Introspection: 5 possible approaches

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of a conflict and you’re not really sure how you got there? This has happened with me this week. I find myself in a conflict I would have never predicted and I don’t really know how we got here. It hurts my heart. I do not like conflict and typically work very hard to avoid it. All the same, here I am. I have been trying to use an introspective approach to determine what steps I can take in the future to avoid this same situation. After all, life is about moving forward.

The Oxford Dictionary defines introspection as: “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional process.”  This seems like a good approach to heal this situation and avoid future ones. What could I have done differently? What within me caused me to react in the manner in which I did? What parts of myself do I need to heal in order to move forward without a similar future situation, like this,  rearing its ugly head? Introspection is about looking deeply within yourself. We can only control our own reactions and responses to situations.

There are many ways to approach introspection. Here are 5 of my favorites.

1. Journaling – journaling is a great way to let the words just flow. It is a safe space to say everything you want to say, and you never know what wisdom may flow onto the pages. There can be many “ah ha” moments while journaling.

2. Meditation – mediation allows you to step away from the circling thoughts and find a few moments of peace. This is a great space to set an intention of having clear guidance and insight flow to you. I find this a powerful process.

3. Therapy – Meeting with a good psychotherapist is a great way to have someone hold space for you to get beyond any issues at hand. This person can often help you identify blind spots or actions you do see, that can cause pain.

4. Exercise – Going for a walk, running, or yoga can also be a great way to go inside. There is something about this process that is not only healing but helpful in gaining insight into who we are and the type of actions we take.

5. Tarot – This one may seem weird to you but I find, working with either tarot cards or oracle cards, is a great way to dig into the subconscious. Our subconscious often has a different agenda than our thinking mind. Even if you do not know what a card means, looking at the symbolism you notice and thinking deeply about its message for you, can be a great source of insight.

Introspection is a great tool. Whether you are currently within a situation that brings a need to look at your own actions and intentions, or you are just on a journey to be the best version of yourself. We all have shadowy areas within ourselves. It never hurts to go in and clear out the cobwebs.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you have introspective insight when you need it, as if by magic.

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What Are You Willing to Do To Get Where You Want To Be?

Lisa Nichols talks in her book, Abundance Now, about having to be willing to walk alone to get where you want to go. Are you willing to leave everyone behind who is not willing to step up and support you? It is an easy thing to say yes to in therapy, but it is not an easy thing to actually do. So often those people closest to us, will be the ones who try to hold us back the most. Let’s take a look at why that is.

It’s not because they do not believe in us or think we aren’t capable of it, but because they are afraid we might get hurt. They do not want to see us fail. They also maybe afraid that we will out grow them. They are afraid of being left behind. Do you ever try and hold back those around you? The best gift you can give them is the permission to exceed with or without you.

Those we love the most, sometimes are the ones who become most angry when we start to succeed. They may be the ones who act like we have no right to be trying to achieve what it is we are setting our sights on. They do not do this because they hate us or even because they are jealous. They do this because they love us, so much, they are afraid to not “have” us any more.  Emy and I recently gave each other permission to succeed with or without the other. What more loving words could two people say to one another.

We promised to not be jealous if sudden success finds one of us and not the other. In fact, we now see it in a different way. Rather than viewing it as being left behind, we see that the one who reaches success first, would be breaking trail for the other. Smoothing the path and moving the obstacles out of the way.  Imagine if this is how we viewed all the successful people around us. Not that they were leaving us behind or stealing our opportunities, but rather, making the way for us a little easier. What a beautiful manifestation. What a lovely way to recognize the oneness that we all share.

As those around us advance, wish them every success and joy. Encourage them even if you are afraid for them. As you succeed and set your sight on bigger goals, do not be afraid to step out in front of those you have traveled side by side with in the past. Do not be afraid to leave some people behind. In the end you are giving them a gift. You are showing them that they can do it too. You are breaking trail for them. You are setting the example for all of our children, that it is possible to live the life of your dreams and to even succeed beyond your wildest dreams. I give you permission to succeed with or with out me. You deserve it.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you always feel supported, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken at Tettegouche State Park, MN

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Messy Emotions; How to better understand yours!

Emy and I returned from our retreat with such Joy in our hearts. We decided to set an intention to keep this Joy, regardless of what life through at us. We had no idea how much we were going to be tested. A series of random concerns and annoyances turned into opportunities to learn how to hold Joy firmly in our heart.

