How to Love Yourself, Straight From You

For the past month we’ve been talking about Self-Love…what it means, what it looks like, and how we express it in our lives (or not).

Summary of Previous Articles:

“How to Love Yourself First”— The series kicked off with a story about dating the “wrong guy” for way too long.  Why did I stick around for so long?  Bottom-line: because I didn’t love myself enough.  Three important questions were posed in order to help you determine how (if) you love yourself.

“Are You Constantly Searching for Love? Here’s One Sure Step to Finding Love”— In this post, you will clearly see what it means to love yourself…what it actually looks like in concrete terms.

“She Learned to Love Herself…And So Can You”— Using the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to introduce self-love, we quickly shift to the HOW TO of self-love in this post.

“French Fries and Fingernails”— Last week we looked at how self-love comes in all shapes and sizes. How sometimes it’s the small, random acts of kindness we offer ourselves that speak the loudest.  We also heard from two readers who shared how they struggle with self-love and the tactics they use to overcome their struggles.

Topic with No End

This has been a huge topic.  One I’ll never really be “done” writing about or exploring its importance in our daily lives.  But for today, I will wrap up this series on self-love by sharing the candid, and sometimes extremely raw insights that you shared with me.  And finally ending this post with a list of your self-love practices.  Continue Reading

Why Trust Is Important

Sneak Peek into the recently released book:  Love, Trust & Pixie Dust.

Excerpt from Chapter 3: It Is What It Is.

why trust is important

“My life has been filled with many misfortunes, most of which never happened.”  ~ Mark Twain

Why Trust Is Important

Why Should We Trust Life?

Cliches become cliches mostly because they speak the truth.  So whether you loathe or love the cliche It Is What It Is, there’s a whole lot of truth in it.  That said, why should we even bother trusting?

One of my dear friends decided to play Devil’s Advocate one day, and sent me an email asking, “Why should we trust life?”  I say Devil’s Advocate because he wasn’t asking the question expecting a response, but rather for me to consider how I’d respond to someone reading my blog or even to you sitting here now, holding this book and wondering, Yeah, why should I trust life?

There is a simple, one-word response to the question — and that word is:  Peace.  Being at peace in our everyday lives is the ultimate end goal and reason behind why we trust.  Trust unlocks the door to peace.  But there’s more….

The Crux of the Matter:  What IS Versus What IF

Peace is why we trust, yes, but there’s more.  First off, put yourself in the mindset of thinking of trusting life as a series of events.  The series starts with the awareness/acceptance of What IS, which in many cases is the same as letting go.  Essentially, What IS, is looking at a situation and NOT inserting layer upon layer of What IF:  “What IF I lose my job?  What IF he leaves me?   What IF I get sick?”  No, no, no.  What IS means being grounded in seeing the truth, in not inventing the stuff that makes our heads spin out of control.

Think:  whatever you are worrying about or holding on to (the What IF) and imagine yourself letting go of those What IFs and seeing What Truly IS.

Once you are aware and accept What IS, the enormous amount of energy you were giving to the worry — or the What IFs — now ends.  It has no power over you.  This is key, because before you are aware and accept What IS, your mind races with thoughts of worry and fear.  Thoughts of What IF often lead to the invention of entirely fictitious situations (which I, and Mark Twain might add, hardly ever end up happening).  These ungrounded thoughts are what take up so much unnecessary energy.  They often lead to more worry, more fear.  You become restless and irritable, you lose sleep.  The snowball effect is in full force at this point.  The “monkey-mind” is cranked up in high gear, jumping from one thought to another and another, not easily quieted.  I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ve all experienced monkey-mind to one degree or another.

Field of Pure Awareness

It is when we become aware, and accept What IS, that the monkey-mind quiets, and we can Be.  Once we are in a state of Being, we are able to observe moment by moment, from the highest field of all, Pure Awareness.

