Friday Feel-Good Book Series: Books that Gave Me Seeds to Thrive

New Series Starts September 20, 2019

Hello Friends, Followers, and Visitors:

I’m starting a new series! I decided Fridays was a good day to tell you about the books that gave me seeds to thrive. Each Friday, I will tell you about a book I’ve read on my journey and why I would recommend it. The books will not be in any particular order. Just know that every Friday, until I feel like I’m done, I will share one of my treasures with you. It will be your choice if you decide you want to plant one of these seeds in your garden. I encourage comments, insights, and sharing the books that helped you. You never know what book I will feel energetically pulled to read next. I tend to have a good two to three books going at a time. Just remember the name of my site, comments should come from a loving place, or they won’t be posted. If there is a quote from a book that inspires you to live better, you can share it along with the author name, book title, and the page number the quote is from.

Why am I Doing This?

I’m often asked about the books I read. For those who don’t know me, I’m an avid reader of ways to make life better. I started my love of reading about this over thirty years ago. Here are a few of my favorite topics: self-help, spirituality, personal transformation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, healthy living, brain studies, human development, sociology, psychology, religion, and cultural anthropology. Reading all these books has helped me see the person I want to be, ways (not one way) to get there, and be open to see what could be holding me back. They helped me discover my strengths and weaknesses, along with what I was ready for and what I wasn’t. I also have read about plenty of ways I don’t want to live. 

In every book I’ve read, I’ve discovered there are no new concepts, just different ways of presenting them. If the writer is viewing a concept through a place of fear, I look at how that affects their view of interpretation. If a writer is seeing a concept through a place of love, I look to see how I’m connecting to their beliefs about the topic before I consider their perspective of truth. No matter what, I know and understand that every writer is speaking from his or her own place of truth. I understand that just because they believe a certain way of doing things is the right way, it’s up to me to decide what is the best way for me. In the end, only I can decide the perspectives of truth that I will form my reality around. No one can force us to have a belief that serves or doesn’t serve us living our best lives. We have to be open to see how our own beliefs are affecting our reality and make a choice on whether or not to keep our energy believing what we do. 

I believe I can learn from EVERYTHING I read. If I feel an energetic pull to read something, I know there was a reason I was meant to read it. I look for the lessons. There hasn’t been a book in the categories I listed above that I got nothing from. There are some that I put down, because when the energetic force stopped pulling me to read it, I knew I got what I needed. Being a reader of this kind of material, it’s good to trust the journey. We don’t know where it’s leading us. 

When I read A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson at fourteen, I had no idea the journey I was about to go on. I’ve read the book at least four times now and I find something new and different that resonates EVERY time. My fourteen-year-old self wasn’t ready for a lot of what I was reading, but it gave me seeds. I could see I wanted to live from a loving place. I just would have to go through a lot of life experiences before the material would truly sink in. 

I picked up The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle three times throughout a period of five or six years before I was ready to grasp his voice. I would make it through a couple of chapters, then put it down. I actually ended up reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle first. I did the Oprah course she had on it. After doing that, when I picked up The Power of Now again, I got it and loved it! I read it right when I needed to and right when it was important for a big step in my journey. 

The point is, when we are invested in this type of material, TRUST THE JOURNEY! Don’t beat yourself up about what you should read, or what you should do. You are ready when you’re ready. If you feel pulled to read something, GET THE BOOK! If you’re reading and all the sudden you stop—It’s okay! You read what you needed to for now, or you would have felt pulled to read more. Don’t get rid of the book! Sometimes you will find that it’s years before you’re ready, but it’s good to have so that when you are ready for it, you can open it and just start reading.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times this has happened to me. 

I hope you are excited to get on board! The fun will begin soon. See you back here Friday!

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Breaking Toxic Patterns: Why Do I Keep Doing this to Myself?

Why Won’t These Seeds Thrive?

Trying and Failing to Make My Internal Garden Thrive

I lived in the darkness for a long time pretending to love, but I wasn’t capable. I read book after book, went to multiple therapists, and would even go to seminars trying to find the help I needed. I kept searching for an outside source to fix an inside problem. I could live motivated for short stretches, but deep down I was living the fake it until you make itapproach, but the make it just wouldn’t come. I thought I had it, then bang! I would sabotage my happiness once again. I thought I was ready to plant all the amazing seeds I would get, but my ground wasn’t fertile enough for the seeds to thrive. I would try, but I didn’t know how to feed, nurture, and sustain them. They may have looked pretty on top of the ground for a little while, but the roots were weak, so they just couldn’t survive on my toxic foundation. Something lurking underneath was killing every flower and tree I was trying to plant. I needed to figure out why.

Just like the internal garden I was trying to create, my outer self could look great on the surface for short periods of time, but because my roots weren’t strong, I would eventually begin to crumble. I would move before others could see my decent into madness. In my new location, I once again would plant the seeds I had picked up along the way. Then would sabotage myself again. 

Toxic relationships were my drugs of choice for a long time. They were the way I could keep myself right where I was comfortable. I didn’t know it at the time, but the chaos was my comfort zone.  I knew that if I could see why I kept repeating this pattern, I would find the source of this toxic muck corroding my foundation.

If you are noticing the definition of insanity in my words, you are getting the message. I kept trying to do the same thing, and I expected different results because I was in a new location. Some refer to this as a geographical cure—An outside fix trying to repair an inside problem. 

How Do I Plant these Damn Seeds to Make them Thrive?

Digging Into My Own Toxic Muck to Fix the Problem at the Source

I was in my thirties before I started to change my patterns to create a new reality. It took me becoming a shell of a person before I would be ready to fully surrender to get better. I couldn’t just plant the seeds, I had to fix, repair, and nurture the ground. I needed to come face to face with the woman in the mirror looking back at me and dig down to see where the source was for this toxic muck. The digging took years; not days, weeks, or months. This didn’t mean there wasn’t progress. My life was definitely changing for the better the more I was willing to REALLY face myself and clean up my own mess. The more I did this, doors would open and others would close. I was on the path to making a garden that would thrive.

