Just Say Yes

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How often do you say “No” by default?

We mold our life by the stories we tell about ourselves, whether we tell them with actual words (which we do often) or by our actions.

So often we say we want certain things (true love, more money, better health, less stress), and yet the story we tell of ourselves is actually saying NO to those very things.

You say you would like to find true love, but your story says “I’m not really all that social. I like to stay in and don’t get out much to meet people, and besides all of the good ones are taken.”

You say you want to make more money but your story says “We aren’t like ‘those snobby rich people’ and besides who would want a house that big anyway? I’m happy to have a paycheck.  I’m proud of my ability to stretch a dollar.”

You say you wish you were in better health but your story says “I’ve never been very athletic and I can’t believe how much organic food costs, besides I’ve been skipping breakfast my whole life.”

You say you want less stress in your life but your story says “I’m a news addict, really, I basically have CNN on 24/7 because it’s really important to me to keep up with what’s going on in the world.  I’m so glad I can get by on 5 hours of sleep a night because I am super busy!”

Some of these “stories” might seem extreme, but do you see how incongruent our stories can be?

One of my core philosophies is that the Universe is ALWAYS supporting me.  And I totally believe that.  BUT…I’ve got to say YES – with my words, with my actions, with my BEING.

So often our stories have programmed us to say NO, whether in words or actions. Are you writing a story that says “no” to what you want?

I want to encourage you to start saying “yes” to the things you want.

Change your story.  Maybe just a little bit.

Get open to new possibilities.

Go out and meet some new friends. Realize that money isn’t evil.  Go for a walk.  Eat something healthy.  Turn the TV off and meditate for 20 minutes.  Take a break from the “news”.  Get some extra sleep.  Smile more.

Say YES.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

P.S. If you are ready to say “Yes” to LOVE, join me for MOONLIGHT – A Course in Manifesting Love. Registration is open now through October 7, 2016.

 

 

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MOONLIGHT is now open for registration!

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So pleased to announce that registration is now open for MOONLIGHT – A Course in Manifesting Love! Register here.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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Lessons Learned

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“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” ~Pema Chodron

When I’m attempting to manifest a particular outcome and it just isn’t happening I often question my readiness. I think I want a certain thing, and I do really want it, but am I ready for it? That’s my big question. Because in my way of thinking, if I was ready for it I’d have it.

But one day it dawned on me that maybe something else was happening.

Ever have one of those dreams where you are back in high school? I know I’m not the only one, I have this conversation every so often and am never surprised to hear the same variations on this dream over and over again – “I can’t find my locker, I can’t remember my locker combination, I don’t know where my class is, I don’t have my books, I’m supposed to be taking an exam and I didn’t study”…and on and on. Familiar?

Whenever I have one of those dreams I remind myself that I’m “back at school” – I’m learning something. It causes me to perk up and pay attention to what lessons I’m currently learning…and what patterns I’m currently living. Because, as the wise Pema Chodron writes: “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”

Often people seek out a coach because they keep having the same problem over and over and finally decide that they need a bit of help and support to solve it. Usually the thing that we are trying to solve is an outward expression of an inward pattern. The outward expression is often obvious, the inward pattern sometimes isn’t. Those of us who coach people for a living get pretty good at spotting certain patterns over and over. Once a pattern is uncovered we can then shift it, that is where some of the really amazing coaching magic happens.

Often uncovering a pattern feels like finishing the big exam. Phew. Wow.

A sense of relief is often the signifying emotion.

A few weeks ago I was speaking with a client. I was explaining to her that because she had experienced a certain thing – a certain pattern – that she did not have to experience it anymore. We brainstormed about what big lessons she had learned and I likened it to graduation – I told her that she learned that lesson and that she didn’t have to learn it twice. This caused her to relate to me a back to school dream she once had. In her dream each classroom door had a list of the student’s names on it. She went to each door but couldn’t find her name on any classroom, so she asked a teacher she saw about it. The teacher said to her, “Your name isn’t there because you’ve already passed this class. You don’t need to be here.”

I think that was the best back to school dream I’ve heard of yet.

Sometimes even though we’ve learned a lesson, we continue to experience the “class” over and over by way of habit, by way of our habitually inhabiting a certain energetic space in which that particular lesson is being taught. Going through the motions of learning that lesson becomes a pattern, it becomes our story, and we keep experiencing it over and over. And there isn’t always a powerful headmaster outside of our self who is going to take our name off of the list and bar us from coming back to the class. We have to take that responsibility for ourselves. We can consciously recognize that we’ve learned the lesson, and excuse our self from class.

