A Dying Woman’s Wish for Everyone

Sometimes we get caught up in or allow what’s going on around us to dominate our lives, then I read this message shared on Facebook reminding me of how sacred life is. Kerri, whom I do not know, crossed over in 2021 from brain cancer, her words touched my soul. I believe that the most soulful and authentic words come from the humbleness that comes with leaving our earthly life. Kerri spoke her truth and in turn inspires us to live whole heartedly and bravely. This is a very worthy read.

“If you’re reading this, this fu$king brain cancer probably got me.

But let me be crystal clear while I’m able: I did not ”lose a battle” against cancer. This is a ridiculous, steamy pile of horse shit that society has dumped on cancer patients. Western medicine, and Western culture, especially, is so uncomfortable talking about death that instead it created this “battle” analogy that basically shames people who die from cancer.

News flash: None of us gets out alive from this rodeo called life.

There is no shame in dying from cancer – or any serious illness. And it doesn’t need to be a battle. It’s a transition that each of us will go through. I was asked by a shaman, whom I spoke to after my second brain surgery, “Are you running towards life or running away from death?”

Whoa! That got my attention.

There’s a BIG difference. I got it wrong more often than not.

Don’t let fear fuel your choices. Live fearlessly. Run TOWARDS life. Don’t worry about what people will think. Trust me, it doesn’t matter.

Focus on you. Be true to yourself. Be your own best friend. People who tell you you’re selfish are not your people. If the voice in your head says these unkind things, get a new voice. Honor your mental health and seek out a good therapist with the same vigor you’d search for a romantic partner.

Speaking of, be intentional about cultivating friendships that lift you up. As those friendships grow and change, don’t overlook them while you search for that “great love of your life.” (No, I’m not suggesting you sleep with your bestie. But you do you!)

Another unhelpful message that we get from society is that we need a “love of our life,” as a romantic partner.

Single and childless when I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I looked around my life and came up sputtering and sobbing from the wave of grief washed over me. I thought I’d be doing this alone… no husband, no kids, no “great love.”

How wrong I was. At the first appointment with my neuro oncologists, one of the nurses diligently hauled in chair after chair for the great loves of my life who came with me that horrible day and many days after that.

I sat and listened while the doctor explained the 12-month treatment plan, focusing on my breathing, then looked around the room…. filled with great loves of my life: incredible women friends whom I had met at various stages of my life.

Surround yourself with people who contradict that unkind voice, people who see your light, and remind you who you are: an amazing soul.

Learn how to receive these reflections from your people. Because they are speaking the Truth.

Love yourself, no matter how weird and silly it might feel. Every morning, give yourself a hug before your feet hit the floor. Look deeply into your eyes in a mirror. Say to yourself, out loud, “I trust you.” That voice in your head might say you’re a dork. Ignore it.

As I prepare to leave this body and embark on this mysterious journey of my soul, I hope these observations from my deathbed are somehow useful.

What I know, deep in my bones, is that learning to love myself has led me to be able to say this: I’m so proud of how I lived.

May you, dear reader, feel the same when you head out on your soul journey, too. Until then, enjoy the ride. And always eat dessert first, especially if there’s pie!” Kerri Grote

Creating Joy, Nothing is Certain Don’t Skip Sweets

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I live in the present, I truly believe that nothing is guaranteed so we must live like we don’t know if tomorrow will come so appreciate each day and have some fun.

This post is a bit different from what I usually write about because I don’t typically recommend a specific lifestyle practice. But, one morning I was enjoying a glass of iced tea with a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie I made, I relished the deliciousness and I enjoyed the break. I thought what a simple, versatile practice and anyone can enjoy it, so I decided to put it to “paper”.

Cultivating our own happiness is how we become more resilient and self-reliant. No, we don’t walk around with a smile on our face all of the time, but rather than expecting happiness to come from a person, situation or an event, make yourself happy. Happiness is an inside job that evolves by creating practices that bring joy, a smile and a feeling of pleasure, a sweet or two a day should be one way to celebrate yourself and the day and there are benefits.

About Desserts: from Szandra Szabó, Model, Pastry Chef and Business Woman

They elevate your mood
Have you ever wondered why your mood goes from drab to fab the moment you sink your teeth into a gooey chocolate cake or a chimney cake straight out of the oven? This is because desserts, specifically the sugar in the desserts, causes your brain to release endorphins such as serotonin. These hormones are responsible for making you feel happy, cheerful and calm.

Sugar reduces stress
Sugar is a great stress reliever. So, if you sometimes feel like life, work or school is bogging you down, eating a dessert can surely help you manage some of the stress. How does that happen, you may ask? Well, it has been found that sugar brings down cortisol levels to a certain degree (cortisol is the stress hormone). Although eating desserts or sugar is not a long-term solution for stress, it can give you some momentary respite.

