Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace #275

I’m grateful for what is old. Any time I’m around an old tree, I sit in AWE. There is something so special to me about being around something so old. I love going to museums with ancient artifacts. I also love being around people sharing great wisdom, and all great wisdom is ancient. People just find new ways to present it through their personal experiences. I can sit and listen to stories about people’s lifetimes all day long. I’m fascinated by people’s stories. I ask a lot of questions! I’m surrounded by old things, and I love it!

I was recently having a conversation with a friend about my first stuffed animal named Leppy, though technically I think she is a Cheetah. I still have her. I still consider her my protector. I remember she kept me safe in my dreams. I’ve moved all over the USA over the years and I didn’t hold on to much, but I held on to her. Thinking of her brings back so many memories.

I’ve also been blessed to hold onto to many long-term friendships. My oldest is now just over 40 years. I’ve known a handful of closest friends for 35 years, which includes my partner. I remember playing a name game called True Love with our names in fifth grade, our names together gave us a very high score for true love. The beauty of these friendships are the stories and the growth. We can go long stretches without talking and then pick up like no time has passed at all. I have one friend who I met just over 13 years ago, our relationship has based around our spiritual journeys which have aligned since the day we met. Her and I talk every week. Whenever I say I’m reading a book with a friend, that’s usually her. These old relationships provide my life with so much tremendous depth. Then there are the friendships that are relatively new, but something about them feels so old and familiar. Those always tend to come with lots of surprises.

I’ve fallen more in love with my life the older I get. It took me awhile, but I learned how to be my own best friend. Doing that took time, but in the old, I found new life.

Today, I commit to appreciating what is old. Just writing the words puts me in a deep state of appreciation. Tears are welling up in my eyes as I begin thinking about all the amazing people and things to appreciate. Just looking at this picture, I’m taken back to this ancient forest in North Carolina where I walked in total AWE as I tried to see the tops of these amazing trees. I felt so incredibly small, yet apart of something so vast.

Memories of family and friends come flooding back as I think of dancing in my grandparents grand ballroom on Christmas Eve with all my cousins. I remember running up and down the stairs of their old colonial house that once housed my mom along with her 12 brothers and sisters. I even remember specific creaks to let me know if the person was closing in on my hiding place. Then I think of meeting my oldest friend hiding behind the opposite sides of the same rock in my front yard as our moms introduced themselves to each other. So many amazing memories.

When I sit in appreciation for what is old, I have a peace about me. I feel grounded, like these trees. Notice, it’s the energy of love, abundance, and peace tying all of this together.

With Love, Abundance, and Peace,

©Rachael Wolff 2021

Author of Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World — Click the cover to find out more.

Daily Aligning with Love, Abundance, and Peace #118

I’m grateful for family. Family has taught me so much. I haven’t had the easiest family life, but I’ve grown so much from each experience I had. Without the family I have, I wouldn’t be me exactly as I am now. The person I am has so much love and compassion to share with the world. It’s not just because of the love, it’s because of the trauma too. I learned how to be strong, resilient, and brave. I got to see the importance of healthy boundaries. I learned about both toxic and loving relationships. I learned to break patterns of abuse, addiction, and self-sabotage. I also learned the power of love, respect, and trust. I’m grateful for my family.

I’m also grateful for the family I’ve made by bonds of love. I’m blessed to have a handful of friendships that have lasted between 3 and 4 decades. These relationships have stood the test of time, hormones, drama, chaos, and REALLY growing up together. Then I have ones that are bonds of spirit. These are the ones that when I met them, I already knew them. I’m overwhelmed with love in my heart for the amazing family God has brought into my life.

Today, I commit to appreciating family by blood and by choice. I know holidays can be tough on families. Today, I will remember to align with the energy of love, abundance, and peace. If a family member comes at me with the energy of fear, lack, and separation, I will remind myself they are coming at me from that place because they are in that place. It doesn’t mean that I have to be there. I can think, believe, act, and react from the energy of love, abundance, and peace no matter what comes at me. That’s MY CHOICE!

We don’t ever have to fight to be right, we can share our perspectives and allow others to have theirs. We can pray that God protects us with the energy of love, abundance, and peace to help us stay aligned. If we feel resistance from certain people, trust the space! Imagine two magnets, if the energy is aligned the magnets will connect If energy doesn’t align, the magnets resist each other. If I feel a resistance, I don’t force it to be what it’s not. I see the resistance as God’s protective circle around me.

Just remember, we can’t change anyone but ourselves, and we don’t know what is best for someone else’s journey, because it’s not ours. I choose to appreciate the lessons and the blessings that my family offers whether they are blood or by choice. As long as I stay aligned with love, abundance, and peace, I know I will get the most out of our time together.

With Love, Abundance, and Peace,

©Rachael Wolff 2020

Author of Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World

Who Is My Reader?

