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CHAOS IS GOOD NEWS. WHAT?

There is no denying that we are experiencing chaos worldwide. On October 9th, wild fires broke out in Northern California spreading devastation, loss of life and at least 8,500 homes/businesses destroyed.

The fire was stopped 1 mile from my home, I was evacuated for 9 days. My story is a fairy tale compared to others and yet it was my own personal harrowing journey and there was trauma involved.

The collective trauma sits heavy in the air, grief, loss and uncertainty prevail. Many people lost their homes and their jobs at the same time, there was nothing to return to in either place. I hear stories of families needing to leave the area to stay with friends or family even if they have a job, there is no housing for them here. Our community is strong and determined to rebuild, and yet, it will be years, one moment at a time.

We experience chaos every day in large and small ways. The car won’t start, traffic is at a standstill causing distress that we will not make an appointment, sick children, aging parents with unpredictable needs, heartbreak – the list is endless. As I was getting ready to for my Developing Alliances in-person event, the power went out, while I was in the shower! Chaos is in our daily lives period!

Why would I say chaos is good news? Chaos creates the openness where things fall apart and new creations arise. When you nearly crash your car, or slip and nearly fall you are immediately thrown into present time and can experience open space. This space allows us to “wake up.” During any given day, we can see where we are just going through the motions, lost in the past or the future, doing what we always do. The fires provided an instant awakening; fearing for your survival will do that. When I went to bed, Sunday night, I fully expected to wake in the morning to accomplish my Monday schedule, as usual.  At 2:30 a.m. I opened the front door to witness utter chaos, and within 20 minutes I was driving away from flames moving quickly in my direction. What Truly Mattered was completely evident, picking up my dog at the pet sitter and getting the two people I love and treasure, and get us all to safety. In that moment, possessions meant nothing.

Another way chaos is good news is that when things seem very bad, there is a big opportunity for something good to take place. During my time of evacuation, staying in the downtown area of Santa Rosa, there was one directive I heard from people I passed on the street, simply, “stay safe.” Even as I write this it brings tears to my eyes; yes, let’s all stay safe. Hearts were open and love was flowing everywhere. My prayer is that this will continue.

The pain and confusion is now so vivid in the world that we have no choice but to acknowledge it. The possibility exists that we will all come to our senses and collectively discover and make higher level choices. Only by staring at the confusion and chaos while examining it, will we discover a way forward. To enlighten means to “fully illuminate.” We see the problem and find a solution. Being unaware of the problem is not being enlightened, it is being ignorant. Even on a personal level, when we have challenges in our life, the answer is already there; we just need to embrace it. If we are tired, rest; if we are overeating, stop and eat with moderation; if we are lonely, make a connection with another.

Every morning we get to contemplate what we are doing in our life today and choose the energy we want to bring to it. Are we adding to the fear and anxiety or are we adding to the positivity, compassion and encouragement?

When we consider that chaos is good news, whatever comes our way -good or bad- has less power to throw us off track and obstruct our progress.
When chaos is in your midst, be kind to yourself and be kind to others. JUST BE KIND.

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to info@whattrulymatters.com

Love and blessings,

Reclaim Your Power: Transforming Overwhelm

I know with absolute certainty that if you are reading this, you are a powerful woman, so having power is not the issue. The question is: how is that power being drained throughout the days, weeks and months as you navigate business, home, family and spiritual lives? All aspects of your life can be inspiring and engaging and too often you may find yourselves frazzled, questioning your abilities, lacking creativity and overextended.

We are living in energetic times that are stretching each of us in profound ways, often with discomfort associated with it. The old ways of navigating life don’t seem to work anymore or can’t be counted on and can lead to overwhelm.

Let’s begin with the definition of overwhelm: to flow over the top of and submerge or cover somebody or something, besieged, snowed under, inundated, weighted down.

We have all experienced overwhelm at one time or another, either for short or long periods. You know the feelings of frustration and exhaustion at having to put in the time to grow your business; sometimes the constant daily demands prevent you from remembering what inspired you to start it in the first place!

Overwhelm takes on many forms and is different for everyone. In a state of overwhelm some people may find their personal relationships suffer. They no longer find the time to connect in meaningful way with family and friends. For others health begins to suffer. Sleep patterns are disrupted; lunch is eaten on the run or at their desk while checking email. Their body is feeling lethargic from sitting in front of the desk or computer for long hours at a time; exercise feels like a luxury item.

