Living on The Brightest Side

Love yourself enough brightest side

I’ve been feeling a bit sick from the vertigo of transition. The forked snake tongue on the road ahead feels daunting as the deep dark forest just after dusk. The feelings of obligation overwhelm my waking hours and the guilt that I feel pushes down on my shoulders and keeps my pace like a snail.

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Change and transition is when the real magic of life happens. The varied opportunities that lie ahead excite me to my soul bone and I’m throwing myself down the path and feeling open to wherever it may lead. The solace I have gifted myself has made my own authentic voice more confident to speak up and be heard. I am grateful and hopeful for what is to come.

It’s all about how you look at it. Attitude is everything.

After a lifetime of negativity and toxic truths, I decided to take a leap of faith and start living on The Brightest Side. It took strength, confidence and self-love to let go of the personal dogma engrained so deep in my habitually chaotic brain. So, I sat with the questions instead of demanding the answers. I focused on solutions instead of problems. I reevaluated all the varied doctrine I had held tight for so long. The process of trying to empty myself of programmed mental and emotional responses and open up to new, authentic thought came from a place of pure self love. Pure self love comes from a realization that you really want to be happy and tend mindfully to yourself. The key to my happiness has been consistently letting go of expectations and outcomes and letting it all unravel one glorious moment at a time.

Letting things be what they are and not what I am expecting or hoping for has been a labor of love and worth every effort.

So, after 4+ years of writing this blog I am transitioning my effort and energy to living permanently on The Brightest Side where I will continue to write about my journey, but also write about how others can make their own promise to live life with positivity and kindness both to themselves and others.

I hope you will join me and together we can enjoy being at peace with our lives paths. 

Sending love to my dear Desiree who took the above photo of me during a weekend on the beach

Under The Knife

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At first I thought awakening my spiritual energy would help me become more calm and zen. So, I dove in head first, took courses in healing, began focusing on my nutrition and did my first 48-hour cleanse, became a yoga teacher, got certified in Reiki, bought a Reiki table and started writing a blog about my journey.

Ooohhhmmmmm….. not.

I learned a lot, but I wouldn’t say I automatically became an enlightened being. After I took a breath, I realized I may not ever actually teach yoga. I sold the Reiki table. I decided that all of this was great for me personally, but was not going to be my new career path, at least not in the way that I had imagined it.    

We are all born with everything we need to live a happy life. Imagine that. It’s inside you right now. You have every tool necessary. So, what is holding me back?  What is holding you back?

Life. Circumstances. Obligation. Responsibility. Injuries. Pain. Fear. Guilt. All of it is holding me back, but now I acknowledge it. So, now it becomes about how to undo and let go of those things. But, getting to this point of naming and understanding the shackles binding me was an important process. And, the more I learn, the more I understand how much more I have to learn….

What have I done? What did I start? This whole journey has shown me just as much heartbreak as it has healing. This has become a process of unlearning, relearning and learning it all over again.

…over and over and over and SNAP!

I tore my labrum right off the bone and the cycle that I had been living in suddenly changed. I went to Urgent Care, had an X-ray, saw an Orthopedic doctor, had an MRI, took some time off work, found out I had to have surgery, filed for Medical Leave from work, had surgery, went home to heal, got lots of help and here I am. It feels like it all just happened in a fog, one thing after another, and now here I am 5 weeks post-op and in the thick of painful physical therapy, sitting around with ice packs and popping big horse pills to help dull the pain.

But even in times like this we have a choice. We can chose how to heal, and while choosing how to heal I found some things to be grateful for.

Without the last 5 years of intense introspection and this mindful poking at my spiritual energy, I may have crumbled under all of this physical pain and struggling. Without the mind-body-spirit connection I have started, I may have suffered from overwhelming emotional pain along with the physical. But that’s not how I chose to heal. My body knows just what to do if I let it, but it was my pride that was struggling through this healing process, so I gave it some space to try and figure out why. 

