Don’t Let Your Thinking Get in Your Way

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What messages are you feeding yourself? We create our realities by repeating the stories over and over. From that, our actions do what are brains say we need to. When make statements that limit us, we convince ourselves they are true and we act accordingly.

Relationships are Hard Work

When I define a healthy relationship, I don’t think of it being hard or work. I see it as an opportunity to grow. We learn so much from other people and intimate partners offer us one of the best views to see ourselves.When we see our partner for the person they are,  let them be that person, and love them without limitation, we are open to see ourselves clearly. When we are so focused on the other person, we avoid looking at ourselves and being true to who we are. Now that is hard work building walls and creating diversions in order not to look at ourselves.  The lessons are in our hands and we will stay in a relationship, healthy or unhealthy until we get the lesson we are meant to get. Relationships don’t have to be hard work. That is up to us. How true are these statements? A better question is how true have we made these statements?

I Have to Work Hard to be a Success

Really? Do we have to work hard or smart? The people who work smart tend to have a life and career. The people who work hard, tend to sacrifice their life for their careers and create an abundant amount of workaholics. Time management is essential to a healthy balanced life, but that is not about working hard. We need to work smart to be successful. We have to know how to take care of ourselves, relationships, and careers. When we hyper-focus on any one, the others get neglected. Finding smart habits and routines helps to keep us open and creative. When I think of working hard, I think of a one track mind. If we convince ourselves it will be hard, then what other choice do we have than to believe it?

I Have to Sacrifice my Happiness to…

This one hurts to say on so many levels. I have a hard time hearing these statements. When we believe we have to sacrifice our own happiness for children, career, family, friends, relationships, spiritual practices, etc. We are missing the point. We can only give what we have inside. If we are not emanating love, happiness, compassion, and joy, we are not helping anyone. Our unhappiness within us comes out sideways to our partners, children, families, co-workers, and anyone else we come in contact with. It trickles down all the way to the check-out person at the grocery store. Did you notice everyone you dealt with today as a person? Did you say hello? Did you smile? When we we sacrifice our happiness we are not contributing to a better world. We can’t make a better world if we don’t live in one from within.

Life is a Struggle

Is this really what we want to create for ourselves. I used to use this phrase and looking back it was exactly what I created. I convinced myself everything was a struggle and that is what I kept seeing. That is where my focus was. I missed so many opportunities because they didn’t contribute to my struggle. I was convinced I had to learn things the hard way. Wow, did that set me up for some hard hitting lessons. I finally broke free from believing what I was telling myself and gave myself some better options, like life is a classroom, I will learn what I need to learn in order to grow. The lessons still come, but I don’t have to struggle through them like I did before.

Nothing Comes Easy

I like to think of the Universe giving me what I ask for, so if I say, “Nothing comes easy”, I imagine the Universe saying, “OK, you got it.” By changing my thinking I have had a lot of opportunities come my way with no effort and no struggle at all. If I start telling myself, “Nothing comes easy” I will actively and subconsciously try to search out ways that this statement is true. My actions will be driven by the internal search for ways that prove the statement.

I have become very careful statements I put out there. The amazing thing is when we start BELIEVING in new messages, doors start opening in ways that they never were able to before. I didn’t realize that my messages to myself were what was keeping the doors locked.

Become aware of the messages that are playing in your head. If they are not helpful, find new ones that align with the life you want to be living. Focus on making the positive statements you say to yourself true. Your actions will follow, and your amazing life will begin unfolding before your eyes.

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To all my current followers, thank you so much for your continued support. I appreciate each one of you! Thanks for spreading the love.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

Let Today be the Day You Start a New Journey of Discovery

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As the new moon approaches, now is time for us to look at where we are and focus on who we see ourselves uncovering. Are you ready to manifest the life you have dreamt of? How are you feeling about yourself? Do you think you deserve the life you are requesting? Are you willing to put in the effort to get it? Why does it matter how you feel about yourself?

In order to get rid of old patterns that keep us where we are, we have to embrace new thoughts and feelings about ourselves. Negative patterns all stem from the way we are treating ourselves. Some of these patterns have passed through generations and are so embedded that we don’t even know that they are there. In order to move past our roadblocks we have to look for new ways that will get us to where we want to go. We can’t just sit and wait. We have to take charge and do something different.

When we are setting intentions we have to know from the deepest core of our being that we are worthy of these changes we are seeking in our lives. If we don’t, we won’t recognize the signs that are leading us there, and we will continue to get lessons to help us to open our eyes. We will get hit with emotional 2x4s if we don’t start paying attention to what is keeping us from getting the life we envision for ourselves. Here are a few questions to help you dig down and see what might be holding you back:

  • Do you have belief and behavior patterns that go against what we are asking for?
  • Do you have negative feelings about success and/or money?
  • How do you view people who have a lot of success or money? Do you criticize them or feel happy for them? Do you hate the rich?
  • Do you put up invisible forcefields around your heart because you feel unworthy of love?
  • Do you let your physical restrictions take charge of your inner worth?
  • Do you keep the word “can’t” as your safety mechanism as an excuse not to try?
  • Do you fill yourself with messages such as, “life is hard”, “I’m going crazy”, “This is too hard”, “life is a struggle”, “I must suffer”, “money is evil”, “I hate money”?

Pay close attention to the messages that are going through your head and feeding the energy that you are putting out into the world. If these are the messages that are going through your head a better life will continue to be out of reach. If you are looking to change set intentions for the process.

  • Today, I will be more aware of the obstacles I am creating in my own mind.
  • Today, I will show myself kindness, respect and love.
  • Today, I will see my value and appreciate the gifts I give to the world.

If you can spot the negative messages you are carrying, write them down. Then for each one write three different ways you can choose to view the situation. These lists are not about being right or wrong, they are about seeing that there are other ways to look at something, and that it is our choice and our own personal power to choose how we see it. Here are a few examples:

Money is evil:

  1. Money is just paper, it only has the energy that I put into it.
  2. Money can help accomplish wonderful things.
  3. Money is wonderful.

