Wednesday, November 6, 2013

And they sniff..

A dogs path to enlightenment

Dogs are really pretty simple creatures, I should know, I live with two of them.  As a matter of fact, dogs have been in my life since the day I was born.  I've learned much from observing them.

In my opinion they ARE the enlightened ones. The meaning of life is simply "to sniff" more often. Here's what I mean:

They wake up, they sniff.
They stretch, they sniff.
They wake me up, they sniff.
They wait for me, they wag their tail, they sniff.
They go out, they sniff the air.
They walk down the stairs, they sniff the steps.
They pee, they sniff the ground.
They look around, they sniff the rose bush.
(Ok...that really gets me...they stop to smell the roses!)
They come in, they sniff their food.
They see their bones, they sniff (and chew).
They go back out, they sniff the ground.
They poop, they sniff the air.
They see Leo (their boyfriend next door), they sniff his face.
They come back in, they sniff their beds.
They lay down, they sniff the air.
They wake up, they sniff.....
And they sniff, and they sniff, and they sniff!

Yes, that's right, "the sniff" says it all.  With everything dogs do, they stop to sniff.  Sounds so simple - sniffing is the way to enlightenment.

There's still one bud left on my bush.  I'm off to sniff the roses!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When did you stop thinking you were beautiful? 

That is a question the makers of Dove posed in a recent video that my friend and colleague, Birgit Keil, shared just this morning.  I KNOW when I started realizing, again, how beautiful I am -

From a distance many of you would never suspect that I was quite camera shy.  Yes, I was one of those women who would run from the camera.  What I saw in my pictures were flaws, lines, pimples, the hidden scars from listening to callous, insensitive, abusive people; from a society who suffers greatly; from believing I was not "good enough".

Well....Enough is ENOUGH.  I, like all of  you, am more than enough.  There is nothing wrong with me or YOU! We all have a spark, a shine, that when nurtured can light up even the darkest of moments.

My moment came when I shot my first video, with ME in the scene.  While reviewing the piece, I began critiquing it, cutting and cutting until there was nothing left.  My production partner, Judy Davids, gave me sound advice.  She said, "Stop watching yourself with judgement and simply let it be. The world sees only your beauty and hears only your words of love and encouragement, because THAT'S who you are!"

Wow!  Really, that's who I am?  Well, sisters (and brothers) if that's who I am then that's who YOU are - because I am you and you are me.

"I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille!" Gloria Swanson, Sunset Boulevard, 1950

Are you ready?

When will you start thinking you are beautiful? How about right now? Just say, "yes I am" - it's that simple!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reset yourself back to your factory settings

Comparatively speaking, our minds and bodies are very similar to a computers hard drive and how the web operates.  All are warehouses and storage units for unlimited information and stimuli. As humans, information begins "uploading" into our system before we are even born.

In computer lingo SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), in short, it is an industry standard used by millions of websites in the protection of their online transactions with their customers.

In my world SSL is Simple Soulful Living – is the standard used for protecting and enhancing my place in the world; that I might live with a greater sense of love and joy.

Like a computer, when we are constantly exposed to viral threats, pop ups, and daily intrusions our system gets overloaded and can crash.  For humans the "blue screen of death" shows up in the form of extreme exhaustion, unending stress, and sometimes, debilitating disease.

How do we recover?  By resetting our human system back to its factory settings; back to the state of the pure love and joy we knew in the womb and at birth. 

How to reset your inner hard drive:

1.  Do a virus scan - Old emotions and trauma get lodged in our body just like a bad file on the computer.  Pay attention to the way your body feels and moves in the world; pay attention to what triggers and stresses you by tuning in.  Set aside time on a regular basis to sit quiet then scan and listen to what your body, mind and soul are telling you.

2.  Empty your temporary files - We carry a lot of baggage that's not ours.  Let it go by focusing on allowing only that which serves your highest good to enter your life.  Begin practicing radical self care and radical forgiveness.  Follow up with radical kindness.

3.  Clean your inner/outer hard drive - Cleanse your system.  Begin feeding your body and soul the foods and activities that support your system, particularly H2O and a little exercise. Both are essential elements for your operating system to work properly. Other ways to clean your inner and outer hard drive include raw juice fasts, soul retrieval, massage, and inner (and outer) space clearing.

