The Wild Woman

This is so very true. 6 years ago, I started to seek, and once I truly found my way back to my soul, once I was truly awakened— there is NOTHING more important to me than keeping that spark alive. That aliveness, the importance I place in my own self – not out of ego or importance of my physical self, but rather this very deep understanding that this physical life is simply a journey, it’s like going to Hawaii or any other part of the world that’s not your home. And that my soul – or in her words my Wild Woman transcends this life. And that by keeping this kindling alive, by constantly allowing her to speak through me, I live the best way I know how in this life and then all else falls into place. This knowing has helped me surrender so much. I don’t worry anymore. I don’t get frustrated about the state of the world, it’s God’s doing, it’s God’s will, and God’s plan is greater than my physical mind can wrap around.

But when I can quiet my physical self, and truly listen through quiet ears, I can catch a glimpse of that magnitude of The Plan.

And I realize all is well. Through natural disasters, man made disasters, violence, disease, hunger, poverty, all of this — there is a Plan. And my role, is to simply take care of the square footage around my own two feet. To trust that if I LOVE myself, truly love myself, in doing so, I am doing my part for this Plan. Imagine if we all loved ourselves. Truly and honestly and sincerely loved ourselves with the same lack of judgment and unconditionality that we love our kids with.

THAT is a big part of God’s Plan. The only part that we need to play.

At least that’s what I believe.

You?

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You Are the Designer of Your Life

We often believe that people, circumstances and situations outside of ourselves are responsible for shaping the course of our lives. If we get a certain job…then life will be awesome.

If we marry a certain person…then we’ll be happy.

If…then.

And when we place those conditions on ourselves, we find ourselves constantly harboring the desire, but usually our mind is racing around the negative track instead of the positive one. Usually we’re thinking- “oh, how I want that job, and there’s no way I can get it.”

Or

“I would do anything for her/him to give me the time of day, but s/he’s out of my league. What am I thinking?

So we constantly talk ourselves out of our greatest dreams and desires.

And we wonder why life won’t give us what we truly want.

Our job in this life is to be the designer of our lives. And there are many stories of people who set their mind in a determined fashion and accomplished what they set out to do. Why them? And why not you?

Are they smarter? No

Are they prettier? No

Do they have more luck? No

Do they live a charmed life where everything goes their way? Yes

Why?

Because they dream of their desires with dogged determination.

An elite athlete doesn’t take no for an answer; doesn’t see weakness in his/her body. They just train and train and train both body and mind to accomplish their dreams.

A performer, a musician, a tech mogul, a billionaire– none of them started that way. They all have the same things in common with us; they’re human and wear their pants one leg at a time just like you and I.

So what sets them apart?

Single-minded focus.

The inability to see their dream fail.

For them, there’s no question, beyond a shadow of any doubt that they will get where they’re going

So what’s the common denominator?

Harnessing the power of the mind to accomplish your goals.

Most of us live our present from our past. We are shaped by, and molded in the life of our past.

What if we lived our lives from our future?

What if we intentionally shaped and molded ourselves into the life we desire?

What if, instead of lamenting our past, we celebrate our future like it’s already here?

I’m talking about the future that we want to create. Not the one that is a natural extension of our past.

Life is a gift. As far as we know it, it’s the only one we have. We owe it to ourselves to live it in the best way we know how.

So the next time you find yourself using memory lane to blame your present circumstances; take a hard 180° turn and walk into your future.

A simple mind hack to get this started is to take one deep desire/want; and start to imagine it done. Not the HOW. But simply living in a future where it is a reality. If you can train your mind to spend 5-10 minutes a day in your future state, providence will start to provide the HOW.

You don’t have to worry about the HOW.

You only have to focus on the WHAT.

We don’t have to have the correct circumstances to make our dreams a reality.

We only need to have a very vivid dream.

So go ahead- dream in high definition technicolor.

Your Kids Are Watching Put On A Good Show

So both my kids are swimming now. My 11yo is on the local swim team and swims 3x a week for 45min and my 7yo is still going through the levels classes for stroke development etc. Needless to say, their swim times DO NOT overlap and so yes, I either get to spend 3 hours at the pool or do two visits to the pool. I choose the latter. Luckily the pool is 8 minutes from home.

