New Year’s Ego-lution!

Yay!!!  The countdown is on!  It’s almost 2018!  In a few hours we will be celebrating one of the greatest of all holidays.  New Years!  Such an incredible time of the year for the young and old.  A time to make changes in your life.  It is the time to take on new adventures and step out of your comfort zone.  January is just an amazing time of the year.  A clean slate.  Fresh start.

What are your plans for this New Year?  Are you going to make any drastic changes in yourself?  Are you planning to become a better person somehow…some way?  Maybe you want to quit a habit that has been pestering you.  Maybe you want to look after your body better?  Could it be that you want to add more positivity into your life?  Whatever your plans are, I applaud you!  Change is always a great thing.  Challenging, but a wonderful step in the right direction.

I’m on my third year of my spiritual journey and there are soooooo many things that I would love to change, but the only things that I can change is that which is inside of me.  I can’t change anything or anyone but myself, so when I look into myself, again, there are still many things that I would love to alter and make better.  I’m all about personal betterment.  Always have been.  Perhaps that is why I love this time of the year so much?

My first year on this new spiritual path my goal was to become a better wife.  What a difference that made in our family dynamics!  I would recommend this resolution to anyone who wants to see a transformation in their entire household!  Husband, wife or life partner.  Whoever your live with and choose to call your significant other.

The next year was to learn to love myself for who I am and who God made me to be.  Everyone NEEDS to set this as a goal in their lives ASAP!  I can’t put into words the importance of falling in love with yourself.  Nobody knows you better than you!  Once you discover this amazing you, you will never need anyone else.

Last year, I decided it was time to start taking better care of my temple.  The only body that is housing this dear soul of mine while I’m alive on this earth.  I started watching what I put into my body.  I found Kundalini Yoga which my body fell in love with!  Little things can go a long way when you start putting something as a priority in your life.

This year comes my biggest challenge so far!  Becoming a better wife was easy…just put my husband as my top priority.  Learning to love myself was challenging at first, but the more alone time I spent with me, the more I started to appreciate me for who I really am.  Looking after my body…well, that was another no brainer.  I just had to make better choices with my lifestyle.  It was something that I could easily carry out for a year, and continue to be successful.

This year however, I’m trying to rid myself of my ego!  No judgment because that is total ego…thinking you are better than someone else.  No more anger.  Again, that is your ego not being kind and loving and only seeing situations from your angle.  No stress…as soon as you let stress in your life, ego is ruling it.  No more defending myself…again, if you have the need to defend, that is just your ego needing to prove you are right.

Some people may think I’m crazy, but that would be just their egos telling them that.  I know that this is the way for me to grow closer to my spiritual self.  The method for me to get closer to God who lives inside of me.  As Luke 20-21 says, “Some Pharisees asked Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come. His answer was, “The Kingdom of God does not come in such a way as to be seen. No one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’; because the Kingdom of God is within you.”

Until we remove this ego which puts such negativity into our worlds, we will never find this Kingdom of God inside of us.  Our lives will never be as fulfilled as they are supposed to be.  Will it be easy to remove my ego?  Probably not, but all I want to do is acknowledge when I am being ruled by my ego.  Catch myself every time I feel these feelings arising in my body and mind.  To me, this is step one.  Maybe next year, I can extend this New Year’s Resolution even greater than this, but for now, I will be happy with trying my best to acknowledge and try eliminate this evil side of me as much as possible.

We all have the Kingdom of God inside of us, but our ego smothers it out.  How fair is that?  I’m done letting this crazy part of me ruin my life.  I’m ready to take this giant leap into cleansing my body from all of these emotions.  If it means bringing me closer to God and my life’s purpose than I am in!  Is there anyone else up for this grande challenge for a resolution?  I’m calling it my New Year’s Ego-lution, which is my solution to make my world an even better place to be for all I encounter!

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New Year’s Light

I love the New Year!  Such a fresh start to life.  For some reason, every New Year, I think of Genesis.  That first book of the Bible, that makes us remember how we ever ended up here.  It took six days and nights then BAM!  New Year’s number one was here!  Imagine the celebration!!!  Whoop!  Whoop!

I find it fascinating the entire creation story.  In all honesty, my favorite part of the Genesis story is Genesis 1:3, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”  I’m all about the symbolism of the Bible, and I think this goes much deeper than the verse says, and it isn’t just in the creation of time that this happens, it happens around us on a daily basis.

Did you ever wonder why in the Bible there was light on Day 1, but the sun, moon and stars were not created until Day 4?  Could it be that the six days of creation, essentially is not the literal description of the creation of the universe, but instead our own physical creations as humans?  With the evidence of the light coming before the sun and the moon, it makes me wonder.

