Ending Year One and Remembering What Has Always Been

thumbnailI remember when I was a really small child, maybe 5 or 6, and having an “Inner Body Experience” as I would like to call it. I could stare at my hand for a few seconds and all of a sudden feel myself as a soul inside of my body. It was as if I was watching a movie or a play and watching my thoughts and watching life happen in front of me. I would trip out a bit thinking about how I am a person with a body and this is all real yet having this knowing that I and everyone else was much more than what I could see or comprehend at the time.

Having this experience was almost like a high for me. I remember the first time I did it, i felt weird and didn’t really know what was happening but after a few times of having this experience, I was able to control it and all I had to do was look at my hand and I would disappear into this Inner Body Experience. I could look into the mirror, look at my face and know that I was not my body or my thoughts. I was a soul. I was the Universe. I knew that I was Love.

As I got older and started identifying more with myself as my ego, the Inner Body Experiences happened less and less until they didn’t happen at all anymore. Not that they couldn’t, but as experiences happened, I simply started to forget who I was. I identified with my body, with my thoughts, with my behaviors. It wasn’t until recently that I even remembered the Inner Body Experiences ever happening at all.

After going through a really depressing stage in my life, probably one of the worst times ever, back when I was 23 years old and pregnant with my first son, I started to rediscover my Self.

“A certain desperation is usually necessary before we’re ready for God… Until your knees finally hit the floor, you’re just playing at life, and on some level you’re scared because you know you’re just playing. The moment of surrender is not when life is over. It’s when it begins”
-Marianne Williamson

It felt like I had dove head first into a never ending well and couldn’t stop. I was taking seminars, and reading books, and watching movies, and learning a bunch of things that resonated with every single thing I felt I ever believed in during all the years before. My “knowing” and my inner feelings were being expressed through these things in ways that I could never express outside myself. The best part was that none of this felt like I was “learning” anything but rather was “remembering” it all.

I would open a book and everything I read was like something I already knew inside and I was getting validation for my previous thoughts and beliefs. It was the learning how to BE these things that became the hard part. After living years and years in my ego, forgetting what I felt and knew when I was 5 and 6 years old, living this more conscious lifestyle wasn’t so easy. Especially because the ego will do anything it can to make sure you hold on to it.

When I discovered the University of Santa Monica, the school for Spiritual Psychology, my heart almost fell out of my chest. To take classes and get hands on experience in learning how to break down the barriers that are preventing me from living the full expression of my soul, seemed like I had stepped into a miracle. Everything I had ever connected so deeply with, was being taught in an experiential way through this school. So not only was I going to further the “remembering” but I was going to get practice in learning how to “walk the talk”.

This last 9 months of school has been nothing short of amazing. There was not a moment that I felt I didn’t want to be in class. I craved the environment we all created and the loving energy that existed by stepping foot into the classroom, even being pregnant. It was safe, and accepting. Loving and vulnerable. I had connected so profoundly and deeply with almost every single person I ever talked to in that classroom. I had seen myself as them when they spoke and I knew they saw themselves as me when I spoke. The feeling of unity and oneness was experienced every weekend that I had class (which was one weekend a month). It became impossible to look at anyone in my class and not just love the shit out of them. It was impossible!!!

We had a 6 day lab as the last week of school; It was the chance to really go deeper into our experience of healing and resolving. We set intentions about what we wanted to get out of the lab. Most people wanted to go where they were afraid to go before. To touch on the things they were afraid to touch on before. To jump off the ledge and prove to themselves that they indeed knew how to fly.

I learned the true power of intention during this time. The true power in following through with what you intend. One after one, all week, people were healing and growing and loving and knowing. Including myself. Everyone just seemed so beautiful and light filled. It was intense and nothing I had experienced before.

As I woke up on the last day of class, I felt like my heart was on fire. I felt like it was the end of something even though class would start again in 3 short months. Through out the year I had judged my process so much, and this time I finally felt like my heart was just opening. As I stepped into the classroom and saw all the beautiful faces of my classmates, I felt so overcome with love that I just wanted to cry uncontrollably. Every person I saw, I saw past their body, I saw past their thoughts, their behaviors, their personalities. I saw right into their loving essence.

My intention for that last class was just to remember WHO I AM. That morning I remembered how when I was 6 I would look at my hand and have my Inner Body Experiences. I started to talk about who I am as a Soul and my Authentic being, my truth.

I am not my body, I am not my thought. I am not my behaviors or personality.

I AM ACCEPTANCE, I AM JOY, I AM PEACE, I AM VULNERABILITY, I BRAVE, I AM COURAGEOUS, I AM FREEDOM,  I AM THE UNIVERSE, I AM LOVE!!!!!!

I AM EVERY SINGLE THING I SEE IN EVERYONE ELSE. This means that All the great awesome qualities I was seeing in my classmates, I Am those things too. I AM! All I have to do is remember that. I was finally getting it.

I left my last class feeling the best I had felt in a very long time. I was finally remembering it all. I was finally returning to love. My heart was burning with what had always existed inside.