The Joy was overflowing from my heart while on our retreat. I couldn’t stop smiling. Having had the space and time to just be and work on myself was such a beautiful gift. Then we stepped back into our lives and it was life. Things were being thrown into our path to see if we could really continue to navigate with Joy. What a test it was! When I was having an especially hard day, Emy reminded me what Wayne Dyer had said. He told us that, when we are squeezed, all that can come out is what we truly are. If I am Joy then only Joy can be squeezed out of me. So as stressful situations and heartbreaking circumstances popped up, I purposely sent Love (Joy) into the world and to the other parties involved. Hate (Fear) serves no purpose. It only hurts everyone.

I do not mean to say that I am perfect and that I didn’t feel frustrated, fearful, or even angry at some of the things going on. I just didn’t allow myself to stay in those lower vibrational feelings. I believe that ultimately there are 2 emotions and everything else are just ranges along that continuum. There is Love. This is Divinity and our true nature. Love is the energy that creates all of the beauty and blessings we are surrounded by. On the far, other side of the spectrum is Fear.

Fear holds a much lower vibration and is a place where we can get stuck. Look at a situation in your life that brings up negative emotions and then ask yourself why you feel that emotion. Keep digging away and going deeper into that emotion. Keep asking yourself what is underneath it or what is bringing this emotion up. I bet as you peel back the layers you will find Fear deep in the core. You are also likely to find Love there too.

Let’s look at an example. Say you have a friend that has some unhealthy habits. You get so frustrated with this friend; because they just continue to make these poor choices. You try to talk to them or help them but ultimately nothing changes. You may even feel angry with them or even disgusted at this point. Why? Because you love your friend and you want to see them have a happy and successful life. You are fearful that they are going to get hurt or their choices are going to cause them problems that they cannot recover from.

Try this with scenarios in your own life and see what is deep down there. Understanding where the emotions are coming from may not change how you feel but it may make it easier for you to send Love to the person or situation, rather than Fear.

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you! May you find understanding of your emotions and acceptance of yourself, as if by magic.

*photo was taken in Ybor City, FL

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Navigating the Changes of Now – part 1

I have heard that now, more so than any other time in history, we are combated with multiple changes. Big changes and small changes are happening to us all the time. When I had my holistic healing business, this was one of the main things I wanted to help people through. Change can be so challenging for most of us as adults. Some people seem to effortlessly bob through the river of life, going with the flow, while others are like a rock slowly being changed and moved by the current. Which type of person are you? Are you somewhere in between? I am sure you can think of people in your life who meet both descriptions. Let’s explore why there is so much change right now and what we can do to navigate it more easily.

Why so much change right now? If you look at it from an astrological stand point; look toward what Uranus is doing. He is the planet of change and is associated with originality, progressiveness, and ingenuity. Pluto is another planet of change. He has to do with destruction, upheaval, and control issues. To learn more about the planets you can go to Cafe Astrology .com. If you want to learn more about how the planets affect you directly, you could consult an astrologist. I believe that the rapid changes in technology are another reason why we are having so much change. Few generations have seen the rapid advancement in technology that we are currently experiencing.

Whether change is related to technology, astrology, or something else we need to learn to navigate it. How do you feel when change is occurring? Does it make you feel sweaty? Does your heart race? Do you get angry or fearful and want to run the other way? Do you feel excited and look forward to its approach? Does change inspire you and cause you to set new goals? What is your relationship with change? Before you can make improvements to your navigation of change; dig deeply into how and why you react the way you do to change.

Understanding your response to change: Make 3 columns on a slip of paper. Table the first column change, the second my reaction, and the third outcome. Take some time and make a list of seven recent changes you have experienced in column 1. Think about how you reacted to each and put your reaction in column 2. Now think about how it all worked out in the end. Place that in column 3.  This will give you some insight into how you react to change. Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.47 AM

Once you understand how you reacted to past changes, think about the fear that was behind the reaction. Why did you have that fear? What kind of beliefs are behind that fear?

In Part 2 we will discuss some tips to help navigate the changes and deal with difficult reaction to and fear around change.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May all your changes are positive in outcome.

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Go Beyond Your Fears

Alligators, snakes, and turtles, oh my! I love to kayak! This is a love I share with my Adventure Sister, Emy, as well as with my husband. It is an activity that is infectious and when I share it with others, I soon hear they are shopping for a kayak themselves. It is a lovely way to experience nature by gliding smoothly through the water. I feel as one with the kayak and close to the nature all around me when out paddling. Now that I am spending more time in Florida, I want to be able to practice this peaceful activity all year round. After all, kayaking season in Minnesota is a bit short. 

