Day 34, What We Desire…!!

Yesterday as I prepped for my evening class, created a brochure for the exciting upcoming “worldwide” 2018 Detox (hope you will join me for the transformational journey), drove cookies over to my son’s college for their end of semester study break surprise, enjoyed time with my daughter as we drove to and from school, developed a flyer for upcoming workshops and plugged away on the next book, I did find a few breathing moments to reflect deeper on APE = Attachments, Perceptions, Expectations. (Yep, all one sentence, separated by commas – a reflection of our “busy” to-do life!)

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“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” ~E. O. Wilson

As humans we sure seem to complicate things. While we say and think we are “advancing” things, I have many days that I do not agree with that. Like most things, I think there is a pretty long pro – con list. Everyone is soooooo busy, yet I am not sure I experience more happiness. So, what are we busy doing? Why? If we are not happy doing and have no time to enjoy after the doing, what perpetual cycle are we exactly saying yes to? I hear things like:

  • “Tomorrow I’ll have fun”
  • “In the future I won’t have to work so hard..”
  • “When I retire I’ll..”
  • “As soon as the weekend comes…”
  • “Next year I’m going to…”

Well it is tomorrow already, and the next moment is the future, and you want to wait until you retire to enjoy life?? Yeah!! I am not to sure we have advanced. On the other hand it is darn cool that:

  • Someone around the world that I do not know reads the words I put upon this page.
  • That in January I get to share a transformational journey with anyone who wants to start the new year with an incredible DETOX!! 
  • I can get very quick gratification through communicating with friends and family in other parts of the world.
  • It is awesome that I can connect with my sister in Mongolia through the airwaves via phone and not have a huge phone bill (I remember those long distance phone bills!!).

However, my truth, I would prefer to actually share time with all of these people in person. Engaging in a real human connection and experience. I treasure such authentic presence! The times when in person we co-create a memory that I carry in my heart, mind and soul. Some emails have words that touch me, I carry them in my heart – but, they do not have the same quality, intensity, or real life texture.

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“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.” ~Dean Ornish

All of our Attachments, Perceptions, and Expectations seem to wrap themselves around one root “cause” – what do we personally want to experience, which means FEEL. Yep, us silly humans are driven by our feelings, whether we want to admit it or not. We desire “success” for what? Well, let’s see, feeling pride and accomplishment feels pretty darn good. Then there is the freedom felt when all the bills are paid, food is in the fridge. Falling and being in love definitely feels good, just ask a couple how they met and watch their faces light up with the memory. Laughing and sharing time with friends and family fills up our little hearts, we smile right now when we stop to remember. 

Try it! Think about something you like to do. Pull up in your mind, something you wish you had or were doing. Recall a recent experience that you really enjoyed. When you dig into them, what really sits at the core? It is the “feeling” you get from doing it, having it, sharing it, etc… Our little human engine is driven by our sensory desires – what we want to feel!! It really is that simple.

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“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So one of the things that confuses me, is why do I observe so many people choosing to live in a negative feeling? I don’t understand?!? If you stopped right now in your tracks, closed your eyes and remembered an experience or time in your life that you felt really good, I bet you would start to smile, despite yourself. There’s proof, we can choose to feel good!! That takes me to the beginning of this paragraph, why do we choose to feel bad? Not only that, we like sharing that “feeling” with others, hoping they will join us on the “Life is tough band wagon”, the “Whoa is me…”.

Please do not get me wrong, life does “happen” – sad things occur. Painful situations arise. Loss happens. Feel it! Be in it! They are true human feelings we are blessed to experience. Be authentic and real in it, this does not pull people down with you, it allows them to truly share with you. There is a difference between being a chosen “victim” in our life, to “being in and sharing our true feelings”. The victim tries to get people to cheer along in misery, the other allows and invites people to share life – for me there is a BIG difference. Sign me up, for the latter please, for I love sharing the dance of life with you!!

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“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” ~Walt Disney

The bottom line to today’s little meandering blog – “What We Desire”, is to understand and accept that we are driven by what we want to FEEL! That’s it, again it is quite simple. The often forgotten aspect of this truth is that we are at CHOICE to what we want to FEEL! (TIP and APE are just excuses, so….!!) (TIP=Take It Personal)

A.C.T. (always choose truth – your inner truth) with authenticity today, be true to your “feeling” desires and choose how you want to feel no matter what comes at you.

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Day 33, What are you Attached to?

As I work on Book 2 of the “K.I.S.S. Happiness Is Easy.., Series (Keep It Sweetly Simple)”, I am enjoying the exploration and depth of ATTACHMENT!! Book 2 is titled “Stop APE – ing Around”. APE = Attachment, Perception, Expectation – three little words that hold a powerful life impacting punch!!