I am never going to find love:

  1. Love is everywhere.
  2. Love is within me.
  3. I am complete in loving myself.

Life is hard

  1. Life flows and will give me what I need to be the best version of me.
  2. Life is a classroom and the lessons are as easy or hard as I make them.
  3. Life is what I make of it.

How we choose to live our lives is OUR choice.

How are YOU going to CHOOSE to live it?

If you like what you have read, scroll down and see the ways you can follow my blog. Have a beautiful day!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

BLAME, BLAME GO AWAY!

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If you knew that blaming is what is keeping you from being happy, would you stop doing it? Well, it is. I’m not saying this is easy to change. We have become a society full of blamers. Constantly pushing the blame to somebody/something else while the problems sit and grow. I love that definition of insanity that says, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Blame is one of those vicious cycles that it is easy to get caught up in, even if we know better.

Blame is destroying us in so many ways. We use it to destroy  our relationships, ourselves, our families, our communities, and our humanity.  It is hard to find working solutions when all we see is the problem and who is at fault. When we feel the need to be right, we don’t even listen to the concerns on the other side. Our minds are closed and we start a war. Things get ugly and nothing gets resolved. All we are being taught is to feed the fire and blame more.

Blaming equals disrespect. We all know it subconsciously, which is why our defenses  can go flying up and we become ready for a fight. Nobody wants to feel disrespected, ignored, and unimportant. The funny thing is we do it to ourselves more than anyone else. How many times have we gone against ourselves, our beliefs, our self-care, our peace, and our happiness? If we are not showing ourselves value and respect, how are we expected to give it somebody else?

In my teenage years, I stopped learning to blame other people for my feelings, actions, reactions, and thoughts. The problem was I put the finger on me and BLAMED myself. Blame is destructive whether it is pointed outward or inward. Even going into my adult years, I thought I was doing it right. I couldn’t understand why I still wasn’t happy, and still falling into negative patterns. I turned such a critical finger on myself that it created a monster festering inside me.

I kept trying to make things better on the outside. I had no idea the havoc that was going on the inside. I acted out in so many different ways. I had no idea the kind of harm I was causing. I still was blaming things like alcohol, drugs, work, cars, name the object, I could blame it. I didn’t realize the blame was making me blind to the truth. I had to explore the unpaved trails to learn what was real. The only way to do it, is to be aware and  watch where we place your feet. Our missteps may hurt, but they can teach us a better way.

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I didn’t learn until much later in life that it isn’t about blame at all. It is about taking responsibility for my actions, making positive changes, and then letting it go. I am only responsible for my part. Figuring out what that is can be tricky, especially when the situation is extreme. Byron Katie taught me how to take responsibility without turning it into self-abuse. I have been shown so many different ways to look at a situation through her videos and books,  which you can find by searching her name on the internet. Her work gives me the tools to get out of the vicious blame cycle. I’m not happy there. I don’t like the way it feels when I have to be right to the point where I’m in a constant internal argument in my head with someone who isn’t there. I’m letting someone else’s path wreak havoc on my peace. When I become aware that I’m doing it, I have the opportunity to change it.

Getting away from blame is a process. I stopped beating myself up when I get caught up in it. I acknowledge how I participated in it, and I pray for the awareness to catch it sooner next time. If  I can take an action to change the situation, I do it. Writing is one of the ways I use, sharing pieces that spread compassion, passing on positive messages, being apart of love in action, volunteering, or simply becoming aware of when when we are participating in the blame game all helps to spread seeds for change. Whatever we choose to do in a more loving and compassionate way is contributing towards finding solutions. How we want to live our life is a choice we each need to make as individuals. What other people choose is not our business. They have their own journey. We can hope and pray that they find happiness and peace within themselves. When we know that we want peace and happiness in our own lives and commit to becoming aware of the times we stray from it, life will get better. When we find peace within, we won’t stir up chaos outside of ourselves. We will start seeing what is working, what is beautiful, and what is real. There is nothing real in chaos, just hurt and ego.

My awareness helps me to see and accept my responsibility and change faster. The lessons become less dramatic, and easier to spot.  As I have grown, I am able to see clearer, live happier, and as Byron Katie says, “Be a lover of what is.”

Wishing you all internal peace and outward gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

Leaving Autopilot and Becoming Present

image2I used to live everyday in autopilot. I was caught up in the same routine, thinking the same things, doing the same things. The insanity of the situation was I expected different results. I hated the life I was living. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. What is scary about autopilot is that we miss A LOT!! I’m not just talking about things in our own lives, the lives of the people around us. We simply don’t see anything outside of our routines.

When we have children, autopilot becomes dangerous. Too many things can happen; sometimes children can give us little subtle hints that there is a problem. If we are somewhere else in our heads; we miss them. Here are a couple of scenarios:

Scenario 1

A young boy comes to his mother and she is texting. He is tells her about how something he saw made him feel uncomfortable. She is not with him; she is involved in the conversation on the phone. Her autopilot response turns on, and gives her son a reply. The conversation is soon forgotten because she was never there. That child develops trust issues and feels completely alone. The boy becomes a man with addiction issues and eventually dies a slow death from drug abuse. He never learned to reconcile his past. He was not able to have healthy relationships with women, men or children. He lived life in a toxic cycle of shame, guilt, and abandonment.

Scenario 2

A young boy comes to his mother and makes a comment that is just slightly off, easily overlooked. By being present, the mother sees there is something very off with that statement. She starts investigating it and finds out the 4-year old boy was sexually abused. The authorities get involved and it is stopped instantly. What the mother didn’t know, what happened to her son is usually just the beginning, that the majority of parents do not catch it this soon. Since the mother had great communication with her son, he felt safe and told her and the police what happened. The assailant was convicted and never exposed to the boy again. The boy grew up communicating with his mother and knowing she was there. When life’s struggles came up, he was able to find tools to work through it. He grew up healthy and having good relationships with women, men, and children. He didn’t feel like he had to use drugs to escape or cover shame, guilt, and hurts from the past.

