Monday, June 30, 2014

Self Care and Being Your Best Self

How do you reward yourself or fill your own tank?  Are you willing to?  Often we will do almost anything for a friend, but refuse to take the time or spend money on ourselves ?

This year my teaching job seemed very challenging and draining. Two of my grown kids currently live with me. I work long days and often work at least three hours over my mandated time.  Somehow I can't seem to change that, but I decided I was due for a big trip or reward for surviving this year.  I needed something to hold on to, to pull me forward through the rest of the school year.

It started out as trip with a travel buddy of mine.  We were going to do a cruise with great discounts.  Then I ran across a destination trip with others who eat like I do (plant based-oil free) in Costa Rica AND it would take place JUST after school let out!  My buddy was unavailable for that trip, BUT I knew that this was on my bucket list: to be able to (read: have the confidence to) travel internationally ALONE.  All I had to do was change planes in a large unfamiliar airport (Miami) and muddle through the customs process. The rest was gravy!  The group would pick me up at the airport, transport me to the all inclusive resort that we'd all be staying at.  Hanging out with like minded people on a structured group vacation seemed relatively easy.

So I said why not?!  Time to push myself a bit and grow. What a blast!  I was paired up with a woman from India as a roommate. There was no coincidence!  We had so much in common and lots to talk about. It was almost as if we'd known each other for years.

Our days were filled with river rafting, bird watching, horseback riding, mud baths, hot springs, snorkeling, and zip-lining.  We saw howler monkeys, iguanas and tons of other native flora and fauna.  Our evenings consisted of nutrition talks by Dr. John McDougall and every meal was a rainbow buffet of fresh local fruits, vegetables, and starches.

Have you been neglecting yourself lately? Feeling that you shouldn't reward or spend money on yourself?  What could you do to fill your own tank?  What do you like to do?

  • get a pedicure or massage
  • go wine tasting
  • be in nature
  • travel
How could you make that happen?  If you feel money stands in your way could you:
  • swap with a friend giving each other a pedicure or massage
  • find a local festival with free/lower priced food & drink vs. admission to a winery
  • take a walk in a park or at the beach regularly
  • take a weekend or day trip
You are worth it!  Being your best self requires having the energy to do it.  I challenge you to find one way to fill your own tank.  How will you find the motivation to follow through on your commitment?

I have decided to tweak my eating plan just a bit more, find ways to get regular exercise (even 15 minutes a day), AND, here's the big one - get more sleep! I know I feel better getting at least seven hours of sleep versus five or six. 

I'm going to list how I feel after waking up  when I stayed up way too late having mindlessly frittered away my time on social media then dragging in the morning and not getting up and out to accomplish my plans and being disappointed in myself.  Along side of that I will list how I feel after getting adequate sleep, body-wise, and how it feels to be able to accomplish my goals for the day more easily. 

Let's do this together and take great care of ourselves. I'm worth it and SO are you!  I'd love to read your comments below about what your goals are and how you're doing. 

 Let's get this Self Care bus rolling!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Create Your Own Winter Reality

Are you tired of feeling STUCK because of the snow?

Had enough forced inactivity due to cold weather?

Feeling like Mother Nature got her signals mixed up or is conspiring against you?

Change those thoughts from tired, stuck, or cold to:
Thank You God (Spirit, Source, Universe) for this opportunity to think differently!  

  • I give thanks for the ability to think warm thoughts about my friends, co-workers or family.  Thank you for the opportunity to do something to WARM the hearts of others.

  • I enjoy limitless freedom and energy to think the thoughts to create my own reality and manifest my dreams.  Each activity I do feeds my soul and encourages me to move forward toward more.

  • My mind moves into higher realms and holds the high watch against the propaganda of the human world that tries to weigh me down.  I find ways to be active whether mentally, physically, or spiritually.
In other words, instead of stop and smell the roses, get up and plant some! 

