YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!

It’s the last day of 2014, I can’t believe it. I swear the year just started. So much has happened this year. It seems the more that has happened, the less I have been able to keep up on here. I owe you guys big time. I am excited though, to share with you, on this last day of the year something that  I have started that takes such a huge place in my heart.

I started a Love Movement called Let Love Surprise You. This has been an idea of mine for a few years now and it was not until now that I decided to step up and make this idea a reality.

Remember, I told you that Year 2 of my Masters was going to push us well out of our comfort zone into excellence? I am well on my way there. In Year 2, over the course of the year we have to complete a project. Something that has meaning to us and is heartfelt and in most cases, something we have always wanted to do.

I’ve always felt very lost when it came to picking a career. I loved so many different types of things that I never knew what to pick. I’ve started, yet never completed, numerous different things. I know deep inside, I’ve always held a lot of resistance that I let prevent me from fully moving forward in one vocation. One of the things that attracted me to my school was this Second Year project because I thought it would be the chance for me to make moves towards something I really wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do it. Going into school and knowing about this project, I always thought I was going to do something different. Write a book maybe, host a workshop, lead a retreat. I was thinking of what  I could do that would jump start some sort of career for me so I could be well on my way once graduation came.

During the first class at school, as we were going over possibilities for our projects, this movement kept coming to my mind out of nowhere. I was having a really hard time because although the movement was something I always wanted to do, my ego kept me thinking about nothing but money. If I start this movement, would I make money? Would I be wasting my opportunity here to  really start a career? Am I just scared to do something “bigger”?

I felt like there was this fight between my ego and my authentic self. This movement was something that was really heartfelt and really serving yet I had no idea how I was to make money doing it. If I did something like host a retreat, I would be making money and also starting something I could continue making money with.

One of the things that scared me the most was what other people would think. Answering the dreaded question I always get of “what are you going to do when you graduate?” or after graduation of, “What are you gonna do now?”. My school is not your average school, so you don’t leave with some guaranteed profession upon graduation BUT if you take advantage of your second year project, you very well could.

As much as I wanted to make money, as much as I wanted to feel more control, as much as I wanted to feel more safe and secure, I couldn’t ignore the whisper in my heart of starting this movement. Something was urging me to go for it and trust in the Universe and that as I serve, I will be served. So I chose to trust. And I continue to trust everyday.

Aside from my decision to go back to school and not knowing how I was going to make it happen moneywise and the fact that I was pregnant when I started, this is one of the first times I have chosen to let go of the outcome and trust in the Universe’s path for me. Trust that this idea came to ME for a reason, not just to push it aside and ignore it. Trust that I could do it. Trust that others would love it too. Trust its purpose. Trust that I would make a difference in others lives. Trust that if I am suppose to make money this way, that other ideas would come and I will make money. If not, then that is ok. And if that’s the case, the purpose isn’t for money. It’s for something else. This is the first time I truly trust that. This is the first time I have let go of control and let go of having to know and be sure of the outcome. All I know is my intention and I’m going with that. I am getting comfortable with the Divine Unknowing. And it feels AWESOME!

My movement is kicking off New Years Day (United States time) and I am nominating you to be a love ambassador.

let love surprise you

There is a huge kickoff that people all over are contributing too and all I can be sure of is this is only the beginning. I hope you will be involved. I know I’ve teased you a little bit thus far by not telling you exactly what the movement is about, but bear with me and please visit http://www.letlovesurpriseyou.com to check it out. Right now I have been recruiting people to help me kick this off BIG. I would love for you to be a part of it. And then a year from now, when it’s going strong, you will know you helped it start!!!

Together we can bring more loving to this world! GO BE LOVE!

LET LOVE SURPRISE YOU – you never know where it could lead!

xoxo,

barista

Guest Post: Becoming Leigh

Leigh-Headshot-21Back at the end of March, we each did a presentation to a group of classmates that was a creative expression of how we were obtaining the information and skills we were learning in class. Now there is this wonderful spunky human being in my class that goes by the name of Leigh. She was in the group next to me doing her presentation and I remember wishing that I could hear what she was doing because she’s a very fun person so I knew it had to be great. Plus she was dressed in a tutu which is always awesome!!!