My path led me to a college that couldn’t have been a better fit. I learned so much about myself in the 4-½ years it took me to get my degree. The experiences I had with the classes, professors, and other students would help me to have the energy to keep doing the work to fix my foundation. I received more and more seeds I wanted to plant. 

It took a lot of lessons for me to find out the answer was to dig further down into this toxic foundation. I had to find out why I kept attracting men and getting into relationships with individuals who were unhealthy. I needed to look at why I wanted to rescue them. I had to dig deep to get to the bottom of this toxic root. It was the weed that kept strangling all the beauty I would try to grow in my garden.

What Will I Find at the Source of These Toxic Patterns?

Through the Layers of Digging

  1. I saw that I wanted to feel needed.
  2. I learned everything I could about co-dependency.
  3. Digging deeper, I saw that I wanted to feel needed because I lacked self-worth and had a horrible self-concept.
  4. I began to look into the mirror and figure out what I didn’t like about myself.
  5. Going down even deeper, I found that I felt unlovable.
  6. I had to face why I felt unlovable, and that was digging down to the core of my toxic foundation. I found the source, which came from the shame that was buried and hidden under all the layers of guilt, anger, rage, resentment, fear, hate, chaos, confusion, and separation. 
  7. I started doing the work to have a loving relationship with myself.

What Did I Discover?

I’m Happy I Decided to Get Dirty and Do the Work

Digging down to the core took years, but as I faced layer after layer, life would improve and seeds would start growing into flowers. As my energy became aligned with the garden I wanted to create, I understood what I needed to feed and nurture the seeds to make them thrive—LOVE!

This wasn’t about receiving love from the outside world. This was about understanding that I had to feed the seeds my love, and I only could do that by loving myself. Anytime I spoke to myself in a disrespectful way, I was pouring poison onto my land. When I chose to focus my energy on forgiving and loving myself, my land became fertile ground. My garden began to thrive and I started attracting more sources to nurture and feed my garden. I was finally capable to fully love others authentically, because I could love myself. I stopped laying down for people to walk on me. I stopped accepting unacceptable behavior, because I love myself enough to know my value. I live abundantly in my internal world, and I do the work daily to stay there.

Who Is Attracted to My Life Now?

Appreciating the Individuals Who Cross my Path

The people who are attracted to the garden I’ve created aren’t looking to steal from it, they are asking for seeds, which I lovingly give out. People also come into my life offering new seeds. Some I accept lovingly, others I may realize are strangling vines, so I say no thank you and move on. No one can plant a seed in my garden without my permission. If I mistake a strangling vine for a flower, it’s my job to dig the seed up from the root to find out why it found a place to grow in my garden. If we waste energy blaming, we will avoid finding the solution, because blame is just an excuse to stop digging.

Are You Looking for a Seed?

Just like me, others have to go on their own journeys of learning what it will take to let their gardens thrive the way they want them to. If you are reading this looking for a seed; the best advice I can give is to be open to go deep and pay attention to the signs along the way.  Keep praying for help in seeing signs and learning the lessons to uncover the answers. You are worth it! Be prepared to get dirty. We all have what it takes to create beautiful gardens; we just have to be willing to do the work.

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

If this journey resonates with you, I hope you will explore FromALovingPlace.com and check out my upcoming book, Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World. When we become our best selves, we change the world around us for the better. 

Remembering Trauma

How we use are minds to go through the remembering process of trauma can be a powerful tool to help launch us forward, or a cruel weapon to keep us down. What many don’t understand is the choice is ours. Our perception is our power. We can use it to lift ourselves up or to beat ourselves down. We get to choose thoughts of love or fear as we travel back in time. This is no easy task when the trauma is severe. Processing through the lens of love doesn’t mean that the memories won’t make us cry. The difference is when we process the memories through a lens of love—the tears ignite our souls. When we process the trauma through fear—we run into our darkness. 

How We Live is How We Remember

When we choose to live in our darkness (fear), we immerse ourselves in the fear, anger, rage, hate, resentment, greed, envy, and separation within us and in the world around us. Our energy attracts like energy, so we are drawn to seeing the darkness in others. We act as magnets because we need to keep pulling in examples of why the stories are valid. We live in a place of separation from ourselves, others, and the Universe. 

When we choose to live in our light (love), we immerse ourselves in the love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, wholeness, and inclusion within us and in the world. We connect to the best in humanity. We attract the light in others. We are making the stories we are telling ourselves valid and we are connected to ourselves, others, and the Universe. 

Can we fake it? On the outside, yes, but our magnetic pull comes from deep inside us. When we are not honest about seeing our own darkness, we may attract the wolves in sheep’s clothing (narcissists, abusers, sociopaths, etc.). We are running and we will be handed lesson after hard lesson to try to help us to move into the light, but as long as we keep telling ourselves to live in the fear, we stay in the dark.  

Why is How We Remember Trauma Important?  

The stories that play in our heads about our past experiences are more powerful than most people realize. Our memory of trauma can ignite buried feelings of shame, guilt, and fear that internally contribute to feelings of unworthiness, abandonment, and separation. There is a piece of us that may feel completely unlovable from the shame attached to an unhealed trauma. When we engage and swim in those feelings, they will permeate into our everyday lives and affect everything we touch. One unhealed trauma can lead to a life filled with resentment and separation, which often times leads to unhealthy addictions. Remember, like attracts like. When we hide from our own darkness, we are living in our shadow. We are caught in that dark tunnel of our minds. 