Want help creating Your own reality? Contact Coach Jude Eastman

Photo Above - Creative Commons License

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rituals for a New Year 2014

How are you planning to close out your year?  The photo above was of one of my happiest times this past year, celebrating a milestone birthday with my family.  Do you have a reflective practice of looking back before looking forward?  While reading many posts today about letting go of things in your past that don't serve you or prevent you from achieving your dreams, I was thinking of what I wanted to do this year.  I have used the burning bowl method:

I've made vision boards & set new intentions:

Today I was struck by one I read on the Ford Institutes' webpage that Debbie Ford (rest her soul) came up with in 2010.

There's a vow or affirmation to state daily recognizing the blessings in your life, seeing your greatness, remembering your perfection, and stating what you want like love, peace, or prosperity.  It reminds you to be that in the world first. Give it away to others. We can trust that what we "put out there" will be given back to us 10 fold.

The rest of the ritual is as follows:

"Make a list of 10 experiences that blessed and nourished you in 2013.
  • To complete 2013, write out why you chose the challenging experiences of the last year. Do this from the highest perspective so that you can find their gifts.

  • Notice if you're carrying any dark, small or limiting thoughts into 2014. Write them all down. Affirm you don't need them anymore. They're not the truth. They're just thoughts. Then rip them up into 100 shredded little pieces and throw them in the trash.

  • Choose one quality (e.g., love, peace, success, respect, etc.) that you most want to express and commit to in 2014. Write out 5 ways that you can give and share this quality with others.

  • Write down 5 goals that you feel inspired to commit to in 2014.

  • Read this vow or use one of your own each morning to reconnect with the power you hold to light up the world."

  • Tweak this and make it your own. Every part may not resonate with you.  If it doesn't, leave it out!  Add something that fits better. Use one part or several.  The point is, do SOMETHING!  In order to get different results in your life, you have to do something differently!  Complacency is your enemy.  Change that pushes and stretches you is your friend. 

    What are some of your blessings from 2013? 
    See the photo of one of mine above.

    What would you love to experience in 2014?  
    I plan to travel to Costa Rica and enjoy many old and new relationships with others this coming year.

    Imagine your energy merging with all the creative energies in the Universe flowing to and through you!  Make it a golden 2014!

    Saturday, April 21, 2012

    The Joy Factor

    Are you a glass half empty or a glass half full kind of person?  The truth is the glass is always full!  (This image appeared on my facebook wall recently)


    Ever have those days where all your best laid plans seem to get way-laid at every turn?  Do you find yourself saying, “The Universe is conspiring against me!”?

    Many of us are unhappy because we haven’t cultivated our “joy stamina”.  No matter what life is throwing in our direction: death, divorce, failure, loss of status or income - everyone just wants to be happy and you CAN be by learning to make joy a habit.

    Do you let minor things annoy you?  Traffic, disrupted schedules, someone not listening to you?  How do you react?  Are you in control of your emotions or do you tend to be overly dramatic about every little thing?  Have you stopped to consider why? 

    The reality of it is that if we believe we are created in divinely we can’t say, “Well I’m just naturally a moody person.”  Find the joy and gratitude in each situation.  Make it a habit.  Cultivate your joy.

    Life is not what happens to us.  It’s how we choose to experience it.  It IS a choice.  Practice transcending external conditions.  Tell yourself “All things are working together for good.”   Or “I am a joy filled being centered and calm in the face of adversity.”
    Life is yours to enjoy.  You CAN make joy a habit!

    Back to that glass - It’s half full of water and half full of air.  Are you seeing it as half empty or full of potential - full of life’s learning opportunities to become more of who you are meant to be in this life – Joy in expression?

    Need help with that?  Contact Jude for a complimentary consultation.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    What is Your Dream?

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream Speech at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. 08/28/1963

    When thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, what part of his message do you take to heart? His speech was originally titled, "Normalcy, Never Again". (The first draft did not include the words, I have a dream.)

    Are you happy with your Normal? If not, what do you dream about changing?

    Dr. King went off script at the end of his speech when gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted out "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" That's when Dr. King went into preaching mode with the words "I have a dream" being used to make his points.

