Tool For Self-Love

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I created a meditation on self love, you can find it here on YouTube

Self-love is a topic most of us do not understand, we associate it with activities rather than understanding how to feel into it. Our feelings appear to fall behind our intellect when we place rules of engagement with life in front of them.

We have strategies for living and sometimes they mimic self-love, but in the end we tend to shortchange ourselves on what we actually deserve. We deserve so much more love than many of us were impressed upon to believe and therefore our value is up for grabs.

We place the value on achievements, validation and living with the rules in our heads. Our hearts can end up buried under all this luggage.

If you have about 18 minutes (that’s how long the meditation is), please listen in and start feeling into “making” space to let love inside. Enjoy! ❤

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The Power of Balance II

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I want to say that the “power of balance,” out of all the titles in this series may be the most difficult to maintain in life….but I think that may just be, because it is the most difficult for me. 

When we are in balance, it feels like we’re in the flow, right? Our energy is in a good place, we’re giving and receiving without depletion or overwhelm. We have time for what really matters and feel rested in our daily life.

On those days, in those moments, we probably say something like, “Life is good.” We feel a sense of all being complete in the world and then the next moment or perhaps, the next day we lose our balance again.

Life throws many curveballs and it’s so easy to slip off into the commotion or being caught up in deadlines, commitments, stress or the fear of, “what if,” that our ability to stay connected to ourselves and life is greatly diminished.

Maintaining balance, like all true power is an inside job. Whatever is going on around us doesn’t have to control us. We can be actively engaged in creating our own world, at our own pace and setting the standards for what that looks like.

When we start to create boundaries WE respect for ourselves, first and foremost, we then set the tone for the rest of the world to respect them too. It becomes easier to create balance when we develop a list of standards that we invest in and abide by for our well-being.

I realized awhile back that it was okay to leave things undone for another day.

I used to live off my to-do lists.

Whatever was written on it, big or small, I chose to do it all, every day. I always felt depleted and until I woke up, and asked myself what validation was I looking for, I kept this cycle of imbalance up….for years.

It can be scary to create daily balance, but once we get clear on what’s really important to us and how we want to maintain it, we actually make our lives W-A-Y easier.

My standards state how I want to spend my free time, who I want to surround myself with and how much time I want to give to this part of my life, I have clarity. I also know my chances of being depleted by people who I don’t enjoy being around is minimal, because now I am placing a value on my time.

Our time is our greatest value.

Balance takes awareness. We must be checked into how we feel when we are doing an activity to see if we’re overdoing it, under-doing it or just being in the flow.

When I get caught up in something I love, like writing or painting, hours can go by, perhaps it knocks something else off my plate that I was going to do, BUT if I’m in a state of joy with my activity then I am still in my flow. Balance doesn’t always mean equal parts, it means to not be at extremes.

It’s important to have flexibility and know that circumstances outside of us shouldn’t influence us to the point where we over-do or hide away. To be  in balance is to let life be as it is, accepting it and doing what we want anyway. We can change our lives by living in our standards, by being open to possibilities and being checked in with ourselves to make sure the state we are in reflects the balance we really want to feel at all times.

The road to true health and creative wealth is to have balance. We are in the flow and whatever goes out from us, will come back to us.

Part III will be on the Power of Abundance.

If you missed Part I, The Power Of Presence, please click here. 

If you’d like some tools on creating balance in your life:

Please click here: Tracy@Tracycrossley.com 

Relationships and the Comfort Zone

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I was speaking with a friend last week.

He has been married for the past 10 years. We had one of those, “let’s catch-up conversations.”

Our talk meandered in the direction of long term marriages in your 40s. He explained to me that the shared belief among he and his friends, is that marriage is about being comfortable.

Sex once a month to perhaps, 5-6 times a year is the norm for them; marriage is not about excitement, or getting along with your spouse, because that requires honest communication. It’s about the comfort of the routine, some companionship, shared childcare and the financial contribution of two working adults.

He then veered onto the subject of a book, which studied human beings in America in past centuries, when life expectancy was much lower. The average couple was together about 10 years, before one of them kicked the bucket. The surviving spouse might get remarried or not, the point is hardly anyone was married for 50-60 years.