Attachment and Perception seem to be the silent ignored two of the three and yet they are definitely just as hugely impacting. All three have an immense stronghold on how we interact and more importantly REACT to the world around us. Effecting how we behave in our relationships and show up in our daily lives.

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“Self-awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” ~Debbie Ford

Let’s explore Attachment. The dictionary defines it as:

at·tach·ment

1.  an extra part or extension that is or can be attached to something to perform a particular function.

2.  the condition of being attached to something or someone, in particular.

Obviously for this blog entry, I am referring to definition number 2. Let’s throw out something right from the start, do you have a favorite athletic team (football, baseball, hockey, etc…)? Are you quite upset if they lose? Does it impact your mood if they win or lose? What about a particular kind of music you enjoy? Are you attached to what station the radio is on in the car? Let’s look at your attachments around the house – Do you like the lights bright or low? Does your house have to be clean before company comes over? Do you have to eat dinner around a certain time or your whole mood is impacted? Where do you prefer to eat, table, in front of TV…? Where do you park your car? Do you get upset when you can’t park it in the usual spot? Oh I can go on and on….!!

Let’s look at the not so concrete Attachments. When you think about your body, do you have an attachment to how it “should” be? In your mind, is there an image of what you should “look like”? Image is a big deal in our society. How we “should” look varies from culture to culture and if we explore our attachments to how we wished we looked they are established around what we are told is “attractive” in our particular part of the world.

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“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” ~Simone Weil

What about “success” – what attachments rule your world here? Are they attachments you CHOSE, or ones that you were told measure your success? Here again, does this vary due to where you are born and how you are culturally raised? Do you have an attachment to how money should be handled in your life? What happens for you when something in life totally turns your money situation upside down?

Our relationship to ATTACHMENTS effect our moods! We allow the interactions dictated by our attachments to inform our decision to be happy, mad, sad, lonely, frustrated, etc… Just sit back and really think about it. If I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and what I see does not match what I am Attached to with regard to image, I may CHOOSE to feel unattractive, which means I will carry my physical body more slumped, keep eye contact to a minimum and in general carry myself about with low self-confidence. To add to this already Chosen negative feeling, I go to get my cup of coffee and my favorite cup is gone! I’m attached to that cup! Who used my cup? How dare they! Now I am irritated on top of being down on myself. Then I go to work and someone is parked in MY spot, the one I ALWAYS park in! To compound matters more, my boss has decided to move me into a new desk and is changing up my schedule. You get the idea… I have quiet unspoken Attachments to many things that I can Choose to have ruin my day or I can be Aware and thus make a CHOICE to let go of my Attachments and enjoy being happy.

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“He who is overly attached to his family members experiences fear and sorrow, for the root of all grief is attachment. Thus one should discard attachment to be happy.” ~Chanakya

The big message that always rings in my ear, is that we are at CHOICE! We can allow Attachments to dictate our mood, or we can choose to be independent of our attachments, for they are not WHO we are. They are things we elected to give power to, agreeing in silent contract that they held importance. It is not that Attachments are bad, it is how we live with our Attachments that effects our life and those around us. If we look at really big picture Attachments it can get quite scary – Crusades, Holocaust, Genocide, Cold War…. Attachments to ideals and beliefs that have globally impacted at massive proportions.

What power do you want Attachments to have in your life? What Attachments do you play along with, that you have never questioned? What Attachments do you hold so tightly that they impact the relationships with the people you love? Which Attachments are fun, playful, and aspects of your life you shall continue to enjoy?

As you go forth with today, I invite you to explore with awareness the role attachments play on your life and relationships. Have fun with it, for what is exciting is the truth that you are at complete CHOICE, if you want to be.

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“Attachment is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness. Though it gives you the power to love someone more than yourself, it becomes difficult to live when you lose something you are attached to. Even when we have lost, we should go beyond that and get truly attached to someone. Loving someone truly is the most beautiful feeling.” ~Shahid Kapoor

A.C.T. (always choose truth) today with open awareness and willingness to view the world through another person’s moccasins, for you may glean a new perspective on your Attachments and theirs.

Day 32, Transformation from Inside Out & Outside In!!

The last twelve years I have started the New Year out with a complete body, mind and spirit re-boot/detox. It’s like hitting the reset dial, gracing the body with a desperate rest to clean, detox, and heal – coming back to a more healthy alkaline space. This last week, I had the grand epiphany that I did not have to do it alone, I could invite and create a mass transformation for all who wish to start 2018 with a powerful health boost!!

Over the last decade plus, I have guided people through this detox, passing along its amazing health benefits, weight loss and behavioral shifts. I am so excited to share it on a grander scale, to help people get over that hump which is so challenging on your own. Ever since I made this decision, my mind, heart and soul have been on fire, for I just can’t wait to journey with all who choose to say YES to a healthier, happier New Body, Mind, and Spirit.