We can do this when we’re ready. Once we’ve understood the pattern, allowed the experience, acknowledged the learning, applied the lesson.

And then guess what? Time for a new lesson.

Are you ready for a new lesson?

I’d love to hear all about your “back to school” dream experiences, lessons you are finished with, new lessons you’re ready for, and anything else that comes up for you around this discussion! Leave me a comment below!

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

P.S. If you’d like some assistance uncovering those patterns that are keeping you stuck, be sure to check out my Summer Magic Jumpstart program. It’s open until the end of summer…and then it’s gone! Get in while you can. 🙂

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You Are Enough

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I know something about you…maybe it’s an idea you’ll find hard to accept, or want to argue about. That’s okay. Because I don’t have to look into a crystal ball to know it’s true.

In fact, it is Truth with a capital T: You are enough.

A few weeks ago I had a realization – I was finding some results less than satisfactory and I immediately began questioning what I was doing – and hearing a voice in my head saying that I wasn’t doing enough, I should be doing this, trying that, applying a little more of this, and certainly doing a WHOLE lot MORE of THAT. (BIG CLUE: when you’re hearing “shoulds” – wrong thought path! Warning warning!)

And then I stopped myself – and I realized that pretty much any time I’m frustrated at my results and start to think I need to do MORE, be MORE, have MORE of something going on it is a direct symptom of my thinking that I’m not enough.

Now, to be sure, I’m not talking about the intuitive nudge that sometimes says, “Why not try this?” or “That could be a different way to do this!” – and sure enough, we get better results.

I’m talking about the nagging, critical, unfriendly voice that chides us and scolds us that we’re not enough.

How many “not enoughs” can you recognize in your thinking patterns?

Does that inner voice tell you you’re not productive enough, thin enough, curvy enough, smart enough, pretty enough, funny enough, serious enough, playful enough, generous enough, educated enough, loving enough, intuitive enough, wealthy enough, frugal enough, spiritual enough, down to earth enough, logical enough?

And when we make those judgments about our self we create a reality that proves us right. We will always create a reality that proves our beliefs, so if we believe that voice every time it tells us we are not enough we will automagically create an unhappy outcome full of punishing events, because judgment and guilt bring punishment, you cannot have the “guilty as charged” judgment without creating some sort of punishing experience down the road.

So, today, I want to suggest recognizing that you are enough. You may not believe it yet, but just decide that you are going to adopt this belief. It doesn’t matter what objections come up. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t feel true, or if you feel awkward saying it. Just decide to believe it today.

Write it on a post-it and put it on your mirror. Or go a step better and do what I did – I bought a chalk marker from the hobby store and wrote “I AM ENOUGH” on all of my mirrors. It’s such a nice reminder that now every time I use a mirror I smile, and I can tell that my subconscious is beginning to believe it.

And that’s what’s important. There has to be agreement between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind. That agreement is often referred to in magic as the alchemical wedding. A marriage of conscious and unconscious beliefs creates super powers.

“I am enough” – This belief alone can destroy the limits you’ve currently placed on yourself.

And don’t worry – believing that you are enough doesn’t mean that you won’t want to make improvements, or make more money, or lose a little weight, or gain a few pounds, or become more educated, more generous, more loving, more spiritual, or whatever it is you’re desiring.

You will still want to do these things. The nature of Nature is that it wants to expand. You’re wired to grow, to flourish, to learn, to discover.

But you won’t be pursuing those things because you’re trying to be “enough”. You’ll be doing it because you recognize that you ARE enough. And that recognition will allow you to achieve your goals with a power you didn’t have access to before.

You are enough. Believe it.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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How to Sleep Better Tonight

sleeping beauty vintageThis morning I ran across Monte Farber’s Instagram post on his bedtime ritual for better sleep. (<—a teensy tiny insta-read and totally worth it.)

This is pretty much the exact same bedtime ritual that I’ve been using lately, basically a form of meditation that cultivates the practice of benevolence, known as “metta” or “compassion meditation”. This is well known practice within Buddhism  and Buddhist canon actually says that a person who practices compassion meditation “sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams.”

The idea of forgiveness, and maybe especially self-forgiveness, has been coming up for me a lot lately. I’ve been coaching clients around some tough forgiveness issues, and I’ve been practicing forgiveness in a deeper way myself.

