Feel-Good Friday Book Series: The Tao of Pooh

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

I’m so grateful that this book was written for multiple reasons. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff was my introduction to the Tao. As a lover of Winnie the Pooh, Hoff gave me the perfect vessel to understand the meaning of the Tao. Little did I know how much I would need to understand this when it came time for me to read the Tao Te Ching by LauTzu translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo in college. Let’s just put it this way, I pulled out my Tao of Pooh in class multiple times to address my understanding of specific passages. 

The Tao of Pooh takes the reader on a journey that is easy to process and understand in the simplest of ways. The first time I read this book, I was around twenty years old. At the time, I wouldn’t have been able to pick up the Tao Te Ching and see the deeper meaning, but through the eyes of Pooh, I got it. After I read the book the first time, I met someone who had also read it. We raved about the beautiful and simple messages and connected to the pure energy of joy within us.  She got me the figurine pictured above, and it still sits on my shelf of inspiration as a reminder to keep it simple. 

Almost twenty years later, I picked the book up again to read with my book buddy. I could see how much effect the book had on me over the years without even knowing it. The lessons were buried in my subconscious, but they were there guiding me and reminding me that everything is happening exactly the way it’s supposed to. I don’t need to fight what is, because when I do, I’m missing an opportunity to learn from the moment I’m in.  For someone who likes to be in control, this is a REALLY important reminder that I need on a regular basis. When I remember, I’m at peace. And I’m much more productive because my energy is aligned with solutions instead of problems. 

One of the greatest lessons I take with me from the Tao of Pooh is that we aren’t all here to do things exactly the same things. We each have our own journeys, and it is important to figure out and honor our own paths. 

Favorite Quote from The Tao of Pooh

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“When you know and respect your own Inner Nature, you know where you belong. You also know where you don’t belong. One man’s food is often another man’s poison, and what is glamorous and exciting to some can be a dangerous trap to others.”

-Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh, p.41

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

Catch up on Your Feel-Good Friday Book Series Here:

I Am What’s Wrong 

Your Creative Brain

Hope for the Flowers

How Beliefs Work to Help or Hurt Ourselves and Others

Over and over, I’m reminded of how many times us as individuals believe something and try to make what we believe true for someone else. Our thoughts about doing it can be well intended. We can think that our beliefs save someone else from themselves or others. We can think that our education gives us the facts on what is real and what isn’t. We can believe that our faith is what everyone else REALLY needs. We can believe we are more and someone else is less or that we are less and someone else is more. Beliefs can cause us great pain to ourselves and other, and beliefs can lift us up, so we can help others lift themselves. 

Here’s What I Know

Beliefs are perspectives. We can each choose to believe a perspective that feels right to us. We will base our beliefs in science, faith, family, education, culture, society, media, social circles, support groups, religion, relationships, political views, history, etc.  In the end, we will each make the choices that feel right for us at the time. NOBODY’S beliefs are 100% the same. They can’t be. Each individual’s experiences will form, change, alter, shift, grow, and expand based on each event that takes place in his or her life. 

That’s Not True

We all get exposed to people sharing their opinions of what is true and what isn’t. We each have a right to share our truths. We will all find our own truth whether someone else believes what we say or not.  I’ve been told that my way of healing from my history of trauma wasn’t true for victims of rape. UMMMMM… if it is true for me, and it is what helped me have healthy relationships with myself and others—How can someone else say that it’s not true? A victim of any trauma can choose to stay in a place of pain or they can find a path to thrive. It depends on each individual’s mindset on what they want the experience to mean for their lives. I do my best to inform people that my views of the world are MY perspectives. If someone takes a seed that I give and wants to plant it in their internal world that is completely up to them.  But does it make my or their experiences any less true? No, because it is what we are experiencing based on the beliefs we have chosen to follow. 

We are a society that is very quick to judge something as absolute, when very little is actually absolute.  When someone says, “That’s not true” or you find yourself thinking it, just try for a moment to say to yourself, “That is what is true for them, why?” Go deeper! If you want to engage with the person, try to find out why she or he came to the beliefs that are guiding her/him. Here are a few suggestion of questions you could ask:

  • Does believing that make you feel better about yourself or about the world? Why or why not?
  • How does believing that help you make good and healthy choices?
  • How does believing what you do limit your ability to change and grow and/or how does is help it? 
  •  How do you find what you say to be true?
  • Do you think this belief helps or hurts your connections with others?
  • Do you think this belief limits your thinking or expands your opportunity to learn?

