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

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!

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. 

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

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

Focusing on the Blessings

I know as well as anyone when we have stress, it is so EASY to put our focus on what are we are lacking in the moment such as money, time, connection, numbers, communication, etc. We live in a world that thrives on stressors. Stress comes from fear. The feeling of lack comes from fear. We are sold fear over and over. No wonder why it is so easy to fall into the darkness of fear. We don’t have to though. Succumbing to fear is a choice we make unconsciously. When we become conscious, we are able to find the blessings. That is why gratitude lists, jars, and/or journals are SOOO important. Shifting our energy from lack to abundance creates space for miracles.

The biggest miracle that comes from focusing on our blessings is what happens inside of us. When we focus on lack, stress, and fear we attract more feelings, thoughts, and beliefs to feel lack, stress, and fear about. It’s a vicious cycle. When our energy takes that winding spiral down, we become toxic and unstable. When we focus on abundance, excitement, and love our energy becomes a transformer. We attract more feelings, thoughts and beliefs to feel abundant, excitement, and love about. We naturally start taking better care of ourselves, our energy, and our physical environment.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful that I know that I can get myself out of my stress by focusing on gratitude.
  2. I’m grateful that I have all the tools I need right now in this moment to find my blessings.
  3. I’m grateful I can see my way through my dark thoughts.
  4. I’m grateful I have people who remind me how truly blessed I am.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Did you miss my FREE 90-Day A Better Me Series? You can read it daily, like a book, or pick and choose the topics you need to hear. Here’s the link if you find yourself on the journey to be the best you: 90-Day A Better Me Series