Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Care and Feeding of Your Inner Child

As babies and children, we all enter this world in our natural, unpolluted state of pure love and joy. Until the world teaches us otherwise, we don't know anything different. We have to be taught to be afraid, to be ashamed, and to feel guilty and bad about ourselves and others. I am realizing how still-present those small children are in all of us. Our outsides may say "grown-up" but inside that little 4 or 5 year old boy or girl is still very much alive, still with us. I'm realizing that it's my responsibility (no one else's) to take care of that little girl and if I don't, I can become emotionally "needy." (And no one wants to be THAT person!)

But in today's hectic modern world one's inner child often gets lost in the shuffle. We spend tremendous energy caring for the needs of partners, husbands, wives, children, aging parents, grandparents, and very little caring for our own. However, it's similar to the speech the flight attendant gives on every flight "If for some reason the oxygen mask drops, put your own on first then take care of others." We have to care for ourselves first so that we can take care of the others who depend on us! If we keep giving and giving but never stop to fill up our own inner "well," guess what? The well runs dry and no one gets taken care of.

Think of taking care of your inner child in the same terms as you would your own children. It's your responsibility to make sure she eats well. (If I left my food decisions up to my inner child I would have pie, cake, and ice cream for a steady diet!) It's your responsibility to ensure that she gets fresh air, sunshine, and enough sleep. You wouldn't hesitate to make a sick child stay home and rest, or go to a doctor, so why not care for yourself the same way? It's up to us to make sure our inner child has friends and gets to spend time with them. Our "little girls" need to have FUN, and they need to play! And remember when the now-dreaded "exercise" came naturally because we were out "playing"? Instead of forcing ourselves to do the prescribed "one hour cardio and weights three (or four, or five!) times a week," how about finding something that we love doing, that we love PLAYING so that we actually want to go out and do it, as much as possible?

Joy is our birthright. Life is supposed to be enjoyed, the world is meant to be your playground. It's important to your inner child to have joy in your life, to have things to look forward to in the long run, but also daily and weekly. If you need inspiration about how to do this, think back to your childhood and what brought you joy then. Here are a few questions to help get your "Joy Juices" flowing:

When you were a child~ Where did you live? Who were your friends? What were your pets and their names? What sports did you play? What arts, crafts, or hobbies did you enjoy? What other activities did you love? Now examine your answers and ask yourself which of these you might like to rediscover now? Maybe you loved playing kickball. Did you know there are adult kickball leagues all over the country now? Or maybe you remember learning to knit and might want to take it up again. It could be that you'll think of things you've always wanted to try but haven't had a chance to yet. The point is: life is short, find what brings you joy and DO IT!

Taking good care of our inner child is so important because it makes us feel loved. If we take good care of our inner little ones, we won't be looking for others to do it for us. When we feel loved, it is easy to love others without expectation, which creates more love in the world! And that's always a good thing...

Find me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpiritualGirlsGuideToLoveAndTheUniverse

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Powerful Women Create Miracles!

A few months ago I wrote about attending my first "women's circle," and how moved I was by the experience. (http://livelaughloveinla.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-power-of-circle.html) Since then I have attended many more circles, and have now become a facilitator for one that gathers once a month near the full moon. We chose that time to come together to honor the influence the moon has on women and the connection we feel to it. This community is composed of women of all ages, ethnicities, and from all walks of life who come together to support each other in our spiritual growth, and to share our life-wisdom gained from experience. We gather in a circle of unconditional love and acceptance for each other, which is teaching us unconditional love and acceptance for ourselves. We are not there to judge, to fix each other, to give advice, or to tell what to do, for doing so would imply that we don't believe she is capable of doing it for herself. We are there simply to listen and to witness so that each knows that she has been truly seen and heard. We provide a mirror for each other, to see our own experiences and life-lessons through those of our sister's. No one is above, no one is below, in a circle we are all equal, and while beautifully different, at our core we are all the same; souls striving to learn and grow. We've been coming together for six months now, and miracles are happening! Healing is taking place, deep bonds are being formed, dreams recently rediscovered are coming true, old negative self-beliefs are being released. What an incredible gift!

After attending my first circle I wrote about the power I felt in it. Now I am seeing how lives are changed and transformed. Coming together in a circle of light-minded, open-hearted women encourages and enables us to step into our highest version of ourselves. In an environment of unconditional love, we blossom and grow. We bask in all that love, soaking it up and filling our hearts to take back to our beloveds and our families, and as a result our relationships improve! As we speak our deepest truths, and see ourselves truly heard by others we are empowered to listen to our hearts and to create the life of our dreams.

I believe this is a hugely valuable message that needs to be shared with women everywhere. I've become involved in helping to make a documentary about the power of women when we come together in love. If you are curious, and would like to see inside a woman's circle, please watch the trailer for our upcoming movie. If it inspires you, please consider donating to help us finish the project and spread the love to women around the world!


Infinite light, blessings, and aloha,


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Rise and Shine!

"You've got to get up every morning
with a smile on your face and show the world
all the love in your heart,
people gonna treat you better
you're gonna find, yes you will
that you're beautiful...
you're beautiful as you feel."
~Carole King~

There's a saying that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," and maybe that is true. What one person finds beautiful may not be the same as another. But I believe that a more radiant beauty is found in the heart and soul. When you are happy and loving, your face lights up and softens. Everyone is more beautiful when they are joyful, everyone is more attractive when they are smiling.

Your soul is made of pure love and joy. When your heart is open, the entire world will find you beautiful. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Finding the Love of Your Life- YOU!

I've been noticing lately that in today’s world there is so much emphasis on finding your "soul-mate." There are books, television shows, workshops, and newsletters that give mountains of advice on the subject. Even girls in their teens dream about growing up and meeting their soul mate. I do believe in soul-mates, but it just feels like there is way too much focus on filling yourself up with love from external sources. It feels like as a society we are all "on the hunt" for something, "the ONE" whose love is going to solve all our problems and fulfill all our needs. This almost-feverish obsession feels a little (ok, a LOT) unhealthy to me.

Here's the thing though, relationships can only be as healthy as the two people in them. Which means that even when you meet your soul-mate, if YOU are not healthy, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, the relationship will not be what you've dreamed of. In truth, the only person who knows exactly how you feel and what you need, and who will always be there for you, is YOU. So by expecting this from another person, we are really setting the relationship up to fail from the beginning. Our relationship with ourselves is the most important one, and where we should be focusing our energy. I truly believe that if we do this, the "soul-mate" relationship will naturally follow, and it will be so much better!

