Dreams Coming True: Becoming the Butterfly

Dear Dreamers, 

I’m writing this today simply because I am beyond excited for what is going on in my life right now. As I reflect on my journey so far, I’m simply amazed at how each and every event in my life has played such an important role in where I am right now. If you follow my writing, you understand that I use nature a lot to make sense of the journey. I want to bring you into my mind’s garden.

My Internal Garden

As a child, my garden was filled with weeds, smuggling vines, and invasive species that tried to kill off any of the beautiful life I would try to plant. So much so that it almost smuggled the life right out of me. It was in 1996 when I realized that I could clear out some of these weeds. That’s when I was launched into a career of public speaking. I planted flower after flower and tree after tree, but what I didn’t realize is that because I didn’t fix the foundation my garden was on, one day I would sabotage this dream come true. 

Those smuggling vines took over my garden once again and I went on a downward spiral. I had so much to learn. Looking back I’m so grateful for all my lessons in my time of darkness. I was living life as a caterpillar that spewed toxic venom because of the environment I created. There were still trees of life and wisdom trying to survive which would lead me to seek help when I was desperate enough to realize that I didn’t like the person I had become. Looking back I was given so many amazing seeds during this time, and it was a message from a pastor that finally led me to really invest myself in not only cleaning up the invasive species from my garden, but to clean up my foundation so that my trees could grow and provide the food that the caterpillar needs to transform into the butterfly. 

His message was that we only allow ourselves as much happiness that we believe we deserve. If we exceed that level of happiness, we will sabotage it. 

You better believe I started getting really dirty in my garden to figure out why I didn’t believe I deserved happiness in my life. As I dug deeper, and got dirtier, the work brought me peace. The more peace I found digging in my garden, the healthier my soil became. I started taking care of those seeds that were given to me. My caterpillar self, started to build a chrysalis. 

I sat for a long time in my chrysalis gaining strength, reflecting, and transforming. In the chrysalis is where I learned the power of letting go and forgiveness. The person I needed to forgive the most was myself. From there, I found away to learn from all the traumas in my life.

What I learned gave me power to plant more amazing trees and let them flourish. I absorbed lesson after lesson of on perspectives to understand how powerful each and every person is at creating their own gardens, and that what others chose to plant was not my business. All I can ever do for someone is to offer seeds in the way that I know best. I also have to take responsibility if I learn that the seeds I’m passing aren’t healthy.

In my chrysalis I found stillness, presence, and mindfulness to keep me in the mindset of maintaining my garden. I realized that any belief that causes me pain doesn’t HAVE to be in my garden, that is a choice I’m making. I have the power to choose my feelings, thoughts, beliefs/perspectives, actions, and reactions. I will learn from each decision I make and I will allow this choice to set me free­— with that, I became the butterfly. My garden now healthy and well maintained provides me with all that I need to keep me nourished, energized, rested, and able to soar. 

This doesn’t mean I won’t need to go back on a caterpillar’s journey again, because each time I do go back, I learn more. I no longer resent the journey, I embrace it, because I know it leads to breakthrough. I gain more perspective, and I become a better version of myself. I just don’t stay in the caterpillar state as long. I move into my chrysalis absorb my lessons and come out more empowered and colorful each time. 

Why Am I Sharing this Journey with You?

I created a program called, “Becoming the Butterfly” that I’m launching at a Dreamer’s Paradise *Now or Never event in St. Petersburg, FL, Oct. 26, 2019. As I’ve been preparing for this moment, I’m flooded with emotion because this will be my first event since 2002. I started my public speaking career in the Tampa Bay Area and now I’m going back there to re-launch my career with so much more to offer. I’m coming home. I’ve been standing up in front of crowds since I was 14-years old. I went on to earn awards in high school for public speaking, English, and guidance, yet back then never knew that it would lead to a path that I loved being on. My garden is exactly how I want it right now. I’m ready to share the seeds that helped me to create it.

This comes in perfect timing as my first book is coming out on February 18, 2020. Make no mistake; there is a reason the butterfly is on the cover. You can read more about it and *pre-order your copy today. 

If you want to start getting dirty right now, you can go to my *90-Day A Better Me Series

Just remember we are the ones who create our gardens.  We have to provide ourselves with the right food to nurture us to become the butterfly. Watching butterflies soar above us, won’t give us our wings. If we want to live the life of our dreams, we can’t just admire the butterflies around us. We have to do the work it takes to become the butterfly. Only then will we soar.

