Too Blessed to Be Stressed

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  -Albert Einstein

Well my darlings, since it’s “Black Friday,” I imagine that many of you are out scurrying around and perhaps already starting to feel stressed. How is it that we allow ourselves to get to that point around the holidays? I’ll tell you a little secret – it’s because we choose to allow it. Rather than seeing and enjoying the blessings and miracles around us, some of are spiraling and choosing to allow self-imposed demands and stress to blind us. This is precicely when self-care needs to be at the top the list! “Too blessed to be stressed” is a great mantra to turn to these days.

When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, hit the “Pause” button, breathe and listen to what your body is telling you it needs. It will intuitively tell you what you need to do in order to restore a sense of balance, calm, ease, peace and enjoyment in your life. I’m going to keep today’s blog short and leave you with beautiful affirmations I received several years ago when Iyanla Vanzant used to publish a monthly newsletter. Each month dealt with a particular principle, and Gratitude was the one for November. I invite you to pause and breathe between each affirmation (nice juicy deep breaths), and see what images pop into your mind. Linger in each moment… for just a bit. Acknowledge the beautiful miracle that YOU are, and celebrate your beautiful gifts. And while you are at it, look around at all the miracles in your life. Hopefully, these afirmations, and the beautiful visuals they conjure up, will serve to help you stay in the Too Blessed to Be Stressed mindset!

Affirmations

I gratefully accept all the health, wealth and happiness that the Universe expresses through me every day.

I am deeply thankful for the beauty of life that flourishes around me.

I give thanks for all that I have and all that I shall be. I am open to all possibilities.

I am grateful I am abundant in all areas of my life.

With great gratitude, I release that which has served its purpose in my life, knowing that a greater good automatically replaces that which is no more. 

As I continuously explore that which is my true calling in life, I give thanks for the knowledge that allows me to nurture my heart’s desire with love, compassion and confidence.

With deep gratitude, I give thanks for all the experiences that have made me who I am. I am thankful for the wisdom and knowledge that pulls me forward toward my divine purpose. 

I am in deep gratitude for God’s endless gifts.

Stay calm and carry on!

Inhale Love… Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

 

 

Soul Spaces & Personal Sanctuaries

“Your home both reflects who you are and can help transform who you are.”              -Marianne Williamson

Not everyone enjoys moving and setting up a new home or apartment. Me? I love it! It thrills me.  I’ve moved so often, and am so good at it, that I always say I could have owned my own moving / staging company. As a matter of fact, the average number of years I have remained in one place has always been about 6-9 years. And, I am known for leaving things behind and starting “fresh.” There is so much to be said for the art of “paying forward” and keeping the abundance circulating! Doing so warms my heart and brings me joy.

There was a time where I briefly, ever so briefly, thought about the money I have spent decorating my new places. Then one day, I had an “aha” moment and realized that one of the reasons I’ve always enjoyed moving and decorating new spaces was because it’s allowed me to express my creativity. Each new house or apartment I have ever lived in has reflected who and where I’ve been at that point in my life. Oftentimes, I referred to these new places as “sanctuaries” for my soul to rest, renew, heal, evolve, grow and expand. Today, every where you look you find books and articles on creating your personal sanctuary, creating a sacred space, your personal oasis.

One such book I came across 4 years ago while I was at Lumeria in Maui, was SoulSpace Transform Your Home, Transform Your Life. It was written by Xorin Balbes who, at the time, was the owner and designer of this beautiful yoga and educational retreat oasis. As Marianne Williamson writes in the forwards, “If you are looking to make your home more reflective of the deepest truths of who you are and what you want in life, then SoulSpace is the coolest thing you could possibly read…..This book is unique and filled with wisdom, not only about design but also about us, not only about beauty but also about transformation, not only about how to decorate your rooms but also about how to better your life.” Just reading those words made my mouth water, and I couldn’t wait to savor all the wisdom and beauty the book had to offer.

