The Invitation

A classmate posted this in our USM group and I absolutely loved it. Speaks Loud.

 

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The Invitation   By: Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

 

:::sigh:::

 

xoxo,

barista

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TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: Is It Love Or Something Else?

I wanted to make a follow up post to go along with my last post about the misconception that Love Hurts. We discussed that Love is and always will be Love. We also discussed how if it’s not love that hurts then it must be fear. Mistaking  something else for love is not an uncommon problem.  When we have been betrayed, we think it is love that brings us pain, but really the pain was caused by deceit. “How could she do this to me, I love her.”  When we go through a loss, we think it is Love that brings us pain, but really the pain is caused by our attachment. “But I love him.”  When we go through a conflict we think that it is love that brings us pain, but really it is an unmet need.  “She doesn’t love me like I love her”. It’s misidentification like these that allow us to buy into the  belief that it is Love that is hurting us. That someone else is hurting us. If we never loved in the first place, we would be safe. WRONG! It is not how someone else is being that hurts, it is how you are being that does.

“What hurts is not love itself, but rather our unloving actions or reactions, the conditions we place on love, the fear that we are not loved, our resistance to being loved, and even out lack of faith in love… You experience pain when you are thinking, feeling, or behaving in a way that is not loving.” – Robert Holden

Love is a state of BEING. To BE Loving is a choice we must make. And if we aren’t in our loving, we are in fear. Remember, We can not be in both states at the same time. True love never dies. It is unconditional and everlasting. When there is a change in dynamic or even a loss, TRUE love still remains.  If in examples like the ones above can lead you to misidentify what love is, in what other ways may you be mistaking true love? What fearful reasons are really the root of your pain?

In Robert Holden’s book, Loveability, he has a TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST to help you “be aware of any mistakes you are making , recognize the real cause of pain, learn any unlearned lessons, and most of all, choose a better way”. 

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TRUE LOVE CHECKLIST: (the following has been copied directly from the book)

1. Is this love or fear?
“The basic fear ‘I am unloveable’ is the primary cause to suffering. When you identify with this fear, it causes many tears to fall. The fear is not true, but if you believe it, you will turn away from yourself. Feeling unloveable causes you to reject your internal loveliness…When you believe ‘I am not loveable”, it causes you to contract inside, to defend yourself, and to behave in unloving ways that add to your pain. You also experience pain when fear appears to triumph over love: for example when it looks like love is not present, that love changes, that love is being withheld, that love is not enough, and that love dies. In deep pain, the fear is that love has forsaken you. In other words, love has rejected you, too. The temptation here is to reject love. However, when you stop loving, it hurts you even more. Only by loving can you begin to face fear, heal the pain, and walk out of hell. ”

2. Is this love or dependency?
“Many psychologist view dependency as a major source of pain in love. They counsel you against needing anything from anyone, lest you get hurt. One way to counteract this fear of dependency is to be totally independent of others. Unfortunately this causes just as much pain. Independence looks like freedom, but really it is a dead end. It shuts you off to the whole creation. Imagine if you had no relationships in your life. The truth is, we depend on relationships for our growth and evolution. Relationships are how we learn to love and be loved.

Health dependency allows you to ask for help, to be open to inspiration, to cooperate with others, and not to try to do life by yourself. Unhealthy dependency arises when you feel unloveable and see others as the source of your love. You believe it is their job to make you feel whole, secure, and connected to the world, to heal your wounds, and to validate you. Inevitably, though, when you make someone your source of love, they will also be your source of pain. No one does a very good job making someone feel lovevable, mostly because it’s an impossible task.”

People can encourage you to feel loveable, but they can’t make you feel loveable. Making sure you feel loveable is YOUR job, not someone else’s. 

3. Is this love or attachment?
“Can you feel the difference between feeling connected with and feeling attached to someone? When you love someone, you feel a connection that defies all physical laws. You feel connected from the moment you first recognize each other. Your friendship is timeless. You feel connected even if you live ten thousand miles apart. Your friendship knows no distance. You feel connected even when you haven’t spoken in ages. Your friendship is beyond words. You feel connected even if one of you is in heaven and the other is still here on earth. Your friendship is beyond all form. Your love for each other serves as a memory of your true nature, and somehow you know that your connection will continue long after you have forgotten about your visit to this world.

