How Can I Serve….Synchronicity

“Giving to others through service is simply recognizing what you do best in any given moment and offering that to someone else” Deepak Chopra

If there is one thing you can be sure of, is that nothing, not a thing, happens by chance. It’s said that we cannot connect the dots looking forward (if anything that will cause you anxiety). However, we can look back at events and connect those dots that got us right to this moment in time. The Now. Well darlings, these “dots,” this synchronicity, has been divinely charted for us by our Maker (God, the Universe, whatever entity resonates for you). This beautiful, infinite organizing force in the Universe is always conspiring on our behalf and for our greatest good…. even if we do not “see it” the way we “expected it” to look like (ohhhhh expectations……that”s for yet another blog all together).

A few weeks ago, I was on Day 15 of the Deepak and Oprah 21 Day Meditation Experience. I’ve been taking part in them since the inception of the meditation series. Day 15 was “How Can I Serve.” As I listened to it, journaled the questions for reflection (this is the meat and potatoes of the “work” by the way), and reflected on what it means to be of service, what I have to offer, my gift, etc., I knew I had to get moving on the Blog I had wanted to create for years. You know when you just know??? After all, blogs and books are outlined in my head and journals, and notebooks and more notebooks contain a plethora of material in them to fill volumes upon volumes. Remember, I am a student of life, so I take lots of notes!!

It’s customary for me to post something inspirational or motivational on Facebook in the morning either before or after I meditate. I usually go with the flow and see how it unfolds. Sometimes I post things in the evenings as food for thought. I believe it was the morning of Day 15 that I posted something, and my friend, Mary, commented that I needed to start a blog. When I replied that it was something I have been wanting to do,  my neighbor, Annie, followed up my comment with the link to WordPress. Are you following me? Synchronicity! The time came for me to step up my game and take it to the next level. I had to put on my big girl panties and take action!

Needless to say, I eventually made my way onto WordPress, didn’t have a clue what I was doing and somehow purchased the domain. Then, I attempted to start writing. Easier said than done when you have no clue as to how to even navigate the site that is staring you in the face! I tried and tried and got tired of trying. If there is one thing I’ve learned along the way, is that when you try and try and get no where, it’s not the time to do it. So, I decided to just leave it alone. I didn’t judge, moan or get annoyed…..I knew that exact moment wasn’t the time. I also knew that the “right” time would present itself.  I happily went along my way. A few days later, since I’ve also learned to ask for help, I reached out to my friend Jenn (SHIFTFORWELLNESS.COM). I asked her if she wouldn’t mind sitting with me for an hour or two and give me a brief tutorial. The ever-gracious Jenn sat with me, guided me through WordPress and I took copious notes. Just enough though to get started.  Oh, and we had yummy snacks and a delicious salad prepared by Jenn, the hostess with the mostest….snacks are always good, don’t you think?

So, back to the topic of Synchronicity…I’ve also learned to pause, take note of what is unfolding and how, and proceed accordingly. When I was working, I called it “wait time.” Someone, some-thing, is guiding my boat, and I’m not about to mess with that higher power! Not everyone acknowledges these divine messages / messengers. Not everyone is open, aware, awake or enlightened…..and I don’t mean that in a condescending way. It’s just a fact of life. There are many people among us who are close minded, rigid in their thinking,  and essentially sleep walking their way through life. It takes years of learning, stumbling, falling and picking ourselves up before we actually acknowledge there IS a “better way” and start making evolutionary choices that better serve us and the good of all. Being flexible, open, mindful and present to what is unfolding in front of our very eyes is a finely tuned gift. It is intentional and magical!

