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Even Though. . .

Today I am tired. And crabby. And my hair is sticking up all over the place. But you know what? I love myself anyway. Even though I feel all those things, even though my physical appearance is not what I’d like, I still love myself. And that is practically a miracle. (Actually Marianne Williamson would say it is a miracle.)

In September I wrote a post on being in a funk but knowing God loves me anyway. Today I’m in a funk and I love myself anyway. Woohoo progress!

Several months ago I had a conversation with a friend of a friend and I told him it’s my wish everyone felt beautiful. He told me in no uncertain terms that was a horrible idea, and if everyone went around loving themselves and accepting themselves as they are, the world would be filled with fat and lazy people.

You know, I don’t blame him for thinking that way. I too used to think in order to become “perfect,” in order to realize my full potential, I had to criticize myself. Yell at myself for making mistakes. Chip away all the “bad” parts to get to the good. Because if I’m not critical how on Earth will I change?? How will I become better?? If I accept myself as I am that means I’m ok with being me and who I am right now is not ok!! I must be better!

The human mind is very simple. As you think, so you become. If you constantly think you’re not good enough, that you’re stupid, that you make mistakes, that’s precisely the reality you’ll create. Constant criticism means you’ll constantly find something to criticize.

Love on the other hand? Love allows us room to flourish. My friend’s friend worried if we all loved ourselves, thought of ourselves as beautiful just because we exist, we’d become hedonistic. We’d indulge every whim. That my friends? Is not self-love. Loving the self means taking loving care of the self. It means giving the self proper food and exercise and attention. Eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner is not self-love.

The crazy contrary thing about loving and accepting the self is that’s when change happens. With love I feel safe and secure. With love my control issues have slipped away. With love I’m releasing my fears. With love I feel more patient. With love I recognize when an issue is not mine. With love I’m able to remain more even keel in the face of adversity. With love my physical appearance has also changed. In short, with love I’ve become the person I always wanted to be.

I don’t know I’m articulating this well but I guess I mean to say I am more at ease with my life and who I am now because I love myself. Even when I make certain choices, I love myself. I love all parts of me. Every part is a divine expression of life no better or worse than the other.

I dream of a world where we love ourselves unconditionally. A world where we allow ourselves to thrive under the auspices of love. A world where we recognize ourselves for the divine, magnificent beings we are. Beings who experience a wide range of emotions and physical states. Beings who are love incarnate. I dream of a world where we come to know that, a world where we realize love is all there is.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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God’s Timeline

Patience. Timing. Things unfolding according to God’s timeline. It seems this week that’s the message I’m receiving over and over again. Not in a frustrating/dramatic/hit-over-the-head kind of way, but more in terms of me noticing how things take time but eventually do happen.

I think about how two weeks ago I freaked out about my EFT workshop, wondering if it would happen because not enough people were preregistering. I was so worried and if you stalk me on facebook, you know I promoted the heck out of it. But the preregistration deadline came and went and I only had 11 people even after using the law of attraction, word of mouth, begging and pleading, etc. I called up the supremely awesome Brad Yates, the person leading the workshop, and he said he’d do it anyway because, “I get paid in other ways beside money.” (Bless him!) So in that moment I exhaled, I released, I felt confident the workshop would happen, and wouldn’t you know it, I surpassed my preregistration requirement! Instead of 20 people, 22 showed up. The incident illustrated for me yet again how important surrender is, but also how things happen when the Universe deems them so.

Also this week I found out a friend of mine is dating someone she’s had a crush on for years. They’ve had a connection for a long time and now they’re finally together. It seems everywhere I turn lately I’m reading stories like that. I’ll see announcements on facebook, watch stories on tv of long-time friends becoming lovers, and read about it in books. It’s as if God is saying, “Don’t worry baby, the things you want will happen eventually.” And that’s finally where I am. Three weeks ago it was too early for people to put money down for the workshop I organized, but as it got closer, the timing was right.

