Silent Waters Run Deep

My experience as someone who is considered shy, quiet or reserved. These are not bad personality traits to live with. I’ve learned to embrace them.

I felt so much shame around being an introvert. I’d ask myself, “Why do I have to be so quiet?” I thought people might think I was boring, naïve or even stupid. I hated the silence when a conversation stopped. I was never one to be the loudest, funniest, outgoing, warmest and social in a room full of people, especially around strangers. Sometimes I can hold my own and you’d never even know that I struggled with this. In the past, I tried to force myself to talk to others but it came off as forced and unnatural. I got the feeling that the people around me felt I wasn’t genuine. I felt like a fraud trying to be something I wasn’t and because of this I had pretty bad social anxiety for a bit.

In society we are trained to believe that an extrovert is someone that we all should strive to be and if we are not likeable or popular then there is something wrong with us. We need to be a certain type of character that is clever, witty and loud. The life of the party! On the other hand, we should not shame or criticize those who are extroverts but we do need to acknowledge that being an introvert doesn’t not make us less than.

The turning point for me was the moment I saw myself in someone that I look up to and admire with similar characteristics. This person does not speak much but when she does; she is wise, grounded, calm and confident. She doesn’t waste words. She is the kindest, loving and funniest than anyone I’ve met. We need to recognize that being quiet is not a weakness. If you know someone like this, welcome them into your life. They are interesting and wise beyond all. They choose to be quiet for a reason.

From my teacher, I learned to chill and be myself and that there is nothing wrong with me. When this happened, life wonderfully changed and began to flow through me. I had more to say with substance and people listened. I became funnier and didn’t have to be mean, gossip or shocking to grab others attention. I’m not perfect and from time to time I may struggle with my introvert insecurities. This is also not an excuse to use when I slide back to old habits to justify my behavior. This is some thing I really want to get better with. So I’ve made it a part of my spiritual practice because it’s something I may need to work on for the rest of my days alive here on Earth.

Here’s to the uncomfortable silences. Let them be awkward and not forced with unnecessary words. Here’s to self-love! It’s so freeing! From one introvert to another, embrace your beauty. You have no idea how significant you are!

How to navigate through your own spiritual awakening and recognize these patterns in each phase.

A spiritual awakening is a true realization of who YOU are and what your truth is. A Course in Miracles defines awakening as the end of the dream of separation, conflict, fear, pain and death, and the experience of the reality of the joy, peace and Love of God.

If you haven’t done so, it’s only a matter of time before you experience your very own spiritual awakening. Not to be compared to by or even with others. Millions of us have started and are going through their individual quest. It’s not a matter of if but when you begin yours. Similar to Joseph Campbell’s stages, Hero’s Journey. As we start noticing the changes in our surroundings, waking from the slumber of the matrix, I want to discuss the different phases so that you can identify which state you are in and know that you are not alone and unhinged. Everything is working out exactly as it’s supposed to.

The stages of awakening are patterns that can be identified to make sense as to what is happening to you. For some, this can be very painful and difficult. For others, it doesn’t have to be. These phases are not linear, one can experience them in different orders, at different times. It is possible to repeat these phases a few different times. For some you may experience 2 phases at the same time. Time frames can vary in each phase and can last a few days to weeks or months to a few years. In my opinion the further you are in your awakening, the phases can last a little longer than the last. Once you start your spiritual awakening, there is no turning back. At times, you’ll wish you could go back to being ignorantly bliss. But you know to much and can’t unseen the seen.

Once you identify which stage you are in, you can easily work through and understand a little more about the awakening process.

Phase 1: The Wake up (from the matrix)

One day, it’s like a switch turns your soul on either through a chaotic situation or spontaneously. You start to see things the way they really are. For those that awaken through chaos, life seems to unravel. Relationships fall apart, an illness or accident to you or someone you know may occur. Something big happens to you that stops you in your tracks. We realize that we are not in control of our life. It’s all sudden and without warning, taking us by surprise by pulling the rug from underneath us.

Not all spiritual awakenings have to be chaotic. For those that awaken spontaneously, there is no suffering or pain. As a young girl, I was always into to metaphysics and remember at the age of seven thinking, “why am I here?” I loved angels and was fascinated with space and astrology. I even loved stories about reincarnation. I never shared for fear I would be made fun of. My awakening really started to happen for me in 2007, I started reading Eckert Tolle’s book A New Earth. That moment everything changed. I started asking those deep questions again such as: There has to be more to life than this. What is my purpose?

