Yes, to all of this! When did it become an idea that we stop on our journey? Who told us that the person we are is the ONLY person we are meant to become? I love the idea that we get to meet ourselves every single day we wake up! I am continually asking myself, 'who am I going to meet today?' I want to fiercely continue to challenge the parts of me that still need healing, the places where I may not feel fulfilled, and I don't want the end game to be content. I want to be aware that I am always learning and always growing every day I wake up with breath in my lungs. Why not ask yourself, 'who is it you are still waiting to meet within?' Stay awake!
Everyone knows me to be a die-hard minimalist. I was organizing friends' houses before it was popular and for free! I could fill my car with all that is most important to me and drive away, I have taught my children the same. People often think of material things when the word clutter is mentioned. Today, in my work, I am still helping people get rid of clutter, but the clutter of ideas, habits and ways of life that don't support their journey. Consider it for a moment. What way of thinking isn't supporting you living fully today? Is there a work, friend or social relationship that only causes you stress, but does not lift you up? What habits could you stand to limit in your daily routine that would enable more life-giving energy into the mix? Define your clutter and begin to release it.
Sometimes we just need a little reminder...Do you have a scale? Do you stand on it daily? Does that number define your day, your story, or your life? I lost too many years answering YES to all of those questions. How many more moments do you want to miss? Affirmation Scales & Yay Scales are something I bring into all of my talks and most workshops. I ask people what they would want their scale to say...and then write it down! It is empowering! I create YAY Scales, a scale that gives you a compliment, rather than a number and my most favorite sledgehammer scale parties where we destroy them all together. Take back your body from the preconceived ideas society tells you about how you should live in your scared body! Join us on our next retreat if you want to go further into this formidable topic!!
The skies have opened up and the big yellow thing up there is so foreign you may have forgotten about it! I know many of us go for walks, hike in the mountains, and take time at the lake. But how often do you really take in all that is around you? Creating art in nature is all around my home. There is so much story, life that has come and gone in stones, leaves and the in the beauty of nature as it sheds its layers each season. Have you paused to consider how you shed layers each season? A time of constant letting go and growing is what the seasons are most about. How can you pause and take notice? Follow up these ideas with taking some things in nature that have already fallen to the ground and create a beautiful reminder for your home. Place it in a place of sacredness to you and become aware of the thoughts and reflections that follow.
Wow these words are so rich in meaning. You can take them in many different perspectives. What is home to you? You can look at it in the most traditional of ways where you live, but what if you were to consider it more deeply? Where do you live within yourself? How do you come home to yourself daily? How do you come home to your creativity? How do you come home to those you love? How do you come home to your spirituality? Today, take a moment to consider home in every essence of the word and meaning. How do you want to live?
Your feelings are valid.
Some of us have never heard those words or have had an experience of one validating our feelings..
Some of us grew up with an attitude that feelings were weak, wrong, or just never needed to be voiced.
I believe we all can adequately express the disastrous mentality that has instilled on people.
Feelings are valid.
Feelings are healing.
Feelings are expression of life and passion.
Feelings walk us through our journey.
Feelings show us how we live in the world's experiences.
Feelings guide us to understanding, knowledge and most importantly self-awareness.
Feelings allow us to be whole.
What has your experience of 'feelings' been?
How do you find yourselves wanting to change or nurture this experience today?
I validate your feelings.
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On this Thursday before the rush of the weekend and after the clutter of the week that has passed, take a moment to make room for silence. How often do you allow for the silence to hold you? Do you embrace silence with a sacred awareness that it offers? Silence often can be difficult for some to nurture; I promise you, if you pause for just a moment the gift will be received.
“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor Frankl
Trauma is a very complicated word. What is trauma to you?
Whether you realize it or not we all walk through trauma in our lives. The extent of that trauma is very different for each journey. It could come from childhood, manifest in young adult years or adulthood could provide many different scenarios that one will walk not by choice. There really is no escaping it.
Any trauma holds value. Read that again, any trauma holds value.