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“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.” ~Melody Beattie

During my thirty plus year health journey, I have done all kinds of detoxes, fasts, and cleanses, always wanting to learn more so I can share more. This 11 day detox is my favorite – the first time I did it twelve years ago I lost nearly 20 lbs in places I was really struggling with (us mommy’s know that fun!!), felt my system swing back to a natural alkaline state, and actually began to feel my organs functioning within my body. It was truly transformational!! Way more powerful for me than my ten day water fast, juice cleanses, etc.., so I come back to it at least once a year and often I do it twice a year.

This year my body will be really happy, for while I am a very health conscious person, who daily exercises, it has been a year of a few more French fries (my biggest weakness) and a tad more wine than my body deserves – it is time to purge!! I discovered this detox by reading Dr. Bernard Jensen’s book “Guide to Diet and Detoxification”, a book he wrote when he was 92 years old – I thought that was pretty cool, he must practice what he preaches. I was so fascinated by this little book, that I read it in one sitting. I had known for years that we carry around all kinds of stuff in our intestinal loop, but yikes, this book opened my eyes and made me jump into more humbling research. We are truly full of poop (I was nice, for another word fits really well here!)! Once you start researching you will never look at your digestive process the same!

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“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Through the years I have learned as I shared yesterday that many people give up on weight loss, healthy living, and physical activity because they are not supported and they are not engaging with their whole being – body, mind, and spirit. So, I want everyone who chooses to do this detox with me to have every possible advantage to succeed, for I know how amazing it feels! Thus I am in the process of creating a 25 day transformational detox journey for one and all. Putting into action a 12 day “built to succeed pre-detox action plan”, then we will embark on the 11 day detox, followed by two supportive days to ease back into “normal life”. On January 25th, 2018 we will have a mass celebration thanks to the magic airwaves!!

As my readers know, one of my BIG passions is to help people shift from a REACTIONARY life to a life of CHOICE (see my book series K.I.S.S. Happiness Is Easy… https://amazon.com/author/fawncaveney ). Taking back your health is a HUGE part of that journey, for if you are not healthy and energetic, life can be very challenging and limiting. Having the profound experience of making it through an 11 day detox is life changing, for you become aware of your body, mind, spirit connection, while experiencing a physical body transformation.

I only have a month to get the “goodies” set up for this adventure, I better get cracking!! Worksheets, tools for success, videos, etc.., so much to get ready for all who choose to start 2018 with a Health Awakening!! I am so thrilled to share this twelve year tradition!

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“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” ~Oprah Winfrey

A.C.T. (always choose truth) with intention to care for your body, mind, and spirit, then watch how the rest falls into place!!

Day 31, Mind, Body, Spirit – they are a team!!

As those who follow me know, I have been into health and fitness since I was fifteen. Over the thirty-seven year journey the health and body connection has only intrigued me more and more. In my early twenties, I took it upon myself to really get serious, for I had gradually put on weight over the course of years. When I looked in the mirror I did not like what I saw and more importantly I knew I was not as healthy as I could be. At the time I was a live-in-aid for my great grandma, so I had to schedule my workouts around her care. I started out slowly, keeping documentation of everything I ate, a log of my workouts, and a journal of my feelings. I cut out pictures of women to inspire me, gluing them down to the pages of my daily record keeping. I stayed consistent and true, daily building up my cardio and weight routine. I lost 45 pounds and went from a size 13/14 down to a 6/8. Thirty-seven years later I can joyfully say that except for two pregnancies, I have maintained my size and health throughout the years.

Staying healthy is not just about what you eat, or how you exercise, it is also about how you love or don’t love yourself!! The body, mind, and spirit are intricately woven, they must all be taken care of if you want to truly transform. Due to my fascination and passion about health, I have studied, researched and experimented over the years with diverse ways of exercising, eating, and taking care of the whole being. I have always used myself as the guinea pig tester, before telling others to try something. I grew to understand that what worked for me, most certainly did not necessarily work for another. That is why I fell in love with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2007, their philosophy embraces that every human is bio-individual with unique needs. In addition they explore the WHOLE being, not just the physical health – https://www.integrativenutrition.com/. Over a hundred different diet and nutrition philosophies are shared during their Health Coach certification and they present information that is pivotal to all areas of life (Circle of Life) – view and download from my website walkingnakedtruth.com.

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“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” ~Dalai Lama

As I have coached and guided people over the years I have become sincerely aware of the mind, body, spirit connection. As a client has grown in the area of self-love which involves the mind and spirit, they have naturally begun to take better care of the body. As they take better care of the body, the mind and spirit shift. There truly is no separation between the intricate connection of these three self aspects – one feeds and inspires the other. I have met many people who focus on just exercise, while they lose weight and feel better, they remain unhappy in mind and spirit. Personally, I rather have the package deal!!

