Author Melody Beattie writes, “Gratitude makes you happier. Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Although it is my daily practice to be grateful for everything that comes into my life, whether I like it or not, I don’t always FEEL grateful. Sometimes it is a choice that I make because I know I will feel better and lighter if I practice gratitude. For example, I was driving in my car the other day and feeling kind of low as deep sadness welled up inside of me. I didn’t like how I was feeling, but I knew I needed to stay with it and allow whatever needed to be healed to come up. I know that happiness is an inside job and I will be as happy as I choose and want to be. I wanted to feel happy and not sad.
There is a delicate balance of admitting and allowing myself to feel my feelings so I can release and move through them and not staying “stuck in yuck” for longer than I need to. I had to let go of my need to control and figure out where the sadness was coming from. I needed to trust the process that it would be revealed to me in the right and perfect time. And it was!
My mood started to shift as I shouted out loud in my car, “I choose to be happy, I am happy. I am grateful.” I was definitely feeling better (not totally myself though) when I arrived at Larry’s house for dinner. Larry and I had had a “misunderstanding” the night before and I thought that could be a part of my sadness, but I wasn’t sure because the sadness I was feeling seemed to be way out of proportion to what happened with us. I knew it was “my stuff” from the past that was being triggered and coming up.
As Larry and I discussed our “misunderstanding” of the night before and each of our perceptions of what happened, the tears started to flow down my cheeks. It was like Spirit shone a light into my heart and I saw where the pain and sadness were coming from. It has been my experience that intimate relationships have a way of bringing up your “stuff” to be released and healed. Both Larry and I were triggered with “past stuff” and both experienced deep healing and transformation because of it. Thank you God because what sometimes feels like a set-back can really be a set-up by God. We were definitely set-up!
On another note, as I sat to write my blog today, I was definitely feeling gratitude for how things worked out for me this morning. Several weeks ago, while using the exercise bands at my aerobics class, I did something to my shoulder, but didn’t feel it until the next day. I have been icing it and using Arnica to help my healing. Although my shoulder was getting better, I still didn’t have full range of motion and it hurt when I moved it in a certain way.
I woke up on Friday morning and decided to go to the 9:30 a.m. aerobics class in the pool at the Fairmont Hotel. I knew water exercises were really good for healing, but I wasn’t sure what the best exercises would be. I didn’t want to re-injure it or make it worse. When I arrived, I was disappointed to see that the pool was empty and wondered if the class had been cancelled.
With that, this woman appeared before me and I heard her asking the woman sitting in the lounge chair, “Are you interested in joining the water aerobics class in the pool today?” I didn’t hear what the woman answered but I immediately piped up and said, “I am interested.” She smiled and said, “Great, we will do a class just for you.” Apparently, she had been walking around the pool and asking if anyone was interested in joining the class because she didn’t want to cancel it. She was about to leave when I “showed up.” When we got into the pool she smiled and said, “I am so glad you came, I really wanted to get in the pool today and teach a class.”
The instructor, Nancy said, “So Pat, tell me about what you need today.” I told her about what happened to my shoulder and that I was interested in exercises to strengthen my shoulder. For one hour, I had a private session with her that was totally focused on me and what I needed to do for my shoulder. My shoulder feels much better and now I know exactly what exercises to do to continue my healing.
One of the things that I love about living in Maui is how I have learned to live in the moment and follow the flow of what is before me. I followed my intuition on Friday morning to go to the water aerobics class and then had the opportunity to ask for what I wanted. Not only was I blessed to have a private lesson to focus on the best exercises for my shoulder, but the instructor, Nancy, was given the opportunity to share her gifts. A win-win for both of us.
So, all in all it’s been a great week of healing emotionally, spiritually and physically. I continue to practice gratitude, trusting everything is in perfect and divine timing.