“Self-love is the magic key that unlocks the chains of the past and frees us to experience the present in a state of deep happiness, peace, and joy.” 

When we learn to love and accept ourselves completely, we can love and accept our beloved more fully, and create with them the deep intimacy we all seek. In order to do this, we have to understand what barriers we might have against love. I saw Tony Robbins (the life coach/motivational speaker) on TV recently and he said that of all the people he's coached, including Presidents, CEO's, professional athletes, and movie stars, the most common deep-rooted, self-belief is some version of "I'm not good enough." This usually comes from spoken or unspoken messages received in childhood, and it usually turns into "I'm not good enough, therefore I'm not lovable." Having this belief about yourself creates so much fear and anxiety, which we carry into our life experiences. It colors how we perceive ourselves, our relationships, and how we feel about ourselves. This seems to be the biggest obstacle that we all have in common when it comes to love.

Children come into the world as beings of pure light, love and joy. That’s who we all are at our deepest core. But then we have experiences that teach us guilt and shame, and these become our “stories” that we tell ourselves over and over again. In some instances, we even create experiences that will reinforce them! It’s important to understand where these negative self-beliefs came from, so we can release them and return to our original state of love. Usually these childhood experiences were things that happened that actually had nothing to do with us, or our worth, but our still-developing minds interpreted as being about us, or our fault. We can go back and change our "stories." We can make new decisions about who we are and what we are worth, and when we do, everything changes.

"We attract what we are, not what we want." If you want love, become love. This means falling in love with yourself, and learning to love yourself the way you dream of being loved; unconditionally, faults, flaws and all. Get so happy in your life that you no longer need that "soul-mate" to show up, because that's exactly when the right one arrives. Become your own "soul-mate" and watch the magic happen!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Dance of Following Your Dreams

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world." ~Marianne Williamson

In the past 24 hours, I've heard from two different friends who were both dealing with the same issue. They're both very creative, talented people with big dreams, but are currently experiencing crippling self-doubt. I think this is a very wide-spread problem that everyone experiences to some degree, whether they are aware of it or not. The fact is, we are all very creative, talented people, in our own unique ways, but we've allowed "that voice" in our heads to convince us otherwise. "That voice" is our ego. It is a built-in protective device that is part of the human package, but it takes it's function way too far. It is the part of us that wants to wall us away from everyone else so we can never be hurt, but keeps us instead alone and isolated. When it comes to creativity it is our worst critic, constantly judging, constantly comparing our work to others, and whispering "You'll never be as good, so why try?"

But here's what we must realize: when you arrived in this physical world your soul was encoded with a divine plan, your purpose for this lifetime. You were given dreams, which are visions of your destiny. You were also given special abilities and talents to help you accomplish this heavenly mission on earth.  This is what makes you, YOU. Who are we to question this divine plan and these gifts? In allowing our ego to make us doubt ourselves and turn away from our destiny, we are completely going against the laws of the Universe. Our higher purpose is one of the things that gives deeper meaning to our lives. But many of us allow these dreams and visions, and even our unique gifts and talents to slip away as we lose faith in ourselves, and "real life" demands our attention and energy. This leaves us feeling lost and empty, wondering "Is this all there is to life?" 

If this has happened to you, it's important to recover those gifts and talents, and to grow and nurture them. Rediscover your dreams, and keep them alive in your heart, trusting that the Universe is programmed to automatically support you in achieving them. Keep in mind that while not everybody reaches "the top," the journey is the real destination. It's not for you to determine how "big" of a success you will be, that's Spirit's job. Your job is to "follow your bliss," whatever that may be. Let go of the self-judgment of your talents and your success level. Thank your ego for it's opinion, and then tell it to sit down and shut up! Let your intuition guide you. It's the voice of your soul, eternal and infinitely wise, it knows the way. Take a baby step, and see how it feels. If it feels good, take another one. Listen. Trust. If you reach a point where you feel guided to make a leap of faith, trust that the Universe will rise up to meet you. Let Spirit be in charge of the eventual outcome, it's out of your control anyway!

It's important to have goals, but to stay open and allow divine guidance from Spirit and your higher self to come through. Don't let your ego persuade you that it knows the best way to your dreams, and don't be too attached to specific routes or results. Your ego wants you to focus on the material path, to pursue the money, but if you choose to follow Spirit's lead, you will always be provided for. Watch for the signs, and listen for the messages that are guiding you. Keep taking one step at a time even if you cannot see in the moment how it will lead you to your ultimate goal. Keep listening, keep trusting, keep following. Eventually you'll realize that you're not just "stepping" any more, you're dancing! It's the dance between enlightened human and Spirit, the dance of co-creating the life of your dreams.

Hold your dream in your heart, but always allow Spirit to lead!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Magic of Going With the Flow

"You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however."  
Illusions by Richard Bach

It's important to have dreams. Our dreams are messages from our soul about our destiny in life. They lead us on our path, and help us to find our divine purpose. But sometimes we get so obsessed about making our dream come true, and trying to control everything, that we completely close the Divine out of the situation. It's important to remember that we are co-creating our lives with Spirit, and while we do have to show up every day and do our part in working towards our dreams, we also have to allow the Universe room to work. How do we do this? By releasing our expectations around the hows and whens of the situation. Dream the dream, then surrender the details of it to Spirit. Trust that the Universe is programmed to automatically assist and support you in your divine purpose on Earth.

I have a dear friend who felt very led and guided to open her own business, even though times are tough and the economy is not thriving. She has been busting her butt to get this business going, and while clients are beginning to trickle in, the numbers are not yet what she needs to help support her young family. Of course this is causing her incredible stress and heartache, worrying constantly about being able to meet their bills, while she watches her husband work double shifts trying to make ends meet. She is praying constantly for help, for guidance, for assistance but is not hearing anything. But instead of asking "show me how to support my family" she is praying for a specific result, "please show me how to bring in more clients, or one big client." What she doesn't realize is that by doing this she is narrowing the infinite possibilities of the Universe. She wants her dream so badly that she is insisting to the Universe that the help she needs must look a certain way. It appears to her that her prayers are going unanswered, when in all likelihood she is receiving guidance and messages every day that she is not seeing or hearing because they don't come in the form she is expecting. She is trying to dictate to Spirit how the help should appear. This is our ego at work, it thinks it knows best, even better than the Universe! It's often this way when we are very attached to specific outcomes.

