Viewing entries tagged
gratitude

There's Purpose In Pain and A Gift In Every Loss

“There’s a bit of magic in everything and loss to even things out.”- Lou Reed
 
“Although I have spent years training myself to reverse my own anxiety, I have only left survival mode in the last couple months and am learning what that feels like and to be comfortable fully trusting that I am and my children are taken care of. I am at my goal of better than fine- but I’ve never been here before.  And while I know my work is in the interim of where I’ll end up, I am learning to appreciate where I am in the journey. It’s a wonderful and foreign place and I know this appreciation is also a practice, but it feels incredibly important.  I don’t want to just say I am grateful, I want to fully feel it. I am whole without more, just as I am. I create as I choose.  Peace is happening now if I allow it. Big revelation.”

I sent this text to one of my closest friends one morning after a particularly empowering meditation.  Our daily conversations were always this deep, introspective and growth oriented.  It felt good to write out my inner thoughts and fears and I was excited for every one of her heartfelt and insightful replies.

Her response…”That is incredible! I understand the angst of living in the now. Took me years of working hard at trying to change my patterns and reactions that I picked up as a result of living so many years with fear, angst and chaos. So Lynn, live it, breathe it, be it! You earned it! I’ve only known you a short time, but this has been the best year of my entire life. A year of learning, understanding and clarity, it’s been incredible sharing my thoughts, dreams and sorrows. Thank you.  Thank you for what was, what is and what will be.  I am so grateful for you! For your friendship, for your support, for your love, I’m the luckiest girl in the world.”

Five days later, after many more texts, and one evening of sharing our joy through our growing pains in person, my treasured friend died in her sleep.  Unexpectedly for those who loved her, her soul exited peacefully and left an enormous hole in the hearts of her son, family and friends who relied on her unwavering strength and glowing light to keep us comforted and inspiring our own power.

I, for one, was devastated.

The peace I had felt a week prior was shattered. I felt nothing but shock, anger, confusion and a deep, deep sadness. But worst of all, I felt alone.  Keep Reading...

When Grief Finds Its Purpose

“Hey, I found this outside the door with your name on the card,” she said holding a beautifully wrapped gift box, her hands extending it to me.

“Really?” I questioned. Who would be leaving me a gift outside my office door?  As I began to read the card, I felt silly by the obviousness of it all.  It was from my mischievous friend, standing right in front of me. I laughed and felt ridiculous at the same time.  My friend, Jayne, who I had met through work, had become one of my strongest cheerleaders and supporters in my life in a very short amount of time and I was grateful she was simply in the room. I’d spent so much time with clients lately, I'd forgotten the feeling of human friendship in the flesh.

Good Things are on Their Way to You, it read, along with a heartfelt note of thanks for our friendship and acknowledgement of just how much it meant to her.  The gifts inside the box were a blend of silly and serious tokens.  A spiritual book her mentor had written, novelty napkin and matches with funny pictures and sayings, and a few other items that represented just the kinds of things that would make us smile and pause. It was the perfect gift.

We waited a few minutes to acknowledge that we were, in fact, alone in the office.  We were running an empowerment group we just began advertising for and were thrilled that no one showed up.  It was just us, happy friends who got to spend the next hour telling stories of our week and the immense growth we were feeling and a genuine appreciation that our previous struggles were finally beginning to pay off…and more importantly, we were understanding why. 

We laughed hard at ourselves and the texts we sent earlier in the day.  She had become that friend for me, that offered me daily support and we would text each other all day long with updates and words of encouragement and insight…like an interactive friend journal. We knew just how the other was feeling and exchanged the play by plays of learning our daily lessons in living. Deep, spiritual and always an additional bonus of humor. She totally got me.

When she walked out the door that night, she showed me how big her pants were and I scolded her for wearing them.  Money was tight for her and she didn’t want to add more to her credit card and I went on a tangent about deserving and blah, blah, blah…buy some pants that feel good.  While I was getting in my car, she yelled out, “I Love You!” and I responded that I loved her back, thinking, “Huh, I should say that more often.”  I looked over at my friend waving goodbye and she looked stunning…and happy.

That would be the last vision I had of her.

My beautiful friend went home that night and died quietly in her sleep.

