Update Ourselves

I have to say, I’m not a fan of all the updates that come with the Apple products.  I know they are probably universal and there are updates for all electronic devices, but since I have Apple products, I notice it the most.

As my school year comes to an end, and I finally get the summer to recoup from a long year of hard work, I am starting to feel like I am in huge need one of these updates.  I need to plug into some new energy and let my body just re-energize for a while.

I am ready for a new and improved version of myself.  I’m ready to put some energy into me.  I want to sit back all summer and read books, listen to videos and educate myself as much as I can on anything spiritual and how to become all that I was created to be.  I’m ready for an update.  If only it was as easy as updating your electronic device!

How many of us let ordinary life pass us by and never take time for ourselves.  To better ourselves?  To love ourselves!  To spend alone time with ourselves so that we can see life through the eyes of love and peace and not exhaustion, anger, bitterness or hate.  If a phone or electronic device takes time to make itself better, I’m hoping that as humans, and the top of the intellectual chain, we should take time for ourselves to make ourselves better.  But how many of us don’t?  How many of us just continue through life as we are. We might even have the same hair style, or wear the same styles that we did in high school.  But here we are.  Years later, and we haven’t changed a bit.

As much as I am not a fan of change, I realize it is a part of our lives on this planet.  We have come here to become better people.  To get our updates and to become a better version than we were before.  Just like Apple products.  We need to update ourselves and find why we were put in this world.

That’s what I love about A Course in Miracles.  It is a book perfectly formatted to actually update your brain.  Your life.  Through its teachings you can become a better version of yourself.

For those who have never heard about this book, A Course in Miracles is a complete self-study spiritual thought system.  Its focus is on universal love and peace, by reprogramming this thought system of guilt that has been inbred into us from infancy.  Its target is forgiving others and ourselves.  The Course teaches us how to heal relationships and making them holy, especially within ourselves.  The best part for me is, A Course in Miracles is just a type of universal spiritual teaching and not a religion.  It just focuses on making you a newer improved version of yourself.

I love this quote from this beloved text, “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”  It is time that we all finally let our updates happen.  Let the new version of you download.  Take time to start seeing the world differently.  You can’t change the world, but you can change how you perceive it.  A Course in Miracles will help you with your update.  It has a 365 day reprogramming system for your brain.  You just have to make the effort to plug yourself into the book for five to ten minutes every day.  I promise it will be the best time you ever spent on yourself.

As much as we all hate to get the new update notice on our electric devices, we appreciate them after we learn how to function with them.  The same will happen if your take the time to update your thought system to that of love and peace.  Take the time to update yourself this summer.  Make it a summer goal.  Who doesn’t want to become a better version of themselves?


Bikini Body or Meditative Mind?

As summer hits, lots of people are on the quest for that perfect “Beach Body”.  I completely understand why!  According to the Food Research & Action Center more than two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.  This definitely should be an area of concern and a motivation to better ourselves as humanbeings!

Thankfully, it is also reported that 77% of Americans claim to be trying to eat healthier.  That is a very encouraging number!  We are all witnesses to this growing phenomenon!  How many people do you know are on the Keto Diet?  I know many of the people in my life are, and I think it is great!  People should be caring about what they put into their body.  I just wish the world would start focusing on what they put in their mind as much as their bodies.

Many people start the Keto diet for many reasons.  Some may have diabetes in their family, and they were preventing this happening to them.  Others were trying to lower their blood pressure, and a few were just doing it to feel better about themselves.  These are all valid reasons to start looking after yourself.

On a different note, did you know anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year?  This is a crazier statistic than obesity!  Why aren’t we focusing on this instead of our body weight?  I am positive, that if we dealt with our anxiety disorder epidemic, the weight issue would dissipate!  How many people eat when they are depressed?  Eat to make them feel better.  Just eat to eat.  Food fills their gap.  If people could get control over their mind, the eating healthy part would come easily.  As your mind develops and changes, so will your life choices.

Nowadays, people are informed about the studies on how meditation can change your life!  How it can reduce stress, improve concentration, encourages a healthy lifestyle, increases happiness, increases self-love, slows aging, increases immune function, increases the gray matter in your brain, just to name a few of the benefits at the tip of this amazing meditation iceberg.