The areas of our lives that are the most dear, the most precious (like our dreams) are the hardest to surrender, but they are exactly the ones where we need the most assistance! Instead of being open and allowing the Universe to guide us, we become like recalcitrant children wanting our way.  When you feel you are banging your head against a brick wall trying to make something happen, stop and look for a door! If you don't immediately see a door, ask Spirit to help you find the door, but then keep your eyes open for unexpected opportunities. The door may not be blue like you think it should be, it may be red instead. You may not be able to see in that moment how entering that red door will lead you to your dream. But if you step through in faith, chances are excellent that the end result will be as good or better than anything you imagined.

Often we try to put what the Universe is trying to give us in a "box" that looks a very specific way. I have found that if we can release that picture in our mind of how it's supposed to look, what actually occurs is 100 times bigger and better. As Oprah says "You dream a dream, but the dream the Universe dreams for you is so much BIGGER!" We have to surrender control, trust that all is unfolding for our highest good and greatest benefit, and ALLOW the Universe to work through and for us by being flexible and open to ALL possibilities. That's the magic of "going with the flow."

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Poem from my 13 year-old Self

When a man looks at a flower,
he sees a flower.
But when a child looks at a flower,
he sees a thing of beauty and color.
A creation of God.
When a man looks at a tree,
he sees only a tree.
But when a child looks at a tree,
he sees a thing of motion and life.
A creation of God.
When a man looks at another man
he sees merely another man.
But when a child looks at a man,
he sees the person deep inside,
warm and glowing.
A creation of God.
When a man looks at the sun and stars,
he sees just the sun and stars.
But when a child looks at the sun and stars,
he sees in each a guiding light,
always there day or night.
Creations of God.
When a man looks at God,
he sees very little, only a faint shape.
But when a child looks at God,
he sees a flower, a tree, a man,
the sun and stars, beauty, color, motion,
life, warmth, glow, a guiding light that is
always there, day or night,
and most of all
This is God.
God is His creations,
His creations are God.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Girl's Guide to The Universe

An excerpt from my upcoming gift-book for girls.

You are a beautiful being, unlike any other.

In all the history of the world, there has never been and never will be anyone exactly like you. This makes you very special! No matter what you may think, like a snowflake you are beautiful in your own unique way. Everyone has their own beauty. It may not be traditional beauty, but it is your beauty.
Learn to celebrate and treasure the ways that you are different. These are the things that make you YOU. Do not compare yourself to others, especially not to the glossy magazine covers with air-brushed pictures of models or actresses. These are completely unrealistic representations of "beauty." Comparing yourself to others in any way is pointless and only brings unhappiness. Keep in mind that the definition of what is "beautiful" and "desirable" is subjective and varies greatly from country to country, village to village, and even person to person. "Beauty" truly is in the eye of the beholder. All that really matters is what you think, what you believe about yourself. The people who matter will see your soul, and treasure you for the unique, special being that you are! Life is not a beauty competition. It is about being the very best version of YOU that you can be.  

 It's OK not to know.

It's OK to not know who you are and what you want yet. That's what your 20's are for. Like the transformation of a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly, you are still in the process of becoming who you will be. You are learning to transition to the "real world," away from the protection of your parents, learning to spread your wings and fly. This period of your life is a time to learn balance, self-discipline, and how to take care of yourself in every way. It is a time of discovering who you really are and finding out what you really believe.

During these years, you are like a piece of artwork still being "created," and you are the creator. This time is for experimenting with life, deciding what works for you and why, and what doesn't. Many lessons will be learned, including some painful ones. Do not beat yourself up about making mistakes, that's what this time is for. The important part is to learn! No experience is wasted, if something is learned in the process.

Live, love, learn! This is the purpose of life.

You are not alone.

Everyone goes through difficult times while growing up. If you have gone through painful experiences, know that you are not alone. Everyone has insecurities, some are just better at covering them up than others. Often the ones who seem the most confident, the most "well-adjusted" are actually the ones who are just the best at acting as if all is well. Science has shown that the teenage brain is still forming and at the same time is overloaded with the effects of hormonal changes. You are going through a period where you are literally not yet in your right mind! This means that everyone your age is going through exactly the same process, whether they show it or not.
If you are worried about the future, fearful about whether you can make it in the "real world," understand that this is completely normal. Going out on your own is like being at the top of the worlds' largest roller coaster, it's absolutely thrilling and completely terrifying at the same time!
Know that this time of life will pass, and you will be fine.

Life is a classroom.

There is no instruction manual for life. We are meant to learn through trial and error. Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone experiences difficult times. What counts is not how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up! Challenging times and experiences are what enable us to grow. They shape us, and make us stronger. Author Richard Bach writes "There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands." When faced with a challenge, remember to always look for the gift.

Your life is a tapestry that you are weaving, made up of the decisions and choices that you make, as well as the consequences of those decisions and choices. Do not allow challenges or even failures to define who you are, or what your future will be. You don't know how strong you can be, until you have no other choice. There will be times when the world does not seem fair, but you can rise above the difficulties. By surviving the challenges, you will become smarter and stronger, more ready and able to do great things!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Taking Back Your Power!

"What happens to us externally does not determine our internal condition. It is what we tell ourselves about what is happening externally that determines our internal condition."

I find this quote to be extremely profound. In essence it is saying that it is not what's going on around us that causes us emotional stress and pain, but our own internal dialogue about what is happening. This also means that no one can hurt your feelings, without your permission! If the actions of another cause you pain, you are allowing it to happen, by "buying into it." Sound crazy? Let me explain.

The reason the words and actions of others have power over us and the ability to hurt us is that they touch a nerve deep inside us. This nerve is connected to an old wound that still needs to be healed. This wound usually occurred during childhood, when someone close to us did something to us, or said something and in that moment we decided it was our fault. We took on the guilt and made an assumption or decision about ourselves, most likely some version of "I'm not good enough", "I'm not worthy of love", or "I'm not perfect, therefore I am not lovable" (thanks to my dear perfectionist mother, this is my personal recurring one.) Once this decision about our own value and worth is made, we live the rest of our lives with this underlying, negative, severely-limiting, completely false self-belief. We move through life viewing all of our experiences through this filter, with our ego actually looking for "proof" to support these negative self-beliefs, and using it against us to keep us isolated and alone. It's only through learning self-love and acceptance that we can change that old belief structure, reprogramming our thoughts and redefining the "filter" that we experience life through.