My 7yo has 3 more levels to go before he can try out for swim team, and then the times should overlaps and my time spent at the pool will drop drastically.

So last week was the end of level 3 and we waited eagerly to see if he graduated to level 4. I was sitting poolside reading (The Art of Happiness by HH Dalai Lama— highly recommend btw!) and I observed a couple sitting a couple seats over from me. He was immersed in his phone, she– absolutely gorgeous with beautiful poker straight long hair looked practically angry. Her little 6yo adorable girl was in the same class as my 7yo.

Class ended and I asked if he graduated. He didn’t know yet. I quickly toweled him off, and he and I both skipped our way to the coach to get the verdict. “He’s really close!” She said somewhat apologetically. “Yay babe, did you hear that, you’re almost there!” Was my response. “We need to re do level 3 one more time. It’ll be done in no time!”

We walk back to our things, I start to change him. Gorgeous long haired girl has report in hand for her 6yo and I’m dying to ask her whether she moved up. But something holds me back from being my usual social self. It’s that look.

She still hasn’t softened her look. Uh oh, the 6yo mustn’t have graduated either. She still looks mad! Husband is still immersed in his phone.

So after changing, we go to the entrance to register for another round of level 3. I had already registered him for level 4 in anticipation of him moving up, so I just have to move him back down to 3. Gorgeous lady is in front of me. She lets the front desk people know that she wants to register her daughter for level 4, as she has just graduated.

WHAT??

Your daughter moved up, but you haven’t smiled once?

Yes i know I’m being judgy here — I don’t know what’s going on in their lives and I ought not to make assumptions.

I practically high-fived my boy for a job well done.

He has come SO FAR!

He was so intimidated by the pool. And now he’s doing dives and jumps off the diving board and even attempted the big curly slide. Something he would have NEVER done ordinarily.

So much progress!

I don’t care that he will redo level 3.

It just means that he’ll excel when he gets to the next level and the next after that.

But honestly lady!

Smile at your kid.

At least when you’re interacting with her.

And definitely when she just graduated to the higher level of swim.

This really got the wheels turning for me.

Our kids are hyper-observant about what we do and say.

It’s not do as I say, it’s do as I do.

So what do you do?

  • Are they seeing/hearing you bicker a lot?
  • Do they hear you talk abruptly or rudely frequently?
  • Do you talk to your friends around them as if they aren’t there?
  • Do you complain a lot?
  • Do you cut people off or flip them off or rant in traffic?
  • How do you treat service staff?
  • Do you open doors?
  • Help little old ladies?
  • Ignore the homeless person who’s panhandling? Or use it as a point of conversation to teach them a life lesson?
  • How much do they see you on your phone? I think of this a lot– if they see me on my phone constantly- then when they do get their own phones – how can I ask them to minimize time on theirs?
  • Do they see you smile or frown a lot?

You get the picture?

Nature vs. Nurture here right? And in this case a little bit of both.

If you are constantly a certain way- especially if it’s habitual – how can you expect your kids to be different?

Kindness, smiling, managing our emotions, making good choices are all traits that can be learned. Leadership starts with leading ourselves.

These are hard to focus on when we’re constantly tired, when we’re working long hours, when work deadlines are piling up.

It’s easy to zone out and do what comes easiest- which is to possibly be short fused or snap or be irritable when they’re annoying you.

But it’s in those moments in particular that we need to push past the pain of discipline and become super aware of our thoughts, words, actions and beliefs.

After all we aren’t raising kids.

We are raising our next generation political leaders, business owners, community advocates and professionals.

But most of all, hopefully we are raising kind, compassionate and gentle men and women with a heart for their community and a commitment to do good in the world.

Your kids are watching more than you know.

Put on a good show.

Be A Magnet

On Thursday evening, I came home from work and kids activities feeling nauseous and barely able to lift my head for fear of throwing up. I thought it was food poisoning. I thought i would be back on my feet in 12 hours. But– i had no ‘ejections’ of any kind. Hmmm.

