90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 1 – Welcome to the Journey

Letters From A Better Me

90-Day A Better Me Letters Series

Day 1: Welcome to the Journey

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the journey of A Better Me. This letters piece of the journey is about connecting to the material in the 90-Day A Better Me Series. One of the things I’ve learned in my experience is that if I can’t make the journey personal, it’s not my journey. I won’t absorb the material in the same way as I do if I’m truly connected to it.

Since I’ve re-written my own story again and again using letters, I wanted to pass on one of the most essential tools in my own tool box. I’ve been amazed at what writing letters has done in my life. This helped me more than just journaling because writing a letter to myself or someone else gets me to engage deeper. The letters become personal contracts to live better.  I fully commit to feeling through whatever is going on inside of me at the time. I found that to be an AMAZING healing and transformative tool. Writing letters helps me to remember that I’m writing my own story. I need to commit to being the leading role.

Part I of the series is meant to stir up your emotions. If the program is working, you will get triggered. You will see yourself more openly. You will have opportunities to make better choices today. This journey is a process. In Part I, I’m peeling back the layers to expose the toxic muck that is keeping you from living your best life. In Part II, I help you to heal and strengthen. In Part III, you will get tools galore on how to grow and expand y to be the best version of yourself. Your relationships will shift and change as you take this journey. Trust the path!

I hope that if you stick to this journey, you will get what you need to become the best version of yourself, the program opens you up to see signs, guidance, teachers, and/or students. This is just the beginning. If you need extra guidance, I have a program that acts as a supplement to any personal development program you are using and/or want to start using. You will see a little more about that throughout the series. For now, enjoy this 90-Day journey. You can read it daily, like a book, or pick and choose what you need. This journey is yours. Just go to CATEGORIES to have direct access to both series.

Remember each day comes with a companion piece on the 90-Day A Better Me Series. Don’t forget to read and follow on long in order to get the most out of the experience. Read today’s here: 90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 1-A Commitment for 2019

 

With Love and Gratitude,

A Better Me

Rachael Wolff ©2019

 

 

 

Questioning the Boxes: Am I Holding Myself Back from A Better Life?

Oh, the boxes we can put ourselves in. I posted a video on my Facebook page by Goalcast called: Meghan Markle: The Princess and the Box. Before posting it, I watched the piece with my 11-year-old daughter. I was moved to tears, to the point where she asked me if I was o.k. I mean, there were waterfalls coming out of my eyes. On Facebook, I wrote, “Tears of inspiration, love, and hope ran down my face as I watched this story, reading it to my daughter sitting next to me. Thank you to all the women and men who teach their children not to compromise who they are to fit inside any box. Loving and accepting who we are is essential for a healthy and happy life.”  As you probably guess by the name of my blog and Facebook page, I write from a loving place. Some may call me an empath, others will call me sentimental, mushy or emotional.  Whatever the case, I have a deep love for humanity.

I was saddened to read a comment that made all the hype about Meghan Markle entering the Royal Family about race, and they were angry because there have been bi-racial people throughout time, “Why all the sudden no one recognizes that!!???” It made me realize just how many boxes we put ourselves in.

When I watched the video originally, I was so moved because I thought of all the metaphorical boxes we put ourselves into: Sex, race, sexually-orientation, religious beliefs, political beliefs, IQ, education status,  single parent, stay-at-home parent, working parent, and on and on. However, even with all those boxes I didn’t even consider the boxes we put ourselves in about our views as a whole. I didn’t think about how we can create so much unhappiness within ourselves creating absolutes such as, no one, all, everyone, always, forever, and never. Those boxes can be even detrimental to our very core. Am I holding myself back from a better life?

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When we are speaking for entire cultures, races, nations, religions, men, women, LGBT, time, and so on, we lose. It is our loss because we’re not looking at individuals. We aren’t seeing humanity. We’re making assumptions of ALL and EVERY. I’ve caught myself doing this, and I’ve seen how others have kept themselves trapped in a box because of it. How many of us are exactly like our mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers? Do you have all the exact beliefs as your best friend? Do you agree with everything everyone says within your church, school, work, home, or museum? If you look at a painting do you think you would interpret it differently than another man and/or woman? Do you ever change your mind based on new information coming in? How can we judge any form of “ALL”?  What do we know about the future an hour from now? How about five years, ten years, or twenty years? We have no idea, and when we think that we know it all, we are putting out negative energy. What we know is what is happening right now, for ourselves. That’s it. My children are at school, they may have left here telling me one thing and when they come home, I get a completely different interpretation of events and people. This is life.