In reality, the actions taken by another person are 99.9% about them, their mindset, their fears, their "stories" in their heads. But we are egocentric beings, and so we tend to take things personally even when they aren't about us. What happens is that in that moment when something is said to us, or done to us that touches that nerve, our ego sneaks in and uses it against us. It starts whispering what I call "scary stories" such as "See? I told you, you're not good enough!" Or "See? You're not lovable/worthy of love."  It is actually this internal dialogue that is causing the emotional distress and pain, not the actions or words of the other person! Whatever the person has said or done, it has touched an old wound in you, causing the ego to rear it's ugly head.

Here's an example: Perhaps you have a boss who rules through fear and intimidation. She is constantly finding fault with everything that you do. You know intellectually that you are very good at what you do, but her repetitive nit-picking makes you feel like an inadequate and incompetent five year old. This causes you to be upset and feel badly because her criticism is activating an old negative self-belief of being "not good enough" and the ego is seizing on this opportunity to push you into fear. Quite simply, her words are causing you pain because on some deep level you believe them! She is reinforcing something deep in you, a negative self-belief that you have "bought into", and this is where the disconnect from love is occurring. This moment, when you begin to feel this emotional pain is actually a red-flag that LOVE is needed! This is the moment to change your internal dialogue. Instead of telling yourself "See? I knew it, I'm not good enough!" and making yourself miserable,  this is the moment to step in and say "It's OK, because I KNOW I'm good enough! I am a being of beautiful light and love! I may not be perfect, but that's OK, I'm awesome just the way I am! And I LOVE ME!" This will enable you to return to a sane place, and to view the situation rationally. By removing that knee-jerk emotional response you are able to see that likely it is her own issues that are being projected onto you, and you can choose to not let it affect you.

I think every human being on the planet has ingrained in us some degree of "I'm not good enough" or "I'm not lovable", which gives the ego a weapon to use against us. I think the only solution is to change our inner dialogue with ourselves and pour love on it, to DROWN it in love!! If you truly love and accept yourself, flaws and all, and believe in your basic "goodness", then no one can hurt you emotionally, because you will be able to see that whatever is going on, it's not about you! By changing what you are saying to yourself, about yourself in those difficult moments, you will be changing what you are feeling, shifting from fear to love, pain to peace. Through self-love you are taking responsibility for, and control over your own feelings.

I know this concept may be hard to grasp at first, but it is so powerful. Once you learn to see and love your own divine goodness, and release those old notions of guilt and unworthiness, you gain the ability to stand strong in yourself and to not take on the negativity being projected by the words and actions of others. By rejecting fear and choosing love, you are taking back your power!

Love and light to all.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Learning to Trust and Let Go!

Looking back to last January when I decided to moved to Hawaii without a job and only a small amount of savings, I am starting to see what a leap of faith it was! I had been feeling very guided to make the move, for over a year and a half. There had been many signs that it was the right thing for me to do, most of all the fact that every time I visited here and then returned to Los Angeles, as the plane took off to leave I would begin to weep. My soul was trying to tell me that this was where I belonged. Thankfully, I decided to overcome my fears and listen. It was the best decision I ever made! 

I didn't realize it at the time, but in making that leap I was basically surrendering my life to Spirit, essentially saying "I don't know how this is all going to turn out, but I trust that YOU do!" As a result, the last 15 months have been exhilarating, fantastic, and absolutely terrifying by turns. But as a result, my emotional and spiritual growth has accelerated at an unbelievable rate. By getting out of my comfort zone, and releasing control over almost everything, just "going with the flow", I have grown in ways that I could never have foreseen. I feel so supported, loved and guided on this journey, as if I am finally stepping into my own power, and becoming the very best version of myself possible. My life here has turned out differently than I expected while planning my move, it is so much BIGGER and BETTER than I could possibly have imagined!

I am learning to let go of needing to see all the way to the "end" of where I am going on this journey. I am listening and allowing Spirit, through my intuition, to guide me one step at a time, releasing the "hows", trusting it will all work out alright. It can be very scary to not be in control (especially for a recovering control-freak!) but I am learning to release the fear. I don't need to know everything. I know what I need to know, that by taking one baby step at a time I am following Spirit's plan, allowing it to lead me in the cosmic dance of life, and all is well.

I have set my intentions for my ultimate destination, now I can release and trust my inner GPS, my intuition to lead me there. By allowing my soul to speak and to guide me, I am set on a path that the Universe is constructed to automatically support in every way! My job is to just show up, every day and give it my best, and then stand back and let the Universe do the rest. Since I have learned to trust in my higher self and let go, amazing things have been happening, way beyond anything I could have imagined or planned! I truly feel as though I am "co-creating my life" with Spirit.

So fellow adventurer, I say to you; set your intention, trust and follow your inner guide, allow the Universe room to work by surrendering control of all the details, and watch the miracles unfold!

Friday, March 22, 2013

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Mermaid!

I believe we all arrive on the earthly plane with a divine purpose. A few people seem to know from a young age what they are meant to do, and never waver from this course. However, most of us wander, searching into our 20's, 30's and even beyond, for our destiny in this lifetime. Looking back now, I can see that there were clues all along to who and what I would become, I just didn't recognize them at the time.

When I was 9 years old, my family visited the brand-new Disneyland in California. What a wonder of wonders! A truly magical place where fairy tales and my already-active imagination came to life. The highlight of this visit for me was "10,000 Leagues Under the Sea", a submarine ride through a large lagoon, with real-life mermaids swimming by the windows! From the monorail you could look down on these mythical creatures as they lay on the rocks, combing their hair, playing a harp or giggling with their friends while they waved at park-goers. That was it for me! From that day forward when asked "And what do you want to be when you grow up?" my answer was always "A mermaid!" I don't think the adults in my life took me very seriously, but to their credit they never disabused me of the idea, allowing me to continue to dream.

One of my favorite activities growing up was "playing store." I'd print "Sale!" signs in red block letters and tape them on my bedroom windows facing the street. I spent countless happy hours industriously putting price tags on everything I owned, carefully arranging and "merchandising" my toys and stuffed animals. I invited all my little friends to come over to "shop" and I would ring up their purchases on my shoe box "cash register."

The other thing I truly loved as a child was reading. My parents both enjoyed reading, and at a young age I can remember my father telling me "Books are our friends!" so I would treasure and take care of mine. (As I am writing this, there is a storage unit in California filled with boxes of books, waiting for me to come and get them!) My mom would often find me hiding under tablecloths, in closets, and under the covers with a flashlight, lost in some foreign land, living vicariously through the characters in my books. I think my love of books led me to want to write, to share my own stories with the world. In school I was introduced to one of my heroes, Henry David Thoreau. I learned to write poems, and channeled my love of nature and my child's view of spirituality, even having one published at the age of 12. Then I hit my hormone-fueled teenage years and wrote terrible, tormented love-poems, and tear-stained journals. Writing became both my passion and my solace.

