How you start your day can be the biggest indicator of how quickly you will move toward living a life of passion and fulfillment. If you wake up feeling there's not enough time, you want to change so many things about yourself, your body and your life, and then feel the weight of the world descend on you, you aren't doing yourself any favors. It's good to know what you want, but move towards it from a light place that is full of possibility. Here is a quick way to start today and to build positive momentum that will carry you through the week:
Don't stop to think!
Go with the first things that comes to mind:
What are three things that make you smile?
Great! Take a deep breath.
And that's how fast you can improve your mood. Never forget that if it feels easy and breezy then it's working for you. Too often we feel something has to be hard or take a long time to be effective. It's kind of engrained in our minds if something didn't take a long time and a lot of effort it's not worth squat. Forget that thinking! Banish it! Things can be easy and you deserve for them to be so.
Ready for one more?
Think of a time you laughed REALLY hard.
Awesome. Well done. Enjoy your day and keep thinking of things that make you smile and laugh.
Do you like to repeat affirmations in order to reprogram your mind with positive thoughts and intentions? If so, you might like this happy little video. Sing your way into perfect love, abundance and harmony. A great video to play in the morning!
Twice now I've had friends say to me that the Universe had presented them with some sort of test. I'm sure you've heard this or said some variation of this (I know I have): "The Universe is testing me right now" or "God is testing me."
My friends were referring to some challenge that, if they passed, would prove they really wanted this thing or were ready for it. I assured both of these friends that the Universe never tested them. There is no pass or fail when it comes to energetic flow. There is only the issue of, does something match you vibrationally or does it not?
It's not just my friends who have this idea that the Universe tests us. A lot of people do, and I truly wish I could dispel this idea. It reinforces the idea that the Universe, God, a higher power, all those things, can be like a harsh teacher, intimidating us and constantly asking us to show we're worthy. I.E.: Pass this test and prove you've learned your lesson before you advance!
Many of us struggle already to live our passions, to face our fears, and to step fully into the people we know we can be. It is therefore crucial that we feel and know we are unconditionally loved and supported by the Universal lifestream that permeates everything. The more loved and supported you feel the more you'll try. The more you'll put yourself out there. The more positive changes you'll feel encouraged to make in your life. I can assure you, nothing about the Universe, God or creation is ever going to push you harder than you're ready for. Nor will it hold you back. You're in charge, and that's kind of terrifying. And that's exactly why we need to get clear that there are no tests, there are only reflections, and to that end, you are supported in all things you wanted reflected back to you.
The Universe will never, ever ask you to show you're worthy. It already knows you're worthy. It doesn't need to be reminded. If anything, it's trying to get YOU to realize it right now. Nor will it ask you to show you're ready. Why would it? This is your life and you're creating it how you want. You choose when you're ready.
If a "test" shows up it's because you're testing yourself.
The Universe is here to love and support you in all ways. In fact, it's going out of it's way right now to bring you what you want. The last thing it would do is put a challenge in your path for the pure sake of you passing or failing. I don't know a better way to say it so let me just reinforce this idea: we do not live in a pass or fail Universe. We live in a Universe of growth. We live in a Universe where soul expansion is the highest order and all other things come second.
The idea of tests, of proving you're worthy, you're ready, you're capable, etc., those are human designed concepts. They didn't exist before people created them. They do have a place in our world, a very good place, they help us to keep order as we grow from children to adults. But always keep in mind they aren't a law of creation that is locked into our system like gravity. They're something we created to help organize, but we still apply them to ourselves when no organization is needed. We're so used to the concepts of succeed or fail, approval or denial, good or bad, that we often forget those are thoughts in our head and not real things.
And so if you see a test, well, you created it. You created it for a reason. Perhaps to reassure yourself. Perhaps because you still have some energetic hangups that need to be cleaned out. You know the answer because you wrote the multiple choice question. Therefore, there is no fail even when you do get a test. Because you're grading it. If you don't like the way something went, redo it until you feel you've passed. Or just crumple the test up and get rid of it. Toss it in the waste bin and go do what you wanted to do before you started asking if the Universe approves. It does. And it's supporting you more than you'll ever know. That's all there is to it.
Last night I watched "Kill Your Darlings," that was inspired by a real murder that involved Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. Although the story is about the murder and how it affected them, it's also a slice of history as to why the beat generation started and what they wanted. They wanted freedom. They wanted to rebel. They wanted to break free of restriction and write with passion. They wanted to do things that took courage and asked them to step very, very far outside of what was comfortable. I was very inspired by their desire to challenge and change the status quo. Today I'm going to order Allen Ginsberg's book, Howl, which I've never read.