When I was asked in the marketing meeting about who I wanted to read my book, I thought every woman could get something out of it, since it covers romantic relationships, family, parenting, career, spirituality, addiction, unhealthy belief systems, and all things self. I also thought men could gain a lot of understanding and get a lot from it too, because it would not only give them tools, but help to better communication and empower themselves to make positive change in their lives.

For those who struggle in any unhealthy belief patterns, it gives tools to get out. For those who are healthy, it may help them see how their belief systems help them and give them a better understanding of those who struggle.

The book celebrates authentic empowerment. “Empower Yourself, Change the World!” When we see our own value, we lift others up and don’t tear them down. Authentic empowerment comes from love not fear. It’s about representing what we stand for and not putting our energy into what we are against (VERY IMPORTANT in today’s climate).

The marketing team said I needed to narrow it down to the one reader. Who was the one person I wanted to get through to with my book? I had the picture of the exact person in my mind. I want to get to the woman who is stuck in patterns of abuse, whether it be self-abuse or abuse from others, because self-abuse tends to lead to abuse (mental, emotional, or physical) from either bosses, partners, children, etc. We can accept from others the level of abuse that we give to ourselves.Some unhealthy patterns were passed down so unconsciously that we have to dig down to see them.

The book deals with what belief systems got us into the patterns that get us to act against ourselves in our lives and how to change them. There are so many reasons a person can choose to pick up the book, but if I can help that one person see their value and give them the tools to lift themselves out of living a life they are not passionately in love with, I’ve helped to make the world better.

When we help others see their best selves, it creates an unstoppable ripple effect. I would have never been able to write this book, if I didn’t have every experience I did, read every book that I did, and believe everything that I did. I’m continuously learning how to better myself, and I will until my journey here is done. With that, I’m able to continually give others seeds to help lift them as I get lifted.

At the time of this post, March 3, 2020, it’s been two weeks since Letters from a Better Me has been out and a little over that for the audiobook, and the audiobook is still in the Top 100 for Domestic Partner Abuse (link). My heart feels full knowing that people are getting the seeds I’m giving. I hope they choose to plant them and that they flourish into beautiful flowers. Life is precious, we each deserve to live lives we love.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

You can choose from one of your favorite book retailers here: http://FromALovingPlace.com/Book/

Amazon has the book on sale at the time of this post, and it’s the only place to get the audiobook (Audible).You can see a preview of the book and a sample of the audiobook when you click on the link below.

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

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 83: Taking Responsibility for Inviting the Dark Energy into Our Internal Homes

“I think we are all advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 A.M. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”

-Joan Didion

We are the only ones who can invite dark toxic energy into our internal homes. We are the only ones who can turn our homes into dilapidated shacks by not taking care of them. No one is to blame for how we feel inside of us, but we are responsible. The outside world may take away choices from specific situations and we may be led down some paths that our mere physical survival is a miracle—Inside we have choices. We can write whatever story we want about our internal lives. We can connect and/or disconnect to any perspective of truth, story, feeling, and/or thought. We just have to be open enough to see that inside us is where true freedom lies.

In Part II, I wrote about accepting our pasts and releasing the unknown future. The more we can get into the NOW, the less likely that those stories from the past and the attachments to some unknown future will be used to tear apart our internal homes. Trauma therapy uses techniques to help detach a person from the story of their trauma. This doesn’t mean the trauma didn’t happen, but the story of it is what keeps it hurting us now even if the actual trauma happened decades ago.

When we let these stories live inside of us, we are living within a dilapidated shack that needs a re-model to make it the internal home of our dreams. The problem is when our internal world has a dilapidated shack at the center of it; we invite dark and toxic energy into our internal world on a regular basis. We actually are comfortable in that energy because that is where we internally live. We attract people in the physical world who will bring us the energy we feed on to comfortably live within our internal worlds. If we are attached to an internal world filled with chaos, we attract chaos. If we are attached to an internal world filled with fear, shame, blame, guilt, shame, judgment, hate, and vengeance—YOU GOT IT! The Universe will give you what you are asking by what you are projecting out. If your words to the Universe don’t match what is going on inside of you, what is going on inside of you will trump any words you speak. The darkness we invite in is our teacher for some VERY important lessons.

We are responsible for any darkness in our internal homes or dilapidated shacks. Every home will have dark spots, but if we are willing to see them, shine the light on them, and clean up that area where the darkness touched—WE HEAL!  We learn the lesson the teacher brought us. We get better! We strengthen the light within us.

Part of the process to being a better me is being able to see our own darkness with clarity. Our darkness has a beautiful purpose. It can serve us if we are willing to look at it instead of letting it grow, fester, and spread. When we attract someone to our lives that shows us our internal chaos, we have the opportunity to clean up our own darkness. We can’t assign this cleanup, remodel, and/or gut job to anybody else. If we want to change, we have to take the responsibility to look at ourselves when presented by the darkness in our physical world. If we are attaching to it, we bring it inside of us and we’ve invited it in.