Another of my favorite things was making up stories and plays for my friends to act out. I never wanted to be in the play, I just wanted to write the story, the lines for the actors to say, and to direct them in their roles. Somewhere I learned to say "Cut!" and "Back to one!" with great authority, rehearsing them tirelessly (well, I was tireless anyway!) until I deemed them "ready" for our big premiere for our families. (For which we charged 25 cents a head, and in true Broadway fashion, I shamelessly appropriated most of the profits!)

Looking back on all of this I can see that the clues to my life-path were there, my passions clearly defined all along. It's no surprise that for the first 20 years of my working life I managed retail stores, and loved being a "shop keeper." Then I fell into my current career in television and feature film production, loving the collaborative art of helping to bring "stories" to life. My poetry has given way to screenwriting, (who knows, maybe I'll direct some day?) blogging, and now a book series about my spiritual journey. And best of all, I now live in beautiful Hawaii, where I get to swim and play in turquoise waters at every opportunity. My mermaid dreams have finally come true! I know now that for most of my life I have instinctively followed my bliss, without really thinking about it. That is why I have always looked forward to going to work each day. What a blessing, and something that many people never find while working just a "job" that merely brings them money, but no joy! When you do what you love, you love what you do!

I believe that we are all born with our own unique talents, things we are meant to share with the world that make it a better place, gifts that only we can give. Your heart knows your destiny, it has always known, and your intuition is programmed to help you find your way. I think small clues to our destiny can be found in our early passions and interests. If you are still seeking your bliss, I encourage you to look back to the dreams of your childhood. Who knows, maybe you were meant to be a mermaid too? Or a pirate? Or elephant tamer, pilot, clown, or.....? Life is short, let your imagination run wild!

"Faith, trust, and pixie dust!"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stalking the Elusive Ego in the Wild!

I believe that the ego is basically the same as our "rational" mind, or our "human" mind, whereas our intuition is the voice of our "higher self" or "God-self." Understanding our own true essence, that at our deepest core we are pure unconditional love, is death to the ego. The ego is all about "I", so when you finally understand that we are all LOVE, all ONE, that there is no "I", the ego ceases to exist or have function. So naturally, it is very invested in keeping us feeling fearful, guilty, ashamed and separate.

Over the course of the past week or so, I decided to make a study of my sneaky ego, stalking it in the wilds of my mind. It likes to lurk, unseen in the shadows watching for an opportunity to leap out and blind-side me.  Everything my ego does and says is designed to accomplish one thing; keeping me scared and thinking I am all alone in this world. By keeping me alienated and frightened it maintains control over me and my thoughts. I've uncovered a wide variety of strategies that it uses to derail me from my path of love, and I decided to document my not-so-scientific study. Here are some typical "sneak-attacks" used by my ego:

Finds fault and judges. By constantly finding fault and judging everyone else, my ego keeps me feeling superior, and separate. If that doesn't work, it starts finding fault and judging me, so I end up feeling terrible about myself, and unworthy of love.

Assigns blame and guilt. In many situations, usually of my own doing, my ego whispers that it's always "their" fault, that I am the innocent victim, creating a "me vs. the world" mentality and reinforces the idea of separateness. In other situations that are actually nothing to do with me, the ego assigns the guilt to me, making me feel like a horrible human being and not worthy of love, again creating a false sense of alone-ness.

Sabotages relationships. Our relationships are a huge threat to the ego, because if we truly allow ourselves to merge with another, our old wounds will be healed and we will understand the truth of our divine nature, seeing it reflected back in the eyes of another. So the ego sabotages our relationships by fault finding, judging, blaming and finding the "other" guilty and therefore "unlovable." This gives us a "legitimate" excuse to push them away and to avoid merging at all costs. This is especially true of our potential romantic partners. The ego goes into "overdrive" when we start to become involved with someone romantically, which is why many of us spend a lot of time alone and lonely. (Sometimes even while we're in a relationship!) Watch for words like "should" and "shouldn't", "always", and "never". These are red flags that your ego is in control and creating unrealistic expectations.

Focuses on the negative, in any situation. I am a pretty positive, upbeat person by nature, but my ego likes to try to bring me down. It points out the negative aspects, and reiterates all the scary, terrible things that "might" happen, trying to bring me from love to fear.

Takes everything personally.  The ego thinks "it's all about me". 99.9% of what other people do has nothing to do with you, but the ego will do it's best to convince you otherwise! It takes 99.9% of other people's actions personally, in order to create false shame and guilt, once again to keep you separate and alone.

Undermines my hopes and dreams. I recently attended a wonderful, very inspiring women's circle focused on putting our dreams and desires into the physical realm on vision boards. I left this event feeling so uplifted and excited for the future. However, the next morning as I looked over what I had created, the ego began to say things like "Who do you think you are, to be able to achieve these things??" and "Are you crazy? You don't deserve that, it will never come true!" This line of negative thinking was backed-up with lots of reasons such as "You're too old, too fat, too lazy, untalented" etc. I began to sink in to a miserable funk of fear that lasted 3 days until I realized that I had been ambushed by my ego!

Uses my old wounds to create new fears. I've noticed that my ego loves to remind me of old hurts and painful experiences. It pretends that it's only trying to protect me from being hurt again by dredging up these past memories, but in actuality it is creating fear where no fear need exist. This is not the past, and I am wiser now and better able to take care of myself. This is especially true when choosing to extend oneself in love to another, the ego loves to tell scary stories about a past time when I did this and was hurt. It is so determined to keep us from merging our heart with that of another!

Loves to kick me when I'm down. When I am tired, hungry, or hormonal the ego knows I am weak, so these are the times to be especially on guard against it's little schemes!

Denial. This is the sneakiest technique of all. Even as you are reading this post, it's likely your ego is telling you "these things don't apply to you, you're much smarter than that." HA! Don't fall for it. We all have ego, it's part of the human condition and unavoidable as long as you're on the earthly plane.

