3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

3 Ways to Remove the Clutter that Self-Abuse Creates

Self-abuse is one of the many ways our self-hate, low self-esteem, lack of worth, and negative self-image manifest themselves. We create clutter both inwardly and outwardly when we don’t become self-aware of how we are treating ourselves. This doesn’t help us lead productive lives. This doesn’t help us stay away from the chaos and drama that surrounds us. The more we hate ourselves and treat ourselves with disrespect, the more chaos and drama we will attract to our lives. The clutter in our minds is fuel for the fear, hate, shame, guilt, and violence that is spreading in and around us.

If we want things to get better around us, we have to start within us. Our energy that we put into the world comes from the energy we are feeding ourselves daily. If we want to stop the abuse, we have to stop creating a space where we are apart of the problem. Self-abuse is not helping us or anyone else! When we self-abuse we are showing others that it’s okay to disrespect us, walk on us, and treat us as if we have no value. Many times people don’t even know that that is the way we feel, because our own behaviors have led them to believe that what they are doing is acceptable.

For years, I wanted to be the victim of my own thinking. I found a sick pleasure in being the doormat, but what I didn’t want to see is that I laid down in front of the person who chose to walk across my back. I was trying to find my value because I hated myself so much that I just gave myself away over and over expecting someone to see what I couldn’t. Our lack of value clutters our minds and distorts our realities into believing that we are trapped and that we can’t stop what is happening to us. Just the thought is self-sabotaging and attracts more of what we don’t want.

When my mind is cluttered, it spreads into my personal spaces. I’ve had my bed so covered in stuff that I have barely been able to fit on it to sleep. That’s when I know I have some real cleaning to do. The last time my bed was like that I dove head-first into figuring out how and why I kept sabotaging myself. It was time for me to look at how I was treating myself.

Here are three ways you can help yourself:

1. Become Aware of the Clutter —INVENTORY NEGATIVE MESSAGES

  • How do you talk to yourself when you are looking in the mirror?
  • What do you think about all your features?
  • What do you think about the person you are?
  • How do you feel about how your life looks to you when you look in the mirror?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake for the first time?
  • How do you talk to yourself when you’ve repeated a mistake?

This inventory won’t be done in one sitting. As life situations come up, see how you are talking to yourself:

  • Are you calling yourself names?
  • Are you criticizing yourself?
  • Are you beating yourself with an emotional 2×4?

Just to give you an idea, life situations can still hit me off-guard from time to time and I go back through these steps in order to keep my headspace clean and clutter free.

2. Cleaning out the Clutter—INSIDE AND OUT

  • Start a self-love Journal —Pick a number of days you will commit 35, 45, and/or 90 days. Each day write a minimum of three things you like about yourself. Here’s a hint, if you spot certain positive qualities in others it’s usually because you have them yourself. Do your best not to repeat, especially in the beginning. As you see more and more things you like about yourself, then you can start reusing ones that you are really connecting to.
  • Clean up your physical clutter—Start with a drawer and just keep going. Throw away what you don’t need. Pitch, sell, or donate the things that are just taking up space in your life. Make space for what you want more of in your life. Remember, clear space is peaceful space.

3. Keep the Space Clean—STAY AWARE OF WHERE YOUR MIND GOES

  • Living in gratitude is the best way to keep your space clean. Anytime our minds go to lack, deprivation, fear, hate, blame, etc. we are creating more clutter.
  • Watch your reactions to people. I find this one entertaining. If  a person’s actions work you up: First question your own thinking about what is happening to see if you are fully aware of where your reaction is coming from. Second, I imagine the person saying or doing whatever it is to themselves. Our negative behaviors start from how we are treating ourselves, so we can gain clarity about the situation if we are not taking the person personally. This doesn’t mean we have to accept unacceptable behavior. We just don’t add our own clutter. How someone treats us shows us their love or fear that they are internally dealing with. How we respond to them shows us where we are.
  • Stop the Cycle of abuse. If you see, hear, or feel abusive thoughts about yourself come up, correct them and clean up your self-talk. Treat yourself with love, respect, loyalty, honesty, and compassion. We have to have it inside us before we have a chance of cleaning up what’s around us.
  • Give from a Loving Place. This means you are giving because you want to, not because you think it will make you worthy of someone else’s time, affection, love, respect, etc.

Side effects of these steps are: sleep better, eat healthier, enjoy self-care, kinder thoughts, less judgmental towards others, more compassionate, attract healthier people to our personal and professional lives, more opportunities to do good in the world, appreciate peace, and so many more. 

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

Did what you just read resonate with you? I hope you will explore FromALovingPlace.com and keep reading. I’ll be bringing a new series to the blog starting September 1, 2019. If you are not following along, make sure to sign-up below.

For my female readers, I have EXCITING news! Letters from A Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World is available for pre-order! Click the link to order your copy today!

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 43 – Perspectives of Truth

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

 

Day 43: Perspectives of Truth

“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”

-Anais Nin

We all bring a unique perspective to this life. Certain beliefs are ingrained in our heads before we even know what is going on. Others are created through the experiences in our lives. No two perspectives are exactly alike. So the question is why do we get so upset when people don’t see the world exactly as we do? Why do we feel the need to throw judgment and blame all over the place? We are all here learning. We are all trying to find our way. We are all going to have learning experiences that take us through the trenches in some way or other. Each of us has a choice of how to interpret life. Why do we feel the need to insist on our own way? FEAR! Once we see our fight to be right out of  a place of darkness is us fighting fear with fear, we give ourselves space to see there are choices we can make that won’t cause us to spread our darkness.