    What would have to happen or be said to you - to shake you out of automatic pilot and take you into a place of greatness?

    It doesn't have to take a catastrophic event, but often the act of being tossed into a world of turmoil - where the ground's been ripped out from under your feet is a very powerful motivator to build yourself a more authentic life. One where you can operate from your true internal compass and be aligned with your own Divine Connection or Source and be at Peace.

    Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and exhale slowly...remember you are truly never alone.

    Seeing yourself at one with all that is good in the Universe can relieve and calm inner stress. Align and surround yourself with people who support you for who you are and who support the dreams that you hold for your life.

    Appreciate the gifts in this Life experience. Recognize and embrace your own unique Spirit. Practice extreme self-care in order to not only help yourself, but to help others.

    Acknowledge your own strengths and every one else's special gifts. Encourage peace in your world through the way you live your life and bless others.

    Change may be inevitable, but your reaction to change is controlled only by you. With each shift or change in your life, it is an opportunity to move forward and expand.

    I Have A Dream...Do You?

    Tell me about your dreams in a comment below.

    As always, if you'd like help attaining your dreams, contact me for an complimentary session to explore how coaching with me can help!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    What Are You Willing to Be, Do & Have in 2012?

    Release & Let Go of What No Longer Serves You. 
    Claim What You Are Willing to Be, Do & Have in 2012.

    If you don't participate in a group that has a burning bowl ritual or missed it this year, create your own.

    Take a piece of paper and write what you are willing to let go of this year. 
    What no longer serves you? 

    • sloth
    • a body less than fit
    • complaining
    • lack
    • disorganization
    • loneliness
    • negative outlook
    Now take this paper and put it in the fireplace or go outside and safely set the paper on fire in a stone pit, clay pot, or grill.  Consciously vow that you ARE ready to release these things from your life and to accept what is yours for your HIGHEST & BEST LIFE IN 2012.

    Wait, you aren't done yet!

    On a second piece of paper, write on one side what you are ready to BE, Do & HAVE this year.  Are you ready to accept these in your life NOW?

    • a prosperous life
    • companionship
    • a fit, strong, or flexible body
    • happiness
    • peace of mind
    • a new car
    • service to others
    • a light unto the world
    • an author
    • the perfect job for your skills and needs
    Turn this paper over and on the backside write what actions you are willing to commit to in order to BE, DO & HAVE this life.  Yes, the Universe needs a bit of commitment and some elbow grease on your part!

    Are you willing to:
    • make time for exercise
    • Eat more fruits and vegetables
    • work at not complaining
    • being grateful for what you have
    • be of service to others
    • give monetarily to causes of your choice
    • put aside time to write
    • putting in the time and effort for right employment
    Put this paper in an envelope and put it somewhere safe (Your tax file, address book or ...), or give it to a trusted (organized) friend and ask that it be given back or mailed to you around Thanksgiving for the year's review.

    There are many versions of how to do this.  You could start with a Gratitude List for 2011, but whatever works for you, the premise is the same.  A willingness to release what no longer serves you and setting your intentions for your highest and best life.

    YOU may want to keep this in a journal where you check in on the letter monthly to stay focused on your desires and building motivation and momentum.  there's no right or wrong way.

    When I received my 2011 letter back in November I realized I had achieved 2 out of 3 of my desires for the year:

    good decisions on my transportation needs (bye-bye Rendezvous-hello Juke)

     better health habits - Eating Plant Strong, loosing 30 lbs, and lower cholesterol

    Wait no longer!  The Universe is ready, willing, and able to give you what is in your best interest.  Are you ready to commit, work towards, and accept it?

    May 2012 be the year you step further into the best version of you and let your light shine! 

    Namaste ~ Jude

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    The Stockings Were Hung


    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care

    in hopes that Florida relatives soon would be there.


    Cleaning and scrubbing, and a new roof was put on

    after Jude finished teaching and from school had gone.


    Christmas Eve was spent shopping - buying groceries for:

    the vegans, the dog & the omnivores.


