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Today I decided to stop struggling.
Recently I posted a question on Facebook about gratitude. As an intuitive coach and a spiritual guide, this is something I’m supposed to know a bit about. A lot about, in fact. However, it’s time to come clean.
I don’t know #@$#% about gratitude.
I don’t know how to feel gratitude.
And I SUCK at expressing gratitude.
Ok, so maybe I’m being a little melodramatic. Sure, I can make a list of things for which I’m thankful or offer daily affirmations of appreciation. But as soon as the words leave my mouth or hit the paper, my mind rages with dissatisfaction and resentment.
“Why do I not have what I want?” I croon in frustration, my insides boiling inside as if alive with molten lava. And then, the doubts begin. If I’m grateful for what I have now, does that mean I have to accept… THIS? But, but, but, THIS is not what I want!!!
Yes, I am a whiny 5-year-old trapped in an adult body. This fact has not been lost on me. But bear with me.
So, after my inner temper tantrum, the guilt and self-flagellation begins. And I beat myself down into a bloody pulp because I’m not grateful enough. Because I can’t play joy on demand. Because I can’t just FEEL what seems to come naturally and effortlessly to others.
Back to my FB post. I read and read everyone’s responses, and like the good student I am, I began to take copious notes and make lists about what to try next, and what might work better, and what I’ve been doing wrong. And I tossed and turned with dreamless sleep until I woke up this morning and said: I’m. Fucking. Done.
(And for those who don’t know me, I don’t curse that often, so that’s how I knew that the ish had really hit the fan.)
I travel a lot. For personal reasons and for work. For whatever reason, every time I’m on a plane going from east to west, I think about how the plane is chasing daylight. Moving from the dark into light. Slowly, steadily, consistently. Without struggling, it just glides through the air.
Sometimes we catch it, and when we land, we are bathed in the beauty of the sun, returned to a time that, thanks to the incomprehensible laws of physics, hasn’t happened yet, a fresh start to feel the warmth of hope and opportunity of hours still left in the day.
And sometimes we don’t quite make it. The plane lands. They layover begins. Day turns into night as we wait. And we are left to sit in uncomfortable hard-backed chairs, tired, but not feeling that we are worthy enough to take up more than one seat. Hungry, but too proud or too poor to meet our needs with overpriced airport food.
Whether we get to see daylight, or sit in darkness waiting for the next flight, the next chance, there is never a struggle. It just is. It’s just where we are in the process. Sure, we can always try to fly standby, and hope and wish and pray that we might be able to squeeze onto that earlier flight and catch just one hour of dusk. But if you’ve ever tried this you know that sometimes, it’s just not in the cards. The universe has other plans, which do not include a seat on that particular plane for you.
Today, I decided to stop struggling.
I will keep chasing daylight, that’s for sure. But I will sit with the discomfort. I will accept the delays. Hell, I may even splurge for the $14 hamburger, kick my feet up on the chair next to me and indulge my ego every once in a while. But, I am here, all up in it, lost and stuck, yet hopeful and looking for the light.
I invite you to hop along for my new journey.
I’ll even let you have the window seat. 🙂
It’s the start of a new year!
Whether you are reading this on January 1, your birthday, or the at the beginning of any yearly marker in which you are seeking new beginning, undoubtedly, you’ve resolved to make some changes in your life. Many people like to mark the beginning of a new year with a set of resolutions of things they will do differently in the upcoming year. The trouble is, as well meaning as resolutions are, they are often too big, too vast, and too vague to really be made into a reality.
As adults, our interest level and attention span can be a lot like a child’s. When a resolution is shiny and new, we are devoted to it and give it all of our energy. However, while your excitement and motivation may be high at the beginning of the journey, as life presents its obstacles and setbacks, you may find yourself less than motivated, or wholly uninspired to stick to your resolutions, and might even find yourself feeling disappointed with lack of progress.
