Spiritual Dark Side…3 Signs You Might Notice.

I will never forget the first time I told someone that I felt more spiritual than religious.  They looked at me like I had just taken the path straight to hell.  In fact, I think that was a time in my life that became a true test to what I believed.

Let me break this down though.  I didn’t wake up thinking I was better than anyone else in this world, no.  I actually felt more connected to others.  I mean spirit is your essence, right?  I felt connected to the true self of others and just realized that I didn’t have to react to everything that was being said around me.  I could take a pause and look to the inside of a person and realize that what they pointed out in others was often what they were afraid of in themselves.  Aha.  I was waking up.

As I started “waking up” I noticed that others were, to use a Star Wars reference (which technically was also Jungian), going to the dark side after proclaiming being “spiritual”.  So what did that mean exactly?

I started noticing yoga teachers who were stuck in ego, people who claimed to be “heart centered” proclaiming how bad others in their field were and to come to them, as well as many other noticeable signs that these people were in fact full of crap.  Like counting followers.  Here are a few ways to notice on your own.

Spiritual Dark Side Flags:

  1. Acting superior to other people…as if it is their job.  Let me break this down for you.  No one, and I do mean no one on this earth, has the job title “supreme spiritual guru”.  Why would someone else pick on you or call you out to others if their job is to be a guide here for growth?  I can think of only one reason and that’s to make themselves feel better.  This type of thinking is from the ego kids (exaggerated sense of self-importance).  A true guide speaks from the heart and does it in a way that is a win-win for all, not a win-humiliate.  What is the point of that?  Truly.  Speaking from ego doesn’t result in growth.  Period.  If you feel this way, try to enforce your boundaries.
  2. They are working through their own stuff, but instead, prefer to constantly help others instead of doing their own work.  This one screams help to me.  They are always giving advice on every feed, platform, and portal around.  It screams “see me”.  Look at me.  I have my shit together, and I can advise you.  They seem to be looking for a crowd to advise because they just “know” how it is, but they are starting “new” spiritual practices all the time and jumping from thing to thing.  When do they have time to do the “work”?  Like really?  I prefer the teacher, guide, mentor or what have you who says they need some time off.  It’s very important to notice those people.  They are putting in the time to do the work.
  3. They have graduated from doing the spiritual work.  This one also screams no.  If someone tells you that they have reached the final enlightenment stage, run (because they must be a ghost).  You don’t stop learning and growing until you die.  I really believe that.  This is a great adventure.  “You can only come to the morning through the shadows.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien  The shadow parts teach us how to walk in the light, and yes, they will be there until the end.  It is part of life and we must embrace all that life teaches us.  Some days are going to be hard and we’re not going to feel like doing the work, and you know what, it’s okay.  There are good days and bad days and we all have them my friends.

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

To live is the greatest adventure of all, and to live wholeheartedly takes courage.  Admitting that you make mistakes is okay.  Being a leader who makes mistakes is human.  Don’t forget to find those people.  Those are your kind of people.

Want help in an authentic way?  Feel free to find people just like you here.  Head|Heart|Health Club

5 Signs You’re Living Authentically

Why is it so difficult now to spot the real deal?  In a world full of people who are not genuine, how can you channel your inner light?  We all know what kinds of friends we have at a glance, but what about the people who we do business with, or are “friends” with only over the internet, but yet you don’t really know in real life?  The kinds of people who bail on something if it doesn’t serve them, take credit for work they didn’t create or downplay the good points of someone because they want to somehow seem “more than”.

The truth is, there have always been these kinds of people.  However, with the rise of the internet and the social media spotlight, these kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork to build a platform for themselves.  As a friend of mine said recently, it’s kind of like the Wild West.  They are out there selling their snake oil and buyers are lining up.  Instead of worrying about what they are doing, take a closer look at what living authentically really means.