Here’s the awesome part, all it takes is one seed of light to come in and spread in order to help us start lighting our pathway out. That seed can come from a person, book, posting, place, event, video, story, meditation, therapy session, church service, tree, flower, etc.? That one thing can help us see more light. Eventually if we keep taking one step at a time out of our own mental prison, we become the light.

When we can look back at trauma without feeling the dread and hopelessness, but instead see what we learned from experiencing the trauma without the blame, guilt, and shame—we stop paying the steep price of living in the dark. We start finding hope in what was once madness. We see the strength in the survival. We begin realizing that we are not the traumas we survived. Our worth was there before learning the important lesson in life that the trauma taught us. Now, WE RISE in LOVE. This is where the best solutions come from. Remembering the trauma becomes a tool to help us live better and wiser. With that, we become the light. 

Getting Help

This isn’t an overnight process, and some of us may need a lot more help than others. There are plenty of tools and people out there to help. If remembering past traumas feels like a weight, here’s my suggestion to you:

Get out a Post-It, 3×5 card, or a piece a paper. Write down: “How do I become the best version of me?” Keep this question close to you, and be open to see, feel, and hear the answers. If you hear the same advice multiple times, you can guarantee the Universe is trying to help you.  Pay attention if people recommend specific books, therapists, practices, exercises, videos, articles, meditations, mindfulness practices, gratitude journals, courses, church services, foods, etc.  Just be open! Our worst enemy is a mind living in fear. Our greatest ally is a mind living in love. Be conscious of where your mind is. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

How Do I Make Them Stop?

If anyone has ever had an addict, abuser, narcissist, or someone with mental illness in your lives, you may have asked, prayed, and cried over this question. If the person above is you, you may have asked, “How can I stop…?” Then, “How do I make them stop?” can be the question that follows trying to make the problem someone else’s. Either way, How do I make them stop, is a trap that weaves us into an unhealthy spiral. The answer is, we can’t change another person. We can only better ourselves so we stop making ourselves responsible for others and making them responsible for what is going on inside of us. 

Is This Person Capable of Changing the Way I want them to?

Understand that the person may not be capable of helping himself/ herself without getting intensive support from trained professionals, and that can only happen if he/she is open and willing to receive it. No one can force another person to change. A person can’t get better for another person. I know his is a VERY hard pill to swallow. I’ve been down this road time and time again, and I stayed sick because of it. We can’t MAKE, threaten, or condemn a person to change for us. A person’s unhealthy patterns could have started from the moment they were brought into this world. The willpower a person has to have in order to change behavior and thought patterns that feel normal to their reality and survival isn’t easy. These thoughts and behaviors can be so imbedded that they have created neural pathways to support the unhealthy behaviors.  It takes intensive work to change any neural pathways and when your thoughts are fighting to keep what feels normal alive, it is a very long and painful process.

How Easy Is it to Change What Isn’t Good for ME?

I want you to think about all the things you tell yourself you should do to live a healthier life:

  • I need to exercise more.
  • I need to eat better.
  • I need to stop attaching myself to unhealthy people.
  • I need to drink more water.
  • I need to get out of my head. 
  • I need to spend more time with my family. 
  • I need to spend more time on self-care.
  • I need to make time for meditation.
  • I need to drink less. 

Those are just a few examples. Can you instantly add/do everything that is good for you? Do you still choose to do things that aren’t benefitting your mental, spiritual, and physical health? Let’s just make sure we keep that in mind when we are expecting someone else to change. In order to make lifestyle changes, we have to fully commit. If any of us are struggling with ANY kind of low self-esteem, self-image, and/or self-worth, like I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, we will sabotage ourselves and our progress. Take time to imagine the person who is so imbedded in their unhealthy patterns, we don’t get that way if we are positive and healthy individuals. Healthy people who have a healthy self-concept, along with healthy patterns of thought and behavior, don’t hurt others or themselves intentionally.  Most of us at one point or another let our own unhealthy patterns take control. If we are willing to look and take responsibility for our thoughts and behaviors, we have the power to get better. Some people with severe mental illness aren’t psychologically capable of taking responsibility and/or they don’t have the willpower it takes to make the changes we want to see in them at the moment we want to see them. If we are dealing with people in extreme cases, they may not be capable of making the changes we want to see. The best thing we can do for ourselves and them is not blame them for this, but make the necessary changes in our lives to put our self-care first. We are the ones we will live and die with.

How Am I Choosing to Live My Life?

If we are under the assumption that it will take someone else changing in order for us to be happy and healthy, we have our own work to do. We aren’t capable of rescuing someone else from his/ her own unhealthy patterns, but we are capable of rescuing ourselves. Just like them, we have to be willing and open to see and take responsibility for our own unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. Some of our own patterns have been imbedded since birth, so it can take some intensive work to see them. Just the expectation of someone else needing to change for us to be happy, is a thought pattern that we use to hurt ourselves. We put the power in their hands, just like they may be doing to us, when they use us as an excuse to behave like they are. We can’t make them act and think like they do, and we can’t make them responsible for thinking and acting like we do.

How am I (Rachael Wolff) Qualified to Talk About This?

People who know the dark place I was in ask me how I got better, and the answer is that I invested in myself. I fixed the one person that I could. I’m not a do as I say, not as I do kind of person. I’ve spent thirty years working on breaking my unhealthy patterns. I’ve gone down some long treacherous rabbit holes in search of feeling lovable and happy and I came out on the other side of my own darkness.  I write about how I got myself out of toxic situations, how my education in psychology, human development, sociology, and cultural anthropology have assisted me in being able to put my experiences down on paper in away that can assist others on their paths. I’ve tried and failed at so many attempts to change myself and others, until after a myriad of lessons, I found the path that changed my life—The path to me. I’ve had plenty of help along the way.

The Path of Self-Discovery

When we stop asking and praying for the answer to “How do I change them?” and start asking, “How do I become the best version of me?”— We gain the power to transform our lives. 