Friday- I stayed home and after I got the family off to school and work, I fell back into a deep sleep for nearly 5 hours.

My body was craving rest.

It’s been a hectic few months– between fundraisers I have to attend, kids activities, work, business, family, it’s been nonstop.

My 45 year old body needs attention too. Running, spinning, boot camp, yoga, dance. (More on the dance later.)

Nutrition and hydration are always top of mind.

I’ve been sleeping ‘fairly’ early — averaging about 6hrs 45min a night. Ok so that’s on the low side. I do make up for it by sleeping nearly 9 hours on Saturday/Sunday. Not ideal I know. Our bodies are creatures of habit and consistent good sleep is way better than inconsistent good sleep.

So– what was this knock-me-off-my-feet episode all about?

You see, when something like this happens to me, it’s always an opportunity to go deep and see why.

It’s never the thing you think it is.

It wasn’t food poisoning.

Or even the 24 hour stomach bug that it turned out to be, complete with fever and achy body.

It’s something more.

It’s a message to me.

From me.

From my Inner Guidance System.

It’s a message to slow down.

Not just the outer body shell that executes all the instructions of the mind.

Slow down the mind.

I have meditated off and on for over 15 years now.

But lately, the meditations were few and far between.

The only time I was truly meditating was during the twice a week 5am walk.

And while moving meditations are powerful.

Your conscious mind is still activated and keeping you safe from the 21st century versions of saber tooth tigers and wooly mammoths. That is; fight or flight is still activated.

It is only when sitting in what your conscious mind can consider to be a completely safe environment that it can even remotely attempt to quiet down, and allow your subconscious mind to be accessed.

So today- after I sent my family off to their various activities.

I sat.

I primed my body with a powerful breathing technique by Dr. Joe Dispenza and then I meditated.

And through my meditation this is what I received:

Be A Magnet

Keep your vibration high

Keep your vision clear

Keep your intention focused

Keep your body nourished

And your soul satisfied

with the love you share

the company you keep

the gratitude you emanate

Be a magnet for the best and limitless possibilities of all time.

I came out of meditation with this profound sense of gratitude and love. I didn’t realize it but tears were streaming down my face. I had envisioned a wonderful world and it felt so real.

Peace

Bliss

Joy

Abundance

Love

So much love.

Isn’t this what John Lennon said when he asked us to Imagine?

Be A Magnet for all that is wonderful and good in the world.

Take a stand for love.

Love is truly magical.

Look Up From Your Phone

I went to a wine walk yesterday here in Camarilllo. It was being held in our little downtown district to help bring more visitors and drive traffic into the stores. A good concept to be sure. I took an uber to get there, and had this interesting out of body observation of myself.

I spent the entire 10 minute trip from my house to Studio Channel Islands on my phone. Not looking up once to see where we were, or even say a word to the driver.

I had a wonderful time with some wonderful friends tasting some excellent wine and stopping into stores and businesses that I had never entered before, even though I have lived here nearly 20 years.

In the uber on the way home, I was struck by the fact that this young man’s car contained water bottles in each of the seat pouches in front of the passengers as well as a little jar of dum dum lollipops and eclipse gum if you wanted to freshen your breath or were in need of a sweet treat.

A small but thoughtful touch, costing less than $5.

The young man struck up a conversation with me. I asked him what he did besides drive for uber and he let me know that he had big dreams among which were taking care of his immigrant parents. He wanted to have multiple revenue sources, he wanted to inspire people, he wanted to help people live better lives through health and fitness. He wanted a gym, a record company and a marketing and design company, all in the next decade.

Big dreams!

Big goals!

Very crystal clear intentions of what he wanted.

No 9-5 job for him.

He was not quite 25!

We talked about meditation then.

He said his favorite way to meditate was to visualize his future.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Kudos Vincent. (Yes i asked him his name)

So often these days we hide behind our screens instead of engaging with humanity. We use it as a way to zone out, numb out, the endless black scroll on social media dulling our senses and our abilities to connect.

We think we’re connected.

After all we have 2,000 friends and 9,000 likes on our feed.

But what do you REALLY know about those friends?

