Giving up, gets a bad rap. There are many things in life we will eventually give up. As children, we give up drinking from a bottle, and the training wheels on our bicycle. As we get older, we may give up a bad habit, or our freedom, and a full night’s sleep, while building a family. We can give up a negative thought pattern, or a relationship, which is not for our highest good. Giving up sometimes seems like it would be a negative thing to do, but it can be a positive next step in our life.
We all have dreams, goals, and deep desires within our heart, that no matter how much we work towards them, seem to elude us. We hope, we pray, we even try to “make” them happen. A year goes by, another, and another, and nothing. No result. We are left feeling ignored, not good enough, unsupported, and discouraged. Should we give up? No way! However, I do believe there is another action required, to see results. Surrender. Surrender, by definition, means to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon demand.
I believe there is an order to our lives, a destiny set to unfold for us, orchestrated by a power much bigger than we are. It is important to remember, that yes, of course we should do all we can that is within our own power, to work towards every dream we have. Maybe that means to study more, learn a new skill, exercise more, look for a new job, opening up to meeting new people, move, or make any change necessary, in order to be the very best version of ourselves we can be.
It is after, we have done all that we can do, that we must close our eyes, and pray to that power much greater than us. There is a bigger picture happening, that we cannot see. We must have patience, faith, and trust, that all the pieces to our destiny, need to be in just the right place, for it to unfold for our highest good, and the highest good of everyone involved. I truly believe that surrender and faith, go hand in hand. With surrender and faith, we can finally reach a place of peace while we wait. The struggle ends. And just like nature, turns the seed into the flower, in perfect divine timing, without being rushed, we know, we are not forgotten, every prayer is heard, and we will watch our dreams flourish right before our eyes.
Yep, it’s coming again. That day, that arrives every year filled with chocolate hearts, mushy cards, flowers, stuffed teddy bears, love songs, romantic dinner dates, and a whole lot of pink and red everywhere you go. For those that may be single, have never been married, divorced, about to get divorced, on the verge of a break up, broken hearted, figuring out the dating scene, or completely avoiding the dating scene, it is also filled with a whole lot of pressure.
Not only does this pressure come from the outside world, from people, commercials, to walking into every store being reminded, here we are, another year, and no special Valentine. I want to tell you ladies, I feel you. I am with you. I have been there. I used to allow myself to have my own annual personal pity party so to speak, around this day. That internal pressure, would turn into internal self-criticism, questioning what is wrong with me? Why don’t I have a Valentine yet?
Then I realized, that annual pity party, was not so much fun. It left me feeling worse- confused, not good enough, and unworthy of what this beautiful holiday is all about- Love. I want to break this cycle of self-doubt, blame, judgement, anger, and disappointment for all of those living in singledom this year. This holiday has absolutely nothing to do with any of those negative thought patterns. We must remember, what we focus on, is what will manifest. Left to linger, such hurtful words we say to ourselves, will leave us with quite an unattractive energy- we will walk around angry, with low self-esteem, and in a bad mood. Who would be interested to hang around that all day?
Perhaps, looking at this holiday with a different perspective is what we all need. It is simply about Love. And when you stop focusing on yourself, and what you think is wrong with your current life situation, you recognize that Love really is everywhere. It is in the smile, you exchanged with your neighbor, in children laughing and playing, in the hug you gave your best friend, in the phone call with a loved one, in the time you listened to that person, who needed to talk, in the forgiveness you gave someone, in the piece of art you created, in your favorite hobby you are passionate about, in the time you spend with family, and in the quiet time you find with yourself. We receive Love from nature every day- from the sun, the moon, the earth and sky.
Love is here for you and with you, right where you are. Love is all around us, even more so within us. The circumstances of your life, are no secret to the Universe, for all is in Divine order. Make time this year, to get quiet, and tap into the Love and peace inside of you, and then go share it. Share it with a friend, a family member, or a stranger, and know, that every expression of Love is a miracle. When we are in the space of Love, we walk taller, we shine brighter, and we manifest even more miracles, one by one. So, grab that heart shaped box of candy, sit back, and bask in this Love more than ever this year. This Love is here to stay.
Vulnerability. Say that to yourself a few times. How do you feel? Does it make you uncomfortable? Uneasy? Fearful? Do you cringe a little bit? I do. A little voice within, goes "Eeeek!!! No, go away!" Then I realize, whatever situation, is bringing this up in me, is something, I should probably lean into. First, what does it mean, to be vulnerable? It is defined as "being capable or susceptible, to being wounded or hurt". Yikes! Why the hec would we want to go there right?