What did all this talk about relationships that are comfortable and boring, BUT lack a best friendship, true connection, real lover, supporter, mean to me?

Excuses.

It was all about excuses to remain in his comfort zone.

We can build a HUGE case for what we settle for in this life. We’ll look for others to back our case, books, friends, authorities or whomever that tells us,” it’s okay to be here!”

My friend mentioned a fear he has: the regret that on his dying day, he’s afraid he won’t have truly lived.

It won’t be about the amazing vacation he did or didn’t take, it’ll be about the opportunities for true happiness, love and fulfillment that he chucked to the side. And believe me, he feels a sense of urgency! As he related to me his concern over peers that lately have been passing away, unexpectedly.

It’s still not enough for him to take a risk. He keeps pushing down his true feelings that something is wrong and sticking with his comfort zone.

When we can’t separate our needs from our neediness; we purposely stay in situations, which don’t allow us to shine (It’s not about signs of outward success–remember, we can escape into our work.), because they take all of our energy to just remain and stay the same.

People who fall into this comfort zone in their relationships have the same fears as many of us, but have a BIGGER FEAR of failure than those that take a risk toward true happiness.

We humas beings can be creatures of comfort and habit.

When we have a strong desire for security, leaving behind our familiar routine and relationship may seem tomfoolery.

Not wanting to end up alone or the seeming impossibility of finding someone else to put up with our idiosyncrasies, may seem daunting to some.

Some people stay because they haven’t worked through their limiting beliefs around a relationship. They may remain with someone who treats them badly, because somewhere inside it’s what they believe they deserve.

All reasons mentioned here or not, come back to one common denominator: FEAR.

The comfort zone offers us the same life, day in and day out…..

It keeps us victims of our CHOSEN circumstances.

We stay in our LIMITING stories of who we think we are and what we believe we are capable of….and AGAIN, I don’t mean what looks successful to others. It’s what FEELS and is fulfilling to us that we eschew, when we look to please someone else, even if it’s an invisible entity we look to for approval or to compete.

No one, and I mean no one can unstick us from our emotional commitment to settling.

What we do regularly within a relationship, helps us maintain the zone. Swallowing our truth, not telling our mate the real feelings we experience and walking on eggshells are all part of it….

The biggest obstacle is US.

It’s how we cut ourselves off from knowing our joy, finding our passion, put off connection and effectively kill our dreams. It’s not about winning the race or being the richest when the driver is not from OUR sense of joy; it’s about getting real and getting rid of our own smoke and mirrors.

I’m going to continue writing this week on getting out of our comfort zone step by step in a relationship, so if you’re ready to put your seatbelt on and free yourself to FEEL to experience a sense of giddiness to accomplishing your dreams then stay tuned!

 

 

 

Do we need to be punished first?

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Often when I work with someone in my coaching practice, there comes a day where the question of punishment comes up….

The leftover, like moldy bread part of our childhood, in which we were a bad boy or a bad girl.

Or something like that.

It is fairly insidious, but we develop many actions and decisions from the thought that we may need to allow ourselves to be punished by circumstances, relationships, situations, jobs, strangers, etc…before we are rewarded or have what we want.

We may also just feel like Charlie Brown, nothing ever works out and we’re just punished for being who we are no matter what!

There seems to be a shared feeling of a “TO DO” list. Whether the list is for one day or its a list of tasks we must take on before we meet the goal to the detriment of joy.

It’s not to say we can or can’t have a list. It’s to say that our list shouldn’t control whether we allow ourselves joy or to veer off spontaneously from the list without guilt.

Guilt is punishment.

Worrying is punishment.

Having to climb a mountain before relaxing is punishment.

Hearing a voice in our head telling us what we do, think, or feel…OR “are” is not enough.

Actually having to do anything to prove our worth, who we are or what we do as good, excellent or deserving of something better is punishment.

As I said, it’s insidious.

The way to tell we’re in a punishment state of space:

  • Thoughts that won’t slow down, we feel we’re on the race track going toward some imaginary finish line.
  • We have anxiety or can’t sit still, we must be productive–busy–all the time.
  • We feel a heavy load on our shoulders that even when we try to relax it doesn’t go away.
  • We often feel we’re missing something.
  • A large sense of ominous fear colors our lives: our every move, as though something bad is going to happen…and we may not even know why.
  • There’s no joy to an accomplishment, there’s a feeling of having to get onto the next thing.
  • We may find things to purposely distract ourselves to enhance a feeling of guilt.

