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Archive for September, 2012

It is Sunday morning – the last Sunday of September 2012. As I lay in bed this morning, indulging in a few blissful moments alone, I took an inventory of the abundance that I live in. Gratitude filled my heart as I appreciated Jim (now out playing hockey), Tasha, Cleo and Max, our feline clan, Tigh Shee, our wonderful home and property that we have co-created with Spirit over the last 12 years, and for the work I have been called to do and be. The are the precious moments of life. Basking in gratitude relieves me of any anxiety or stress I feel for what is to come.

Tigh Shee Sign – installed Sept. 22, 2012

 

A few months ago friends of mine did a presentation on FEAR and I was reminded that an apt acronym for FEAR is Forgetting that Everything is All Right. And I do forget. So I have started asking myself these questions in my quest to surrender:

  • Where am I right now?
  • Is everything all right?
  • Is what I am fretting about happening at this moment?
  • What is happening now?

As I walk through these and sometimes some other related questions I realize how perfect things actually are. Worry always lives in the future even though it exists in our thoughts today. And (oh-oh!) worry is also attractive – if we focus on it, it will happen.

In my conversations with self and Spirit this morning, I realized that much of what I have been engaged in is shifting, in transition, and I understood that like everything else that has happened in my life, it must be for a reason. The times are changing. Energy is evolving. I am being called to grow and expand the work I am engaged in.

I have a strong platform to build on with our ME FIRST Programs and it is clear that this is to be protected and yet there are new learnings on the horizon. For example, this ‘surrender‘ thing! It is a call for me to live more from more heart, to step fully into trusting my accrued wisdom and my intuition, to begin learn, then teach, new strategies for being in our physical bodies.

Just the other day a friend asked me what the next book would be. I said I had no idea and then yesterday the pot began to bubble. I am not sure yet and I know it has something to do with building a new relationship with our bodies and finally forging the body-mind-spirit connection. We talk about it but do we live it? I see so many clients who have been disconnected from their bodies and I know intuitively that the road to healing is to reconnect with one’s physical form. All of this is percolating. Rather than Conversations with God is may be Conversations with Your Body.

Blessed are the Curious

Life keeps on giving. My work is to keep on receiving and allowing. To set the course for this, I must release any encumbrances (worry, anxiety, shoulds and have to’s).

These are my reflections for this cloudy, fall day! What are yours?

Until next time…

Betty

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Surrender is not necessarily one of my favorite words. Despite this it keeps coming up in conversation and is evidently a SIGN. I think my resistance to the word is that old visual from cowboy or war movies where surrendering involves sticking your hands high into the air and offering yourself up to another person, potentially the enemy.

Okay, I know this is not what it really means and that to surrender does not mean giving up or giving in. Nor does surrender imply weakness or loss. According to the dictionary to surrender means to relinquish control, and detach from results. Darn – there’s that control thing again.

I turned back to one of my favorite all time books, Return to Love by Marianne Williamson, seeking some solace and clarity on this subject. She suggests that surrender is powerful nonresistance, being open and receptive to allowing our lives to be guided by a higher power. In this state of nonresistance you allow ‘spirit to infuse your life and to offer you meaning and direction’.

I have to say that I am all for that. It simply gets confusing when I try to figure everything out for myself not to mention that I also step back into being a control freak. When you stop trying to control all the events in your life, you notice that things fall into place anyway and that there is a natural order to them.

So how do you surrender? Now that is the $20,000,000 question. Even as I say to myself all I have to do is surrender I feel the trepidation and wonder how do you so this. I can only share what I am learning at the moment and to suggest to you, that although surrender seems unfamiliar and uncomfortable, I suspect we are all in this boat together. It is a new experience.

Let go of what you can’t control

 

Re-Connect with your Heart
The starting point for me is to forge a new relationship with my heart. This begins by putting aside 10 to 15 minutes of quiet ME FIRST time, sitting or lying comfortably, away from all distractions. Place your hand on your heart and feel it beating under your hand.

With each breath in imagine that your heart is expanding. Infuse your heart with love on each in-breath and on the out-breath imagine this love extending you your entire self. As you continue, notice any stress in your body, and then release it on each out-breath.