Every time I hear myself saying that someone else’s beliefs aren’t true, I have to tell myself that is their perspective of truth. Then, I need to determine whether it is worth trying to find out more, leave it alone, or let them know what I believe.  One thing I know for sure is if someone is drinking or on drugs, I keep my mouth shut and walk away. If I care about the person and authentically want to know why they believe the things they do, I ask when they are sober. We each have to make that choice for ourselves. I can tell you I’ve grown and expanded in my beliefs because of being open to learn and listen about how others think.  If I am exposed to a belief that comes from a place of fear, often time I don’t comment, because I know I need to find my own way of expressing my beliefs, hence my blog, articles I’ve written, and my upcoming book. People who want to know what I believe will choose to read my work, follow me on social media, call, text, or email me with questions or asking for advice. Each of us is having experiences that are true for us right now. The quicker we understand that, the easier it will be to authentically connect with someone else. Our perspectives don’t have to be the same in order to find common ground. 

Our Personal Paths

I know that I’m not going to force anyone to change their beliefs or convince them that what they believe is true or isn’t, that’s not my job. I feel my purpose is to share my perspectives in case there is another person out there that can relate or that is looking to change, shift, and grow because they aren’t comfortable where they are, or they simply want to gain more perspectives to help them find their own perspectives of truth that work best for them.  All I ever can offer someone else is seeds from my garden. Not all my seeds will grow into big strong trees, beautiful flowers, or luscious edibles. If I’m sharing out of old belief systems of pain, chaos, confusion, and/or fear, I’m giving seeds that contain weeds and strangling vines that will do damage if planted. I can’t say I’ve never given these kinds of seeds out because I lived my life in a lot of pain for many years. I didn’t mean to hurt someone else, but I was self-abusing and when we self-abuse, the seeds we have become toxic, invasive species. The healthier I got, the more weeds and strangling vines I pulled out of my own garden. When I did that, I limited the toxic seeds I distributed.

We each start our lives with a collection of seeds. Some of them are inherently planted before we are even able to process thoughts. As we travel along our paths we are given seed after seed and we decided whether or not to plant them. Sometimes we have to make space by clearing out an area of our garden that no longer serves us. No garden is the same. All gardens are ever-changing, growing, and expanding. Some are not well kept and are neglected. Others are thriving with amazing life. Then there is everything in-between. 

Our Choices

Many of us limit our power by believing we don’t have any. We convince ourselves that we are trapped (a perspective). We give our power away time and time again by blaming others for the way we feel, think, act, and react. We give away our power by believing someone or something can make us live the way we are living. Nothing outside of us needs to change in order to live a better life. What needs to be worked on is between our own two ears. When we realize how much power we have to internally change our thoughts, beliefs, feelings, actions, and reactions, we open ourselves up to creating a beautiful expansive garden. 

We Are Here to Learn

Anyone who has ever gardened knows that it takes continued maintenance to have a healthy garden— we are no different. The longer we go without self-care and self-maintenance, the more the weeds will grow and spread. Even if we do take good care of ourselves, old weeds will pop-up looking pretty as they invasively spread and take life from our healthy flowers and plants.  We are here in this life to learn. 

We need those weeds to help us see how we can grow and expand in a healthier way,  or if we choose a destructive way. We just want to make sure we don’t let them take over. When weeds take over, we know by our addictions that we use to numb ourselves, along with anything else we do to avoid doing the work to change the things we don’t like in our lives (blaming, shaming, bullying, gossiping, etc.) The more open we are to learn, the more healthy our gardens will be. 

Why Do I Stay Focused on this Topic?

If you follow FromALovingPlace.com, you know that I’ve written about this topic multiple times and in multiple different ways. Each post is different, but carries similar messages. This is part of my self-maintenance. I have to remember these things, because I’m not above being triggered. When I write these posts it soothes me. It helps me to see that a reaction I may have had was just a weed popping up that I need to pull out. Writing is one of the tools I use to pull out the weeds that can grow and spread if I don’t do something. Writing is my something. We all have to decide for ourselves, which tools we want to use, and how to use them. We aren’t here to plant our seeds in other people’s gardens. We can only offer our seeds. Writing on FromALovingPlace.com is how I offer the seeds I’ve planted. It also is helps me to plant seeds I’ve received. I use this blog to spread loving messages that help me maintain, grow, and expand my garden in a way that makes me feel good. If someone chooses to take them and plant them in their garden, the energy of love spreads. My seeds aren’t the only seeds. There are so many seeds that spread love. People don’t have to plant mine. That’s what I love about this process. The ones who offer different perspectives of love help me to expand my garden even more. Staying on this topic helps me to stay open to grow and expand. The more I can see the world through perspectives of truth, the more curious I get about learning from others. As I learned from my time in AL-ANON, I take what I like, and leave the rest.