    The Grinch may have stole Christmas from the Whos in that show,

    but WE'LL have a great Christmas, though I doubt we’ll have snow.

    To All My Virtual Friends and Followers

    Have a Blessed Holiday Season if you celebrate and I hope you enjoy family or friends no matter what.


    Here's to embracing the journey 2012 brings and aligning your vibrational energy with the Cosmos for your Highest and Best Life!


    I'd be honored to help you embrace the journey & attain your goals!

    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Gratitude's Attitude

    Yes!  It's true.  To have something more, better & aligned with who you really are, you gotta love what you have, even when it doesn't seem like there's anything to love!  As Byron Katie would say "love what is".  It certainly has been the story of my spiritual growth path.  When life seems to suck, give thanks!

    I remember a Christmas (in a previous married part of my life) that wasn't feeling so hot.  No money, loads of debt, relationship wasn't feeding my soul in a good way, doing therapy, wondering if my parents role in my life had screwed me up, worrying that my kids' lives were screwed up and what role I'd had in that & needing some love & attention....ever been there?   Then you know the head space I was living in.  Not to rehash the past (that was my perception at that moment in time), but my spiritual upbringing  kicked in.  Be thankful - give thanks for what you have and who you have in your life now, because it's all for your highest and best growth. 

    I wrote letters to my family members as the biggest part of their holiday gifts (I couldn't afford much more).  I thanked them for every good thing I could imagine they had provided for me, even if it was only what they thought they were providing, or what I thought they must have thought they were providing.  I needed to feel that I mattered and was loved.

    The result of those letters was much love and thanks were reflected back to me expansively.  They affirmed that I did matter, that my gift of reaching out in love to others did affect them in a positive way that rippled out into the world.

    No matter what life's circumstances seem to be handing you.  No matter what the world's financial, governmental, or seeming lack of harmony "look" like.  What's true is only what you allow as your current perception.  I had to see that I could give thanks for all that was or that "seemed" to be part of my life at that moment to understand that much of it really wasn't true if I looked to the core of who I knew myself to be.  Created in the purest way and filled with all that I needed in order to live a happy life that was not dependent on others or what they thought of me.

    So this is my gift to you in this week of Thanks & Giving.  Love what is.  Love the skin you're in.  Love  your perceived world as it is.  Thank the people in your life for what you can or what you can imagine they thought they were doing for you.  Thank the Universe for this opportunity to see only what is there for your highest and best. The world will be a better place for it and so will you. 


    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Listening Fully

    Have you ever had someone ask you if you are really listening to them?  Some signs may be that you’re interrupting them as they are trying to finish a sentence or you find yourself thinking about what to make for dinner. 

    When we do this, the speaker often feels disrespected or unappreciated.  They see us with a far off look in our eyes or glancing at our watch.  Their train of thought is interrupted when we jump into the conversation thinking we are connecting or worse yet think we know what they are going to say.

    Yesterday I was getting ideas to use in my first grade classroom and came across a download on how to teach 6 year olds to listen with their whole bodies. WOW!  What a great skill to give to children at this age.  I will be one happy teacher if I have a classroom of real listeners!

    The download is from Kathleen Pederson (who blogs at -  She gives away and sells her creations for teachers at also).
      It is about using a little monster story to teach manners and adapts the concept from books on Whole Body Listening from Think Social Publishing with a cute little monster learning to listen with its head, heart, eyes, hands, feet, ears & brain.  I can’t wait to try this with my class! 

    Then today, my DailyOm horoscope was Listen with Your Eyes.  How perfect!

    Here is just a clip.   For the whole article go to DailyOm.

    Perhaps today you can practice paying greater attention in your interactions by making an effort to not interrupt, interject, or add your opinions when talking to someone else….. Using our eyes to focus on another person means that we use more than just our ears to listen. Not only do they show we are fully present but our eyes allow us to sense emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our interaction…., your interactions will become more attentive and full of greater awareness and empathy for others.

                                  How will you listen today?  

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Are you Allowing for Resistance?

