Love your thoughts…

I have come to realize that most of us are our own worst enemy! It has been a tremendous growth year for me personally. I have battled with the swirling negative thoughts we all seem to think about ourselves when we look in the mirror or do or say something we later regret. The nasty things that pop into our heads and make us think we aren’t enough. I have battled my “will” to stay in the game of self-improvement instead of quitting and chalking it up to “I am the way I am”. I have battled with the belief that I am overwhelmed and that everything needs to be struggle. Yup…I have struggled.

But this month, the last month of the year, as I review my journal and the strides I have made, I am reminded that the ONLY obstacle in my life between where I am now and where I dream to be – is myself. And that’s true for all of us. Our thoughts are powerful. Our thoughts create feelings, those feelings create energy and that energy goes out into the world and reflects the same energy back to us. All the time…without fail. The more you think you don’t have enough and how broke you are – the more experiences show up to prove you are right. The more you think life sucks, the more it will suck. That’s the bottom line…

So, this year, I worked tirelessly to retrain my thoughts. That’s really all it takes, retraining. Like breaking a bad habit. I had to “catch” myself all day long and as soon as I realized I was thinking thoughts that were not in alignment with who I wanted to be or where I want to go, I would change my thought. If I was telling myself things were too hard, I changed it to “I am doing the best I know how, just like everyone else”. If I had a thought that there wasn’t enough time in the day, I changed it to “I have all the time in the world”. It’s amazing what happens when you start catching yourself and taking control of your thoughts. It’s like a light bulb goes off and you start realizing that you have more control over how your day turns out than we sometimes think wone small positive thoughte do.

We can get so caught up in our feelings and running the race that we forget to stop and smell the roses. We rush, rush, rush, go to bed late, get up late and our day spins out of control and then we go to bed with a thousand thoughts swirling around in our heads and we can’t sleep. I get it. I mean I TOTALLY get it! It used to happen to me all the time. Until I took control!

So during this holiday season, when things seem to be moving too fast and we are so hard on ourselves to be perfect, to get it all done too fast, to have all the gifts ready, to have all the parties, and on and on and on…try these simple steps to slow you down…

  1. Take time to breath…5 deep breaths with your stomach (not chest)
  2. Make a to-do list the night before
  3. Bring in the 5 senses to stop swirling thoughts (what can I see, hear, smell, touch, taste)
  4. Say to yourself “I am doing the best I can, just like everyone else!”
  5. Close your eyes and see 5 things you are grateful for – gratefulness changes everything!

I hope you have a blessed, truly fabulous Holiday season with your friends and family!!

For more amazing tools and to learn more about the Creative Insight Journey, visit my bio and free workshop webpage at http://www.jennifergrace.com/cij-cities/napa/  – dates coming soon in Napa.

Hugs and blessings,

Victoria

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Update 2013 – Part 2

(Continuation of the post from Jan. 8th, for background on this post, please read that post first if this is your first time to this page, thank you.)

In October (2013), I began my journey to the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ. From the moment I told my Aunt I was going it was difficult to concentrate on anything else. What was I going to learn? What would I experience? What treatments should I schedule?

My Aunt had booked a package where you received one free treatment per day of our visit. Before booking my treatments I prayed that the right ones would come my way – the ones that would really help me figure out what was holding me back and what my purpose is  – the ones that would give me the answers I was looking for in my life. When I called to book the appointments, two of the sessions I was hoping to book were not available so I trusted the gal helping me and I booked my appointments: Ayurvedic Lifestyle Reading, Psychic Massage, Reiki Healing, and Stress Relief Assessment. I was set….

First, I have to say that I have not left my baby girl, almost 2 at the time, for more than 2 days since she was born and even that was only once. This was going to be a Friday through Monday – yikes! I had more anxiety about leaving her than anything else. But I reminded myself that in my heart I knew I needed this trip to essentially “save” me. Save me from the swirling, repeating thoughts that were keeping me up at night, save me from the “my life is running me syndrome” and save me from the daily grind that was not fulfilling.

The trip was upon me and I even packed minimally, which is new for me. But my goal was to reconnect, reconnect, reconnect and be open so I didn’t stress about anything I packed. My trip to get there is actually a very long story from a 2 hour flight delay to a shuttle delay to getting lost, etc. which was an odd way to start the weekend that I knew would change my life. But ironic at the same time…almost as if the universe had lessons for me right from the start.

From the moment we entered the property, I heard this soft music playing and immediately felt a strange calmness. When I arrived, the staff at the main check-in desk knew who I was as my cousin and a good friend were calling everyone to keep them posted of my VERY late arrival and ordeal. These girls are AWESOME!!! I arrived in the dark so I really had no idea how incredible the property was until the next morning. The staff drove me by cart to our incredible suite which even had a kitchen so the girls had dinner ready with cocktails – NICE! We sat together and laughed at my story about the crazy circumstances surrounding my arrival – and I mean crazy!

