The Invitation

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

 

artistlaurieb1

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

Advertisements

My Truth: I Yell and Fight In Front Of My Kids

how_to_fight_in_front_of_kids

pic from idiva.com

I am a mother that yells at the father of her children when we argue…. in front of our children! I feel like I’m at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, but for people that can’t control their anger, and I needed to make that confession for the world to know. I feared writing that sentence because I think about how J will feel about me sharing this piece of our relationship, but I’m here to be more raw and transparent, so it is what it is I guess.

I remember one situation when I was really young, maybe around 3 or 4 ish, watching my parents arguing and screaming at each other and me sitting on the couch crying and screaming at them just hoping they would stop. Now here I am doing the same thing in front of my kids and I just don’t know how to stop.

My son cried Saturday because when mommy and daddy yell at each other and are mean to each other, it scares him. My heart beats deep because for the last few years, if there were one thing I would change over anything else in the world, it would be this.

I remember when I found out I was having a boy over 6 years ago, the one thing I thought about was how I have this chance to raise a wonderful, caring, sensitive, compassionate, kind, and loving man. I have the chance to raise a MAN! And although I know he is going to be all of those things, I fear that he will get into a relationship and him and his future partner will be yelling at each other in front of their kids and he’ll remember when his mommy and daddy used to do that too.

I notice how this has been a cycle for me. During a point in life, my relationship with my mother shifted and I spent a majority of my teenage and young adult years constantly yelling and arguing with my mother. Maybe that’s just how it is with teenagers but I knew, even back then, that I always wanted things to be different.

My last two serious relationships, this one included, consisted of yelling and screaming at each other during disagreements pretty often. I feel like for the last 15 years of my life, during the time where I have been growing a lot mentally, I have been consistently involved in arguments that include yelling and screaming and sometimes berating each other. It’s what I’ve learned about communication when it comes to disagreements. I’ve learned to defend myself by raising my voice. Before, it was just something I did and how things were. Now, it is something I want to change and learn how to stop.

The crazy thing is, I am not this way in my other relationships at all. At least not to this level. Just sometimes with my mother and most of the times with my boyfriend. The people that are the closest to me of course. I have actually gotten a lot better with my mother over the years but it could be a result of not living in her house anymore.

Because I have been in these relationships where both parties are mutually defensive during arguments to the point of yelling and screaming, I know that if I want to change, I have to teach myself. When I get into arguments like this, it’s with people who reflect the same attitude. I really believe I keep attracting this for the sake of learning the lesson. The time is now!

Over the past few years, my reaction afterwards would always be to run. I always wanted to just leave the relationship because I couldn’t handle fighting this way anymore in front of my son. When I was pregnant I even gave back my engagement ring because I just couldn’t do it anymore (although I do think I was ultra hormonal at the time). Now, especially more lately, I have been trying so hard to use these situations as teachers. To show me what I need to work on. To bring up the places that need healing. I have been trying so hard to control myself. To let down the defense. To be the one that stays calm. To communicate in an open and loving manner. To share when I am feeling unsafe. And for the last two months I have had great effects when approaching situations in that manner. But then once again, the defense strikes full force.

There’s something underneath there that is unresolved and unhealed and I need to figure out how to deal with it…. fast! Having two sons now, this is not what I want them to see and grow up with. It already kills my heart knowing my oldest is already six and seeing it effect him more and more each time. I don’t want him thinking this is the way we should handle our anger or disagreements.

Already I see him get really frustrated and yell and scream at us when he’s mad. I’ve seen some real anger in his face. Telling him that yelling and screaming when he’s mad is not a good way to release his emotions becomes hard when that’s what he’s learning from mommy and daddy. So it’s really up to us to start demonstrating that things should and can be different. I want to stop the cycle. I want to show him more about what LOVE is and how LOVE works.

I know parents have disagreements and they argue and it’s normal for your kids to see that sometimes. And I know that it’s healthy for kids to see you make up and love each other afterwards. But I don’t want to yell and scream and berate anymore. I don’t. I want to show my kids how to handle our emotions effectively. Especially the negative ones. It’s especially healthy to show them LOVING actions versus FiGHTING actions. Because if I have learned anything it’s that fighting just creates more fighting. How parents handle conflict becomes the teacher for how kids will handle conflict.

I remember my cousin telling me last year…. “All kids need to see is that their parents Love and Respect each other… even if they’re not together”.That’s what I want to show our kids. The one thing I don’t want, is them to relate love to unhappiness and hurt. I know sometimes they see love, but because of the frequency in arguments and our inability to express disagreements in other ways, it worries me what their really picking up. Truthfully sometimes I don’t know which way our relationship will go but either way we still need to learn how to love and respect each other, so we need to do that now.

I know there are things I can do to start creating change, so instead of going to a place of habit of wanting to run away and being down on myself, I can focus on what I do know and what I can do. Being that I am in school learning all these awesome tips and skills for loving myself and others, I do have a huge responsibility to be a teacher by my actions.

Although when it happens, I can feel really hopeless and scared, I am still working on self compassionate forgiveness and trying not to judge myself. I know, how I relate to the issue plays the biggest role in what the issue really is.

In these last few days I can really see that how I feel about the situation and myself reflects the size of my faith in God. I want to release the power I give this and let it go to God. I want to be open enough to receive the guidance that I can receive from my higher power. Maybe that means falling to my knees and really surrendering my ego.