When you are attached to someone, it is still possible to feel that love connects you, but mostly what you feel is fear, anxiety, and pain. Attachments are contracts based on form. Pain arises when the conditions of attachment are not met…Pain also arises when the form of the relationship changes. Children grow up and leave home. Parent divorce and leave home. Our best friend gets married. We get married and divorced. People we love die. We grieve the loss of form, and understandably so. But, in truth, there is no loss in love, not when you allow yourself to feel your genuine connection to each other. ”

4. Is this love or do I have an agenda?
“What do you expect from your mother? What do you expect from your lover? What do you expect from your child? from the world? Whenever your expectations are not met, you will know it, because you will feel disappointed, let down, angry, and hurt. What is the difference between an expectation and a demand? Nothing much actually. Expectations look innocent enough, but they carry an agenda, a plan, and a demand to get something. Each expectation is set on a timer, and if you don’t get what you want in time, the bomb goes off.

Expectations are fear based. They are an effort to grab what you want instead of letting it come to you. The more afraid you are of not getting what you want, the more expectations you have on your list. Expectations are frustrating because they arise from an attitude of getting that blocks receptivity. They create an agenda that acts like a wall between you and the other person. Love doesn’t have an agenda, because an attitude of love is really based on BEING rather than getting or receiving…Love helps you to BE what you want to give and receive.”

Common Expectations That Cause Hurt in Relationships:
* I expect to be loved by everybody
* I expect people I love to love me, too
* I expect people I love to love me more than others
* I expect others to know how I need to be loved
* I expect others to love me the way I love them
* I expect people I love to know that I love them
* I expect others to love me without making mistakes
* I expect others to love me all the time.

5. Is this love or am I trying to get something?
“You can’t feel hurt unless you are giving to take”, says Chuck Spezzano. When you give love in order to get love, it ends in tears, either right away or eventually. Love is not something to get. You can’t get love from people like you get a bottle of soda from a vending machine. If you did a naked dance in front of them, you could probably get their attention, some approval, and even a wild applause. This might feel pretty good, but it wouldn’t be love. If you give love in order to get love, you will end up feeling disappointed and resentful. “Look what I did for you”, you yell. “I even did a naked dance for you,” you cry. When you give love freely, you feel the love you give and you feel loveable NO MATTER WHAT the return.”

6. Is this love or am I in sacrifice?
“There are two types of sacrifice: unhealthy sacrifice and health sacrifice. One is based on fear and the other on love. Knowing the difference is the key to knowing how to love and be loved. Unhealthy sacrifice may appear to work at first, but love and dishonesty are not good bedfellows. Lovers try to play small in a relationship in order to heal power struggles and avoid rejection. Children get ill in a desperate attempt to heal their parents relationship. Business leaders nearly kill themselves for their cause. Unhealthy sacrifice is often well intentioned, but it doesn’t work, because it’s based on fear not love.

Healthy sacrifice is a different story. To be happy in a relationship, you have to be willing to sacrifice your fear for love, independence for intimacy, resentment for forgiveness, and old wounds for new beginnings. Above all, you have to stop giving yourself away and learn how to give more of yourself. You give yourself away when you are not true to yourself, when you play a role, when you don’t speak up, when you don’t ask for what you want, when you don’t listen to yourself, and when you don’t allow yourself to receive.”

7. Is this love or am I in a role?
“Two people in a relationship will play out a number of roles together. When you are happy, you barely notice these roles exist. However, when things are not okay, the roles are more fixed and rigid. They are your position and your point of view in the relationship. They affect your capacity to give and receive. They can cause you to polarize and to oppose each other. This is painful, as you no longer feel like you are on the same team. The perceived separation can cause a power struggle and more conflict.

Roles that are fixed and rigid cause hurt and pain. These roles usually begin in childhood, born of fear that you are not loveable or that there is not enough love to go around…When there is a problem in the relationship, your homework is to find out what role you are playing and also consider what good things could happen if you stopped playing this role. Here are some good examples of roles that cause polarity:”

* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of a martyr?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the independent role or the dependent role?
* Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the parent or the child?
*Am I loving this person or am I playing the role of the rescuer or the victim?
*Am I loving this person or am I trying to be positive or be contrary?

