self-love

An Open Letter of Hope, When Life Seems Hopeless

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This Blog is based on a letter I wrote to a client recently who was going through some very difficult and hopeless feelings.  Upon reflection, I realized it is the basic message that I have been assimilating and learning for many years now to find my own peace of mind and ease in the face of my own despair and hopelessness. It is about loving myself and giving myself the gift of a joyful, free, expansive life.  These understandings are at the core of every session I co-create with my clients.

An Open Letter To Myself and All Others Who Struggle Mightily To Have Lives That Flow Smoothly, Abundantly, and Joyfully:

There are many things you can do to begin to reverse the downward spiral you sometimes have been getting into, and to begin to feel hopeful and more excited about creating the relationships, the work, the health and whatever else you want for your life.

Probably the main thing I can say is that it is in your control to change your state. We can get into this place where we reinforce one negative thought after another, and then when our feelings are also reflecting our thoughts that things aren't going the way we wish they were, we sometimes can get into that downward spiral. It’s just because that’s what we are focusing on too much. In reality, every moment we have the capacity to choose other thoughts.  Our unhappy or frustrating feelings are telling us that our Inner Being, our Source Self, sees things differently.  It knows that there is not only a way to have the life we desire, but also, how to get to that result, that manifestation, in the most pleasurable way possible.

First of all, you might consider listening to what you are telling yourself about your situation.  As you know, if your thoughts and feelings are about what's not working for you in your life, and you believe that you are spiraling down, and you focus on this state of being often, then by the Law of Attraction, you will, of course, attract more of the same. 

It is my experience that you can choose instead to believe, trust and know that a way to have what you want is already created for you in this place Law of Attraction advocates call your Vortex, or you might say, your "reservoir of expanding, fulfilling possibilities” in the Unseen Realm. 

I would suggest that you consider that a way to have the relationships, health, money and work you want is completely within your realm of possibility.  In fact, it is a done deal already in your Vortex of expanding possibilities!  It is your sincere desire to have that wonderful, wonderful relationship, and the ideal job, income and health you want, combined with your belief that it is definitely coming, combined with the feeling of hopefulness about that possibility evolving and coming to you, that opens the doors for the Universe to begin to bring that to you.  Feeling the good feeling of allowing your good to come to you is what will bring it to you.

In other words, you can slowly learn to choose to take your focus off thinking and feeling constantly that things aren't working the way you want them to in any area of your life.  Instead, you can ask yourself to begin to embrace the belief and the good feelings that come when you accept that you are well on your way to having what you want. Remember that whatever you focus on is what you will get more of in your life.

Often a belief and a feeling is so strong that things aren't working out the way we want them to, that it seems impossible to feel hopeful and expectant that we will get the things that we want. But this is where all the work (or play!) needs to be done, in relaxing and trusting and allowing ourselves to believe, and even better, to know that the better life that we imagine for ourselves is possible.

The way I see it, it's a choice that we make over and over and over, a choice to get back to feeling good no matter what conditions we are facing.  We need to accept and feel the not so pleasant feelings, but know that those feelings are just telling you that there is another way to go about this, another way to imagine all that is happening.  Your Source Self is guiding you and loving you through all these trying times.

Know that there is a presence of Divine Love in your life that is focused on you very intently and wants only your success. In the eyes of that Higher Love, your Higher Self, you are completely taken care of, and you will succeed. Your Higher Self sees you as already successful in every way you wish you were.  This is no small thing.

You're coming out of a long period in your life of believing in struggle, and frustration, and a belief that things are hard. Though you may not always recognize it, and may often forget it, you have also learned a lot about how to relax, how to trust, how to love yourself, how to allow Life to show you its magic and its blessings.  Something basic to who you really are knows how to choose happiness over fear, how to choose confidence over doubt, how to choose having fun over stressing out.  That’s because those qualities come built in with your human Being-ness. 

Life is actually very abundant, and you have every right to have a ton of that abundance in your relationships, your work and your health. Believe and know that this is possible for you. Begin to focus more on the positive expectation that it is coming to you. 

When you're in that place, that is when the things that you want can begin to easily flow into your experience. That is when you get impulses and inspirations that lead you towards how you can more openly allow, or do actions that will further these wanted things coming to you more readily and easily. 

It's amazing that all of this comes down to the thoughts and the feeling state that we create within ourselves, and that we are not the victims of our own thinking, or of anyone or anything. We can make a choice to stop telling ourselves and others any stories about how things aren't working out for us the way we want them to. 

I know it's hard to stop thinking that and telling it to ourselves or to other people.  I deal with this myself, as do all of my clients, and most all of my friends and family. But we can choose instead to begin to tell the story of how we want things to be, and to get excited about the possibility of that emerging in our lives. And the cool part is that when you are in a good mental place with hopeful and expectant thoughts, and the good feelings that come with that, will you attract and allow the things you want to unfold for you.