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“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.” ~Thomas Jefferson

As a health coach and truth guide I blend the power of the three – Body, Mind, and Spirit. I believe that our truth is to be healthy, happy, and passionate about life. As a society we like to box things, put them in categories, so that we can “control” them. I always find this amusing for it never really works, everything is connected. So a weight loss plan without mind and spirit support, will cycle back around to the weight going back on – yo-yo dieting and sabotage. You can feed the mind all you want, for years and years, gather degrees and titles, however you will not get to enjoy them for long if you do not take care of the body and spirit. Spiritual practice and awakening is a glorious thing, personally I am not inclined to be inspired by someone spiritually if they are not a glowing example of what they preach, thus they must be of sound mind and body, healthy and happy. So our box marketing of putting weight loss gimmicks out there or education independent of health, or spiritual pursuit separate from our physical and mental well-being does not make sense to me. All the makeup in the world will not make me glow with healthy beauty. Being “skinny and fit” will not imbue me with zest and passion for life. Our being is an intricate woven package deal, each aspect overlays onto the other, enhancing or polluting. Just think about your favorite athletes, you know they train physically, however I can promise their drive and passion come from their mind and spirit.

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“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” ~Buddha

What an amazing creature we are! Incredible in our complexity and abilities. I celebrate the wholeness we are and how magnificently we are designed, for it all works together in the most divine way. Today may you take a moment to look in the mirror to truly be in gratitude for the amazing person before you. Isn’t it incredible? Day in and day out that body gets you around, every moment your mind is busy getting you from point A to B, and your spirit supports what is and what can become. The triad of pure grace in action!!

A.C.T. (always choose truth) today with self-love for in doing so, you shall find yourself more open, patient and kind to all others.

Day 30, Quiet Patience…

Yesterday graced me with an amazing day with friends, enjoying scrumptious food and rambunctious laughter over a game of “Crimes Against Humanity”. What a blessing it is to share time with those we love and care about, it is the true treasured gift of life.

Today is one of those days for me that is just quiet. I have been pushing hard for a couple of months and must again rev up to manifest book two of the “K.I.S.S. Happiness is Easy.., Series”. I am excited to embark on this project for it tackles some big aspects of the self which can undermine all relationships. Awareness is a powerful gift as we begin to leave the REACTIONARY way of life behind to embrace conscious CHOOSING.

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“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.” ~Albert Einstein

On this glorious sunny day, I give myself full permission to be quiet as I review and get even clearer on my goals – creating stronger action plans that allow grace for unexpected miracles and pure synchronicity!! In addition this upcoming weekend is time set aside to fully research and outline the next book, for I uncovered some really great material which I am excited to learn from and share as it applies.

The challenge on days like today is to tame the desire to jump from point A to Z without all the hoops and experiences along the way. It is also a challenge to quiet the inner mind as it banters about “How do I get the book out to more people?”, “When should I tackle and set up the first workshops connected to the book series?”, the list goes on and on..!! This of course barrages and clutters, so I remind myself to stay focused and be patient. All is happening, all is becoming…trust with quiet patience.

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“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” ~Peter Drucker

I am amazed at how sometimes it is important to just let things be, hold the faith, persist with inner knowing and absolute belief. So I shall. Giving the small important little pieces overdue attention. Cleaning up the website, adjusting and adding material to classes, investigating how to get a pictorial experience of the next book set up and going, there is plenty to do… Today I sink into quiet patience, I surrender with discipline into taking care of the small stuff, so the big stuff will be supported and held. I hope that where ever you are, that today will offer you moments of quiet, for within the quiet so much emerges.

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“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” ~Franz Kafka

A.C.T. (always choose truth) with quiet patience today, for the world is already racing, who knows what you might experience if you do.

Day 29, Surrender + Discipline = “Balance”

Yesterday on my balmy November run along the river my mind wandered as my feet hit the moist mushed leaves stride after stride. Already 55 degrees Fahrenheit, wet from the previous night’s rain, the air hung with a humid drip. Geese flew over head, squirrels scampered across the path madly foraging for their winter fare. It was a glorious morning to feel my lungs pulling in oxygen, my legs strongly carrying me forward, while my mind chanted positive affirmations. Every now and then it was all enhanced by the momentary interruption of bikers, walkers, and hikers passing by.

