Viewing entries tagged
serendipity

2 Comments

A Simple Way to Practice Trusting the Process of Life

IMG_2402.PNG

As the new year began I committed to myself that I would practice what I preach and really learn to Live Serendipitously- in the flow of life. This meant I would practice to letting go and see how life is truly happening for me and build evidence to prove this.

I believe this concept wholeheartedly, but I also am human and don’t like getting slammed with unexpected life stressors as much as the next person. I welcome growth and change, but experiencing pain and disappointment is not favorite way to get there.

So you know what January offered me? Pain. And frustration. And impatience. And heartache. 

Not the devastating kind, but just enough confusion, hurt and stress to take me out of my flow and have me question what I was doing- a lot. I was cranky and irritable. I felt lost and confused. I cried nearly every day to relieve the stress build up and gave myself the space to feel my feelings. 

I experienced strong waves of anger and resentment and let myself feel every ugly part of it. I did not appreciate it at all, but it helped. I chose to not repress and found myself venting angrily to get it out. It was incredibly unpleasant as anger is my least favorite emotion. It generally makes me feel powerless and stuck. I let myself experience it, but I refuse to live there.

Despite my uneasiness with the process, I let myself be in the flow of what was happening and ride the waves of discomfort knowing they would eventually end.  

Thankfully, on New Year’s Day I also began tracking the good things which occurred each day. I purposefully noticed the unexpected joys and opportunities I didn’t see coming which found their way into my life. I use a Gratitude App on my phone that allows me to add pictures and list the things that made me feel good each day.

I began the practice of recording that which lifted me up, made me smile or brought me hope. Whether they were compliments or experiences or simple surprises like small gifts through words or actions from others, I wrote them down. I noted what I saw or created or even committed to doing or giving to myself. 

Every single day had a gift. And I tracked it. 

This practice allows me see that even in my dark moments, there is a glimpse of light, of hope, of joy, no matter how small. I did not know the month would bring so much challenge. I had no way to predict it. But I also did not know that so many wonderful things would happen or what they would be. 

Tracking my daily joys allows me to increase my faith that no matter what happens next, something will help balance it out. It may be a moment that feels good and lets me know it’s not always going to be hard and challenging. It may be a promise of hope or a reminder of being loved and seen. These moments give me proof that in some way I am supported, even in the smallest of ways. And the small moments and surprises adds up.

Some days I tracked unexpected joys right after they happened and others I would add in at the end of the day or early the next morning. Each time I wrote them I re-lived the joy and the feeling of gratitude and awe that came with them. This is a gift in itself! 

As I reflect on the past month, I’m intrigued with how much my challenge changed and then dissipated, as well as the amount I learned about myself and my reactions to life. What I have deemed a very hard month was also one filled with wonderful events, opportunities, interactions and enormous gifts of joy. Had I not tracked them or taken the time to reflect, I would have said the month was a disappointment and stressful all throughout. 

Tracking my joys shifts my perspective and also firms up my faith and proof that life is truly happening for me even when I can’t see it in the moment, but I know the gifts will find their way. It allows me to truly Live Serendipitously with more trust and evidence that life is happening for me. 

My cousin Andrew says that life seems to be something of a project. The unpredictable ups and downs give us something to discover and learn as we go. I couldn’t agree more. And I for one, plan to make the most of this project and take in all the joy I can along the way. Ready to join me?

Article also posted and shared on Biz Catalyst 360.



2 Comments

Comment

Maybe It's Time to Make the Unknown a Known

maybe its time pic.jpg

Ending unhealthy patterns and changing the dynamics in relationships is haarrrd. Especially the relationship you have with yourself.

Often you can not see your own repeat behavior in a relationship because the emotional ties and attachments make it much harder to see.

This is why we have an intuitive voice. An inner knowing that whispers and eventually screams “Knock it off and change it up!”

But change  can also feel haarrrd. And if the change you want is accompanied by risks and fears (and most are) it will slow down you actually following through with what feels best. 

So how do you know you are moving in the right direction for you? Because your choice may feel scary, but it also feels like freedom. Being on the other side FEELS like freedom.

And because you have an arsenal of proof that when you do hard things and follow through with tough decisions, the details work themselves out.

The emotions balance themselves out. The fear dissipates when you see that this change you’ve been putting off is EXACTLY what you needed and will progress you forward to even more freedom and love of life. 

If you’re not there yet, the hints and clues will keep coming and the voice will get louder. The discomfort will grow. And it’s your call.  What will you choose?