The next morning, with little sleep, I awoke with so much enthusiasm and excitement that I didn’t even feel tired. I walked out to our patio and I was in total awe of my surroundings. The red rock mountains surrounding my view, the cool crisp morning air, the sun gleaming through the fog ever so softly…I remember feeling this overwhelming sense that I was in the right place at the right time. I took deep breaths and felt so calm and excited at the same time as I began to think what I might learn about myself at my first appointment.

All the girls had booked early treatments or hikes so we were all up and rushing around. Oddly, I had hurt my knee the night before I left so I was not able to join the vortex hikes like I had planned – another twist that in the end put me where I needed to be…taking advantage of all the resort spa had to offer: pools, meditation rooms, sauna, hot tub, etc.

Now the remarkable, minute by minute details surrounding each treatment are far too long to explain here. This post is already very long. But so much happened that changed my life, I find it necessary to share the biggest lessons and details that lead to my current journey…

Part III coming soon….

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013

View from our patio in Sedona, AZ, October 2013

Week of March 11th

My Goal this Week in Learning to Love & Be Connected:
This week’s goal was to embrace the joyful memories of my father and allow myself to feel the sadness from remembering that this week is the 5th Anniversary of his passing. But also find a way to be happy and enjoy my birthday.
My Experience this Week:
My father passed away the night of March 14th five years ago, the night before my birthday. It always amazes me how much that day still affects me. Just when I think I will breeze through it, the morning comes with sadness and grief because I still miss him so much.

He survived for 3 weeks when the doctors gave him 1 to 2 at best. But that was my Dad. He always said “doctors don’t know anything, they’re just “practicing” medicine”. He always knew in his heart and truly believed in his own power to make things happen. So it didn’t surprise us at all that he lasted 3 weeks. Just like when he was diagnosed with ALS and was given 2 to 3 years to live…he knew he would put up one of the strongest fights ALS has ever seen. And he certainly did…more than 17 years in fact. I am still blown away by his courage, strength and faith through all the ups and downs.

I can still remember the last night I was with him in the hospital before we brought him home. It was just him and me…he had fallen asleep watching the history channel (one of his favorites besides old western movies) so I used the remote and changed the channel to something I wanted to watch. He immediately woke up, looked at me and said “Hey, I was watching that”. I said “no, you were sleeping”, to which he replied “I was just resting my eyes”…LOL…if I had a dime for every time I heard that I would be rich by now. We laughed and started talking about “stuff” – we always talked about everything going on in my life and he would give me advice – this night was no different. He always knew just what to say.

And one point, he looked at me and asked me what was wrong. I started tearing up and said “I’m not ready. There is still so much we need to do. What about my wedding?”. He held my hand and said “I’m sorry sweetie. Everything is going to be okay, you will be fine and I know I don’t have to worry about you. Don’t you worry…I will be there on your wedding day”. I said “it’s not fair” and started crying, holding his hand and resting my head on his arm while he went back to sleep. I sat there watching him breath for what seemed like hours and I started asking myself and God how I was ever going to deal with this. How was I going to have the strength to say good-bye, to take him home knowing this is the last time, to let our family and friends know what was happening, to witness his last breath, to have a funeral, to say a eulogy, to watch a burial, to live without him. How, how, how?

I always thought that after more than 17 years of preparing myself for that day it somehow would have been easier. But it wasn’t. Loss is loss and a broken heart is broken whether you knew it was coming or not.  Those last 3 weeks were some of the most blessed, fun, scary and depressing days of my life. To say I was close to my Dad is a huge understatement. He was always tough on me but he truly was my best friend in so many ways. And I will always be grateful!

So this week, in my year long journey of learning to love more deeply and getting more connected, I wanted to spend time in quiet moments just thinking about him and letting the feelings come – whatever they were. And in the quiet stillness I could feel him near me, and I could hear his voice saying “everything is going to be okay, I am always with you”. The message was so clear and so overwhelming I just cried. But not all the tears were for sadness, because I also felt a slight reassurance that he is not far – that he is watching over me and my family in ways he never could when he was on this earth. And when little miracles happen in my life I can’t help but wonder if he is helping the stars align for me to make them happen.

The second part of my goal was enjoying my birthday. For the 5th year now I have mourned my father on the 14th and then tried to wake up on the 15th in a joyous mood to celebrate my birthday. Each year it has been a little easier and somehow I am able to smile and enjoy my day. Perhaps a little help from him and the Holy Spirit! But I also think it’s because I try to focus on how much fun he must have had celebrating my birthday for so many years. Now that I have a child of my own, I totally get how happy that day is when you remember your little baby coming into the world. I also have amazing family and friends that try to make my birthday special and I am so, so blessed!

This year my birth-DAY turned into a birth-WEEKEND…I was able to spend time with almost all the people I love and care about starting from Friday to Sunday. I felt so LOVED and honored to have so many wonderful people in my life that wanted to spend time celebrating with me. It was a very special weekend and I felt my Dad enjoying it with us! I don’t know if this time of year will ever be “easy” for me and I have no idea if being without my Dad will ever get easier, but knowing that when I am still and quiet, I can connect with him anytime I need him, and in a small way it helps to ease the sadness. The love we shared keeps us connected…always…

I love you Dad and miss you!

🙂 Victoria