Following Your Gut and Making a Shit Mess of Everything (but then realizing it was always happening just as it should)
This is a piece I wrote when I'd moved back from Holland. Since it's been just about a year since I returned I thought I'd share it, as it was an important milestone in my life. I wrote this for another friend's blog and it was meant to be about why I chose to come back. When I look at it now it reminds me to follow my intuition and to know that some of life's biggest struggles are in truth the ones that make life the best. I had a hard time in Holland for many reasons, which I touched on below, but when I came to the US I had also healed many things. Going and coming back both felt scary and I had no guide post, no sure reasons to do either. I only had my intuition to follow, and had I not gone I wouldn't have gotten what I needed. And if I had stayed just because I didn't know what else to do I would have dragged the experience on too long and come home even more broken than when I left (how sad!). Fortunately. I followed my gut, came home, and still have love in my heart for the person and life I left behind.
When my friend asked me to write a short piece about why I moved to and then left Holland, I thought, “Hey that’s easy enough. I already know what to say!”
That was until I really thought about it. I was surprised to find that I really wasn’t as sure about it all as I’d thought. I know I had been sure going was right. And I know I had been sure that at a certain point, it was time to go back to the US. And I still feel sure about those things, but the why’s of it all, funny enough, have gotten less clear the longer I’ve been back in the US (about 5 months now).
It all started several months before I was anywhere near Holland. I was in California, living with my parents, and ready for a big change. That change blew in one day, and I could feel it coming before anything actually happened. I packed all my stuff up into boxes, cleaned my room out, and got a small travel bag ready. I made sure to pack my passport because I knew I’d be going somewhere big. I then sort of carried on unsure what was coming, only knowing it was.
Intuition is crazy.
Have you ever felt that you were making a decision against your better judgment? That maybe that voice in your head telling you to turn back NOW before its too late was more than just your fear talking?
As children, we listen to our intuition a bit more. We know when we don’t like someone. We feel our emotions more truly, and haven’t spent years figuring out ways to suppress them. Children will run the full gambit of emotions in a day and still come back to play the next day, and the day after that.
As we grow up, masking our true feelings becomes the goal. Finding ways to diminish or invalidate what we are sensing, we learn in young adulthood that being vulnerable is dangerous. Its how you get hurt, laughed at, or taken advantage of. If you make a decision that leaves you vulnerable, your sense of security vanishes.
I’ve made so many decisions in my life because it was practical. Or to prove a point. No matter what my gut was telling me. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel sick thinking about wasting this precious time I’ve been given in this life on just being practical. Not really living.
If I continue on in this fashion, I’ll wake up one day, eighty years old, and look back at a life full of regrets and empty of growth and fulfillment.
That thought absolutely terrifies me.
In the book Eat Pray Love (trust me, I will probably reference this book often, as it has really made an impact on me), Katut is a medicine man who is teaching Elizabeth Gilbert Balinese meditation and guides her spiritually. In her first lesson with him, he asks her about her time in India, her meditation lessons there, and her yoga practice. He tells her, “Why they always look so serious in yoga? You make serious face like this, you scare away good energy. To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver…Too serious, you make you sick. You can call in good energy with a smile.”
I don’t want to be “too serious” any longer.
So I’m finally listening to my gut. And my heart.
I’m going to explore what it means to be vulnerable.
I’m going to smile.
With my face. With my mind. And yes, even with my liver. I could use some good energy right about now.
About the author:
From Barbara: "Passion is a funny thing. Yours could possibly be found in a person, a possession, a career...I found mine in books. Books of every genre, century, and ideology. And as I grew up and explored this passion in the written word, I found I also had a desire to extend that passion to creating my own writing. But of course life always tries to get in the way of what you're passionate about. So here I am today, a mother and a career woman. A student and a dreamer. And perhaps maybe even...a writer."
Barbara is an intelligent, independent, strong (in many ways - she's a Crossfit pro!) and courageous woman who lives in Northern California. She has recently cast off what is safe in her life in order to pursue what makes her heart and soul sing with joy. Her courageous decision has inspired me and I am so happy she is now writing about her experiences on her new blog, "Listening to the head, not the heart, and other disasters." She has a beautiful way with words and I found the following post, Intuition, to be an honest and open piece that so many will relate to. Thank you Barbara for sharing and keep on rocking'! Follow more writings about adventure, love, passion, disaster and all things in between on Barbara's blog !
"I'm not the declining sort. I would take charge of the constellations if I were asked to do it. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure."
- Letter to Cordelia Welsh Foote of Cincinnati, written on 2 December 1887. Reprinted in When Huck Finn Went Highbrow, Casseres