Monday, June 26, 2017

Gratitude List

I haven't written a blog post in a very long time! I feel inspired to write a list of what I'm grateful for.

I am grateful that I finally joined Spotify and it is awesome!
I am so grateful that I did a 30 minute Barre workout tonight!
I am grateful that I also joined My Fitness Pal so I can track my workouts and feel a sense of accomplishment!
I am so grateful for spending time with good friends, laughing so much and being so present in the moment, totally savoring and enjoying every moment!
I am so grateful for great music
I am so grateful for beautiful weather
I am so grateful for the beautiful colors in my apartment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Be the Change!

I took a quick trip to Target on a break at work yesterday. I was browsing around and noticed a journal with Gandhi’s famous quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I’ve heard this quote so many times over the years, but I was struck by the beautiful way it was presented on this journal cover.

I went back to work and started to think about the true meaning of that quote. I had the thought: Be the change you wish to see in YOUR world! If you want things to be different in your life, start to embody those states of being.

A little while later, my next client arrived. I loved her immediately! She was there for a teen facial, and I really enjoyed interacting with her. I noticed she had something written on her forearm. I read it…it was Gandi’s quote!! I know it’s such a well-known quote, but what are the chances that I’d see it on a journal cover at Target, and then a little while later, on a client’s forearm??

I was so excited and I told her about it. We laughed and later on, I noticed that she wrote it on my gratuity envelope!

This was such a delightful experience. I live for synchronicities like this! I am so inspired to contemplate the meaning of “be the change” on a personal and even global scale. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Leave a Trail

I’ve been noticing a trend with my clients lately: most of them, in fact the majority of them, don’t take my skin care advice! Many of them are using really harsh products and wondering why their skin is red! I explain why, and it seems like they don’t believe me. Maybe they have a built in skepticism of a salesperson trying to get them to buy lots of products, whether they need them or not. I genuinely want them to use products that will benefit their skin.

I had a lovely teen client recently. Her skin was really red, flaky, and she had lots of blackheads and pimples. She told me she was using a really harsh cleanser (I won’t badmouth any companies!!), as well as witch hazel and a really thick moisturizer. I explained why her skin looked the way it did and to my delight and surprise, she actually bought the kit I recommended. She came back a month later and her skin improved so much. Then she came back two months after that, and her skin was pretty much in the same condition as it was when I first saw her. She said she ran out of the products she bought and she went back to what she was using before!

I couldn’t believe it. I wondered why she would go back to using products that produced obvious and detrimental results, especially after seeing such wonderful results with the new products. And why do so many of my clients continue to use harmful products, even when I explain their negative effects?

I know that everything is a reflection of what’s going on within me, and I realized that I am doing something similar in my own life: I often go back to old ways of thinking, even though I know better! I have so much knowledge and I have seen powerful results when I use the tools I’ve learned over the years. I know all about the power of cultivating gratitude, looking for the positive aspects of a situation, and reframing something negative in order to see its benefits. I know all this and more, and I know how powerful it is, yet I still find myself stressing out about trivial things, worrying about the future, and feeling regret about the past.

It’s so easy to revert back to our old ways. If you think about it, our patterns of thinking have been there for so many years. It’s not always easy to start a new pattern. It takes time and focus. I love the way Abraham has simplified this concept: instead of trying to work out all the details, bring your attention to the emotion. For example, if you’re under a lot of stress, you might not have access to the solution right now. Instead, bring yourself into a general place of well-being. Think about the stability of the mountains, the rising and setting of the sun, the magnificence of your beating heart…all these things are profoundly in place, and they elicit a strong and steady feeling of true well-being.

I feel more and more inspired lately to really live what I believe in. I have gained tremendous insights over the years, and I feel compelled to really apply what I’ve learned.

I know, and I’ve experienced, that life circumstances change when you first change your emotions and your mindset; it’s the inner work that produces the outer results. Yet if you’ve been under a lot of stress for a long time, it might be difficult to shift into a state of ease and well-being. It takes practice and it won’t feel natural at first. It might feel like a new pair of shoes or like you just put on someone else’s jacket. But if you wear the shoes and the jacket for a while, you’ll notice that they start to feel like your own, until you reach the point where you can’t see yourself without them.