I want to learn how to slow down. We don’t give ourselves enough space to breathe and think and that lack of space creates reacting to fast which is the cause of yelling and defending and feeling I have no control over what’s happening. If I can learn to give myself more space between what is happening and reacting, I will be in a better place to choice a better route. Slowing down in other areas can probably influence here too

I can also have open honest talks with our son and see how he feeling. Comfort him and love him. Talk to him about how mommy and daddy are still learning because we weren’t taught. Express the truth and understanding his perception. Letting him know we want to change and showing him its possible. I remember my counselor asking me a while ago “What do you wish would have happened to make you feel better when that was happening with your parents?” and I said “I wish someone would have talked to me and comforted me and helped make me feel better“. I need to do that with my son and I need to do that with the little girl inside of me too.

I’m working on it! and it’s HARD! but I know I can do this. Just send me some light and love please. I need  it!

This was a really hard post for me to write and put out there. Admitting the problem is the first step to change. If you are or have gone through this, please let me know how you are handling in the comments below…

 

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

 

 

 

Tiny Buddha: 5 Ways You Attract Great People When You Like Yourself More

By Paul Sanders via Tiny Buddha

Picture from: hungryforchange.tv

Picture from: hungryforchange.tv

“By accepting yourself and being fully what you are, your presence can make others happy.” ~Jane Roberts

Several years ago, I was so unhappy with my harsh loneliness that I decided that I was going to try anything under the sun to build a social life and have friends that cared about me.I read all the books I could find and tried all the techniques they shared, but I still had to make a lot of effort to build friendships and hold my social life together.Then I started to learn and apply the principles of self-esteem.I used to think that I needed to be as extroverted as possible. It was exhausting, and people could see that it wasn’t really how I wanted to present myself.As a celebration of my uniqueness, I started behaving a little more like who I am—a little calmer and more interested in the depth of things.While I became less gregarious-sounding, I actually started making more friends, and more genuine ones; and the relationships with them were more solid.I was amazed at those results; I knew that self-esteem would contribute to my happiness, but never thought that being less of a gregarious person would improve my social life.When I met new people, I no longer talked about the trendy subjects that everyone was raving about. I talked about what I wanted to talk about. I expressed my unique perspective.People responded well; it gave them the chance to meet a human being who’s not afraid to express his genuine thoughts and opinions.Self-esteem completely shifted the way I interacted with people and made my social much easier to hold and develop.

Here, I want to dig deeper and share with you 5 reasons why self-esteem can help you have a better, more fulfilling social life. When you have high self-esteem:

1. You have healthy boundaries.

When you like yourself, you no longer have to say “yes” when you mean “no,” and don’t have to make false promises, either. People love to be friends with those who aren’t afraid to say “no.” This strength of spirit inspires them.This character makes people see you as trustworthy. Everyone wants friends they can trust.When you preserve your self-respect and stand up for yourself, you keep more of your energy and value. If you have no boundaries, you and your energy get depleted.

2. You’re naturally a giver of value.

When you like yourself, you believe you have value to offer, so you naturally start to see abundance instead of scarcity. You realize that the world is generous, there is enough for everyone, and we can create even more that didn’t exist before.People can tell that you’re not one of those people who think they have to take value from others to have more.This instantly puts you out of the selfish category. People fear that they’ll end up with selfish friends, who are only there to take whatever they can and give as little as possible. That’s not who they want in their life; they want friends that like them for who they are.Liking yourself indicates that you don’t have any neediness, and therefore, you only hang out with people because you genuinely appreciate them.

3. You know you’re not perfect, and you’re not for everyone; you appreciate your uniqueness.

When you like yourself, you appreciate your uniqueness and have no problem with some people seeing things differently than you. You therefore celebrate your unique talents and opinions.When you appreciate your uniqueness, you tend to cultivate and grow it. That is exactly what makes you an interesting person to be around.For example, if you like Southern Italian cuisine, even if no one you know else does, you start to get more and more interested in it, which means you’ll start to know more about Italian geography, history, and world views. You’ll maybe even go there on vacation.People love being around others who are passionate about something; it inspires them to get passionate about their own interests.

4. You’re cheerful and you can see the good in people.

When you like yourself, you see the good in yourself, but you also see the good in others. This is an instant charmer! People are keen to know if you’ll appreciate who they are and what they have to offer to the world.When you have that positive energy within your own life, you start to project it on to others. First, your cheerfulness catches their attention; second, they realize that you’re not only optimistic for yourself, but for them as well.

5. You’re not overly serious.

Liking yourself means that you’re realistic and can recognize your imperfections, quirks, and mistakes. You know you can improve what you want but will never be perfect, and you’re okay with that.This means you’ll have enough confidence to poke fun at yourself. Other people recognize this, and know that they can have lots of fun around you, as you don’t take yourself too seriously.This also shows a side of you that is vulnerable and completely human. People get fixated on this on the spot because they recognize the same human vulnerability in themselves.Great people reserve a special spot in their life for people who can interact and relate without masks or barriers to hide behind—and that comes from liking yourself.

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

 

Are You Suffocating Your Flame?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I leave you with a favorite quote:

 MarianneWilliamsom-Quote

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

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

xoxo,

barista