Maya Angelou – Still I Rise

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Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

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Eat, Pray, Love – Part II

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The path to our destination is not always a straight one. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”
― Barbara Hall

In the autumn of 2017, I had written an article titled Eat, Pray Love. A new path was unfolding – it was a journey of soul searching and to go inwards. To summarize, the article touched upon a one year sabbatical leave from the corporate world. I did not realize how much I needed this break and the influence it had upon my spirit. It truly was placing pause on everything and learning to trust.

I had a million expectations on how the year would unravel, which in all honestly taught me a valuable life lesson. What came forward was to expect nothing, and allow each day to progress naturally. In my mind, I anticipated to be working in a new high paying job, living in a big city and to be in a new relationship. Having all answers to come instantantly and everything to be perfect harmony. Traveling to India was high on my bucket list as well as “finding myself”.

Did I ever get a dose of reality! My perceived expectations on how the year was to unfold was completely unrealistic. I wanted to be in control and had to surrender, progression happens on its own terms. I wanted all the answers however, had to be patient. Teaching yoga, meditating, writing along with self-care is what my heart truly desired. I began to understand what I was really seeking was balance, serenity and connecting with the higher-self.

To find the balance you want, this is what you must become. You must keep your feet grounded so firmly on the earth that it’s like you have 4 legs instead of 2. That way, you can stay in the world. But you must stop looking at the world through your head. You must look through your heart, instead. That way, you will know God.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert

On my year off, I began to pay closer attention to nature, and its cyclic rhythms. The sun shines without any hesitation and provides light to the world. This light changes with each season, as we now are into winter it offers retreat. It’s time to reflect and nourish yourself during the darker days. Each season offers a gift, this miracle I never would have recognized if I had not taken a year leave. Falling snow reminds of me of patience and to be in sheer appreciation of what life is. “Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and it whispers grow” . The beautiful quote from the Talmud was so humbling to reflect upon as there truly are unforeseen forces that guide us along our path.

Life led me to the United Kingdom instead of India. My grandma fell ill at the end of 2017 and familial energy pulled me to England. I knew traveling would happen at some point. In summer/ autumn of 2018 I flew to Paris, France as my first destination. Then ventured to Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain and Italy. Traveling to India was not in the stars during my year off. I realize that I was trying to force this trip. Instead I was brought to a new energy and love – Paris. The city has such a bright light as there is much is to be seen & discovered. It is a soul calling just as much as Italy was.

In hindsight your own unique experience of Eat, Pray Love can happen anywhere. Cities or countries call on your spirit for a reason. It is so enriching to travel but ultimately, we are what we believe. Sometimes I wonder if traveling has all the answers or do we need to just silence the mind and meditate? I believe we must do what feeds our soul. Will I ever stop traveling – NEVER!

Throughout our life, there are unpredictable circumstances in which we are never ready for. In November of 2018, my Grandmother from the United Kingdom passed away. We truly never know what each day has to offer or which direction we will pursue. My new perspective on Eat, Pray, Love in remembrance of my Grandmother.

My Grandmother was 92 and lived an abundant peaceful life. She personified Eat, Pray, Love for many reasons.

Eat: From the moment I would arrive home Grandma would always ask me if I had each meal throughout the day. She was simple and really just wanted everyone to be together especially at tea time.

Pray: My Grandma whom we also called Beji prayed profusely and this is one thing I take from her legacy. To always know you will be taken care of, believe in the unknown.

Love: Grandma had 5 children, 18 Grandchildren & 17 Great Grandchildren, for me this embodies love. Family always came first, along with service, prayer and laughter. She remains in my heart and soul and I dedicate this article to her light. I do feel when one leaves the earth plane, the memories are never forgotten, if anything there are etched into our being forever.

What does Eat, Pray, Love mean to you? Your path with unfold, allow the signs to come and know that there are no mistakes but lessons. Travel, learn about yourself and never forget to leave a bit of sunshine wherever you go. Take time to understand yourself, and take those moments to appreciate where you are and how far you have come. There is a purpose to everything in your life story. One day you will look back and connect the dots as Steve Jobs said in his famous dialogue.

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. — Eskimo Proverb

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

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Still a dreamer, yet more of a realist than ever before, I knew this was my time to sail. On the horizon I saw the shining future, as before. The difference now was that I felt the wind at my back. I was ready.
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness

In the moment of conception, we enter into this world alone unaware of what is happening around us. We are oblivious to our surroundings, and of all the newness that is about to occur. The five senses—taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing become a journey of discovery throughout the aging process as children. We are at complete peace, oneness with the experience of life.