Thank you for being on this journey with me by reading my work. I started writing this blog in 2016 as way to help me maintain my garden. Focusing on perspectives that keep my energy in a loving place has been such an empowering tool. It keeps my foundation filled with love, which is what encourages all the seeds I want in my garden to grow. I am beyond grateful to each individual who has told me how my seeds have helped her/him. I can’t make anyone plant seeds in their gardens and nobody can make me plant seeds I don’t want in mine, so when I know that a person made the conscious decision to do it, I’m truly honored. 

I hope you will join me in spreading the love on social media. The *Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace page offers lots and lots of daily encouragement from pages who have a like-minded visions of  raising our collective energy. You will find all my social media links at on the main page to the left. I hope you decide to work on your garden so that you can be living the life of your dreams. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff 

*Links for more information

Read more about my perspectives on cleaning up our internal gardens here.

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

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)

90-Day Series Updates

Dear Readers,

I’m excited to inform you that I’ve been through each day of the FREE  90-Day A Better Me Series and the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series and now BOTH series are fully available on FromALovingPlace.com. I provided links on each day for easy navigation through every piece of the series. Now that the series is complete, it makes it easier to read like you would a book. Whether you are reading the series again, like some of you have told me you are, or you are new to the 90-Day A Better Me journey, I hope you enjoy it. It was a pleasure to write it and an even greater pleasure to talk with the followers of both series.

Now, I need to go and focus on the editing my book coming out at the end of 2019. If you want to stay in the loop, make sure to subscribe to e-mails. Thank you for all the readers, followers, and commenters. I appreciate each and every one of you!!

Here at the direct links to both series:

90-Day A Better Me Series

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

 

Happy reading!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 89 – Being the Change the World Deserves

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 89: Being the Change the World Deserves

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

-Ram Dass

We make a choice EVERY day how to live this life. Each decision in how we feel, think, and act creates projections of energy that go out into the vast Universe. We are contributors to love and/or fear with our choices. Are you ALWAYS going to choose love? No. Sometimes we will choose fear consciously and other times we will choose it unconsciously. Fear is all around us in our entertainment, media, social lives, families, work environments, etc. We will sometimes have to work to choose love in fear-invoking situations. We will sometimes have our bear claws out and act defensively when we feel we are under attack. We are human and we are learning. Don’t beat yourself up! We just need to do our best and use the tools we’ve gained to get us back to a loving place.

What we did thirty-minutes ago, a day ago, a month ago, a year ago, a decade ago, etc. is the past. It’s done. Take responsibility for whatever lessons there were to learn from the feelings, thoughts, and actions that produced darkness and/or toxic energy. Choose to shift from the darkness, fear, shadow, and/or toxicity into the light, love, peace, and/or joy of the moment you are in right now. Right in this exact moment, the moment you are reading these words: you are safe, breathing, living, and getting the choice to be in the energy of love or fear. When we choose love more than we choose fear in our feelings, thoughts, perspectives of truth, actions, responses, and reactions, we are being the change that this amazing world deserves.

We sometimes choose to make this a lot more complicated than it is, because we are human. We can easily make the simple complicated. I’m no exception. Our stories are how we complicate, confuse, trigger, and stir ourselves up into a whirlwind of chaos. Here are some steps to help calm the whirlwind and help you find the peace to project and be the change.

7 Ways to Be the Change

  1. Get Present! Here it is again, if you want a way out of your story, you need to get present. If you need a reminder of the ways to do this, you can go back through the series or there are millions of other avenues found on-line. What is important is you find methods that you connect with so that you remember to do and use them on a daily basis. Remember, it’s just like healthy eating and building muscles. You have to keep doing the daily work to get the results you want to achieve.
  2. Check-In with your perspectives of truth. Is what you are choosing to believe in causing you chaos, stress, fear, pain, and suffering? Are you projecting fear in your beliefs about yourself and others? Are your beliefs telling you that someone else HAS to change to make it possible for you to BE THE CHANGE?
  3. Choose differently! If your feelings, thoughts, and perspectives of truth aren’t projecting the energy you want to contribute to the world, think of ways to look at the situation that will deliver a different energy. If you are struggling with this go back to Day 42-46.
  4. Be still! Slow down enough to get out of your story, be mindful, and shift your energy. Take a bathroom break if you need to, just give yourself time and space to slow down to a halt so that you can shift your energy. Use mindfulness, meditation, and breathing tools to re-center and find your way back to light-filled energy (Days 61-67).
  5. Connect with the beauty in nature. Whether you go out into it, look at pictures, watch video, or pay attention to it in movies—CONNECT!! See why the world deserves our love. Pay attention to the difference when we love and care for it and/or neglect and ignore it. Nature has so much to teach us about how we choose to live. Remember the garden example I gave? If not, go back and really become conscious of the garden you are creating.
  6. ACT! Once you are quiet enough, and your energy is projecting from a place of love, you will hear your call to act. You’ve heard the call to act from fear before, but the calling from a loving place is about being the change, having your energy in the right place, and acting out of the love within in you to create more love, connection, and compassion in the world. Isn’t THAT what the world deserves?
  7. REPEAT! This isn’t a one-time fix. Think about all the chaotic thoughts that spin the hamster wheel in your head. You are creating a garden and slowing down the hamster wheel to the point where you don’t need it. This takes a lot of time and practice. With every beautiful seed we plant in our garden, we get one to spread to the world.