They are a great pick-me-up.
A lot of people eat desserts when they want to reward themselves. Sweet treats offer a great pick-me-up. So, if you choose to eat a dessert after a particularly stressful week, it will instantly make you experience a sense of contentment and satisfaction.

Confections are a part of my daily routine, they are satisfying and enjoyable and prompt pleasant memories of childhood. To assure that I have the best experience, all of my sweets are homemade, with the exception of ice cream, because I use healthier ingredients and adjust the sugar. Irrespective if I eat sweets with a meal or sometime during the day, it’s an enjoyable experience that I savor, whether I have something simple like fresh fruit, breakfast sweets, a piece of chocolate or a baked good.

While your brain only accounts for 2 percent of your body weight, it uses 50 percent of the sugar energy in your body. Your brain loves sugar! Why does it love sugar? Because sugar releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, the part of your brain linked to reward, novelty and motivation. Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that plays a key role in controlling emotional responses. In fact, not only does it help us visualize the rewards, but it also enables us to take the action we need to achieve the reward. In addition to releasing dopamine in the brain, sugar also releases endogenous opioids. These are responsible for the wonderful surge of pleasure you feel when you eat a piece of candy. Warrell Creations

Eat Dessert First: Why It’s a Good Idea from David and Carla Hays/Mary’s Fine Dining

Whether it’s cheesecake or coconut pie, most desserts have a fair amount of fat. Too much fat isn’t good for you, but a little fat with a meal serves a useful purpose – it helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamin and nutrients better. Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin A, D, E, and K, can’t do their jobs if they aren’t adequately absorbed from the digestive tract. Other nutrients such as the carotenoids in green, leafy vegetables and sweet potatoes also need fat for best absorption.

That’s where eating dessert first comes in. Taking a few bites of dessert before eating your vegetables helps you absorb vitamins and nutrients better – and that’s a good thing when it comes to your health.

I thought I’d share a recipe from one of my mom’s old cookbooks that I’ve enjoyed for years, it can be eaten anytime of the day.

Finnish Pancake: (4-6 servings)

Image Courtesy of JoCooks

This is a delightful custardy, souffle-like baked pancake that melts in your mouth, topped with honey or confectioners sugar and fresh fruit, it is delicious. Make sure when you remove it from the oven, you eat it immediately as it falls as it cools. (NOTE: If making for yourself, cut the ingredients in half, but must be eaten immediately)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk or half and half
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter

Preheat oven to 425o. Put an oven-proof 10-12 inch high sided frying pan in the oven for about 10 minutes to preheat. Combine the flour with milk, whisk until smooth, add eggs, honey and salt, whisk all together. Remove the pan from the oven, put the butter in the pan, when its melted, carefully pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Thank you for stopping by.

Your purpose isn’t what you do, but who you become, while doing it. ~ Matt Kahn

How Transcending Your Thoughts Will Help Reach Peace of Mind

“Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of stress”(Barua, 2014)

For your listening pleasure

I completely and utterly believe that attaining peace of mind will open the door for you to be your authentic self. When we connect with all of the parts that make up who we are through stillness, we hear and feel our inner voice. The one part of us that we’ve been taught to suppress.

Inner peace isn’t easy to accomplish, it takes time, focus and dedication to stop the “monkey-mind” thoughts that are constantly churning through our brain. I am very aware of my constant thoughts, I work at ways to bypass the tendency for my brain to derail my peace of mind. I began working toward stilling my mind about eleven years ago, I am still working at it, the effort toward calm and peace is ongoing. There is no magic wand to whisk those thoughts away, it is up to you to be in control of what your thoughts are about.

Suggested Method to Stop Unwelcome Thoughts:

  • This is what I do, when you notice unwanted thoughts intruding into your peace of mind, bring yourself into the moment by redirecting your thoughts, I am grateful for (whatever you choose to be grateful for) I am okay, and keep repeating until the thoughts pass.

There are important reasons to attain peace of mind. It is a source for improved health, creativity, a natural state of calm, even in the presence of turmoil you’ll be able to gain control of the direction of your thoughts. We all have a choice as to how we allow our mind to think, it is up to us to make the choice toward a better life.

An important part of a journey toward inner peace and happiness is modifying lifestyle practices. The areas in life that cause a mind to continuously focus on negative and unhealthy thoughts is something that we have control of. We all have the power to choose how we want to feel and how our life should be, it is a matter of going beyond habitual behaviors that we’ve adapted to. Of course it’s not easy, but when something is worthy of our time and commitment the rewards are life changing.

My Continual Journey to Peace of Mind

I am currently faced with a personal predicament, I’ve realized I am distrustful based on past situations and somewhat cynical. In my way of believing distrust and cynical thoughts contribute to cyclical thoughts that disrupt my peace of mind. Up until recently I thought cynicism was wrong, then I discovered the philosophy of cynicism, I find it quite interesting:

Cynicism (Ancient Greek: κυνισμός) is a school of thought of ancient Greek philosophy as practiced by the Cynics (Ancient Greek: Κυνικοί; Latin: Cynici). For the Cynics, the purpose of life is to live in virtue, in agreement with nature. … Instead, they were to lead a simple life free from all possessions.

