The Blessing Tree

Writing out your blessings can be a powerful thing and, for those who are more visually inclined, putting those written blessings on display to view can make the experience even more powerful. Why not add a Blessing Tree to your Blessing Altar?  I used dried magnolia leaves and gift card tags to add written blessings to twigs I got on clearance at Family Dollar.  You could also use sticks and twigs from your yard or a small tree. You could also make your tree a garland instead and string your blessings up to hang on the wall. There are so many options for how you can visually see your written blessings on a daily basis.  Both writing and seeing your blessings cultivate daily gratitude.

And remember, you are writing blessings for all events, circumstances, and people in your life.  Here are some examples of blessings on my tree that show how you can cultivate gratitude in all ways and all things:

  • I am grateful for a low bank account because it teaches me to be financially aware.
  • I am grateful for lack because it teaches me I am not living in my abundance.
  • I am blessed by Mitch because he mirrors what I don’t like in myself.
  • I am grateful for my childhood because through it I learned to overcome and have been able to help others.
  • I am grateful for Crystal because through the ebb and flow of our friendship I have learned I am not in competition with anyone.

 

Use magnolia leaves, or similar, for your longer blessings.

(I use a metallic marker to write blessings)

 

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Use smaller bay leaves to write blessings that you like that can be portrayed in one or two words.

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Use gift tags to add the names of people you’ve been blessed by – remembering that even those we believe have hurt us also brought us blessings. Use the back of the card to write how you were blessed.

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You can also use the tags to write about how certain emotions or behaviors brought you blessings, like looking at how noticing resentments offers you a chance to practice forgiveness and acceptance.

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I will add blessings to my tree throughout the month until I put my Yule tree up. Then, I’ll transfer my Blessing Tree branches and blessings to the Yule tree. 

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More Blessings posts to come – if you want to see these posts in your inbox subscribe!

Satisfied with Life

When I fall down the spiral of the human condition I get lost in the darkness of what might have been, could have been, and should have been. This limits me and holds me back. All of my choices held gifts for me. All of the times in my life when I thought it couldn’t get any worse – it got better. All of the things I’ve gone through have shaped who I am.

I am here; I am now.

I am where I have been.

I am who I will be.

I am where I am, and where I am – I am.

There is no other place I could be, no other person I could be. When I really stop and consider that and trust it then I am completely satisfied with myself and my life.

Taking Responsibility to Awaken

Yesterday I led a beautiful group of people in the Awaken the Goddess workshop at Yoga Fire. This workshop was all about waking up the power we all have within us. One way I helped this group claim their power was by helping them take responsibility for ways they’ve given away their power, or dis-empowered, themselves in the past.  A piece of this experience came to me on the fly as, though my workshops are structured and outlined, I leave space for organic aspects to evolve. Asking each person in the group individually if they were willing to take responsibility for how they’d given away their power in the past, and if they were not only willing to take back their power but also willing to give up the ways in which they had given away their power. It was an aspect of the workshop that set the tone for the rest of the time we had together.

By taking responsibility for our lives we step out of our victim story and stop living in victim consciousness. By doing this, we wake up more and more to our authenticity.  Sometimes the victim story has so much hold on us that even when we believe we’re past it something happens in life and the hurt comes rushing in and we step right back into the story. So how do we get back to truth when we’re struggling in the web of victim?

Remember, we are the weavers of the web but we are also the web. The web is the story – all of our history bound together. But we wove the web, so we can also unbind those aspects that are not true, that hold us back, and that keep us living as the victim.

We are not victims.

We are spiritual warriors.

For me, doing practical work to unbind the false parts of the web helps me the most. There are many ways I do this and I offer them to you as well in hopes that you will find for yourself the miraculous growth that I’ve gotten from doing this type of work.

Radical Forgiveness:  Colin Tipping’s book, Radical Forgiveness, and it’s accompanying worksheets changed by life. When I read the book I had a basic concept of true forgiveness that the teachings in the book helped refine. By living by the principals of Radical Forgiveness and turning to the very user friendly worksheets I have been able to get deep growth and help others.

The Work: The Work of Byron Katie offers a different aspect from Colin Tipping in that it goes more specifically into the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves, others, and life. Her books and worksheets offer me similar growth opportunities as the Radical Forgiveness work. Both philosophies present ways to re-frame a situation in order to get to truth.