Any of this sound familiar?

Again…insidious.

How do we get away from something, which strangulates the joy, contentment and fulfillment we have inside…and sucks the life right out of us?

First: We need to get clear. What drives us?

When we have a long “to do” list that we must accomplish…asking ourselves WHY it’s so important is a good start.

How does it feel to think of all that self-induced pressure? What is the benefit? There’s always a benefit when it comes to the “stuff” we place on ourselves, it allows us to stay a victim to the circumstances in our lives. Why? It gives us excuses to keep us stuck; it as to why we’re not doing what we really want to do.

Second: We need to get clear. When did we start to feel we had to be punished to be rewarded?

The reason it’s important to know when that seed was planted is then we know where the concept developed, we can realize it’s not a fair assessment of who we are or what we do.

When we were kids and told if we receive straight A’s, we receive a trip to Disneyland, money, attention, etc…and somehow we made it a belief that if we work hard in every part of our life, we are rewarded.

Now, I’ve nothing against working hard toward a goal, but sometimes we work TOO hard, or we have an exaggerated sense of what we need to do, to be accepted, loved or rewarded.

We feel we deserve nothing, unless we’re punished first. And this applies to the large and small things in life…and to all that we do, because if there is a charge behind what we’re doing, as though we’re in a race with ourselves….then, it’s self-induced punishment.

There’s no invisible being who will punish us….we do it to ourselves.

Third: Recognize the looming feeling of disappointment.

Who will we disappoint if we do not accomplish the mountain climb? What will we not deserve, except punishment from disappointing ourselves or someone else? This can ruin our day, we can let it seep into a day where we’re exhausted and we need to relax, but the restlessness sits in us, the feeling we will disappoint.

Now what can we can we do with this information?

1. Clarity brings a change of thought and action. We can choose to know the roof will not cave in, if we don’t take the hard road.

2. Don’t distract. Simply enough, completely embody the decision to relax, say “no,” and with the same determination we climb mountains–fully embrace the decision to decide to do something else.

3. Practice self-compassion and kindness. In whatever form that is and if there is guilt surrounding that, shine the light of clarity on it…see what it says.

4. Let go. Release. Stop. Just stand still….opening our hands to receive, we must let go of what we hold onto that protects us from moving forth in our lives, into the unknown.

5. Do something we love everyday and watch the joy grow. There is no have to, except to breathe, eat and sleep. And well, brush our teeth.

 

What forest? All I see are obstacles

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Can’t see the forest for the trees?

Everything is a problem, as in, one big nightmarish problem?

What are you focused on a goal or the obstacles to the goal?

Perhaps you are just focused on obstacles without a clear goal, besides getting out of bed each morning and physically showing up wherever it is you need to be, maybe that’s your goal?

Many people wake up in the morning with their first thought being dread of the day ahead with no escape. Some wake believing they’re another day closer to having what they want.

Most days, I wake with the thought. “What time is it?” followed by, “What day is it?” And then I start creating my day. Most days I look at what the possibility is of the day, as I work toward my dreams. Some days though, I wake in a panic about certain parts of my life, where NOTHING is happening and it comes down to my most basic needs are threatened.

Even the days where the panic sets in, it does wear off. If I remain in a state of panic, I can be ensured things will remain the same.

How do I get out of the panic?

I find the joy.

My joy.

I look at what can I do that will connect me to the joy, not the obstacles that I want gone. Once I make that connection, I begin-I feel lighter, more energetic. I don’t do what only brings joy, I do the things that are important to “my forest” and because I have connected to the joy, there is a lot less drudgery in performing the tasks.