6 Steps to Transforming the Darkness within Our Internal Homes

  1. Recognize the dark energy festering inside of you that was triggered by an outside source (person, animal, event, object, etc.). How are you responsible for inviting this energy in? What about this outside source created your own darkness to stir up inside of you? What about this source are you attaching to?
  2. See thought options that can shine light on your darkness. Don’t focus on changing your thoughts here, just look at your options of thoughts. What thoughts could bring peace, calm, joy, compassion, empathy, trust, faith, hope, freedom, positivity, purpose, etc. to the dark room in your home? These are your cleanup products and tools to help you fix-up any space the darkness affected. Once you know your options…
  3. Choose an action to help you turn your light on. The light switch can be prayer, dance, meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, mindfulness practices, walking, consciously exploring nature, and the list goes on and on. Many of these tools have been mentioned throughout the series.
  4. Spot the toxic waste left behind from past darkness. Be careful because toxic waste can be tricky to handle. It likes to spread poison within our homes making the structure weak. Like mold, it can hide inside our walls. The more open we are to let the darkness pass through us, the more we will be able to see any toxic spots that are trying to linger, fester, grow and spread. These are those deep belief systems (perspectives of truth) that are latching on to keep the dark thoughts that were triggered alive. The thoughts that were triggered are exposing some of the toxins left behind from long ago they show themselves as entitlement, envy, greed, sloth, vengeance, cruelty, victimhood, and rage—Just to name a few. All of these are derivatives of FEAR.
  5. START CLEANING! You see it; now clean it up with the products and tools you’ve been given. The more you get these toxic energies cleaned out, the closer you get to living and leading a purpose-filled life with a deep connection to your Divine source. Your light gets brighter the more you clean out.
  6. Be grateful for what the dark energy within you exposed. Be grateful for the teacher and the lesson. Now, the old you might have sunk into the depths of shame and guilt when you invited dark energy into your home. You might have contributed to making rooms darker and turning off more lights to the point where things around you began to fall apart and crumble. The better you has the opportunity to grow and expand from the exposed darkness. You have learned how to shine your light effectively into your home and find the secrets hidden in the walls. This is something to be EXTREMELY grateful for.

We now can create an even better space than we had before. We took responsibility for our mess and cleaned it up! So embrace the darkness and what it shows us. Fighting it and/or numbing it (addictions) will only make it stronger. We want to learn from what it has to show us. We want it to help us spot the areas we need to clean up and re-purpose. You have all the products and tools you need in this very moment. The more you use the tools you already have, the more that will become available to you in order to grow and expand from the place you are.

If you are reading this piece separately, I invite you to go back and see what you’ve missed in the series. The 90-Day A Better Me Series is like a puzzle. You want to have all the pieces to see the whole picture. Here’s a quick link to the category so that you can go back and explore what you’ve missed: https://fromalovingplace.com/category/90-day-a-better-me-series/

For best results: I suggest reading the series all the way through. You may find that by doing this you are led to people, places, and/or things that open up new doors and pathways to lead you to be living a purpose-filled life—Miracles abound! You just have to take the journey and trust that at this moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

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

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 76 – Using Perspective Tools to Navigate Our Relationships

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 76: Using Perspective Tools to Navigate Our Relationships

“Each time you are tempted to become angry, or jealous, or fearful and you challenge that feeling, you empower yourself.”

-Gary Zukav

In Part II, I covered the topic of perspective (Days 42-46). We can’t use the tools of perspective until we understand how our perspectives of truth affect our lives. Until we understand about perspectives we want to see us as right and them as wrong. This view is a dark path that leads to fear, anger, hate, resentment, jealousy, revenge, envy, and codependency. We ALL know the effects of these things on our relationships.

Using perspective tools to navigate our relationships opens us up to hear what our family members, romantic partners, friends, coworkers, bosses, clients, and others are saying and where they are coming from. The more we can use our perspective tools the healthier we will be in our relationships, because as we ALL know NOBODY is going to agree with the when, where, how and why of everything we do, say, and feel. Just like, we won’t ALWAYS agree with someone else’s choices.

Using perspective tools is away to reduce the stress of not seeing things from the same angle, because really, that is all it is. We will never have the same exact view of life as any other person. We ALL have the journey each of us are meant to have, no two will ever be exactly the same. If we plan on taking any kind of relationship path with a person, the best we can do is be open to try to understand. It doesn’t mean we have to agree or change our ways, but by understanding our perspectives of truth, then making the effort to understand theirs—There is peace. Communication will improve, but we will talk about that a little later in the series. For now, we will focus on how to use perspective tools to navigate our relationships.

