Hard Work: Is It Holding You Back?

From the time we are very small, we are told we have to work hard. Whether it is at home, at our job, or during our creative aspirations; hard work is rewarded in our culture. I was raised in North Dakota. My grandfather was a farmer, my mother a principal and my father owned his own masonry company. We were taught to work hard right from the start.

We lived in a rural area and had 8 acres of land, so there was lots to do to keep everything looking ship shape and running well. Then on weekends we would travel to the lake, where we worked hard again. My folks purchased an empty lake lot and there was lots of work; from leveling the earth, to building not one, but two cabins over the years. So we worked all week and then on the weekends we worked some more, for fun.

I remember my grandmother telling my mother that they had taught her to work but had never taught her how to rest. The legacy continues with my brother and I. We know how to work. Really resting and understanding how to relax just seems to slip away, as a nebulous idea, that we cannot quite understand. I will work hard! I will conquer what is put in front of me and I will not take a nap!

My folks are stoic people that never complain. They are retired not but still manage to work hard and stay busy. We value hard work above all else. In fact, when I was a young woman and seeking to gain my parents approval, it was done through working hard and achieving goals.

Now hard work is engrained deep into who I am, but I know on some level, this belief holds me back. When you look at the principles of manifestation, the Universe gives you what you speak and think about. I believe I have to work hard to achieve things. So I do.

The principals of manifestation say we only have to match our vibration, to what we what, in order to have what we want. In a YouTube video, I watch recently by Abraham Hicks, Abraham says what we want is already here. We just have to match our vibration to it.

So how do we do that? How do we change our vibration in such a way that it matches what we want, instead of what we have always believed? We start by just believing in the possibilities. We say what we want and feel the emotions of already having it. Even when it doesn’t seem true or possible, just keep believing.

I am not saying anything is wrong with hard work. I think there is a lot of therapeutic value in hard work and I believe it makes us feel proud of ourselves while helping us raise our vibrations. Follow your inner guidance. There is nothing wrong with hard work but we must involve consciousness in the equation as well and feel the success we will surly achieve.

Keep going in the direction of your dreams. With a combination of hard work and principles of manifestation, you will achieve what you are feeling compelled to achieve.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May you find yourself moving steadily in the direction of your dreams, as if by magic.

*photo was taken at Valley Forge PA

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7 Tips to Help When You are in a Dark Place

I saw a meme that my niece posted on Facebook. It said, “When you are in a dark place you sometimes tend to think you have been buried. Perhaps you have been planted. Bloom!” When you think about that, I mean really think about it, that is so true. I believe this! Those dark places that life takes us to, causes us stress and pushed us to change! It helps us transform from who we were to who we are becoming. You may be saying that, this is all great in spirit, but going through this type of transformation is painful and really stinks. How can we nurture ourselves through these dark places? How do we keep putting that one foot in front of the other while we are moving through these times? What can we do to keep our spirits up while our world is falling apart? Here are some thoughts to help you keep looking for the silver lining in these difficult, sometimes even terrible situations.

  1.  Listen to upbeat and motivational music. Remember the song from the play Annie? The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow! Whether upbeat songs from musicals, pop culture, or your favorite local band; music can be a great way to change your mood, remind you of a brighter tomorrow, and just help you keep going.
  2. Meditation. When things are falling apart, it can be hard to imagine they will ever be whole again. It can be hard to imagine that you will ever be whole again. It can be easy to dwell on the past and imagine a dismal future. Meditation is about being “in the now.” Just staying present in this moment, can help you step back from past regrets and future fears, at least for a little while.
  3. Do kind deeds. Sometimes when things seem bleak in our own lives, we feel we need help and it is easy to get stuck in this feeling of need. By doing kind, random acts for others, whether they be strangers or friends, can help our self-esteem and give us a chance to feel valuable in the life of others.
  4. Pet Therapy. Play with puppies, pet a cat, or cuddle a bunny. I personally do not have any pets and I am very happy in my pet free existence. But there are few things as stress relieving as the unconditional love of an animal. When I go on walks, I will often ask to pet the dogs. My friends’ dogs are usually happy to see me come visit because they know I have lots of love to share with them. Studies have shown that animals help reduce stress, anxiety, pain and even blood pressure when interacted with. You don’t have to have your own pet. I bet you know someone who has one that you could share some love and affection (and scratching) with.
  5. Feel your emotions. Feel your emotions and realize you are safe to have these feelings. I think this is one of the hardest parts for me. Touching those painful emotions seems so scary. I wonder if I truly allow myself to feel them, will I ever be able to come back from that precipice. Remind yourself that you are safe! You can stick your toe into the river of emotions and feel the cool wet water without having to get washed away by it.
  6. Journal. There are many different journaling techniques.
    1. There is Free Writing, where you do not sensor, just let whatever comes, flow out of you and onto the pages.
    2.  There is a technique referred to as the Divine Witness Journalling. This is one of my favorites because you can see your own wisdom (the advice you give your friends) come back to you. In this type of journaling, you give your wise-self a name, then you write notes back and forth. You write your question or whatever you are struggling with, on one page to that wise part of yourself. Then on the next page you allow that wise person to respond to your note. You will be amazed at the the wisdom that pours out for you.
    3. Gratitude Journaling is another that can really help change your mood. It shifts your focus from what’s wrong to what’s right. There is always so much to be thankful for. Looking at the positive things in life can help shift you towards a more positive tomorrow.
  7. Get out into nature. There is just something about being in the forest, hearing the birds sing, and watching a creek gently meander amongst the trees; that is so refreshing. Depending on where you live, “nature” may look very different. It may be hiking up a mountain, riding your bike in the desert, walking on the beach, cross country skiing, or sitting on a park bench near some roses. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to be with nature. I remember driving through downtown Minneapolis one morning and seeing the sunrise reflected on all the skyscrapers. I realized then that nature is all around us. From the vegetation growing up through the cracks in the sidewalk and pigeons landing near the sidewalk bistro tables, to the squirrels racing up and down the trees along the street. Nature is always there for us, even in the city. We just have to notice her. Find a quiet corner of your city or a peaceful place in the country and allow nature to refresh your spirit.

If you are in a dark place right now, I am sorry you are experiencing this. I hope these ideas may help you push out of the darkness and force your beautiful, authentic self; up into the light. We all spend some time there, so know you are not alone. I love you and I am proud of you for continually moving forward, even on those days when it seems next to impossible. We are with you in spirit. You are not alone.

Thank you for reading my blog today. May your life be happy and joyous, as if by magic!

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