The obstacles we have in our lives tell us we are either moving toward or avoiding something. When we have no obstacles we are in stagnation.
When we are moving toward something, we don’t put our focus on the obstacles, we continue to focus on the goal.  It gives us the “joy,” the energy, enthusiasm and fulfillment we seek.
When we are avoiding something and all we see are obstacles, irritants and things out of our control, we are not living. We are existing in a lot of turmoil. We are thinking all of our issues are outside of us and “if only this would change,” or “this person would do this thing,” that all the obstacles would be resolved. Not so.
You have to focus beyond the single tree and ask yourself “What am I doing to contribute to the obstacles by not seeing my own unhappiness? Why am I unhappy? What in me keeps me in these situations where I give power to everything around me, but not in me?”
And then take action for yourself. What do you really want? 
What about those who have no obstacles and live in stagnation?
They have blinders on to their life. They get up, do what they have to do in an almost robotic way, as though they are just getting through life and go to bed in much the same fashion. There is no hope or interest in goals, because it is too scary. It’s better to just live in this pod, rather than try to live life to its fullest and experience the sense of possibility that comes with living toward a dream. It’s a choice.
Don’t spend time trying to fix or change the obstacles; instead put that energy toward your dreams.
Opportunities come out of the blue when you have the intention to accomplish your goal. It’s way more invigorating than constantly doing a square dance with obstacles.

What is in YOUR heart? Part three

Merry Holidays to everyone whatever you may be celebrating today! I hope you have been experiencing inner and outer joy, peace and well-being. Here is the my last post on the question I asked, “What is in your Heart? to 25 people. If you would like to read part one, click here and for part two, click here. Today I start off with a man who is a seeker of inner wisdom, joy and connection. His answer to my question, gave me pause to reflect and see how where I utilize “verbs” in my life to support what I say I want.

He said: 1st of all, thank you for the opportunity to cause me to reflect what is important to come from my heart. A lot of noise clouds my head when thinking about what is important and to not mistake the heart’s desire from the ego., n’est-ce pas? The first three are the most important to me. They will make the others possible to a greater degree, as they have to be done in a strict order and they are shown in the order of their importance. The next six are equal, followed by teaching.
1. Being
2. Doing
3. Having
4. Sharing
5. Loving
6. Creating
7. Listening
8. Observing
9. Healing
10. Teaching
These are one word “pictures”. If you stand in front of them, you will not be able to see much. However, if you take a few steps back and take a “look” at the picture as a whole, each one should be worth a thousand words. Connecting is a word I wanted to use, but it seems to be inherent in a lot of the other words. Growing was another word, but growth and learning would be inevitable for me in being conscious (or sub-conscious) of the 10 things in my heart. Doing this exercise has inspired me to write a short story I was thinking about. I’m going to write it tonight while I am still at the keyboard. I’ll send it to you when it is done.

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This answer is from a very bright woman, who has been in the midst of re-building from an accident she experienced on the job this year, along with other events which I am sure teste her own connection to her heart. Here is her list:

1. Blessing from God.
2. Physical healing.
3. Love.
4. Financial freedom.
5. Strength.
6. Acceptance.
7. Physical Strength and stability.
8. Peace.
9. Joy. Laughter.
10. Go back to work!
Thank you for including me!
XO,
L

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This next one was an awesome display of connection in the end to one’s heart. At first the question posed to a dear, friend…my soul sister, threw her for a loop and she didn’t know what was being asked or how to get there, but she found it once she “looked”. Here is what she said:

I don’t know if I can give you 10, but I will give them to you the best I can… We have a busy day and night, so I might add some as I go along.

1. Joy…

2. Awe…

3. Love…

4. Fear…

That’s about as far as I can go, without adding my brain into it. I know that I am much more empathetic then I was when I was younger and I feel pain and sadness, for people and things that are going on in the world, but that is when I think about things… I am a little retarded, you might have to walk me thru this♥

(And I didn’t walk her through it, she found her own candle)

Amazement of the simplicity of happiness, frustration with people who are just wasting their lives and damaging their kids with their poisonous behavior….Thoughts?

It is funny that you bring this up. I was just telling my husband how simple happiness is… I figured out this morning that I answered my own message..hahaha. I am glad you liked my responses. It was nice to do an emotional inventory, I hope it helped… Love you!

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This one is from a client of mine, who has been on a journey to well-being, happiness and inner peace. He has made such huge strides in his life, I am happy to be a long for the ride. He said: 

This is on the fly so…..