It’s kind of like in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy sees a man behind the curtain “sloppily running things” pretending to know all and be the great one and realizes that she was the one who had the power within her all along.

Phase 2: The Bliss

This is when we feel connected with everything, our God, Source, or the Universe. We have a strong connection to nature, other people, places and animals, maybe even things. Our heart chakra is opening; and for some people, it may be that they are feeling these types of emotions like joy, ecstasy, bliss, compassion, excitement, high about life for the very first time. We feel freedom and have a sense of peace. We have a strong connection with our intuition. We’ll have so many A-HA moments and we may start to notice our very own spiritual talents or gifts. We tend to want to be alone, especially in nature. We start to experience synchronies with numbers like 11:11. When in nature you may think the wildlife is communicating with or playful with you. We are excited about EVERYTHING! We think this’ll lasts forever and when it doesn’t we may start to panic and think something went wrong. I assure you that everything is working out and you will soon be pushed forward to learn and grow. We may have rituals to get us back into bliss and when that moment returns we will feel slight relief. The growing pains will soon begin.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Smith – West Virginia Sunrise 2020

Phase 3: The Dark Knight of the Soul

This is where our soul brings up all the things that are weighing you down, holding you back and needing to be healed to the surface and to be released. In other words, our soul is our healer showing us the things that are within our self that we don’t want to see yet we need to see in order to heal. Another term used for this is doing the shadow work. This is considered the most difficult stage of our awakening. We become a hermit, have feelings of running away from or escaping from people or situations. We feel the effects of their dense energy. We are tempted to quit or jobs, leave our family and certain friends behind with the drama. People will seem predictable and complain constantly. We will feel alone and misunderstood when we try to explain ourselves. Here is when we are breaking free from karmic cycles. (from this lifetime or other lifetimes.) The emotions you feel are depression, despair, anxiety, lost, out of control. We may even feel like we are dying. In a sense, the old self is dying and our biology is changing. Energetically we are changing. Be patient. This is where the lovely phrase, “this to shall pass”, will be used quite often.

Phase 4: The Void

Here we are at an “in between” moment of our old self and our new self. We can feel lost, anxious and have feelings of apathy. Apathy means; lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. We can’t hear Spirit communicating with us. We can’t hear our guides. There are no signs. We feel disconnected and alone but this time it’s different because we stopped turning to friends and family for advice and we’ve learned to find the answers within but they are just not coming to us. We try to hard to get the answers within and we may be in our head too much.

Here is where we need to rest our energy, especially after coming out from doing the shadow work. Don’t try to force things to make them work. Work with the void and you will feel a state of deep peace, do not work against it. This phase is a great time to do some spiritual practices or things that you truly like to enjoy to keep yourself balanced and rested. Everything is going to be just fine. Things will pick up and your creativity and energy will be through the roof. You will amaze yourself with the things that you are capable of doing.

You are about to step in to your true authentic self. This is just the beginning and you will see that you start to come into your own.

Phase 5: Being Grounded

This is where stability begins and we are rooted in our spirituality. We are the calm in the chaos of a wild storm that everyone else seems to be fighting. We sit back and ground in our knowing that everything is alright. Especially when feeling whatever emotions we experience and we know that there is nothing wrong with us. This is where we’ve matured both spiritually and emotionally. People may even comment that there if something different about you. They can’t put there finger on it and may think you’ve changed your hairdo or got a new outfit. The spiritual lessons that we learned over time are brought into and practiced in our everyday life. We come out of the hermit stage that we experienced in the dark night of the soul and feel we are ready to return to regular civilization. We feel strong and we even want to be of service to others. Our energy system becomes powerful. We are powerful manifestors and things start to happen quickly and easily for us. We realize that we create our own reality and that everything that has ever happened to us, we made it happen! The more grounded the more powerful we are. We feel connection again with Source. We are magnetic in this stage! In this phase I noticed that strangers in the grocery store would come up to me and start conversations with me. We have more compassion for others and understand that everyone is doing the best that they can. This phase can last for years.

Phase 6: The Purpose

We are literally a new person that is grounded and powerful. We may even enter this stage without even knowing what our purpose is. I know I did. I made a commitment to just inspire others daily until I knew what my purpose was. We just do the things that we like and that interest us and that purpose may change or expand. We have a deep connection with our purpose. We live this purpose with passion, knowing and confidence. We remember who we are and what we are doing here. We make a commitment to life and this commitment is following our soul path no matter what. We are no longer influenced by outside sources. (People, community, situations, money, circumstances or challenges.)