To fill in the gap of what I’ve experienced since that last sentence would be a book in itself. It’s been…incredibly painful. And I am no stranger to grief.

I’ve thought a lot about loss since then and why it’s such a challenge to manage emotionally.  I see how the more we attach ourselves to people, ideas and beliefs, the more we risk being hurt when we discover those people, ideas and beliefs can change overnight.  The stronger we attach, the higher the risk of disappointment if something goes “wrong.” They are the kind of thoughts where anxiety festers, and a fear of attachment begins.

It’s so easy to focus on loss when it happens…everything that’s missing.  All that we’ve lost, including the loss of the dream of the future and the way we thought it would be.  We focus on the change.  It’s a typical response and it hurts like crazy.

But when we slow down and look at what we’ve gained from a person or an idea that didn’t play out the way we once believed it would, we can begin to pull out the positives, the gifts, the experiences we wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And that’s when we can start to see the gain in almost anything.

If I was given the offer to create a friendship with a person who would change my life and perspective in such a way it would alter my view of my world, myself, how I give, how I love and how I want to grow-- but it would be taken away from me when I least expected it, would I take the offer?

Would I have had the courage to accept the experience for what it was?

I’m a risk taker, but risking dropping the peace in my heart is not my strong suit.

And yet, I took a risk to befriend someone who altered my life forever so profoundly that I will never be the same. I will take all that she taught me to expand my view of faith and create new opportunities that wouldn’t haven’t been inspired without her.  I will hear her voice when I’m scared and she will counsel me through as I try to avoid all that I want to pursue, but am fearful of.

Without taking the risk to attach, to love, to let go and trust that we are supported by life, how can we ever live in our dreams? Every idea and experience and person comes into our lives to teach us something and when they are present, we are unaware of how they will play out.  Does that mean we are best to avoid them? How many incredible experiences would we miss out on if we chose not to risk potential temporary discomfort?

When we look back on all the pains we’ve lived through, how many would we give up if it meant we couldn’t be where we are?

I wouldn’t give mine up either. I wouldn’t be who I am without the risks and challenges and I am liking this woman I see transforming. I am eternally grateful for what I’ve learned. Worth every tear I’ve shed and feeling of emptiness, especially now that I am beginning to refill my own cup.

When assessing risk, the ultimate question becomes, which will bring me closer to my joy and which will take me further away?  I choose joy in whatever form it comes in. You?

Just Say "Thank You"

There you are, standing in line at the store, head down playing with your phone searching for something to distract your attention while you wait and you hear a voice behind you say, “I love your shoes. You look really great!”

You look up, wondering if the words are meant for you, and by the piercing look on the stranger’s face, it is clear that they are.

Immediately, you search for a response to deflect the outward sign of approval.  “Oh I got these on sale down the road at Lucky’s. They are comfortable though.” Your head goes back down, slightly awkward, not knowing what to do with the attention, you return to business as usual, pleased with the compliment, but not knowing what to do with it.

As you stare at your phone, you receive a text from a friend who knows you’ve been having a rough couple of weeks.  “I’m going to pick up dinner and drop it off for you tonight so you can just relax. What are you in the mood for?” it reads.  You are thrilled at the prospect of not having to cook and the idea of a responsibility free evening is wonderful. You know you need a break.

“Thank you for offering, but I’m all set. I have food that needs to be cooked before it goes bad,” you immediately respond. As much as you would love to be taken care of, you don’t want to put anyone out and feel like a burden.

Sound familiar? 

You know that feeling you get when you give someone a gift that they adore and you can feel their genuine gratitude?  Feels good, right? Or when you know someone you love is struggling and you are able to do little tasks for them to take the edge off their discomfort? Or when you listen to a friend pour their heart out and feel the relief of knowing someone cares? You feel useful and gratified that your support made their life a little easier, a little brighter, even if only for a brief moment.  It’s a wonderful feeling, allowing us to feel like we’ve made a difference. The ability to help others is a reward in itself!