Just like from our own birth.  We are in the darkness of the womb of our mothers and then when our time comes, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”  BAM!  We are faced with the bright light of the world around us.  We were created first and then we see the light.  We have to learn how to survive in this new found light.  Then it takes us an entire lifetime dealing with life in this new world.  It is our creation story, but very much the same as the original creation story in Genesis.

Not only at our birth do we see the light.  As we mature and find our way in this world many time we go through much darkness.  Maybe we are going through a financial struggle and we can’t imagine ever getting out of it.  Many of us suffer from depression and anxiety and can’t imagine life ever turning around for us.  We go through devastations in our personal lives by losing loved ones, or even divorce.  We find ourselves in this never ending black hole of life with no signs of hope.

During these dark times of our lives we have many choices on how we can handle or maneuver in our worlds.  We can continue on our path of no return, or we can make a few changes that can set us in a different direction in hope that the light might be found.  Our first change is that we have to open up our minds and not take life so literal.  We need to free our minds from this finite thinking we’ve been conditioned to have.  We have to approach life without all the brainwashing that our lives have been put under for many years.

The first day of the first year of this planet earth it was said, “And darkness was upon the faces of the deep and the spirit of God moved upon the faces of the waters. And God said, Let there be light.” Genesis 1:2.   Who can see that this is really the darkness that we have when we are in anxious and doubtful.  Those people who are searching for the light but cannot find it.  How many of us feel like we are in the deep abyss of despair, but something brings us out of it to finally see the truth.  Kind of ironic isn’t it?

There are many hidden meanings in the Bible, and that is what makes reading it and spending time with God so incredible.  We’ve learned so many great things since the beginning of time.  We, as humans, have evolved greatly.  I know the way I raise my children from the way I was raised are two totally different worlds, as I am sure generations before this would say the same thing.  We’ve improved in so many ways, but one way I feel we haven’t evolved is in spirituality.  So many people still take the Bible is such a literal sense.  Many people won’t open their minds up to there being a deeper meaning to the word of God.

Genesis and the creation of the world really being symbolic to our own creation and development is just one of the many symbolic stories in the Bible.  We have scientific proof that the world wasn’t created in six days.  How could there be a measurable day and night if the sun and moon didn’t show up until the fourth day of creation?

Ken Ham from “Answers in Genesis” says, “The majority of Christians (including many Christian leaders) in the Western world, however, do not insist that these days of creation were ordinary-length days, and many of them accept and teach, based on outside influences, that they must have been long periods of time—even millions or billions of years.”  If Christians can bend the rules for this book of the Bible and realize that these words in this section of the Bible don’t line up, then why can’t we see that many of the words don’t line up and that the Bible is a symbolic text for us to figure out and not take so literally.  We can’t have an open mind for one book of the Bible, and not the rest.

This new year, why don’t you try to open your mind up to new beginnings.  Keep an open mind to everything in your world, not just the Bible.  Remember that defending your beliefs is just the ego needing to reassure itself that its thoughts are the only thoughts to have.  God has no ego.  Open your mind up to that fact and your entire universe will change!

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Boxing Day

Boxing Day!  Who feels like they’ve literally been boxed around by Mike Tyson?  Exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally.  There is too little time to get everything that we want to get done – done.  The holiday season can be tough on us from all angles of our being.  We are burning our candles at both ends trying to make everything perfect.  But why?

Is there a reward for you if you pull off the perfect holiday season?  What drives us to put ourselves through such a torturous situation?  Christmas Eve supper.  Christmas morning brunch.  Christmas Supper.  Boxing Day party with your friends.  Really?  Do we need to cram so much into such a short period of time?  Obviously we do.  I know some families that have two Christmas suppers.  How is that humanly possible?

We all do it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one with a crazily booked schedule from the 23rd of December right through to the New Years.  If only we could say no to ourselves.  That is our problem.  We can’t say no.  We don’t want to slow down.  For some reason we thrive on this pressure.  We don’t want to miss anything and we want to see people that we don’t get to see all year.  I get it.  I totally understand why we push ourselves to the brink of insanity during this time of the year.

We feel that we “need” to do all these things.  Is it a need or a desire to do everything?  Once it is a desire in us, then it is all ego driven.  It’s our perception of what we “need” to do.  Here we are during the most spiritual time of the year, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and we are making perceptions in our head of how we should be celebrating the season.