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Hope for the Flowers

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

Today I’m going way, way back. I received this book when I was fourteen years old. I was a teen in crisis.  After getting some help, I was given Hope for the Flowers by Trina Paulus. My counselor told me to hold on to it. As you can see, I did. It’s been almost 30 years now and the book still sits on my go-to bookshelf. Hope for the Flower is the reason why I’m so connected to the butterfly transformation. I pulled the book out in preparation of my upcoming seminar, because sometimes the greatest wisdom is in the simplest of details.  

In Hope for the Flowers, Paulus follows the life of two caterpillars on their journeys. She describes separation and connection so simply that even a child can understand. She talks about finding courage when there is no way to know what is coming next. The pictures and images bring on new meaning for me with every read. For a maybe 20 minute read, it allows the reader to really think about their life choices. And hopefully inspires courage to follow that call inside us no matter how scary it is to go in a different direction. 

After re-reading the book, I saw parts that I never noticed before, or at least didn’t remember acknowledging at the time. We see what we are ready to see, when we are ready to see it. We connect and absorb the material that is important to our journeys right now. I love how this works. I hope you will feel inspired to get your copy. If you do, I would love to hear what you think in the comments below. 

Favorite Quote from Hope for the Flowers

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

-Trina Paulus

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

Do You REALLY Want to Live Better?

7 Steps to Living Better NOW

1. Living Better Doesn’t Happen in the Future

Living better happens right now in this very moment. It doesn’t start this afternoon, tonight, or tomorrow. If you are not willing to make a change right now, your story of wanting without getting will continue. Right now, you can write three things you are grateful for. Right now, you can change a thought that you don’t like. Right now, you can choose to take a walk, lift weights, eat better, or dance. Right now, you can improve your mindset. Right now, you can make a list of all the things you do right. OH— You don’t have time? Right now, you can take three long breaths in and exhale them completely. We have time to do something better in each moment we are given. We have to make the conscious choice to make the most of the moment. 

2. Take Control of Your Story

We can choose to believe the things that make us feel worse, or we can choose to believe the things that make us feel better. We weave our stories based on our mindset not on the people, events, and/or situations we are in. The same event can happen to ten different people and each person will process the event differently. Even the most brutal situations like the Holocaust can create some to rise and others to sink. It’s not about the events that happened, it’s about the mindset of the people who survived. I always think of the AMAZING Elie Wiesel, author of Night and Viktor E. Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning. They found meaning in the madness, which led them to lead an amazing lives after their experiences during the Holocaust.  They took control of their stories. We all have that power. For me, I didn’t want any of the trauma I experienced to be a crutch. I needed to find meaning in my madness. Everything got better when I took back control of my story and embraced the concept that my experiences were all necessary for me to live my best life. If we are the victims of our own stories, we are living within our own prisons. 

3. Start the Work Within

Nothing outside of you will fix an inside problem. If you don’t do the inside work, all you are doing is wasting time, money, and energy. Things might feel better for short periods of time, but the results you are searching for won’t stick around if you don’t change what is going on inside. If you don’t look at the person you are and know that you are loyal to what’s in your best interests, trustworthy of your own moral code, loving to the person looking back at you in the mirror, and honest about who you are and want to be—You will never find it outside of yourself. NO person, place, or thing, can MAKE you feel complete except for the person in the mirror. Some have argued to me about their spiritual lives, but if we don’t know how to love ourselves completely, we can’t experience the love that the Universe is offering. When we love ourselves, our connection to our spiritual path strengthens beyond the imaginable. The work starts by committing to love the person you are. It took me writing three things I like/ love about myself for 35 days in order for me to truly embrace the person I am. It will take some shorter periods and others longer, but what is important is to commit to the process. Being cruel to yourself doesn’t get you anywhere. When we self-abuse we feed our stories of why we can’t have the life we want and or own victimhood. Make sure you are treating yourself with the love and respect that you deserve.