This whole process is like the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. The caterpillar eats itself into hibernation and forms a cocoon. Eventually the cocoon starts to suffocate the caterpillar. It starts to thrash it’s way out until it breaks free. When it is free, it is now a butterfly. And what a beautiful process. No competition, no judgement, no steps to skip or think that something went terribly wrong. Even though it gets uncomfortable and seems messy, the stages happen exactly how it’s suppose to. The process is very beautiful.

My goal is to put you at ease knowing the side effects in each phase. I had wished that I worked with someone because navigating on my own was a huge trial and error. There were many times my ego got in the way of letting go and moving on but as someone explained this to me it was easy to mark where I was and see the signs of progression. There are even times when I can be in the grounded stage only to experience the dark soul a few days later and work through an issue that I thought I worked out previously. So these stages are not graduation stages. Each time you experience you have a new understanding of what is going on with you.

If you would like to work with me to help you through these phases of a spiritual wakening, I have some tips to help you navigate through step by step.

Ho’oponopono: A Hawaiian Prayer      

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Ho’oponopono is a wonderful healing prayer that shows us how we are all connected to one another.

It’s an ancient healing modality that shifts our vibration, healing our relationships – with ourselves, our bodies and relationships with other people (the living and the ones that passed on). When we are consistent with this practice, we then let go of the things that no longer serve us. This Hawaiian Technique that was founded by a doctor studying mental patients, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len. He looked through the files of each patient at the mental hospital he worked at. While reviewing the records, he chanted a mantra over each individual file:  I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. Dr. Hew Len did this over and over for months. Shortly thereafter, previously shackled patients were allowed to walk freely. Other patients were taken off of their medications. Soon all of the patients were healed and released back in society. Why? What we think of as “out there” is actually in ourselves. Instead of trying to change all these patients, he changed how he perceived these patients or his interpretation of the patients within him. Everything is a reflection. He changed his judgements or beliefs of thinking these patients were “crazy” to no longer creating that experience, he then transform on the inside out. By healing ourselves on the inside we then transform whatever that pain is on the outside.

The shift in consciousness: We take our power back by changing on the inside which changes our outside circumstances. Shifting our awareness of our surroundings and the people in it. Forgiving is a choice in choosing to not feel those negative emotions anymore. Releasing that emotional burden that we carried for so long, no longer experiencing those incomplete patterns of the past.

This saying carries its own vibration. Existing in a higher state of consciousness. Feeling deeper love, joy, happiness, etc. and clearing out your energetic field of lower vibrations. This modality has been practiced for a long time, so that when people say this frequency, we pick up on the vibration of all those other people that have been healed using these four phrases. We then match the frequency of that healing. Many others have used this as a powerful tool which has increased its power in our collective consciousness. Picking up on this divine energy, that’s been practiced by the Hawaiian culture to heal family dynamics. Here is the truth behind these phrases.

I’m sorry. This is not a state of repentance, sadness or guilt but is a state of responsibility for not being self-aware. Taking ownership for anything from our own interpretations, judgements, labels and perceptions and not being self-aware of what is within us. We are responsible for everything we think and feel. We then let it be.

Please forgive me. Forgiveness is the key to all healing. Don’t worry about who you’re asking. Just ask! Ask to forgive your judgement.

Thank you. The vibration of gratitude is very powerful. Stating, thank you for clearing this programming within me. (Thoughts, emotions, memories, beliefs that lie beneath the surface and that is causing this physical or emotional pain.) All indicating that “it is done.” I appreciate the interpretation that I had. I now I realize that everything is perfect the way it is. It doesn’t matter who or what you’re thanking, but say “thank you” for anything you’ve learned.

I love you. Love is reality. Say it to your body, say it to the earth, say it to your God, Source, Universe! Say it to anyone else in the story that you created.

Start by taking a moment and choosing who or what you want to use this prayer for. Repeat these phrases over for 10 minutes or for the amount of time you’ve carved out for in your day for this meditation. I like to listen to this prayer when I go for a walk or while I drive in on my way to work. There is something very hypnotic about it. Take it from me, if you practice this prayer for as little as a month, you will see how your life will change. Your perceptions change and you heal and forgive the different aspects of your life.

Now this is how you lose weight!