In a world where there is so much polarity, so much mudslinging, so many grudges, gripes, and grievances – it isn’t a wonder that insomnia is so prevalent.

Forgiveness is not always easy. Our ego tries to convince us that in forgiving we are condoning bad behavior, but that’s just not true. In forgiveness we are just recognizing that everyone is doing the best they can at any given time. We are recognizing that we can let go of the past and move forward even stronger than before, wiser than before, more experienced than before. Forgiveness takes us out of Victimland and gives us back our power.

When we choose to forgive we are setting our self free. Holding a grudge only holds US down. Grudges bind us to the painful event in consciousness, and why on earth would we want to do that to our selves? I’ve heard it said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die – the idea being that we are only hurting our self when we have unforgiveness. I agree that we are hurting our self when we hold a grudge, and we also hurt the whole of humanity because after all, we are all one.

Recently I wrote a Huffington Post article that mentioned the idea of “sacred contracts” – another perspective that may support you in forgiving. I’ve written a blog post on why self-forgiveness is essential. I have an interest in forgiveness because when we forgive we free our selves and others from judgment and guilt and the punishment that comes along with it, and in doing this we open up new pathways of abundance, for our selves, and for the planet.

And, the benefit of better sleeping, better waking, and no evil dreaming is pretty nice too.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

P.S. Finding forgiveness for yourself and others is something I can help you with. Have you checked out my Summer Magic Jumpstart private coaching program? Have questions about working with me? I’m happy to hop on the phone with you and answer any questions you may have, just send me a message and let me know you’d like to have a conversation!

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When Things Seem Terribly Wrong

girl-worried-1215261_1280This morning I was on a call with a bunch of my beloved colleagues, a group of powerful and wonderful coaches who meet every Friday morning to discuss the world of coaching, but today it was different. Instead of discussing the world of coaching we were discussing our coaching in the world, a world where this week we’ve experienced several violent and traumatic events. The kind of events that shake us out of our comfort-zone and fill up our news feeds and conversations with shock, fear, rage, anger, and grief.
Some of the coaches on the call had addressed the events publicly through their blogs and facebook feeds. Some of us had not. I was one of the quiet ones. I generally don’t bring up world events (especially tragic ones), politics, or religion in my public posts. And sometimes this causes me some inner turbulence because I’m familiar with the idea that being silent can be seen as being complicit (and I’m Jewish, so there’s that – a huge value around working for social justice, for “tikkun olam” or “repairing of the world”)…but I’m an expert in conflict resolution, so bringing up polarizing topics (that generally cause conflict) usually doesn’t feel like a win-win to me.
But on this particular call I felt moved to speak up about what helps me the most when things go terribly wrong. Terribly wrong on a global level, or terribly wrong on a personal level – doesn’t matter. What helps me the most is the idea of “sacred contracts“. I was first introduced to this concept by a book of the same name about 15 years ago. (Sacred Contracts, by Caroline Myss). And at this point I can’t tell you a single thing I read in that book, or even if I finished the book, or if my own evolution of the idea is still in sync with the author’s philosophy. (Maybe I should read it again!).
But in a nutshell (and this might stretch you a bit), my interpretation of a sacred contract is that it is an agreement we make with someone else before we incarnate detailing how our relationship will be once we do incarnate for a particular lifetime. Yeah, I realize that this may require you to believe in all sorts of things that up until now you may have rejected. That’s okay. Because I can’t tell you that reincarnation is a fact, or that sacred contracts are a fact. I can’t tell you that I know for certain that I made an agreement with my ex to be emotionally abused, or for my second grade teacher (a nun!) to tie me up with jump ropes as a punishment, or for my two sons to be absolutely amazing people, or for the Handsome Sweetheart to be a wonderful soulmate to me. I can’t tell you that I know these agreements were made for a fact, but the IDEA of it, the choice to believe it, helps me immensely. I can tell you that, for a fact.
Believing in a world where we are all separate, where some karma is going to get us, where tragedy could strike us at any moment, where life happens to us – puts us in a place of complete powerlessness. And I don’t believe we are powerless. I believe we are powerful creators, and I want to create consciously.
Deciding that everything that happens in my experience is something I’m creating, something I’ve agreed to, something that will help me grow, puts me back in a place of power, a place of safety, a place where I’m not separate from you or from the Universe but where we are all one and we are all in this together.
In this worldview, where we are all working together to evolve to another level of consciousness everyone is always winning the game their playing.
I’m not one of those people who believes that “everything has a reason”, because I can’t make sense of certain things being reasonable. I don’t believe that there is a good reason for violence, or for abuse, or for people to be killed. But I do believe that we can choose a viewpoint where we can give these things a purpose.
We can choose to allow a higher purpose for the things we don’t understand.
If the Universe is one big mirror reflecting back to us our thoughts and beliefs, what is this reflection showing us? When we look in the mirror and see a lipstick smudge or food in our teeth we can then do what we need to fix the smudge, to clean the teeth, to see a better reflection shining back at us.
When our world looks ugly to us we can remember that the purpose of the reflection is to show us what needs to be fixed, we don’t yell at the mirror, we don’t smash the mirror, we don’t make a judgment about the mirror being wrong – we just lovingly fix what needs fixing and recognize that the mirror’s reflection served the purpose of showing us what we didn’t see before.
In the face of intense personal pain I recognize that this message might seem overly simplistic. Everyone deals with world events and personal events in the best way they know how.
My hope is that this idea offers some solace, a new perspective, and a place of power for you if you’re feeling powerless. We’re all winning the game we’re playing.
Let’s choose love and play to win.
*****
This post was written at the request of my friend Jeannette Maw, and originally published at her site The Good Vibe Blog.
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Are You Willing to Win the Lottery?