My primary relationship is with myself. As I learn to love and appreciate myself, I will receive the love and appreciation that I desire from others. I must give it to myself until I am so full and overflowing with love that when I give to another, I will come from a place of love and joy. As I learn to love and accept myself, my energy will vibrate in an uplifting way and, since we are all part of one big energy field, ALL of us are infused and uplifted by me as I learn to love myself.
I love how the Universe works and provides me with everything that I need and in the perfect and right timing. Of course, I love when God provides the big things (like a home on the ocean and my soul mate), but sometimes it’s the small things that get my attention. For example, my workshop, “Loving Yourself is the Key to True Happiness” was yesterday.
Whenever I led a workshop in the past, I always used a chalk board or erasable board to write on as the participants shared. I thought about buying one, but then forgot about it. My friend, Ellen, arrived first and handed me a gift and a card. She said, “Pat, here is your house warming gift that I forgot to bring with me on the day of your house blessing.” I smiled when I opened it and knew why she gave it to me 5 minutes before the workshop started.
It was an address book with an erasable board and pen in the front of the book. I was able to use it during the workshop to write on as the women shared. It was small but perfect and did the job. Talk about delivering what I need when I need it. Thank you God.
It was an amazing and powerful day of sharing, introspection and healing for the women. The oldest woman who attended was 87 and the youngest woman was only 29 years old. What was incredible was that the age differences didn’t matter because they shared openly from their hearts and related to each others struggles regarding loving themselves.
They were each given a handout and asked to identify behaviors that were self-loving and behaviors that weren’t loving to themselves. Some of the common threads were:
*Not knowing what they wanted and being able to ask for it
*Not loving their bodies and accepting all parts of it
*Not being in touch with their feelings and able to express them
What a glorious day as we danced together in the closing circle to “God meant that I should dance.”
Loving Yourself is the Key to True Happiness
Connect with Yourself
Slow down and get quiet enough to listen to your Spirit, God, inner guide, intuition and spend less time listening to other people’s opinions or the loud, critical voice inside your own mind. One of the best practices for cultivating the ability to hear your inner guiding system is meditation. If finding the time to sit quietly is not realistic at the moment, an even simpler life-changing practice is to make daily mundane activities—such as brushing our teeth or standing in line at the grocery store—a time for quiet reflection. In these moments, ask for guidance and listen for some clear answers. When we connect with ourselves, it gives us access to an inner abundance of wisdom and knowledge. This inner source of wisdom will always guide us to our best right actions.
Set an Intention to Be Happy
Despite what we may have been taught, happiness is as simple as just choosing to be happy. When we truly believe that happiness is a choice we will instantly empower ourselves in any situation, whether it’s a relationship, job, or pattern of thinking that’s been creating judgments, worry, doubt, fear, or confusion. The moment we choose to perceive things differently by choosing a loving perception of ourselves, others, and our circumstances, we not only strengthen our capacity to feel happy, we also open ourselves up to limitless possibilities where there once was seemingly no solution. T
This is a lifelong practice, because when we’re not monitoring our thoughts, they have a tendency of veering back into fear and worry. One of the simplest and most profound ways we can align with loving perceptions each day is to practice setting an intention every morning when we wake up. This intention can be very simple: Just say to yourself, I choose happiness—and feel it.
Most of us don’t know what “surrender” means. It’s the opposite of the way many of us operate, which is by attempting to control outcomes and situations and to make things happen. In contrast, surrender occurs when we release our need to control things, and instead choose to place a higher level of trust and faith in a power greater than ourselves and in the process of life.
When we tap into this relaxed energy, we allow that which we desire to flow to us in a miraculous way. The job, relationship, or whatever we are envisioning and desiring for our lives is all on its way—and when we surrender our plans for the time line and the form in which we think it should arrive, we allow an even bigger and better outcome to take place. When we are not fearfully boxing ourselves in, we are able to fearlessly say YES to limitless opportunities for joy to enter our lives.
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- I had the Surprise of my Life
- Larry’s reaction when I shared I have feelings for you
- The Divine Pause
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Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host
Simply A Woman of Faith
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