Since Xorin was on the property during our stay at Lumeria, we got to talk to him quite a bit and had the opportunity to hear his soul speak. Needless to say, practically everyone in our group purchased the book, and I have since purchased some as gifts. As I read Xorin’s book, it was as if all the pieces of the puzzle known as my “moving life” fell into place. It was yet another “aha” moment. So much so, that it made me feel as if I could have penned that book myself. I had a whole lot of Xorin Balbes inside my heart and soul!

Creating your own personal sanctuary, sacred soul space and oasis is a whole lot easier to do when you live by yourself and do not have a house full of children or anyone else to answer to. However, I truly believe that where there is a will, there is a way. It does not mean that we have to live in a cluttered mess, a house that looks like a college dorm or one giant playroom. Every thing and every one should have their own personal space. Organization, attention to detail, love and intention are key factors. Remember, your outer world reflects your inner world! I invite you to sit on that for just a moment. Pause….inhale….exhale…Your outer world reflects your inner worldWhat does your living space reflect? What does it say about you? Does it reflect calm or chaos? Do you reflect calm or chaos?

Do you have a sacred space that supports your dreams, is inspirational, and houses the items that nurture your soul? It could be a corner of a room, an alcove, an extra room, maybe even an area of your bedroom or your entire bedroom for that matter. Our mind, body and soul need a place of calm, ease, deep peace, a place to retreat to, unwind, decompress, rest and relax. A place where we can write, reflect, seek inspiration, read, ground ourselves, dream, pray, meditate or perhaps even help us heal emotionally and spiritually. If you do have such a place, then kudos to you…how awesome! I’d love to hear all about it. If you don’t, then why not? Do you make the time to rest and relax? If not, why not? If you don’t, I humbly invite you to read my previous blog, R&R. 

For me, the end of a relationship usually signaled a time to move on, start fresh and do some big-time resting and relaxing. The way I decorated was always reflective of where I was at that point in time. Playing with color, furnishings and different designs expressed my moods and stages. The most important design element though has been the love, intention, fun and energy that has gone into creating my own personal sanctuaries. My home is my temple, my sacred soul space, my oasis.

Helping others create their sacred space(s) is also fun, exciting, meaningful and therapeutic. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I love to organize, purge, give away and display items that bring joy and nurture the soul. They can be different works of art, religious artifacts or deities, delicious candles, incense, essential oils, inspiring books, coloring books, meaningful jewelry and accessories, crystals, stones, pictures, found treasures or souvenirs from world travels or places of exploration, special gifts, journals, a comfy pillow and yummy blanket, soothing music, plants and flowers (one must always have fresh flowers). Regardless of the space we have available to us, the size of our home or the number of people living in it, our home will either reflect calm or chaos. More importantly, it should be a place where we can flourish and not just exist.

You know the all too common question, “Where do you live?” Well, in the introduction to SoulSpace, Xorin invites us to consider the question in a new way, and I will leave you to do so with his beautiful words of inspiration:

“Where do you live? Where do you feel alive? Where do you feel safe, peaceful, hopeful and supported? Where can you explore your hobbies, think, learn and love? If your home is just a temporary holding pen where you leave all your things during the day instead of a beautiful space that makes you feel safe and calm every time you walk in the door, something is wrong. Your home is more than a place where your possessions are – it is a place where your body can recharge, where your passions can be fulfilled, where you safely explore yourself and your desires, and where your soul can rest, be inspired and soar. Home is about satisfying our basic animal needs: eating, sleeping, seeking shelter. But it is also about achieving transcendence on earth through our other needs, the ones that are the basis of our humanity: beauty, love and creativity.”

Where do you live, darling?

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

Be Okay With Not Being Okay

“A revelation that puts things into perspective” 

