Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Does it Mean to Desire?

Here is my latest article for Isla Magazine!
I am fascinated by synchronicities and I always look closer to see if there’s a message in them. Sometimes they are pure coincidence, but other times, a string of events will happen that clearly have an undeniably personal meaning.
The other day, I remembered the concept that if you have a desire, you also have the ability to achieve it. Later on that day, I watched part of an interview that Oprah did with Deepak Chopra. In the interview, they mentioned the exact same concept. Oprah said, “So, to have the desire means you can accomplish it,” and Deepak finished her sentence and said, “Otherwise you wouldn’t have the desire.”
When I heard this, time stood still for a moment. I recognized that it was something important to pay attention to. I’ve had so many desires that haven’t come true, and in a sense, I’ve stopped being hopeful for new ones. I’ve even stopped believing that certain desires could even happen at all. This could be a missing piece of the puzzle.
Later on that same evening, I listened to a teleclass on trusting your inner guidance. The instructor started talking about how she had been studying the law of attraction for years, and one thing she learned was that if she had a desire, then she had the ability to achieve it. There it was again! I took it as a message to realize that it’s unnecessary to ache for the things we want. Instead, we can enjoy the thought of the desire, fully knowing that it’s on its way.
I looked up some quotes that mention this concept and here are a couple of my favorites:
“If you have the ability to imagine it, or even to think about it, this Universe has the ability and the resources to deliver it fully unto you, for this Universe is like a well-stocked kitchen with every ingredient imaginable at your disposal.” –Abraham-Hicks
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” –Paolo Coelho
I like the idea of putting a new spin on what it means to desire. What if we look at it as choosing something new to experience, knowing that it’s absolutely achievable? It feels so much more empowering from this perspective.
It’s pretty common to associate desiring with a painful yearning and an underlying expectation that it will never happen, but wouldn’t it be more fun to enjoy the thought of your desire and happily anticipate its arrival? How amazing would it be if we approached all of our desires in this way? There would be no feeling of struggle or pain. We would just relax and enjoy the journey, knowing that everything is unfolding in the perfect way and at the perfect time.
Instead of having a desire and feeling the pain of not having it, feel the bliss of what it will feel like once it arrives. Remember, if you have a desire, you also have the means to achieve it. This week, pick a few desires and feel what it feels like to know that each one is on its way to you right now!

You can also see it here!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Feel Grateful in Challenging Times

I have to admit: it’s been a rough couple of weeks. I’ve had a cold for a while and it has really taken a toll on me. I noticed an unusual sensation in one of my teeth, so I made an appointment with the dentist to have it looked at. I was in a bad mood so I decided to try to shift out of it. I opened up Rhonda Byrne’s book, The Magic, which is all about the power of gratitude. I only read a couple of lines and I instantly felt my mood start to shift.
On my way to the dentist, I decided to look for things to feel grateful for, even in the midst of my frustration. I put on some nice music and I decided to relax and enjoy the ride. I arrived early and I got a call from a friend at the perfect moment. Our conversation inspired me in so many ways. I walked into the dentist’s office and the woman at the front desk greeted me by name, my hygienist was so friendly and caring, and it turns out the pain I was feeling was related to my sinuses!
I went to a café afterwards to do some writing and my day kept unfolding beautifully. When the girl at the counter asked me what I wanted, she did a little dance and we both laughed. I found a table and sat down. A little while later, this friendly young man sat at a table nearby and we ended up talking for quite a while.
All these lovely moments were happening because of my state of mind. I was feeling so good, and I know that everyone around me could feel it. I realized that my circumstances were reflecting my positive mood.

I experienced something similar when a former coworker suggested I start a gratitude journal. I played with the idea mentally and I noticed my whole day started to shift. I stopped at the bookstore on my way home, and I noticed people were making eye contact with me and smiling at me. This man said hello to me like we knew each other for years! I felt inspired to get Rhonda Byrne’s Gratitude Journal. When I got to the section of the bookstore where it would be, there were two women browsing, and I noticed one of the women put a book back on the shelf. Can you guess what book it was? It was the gratitude journal! I was pleasantly shocked by this synchronistic moment and it really got my attention.