These scenarios may seem extreme, but they are more common than most people know. The worst part is, scenario 1 is more common than scenario 2. There are little details missed in conversations with friends, co-workers, lovers, and family. We may gain a greater understanding about the people we love if we can give them our full attention. When we are in autopilot our relationships can deteriorate, people get hurt, and we miss out on life. We, without knowing it, contribute to toxic cycles.

Multi-tasking is a way we continue to not be present. Sometimes we have to do too much at once, and that is life, but it is important that we focus on the relationships in front of us. We need to be present. I know I can still get caught up in trying to do too much at once. My children and I had a hard conversation at the dinner table awhile back and I had to take responsibility for my part of the dysfunction in the household. I was on my phone too much while I was supposed to be focused on them and they were feeling it. We had an electronics free week and it was the best thing that has happened to my family. I limited my conversations to the hours they were not with me, and we all started getting along so much better, playing games together, and finding healthy ways to spend our time together. Now that we have our electronics back and we have come out of the crisis that was happening, I am watching old patterns to start to stir up again. The difference, this time I am aware. I can see that there is a problem, and I can figure out a solution because I have accepted my responsibility for the fallback into the old cycle.

One of my old patterns was to go to self-blame and hence self-abuse. I used to take any mistake or misstep and turn it into me being a horrible parent. I would expect perfection out of me, but know it was not possible for anyone else. I had compassion for others, but none for myself. I would have taken the electronics things and reacted in such a way that chaos would plague me and I would feel weighed down with the guilt of not being the parent that my kids deserved. I would feel forced back into autopilot in order to live with myself. Ugh… NOT GOOD! This was such a toxic way to live. Being aware is key. If you know that you have missed a lot from being in autopilot, don’t beat yourself up. Just make an effort to do better now. We do the best we can at any given moment. Yesterday is done, the best thing we can do is learn from our past, and use it to become better. There is no reason to be hostage of something that cannot be changed.

When we are struggling with our jobs, commutes, responsibilities, and relationships with others, it is easy to fall into autopilot to cope with the world around us. We may not be able to get out of it all the time, but every effort we make to live our life being present will improve the quality of our relationships and lives.

Before jumping in, it is important to realize, we are all different. You may like one thing on the list, but something else doesn’t work for you. I have tried a lot of different methods over the years. These are seeds, if they work for you, GREAT! If not, don’t stop looking. I have attempted using techniques that worked great for others, but didn’t sit right with me. What is important is that you tweak things to fit you. Here are some of the methods I use to get more present and turn off the autopilot mode:

Take 3 Conscious Breaths

Three conscious breaths was the first tool I began using on a daily basis that started showing me results. I learned that if I do this throughout the day, I have better days and I am present more than I am not. I started by doing it in the bathroom, then in the car, and finally whenever I noticed my mind was everywhere else but where I was. Do I remember to do it all the time? No. Can I still go into autopilot? Yes, the difference, awareness. Awareness makes it possible to change. By taking three long, deep breaths and concentrating just on that, my mind has time to recalibrate. I have put the effort into slowly untangling the jumbled thoughts and focusing on what is right in front of me. Most of the time it gives me the clarity to see that my mind is focused on the unpredictable future or a past that I cannot do anything about. I create the space to question, how is what I am doing right now contributing to a better life? If it is not, I can see solutions to change it.

Switch-up the Morning Routine

This one can be fun, when things get really bad I put signs in my drawers. One sign says, “Start with a different foot.” I have this in my underwear or sock drawer. The sign consciously reminds me to do things a little differently. I have also put a sign in the bathroom that says, “Switch the order.” I may choose to put deodorant on before brushing my teeth or take a shower and wash my face before shampooing my hair. I don’t know about anyone else, but it is so easy for me to fall into the autopilot routine when I am getting ready. My mind can be in a million different places if I am not careful.

Make Lists

When we make a list, we are getting it out of our heads and putting it down in a practical order. We don’t have to be clogging our brains. When we write out and take one task at a time we can give what we are doing 100% of our attention. I don’t always use lists, but I notice a difference when I do. I know some people who do them everyday and it is what works for them.

Focus On What is Happening Now

One of the ways I let the present moment pass me by was by checking the time constantly. I stopped wearing a watch and started setting alarms on my phone when I needed to be ready to do the next thing on my list. This made it possible for me to be where I was and get out of the vicious cycle of being a slave to time. By simply not focusing on time, I have more.

Get in Touch with Nature

If I can spot nature’s beauty, I am present. If I am in autopilot, I can walk for an hour and miss everything happening around me. When I take the time to look for beautiful scenes in nature, I feel the awe of the moment, and autopilot is cut-off! If I am driving, I make sure to look at nature in a safe way. I will see the clouds, trees, birds, and all the little critters scurrying about. I’m sure many squirrels’ lives have been saved from me being aware of my surroundings.

Set Aside Quality Time

I have certain times where I commit to giving my loved ones 100% of my attention. I learned a long time ago that a meal is a great time to commit to giving my undivided attention. Another time can be at bed-time. I have a routine with each of my children. They are almost two years apart, so I have different bed times. I spend a dedicated half-hour with each of them before bed. If they need advice, cuddles, and/or one-on-one attention, they get it here. I have stopped bringing my phone, so that I don’t get distracted. For couples, date night is very important. Having time away from normal routine is crucial to a healthy relationship. Date night does not need to be out; be creative. Pick a time and a room or outside location to meet where the time is set aside just for each other. Dance in the bedroom, swing on the porch swing, read to each other, and laugh as much as you can.

