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

Advertisements

Comfort Zone…kissing it goodbye!

 

It’s crazy…if someone had told me 10 years ago or even a year ago that in 2015 I would launch a coaching business to teach an 8 week life transformational program – I would have laughed in their face and probably peed my pants while doing it. Seriously!

   {My dad used to tickle me until I peed my pants when I was little and I can’t believe I am sharing this detail right now…but seemed appropriate at the moment…luckily, I don’t pee my pants anymore though…REALLY!}

Now, first, I have to say that I have always wanted my own business. After all, my father had a strong drive to succeed and an entrepreneurial spirit so “it’s in the blood!” But to be honest, I always doubted the business ideas I would come up with or doubted my abilities and just kept on keepin’ on at the 9 to 5 climb of the corporate ladder.

Isn’t that what we are taught in this country? You go to college to get a degree so you can get a good job that will pay you enough to have a decent living. We are taught to work hard, say yes to our bosses and work 50+, sometimes, 60+ hours to climb the ladder of success. But for what? Helping the success of someone else’s company while the owners reap the rewards of the nice homes, fancy cars, family vacations and private schools for the kids.

When aimages (10)re we taught to trust our great ideas? When are we taught to dream?

I really thought that the harder I worked, the more I would be respected and the more I would get paid. Well, guess what? That’s only partially true. I had reached a point in my “career” where I thought I had finally made it, I was finally an Executive making great money. But I also had a price to pay.

What price are you paying for the money you make? What price are you paying for not following your dreams?

The price I was paying was my sanity. My health. My balance. Undivided time with my family. So the question is “why do we pay the price?” I believe it’s mostly due to fear. It’s so scary to think outside of the box of what we have been taught to think/believe and venture out on our own.

You see, stepping out of our comfort zone is not easy. Our comfoComfortablert zone is the place where we are COMFORTABLE, maybe the place of low expectations of ourselves, our life and our abilities; the place where we push away our dreams and throw great ideas in the trash. So it’s not easy at all. In fact, it can be downright painful at first.

Because you have to find a way to create a new mindset. You have to create a new way of thinking and being. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Stepping out of your comfort zone requires doing something different. And different is sometimes scary. Okay, maybe always scary.

Two years ago, I had 10 seconds of courage to step out of my comfort zone and take a trip to Sedona, AZ. (You can read about that trip in my blog archives) One year ago, I had another 10 seconds of courage to sign up for an 8 week program that changed everything. And 8 months ago I had another 10 seconds of courage and signed up for a 5 month certification program to teach the class that changed my life. Who knows where it will take me. But I am stepping out!! Little by little. You see, all it takes is 10 seconds of courage to step out of your comfort zone. And who knows what the ripple effects in your life will be!!Life begins at end of zone

Below is a poem I found a long time ago about the “Comfort Zone” and it has stuck with me ever since and I wanted to share. If you are interested in the 8 week program that helped me step out of my comfort zone, click here: www.insight4oursoul.com.

May you find 10 seconds of courage this week to step outside your comfort zone….

Love & Light,

Victoriahearts

The Comfort Zone

by Anonymous

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I couldn’t fail,

The same four walls and busy work were really more like a jail

I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,

But I stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor

I said it didn’t matter that I wasn’t doing much,

I said I didn’t care for things like diamonds, cars and such

I claimed to be so busy with the things inside my zone,

But deep inside I longed for something special of my own

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win,

I held my breath and stepped outside to let the change begin

I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,

I kissed my comfort zone good bye and closed and locked the door

If you are in a comfort zone afraid to venture out,

Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt

A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true

Greet your future with a smile, success is there for you!

fish out of water

Update 2013 – Part 4

(Continuation of the first post from Jan. 8th, Part 2 on Jan. 11th and Part 3 on Jan. 17th)

If you are just joining or reading this post for the first time, this is a continuation of my original post on January 8th where I began telling the story of my “Learning 2 Love” updates for 2013. Last year turned out to be quite the year in my spiritual journey but I also experienced an amazing shift in my spirit during a trip to Sedona, AZ. This is Part 4 of my story where I share the completely incredible sign that came my way as I left the resort in October. There simply are no words to explain the lining up of the universe, pieces of the puzzle that came together for what was about to happen in my life. And I truly believe, it was a sign to my calling or at least a calling for now that will lead to something in the future. What I am about to explain (or attempt to explain) is very emotional and I am hoping I give proper credit and justice to what was felt and experienced….here it goes…

Leaving Sedona…

It was 4:30am on Monday, dark, chilly and I had not slept much at all. My mind was busy absorbing all the events of the weekend, the treatments, the letting go, the relaxation and my spirit was busy rejoicing that I was finally on the path that was calling me – to be more connected and to find my purpose.