The way I’ve learned to stay open and not close myself off is interpreting  my and other people’s beliefs as perspectives of truth. When I came to understand that what I believe is a perspective of truth, I became more open to see that there are other ways to look at things. Not only do I have the opportunity to change what I believe if it doesn’t work in my life, everyone gets that choice.

Seeing the world through perspectives of truth helped me understand that no one can be defined by a title. I call this the “ALL” dilemma. When we use titles to define a particular group of people, we stop seeing the individuals. We lump them into a set of belief systems that I guarantee you not ALL the individuals of the group have. No person can be defined by the titles they carry. We take away people’s humanity and individual perspectives when we define them in a group. We contribute to the darkness when we define individuals because of the groups they fall in. We close our minds to see them. We dim our own lights by our judgments. In order to make our light shine as bright as possible, we have to be willing to see beyond titles. We have to see the individuals in front of us, including the person looking back at us in the mirror.

When we choose to see ourselves and others beyond the titles, we see love (light) and fear (dark) clearly. By understanding that we are all seeing our lives through perspectives of truth helps us to gain more interest in understanding where people are coming from. Are their perspectives of truth being created by love or by fear?

We can hear the words of Martin Luther King Jr. and Adolf Hitler to know where each of them stood when it comes to being lead by love and fear. Hate (fear) encourages more hate. Love encourages more love.

Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t spreading hate. He felt a love so deep for humanity that he made it his mission to help individuals see each other through eyes of love. Did everyone take his messages that way? Of course not, some people following him and/or who were inspired by him still had too much fear, pain, hate, judgment, in their hearts to hear the entire message, even Martin Luther King Jr. used words that for some triggered fearful actions instead of loving ones. Some people who were lost in their darkness defined him in a category of people and hated him just for that. MLK used words like “fight” which can confuse a message because that word can trigger people’s darkness. If we are aware of what is inside of us, we can differentiate that he was telling people to STAND UP for themselves and who they are as individuals who deserved to be treated equally. He wanted people to STAND UP for their worth, humanity, decency, and love. He wanted both sides to STAND UP. His perspectives of truth have inspired individuals on the path to be better for generations and his messages will continue to live on, yet just because individuals see him as an inspiration doesn’t mean they will have ALL the exact same perspectives of truth as he did. The love in him is recognized by the love in others. If we are inspired by messages of love, his perspectives of truth about love will stand out to us.

Adolf Hitler preached messages of fear, separation, judgment, blame, and entitlement. All of these messages are fueled by the darkness within an individual. This is a person who’s perspectives of truth led him to believe that the only way to overcome his fears were to eliminate the people he feared. He didn’t see individuals. He didn’t see humanity. He was lost in his internal belief systems run by fear. His messages will live on in people who attach to similar fearful messages of separation, entitlement, judgment, and separation. His messages live in individuals who can’t find their way out of their own fears so they have to blame people and/or groups around them. When we let our fears fuel the HATE for a group of people without investigating the individuals. We are following the darkness in ourselves. We will look at the people in our lives through dark glasses. We will be drawn to the darkness in others. We will lead or be led through perspectives of truth created by fears. As the quote from Anais Nin says up above, “We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.” It is important to be clear on how we are choosing to view the world.

If we want to be led by perspectives of truth created by love, we need put our focus on individuals who inspire us to love more and be better. We have to be aware when people are trying to lead us by perspectives of truth created by fear. Individuals with healthy perspectives of truth do not feel the need to attack others or themselves. They are people who are inspired by the light within themselves to be the best individuals they can be. They choose perspectives of truth that light the way and can shine light in the dark corners. If we want to see how bright we can shine, we have to surround ourselves with as much light as we can. Searching out perspectives of truth is an AMAZING journey within itself. All we have to do is say we want it and the doors start opening.

Just for Today

Answer these questions: What perspectives of truth have you been following that create more fear in your life? What perspectives of truth have you been following that create more love in your life? Do you want to lead or be led by perspectives of truth created by fear or perspectives of truth created by love?

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff © 2019

 

Read today’s Letter from A Better Me, 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 43 – Understanding Perspectives of Truth

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 30 – Anywhere but Right Here and Now

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 30: Anywhere but Right Here and Now

“Do not dwell in the past. Do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

-Buddha

The most efficient way to make us miserable is to keep our heads in the past and in the future. We are not either place and by focusing in a place we are not, we miss where we are. We can skip over key parts of relationships, miss grand adventures, project our pasts onto people who are here now, project our future hopes on people who aren’t capable of being apart of it, stay in jobs for the wrong reasons, live outside our means, miss important life lessons, and miss living in general…just to name a few. Those just scratch the surface of all we miss by being anywhere by right her and now.

When we aren’t here, we are operating on autopilot. In autopilot we miss the magic of nature, the joy of people laughing, the compassion for people’s pain, red flags, and warnings meant to lead us to safe places. We are living scared of repeating the past or fearing the unknown future. This is a DANGEROUS place to live. I’ve not only got some hard life lessons this way, but I missed some of the most beautiful majestic moments. I’ve missed experiencing some of the best parts of life.

Link for additional reading: Leaving Autopilot and Becoming Present

The myth of HAPPILY EVER AFTER belongs in fairytales. We destroy our current relationships of expectations of life looking a specific way. We ignore red flags flying high because many of the people who promise us this long term happiness after a short time of dating are not happy or healthy people. We are attracting people out of desperation of a future dream. We are all wearing masks in the beginning trying to figure each other out. Many times people are just flashing their insecurities around trying not to repeat the past in hopes of chasing that fairytale. We are anywhere but right here and right now when we are projecting the unknown future in our brand new relationships or hopes for a new relationship. We can have hopes and goals, but attaching to them for our happiness is the problem. Happiness and authentic joy only exist in the present moment. Have you ever stayed longer in a relationship because of the promises of a future or the hopes that he/she will go back to treating you like he/she did in the beginning? Neither place is reality. Reality is what is happening here and now.