Ultimately we want to change to a healthier lifestyle because we don’t feel good about ourselves. You can eat all the right things, change your diet, exercise regularly and eliminate as much stress and fear as you can from your life but if you don’t do this one particular mental shift, you could be throwing it all away. Causing you to repeat the same patterns of weight gain and weight loss. It’s not wrong to go about changing your lifestyle this way. This mental shift approach may sound just down right crazy. But before I continue, ask yourself, have any of those processes that you’ve tried all of these years really worked for you? Were you actually able to change your lifestyle and stick to it without cheating or falling off the wagon? Let’s take a look at a new approach and begin to build a relationship with our physical body, to be able to listen to and understand its needs.

I heard this approach about 5 years ago. I was 30 pounds overweight, had health issues and quite honestly, depressed. At the time, this approach sounded silly. I was willing to try anything because at the time I didn’t realize how low I actually felt. My barometer to feeling good was ignored by me. Setting my new points of feeling good lower and lower. Then I covering it up with bad food, alcohol, current news and terrible reality t.v. shows. I was forced to look that I was in a pretty bad spot in my life.

But what did I have to lose? I was feeling pretty desperate. The approach – “Don’t focus on your current circumstances. If you’re 30 pounds over weight, then visualize the way you want to see yourself. Most importantly appreciate and love your body.” I remember the day I heard this, because later that day when I got home, I stripped down and looked in the mirror. I couldn’t even look at myself without being disgusted or finding something to criticize. I had talked so badly about myself for so long that I didn’t even like myself. I truly felt unlovable. I didn’t even believe that I had one good thing to say about me and I didn’t know how I was going to feel self-love and visualize myself as a size 6? I was way too focused on my current circumstances. This was not going to be an easy strategy that I could think or plan my way out of. I wanted to look and feel good but was tired of doing so in such superficial ways.

Over the next few days, I looked at old pictures of myself when I was at my target size and started really basic by finding ways to appreciate and my body. My arms are strong and can lift weight up over my head. My legs get me from one place to another. My stomach is where I digest food to keep me alive. I could at least start there. If I’m not happy with this vehicle that I travel around on Earth with, how can I expect it to work for me?

Once I caught a glimpse of self appreciation and who I wanted to be, I really started to experience a new connection with myself. I’m going to be honest; this did not happen overnight for me. I had abused myself with thoughts and bad food for so long that it took time before I truly found a way to care for myself. I learned one of the best examples to really connect with my body was through yoga and becoming aware of how my body moves in unison with my breath. I watched myself in the mirror as I held a pose, empowering me while building up my strength, stamina, mobility and flexibility. Like strength training, it’s a wonderful way to compare and track your own self progress daily. It felt so great when I was consistent and saw my results. My motivation grew stronger! The game of losing weight is no longer superficial to “look good” for others and all competition and comparisons with others seemed to fall by the way side. I compete with myself daily, weekly or even monthly and that feels terrific when I see the progress. This body is my very own housing and does things that I never thought it could do. Getting out and being active releases all those limitations I thought I had. When I released those types of limitations on the yoga mat, I could release them in all areas of my life.

When I’m feeling tired or sluggish, I now know this is a major disconnect between my soul and my body. I now talk to my body and even my cells kindly, say loving things. (See Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water experiment.) If you really sit and think about how amazing your body is, you will never complain again about your turkey arms when you wave or partake in conversations with other women fighting over who has the biggest thighs or more back fat. These conversations will begin to seem so trivial and dull.

Not that there is anything wrong with trying a few programs to see what works best for you. But stop chasing that fad diet and stop with the 21-day challenges. Start with this mental shift because setting a strong foundation for self-love will guarantee self-respect and discipline. Embody and become that healthy person you wish to be and you will see the magic! That “healthy” person is inside of you waiting to be loved and dying to be heard and live again.

Juiced up

I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands with my gut health. Although I work at a terrific healthcare facility in the Philadelphia area, I’ve been having trouble getting an appointment to see a Gastroenterologist. I am very fortunate that I finally have an appointment at the end of September but I can’t sit around and wait, possibly making matters worse or even get sicker by continuing with my original diet. You see, I’ve been experiencing terrible acid reflux. Both over the counter antacids and prescription antacids do not work. I can’t even seem to drink a glass of water or eat a banana without experiencing major heart burn. I also have major belly bloat and I cough a lot, especially before bedtime. Prior to my diagnosis from my health care provider, I thought I had a nasty chest cold. I had no idea that coughing was a symptom of acid reflux. The first thing I did was kick coffee. Once the caffeine withdrawals subsided, this nearly made a dent so I needed to do more.