Hope

Love

Faith

Confidence

Adventure

Freedom

Belief

Self love

Change

After the last session I think I got through some things.I’m looking forward to more open views of my life. This list represents some things that are there now and some that I’m open for. Hope and faith are mostly for the future,that I’ll continue to grow. Thanks as always.

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There were four people who answered with similar responses that I mentioned on my first post: What is in YOUR Heart? Part One A few that weren’t mentioned on that list by these four people were: Light, Enlightenment, feeling, warmth, hope, belief, desire, forgiveness, peace, quiet, harmony and spirit.

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I asked a man who is a straight shooter, always standing up for what is right and trying to figure out where he went wrong…when that clearly has not been the goal. He has physical heart problems and this started in his 40s. His list read as follows:

  • Well I have love, pain, a hole that needs to be filled, Compassion, hurt, hate, joy, 5 stents, fear, And God! I hope that helps.

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The answer to what is in your heart from one of the happiest people I know is a woman who espouses self-love, a self-proclaimed (and others agree) Reiki Goddess and her investment in living a blissful existence. Here is her list:

1. Disneyland

2. Jesus

3. Compassion

4. Kindness

5. Acceptance

6. Puppies

7. Cupcakes (pink with rainbow sprinkles)

8. Love

9. Buddha

10. Power

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This last one is by another man who I know as a friend. He was very reticent to participate and answer the question. He didn’t want to visit his heart, because he had fear when it comes to what he may find locked deep inside. He shared the following as to what he deemed to be true for him:

1) I want to see my children grow up & have healthy, happy, lives.

2) I want to travel and experience other cultures (non-tourist type stuff)

3) Financially be worry free

4) Give freely of my time to help those in need.

5) Build a “retreat” where I & others can safely explore and grow.

Nothing after that.

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That completes this series, but opens up a whole new slew of questions that I want to ask. I learned so much about the “heart” on this little adventure it makes me yearn to know more about my fellow walkers of this life and planet. If you have suggestions for questions or want to share your experiences, please let me know. Communication is my ride! So please join me!

Peace.

That Mystical Magical Universe and Me…

Instead of sharing more about my Mammoth trip, I decided it would be much more interesting at least to me, if I shared events that happened-today-on my journey of believing! So much synchronicity, that when I really paid attention to the details, it seemed to expand by the end of the day!

Patience has NEVER been my virtue; although as I’ve grown older I’m no longer a AAA personality. I am more in the A- range; by and large it suits me just fine. This morning, I didn’t wake in the best of moods. Due to extenuating circumstances that I won’t elaborate on, because I’d like to focus solely on “this” day. I said to the Universe, “I have no idea what this day will bring, but bring it on and give me a sign that my life desires are moving forth”. I sensed a warm feeling envelope me; I felt calm and peaceful.

My gym visit was fine. The irritation started with my carpool leaving without me today. My “carpool-ee” thought I wasn’t going into my marketing office this bright and sunny morning.

As I’m not the Queen of Patience, I was not happy, as I could have been on my way about 30 minutes earlier had I known. I decided to drive the streets; about halfway there, I felt I had been driving in circles with what seemed to be a fair amount of cars. I was becoming annoyed wondering why I just didn’t take the freeway. Although, in the end, what was really strange are two things; first taking the streets will normally make my commute, a half hour; today is took me 21 minutes. And secondly, had I not seen the time on the clock, I would have thought it took me almost double the time.

Once I was at my office, there was a ton on my to-do list. One item is hiring another outside contractor for some marketing initiatives. It was odd, because months ago it was difficult to have found this one contractor and when we did, I was confident we had struck gold! But, he  just stopped returning our calls and I received no response to any of my correspondence for weeks.

I just let it go; I figured I’d tackle this tomorrow when I have more time. I had contacted other marketing contractors over the past few weeks; imagine my surprise today, when one responded whom I had emailed Friday…someone I used to work with and completely trust!! I felt a tinge better.

Before I continue, I just want to be clear...I am human, so please know I will never evolve into perfect.…and I try to help others embrace “all” of their qualities too (perfection is overrated).

