Follow the Clues to Find the Light Inside

The light. You may ask what I’m talking about, but what you may not understand just yet, is that you have the answer.

The light, the spark, the fire within is something you have the means and ways of tapping into. You have the ability to not only find but let blaze your path intended for you in the world.

As early as childhood you’ve been given clues, like breadcrumbs, as to how your light is defined, what incredible gift you possess, and how to share it. You know those clues that at one time may have been labeled as annoyances or stages or phases.

That time you doodled all over your notebook and failed that geometry test, the obsession with colors and paint, the music that played over and over in your head, the voice that would come out sometimes only in the shower, being compelled to help animals, people or bugs, the speech you gave that brought you to tears, the engine you took apart and put back together over and over just because, the way your heart was pulled to the outdoors in nature, or the pages and pages of quotes and stories in the hundred journals you have from family and friends.

Whatever it may be, whatever pulls you to your center, your truth, what makes time non-existent, that “thing” you do that drives you, gives you reason, makes you smile to your core is it. You may not recognize it quite yet, or you may have known since you were three years old, or you know, and you just don’t know what to do with it, but that my friends, is your light. That light is your passion, your gift, your reason and a beat so loud in your heart that you should not, you cannot, ignore it.

Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Ask yourself, ask what your passion is, and close your eyes and really listen to that quiet but strong voice, and the answer will present itself. We are all incredible humans, but our biggest issue is that we forget just how amazing we are from the inside.

We hide from our truth, we push aside the possibility for the practical, we fear, and we question, and we lose the entire meaning of why we are here. We are here to share that light, that gift we all are uniquely created with.

I implore you to open your eyes, your heart and listen closely. Follow the clues down the path of what is meant to be for you, and as you walk toward your truth the more that is revealed, embrace it and share it.

This is it, this is the time for you to live each moment, love every day and fill the world with kindness and compassion, do that, your way and the only way you do best. @Positive_Love4u (Click to Tweet!)

You have choices in this life, choices that are hard, easy, scary, sad, happy, choices that can change your course, but if nothing else, choose You, your truth and choose to shine the light from inside so that when you leave this earth you leave knowing you knew Love.

Much Love,

Lisa J

Lisa Juergens is a mom, an athlete, a kid at heart, a lover of chocolate and cheese popcorn, and knows deep down she was meant to inspire, teach, coach, love and support those who feel lost or alone. Dreamer turned blogger, Lisa has made it her mission to spread as much kindness, positivity and love as humanly possible by using the gifts she was blessed with in her life.

Image courtesy of Jonny Clow.

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The Value of Experiencing (And Other Things My Body Taught Me)

The salt in the sea, my sweat, and my tears can heal almost anything. There must be an ocean in me.

My bones hold their breath for the crack of thunder in a storm. There must be lightning in me.

My feet seek winding paths, and my legs ache to run. There must be a journey in me.

My ears remember the sound from the center of an orchestra, and my eyes rejoice with tears. There must be music in me.

I know the pleading of starvation, the pull of thirst, and the insistence of desire and doubt, just as I know the soaring of joy and lightness of hope.

I know that fear seeks control but needs freedom, anger seeks revenge but longs for understanding, and sorrow asks to be filled but needs to trust in openness. I know that love thrives in the spirit of giving.

I know because my body told me.

She taught me how to look beyond what my eyes can see and listen more deeply than what my ears can hear.

My body taught me that strength is soft, not hard, growth is inspired, not forced, and that how you feel while doing is just as important as how you hope to feel when you’re done. @ralph_leslie (Click to Tweet!)

My body showed me that there’s a life force within me, carrying me forward always. She told me that everything is a process (and progress).

My body taught me that I can trust her to be there through all the little moments, experiencing them, registering them, picking up the pieces and storing them away. She remembers where we’ve been, how to recover, how to rest, and how to stretch. In every moment, she’s telling me what I need to know. And I’ve argued with her the whole way.

I’ve mistreated and abused her. I’ve criticized her and questioned her value. I’ve tried to shrink her. Ignore her. Sculpt her into something more compatible with someone else’s standards.

But she told me about that, too.

My body taught me about my ego’s desire for control and approval and how afraid it really is. She told me that it’s easy to get caught up in what’s outside of me hoping it will change how I feel inside. And she reminded me of the value of experiencing. And presence. And being moved.

She told me that she won’t stop telling me, come what may.

She said that when I’m ready to listen, I need only breathe and there, I will find her steady voice.

So, I’m breathing.

Inhale, find her. Exhale, come home.

Inhale, listen. Exhale, believe.

Inhale, experience. Exhale, unfold.

Breathing reminds me of who I am. There must be a sky in me. I know, because my body told me. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Leslie Ralph is a psychologist, writer, and artist who hopes to leave the world a little brighter than she found it. Her people are creative, sensitive spirits who crave love and peace, inside and out. Leslie is the author of There, I Might Find Peace: Poetry and Prose, Mantras and Meditations for Peace, Love, and Strength. Download her free gift, a ritual for receiving, a daily ritual for bringing more love and light, clarity and confidence, meaning and connection to your life. You can follow Leslie on Facebook or Instagram.