The one thing that trips me out is that I started class 4 months pregnant. I grew a human being inside of my body during 5 months of the year. Class was the last place I was before going to the hospital and giving birth to my baby boy. They say your consciousness exists in every cell of your body, so to think of the consciousness my child entered this world with blows my mind. He’s he happiest baby I’ve ever seen. Crazy thing is that, when I started this journey at 23, I was pregnant then too and I was going through an intense spiritual growth period. My son that was born then was always super happy and chill. I’m convinced that this awakening has a lot to do with it. People ask me now how did I get so lucky, my reply is “USM!”. 🙂

The journey has not ended by any means, there is still a lot of work to do, but I have clear intentions on what I see for my life. How I want to serve others, and I can’t serve others without honoring my SELF. This first year was only the beginning! I am returning to Love.

Here’s to the end of a miraculous year. To all the classmates I met and connected with, and even the ones I never got to talk to,  you are beautiful. You are loved!!!

Can’t wait for year two! watch out world, WE’RE COMING!

xoxo,

barista

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FREE Event with Marianne Williamson

This morning I received an email from Marie Forleo and I wanted to share it with you:

Hey Ashley,

I got a call last week from a dear friend, who also happens to be a legendary author, speaker and all around amazing human being.

This woman told me something that — the moment I heard it — gave my body chills all over. It was that exciting to my soul.

This dear friend’s name is Marianne Williamson.

Marianne is holding an event in Los Angeles on October 20th. If you’re in town, or can be, please go. Alanis Morissette will be making a special musical appearance and it’s going to be awesome!

Details here —>  http://marianne.com/invitation/

If you’re not able to make it but you have friends or family in the area who care deeply about bringing more compassion, understanding, love and generosity into every corner of our lives, please share this email.

This event in LA is free — and while I can’t reveal the announcement Marianne will be making (I promised I’d keep the secret!!), I can say that we’re about to make history.

Hope you’re having an incredible Monday and I’ll “see you” tomorrow with a brand new episode of MarieTV.

With so much love and excitement!

xo
Marie

 

If you are in the LA area or will be that Sunday, Come check it out. I’ll be there!!!

 

xoxo

Are You Suffocating Your Flame?

One day a couple of months ago I started thinking about the possibility of going back to school. I have been interested in going back for a couple of years now but had wandered from niche to niche trying to discover what I was most passionate about. I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology back in 2006 and have not really done anything with it since.

After graduating I decided I wanted to take a year from school and just live and enjoy myself without any added pressure for once in my life. I swore I was not going to be one of those people who said they were going to take a year and never come back… I felt really determined that going back to school was my goal and I was going to return. Well a year has turned into 7 years.

After years and years of entering job after job, starting but never finishing venture after venture, I have come to discover that I have been subconsciously scared of my success. Sounds kinda silly huh? But it’s actually quite common for many people.  Especially the closer you get to achieving your goals. Most people can relate to feeling scared of failure but I believe the two definitely go hand in hand. As much as some of us are afraid of not being good enough, we can also be afraid to shine our light bright. But why?

We feel we don’t deserve it. We are scared of change. We feel guilty because others around us aren’t achieving. We feel like once we reach success, we don’t be able to sustain it. We want to avoid being seen as show-offs or conceited. There is fear that others will envy or hate us, which in turn will leave us lonely and unloved. . The thing is, we witness things like envy and hate on others everyday, sometimes we’re even the ones judging. 

I know that change creates more change and I worry that if I change, the relationships around me can’t help but change as well. The fear comes from not knowing how and this fear creates a sort of suffering. The thing is I feel like once we have experienced growth and witnessed miracles, we create more suffering by NOT changing. The light is lit inside but we spend so much energy covering it or hiding it, afraid that it’ll be put out, that we are doing nothing but suffocating it, stealing the oxygen it needs to grow, in return slowly putting it out ourselves.  

As with everything, there is always a pay-off we are receiving that keeps us continuing the path we do, even if they act is a bad one. What is my pay-off for remaining powerless? “At least I can control the situation more” “I can’t lose if I don’t try” “No worry about obtaining success and not knowing what to do with it” “I can save my money instead of risk losing it” “My relationships with people can stay the same” and one of the biggest pay-offs being, “I am comfortable and don’t have to feel vulnerable”.

Once you identify your fears, you can start to work through them and surrender to the outcome.  I looked into the University of Santa Monica back in June of this year. I attended an introduction into their program of Spiritual Psychology. I had never been so amazed in my life that a program like theirs exists. It was RIGHT up my alley. Everything I believe in, work towards, want to achieve,..all taught and mastered through their Masters Program. And what?? I can get a Masters too?!?!? Sounded so good to be true. I immediately knew that it was something I had to go through with. I have never felt so alive and motivated upon leaving that meeting. I just KNEW that school was for me. I even was mad I had not found or heard of it sooner. (BUT I also know if I had, I wouldn’t have been in the place I am in now to appreciate it).