Consider an issue which has been troublesome for you and perhaps what actions you have been taking to control it. On the next out breath release these actions and ask your heart the question, “what would be in my highest good?” Don’t expect an immediate answer; simply rest with the question for a few moments, then ask again, “what would be in my highest good?”

Your heart is the seat of amazing wisdom and knowledge. Unfortunately it is overruled by your head and buried under worry, anxiety, frustration and impatience. Impatience by the way is the highest form of resistance, like pushing at something. When you push there is an equal and opposite force in return.

As you continue your heart ‘meditation’, imagine yourself floating in a sea of light. The water sparkles, infused with hues of purple, turquoise and yellow. These colours dance around you. You feel all the resistance you have been experiencing begin to float away and as you drift, your heart opens even further. You begin to appreciate that all you need to know is there, you need only to relax and allow it to come to you.

Back to Reality
I hear you, REALLY! Can this possibly work? YES! And it takes time. As with any new habit it must be practiced. I wish there were a simple switch you could turn on and off, to step from control freak into control free and to experience complete surrender. Wouldn’t that be blissful.

The thing is, and you know this as well as I do, you are simply getting in your own way when it comes to moving forward in life. Everything you want is waiting for you. Your work is to conceive it (ask for what you want), believe it (imagine that what you want is already a reality) and receive it (get out-of-the-way and allow it).

Here’s the challenge: changing any habit takes 21 days. My invitation to you is to take the time each day for the next 3 weeks to re-connect with your heart. Follow the instructions I have offered and see what happens. You never know, new doors may open and something you never expected may arrive on your doorstep!

Until next time,

Betty

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Forgiveness is a huge topic – one that arises time and time again for me and of course a frequent topic of discussion with coaching clients. The most powerful book I have read on the topic is Forgiveness by Jerald Jompolsky, and this I read years ago. One statement in the book has helped my on my own forgiveness journey : Forgiveness does not imply that you agree with the actions taken by another person. Whew! 

 

I do think that many people don’t forgive because they believe they are condoning the actions of others. I have seen it in myself. Then this week I read the following in Heartmath by Childre and Martin:

…it’s not a question of whether someone deserves to be forgiven. You’re not forgiving your transgressor for his or her sake; you’re doing it for yourself.

Forgiveness is simply the most energy-efficient option you face, and the only one that will foster health and well-being.

It frees you up from the toxic, debilitating drain of holding a grudge. Don’t let villains live rent-free in your head.

If they’ve hurt you in the past, why let them keep hurting you …

The part I really love in this quote is: Don’t let villains live rent-free in your head. Dah! OMG they take up so much space and mixed in with the mish mash of other things that take up equal amounts of space, I wonder that I can even function some days. Enough!

This summer and now into fall I have been in a deeply reflective state. I want to understand how to release the annoying habits I have over thinking things, which tends to lead to worry by the way. I am releasing them as they no longer serve me and it is a process. I wish it were a light switch – ON – OFF. Wouldn’t that be so easy!

Heartmath as described in the Heartmath Solution, is one of the tools I am using. I find this a fascinating area of study and learning, literally the search to understand to live by one’s heart intelligence and bring this into coherence with the head. I do see it as a solution for me – I encourage you to check it out as well.

 As with anything, forgiveness and changing my long entrenched habits takes time  – ah that – PATIENCE. And then there is forgiving yourself for all the mistakes you have made over a life time. Now that one is getting easier for I have learned that regrets serve no purpose (and I hear people expressing regret all the time, the great if only…) Here’s how I approach regret. I simple say, what if everything is absolutely perfect, what if everything happened for a reason, as part of the Divine Plan? This forces me to recognize that I could not be the ME I am today without all that has preceded this moment. I am a product of my life experience and I kind of like where I have landed.

What about you? Is there some real estate in your head that is being hoarded by a villain or possibly even your past mistakes? What would it take to release it? Care to join me on the journey?