Every new moment it's a brand-new possibility for how your future might unfold going forward. The past is completely gone. When the future comes, it will always be the present moment. So the present moment is the only thing that we have. We can either fill this moment with doubt and worry and fear and frustration about not having what we want, and thoughts about how things aren't working out the way we want them to, or we can begin to think thoughts about how it's going to feel so good when things work out the way we want them to, and how we have trust and faith that the Universe has got our back!  God, our Higher Power, the Universe, whatever you want to call that Source Love, is orchestrating things in our favor all of the time, if we would just relax and begin to notice how much good there is in every moment.

Get a notebook or create a file on your computer where you write often the things you are appreciating or grateful for in your life.  See how many things you can write down, and how you can begin throughout your day to notice things you appreciate that are already working well in your life.  Make appreciation your dominant thoughts and vibration if you can, and watch the magic it will bring into your life!

Hold yourself gently and kindly if you seem to be backsliding or still struggling or getting overwhelmed.  There is no right or wrong way to do any of this.  You can choose to be your own best friend and dearest lover, and make a decision that you are going to begin to consider giving yourself a break and forgiving yourself no matter what is happening. Be unconditionally kind with yourself if at all possible, and remember that you are unconditionally worthy!  No one else can or is judging your self worth other than you.

Problems can just be seen more and more as temporary “bumps in the road” instead of huge insurmountable mountains.  Feel the difficult or troubling feelings as long as you need to, and don’t repress them, but just know that they are there to point you back to how your Source Self is seeing things, as beautiful, filled with solutions and ease, and working out well.  Just because you may not be seeing and feeling your life the way Source does at any moment, doesn’t mean things can’t change in the next moment.  It also doesn’t mean you are “wrong” for however you are seeing and feeling things in your life.

Life is actually very magical. The only thing stopping you from seeing and feeling that your life is magical, is your very strong belief that things are difficult and a great big struggle, and that because things have been difficult, they will continue to be difficult. It's just an old habit most of us learned growing up.  Sometimes it will take some time to let it all go.

To learn a new habit of believing in and expecting good things to work out for us, and a new habit of choosing to feel good about this moment and each brand-new moment, is where our work and play lies. Focus on a good feeling thought for 17 seconds, and it will automatically attract another good feeling thought. Stay with good feeling thoughts about the possibilities of things working out for you for even one minute, and you will begin to develop the new habit that will bring better and better results into your daily life.  It takes some practice with this a little every day.

Meditate daily if you can because it puts you in that place of openness to the realm of infinite possibility. Write down the story of how you want your life to unfold, and read it every day or often, and visualize it happening for yourself. Visualize yourself enjoying doing the work you most want to be doing and spending the money that you want to make in a joyful way. Visualize yourself in the most wonderful relationship you can dream of, and know that this is going to happen in your life, even if the details aren’t exact.  Go for the essence of what you feel you want your life to be, and the details will take care of themselves.

Be easy about it. Become confident and determined that it will happen, and that life is already unfolding for you the journey towards having what you want. Remember, there are no happy destinations without happy journeys, so look for ways to be happy every day and to have more fun, and know that in enjoying your life, you begin to open the doors to everything that you want coming to you.

I know that sometimes all of this seems impossible in the face of how strong our feelings of frustration or hopelessness may be. But all of this really does work when we relax and trust and do the next best feeling thing that occurs to us. It really is one moment at a time. What feels good right now? And what feels good next, and next, and next?

And if we are feeling bad, we can go ahead and feel that feeling, and it will begin to diminish. Relax, notice your breath going in and out, up-and-down, and find some peace in that. That peace is who you really are. There is a great Love that cares for you. That great Love IS YOU!  Your life is meant to be fun and satisfying. Find ways to enjoy this journey one moment at a time, and those moments will add up to an enjoyable life.

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It’s My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To! - by Tom Wells

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Do you ever wonder what makes life work?  Like, what makes everything just click and seem right on time, right on the mark?  With you, feeling good...maybe even feeling really good!??

It may not be the mystery we sometimes make it out to be.  What if it was all based on our attitude, and what if our attitude was constantly open for tweaking, for adjusting?  What if what we call “reality” was a constantly morphing phenomenon?  And guess who’s got the remote in their hands??  You guessed it...each of us, me, and you.  We can change the channel, and it can be as easy as pushing the button.

No, I haven’t always experienced this as true, and sometimes still, I feel a bit trapped in my own skin, trapped in a feeling of heaviness, or fear, or sadness, or self-doubt.  But you know, I’m getting better and better at realizing that my mood IS in my control.