Put the Electronics Away

When we are having a conversation with someone, we need to be present. Phones, computers, tablets, TVs, and video games are not important when another human being needs our connection. Put it down. We cannot be in two places at the same time. This one has been a challenge for me. My autopilot in doing mode likes to kick in. I notice I need to make a real effort to get out of my electronic world. I don’t believe that we need to give it up completely, but when people are communicating with us it is important to be there. When we are supposed to be having quality time together, we need to give our families, children, partners, and any person we are in contact with the respect and love they deserve. Even the people at the checkout counter deserve your attention. How would it feel to be looked over by most of the people who passed through your life? It can make a big difference to the person you take the time to give a smile to.

Just recently, I was at the store and the woman behind the counter was in autopilot. She was so used to being overlooked that when I gave her attention she was actually startled. After the initial shock, she proceeded to give me tips and ideas. We had a great exchange. By the end, she was smiling and gave a big warm greeting to the next customer. We both left the exchange feeling good. We are all humans; we all want to be acknowledged. We can’t get so caught up in autopilot that we forget we are interacting with other people just like us.

I hope that your autopilot can be turned off for a little longer today and that you get to experience the joy of being in the moment. Give the people around you a little more today from a loving place.

Read my latest article for http://www.yourpositiveoasis.com  “5 Ways We Sabotage Our Happiness” (click on the red and it will take you directly to it.)

image1With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Continue reading “Leaving Autopilot and Becoming Present”

Breaking the Cycle of Toxic Relationships

  
I followed the cycle of my parents and married into an unhealthy relationship. I remember the anger, yelling, fear, and eggshells. Trust was constantly questioned and life was in upheaval. This was no way to live, but what was worse, I was showing my son how to treat women and my daughter how to be treated by men.

I don’t blame my ex for this. We both were apart of setting up these toxic roles. We both had to accept the roles in order for the relationship to last as long as it did. I found myself treating him in ways I would never treat my partner now. I was just as much a contributor to the toxicity. It is never one-sided. I did it differently then he did, but if I was healthier than he was, I wouldn’t be in the relationship. I know this part may be hard to read, at least it was for me when the concept came into my life. So much so, that I didn’t even realize the seed was given to me over and over, said in different ways, in different arenas, and with different purposes. It was never spoken directly to me about my situation. It was something that would take a lot of time to digest. 

If I didn’t play the part assigned there would have been no relationship.In order to break free of the cycle, I had to find peace inside me and know that change was possible. I saw examples in my relationships with my mom and dad. They both did a lot of healing, and their lives both changed for the better. They both developed healthy relationships with themselves and their new partners. I knew, I had to be strong enough to apply it to my relationship with my significant other. 

When I was ready, things started to change. It was as simple as that. The changes didn’t happen as quick as I would have liked while I was in it, but looking back the timing was perfect. I learned everything I needed to learn in order to grow.

As I am preparing to layout my first book, so many memories of my process of recovery are coming to the surface. I have been reading my past writings and all I want to to is share my path to freedom from my own personal prison. Realizing that I had the key all along is what set me free. 

I used to be scared to leave. What would happen to me? What would happen to my kids? I would be completely alone. No one was going to want a single woman with two small children. I was a pre-school teacher who worked part-time. I didn’t have the means of supporting two kids on my own. I was a failure in my mind; trapped! 

I lived that way for too long. I didn’t even realize how long I was in my own prison until years after I was out of it. Being able to look back, I see how the process went. I see the seeds that were given to me and the ones I planted. 

One of the seeds came from reading Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Mastery of Love. I’m actually re-reading the book now for the second part of my series “Learning from Don Miguel Ruiz”. 

“You are no longer a child, and if you have an abusive relationship, it is because you accept that abuse, because you believe you deserve it.”

Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love p. 41

In order to stop the abuse, I had to know from the core of my being that I deserved better. Not better of him, better of me. I started taking actions to find peace within me. I found friends, Al-Anon, and a spiritual base. When I started doing the next right thing to take care of me, the Universe opened up and miracles started happening all over the place. Some of them were disguised in struggle, but I get tears in my eyes thinking about how it all worked out so much better than I could have ever imagined. 

The trick was not to focus on the fear. When I focused on the fears it kept leading me to take more fearful actions. When I focused on self-care and love…

My life changed! 

  • My living situation presented itself in a way I would not have considered before. 
  • The time to leave revealed itself without me trying to force it. 
  • I went to college and got my degree. 
  • My kids are in a safe and positive environment. 
  • We go on lots of adventures.
  • We have an amazing community of support around us.
  • I am mentally,spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthier than I have ever been.
  • My kids are surrounded by examples of what true love all around them. People communicating without name-calling, be-littling, or shaming. People who support each other’s dreams and don’t tear each other down. 

I was lucky enough to see early on change is possible. That seed has helped me in so many situations. When I chose to water it and let it grow, it became like the Ficus tree; forever growing and changing. Sometimes the branches need to be thinned out so it has the energy to spread and lay down more roots.

I’m getting excited to see what the Universe has in store for me now. I hope you come on the journey with me! 

With Love and Graitude, 

Rachael Wolff

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Photo credit: Rachael Wolff

When Do I Know When it is Time to Leave?

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“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; What matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”

-Paulo Coelho

I wasn’t planning on writing today, but I kept seeing messages that I couldn’t let slip by. One of the hardest decisions in a toxic relationship is knowing when and/or if to leave.

Years ago, I received a message well before I would ever need it. I wasn’t married and/or dating at the time. I don’t have a clue where the message came from or who, but the message stayed solid in my brain: You are only ready to leave a marriage when you can walk away without anger. I took that to mean all relationships. The point was, if we walk away before we are truly ready, we will repeat the pattern in the next relationship.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I certainly DO NOT like repeating unhealthy patterns. If I am going to end something, I want to make sure that I’m ending it.  These 7 steps are not all in order, because the order changes. Here is what I learned from my experience:

1. Seeing the Problems Starts with Questions

  • Am I supposed to be here?
  • Is this the right relationship for me?
  • Is there trust?
  • Is there loyalty?
  • Is there betrayal?
  • Do I love him/her?
  • Do I fear him/her?
  • Are we compatible?
  • Do I like the person they are?
  • Do I want to change who they are?
  • Is being with her/him destructive to my well-being?
  • Do I feel safe communicating with him/her?
  • Do we have the same morals and values?
  • Do we respect each other?
  • Why is he/her treating me like this?