You know you are in a state of overwhelm when:

  • You don’t love what you do as much
  • You have difficulty getting to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night with business or challenges on your mind
  • You find yourself thinking if you just did more and worked harder you could make it all come together
  • Multi-tasking seems like a positive strategy
  • You feel like a computer with too many windows open

When you are in a state of overwhelm you need to make different choices. The actions you would normally take to move forward are not necessarily the best ones to get you out of overwhelm

Albert Einstein said, “A problem cannot be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Part of the issue each of is facing right now is our expansion of consciousness. It can feel at times that nothing makes sense when you are in the middle of a shift. The key here is to allow more space and not tighten when you feel uncomfortable. Notice your self-talk and meet it with curiosity, asking, is this true?

I am a very organized person; it is my nature and how my mind works naturally. For example: visualize the grocery store you frequent most often, see the layout. Do you organize your shopping list by the layout of the store – I do (see what I mean by organized?). It has always been second nature. Recently I have to reach for the ease of organization that once was readily available. I was becoming stressed and overwhelmed by my lack of ability to do regular tasks with ease and efficiency, and organizing my calendar, planning and facilitating the set up for an event was taking effort. As soon as I acknowledged this experience was actually a very good thing, an expansion in conscious, I relaxed and was able to meet the new normal that was unfolding.

The following strategies will assist with transforming overwhelm along with the essential spiritual integration.

Know your “overwhelm set point”:

The first step is to recognize when overwhelm is creeping in. We have often been pushing for so long that we think it is normal. Each of us has a set point that is present before we are overextended. This is the line between being happily busy and productive to being overwhelmed.

To discover your set point, think back to a time when you were happily busy and productive, functioning at the top of your game. Aaaah! What were you doing? How many projects did you have open at any one time? How many hours were you devoting to outside hobbies or volunteer organizations? How was your home and spiritual life supporting you?

Discovering your set point may also require an internal journey to discover how you really want the rhythm of your life to unfold. By knowing your set point you may notice yourself getting off track more quickly and will be able take corrective action.

Prioritize Differently:

When in a state of overwhelm there is a different way of prioritizing that supports us, more of a crisis intervention than “business as usual.” Rather than looking at the most important items on your list, begin with the easiest to complete. By clearing smaller/easier projects off of your desk your mind will be creating a sense of accomplishment and energetic space. Once you begin feeling this shift you will have the focus to accomplish the larger projects with greater ease.

Focus on the inner journey:

The state of being overwhelmed begins with a state of mind. Thoughts come in like,

“How am I going to get all this completed?” “I don’t have enough time for myself?”

“What is going to happen if I don’t focus on my marketing?” Feelings of fatigue,
irritation and frustration are telling you are running on empty.

When you are driving your car and are running out of gas, do you keep on going? Do you say, “I don’t have time for gas?” Do you get angry because the car is running out of gas?

No, you pay attention to what is true in the moment and take the first opportunity and fill up the car.

Are you mindful of filling up your own energetic tank or do you ignore the fact that you are running out of gas, which are energy, vitality, creativity and joy? If you recognize that your positive emotions are missing, give yourself the time and attention necessary to bring yourself back into balance. Check in with your emotions and notice what you are feeling. Give yourself a healthy dose of attention and appreciation to shift your emotional state. This is also a good time to ask for help to assist with your shift.

Vacation Days:

Just as your body needs to recharge so does your mind, which requires rest on a regular basis. In order to accomplish this, I suggest you take one vacation day a week. Notice I did not say a weekend day. Our weekends are usually filled with more obligations, laundry, grocery shopping, catching up in many areas (including friendship and business) and we get the leftover time for ourselves. Vacation days hold a very different energy, of recharging, refreshing, relaxing, carefree and fun. Take a moment to visualize a typical weekend day and now visualize a vacation day, which would you rather have?

When you work too many days in a row without recharging your battery, you move into functioning from a mechanical zone. In this state, you can be relatively productive and get some things accomplished. However, if the unexpected arises, you find yourself on the brink of overwhelm in a flash
By taking a regular vacation day, without focusing on business, you are supported in keeping your creativity high and have the ability to meet whatever presents itself in a positive manner.

Take Inspired Action:

An inspired action is one that you look forward to or that brings you joy. Look for the reason this task has merit or how it will benefit others. When you find yourself pushing and forcing yourself to just get one thing done after another, overwhelm and exhaustion can occur. Every task, no matter how mundane, can have a component of inspiration within it. Look for a way to create an inspiring environment to accomplish the tasks that are more challenging. If a task is not inspiring release it for a time and see what emerges when you return to it.

