I Am Not My Story

That was the title of one of my speeches a week ago. Yes, I am not my story or the stories I live through. We came to this life to experience certain situations, but we did not come to stay in them. Some experiences feel pleasurable and some, not so much. It is difficult to let go of the difficult or painful situations, and sometimes we carry the emotions of those experiences for long periods of times.

Here are some ways that can help us move on:

1. Mending Connections: Forgiving others, asking for forgiveness, and forgiving ourselves is a requirement. I have come to realize that all of them are necessary even if we think that we don’t hold a grudge, or that it’s someone else’s fault, or we think it’s all our fault. “It takes two to Tango.” And forgiving ourselves is necessary so we can breathe and make room for more goodness in our life.

2. Doing Inner Work: At the time we are letting go of a painful experience, having support is great. However, that sense of security may trick us into thinking that we are strong on our own. That support may move when we least expect it. We need to go through the process of accepting and loving ourselves no matter what our stories have been, no matter what situation we are in. This may require some brain washing on our part using positive affirmations and other activities to change our thinking and raise our frequency.

3. Having an Antidote: After we have done the forgiveness process, and we accept and love ourselves no-matter-what, it’s possible to believe that we are immune to anything and that we are not going to feel the pain from a previous story, but certain situations may trigger thoughts and memories that evoke emotions that overpower us. At this time, I think an antidote is in order. The most powerful one I know is gratitude. You may think that it is impossible to be grateful for your painful experience, but I am here to tell you that it is not only possible, it’s the only way to move forward. Remember the saying, “Everything happens for a reason?” Well, finding out what was the reason for our experience, finding out the lesson, helps us realize that there is something worth of gratitude. So, anytime, a painful memory comes, we give it a shot of gratitude until all that’s left is gratitude.

If I had not hit rock bottom in one of my experiences, I would not have learned about meditation, if I had not learned meditation, I would not have known that there were possibilities for me, and I wouldn’t have realized that I could co-create with the Universe experiences that could help me grow and that could give me joy. Maybe you attracted your experience so that you could raise your children differently, or so you could help others, or so you could see life differently.

So, I am not my story, I have a story (many stories), And I am grateful, are you?

The Magic of Gratitude

Little Girl Laying on Grass

A 12-year-old girl and I were reading a passage about a major earthquake that happened in California a while back, and how Japanese students came to show their support to the victims. I asked her what the victims could do to thank them, and she said just say “thank you” because they don’t have anything to give. This answer is not right or wrong, but incomplete. There is magic in the word “thank you” when offered sincerely, there is no doubt about that. The word affirms what is good in your life, and it shows respect for others.

However, I believe that gratitude goes beyond saying, “thank you.” Gratitude is a sincere feeling which recognizes the value of the act of giving, and the abundance available to us all the time. Waking up and being in a state of gratitude during the day as much as possible allows you to see the goodness surrounding your life, and there is always goodness. You may have at least four senses functioning, you may have a bed to sleep on, you may have a body that supports you and takes you places, you may be able to see the sky and its magnificence, you may picture your family and friends and be grateful for them, or you may get caught in traffic and say, “the universe must be protecting me or teaching me something.” I don’t know if you remember some of the people that did not die on 9/11 but could have been working at that moment. One was getting donuts, one overslept, one went to get a haircut, one missed the train, and another one had to switch to a later flight. You never know, until you look back, that what you are going through is exactly what you should be going through.

An attitude of gratitude strengthens relationships, improves your health, helps you attract more of the same, invites others to say thank you, and keeps you in the present moment. The benefits of continuous gratitude are endless. If you need help being in a state of gratitude, here are some tips. First, have a reminder on your night table to say thank you for your day in advance. Second, keep a jar where you place pieces of paper with all the good things you are thankful for each day to be read at the end of the year. Finally, every time something “bad” happens, wonder how the universe is rearranging your world to protect you or to improve your life and move you forward. That’s it! All you need to do is to start being thankful.

So, we go back to why I believe the girl’s answer is incomplete. When we are sincerely grateful, the feeling comes from deep inside of us, and one word sometimes is not enough to express it. The earthquake victims actually wrote a letter to them, and also gave hugs, even though it’s not the custom in Japan, they understood. In our case, we can teach our children to be grateful, draw pictures for others, offer a big smile,  write a poem, give flowers, bake cookies, or do something else that would require our time to make. Gratitude is a magical state of being.

Be well!

Feeling Rich

Mother and Child Playing with Leaves

I lived most of my life thinking that I couldn’t get things because they were too expensive. I never had enough money, or it had to be saved for food, shelter and transportation only.  I always thought that I didn’t know how handle my own money.  First my parents, and then my partners oversaw my finances.

I went to many courses to visualize being okay with having money. They didn’t work. I tried spending and donating because the lesson was that if you give it comes back to you. You just need to keep the flow. The problem was that deep inside I didn’t believe that I could have more.  I felt that I didn’t deserve it. Even if for a moment, I believed, I blocked the process because I doubted myself.

At some point I started developing worthwhile goals. Goals that made sense to me and that would be shared with the world. Suddenly, it made sense to spend money in these goals. The money made itself available. I started not being afraid of managing it. I became conscious of each transaction. I studied my investments, my credit cards, my savings. I made decisions. Like magic, things were now possible. There was always enough for what I wanted to do for me, and enough to share with others.

I realized later that there were specific things that I had done that led me to feel rich. After I separated from my first husband. I went through a process of forgiveness. I forgave others for what I thought they had done to me. I asked for forgiveness from my ex and my children, and finally I forgave myself. I believe that resolving these issues helped unblock part of the flow of goodness towards me. I still have to learn much about relationships, but I am now more aware, so I can avoid conflicts, or at least not stay too long in the conflict by bringing clarity, love and peace to all parties including me.

The knowing that the universe will provide without a doubt is essential. The universe’s time is not my time, and it’s easy to be impatient. We must trust the process. We also have to be open to the subtle doors that are opened to guide us into our next step. I remember being open to the steps in the process of writing Absolutely Relative. Where do I start? How will I come up with all the material? Can I trust someone to revise it? What about the cover? Do I know anything about publishing? These questions came initially, but I dismissed them. I never really worried about them. As I was ordering a book from Hay House Publisher’s, they were advertising a free video for writers where they discussed how to get started, and how to overcome writer’s block. The only thing I remember from it is that you should write a table of contents to get started. I chose my topics and started writing. In six months I had written nine chapters.  The next steps of choosing people to revise, copyedit, proofread, and enhance the book were choices that felt 100% right. There were no doubts in my part. Even though I had a timeline, I did not rush them. I made them all aware of the timeline, but I always said that if they needed more to let me know. Each step in the process presented itself, as I needed it. Everything flowed.

In order to feel rich, I think it’s crucial that we feel grateful about every little thing that the universe provides that gets us closer to peace, love, and our chosen goals. Sometimes, situations, and people come that do not seem to be taking us where we want to go. For this, we need to be sharpening our discernment process, so we can follow our intuition. Our inner guidance helps us decide if what is in front of us, is beneficial for us or not at this moment. So, I may not be rich as defined by many, but I am rich as defined by me. My wealth allows me to create and to do what I think is best for me, and best for those I choose to serve. It gives me joy.