I know this post is not incredibly profound but it still feels important to write. To write about how I understand things unfold when they will. To write about how oftentimes the answer to our prayers is, “Yes, but not now.” I really see how the events of our lives accumulate and we have to build up to a point. I may be able to see the window I want to look through while I’m standing on the ground, but I haven’t built the ladder yet to reach it. But my desire to look through the window is also my motivation for building the ladder. My desire to publish a book is my motivation to do so. It doesn’t mean as soon as I have a desire it will immediately manifest but it will happen. Eventually. Just as soon as I build that final rung I’ll look through the window.

I don’t know this post makes much sense or means anything to anyone else but I guess I want to document the change in my attitude. My development of patience because I am finally at a point where I do trust in my creator and my creator’s plan for me. Where I do trust what I want will happen, given time. As Marcelo Bielsa says:

“What’s possible has been done. What’s impossible is being done. For miracles we need time.”

I dream of a world where we all feel at peace. A world where we let our worries fall by the wayside because we know we are taken care of. A world where we understand eventually our hearts’ desires will come true. A world where we let time do what it will because we understand each flower blooms when it’s ready.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Self-Punishment

I didn’t intend to write this today. If you read AWIP regularly you know I blog on Thursdays and today is Monday but here I am writing anyway. I’m writing because some things are coming up and I think it might be fruitful to share them.

On Saturday I hosted an EFT workshop through the meetup group I started as a real-life extension of this blog. (P.S. Thanks to everyone who attended!) Anyway, one of the attendees became really upset because I neglected to tell the group the event took place at a yoga studio and thus people would be sitting on the floor. It ended up being fine because not only does the studio have bolsters, yoga mats, blankets, and pillows, but there is also a bench and a few office chairs. So the attendee didn’t have to sit on the floor, it all worked out, but I am still feeling upset about it two days later.

What I’m doing is I’m punishing myself. I’m whipping myself for not telling people about the space even though I had the thought to do so. I’m beating myself up because, “I should have known better! Why didn’t I tell them! I’m a horrible person!” but really the event is a stand in for all the other mistakes I’ve made in my life. The incident is a stand in for when I cut in line seven years ago to hear the Dalai Lama speak at the National Cathedral. It’s a stand in for when my sister and I wrote letters to a pair of brothers when I was 12 (me asking to be friends, her to profess her crush) and the mother came up to me saying how inappropriate it was. The incident is a stand in for that one time in 5th grade when I changed the answers to my test as we went over it in class so I could make an A. The list goes on.

For me, whenever I make a mistake I always feel so bad about it – I blow it way out of proportion and then I try to rationalize it away by saying, “Well I didn’t know any better.” Or, “I did the best I could at the time.” Or, “We all make mistakes, I’m only human.” What I learned from the workshop this weekend is it’s important to acknowledge the mistake or bad feeling or whatever, so I can move past it.

Why am I writing this blogpost? I guess because the other thing I learned from the EFT workshop is to say to myself, “Even though I did/did not __________, I deeply and completely love and approve of and accept myself.” Somewhere in my life I picked up the message mistakes equals bad and how can you love a bad person?!?

As I write this I want to weep because it’s true – I really have been thinking the only way I deserve love is if I’m perfect. The past few months have produced cracks in that thinking but it’s there nonetheless, otherwise I wouldn’t still be upset I forgot to tell people they would be sitting on the floor. I also know this whole incident is an opportunity to expose this, to shine the light of day on something I’ve wanted to avoid. Because I am still deserving of self-love, no matter what I do, no matter what I say, no matter what I think. This isn’t license for me to run around harming people – I take a daily oath not to do so – but it is a license to allow myself to be human, to make mistakes and say, “I love you anyway.”

I dream of a world where we can all love ourselves unconditionally no matter what. Where we allow ourselves to make mistakes, to grow, to become masters. A world where we dust off all things that do not serve us so the diamond within may shine. A world where we can acknowledge our faults and not expect ourselves to be perfect. A world where we look in the mirror and say, “I love you no matter what.”