I love this quote from Notes from the Universe:

“What if every job was seen as an adventure in creativity, an opportunity to change the world and a means through which to discover one’s power. And if every task was seen as a present to unwrap containing unknown rewards, we would no longer call it …work”

State Changes:

Sometimes the only thing we can do in a moment to work with overwhelm is a seemingly small thing, these are called state changes; change the state you are in. Stand up shrug your shoulders and breathe. I use music and movement to get me singing and dancing, for example, Motown or my favorite African Drumming CD.

The idea is to interrupt the overwhelm or discomfort you may be experiencing and make a conscious choice to change it, right in that moment.

All we have is the present moment. Don’t let a bad moment become a bad day!

I invite you to choose a strategy that will get your started with transforming overwhelm. As you enhance one area of your life others will automatically become enhanced. There are times when no matter what you do overwhelm is going to present. At that time, I focus on my favorite quote “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.”

If this article, touched you, inspired or motivated you, we would love to hear from you. Send an email to info@whattrulymatters.com

Love and blessings,

Freedom: Releasing Negative Beliefs

 

I am going to get personal today. I feel compelled to share a recent journey as, like many of you, I have been on a spiritual and healing path for a very long time. With my 65th birthday approaching, I chose to focus on two areas I wanted to have in place before that momentous occasion.

First, I wanted to be comfortable in my body at a balanced weight. I was not looking for a specific number – only that my body felt right. The second part of the balanced weight equation was that I would have my food dialed in.

What that meant to me was to know exactly what to eat that provided nutrition in the correct portions to sustain my energy while building health and vitality in my body. I desired to be off of the rollercoaster of highs and lows caused by sugar and processed foods which kept me fighting a daily battle with cravings and huge energy fluctuations.

Sometimes I was able to stay strong and other times, the cravings for ice cream won. I have been on this journey for years of ups and downs, can and can’t have; you know the story!  I craved peace. 4 months before my birthday, I discovered www.brightlineeating.com (I am not receiving any rewards for sharing their information), it turned out to be exactly what I needed and wanted.

The tag line is happy, thin and free. I was more drawn to happy and free, although if thin could be in the equation all the better. By my birthday, I was living all three with ease, dropping 14 lbs. in the process.

Secondly, I wanted to use the current energies available to move out anything that was holding me back from clearing my past hurts. I wanted to be living more fully than I ever have before. Since I began this journey 45 years ago, some would ask, “Isn’t that good enough?” and while I understand the question, I knew life could be even better.

When Aimée and I work with clients and they hit that really hard place again, we often see tears, frustration and downright anger. They express, “Haven’t I already looked at this, and dealt with this? I am so sick of it!”  Yes, they have looked at it, just not from the place they are now, as they go forward to expose another layer of the onion, it takes courage to carry on. We have a value in our business that we don’t teach anything that we do not know firsthand. New information was coming in from the guides that showed us a process to do even deeper clearings, that were more focused than ever before. I needed to do the process for myself.

Through a process of inquiry, I was shown by the guides that I had 6 negative beliefs that connected to a core belief. Core beliefs run under the surface and can affect everything in your life, often keeping you locked in an invisible jail cell you will not be aware of.  As I began reflecting on the question, the first beliefs that came to mind were more superficial, beliefs I was already aware of. I kept asking the question, “What are my negative beliefs?” as I wanted to get to the real deep core belief. When I finally did discover this suppressed belief, I was stunned at what was revealed. At that point, a movie of my life was being played in front of me showing how this belief had created so much unnecessary drama, trauma and pain. Memory after memory emerged, all created from one deeply buried core belief.

The most surprising piece, besides the belief itself, was I had never had the awareness or the thought before. Often when doing deep clearing work, you realize an issue was hanging around on the outskirts of your awareness for a long while, often most of your life. Some examples would be: lingering anger, depression, feeling unworthy, or that there is something deeply wrong with you that you must hide, etc. I wondered how it could be that I have never thought of this before, not even once. It is just like a shadow that followed me everywhere undetected.

After two days, I was drained from releasing the emotions and tears and yet at the same time I felt light and freer. For the first time in my life I felt an internal peace that continues to strengthen each day. Friends and colleagues are commenting on how different my energy is even though they did not know anything about the clearing. I am seeing the world in a new way as if a film has been removed from my glasses. I am confident that this shift is permanent!

Why am I telling you this? I came from an extremely abusive background. Once I left home I took over abusing myself, it was all I knew. At age 32, I finally decided to stop blaming my past circumstances for all my problems and stopped drinking and using drugs to numb the pain. Once the substances were removed the pain showed up in full force. Clearing the wreckage has been the driving force of my life. I am committed to having the life I was meant to have before the abuse and conditioning set me on a different trajectory.