So, now knowing this I can begin to address my thoughts more productively and instead of struggling, I can agree with the cynic within me.

Several years ago I spent my time worrying, following the media, allowing work and life challenges to control my thoughts, I made myself miserable. When it came time to go to sleep, I would relive my entire day or plan the next; my sleep was interrupted all night. Between the tensions of the day and lack of sleep I was exhausted all of the time, leading to health problems, an inability to focus and I always felt conflicted. There weren’t any specific incidents or events that made me take a step back to modify the path I was on, I just realized I could change the way I thought and feel better. I began with meditation and found other natural ways to stop the frenzy that made my life so difficult. It hasn’t been easy to change old habits but gaining control of my thoughts is vital to my serenity and happiness. Now, I focus on bypassing problem thoughts and habits when they show up, over time I’ve become better at catching myself falling back into old lifestyle practices, bring myself into the current moment and replace unhealthy thoughts.

The mind isn’t going to stop thinking. The goal of mindfulness isn’t to suppress thinking, but to surpass it. Stephanie Vozza

Your Journey to Stillness

I’d like to suggest meditation, I know that this suggestion is a problem for many, but it’s a simple way that can be done almost anywhere. Rather than sit in a room and try to force your mind to go blank, here’s a secret that may help steer you in the right direction. As you begin practicing, don’t try to quiet your mind, instead go outside and concentrate on the sounds of nature or listen to beautiful instrumental music, practice Tai Chi, listen to the movement of water or spend time on a hobby that you enjoy. There are many forms of meditation, there is even a walking meditation.

Life is a journey. Enjoy a little peace of mind on your path toward your destination.

As the late Wayne Dyer said, “Change your thoughts, change your life”.

Finding inner peace is not enough. The topping is keeping it. Jacqueline T. Hill

Stillness has numerous benefits, it allows more creativity, more ideas, more connection with your soul, reducing drama and unnecessary conflict. Remember, thoughts focused on the past (which you cannot change), worry (which changes nothing), situations out of your control (do what you can to find ways to make a difference instead), your body not only hears everything you think, but the inner workings of your body respond to stress with illness. Stillness and calm can create a level of energy that supports better emotional and physical health, you’ll gain clarity, make wise choices and remain in the present moment.

“If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place. As soon as you honor the present moment, unhappiness and struggle will dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out of the present moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care and love – even the most simple action.” – Eckhart Tolle

Unbecoming Who You Are Not, and a Nod to Women’s History Month

“Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s unbecoming everything that isn’t you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” — Paulo Coelo

Becoming begins when we’re born when our brains aren’t fully developed and we are completely dependent upon the people around us. We tend to take on the characteristics of those caregivers to meet our basic needs and subsist. When we’re young and vulnerable we want to be accepted. Without understanding how they treat others, those closest to us most unfavorable traits such as hostility, lack of self esteem, anger and indifference can be absorbed into our “DNA”. Those traits reinforce adverse behaviors in ourselves such as low self esteem, self-criticism, fear and uncertainty.

The trick to unbecoming takes time, reflection and a huge dose of honesty. In my experience, the last part, honesty, is major. Being completely honest with ourselves takes us out of our comfort zone, but isn’t that where we need to go in order to peel away years of accepting, without question, who we are?

My story is unique but the path I took felt right for me. Unbecoming who I was has been a challenge and a joy. It began seriously for me when my mother passed away. I was fairly close with her so she was the caregiver I emulated most. A large part of my agreement to stifle myself was my belief that I needed her acceptance and approval. Then in 2013 when she died, I felt lost and adrift; I had no idea why, that’s when things broke open for me. I didn’t know who I really was, what I wanted, what I feared or what my reality was. As my “roller coaster” journey to self-realization began, I was eventually able to see that everything I did and how I saw myself was made by a former self I could no longer identify with. As time passed and the layers of the past fell away I began to feel at peace, happier and completely comfortable with the life choices I was making.

I would say that’s the key, when you feel complete peace, happy and comfortable, you’re on your way to unbecoming who you aren’t. When you step out of your comfort zone, letting go of what doesn’t feel right or good is a rite of passage for your soul. Connecting with your truth opens the door to a life that’s authentic and unique. It’s certainly not easy or something you can plan, it’s a matter of unlearning everything about yourself that you’ve just accepted. Just Imagine how much more meaningful your life will be when you’re living as the person your were born to be.