There’s a line from an old best-selling pop hit, “It’s my party, and I'll cry if I want to”.  And lots of times in my life, I’ve felt that it’s good to own my own sadness, and let it rip.  But when it hamstrings me in having the life I really want to have, I realize I don’t want to feel like I’m at the mercy of feelings that seem to be overwhelming me.  After all, it’s a party for God’s sake, if you go along with the song title analogy anyway.

My life has been quite a “never-ending journey” of learning how to give myself a break.  I mean, who really makes it hard on me?  Who really?  I am so much the only one in my head, in control, in the driver's seat.  That has been such a huge and on-going revelation for me.  No one else can ever encroach even a fraction of an inch into my head-space (unless of course I imagine I’ve let them in.)  But are they really there?  No, it’s always me, here alone with me, telling myself things, all day long.

So what if I took more control of what I tell myself?  What if I listened more to what I AM telling myself, just noticing for a while what I hear myself saying, what I see myself imagining in pictures.  What I’ve come to see so much lately is how much of my life I haven’t really been a true observer of all this inner dialogue and pictures and movies.  And the crazy thing is, this stuff is what’s determining my moment-to-moment experience of life!  You may have heard the old saying:  “As a man thinks, so he is”.  Well, yeah, how true it is!

What if we accepted that we are the combined writer, producer, director and actor in our very own movie, called our One Precious Life, (this one anyway, whether there are other lives we’ve lived or will yet live)?  I mean, isn’t that cool?!!

So many of us just love to spend so much time in our lives watching movies and maybe even TV, and it has struck me so poignantly for so many years now, just how ironic it seems that we watch these amazing actors act out these amazing stories and dramas and comedies and it’s all so absorbing and engaging, yet do most of us live lives that we find as wonderful, or interesting, or as funny, or as tragic as what we see on the screen? Maybe some of us do, and maybe some of us don’t.  

Of course, I wouldn’t want to live out most of the tragedies I see in movies or on TV, or so I think, but the rest of it can be pretty interesting or exciting or at the least, often “bigger than life”, that is, perhaps grander and more spellbinding than the life I’m living day in and day out.  And, I suppose, the on-screen tragedies may serve many useful functions of touching our hearts in ways they often need to be touched.  So many people point out that “without the darkness and the pain, how would we be able to so profoundly appreciate the light and the happiness?”

Still, the contrast that is definitely the stuff of dramas and tragedies has always been something I wanted to be taught GENTLY by.  Devastation does happen, or rather, we attract it into our lives sometimes, but if I can learn my awesome life lessons through kindness, ease and compassion, I choose that method.  I think lately our modern society has gotten a bit addicted to tragedy and drama as a principal default assumption of “just how it is” that many of us subscribe to. 

But my point is, what if you were told you were the complete team needed to create your own unique and extremely good movie, called “My Life”, or whatever much better title you might be inspired to name it?  Are you up for it??

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Appreciating This Life! - by Tom Wells

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Just being a human being, what is it to have a good time? 

Why did I come into this human body anyway? What am I doing here everyday? If I'm not having a good time, then I certainly want to be headed toward having a good time! I certainly want to be reconciling anything that's keeping me from having a good time, and letting go of any resistance or fear or anger or suffering of any sort that might be keeping me from having the life I really want to have… living full out… living life OUT LOUD!

I love the idea of living life OUT LOUD!  Being able to proclaim how awesome it is to be here! I guess in a way that's what my whole life has been about… slowly, over the decades, removing all the obstacles I have erected that may have blocked my appreciation of how cool it is to be in this body, to be alive.

I’ve tried to do that, no matter what age, and it seems to be a bit more challenging as I’ve gotten older. On second thought I guess it's been challenging on and off through my life to admit just how good things really are. Except when I was a kid… it was pretty easy then. I've got to say I had a really good time, not so great when school was in, but boy, when school was out, I was having fun pretty much 99 percent of the time!

Appreciation seems to lie at the heart of not only giving value to my time alone, but in valuing my relationship to others as well.  When I truly find things to appreciate in other people, and be in a sort of awe and open wondering about who they are, and what they're up to, and how they're shaping their unique reality.

I remember when I learned that if you want to have a truly successful relationship with your life partner, pay attention to how they mind map their reality. How do they put together their whole life experience? What's their map of reality? And if you can understand that a little bit better as time goes on, you learn to get along with that person a lot better because you begin to understand why they make the choices they make, why they say the things they say and do the things they do.