There are a million reasons why some resolutions stick while others fade away. One of the most common reasons people cite for their inability to manifest the results of their resolutions is due to the overwhelm of trying to attack too much all at once.
I strongly believe that if we focus our energy on just one intention at a time, giving it our full attention, we can truly integrate the new space and mentality in our lives.
One easy way to do this is to make smaller intentions for each month in the New Year rather than making sweeping intentions or resolutions for the entire year. For example, if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to be healthier, you might focus on making exercise a daily routine in January, using February to increase your water intake, make March about cutting out sugar, and so on. Or, you can use each month to focus on a different aspect of your life, such as January for jump-starting your dating live, finances in February, etc.
I personally love to connect to something bigger when I make my New Year’s resolutions. I like to use the path and energy of the zodiac to guide my intention setting. I believe that by tapping into the energy outside of ourselves that can help support and guide our efforts, we can truly create a space to manifest our deepest intentions!
Each sign of the zodiac is associated with different areas of life:
- Aries – Seeds, new beginnings, inspiration, new projects, birth.
- Taurus – Earthly success, material wealth, physical health.
- Gemini – Communication, messages, information.
- Cancer – Relationships with self, other people and higher forces.
- Art, romance, luck, free will, creativity, love.
- Virgo – Service, family, community, organisation.
- Libra – Harmony, balance, negotiations, resolutions.
- Scorpio – Magic, philosophy, sex, death, alchemy.
- Sagittarius – Spirituality, universal consciousness, law, science.
- Capricorn – Power, authority, fame, empire building.
- Aquarius – Renewal, evolution, transcending the old, transpersonal.
- Pisces – Soul, karmic matters, mysteries, far journeys.
Here’s a sample New Year’s Intention Setting Ritual using astrological signs:
What You’ll Need:
- 12 white candles or tea lights
- A match or lighter
- 12 symbols that represent the sign of the zodiac, or print a Zodiac circle here to cut out.
- Piece of paper or journal and a pen
Preparing for the Ritual:
- Before you begin, take some time to quiet your mind so that you can connect with your inner voice. This might be through a light meditation or just taking some deep breaths to ground yourself.
- Review the descriptions of each sign in the Zodiac (listed above). Sit and think about what you would like to manifest in your New Year that is in accord with each house. For example, for Aries, which is concerned with new beginnings, you might write an intention such as: I am excited about beginning to exercise regularly. Be as clear as you can, and write your intention in the positive (what you want as opposed to what you don’t want) and in present tense (it is happening, rather than it’s something that will happen or you wish would happen).
- (Optional): Review your intentions and rephrase in the words of a spell or prayer:
Source* of all, I ask of thee,
Bring (add your desire) to me
With harm to none, in perfect love and harmony
This is my will, so shall it be.
4 (Optional): Take a shower or relaxing bath and cleanse away any remnants of the old year.
*You can direct your words to any personal entity you choose other than Source. For example, you can use Universe, Jesus, My higher self, or any entity you personally feel will get the job done for you.
Performing the Ritual:
- Mark out a circle with the 12 house of the Zodiac. Place Aries in the one o’clock position, Taurus in the two o’clock position, and so on. You can make a circle around you, or create a small circle on a table or space in front of you. Have all of your candles in the space with you.
- Take three deep breaths, relax, and loosen any tension and evoke:
On this night, I bless the year to come.
My will be heard, my will be done.
- Light the first candle and place it in the one o’clock position in the house of Aries.
- Focus on what you wrote for the house of Aries. Say your intention out loud or speak the words of your spell. Feel what it would be like to have this intention manifested.
- When you feel satisfied that you have completely stated your intention, light the second candle from the first and place it in the sign of Taurus.
- Repeat steps 3-5, working through each sign until all the candles are lit.
- Move your hands over the candles in a clockwise motion and feel the energy in the space. Close your ritual by stating:
On this night, I bless the year to come.
My will was heard, and it is done.