Strategies for dealing with the ego

"Fear is like a mist that obscures your heart's desire. If you have the courage and strength to walk bravely through, the mist will dissipate and disappear." I love this quote because it reminds me that like the mists of Avalon, fear is an illusion, a trick of the mind. But trying to struggle with and fight the ego only feeds it energy. So I have learned my own strategies for dealing with my sneaky ego, helping me to "walk through the mist":

Call it out. This is the hardest step, becoming aware of the false-fear voice and recognizing when these attacks are happening. The most important thing is to monitor your thoughts, and to notice when you have strayed from love into fear. When I notice my ego is up to it's tricks, I actually say out loud (assuming I'm alone!) "AHA!! I SEE YOU, SNEAKY EGO AND I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO!!" This invariably makes me laugh, which leads to the next strategy.

Laugh at it! Some people come up with funny names for their ego, which is a wonderful tool. As I've blogged before, I picture my ego as the Wile E. Coyote in the roadrunner cartoons, always sneaking around, plotting and planning to take down my higher self. This also makes me laugh, which is the spiritual version of martial arts. When I am able to laugh at my ego, it is embarrassed to be caught in the act and turns it's tail and slithers off to it's cave to await another day.

Heal old wounds. "The purpose of adulthood is to finish the unfinished business of childhood." By going back and healing our old wounds, we take away the ability for the ego to use them to create weapons of fear with which to rule us. The ego really doesn't want you to do this though, and it will make up a million reasons for you to not do it, saying things like "It's too much work!" and "It's too hard/depressing/painful." These feelings are sure signs that this is something very important for you to do, if you want to truly move forward in your spiritual journey to love.

Pour love on it. I have discovered that the ego cannot stand the light, it shrinks and shrivels like the Wicked Witch of the West when Dorothy threw water on her. The ego is a bully whose ultimate goal is to make me feel badly about myself and others, in order to perpetuate the illusion of separateness. So when I start to have negative thoughts about myself, I stop and send love to me. I picture myself at age 5, and just as I would with any 5 year old being picked on by a bully, I tell her how much I love her, how wonderful she is, and I envision giving that precious child a hug. I take a look in the mirror and focus on all the good things I see there, and I tell my image "I love you!" I am finding that as I shine the light on all that is good in me, focusing on self-love, my ego shrinks and retreats. It can no longer use it's usual tricks of telling me how unworthy or unlovable I am, and loses it's power.

When I am feeling resistance towards someone else, and find myself wanting to distance myself or push them away, it is a sure sign that my ego has taken over. I've found it's actually a perfect moment to stop and look into the mirror that's being held up for me, and to learn something very valuable about myself that my ego doesn't want me to know! Any time you are not in a state of love, you have detoured into a state of fear. If I pay close attention when I am finding fault with someone else, I have an opportunity to learn something about ME. When someone "gets on your nerves", or "pushes your buttons" instead of focusing on them, focus on what is it in YOU that is so bothered by them? Usually it is something that I do myself, or that I really dislike about myself, or fear most about myself etc. The guilt I am seeing in them is actually my own, projected onto them. The ego is very invested in keeping you in a state of isolation, and aligned with fear, so it doesn't want you to see these things about yourself. So it makes it always about "them" and what "they" are doing. When it is someone else that the ego is criticizing or judging, I try to look at the person and focus on seeing the light-filled being within, choosing to accept them exactly as they are, and sending them love and blessings. Whether it's myself or others, by pouring love on the ego's target, I am taking away it's power!

When I am able to be awake and aware enough to notice my ego taking control, these strategies never fail to bring me back to being centered in the feelings of happiness, joy and compassion. Through acknowledging the ego's existence, and releasing my fears I am literally returned to my higher self, I am returned to our natural state of love.

Wishing you light, love and an ego-less state of mind!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Learning the Truth About You!

We are born as innocents, knowing only love and joy. Up until the age of 5 or 6, you were like a little sponge, watching, learning, coming to conclusions about the way the world functioned, and your place in it. You knew nothing about anything, so you instinctively and automatically looked to the "grown ups" in your life for instruction. You observed the way they acted, listened to the things they said, watched the way they interacted with each other. And likely you modeled yourself and your actions on them, as it was the only way you knew to do it. The problem with this method of learning is that our parents, siblings, and the other "grown ups" in our lives were humans, and therefore less than perfect examples. (In some cases, far less than perfect!)

In this same way your beliefs about yourself, your worth and value were born of your experiences with these same people, and the messages they gave you, both spoken and, by how they treated you, unspoken. But again, being flawed by nature, they made mistakes. They have their own fears, their own negative beliefs about themselves too. It's likely they love you very much in their own way, and did the best they knew how at the time. Parenting is one of the most important responsibilities in life, but unfortunately there is no hand book or training class! Chances are their behavior towards you was based, for better or worse, on how their parents, siblings, and families treated them, and so it goes, on and on. In this way, while growing up chances are you may have had experiences that taught you, directly or indirectly that you are "bad" or "not good enough" in some way. Know that this is universal among humans! Most of us have some degree of "I'm not good enough" and/or "I'm not worthy" in our belief system. Once this is ingrained in us this belief then transforms into "I don't deserve anything good" and/or "I don't deserve to be loved".

So the image you hold of yourself, your value in the world, your worthiness of being loved is likely very flawed, and possibly extremely flawed. Know that those decisions and conclusions you reached by age 5 or 6 are likely incorrect, and could be based on information that was completely misinterpreted by your child's innocent mind and limited experience. No matter what you may have been taught to believe, you are a good person, you have value and deserve to be loved and respected. It's important to understand this, and to really integrate it into your thinking because it colors how you see everything.

Here is the truth:

You are a "God-spark", a star-bright being of pure light and divine love. Spirit created you in it's own divine image therefore you are divine! You came to this earthly dimension as Spirit, incarnated as a human being wearing a temporary suit made of flesh in order to experience the world of the physical senses. (I love director Ron Howard's image above, from the movie "Cocoon" as a great illustration of who we really are!) If you watch any baby or small child under the age of 4, you can see that they are pure love and spontaneous delight in the world around them. Babies and young children are so pure, saying exactly what they are feeling and thinking with no filters, and filled with love and joy. When you were a child there was no such thing as a "stranger", you loved everyone and everything! You had to be taught to be cautious, to be afraid. Fear is learned, it is not our true nature. 

You are not your body. You are not even your mind, or your thoughts, or feelings. You are the one inside this body, looking out through these eyes. You are the one observing your thoughts passing through your mind, like clouds floating across a blue sky. "You" are your soul, the "higher self", the part of you that remains the same as it was the day you were born, a being of pure light, love, and joy.