When our minds and bodies become overloaded with everything that is thrown at us on a regular basis, we can't help but crash.  It's crucial to give ourselves time, space and permission to reboot - back to our factory settings and SSL -  simple soulful living.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is soulful living?

What does it mean to live a life led by your souls calling? 

First of all, let's define soulful living.  Below are four definitions I found on Wikipedia, all of which I have heard many times throughout my lifetime.  I’m sure you have, too.

1. the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
2. the spiritual part of humans regarded in its moral aspect, or as believed to survive death and be subject to happiness or misery in a life to come: arguing the immortality of the soul.
3. the disembodied spirit of a deceased person: He feared the soul of the deceased would haunt him.
4. the emotional part of human nature; the seat of the feelings or sentiments.

What's my definition?  Simply being in the flow with your your soul self and allowing yourself to be guided by that voice instead of the voice of your ego.

I grew up in an Irish Catholic household.  My pre-programmed vision of the soul was like this ethereal like fog that lives outside of me.  It seemed like it should be a part of me - that my soul held wisdom – a wisdom I wanted to tap in to.  I began reading about shamanic work and knew it was the work I needed to be doing.  It made so much sense.

Painting by  Andrea Tiffany 
While reading about the many different cultures who identify with Shamanic practices, the words “soul retrieval” kept popping up.  What did that mean?  Did that confirm that my soul was something outside of me?  No, it simply meant that pieces of me needed to be brought home.

Several years ago, I decided it was time to integrate that part of me, the essence of who I am, into my life, then listen to her voice more than my ego’s.  Ah, yes, ego, “Everything’s Going On” - everything besides the truth of your souls’ calling, your soul self.  I began a path to soulful living.  Here’s what I found:  When you tune in and listen, life becomes easier and easier – effortless and joyful.  

How do you tune in?  By getting quiet, meditating, prayer - whatever you want to call it.  Tuning out what's happening around you and tuning into what's happening inside of you.

Oh, I’m not so naive to think that nothing’s going to rock my boat – I’m human.  When it feels good, when there’s no tension, when it sends “God bumps” up and down my spine – I know it’s part my soul’s path.  What is your soul calling out for you to do today?  Not sure – STOP and listen.  It's that simple.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Lessons for Living a Soulful Life

People are constantly asking me how I do it, how I am seemingly so happy.  For me, every second is like “rebirth”.  We simply have to stop long enough to breath into it and recognize, again, that we create our own reality.

Every morning when we wake up we are given another opportunity to live a life we love, a life that completely honors our soul’s purpose.  We must simply make the choice to create that as our reality and then act upon it.

What’s my strategy?  Here are three parts to my soulful journey. 

Minimize to Maximize – After having experienced a devastating house fire years ago I realize “it’s just stuff”.  That “stuff” takes up almost as much space in my head as my house – its clutter.  For maximum enjoyment in my life, I pay attention to what I really love – whether it’s stuff or people – and I surround myself with what I love.  I make a point of minimizing that (or those) which no longer serve my highest good, or the highest good of all, and I let it go, with gratitude and blessings. 

Little Things – Do little things every day for others.  Those little things can mean mountains to someone else.  Sometimes it’s as simple as asking someone how they are, then sitting down to listen to their response or asking how to help.  Last week I left my friends favorite tea and honey in her cupboard so when she came home from giving birth to her second child she’d find a little joy, something to relax and smile with.  It’s that simple.  Below is a list of “little things” that matter most.

Perfectly Imperfect – Celebrate your perfectly imperfect self, allow yourself to “be” just that.  Look around. Everything and everyone is needed.  No one is higher or lower than you!  We are all incomparably unique.  A branch broke off the tree in my backyard.  It doesn't mean it’s not perfect just the way it is.  It’s still an incredible part of nature, providing me with what I need to breathe. 