As you can see, I’m a huge promoter, and I try to influence people as much as possible.  Sadly, I always hear the excuses like: I don’t have time.  I can’t sit still long enough.  I can’t stop my mind from wondering.  I’ve tried it and it isn’t for me.  Of course it isn’t for you!  Who has time to experience all these wonderful benefits I previously mentioned?

All sarcasm aside, let me put it to you another way.  Meditation is the absolute last thing that your ego wants you to do.  Your ego wants to ruin your life.  That is why it is in us.  Its sole purpose!  To make your life a living hell!  Making these excuses not to meditate is your ego talking, not your true self.

Look back at the list of benefits of meditation I mentioned earlier.  Your ego doesn’t want you to have any of these.  It doesn’t want you happy.  It doesn’t want you to love yourself.  It wants you to age and worry about the way you look.  It doesn’t want you living a healthy lifestyle.  It wants you stressed out.  Why are people letting this part of their thought process win?  Why won’t people start looking at meditation in higher regards than diet or exercise?  It is something that should become a part of everyone’s daily routine.

I’m reading a really great book that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the science of meditation, and it is called “The Book of Secrets” by Osho.  One little sentence I read really shouted at me and I thought would fit perfect for this blog, “Change the within and the without will change!”

So many of us are caught in this crazy web of life, being spun around and around by our egos and all that it makes us think we want and need.  These are the reasons anxiety and depression is on such an up hill climb.  Everyone wants to know the key to happiness…and guess where you will find it?  Within.  Not without.  We have to let our true self talk, and how do you hear your true self?  Sit in silence.  Meditate!


Easy Way or Hard Way?

In honor of Father’s Day coming up, I wanted to pay tribute to the father of my children.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but when it came to choosing a father for my children, I definitely hit the Jackpot.  Actually that is one of my on-going jokes.  I have no luck anymore because I used it all up finding my husband.  In all honesty, this man is everything I imagined the father of my children to be.

One of my favorite techniques that my husband uses when parenting our children is the technique he refers to as “The Easy Way or the Hard Way”.  As soon as he says these words, our children know exactly what he is referring to.

When they were younger, in their testing-their-boundaries stages, if we asked them to do something and they kicked up a fuss, my husband would say, “We can do this the easy way or the hard way, you choose.”  They knew exactly what this choice meant.  They could either go along with what was being asked of them and cooperate, or be forced to do it with my husband’s help.  And they never did enjoy this method.

They knew that it would be way more painful if their father brushed their teeth.  Or they knew it was not as pleasant to have him take their hands and pick up their dishes out of the living room, one dish at a time, and bring it out to the kitchen with his help.  They always halfheartedly laughed at his technique, but it was more because of his silliness in his helping method than anything.

I feel this is very much what our souls go through as they are here on Earth learning their own boundaries.  Our Creator is sitting back, watching our souls grow and giving us lots of love and guidance along the way.  Just like my husband with our children, the Divine is directing our every step, but sometimes he is saying to us, “We can do this the easy way, or the hard way.”

How many of us, many times, choose the hard way?  How many of us know that our lives would be much easier if we had of made different choices?  How many of us know that if we just had of done what we are being asked to do, life would be much easier but we still choose to do it the hard way.  Much suffering come to us over our choices.  We had a voice in the back of our minds chanting to us, “You shouldn’t do this.”  But, we do it anyway.  That is because we are feeding our ego and not our spirit.

Our Creator isn’t here to take us by the hand and lead us, like my husband would do to help our children do what they needed to do whether they wanted to or not.  But, if you would stop and get in tune with your soul, you would know the right way to do everything.  You would understand what the easy way is and the hard way wouldn’t be an option any more.  A good rule of thumb is if it is done with love, it is coming from the Divine.  If it is done with hatred, anger, jealousy, bitterness, or revenge, that is totally coming from your ego.  The ego does not want you happy.  It wants you to feel sorry for yourself.  It wants you to blame others.  It thrives when you are jealous or envious of others.

But when we make these ego lead choices that taint our souls, the Divine doesn’t stop us, or force us to do what he wanted us to do.  Instead, we will make our choice, and then experience the consequences after, however painful they may be.  Some may call it Karma, but it is definitely a parenting technique used by our Creator.  The Universe will shout a little louder at us the next time we make that same simple mistake.  This pattern will continue, with the Universe yelling a little louder and a little louder each time until finally we get it right.

