Living A Heartful Life

When thinking of a word which would best describe what I’d like to convey this week, the word heartful came to mind. The definition of the word is: full of heartfelt emotion or to have a connection to the heart. Over the last while, thoughts of what materials go into building our best lives have been flitting around in my mind a great deal. While I could go on about all of the things that I’ve tried, read, experimented with, meditated on and worked through in my questioning-there’s really no need, as the answer is simple.

When it comes to what goes into building the best lives that we can for ourselves, the answers lie within the heart. The old saying about productivity-if it feels like work, you’re doing it wrong-is true across the board. Finding the right balance can feel a bit tricky at times as we all have responsibilities, needs, dreams and goals. At times it seems as though living from the heart is counter-intuitive when it comes to meeting responsibilities. Nothing could be further from the truth.

This isn’t to say that I recommend throwing all caution and responsibility to the wind to your detriment. I do recommend though, making sure that we are doing something each and every day to shift our lives toward as seamless a transition between our work and play lives as possible. As doing this isn’t something which most of us are taught or encouraged to do, you can expect a a few growing pains along the way as you move closer to living a life of joy and fulfillment. You may encounter feelings of uncertainty within yourself, disapproval or criticism from others or possibly some of both as you move forward.

The hows and whats of what a heartful life looks like is completely up to you. For all of us though, the simple question which leads us there is the same. Not only is the primary question the same for all of us, asking and answering it of ourselves often will never fail to keep us on the right track.

Are the things that you are spending the majority of your thoughts and time on things which have the capacity to connect all of the elements of your life with a thread of joy?

 

Angel Wisdom Wednesday ~ June 1, 2016

Today’s card is from the Guardian Angel Cards by Toni Carmine Salerno.

Creativity

Creativity ~ We, your angelic messengers are here to help unleash the endless creative potential that you possess. Listen to the whispers of love inside your heart as we communicate with you through feeling and emotion. Let go of fear and apprehension, and express the endless source of creativity you possess. Have fun and allow the inner child within you to express your true essence. All is valid.

Creativity is so much more than the simple act of putting words on paper, color on canvas, playing music through an instrument or any other countless forms of expression. The act of creativity is the means through which we are able to process and express that which is within us into the outside world. One of the reasons why the arts have been popular as far back as recorded history is the sheer power it has to impact the world. Not only do we heal ourselves when he express our creativity, we have the potential to help heal others-either through their identification with what we’ve done, or by inspiring them to express themselves creatively. There is no need to feel fear around creativity. First, you are under no obligation to share what you’ve done with another soul. However, if you do choose to share, the point is not to gain the approval of others-it is the external expression of what is in your heart that makes the act of creation so powerful and beautiful.

Compassion Toward Self

This post, as many of my posts tend to be, is inspired by my own life. This particular one is based upon things which are going on in my current life as opposed to the past. As those of you who have been following me for a while know, last year and the early part of this year were pretty challenging, emotionally and physically. Things have gotten immensely better emotionally and I’m in a good place there for the most part. The reason I threw that “for the most part” in there is that I am going through some mood swings due to hormonal issues.

Several months ago I was told that a health condition had been caught just in time-before it had a chance to turn cancerous. I’m still so thankful for that. It’s hard for me to find words which would indicate how this news has changed my life in many ways. My levels of patience, inner peace, and ability to see the importance of caring for myself have gone through the roof. Not only that, but it has gotten easier for me to make decisions based upon my own needs and desires without feeling guilty. This has clarified my work and direction. For the first time ever, I actually know what it is that I wish to do, and have been able to narrow things down in a focused and doable way.

As part of the treatment of this medical condition, I just began taking a hormone at the beginning of this month. Let me tell you, the side effects are a little rough. So far I’ve experienced more difficulty sleeping, feeling jittery, some mood swings, cramping, more headaches and other things that I’ll spare you. Every time I begin to think about how yucky I feel at times, I remind myself of how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to have this option before things got out of hand.

Not only that, but when the mood swings set in, another side effect came with them. I gained a greater ability to feel compassionate toward myself. This is a huge blessing. Little by little, I see the unnecessary guilt of the past finally starting to completely melt away. As I go further along on my journey and take the time to be still and listen to my heart, there are doors which had been previously closed in my life opening. One of the most amazing things that I’ve been seeing is that as I learn compassion toward myself, my compassion for others grows.