You can start with a gentle moment of peace or a few seconds of bliss. Practice these new emotions and start getting used to these new states of being! Keep practicing until they start to feel natural, and soon you won’t even remember you ever lived life any other way…

Be gentle with the process and keep going!

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What To Do When Things Go "Wrong"

We all go through personal challenges in our lives. What matters is how we choose to handle each situation. When things go wrong, we have the opportunity to experience just how resilient we are.
Breakups, job cuts, losing a loved one, natural disasters…all of these things have the potential to be totally devastating—or they can act as catalysts that show you just how powerful you really are. You can make a choice to look at these situations in a way that is truly empowering.
I learned a powerful technique from Abraham-Hicks called going general. You can do this as a written exercise or you can talk it out with a good listener.
Basically, you take something that’s bothering you and bring it to a general place. Let’s say you just lost your job. First you acknowledge how you feel about it in a general way by saying something like, “This sucks!” I’ve noticed that when I do this, I immediately feel a sense of relief.
Then you continue to express how you feel in a general way until you feel like you’ve released the emotional charge. You can say things like, “I know things will work out. I never really liked this job and, anyway, I’ve been getting so many ideas for my business.”
After you feel a sense of relief, you can continue whatever you were doing in your day, or you can take a few more minutes and bring your thoughts to a more positive place.
This process only takes a few minutes, it’s so doable, and it works really well!
After you’ve processed the initial emotions, you’ll find that there are many great gifts hidden within it. Stretch yourself a little bit and see if you can find at least one or two hidden blessings.
So many people experienced varying forms of devastation with last month’s hurricane. If you take this to a general and higher place, you can definitely see the hidden blessings in it. For example: so many people tapped into their generosity and did anything they could to help. Even people who weren’t directly affected by it now have a newfound gratitude for the simple things they might have taken for granted before.
In addition to going general, here are some other ideas that might help you move out of a place of discouragement:
Meditate. Put on some relaxing music or do a guided meditation. It will benefit you physiologically and emotionally.
Do something physical: Go for a long walk, go to the gym, play a musical instrument, dance, breathe deeply and intentionally—anything that will take you out of the mental chatter.
Do something creative: Make art, write poetry, or take photographs.
Connect: Be with supportive people who love you, ask for help, call someone, or meet a friend for coffee. Know you’re not alone!
Focus: Pour your focus into something that feels productive and worthwhile to you.
Take care of your body: Rest, eat nourishing food, and drink lots of water.
Let it out: Have a good cry, watch a couple of great movies, or get lost in a book.
Delight your senses: Listen to beautiful music, go to a concert, or visit a museum or a garden.
Nourish your spirit: Get an energy healing session, a massage, or a facial. You’ll feel relaxed and restored.
Take care of yourself and realize how resilient you truly are!
You can also read my article here!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

What If?

I recently heard the phrase “never arrive.” Those two little words stimulated a powerful train of thought, which prompted me to ask myself some questions:

What if I stop striving? What if I simply arrive in the constantly moving present moment?

I’ve lived much of my life in a proverbial waiting room—waiting for things to change so I could finally feel complete. I’m realizing that we are never really complete, and I’m starting to be okay with that!

Years ago, Ram Dass wrote a book called Be Here Now. I think the title says it all.

What if I stop seeking? What if I find?

What if I make peace with where I am, no matter where I am? What if I stop fighting against my circumstances and use my gifts and my strengths instead?

Isn’t life just a wild thing that keeps moving at different speeds?

There will always be a there, but what if we enjoy the here while we’re on our way?

We will always have new desires and new things to be excited about. But there are things to savor and enjoy right now!

Isn’t life all about our experiences? We are always at choice in the sense that we can choose how we want to feel in each experience.

What if I stop rushing? What if I stop worrying about time? What if I start flowing with divine timing?

What if I start trusting life? What if I start trusting myself?

Instead of saying “I’ll feel better when I move, when I fit into my skinny jeans, when I reach my income goal,” what if I start to say, “I’ll feel better now, regardless of what’s bothering me”?

What if I stop all the doing? What if I choose to just be here now?

I have a feeling everything would get done with such ease and flow, and each day would feel like a natural unfolding, free of struggle and filled with grace.

