Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

The Importance of Appreciation & Our  Never-Ending-To-Do List

February 20th, 2019

Lately, I have been exercising my gratitude  muscles and researching how it deeply serves us.  How can we reach new levels of appreciation for life and all the blessings and opportunities that are around?  I know this practice has opened up the gateways to joy and pleasure in my life and given me a renewed sense of purpose.


Gratitude starts with awareness and with taking the time to look at our lives truthfully with a mindset of thanks.  Taking a few quiet moments to reflect daily or weekly fills us with joy and appreciation of our blessings.


It's about learning to BE in the moment; not about DOING, but simply BEING.


Four years ago was a turning point for me after being dangerously on the verge of burnout in my business. I was endlessly running from task to task on my to-do list. Between balancing a business of one person, teaching solo lessons and ensembles, household tasks, and performance engagements, it was never-ending! 


The infinite list piled on top of me with the weight of 1,000 stones literally and figuratively.  I was doing way more than I could handle, and yet I kept pushing through. My stress levels were high, ability to sleep was little, and I put on A LOT of physical weight as well.  I became exhausted and drained, fed-up, and at my wit's end. I was ready to throw in the towel completely.  


Do you know the feeling?


I realized something had to change because this perpetual "list"  never hit the endpoint I thought was coming.  I realized tasks would always be completing and more would take their place because lists are cyclical, not linear.  But maybe there was a way to approach this differently and re-frame my thoughts.  


As my passion and creativity were like a dying star in my artistic business and I was giving from an empty well, I found a book on gratitude at Barnes & Noble (My Mecca).  I wondered is this how I could get joy back into my life? The first statement was "Don't postpone joy!" The guidance was that I could give thanks no matter what I was doing. Okay, so shift from worry to gratitude. Then a powerful question emerged; 


"What if I stopped waiting for the end goal to arrive and set down the to-do list for a while?"


I started tapping into my feelings, slowing down, and instead of worrying about getting everything done, I brought my presence and gratitude to everything I did.  In regards to my business, I simplified and streamlined, and even cut down my client list and work days to what was manageable to do. I just did what I could and what my energy would allow me to do that day.  AND THAT WAS ENOUGH!


-I started giving thanks while making a meal for the provision of food and the sunlight that grew it. I gave thanks for the farmers who picked it, and the truck driver who brought the ingredients to the store for me to buy it. I gave thanks for the kitchen to cook it in, as I know I have so much more than many others.


-When reading or journaling, I'd offer thanks for the beautiful trees that gave me the paper and the flow of ink in my pen to write out my thoughts and feelings.  


-When doing business related work on my computer such as calendars and invoices, I started giving thanks for each one of my clients, and the ability to sustain myself through this small and intimate business.  At the beginning of the month, I gave thanks as I'd write my checks for bills, and pay my student loans, thankful that I had the funds to pay.   

-When I got up in the morning, I'd give thanks for my warm bed to sleep in and for the new day ahead while sipping my hot coffee or earthy tea.


Before I knew it, as my perspective started to shift and change, so did my life.  I had more joy and more energy.  I started to savor everything that I was doing, and being in the moment.  I started enjoying my work more, and even enjoying household tasks such as cleaning, tidying, and laundry. (Without the dread!)


So, whats with all this pressure of tasks and productivity we feel externally and internally? 


WE LIVE IN A WORLD OF DISTRACTION AND perpetual "BUSY-NESS".

The world around us is moving so fast and technology is evolving, it is contributing to this mounting pressure we feel.  We see this mirrored in collective running from thing to thing, and filling our time with tasks and doing. There is less and less time to BE. This constant motion can creep up on us and begin to feel endless. We feel immense pressure that if we slow down we will miss something, or never catch up.  Maybe for some it's the FOMO (Fear of Missing out).  At some point, we realize it's okay to get off the wheel of madness and take our time and lives back.  It's up to us to consciously make the shift.


In Eastern philosophies/religions such as Buddhism and Taoism, there is an emphasis on finding contentment in the present moment, and being thankful for what's around and within you. 