5 Ways You Can Use Perspective Tools

  1. We are either interpreting the moment from a place of love (light) or fear (darkness). The first step is to look at what you and the person you’re communicating with are projecting, love or fear. If either party is projecting fear, question where the fear is coming from inside.
  2. We ALL have a story we are telling. No matter what happens there are lots of ways to write our stories. When we don’t like the way we feel, think, and/or act we can choose a different way. We give the power to our stories. We decide if our story is going to be led by love or fear. How do we want our character to treat the secondary character in front of us?
  3. Try to see from the perspective of the other person. This means you have to ask a lot of questions to figure it out. Don’t tell the person how they should feel, think, or act. Ask questions to uncover why they are feeling, thinking, and/or acting the way they are. If you take the time to understand where they are coming from it’s easier for them to hear you when you explain where you are coming from.
  4. Speak in terms of perspective. You need an understanding of your perspective of truth that works in your life. Their perspective of truth might work in their life. You can ask: Does thinking the way you do bring joy and peace to your life? If it doesn’t, and your perspective of truth does bring joy and peace to your life, you are now open to explain without telling them they HAVE to change. The choice is theirs. It all depends on the perspectives we choose to believe. If your perspective doesn’t bring you peace and joy, maybe the other person may have perspectives you may want to implement in your life.
  5. KEEP QUESTIONING YOUR THOUGHTS!!! Please, if you find yourself blaming, shaming, and judging others or yourself— Go back to Part I (Days 1-30) of the 90-Day A Better Me Seriesand work through what is keeping you from having healthy relationships with others. The more we question our thinking, the better we will be.

If we use these tools, we start getting real honest with ourselves about the people we are inviting into our lives. We start noticing the energy they are bringing with them and how we feel when we are around them. If they are large sources of darkness, the more we spot it, the more we can protect ourselves from it. We will get more into that later. Like we talked about yesterday, we first have to stay present with the person standing in front of us. Once we are present, we see perspectives of truth clearly.

Once we see that we are all just interpreting life through our own unique perspective, we stop taking it so personally when people don’t agree with ours. We can question our perspectives of truth without feeling violated. It becomes much easier to say, we just see things from a different perspective and that’s okay. This is why mine works for me… If yours works for you and brings you peace and joy believing what you do—GREAT!

After we learn to navigate our relationships through the use of perspective tools, it makes it much easier to see which relationships work and which ones don’t in our lives. The more peaceful we remain in someone else’s chaos, the more the energy shifts and changes. The other person will either find a place of calm with you, or they may start unconsciously trying to stir up more chaos to break the relationship. Either way, you will be blessed the calmer and more peaceful you stay. The Law of Attraction will work in your favor.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 76

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 70 – Doing What I Love

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 70: Doing What I Love

Dear Self,

You are just as important as all of the people I serve, so I’m honoring our journey by committing to do things I love daily. I want move through life with the energy of doing what I love to do. I know that by doing this, I will manifest more of what I love and will attract others around me who share my passions. There is no good reason not to spend time doing what I love to do daily. I know I might not be able to everything I love in one day, but I will commit to doing something I love EVERYDAY!

Here is a list of things I love doing:

  • Dancing to music with positive messages
  • Writing
  • Walking around the lake to look at the birds gathering at the island at the center of the lake
  • Nature walks and hiking off-trail
  • Going to the dog beach with my dog
  • Laughing
  • Yoga
  • Quality time with my family
  • Quality time with my friends
  • Quiet time to meditate and quiet my brain
  • Helping others discover their best selves
  • Eating flavorful foods
  • Spending Time Communicating with the Divine

With this list there is no excuses!  I can even add more things I love, because as I engage in this energy, more space will open up. I know if I don’t make time for doing the things I love, it’s because I’m not on my priority list and when I’m not on my priority list, things fall through the cracks. So, why not? I deserve my own time! The people I love deserve me to be operating as the best version of myself too.

Today I’m Grateful

  1. I’m grateful that I can MAKE time to do the things I love.
  2. I’m grateful for the energy I feel when I’m doing the things I love.
  3. I’m grateful for the joy that I feel when get to share my love with others.
  4. I’m grateful for today as an opportunity to do what I love to do.
  5. I’m grateful when I notice when it’s a good time to do what I love.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

A Better Me

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Are you doing what you love? 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 70 – Doing What We Love

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 58 – Manifesting Love through Self-Love

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 58: Manifesting Love through Self-Love

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

-Lucille Ball

Are you ready to create love in your life? This can be romance, friendship, familial, animal, nature, communal, and/or global. You know when you are ready by the amount of love you have for yourself. The more love you have for yourself, the more love you can manifest in your life. The greatest gift of the writing I do and the life I live is the amount of love I have to give and the amount I’m able to receive. There is never too much love to give or to be given. The illusion of giving too much comes from giving ourselves away, and that isn’t about love. We have to love ourselves first so that we don’t give ourselves away (Day 28). We are responsible for seeing our own value and worth (Day 52). This makes it possible to create healthy boundaries from a loving place (Day 53). This is how we make the Law of Attraction work for us.