congratulations-584864_1280“You can have whatever you want as long as you are willing to have it.”

I remember the first time I heard this statement (too long ago to remember which mentor I heard it from, but it made an impact.) You can have whatever you’re willing to have.

That sounds pretty awesome, right? But here’s the rub: What if what I want comes with something I don’t want?

Like, I’d love to be the person who has loads of speaking opportunities and gets to fly all over the country teaching lovely magicians how to make more magic…but I hate lugging a heavy suitcase through the airport and waiting for late planes. Or, I’d love to have a closet full of gorgeous clothes, but I hate it when something I own gets a rip or a tear or a stain on it. Maybe you’d love to have a fancy sports car in your driveway, but you hate the idea of how expensive that high maintenance automobile can be. We all talk about “if I win the lottery” but most of us won’t because in our subconscious mind (or shoot maybe right up in front of our conscious mind!!) we are disturbed about paying those big taxes and nervous about all of the relatives and friends coming out of the woodwork wanting to share in our good fortune.

First of all…this game we’re playing? It’s called LIFE and it is full of little snafus, annoyances, things to take care of, busy work, and maintenance and management issues. I mean let’s face it, you can have a refrigerator full of the most amazing organic food, but there’s a pretty good chance that one or two of those organic strawberries is going to have a bad spot, yes?

I’m not here to be the party spoiler, I’m just being realistic. Yes, fancy sports cars require maintenance. Big money requires management. The people we love often have a few flaws that we have to deal with (and I like to remind myself that I’m no picnic sometimes either). Beautiful clothes require care and yes sometimes we spill red wine on a gorgeous white top (or is that just me?). If we win the lottery we will have people asking us to share. We will have a big tax to pay. We will also most probably need to hire someone to help us manage our windfall.

Managing money, taking care of a beautiful sports car or wardrobe, loving our soulmate in spite of whatever little idiosyncrasies they bring to the partnership, waiting on the occasional late airplane…these are all things that wealthy sports car owners, travelers, and happily-ever-aftered-soulmates are willing to do. They find a way to make it fun, or they delegate it to someone else, or they do it knowing it’s totally worth it.

Some Conscious Creators get very anxious when a “negative thought” or a worry comes up. But I say let’s just dive in to what could be. Let’s acknowledge and examine those worries and thoughts. If I buy a Porsche is it ever going to need expensive maintenance? What if someone vandalizes it? What if I drive it over a pothole and blow out one of those $600 tires? Am I willing to own a fancy sports car knowing that these things are possible?

Being willing to examine the everyday experience as well as worst case scenarios may be the very thing that allows you to loosen up the resistance to anything you’re trying to create.

What are you willing to have?

Love & Magic,

Cindie

P.S. Your “willingness” can be greatly enhanced by working with a coach! Check out my Summer Magic Jumpstart private coaching special. I’d love to help you shift your mindset and create a better reality.