I came home and couldn’t stop smiling, knowing that I had discovered my next step.  Hmmmm, now to take it. THAT was the challenge. I started my registration form and then all the fears come creeping into my head. “How am I going to pay for this?” “What if I can’t get three letters of recommendation?” “Will I be able to do this, work, get married, have more kids, and maintain the home at the same time?” “What if I don’t get in?” “What if I commit and then can’t continue” “Is this really reasonable?” I’ll admit some of those fears were powered by fear of failure, but because of how powerful I felt in my heart about this program, I realized more of it was coming out of my fear of actually coming to a successful place along my path.

I have had a lot of ideas over the years, started a lot of ventures of my own, but never fully following through with any of them. Over the last 3 months I saw this going down the same road.  Having been immersed in the things I love and continuing to grow over the years, witness the miracles that happen to others that are conquering their fears, even being a huge part of that very process in others lives. I have become nothing but more and more passionate about what I want to be doing with my life. I KNOW that I don’t want to settle. And I have come to truly believe that once you know this TRUTH, there is no looking back. There is no giving up. There is no backing down. As much as you try to cover that light, your passion becomes its gasoline and if you don’t move your hands, it will burn you eventually, forcing you to get out of your own way, until it can do nothing less than SHINE the way it’s meant to.

Classes start in the beginning of October. “Maybe next year will work out better” “Next year will only come with different excuses”. The fears that were stopping me from moving forwards were slowly becoming trumped by my fears of how I will feel if I don’t move forward. I came to an epiphany that the ONLY thing in my way was myself. It wasn’t money, it wasn’t support, it wasn’t time. It was just me and my limiting thoughts. And I CONTROL that. FEAR isn’t real. Grasping that thought is one of the most powerful realizations one can have. I have seen over and over miracles happen through the faith of letting go and surrendering. Why would it be different with me in this instance? How will I know if I don’t try? I believe things will work out exactly how they are supposed to. If anything, I needed this space to realize how powerful I truly am. I’ll take it!

This week I am finishing up with the application process. I got my transcripts sent, 2 of 3 letters of recommendations sent so far, finishing up my essay, and paying for my deposit. I felt the fear and I’m doing it anyway. The pure intentions are there, the flame of passion is burning, now all I have to do is SHOW UP!  This is it!!!! This is the moment, yet again, where changes will take place and life will open up. IM READY!!!

I leave you with a favorite quote:

 MarianneWilliamsom-Quote

Are you suffocating your light? What can you do to let it shine today?

Vulnerability leads to connection. Connections allows us to see we aren’t alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your thoughts or story in the comments section below so that you can open the opportunity for a connection with someone else

xoxo,

barista

Here’s How We Are Creating An Unfulfilled Life

“For me and for many of us , our first  waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep’. The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time’. Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours of the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of…. We don’t have enough exercise. We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough power. We don’t have enough wilderness. We don’t have enough weekends. Or course we don’t have enough money…EVER.

We’re not thin enough, we’re not smart enough, we’re not pretty enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, or rich enough….EVER. Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds race with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to the reverie of lack…What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life.”

-Brene Brown “The Gifts of Imperfection”

download

HOW EFFIN TRUE IS THAT? I’m pretty sure the first thought out of my head every morning is how tired I am and how I didn’t get much sleep. And then throughout the morning, rushing because I don’t have enough time to get ready efficiently.

Gosh to imagine how the tone is being set for the rest of the day. No wonder the world is obsessed with LACK! Obsessed with comparing our lives with others who do nothing but feel lack as well. Spiraling down into this web of not enough. Thinking about all the things I think throughout the day, all the things my friends and people around me think throughout the day…it makes me feel tired just thinking about it. The number one way to CREATE a unfulfilled life. The question then becomes…how do we exit this horrible reality of scarcity that we have created?

To have a mind of sufficiency. According to Brene Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, she describes sufficiency as “It is a consciousness, an attention, an intentional choosing of the way we think about our circumstances”. We have to start getting intentional with our lives. Intention is one of the most un-actualized powers we have. We have the power to CREATE fulfilled meaning, to create joy, to create happiness, to create abundance, to HAVE AND BE ENOUGH. Instead of choosing to lose everyday we need to turn around and choose to win. Lack creates more lack. Knowing you already have enough creates space to receive the joys of the universe.

I’m thinking of ways I can start my day with power and intention. I think of the movie The Secret and it makes me want to  have a Gratitude rock. So when I wake up every morning, I can grab this rock and name 5 reasons I am and have enough already!

How do you start your mornings? Full of lack or full of gratitude? Do you have any morning rituals that help you start your day on a good note? I would love to hear new ideas so please share in the comment section below.

Leaving you with a quote from Marianne Williamson “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are”

5 Reasons I Am/Have Enough Right NOW
1. I woke up
2. I am in good health
3. I have a comfortable bed
4. I took a warm shower
5. I have something to wake up for

and if i didn’t have these things I would STILL be enough, these are just the things I appreciate about my life as it is right now!

Dont forget to leave a comment 😉

xoxo,

barista