Do you think he would want us to be stressing ourselves silly over this time of the year?  Do you think he wants us to be burning our candle at both ends?  Absolutely not.  I love the part in A Course in Miracles in Chapter 11 “God or the Ego” where it says, “The ego analyzes; the Holy Spirit accepts.  The appreciating of wholeness comes only through acceptance, for to analyze means to break down or to separate out.  The attempt to understand totality by breaking it down is clearly the characteristically contradictory approach of the ego to everything.”

Deep right?  If you wondering what it all means, it’s quite simple.  Out of the chaos of Christmas, or anything in your life, that is the ego trying to bring meaning to your life through this chaos.  For some reason as humans we crave this chaos.  We would feel lonely and unimportant if we didn’t have it in our worlds.  We want to think we “need” to be doing all of these activities to make our egos feels important.

I’m sure you’ve witnessed people in your life like this.  They aren’t happy unless they have chaos in their lives.  There is always some sort of drama that they are fixated on.  One day it is one issue, another day it is another.  It is Boxing Day every day in their world.  Christmas is always throwing up in their lives.

If we can separate ourselves from this chaos, then that is when we finally learn what salvation is.  We finally can feel the peace and love that the holiday season is all about.  Harmony is a threat to the ego.  It doesn’t want us to live in harmony.  It wants us in chaotic situations.  It’s what it thrives on.

Are you one of those people who feed their ego with the need for drama in your life?  Do you feed on other people’s chaos and love to gossip about the upsets in other people’s lives?  Stop.  Just focus on what makes life easy.  Lose the ego and the drama.  Start focusing on you and only you and what makes your soul happy.  People aren’t out to get you…your ego is!

How do you do this?  First of all you have to start cleaning out your boxes…that is the purpose of Boxing Day.  It’s time to clean your emotional boxes.  All the stuff that your ego has been feeding on from your subconscious that you have no idea is even there.  How do you empty these boxes?  One way.  Meditation.  Sitting in silence with yourself.  Getting to know your soul, and quieting that dreaded ego.

My father once asked me, “Isn’t prayer the same as meditating?”  My response to this was, “Prayer is talking to God, where meditation is waiting for God to talk to you.”  That’s when you empty out all your boxes.  Trust me.  In the chaos of Christmas, it is worth sitting in silence for even 5 minutes a day.  Give it a try and see if you hear anything from God.  If you do I promise you will never want to live in chaos of Boxing Day ever again!

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Controlling Christmas

How many of us are almost burnt out from all the Christmas hype and there are still five days left?  I know I used to be actually glad when Christmas was over because I micro-managed every little part of the season.  I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world that overtaxed themselves trying to make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright!

Every year I was making sure my children had the best Christmas ever…but as the years went on each Christmas was getting harder and harder to top. Not only was I trying to control my children’s Christmases, I also was controlling ever day of the week, making sure there was some sort of activity that they would make their family tradition list.  Gingerbread house making.  Christmas cooking.  Decorating.  Christmas movies.  Caroling.  The list was endless and exhausting!

Even if I didn’t have children, I still had a huge “To Do” list for the month of December ensuring I hit all the “must do” for this festive time of the year.  I had to make sure my Christmas letter was in the mail the first week of December.  I started decorating the first week of December to ensure that I had my house perfectly perfect for any visitors that might show up unannounced.   I had all the Christmas parties on the calendar.  Endlessly wrapping gifts to make sure our friends and family go to unwrap a gift and not just cheat out on a gift bag.

As a child I was a Christmas nut!  I would start listening to Christmas songs in October.  My excitement for the big event would slowly climb until I near exploded the week before Christmas.  I wanted to embrace this incredible feeling even in my adulthood.  I had the craziest beliefs in my head and I wanted everything about Christmas to be just so.  I was actually controlling of my own control over this holiday season.

It’s crazy what our minds can do to us.  I would make these fictitious expectations up in my head of how this year’s Christmas was going to play out and do my absolute best of micro-managing every day right down to the hours to make sure it unfolded the way I had it in my mind.  Then when things didn’t happen the way I expected them to happen, or people weren’t excited to do what I planned I was disappointed.  Christmas was ruined.

But was Christmas really ruined?  No.  My ego was hurt.  The image that I had in my head didn’t work out.  That was all.  My ego tried to control my favorite time of the year and it actually ruined it for me.

How many of us let our egos ruin our lives?  Any time we are feeling angry, jealous, envious, frustrated, or fearful this is our egos hard at work.  How many of us worry what other people think of us?  That is our ego.  It wants us to think that we can control all our situations, but in reality we have control of nothing in our world.  What is going to happen is going to happen.  Sure we can try and control things to go in our favor, but we can’t make something happen that wasn’t supposed to happen –  happen.