They assign VALUE to PEACE and CONTENTMENT, and it's not attached to stuff, possessions, dollar amounts, or acquiring anything. That sounds lovely... why is it not the norm? Over here in Western society, it's all about consumerism, purchasing power, money acquired, and having the newest gadget.  But yet it doesn't work because we keep going back to the well for more. We become starved, continually dissatisfied, at at the mercy of the endless pit. Our history shows us that lasting joy can not be found here in the external world. 


Find your own bliss and joy inside of you. Do what works for you. Let go of what doesn't.  Live your life for you. 


How can you put gratitude and appreciation into your daily practice?

What blessings have you already received?


How can you experience more joy and expansiveness in your life, and receive?


If you are seeking support, I am here for you! 


<3 Thanks for reading, 

Hillary

Breaking Through- Owning Our Power

March 28th, 2019

Female leadership is emerging in Superhero movies such as Wonder Woman and most recently, Captain Marvel.  Captain Marvel  is symbolic of the feminine power the world needs right now to initiate change.  Marvel used her powers to discover who she truly was.


Captain Marvel used her power to protect and defend the innocent and oppressed people from the Kree abuse and attempted genocide.  She protected the targeted and abused people with her life to end the killing.  She defended these values and the planet against the true evil Kree, and ended up re-uniting families and refugees. 


The take-a-way is the true power of the divine feminine in all of us that protects all life, especially those marginalized and abused by society.  The world needs us to show up in ALL of our compassion and feminine wisdom. (Men, this applies to you too!)  In many ways our world systems and structures are like Kree; a big illusion and mirage.  There is a difference between what we're taught and told to believe is happening, and what is ACTUALLY happening.  The Toltecs call it the "dream of the planet." But one day like Captain Marvel, we wake up from the deep slumber and realize it's not all as it seems.  When we're not concerned with the role society has for us to play anymore, we can wake into our true inner knowing. and freedom of who we really are.  This is the gateway to emergence and stepping into our power. 

                                   

FIVE Practical Steps to Owning Our Power:


1) Get clear on our CORE values 

We must first GET TO KNOW OURSELVES and to know our value and worthiness. Therein we will find our truth.  What lights you up? What makes you shrink or contract? 

--When we start paying attention to our feelings and energy levels, we can use them as our guides. If we simply start asking what serves us and takes us to higher levels of being and creativity.


2) Take Care of YOURSELF,  FIRST!

I know that and in the family unit within our culture, women are taught to take care of everyone else before Self, and as a nurturer can find herself in a caretaker role. What we are not taught is how to fill ourselves up first and nourish ourselves so that we do not give from an empty well.  If we don't, burnout is a result.  We can not give to others what we don't have ourselves.  What could you do to better nourish yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, knowing you can not give from an empty well. 


Ask yourself: "What no longer serves?"

How could you learn to let go of what feels toxic and draining and what is zapping or burdening your energy?

How could you simplify and move towards what feels true, aligned, and expansive?


3) Embrace the CREATOR you are.

Just as the Earth Mother gives us our home, nature, beauty, and all the life within it, we too birth in many ways besides the physical. We are innovators, leaders, connectors, creatives, mothers, partners, and daughters.  We are all CREATIVES by simply being here.  You were born to create.


4) From Pain into Power

To open the gifts of our creative Birth, we need to address and feel our pain head on. To walk through the pain and darkness to the other side is our freedom, and an enormous well of power to be unleashed.  Don't be afraid to look at the pain. your shadow self, and walk through it.  This includes heavy emotions such as grief and sadness, as well as volatile emotions such as frustration and anger.  There are so many gifts in mining these emotions....


5) DIVINE WARRIORSHIP

With every challenge we build strength and resilience. We cultivate fortitude and resilience as we learn to stand as warriors.


How we can be soft, feminine, vulnerable, and FIERCE with Strong boundaries? It is certainly about striking a balance.


We are all Captain Marvel. We may not have all absorbed the energy of a power-source weapon, but our magic lies within us and is there in our DNA.  How can we access it and embody it? It starts as a rumble in our wombs and our creative center that opens and radiates out. 

 

By joining this conversation, we gather a network of true support and find a community of fellow travelers that uplifts and energizes us.  We need to seek support and are not meant to do it alone.


I see you, fellow traveler.


If this article resonates with you, I encourage you to simply start where you are.  If you are seeking support, I am here for you! Feel free to connect with me about coaching HERE.


<3 Thanks for Reading, 

Hillary