Posted in Conscious Communication, General, Law of Attraction, Magic | 2 Comments

The Power of Self-Forgiveness

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Why am I not seeing results? I hear this question (in one form or another) pretty often. And I’ve been pondering this lately, in a personal way, and in reference to client requests as well. Why is it that sometimes we don’t see results? Or the results we are seeing are not what we desire.

Maybe we can’t lose weight, or we think we aren’t making enough money, we don’t have a loving partner or perhaps our career path seems uncertain.

We feel ready for a big shift but our efforts don’t seem to be producing the effect we want. What gives? Why do we sometimes struggle to get the results we want?

One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is that every big shift comes after a big letting go. And letting go isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Part of us holds on so tightly to our past, to our present circumstances, to our beliefs, to our judgments, to “the way it is.”

So often our “letting go” takes on a physical aspect, such as de-cluttering, giving away things we don’t use anymore, or even letting go of relationships that are no longer serving. These can all bring about shifts that often feel so much better.

But, today, I’m thinking of something deeper that we must let go of to move forward: Self judgments.

Over in the Love & Magic Salon we have a weekly exercise of consciously choosing an empowering “I AM” statement. We choose “I AM” statements that contain qualities that we consciously decide to embody. “I AM powerful”, “I AM loving”, “I AM abundant”, “I am compassionate” are just a few I’ve seen posted this month.

But I rarely talk about the other side of this – the “I AM NOT” statements that we often carry around with us. “I’m not smart enough”, “I’m not attractive enough”, “I’m not successful”, etc. These “I’m not” statements aren’t always spoken, but they are often on auto-replay in our heads. Most of us could produce a fairly long list of them if we took the time to write them all down, and they all basically boil down to “I’m not enough”.

These “I am not” statements are judgments we’ve made against our self – we’ve decided that we are not enough and the judgement has been made. Guilty as charged.

And judgment and guilt always come with punishment. They can’t be separated.

Remember, the Universe is one big mirror of our beliefs and judgments, so if we are judging our self as not enough, we will always create a reality that proves us right.

We look at our past, we judge ourselves guilty, and we create future punishing experiences for ourselves.

The remedy for this is to come into the present moment and release yourself from the seat of judgment. Today is the day to forgive and release those judgments. The past is over. Today is the day to realize that we are all, always, doing the best we can. All of us. This includes you.

You may be unhappy with something you’ve created in your reality, but realize that judging yourself because of it only creates another unhappy experience. Learn from your experience, yes, but do this without judging yourself as guilty and creating a punishing future by default. Instead, create an empowering future deliberately by recognizing that you are worthy of goodness, abundance, health, love, and anything else you desire.

When we judge our self as guilty we bind our self to the punishment in consciousness. We can never see the results we desire if we believe we aren’t supposed to have them.When we forgive ourselves we release the judgments and can then go free to enjoy the greater experiences we desire.

Instead of sitting in the seat of judgment, sit yourself down in the seat of love and forgiveness.

Here is a ritual that you can do to anchor this act of self-forgiveness.

Find a comfortable place to sit. It may be a favorite chair, or a place out in nature that you love, or you may even want to relax in a bubble bath while you do this exercise. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. As you inhale say to yourself “I am enough” and as you exhale say to yourself “I forgive myself”. Do this several times as you relax your body. Judgments may come up as you do this, your inner critic may speak up and remind you of things you wish you’d done differently, or of things you wish were different in your life right now; when this happens just breathe in and say “I am enough, and I forgive myself for that.” Do this until you feel a sense of peace and self-love. Be gentle with yourself. Make a choice for peace and allow yourself to release all of those old judgments and feelings of guilt. The first time I did this I could not believe how many judgments kept coming up, but I felt a release each time I forgave myself and by the time I had finished I felt so much bright light in my body I felt like I could burst! And then I felt so light, and so peaceful. The feeling I experienced was a knowing that anything is possible. This exercise was so powerful for me that I knew I wanted to share it with you.

And while you’re there…don’t believe that little inner gremlin voice if it tells you that this is a process that takes a long time or that you’ll never be able to forgive yourself. You can forgive yourself instantly. Decide that you’re going to be different after you do this. Decide that you are going to forgive yourself now, today. It’s a choice, and it’s a choice based in love. Choose love for yourself today.

Take yourself out of the judgment seat and sit yourself down in the seat of love and forgiveness. You are worthy of everything your heart desires.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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Holding the Vision

binoculars-1237584_1920Do you have a vision for your future? For your life? For today?