I never believed I could feel the way I do now. What if I had decided that my life was good enough and had not taken this next step? That scenario is far more upsetting to me than diving deeply into whatever is presenting to be cleared. Don’t ever give up, your miracle could be in right here right now.

What does this article bring up for you? I invite you to share a comment here or email info@whattrulymatters.com.

Holding you in the love and light you deserve.

Love and blessings,

Creating Chaos to Discover Bliss

I recently cancelled vacation plans, or more accurately the plans cancelled me.

For many months, I planned to attend a 10-day retreat that required an extensive application process. I had completed all the details except one, pushing send. No matter how many times I returned to my application I could not push the send button. I took some time for self-reflection and realized that what I really wanted to do with my vacation time was to stay home. I felt so light and even giddy when I decided to stay home and immediately cancelled my application.

Once I made the decision what was emerging contained two parts:

  • I wanted to have open ended time each day to see what arose. Making time for rest, walks on the beach, reading, dance and most importantly simply to be.
  • I wanted to organize and simplify my home, giving attention to every closest, cabinet and drawer.

I wanted my living space to become a nurturing space for my body and spirit and I wanted to have my space accurately reflect who I am as an individual. My intention was to make my home a sanctuary, everywhere I looked to be soothing and uplifting. I had been giving my inner world the attention it needed and yet the outer spaces were suffering. No matter how positive and creative I was with my inner world, if my home or work surroundings presented irritations or energetic barriers, I was on edge.

In order to achieve both goals I had to be okay with having my living space turned into a disorganized mess for an indefinite time period in order to allow the spontaneous desires of the day to be fulfilled at the same time as the organizing project. This is not an easy task, especially for an organized Virgo.  I slept on the couch a couple of nights when the bed was covered with clothes that were being sorted. I only focused on my home when I was connected to the purging energy, in between, I had walks on the beach and took long naps while allowing my nervous system to unwind. Each day was a lesson in letting go of my plans for the day and allowing the energies to guide me.

By paying attention to the flow of energy around me, I was able to align my inner intentions with my outer realties to create a conscious space to live in. Now, at the end of the day, I come home to a space that supports me filling up and preparing for a rejuvenating night’s sleep.

Your home can be thought of as symbolic metaphor for your life. A neglected space may correspond to an area in which you are experiencing lack of growth in your career or a relationship.

Questions to ponder:

  • What is irritating you regularly? It could be a rug you trip over or lack of beauty in your surroundings
  • Does your living/office space support peace and relaxation?
  • What is one area in your home or office you could upgrade easily now?

Choose one area to shift and begin today, the results may astound you.

Leave a comment or email info@whattrulymatters.com to share your intention so I may hold it with you.

Love and blessings,

Are You A Good Listener?

In a world moving at warp speed, we have lost many of the finer aspects of communication. Many of us grew up in families in which getting a word in edge wise was an Olympic sport. We didn’t even realize that there was another way of communicating other than everyone speaking at once or talking over whatever was being shared. Good communication is a two-way street: speaking and listening.

Photo Credit: Lea Dubedout

Listening doesn’t mean just not speaking. To be an effective listener requires certain behaviors and attitudes. Listening is an action word. Listening is also an act of generosity. Being a good listener is a gift we can give to other people.

Letting someone know he or she has really been heard is one of the finest things we can do for each other.

In our monthly event Developing Alliances: Professional Gathering for Extraordinary Women, we have two activities designed for communication, which includes sharing something, business or personal, and being received by the person actively listening.

Often ladies are moved to tears by the experience of being fully received, acknowledged, without being interrupted.

Find out how good a listener you are by answering the following questions:

  1. Listening means paying attention. When I listen to someone, I focus my attention on the speaker. I look directly at him or her, and concentrate on hearing what he or she is saying.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  2. Listening means accepting what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I withhold judgment and accept what he or she is saying “as is.” I acknowledge what the person is saying without labeling it right or wrong, good or bad, true or false.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  3. Listening means being interested in what the other person says. When I listen to someone, I invite the speaker to give his or her opinion, say what’s on his or her mind, or say how he or she feels about the topic or issue.
            

    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  4. Listening means confirming and clarifying what I believe I heard. When I listen to someone, I ask specific questions such as “What I heard you say is … is that right?”
    or “I think I understand what you said, but will you elaborate on …?” or “When you say …, do you mean…?