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We can’t make great changes until we are the change. That is why I love Byron Katie’s quote about Buddha so much. That’s why you will see it all over my work again and again. If we try to act, without checking-in with our own energy and changing ourselves first, we too often unconsciously project more darkness and toxic energy into the world. We get caught in the cycle of using our rage to try to FORCE the world to change. We may solve one problem just to create another. Rage and force will create division and separation time and time again, because our energy is focused on what we are against. We have to be responsible for our energy first. This is how we can consciously become the change that the world deserves.

 

Choose wisely!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today’s Letter From A Better Me 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 89 -Being the Change

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 83 – Taking Responsibility for Inviting the Dark Energy into My Internal Home

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 83: Taking Responsibility for Inviting the Dark Energy into My Internal Home

Dear Self,

I’m the only one who can invite dark energy into my internal home. I trust that if I attach to a person’s darkness in the physical world and invite that darkness to stir inside of me, I’ve invited the darkness in. I’m responsible for anything the darkness does inside of my internal home. If I’m attaching to the darkness, there is a reason for it. I have something to learn from it. I have a piece of me to heal if I’ve invited darkness in to teach me what I need to learn. I am resisting learning, which is why the darkness came to my door.

I have options when I see that I’ve invited the darkness into my home. The darkness stimulates fear, judgment, guilt, shame, hate, vengeance, greed, and/or ego—Just to name a few. I can see options in my thinking that will stimulate love, compassion, empathy, peace, joy, connection, and hope. I can find reasons to look at the situation from different perspectives to see that the only thing that is trapping me in my darkness are my thoughts. I am choosing my thoughts, so I have the key to get out of the darkness when I’m ready.

I can turn on the light. My first step towards turning on the light is prayer. I pray for the courage to face myself in my darkness. I know that the person, thing, or event in my physical world only triggered me to see my darkness. Now by choosing to shine the light on it, I’m willing to look deeper to see what my dark corner has hidden. For that, I need courage. Once I pray, I like giving myself space to mediate. When I’m quiet and my breath is steady, I hear the Divine whisper to me. If I don’t hear the answer consciously yet, my next step is to go out in nature and focus on what I see, hear, smell, touch, and/or taste. This opens my senses up to receiving answers. Most times nature offers me some insight. I go and stretch through my thoughts and center myself with the Earth through the practice of yoga. I don’t usually have to go any further, but sometimes if the dark energy is just lodged down deep, I shake it out and dance. My light switch clicks on.

This is where I can spot any toxic waste and build-up that is hidden in the dark. These are my old perspectives of truth that I may have thought I got rid of but they are still lingering and spreading like mold. These are those old beliefs that say things like, People have to like me so that I have value, I’m small, I’m unlovable, I’m a victim, I’m more important than another person, I’m less important than another person, I’m nothing, I’m entitled to more, I don’t deserve more, etc. I have to look at my toxic energy that is causing toxic patterns in my life. Those toxic patterns are what I attach to in other people’s darkness. If I’m being triggered by darkness, I’m in a great space to see the secrets that are being hidden in those dark corners.