8. Is this love or am  I trying to change the person I love?
“Have you tried to change your partner recently? How did it go? Were they suitably appreciative? I imagine you didn’t get a thank you note for your efforts. Have you tried to change your children? Were they receptive? Did it work this time? Children are willing learners, except when they don’t feel loved. Have you tried to change your parents? After all, they’re getting older now and so they should be weaker and less able to resist your campaign. Has anyone tried to change you recently? How did you feel about that? Did you feel more loved? Are you feeling even more love for that person who wants to change you?

A common mistake in relationships is the belief that your love will change a person, eventually. You can’t love someone and want him or her to change. For a start, when you try to change people, they do not feel loved by you. If anything, they feel judged and rejected. Love does not seek to change people, because love does not find any fault in a person’s true essence. Love can help a person grow and to bring out the best in him or her; but you will not see any of this of you do not love the person unconditionally in the first place. The paradox for love is that when you stop wanting each other to change, you are changed, and this change enables you to love each other more. “Ask yourself:

* Am I loving this person or am I trying t o fix him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to improve her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to save him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to heal her?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to get him enlightened?

9. Is this love or am I trying to control this person?
“Every relationship experiences what is commonly called a power struggle. This is not just in marriage, but also in relationships between parents and children, between in-laws, and between siblings. In a power struggle, both people have to learn to give up trying to control each other so as to experience true friendship and love. When a power struggle is healed, it helps both people feel more equal, more connected, and more loved.

Control is a form of fear. When you are tempted to control the relationship, it’s because you are afraid that you are unloveable and that you might lose someone’s love. Unfortunately, the more you try to control a relationship, the less loving it feels. Too much control makes the other person passive or passive aggressive. The more you control someone, the less attractive and interesting the person is to you. Control stunts growth, it kills aliveness. Here are some points to consider:

* Am I loving this person or am I playing it safe?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect him?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to protect myself?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to keep the peace?
* Am I loving this person or am I trying to hold on to her?

10. Is this love or am I trying not to get hurt?
If you believe that love hurts, you will be afraid to love and be loved. This fear of love makes you want to protect yourself against love. Your ego creates an arsenal of defenses that stop you, for instance, from loving too much or loving too easily. You employ these defenses to feel safe, in control, and emotionally insured against any injury. And still you get hurt. And hurt again. Eventually, by some act of grace, you consider the possibility that these defenses are the cause of your hurt. And so it is, because defenses are made of fear and fear keeps you stuck in the experience you are trying to escape.

Until you realize that love doesn’t hurt, love will always seem to hurt you. That will be your story anyway. If you are willing to let go of your story, even for just a moment, you can start to have a different experience of love. As you begin to  dismantle some of your old defenses, you notice the love course runs more smoothly. Eventually, your defenselessness opens you up to experience pure love.”

 

If you are feeling pain or loss of love in any moment, stop and ask ask yourself, is this true love or is this something else?  It isn’t until you discover what it REALLY is, that you can start to heal and return to loving.

What are some ways you mistake pain for love? In what ways can you think, feel, and BE more loving? Leave your answers in the comment section below.

xoxo,

barista

The Conscious Parent: Is Your Child Growing You Up?

So not sure if you know this about me yet, but I love reading and when I read good books, which is usually every book I read it feels like, I love to share the information in them. When I read, I usually highlight along the way all the good points, which in most cases ends up being every other line. It’s hard to get through pages without wanting to post quotes on Facebook. Sometimes to finish reading effectively, I have to put the highlighter down and just read so I can get through it. Well now is not one of those times. I had to stop and get online and post a part that I like out of the book I am currently reading called The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

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I watched this awesome woman on Oprah’s Lifeclass and her theories around Conscious Parenting. It coincides exactly with what I learn in school. That when we are disturbed, instead of blaming or trying to control outside people or situations, we must look within to see what is being triggered inside of us and work on healing that instead. As parents, our children are here to mirror to us deep healing opportunities…if we are aware of that. Most of the time, instead, we try to control our children into being what we want them to be and act how we want them to act. We use manipulation and control tactics and this way of parenting can cause us to hinder their true spirit and purpose in this world. So this book takes us on a journey letting us look at our own ego and seeing where we can heal and let go in order to foster the true essence of our children’s spirit.