After our group presentations, one person was picked from each group to present in front of the entire class. Well I happened to be in Labor that day so I missed out on all the fun. I’m not sure if Leigh was one of the people who presented in front of the entire class but I saw that she had posted her presentation on her blog and wanted to share it. It reminds me of The Egg story I posted before.

And this ladies and gents is Leigh’s creative story about a Divine being getting ready to have a Human Experience.  Enjoy

 

Hello God, Divine Being #337512728 here.  I heard you wanted to see me?  What?  It’s my time?  I get to go shooting to earth trailing clouds of glory and begin manning my earthsuit?!  Awesome!  I am ready.  What earthsuit am I going to get?

Leigh? In Kansas?  Leigh, is that a boy or a girl?  A girl, ok.  But, Kansas?  Oh, she doesn’t stay long.

Where is she, I am ready to see her!

Oh, there she is!  She’s darling!  She’s so cute!  Her mother’s not  touching her.  She is completely neglecting her. Oh my, her dad is spanking her little 7 year old tush too hard.  He’s taking his rage out on her.  Look at her, she feels so alone.

Ok.  Let me think for a minute…her earth school curriculum is going to be… Unworthiness?  Am I right?  Yes! (celebration)  I knew I would get in on the first try.

God, I don’t mean to judge your work, but why do so many people get that curriculum?  Couldn’t you think of something more original?  I don’t get it; it’s like every time….

Okay, okay, I’ll focus.

There she is in 3rd grade.  She is fist fighting with Greg Hyde and David Bishop.  God, do something!  (pause) Oh, she beat them both up.  Is this the ‘all of life is a learning lesson’ theory?  Got it.

She’s in 4th grade and she just became Miss Jr. Overland Park at her local mall.  She is taking risks and being rewarded.  Good for her!

She’s in 6th grade.  She became the first girl president of John Deimer Elementary School!  She’s learning to over come her obstacles.

Jr. High; cheerleading, drill team, and volleyball.  High School cheerleading, drill team, she’s a good dancer.  She is really using the creative talents you have given her, God.  Look at her go.

She’s at the end of senior year and she loses her virginity at 18 to Bruce Oothout.  That’s because she thought that was the guy she was going to marry.  Glad that didn’t work out huh, God?

College…oh my.  Girls gone wild!  Drinking, sex, drugs and eating too much pizza.  She is running too fast.  Doesn’t she know she is better than that?  Oh wait… she is living her earth school curriculum of being unworthy.  In that case, she is doing a really great job.  But, please tell me she figures it out soon.  That’s hard to watch.

She graduated with a degree in Recreation and Leisure.  That gave her surgeon father a hearty belly laugh.  And she’s off; St. Thomas Virgin Islands, Guam, and she became a SCUBA diving instructor for Club Med, Tahiti?  God, I’m going to have a blast!

She’s settling down in Los Angeles – wouldn’t you know she ended up in the city of angels.  She is still partying hard and making out.

Look God, she is now 31, sick of being single, and is coming to you for help.  She is being so specific with her prayer.  Boy did you answer… David Koechner!  You must really like this girl to give her Dave, he is one of the brightest souls around.  She is starting to heal in the safe space that they have created.  She is doing her work, going to therapy, breaking the childhood armor around her heart.

Oh man, she almost died having her first kid and lost her uterus.  She wanted a big family.  She is so sad.  But, I bet it turned out great didn’t it God?  Oh really?  Better than she every imagined?  4 more kids with the help of two gestational surrogates?  That is not at all how she planned having a family, but life rarely goes as they plan, does it God?

Wait, I’m going to be a mom to 5 kids?  Holy Cow.  Thank You that she is healing, so she doesn’t continue the cycle that her mother gave her.