I am quite familiar with avoiding it. We all usually have an area or two, in life, where we just don't go there. We build walls, we put on our mask for the day, we clench our fists, ready for battle right? We avoid any and all situations, or conversations, which might make us a little too uncomfortable, or bring up the root feeling we do not like to admit we all have sometimes: Fear. Fear of being judged, disappointed, or hurt. So, we stay quiet, when we should speak up, or we use anger to protect ourselves, we don't ask for that raise, we don't express how we truly feel to a loved one, we don't go for that opportunity, we don't take that class, we don't book that trip, we don't try something new, we don't look in the mirror at our own faults, we don't go on that date, we simply... Stay. Safe.
What happens even further, unconsciously, we don't forgive, we don't let go, we don't grow, and we don't expand to our highest potential. This is the real tragedy of avoidance. What I have learned, is, that vulnerability, is much like Yoga, a practice. It takes commitment, and dedication, to lean into those uncomfortable moments in our lives, the same way, we show up on our mats, willing to go for that pose we have not tried, knowing, we may fall...so what? We get back up. We practice again, until one day, yay...we got this!!
We build strength, awareness, and confidence on our mats. It's the same with vulnerability. The more, we choose to go there, to dive in, to those uncomfortable feelings, what we find, is, it is the only path, that ultimately, leads us to experiencing true joy, happiness, and fulfillment. Yes, we may get hurt. We may be judged. We may be disappointed. We must be willing to experience all of life, the good and the bad.
When we are willing, there is so much to gain. We awaken gifts we didn't even know we had. We build new relationships. We accomplish our goals. We achieve a lifelong dream. We cultivate confidence. We strengthen our Faith. We shine our light. And the more we shine, the more we encourage others to do the same. We are all worthy, to live a life, of our highest potential, and the only way, is to look vulnerability right in the eye, and say "I got this. I can do this." So, let's all, one uncomfortable moment at a time, lean in....and keep practicing.
For many years, I have remained committed, to a daily Sadhana. “Sadhana” is a Sanskrit word, meaning “daily spiritual practice”. Now, I know, life these days, moves super fast, and we are all super busy. Between work, family, quality time with our partners, our kids, emails and texts, projects around the house, scheduling appointments, fitting in a Yoga class (yes..make time for one!! Wink) or workout, grocery shopping, studying, maybe finding a few hours to catch up with friends, leaves barely any time left for me right?! Whew! We are exhausted. I get it.
Which is why, it is even more important, to begin a practice or ritual, just for you. Where you make the time, to pause, to disconnect from the outside world, and connect inward. The best part is, it is yours. It is whatever your soul is asking for. Maybe it is a run on the beach in the morning, or a morning walk. Maybe it is a 5 minute meditation by yourself- even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom! Maybe it is saying a prayer. Maybe it is starting a gratitude journal, or reading from your favorite book, or spiritual guide. Maybe it is your Yoga practice, or your workout. Maybe it is lighting a candle, and sitting in silence. Maybe it is staring at the ocean, the sky, the moon, or anything in nature that moves your spirit. Maybe it is a enjoying a cup of tea or coffee by yourself in complete silence.
It doesn’t matter what it is, it only matters that it is..Every. Single. Day. Having this practice, will benefit your well being, in many ways. You will increase your energy, yet, find yourself being able to Slow...Down. Instead of reacting, or moving from one task to another, with tightly clenched fists, and shoulders, you will find yourself with the ability to pause. Breathe. You will bring an increased sense of awareness into every moment of your day, allowing yourself to be fully present, where you are, when you are there. You will be able to Be Here Now.
Things that instantly upset you, or put you into "fight" mode, will no longer have that effect. Your nervous system will calm down. Your immune system will get a boost, with lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that is released when something triggers us into that "fight" mode. And when we realize we truly hold the power, to connect to the Peace found within, throughout our entire day, all of our relationships improve. We are simply happier. We smile more. We are grateful. We are compassionate. We have Faith. And we are able to handle all of life, both the celebrations, the challenges, and everything in between, ...with fluidity and grace. Try it. Share what your experience is. And whatever your practice is, may it nourish you- mind, body and spirit always. Peace and Blessings be with you. Lisa