5 Signs You’re Living an Authentic Life:

  1. Upon meeting someone new for the very first time, you try hard to focus on the meaning behind their words.  You want to get to the heart and soul of the matter.  Riches, job titles, clothes and the like are of little interest in who they really are, and you can see past the image they are trying to project.
  2. Your purpose is pure.  Okay, we all have sinned.  Not one of us is perfect, but you know your purpose and it’s coming from a good place.  You work hard to be true around other people, and you honestly expect others to do the same.  You expect a genuine dialog with your friends and even if it’s not always what you want to hear, you are glad you surround yourself with honest people.
  3. As with being true to your word, you expect more than surface level conversations.  If the topics get really into the heart of the matter, you shine best there.  Even if it’s something you would prefer not to discuss, as long as everyone is okay with having a different view on it, you really try to listen.  If you have a strong sense of self-worth as well, then these conversations can be illuminating.  You don’t doubt yourself or your thoughts, you just listen to the other side with interest.  It doesn’t mean it’s going to sway your opinion of the subject matter, but you can still listen without negativity.
  4. You check to make sure you are staying in alignment with your mission.  I was recently asked to do a side job for a pretty decent sum.  It is actually the second time this has happened to me, and I again said no.  Not because I like saying no to money…but because I say no to anything that isn’t going to propel me in the direction of my dreams.  Having more money doing something that is not in alignment with who I am actually just doesn’t feel right for me.  I know what I am meant to do and I choose only to work on projects that align with that.
  5. You aren’t out to please everyone.  Again, this goes with the above reference.  You can say no to something that doesn’t work for you, and realize that it’s okay.  I said no in the nicest possible way even though the person was using his connections as a carrot dangling over me.  At the end of the day, you have be okay with your decisions.  Not the other person.  You can take responsibility for your life.

As you think about the contacts in your life, I hope this helps you to continue to stay true to your mission and live as authentically as you can.  Feel free to share with a friend or comment on other ways you live an authentic life!

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3 Steps to Boost Your Heart Connection…

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Did you know that we experience more inner confidence when we are aligned with our life’s purpose?  Individuals who feed their soul exude a kind of self-confidence that is not seen in other people.  These individuals know who they are (Finally!) and aren’t afraid to speak their truth…even if it means others won’t necessarily agree with them. 

Connecting to what your heart wants is very important in growing as a person.  Have you ever heard someone advise you to “Just follow your heart”?  Well that’s because doing what you love means listing to that inner guide.  That still voice inside you that some refer to as intuition.  When you take action driven by what you love, you learn to follow your passion without fear.  We learn to shift from the ego to the heart and it’s a beautiful thing.

3 Steps to Boost Your Heart

  1. Identify your passion.  What is it that lights you up from the inside out?  What topic is it that if someone were to ask you to speak about it in front of a whole room, you know without a doubt you would feel confident because of how passionate you are about the subject?  I already know the answer to this.  I am passionate about helping other people.  I know that without a doubt, and therefore, it is what appealed to me about my all-natural approach to healing and what continued to move me forward into my yoga practice.
  2. Love yourself.  This one is harder.  So in order to do this one justice, we do a little exercise in my Boost Your Heart program called leaving love notes to yourself.  It’s a journaling exercise and it really is important.  Notice qualities within yourself that help you to find meaning, pleasure and satisfaction.  Allow yourself permission to write down what is your true heart’s desire.  Sometimes, following your heart often requires you to  take a detour from the path others thought you should take.  It can be a long and lonely road initially…but not when you have someone to talk to about your feelings.  It’s important to know that you have worth and are important even if you aren’t doing what others expected you to do.  Trust the journey.
  3. Be authentic.  Have you ever done something that just doesn’t feel like you?  Maybe you weren’t available emotionally or mentally because you were trying to fit into a certain crowd.  You might have left a situation feeling drained actually because you were trying to keep up this appearance.  If you are tuned into how you feel now, and what you really and truly want, it changes the way you interact with people.  We must be willing to look at our lives with honesty and true reflection.  We must be willing to truly evaluate the parts of it that no longer serve our needs.

Are you truly following your heart?