I needed to drastically change my diet. I had to cut out everything I that I eat and slowly reintroduce things back in. I must say that even before this change, my diet has been consistently healthy for the last 6 years with a few slip ups. I do not eat meat, but I ate all sorts of fish or seafood. I drank a glass of wine or beer once a month or every other. And I may have occasionally gorged on pizza or Mexican food and had a few too many cookies over the holidays. I considered myself a pescatarian, someone who eats a vegetarian diet and occasionally fish.

I’m feeling a lot better, although I’m not 100% completely healed. I will occasionally eat something that will immediately let me know that wasn’t right for my body. I learned that I needed to kick dairy, eggs, all types of breads, eat certain types of fish, nothing pickled or even oil on my salads and or for cooking. If it’s not fresh or raw I can’t eat it (I need a bigger refrigerator for all these fresh fruits and veggies). Canned, jarred or processed is a no! My condiments consist of lemon (this actually doesn’t hurt my acid reflux believe it or not), honey or maple syrup and fresh or dried spices.

I never thought I could be someone who could live without cheese or eggs. My diet is so time consuming when it comes to preparation. But I know that this is not permanent and feeling good and my health is extremely important to me. I also enjoy the time making and creating new dishes that I never made before and I love knowing what exactly is going into my body.

One thing that I started doing is making fresh juice daily. I replaced my espresso and start my day off with fresh celery juice. On the weekends my husband and I enjoy this juice concoction that we make up – see below. I took my time researching the perfect juicer. This really depends on what your needs are and what your budget allows. I purchased this one here. The lovely Kris Carr has a great break down here on the types of juicers that are out there that helped me make my decision. There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to juicing. This book, Medical Medium Cleanse to Heal by Anthony William was really informative and answered a few questions that I had.

Our favorite weekend juice recipe: All organic fruits and veggies
To prep please wash and cut. 1 lemon- peeled, 4 carrots, 1 beet, 2 green apples, 3 cups of kale, parsley, 1 cucumber, 1 inch of fresh ginger.

It is so important to pay attention to what your body is subtly telling you. Your heart, your gut your nervous system is always giving you signals. It’s important not to ignore these messages because they can fester into something bigger. Keep your options open and work with both a conventional doctor and holistic doctor to get your health back on track. Ask a million questions and find out what more can be done if something is not sitting right with you. Do not settle.

Why I don’t care what people think of me

As a life long people pleaser, my addiction to keeping others happy has been emotionally exhausting. My people pleasing addiction is not something that I can kick over night, but it’s something that in this lifetime I constantly have to be on guard and on the lookout. Some of the reasons I pleased my family, bosses/coworkers, friends and even strangers was because I hate confrontation. Somewhere along the way I picked up the belief to think that it’s easier to tell people what they want to hear rather than tell them the truth. Also, the thought that someone didn’t like me was crushing. Over the last 5 years or so, as I really took a deep look within myself, I’ve learned the harm this was causing to my relationships, the expectations people had of me and how I was living in someone else’s frame instead of being in charge of my own frame. It felt yucky and I felt like a fraud. I was prioritizing the needs of others over my own. As I took my power back, I found it very uncomfortable to break a pattern that was so ingrained deeply. I now see how taking the easy way out of pleasing others can lead me back to these old patterns if I become lazy or complacent. Especially in certain situations and around certain people. In those moments, doing the heavy work to relay the new foundation from something I’ve already built, yet in those times of discomfort, that is where the real lessons are.

I’m not telling you that I don’t care what people think of me from the ego’s standpoint, I’m telling you from my heart where love and compassion reside. I no longer want or need approval from others because their approval is solely based on their own preferences and prejudices in their life experiences and what makes them happy. This is so exhausting, especially if someone you want to be happy is never satisfied. If someone dislikes, criticizes, gossips, complains, yells or makes fun of me, I see that they are stuck with the burden of not feeling or experiencing love. When someone is experiencing or feeling true love, they wouldn’t for one second do any of those things listed above.