There is such an innocence and pureness when we are young. Happiness, confidence and self-worth are etched into our core. We are fearless, speak our mind and have no concern to what others think about us. There is a sense of resilience and creativity is what makes the soul blossom. We see at a young age how children are painters, chefs, writers and teachers. As one develops from being a toddler to adolescence and finally an adult there are many twists and turns. We sometimes forget who we once were and what truly made us content.

Let us liberate ourselves from any form of control. Let us focus at the inner drum, where the rhythm aligns with that of our heart. The measure of responsibility, equals to the need for evolution. Just listen, the inner child, let it whisper in your ear.
Grigoris Deoudis

Are we born happy or do we have to work at it? Is it a conscious choice we make? These are the questions that have been pondering over the past few months. I believe happiness is an internal process and there are times we have to work towards creating it. There are numerous times when I would mask emotions of fear, anger or envy in order to keep that happy momentum. I was not being authentic whatsoever, and felt like I was avoiding parts of myself. I do believe happiness comes naturally when we are in alignment and we follow our hearts desires. When those moments happen, I bask in them and remind myself of the simple pleasures of life.

Our we a product of our environment and does epigenetics play a role in our development? I’m in no way a physician, however believe we absorb characteristics from our family relationships that determine some of our innate behaviours. Becoming an emotionally intelligent adult is clearing those blockages and experiences we endured as children. We are cleansing our spirits as we gain self awareness and personal power. We may blame our parents however there will be a time that you will see them as your teachers who gave you unconditional love. As they say the spiritual journey is coming home to yourself.

As we get older finish our education and follow a certain path, we live a certain way even though internally we have a deeper longing. We get caught up in the routine, work-life balance and forget about the importance of connecting to others. Is happiness in a job, car, relationship, or material status? Is that what makes life meaningful or is there something more?

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
Albert Camus

There is something more! I attended a Buddhist Monk Meditation in February and it gave me the direction I have been seeking, along with inspiration for the remainder of this article. What I learned from that significant meditation is that INNER PEACE = HAPPINESS! Meditation brings you back to your core of who you are and that stillness is the key to your happiness. I’m in the process of applying the principle of non-attachment to situations and outcomes . By just being still is the source to happiness.

Here is insight from the meditation session that has ignited clarity into my life:

We all have attachments, fears unfilled desires and this creates inner turmoil. Breathe into your discomfort and surrender. Inhale white light and exhale black particles that do not serve you

When you are wavering into anxiety or stress learn to get touch with your feelings

You have all the wisdom and knowledge within, when you meditate answers appear

Stop going outside yourself and trust your divinity

Stay close to the centre of your heart, the mind is like a diamond, nurture it, feed it and water it with love

Let go of expectations to the way you think life should be and be so engrossed in the presence

Appreciate silence, it is connected to your soul

Love and self-love is the antidote you are seeking

I leave you with the story of Gautama Buddha. He was born into a wealthy upper class family in India surrounded by prestige and influence. Buddha was inquisitive spirit and knew there was a deeper meaning to life and would ultimately forge his own path. One day, he decided to leave and became a humble man who lived the life of ascetic. As Buddha detached from everything, is when he felt truly rich. Meditation, prayer and living a simple life is what transformed his soul. Remember its your internal happiness that makes your soul light up just like the stars in the galaxy.

Is there a simple remedy for happiness? Why are we always searching? The concept of searching finally made sense – I had an epiphany! Happiness is not a destination, its a choice we make daily. It truly is the little things which add up to making us smile. Come back to your inner child, remember who you once were at that young age. Embrace that care-free, radiant soul who lived in pure joy. Make time and space for mediation, the more you practice you will settle into peace.

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

–Atisa

Life of an Empath Soul

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You are a being of immense depth, wisdom, and compassion. You are a pioneer and trailblazer of humanity, a model for others on how to be sensitive and powerful. All the strength and love you need is already within you, waiting to be discovered. —Mateo Sol

This article is dedicated for anyone who is known as an “Empath Soul”. Since childhood and for most of my adult life, I have always been an sensitive individual. Always feeling highly emotional in particular situations in and unaware of why this occurs. I can be watching movies, commercials and sometimes particular songs can evoke emotions to surface.