Are they really friends?

Recently someone pinged me and said- oh my goodness what a small world– we have mutual friends on FB. I stared back at her blankly– I didn’t know those people. They’re friends of friends so I didn’t reject their friend request.

So today, or tomorrow, instead of looking into your screen, following someone’s political rant, someone’s viral video or someone’s riveting schedule as it unfolds on social media, leave your phone tucked away, pretend that you don’t have that distraction.

And when you have a few minutes to kill in the grocery line or in an uber, just ask the person in front of you–

So how are you?

You might be inspired by their answer!

The Storm before the Calm

You cannot plant seeds or plants into soil that hasn’t been stirred up or amended. You cannot stick seeds for new growth into existing soil beds that already have plants growing. There is no space or nutrients for this new growth. In the same way in order for you to have growth, in order to step into the next best thing, you too need to be stirred up, amended and woken up from your status quo so that you can Be, Do, Have the next best thing in your life. It feels like the storm before the calm for you because you’re being shaken out of your reverie. Human nature doesn’t like change. It is resisted. Hence change has to come in a way that makes it a necessary one, often one that is seemingly out of your control. However the more self aware you get, the more you will realize that you do get early warning signs about the change. You usually ignore or overlook them because they aren’t as painful or uncomfortable. Only once we get to that level of discomfort where it is untenable, then that is when you are willing to change. Your job is to get hyper aware and heed the early warning signs for yourself and then change will become second nature and you won’t resist it; rather you will welcome it. 

Inner and Outer Problems

I attended a Buddhist meditation class last week. The teacher talked about inner and outer problems in a way that really resonated with me. Outer problems are the ones we have no control over- the ones that happen to us as a part of living our lives- our car breaks down or someone cuts us off on the freeway, an accident backs up traffic and makes us late to an important meeting or job interview, people talk to us badly or any myriad of things– these all comprise outer problems and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

The inner problems are the ways we chose to deal with these outer problems. We can get super aggravated, retaliate by cutting off someone else or chase after that person to flip them off, get really upset and develop anxiety or have sleepless nights and really make ourselves and those around us miserable because of how badly we are being treated by someone in our lives whether it be a co-worker, a boss, a parent, a spouse or a friend or anyone else for that matter.

This really got me thinking about this topic because I can certainly relate to this. In the past year I had a situation going on with me where for months I was in what I felt was a ‘stuck’ place– I didn’t feel like I had a way out with this person’s behavior and I couldn’t understand why I was being treated this way. I started sleeping badly, getting into fights with my husband Jason, and my 7yo started acting out which made things worse– only in hindsight after I extricated myself from that situation (and things at home went back to normal) was I able to realize that my husband wasn’t trying to ‘be controlling’ my daughter wasn’t ‘acting out’ rather it was ME! They were the mirror for my thoughts and actions and were merely ‘doing’ what I was…except they weren’t really doing anything– I was!! This was such a huge realization to me.

How you chose to let this affect you is in your hands. Typically when someone treats you badly or says something that hurts it’s them using you as a mirror that reflects how they feel- and because they dislike how they feel and they don’t know how to articulate it so they lash out against those that are closest to them- usually family and people they care for and interact with on a regular basis. You can’t change them, but you can change you!

I decided that my self-worth wasn’t tied to this person’s treatment of me, that no one gets to treat me this way- and that I ALWAYS have a choice! ALWAYS!

There are two types of suffering in the world– the one is where you learn from it and never go through the same experience again– and then the other where you didn’t actually learn and implement your lessons and so the way the Universe works is that you continue to experience the same lesson over and over– what is it that we are taught in school at an early age? Repetition is a pillar of learning! Life lessons are no different. It took me 10 years and three different experiences to learn this particular self-worth lesson. I consider myself blessed to have had such great ‘teachers’ because without the angst they caused- I’d never have had these breakthroughs.