Instead of feeling deflated that I had to ask for help (which I certainly did), I realized the validating side of it. I recognized that it takes a lot of effort for people to replace what I was doing to keep my family healthy, safe and clean. Validation often comes in interesting forms. I was able to see that even the little things that I do each day (that may seem monotonous and meaningless) are important to those two sweet little girls that depend on me and my ability to do each one of those menial tasks. Put all of those tasks together and you see my life, my responsibilities, and my joy.

I took a moment.

I took several moments laying there in my bed as a patient with wounds and meds and ice packs. I thought about the human-ness of it all and how this is just part of my journey. I made more of the moments in-between and I let gratitude for all of the love being shown to me absorb into who I am.

I throw a lot of energy into feeling pride of accomplishment and the thrill of independence. I believe the Universe sent me this lesson to slow me down and make me re-evaluate my connection with others. I had to go under the knife to rise above just a little bit higher. And for that I am grateful.

Get In The Swing

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Sometimes I get to a point where I feel like I need a push. Like sitting on a swing waiting for someone to come from behind and give me a big underdog push so I can start enjoying the park more. The little girl in me sneaks out and pouts.

But then…. But then I remember…. I don’t need anyone to push me, I don’t even want to need someone to push me. So, instead I need to shift my focus to the swing, the beautiful day, the warm air rushing past me backwards and forwards, the feeling of pure freedom as I float back and forth and back and forth. If you haven’t been on a swing in a while, go find one and get on it.

I have the power and awareness to create my reality no matter what is happening around me. Dependence is a dangerous crutch. Don’t wait for someone else to push you when you can propel yourself just fine. Being dependent on something or someone will never serve your highest good. You are capable, you are strong.

The lessons keep coming in their own time, one after another. I welcome each one and keep moving forward by my own momentum, no push necessary. I’m moving right along all on my own.

But, that’s not to say you shouldn’t draw inspiration from the ones who touch you along the way. Let the love and kind words of others wash over you while you sit on that swing and feel your own legs begin to launch you. Pretty soon you’ll be swinging all on your own and feel the pride of being independently strong. Feel the gratitude run through you and the pride of creating your own momentum from your own or another’s inspiration.

I’ve manifested all the things in my life that don’t serve me and I have the power to change all of them.

 

photo courtesy of LCosgrove from morguefile.com

The Unlearning

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Life often feels like a series of repeating patterns that move us along on a conveyor belt. We keep duplicating these echoes until the act is so familiar that it becomes mindless. Our days may feel as though they are made up of a series of many menial, mindless, apathetic actions. The repetition is not the cause for my concern, it’s the mindlessness that worries me. We are proficient learners of things that we believe serve us, and we create intentional roadblocks in front of the things we fear. We settle into habit and become the hamster on the wheel either oblivious of the stagnation or frozen in fear of the unknown.  What if the unknown is better? What if the unknown is amazing…

Is this cycle of repetition ok with you? Are you doing what you love? Are you loving what you do? This includes the way you begin and end your day, the way you interact with people, and even the basic structure of your life. Have you taken a step back from this routine to consider whether it’s learned, reproduced behavior being repeated out of ingrained habit, or is it how you truly want to move through your day?  Could you unlearn this structure and pattern to create more happiness and peace?

Even more important is the perspective you hold on these repetitive actions.  Attitude can turn resentment into gratitude. Point of view can change your perception. Unlearning an automatic response can open possibilities of finding joy in something that has felt like a long time chore.

When I made my happy promise, I began to see the small stuff as integral instead of menial, mindless tasks. When I went from feeling heavy obligation to finding bits of joy throughout my day, I found far more than a happy thought, I found more peaceful moments. I began the process of my unlearning.

There are still plenty of ways that I contribute to my own struggle, my hope is to begin shining a light on those blocks I have put up for myself and begin to unlearn my methods that are not serving me. When I come up against something that causes me frustration or pain, it serves me better to stop and consider the real reason behind that root feeling. If I can extract that cause I may be able to examine, process and unlearn the behavior. I can learn to reprogram.

