the key, never planning to open them again. […]

Read the full article →