Now, I can clean it out. My self-care regimen can help me to work through these old beliefs that I’m attaching to. I don’t have space for them anymore. It’s time to replace them with perspectives of truth that make my internal home warm, cozy, safe, comfortable, beautiful, loving, and inspiring. I pray for assistance to help me transform any toxic energy into light producing energy so that I’m able to project more love out into the world. The more clarity I get, the better the job I do at cleaning up the mess. I’m responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, growth, development, and expansion of my internal home.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m so grateful for the dark energy that I invited in because it showed me what areas of my internal home that still need work.
  2. I’m grateful that I’m empowered to make the changes I need to in order to shine my light.
  3. I’m grateful to God for helping me find my courage and strength to face my darkness and take responsibility for it.
  4. I’m grateful to the people who trigger my darkness because they help me to become a better version of me.
  5. I’m grateful for all the unlimited choices I have on perspectives. I love that I ALWAYS have options of how I want to look at things.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 83 – Taking Responsibility for Inviting Dark Energy into Our Internal Homes

 

Lessons From Nature: Different is Beautiful

When I look at this tree, I see it’s beauty and the magnificent colors that flow throughout the trunk. I don’t think it’s wrong or bad because it doesn’t look like other trees. I celebrate the differences. Some wear their differences on the outside for the world to see. Others may keep their differences under the surface. There is beauty in each and every person when we start looking and appreciating difference instead of judging or being scared of it. We see life through whatever lens we choose to see. If we want to see more beauty, we start looking. We find that different is beautiful. If we are scared of difference, we search for what looks and/or feels the same. We miss beauty that could be right in front of us.

#Lessonsfromnature #Differentisbeautiful

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Choosing Love or Fear

When you look at this path, what do you see? Some may see danger, feel scared, and think instantly of all the creepy crawlies just by looking at the picture. Others may see a majestic trail full of adventure. A sense of excitement ignites within just looking at the picture. It’s the same trail, the only difference is how each individuals view it. If ten people were asked there would ten different perspectives of the same exact trail. How we view the trail a.k.a. paths in your life is your business. How other people view it is their business. It doesn’t matter what someone else thinks of it. What matters is how you see it, because how you see it is how you are choosing to live. It’s your path, your choice!

It’s a reminder to be conscious of our choices of perspective. There are different ways to look at EVERY situation. It’s also a reminder that no one sees things the exact way we do. It doesn’t mean they are wrong and we are right. It’s just a different perspective of thinking. We need to choose what feels right for our own lives. If our own perspective doesn’t feel good,  we can work to change it. Our thinking can set us free or hold us hostage. It all boils down to living life through a perspective of love or fear.

#Lessonsfromnature #Perspective

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Beauty from Within

When we look at the world, we can know where we are in our heads by what we focus on in our external world. Are we looking at others judging them for not being good enough? Are we seeing  and/or engaging in gossip about other people whether they are in our personal lives or in some form of media? Are we attacking people for having a different views than our own? If we are doing these things we are feeding the dis-ease within ourselves. Our radar looks for the negativity around us when we are feeling negative inside our own minds. We are not nourishes ourselves. Think of a flower that is properly nourished. The colors are more vibrant, the leaves are healthy, and the roots are strong. We are just like that flower our roots can pull from the energy of love, which properly nourishes us, and creates us to show the world our vibrant colors. We can pull from the energy of fear, which steals our nutrients, and shows the world our rotting leaves and our muted colors. Becoming aware we are not nourishing ourselves with the energy that will create health, beauty, and color, is the first step. The healthier we get inside–stopping the self-abuse, we start aiming our energy towards love. We start feeding our roots the good stuff. Our colors start to brighten and we look at the world through a different lens. We start paying attention to the heroes who show others compassion, the faces whose beauty shine through their kindness, and we pray for people struggling to find their way to love. Just like that, the ground becomes fertile for more flowers to bloom and show us their colors, which may be different, but that doesn’t make them any less beautiful when they are shining from their light within.

#LessonsfromNature

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

Lessons from Nature: Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

In nature, when we aren’t where our feet our we risk getting missing so much of it’s beauty and its dangers. That is just as true in life. Some paths require us to focus on the step right in front of us. Sometimes we can see why. Other times we find out later that by not paying attention, we ended up in survival mode, just like being lost in the woods. The only way out of survival mode is centering ourselves and our thoughts on thriving in the moment. Questioning the thoughts causing us stress. Are the thoughts useful in the current moment? Are the thoughts helping me create a better life for myself and others? We start putting one foot in front of the other and remain open to see the blessings. This leads to the beauty, which is revealed only in the present moment. When we move into that space, we move out of the drama and darkness that hold us back and into the light where the best solutions become available to us.
What moments are you missing by not focusing on being where your feet are?
#Stayingpresent #LessonsfromNature
With Love and Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2018