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This really opened my eyes to the pain we can create for ourselves. I see how when we think we can judge beyond what we know in absolutes, which is not much. We have the ability to hurt ourselves and others. I can’t speak for everyone; I can speak for me. I can question my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions to what someone else says or does. I can ask myself how I really feel about it. I can question if my thoughts are contributing to the life I want to be living. If the thoughts are NOT helping me be the best version of myself, I can change them.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff ©2018

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. 

Stop Comparing and Start Living!

Have you ever caught yourself thinking or saying, “Well, if I had their life, I could…?” I know I have. I used to give myself that excuse. I have also heard people use my life as their excuse. There is something we are not looking at inside if we are being critical or comparing on the outside. The negative energy that comes from thinking we are better or less than others is destroying our ability to create an amazing life for ourself and others.  We have become a society driven by this kind of thinking. That is part of the reason celebrities lives are under a microscope 24/7. We have been trained to pick apart other people’s lives. We somehow lost the vision to see that they are no different than us, not better or worse. We all make mistakes and have triumphs. We are ALL humans.

A while back I used to be consumed with celerity news. I would sit and read all the magazines that had dirt on people. Somehow, it would make me feel like my life wasn’t that bad. What I forgot is that there was a person behind the story. A person trying to live a their life. They are talented and get money for their talent, but does that give me the right to sit back and judge every aspect of their personal life. I can’t even begin to imagine living that life. Celebrities are the easiest example of this, but they are not the only example. If we feel our insides stirring with negativity at the other people’s chaos or successes, there is a battle going on inside from an old wound never healed.

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We are all people projects and in the dawn of reality TV, the worldwide web, and social media, we are all open to facing the joys and failures of the world. I simply ask that we do not forget that there are people attached to any story being told. Most times we don’t know all the circumstances and we definitely don’t know what a person’s life is really like outside the limited information we are usually being told. Is it worth comparing your life to theirs or bringing in more negativity energy into the situation?

Instead of being a quick to judge society, lets put our energy towards living our lives the best we can. One of the ways we can contribute is by not jumping into the pool of negative energy that comes with attacking others, instead asking ourselves:

  • Why does this bother me so much?
  • What inside me is triggered?
  • Why am I contributing to the negative energy around this situation?
  • Is this really about the situation in front of me or is it an experience I haven’t dealt with in my past?
  • Is  the way I’m thinking of this person’s actions worth interrupting my inner peace?
  • How can I put a better energy into the situation?
  • What internal blocks are holding me back from living the life I want to be living?

We are all individuals doing the best we can. What if we slowed down enough to try to understand humans again?  I’ve been caught up in a negative energy that I want no part of, and I’m trying to vocalize my weakness in order to raise my awareness in all the times my focus is not where it best serves myself, my children, my loved ones, and humanity.

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When I serve humanity by being compassionate, sharing loving ideas, and being solution minded, my struggles have been worth the pain I felt. The weight of experiencing severe trauma is lifted from my soul. I don’t want to be a part of system that thrives on tearing someone else down. That system contributed to my personal pain, I want to stop it from spreading.

I cried many tears after seeing how cruel people can be to others.  Recently, I’ve seen people being personally attacked for having an opinion and trying to live their best life. Reading comments on people’s posts has been so eye opening. I know that the people who are attacking others are hurting more than I could possibly understand. I know they are doing what they do because they are projecting out their darkest thoughts about themselves. So seeing the attacks hurts on a multitude of levels.

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I hope I never forget that there is person out there who is hurting. I commit to sending all parties involved love and hope that they do not let the negative energy define them. By not comparing and judging other people’s paths, I’m contributing to living my best life. This is the life I want to live.

With Love and Gratitude,

Rachael Wolff

A special thank you to all the people who follow FromALovingPlace.com and Facebook.com/FromALovingPlace. I’m so happy you’ve decided to come on this journey with me. Wishing you all the best from a VERY loving place.