The list goes on and on, but these are an indicator that something needs to change. The question is what? These questions can be created by our own inner drama and until we work through that, we won’t see the answers to any question clearly.

2. Am I Expecting Him/Her to Be Someone They Are Not?

Unrealistic expectations on others have the power to destroy any relationship. When we expect people to be any person other than who they are we create a relationship nightmare. The key is observing the person we are with. Let him/her be themselves, then figure out if that is the person we want to be with. If he is doing things that I don’t like, the question is can I accept the behavior. I can’t change the other person. Here is what we can do:

  • Be aware of our reaction to the behavior
  • Look at the situation from other perspectives
  • How would I need to change my behavior to change my perspective? Is that an acceptable choice to me?

3. Communicate with My Partner

Healthy relationships have healthy communications. There is no name-calling and/or belittling. We need to accept our part in any communication. It is important to know we have done everything in our power to work through the issues at hand. Communication is key.

  • Take responsibility for our feelings. Speak to the other person from a loving place: I feel _________ when you do _____________. This is not saying, he/she made you feel something. They don’t have the power to do that. They can’t make you happy, sad, or angry. Our feelings our our choice. Communicating feelings in this way can help take the defensiveness out of the situation. If we are not blaming our partners, they may be able to see how their behaviors are effecting us. Many times, we don’t mean to hurt each other. It happens because we don’t know how our behaviors look to the other person. Most times, if not all, our extreme reactions come from past circumstances. It can go as far back as childhood.
  • Get help if the patterns have become so bad that communication is destructive.
  • Research and try different forms of healthy communication.

4. Make a List of What I Want in the Relationship

Keep the list positive! Read my article, 3 Amazing Jewels: Important Lessons in Understanding the Law of Attraction and see why it is important to be clear about what we want. We have to be the person we want to see on our list. How are we contributing to the relationship we want to have with our partners?

5. Pray for Answers!!

When we pray we will get answers. We might not understand them, and they may be different than what we expected, but they will be there. I know this first hand.

Here are some suggested prayers:

  • Please, give me signs if I should stay or go. Make them clear and impossible to miss because I want to make sure I understand.
  • Please help me see the lesson so that I can move on.
  • How do I find peace with this relationship?
  • What can I change about myself to help me do what I need to do?

Pay attention for the answers! Meditation is a great way to help to slow down. Even if it is 3 long deep breaths, it helps.

6. Work on ME

“If you cannot be at ease with yourself when you are alone, you will seek a relationship to cover up your unease. You can be sure that the unease will then reappear in some other form within the relationship, and you will probably hold your partner responsible for it.”

-Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now p. 174

If things aren’t changing, it is because we aren’t getting better. Dive in and dive deep! Does this mean we are responsible for the other person’s behavior? Heck no! When we are ready, doors gently shut and all the right doors begin opening. We will no longer accept unacceptable behaviors. Our energy will change so much that the person will either change with us or the relationship will end.

7. Forgive Myself

I’m not a person who blames other people, but I definitely used to love blaming myself. What I found, blame is toxic to everybody; including me. If there is resentment against someone else, forgive them. That is toxic energy that is carried around and it gets uglier the longer it hangs on. The greatest act of forgiveness is a changing the way we treat ourselves and others. It’s time to let go of what we have done and become the beautiful person we were meant to be.

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This process takes time, for me, it took about three years. I made sure without a doubt in my mind that leaving was the best choice. The signs I prayed for, couldn’t be clearer. My mom had told me, “When you are ready to leave, you will know it.” When I did leave, I was at peace and didn’t look back. I was able to move on with my life. There were a few issues I didn’t see clearly in that relationship that I worked out in the next, but it didn’t take long to work through them. Little things will always come up, but the more clear we are with ourselves, we will know it is our lesson to work on. When we face it head on, some doors will close while others will open wide.

All of my articles come from my journey through the darkness into a loving place. If this one helped you, you might also like:

Why Did I Choose Him?

5 Steps to Being Treated the Way You Deserve

10 Positive Lessons I Learned From my Parents

Discovering the Meaning of Love

5 Lessons in Personal Growth

Give Yourself the Love You Deserve

Lessons in the Drama

There are plenty more… Please feel free to send e a message on my Facebook Page: From a Loving Place!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

 

 

3 Powerful Lessons I learned about the Law of Attraction

Along the road of self-discovery, I have stumbled across 3 jewels in understanding the law of attraction. I had to go through some very hard lessons to find them, but under all the muck and gruel, there they were; little diamonds. When I first learned about the Law of Attraction, I didn’t understand the POWER my the choices, emotions, thinking, and  all the patterns that came with them.

1. Power of Prayers

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Each prayer attracts lessons and/or blessings. How we pray is important to what we will attract. Every inner conversation has the same power as a prayer. Be careful of the energy that is being put in. If we pray from a place of “not enough”, we will create a life that is not enough, and/or be exposed to lessons that give us the opportunity to see that we are enough; life is enough; the world is enough. The lessons will give us the opportunity to change or submit to the messages we are telling ourselves. When we enter prayer with loving energy, we are blessed in some way. The key is we have to stay present to spot the blessings. If we do that, more and more will be brought to us.

When we pray for the people who hurt us, we are sending a love into the darkness. The more loving energy we can send out, the more we invite into our lives. This shows up by noticing that the negative people start to fade away, and they take a back row seat in our lives. When we wish no evil on anyone, no evil energy can penetrate us. When we wish evil and feel hate we are apart of the same energy we are fighting against. It is counterproductive. When we pray with compassion, we are helping to heal the world.