It releases lessons for the journey we walk from day to day. While the pain is not what one would choose to walk through, it brings us one step closer to living this life more fully aware in ways we are called to be present.
Personally, my trauma is the core of my work and how I bring it to the table to help others on their life journeys. It isn’t always easy to talk about, walk through and process over and over; but it is necessary.
It doesn’t often feel like it deep down in the darkness, but the choice is ours to walk towards the light and use our trauma in our lives for positive. My experience has been that you do not heal from trauma; you simply come to know yourself in deeper ways to live fully when the wound has you turning towards the pain and awareness.
Walking in trauma is learning to walk in love for yourself as you are showing up in this moment.
The trauma may be with you for as long as you breathe; the hurt will have its good days that teach you a positive you needed to see. And then the tough days that follow which bring you to your knees in ways you wonder if you will make it through. But, in the end, you will learn to hold and cradle the wound in a way so the memory will allow you to nurture the pain, so it doesn’t ever hold you again in the way that you experienced it. You will parent your inner child’s wound.
The scar is a reminder; you can see it as a negative or you can visualize the empowerment is represents for you overcoming, but the choice is yours.
You may have suffered trauma, but you are not defined by the trauma. You are not the trauma. Only you can be the one to choose not to let it control your life, your journey and your sense of soul and self.
You were wounded, but you are not the wound. Your awareness is your power.
We find a sense of healing in our experiences, in our stories without letting them define us in their powerful nature or existence. We make friends with the stories in order to keep going. I found myself at the deepest core within the pain, and I survived. So can you.
There are years in my life where it is dark, difficult to remember; my body never forgot. In those moments, I do my best to honor and listen. I do my best to not react, rather to help heal my body’s memory with love.
Our mind at times protects us from the pain that is too intense to voice; it is guiding us through our journey to not allow it to consume us.
Our body is trying to heal in different ways, at times shouting the memories so that it too can heal. How we respond is going to be the difference between nurture and battle.
We must find a balance. Our mind and our body meet each other daily on the road. We must continually ask ourselves what do I want the map to look like today?
There is no timeline for healing from trauma. I found it helpful to never expect an ending in the healing process. By looking at the situation in this manner, I am less likely to be taken down in my weakness when the pain or a memory overwhelms; I open myself up to that which I still need to learn.
While trauma changes the patterns of our lives that we otherwise wouldn’t choose, healing is taking back our power and creating the change we now choose to embrace as we walk forward.
We are never free from pain, but we can own how we walk through it. We can begin to meet our pain with love and understanding.
And there will be times when you thought you were done telling your story; that is often when it may overwhelm you all over again. It is okay to fall apart at these times when you thought you had released it. Give yourself this moment to grieve. Then begin again.
You are not weak. Healing is messy. When you recognize all of this, you remember you are human. You have come this far. And you have a long way to go.
A sentiment felt by many, but when spoken is often refuted with positive arguments for immediate change. When did it become harmful to pause? Who said it wasn't ok to sit in the rain of our life, the times where it feels non-stop pouring of uncontrollable issues? I am not saying to ignore them, but I do believe there is gift, knowledge, presence in pausing and allowing the emotions, the feelings and the fall out. The lessons we are meant to receive will come when we are ready to embrace them. Can you sit in the rain?
How is that for simplicity this morning? Eventually, everything connects. How often are we the ones in our own way of ourselves? We always think we have the perfect answer, the perfect direction or that our way is going to be the only way to get out of the situation what we want! What if she stepped back and embraced this simplicity? What if we trusted the process?
Something to consider.... there has been so much talk about the moon recently; how it affects our moods, how it can orchestrate our daily lives and predictions over what the road ahead looks like. We read, follow, and join in the conversation wholeheartedly. Our lives go through the same phases if you pause to look at this road; we go from infancy, youth, young adult, midlife to our end phases. Each phase provides us with different experiences, good and bad. What if we could simply embrace this good and bad as a means to becoming our best self? Just like the moon, we are always striving to become full, vibrant, and full of life in every way. Just for today, stop focusing on what you aren't and focus more on who you are becoming!