One of the first things I did to manifest the love I actually wanted in my life was to make a list of what I wanted in a romantic partner. This list was a few pages long. I didn’t leave anything out. Now, this list was different than any of the lists I have ever written. When I wrote this list I was conscious of how energy works. I had to make sure my energy was matching what I said I wanted. Then I had to make sure nowhere on this list did I make this wonderful person responsible for my feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions. I didn’t focus on the future plans that I wanted with the person, because as I’ve said before in the series, that creates expectations and we stop seeing the person in front of us. I focused on the person and the qualities I was looking for. I was very careful not to put the energy of against into this list. This is similar to what I was talking about on Day 57 about representing the energy of what we stand for. It all falls under the same concept. Making this list was only a small piece in the puzzle.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”

-Oscar Wilde

The larger piece was having to turn the list around onto me, because we can only attract what we already have inside. This is where the real work came in. This is why the list plays a large part my 35-Day A Better Me Boot CampThe love affair we have with ourselves, is the most important of all love affairs we will ever have. It dictates how every other love story in our lives will go. Including our spiritual connection with the Creator of Universe itself. We have to know self-love before we can even begin to accept the love that our Creator has for us. Just like any other love, we will sabotage any level of love that goes beyond the love we feel for ourselves. We inject our fears into the love, which creates the stories of not enough, too much, and expectations. All these things are apart of our own self-sabotage.

The original list became the list of things I needed to work on to manifest this love outside of myself. During this process, I stopped seeking love outside of myself because I found my joy and peace within myself. I started manifesting amazing friendships, adventures, and opportunities to experience so much love. I felt full and complete within myself. I didn’t feel like my life was missing anything. So much so, that for a little bit I went to the other extreme of not allowing the Universe to make space for romance to come into my life. I see it like the pendulum swinging. I went from one extreme to the other, then with time settled into a relaxed place in the middle. I will go more into all the things we can attract by manifesting this love in our lives on Day 59.

Turning the list around onto what I needed to do and how I needed to work on treating myself was the inspiration for so much of the work I do now with individuals who are struggle to live life from a loving place. It all begins with us seeing and loving the people we are. I accept the lessons this body has to teach me, so I love my body for it. I accept the lessons my circumstances have to teach me, so I love my life for them. I accept the lessons that people come into my life to teach me, so I love what I have the ability to create from my experiences with them. I accept the gifts I’ve been given, so I love sharing my perspectives with others.

The energy of gratitude and love takes over our lives when we have this love affair with ourselves. We become aware of the miracles self-love creates in our lives and in the lives of others who are able to accept the love that we have to give. We see the world through different lens. Our prejudices, blocks, drama, chaos, and fear-based perspectives of truth (beliefs) fall away little by little. We become open to manifest love in our lives beyond what we could have ever imagined, because that love is coming from inside of us. It opens our eyes to see the love available in the world and creates more. If you’ve been reading this series, and your wondering if this is one of those times tears are running down my face…YES!

I honestly never knew how life-transforming self-love could be. I used to read thousands of self-help books that had beautiful concepts, but the problem was I struggled to apply them to my life. Self-love made the faraway concepts come to life. If you are not getting what you want from life, look inside. The answers to what we are manifesting, whether it is love or hate/fear (Day 24), all reside within the perspectives of truth (Days 42-46) we are living by and how we are using those to treat ourselves.

Love yourself enough to contribute to the changes you want to see in your world and the world around you.

Just for Today

Make your list! Create the ideal friend, partner, and/or family member to help you figure out how you need to work on having your love affair with yourself. What we want to attract from someone else is the qualities we want in ourselves. We have to make sure they are in-line with what we feel and how we treat ourselves to manifest this level of love in our lives. We will dig deeper into this in Part III.

Enjoy this journey! This is the love affair that will create true magic in your life. Don’t take it for granted.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Don’t forget to read today’s companion piece:90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 58 – Manifesting Love in My Life

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 49 – Gratitude in Our Relationships

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Day 49: Gratitude in Our Relationships

“Trade your expectations for appreciation and your whole world changes in an instant.”

-Tony Robbins

When have expectations on the people closest to us, we are setting ourselves up to be let down time and time again. Nobody owes us anything. If we think that a person we love owes us something because we did something for them there is a debt to be paid, we gave to that person from a place of lack. When we demand respect, love, understanding, time, etc., we are not being honest about the intentions of why we chose to give in the first place. We might have been giving out of self-expectations, low self-worth, attachment to titles, to feel wanted, to feel needed, etc. None of those are giving from a place of love. When we have expectations of others to be more than who they are, we are coming from a place of lack. When we can be grateful for who they are and what they are capable of giving, we are coming from a place of abundance. We don’t need someone else to fill a hole inside of us. We are complete on our own. We can give without giving ourselves away because we are giving from a place of fullness. When we give from a place of love, we feel gratitude in the ability to give.