“Especially in the early years, parents function as mirrors for their children. Consequently, if you are unable to access your joy, you will be unable to be a mirror of your children’s joy. Thus they are barred from access  to an essential aspect of their being. How sad for a child not to be able to enjoy their spontaneously joyous essence!

 

Our consciousness and unconsciousness are transmitted not only by our overt pain, but also in the energy we exude just by our presence, even when we say and do nothing. Thus our children pick up a great deal from how we embrace them each morning, how we react when they break our favorite vase, how we handle ourselves in traffic accidents, how we sit and talk to them, whether we really look at what they show us, and whether we take an interest in what they say. They notice when we intrude on their life with unwarranted questions and demands, and they feel it when we withdraw from them or utter reprimands. They are moved by how we praise their successes, but wounded when we put them down for their failures. They are aware of how it feels to be in our presence when we sit in silence with them, and the energy field of acceptance or rejection they experience around us. Each of these moment-by-moment exchanges transmits either consciousness or unconsciousness.

 

How can you give to your children unless you first allow yourself to be filled from your own well? Unless you are fulfilled, you will use your children to complete you. You will teach them how to live with your unacknowledged fears, your rejected emptiness, your forgotten lies – all while unaware you are doing so. Such is the power of unacknowledged lostness.”

– Dr. Shefali Tsabary (The Conscious Parent p57-58)

The reason this quote stuck out to me is because it’s a huge reminder for why I am even reading the book. Our children can feel everything and they are perceiving our actions and internalizing them constantly. What is it that you want your child to internalize? Your own unresolved issues or the power of their own essence? It’s time to wake up and become more conscious of our lives. It’s time to  wake up to the power of our own essence to mirror to our children the strength that resides in them. I see this information not only good for our relationship with our children but also our relationships in general. How often do we try to control others or situations around us instead of going inward to heal that which is being triggered? What would it look like to learn how to not only accept others for who they are, but learn how to let their true essence shine? How can we mirror the goodness in everyone else? It starts but looking in the mirror at ourselves FIRST.

A month or so ago, I posted about being addicted to Facebook and the need to be more present. I’ll still save my journey for another post (at some point) but to sum it up quickly, although I feel like I’ve been getting BETTER, I am not in the ideal place I would like to be. I will give myself credit though for my efforts and my willingness to acknowledge where I am at and where I want to be. This journey is about being more present not only for myself but for my kids and my relationships. I want to be a more conscious parent and person and I have faith I will get there. I am becoming more aware, and even if it takes time, it’s the awareness that will lead me to where I want to be. This book is an awesome support in that goal.

I highly recommend The Conscious Parent to ALL parents and to ALL people wanting kids. It can actually be extremely helpful to those without kids because how awesome is it to get the opportunity to learn and gain perspective before your child is born instead of when they are already 5 or 16 years old. It’s never too early OR too late.

What is something you want to do (or stop doing) to be more Present in your life?

 

xoxo,

barista

 

My Truth: How I Learned To Honor Myself

So it’s 10:30pm and I’ve figured out that this might be the time I have to write posts for the time being. AFTER the baby goes to bed. Hopefully I can get back to writing more frequently.  I don’t like waiting so long before talking to you.

So this last month has been extraordinary for me in so many ways. It all started with my classes last month. It was a very powerful weekend for many people and things have just been shifting a lot for me and others. Everything that weekend flowed together so perfectly. My whole path started to make sense and things just really hit home for me.  It started at the Friday night class on May 2nd.

We had to do a trio conversation in which we talked about what the hardest thing  has been for us during the program so far. I talked about how I have had a hard time “DOING” the work. Implementing the practices. Practicing the skills. Really learning how to walk that talk. I mean this is one of the main reasons I decided to go to USM. To have the experiential practice that would catapult me forward on this path I have been on during the last 6 years. And here I was learning all of this amazing stuff, and I would come home on a peace high for a few days but then I would dump my folders and books to the side until it was time to prepare for school again 3 weeks later. Not really staying mindful daily about how to keep the work going.

Reading books and blogs and going to seminars had only worked so much for me. I have been able to develop a huge  passion for my spirituality and purpose but really felt lack in the “DOING” area. Sometimes I would feel really motivated and empowered to stand in my integrity but most of the time, I can admit, I was just intellectualizing it all and not really connecting on an emotional level for myself. Helping others was great but doing the work myself was a lot more challenging. Going through months and months of class and witnessing people’s lives changing right in front of me was starting to make me jealous. Started making me wonder if I was ever going to change or keep wasting time by not “DOING” the work.