4. Be Conscious of the Energy that YOU are Inviting In

We have to invite energy in order to let it effect our lives. This is why someone isn’t capable of making us happy or sad. We choose to invite the energy of those feelings in. The power is in our hands. I know this can be challenging, and I’m the last to tell you that I do this perfectly. It’s okay, because I’m aware and accountable when I’m choosing to experience different energies. When my kids aren’t listening to what I’m telling them to do, they are talking back, and/or screaming at friends during video games, I have lots of choices about the energy I’m going to invite in. I know the calmer I am, the more effective I am. In order to be the best communicator, I have to choose the energy I invite in VERY consciously. I won’t remain calm if I let my hormonal teens’ actions dictate my energy. Just like, my partner can do something to show his love to me, and if I don’t choose to feel the energy of his love, I could spin it into something that stirs my energy in the opposite direction. What energy are you inviting in? When you feel something you like and/or don’t like it’s important to be conscious that you have chosen to engage with whatever energy you are feeling. You have more power than you know. When you become conscious of this, life gets better, because you know you can re-write a piece of your story and the energy you invite in will shift along with it. 

5. Conscious Breaths

In order to keep ourselves present and focused on living better now, we have to stay conscious. One of the easiest ways to do this is by remember to breathe consciously by inhaling to the count of ten, then exhaling to the count of ten for a minimum of three cycles. REMEMBER TO EXHALE! When we stress and/or feel pain, we tend to hold our breath. This limits our oxygen, so you can imagine the effects on our entire system. Our brains need oxygen to work at their greatest capacity, so BREATHE!! Just taking the time to consciously breathe can help you find the answers you need in any given situation. Doing this keeps us from reacting from our old stories and gives us time to create a new and better ones. When we respond to life’s challenges from that place, we live better. 

6. Take Action

You are living in the moment, taking control of your story, working within, inviting in energy consciously, and breathing fully. What better time than right now to take action? What are you going to do right now to live better? 

7. Write it Down

Make the time to write down your new story. This doesn’t have to be complicated or take you hours, it is just about taking time to commit to the new story you are writing for your life. You can put a notebook in your bag, write lists on your phone (YES, there are apps for that), create a file on your computer and/or tablet, have a notebook on your nightstand (I do), etc. Just make the time. We can always find time for what’s important to us. If we want to live better, we have to change the old patterns and excuses that keep us from doing it.  Here are a few examples of what writing it down can look like:

  • A daily gratitude list—gratitude is a story of abundance. 
  • A daily intention list—Gives you goals to help guide your thoughts, feelings, and actions throughout the day.
  • A daily accomplishment list—documenting how you chose to make your life better today builds on the positive impact of your new story.
  • Write out today’s story—Choose positive perspectives to write out your daily story. Even if you may not have reacted the way you wanted to in the moment: What did you learn from reacting that way? If something like that happened again, what are some positive responses?

You can do one, or do them all. Just commit to what feels right. There is no place for blaming others or self-blaming here. We simply are taking responsibility for the lives we want to live and doing it to the best of our ability in the moment. When we don’t do it in a way that aligns with living better, we take responsibility and learn from it. If we document these things, we have less chance of needing to repeat the lessons. 

I hope you choose to live better now. This is a one step at a time process. It all happens in the moment of Now. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019 (You can follow me on Facebook)

Are you struggling with digging down to the root of what is keeping you from living better now? Check out my 90-Day A Better Me Series (click the title for the link). The series is FREE and there are no sign-up required. Just sit, read, and take your next step to better living. 

If you’re a woman and you like what you read on this site, check out my new book available for pre-order HERE

Whatever you choose to do today, be kind to yourself. You deserve love and respect. Give it to yourself!

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: Your Creative Brain

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life by Shelley Carson, PhD was a game changer for me. I read the book in college for a creative processes course. I’ve written about this book once before in a post called, I’m Not Stupid After All: School Testing and Self-Worth. I have this book in hardcover and audio, and I needed both! There are self-tests and quizzes to help readers assess where their comfort mindset is, which if you truly want to understand how your brain works is a VERY powerful tool.

Shelley Carson is a Harvard professor. You’re Creative Brain is the science behind how our brains process what is in front of us. It helps us get a true view of what and where our strengths are and how to work on areas that aren’t as developed. Carson reminds us that we are all creative in different ways, and that understanding our mind’s comfort zones is key to seeing our true potential.