Giving from a loving place means we are keeping ourselves in the abundance of gratitude—Our relationships shift and change. The people who are stuck in their own dark place who fed off our demanding energy of lack will grow and change with us, or they will grow apart from us. Family members, friends, and partners who feel the new energy and embrace it will shift with us. We will actually see more of the light inside them too. We will appreciate those relationships even more.

“The thankful heart opens our eyes to a multitude of blessings that continually surround us.”

-James E. Faust

By keeping our focus on our gratitude, we start really seeing the partners and friends we choose to have in our lives. Our perspectives of truth (Days 43-46) shift and expand to see people from a more realistic view. We aren’t putting the relationships in the future or in the past, we are in the relationship right now. We are noticing what is happening now. If we have friends from the past, and we choose not to see them now because of our connection to the past, we miss opportunities to see who they are now. We might be missing the gifts that come from the growth each person has had.

When we are in intimate romantic relationships that are focused on the future, we are not seeing the person in front of us AT ALL! We are seeing the dream of who we are wishing them to be in terms of what we want for our future. That is way too much pressure to put on a relationship. Be grateful for the love now. Be grateful for the caring gestures now. Be grateful for the challenges now where you learn if this is even a person you want in your life. If they aren’t a person you want in your life, be grateful you figured that out. When we are grateful, we see the person in front of us. We learn and grow from their time in our lives and that is something to be grateful for no matter how long the relationship lasts. If they are not meant for the long term, we can be thankful for the things we learned and grow from there.

Even in our most intimate relationships, we can’t make our partners feel, think, act, or react in anyway that he/she doesn’t make the choice to do. We can’t make our partners happy. They have to choose to be happy, if they choose to be happy, they will appreciate our happiness and the happiness they share with us. They can’t make us happy either, because we have to make that choice for ourselves too. The same is true for anger, jealousy, etc. It’s all of it, light and dark energies. If we make someone else responsible for our feelings, thoughts, actions, and reactions we gave our power away from a place of lack and fear. It’s that hole some people feel that only an intimate partner can fill. That is a perspective of truth that is very painful for all parties involved. Knowing we are responsible for ourselves and our partners are responsible for themselves is a perspective of truth that leaves a lot of room for gratitude and expansion. We can help without enabling. We can serve without expecting. We can receive with full love for the gesture.

“No gesture is too small when done with gratitude.”

-Oprah

Side note: For those who have been caught in narcissistic relationships, living from a place of gratitude shifts your energy away from the narcissist. A narcissist needs chaos to thrive and feed on. Living in gratitude and feeling good about ourselves takes away their power of us. If you are still in the relationship they will fight against positive shifts. They will try anything to revert your energy back to a chaotic place where they can feel like they are in control. Keep focusing on gratitude, when you have reached a certain point the signs will be so clear when it’s time to leave. You won’t feel the chaos behind the choice. You will feel a peace inside you. It is a truly empowering moment. The shift is definitely something to be grateful for!

Communicating from the energy of gratitude and expansion keeps the defenses down. We can appreciate hearing their view, then explain ours. If we don’t treat differences like battlegrounds, we grow together. Just remember:

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If you are having trouble with a family member, partner, or friend, keep them on your gratitude list. It will help you get out of your own unhealthy space of focusing your energy on lack, which is what creates the space of expecting people to be more than they are. We want to see people from our light, because it will not only help us focus on the light in them, but we will see their dark spots and know if we need to have space from this person. When we are in a dark place inside, we can want and expect people to show up more, but when we find our light, we may see space from them is a true blessing. We want to feed our peace, not our chaos. That is our responsibility to ourselves. When we have a grateful heart and share from a loving place, we feel good! NO ONE can take that away from us no matter how they respond to our loving action. We are full. We are abundant in loving energy. We can show up to our relationships with gratitude for whatever the day holds. There are so many blessings that come with relationships full of gratitude!

Just for Today

Focus your gratitude list on relationships you are struggling with. You will feel a clear energy shift with that person once you have found your own light. They will feel it too. It’s one of the miracles of gratitude. This may take a lot longer than one day if the dark energy you feel about the person runs deep. Keep going!

This exercise helped me move out of my own toxic space in unhealthy relationships and opened me up to countless blessings that I’m still experiencing today even know those particular people are long gone. I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunities I got to learn about myself in those relationships. Their darkness ended up helping me to brighten my light. I’ve also felt amazing shifts in my relationships with my children, friends, and family members by focusing on this list. It really is an AMAZING journey!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

Make sure to  read today’s Letter from A Better Me 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 49 -Celebrating Gratitude in My Relationships

 

 

What Now, Irma?

