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)
Use smaller bay leaves to write blessings that you like that can be portrayed in one or two words.
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.
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.
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.
More Blessings posts to come – if you want to see these posts in your inbox subscribe!
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.
All my life I’ve known I was on a journey. Many time I didn’t understand the journey, and more times I certainly didn’t understand the process but I kept going, kept experiencing, kept learning,kept searching. And though along the way I had come to so many amazing teachings and so much personal growth none of it compared to the growth I got from taking the More To Life Weekend in 2008. This video shows the joy that can be achieved when you get out of your own way – you can see it in the eyes of each person. You will hear the word “transformational” more than once and that’s a perfect way to describe the weekend…it absolutely fosters transformations. My life changed in June of 2008 – for the better. And through what I learned during the weekend, both about myself and in the reusable exercises the weekend utilizes, I have been able to keep changing my life for the better since.
What the video…see for yourself.
My dear friend, Crystal Kiss, has created the Give It a Week E-Course to help you help yourself. Jump start your life with Jump Start to Healthy Habit Making!
Life has been poking at me in the past few weeks. I’ve gone underground in many ways to ask myself some tough questions to get to the truth beneath my false, and very much limiting, beliefs. Those tough questions aren’t comfortable – in fact, they’re quite uncomfortable. But answering them and telling the truth about life enables me to live more authentically. It enables me to face how I get in my own way. It enables me to release victimhood and unworthiness. It enables me to stop blaming others for what I believe about myself. Doing this kind of work isn’t easy. It takes strength and courage. It also takes retreating, making a commitment to self -care and self-healing. It takes making the choice to go within and fight the inner battle instead of ignoring it or avoiding it. Remember, the answers always lie within you if you are willing to face them and swim those deep rivers – no matter how dark and deep they go. And at times, this work asks you to fight the battle alone because only you hold the answers. We have guides along our journeys, healing angels mirroring us – but – we are our own guiding light, we are our own light in the darkness. Don’t be afraid to light up your inner darkness and face the fears in the depths.
I’m a bit late getting this posted to the blog but seeing as I trust the ultimate plan of life – I trust that I’m posting this at just the right time.
Register online for both Saturday Satsang & My Happiness Matters at: Yoga Fire
There is a quote from the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower that was very healing for me. Actually, it was an almost painful awakening that punched me in the gut when I heard it:
“We accept the love we think we deserve.“
Ah, how true that is. We bring the people and events into our lives that we believe we deserve. And until we believe otherwise, until we explore deeper into self inquiry as to why we believe such things, we will continue to bring in those hurtful and harmful experiences. Why? Because first and foremost the love that we receive from ourselves is the most important.
“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
When you look at that quote from the perspective of how we love ourselves then the quote becomes even more powerful.
You are worthy of love.
Team Love Prompt: What does it mean to you to never settle for less than your heart and soul desire?
I am worthy of having my dreams. So are you. Did you know that? You are. But so often I hold myself back by believing I don’t deserve to live an abundant life full of love. Instead I get wrapped up in mindtalk and fear based thinking. I draw people to me who have similar thinking and draw events to me based off that thinking. I look around and wonder – When Do I Get What I Want? When Do I Get What I Deserve!?
Ah, there’s the rub.
Deserve – is a judgement. “What I deserve” is my opinion based off what I believe I’m worth. So if my self-worth is low then what I believe I deserve will, too, be very low. I won’t let myself allow in the abundance of the Universe. I won’t let myself have true happiness and joy. I won’t let myself aspire to reach all of my dreams.
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Tuck Everlasting : “Don’t be afraid of death – be afraid of the un-lived life.”
When I hold myself back, when I believe things about myself that aren’t true, when I won’t allow in my abundance, when I won’t allow in love, when I won’t allow myself to reach out and branch out and have everything my heart and soul desire … my life is un-lived. Because in doing all of those things – I am not truly LIVING! Then where will I be down the road? Looking back over a life of could have been? There have been plenty of those already. And though I trust my process, though I trust that life has happened exactly and only has it was meant to – I too trust that my free will means I have a choice. And moving forward I choose to say YES! vehemently to life. I choose to say YES! to whatever life hands me…without judgement…without disappointment…but instead with an open heart full of gratitude for every moment I get to experience.
I am much more afraid of spending my life un-lived than I could ever be afraid of death.
And I am so much more than “could have been.”
Be. Love. Live.
Team Love Prompt: Dictionary.com defines self love as narcissism, conceit, and vanity. What do you think self love is?
Reading this definition brought a wave of sadness over me. If this is a definition of self-love then no wonder people look in the mirror and hate what they see. We are a society that has been conditioned to believe that loving the self is vane and therefore is something to strive against instead of toward. But that isn’t the only reason I felt sadness. The definition is a poke for me – it mirrors my own lack of self love. It mirrors the self judgments, expectations, guilt, shame, fear, self loathing, self condemnation and a myriad of limiting self beliefs.
We are taught not to be for ourselves first – that this is selfish and not selfless. But how are we to ever be for others first if we don’t take time out for ourselves and our own love? How can we truly love another when we don’t truly love ourselves. If others are our mirrors and we see the light in others in the spirit of Namaste – can we truly see it, feel it, express it when we don’t have the same spirit for the face in the mirror?
What do I think self love is? I think self love is looking in the mirror every day and accepting the person you see regardless of any choices they’ve made, anything they’ve experienced, or anything they believe. I think it’s having the courage to say I am worthy of love. I think it’s fearlessly looking into the abyss that is who you are to see what gets in your way of loving and accepting yourself unconditionally and breaking down any walls or false beliefs.
We hear so much about unconditional love and how love with conditions isn’t love. Yet we walk around dragging a sack of self conditions daily.
Put down the bag.
Release the conditions.
You are worthy of love simply because you are in this world.
Tell that to the face in the mirror.