I laughed at myself for here I was on day three of my latest commitment – “I will run/jog/walk four miles everyday Monday – Friday”. I am always doing that, creating some new physical challenge, it is an active part of my lifestyle for over thirty years now. As I felt into my soon to be fifty-three year old body, I was rushed by blood pumping gratitude. I experienced a flush of immense thankfulness for the way my body has given back to me year after year. It has never let me down, this temple of skin, muscle, veins, blood, organs, and sensory nervous system. It awes me how it all works together to take care of me, what a marvelous machine. As I take care of it, it takes care of me. It graciously carried, birthed and gave life to two other amazing human beings, bringing them into our lives in the comfort of our own home. Wow, thank you body for all that you do. Thank you spirit for cheering the body on day after day after day!!

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“Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. Far the greatest things grow by God’s law out of the smallest. But to live your life, you must discipline it.” ~Florence Nightingale

I swirled in this gratitude, floating like the leaves that fell on the moving river. As I basked in this grace, I crashed upon a thought that a special person in my life had stated a few months ago, he said, “You sure practice a lot of discipline in your life for someone who comes across to the world as a free wild child.” He is right! I had never thought about it before, yet his words struck a powerful chord of truth. I am a dance betweenez wild free surrender and daily determined discipline. Much of it imbued with honoring gratitude rituals. Somewhere in it all I maintain a balance, precariously suspended on solid ground with quick sand potholes.

A dreamer clinging to the string of my kite, flying with the birds on high, while keeping my feet in forward momentum propelled by determined action. What does this precarious titter-totter give me? Getting up while most people are still in the depths of dreamland, graces me with the quiet time to be in celebration. Making my bed every morning as I get out of it, makes me feel like I say goodbye to the last twenty-four hours and awaken to a fresh start. Journaling every day for twenty plus years has kept my spirit, body, and mind alive and vibrant. It is a place to dream and be reminded of WHO I AM. Meditating centers it all, quieting the chatter, so that the body, mind, spirit work together as a unit, vacated by the human ego. Daily physical exercise, an integral part of my life for thirty seven years is the flame in my furnace, it keeps me going, inspiring my determination, reminding me that I am alive and virile. Feeding my body nutritious organic food has been a part of my practice and awareness since my early twenties, for I am keenly aware that I have one body to carry me through this lifetime. Discipline, yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I am very disciplined in ways that I care for and honor my life, self and others.

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“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” ~Buddha

Surrender, ahhhh….that is the sweet spot! The fluid which flows between the ice cubes of discipline. It is the joy in enjoying French fries (one of my biggest weaknesses) with a cocktail in the company of friends. It is the day I grace my body with a slow sweet walk versus a pounding run or heavy weights. It is the faith that my recently published book will find those to whom it will serve, a result of inspired determination. It is lying my head down at night hearing the fear chanting into the recesses of doubt for a toe hold, taking a deep breath, I float into gratitude, the sweetest surrender of all. I wrap myself warmly in the blankets of love, faith and trust. I am bolstered by the pillows of discipline, for they hold me up to take action.

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“Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment… Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life – and see how life starts suddenly to start working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle

I made a quiet promise to myself on Monday morning this week that I would run everyday, Monday – Friday. Today is Thursday, day four. I look out at the cloudy wet day and I can already smell the decaying leaves and feel the cool air on my cheeks. There is no one here to “hold me accountable” per se, however, the most important person that I never want to let down is here and she knows if I cheat or give up! If I do not hold myself accountable, then who do I let down? Just me? Really? Look at that question for a minute. Yes, I let myself down, but what is the ripple effect of that choice? If I give up on me, then how can I ever ask anyone to believe in me, to trust me, to lean on me?? How can I ever encourage my children to go for it, if I myself will not tow that line? This leads me into another huge blog topic, so I shall stop there.

Today is a true dance between discipline and surrender. A day the United States celebrates Thanksgiving, time set aside for remembering our blessings. I have spent a morning of discipline, which I will add to shortly with a run and a bit more business work. Then I shall surrender into the joyous company of friends, indulging in copious amounts of delectable food. I wish all of you a blessed day where ever you are! May you celebrate with gratitude all that graces your life.

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“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein

A.C.T. (always choose truth) with surrendered discipline as you step towards your passions and purpose!

Day 28, Believe….