    Have you ever had a break up where you knew the relationship was toxic, but you struggled with letting it go?  Whether it was a love relationship or just a friend, your mind keeps going back to why didn't it work out or I miss him so much!  You make a list of good points versus bad. 

    It's obvious that the damage from the minus side was taking its toll on you.  This person is not going to change, but your monkey mind is holding on tight making you miserable with wanting what isn't working.  You have an idea of how your life or the world SHOULD be and life just isn't cooperating with you.

    How do you handle it?  Do you get upset with yourself for not being able to logically let go & move on?  What's the deal?  You're a bright educated person here.  Why does do you still feel so crappy about this? 

    Or do you allow for that resistance to change?  Allow for those human feelings and emotions.  Allow for the grief of unmet hopes & dreams or for loss.  Allow for what is.   

    So many of us get stuck in the why didn't it work out?  Why doesn't ___ (s/he, your parents, a friend...) love/treat me the way I need to be loved/treated?  Why do other people do things that hurt me? 

    What if for one moment, you gave yourself permission to feel those feelings without judgement?  What could be possible - self acceptance, less pain, even contentment?

    The next time the emotional flood gates open and you find yourself saying "Why do I still feel this way?" - Try something new.  Give yourself permission to feel those feelings.  Notice them, give them some attention.  "Oh!  You're back again, hello - How long do you plan to visit?"  They are just like an errant child who isn't getting the attention s/he wants.  These feelings keep yelling and screaming.  Every time you slam the door in their faces, they get louder and louder with each denial that they should still exist.

    You might even try scheduling time to invite these thoughts back in.  By giving your mind permission to have these feelings, rational to you or not, it takes away the power they have over you.  You are accepting what is. 

    After all - That which we resists, persists!

    Have you tried something that works for you? 
    I'd love hearing from you.  Feel free to leave a comment.

    As always, contact Jude for more information on how to love the skin you're in and live a life you love! 

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    What Gets in YOUR Way?

     So maybe that's a rhetorical question.  Most of us know that we are the ones that get in our own way.  What do we do about it?  This is about you, your life & achieving your goals!

    In order to give yourself the best edge toward success, when you set a goal, make sure it's outcome focused, in line with your values and stated in the positive.  Make it SMART:
    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Action-Oriented
    • Realistic
    • Time Sensitive
    Focus on the Outcome. 
    What is it you REALLY want and what is the PAIN of NOT achieving your goal?

    QUESTIONS to ask yourself
    • Is this goal in line with your vision and your values?
    • Is the goal something you really want or think you SHOULD do/have?
    • When thinking about achieving this, do you feel a deep sense of contentment or excitement?
    • How does it fit into your lifestyle (time/effort/commitment/impact on others)?
    • If you could have this goal RIGHT NOW - would you take it?

    Wait, you say!  What's this got to do with getting in our own way?  Here we go...

    Identify possible OBSTACLES upfront

    • Can you start & maintain the outcome of this goal - are YOU in control?
    • What else might you need to deal with - will it affect other areas/people in your life?
    • What is the secondary gain for maintaining the status quo?
    • What will you have to give up or stop doing & are you willing to pay the price?
    • What else could help you or get in your way - how do you sabotage yourself?
    • WHO will you have to BE to achieve this goal?
    Is your Goal the right SIZE?
    • Does it need to be broken into smaller goals or is it too small to motivate action?
    • What is the smallest, super-easy level?
    • What is your target level that you feel is just right?
    • Finally, what would be an outrageous level that would push you out on a limb?
    • Give yourself a goal range so you can't fail to achieve some level of success!
    Now gather your RESOURCES and get moving!  There are things, people, contacts, skills, money, etc. that you already have.  Make an inventory and decide what you still NEED.
    Remember - Goals are there to inspire you, not beat yourself up with... 

    Stop getting in your own way before you've even started. With a little forethought, those bricks will vanish into an open door that pulls you through with gusto.


     Door Photo by Salvatore Vuono /

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Looking Backwards, a Hindrance or a Help?