Most of the time, each time that we make the bad choice over and over again, we get to feel the karma or pain of making the wrong choice.  You’ve all experienced I am sure.  As A Course in Miracles says, “It’s not up to you what you learn, but only whether you learn through joy or through pain.”  We are all here on Earth to learn the lessons our soul needs to develop and become enlightened.  What method we learn with is up to us.  If we do it the easy way, we will experience joy and happiness once we learn and change.  If we learn it the hard way, we will continue to experience pain until finally, we let go of our egos and let our consciousness take over.  Let love rule.

Now, that our children are 13 and 15 years of age, I rarely hear their father use this parenting technique.  They just know that they have these two choices, and they don’t even have to be reminded of what choice to make.  They were fast learners.  I’m now 44 and have been on my spiritual path for three and a half years now, and I’m finally starting to clue in like my children.  I can either learn my lessons the easy way or the hard way too.  Finally, I’m letting my ego go and learning my soul’s lessons the easy way.

What is your choice?  Are you going to continue to go through this life ruled by your ego, and learn things the hard way, or are you going to let the love of the Universe take over and learn things the easy way?  Your Father is proud of you either way!  He’s a very patient and loving Creator!


Black Magic Gossip

I am not a television person.  Our home television would not come on if it wasn’t for my husband.  I watch informational videos on YouTube.  Swedenborg and Life, Wayne Dyer specials, The Dhammapada educational videos, Gary Habermas, Richard Moss, Marianne Williamson, Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, just to name a few of my favorites.  Rarely would I watch TV.  Television now has many proven negatives, and I am glad that isn’t one of my vices.

What I honestly don’t understand is how regular people can fall in love with television and movie stars.  People magazine, The Star, US Weekly, National Inquirer, etc. make millions off of other people’s desire to know what is going on in celebrities’ worlds.  Who they are dating.  What they said about so-and-so.  What their parents are doing.  It is crazy how they torment these individuals trying to get the latest scoop, the recent sighting, or the craziest wardrobe flop.

I was never one of these people that felt the need to know about the lives of the rich and famous.  Now, the more and more I learn about spirituality, the more and more I am realizing how important it is to not worry about anyone’s world, but my own.  I am going to spend my valuable time learning to love myself, not celebrities.  My mission is to love my life, not wish that I had the things other people have.  My focus is to drown myself in my own self -love, so I will realize just how rich I really am, not worry about the rich and famous.

One of my spiritual running buddies, knowing that I am spiritual literature-aholic, recently tagged me in a great blog by Gabby Bernstein called, “6 Books That Will Inspire & Support You on Your Spiritual Path”.  I couldn’t wait to check out Gabby’s recommendations.  I hurried to Amazon to search the books and see if I could get any cheap second hand ones.  My next stop — YouTube to see what books are available as an audio version to listen to for free.

I was very excited to see many of them were available, so my first choice was, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  I can’t express how thrilled I was.  It was only a 24 minute blurb on the first chapter of the book, but it was all on the “First Agreement: Being Impeccable to Your Word.”  It was exactly what I needed to hear.

As I sat and listened there were a vast of information flooding my ears, and I had to pause it to write down certain quotes.  One of the first magical ear candy was, “Sin begins with rejection of yourself.  Self-rejection is the biggest sin you commit.”  Exactly what I was trying to stop over these last three and a half years.  Self-rejection.  Right away, I texted it to my friend for her to contemplate over and also encourage that she listens to this book.

As I progressed further in the book, it just got better and better.  Finally it started talking about the “black magic of gossiping”.  That really caught my attention.  Since my epiphany of self-love began, I cherish the importance of my body.  I started removing negative elements from my body a little at a time.  I eliminated caffeine trying to get more in touch with myself.  Then it was the sweet white nectar more addictive than cocaine…sugar.  That was my second element I cleaned from my life on my path to self-love.  Then listening to this, I knew exactly what my next mission would be.  To rid my life of gossip.  I know!  I know!  Way easier said than done, but I am going to try!

If you listen to the way Don Miguel Ruiz explains it in his book, you would never want it anywhere near your life again.  It is such a dangerous chain reaction, deadlier than any sort of caffeine or sugar to the mind.