I had to leave midday to see one of my coaching clients. I give myself 30 minutes to arrive, so I can stop at the grocery store and eat sushi in the car as I drive to my coaching office. This usually gives me about 3 minutes to spare. I jump on the freeway only to come to a “complete” halt about a mile later! That was all I needed…thankfully, no one could hear me in the car looking up and letting loose! I was a little frustrated; I wanted to eat, and get to my client on time….and both of those goals were looking more impossible by the minute.

As I was at a full stop, NOT moving at all-I tried to send a quick message to my client letting her know I would be about 5-10 minutes late.

I won’t go into my continued diatribe with the Universe, but suffice it to say…I wasn’t very nice. Finally, in what appeared to be a fender bender, it was pulled off to the shoulder….now to pick up speed. Nope! Another cluster of cars slowed traffic to a crawl. I couldn’t understand it, but then I just let go…I figured at that point, get mad or just go with it…

And I did, until I got to the store, for some reason “time” again seemed to be off; it was only 12:49 and I needed to meet my client at 1: 00. I flew inside, grabbed lunch and high-tailed it back to my car. Getting out of the parking lot was another test of my “non-existent” patience; followed by every red light down the main street. I asked the Universe, is there something I am missing? I know I want to internally keep the pace slower, but not like this!!!

I pulled into the office parking lot, looked at the clock, it was 12:59!! How?? How had this been done?

And furthermore, my client hadn’t seen the message I sent her, she pulled up when I did, she had no idea I was about to be late!

I realized “Wow, the Universe taught me something that caused a light bulb to flicker BRIGHTLY”!

Nothing new in terms of what I usually believe, but in this instance it was far-reaching, as most light bulb moments are…I realized, the Universe was in control.Really in control!

I was clear with my intention about eating and arriving by 1 p.m. And I did. But, like everything else in life, we think it has to look a certain way, it has to be OUR way, when we receive a gift. Instead,  the Universe showed I created intentions and participated, but it will take care of how I get there. I cannot be attached to the “how” or what the outcome looks like, but I must play along, go the distance.

I could’ve saved myself so much irritation!

And so the day continued with more synchronicity. After my coaching client; I’m back onto marketing.

I was trying to email a PPT deck to a major corporation to hopefully work with us on co-marketing opportunities. The email I sent with the deck bounced; I checked the email it was correct–sent it again, bounced!! I was not thrilled! And I sent the PPT to my boss, who immediately emailed me back letting me know he was having trouble with one of the slides, even though the one I had was fine. How odd?

Again, through another act of frustration was a gift…if there is something faulty in that deck, it saved us from looking less professional.  Even though it was an inconvenience, it probably helped us…again, we just have to trust all will be well and we’ll get what we need/want.

I went on a walk after work. Thinking about how the Universe worked and would my BIG intentions (the ones from a month ago) be delivered? As I walked, I asked for a positive sign, in my mind’s eye, I saw a penny showing up, I quickly found a quarter on my path.

As I continued to walk, I was thinking about dinner and how I didn’t want to go to the store, right then my daughter called. She was getting dinner  for herself and did I want something?

Still walking and thinking about my coaching office floor.  I’m cleaning out my office this week-end to re-do the floor. I want a carpet (bamboo)remnant. My passing thought was: wouldn’t it be great if the carpet remnant came to me? And about 50 steps later,  a man was standing in the doorway of his carpet store (it was after hours). That was a first! He said to call him tomorrow and he’d tell me what he has in his storeroom. I was soooooo happy, I walked a little farther and then I found my penny.

What a great walk!!! Thank you GOD, my MYSTICAL, MAGICAL Universe. I understand everything I truly want; I will receive. It may look different or seem impossible, just like my arriving on time anywhere today, but I will get there…

And one last note, I went to the drug store this evening to pick up a few things. The checker asked if I had any of their reward coupons with me, I said “no”. She took my card and ran over to the scanner and came back with a certificate saving me $2.00 (to add to the 16.00 I was already saving), woohoo! I am on a roll!

An interesting side note: I was going to do something this evening, that didn’t work out—something from the “past”  not with another person, but another part of me. A part who only knew scarcity; it’s very clear that is REALLY in the past.

I know that its trust and faith….and yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus (Universe, God, whatever your higher power is for you).

Namaste~