She is a bit disconnected from her kids, but sees it and is working on it.  She is taking responsibility for her actions.  She is starting an authentic dialogue with her husband and children.

Look at Leigh’s blog.  She is sharing what she has learned and helping others.  Good for her!  That’s what we are called to do.  People are really connecting with her honesty.  God, she is using the unworthiness and feeling alone from her childhood to let others know “you are not alone” as adults.  This is beautiful.  This is what you want!  She is reframing her issues as blessings!

No way!  She enrolled at USM- your spirit school?

Look at her soar.  Leigh is writing her books, enjoying her speaking engagements, and hosting the joy filled show she always knew she would have.  Her light is bubbling out of her and sparkling glitter on the paths of others.  Her husband’s variety show is number one in the nation.

What God?  It’s time to go?  Wait, what else happens?!?  I’ll be back in 88 years?  You’re right, that really is just a snap of your finger.

You are about to tell me the part that everyone said would freak me out?  What is it?

When I get down there I won’t remember anything, not even this conversation?  This is an outrage, God!  How can you leave me?  Oh right, you’ll be with me all along.  I just wish it didn’t take me 30 some odd years to remember that.

Okay.  Okay.  I’m going. (3 deep breaths)

Here I go.  Don’t push me!  1 2 3

Jump and yell, “I am trailing clouds of glory!!!!!!!”

(contract.  hold.  slowly stand up, open eyes, blink slowly for a bit while looking around, and then cry like a newborn.)

And so it begins…

 

Leigh Koechner Parenting Expert, Speaker, Author, and Mother of Five, shares her take on how this life goes down. Find more of Leigh’s at www.absoluteLeigh.com

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

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.

loving-eyes (1)

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

 

 

 

Are You Having A Hard Time Staying Motivated? Here’s Why

Competition

“A lot of people jump into higher consciousness, and forget about lower consciousness. They haven’t done their ego work, their feeling work. They’re bliss’d out. It’s just another mood alteration, and it’s a hell of a trip. I did it myself….it became very important to me to realize all of that was a kind of intellectual defense – a wonderful mood alteration, compulsive spirituality. It was a way to stay out of my feelings. I think all that stuff is really valid, but if you don’t do your ego work – what I call the original pain work – it WILL pull you back” – John Bradshaw

Have you ever felt highly motivated about something, you feel great about it and slowly but surely that motivation fades away and you feel like your back where you started? I feel like that happens to me a lot in a lot of different areas. One for example is when I want to start working out and feeling healthy. I will start to wakeup early, maybe do some morning exercise videos. Eat a healthy breakfast, maybe even juice and drink some tea. Go to the gym after work, occasionally fit in some bikram yoga. Start a nice bedtime routine and feel wonderful like “This is how the day should go everyday“. Then slowly but surely over the course of a few weeks, sometimes even just a few days, some of the new habits starts to fall off until eventually I’m back where I started agonizing over why I can’t keep going.

One of the first things we learned in class was the different realms we work from. At the top there is the physical realm. The act of DOING stuff. Underneath that is the Mental realm which is our THINKING. Next under that the Emotional realm which of course is our FEELING. Together the Mental realm and the Emotional Realm is what we call our EGO. Underneath that is the unconscious, things that are there but we do not remember whatsoever. And lastly under that is our Spiritual Realm aka our Authentic Self which is one of Love, acceptance, peace, joy etc. It’s who we TRULY are, our SOUL.

DOING leads to THINKING leads to FEELING. Things that are in the unconscious are unknown of course (otherwise we’d be conscious of them) and those things will come up as they need to when its perfect time for you to deal with them.

So to explain this method of DOING something and feeling motivated and then regressing back to your original state, we have to look and work on our ego. Our ego likes to play tug of war with our authentic self. It doesn’t like being pushed to the side and forgotten about. So in moments when we feel our Authentic self and we act on it, our ego will feel a bit left out so you know what he does? He gently and sometimes not so gently will start to a game of tug of war with our soul. 