Now, if it has all made sense up to this point, but I just lost you with the Pure Awareness comment, hang tight.  I want to take it a step further and deeper.  Once you’re observing moment by moment, no longer in the worry-place and completely out of the monkey-mind chatter, whatever action you take will be in harmony with this field of Pure Awareness.  Therefore, whatever action you take will be for the highest good for all.  Remember the Sufi story of the warrior and his bride?  (from Chapter 2)

By trusting life, we accept What IS, quieting the conflict in the monkey-mind and freeing us to observe and then act from Pure Awareness, which will be for the highest good of all.  Operating for the highest good of all also takes us to the next level:  Life is not just about us at an individual level, but as living beings we are all connected in a very intimate way.  For that reason, operating for the highest good of all is something to strive for.

By trusting, we marry our free will with the Divine, knowing that we are taken care of.  We are not alone in our worries or our struggles.  We are never alone.

You are never alone.

why trust is important

I have attempted to explain in words what is a knowing within me.  I encourage you to add to these concepts, question them, mold them and make them yours, changing the verbiage to suit your taste.  In doing so, you will land on your Truth, something that resonates and works for you.

Take a moment to consider how you typically approach life.  Which side of the cattle guard do you tend to hang out on?  The What IF side or the What IS side?  Depending where you are on the spectrum will immediately tell you what your beliefs are about how trust works.  And by the way, this has nothing to do with religion.  You may be the most religious person out there, attending every mass and service offered, yet between each mass, each service — maybe even during each one — you’re worrying about all of the What IFs in your life.  Becoming aware and accepting What IS is a spiritual belief and practice that anyone can adopt, regardless of religious beliefs.

 

why should we trust life

If you enjoyed this excerpt and are interested in learning more about trusting life, please subscribe to receive your weekly dose of love and trust.  I’ll never spam you — only sending you posts I hope will inspire and ignite your heart.  Love, Leslie

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Amazon, recently released book and HOLIDAY GIFT PICK:  Love, Trust & Pixie Dust

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Has This All Been About Letting Go?

letting go“What is this precious love and laughter
budding in our hearts?
It is the sound of
a soul waking up!
Even after all this time,
the sun never says to the earth,
“You owe me.”
Look what happens
with a love like that,
It lights up the whole sky.”

~Hafiz

My Soul Woke Up

I started a series on addiction five weeks ago, with the post “Do You Know Why Managing Addiction Doesn’t Work?”  Throughout the five weeks, we did some visiting with our Pooh friends (mostly Rabbit and Tigger) and we did a whole lot of LOSING things.  But here’s the thing, I didn’t set out to write a series on anything.  And I sure didn’t set out to inspect my internal landscape in such a way that I would become unrecognizable to myself.

My internal landscape had become overgrown with weeds.  It wasn’t until I suggested to you that together we lose our disciplined approach, our masks, our adult-like tendencies…that I truly started to regain myself.  See, I had planted so many self-imposed expectations, only to reap stagnation.

Then my soul woke up.

I had planned on using the Hafiz poem above in last week’s post, but I pulled it as soon as I heard Wayne Dyer quote it on stage.  I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Dyer speak at a conference last weekend, and my gut told me to pull the poem as soon as I heard him speak it.  There was something I was supposed to sit with in that poem.  Continue Reading

How To Have The Faith Of a Child

Like many of you, I held my children extra close this weekend.  Adults and children alike, none of us can make sense of what happened on Friday.  We discussed.  We prayed.  We focused on being together.  Before bed, my boys asked if I would tell them stories of when they were younger.  This one came to mind:

Swooshed Away

Two years ago, exactly three days before school let out for Christmas break, I received a call from school.  On the other end of the line, all I heard was sobbing.  The sobbing was so gut-wrenching, I couldn’t even tell which one of my sons it was.  Once I was able to determine 1) exactly who I was talking to and 2) that neither child was hurt or in danger, only then was I able to listen and begin to process what in the world had happened to create such a reaction.

