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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Success: Where does it come from and why is it important?

During this mornings meditation with Deepak, he spoke about Success as it relates to our Ego and Gratitude. As I slipped into the peaceful space of meditation, I contemplated this truth. Success is important to many of us, but why is that? Where does success derive from? The principles of manifestation would say gratitude. My upbringing and pride though, would say just hard work.

I am not saying that hard work is not important or helps us a realize our dreams. It is certainly a part of the recipe, just not the main ingredient, as our ego would have us believe. Our ego wants to take credit for everything. It needs the constant praise and appreciation that comes with accomplishments in order to feel worthy. Getting to a deep place changes everything. A place where you can step aside from the ego. A place where the observer can watch and see how the ego pumps out it’s chest and struts around taking credit for it all.

When you change the way you look at your “work”. Whether it’s your career, the stuff you do around the house, or whatever “feels” like work to you; the words we use can help to shift our energy. If we say, “I get to…” instead of, “I have to…” it can help us focus on gratitude. Gratitude can bring our dreams into reality. Try it on for size. Instead of, “I have to get this project done”, say, “I get to work on this project and bring it into being”. Notice how the energy shifts from one of dread to one of gratitude. The more gratitude in our hearts, the more the Universe will conspire to bring us an abundance of items to be grateful for.

It can seem like it is unpopular to be grateful. Think how often you have conversations with others where you complain about things, even though deep down you are grateful for them. This has become the way we relate to one another. Somehow the ego thinks if we work really hard, then people will love us. If we are working hard at something we love, the ego tries to take points away from us. By shifting back to a space of gratitude, for the work we get to do, it takes away that martyr energy. Ego wants others to see all the sacrifices you are making. You are not making sacrifices. You are exercising your free will and making choices.

Let me share an example from my own life with you. I make inspirational memes for the Adventures Sisters Facebook page. I will often hear myself saying, “I need to…” or “I have to get memes made and posted.” Sure it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to take the pictures, select the quotes, edit the pictures, and get them posted with hashtags and links. But, what I really mean to say is, “I get to make inspiration artistic pieces that I share with the world. This task allows me to use my love of photography and love of inspirational quotes to combine them in a way that lets me use my artistic abilities and inspires others. By using this artistic outlet, I get to raise the vibration of the planet and serve my life purpose of spreading joy.” Isn’t that a very different energy from the “I have to get this done” comment.  How many times in your life do you express yourself in a way that pleases the ego but does little to bring more gratitude into your life?

As you go about your day today. I challenge you to notice how you say things like, “I have to…” and shift it and find the “I get to…” in it. They are there. Pay attention to how that shifts the way you feel about the things you are doing. That’s it for now! I get to go back to work at my amazing job that allows me to travel and provide education that improves patients care.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you find the shift to gratitude happens naturally, as if by magic.

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Raising the Vibration of the Planet

Our happiness raises the vibration of the whole world. Think about that. When we vibrate with joy and happiness we actually affect the world around us. By raising our own vibration we actually improve the world. When you think about it that way, it is easy to see how your joy is important. It is more than that. Your joy is also not a egocentric. When you are pursuing joy in your life this is not self-centered. When you are taking care of yourself, this is not selfish. Because we are all connected, therefore, your joy affects all of us. 

Raise your vibration to raise the vibration the world! Embrace your joy in order to spread more joy to those you interact with. When the people you interact with see your joy, how can they help but smile? They will see your joy but also feel your joy. The vibration of it. In turn their joy will increase. Then what happens? Well when they interact with people their joy will spread. Like the giant spiderweb that we all are, one person being joyful will affect many and it will continue to move out like ripples on a pond.

In 2000 there was a movie called Pay It Forward. It was a brilliant concept. Person number 1 helps 3 people. In exchange each of these 3 people have to help 3 other people, and so on. Everyone who is touched has to do 3 random acts of kindness for 3 other people. It is the same concept but without having to do anything more than feel joyful. Don’t try to hide it.

I often find that people don’t want to know you are joyful. They may make sarcastic comments or respond with complaints. Then our reaction is to put a cover over our joy. We dim it so our joyfulness does not shine on this other person and make them feel uncomfortable. I have caught myself doing it. Even voicing complaints of my own to fit my vibration to theirs. It does not make sense does it? But we all do it.

Let’s try and be aware of these moments in the future and instead of lowering our vibration lets continue to shine brightly and see if we can’t pull that other person up to vibrate joy with us. You may just surprise yourself when you see how much power you really do have after all.

Our happiness, our joy, it can change the world. It can make the world a bright place and shine light into the shadows. Keep smiling and keep spreading joy! I believe in you!

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you radiate joy, as if by magic.

*Photo was taken in the mountains of Oregon.

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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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Can You Go 21 Days in a Row Without Complaining?

I am here to ask if you would go on another adventure with me? This is a challenge that sounds easy, but it is not for the squeamish. This will require you to come face to face with the type of energy you are REALLY putting out into the world. When I first heard of this challenge, or movement might be more appropriate, I thought it sounded like something I could master pretty easily. After all, I am a positive person. At least I thought I was a positive person. Does this intrigue you? Do you think you can do it? Of course you can. We can do it together.