I have worked with people who have these amazing dreams and desires, but for whatever reason, they ignore them because they think that they are unreachable.  Some women would prefer to pretend to be happy and sacrifice their true happiness but justifying that their inner dreams are not really that important anyway.  They have to be a mom, a wife, a teacher, a whatever and can’t be themselves.  They have fit their life into the role that they feel they must fulfill even if they have outgrown that role or it has them suppressing their inner most desires.  I am actually thinking of the woman in The Shift, Wayne Dyer’s movie.

When she woke up and told her husband she was going to stay at the beach for a few more days to paint, it was like an awakening was taking place in her.  She realized that her children didn’t even know she had a love of painting.  It was quite moving.  If you are ready to reconnect to what you love in life, and go fearlessly forward, I invite you to connect with me in my work with me tab.  It takes courage to follow your heart.

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On being friends…

I saw some photos pop up in my news feed which reminded me I needed to message my friend again.  I had been trying to get together with her since February.  I saw the last date of my message was May 1st saying I wanted to catch up.  There were several messages before that as well.  Me asking her if she had time to get together for her birthday, and other things.  The last date night had been in December or January and we had a really good time.  We went to a local restaurant and stayed longer than we planned.  We laughed until tears came out of the corner of our eyes.  Every time we get together as couples, we have an amazing time.  I even mentioned it would be great to do a couples weekend trip.

Let me back up a few years though…eleven and a half to be precise.  When I had my two girls 18 months apart I thought my social life was pretty much over because I was not sure how to manage a toddler and breastfeeding a new baby.  I thought I would probably be stuck in the house until I weaned my baby.  After 6 months of that, I could no longer take that my favorite thing in the world was a trip to Target, because it meant seeing people.  I didn’t care if I had to figure out how to get the horrendous double stroller out and the little carrier to fit in there by myself.  I had recovered from the c-section by that point even though I still had pain where I had been cut (another story).  I had this brilliant idea to set up a playgroup and advertise it for free in our neighborhood letter.

MOMS poured in.  I got about 25 e-mails or so at first.  I couldn’t believe it.  I had the first meeting at our “clubhouse” and that’s when I met ladies who would be life savers for me at that point in my life.  After a few weeks of this clubhouse madness, a few dropped off.  That was great.  We were left with a core group at this point and then there were about 9 of us.  I decided to do a rotation of houses schedule.  Every single Tuesday at 10 a.m. we met at someone’s house.  We got close.  We laughed.  We cried.  We survived.  We were the most eclectic group ever and the stories I could tell…well, I loved every single minute of it.  When we started falling apart for one reason or another, I was extremely sad.  Some moved due to the military.  One left her husband and then didn’t talk to us.  A few of us remained. 

When my closest two friends from the group moved away, I was sad.  Very sad, but I knew it was going to happen.  This was before the “rise” of Facebook, so I know I sound old, but we had e-mail.  I was happy to have that.  Years later one of those friends magically moved back to the same area.  I was ecstatic!  We could get together again like old days.  Time melted away when I saw them.  Then yesterday, I got a message (I took out names):

Hi, I am working my way through letting everyone know (that doesn’t know already) we are leaving tomorrow. We have Sold our house, fingers crossed it all goes through. It all happened much quicker than we thought.  Husband is working more and more in Europe so it made sense to move back. I think it is now or never with the girls…. I am really sorry I didn’t get to catch up with you before we left but we just had so many things to do. The dog left today she was sent on the plane this morning. I have your details and when I get my new email address I will send it too you. So if you ever make that trip over then maybe you could pop over and see us.

So if for some reason you are reading this friend, the reason the only word I typed back was “wow” is because this hurts.  I got a Facebook message.  A message.  I want that to really sink in.  I got a Facebook message telling me you sold your house and the only reason you sent it is because I sent you a message asking for another date night soon.  I feel like an awesome friend right about now.  So girlfriends reading this, if you have a friend who values your time together, please make time for them.  I know that your children’s lives are busy.  I know that there is soccer, swimming, field hockey, ballet, gymnastics, cheering and whatever else you have your kids in.  But if you have become so busy with “life” that you no longer have time for friends, one day you will regret it.

So when I go to my kitchen window, I will look at the little pot you gave me when you left the first time and think of our time together with a smile…

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