- When you finish, snuff out the candles (don’t blow!) or, if it is safe, leave the candles to burn until they extinguish themselves.
What will you be manifesting this year? Comment below and bring your intentions out into the world!
The full moon on Christmas will be the first in 40 years.
As we often prepare gifts for the kids in our family, This moon calls for us to give the biggest gift to our own inner child: healing, love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
If there was ever a time to do so, it’s now. The moon’s got your back.
Here is a simple ritual based on the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono to guide your healing this full moon:
You will need:
- 2 blue candles (used for forgiveness and healing – especially with children)
- 2 white candles (used for purity and clearing of negativity)
- Picture of yourself as a child (optional)
If possible, get as close to moonlight as possible. Outdoors is best, but if temp won’t allow, try being near an open window where moonlight pours in.
Set up the candles in a square around you. If you are using a picture, create a mini-altar and place the candles in a square around the picture of you. Alternate the candles so that blue is opposite white.
- Spend a few minutes to quiet the mind and body. Focus your attention on one of the candles and let your mind clear. Or, alternatively, bring your attention to your breath, counting odd numbers on the inhale and even numbers on the exhale.
- Think about something from your childhood (or even now!) for which you are still blaming yourself, or for which you feel guilt, pain, or shame. Let whatever emotions arise just be. Do not try to judge or push them away. Allow them to rise and sit on the surface.
- Use the 4 steps of Ho’oponopono:
Step 1: Repentance
Say: “I’m sorry.”
In this step you acknowledge the concerns of your inner child. Accept that this hard experience happened and that you are sorry. Imagine yourself wrapping your arms around a five-year-old you and just letting little you know that you are sorry for the pain she has experienced.
Step 2: Forgiveness
Say: “Please forgive me.”
Honor the remorse you feel for your inner child still being in pain. Maybe your child feels guilty or responsible for a parent’s actions. Whatever. Doesn’t matter who or what it’s directed to, just ask!
Step 3: Gratitude
Say: “Thank you.”
Thank your inner child for being so brave all these years or thank her for protecting you. Thank your body, thank whatever just forgave you. Just express your gratitude!
Step 4: Love
Say: “I love you.”
Repeat it over and over again. Feel it. Accept it. Love heals all.
You can do this ritual once, or as many times as you’d like. I would suggest doing the whole routine at least four times. I personally like to repeat the process until my candles extinguish themselves.
Have you done a Ho’oponopono ritual before? If you have, or do this ritual as I’ve described for this Christmas full moon, be sure to comment below how it felt for you or what emotions came up!
When most people hear the word “ritual”, their mind starts to conjure up all sort of images. Cloaked witches offering animal sacrifices or ancient monks with Tibetan singing bowls. However, rituals are much more simplistic than we think. Rituals are the way that we connect with the world and energy around us. How we embrace the sacred power within us and that fuels all existence. No matter if you speak of God, the Universe, energy, or even higher self. Ritual is our lifeline to the divine.
Today, in the hustle and bustle of the modern world, many of us have lost contact with the concept of ritual. This has left us feeling disconnected, confused, and alone. We are isolated and stranded, dangling in a complex universe with no spiritual safety net to save us.
Maybe you were taught that a ritual had to be something special, done in a church, or a part of a certain religion. That couldn’t be further from the truth! A ritual can be many things. Lighting a unique candle at the start of each meal. Saying an evening prayer. Taking a moment to contemplate a personal altar. Even setting aside one night each week for a board game and a pizza has the potential to become an important family ritual.
By creatively and actively inventing ritual, you can bring your own sense of purpose and how you fit into the universe. Rituals are meant not only to celebrate significant moments, but to ease us through difficult times by preserving stability and to establish bonds that transcend time.
Taking time each day to perform an action you find calming or to bless home, family, or friends is a way to learn to appreciate each individual moment and to find happiness in the present, regardless of what the past has held or what the future promises to bring.