When you do not allow someone to do the same for you, you are taking away their ability to feel this bliss. You are letting your feelings of unworthiness reinforce their feeling of lack.  In truth, it’s very poor manners. They have offered you a gift and you’ve essentially taken it out of their hands, crumpled up the bow and thrown it on the floor.  Their opportunity to feel good helping someone else has been robbed. Ouch....Keep Reading

The Inspirologist

Less than two weeks prior to her transition, Jayne Fletcher climbed her final steps to clarity on Earth with her son, divinely timed as usual, before her rise to clarity in the Heavens. Her growth and light were extraordinary and her learning immense. She longed to share them.

Jayne shared her pride with me via text…“I have never been more proud of myself. Never. Never in my entire life. I’m so proud of my accomplishments I’ve made in my life, to bring me to where I am today. It’s incredible. I am blessed and I am fortunate for all that is. Thank you.”

This first quote was the text she sent me when she reached the top of the physical steps of the tower she climbed, facing a long standing fear. I share her words and story as the Inspirologist with you to allow your heart to grow and expand as hers did. 

“I’m so clear on my dream and when I spoke it out loud, I was inspired by my own strength, clarity and direction.” The Inspirologist

When I first met Jayne only a year ago, I was immediately drawn to her.  We were being invited to work in a spiritual healing center and create our own network of clients.  We both spoke of our current status of life transition, leaving jobs unexpectedly and knowing it was clearly to do the work our soul craved.  Yet, it was scary and unstable and a huge risk.  And we were waist deep in working to make things work while embracing the faith we believed we needed to move forward living a trust based life. But the truth was, we couldn’t get ourselves to do anything else.

Our connection was instant and my trust of her and in her was an enormous gift from the start. She made it easy.  She laughed at my jokes, understood my intense emotions and shared my passion for hope.  It was clear we were meant to work together.

“Love is our survival. We seek it for so many reasons, but the primary is acceptance.” -The Inspirologist

As our friendship grew, so did our self love. We took turns supporting each other as life twisted and turned with moments of gratitude and moments of frustration and pain.  We shared our dreams and what we’d learned and the value we found in each experience, challenging or blissful, they each had a gift.  We looked for the deeper meaning of discomfort and pulled out the pieces which gave us solace. 

Jayne believed in the power of love as the strongest method of healing. Looking inside ourselves and seeing who we truly are and knowing that we deserve all good things that come our way. Without self love, we are unable to accept love from the outside.  Without self-acceptance, we can not fully grasp that we deserve all things beautiful and bright.

“Accepting who you are is key. Accepting who you are diminishes the insecurities and the fear.”-The Inspirologist.

Jayne knew that seeing our internal strength was the only way to find true peace.  We can look outside of ourselves and grip onto the strength of another, but it will not give the lasting strength we desire.  We can search for acceptance and approval through others from the outside world, but it is only our own eyes that clearly see our truth. When we accept ourselves, we accept the life around us.  

“How would you feel if you were alone? Feel inside what it is…then heal from that place.” The Inspirologist

Jayne spent the last few years entrenched in her own healing and understanding. She knew it was the only way to move forward with grace and knowledge.  She wanted that knowledge, she asked for it, and it was hand delivered in many ways.  She found her strength to heal in her faith, in her ability to truly KNOW that she was loved and supported.  

“Trust the process, hold the vision. Hold true to what you want.” The Inspirologist

Jayne practiced trust each day.  She recited her morning prayers and affirmations with consistency, living in peace and wholeness with every chance she could get.  She loved her vision.  She nurtured it, fed it, held it next to her heart so it would feel the life she breathed into it.  She wanted to help people grow and heal.  And she did.  She shared her words, her knowings, her gift to connect with Heaven and all those who inhabit it.  Her work as a medium was fulfilling, but not as fulfilling as sharing her belief in the power of self-love.

“Reality- people want to believe. They’re desperate to hold on, to understand, to see. They need validation, they need love. They need to hear.” The Inspirologist

I knew I was meant to meet Jayne to learn more about myself and feel the genuine connection of friendship.  She was my reflection of strength, faith and self-love and taught me what love really means….internal strength, trust and peace.

“You have all the resources from within. Trust.” The Inspirologist

Jayne’s life path was not an easy one, but she was grateful for it.  She knew her lessons were meant to help her be who she dreamed of.

“As I’m sitting here by myself, I feel such gratitude and growth.  Learning may be a pain in the ass, but it does feel flipping awesome.” The Inspirologist

When Jayne finally began sharing her insight and knowledge on Facebook, it was like she gave birth to herself. Her voice was being heard. She was impressed with herself and she felt adoring passion for her work.  