    What do you believe about looking backwards over your life? 
    • That it's a wasted effort? 
    • Leave the past in the past and move on?  
    • No use dwelling on what went wrong.
    This is certainly a prevalent view.  Is it yours?

    Or do you enjoy ruminating over the past? 
    • Either the happy times "that were" and you wish could still be.
    • Or all the things that went wrong and made your life miserable (at least that's what you're believing at that moment).
    Kind of the glass half empty model.  How's that working for you?

    Is there another way? 

    What about taking a moment to examine your day to see if you're living in alignment with your highest beliefs (call it Spirituality, Divine rules you live by, or Universal laws to how to treat others & yourself).

    One way to do this is through the Examen Practice or using your own version of these principles.  It's been around since days of old and was used by St. Ignatius.  It involves 5 steps which I've adapted:

    1.  Be still in the present moment and be at one with your Higher Power: 
    That may be God/Goddess/Source/Intuition, whatever you tap into for guidance.  Ask that you be given clarity and understanding around the events of the day.

    2.  Apply Gratitude:
    Take note of the bright spots, moments of joy or beauty.  What gifts did this day bring?  Think of the work you did, the people you interacted with - what were the blessings and how were you a blessing to others?  Food you ate, natural wonders you saw, catching all the green lights - the smallest things are worth noting.

    3.  Observe Your Feelings and Emotions:
    Some of our best insights are here.  Were you angry, excited, anxious, or joy filled?  What do these mean?  What would you go back and change if you could?  What is your intuition telling you to do?

    4.  Focus on One Event and Ask for Guidance: 
    Wait in the stillness for a message about one part of your day -  whether it was positive or negative, what clarity or advice does your higher self have to offer around this?  Don't force an answer, but listen to whatever arises.

    5.  Look Toward Tomorrow:
    What's on your to-do list?  What are your challenges?  Pay attention to the feelings  that come up around these.  Feeling eager anticipation or not enough?   Ask for help, know that that guidance is always there for you to turn to.

    Use this process today or periodically to check-in with yourself.   See if the path you are on is still the one you want to take.  Turn on your inner GPS.  Are you are on the path that takes you where you want to go in the most direct route.  If you feel stuck, imagine you are a wise strong eagle flying overhead observing you at a crossroads of paths unsure of which road to take.  What does the eagle see that you can't because you're too close to the situation?  Listen to and follow through on the guidance you receive, otherwise you may find yourself wondering around in a maze of detours by tomorrow again. 

    Looking back to see forward more clearly!  Try it today!
    Please leave a comment if you've had an experience like this that gave you gained insight and clarity.

    Image from Master isolated images /

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    Change Your Thinking - Change Your Life - Really?

    "A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." ~ Stephen Dolley Jr.

    You say you'd like a life where you're feeling no angst over your choices. You'd love your job, have a great relationship that included acceptance and support, you'd live in balance and be able to set boundaries for others and yourself. Do you believe it's possible or do you see all the problems that "might" get in the way?

    Some people are so smart, they easily see all the things that could get in the way of their own joy:
    • I can't make the choices I want, because no matter what I choose to do, someone will tell me I'm wrong and criticism doesn't feel good. 
    • All the good men are taken.
    • I have to work overtime in order to succeed. 
    • Work has to come before my family in order to pay the bills.I can't quit this job, I'm in too many years to leave because of the benefits or the retirement program.
    • Just being who I am is not enough in this competitive world.  I have to do or be more.  I have to live up to someone else's expectations and that's just too hard.
    • I'd just rather not rock the boat, it's too scary.
    Here's the deal, how badly do you really want a different life or at least a life that feels different?  You have to really want it, be willing to try something out of your comfort zone, be willing to persevere, and really believe that YOU can have/do it.  At the very least, you have to be fed up with how you're feeling  now, have suffered enough loss of ___ (your joy, peace, happiness) to be willing to try something else.

    When all those thoughts of why and how this may work for other people, but I can't have it because - crop up - focus on the positive aspects of making it happen. 
    • What would it look like? 
    • What would it feel like? 
    • How will you reward yourself for making this change?
    • Who will be with you when it happens?  
    • See them congratulating you! 