I understand that everyone is on their own life journey, dealing with their own crap. So why hold that against them? I have no idea what they are going through moment to moment. Or even know what kind of thoughts go through their head at any moment of time. People are hurting because they don’t know any better in that moment. Should they know better? No, not necessarily. I remember countless times when I didn’t know any better and was doing the best I could, feeling trapped and not knowing that I didn’t need to suffer in my life experiences. Can you remember those times when you didn’t know either? Just as recently as this past week I noticed that when I encountered a rude stranger, I’m not giving them a free pass to treat me unkind, instead I just simply notice that they are hurting and it needs to be off loaded somewhere. As I’ve learned how to manage my own emotions in a way that keep me in control, having the clarity to respond with compassion and not unconsciously reacting to empower others in their bad behavior has given me space to stand with power in my frame. I can truly separate myself and see anyone as someone carrying pain in their own heart or fighting a tough battle within their own environment and feeling unworthy.

This has changed the way some people see me and I may come across as uncaring because these people were used to my agreeableness. For as for the others in my life, they understand this and our bonds have brought us closer. Living from authenticity is much easier and feels so easy and freeing to me. Life is so much easier when you live in a place of compassion rather than competition and judgement. A wise friend of mine recently said, it’s better to be unpopular and live from your truth and happiness rather than trying to dumb it down to make everyone happy. I’m paraphrasing a little and this was actually advice he gave me to about running a business but this applies to everything in life.

So I want to say to those who also get caught in this cycle of people pleasing, there is hope to breaking the cycle and being aware is the first step, just be patient. If you can meet people where they are. No one can hold any kind of power over you and remember to stop making everyone more important than you. Stand into your power. If you lose people along your way, it’s because they don’t like that you no longer cater to their every need. And the ones that continue their friendship with you see a difference in your energy and have more respect for you. If you need guidance or just someone to talk with on how you plan to change your people pleasing habits, I’m here for you. You can also comment if there is an approach that has helped you that you would like to share.

September 2020

Screen Apnea

I want to share with you a topic called screen apnea, (email apnea or Zoom apnea) The people I study and hang with in the same circles have been discussing this over the past week and I found this to be a good topic to bring awareness.

The definition of this term includes anyone and everyone, unaware of participating in the following activities: driving, watching tv, scrolling on your smart device, at a desk and in front of a computer screen. People tend to use their shoulders instead of their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs in this position, causing them to breathe shallow. We might even stop breathing or hold our breath and not even realize we are doing it. Yes this is a real thing and I can personally attest that over the last few years, I noticed my husband doing this. During the first few months of the pandemic, we set up our workspace across from each other at the kitchen table. I noticed him holding his breath and I had to tell him to breathe. He then gasps for air because he’s unaware the he stopped breathing. He also does this while we are relaxing on the sofa watching a movie. We kind of used to laugh at this when it happened and I thought that this was just something that only he did.

People have been talking about this for over a decade now. The topic recently resurfaced due to the pandemic, naming it Zoom apnea. Why should you care? It maybe influencing and/or harming your health. Breathing incorrectly leads to exhaustion or energy drains and compromises your work production. Our automatic nervous system is compromised, by holding the breath, this throws the nervous system (sympathetic) into flight-or-flight mode, and affects the (parasympathetic) related to rest-and-digest. This contributes to stress-related illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Over time other issues may occur like: sleep disruption, lack of focus or slower reaction times, depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Screen apnea alters your body’s balance of oxygen, nitric oxide, and carbon dioxide causing inflammation and interfering with your immune system’s ability to fight infections.

What to do? Chances are you are not breathing correctly, check out this post here. I know myself that there are certain times of the day or events when I breath shallow. If taking a breathing class seems like a waste of time or silly, start becoming aware of when you are breathing shallow and fix your posture. Sitting up straight makes it easier to breath and easier for our organs to function correctly. Also, it’s best to get up and move, go for a walk or stretch. Get your blood circulating to restore your breathing to its natural rhythm. Get rid of that brain fog and clear your mind. I can’t stress the importance of breathing correctly, yet we all seem to take it for granted.

Please comment below and give me your thoughts on this blog. Tell me if you thought this was helpful, or if you agree or disagree. It’s important to be aware of the simple actions we take that may or may not lead to adding stress to the body. I also want to hear from you if you’d like to know simple breathing techniques that can help any one from a CEO to a grade schooler. How to deal with energy drains and learn energy restoring techniques for daily life situations.

Thank you!

Picture this. It’s the year 2030 and I live here

My future backyard to the home I own and the view of the sky.

What does your 2030 look like? Try it! It’s 2030 and I…

  • never felt this good!
  • am happy to be alive and well!
  • look better than I ever have now than in my twenties or thirties!
  • didn’t know I could ever own my own business and be this successful.
  • didn’t know I could earn that Master’s Degree.
  • never even knew I could overcome depression.
  • didn’t know I was this strong! (Mentally, emotionally and/or physically).
  • had know idea I could quit this terrible job and work here at this great place.
  • could have such a great relationship with my spouse.