Come have a visit with me – check out this interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrTCOja8hCw

Until Next Time…

Betty

 

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Fall Equinox arrives tomorrow. As the days grow shorter, we are left with more darkness. It is a great time to reflect, for although our world of work seems to expand in these Fall-Winter hours, the truth is this time of year is designed for rest. Mother nature knows this, as the plants die off and energize their roots for the seasons to come, the animals hibernate for a long winter nap, and the world relaxes, like a great global sigh.

This week I received an e-mail from a colleague who celebrates the anniversary of cancer recovery on this date, outliving all predictions and celebrating her life. A SIGN I though and an apt theme for our labyrinth walk.

In following this theme of celebrating life, I was drawn to one of my favourite books, Anam Cara by John O’Donohue, choosing one of his blessings for the event:

May you recognize in your life the presence,

power and light of your soul.

May you realize that you are never alone,

that your soul in its brightness and belonging
connects you intimately with the rhythm of the Universe.

May you respect your own individuality and difference.

May you realize that the shape of your soul is unique,
that you have a special destiny here, that behind the façade of your life
there is something beautiful, good and eternal happening.

May you learn to see yourself with the same delight,
pride, and expectation
with which God sees you in every moment.

John O’Donohue

 

Blessings to all of you for this Fall Equinox, the final months before December 21, 2012. Celebrate YOU and wonder about why you are here and who you are called to BE.

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Acknowledgment

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to say something positive about yourself? There is an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and perhaps even the image of a wagging finger, usually attached to a parent or teacher, reminding you that to speak of yourself in such terms is EGO-CENTRIC! Bah. Humbug.

As a result most of us are inclined to put ourselves down rather than pump ourselves up, for to do otherwise would be bragging. Okay, it is time to switch this story up. Enough, I say! It’s time that WE, you and I, begin to see ourselves through a different lens and to take stock of all the great things we offer the world around us. By this I mean acknowledging yourself for those aspects of you that make YOU UNIQUE.

I am uniquely ME!

Here’s an opportunity and an exercise if you are interested. Take a blank piece of paper and fill the page with all of your accomplishments. Notice that these may have to do with work and they may be things that were simply personal successes for you. They may reflect the role you play in your family or with your friends or they may refer to your creativity, courage or simply your interests. It really doesn’t matter just note that an accomplishment is something personally meaningful to you and may not be of any real significance to others.

Once your list is completed, review the list. Notice those accomplishments or achievements that were the most meaningful to you, perhaps a time where you felt you grew as a person or where you stepped out of your comfort zone. You decide. Choose 3-4 then write a short story about that time in your life. It does not have to be long, simply capture the essence of the event, what happened and how you felt. What strengths of character came into play; what values guided you; what did others notice?

When the stories are written, read them aloud to yourself. I know this sounds funny and adding voice to a story is very powerful, especially when it is about you. Read it as if it is about another person if you have to. And, by the way, if you can share it with someone else, even better. Following the sharing ask them what they noticed about you.

The goal of this activity is to begin to notice where and when you shone in your life. This has nothing to do with ego and has everything to do with YOU seeing YOU. Take note of the skills you used in the situation, the strengths that you have and the values you engaged. Then pat yourself on the back for having made a difference for yourself or for someone else.

The next step is to begin to see how you engage these same strengths and skills every day, to notice how you play in the world, how you interact with others and most importantly, how you make a difference. You will notice that most of the time you focus on what you haven’t done versus what you have achieved. Ah that – your fatal flaw. Please note: when you focus on the positive aspects of your character and contributions you attract more opportunity to do the same. Vice versa, when you focus on the character flaws, you will attract ample opportunity to continue to examine them. Where do you want to play?

Next is acknowledgement. In our ME FIRST work we suggest that acknowledgement is the highest form of gratitude. It is a little bit like a quiet prayer to your higher power saying thank you for giving me the aptitude and talent to do what I do, to be what I be, every day. Each of you was born as a unique individual and whether you recognize it or not, each of you makes a unique contribution when you use those gifts. Have you ever expressed gratitude for all the things you were born with?

Here is how you begin. Simply say to yourself, “I acknowledge myself for…” It’s that simple. You don’t have to shout it from the mountain top you can start by saying it to yourself in the mirror. It may feel uncomfortable at first as your critical choir hums, “Yeah right!” Ignore them and keep on going. They are out of date anyway!