Fear or trust in yourself, your abilities and knowledge that Life supports you when you support yourself. 

Maybe it’s time to make the unknown a known.

Comment

Comment

Living Serendipitously

joy impact.jpg

Serendipity occurs for us even when we are not paying attention…

In my early 20’s, while trying to figure out what I was meant to do, I felt stuck. I was studying psychology in college, and it didn’t feel right. My initial passion to learn what makes people tick began to dwindle the more classes I took. The college I attended was focused on research, and the theories presented seemed to make simple processes unnecessarily complicated. I was frustrated and discouraged and unsure if I was on the right path for me.

I had a strong drive to help others but not in the way I was learning. I felt alone in my struggle and confused by the direction. The summer before going into my senior year of college, I wondered if I should change my course as I neared the end of this phase. Since I was good at keeping my fears to myself, it came as a surprise when my brother suggested I read a book that inspired him. That was the first time he recommended anything to me. I took his advice and read the book… the book I had unknowingly been waiting for.

In the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, a renowned psychologist, wrote of his accounts as a prisoner in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. He shared the horrific stories of the violence he witnessed and how he survived. He also shared the theory he developed that there is a purpose to all of our experiences and we can find meaning in just about anything.

A focus on the good. The gifts in the midst of chaos. The opportunity to grow and prosper from whatever we are faced with.

This was how I saw life, and this man who had experienced so much trauma saw it too. It was this book, his experiences, and views, which reminded me I was headed in the right direction for me. It was the serendipity, the unexpected gift, the reminder I needed to keep going.

Life is serendipitous. It is filled with unexpected pleasures, gifts, and opportunities. Our experiences are meant to be. And we are supported in these experiences, even the ones that feel like they are tearing us down.

Our lives are designed for us to learn, grow and experience joy. All of us. We are given opportunities through our relationships, our jobs, our children, our playtimes, our accidents, our illnesses, our losses, our chance meetings with strangers and a whole host of other ways, to learn about ourselves and how we give and receive love.

We are given choices and hints and whispers and sometimes shouts of which direction to go next and it is up to us decide how we want to live our lives. Each decision we make creates new opportunities to learn and grow. Sometimes these opportunities feel challenging and painful, and sometimes they are so filled with ease we wonder if they are real. They are all real, and they are all for us.

How do we know this? How can we trust it? By creating the proof. By practicing awareness that hope and grace surround us. All we have to do is open ourselves up to it and receive.  

Each day listen to your inner voice to create some of the joy you are looking for. Start to take note of the good things that are happening to you and around you. Notice when someone compliments you when you least expect it and how it feels. Notice when your children give you an extra hug and tell you they love you. Notice when you thought you couldn’t pay your bill and the money showed up at the last minute, or you were given an extension when you asked. Notice the opportunities that appear “out of the blue.”

Notice the ideas that are repetitive in your thoughts and how good it feels when you follow through and trust them. Notice that when you take care of yourself, your mood starts to shift quickly, as does your perspective.

Notice how when you felt grief over loss, your friends and family stopped what they were doing to lift you up. Notice how the disagreement that was long overdue with someone you love allowed you to start communicating more openly and honestly. Notice all the things that bring you joy and see how they multiply. Not in how often they occur, but in how often you let them into your heart with awareness.

The more you focus on the good and see the gifts in every day, no matter what is going on, you train yourself to see the temporariness of situations, especially the uncomfortable ones. You begin to recognize....Keep Reading 

 

Comment

4 Comments

The Story Behind the Story...The Secret to Beating the Dragon

Book Summary:

Andrew and his grandmother are best friends and spend their time together telling stories of conquering imaginary dragons (fear) by being brave (looking fear in the eye). As Gram ages and her life ends, Andrew is left to battle the dragons alone until he discovers that Gram has been with him all along.

Embrace the moments…that’s my focus lately.

My children’s book, The Secret to Beating the Dragon, was delivered to me the other day. My initial reaction was excitement…and then an immediate sense of sadness because my kids weren’t home to view it with me for the first time.  I wished they were…

But I am a firm believer in Divine timing. I do believe life is perfectly timed out for us, even when it makes no sense to us at all. So I questioned, “why must I be alone to see the book for the first time? They love it too!”

And it hit me….the night I wrote the story I was home alone for one of the first overnights my kids were with their dad after our separation.  I missed them and it gave me the opportunity to sit with myself and feel. Let’s be honest, that is not something we typically enjoy. But I wanted to embrace it and felt inspired to write.