These three parts of my soulful journey are what I practice everyday.  I’m not always perfect at following my strategy and sometimes I veer off course.  Yes, I am human and my EGO can get the best of me.  There are many parts to my strategy for living a Simple Soulful Life.  The best thing I can do for myself and others is to tune into what my inner Goddess has to say and act upon her promptings!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

50 Little things that can uplift another soul

The little things really do make a huge difference.  Do something for someone every day - your own life will change in BIG ways!

1. Talking less – listening more
2. Community service/Volunteer
3. Mentor a child
4. Mentor an entrepreneur
5. Offer to show someone your town
6. Pay a toll for the person behind you
7. Donate to charity
8. Donate to a local family/friend in need
9. Say hi to a stranger
10. Smile at a stranger
11. Hug someone
12. Call someone long distance
13. Send a card to someone
14. Give a heartfelt gift (it doesn’t have to be expensive)
15. Throw a random dinner party
16. Invite a friend out to breakfast/lunch/dinner
17. Have a free garage ssle
18. Send a client a note or gift thanking them for their service
19. Put money in a meter that has expired
20. Mow a neighbors lawn
21. Shovel your neighbors snow
22. Take a senior citizen for a ride through their old neighborhood
23. Start a free book exchange
24. Buy the person behind you a cup of coffee
25. Let someone in front of you in line
26. Hug your significant other as soon as you see him/her
27. Tell everyone you meet to “make it a great day”
28. Open doors for strangers
29. Say Thank you for everything
30. Tell someonethey’re doing a great job
31. Give random compliments
32. Go to the funeral of a friend or co-worker who has lost a loved one
33. Plan a special day with your child
34. Submit positive feedback to a business  you like
35. Donate blood
36. Adopt an animal
37. Write a thank you card to the postal carrier
38. Say please
39. Give food to a homeless person
40. Take your pet to a nursing or childrens home
41. Make soup for a sick friend
42. Make cookies for someone that least expects it
43. Send flowers to someone on a long trip
44. Show support to a friend going through a difficult time
45. Run an errand for someone
46. Tell someone you are proud of them
47. Give an extra tip to your server or service provider
48. Offer to babysit for a friend’s children for a date night/day
49. Give your spouse a “just because I love you” gift
50. Smile, Smile, Smile

Monday, January 28, 2013

Are you practicing?

When you read the title, "Are you practicing" did the voice in your head sound like your mothers voice or the gentle voice of your soul saying, "come join me"?  Practice is everything.  Living life soulfully is a daily, minute by minute, practice.

This weekend I attended a workshop.  Upon reflection I realize where I am neglecting to "practice" in my own life, where I am "glorifying busy".  Was it coincidence that my husband posted this picture on his Facebook page while I was in the workshop.  (I doubt it! - Thanks, Mr. Williams) Mainly, it showed up in the way I take care of my own needs.

One BIG need is listening to my soul's voice, not  the voice of my mother or the voices of the many teachers in my life.

What speaks to me?  What keeps me in flow?  What do I need to do everyday?
  • Meditation and/or journeying
  • Commune with Mother Earth
  • Connect with my family
  • Connect with my animal family
  • Play 
  • Celebrate LOVE
I have been distracted, filling my life with busy - ness and business; neglecting those aspects of my life where I felt as if I was truly in flow and listening to my souls voice.  My soul is calling, "Come join me"! So...I'm off to join her in journey and align with my mission of Simple Soulful Living!

Living a life you love!

That's what we are here for - to live a life we love.  We, as humans, make things so darn complicated.  Why is that?  Because we let our ego self lead (our "everything's going on" self) instead of listening to our heart, our soul's true voice.

You know you are NOT in tune with your soul essence when you're all tied up in knots, when your life feels like it's spinning out of control.

Sound too easy?  It's NOT!  You know you are in tune with your soul essence when life is in flow, when the little things are just that - little things! This is Simple Soulful Living.

How do we get there?  My answer - it's pretty simple.  By taking time, every day, to practice, yes, practice moving with the flow of life - instead of moving against it (that's where the EGO comes in) - little by little your life will become less complicated and more fulfilling. 

Here's my challenge.  Today decide to listen to your heart, your soul's voice by taking just a few minutes to get quiet and still.  You may just be amazed by what you hear!