    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  5. Listening means being empathetic. When I listen to someone and I begin to feel defensive or impatient or angry, I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes and appreciate what he or she might be going through.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  6. Listening means letting go of control. When I listen to someone, I don’t jump right in with a solution, or try to fix things, or have to say the “right” thing.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  7. Listening means not judging the speaker. When I listen to someone, I do not get distracted by the delivery, I allow others to find their way through their communication.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  8. Listening means withholding any rebuttal until the speaker is finished. When I listen to someone, I listen to the entire message before I begin to share my feedback. Then, I wait a beat or two before I begin speaking to make sure I’ve let the speaker finish, and I am centered in my response.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  9. Listening means paying attention to the whole message. When I listen to someone, I take in their non-verbal messages, too — facial expressions, gestures, eyes, tone of voice, and posture because I understand these can contradict or confirm the words that are used.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

     

  10. Listening means being present. Sometimes I’m unable to give my full attention to someone. When this is the case, I let the person know by saying something like, “I would like to give you my full attention and now’s not a good time for me to talk about this, can we discuss it later?” then agree to a specific time to have the discussion.
    ALWAYS ______ MOST OF THE TIME _____ SOMETIMES _____ NEVER _____

 

After you have scored each area total your responses.

  • If you scored highest in most of the time or always, congratulate yourself. Make a note of the areas where you could be even more effective
  • If you scored highest in sometimes or never there is much room for improvement.

Remember, just because we’re born with ears, doesn’t mean we start off life as good listeners. Becoming a good listener is a skill we learn, and like other skills, it takes practice to get better.

Inspired Action Step: Choose one area that you will focus on to ensure that you a good listener. Celebrate your success and choose the next area of focus until you are very satisfied with your score.

I’d love to hear from you, if you’d be willing to share at info@whattrulymatters.com

Love and blessings,

My Defining Moment

From time to time, I’ve found myself sharing a profound experience I had many years ago, but this is the very first time I’ve ever written about it.  That said, let me set the scene for you: I was in my late 20’s, newly divorced, still living in England and working in a bank.  I remember looking at some of the other female employees who had worked there forever and wondering if that would be my fate.  Already, I had spent 11 years of my life in those same four walls, and living in the same town that I had grown up in.

Obviously, my soul was communicating to me that it was time for a change and so it was unsurprising that within a very few short months, I had resigned my job and said, “yes!” to a new opportunity that seemingly came out of the blue.  Some months prior, I had begun a formal meditation practice and attended a follow-up course of instruction.  At the end of this course, we were presented with a chance to interview for a work-study position in France and Switzerland.  The agreement was that for every 3 days worked, I would earn one day of my teacher training.  Jobs were assigned as needed and could be changed on a moment’s notice.  It sounded like the exact antithesis of my life as it was and was extremely appealing.

I had begun dating again after my failed marriage and my boyfriend was also on the meditation course with me.  He was clear that he also wanted to sign up but was adamant that we needed to make our decisions independent of each other, as we were early in our relationship.  I agreed to this, understanding that what he was saying was, “Don’t count on me to be there for you.”

My first assignment was in Courchevel, a ski resort on the French/Swiss border.  I was to be second cook for a group of 30 women who were on a vegetarian diet of soups and salads.  “I can do this,” I thought, as I was already vegetarian and had packed some of my most favorite cookbooks in case I was assigned to a kitchen.  On my breaks, I sat on a mountainside, thoroughly enjoying the beautiful change of scene and my own willingness to change up my life.  My delight, however, was short-lived.  Just two weeks later, the word came down that we were moving location and everyone was to pack our belongings and board a bus heading to Vittel, a town in the Vosges, Northern France that was known for its healing water.

On the bus, one of the coordinators came to sit with me to discuss my next assignment.  “We want you to be the chef of the Nouvel Hotel, serving 300 teacher trainees.  You are responsible for the hiring of servers, food preps, and other cooks, as well as managing our vendors.  You will design all the menus and staff schedules.  Oh yes, and we need to know now if you will do it?”

I remember my heart pounding with fear, my stomach lurching, and thinking, “Well, I’m either going to sink or swim – and I’m not going to sink!”

When I arrived at the Hotel Nouvel, I found that my boyfriend had accepted the job of hotel manager but quite honestly, we were both so busy that we hardly got to see each other.  There was a manual of dreary-looking recipes and a set of deep dish serving containers that looked like troughs!  Hardly appetizing to eat food out of, I thought.  I kept looking.  I found a set of oval stainless steel platters and talked to my servers.  I explained that we would garnish every platter and serve each meal as if it were a banquet.  I knew that it would mean more work for them but would allow them much more pride in the work.  They agreed.  Then, I poured over the cookbooks I had brought from home – could the ingredients be multiplied and still retain the integrity of the dish?  I decided it was worth a shot.