One day, as my husband and I were traveling the backroads in Florida, I was looking longingly at all the little streams and rivers that were just waiting for us to kayak through them. I looked at the grassy banks and thought, I wonder if the Alligators bother the kayakers. Hmmm, I had not considered that this prehistoric looking critter might pose a treat. I calmly did , what I do when I have a question like that, I pulled out my trusty phone and researched it. It turns out that if you don’t bother them while kayaking, they wont bother you. What a relief! 

So what else might pose a threat? Well, another possible problem with kayaking in Florida is the snakes. There are 4 poisons snakes here and unlike Minnesota snakes, they don’t stay on the ground. They get up into the trees. I have heard stories of them dropping out of the trees into boats. Ick! Although I am sure they fall out of the trees at times, perhaps due to a strong wind, I am guessing they do not intend to fall into boats. It really seems like it would be a bad plan on their part. I wonder if these stories are more for the “thill” factor of watching the listener’s eyes widen than anything. 

So my husband and I purchased a second hand tandem kayak. We tested it by paddling down a stream with overhanging trees. It was a lovely paddle. Everything was so green and there were beautiful purple flowers along the shoreline. We did see some reptiles on our paddle in this lovely place but it was just was a big turtle and a baby turtle, sunning on log. 

So often in life we hear stories or thoughts occur to us of all the: “what if’s”.  What if the snakes would have been raining from the trees? What if they gators were hungry and aggressive? I read in a book once, many years ago, “Why walk, we might fall?”. We can stop ourselves from doing anything if we let our fears become larger than our dreams. If you truly want to live the life of your dreams, you must boldly push beyond your fears. I am not saying be careless, but do some research. Check the facts. Have a plan to counteract the “what if’s”. And then go fo it! After all, the only reptile on your battle may be turtles! 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. I wish you the life of your dreams, today and everyday. 

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What Are You Afraid Of?

Fears, we all have them. Some are rational fears built out of protecting ourselves from things that have harmed us in the past. Some are instinctual fears, that have been pasted down through generations of ancestors, as a means to keep us safe from life threatening dangers. Other fears are irrational fears, we do not understand where they come from but the fear is real and we must deal with it. Then there are the anxieties of the future possible.

What does the future hold for us? How will our decisions and actions of today affect our lives tomorrow? These fears are just as real in our mind and how they affect us as the others. They are no easier to deal with than the fear of heights or needles would be. They drain our energy and affect our choices. I feel these fears can be very detrimental to us. They can cause us to not pursue our dreams or hold our loved ones back from obtaining theirs. I remember reading somewhere once (although I do not remember where) a line about fears that has stayed with me and still rings very true. “Why should we walk for we might fall”~ Unknown.

We are all very good at imagining the “what ifs” of various scenarios.

  • 
”If I apply for that job, my boss might find out and I may get fired and then the other company won’t hire me and I will be out of a job and I won’t be able to pay my rent and I will have to go live on the street”
  • “If I spend that money on that trip, I might not enjoy the trip and then the money will be gone and my car might breakdown and I will need the money to fix it”
  • “If I ask that person out on a date, they might laugh at me and think how could someone like me could talk to someone like them and if they did go out with me they might be mean to me at the restaurant and publicly berate me and everyone else at the restaurant will probably be looking and wondering why I am making a fool of myself.”

All of these fears, when we read them here, show us how we are worrying about something that may and most likely won’t ever happen. We are preventing ourselves from experience some of the joys in life, if we spend too much time fearing what might never come to pass.

“What if I fall?’, Tim cried.
 Maerlyn laughed. ‘Sooner or later, we all do.” 
~Stephen King, The Wind Through the Keyhole

The only way to get past our fears, is by facing them. How did you get past being afraid of the dark or other fears you may have had as a child? Did your parents let you leave all the lights on all over the house, so you would not be afraid? Did you run fast across your dark bedroom and jump into bed before the thing underneath it grabbed. At times in life we all need to take risks. We need to boldly step out of our comfort zone and march into the unknown. At some point, the child decides to leave crawling behind, stand up and walk. Although they will likely fall (probably several times) eventually, walking will become comfortable for them.
Thank you for reading my blog today! I wish you a life of happily going boldly, where you have not gone before and finding the joy and magic this life has to offer to you.
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