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Safety

When I was a little girl I was very shy and quiet. A bit of a wallflower. I didn’t talk to strangers, didn’t cross the street before the light turned green, didn’t ride a bike until I knew I wouldn’t fall off, and never, ever dove off cliffs into the water below. I was not a risk taker. Because I didn’t want to get hurt. Because I wanted to feel safe. I lived by the creed, “Better safe than sorry.” It took me a long time to build up the courage to do things that scared me. It took years before I felt comfortable jumping off the head of this stone lizard and onto the knotted rope swing:

As I got older, the more safe I felt, the more risks I took. I jumped off the head of the lizard. I dove into rivers, ventured into caves, talked to strangers. I built up to that point because I felt it was safe to do so.

Yesterday as I journaled about my topic du jour (doubt), I realized my grown-up mind is also trying to protect me. As a kid I kept myself safe by never taking risks, by sitting on the sidelines. As an adult I’m keeping myself safe by doubting things will come to pass. Because if they don’t happen then, well, I never thought they would anyway. It’s that adage, “If you don’t try, you’ll never fail.” There are so many places I could go from here, so many points I could make, but what I want to express is I am safe at all times. Am I any safer now when I jump off the stone lizard than I was at 6 years old? No. Is it any safer now for me to cross the street before the light turns green than when I was 3? No. The only difference is in my head. The only difference is my perception.

What I’m realizing is safety, just like happiness, comes from within. It’s not an external force. I am not safe as soon as X, Y, and Z happens (or doesn’t happen as the case may be). I am safe at all times, in all ways, in all situations. It is safe for me to plow ahead, to reach for my dreams, to put my heart on the line. It’s safe for me to believe my intuition and accept divine guidance. It’s safe for me to think I can accomplish what I set my mind to. It’s safe for me to get hurt. Safety is not the absence of pain or sorrow or failure because all those things will happen anyway. Safety is really and truly a perspective. It’s a feeling. And I get to choose how I feel.

So I thank doubt and fear and my good girl complex for doing their job, for helping me to feel safe, for facilitating that process. I thank doubt and fear and whatever else has brought me to where I am today but it’s time to let them go now. It’s time to say, “Goodbye old friends, you served your purpose well.” Instead I know everything is already within me. I can take risks, I can dive off cliffs, I can believe what I feel intuitively because I carry safety within me.

Dr. Alan Zimmerman has a really beautiful quote that fits in quite nicely with the theme of this post:

“Remember the will of God never takes you to where the grace of God will not protect you.”

Knowing I carry safety within me, I strive forward, I take risks, I leave my fears and doubts by the wayside because I am already safe without them. I know safety is a feeling I create for myself irrespective of my environment and external circumstances. And that’s what I wish for others as well.

I dream of a world where everyone feels safe at all times. A world where we can create that for each other. A world where we strive to create the feeling of safety in others by constructing a harmonious environment, a peaceful planet, a world filled with love. A world where we love ourselves and each other unconditionally. A world where that unconditional love translates into how we treat each other. A world where we know we are safe no matter what.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Releasing Doubt To Honor The Truth Within

What I’m realizing is this whole doubt thing is the universe’s way of trying to get me to trust myself. I’ve written before about realizing the truth lies within, but getting rid of doubt is an application of that realization.

Last night a friend of mine said, “I can see this as the future or I can see this as the future,” and I got so upset. I felt upset because she wasn’t telling me what I wanted to hear or what I felt intuitively. Also I realize I felt upset because I was afraid the outcome she predicted would come true. In that moment I realized I’ve been letting other people’s opinions sway me. I’ve been letting what other people think guide me and that is not what self-realization is about. It’s just not. The whole point of a spiritual path is recognizing the truth lies within. How can I believe that yet also look to other people for answers and validation? How can I believe I already know the truth when I get so upset by someone else’s comments?

I share this because I think many of us live in fear of the future or doubt what will come to pass. That’s probably why fortune telling and seeing psychics is so popular. I’ve done it too. Who doesn’t want to hear from somebody else the future is bright and all your dreams will come true? What I’m coming to realize though is I can do all that for myself. Lately I’ve been in a state of wanting constant validation. I’ve been wanting God/the Universe/my friends/family to tell me, “This is what your future will look like,” because I don’t believe my intuition, I don’t believe my own feelings. It’s easier for me to hear it from someone else. Last night though felt like the end to all that. Felt like my higher power saying to me, “When are you going to start trusting yourself and your own feelings about the future? When are you going to stop letting yourself be swayed by others?” Right now Lord. Right now.