The More to Life Weekend: This is where my true growth began. I took this weekend training the first time in 2008 and learned more about myself and how to deal with life than I could have possibly imagined. This training is powerful, intensive, experiential, compassionate, and moving. I’ve retaken this training twice since 2008 in order to recenter and regroup when life handed be some pretty big changes. This training is presented in many states in the US and many countries around the world. In fact, there is a training upcoming in my area in September 2015 about which you can find more information here: MTL Huntsville.

You have the ability to create change in your life. Are you living with resentment, fear, hurt, pain, sorrow, grief? Are you willing to be willing? Are you ready to at least put a toe in the water and take responsibility for your own life in order to create the life you deserve? If so, I deeply encourage you to research any (or all!) of the three options above. I utilize the Radical Forgiveness work, the Work of Byron Katie, and the workable tools and processes I received during the More to Life Weekend in my life daily.  With these tools – I empower myself and wake up to my Truth.

You are a Brave Warrior

Be the beautiful, brave spirit that you are. Allow your humanity to go into things that hurt so your soul can flourish. It takes strength and courage to swim the deep rivers and do this kind of warrior’s work. It takes courage to be on a path of self mastery. And that path doesn’t mean you don’t have times when you’re lying in the floor. It means that you don’t stay there and you love yourself if you are. It means being vulnerable and allowing someone to lie there with you or pull you up. It’s warriors work – the path of self mastery. You’re a warrior even when you feel hopeless. Your soul knows it’s not hopeless…that’s why it keeps handing you life experiences. The soul knows you can handle it. It knows you’re strong. It knows you’re enough because it knows enough is a judgment and could never truly express the capacity of you. Because you ARE. And that’s big. We’re going to react; that’s a part of our humanness. It’s what helps us grow. Love your humanness. Your soul does.

Helping Another Help Others

I am not one to follow “vote for me” links.  I don’t jump on the “cutest kid photo contest” or the help me win this or that bandwagon. But something has come across my radar that not only gave me pause, but also had me going to cast my vote for someone whom I haven’t seen in person in a couple of years.

Her name is Sara Linkous, an obese 30 year old from Cullman, Alabama. She is the cousin of one of my dearest friends. I consider my friend family. Therefore,  I also consider Sara family even though I rarely see her.  To me, that doesn’t matter. Sara has always been a kind, compassionate soul. To me, it doesn’t matter that we aren’t daily friends, or even daily acquaintances – I believe in her. Sara is what southerners like to call good people. She walks in faith and I’ve never seen her where she didn’t exude an exuberant joy and peaceful grace.

Sara has been nominated to receive an award from the National Obesity Foundation. If she wins, she will receive a gastric bypass surgery at no cost. Her current health insurance doesn’t cover the surgery.

Her journey to this nomination and the process of the award are highlighted in an article from the Cullman Times. I encourage you to read this article to learn a bit more about Sara but also potentially gain a different perspective on obesity. Often obese persons are judged as lazy. Sara is not lazy. Sara works hard, not only in her job, but in her community, and yes – on her weight loss journey. Does Sara want to lose weight to fit into a teeny-tiny bikini and take insta-selfies? Maybe, but I doubt it. I believe that Sara wants to lose weight to LIVE. And in doing so, I firmly believe that she will live her life helping others every day. Sara Linkous is a humanitarian and I support her fully on her journey.

I voted for her. I’m supporting her. I believe in her.

I am asking my blog followers to do the same. Read the article, then decide. If you are called, please vote. Help Sara create change in her life and in her health, so that she can continue to help others create change in their lives.

Vote Here until April 15, 2015: NOF Nomination List

Sara

What I Want For You

My blog yesterday offered great growth for me – and the promise of more to come if I am committed. Today, the growth comes in an unexpected way but the Universe can be a subtle thing!

I received an email from Janet Bray Attwood regarding an upcoming 21-Day Meditation on Love Journey. I skimmed through the email and scrolled to the bottom where I saw the most fitting quote:

I want for you… what you want for you.

Well, there’s that. How very simple. Not, I want for you what I think you should do or have. Not, I want for you what I want you to have. Not, I want for you what I want for you. But, I want for you what you want for you. Wanting nothing more than what the person wants for themselves.

What a beautiful idea.

Unconditional love at its best.