You are enough.
Some of you rolled your eyes when you read that sentence.
Some of you couldn't even read it.
Some of you feel like you can't relate to the sentiment in any way.
All of us battle to accept these words, and you can't tell me otherwise.
The truth is you are enough.
You were enough on the day you were born.
You are enough when you have a bad day.
You are enough when you make mistakes.
You are enough when you can't see the light in the darkness.
Repeat these three words as often as possible.
Every day you wake up, commit to making it a great day,
Do your best.
Allow love to embrace you.
You are enough, my friend.
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Why is it so hard to embrace being alone? Some find it terrifying to walk into a café, event, or party on their own. We often feel it says something about us negatively. When we find ourselves alone, we can embrace so much around us that we would not otherwise have been able to do with someone by our side. I wrote about the gift of aloneness yesterday and wanted to continue the conversation. Feel free to read the post below and share the gifts you receive from embracing aloneness, the irrational fears that may lead you to missing out due to your fears of aloneness or better yet challenge yourself today to simply sit in the gift of being alone and see what comes to you!
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"You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.” ~Paulo Coelho
Aloneness can look like many different things for one’s path. I am going to offer that being alone is often one of the hardest things to do for some people. To sit with oneself incites the forced action of looking at our lives in the most true and honest of ways. That can be difficult to receive.
The common take on aloneness is often negative, depressing and brings on feelings of a lack of worth in one’s life. In our culture we see being alone almost as a failure or negative attribute.
What if we were to see aloneness as a gift?
People are often surprised to hear that I lean more towards being an introvert. While my work can be out in front of people, I savor those moments when I get to curl up with a hot cup of tea on the couch and just sit in the silence. Those moments are needed in the same ways that I need food for energy.
When I look back on my life, some of my most precious moments were when I was alone. I travelled so often around the world alone and by doing so was intentionally pushed into the uncomfortable. I had to reach out and ask for help, conversation and simply presence of a stranger time after time.
In those moments I was able to create memories and savor others stories in this world that I would not have otherwise experienced if I were travelling with someone. I had to be thrown outside of my comfort zone, to become fully present to another human being.
Let’s consider a simpler form of aloneness that is reachable to anyone. Have you ever gone to a café alone? This is one of my favorite activities. In my younger years I spent hours upon hours in the cafes of a big city. I grew up by way of people watching and journaling. Sometimes it seemed as if someone’s story was obvious, to learn it was completely different than what I perceived in appearance. I would watch how some folks were living their lives fearlessly and wished in my younger inhibitions that I could be the same in that experience. I took notes for what I wanted to challenge myself on, but mostly I learned the art of being alone as a positive.
While the world is anxious to tell you that being in a relationship is the only way to live; or the need to live with others rather than attempt to embrace an experience of living alone, I challenge you to walk away from that idea.
Have you ever considered dating yourself?
Think about it. What would that look like? Have you ever experienced taking yourself out on a date? I believe that we need to constantly be reintroduced to ourselves. The directives are endless in how we will live our ever-changing lives from that point forward.
As I healed my journey with food, the hardest piece for me was eating alone. For years in my healing, I needed to eat with people. It took the pressure, the focus and the anxiety off the meal and the act of eating. When I found myself in solid recovery, I was surprised to see how I began to fall in love with food. I love food; it was never about food. I love to cook. I love to create savor and experience.
When I began to walk the journey of eating alone, my world and love of food opened up more than I was expecting. I savored and experienced with an entirely new sense of wonderment. I was reintroduced to my palate with flavor coming to life in my senses. I don’t believe that I could have had this experience if I were with others. By savoring the aloneness, I found the gift in food. A surprise indeed.
When we are alone, we allow ourselves to truly learn the depth of who we are. When we can embrace that knowledge, we are able to live life more fully than we ever thought possible. Personal growth blooms from these moments, stunning clarity invokes you and you will meet the person you are meant to be in this moment you find yourself.
How will you sit in the gift of your aloneness today?