Everyone else was still sleeping as they were all staying until Tuesday but I just could not take another day off work. Trying to be as quiet as possible, I got dressed, gathered my bags, grabbed half a bagel and waited for the concierge golf cart to pick me up. I was on a 5:30am shuttle to the airport. And from the way my shuttle experience went when I arrived, I was honestly expecting the same delay and crazy trip back to the airport. My flight was at Noon and we were only less than two hours away but here I was at 5:30am getting on a shuttle. I imagined a handful of other people all getting on a freezing van for the long ride.

To my surprise, as we pulled up to the front desk, I saw a black sedan waiting for me. I was in total shock.  “Is this the shuttle”? I asked. And the staff told me that I was the only one heading to the airport at this hour so I had the car to myself. The driver helped with my bags, introduced himself as Don and off we went.

Now, before I continue with this story, which still amazes me to this day, I also need to explain that both in my life and during the weekend in Sedona it is clear to me that there are signs all around us. Signs of loved ones being near, watching over us, signs of angels guiding us on a path to take or people coming into our lives for a reason – these signs can either be recognized or ignored but either way – they exist! And I have seen them and felt them more than once in my life.

So, on this cold Monday morning, when I got in the car and heard the song that was playing on the radio, my jaw must have hit the floor. My first instinct was to say to myself “Okay Dad, I get it. I am paying attention”. The song on the radio was the theme from the movie “Somewhere in Time”; Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”, which was one of my Dad’s favorite pieces of music and all-time favorite movies. The details of why is another story all in itself that perhaps I will tell someday. But after the weekend I just had, to hear that song playing as soon as I got in the car to leave was really quite unbelievable and was a sign to let me know that he was near…and I was ready.

The driver got in the car and explained the traffic situation and estimated time of arrival at the airport. We started on our way and began chatting about the cold morning, desert weather, etc. I gave him a brief explanation as to why I was visiting the resort which started a discussion about our lives. Don was about the age my Dad would have been now and seemed to contain some of the same qualities I loved so much about him. Later, I would find out why. But I can still remember feeling very close and connected to this person I just met in a strange sort of “I’ve known you forever” feeling. I was comfortable, awake and listening…

I really have no words to convey the intriguing depth of conversation we had aside from giving you word for word dialogue but I will do my best. We started talking about our backgrounds and I mentioned I was a military brat – turned out he was too. And when I mentioned all the places I had lived growing up, well, he had too: Washington, Germany, Missouri and on. How crazy is that? We both were in a little “awe” moment as we saw the similarities in our youth. We talked about how our dads were strict and traditional while pushing us to succeed. Then he asked me about my dad’s military career and I explained he did three tours in Vietnam and all the medals he had earned from Purple Hearts, Meritorious, Bronze Star to Combat, Service, etc. Now, this is where the story gets so shockingly good…I mean really good!

Not only did Don’s childhood resemble mine but take a guess who else’s life he took after? My Dad’s! Don explained that he had been a pilot in Vietnam the same years as my Dad. I couldn’t believe it. That’s when I told him my Dad was a paratrooper for the 173rd & 82nd airborne brigades and guess who flew helicopters for the 173rd & 82nd in Vietnam, yup…Don! Just the thought that he probably flew my Dad back when he was so young gave me goose bumps all over and again as I am typing. We both just kept smiling, laughing and tearing up from time to time about the extraordinary similarities and connections in our lives.

Don spoke of three women he loved in his life and my Dad had three wives. I told stories of my Dad’s heart and how my sister and I had the same parents but we were a mixed family. My dad’s third wife had a son from her first marriage, now my brother, and my other brother was a friend of his that came over for dinner one night and never left – but to my Dad, we were all HIS kids. That’s how he was. And when I told this to Don he smiled and said “sounds like a Motley Crew” – I couldn’t believe what he just said! My Dad used to call us that all the time when all four of us kids were together and being rowdy. When I told Don, he said he had never used those words before in his life but they just “came” to him. “Are you kidding me?” I thought to myself. I mean, if you don’t think my dad had anything to do with Don and me meeting or he was not with us in that car – then I am not doing a good job of describing this story. And it goes on….

