See with your heart

Happy Valentine’s Day to

all of you!

May this be the day we look beyond our differences, close our eyes to anger, fear, frustration, and see with our hearts.

When we use this “sight” we see that we are all One. There is no separation. Period. We must care for each other. We must care for the precious earth that sustains us. We must care for ourselves.

Make this day, a radical day for LOVE. A love that is beyond cards, flowers, and yes, even chocolate.

Close your eyes and invite a deep love into your heart. Feel the warmth. Let it travel down into your belly.

Bring the warmth and the light with you. Breathe deeply and know that you are worthy of your true love and care.  Start there. Now, extend that out to the first person you see. Keep it going.

Brene’ Brown calls us to have a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart.

Take a few minutes and gift yourself with her words and thoughts.

https://onbeing.org/programs/brene-brown-strong-back-soft-front-wild-heart-feb2018/

 

 

 

Advertisements

Preaching vs. Practicing

I know exactly what to tell you to do.

Well, most of the time.

Practicing it myself – not always that easy.

I read so many books. I listen to so many Webinars.  I constantly search the blogs and websites of those

“in the know” in order to help myself and my clients/students.

Today, as I sit and research, I am struck with this question, ” Do you think all of these experts really practice what they preach?”

What is making me so skeptical?

The answer is – my own life. I am an expert in my corner of the world.

I could write a book if I stopped reading what everyone else is saying.

I could put together a swanky health summit if I weren’t so busy listening to all the “other” experts.

I could blog consistently if I spent more time reflecting and less time researching.

AND

I could practice more of what I preach if I weren’t so human.

My friend Patti coined a great saying, “we all like to argue for our limitations.”

I realize I am no different.  I argue for my limitations all of the time.
Here is a short run down of some of them:

~lack of time

~lack of resources

~the need to reward myself

~the stress of  ______ (well, you name it!)

~the list of too’s:  too hard, too much, too many, too intense

Louise called while I was working on this post and I asked her my question:

Sister, do you think these experts really practice what they preach because I find most of it so hard to sustain?”

“Well, I think ______ does because on those health summits she is so goddamn annoying. You know she does for sure.”

Is that it then? If you practice what you preach then you are annoying?

Hmmm..not so far fetched, is it?

We all judge people, especially those we deem, “too big for their britches.” (The truth is their bigness scares a part of us). Most of us are excited when one of the experts or a celebrity fails or something bad happens to them. ( If this were not true, People Magazine would have been out of business long ago). Many of us are sure that Oprah can’t be all that together or she would not continue to have “that”  weight problem.

We want to see that they have limitations too.

We use their limitations to justify our own. We want to hear them say that it is not always easy to get up and meditate every morning. How about one of  them telling us that they went to the Burger King drive through last week, or haven’t flossed for over a month, or hurt someone with unkind words and actions?

Brene’ Brown says that we judge in the areas where we are most susceptible to shame.

Back to Oprah. I find her annoying. I judge her because of who she is and who I think I should be.  I can get triggered by shame when I don’t live up to my own standards and expectations as a teacher, healer, leader, and spiritual seeker. Instead of dealing with my own shortcomings, I focus on the shortcomings of others – in this case, Oprah.

Yuck.

If I continue to focus on whether or not Oprah is succeeding, then I will have less time to be my own success story. I can let myself off the hook when it comes to practicing what I preach if I use an expert or celebrity as my excuse.

I am committed to telling you the truth about who I am so that we can share our humanness, while at the same time,not allowing it to get in the way of  my evolution.

Today is a good day to begin. Step one. Stop sitting and get up and stretch/move. Take 3 deep and full breaths. Eat a good meal that includes lots of protein and vegetables. Appreciate the beauty around me. (I know, it’s not finding the cure for breast cancer, but I have to start somewhere.)

P.S. I wrote this blog post and scheduled it for 3 days from when I wrote it. If you are reading to the end I feel compelled to tell you that I did not stretch, I ate a meal with too many carbs, but did breathe and walked Scout while appreciating the beauty around me.

This truth telling is not so that you can say, “Oh, good, now I am off the hook”, or ” If Anita is not making it then how can I?”  It is so that we can call each other out -in a good way. It is so that we can hold each other accountable and ask more of one another – shine the light for each others brilliance. Don’t let me play small. That would not serve either one of us.

 

 

 

 

Love Yourself first.

As we go into this Hallmark made holiday week, I find myself reflecting about the first love of my life.
Well, not the first romantic love of my life, but Michael is a good story if you ever want to ask me about him.
This first love is self- love.
This is the love that I am cultivating finally, in mid- life. The love that I realize has to be present in order to truly love another person.
Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite author’s says, “We can only love someone else to the degree that we love ourselves.”
Seriously.
She says that some will argue that they love their children or their partners more than they love themselves.
They say that it is possible.
She says, no it is not.
I agree.
I can only love you to the degree that I love me.
Here are some of the things that get in the way of loving ourselves (that get in the way of me loving me):
~negative self- talk
~people pleasing
~hiding who we really are for fear of rejection
~comparison
~judgement
What I have found is that when we are doing any or all of these behaviors we are not cultivating love, rather we are creating large areas of shame, guilt, and blame within us.
We are pushing away instead of pulling in.
We are building walls instead of opening doors.
We are creating fear instead of allowing love.

I decided that this was a good week to start speaking up. To start “outing myself” so that you might feel like you could “out yourself”, and together we might feel brave enough to take on the self hatred and self- loathing that is at epidemic proportions in our lives. Empathy allows us to do that with one another.  I know that I am not alone. I know you understand. I know you have been there or are there.

It is not easy to love ourselves in a culture that is constantly telling us to be more, do more, have more, and that we are not good enough until we have made it – whatever that mean to us. It is not easy to love ourselves when we came from families that gave us similar messages.

It is not easy, but it is essential. It is important. It matters to our evolution- inside and out.

It will change the world.

Seriously.