Once you fully understand and integrate this concept into your core thinking, you will become aware of the areas where your old self-limiting beliefs conflict with the truth. The secret to real peace and happiness is "unlearning" these deeply ingrained beliefs, uncovering them for what they truly are, mis-perceptions that your EGO-centric child's mind created, and mistook for "truth". We must uncover and heal those old wounds that taught us to think falsely about our divine, brilliant selves. We have learned to be afraid, and in doing so were separated from love. All our misery stems from this, our challenge in this life is to un-learn it. Our challenge is to leave the state of fear, and return to a state of love.

Sending love from my divine, light-filled being to yours!



Monday, February 25, 2013

Your Life is Not About You

Your life is not actually about you. It's about the lives you touch, the energy you put out. There's a ripple effect that reaches far beyond what you can see. I believe we come into this world with a divine purpose, or a "soul-assignment" for this particular life-class. The way to determine your soul-assignment is to pay attention to what brings you joy, to your daydreams, to that small voice inside that guides you. If you choose to listen and follow, life flows more easily, doors swing open, miracles happen. If we choose to not listen and to turn away life is harder, filled with challenges and difficulties. When things get hard you are either learning a valuable lesson that is to prepare you for bigger things to come, or you've gotten "off track" somehow and the Universe is trying to guide you back. If you stray and get lost, the Universe acts like a giant sheep-dog, bumping and blocking you, trying to herd you back onto your path! It's constructed to help you become the highest version of yourself and supports you in every way when you move in that direction.

 When you are taking steps towards your divine purpose, "following your bliss", not only will your life unfold more smoothly but your actions will automatically have a positive effect on everyone around you. The closer the person, the more positive and powerful the effect will be. By choosing to walk your path you will be directly or indirectly assisting and inspiring them to find their own divine destiny, helping them to walk their path.

We are all in this together, all joined, all One. Whatever you put out ripples far away through the hearts of others, and eventually comes back to you magnified. Follow your divine purpose, walk in love, and live in peace and joy all of your days.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Power of A Circle

A circle is a powerful thing. An unbroken line with no beginning, no end, going on and on within itself for infinity. The old ones knew this, as evidenced by the remains of ancient stone circles all over the British Isles. It cannot be known for certain what these circles were used for, but theory suggests they were the sites of rituals: welcoming and celebrating the changing seasons, marking births and deaths. All part of the cycles of life, all never-ending circles. These same cultures knew the power of women, which is why the male-dominated religions, especially Christianity, banned these types of gatherings in the early days of the church. But women need to gather together. We are the keepers of the emotional flames of life and love. We have a deep-seated need to share our joys, our pain, our knowledge, and our hard-won wisdom, to pass it down to those to come after us. In today's world, we no longer meet by the river to wash our clothes, or gather together to spin and weave, so we have grown apart and our collective power diminished. But I believe the need to gather and to share still exists deep within us, and it is up to us to find new ways to satisfy these ancient longings.

I attended my first "women's circle" yesterday, a wonderful event titled "Women, Intuition, and Relationships." It was led and organized by two beautiful (both physically, and spiritually) and amazing women, Nancy Kerner and Anne Valeron. I felt the radiance of their beings, so much love, as they mirrored and reflected my own light back to me. Over and over again through the day Spirit affirmed to me the things already known to my soul, but doubted by my rational mind. I was reminded that I have the power of deep knowing, as my Celtic ancestors did, it is only my modern-day mind, my ego that refutes. Spending a day in that incredible environment, I was filled to over-flowing with love and inspiration, and emerged feeling empowered to step into my highest truth, and to fulfill my highest purpose and destiny.

The power of a circle is that a space is created to be filled. Yesterday Spirit filled that circle and created the environment for many miracles, both large and small to take place. It was such a powerful, fantastic experience to stand and to share in the incredible space that was held by love. Love in it's purest form is POWER, it is MAGIC. Women know this in our hearts. There is no question in my mind that everyone who participated yesterday was transformed, possibly even more than we are presently aware, after spending time in that magical circle.

Much love and light to all the powerful women out there!

For information on having your own amazing circle, please see http://nancykerner.com/home/

Monday, February 11, 2013

Developing Your Intuitive Powers

I have read the Tarot for people for many years, but recently my readings have become more like spiritual counseling sessions, with the cards acting as indicators for where the client's blocks and issues lie. So in addition to information about the future, they are receiving practical advice on how to prepare for what is coming, and how to achieve their heart's desires. It's been such a joy to be able to be of service this way! (For more information on my readings, please see my FB page "Hokulani Spiritual Alignments" and click "about", on the upper left side. https://www.facebook.com/HokulaniTarot?ref=hl)

 Recently I was speaking with a client who talked about her own intuitive powers, and that she would like to know how to develop them further. I believe that we all have intuitive or "psychic" powers. I believe that there was a time in the history of man that we used those powers, or the "sixth sense" just like we currently use the other five. But somewhere along the line, as we came out of the wild and into "civilization" we began to lose touch with that integral part of ourselves. If you look at ancient cultures that still survive in some form today, such as the Native Americans, Polynesians, Celts etc. you find that they still very much believe in a world beyond the physical and have their own ways of being in touch with it. It's a very natural part of their culture.

I think what we call "intuition" is actually the voice of our higher self, or soul, that part of us that is eternal, and as such remembers and knows all things since the beginning of time. It is the "God-spark", that piece of the divine that exists in all of us, and as such is all-knowing, and all-powerful. (See Dr. Wayne Dyer's book "Wishes Fulfilled" for an excellent treatment of this concept.) So if you wish to develop your intuitive connection further, you simply must learn to pay closer attention to this part of yourself. It's always present, but you have likely been ignoring it for so long, you may have to really listen to find it.

Here are the techniques that have helped me to deepen my awareness:

1. Make note of Divine synchronicities. To begin learning to be in tune with your intuition or your higher self, start by paying attention to the little coincidences in your everyday life. When you have a "feeling" and it turns out to be right, or you suddenly think of someone you haven't spoken to in a long time, and then the phone rings and they are on the line. Begin observing these "divine synchronicities", and start to write them down. Making entries in your journal is a perfect way to record your "intuitive hits". The more you notice and document them, the more often they will happen. By becoming more conscious of the occurrences, you are exercising and strengthening your intuitive muscle. By collecting "evidence" that you are able to know things intuitively, you are building a sense of trust in that inner voice.

2. Make time on a regular basis to connect to Spirit. Which is the same thing as connecting to your higher self. Meditation, prayer, sitting quietly in nature, whatever makes you feel connected to your higher power, and thus your soul. By doing this on a regular basis, you are opening the "channel" to allow the information to flow.