Link for additional reading: Enjoying My Happily Ever Now

When we are focused anywhere but in this moment, we can get overwhelmed with the everyday steps of life. We pile everything onto us and try to leap a mountain in a single bound instead of taking one step at a time. We make ourselves crazy with everything we need to get done by some future time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost myself in this trap. Nothing else exists except for all the things that have to get done. We miss so much of life living in our mental to-do lists. We need it out of our heads and onto paper where we can take one task at a time, without the tornado we create by swirling it in our heads.

Focusing on our pasts does incredible damage to our now if it is used to keep us down. We can use our pasts as a weapon of mass destruction in our lives. If we are holding onto it with an iron grip, even if it’s supposed good stuff, it destroys where we are and if we don’t let go of it, it will destroy where we are going. We have choices. Sometimes others like to make it sound like we don’t, but we always have choices in how we perceive a situation. NO ONE and NO EVENT can take that away from you. Our perceptions can be our survival mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically. We must clean up our own perceptions before we can serve the world as our best selves.

For me, I simply see the past as important lessons. Whether they were joyful lessons or hard-hitting pick me up from the floor lessons, neither one will predict how my now or future will be. My now will be affected by aligning my head with where my feet are. When we do this: we attack people less, make healthier choices now, see clearly, and just do the best we can one step at a time. This isn’t a journey of perfection. This is a journey of awareness, strength, courage, and hope.

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Anywhere but right here and now is a trap we keep ourselves in. We put ourselves in harm’s way. We fight based on unhealed wounds, which only spread more fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate. We fight based on resentments of how we think things SHOULD be. Nothing should be any different than it is right in the moment we are in. There are lessons to learn right here and now, and the more we avoid learning them the harder the lessons we will get hit with. This is as true for us in our personal lives as it is in the world. We will keep manifesting what we don’t want if we keep our energy focused on fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate. We will stay at war with ourselves and with the world. The way out of the madness can’t be forced on anyone. Just like the choice to live in fear can’t. We have to choose in each moment how we want to live OUR lives. With every moment we have a choice. This choice can’t be taken away with violence or other people’s views, it is ours and ours alone. We can live or die with peace and love or hate and fear. In this moment—Where do you want to be? Be there now!

This is the final day of Part I: A Journey of Awareness. In Part II (month 2) and Part III (month 3), you will get the tools, techniques, and guidance to assist you into transforming your life to be the best you and live YOUR best life. I will not tell you where your strength is to serve, you will be led on the exact path that is right for you. I’m just here to help you expose new pathways and see doors you want to be opening.

There is no one-stop shop for breaking some of these hard-wired beliefs and patterns that have kept us in the victim role of our own lives. Choosing to see my life as a classroom has opened me up to learn and get the tools I needed to live a life I love living. I didn’t find my perspectives for living a great life in one place and neither will you. When you start living your journey and taking accountability for your life, so many doors start opening! You will be led to people, places, and things (friends, professionals, classes, books, seminars, podcasts, videos, websites, just to name a few). The beautiful thing about this journey of awareness is when we are ready to open our eyes to our present moment—Our world opens up! We see that change is possible and all it takes is being willing to do something different than what we’ve done to get us out of our own way.

Just for Today

Be aware of how often you leave your present moment and feel overwhelmed with fears of the future or judgments from the past.  How are those thoughts serving you? Are they contributing to the life you want to be living or are they contributing to creating more fear?

Thank you for taking this Journey of Awareness  with me! Now that you have opened yourself up to the journey, let’s do the work! Join me for:

Part II: A Journey of Perspective

What Launches Us Forward: The Stable Foundation

Don’t forget to come back later to read today’s Letter from A Better Me! 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 30 – Suffering from My Lack of Presence

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff  ©2019

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 16 – Perpetuating the Blame Cycle

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 16: Perpetuating the Blame Cycle

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”

-Robert Anthony

It’s interesting to watch how we get caught in acts of blaming and shaming because of our expectations of others, sometimes without knowing anything about the person. In a second we can forget that the person we are talking about is somebody’s daughter, son, brothers, sister, husband, wife, mother, father, boss, employee, and the list goes on. We forget the people we are throwing blame at are human too. We forget to ask ourselves how would we feel if someone smeared our mistakes all over the place before we had a chance to even see the error of our ways? Sometimes, we can be so quick to pounce we don’t even give the person a chance to exhale an apology if they saw their own mistake instantly. Sometimes we forget how it is when our emotions are leading us and we don’t ALWAYS say or do what is in the best interest for ourselves or someone else. We forget that the person who made the mistake could be innocent of the intention that we put on their actions. Anytime we reach out without the whole view of the story, and throw shame and blame out there, we are perpetuating the cycle.

Does this mean that people who intentionally hurt others should get off the hook and not be held responsible for their choices, which endanger the life or lives of others? Of course not! Not only is it necessary, but sometimes our own self-care means standing up for ourselves and others to prevent these kinds of things from happening to someone else. If our act is one of protecting ourselves and others, that feels good. We don’t have to bash, shame, and blame, in order to do that. Stating facts isn’t shaming or blaming.

I will tell you from personal experience, I once had to write out a testimony to prove why a person was a danger to society. I didn’t get into all the emotions about why I thought they were a danger, and I was VERY emotionally tied to the situation. I simply listed facts and incidents that proved that he was a danger. The courts responded by protecting the innocent people who were involved. I didn’t feel bad about anything I wrote, because I wrote facts. I didn’t say, lock him up and throw away the key. He is an evil human being who doesn’t deserve air. I wrote down things that were about him having to take responsibility for his actions. I know a person has to be filled with fear, shame, judgment, and hate to hurt someone. Healthy people don’t seek to hurt someone else. Perpetuating blame cycles hurts more than just people. It hurts learning institutions, governments, corporations, environments, countries, and the entire global economy.