I briefly told Don about how my Dad came to marry my stepmom, my dad’s third wife. (and this is a very short version of the whole story but…) They were actually together when I was two when my parents separated but then he was stationed in Germany so he and my mother (full blooded German) got back together. When I was thirteen years old they found each other again and got married when I was fifteen. Then Don asked me “Did your Dad ever see the movie Somewhere in Time?” – ummm…I could not believe he actually asked me this question. I said “YES, it was my Dad’s favorite movie”. I told Don the theme of that movie was playing when I got in the car. I told him it was the same song playing when my stepmom walked down the aisle at their wedding. Don just nodded his head in disbelief and then explained that he named his daughter after the actress portrayed in that movie, McKenna. Wow!!!!! Neither one of us could believe what was happening.

I talked about how my dad retired from the army after 22 years and became a correctional officer at the local jail. I told him how my dad believed inmates still deserved respect as human beings and I think that’s why the they had so much respect for my dad. Now guess how this relates to Don’s life? Well, he had his own experience with the jail system (which you can read about his book “A Matter of Time”). He also spent time working with the correctional facilities in our country and started an organization called “Return to Honor” to help inmates integrate back into society – all geared around this idea of respect and honor – some of my dad’s favorite words and strongest beliefs.

Now, remember my big question I wanted answered on this trip to Sedona? To find my purpose, my calling. And sitting in that car having this heart felt, deeply connected conversation with Don, I got a glimpse of what I am meant to do (at least right now). As I mentioned above, Don was a writer. He was published and hoping to make one of his books into a movie. Then he asked me “have you ever thought about writing a book about your Dad’s life”? Wow…I actually had thought about it. But I really didn’t think I was a writer. I have written poetry here and there but I don’t know how to write a book. And I was telling him all this when he said “the words will come, just start researching about your Dad, ask friends and family to tell you stories and see where it takes you”.

“Okay dad, Okay! I get it” – is all I could say to myself. And the fact that Don was feeling connected to my Dad as well just proved that there is no such as a chance meeting or coincidence. Don even offered to help me in any way he could and to stay in contact with me. I felt so honored and blessed. We continued to talk and more scenarios came up that were just more incredible signs that my Dad was guiding me. This would be way too long a story if I shared them all. But I was blown away again and again.

My heart, my soul was so happy riding in that sedan talking about my Dad and our life. I was almost sad when we arrived at the airport and it was time for me to go. Don said he would help me anyway he could and gave me his business card. He helped with my bags and when he hugged me goodbye I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. As I walked away a few tears came to my eyes – not of sadness but of the overwhelming love and support I felt from my Dad, my angels and from Don. I stood in the luggage line outside the terminal just recalling our conversation and I was in awe of the universe, God and everything that brought Don and I together that morning. Oooh…Goosebumps again…

Once I was inside the airport, I called one of my dad’s dear friends in San Diego and told her a brief version of this story and she gave me great advice, as always. I have started writing a few pages and find that I have so much to say that I just type and have no idea if the thoughts are leading into anything but the words seem to be coming from somewhere. What is that saying “when the student is ready, a teacher will appear”? Well, I was ready and my teacher was Don and my Dad. I don’t know where it will all end up and I believe I still have way more to do in this life but I simply cannot ignore the calling that morning to write about my dad and I am excited to see where it takes me.

Well…that is the end of my 2013 update. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did experiencing it. My journey in “learning2love” is still happening so I plan to continue this blog and my adventure. I hope you will continue to follow my blog through this year – I have a feeling it will be a doozie!

As an end note, I would just like to say that I was and still am so impressed with Don, his life, his compassion, his heart, his strength and his openness. His book, which I am reading now, is amazing! And I truly believe his organization can have lasting change on so many lives. I am so honored to know him and so blessed he has stayed in contact with me. For more information about Don Kirchner, his book and his organization please visit the sites below.

Stay tuned…

May you find your calling and truly live it!

Blessings,

Victoria

About Don Kirchner:

http://www.amatteroftime.org/landing.cfm/2552,About%20Don,QX3

Don Kirchner’s Book: A Matter of Time:

http://amatteroftime.org/

Don Kirchner’s Organization: Return to Honor:

http://www.returntohonor.org/

Sedona, AZ - I will be back!

Sedona, AZ – I will be back!

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