Next, sit with a few of your friends and share this message with them. You can start by acknowledging one another. Be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying, “Sue I acknowledge you for being a good mom”, say “Sue I acknowledge you for the way you handled your son’s mishap at school. You were really kind and understanding and a really good role model for me.” The have each member of your circle acknowledge themselves. Again, be as detailed as possible.

If you have a daily gratitude practice, add in 2-3 self-acknowledgements as part of this. Start today as it is time for you to see YOU and your unique ability to influence the world around you.

Bold Outrageous and Authentic

 

Until next time,

Betty

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The ancient tribes of Huichol Indians of Mexico built pyramids of rocks on the earth as part of their sacred ceremony. They believed this allowed them to communicate through Mother Earth with their brothers and sisters in neighboring communities and that all the apachetes were connected one to the other through the ley lines or energetic grid of the earth.

Jim and I were recently introduced to Apachetes by our colleague and ‘spirit guide’ Denine Savage. Somewhat like the tradition on the Inuksuk in our Canadian north, apachetes speak to the power of connection through the four elements – earth, air, water and fire.

Admittedly I am very attracted to ancient traditions and have found myself through the years searching for information from other cultures including our aboriginal peoples. For all that has been written and recorded, it seems to me that much of what we need to know is embedded in the ancient traditions of those who lived from the land and who walked this earth long before us.

As we prepared for the fourth annual Goddess Camp two weeks ago, Denine and Jim decided to build two apachetes on our property. Both Denine and Jim are highly sensing, in tune with the energy around them and able to communicate with the land. Many of you can probably relate to this as you feel things more than others and take information in through your senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch and intuition more than others. If you have this ability, cherish it, for it allows you to tune into ‘energy’ as well, something you may be doing without even realizing it.

 

Zen Garden with Apachete

As I observed my two energy workers, it was like watching a dance. The first apachete was built where we already had a number of large rocks, our Zen garden. The three of us set about gathering a number of other stones in assorted sizes and colours, reaching only for those which spoke to us in some fashion. Yes I participated and I have to be honest, I was listening for messages but noted that Denine and Jim seemed to be engaged in real conversations with the stones that they chose. Once gathered, everything was transported to the garden and then one by one stones were placed in the pyramid. I placed only one rock as I felt much more called to observe as both Jim and Denine wove their choices together.

And then there was Cleo, our black and white tuxedo cat.  She participated and propped herself up on the stones, as if she knew what was being built.

Cleo and Apachete

 

The first apachete completed, our attention turned to the Fairy Garden, a garden room located in the forest just off the labyrinth in our back yard. It has a magical energy and Jim felt compelled to add a second apachete. He laid the first stone followed by a second placed by Denine. Immediately Cleo ran across the garden and placed herself directly on top of the first two rocks, blessing them and somehow acknowledging what was being created. The rest of the apachete was built around her until she finally decided to move. I tried to imagine what she was seeing or experiencing through her cat’s intuition..

There is no doubt that something was shifting energetically. It is still palpable without actually being able to describe for you what that is. An apachete is simple a way for you to connect with the earth and to be part of something greater than you can possibly understand. As the weekend proceeded I learned that apachetes do not need to be built outside and they do not need to be built of stone. They can simply be a collection of special objects placed together by you. The placement of what you choose is intentional; you carefully and thoughtfully put the stones, feathers, shells, hearts, objects together in a way that is meaningful to you. From that point, supported by your intention, this becomes a sacred place for you, a place which you can visit, use to become more grounded, or meditate.

As Jim and I looked around our property and within our home we realized that we had been doing this and have identified 2-3 other locations where apachetes already existed. Interesting or simply a SIGN that somehow, without knowing or understanding, ancient wisdom was channeling through to us. My invitation to you – take this opportunity to build your own apachete, create your sacred space and join in the ‘grid’.

 

You can read more about Denine Savage’s work at http://evolutionaryprocess.com/apachetes/

 

Until next time,

Betty

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