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!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to Do When You Have a Rough Day

If you find yourself in the middle of a rough day, sometimes the best thing you can do is just ride it out. I tend to try to fight my negative emotions and convince myself that I can feel better if I just concentrate hard enough—it never works. I’ve realized that sometimes I just need to feel what I’m feeling and not fight it.

I have to admit: today was a rough day. I went to sleep late, and I woke up too early. I went through the motions in the morning and drove to work. I felt tired and cranky, and all I wanted to do was to go back to sleep!

I realized it was going to be a busy day, and I did my best to mentally prepare myself to get through it gracefully, yet that didn’t actually happen! I felt like I was struggling to just get through the day. I finally felt better during the last facial of the day. I had about ten minutes to go and I breathed a sigh of relief. All of a sudden, I felt a burst of energy. I thought, Really? Now that it’s the end of the day, I get this burst of energy?!

This is what I learned and what I’d like to share:
In the midst of a rough day, breathe a sigh of relief knowing that what you're feeling is just temporary. Sometimes you can’t fight your negative emotions. You just have to ride them out or at least let them be!

Here are a few ways to find relief, even during a stressful day:
  • Take a quick five-minute break and close your eyes. Breathe deeply and slowly and let a little bit of the stress melt away.
  • Take a short walk outside if you can. The fresh air, sunshine, and change of scenery can uplift you, even for the moment.
  • Write out your feelings on a piece of paper and then throw it away. You’ll feel like you’ve released them and you can move forward with a clear mind.
  • Eat something nourishing. It’s a good distraction and you’ll feel better physiologically!
  • And finally: realize that you have the freedom to choose how you react to everything. You don’t have to get caught up in a whirlwind of stress. You can choose to stay grounded in a calm state of grace—and if you do get caught up in the stress or negativity, just ride it out and know that it’s temporary. You will make it through!

Photo © 2012 Meaghan Grettano