Perpetuating blame keeps us from finding healthy solutions that are best for ourselves and the majority. Instead, we focus on blame and we think it benefits a minority of people. Then we blame those people for getting us to where we are, the cycle grows and expands until we find ourselves in a constant state of internal and external war. We can’t escape! We keep seeing it everywhere we turn, because if we are engaging in it, we are supporting the energy of it. Yesterday, I spoke about how even self-blame is part of this toxic cycle. We just keep perpetuating and focusing on all the wrong places and to what avail?

Even take something simple like sporting events, getting so worked up about what people did or didn’t do, blaming them for a failure of a play. We are watching from the outside! We are not in their situation. They can’t see what we see. They have a small view of the situation. Everything is easier to see when you have a view of the whole picture. None of us have the whole view of life and of the circumstances leading up to the event happening in front of our eyes. We are looking through a straw in our own life; we can’t possibly know how we would react until all the cards are in place. We can’t expect others to either.

Each of us have a choice to stay in the energy of blame if we want to. If we choose blame, we will stay victims to other people’s actions and we will continue to attract more of what we are putting out there according to the Law of Attraction. Then according to Karma we will get back whatever we put out. So between the two of them, we will feel like we have to be ready to fight. We will attract people and situations where people are ready to fight too. They might even be disguised in beautiful packages. This energy leaks into great causes everyday by focusing more on what the cause is against than what it is for. Seeing this in the world always reminds me of the quote by Mother Teresa:

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Projecting blame comes from deep inside of us. We have to deal with our own issues of self-blame before we can project out the love we want to see in the world. Otherwise, our own toxic cycle emanates from us even when we are attempting to spread love. We can’t fix what’s outside us first and then expect that to fix our insides. That is us blaming our outside for how we feel inside, once again perpetuating the blame cycle.

I’m not writing this 90-Day A Better Me Series to force anybody to change what they believe. I just know that these are the transformations that I’ve made over the years that have changed my life. Becoming aware of my perspectives of truth, accepting responsibility for what is going on inside of me, and taking action with the vision of the life I want in my heart; have led me to follow my dreams. I’ve met the most amazing teachers and been able to assist others in seeing their best selves. I have support and love all around me. The rewards of living this life have been endless. Even when the hard stuff comes, it doesn’t break me down like it once did. The pain that used to last months and sometimes years, has worked it’s way down for few hours or at most a couple days. We each get to choose if we are ready to let go of what is causing us to live a life full of internal pain and suffering, but until we clean up our internal world, our external world will continue to be a place that will bring us suffering and we will continue to blame what is going on outside of us for what we are feeling inside…the blame cycle will continue to have power over our lives.

Just for Today

Get a straw or something that has a hole the size of a standard straw. You can even make it with our hands if you don’t have anything. Look up close or print out the two the two spheres below. If you are looking at the center of the fear sphere, what do you see? If you are looking inside the hope sphere, what do you see? If we only have a straw view of our own lives, where do you want to focus your energy?

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With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff  ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 16 – How I’m Perpetuating the Blame Cycle

Keep following along, things are about to hit the core of why blame is so dangerous.

 

If your ready to move your straw to the center of Hope, Join me:

35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP

 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 6 – The Fear of Religion

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 6: The Fear of Religion

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

-Yoda

Some may think I’m crazy for writing this. Why? FEAR! Fear over religions trigger personal attacks, rage, murder, war, and self-destruction. Does it mean religions are bad— NO! If you’ve been following the series you will remember reading about the power of AGAINST. You may have heard or said I’m spiritual, not religious. Even that can be based on fear. It doesn’t mean it is, but we have to really investigate the feelings behind our choices of any spiritual practices to know if they are based in fear or love. If a person is AGAINST religion, that is based in fear. It still will have the same negative effect on our systems even if we try to hide it from others and ourselves.

Side Note: Some people will struggle to get through this piece. It might trigger all kinds of emotions. If you are one of these people, write all the feelings and thoughts down on a piece of paper. Then later, write out your definitions of love and fear. Then see which category your thoughts and feelings fall under. Remember Part I is all about becoming AWARE.(PLEASE DO NOT SPREAD FEAR OR HATE if that is what comes up. This experience is a personal experience for you to investigate how you are choosing to live. It’s not about judging anyone else.)

I’m not here to push religion or spirituality down anybody’s throat. I’m just asking people to look inside and be aware of their own thoughts and feelings about their own religious/spiritual practices and those of others. This whole series is meant to open our minds to what holds us back, how to work with what we got, and tools to move through any unwanted/unhealthy patterns to lead us to being the best versions of ourselves.

I want you to take a second to think about the your family, your friend group, or an organized group you belong to and answer these questions:

  • Do you all think exactly the same?
  • Do you practice your religion and/or spirituality exactly the same way?
  • Do you express love, joy, anger, or fear in the same exact way?
  • Do you express your thoughts in the same way?

Let’s take a more specific topic, Christians?

  • Does anyone who says their Christian follow the same exact religious practices?
  • Does each church that practices Christianity have the same exact practices and beliefs?
  • Does each person who practices Christianity express love, joy, anger of fear in the same way?
  • Does each person who practices Christianity believe in EVERY single concept that his or her religious sector preaches?
  • Do Christians make mistakes?
  • Can Christians interpret the Bible differently from church to church and person to person?