We get sent sign after sign of ways to better ourselves. How do I know this will happen? How do I know that this works? Because it’s the path I took and still take daily. Here are just a few of the AMAZING benefits of taking the path of self-discovery: 

  • I learned to say, NO, without needing to apologize for it. 
  • I’ve established healthy boundaries with unhealthy individuals.
  • I’ve learned how to assess when and how long to stay in relationships and situations in order to learn what I need to learn.
  • I’ve learned that the people who wander onto my path are supposed to teach me something or learn something from me.
  • I found my authentic joy in nature.
  • I’ve found what grounds me, inspires me, and lifts my spirits.
  • I’ve learned how to live connected to Divine love. 
  • I learned that the only person that NEEDS to love me—Is me!

Do I Want to Help or Enable?

You are free to keep asking questions like:

  • How do I make them stop?
  • How do I make them happy?

It took me at least fifteen years on the path to begin to stop going to these questions, because they were my autopilot response to other people’s unhealthy choices. I can still slip into asking myself these questions when it comes to my kids.  From time to time, when I see them suffering from things out of my control, it hurts and I want to make it better. It’s still not the right questions. What I learned is the best thing we can do for anyone else is to be our best selves, so that is what we project onto others. Our positive energy that we exude may be what helps them to make better choices for themselves. It’s not about preaching or telling them what they aren’t doing right. We simply show them what it looks like to make positive choices for ourselves. I’m amazed how quickly someone who is trapped in their own unhealthy patterns can spot us in ours. The opposite is true too. When we are healthy and another person is trapped in their own darkness, they will either be attracted to us because they are seeking to change, or they will feel a force driving them away from us because they don’t want to or are not capable of making healthy changes in that moment. I’ve talked about this before in previous posts.

When we do things for the wrong reasons, we will start enabling instead of really helping someone else be responsible and accountable if they are capable of doing so. Most us are capable and are just stuck in unhealthy patterns.  We can’t make anyone else feel, think, or do anything. How they respond to us is based on the messages that are swirling around in their heads. What we can change is what is swirling around in ours.

Self-Discovery Is Not a Quick Fix

Self-discovery is not the easy path. There is no pill or quick fix on this path that will help us. We have to be willing to dive deep. We can’t hide from ourselves if we want to discover how to heal ourselves. We can’t numb our guilt and shame. We have to face it and heal from it. The path of self-discovery is worth the challenges we will face. One of the greatest rewards is we question our thinking when we ask the unanswerable questions and start getting solutions from a healthy place. We gain the power to stop the unhealthy thought and behavior patterns as we make better choices. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

If you are ready to dive in, check out the FREE 90-Day A Better Me Series

If you are a woman and want a book specifically for you, Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World is available to pre-order (click on the link over the title to find out more on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, or Indiebound.org).

The Power of Three: Mindset, Intention, and Gratitude

Earlier this week, I wrote a piece called, Weight Loss: A Journey of Losing, Gaining, and Maintaining. Though this power of three helped me with the weight loss process, weight loss came naturally once I started taking better care of my mindset, aligning myself with the changes I wanted to see in my life, and living gratitude daily. 

If you can see this power of three as having the energetic force to help you in any aspect of your life, you will get to feel the true AWE of this process. So much in our lives begins to change when we are willing to see that we are the problem, and we are the solution. 

Mindset (Awareness)

Understanding how we think, and why we think the way we do is critical in the process of change. If we aren’t aware of how our thoughts, perspectives of truth, and firm beliefs are working for or against us, we won’t see how our actions and reactions are helping or hindering us. Let’s take weight: If we are in a constant struggle to lose weight, and we are using the weight that we are to beat ourselves up, we are actually attracting negative results. We look for quick fixes, which aren’t healthy for us and hurt us down the line. Oh and as soon as we stop, the weight comes right back. We do things that may take away from living a healthy lifestyle. Our mindset matters! The pounds do not equal our worth. An unhappy person at 250 lbs. will be and unhappy person at 120 lbs. if they are putting their value in their worth. It will just look different in how the unhappiness projects itself. 

If you try to force healthy changes before you commit to improving your mindset, don’t be surprised when you start doing things to sabotage your progress. This can happen in our relationships, educations, careers, spiritual paths, and lifestyles. If your mindset isn’t aligned with the results you really want to see, a war is waged inside of us. When we don’t like what we see in any area of our lives, instead of blaming or focusing outward on what we don’t have—Check within! 

  • What messages is your mind telling you?
  • Are these messages even true?
  • Is there a different way you can look at things?
  • How can you find opportunities instead of roadblocks? 
  • What beliefs are working against you getting what you really want?

Become aware of where your mind goes. If you are feeling a struggle within, there is a lesson there. What is it? BE OPEN! A closed mind won’t get you anywhere! For a deeper exploration, check out the 90-Day A Better Me Series. The topic matter will help you get to the bottom of what is holding you back. 

Intention (Stillness)

Many people have heard about what happens to people after winning the lottery. Most of them end up in a worse situation than before they won. Part of the reason this happens is because they put the value of happiness outside of themselves. If I had money… I could be happy. NOOOOO!!! We have to see the worth and power of our minds first. Our value is with us in this very moment whether we are rich or poor, overweight or underweight, in a relationship or out of a relationship, successful in a career or finding our way. None of these things have the power to make us feel happy, valuable, lovable, or worthy. The only way to make lasting positive change in our lives without sabotaging it is to feel that way first. This is why getting in touch with our true intentions is so important. 

 What are the actual results you are looking for? Go deep; the intention behind losing weight isn’t just that the pounds come off. Think about how it will feel to not have the extra weight on. What does that mean for your health? What kind of energy do you think will come from that? How will losing the weight affect your lifestyle choices? This isn’t about putting the value in being skinny. This isn’t about feeling more lovable, wanted, or important. If you are trying to lose weight for those reasons, you are not ready to move on. Go back to working on your mindset. 