Today’s writing is inspired by an Instagram post that my niece wrote earlier in the week. Before I get to that though, let me just be honest and tell you I have no idea what direction this post is taking. You see, sometimes I read or hear something that inspires me and other times I just ask the Divine to inspire me, connect the dots, speak through me and just guide me in whatever direction I can best serve the people reading my post…some of whom I know well and others who are complete strangers. Sometimes, I furiously type away, look at what I’ve written, and wonder where the words came from. You get the picture, right?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I like sacred rituals that honor, respect and celebrate the divine that lives inside all of us. So, I will share my writing routine with you. In most instances, I come home from yoga and meditation, grab a bite to eat then start my ritual for writing. I burn some delicious incense ( btw Maur I LOVE the Communication and Wisdom one you got me – you are now my official supplier), light a candle that has beautiful red hearts on it (thanks Ms. Kath), say a little prayer, and put on the lovely moonstone and lava mala beads that the amazing Daria Montferrante made for me (many of my near and dear friends have received custom malas that Daria has made for them). Since I’ve just come home from class, I feel like a totally open vessel and channel for communication And let me tell you, it can be very overwhelming having thoughts, words and ideas just filling my head. Whew! It leaves me no choose but to let go and surrender to the Divine, knowing that what needs to be communicated will flow seamlessly.

Getting back to the topic at hand, Be Okay With Not Being Okay…..this is truly a wonderful example and extension of my previous blog on Authenticity. If you missed The “A” Word, please check it out. However, my niece’s post inspired me for a number of reasons, primarily being the fact that she is 29 years old and is already on the “path to self-awareness and self discovery” at what I consider a fairly young age. She has found her voice, her feelings and is using them wisely. I had a “proud auntie” moment, shared her post with some of my closest friends and remarked how I wish I was that wise at her age (Thanks Maur for reminding me that I was just where I needed to be at 29 and learning the lessons I needed to learn). We all learn at different rates, have different feelings at different times and act on them warranted by the circumstances / situations in our lives and where we were at such time.

Megan’s post had to do with the revelation she had as she read the words Be Okay with Not Being Okay in the book she was reading by Latesha Randall with Sebastian Walker called The To-Be List – 70 Reminders that Life is About Being, Not Doing. What I was most impressed with about her writing was that she was able to dig deep and find the words to authentically and unapologetically be herself and acknowledge the fact that she was “allowing” herself to feel things she’s never allowed herself to do. She was actually sitting with her feelings, allowing them to arise and, more importunely, be Okay with them. Now if that is not an “aha” moment and a valuable, instrumental lesson to learn at her age!!! She further went on to explain how her past conditioning has been to bury her feelings and not ALLOW herself to feel them  because the magnitude of those feelings would “destroy her.”  In actuality, my dearest Megan (and I know she will be reading this because she is my number one supporter and encourager of my blogging)  allowed herself to be broken open and transcended to another level of self awareness and evolution. Megan, a true Empath, also found the words to express how deeply she feels every little thing. Can you imagine being able to express this at her age?????? It takes many of us until adulthood to have this awareness (that is if you allow it – remember, some people are still walking around in a sleep-like state). As she stated, “It reminds me that it IS okay not to always be okay and you can CHOOSE to be okay with that.”  Now THAT is authenticity and transparency at its best!

As a result of Megan’s writing,  I’d like to address the 20-30 something year olds aka”youngins” reading this essay (feel free to share with the youngin’s in your life). Many of you beautiful souls have come into this lifetime with a very specific mission and purpose. Therefore, there are many, many “sensitive” empathic and compassionate souls on this earth who are here to shine a light on the darkness this world is experiencing and to help heal humanity through your own healing, You are the healers, light workers, peacekeepers and future spiritual leaders. The key, is to have this realization and understanding, surround yourself with supportive individuals who “get it,” and “like-minded” friends who will be your allies in doing the work you came here to do. Some of you are fortunate enough to have parents and family members who are “open minded” or perhaps healers themselves and understand your path.  They are able to guide and support you as well as encourage you to embrace the beautiful “gifts” you have been given. Some of these gifts are painful ones albeit if you are an empath, like my niece, because you actually FEEL deeply and have the ability to feel other people’s suffering. It’s a double edge sword that can be viewed as both a curse and a blessing. What you “choose” to do with this gift is your choice and one that only you can make for yourself. And don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out, it’s okay!