I used to think something was wrong with me all growing up (You can read more about my personal struggles in the link above). If I knew that I was a divergent thinker, I may not have beat myself up so much. Carson says on page 124, “Divergent thinking is a type of cognition in which you see many possible answers to question and problems. In fact, you will risk becoming overwhelmed with possibilities for creative innovation!”

The current school system can treat divergent thinkers as failures, but if they looked a little closer, they could see they are our innovators. I didn’t learn I was an divergent thinker until I was almost 40 years old. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped me knowing it. I’ve been faced with so many challenges and opportunities where I finally understood how to use my mind’s strengths.

There are so many amazing jewels this book has to offer. You definitely need a physical copy of the book to get the most from it, simply because some of the tests you need the book to do. This book won’t just help you understand your brain, but it will help you be able to see how different people feel comfortable functioning from other mindsets. It helps us in our schooling, careers, personal relationships, communities, and our inner world. When we know how our brain works, we gain understanding of how best to help ourselves succeed. We gain access to solutions and research that can help our world become better and stronger by focusing on the strengths each of us inherently have.

If you are anything like me, you will gain understanding about why it is so important that we allow people to develop their strengths, because each way of thinking is valuable. If we understand that the person in front of us is coming from a different mindset, we are more likely to ask questions than make judgments. We improve the quality of humanity when we gain understanding about ourselves and others.

Favorite Quote from Your Creative Brain:

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

We are all creative. Creativity is the hallmark human capacity that has allowed us to survive thus far.”

-Shelley Carson p. 9

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

If you are looking for doses of daily feel-good you can follow me on social media.

When the Universe Answers

My Perspectives of Truth

I believe in the power of the Divine wholeheartedly. I believe our energy is our connection to Universal powers. I also believe our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and perspectives of truth that we choose daily create our realities in each moment. How we look at ourselves, others, and the world as a whole—MATTERS! With that being said, I believe that when we ask the Universe questions, the answers come according the energy we are giving out. 

If we are lacking in our self-worth and self-concept, we will be answered back with lessons to help find out why we have to build up our self-love. Some of these lessons can come from toxic relationships, jobs, family, etc. When we see how painful it is not to love ourselves, we may be put into situations, then given the tools we need to grow and prosper, but don’t be mistaken, the Universe is answering, we just have to be willing to thank the Divine for the lessons we are learning along the way. If we don’t and choose to stay in our chaos, the lessons get harder. The Universe is trying to show us what we need to learn to get ourselves out, but we are resisting. One of our biggest barriers is not feeling worthy and lovable. That’s not the answer, that’s what’s keeping us from finding the solution.

Asking the Universe for Answers from a Place of Lack

Here’s my personal example of this. Back in September 2001, I left the state I had spent the last year looking to feel connected. I was desperate for someone to love me back after I had long on-again/off-again romance fizzle for the last time. I wanted to feel love so bad that my energy was carrying a horribly low vibration. When I did find someone, he swooped me off my feet, put me on a high pedestal, and spoiled me. I tried to find my worth in what I meant to this person. Slowly, the relationship turned toxic. He was there to teach me what happens when I seek worth from someone outside of myself. Since I was so resistant to this lesson, it got harder and harder until I felt like a shell of a person. 

I kept asking the Universe, “Why can’t I be loved the way I feel I deserve?” The answer took me years of failed relationships and finally became BRUTALLY CLEAR.  The Universe was answering; I just didn’t like the answer, “Because you don’t show yourself that level of love.” The Universe kept meeting me on my level to give me the answers I was looking for. When I began the work on my self-love, the lessons weren’t as brutal, and got easier and easier to move through.

How Do We Want to Receive our Answers?

Remember, the Universe can only give us more of what we already have. If we tell the Universe how horrible the world is and we ask questions from that mindset, the lessons will show us the brutality. We will get to learn the hard way, because that is where our energy is taking us. The Universe isn’t against us, but the Divine energy can only connect with us from where we are. This is not a concept that is just in religion and/or spiritual circles, it’s in science. So no matter how a person wants to break this concept down, what we put out there is what we will get back. If we want good, love, abundance, health, adventure, joy to come back to us, we better work on making sure our energy is aligned with the results we want.

If we come to the Universe with love in our hearts, we will get our lessons and solutions with a softer hand. Inside we know we are getting the answers, so we may even feel energetically lifted even if the lesson is taking longer than we had hoped. There is a faith that lies underneath that allows the Universe to do some magic. We listen as people recommend books, people, shows, events, places, etc. The beauty of this is when we can acknowledge, and say thank you for lighting the way. The Universe opens so many doors, but we have to pay attention to what is in front of us to see them. When we have a grateful heart, the Universe gives us more to be grateful for. When love is at the foundation of our questions, the people the Universe brings into our lives is AWE inspiring.