I sat in my kitchen, notebook in hand and let the words fill the page.  Crying as I wrote, I felt the emotions of love and loss and strength and courage. And then I text the story to my cousin, Andrew, whose relationship with my grandmother inspired the story to begin with.  Along with him, I cried some more.

The story is heartwarming and I knew I wanted to share it.

The moment has come full circle.

But the day I held the book…that moment was for me. And Andrew. I text him the picture of it immediately. He is the primary reason I wanted this story to come to life. His love for his grandmother...and hers for him. Beautiful and inspiring and the kind of love that makes you remember why you love---because it feels amazing. Also, the kind that reminds you why it’s hard to let go---because it feels amazing.

The night I wrote the story, I felt their love so strongly.  I felt how he missed her and how he did everything to make their time together the best it could be. And I felt how much she appreciated it…how much she appreciated him.

She was living with Alzheimer’s disease in her home in the middle of the woods of Maine when Andrew moved in. My grandfather had died a few years prior and she had been living her life to the fullest since, but with the onset of Alzheimer’s, no one wanted her to be alone. My brother lived there for a period as well. Both he and Andrew cared for her as long as they could as they were going through their own life transitions.

Her vibrant spirit and strong independence was shifting. She was going downhill and life was hard for her. I would call her on my way home from work and tell her the same jokes each day because I knew she didn’t remember them from the day before. And she would laugh- every time. Same jokes, same response.

I just wanted to make her smile.

She would complain that she knew her memory was going and it was so frustrating. I hurt for her. It hurt me that she hurt. So I told her that she was living the dream…she was living in the moment, because that’s all she had.

But for me, it was painful.  I just wanted to take her pain away. I loved her so very much. The idea of her suffering was awful.

I was grateful Andrew was there. His humor, his personality, his dedication to our grandmother was unmatched. He would come home from his job on the ambulance and tell Gram of his adventures in the field. Having volunteered on an ambulance herself after retirement, she was eager to hear his stories.

She craved adventure as much as he did and they would share a glass of whiskey as he told his tales of the day.  And Andrew, the charismatic and funny man that he is, is an excellent story teller. No doubt she took it all in, happy to live through the bloodline she created. Appreciative to experience life through the eyes of love and admiration.

I tear up nearly every time I read the story. I’m sure at some point I won’t. But for now, I still feel the intensity of the love and the loss and the exquisite beauty that comes with it.

While the book was coming to life this past fall and early winter, my beloved aunt, Andrew’s mom, was dying. I’ve accepted that I cannot find words that best describe my aunt. Her pure spirit and genuine kindness frame the most giving soul I’ve ever met. She is simply- love- in its truest form.

The kind of love that makes you remember why we love---because it feels amazing. Also, the kind that reminds you why it’s hard to let go---because it feels amazing.

I can’t capture the magnitude of her loss- it runs too deep- but I can say that the timeliness of having our family together to help me critique the character images in the book was impeccable. Sharing our views as we bonded over our pain while I saw my beautiful aunt for the last time----Serendipitous.

Again, Divine timing at its finest.

The journey of bringing a vision to life is quite an adventure. And I love me some adventure. Even the sucky parts.

I’m thrilled to share the legacy of my family. One of immense respect, loyalty, love of living and an unwavering commitment to make our dreams come true.

Thanks for sharing Gram and Andrew. Love you from the deepest parts of my heart.

4 Comments

What Exactly is an Energy Healing and Who Needs One?

Years ago when I started dipping into the New Age world and energy therapy (which turns out, is not so new aged) I was very judgmental.  Although I was interested in learning new ways of thinking I also tended to believe anything other than what I already knew was hokey.  And by hokey, I mean I didn’t understand it and because of that, it made me uncomfortable.  I didn’t want to be one of “those” people who lived in what felt like an alternative reality and looked for answers outside of the mainstream way of life…you know, to suffer and push through frustrated and lost,  and become angry at myself for not being able to figure out why I couldn’t get balanced...mainstream.  I was too grounded in my personal reality to look outside of what I could touch and manipulate.  Yet, I was curious and enamored with those who spoke of living in faith and with ease. I really had no idea what those words meant either.  And the truth was, that hokey life kept following me around and had me questioning what it was all about.  So I asked.