My kitchen was quickly dubbed, “Aimée’s Love Kitchen.”  Not only did everyone want to eat at the Nouvel Hotel, everyone on the work-study program wanted to work in my kitchen!

What an amazing 10 months of my life!  Highlights includes making fresh pineapple juice, cooking 300 artichokes in a 5-foot long steamer, cooking corn fritters in a copper paella pan that was over 2-foot wide, defrosting turkeys the night before Thanksgiving and serving them for breakfast the morning afterwards, eating frog’s legs with my head of the maids and her husband the grounds keeper, and couscous with my Moroccan pot washer and his family.  Oh yes, and did I mention I met my next husband?  Yes, he so wanted into my kitchen that he pretended he could cook – he produced an incredibly beautifully decorated rice pilaf in just 15 minutes for his interview – only to be busted when I tasted it and of course the rice was uncooked!!!  He still got the job!  I’ll never forget the look on my boyfriend’s face when I told him that I was leaving him – priceless!

When, I realized that I was now ready for my own Teacher Training course, I reflected on what this experience had taught me.  I realized that, if I could do this – I could do anything!  

The next years of my life gave me pause to remember this defining moment.  I told myself that if I could be the Director of Service Quality for Citibank, I could be a Service Director in any industry, without knowing that industry.  True!  I became Director of Corporate Service Quality for Charles Schwab without knowing a thing about the brokerage industry.  Did I succeed?   I won the Presidential Breakthrough Achievement Award.

Then, I was invited by a former peer to join her as a senior consultant in an International training company.  I told her that I knew nothing about training and undaunted, she replied, “You’re a natural.  I can teach you anything you need to know.”  Little did either of us know that our mandate was about to be changed and we spent our first year in the company learning how to design multi-media training courses.  “Why,” I kept asking?  I soon found out.  My first job as an entrepreneur, four years later, was to be a partner in a multi-media training company!

A defining moment is a point at which the essential nature or character of a person is revealed or identified.  I found out what I’m made of – and I like it!

All of us have these defining moments that fuel us in our professional and personal life and support us marshalling our courage to leap into unknown territory, as needed.  They allow us to trust in our process and to take appropriate risks in business but also in matters of the heart.

I’d love to hear about your defining moments, if you’d be willing to share at info@whattrulymatters.com

Love and blessings,

Inviting Laughter Back Into Our Lives

Yesterday, I listened in while two grandmothers discussed the joy of being with the grandkids. They were watching the kids with delight, noticing that each new experience was met with curiosity and wonder and laughter. “Yes,” they said, “Chasing a 2-year-old for any length of time can be exhausting, and yet, the joy of being present in each moment watching them grow and change is worth all of it!”

As children, we laugh hundreds of times each day, delighted by the newness of living. The grandmother’s conversation reminded me how much I want to “live” happy. When we reach adulthood, however, we tend to not allow ourselves to let go in a good belly laugh; life can become too serious which makes every situation more difficult.

This afternoon, I made a call to a phone company to set up new internet and phone service in our office. We have had service through the landlord in the past who is now retiring and sold the building.

I am being proactive to get everything set up prior to their final day so I do not have any surprises, and am very pleased with myself. I went into the process grounded-centered and calm, this is not my first go around with setting up phone service; I know better than to attempt a service call when I am stressed or tired. I started out with a pleasant woman, Renee, “How lovely,” I think, “That is my middle name! This is going to go well.” After 30 minutes, not too long really, she says hold for a moment while I complete the final step, and then I heard the dreaded dial tone. I am still calm, after all, she had asked for my number in case we were disconnected, so I waited. I even danced a bit in the living room keeping “my happy” up! After 10 minutes, it was clear I was not getting a call and time to re-enter the queue, deep breath I can do this.

The next person comes on line I explained the situation in full and that I did not get a call back. Drum roll please: he says, “If we have high call volume, we don’t call you back since there are others that are waiting and we go there first.” It took every ounce of my kindness not to vent on this person and let him know how ridiculous that sounded, knowing he could not do anything about it anyway, although he did offer to connect me to the complaint department which I declined, I was not getting lost in the shuffle again.

The order had been set up improperly, at least he could retrieve it, so off to person number three. I kept reminding myself that what I wanted was phone and internet service and I was going to succeed. Jason, number three, was able to take me from start to finish and complete the task in a reasonable amount of time although 75-minutes had passed since I began.