In one of the next trios I had acknowledge myself. I acknowledged myself for sitting in the chair. For being in that classroom. Sometimes I would be in class and it would just hit me that “I’M HERE”. I’m doing it. I had heard of USM three separate times before I decided to check it out. When I looked it up online it was in perfect timing because there was an intro meeting THAT week. I thought of a couple of excuses of why I wouldn’t be able to go but I felt the fear and went anyways. I immediately felt the connection and knew this was the place for me because it was exactly everything that I am passionate about. It was the opportunity to really get pushed into DOING. And get my Masters in the process. What a bonus!

I then made a million excuses for why I might not be able to go. I found out I was pregnant. I wasn’t sure how I was going to afford it. Plus a million others. BUT I went through with it. I felt the fear and I did it anyways. I had to really acknowledge myself for that. Usually fear makes me turn the other way but this time I dove straight in and it all has worked out perfectly.

After 5 years of wanting to go back to school, here I was. And not just any school. School how I always imagined it would be. I love this school so much that I was in class the weekend of my due date. I was having contractions in class and STILL participating in trios (until of course they got too painful and I had to leave to give birth). THAT’S how dedicated I am to becoming a better version of myself to serve the world.  I almost took that weekend off until I realized there was no place else I would rather be. What beauty to have the loving energy of my classroom surrounding my child right before his debut into the world.

During the Sunday class is when everything just hit home. There was a surprise waiting for us as we entered. I can’t spoil it for when anyone reading this decides they want to attend USM in the future (which I promise it’s the BEST thing you can ever do for yourself). But what I will say is that this SURPRISE was absolutely amazing and so so powerful. I was moved to tears and it really just hit home that I AM HERE! I am right where I need to be. It hit me that Year 1 is only the beginning.

Year 1 is the preparation for the best yet to come. Year 1 is where my hands are supposed to get dirty. Where I am supposed to go through a ton of emotions. Get mad at myself. Get mad at my process. Get mad at my ego. Get mad at my job and my friends and my family. I dont doubt this will continue to happen, probably more intensified, in Year 2 but its so I could learn how to love and appreciate it all. The process is the beauty of it all. I was realizing that Year 2 was where it was really going to begin and I was perfectly in a space of being able to trust my process and timing.

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After our surprise the next trio we had to express gratitude to those who have helped us on our path. The first person that came to mind was my boyfriend. If you personally know me and are really close to me, then you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. If you are in my class at USM and have done a trio with me, you know that I have on and off again issues with my boyfriend. I am not going to cookie cut it for the sake of looking good, we have had issues for a really long time and so many times I have wanted to call  it quits or have tried to only get back together again and repeat the process over again.

I will admit, my relationship is also another reason I am at USM. As I said, I want to become a better person to better serve the world and in that includes being able to better serve ALL my relationships, the one with my boyfriend being most important. I also knew though that learning everything I am learning, and by really stepping into my true authentic self, I was also risking the relationship. I was risking the possibility that we wouldn’t make it through. I was risking the possibility that I could lose him. And as I write this, maybe that’s been the hard part about the DOING. I had been afraid of losing what I was used to. I had been afraid of being uncomfortable. But trust me, If you really want to step into your true authentic self, you can NOT be afraid of losing anything. What you have to gain is so much more powerful.

Looking at my relationship though from a place of gratitude, especially having gone through the feelings I was going through from the weekend, gave me a VERY different perspective of my path. I won’t go into the connections I saw in past relationships but what I will say is that over the years, most intensly in the last two, I have had a VERY strong calling to honor my Self (Self with a capital S meaning my Soul)  and step into my truth. Two of the qualities I am working on are Vulnerability and Authentic Expression. I had a hard time being vulnerable, especially with my boyfriend, and a hard time authentically expressing myself because of the fear of getting into an argument (which happened a lot with us).