The soul has us thinking and feeling “You will feel wonderful…you will be at peace and grateful and full of love and wanna dance in the field of happiness with the world”  well the ego pulls back and says “oh no….you can’t forget about me…I’m gonna make you feel separated, jealous, intolerance and anger” and he lead us into situations in which we will be forced to deal with all the mental and emotional unresolved issues that were stopping us from acting from our Authentic selves in the first place.

We might feel very spiritual and authentic in a moment but unless we have the knowledge, skills, and experience etc to deal with and resolve the stuff the ego has brung forth, we will be unable to sustain the positive physical actions. On the other hand when you are able to resolve them, when you find yourself in situations, the feelings the ego will try to push on you will no longer bother you and it is then when you can consistently start to move forward in the physical task you are wanting to progress in.

I have come to see how this pattern has been true for me. I have been living in a sort of spiritual entertainment state for the last 4 years. Reading the books, attending the seminars, helping others, feeling the bliss from the positive physical actions. But I also know I have done very little to really work on the ego aka original pain work. I just haven’t had the right skills to be able to effectively do so. So with no fail, I do find myself pulled back into a war in which my ego likes to win. That one time I skip out on going to the gym or eat something bad takes me to a place of negative self talk, shame, and all the pain work that had me in a place of “not-doing” to begin with and that discourages me until im back at…..you guessed it NOT DOING!

The question then becomes, Well Barista, how do we deal with ego and the pain work? How can we work to dissolve it?

Yoga at the nature

That answer can be different for everyone. I don’t know if I have that answer. Previously for me the answer was to read lots of spiritual books, listen to online conferences, read uplifting blogs, immerse myself in spirituality and while that all is awesome, without doing the “pain work”, it’s nothing much different then alcohol or drugs. It became addicting because it’s was giving me the blissful feeling without having to deal with the hard stuff. And when stuff did get hard it became really easy to blame others…well he isn’t doing all the “work” I’m doing so he just doesn’t understand.

Listening to people talk and reading blogs are good but it’s just words. It’s just someone talking or me reading. Doing yoga, juicing, exercising, attending seminars, even me making a move and applying to school and any other “spiritual” practice is all good stuff, definitely GREAT STARTS but if you’re just using it to temporarily forget about the “pain work” and not experiencing and dissolving the ego then you WILL find yourself back in the same place you were before you started.

This is one reason I am highly appreciative and grateful for my school in this moment. It is giving me the tools and most importantly the experience in a safe environment which is VERY important. I am able to not only work on myself through experience with my classmates but I also get to experience these classmates as other souls working on the same goal. Connect to their loving essence. This is teaching me to release judgement and learn self compassion and compassion for others. Having this experience in this type of environment then allows me to enter into the “outside world” which may not feel so safe all the time, and allows me to fully practice and recreate the feelings I have created inside the safe environment. Not only that its one full weekend at a time.

Although I do highly recommend USM to everyone on the planet, I’m not suggesting its the only way to go. But I am suggesting to find the support that works for you. One that allows you to practice without judgement and one that is full of love and acceptance. You’re current practices may work but when you see that ego surface use that opportunity to figure out the underlying pains and work on dissolving those.

A common thing for us to do is to blame and try to change the outside factors so we don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside of us. but it’s when we learn to take responsibility for those moments that we start to dissolve them. Those moments may not always feel so great. There is crying, and headaches, and lots and lots of turmoil, but there’s also connection and love and forgiveness and acceptance…most importantly in yourself. The ego can then no longer sustain our authentic selves and our soul becomes stronger. It’s when feeling and thinking those qualities in ourselves that we no longer have to blame the outside world. We then welcome it with open arms and love. These are the moments in which you grow and good news is, those are the moments that prove you are willing to feel alive. If you aren’t feeling the Ying and the Yang, you are moving through life dead and we all know there’s no fulfillment in that.

In what areas do you find yourself highly motivated but then regressed? Do you notice if you are pushing away the ego or do you work on dissolving it? Take a moment to look at your practice and see where you can improve on the pain work.