Intentions for Healthy Living

My intention is to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Increase my energy
  • Eat foods that are good for my body
  • Gain strength and endurance
  • Sleep enough for maximum results
  • Choose behaviors that support my well-being
  • Drink plenty of water to nourish my organs

The focus isn’t on losing the weight, it’s on the goal of living a healthy lifestyle. Our worth isn’t tied to what happens if we don’t lose X amount of pounds in a month. Every little thing we do that contributes to us living a healthier lifestyle can be celebrated. Our value is already there. We are just choosing a better way of doing things because we value ourselves. 

Intentions for Career

My intention is to feel passionate in my career:

  • I love helping individuals grow and flourish.
  • I’m inspired about learning the best time management techniques for working smart. 
  • I’m passionate about being organized.
  • I love being able to show my compassion for others as I communicate with others. 
  • I’m enthusiastic about being able to serve others to the best of my ability.
  • I’m positively ardent about being able to support myself financially.

It doesn’t matter what career path you choose, the question is—Can you connect to your passion of the things you love through it? This can be written for doctors, wait staff, retail managers, sales associates, executives, waste management employees, etc. This focuses on what we want instead of what we don’t want. Minimizing what we do by missing our opportunities to shine will defeat and drain us. Is that really what you want?

Intentions for Relationships

My intention is to have a loving, loyal, passionate, and communicative relationship with my partner:

  • We both understand what love is and support bringing out the best in each other (Make sure to be clear on what love is before you try attracting it to your life. There are brutal consequences if your definition is out of whack. Click here to read more).
  • I’m loyal to taking the best care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually so that I can be the best version of myself for my partner. When I am loyal to myself, I attract loyalty in my partner. (Don’t expect someone else to do what you’re not doing for yourself).
  • I’m passionate about my partner, and we enjoy our emotional and physical intimacy through our honesty and connection. 
  • We are willing to listen and hear each other out. There is no ONE right way, just different ways. The more we listen to each other the better our relationship is. 

I write a lot about intentions in relationships through an intense process that you can read about in the 90-Day A Better Me Series and also in my upcoming book, Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World. 

Be clear on your intentions, because when they are not clear or have a negative energy attachment, you WILL sabotage yourself.  It’s not a matter of if, just when. 

Gratitude (Action)

I’m amazed at what the power of gratitude has the ability to create, change, and amplify. The last ninety plus days I’ve been writing out a page of daily intentions and a page of gratitude. My life is reflecting the energy I’m putting into it. I feel abundant in my life, and that is because I focus on daily gratitude. I find new opportunities to enjoy my life daily. Money shows up when and how I need it to. I am blessed with supportive family and friends. I find and make time for self-care. I make time to connect with my spirituality. I’m led to people and events that bring out the best in me. I’m abundant. Some people may look at my life and pick on all the things I don’t have, but that’s not my problem. That is their mindset that is creating that feeling of lack. Gratitude is a mindset of living as if we have everything we need in this minute and being thankful for that. 

Living in lack will keep us feeling like what we have is never enough. Then we take that out on others treating them with feelings of lack, so it comes off as they are not good enough and/or doing enough. The feeling of lack makes us resentful and the person we are the worst to when we live in lack is ourselves. When we live in lack, we sabotage any work we do on ourselves, our relationships, our careers, and our spiritual connections. We are filled with expectations. We focus on other’s letting us down. 

The great news is that shifting from lack to abundance is just a shift in perception away. It takes work, especially because we are surrounded by people who want us to want what we don’t have. That is how they sell fear, and we’ve shown them that selling fear makes us buy things. So if we are surrounded by things and people encouraging us to see lack, we have to make time EVERY day to focus on gratitude/ abundance. This is not a let’s spot gratitude for a few weeks and we will be good kind of thing. Practicing, living, and embracing gratitude is a daily activity and when you decide to stop, the lack will start creeping back in. 

Be grateful for the choices you made today that supported your intentions. Be grateful for the people who showed up to teach you something. Be grateful for the videos you watched that helped to inspire you. Be grateful for the unlimited resources you have to learn more about healthy living, self-care, and education. Be grateful that this piece somehow ended up in front of you to read. You get the point. For anything you feel resentful towards, find three things you are grateful for him/her/it in your life. What is the experience teaching you? The lessons are something to be grateful for. 

The Power of Three

When we combine a positive mindset, intention, and gratitude together, we win. Life becomes less of a struggle and more of a gift. We have the power to change our lives for the better in every instant. We just have to make the choice to follow through or stay where we are. What are you going to do to make today even better after reading this? Do nothing, and don’t be surprised when things stay the same. Do something and the motion can initiate a chain reaction of events that can take you on a path that will enhance your life. The choice is in your hands!

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Weight Loss: A Journey of Losing, Gaining, and Maintaining

The Struggle with Losing Weight

I’ve seen many friends and family members struggle with weight loss throughout my life. My weight didn’t start tipping the scales of unhealthy until I hit 40. Then like a speeding bullet, pound after pound started piling on. Now, as many of my friends know, I do not like the burn of working out. I focus too much on the feeling and it messes with my creativity and flow of writing. I attempted going on the treadmill to lose the weight, but it didn’t do anything. No matter how fast I walked or the incline, it just sucked up my time and felt pointless. At the time, I wasn’t trying to lose weight for the right reasons. I thought if I lost weight, I would feel better about myself. A trap I’ve watched so many people fall into, just like I would be happy if…

The Importance of Self-Worth, Self-Esteem, and Self-Image

When we put our self-worth, self-esteem, and self-image outside of ourselves, we will STRUGGLE. We set ourselves up for failure, disappointment, and lack. We don’t have to lose weight to be lovable. We do have to choose to love ourselves in order to see the love that is presented to us. That doesn’t come from what we are not right in this moment. If we struggle with loving ourselves, we will manifest struggles in our lives. Our energy that comes from our core will permeate throughout. You can read more about in the inward journey:

90-Day A Better Me Series

Enjoying Losing the Weight

I knew if I was taking care of myself mentally, taking care of myself physically would feel natural and right. I decided to walk outside in nature, because that is something I love to do. I walked 5 miles a day listening to self-help books, meditations, podcasts, and anything that encouraged positive thinking. I love food so I wasn’t about to give anything I loved up, so I just started counting my calories and being accountable for what I was putting in my body. The weight came off. Then, in the busyness of life I just couldn’t find the time for walking the 5-mile walks and lost interest in counting the calories, and the gaining commenced. The maintaining got lost in the busyness of trying to fit more into my day than I had time for. 