You can take ANY religion and see the answers are all the same. We are all human and each one of us will interpret words differently based on our own personal/family experiences. How can ANY of us as individuals talk about any group of people and assume ALL of them are any specific way? FEAR whispers in our ears from our own pasts, family, friends, media, and sometimes our religious leaders. Think about my story of the alligator in day 4, fear drove the woman across the lake to personally attack me. Fear leads us to attack what we don’t know, because we haven’t taken the time to investigate what we fear.

When I was a child, I had a negative experience in church. Church didn’t feel safe. My fear triggers would get ignited and I would actually feel bad about myself being there. I knew that didn’t feel right. Throughout my youth, I would go to different places of religious practices with friends’ families. In some, I would feel guilty and ashamed that I wasn’t a better person.  In others, I felt alive, free, happy, and inspired to be the best I could be. The difference that I didn’t understand until much later was that I was inspired by ones that told stories of loving actions and preached love. I felt frozen and shutdown with ones that preached fear.

After a lot of formal education on religious practices (through cultural anthropology, diversity in psychology, and course in the history of religion), questions, and personal experiences I found the moment where my nervous system was triggered. Anytime, I came out feeling there was judging, shaming, and/or condemning. Fear wreaked havoc and created an internal chaos inside me. If the stories inspired loving action my body and my spirit felt full and I would want to rush out of there to take loving action.  Fear froze me, and love inspired me.

What I realized that this could be a person’s experience in any religious practice. Each place of worship will have someone in charge who has to interpret what they worship and each leader will perceive the messages differently. They are just as human as we are. If their personal practice is led by fear, they will teach more fear. If their personal experience is focused on love, they will see the love in what the stories and concepts they are spreading. Understanding this showed me how personal a person’s religious and spiritual practice is.

If we don’t understand another person’s personal religious practices to the point where it affects our nervous systems and causes us fear, that’s not healthy.  The best thing we can do for our own health is talk to people to help us understand.  This doesn’t mean to have to believe what they do. It’s about seeing the love and/or fear for what it is. A person’s individual choice in how to live.

It took me years of accepting verbal and emotional abuse before I realized how long I’ve been taught to fear and mix that concept with what love was. I was taught to fear an ALL POWERFUL BEING in the name of love. I blamed church for a long time for that which only perpetuated more fear.  When I found the definition of love that felt right to me, it was from the Bible.

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Now, my spiritual practice and how I CHOOSE to live is based around that definition and any place I go that doesn’t practice that definition of love, isn’t the place for me. I’m no longer making my choices about religion and spirituality based on fear. The God I believe in is ALL loving and that means it’s my job to love myself and others through eyes of love. That’s why I can read stories from any religion that inspire love and be moved. Love has opened me up to experience more and more love without boundaries of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, and/or any other belief systems. My spirituality is about feeling and expressing love to every person who is put on my path. Sometimes, I fail out of fears that creep in.

Even then, I don’t beat myself up or shame myself over it. I just keep trying to do better next time. My mistakes teach me and are usually what I need to go even deeper into my practice of loving action. That is why I started From A Loving Place.  If I can see love in someone’s religious/spiritual practices, I will listen in AWE! I don’t have to believe what someone else believes, that is what is so powerful about love. I just have to see the love in someone’s heart and I can connect.  If I do see fear in someone’s thoughts and actions, I try my best to be as loving as I can. Sometimes that means keeping my distance because that is me showing love to myself. Other times it means I will be kind and loving to help a person understand where I’m coming from. Then there are times where I just have to pray for them to find their way out of fear and hate.

Love doesn’t attack others. Love doesn’t shame others. Love doesn’t leave nasty messages on social media. Love doesn’t seek revenge. Love doesn’t make other people feel small. Love doesn’t name-call. Love doesn’t create our internal systems to tighten up and freeze. FEAR does all of that.  When we are engaging in our fears we hurt ourselves and others sometimes unconsciously and other times very consciously.

I don’t know anyone personally that engages in a spiritual/ religious practice with the intention to hurt themselves or others. That is why it is so important to be vigilant with ourselves to make sure that we are not letting our confusion of fear and love lead us to do things that do hurt ourselves and others.

We choose to act in fear and we choose to act in love. We are here to learn to be better, not beat ourselves up over past choices. Our experiences are our lessons and we can choose to live in fear or love at any given moment. In the next few weeks we will look at the power of shame, blame, judgment, and hate. These are all to make us AWARE of how living in fear affects us.  Part I will be challenging at times and it will trigger our fears because they want to stay alive in us. You might not agree with everything I say in any of these pieces. All I’m asking you do is be open to listen to what is triggering you and write it down in a journal. Then through the process look back and see if anything has shifted even slightly.

Just for Today

Look at your own personal views on religion and spiritual practices and assess which ones come from a place of fear and which views come from a place of love. Look at how each view makes your body feel.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff © 2019

I hope you have chose to come on this journey and follow From A Loving Place. Don’t forget to check-out today’s companion piece:90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 6 – My Fear of Religion

Please remember to be kind to yourself during this process of becoming aware. We only ever can do the best we can at any given moment. We don’t need to beat ourselves up for not being perfect. None of us are. That is the human experience. As long as we are learning and growing– We are on the right path. Sending out love and light to everyone who is on this journey with me. 

 

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 5 – The Choices We Make Living in Fear

Part I: Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 5: The Choices We Make Living in Fear

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”

-Les Brown

We are a global community now. We can see events happening all over the world and the events don’t have to be from a news source. We have so much information at our fingertips that if we are living in fear we can scare ourselves out of enjoying our lives. Each day we are alive is a gift. We live until we’ve completed our Earthly lessons then we leave the physical planet. Some will pass on before they even enter the world and others will live over 100 years here. No life is more or less important. Each life has lessons to teach. Yet, our fears can keep us trapped in a hell on Earth if we allow them too. We each get to choose how we want to live.