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

Stay tuned and see how my process is developing along the way while attending USM.

xoxo,

barista

Ps: If you are indeed ready to start working on dissolving the issues that are holding you back, I am Very very proud to announce USM is still enrolling students. The only requirement is that you want to become a better YOU. While, if you qualify,  you can get your Masters Degree, there are people that aren’t working on that. Being that it’s only one weekend a month, you can live anywhere on the planet and attend. There are people in my class from Boston, Florida, Virginia, Canada, Mexico and many more places other than Los Angeles. Invest in YOU. ITS YOUR TIME!

for more info click here

What I Learned From My First Day of School

I officially finished my first evening of class at the University of Santa Monica. I have to admit I was quite nervous and had no idea what to expect. As I got to the University though, it immediately felt welcoming by staff and other students. I expect it from staff but I wasn’t sure what to expect from everyone else. It felt though like everyone was so eager to meet others which was a very comforting feeling.

Upon class starting I just kept sitting there thinking… “I did it, I’m HERE”. It was somewhat of a surreal experience to look around and see all the different faces from all walks of life, all areas of the Country as well as some people traveling from other countries. After talking to a few people before school started, I felt the connective energy like we were all feeling the same. Unsure about exactly what to expect, nervous to start digging deep into our unhealed subconscious, but ready with excitement to start becoming better versions of ourselves. My first evening went amazing and I have a feeling you will get a lot out from me on these weekends that I  have school being that I come out with new experiences and feelings fresh in mind.

Today we learned two basic skills. “Seeing the Loving Essence” and Heart-Centered Listening”. Two very important skills when learning to experience oneself as a soul having a human experience. Two VERY important skills that were great starters because it will help us throughout our experience at school to learn to see people as one and really grasp the truth of being souls having a human experience. The Professor called it, “seeing and hearing with Soul-centered eyes and ears”. 

To sum up Seeing the Loving Essence, it is “not about solving people’s ‘problems’ nor is it about ‘fixing’ them. It is about how you will ‘be’ with them. In my own words I connected that it is about “SEEING” someone as another soul and connecting with them on that level versus the physical form that they seem to be. Connecting through the energy of LOVE. It is important because as we begin to connect more with ourselves as spiritual beings comes the ability to connect with others as spiritual beings. It leaves a space open for us to be accepting to others as they are in their truth rather than what their personality or ego may be projecting. A lot of times we like to hold on so much to the personality or ego because we use that to protect ourselves but it separates us and gives us excuses as to why we are different. We have to remember that personality and ego are just outside layers covering the truth of someone and underneath we really are all the same. 

We then went into talking about the importance of listening from the heart. One of the things that “pinged” my mind (I got that description from a peer in class) was when the Professor stated that “words are just reference points that help us try to communicate something”…. he went on to explain “book and libro are just words that communicate something…they are describing the same thing but both words are NOT books, they are just words…Words are not the things they represent”. This stuck out to me a lot because I think I can tend to get caught up in the words being said and my meaning of them and less connected with the feelings and expression behind the words. A question he suggested we ask ourselves when listening to others was “What is being expressed behind the words being said?” We learned how to listen from the heart while being fully present. A major part of this was listening was resisting the urge to give advice. That’s where I knew there was a learning experience for me.

I talk to a lot of friends all the time. I tend to be someone my friends feel like they can talk to about meaningful situations. The thing is, I do find myself constantly giving advice, which I learned tonight that often while doing that you are more focused on listening with the intent to fix a problem versus just listening from the heart and connecting with the person talking. We have been trained all our lives to fix problems so it’s not surprising that it is the way most people listen. Because people tend to always come back to me for conversation, I often feel like my advice is worth giving, and truthfully maybe sometimes it is worth giving WHEN ASKED FOR, but I learned tonight that listening is one of the most important parts of connective communication.