Mindset Matters

Now, as a writer of a blog called From A Loving Place, I have talked about the energy of against thinking and what that does to us. I know negative energy attracts more of what we don’t want to see, so if I go at weight loss with the energy of working against accepting the person I am right in this very moment, I know that I’m putting a negative energy into the process and I will feel like I’m in a struggle to lose weight. If I focus on there not being time, the time for it goes away. I decided I wasn’t going to try to lose weight. I was going to accept myself exactly as I was and focus on being the healthiest version of me. 

When the Student is Ready…

Then came the road trip. I love road trips. I can be in cars for hours, days, and/or weeks and as long as I’m not in an area with excessive traffic, I’m at total peace. Road trips are an important part of my self-care, but not this particular road trip. I was in pain. There was a new roll of fat over my ribs that was causing me pain while driving. This roll was messing with my joy and my self-care. I found myself completely focused on the roll of fat the whole trip. It’s not like it changed my outer looks that much, but it definitely was affecting what was going on inside of me. That pain showed me something needed to change to be the best version of myself, so I started focusing on how I WANTED to feel. My energy was aligned with a healthy mindset.

The day after I got home from the trip, I decided it was time to commit to healthier practices. I had bought a knock off the Simply Fit Exercise Board some time ago, but just like any gadget it had sat in a perfect place ready for the day I would start getting on it. I went onto YouTube and found tons of great workouts to do with the board and weights. What I loved about the thought of this workout was that I didn’t have to make any time to do it. I simply did it while watching a television show that I already made time for. For the first time, I actually ENJOY strengthening and toning exercises, and it is strengthening my whole core and my arms!!! WHAT?!

Gaining Wisdom About Healthy Living

I’ve discovered that when I enjoy the process, I don’t feel like I’m in a struggle to lose weight. As I enter my third month of doing these workouts and being accountable for the food that I put into my body, I’ve lost 18 lbs. and counting. I’m not dreading anything; there is no painful recovery time. The exercise doesn’t make any of my body parts hurt after. My creativity is intact. I can go on for short 10-15 minute spurts, 30-minute variations, or just go at a steady pace for an hour. I feel good while I’m doing it. As I started to feel better and better, I started adding leg lifts with ankle weights, variations of weights from 2-10 lbs., and mixing it up with yoga stretches. I’m no longer focused on losing the weight, but enjoying the feeling and the energy I have to get me through the day. I’ve noticed how much healthier I feel inside and out, and because my mind is focused on the good stuff, I’ve noticed I WANT to eat healthier. I WANT to research healthier meal planning. I’m no longer naturally drawn to things that don’t make my body feel good. I’m not longer feeling the STRUGGLE of losing weight. I still LOVE food, I’ve just found a way to enjoy new and different ways of preparing, cooking, and when I do want to splurge—I do. 

Maintaining Healthy Weight by Attracting the Good

I FEEL great, inside and out.  My energy is in line with attracting what is good for me, and I find more and more things that make me feel good. Maintaining is no longer a chore, because the goal is about living a healthy and joy-filled life.  Outside of exercise and nutrition, I’ve also committed to keeping my head in the right space by writing out a page of positive intentions and gratitude daily. There will be a post to read more about that on Friday, September 6, 2019 on this website. If you haven’t signed up to follow this blog, you can do it by scrolling down on your phone or going to the sidebar on your computer. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Author of upcoming book: Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World

In the Aftermath

Growing-up in Florida, you get used to tracking storms. Should I stay or should I go is commonplace in the midst of an approaching hurricane. Many of us know what it’s like to stay and/or to leave, along with the fear for people on the other end. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the fear of the storm that we lose sight of what is happening in the moment. I know it’s not just people in Florida who go through fear of natural disasters. There are earthquakes, tornados, fires, tsunamis, landslides, floods, and erupting volcanoes just to name a few other natural disasters that can have effects on how we choose to live. What we do when we are faced with these natural disasters says a lot about the people we are choosing to be. We will see the best and/or worst in ourselves if we dare to look at the thoughts that move through our heads. As I write this, Hurricane Dorian is hovering over the Bahamas going 1 mph. 

Just a couple days ago the track was aimed to move through Florida and I was consumed with the thoughts about the people I loved. As I sit here thinking about residents of the Bahamas, I’m brought back to evacuating from Hurricane Katrina and wondering if my ex-boyfriend and his family were alive since they lived in-between Biloxi, MS and New Orleans, LA. I remember searching every website trying to find out if each family member was alive. The feeling of dread haunted me when I didn’t see everyone’s name in his family reported as safe. I remember my shaking fingers as I dialed the number listed and talking to my ex’s father as he told me that they still couldn’t find his brother and how his house was leveled. 

Now, I sit and think about all the loved ones, families, friends, co-workers and community members who are going through those same fears of losing people, homes, and their communities and I know for some, the next few weeks and months will be the longest of their lives.

I think about all the people who have been affected by these natural disasters changing their lives and what it does to them anytime they see another one hit the news. In all the sadness and devastation, I can’t help but remember all the heroes who come in and step up. The first responders whether it is their career or just the power of their humanity that shines through to be there during and/or in the aftermath. The best in humanity is the only place I can find peace in these situations, so that is where I do my best to focus. 