For those of you who know me well, you know how much I like rituals, ceremonies, celebrations…any and all things sacred that mark new beginnings and special occasions. Like service, it’s something we do for others as well as ourselves. That is why I announced inspireloveserve.blog in September, the start of a new school year for many and on the day of the glorious full moon.  If you are struggling with ways to serve, I’d like to offer you this: reflect on your gifts, your talents, the things that bring you joy and fulfillment …..you know, those things that make you happy when you’re doing them and can do them for hours!?!?!?!? Tap into that and let your creativity take you on a magical, mystical ride. I love this quote from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic:

“What is creativity? The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration”

Darling, what sets your soul on fire?

I challenge you to go out and do it…Inspire, Love, Serve AND Lead from the heart….Right from the start!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

A Conversation for Your Heart and Soul

APPROACH: Noun

-The act of drawing near, a coming

-An access; opportunity

-A manner in which a problem is solved or a policy is made

-The way of doing something

Several years ago, in one of my yoga classes at Highland Yoga Studio in Butler, NJ, the instructor talked about the word “approach” and ways she related to it and had been working with it. As I listened to what she was saying, the neurons in my brain started working overtime and it started me thinking on ways I approach situations, opportunities, people, challenges, my yoga practice, interactions and life in general. Whew….lots to think about! I  felt like my brain was a pin ball machine!!! However, it also started me thinking of my approach to what would be a new school year  (on the heels  of a change in leadership and the transition that followed……that’s a whole other blog….maybe even a book).

At that point, I “chose” to believe that it would be a good school year. Why? Because, trust me, it could NOT have gotten any worse than the previous year as a result of the many challenges, resources and personnel we lost. Despite the support, or lack thereof, that we might or might not have received, I made a “conscious choice” to maintain a positive outlook and work on my personal “approach.”  So, I share with you some thoughts on the word approach and some questions I found myself asking. I share this in hopes of awakening something – a thought, a feeling within you, a stirring of some sort. And if it makes you uncomfortable….great! That means something inside you is at work. You may be “unearthing” something that needs to come to the surface. Please don’t run from it!!! Sit with it and breathe deeply.

Take some time to converse with your heart and soul as you answer these questions. As with any good, deep, soulful conversion, it may go on for hours, days and maybe even weeks….perhaps even longer! I personally like to journal, you may choose to do the same:

  • How do you choose to show up each day – for yourself, for others you encounter throughout the day?
  • How do you start the day?
  • How do you approach self-care?
  • What does self-care look like to you?
  • Are you kind, loving, compassionate, patient and forgiving of yourself?
  • Do you approach your family, friends, loved ones, spouse, partner and pets with kindness, love, compassion, empathy, dignity, patience, respect, integrity and non-violence?
  • Do you act or react when a challenging situation arises?
  • What’s happening inside of you right now?
  • Do you pause, create space and allow your natural awareness to arise?
  • Do you allow yourself the space to be mindful and non-judgemental?
  • What is your approach to your job?
  • Have you set an intention?
  • What is it?
  • How will you chose to approach a new day, a stranger, a task, meeting, project, person, colleagues, etc.?
  • Are you hopeful?
  • Are you happy?
  • Is there something that needs changing?
  • What is it?
  • Are you rigid or flexible?
  • Do you have an open or closed mind?
  • Will you choose to be optimistic or pessimistic?

Without a doubt, approach is a CONSCIOUS choice, a DELIBERATE, thought-out CHOICE.  Our choices speak volumes! And, we are all role models…..a very powerful and influential position with which we have been graced. We have the ability to create or destroy depending on the approach we take. If given the choice, why not make mindful, patient, positive, inspiring, compassionate, respectful and non-violent choices – straight from out heart center – that create community and help to mold ourselves, children, family, friends, and partners into Peaceful Warriors???

Darlings, I urge you all to AWAKEN your senses and those of the people around you. We only get to do each day once, so why not CHOOSE to APPROACH each day with a sense of mindful awareness, wonder, patience, honor, respect, integrity, compassion, understanding, empathy and peace??? Collectively, we CAN choose to be the peace this world so desperately needs. Our influence is exponential and is just another way to inspire, love, serve AND lead from the heart….right from the start!