    Keep the focus on why you CAN make it happen instead of why you can't.  Take no excuses from your monkey mind any more! 

    Do you need some help with this?  Getting started is half the battle.  Enlist a support system of family or friends.  Put into place structures that will remind you this YOUR dream and it is possible.  That may be journaling, mediation, vision boards, scheduling a regular massage.  It may be hiring someone to help - life coach, counselor, baby sitter, or head hunter for that job you want.

    We can have an immediate transformation of belief often after a session or two with someone who believes the power of our own innate ability to make these changes.  They stand by us, cheer us on, and give us the tools to not only survive in our present circumstances, but to thrive in the now and work toward the what can be.

    A quote that helped turn my thoughts around at a dark time in my life is:

    "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." ~ Lao Tzu. 

    Are you ready to let go of your perception of what you can't have or be?

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Inner Peace or Happiness - Are they the same?

    "In the sanctuary of my heart, I feel the peace and love of God.

    Though responsibilities, interests and distractions compete for my attention, I am blessed with the ability to focus. I maintain space in my mind and heart for stillness and quiet. In this inner sanctuary, I find peace. I feel God's presence and love. 

    In the midst of any activity, I can pause for a moment and consciously shift my attention inward. It is as if I have touched the hem of the garment of Jesus and am experiencing a healing and soothing peace sweep over me.

    During periods of extended meditation, I go even deeper into the silence. I welcome this respite and feel myself relax in mind and body. I am blessed by this conscious connection with the flow of good. Thank you, God, for your peace and love.

    May mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.--Jude 1:2"   Daily Word

    Is your Inner Peace dependent on your Happiness or is your Happiness dependent on your Inner Peace?  Or are they even related?  In a recent SparkPeople  Healthy Reflections I read:

    “The secret to happiness is not to get what you want, but to want what you already have. If you think about it, most discontent grows from want. We want more stuff, more excitement, more pleasure. When we don't get those things, we're resentful and unsatisfied. Take away the want, and you take away the unhappiness. When your quality of life is tied to your desires, fulfillment is a shadow that escapes your view. Like trying to imagine a new color, the harder you look, the harder it is to see. Does this mean you stop setting goals and striving for a healthy lifestyle and better life? No. It means you can appreciate life regardless of the outcome. It means you can relish the pursuit while accepting the possibility of failure. It means you can still enjoy the ride. Happiness is not a destination--it's a way of life. The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet. - James Oppenheim”

    That takes me back to my trip to Unity Village for a weekend retreat with Byron Katie - when I really began to figure out how to Love What Is.  It all started with a traffic jam that caused me to miss my flight.  OK. I had some choices.  Wait and hope there was a future flight in time to make it there maybe missing part of the conference for a few extra bucks, pay for a whole new ticket for a whole lot of money, but get there without missing anything, or cancel the trip and feel that life had cheated me out of this opportunity that I’d work hard to achieve.  What do you suppose I did?

    At first I reacted with my human emotions of anger, helplessness & indecision.  I was just coming through one of the darkest periods of time in my life.  I had been working hard to let go of old ways of reacting and seeing myself as a victim of life’s hard knocks.  I had been learning to embrace “what is”, breath through it, lean into it & not attach to the emotions that come up. 

    So I just bought a new ticket and went on my way—yes, it was a lot of money--yes, I’d worked hard to get the cheapest flight and make this trip affordable, but I wasn’t putting a price on happiness, and my inner peace didn’t need to be disturbed by this blip in my plans.  I knew the trip was worth it. Even more, I knew that I was worth it! 

    I was investing in my spiritual and emotional growth.  My inner peace was not going to be disturbed by this and my happiness didn’t depend on everything going “as planned”.

    So open the prison doors of your mind--release old memories that were painful, old ways of acting, and start embracing and making new ones that nourish your soul today.  And as always, if you’d like help with this process, contact me, I’d love to help!

    Photo credit - Evgeni Dinev /