When I saw this quote, it really resonated with me. I think we are all guilty of creating incessant maps for our journey. To walk through life without a plan is to ask of one an insurmountable faith that is hard to come by at times. But...what if? What if we could just listen to the lostness within ourselves and try to allow the sacred to come to the surface? What if today we could sit in the presence of trust and allow the map to show itself to us instead?
I often wonder why some find it harder than others to see how humanity connects us. There are endless stories on each other's journeys that connect us in ways that we don't often acknowledge. While there are those who choose to only see and measure by differences, they miss out on the unique richness of other's lives, stories and experience. What if we were to walk into each day excited to meet every single person we met with no judgement? Can you try that for a day?
What does it mean to Embrace?
A first thought may be a hug...but what if you were to go deeper with than that thought?
How do you approach life?
Do you embrace all that is offered to you at any given moment?
What would happen if you could approach your journey with an attitude of embrace rather than fear, worry or question?
I have been practicing 'embrace' for some time and truly believe when you embrace everything about who you are and opportunities that are put in front of you in spite of your fears, you will see the right path open up for your personal map in life.
It is a risk, but if we don't ever take risks, are we really living?
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Falling into place…
How often do we walk through our daily lives only seeing what is falling apart around us?
It is so easy to get caught up in the comparison game with the way our world functions through different outlets; nothing we do can possibly measure up in the same way to what another person is doing. It is an automatic loss. The paths we walk will always be individual.
Why is it so hard to accept the path revealed to ourselves in that moment of perceived failure?
If we were to go deeper into that process of thought, I am going to wager a guess that we really don’t care as much as others are telling us to care. But it is so hard to not involve ourselves in that thought process where we think we are failing in our own path, when there is always someone else doing something more unique or in fact just different.
Embracing our call and owning it can be one of the hardest choices to commit ourselves to.
Have you noticed that we come to expect to see the negative in every outcome rather than acknowledge and celebrate what we did accomplish in the attempt? Our first inclination is becoming all too common to go deep within the negative, rather than see anything positive out of that which is coming undone.
What if we were to pause for a moment and ask ourselves what could be falling into place?
Think about it. The classic saying that everything happens for a reason is tried and true. I know many who invest in this thought process with vigorous denial allowing themselves to sit with the grief of failing in a situation inhibiting them from moving forward.
When one does not receive the positive outcome out of the situation that they really wanted, instead of grief with a positive resolve they are closed to considering any other option or idea.
They simply get stuck in failure, rather than allow themselves to ask the harder question, ‘What is falling into place?’
If we take a moment to pause, reflect and go as far as not even looking at the situation that did not go our way; we may be able to open ourselves to that which is there waiting for us to receive.
Falling into place.
Imagine what your life would look like if you could allow yourself to see all that was falling into place as a new beginning. You may just find the steps that you were meant to be walking in this moment. You may just find your way back to yourself.
There are places you haven't been where you already belong. Have you ever thought about that? I don't know anyone who has never felt a yearning to belong in a situation where they felt like an outcast. I trust we have all been there at one point or another. We question why we don't fit in. We wonder what makes us so different that we don't belong to a particular peer group. It is a hard reality that may never have an answer that could heal the pain the sentiment causes. But, if we can take a moment to walk away from trying to be somewhere that we don't really need to be, we may just find another place where we already belong. The world is a very large place. There are inexplicable amounts of people in it. I would like to focus on those places where I do belong that I have yet to discover. Today, I choose to be open to receiving a new narrative to my story.
Sometimes we just need a little reminder that life wasn't created in a day. Journey is a word I use often, but I am so sincere in its core meaning. Life is going to hand us so many different scenarios as the years go by. Some may be the joyous memories we keep on a never-ending reel in our minds, and then there will be the events, and darker times when life kicked us down hard; we don't often want to look back on these times. But it is important to embrace both, for they make us who we are today, for better and for worse. The lessons in each step are what mold us into who we are...and who we are is the person meant to be here today. We are all beautiful. We are all love. We all have wings to soar, if we just will say yes to the journey in front of us.