When prayer is out of desperation, because we are in physical, mental, and/or emotional pain it is VERY IMPORTANT to watch our prayers. We are in the midst of a powerful lesson; how we pray matters. We have challenges to overcome. We may ask to be healed, but the healing may be in a different way than we thought about. Part of our purpose might be that we have a physical ailment, emotional and/or mental challenge, or a disease. Our purpose may be about spreading awareness, finding a cure, or overcoming mental anguish around our ailment. We have NO idea! This is where I learned to change my prayers. I started asking for help:

  • Fulfilling my purpose
  • Understanding the lesson
  • Healing my thoughts
  • Doing the next right thing
  • Focusing on things to be grateful for
  • Finding reasons to love myself and others

Changing my prayers in these simple ways has transformed my prayers and the power behind them. Now they are focused on what I truly want to attract to my life.

2. Being Aware of Inner/Outer Dialog

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The Power of Can’t

I laugh at myself every time I say can’t.  Don’t want to try and/or don’t want to do it is more accurate. Can’t is attracting energy in two different ways:

  • Using the word and language of can’t establishes limitations on what we CAN do. It sets up an invisible force field on what we will allow and/or attract to our lives. It gives us an excuse not to focus our energy on how to bring the possibility to our lives.
  • Focusing on the energy of can’t may bring some challenging lessons in what we can do. When people use phrases such as, “I can’t survive this”, “I can’t make this work”, and “I can’t live without…” it also may be asking the Universe to give us a lesson in showing us exactly what we are capable of doing and/or handling. These hurt to go through, but they have been my greatest gifts when I am ready to look at them from a loving perspective. These lessons are about what we want in the bigger picture. If we are asking to be stronger, braver, wiser, and in service to humanity, we need these lessons to show us how.

Avoiding the Thought of Never

When we put out the energy of Never it WILL have a lesson, because we are focusing on a negative energy. When we say, I will never be with a cruel, unhealthy, negative or abusive person, we are focusing on the energy that will bring them to our lives. She/he may present his/herself in a different kind of relationship than they did before, but the relationship will show up if we don’t change the dialog.

Focusing on What We Don’t Want

It is extremely important to focus on what we DO want. If we find ourselves saying, I don’t want… I don’t want him/her to do… I don’t need this in my life. Oh boy, watch out; get ready for a very bumpy road ahead. Sometimes we need to be challenged in order to see what we do want. Be grateful for the lesson, forgive them and yourself, and move on. If we choose to stay in the negative energy, we will repeat the same patterns and lessons until we get it. This can last a lifetime for some people. It is up to us how long we want the same lesson to last. Breaking patterns and attracting loving energy takes practice and a lot of work. Depending on how long we have been embedded in the negative energy, we may feel out of our element for some time, but keep the faith. Every time we hear ourselves saying or focusing on what we don’t want, we have an opportunity to look at it in a new way. We have to find the words and mantras that give power to what we do want.

3. Investing Time in the Right Places

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When presented with life’s challenges, we have a choice. We can put our time into the problem or the solution. If we truly want to learn from our circumstances and transform the energy into something better, we HAVE to invest our time wisely. If we are obsessing about the wrongs of others and ourselves, we are not helping anyone. We are attracting more of that energy to our lives.

If we know, we don’t want an abusive person or something negative in our lives, question what that looks like. What does a healthy person like? What do healthy people do? How do they treat others? How do they talk to their parents, friends, co-workers, and family? Really dive in and figure it out. Research healthy relationships if you don’t know what they look like. How do healthy people communicate? How do they express feelings? What love language do they speak? There are plenty of resources out there. This will transform you into becoming a person that another healthy person would be attracted to. We will always attract the energy we are putting out.

We need to invest our time in the energy we want to be attracting to our lives. Here are a few ways I have taken the initiative and invested my time and energy into the blessings I want to attract to my life.

  1. Gratitude lists
  2. A Can collage: This is a jar or can, focusing on the energy of what I CAN do. I cut out words from magazines that described the person I want to be and what I want to contribute to the world. I glued them all over the can inside and out. Then I write myself notes: I need to work on… I am proud of myself for… I want to learn about… I am doing ________ in order to reach my goals.
  3. Vision Board: If we are visual learners it is important to see what our vision is. I cut out pictures of the lifestyle I want to attract. My inner dialog must match my vision if I will be successful in attracting outer goals.
  4. Read, watch, and focus on the subjects that will help me focus on the life I want. I love audiobooks, books, blogs, and positive messages to keep me focused on the energy I want to attract. It would be really easy right now with the bombings, politics, educational systems, prejudices, and hate to focus on the problems, but it doesn’t fix the energy that is creating the problems. I have to face those things with love or I’m contributing to the what I don’t want. Focusing on the negative energy will only create more. I try to figure out how to focus on love to come up with solutions to spread a more loving energy. I only can give what I have inside. I need to make it count!
  5. Lists: I make list of what I want and make sure everything is in the affirmative. If all I know is what I don’t  want, I think about what the opposite looks like. The lists help me figure out what healthier choices and thoughts look like and they help me to shift my language and behaviors.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Please check out other articles on FromAlovingPlace.com , and join me on facebook.com/fromalovingplace (click on the red words to get to the sites mentioned). Let’s focus on meeting life’s lessons from a loving place!  I hope you will join me on this adventure. Please feel free to like the page on Facebook and send me a message. I would love to hear from you!

 

5 Lessons in Personal Growth

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On the journey of self discovery there are some key elements we learn on the way, but we don’t always read about them in books. We all have our own journey and our own landscape to develop. We have our own personal taste to account for. Not everyone’s garden looks the same. We each have our own ideas on what looks right together and how we want it to flow. It is not our business to judge other’s journeys. Enjoy the landscape you create and let others have room to develop their own. You will have plenty of opportunities to give people seeds, it is up to them if they want to use them. A few things seem to be the same for all personal growth. After many attempts in breaking old patterns and developing new ones, here is what I have learned:

1. Personal Growth is a Process

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When we are ready to change, we tend to jump in with both feet and expect drastic results in a short period of time. This is NOT how it works. Personal growth is much like the process of planting a seed. First, you have to obtain the seed, then you have to find good soil to plant it in, then it takes a combination of care techniques to get it to grow properly. Some plants and/or trees need direct sun, and others need indirect sun. Every plant needs water, but some require less than others. We are as unique as the varieties of plants and trees that grow in the Earth. The process takes time. Just like any other type of life form, when we are sick, it takes us time to heal. We have to allow ourselves the time to form healthier habits and break old patterns. Some of the patterns have been embedded for generations. That requires a lot of undoing and changing of patterns. Give yourself time, be patient, and understand the process is different for everybody. Different methods will work for different people. The best way to know which way will help is to sample many different ways of learning. The ones that feel right will work for as long as they are supposed to, then it will be time to try something else. Some, like water for a plant, will remain essential, others will be able to fade away and change.