So how do you shift to a state of gratitude in the midst of challenges?
Take a few deep breaths and realize that whatever you have going on is temporary
Look for the hidden blessings in it
Acknowledge the good things you see around you
See the challenge as an opportunity to use your innate strength and wisdom

Even when it seems like things are going wrong all around you, there are always things to feel grateful for. When you start to notice them, your mood will shift and you’ll probably forget what was bothering you! It feels good to think grateful thoughts, and everyone around you will feel it, too.

You can also read it here:

Monday, May 14, 2012

New and Good

Here's another article I wrote for Isla Magazine! It's a fun yet potentially revolutionary approach to conversations:

I’ve noticed that we all seem to have a tendency to talk about everything that’s going wrong when someone asks the question “How are you?” It has become an automatic response to list every problem in detail. What would happen if we start asking a different question?
I was reminded of something my teacher at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Joshua Rosenthal, used to say all the time. He would always ask, “What’s new and good?” Can you imagine how fun and even revolutionary that would be if we all started asking each other that question? When you ask a question like that, your mind gets stimulated in a completely new way. Your previous train of thought is broken and now it’s going in a new direction. You’re caught off guard, you might laugh, and you’ll actually start to recall things that are new and good.
It’s so much more enjoyable to celebrate what’s going well rather than complain about what’s going wrong. Of course, there are times when you need a compassionate listener to help you sort through something difficult you might be experiencing. But it is my belief that there really is no benefit in complaining on a consistent basis.
I took an online class on the law of attraction a couple of years ago. We were all paired up with a buddy and one of our assignments was to call each other and ask, “What was the most fun you had in the last 24 hours?” At first, it felt kind of unnatural. Don’t you want to hear about everything that’s wrong with my life? It almost felt rude to not check in and ask about her problems. After a while, it started to become a fun game, and it’s something we still do to this day!
You can even expand the conversation and ask questions about fun plans, imaginary trips, and long-term dreams. When we were children, imagining was easy and natural. Let’s reactivate our imaginations and start to play again.
This week, play with this idea of asking different questions when you see someone. See how it feels to ask questions like:
What’s new and good with you?
You look amazing! What have you been doing differently these days?
So tell me, what fun plans do you have coming up?
What was your favorite part of the movie you saw?
Or try other questions that feel good to you. Ask questions that will elicit joyful answers. By doing this, you’re setting the tone of the conversation, and you’re increasing the potential for everyone to benefit. I believe that what you put your attention on becomes more prominent in your life. Experiment and see what happens when you start putting more emphasis on what’s going well.
Let’s start a new trend of celebrating all the fun moments, instead of listing our complaints, and I’m sure we will see a beautiful transformation take place all around us.

You can also read it here:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Application of Knowledge is Power

Here is another article I wrote for Isla Magazine!

I’ve read a ton of books, attended workshops, listened to endless free teleclasses, watched informative documentaries, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen every episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass. I even had my own life coach at one point. I came to the realization that no matter how much valuable information I receive, it’s meaningless unless I put it into practice. We’ve all heard the saying, “Knowledge is power.” I’ve always believed that, but I recently heard it expressed in a way that takes it to a whole new dimension: The application of knowledge is power.
It reminds me of a quote from Henry David Thoreau:
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the Earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
I’m notorious for taking pages and pages of notes, and then organizing them neatly into color-coded notebooks. They look so pretty and organized, but what good are they doing in there? I recently found the notes I took when Cheryl Richardson was on Oprah’s Lifeclass. She has an app on her phone that she programs to beep every hour with a positive affirmation. I loved the sound of this, yet it became just another idea that stayed neatly packed away in my notebook. When I found my notes, I was inspired by it again so I decided to put it into practice. I programmed my phone to say things like:
You are loved.
You are a goddess.
You can trust yourself.
You got this!
Every time I get a reminder, I feel like I’m receiving a loving message from someone who cares about me. It’s a positive distraction that sets my train of thought into a new direction.
Not using what you’ve learned is like watching hours of cooking shows and not trying any of the recipes. There’s nothing wrong with eating the same kinds of food over and over again. You’re fueling your body and you’re getting through the day. But what if you want to try new flavors? What if you’re inspired by a beautiful meal and you really want to create it? It’s so much fun to try new experiences. Your life takes on a new richness and depth, and everything starts to feel fresh and new again.
There is so much valuable information out there. Take what inspires you and put it into practice. These small efforts will produce powerful, positive results.