“That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.” – Meredith Monk

No one can tell you how to unbecome the person you aren’t or tell you how to let go of the ways that aren’t true to who you really are, but when you have the idea or notion of what’s possible, things will begin to slowly change and you will then allow who you really are to be liberated. Once the voyage to self authenticity begins, it will be your way of living for the rest of your life. Michael Bryant has quite a story to share of his brokenness and his unbecoming, it is well worth your time to listen.

Women’s History Month

Hedy Lamar was a glamourous, beautiful movie star, but she was also highly intelligent, ideas for inventions came naturally to her. The patent she filed with co-inventor George Antheil aimed to protect their war-time invention for radio communications to ‘hop’ from one frequency to another, so that Allied torpedoes couldn’t be detected by the Nazis. She was the ingenious inventor who planted a seed that would blossom into some of today’s most ubiquitous technology, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, cordless phones and cell phones.

To honor all the women I know and I’m connected with, whether you’re famous or not, your life matters, you are strong, empathetic and you make a difference. We are all “she-roes” in our own way.

Bring Good Vibes with the Ancient Practice of Feng Shui

Whenever there are challenges I have no control of, I turn inward and to my surroundings. It lifts my soul and it changes the direction of my focus. My surroundings parallel how I want to feel using the practice of Feng Shui. Because I am naturally inclined to maintain an open flow, it makes sense for me.

I grew up in a clean clutter free home, so it was natural for me to apply the practices of Feng Shui, in fact I was quite excited when I discovered it. Over the years, I’ve learned to use Feng Shui no matter what the circumstances to echo the way I feel and how I want to experience the world around me.

Feng Shui is a simple common sense way to improve your environment, it’s not about decorating but is focused on natural energy flow and a clean, clutter-free home. It’s simple, fun and there’s a feeling of fresh energy everywhere once you’ve begun the transformation. The life-giving joy of Feng Shui is a great way to create an environment that has a favorable impact on you and your everyday life.

Feng Shui is a combination of an ancient art and science that goes back thousands of years. I know from first-hand experience that there is a significant change in the feeling and flow of energy when it is applied.

The philosophy of Feng Shui is a practice of looking at our living spaces and working environment and striking a balance with the natural world. The Chinese words “feng” and “shui” translate to mean “wind” and “water,” respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. Anjie Cho

How to apply Feng Shui to any room

Step 1 – Commanding Positions That means the direction of the important furniture in each room. While your kitchen appliances have to remain where they are, you can rearrange other rooms to create a better flow. Never line anything up with a door or put your back to the door, simple and practical advice as you begin to choose new locations for your furniture. I suggest imagining it first before you move anything, consider the function and the outcome so you don’t have to move something heavy more than once.

Step 2 – Keep the house free of clutter – “Clutter is an energetic anchor that impedes the best things from unfolding in our lives,” Laura Benko Keeping a space devoid of clutter makes it feel light and easy , Feng Shui is not about a perfectly decorated home, but creating a happy, healthy space to enjoy your life.

Step 3 – Remove negative symbolism – Evaluate your space for any symbolic representation of anything showing up in your space that reflects any challenges and difficulties you’re been faced with, replace them with items of what you want to attract.

Step 4 – Maximize natural light – Natural light makes us happy and more positive, so the more of it the better. For this step, adding mirrors in room to reflect it will add light where it may not be as bright as you’d like it, the reflected light will lift the feeling of the room.

Step 5- Balance your work areas in the kitchen – While certain areas of the kitchen are unchangeable, organizing the work areas and other areas in the kitchen will make a big difference in the feeling of your space. As well you can change the color, any decor and improve the light. The time and effort to get that feeling are well worth it. I am just finishing making several major changes in the kitchen/dining space and it feels much better.

The experts in these videos on Feng Shui share other ideas and how to use the five elements in your space. Remember you can also use Feng Shui concepts outdoors as well, giving you a world of peace, joy and harmony.

To better understand and apply the elements by Ivy Marie Lim

For the right feng shui color palette for your home, Rodika Tchi

Furniture rearrangement and placement tips by Carol Hyder

Enjoy your journey and the increased energy flow for a happier, healthier life.

Becoming Vulnerable – to Have Healthier Friendships/Relationships

Relationships are complex, challenging and a source for growth. Going into any relationship in a state of unawareness, guarded and carrying baggage comes from making the same choices over and over again which only leads to heartbreak and turmoil. Stripping away habitual behaviors to become open and vulnerable is the only way to experience healthier, happier relationships.

Without vulnerability, relationships struggle. Vulnerability is, ‘Here I am – my frayed edges, my secrets, my fears, my affection. Be careful – they’re precious.’ In return, it invites, ‘Oh, I see you there. It’s okay, you’re safe. And here – here’s me.’ It builds trust, closeness and a sense of belonging. Relationships won’t thrive without it. Karen Young

Being vulnerable isn’t easy, exposing our most vulnerable self is a lot of work and doesn’t happen overnight, it is a process that happens as we build confidence and certainty that it’s okay to be ourselves and genuine around others.