I wasn’t feeling light and buoyant at this point, in fact, just the opposite. Three different people gave me three different prices, phone numbers and install dates – yikes, not a confidence building scenario!

I needed to feel lighter again and brought laughter in.  Inviting laughter back into our lives is simply a matter of making the conscious decision to laugh. Though most of us are incited to laugh only when exposed to humor, or the unexpected, each of us is capable of laughing at will. A laugh that comes from the belly carries with it the same positive effects whether prompted by a funny joke or consciously willed into existence. When our laughter comes from the core of our being, it permeates every cell in our physical selves, beginning in the center and radiating outward. I stood in my living room and reflected on the experience, especially the, “We don’t call you back comment,” and chose to laugh my way out of the tension that had built up in my body.

An energetic and enthusiastic bout of whole-body laughter exercises the muscles, the lungs, and the mind in equal measure, leaving us feeling relaxed and content. When we laugh heartily at life’s ridiculousness instead of responding irritably, our focus shifts. Anger, stress, guilt, and sadness no longer wield any influence over us, and we are empowered to make light of what we originally experienced. Laughter also opens our hearts, letting love and light in, changing our perspective, and enabling us to fix our attention on what is positive in our lives.

It is easy to laugh when we feel good, but it is when the world appears dim that we most need laughter in our lives. Then, our laughter resonates through our hearts, filling the empty spaces with pure, unadulterated joy. We regain our footing in the moment and remember that no sorrow or perceived problem is powerful enough to rob us of our inborn happiness. When we understand that uninhibited laughter is the food of the soul, nourishing us from within, we know instinctively that life is worthwhile.

I invite you to choose laughter to upgrade your energy at any moment. When you are happier you make a positive impact no matter what you are doing. What the world needs now is more laughter and lightness of being and it begins with you.

Love and blessings,

It’s Time to Play a Bigger Game!

We are all being called to play a bigger game these days by not being a part of the problem by merging with it energetically but by being a part of the solution.

We’re moving from co-dependence or independence, to interdependence, and that requires an expansion in our thinking and actions, beyond just ourselves and our own lives.

The world has been made up of takers and givers. Interdependence is about reciprocity: in other words, it’s about giving back.

We’re all playing for bigger stakes this lifetime.  Self-absorption, separation, focusing on our own agendas has gotten us into this mess on Earth.  It’s so interesting how when we play for bigger stakes, our own needs get covered.

When you are up against a problem in your own life, you often cannot see beyond your life experience. It becomes the center of your universe and can, at times, be all consuming. The longer the focus remains on the problem the more all-encompassing it becomes; many withdraw at this point. Is there a way out? Yes, the solution is woven into the problem although it is easy to miss unless you step back to get a new perspective.

The antidote is to open and give rather than withdraw and contract. If you are in fear of not having enough money give to someone that has less, volunteer for an organization that you have an affinity with, clean out the clothes that you no longer wear, or fit into, and pass them on. The key here is to look beyond your own life and expand your view. What happens every time and I mean every time is that you open to the flow of the universe. You begin to embrace that there is more than enough time, money, health, joy and love for everyone and by sharing you bring more of what you want to yourself.

If you are reading this ezine, you made a commitment to the Universe this lifetime to be an “Anchor for the Light.”  As each of us keeps this commitment, by staying grounded and centered and connected to joy, even in the midst of chaos, we inspire others to raise their frequency, too.  As we go through this shift on Earth, raising frequency is the way we can safely steer through.  As more of us raise our frequency, more of our brothers and sisters around us will also be safe. We’re in this together and we are stronger together!

Does this sound like a tall order? It does until you embrace that you are part of the Oneness and it is impossible to be alone, everything that you need to succeed in this life is already provided. The more love and goodwill there is, the quicker the change will come. But it all starts in you. Therefore, the sooner you realize it; the sooner changes will take place all around you, and so go out into the world. I invite you to choose to play a bigger game, extend yourself every day, the rewards will also be bigger than you imagined.

Love and blessings,

Are We There Yet?

Many of us began 2017 with high aspirations.  We recognized that the world was rapidly changing and we became even more aware of the role we came to play and the contribution we came to make.  What remained on our own healing agenda snapped into focus as the reflections of others relentlessly mirrored our own stuff!   Refusing to play the blame game for one more minute, we faced the opportunity to heal our inner game so that we could more effectively show up for the outer game: a time of global destabilization.

Now that March is already here, many of us find ourselves reflecting on how quickly the days, weeks and months are passing. It is very easy to identify the places that we do not meet our own high objectives; in fact, the list can build quickly, providing the evidence that there is much more work to do.