Doing too much at once is never a good idea. We tend to burn out and the seed can’t be brought to life. It takes awhile for unhealthy patterns to take hold, and it takes awhile to grow into healthier patterns, routines and habits. The process may seem slow, but think about the amount of time it takes to grow a garden from scratch or how long it takes for a tree to stand tall. Allow yourself the time to break one unhealthy pattern at a time while strengthening  the positive attributes you already have within you. Stay present in the process, it is the greatest gift of the journey.

2. Everything We Read, See, and Hear is a Seed

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We are given tons of seeds throughout the day. We choose which ones to keep and which ones to toss out. The longer we hold onto them, the more eager we are to collect more that will grow with the ones we already have. When we are given seeds of hate agendas, we can choose to plant them or throw them out. The most important thing to know, it’s our choice! We don’t have to plant every seed that is given to us, the stronger we become on this journey, the less we will plant. We will discover over time that we are in control of how things affect our lives. Be watchful about what seeds you are holding onto. When we put too much energy into them, they will begin to grow.

3. Everything We Say, Write, Think, and Do is Planting the Seed

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This is an important lesson, and one not to be taken lightly. We are the only ones who have control over which seeds are planted and which ones grow. We can choose loving ones or fearful ones at any moment. No actions come without benefits and consequences. We need to take responsibility for the seeds we plant. That includes the ones that were given to us by abusers, racists, narcissists, and overall miserable people. We can choose to believe and feed the hate and lies or we can rise above. Some people thrive on feeding us seeds of hate. Industries make fortunes on it, some want us to hate ourselves and others want us to hate others. Our reaction is we get the choice to plant it or throw it away. When we can see the person with compassion and forgiveness, we are throwing hateful seeds away and planting loving ones. When we are reacting in fear and hate we are holding onto it; we are planting that seed. The stories we tell our friends and family, is planting our seeds and giving seeds to them. What seeds do you want to give to your loved ones?

4. The Energy We Put Into Upkeep Determines the Health of Our Garden

IMG_2897Self-talk is the key! It all starts with the messages we are feeding ourselves. It will determine if we are going to grow seeds from love or fear. Our internal hate messages can grow some ugly gardens, filled with weeds, strangling plants, and poisons. If we are hurtful on the inside we are giving the people around us the seeds from our personal gardens. We are blaming, shaming, and overall spreading pain. We all have combinations of species both healthy for the life in our garden and/or destructive. Which one has the majority in your mind? The more we can treat ourselves with love, the more seeds of love we have to give out. We all know what spreading hate looks like, but do we truly understand how much power we give it by engaging in it?

Healthy seeds become flowers, food, healing remedies, shade, and oxygen. We can feed the world with our choices. We can also hurt more than we can even imagine. When we learn to have love and compassion for those around us and learn to forgive, not for the other person but for our own garden’s growth, miracles are born and flourish with the seeds of hope.

5. We Can Pull Weeds, Trim Trees, and Get Rid of Dead Weight at ANY Time

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No one has a perfect garden, if we were perfect, our journey here would be done. That is how we learn. We need to give ourselves a break. The most wonderful part of it all is that we can change the look of our landscape at any time. It is all about the work we are willing to put in. If we chop down an unhealthy tree without digging up the roots, it can still poison the foundation for new seeds to grow. Undoing the old patterns takes time to unearth. Understand, you are not perfect and everything that happens to us offers us great lessons. Sometimes it’s about how we will use it to help others. Other times we are exposed to things we need to see in order to break unhealthy patterns. We get what we need, trust the process. Your pain does not have to be in vain. It can give the world beautiful gifts of hope.

You may need to re-visit unhealthy roots that you thought you got rid of. They may reappear, so that you can dig deeper. In the end, it will be a gift, but it can feel more painful than you ever thought you could handle. Once it has all passed, look back; you survived! You are strong! Just keep pulling those weeds, tearing up the roots, and re-building a healthier space.

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If you are interested in planting more seeds of hope and love, follow From A Loving Place on Facebook and join me on my journey here. Find voices that ring true for you. Life can be an amazing adventure when we feel through the pain into awareness. Trust the process and be kind to yourself. Now, go create the garden of your dreams!

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

**Every photo except the orchid picture was taken on 3/18/2016 at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida by Rachael Wolff. The orchid picture was taken a few weeks back.

Bring On 40

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“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”

-Carl G. Jung

Today, I’m 40. I have been looking forward to this day for many reasons. First, I made it!!!! Yes, I had some sketchy years that made me question if I was going to make it to 40, but I did it. I survived it all! In my darkest hours, when I begged God to take me, I was left here. I questioned, what did I do to deserve this? Why me? Why does God hate me? Will this life get any better? Why am I doomed to be miserable?  I spent my teenage years hating myself so much that I didn’t believe I deserved a place on this planet.

I had no idea I was being carried through those years. Now I see the gifts I received to get me through. The people, the AMAZING people, who entered my life at that time. It is overwhelming to think about them now. I was given SO many growth opportunities; SO fast. I didn’t know my own strength, but I got through, and I survived. I had an army of support. I just didn’t know it. I was so wrapped up in feeling alone, you couldn’t convince me otherwise.