“This has been the best year of my entire life.  A year of learning, understanding and clarity, it’s been incredible sharing my thoughts, dreams and sorrows. Thank you.  Thank you for what was, what is and what will be. I am so grateful. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.” The Inspirologist

Jayne left this world so filled with love for herself, for her little Buddha Matthew (who by the way, she quoted so often for her own inspiration) and for her life.  She came to learn and teach and that she did. And without question, she will continue to teach from the other side.

As I read through months of our texts of support, I embraced the many lessons she helped me see. So profound, so loving, so filled with depth and knowledge. And yet her support for all of us continues on…

“FYI...you got this. You can handle anything that comes your way! Remember that! Breathe and know that this is a learning for another step in the direction of your goals. I heard you needed to hear that.” – The Inspirologist

Jayne is a power player in this great Universe of ours and God continues to shine her light. She wouldn’t have it any other way.  She wants us to embrace the moments we have and appreciate the journey. It’s the quickest way to a peaceful and joy filled life.

“No one knows the exact timing your life, Dear One, when you are ready, it will find you. Be present, be open, be free. Free of expectations of what lies ahead.” The Inspirologist

The evening before Jayne transitioned to Heaven, she and I spent our last hour together sharing our excitement and our growth. She was filled with happiness and pride and in awe of her own courage.  She was simply…stunning.

On her last day on Earth, she learned her final lesson.

“I found my greatest love through fear.” The Inspirologist

Jayne faced her strongest fears and was rewarded with the gift of peace. A peace she wants to share with all you. I share with you a last message of love…

“Understand that the truth of what lies ahead is in the path of greatness. Go be great! You are progressing at warp speed to achieve greatness not only within love, but within the circle of life. Go to the edge where you’ve never been before. Go In Peace”

- With all her love, The Inspirologist

The Almighty Powerful Thought...and how to change it

My chatterbox mind was in full effect.  One thought racing to the next. Which thoughts would dominate was rarely in question.  They always come back to the “what ifs”, the “what’s nexts”, the “but how do you knows.”  They are the familiar trio which can overpower the calming thoughts swiftly and easily.  Most of the time, I don’t even know they’ve arrived until I start to feel my physical ease dwindle.

The morning walk I was on when I noticed them was no different than the day before.  Early morning sun, quiet and peaceful…until the thoughts nudged their way in. I was midway up a hill, pushing my body a little harder, when I heard another voice in my mind get louder, “Stop. We don’t want to do this right now. Let’s change this up and make it a gratitude walk. Focus on the good. Focus on now.”  Another voice chimed in, “Great idea. Let’s do it.” 

I instinctually looked up at the sky, beginning the chant of thanks.  I was grateful for the blue sky, the cool morning and bright glowing sun. I was thankful for the trees donning their green glory. I was thankful for my legs being strong enough to take me where I wanted to go and for the ability to even be out walking on such a lovely morning before my work day began.  I felt my mood instantly elevate, the chemistry in my brain shifting with my thoughts.  I kept going, listing small details, yet feeling a powerful sense of thanks for the beauty around me.  

I began to notice things I had not noticed before.  Details that had likely been the same for the past two years I’d been on this walk, but didn’t see.  I noticed how tall the trees were.  They looked down on me lovingly with their wisdom and whispered their secrets of balancing the seasons of change. They had been rained on, snowed on, pushed constantly by wind and lost their leaves every year, but yet they continue to grow. They had withstood extreme cold and heat, been damaged by storms, broke branches and lost limbs, while watching others be taken out to make room for new houses, yet they stood taller one year after the next.  They were strong and stable and made room for the new while the old fell away.  Looking at them, you would not know how they sustained the cycles, they looked as radiant as ever. 

As I marveled in the divine strength around me, I felt my eyes well up with tears of joy and appreciation.  The “what if’s” and “what’s nexts” were gone, replaced with the energy of gratitude and presence of my surroundings.  And all it took was a decision.  A change in thought. And follow through.

It didn’t take two months, or two days or even two hours to adjust my perspective. It took minutes. With a quick alteration in intention, the world around me seemed to change. But it didn’t. I changed. I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to spin in anxiety and I didn’t have to. I made a choice. 