I learn a lot from nature, so watching human reactions to natural disasters is fascinating to me. It shows us what is in the hearts of the people around us along with what we are made of ourselves. We are not perfect, I’m not telling people to shame themselves for everything they are not doing. It is important that we are honest with ourselves. This is how we will best serve the people suffering around us. We can’t let ourselves shut down or ignore what is going on inside of us. We need to be conscious of who we want to be. How can we help decrease the suffering? We are not all first responders. Some of us are better in the aftermath of the storm after the dust is settled and it’s time to re-build. We all have special skills that can benefit humanity. What are yours? 

  • Is it giving people hugs?
  • Is it a listening ear?
  • Is it writing or playing music that helps people cope?
  • Is it having money to help survivors with food, water, clothing, housing, etc.?
  • Is it having time to volunteer at shelters or passing out water and supplies?
  • Is it writing with compassion that will help inspire the humanity in others?
  • Is it encouraging others to spread their gifts?
  • Is it your hands and strength to help communities re-build?
  • Is it your prayers and the positive energy you are able to send out into the world?
  • Is it your ability to be a friend to support others who are on the frontlines?
  • Is it fundraising?

The list goes on and on because there are so many individuals needed to help a community of people recover from the aftermath of natural disasters. What’s important is that our humanity shines through, no matter what that looks like. We are accountable for our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions. How will you serve humanity in the aftermath? 

  • Will you choose to be the best version of yourself today?
  • Will you choose to use your unique skills to help others?
  • Will you choose to serve humanity with the love and compassion that each individual deserves?

Hug your families, loved ones, and friends. Be grateful for what you have in this very moment—Even if all you can do is focus on one breath at a time.  Take stock of what is truly important. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

Upcoming book:

Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World (click the title to find out more)

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

Self-abuse is one of the many ways our self-hate, low self-esteem, lack of worth, and negative self-image manifest themselves. We create clutter both inwardly and outwardly when we don’t become self-aware of how we are treating ourselves. This doesn’t help us lead productive lives. This doesn’t help us stay away from the chaos and drama that surrounds us. The more we hate ourselves and treat ourselves with disrespect, the more chaos and drama we will attract to our lives. The clutter in our minds is fuel for the fear, hate, shame, guilt, and violence that is spreading in and around us.

If we want things to get better around us, we have to start within us. Our energy that we put into the world comes from the energy we are feeding ourselves daily. If we want to stop the abuse, we have to stop creating a space where we are apart of the problem. Self-abuse is not helping us or anyone else! When we self-abuse we are showing others that it’s okay to disrespect us, walk on us, and treat us as if we have no value. Many times people don’t even know that that is the way we feel, because our own behaviors have led them to believe that what they are doing is acceptable.

For years, I wanted to be the victim of my own thinking. I found a sick pleasure in being the doormat, but what I didn’t want to see is that I laid down in front of the person who chose to walk across my back. I was trying to find my value because I hated myself so much that I just gave myself away over and over expecting someone to see what I couldn’t. Our lack of value clutters our minds and distorts our realities into believing that we are trapped and that we can’t stop what is happening to us. Just the thought is self-sabotaging and attracts more of what we don’t want.

When my mind is cluttered, it spreads into my personal spaces. I’ve had my bed so covered in stuff that I have barely been able to fit on it to sleep. That’s when I know I have some real cleaning to do. The last time my bed was like that I dove head-first into figuring out how and why I kept sabotaging myself. It was time for me to look at how I was treating myself.

Here are three ways you can help yourself:

1. Become Aware of the Clutter —INVENTORY NEGATIVE MESSAGES

  • How do you talk to yourself when you are looking in the mirror?
  • What do you think about all your features?
  • What do you think about the person you are?
  • How do you feel about how your life looks to you when you look in the mirror?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake for the first time?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you’ve repeated a mistake?

This inventory won’t be done in one sitting. As life situations come up, see how you are talking to yourself:

  • Are you calling yourself names?
  • Are you criticizing yourself?
  • Are you beating yourself with an emotional 2×4?

Just to give you an idea, life situations can still hit me off-guard from time to time and I go back through these steps in order to keep my headspace clean and clutter free.

2. Cleaning out the Clutter—INSIDE AND OUT

  • Start a self-love Journal —Pick a number of days you will commit 35, 45, and/or 90 days. Each day write a minimum of three things you like about yourself. Here’s a hint, if you spot certain positive qualities in others it’s usually because you have them yourself. Do your best not to repeat, especially in the beginning. As you see more and more things you like about yourself, then you can start reusing ones that you are really connecting to.
  • Clean up your physical clutter—Start with a drawer and just keep going. Throw away what you don’t need. Pitch, sell, or donate the things that are just taking up space in your life. Make space for what you want more of in your life. Remember, clear space is peaceful space.

3. Keep the Space Clean—STAY AWARE OF WHERE YOUR MIND GOES

  • Living in gratitude is the best way to keep your space clean. Anytime our minds go to lack, deprivation, fear, hate, blame, etc. we are creating more clutter.
  • Watch your reactions to people. I find this one entertaining. If  a person’s actions work you up: First question your own thinking about what is happening to see if you are fully aware of where your reaction is coming from. Second, I imagine the person saying or doing whatever it is to themselves. Our negative behaviors start from how we are treating ourselves, so we can gain clarity about the situation if we are not taking the person personally. This doesn’t mean we have to accept unacceptable behavior. We just don’t add our own clutter. How someone treats us shows us their love or fear that they are internally dealing with. How we respond to them shows us where we are.
  • Stop the Cycle of abuse. If you see, hear, or feel abusive thoughts about yourself come up, correct them and clean up your self-talk. Treat yourself with love, respect, loyalty, honesty, and compassion. We have to have it inside us before we have a chance of cleaning up what’s around us.
  • Give from a Loving Place. This means you are giving because you want to, not because you think it will make you worthy of someone else’s time, affection, love, respect, etc.