If you view relationships as a way to become a better person instead of a way to fill a void or to make you happy, they will function better and differently and all of the relationship stumbling blocks most people experience will eventually fall away. This is effective for all relationships, not just those of a romantic nature, love and vulnerability aren’t limited to romance, in fact, they are the true nature of humanity.

Healthy relationships are always growing and changing allowing for introspection, personal growth and the ability to shift our way of being. The key to healthy relationships is that they be backed with consciously chosen meaningful intentions where everyone is always seen and heard and feels secure knowing that no matter what is said or discussed, there are no judgments, conditions or opinions that will diminish the heart of the connection between you.

First, we should be in a strong and wholesome relationship with ourselves, that will open the door for healthier relations. As we become vulnerable we will learn that our happiness and accountability in a relationship is our responsibility. then we will lift the burden of expecting anyone else to care for our happiness and feelings. Unfortunately, a majority of relationships are unconscious, revolving around feeling safe and relying on the other person to make us happy, that is what we’ve come to expect and what strains most relationships. Healthy relationships of any kind are grounded in consciousness, unquestioning trust, giving space to each person to be authentic and feeling completely accepted.

Vulnerable relationships are different asking that we be conscious, aware of our emotions, actions and words and that we are able to be ourselves. I recently read a quote that helped me put into words the way I approach relationships now, it was something like we must understand that relationships are not to make us happy but a part of our lives for us to learn and grow from.

Redefining a relationship isn’t easy, no matter how mindful we are. For me, the best way I’ve found not to conditionalize a relationship based on past experiences is to work on myself towards well-being and self-confidence and always remind myself this is a different person and situation. Because I live in awareness, I make sure to treat people as I want to be treated. Being aware and conscious is a great part of vulnerability and a constant effort meaning we can never slip into unconscious oblivion again. I can suggest trying what I’ve discovered, ask yourself questions like what will happen if say this or how would I feel if someone treated me this way before I say or do anything.

A major factor that changed the dynamics and the type of relationship I have with myself was when I chose to create boundaries such as not letting what others thought of me or my choices interfere with what I decided or how I thought of myself. I also took another big step toward being true to myself by reducing the number of people I was surrounded by. For me, that was a fairly significant move that led to a smaller circle of trusted friends. Becoming conscious and vulnerable is going to bring an obstacle course with everyone in your life, this is where you will experience the most change and weed out those people who aren’t on the same page with you.

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”― Brene Brown

Being vulnerable is tricky, we can’t configure or manipulate our authenticity in any way to be accepted by another. We have to be happy with ourselves and then do the work at remaining genuine to attract the healthy relationships we deserve. Another major step is to not allow the years of self-protection from pain and toxic behavior that caused us to shut down and close people out prevent our progress to being a happier person.

Finally, I’d like to close with a video I watched and another part of the process of developing healthy friendships/relationships, Frientimacy: The 3 Requirements of All Healthy Friendships by Shasta Nelson

Thank you for reading my post, always live your life with your mind and heart connection in the forefront.

Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Steve Jobs

Our world is full of opinions, they dominate everything in our lives from the clothes we wear to how we practice spiritually. Speaking your truth and maintaining your beliefs is a brave and courageous thing to do. A great example of caring less what others think is Greta Thunberg a climate activist who boldly speaks her truth. As you listen to her speak, you’ll notice that rather than going with the flow of the opinions of others, she powerfully maintains her individuality and voices her perception of climate crisis. Her strong words and opinions evokes anger and fear, so there are multitudes of critics, however she lets none of that stop her, she pushes on and keeps going.

The biggest deterrent to aspiring as a unique individual is to rely on what others think. Building confidence in ourselves, our thoughts, ideas and points of view means being vulnerable and being okay with it. Your individuality and creative spirit is why you are here, in a world where we are all expected to be like everyone else, be daring and confident with what you think.

Allowing the opinions of others to determine our choices is because we’re afraid we’ll make a mistake, say the wrong thing or make the wrong choice. There is nothing wrong with that, being determined and deliberate gives you the power of choice and the situations you end up in.

The Universe is always on your side whether it seems that way or not, your growth as a person unfolds with every decision made whether it’s by you or someone else. It helps to remember that what is right for someone else is most likely completely wrong for you.

Life evolves as we move from one situation to the next, so the choices we make are a key component to our soul’s growth. Our life path is very unique, so it’s vital that we become confident with our inner wisdom. When we fall prey to the beliefs of others, we give up our uniqueness.

On my journey to trusting myself and my decisions, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I valued that and gained the confidence to care less about the opinions of others. The person that unintentionally taught me that, spent all of her time trying to conform me into another version of herself, when I realized what was happening; I pulled away. She became very angry with me because she lost the control she thought she had. When I began relying on myself and my observations, the path became clearer for my growth as a person.