When I was in my early 20’s, I traveled around the United States and Canada as a sales trainer. I spoke at large events, so I was in and out of hotels and places I was unfamiliar with. This was at the time where the Internet was just coming into play. Social media didn’t exist on a level that I knew about. There were no GPS tools to get me from place to place or help me find restrooms along highways. Phone reception was spotty through many of the areas I traveled. I had so many people tell me how dangerous it was for me to be traveling alone to all these places. People would tell me stories of women getting raped and murdered at hotels. I got to hear how truckers would abduct women traveling alone at gas stations and rest areas. If I had listened to the fears, I would have missed out on so many great adventures. Could those things have happened? Of course there is a possibility. I could also die tomorrow by choking on some kind of food, but I’m not going to stop eating. I could slip in the shower, which is more likely than getting abducted, but I promise you, I will continue to take showers daily.

I live in Florida where there are alligators in about every place where there is fresh or brackish water. As an adventurer, I take many hiking, traveling and camping adventures. I live next to a lake and I have walked through many of the most alligator populated areas in Florida. I’m not going to make myself crazy with fear over this creature because I watch the media cover alligator attacks. We have to keep in mind that what we see is such a small percentage of what is actually happening. The odds of getting attacked by an alligator in Florida as of 2017 according to the Wildlife Commission are 1 in 3.2 million. From 1948-2017 there have been 401 unprovoked alligator bites reported and of that 24 deaths. Let’s put the fear into perspective. According to the National Center of Health Statistics-Mortality data for 2017, a death happening due to a pedestrian incident is 1 in 556. Death by fall is 1 in 114. Some people are so scared of wildlife that they miss great exercise, amazing views, and awe-filled moments experiencing nature. This is what happens when people choose to live according to their fears. Someone once screamed at me from across a lake that I was a neglectful parent for fishing with my kids. I couldn’t imagine living at that level of fear that I would attack someone else the way this woman attacked me, but that is what happens when we live according to our fears.

There is a difference between healthy fears which protect us and living in fear. Now a days it is very hard to tell the difference when we are inundated with stories to engage our fears. We can find it harder to trust our instincts. Even when that woman attacked my parenting, I questioned myself to the point where I did the research to know I’m not out of line with my beliefs. Do I need to be responsible and know different tactics to deter alligators? Yes! I grew up being educated by professionals about alligators. My fear of them has never been out of proportion. That is what will keep my kids and I at even less of a risk. Just like swimming in the ocean amongst the sharks. Knowledge is power. If you start seeing fears of things take over your life, start doing the research. Don’t trust any type of media. Go to the source.  As humans we have so many fears that can keep us stuck and can end up isolating us.

“A decision made from fear is always the wrong decision.”

-Tony Robbins

Our fight AGAINST is another way our choice to live in fear works against us. Whatever we put our energy into we make stronger. So when we are fighting against things like cancer, drugs, political parties, sexual harassment, governments, communities, and/or religious sectors—we actually make the problem worse. Now, the problem may shift into another form, but it literally tears us down from the inside. The fear of what we don’t want is leading us. Fear is running things in a disguised fashion, which makes the fear even more dangerous. Hence, keeping a plant that can be cure cancer, reduce seizures, and help economies along with so many other benefits illegal. Fear can prevent us from finding solutions that work.

When we make decisions to fight against something our energy is in what we don’t want. We aren’t putting our energy into what we do want. We are acting in defense instead of being proactive about the decisions we are making in this moment and how they will contribute to a better way of living. In our last US presidential election I saw this in full force. So many people were voting to keep the other politician out of office. Our energy was stuck in against mode. I saw many people make their choices based on the lesser of two evils approach. I saw Democrats voting Republican and Republicans voting Democrat. I saw constant attacks and the focus was on what people were against. When I wanted to understand why people were voting the way they were, I heard very little about what they actually stood for. After the election, even with people who won according to their vote, there was this drop in enthusiasm and energy. Fear can only keep us going in short intervals without causing our bodies to feel drained. Then we start seeing consequences and setbacks that will happen anytime we act out of that energy field.

Communication with others is a biggie! People destroy relationships based on belief systems of AGAINST every day! When people’s energy of against differs it has the power to cause a war. We stop communicating because AGAINST is a fear-based energy. If someone doesn’t agree with our fight or cause, being AGAINST gives us power to attack without understanding of another persons perception. See if you can feel a difference in these statements: I’m against canceror I’m for finding a cure for cancer. For me, when I say, I’m for finding a cure for cancer, a flood of ideas and thoughts come to me. When I say, I’m against cancer. I think of all the fights my loved ones have had with this disease along with all my losses. I feel my stomach turn. If I’m in a fear place, my communication with others will be more defensive. Our fears will build together or if we disagree they can tear us apart.

When we are making choices based on what we stand for, and what we stand for is based on love for ourselves, our families, our communities, our countries, and our world— the energy is different. The energy actually fuels us and makes us do and experience the impossible. Some people will go as far as to say it’s what miracles are made of. Others might compare it to the power of prayer. Either way, the solutions that come from being a true representative of loving action are beyond what words can describe. I have tears in my eyes thinking of all the heroic tales of individuals who traveled paths filled with loving actions such as Jesus, Siddhartha, Martin Luther King Jr., Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Oprah, and so many more. Does it mean that all these people were or are perfect—NO! It means they did or do their best to let love guide them. They face fears and try not to create more. Just like any human, when we are passionate about something fear may take the lead here or there, but it’s about seeing it and redirecting ourselves in a more productive direction.