We can get so caught up in our daily life that it’s difficult to even think about what’s going to happen in 10 years, let alone tomorrow. A lot can transpire, even in 2 years. Lives can completely change for the better or worse, depending on how you look at a certain situation.

Yesterday, I took a social media scroll and I was stopped in my tracks when I saw this quote by Rob Booker. “Your 2030 lifestyle will be determined by your 2021 decisions. For me, this statement has so much power and meaning. That every thought or action I take right now has an impact on my future. What can I do right now to lay my path for that lifestyle I desire?

Less than 10 years from now, I will be 54. (Holy crap!) My plan is the same as anyone else’s. Continuing to live an active, happy and loving life with my husband, surrounded by our friends and community, inspiring each other. Having that peace of mind and the freedoms that make our lives joyous and meaningful. To get up every morning and be overly excited to start the day! To be healthy, sharp, friendly and allow people to feel great by just being in my presence. For me, I think continuing to have these simple pleasures, the success and abundance always follow. I myself need to be reminded on days of the little mundane things. For example when I don’t feel like writing this blog. Thinking what’s the use? Only 2 people may be reading it and one of them is my dad, (Hi dad!) and not sure if it’s making a difference.

This message is not to upset, I simply hope to get you thinking about your future and the bigger picture. No matter what your age, situation, health condition, lifestyle, we are here on this earth to have meaningful lives. When that meaning has left, we start to decline, we don’t get excited to wake up in the morning. Reminding you again that it’s never to late to start that thing you always wanted to do. Even if you don’t think that one small idea will not bring you something that leads you to next thing to follow through on that next great thing. It really does and when you see that wheel start to spin, life gets exciting again!

I encourage you to send this to someone who doesn’t think that their actions or thoughts have meaning today. What you are doing in this moment is setting you up for your 2030. Will you continue because you like the way it’s going or do you need to course correct? 10 years ago I was living in the Pacific Northwest. I moved back to Philly in 2012 and six years ago I was living in a major state of depression that I didn’t think I could overcome and 30 pounds over weight. I’ve been there and I refuse to go back. I finally had the courage to get over my feeling of apathy and little by little find ways to heal by being inspired and helped by others. Our best days are just around the corner!

Emotionally Drained to Rejuvenated

We are all made of energy along with everything we buy, eat and surround ourselves with. This concept isn’t dreamy and new agey, it’s science based. We can’t see energy like emotions, infrared or radio waves but it’s all swirling among us and we forget that it’s there. We can feel when our energy levels or reserves in our own body are low. Somedays we feel too exhausted to do the things we do daily even after a night’s sleep. And forget about exercising or stretching, some sort of activity that is great for our physical and mental health. If we let it go on for another day or so we can feel it come to fruition as a cold or a migraine, stopping us in our tracks. Finally to let it all go and actually needing to rest. So today I would like to talk about the most common energy drains. Relaxing in front of the television or scrolling through social media further depletes our energy and motivation to get back on track to living fulfilling healthy lives.

It can be blatantly obvious when we are in or around certain situations that deplete our energy. We sometimes don’t realize that we are actually losing energy, it’s called experiencing low grade anxiety. For example, the people we allow into our lives who may be complaining or overbearing, the conversations we have holding us back, hard decision making, situations or events that are stressful, places like work or being in crowds of people and finally, when we are alone with our thoughts, thinking about someone or something is exhausting. When this happens, we are slowly expending energy until we are energetically deficit. This leads to temporary memory loss, not being present and enjoying the things we are doing. We are giving away our power to people, places or things.

How do we plug these holes and stop our energy from leaking. Becoming self aware is the key and the first step to take. If you want to know more about how to overcome these energy drains and start focusing your power on the things that matter to you the most, you can reach out here at danielle.wood.smith.@gmail.com I will hand you over timeless, in the moment techniques that will relieve you from facing situations like standing in line at checkout, family gatherings, or sitting in aggressive traffic. You will be able to work on yourself to feel compassion for others and improve your relationships with people, see the world differently and respond rather than react inwardly or outwardly. We no longer need to wait until situations change or go on vacation to feel our strength and motivation again. Know that right now you can take your power back and keep it! Don’t hand it over to people who don’t care about you.