While it isn’t easy to unlearn a deeply ingrained belief that what others think is right for you, be captivated by the freedom of relying on what you think, being completely who you are and the driving force within you that guides you every day. It doesn’t mean that life will be easier, it does mean that you’re living wisely and intentionally for yourself.

“If you begin to believe what others say about you, they will begin to control you.

Not everything that appears in your mind is true. Do not let someones else’s opinion rule your life.” Haemin Sumin

Let your opinion be the only one you hear

Remember someone’s opinions and beliefs comes from the way they perceive themselves, what they think and say has nothing to do with you. You’re life and the circumstances you’re in are not the first and foremost in someone else’s mind. It helps to remember that whatever the outcome of a situation, you’re the only one who’ll be living with it.

Make a conscious effort to be unique

  • Be comfortable with vulnerability, life isn’t certain, there are no solid answers or perfect solutions, the opinions of others only clouds our ability to be alright with being vulnerable and knowing that whatever we decide, no matter the outcome, it is a part of our life path and everything will work out in the end.
  • Keep in mind that you’re not the most important thought in other’s minds. When someone blurts out their opinion or says unkind things to you, it has more to do with their self-doubts, insecurities and concerns about what others think about them.
  • Don’t filter out the good and focus on the worst case scenario. Pay attention to your thoughts, are they negative and focused on an unfavorable outcome? When you’re doubtful and reach out to someone for their opinion, remember that what you’re asking for help with is still just in your mind so their response will have more to do with them and less to do with what you.
  • Perfection is an illusion, no matter how much you want things to be perfect in your life, that is never going to happen. So, rather than put pressure on yourself to be perfect and ask someone what they think, remember no one knows you like you, how people perceive you is coming from their experiences and points of view.
  • Learn to let to go of judgment from others. When you make a decision are you worried about what others will think? What do you want or what do you like? Are you making your decisions based on pleasing or impressing someone? When you choose what you truly like or want, what others think will never matter.
  • Finally,don’t allow anyone to shame or challenge your choices There may be people who aren’t able to understand or let go of trying to control your life. That is their problem to resolve, not yours. Firmly let those who debate your decision to go solo that your life is your choice, you’re very capable of choosing the direction you want it to go in.

To Conclude

Stop worrying so much about what someone else thinks, it’s necessary for your sanity and your physical health. Once you stop trying to cater to other’s opinions and what they think, you’ll feel much better, you’ll know who you truly are and you will finally be able to breathe deeply and feel at peace.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Being a Mother; Sharing the Benefits of Mindful Parenting

Becoming a Mother/Parent: I’ve heard parenthood referred to as a job, I’ve never seen it that way,  Being a mother is a gift, a chance to  create a loving relationship and develop into a self-less, more compassionate and caring person. When my son was born, it was just two days after my 23rd birthday, he was the most joyful and memorable birthday gift I’ve ever gotten. I hadn’t planned on becoming a parent, but I felt comfortable with the idea and knew it was part of my destiny. My son was and is the best and most profound friend and life education I could have asked for. I grew up with him; I became a better person because of him and have developed a strength I never knew I had.

Unintentional Parenthood: Like millions worldwide, I saw my role in my son’s life by the way my parents had been with me. I saw myself as the decision maker, creator of specific guidelines and ideals that I believed were expected of a child.  From the time my son was born through his formative years being a single mom was new and trying but not so difficult. However as time went on, parenthood became a formidable process, my parents were old-fashioned and I had my own challenges with parenting that were compounded by my beliefs that I had to direct my son’s life, which caused stress and strain between my son and I. I didn’t catch on to what was really going on until later in our lives. When my son was well into adulthood, I realized how I was with him and adjusted my role from a one=sided and overseeing parent to a supportive, loving friend.

Mindful Parenting: A modern and successful method is mindful parenting. In a state of consciousness, the parent(s) strives toward open dialogue, complete acceptance and understanding; most importantly treats a child as separate person rather than a possession. It isn’t easy, but this allows our children to be who they truly are and proud of their uniqueness and a healthy relationship to develop. Adults aren’t only teaching, we are learning how to be more conscious with young people. The best approach, in my opinion, is to develop mutual respect, trust and empathy. When both the child and parent can completely trust, there is nothing that will divide the relationship, even when there are challenges. This relieves both the parent and child of the burden of performance based life and it opens the door for a purpose driven life for both parent(s) and children.

Conscious parenting that begins when the child is born becomes a way of life so that by the time they are teens, the chaos and stress that goes on around them loses its importance because they’re grounded and more inwardly connected.  It helps if parents remember that all relationships including those with ourselves are based on our unique perception of what we are seeking. It is the same for a child, they are seeing the world from a very different “pair of eyes” than an adult. That means parents ease-off, listen with an open mind with the intention of reaching a viable solution. Holding on to old habits will cause the parent and child to collide especially if the adult believes their opinion is the only answer. That way of thinking and being will only drive a wedge in the relationship, causing grief and stress.

