In life and love, you get what you give

I always say that the reason nuns and monks are so peaceful and blissed out is that they have no one up in their face on the daily stirring up their shit! (Imagine for a moment what your life might look like if you could just spend your days chanting and reading prayers – or if it were me, hiking through the woods, sitting at the beach, listening to music and doing yoga.) However, that’s not the life most of us signed up for. We signed up to be in relationships with others so that ultimately we could learn and grow emotionally and spiritually. But, dang – it’s hard sometimes! You could look at any relationship you’ve had (and I’m not talking just romantic partnerships) – this could be a friendship, marriage, between siblings, with your parents, on a sports team, etc., and I imagine at some point at least one of these people has triggered you. Maybe someone said something you didn’t agree with or they have a different way of doing things than you do, and it drives you crazy! It may even make you feel sad or insecure. No matter the feeling, I can guarantee you, if it’s happening, it’s meant to be teaching you. The best thing you can do in any relationship is to not make assumptions. The mind will try to convince you that you know the answers – that you know how someone else feels and what they are thinking. But you must ask – and listen – to what the other person says. When you get triggered by someone, you have a choice...

What does true love look like?

It’s that time of year…when everyone’s thinking about love! Valentine’s Day is today, and you certainly see evidence of that in stores everywhere. But flowers and candy have little to do with real love. Sure, they are nice to receive as a show of affection – and yet, it often leaves the receiver yearning for something more. I think this something more that we crave is true connection. That connection can be with a spouse, romantic partner, friend, or family, and you’ll know when it happens by how you feel. Last week, I was having a Skype conversation with a couple of coaching friends. We all have busy lives and live in different places, so we make a point of catching up once a month on a video call. It’s a special friendship and a unique bond. We’ve known that for awhile. But last week, it went to a whole new level that none of us saw coming! Being life coaches, we are very supportive of each other- AND we also call each other out on our bs (excuses and such). During our call, one of us (unknowingly) said something that triggered a shameful response in another. The conversation went on…until she had the courage to say “Hey, when you said that, this is how I felt.”, and it was discussed in an open, honest, caring manner. Neither comment was meant to make the other person feel bad, and that was (silently) understood between all of us. The third person said they watched in awe as a space was created for the two to share this dialogue. It was extremely...

Judging leaves little room for love.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about judging. Not as in a contest judge, but rather having an opinion about someone or something. I’d say it has been on my mind every day for months now. It seems like there is a tremendous amount of judging that occurs for us as humans. I don’t think this judging really serves us most of the time. When we worry about how others see us for example. Or we have a harsh opinion of someone’s appearance. Or we look down our noses at another person’s so-called ‘bad’ behaviour. And all the times we put ourselves down for mistakes we’ve made. If we were to ask ourselves if this is really how we’d like people to remember us after we are gone, I’m guessing most of us would say no. When we judge others for what they say or do, we can’t actually know why they do or say the things they do. If you believe (as I do) that our souls live many lives and that we come here in each life to learn lessons, it becomes easy to see that we have no way of knowing what lessons that person is here to learn – or what their past lives have been like. What kind of emotional and spiritual baggage have they brought to this life? What else has been added to that this time around? And their choices are really none of our business anyway. As individuals, we probably ought to be more concerned with improving our own lives. (Insert this German proverb: “Sweep in front of your own door.”) I know I...

The answer is always more love.

I’ve been feeling a little inundated with negative information lately, and it drains my energy. A lot of it is in the news. Murders. Racism. Homophobia. The US election. Some of it is on Facebook. Complaints about the way things are. Trash talking of spouses, friends, parents, strangers. Judgment about this or that. Drama, just so much drama. A tiny bit of it is in person (including me to myself). Negative self talk. Whining about not having everything just so. Being impatient. I’ve had enough! “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King Jr~ Hate will not fix our problems. Neither will judgment, blame or greed. I love this as a guideline for how to react in any circumstance… Before you speak (or act), THINK: Is it TRUE? Is it HELPFUL? Is it INSPIRING? Is it NECESSARY? Is it KIND? And you know what the world really needs? Love. More love. “More love, I can hear our hearts cryin’                                                                                                   More love, I know that’s all we need More love, to flow in between us To take us and hold us and lift us above If there’s ever an answer It’s more love.” -Dixie Chicks Instead of hating, complaining, comparing, blaming, regretting, shaming, or judging, go within, and ask “How...

Musings on love, acceptance, and the present

I was looking through some journals recently and thought I’d share a post from July 23, 2012. I was in life coach training at the time and was working on what my business name would be and who my ideal clients are. I think I was writing about what “problems” I could help people with and what my clients want when they come to me for coaching. (Really I was talking about myself because we always teach what we need to learn.) I’m not sure if I was writing about affirmations, gratitude, or the power of positive talk, but here’s what was on the paper: “I don’t have all the answers, but I truly believe everything will be ok. I’m not in a job I love right now, but someday I will be. I’m not in a relationship right now, but when the time is right I will be. I’m not rich (financially) right now, but I believe I can be. I don’t have all the things I want in life, but I have a great life. I live alone, but I’m not alone. I haven’t run a marathon yet, but I can train for one. I don’t have it all figured out, and that’s ok. I didn’t do everything perfectly, but I did the best I could at the time. I only need my own approval. I need to love myself. I can’t receive from others what I can’t give myself. I don’t worry about what I can’t control.” If any of these things resonate with you, here’s what you need to know: I still don’t have all the...

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