At the end of the night we got into groups of three and we practiced talking, listening, and observing. Each person got a chance to do each. It was interesting to feel the drastic change in the energy when practicing each role and experience. Not only that, just relating to each other about how each of us felt being in each seat. Every time the group started a new conversation we started with focusing upon opening up into our authentic selves, setting an intention for that conversation according to what role we were in, and asking the spirits for help assisting us with our intention. 

When I was in the “client” seat, I think this was the “hot seat” for us all, I felt how hard it can be for me to open up, be vulnerable, and speak from an authentic place deep within. I spend so much time giving advice that I often avoid being the talker. As the client We had to talk for 17 minutes about something meaningful to us. As I realized I was going to be the client for the first role, my first thoughts were “What am I going to talk to these strangers about for 17 minutes” . Because I was the only one at the time that was expected to talk and share, I was able to feel that vulnerability of feeling open and naked but was forced to work through the fears I was having at the time and open up about something that was meaningful to me. While I got to experience how it felt to share and be vulnerable, at the same time I got to feel what its like to be truly listened to and connected with. By being in this role I felt more powerful in my need to step in that fear and express myself more in the relationships that I have.

While being in the “facilitator” aka a listener’s seat,  I was to listen while assisting to helping the “client” find their own answers by asking questions without giving advice. While sitting in this seat and listening to the client speak, I found the profound difference in “listening” and “hearing”. Most of the time I do a lot of hearing but not a lot of listening. I went into that seat with the intention to listen for the expression and less for the words. To also connect instead of seeking to solve a problem. My eyes opened a lot here because I felt I was able to connect with the client on such a profound level and just realizing how much I can miss out on with others because I’m not really listening from a place of love and connection. It also made me realize why TALKING to someone is so important. I do a lot of text or typing online with people and by doing that I am missing out on the key components of how listening is really effective. Through talking to someone, even better if it can be in person, you are able to feel the energy of what is being expressed in their tone and their meaning instead of just seeing words and attaching our own meaning to and tone to them.

Next time you are in a text conversation, it is very important to remember, as much as you think you are feeling and seeing what is being expressed, without the physical tone and energy of the other person talking, you really are ONLY attaching YOUR meaning to the words and what’s inside of YOU not them. Not only that, usually while texting, we are distracted at the same time so our attention is never fully present with the other person. I’ve learned to try to avoid trying to get into important conversations through text. Tell someone “I want to be able to be fully attentive and feel and connect with what you are saying, let’s talk on the phone or meet up in person”

And finally being the observer, It was nice to see and connect fully with the relationship of two people having effective communication. Watching one be vulnerable while the other listens with their heart. To experience that from an outside view was very eye-opening and leads to more clear intentions of what I want my relationships to feel and look like. It also gave me the opportunity to purely just listen and see without the expectation or intention to be involved but just feel. 

Overall, my experience of the first day was amazing and I can only imagine what the rest of the weekend, and year will feel like. As scared and nervous as I felt walking in versus how comfortable and safe as I felt walking out shows the power of a strong community of people and what a loving energy can give for someone. I can admit I had some judgement and assumptions towards the people in my group but that was immediately dissolved when I had the intention to feel their experiences. That one exercise that allowed me to feel a connection and similarity to the other two people in my group also allowed me to equally feel more connected with everyone in the room even though I had no conversation with them, and even those that I have relationships with outside of class and THAT is learning how to truly seeing the loving essence in everyone. 

I cant wait to see whats next!

Remember the last time you were in a meaningful conversation with someone. How well were you engaging in that communication? Were your intentions to fix a problem? Did you give advice? Did you feel what the person was feeling without judgement or assumptions? If you were the talker, were you able to be vulnerable and open? If not, what was stopping you?

Challenge: Next time you are in a meaningful conversation with someone in person and you are the listener, I want you to set the intention to just listen to them and feel what is being expressed behind the word. Connect and see yourself in that person. See them through the lenses of soul centered eyes. If you are the talker, open up and be vulnerable. Feel the fear and do it anyways. Notice how it feels to be listened to or NOT listened to and still connect and see yourself in that other person. Then come back and comment how having soul centered eyes and ears felt?

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