Throughout most of my 20’s, I was career focused. I found a place as a sales trainer on stage and traveling; the two things I loved most. From the outside, I was living the life. The problem was, I relied on everyone else telling me how great I was. Their opinions are what mattered. If I spoke in a room with 1,000 people and five didn’t like me, those were the five I based my value on. I studied drama in high school. I knew how to become a different character without any problem. When I was on stage, I was on. When I was off stage and the curtains were drawn, I was a mess. I was one sick puppy. I was addicted to a horrible type of power and control. My intimate relationships were a direct reflection of how I treated myself. It got so bad, one bled into the other. I sabotaged my career and went on a five year downward spiral. This is where I learned humility. I lost my identity and became the labels of wife and mom, but there was no me in sight. November 2008, I was sent an Earth Angel.   A woman entered my life as an answered prayer. That was the beginning of me discovering who I was buried underneath all the layers.

More AMAZING miracles came into my life, they were disguised as incredible and strong women. These amazing examples gave me the courage to look at myself, and say YOU ARE WORTH IT! March 9, 2009 was my 33rd birthday. I was so sick of my situation. I was done blaming everyone else, it was time for me to take back my life.  That was the day, I walked into Al-Anon. It was there, I began to look at the unhealthy patterns in my life and started getting the tools to undo the mess I created. I kept being led to read books that would have profound effects on my life. I worked hard, and I was determined.

A month after turning 35, I left my old life behind. I moved, became a single mother, and  began school that fall. These last five years have been full of learning. Only this time, in a much healthier and less traumatic way. I have learned a lot about myself on this journey. Now, I get to share what I have learned with you.

Today, on my 40th birthday, I am me. I know and love the person I have become. It has been a long road, but well worth it. I am grateful for EVERY piece of my journey, because without each and every lesson, I wouldn’t be me. It was through my struggles, I learned to be compassionate towards others. It is through my pain, I found my inspiration. It is through all my tears (which is A LOT) from joy and/or sadness, I found my passion. So, I say bring on 40!

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I feel truly blessed.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

 

Which Path Do You Choose Today? Love or Fear

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Two Wolves

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil-he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good-he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you-and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

-Cherokee legend

We choose whether to follow with love or fear in every moment. This is a small sampling of topics and questions to illuminate which is getting most of your attention:

Disasters Such as 9/11, the Holocaust, Civil Rights Issues, or Natural Disasters

  • Do I focus on the heroes who helped or the people who created the problem?
  • Do I do something to help or get caught in the blame game?
  • Am I inspired to act by the people reaching out to help others or the ones filled with hate and rage?
  • Do I focus on the people and families who have been affected by the tragedy or the people, government, races or religions I want to blame for it?
  • Am I touched by my love and compassion for humanity as a whole, or I am stuck in anger, fear, and despair?

Romantic Relationships

  • Am I happy with where my life is now or desperately want it to be filled with another person?
  • Do I allow space for a healthy partner to present themselves or do I allow anyone in who shows interest?
  • Do I stay because I have the love I want, or do I stay because I am afraid of their not being someone else?
  • Do you love myself or do I do I feel like someone else’s love for me will make me feel better?
  • Do I see myself as a whole person, or do I think I am missing a part of me if I don’t have a romantic partner?

Religious Paths

  • Am I inspired by the loving actions of the figuresI follow or do I fear the wrath?
  • Do I believe that every life has value or only the ones who follow my ideals and beliefs?
  • Can I show compassion to any human who is suffering, or do I rationalize human suffer with anger and hate towards how the person is choosing to live?
  • Does love for humanity dictate how I treat people or does my judgments about a sinful lifestyle?
  • Do I understand that loving yourself is a part of the journey or do I feel my life has no value in my religious practice?

Work or Career

  • Do I see the value and importance of every position and person, or do I see others and myself as greater or less than someone else?
  • Do I believe in myself and take pride in the work I produce or do I come from a place of not enough?
  • Do I strive to do my best no matter what the task,  or do I think, “I don’t want to be here” and let the work suffer?
  • Do I see my opportunities to make a difference or do I shrink to fit into a box?
  • Do I stay in a situation because I love it or because I am afraid to see what would happen if I followed  my passion?

Overall Interactions with People

  • Is it more important to show compassion or be right?
  • Am I open to look at the situation from a different perspective, or  Do I have to judge other people’s journeys?
  • Am I happy for other people when they are successful or do I find a reason to attack them?
  • Do I see my own beauty or attack other people’s imperfections?
  • Do you I responsibility for my own choices or blame others?

Myself

  • Which is an easier list to write, what I like about myself or what I hate about myself?
  • When I make a mistake, I learn from it and move on, or I beat myself up?
  • I can look in the mirror and smile at the reflection in the mirror or I judge the reflection in the mirror?
  • I understand and accept that I’m not perfect or I expect myself to be perfect?
  • I can choose to be better or I am stuck in a vicious cycle of self-abuse?

Remember, there is no reason to beat yourself up for ANY time you have chosen to live out of alignment with love. We all make that choice sometimes, it is one of our greatest teachers when we can see it and take a step in a different direction. Understand that we are all humans and will choose based on what we feel is best at that moment. If we are not showing ourselves love, it will be easy to slip into fearful actions.

Try not to judge those who choose fear, because then you are choosing it too. Instead, see the opportunity to learn from the situation and figure out how to inspire love in the given situation. It will have amazing benefits for you and the other people involved. Your hate, anger, fear, and judgments are signals. If investigated and transformed into loving thought and actions they have the power to make wonderful changes in your own life and the lives of those around you. The ripple effect will go on and on. Does the ripple you choose inspire love or fear? Every word and action matter. Do the best you can.

Sometimes fear will get the better of us. If we get past that, forgive ourselves, and move on, we will have so much more to contribute to our world and our humanity. If we can stand up for what matters from a loving place, we will be able to see so many more opportunities and ways to fix the things that are hurting us. Together our love will heal the world. Divided we will suffer and struggle. Which path will you choose today? I choose love.

With love and gratitude for all,

Rachael Wolff