I believe in fairytales, I believe in love, I believe in abundance, I believe in joy, I believe in peace, I believe that ANYTHING is possible. That old teaching that nothing is “Impossible” for the word itself says “I’m Possible”!!
Why have I never grown out of believing? Why has the world not beaten it out of me? Do I live within my mind in a pollyanna dream? I suppose in some ways I do, for I choose to believe that life is unfolding perfectly, that all is beautifully woven to help me grow and become everyday.
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“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I look around at people and still within every soul I see a magnificent being – full of joy, love, and grace in action. All anyone has to do is remember that truth. Go back inside to the unconditionally loving child you were born as.., yep, when you born, you had none of the thoughts that keep you walled off from others. As a babe everyone was a possibility to experience love. You expressed yourself freely and authentically, until someone started to tell you how you should be acting, what was right or wrong, and who you should trust. We all received the “great pleasure” of being domesticated and trained like the family pet (parents do not take this personal). Here is where we got lost as we grew, we forgot that we are at CHOICE!! Unlike the family pet, we have CHOICE! Yes, today you are at choice! In this moment you are at choice!! What do you want to believe? How do you want to live? What do you want to feel?
I am a simple woman who enjoys the grace of pure sweet authentic connection. I do not require grand things to be awed, for in actuality I am wowed by the unbelievable beauty of a sunset, a falling star, a surrendered kiss. I dance in awe at the perfection of seasonal change, the earths ability to renew and awaken. I marvel at the power of a sincere touch, the vibrancy of an uninhibited dance, the clandestine voice of the undiscovered singer, the miracle of birth and the grace of death. There is nothing to believe in for me, unless there is the love and joy to share in connection with others. I can own all the magnificent homes and material goods of the world, but unless I can share them with others, they hold no meaning for me.
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“Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.” ~Martin Luther
Thus I believe in the emotional adventure we share. Life is a hollow experience unless we attach an emotion to its journey – think about that. I can kiss my lover, but unless I choose to kiss him with the emotion of love, it holds no experience. The celebration party is no fun, unless I choose to emotional engage with joy, laughter, and pure delight. The love I feel for my child is what I choose to experience, what I ache to perpetuate. Life has meaning because we give it meaning! If we give it meaning, we also take it away, denying ourselves joy, love, peace, and grace. We CHOOSE.
There is the teaching that I have heard and read over and over again throughout time – “what we focus upon becomes more”! Well of course it does, for that is where our emotional attention is going, so therefore it expands. While my life has been this grand adventure up mountains, down into valleys, through thick forests, and open fields, it has blessed me all the way. As I sit here watching the sun awaken the pond near my home and listen to the call of Mallard, Wood duck and Canadian Goose, I am held captive by the moment, awed by the wonder that daytime always comes – it means I am alive, I am here, I get to celebrate all that the day will share!!
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“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.” ~Jim Henson
There is so much we can CHOOSE to BELIEVE, it is limitless. I know what I enjoy believing in, for it fills me with faith, with trust, with authentic love and joy. This is the emotional path I choose, for even in the challenges I can feel the grace, the opportunity to learn and grow. All of it is a gift. Yes, I will continue to believe in love, in fairytales, in abundance, in anything is possible. As I believe and celebrate in gratitude, all fear is washed away.
Do not just take my word on this, read the fine wisdom of James Allen in “As A Man Thinketh” published in 1903. I know I am very grateful that Einstein believed, Edison, George Washington, Alexander Graham Bell, Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa, and the list of believers goes on and on.., oh I almost forgot, Cinderella too!!
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“We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I invite you today, what emotional way do you wish to feel, what beliefs do you wish to choose – your life is YOUR DANCE, YOUR EXPERIENCE. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with belief that what you feel is yours to choose, as is what you believe in…

Day 27, Are We Listening…

Yesterday on my run, it struck me as I thought about life, how we have forgotten how to listen. I mean really listen! Not the head shaking, pretend to hear, “oh yeah, I had that happen to me once, blah…blah…blah…”, but the open hearted truly hear what is being shared. Many things of recent have brought this forward in my mind, heart, and soul. It is a reoccurring sad exploration for me in our ever increasing chaotic world. Oh how I wish I could slow it down, like placing my finger on a record to inhibit its spin on the turn table.

Recently a youth committed suicide, while I did not know him personally, I know many life’s touched by this heart wrenching loss. I observed several people the other day when I was at the grocery store shopping with family members, yet I witnessed disconnect and harried go through the motions with no one really listening or engaging. At a coffee shop last week I took time to just observe interactions. A couple sat near me, he was chatting away at her while she stared at the phone in her hand. Close by a young man and woman were visiting at such rapid fire, I am not sure if they ever really listened or heard what the other was sharing. The list can go on and on…just look around, notice.

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“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” ~Ernest Hemingway

As a junior high teacher one of the days that truly saddened my heart was the day I asked the students, “How many of you have a dream?”, about half the students raised their hands. When we started sharing and discussing, half of those students had dreams driven by fame and money, which is not bad, however most did not love what they were pursuing. That left only a quarter of the class with true dreams for their future. What then unfolded is what made my heart hurt. The open discussion of how they were not excited to grow up, for they did not experience many positive happy adults. They expressed that seeing disgruntled adults and negative things in the world, made them not want to “grow up”. I must honestly say I can understand their powerful points, for I look around and observe less and less joy, while noticing more and more discontent.