First, let me start by telling you this is one of the reasons I LOVE social media. This movement, was totally off my radar, until I saw it in a Facebook friends post. She was starting the challenge of 21 consecutive days of being complaint free. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more. Thankfully, she posed a link to a keynote speech given by Will Bowen. After watching his speech, I thought, this is something I have to do even though I had no idea what this was going to entail and what it would teach me about myself.

I naively jumped into this challenge believing my natural Pollyanna attitude would carry me easily to day 21. I knew I was not perfect. I do hear myself complain from time to time. I know, that at times, I even relish the complaining. Really enjoying an occasional good “bitch session”.  Let me tell you something. Despite how self aware I think I may be, I have big old “blind spot” where I don’t see my own imperfections. I complain, A LOT.  I have been on this adventure now for about a week and I am still on day one.

One of my favorite things Will says, in his key note speech is, “There is no shame in day one”. Boy oh boy, I have embraced this as my mantra! After a week I am still on day one. I think some of the days I have complained less, than I would have, before I started this adventure. I have certainly become more aware of how quickly and easily I do complain. I am trying to notice when I am the one who is initiating the complaints verses when I am the one who jumping on the complaint bandwagon. I will tell you, I am certainly guilty of both.

I was beginning to feel a bit discouraged by my inability to get past day one. I thought, maybe I wasn’t keeping it front of my mind, enough? I get it that complaining is a habit and will take time to break it, but a week without being able to go past 1 day without voicing a complaint?! What am I doing wrong? I decided I need to keep the adventure front of mind for myself. I looked for the audio book that Will wrote. It’s called, A Complaint Free World: How to Stop Complaining and Start Enjoying the Life You Always Wanted. I downloaded it and started to listen to it while I was commuting. Surely, this will be what I need to remain complaint free for a day or two. Nope! I am still catching myself complaining but there is some really great stuff happening. 

One of the really wonderful things is I am now aware of myself and my complaining in a way I have never been in the past. I am telling you, I really thought I was Stacy Sunshine. I was more than a bit surprised to find out that is “not” the vibration I am sharing with the world all of the time. The other thing that I learned, from listening to Will’s book is this; he struggled too. He did not immediately jump to day 2. There were days he celebrated that he only complained 5 times. Ok, so now I feel better. I am not alone in my Eeyore nature. We “all” do it.

I do know this! I do not want to be a complainer. I do not what to bring others down and put negative vibrations out into the world or even boost myself up by gossiping about others. This is not who I am on a soul level! This is not the person I am here to be. I want to raise the vibration and be an inspiration. So, you want to go on an adventure with me?! Let’s do a 21 consecutive days; complaint free! I will write update blogs to let you know how I am doing and you can share hints, tips, and tricks of what is helping you along the way. Together we can help Will’s movement of a complaint free world spread even further and faster across this planet. He does say; it takes most people about 8 months to reach the 21 days. Let’s see if we can beat that!

We can do this! Remember that Will says; “There is no shame in day one”. Want to join this adventure?! Why not? What have you got to loose?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find your spirit positive and your words hopeful, as if by magic.

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My New Favorite Saint (well…almost)

I was raised Catholic. This religion no longer resonates with me because my beliefs have shifted. Still, there are parts of Catholicism that will forever be part of who I am. St. Anthony, if you don’t know his story, is who you call on when you loose something and he will find it for you. It really is magical. Try it sometime and you will see. This morning I was listening to a book and I heard a story of a saint I had not heard before. It intrigued me. Although St. Anthony is my favorite saint, St. Martha is climbing the charts.

Many know the stories of St. George who slays the dragon. St. Martha also conquered a dragon. She did it in a very different way. Instead of slaying the dragon, she tamed it. I think this illustrates the difference between the masculine energy and feminine energy. St.  George springs into action and through brute strength, plunges his sword into the beast and kills it. St. Martha, when faced with a similar situation, takes a walk in the forest; nurtures, befriends, and then eliminates the threat through kindness. This is not saying that the feminine approach is better than the male. When I hear a sound in the house in the middle of the night, I am supremely grateful for the protective nature of my husband. I do think though that society tends to dismiss the power of nurturing kindness.

Think about the way that we have the power to change and shift the vibrational quality of the planet if we did it through feminine energy. Nurturing and caring for each other through tough days, rather than sharing anger and raising our fists at the frustration. By validating what the other person is going through and showing them love and encouragement, we can elevate the vibration higher.

Anger has its place and is a very valid feeling. Please do not dishonor your feelings. You feel what you feel and that is not wrong. However, when you feel that anger, acknowledge it and then look if there is a way that you can handle the situation more like St. Martha than like St. George. Let’s say your child comes home from school with a black eye. There are many ways you might respond. Perhaps you get angry. How could the school have let anyone hurt your babe. You are going to call them and give them a piece of your mind right now. You fly off in a rant (probably in front of your child) about how this should’t have happened. In contradiction to that you may hold you child close. Ask them what happened. Get them some ice to put on their eye. Snuggle with them on the couch and have them share how the experience made them feel. Do you see the difference? Both examples are completely based on love for the child. One resonates with St. George energy and the other is more St. Martha.

We are all predisposed to react one way or the other. In life we need balance in all things. That is why we all have both masculine and feminine energies within us. When you see others responding to stress around you, observe the different types of responses. Notice the power that is held by the beautiful soft feminine energy. Just think how things could shift in the world with a little more of that.

What experience have you had with these different energies? How did this make you feel? What would you like to share with others?

Have a blessed day today. Thank you for reading my blog!

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