Just for today, look at the fears that have a big impact on your decision-making process. Do research if you need to. If you notice you are fighting against something write it down and make a list of what you actually want to see in the world instead of putting your energy into what you are against. Be present and see the difference in how that feels.  Think about adventures, dreams, and goals you haven’t followed through on, and look at where fears have stopped you. For now, just be aware and put some thought into ways to look at situations with a loving energy. I’m not telling anyone to change his or her mind. Just look.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 5 – Fear As A Decision Maker

Exciting news coming next week if you are ready to invest in being the best version of yourself. The 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP is days away from launching. 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 4 – How Fear Keeps Us from Experiencing Love

Day 4: How Fear Keeps Us from Experiencing Love

“Love is what we were born with fear is what we learned here.”

-Marianne Williamson

 

Whether we are talking about romantic relationships, family, friends, or strangers fear keeps us from experiencing love. We like to pretend that by fearing for others and/or their actions we are showing love. We’ve been groomed to fear which leads to expectations of others. Those expectations create more fear—not love. Does this mean we need to accept unacceptable behavior…HELL NO! This means that we understand through awareness what we can control. We are only in control of our own perceptions. We can’t expect others to act according to our expectations. We don’t use their adherence to our expectations as a tool to measure whether we love them or hate them.

Fear breaks down all forms of communication in relationships. Once all parties enlist fear into conversation— a war breaks out. Now all parties are acting like their wounded pre-teen selves. Our reasoning goes out the door. We view us as right and them as wrong. We can’t see that ALL our and their beliefs are just perceptions of what is true based on each person’s experiences in life. We are no longer open. We have an armor layer that is constructed of 100% fear.

Some of us go through our whole lives and never consider the definitions of love and fear. We wing it and because of that we intertwine the two and then start believing things like: Love hurts! Love is painful! Love blinds us. The opposite is actually true. Fear hurts. Fear is painful. Fear blinds us.

Fear is what drives the overbearing parent. Fear is what leads to jealousy, separation, abuse, betrayal, and cheating. Fear is what builds walls and shuts doors to strangers who are just as capable of love as we are. Fear closes us off and makes us want to numb our pain. Fear breaks down any and all relationships without discrimination.

We are human. None of us are going to be perfect people. We are going to make mistakes. The people we love will make mistakes. Strangers will make mistakes. We take away the opportunity to learn from our mistakes when we are in so much fear that we attack and criticize without any understanding of how the mistake could have happened. Then we come up with defenses, and those defenses create more fear. If a person chooses to learn from their mistakes, they will grow. If they don’t, they will wallow in self-defeat. They will make the mistakes reasons for being unlovable and unworthy. Once we see ourselves as unlovable and unworthy—Fear-based living takes over.

We project that fear to the world, and it becomes a belief. We will try to prove our belief right. This makes us attract people who will use us and call it love. We will allow our parents to demean and try to control us and call it love. We will attract friends who attack us and call it love. Something deep inside us knows these actions aren’t demonstrating love, so it feeds our belief that we are unlovable and unworthy of love.  If you are nodding your head because you see this in yourself, remember it is true for others too.

If we truly want to experience the fullness of love we have to show love to ourselves. We have to know love from the inside before we can see it in the world around us. We can only do this if we become aware of all the fears that are holding us back.

It is self-love that keeps us from being abused, bullied, controlled, and used by others. When we love ourselves we have healthy boundaries. We don’t DEMAND people respect us. We respect ourselves, so people who don’t respect us change or move away from us.  If our house isn’t built on a foundation of fear, we won’t engage in what perpetuates more fear, which is fear itself.

Do we fear repeating patterns from the past?

Do we fear others will hurt us more than we hurt ourselves?

Do we fear the unknown future?

These keep us from seeing the people standing in front of us. We can’t be present if our heads are lost in fear. Therefore we miss expressions of love and red flags we need to face. Love is experienced right here and right now. Self-love helps us spot red flags in ourselves and others. Fear is based on past beliefs, which creates fears of the future. Fear actually keeps you from being present.

Just for today see how fear and/or love is expressing itself in your relationships. Really ask yourself if your thoughts, feelings, and actions towards yourself and others are projecting love or fear.

If you want to learn about how to get out of fearful patterns—Keep READING!

This is a process. Part I is about making us AWARE of the problems. We can’t fix what we don’t want to face. Part II is about ACCEPTING where we are right now and opening ourselves up to changing from a place of love and not fear. Then in Part III we take ACTION. You will learn action plans to break unhealthy patterns. There is a reason for the order so it is best not to skip any part of it.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Companion letter: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 4 -To the Fear Keeping Me from Experiencing Love Don’t miss a day!

 

 

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 3 – The Power of Fear

Letters from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 3: The Power of Fear

To the Fear Within Me,

I feel you stirring inside me. When I watch the news you are there as my stomach clinches up and my nerves start to send tingles throughout my limbs. I feel you when I try to make decisions about what is in the best interests of my family and myself. I feel you when I’m walking and I wonder what people are capable of.

There have been times where you have been completely running my life. I was scared that if you weren’t there, I wouldn’t survive. The truth is it wasn’t having you that kept me alive. To live with you leading the way is a living hell. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a healthy place for you in my life. I can learn so much from you, but not if you are all I see.

When I view the world through a perception of fear, I miss so much love. I can turn a shopping trip into a nightmare or an enlightening experience. It is all about where my focus is. If I’m not where my feet are and am swept away in my past or my future, you sneak in and take over. I miss the smiles from other customers. I miss the cashier who may feel invisible because I’m not acknowledging his/her humanity. I could miss my opportunity to help a person who is struggling.

In my relationships, when you are in charge, I put up with insults and abuse. Fear keeps me from seeing my value and importance. I forget to see me as a fellow human and expect perfection. If I’m not perfect, I give you the reigns and let you beat me with them. I can even to go as far as to think that I’m not worthy of love.