All of us have been visionaries at one time or another.

Especially during those most hopeful times in our lives – graduation from high school or college, getting engaged, becoming a parent, beginning a new course of study or moving to a new city. Everything seems fresh and new and anything feels possible.

We dream, we envision, we swell with hope and excitement.

And then it happens…the job offer falls through, the marriage feels fragile, parenting is incredibly hard and at times completely unrewarding, the new course of study seems impossible, the new city just plain sucks.

We had such high hopes. We were on fire. We were in love. We were unstoppable…until…we stopped. Wet blankets. Broken hearts. Rain. Mud. Chicken pox.

Where did the sunshine, hearts, and flowers go? And why are the things we envisioned not arriving on our doorstep yet?

These are questions all conscious creators have asked at one time or another. Where is it? Where is my thing? That thing I ordered from the Universe? That thing I saw so clearly.

It’s there, Lovely Magician. You are just having trouble seeing it right now. You can very easily see the rain, the mud, the fog, the chickenpox. It is so very easy to see the debt, the broken car, the broken heart. The empty wallet, the empty side of the bed, the empty cup.

And this is exactly and precisely when you need to hold the vision. This is not easy. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is possible. It takes practice. It is achieved through mastery,  and it is the way of the conscious creator. The way of Magic. The way of The Magician.

When we realize that our entire life experience is created by the thoughts we are thinking we can create anything we desire. Every single feeling and emotion we experience is directly connected to a thought we are creating in that moment. You are a powerful creator, and learning to hold the vision is essential if you want to create consciously.

The cup is empty but you can see it full. Not only can you see it full, you can taste it’s sweetness, see the steam rising from it, smell it’s faint scent, feel it’s warmth.

They see: grey skies, lost love, empty purse, loneliness, despair.

You see: sunshine, lovebirds, abundance, friendly possibilities, hope.

Your hope leads you to faith as you hold this vision of success for yourself.

Your faith SEES the cup overflowing.

Your faith inspires you to take action.

Your faith begins to produces evidence that you can see with your physical eyes. And then…

They see it, too.

That’s how magic works.

Learn to hold the vision. You can do it.

Use your imagination. Your imagination creates your reality.

Your ability to hold the vision will improve with practice. Your ability to hold the vision will allow you to feel the energy of what you want. Your feelings are a miracle. Your imagination, powerful. Your innate ability, magical.

Hold the vision until you realize the vision is holding you, pulling you forward, energizing you, lifting you up.

Hold the vision. It is the container for Magic.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

P.S. Hiring a coach is a great way to get some support with holding your vision. I’d love to help you make some magic. You can purchase a single session here, or  contact me if you’d like to have a conversation about how I can support you. I’m happy to hop on the phone with you and help you get clear on moving forward.

Posted in Conscious Creation, General, Law of Attraction, Magic | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Choosing Joy

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This month I’ve been participating in a 30-day Joy Challenge hosted by my friends Amina Makhdoom and Jeannette Maw.

As an Energy Leadership practitioner I’m very familiar with the idea that one of the highest levels of energy is signified by the experience of resonant joy, and I was very keen to hop on this bandwagon and spend the month seeking joy.

We all have the same amount of energy and it shows up a little differently for each of us. According to the Energy Leadership model there are 7 levels of energy. The lower levels of energy, which show up as depression, fear, anger, conflict, jealousy, victim energy, etc. are all mostly catabolic, (which is the type of energy that creates stress and destroys our
health and relationships.)

The higher levels of energy are progressively anabolic, (anabolic literally means to “build up” – exactly the opposite end of the spectrum than catabolic.) Anabolic energy heals and builds, and one of the highest levels of anabolic energy is exemplified by the emotion of Joy.

Choosing to experience joy on a daily basis is a powerful decision.

The participants were encouraged to do one thing each day that would bring them joy. Even if it was just 2 minutes of joy. That sounds pretty easy, right?

Well…there is a reason why this project was called a “challenge” and as the month went on more and more people opened up to just exactly what the challenges were for them.

My own personal challenge arrived just a few days into the challenge in the form of a close friend being hurt by one of their family members. How do I continue to be joyful when someone I love is hurting? How do I bring the joy back when tears and consolation seem more appropriate? Those were the questions I was asking, and the answers did come for a powerful learning which I’ll share below – (#4).