We have to learn to let our egos go and let the universe take over.  Stop trying to control every aspect of our lives, especially the people in them.  Nobody wants to be controlled.  Not your children.  Not your spouse.  Not your co-workers.  Not your friends.  Nobody.  Let people be who they are born to be.  Let go of making people do things the way you “feel” they should be done.  Open your mind up to different ideas and concepts.  It might be amazing what you see come out of this lack of control.

I’ve minimized Christmas and I am totally enjoying this festive season as I did when I was an innocent child.  I let my children put up the Christmas tree the way they think is beautiful.  I let my husband organize events and even plan menus.  I go to the Christmas parties I can make or have the energy for and the others I graciously decline.

I finally learned that I do things if the universe gives me time to do it, if not, I don’t worry about it.  I spend time with the people that the universe puts in my path.  Most importantly, I am loving the feeling of not being stressed out about how each of my days are going to unfold and whether or not my loved ones are happy.  Nor do I care what people think about me, my Christmas decorations, or my beliefs about Christmas.  As a Course in Miracles says, “The ego lives by comparisons.” (p. 52) and I am trying desperately to let my ego go and stop any comparisons of myself to others.

I’m finally realizing that it’s not the decorations, or the beautiful lights that make Christmas bright.  It’s not the presents or the events that I have planned for the season that is going to make memories. It’s not even about the people in my life.  People can’t make me happy.  Only I can make me truly happy.  Learning to release all control to the universe and letting it make my Christmas a memorable one is the best gift out there.  By giving up control, an incredible joy has filled my world.  The joy of knowing that the universe knows best.

This Christmas season, why don’t you step away from the control panel of your life?  Let the universe work its magic during this incredibly mystical season and see how much more you can enjoy the holiday season.  It might just make it the best Christmas ever by far!

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Christmas Changes

I love Christmas…it really is a magical time of the year.  The lights.  The presents.  The songs.  The gifts.  It just seems like there is just such an incredible amount of love at Christmas time more so than any other time of the year.  As the old saying goes, “Tis the season to be jolly”, and jolly most people are!

But not everyone is jolly this time of the year.  If you have lots of people loving you and surround you, then it’s great.  But what about those people that really don’t have many people around during the holidays?  This time of the year must be really rough for them.  Then you have some people have tons of loving people surrounding them and they are still sad and lonely.  Why is that?

What about if you don’t get that special gift that you’ve been wishing for?  What if your holiday dreams don’t come true?  It can be a very devastating time of the year, especially once all the hype of Christmas is over and you realize you still aren’t happy.

As I get older, I have more and more of my friends losing loved ones and having to find a new normal in their lives without their moms or their dads or other important people in their lives.  Some of my friends are even losing people they love in divorce or choosing to live their lives without their significant other for one reason or another.  They have grown apart.  They found love in someone else.  They finally found their soul mate.  Their perceptional reasons for this is endless.

All these factors are changes in our worlds.  Also changes in our other loved ones’ worlds.  Our other family members are affected too.  Children are affected.  In-laws.  Even friend circles are changed when these things occur.  I know I still remember the pain of losing my grandfather.  It was sudden and I loved that man more than anything I could ever describe.  He was my world when I was a fourteen year old girl.  But, we made a new normal and life moves forward.

Sadly, change is inevitable.  We have to learn to deal with it.  Even when we lose a loved one.  Nothing in this world is permanent.  No job.  No relationship.  Nothing.  That is why we have to value every little moment.  We should be making every day like Christmas, especially with the people we cherish.  We have to make sure we are the most kind and caring to those that we adore the most…not treat them worse than we would treat a stranger, just because we can.  It happens though.  For some reason we treat the people we love the most the worst.  Why is that?

Do you remember how in love you were when you first met your “soul mate”?  The person that you knew that you would spend eternity with?  You were convinced that they were made for you.  They made you feel special.  You felt loved like you have never felt before.  Was it really them that made you happy, or were you just making yourself happy at the time?  Was it the newness of the relationship that made you happy?  The change?

My wish this Christmas is to convince people they need nothing this Christmas.  Nothing that can be bought or given to you by someone else.  Nothing but the ability to learn to love themselves.  Stop searching for that new something or that special person to make you happy.  Learn that your soul mate is really you.  It’s time to mate with your own soul.  You aren’t going to find happiness in anything but yourself.