Side effects of these steps are: sleep better, eat healthier, enjoy self-care, kinder thoughts, less judgmental towards others, more compassionate, attract healthier people to our personal and professional lives, more opportunities to do good in the world, appreciate peace, and so many more. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Did what you just read resonate with you? I hope you will explore FromALovingPlace.com and keep reading. I’ll be bringing a new series to the blog starting September 1, 2019. If you are not following along, make sure to sign-up below.

For my female readers, I have EXCITING news! Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World is available for pre-order! Click the link to order your copy today!

Trusting the Journey: The People Who Are Supposed to Be There Are

Trusting the Journey: The People Who Are Supposed to Be There Are

I know it is easy to get caught up in who is “supposed” to be there and who “shouldn’t” be there. We can sometimes believe that we know best about what should be, but all of that thinking is just a story in our heads. Who should be there is who is there. Who shouldn’t be there is who isn’t. We have something to learn from who shows up and who doesn’t in our lives.

IMG_3437-001

I know this can be a hard pill to swallow and I’ve definitely been caught up in a story playing in my head about what other people should be doing. The truth is that none of that is my business and quite honestly, who am I to say. I know that every experience I’ve had was necessary to be where I am right now. I know that all my pleasant and not so pleasant exchanges have played roles in my life. So, if things were different I may have missed a valuable lesson or exchange.

If our energy is focused on what shouldn’t of happened, who shouldn’t have been there, and who should have been. We missed seeing the value in what did happen, who was there, and the blessing that came from the exchanges we had with people because of who wasn’t there.  I know there were years I was caught up in the energy that things didn’t happen the way they were supposed to and the only person who paid the price for that thinking was me.

For me, I need to remember to put the energy back where it belongs, because I know that I don’t want to live bitter. I want to live with purpose and believing that my experiences empower me. If my experiences empower me, I have to embrace the idea that other people have that same option. We each get to choose how we want to live, so the stories that play in our minds make a difference. I choose to believe that people will come and go from my life. They are there for the exact time and in the exact way that they are meant to be.

Thank you to all the people who are there and who aren’t at any given moment. I know the exact people I need for the moment I’m in are there when they are supposed to be. I’m grateful for all the beautiful lessons I’ve learned that came from appreciating my experiences exactly the way that they did happen. I’m so grateful that I don’t have to hold any bitterness towards people who don’t show up. I love that the power of interpreting my experiences is ALWAYS in my hands. I love the way it feels to believe that if someone doesn’t show up it’s because they weren’t meant to be there or else they would have been. This belief has helped me appreciate ALL the people in my life so much more.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

 

The Importance of Friends: The Journey to Becoming Our Best Selves

I woke up this morning with the overwhelming feeling of gratitude. As I wrote out my gratitude list, a stream of joy began to flow through me as I thought about the amazing people in my life. Tears are filling my eyes with how blessed I feel in this very moment. It got me thinking about the importance of friends. When we are on the journey of becoming our best selves, seeing the purpose of people in our lives is essential to our growth.

img_2857

This doesn’t always look pretty. I know there have been times on my journey where I look up, hands in the air and say, “Really?” Different people come into my life in the friendship and/or romantic role and show me so much about myself. I get to see where I still have work to do and where I shine.

Now that I’m a woman in my forties, I can tell you how EXTREMELY grateful I am to know that I’ve surrounded myself with friends who see me and know me well enough to know when something doesn’t feel right about the way I’m talking. If you are a woman going into your mid to late forties, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who don’t—HORMONES is the answer. I had NO IDEA the kind of things that would stir up in me so uncontrollably at this phase of life.

Recently, my hormones created a whirlwind of chaos in my feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and actions toward a particular relationship in my life. I tried all the tools I could wrap my head around to get out of the thought/feeling cycle running through my brain. When I opened up to a select group of friends about it, I really got to see how blessed I am. I didn’t have people jumping on my chaos driven bandwagon. I had friends who eased my fears helping me to question the toxic thoughts running through my mind. I had friends who reminded me of the tools that I share so many times. I had friends who reminded me of the person they knew in me and in the person I was creating the chaos around. I had friends sharing courage, strength, and hope from their own experiences. Five days from the start of hormone-driven hamster wheel going off in my mind, like hitting a stop button, the whirlwind ended—peace restored.

IMG_2855-001

I’m so incredibly grateful and blessed to know I’ve picked an amazing group of friends who can recognize when I’m engaged in a story in my mind that is not beneficial to me; A group of friends who doesn’t want to sink down into the muck, but who are willing to lend hands to help pull me up out of it.

Some people think that when you go on this journey, you shouldn’t have down periods, days, or seasons, and that’s simply not true. Sometimes there are days where a fearful story in our heads can take over for a brief time and as we learn and grow the power of the story lessens and the time periods it affects us shorten. When we attract the group and/or single friend to our lives who choose not to go down with us, we know we are on the right track to becoming the best versions of ourselves. The energy that we project out comes from deep inside us and it is reflected back to us in the relationships that we attract into our lives.

If we need a lesson in becoming strong, we may attract people who will teach us when and how to say no, and that is enough. If we see our own worth and we are dedicated to the journey of contributing to living as our best selves, we attract a team of people around us who will help us to see our light and encourage us to keep shining it. Whatever friends are brought to your life, be thankful. You have the opportunity to grow from every experience. There are friends who will be there for short periods and ones who will last a lifetime. Each one has their own unique value. Don’t try force any friendships to be something different than what they are. They are serving the purpose they need to serve. Embrace the journey!

This piece is dedicated to my AMAZING friends.  I love you and I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019