While my compassion for others may not look the same as it has in the past, it has actually become more complete. It’s amazing that as you start to have compassion toward yourself, it becomes easier when the time comes that you need to release someone or something from your life. Instead of allowing it to get to the point that it happens in anger or resentment, it becomes possible to do so in love or at least neutrally. You also realize that sometimes you are actually doing people more good by stepping back than you would by holding on.

My wish for you is that if you haven’t already, that you too will be able to practice more compassion toward yourself. This seemingly selfish practice is anything but. While it might sound a little out there for some of you, you won’t know until you try it. Ask yourself¬† the following questions. What do you have to lose by giving yourself this gift?¬† What do you possibly have to gain?

What’s The First Step In Helping Others?

There are a lot of people out there, myself included, who feel called to help others. Speaking from experience, as well as countless conversations with others who have a similar calling, there is a pretty high incidence of what can only be called burn out or self depletion which happens-especially in the early days of doing the work. Anyone who has ever flown will remember being told that the first step to take in the event of an emergency is to put on your own oxygen mask before attempting to help anyone else.

For some reason, while it makes sense to just about anyone that the advice is sound for those flying in an airplane, there seems to be a stigma around tending to self first in any other arena-especially when it comes to spiritual practitioners, healers or when it comes to doing any kind of service work. It doesn’t matter whether you’re flying, helping others spiritually, working as a healer or even in your personal relationships with others-if you aren’t caring for and tending to yourself, your efforts with others will not go as smoothly as they could. Not only that, but you will be setting the stage for exhaustion and even physical illness.

While this is true for everyone, those who have high levels of sensitivity and empathy should be especially vigilant about holding space for themselves on a regular basis. There will be people who will attempt to induce guilt, because they will feel as though they aren’t getting what it is that they need from you when they need it. Plus, chances are good that you’ve spent a lot of your life not tending to your own needs and when you change that, there will be some who will resent it. As with all things, we have to use discernment. There are always exceptions, such as when someone is in a true crisis or has a real emergency. As long as self-care and development are a regular part of our routine, the rest typically falls into place.

As time goes by, many begin to recognize that caring for ourselves and caring for others are not exclusive of one another. Culturally, there is a lot of training which takes place that tells us that we are selfish for tending to our own needs and even pleasures. The interesting thing which I have observed over the years is that it is often the ones which preach this concept of selfishness the most who look out for themselves the most. By getting others to do things on their schedule and according to their desires, they free up a lot of time to do what they want to do.

The important thing to remember is that not only is making sure that you are okay not selfish, it is the first step in being able to effectively help others. Not only that, it will ensure that we are not using service to others as a reason to avoid things that may not be all that easy to resolve within ourselves and in our own lives. As time goes by, caring for yourself gets easier as you begin to see the difference in the two ways of living. Not only will you feel better, but you will see that your ability to help others increases as you help yourself. The hardest part is giving yourself permission to let go of the feelings of guilt long enough to get started.

I’d like to leave you with one last thing to think about, to put this in perspective for those who really struggle with thinking about themselves or putting themselves first.

When you neglect yourself, how do you think that impacts the people in your life who truly love you and have your best interests at heart?

 

 

Angel Wisdom Wednesday ~ April 27, 2016

The card for this week’s Angel Wisdom Wednesday is from the Guardian Angel Cards by Toni Carmine Salerno.

IMG_20160426_1220377_rewind

Healing- Listen to your heart. Love is the greatest healer. It has the capacity to balance and heal your emotions, thoughts and perceptions, which in turn will heal you physically. Your Angels are here with you, and will help dissolve your fears. Trust in the power of love to guide you, and your life will magically transform. This card is confirmation that healing is occurring right now. 

This message is always a timely one. Admittedly, it is very timely for me right now, for both myself and several people who are near and dear to me. I’m sure that is is for just about everyone reading this today too. At any given moment of our lives, most of us are either experiencing a health concern of our own and/or that of a loved one. Taking a moment to breathe deeply or still our minds to remember the power of love is so important. Knowing that we are never alone-that we are always accompanied by love and support…well, it truly is transformational.

Even in times when our physical bodies aren’t being healed, it is still within our reach to receive healing of our mind and spirit. Never lose hope, and never lose belief that anything is possible…always. We’ve all heard stories of miraculous healings which weren’t expected, which happened against all logical odds. Yet, they happen every day. While it doesn’t always happen…for reasons which are beyond our understanding…I fully believe in the potential of miracles and in the thought that love plays the lead role when miracles occur. As you go about your day and the week to come, make love a big focus, both within yourself, and remember to acknowledge the presence of it around all of us. Love truly is the most powerful force that exists.