I’m fortunate to have both my parents still around to share in this holiday season.  Our children still get the joy of having all four grandparents participating in making their Christmas bright.  They get to have their two parents waking up together on Christmas morning, but I don’t ever want my children basing their happiness on any of these impermanent factors.   I want to teach my children that it is them that make their Christmas merry.  Not the people, not the presents, but the best gift is the ability to learn to totally adore and love themselves.

We have to let go of trying to control what will make us happy and realize true happiness HAS to come from within.  A wise woman once told me, “Once you learn to love yourself, all the pieces of your divine destiny will fall in place.”

This Christmas, face all your changes with the knowing that when you truly love yourself you can face any adversity that is brought your way because you have the love and support of yourself to help you.

Give yourself the gift of self-love this Christmas.  This doesn’t mean getting a pedicure, or treating yourself to a facial.  This means to dig deep inside of you and start to love every inch of yourself…even your ugly feet.

Once you have this gift, your Christmas and every day of the year will be complete.  Put the gift of self-love at the top of your Christmas Wish List today!

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Christmas Card Mistakes

Tis’ the season and Christmas cards are quickly rolling in.  Even though they are almost becoming a thing of the past, I still enjoy getting my annual Christmas cards in the mail.  It is great to see how families grow from year to year.  I love reading the Christmas letters that some families put out as well.  It’s just a time of the year to celebrate the great things that happened over the past 365 days.

What I’ve learned, however, over the past 18 years of having a family of my own and since I’ve been actively involved in the Christmas card process myself, is that what you see portrayed on these beautifully crafted Christmas cards aren’t always the realities of life.

Many of us hide our faults and yearly upsets behind the smiling faces, beautiful backdrops and posed positions in order to portray to the world that our lives are perfectly perfect.  Please don’t let these picture perfect cards fool you.  Every family has its ups and downs.  Every family is working through difficulties.  Everyone has their struggles whether they want to admit it or not.

Privacy is wonderful and I respect that fact that people want their privacy.  Privacy, however, sometimes is just the ego hard at work.  It is a way of people hiding the fact that they are human.  We all make mistakes.  We all have our ups and downs.  We all make stupid choices that we regret and wish we could take back.  We should be celebrating that we are learning from these mistakes and not let our ego hide them.  The only reason we hide them is because our egos don’t want other people judging us.  What are people going to think?  Who cares?  Do you think their lives are really any different than yours?  No.  Nobody has the picture perfect Christmas card.  Nobody!

I always stress to my children and the students that I teach that I love when they make mistakes, because mistakes are meant to teach us.  The same is true with life.  We have to make mistakes and grow from them as a human.  As Oprah says, “There is no such thing as failure.  Failure is just life trying to move us in another directions.”  This coming from a huge TV success story who was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.

I think mistakes should be celebrated.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see a Christmas card that talked about all the mistakes they made, and what they’ve learned from them?  Wouldn’t you be shocked to open up someone’s Christmas card to read, “I had an affair on my spouse, but it took me being with someone else to realize just how important my family really is to me.”  Or how about, “We had a very tough financial year and we made some really bad business decisions, but I am looking forward to never making those mistakes again and keep plugging away and finding new business opportunities.”   What if you read, “I had a very tough year emotionally and I’ve been depressed for the last three months, but I had to experience this darkness to realize just how much light there was inside of me that I’ve been hiding on myself for years.”

The old sayings goes, “You never know what goes on behind closed doors” or “You have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”  These two sayings are very true and we all know they are true, but we all judge people when you hear what people are going through.  “Geeze, I’d never put up with that if my spouse did that to me.”  “Man, oh, man some people are greedy when it comes to making a dollar.”  “It seems now-a-days everyone is depressed.”  You’ve all said it or thought it when you hear gossip about what difficulties people are faced with.

It’s time that we stop judging and realize we all experience the same kind of life problems.  Stop hiding behind your perfect family picture that you are sending in the mail this year, and celebrate your mistakes!  As long as you are growing as a soul and making adjustments so that you never make the same mistake again.  If you do, than learn better next time.

Nobody has the perfect life.  That is why we are on this earth.  To learn.  Celebrate your mistakes and learn from them.  I really like the famous quote by Michael Jordan, and I think if he was to make one of these kinds of Christmas cards he would put on the inside these wonderful words, “I have missed more than 9 000 shots in my career.  I have lost almost 300 games.  On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot and I missed.  I have failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

Stop looking at other peoples’ Christmas cards coveting their lives.  They are walking their walk and you are walking yours.  They could be hiding many, many secrets behind those Colgate white smiles.  Life isn’t always about the perfect Christmas cards, it all about your failures and learning from them.  Let’s celebrate this Christmas season all your failures.  Cheers to a bunch more in the New Year!!

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