3. Make the mind/body/spirit connection. I've found that taking proper care of my body is an important part of cultivating my internal spiritual guidance system. By eating "clean", mostly healthy, organic fruits and vegetables, and eliminating sugar, caffeine and alcohol, I am able to drop into meditation much more quickly and easily, and I am able to "hear" the voice of my inner guide much more clearly.  

4. Buy some kind of intuitive card deck. The Tarot is not easy to learn and according to legend, if you are "meant" to read the Tarot, the cards will find their way to you. But there are many wonderful, more simple cards out there now that are usually accompanied by a book that helps translate the meanings. I began with "Rune cards" based on the old Nordic Runes, and my readings (only for myself) were simple, usually either a single card or sometimes 3 cards, for showing the "past, present, future" of a situation. There are angel and archangel cards, Native American spirit guide cards, Goddess cards, etc. The best thing to do is go to a store where they are sold and see which ones you feel drawn to, then take them home and play with them. This is a great way to continue learning and strengthening your abilities.

5. Learn to trust your inner voice. While following these steps you will learn which voice is your intuition, and which is your so-called "rational" mind. When I first began to pay attention to my sense of "knowing", my rational voice would immediately try to over-ride anything my intuition would tell me by shouting "You can't know that!" and "Don't be ridiculous! That's crazy!" Observe this for a while, and then as you start to see that your intuition is ALWAYS right, you can start to say to the rational voice "OK, thanks for your input, now SIT DOWN!"

6. Pay attention to dreams. Particularly very vivid dreams that seem "different" than your usual ones. These are strong messages from your higher self, via your subconscious. I think often this is the way our soul chooses to communicate with us in the beginning, because it is somewhat more acceptable to the rational mind. Immediately upon waking try to remember what you dreamt about, before it slips away. If you are not sure about the meaning, try journaling about it, and start with "The message of this dream was______." Your higher self will help you to fill in the blanks.

7. Watch for signs. I believe signs from Spirit/God/The Universe/Source are all around us. We must open our eyes to them in order to receive. I find heart-shaped things everywhere I go, leafs, clouds, rocks, even spray-painted on the side-walk. Each one serves as a message to reaffirm my belief that Love is the only thing that is real. (I have devoted a whole post to the subject of signs and their many forms- please click here if you're interested:

8. Find like-minded people to talk to. It's important while you are growing your confidence in your intuitive powers that you find other people who think the same way, who have similar experiences to compare notes and to share with. The last thing you need is to talk to some "practical, scientific" type who wants to discourage you from trusting yourself. These people are usually quite fearful of their own inner voices, and will discount yours as a way of denying their own.

9. Learn to journal. Writing your thoughts and feelings down in a private journal, one that you know no one will ever read can be a very therapeutic experience, especially with regards to developing your psychic abilities. Unusual things that occur, and even our thoughts, are not "real" until we either tell someone else, or write it down. Journaling at it's best can be an on-going conversation with our higher self, and with Spirit. If you have never journaled, or need fresh inspiration to get you going, please check out Charlene Geiss, a fantastic diarist and journaling teacher, as well as her book:

10. Read books about intuition and other's experiences with it. Understanding how other people have received information can help you open your own "channel". Here are a couple of good ones:
"Angel Watch- Goosebumps, Signs, Dreams, and Other Divine Nudges" by Catherine Lanigan and "When God Winks at You" by Squire Rushnell.

I truly believe intuition can lead you and guide you, to make decisions, to walk your path, to do the right thing for yourself, and ultimately for everyone whose life you touch. I think we should nurture this voice, encourage it to speak, by carving out some quiet time in our busy lives so we're able to hear it. The bottom line is that we all have these so-called "powers" because we all have souls. It's just a matter of awareness and trust, and those things can be developed!

Much love and light to you on your journey.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Becoming ME, Version 2.013

I don't really make New Year's resolutions anymore, but I love the idea of a new year as a new beginning. 365 days stretch out before me, mysterious with the sweet promise of unlimited potential and endless possibilities. Anything can happen, our wildest dreams could come true! As always, I'm hoping this new year will the be the best one ever, but just hoping won't make it so. This time, instead of waiting to see what this year will bring, I've decided to get busy living, and being the best me possible. ME, version 2.013!

I'm going to practice what life coach Cheryl Richardson calls "extreme self care" in every area of my life, starting with the physical. "The body is a temple", an amazing vessel designed to carry my soul until I've finished what I came here to do. I'm going to treat it with kindness and respect, listen to it and let it tell me what it needs. I'll let it rest when it's tired, and feed it what it needs to be healthy and run efficiently, not just what my emotional inner child wants at the moment. Instead of forcing myself to "exercise" (ugh!), I'm going to find ways to go out and play! To run, jump, skate, swim, ski and dance....have more F-U-N!

I'm going to feed my soul too, less mind-numbing TV, more music, books, and hanging with people who inspire me, make me think, make me laugh. More laughing, for sure! I'm going to spend time with my girlfriends, because we women need this, it's good for our souls. I'm setting aside time every day to be grateful, to appreciate the many blessings in my life; my health, a warm, safe home, amazing friends and family of the heart, a good job I enjoy in the industry of my dreams, working with people I like. I'm also making self-expression a priority, finding time to create, and giving myself the gift of not being overly critical of what I've created. I'm going to take time for reflection and connection to Spirit, so I can stay awake to the wonder and beauty of this world, and to hear my own wise inner voice.

I'm going to laugh more and complain less. To look at difficulties as gifts of opportunities for learning. I'm going to keep my heart open, even if others close theirs. I'm going to make leaps of faith and trust that the universe will catch me, to believe that whatever is happening in my life is for my soul's ultimate growth and that I am safe, loved and cared for. I'm going to surrender everything that's beyond my control, and make room for magic to happen.

I'm letting go of things that no longer work for me, including relationships. If I am the one doing all the work, putting all the effort into a relationship, I'm walking away. I'm choosing to value myself, my love, enough to stop wasting it on people who do not appreciate it or reciprocate.

This year I've decided not to just sit and wait, hoping for the best. I'm going to go out and BE it. I intend to pack as much love and joy into each minute of this new year as possible. I'm choosing to be happy, daring to dream big, looking at the glass as half-full, and my life as half-started. This year I'm going out and having a big, fat love affair....with life.

Here's to a great 2013, may you also be the best YOU yet!

Sending you light and love.