Inhale Love….Exhale Gratitude, JTC

Why Blog?

“Our task is to choose to live our own life as an example of grace and humanity, and to surrender to both the light and the dark, and to create a space within for beauty and devastation and for all that life will reveal”  Seane Corn

Unbeknownst to me, the idea of starting a blog came to me around June 2012. At that time, the seeds were already being dropped into my head and, subconsciously, I began watering them with my beliefs, actions, intentions and, yes, compromises I had made years past and over the next several years. I recall being so sick with an upper respiratory thing and a looming migraine that was threatening to take me down. At the time, I was an assistant principal in an elementary school, and there was a Saturday workshop being conducted for administrators. Additionally, we had to bring in our laptops for something (swapping out? re-imaging? You get the picture). I was so sick that I considered staying home and have the laptop issue resolved at school. However, something was pulling me to go. Ariane de Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days of Change, was the featured speaker at our workshop.

Now, if you know me, I LOVE CHANGE…It’s what keeps us alive, thriving, growing and ever-transforming into better versions of our old selves. Something (my internal GPS) was telling me to go despite how violently ill I felt. Through “divine intervention,” the Universe used a dear friend and co-worker of mine as a messenger. My friend sent me a text along the lines of this speaker being someone that would be of interest to me. I immediately googled the author…there it was! I picked myself up, armed myself with some herbal remedies, tissues, water, etc., and I headed to the workshop / seminar.

Our stories and journeys are not only our lessons but they teach others as well. What we do and how we do it has the power to light the path for others in need and can serve as a great source of inspiration, motivation and consolation. We are all on the same path, returning home to find ourselves, our true self, the connection with that force that is greater than ourselves and that resides inside each and every one of us…..and to light and pave the way for others. How we live out our purpose is as unique as we are. It is our responsibility as a human being to want to contribute…to inspire, love, serve and leave behind a legacy of love and service. Let’s be clear, what I just mentioned is our purpose; However, it is up to us, our passion, and our willingness to be vulnerable, broken open, courageous, brave, fearless, fierce, intentional and deliberate that will allow us to grow, transform, flex our resilience muscle, make an impact and affect change. In the end, it’s all about healing ourselves, helping others to do the same and, in turn, helping humanity to heal. I know, without a shadow of a doubt,  we are here on this earth to love, serve and uplift each other.

Oh, and did I mention ask for help? Yes, you heard it…..Ask for help. If you are that rock everyone comes to, the fixer, the handler (come on now, we all have a little Olivia Pope in us), you know how difficult it is to ask for help. Well, my darlings, if we do not learn to ask for help and allow others the joy of helping us, you can be sure the Universe is going to deliver some hard lessons and get us to utter the word help;  I need help; Can you please help me…. Get the picture? Trust me, this will teach us to leave the EGO at the door!

Towards the last several years of my career, I was fed up with what I saw and experienced first hand: fed up with the big egos, the abuse of power, politics, lies, bullying, harassment, intimidation, a system not doing “right” by its clientele and personnel, the back stabbing and everything else that comes with working in a toxic work environment. I felt that my talents and my gifts weren’t even being tapped into. My creativity and light were being zapped! Nevertheless, I was committed to impacting and influencing others by continuing to “work the work” of self transformation, talk the talk and, more importantly,  walk the walk. I committed to living my yoga off the mat. The more my yoga and meditation practice deepened and flourished and the more I studied yoga philosophy, the more that I felt morally compromised and suffocated. The more I spoke my truth, operated from an authentic and transparent place, the more I saw that I no longer fit in that organization and that my soul needed, and was craving, expansion……Be careful what you wish for……that will be for another post!

The only thing that got me through those last few years leading up to 2012 and the last few months on the job, were to Lead from the heart….Right from the start, always and in all ways. And, boy, can I give you ways to do that!!!!!

Hence…….the Inspire Love Serve Blog.

Please stay tuned!

Inhale love….Exhale gratitude, JTC