There are so many resources available today unlike decades ago. Magazines and books of all kinds, the internet, positive social media outlets, podcasts of all types and on-line webinars to meet your every need, online yoga, meditation, pranayama, guided visualizations, retreats, an overabundance of yoga studios and meditation / mindfulness centers, schools and college courses, metaphysical centers, mediums, intuitives, shamans, energy healers, life coaches and spiritual advisors…just to name a few!  They are all resources to guide you along your spiritual journey here should you choose to fully step into your magnificence, power, purpose and light. I encourage, invite and urge you beautiful souls out there to embrace the gift of You and the gifts you’ve been given. Develop them, understand them, expand on them and put them to good use. You don’t have to have all the answers, just trust the process and be passionate about what it is you choose to do, knowing that it may change, evolve and look differently over time. It’s all okay!

I took a short break and perused the new issue of Mantra Magazine (one of my faves – if not my favorite these days). It’s all about yoga and health, and every single product they advertise is vegan. According to Maranda Pleasant, Editor in Chief, she believes that  the magazine is actually a “movement.” In her words, “Media should be a force for good. Now more than ever, media matters. The stories in the magazine and the causes we champion need to be louder, brighter and stronger. We will defend and create a new culture for women that outshines negative cultural programming. Sticking together, all of us – yogis, creatives, pioneers – changing the world for the better.” These values, ethics and integrity is why I love this magazine so very much. It is diverse, inclusive, so rich in content, creativity, short and brief articles and interviews, aryuvedic recipes, life around the globe, self-care practices, design and loads of wisdom for everyone, especially the youngin’s making their way on the path. So why bring up this magazine? Well, since I wanted to address the youngin’s in this post, it just so happens that the section called The Wisdom of Women asked several women what they wished they had known when they were 20.

So, I will leave you with various beautiful, heartfelt, soulful, sound and sage advice from some of the women featured in this particular issue. Here’s what they wish they had known when they were 20:

“I wish I would have known how OKAY it was to not have everything figured out when it came to my career path and what I wanted to do with my life. Life has a funny way of taking you down paths you least expected, and you experience things that shift your perspective tremendously. All the things I wanted to do at 20 look nothing like what I’m passionate about today.”

“I wish I knew at 20 that my life was just beginning.  I thought that if I didn’t have a list of goals and plans for my life that my life would fall apart. But guess what? My life fell apart with the plan anyway! I wish I knew that no amount of planning will protect you from life and all that it offers. Goals are good, but life teaches the lessons that cultivate character and wisdom is born.”

“That true love grows from having a deep and intimate love of your whole self (the pleasant, neutral AND unpleasant aspects of yourself). It’s OKAY to spend time alone and if necessary developing yourself and this love before focusing outward on loving relationships with others.”

“It’s really okay to say no and not feel guilty. Using my voice does not mean being loud. I do not have to prove myself to anyone. If someone sees you struggling and offers assistance, accept it. Self-care is as vital as oxygen. The more disconnected we are for the rhythms of nature, the more discontent we feel. Rise and rest with the sun, be fluid like water, purge like fire, root down and rise up like trees.”

“I wish I had known the power I had to create a life that was filled with peace and joy. I had not yet been formally introduced to yoga or the power of intentional and mindful living. I suffered, thinking the entirety of creation was working against me. What I now know is that it was preparing me for my current experience.”

“At 20, I wish I would have known that having an ample body with curves is a beautiful body, that comparing myself to anyones else’s body, spirit and soul is absolutely futile.”

And one  that really resonated for me….“Holding on too tight can be destructive. Surrender isn’t weakness. You have to love and accept yourself fully first before anyone else can and will. Doing it all is not a badge of honor. It’s a fast track to illness. Take off the super-hero cape and burn it! You will voluntarily take the time on this life to slow down and stop, or you will be forced to stop. Life is precious”

I invite you to take the time to read over these quotes, let their authenticity marinade in your beautiful souls and head space, see what feelings arise and the revelations that may just change your perspective!