While my journey into being a conscious parent happened later than I would have liked, our relationship has certainly benefited and become better. Being a conscious parent for me now is being aware that my son is his own person and will make choices from his perception based on his individual needs. And it is up to me to remember to mind my business, no matter how hard my ego is working to push me into old habits, I leave my selfish desires for him where they belong, in my head.

How can we realize a symbiotic, harmonious relationship with our  children starting now?  This can be the bumpiest road of growth for both the parent and the child. I’ve listed some suggestions for your consideration.

Some excerpts below are from Huffpost Online, Lisa Kring, Contributor

  • The intention must be relinquishment of control by the parent(s) to being an environment of fair agreement, this is vital in building a harmonious relationship.
  • Be present in the moment without wanting what is to be different. The more discontent parents show during this crucial period of a young person’s personal growth, the more strained the relationship will be.
  • Mindful parenting also involves decoding and addressing deeper needs of our children, rather than getting mindlessly caught up in and reactive to surface behaviors
  • Let trust lead the way is another successful way to transform a relationship and will definitely ease the stress between the parent and child.
  • Through daily practice, mindful parenting focuses on managing strong emotions, reactivity and stress, improving mindful communication, honoring sovereignty, recognizing and actively reshaping one’s mal-adaptive mental patterns, as well as cultivating compassion, loving, kindness and self-care.
  • Listen with your heart instead of with your head, refrain from judging and criticizing. Never allow external distractions to interfere with conversations, be focused and present.
  • Rather than striving for perfection as a parent, it’s easier to just be the “good enough” parent, trust me it will work out in the end. We have to remember we are all human, we make mistakes and we falter, but with mutual understanding and acceptance, the relationship will be just fine.

My son and I are as different as day and night, however I honor his differences and beliefs because they are his.  My late mother and I had many challenges and difficulties because she adhered to what she imagined I would do and be even though I strived for an open relationship with her, I failed miserably.  So, I never offer advice unless I”m asked and no matter what my son does, says or wants, it is his life, only he knows what will be best for him. This way of being has been the key to how well we get along and makes it easier to resolve any challenges we are faced with.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

A New Way to Stop Overplanning; Living One Day at a Time

One day at a time- this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” — Ida Scott Taylor

Before I relaxed into a natural life of consciousness, I was so focused on my past “mistakes” and how my future was going to go.  No matter what I did, the past never changed and my future plans had a mind of their own. It was truly exhausting living that way.  I had no idea that I was letting the moment I was in slip into oblivion.  The growing and learning process was slow with many challenges that kept pulling me into understanding that the moment I was in was precious and the only thing that I was sure of.  Now my life is focused on living one day at a time, never letting what I’ve experienced in the past or what may come in the future stop me from enjoying my life right now.

Years ago, I tried a suggested practice someone defines as living backward in time. Its not new for some, but for many people it is a different way of treating life. Living backward means living in the now as if it’s the future that you envision. Setting an intention means thinking forward in time, living in the present means being here now. A way to manage both is to combine the two. That is living “as if”, instead of “what if”and I can attest that it’s very effective. For example, instead of going on a diet to lose weight because your overweight with the potential of gaining it back, live as if you’re 15 pounds lighter, living healthier and the owner of a different lifestyle, your entire way of living and thinking will be forever changed.

Here are several suggestions that I’ve used to re-adjust my thinking to a backward way of living.

  1. Accept uncertainty. It’s impossible to predict the future
  2. Take action, talking about changing usually requires less energy than actually doing it
  3. Stay focused on the day. Start with letting go of planning every minute of your day and go with the flow, I do this very successfully and actually get more done
  4. When engaging with people, put your full attention on them and your conversation, no more half listening or allowing any distractions 
  5. Always have a positive and expectant attitude, smile often, life has a million possibilities
  6. Forgive forgive, forgive past hurts, forgiving is not allowing a person to get away with something, it is about removing yourself from the situation completely and freeing yourself be present and move on
  7. Stop worrying, whatever happens tomorrow, happens, worrying doesn’t change anything and makes it harder for you to maintain your sanity and be present
  8. Let go of past accomplishments, don’t let whatever successes you’ve had in the past interfere with your present, however great they were, they don’t define you or what your capable of
  9. Create your intention now as if it is already successful and the way you envision your future life and dream big

To help me to stay aligned with this way of life, I practice the following habitually so I never slip back into an old, ineffective way of living.  These powerful practices are simple and very effective.