Photo © 2012 Meaghan Grettano

You can also read the article here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What Are You Grateful For?

I really enjoy my job as an esthetician. I love the people I work with, the peaceful environment of the spa, and my wonderful clients. But I’ve been working six days a week for the last few months and it’s finally catching up with me. I’ve been feeling tired, grumpy, and easily agitated by little things these days.
I took a day off recently because I needed a little break, and I ended up in my favorite mini-getaway spot: Barnes & Noble. I wandered over to the magazine section and picked up Oprah’s magazine. I flipped to her monthly article called “What I Know for Sure.”
In this month’s article she writes about how she used to keep a daily gratitude journal for years without missing a day, but when she started her new TV network, her life got so busy that she stopped her gratitude practice, and she noticed a decrease in her level of happiness. Even though her life is filled with so many blessings, she wasn’t taking the time to appreciate them. Once she started her daily gratitude practice again, she noticed that things started to move in a better direction.
My life is nowhere near as busy as Oprah’s, but working six days a week, trying to get everything done, and trying to have somewhat of a healthy social life has been a lot to handle. I have definitely neglected my own gratitude practice and I’ve noticed a decrease in my own level of happiness.
This was a perfect reminder to notice the beauty and magic of life again. Sure there are negative and stressful things going on, but there are also beautiful things to appreciate and enjoy. As soon as I read that article, I immediately started a mental list of things I felt grateful for. I had to start with easy things because I was in such a bad mood! I started with:
Fresh air
Beautiful colors…
Just thinking about these things made me feel better pretty quickly. It took a couple of minutes, but I was lifted out of my grumpy mood!
This reminds of one of my favorite quotes:
“In the midst of our lives, we must find the magic that makes our souls soar.” – Evelyn Beilenson
I’m really grateful that Oprah wrote that article because it truly was the perfect reminder for me to notice all the wonderful things about my life and to start my regular gratitude practice again. I also love remembering that when you start to feel grateful, you experience more and more things to feel grateful for.
What are you grateful for today? Where is the magic that makes your soul soar? Feel it now and watch your mood lift to a higher place!

Photo © 2012 Britta Duncan

You can also read the article here:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Enjoy the Ride!

Some philosophies teach that when you reach the place of having no desires, all suffering will stop and you will reach enlightenment. There’s a distinction worth mentioning: when you have a desire and you believe you can have it, it’s a great feeling. But when you achingly long for something and you believe you can never have it, that’s called suffering!

Having desires is natural. Suffering in a place of doubt and worry is unnatural. I’ve heard many teachers say that if you have a desire, you also have within you the ability to achieve it—otherwise it wouldn’t be there in the first place!

When you have a glorious dream or goal that you’re excited about and you know it’s coming to you, you basically feel like you’re floating on a cloud. You can relax and enjoy the journey of its perfect unfolding. But if you’re worried about it, stressed out about it, doubting that it will ever happen, you’re more likely to become disenchanted and really unhappy.

Choose something from your mental or actual desire list. Instead of feeling bad about it or doubting it will happen, try this:
Positively anticipate its arrival
Know in your heart that it’s on its way
Feel the feeling of its arrival
Feel the feeling of it being here right now
Feel the satisfaction and fulfillment of it
Trust in the perfect unfolding of it
Try to relax about it
Enjoy the ride until it gets here, knowing something even better may happen!

Catherine Ponder is known for adding “this or something better” to her affirmations. This idea leaves you open for even bigger blessings than you imagined!

Sometimes things don’t work out, and the normal reaction is one of disappointment. What if instead, we see it as a blessing in disguise?
A really great guy you had a connection with never called you back
The apartment you fell in love with was rented to someone else
The job you applied for was filled by someone else…
Maybe the guy has a mean streak
Maybe the apartment is next to a really noisy neighbor
Maybe the job you wanted has a very hostile work environment

As the saying goes: rejection is protection! When something doesn’t go as planned, try to come to a place of peace about it, knowing that something better is on its way. It’s so cliché, but somehow, things really do work out for the best!

 Move forward in a powerful way and remember to have fun along the way!

Photo © 2012 Meaghan Grettano

You can also read the article here!