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

 

PS: Thank you, Megan, for the thoughts you shared and inspirations that arose for me as I read your post. You are wise beyond your years, and I’m blessed and grateful to be on this journey with you. I can’t wait to see all the magical places it takes you and the difference you will be making in peoples lives (as you already are). Continue to inspire, love, serve AND lead from the heart…right from the start. It’s in your blood! xoxo

Generosity of Spirit

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed”

I love this quote by Maya Angelou! It gets to the heart of the reciprocity in giving. Oftentimes, people feel uncomfortable receiving. They feel that they are the ones who want to give. What we fail to realize and discount is the Joy that it brings to both the giver and the receiver. These gifts do not even have to entail money. Regardless of how large or small, someone’s generosity can be something as simple a flower, a home-made meal, lending a hand, being present for someone, helping them get through a tough time in their life, holding the space for them to talk, assisting them in some way or sharing words of wisdom. These gestures are blessings, indeed, and are examples of one’s generosity of spirit. What matters most is the intention behind our act of giving.

When we give gifts from the heart and bestow these beautiful blessings onto others, it is important that we do so freely, unconditionally and without expectation. If not, there is no true joy in giving. Throughout my life, I couldn’t understand why my mother would give things away so freely, even gifts that I recently may have given her. Over time, and when I found myself doing the same thing, I had an “aha moment” and realized it was because it brought Joy not only to the receiver but especially to the giver.

Joy is truly the most powerful emotion I personally feel while giving of myself to those in need. When I give lovingly of myself to others, whether it is time, presence, or attention, I feel that reciprocity of Joy. It’s like a two way street. I also feel much joy and purpose when I give actual things away…clothing, shoes, household items, furniture, etc. to friends and those in need. I know it fills the other person’s heart with joy and gratitude as well. And on that note….My darlings, before discarding something that may not be of any value or significance to you any longer, please, please, please do NOT throw it away! Many people are quick to throw things out, even perfectly new and useful items. There is always someone somewhere who would delight in being the recipient of your cast-offs. This generosity of spirit is a blessing you can bestow on someone and one they will be forever grateful!

The spiritual benefits we receive in giving are connectedness and oneness. It’s almost like being used as an instrument of God’s peace (you know the disclaimer by now – if God doesn’t resonate for you, by all means replace it with a word that does). Knowing we are being used and doing God’s work, paying forward, being of service, and spreading light and love is a deeply powerful feeling. The emotions that arise for us when doing so are blessings that uplift us and fill our heart with joy, grace, gratitude and purpose. We learn to be more mindful of the “gift in giving” and also the abundance and wealth that keeps circulating via our generosity of spirit.

What blessings have you received lately? How did it make you feel? Who do you know who exemplifies generosity of spirit? In what ways do they show this? How do you demonstrate your generosity of spirit?

Inhale Love…Exhale Gratitude, JTC

Be Still…Connect & Listen

“The degree to which you do not believe you have time to spend ten minutes sitting quietly, is the degree to which you desperately need to spend ten minutes sitting quietly. If we did nothing else in our spiritual practice but reduce our accelerated pace, the world would be transformed overnight” Donna Farhi

I walked into my acupuncture appointment last week at Stillpoint Acupuncture & Yoga in Denville, NJ, and the lovely Terri had this quote posted in her waiting room. I knew the quote was one I wanted to use for the post you are about to read. Donna Farhi,  brilliant author, international yoga teacher and retreat leader, could not have expressed this sentiment more eloquently. By the way, her book, Bringing Yoga to Life… The Everyday Practice of Enlightened Living is truly a manifesto for living whether or not you are a yoga practitioner.  If you want to bring your “life to life,” then this is a book for you! It is so chock full of wisdom and depth….This book was given to me as a gift and, in turn, I too have given several as gifts. It’s just one of those books you return to again and again for just about every paragraph is a revelation (thanks, Peem, for this observation, or I could have highlighted the entire book).

So, back to the topic of being still, connecting and listening….call it meditation, prayer, contemplation, reflection – or whatever suits your fancy. The point is that allowing ourself to sit in stillness, preferably in the quiet of the early morning,  can and will eventually set the tone for our outlook, attitudes and interactions with people throughout our day. It allows us to connect with our breath (our life force, prana, chi) ease into our morning, and bring clarity to our thoughts and emotions. Let’s be perfectly clear here, our minds will never be empty of thoughts, but we can step into “witness mode” and just acknowledge those thoughts without becoming them and getting all wound up in the stories our reptilian brain is spinning for us. Instead, we can lovingly bring our attention and focus back to our breath.