I have done multiple meditations and insights that always have led me to the same answer of “BE VULNERABLE, SPEAK YOUR TRUTH. TELL HIM HOW YOU REALLY FEEL. CHOOSE LOVE”. I have had ample opportunity to do so and almost always I chose to ignore. Let me tell you, you can only ignore the whispers for so long before it becomes a yell. Over the last two years that is what happened. HONOR YOUR SELF. HONOR YOUR TRUTH. HONOR YOUR VULNERABILITY. HONOR YOUR AUTHENTIC EXPRESSION. CHOOSE LOVE. I’ve heard it over and over and over.

The first time I remember hearing this whisper was during my last long-term relationship ten years ago. I had been unhappy for a long time but instead of honoring my feelings and expressing myself, I waited for things to get bad so I could just leave without feeling guilty. And  it worked. I have tried to do that in this relationship a bunch of times but the beauty in this situation is that we have kids together. The Universe wasn’t giving me the easy way out this time. THIS is the time the lesson is going to be learned. I would want to leave but every time I couldn’t leave because I KNEW I hadn’t expressed myself. I knew I hadn’t been DOING the work. I knew that there was a possibility that things could be different if I would just HONOR MY SELF. But I also knew there was also a possibility of loss.

Thinking about this in my trio, about this guidance being yelled at me over and over for the last two years, I realized that if it were not for my boyfriend and how he is, or how I perceive him to be I should say, If it weren’t for how we act and react with each other, I wouldn’t be in a place to where I am being called to honor my Self. I wouldn’t be in a place of opportunity to step into my true Self. To step into my vulnerability. To step into my Authentic Expression. To step into the LOVE that resides in me. Its because of that, that he is perfect for me.

I would get mad at myself a lot for how I would respond and react in certain situations. I wanted so badly to change but had felt like there were no results. If it weren’t for my boyfriend, and all the boyfriends before him, ALL the relationships in my life, and how I perceive it all to be, the issues that come up for me, how I respond and react I wouldn’t be called to change. I wouldn’t be called to really step into my full Self. So really, I thank everyone.

I was REALLY realizing that everything has happened the way it has because THAT is the way I would learn how to become the real me. Issues were mosy present in my boyfriend because he was the closest to me. He mirrored myself perfectly. We all learn in different ways and we attract to us the situations that aid in our learning of lessons and this was my way. So what had come from that realization was nothing but pure and honest gratitude. Gratitude for my boyfriend for being who he was and being with me the way I was. If it weren’t for our relationship, I could not say that I would be where I am right now and for that I am grateful.

Gratitude helped me shift my view. Everything came together in that moment. I realized that yes here I am at USM and I have this great opportunity to learn so much about myself and others, I need to DO USM. This is the chance I have longed for. Take advantage and DO the work. DO the skills. DO the practices. I outlined my ideal relationship and now it was time to DO the steps that would take me on my way. I felt more empowered then I had ever felt before to HONOR MY SELF.

That weekend my boyfriend and I had argued (such perfect setup by the Universe) and usually when we argue, it feels very vulnerable expressing myself to him, especially in any loving type of way. Until then, Vulnerability had not been my strong suit. That Sunday I got the urge to call him just to tell him I Love You. Sounds silly and maybe so simple for others, but to do that in the midst of an argument, especially when I was feeling defensive, was a very big deal. I felt the fear but I also saw the opportunity for me to step into that vulnerability and authentic expression. So I got out my phone called him and said “uhhh so ummmm i just called ummm because, umm i just wanted to tell you that I love you”. Of course he responded very lovingly and it was THAT phone call that changed our relationship.

We started talking about our argument, I listened with my heart instead of getting defensive. I HEARD him and I empathized with his feelings. This led us to stay in a very loving place when I came home which then led us to a very open and honest conversation about our relationship. Where it was and where we want it to be. It led for more opportunities for me to be vulnerable and express my truth and HONOR MY SELF.

My teacher has always said something along the likes of, “If your calling is to be courageous, you won’t wake up one day all of a sudden courageous. The Universe will provide you with opportunities in which you can choose to display courage.” This time instead of running away, I chose to step into it and the response was wonderful. I chose to be vulnerable. Let me just say we have just made it a whole month without fighting. If you really know us, you know that’s a miracle. There have been little spats here and there but nothing like they once were. And when there have been little spats, we have been really quick to enter our loving and dissolve them. I have to continue to chose vulnerability and authentic expression. Most importantly I am aware of my self judgements and compassionately forgiving myself for them. Now instead of asking myself “Why am I still in this relationship?” every time I feel uncomfortable, I now ask myself “What opportunity is my soul presenting to me?” and let me tell you, it makes the world of difference.