I am a manifestation of God, of love, of light. I already know the truth. I already know what will come to pass. My life is my life and no one else’s. No one else knows the answers to my life and what my future holds nor do I know the answers for anyone else. I depend on myself and my higher power for guidance. Everyone else does their own thing and I do mine. I release all doubt because I also realize things change.

Another moment of profundity for me yesterday was understanding nothing is set in stone. And even stone engravings eventually fade. I may think getting from point A to point B is impossible right now and it probably is. But that’s the kicker: right now. It doesn’t mean this moment is how things will always be. While I may think it’s impossible for me to cross a river, at some point my higher power is going to build a bridge. Or send me an airplane. So I don’t need to worry about it. I don’t get to see my entire future, I only get to work toward it. God shows me little snippets of my life so I may continue to put one foot in front of the other and eventually arrive at point B. All the naysayers can just step aside because I have somewhere to be and something to work toward. And from this point forward I will not be deterred.

I release all fear, I release all doubt. I recognize only I can know my future based on the strong desires my higher power instilled within me. I recognize things don’t happen on my timeline but that eventually they do happen. I recognize the Universe guides me in a certain direction and its time to look inward for my compass. Other people can’t possibly know about my life and my future because they are too busy dealing with their own. All we can do for each other is offer love and support as we all figure out how to navigate through the jungle.

I dream of a world where we trust ourselves and our intuitive ability. A world where we all turn inward for the answers we seek. A world where we release all doubt, all fear, all resistance. A world where we recognize things change and nothing lasts forever. A world where we let other people live their lives and we live ours. A world where we know the things we desire most will come to pass if we let them.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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Becoming A Master

I want to be perfect. My idea of “perfect” has changed dramatically from external things like having a hot body, a cute boyfriend, a great job, etc. to internal things like being fearless, living in the moment, trusting in the universe, etc. But of course I want it all RIGHT NOW. And I beat myself up because I’m not where I want to be yet.

More than a week ago I wrote about releasing doubt. The thing is I’m still releasing it. And that’s ok. I previously wrote a post about spiraling up, about how the same issues keep coming up for us but we’re not in the same place we were before. In fact, it’s like we’re spiraling up a mountain. I guess I want to say I’m giving myself a break for not being over all my issues RIGHT THIS SECOND. Because sometimes things take a while. I’m human and I’ve lived in a certain reality where I felt things like fear, and doubt, and judgment for 25 years. So maybe it’s going to take more than one act of surrender and release to feel safe, trusting, and unconditionally loving. Maybe it’s going to take multiple times before the lesson sticks. It doesn’t make me a bad person or stupid or slow. I am who I am and I learn at the pace I learn. Sometimes it’s faster, sometimes it’s slower.

I think back to a conversation I had with a friend of mine a while ago and he said to me, “Life is about mastery. Learning a lesson and then applying it whenever fear comes up or doubt comes up. Because they will.” That makes complete sense, how life is about mastering lessons. It’s already applicable in something like playing an instrument. Most people have to practice a lot before they can play well. There are some people who can pick up a guitar and play like virtuosos after one lesson but those people are rare. Most of us have to practice. For most of us it takes time to become masters. Why would relinquishing fear/doubt/control/judgment/impatience be much different?

This is me saying I’m one of those people who take time to master a lesson. I’m one of those people who have to keep applying what I’ve learned. I’m one of those people who have to practice before I can rock out to Jimi Hendrix’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I think ultimately that’s what’s important – not how long it takes me to learn a lesson but that I learn it. And I will. Day by day, little by little, when my deep underlying issues crop up, I tap them away, I affirm them away, and ultimately I release them to love.

I dream of a world where we cut ourselves some slack for spiraling up. A world where we know sometimes things take time and that’s ok. A world where we unconditionally love ourselves no matter how long it takes for us to learn a lesson. A world where we recognize we are becoming masters in our own way and eventually we will all get there.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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