Are we listening? Are we hearing the youth of today? Teen suicide rates are not going down. Heck, as I shared in an earlier blog, suicide rates are going up for all ages. Can we hear the hopelessness echo in that statistic? Are we willing to see and hear? Then can we admit that maybe a change would serve? What would happen if we changed something as simple and subtle as truly listening? Stopping long enough to really connect and hear what our children share, our spouse, our friends and family. What if when you went to the store you actually experienced connection with the cashier – shared mutual kindness and respect. How would that shift your next interaction. Could a compounded ripple effect be created where one kind completely present interaction could lead to more?

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“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~Leo Buscaglia

There certainly seems to be no shortage of people talking, it bombards us from everywhere, all the time. Thank goodness that at night we still get some quiet, letting the body and mind rest. However, even here we are changing, many people require “white noise” to sleep. Are we afraid to hear? If we keep the static going what will we miss?

I love my life, for it allows me to listen and to hear truths beyond the words. I create space for others to come, share, and be listened to. I sit with an individual soul or a group to truly experience what is being expressed. It is amazing to see how this time will completely shift a person, as though they had not had a glass of water for days. So simple, so sweet, so pure and true. Connected sharing and listening. Being present with ourselves and others – a true gift that expands beyond us. How many lives could we save, if we remembered how to listen? To hear beneath the words, the actions, and masks. To really HEAR and LISTEN because we chose to be COMPLETELY PRESENT with an open heart, mind and soul. For me personally, nothing fills my being more than to truly share connected time with another, that moment when hearts share with hearts, when a stranger becomes a lovely being, a car ride with our kids becomes a shared time of laughter and banter, when a dinner party drops the facade to really connect…. Listening seems to be a dying art, lost on the waves our frantic disconnected scuttle. It is a muscle I shall not let atrophy, instead as I age, I find myself growing that muscle, expanding its usage and service.

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“Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear. It may be your arms to encourage. It may be your smile to uplift. Who knows?” ~Joel Osteen

My hope for you today is that you will not only listen to truly hear, but you shall enjoy the fine pleasure of being really heard. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with a long enough deep breath, that you actually stop to listen and be present

Day 26, Dreams come true in vulnerable exposure..

On Saturday, November 18, 2017 I finally accomplished one of my long held dreams, I published my first book. While I have put my thoughts out there in the world via my blog, it is different to see my name on a book cover and to have it accessible to anyone through Amazon. I found myself going back and forth to the website, just to see if it really was true – Yep, there it is!!

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“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’! ” ~Audrey Hepburn

What is this book? Well, it is the first book in a series, birthed out of my desire to get back to the truth – “Happiness Is Easy and Sweetly Simple”. The books are generated out of thirty-five years of reading, researching, practicing, taking classes/workshops, facilitating classes/workshops/courses, teaching and speaking. I love that today there are a plethora of books out there for our interpersonal growth, back when I started this journey it was hard to find such reading material, no one was talking about the “self-help” industry. Today it is everywhere, I can go to the big bookstores today and mosey a whole section set aside for such exploration, we have come a long way!

Why write another one then? While there are many to choose from, most are long, very involved and can be overwhelming, especially for the intensity of today’s world. I wanted to share that it can be simple, not that complicated, we already have all we need inside us. So, all my books will be 80 pages or less, they cover 1 topic with active ways for you to experience and explore your own personal journey with the lessons/teachings. As a junior high teacher, one of my biggest lessons, as I have shared before was – Keep It Simple!! That is my focus with this “K.I.S.S. Happiness Is Easy.., Series” – Keep It Sweetly Simple. Even the art work on the front has been intentionally kept delightfully simple!

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“Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright

In the first book I explore something we all struggle with “Taking It Personal”!! What I call getting TIPped Off! I began exploring this way of being over twenty years ago when I read “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz – wow, that was life changing and it continues to have profound impact on my life. I watch TIP unfold everyday with people, it saddens me that so much power is given away to others and situations. It creates and stimulates a REACTIONARY life, one where you are expending your energy in reaction to all that is around you, versus being engaged with CHOOSING how you want to feel and interact. That old adage “Life is happening to you versus Life is happening for you”.

I write and share with the inner dream to touch as many lives as I can with the beautiful truth that happiness is there and waiting, it is all about choice and action. It is an exposing sensation to have my personal life out there in black and white words. I feel vulnerable and “naked” – which is perfect, for then I know I showed up authentically real. I am excited to start book 2 – Stop APING Around, APE = Attachments, Perceptions, Expectations”, I am sure none of these show up in your life – hehehehe.., we all interact with these little gems.

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“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~Harriet Tubman

I hope that you will peek at my book, maybe even read it and share it with others. It is simple, to the point, short and sweet, with the potential to change how you react in your daily life. May today be full of CHOSEN moments and few reactions. A.C.T. (always choose truth – Book 4) today from your loving present truth and experience what marvelous things unfold!