As my then third-grader was on his way home from school that afternoon, he was clenching a piece of artwork with its accompanying contest ribbons to the handlebars of his scooter, and attempting to contend with a very windy day.  Recipe for disaster.  The wind came “swooshing in,” as he said, and he managed to keep his grip on the artwork, but lost the ribbons that were paper-clipped to it.

He was heart-broken.  Devastated might be more accurate.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I grabbed the dog, jumped in the car, and arrived at the trails behind his school within minutes.

Since he saw the ribbons swoosh away, we knew they hadn’t fallen off inside the school.  That left the bike trail or possibly the creek below.  We combed every possible inch for his three missing ribbons, backtracking several times to double and triple check; the wind was not letting up a bit.  I knew at any second we would spot the red, yellow, and rainbow colored ribbons he had described.  Long story short, we looked and looked, and found n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

Spontaneous Prayer

Defeat set in.  The tears came back.  Shoulders slumped, he turned back and we headed for the car.  It was apparent, we had done all we could do.  In that moment, I remember thinking, And when you’ve done all…stand.  So, I reminded him to have faith.  And he asked me if this was a good time to “trust life?”  As I nodded, he said a quick prayer out loud.

Moved by his spontaneous prayer, I felt moved myself to talk to him more about trusting life — to remind him now that he had prayed, it was time to let goTime to let go of the worry and to trust the ribbons would find him.  I reminded him that the ribbons could come back to him in many different ways.  They might blow past his path tomorrow on his way to school, or maybe he would find them at recess later that week.  “It doesn’t matter how they make their way back to you,” I explained.  “That’s not your concern.  What matters is that you believe they will.  You know they will find you.

Just In Case

The next morning, I called the school and explained to one of the school secretaries what had happened.  I asked if it was possible to replace the ribbons (just in case…).  She said she really didn’t think so — the art competition was district wide, and because it wasn’t done at the school level, replacing the ribbons would be difficult.  I went ahead and emailed the art teacher to see if there was anything she could do (just in case…).  No luck.  She wouldn’t be back until school resumed in January.

After I had done everything I could think to do as a mother, I heard myself say again, And when you’ve done all…stand.  So I stood.  And I waited.  And he waited.

A Note Appears

By Friday, I was hoping my son was starting to forget about the ribbons, the prayer, trusting, all of it.  When during my morning workout, the phone rang.  I never stop a workout for the phone, but at the last second, something told me to run and grab it.  On the other end of the line was Cathy, the same secretary I had spoken to earlier in the week about the swooshed ribbons.

She said, “Leslie, you’re never going to believe this!  Let me read you this note I found on my desk this morning.”  She read:

Good Morning Dee,
Mae found these ribbons outside of school — before they blew away.  Don’t know if there is a way to get them back to the person who earned them?
See you tomorrow!
Jacqueline C??? (I can’t make out the last name)

Faith of a Child

(By the way, I never found out who Dee, Mae, or Jacqueline were.  Angels??)  ;-)

The Faith of a Child

My smile broadened with every word.  Who would have thought?  How did the note end up on Cathy’s desk?…the same secretary I spoke to about the ribbons.  Why not one of the other two secretaries who wouldn’t have had a clue?  Who may have just tossed them in the trash.  And with it happening on the Friday before Christmas break, one of Cathy’s busiest days of the year, checking in tons of parents for holiday parties, why didn’t the whole thing just fall through the cracks somehow?

Because my son trusted.  He trusted in prayer, in life, in something bigger than he.  He trusted that it was being taken care of.  And he knew he didn’t have to be the one to figure out how his ribbons would get back to him — all he had to do was let go…and trust life would take care of the rest.

Faith of a Child

How fortunate I am to be surrounded by teachers of Trust.  Teachers of Life.  Even if he was only eight-years old at the time.  (And even if we put the ribbons in SUCH a special place we’ve misplaced them two years later, no matter, we still have our memories of the event, we still have our bedtime story, and hey, we still have the piece of art.)

faith of a child

This might be the exact story someone needs to read today to be reminded of Trust, and how it works.  Please share.  Love, Leslie