Of course I would like it to be easy and simple to understand myself and other people. I think that the more that I have deep appreciation of who I am, the more I can appreciate others. The root of so much that makes life worth living, is self-love. It's actually something that kind of alluded me for a long time. I always assumed I had a lot of self-love but when I really look at how I've acted towards myself for a lot of my life, I can see how I demonstrated a lack of self-respect for who I really am, sort of a lack of enthusiasm for my own awesomeness. I can remember sometimes thinking of myself as kind of a loser, not quite adding up to the high expectation I had of myself.

I love the fact that all of that's changing. I'm realizing that at the heart of everything I experience in my life lies my own self-worth. I can't be with other people, I can’t even be in the middle of the woods camping alone by myself, without a strong sense of self-worth, if I expect to have a really good time. After all, all my experiences are coming through me, and if at the core of my being, I'm not looking out through eyes of ease, and love, and pleasure, and kindness, and happiness, happiness to be who I am, pleasure to be who I am, ease and relaxation about who I am… if I'm not coming from that place, it's hard to appreciate the beauty of the forest, the beauty of the clouds, the rock formations, the rivers and streams.

I love that I'm learning to appreciate more and more every day who I am, who you are, the beauty of this natural world, what this life is, what an amazing gift it is.  A lot of that comes from just constantly noticing what I'm thankful for. As much as I can, just noticing how good things really are.

Can you imagine how this world might be if most of us were spending our time just noticing how good things really are? I think a lot of things might get better, because we would bring that vibration of appreciation to everything! 

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who so impresses me, because she has this uncanny ability to find good in everything. That's all she’ll talk about! She loves to talk about how GREAT things are! Oh, she might occasionally mention about a bit of a struggle she's going through, but she doesn't linger there, she gets right on to what's good about the situation, and how GREAT things are, always finding things to appreciate no matter what!

I love being around someone like that… pointing out how beautiful the flowers are, how lovely the yard is…” Come and see my amazing zucchini plant!”…” Isn't our new puppy just so,soooo adorable?!”…” Oh my god, we had soooo much fun today!”  That kind of an attitude is so refreshing for me. 

Sometimes I've noticed in my life how I had this way of sort of downplaying things, kind of turning things to some shade of gray. You may remember the Rolling Stones song, “Paint It Black”.  The gist of the song was that no matter what the guy would see, he would always paint it black, cover it in darkness, take the light out of it. So unnecessary!

Maybe a lot of us have had periods of our lives where are we have done that. I certainly have.  Maybe from our depression, our sadness, our despair, our cynicism.  But I can see how I'm learning not to do that. As I learn to appreciate and notice all that I'm grateful for, and to expand my capacity to love my self more and more, I literally notice colors coming alive all around me, and it's so beautiful, and so exhilarating, that the last thing I would want to do is ever “Paint It Black”.
 

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The Water Is Wide - by Tom Wells

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Now we come down to the shore of the vast ocean that is our potential, that is all we have longed for, for lifetimes perhaps.  Remember the old song, “The water is wide...I can’t cross over...” ?

The water is wide, I can't cross over, and neither have I wings to fly. Build me a boat that can carry two and both shall row, my love and I.
There is a ship and she sails the sea. She's loaded deep, as deep can be. But not so deep as the love I'm in, I know not how I sink or swim.
Oh love is handsome and love is fine, the sweetest flower when first it's new. But love grows old and waxes cold and fades away like Summer dew.
Build me a boat that can carry two and both shall row, my love and I, And both shall row, my love and I.  
                                                                                                                  James Taylor

That feeling of reaching an impasse in my life, a challenge to move beyond the limitations of the very essence of who I have believed myself to be, a seemingly mighty expanse that I need to traverse.  I want to get to the other side, but where are my wings?  I have dreamed and hoped and prayed for wings to fly, yet I still stand on this shore, unable to comprehend this crossing over.

So I call upon my Self, I call upon my Ancestors, my Source, to build me a boat, that I might sail, endeavoring to carry all my sweet and precious longings and hopes for myself to the distant shore where lies the land of milk and honey, the fulfillment of these deep desires, this quenching of an inner thirst I have felt for so long.  Perhaps these wonderful loves of mine have grown cold and grown old, and no longer seem to have the beauty and freshness that once so inspired me to embrace them so passionately.  Yet I cannot abandon them, these dreams that have so shaped my searching and striving to finally feel complete.

Thankfully and amazingly, I feel in my heart that my love is so up to the task of carrying the precious cargo of my long and hopeful life toward that dream of a joyful fulfillment.  I somehow know that my love is even more vast than this seemingly endless ocean and the heavy load of all that I long for, and have ever longed for.  I know not how I live or die, I only know that together with my love, in that deepest regard and respect I have for my eternal Soul, for who I really am, I can row for that other shore, despite all odds.

Together, we “both shall row, my love and I.”

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