So what can you do when you find yourself in what feels like and untenable situation?
1. Remember that we give words a lot of power. We can take that power back.
2. By being hurt/offended/upset by someone’s actions or words against us we are giving away our power to that person- and we can TAKE IT BACK!!
3. You always have a choice! Extricate yourself from the situation as quickly as your time, situation and resources allow.
4. Mentally disconnect from that situation and remind yourself that you control how you think and feel. And YES you can control your mind.
5. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you! Use them like an AA sponsor and ask to connect with them when you’re feeling low! There’s no better feeling when your mentor, well wisher or biggest fan tells you how great you are because they truly believe that!
6. Affirm daily that you are strong and that you are in control of how people behave with you.
7. The world’s greatest thought leaders and humanitarians all shared the same message- Love and Forgive. Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nonviolence (Ahimsa) movement in India is noted for literally ‘turning the other cheek’ and he’s not alone. I’ve never read the Bible- but someone once told me that the word Forgiveness appears more often than the word Love.
8. Most of all love yourself above all else. Love yourself the way you love your children. Imagine how you would respond if someone hurt your child, said mean things or physically hurt them- that pain would be unbearable — it is that emotion and feeling that I want you to tap into when you love yourself. When you do that– nothing and no one will be able to say or do anything negative to you because you will have taken away their power to do so!

Make a decision today that you will not let your feelings run away with you. That you’re in control and that you can’t be hurt by someone else because their words/actions have no power over you. It’s your time to shine!

Sending you light and love

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Money has no memory – Experience has.

You will never know what the total cost of your education was, but for a lifetime you will recall and relive the memories of schools and colleges. Few years from now, you will forget the amount you paid to settle the hospitalization bill, but will ever cherish having saved your mother’s life or the life you get to live with the just born. You won’t remember the cost of your honeymoon, but to the last breath remember the experiences of the bliss of togetherness. Money has no memory. Experience has.

Good times and bad times, times of prosperity and times of poverty, times when the future looked so secure and times when you didn’t know from where the tomorrow will come… life has been in one way or the other a roller-coaster ride for everyone. Beyond all that abundance and beyond all that deprivation, what remains is the memory of experiences. Sometimes the wallet was full… sometimes even the pocket was empty. There was enough and you still had reasons to frown. There wasn’t enough and you still had reasons to smile. Today, you can look back with tears of gratitude for all the times you had laughed together, and also look back with a smile at all the times you cried alone. All in all, life filled you with experiences to create a history of your own self, and you alone can remember them all.

The first time you balanced yourself on your cycle without support… The first time she said ‘yes’ and it was two years since you proposed… The first cry… the first steps… the first word… the first kiss… all of your child… The first gift you bought for your parents and the first gift your daughter gave you… The first award… the first public appreciation… the first stage performance… And the list is endless… Experiences, with timeless memory… No denying that anything that’s material cost money, but the fact remains the cost of the experience will be forgotten, but the experience never.

So, what if it’s economic recession? Let it be, but let there not be a recession to the quality of your life. You can still take your parents, if not on a pilgrimage, at least to the local temple. You can still play with your children, if not on an international holiday, at least in the local park. It doesn’t cost money to lie down or to take a loved one onto your lap. Nice time to train the employees, create leadership availability and be ready for the wonderful times when they arrive. Hey! Aspects like your health, knowledge development and spiritual growth are not economy dependent.

Time will pass… economy will revive… currency will soon be in current… and in all this; I don’t want you to look back and realize you did nothing but stayed in gloom. Recession can make you lose out on money. Let it not make you lose out on experiences… If you are not happy with what you have, no matter how much more you have, you will still not be happy.

I don’t the author of this – but it’s powerful and I wanted to share!

My Why

It takes a pretty powerful motivation to take what some people might consider risks. I have two really good ones. My husband and my daughter. We want to be able to give her all the opportunities that we possibly can, and want to be the ones to raise her — rather than camp counselors and teachers. Napoleon Hill says burning desire backed by faith is what it takes to get started down the path to success. What us it that our earstwhile President says — Yes we can!! Well, Yes I Can!!! I know I can do anything I put my mind to, and that failure is not an option.

Sitara was visiting our neighbor and decided to hop up and join her for a duet! Adorable isn’t she? Well ok so I’m biased. But seriously how can you resist that face? It’s for that face, that I would move heaven and earth.