This makes me so angry my head could explode!

You know that feeling, when you get so angry that your head is about to explode or you can feel the fire in your gut? Maybe you’ve taken it a step further and said or did something that felt so good in the moment and regretted later. Or how about this situation? You have a project at work and there are no good ideas flowing. You get so in your head that this mental block causes you to have trouble sleeping or being present with your family in the times you are alone with them. Sounds so familiar?

What if I told you that I have a solution? This solution could help you with anger, fears or phobias, anxiety and stress. You have to promise me one thing. You have to practice this daily whenever you remember to and like working out and building muscle, you have to remember that there is a muscle memory and it’s going to take some time to see results. Don’t give up or dismiss this too quickly because there will be moments when this is a challenge.

Before we begin, let me share with you a little about me and why I use this technique. I’m a thinker. I’m analytical and my left brain loves to override my right brain or the creative side of me. I feel like in another lifetime I could have been a detective. Nothing gets past me. I can almost get to the bottom of every problem. My brain just wants to do what it does best and it wants to solve! This can work against me, I’m in my head so much that at times I can’t think my way out of a dilemma. If I’m not careful, my brain will keep going through the night on an endless loop causing me to lose sleep. It’s so damn maddening. So, the solution to this is not a quick fix to my problems and I can always use this when new issues arise.

We need our brain and our heart to work together, in coherence. The heart plays a major role in our emotional system. Your heart beat pattern becomes chaotic when you experience stressful emotions. A coherent heart shows balance between the autonomic nervous system (heart rate, digestion, hormones) and communicates information to your brain and other parts of the body like the nervous systems, blood pressure waves, etc. (See reference listed below.)

So often, even the smartest individuals make bad decisions, they will say to themselves: “I knew better, I don’t know why I did that.” It’s because in the moment, they let their brain override their heart. Without sounding too woo-woo, think of ourselves like a computer. Our brain is like the hard drive and our heart is like the computer screen. All of our life’s experiences are remembered in our brain and all of our life’s feelings are in our heart. We can’t turn on the hard drive of the computer without seeing what we need on the screen to do our work efficiently. It’s evident that our brain processes data but our heart does as well. When we let our brain override our heart, this can lead to heart issues.

What we need to do is follow our heart instead of leading with our head. Most of us find this scary because we think we will be criticized or taken advantaged of or we won’t get what we want. But what you show is your true authentic self and people will respond to you more positively. It takes a lot of energy to keep your emotions covered. People can feel your manipulation, complaints and resentment in your presents even if it’s not communicated through talking and it’s a huge turnoff.

There are three steps to this process and you’ll eventually need to focus so that all three steps correspond at once.

Whenever a negative emotion arises, redirect your focus on feeling your heart. If you have trouble with this that’s okay. Take a second to close your eyes and try to feel your big toe without touching it. Now, move that focus to the center of your chest and feel this area around your heart. Still having trouble? Put your hand over your heart. I realize this may seem weird if you are trying to do this in a middle of a heated conversation but if you practice this focus privately on your own time regularly when you feel indifferent, that heated moment to redirect that focus from your head to your heart will start to become common. Second, once you can feel your heart center, now breath in deeply but comfortably. Focus on your breath, imagine breathing into your heart’s center and exhaling through your solar plexus (a few inches above your belly button.) And the final step, bring up the feeling (without trying to thing to hard) of appreciation of a person, pet, place or thing. If you have trouble with this, set the intention of feeling those feelings and it will eventually come to you. Sooner or later, this process will work as one, immediately feeling your heart, breath and appreciation as second nature.

This heart-based approach has worked wonders for me. I’ve learned to respond intelligently instead of reacting emotionally. I no longer let my heated emotions from a situation like someone cutting me off in traffic, to get the best of me or ruin my day. Sure, it’s easier said than done and what about those people who just push your buttons so bad!? Like I said before, this takes time, if you are persistent, you will see a gradual difference and will notice progress over time, feeling better. Responding from the head and not from the heart is a leading cause of many layers of emotional pain.

If you want to read more on this topic going more in-depth about anger along with some personal stories, a great book to read is Transforming Anger by Doc Childre and Deorah Rozman, Ph.D. Don’t let your day or week turn into an emotional tailspin. When you remember to catch yourself, you can get to a place where you can say, “let’s turn this around and see how good this day can get” rather than steam.

I really hope this helps. Remember to give me any feedback on your progress. I would love to hear from you on your transformation.

Photo by Jan Prokes