The practice of being still allows us to connect and align ourselves to our “higher power” the Divine force in the Universe. The more we do this, the more we are able to have a 360 view, like older dragonflies are said to have. The art of being still, listening, connecting and aligning are, like other mindfulness practices, a conscious choice we make. This quiet time we create, allows us to pray, ask for guidance, talk  to God (or whomever your higher power is) and listen to the voice and messages that show up. There is truth in the saying that “stillness speaks“…let the feelings and that wave of peace and calm wash over you! Listen to what your heart is telling you or guiding you to do. In doing so, it allows you to feel deeply rooted and grounded and gives you the confidence, ease and grace to approach the start of a new day like the precious gift it is.

I like to start my day, even before getting out of bed in the morning, by listening to Snatam Kaur’s song, On This Day. It’s actually a birthday song, and it’s significance, the words, and her soothing angelic voice remind me of the fact that I have been given life on this day yet again. I open each day as the gift that it is, and I want to live it to the fullest, use my time wisely, and serve accordingly. For me, this is truly a meaningful, significant, remarkable, powerful and inspirational way to embrace the new day ahead. One of my  beloved yoga teachers, Angela, played this for me at the end of class on my birthday last year. It’s coming up to just about a year of listening to this song every day. And, if you know me, you know I like to share…in turn, I’ve sent it on to some friends on their birthdays. Talk about exponential influence! I’m a firm believer in sharing the love. After listening to the song, I say out loud, “Thank you” as my feet are beginning to touch the ground. I enjoy my early morning quiet time. Oh and a word of advice, shut off your phone! Don’t put it on silence or vibrate…..just shut it off!!! It makes a world of difference, and I like to say that my entire body exhales the moment I turn off my phone. It allows for a deeper level of relaxation, concentration and connection. I have other morning rituals that, as you can very well surmise, are for yet another post!

It saddens me when I hear people say they don’t have time to meditate, or be still….seriously???? Darlings, all we have is time, and what we chose to do with it is another story altogether. These are the individuals that, as Donna Farhi’s quote hammers home, are in need of stillness and quiet the most! These are the individuals who are stuck, tend to be reactive, tightly wound or restless, oftentimes anxious and/or depressed, perhaps have unhealthy addictions, always running away from their issues, spend hours and hours trolling social media and, as a result, are most likely to be their own worst enemy. Can you relate? Do you have people in your life that fit this description? Are you the poster child for this description? if so, then it’s high time you let go of behaviors, situations, and circumstances that aren’t serving you and find a better, more balanced way of living. Your health and peace of mind deserve it!

Another valuable lesson I’ve learned along the way, is that we CANNOT change people. Don’t waste your energy, or you will be the one who winds up sick! Instead, follow the rules the airlines give us, “In the event of a change in cabin pressure, put the oxygen mask on yourself first”…..this is the time for you  to work on yourself, make your Self a priority, dedicate time to your Self. Shower your Self with loads of self-love and self-care. Trust me, people around you will begin to see the change in you – a different, calm, peaceful, centered, glowing and vibrant you. They will most certainly want to know your secret!

Remember, as with any practice…..that’s just what being still is….a practice, and not a perfect. Over time, I can assure you that your mind, body and soul will also want some quiet, down time before you go to bed…..especially when you find yourself sleeping like a baby!  I think we can all agree that we’ve mastered the art of “doing”…..let’s challenge ourselves to practicing the art of “be-ing”…you’ll be surprised at the magic that shows up! I leave you with a beautiful quote and affirmation by Tanaaz Chubb from her precious book, Messages for the Soul:

“Your heart is trying to speak, are you listening? Your heart holds its own type of wisdom that is different from the wisdom of the mind and body. Tune into the smooth hum of your heart, and see what it is asking from you today.”

“I am open to the Divine messages of my heart, and I am ready to hear its message. I trust my intuition and know that my heart will guide me”

Be Still….Connect and Listen!

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