Unlearning is not just about reconsidering and changing, it’s about completely abandoning a behavior. I need to stop planning what I want to learn and leave space to just be open to what comes my way.  I have to be willing to be empty in order to fill myself up with goodness. I realize now that ‘letting go’ is not enough, I have to completely unlearn what I know. I often focus on my ability to let go and get to a calm place, but finding happiness is about releasing the instigating act before it takes hold of me. I want to be able to unclench before a thought or feeling infiltrates my peaceful space. Mindfully examining what part of me responds negatively helps me detach from those feelings.  I believe unlearning is the true method that leads to a peaceful mind.

A peaceful mind creates a peaceful world to live in.

We are all born with the capacity to feel love, happiness and peace and the ability to learn and change. Our natural skill to learn comes from the same place within ourselves where we pull the unlearning. Unlearn what no longer serves you and be open to what could possibly fill the wonderfully empty space.

above photo from MichelleBulgaria on morgue file.com

Judgement Vista

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You spend time in nature and enjoy magnificent views. You hear lovely sounds and smell fresh, crisp air. The wonder of natural things replaces the burdens of everyday thinking and you are grateful. If just for a moment, or for the moments in between, you take in the beauty and feel the experience and naturally place a judgement on what you see. You decide that what you see is beautiful or strange or what you smell is refreshing or pungent. Nature is as varied as the opinions of those who enjoy it. One person may assign one judgement and another will see things with a different reasoning. None of that changes the ancient layout that has been growing and changing since the beginning of time. It is YOU that places a name, opinion or judgement on those things, nature will exist and grow regardless.

You are standing on Judgement Vista.

When you look out at nature, your judgements are most likely simple and sweet. You see the beauty, or not, and with all of your senses take in the moment and process how you feel about that scene. But, the scene itself is unchanged. What if we could see all of life and all people with the same eyes we use when we are in awe of those magnificent views? What if those breathtaking moments of awe could exist within us and we could learn to live on that vibration consistently?

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

When I look at nature and stand on MY Judgement Vista. I like to absorb the beauty and stand in awe that I am a part of it. I don’t mind feeling small and insignificant within it’s surroundings because it takes the pressure off of me to be bigger than life which is how I normally tend to feel in my world of caring for others. If I can take that simple, peaceful feeling that I feel in nature with me into my everyday world, my judgements may be lighter and have less ignorance. Maybe I can gain more perspective of how small I actually am in the scheme of things and revel in the simple things that make me happy. I often wish I could spend more of my time in nature instead of trying to channel the feeling, that would make me happier, but for now I will take it all in and refill my reserves.

Existing in judgement is natural, we need to judge lots of things all day long to keep us safe and healthy. We judge whether or not it’s safe to cross the street and we sniff the milk to judge whether it’s still fresh enough to drink. We need to have good common sense and reasoning to get along in our daily lives. Good judgement is a quality I hope to manifest well in my daughters. Without judgement we are in danger.

We also judge each other. We either judge from a place of necessity or negativity. I judge whether or not I think people will be nice and have things in common with me when I meet them and hope to find a friend in them. I judge whether people are devoted, committed and responsible when I consider doing business with them. I judge all the time and I make an effort to do it from a place of goodness. I am only human after all, a small piece of the nature that created judgement. I place these judgements, but I do it with care and respect.

I judge myself. I consider whether my reasoning and savvy are being put to good use and I try hard to develop the wisdom it takes to use my judgement for good. I am often hard on myself with my own judgement and I try to remember to take it easy and be kind. I am a work in progress. I aim to stand on my Judgement Vista as often as I can to remind myself the true nature of things and how I can let go of negativity and be in awe of the beauty of my life. It’s healthy for me to be reminded, gently.

Moving from judgement to admiration of people and situations just as I am when I look out on a beautiful scene of nature is what I hope to accomplish more often than not. Those same people who receive our judgement are also creations of nature and are imperfect just like us, and imperfectly perfect just like that scene in nature.

I hope I have made you as happy as you’ve made me. I hope I can judge you gently and you can see me through eyes that have visited YOUR Judgement Vista. Because if you judge me with eyes that have not yet looked out at your world with awe and gratitude, then I choose to acknowledge your judgement and release it. It doesn’t serve me and it doesn’t serve you for me to receive it.