After taking our unplanned road trip to Georgia, we got to experience some of Irma for ourselves. Since the kids won’t be going back to school until Monday, I decided to wait out some of the chaos of worrying about gas stations having electricity and/or gas at all. I also would let all those desperate to get home to have the road. I really didn’t want to be on the road with so many people who were so exhausted and in fear of what they would find on the other end of their drives. I know it was hard enough keeping my focus as I left Florida.

Many of my friends went home to be stuck without A/C in 90°F weather, no gas, and limited food and water. Many wishing they would have stayed up this way a little longer. Lots of my Naples friends are without cell service, so I sit and wait for limited communications through Facebook and other sources. I see pictures upon pictures of damage and devastation to areas I’ve grown up. Though most of my friends and family were lucky during the storm, their battle with Irma is still not over and won’t be for a long time to come. Her damage was extensive and many areas outside of what we see on the news were affected. Truthfully, how do we even begin to cover it all?

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As I sit here, I wonder about going home. There is now a rising river that may cause problems on my journey. UGH!!!!! Seriously, I thought it would be good to let some time pass before going back, and now it might come with a price. I’m once again faced with: Do I go now? Do I wait? I’m sitting in utter disbelief of all the problems Irma is causing. Deaths are not over; now we have heat exhaustion and issues with carbon monoxide poisoning from generators getting us. Some of my single mom friends are struggling to get food because it is cash only, and they don’t have any cash. Tears are filling my eyes as the words come out.

I’m very guilty of sitting on the outside, thinking that once a storm is over it’s done. Without having people on the inside it can be difficult to see how hard it really is in the aftermath of it all. I’ve been through many hurricanes, but not one that has caused this much widespread damage. I can’t stop thinking about all the areas that are being hit by natural disasters now. All the fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding are consuming my mind of how they affect each individual person having to go through them or have family and friends going through them. The thoughts and feelings are overwhelming.

To love is to recognize yourself in another.

– Eckhart Tolle

I will keep my heart in a loving place. I will keep praying for all those who are suffering. I will continue to love openly. I know that my love is more important than my pain. I won’t try to hide from my feelings and pretend they are not there. I’m proud to feel all the feelings that are going through me. I don’t want to be numb for this. I need to be able to show up for my family, friends, strangers, and myself in the most loving way possible. This is how I will get through.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

 

 

 

Hurricane Irma: A Single Mom’s Unplanned Road Trip

Growing up in Southwest Florida, I’ve experienced quite a few hurricanes. I lived in Naples during Andrew, the one that did so much damage and the reports keep comparing Irma to, saying this one is much worse. In my early twenties, I lived in Oak Island, North Carolina. I stuck around for a hurricane coming right over us, my poor family had to watch and wait in panic. As a mom, I decided category three or higher; we leave.

When Hurricane Irma turned into a Category 5, I watched her very carefully. The long term projection showed where I live now on the West Coast of Florida might see the ugliest side of her; the north east corner. My exit strategy started forming, but I gave her a little time. As she came closer, the projected path started to turn east. This is when my mind started really spinning. I couldn’t stop thinking about Hurricane Charley. The models showed a landfall more north, then it took a sudden turn and many people were unprepared for a direct hit. Hurricane Andrew hit Homestead, but Naples had plenty of damage. Another hurricane came through as direct hit on the SW side then passed through and did a lot more damage in Ft. Lauderdale then where we were. Do I stay or do I go? I left when Katrina passed over our waters and watched intently because my ex-boyfriend and his family lived on the coast of Mississippi. I remember desperately searching the Internet to find out they were all safe. His dad and stepmom were those people who were always prepared. They had a hurricane room that looked like a convenience store. In the end, it didn’t matter. Katrina stripped her to the foundation. They didn’t live that close to the water. It was at least a five to ten minute drive from what I remember. Should I stay or should I go? I knew I needed to get calm and make a decision. Florida is not like many other states. If you live anywhere in the southern half, you need to make a decision fairly early. It takes me five hours or more to get to the border of Florida. When I was in Naples it took around six and half on a good day. Now add evacuation traffic; NIGHTMARE!