I want to feel love! I want to know what love really is! If you are in charge, I will never know. I will just keep letting you tell me that fear, anger, rage, shame, guilt, and numbness are a part of loving someone else and myself. I will let you convince me that love hurts.

Deep down, I know that’s not true. My perceptions of the world through the eyes of fear are what hurt. I’ve stayed way too long in situations because of fear of being alone or fear of what other people will think. I’ve put myself in situations that didn’t feel right because of fear of God thinking that I don’t do enough. I’ve created chaos in friend groups over fear of the outside world. None of this makes me feel good. Letting you rule things takes away my energy and makes me feel the urge to numb myself. I don’t want to feel because I forget that I can change my thinking. I convince myself I’m trapped. The only thing I’m really trapped in is my own mind. I’ve been trained to use you as my go to.

I’m ready to become fully aware of your impact on my life. I’m ready to become aware of ways to see love instead of fear. I’m ready to live without you in charge.

I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned— I’m ready to move on.

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Companion Piece: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 3-The Power of Fear

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 3-The Power of Fear

Day 3: The Power of Fear

“If you catch yourself in the track of fear, just by having that awareness, you can shift your attention into the track of love.”

– Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love p. 71           

Fear-based thinking is a dangerous way to live. We are on guard 24/7 and we can go into a fight or flight reaction based on a defense mechanism put in place in childhood that is the power of fear. We could have watched news, heard name-calling, witnessed fighting, and that is just naming a few light incidents. When we are faced with addictions, abandonment, abuse, prejudice, rape, and a fear based environment, who could blame us for having such an unstable foundation. The power of fear wins. No matter what we have been through in the past, we CAN change. Nobody can make us, or force us to let go of the fear-based defense mechanisms. We can’t change because someone we love wants us to be different. We can only release these fears when we are really ready to dig into them and be present to why we used them, how they served us, and how they are not working anymore.

A suggestion to those of you who are about to embark on this cleanup, be aware of any addictions you use to numb yourself. This is not the time to engage. I would go as far to suggest, staying away from video games, drugs, alcohol, indulgent eating, bing watching T.V., obsessively focusing on other people’s lives, and whatever else you tend to use to avoid looking at yourself, even if you use a relationship and doing for others, I hope you take the time to slow down and focus on you. You deserve your best life. If you are avoiding the process of getting healthier, you will keep repeating the same patterns that are keeping you down.

We feel trapped in patterns of living that aren’t making our lives better. We actually are even hurting the people we love by keeping this fear-based thinking alive. If we truly want to break this thought process we have to see how it is not serving us anymore and come up with ideas of thoughts, feelings, actions, and perceptions that will contribute to the life we actually WANT. If you can motivate yourself to try new things in order to occupy the time you would have been spending avoiding yourself, do it. Meditation, exercise, self-help audiobooks, cleaning, or writing are a few suggestions based on what I used to help me stay focused on my path. Don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t there.

I can’t tell you how many books I stopped reading because the author told me to write something down. If you are considering stopping because of having to do any physical work, don’t do it! That is your fear trying to keep you down. Just keep reading, only do the work you feel an internal calling to do. You may decide to read this 10 times before you make any changes, it really doesn’t matter, if you are making progress, honor yourself for that. Just reading this series may be a huge step for you. Don’t lose your joy in the process because you think you aren’t doing enough. You’re here, that is enough.

It may take doing some investigating of different ways of thinking to figure out how to change the language you have been using. This is not an overnight process. One of my hardest lessons in the process of giving up fear-based thinking was the amount of time it takes to do it. I’m still working on it! I have been working on it for years. We are raised with fear-based thinking from early on and we are engaged in a society that thrives on it. One of my practices is to watch how certain fear-based thinking in society triggers me and come up with a different way to look at the situation. This helps me to keep my brain and heart in the right place in order to create more love and peace in my life.

Check out 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 3 – The Power of Fear , the letter on fear represents a jumping off point. Pay close attention to what comes up. Write down or pay attention to any fears that surface, look into how believing the fears hold you back, and come up with some solutions, just thoughts about other ways to handle yourself. If you want the best results, write your own letters about the fears that come up in your life.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2019

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 2 – A Message to the Mind

Letter from A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 2: A Message to the Mind

Dear Mind,

You are not me. You are a combination of generations of behavior patterns, my past, fears that I’m fed, and my interpretations of all the love and fear that I’ve experienced. Even with all of that, you are not me. You are not the love within me. You are only part of me. The love within me is the foundation that lies beneath the ruble. What you offer is perspectives, and perspectives can grow and change as I change. I believe I can be better. I believe my best in the moment is ever expanding.

I know I needed to go through everything I have to get me to where I am right in this moment. I know that. I’m not the victim of my past because that is just a perspective of thought and I can change any thoughts that come into my mind. They are not permanent. Everything changes, grows, expands, moves, and shifts. I don’t have to give my power to any thought pattern that makes me freeze or holds me back. That is my choice, because I’m not you.

Just because I’m not you, doesn’t mean I need to be against you. Fighting you will hurt me too. You are apart of me. My job is to see you as part of the whole, but not the whole. My openness to see my views of myself and others is my teacher. The more I can do this without judgment, the clearer I will see you—the more I will understand you. I will become a better me.

On this journey, I will do my best to remain open to the thoughts that hurt me and the ones that help me grow into the person I know I am underneath all this ruble. Until I understand you, my foundation where I need to build my house will stay unstable. You are changing. As you change, the ground everything lays on shifts. I’m capable of navigating those shifts if I stay open to understanding you. I can do this. I want to do this. I’m ready to do this.

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 2- Understanding the Journey of Awareness