I have heard many people stating, “Are you kidding – I still haven’t learned this yet?”  Or, “At my age, I thought I would have this all figured out by now!” Or, “What do I need to do to get to the end…will I ever cross the finish line?” Or, “I know I should let go of my fear/anger/upset/fill-in-the-blank, but I just can’t stand what is happening!”

Many years ago, at a very pivotal time in my life, one of my lowest points, I was asked to vision where I wanted to be in 10 years. I took the task deeply to heart and envisioned every detail, even though many felt far out of reach. Holding on to that vision as I was restructuring my life was extremely helpful. At the time, I felt that if I could achieve this vision, I would have the life I dreamed of, while living blissfully happily ever after; I would finally be complete. Many aspects of that vision did not materialize, yet now, I have a deep feeling of gratitude for that. You see, I had planned my life much smaller than the one I was meant to be living. From my vantage point of digging out from a dark hole, the initial vision appeared to be fabulous. As the growth continued, however, I was open to much more of the magic and miracles available in life.

I now celebrate that I will always be a work in progress. Each lesson learned or success reached provides a new view and opportunity. Each day is filled with wonder and curiosity to see what will be revealed. I know that the heartaches and tears come with the territory of living a human experience; I welcome the challenges and the joys with open arms.  Even though we are in the midst of world chaos, it is exactly where we are meant to be – the truth is always the result!  More people are waking up at this time than ever before, more are raising their voices and more and recognizing that everything is changing.  As much as we want to resist what is happening or to already be in a higher dimension of reality, all of the growth is in “the now.”

What you really want is to simply be with every experience fully to learn, stretch and grow – isn’t it? Begin asking yourself, “How can I reach my full potential today and how can I serve others?”  By embracing the process of evolution, you will be able to drop the judgment that continues to reinforce that you are still not yet good enough.

There is no place to get to other than exactly where you are now, step into that place fully. I invite you answer the following questions at the end of your day:

  • What am I most grateful for?
  • What is one success experienced today?
  • Did I give and receive love today?
  • Did I express my gifts in the world?
  • Did I use my voice to make a difference?

By giving positive acknowledgment to where you are currently, the universe supports you in expanding even further.

Love and blessings,

Are You Taking Good Care of Yourself?

With our relentlessly busy lives, and all the chaos happening all around us, taking care of ourselves is more important than ever—yet it’s often the last thing on our minds.

We tell ourselves that we have to meet that deadline, must use break time to run errands, should accomplish all the items on our list before more get added to it. In addition, with the political clime, you may be all fired up, finding yourself at the effect of a constant barrage of feelings, worried sick – or all of the above.

It seems to be a common theme, the challenge of taking time for yourself because when we find ourselves over-scheduled and over-stressed, sadly, the first thing to go is our self-care. We all know the negative impact on our lives and health that stress can have—so, let’s find some balance.

Take this self-quiz to see how well you are taking care of yourself:

  1. When I’m upset and/or feeling hopeless, I talk about the situation with a like-minded friend, family member or healer. And, if I need help, I ask for it. True | False

  2. I let go of the way things used to be. I accept the way things are. True | False

  3. Every day I do something physical even if it’s just a walk around the block or a 15-minute workout.
    True | False

  4. I eat healthfully and take the time to enjoy my meals. I set aside work, driving and other activities while I eat. True | False

  5. I think positively. I view problems as opportunities and obstacles as challenges. True | False

  6. I can say no when I need or want to. True | False

  7. I remember to breathe deeply and often. True | False

  8. If I’m experiencing physical symptoms I know my body is attempting to get my attention, I go to the appropriate health care professional. I don’t panic about the symptoms, and I don’t deny them either. True | False

  9. I can be happy with “good enough.” I don’t demand perfection in everything that I do. True | False

  10. I recognize the value of working in different gears. Some tasks require less effort. That saves energy for those times when I need to have a higher level of focus. True | False

  11. I get enough sleep and relaxation daily. True | False

  12. I value my personal relationships and give them the time and energy they need and deserve to thrive. True | False

  13. I choose healthy ways to relieve stress. I don’t rely on crutches such as drinking, television and overeating. True | False

  14. I recognize the importance of breaks during the day, as well as mini and extended vacations.
    True | False

  15. I listen to and respect my feelings. True | False

If you answered false to several of these, you may want to take an honest look at the impact your choices may be having.

Choose an inspired action step from 1-2 areas that will allow you to begin making changes now; you deserve the very best for yourself!

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