We do have the power to change our thoughts. We do have the ability to craft a life we desire. We do have the potential to have what our heart is telling us is rightfully ours.  We just have to listen, accept and follow through.  And we won’t do it perfectly every time because we are human, and that is okay.  It is part of the enriching experience of being authentic and whole, but it’s our experience to create as we wish. Choice and creation is the strongest birthright we are gifted. What’s next is up to us.

Turning Grief Into Gratitude

As I come upon the one year anniversary of a life changing event for me, a time where I want to focus on celebrating my accomplishments, I instead find myself rounding up my grief.  

I don’t speak of it often because the event is still confusing for me and pangs of anger and sadness can rise up quicker than I can escort them out. It is a story of betrayal, of lies, of weakness and yet, an event that would cause me to dig deep to decide and follow through on how I would allow myself to be treated and what I truly deserved.

I was told I would no longer have my job, a job I once dreamt of having, a job I did well at, a job where I grew close friends who had supported me through some of the other major life changes I’d undergone…getting married, having my babies, deaths of loved ones and even the end of my marriage.  In so many ways I grew up there, it was my security, it was my home base, and then when I least expected it, it told me I was not welcome there anymore.

Let me be clear, I still had a job, but not at the place I had called my home.  I was not fired, I was told that I would have no choice but to take a different job if I still wanted employment.  For someone like me who needs to understand EVERYTHING, it made no sense at all.  I had not done anything wrong. I was good at what I did. I created opportunity to give as much as I could while I was there. Yet, I knew in my heart why it was happening.  I knew I didn’t belong there anymore, but it hurt tremendously.  

The feeling of intense heartache and anger was not foreign. It was not the first time I had been treated poorly in my life. And I knew I had to make a decision on if I would allow the pattern to continue or if I could muster the courage to change it.  I asked myself the same questions over and over again…what do you want, what would you do if you removed the fear, and what would you tell yourself if you were your own spouse? My answers came quickly, but it didn’t stop me from asking them…repeating “Are you sure? Are you really sure?” I was sure, but wow, it was scary.

I was quickly reminded it wasn’t just about me. I had children to think about, a mortgage, and no actual knowledge of what life outside my little bubble would look like. Prior to making my decision to leave a secure job completely, I didn’t even know what the hell I was going to do!

And so began my first step in my giant leap….huge leap….of Faith.  I knew myself well enough to know once I made up my mind there would be no turning back.  And there wasn’t.

I want to tell you that it was smooth sailing after that. I want to tell you there have been no obstacles. I want to tell you that the fear dissolves.  But the truth is, even being on the “right” path, there are still obstacles, there are storms like I’ve never seen, there are fears that follow me around like we have been besties for years and they still lie to me that they are keeping me safe. The learning curves for me are enormous.  And I become overwhelmed and frustrated and exhausted.  

Yet, when I think of what my life would have been like if I chose the other path, I can’t even fathom how I’d still be breathing. I would have survived, I would have made it work, but I wouldn’t be truly living….at least not comfortably in my skin. And not directly on the path to my own happiness.

 A year later, I AM living an authentic life.  One I’ve had great help designing and one that hasn’t even begun to exploit what I know I have yet to do. I am given amazing gifts nearly every day. Extraordinary highs I've never experienced and a sense of knowing I would have never believed existed. I have had spontaneous tears of joy that seem to come from nowhere and the sensation of my passion bubbling to the surface. I hear myself say thank you all day long...and I mean it from the depths of my soul.

I wish my accomplishments took the sadness out for me. I wish I didn’t still feel the heartache. But maybe that’s just the reminder, that I had a good life to walk away from.  And there really don’t need to be any regrets.  It was just time to move on to the next part of who I am.  

Acceptance…the last stage of grief.  I’m just a few tears away.

I was telling my son that I will be celebrating the date and he highlighted my bravery, stating that not everyone has the courage to do what I’ve done. I disagreed and still disagree. Everyone has the same amount of bravery to access, it’s whether we choose to use it or not.  

How do you want to live your life?  We are all asked the same question and we are all given opportunity to create exactly what we want.  And when the opportunity presents itself, and it always does… it’s our call what comes next.