Asking the Universe a Direct Question with a Strong Foundation of Love

After I graduated college at 40. I knew my soul was calling me to write, but I had no idea how to get my voice out there. I started asking the Universe for guidance. FromALovingPlace.com was born. Once I started blogging, I started thinking about writing a book. Then I wrote an open letter from A BETTER ME about judgment. A book idea sparked. I wrote out my 3×5 index card and asked the Universe, “How might I get my book idea sold?” Little did I know the Universe already had been making a space for an agent to appear in my life. Then came the book shopping process.

Being Open to Shift—This is NOT Our Timing

It took one version of being shopped until there was nowhere left to turn. The book didn’t sell. I needed a new direction. I started writing another version, and midway through the writing I went to Sedona, AZ to get some clarity. With a lot of time spent connecting to Source, I completely switched directions. I left my half-written book on the shelf and started over with a new direction. This idea was getting a lot of attention, but not having a big following or platform, I received some of the most beautiful passes. The one thing that was consistent was editors telling my agent, the book would find it’s “home”. The Universe was guiding the process. When the book landed in the lap of my now editor, she had a vision. She saw the one thing that could really make the book shine. Her team agreed and the life of Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World found it’s home with Mango Publishing. 

Us humans can be some stubborn individuals. We’ve become very used to expecting quick fixes and answers. The Universe doesn’t work on our timing. This isn’t an overnight process; but with patience, love, and an opened mind and heart—The Universe answers. 

When we are having a hard time hearing the answers, it’s time to quiet the mind. If our minds are filled with clutter and chaos, the Universe has to be really loud in order to get us to pay attention. The more open and ready we are to receive, the faster the process will go. If we think we know what’s best, and refuse to see the messages and guidance, we stay prisoner of our own mind. Stay open to shift, change directions, and create new pathways. 

The Universe is Answering

  • Are you ready for the lessons you need to learn in order to lead the life that you REALLY want to be living? 
  • Are you ready to love yourself enough to allow the good to enter and stay?
  • Are you ready to do the work and change any unhealthy patterns that are keeping you stuck?
  • How do you want your answers delivered (make sure your energy is aligned)?
  • Are you ready to stay open to let the Universe work in the best possible way?

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Feel-Good Friday Book Series: I am What’s Wrong

FEEL-GOOD FRIDAY

BOOKS THAT GAVE ME SEEDS TO THRIVE (Click link for the introduction to the series)

I am What’s Wrong by Sheila M. Burke is where I will begin this Friday Feel-Good Book Series.  I’m starting here for one main reason, I am What’s Wrong gives the reader tools they can use right NOW in this very moment to take steps toward a better life and a better humanity. This book definitely contributes to keeping my passion for life pumping. 

I read the book at the beginning of the summer, and I was excited to share the tools from the book with my two kids. The book is a quick, yet powerful read. As a person who wants to do good in the world, I know that sometimes I can get caught up in thoughts that I’m not doing enough. Sometimes those kinds of thoughts can eventually take people to thinking thoughts that get them to stop making any efforts to better the world. Those kinds of thoughts are dangerous and destructive, not just to the world, but to ourselves. How we treat the world is a reflection of how we treat and think about ourselves. 

When we feel separation within ourselves, we project separation out into the world. Burke writes, “Unity is understanding that even though I do something differently than you do, we can both want world peace, a healthy planet, or respect for all mankind.” She shows us how differences don’t have to mean separation. No one is going to think or do things exactly like we do, so why not see others as a learning opportunity instead of having to start the negative cycles that the feelings of AGAINST stir up inside of us. 

The part that makes this book so good for families is all of the convenient lists. I’ve had some wonderful conversations with my kids about the lists within these covers. I leave the conversations feeling excited and inspired. We all leave the conversation with concrete ways to live better. 

I am What’s Wrong is a great book of reminders for me. The first thought that came into my head when I got into the lists was, I need to pull this book out when I’m feeling defeated by the negativity and violence in the world. It’s definitely a book that helps humanity thrive. 

Favorite Quote from I am What’s Wrong

(click on the book title to check out the book for yourself)

“Within each of us is the power to heal the world—simply by sharing ourselves with others.” 

– Sheila M. Burke

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff

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