And just as the faithful Genie of the Universe always provides us with wishes, the Genie also provides us with answers. Once I was willing to open my mind and release my judgment, my answers came pouring in.  Through various chance events, I was given one example and opportunity after another to learn and discover for myself what energy therapy was all about.  I started to learn through classes and practice and more classes and more practice and now, I know because I feel it and live it.  And from my learned perspective, I pass on my understanding to you.

It’s actually quite simple.  Our world is made of energy, as are we. Although our lives are pretty amazing in their makeup with our ability to transition, adapt and transform, we have many experiences which feel like they set us back along the way. 

For example, you are going along living your life, enjoying the moments that accompany you. Your river of life is flowing downstream at an easy pace and the little rocks and side brooks are interesting blips in your day, but you can typically easily wash over them or redirect yourself back to the main stream.  As your going along, experiences, like sadness from hearing bad news about a friend or family member, or getting lost on your way to someplace new and feeling nervous, anticipating an important meeting that feels like it can impact your career, getting in an argument with someone you love, worrying about your children and their safety, etc. are those little rocks and side streams. Most of us have decent defense mechanisms, skills and game plans to deal with the discomfort, but still, it slows down the flow of the river of life.  

Not only do we all experience the little rocks and side streams, but many of us bump into larger rocks and bigger streams which split our easy flow.  Choosing which direction to go is not always easy and sometimes we let our waters rest in a pool until we decide which way we want to move.  Life experiences like verbal abuse (both giving and receiving), consistent worrisome, depressive and hopeless thoughts and feelings of being stuck and not knowing which direction to go are all examples of these larger rocks, secondary streams and pools that really slow down our flow and our ability to move freely.  At times, our flow becomes so slow that it may even start to naturally create its own barriers and dams because we become so stagnant and unfiltered. 

This flow, our river of life, is our energy and its ability to move easily is essential in our everyday physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health.  When it becomes stuck we can experience feelings and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and anger.  Along with those emotional triggers come accompanying physical aches and pains and various ailments. If we don’t find ways to unblock our flow, we begin to stop living a life of comfort and ease and the quality of our lives diminish.

Of course, the goal is not to react when our flow becomes stuck, but to notice when it starts to slow down and we intuitively sense a need to change what we are doing or that we could use some help to get our feelings and emotions back into a comfortable balance. This is where energy therapy comes in.  Energy therapy, in whatever form it’s practiced, is meant to help open up the flow and get our groove back.

The healing modality I practice is Integrated Energy Therapy, using the vibration of angelic energy.  During a healing therapy session, I channel (allow the energy from the angels go through me to someone else) the energy flow to my client.  We then pull out old, stagnant energy that gets stuck or slowed in the energy field and integrate positive, empowerment energy back in to the energy field to get ourselves moving and kicking again.  I also read (sense and feel) the energy field for blocks and areas that need some attention and am very eager to tell my clients exactly what they may want to tweak to step out of the old thought and behavior patterns that have been created over time.  This is where my skills as a counselor come in to play the most because I have a great deal of experience and understanding in where these blocks come from (and probably too many suggestions on how to get through them).

We also tap into the soul star (our soul, higher self, inner world, etc) and re-energize the connection we have to ourselves. Once we clear the energy field, it’s so much easier to reconnect with ourselves and so very important!  It often gives us a clearer picture of who we are and why we are here living this life. 

(Click Here for a more in depth description of what Integrated Energy Therapy provides)

At the end of the session, the recipient feels relaxed, peaceful, clear headed and with an awareness that is either a reminder or a brand new way of looking at life and their patterns. Its then up to the client as to what they want to do with this information and awareness.  It’s actually quite awesome how good it feels to clear out our stuck energy and let the good stuff flow. So refreshing, invigorating and empowering!

Healing therapy sessions can be conducted in person or remotely over the phone and are typically an hour in length. The only thing you need to do is be ready to relax. That’s it. I actually love doing them remotely because then the client gets to be in their comfy clothes, in their own environment and without having to drive with a relaxed energy buzz afterwards! In truth, they don’t even have to be done over the phone, they can be done while we are doing other things, but there’s something to be said about taking the time to stop and relax and take care of ourselves while listening to someone tell us what is going on with us and our life, who sometimes haven’t even met us before! 

So who needs an energy healing? Anyone made up of energy! (Yes, even those you don't think are...)

There are many, many energy clearing/healing modalities out there. Many! So when you know it’s time to clear out the muck and get yourself flowing again, ask the Genie for some help and follow the direction it takes you. If you have more questions or would like more information, you can contact me at lynn@livingwithserendipity.com. Happy Healing!