Here are some quick tips to create more rituals in your daily life:
Look for activities you do everyday that give you a sense of comfort and balance. Make these activities a priority.
Choose a favorite space in your home such as a comfy chair or certain room to complete your ritual activities.
Create routines for different times of the day to keep your vibrational energy high. For example, make a playlist of your favorite songs to listen to as you get ready in the morning. Head to bed happy after some relaxation yoga and a cup of your favorite tea.
Ready for some ideas for creating rituals? Here’s a list to help you get started!
- saying affirmations
- showing appreciation or gratitude
- using incense, aroma therapy oils or scented candles
- placing artwork or a meaningful picture or drawing in your workspace
- bathing or showering with special soaps, salts, or gels
- blessing of food
- burning lists of negative self-talk or fears as a symbol of letting go
- book or notes representing your specific learning
- breathing meditation
- Using divination systems such as Oracle Cards
- Wearing certain colors
- Creating a dream or manifestation vision board
- Carrying crystals, gems, stones
- journaling your dreams
- dressing – in unique clothes, or shawl or sash
- eating with mindfulness, presence, awareness
- expression of gratitude when paying for anything
- focus on having a balanced etheric vital energy body
- greetings: saying hello or waving good-bye as you affirm your positive intentions for others
- grooming rituals like shaving, applying makeup, brushing teeth, combing hair
- journal writing, your journal and all it represents
- Creating personal mantras
- Creatie a personal prayer, manifesto, or creed
- reviewing your ‘to do’ list – set an intention that your activities will be quick, easy, efficient, effective and beautiful
- Creating a sacred book of blessings, pictures, prayers, poems, inspiration … anything
- Smudging sage to cleanse and purify
- stretches and exercises
- Wear a special talisman, charm, amulet
- Celebrate the different seasons, moon cycles, solstice, equinox, holidays
- Practice yoga or Tai Chi
Need some help developing a strong ritual practice to boot your vibrational energy and manifesting power?
Schedule a powerful conversation and let’s chat now!
You hold back the tears when you see your significant other, knowing that you just can’t express your deepest sorrows. You wish you felt more feminine, soft, and gentle. You crave to feel the love of your friends and family within your soul. You’re tired of the days of shrugging off the compliments and praise.
You’re ready to feel. You’re ready to connect. You’re ready to unleash your inner goddess.
When we are not feeling connected with ourselves, it is impossible to connect with others. In order to share love with our friends and family, we have to make it a consistent practice to show love to ourselves. However, when life leaves you stressed and overwhelmed, it becomes far too easy to lose that intimate space of love and acceptance within ourselves. We begin to blame ourselves and beat ourselves up. However, this only makes things worse. The further we step out of love with oursleves, the less likely we are to be able to experience the love and joy in our life.
The following is a simple process you can use whenever you need to amp up your self-love. It will help you unleash your love, feel loved, and truly connect with your friends and family. This is a process that is most effective if repeated in consecutive days.
The Luxury Bath
What you need:
- 6 roses – 2 red, 2 pink, and 2 white
- A candle that calls to you (something pretty or with a beautiful fragrance)
Your favorite tea
It’s important that these items are purchased new, specifically for this purpose.
- Make yourself a hot cup of your favourite tea.
- Draw yourself a hot bath with one cup of Epsom salts (bubble bath optional).
- Light your candle, put the petals of ONE of the red roses into the bath while it’s filling
- Relax in the bath while you drink your tea and allow yourself to play with the rose petals
- Place the rose petals one by one over your heart
- Take 11 deep breaths, inhaling through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth
- Sink into the bath and allow the rose petals to float on.
Day Two: Repeat this process above, using the other red rose
Day Three: Use one Pink rose for your Luxury Bath
Day Four: You guessed it. Use that other pink rose
Day Five: Surprise! Use one white rose
Day Six: Use your single last white rose for your Luxury Bath
Want to power up the practice? Add a Rose Quartz crystal into the bath or Therapeutic Grade essential oils (such as doTERRA’s Balance, geranium, Lavender, or serenity) to your wrists.