Another challenge I had – there were plenty of opportunities to flex my receiving muscles. Like many of us, for me giving was easy – receiving proved to be stickier for me. We had a “spread the joy day” where many of us gave gifts and money to others. I had a blast handing out $5 bills. People were genuinely shocked and surprised. You might have thought I was handing out $100 bills! The responses were truly joyful and I had so much fun being the giver. It was the receiving where my big challenge showed up. During a day when we were all offering gifts to the other participants I noticed some a lot of resistance coming up for me. Resistance to throwing my name in the hat. Resistance to saying “yes, I’d love that, thank you.” But I did it. And wow, the generosity of the group astounded me. And SO much joy was created from all of this generosity.

This challenge has been so powerful for me. I want to share a dozen ideas so you can create a more joyful life experience, too.

1. Choose Joy. Yeah, this might sound simple, but everything begins with an intention, a choice. So begin here: Choose to experience more joy in your life. Make the choice daily.

2. Listen to your body. Your body knows what brings you joy. Learn to listen to it. What feels like something you’d enjoy right now? The Joy Challenge participants had a real love affair with cupcakes, led by our fearless leader Amina who has a legendary relationship with cupcakes. Hey, if cupcakes can help you attract what you want
in your life, I say eat a cupcake. (And I ate my share, believe me.)

3. Make a list. I often have my clients make a “self-care boot camp” list. That’s a list of the things you need to be sure to take care of when you are in a time of intense stress (my own list includes meditation, extra protein, yoga,
fiction reading breaks, etc.) And I think maybe even more important now is a “Joy List”. Create a list of at least 10 things that bring you joy. Post it somewhere you can see this list of joyful things everyday. Do the things.

4. Feel ALL of your feelings. When something that is definitely NOT joyful comes your way (and it will), allow yourself to feel what you feel. All of your feelings are a miracle. All of them give you valid and important information about what’s going on for you. Your emotions and feelings are how your higher self communicates with you. Feel the feelings and let them pass, then the joy returns. If you ignore the feelings they get louder.
Don’t ignore them.

5. Get a joy partner. (or a whole group!) to support you in choosing joy. Joy is contagious. Energy entrains to itself. If you are constantly around others who are consciously creating joy your joy level will definitely increase.

6. Laugh. Watch a comedy, look at funny videos, learn a new joke, try some laughing yoga – whatever you have to do to get a belly laugh in once a day at least. Do you know one of the best questions to gauge how a relationship is doing is to ask “When was the last time the two of you had a belly laugh together?” Laughter is anabolic. It heals. Make sure you’re doing it. A lot.

7. Revisit your childhood. What is something that you loved as a child? Hopskotch? Sidewalk chalk? Blowing bubbles? Drawing? Singing? Jumprope? (Don’t hurt yourself). Going to the zoo? Eating cupcakes? What gave you joy as a child? Go do that.

8. Appreciate someone. During our challenge we had a day of appreciation. A couple of people gave me shout-outs of appreciation that were so heartfelt and amazing (and unexpected!) they brought tears to my eyes. It made me realize how powerful appreciation can be, and how much joy it brings when we communicate it.

9. HUG someone. Hug them for 20 seconds. Hugging causes our brain/body to produce chemicals that feel good. And the  bonus is that a hug is truly a gift you can’t give without getting one yourself.

10. Dance! One of my favorite quotes is from Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (who was said to be ‘beleaguered by melancholy’) – he said, “The only way to rise after a fall is to dance your way up!”  Music and dancing can lift a mood almost instantaneously.

11. Give. The thing that seemed to generate the most joy (as I observed it) was generosity.  The days that were specifically set apart for gift giving and appreciation were the days that seemed to just BURST with joy.

12. Don’t give up! Keep reaching for joy. Nearly everyone of us that participated in the Joy Challenge had days when joy didn’t come as easily as other days. It’s okay. You’re a human being and that means you’re going to encounter a wide range of emotions and experiences in your life. That’s how it is supposed to be. We appreciate the joy even more because of the less-than-joyful things we go through.

People sometimes tell me that they have trouble meditating. They say, “My mind keeps wandering and I keep having to bring it back over and over.” I tell them, “Wonderful! You’re doing it!!” That’s what meditation is, it’s a practice of bringing your mind back to center over and over each time it wanders.  I like to think of joy the same way, we will all have less than joyful experiences in our day to day lives – just remember to bring yourself back to joy.

Love & Magic (and JOY!),

Cindie

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