Trust me. This time will come. Some days, it feels like we will never see the light that others constantly brag about. We find ourselves commenting on how our light just isn't there, doesn't shine as bright or the heaviness of life is too great to keep it shining. You have permission to sit here as you need, you just don't get to live here. You have to pause, go deep, and remember that you are the true keeper of your light. You have to go deep and take back your power! You have to go deep and embrace your inner warrior! We all have it...it just waits for us to be ready to say, 'ok, let's do this!' So, today, I am saying...LET'S DO THIS!
BE YOUR OWN WARRIOR
Do you love yourself?
What does that even mean to you as you read it?
Some people may panic as they read the question.
Some may quickly qualify the meaning of love trying to disconnect it from self.
It truly is one of the hardest things one will do over the course of their lifetime. Loving oneself in this moment as they are without needing to change first.
We live in a world that completely and totally counteracts that statement.
Today I challenge you to read this Affirmation Card from Louise Hay out loud to yourself over and over.
Then go to your mirror looking into your eyes and say, 'I love you.'
Let whatever emotions flow from this experience. Don't apologize, don't correct....just be.
(*If this is something that is really challenging you or intriguing you to do deeper, consider our Fall Retreat:
Finding Your Embrace & Embracing Body Wisdom! Spots are filling fast!)
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“The soul feels its worth because it has chosen to appear.”
~ Fr. Greg Boyle S.J.
These words from G, as he is better known, have given me pause. They struck me. They will not release from my unconscious. I feel called to understand the depth of what it means to me on my journey.
I have come to midlife with a new outlook I never expected to see. I am questioning. I am listening. I am looking at things in diverse ways. What I once thought to be the only way I could believe something, I have now been challenged by my current life struggles alongside my teenagers to question and re-evaluate.
What does it mean for those walking the same path with different stories?
The soul feels its worth when we can be seen.
Our shame, our wounds, our failures, and our feelings of diminished self-worth get in the way of this often. Our souls are longing to feel their worth. Why must we wait for someone or something to tell us when it is time; to tell us that our worth is deserving?
Why do we look to others for our value, when truly it begins and ends with ourselves?
Our soul has the capacity to embrace that which is deeper, and others cannot see. Our soul wants us to have faith in the unknown and remember that we are on that path to always finding ourselves.
Whether there is a greater being that you are walking towards, striving to understand or whether finding yourself is the pure grace and nature of the soul for which you are searching. It is yours to decide when to hold it in your hands and mind.
In the depths of our souls is the undeniable love, strength, wisdom, unshakeable goodness, purity, and inexhaustible hope as it breathes day in and day out.
But it is easier to hold close to the frightened self. The self that screams one’s lack of worth when our guard is down. The self who has been injured with scars too deep to hide. The familiar validates and soothes the doubtful mind.
The soul feels its worth when we can be seen.
When we tell our stories, we do not run. When we feel our stories and we cry tears of joy because we survived them. When our soul homecomings finally become known, then we are able to live the life which we are called from birth.
No one ever tells us who we are going to become and knows it better than ourselves. They may try in the disguise of evil, but our soul speaks to us louder than those who bring us down. Our soul trusts our stories, our soul knows our stories intimately and our soul wants our stories to breathe….
When we are able to finally say that our stories are the scars of our soul, the scars of our life and we are grateful for them molding us into who we were meant to be; we are then able to extend the wings of hope to another and soar.
We can only pray that others see this, that others will grab onto our wings, and those who most needed to hear our stories to come home to their own soul-searching self, will take our hand as we walk into the light.
We belong to each other; we need to be re-introduced to ourselves, so that we can be re-introduced to each other.
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How often are we out on a ledge helping those around us with ease, but when it comes to receiving help, we turn away. We get lost in our shame and allow our vulnerability to define us. We all need someone else on the journey at times. No one is invincible to human struggle, human need. I am the first person to offer that I can struggle with this, often surprised by who is at my door when I allow one in. Maybe there are more lessons in receiving than in giving. Consider it today....
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.