You see, it all started with GRATITUDE! If it weren’t for EVERY SINGLE THING that has happened in your life, you would not be the YOU that you are today. And YOU are a wonderful, powerful, being of love. GIVE THANKS to all that has presented itself in your path. You can have the life of your dreams, give thanks and DO the work.

I want to hear from you. What is something you want to DO that has challenged you? What quality would it take for you to step into your greatness? How has the universe given you the opportunity to step into that quality? How can you acknowledge yourself RIGHT NOW? Who can you give thanks to in aiding you on your path?

Leave me your comments in the section below.

You are loved.

xoxo,

barista

 

 

 

Guest Blog: An Ode to The Power of Self-Love

It is a Friday night and I’m home alone. I don’t mind being home on a Friday night, as I’m very much and introvert. But because I’m not use to being alone too long and get a little freaked.

The other night I fell asleep a little teary eyed because I knew hubby would be leaving for his annual boys snowboarding trip. At this point my husband and I have been married for almost 9 months and together for 3 years. We are very much in the honeymoon phase and even more entwined because we have both been working from home for the past three weeks.

We’ve been in such a honeymoon phase that I was resisting being away from him. Taking care of my son and catching up on work with no distractions kept me occupied for the first couple days. I just tried to slip into single mom mode again. Then today knowing that my son (from a previous relationship) would be with his dad this weekend I totally shifted my energy.

I did things my way, cleaned my way, played my music full blast, etc. I got bored for a moment eating my dinner of frozen pizza and ice cream by myself and then I decided that it was time to dance. I danced for a full hour, got a good sweat going and got to move my body without any little boy or big boy eyes on me. I kept dancing as I showered, singing along to Lorde.

Now I’m sitting here doing a very pampering and nourishing steam and listening to my favorite songs with only the Himalayan salt lamp and lava lamp lit. It is totally luxurious and decadent. As I hit play on VV Brown’s song ‘I Love You’ I remembered how I would do this type of stuff for myself weekly when I was single. I would take myself on an ‘artist date’ and sing myself love songs. It may sound totally narcissistic, but I’m a Leo, it is my job to teach people how to love oneself like the royal, majestic beings that we all are.

It is no coincidence that when I developed this practice then, and only then did a lover come into my life that could match the standard of love that I yearned and wished for. This is what self-love looks like. I share this and I will continue sharing things like this because I’ve been exposed to too many women (and men) who complain about crappy relationship after crappy relationship. When I tell them that it starts with practices like this they are timid to actually do the work. You will only attract what you are willing to give out…. to give to yourself. When you can dance around on a Friday night alone totally in love with just fully being you this is when the magic starts to happen.

Not many people know this but I was in a very abusive (emotionally, verbally) relationship for so many years. I was depressed and suicidal whenever we broke up which was often, because my self-esteem was so damn low. I didn’t think that anyone else could love me, so I put up with someone who was my complete opposite and we literally could not communicate. To see how far I have come in this area of my life motivates and lights me up so much. When I boast about my husband it is not to make anyone jealous or to brag, but to show people how joyous love and life can be. It is a victory chant from the little girl in me that was so deeply hurt and so scared for so long. It is me saying to that suicidal girl ‘hey I’m still here and life is freaking awesome, thanks for not giving up’.

Please love yourself first, and keep doing it. Even if you are in a relationship, never stop caring for yourself. You need to nourish yourself before you can nourish anyone else. This is why I will always over share. This is why I share even when I know certain people think I’m weird or nutty. I know that someone needs to hear this and I will not silence myself in fear. Let us shift the way we love and start to raise the bar for self-love. I encourage you to make your self-love a priority and to share your wins with the world. May we all have a relationship that feels like a victory dance.

Disa Jean-Pierre is a Spiritual Mentor based in Los Angeles, California. Disa is a mother, wife and healer. She is a certified Reiki Master and Success Coach whose goal is to help people love bigger and shine brighter. You can connect with her on GlowInTheHeart.com or watch her latest video on YouTube.com/GlowDisa.