He uses the analogy of the human mind and gossip as a computer and a computer virus.  Once the computer code (gossip) gets introduced to your computer, your computer doesn’t work the same way it did, or it might not work at all, because the codes are so scrambled.  The same goes for gossip in your life.  You don’t know where people’s opinions come from.  Usually if people are talking poorly about someone it is out of jealousy, anger, resentment or bitterness of some sort.  Their ego’s prejudice that are talking and spreading lies about that person.  We all do it, but we all have to stop.  It is poisoning our minds, just like the computer viruses poison your computer.

It is time for all of us to evaluate our lives and start on our individual paths to self-love.  It’s time to cut ourselves off from the addiction of putting our nose in other people’s business.  Celebrities or non-celebrities.  Instead of scrolling your precious time away on Facebook to see the newest scoop, or watching TMZ, use that 30 minutes to listen to this 24 minute YouTube video on Miguel’s book.  If I can educate one person on the value of eliminating gossip from their life, it will make this blog worthwhile, and the world a better place!  It all starts with one person!  Be that person today!



To Do or Not To Do!

With summer right around the corner, how many of you are a bit overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done in your life in such a few short weeks?  Lawns to be raked.  Winter debris to be picked up.  Flower beds that need cleaning.  Flower and vegetable gardens to be planted.  Pools to be started up.  Lawn furniture brought out.  Decks to be stained.  Windows to be washed.  House cleaning to finish.  For such an incredible season, it comes with a ton of work and many people get stressed over getting it all done.

It’s hard for me to get all these chores finished, since I have very active children.  I work full time, coach gymnastics six days a week, and now baseball season is started up full force, and every weekend I am either at the local field volunteering to help in the press box, or on the road for an away game.  Not to mention the normal weekend to weekend events that pop up; Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, niece’s preschool graduation, former gymnasts’ graduation parties, friends’ and family members’ birthday parties.  The list is never ending.

I have no time to do my day to day housework, so most days this “Summer To-Do” list has been the last thing on my mind.  Never the less, it keeps piling up and staring me in the face every time I look out the windows or back into my driveway at the end of my busy days.  We all have choices with what to do with our days.  I don’t have to coach gymnastics this much, but I choose to.  I don’t have to go to my son’s baseball games, but I choose to.  Why?  Because family is my first priority as it is with many people.  I only have my children for another four years and then they will all be away at university or on an adventure of their choice.

Do I feel frustrated that this “To-Do” list isn’t getting done?  When I was younger and more egocentric in my thinking, definitely.  Now as I age and learning to let go of this debilitating thing called my ego, I have a different way of thinking about things.  I realize that I make the choices in my life to make me happy.  Family makes me happy.  My friends make me happy.  Coaching makes me happy.  Baseball makes me happy.  That is what I focus my energy on.  Not that having a well landscaped yard and an outdoor living space doesn’t make me happy, but those things can wait.  They will get done when the universe gives me time to get these things done.  I don’t need to stress over it.

The same goes for anything in your life.  We all have choices and we have to let our egos stop brainwashing us into thinking and feeling we have to do certain things in our lives.  You have to make the choices that make you happy.  The ego doesn’t want you to be happy, it wants you to make everyone else happy.  It wants you to think if only you had certain things finished you’d be happy.  Or if you had that certain item you’d be happy.  It wants you to put on a front for everyone to think that you have it all together, and it doesn’t care what it does to your soul in the meantime.  It just wants you to look good in everyone else’s eyes.  But where does that leave you?  Where does that leave your true self?  The most precious part of you.  Your soul.  It’s time to free yourself of this demon called your ego and start pampering your soul with all the joys of summertime.

I love A Course in Miracles and it reminds us, “The world is only in the mind of its maker. Do not believe it is outside of yourself.”

As summer approaches, remember that your world is only in your own mind.  Make your world a happy one during next few, sweet months of sunshine.  If you are thinking of all the stuff you have to get done around the house make a new sort of “To-Do” list.  A “Summer To-Do for Me” list!  Take this summer and focus on all the stuff that makes you happy.  The people that make you happy.  The places that make you happy.  The activities that make you happy.  If you don’t make you happy, I promise, nobody else will.  Remember, “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.” (A Course in Miracles)