“When you delete critics and fault-finders from your life, good things will start to happen to you, and it won’t be a coincidence.” ~Art Jonak

Unapologetically, Authentically You

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Living an authentic life means not being afraid to be your true self.  Authentic people embrace and respect what exists and make no excuses for not riding on the bandwagon.  An intention to be authentic may be enough to get you started, and being brave enough to uncover what that looks like for your life is a noble stride toward making peace with your life’s path.  To be authentic means that you don’t look to others to assess experiences, make a choice or feel an emotion.  You let it flow and accept what naturally spills from your heart as true.  Being a keen observer of your authenticity will make you understand your journey and yourself.

Being authentic in a relationship is possible when you are being true to yourself. Hiding what you feel will hinder others from loving you for who you are.  If you are consistently you, others can consistently love who you truly are.  What a lovely thought, and what a lovely experience.  Imagine spending your day being absolutely true to who you are and being sincerely loved for it…..

“Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

Accepting yourself as exactly who you are is empowering and freeing!  Start with forgiving yourself for your past.  Everything that has happened up until now made you the person you are today.  Without each day of that existence you could not be the person you are now.  Express gratitude for every lesson those past versions of yourself have endured and realize that you are smarter and more schooled than all of the past versions of yourself.  When you go easy on prior versions of yourself and allow the present version of you to benefit from the past, those fundamental life lessons begin to serve your life education instead of break your stride.  Let the past contribute to a breakthrough, not a breakdown.

A quiet, uninterrupted mind will reveal simple truths about yourself.  What do you think about when you wake up in the morning?  Before the world and technology shifts your thoughts and invades your head space, what and who comes to mind?

Do you know how to be yourself?  Can you experience it?  What if the YOU in your quiet moments could be the YOU that moves around in the world?  Would that make you happy?  Would that bring you peace?  I often wonder how much of a mask people hide behind and how much they let themselves just be.  Varying degrees of authenticity depending on the setting, people around you and your comfort level in a situation is such hard work.  Are you constantly playing a role or are you living authentically?  Can you stay connected to your vital relationships genuinely or do you feel like there are rules to follow and guidelines to adhere to?  Why do we over complicate things?  What if we could just simply be….

“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves.  Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.” – Steve Maraboli

Waldo image from Google Images

Mother’s Day Gratitude

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Into every life a few spirits enter whose impact are not easily put into words.  Their gentleness can leave a lasting impression on our soul.  I consider myself fortunate to have met a handful of these folks on my journey.  But, the first one who guided me with a gentle hand and a strong model to follow was my beautiful mother.  She is a valuable, generous friend and a wise guide to those around her.  Among the many lessons I have learned from her, the ones that first come to mind are to always pay attention to the needs of those around you, treat everyone as equals, and be kind, patient and loving to yourself and those who love you.  She will never apologize for her imperfections, which gives those of us around her license to be less than perfect as well.  She doesn’t see people as having flaws, but as being more of a work in progress with her being their biggest supporter to succeed in spite of whatever life throws their way.  It is this mindset and this view of life that has made me who I am and at the same time launched me into a life of knowing that I can become the best version of myself, though still knowing that who I am today is just fine with her.  It is with that bit of steady confidence that I have been able to go gracefully on this journey.

Thank you mom, for being who you are and making me who I am.  Knowing that you love me just the way I am makes me want to be a better woman.  Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

photo above is of my beautiful parents whom I love very much!

Be Grateful

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I’m the happy host of Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I have thankfully taken over this holiday and hope to continue to host for years to come.  I love the possibility of turning the actual tradition and legacy of this bloody, depressing holiday on it’s ear and giving it a renewed, hopeful boost.  I aim to make it all about being thankful and showing gratitude and all but ignore the real reason for the holiday.  My kids will learn about that in school.  At my thanksgiving table we will celebrate each other and the things we are thankful for while we fill ourselves with delicious food that we are grateful to be eating.