  • Meditate – There are lots of ways to meditate, rather than just lying or sitting still, you can walk, dance, write, listen to music while allowing your mind to go blank and just be, I do it all of the time and find myself thinking less, moving through my day mindfully and so at peace.
  • No Next – imagine that there is no next event, next task, next person or next anything to get to. Invite yourself to stop preparing or getting ready for something else to come. Deliberately remove all elses. Meet now with nowhere and nothing else still to get to. This practice helps you to stay focused on what you’re doing or who your engaging with.
  • See Everything as a Teacher. When you’re feeling frustrated with someone, stressed by work, upset or grieving about a difficult situation or the health of a loved one, just feeling anxious about anything, pause and see this person or situation as a teacher. I find that when you ask yourself what can I learn from what’s going on then the mind is focused on a solution for peace of mind in the moment.
  1. The Power of Self-Reflection – Asking yourself questions keeps you focused on self-improvement and ensures that you are as fulfilled as possible.  What attachments can you see in yourself that are causing you to project to the future or relive the past? What stories are you telling yourself that are causing you to feel this way? What can you let go of? What can you appreciate about this moment that you’re taking for granted? 

We create our lives, so now decide the kind of life you would like to create for yourself and what that life would look like. Then, live it now as if that life and lifestyle were yours already.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.

Thank you for reading my post and your time.

Living in a Harmonious Society, Lessons from Ancient Egypt

 

 

In ancient Egypt, the more good deeds you did, the lighter your heart became. If your heart was not light, you could not board Ra’s board and sail away into your Afterlife.  Lin Dunn, Ancient Egypt for Kids

This quote explains how ancient Egyptian’s knew that practicing selfless good deeds, living in harmony within their community and remembering that what they did and how they treated others was the ticket to a happy transition when the time came for them to leave this earth plane. While that may appear to be selfish, in truth, it was simply a way of life and a value system that was and is handed down from one generation to the next.

Today, In Cairo as well as major cities in Egypt, a large number of old Egyptian traditions remain from the time of the Pharaohs, and contrast with pure tribal customs brought in by many invaders throughout the centuries. UNESCO

How do you view the human existence?  How do you see the relationship between humanity and nature? What do you think you can do to be more in alignment and harmony with nature and your fellow-man?

I think we can all agree that we are living in very turbulent times, chaos seems to be the dominating factor everywhere we turn. From warring countries to road rage, the world seems to be at a point where it’s clear that we have to find another way to live or humanity will disappear. This is where living mindfully is successful because it’s about being thoughtful, kind, compassionate, observant and knowing that outside events and experiences are not the guideposts for your life, but living consciously within our community to create a harmonious existence is.

From everything I’ve learned over years of research and reading, if we go back in time to a wise and experienced society like the Egyptians, through a change in belief, we can implement harmony, collaboration and cooperation. While the ancients may have had an occasional war with their neighbors; within their society balance reigned. If there were any internal uprisings, they were settled with negotiation or conformity until something changed in order to maintain peace.

One major reason for their success was the common but strong belief in a wonderful life after death. It was not an absolute, it had to be earned, the belief was so strong that all levels of society conducted themselves to assure a safe passage to the afterlife.

I’m not suggesting that everyone believe in life after death, I am suggesting that if we all believed in living in harmony with nature and the balance it can bring, we would effectively be changing the way we interact with each other. Ancient Egyptians were extremely intelligent, their engineering accomplishments are far superior to those we’ve seen in the 21st century.  If they were wise and quick-witted enough to conduct a harmonious social life, settle grievances through a spirit of reciprocation and recognize the vital links between humans, nature and the divine, then so can we.

So what changes can we make?  Of course, the world wasn’t populated the way it is now when the ancients were alive, but in my way of seeing things, change happens one person at a time.  If we choose to embrace a healthy respect for nature, mindfulness and cooperation and live that wherever we go, we can eventually recreate the same kind of world the ancient Egyptians lived in.

For instance, I recently learned that one American rancher achieved more success and connection with his community by leaving commercial ranching behind to create his own compassionate, natural and humane ranch. By following his inner guidance, he inspired many other ranchers to do the same. In another instance, a gentleman who owns a small successful farm, founded a farming coop to help his community maintain their small farms rather than try to fight each other or large commercial farms. This happened because the founder was determined to continue to do what he loved and he knew the community he lived in wanted to do the same, forging social harmony and aligning with nature.

In my life, I moved into a situation where there was stress, conflict and tension between roommates. The love, compassion and balanced approach to situations I’ve brought has changed everything, one roommate even remarked that I am a miracle. We can all be and bring a miracle to effect harmony and live in tune with nature if we let go of the old way of doing things by creating harmony and peace with just our presence.

Ancient Egyptians believed the purpose of life was to nourish the seeds of the divine within us all, they revered the natural world. It is happening slowly as more and more people are coming to understand that we are all linked. People are realizing that life is better for everyone if we live more naturally and are more aware of the vital role we play in caring for nature and each other. I believe It is the only way humanity is going to survive and progress.

Perhaps the greatest lesson to be learnt from the wisdom of sacred traditions is also the
simplest; to honor creation by nurturing a kinship with nature. UNESCO

Nature has life all figured out, we just have to understand her and live in harmony with it. Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.