Image courtesy of Chris Jarvis.

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My 5 Favorite Novels About Relationships

If you’d like to read a novel about relationships, here are some of my favorites.

Never fear, each one stands on its own, and is well worth reading even if you’re not particularly interested in the subject. If you’re looking for a compelling, page-turning novel, choose any one of these:

  1. Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner – A beautiful account of love as it unfolds over the years. Fun fact: Justice O’Connor told me this is her favorite book.
  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – of course! One of the most purely enjoyable novels of all time, with a great hero and heroine.
  3. Happy All the Time, Laurie Colwin – a happy story of new love, with all its delights and anxieties.
  4. The Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim – four very different women, strangers to each other, rent a castle in Italy for a month, which has unexpected consequences in their lives.
  5. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson – love comes to a minister, very late in his life. One of my favorite novels, ever.

What’s your favorite book about relationships?

Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home and Better Than Before. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Ben White.

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Let Go of Judging – a Spiritual Shift from Fear to Love

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

I once had an interesting conversation with a friend about one of my favorite topics: life. At the time, I was convinced there was a predefined path for us humans, a destiny one could never change. Meanwhile, my friend had a very different view on her life: “I can create my future every single day,” she said. “If there’s some kind of destiny I dislike, I can surely change it.” I found that unacceptable. Who did she think she was? I didn’t speak to her for weeks.

I acted in the same way years later, during the presidential elections in my home country, Romania, when a close friend decided to vote for the candidate I disliked. I can recall how angry I was. I thought she was smart, so how could she?

This judgmental, aggressive way to relate to people was a toxic behavior I’m not proud of. However, I don’t get into the trap of the guilt, shame, and self-blame any longer. Today, I know that was the best I knew and the best I could, with the instruments of awareness I had at the time.

And here’s what I know to be true today:

I can always agree to disagree.

As described by Descartes, humans are “social animals,” and we all have a basic need to belong to a community. We tend to feel more at ease when surrounded by like-minded people. Whenever I am having a conversation with someone whose opinions differ from mine, I try not to take things personally. Today I know I can always agree to disagree.

People also have the right to change their mind. As we grow and evolve, mindsets and perspectives on life can change, as well. Take my example: years ago, the Old Me was blaming that dear friend for saying she could create her own path in life. Today’s Me thinks the same: I believe everything in life is a matter of personal choice, and we are the sum of our decisions. Interesting how a belief that once disturbed me a lot can feel so resonant today.

Whatever I might judge in another is a reflection of Self.

I came to understand that everyone is on their own journey, and my job is to focus on my own. Each time I am judgmental with people, I’m reacting to something that bothers me about myself. If I believe you are mean, it means I can also be mean; how could I see that in you, otherwise? Carl Jung called it “the mirroring effect”:

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

We can only judge what we don’t understand.

During the first year I spent living and working in China, I was outraged to see people spitting in public spaces. I saw this behavior in the middle of the day, right on the streets, and at work, in the ladies room. I found it extremely rude and disgusting. Later, my colleagues explained that this is how people clean their throats from extreme pollution. I didn’t have to like it but understanding the reason helped me become less judgmental.

If my sharing rings the bell with you, whenever you find yourself in a blaming or judging mode, act as an observer. Get curious and ask questions. Look at the situation from this perspective: “I don’t have to agree with this, but I know where this comes from. I understand.” See the difference and how much lighter you feel.

Normalcy is an illusion.

When we come to this world, we know nothing. We are all products of the societies and cultures that raised us (family, school, religious, or political systems). Since societies and cultures are different, it is expected to encounter a variety of individual values or systems of belief.

In reality, things are as they are. Not good or bad, normal or strange, ugly or beautiful, stupid or smart. “Normal” is relative to each individual because we all filter the world through our own lenses.

To me, knowing this was such a relief! I’ve finished trying to impose my views and convictions on others. I’ve also stopped judging silly little things that seemed odd to me—like how the Chinese eat tomatoes with sugar because, to them, the cherry tomato is not a vegetable, but a fruit.

I refuse to think we live in the world where fear, hate, anger, and separation are part of a new, modern Era. I think Mother Earth needs more of our loving energy to heal: more heart, understanding, less judging and more compassion, less taking and more giving, less competition and more collaboration and care.

And now, I would like to hear from you. Can you recall any situations when you were judgmental toward others?

Sara Fabian is a Women’s Empowerment & Career Coach and inspirational speaker, on a mission to help professional women to discover their unique strengths, gifts and talents, boost their confidence, find their calling and live a meaningful life of purpose. For weekly inspiration, subscribe to her free newsletter at www.sarafabiancoaching.com or follow her on Facebook.

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