Day 25, Truth…

This week has been an exploration of words, perfection, presence, fear, grace and now truth. I have enjoyed the opportunity to ponder with you below the surface of these words, to dig in and be open to their multifaceted impact. Today’s word has been a life rudder, always. I would have to say that personally the only other word that guides me more is love, truth and love, the two legs upon which I walk, run, dance, and leap.

Truth, hmmm… a simple word with high voltage impact. One we think we understand in others and yet we cannot. What do I mean by that? Well, we assume and pretend that we know another’s truth, yet that is impossible. Even though they may be our best friend of twenty years, our spouse of thirty years, our parents, our child, we do not know! It is preposterous to think we can, unless you are truly gifted to read minds, hearts and souls all at once. The old adage of “walking in another’s moccasins” is true, we can attempt to understand, however it is not ours to know.

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“Beauty is truth’s smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Here is another level of truth I love to explore, the “surface taught expected” truth versus the “deep inner authentic” truth. Personally for me, these two have very different expressions; one skates across the surface like a water bug, barely touching down to really share anything, while the other plunges below the iceberg into the depths that few are willing to dive. Ironically, from my perspective and life experience, the depths of our raw truth is what sets us free, opening us  to pure grace. My truth is what truly connects me to another, it is the pathway of love, the light in the dark, the exhale after holding my breath.

As I work with people one on one, in workshops, and classes, I grow to understand and sadly notice that most people are uncomfortable to go within to expose the core truth. Instead they prefer the comfort of mirroring the truth they think you want to hear and see, or they tell you the truth that has been taught and imprinted on their mind. To feel and then put words to what is their inner truth, would be to stand vulnerably naked. Yet, here is the caveat, the truth that sets you free is the one you run from, it is the one you left behind in childhood, the one you have profound deafness to, the one which can change everything.

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“Be Impeccable With Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz

Let’s look at a hypothetical tiny example. My love and I have come home after a long day at work, we are both tired and a wee bit grumpy. I am hungry, yet really do not feel like cooking. I keep hoping he will offer to make dinner for us. I don’t say anything, just keep hoping he will read my mind. We are being kind, have shared the usual “Hi how are you, nice to see you” perfunctory kiss (I find this sad.., but that is for another blog entry) and are going about our usual unwind settle in business. I keep quietly hoping, but say nothing. Finally, I start to hint, “What do you think we should have for dinner? I’m out of ideas”. “I don’t know, what were you thinking about making.”, he is definitely not getting it. I become irritated, still not sharing my REAL INNER TRUTH. I fall prey to my tired weakness and begin to barrage the poor man with my victim onslaught, “Why is it always about what I am going to make? Why can’t you come up with some ideas? Why don’t you offer to cook one night…?” Ever heard or experienced something like this? Maybe about the laundry, house cleaning, yard work, etc…. What do you think? Has this interaction likely brought us closer? Made us feel better? Probably not!

What if I had made a different choice? What if I had gone over to him, given him a truly sincere hug, saying, “Hun I am really beat tonight. Do you mind just holding me for a few? It would fill my heart up to soak in your love.” As I stand there in his arms, feeling close and loved, I can then share more truth, “I just don’t have the energy or creativity to make dinner tonight. Do you feel like making it, or have any ideas? How are you feeling tonight?”

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“I love you, and because I love you, I would sooner have you hate me for telling you the truth than adore me for telling you lies.” ~Pietro Aretino

Which scenario is likely to give me what I really want? Which one is my real truth? The second scene keeps me in my truth, it does not point fingers or deflect from what I am really feeling. It leans into love versus pushing it away. I have never understood why we will not listen to, or grow our inner truth muscle, for it is what sets us free to be our true self.

When I was a teacher, I experienced that most students did not even know how to access their inner truth. They lived in their heads, the response was a thoughtful HONEST answer, not an authentic TRUTH. There is a difference and we all feel it, know it, and yet do not share it freely, we actually stuff it, deny it, and often run from it. Pausing to deeply breathe and feel we can touch that place of knowing truth, ahhhh, there it is.

Instead we will choose to escalate into surface dialogue that can lead to insult depending on how much we want to blame, shame, or play victim. The most profound experiences and shared times in my life, revolved around raw, vulnerable, naked, truth. This is the muscle I work to grow. This is the place I prefer to live. The glorious freedom of this space is completely addictive. One of the things I love about children, they have not yet forgotten their real TRUTH, they share it without apology. As always we are each delightfully at choice!

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“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~Mark Twain

I send you off into the weekend with humble gratitude for the time you have shared with me this week. My wish for you is that today and all days you shall be embraced with heartfelt loving truth. A.C.T. (always choose truth) with loving inner sincerity….