As I decorated my table for 17 with flowers and candles and such, I realized something was missing.  So, I gathered several of my favorite gratitude quotes and printed them on nice paper and carefully placed them around the table.  As I placed them, I realized that the quotes told a story.  So here they are, and here is the story they have to tell.  Some I was able to attribute to people and some have just been tossed around for so long that  I’m not sure who originally said them, but all ring true and all bear repeating.  And for all of this, I am grateful…

Start each day with a grateful heart.

I try to be grateful for the abundance of the blessings that I have, for the journey that I’m on and to relish each day as a gift. ~James McGreevey

Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.

Someone else is happy with less than what you have.

The root of joy is gratefulness.  ~David Steindl-Rast

The happiest people do not have the best of everything, they make the best of everything they have.

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~Melody Beattie

It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.

Gratitude unlocks the fulfillment of life. ~Melody Beattie

Gratitude is the moral memory of mankind. ~George Simmel

What are you grateful for today?

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Two Healing Hands

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Whether or not you believe in superstition or any sort of ominous patterns of events, it seems an accepted tendency for people to look for events to happen in foreboding combinations of threes.  How we are to know when one faction ends and another begins is a another story.

But for me, it seems that matters occur in duplicate.  Whether milestones or simple life facts, for me beginning with being born under the sign of Gemini, I have always seen a dualistic pattern.  I believe this karmic impression was set in motion before I was born.  My grandfather was a twin and the twins married sisters.  Those couples had literally mirrored existences living and raising their families as neighbors, having a son and a daughter each respectfully and all sharing undisputably similar faces.  My mother has two brothers, I have two brothers and I now have two daughters.  I transferred to a second University where I found a first career and I had a first husband before I found my second to whom I am now married.  It goes on and on from there, always presenting a pattern in twos.  I feel a true duality in my life and most overwhelmingly apparent in my present existence is my second career I have found and feel deep gratitude for finding.

Just as I have two hands for healing, I have found a way to marry two paths of healing together.  This came as no surprise to me, two has always been my magic number.  I began a journey of nutritional cleansing just a couple months after I initially made my happy promise.  It came naturally as a step down that path.  When I decided to make a change, that change needed to incorporate not only becoming the best possible version of myself mentally and emotionally, but it also needed to incorporate a physical evolution into the healthiest version that this body would allow.

As I began a journey to heal myself and continued the process of documenting the journey, a new piece of the puzzle started to become obvious:  I needed to share this process as well.  As my family and friends witnessed my transformation from near and far, others joined in and shared the same positive changes in their own lives and I can now proudly say that my path has now taken me in a new direction.  I can devote more of my time and energy to healing others because I have gained financial freedom and continue to do so from all I have gained from my work with Isagenix and nutritional cleansing and I am grateful.  And, true to my dualistic nature, I am now earning a Certification in Healing Energy to expand on what I can offer to my clients.  So, MY happy promise has now become A happy promise that many others will continue to make to themselves and their families.  I feel truly blessed and this journey has only just begun.

My practice lives under the name My Happy Promise and offers clients a dual approach of nutritional cleansing with Isagenix with an option of added services in the field of holistic healing energies.  What I wish for people is for them to be at peace with their lives path.

Life is a journey.  “Not all those who wander are lost” -J R R Tolkien

Happy Anniversary To Me!

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Happy 1 year Anniversary to me!  I started this blog 1 year ago today, and I’m so very glad that I did.  Thank you to all of you who have been following my journey and supporting me in all of your different ways.  I am grateful for every like, comment and mention at the family dinner table for they all mean that someone has taken the time to acknowledge me as a writer.  This blog is far from my first effort as a writer and will be far from my last, but it has been an entirely new kind of learning experience.  The Blogosphere has been a spectacular new realm for me to explore!  What a wonderful gathering of information and talent, technology and innovation!

This blog has been read in 50 countries around the world in my first year, has 1,136 followers, and received 2,121 hits as I write this.  I’m grateful, and I hope that I will continue to earn your respect and interest in the years to come.  Thank you.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”  – A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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