I have often felt that something is wrong with me and emotions are running my life! I cannot hear personal stories or accounts of others without being emotionally invested. Its my heart that displays compassion for what anyone is experiencing. I tend to have tears forming in my eyes when seeing anyone struggle or in pain. I viewed being a sensitive soul was a weakness until I started reading and understanding with an empath soul truly is, it is my greatest quality!

What is an Empath Soul?

An empath soul is a highly intuitive individual that feels absolutely everything from being individually or collectively. You are highly evolved spiritual being, who is affected by energy of other people including there thoughts or behaviours. The term collectively means that you and many others absorb energy that may not be of your experience. For example, in the month of August 2017 there was a full moon and a solar ellipse occurred. If you are an empath soul, you were feeling this intensity all around you. You are sensitive to these energies, however with the right healing modalities can find balance.

You can walk into a room and sense the energy of people and surroundings. You are highly in tune to the energy or vibrations that are the closest to you. It’s almost like you are a radio and sense frequencies that come off from others around you. It is integral to take care of yourself daily and be grounded at all times. What does grounding mean? Grounding is coming back to your source energy, breathing into what is occurring and allowing yourself to remain calm in any situation. When things are happening politically or on a global scale I can sense a shift in the air. Fear, negativity and uncertainty is felt right away. I know there are many of us who had similar experiences. I want to let you know this your greatest “gift”.

One of the greatest advantages of being an empath is that experiencing a spiritual awakening is virtually inevitable. In other words, spiritually awakening seems to be written into our DNA. — Aletheia Luna

You are the one, people turn to for love, guidance and reassurance. You my dear are special to humanity and your light is needed. That heart of yours if full of compassion and if you are like me you just want to see everyone happy and fulfilled. The higher power has placed you on earth for a purpose . You are a miracle worker who people flock to in times of need, as many just want to be heard. You allow others to see that vulnerability is being human and that it creates a gateway to heal.

Your compassionate heart is unlike anyone else, by just being you, it lifts others. Like that old saying goes you would take the skin off your back to help someone else in need”. YOU do this countless times because of your heart! There are times when burn out may occur – make sure you are are taking care of yourself and your soul. What does that exactly mean? Be good to your spirit! Light a candle, say a prayer, or meditate if someone is in need of guidance. Get yourself centred first before sharing your sacred space with others.

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you. –Susan Sarandon

How to protect your energy:

Give to yourself in any way or form! That means treat yourself to something daily. Self-care is integral when being an empath soul. Pick yourself flowers, take a walk in nature or treat yourself to a cup of tea. Surround yourself with protective white light to shield yourself from any type of unwanted energies. On a side note there is not day I don’t drink a cup of tea. I have afternoon tea everyday it’s almost like a ritual and it honestly is like have a cup of positivity! It does not have to be a material item however just invest in yourself.

You are a miracle to humanity, embrace being an empath soul! Your gifts are needed in this world. Being a highly emotional and sensitive spirit is your way of sharing your divine nature! If everyone was the same life would be a bore, by you being a empath it allows others to seek your guidance and wisdom. Contrast is here to serve the higher good. Honor your ability and get ready to shine, you have a quest to fulfill!

Sitting with Vulnerability

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Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light. – Brene Brown

In the past, when I would hear the word vulnerability I automatically would have thought of imperfection or a loss of power, a sign of weakness . I was told to watch a Ted Talk by Bene Browne regarding vulnerability, shame and guilt. For many of us its hard to admit we have these emotions and to come to terms with these feelings. The video really had a lasting impact on me and after having a conversation with family and friends felt propelled to write on this topic.

For the longest time I thought being vulnerable was something to be ashamed of. It had negative connotations and no room in my life. If I was in a vulnerable state than I was not being spiritual and I could not let that happen now—Was I ever wrong!

Vulnerability is being authentic, really honoring how and why you feel a certain way. If I admitted to being vulnerable, it meant that everyone would know I get insecure and a not miss positive pants. It was as if I was masking my true-self and was too afraid to explore what was really going on internally. I was more concerned about what would people say and think. The most important lesson I have learned is that its perfectly normal to feel these deep rooted emotions. Its a healing to allow them to surface, understand them and move forward one step at a time.

I now know that there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable. Its acceptance of what is happening in our present circumstances. Being vulnerable is a gateway to more. It means you are human. There will be times of fear, anguish and challenges however, once we admit to those feelings is when the dust settles. It will be scary and sometimes you will have to face the darkness you so want to avoid. Once we are open to being vulnerable balance is restored. A gleaming light will be exposed, your soul is lighter and you are ready to transcend.