This self care ritual will revolutionize your entire life. Allowing you to feel centred, connected, and full of love. Please allow yourself to experiment with the Luxury Bath! Add varying flowers, crystals, essential oils, or music. Allow yourself the pleasure of taking a luxury bath every week and notice how grateful you feel.
How do you reconnect with yourself when you are feeling lonely or unloved? Comment below and share your favorite self-love rituals.
Amanda Rae is an Intuitive Energy Coach. She was born, raised, and currently lives in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada with her husband and two children. She helps women balance their energy so that they can unpack their emotional baggage. By helping women move into the energy of manifestation and bliss, she opens the doors to truly living the dream. Learn more about her work by visiting TheAmandaRae.com or find her on Facebook.
Of course, it is the human nature to want these things. However, your experience is unique! What would you do if you had all the money in the world? How would you spend your days without the constraint of time? What does it look like to be free?
These are answers that only WE can answer. That’s where the inner voice comes in!
Journal (preferable) or paper
Pen, pencil, or your favorite writing utensil
A quiet, comfy space
At the top of the paper write the question “Is this what I really want?”
Close your eyes and take three, deep, cleansing breaths.
Open your eyes and write for 10 minutes. Write about the wonderful things you have in your life. Write about all the things you may have wanted. Include things you let go of because they seemed to difficult.
Let yourself write about what you really, really, want.
Allow your thoughts to flow freeely. Don’t edit anything. If you have always envisioned yourself as a performer, but haven’t sang outside of Karaoke night, don’t worry, just write it down! Whatever the inner critic voice inside your head might be saying, acknowledge and surrender to it. Then, keep writing. The voice will fade away and you will be left giving life to your dreams.
Once the timer goes off and you’re finished, re-read what you wrote.
Reflect: How did it feel? Did anything surprising show up on the page? Did you feel hopeless that you’ll never get what you really want? Or did you feel excited rediscovering something you lost? It doesn’t really matter. Accept your emotions and remember that anything that comes up can be worked out.
Knowing the difference between your inner voice and your inner fear is one of the most extremely powerful tools you can have in your self-care toolbox. Getting to know the difference between fear and intuition takes practice and it is absolutely worth the effort.
What You Need:
A little time and a quiet space.
How it Works:
- Imagine someone or something you love (such as a friend, a child, a pet).
- Make the image in your head as clear as possible.
- Notice the feeling in your belly that goes with this picture. This feeling should be calming and expansive.
- Now, imagine a destructive image of something that really makes you feel upset. Maybe not getting your dream job, not being able to pay a bill, etc. Notice the feeling. Likely it is constrictive and tight.
- Finally, imagine a fearful feeling based on guidance from your inner intuition. For example, this might be going to the doctor for a check-up when you haven’t been feeling well, even though you have anxiety about going to hospitals.
- Notice how the mix of feelings that sit in your body. How does the fear show up? And how does it interact with the underlying good feeling about doing something you know is right?
Your inner fear voice is perfectly natural, and not without its wisdom. Fear can tell you when something is wrong or alert you about situations that do not serve your highest good. The trick is learning to know when the voice inside is leading your towards your dreams, or when it is holding you back.
How do you tell the difference between your inner intuition and inner fear? Comment about your own personal practices (or this one, when you try it!) in the section below!
One of the hardest things for me to learn was how to say “no” to people. I always want to help and be of service, so I often would say “yes” even when I knew that it was not aligned with what I needed at the time. I was always afraid that I would hurt the requestor’s feelings, or that I wasn’t being a good friend, colleague, or partner. Then the guilt would roll in. However, I know understand that when I communicate my boundaries in a honest way, NO ONE is mad or upset with me. Learning how to say no without beating myself up has been the most important step in my escape from expectations!
Purpose is not something we do, it is something we are.