On Tuesday, I really was confused whether to stay or go, but staying was causing me so much anxiety. Not because of the storm itself as much as the aftermath. Flooding, food, and transportation were stuck in my brain. Now, I’m very fortunate to have a friend who lives close to Atlanta, Georgia that the kids and I stay at every summer. I knew I had a place to go outside of Florida. Some people would say, “It’s probably going to hit there too.” Yes, it is, but from where I am. I can go in any direction to escape Irma’s path. I don’t have that option in Florida. In Florida, she will come in as a category 4 or 5, but in this area, at most a category 1. That’s a BIG difference! I spent Tuesday and Wednesday studying traffic on an app for my phone. I watched accident after accident pop up on my screen. I checked on traffic through out the night on Tuesday to see if I leave in the middle of the night, could I avoid a lot of the evacuation traffic. Luckily, the answer was yes. Gas was out all over the state, so the fear of not being able to get any came into my head. I needed to get my head on straight. Stop getting into the fear and make the best decision for my family.

I struggle with decision-making when there is a lot of chaos going on. I spoke with a friend, the more we talked, I realized my gut wasn’t telling me to stay, despite many people telling me I would be fine where I was. I needed to get quiet and pray. I sat in my closet (safe from interruption), got still, and asked a direct question, “Should I leave?” I got my answer, a very loud and solid YES! A calm came over me and I knew I made the right decision. I figured there were three options:

  1. Irma would come into the Gulf of Mexico and hit us with her worse side.
  2. She would go up the middle and get all of Florida.
  3. She would go out to the Atlantic and hit somewhere further up the coast.

Being, I really didn’t like options one or two, I asked myself would I regret leaving, the answer a resounding NO. I put my thoughts in a less stressful place because I needed a clear head while I was driving. I decided I was going to go on a road trip to see friends. Wednesday, I packed the kids, our cat, and myself up and I was good to go. I went to sleep early and set my alarm for 1AM. We were on the road by 1:30AM.

The first few hours were easy. I even could set my cruise control. I saw traffic coming up so I pulled off at a full rest area. I slipped into one of the few spots. I’m so glad I did because all the rest areas after that were packed well beyond capacity with cars and trucks lining the highway. Many travellers were taking sleep breaks because they had been traveling so long. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about all the people leaving their family, friends, and homes. As a category 5 hurricane our lives as we know it may change very quickly.

Going through Georgia took the longest because it was daytime and the majority of travellers were on the road. So many unnecessary accidents along the way because people wouldn’t give each other space to slow down. I stayed next to the shoulder and had to use it to avoid an accident two cars ahead of me.

I have lived in Florida for a good chunk of my life. I lived in Naples multiple times starting when I was in fifth grade. My children were born there. I worked there. Most of all, many of my closest lifetime friends are there along with my boyfriend and his family. I knew many of them were staying and most of them were hoping the track was going to keep shifting east.

Now, as of 5:00AM Saturday morning this massive storm is going to hit at the least as a category 4 and a possible 5. Now, my home that I share with my mom and stepdad is also going to get a major hit as a 3 or 4, along with St. Petersburg area where I went to Eckerd College and met so many amazing people. This means a huge portion of my children’s and my family and friends are now going to be on the worst side of this massive storm. As grateful as I am that I got the gut instinct to leave, and that I could keep my calm on the road because I had a familiar place to go with my kids, my nerves are still on high alert.

I am doing my best to stay present, but I’m not going to lie, my head is in so many places and with so many of the people I love. I don’t know when the next time I will be able see any of them is. I don’t know how the roads will be or how long it will be before I can get home to my family and get my kids back to their normal routines. If it will even be an option.

We didn’t take much with us besides clothes, important paperwork, our electronic devices, and a handful of sentimental items. When I was looking around at what to pack, I thought this is all just stuff. If it all goes, it won’t matter. What will matter is what happens to all the people I love.

I’m happy I don’t have to make that last minute decision wondering if it’s too late to leave and will there be enough gas to get out, but my heart, mind, and soul are there with the people I love. I will be praying and hoping that I hear from them all once the storm passes. Be safe my friends. I love you.

I have been blessed with SO MANY AMAZING people in my life. I know I’m not alone. There are no right ways to feel right now. We all experience watching an event like this from our own personal angle. Our strengths and weaknesses may be exposed, but through these traumatic experiences we grow as a global community. I am not alone. My friends and family are not alone. I just watched so many people come together to help with Hurricane Harvey. I’m watching the best of humanity come out to help with the earthquake that just happened in Mexico and the fires in Oregon, Montana, and California. Even if the media hasn’t covered some of them, good people still will show up in whatever way they can; even if it is prayer. Every piece of positive energy matters and that is what needs to be focused on. Please stay compassionate and non-judgmental towards the people in it. They are all doing the best they can with what they have. It is much easier looking at a situation from outside the box. I’m guilty of doing it and I’m reminding myself as much as I’m telling you. We don’t know what the best answer is for anyone else’s situation, and we don’t have all the cards. So please, keep the energy positive and loving.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2017

P.S. If you are new to the blog, pictures on this blog are from my personal adventures and taken by me. This featured Image is in Venice, FL. I really hope the pier is still there when I get home.

I apologize to any grammar police. This piece is very raw. I couldn’t focus on proper grammar.