It is empowering to to move forward after one understands what they are experiencing. Vulnerability is not a setback but a triumph the you are growing, sowing the seeds you have planted and searching for all that you deserve. My dear souls be vulnerable, and know that it is a process. You are evolving into the person you are meant to be. You are a masterpiece, Osho’s quote exemplify this so well, “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it. “ . You are unfolding into the grandest version of you!

What I have learned is that even though I have vulnerable points in life, its about seeing this a time of inner reflection and  rebirth.  It always comes back to self-love and self-care! Are you giving yourself enough time and attention? Loving oneself is the necessary ingredient to changing your circumstances and creating a chain reaction of blessings that are right at your doorstop!

You haven’t yet opened your heart fully, to life, to each moment. The peaceful warrior’s way is not about invulnerability, but absolute vulnerability–to the world, to life, and to the Presence you felt. All along I’ve shown you by example that a warrior’s life is not about imagined perfection or victory; it is about love.   Love is a warrior’s sword; wherever it cuts, it gives life, not death. –Dan Millman

You Learn

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Alanis Morissette

I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Feel free
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you’re gonna have to eventually anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn

A truly awe inspiring song to reflect on life by Alanis Morissette!  We truly live and learn through every experience we go through.  Stay inspired friends xo

 

Self-Love & February

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The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.–Nicholas Sparks

It’s February and we all know what happens on February 14th, Valentine’s Day! I’m a romantic at heart, I adore love songs, have watched every romantic comedy movie, and like all things love inspired. I cannot get enough of this topic. I often think what if Valentine’s Day was celebrated every day of the year? Wouldn’t it be so nice if we appreciated our significant other, family, friends, co-workers on a daily basis? The feeling of love would be shared everywhere and felt instantaneously. In essence, Valentine’s Day should be celebrated each day of our lives. This being said, let us not forgot the sacred relationship with ourselves. This is the most important relationship you will ever have.

Why do we need one day as a reminder to love others? This needs to be done every day throughout the year. Send anonymous notes, give hugs, smile, really listen to others when they talk to you and say thank you! These are all acts of love which will make your day and someone else feel appreciated. The objective is to be kind – to express love in any way or form. It is about giving love freely and not expecting anything in return. By practicing giving we allow love to flow within us and this creates those euphoric feelings of happiness and gratitude is felt. Do not let one day go by without expressing your love for someone else.

What is self-love? In my opinion, self-love is, unconditionally loving yourself just the way you are. Your personality, spirit, body, mind are all perfect. We are all here as a reflection of the divine. Love is spiritual energy it can transform lives and has a healing effect. When you love, value, and honor yourself, life really does change. It may sound cliche even selfish to be this way however, I cannot express enough how much you deserve your own love and light. No one else can support, complement, cherish and give you what you need but YOU. We are not taught the value of self-love in a formal classroom, however can learn ways to enhance this practice. It may take some time but I promise you that once you begin the journey inwards, you gain the strength to spread your wings and fly.

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. — Anna Taylor

It was 2008 and after hearing so much about Louise Hay I finally read her profound book: You Can Heal Your Life. Reading this affected my life dramatically. I started to recite affirmations, really took the time to know myself and began a journey of self-acceptance. There was an exercise in particular in which you are to look in a mirror and say “ I love you”. I had never done this before and really felt awkward doing it. As soon as I started this practice, tears began to fall like rain drops on my face. I felt my soul was awakening and the process of self-love and healing began.

A few years ago I hit a plateau in life. Dating and relationships were unfulfilled, and l needed to make a change. After reading publications by authors Iyanla Vanzant and Gabrielle Bernstein I felt inspired to participate in a self-love project. I began a Self-Love project on myself!  For one month, I wrote love letters from the heart. I expressed how much I had evolved as woman, dreams that I had fulfilled and experiences that caused growth. I know it sounds a bit outlandish but it made me appreciate absolutely everything about “me”. Once a year, I pick a month and write letters to myself. This allows time for reflection, and gives that extra dose of self-acknowledgement.

When we fulfill our function, which is to truly love ourselves and share love with others, then true happiness sets in. — Gabrielle Bernstein

Valentine’s Day is a reminder to spread love outwards, but also remember to love yourself too!  Always treat yourself with kindness, admiration and respect.  You are the love of your life, the love you are seeking. Give yourself the love you deserve every day of your precious life!

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